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Featured on ESPN's Fantasy Focus Football

Thanks to Matthew Berry, Nate Ravitz, and Pod Vader for having me on to talk about the Oberon Mt. Power Rating Formula on October 29th, 2008. That episode has been pushed out of the ESPN archives, but you can lisiten to it by clicking here. My segment begins at 30:50.

Power Rating Crossover to the NBA

An email from Karsen M. took me by surprise the other day. He wanted to let me know that he uses the Oberon Mt. Power Rating Formula for his fantasy league, which culminates with the League playoff champion playing the Power Rating champion.

The surprise is that he also uses it for his NBA Fantasy league! I can honestly say I never thought about using the PRF for another fantasy sport (I only play football). I guess the sky's the limit now. Can you say fantasy rugby? Fantasy bowling?

Thanks for the note, Karsen.

Try an All-Star Spectacular

If your league is still looking for ways to make the fantasy experience new and exciting, you might want to try something the Oberon Mt. Fantasy Football League has been doing for several years -
The All-Star Spectacular. Our owners pay an additional fee to be a part of the Spectacular, which is held the same week as our Super Bowl. The Week #13 team rosters are frozen, and I, as commissioner, take the best players from each division to form a team that will represent that Division in the Spectacular. The second-place finisher in each Division, IF they paid to participate, gets to coach their Division's team by setting the starting lineup for the All-Star Spectacular. All of the participating owners in the winning Division split the All-Star Spectacular pot. It's not too late to set it up for this year, but I wouldn't wait long. Let me know what you think.

Super Task: Computing 72 Power Ratings each week

Once again I want to thank all of you for both using and spreading the word about the Oberon Mt. Power Rating Formula. I wish I knew about how many leagues across the country were using it. My guess is somewhere between a few dozen to a few hundred. I can tell you there were over 1,100 unique visits to this page from August 1st thru today, November 3rd. Down on the right side of this page are a list of 20 leagues that use it, or at least have used it in the past. That must be just the tip of the iceberg. Please take a moment to drop me a quick note (if you haven't already) at oberonmtffl@gmail.com, or tweet me @oberonmtffl .

Of all of the stories I have heard about leagues using the Power Rating, one recently came to my attention that just amazed me. If you already use the Formula you know the time and effort it takes each season to set up the spreadsheet and enter the data each week for one league, and I'm sure you'll agree that figuring the PR for a Super League takes an especially dedicated Fantasy Footballer.

The ESPN NCAA Tournament Super League is made up of six 12-team leagues that join forces at playoff time to compete against each other in "Bowl Games". Teams are selected for the title bowl game and the subordinate bowls based in part on their overall Power Rating. There are other factors, and the League Managers meet to choose the teams and set the matchups, but the important note here is that the ESPN NCAA Tournament league has one person that calculates the Power Ratings for all 72 teams each week. His name is Kyle, and in a recent exchange of email, he told me a little bit about hid use of the Oberon Mt. Power Rating Formula.

"It takes me about 2 hours or so to get the rankings done each week, sorted and posted to the website. It's a lot easier and less time consuming then trying to get 72 people to vote on a top 25 (which is what we were doing before.) The bowls will not be 100% based off of the PRs, we will have one condition that the team must be at .500 or better. After that, the rankings will highly influence how the 12 LMs and Co LMs will determine what teams make the bowls. It isn't a guarantee that number 1 will play number 2 in our National Championship, but there is probably a strong chance of that happening."

Thanks for the note, Kyle. I applaud you and the rest of the Super League for having so much confidence in the Formula. This is a testimony to how the Formula can be used to comepare teams in different leagues if they are the same size and use exactly the same scoring rules. Farther on down this page you can read about the Multi-League Protocol that can be used to compare teams in different leagues using different scoring systems. The current MLP is probably due for a tuneup - maybe for the 2010 season . . .

Now, on to the FORMULA!

The Formula

The Oberon Mt. Power Rating Formula attempts to give commissioners and owners alike a tool to predict a fantasy team's potential performance by not only looking at their average score, but also factoring in intangibles such as an owner's managerial skills (using winning percentage) and luck (good teams losing to the hot team of the week and poor teams beating better teams having a down week). We've had some great feedback from commissioners and owners from around the country about the Oberon Mt. Power Rating for fantasy football teams. Some thought the idea was great, and others hated it, mostly because their PR's didn't live up to their records. That's okay. Everyone has their own opinion and this is something you'll use if you want to gage a team's success or failure by means other than just their average score or just their record.

 

I want to mention, and thank, the many Fantasy Leagues that have begun using our Oberon Mt. Power Rating Formula. A growing list of those that have contacted me can be found in the right-hand column below, along with links to their leagues when available.

