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Brian Burke returns to recap his busy summer offseason. After a brief lesson on the rules of Gaelic Football, Dave and Brian discuss what we can learn about NFL win shares from Jimmy Graham’s contract, some new updates to the site (WOPR, and Win Probability Model) and the 2014 season predictions Brian made for ESPN the magazine. Dave also issues a call for podcast contributors, looking for anyone interested in contributing their technical expertise to the show.

Direct download: 024_AFAPodcast.Brian.Burke.7.18.14.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PST

John Urschel, professional football player and mathematician, joins the show. John was selected in the 5th round by the Baltimore Ravens in this year's NFL draft. Last season, John was a Penn State football co-captain and as a student-athlete he achieved a 4.0 GPA while majoring in math. For his efforts, he won the Campbell Trophy, awarded to the top scholar athlete in Division one football. He recently proved the Urschel-Zikatanov Generalized Bisection Theorem and published his findings in the Journal of Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy.

Direct download: 023_AFAPodcast.JohnUrschel.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PST

 

Brian Burke returns to the show to recap the 2014 NFL draft. He describes the Bayesian Draft Analysis tool he created and discusses the value of trades made by teams during the draft. Brian and Dave then discuss their favorite new addition to the league, John Urschel and make a pitch to get him to contribute to the site. Brian also previews his new project, WOPR, and explains how it'll help generate data for some previously unanswerable questions.

Direct download: 022_AdvNFLStats.BrianBurke.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PST

Cade Massey, professor of Organizational Behavior at the Yale School of Management, joins the show to discuss his research on the NFL draft. Professor Massey is the co-author of "The Loser's Curse: Decision Making & Market Efficiency in the National Football League Draft", a paper analyzing the market for draft pick trades He and his co-author, Richard Thaler (insert NYT link) discovered that teams picking at the top of the draft actually sacrifice a great deal of what he calls "surplus value" by not trading down for additional selections. 

Dave and Cade look at the reasons why teams employ less than optimal strategies, including risk aversion, adherence to norms established by "The Chart" and other psychological factors. Professor Massey defends his paper against some of the common criticisms, and discusses why he believes the draft is such a compelling spectator event.

Direct download: 021_AdvNFLStats.CadeMassey.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PST

Jeffrey Ohlmann, Associate Professor at the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business, joins Dave this week to talk about the NFL draft, the sports analytics class he teaches, and his upcoming presentation at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference. 

Direct download: 020_AdvNFLStats.JeffOhlmann.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PST

The “Best of 2013” episode contains highlights from this season’s most compelling Advanced NFL Stats Podcast interviews. On the show, Virgil Carter tells some terrific stories about playing quarterback for Bill Walsh, David Romer explains the feedback Bill Belichick gave him on his paper and Jeff Sagarin and Wayne Winston debate the best ways to analyze play by play data. Brian Burke concludes the show with thoughts on his four part series on momentum.

Direct download: 019_AdvNFLStats.2014.Best.of.2013.14.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PST

Brian Burke returns to the show for the final podcast of the season. He and Dave kick off the episode with a NFL rules brainstorming session. They discuss some of Brian's (and readers') ideas for creative rule changes the league could implement to make the game more interesting and fun.

Brian then dives into an explanation of his latest article on the value of a time out. He describes his process for analyzing the win probability ramifications of "burning" time outs, and why sometimes it's better for a team to make any choice rather than use a valuable resource debating the optimum choice. 

Dave and Brian then spend some time looking at Brian's win prediction model for the Superbowl, and why it looks to be a very close match-up. To wrap up the episode they use the Franchise Season Plot tool to take a look back at the 2013 season.

Direct download: 018_AdvNFLStats.BrianBurke.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PST

Kevin Quealy, graphics editor at the New York Times, comes on the show to discuss data visualizations. An expert in using data to tell visual stories, Kevin walks Dave through the process he and the graphics department use to tell news-worthy stories with data and graphics.

Kevin describes some of his recent sports work, including a graph of longest QB start streaks, the 4th Down Bot and his NFL draft success chart. He talks about how he and his team begin their work process by looking for interesting stories and data-sets, and how those stories go through a variety of iterations before they are turned into visually striking charts. Kevin explains his criteria for what makes a great visualization and provides some helpful tips for aspiring information designers.

Direct download: 017_AdvNFLStats.Kevin.Quealy.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PST

Keith Goldner is back on the podcast to discuss this past weekend's divisional round playoff games. Keith is the chief analyst at Numberfire and also a regular contributor to Advanced NFL Stats. Dave and Keith begin by discussing some of the key decisions from the past weekend's playoff games, including whether Marshawn Lynch should've gone down at the one yard line at the end of the Seattle/New Orleans game, Riverboat Ron's goal line strategies and what to do when a punt is botched and the snap ends up in the end zone.

 

Keith reviews his lists of the regular season's most efficient quarterbacks and running backs and explains the differences between high efficiency and high success rate player performance. Dave and Keith round out the episode by previewing this weekend's AFC and NFC championship games, and Keith predicts which teams he expects to see playing for a ring in New York this February.

Direct download: 016_AdvNFLStats.Keith.Goldner.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:30am PST

Alok Pattani of ESPN Stats & Info joins Dave to discuss how ESPN uses analytics across multiple platforms. They discuss his team's research on NFL pass protection, EPA vs YPG, and offensive pace. Alok provides his thoughts on this weekend's divisional round games and makes predictions.

Direct download: 015_AdvNFLStats.AlokPattani.mp3
Category:Football -- posted at: 12:00am PST