Leafing Through Pages: Analysis of Sports and Other Topics

08/15/2009

How Differences in Scoring Relate To Fantasy Football Positions

Filed under: Pro Football — David Hunter @ 10:17 AM
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Everybody knows that in order to win a fantasy football league, an owner has to have a great draft, scour the waiver wire, make shrewd trades, and get lucky on later round picks. What many fantasy owners attempt but fail to do well is cater to their league’s scoring when it comes to the initial fantasy draft. Following is an example of how scoring can affect QBs who all put up similar statistics. Note that the stats used are from the 2008 season.

Scoring 1: 1 point per 25 passing, 6 pts per TD, -3 per INT, 1 point per 10 rushing, 6 points per TD. In this scoring set up, Eli Manning is fairly close to Garrard while the drop off from Eli to Orton is steep.
– David Garrard: 240.00 FP
– Eli Manning: 232.52 FP
– Kyle Orton: 213.78 FP
– Matt Schaub: 200.52 FP
– Jake Delhomme: 199.62 FP

Scoring 2: 1 point per 20 passing, 4 points per TD, -1 per INT, 1 point per 10 rushing, 6 points per TD. In this scoring setup, Garrard runs away from everybody else.
– David Garrard: 272.20 FP
– Eli Manning: 242.90 FP
– Kyle Orton: 231.50 FP
– Jake Delhomme: 226.50 FP
– Matt Schaub: 220.95 FP

Scoring 3: 1 point per 25 passing, 6 points per TD, 1 point per 10 rushing, 6 points per TD. Again, there’s a drop off but all the quarterbacks get an overall boost with Garrard again pulling away from the other three.
– David Garrard: 279.00 FP
– Eli Manning: 262.52 FP
– Kyle Orton: 249.78 FP
– Jake Delhomme: 235.62 FP
– Matt Schaub: 230.52 FP

Scoring 4: 1 point per 20 passing, 6 points per TD, -2 per INT, 5 points for 300 yards bonus, 1 point per 10 rushing, 6 points per TD. While Garrard again runs away, Schaub is suddenly a better option than Orton in this type of scoring format. Note that Delhomme finishes well last.
– David Garrard: 299.20 FP
– Eli Manning: 279.90 FP
– Matt Schaub: 260.95 FP
– Kyle Orton: 260.50 FP
– Jake Delhomme: 244.50 FP

In just looking at 4 different scoring formats, you see a wide range of values. Garrard, in 3 of them, runs away while Eli Manning is a fairly close option in the first scoring setup. Jake Delhomme manages to outscore Matt Schaub in 2 formats and Matt Schaub outscores Kyle Orton in 1 format.

When you draft for your fantasy football league, make sure you know your leagues scoring and who will benefit from it (and who won’t) not just at QB but at all positions.

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08/11/2009

Looking Deeper at the Forty Yard Dash’s Effect In the NFL Draft War Rooms

I stumbled upon this article: 40 Yard Dash History and came upon several interesting quotes which I’ll look at piece by piece.

“They can take somebody who runs a 4.65 and get him down to a 4.55 — and sometimes even better than that,” says Gil Brandt, the Cowboys personnel chief from 1960 to ’88 who works for Sirius Satellite Radio and NFL.com.

It’s noteworthy that the NFL Combine is well known for as of late, being electronically timed. This isn’t more on display than comparing RB Chris “Beanie” Wells who was coming out of Ohio State. At the Combine, he ran a “slow” 4.59 by most scouts. However, at his official Pro Day, he ran at the lowest range, a 4.46 on an admittedly fast track. So even if scouts tooks Wells’ slowest time, he still ran 0.13 faster than he did at the NFL Combine.

“So at the end of the 1960 season, we sat down and worked out a 40-20-10 formula. Everyone would run a 40, but there would be 20- and 10-yard splits. We used the 20-yard split for offensive linemen because how often do they have to run 40 yards in a game? And we used the 10-yard split for wide receivers, in an effort to gauge their burst of speed off the line.”

