One of the hotter recent topics on twitter and elsewhere has been the function Body-Mass Index (BMI) serves in projecting wide receiver success in the NFL. It came up in my recent post requesting questions for the DLF Mailbag. The issue deserves enough additional exploration to warrant an independent article. So let’s dig in!
NFL Combine weigh-ins are tracked closely and are an important consideration in rookie evaluations. Prospect height and weight are scrutinized because historical data suggests there are thresholds for success at various positions. BMI may be a relevant metric to factor into prospects for dynasty purposes. It has not been considered much for wide receivers. This article will focus on the relationship of BMI with fantasy outcomes, and not with NFL success or performance directly.
For reference, BMI is a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of their height (in meters). Essentially, this boils down to factoring in both height and weight to have a comparison point between people. Just think about how two people can have similar weight, but if they are a foot apart in height, their body composition will be substantially different.
Draft capital and BMI
One consideration is whether BMI is something relevant for how NFL teams prioritize and select wide receivers. I am not suggesting that teams explicitly draft players with certain BMIs, but rather that other factors they favor may correlate with BMI. This makes it a noteworthy consideration for our pre-draft prospect evaluation since it correlates with draft capital, a metric that is associated with opportunity and fantasy relevance. So how does BMI relate to draft capital?