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Adam Harstad

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Everything posted by Adam Harstad

  1. She asked me to post it. I was going to leave it up for 24 hours and then memory-hole it, but this is a much better solution. Anyone interested, PM me and I’ll pass it along.
  2. Hey all, Tom’s sister wanted to let you know that she appreciated everyone’s replies in this thread, and if anyone had any other stories of her brother they wanted to share, she’d love to hear them. Feel free to PM me and I’ll pass them along.
  3. I did. I tried to PM you just to make sure you saw but PMs weren’t working. I still need to discuss with the rest of the league what we’re planning on doing going forward. Most of the rest of the guys have been playing with Tom for as long as I have. But if they’re okay with it and you’re still interested, I’d love to offer you his spot. I think he’d have liked that. There may or may not be a dispersal draft, but I do feel since we’re on a fantasy football board and all it’s worth noting that Tom built himself a *team*. Lamar, Henry, Cook, Davante, Lockett, Woods, Kelce, Ravens. The guy could play.
  4. No one did. Totally unexpected. He was complaining about not feeling well when he went to bed Sunday night and again when he got up on Monday, but no indications it was anything serious. Two weeks ago he was taking me down in a championship game and already talking trash about the pending repeat. A week ago we were making plans for the off-season. If there are any people in your life who you’re grateful for, it’s a good reminder to make sure they know. Tom knew, and I’m grateful for that at least.
  5. Hey y’all. I wish to hell I wasn’t writing this right now. But Tom, better known around here as @Man of Constant Sorrow, died of natural causes on Monday morning. I know many of you knew him and some of you have met him. I’ve seen people I know disappear before and always wondered what happened to them, and I didn’t want you to wonder. He always spoke fondly of the FFA. I know this was a place that was here for him when he needed it. I’ve known Tom for nearly 20 years now. I met him on a long-defunct forum for a video game (Baldur’s Gate 2). He invited me to join a fantasy football league with him, told me he thought it would be something I liked. He even offered to pay my entry fee for me. I was skeptical— I didn’t even follow football at the time, I couldn’t name more than eight teams, and I was confused as all hell about the difference between the NFL, the NFC, and the AFC. But Tom was right, and he was generous and patient with me and he was kind to me even though I was a self-absorbed ###. (Those who were in the Shark Pool back then can happily verify.) I’ve never played a season of fantasy football without Tom. I’m not looking forward to a first. I’ve spoken to his family and they would appreciate prayers from anyone inclined to give them.
  6. Hey @MikeIke. You probably don't really know me, since I've never ventured much into the FFA. Joe linked me to this thread, though, and I wanted to come by and offer my perspective, too. When I was 13 and my brother was 15, my mom used to get her nails professionally done. Mostly because my mom is a hyper-sociable person, and professional nail appointments are professional chat appointments. (You gotta do something while the lacquer dries, right?) Her favorite nail tech at the time, we'll call her "Sharon", was around 26 and had a 12-year-old daughter, we'll call her "Mary". Sharon kept telling my mom about how she just couldn't handle Mary, she was doing the best she could but she was a single mother who had dropped out of high school, she didn't have any money, she didn't have any career prospects, she didn't have any parental role models, and she just didn't know what to do. So my mom and dad-- amazing, awe-inspiring people that they are-- took in Mary and raised her as their own. It was really weird, and hard. That part about how your kids would probably wind up fooling around with Padme? Well, my brother and Mary had already had several hot-and-heavy makeout sessions (they didn't realize she was going to become our "sister" at the time), and I had a huge crush on her for like the first year she lived with us. (I was 13. She was hot.) Eventually, things got to the point where the very thought of fooling around with Mary became super-weird. And I was really, really, really glad by that point that I *hadn't* fooled around with her. Because suuuuuuuuuuper-weird. But had there been an opportunity before we reached that point, oh hell yeah, it'd have happened. Throwing a pair of non-Westermarcked mixed-gender kids in the middle of puberty together under the same roof is dangerous. Take precautions. The early going with Mary living with us was really rough. I'm not going to compare it to what you're going through, but she rebelled early and hard. She'd basically been raising herself for a few years and she chafed at any restrictions whatsoever. She repeatedly stole money from everyone in the house and lied about it. She frequently disappeared without warning, sometimes overnight. She lied, played one family member against another, etc. Basically just causing chaos however she could. As others have opined, this was because of her life experience. Kids are phenomenally good at learning. That's their whole reason for existence, really. And what Mary had learned was that when things got tough, people got rid of her. After seeing how easily that lesson sank in on her second family with Mary, I shudder to think how well Padme has internalized it by her fifth family. Anyway, Mary figured sooner or later we were going to abandon her, so unconsciously she wouldn't allow herself to get close to us. She kept trying to push us away, to make us abandon her and