Posted by Doug on May 28, 2008
Just when Chase was starting to do some really good stuff with the approximate values I gave him a few weeks ago, I've gone and changed the formula. I doubt that it'll significantly effect any of Chase's results from the previous two posts, but I made a couple of changes that improve the AV formula.
1. In the original formula, the ratio of skill-position AV to offensive line AV was constant from team to team. I discussed this in the very first post about AV. I've now modified that assumption so that teams with more (less) decorated offensive lines, compared to skill position players, will have a higher (lower) percentage of their total AV allotted to the line. To be more specific, an average team has 43.6% of its offensive AV points devoted to linemen. Prior to this change, every team had 43.6% of its offensive AV devoted to linemen. But now, for example, the 1975 Dolphins, who had three pro bowl linemen including two first-team all-pros, and no pro bowl skill position players, will have about 50% of their offensive AV devoted to linemen. Meanwhile, a team like the 1980 Chargers (three first-team all-pros, plus another pro bowler at the skill positions, no pro bowl linemen) will have about 38% of their AV devoted to linemen. These are two of the most extreme examples; the vast majority of teams are very close to the original 43.6%.
Essentially what I'm saying here is that I'm going to trust the writers of the day to tell me whether a given team's offensive success was more due to the line or the skill guys. I'm slightly uneasy with this because I don't completely trust the writers to select pro bowl offensive linemen on their merits, but in the end I'm more comfortable doing it than not doing it.
Likewise, I've made a similar adjustment with respect to dividing the defensive points between front 7 players and defensive backs.
2. I've instituted a minimum AV for first-team all-pros, second-team all-pros, and pro bowlers. We may as well call this the Jonathan Ogden rule, because he's the guy who demonstrated the need for it. The AV formula, because it starts with team success, hates Jon Ogden. Ogden is essentially the opposite of Derrick Brooks, who ranks surprisingly high in AV largely on the basis of being the lone constant on one of the best 12-year team defensive runs of all time. According to my metric of choice --- points per possession --- Ogden has played on a below average offensive team for 11 of his 12 seasons, some of them way below average. As a result, there just haven't been many points to divvy up among the Raven offensive players. So when I run through the formula, Ogden gets a lot of points relative to other Ravens, but still not as many points as he probably should. The AV methodology essentially implies that a terrible offense can't have any great players, and that's not true.
So my inelegant fix is to simply declare that first-team all-pros at tackle and at any defensive position get a minimum of 13 AV no matter what (a typical first-team all-pro gets about 16). Second-team all-pros get a minimum of 11 AV, and pro bowlers get a minimum of 9 AV. At guard, center, and tight end, first-teamers get a minimum of 11, second-teamers 9, and pro bowlers 7. This adjustment really amounts to almost nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it just seems right.
The two adjustments together move Ogden from 153rd on the last AV list I posted to 68th. Willie Roaf, who benefits primarily from the first adjustment, moves from 59th to 41st. You may also note that Marino had a tiny lead on Favre in the last list, and Favre has a tiny lead on Marino in this list. That's because of the first adjustment: Marino played with more decorated linemen than Favre did. Similarly, Walter Payton closes the gap on Faulk and Emmitt Smith.
Here is the current top 200 list:
1 Reggie White 163 2 Jerry Rice 159 3 Brett Favre 147 4 Bruce Smith 146 Dan Marino 146 6 Rod Woodson 142 7 Lawrence Taylor 139 8 John Elway 138 9 Anthony Munoz 137 10 Peyton Manning 136
I guess I still need this here...
NOTE: the author of the algorithm that generated this list does not agree with the entirety of the list. He, in fact, acknowledges that it’s obviously wrong in spots. He does think it’s pretty respectable, given the difficulty of comparing players across positions and eras using only objective data. He also thinks it’ll give us something to talk about here in May. Also, please read the previous posts.
