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ESPN vs. Yahoo! - Ownership Percentages

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The idea for this post began when I started reading Dio's Free Agent and Trade Target Posts this year. He uses ESPN ownership percentages and I'm an owner in Yahoo! leagues. The numbers of the two sites seemed to be very different so I thought I needed to take a closer look.

Both have very large populations so we should be seeing pretty similar ownership of players, right? Well ... no. Why? I have no idea. If anybody has any suggestions on why Mikhail Grabovski is owned in 30% more leagues in Yahoo! or Shawn Horcoff is owned in 80% more often in ESPN leagues I'd love to hear it in the comments.

- On average players in ESPN leagues are owned an average of 9% more than in Yahoo! leagues. Maybe the ESPN default leagues have larger roster sizes? Larger leagues use ESPN more often? Not sure.

- ESPN has 124 players who have a 100% ownership. Yahoo! has just seven. The breakdown is below in chart form. In ESPN leagues, 144 players are owned in more than 90% of leagues but it drops down dramatically to just eight between 80 % and 90%. Yahoo! has a similar distribution to ESPN (as you would expect) but much less dramatic.


More after the jump...

- Top 15 guys who are over owned in ESPN leagues are...

Name ESPN % Yahoo % Difference
Shawn Horcoff 92 12 80
Ryan McDonagh 100 24 76
Marc-Edouard Vlasic 91 22 69
Dan Girardi 100 32 68
Dennis Seidenberg 94 26 68
Gabriel Landeskog 91 26 65
Olli Jokinen 95 30 65
T.J. Oshie 100 37 63
Michael Del Zotto 98 36 62
Jay Bouwmeester 70 9 61
Francois Beauchemin 64 6 58
Steve Ott 86 28 58
Chris Kunitz 100 43 57
David Legwand 84 27 57
Simon Gagne 92 36 56

A lot of big ownership numbers on guys I wouldn't expect. Ryan McDonagh is owned in 100% of leagues? What are you ESPN owners smoking? ESPN uses ATOI as one of it's default categories (I believe). This could be a reason for some of the differences but the numbers still seem very bizarre to me.

- Top 15 guys who are over owned in Yahoo! leagues are...

Name ESPN % Yahoo % Difference
Mikhail Grabovski 23 54 31
Tyler Myers 26 52 26
Tobias Enstrom 39 61 22
Tyler Ennis 15 36 21
Andrei Markov 29 50 21
Lubomir Visnovsky 62 82 20
Chris Pronger 59 75 16
Curtis Glencross 2 17 15
Andrei Kostitsyn 1 15 14
Mark Giordano 33 46 13
Derick Brassard 0 12 12
Tyler Kennedy 2 13 11
Patric Hornqvist 42 52 10
Victor Hedman 19 28 9
Chris Neil 5 14 9

So what can you take away from this? Ummm... how about ownership numbers aren't as useful as you might have thought. Use that to your advantage when taking trade. "McDonagh is owned in 100% ownership... he's a beast, you definitely want him)". This is particularly true in ESPN leagues were a huge portion of the players are owned in 100% of leagues.

These results are very surprising to me. I did expect the ESPN numbers to be higher but I didn't realize the extent. I was also expecting the players to at least be similarly ranked. If Yahoo! players are a bit wary of Shawn Horcoff wouldn't the ESPN players also be? I don't get it.

I feel like I'm missing something very obvious here explaining the differences... but I've got nothing. Any ideas?

Click here to download the Excel File with all player data