Terms Glossary

Basic Player Data

Lifetime Value – The featured player valuation metric on Dynasty Dominator mobile app, RotoUnderworld’s Lifetime Value approximates a player’s fantasy points scoring potential above replacement for the remainder of their career. The aggregate Lifetime Value is calculated using recent NFL opportunity, productivity, and efficiency metrics for veteran players as well as prospect profile metrics such as draft capital, college production, and athleticism for young players and prospects. As a player’s NFL tenure lengthens, Lifetime Value becomes more heavily weighted by NFL production. This total Lifetime Value is also discounted based on the age-based production curve outlined in the Dynasty Dominator Guide enhancing the value the most precocious players such as Saquon Barkley and JuJu Smith-Schuster. This youth factor is then balanced by a premium on projected near-term production (i.e. projected upcoming or current year production is more heavily weighted than future seasons), which ensures that more productive older players are more valuable than significantly less productive younger players.

Value Over Stream (VOS) – The VOS metric calculates each player’s fantasy points per game above the average waiver wire replacement in standard fantasy league formats during either the current or previous season, depending on the time of year. VOS also incorporates a bust rate coefficient to throttle each player’s VOS according to the fragility and subsequent uncertainty of forecasting the annual fantasy point output of players at his position. By incorporating a volatility-related coefficient, VOS is the evolutionary next step in Value-based Drafting (VBD) and provide a helpful guidepost to be utilized during fantasy football drafts.

A comprehensive review of the rationale behind the VOS metric is available here: Introducing: Value Over Stream (VOS)

Hand Size – data presented by John Bales from Fantasy Labs showed a relationship between hand size and quarterback performance, particularly in cold weather conditions. Because of this positive correlation over a large sample size between hand size and productivity, hand size is a relevant, predictive attribute for quarterbacks.

Player Popularity Indexmeasures how popular a player’s page has been in the last 10 days. 

Body Mass Index (BMI) – formerly referred to as the “Quetelet Index,” BMI dates to the 19th century and provides a simple numeric measure of a person’s thickness or thinness. Formula is as follows: Mass (lb) / Height (in)^2 x 703. Individuals with high BMIs tend to be built more like a bowling ball, an ideal stature for an NFL running back. Therefore, BMI indicates a running back’s relative sturdiness.

Prospect Profile

College Dominator Rating – first outlined by Frank DuPont in the book Game Plan, the college dominator rating represents a player’s “market share” or his percentage of his team’s offensive production. For example, a 35+% dominator indicates that a wide receiver has the potential to be a team’s No. 1 WR and/or a high caliber contributor. 20-35% indicates a mid-level talent with situational upside. Less than 20% is a red flag.

For wide receivers and tight ends, the dominator rating is the percentage of team receiving production. For running backs, it is the percentage of total offensive production, because running backs are involved in both the running and passing game. College Dominator Rating is not relevant for the quarterback position.

Breakout Age – the younger a person is when he/she first becomes a leader in their respective field, the more likely that person is to go on to become *phenom*enal at their craft. Following this logic, Frank DuPont and Shawn Siegele first examined each wide receiver’s breakout age on RotoViz.com.

The breakout age for wide receivers is defined by their age at the beginning of the college football season when they first posted a Dominator Rating at or above 20% (unless an or other extenuating circumstances prevented the player from playing a full complement of offensive snaps). For tight ends and running backs, a 15% Dominator Rating is necessary to qualify for a breakout designation. Quarterback breakout ages are determined by their age when they first posted a QBR of 50 or higher in a college season, and quarterbacks must average 20 or more action plays per team game played to qualify.

In order to display a more granular percentile rank for comparison purposes, Breakout Ages are listed to the tenth decimal place.

Best Comparable Player – aggregates physical attributes, college production, workout metrics, and NFL productivity and efficiency (when available) to find each player’s most similar peer at his position.

40-yard Dash –for quarterbacks and tight ends, any 40-yard dash under 4.70 seconds is considered fast. Running backs and wide receivers are held to a different standard as times of 4.50 or below are considered fast for RBs and WRs.

