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Francisco Marquez

Data Scientist, Football fan, IPA lover

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Writing this right after the heartbreaking loss to OSU (10/21/2017).
Prior to the OSU game, the depth chart for HWR had Reggie Hemphill-Mapps as the starter reciever OR Lil’ Jordan Humphrey, followed by Armanti Foreman. After the loss, and some Twitter activity, the natural question is… would our faith be different with Armanti on the field?
The answer is Probably NOT. Reggie HM is more likely to gain yards every time he is targeted. Armanti hints to be more effective during a 3rd down situation, but the key word here is hints.
In the following analysis, I used a Bayesian Analysis to calculate the probability of conversion for each target. I use Bayesian analysis because there isn’t a lot of data for each player, and each player has a different sample size, so I want to incorporate the uncertainty and sample size error into the analysis.


Key Concept: A conversion in this case is not a completed pass, in fact it is a bit more strict. We define a conversion as:

  1. 1st or 2nd down AND the at least 3 yards are gained as a result of the play
  2. 3rd or 4th down AND the yards required for the 1st down are met

Pass Analysis

In the following charts, I plot the probability for conversion. The true probability of conversion is unknown, but based on the analysis the true probability is more likely to be found where the plots are taller. As we can see in this chart below, Reggie’s probability for conversion is likely to be close to the 65% mark, while Armanti’s conversion probability is probably closer to the 40% mark. If we look at the third plot, the difference between the top to distributions, we can see how our statistics show a lot a variance. In other words it’s impossible to be confident when saying Reggie is better than Armanti. However, if I was forced to make a decision, I would start Reggie.

Stats

Player Times Targeted Conversions Conversion Rate
Reggie Hemphill-Mapps 42 28 67%
Lil’Jordan Humphrey 30 13 43%
Armanti Foreman 24 14 58%

3rd Down Statistics

The plot below shows only 3rd and 4th down situations. In a similar analysis, I wouldn’t say Armanti is better than Reggie. Although if I was forced to decide, I would play Armanti.

3rd & 4th Down Stats

Player Times Targeted 1st downs 1st down Conversion Rate
Reggie Hemphill-Mapps 8 4 50%
Lil’Jordan Humphrey 8 4 50%
Armanti Foreman 7 5 71%

SOME PASS STATISTICS

Player Yards Gained Times Targeted Yrds Per Pass
Reggie Hemphill-Mapps 306 42 7
Lil’Jordan Humphrey 175 30 6
Armanti Foreman 176 24 7