In the world of Daily Fantasy Sports, every player is constantly looking for an advantage over the competition. No matter if it’s NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB if there is an edge to be had, someone will attempt to utilize it.
There may be a new “edge” that very few have used in regards to their fantasy strategies, but for Jessica Abel of ZodiacHockey.com Astrology is the first thing that comes to mind when a certain player isn’t performing up to projection. “I would be watching hockey with my friends and this guy was doing this and that and wouldn’t be performing and I would just be watching and say well the obvious is: he’s a Scorpio and it’s a full moon and this is why this is happening,” Abel told us on Coach and Cole. Abel doesn’t suggest that astrology would ever replace statistics or analytics but says that astrology is merely another layer to the puzzle of figuring out how a given team operates.
Astrology is described as the world’s “first science,” believed to be originated around 25,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Until the 17th century, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition that was accepted in political circles and throughout many cultures. In fact, some of its concepts were used in other studies, such as alchemy, meteorology, and medicine. “Before we had big data, we had planet data. We would look up at the sky and see the planets and that was all we really had as far as a science standpoint to track patterns,” Abel said. “It was a behavior science for many years that had extreme credibility in the medical and political sphere, huge decisions were made based off of what we considered to be meaningful data sets.”
Abel is still using these data sets today on her website ZodiacHockey. For instance, she releases a “Hockeyscope” (see what she did there) on certain NHL matchups. She writes a brief synopsis of what storylines are surrounding the game and tells you which team has the astrological advantage on that night. She equips the article with charts to identify which players will be affected the most during gameplay. While taking a look at her Blues-Predators Game 6 Hockeyscope, you’ll see a chart with percentages of fire, water, air, and earth under a Mars allocation. Abel says that a person’s Mars allocation is what is examined in high-stress situations like elimination games. “Most people are familiar with the 12 zodiac signs, it divides everyone into 12 sections. When you bring in the elements, you further categorize it into four additional sections. It’s a broader way of looking at a team,” Abel said. “I like to break it down into elements for the article because it is a little easier to digest conceptually.”
“We did research going back to all of the winning Stanley Cup allocations, and said what did these rosters look like? Over 95% of them had at least 50% or more fire and earth signs”
Taking it a step further, Abel breaks down which team’s are more likely to win a game based upon the roster’s Mars allocations and by looking at each player’s chart to determine element percentage. “Water Sign players are the highest risk players but also have potential to be the highest return,” Abel said. For example, a team like the Chicago Blackhawks this season give you a glimpse at what can happen to a team that has a roster made up of 57% Earth and Water sign players. The Blackhawks became the first team in major sports history to be a one seed swept by an eight seed in the postseason. While looking at statistical data and playoff experience it was a shock to everyone that the Blackhawks lost to the Nashville Predators, but they were a team that fit the description of what Abel says earth and water teams do. “If you watched them over the season they were (streaky) too, when you put that type of volatility into a seven-game stretch it’s just not going to work.”
In fact, it’s almost never worked. “We did research going back to all of the winning Stanley Cup allocations, and said what did these rosters look like, and over 95% of them had at least 50% or more fire and earth signs,” Abel said. “If they had any excess amount of water (percentage) they just weren’t in there, they didn’t win it.” While she says an abundance of these allocations can be a bad thing she also says that teams do need a few of these types of players because they are the types of players that can swing momentum and turn games around.
So how can fantasy players who are looking to gain an edge on the competition in their fantasy leagues or daily fantasy contests utilize this type of information? Hopefully, Abel and the Zodiac Hockey crew will have their algorithm ready for use by next season. “We hope to offer a subscription or cost effective, direct to consumer model that offers daily takes and content,” Abel said.
If your not a hockey buff or do not participate in fantasy hockey, don’t worry because of the high demand and interaction from readers Abel hopes to transition into other sports. “We are working offline to build the data reference for MLB and Golf right now, but we get a ton of requests for NBA and NFL. So we are actively looking for funding to help add more resources to the (research and development) efforts. We see hockey as just the start.”
It is important to remember that just like any other data group, astrology does not provide guaranteed predictions. However, Astrology does shed light on the energy and temperament of a given event. Abel suggests that it is always up to coaching staffs and individual players to make adjustments necessary during games. Better coaches and better players succeed in situations where adjustments need to be made. When DFS players ask Abel about their lineup construction she makes sure to point out that the oneness is one the player to research additional odds. “I suggest using this (astrology) after you’ve created your line or if you’re waffling between two or three potential combos.”
Could Astrology become the next “big thing” in fantasy sports predictions? Could it become a tool that coaches or general managers take into consideration before starting or drafting a given player? While it may seem far-fetched right now, you can be rest assured that if a general manager, front office, or coaching staff decide to go out on a limb and take a chance on astrology and it pays dividends, you will see others follow suit. It remains to be seen but we could be embarking on the next craze in the world of sports.
–Nick Olson, @CoachO37 on Twitter