News & Analysis

Announcing: Premium Stats 2.0 and updates to PFF grades

By Nathan Jahnke
Jul 31, 2018

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PFF continuously strives to improve our data and processes. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate and comprehensive analysis of football player performance anywhere. We continue to implement new data points and technologies that drive us further towards our goal, and improve your experience as a subscriber. This year, we are launching the most significant changes to our grade methodology since switching to the 0-100 scale. With the release of Premium 2.0, now is a good time to explain some of the changes as well as the reasoning behind them.

New features

PFF’s grades have always been broken down by facet – receiving, blocking, pass-rushing etc. – but we have expanded those facets to include some new categories that previously muddied the waters.

  • Fumble grade: Splitting out fumbling so that ball security is displayed independently and not artificially depressing or inflating a player’s receiving, rushing or passing facet grades.
  • Drop grade: Splitting out drops so that you can differentiate a receiver’s hands and his overall production.
  • Tackle grade: Splitting out tackling performance so that it acts independently of his play in coverage or against the run.
  • Special teams grades: Our unrivalled special teams grades have now made the transition to the 0-100 scale. This facet includes a field goal grade, a kickoff grade, a punt grade, a kick return grade, a punt return grade and a special teams grade for all aspects of special teams that don’t including kicking or returning.
  • Team grades: Instead of just having a grade for a player in a specific category, we also have them for teams on the same 0-100 scale.
  • Preseason grades: For the first time, preseason grades are available on our 0-100 scale, giving you unique insight into the preseason performance of every player that steps foot onto the field, from the first glimpses of a first-round rookie, to roster bubble players battling to make the final roster.
  • 0-100 grades are now situational: In the original Premium Stats, grades existed in certain situations that never made the jump to the 0-100 scale available in Player Grades. Now, those situations and many more exist in the 0-100 grading scale. For example, quarterback grades by area of the field, as well as with and without pressure, and with or without being blitzed are now present and correct in Premium 2.0. The new scale also gives us access to many more situations that we will use to bring you ever-expanded high-level content.

Why the changes?

Adjusting the 0-100 Player Grades has led to grade changes for nearly every NFL player. However, the increases/decreases in the grades don’t reflect a reevaluation of the players themselves but instead a reevaluation of the numbers that fuel the grades. Work from our analytics team this offseason has given us a better understanding of how to accurately weigh the various factors that go into the grades. How important aspects of play are to the success of plays and winning games are factored in more than the past. This includes weighing the pass game more and increasing the weighting of both very highly-graded and very low-graded play. The grading philosophy itself has not changed – quarterbacks aren’t rewarded in our system because their receivers do all the work after an expected throw on a screen – but if they do make a big-time throw on the play, it will have a higher impact on his grade than in the past while the same is true on the other end of the scale with turnover-worthy plays. Lastly, players such as Aaron Donald and Tom Brady have raised the bar in terms of what we thought was possible at their respective positions. To account for this, we have adjusted the grading scale to accommodate the unanticipated dominance  of any future supreme players.

Fantasy

As always, Premium 2.0 will be a powerful tool for the fantasy player as well as regular football fan. Nowhere else are you able to see player performance quantified in such a complete fashion, giving you a distinct advantage in your fantasy leagues and daily contests. For more information on how to get the most out of a PFF subscription as a fantasy player, our very own Scott Barrett has you covered

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