This is very eye opening as well, especially in regards to wide receivers. Let’s compare several notable receivers from the 2005 NFL Combine, some busts, some worked out great. The first number is the 40, the second number is the 20, and the 3rd number is the 10.

Mark Clayton: 4.40 – 2.59 – 1.55
Chris Henry: 4.50 – 2.68 – 1.64
Vincent Jackson: 4.46 – 2.63 – 1.57
Mike Williams: 4.56 – 2.70 – 1.66
Troy Williamson: 4.32 – 2.57 – 1.58

If you look at the above players, you’d say that Troy Williamson had a hell of a 40 yard dash and was a flat out burner, right? Well, if you look a little bit deeper, you’ll notice that Mark Clayton had a similar 20 yard split and that both Mark Clayton and Vincent Jackson had faster 10 yard splits. Very rarely does a WR come off the line of scrimmage without some physical contact, so that 10 yard split turns out to be much more important as it’s the difference between separation deep and a CB keeping up.

Let’s compare it to RBs, who often make their living with “big plays” of 20-30 yard runs game after game. Here, we see the 10 yard split (and 20 yard split) is just as vital for a RB who needs an explosive start and needs to hit top speed immediately.

J.J. Arrington: 4.40 – 2.62 – 1.58
Ronnie Brown: 4.43 – 2.63 – 1.50
Ryan Grant: 4.43 – 2.65 – 1.57
Brandon Jacobs: 4.56 – 2.72 – 1.69
Darren Sproles: 4.47 – 2.62 – 1.55
Carnell Williams: 4.43 – 2.61 – 1.58

Note that both Ronnie Brown and Darren Sproles are explosively fast within 10 yards while Carnell Williams and Ryan Grant are both very good within 10 and 20 yards. Sproles had the 2nd slowest 40 but the 2nd fastest 10 yard split among this group. Brandon Jacobs’ size means his 40 would still be “exceptional” but you see how limited he can be when you look at his splits.

“Jerry Rice was an example of that in later years,” Brandt says. “He ran in the low 4.60s at the combine — not a stellar time — but with his equipment on, he probably ran faster than some of the players who would have beaten him in shorts. He was just so strong he carried his equipment well.”

This has been a long lament among some NFL fans who follow the NFL Combine, wishing that the players would be forced to run in full pads to better display how they “carry their equipment” and better show how true their on field speed is. There’s the old adage that some players play faster (or slower) on the field and that is just as true now as it was before.

“A slow timer will get a guy in 4.47, whereas a fast timer will get him in 4.42. And that 500th of a second could have to do with how someone uses his stopwatch.”

This is worth noting, especially with the recent spate of reports of college football players running in the 4.2 range (Chris Johnson ran a 4.24 at the NFL Combine) such as Miami WR Sam Shields who was supposedly timed at 4.2. QB Terrell Pryor out of Ohio State was timed at a 4.33. For comparison, ESPN reported that QB Michael Vick ran a 4.36 at his 2001 Mini Camp.

08/09/2009

Examining Whether Quarterback Ratings Increase or Decrease In Their 2nd Year

A case is often made about rookie quarterbacks settling down after their first season and stepping up in their second season. Media pundits often talk about sophomore slumps but the data below seems to prove that for a QB, much more often than not, they take a big leap forward. Such news bolds well for QBs like JaMarcus Russell, Matt Cassel, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and Joe Flacco who all started their first full seasons last year. Note that the Year 1/Year 2 reflect full starting seasons (min. 10 games started) for a more complete, accurate picture (see Kyle Orton as one example of a stretch in between Y1 and Y2).

