Evaluating the Performance of Offensive Lineman in the NFL

In this paper we objectively measure the performance of an individual offensive lineman in the NFL. The existing literature proposes various measures that rely on subjective assessments of game film, but has yet to develop an objective methodology to evaluate performance. Using a variety of statistics related to an offensive lineman’s performance, we develop a framework to objectively analyze the overall performance of an individual offensive lineman and determine specific linemen who are overvalued or undervalued relative to their salary. We identify eight players across the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 NFL seasons that are considered to be overvalued or undervalued and corroborate the results with existing metrics that are based on subjective evaluation. To the best of our knowledge, the techniques set forth in this work have not been utilized in previous works to evaluate the performance of NFL players at any position, including offensive linemen.

Modeling Football Penalty Shootouts: How Improving Individual Performance Affects Team Performance and the Fairness of the ABAB Sequence

Penalty shootouts often decide the outcome of important soccer matches. Although usually referred to as ”lotteries”, there is evidence that some national teams and clubs consistently perform better than others. The outcomes are therefore not explained just by mere luck, and therefore there are ways to improve the average performance of players, naturally at the expense of some sort of effort. In this article we study the payoff of player performance improvements in terms of the performance of the team as a whole. To do so we develop an analytical model with static individual performances, as well as Monte Carlo models that take into account the known influence of partial score and round number on individual performances. We find that within a range of usual values, the team performance improves above 70% faster than individual performances do. Using these models, we also estimate that the new ABBA penalty shootout ordering under test reduces almost all the known bias in favor of the first-shooting team under the current ABAB system.