Articles

Analytics & Advanced Metrics

Meet the Metric – Pace of Play

by Corbin Young, April 12, 2021

The Cowboys led the NFL with 42.7 Team Pass Plays Per Game and a 2.51 Pace of Play. Before Dak Prescott’s injury, he ranked highly in a number of efficiency metrics with a +18.8 (No. 4 among qualified quarterbacks) Production Premium and 8.0 (No. 6) Adjusted Yards Per Attempt. A -4.77 (No. 27) Game Script mark indicated they often played from behind with their poor defense, which will lead to high passing opportunities once again in 2021 if that unit continues to struggle. 

We have Josh Allen out here exploding in 2020 in all the metrics even though Buffalo ranked lowly with a 2.14 (No. 28) Pace of Play. Buffalo averaged 38.9 (No. 13) Team Pass Plays Per Game, and Allen finished with 4,546 (No. 5) Passing Yards and 37 (No. 5) Passing Touchdowns. With the leap in fantasy production and efficiency paired with his rushing production, expect Allen to dominate again in 2021.

READ MORE

Meet the Metric – Accuracy Rating

by Neil Dutton, April 5, 2021

Quarterbacks with high Accuracy Ratings are a godsend to pass-catchers; these players will see a high dose of targets that they can actually do something with. A case in point is reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers, who finished the 2020 campaign with a 7.9 (No. 3 among qualified quarterbacks) Accuracy Rating and led the league in delivering an 81.0-percent Catchable Pass Rate.

We should have high hopes for Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in 2021. He posted a 7.9 Accuracy Rating a year ago, the same as Aaron Rodgers and Teddy Bridgewater. He also delivered a Catchable Pass Rate of 80.3-percent in 2020. Only Rodgers and Drew Brees were better. Yet he managed a dismal 13.8 (No. 28) Fantasy Points per Game. Can we attach some blame to the players around him? With a -7.17 (No. 26) Supporting Cast Efficiency rating, you bet we can.

READ MORE

Efficiency Outliers 2020 – Four High and Low Efficiency Tight Ends

by Corbin Young, April 1, 2021

We can’t discuss efficiency outliers at tight end without talking about Robert Tonyan, otherwise known as Big Bob Tonyan: the Touchdown Scoring Machine. His 2020 screamed efficiency with unsustainable production. If other fantasy managers value him highly, trade him away after his uber-efficient and productive 2020 season.

After a putrid 2020 season, what do we do with veteran Zach Ertz? He battled an ankle injury and lacked production even with a healthy Target Share. Since his stock has plummeted, he’s more of a buy-low than a sell, but don’t acquire him with the expectation of a top-5 season. If he lands in a tight-end friendly offense, he could still produce like a top-10 tight end given the landscape.

READ MORE

Efficiency Outliers 2020 – Four High and Low Efficiency Running Backs

by Corbin Young, March 30, 2021

Chase Edmonds is the quintessential satellite back that earned a ton of targets and receiving production, yet barely earned many opportunities. He finished with a 37.6-percent (No. 48 among qualified running backs) Opportunity Share, 68 (No. 6) Targets, and 165.0 (No. 25) Weighted Opportunities. A reminder that Weighted Opportunities increases the value of targets, which suits a player like Edmonds.

Even though he finished with 12 (No. 4) Total Touchdowns and 15.4 (No. 12) Fantasy Points per Game, Josh Jacobs relied on opportunities in 2020. He lacked efficiency with a -13.6 (No. 61) Production Premium and averaged 4.3 (No. 53) Yards Per Touch, but had a 27.5-percent (No. 12) Juke Rate. High volume and more opportunities can lead to more Evaded Tackles and Yards Created while helping bolster the Juke Rate. 

READ MORE

Meet the Metric – Yards Created

by Neil Dutton, March 29, 2021

Looking ahead to 2021, there are players for whom a larger workload could make them bargains in redraft given their abilities to create their own yards. They figure prominently in the Yards Created per Touch standings. Current signs point to them having more touches in the new season. Notable players like J.K. Dobbins, whose 2.18 (No. 3 among qualified running backs) Yards Created per Touch trailed only Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb.

Kenyan Drake eked his way to the RB24 in Fantasy Points per Game last season, thanks largely to his workload. He logged 192.1 (No. 15) Weighted Opportunities, but averaged 0.66 (No. 55) Yards Created per Touch. This is the eighth-lowest of the 51 running backs to earn at least 100.0 Weighted Opportunities. He is unlikely to command quite as big a workload on the Las Vegas Raiders, barring an injury to Josh Jacobs.

