WNBA Player Efficiency Ratings (PER) for 2011

It's time to report the Player Efficiency Ratings for WNBA Players once again.  These numbers are the single-valued metric created by John Hollinger which is abbreviated as PER.  I know that there is software that cranks out PER ratings for WNBA players, but since it isn't available to the public I have to crunch my own numbers.  So if the number listed here doesn't match some proprietary data feed - well, one of us is wrong.

Some explanation of PER follows.  PER is a "normalized" metric, meaning that the value is adjusted by a comparison with a player's contemporaries.  The formula which creates PER - and which would constipate Einstein, let me tell you - is set so that 15.00 is the value of the hypothetically average player.  If you have a PER better than 15.00, you're better than average; if you don't, you're not.  Alison Bales of the Atlanta Dream has a 2011 PER which is equal to 15.00 (rounded to two decimal places) and her career PER is about 11.02.  The player with the most average career PER (normalized by minutes played per season) is Sheri Sam at 15.00.

But if your player is better (or worse) than average, then how much worse.  Hollinger suggested the following scale:

    A Year For the Ages: 35.0
    Runaway MVP Candidate: 30.0
    Strong MVP Candidate: 27.5
    Weak MVP Candidate: 25.0
    Bona fide All-Star: 22.5
    Borderline All-Star: 20.0
    Solid 2nd option: 18.0
    3rd Banana: 16.5
    Pretty good player: 15.0
    In the rotation: 13.0
    Scrounging for minutes: 11.0
    Definitely renting: 9.0
    Off to Europe: 5.0

There was no strong MVP candidate this year.  Oddly enough, the player with the best PER in 2011 was Candace Parker with 26.76.  Remember that PER doesn't care how many minutes you play or if you qualify for any league awards; you give it the data and it spits out a number.

The PER MVP this year?  Sylvia Fowles with 26.25.  (If you don't think Fowles deserves it, Angel McCoughtry's 26.05 might impress you.)  The only other player that PER considers an MVP candidate is Penny Taylor with a 25.41 PER.

 Who has the best career PER?  Cynthia Cooper with 28.73.

Who would have been the Rookie of the Year if PER was the be-all and end-all?  PER was more impressed with Elizabeth Cambage (20.87) than Maya Moore (20.35).  There are definitely some criticisms of PER, namely that it doesn't take defense into account very well. (A detailed list of PER's offenses can be found at the Wikipedia article.)

With that in mind, the list of PER for WNBA players follows.  For players who played with two different teams the final PER value is a weighted PER based on minutes with each team.



Candace Parker 26.76
Sylvia Fowles 26.25
Angel McCoughtry 26.05
Penny Taylor 25.41
Tamika Catchings 24.65
Diana Taurasi 23.75
Monique Currie 23.33
Lindsay Whalen 23.05
Tina Charles 22.29
Crystal Langhorne 21.72
Seimone Augustus 21.62
Jessica Davenport 21.03
Elizabeth Cambage 20.87
Maya Moore 20.35
Danielle Adams 20.14
Becky Hammon 19.68
Candice Dupree 19.65
Sue Bird 19.63
DeWanna Bonner 19.60
Renee Montgomery 19.57
Katie Douglas 19.56
Essence Carson 19.05
Cappie Pondexter 18.86
Rebekkah Brunson 18.54
Plenette Pierson 18.21
Shay Murphy 17.99
Erika deSouza 17.69
Sancho Lyttle 17.65
Courtney Paris 17.58
Kara Lawson 17.56
Jia Perkins 17.43
Lauren Jackson 17.43
Epiphanny Prince 17.15
Armintie Price 17.12
Erin Phillips 16.91
Jessica Adair 16.81
Sophia Young 16.71
Kia Vaughn 16.60
Kara Braxton 16.32
Jantel Lavender 16.16
Roneeka Hodges 16.02
Kristi Toliver 15.94
Tiffany Jackson 15.86
LaToya Pringle 15.81
Shavonte Zellous 15.70
DeLisha Milton-Jones 15.66
Danielle Robinson 15.55
Tammy Sutton-Brown 15.45
Carolyn Swords 15.27
Asjha Jones 15.25
Natasha Lacy 15.24
Alison Bales 15.00
Swin Cash 14.71
Matee Ajavon 14.66
Kelsey Griffin 14.47
Taj McWilliams 14.38
Ticha Penicheiro 14.36
Le'coe Willingham 14.11
Nicole Powell 13.90
Tina Thompson 13.85
Victoria Dunlap 13.73
Allie Quigley 13.60
Camille Little 13.60
Tanisha Wright 13.52
Nicky Anosike 13.47
Ebony Hoffman 13.46
Danielle McCray 13.43
Lindsey Harding 13.43
Ivory Latta 12.80
Jayne Appel 12.75
Ruth Riley 12.63
Sheryl Swoopes 12.58
Ta'Shia Phillips 12.47
Jessica Breland 12.12
Candice Wiggins 12.04
Kayla Pedersen 11.99
Amber Harris 11.95
Monica Wright 11.81
Coco Miller 11.77
Temeka Johnson 11.76
Marissa Coleman 11.65
Jenna O'Hea 11.56
Erin Thorn 11.46
Nakia Sanford 11.40
Quanitra Hollingsworth 11.35
Shannon Bobbitt 11.35
Jeanette Pohlen 11.32
Michelle Snow 11.25
Cathrine Kraayeveld 11.23
Sidney Spencer 11.21
Katie Smith 11.10
Tangela Smith 11.07
Kalana Greene 11.06
Noelle Quinn 10.80
Tully Bevilaqua 10.80
Tan White 10.71
Leilani Mitchell 10.45
Briann January 10.43
Alexis Gray-Lawson 10.31
Tamera Young 10.18
Belinda Snell 10.09
Ashley Robinson 10.02
Kelly Miller 10.00
Sandora Irvin 9.50
Jennifer Lacy 9.37
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton 9.25
Alex Montgomery 9.22
Jasmine Thomas 9.05
Karima Christmas 8.87
Porsha Phillips 8.66
Charde Houston 8.49
DeMya Walker 8.47
Amber Holt 8.04
Courtney Vandersloot 7.99
Iziane Castro Marques 7.88
Shalee Lehning 7.79
Ewelina Kobryn 7.78
Scholanda Robinson 7.65
Marie Ferdinand-Harris 7.27
Allison Hightower 6.94
Jessica Moore 6.58
Felicia Chester 6.47
Shyra Ely 6.42
Kerri Gardin 6.37
Andrea Riley 5.96
Ketia Swanier 5.86
Miranda Ayim 5.03
Doneeka Lewis 4.85
Dominique Canty 4.51
Alexis Hornbuckle 4.17
Krystal Thomas 4.01
Sydney Colson 2.61
Chastity Reed 2.26
Betty Lennox 1.70
Marion Jones 0.43
Olayinka Sanni 0.39
Abi Olajuwon -0.31
Angie Bjorklund -1.55
Joy Cheek -2.29
Kelly Mazzante -8.09
Jacinta Monroe -8.73
Ify Ibekwe -11.42