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NFL Toughness Stats: Fantasy & Game Day

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What Stat Tells You The Most About How Tough A Guy Is?
How Important Is Toughness To You When Evaluating NFL Players?
Who Do You Think Is The Toughest Player In The NFL? Who Do You Think Is The Least Tough?
Are There Any Players You Avoid Drafting In Fantasy Because They Aren't Tough Enough?
What's More Important, Mental Toughness Or Physical Toughness?

Please discuss fantasy implications and real-world (non-fantasy) issues.

Personally, I think that you obviously have to look at games played and games missed. Those are good ones. After that, I guess hits taken vs. times the offensive player ran out of bounds. And I would say penalties taken and penalties drawn have to be looked at too.

Qualitatively, I think you gotta look at how a guy plays through an injury. So, obviously, guys like Emmitt, Ronnie Lott, McNabb, and Terrell Owens were all very tough. Then I think you gotta look at the playing style of the player. Guys like Gronk and Le'Veon both make contact with a lot of players, so they're physical and pretty tough. However, Gronk is injury prone and Bell has missed many games in his short NFL career.

Grantland had a good article several years back about how Andrew Luck was the toughest player in the NFL because of how many hits he took. However, now that he has missed many games, I'm not so sure about that. 
But that raises another good question. If you are injury prone, then is that an indicator that you could be more tough?

For a guy like Le'Veon, I think he could be tougher mentally. His off the field issues early on in his career had me facepalming hard, and this holdout backfired on him. You could argue that he had a tough stance in negotiations, but that obviously prevented him from suiting up last season AND he lost money too.

I will say that I normally do try to stay away from injury-prone guys like Eifert and even Gronk (Kelce, Ertz, Delanie, and Kyle Rudolph were my go-tos in redraft). Unfortunately, it seems like Hunter Henry has the injury bug, so I might have to stay away from him too.

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Posted (edited)

Personally, I don't equate 'toughness' to being non-injury prone. I think toughness is subjective, but you nailed it (IMO) with the willingness to play through pain/injury. There isn't a stat that shows toughness, IMO, and I'd argue all NFL players are pretty tough. 

In terms of stats, if a player has started multiple seasons of 16 games, I'm likely to think either he's lucky that he hasn't been seriously injured, or just isn't genetically predisposed to getting injured easily.

Injury-prone guys aren't soft, for me, they're either unlucky or have some unexplained genetic thing going on - some players clearly are more injury prone. Taking Gronk for example; very injury prone but you could argue therefore very tough - playing through 7 major surgeries. 

 

For fantasy - I'll just let others draft the Gronks, Eiferts, Reeds, Kevin Whites...if it pays off, well done - high risk high reward. 

I think BB once said the best trait is durability (but then he kept Gronk around...)

Edited by Hunter2_1

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3 minutes ago, Hunter2_1 said:

I think BB once said the best trait is durability (but then he kept Gronk around...)

"The best ability is availability" I believe it was.

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7 hours ago, the lone star said:

What Stat Tells You The Most About How Tough A Guy Is?
How Important Is Toughness To You When Evaluating NFL Players?
Who Do You Think Is The Toughest Player In The NFL? Who Do You Think Is The Least Tough?
Are There Any Players You Avoid Drafting In Fantasy Because They Aren't Tough Enough?
What's More Important, Mental Toughness Or Physical Toughness?

Why In The Hell Would You Do This To Me?

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I don't think there is any reasonable way to quantify the "toughness" that a player possesses. 

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If they've ever played for Belichick, there's probably a good chance they're a mentally tough guy (with some exceptions, obviously). Other than that, I don't think stats reflect toughness in any way. Snap counts are influenced by injuries that are mostly bad luck, or by team system.

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On 4/18/2019 at 5:45 PM, Cheesehawk said:

Why In The Hell Would You Do This To Me?

lol, I figured the more questions I asked, the more likely it would be that one of them would get answers/responses.

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4 hours ago, AlNFL19 said:

If they've ever played for Belichick, there's probably a good chance they're a mentally tough guy (with some exceptions, obviously). Other than that, I don't think stats reflect toughness in any way. Snap counts are influenced by injuries that are mostly bad luck, or by team system.

For offensive players, maybe just look at hits taken and/or contacts made. Then compare that to the number of times they throw the ball away (including intentional grounding), and how often they run out of bounds in order to avoid a hit. Those are advanced stats though that don't show up on the box score.

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14 minutes ago, the lone star said:

For offensive players, maybe just look at hits taken and/or contacts made. Then compare that to the number of times they throw the ball away (including intentional grounding), and how often they run out of bounds in order to avoid a hit. Those are advanced stats though that don't show up on the box score.

I disagree, particularly with throwing the ball away. Throwing the ball away is smarter than taking a hit and a loss. 

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7 minutes ago, AlNFL19 said:

I disagree, particularly with throwing the ball away. Throwing the ball away is smarter than taking a hit and a loss. 

Smarter for sure, but does smarter = tougher. If we are talking mental toughness, then OK, I can get down with that, but physical toughness, well, it'd be hard to argue that the guy who "shies away from contact" is physically tougher than the guy who doesn't. 

But of course, as Andrew Luck and Tony Romo will both tell you, the body starts to break down if you take a bunch of licks.

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35 minutes ago, the lone star said:

Smarter for sure, but does smarter = tougher. If we are talking mental toughness, then OK, I can get down with that, but physical toughness, well, it'd be hard to argue that the guy who "shies away from contact" is physically tougher than the guy who doesn't. 

But of course, as Andrew Luck and Tony Romo will both tell you, the body starts to break down if you take a bunch of licks.

It doesn’t tell you anything. It’s not “shying away from contact” to throw the ball away. Most of the time, it’s being smart and making the right decision. 

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