Earlier this week I posted the Week 1 expected points added (EPA) for quarterbacks. What’s even more exciting than quarterback EPA? Kicker EPA!!
Seriously, I had some kicking EPA code lying around and decided to run the 2017 numbers through the model and calculate how much actual value these guys are providing so far this year.
Expected points is truly a great way to judge kickers, whether a kick is good or not is almost entirely on the kicker, as opposed to passing and rushing where 11 offensive and defensive players are all influencing the results to varying degrees.
The kicker EPA calculation is based on the actual points scored on each kick versus your league-average expectation for a play from that down, distance, yard line and time of game.
Kickers have vastly improved their kicking over the years, making anything under 50 yards a high probability make.
It’s great to see on top Georgio Tavecchio, who was moved up from the Raiders practice squad a day before the game to replace the injured Sebastian Janikowski and promptly nailed four field goals from 20, 52, 52 and 43 yards.
For some context on exactly how much value Tavecchio added in Week 1, his 4.3 EPA was higher than those of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matthew Stafford.
In addition to the total EPA number, I broke out the EPA produced by distance. Again, this is based on data I pulled with nflscrapR before cleaning and aggregating the data.