Prospect Success Indicator: Official Database and Calculations

unnamed

So you heard me talk about #PSI on Twitter and you’re probably wondering.

  1. What does PSI stand for?
  2. What is PSI?
  3. Why use PSI?
  4. How is it calculated?
  5. How do I use it for both Pre and Post NFL/Fantasy Rookie Draft?
  6. How does it stack up against Industry Expert Rankings of the time?

What does PSI stand for?

PSI stands for Prospect Success Indicator.

What is the Prospect Success Indicator Model?

PSI is a weighted equation of various advanced metrics designed to cut through the incoming class and narrow the field to increase our hit rates. It does this by comparing those incoming rookie profiles to that of the average Top 24 wide receiver profile. It is then distilled down to a percentage, the Prospect Success Indicator Percentile Rank, which tells us how close these incoming rookies match to that profile.

FAQ: Does 90% PSI Percentile Rank mean he has a 90% chance of breaking out?

  • No, it just means he’s a 90% match to the baseline profile of an average top 24 wide receiver in fantasy football. However, the higher the rank the better the hit rates are (see tables below).

There is also a What-If PSI Percentile Rank, this score asks the question “What-if Marquise Brown wasn’t hurt during the pre-draft process, participated in all the events, and successfully completed them all?”

This percentile rank gives us a list of players who could’ve scored higher, perhaps top 50th-percentile, but didn’t due to incomplete data.

Finally, the model is comprised primarily of prospects who attend the combine each and every year. In addition, their profile must have a minimum of 1 year of college experience as a full-time wide receiver.

Why use PSI?

Using this model allows us to judge incoming rookie wide receivers based on age-adjusted production, athleticism, and draft capital. From there we can compare them to all the other wide receivers in the database to find a good comp and to see how they stack up. With the PSI percentile score, it lets us see how closely a wide receiver is to match the top 24 wide receiver profile. The higher the percentile (Ex: 90th Percentile) the better the odds that this wide receiver has at achieving a top 24 season and the lower the percentile (Ex: 5th Percentile) the less likely chance he has at achieving the same type of season.

The tables below illustrate how many Top 24 seasons and wide receivers each tier has delivered both with and without adjusting for draft capital. Draft capital is important as it correlates directly with opportunity, and opportunity is king and that is evident in how much movement there is post-draft to the rankings.  

Total # of Top 24 Seasons by Tier since 2010

Seasons

Total # of Wide Receivers to Hit by Tier since 2010

Total WRs

 

How is Prospect Success Indicator Score calculated?

  • PSI w/Draft Capital 
    • 97% of all Top 24 wide receiver seasons came from the top 50th percentile.
      • 94% came from the top 70th percentile and above.
    • 93% of all Top wide receivers came from the top 50th percentile group
      • 87% came from the top 70th percentile and above.
  • On average PSI is able to cut the field of wide receivers in half each year and highlights the wide receivers that actually matter. This is a HUGE edge over your league mates especially in the later rounds of your rookie drafts.
  • This model DOES NOT account landing spot which is determined on/after draft night (UDFA)

Below are all advanced metrics used to calculate PSI. If you want to learn more about certain metrics I have linked some back to their original source material.

