Utilizing Quarterback Rushing Yards in Fantasy Football
As I’ve mentioned before, I will be publishing a fantasy football book this summer. I’ve been doing some fantasy football articles at a few other locations, and I just joined Pro Football Focus to provide some fantasy content leading into the 2012 season. My first post is up today, and it’s called “Leveraging Quarterback Rushing Yards Into a Competitive Advantage.” Check out the full post here.
Fantasy football can be paradoxical in that the “most important” stats to owners can often be the least useful. As an example, let’s look at quarterback stats. Touchdowns thrown and passing yards are obviously the king and prince of the fantasy football quarterback world, but their value is not nearly as significant as a quarterback’s rushing yards.
Wait, what!? When formulating pre-draft quarterback rankings, many owners rigorously study touchdowns and passing yards. A quick glance might be thrown toward rushing statistics, but why spend so much time on a stat that doesn’t pay off like The Big Two?
Well, two reasons. First, rushing yards represent an opportunity for owners to leverage superior knowledge into a competitive advantage. Whereas passing yards and touchdowns are already factored heavily into consensus rankings, quarterback rushing yards are often weighted too lightly or bypassed altogether. Ultimately, this means you don’t need to be as accurate in your rushing yardage projections as your passing projections in order to garner value.
Secondly, quarterback rushing yards and touchdowns are the most predictable stats in all of fantasy football. Check out the graph below showing the relationship between quarterback rushing yards-per-game in Year Y and Year Y+1.
Although the majority of my work has been at other sites of late, there will be a lot of new and unique content posted to this site soon. I just did a study on the value of the Cowboys’ defensive ends and outside linebackers relative to other 3-4 teams, and I got some interesting results. A lot of visitors to The DC Times have long debated whether defensive end or outside linebacker (i.e. Anthony Spencer) is the primary issue with the Cowboys’ pass rush, and hopefully my numbers will shed some light on that answer.