STERLING, ILL. (August 26, 2014) – Every football season, millions of fantasy football die-hards scour the inter-webs for new can’t-miss predictions and otherwise tantalizing tips that can lead them to the Promised Land. To help this year’s would-be champions, men’s grooming leader Wahl teamed up with STATS, the world’s top sports statistical analysis company, to look under the one stone that has yet to be unturned—determining whether players with facial hair perform better than their clean-shaven counterparts. The winner: Facial hair, and by more than a whisker.
Facial hair and football go way back. And although it may evoke images of burly linemen with intimidating beards, it’s not just those on the front line embracing a whiskered lifestyle these days—and for good reason. According to STATS’ analysis of fantasy football data from the 2013 season, the odds of fantasy owners having a top-ranked running back, wide receiver and quarterback who sported facial hair last season were very good.
The power of facial hair on the football field
How much of an impact does facial hair have on fantasy performance and which scruffy players top this year’s rankings? Plenty. Check out Wahl’s Fantasy Football Facial Hair infographic cheat sheet for tips on drafting a winning lineup.
Facial-haired QBs deliver in the air, and on the ground
While facial haired QBs were in the minority in 2013, those who let it grow produced fantasy points with far greater consistency. A staggering 86 percent of scruffy signal callers averaged at least 20 fantasy points per game compared to only 56 percent of clean-shaven ones. Facial hair also impacted QBs’ ability to avoid the rush and gain yards on the ground. Among the top 10 rushing QBs, seven rocked healthy stubble.
Facial hair is a growing theme heading into the 2014 season, as eight of the 10 top ranked QBs have been sporting it throughout the preseason.
Scruff-sporting running backs and receivers gain more yards, and touchdowns
Facial hair, on its own, might not produce more power or speed, but don’t tell that to today’s bearded backs. All but three of the top 10 rushing leaders last year pounded the rock while rocking hair on their face. As for getting into the end zone, 60 percent of the top 10 touchdown leading backs crossed the goal line sporting facial hair.
Similarly, 60 percent of the top 20 fantasy wide receivers in 2013 had facial hair. And when they weren’t racking up more yards and catches, they were catching more touchdowns, a whopping 44 percent more than their clean-shaven brethren.
The facial hair phenomenon appears to be growing on this year’s crop of top ranked backs and receivers as 14 of the 20 projected fantasy leaders are heading into the 2014 season wearing facial hair.
“Facial hair is often associated with intimidation on the football field, but its popularity among today’s skill position players suggests it’s also about confidence,” said Steven Yde, director of marketing for Wahl. “As an ambassador of facial hair, it’s great to see so many athletes choosing to let it grow and having success.”
Play fantasy football, facial hair style
In celebration of facial hair’s dominance on the football field, Wahl and STATS are giving fantasy football aficionados the chance to win $150,000 by playing the Wahl Fantasy Football Challenge. It’s free, easy and rewarding—each week participants simply select three players sporting facial hair for a chance to win weekly prizes. The top scorer at the end of the season earns a free seat in the ultimate fantasy draft, the 2015 National Fantasy Football Championship in Las Vegas. Registration for the Wahl Fantasy Football Challenge opens on August 28 at wahlfantasyfootball.com and runs throughout the season. Learn more at wahlfantasyfootball.com. You can also connect with Wahl on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The fantasy football facial hair study includes analysis and comparison of 2013 statistics of fantasy football players with and without facial hair based on player profile photos for that season. Projections of facial haired players ranked among the top 10 fantasy leaders by position for 2014 is based on public photography of those players as of August 21, 2014.
About Wahl Grooming
Since 1919, with the invention of the first practical electric hair clipper, the Wahl Clipper Corporation has been the leader in the professional and home grooming category. A quarter-century ago, Wahl, recognized the desire for well-kept facial hair and created the facial hair trimmer category. The Wahl Groomsman was the world's first battery operated facial hair trimmer, and featured the same type of blade quality that defined Wahl’s clippers in 1919. Today, Wahl manufactures a variety of facial hair trimmers and clippers, including the first-ever line to harness the power of lithium ion. For more information visit www.wahlgrooming.com.
About STATS LLC
STATS is the world's leading sports technology, data and content company. The company passionately abides by a mission to revolutionize the way sports contests are viewed, understood, played and enjoyed. STATS' calling card consists of real-time scores, historical sports information, Associated Press editorial content, a turnkey fantasy sports operation and SportVU technology. Today, STATS' worldwide client network of media companies and professional sports leagues and teams utilize a broad spectrum of dynamic in-game broadcast presentations and virtual images, multimedia enhancements and game analysis and tactical coaching tools. STATS is owned by Vista Equity Partners. For a complete tour of STATS' sports content portfolio and solutions, visit www.stats.com.