Jump to content
Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums

SSOG

Staff
  • Posts

    12,376
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by SSOG

  1. Rams rookie WR Chris Givens has catches of 50+ yards in three consecutive games. Wouldn't be surprised if that's some sort of record. Fluke? Or is it time to send some trade offers before the asking price becomes ridiculous?

    Haven't watched the Rams recently, so I can't comment on Givens specifically, but I can point out that the last two players who had phenomenal seasons based on record-breaking big play numbers were Chris Johnson and Desean Jackson. Their big play numbers have both since regressed, and their production has become much more ordinary. Guys go through stretches where they make ridiculous numbers of big plays (Lloyd, Tatum Bell, Victor Cruz, Mike Wallace), but the big plays eventually go dry, so there better be enough left to a player's game afterward if they want to remain relevant.
  2. Will respond to more points this afternoon when I have some time, but I had to quickly say that 184 was Harvin's weight entering the league. Last I heard, he was at 203, which gives him a size very comparable to Reggie Bush.

    I would be interested to get confirmation of this. 20 pounds, especially for a guy with his frame, already in world class shape, is a lot to put on. I could see 193, but 203 would be major for him.
    I read 203 on a fan site this preseason, where they were talking about how he's bulked up a bit. Huddle and Draft Scout list his combine weight at 192. Percy's personal site lists it at 195. Either way, in the same neighborhood as the 6'0", 203 pound Reggie Bush. Or the 5'11", 200 pound Jamaal Charles. And way, way bigger than the 180 pound Warrick Dunn. If his coaches think he can handle the workload, I see no reason to doubt them, especially given his history.
    Harvin is more streamlined this year than last. You can tell by the film. He also told CBS game analyst Solomon Wilcots before Game 1 that he had dropped 8-10 pounds.
    Cool. I don't do enough size judgments, trying to figure out who is "too big" and who is "too small" to be able to eyeball players and guess weights. I can tell the difference between tall and short, and between big and small, but anywhere in between and I'm lost. I can't tell if Harvin is "big", but I can tell he's big enough. Recent years have really changed my mind on ideal body sizes, anyway- guys like Spiller and Charles and Dunn and McFadden have had plenty of success. Plus, coaches are smart and have a much better idea of their players' limitations than we do. I looked at the data one year, taking the top 20 rbs in terms of ppg (minimum 8 games played), and sorting them by number of carries per game. Unexpectedly, the guys at the top of the list actually averaged slightly fewer missed games than the guys on the bottom. The effect held even when I removed any games from the sample where the RB left with an injury. My conclusion was that the most likely explanation is that coaches are only giving carries to players who are capable of handling them.
  3. Clearly Victor Cruz was stupidly undervalued, but at this point, his pedigree still gives me slight pause. Pair it with the fact that he's Robin to Nicks's Batman, and there's just no way I could grab him over a guy who has dominated at every level, who just oozes talent, and who comes pre approved by NFL scouting departments by means of a first round grade.

    Ignoring that it's far from unprecedented for an offense to produce two top 10 fantasy WRs, how is it a fact that Cruz is robin to Nicks' batman? Cruz only had 2 less targets than Nicks did last year despite not starting the first few games, and Cruz had more targets than Nicks in each of the first 2 games this year in which Nicks played.
    In 2008, Anquan Boldin averaged more targets per game than Larry Fitzgerald, and Wes Welker got more targets than Randy Moss. Targets are not always the best way to determine who is Batman and who is Robin. Coverages are a better way. In the games I see, NY's opponents give Nicks the Batman treatment. Like I said, Cruz is the kind of guy who feasts on breakdowns in coverage, while Nicks is the kind of guy who causes them. Anquan Boldin to Nicks's Larry Fitzgerald, if you will.

    I completely agree that one offense can support a pair of top 10 receivers. I've had Austin and Bryant in my top 10 at the same time. I've got Nicks and Cruz in my top 10 right now. I'm just saying, when you start getting into the top 5, things like this matter. I'm always talking about how talent wins out, so when you're dealing with three similarly productive players like Nicks, Harvin, and Cruz, seemingly fine distinctions such as these really matter.

  4. Will respond to more points this afternoon when I have some time, but I had to quickly say that 184 was Harvin's weight entering the league. Last I heard, he was at 203, which gives him a size very comparable to Reggie Bush.

    I would be interested to get confirmation of this. 20 pounds, especially for a guy with his frame, already in world class shape, is a lot to put on. I could see 193, but 203 would be major for him.
    I read 203 on a fan site this preseason, where they were talking about how he's bulked up a bit. Huddle and Draft Scout list his combine weight at 192. Percy's personal site lists it at 195. Either way, in the same neighborhood as the 6'0", 203 pound Reggie Bush. Or the 5'11", 200 pound Jamaal Charles. And way, way bigger than the 180 pound Warrick Dunn. If his coaches think he can handle the workload, I see no reason to doubt them, especially given his history.
  5. In my opinion they're both fully legit NFL talents whose success is not a mirage. I don't think the draft position stuff is too compelling now that Cruz has shown what he can do. Sometimes players fall in the draft for the simple reason that they aren't very talented, but there are other reasons why someone might slip that are completely unrelated to ability. As far as Cruz is concerned, I think it's clear that NFL scouts are prone to undervaluing small school players. Marques Colston (Hofstra), Brian Westbrook (Villanova), Andre Roberts (Citadel), and Daryl Richardson (Abilene Christian) are just a few guys who suffered from this. If you put those guys on USC, Florida, or Ohio State in college, they might well have been first round picks.

