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Matt’s Musings | NFL Data Study, Week 12

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Every Monday, I find myself in a bit of NFL data purgatory. We’re waiting for the week to come to a proper ending, and the data is still yet to be finalized. It’s a great time, however, to look at some historical trends and do some digging on some things we can leverage in the upcoming week.

This piece will be out Tuesdays but won’t have the same format or topic each week. The formula will change as I poke around with the data we have access to here. It’ll just be my musings on something that caught my eye. If there’s something to it, I’ll give you some way to leverage the conclusions in fantasy for the upcoming week.

 

 

Checking in on aYFOG

For the uninitiated, you can head back to the first edition of this piece for reference. YFOG (“yards from own goal”) is just as it sounds — 1 YFOG would be your own 1-yard line while 99 YFOG would be the opponent’s 1-yard line. This data point is entered into the play-by-play data for each play. Running a simple average on those numbers can help you get a feel for where a team is running the majority of their plays; we’ll call it aYFOG. The tl;dr version is that a team’s aYFOG is correlated to scoring opportunities and captures a lot of information about a team into one metric. If a team is running many plays on their opponent’s side of the field, they’re more likely to score points.

Updating Scoring Expectation (Relative to aYFOG)

Back in Week 8, I revisited my metric aYFOG to look at how offenses were performing at the halfway point. This is how things looked then.

Chart, bar chart

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We would expect some shrinkage toward zero as the sample becomes larger. Historically, if we look at season-long aYFOG we can explain about 40% of a team’s scoring.