|1.||What can you tell me about the lifecycle of statistics on the MyFantasyLeague.com site?|
Here at MyFantasyLeague.com, we pride ourselves in not only the timeliness, but also the accuracy of the statistics we deliver to our customers each week. We report more than 100 individual player statistics for about 1500 NFL players, and over 90 team statistics for 32 NFL teams each week - that's a total of about 153,000 pieces of data we offer each week. Our goal for each of the 17 weeks of the NFL season (for a total of 2.6 million pieces of data) is to be 100% accurate in our reporting of that data.
We've written this document to explain in detail exactly how we report this data to you, so that you may better understand what to expect from us.
At various times throughout the NFL week, we categorize the data we provide to you differently. These different categories of data are explained below.
Live Scoring Results
Live scoring results are the most timely, but also the least accurate of all data we provide on the site. Live scoring results are provided to you while games are in progress, and in near-real time - between the time a play happens on the field, and we report it on our site can sometimes be less than a minute. With that timeliness comes the risk of sometimes providing data that is not 100% accurate.
For example, let's say the following sequence of events happens:
What can (and does!) happen is that we might update your league results on the site after the referee signals "touchdown" for the TD pass, but before the touchdown is nullified by the penalty - thus, we may temporarily display the Brady-to-Moss TD pass on our site. Of course, very shortly that TD pass (along with the corresponding fantasy points) would be eliminated.
- Tom Brady throws a 40 yard TD pass to Randy Moss.
- That TD pass is called back due to an offensive line holding penalty.
While this example is one of the more extreme things that can happen during the course of an NFL game that might cause us to temporarily display incorrect data on your "live scoring" page, other events might cause this, too. As a rule of thumb:
The more unique the play that happens on the field, the longer that it will take your league's live scoring page to correctly reflect that play.
In other words, routine rushing and passing plays are almost always reported accurately the first time. Other plays, like safeties, blocked kicks, fumbles, etc., may take many minutes, and in some cases, a quarter or more, to be correctly displayed on your live scoring page.
To that end, please do not be concerned if you see what you believe are incorrect results being displayed on your league's "live scoring" page, especially if the play in question has just happened - rest assured that this is just due to the dynamic nature of the data that we receive from the NFL, and shortly that information will be corrected.
Preliminary Weekly Results
About one hour after the last game is over on a Thursday, Saturday or Sunday, we issue what we consider Preliminary Weekly Results. Preliminary weekly results are typically about 99.99% accurate. The most common mistakes that happen with Preliminary Weekly Results are very unique plays, or, official NFL statistics changes. To give you an example of the these two things, let's look at a sample correction we made to our 2003 week 3 Preliminary Weekly Results:
Please note that we describe all changes made to the Preliminary Weekly Results via our Stats Changes commissioner news each week, to let you know what (if any) statistics changes were issued between the time we issued Preliminary Weekly Results and Final Weekly Results.
- After reviewing game film from the Giants/Redskins game in Week #3, the NFL changed a 27-yard reception for Jeremy Shockey and correctly awarded it to Jim Finn. This changes the following stats for that game:
- Jeremy Shockey's receptions decrease from 6 catches for 92 yards to 5 catches for 65 yards.
- Jimm Finn's receptions increase from 1 catch for 5 yards to 2 catches for 32 yards.
Note that the accuracy of our "Preliminary Weekly Results" is one way we like to differentiate ourselves from some of our competitors - they might offer "live scoring" results, but those not-so-accurate results are the only results displayed on their league pages until "final" results are issued, in some cases as late as Tuesday mornings! What good is scoring if you don't truly know how many points you have until sometime Tuesday morning? With MyFantasyLeague.com, you can go to bed on Sunday night and know where you stand!
Official NFL Statistics Changes
Occasionally, the Elias Sports Bureau (the official Statistician of the NFL) will make official statistics changes after a week's games have been completed. Note that there is no set schedule for when these corrections are announced - they might be announced a day after a game is over, and at other times, it may be weeks later.
When changes happen after we've issued "Final Weekly Results" for a given week, we allow you, as the league commissioner, to decide if you'd like to include or exclude these late statistics changes from your league results. You can do this from the "For Commissioners > Stat Changes" menu option to manage these stat changes as needed. We generally will only post official stat changes for the week up until Thursday at noon. If any changes occur after Thursday for a given week, then they will not be posted as official changes on MyFantasyLeague.com.
