Saturday, September 20

Stat Boy Saturday: Fantasy Rank vs Real Life Wins

Another week with our honorary stat boy, Zach Fein of Fein Sports. A contributor with as much stat muscle as anyone in the business. You may not understand what he's says and use it for you fantasy leagues, but if you're in the mood to be baffled and confused, then boy does he have you covered. Because life is one big spreadsheet. This week he deals with the connection between a player's fantasy ranking and his team's win total. Sorry, Marc Bulger owners. Sorry, Derek Anderson owners. And sorry, Carson Palmer owners. Can a quarterback on a bad team finish among the top-10 fantasy QBs? What about running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, too? How often does a player on a below-.500 team finish in the top-10 and top-15 in his position? Those stats can be the difference of a Marc Bulger finishing in front of a David Garrard, a quarterback on a lousy team ahead of one playing for a playoff team. So without further ado, here are the stats. For each year from 2002-2007, the top-10 QBs and TEs, and the top-15 RBs and WRs, were compared with their team's win total. The table also shows how often a player made the playoffs (abbreviated as "P-Off" in the table). [Ed. Note: The 2002 tie between the Steelers and Falcons was counted as half a win and half a loss, as the NFL counts ties.]

Correlation of fantasy rank and team wins
position madeP-Off missP-Off %P-Off Avg.W Avg.L
Quarterback 33 27 55% 9.94 6.06
Running Back 42 48 47% 8.94 7.06
Wide Receiver 41 49 46% 8.85 7.15
Tight End 29 31 48% 8.99 7.01
Here are some more nuggets for each position: Quarterback
  • Only two players that finished inside the top-10 had a team record lower that 7-9: Jon Kitna in 2006 (team record: 3-13), and Daunte Culpepper in 2002 (6-10). Without those two, the average win total rises from 9.94 to 10.13.
  • From 2002-2007, there were 64 teams that went 6-10 or worse, out of the 192 teams in that period, or exactly one-third. Only two QBs finished with a record 6-10 or worse, or equal to 3% of those 64 teams. What does that mean? Don't expect any QB on a team worse than 7-9 to finish in the top 10.
Running Back
  • Of the 90 players to finish in the top-15, only 13 had a team win total of more than 14 or less than five. That means that 86% of all 90 running backs in the pool had a team win total between five and 13 wins. So sorry, Larry Johnson owners. And sorry, Steven Jackson owners.
Wide Receivers
  • Similar to the RB stat above, only 11 WRs of the 90 in the pool had a team win total of more than 13 or less than five. In other words, 88% of all WRs had a team win total of between five and 13 wins. So sorry, Dwayne Bowe owners. And sorry, Roddy White owners. (Here's to hoping you didn't think they were top-15 wide receivers in the first place, by the way.)
Tight Ends
  • Out of the 60 tight ends in the pool, 86% (52 out of 60) had a team win total higher than five. And 72% (43 out of 60) had a team win total greater than or equal to eight.
Conclusion The 300 QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs in the pool averaged 9.1 wins on the season. More than half of them (155) made the playoffs, good for 52%. The stats show that the better the team that player is on, the better the chance of him making the top-10 or top-15 for his position. Only 70 players out of the 300 in the pool had a team win total of less than eight, meaning that 77% of all players had a team record or .500 or better. On the other end of the spectrum, more than half of all players (152) had a team win total of ten or more.

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