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2014 True Value Power Rankings: 1st Edition

2014 True Value Power Rankings: 1st Edition
Untitled Document

Week 4: NFL Value Power Rankings

The first edition of Spotrac's 2014 Team Value Rankings brings with it plenty of overachieving teams at the top - and long-time powerhouses near the bottom. Keep in mind that these rankings aren't "objective" in the sense that most Power Rankings are. Rather we mathematically combine the weekly production ratings for each player provided by Pro Football Focus, combined with a player's 2014 cap figure, to present the "True Value" for that player throughout the season. A team's total value is the sum of all player's value ratings.

We'll break out the best individual performances, the worst individual performances, and the overall team value rankings through the first quarter of the season.

How is our True Value Statistic calculated?

Total Value Power Rankings

With that, the Baltimore Ravens find themselves atop our first list, combining above average play from below average-paid players to produce a strong value on the field through four weeks. The Lions, Giants, Colts, and Dolphins round out our current Top 5, with 19 of the 32 teams putting forth a positive value rating thus far.

The bottom portion of our rankings contains a few usual suspects (Jacksonville, Oakland, Tampa Bay), but also a few surprises in New Orleans, New England, and Green Bay.

  Team True Value  
1 Baltimore Ravens
34.35 Plenty of low-paid starters, at just about average production.

Detroit Lions

21.02 Exceptional value from their secondary outweighs the slow starts from Calvin & Suh.

New York Giants

20.99 Giants have 11 players with a TVS rating of 2+.

Miami Dolphins

18.70 They'd be higher if Wallace & Hartline weren't vastly overpaid.

Indianapolis Colts

17.96 Top 5 values include 3 offensive linemen, a running back, and the quarterback. Recipe for success.
6 Atlanta Falcons
16.82 While noone stands out good or bad, the Falcons have 20 players with a positive TVS rating.
7 San Francisco 49ers
13.84 7 starters boast TVS ratings of 4+, including Boldin & Kaepernick. More carries for Gore and a turnaround from Vernon Davis can improve their overall value.
8 Washington Redskins
12.12 A bit of a jaded position, as much of the value comes from the punter (8.11). Key players like Garcon, Trent Williams, and Brian Orakpo stand as their worst values.
9 Arizona Cardinals
11.84 Strong starts from WR Michael Floyd and fill-in QB Drew Stanton are offsetting poor play from Patrick Peterson.
10 Dallas Cowboys
10.08 Incredible values from DeMarco Murray and Rolando McClain are thwarted by awful starts from the Cowboys' CBs.
11 Minnesota Vikings
8.65 Blair Walsh is the best value in the kicking game, as is Harrison Smith in the secondary. Better play from the offensive line can increase value.
12 Houston Texans
5.35 Mixed bag of value, starting with J.J. Watt (DE), Derek Newton (RT), Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB), and DeAndre Hopkins (WR).
13 Cincinnati Bengals
4.35 The best team in football hasn't even yet reached it's valued potential, as higher paid defensive players still look to improve.
14 St. Louis Rams
3.19 Production from special teams and extremely low paid starters at the QB and RB positions are leaving the Rams with not much production necessary to be considered "value".
15 Carolina Panthers
2.79 Similar to Houston, a variety of players are contributing early - including Kawaan Short (DT), Kelvin Benjamin (WR), Melvin White (CB), and Luke Kuechly (LB).
16 New York Jets
2.25 Wilkerson remains one of the most underpaid players in the game, while veterans such as Mangold, David Harris, and D'Brickashaw Ferguson need much more production for their pay.
17 Chicago Bears
1.72 The most notable Bears are at the bottom of the value list to start the season, including Brandon Marshall (-6.57), Jay Cutler (-7.20), and Matt Forte (-8.54).
18 Denver Broncos
1.50 9 players with a TVS rating of 2+ are held back slightly by slow starts from Demaryius Thomas, DeMarcus Ware, and the offensive line.
19 Kansas City Chiefs
0.90 The Chiefs countered an awful first two weeks with a better week 3, and a huge week 4. Increased production from Jamaal Charles and anything from Dwayne Bowe will keep this team rising.
20 Cleveland Browns
0.20 A rough overall week 3 combined with well-below-average starts from Donte Whitner and Joe Haden combine for a mediocre value rating for the Browns.
21 Seattle Seahawks
0.02 Slow starts from high-paid players such as Lynch, Okung, and Harvin are stunting the Seahawks ranking, despite an adequate 2-1 record.

San Diego Chargers

-6.21 A bit of a jaded ranking, as the Chargers are being degraded heavily for poor special teams play (both of which are high paid players), and a vastly over paid Eric Weddle.
23 Jacksonville Jaguars
-13.84 The Jaguars have a few strong values going to start the year, including WR Allen Hurns. But their core veteran players are clearly overpaid, including LB Paul Posluszny, TE Marcedes Lewis, and RB Toby Gerhart.
24 Buffalo Bills
-14.35 The Bills might be a Top 15 team if not for DE Mario Williams' -15.04 rating. Horrible starts from G Erik Pears, and CB Leodis McKelvin are also holding Buffalo back at this point.
25 Green Bay Packers
-15.66 Randall Cobb is raising his value in a contract year, while much of the linebacking core falls below the value line to date.
26 Tennessee Titans
-15.89 The Titans best values lie in their weapons, including Delanie Walker, Kendall Wright, and Bishop Sankey. But they're all but thwarted by S Michael Griffin's -12.09, and OG Andy Levitre's -10.34
27 Philadelphia Eagles
-17.19 No secrets here, as the high-paid LeSean McCoy has yet to break out in 2014. WR Riley Cooper isn't yet producing to the value of his new contract. While much of the pass rush and inside linebacking core are considered great values to start the year.
28 Pittsburgh Steelers
-17.57 An aging, high-paid defense weighs down the Steelers value rating - including Ike Taylor (-3.92), Troy Polamalu (-6.18), Lawrence Timmons (-11.62), and Jason Worilds (-11.70).
29 New Orleans Saints
-17.82 The addition of Jairus Byrd was supposed to take the Saints secondary to the next level. But Byrd and counterpart Kenny Vaccarro combine for a -8 TVS rating. Little production from Marques Colston doesn't help either.
30 Oakland Raiders
-22.77 2014 1st round pick Khalil Mack tops the raiders value chart (4.94). But vastly overpaid non-primary positioned players like Marcel Reece (FB, -17.94), and Sebastian Janikowski (K, -6.30) are holding back the Raiders ability to build this team properly.
31 New England Patriots
-25.73 Anyone have Tom Brady (-5.10) as the Patriots 3rd worst value heading into this season? Toss in Darrelle Revis (-4.43) and Rob Gronkowski (-2.75) and the writing is on the wall here.
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-41.97 At 5.39, Lavonte David is primed for the next big contract in Tampa Bay. Dashon Goldson (S, -11.09) may not make it to the 3rd year of his 5 year contract.

