For this week I wanted to take a look at the OTC valuation and see how it compared to the NFL records for the season. For those unaware of our valuation metric, essentially it boils down a player’s value to his team based on the position he plays, his playing time, various statistical measures and Pro Football Focus grades. We publish weekly valuations free of charge on our valuation page while OTC premium subs have access to each week as well as the player’s overall value on the season. This is the first year we have done this and will likely tweak this a bit in the future after watching it play out on a weekly basis to fix what I think are some bugs in the system, but I think it should be a good tool to put a different type of way to read a team’s performance.
The following chart plots the teams win percentage through 13 games against the OTC valuation of all players on a teams roster through week 13.
The chart is sectioned off into quadrants based on the average NFL performance. Teams in the top right basically have a high value per the OTC metric and a good record. Teams in the lower right would be those with a below average record but high valuation. The top left are those with a below average value but a good record. Everything is bad with the teams in the bottom left. The chart does look skewed but that is because of the outlier that is the Miami Dolphins who have been, by design, in a class all their own this year.
Overall I thought this was a pretty good showing. The overall R2 of this is close to a 0.5 and more so than that most of the teams in the above average category are primarily the leaders in the race for the playoffs while the bad teams are indeed showing up as bad teams in the valuation metric.
The teams that are the most interesting to me are those in the upper left and bottom right quadrants as they are kind of bucking the trends. The Titans is probably a combination of a team taking advantage of a schedule and a late change at QB. Ryan Tannehill has played incredibly well for the Titans down the stretch but his overall value is compromised because he didn’t play for the first 5 weeks of the season. Its really his insertion into the lineup that has bumped them back into the playoff hunt and had he played all year I would anticipate them being in the above average category.
The other team there is Chicago who are more or less completely schedule dependent this year. They have one quality win (the Vikings) and the rest have come against the Broncos, Giants, Lions, Redskins, and Cowboys. Its similar to a team like the Jets getting some wins because they play the NFC East and the Dolphins despite a poor performance. Trubisky has of course played better of late so maybe they can jump into the other quadrant.
Dallas and Tampa are the oddest two teams in the NFL and clearly perform better on an individual level than as a team. We all know that there is usually some correlation between positions and the flow of games but in both cases we are not seeing results on the field. In Dallas’ situation I think some of the blame likely goes on coaching decisions. They have played very conservative at times and its cost them wins. Tampa just makes too many boneheaded mistakes that have cost them wins. Jameis Winston does a lot of good things but the bad things are often really bad and come at inopportune times.
The Panthers played competitive football until the last few weeks and have some good parts. The bottom fell out as the schedule stiffened and injuries piled up. My guess is they will float more to the left by the end of the season as their better players see the bench for more weeks.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.