Saturday, September 6

Stat Boy Saturday: How Should You Deal With Questionable Players?

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 tackles the mystery novel that is the NFL injury report. You know the feeling: Half-hour before gametime, and you have three players listed as questionable in your starting lineup, frantically hoping all three play. The best thing to do is to wait until the inactives list comes out, and go from there. But what if you aren’t by a computer with Internet access, and can’t edit your lineup at all on Sunday? We know that some players—Brian Westbrook, Plaxico Burress, and Tom Brady up until this week—are always on the injury report and play 95% of their games. And we know that some teams—check that, a team—don’t like to release truthful injury information (*coughPatriotscough*). So can we figure out the percentage of players on a team’s injury report that play every week? Why yes, yes we can. The following table shows the amount of players listed as questionable last year that played and didn’t play for each team (with coaches and their changes if appropriate). All positions except for the offensive line were included. (Sorry for the big space; apparently blogger has a problem posting tables.)

Team HC Last HC Now %Play
ARI Whisenhunt same 70.0
ATL Petrino M.Smith/JAX 52.9
BAL Billick Harbaugh/PHI 53.4
BUF Jauron same 60.0
CAR Fox same 44.4
CHI L.Smith same 53.3
CIN Lewis same 30.0
CLE Crennel same 61.9
DAL Phillips same 53.8
DEN Shanahan same 28.9
DET Marinelli same 36.8
GBP McCarthy same 33.3
HOU Kubiak same 26.7
IND Dungy same 24.2
JAX Del Rio same 45.8
KC Edwards same 37.5
MIA Cameron Sparano/DAL 63.3
MIN Childress same 34.2
NE Belichick same 50.9
NO Payton same 25.0
NYG Coughlin same 72.7
NYJ Mangini same 85.9
OAK Kiffin same 35.0
PHI Reid same 60.0
PIT Tomlin same 16.7
SD Turner same 70.6
SEA Holmgren same 40.0
SF Nolan same 53.3
STL Linehan same 21.1
TAM Gruden same 63.8
TEN Fisher same 46.2
WAS Gibbs Zorn/SEA 35.7
  • The Jets had by far the most players listed as questionable, and by far the highest percentage of those players who played. The other New York team, the Giants, also had a high playing-percentage.
  • On the other end, the Colts had the second-most questionable players, and had more than three-quarters who didn’t play.
  • Want to know the percentages for the whole league? Almost half: 49.9%. There were 899 players listed as questionable last year; 449 played, and 450 didn’t. Among individual teams, 17 had less-than-half of their questionable players play, and 15 had more-than-half play.

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