By: Edward Egros

Fantasy Football Tips & Trends

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Pro football players have already started preparing for the upcoming NFL season, months before games actually begin. Fantasy football players are no different. The most prepared are keeping up with training camps across the country, projecting performances for key skill players and maybe even assembling personal draft boards.

Daily fantasy sports may be less accessible and popular within the last couple of years, but there are signs season-long fantasy football has a more rabid following than ever before. After a couple of years of getting shut down, the
National Fantasy Football Convention finally got off the ground this July in Dallas. I was fortunate enough to speak at a panel at the conference, devoted to the analytics of fantasy football. Also on this panel are: George Kondraske, a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, Jon Hartley, an economics contributor for Forbes Magazine and the Huffington Post, and Troy Brazell, CEO of Optima Sports Analytics.

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Previewing the Great Lakes Analytics in Sports Conference

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Next month, I will be speaking at the Great Lakes Analytics in Sports Conference. This event features the latest and greatest in sports analytics, with speakers from across the country discussing their unique research. My talk will be about my own research and how I incorporate these complicated concepts into easily digestible reports for television. The conference will be July 13th at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. For more information, click here.

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The Numbers Behind Hitchcock's Return to Dallas

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The Dallas Stars are bringing back a familiar face, hiring Ken Hitchcock for a second tenure as their head coach. As with all head coaching changes, the team isn't just changing a person, it's changing a philosophy.

Its last coach, Lindy Ruff, was an offense first person, and that is not a "bad" philosophy. As we've shown in our research, hockey teams can win emphasizing offense. But with so many injuries last season to forwards and not having necessary backups to win low-scoring games, the Stars are now emphasizing defense.

Ken Hitchcock does just that.

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What is Good Team Chemistry, Anyway?

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We wrap up our unofficial series on the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference discussing something that may not seem analytical at all: team chemistry. What are the intangibles that make players work better together, how do you quantify and recognize the unspoken communication between athletes and how can a team maximize its chemistry by finding the right combination of people?

To explain the theories behind quantifying team chemistry, I spoke to one of the study's authors, Kevin Roberts, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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To read the paper, click here.

Analytics and the UFC

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It may not seem like a natural relationship: analytics and mixed martial arts.  But one research poster at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference discussed how different fighting styles can be more or less successful in a given bout.  Sean Hacket and John Storey put the research together.  I wanted to ask a couple of UFC fighters about the research, so I spoke to the two competing in the main event at this May's UFC 211: Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos.

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