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SSOG

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  1. Just for funsies:1. Rice2. Richardson3. Peterson4. McCoy5. Martin6. Charles7. Spiller8. Foster9. Forte10. Mathews11. LynchThat's a rough first pass, and I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. Anything stand out as particularly glaring?

    I like Matthews' talent (and I'm an owner in several leagues), but I just can't see having him above Lynch at this point. Yes, SD is a mess in general now, but Matthews also hasn't impressed me on the field this year. And on the injury front, it's been one thing after another.Lynch is only 18 months older than Matthews (he'll be 27 next April, while Matthews will be 26 next Oct), has been extremely productive, is on a team that will ride him and looks on the upswing, and despite one of the heaviest workloads over the last two years has actually held up and looked good under the load.
    Lynch runs too hot and cold for me, from carry to carry, week to week, and season to season. I also don't think he's as talented as his numbers. I think he is now what he has always been his entire career- a solid if unspectacular back capable of putting up great volume stats when given a chance. I think a lot of people forgot that's what he was and had him too low earlier in his career. I think a lot of people are forgetting that's what he is and have him too high today. As for Mathews... the talent is there. The production is there. So far, the health isn't there, and the situation isn't there. I'm happy to bet on his health and situation being short term setbacks, because I think he's one of the 5 most talented backs in the league 25 and under. People are too quick to bury young backs who hit a rough patch. Ironically, your guy Lynch is the poster boy for this phenomenon. There was a reason Mathews was a consensus top5 dynasty back before the season.Edit: completely honestly, what's the difference between Lynch and Chris Ivory, other than the fact that one of them gets a workhorse workload and the other doesn't?
  2. I was simply illustrating how insanely much more valuable RBs are than WRs on a year to year basis. I'm not manipulating the statistics, I'm just presenting them and letting people make their own judgements.

