For those of you old enough to remember a time before Survivor and American Idol, you might recall the era of Kaizen that permeated the economies of the 1980s and 90s. In Japanese, kaizen means something like “continuous improvement,” and it was one of those old pre-capitalist ideas that got co-opted by industrial society. So instead of like, running a bit farther every day or being 10% happier, the concept of kaizen turned into this phantasm of continual product improvement and personal productivity maelstroms. Maybe you’re running faster, but it’s because your job needs you to finish your work and somebody else’s work at the same time. Product sprints. Agility. Synchronicity (and not the album by The Police). But “continual improvement” done in the name of producing things faster, doesn’t necessarily mean that the actual product is any better.
It’s really not a surprise that the fantasy sports world also adopted this kaizen mentality — more products, somehow “improving,” but ultimately making fantasy players work harder. How many people are old enough to remember when a copy of Baseball America and a printer was the complete setup to play fantasy sports? Now we’ve got data providers everywhere. How many accounts do you have with a data provider? I’ve got [thinks for a while] six? I’m still learning about fantasy analysis sites that I’ve never heard of before, and I’ve consumed fantasy content on the regular since Firefly was on actual broadcast TV. And which provider is better? Is it the one that outputs data the quickest? Is it the one that makes you laugh? Is it the one that uses the least amount of preface to their articles?
All this to say: I’ve “improved” my system a bit this week. Is it actually better? Who knows. I worked on it, I’ll tell you that much. I used best practices and data-backed principles learned from years of study. I had a “Hypeonator” that said if a player was “Hype” or “Whack” and then I deleted it. I merely open doors — it’s up to y’all if you take the hype. That said, let me share a bit of the terminology that I’ll be bringing to the fore for the upcoming articles.