prove her right. That was basically life for us for a year. And after about a year of it, she realized that we weren't going anywhere and gave it up. There was never any formal cessation of hostilities or anything, she just wound down. Actually, "wound down" gives the wrong impression. Things got much, much worse... and then they sort of stopped. And after that, things were pretty good. There was drama, but mostly of the "she's a 13-year-old girl" variety. If I had to hazard a guess based on the (very, very) limited information I have, I'd hypothesize that Padme's behavior best fits this model. It explains why she's so loving to her sister: her sister is the one person she can count on not to abandon her, who doesn't demand anything of her or judge her. It also means if you give up on her, it just "proves" to her that her mental model is correct, and everyone really *will* abandon her when things get hard. Which is a really ####ty situation for you to find yourself in, essentially held emotional hostage to this girl's needs. If I'm right, if there's no underlying mental disorder, then this is not exactly good news. Mental disorders are, in many ways, preferable. (Coming from someone with major family history of mental disorders ranging from depression to bipolar to dissociative identity disorder, borderline personality, you name it.) Once there's a diagnosis, there's usually some sort of plan of action. Things are hard, but the path is basically known. Defense mechanisms don't lend themselves to a plan of action. Basically, the "plan of action" is "put up with as much #### as you humanly can". With no idea whether "as much #### as you humanly can" is as much #### as she's prepared to dish out. With no guidance on when the #### will eventually end, or even if it ever will. She might be irreparably broken, (think: your interaction with her biological father). She might be repairable but beyond your ability. You're a good man, but good intentions are a poor substitute for expertise, and your obligations will always be potential stumbling blocks. We were able to weather Mary's ####. But it easily could have gone differently. Had she brought hard drugs into our house, or introduced my brother or I to them, that probably would have been a red line. Had my brother and I started hanging out with acquaintances of hers with gang affiliations, that would, too. Had she exacerbated my family's existing mental conditions in a dangerous way, the health and safety of my family would have taken precedence over her rehabilitation. We were incredibly lucky that she never crossed any lines that there was no coming back from. I offer no judgment for anyone in a situation where those lines *are* crossed. One final coda. You might think my family is a success story, and in many ways we were. But also, in many ways, we weren't. Mary remained close with Sharon. Sharon was her mother. Closer, in fact; now that Sharon was freed from the obligations of parenthood, she was free to be Mary's best friend. They shared clothes, went shopping together, gossipped about boys. Sharon gabbed about the single lifestyle she was finally able to lead, and Mary considered it so glamorous and enviable. My dad got a promotion that required us to move out of state. We discussed it with Mary and told her how much we wanted her to come with. She wanted to come, too. We had a house built and Mary would get a bedroom with her very own bathroom for the first time in her life. We promised to fly her back for holidays and summers so she could still see her mom plenty. Everyone was excited. Except for Sharon, who decided that having a daughter was actually so much fun (now that she didn't have to do anything) and who didn't want to lose her bestie. Sharon waged a covert war for Mary's affections, persuading Mary to choose her instead of us. My parents refused to play dirty, because who wants to try to convince a kid not to love and trust her mother? Sharon eventually won, convincing Mary that life with her would be a non-stop slumber party. We moved. Mary stayed. A while later, we found out that Mary had gone to visit extended family in California, and when she'd returned, Sharon had moved without telling her where. Mary crashed on friends' couches until eventually they kicked her out. Then she moved in with her boyfriend, who was 4 or 5 years older. She dropped out of high school, moved to California, and had kids really young. We lost touch, and I have no idea where she is today or what she's up to. You could say that all of our time and effort was for nothing, but that's not really true. I mean, Mary still had us in her life for two years, and they were good years. My family learned a lot about sacrifice, and love, and also about how some problems don't really have solutions, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth trying to solve anyway. Because of this amazing thing my parents did, I know a lot more today about the meaning and shape of selflessness. They set an example for me to strive to live up to. I have two little boys, age 5 and 1. Knowing what I know, would I take in a Mary of my own? Certainly not now. I don't have the energy or resources to commit to that kind of project right now. A decade from now? Who knows. Honestly, I'd probably be more likely to donate a kidney anonymously. Organ donation is quick and easy by comparison. It has a clearly-defined beginning, middle, and end-point. But maybe. As you're seeing, there's a lot of bad that can (and inevitably will) arise from that choice. But sometimes there's a lot of good, too. Sometimes the good manages to outweigh the bad. And sometimes it doesn't, but at least you can go to bed at night and tell yourself that just because a problem doesn't have a solution doesn't mean you didn't try to solve it, anyway, and there's value in that, too.
