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SSOG

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Posts posted by SSOG

  1. Edit: just noticed the edits you added to my original post. Games 4 and 5 both came in his second postseason. Flacco was not hurt- he played every snap for his team in both games, and had all but 9 of his team's pass attempts during the regular season, including all of them from week 15 on. He wasn't hurt, although I can see why you thought he was, because the mind boggles at the thought of an NFL QB playing an entire game and only accumulating 34 yards. Luckily, his team still scored 33 points because they had 4 takeaways and 234 rushing yards. And, of course, the lights out play of Joe Flacco, making the plays he had to make to win that game- which in this case, was "absolutely nothing".

    Expanding on that New England game, here are Baltimore's drives for the day:83 yards, TD17 yards, TD-1 yards, punt25 yards, TD0 yards, FG10 yards, int1 yard, punt22 yards, end of half8 yards, punt18 yards, FG52 yards, TD31 yards, puntThat 83 yard "drive" was one play long- a Ray Rice run. Then Baltimore didn't have another drive over 25 yards until the 4th quarter, by which time they had put 27 points on the board because the defense kept giving them the ball in great field position. Flacco had 9 passing yards and 0 rushing yards at the beginning of the 4th quarter, yet his team had 27 points. And he gets credited with a "win" for that game, while Russell Wilson had 385 passing, 60 rushing, and 3 TDs against Atlanta but gets the "loss" because his defense couldn't stop a FG. Which perfectly illustrates why wins and losses are the stupidest, most asinine QB stats in NFL history.Edit: the Jets gave Sanchez that idiotic extension because he was one of 5 QBs with 30 wins in his first 3 years. Again- QB wins. I really cannot overemphasize just how stupid of a stat it is, especially when used to evaluate QBs who have been paired with exceptionally good or exceptionally bad defenses.
  2. Because here were his first 3 trips to the playoffs...

    (Edit by TR: 2008 2-1)

    9/23 for 135/0/0

    11/22 for 161/1/0

    13/30 for 141/0/3

    (Edit by TR: 2009 Hurt)

    4/10 for 34/0/1

    (Edit by TR: 2010 2-1)

    20/35 for 189/0/2

    25/34 for 265/2/0

    16/30 for 125/1/1

    Total: 98/184 (53%) for 1050 (150 ypg, 5.7 YPA) with 4 TDs and 7 INTs (61.6 rating), and another 28 carries for 27 yards and a TD.

    He played great in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012, and was hurt in 2009. He made multiple plays that either won his team games, or put the team into position to win. If you want to say differently please say so instead of cherry picking stats to make a bad point.

    Even in the 2010 Steelers game, yes he only had 125 yards and had an INT, but he put the team in position to win the game. Housh dropped an easy pass on the numbers and the drive ended.

    His passing stats as a rookie in the playoffs are negligible, but he made the passes needed to win 2 games in defensive-led victories.

    If you don't watch the games and only follow stats, that's fine, but it will severely limit this discussion.

    Your story went from "he played lights out" to "he played great" to "he only needed to make a couple of plays because his defense dominated" in the course of a post and a half.

    Look, I'm not cherry-picking stats. I'm doing the opposite- I'm giving you ALL OF HIS STATS from his first three years. You claimed he always played lights out, and to disprove an "always" statement I really only need one counter example, but I gave you three entire years worth of counter examples, instead. Joe Flacco played like death warmed over his first three seasons. There is NO WAY WHATSOEVER to spin a 61 QB rating over a 7 game sample into "lights out play". He was atrocious, but luckily he had a top 3 defense in all of those seasons that dragged his reeking carcass to a couple of woefully undeserved wins. I mean, he was BRUTAL in some of those games, but luckily, his defense gave up 9, 10, 14, and 7 points in four games, so he managed to luck into some wins.

    If you'd prefer some advanced stats... here are Baltimore's EPA (estimated points added) by their passing game in those 7 games: 1.91, 2.48, -16.85, -3.73, -7.21, 13.17, -8.34.

    Look, it's been a while since someone accused me of just reading stats and not watching the games. I was hoping we were past that by now. I post stats because they're objective, because discussions would be really freaking stupid if they all devolved into "lol I watched him and he was terrible" "no lol I watched him and he was lights out" "lol do u even watch the games". I watched the games. I don't think the stats were particularly unfair to Flacco, but if you do and you think they'd benefit from some context, feel free to provide it. I warn you that you'll need a whole shipload of context to explain away those stats, though. Because they were PUTRID.

    Joe Flacco is a guy who has been paired with a top-3 defense in each of his four seasons. Joe Flacco is a guy who has won a lot of games. The preceding two sentences are not anywhere near as unrelated as you seem to think they are.

