Saturday, June 04, 2011

NASCAR Fantasy League: Save me, Microsoft Excel!

So here's the thing: I'm in a NASCAR fantasy league and, well, I stink. I've had exactly one decent week and the rest of the time I'm scraping the bottom of the rankings. I'm thinking of sending ransom letters to the various teams warning them that unless I get $1000 in unmarked bills, I'll pick them for my lineup, whereupon they'll inevitably crash or their engines will explode. It's truly bizarre the bad luck that follows my teams.

So here's what I'm going to do: no more "gut" picks, no more news feeds, in fact no more free will. I've developed a ranking system based on driver stats at a given track and them I'm plugging them into a spreadsheet to tell me who I should pick.

For those of you uninitiated in fantasy leagues or the NASCAR league in particular, you have a salary cap where you have to balance your good/medium/struggling drivers. So you want to maximize your driver rankings but stay below the salary cap; this is the program I've set up. Microsoft Excel (for example) has a macro called "Solver" although I'll be using the fantastic Open Office spreadsheet for the same calculation. This is an experiment which I'm going to try to stick with for at least ten races.

I've set my team for tomorrow's race at Kansas and, frankly, I wouldn't have picked three out of my five drivers. This will be interesting.

Update: 7th place out of 10. Ugh.

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