Prior to Season 20, I played a little game to see if I could come up with a simple number to summarize preseason talent movement among the 8 divisions (See "Talent Flow Update" way back on Aug 12).
I just assigned a value of 1 to Type B FA's, 2 to Type A's, and 4 to "Super A's" (just a term I made up to describe the highest-quality free agents); and then just applied the values to each Type A and B free agent move (if a team lost a Type A free agent, that was -2 for that division, etc.). Then I applied the values to trades involving Type A and B-caliber players. Finally, I just totaled up the scores of the divisions.
Then I wondered if this simple metric had any predictive value...could it predict which divisions would win more games than in the previous year (knowing, of course, that this simple number didn't capture most of the free agent moves, none of the prospect promotions, etc.).
For Season 20, the Talent Flow predicted the direction of win-loss
changes for 6 of 8 divisions. 75%. It didn't do nearly as well
predicting the magnitude of W-L changes, so for Season 20, I'd have to
say the predictive value of my number was mixed at best.
How'd it do last year
The verdict is in: my Talent Flow Number sucks as a predictive tool. Maybe all the other talent moves unaccounted for by my number overwhelm preseason trades and A and B free agent moves. Maybe the usual performance variations from year to year render it meaningless. Maybe (??), because my number is mostly based on the bigger-name FA moves, we're overpaying for those free agents.