NFL All-Value Team: The Best Value At Every Position in 2016
Tanya Ray Fox 06:41 pm, February 28th, 2017
As we move through the off-season, a lot of discussion will center around free agency and the draft - the two avenues through which teams can most drastically change their fate from last season. Those signings and acquisitions will come with an expectation of value. Some will be high risk and others not so much, but at the end of the season, there will be no hiding from the bottom line.
In 2016, there were a few players who stood out as some incredible acquisitions or who signed team friendly contracts that increased their value. Spotrac provides value rankings of all active NFL players based on a mathematical comparison of their current average salary against what they refer to as "cumulative production points." Those points are made up of major statistical categories relevant to that player's position. From there, they generate a score each player among their position to rank them with a "True Value" rating.
Through Spotrac's value assessment, you'll notice that the teams who get the most from their players without overpaying them are always the most successful. For example, their top five True Value quarterbacks in 2016 are ranked as follows:
Not only were all five of those quarterbacks in the conversation for league MVP at some point during the season, they all made the playoffs (Carr was injured but he led his team there) and Brady and Ryan faced off in the Super Bowl. Their teams aren't good just because they are, but also because the team is not overpaying for their skills.
Take a look at a snapshot of the teams who ranked top five in overall roster value in 2016:
The Super Bowl champions top the list, followed by the 13-3 Cowboys, the NFC Champion Falcons and the Chiefs and Steelers - who both made the playoffs. Having an incredible player and paying to keep them is great, but teams like the Patriots and Cowboys are proof that finding value in the draft and through creative free agency moves can usually make a bigger difference than any major acquisition can.