Tuesday, September 29, 2009
How much is your fantasy team worth?Posted by Eriq Gardner at 2:24am
It’s the last week of the season. Are you fighting for first place in a money league? If you are, how much percentage of your winnings would you give to lock up first place?
Maybe the answer holds some clues toward how we should begin to approach fantasy team valuations.
In past decade, there’s been tremendous advancements in sabermetrics, forecasting services like PECOTA, and player evaluation punditry. We’re even getting close to figuring out the worth of individual players to fantasy teams using value-above-replacement metrics or the parallax method that THT’s John Burnson described this month.
But how about a fantasy team? How much is your team worth?
If you play in a money league, obviously it’s not worth the same as it was the first day of the season. If you invested $100 in a 12-team team league and you’re close to winning $1000, maybe your team is worth several multiples of what you first invested. Conversely, if you invested $100 and your team is languishing in last place, maybe it’s worth nothing.
Allow me to get fanciful for a moment.
Imagine a derivatives market where buyers and sellers of fantasy teams got together during the course of a season to sell futures contracts. Successful teams might look to hedge against unpredictable bad luck and injuries by selling a stake in their team. Unsuccessful teams might look to recover any investment by selling a share in their sinking team to speculators.
Maybe just as importantly, during the course of a season, a team’s fluctuating share price could be an indication of whether a fantasy owner needs to become more active making moves or sit back and let luck normalize.
Who knows whether an idea like this is actually feasible. Would there be enough liquidity in the market to actually get it off the ground? What sorts of information would an owner need to report about his teams so that others could properly analyze the team's financial prospects?
Those are just some questions:
But it’s an idea we think holds potential. Hell, if someone can offer fantasy sports insurance, a derivative market can't be that far away.
We’re curious to hear any innovation you’d like to see in the fantasy sports marketplace. Leave them in the comments section below.
Eriq Gardner is a New York-based writer and founder of Fantasy Ball Junkie, a website for advanced fantasy baseball enthusiasts.