Originally written on Fantasy Sports Locker Room  |  Last updated 11/16/14

Malcolm Gladwell made the topic trendy but outliers have been the bane of a statistical analyst’s existence all along. An outlier is essentially a number so far from the average (mean) that it seems out of place. In fantasy football we’re talking about statistical outputs that stand out from a player’s typical production. For example, Doug Martin‘s 272 total yard, four touchdown performance in week nine against the Raiders; or for that matter his 33.4 fantasy point output the week prior. Anyone that was watching the game was blown away by Martin’s speed, vision, and Oakland’s tackling inefficiency. However, when you look at the numbers things just don’t add up. These outliers are performances that are hard to predict, and while Martin’s 50+ points in week nine was likely enough to win your weekly matchup, no one was predicting it and an argument can be made that it shouldn’t be considered when looking at his fantasy value for 2013... This factors into our approach to running backs, which we'll discuss.

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