The Stats Room: Analyzing the Impact of a Holdout

The Stats Room: Analyzing the Impact of a Holdout

This article is part of our The Stats Room series.

Le'Veon Bell continues to hold out. The reasons behind him not reporting is for some talking head to cover. What I'm here to investigate is the impact holding out will have on his production when he finally does report. And the impact is substantial.

To find the impact on Bell's production, I needed a list of previous holdouts to compare their production. The skill position list was shorter than expected. I was hoping to split out players by position and holdout length but no such luck. After digging around on the internet and asking around, I came up with the following player list.

Joey Galloway 1999
Larry Johnson 2007
Steven Jackson 2008
Michael Crabtree 2009
Vincent Jackson 2010
Chris Johnson 2011
Maurice Jones-Drew 2012
Marshawn Lynch 2014
Vernon Davis 2014
Andre Johnson 2014
Dez Bryant 2015
Demaryius Thomas 2015
DeAndre Hopkins 2016
Le'Veon Bell 2017

I started comparing their holdout season to their previous season and quickly ran into a roadblock. These players were coming off great seasons. They wanted a payday for previous season's work. I don't blame them.

The problem with coming off a great season, owners need to account for some regression. I removed tight end Vernon Davis and found the players averaged 222 fantasy points (non-PPR) in the season prior to their holdout.

Looking from 1990 to present, I found the wide receivers and running backs who posted 200-240 fantasy points. Then, I found their next season's production. The players fantasy stats declined by 23 percent

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Jeff Zimmerman
Zimmerman writes analytics-focused baseball and football articles for RotoWire. He is a three-time FSWA award winner, including the Football Writer of the Year and Best Football Print Article awards in 2016. The 2017 Tout Wars Mixed Auction champion and 2016 Tout Wars Head-to-Head champ, Zimmerman also contributes to, BaseballHQ and Baseball America.
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