 

Oberon Mt. Power Rating Formula
If this is your first visit here, the Oberon Mt. Power Rating Formula combines Average Score (60%), Highest Score plus Lowest Score (20%), and Winning PTC. (20%) to come up with a team's Power Rating for use in comparing teams both in the same league and in different leagues in ways other than just by Win-Loss Record (comparing teams in different leagues requires a little extra work, see below). The Oberon Mt. Power Rating Formula is sure to provoke endless hours of trash-talkin' and one-upsmanship!

If your league decides to use it, please drop me a note at oberonmtffl [at] gmail.com and I'll add you to our list . . . oh, and tell your FFL friends!

Besides comparing teams in the same league during the same season, our Power Rating is handy for comparing teams from previous seasons (same-sized leagues only). Simply plug the stats from the older team into the formula and you can get an idea who had the best team of all time in any particular league. A feature certain to spark hours of entertaining debate. (If there have been major scoring rule changes, simply treat them as different leagues - see Multi-League Protocols below)

The Math

(avg score x 6) + [(high score + low score) x 2] +[ (winning % x 200) x 2]
10

 

In English:

#1. Multiply the team's average score by six. Average score is the very basic stat to judge a team's prowess.

#2. Add the team's highest score to their lowest score (Deviation), and multiply the result by two. Over and above the average score, the Deviation gives more importance to a team's highest scoring game, while also punishing a team a little more for their lowest score.

#3. Take the owner's winning percentage and multiply by 200, then multiply that by two.** This portion of the Formula more than anything rewards and punishes for all the little intangibles associated with coaching a fantasy team. For instance, an owner that continues to win despite a less-than-impressive lineup is rewarded over and above their lagging average score. On the other hand, an owner that loses because he starts players on their bye week, or leaves injured players in their lineup, suffers twice . . . from points not scored by missing players and for the resulting losses.

#4. divide the total by 10.

** I know, multiplying by 200, then by two is the same as multiplying by 400, but doing this way shows that multiplying the winning ptc. by 200 first results in a number in the general area of the raw average score and raw deviation. Then multiplying the result by two shows the 20% weight.

The result is the Power Rating . . . or, if you like, the Potential Rating, since it actually is meant to judge the potential score a team might be expected to score on any given weekend compared to its average score. Remember, as the season progresses, a team's average score changes more and more slowly as the number of games included increases. The Power Rating formula takes not only the average score into account, but also recent extreme high or low scores, and winning or losing trends. Obviously, you will need a few weeks of data before a viable PR can be arrived at. We don't start reporting Power Ratings until after Week # 3 games.

Definition of Terms:

Average score - Total of a team's points scored divided by the number of games played.

Deviation - Take the team's highest score and add to it the team's lowest score.

Winning Percentage. - Divide the team's number of wins by the number of games played.

What Does This All Mean?

Let's look at three examples of how the Power Rating can be used to compare different teams:

In 2003 the top two teams in the Oberon Mt. FFL both earned first round byes and defeated their opponents in the semi-finals. The top seed, the Roadrunners, finished our 13 game season 11-2, with an average of 68.9 ppg and a deviation total of 137 (91+46). The Tytans finished two games back at 9-4, but averaged just .6 points less per game at 68.3, and had a slightly better deviation total of 142 (104+38). As you can probably guess, the resulting Power Rankings at the end of the regular season were very close: Roadrunners 102.6, Tytans 97.08 - indicating two teams more closely matched than their records might imply. In our Championship Game, the OberBowl, the Tytans broke 100 for the fourth time that season and defeated the Roadrunners 107 to 77. Power Ratings figured after the playoffs found the Tytans finishing on top there, too, with a 102.6. The Roadrunners, 1-1 in the playoffs, finished with a PR of 101.12

In our second example, the RPB Express finished last in our league at 2-11. They averaged 49.15 ppg, and had a deviation total of 110 (73+37). Because of a positive deviation compared to their average, the Power Ranking for this team was 57.65 (about 8 points above their average score). And although this team had the worst record, another team, the Bobbyknockers finished 3-10 but had a worse average at 46.85, and a lower deviation of 95 (65+30), finishing with a lower PR of 56.34. Only a point and a half difference, but enough to fuel an off-season-long argument as to which team was the worst!

Finally, in Week #9 of the 2006 season, the 2-6 Bombers scored 113 points and jumped into the second spot in the Ratings. I was beginning to wonder whether the Formula was as accurate a judge of potential as we all originally thought. Vindication! Their Week #10 follow-up was a 94-66 win over the Vipers . . . their score was the highest in the league for the second week in a row, and very close to the 89.4 Power Rating the Bombers had after Week #9. "How can it be," you ask, "that a 4-6 team can have the second-highest Power Rating?" The OMPR was designed to take more into account than just a team's record. When the Bombers won, they won by an average of just over 45 points! No wonder they had the second-highest point total in the league up to that point, just behind the 9-1 Stout Dragonflies. When they lost, the difference was only about 14 points. But not only were they a high-scoring team when they won, they had the third-highest "low score" at 49. This, combined with the highest score in the league of 113, made their 162 deviation score second best.

