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2012 Contract-Year Performances | The DC Times

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A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football


2012 Contract-Year Performances

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In the preseason, I published an article explaining why players in contract years don’t actually perform better than others.

I did some research on the fantasy performances of NFL players in contract years since 2008. To make an assessment of their play in their contract seasons as accurate as possible, I compared their performances to their production in the previous two seasons. Exceptions included players who were injured for an extensive portion of one of the prior seasons and players whose workload recently shifted dramatically. The total sample size was 121 players, excluded bench players and those without two years of past production. For the most part, though, the data includes just about every contract year player from the past four seasons.

Here are the results. . .

Fantasy Points in Contract Seasons

You can see that the fantasy points-per-game of players in contract years have been remarkably similar to their production in the two seasons prior to their contract seasons. Actually, their fantasy output has actually been slightly lower than anticipated in every season since 2008. The difference isn’t statistically significant, but the results indicate that there’s no real motivational factor that causes NFL players to produce superior numbers in contract years.

Let’s go further and break down the results by position. . .

Fantasy Points in Contract Seasons

You can see that, regardless of position, the production of players in their contract years matches up extremely well with their stats from the previous two seasons. No matter how you slice it, NFL players simply don’t overachieve in contract seasons.

Now, you might be wondering how the play of the league’s most elite players changes in contract years. I broke down the results based on players who scored a minimum of 10 fantasy points-per-game in the two seasons prior to their contract years, and the results are still the same; the best fantasy producers actually scored more points prior to their contract seasons (13.89) than during their contract years (12.75).

See the whole article.

This week at RotoWire, I expanded on the idea and examined 2012’s contract players.

In 2012, we saw more of the same from contract-year players. Below, I listed some of the most notable names who were playing for a new contract this year, along with the relationship between their 2012 fantasy points per game and their average from the past two seasons in non-PPR leagues.

  • QB

Joe Flacco: -2.3

  • RB

Ronnie Brown: -0.4

Reggie Bush: +1.1

Shonn Greene: +1.9

Peyton Hillis: -9.8

Felix Jones: -2.2

Rashard Mendenhall: -7.7

Isaac Redman: +1.4

Kevin Smith: -6.9

  • WR

Danny Amendola: +1.6

Dwayne Bowe: -3.7

Victor Cruz: -2.4

Greg Jennings: -4.4

Mike Wallace: -2.6

Wes Welker: -0.3

  • TE

Martellus Bennett: +4.5

Dallas Clark: -1.6

Jared Cook: +1.4

Tony Gonzalez: +1.5

Ben Watson: -0.8

Jason Witten: -1.1

Check out the rest at RotoWire.

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