At the height of my fantasy football obsession, I probably checked the score on my match-ups more than 50 times a week. As NFL football fan, you have lots of time to do such things -- if you have fantasy players in all four game times (Thursday night, two Sunday games, and Monday night), you have around 13 hours of televised games a week.
This year I quit my fantasy football league. I'm not saying it is because the fantasy football site we used didn't present the data in an interesting way, but an awesome visualization might have made a difference for me. With such a dedicate audience, Yahoo!, ESPN and the rest would be wise to create an great way to track the performance of your team versus an opponent. Here is a blueprint:
This visualization would answer the important questions as I obsessively dissect the scoring:
- How am I trending in my match-up? That is, am I on pace to win? Most fantasy football systems have built prediction engines to project out results, but these results aren't shown in a chart.
- How are individual players contributing to the scores? The trend lines show when and how a player is scoring. Rolling over the points in the line would reveal the big plays that are helping or hurting your cause.
- What confidence can I have in the projected outcome? The dark parts of the chart are actual points earned whereas the lighter blue is projections. As your column chart "hardens" into dark blue, you can have confidence in the final tally.
As I pointed out recently, Fantasy Football has done an amazing job of making more people data literate. Why not finish the job with a great interface for team owners to spend their weekends cursing over?