  7. Yup. Pharoh Cooper could get some, too, but I'd be surprised if Austin isn't handling the majority of them. Edit: I've tentatively got Austin projected for 66% of LA's punt returns, but that's largely just me being pretty conservative on the heels of the big extension. I wouldn't at all be surprised if that number wound up being more like the 90% he's averaged over the last two years.
  8. I like Bortles, and I don't think the "garbage time" stats are particularly meaningful to determining his dynasty value... but this is a compelling fact to remember, at least in the near term. I actually wrote about garbage time earlier this year with respect to DeAndre Hopkins. My finding at the time: if we defined "garbage time" as "trailing by 14+ points", Hopkins led the league in "garbage time" receiving yards by a substantial margin. The problem? DeAndre Hopkins also ranked 9th in the NFL in receiving yards *OUTSIDE* of garbage time. DeAndre Hopkins had a crap-ton of yards, and so he was at or near the top of the leaderboard in every single split. And Houston, in particular, was terrible, so Hopkins spent a much higher percentage of his time on the field trailing big than did, say, Antonio Brown. Hopkins had more than three times as many garbage-time snaps as the average NFL receiver at that point of the year. 34.3% of Hopkins' yards came in "garbage time", (defined, again, as trailing by 14+ points). 33.0% of Houston's total offensive snaps came in garbage time. 37.6% of Houston's pass attempts came in garbage time. 41.0% of Houston's passing yards came in garbage time. Hopkins averaged 1.52 yards per offensive snap when the team was down by 14+ points, and 1.44 yards per offensive snap when the team was not; over a full season, that would work out to a difference of about 80 yards, give or take. So Hopkins' production during garbage time wasn't at all disproportionate to what you'd expect given his production outside of garbage time and the amount of time he spent in garbage time. And I strongly suspect that if I ran a similar analysis for Blake Bortles, I'd return a similar result. Which is why I hate holding "garbage time" against a player; usually it's done in a half-baked way that doesn't at all measure whether the player's production was at all out of line with what we should have expected. (As an aside: Andrew Luck's production without question *WAS* disproportionately concentrated during garbage time this year. But I have no reason to believe that that's anything other than random numbers behaving randomly over a small sample; I've yet to see any studies showing any predictive value whatsoever to information like this.)
  9. I see this said a lot, but is it really true? I'm not saying that it's not, necessarily, but I don't recall Jacksonville getting blown out a lot and being constantly in furious comeback mode. I see Bortles as a modern day Favre. He's a gunslinger. He'll have his share of bad interceptions, but the stats will be there at the end of the day. He also adds some decent rushing stats which help from a fantasy perspective. I think his rookie season was just so bad that people's view of him are somewhat tainted. He was the No. 3 overall pick (so pedigree is there), has the prototypical size, has above average arm strength and mobility. Not sure why we've seen his peak in only his second season. FWIW, Bortles led the league by a substantial margin in terms of production in the 2nd half of games while trailing by 8+ points. He had 1413 yards and 13 TDs. Tannehill (1234) and Winston (1158) were the only other players with over 1,000 yards. Andrew Luck (10) was the only other player with more than 8 passing touchdowns. (No, really.) Some of that was just Bortles being really efficient, though. Tannehill had more pass attempts, and Winston had the same number. Bortles averaged 9.1 YPA and had a 109 passer rating trailing by 8+ points in the second half. Edit: The Jags had 35 passing TDs vs. 5 rushing TDs this year. That's a huge, huge outlier and is guaranteed to regress.