    Edit: just noticed the edits you added to my original post. Games 4 and 5 both came in his second postseason. Flacco was not hurt- he played every snap for his team in both games, and had all but 9 of his team's pass attempts during the regular season, including all of them from week 15 on. He wasn't hurt, although I can see why you thought he was, because the mind boggles at the thought of an NFL QB playing an entire game and only accumulating 34 yards. Luckily, his team still scored 33 points because they had 4 takeaways and 234 rushing yards. And, of course, the lights out play of Joe Flacco, making the plays he had to make to win that game- which in this case, was "absolutely nothing".

  3. But compared to Ryan, both have won reg season games at a ridiculous rate whereas one always delivered in the playoffs and the other mostly has not. To put Rivers on that list is ridiculous IMO. I mean, I liked him as much as anyone 2 or 3 years ago but the decline is obvious even to NFL FOs.

    That word you keep using... I do not think it means what you think it means.
  4. Hardly. Flacco played lights out in the playoffs, but is still basically the same guy he has always been. Regular season stats:

    QB Rating - 87.7

    Completion % - 59.7%

    TD:INT Ratio - 2.2:1

    Yards/Attempt - 7.19

    That's a pretty typical Flacco season. 2010 was actually his best year.

    In terms of where he slots in among all of the NFL QBs, I don't think he's a top 10 guy. You can make a good case for 10-15 guys ahead of him.

    And he's still never made the Pro Bowl.

    Didn't expect you to be any less stubborn. The bolded is funny because, yes, he's always been lights out in the playoffs. Just this year Boldin caught the critical ball. Which was the whole point of the original discussion. LOL (literally).

    Stats in full games since Caldwell became OC: 284 yd 2.7 TD(15pass+1rush) 0.5 TO = 26.8 FP/gm

    Would love to see your list of 10 QBs you'd rather have from an NFL/non-fantasy perspective. To cut to the chase: How can you rate Ryan ahead of him at this point?

    By "lights out in the playoffs", do you mean he played as if someone turned off the lights, or that his play was so awful you wanted to turn the lights off and hide? Because here were his first 3 trips to the playoffs...

    9/23 for 135/0/0

    11/22 for 161/1/0

    13/30 for 141/0/3

    4/10 for 34/0/1

    20/35 for 189/0/2

    25/34 for 265/2/0

    16/30 for 125/1/1

    Total: 98/184 (53%) for 1050 (150 ypg, 5.7 YPA) with 4 TDs and 7 INTs (61.6 rating), and another 28 carries for 27 yards and a TD.

    Edit: I'd daresay those numbers are downright Skeltonesque. And they represent 60% of his career, in terms of playoff appearances. Even counting this year, which was one of the greatest postseasons by any QB in history, his postseason passer rating of 87 and YPA of 7.2 are virtually indistinguishable from his career regular season marks.

  5. If Moss has a solid game (~60 yds + TD) I could see him go from undraftable next year to a WR2 for a homer or WR3 at the worst.

    Crabtree could jump from a solid WR2 to "In the conversation for a top 12 WR" with a similar stat line.

    I think Crabtree should already be in that conversation.
    A quick list off of DLF WR rankings...

    Calvin, AjG, Julio, Harvin, Demaryius, BMarshall, Fitz, Nicks, Dez, Cruz, Cobb, Wallace, Nelson, AJ, White, Welker, Antonio Brown, Decker, Jennings, Bowe....

    I think I can easily find 12 guys to put above him, if not 20. Even with a big game today I wouldn't personally put him in the top 12, but I think some might (you included, I guess).

    That means he's already in the conversation. I don't know where I have him rated yet but I know I'd take him over 8-10 of the WR's you listed above in the DLF rankings.
    Yeah. Seeing that list, I think there's a good chance I could find a place in my top 12 for Crabtree.
  6. Pitta is another guy who could see a big jump. He benefits from the fact that the general opinion of him is favorable (because his big games came early in the year and generated buzz) and also indistinct (because I think most people really haven't watched him much, yet). If he's Baltimore's leading receiver, or if he has one of those 2-TD games, I bet we'd see him break into the top 5 among TEs. Kaep is another guy who could really, really boost his stock on the big stage. It's already been trending upward ever since his monstrous game vs. Green Bay, but I shudder to think where it might end up if he has a Vince Young in the Rose Bowl kind of game.

  7. I dunno, Rice lost two records this year (career rushing yards and single-season receiving yards). If he keeps seeing his records fall at this pace, in another 25 years he won't have any left.

