Creating Simple 2013 Projections

In the first part of a series on creating dynasty rankings, Scott Spratt outlines a simple set of formulas to make 2013 projections.

| 4 years ago

In the first part of a series on creating dynasty rankings, Scott Spratt outlines a simple set of formulas to make 2013 projections.

Creating Simple 2013 Projections


In a few weeks, I will join fellow dynasty writers Bryan Fontaine and Chad Parsons in their monthly composite dynasty rankings. Traditionally, I have arrived at rankings in various formats before my drafts, after which I’ve made adjustments less formally. For my sanity, I decided that now was the time to improve the efficiency of that process, and so I have started to translate that production into database queries that will make it easier for me to duplicate the work.

I have done a lot of research into player value in future seasons based on risk classifications, which I plan to include down the line. First, I need 2013 projections. Previously, I have relied on available projections like those we publish on the site or on previous season value-based drafting assessments that I have manually adjusted. Those methods are fine for near-draft preparation, but I need a system that is updated to include the most recent statistics on my schedule, and so I decided to create my own projections.

I am unabashedly fascinated by projection systems, and I fully intend to create a sophisticated one of my own in the future. However, Bryan probably wants some rankings from me before 2015, so I am going to use as simple a method as I believe is appropriate.

First, our dynasty rankings are intended to be universally applicable. The only declared specific of the rule set is PPR. Otherwise, it is a blank slate. Of course, I am a pedant, and so I feel compelled to spell out that I will rank players based on a 10-team league with 16-man rosters and standard PPR scoring. Here is the roster breakdown:

 

Position Starters/Team Total Starters VBD Total
QB 1 10 16
RB 2 20 36
WR 3 30 60
TE 1 10 12
DST 1 10 10
K 1 10 10
BENCH 7 70 16
160 160

 

The VBD total column identifies the player rank of each position that I designate as the replacement level. I reallocated the 70 total bench slots among the four major positions, assuming each team would carry only one kicker and one defense. The 16 unallocated bench slots represent flier or handcuff selections that do not affect the replacement level. For example, if I needed a running back in a given week because of byes or injury, I would not pick up Bernard Pierce. In a 10-team league, there will be better options on the wire. However, if I owned Ray Rice, I might prefer to own Pierce over someone on the wire I would expect to outscore him that specific week.

For the projections, I opted for a 5-3-2 weighted average of player production in 2012, 2011, and 2010. That method works well for the Roddy Whites of the world that never miss a game. However, I needed a way to handle players like Peyton Manning. His missing of the entire 2011 season does not dramatically impact my opinion of his prospects in 2013, so it would be unfair to allocate him a zero for 30 percent of his average.

Strangely, I feel more confident in Manning than I do in someone like Michael Vick or Ahmad Bradshaw, neither of whom has missed a season in recent years but both of whom routinely miss a few games each year.

Injuries threatened to make this exercise complicated, but simple was my directive, and so I made some arbitrary determinations. First, if a player missed all of either 2011 or 2010, I used a weighted average of 2-1 in 2012 and the other healthy season. For rookies or players that only had 2012 data, I gave it the full weight.

I handled the in-season injuries a bit more subtly. Since I deemed those more likely to repeat, I wanted to penalize players that had missed time. When a player is out, you replace him with the best available option, which I would define as it applies universally as the replacement level. Well, I already outlined where the replacement level is at every position, which means I had everything I needed to create a formula. Here is the one for a player that has not missed a recent season:

 

2013 Points =

0.5 * (2012 Games * 2012 PPG + (16 – 2012 Games) * 2012 Replacement-level PPG) +

0.3 * (2011 Games * 2011 PPG + (16 – 2011 Games) * 2011 Replacement-level PPG) +

0.2 * (2010 Games * 2010 PPG + (16 – 2010 Games) * 2010 Replacement-level PPG)

 

That formula does not tell you how many points the player will score, but rather the points you expect out of his position because you drafted him. And, really, that is the more important information.

I only used points scored for the first 16 weeks of each season since most leagues exclude week 17, and so every player has at least one week of replacement-level production in their projection to account for their bye week. To clean up the results a bit, I added filters so that a player had to play at least six games to be included in a season and that a quarterback had to combine for at least 20 pass and rush attempts to be considered in a game.