  10. Case in point: Tom Brady has now thrown 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in the AFCCG. (Not counting the INT on the game-tying 2pc attempt.) Big deal, so what, someone asks? Well, I agree. Big deal, so what. It's a weird and contrived sample, and a small one at that. But if that was a Peyton Manning stat, how much do you want to bet it's all we'd ever hear about every time Peyton made it to the AFCCG? Suddenly that fits the narrative and it's a very interesting bit of info.
  11. Using PFR's scoring (1/25 passing, 4pt TD, -2 INT), Cam Newton ranks: 1st in fantasy points at age 22 (by 50+ points) 4th in fantasy points at age 23 1st in fantasy points at age 24 20th in fantasy points at age 25 1st in fantasy points at age 26 (by nearly 50 points) His first three seasons in the NFL were the 4th-highest-scoring 3-season stretch by any quarterback at any point in his career in NFL history. His first five seasons does that one better; the only quarterbacks to ever score more than Newton's 1627.6 fantasy points over any 5-year stretch of their career are Drew Brees (who had three overlapping five-year stretches from '09-'13, '10-'14, and '11-'15, the latter of which was his best with 1705.1 fantasy points), and Aaron Rodgers, (who had 1665.7 fantasy points from '08-'12). Former #1 overall draft pick, 3-time pro bowler, first-team AP All Pro, likely league MVP. Joins Manning, Brees, Rodgers, Brady, and Young as the only players in history with two 350-point fantasy seasons, (well, plus Priest Holmes, too). Rodgers is impossible to believe, and I love Luck and Wilson. But I have a really hard time seeing anyone other than Cam as the #1 dynasty QB right now.
  12. Least-impressive 1200-yard, top-10 (standard) or top-12 (PPR) fantasy season of all time, IMO.
  13. Perhaps this will be ironic coming from the guy who this season worked on a big project to leverage projections to create a dynasty-viable VBD-equivalent that was both specific and detailed enough to precisely estimate gaps between players, but I've long believed that projections are inferior to heuristics in dynasty. In fact, the whole project basically hinged on the ability to create heuristics that waddled like projections and quacked like projections, but weren't actually projections. They were all just rough estimations and historical approximations and vaguely scientific hand-waves, general rules of thumb stretched beyond the limits proscribed by the concept of significant figures.
  14. To be clear, (and I hope I'm not speaking out of turn here), ZWK was talking about "value", which he identified as a concept distinct from, (but related to), VBD. I believe ZWK conceptualizes "value" like I conceptualize "value"- as some magical construct that perfectly encapsulates a player's contributions to your championship odds. In the past, I've called it "VAL" to make clear that I was talking about a specific concept rather than value in the abstract. In order to measure things like efficiency and preference, economists were faced with a conundrum- they had to measure human satisfaction. What provided a greater degree of satisfaction / happiness / (whatever the economists were attempting to measure and model), a beautifully cooked steak, or front-row tickets to a concert? Obviously these are two completely different things, and the value they provide is virtually impossible to directly compare. To get around that, economists invented something called a "Util", which is a unit measure of "utility", which is the amount of satisfaction / happiness / (whatever the economists were attempting to measure and model) that something supplies. To me, maybe a steak is worth two Utils, while the concert is worth one Util. To ZWK, maybe he's a vegetarian and that steak is worth negative Utils, while he's a big music fan and that concert is worth 400 Utils. Everything is all very fuzzy and hand-wavy. In theory, if a player has 200 value, (or, as I'd say, if a player is worth 200 VAL), then he will help your championship odds exactly the same whether that 200 VAL represents a 40% shot at 500 VAL or a 100% shot at 200 VAL. The probability cloud is already baked into the concept of VAL, which I invented as a magical catch-all that perfectly encapsulates everything that could possibly impact championship odds. How does one calculate VAL in the real world? One doesn't. It's an abstract concept used solely to discuss high-level conceptual approaches.