    2 records in 10 years. He should still have a few left. No one within dreaming distance of his career marks.
    Three records in 10 years. Moss sniped the single-season TD record, too. Anyway, it was a joke- I was saying even if the assault on the record books was so great he was losing two records a year, it'd still probably take a quarter century to wipe him off the books.
  8. I discovered a random but interesting fact today while digging around in the historical data dominator. I wanted to see where Harvin ranked in terms of most rushing yards by a WR in history. A HDD search turned up a couple of names ahead of him (such as Metcalf and Cribbs), but I recognized that most of the names were guys who started at RB or QB and later converted to WR, so I went digging around on PFR to see how many rushing yards they had in seasons where they were actually designated as a WR. Doing that, I realized that Harvin actually just broken the record for most rushing yards by a WR this season (McCluster did, too, but Harvin did it first and by a greater amount). That was pretty interesting, but the really interesting part was WHOSE record he broke. Prior to this year, the guy with the record for the most rushing yards by a WR in NFL history was... Jerry Rice, of course.When they say Rice owns every receiver record in the book, they really mean EVERY record.

    Don't tell that to the self annoited greatest WRbto ever play the game. :rolleyes:
    I dunno, Rice lost two records this year (career rushing yards and single-season receiving yards). If he keeps seeing his records fall at this pace, in another 25 years he won't have any left.
  9. I discovered a random but interesting fact today while digging around in the historical data dominator. I wanted to see where Harvin ranked in terms of most rushing yards by a WR in history. A HDD search turned up a couple of names ahead of him (such as Metcalf and Cribbs), but I recognized that most of the names were guys who started at RB or QB and later converted to WR, so I went digging around on PFR to see how many rushing yards they had in seasons where they were actually designated as a WR. Doing that, I realized that Harvin actually just broken the record for most rushing yards by a WR this season (McCluster did, too, but Harvin did it first and by a greater amount). That was pretty interesting, but the really interesting part was WHOSE record he broke. Prior to this year, the guy with the record for the most rushing yards by a WR in NFL history was... Jerry Rice, of course.When they say Rice owns every receiver record in the book, they really mean EVERY record.

  10. Speaking of Percy Harvin*, I've got some fun stats on him!

    [*]Over his last 16 games, Harvin has 112 receptions, 52 rushes, 1496 yards, 11 offensive TDs, and 1 return TD. Among WRs, only Calvin has scored more fantasy points in his last 16 games. Switching to PPR, Brandon Marshall edges past Harvin by a single point in his last 16 (118/1506/11).

    [*]If you discarded all of his yards before the catch and only counted his YAC, Harvin would still be Minnesota's leading receiver this year, despite only playing 9 games. 79% of his yards came after the catch, by far the most in the league.

    [*]Christian Ponder averaged 8.4 Y/A and a 102.8 rating throwing to Harvin this year. Those marks would rank 1st and 3rd this season, respectively.

    [*]Despite missing 10 games, Percy Harvin has the 3rd most yards (behind Moss and Fitzgerald) and 4th most fantasy points (Moss, Fitzgerald, John Jefferson) of any WR through his age 24 season. If your league credits him for his 5 return TDs, he passes Jefferson on the points list.

    *yes, I know no one was speaking of Percy Harvin.

    He is an amazing player. I wish I could say with confidence where he will be playing next season.

    Prior to the 2012 season the Vikings tried to manage Harvin's snaps. However with Peterson injured/recovering the Vikings leaned more heavily on Harvin and he put up the numbers you describe above. Harvin much like Peterson plays very violent and I think that is part of the reason the Vikings have payed close attention to his snap count. The best way to preserve him would likely be to not give him as many rushing attempts, the Vikings needed that multiple threat (and it is still useful) while Peterson was out/recovering but not as much now that AD is healthy.

    I think part of the reason Viking fans do not believe in Ponder is because as you point out 79% of Harvins yards came after the catch. Those bubble screens really inflate Ponders completion % as well, Harvin did a lot of work for Ponder.

    I think Harvin will continue to be a very productive WR moving forward and just about any situation would be as good or better for him than he has had thus far with the Vikings. I am excited to see what he could do in a season where he is fully healthy and with improved QB play (which I think he will enjoy even if he stays with the Vikings).

    Harvin's emergence wasn't really tied to Peterson's injury. He had 1312/8 in 2011, and was breasting down the stretch- he topped 70 yards in 8 of his last 9, 90 yards in 6 of his last 7, and 100 yards in 5 of his last 6, with all 8 of his scores coming in those 9 games.
  11. He's not. Gronk already has a strong VBD advantage over AJ Green. I think your point about how dropoff matters as much as baseline is a fair one, but Thrifty's list of average VBDPG accounts for that- positions with a very steep dropoff will see a lower average VBD than a position with a shallower dropoff. Using your example from earlier, the first set would have an average VBD of 3.8 (with the top players at 5.0, or 1.2 above the average), while the second set would have an average VBD of 1.5 (with the top player at 5.0, or 3.5 above the average). Regular VBD already gives Gronk an edge. Dropoff-adjusted VBD widens it. No further steps beyond that are necessary- in fact, they really represent nothing more than confirmation bias prompting you to stack the deck more in Gronk's favor because it just feels like he should be more valuable than that.

