Each week I publish the model’s rankings in the following categories: Projected Final Standings, Overall (Power), Quarterback, and Offense and Defense.
Predictive analytics in the NFL involves a constant battle with the sample size. We finally have a sufficient sample size that the numbers are stabilizing. This data is now fully incorporated into the model.
Projected Final Standings:
These projections take into consideration current record, health, and remaining schedule. On Fridays, I post the Futures Market version of this chart with available values.
|Team||Division||Proj. Wins||To Make Playoffs||Win Division||Win Conference||Win Super Bowl|
|Falcons||NFC South||7.48||17.50%||2.00%||Close to 0||Close to 0|
|Bears||NFC North||7.35||18.50%||4.50%||Close to 0||Close to 0|
|Panthers||NFC South||7.29||15.50%||2.50%||Close to 0||Close to 0|
|Eagles||NFC East||7.04||16.50%||5.00%||Close to 0||Close to 0|
|Washington||NFC East||6.01||9.50%||4.00%||Close to 0||Close to 0|
|Dolphins||AFC East||5.81||5.00%||1.00%||Close to 0||Close to 0|
|Giants||NFC East||5.08||2.50%||0.80%||Close to 0||Close to 0|
|Jets||AFC East||5.03||3.00%||0.75%||Close to 0||Close to 0|
|Jaguars||AFC South||4.46||2.00%||1.35%||Close to 0||Close to 0|
|Texans||AFC South||4.17||1.50%||1.00%||Close to 0||Close to 0|
|Lions||NFC North||2.19||Close to 0||Close to 0||Close to 0||Close to 0|
Strength of Schedule
Ideally, you want to be a good team on the far right of the chart. Teams on the right have easier remaining schedules. They also have the biggest disparities from the schedule they have played, and the one they will play.
The teams on the right have already played the toughest part of their schedule.
Power Rankings (RES):
You can use the power rankings to produce a raw expected spread (RES) on a neutral field by combining the numbers for any two teams. The RES does not account for the scheme employed by each team. Thus the model’s ultimate prediction may differ.
Remember, the RES does not make any accounting of home-field advantage. The model disagrees strongly with the commonly-held belief that home-field advantage is worth 3 points. The model adjusts its home field advantage weekly based on numerous factors, including rest, and recent travel. The model also includes its own advantage based on whether a team is traveling east or west. No team in the league has ever received more than 2.13 points for home-field advantage.
You can also use the RES to find value in the look-ahead lines for next week.
The quarterback rankings are an objective measure which I named Total Passer Rating. There is no perfect score. However, I have never seen a quarterback finish the season with a ranking over 14. As with any ranking, it is subject to some disagreement. Generally, I think we will all agree with the broad strokes. The model uses these rankings in developing its power rankings, offensive efficiency rankings, and simulations of every game.
|1||Matthew Stafford||13.73||He is quietly proving all the detractors wrong.|
|2||Tom Brady||13.30||He is the MVP frontrunner. Just sensational. Although, it looked to me like something was off on the final drive of the first half and throughout the second half.|
|3||Patrick Mahomes||13.23||He is not having a great year by his standards, but he is still third on this list.|
|4||Tyrod Taylor||13.09||Returning soon!|
|5||Kyler Murray||12.93||He has been sensational. He is the most electric player in the NFL.|
|6||Josh Allen||12.60||Not his best performance on Monday night.|
|7||Justin Herbert||12.32||It was a bad game on a big stage. Nothing more and nothing less.|
|8||Aaron Rodgers||12.29||After the first game, he was at the bottom of this list. Now he is back in his rightful place.|
|9||Derek Carr||11.99||No Gruden, no problem. I expect Carr to continue to excel all season.|
|10||Russell Wilson||11.98||Out until after the bye week.|
|11||Lamar Jackson||11.95||What he did in 6 quarters starting with the second half last Monday and through the Chargers game was nothing short of amazing.|
|12||Dak Prescott||11.87||Quietly putting together a season worthy of MVP discussion. He has the weapons. Collins is returning to right tackle. The issues are his calf, Smith, and penalties.|
|13||Kirk Cousins||11.45||I like him far more than most. I think he is capable of far more than Minnesota allows him to show.|
|14||Joe Burrow||11.28||Big game last week for the Bengals to put their stamp on the season in a rout. Bigger one this weekend. They beat up on a lesser opponent. Now the question is can they change with a better opponent. They are going up in weight class this week.|
|15||Carson Wentz||11.27||A solid bounce-back year from him. This is where the model said he would be – middle of the pack. Nowhere near his one outlier season, nowhere near as bad as last season.|
|16||Jameis Winston||11.15||A week off, and now a weak secondary. If Winston is ever going to change the narrative he has to be the quarterback that can win you games with his immense arm talent.|
|17||Ryan Tannehill||11.06||I still think the Arthur Smith offense suited his skills much better. But he got a big win and they are going to be in the division race all season.|
|18||Teddy Bridgewater||10.98||The run of weeks against weak defenses ended two weeks ago and Teddy has fallen from the top 3 to the middle of the pack as expected.|
|19||Mac Jones||10.48||He does not get rattled.|
|20||Matt Ryan||10.39||Look out for this Atlanta team moving forward. Ryan has been playing well. He and Pitts have something.|
|21||Jacoby Brissett||10.37||He is a backup now|
|22||Daniel Jones||10.02||The model is not high on him. In his defense, he does operate a horrible scheme with horrible coaching. Does not look as bad as I expected.|
|23||Jimmy Garoppolo||9.91||He will be back|
|24||Taylor Heinicke||9.87||Not the long-term answer but easy to root for him|
|25||Sam Darnold||9.77||He needs CMC. Still, I was going to be more than a little surprised if NYJ Darnold turned into a top 15 quarterback. As soon as the schedule got tougher, he reverted.|
|26||Ben Roethlisberger||9.76||I have nothing left to say. He got lucky to beat Geno Smith|
|27||Baker Mayfield||9.60||There are some serious concerns in Cleveland as performance slips and injuries mount.|
|28||Andy Dalton||9.35||Backing up Fields|
|29||Jalen Hurts||9.17||He is a fine stop-gap, but I am not sure I see the long-term upside. IF I am Philly I will continue to dance with him, but I am looking in the draft next season.|
|30||Jared Goff||8.96||This is what the model expected. Look at the gap between him and Stafford on this list. McVey was spot on.|
|31||Trevor Lawrence||8.88||Made some big-time throws and the upside is apparent.|
|32||Tua Tagovailoa||8.27||Disappointed that he was injured this season. Really disappointed with that horrific pick he threw. The model had high hopes for him in the preseason.|
|33||Davis Mills||7.39||Will be heading back to the bench soon. He has something.|
|34||Zach Wilson||6.43||I am still high on him long-term.|
|35||Justin Fields||5.94||Very high on Fields long-term. As long as Lazor is calling the plays.|
Offensive & Defensive Rankings:
Both the offensive and defensive rankings are premised on efficiency. The median team always receives a ranking of 1.00. Thus, the Arizona Cardinals Offensive ranking of 1.16, indicates that they are 16% more efficient on offense than the league median. The New York Jets have a ranking of .76 which indicates they are 24% less efficient than the league median.
(The model finds the median to be far more important in the NFL than the mean, or average)
The defensive rankings work identically to the offensive rankings. The most surprising team on the list is the Arizona Cardinals and their defensive rating of 1.35. They are artificially boosted by some blowouts. This number will regress.