I cover financial news for a living, though like many of my banking brethren, every Sunday is reserved for the NFL. Just like the millions of Americans who are participating in the game's fantasy-world alternate reality, I can safely say that I've branched out beyond my traditional football favorites to players and teams I never thought I'd root for (or against).
During many lazy Sunday afternoons (and I'm not talking about the Andy Samberg kind), I've often thought: What would it be like if the players on my individual fantasy team were treated like stocks?
After all, most fantasy football engines have a baseline projection for an owner's team, and it's up to that team's players to overperform or underperform. While it's ultimately up to how your competitors fare, it's safe to say that a team that can consistently meet or overperform its projections can do fairly well throughout the course of a season.
Consequently, an underperforming player is typically regarded as "cheap" in comparison to his peers, i.e. disappointing running backs like Steven Jackson and the oft-discussed Chris Johnson. Some owners might try to trade for these types of players, much as an investor would buy undervalued companies like Intel or Microsoft.
The question then that must be asked is: Why does there seem to be a disconnect between investment philosophy and fantasy football philosophy?
There are many answers to this question, and various ways to think about solutions, but one may be that athletes and stocks simply aren't measured using the same statistics.
While assigning touchdowns and yardage totals to publicly traded companies sounds like one of the funnest things imaginable for anyone involved in finance, it might be easier to do the opposite.
That's where Orpster comes in. Touted as a "sports stock market," Orpster allows its users to buy and sell fantasy football players like assets, as each is assigned a market price that fluctuates with in-game performance. Player values reset after each week and are based on the next week's projection. The beauty of the platform is that anyone can use it and understand it; it's not just for finance nerds like myself. Here's a better look at how it works.
I originally stumbled across this site, like so many other gems, via Twitter. Because of my background, I immediately imagined the possibilities that this type of thinking can have on the fantasy football game, both from a practical and philosophical standpoint. If we can begin to think about fantasy sports like investors do, the possibilities are endless.
While there are many ways to analyze price data, it's probably better to avoid financial metrics for now. We'll explore those topics down the road. For now, let's just take a look at some of Week 6's biggest movers, in actual dollar terms.
Week 6's Biggest Winners
Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers
Actual Game Statistics: Nine receptions on 12 targets, 121 yards and three TDs
Stock Market Valuation Change: $6.50 to $17 a share
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
Actual Game Statistics: 16-of-27 for 293 yards and three TDs (no picks), two sacks, one fumble
Stock Market Valuation Change: $6.75 to $14.14 a share
Shonn Greene, RB, Jets
Actual Game Statistics: 32 carries for 161 yards and three TDs
Stock Market Valuation Change: $6 to $15 a share
Week 6's Biggest Losers
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Actual Game Statistics: 36-of-58 for 395 yards and two TDs (two picks), one sack
Stock Market Valuation Change: $13 to $2.95 a share
Matt Schaub, QB, Texans
Actual Game Statistics: 20-of-33 for 232 yards and no TDs (two picks), three sacks
Stock Market Valuation Change: $9 to $0 a share
Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
Actual Game Statistics: 12 carries for 40 yards and no TDs
Stock Market Valuation Change: $7 to $1.90 a share
With that being said, is it useful to think of fantasy football players as assets with their own individual prices? Did Shonn Greene really outperform his owners' expectations by 150 percent, or did Jamaal Charles really underperform what should have been a great situation against a shoddy Tampa Bay defense by 72.9 percent?
Let's hear your thoughts in the comments section below.