Football Research Appendix

By Max Mulitz

I’ll keep this updated as I make new posts with a quick summary of the big idea of each post and links to posts by category:

Mission Statement:

What is football analytics?/Blueprint

Game Strategy Research:

The Role of Analytics in Game Planning

First down probability and when to accept/decline penalties.

Running out of shotgun on 3rd & 1 is more efficient than running from under center. Though under center plays have a higher average conversion percentage because teams run more often from under center.

Game theory can help tendency research with respect to the order in which teams make decisions for a given play

Solving the problem of the Two Point Conversion up 7 late in the game

When to call Timeout on defense at the end of the First Half

Individual Player Value:

A significant majority of NFL Teams will have to give at least 6 offensive linemen significant snaps each season. Teams will commonly give significant snaps to as many as 8 different offensive linemen per season.

Run Stops Added is our foundational metric for understanding how individual players contribute to run defense

Expected Points forms the basis of our fundamental metric for understanding how much value a receiver provided when he was targeted.

Projecting Quarterback success in the NFL Draft

Valuing Free Agent Receivers using Production and Age

How to use expected points to estimate Wide Receiver value

How valuable is Earl Thomas? He’s probably worth 2-3 points per game to the Seahawks

A mental model for evaluating risk in free agency

A Running backs’ expected success rate varies wildly depending on the backs role. Expected success rate is far more stable year to year than actual performance, meaning role is more consistent than rushing performance for running backs.

Injury Study: There’s about a 40-50% chance a given player will miss time with an injury in a given season. It’s likely some players are injury prone and have a 70%+ chance of being injured an some players are particularly resilient to injury and only have about a 25-30% chance of being injured in a given season.

The most valuable kicker you could reasonably expect to have is worth about 0.1 wins above average per season, which is  worth about 0.66% of the Salary Cap (about 1.1 Million dollars/season)

An extra 1% of the cap spent in a given year correlates with 0.15 more wins

NFL Draft/Scouting

Calculating Sparq for Edge Rushers

Arm Length almost always matters more than height

Jumping tests at the combine are a valid measure of leg power once you adjust for weight.

Measuring Grip Strength to gain an advantage selecting linemen

Using decision trees to form an inclusive model of which players are worth scouting

Indicators of Team Strengths and Weaknesses: 

How are different team efficiency statistics correlated with winning? Each extra sack per hundred snaps is worth about an extra quarter of a win. An increase of a yard per attempt passing or a decrease of a yard per attempt allowed each correlate with about 1.6 extra wins.

Passing efficiency is at least a little over twice as important as rushing efficiency, both offensively and defensively. Team passing efficiency predicts team offense quality far better than rushing efficiency.

Point differential is highly correlated with wins. Every 36 points of added point differential is worth an expected win

How to handle being in Field Goal attempt range when tied or trailing by 1-2 points at the end of a game


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