    "Small school bias" is a facile and compelling argument for why guys like Cruz and Colston fall, but that doesn't make it true. A bias, by definition, must be both pervasive and persistent. If small school bias existed, you should expect to see a disproportionate number of poorly drafted small school players making an outsized mark on the league, and I just don't think you see that. Take last year's top 20 WRs, for instance. The following WRs went to schools outside the BCS conferences: Cruz (Mass), Smiff (Utah), Roddy (UAB), VJax (Northern Colorado), Colston (Hofstra), Marshall (Central Florida), Laurent Robinson (Illinois St), Nate Washington (Tiffin), and Greg Jennings (Western Michigan). So 9 of the top 20 guys could be considered "small school" guys; however, that list should put any thoughts about small school bias to rest. Roddy was drafted in the first round, VJax and Jennings went in the second, Robinson and Smiff went in the third, and Marshall went in the fourth despite major character flags (and UCF isn't much of a "small school", anyway). So that leaves you with Colston, Cruz, and Washington as small school guys who were under drafted, compared to guys like VJax, Jennings, and White who were all first day selections out of tiny schools. If you want to look for reasons why scouts missed on Colston and Cruz, I think you'll have to look past the easy "small schools" narrative. Maybe 30 years ago, when scouting departments were much smaller, it played a part, but today, a small school prospect is just as likely to wind up at the top of the draft as the bottom. Cruz didn't fall due to "small school bias" any more than Arian Foster fell due to "big school bias". They fell because the scouts were wrong, not because the system is flawed.
  6. Don't get me wrong - he is great at it, and, as long as he can stay healthy, it will help him score points. But we are talking about 5 extra hits a game, by linemen and linebackers. There is an increased risk for injury. The guy may be built, but he is very small by NFL standards.

    Whole heartidly disagree about his size being an injury issue, he's built like a rock - low to the ground, bottom heavy, and blazing fast. That's not a recipe for injury. I've got him as the #4 dyno WR behind Calvin, Julio, and Green. Cruz is 5th or 6th with Fitz and SSOG's take definitely solidified Cruz behind Harvin, I like Harvin because I know he's getting > 5 touches/game, at a volatile position he provides a nice, high floor to mix in with his big performances.
    He is 5'11" 184 pounds. He's not Ray Rice, and I personally wouldn't call him bottom heavy.And at no point in his career has he come close to 5 carries a game. Aside from that, I respect your guys' call. We are only arguing about 1-3 spots in dynasty rankings, which isn't much. We all seem to really like them both.
    Will respond to more points this afternoon when I have some time, but I had to quickly say that 184 was Harvin's weight entering the league. Last I heard, he was at 203, which gives him a size very comparable to Reggie Bush.
  7. Luck has much more than twice the career remaining, however. He is 10 years younger than Brees. It is very reasonable to presume you get an extra decade of production.

    Actually, it's not at all reasonable to suggest that just because a player is 10 years younger, he'll probably play 10 years longer. To provided an exaggerated example: who is more likely to still be playing at age 30, a 21 year old RB, or an RB who turns 30 a month from now? Similarly, the likelihood that Brees is still playing at 38, given that he's already made it to 33, has to be higher than the likelihood that Luck is still playing at 38. Or, to put it another way, being 10 years younger cannot be translated into having 10 more years of career left ahead of you. Is it Couch Potato who does the QYR calculations? Because that formula really does a good job of capturing this effect. Anyway, it's important to keep in mind that, all else being equal, the gap in expected years remaining must always be considered smaller than the gap in age.
    I am not saying you are wrong - I simply don't understand you here.

    Why is Brees physically more likely to play until 40, than Luck?

    I can see this applying to RBs, more so. But I personally can't wrap my brain around reasoning for valuing Brees as though he'll last to 40, but not Luck.

    Let's say that every season, there's a 1% chance that a QB suffers a catastrophic, career-ending injury. Think of Aikman and Young's concussions, or Theisman's leg, or Culpepper's knee. Well, the chances Luck makes it to age 33 are only 93%. The chances that Brees makes it to 33, though, are 100%. He's already done it. There are a whole host of potential pitfalls and landmines that can end a player's career. Brees has an advantage because he's already made it over halfway to 40 without stepping on any of them. Luck still has the whole minefield looming large in front of him, and could potentially get tripped up several places between here and there.
    Hm. This all sounds well and good, but it still strikes me as wrong for some reason. Maybe it is an inherent bias I should guard against, but maybe I'm right to be wary of this line of logic and where it is leading to:

    Luck's age in an of itself is not a bad thing. You don't discount a guy like that because of the risk of catastrophic injury. Why? Because you're not getting each player's career from 23-33. If every QB has a 1% chance each year to suffer this catastrophic, career-ending injury, then it is an irrelevant decision factor (that is to say, it isn't a factor).

    It doesn't matter what each player's chances are of playing until 40...in this case, what matter is each player's chance of playing over the next 7 years. The age itself doesn't matter as a goal. Does this make sense?

    Luck's value is his production over a timeframe. Brees has value from the same thing. Where age comes into play is in a null hypothesis like this one: Brees is not more likely to be playing at 40, because he is at a higher risk of production falling off from skill degradation, or retirement.

    Null 2: Luck is more likely to be playing in 7 years because he will just then be reaching the prime years of QB production.

    Now - let's note that these are assuming that everything except age is equal - clearly, that isn't true with any two players, ever. But to examine this principle, it must be one of the underlying assumptions.

    tl:dr - I don;t care who is more likely to be playing at age 37, I care who is more likely to be playing 4 years from now. Make sense?

    It seems counterintuitive because we're asking different questions. If you ask who is more likely to still be playing 4 years from now, then yeah, fortune favors the younger player. If we're talking about total career value from this point forward, rather than simply value during some pre-defined window, then expected career length (or QYR) makes more sense. We're saying that Luck has an X% chance of becoming as good as Brees, and his career will be Y times as long, then Luck's expected value relative to Brees's should be X*Y. For that calculation, you need a way to estimate career length, and simply saying "Luck is 10 years younger, so his career will be 10 years longer" is faulty for the reasons I mentioned. Being 10 years younger might mean that we should expect his career to be 8 years longer, instead.