Speed Score – Bill Barnwell first posited the metric in Pro Football Prospectus to better predict running back success. The formula is (weight*200) / (40-time^4). It factors weight into a player’s 40-yard dash time assigning a premium to fast times run by bigger, often stronger, running backs.

Height-adjusted Speed Score (HaSS) – first discussed by Shawn Siegele on his Money In The Banana Stand blog, it builds on Bill Barwell’s Speed Score concept to create a more relevant metric for wide receivers and tight ends. Unlike running backs, weight and height are correlated to wide receiver and tight end production, because height expands the player’s catch radius. HaSS layers height into the traditional speed score equation by also dividing the player’s height by the average wide receiver height: 73.0 inches (6’1”) or average tight end height: 76.4 inches (6’4 5/12’’). This results in a measure of a player’s speed that also incorporates a premium on both body weight and body length.

Agility Score – Agility Score is simply the sum of a player’s 20-Yard Short Shuttle time and 3-Cone Drill times. This number measures a player’s short area quickness and balance and correlates with an ability to avoid tackles and compile yards before contact.

Burst Score – indicates a player’s zero-inertia explosiveness (stop-and-start acceleration) and ability to catch the ball outside the body. Similar in concept to Agility Score, Burst Score sums a player’s Vertical Jump height and Broad Jump distance. Additionally, the metric is calibrated to give Vertical Jump and Broad Jump equal weight.

Catch Radius – first discussed by Scott Smith in a piece titled “The Catch Radius Project: In Search of Better TD Production”, the metric incorporates a player’s ability to cover ground as well as his ability to get vertical in order to score a player’s capacity to reaching the football in a 3-dimensional space. Catch Radius affects a player’s ability to succeed in the red zone, particularly on fade routes and 50-50 balls. The equation squares a player’s 40-time, 20-yard shuttle, and 3-cone and multiplies it by the square of a player’s height, arm length, and vertical jump. The values of all six data inputs are normalized to have equal weight.

Wonderlic Test – group intelligence test used to assess the aptitude of prospective employees for learning and problem-solving in a range of occupations. It consists of 50 multiple choice questions to be answered in 12 minutes. The best score in the history of the NFL was Harvard graduate Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 48. Athletes scoring in the 30-50 range are considered smart. Both Matt Ryan and Giovanni Carmazza scored a 32. Athletes in the 20-30 range possess solid functional intelligence. Both Ryan Leaf and Rich Gannon scored a 27. Scores under 20 indicate that a player may be challenged to process information on-the-fly. Both Dan Marino and Vince Young scored a 15. Blaine Gabbert crushed the Wonderlic with a score of 42, so he has that going for him.

SPARQ-x – An approximation of Nike’s SPARQ Rating (acronym it stands for: Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness), a project started in 2004 to create a standardized test for athleticism similar to an SAT test for athletes. SPARQ input factors are 40-yard dash, vertical jump, 20-yard shuttle, and the power ball throw. Because Nikeʼs actual SPARQ formula is not public, we compared publically available SPARQ scores to their related input factors, reverse-engineered an approximation of the SPARQ formula, and then applied the formula to each playerʼs workout metrics. For calculation purposes, power ball throw was converted into bench press to ensure that all input factors aligned with specific NFL Scouting Combine events.

Athleticism Score – summarizes a player’s workout metrics and normalizes for size. It is derived by aggregating each player’s 40-yard Dash, Burst Score, and Agility Score, and then factors in a relevant measure of player size to ensure that big players receive a premium for speed, quickness and explosiveness. For QBs, PlayerProfiler adds a height premium. For RBs, we add a BMI premium. For WRs and TEs, we add a height and weight premium.

Percentile Rank– physical attributes and workout metrics include an overall percentile rank (100 being the best possible score) in parenthesis. The pool of players included in the percentile ranks consists of those currently signed to active and futures contracts.

