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Saucy

When to Trust Trends?

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I was wondering when most people start to believe in new trends appearing, such as Deandre Jordan or Nurkic's FT explosion this season. Being able to identify when someone is playing over their heads or when they really have made a fundamental change that can stick is super important in fantasy - what kind of sample sizes do you guys trust?

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I tend to trust a month worth of games. So for example now, I am willing to believe that Nurkic will be a 70% FT shooter for the season on average. I do not believe the near 80% he is on, but I think the 65% he had last season improves to 72-75%.

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Based on what I know from statistics from college and poker things tend to even out in the long run but the long run is a very loooonnnnggg time.  It’s possible that most of a season isn’t even a large enough sample size and by then if you wait it’s too late.  So I think you’re forced to make decisions in uncertainty.  You can call it a “hunch” or a best educated guess based on all available evidence and past experience.  I think the Nurk/DJ FT% example is a good one.  It seems since the change in FT rules all of the punt FG bigs are improving in FT.  While 80% might be unsustainable it’s reasonable their percentage goes up while their volume goes down to the point where I think DJ might average something like 3/4 for the season.  

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Statistically speaking, 30 is generally accepted as when a "small sample size" becomes a "large sample size".

 

https://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/2541/what-references-should-be-cited-to-support-using-30-as-a-large-enough-sample-siz

 

How does this relate to FT% and FG%, though?  Because no one would say 30 shots from either are representative.  I honestly don't know.  

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17 minutes ago, Tom Chambers said:

Statistically speaking, 30 is generally accepted as when a "small sample size" becomes a "large sample size".

 

https://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/2541/what-references-should-be-cited-to-support-using-30-as-a-large-enough-sample-siz

 

How does this relate to FT% and FG%, though?  Because no one would say 30 shots from either are representative.  I honestly don't know.  

FT% has to be based on historicals, but there seems to be deviation lately from the stripe so I say you just set it and forget it. 

 

I think FG% is a mix of eye test and seeing where the shots are coming from to see if they are sustainable. Most people will fall into this mix, but you will always get the Pascal Siakam type that will shoot 73% from the field because they are amazing and did it for 5 games (just messing with you about Siakam, obviously). 

 

My thought on trends is looking macro first. Most trends start with opportunity. If the opportunity is sustainable longterm then I trust trends. If the opportunity is a 3-5 week injury then I am not sold until after the injured player returns, gets to full minutes, and the trend continues. 

 

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