    Part of your argument was to use the differentiation between 100 and 96 to run up a tally, but hiding the fact it is a 4% difference. Not really a cogent argument unless it was a political debate and you're trying to hide the truth from some naive populace. "I pay at least a 13% tax rate every year." The fact that ADP produced better as a rookie and early in his career than Calvin is such a "no duh" argument that the only response I can have is "yes I watched football before this year." I remember Jon Kitna and Drew Stanton. Perhaps Green has landed in a better situation and his ~100 VBD this year will match Peterson's career trajectory. Certainly at this point is not out of the quesiton. Jerry Rice's VBD puts ADP's to shame, even early on, because he landed in such an elite situation. Moss' VBD is comparable to ADP's, because he landed in a very good situation. Sorry for being condescending, but I just think the whole argument is flawed and was offput that it was presented with such slight of hand.
    Again, I don't see what the sleight of hand is. Calvin Johnson's second best season (pro-rating this year's stats) is 96 VBD. Adrian Peterson's worst season (pro-rating last year's stats) is 100 VBD. 100 VBD > 96 VBD. Adrian Peterson's WORST season is better than Calvin Johnson's SECOND BEST season.Look, I never said that Adrian Peterson's worst season blew Calvin Johnson's second best season out of the water. I never implied that Adrian Peterson's worst season was several orders of magnitude better than Calvin's second best season. You're absolutely right that the difference is just 4%. Adrian Peterson's WORST SEASON was 4% better than Calvin Johnson's SECOND BEST SEASON. Yes, 4% is not a lot more, but the amazing fact here is that Peterson's worst season is *ANY* better than Calvin's second best season. The amazing thing here is that Calvin Johnson is on pace to set an NFL record for most receiving yards in a single season and it would still only qualify as the worst fantasy season of Adrian Peterson's entire 6-year career. Calvin is having a career year, a record-setting year, and he's putting up VBD numbers that Adrian Peterson has beaten- not smashed, not demolished, but nevertheless still topped- in each and every single season of his entire career. Calvin Johnson has rung up fewer VBD this season than Stevan Ridley. I do not know how to illustrate any more starkly than this just how huge of a gap in value there is between elite RBs and elite WRs on a season-by-season basis. Calvin Johnson is going to break NFL records this year, records that have never before been seriously threatened, and despite that he's still not as valuable as a time-share back in a pass-happy offense. He's in his prime, playing out of his mind as the only real target on the most pass happy offense the NFL has ever seen (Stafford and the Lions are both on pace to break the single season pass attempt record for an individual and a team), and he's still being bested by more than a half dozen different RBs.I'm not saying this to score political points. I've already said that I'd draft Calvin before Peterson in a startup. I'd draft him an entire round before, in fact. I'd take Calvin with a top 3 pick in a startup, and would be sorely, sorely tempted to take him #1 overall. Calvin Johnson is a first ballot HoFer who is just beginning his assault on the record books. By the time he retires, there's a great chance he'll be seen as the second greatest WR to ever play the game. I'm not stacking the deck in Peterson's favor because I'm on some sort of pro-Peterson bandwagon and I want to con everyone else on this forum into joining me. I'm simply pointing out that despite all of this ridiculous praise for Calvin, the first ballot HoF, record-setting, never-before-seen athletic talent, his second best season WOULD BE ADRIAN PETERSON'S WORST SEASON. Because RB, the position, is so ludicrously, dramatically, mind-bogglingly more valuable on a year-by-year basis that a bad season by Peterson's standards trumps one of the greatest WR seasons in the history of the national football league.I do not know why this is such a controversial statement. Again, Stevan Ridley- STEVAN RIDLEY- has more VBD than Calvin Johnson this year. Runningback is more valuable, on a season-by-season basis, than wide receiver- especially in today's NFL, where pass-happy offenses are raising the WR baseline and RBBCs are lowering the RB baseline. It's possible for wide receivers to make up that per-year value difference because they have much more longevity (and, as I've said twice already now, I fully expect Calvin to make up that per-year value differential, which is why I'd draft him before Peterson), but anyone who denies that such a value differential exists is just burying their head in the sand. This is not spin, this is not sleight of hand, this is not a trick or me pulling a fast one, this is just raw, pure, unvarnished truth.In case anyone still thinks I'm trying to massage the data, or obfuscate the issue, here is the season-by-season VBD totals for each player (all seasons pro-rated to 16 games), sorted from high to low.Peterson: 160, 140, 137, 120, 103, 100Calvin: 149, 96, 88, 81, 43, 0 (rookie year)A great year by an RB is substantially more valuable than a great year by a WR. Toss out his rookie year and Calvin has averaged 5.71 VBD per game. Adrian Peterson, on the other hand, has averaged 7.92. That's 38.7% more per game. That seems about right- you should expect an RB to be 33-40% more valuable than a comparable WR in any given season. As I said, WRs get a chance to make that up on the back end thanks to their extended careers, but you cannot deny that the advantage exists. Even if you want to go to the all-time greats, that advantage exists. LaDainian Tomlinson averaged 33-40% more VBD per game than Randy Moss. Marshall Faulk averaged 33-40% more VBD per game than Marvin Harrison. Shaun Alexander averaged 33-40% more VBD per game than Terrell Owens. The only WR in history who has racked up VBD like an RB was Jerry Rice (he had 9 different 100+ VBD seasons), but as we all know, Jerry Rice is the exception, not the rule.
  3. I'd be selling Peterson "All Day" in dynasty. Of course, I said the same thing last year and he proved me wrong by bouncing back with an absolutely monster season, but I'll let someone else in my league pin his hopes on a 28 year old RB next year. He probably only has 1.5-2 years of his peak left. If he doesn't win you the title in those two years, you'll regret picking him. I took Brian Westbrook with an early pick at a similar juncture of his career and always regretted it. Peterson is a much more talented athlete, but 1700+ carries is 1700+ carries. He's two years away from being Steven Jackson, if he's lucky.