Breakout Rating– predictive metric which projects the likelihood of a prospect breaking out in the NFL, only for RBs and WRs. A breakout is considered 1200 scrimmage yards or 200 fantasy points as an RB or 1000 receiving yards or 200 fantasy points as a WR. The Breakout Finder model analyzes college production, measured athleticism, teammate scores, level of competition, age, and draft capital.

College Teammate Score– aggregates the strength of the teammates which a prospect shared the field with during his college career. Teammate Score is weighted by draft capital for teammates and number of games played together; a higher teammate score indicates stronger competition on a player’s own team during his college career.

College Level of Competition– computes strength of opposing teams faced over the course of a prospect’s college career. A higher positive number indicates stronger opponents and negative numbers indicate weaker college opposition.

College Dynamic Score– measures for college kickoff return, punt return, and rushing production for wide receiver prospects, combining into a single score. Some noteworthy historical standouts are Tyreek Hill, Curtis Samuel, and Stefon Diggs.

College Receiver Rating– measures college receiving production for running back prospects, factoring in yards per team pass attempt, target share, and yards per reception. Some noteworthy historical standouts are Christian McCaffrey, Rachaad White, and Antonio Gibson.

Advanced On-field Stats and Metrics

Production Premium – isolates a player’s situation-agnostic efficiency. Production Premium compares the outcome of all pass attempts, carries, and targets to league-average outcome in those same game situations (yard line, down, and distance). Production Premium also takes into account time remaining and game score to account for non-standard situations such as 2-minute drills, clock-milking, and garbage time.

Positive values indicate that a player is more efficient than the average player, while negative values indicate that a player is less efficient than his peers with similar opportunities in similar situations.

Every player’s on-field performance is affected by his teammates. When a given player’s supporting cast changes (via trade or free agency), this metric is particularly helpful, because it measures that player’s capabilities across league-average situations.

Expected Points Added (EPA) – measures the value of individual plays by calculating the expected points scored based on the down, distance, and field position situation at the start of a play and contrasting it with the situation at the end of the play.

EPA helps fantasy gamers understand the players that actually help an NFL team win games. For example, a 20-yard touchdown reception gets your receiver 9 points in PPR leagues, but the team was already going to score a FG, maybe even a touchdown, when they’re 20 yards from the end zone. On the other hand, a 20-yard reception on 3rd and 10 at midfield nets only 3 PPR fantasy points, but it turns a likely blown drive into at least a field goal opportunity.

Best Ball Points Added – In the best ball format formats, players must reach a weekly points threshold to qualify for the starting lineup each week. Total Best Ball Points Added aggregates a player’s total points scored above this quantified weekly threshold over the course of the season. This points system rewards weekly volatility, while discounting consistency. 

Game Script – First defined by Chase Stuart on his Football Perspective blog in his “Introducing Game Scripts” piece, game scripts are the average point differential in any game in a given season. Positive values indicate teams are often playing with a lead. Negative values indicates teams are more often playing from behind.

Pace of Play – Total plays per minute. A pace above 2.50 is considered a very fast pace and under 2.00 is a very slow pace.

Opportunity Share – percentage of total team running back carries + targets for a particular back. Comparing Alfred Morris and Roy Helu’s 2013 usage help to illuminate the utility of this metric. Helu’s snap share was not significantly less than Morris’, but Washington gave the majority of opportunities to Morris, while Helu was asked to do a lot of blitz pickup work as opposing defenses relentlessly blitzed Robert Griffin III when Helu was on the field.

Weighted Opportunities – surfaced by Scott Barrett in his work for Pro Football Focus, this metric calibrates total opportunities by discounting carries and enhancing the value of targets based on the average fantasy points generated by each type of touch.

Run Blocking Efficiency combines yards blocked per carry and short yards success rate into a single measurement of run blocking effectiveness across a running back’s rush attempts.

True Yards Per Carry – Popularized by Zach Krueger in a piece written for PlayerProfiler, True YPC discounts all runs greater than 10 yards. The metric rewards running back consistency by factoring out the disproportionate impact of long runs.

