Archive for January, 2014

Hickey and Analytics, what does he know?

NFL GMs over rate the value of high round draft picks.  Take a look at the NFL trade value chart.  The 5th  pick in the draft is worth almost the entire 5th and 6th rounds.  Does that make sense?    That is 60 picks versus one pick.  The 5th pick is worth 1700 points picks 129-188 are worth 1698.6.  Take a look at the last 10 years.  By year sometimes you might have preferred the 5th pick and sometimes you might have preferred picks 129-188.  I think mostly you would have preferred 129-188.

2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Patrick Peterson Eric Berry Marck Sanchez Glenn Dorsey Levi Brown
Richard Sherman Greg Hardy Chris Clemons Carl Nicks Kevin Boss
Charles Clay Reshad Jones Brandon Carr Brent Celek
Buster Skrine Riley Cooper John Sullivan Nick Folk
Deanrius Moore Kam Chancellor Antonio Johnson
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002
AJ Hawk Cadillac Williams Sean Taylor Terence Newman Quentin Jammer
Kyle Williams Michael Boley Michael Turner Robert Mathis Aaron Kampman
Rob Ninkovich Bo Scaiffie Antonio Smith David Diehl Scott Fukita
Dawan Landry Chris Kemoeatu Corey Williams Aubrayo Franklin Rocky Bernard
Erik Coleman Dan Koppen Kenyon Coleman

But cumulatively the difference is large.

5th Pick 129 – 188 129 – 188 129 – 188 129 – 188
Patrick Peterson Richard Sherman Aaron Kampman Nick Folk David Diehl
Quentin Jammer Greg Hardy Reshad Jones Antonio Johnson Aubrayo Franklin
Terence Newman Robert Mathis Riley Cooper Dawan Landry Tony Pashos
Eric Berry Carl Nicks Chris Clemons Michael Boley Scott Fukita
Sean Taylor Kyle Williams Brandon Carr Bo Scaiffie Rocky Bernard
AJ Hawk Rob Ninkovich John Sullivan Antonio Smith Kenyon Coleman
Glenn Dorsey Michael Turner Buster Skrine Corey Williams
Levi Brown Dan Koppen Deanrius Moore Erik Coleman
Marck Sanchez Charles Clay Kevin Boss Gibril Wilson
Cadillac Williams Kam Chancellor Brent Celek Jake Scott

 The top guys from the 5th and 6th round match up well with what you would get with the 5th pick.  I say better but on top of that you get a whole team of players that started 3 or more years in the NFL of varying quality.  Some aren’t so hot, but some made one or more pro-bowls, mostly average NFL starters.  The real value of NFL draft positions is something more like this.

Trade down.  Trade this year’s picks for more pick’s next year.  Stock pile picks by taking advantage of the misperceived value of higher round picks.  Take advantage of GM’s trying to make a splash and hang one more year.  Build a long term winner.

More Jordan less Wheeler, please.

I hope Jordan is dominant full time DE next year but Jordan is a tweener.   The player he most reminds me of coming out of college is Manny Lawson, same height /weight/position questions, and he ended up as a 4-3 line backer.    This isn’t just me, this what the Dolphin’s coaching staff thought of him this past year.  I do not want that to happen next year.  If Jordan is not a full time DE play him at OLB.  He has the ability and Phillip Wheeler was horrible.

Going into to next year with the same linebackers and expecting different results is not smart.  It was not the coaching that caused Wheeler to miss tackle after tackle.    The guaranteed part of Wheeler’s contract is a sunk cost.  If Jordan is not a full time DE next year,  I want to see him force Wheeler off the field.

Why does Zach Lowe think so little of Wins Produced?

Why does Zach Lowe think so little of Wins Produced?

“I take everything into account: I watch a gazillion games, scour film, talk to talent evaluators all over the league, and consider every publicly available statistic I can find.”

 Via NBA Geek DeAndre Jordan is the NBA’s top center.  Zach selects DeMarcus Cousins, who is having a decent year, and does not even mention DeAndre Jordan .  Why?   Aside from scoring let’s compare the two players numbers using this Win Score formula.   A steal is worth a point, an ORB is +1, a DRB is worth .5,  an assist is worth .5, a block is worth .5, a PF is worth -.5, and TO is worth -1.   Jordan is a slightly better rebounder he averages a full ORB and .3 DRB more than Cousins per 48.   Cousins averages 3.1 more assists per game but he also averages 3.2 more TOs.   Jordan averages 1.7 more blocks.  Cousins averages 1.3 more steals and 1.3 more PFs.  Tally it all up  1 ORB + .3DRB(.5) for Jordan = 1.15 points for Jordan.   3.1(.5) Assists for Cousins – 3.2 TOs.  Jordan is up 2.8 points + 1.7(.5) blocks and Jordan is up 3.65 points – 1.3 Cousins steals is 2.35 + 1.3(.5) fewer PF per game for Jordan means Jordan is worth about 3 extra points per 48 minutes.

But Cousins averages 34.3 points per 48 and Jordan only 13.06 and Cousins efficiency is above league average.  Counting 2 FT as one shot attempt Cousins averages 1.08 points per shot attempt which is above the league average of 1.06 points per shot attempt.  So there we have it Cousins an All Star and Jordan doesn’t even rate a mention.  Right?  Wait.  Jordan averages 1.16 points per shot attempt which is excellent.  It is true he only takes 11.25 shot attempts per game.   Which is better?