    Emmitt Smith had 265 career VBD starting at age 28. Tomlinson had 287. Sanders had 366 despite going out on top after his age 30 season. Faulk had 298. Curtis Martin also had 298. For comparison purposes, Brian Westbrook had 403 VBD for his entire career (although 217 of it came at age 28 or later). The comparison for Peterson isn't guys like Brian Westbrook, it's the first-ballot HoFers, and based on those guys, we should expect 300 or so more VBD from him going forward, spread out over 2 more great years and 1 more good year. I wouldn't take him in the first round of a startup, but I think 300 VBD is a lot more than you can expect from most guys who wind up going in the second of dynasty startups. And there's upside from there- Barry Sanders easily could have topped 500 VBD if he hadn't walked away.Edit: forgot Tiki Barber, who had 430 VBD starting at age 28 despite also walking away at the top of his game. Priest had a monstrous 634 VBD starting in his age 28 season. Sweetness had 551. Peterson still has monster upside despite his advanced age.
  4. Calvin's 96 VBD this year will be the second best total of his career. It would rank as the 6th best total of Peterson's career- 7th best if you prorate his numbers last year for the four games he missed.

    Disingenuous stat manipulation. Laughable.

    ADP was worth more the day he is drafted. He was worth more in, say, 2009. But past VBD is irrelevant to current value. Calvin is worth more now and for forever in the leagues I play in (both standard and PPR with traditional-ish lineups).

    I wasn't making judgments on who is more valuable going forward. I was simply illustrating how insanely much more valuable RBs are than WRs on a year to year basis. I'm not manipulating the statistics, I'm just presenting them and letting people make their own judgements. Calvin Johnson could go for 2000 yards this year and still score less VBD per game than Adrian Peterson did in the very worst season of his entire career. That's a fact.

    Do with that fact what you will. If you expect Peterson to go for another 4 years while Calvin goes 6, maybe they're about even. If you expect Calvin to go 8, maybe he comes out ahead. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate before taking Calvin over ADP in a startup, but their value isn't so far apart that I would prefer Calvin in all situations (I had a chance to trade Peterson for Calvin earlier this year and declined due to my roster construction). I feel very confident that ADP will hold a sizeable lead in VBD over the next 3 seasons.

  5. Many owners don't understand how, in many formats, 2 years of Adrian Peterson production can be worth 4+ years of Calvin Johnson production.

    I won't sit here and let you talk about Calvin like that. In the middle of his pursuit for 2000, no less. Calvin is on pace for 96 VBD this year. He had 149 last year. In STANDARD SCORING no less. That 2 year stretch is as good as any 2 year stretch ADP has had. Look it up. I'll wait. See. As good as any 2 year stretch ADP has had. You can apologize now. Thanks.
    Calvin's 96 VBD this year will be the second best total of his career. It would rank as the 6th best total of Peterson's career- 7th best if you prorate his numbers last year for the four games he missed.Edit: that's right- Calvin could go for 2000 yards and his season would still rank as the worst fantasy season of Peterson's career. Calvin has less VBD this season than Stevan Ridley. WRs have the longer careers, but RBs are astronomically more valuable on a per-season basis, and comparable RBs compile more career VBD than their WR counterparts (without even considering the extra roster spot you get from not having to carry them as long). Outside of Jerry Rice, stud RBs trump stud WRs.
  6. If you think Droughns was a success in Cleveland then I cannot help you.

    Here is a complete list of every Cleveland Browns RB to rush for 1000 yards (forget 1200) between 1986 and 2006: Reuben Droughns.

    Droughns rushed for 1200 in Cle. Portis was great in Washington. System backs my foot.

    I guess Larry Fitzgerald is a system WR, because he produced better in the Kurt Warner system than he did in the John Skelton system.

    A true statement, but perhaps a little misleading in that Droughns was not quite the fantasy stud that the rushing numbers alone imply. I happen to specifically remember this because I acquired him in trade and was disappointed with his output.

    Below is something from a faceoff between Sigmund Bloom and Chase Stuart following Droughn's 2005 season:

    Bloom: Droughns averaged 100 total yards a game, no small feat, but his fantasy profile was kept low by his microscopic total of two touchdowns.

    Stewart:

    It's easy to say that Reuben Droughns ranked 14th last year, and 8th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage...But not so fast.

