Monday, July 16, 2007

Issues With The Fantasy Draft Pool

We have got lots of feedback on issues with players missing from the baseball draft pool, or classified in the wrong position. It is probably worth taking the time to explain how things work on our site, to clarify a few things. Also this issue is very unique to Baseball, and should not be an issue at all with Football, Basketball, Hockey, Nascar...

The website is fully automated using a live statistic and data feed from the Sports Network. If we had to manually determine everything daily the website would not really be manageable. The feed identifies the roster for each real team and the position for each player. Many baseball players are classified with multiple positions. They may be classified as 1B/OF, DH/OF, 2B/SS or any other combination. For players who are classified with multiple positions, we can't put them in the draft pool because we do not know what position they will play in a given day. Also the DH position is not included in our structure (because of the difference between AL/NL) Unfortunately, there are a handful of popular players that are classified this way.

The draft pool is actually very accurate even with the multiple position issue, but most of the inaccuracies stem from this. There are also a small handful of players who are classified for the wrong single position. Ichiro is one of them. These players are draftable in a position that they do not normally play this year. This is an error in the feed that we have no ability to correct.

We took a quick look at manually correcting the positions of several players, but it is not that simple. When a new player gets called up, we want their position from the feed. Also, we don't want the feed to overwrite our manual corrections. All this complicates things. We also have a ton of development in progress, and we do not want to pull our software team off of what we feel is currently more important.

So I guess what I am saying here, is we are aware of the issues, but it is not a simple or easy fix. We may get to it this year, but it will be based on software resources becoming available in the near future. By next year's baseball season we will do something to clean the positions up and correct errors in the feed. These types of errors do not really exist for the other sports as all players tend to have defined single positions. The draft pool is the same for all competitors in a contest, so there is no advantage given by an error in the draft pool. Unfortunately, for now at least, some user's favorite players may not be available in the fantasy baseball draft pool.

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