2011 In-Season YAC+
by Aaron Schatz
Last week, we published in-season numbers for receiving plus/minus. This week, we bring you in-season numbers for YAC+. Much like plus/minus, this stat creates a baseline for how much YAC we can expect off each pass based on three elements:
1) How deep the pass is.
2) Whether the pass is left, middle, or right.
3) What down the pass is, and how far it is away from the sticks.
The third element is needed because on third down, of course, teams are more likely to run patterns near the sticks that are designed specifically to get a first down. Those passes don't have as much YAC. So, for example, there's a difference between what we expect from a 15-yard pass on first-and-10 and what we expect from a 15-yard pass on third-and-15. We're not measuring the specific routes here, and there's a difference between how much YAC we can expect from a 15-yard curl and how much we can expect from a 15-yard dig. We don't have that data for each pass. Adding in down-and-distance to the baseline does help correct for this.
One thing missing right now from YAC+: There's no adjustment based on player position. Looking at these numbers, it probably makes sense to add some sort of adjustment for running backs, who have mostly above-average YAC+.
As noted last week, there are often mistakes by official scorers when it comes to PYD/YAC. These are "unofficial" stats and therefore there isn't the same pressure from the league to get them right. When the official scorers are trying to track 20 things on each play, there are going to be some mistakes. Some official scorers make more mistakes than others. Usually, we correct these mistakes in the course of game charting, and then report those fixes to the league and get the data changed in league data. One difference between this week and last week: I did go through the data and make a number of changes based on the FO game charting, even if we haven't reported those changes to the league yet.
Let's take a look at the best and worst players so far this year according to in-season receiving plus/minus. PYD is average distance in the air of passes to this player (both complete and incomplete).
|Top 16 WR in YAC+, Week 1-14 2011 (min. 40 passes)|
|Bottom 16 WR in YAC+, Week 1-14 2011 (min. 40 passes)|
|Top 10 TE in YAC+, Week 1-14 2011 (min. 25 passes)|
|Bottom 10 TE in YAC+, Week 1-14 2011 (min. 25 passes)|
|Top 10 RB in YAC+, Week 1-14 2011 (min. 25 passes)|
|Bottom 10 RB in YAC+, Week 1-14 2011 (min. 25 passes)|
14 comments, Last at 31 Jan 2012, 9:21pm
#1 by IsraelP (not verified) // Dec 17, 2011 - 1:33pm
E. Sanders > A. Brown? Surprise!
#4 by BaronFoobarstein // Dec 17, 2011 - 4:32pm
That does not surprise me. Sanders is a slippery guy. He reminds me of Santonio Holmes. He's not as good, yet, but he has a similar style to his play to my eyes. Brown has been doing a better job getting open. He also gets more targets "in traffic" which leads to believe he shows more talent in that area in practice.
#2 by Riceloft // Dec 17, 2011 - 3:19pm
K. Winslow - CLE?
#11 by Aaron Schatz // Dec 18, 2011 - 9:44am
Whoops. Will fix.
#3 by Mikey // Dec 17, 2011 - 3:36pm
CJ Spiller, worst in the league. And at the position that would be adjusted DOWN if you adjusted for positions.
Being a Bills fan, these are not the good times.
#5 by PirateFreedom (not verified) // Dec 17, 2011 - 7:43pm
very good with ball in hands, often beats one defender
#6 by Nathan // Dec 17, 2011 - 8:24pm
Yeah I was surprised not to see Hernandez on the list.
#12 by Elemen (not verified) // Dec 19, 2011 - 9:10am
Hernandez has likely hurt from playing in several games where he was still coming back from injury and wearing a knee brace. He wasn't getting too much YAC in those games.
#7 by Alexander // Dec 17, 2011 - 10:15pm
This list makes more sense to me when applied to RBs than WRs. It kinda punishes players for making "athletic" catches when they then fall down afterwards. At least, that is what it seems like to me.
#9 by IsraelP (not verified) // Dec 18, 2011 - 4:41am
Like it punishes them for catching the ball in the end zone?
#10 by Mr Shush // Dec 18, 2011 - 8:58am
Even for RBs, it probably rewards guys who are great in space but not downfield threats (Arian Foster) over guys who are both (Matt Forte).
It's interesting information, rather than a meaningful way of ranking players in a particular skill.
#8 by Shattenjager // Dec 17, 2011 - 10:48pm
I like that the two Baldwin WRs, whom I can't keep straight, are on opposing lists. For some reason, I find it humorous.
#13 by arias // Jan 03, 2012 - 9:32am
Wow, Sidney Rice is at the rock bottom of the worst? That seems counter-intuitive to what he was supposed to be signed away from Minnesota for.
#14 by D2K // Jan 31, 2012 - 9:21pm
Interesting that Arizona has 3 of the top 12 WR's and a top 10 TE. I think it speaks volumes about Skeltons long-term viability as a full-time starter in this league. It will be nice to see this offense with a healthy Ryan Williams, a player with nice YAC potential. Coould be nice young unit.
Being a Bills fan and knowing we have NO ONE with the ability to be a year in year out YAC leader on the roster, and a QB whos biggest deficiency is his accuracy, it makes me want to throw up.
Buffalo Bills football - ineptitude at its finest.