    SSOG (and anywone else that wants to chime in):

    I mentioned this in the Harvin thread, but, in hindsite, don't want to go off track by talking Harvin vs. Cruz in that thread. Thought it would be better placed here.

    Why is Harvin a clear step above Cruz?

    Cruz has outperformed Harvin since he's been starting, and, I feel, is less of an injury risk. I really don't feel good that a guy his size is being used as a RB from time to time, at an NFL level.

    Also, I feel Cruz is a bigger redzone threat.

    Cruz hasn't really been outperforming Harvin, though. From when Ponder took over last year to the end of the season (11 games), Jordy Nelson was the #1 WR, Victor Cruz was the #2, and Percy Harvin was the #3. As for "a guy his size"... check him out. Guy's built to handle 5 carries a game, no sweat. As I mention, he played RB in college. That wasn't just a depth chart gimmick, he was a legitimate, honest-to-goodness RB. He was basically an east coast Reggie Bush. In fact, he has essentially an identical build to Bush. As I said, 80-100 carries a year is nothing at all to worry about.

    Anyway, part of the story is about Cruz. As was mentioned, he's not as talented, in my mind, as Nicks. The difference to me can be illustrated thusly: Victor Cruz is a demon who will exploit any breakdowns in coverage. You've got to play perfect defense to keep him from killing you. Nicks, on the other hand, will actually cause breakdowns in coverage. He's the kind of guy who, even if you play perfect defense, can still beat you. This isn't to say that the breakdown-exploiters can't be fantasy studs- Wes Welker comes to mind- but the latter guys are the guys I'd rather own.

    I guess the best way to explain why I prefer Harvin would be to recount his career to date. First off, he was a beast in high school. Despite off-field character concerns, he was perhaps the most highly coveted prospect on the nation, rated #1 overall by multiple recruiting services. He came to Florida, where he joined an anemic offense and immediately breathed life into it. His freshman year, Florida won the national championship, and even as a freshman, he was clearly the best offensive player on the field as he carried them down the stretch. His sophomore and junior years, he blossomed into a full role and continued to dominate all competition in the toughest defensive conference in the league, as Florida became the most potent offense in the entire nation, his QB won the Heisman, and his team won another championship. He left after his junior year, got drafted in the first round, and Florida's offense took a huge step back without him (despite still featuring Tebow and Hernandez), confirming his importance to the team. In the NFL, meanwhile, Harvin was playing with Favre, who absolutely loved him and raved about him every chance he got. Harvin was electric, winning offensive rookie of the year, putting up 925 yards and 6 scores. In his second season, he continued to improve, putting up 975/6 despite missing two games. And, of course, this entire time he was perhaps the most scintillating kickoff returner in the entire league. He was blazing fast, creative, powerful, and had unreal moves. He was, in short, a weapon.

    Going into his 3rd season, he already had a 25th and 20th place finish under his belt, but Favre and Sidney Rice were gone, and he was left with garbage at QB and nobody at receiver to draw coverage. And he responded with 1300 yards, 8 scores, and a 7th place fantasy finish, including 3rd place from when Ponder took over to the end of the year. And this year he's picked up exactly where he left off. Percy Harvin is a 24 year old WR with impeccable pedigree dating back to his high school days, who has dominated every level of competition he has faced. He and his former teammate Hernandez are without question the two scariest receiving threats in the entire league with the ball in their hands. He's electrifying, productive, and most of all, completely unique. The best comp for his skillset is a runningback (Bush). Harvin has an entire avenue of production that is simply unavailable to most receivers, and that rushing production supplements what is beginning to look like a very healthy receiving output. Everything about him- his history, his usage, his situation, the eye test- screams out that he's destined for greatness.

    Again, I like Cruz, but he's not anywhere as talented as Harvin, who has been as productive catching passes from a rookie Christian Ponder on the 28th ranked passing offense as Cruz has been catching passes from Eli Manning on the 5th ranked passing offense. There's a lot more room for Harvin's offense to improve, and a lot more room for Cruz's offense to decline, too. And I know this next point will be controversial, and I know pedigree doesn't matter once a player gets on the field, but it'd be virtually unheard of for an undrafted player to become one of the league's most dominant WRs. Feel good stories like Cruz can become guys like Rod Smith, or Joe Horn... but run down a list of the best fantasy receivers of the last 20 years sometime. Moss, Rice, and Harrison? First rounders. Holt, Fitzgerald, Andre, Calvin? Top 10 picks. Julio and AJ, too. Roddy White and Reggie Wayne were firsts, while Isaac Bruce, Ochocinco, and Jimmy Smith were high seconds (#33, #36, and #36). Even Owens and Smiff were still 3rd rounders. The truth is, scouting departments are pretty efficient. They're pretty good at identifying the guys with real game breaking potential. Obviously they miss (Rod Smith, Donald Driver, Brandon Marshall, Joe Horn, Colston), but even those misses never ascended to the pantheon of the real, must-own dynasty guys. Clearly Victor Cruz was stupidly undervalued, but at this point, his pedigree still gives me slight pause. Pair it with the fact that he's Robin to Nicks's Batman, and there's just no way I could grab him over a guy who has dominated at every level, who just oozes talent, and who comes pre approved by NFL scouting departments by means of a first round grade.

  8. Luck has much more than twice the career remaining, however. He is 10 years younger than Brees. It is very reasonable to presume you get an extra decade of production.

