Commentary

Most underrated players of 2011

Five players who had much better seasons than the public believes

Originally Published: January 4, 2012
By Aaron Schatz | Football Outsiders
Larry FitzgeraldJohn Rieger/US PresswireLarry Fitzgerald had a terrific season catching passes from Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.

NFL fans are used to the standard stats: yards, touchdowns, maybe tackles. But when you look at a football player's performance, it's important to look closely at his performance on every play. How did he do based on the situation? How did he do based on the context of his opponents? For a receiver, are you considering not only the balls he caught but all the balls he didn't catch?

Those are the kinds of advanced stats we use at Football Outsiders, and based on those stats, here are five players who had excellent seasons in 2011, though you may not know it.