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Regression Alert: Revisiting Preseason Expectations

At what point should we stop caring about what we thought about players before the season began?

In October of 2013, I wondered just how many weeks it took before early-season performance wasn't a fluke anymore. In "Revisiting Preseason Expectations", I looked back at the 2012 season and compared how well production in a player's first four games predicted production in his last 12 games. And since that number was meaningless without context, I compared how his preseason ADP predicted production in his last 12 games.

It was a fortuitous time to ask that question, as it turns out, because I discovered that after four weeks in 2012, preseason ADP still predicted performance going forward than early season production did.

This is the kind of surprising result that I love, but the thing about surprising results is that sometimes the reason they're surprising is really just because they're flukes. So in October of 2014, I revisited "Revisiting Preseason Expectations". This time I found that in the 2013 season, preseason ADP and week 1-4 performance held essentially identical predictive power for the rest of the season.

With two different results in two years, I decided to keep up my quest for a definitive answer about whether early-season results or preseason expectations were more predictive down the stretch. In October of 2015, I revisited my revisitation of "Revisiting Preseason Expectations". This time, I found that early-season performance held a slight predictive edge over preseason ADP.

With things still so inconclusive, in October of 2016, I decided to revisit my revisitation of the revisited "Revisiting Preseason Expectations". As in 2015, I found that this time early-season performance carried slightly more predictive power than early-season performance.

And now, as you've probably guessed, it's time for an autumn tradition as sacred as turning off the lights and pretending I'm not home on October 31st. It's time for "Revisiting Preseason Expectations"! (Or, I guess technically for Revisiting Revisiting Revisiting Revisiting Revisiting Preseason Expectations.)

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