It's a fun time for sports fans. There's the Super Bowl extravaganza on Sunday, and a few days after that, Major League Baseball's spring training starts up. March Madness is right around the corner and in a couple of months, all our favorite sporting pastimes will be in full swing.
Because of that, I've found four relatively unknown sports statistics sites that will provide you with all the sports research you need to make more informed decisions in your fantasy baseball league or make you look smarter with your friends.
Sports Data Hub isn't just a statistical hub for those who want information about a football player's performance over the past year; it provides users with an incredibly useful stack of information that narrows basic statistics down to its most detailed level.
Do you want to know how Peyton Manning (quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts) has performed in outdoor stadiums on Sunday afternoons during the month of November for the past four years? Sports Data Hub will provide that information.
That said, the site isn't just a directory of stats. Sports Data Hub also lets users share insight with others through the site's blog and forums.
The only problem with Sports Data Hub is that it currently only offers statistics for the NFL, and it has not indicated whether or not stats for other sports organizations will be coming soon. But since it's free with registration, it's definitely worth using if you want to find out which players will give you the best shot of winning each week in your fantasy football league.
SportsGenie, much like Sports Data Hub, tries its best to provide users with the opportunity to make more informed decisions in their fantasy leagues. But unlike its competitors, SportsGenie employs calculations using formulas and algorithms to make predictions on a player's future performance.
Once you sign up for SportsGenie, you're allowed to run scenarios on player performance and team variables to determine if you should start a player or bench him for someone else.
SportsGenie is updated daily with player statistics to help you make the most informed decision. In fact, the company claims that it currently has a database of more than 750,000 games that it uses as a frame of reference.
Unfortunately, SportsGenie isn't free. Upon registration, you only have access to one prediction. Subsequent to that, the company charges $20 per week for its service.
Sports Reference provides the most comprehensive statistical data I've ever seen. Ranging from baseball to football to hockey, the site caters to just about every sports fan and allows you to find information about any team, person, or coach for free.
To give you an idea of the scope of information Sports Reference currently provides, you need not look further than its Baseball page. The company's baseball statistics date back to 1871 for major league players, teams, and leagues. Minor league stats are available for 1992 to the present and minor league box scores are available back to 1952.
But Sports Reference doesn't just cater to baseball fans. The company's football page features every statistic and game result ever recorded in the NFL, including Pro Bowl selections and draft picks. Its Olympics page contains data for "every year, every athlete, every sport, every country, and every event." It's filled with more than 150,000 pages of statistics.
Sports Reference is easily one of the best places to perform exhaustive research on sports figures. It's huge, it's useful, and it's free. It's a winner.
Although it originally started as a college basketball site where users could find any statistic they wanted on hoops players, StatSheet has quickly grown into a hub for those who are looking for statistics on the NBA, NFL, and even high school basketball.
But the main issue facing StatSheet is that much of its data is still incomplete. If you're looking for college basketball statistics, StatSheet is an ideal destination. But so far, its NFL statistics leave much to be desired. In fact, its NFL page is populated mostly by 2008 data and little else.
Regardless, StatSheet provides exhaustive data on the world of basketball. Whether you're looking for scores, player statistics, or coach information, the site has it all. It even boasts a chart builder so you can compare multiple data points, and gives users the option of embedding the site's widget, which contains statistical information, into their own sites.
StatSheet still has some growing to do and right now, it's not ideal for those who want information outside of basketball. But if you're looking for basketball information, StatSheet is a great source. And it's free, so that makes it worth trying.
Can't get enough of sports? Good! Coming Thursday and Friday, we're going to take a look at how to stay updated on the Super Bowl without actually watching it--and we'll find other related online activities aside from the big game.
Click here for more Super Bowl stories.