(Standard) Season-long fantasy football is more than just putting in players that have scored the most points this year (if so robots could do this). That’s why you see teams in your league with over 1000 cumulative team points with a losing record. Its part of the game, the strategy evn the thrill. Yet, the goal isn’t to have the best team, and therefore the best players, but ones that will score more points than your opposing team this week. Because of this, I always wondered why some folks out there put so much merit into total/average points. Yes, it gives you a baseline, and clearly there is a strong correlation between having the player(s) that scores the most points, but what about the player that you can count on? How consistent is that guy? You hear Matthew Berry and company talk about floors/ceilings, yet no one seems to numerize it. Wouldn’t you want to know, not only what your player typically scores (average), but the actual/tangible number you can expect as an output for any given start?
With all this being said, I am on a crusade to revolutionize not only how we look at our players, but how we can use “second-step”, albeit basic, math to help determine who to start/pickup/trade for. This series will include every position, as well as, how that player/position compares to other positions, and what their bell curve (average along with their standard deviation both ways) looks like. I have started with QB, using ESPN standard scoring. Eventually, I will dive into season over season, include all positions and even include sensitivity to schedule (how well a player performs vs. the 1st rated “vs. QB” rather than 32nd rated “vs. QB”). Metrics like this will help you determine who is really performing well, if starting a particular player vs. a strong defense even matters and how you can better predict cumulative statistics.
Below, you will find just a teaser. This is just QBs, thus far this year. You will find their average, standard deviation (what you can statistically expect as a floor/ceiling for that player in any given week) and a “Power Score”. The “Power Score” is the simplest, yet least used stat in any sport (always thought it would be great for baseball). Its just giving you an idea of how players at their position compare when you take the BOTH their overall performance, AND the “tightness” of their bell curve into account (you want to be sure what to expect from your player, right?).
Here are the results for QB, with some obvious, but also, interesting results (may need to zoom in):
- Kirk Cousins really is Mr. Consistency
- Bortles/Big Ben/Winston all skewed by 2-4 single digit games proves why they are so dangerous
- David Carr, wow…the data tells us he will give you anything between 9-27 points, that’s a FAT bell curve