Billionaire hedge-fund manager Paul Tudor Jones and SumerSports CEO Thomas Dimitroff are working on developing technology to help NFL teams make decisions during free agency and the draft, so the optimal combination of players is selected to form the best roster possible.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, SumerSports is a startup that is using analytics to give teams the tools to make roster decisions through the use of algorithms.
SumerSports was founded by Jones and Dimitroff, former General Manager for the Atlanta Falcons.
The company said it is already working with two NFL teams to create a model it hopes will guide the decision makers.
“It’s just so similar to what we do with portfolio optimization in our quantitative trading strategies,” WSJ quoted Jones saying.
“So many of the same principles that have been so successful in financial trading, it was evident to me that they would be perfectly applicable in player selection for an NFL team,” he added.
“It’s hard to assign credit to a player when there are 22 players on the field,” Jones said.
While baseball has all-encompassing metrics like Wins Above Replacement, which reflects a player’s productivity with a single number, those analytics are harder to distill in football because every single play involves a multitude of factors.
The player-tracking technology now available to NFL teams produces granular data about every player on every play. But unfortunately, not all franchises have adapted to the new technology. Some teams have only hired their first analytics staffers in recent years.
“There are no teams out there that will allocate 15 to 20 people, along with the financial commitment that we’ve put into this project,” Dimitroff said.
Unlike baseball, which has widely adopted quants running their ball clubs, barely any instances of that exist in the NFL.
SumerSports execs believe there is a “market for its services because of this inefficiency. “
Photo: Courtesy of Karen on flickr
Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.