A Fantasy Visualization for Fantasy Football

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?

Who was that guy at the NFL Combine?

This weekend is the start of the NFL Combine. It is where roughly 300 of the top college football players show off the physical prowess, strength, speed, agility to NFL teams to help their status in the upcoming April draft. In case you end up catching a glance of the festivities and want to know a little bit more about the players, below you'll find a few visualizations that might help you learn a little about that player from Lehigh or the guy who did 38 bench presses of 225 lbs.

Use the search capability on each of these to find the player, position, conference or grade that you want to learn more about. We grabbed the data from and Enjoy!

Leaderboard: Ranks players across multiple measures.

The Leaderboard ranks players across multiple measures
The Leaderboard ranks players across multiple measures

Comment View: Read quick summaries of players

NFL Combine Comments
NFL Combine Comments

Table: Search, sort, and find player details

NFL Combine Table
NFL Combine Table

NFL Rushing Tendencies Visualization...or Ahhhh, It's a Spider!


The mad scientists over in Juice Labs cooked up a new treat for you all just in time for Halloween Thanksgiving.  We’ve crossbred some NFL Data (courtesy of our fellow friend in data Brian Burke) with a visualization we’ve kept under wraps for a while called The Spider. Now before any of you that suffer from arachnophobia start to freak out, this isn’t the spider that you may be accustomed to.  The Spider visualization helps you understand the offensive rush tendencies for every NFL team for the last 4 seasons.  EVERY rush that ever happened in the NFL from 2008-2011 is captured in the visualization. Information about the average yards gained, total yards gained, and the number of plays in each direction are also included. You may be surprised to find out which direction the Green Bay Packers run to on 4th and inches or how unsuccessful Arian Foster has historically been running the football on 1st and long situations (he’s a pretty awesome RB otherwise). You can filter the data by week, season, down, distance, player, and/or the opposing defense. Try it out for yourself here for some deliciously filling insights.

How to Read the Chart: The thickness of the spider leg represents the number of rushes in that direction. A thicker line means more rushes were attempted to that area. The length of the spider leg stops on the average yards gained per rush in that direction. Click or hover over each leg for more detailed information about the team’s offensive rush tendencies.