Juke Rate – Isolates a running back’s elusiveness and tackle-breaking power by charting the number of broken, missed, and otherwise avoided tackles (displayed to the immediate left), and then dividing by the total number of touches (carries + receptions).

Yards Created – Originated by Graham Barfield on his Fantasy Game Theory blog, his “Introduction to Yards Created” piece defines yards created as yards generated above and beyond what was blocked. Yards Created are accrued after the running back’s first evaded tackle.

Stuffed Runs – run plays netting zero or negative yardage.

Base Front – seven defenders in the box. The width of the box is the distance between the outer shoulder of right and the outer shoulder of the left tackle. The depth of the box is six yards from the line of scrimmage.

Stacked Front – eight or more defenders in the box.

Light Front – six or less defenders in the box.

Hurry Rate – The percentage of dropbacks that quarterback has 3.0 or more seconds to throw before being pressured.

Accuracy Rating – Grades the accuracy each of throw on a 1-10 scale. 1-3 representing the most errand throw, 4-7 representing throws in some range of catchable but sub-optimal, and 8-10 representing the most pinpoint passes allowing receivers to convert receptions and gain yards after the catch. Quarterbacks with Accuracy Ratings above 8.0 are considered accurate, and those below 7.0 are considered inaccurate.

Air Yards – for quarterbacks, Air Yards is the total throw depth, and Completed Air Yards is total passing yards minus yards after the catch. The higher the percentage of completed air yards to total yards, the less a quarterback is being helped by his receivers gaining yards after the catch. For wide receivers and tight ends, Air Yards are total target distance from the line of scrimmage to the catch point, and Completed Air Yards represents total receiving yards minus yards after the catch. The predictive power of air yards were first discussed by Josh Hermsmeyer in his introduction to the predictive qualities of air yards on RotoViz.com and his AirYards.com property.

Adjusted Yards Per Attempt (AY/A) – Modified yards per attempt incorporates a premium for touchdowns and a discount for interceptions. This stat was introduced and fully outlined in the book The Hidden Game of Football by Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, and John Thorn.

Danger Play – Any play in which a quarterback took an unnecessary risk that could have resulted in a turnover, such as an interceptable pass, strip fumble, or blindside hit.

Money Throw – A completed pass requiring exceptional skill or athleticism as well as critical completions in clutch moments during the game.

Total QBR – Total QBR was developed by ESPN’s Stats & Information Group to measure the degree to which a quarterback contributed to scoring points for the team, and also to a win by the team. QBR adds a “clutch factor” to more traditional quarterback efficiency metrics. For example, it assigns a premium to a completed pass that earns a first down at the quarterback’s own 20-yard-line with 30 seconds left in the game. That completion may be unlikely to lead to any points for his team, but if the quarterback’s team is leading, it increases the win probability enabling the leading team to run out the clock.

Deep Balls – charts the total number of passing attempts that travel 20 yards or farther in the air. This metric is a window into the vertically-oriented nature of a quarterback’s offensive system. Quarterbacks with a high deep ball percentage generally play in vertical passing attacks as opposed to systems that emphasize short, quick passes.

Slot Rate – the percentage of passing down snaps a wide receiver or tight end lines up in the slot. To qualify as a slot receiver on any given play, a receiver must be lined up inside and covered up by a outside receiver in either three or four-receiver sets.

Route Participation – Indicates the percentage of total pass plays that the player ran a route in game when he was active.

Hog Rate – captures the rate of passing game utilization on a per play basis by calculating the number of targets per snap. This metric helps to identify wide receivers and tight ends with limited route trees that may have a low snap count and target share, but when they are on the field, are a focal point of the passing offense.

Target Share – measures the percentage of all passing targets directed at a particular wide receiver or tight end in games that that receiver was involved in the passing attack.

Red Zone Target Share – measures the percentage of all passing targets from a line of scrimmage at or inside the 20-yard line directed at a particular wide receiver or tight end in games that the receiver was involved in the passing attack.

Route Separation – A receiver’s average yards of separation from his assigned defender across all routes run.

