Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fantasy Sports and Math News Update

Just received this news update from Dan, creator of Fantasy Sports and Math:
Two years ago the University of Mississippi surveyed 144 teachers who were using fantasy sports in their classrooms. The results were shocking and are listed on my home page. The results indicated fantasy sports were playing a major role in increasing enthusiasm and academic achievement.

Last fall the University of Mississippi went straight to the students, as they surveyed nearly 350 students and 10 teachers who were using fantasy sports in math class. Ole Miss is still going through the data, but for now one result stands out: 40% of the female students (compared to 34% for the male students) reported that their math grades were higher compared to the previous year when they were not playing fantasy sports. What does this mean? I am not sure, because no one knows how many students are actually using fantasy sports to learn math. Thus, we do not know if 350 students is a representative sample. Simply put, the greater the number of teachers and students who participate in the survey, the more accurate the data . Teachers ask me all the time if they can do anything to help. Well, I would really appreciate it if teachers could fill out the survey by clicking on the button at the bottom left of the home page. To all those teachers who have already participated, thank you.

In other news, the NFL stats sheet is up and running. The sheet lists all of the stats you need, so students do not have to spend time reading boxscores. This saves a considerable amount of time. I did have an issue today where a player (Darren Sproles) was not listed on the sheet. That has been rectified. If you notice other players who are not showing up on the sheet ( who have played and scored or gained yardage), please let me know. A couple of teachers asked why interceptions and fumbles for defenses are not showing up. It is because defenses do not earn points from interceptions or fumbles recovered. I purposely designed the scoring systems that way, because it would just make everything more complicated for the students and would require more time. I also had a couple questions about the default scoring system. In hindsight, for several reasons I should have made the default scoring system based on a common denominator of 24. Total points equation number 10 on page 16 is probably more appropriate for most students.

Good luck this fantasy season. My top fantasy pick is DeAngelo Williams, who averaged more fantasy points per-start last season than any other non-quarterback. Contrary to popular opinion, I think he is the best back in the game, and I believe he will have more fantasy points at the end of the season than Adrian Peterson, who will probably have difficulty staying healthy.

Have fun,

Read more about my experiences using fantasy sports in my classes here.