Expected Playoff Games Played

Projected playoff fantasy points based on expected number of games played.

In postseason fantasy football, predicting the correct number of games played for each team is crucial. This article, now in its seventh year, uses statistics to do just that. If you're interested in checking out past results, click any or all of the following links to previous installments:

Long story short with respect to methodology, I collect data from various sources (Football Outsiders, FiveThirtyEight, ESPN, Vegas Insider, Pro Football Reference and Pro Football Focus) and do some math to estimate each playoff team's probability of playing exactly one game, exactly two games, exactly three games, or exactly four games. For a bye team like Kansas City, here's how the calculation works:

  1. They have a first-round bye, so they can only play three games at most. Therefore, the Chiefs' probability of playing exactly four games is 0.0%.
  2. They have a 75.6% chance of reaching the AFC Championship Game, which means the Chiefs have a 24.4% probability of playing exactly one game (i.e., losing their first game in the Divisional Round).
  3. The Chiefs have a 47.5% probability of making it to the Super Bowl, so that's their probability of playing exactly three games.
  4. Knowing the above probabilities of playing exactly four games, one game, or three games, we can calculate that the Chiefs' probability of playing exactly two games is 28.2% via simple subtraction: 100% – 0% – 24.4% – 47.5% = 28.2% (with intentional rounding).

For teams without a bye, say Chicago, the calculation is only slightly different:

  1. The Bears have a 1.2% probability of making it to the Super Bowl, so that's their probability of playing exactly four games.
  2. They have a 23.6% chance of winning this weekend, which means the Bears have a 76.4% probability of playing exactly one game (i.e., losing their first game in the Wild Card Round).
  3. They have a 3.1% chance of making the NFC Championship Game, but only the aforementioned 1.2% probability of winning that game and making the Super Bowl, so the Bears have a 2.0% probability of playing exactly three games (i.e., 3.1% – 1.2% = 2.0% with intentional rounding).
  4. Knowing the above probabilities of playing exactly four games, one game, or three games, we can calculate that the Bears' probability of playing exactly two games is 20.4% via simple subtraction: 100% – 1.2% – 76.4% – 2.0% = 20.4%.

EXPECTED PLAYOFF GAMES PLAYED

Below is a table showing all probabilities for each of the 14 playoff teams, both in terms of normal postseason fantasy rules (EXP G) and "Super Bowl counts double" rules (ADJ EXP G):

Already have a Footballguys account? Sign in here:

Want to see the rest?

Become a Season Long Pro to view the full version of this page.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

"Footballguys is the best premium
fantasy football only site on the planet."

Matthew Berry, ESPN

With our
Money Back Guarantee
you have nothing to lose


More articles from Danny Tuccitto

See all

More articles on: Projections

See all

More articles on: Stats

See all

More articles on: Strategy

See all