Thursday, July 23, 2020

Published 9:08 PM by with 3 comments

NFL Running Back Comparison Tool

Here's a tool that I wanted for comparing NFL RB careers. Click on the checkbox next to any running back to add their data to the plots, and choose what's being plotted using the dropdown.


These are regular season stats for all NFL RB's who played more than 3 seasons. The data only go back to 1970 and it's from https://www.pro-football-reference.com/. Two stats are ones that I created:
  • Outlier Score - This roughly represents how far above (or below if negative) average this player was in that season compared with the other top RBs of that season. It is measured in 'standard deviations away from average'. More detail about this is provided here. The goal is to provide an era-adjusted measure of RB quality.
  • Overall Rank - This is the ranking of that player's outlier score that season. The player with the highest outlier score is 1, second highest is 2, etc. 1 is effectively the best RB that season.
To me, the easiest way to compare careers is the bottom-left plot. That puts the selected players' best year on the left, second best year next, etc. This gives a decent apples-to-apples comparison of player peaks in my opinion.

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