The Model

The goal of this model is to use college football statistics to help us predict how successful a quarterbacks will be for fantasy football in the NFL. The variable I am predicting is total fantasy points in a QBs first five seasons, which would be the length of a rookie contract with a fifth year option for first round picks. If a player is still active in the NFL and has not reached 5 years then their current historical points have been extrapolated to five years through an average.

The Results

The Adjusted R-squared for just QBR is  0.6104. By parsing out the Passing EPA portion of QBR and applying my homegrown Rush Yards Over Expectation (RYOE) metric, we receive a higher correlation to our predictive variable of 0.6371. I have had a feeling that rushing EPA is not the best variable to measure rushing performance because rushing is much less effective at improving a team’s field position. I have taken a simpler approach to measuring rushing performance by adjusting rush attempts based on the situation through RYOE. Finally, college seasons have proven to be predictive in a linear fashion, meaning the more college seasons played the higher the prediction. This makes sense from a timeline of 1-3 years but I have capped this number at three years to not give extra credit for staying in college longer. Also current prospects were given a projected final college seasons.

The Prediction

I have stacked the top 70 current and prior prospects in the chart below, which has been arranged by predicted fantasy points. For upcoming rookie drafts I would let draft day create a tier of prospects and organize the tiers based on the projection. For devy/C2C drafts I will be using ADP data to create tiers and organize these players based on the projections.  A few notes from the results: 

 

  • Caleb Williams is in the same tier as Kyler Murray. If you can trade for him, pay the iron price

  • Bailey Zappe shows shades of Case Keenum with zero rushing production. Will Rogers is on the same path.
  • Malik Cunningham is who we want Malik Willis to be. He is a better passer with just as much rushing upside. He is a buy in Devy formats. 

  • Trevor Lawrence has a similar profile to Justin Herbert. He is a buy in dynasty formats. 

  • Sam Howell has the best projection of the 2022 QBs. I was anticipating Matt Corral taking the top spot but a terrible 2019 season is weighing him down. I will be moving Same Howell up in my rankings for rookie drafts. Both will have my attention for upcoming rookie drafts.

  • Kenny Pickett and Carson Strong are off my radar for rookie drafts.

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