Here are the results by position:

 

Player Pos ExpPoints
Aaron Rodgers QB 368
Cam Newton QB 360
Robert Griffin III QB 359
Drew Brees QB 352
Tom Brady QB 346
Michael Vick QB 313
Peyton Manning QB 312
Matthew Stafford QB 307
Andrew Luck QB 306
Matt Ryan QB 304
Tony Romo QB 303
Colin Kaepernick QB 291
Russell Wilson QB 290
Ben Roethlisberger QB 283
Andy Dalton QB 269
Jake Locker QB 266
Josh Freeman QB 264
Philip Rivers QB 264
Carson Palmer QB 262
Eli Manning QB 261
Joe Flacco QB 256
Jay Cutler QB 253
Matt Schaub QB 253
Nick Foles QB 253
Ryan Fitzpatrick QB 251
Matt Cassel QB 248
Alex D. Smith QB 244
Chad Henne QB 244
Matt Hasselbeck QB 238
Christian Ponder QB 233
Sam Bradford QB 227
Ryan Tannehill QB 225
Mark Sanchez QB 221
Brady Quinn QB 217
Blaine Gabbert QB 213
Brandon Weeden QB 203

 

The top of the quarterback board looks similar to everywhere else. Michael Vick is the first surprise at six, which in a way makes sense. In recent seasons, Vick has always been productive when he’s been on the field, and you should be able to combine Vick with a replacement-level player in the weeks he misses to create a top-10 quarterback. However, this method likely still overrates him a bit because of the pass and rush attempts filter. It does not consider games where Vick leaves early, and those are killers.

Colin Kaepernick is at 12, which is pretty good when you consider he became the starter in week 10 and so is saddled with replacement-level production for the first half of the season. Kaepernick is a prime example of the type of player this method will systematically undervalue, which is one that sees his role expand in the middle of a season. I expect to see names like C.J. Spiller with a similar bearish projection.

 

Player Pos ExpPoints
Arian Foster RB 334
Doug Martin RB 314
Ray Rice RB 311
Adrian L. Peterson RB 306
LeSean McCoy RB 284
Trent Richardson RB 264
Jamaal Charles RB 259
Alfred Morris RB 258
Matt Forte RB 249
Marshawn Lynch RB 243
Chris D. Johnson RB 234
Darren Sproles RB 232
Maurice Jones-Drew RB 226
Frank Gore RB 224
Darren McFadden RB 221
Ahmad Bradshaw RB 221
Steven Jackson RB 219
Fred Jackson RB 208
Mikel Leshoure RB 207
Reggie Bush RB 207
Michael Turner RB 205
Ryan Mathews RB 203
C.J. Spiller RB 198
DeMarco Murray RB 194
BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB 180
Knowshon Moreno RB 179
Andre Brown RB 178
Shonn Greene RB 177
Willis McGahee RB 173
Stevan Ridley RB 171
Rashard Mendenhall RB 170
Pierre Thomas RB 164
Mike Tolbert RB 160
Joique Bell RB 160
Michael Bush RB 159
Jonathan Stewart RB 155
Peyton Hillis RB 152
DeAngelo Williams RB 152
Felix Jones RB 150
Danny Woodhead RB 148
Beanie Wells RB 142
Kevin Smith RB 142
Rashad Jennings RB 136
Chris Ivory RB 134
Donald Brown RB 133
James Starks RB 133
Marcel Reece RB 132
Vick Ballard RB 132
Jonathan Dwyer RB 129
LeGarrette Blount RB 123
Alex Green RB 121
Curtis Brinkley RB 120
Daniel Thomas RB 119
Mike Goodson RB 119
Jacquizz Rodgers RB 119
Ben Tate RB 117
Mark Ingram RB 117
Bilal Powell RB 116
Shane Vereen RB 116
Brandon Bolden RB 113
Ronnie Brown RB 110
Dorin Dickerson RB 109
Kendall Hunter RB 107
Jalen Parmele RB 107
Jamie Harper RB 107
Lance Dunbar RB 105
Anthony Allen RB 104
Lamar Miller RB 103
Cedric Peerman RB 103
Dion Lewis RB 103
Rhett Ellison RB 101
Montario Hardesty RB 100
James Casey RB 100
Greg Jones II RB 99
Bryce Brown RB 99
Chris Ogbonnaya RB 99
Tashard Choice RB 97
Delone Carter RB 97
Jackie Battle RB 97
Lance Ball RB 97
Isaac Redman RB 96
LaRod Stephens-Howling RB 95
Darrel Young RB 93
Shaun Draughn RB 93
Anthony Dixon RB 92
David Wilson RB 91
Toby Gerhart RB 89
William Powell RB 89
Baron Batch RB 89
Lex Hilliard RB 89
Justin Forsett RB 89
Daryl Richardson RB 88
Jason Snelling RB 86
John Kuhn RB 85
Evan Royster RB 85
Jed Collins RB 85
Armando Allen RB 84
Michael Robinson RB 82
Le’Ron McClain RB 82
Mewelde Moore RB 82
Stanley Havili RB 81
Robert Turbin RB 81
Isaiah Pead RB 81
Bernard Pierce RB 80
Bruce Miller RB 75
Brian Leonard RB 74
Lawrence Vickers RB 74
Darius Reynaud RB 74
Jorvorskie Lane RB 74
Ronnie Hillman RB 73
Henry Hynoski RB 73
Quinn Johnson RB 71
Joe McKnight RB 71
Erik Lorig RB 70
Danny Ware RB 66
Will Johnson RB 62
Chris Rainey RB 60
Leon Washington RB 59
Vonta Leach RB 59

