Profile: Competitive Edge 2014

Fantasy sports has always been about the numbers. It did not matter whether you liked the player or not. It did not matter that the player on your fantasy team plays for the team you loathe the most. It has always been about the numbers and how a player performs.

With the rise of computing power and the ability of Big Data. It would seem natural that Big Data and fantasy sports would come together. Competitive Edge will be kicking off in the fall to tackle this challenge in the the fantasy football season.

Related: Big Data and the Conquering of Fantasy Football

"Competitive Edge aims to cut through the noise and give fantasy football players the most relevant data driven insights when they need them," says co-founder Michael Wilson. "Having the right information at the right time based on the best data available gives players an edge. We are building a platform together with our users that cleanly presents the best insights available and will only get better over time."

Three Factors

Competitive Edge will focus on three factors that represent a player and a player's potential fantasy performance: mental, physical, and environmental.

A player's mental state can contribute into the performance of the player. Competitive Edge looks to tap into the behavioral psychology of the player. The signals that are being used includes sources like Twitter and ESPN to cultivate insights. Real life events like court cases, contract extension, or family events are all considered. Those events are then represented by a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) score that reflects the player's mental aspect.

"We’ve all heard being an athlete is 10% physical and 90% mental. We’re building a platform that leverages the power of big data and combines it with the science of behavioral psychology to help you make more informed decisions for your fantasy sports team," says Wilson.

Injuries are one of the things that fantasy owners must manage on their fantasy sports team. The ability to track and provide current health status as well as the ability to predict when a player could get injured will be valuable information for fantasy owners. This will be represented in Physical score of the player.

Match ups can sway play performance and either give players a tough day or a cake walk. Understanding the environment to which a player is playing can also help to predict this. This constitute the Environmental score for the player.

Three Signals

The way that Competitive Edge is gathering the data for the players comes from three distinct signals: social information, fantasy community and statistical analysis.

Twitter and social information, for example are curated to gauge how the mental state of the player can contribute to performance. The power of Big Data will allow Competitive Edge to mine how previous similar events have affected the performance of players.

There is a growing and substantial fantasy community that is populated with countless content providers. The content providers already provide a plethora of information can be used to predict performance based on trends, match ups, starting lineups, and injuries.

Finally, with the ability of Big Data comes the ability to data crunch and statistically analyze any predictable patterns of a player performance in order to predict future performance.

Pricing Model

Competitive Edge is a paid content providers that leverages a subscription model for their user base. For $5 a month, users will get access to the platform that provides all of the analysis. The company is offering early access around the July time frame.

"Competitive Edge sets itself apart from other services because of its unique analysis and proprietary insights based on the richest data sets available," says co-founder Illya Tabakh. "We win by delivering the best user experience providing a distinct advantage over a fantasy players opponents with upfront, visually attractive information that allows for decisions to be made quickly and confidently."


The arms race to become the leading expert on fantasy sports performance is a competitive one. Now Big Data will be summoned into a growing arsenal of technology.  With new technologies and the introduction of complexity, perhaps the hardest thing to conquer is making the complex to be simple. There will be a number of different signals and sophisticated algorithm that would power Competitive Edge. The challenge will be how to make the experience simple for the users and how to present the massive amounts of data to something that can be easy to understand for users.

But perhaps the biggest challenge for Competitive Edge and companies in this space is accuracy. It is often referenced that stock market moves in such a random order that monkeys picking stocks can outperform the best so-called experts. It remains to be seen if all the number crunching and sophisticated models in fantasy sports will prove that there is something in predicting fantasy sports that can be quantified.