    PPR, TE12/WR36 baseline, Gronk doens't have much, if anything, on Green. Do you think that is accurate?ETA: And yes, Thrify's data does give us everything; but only if we agree with the baseline.
    According to PFR, pro-rate Gronk's numbers this year and he beats Green 112 to 84 in VBD. Of course, PFR doesn't use a 36/12 baseline (not sure how PFR calculates its baseline), and it's not ppr (although I'd think PPR would be an advantage for Gronk, though I could be wrong about that).Edit: switch to a 36/12 baseline, and Gronk would lead Green in VBD 112 to 92. Which sounds about right to me. Again, not sure how PPR changes the dynamic, but I think the story the raw numbers are spitting out seem pretty superficially plausible to me.
  12. Actually, that factor is meaningless, IMO. If TE is not required then it does not matter since both players are then exactly identical (same age, same points, and same position). If TE is required I still think it's easily the TE unless you're required to start 4 WR. Then I could see the argument sway back towards the WR.

    If TE is not required, then the WR is the clear choice. Both the TE and the WR would have identical actual value, but the WR would have the higher perceived value to serve as a tiebreaker.
  13. But what if you added Gronk to the team (without removing the current TE) vs. adding Green (without removing the current WR)? Suddenly then Green is replacing the WR3. If you asked people "would your team be better if you traded your best TE for Gronk or your best WR for Green", 90% would probably say Gronk, but that's because losing your best TE is usually much less costly than losing your best WR. If, on the other hand, you said "your QBs are Rodgers and Newton, and you can either trade Newton for Gronk or Green... which would help your team more?", it becomes a much closer call. That's why, in my mind, wr3, (not wr1), is an appropriate baseline against which to compare Green.

    Fair point.I just think Gronk needs some quantifiable advantage for being as rare as he is. I could be wrong and just over thinking it, but the basic VBD/Baseline just doesn't sit right with me, when talking about he and Graham. An average starting WR1 who gives you less than 1PPG advantage over only 50% of your league, shouldnt' be worth nearly as much as a TE who gives you an advantage over 100% of your league at a much higher PPG rate.
    He's not. Gronk already has a strong VBD advantage over AJ Green. I think your point about how dropoff matters as much as baseline is a fair one, but Thrifty's list of average VBDPG accounts for that- positions with a very steep dropoff will see a lower average VBD than a position with a shallower dropoff. Using your example from earlier, the first set would have an average VBD of 3.8 (with the top players at 5.0, or 1.2 above the average), while the second set would have an average VBD of 1.5 (with the top player at 5.0, or 3.5 above the average). Regular VBD already gives Gronk an edge. Dropoff-adjusted VBD widens it. No further steps beyond that are necessary- in fact, they really represent nothing more than confirmation bias prompting you to stack the deck more in Gronk's favor because it just feels like he should be more valuable than that.
  14. Speaking of Percy Harvin*, I've got some fun stats on him!

    [*]Over his last 16 games, Harvin has 112 receptions, 52 rushes, 1496 yards, 11 offensive TDs, and 1 return TD. Among WRs, only Calvin has scored more fantasy points in his last 16 games. Switching to PPR, Brandon Marshall edges past Harvin by a single point in his last 16 (118/1506/11).

    [*]If you discarded all of his yards before the catch and only counted his YAC, Harvin would still be Minnesota's leading receiver this year, despite only playing 9 games. 79% of his yards came after the catch, by far the most in the league.

    [*]Christian Ponder averaged 8.4 Y/A and a 102.8 rating throwing to Harvin this year. Those marks would rank 1st and 3rd this season, respectively.

    [*]Despite missing 10 games, Percy Harvin has the 3rd most yards (behind Moss and Fitzgerald) and 4th most fantasy points (Moss, Fitzgerald, John Jefferson) of any WR through his age 24 season. If your league credits him for his 5 return TDs, he passes Jefferson on the points list.

    *yes, I know no one was speaking of Percy Harvin.

  15. If we picked a random league and replaced every starting TE with Gronk, every team would win a lot more games than if we went around and replaced every teams WR1 with AJ Green.

    But what if you added Gronk to the team (without removing the current TE) vs. adding Green (without removing the current WR)? Suddenly then Green is replacing the WR3. If you asked people "would your team be better if you traded your best TE for Gronk or your best WR for Green", 90% would probably say Gronk, but that's because losing your best TE is usually much less costly than losing your best WR. If, on the other hand, you said "your QBs are Rodgers and Newton, and you can either trade Newton for Gronk or Green... which would help your team more?", it becomes a much closer call. That's why, in my mind, wr3, (not wr1), is an appropriate baseline against which to compare Green.
  16. SSOG:Help me put a number on Gronk and Graham being more valuable than their VBD numbers suggest, because the advantage they offer over 3-11 is not measured. VBD assumes that the decline in production from the top scoring player at a position to the baseline player at a position is gradual, or, at least, relatively even between positions. 10 1010 1010 710 710 610 59 58 56 55 5In the above, VBD would suggest that the players at the top of their tiers are equal. Clearly, they are not. The player at the top of the 2nd tier offers much more of an advantage over other owners, and will win more often than the player at the top of the first tier. As an example, the emergence of Kaepernik, RG3, Luck, and Wilson really hurt the value of Newton and Rodgers. Instead of owning 1 of 2-3 elite young dynasty options, you now own 1 of 6. But, in VBD, this loss of value is not measured unless the baseline options increase their production/value.

