The What and the Where of Advanced Football Analytics Through Machine Learning

https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2018/12/19/18148153/nfl-analytics-revolution

The Beginning

In July of this year I vowed to win my fantasy football league. I wanted to create an algorithm that would give me insights on how each player would be predicted to perform on a weekly basis. In the past, I have been burned by ESPN and Yahoo’s predictions, so I set out to create my own. For the first step, I just wanted to create an algorithm that could fairly accurately predict which NFL team would win their game that week.

The Data

For this topic, I was going to need a lot of data. After reading some articles on predictive…


When it comes to scraping data from a fantasy league to an analytical framework, ESPN does not make it easy. If you have found this article, you probably have also found that there used to be an API for ESPN that made data collection easy, but today we need to do a lot more legwork. We will need to go about this in several ways. Normally scraping a website we could use something like the Requests library with the addition of the BeautifulSoup library. Now, in a normal case, these are great and are simple to use, but when we…


Recently, I was working on a project as a mental test. I was looking at the New York Times Spelling Bee game and I thought to myself, “I bet it would be really easy to make a Python script that could give me all words that would work within the Spelling Bee game.” Now, I know, developing a code to beat this game defeats the point of the mental exercise, but I thought I would try anyway.

Spelling Bee Layout

For those who are unfamiliar with Spelling Bee, you are given seven letters to make words with. In the center of the list…


In the summer of 1977 the world saw the release of one of the most culturally impactful films ever released, Star Wars Epsiode IV: A New Hope. Before that fateful day in May, people saw summer films as movies that were just supposed to be throw films that weren’t going to win awards or bring in the big bucks. Star Wars changed everything. From 1977 on the summer was the time for big, blockbusters to be released and for teens to go out in droves to theaters.

In my own curiosity, I wanted to see what release trends looked like…


How many women suffer from abuse around the world? How many children die from a lack of food? Where can I best put my donation money to help the most people?

In the last 10–15 years there has been a push to incorporate data into decision making in the humanitarian context. This has been a push as governments and organizations need to make tough decisions on what to fund with their annual budgets. Organizations and advocates need to be able to relate their growth and impact with hard facts, rarely do emotional pleas work unless there is a unique case…


This is an expansion to an analysis I will write on machine learning and senators tweets. I have linked the Github page where the code for this specific code is, in case you would like to do it yourself or walk through the code.

To scrape the tweets from the senators, I used this list from the 115th congress. I then created a python script that would go through and verify that each twitter handle was correct by sending back a ‘200’ response. There were a couple of senators who had changed their handles from this list, explicitly Bernie Sanders…


In 2017 Germany saw a sharp rise in representation from the far-right, nationalist party the Alternative for Germany (AfD). Many news sites and sources have done anecdotal research to find the cause of this rise and have declared white supremacy and racist sentiment is the cause for the rise. The AfD self-declares to be in favor of smaller government and other stereotypical conservative opinions. Not once in their 2017 manifesto do they ever mention white supremacy or nationalism, but the leaders often use racist and xenophobic rhetoric to stir up support and have even worked with the German citizen action…

Michael Dendinger

M.A. International Relations/M.S. Data Analytics. Certified in Data Analytics, GIS, and Humanitarian Assistance. Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

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