Introduction to Gridiron Ratings
January 4, 2020 No Comments Article, How To, Strategy Jeff DiMatteo

Introduction to Gridiron Ratings

For as long as there been fantasy football, there have been players trying to get an edge on their competition.  Gridiron Ratings is following in that same tradition. Every year we all flock to the various expert ranking sites and do our best to apply these rankings to our drafts to help us build championship teams.  

This site and system are a little different, we can give you a basic rankings page like everyone else but what sets us apart is that our system allows the end-user to organize his or her draft board differently.  Our evaluation process breaks down a player’s fantasy value into 4 areas; Performance, Opportunity, Availability, and Average Draft Position. These four areas come together to form an Overall Rating that is not dissimilar to the ratings in the “Madden” video games.


Performance is all about the player; his past accomplishments and how they’ll help to project his future results.  This takes into account the typical methods by which fantasy points are scored i.e. yards, touchdowns, receptions, tackles, etc.  It does NOT delve into bonus areas like plays greater than 40 or 50 yards.  

We grade out each individual scoring metric (yards, touchdowns, receptions, tackles, etc.) against a benchmark number. The benchmark for these metrics is the five-year rolling average of the best player at that particular scoring metric.  See the example below: 

Passing Touchdowns:

The last five years the leader has thrown the following number of TD passes

2018: 50  – 2017: 34  – 2016: 40 –  2015: 36 – 2014: 40  – Average(Benchmark) – 40

QB-A is projected to throw 40 or more TDs then he would score a “99” in the TD category.  

QB-A is projected to throw 25 TDs he would then score a “63” in the TD category.  

Every point-scoring category is then compiled and weighted to provide a complete performance rating. 

This metric matters because it can provide a better understanding of how a player performs from a fantasy standpoint compared to his peers. 


The Opportunity Rating is about coaching, snap counts, scheme, and everything that relates to how often a player is on the field and in a position to score fantasy points.  Every play-caller in the NFL (both offensively and defensively) has been analyzed and we’ve been able to identify approximately how many plays they get to call in season and how those plays are divided up between run and pass.  

This helps to identify the number of pass attempts, or a total number of carries a team may have.  Opportunity from year to year matters for any fantasy player as “volume is king”.  


This is exactly what it sounds like.  Is the guy healthy? Suspended? Missing games for any reason?  The Availability Rating assigns a score for that. No matter how talented a guy is if he’s in the trainer’s room he’s not scoring you fantasy points.  

Average Draft Position (ADP): 

Also, exactly what it sounds like.  Every draft slot is assigned an expected fantasy point output and players projected fantasy point output is then compared to determine if they meet the expected fantasy point production.  Meeting the expectation will land you a “99” in this metric. Quarterbacks fantasy points are adjusted within the scale as a large percentage of their points are the result of other players running after the catch etc.  The adjustment allows QB’s to be graded within the scope of how a fantasy football roster might be constructed. 

Overall Rating: 

Like Voltron, all of these parts come together to create a rating that is greater than the sum of its parts. The Overall Rating takes all four previous Rating areas into account and weighs them to create an easy number to follow.  

The Overall Rating should be used as a way to determine if a player, at his ADP, is a good investment for your team.  It’s important to note, just because a player is a “99” with an ADP of 100 it doesn’t mean draft him at 10. Taking him that early would drastically alter his rating and could be a very bad decision for your roster. 

I personally arrange all of the players by ADP and Draft by the Overall Rating. See the example below.  

It’s the 2nd rd of your draft.   Pick 15, you’re targeting a WR, and you’re torn between Odell Beckham Jr and Juju Smith-Schuster.  

Odell has an ADP of 14 and an Overall of 75

Juju has an ADP of 16 and an Overall of 83

The disparity can be seen in the Availability Rating – 

Odell – 72

Juju – 90

Juju also has an 11 point advantage in performance this can be based on a multitude of factors including sample size, missed or weakened opportunities due to availability issues, or current offensive role.  

Based on the Overall,  at pick 15, I’ll take Juju Smith-Schuster.

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