Watson joins the huddle

In the fantasy playoffs, a single decision can be the difference between the championship and the end of your season. Now, ESPN’s millions of users can tap into the enterprise-grade artificial intelligence of IBM Watson to help evaluate risk, quantify player potential, and make better, more informed decisions for every big game. 

Check out insights with Watson by:

  1. Clicking on a player name in ESPN's fantasy projections

  2. Clicking on the Insights tab on the player card


The Business Challenge

For more than 100 years, IBM has been in the business of helping organizations use structured data to guide decisions at every level of the corporate hierarchy. But 80 percent of the world’s digital information is trapped in unstructured formats like text, audio and video, inaccessible to traditional software analysis.

For business leaders and elected officials, this means that decisions of great consequence are made with only a fraction of the available information. For ESPN fantasy owners, it means basing their player selections on numbers alone.

ESPN faces stiff competition in the dynamic fantasy sports market. Fantasy platforms compete for end users on the basis of features and functionality. With IBM Watson, ESPN saw an opportunity to increase engagement and revenue on its platform by offering a fundamentally new tool for in-depth analysis and decision support.

The Solution

Watson is ingesting and analyzing thousands of news stories, expert opinion pieces by fantasy gurus, and reports on player injuries. The resulting insights are then correlated with traditional, statistical data on over 1,900 players across all 32 NFL teams, to help fantasy owners decide which players to start every week.

The system calculates the potential upside and downside for each potential starter, analyzes whether a player will “boom” or “bust,” and determines the probability that a player will play with an injury. It lets a fantasy owner visualize the risk-and-reward scenarios, compare players, and field a more competitive team.

Check out insights with Watson by:

  1. Clicking on a player name in ESPN's fantasy projections
  2. Clicking on the Insights tab on the player card


Watson Discovery

With Watson Discovery Service, developers can monitor trends, surface patterns, and extract value from structured and unstructured data.

Watson Knowledge Studio

Enables developers and domain experts to collaborate on custom annotator components that identify mentions and relationships in unstructured data.

IBM Data Science Experience

IBM Data Science Experience is an interactive, collaborative, cloud-based environment for data scientists with multiple tools to surface new insights.