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Fantasy performance by age (RBs 2000-2012) - Dynasty (1 Viewer)

robert88

Footballguy
Hey guys, I'm in my first dynasty startup this year, so I decided to do some research on how age impacts performance at RB. I have the 3rd overall pick right now, and am not sure how to rank some of the top young guys vs. AP. If somehow TRich and AP fall to me at 3, how much do I value TRich's extra 6 years? Turns out (surprisingly to me) that youth makes a huge difference. This isn't as in depth of a look as some of the FBG articles, but I still found it interesting. The peak performances seem to start at age 24 and last until age 27 plus or minus 1 year.

Just to be clear on the way I did this, I took fantasy performances by age from 2000-2012. For example RB1 for age 24 is the top 12 season performances by a 24 year old RB in that time span.

So if Doug and TRich follow history (according to age) then they should have 3-5 strong years starting this season. I'm sure this is something none of you find surprising, but now I have data supporting that I should take them in front of AP.

Let me know your thoughts! I'm thinking about doing something similar for other positions, but here are the charts:

RB1

RB2

RB3

 
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ShaHBucks

Footballguy
Seems like RB1 prime years are from 22-30. That's a lot earlier/later than I expected. I guess 28-29 isn't really a death wish like everyone says. I wonder if it's because the guys that make it that long in the NFL are generally the better backs.

I think T-Rich could possibly be #1 this season.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
Nice work!

On the RB chart you see the peak hit at age 27 but age 28 is still a very good result (slightly less than 27) then you see some decline at 29-30 but this usually will not affect the best RBs much unless there is an injury.

Steven Jackson lost some potential carries at age 29 due to the team grooming his replacements (the Rams knew he would be leaving as a FA). So this decline at age 29 is not always about ability, this can be part of it as well.

For the most part I would not value the RB position for longer than 3 years because of the heavy turnover at the position. Richardson is a guy who could break that rule, but for long term reliable production you are better off looking at the QB and WR positions which are less volatile.

There is some discussion about strategy discussed starting on page 4 to pg 5 of this thread- http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=683005&page=4

Most of the other recent stuff here has thread titles that make sense.

 

robert88

Footballguy
I thought the jump at age 24 was really interesting... It's the top performing year, but then it dips again and comes close again at 27. I expected to see a steady increase until 26 or 27 and then a decrease until year 30. I didn't expect this kind of double peak at 24 and 27. Don't know what would explain the dip in years 25-26.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
Well part of that peak at 24 has to do with RB coming into the league at different ages. It might be interesting to look at what age all of those RB were when they came into the league. Many of the RB will be age 22-23 as rookies, but they may not get a full workload right away while they learn to pass block/become pros. The younger the player the more they are still growing, and likely need more coaching. So that peak at 24 is I think when the majority of these RB are seasoned a bit, gain the coaching staffs trust and then have break out seasons. I am just guessing on that however. There are likely other reasons as well.

The dip at age 25-26 is harder to explain. I do think defenses adjust to a player somewhat after they break out with a 300 touch season, there is a lot of examples by that point to game plan for. So part of the decline may have to do with this, most of the players breaking out at age 24, adjustment period, second peak at 27. Part of it is of course injuries also. I cannot think of any other reasons for this dip right now.

 

Phenix

Footballguy
Seems like RB1 prime years are from 22-30. That's a lot earlier/later than I expected. I guess 28-29 isn't really a death wish like everyone says. I wonder if it's because the guys that make it that long in the NFL are generally the better backs.

I think T-Rich could possibly be #1 this season.
I dont think its a good thing people catch on to this. lol

Age is just a number, each player is different. HGH and stuff make them last longer as well.

 

Boone22

Footballguy
The dip at age 25-26 is harder to explain. I do think defenses adjust to a player somewhat after they break out with a 300 touch season, there is a lot of examples by that point to game plan for. So part of the decline may have to do with this, most of the players breaking out at age 24, adjustment period, second peak at 27. Part of it is of course injuries also. I cannot think of any other reasons for this dip right now.
Is it possible some of these guys are changing teams after their rookie contracts and need a year or two in the new system before they peak?

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
The dip at age 25-26 is harder to explain. I do think defenses adjust to a player somewhat after they break out with a 300 touch season, there is a lot of examples by that point to game plan for. So part of the decline may have to do with this, most of the players breaking out at age 24, adjustment period, second peak at 27. Part of it is of course injuries also. I cannot think of any other reasons for this dip right now.
Is it possible some of these guys are changing teams after their rookie contracts and need a year or two in the new system before they peak?
Yup. Good point.

 

robert88

Footballguy
The dip at age 25-26 is harder to explain. I do think defenses adjust to a player somewhat after they break out with a 300 touch season, there is a lot of examples by that point to game plan for. So part of the decline may have to do with this, most of the players breaking out at age 24, adjustment period, second peak at 27. Part of it is of course injuries also. I cannot think of any other reasons for this dip right now.
Is it possible some of these guys are changing teams after their rookie contracts and need a year or two in the new system before they peak?
That is a possibility, but if that's the case would there actual peak be at 25-26 if they didn't change teams since they highest numbers are at 24 and 27? That being said, I don't think that is the case, since I can't really think of many players changing teams at that age.

 

Alex P Keaton

Footballguy
I thought the jump at age 24 was really interesting... It's the top performing year, but then it dips again and comes close again at 27. I expected to see a steady increase until 26 or 27 and then a decrease until year 30. I didn't expect this kind of double peak at 24 and 27. Don't know what would explain the dip in years 25-26.
It's called variance & small sample size. Anyone who does statistical analysis frequently sees this types of anomalies.

 

robert88

Footballguy
I thought the jump at age 24 was really interesting... It's the top performing year, but then it dips again and comes close again at 27. I expected to see a steady increase until 26 or 27 and then a decrease until year 30. I didn't expect this kind of double peak at 24 and 27. Don't know what would explain the dip in years 25-26.
It's called variance & small sample size. Anyone who does statistical analysis frequently sees this types of anomalies.
That's probably right that it's just an anomaly, but 13 years worth of data w/ 32+ RBs/season isn't that small of a sample size... Going back to the 70s there's still that peak at 24 and the dip at 25, but 26 and 27 jumps back up again with 26 being the peak overall.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
The standard deviation for RB1 ages 23-26 are all in the same range 32.34 to 36.82 so there is more consistent performance at these ages. Age 25 has the least SD, so the tightest performance range of all the ages. This would line up somewhat with the above theory of most of them breaking out at age 24 but then having a slight slump in the following season from defensive adjustment or other factors. Interestingly the standard deviation at age 31-32 is also in this range.

The higher variance of ages 27-30 shows some of the risk involved with RB in this age group. I think this is why people will sell their RB after age 27 because the variance almost doubles. The reward at age 29 being 77% of what you would expect at age 27 may not be worth the risk of keeping the player into that age. The prospect of selling a RB at diminished value is why some owners will sell a RB at age 28 to recoup most of that players value. Part of this is because of the precipitous drop from age 27 to age 29 and they are trying to sell a year early.

Personally although I know it is risky I like to buy the age 28 RB at that reduced price and get a solid year from that player, then deal with the risks of decline in performance at age 29-30. Depends on the RB of course. But especially RB who have earned large amount of carries throughout their career seem to do a better job of maintaining that performance later on in their careers.

Also depends on the level the player was performing at prior to age 29. Adrian Peterson for example could lose that 23% of his average performance thus far in his career and still be putting up 1383 combined yards and double digit TDs at age 29-30 which would still be a very strong RB2 to a RB1.

 

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