Why do we like movies? There's a social aspect, yet many of us will gladly watch them on our own. It's because we love a good story. Those of us who appreciate film the most see it as an art form with incredible complexity and beauty.
Is Steve Mason really the top goalie in the NHL? I’m going to take my shot (shot, get it?) at this question, building upon existing methods. But before I go into that, let me break down why this is worth looking into.
For sports fans, March Madness is an event like no other. It’s where the top 64+ teams in college basketball get together to play a win-or-go-home single elimination tournament. Every year I wonder why the NBA doesn’t get in on the action.
So let's talk a little bit about another drafter child, the simul_drafter (or “Sim” for short), and how I designed her. Sim can, at each pick, simulate the rest of the draft. Then Sim calculates how far ahead or behind our resulting team is, by our team-level metric, versus the best other team (I could compare against average, but really I want to be able to beat the next best team). If I do this across a selection of players, I can figure out which one resulted in the best overall pick.
My season turned around when I figured out that I really wasn't playing the game. I wasn't taking advantage of simple tactical moves that would help me win categories, at no cost. When I awoke to this and started playing, along with making a couple of trades to balance out my roster, things started looking up.
I'd never been in a hockey pool before. Not a real one. I had done a couple of simple ones, with René and other classmates, but those were pick-em-and-leave-em. That was by design. We all wanted to focus on grad school (and drinking – two non-mutually exclusive concepts) and didn't want the winner to be the person who slacked off on studying the most. Most of my effort then was drafting. I played with no bench, no lineup changes, no trades. Now I was invited to a real pool. How was that going to work out?