IBM Brings Watsonx To ESPN Fantasy Football With New Waiver Grades And Trade Grades


ARMONK, N.Y., Sept. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) is announcing updates and new features made in collaboration with ESPN to the ESPN Fantasy Football app, putting the power of artificial intelligence technology built on IBM’s watsonx in the hands of over 11 million fantasy football users.

New this year, Waiver Grades will give available players in your league’s waiver wire a personalized grade for the value they can add to your team. This feature will compare a potential player’s grade to the average grade of players in the same position already on your roster. Similarly, the Trade Grades feature will evaluate the personalized potential benefits of trades.

Waiver Grades and Trade Grades use advanced Large Language Models within watsonx – IBM’s enterprise focused data and AI platform – to deliver insights on football players each week and classify the sentiment. This AI generated classification, coupled with machine learning algorithms analyzing player performance stats, helps to remove bias and uncover new insights from troves of unstructured and structured data.

“With watsonx, we continue to push the boundaries of what AI can bring to user experiences such as fantasy sports,” said Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at IBM. “The watsonx technology that IBM leverages to help fantasy managers make more informed and data driven decisions through tools like Waiver Grades and Trade Grades is the same AI technology that business leaders across all industries can use to reap the wide-ranging benefits of AI.”

Player Insights powered by AI built with watsonx will also return this year to help ESPN Fantasy Football players make sense of matchups, analyze players’ boom or bust chances, and assess the impact of injuries on their rosters.

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For seven consecutive years, IBM’s collaboration with ESPN Fantasy Football has leveraged IBM’s technology including IBM Watson Discovery and now adds AI built with watsonx to help users make more informed decisions. These powerful AI models – built with the help of, which allows AI builders to train, validate and tune AI and foundation models – transform football data into insights which help fantasy team owners set their lineups. IBM Consulting works side-by-side with ESPN, using trustworthy watsonx models to scale these unique insights and tools as part of the digital experiences in the ESPN Fantasy Football app.

For more information on watsonx, visit

To play ESPN Fantasy Football and experience  AI features from IBM, sign up at or download the ESPN Fantasy App from the App Store and Android stores. 

Media Contact
Rebecca Bernhard
[email protected] 

About IBM
IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs, and gain the competitive edge in their industries. More than 4,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. Visit for more information.

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