Run Pass Time Analysis : 2016 Part 2

by John Bush

Run_Pass Time Analysis Introduction Part 2.

Run_Pass Time Analysis Part 1 introduced the beginning of some points to consider in your 2017 drafts. If you have read that check the link below.

Run_Pass Team Analysis Part 1

Key questions for a fantasy football drafter can include the team’s run and pass balance, the time of possession, and a team’s efficiency in offensive activities of both rushing and passing.

While this information may be of differential importance, the following data presents information very useful in choosing between closely ranked players. I use this also to key into certain team’s players as a whole vs teams to avoid. This concept applies especially as you get deeper into the “poor” team’s depth charts. Take chances on deeper players from the teams that have shown better historical metrics.

I suggest this information be highlighted in your draft sheets. I go over this data and try to ingrain my tendency of drafting within the better teams. In your mock drafts, when you have a tougher decisions use these data to may your choice.

I also think my series previously published on team biases is worth blending in to this data.

Positional and Team PPR Analysis Part 1

Positional and Team PPR Analysis Part 2

Positional and Team PPR Analysis Part 3

I begin with the data we left in part 1. The data 1 summarizes that data. The key teams with the highest efficiency were the Falcons, Saints, Cowboys and Patriots. The bottom boys were the Rams, Jets, Browns and Texans.

Use caution in drafting from the bottom teams and draft with gusto players from the top teams.

Figure 1. Spiral Graph of 2016 Team Efficiency Using Timed Metrics (see part 1)

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The next metric uses the time and total team yardage. I use this to look from the top downward into each team. You should further define the team biases and key players. The top teams include similar teams in efficiency such as the Saints, Falcons, Washington, Bears, Patriots and Steelers. The surprises are the Bears and to some extent the Steelers. The Bears had terrible efficiency but did fight through and generate nice yards per minute at 12.7 yards per minute. The Steelers were at 12.12 yards per minute of play. They were efficient at slightly above the league average.

Fantasy Football Reductionism vs a Systems Approach

One reason fantasy football is hard because if you consider each metric in isolation it can lead to defeat! Reductionism is a method whereby players try to break down the metrics. It attempts an explanation of  fantasy football  in terms of individual, constituent parts and then try to learn how these parts/metrics do their interactions

Another approach that I will introduce is  a systems approach to my draft homework and fantasy football understanding.  This does not imply I have achieved this understanding. I just know it must be all of our next approaches in fantasy football investigations. I have shown that a new valley exists that leads to a systems analysis of Fantasy Football.  FYI I am sure there are “daily fantasy sports” researchers which are already there but have not smarten us up yet!  We must start putting multiple metrics together for a greater understanding!

This quote explains my current approach to fantasy football understanding.

The reductionist approach has successfully identified most of the components and many of the interactions but, unfortunately, offers no convincing concepts or methods to understand how system properties emerge…the pluralism of causes and effects in biological networks is better addressed by observing, through quantitative measures, multiple components simultaneously and by rigorous data integration with mathematical models” 

Sauer, Uwe; Heinemann, Matthias; Zamboni, Nicola (27 April 2007). “Genetics: Getting Closer to the Whole Picture”. Science.316 (5824): 550–551. (Sauer et al.).[7] 

Our systems approach to fantasy football investigation should strive to cluster overlapping metrics vs only looking a one. Thus I have placed the multiple metrics of time and yards together to add to our understanding!

Figure 2. Total Team Yards Per Minutes

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In figure 3, I have plotted the yards per minute within an area graph. I believe that multiple ways to “see” data increases our comprehension. Now it is clear that the Saints, Falcons and Washington stand on their own island! Again I have focused my drafts on these three teams players. I have added spaces to emphasize the “tiers” of each team within this double metric in the area graph.

Figure 3 Area Graph Highlighting the Team Total Yards Per Minute

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Passing and Rushing Yards Per Minutes

I next turn the attention to team time spent passing vs rushing and each team’s run pass biases. Green color is associated with higher time and yard and red associates the lower (below average) data together along with my estimated times spent in each activity.

Figure 4 presents a single metric on Passing Yards to Rushing Yards. The Vikings, Lions, Saints, Ravens and Washington are the top Pass to Run biased in yardage produced in 2016. Passing Catch players and QBs are targets for our 2017 drafts. The opposite teams with a more rushing biases are the Bills, 49ners, Cowboys, Titans and Texans. Running players are a natural targets for players on these teams.

Figure 4 Run-Pass Team Biases

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Figure 5 Total Time, Pass-Run Usage, Time spent in Passing and Rushing (280 minutes medium time in Passing and 205 minutes spent rushing at the median). A passing play must take 36% more time at the median. That opens the door for more depth for another day.

Figure 5. Time and Yardage 2016 Metrics in Passing and Rushing

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These next 4 figures establish three “new” metrics of Passing per Minute, Rushing per Minute, and a Ratio of those numbers. These now give a new combination approach (systems-type) of exploration in fantasy football analysis.

The top four teams in 2016 were Vikings, Patriots, Buccaneers and Falcons. The Superbowl teams are in the top 4. That is not surprising.  Does having a high P/R per minute indicate success in the NFL? Not that Saints and Washington were strong in the Passing Yards per minutes. They were 2nd and 3rd best with the Falcon being the best at 18.21 yards per minute.  However, the Falcons had a nice rushing yards per minute and were 2.02 P/R per minute, 3rd best. The Saints and Washington were much lower in P/R per Minute. Does that explain those teams not have the success in 2016. Great passing per minute but having poorer ratios.

The Patriots had a nice 16.76 passing yards per minute and the second best ratio! They showed they could as the falcon double punch opponents with a great P/R generation per minute of play!

Figure 6. Top Teams in Passing to Rushing Per Minute of Play. 

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The area graph of the tabular data in Figure 6 is shown in Figure 7. Pink is the passing per minute number and yellow highlights the rushing per minute team levels. The Vikings had a good ratio but overall very poor individual P/Y and R/Y numbers vs the patriots and other teams. Thus the P/R per Minute Ratio can not stand alone and must be placed into a more systems view of this data!

Figure 7. Area Graph Top Teams Comparisons of their 2016 Passing to Rushing Per Minute of Play. 

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The next two figures turn our attention to those team below the league average of P/R per minute ratio. A majority of those 2016 teams bringing up the league bottom in success are to be found here. Note that key teams that have a good reputation are in this group. The Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs, Dolphins etc are some that seem to get players attention in the drafts. If you think these teams are going to improve that is good but remember they were in the bottoms in 2016. I suggest caution in many of these teams. Is Rodgers a true QB1?

Figure 8. Bottom Teams in Passing to Rushing Per Minute of Play. 

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The area graph highlighting the bottom half of the league are here and some attention is suggested. Note that teams like the Bills and Browns had nice rushing yards per minute of 10.85 and 9.92 respectively. A great running team weaker in passing is going to be in a bind!

I would apply a soft focus to fix the teams to their 2016 productions. Your draft sheet will be stronger add these numbers to expand your views of your 2017 drafting.

Figure 9. Area Graph Bottom Teams Comparisons of their 2016 Passing to Rushing Per Minute of Play. 

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