The Week that Mr. Brady Returned

Football Analytics Today presents our NFL Quarterback grading system: Week Five FAT Grades

Patriots fans week five last season

Last week, we posted our fourth FAT grade iteration using the fourth week from the 2016 NFL season. Now, with 165 days until the 2017–18 NFL season we’ll give our week five QB FAT grades.

Just to recap, a group of us that grew up together in sunny South Florida developed an idea into a living and breathing football entertainment and analysis platform. Our goal is to bring fun to an audience that may be skeptical or intimidated by the thought of using numbers and analytics to evaluate the unpredictability of sports. We’re not some suit and tie folks with a calculator. We eat, breathe, and sleep the spirit and community of sports — football in particular.

So, we’ve been grinding to develop a Quarterback grading system that goes beyond the post-game stat-line. It’s an evaluation tool that reviews every single play of every single Quarterback (that plays) of every single game.


Now that the FATties — our use of FAT is not only fun but it keeps our fitness game on point as well — are off and running we continue to find instances in which are QB grading system can be refined and represent the true game play of these NFL Quarterbacks. That’s the beauty of analyzing every single play — we get to look beyond the box score and take into account the QB’s ability to escape pressure, extend the play, and throw on the run to a wide receiver 26 yards down field in which the receiver drops a perfectly placed ball.

Our Week Five QB FAT Grades

To remind everyone, this will be a continuous process of tweaking our grading system until the true game play of an NFL Quarterback is captured.

We won’t be stopping at Quarterbacks. After we’ve finalized our grading system we will move on to other offensive skill positions.

During the processing of vetting out week two grades, we changed the way we evaluate QBs based on snap count.

(We put out a video on Twitter and Instagram stories explaining this as well)

After grading week five of the 2016 season, here’s our our QB FAT Grades:


  • FAT Score is the the total points for that QB for that week’s game.
  • FAT Grade is a normalized version of our FAT Score divided by the QB’s “scorable play count” for that week’s game (we now include this number in the visual below).

Our Changes Following Week Five

  • Hail Mary throws will be captured but no points will be given regardless of the result (completion, touchdown, interception, etc.) — hail mary’s are desperate attempts by the QB that usually result in a jump ball and should not factor in to the QB’s evaluation. Does a hail mary attempt really help answer the question of: how well did the QB actually play throughout the game?
  • Tweaked our definition of not converting third downs
  • The biggest discussion we had over this past weekend was evaluating situations based on the receivers ability to catch the ball (Ex. If an “on-the-money” throw would have resulted in a touchdown but the receiver clearly dropped it without any disruption from the defender, the QB should be rewarded for what would have been a touchdown throw). The whole point of this discussion is to fairly judge the quarterback’s gameplay removing situations which are outside of his control.

We Are Just Beginning and We’re Pumped About It!

Austin Paolillo , Mike Papa , Keith Rabinowitz , Alec Depofi, Bobby Souza , Kyle Tyson

As you read this, we are in the process of grading week six games. We will continue to build our player grading system looking for ways to improve our Player Actions and the way we capture data. We truly would appreciate your feedback as our goal is not only to fairly evaluate NFL players but to involve the football community from the ground up.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback.

FAT Team

Twitter and Instagram: @FAT_TeamStats

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