Let’s take a look.  The average NBA team takes 91.8 shot attempts per game and averages 97.27 points for 1.06 points per shot attempt.  Cousins takes 31.75 shot attempts per 48 and scores 1.08 points per shot attempt.  Let’s replace 31.75 of an averages team’s shots with Cousins output and keep the rest the same.  We get (31.75*1.08 = 34.3) + 60.05*1.06 = 98 points per game.  So Cousins’ offense improves our average NBA team’s points by .75.  Let’s do the Same for Jordan.  We get (11.25*1.16 = 13.06) + 80.05*1.06 = 98.4 points per game.  So Jordan’s offense improves our average NBA team’s points by 1.13.   Wow shooting efficiency really matters!

You cannot claim that Jordan’s excellent FG% numbers are just a product of Chris Paul because before the arrival of Chris Paul he had a better FG%.    Jordan also had a higher Offensive Rating than his team’s before and after the arrival of Chris Paul.  Via

So arguments about the dead weight effect of Jordan on Offense do not seem to make much sense.

I showed how Jordan is worth 3.4 extra points per 48.  The real number Via NBA Geek is 4.9.  The bottom line is based on numbers instead of aesthetics is that Jordan is the better player.

The problem wasn’t, the Offensive Line, It wasn’t the O-Line Coach, it was Tannehill.

 Armando is dead wrong.  As much as anything else sacks are a function of QB play.  Anyone who watched Marino should know this.  Tannehill has no pocket sense and holds onto the ball way too long.  That is the problem.

The Offensive Line pass blocking was average.  Run Blocking is another story.  Pro Football focus which Armando likes to link to when it shows he is right but not when it shows he is wrong rated the Dolphins Offensive Line 14 in Pass Blocking Efficiency.   The Dolphin’s gave up an average amount of pressure.  Actually they were slightly better than average.  Why did they give up so many sacks?   Tannehill held the ball too long.  Time after time.

 The worst part about it is that Tannehill rated 35th in the leagues in deep pass completion rating.  Completion percentage of passes greater than 15 yards.  He held onto the ball too long.  Hoping to make big plays down the field that he is not capable of making often enough.  If Sherman had a problem it was that he trusted Tannehill’s ability to make a play down the field too much.

Pure Mood affiliation

Pure Mood affiliation

Do we need a cultural shift regarding single parenthood?   Yes, based on the above essay, I say we desperately need a shift.

Does marriage alleviate poverty?  Yes.

‘”It’s clear that married-couple families are better off economically, because there are potentially two workers in the family,” says Margaret Simms, a fellow at the Urban Institute and director of its Low-Income Working Families Project. “But you cannot solve poverty by just marrying people if – jointly – they cannot generate sufficient income to raise a family above poverty.”’

You still have to actually work.  Marriage doesn’t supply you with a magic cash flow but yep it pretty much eliminates poverty.

So we should encourage marriage, right?  Nope.  Why not?  Because children of single mothers who later married found almost no, which is another way of saying found some, physical or mental health benefits and oh yeah some of those marriages ended in divorce.

‘In her own research and elsewhere, studies have overwhelmingly found very few benefits to marriage for single mothers and their children. Williams has looked at more than 30 years worth of national data and found almost no physical or mental health benefits to children of single mothers who later married. Another national study found that nearly two-thirds of single mothers who did later marry were divorced by the time they were 35-44. A study of the marriage-promotion programs funded through welfare reform also found few long-term results.’

That isn’t a coherent argument against encouraging marriage.  It is an argument that poverty doesn’t matter.  If marriage greatly reduces poverty but the more important indicators, such as the physical and mental well being of children, still do not improve despite improved material well being, poverty does not matter.

Again it is not a choice of encouraging marriage, which is really just a proxy for stable long term relationships, or government programs aimed at helping single parents.  We can do both.

Watching someone tie themselves into knots trying to explain away the obvious and huge benefits of marriage shows just how badly we need a cultural shift regarding single parenthood.

Tannehill’s Unfortunate Career Arc

How QBs age.  Tannehill is 25.  His Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt ranked 28 last year.   From his current ANPA plot where he will be in a few years on the graph below.  From 25 to 28-29 we can expect a two year peak where Tannehill enjoys about plus .4 Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt.  That .4 increase would put him in Case Keenum territory at 24th in the league.  All this is based on the assumption that Tannehill is a 10+ year QB.  So Tannehill’s improvement curve looks to be from the bottom to a peak of below average for 2 – 3 years.

The secret formula that eliminates poverty.

The secret formula that eliminates poverty.

Again, maybe we could just inform people of the benefits of not having children out of wedlock?  Why not treat single parenthood like teen pregnancy?    What if a magic formula existed that would make it 8 times less likely that your children would grow up in poverty?   What if millions of people were not taking it and their children were growing up in poverty?   Would we say, ‘It’s not realistically (or desirably) in Washington’s power to force parents to drink the magic formula’ and leave it at that?  Or would we scream at the top of our lungs that people should drink the magic formula and stop condemning themselves and their children to a life of poverty.  Obliviously the later.  Marriage isn’t a magic formula, but encouraging marriage, by detailing the enormous costs to children of single parenthood, seems like it might help at the margin.