Target Separation – A receiver’s average yards of separation from his assigned defender at the moment the pass arrives.

Target Premium – Rich Hribar coined the term Target Multiplier in an XN Sports Fantasy Football: 2013 WR Review article. Referred to here as Target Premium, it is the percentage of additional fantasy points per target that a wide receiver or tight end generates over and above the other pass receivers on his team. This metric is especially useful when examining the impact of a quarterback upgrade on a wide receiver’s future production.

Target Quality – combines catchable targets with average target depth putting a premium on deep, catchable targets and discounting shorter, uncatchable passes.

Target Rate – Ratio of total targets to total routes run by running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. This metric illustrates a receiver’s ability to create separation and attract targets specifically when the quarterback drops back.

Catch Rate – captures a player’s ability to secure the football in all situations regardless of the level of difficulty by dividing the total receptions by total targets.

True Catch Rate – reception percentage based solely on catchable targets.

Wins vs. Man – Routes a wide receiver either secured a target or gained the necessary separation for the quarterback to complete a pass if thrown vs. a cornerback in man coverage.

Wins vs. Zone – Routes a wide receiver either secured a target or gained the necessary separation for the quarterback to complete a pass if thrown vs. a secondary in zone coverage.

Burn Rate – Percentage of targets allowed in which the defensive back’s assigned receiver gained more than 5 yards of downfield separation.

Coverage Rating – Comprehensive cornerback efficiency metric incorporating target rate, pass break-ups, catch rate allowed, and fantasy points allowed per snap.

Snap Share – The percentage of total offensive plays that the player was on the field for his team.

Fantasy Points Per Game – the average number of fantasy points that a player has scored in game where he had a point scoring opportunity. In other words, for a particular game to count against his fantasy points per game, he must have had a passing attempt, carry, or target. The metric assumes 1 point for every ten yards rushing or receiving, 1 point for every 25 passing yards, 1 point per reception (PPR), and 4 points for quarterback passing touchdowns.

Fantasy Points Per Opportunity – measures running back fantasy points in the context of the player’s overall usage and playmaking prowess. The metric is calculated by dividing total fantasy points by the combined total of a running back’s carries and targets.

Fantasy Points Per Target – measures wide receiver and tight end fantasy points in the context of the player’s opportunities. The metric is calculated by dividing total fantasy points by total targets.

Fantasy Points Per Attempt – measures quarterback fantasy points in the context of passing opportunities by dividing total fantasy points by passing attempts.

Expected Fantasy Points – Expected fantasy points controls for down, distance, field position, play type, play direction/location, and play depth to calculate the most likely fantasy production if the player and his teammates delivered league-average execution on every play.

Expected Passing Yards – Passing yards we would expect if this player and his teammates gave league average effort on every play. Controlling for down, distance, field position, play direction, and throw depth.

Expected Rushing Yards – Rushing yards we would expect if this player and his teammates gave league average effort on every play. Controlling for down, distance, field position, and play direction/location.

Expected Receiving Yards –  Receiving yards we would expect if this player and his teammates gave league average effort on every play. Controlling for down, distance, field position, play direction, and throw depth.

Expected Passing Touchdowns – Passing touchdowns we would expect if this player and his teammates gave league average effort on every play. Controlling for down, distance, field position, play direction, and throw depth.

Expected Rushing Touchdowns – Rushing touchdowns we would expect if this player and his teammates gave league average effort on every play. Controlling for down, distance, field position, and play direction/location.

Expected Receiving Touchdowns – Receiving touchdowns we would expect if this player and his teammates gave league average effort on every play. Controlling for down, distance, field position, play direction, and throw depth.

Weekly Volatility – measures the level of week-to-week fantasy point scoring variance. Players with numbers higher than 8.0 have significant weekly output oscillation, and values over 10.0 indicate an extreme boom/bust range of outcomes. High week-to-week volatility negatively impacts standard league formats that require lineups to be manually set each week. On the other hand, high volatility is preferred in “best-ball” formats that automatically set optimal weekly lineups.

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