IBM’s Watson Can Now Help You Kick Ass In Fantasy Football

Big Blue’s cognitive computing platform is being integrated into a new app from Edge Up Sports to provide deep fantasy football analysis.

IBM’s Watson Can Now Help You Kick Ass In Fantasy Football
[Images: courtesy of IBM]

Looking for a little competitive edge in your fantasy football league this year? How about a little help from IBM’s Watson?

Today, IBM announced it has teamed up with Edge Up Sports, a company that provides analysis for hard-core fantasy sports players, on an app that could help you dominate your league.

Watson is best known as the computer system that autonomously vanquished the world’s best Jeopardy players during a highly publicized competition in 2011. In the years since then, IBM has applied the system to a wide range of computing problems in industries like health care, banking, retail, and education. The system is based on Watson’s ability to understand natural language queries and analyze huge data sets.

In recent weeks, IBM has rolled out new Watson tools that could help you see, help city residents get better services, and even moderate the tone of your writing.

According to Big Blue, there are more than 33 million regular fantasy football players, many of whom devote hours every week for months during the NFL’s season studying the performances of the players on their teams.

Thanks to Watson’s integration with the Edge Up Sports app, IBM said, fantasy football players will now be able to dig deeper into the minutiae of the sport and find hidden nuggets of information that should help them outperform their rivals, and save a lot of time in the process.

Edge Up has developed tools that track things like NFL players’ Twitter activity, coaching statistics, and articles by leading football writers, all of which could add more arrows to fantasy players’ quivers. By adding Watson to the equation, IBM wrote in a release, the Edge Up app “will access and analyze ever-growing volumes and sources of football and player-related data to generate evidence-based recommendations.”

In other words, the app could help you crush your friends.

Among the factors the Watson-powered app will analyze are football players’ physical and mental condition, as well as their injury histories, how analysts view them, how weather affects them, how well they play on grass or turf, how they perform against key opponents, and more.

Given that the NFL is one of the most scrutinized sports leagues on the planet, there are countless data points to analyze, IBM said, and more are being added every day. All that data is more than most fantasy players can handle on their own, but with the Edge Up app, IBM argued, players should be able to digest it all in less time than they’re used to spending on fantasy football.

Edge Up also launched a Kickstarter campaign today, aiming to raise $35,000 to continue developing its app. Those who contribute to the campaign will get early access to the app and, IBM argues, more ammunition to use against their fantasy league adversaries.

About the author

Daniel Terdiman is a San Francisco-based technology journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. A veteran of CNET and VentureBeat, Daniel has also written for Wired, The New York Times, Time, and many other publications.

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