    Honestly, that's one of the two reasons I started that WR trivia thread. The first reason was "holy freaking hell, look at all these amazing WRs under 30". The second reason was "holy freaking hell, look at Percy Harvin's numbers".I've never really seen anything like this when it comes to young WR talent. Never. Obviously Calvin is unbelievable, but after that, you've got another 10 guys under age 30 who are essentially putting up 1300+/10+, and that list doesn't even include Andre, Welker, or Roddy (who have the yards, but not the scores), James Jones or Decker (who have the TDs, but not the yards), Fitz (who has the talent, but not the QB), Nicks (health), Cruz or Nelson (slightly down years, talent still there), Cobb (still establishing himself), or incoming guys like Allen, Watkins, or Lee. WR right now is sort of like RB after the 2008 draft- nasty deep. On the one hand, it makes it more necessary than ever that you land one or two of those studs. On the other hand, it makes it a lot easier to do so. Gronk, on the other hand, is a lot harder to replace. The Green, Julio, and Calvin owners in my league were all playing hardball, so instead I traded for Marshall, Harvin, and Demaryius, getting similar production for a fraction of the cost. If the Gronk or Graham owner played hardball, my alternatives would be guys like Olsen or Finley.
  17. I have a hypothetical ...Say you're drafting in a dynasty startup, 1 PPR, 6 TDs all... and you're around the turn. The settings are 1-4 RB, 1-4 WR, 1-4 TE.How viable would it be to start the draft with Gronk/Graham/Hernandez at the 1.12/2.01/3.12?You'd have TE on lockdown and since it's TE required other people would be starting much worse options. Granted you'd have pretty terrible RB options, but in PPR that can be masked with good receivers.I think I might build some simulations out to test this theory...

    Not that viable. The advantage of stud TEs is that everyone is forced to start 1, so you're rolling your 1 Gronk out against their 1 Gresham and slaughtering them. In the league you describe, you're only forced to start 1, so suddenly your second TE isn't lining up against another TE, he's going up against a WR, and the WR could easily trump him. I like Hernandez, but if it's a question of starting him or Cruz at the flex, give me Cruz every time. Ideally, you want as many stud TEs as your league has mandatory spots, and then in your flex you want to be getting whoever scores the most, regardless of position. In a 2-TE required league, I could totally see opening Gronk/Graham. In a 1.5 TE ppr with lots of flexes, Gronk/Graham/Hernandez would be an amazing start (not that Hernandez would last to 3.12). In the league you describe, though, I'd grab Gronk and then load up at RB and WR.
  18. Can anybody tell me what happened to Vernon Davis?

    Yeah. One season he caught a lot of TDs. The question isn't "Vernon has always been so great, why is he suddenly so mediocre?", it's "Vernon has always been so mediocre, why was he suddenly so great?" I know comparing TEs to Tony Gonzalez isn't really the fairest thing to do, but Vernon's second best season would finish in a virtual tie with Tony Gonzalez's 9th and 10th best seasons. And Vernon's 3rd best season would be Gonzo's 13th best. Vernon really just had one amazing year, one good year, and has been amazingly mediocre in his other 5. I think we're at the point where we need to seriously consider that Vernon Davis, while an excellent NFL player, was just a fantasy flash in the pan. The Brandon Lloyd of TEs, if you will.
  19. I never said there aren't any TEs being drafted behind players they outscored last year. I said there are no TEs being drafted behind players they are expected to outscore next year.