    Actually, it's not at all reasonable to suggest that just because a player is 10 years younger, he'll probably play 10 years longer. To provided an exaggerated example: who is more likely to still be playing at age 30, a 21 year old RB, or an RB who turns 30 a month from now? Similarly, the likelihood that Brees is still playing at 38, given that he's already made it to 33, has to be higher than the likelihood that Luck is still playing at 38. Or, to put it another way, being 10 years younger cannot be translated into having 10 more years of career left ahead of you. Is it Couch Potato who does the QYR calculations? Because that formula really does a good job of capturing this effect. Anyway, it's important to keep in mind that, all else being equal, the gap in expected years remaining must always be considered smaller than the gap in age.
    I am not saying you are wrong - I simply don't understand you here.Why is Brees physically more likely to play until 40, than Luck? I can see this applying to RBs, more so. But I personally can't wrap my brain around reasoning for valuing Brees as though he'll last to 40, but not Luck.
    Let's say that every season, there's a 1% chance that a QB suffers a catastrophic, career-ending injury. Think of Aikman and Young's concussions, or Theisman's leg, or Culpepper's knee. Well, the chances Luck makes it to age 33 are only 93%. The chances that Brees makes it to 33, though, are 100%. He's already done it. There are a whole host of potential pitfalls and landmines that can end a player's career. Brees has an advantage because he's already made it over halfway to 40 without stepping on any of them. Luck still has the whole minefield looming large in front of him, and could potentially get tripped up several places between here and there.
  9. Luck has much more than twice the career remaining, however. He is 10 years younger than Brees. It is very reasonable to presume you get an extra decade of production.

    Actually, it's not at all reasonable to suggest that just because a player is 10 years younger, he'll probably play 10 years longer. To provided an exaggerated example: who is more likely to still be playing at age 30, a 21 year old RB, or an RB who turns 30 a month from now? Similarly, the likelihood that Brees is still playing at 38, given that he's already made it to 33, has to be higher than the likelihood that Luck is still playing at 38. Or, to put it another way, being 10 years younger cannot be translated into having 10 more years of career left ahead of you. Is it Couch Potato who does the QYR calculations? Because that formula really does a good job of capturing this effect. Anyway, it's important to keep in mind that, all else being equal, the gap in expected years remaining must always be considered smaller than the gap in age.
  10. Agreed. Rankings are done in a vacuum, but nobody plays in a vacuum. If you aren't winning soon, don't waste Brees's production. All he's doing for you is leaking value and weakening your future rookie firsts. If my window is open, though, I'm not giving up Brees. Luck will likely produce more career VBD than Brees, but there's more to it than just comparing VBD totals. VBD gets progressively more valuable the more of it you get- a 200 VBD season is worth more than two 100 VBD seasons, which are worth more than eight 25 VBD seasons. Also, VBD only really matters when your window is open. Tomlinson's 31 TD season did you no good if the rest of your team was dog food. If you trade a 200 VBD season when your window is closed for a 100 VBD season when your window is open, you come out way ahead, despite "losing" a ton of value on the trade.

    With that in mind, Luck will almost certainly compile more VBD, but will he reach the heights that Brees will get me, or will he merely compile a string of very good seasons? And most importantly, will those seasons come during a window of contention? If I'm a contender now, I KNOW Brees is helping me win titles. I can't say the same for Luck. Maybe by the time he finally leaps to elite status, the rest of my team has regressed. Maybe not- maybe I'm still a contender and Luck is the piece that keeps my window open for a decade. Still, there are a lot of maybes there, a lot of additional risks and considerations getting priced into Luck's value that discount it relative to a Drew Brees.

  11. One thing that some dynasty owners sometimes forgot to realize when valuing players is the age of the surrounding talent, not just the age of the actual player, even if the player is young. This why I am weary of Gronk, Hernandez, Graham, etc. with Brees and Brady getting older. And the same goes for Demaryius Thomas.

    Nobody is buying Demaryius because he's catching passes from Peyton. He looked just fine catching them from Timmy T, too.
  12. I agree with your general point, though- if Luck has a 50% chance of becoming Brees, and twice the expected career remaining, then the EVs should be the same. I put Luck's chances of becoming a fantastic QB at higher than 50%... But his chances of becoming Drew Brees? Drew Brees has finished in the top 10 in overall VBD 4 times in the last 6 years. Not top 10 at QB, top 10 across all positions. In order for Luck to reach Drew Brees's production value, it won't be enough for him to become a phenomenal QB. He'll need to become one of the top 10-20 QBs in NFL history. I'd put his chances there at considerably below 50%. There's a large window between "awesome QB" and "fantasy uberstud". If Luck is the next Steve Young, trading Brees for him would be a coup. If he's the next Philip Rivers... yeah, not so much. If you would be willing to go to Vegas today and put $1000 on Luck to make the Hall of Fame with even odds, then sure, trade Brees for him. Otherwise... well, I'd still rather have Brees. Next year the calculus might be different. Two years from now it will certainly be different. Today? Brees.Another thing to consider is the advances in modern medicine. 30 years ago, an ACL tear was a career ender. 10 years ago, it was 12 months to return to the field and 24 to be productive. Today, we see guys like Peterson and Welker make a mockery of that timeline. Based on historical precedent, Brees might be nearing the end... but how long is historical precedent going to hold up? If Brees falls off the cliff at 37, Luck looks much more appealing. If Brees hangs on until 41, though? His best trait, his accuracy, is one that should be relatively impervious to Father Time's ravages. Is playing and performing into his 40s really that far-fetched?

