In a previous post, we discussed how Vegas over/under betting lines are related to actual and fantasy scores. In this post, we will be analyzing the teams that scored the most points, and how it relates to fantasy scores.
|Team||Average Points per Game||Average Fantasy Points per Game||Average Fantasy Points per Actual Points||Passing Yards||Rushing Yards|
|New England Patriots||29||106.5093333||3.672735632||4587||1404|
|New Orleans Saints||26.06666667||113.3533333||4.34859335||4970||1491|
|New York Giants||26||98.09466667||3.772871795||4347||1609|
|Kansas City Chiefs||25.86666667||84.344||3.260721649||3255||2044|
|New York Jets||24.1875||96.925||4.007235142||4057||1868|
|Green Bay Packers||22.93333333||92.164||4.01877907||3503||1850|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||20.26666667||87.548||4.319802632||3852||2162|
|San Diego Chargers||20||99.90625||4.9953125||4591||1358|
|St. Louis Rams||18||68.62||3.812222222||2805||1956|
|San Francisco 49ers||14.06666667||73.15733333||5.200758294||3316||1544|
Below are the leaders in average points scored per game. We see the usual suspects, teams that we know have top tier offenses.
|Team||Average Points per Game|
|New England Patriots||29|
Below are the teams that scored the most offensive fantasy points. Not surprisingly, the Cardinals, Patriots and Steelers are on the list. New Orleans scored the 7th most actual points last year, so that makes sense as well. But the Chargers were in the bottom half of the league in scoring. The Saints and the Chargers were not in the top 5 scoring offenses, but they do have highly regarded quarterbacks and tend to rely on the passing game, which tends to generate more statistics. Philip Rivers and Drew Brees had the most attempts last year in the NFL. Rivers threw 661 attempts, while Brees threw 627 in one less game. Each of these quarterbacks had about 41 attempts per game, whereas the average quarterback had roughly 35 attempts per game.
|Team||Average Fantasy Points per Game|
|New Orleans Saints||113.3533333|
|New England Patriots||106.5093333|
|San Diego Chargers||99.90625|
When we look at the average fantasy points per actual points, we see teams that were in the bottom half of the league in scoring. This is because their low scoring output helps to raise the ratio of fantasy to actual points. What is more interesting is that Carolina, the top scoring offense in 2015, actually ranks last in fantasy points per actual point. Why is their fantasy output so low? Looking at how their offense functioned tells a deeper story. In opposition to the Chargers and Saints, the Panthers had the most rushing attempts of any team last season.
|Team||Average Fantasy Points per Actual Points|
|San Francisco 49ers||5.200758294|
|San Diego Chargers||4.9953125|
Below are the passing and rushing yard totals for each team. Carolina was 2nd in the league in rushing yards, but well below the median in terms of passing yards. This also helps to explain why their fantasy output was so low compared to their actual scoring.
The answer lies in how fantasy scoring works. For rushing plays, one player benefits in terms of fantasy points. However, for passing plays, both the quarterback and the receiver get points. This method of double counting heavily favors the passing game. Therefore, when looking at how many fantasy points a team produces, passing is much more significant.
In fact, it looks as though total passing yards are very much positively correlated the average fantasy points per game of each team. In comparison rushing totals give very little information about the teams’ ability to score fantasy points on a game-by-game basis. The choice to run the ball instead of throwing obviously limits passing production, thereby reducing fantasy output.
In closing, last year’s fantasy monsters were the teams who weren’t afraid to air it out. Teams like the Saints and Chargers are reliant on the passing game, and we see their fantasy numbers rise as a result regardless of success on the scoreboard. Teams that possess a more balanced attack are likely fighting against the clock when it comes to fantasy production, and the points-per-reception scoring of DraftKings favors those teams that are able to distribute the ball through the air.