Why do I keep writing about Field Goals?
Twitterer @brentonk alerted me to the following Grantland article written by the only man in the world to block me on Twitter, Bill Barnwell. The following excerpt is from the article (emphasis added):
It would also have some interesting effects on kicker value. In a way, it might seem like it should make kickers more valuable by virtue of giving them more opportunities to make meaningful kicks. The average team attempts about 40 extra points each year, so the difference between a kicker who hits 90 percent of his extra points from the 25-yard line and a kicker who hits 70 percent on the same attempts would be eight extra points per season. On the other hand, we also know there’s no year-to-year consistency for a kicker’s field goal percentage, and that’s likely to be the case for these 40 additional extra-point attempts each year, too. So while teams might pay more for the security of a reliable kicker, they’ll still be just as unlikely to end up with one.
I’ve written about this before, in that we shouldn’t expect there to be consistency from year to year for field goal percentage within a kicker. It’s because field goals are taken from different distances. You can see just how much variability there is in the distances of place kickers from year to year with this sweet shiny app that I made.
Finally, as I have written before, even if you do control for distance, I find no evidence that there is any significant variability within kickers between years.