    Was being careful with the straws I pulled. Didn't list Heath Miller or Brandon Myers. I listed guys who are likely to repeat and still have room to grow. On both sides of the coin. Re: Witten, the kneejerk is "ack, age discount" but it's a huge discount. Does Witten have more or less elite years than TY Hilton and Josh Gordon and Denarius Moore because that is the ADP comparable. Or rather, does he have more or less years of expected WR2-level production in raw points. (IMO Hilton has 0 years of expected WR2 production but your opinion may vary.)While I would agree on the surface, Gronk/Graham are undervalued at their current ADP, I think there's also a prevailing wisdom that you have to have one of the top 4 TE to win. Which is a "pretty roster" strategy I'd usually try to avoid. If I look at teams that won last year including my own, just as many Pittas, Rudolphs, Gonzos, and Wittens. (Ok, now that I actually look, more.) Which really just stresses that "it's a pick em" is a valid resolution to any fantasy disagreement.
    Following you down the rabbit trail for a second, Witten's discount is too severe in PPR leagues. In non-PPR, though, his name value has been a tier higher than his production for a while now. Only three times in his career has he had production that was substantively different than what Greg Olsen gave last year (substantively different being defined as a 10+ point difference). He had a huge year in 2010 when Romo got hurt and Kitna refused to throw to anyone else in the red zone, but in the other three of the last 4 years, he's finished 5th, 6th, and 8th, and 50th-60th in overall VBD. He's consistent and reliable, but in non-PPR, he doesn't offer much upside over a Pitta or an Olsen or a Miller (and certainly less than a Josh Gordon). Back to the larger point. Last year might not be indicative of much, since Gronk was injured during the playoffs and Graham underperformed expectations by a lot, but in the end, judging value by championships is a dicey thing. In theory, given an infinitely large sample size, if a guy's on just 10% of championship rosters, he was a contributor to the title, and if he was on 17%, his presence alone doubled your chances of winning a title. Obviously that's in a magical fairy-tale world where we have a sample size in the millions and player picks are relatively independent of each other (if pairing Gronk and Brady was the hot strategy, it becomes difficult to tease out how much was Gronk and how much was Brady, for example). And it applies more to redraft than to dynasty, where all studs will be overrepresented in the championship since they're more likely to be paired with other studs on a dominant juggernaut. But it really illustrates the problem of conflating "are Gronk and Graham underrated" with "do you need Gronk or Graham to win". As I said, if I've got just a 17% chance of winning with Gronk, he's more than doubled my odds... and yet there's still an 83% chance that someone other than Gronk wins. He's underrated, but you don't need him to win. I also think of something different than you do when I think of the "pretty roster" guys. In my experience, the two dominant schools of roster construction in dynasty leagues are the "VBD theorists" and the "Pretty Roster theorists" (VBDs and PRTs, for short). The VBDs are all about maximizing the points they put on the scoreboard, while the PRTs are all about maximizing the perceived value of their squad (i.e. making the "prettiest" roster). VBDs view each player as having a specific fixed numerical value representing the advantage he gives, while the PRTs look at players more as stocks, with constantly fluctuating values representing shifts in perception over time. The core philosophy of the VBDs is "identify and acquire", while the core philosophy of the PRTs is "buy low, sell high". I'm not trying to insult either strategy- both can result in ludicrously good teams when executed correctly. Both have pretty glaring faults on their own, too- having the prettiest roster doesn't do any good if nobody is scoring any points (think a few years back of a Bradford/Stewart/Mathews/Fitzgerald/Moss/Britt/VDavis roster- very pretty on paper, very few wins in the intervening seasons, very little trade value left). Likewise, identifying the best players doesn't mean a dang thing if you don't have any trade value to acquire them (Lance Moore or Roeth/Romo are great examples- they put up great production far outstripping their perceived value, but it's pretty much impossible to upgrade from them, since you can't trade them for anything worthwhile). Ideally, you want a roster that puts up big VBD while also being very "pretty", but in truth, you can easily dominate leagues doing just one or the other well (since VBD and perceived value tend to converge over time). For an example of a guy I view as leaning more towards PRT, you've got EBF. For an example of a guy leaning more towards VBD, you've got Coop. Anyway, I talk about all this because, in my experience, the guys looking to build the "prettiest roster" would tend to prefer the WR over the TE, because he carries more trade value (and because it's easier to replace a stud WR in a trade than it is to replace a stud TE- you have more potential partners). At the same time, the VBDs would generally go for Gronk because of his greater dominance over his peers. And, anecdotally, the EBF/Coop example seems to hold- EBF prefers the WR, Coop prefers the TE, and neither of them think it's particularly close ;). Again, not meaning this as an insult to either side. I know some people talk about assembling a "pretty roster" very dismissively or disdainfully; I am not one of them. I have a lot of respect for PRT and the results it can provide. I remember The Sporting News used to run a salary cap fantasy football league where you had a certain number of roster spots to fill, a certain number of dollars to spend, and you could add anyone as long as they fit under the cap. If a lot of people added the same player, his cap value went up, and if he was on your roster at the time, your total cap went up as a result. Some owners would add whoever they thought would score the most points, while other owners would "chase last week's points", knowing everyone else would, too, and they'd receive sizeable cap increases as a result (analogous to building a pretty roster high in perceived value). I learned early on that the guys chasing last week's points were almost always the guys that dominated, because by the end of the season their cap could be as much as 33-50% higher than their competitors. Likewise, in dynasty leagues, guys who are constantly buying low and selling high can eventually accrue so much perceived value that it's essentially just like playing with a cap that's 50% higher than everyone else's. when you're starting from that much of an advantage, you can have guys underproduced and still coast to victory. So I'm not hating on "Pretty Roster Theory"- I have a lot of respect for it- I'm just discussing some fundamental philosophical differences in the approach to roster construction between different owners.
  20. I'm glad we could all agree it's just a pick em.