    Droughns ranked 21st last year in FP/G among RBs with at least 8 games played, and that doesn't include any RBs from New Orleans, New York (Jets), Miami or Detroit. Droughns ranked 14th last year because he stayed healthy, not because he's a great RB. No RB with more carries or touches than Droughns scored less FPs, but four guys with fewer carries and a fifth with fewer touches scored more FPs. And Willie Parker scored .1 fewer FPs despite 75 fewer touches.

    http://subscribers.footballguys.com/2006/06faceoff-DrouRe00.php
    Droughns was basically the same guy in Cleveland as he was in Denver- a serviceable but mediocre grinder. He put up nearly identical ypg totals in both places. Yeah, he scored more TDs in Denver- is this a reflection on his talent, or on the fact that Denver's offense scores a lot more points than Cleveland's offense?

    Droughns wasn't a great back in Cleveland, but he wasn't a great one in Denver, either. That's my point- he was the same guy in both places. The system didn't magically transform him from a nobody to a star. He wasn't some guy out of the stands who enjoyed a magic season and then turned back into a pumpkin. All that "anyone can run for 1,000 yards in Denver" nonsense was just that- nonsense. Just ask Quentin Griffin, or Selvin Young, or Mike Bell. Just compare the statistics from one back to another- Davis and Portis put up statistics far above anyone else (and Denver's rushing totals in those seasons were much higher). Mike Anderson was in the next tier, and then guys like Mike Bell, Olandis Gary, and Reuben Droughns put up good counting stats, but dramatically inferior efficiency stats (and the team rushing totals were much worse as a result). In other words, even within the system, you could see which guys were legit stars and which were seatwarmers. Alfred Morris is no Davis or Portis, but he's easily as good as Mike Anderson, which is enough for me to expect him to be a long-time starter in that offense and a borderline dynasty rb1.

  7. Morris is likely to produce a 1,300/8 season. I don't see incentive for Shanny to replace him, especially considering that the Redskins are low on picks as it is.

    What was his incentive to replace Mike Anderson (1700/15), Olandis Gary (1300/7), or Reuben Droughns (1600/4)?I honestly don't remember the circumstances, but all of those guys were young and coming off good/great seasons and weren't the starter the next year.
    Anderson could never stay healthy; same with Gary. I don't really recall what happened with Droughns; I'll look it up. But in the case of Gary/Anderson, Shanny didn't simply replace them for fun, out of spite, or anything like that. They both had bad stretches of injuries. I am not claiming that Morris is Foster, in terms of talent. But a lot of these arguments were made against Foster during his monster season. Then again the following, while Tate had a few nice games. Again, I know Morris isn't as safe, because he isn't as talented. But there is reason to believe he finishes next year as he will this year.ETA: Wiki says Droughns asked for a trade when he was not assured the starting job. They brought him in originally to play FB.
    ...and Cleveland complied only to see Droughns go down the same route as so many other Shannahan backs. The system > the player.
    Droughns rushed for 1200 in Cle. Portis was great in Washington. System backs my foot. I guess Larry Fitzgerald is a system WR, because he produced better in the Kurt Warner system than he did in the John Skelton system.
  8. Morris is likely to produce a 1,300/8 season. I don't see incentive for Shanny to replace him, especially considering that the Redskins are low on picks as it is.