How we handle "Official NFL Statistics Changes" is another way we like to differentiate ourselves from some of our competitors. Some of our competitors force you to accept all of the official NFL statistics changes, while others expect you to manually adjust your scores in the case of offficial NFL statistics changes. We think it's best for you to decide how to handle these stat changes, so you can optionally include or exclude them from your leauge scoring results on a week-by-week basis.
A Special Note About Tackles
One of the more common questions we get about the statistics we report is "Why are you reporting a different number of tackles for Joe Blow than xyz.com is?" The answer to that question follows.
A Special Note About Blocked Kicks
- First, (and most importantly!) tackles are not official NFL statistics. This article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette goes into some detail on this topic, but since tackles are unofficial, different sources count them, and thus report them, differently.
- Next, some sites report all tackles (including special teams tackles, offensive tackles, and "miscellaneous" tackles), while other sites report defensive-only tackles. MyFantasyLeague.com "Tackles" category includes all tackles, while our "Defensive Tackles" scoring category includes only tackles made while the player is playing defense. Most other sites simply refer to "tackles" without explicitly stating whether they are referring to all tackles or defensive-only tackles.
Another common question we get is "The NFL team XXX blocked a kick this week - why aren't you reporting it as a blocked kick?" The NFL characterizes "blocked" kicks differently from "deflected" kicks - in short, a kick is (usually, but not always) reported as "blocked" if it does not pass the line of scrimmage. If the ball does pass the line of scrimmage, it is typically (again, not always) considered a "deflected" kick, and therefore not reported by the NFL or us as a blocked kick. In the end, it's really the NFL's call as to whether a ball has been statistically blocked.
In addition, per the NFL's statistics, any blocked kick is also always considered a missed kick. As a result, if your league doesn't want to double up on points for blocked kicks, just define the missed kick scoring categories.
A Special Note About "Miscellaneous" Plays
If you've played fantasy football for a few years, your're probably well aware of the controversy surrounding the Keenan McCardell fumble recovery touchdown in week 5 of the 2003 NFL season. The controversy basically boiled down to "was it an offensive touchdown or a defensive touchdown?" Us fantasy footballers need to know the answer to that question so we know what scoring "bucket" to put that play in. Unfortunately, as Elias Sports Bureau (the official statistician of the NFL) was reported saying in as San Jose Mercury News article, the NFL does not have simple offensive or defensive categories for reporting all plays that can happen on any given Sunday:
The Elias Sports Bureau, the NFL's stat keeper, classifies McCardell's score simply as a return touchdown - not an offensive or defensive score.
In other words, there are "miscellaneous" plays that happen in the course of an NFL game that don't fit neatly in any scoring category. How you handle these "miscellaneous" plays is entirely up to your and your league-mates.
What MyFantasyLeague.com has done in this case, and will attempt to do in future cases of these miscellaneous plays, is do our best to categorize the play the way we think it's most logical to, and the way that we think most of our customers will want us to. As a result, we've developed our Special Plays reference page. In addition, we will always provide a mechanism for you to over-ride our decision, if you deem appropriate. Referring back to the above article:
The point is that it's a judgment call for the commissioner and no matter what the ruling, someone will not be happy.
In other words, we strongly encourage your league to have explicit rules in place regarding what to do with these miscellaneous plays should one happen in the future. Some sample rules you might want to consider having include:
Again, the above are just example rules regarding how you can handle scoring miscellaneous plays that you might not explicitly have covered in your league rules - the point is, you need to make sure that you have an agreed-upon way of resolving disputes, before the disputes even arise.
- In the case of a miscellaneous play that does not fall into one of our previously defined scoring categories, all owners will vote regarding how to handle this play.
- In the case of a miscellaneous play that does not fall into one of our previously defined scoring categories, the commissioner will solely be responsible for making a decision regarding how to handle this play.
- In the case of a miscellaneous play that does not fall into one of our previously defined scoring categories, the league will defer to our league hosting service for making a decision regarding how to handle this play. Implied with this option is the understanding that we will not change our position based on the feedback from any single league.
When we issue our Final Weekly Results each week, statistics are as clean as we can possibly make them. If you are having problems with the site generating correct scores for you, the vast majority of time it is not due to a problem with the raw statistics we are reporting. Instead it is likely a problem with the way your league scoring system has been configured. You should never use the score adjuster to account for what you feel are incorrect raw statistics as this will only mask the true nature of the problem - which is invariably something other than incorrect raw statistics.
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