 

The top of the running back board comingles Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, and Alfred Morris with the likes of Ray Rice and Jamaal Charles despite the differences I have in confidence in their projections given their disparate track records. That is fine. The valuation method I use to price players accounts for risk, and so that will be accounted for later.

There is Spiller down at 23, and a few spots later, Stevan Ridley. Ridley suffers a similar but slightly different problem. One third of his projection is based on a 2011 season before he was a featured player, but he still played, and so that (non-)production is still a part of his average. Accounting for that in the query would be too complicated, and it affects few enough players that I can manually adjust them later.

A few prospects like Lamar Miller and David Wilson start to show up in the 50s. This method is built on past production, and so it is useless for these types of players. I will have to return to them later, as well.

 

Player Pos ExpPoints
Calvin Johnson WR 337
Wes Welker WR 291
Brandon Marshall WR 284
Roddy White WR 281
A.J. Green WR 277
Victor Cruz WR 267
Andre Johnson WR 257
Marques Colston WR 255
Julio Jones WR 254
Dez Bryant WR 251
Reggie Wayne WR 251
Vincent Jackson WR 249
Percy Harvin WR 239
Eric Decker WR 231
Mike Wallace WR 226
Steve Johnson WR 225
Demaryius Thomas WR 221
Hakeem Nicks WR 218
Dwayne Bowe WR 217
Larry Fitzgerald WR 216
Steve L. Smith WR 215
Michael Crabtree WR 213
Brandon Lloyd WR 213
Greg Jennings WR 213
Jordy Nelson WR 211
Jeremy Maclin WR 210
Mike A. Williams WR 204
Miles Austin WR 203
Lance Moore WR 201
Pierre Garcon WR 194
James Jones WR 193
Randall Cobb WR 193
T.Y. Hilton WR 190
DeSean Jackson WR 189
Malcom Floyd WR 189
Danny Amendola WR 189
Anquan Boldin WR 188
Torrey Smith WR 185
Antonio Brown WR 184
Justin Blackmon WR 183
Denarius Moore WR 172
Santana Moss WR 171
Kenny Britt WR 170
Cecil Shorts WR 169
Nate Washington WR 169
Nate Burleson WR 169
Danario Alexander WR 168
Sidney Rice WR 164
Davone Bess WR 162
Brian Hartline WR 160
Kendall Wright WR 160
Josh Gordon WR 160
Mario Manningham WR 158
Donnie Avery WR 157
Laurent Robinson WR 155
Andre Roberts WR 153
Darrius Heyward-Bey WR 150
Titus Young WR 150
Jarius Wright WR 149
Domenik Hixon WR 145
Brandon LaFell WR 144
Jordan Shipley WR 144
Greg Little WR 144
Brandon Gibson WR 141
Chris Givens WR 140
Ryan Broyles WR 139
Brandon Stokley WR 136
Jeremy Kerley WR 136
Deion Branch WR 136
Alshon Jeffery WR 134
Donald Jones WR 133
Michael Floyd WR 132
Golden Tate WR 132
Armon Binns WR 132
Andrew Hawkins WR 129
Jason Avant WR 128
Steve Breaston WR 128
Robert Meachem WR 128
Rod Streater WR 125
Dexter McCluster WR 124
Braylon Edwards WR 124
Riley Cooper WR 123
Marvin Jones WR 123
Rueben Randle WR 122
Michael Jenkins WR 122
Steve Smith WR 122
Leonard Hankerson WR 120
Doug Baldwin WR 119
Dwayne Harris WR 119
Earl Bennett WR 119
Julian Edelman WR 119
Aldrick Robinson WR 119
Kevin Walter WR 119
Rishard Matthews WR 118
Josh Morgan WR 118
Emmanuel Sanders WR 115
Early Doucet WR 112
Joe Morgan WR 112
Juron Criner WR 111
Kevin Ogletree WR 111
Josh Cooper WR 110
Stephen Hill WR 110
Lestar Jean WR 110
Donald Driver WR 110
Armanti Edwards WR 109
Micheal Spurlock WR 109
Jerome Simpson WR 109
Mohamed Massaquoi WR 109
Damian Williams WR 108
Eddie Royal WR 108
Derek Hagan WR 108
DeVier Posey WR 107
Austin Pettis WR 107
Chaz Schilens WR 106
Brandon Banks WR 105
Lavelle Hawkins WR 105
Jamar Newsome WR 105
Kevin Elliott WR 104
Travis Benjamin WR 103
Cole Beasley WR 102
Marlon Moore WR 102
Tiquan Underwood WR 101
Randy Moss WR 101
Tandon Doss WR 99
Jacoby Jones WR 99
Jerrel Jernigan WR 98
Harry Douglas WR 98
Stephen Burton WR 98
Devin Hester WR 97
Mike Thomas WR 96
Louis Murphy WR 96
Jerricho Cotchery WR 94
Clyde Gates WR 93
Kyle Williams WR 93
Damaris Johnson WR 92
Joshua Cribbs WR 89
Devin Aromashodu WR 85
Brandon Tate WR 85
Devery Henderson WR 84
Jonathan Baldwin WR 83
Brad Smith WR 83
LaVon Brazill WR 82
T.J. Graham WR 79
Matt Willis WR 66
Keshawn Martin WR 57
Brian Quick WR 57