    What was his incentive to replace Mike Anderson (1700/15), Olandis Gary (1300/7), or Reuben Droughns (1600/4)?I honestly don't remember the circumstances, but all of those guys were young and coming off good/great seasons and weren't the starter the next year.
    Anderson and Gary both took over for an injured Terrell Davis, and relinquished the job when he came back (much like Bryce Brown probably relinquishes the job when Shady comes back). Then Portis kept them on the bench for two years. When Portis left, Anderson earned the starting job again before getting lost to season-ending injury, and then earned the starting job again the next year, demonstrating Shanahan's loyalty. Droughns was a fullback who got the job by being the last man standing. Denver traded him because they still wanted him as a fullback, but he didn't want to move back. Shanahan has been very loyal to his RBs, except when injuries have forced his hand. If feel very comfortable owning Morris for the next 3 years.
  9. I grabbed Brown this offseason, then traded him to the Shady owner for San Fran's defense once the news came out that he'd passed Dion for the #2. Obviously I regret not being able to cash in on him right now, but I'm still happy with the trade- the defensive upgrade improved my team far more than Brown would have. If I were the Shady/Brown owner, though, I'd have very mixed feelings right now. Both RBs have shown that they're too good to keep off the field. Best case scenario, this becomes another LT/ Turner situation, where you eventually wind up with two stud RBs. Medium case scenario, this becomes another Priest/LJ situation, where you wind up having 1 stud RB at all times. Worst case scenario, though, this becomes another DeAngelo/Stewart scenario, and you get 0 stud RBs. That best case would be sweet... but man, would that worst case be a real nut shot.

  10. Oh no, not this again. The fact that almost all of the elite RBs of the past 15 years had a certain general body type is pretty convincing evidence that the requirements of the position favor a pretty specific set of physical qualities. And while NFL front offices routinely draft non-ideal backs, you don't see many of those banks ranking among the NFL leaders in touches. The fact that guys like Reggie Bush, Darren McFadden, CJ Spiller, and Jamaal Charles haven't been trusted with a full workload despite their talent actually offers pretty good support for the idea that NFL people are aware of the fact that you can't work these backs like you can a Ricky/Edge/Tomlinson. I don't think durability is completely unpredictable. I said guys like Murray, Mathews, McFadden, and Beanie would struggle with injuries. Is it just blind luck that all of them have? Highly unlikely. It is always strange to me that some people who spend hours daily on FF boards reading opinions from non-professionals will go to great lengths to convince themselves that none of these people could possibly know anything. I mean, if professional scouts and executives are the only ones who know anything about players, there's basically no reason to ever visit these forums.

    I'd argue that Murray already had the injury risk baked in, which is why a first round talent became a third round pick. As for the others... yeah, non-ideal backs like McFadden and Beanie have gotten injured. So have ideal backs like Stewart and Mendenhall. Ideal backs have put up huge workloads. So have non-ideal backs like Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Brian Westbrook, and Warrick Dunn. You keep mentioning Charles as an example of a team not trusting a guy with the workload, but Charles is 9th in the league in carries and averaging 20 touches per game despite some inexplicable games where the coaching staff had no idea they weren't giving him any carries. You can produce a lot of anecdotes supporting your position. I can post a ton of anecdotes contradicting it, despite your loosey-goosey "I know it when I see it" approach to defining ideal body type. The question then becomes where the preponderance of the anecdotes lie. Do first round backs with non-ideal body types average more injuries than their ideal peers? Shorter careers? Fewer touches? Most importantly (since none of us plays in points per touch leagues), do they average fewer VBD? If you look at the most productive RBs, are ideal backs over represented after you account for things like their proportion of the overall population and average draft position? The only answers I'm getting to this question are "I don't know, but trust me anyway." Or perhaps "here are a few anecdotes to prove I am right. Pay no mind to the selective nature of my examples". It's like the concept of chokers. Intuitively, I think everyone agrees that chokers exist in the real world. We all know people who simply cannot handle stress. The problem is, 8 years of competitive football prior to the NFL weeds those chokers out, ensuring that almost none of them actually make the league. In the same way, maybe small backs as a whole are more prone to injury, while the ones that make the league are not. Again... show me the data.
  11. I agree that it's intuitive. That doesn't make it right. Beware intuitive explanations, because our cognitive process is so riddled with bias that being obvious cannot be taken as a proxy for being right.

    Just because you read it in your psych 1 textbook doesn't mean it always applies. Plenty of intuitive beliefs happen to have merit.
    :yes:

    For more on this read Gladwell's Blink. Gut reactions aren't invalid because they're based on simple intuition.

