Tuesday, July 19, 2016

AFC North __ Analysis __ A Storytelling Approach.


"Psychologists have referred to stories as "psychologically privileged," meaning that our minds treat stories differently than other types of material. People find stories interesting, easy to understand, and easy to remember. "


So I am going tell tell you stories about conferences and divisions in the next 8 articles. 

I do this to help you think about the data landscapes and remember information to use going into your drafts.  

The professor now assigns you homework. Take your data and opinions and make your own stories. 

The prologue to my stories is shown in the first two figures

Figure 1 is a landscape view and the overall stories are there to see. Its an overview and goes from teams that had fewer failed drives to those that had more failures. Figure 2 below it is the tabular data color coded for the data. I scaled the data (# of TDs, FGs and Failures) divided by the number of drives to equilibrate all of the teams. Review these figures and then proceed. 

2015 was a typical year composed of teams who excelled (green) and teams who struggled with many failures (red). 

Teams were able to score TDs, some did not score many at all. 

Several Team settled for FGs vs TDs instead. Some did neither. 

Its 2016 preseason and hope springs eternal.  

Teams (NE, CAR, ARI, SEA, PIT, CIN, MIN, NYG, and KC) in green wish to stay there 


red stained teams (CLE, IND, PHI, HOU, SF, MIA, TEN, and LAR) do not. 

As FF players you must see the past as only a setting for the 2016 story that will be unfolding. 


                                  Story 1.  AFC North

Lets start our tale with a series of area graphs which illustrate each of the 4 team's 2015. I call these area graphs a team landscape. T

The categories are : 

A) Ratio of TD/FG. Success Metric. This could point to a kicker. This metric measures the fortitude of the team. Could they get the ball into the endzone for a TD or did they settle for a FG

B/C) Rushing TDs vs Passing TDs. These 2 match pair metrics measure the bias of the 2015 team's scoring success. Does this team going by ground/pound or by air? RBs vs WRs. 

D/E/F) WR_RB or TEs passing TDs. In the Red Zone, what was the mode of TD strikes? RBs WRs or TEs? This should tip yous hand for your first level of focus in 2016 draft.

G/H) Metrics that measure Pass vs Rushing Attempts and Pass vs Rushing Yards Gained. What mode brings home the bacon? (Pass vs Run?) Should allow a focus to or from WRs RBs and or TEs. 

I) A simple ratio metric of Pass vs Rushing Scoring! This confirms the emphasis the team had in 2015. Run first Pass First or Balanced? 
                                BAL 2015

BAL, as we go down the data lane, we acknowledge that team in 2015 had a lack of TDs vs FGs. 

A (-10) score is not positive. Bal left a lot of points on the field! 

Their mode of action was slightly to the pass but fairly balanced when they did score. 

When passing for their TDs in the red zone,  they neglected their WRs relative to their RBs and TEs. Passing catching RBs/TEs were showcased. 

This team knew their show was passing and biased their games to the passing side if judging by the Pass/Run ATTs and Yds. 

Our story of the 2015 BAL team moves now to how the public is currently viewing this team in 2016. 

The next figure is a summary figure that reveals the public's rankings for all of the 32 teams. The AFC North teams are stained in pink! I gathered the public's player rankings, averaged them and present the average in the column labeled "Current Public Ranking". Then I subtracted the public's league average from the first column and generated the public's ranking scaled to the average (2nd Column). 

Positive numbers are teams that have above average players as ranked by the public. 

Negative numbers are the teams whose players are rated as below average by the public. 

I color coded the columns of Blue (High) to Red (Low) and in the second column using Green (Above Average) and Red (Below Average). 

The BAL Team is currently rated as low and way below average. The public is responding to the 2015 season. The BAL team is ranked last in the AFC north! That means players you like on the BAL will be available later in the drafts and would be no as desired.  

The Next Series of 4 Tables list the 4 AFC North Teams color coded via Teams and Positional Rankings. Green are high ranked positions and red staining means the players are lowly ranked. 

