Meet The Metric – Game Script

by Will Barrett · Analytics & Advanced Metrics

You see the final score of a game. 37-34. Fantasy gamers already know whatever player they had associated with this game had at least 20 points and could have won them a week. The high-octane shootouts are occasions designed to create fantasy points. So wouldn’t any fantasy gamer want to target teams who are more likely to have more and more shootouts on a week-to-week basis? Well, look no further than Game Script.

What Is It?

Game Script as defined by the PlayerProfiler Terms Glossary:

“The average point differential at any point in any game that season. Positive values indicate teams are often playing with a lead. Negative values indicates teams are more often playing from behind.”

Game Script is a good way to measure the opportunity a player would receive solely based off of average point differential. A negative Game Script would be good for receivers because of the increased passing plays that would be called to try and mount a comeback. On the contrary, a positive Game Script would be good for running backs to see more opportunities while playing with a lead.

How It Applies

When looking at the metric, the Ravens sit on top with the No. 1-ranked Game Script mark from last season. This creates an environment for producing fantasy points on the ground, but not as much for producing fantasy points through the air. The Ravens ranked No. 1 in rushing yards, No. 3 in rushing touchdowns, and No. 1 in first down run attempts. Game Script gives fantasy gamers an idea of the opportunity certain players will get.

Highest 2020 Game Script Marks – RB

Game Script does not show the skill of a certain player, but the opportunity they receive. For example, the Steelers ranked No. 8 in the 2020 season. This can be credited to their defense, but it goes to show the type of workload Najee Harris will receive in 2021. However, the Colts ranked No. 9 in Game Script and No. 20 in passing attempts last year. This doesn’t bode well for Michael Pittman, Parris Campbell, and crew to get much opportunity this season.

When applying this metric to player evaluation, it shouldn’t be your end all be all. There are other factors to take into account. The Bills, for example, had No. 2 Game Script mark in 2020. Yet, they had a below average rushing offense and their two main backs weren’t fantasy relevant. Game Script should be used as a baseline for opportunity. Offensive scheme and more should be taken into account as well, like how the Ravens like to use Lamar Jackson and a running back committee.


Whose Game Script Favors Them?

A perfect example of a team with a positive Game Script mark and a below average passing attack would be the Colts, who averaged 28.7 (No. 10) Team Run Plays Per Game in 2020. This points to Jonathan Taylor continuing his high-level performance from his last season and maintaining 15-25 carries a game.

Another player/team whose Game Script and passing attack favors him for the 2021 season would be CeeDee Lamb and crew. The Cowboys ranked No. 27 in Game Script and No. 1 in Pace of Play last year. This is a recipe for fantasy point-scoring, and fantasy gamers everywhere should be picking up pieces of this Cowboys offense throughout the offseason.