Troy Aikman
– Year 1 QB Rating: 55.7
– Year 2 QB Rating: 66.6 (+10.90)

Ken Anderson
– Year 1 QB Rating: 74.0
– Year 2 QB Rating: 81.2 (+7.2)

Tony Banks
– Year 1 QB Rating: 71.0
– Year 2 QB Rating: 71.5 (+0.50)

Charlie Batch
– Year 1 QB Rating: 83.5
– Year 2 QB Rating: 84.1 (+0.6)

Drew Bledsoe
– Year 1 QB Rating: 65.0
– Year 2 QB Rating: 73.6 (+8.6)

Kyle Boller
– Year 1 QB Rating: 62.4
– Year 2 QB Rating: 70.9 (+8.5)

Terry Bradshaw
– Year 1 QB Rating: 30.4
– Year 2 QB Rating: 59.7 (+29.3)

Tom Brady
– Year 1 QB Rating: 86.5
– Year 2 QB Rating: 85.7 (-0.8)

Drew Brees
– Year 1 QB Rating: 76.9
– Year 2 QB Rating: 67.5 (-9.4)

Mark Brunell
– Year 1 QB Rating: 82.6
– Year 2 QB Rating: 84.0 (+1.4)

Marc Bulger
– Year 1 QB Rating: 81.4
– Year 2 QB Rating: 93.7 (+12.3)

Jason Campbell
– Year 1 QB Rating: 77.6
– Year 2 QB Rating: 84.3 (+6.7)

David Carr
– Year 1 QB Rating: 62.8
– Year 2 QB Rating: 69.5 (+6.7)

Kerry Collins
– Year 1 QB Rating: 61.9
– Year 2 QB Rating: 79.4 (+17.5)

Tim Couch
– Year 1 QB Rating: 73.2
– Year 2 QB Rating: 77.3 (+4.1)

Daunte Culpepper
– Year 1 QB Rating: 98.0
– Year 2 QB Rating: 83.3 (-14.7)

Jay Cutler
– Year 1 QB Rating: 88.5
– Year 2 QB Rating: 88.1 (-0.4)

Jake Delhomme
– Year 1 QB Rating: 80.6
– Year 2 QB Rating: 87.3 (+6.7)

Trent Edwards
– Year 1 QB Rating: 70.4
– Year 2 QB Rating: 85.4 (+15.0)

John Elway
– Year 1 QB Rating: 54.9
– Year 2 QB Rating: 76.8 (+21.9)

Jeff Garcia
– Year 1 QB Rating: 77.9
– Year 2 QB Rating: 97.6 (+19.7)

David Garrard
– Year 1 QB Rating: 80.5
– Year 2 QB Rating: 102.2 (+21.7)

Otto Graham
– Year 1 QB Rating: 64.7
– Year 2 QB Rating: 79.2 (+14.5)

Bob Griese
– Year 1 QB Rating: 61.6
– Year 2 QB Rating: 75.7 (+14.1)

Brian Griese
– Year 1 QB Rating: 75.6
– Year 2 QB Rating: 102.9 (+27.3)

Joey Harrington
– Year 1 QB Rating: 59.9
– Year 2 QB Rating: 63.9 (+4.0)

Matt Hasselbeck
– Year 1 QB Rating: 87.8
– Year 2 QB Rating: 88.8 (+1.0)

Jim Kelly
– Year 1 QB Rating: 83.3
– Year 2 QB Rating: 83.8 (+0.5)

Jon Kitna
– Year 1 QB Rating: 77.7
– Year 2 QB Rating: 75.6 (-2.1)

Byron Leftwich
– Year 1 QB Rating: 73.0
– Year 2 QB Rating: 82.2 (+9.2)

Eli Manning
– Year 1 QB Rating: 75.9
– Year 2 QB Rating: 77.0 (+1.1)

Peyton Manning
– Year 1 QB Rating: 71.2
– Year 2 QB Rating: 90.7 (+19.5)

Dan Marino
– Year 1 QB Rating: 96.0
– Year 2 QB Rating: 108.9 (+12.9)