  15. Just for fun: If you had started Dion Lewis the first 9 weeks of the season and James White the last 8 weeks of the season, the combination would have combined to rank as RB7 in PPR... despite Lewis missing a game, (meaning the duo played 15 games instead of 16). If your backup RB scored just 2.9 PPR points in the week Dion missed, the "New England Receiving RB duo" would have given you the #5 fantasy RB on the year in PPR. Yeah, if he's healthy, he's an RB1.
  16. The three clearest cases I can think of offhand would be: Walter Payton (Drafted 4th overall, 196 rushes at 3.5 ypc, 33 receptions at 6.5 ypr, 7 touchdowns, 9 fumbles, 6 AV) Ricky Williams (Drafted 5th overall, 253 rushes at 3.5 ypc, 28 receptions at 6.1 ypr, 2 touchdowns, 6 fumbles, 5 AV) Travis Henry (Drafted 58th overall, 213 rushes at 3.4 ypc, 22 receptions at 8.1 ypr, 4 touchdowns, 5 fumbles, 4 AV) Probably several others you could argue one way or the other, (Errict Rhett? LaDainian Tomlinson? Joe Cribbs? Karim Abdul-Jabbar?), some might-have-beens, (Jahvid Best?), and a couple who didn't meet your minimum-volume threshold, (Thomas Jones, Mark Ingram). I just wanted to limit myself to the three clearest, most unambiguous names I could think of. In all cases, the biggest mitigating factor seems to have been draft position. Which is fortunate for Melvin Gordon.
  17. For what it's worth, Mike Clay seems to think Agholor has played pretty well, and blames much of his lack of production on a relatively tough schedule of opposing DBs.
  18. I've been doing value charts in lieu of rankings this year. Basically, they're much more fine-grained rankings that adjust for scoring system, (currently only Standard or PPR, but the infrastructure is in place on the back end to handle others), as well as competitive window; they also list exact value differences between players instead of just being an ordinal list, (making them useful as a trade aid). My last one of the season was in week 16, and is available here. I'll do another set in the coming weeks, though I'm a bit burned out after the long season, so I think I'm going to wait until right after the Super Bowl so they won't change again afterwards. (If you want to see past weeks, just change the week number in the URL. I did them weekly from week 2 to week 16.)
  19. The way I calculate age, Demaryius just completed his age-28 season, (I use PFR's method, where the birthday you celebrate that year is the age you are for that year). I know wdcrob prefers to calculate players age based on how old they are on September 1st, instead, which would make this Demaryius' age 27 season. I think that's also reasonable and perhaps even superior, but I pulled my data from PFR, so I use PFR's method for the sake of consistency. I haven't calculated 2015 stats yet, but I do have a database with every fantasy-relevant season from 1985 to 2014. Excluding players who are still active, the top 20 receivers in terms of fantasy value through their age 28 season over that span averaged 764.1 EVoB, (which stands for Estimated Value over Baseline, and is my preferred value measurement), with a low of 583.4 EVoB, (Hines Ward), and a median between 697.1 EVoB, (Carl Pickens), and 706.9 EVoB, (Chad Ochocinco). Again, I haven't calculated 2015 yet, but Demaryius Thomas was at 520.5 EVoB coming into last year, and his career best was 186.5 EVoB, so I'd estimate he's going to finish below the median, with around 100 points fewer than the group average. In short, these guys are pretty solid comps for how productive Demaryius Thomas has been to this point of his career, and if anything, might be a hair generous. This group of comps averaged 438.8 EVoB remaining after their age 28 season, for a total career EVoB of 1202.8. This means that, after their age 28 season was over, they had already produced 63.5% of their career value. They were just a hair over half as productive after their age 28 season as they were up through it. Again, the way I calculate age hurts Demaryius Thomas, though he's hardly the only receiver in the sample who suffers that fate; if birthdays are relatively evenly distributed, I'd expect a third of the receivers in my sample to suffer from the same problem, where they're counted as a year older than they would be if I used their age on September 1st, instead. But just to be as generous as possible, let's ignore that and compare him to the top 20 receivers through age 27, (ignoring guys who are still active). Through age 27, the top 20 receivers averaged 637.7 EVoB, with a low of 456.8 and a median of 594.2. In this group, Demaryius will almost certainly be just a bit above the median; if I had to guess, I'd bet he winds up near Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, and Sterling Sharpe, my #6, 7, and 8 receivers through age 27 by this method. So again, we're dealing with a