    there's no point in the draft where the TEs being drafted are expected to score as many raw points as the WRs being drafted

    That's an assumption. Graham had a 18 ppg season and his ADP is after Thomas (coming of 18 ppg season) and Jones (coming of 16 ppg season). Hernandez had a 15.5 ppg season and his ADP is after Cobb (coming of 16 ppg season but what do you project). Rudolph and Wright have similar ADP but Rudolph scored more points.Pitta and Sid Rice have similar ADP but Pitta scored more points.Witten scored 232 points in PPR last year. 16 WRs scored more last year. 31 WRs have a higher ADP this year.Tony G for the past 5 years, but perhaps that is now a thing of the past.
    Graham had 18 ppg... two seasons ago. If that's what we're going to hang our hats on, then I'll gladly just point out that Cruz and Nelson both outscored him two years ago, are a similar age, and both are available when he's coming off the board. Hernandez had 15.5 two years ago, Cobb had 16 last year, and again, Cruz/Nelson are still on the table. Witten's past 30, so of course his ADP will be discounted, but you've still got a Marques Colston within 5 slots of his ADP putting up more points a year. Regardless, this whole exercise is a diversion. I never said there aren't any TEs being drafted behind players they outscored last year. I said there are no TEs being drafted behind players they are expected to outscore next year. If someone expected TE X to outscore WR Y straight up, they'd draft TE X well before WR Y. That statement seems fairly self-evident to me.
  21. This is where I differ with SSOG. I would rather have the Green Ahern side. I think it is highly likely that the best statistical season of both Victor Cruz and Gronk have already occurred. Past point production of players produces past championships. I think AJ Green and Ahern can both take another step forward. How much longer will Brady play? Will Dalton further develop? Does Welker depart and if so does Ahern profit the most from that event? Does Cruz's dropsies continue and Eli loses trust in him? To look at past PPG differential means little to me. I would take the future upside and age differences into account as well. I also feel that AJ Green is more likely to remain an elite option for a longer time frame due to position as opposed to Gronk. Elite WR is a safe fantasy asset. Having elite WR's on your team allows you more roster flexibility to concentrate on taking flyers on RB's that could emerge.

    Remember, we aren't talking Gronk vs. Green, we're talking a hypothetical WR vs. a hypothetical TE, armed with the foreknowledge that both are going to score identically. So the fact that Gronk is more likely to regress, and Green is more likely to improve (a point I agree with) isn't really applicable in this hypothetical.

    In PPR, the hypothetical where Gronk and Green score the same is less relevant. I realize that's pretty much the case in standard, but in PPR it's not. Also, in PPR the difference between Hernandez and the WR at 3.3 is much smaller. Hernandez's 2011 or 2012 is about 1 ppg less than Cruz's 2012 in that format. In PPR PPG last year Gronk - Hern is 2.1 points and Green - Cruz is 2.8 points. Bloodbath? Eh.Full disclosure I threw out the Hern game where he got hurt in the 1q and had 0 catches. I am pretty sure you did not.

