Playing the Massey-Thaler Game

Are any teams actually aware of the phenomenon proposed in the Massey-Thaler Study? Perhaps one or more NFL teams has been conscious of the true costs of various draft picks and have maneuvered to maximize the value of their picks with respect to both performance AND cost.

To investigate I ranked each team's M-T surplus values and each team's conventional draft values for the last 8 drafts. To see if any team or teams stand out as "M-T aware," I subtracted the M-T ranking from the conventional ranking. The resulting number indicates how well a team has converted conventional value into M-T surplus value. For example, if a team was #32 in conventional value but was #1 in M-T value, the resulting difference of 31 would indicate that team is successfully trading picks to convert low conventional vlue into high M-T value. Low (negative) numbers would indicate the opposite, that a team is "wasting" its conventional draft position without earning much M-T surplus value. Here is the list:

One team does stand out at the top. Tennessee is certainly an outlier at the top of the list with a difference of 20. Admittedly, this is not a sophisticated statistical test. Ordinal rankings are rarely as powerful as proportional continuous values, but they are still very useful.

Taking a look at the bottom of the list we find teams that have generally enjoyed the luxury of top draft picks over the last several years, but, with rare exceptions, have not been able to convert those picks into wins. At the very least, we can say they have underperformed their expectations, such as in the case of Washington. Perhaps Houston can be excused due to its expansion status.

At the top of the list are teams such as Tennessee, New England, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. These are teams that we can generally agree have achieved consistent regular season success over the past 8 years, even considering recent rebuilding efforts in Tennessee and St. Louis. But one corollary of the M-T concept is that "rebuilding" should not be required if a team's salary cap is managed well.

  • Spread The Love
  • Digg This Post
  • Tweet This Post
  • Stumble This Post
  • Submit This Post To Delicious
  • Submit This Post To Reddit
  • Submit This Post To Mixx

0 Response to “Playing the Massey-Thaler Game”

Leave a Reply

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.