Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Revisiting Age Associated Decline of NFL Players for Fantasy Purposes: 2010 Brothers Keeper Final Roster Update

Tiki Barber RB: "36 isn't old! 'Old' is just a word!"
Last year I introduced you to Doug Drinen's research regarding the importance of age associated decline of NFL players. To summarize his conclusion in his own words again, "According to this data, the word 'old' means 28 for a running back, 30 for a receiver, and 32 for a quarterback. This is probably not a surprise, as it squares fairly well with conventional wisdom." We then considered that there are indeed anomalies who do not fit this "conventional wisdom." But in general, this is pretty accurate. Are you listening Tiki Barber?

Following the introduction I then applied Drinen's conclusions to the final rosters of the 2009 Brothers Keeper season excluding the age of kickers and defensive players from the analysis. The results were different than merely taking the pure average age of those same players together regardless of their position. Rather than mindlessly assess without regard for positional differences, I used Drinen's figures as the baseline and then figured the average by the number of players considered (since teams did not have the same number of position players). Utilizing that method, how do the final 2010 Brothers Keeper rosters look this offseason?

Team                     Avg Age
Ghost                         25.69
Yankinfowlsandfeline    25.77
TheSloppyButts           26.08
Rmmm's Dropping 3's   27.67
Yer X-MOM                  27.69
Points ON the Bench   27.77
SOCIAL ISoTopes         27.92
Simba's Buttkicker!       28.62
Kabuki Strikes Back     29.08

Team                     Total Years Above/Below Age of Decline
Yankinfowlsandfeline     -50
Ghost                          -49
TheSloppyButts            -44
Yer X-MOM                   -28
SOCIAL ISoTopes          -24
Points ON the Bench     -23
Rmmm's Dropping 3's    -18
Simba's Buttkicker!        -8
Kabuki Strikes Back      -4

Team                      Average Years Above/Below Age of Decline
Yankinfowlsandfeline     -3.85
Ghost                          -3.77
TheSloppyButts            -3.67
Yer X-MOM                   -2.15
SOCIAL ISoTopes         -1.85
Points ON the Bench     -1.77
Rmmm's Dropping 3's    -1.5
Simba's Buttkicker!       -0.62
Kabuki Strikes Back     -0.31

Let me conclude by quoting my concluding paragraphs from last year as a helpful reminder:
These stats are only helpful to understand who may or may not be as poised to make a long term impact in Brothers Keeper from the available players on the final rosters of [2010]. Those at the top of the lists have a better chance of retaining talent below the normal age of decline than those at the bottom of the lists. While it may be more probable, it is still possible for a team like [Points ON the Bench] to keep players that are older than Kabuki Strikes Back might keep and therefore these lists are in no way a final predictor of fantasy success in the long term.

A few caveats are also necessary. This does not account for future NFL strength of schedule and other factors like offensive linemen turnover/age/effectiveness. This should not directly correlate to fantasy points. It does not factor in over usage of players who may burn out faster. This may have some correlation to injuries but not entirely as some injuries are entirely random. This is merely a snapshot in time of how young the current fantasy rosters are and a small projection of the probability of keeping talent below the age of decline. Some teams are more able to keep players younger than the declining ages than other fantasy teams.
So as we begin to consider next year's fantasy football keeper selection and fantasy drafts we'll again be able to look at our squads and hope for future success. Compared to last year's final rosters, this year's set of final rosters is striking because no team is, on average, above the age of decline going in to 2011.

On a side note, I hope you enjoy the new look and feel of the blog. It will be modified and updated in certain sections in the near future.

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