QBs that Win MFL10s
I took a stab at predicting MFL10 QB ADP and highlighted the weak relationship between win rate and how late teams waited on quarterback. No quarterback drafted outside the top-153 picks had a positive win rate (anything over 10 percent) but the overall relationship between QB ADP and team success was still relatively weak.
Teams that drafted Cam Newton got wrecked in 2016, winning only 4.7 percent of their leagues, although other early QBs tended to do well. But just how well did they do? Even if we remove Newton’s data point, these two stats — QB ADP and win rate — only result in an R-squared value of 0.406.1
Aim for the Big Guns
If ADP is not the end-all, be-all of picking QBs to win your MFL10s, what else might be? Last year, I found that the number of weeks a QB finished in the top 12 correlated strongly with the win rate for MFL10 teams that drafted him, so I thought it would be worth testing to see if 2016 showed the same connection.
Just like 2015 drafts, 2016 MFL10s showed a strong correlation between top-12 games and win rate. Here, including Newton, we have an r-squared value of 0.64, compared to 0.24 between ADP and win rate. As reference points, QB points per game and total points scored out at 0.48 and 0.54, both worse than the number of top-12 weeks, just like they were in 2015 as well.
If we look more closely at the data, we can also see that every single positive win-rate QB had at least seven games in the top-12 last season. In other words, seven top-12 weeks was a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for achieving a positive win rate at QB this year. Over the last two seasons, 16 of 18 quarterbacks with win rates over 10 percent had at least seven top-12 weeks.2
The 2016 season, it seems, only reinforced the lesson I learned last year:
My takeaway is this: if you intend to wait on QB, throw a dart or two at high-upside players. While low-ceiling, reliable options may be all the talk, QBs who consistently hit the weekly top-12 actually correlate more strongly to winning teams.
“Sharp” MFL10 drafters are likely to praise QBs like Joe Flacco and Alex Smith yet again this year, but I will keep targeting the guys with more explosive weekly upside, like Andy Dalton. Dalton has never had fewer than six top-12 weeks in each of his last three seasons, more than Flacco or Smith have had in any of those three seasons.
Here is the full table of top-12 MFL10 QB weeks over the last three seasons:
|Average # of Top-12 Weeks||2016||2015||2014|
|Robert Griffin III||1||1||1|