This article is part of our The Stats Room series.
Previously, I just projected rookie running by going off an average production level. There didn't seem to be any measurable production differences between early and late picks.
One item that really bothered me about this analysis was team context. The rookie running backs who got the most work were likely on teams who needed their help. These teams were bad and the running back's production likely suffered from a bad supporting cast. I was looking for a way to add some overall team context and I may have found an answer in Las Vegas.
For years, fans have been able to bet the over/under on a team's wins. SportsOddsHistory.com collected all the preseason expectations from 2001 to 2017. While not a perfect proxy for team talent, it's a starting point. And I have 17 years of data to match up.
I decided to group the preseason odds into three groups:
1. More than nine wins
2. Seven to nine wins
3. Fewer than seven wins