    It's a hypothetical. It's not "relevant" or "irrelevant", it just is. If a magical genie had told you that TE X and WR Y were being experimented on by astrophysicists and, due to quantum entanglement, would post literally identical stats every single game for the rest of their careers, which would you draft first?You started with pair-wise comparisons. I'm telling you that such comparisons will always favor TE X, because there's no point in the draft where the TEs being drafted are expected to score as many raw points as the WRs being drafted (possible exception: 1.5 or 2 TE ppr leagues- I don't have any experience with what that would do to ADP, though). Pair-wise comparisons are the most simplistic form of VBD analysis, and the VBD will always favor the TE scoring as much as the WR.Now, there are other factors that favor the WR. Trade value, for one. People seem to be slow catching up to the value of the new elite TEs, so the trade value suffers. The problem is that trade value only matters while trading, and I wouldn't be looking to trade either of these players. While trade value lags, I'd imagine after two more years of TE X putting up stud WR numbers, his trade value would catch up to his real value. So trade value, for me, isn't a compelling reason to take the guy who, VBD-wise, is less of a difference maker. The big factor working in the WR's favor is positional requirements. In leagues without a flex, teams can start AT MOST one TE. This can create a huge bottleneck if you happen to land a second stud. I've seen a lot of teams leave a lot of studs on the bench at TE (and also at QB) simply because they couldn't start them. It's much rarer where you'll find a league where a team is leaving a bonafide stud WR on the bench, because if you already have one stud and a second develops, you've got 2+ more starting spots. That's where roster requirements come in for me. First off, in any league where you start TEs at the WR position, the discussion is kind of moot- only TE-mandatory leagues apply. In a league that starts 2 WRs and 1 TE, I think the VBD advantage of the TE just becomes so crushing that he's the only possible choice. In a league that has a flex where you can play either a WR or a TE, I also think the TE becomes the obvious choice (because there's no risk of developing a second stud TE and being forced to watch him ride the pine, or trade him for pennies on the dollar). The comparison is only really interesting, in my mind, in leagues with 3-4 WRs, 1 TE, and no flex. I think with 3 WRs, I'd still prefer the TE, although it'd be close. With 4 WRs, I think I'd prefer the WR. I think that brings the VBD close enough where I'd be less willing to overlook the potential backlog that comes from being completely set at a position where I could never start a backup, should one prove start-worthy. One of my league mates last year owned Gronk, Graham, Gates, AND Hernandez in a league where he could only start 1, and he wasted a ton of points on his bench. If those had all been stud WRs instead of stud TEs, it would have been much less of an issue. So, to recap- leagues with a flex, give me the TE. Leagues with 2 WRs to 1 TE, give me the TE. Leagues with 3 WRs to 1 TE, it's more of a pick 'em, but still give me the TE. Any more WR-skewed than that, and give me the WR.And remember that this is just a hypothetical. An actual analysis of Gronk vs. Green would be even more nuanced, discussing what we anticipate for each player's future (I think Gronk would have more trouble sustaining his production indefinitely). I'm just saying, if we have a TE that we know is going to score like an elite WR... I think that TE has to be more valuable than an elite WR.
  22. Let's say you have 1.3 and are choosing between Gronk and Green. You will use pick 3.3 in a 12 team to take whatever position (WR/TE) you don't take at 1.3. Which team is better Gronk/Cruz or Green/Hern. According to DLF ADP Hern is the best TE at 3.3 and Cruz is the best WR. I understand how logic might dictate to take the TE, but you put faces to picks and I would rather have the Green side.

    Totally in a vacuum and ignoring the rest of the team and starting lineups and trades, etc, if you'd ask me which I'd prefer, I'd GREATLY prefer the Gronk/Cruz side. Remember, we're stipulating that Gronk and Green score identically. After that, the question of which pair scores better between Gronk/Cruz and Green/Hern boils strictly down to who score more, Cruz or Hernandez. Cruz has 208 and 169 over the last two seasons. Pro-rate Hernandez's numbers for the last two seasons and he has 157 and 126. We're looking at like a 3 ppg difference between Gronk/Cruz and Green/Hern. It's a bloodbath. I don't think the "which pair would you rather have" method is ever going to favor the Green side, because I don't think there's any TE other than Gronk or maybe Graham who is going to put up a similar raw point total to the WRs being drafted around them. Which isn't to say there aren't arguments in favor of Green in this hypothetical. It's just to say "which pair would you rather have" is not one of them.
  23. Has he won anything of significance since the Patriots were caught cheating?

    Not if you define "anything of significance" as "anything the Patriots lost". He's got two SB appearances, 3 AFCCG appearances, and the first 16-0 team in history. We can argue about whether those are as significant as a SB championship, but you can't argue they aren't significant.
    I always look forward to reading your insightful posts during the football season. So the Patriots have done well, they just didn't have the "edge" they needed to win another Super Bowl?Full disclosure: I haven't said anything nice about the Patriots since the 2001 Super Bowl.
    Fantasy owners will always tell you that winning championships is luck, that the best owners are those guys that consistently make the playoffs and field competitive teams. I'd say the same is true in the NFL. A team has to get a lot of lucky bounces to win a championship- the best franchises are those that are consistently in the hunt. And nobody has been more consistently in the hunt than Belichick and the Patriots, who have had double digit wins every year since 2006.
  24. I just had a very interesting twitter discussion that reminded me why I don't have very interesting twitter discussions more often; my thought process does not distill down to 140 characters with any sort of grace.

    Anyway, it was a discussion of Gronk vs. Green. I mentioned that a case could be made for Gronk at #1 overall as only Calvin has averaged more points over the last 3 years or over the last two years, and only Calvin and Marshall averaged more ppg this year. Which spawned a discussion of Gronk vs. AJ Green, and who was more valuable. Taking away the names, though, I think it makes a very interesting theory question: Imagine there are two players, both of whom are elite, both of whom are guaranteed to score the exact same number of points over the next 10 years (you have a crystal ball that told you the season-ending totals of these two- and only these two- players), and both of whom are the exact same age. One plays TE, and one plays WR. Which would you take first in a startup?

    Points to consider-

    *TE is a lower scoring position in general

    * WR typically has a higher perceived value (trade value)

    *leagues start more WRs than TEs

    Would league settings affect your decision, and if so, how? Possible roster settings include 1/2/3/1, 1/2/2/1, 1/2/4/1, no flex, TE-eligible flex, superflex, etc. How would these settings change your decision, or would your decision be the same regardless of lineups?

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