Best Value Team Thru Week 4

Many teams are represented more than once, coinciding with their place in the team value rankings below. Rolando McClain came out of retirement to join the Cowboys at a veteran's minimum wage, and has been a dominant force when healthy. The Chargers added Brandon Flowers this offseason at a relatively average $3M cap, after the veteran CB was released as a cap casualty from the Chiefs. DeMarco Murray & Justin Houston are both set to be unrestricted free agents after the season.

Pos. Player Team 2014 Cap True Value
QB Ryan Tannehill MIA $3,455,046 6.02
RB Le'Veon Bell PIT $936,500 8.05
RB DeMarco Murray DAL $1,596,625 6.83
WR Markus Wheaton PIT $662,844 6.29
WR Keenan Allen SD $658,450 5.32
TE Larry Donnell NYG $495,000 9.72
LT Anthony Castonzo IND $2,545,803 7.16
RT Ricky Wagner BAL $531,140 7.82
G Kelechi Osemele BAL $912,510 9.29
G Michael Ola CHI $421,666 8.68
C A.Q. Shipley IND $570,000 5.99
DE J.J. Watt HOU $4,580,992 9.54
DE Mike Daniels GB $645,146 6.01
DT Kawann Short CAR $1,052,349 9.32
DT Ian Williams SF $1,283,333 4.89
LB Jelani Jenkins MIA $613,172 7.60
LB Justin Houston KC $1,598,812 7.50
LB Rolando McClain DAL $700,000 5.50
LB Bobby Wagner SEA $1,174,854 5.37
CB Perrish Cox SF $695,000 7.48
CB Brandon Flowers SD $3,000,000 6.30
S Harrison Smith MIN $1,946,876 5.73
S George Iloka CIN $610,075 4.83
K Blair Walsh MIN $599,483 9.99
P Tress Way WAS $420,000 8.11

Worst Value Team Thru Week 4

Plenty of big names fill out the Worst Values through four weeks.

Pos. Player Team 2014 Cap True Value
QB Jay Cutler CHI $18,500,000 -7.20
RB LeSean McCoy PHI $9,700,000 -15.20
RB Matt Forte CHI $7,900,000 -8.54
WR Vincent Jackson TB $12,432,000 -11.26
WR Marques Colston NO $8,300,000 -9.06
TE Heath Miller PIT $6,133,166 -8.04
LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson NYJ $11,698,666 -9.18
RT Phillip Loadholt MIN $5,750,000 -9.33
G Jahri Evans NO $11,000,000 -11.61
G Andy Levitre TEN $8,600,000 -10.34
C Chris Myers HOU $7,000,000 -9.72
DE Mario Williams BUF $18,800,000 -15.04
DE Charles Johnson CAR $11,220,000 -12.45
DT Ndamukong Suh DET $22,412,500 -13.85
DT Haloti Ngata BAL $16,000,000 -11.67
LB Clay Matthews GB $10,943,750 -12.69
LB Jason Worilds PIT $9,754,000 -11.70
LB Paul Posluszny JAC $9,500,000 -10.06
LB James Laurinaitis STL $10,400,000 -9.71
CB Joe Haden CLE $12,127,895 -12.47
CB Johnathan Joseph HOU $11,250,000 -8.87
S Michael Griffin TEN $8,000,000 -12.09
S Dashon Goldson TB $9,000,000 -11.09
K Nick Folk NYJ $3,600,000 -8.81
P Brandon Fields MIA $3,586,116 -9.74
Calculating True Value

In order to calculate the True Value Statistic, we first collect the weekly Pro Football Focus rating for each starting player in the NFL. From there we work positionally, finding the Average PFF rating for all players in a particular position for that week. We also collect the Standard Deviation for this data set. Subsequently, we find the Average, and Standard Deviation of the 2014 Cap Figure for all players in a particular position. To normalize this data and prep for calculation, we then find the Z-Score of our Statistical Rating, and the Z-Score of our Financial Rating. These two Z-Scores are then added to produce a player's current TVS.

For example:
Ryan Tannehill's Week 1 PFF rating was 3.2
The average PFF rating of all Week 1 QBs is -0.29
The standard deviation of all Week 1 QBs is 2.78
To find the z-score, we calculate (3.2 - (-.29)) / 2.78 = 1.25

Ryan Tannehill's 2014 cap figure is $3,455,046
The average 2014 cap figure of all Week 1 QBs is $9,174,096
The standard deviation of all Week 1 QBs is $7,097,100
To find the z-score, we calculate (9,174,096 - 3,455,046)/7,097,100 = .805

Tannehill's Week 1 TVS = 2.05