Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Jan 2014

2013 Football Outsiders Awards

by Aaron Schatz

Welcome to the 11th annual Football Outsiders Awards. 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. Seriously, those joke answers make compiling the results take a couple extra hours and I would rather be doing something else.

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 Football Outsiders as we move forward. If the questions seem familiar, that's because they are pretty much the same questions we asked last year. Unfortunately, the answers were lost in part because of the switchover in technical directors.

That's the same switchover that also postponed our long-awaited upgrade to Drupal 7 with a more stable back-end, but it is finally coming this spring. Many of our readers' 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. After that we plan on improving the mobile version of Football Outsiders.

Please note that we chose only one nominee per team in order to prevent vote-splitting among fans of certain teams.

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. Here is a link that lists the original Pro Bowl rosters.

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

Now, we would like to ask you some questions about changes we are considering for Football Outsiders in 2014.

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, 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, click here for a version of our running backs table that also includes Yd/Att and EYd/Att. 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.

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

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 27 Jan 2014