Donovan McNabb
– Year 1 QB Rating: 77.8
– Year 2 QB Rating: 84.3 (+6.5)

Steve McNair
– Year 1 QB Rating: 70.4
– Year 2 QB Rating: 80.1 (+9.7)

Warren Moon
– Year 1 QB Rating: 76.9
– Year 2 QB Rating: 68.5 (-8.4)

Joe Montana
– Year 1 QB Rating: 87.8
– Year 2 QB Rating: 88.4 (+0.6)

Kyle Orton
– Year 1 QB Rating: 59.7
– Year 2 QB Rating: 79.6 (+19.9)

Carson Palmer
– Year 1 QB Rating: 77.3
– Year 2 QB Rating: 101.1 (+23.8)

Chad Pennington
– Year 1 QB Rating: 104.2
– Year 2 QB Rating: 91.0 (-13.2)

Jake Plummer
– Year 1 QB Rating: 73.1
– Year 2 QB Rating: 75.0 (+1.9)

Philip Rivers
– Year 1 QB Rating: 92.0
– Year 2 QB Rating: 82.4 (-9.6)

Ben Roethlisberger
– Year 1 QB Rating: 98.1
– Year 2 QB Rating: 98.6 (+0.5)

Tony Romo
– Year 1 QB Rating: 95.1
– Year 2 QB Rating: 97.4 (+2.3)

Matt Schaub
– Year 1 QB Rating: 87.2
– Year 2 QB Rating: 92.7 (+5.5)

Phil Simms
– Year 1 QB Rating: 66.0
– Year 2 QB Rating: 58.9 (-7.1)

Roger Staubach
– Year 1 QB Rating: 104.8
– Year 2 QB Rating: 94.6 (-10.2)

Fran Tarkenton
– Year 1 QB Rating: 74.7
– Year 2 QB Rating: 66.9 (-7.8)

Vinny Testaverde
– Year 1 QB Rating: 68.9
– Year 2 QB Rating: 75.6 (+6.7)

Johnny Unitas
– Year 1 QB Rating: 74.0
– Year 2 QB Rating: 88.0 (+14.0)

Michael Vick
– Year 1 QB Rating: 81.6
– Year 2 QB Rating: 78.1 (-3.5)

Kurt Warner
– Year 1 QB Rating: 109.2
– Year 2 QB Rating: 98.3 (-10.9)

Vince Young
– Year 1 QB Rating: 66.7
– Year 2 QB Rating: 71.1 (+4.4)

08/06/2009

Best NFL Receiver Over Past 2 Seasons

Filed under: Pro Football — David Hunter @ 12:02 PM
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Here’s a table comparing arguably the top receivers and how they’ve produced over the 2007 and 2008 seasons combined. Note that these are not in order of who I think is the best (although Randy Moss would be my top choice). Who would you pick as the top receiver of the past two seasons?

Player Starts Catches Yards TD
Randy Moss 32 167 2501 34
Larry Fitzgerald 31 196 2840 22
Anquan Boldin 22 160 1891 20
Roddy White 30 171 2584 13
Steve Smith 29 165 2423 13
Greg Jennings 28 133 2212 21
Terrell Owens 31 150 2407 25
Torry Holt 30 157 1985 10
Hines Ward 28 152 1775 14
Chad Ochocinco 26 146 1980 12
Brandon Marshall 31 206 2590 13
Lee Evans 32 118 1866 8
Reggie Wayne 32 186 2652 16
Wes Welker 27 223 2340 11
Dwayne Bowe 31 156 2017 12
Andre Johnson 25 175 2426 16
T.J. Houshmanzadeh 30 204 2047 16
Antonio Bryant 28 123 1981 10
Santana Moss 30 140 1852 9
Calvin Johnson 26 126 2087 16
Braylon Edwards 32 135 2162 19
Santonio Holmes 28 107 1763 13

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