    The more I think about it, the more I favor Luck. I don't think it's even really close.Brees will be 34 right around the time of this year's Super Bowl. If he ages like Favre or Warner, he might have 6 good years left. If he ages like McNabb, he might have 1 good year left. Something in the middle seems like a reasonable expectation. Any developments in technology and science that might help his longevity should also apply to Luck, perhaps even moreso since science will be even more advanced when Luck is 33 than it is today. And while I can't make an accurate concrete prediction about how well Brees will hold up in his old age, the fact that he is smaller in stature than most QBs, has a history of shoulder injury, and has probably thrown more pass attempts over a five year span than any QB in NFL history probably doesn't bode well for him. In fact, his numbers have already dropped significantly from last season, and are only buoyed up by the fact that he's on pace for an ungodly 764 pass attempts this season. The sample size is small, but he might already be disintegrating before our very eyes. As for Luck, he is a prodigy touted as the best QB prospect of the past decade. I think he has a very good chance to develop into a perennial Pro Bowl type. And given that his remaining career expectancy could actually be about 12-17 years compared to something like 3-6 years for Brees, the 50% chance that I tossed out in my previous post might have been too conservative. If he has even a 30% chance of becoming Brees then he might have more value going forward. And yes, I'd take that bet. Anticipating the future is an important part of gauging dynasty values. Brees has been a great player, but you don't get credit for what he did over the past 5 seasons when you buy him now. You only get the future, and I don't think the outlook is brighter than a young star like Newton, Griffin, or Luck. I'd rather have any one of those guys and for me it's not really even that close.
    Is the any research suggesting throwing a lot of passes decreases a QB's career expectancy? We aren't talking about an RB getting 400 carries, here. Or a pitcher throwing 200 pitches. I don't know what Brees's attempts have to do with anything going forward. And it's possible that we're seeing the wheels come off... but it's infinitely more possible that we're just seeing Brees play without Peyton. And still put up top 10 overall VBD numbers. Also, you can't throw out Newton or Griffin into the argument, here. I'm not arguing Brees over Newton or Griffin. I wouldn't argue Brees over Newton or Griffin. With their rushing totals, I think both QBs have a much better shot at reaching the Brees stratosphere. I'm talking about Brees vs. Luck.
  13. The problem is that even prospects that "simply can't fail" simply can, in fact, fail. Check out Reggie Bush. Or Benson, Brown, and Williams. Or Braylon Edwards, Charles Rodgers, Peter Warrick. Sam Bradford, Tim Couch. Ryan Leaf. Robert Gallery. Glenn Dorsey. Courtney Brown, LaVar Arrington. David Terrell, Roy Williams (WR version), Mike Williams (OL version). I'm sure there are a lot of other names that aren't immediately coming to mind. A surprisingly high number of "can't miss prospects" can, and do, wind up missing. Sometimes they become disappointments, sometimes they become outright busts, but in all cases they dramatically underperform their owners' expectations. Nobody is "can't miss". Not no one, not no time, not no how. And yet, with prospects we love, we frequently forget recent history and fail to price any risk of busting or underperformance into the mix. There is a substantial, non-zero chance that Luck either flames out, or even simply settles into the Flacco, Bradford, Schaub, Roethlisberger, Rivers stratosphere. Which would be a disappointment, given how he's being priced by some owners.

    Those might have been called "can't miss" prospect. But Luck is a flawless prospect, more than "can't miss". In recent memory, there have been 3 "perfect" prospects" : Calvin Johnson, Suh, and Andrew Luck. Luck is more than "can't miss".
    That's pretty selective memory. Glenn Dorsey was Ndamakong Suh before there was an Ndamakong Suh. I heard Robert Gallery called the surest thing in 20 years when he was coming out. Charles Rodgers was easily on par with Calvin coming out (not quite the physical freak, but had the advantage of not playing college ball in a triple option offense). And, again, it's like people have just written Reggie Bush out of their collective memories. Reggie Bush was being drafted #1 overall in startup drafts. #1 overall. I don't think it's any exaggeration to call Bush the most highly hyped, highly rated fantasy prospect in the history of dynasty fantasy football. No matter how lofty, how selective, how strictly you define "can't miss", it is impossible to actually exclude all misses. "Can't miss" is an illusion, a trick produced by selective memory and hindsight bias.
  14. The problem is that even prospects that "simply can't fail" simply can, in fact, fail. Check out Reggie Bush. Or Benson, Brown, and Williams. Or Braylon Edwards, Charles Rodgers, Peter Warrick. Sam Bradford, Tim Couch. Ryan Leaf. Robert Gallery. Glenn Dorsey. Courtney Brown, LaVar Arrington. David Terrell, Roy Williams (WR version), Mike Williams (OL version). I'm sure there are a lot of other names that aren't immediately coming to mind. A surprisingly high number of "can't miss prospects" can, and do, wind up missing.

