It’s coming Dome!

Myth or fact: You should seek out making your compilation of fantasy football rosters with players that play more inside domes?

You would have no doubt heard the following claims in fantasy chats:

“I’ll take this kicker because he plays in domes and therefore no weather conditions can restrict their scoring”

“Quarterbacks that play in domes throw for more yardage” etc, etc…

This quick article will take a look at whether or not players that play in domes more regularly score more fantasy points. The positions this really applies to is the Quarterback and Kickers.

First off Quarterbacks;

There are 8 teams that play in domes – New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston, Indianapolis, Arizona, Dallas, Minnesota and Detroit. Many of these teams end up playing over 10 games in a dome for the season. The question is – does it help the signal callers?

Using some statistics (which aren’t my own), based on the current top 15 QBS in terms of starts, we can have the following overall outlook:

QBStats

(Taken from “u/d1dOnly” at https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/8d6q5z/dome_sweet_dome_indoor_vs_outdoor_qb_stats/’)

The 3 on the list above that have a home dome are Brees, Ryan and Stafford. All 3 of these are usually involved in pass heavy offences over the years. Let’s break down those 3 into dome and away splits:

Drew Brees has played 121 games outside of a dome, winning 65 of them, a 54% win rate. He has a 65% completion rate on  4263 attempts, over 30,000 yards and a near 2:1 TD to INT ratio with an overall QB rating of 90.9

Inside the dome, Drew Brees has a 77-52 record, a 68% win rate. Playing only 8 games more over his career inside a dome, has racked up over 10,000 more passing yards, a 2.5:1 TD:INT ratio and has over 10 points more on his quarterback rating. Further more his Touchdowns in a dome per game are 2.23 where as outside it’s 1.65. Clearly, Brees loves his dome comforts.

Moving on to Matt Ryan, the figures are relatively similar.

Playing inside, Matt Ryan boasts a 66% win rate in 98 games, completing 66% of his passes and a 2:1 TD:INT rate. When playing in conditions, Ryan drops 5pts on his QB rating to just over 90, his win rate scrapes above 50% but his TD:INT rate stays at around 2:1 but the numbers drop significantly if stretching his 60 game outside total to match the 98 games inside.

Finally, Matthew Stafford. Stafford has played pretty much 2 out of every 3 games indoors and you can tell by the numbers that it is lucky his home field is a dome.

Inside, Stafford has 82 games under his belt, winning 42 (51%). Outside, he has only won 18/43 games, a measly 42%.

Similar to Ryan, his QB rating drops down by 5pts when outside but it’s his TD:INT ratio that is polarising. Indoors, Stafford has thrown 148 touchdowns and 76 interceptions which for arguments sake we shall make 2:1. Outside however, Stafford has thrown just 68 touchdowns in those 43 games (1.6 TD per game) and thrown 42 interceptions (1 per game), giving him a ratio of 1.5:1.

So you can certainly see that QBs that play at home certainly struggle when they venture outside. But what about QBs that visit domes infrequently?

Looking at Aaron Rodgers, arguably the greatest, there are some interesting results.

Whilst his win ratio inside a dome is 15/29 (52%), his TDs (64) and Interception (13) ratio are 2.2:0.45 with a QB rating of 110.3. His win ratio outside of domes, obviously a bigger sample size, is 68% but his TD:INT ratio also falls to 2.1:0.55. Whilst this is only a small change the ratio, its a change indicating that Rodgers performs better indoors too.

A player who seems to prefer outside is Philip Rivers. Luckily for him he plays in a division that all play outside. Rivers over his career has only play 12 games in a dome, which pretty much correlates to 1 a year.

Rivers has a 6-6 record indoors over those 12 games and has only thrown 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions at a ratio of 1.4:0.8 and has a completion rate of 63% along with a 91.8 Rating.

Outdoors, where he has played a total of 185 games, has a win-loss record of 103-82-0. has a better QB rating of 95.1 and a TD:INT rate of 1.8:0.8.

Below are the Dome/Outside splits for those 15 Quarterbacks:

Dome Stats (NB – Games with a retractable roof are deemed closed):

2018-07-21-2.png

(Taken from “u/d1dOnly” at https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/8d6q5z/dome_sweet_dome_indoor_vs_outdoor_qb_stats/’)

Playing outside:

2018-07-21-1-e1532189613154.png

(Taken from “u/d1dOnly” at https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/8d6q5z/dome_sweet_dome_indoor_vs_outdoor_qb_stats/’)

For perspective, here are how Tony Romo and Peyton Manning fared:

2018-07-21-3.png

(Taken from “u/d1dOnly” at https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/8d6q5z/dome_sweet_dome_indoor_vs_outdoor_qb_stats/’)

KICKERS

Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of data out there for more recent times, but up until the 2014-2015 season, kickers did not have an advantage when playing inside a dome. Taken from FantasyIndex.com, here is a breakdown of a decade stretching between 2005-2014.

DOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE?
Year Dome Outdoor
2005 106.2 108.6
2006 109.6 106.2
2007 106.4 112.5
2008 115.1 116.0
2009 102.6 108.8
2010 114.5 111.2
2011 112.8 117.2
2012 122.1 117.0
2013 116.6 121.6
2014 118.1 115.3
Total 112.4 113.4
(Taken from https://www.fantasyindex.com/2015/07/07/factoid/kickers-in-domes)

Now whilst there are of course less teams that have played in domes over this stretch and therefore a smaller data size to compare, figures seems to suggest that there is little edge in kicking in a dome.

Scott Barrett from Pro Football Focus suggests that points from kickers are completely random, last year Kickers in domes scored 1 point per game more on average with 8.7 (article can be found at https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/fantasy-football-metrics-that-matter-kickers).

He reports that Greg Zuerlein was the highest scoring kicker last year with a score higher than all Tight Ends and in fact was the 3rd highest in points for a kicker in a season over the past decade whilst only playing 14 games.

So there is no edge in domes for kickers, what about higher scoring teams?

The top scoring teams last year were: Rams, Patriots, Eagles, Saints and Jags

The points scored from kicking (not taking in to account extra points for longer distanced field goals) for the Rams and the Patriots were also top 2 with the Saints kicker also finishing 4th. Higher scoring teams doesnt necessarily mean more kicker points because you’d need 3 PAT to equal a standard ranged field goal. You’d need to predict ahead of the season, which teams will attempt more field goals and be a high scoring team, something which even the most advanced model would find it hard to predict.

Overall, the scoring for kickers can’t really be predicted or projected and seemingly there is no edge to picking kickers that play in domes. Either get rid of the position or stream them. One piece of advice I would give is never draft a kicker if you don’t have to. Draft a player in the last round that could provide value and a trade piece.