Special Report

Most Underpaid Athletes in Every Major Sport

Detailed Findings & Methodology:

In order to determine the most underpaid professional athletes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the value of professional athletes as well as the average salary each player made. Contract figures were based on the average salary paid to the player for the length of the contract. For each league, we used a different advanced statistical measure to determine a player’s overall value to their team. NHL players’ value was ranked based on Point Shares. Point Shares calculates the number of goals a player helped create on offense plus the goals he prevented on defense. Goaltenders are ranked based solely on their defense. Baseball players’ value was ranked based on Wins Above Replacement, or WAR. WAR determines the number of additional wins a player helps his team achieve when compared to a replacement level player at that same position. NFL players’ value was ranked based on Approximate Value, which judges groups of seasons and attempts to assign seasons a numerical value based on quality. Typically, an average starter will have an AV of 10, and a player with an AV of 16, 17, or higher will be in contention for the MVP. NBA players were ranked based on Win Shares. Win Shares determines how many wins a given player is responsible for in a season. These statistics came from the Sports Reference family of sites.

Salary information, which came from sports information sites like Spotrac and Over the Cap, as well as other media sources, was ranked based on the average yearly pay from each player’s contract at the start of the season. NHL and NBA players’ salaries were ranked based on the 2017-2018 season. NFL salaries were ranked on the 2017 season. MLB salaries were based on the 2018 season, and MLB statistics were as of during the all-star break. Players who missed a majority of the team’s games due to injury were not considered.

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