    I wouldn't say Bush has been a bust. Minor disappointment, but not a bust. He's actually been a key contributor for a ppr dynasty team of mine that's made the playoffs for something like 5 years in a row. And he's still going strong in FF and NFL terms. Brown/Benson/Williams were not can't-miss prospects. Anyone who touted them as such was way off base. That's not just hindsight speaking. They all had warts. The 2005 draft was soft. That's how a guy like Braylon (who couldn't leave after his junior year because he would've been the 4th WR drafted) ended up as a top 3 pick. Just a soft group all the way around. Alex Smith. Ronnie Brown. Braylon Edwards. Not a can't-miss prospect in the bunch. There is a difference between guys like Luck and Richardson, who would be the first player picked at their position in any draft, and guys like Smith and Brown, who just happened to be the first player picked in their particular draft. This is a very important distinction and it's usually pretty clear if you watch football and follow the draft closely. Calvin Johnson was a can't-miss prospect. Keenan Allen...not so much. It's a moot point because the risk of busting is offset and then some by the potential for a longer career. Drew Brees is almost 11 years older than Andrew Luck. 11 of his NFL seasons are done and gone. Luck has his whole career ahead of him. If we expect Brees to play for another 3-5 years and Luck to play for another 8-15 years, then Luck only needs something like a 50% chance of becoming a superstar to have more career value than Brees. This is an oversimplification of the math, but the general idea holds. And if Luck has closer to a 65-75% chance of reaching that level (which I think he does), he suddenly looks a lot more valuable than Brees (which I think he is).
    "Minor disappointment"? Bush was being drafted with the first overall pick in startups before he'd ever played a down. He's finished 17th, 24th, 35th, 33rd, 62nd, and 13th in his six seasons so far. Bush has been a major disappointment. And I'm fine if you want to say guys like Brown, Benson, Williams, and Edwards weren't "can't miss", but no amount of spin will hide the fact that any list of truly, absolutely, positively strictest-definition "can't miss prospects" will include Charles Rodgers, Glenn Dorsey, Robert Gallery, LaVar Arrington, probably Peter Warrick... Lots of guys who missed, some spectacularly.I agree with your general point, though- if Luck has a 50% chance of becoming Brees, and twice the expected career remaining, then the EVs should be the same. I put Luck's chances of becoming a fantastic QB at higher than 50%... But his chances of becoming Drew Brees? Drew Brees has finished in the top 10 in overall VBD 4 times in the last 6 years. Not top 10 at QB, top 10 across all positions. In order for Luck to reach Drew Brees's production value, it won't be enough for him to become a phenomenal QB. He'll need to become one of the top 10-20 QBs in NFL history. I'd put his chances there at considerably below 50%. There's a large window between "awesome QB" and "fantasy uberstud". If Luck is the next Steve Young, trading Brees for him would be a coup. If he's the next Philip Rivers... yeah, not so much. If you would be willing to go to Vegas today and put $1000 on Luck to make the Hall of Fame with even odds, then sure, trade Brees for him. Otherwise... well, I'd still rather have Brees. Next year the calculus might be different. Two years from now it will certainly be different. Today? Brees.Another thing to consider is the advances in modern medicine. 30 years ago, an ACL tear was a career ender. 10 years ago, it was 12 months to return to the field and 24 to be productive. Today, we see guys like Peterson and Welker make a mockery of that timeline. Based on historical precedent, Brees might be nearing the end... but how long is historical precedent going to hold up? If Brees falls off the cliff at 37, Luck looks much more appealing. If Brees hangs on until 41, though? His best trait, his accuracy, is one that should be relatively impervious to Father Time's ravages. Is playing and performing into his 40s really that far-fetched?
  15. I apologize if this is old terrritory I'm covering but wanted to ask about the idea that all rankings should be made in a vacuum, that they should all be based on what would happen in a startup draft.

    For instance, Luck is ranked QB4 and Brees QB6. Yes, you likely get Brees for 3 good/great years and that's it vs. Luck's first two good, then 8 possibly very good years.

    But while rostering Brees, you have 3 years to find another QB who could put up similar stats to Luck in the long run.

    To be more concise, I'd rather take the Brees points now and work to find my next starter than overpay for Luck - and for those reasons - I believe Brees should be ranked higher.

    This is not about Brees and Luck per say, just used them as an example of why rankings should not be made in a vacuum alone.

    Thoughts?

    The key difference is though, if you're willing to regard Luck's success as fact, there is nothing that can alter that, you have that value for as long as you want it.

    With the Brees scenario, you're dependent on not only your own ability to scout talent, but to acquire it at a reasonable price as well as hope that other teams don't have similar views of any of those players and go all out to get them. If you find someone you like in 2 years time, but his success is less definitive, you're potentially putting a lot of stock into that potential at that point, which can be driven up by other parties. In that case you're possibly paying the equivalent value to success that you would have paid for Luck initially.

    Not to mention you're dependent on Brees longevity and success. If he only plays up to a decent standard for two more years say, you're going to end up cashing in and overpaying early to maintain a smooth transition between Brees and your next QB.

    In the Luck scenario, you have other value at play as well - Another roster spot, another chance to hold onto a roughie you like because Luck's success is defined. You might spend 2 less roster spots on the QB position, as opposed to holding three lesser QB talents in addition to Brees in the hopes that one starts performing at an adequate level to make the process worth it.

    EDIT - Sorry if that rambling doesn't make sense, I'm in a rush.

    Yep. There are a few problems with taking the proven veteran on his last legs over the mega hyped prospect. In the case of Luck vs. Brees...

    - It's not that easy to find a QB prospect of Luck's caliber.

    - Even if you find a guy like that, you'd have to pay something to get him.

    Drafting Luck locks up your QB spot for the next 10+ years. Drafting Brees gives you 2-4 years of great production, and then a big fat hole in your lineup. In order to fill that hole with an equivalent player you'll probably have to use a high pick on a 1st round rookie QB at some point or get really lucky with an unheralded guy like Brady or Warner panning out on your roster. Meanwhile if you had Luck you could be using all those rookie picks and roster spots on the best player available instead of being forced to fill a need.

    Of course, the risk is that Luck never becomes the player he's touted to be. If he ends up being just a middle of the road FF QB like Cutler then you've spent a lot on a guy who will never really give you an edge. That's why I would suggest only taking the prospect over the veteran in cases where the veteran is really and truly on his last legs and/or if the prospect is so good that he simply can't fail (someone like Calvin Johnson, Andrew Luck, or Trent Richardson).

    The problem is that even prospects that "simply can't fail" simply can, in fact, fail. Check out Reggie Bush. Or Benson, Brown, and Williams. Or Braylon Edwards, Charles Rodgers, Peter Warrick. Sam Bradford, Tim Couch. Ryan Leaf. Robert Gallery. Glenn Dorsey. Courtney Brown, LaVar Arrington. David Terrell, Roy Williams (WR version), Mike Williams (OL version). I'm sure there are a lot of other names that aren't immediately coming to mind. A surprisingly high number of "can't miss prospects" can, and do, wind up missing. Sometimes they become disappointments, sometimes they become outright busts, but in all cases they dramatically underperform their owners' expectations. Nobody is "can't miss". Not no one, not no time, not no how. And yet, with prospects we love, we frequently forget recent history and fail to price any risk of busting or underperformance into the mix. There is a substantial, non-zero chance that Luck either flames out, or even simply settles into the Flacco, Bradford, Schaub, Roethlisberger, Rivers stratosphere. Which would be a disappointment, given how he's being priced by some owners.
  16. LOL, always love your attitude. I was talking about the draft process so I meant as part of that process, highly regarded coming into the NFL. Sorry I wasn't more clear but at least you got a cheap laugh.