pretty solid group of comparables. After age 27, these 20 receivers averaged 503.7 EVoB, for a total career EVoB of 1141.4. This means that, after their age-27 season was over, they had already used up 55.9% of their career fantasy value. Did excluding active players bias the comparison against Demaryius? Not hardly. The players so excluded were Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Anquan Boldin, Marques Colston, and Steve Smith. Only Smith had as much fantasy value after age 28 as before, (very close to a perfect 50/50 split, actually). Marshall might yet get there, but he has 800 EVoB through age 28, and my best guess puts him at 400 EVoB and counting after; he has a long way to go. Boldin, Colston, and Andre are all pretty clearly near the end; they averaged 750 EVoB through age 28 and just 365 EVoB after. Fitz and Calvin are both still active, but it wouldn't shock me if they both wound up with an even worse ratio, just because their through-28 value was so high; they averaged about 1048 EVoB through age 28, but entering 2015 averaged just 120.4 EVoB after; they both will have added to that total this year, but I have a hard time seeing them even reach 500, let alone 1000. So what does this mean? Under even the most generous, (to a fault), set of comps, Demaryius Thomas has already used up 56% of his total expected fantasy value. Using the normal set of comps, he's used up about 64%. And this is just based on historical comparables; it doesn't understand that Demaryius was so productive in part because he was playing with a league MVP on possibly the greatest passing offense the NFL has ever seen. (Yes, Demaryius was still great this last year, but not 100/1500/12 great like he was on average from 2012-2014.) Or, to put it another way... yes, Demaryius has been a star, but we don't get last year's points again. They're already gone.
  20. You don't think someone who prefers Green, Jeffery, Dez, Allen, or Watkins to Demaryius has a leg to stand on? Edit: Funny enough, one of the few WRs you concede could be ranked above DT is one of the few who I didn't rank over DT; I had Cooks one spot behind him.
  21. 4 straight years of 90+ receptions, 1300+ yards, and double digit TDs in 3 of the last 4 years. Oh, and has actually finished WR5, WR1, WR2, and WR9 over the last 4 years. How is that not a WR1? I mean, maybe you're predicting some sort of decline, but he's only 28 and there hasn't been a more productive nor consistent WR in the NFL the last 4 years. ETA--And before we start using Peyton leaving as a reason to worry, DT's numbers went UP this year when Brock took over (scored 5 of this 6 TDs with Brock from week 10 onward). I would say that the three main dimensions of competition for dynasty assets are age, talent, and production. There are six wide receivers who were both more productive and younger than Demaryius last year in PPR: Brown, Julio, and Green, (who all have track records just as long as Demaryius', and in my mind are clearly better WRs overall), plus Hopkins, Beckham, and Robinson, (who are all about 5 years younger). Those six should be slam dunks over Demaryius, as they outcompete him in all three categories, often by substantial margins. Dez Bryant was worse last year, but I think he's a better receiver, he likewise has just as good of a track record, and he's a year younger. He outcompetes Demaryius on two of the three dimensions, (age and talent), and is close on the third. Alshon Jeffery was top-10 in 2013 and 2014, scored more points per game that Demaryius this year, and is two years younger. Like Dez, he outcompetes Demaryius on two of the three dimensions, (this time, age and production), and is close on the third. That's eight receivers who in my mind are pretty clearly superior to Demaryius. They're all younger, all but Dez outperformed Demaryius last year, (but Dez has a fantastic history), and all but Alshon are more talented receivers, (but Alshon's pretty close). After that, you get a bunch of guys who aren't Pareto-optimal, but who have such a crushing age advantage that just finishing pretty close in the other two categories is enough for me to prefer them in dynasty. In this bucket, I have Keenan Allen, Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, and Amari Cooper. Allen roundly thumped Demaryius in production this year, (he was on pace for 134/1450/8 receiving), and would have handily set the record for receptions through age 23 had he stayed healthy, (Fitz held the record with 230, Hopkins broke it this year with 239; Allen had 215 and needed just 3 per game over the back half to claim it). Watkins, Evans, and Cooper are all sending out extremely strong talent signals. All three were top-10 NFL draft picks. Cooper just became the sixth player in the last 30 years with five or more 100-yard games as a rookie, joining Boldin (5), Julio (5), Hilton (5), Allen (5), and Beckham (7). Cooper and Keenan Allen are the only members of those list who were 21 as rookies. Despite being two years younger as a rookie, Evans' first two seasons look remarkably similar to A.J. Green's (Green: 31 games, 279 targets, 2407 yards, 18 touchdowns. Evans: 30 games, 270 targets, 2257 yards, 15 touchdowns.) In fact, Evans is one of 7 receivers in the last thirty years to average 75 yards per game over his first two seasons, (minimum 20 games played); he joins Beckham, Moss, Gordon, Green, Boldin, and Holt. (Green, Boldin, and Holt were all 23 years old as rookies.) Sammy Watkins' 2015 is sneakily remarkably similar to Odell Beckham's 2014. Both players were 22, both players started slowly due in part to injuries, and both players really turned on the jets over the final nine games. After 10/106/3 in his first three games, Beckham finished 2014 with 81/1199/9 in his last nine games. After 11/147/2 in his first four games, Watkins finished 2015 with 49/900/7 in his final nine. At first blush, Beckham's run looks well ahead, but if you rank all teams over the past two seasons by pass attempts, Beckham's Giants ranked 3rd with 377, (behind the 2015 Steelers and 2015 Ravens), while Watkins' Bills rank 63rd with 243, (ahead only of this year's Chiefs). So Beckham played on one of the pass-happiest teams in the league, while Watkins played one one of the least pass-happy; Watkins averaged more yards per target, more yards per team pass attempt, and accounted for a mind-boggling 49.3% of Buffalo's total receiving yards over his stretch compared to Beckham's still mind-boggling 43.8%. I'd take all of those young up-and-comers over Demaryius; again, I think the talent could possibly be the same, the production shows early promise, and they're all five and a half years younger, at a minimum. So that's twelve names right there that I have over Demaryius, (though not in that order). Two other names who I think at least deserve consideration are Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks. Neither are as good as Demaryius, but they're both much younger, tied to elite quarterbacks going forward, and have some solid production history of their own. I think that's more a philosophical question of whether you'd prefer a shorter run of higher production or a longer run of lower production, (for me, the answer is obviously "how much lower and how much longer?") This is how "has actually finished WR5, WR1, WR2, and WR9 over the last 4 years" is not a WR1 in dynasty. (I have him 14th, behind the twelve I named plus Cobb, but ahead of Cooks.) It's not a negative case against Demaryius so much as it's a positive case for everyone else; this is the deepest WR corps we've seen in NFL history, and there are just a dozen guys who are either a ton younger than Demaryius and just as productive in the short term, or else they're a little bit younger than Demaryius, just as productive, and just as proven. In Mike Clay's "way too early" 2016 fantasy rankings, he has Demaryius set up as WR9. Everyone ahead of him is younger than him. The five receivers behind him are all at least *FOUR YEARS* younger. Four is a lot of years. Based on historical aging patterns, I'd expect them to have at least double the remaining careers of Demaryius. It's true that Demaryius has been a star over the last four years, (though it's not true that nobody has been more consistent or productive; Antonio Brown edges him by four points over that span in the stipulated 0.5 PPR scoring; no one else is within 50 points of either). But we don't get those points again. Calvin Johnson has been a star over the past six years, (Brandon Marshall is the only guy within 250 points of him), but we don't get those points again, either. I'm far more concerned with what's going to happen over the next four years. And I think there are at least 12 guys whose futures look brighter; ergo, Demaryius Thomas is not a dynasty WR1, (for me).
  22. Interestingly, I've not seen anyone write about the huge NFL record that Julio actually *DID* break this last weekend. With 94 receiving first downs on the year, Julio Jones broke the record of 92 set by Harrison in 2002 and tied by Calvin in 2012. It's a better record than the receptions one, anyway.
  23. Actually, this one is backwards. Given that a substantial portion of energy intake is devoted to maintaining core temperature, and a larger creature can sustain that temperature with less energy expenditure, relative caloric requirements decrease as animals grow in size. Consider the mouse, who eats half of his body weight every day, in comparison to man, who eats at best a fiftieth of his weight. Similarly, an 8-times-as-massive horse would eat a relatively smaller proportion of its own weight than a typical horse.
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