11 Steve Young 134 Derrick Brooks 134 13 Marshall Faulk 132 14 Emmitt Smith 128 15 Walter Payton 127 Junior Seau 127 17 Mike Singletary 124 18 Ray Lewis 123 Joe Montana 123 20 Dan Fouts 122 Jack Youngblood 122 Barry Sanders 122 23 Michael Strahan 121 Ken Anderson 121 Randy White 121 Marvin Harrison 121 27 Bruce Matthews 120 28 Jack Ham 119 29 Warren Moon 118 30 Ronnie Lott 117 Warren Sapp 117 32 Deion Sanders 114 Chris Doleman 114 Jack Lambert 114 35 Zach Thomas 111 Mel Blount 111 Thurman Thomas 111 38 Rickey Jackson 110 Edgerrin James 110 Isiah Robertson 110 41 Willie Roaf 109 Terrell Owens 109 Jason Taylor 109 44 Mike Haynes 108 45 John Randle 107 Randy Moss 107 47 Randall Cunningham 106 Tony Dorsett 106 Terry Bradshaw 106 50 John Hannah 105 Derrick Thomas 105 LaDainian Tomlinson 105 Boomer Esiason 105 Michael Irvin 105 55 Tim Brown 104 Dan Hampton 104 57 Aeneas Williams 103 Darrell Green 103 Randall McDaniel 103 Drew Bledsoe 103 Marcus Allen 103 Steve Largent 103 63 Mike Webster 102 Jim Kelly 102 Ricky Watters 102 Gary Zimmerman 102 Rod Smith 102 68 Franco Harris 101 James Lofton 101 Shannon Sharpe 101 Curtis Martin 101 Jonathan Ogden 101 73 Richmond Webb 100 Steve McMichael 100 Mike Kenn 100 76 Tiki Barber 99 Steve McNair 99 Sam Mills 99 Lemar Parrish 99 80 Rich Gannon 98 Cortez Kennedy 98 Cris Carter 98 Ronde Barber 98 Isaac Bruce 98 Hardy Nickerson 98 Eric Allen 98 87 Pat Swilling 97 Howie Long 97 Vinny Testaverde 97 Andre Reed 97 Richard Dent 97 Kevin Greene 97 Dave Krieg 97 Too Tall Jones 97 95 Troy Aikman 96 Mark Brunell 96 Orlando Pace 96 98 Henry Ellard 95 Will Shields 95 Lomas Brown 95 John Lynch 95 Louis Wright 95 103 Jimmy Smith 94 Neil Smith 94 Wilber Marshall 94 Champ Bailey 94 Ken Stabler 94 Tony Gonzalez 94 109 Torry Holt 93 Harry Carson 93 Trent Green 93 Clay Matthews 93 Art Monk 93 Roger Craig 93 115 Jackie Slater 92 Randy Gradishar 92 Bryant Young 92 Ray Childress 92 Brian Urlacher 92 120 Greg Lloyd 91 Karl Mecklenburg 91 Tom Brady 91 Warrick Dunn 91 Eric Dickerson 91 Larry Allen 91 126 John Riggins 90 Bob Baumhower 90 Phil Simms 90 Lyle Alzado 90 Andre Tippett 90 Ted Washington 90 Walter Jones 90 Steve Grogan 90 Steve Wisniewski 90 135 Donnie Shell 89 Jake Scott 89 Lydell Mitchell 89 La'Roi Glover 89 139 Cornelius Bennett 88 Clyde Simmons 88 Leslie O'Neal 88 Mo Lewis 88 143 Brian Dawkins 87 Tom Jackson 87 LeRoy Butler 87 Joe Theismann 87 Donovan McNabb 87 Simeon Rice 87 Jim Everett 87 150 Cliff Branch 86 Troy Vincent 86 Willie Anderson 86 Bruce Armstrong 86 Dan Dierdorf 86 Sam Madison 86 Robert Brazile 86 Gary Clark 86 158 Joe DeLamielleure 85 Kevin Carter 85 Jim Plunkett 85 Michael Dean Perry 85 Charles Haley 85 163 Daunte Culpepper 84 Mike Munchak 84 Fred Taylor 84 Eugene Robinson 84 Tom Nalen 84 James Brooks 84 Jack Reynolds 84 Cliff Harris 84 171 Joe Jacoby 83 Keenan McCardell 83 Ty Law 83 Chad Brown 83 Dermontti Dawson 83 Henry Thomas 83 Dave Butz 83 Chris Hinton 83 Fred Smerlas 83 Carnell Lake 83 181 Priest Holmes 82 Harvey Martin 82 Jeff Garcia 82 Steve Atwater 82 Tarik Glenn 82 186 Ozzie Newsome 81 Stanley Morgan 81 Jim Langer 81 Kevin Mawae 81 Ken Norton 81 Chuck Foreman 81 Earnest Byner 81 Bert Jones 81 Herman Moore 81 Lee Roy Selmon 81 Leon Gray 81 Charles Mann 81 Rob Burnett 81 199 Doug Wilkerson 80 Wes Chandler 80 Levon Kirkland 80 John L. Williams 80 Albert Lewis 80 Bill Romanowski 80 Joe Ferguson 80 Alan Faneca 80 Nat Moore 80 John Stallworth 80 Harris Barton 80 Mark Gastineau 80 Jacob Green 80 Kellen Winslow 80