Comments on: Approximate value, part IV football, statistics, and football statistics (and other stuff) Fri, 11 Nov 2011 20:52:58 +0000 hourly 1 By: Jeff James Thu, 18 Mar 2010 02:31:08 +0000 Morten Anderson has an Approximate Value of zero

By: Jerry Fri, 25 Apr 2008 22:23:43 +0000 Chase,

I don't think it's so much that offensive linemen are intrinsically less valuable than other positions than that their performance can't be (or at least isn't) quantified. We all know that Anthony Munoz was a great tackle, but how great? Was he better than Jonathan Ogden? For those of us who don't break down tape, there's no way of telling. It's much easier to compare Cris Carter to his peers.

I appreciate that Doug is trying to come up with a first approximation of value for linemen here, but it's obviously a long way from accurate, and we may never get closer.

By: MattieShoes Wed, 23 Apr 2008 05:11:39 +0000 I wonder if you could use this data to profile coaches.

By: MattieShoes Wed, 23 Apr 2008 05:09:57 +0000 Any answer is going to be wrong sometimes because you can't REALLY look at a single player in a vacuum. Football really is a team game. 🙂

The numbers look really good to me though. I'm amazed at how well the numbers came out though -- I didn't think it'd be possible to get such reasonable results.

So here's a question -- What player do you think your system is the most wrong about?

By: Richie Tue, 22 Apr 2008 17:11:08 +0000 I think I would agree that no single offensive lineman can be as valuable as a QB. However, I think that an entire offensive line is more valuable than a single QB.

The sweet spot must be somewhere between a ratio of 1:1 and 1:5, but I'm not sure where.

By: Chase Stuart Tue, 22 Apr 2008 16:47:13 +0000

While I don’t want to overreact to a small sample, the main goal of this thing is to generate numbers that match perception. So I may have to tweak up the value on offensive linemen just a little.

I'm not sure about that. You see people complain that offensive linemen are underrepresented in the NFL MVP award, or the Hall of Fame, or maybe on Doug's AV list. But there's a good reason for that -- offensive lineman are not very valuable compared to QBs. Sure, offensive linemen are valuable, but that's only because there are five of them.

When people rank Darrell Green over Cris Carter, I think people think something like this. Darrell Green was pretty clearly one of the five best cover men of the last 25 years, and maybe was the best one, or second best, or third best. Cris Carter probably wasn't one of the best five wide receivers, and clearly wasn't the best one, or the second best one. Some could argue that Carter wasn't even in the top ten (Rice, Moss, Harrison, Owens, Largent, Irvin, Holt, Brown, Bruce, Lofton), although that might be pushing it. Either way, it seems clear to me that Carter ranks lower on the WR list than Green does on the CB list. Similar to your Butler/Brunell point later.

But that doesn't mean Carter wasn't more valuable than Green, if wide receivers are more valuable than cornerbacks (I'm not saying they are; but I think you need to get a strong gauge of the value of the positions before you tweak your system too much. On the other hand, while "safeties" might not be important, players like Reed, Polamalu, Sanders and Sean Taylor had incredible impacts over the past half decade.)

By: Richie Tue, 22 Apr 2008 16:14:42 +0000 This week Peter King listed a comparison of career stats for McNair and Brunell. Those two guys have very similar numbers. (Brunell is the backup in New Orleans now, right?)

The main difference between them is that McNair beat Brunell in the 1999 AFC Championship game (in Jacksonville). Had Brunell won, then he would obviously have a Super Bowl appearance and McNair wouldn't. Pretty interesting.

By: Richie Tue, 22 Apr 2008 16:09:55 +0000 In your phase 2 experiment about comparing pairs of players, I think it's possible that those of us who think we are capable of evaluating football players more thoughtfully may end up siding with the non-skill guys. I know that's what I did when I looked at the list.

"These guys seem pretty close, so I'll pick the lineman."

By: Richie Tue, 22 Apr 2008 16:06:51 +0000 I used to detail Clay Matthews' car.

By: mrh Tue, 22 Apr 2008 15:19:01 +0000 Just to be upfront, I'm a Chiefs fan.

I agree with the general point made about QBs.

I have to say, I don't see how the algorithm rates Tiki and Will Shields equal and I think the FBG board voters are right. Just to compare:
Tiki - 10 seasons, 109 starts, 3 Pro Bowls, 1 All-Pro, 3 years where he made some of All-Pro type list (recent add to bottom of player record)
Shields - 14 seasons, 223 consecutive starts (all but game one of his rookie year), 12 Pro Bowls, 2 All-Pro, and (9 years where he made an All-Pro type selction).

Guard is generally regarded as the least of the o-line positions, but Shields was one of, if not the best, guards of his generation. Tiki was an excellent RB but I don't think he was the best of his era - it actually took him a few years to become clearly the best RB on his team - and it was Ron Dayne he was stuck behind, not emmitt Smith or Barry Sanders. It took Shields one game to be the best at his position on his team.