During last season's playoffs, this blog featured an article on Nik Bonaddio, a North Allegheny and Carnegie-Mellon graduate and an expert in mathematics, statistics and data analysis, who created a startup called Numberfire which uses a "a blended mathematical model that is fundamentally based on the concept of similarity" to predict the outcomes of NFL games.
In layman's English, that means that Numberfire predicts the future by comparing things and outcomes from the past that are alike. In this case, Bonaddio says that Numberfire finds teams and situations that are similar to this week's upcoming game, and then uses the historical results of around forty data points or comparisons as a basis for the projections. (read more about how it works)
While that sounds more egghead than smashmouth, the results are hard to argue: according to Bonaddio in the 2011 season Numberfire fantasy picks outpredicted ESPN and Yahoo! 70% of the time, and our picks against the spread were correct 54% of the time, including 75% in the playoffs.
Though the consensus spread in tomorrow's game is north of two touchdowns, Numberfire isn't buying it, instead picking the Steelers by only an 11-point margin.
Steelers: 26 (25.5)
Below are Numberfire's fantasy football projections for what each Steelers player will do this week:
Ben Roethlisberger: 19.89 att./31.11 comp., 239.08 yds 1.72 TDs, 0.52 INTs
Rashard Mendenhall: 21.69 car, 94.21 yds 1.54 rec for 11.49 yds, 0.7 TDs
Defense: 17.10 points against, 2.43 turnovers 3.43 sacks, 0.26 TDs
Mike Wallace: 4.65 rec for 76.08 yds, 0.40 TDs .
Shaun Suisham: 2.87 xpm, 1.53/1.80 fgm
Hines Ward: 3.93 rec for 47.57 yds, 0.32 TDs
Heath Miller: 2.88 rec for 34.91 yds, 0.32 TDs
Antonio Brown: 2.38 rec for 24.97 yds, 0.06 TDs
Isaac Redman: 2.05 car, 9.64 yds 0.24 rec for 2.76 yds, 0.09 TDs
Mewelde Moore: 1.45 car, 5.34 yds 0.64 rec for 6.14 yds, 0.04 TDs
Emmanuel Sanders: 66 rec for 8.07 yds, 0.06 TDs