    I didn't mean for it to come off as attitude, although upon re-reading it, I do realize that's how it comes off. I meant it as an honest question. Who is regarding Wells and Williams highly at this point? For instance, if I asked by whom Ingram was highly regarded, someone could point me to Greg Cosell's scouting report and I could read up more on his reasoning. I'm sorry that the question was poorly phrase and reads as authority-challenging, I meant it strictly as information seeking. I understand that they were both highly regarded coming into the league, I was just trying to find out of there were people defending them based on actual performance in the league, and if so, what they were seeing. I wanted second opinions.
  17. Anyone thinking about buying or selling Ryan Williams? I'm in the camp that thinks Beanie is the better RB of the two. I know some think otherwise. This strikes me as the perfect time to buy low for true believers of his talent.

    I personally don't see it, but if the price is right I'd aquire Williams. AZ line is a mess and this isn't going to be fixed overnight. I imagine his owners have to be down on the guy right now.

    I think he'll prove to be quite a bit better than Wells but I agree that the OLine is a mess. Given that Wisenhunt has a OLine background, you'd have to think he can fix that in a year or two so I agree that Williams is a good buy low guy right now.
    This is Whisenhunt's sixth year. The team's rank in rushing yards since his arrival? 29th, 32nd, 28th, 32nd, 24th, and they're 31st thus far this year. IMO it's pretty safe to say that he's not the guy to fix Arizona's ground game.

    Also disagree that Williams is a buy low. The time to buy low was any time after Williams' injury but before Wells' injury this year. Since then his price has gone up a bunch. His value is also pretty likely to go down from it's current level as the Cards should struggle on the ground all year. Buying him now would be buying him at the highest price he's likely to have anytime in the first two years of his career. Unless he starts to light things up, but I'm not seeing that, this year anyway.

    I liked Williams quite a bit coming out, and if he recovers completely from the injury, I agree that he has a bright future. But it ain't happening this year, and the situation on offense in Arizona is a pretty big negative moving forward.

    This is pretty much how I see it as well. Russ Grimm has also been there the entire time, and they just haven't been able to make it work. It's a mystery why they've essentially ignored the position early in drafts as well.
    True and 6 years is a long time. One thing I always thought was that first time head coaches should worry about/work on the other parts of the team besides their "position specialty", for a lack of a better term, since in theory they should be able to better coach up the existing talent at that position or at least make better evaluations of free agents or college players at that position. And really Arizona has put together a good young Defense, some reasonable WR2s in Roberts, Doucet and Floyd, a decent young TE in Housler and two young highly regarded backs in Wells and Williams. Then they went out and got Kolb. Now, obviously some of the players haven't been as good and they certainly should have shored up OL instead of continuing to draft WR2 prospects, but overall, those areas are all at least decent. However that is a long time for he and Grimm to still have a sucky OL. Very strange. Maybe he's TOO confident in his and Grimm's OL coaching that he's just ignoring it.
    Really? Are Wells and Williams highly regarded? By whom?

    From my perspective, Arizona's offense today is exactly the same as it's been for years- the best WR in the game, surrounded by below-average players at all 10 other positions. I'm not looking to buy into it long-term because (A) I don't think anyone's that good, and (B) this offense looks like it'll be bad for years to come, barring the acquisition of a Cam Newton-like transformational rookie.

  18. I tend to think he's slightly overrated. Not a top-5 real QB. Somewhere in the bottom of the top 10. If I were starting a franchise from scratch, I'd take Rogers, Newton, Griffin, and Luck over him for sure. Probably Eli. Maybe Ryan (normally he'd be on my slightly overrated list with Stafford, but he's looked great so far this season). Maybe Roethlisberger (30's not old for a QB, but he's taken a major beating over his career). Definitely Rivers, if you could guarantee that I was getting the pre-2011 Rivers. So for starting from scratch, Stafford is a no-brainer top-10 guy, but he's not a top-5 guy, and insofar as he gets some top-5 hype, he's mildly overrated.

    If we're doing a list of guys I'd take if we were just playing one season and I wanted to win now, we'd get similar results. Definitely behind Brady, Rogers, Brees, Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, and Tony Romo. Possibly behind Peyton (give me a few more weeks before making that call) and Ryan (ditto). Once again, Stafford is in the bottom half of the top 10, and insofar as he gets any love for the top 5, he's mildly overrated.

  19. What a future changing trade (potentially). That is quite a haul.

    Exactly. I've spent years stockpiling those picks, trading late firsts for future firsts, trading mid-firsts for a second and a future first, unloading flavor-of-the-month prospects, and generally just exploiting the bias for present value over future value (aka "hyperbolic discounting"). My draft haul next year represents years of effort to stockpile for the future. I've given up on a LOT of potential present value to carry those for so long. And he thinks I'm going to blow all that for Mike Wallace. Also, handy tip: if you have to explain why I might want the deal, and it takes more than a sentence, it's a crap deal. If your explanation ever uses the words "not as bad as it looks", it's a crap deal. I'm more than happy to have you tell me what you were thinking when you made the offer, but don't waste my time by telling me what I should be thinking when I see the offer.
  20. So...Larry Fitzgerald?He's a player I'm struggling to value for dynasty. Everything suggests he should be a top 5 WR but after owning him last year Sundays stat line brought me back to reality.He's obviously a fantastic talent but he's getting older and I'm wondering if he'll ever get the QB he deserves.

    Stay calm. Stay the course. One mediocre (not even bad) game with those clowns at QB does not erase one top 5 season with those clowns at QB. He may be getting older, but he's still on the right side of 30. If he's still not producing after 4-6 weeks, then it's time to reevaluate.
  21. I like it that he's actually getting used - I might have to reverse course and say that he might be startable this year.