BAL has players in the QB, RB and WR that are lowly ranked and again as a Team and group these players are not highly ranked by the public. 

The story next turns to the Rankings Distribution in each team. BAL has a balanced ranking between the WR and RBs. 

We finally focus on BAL's players specifically. BAL has only 2 players near the league average, Justin Forsett and Steve Smith. These will be found later in drafts. 

BAL's 2015 has lower the price on all its players. I suggest doing research to target any sleepers you find on the BAL team. 


The story of 2015 for the CIN was much different than BAL. We see that CIN was very efficent in scoring TDs to FGs. The team was biased to the rush vs the pass. The below average passing data, ATTs and YDs all point to the 2 RBs of CIN keeping them in the games. These two RBs will be expected to continue and I suspect CIN will try to fire up its passing. This team showed solid potential esp in the RBs. 

This year the public likes the CIN team. They are highly rated with a Team score of 53.3, third highest in the league and highest in the AFC North. So looking at the 2015 story, I am concerned that this rating is too high! Be cautious. Its a passing league and rushing is not the way to the superbowl. 

Positional analysis of the CIN rates the WRs as the highest in the AFC North. again 96.3 is very high as a group. Scaled back your rankings. The RBs and TEs are also nicely ranked. Look at the 2015. The team will score vs FGs but was not above average in the red zone TD production for passing to any of the positions. 

The positional distribution is show in the doughnut figure and give the bias to the WR, not the RBs and TEs are tied. CIN is expecting their TEs to produce this year. This may be too high of a ranking. 

We finally add in the public's current view of the CIN players. The public loves A J Green  with a 98.6. Again just think about the 2015 story and maybe that is too high. The RBs and TEs are tied as you might predict. I might consider the WR2 on the CIN team as a surprise. 


The CLE team's 2015 story was a one note show. They were not efficient in scoring vs FGs. As with BAL they left points on the field. The 2015 CLE team was baised to the pass and in the red zone they went to the RBs. All the Passing ATTs and YDs were above average. They must get the running game going to move up in this group. 

The public rates the current CLE team as slightly average with 44.2. Nothing dramatic here. The positional report seems to be weak on the WRs and average on the RB and TE positions. So we have a 2015 story of a passing based team but weak WRs. They implies the RB and TEs are expected to be major passing players as a group. They might be solid performers this year.  

The CLE team is fairly balanced and nothing here gives us much thought. 

The players on the CLE are rated by the public as below average accept for the RB Duke Johnson (67.1). Given the 2015 story he must play a role in the passing or he will not earn his keep. Additionally, the TE or WR will have to step up. Barnidge the TE is rated average and could improve. He is a solid pick up in PPR leagues. 


The 2015 PIT team had a start stop season with the injuries they had to deal with. That narrative is supported by the below average of the TD vs FG ratio (-4). They were not as efficient as needed to be. They are a run based scoring team and when a TD is done by passing in the red zone it is to the WRs and TEs. RBs were light in pass TDs. PIT passed well but failed to convert as they should. I and the public expect a bounce back. I expect the TD vs FG ratio to go up and they without injuries should be a solid team. 

The public this year sees PIT as average and I think may be placing too much weight on the 2015 story. They are rated 2nd in the AFC North but are contenders with no injuries. The Positional analysis by the public says the QB and RB are rated high and have higher expectations than the WRs as a group. No injuries should shift PIT to a more balanced efficient team. 
Analysis of the positional balance suggests a RB and QB based team. No surprise

We end the PIT story with the public's view of the players. Bell is rated at 98.6 very high. Injury is a concern. Also Brown the WR is the show. The other WRs are not expected to have a large role as predicted by the public. 

If I took Brown at the 1st pick, I may grab one of the other WRs as a CUFF in case of injury of Brown. So this Team need no injuries and a step up by someone else. 

Losing the TE opens the door and maybe Green is the surprise here. He is worth a gamble given the 2015 story of PIT showing the role TEs can play. A sleeper as is the other TE as well. 

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