 

While Reggie Wayne nearly cracks the top-10, guys like Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Smith fail to crack the top-20. Sometimes, consistently elite players have a bad season, and this method will really punish them if that season was last season. I’m not so sure that is predictive.

 

Player Pos ExpPoints
Rob Gronkowski TE 256
Jimmy Graham TE 240
Jason Witten TE 227
Tony Gonzalez TE 214
Aaron Hernandez TE 205
Antonio Gates TE 192
Brandon Pettigrew TE 173
Heath Miller TE 169
Owen Daniels TE 165
Dustin Keller TE 163
Jermaine Gresham TE 163
Vernon Davis TE 160
Fred Davis TE 155
Dennis Pitta TE 154
Jermichael Finley TE 153
Greg Olsen TE 153
Brent Celek TE 150
Jared Cook TE 145
Jacob Tamme TE 144
Scott Chandler TE 142
Kyle Rudolph TE 142
Dallas Clark TE 140
Tom Crabtree TE 134
Brandon Myers TE 133
Marcedes Lewis TE 131
Dave Thomas TE 129
Ben Watson TE 128
Dwayne Allen TE 126
John Phillips TE 124
Gary Barnidge TE 123
Anthony Fasano TE 121
Tony Moeaki TE 120
James Hanna TE 119
Martellus Bennett TE 119
Bear Pascoe TE 118
Rob Housler TE 116
Matt Spaeth TE 115
Evan Moore TE 114
Zach J. Miller TE 111
David Ausberry TE 109
Anthony McCoy TE 109
Michael Palmer TE 108
Joel Dreessen TE 107
Coby Fleener TE 107
Tony Scheffler TE 107
Will Heller TE 106
D.J. Williams Jr. TE 105
Ed Dickson TE 105
Lance Kendricks TE 105
Matthew Mulligan TE 105
David Paulson TE 105
Daniel Fells TE 105
Jeff Cumberland TE 103
Garrett Graham TE 103
Logan Paulsen TE 102
Orson Charles TE 100
Charles Clay TE 99
Dante Rosario TE 98
Clay Harbor TE 94
Jeff King TE 94
Taylor Thompson TE 93
Delanie Walker TE 91
Niles Paul TE 91
Craig Stevens TE 86
John Carlson TE 86
Luke Stocker TE 85
Kellen Davis TE 80
Jordan Cameron TE 79
Konrad Reuland TE 71

 

Even with five games of replacement-level tight end production in 2012—which was terrible, by the way—Rob Gronkowski still easily paces the position. After the first six guys, the separation between players is very small. When you consider that Gonzalez and Gates may be on the way out, it appears you will need to invest an early pick to snag one of the top-four names. Otherwise, you’re better off waiting until the last round.

Overall, the projections seem realistic. That’s a start. Over the next few weeks, I will make the necessary adjustments and incorporate future value based on risk. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I have some rankings.

Scott Spratt also works for Baseball Info Solutions and writes for The Hardball Times.  Feel free to ask him questions on Twitter – @PFF_ScottSpratt

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  • WinterMute

    Scott, your work is straight gangster.  As someone who is in the finance world I can really appreciate your 2012 auction value series.  I hope others do too.  I’m looking forward to more of your analysis.  Keep up the great work.

    • Scott Spratt

      Thanks, WinterMute.

      • Wintermute

        The last podcast with you and Chad was the best one to date.  That was good radio. Keep it up.