    Cobb outscored Julio Jones and Brandon Marshall in my league today. 0.5 ppr, 1 pt per 20 return yards.
    Cobb was the #1 fantasy WR this week in my league (yardage-heavy, punt return yards count the same as receiving, kick return yards count half as much as receiving). Of course, he was the #8 fantasy WR in that same league at this point last season. Obviously the return TDs aren't going to be something you can rely on going forward. It was really nice to see them making him such a big part of the offense, though.
  22. I'm surprised to find that nearly half of all 30-man rosters have 4+ QBs. I usually imagine a 30-man roster more like 3-7-10-4-3-3. I really think QB is one of those positions where you really don't benefit from a quantity approach. I'm a 2 QB guy, I can totally understand taking 3 QBs, but any more than that seems like overkill imo. More 30-man rosters have a 4th QB than have a 10th WR or a 4th TE or a 4th kicker, which just seems crazy to me. I think it's much more likely that you'll benefit at some point from flexing a cheap skill position player, or even getting a few extra points from a 4th kicker, as opposed to a 4th QB.

    I'm one of those 4-QB squads. Honestly, I was only going to roll with Vick, Skelton, and Tannehill, until I realized that that meant having to rely on Skelton to get me through Vick's bye. So I added Locker. I should have ditched Skelton when I added Locker, to be honest, but I'm not losing sleep over it- 2-QB makes sense with Aaron Rogers, but with Vick, I prefer the security of the third QB, because he's more likely to miss minor time- not enough to sink your team, but a half here, a game there. I'm really surprised more squads didn't wind up with Tannehill. A starting QB with major mobility available for $4? Seems like the perfect "what the hell" flyer, especially since 2-QB (and even 1-QB) rosters are so common. The chances that he goes full-Tebow (crappy passer finding fantasy relevance through his legs) is non-negligible, while his price is definitely negligible. I don't even consider myself a 4-QB squad- I consider myself a 3-QB squad with a $4 "why the hell not?" flyer.
  23. Tried something different this year. Instead of over thinking it, I just waited until 10 pm Tuesday, went down the list, and clicked the names that looked like the best values. I checked what I had, and was shocked to find that I was at $259 and 31 players. I checked my byes and only found one potential conflict, so I cut two players, added another to patch my bye issue, and hit submit. Easy. We'll see how it goes this year, but I like the squad. QBs-Vick ($22)Locker ($9)Skelton ($7)Tannehill ($4)I love Vick in this contest. Love him. People are forgetting just how unreal he was in fantasy back in 2010. He's got higher upside than the big 3 at a lower cost, and this game is all about upside. Plus, he's relatively unique, which means if he goes off I've got a huge advantage against the field. Locker was my last addition to help get me past Vick's bye. Skelton and Tannehill finish out a corps that has four starters for the price of two to help cover for Vick's added risk.RBs-Doug Martin ($21)Jonathan Stewart ($16)David Wilson ($9)Robert Turbin ($6)Rashard Mendenhall ($4)Jonathan Dwyer ($4)Cedric Benson ($3)Evan Royster ($3)Between Martin, Stewart, The Pitt Pair, and Benson, I love my chances of getting two startable scores a week. Stewart gives me all-world upside and some more differentiation from the pack. Turbin, Royster, and Wilson are lottery tickets- I looked at trading them in for a single $17 back, but there was no one else in that range that I liked. WRs-Steve Johnson ($18)Mike Wallace ($16)Lance Moore ($11)Randall Cobb ($9)Justin Blackmon ($7)Kendall Wright ($6)Alshon Jeffery ($6)Eddie Royal ($2)I've really been warming on Steve Johnson recently, and thought he gave me a good, dependable value play. Wallace continues giving me upside. I like Lance Moore as a sneaky play with Meachem out- any injuries in NO and he can blow up. Cobb, the three rookies, and Royal were obvious value plays, IMO. Huge upside for the cost. TEs-Jimmy Graham ($29)Lance Kendricks ($9)Joel Dreessen ($4)Graham was my one big splurge. I didn't like very many value plays at TE this year, so I decided to spend big and get a stud. The two values I did like are potential second-year breakout Kendricks, and stupidly-underpriced Dreessen. PKs-Jason Hanson ($4)Randy Bullock ($4)Matt Prater ($3)Greg Zuerlein ($3)A pair of $4 guys in great offenses, a pair of $3 guys with huge legs. Ds-New York Jets ($4)Denver Broncos ($4)Cincy Bengals ($3)The Jets are the chalk pick. Denver is because any defense with a pair of pass rushers like Miller and Dumerville has explosive upside. Cincy was the best of the $3 bunch. So there you have it. Not a lot of studs, but I focused on potential difference makers. I'm not interested in finishing in the 90th percentile, I want to finish in the 99.9th percentile. I wanted to leave myself with a plausible and clear narrative which could leave me with the best team, and I think the Vick/Stewart combo accomplishes exactly that. If those two players go big (which they're demonstrably capable of doing), then my team is going places. Only 8 other teams in the entire contest features that duo.

    With the benefit of two days worth of hindsight, I'm still happy with my team, but I do wish that I hadn't spent that money on Turbin and Wilson. Realistically, Martin, Stewart, MenDwyerHall, Benson, and Royster already gave me 4-5 starting NFL jobs. Turbin and Wilson have a much lower chance of ever posting a startable score over that corps than an extra kicker or defense might. I could have axed those two, added a pair of $3 kickers or Ds, and still had $9 left over to upgrade one of my other positions. Maybe rearrange some cash and turn Lance Kendricks into Antonio Gates, or Steve Johnson into Calvin Johnson. I think my rapid reactions did a great job of identifying underpriced players, and a not-so-great job at deciding how likely I was to ever count a score from those undervalued players.
×
  • Create New...