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Free OpenOffice Spreadsheet File

We are making an OpenOffice spreadsheet document available to save you the trouble of setting up the formulas in your own spreadsheets. There are rows to accomodate 16 teams for a 13-game regular season. If you league has fewer teams, simply leave the extra rows blank. There is a column to enter each team's opponent if desired, which is interesting data to have looking back on 2008, but isn't necessary. You need only to fill in the following columns:
S - Season number in your league's history
Year - Current year
Tms - Number of teams
DP - Draft position of this team
End - Where this team ended up this season
Owner - This team's owner
Opponent - This owner's opponent this week if desired
w/l - w for win, l for loss
For - Points scored by this team this week
Aga - Points scored by opponent this week
W - # of games won so far this season
L - # of games lost so far this season
T - See note below
High - This team's highest score this season
Low - This team's lowest score this season

Ties - If your league has to deal with ties for regular season games, treat the tie a 1/2 win, 1/2 loss. When updating the record of the teams involved in the tie, add .5 to their wins and .5 to their losses. For example, if a team involved in the tie in Week #10 had a 6-3 record, update their record under the "W" to 6,5, and 3.5 under the "L". Place "1" in the T column simply to remind you why there are half games in the record, and more importantly to help reduce confusion should a team be involved in more than one tie.

Click here to download.

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Multi-League Protocol

Before you go on, you must realize that fair comparisons using this method can only be made when the Leagues involve have the same number of teams, since the quality of teams in a 12-team league should be better than teams in a 16-team league.

In order to compare two teams in different, but similar sized, leagues, you must first figure the Oberon Mt. Power Rating for each team using their stats from their individual leagues. Do that by following the formula above.

If the different leagues of the teams you are trying to compare use exactly the same scoring formula, you can simply compare Oberon Mt. Power Ratings to see how the teams measure up against each other.

However, to compare teams from different leagues using different scoring formulas, you need something like our Multi-League Protocol. Using the scoring formula from each league you have to find the Baseline-Perfect score for each league. This only has to be done once (as long as that league's scoring formula doesn't change). In fact, it would be great if an owner in each league determined the Baseline-Perfect score prior to the beginning of the season and shared it with the other owners in his league so they can learn to appreciate the Oberon Mt. Power Rating.

Determining a Baseline-Perfect Score

October 4, 2005 Update
Defense/Special Teams scoring to determine the Baseline-Perfect Score for the Multi-League Protocol has been updated to include fumble return yardage, and to separate all four return yardage categories. See Multi-League Protocol below.

First, a league's Baseline-Perfect score is NOT the absolute highest score a team could possible score in any given week, but hitting it would just about take a miracle. Using your league's scoring system, determine the total as if these five positions scored as follows:

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One Kicker - 4 extra points, one 29 yard field goal, one 49 yard field goal, and one 59 yard field goal.

One Defense/Special Teams - (updated October 4, 2005) one safety, six sacks, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries, a 60 yard punt return for a touchdown, a 90 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, 46 yard interception return for a TD, 101 punt return yards, 130 kickoff return yards (giving points for kickoff return yards rewards poor defensive performance), 55 interception return yards, 25 fumble return yards.

One QB - 51 yards rushing, one 10 yard rushing TD, 351 yards passing, one 55 yard passing TD, two 20 yard passing TD's.

One RB - 10 yard rushing TD, 60 yard rushing TD, one 21 yard receiving TD, 151 total rushing yards, 50 receiving yards.

One Receiver (wide or tight) - 25 yards rushing, one 75 yard receiving TD, two twenty yard receiving TD's, 151 total receiving yards.

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We've tried to incorporate many different ways of scoring that cover most of the scoring formulas used by most fantasy leagues. If your league doesn't give points for one or more of the stats we've presented here, don't worry about it. That won't affect the validity (such as it is) of this procedure.

Now you have to compare your team's Power Rating to your League's Baseline-Perfect score. Divide your team's Power Rating by your League's Baseline-Perfect score and multiply the result by 100. That will tell you what percentage of the Baseline-Perfect score your Power Rating is.

For instance, in our league a Power Rating of 85 is 60.284% of our Baseline-Perfect score. This is the number an OMFFL team with a Power Rating of 85 would use to compare themselves with a team in another league.

It's that easy! Questions and comments are welcome, and can be addressed to oberonmtffl [at] gmail.com.