Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 Jan 2013

2012 Football Outsiders Awards

Welcome to the tenth annual Football Outsiders Awards. (Yes, that's right, ten. As of July 30, Football Outsiders will have been on the Internets for ten whole years.) Readers get to have their say in categories both conventional -- like MVP or Rookie of the Year -- and unconventional. We've got the Keep Choppin' Wood award for the worst player of the year, awards for most overrated and underrated players, and of course the "John Mellencamp Must Die" Award for most annoying commercial.

Three important notes:

1) Please refrain from writing things like "I don't know" or joke answers like retired players. If you don't want to answer a question, leave it blank.

2) If you enter two names in any of the open questions EXCEPT for best offensive lineman (which has two spaces, of course) then we will not count your answer. We also do not count answers for "any player on Team X" or some such thing.

3) Only ballots with at least half of the questions answered will be counted in this year's awards.

After the awards questions, we have some questions to ask you that will help guide our big back-end site upgrade this offseason. Don't worry, a lot of the most-requested changes are already on the docket, even though they don't appear in the questions below. We'll be streamlining the store, speeding up loading of the site, and hopefully (no guarantees) adding auto-refresh to comments.

Note: We generally try to nominate only one player per team in order to prevent split votes from loyal fanbases. After seeing the San Francisco defense in the past few weeks, we decided that Justin Smith made a better nominee than Aldon Smith.

With three great rookie quarterbacks, and a number of great defensive rookies, we decided to split the Rookie of the Year award in two this season.

Note: This award is for the regular season; don't judge based on postseason success or failure.

Please note that votes in both this category and the next two categories can include players who are going to the Pro Bowl as either injury or Super Bowl roster replacements.

Note: Please don't pick a college player. A good rookie year is not a "breakout" year.

OK, here come some questions about changes we are considering for Football Outsiders in 2013.

Note: Please check off all of the options you would be interested in.

The next question takes a bit of introduction and explanation.

A couple of years ago, we introduced a stat called "Effective Yards." The idea was to try to translate DVOA into a very straight yardage total that could be understood by the general public more than an esoteric percentage like "11.5%." However, it was quickly apparent that it didn't work, and nobody at FO started using it. The problem was that this was a total stat, and so it ended up rewarding usage way too much, and that left us with rankings that were actually very different from DVOA.

Well, playing around with the Effective Yards idea earlier this season, we think we may have fixed it. The problem was that since DVOA is a rate stat, Effective Yards needs to be a rate stat. So we adjusted it so it comes out as "Effective Yards per Play." This new version of the stat is very easy to compare to standard yards per play. If the player is higher in EYd/Play, he was better than his standard stats would indicate, whether because he played a tough schedule, or had a lot of touchdowns, or was very good on third down, or was very consistent. If he's lower in EYd/Play, he wasn't as good as standard stats would indicate.

To show you an example of how EYd/Play can be used, here's a list of the running backs with the most carries in 2011, along with their DVOA, DYAR, Yd/Att, and EYd/Att. The ranks here are the player's rank in that stat among all 51 backs with at least 100 carries in 2011. With this new version, a player's rank in EYd/Play exactly matches his rank in DVOA, but we're hoping that EYd/Play will be easier understood by the general public.

Click here to see an example of EYd/Play. (For some reason related to weirdness in our Drupal setup, we can't get the graphic to actually appear on this page yet.)

In case you aren't familiar with them, these are the open message boards.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 22 Jan 2013