  1. Breakout Age (BA) – is defined by their age at the midpoint of the college football season when they first posted a Dominator Rating at or above 20% – This was pioneered by Frank DuPont and Shawn Siegele first examined each wide receiver’s breakout age on RotoViz.com. A Breakout Age under 20 is exceptional. 
  2. Successful Wide Receiver Measurements (SWRM) – Now that we have 10 years worth of combine/pro day data I was able to re-calibrate what success means for each of the combine events.
    1. Pounds per inch, Hand size, Height, 40-yard dash, vertical leap, Broad jump, 20-yard shuttle, 3-cone drill
    2. Top 24 wide receivers hit on a least 7 of these metric on average
  3. Bench Press (BP) – According to the HSCA the bench press was the only statistically relevant drill – and even then it’s not very high – that could predict future success.  wide receivers have to be able to run block and push-off DB’s (without getting flagged), right? The baseline here is 10 or more reps for wide receivers.
  4. Alpha Wide Receiver (AWR) – This is new for the 2020 model. It’s a basic metric pass/fail metric that gets at the hypothesis of in order to be a top receiver in the NFL you need to have been one in college. What I found was that of the (54) prospects to go on to have a top 24 season in the NFL, (51) of them were the #1 receiver (yards) on their own college team for at least 1 year.
    1. The three outliers – Kelvin Benjamin, Josh Gordon, Adam Humphries. 
  5. Dominator Rating (DR) –  first outlined by Frank DuPont in the book Game Plan, the college dominator rating represents a player’s “market share” or his percentage of his team’s offensive production. For example, a 35+% dominator indicates that a wide receiver has the potential to be a team’s No. 1 wide receiver and/or a high caliber contributor. 20-35% indicates a mid-level talent with situational upside. Less than 20% is a red flag. Data is sourced from Player Profiler,
  6. College Entry Age – Also new for the 2020 model. Age is important and you cannot accurately rate someone on a breakout age without proper context. Every once in a while, through no fault of their own, a prospect enters college at the age of 20. Meaning they never had a chance to break-out at the ideal age of 18 or 19. Rather punishing a player for this we now adjust for it. Since 2010 (10) receivers have entered college at age 20 and (7) of them went on to have a top 24 season. 
  7. NFL Entry Age – This is the age that each prospect is on January 1st of the year they are being drafted in. What I’ve learned is future elite wide receivers tend to enter before the age of 22, but top 24 wide receivers, in general, enter before the age of 23. 
  8. Prospect Success Indicator Percentile Rank: This is the percentage of how closely the prospect compared to the Top 24 wide receiver profile. The higher the rank, the close the match to the ideal profile. The percentile rank will continue to be refined as time goes on as I grow my sample size, add new metrics, and new data points with each year.
  9. Prospect Success Indicator Ceiling Rank – This is the max percent a prospect could have achieved if his entire athletic profile were complete. For example, every year some prospects refuse to participate in agility drills, like the 3 cone drill, or never get their hands measured, for each missing data point I account for it in the Ceiling Score. Assuming the prospect did participate and did hit the necessary threshold to receive credit for this is the max score he could’ve achieved.

How do I use it for both Pre and Post NFL/Fantasy Rookie Draft?

  1. Pre-NFL Draft –  view the rankings as – “Draft capital aside, who looks the most like a future Top 24 wide receiver in this rookie class?” 
    1. Then compare their current rank to ADP to find market inefficiencies for over/undervalued players
  2. Post-NFL Draft  – The rankings adjust a bit based on what each prospect’s draft capital. This now accounts for the opportunity 
    1. Ex: Krishawn Hogan went undrafted last year, even though he has the talent to succeed, his lack of draft capital will limit the number of chances he gets to succeed in the NFL and that means Hogan should be a late-round rookie flyer rather than a 2nd or 3rd round pick if he was drafted.
  3. Market Inefficiencies – Finally, I would revisit the model throughout the year to see who you should buy on discounts and who you should be selling high.
    1. Buy Ex: Adam Thielen  – after his 1st breakout season he was still very cheap in trades and if you went back and saw his Pre-Draft PSI score (70th -Percentile) you would’ve tried to buy him everywhere you could before his 2017 season.
    2.  Sell Ex: Kelvin Benjamin – after his breakout rookie season – which was driven by his 1st round draft capital and lack of other weapons on his team – you would’ve seen his Pre-draft PSI score (80th Percentile) was extremely low and it would’ve encouraged you to sell him. Benjamin was never a top 24 wide receiver again and is now out of the league.

 

8 thoughts on “Prospect Success Indicator: Official Database and Calculations

  1. I’m curious whether you’ve calculated PSI (it sounds like it, given your comparison against “expert” rankings) for draft classes of the recent past? I used to pay a lot of attention to the phenom index values not only for the current class, but also for the classes from the few years preceding (just to get some context that is related to current NFL players). I’d love to see some prior draft class PSI numbers if they’ve been published someplace…
    In any case, this is great stuff. Well done!
    Mike

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s