READ MORE

Meet the Metric – Target Premium

by Neil Dutton, March 22, 2021

In his rookie season, Laviska Shenault had a 7.18 (No. 55 among qualified wide receivers) Target Accuracy mark, along with a 5.0 (No. 83) Target Quality Rating. Yet he was still able to finish with a +27.5-percent (No. 8) Target Premium. With Trevor Lawrence likely to be the Jaguars quarterback in 2021, an upgrade in accuracy allied to his efficiency as a receiver can only mean good things in Year two.

While a member of the Texans, Will Fuller enjoyed a 7.2 (No. 4) Target Quality Rating. His +27.2-percent (No. 2) Target Premium was far and away better than his closest teammate. But Fuller now finds himself on the Miami Dolphins with Tua Tagovailoa, who had a 7.9 (No. 2) Accuracy Rating, as his quarterback. This despite having a single wide receiver with a positive Target Premium. This marriage could be good for all parties.

READ MORE

Efficiency Outliers 2020 – Three High and Low Efficiency Wide Receivers

by Corbin Young, March 18, 2021

After four seasons with the Titans, Corey Davis exploded in 2020 partly due to his high efficiency. Not surprising since we mentioned Ryan Tannehill as one of the efficiency outliers at the quarterback position. Davis interestingly displayed great per-target efficiency, yet scored five (No. 35 among qualified wide receivers) Total Touchdowns at a 7.7-percent Touchdown Rate. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where the Jets offense runs as efficiently as Tennessee’s.

Jerry Jeudy earned a decent amount of opportunities, but the brutal efficiency metrics stood out; among them a -16.5 (No. 82) Production Premium, 7.6 (No. 76) Yards Per Target and 1.38 (No. 102) Fantasy Points Per Target. It’s a big IF, but if Drew Lock improves and we have a healthy Courtland Sutton, then that should help Jeudy in 2021. However, it’s difficult to imagine the opportunities increasing, so hopefully he’s more efficient. Attempt to buy low in dynasty leagues. 

READ MORE

Meet the Metric – Coverage Rating

by Neil Dutton, March 15, 2021

Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward drew 80 (No. 80 among qualified cornerbacks) targets in the 2020 season. Bengals cornerback LeShaun Sims, a lesser-known player than Ward, drew just 78 (No. 78) looks in 13 games. Sims was targeted on a similar scale to Ward. Therefore, these players are close in production, right? Why, hello there Mr. Strawman. Coverage Rating points out that this could not be further from the truth.

The Lions traded away Darius Slay in the hopes of sliding Jeff Okudah seamlessly into his spot in the defensive backfield. This hasn’t worked so far. Okudah only played nine games as a rookie. But he was targeted at a 24.8-percent (No. 6) rate. Passers completed 74.2-percent of their passes looking his way. The next pass he breaks up will be his first as a pro. Only the aforementioned LeShaun Sims posted a lower Coverage Rating than Okudah’s -29.7 showing.

READ MORE

Efficiency Outliers 2020 – Three High and Low Efficiency Quarterbacks

by Corbin Young, March 13, 2021

If it seemed like Aaron Rodgers threw a passing touchdown on every drive, well, he almost did. Rodgers finished 2020 with 48 (No. 1 among qualified quarterbacks) Passing Touchdowns on 34.2 (No. 27) Team Pass Plays Per Game. Even Green Bay’s 2.00 (two plays per minute) Pace of Play ranked dead last in the NFL. All of this screams “efficiency outlier.”

Given that he falls into the low-efficiency outlier category, it’s not surprising that Baker Mayfield “boasted” a middling 0.45 (No. 18) Fantasy Points Per Dropback average and a -7.5 (No. 23) Production Premium. If the dominant running game remains, which seems likely, he could improve in the efficiency metrics with the play-action game. With projected low passing volume, he’ll need to rely on efficiency to produce anything better than middling or back-end QB2 numbers.

READ MORE

Josh Larky’s Breakout Finder Notepad – Volume 1

by Josh Larky, March 11, 2021

To those familiar with college football, it should come as no surprise that Saquon Barkley sits atop the historical Breakout Ratings for RBs. A three-year starter in college, who had over 1,000 yards on the ground each season, brought in 54 passes for 632 yards as a junior, and ran a 4.40 flat in the 40-yard Dash. The 99th percentile SPARQ-x athlete and No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Yes, that guy is No. 1 all-time.

Certainly a bet on upside when Washington selected him in the NFL Draft’s third round, my modeling efforts found the Antonio Gibson pick to be savvy given that he has a slightly higher Breakout Rating than the average third-round pick. The Breakout Finder recognized his potential were he to land in a starting role, and he definitely impressed in Year 1, recording over 1,000 total yards and 11 rushing TDs.

READ MORE