The Comforts Of Home

Do Players Perform Better At Home?

By RouteTree Research    

It is commonly held that players perform better at home. Does this apply to fantasy performance as well? Should we take this into consideration when setting our lineups? Let's take a look at the numbers from 2000-2012. The plots below display fantasy all individual game points scored from 2000-2012 for QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs by age. The green points represent performances at home and the red points represent performances away. The amount of variation in the data makes it difficult to discern any trend from the points alone. As a result, we include trend lines representing the average home and away points scored by age and position. Although the patterns vary by position, we see that the green lines, representing average points scored in games at home, sit slightly higher across all ages than the corresponding red lines, representing away games. This suggests that players on average do seem to perform better at home albeit slightly.

To get an estimate of this effect, we used a regression model that accounts for repeat performances by the same player over time. The table below lists the estimated effect of playing at home on points scored in a game by position. How do we interpret these figures? A quarterback for example would be expected to score 0.90 pts higher in a home game than in an away game. In each case, the estimates were statistically significant, suggesting that it is very unlikely that the true effect is 0. These effects are not particularly large in magnitude, particularly for WRs. Nonetheless, if you are faced with the decision between two apparently equal options for your lineup on gameday, I'd go with the player playing in front of his home crowd.

Position Home Advantage (Pts)
QB 0.90
RB 0.76
TE 0.50
WR 0.27