    I've been waiting to reply to this until I had more time, but I wanted to put a placeholder to make sure I don't forget. I'm familiar with Blink- I think I argued in this thread that maybe we should sometimes be more accepting of answers like "I don't know" or "just because" when someone is saying why they prefer one player over another, a concept inspired by Blink and which would probably be worth reviving and rehashing. With that said, Blink doesn't really grant human intuition carte blanche to decide whatever it decides without evaluation. Gladwell makes a point of discussing when intuition fails. There are all sorts of easy ways to demonstrate how easily intuition can lead us astray (I'll post more later, but here's a quick one- together, a bat and a ball cost $1.10. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? See what your intuition has to say about that one). Gladwell argued that, for highly trained individuals who had logged countless hours gaining expertise, their intuition proved especially insightful in the narrow range of their expertise- the example of the tennis coach knowing about tennis serves, or the chicken sexers being able to quickly determine gender. The problem is that, as far as I know, "structural integrity of human joints across a relatively narrow range of body types" doesn't fall under anyone here's field of expertise.

    Of course, the other problem with Gladwell is that pop psychology is not psychology. Gladwell is rewarded for being counterintuitive, shocking, fresh, and interesting. He's rewarded to a far lesser extent for accuracy. The unsurprising result is that in his rush to pull together large numbers of disparate studies to support a single unified theory is that he often latches on to studies that fit his narrative, but which prove difficult to replicate or easily debunked. The 10,000 hour theory of expertise has been shot full of holes. His choice paradox and subconscious priming studies have proven difficult to replicate. Gladwell is a smart guy who is genuinely inquisitive about the way the world works, and he's a very interesting read, but I wouldn't take him as an authority on anything. Daniel Kahneman has a whole lot of research on intuition and the way our mind works (it's very, very lazy), and his paints a much less rosy picture of the reliability of our subconcious.

    Kahneman and Gary Klein (who is one of the main pro-intuition researchers cited in Blink) have a paper on when intuitions are likely to reflect skilled expertise titled "Conditions for Intuitive Expertise A Failure to Disagree". (Kahneman also has a chapter in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow which is based on that paper.)

    Kahneman & Klein's take is that a person can develop intuitive skill in a domain, which allows them to make accurate predictions (often without being able to justify them). They basically just become really good at pattern recognition, where the pattern is that such-and-such an outcome tends to end up happening in such-and-such a situation. In order to develop this expertise, they need to have lots of experience in the domain (making observations and then getting feedback about how things turned out), and the domain needs to be regular enough to actually have strong patterns which a person could learn.

    The problem is that this kind of skilled intuition feels pretty much the same as any other intuition (and that many environments are not regular enough to have strong patterns). People also develop intuitions for lots of bad reasons, which Kahneman has covered in detail in his research on heuristics & biases (e.g., seeing patterns that aren't there because they have a plausible story in mind for why that pattern should be there, or because they happened to be exposed first to a subset of the data which sorta resembled that pattern just because of random variation). So if a person feels a strong intuition, and is really confident in that intuition, that doesn't tell us whether the intuition is based on expert pattern-recognition or is just uninformed gut-thinking.

    Here is how Kahneman & Klein put it in their paper (which you can find on Google Scholar):

    [*]Our starting point is that intuitive judgments can arise from genuine skill—the focus of the NDM approach—but that they can also arise from inappropriate application of the heuristic processes on which students of the HB tradition have focused.

    [*]Skilled judges are often unaware of the cues that guide them, and individuals whose intuitions are not skilled are even less likely to know where their judgments come from.

    [*]True experts, it is said, know when they don’t know. However, nonexperts (whether or not they think they are) certainly do not know when they don’t know. Subjective confidence is therefore an unreliable indication of the validity of intuitive judgments and decisions.

    [*]The determination of whether intuitive judgments can be trusted requires an examination of the environment in which the judgment is made and of the opportunity that the judge has had to learn the regularities of that environment.

    [*]We describe task environments as “high-validity” if there are stable relationships between objectively identifiable cues and subsequent events or between cues and the outcomes of possible actions. Medicine and firefighting are practiced in environments of fairly high validity. In contrast, outcomes are effectively unpredictable in zero-validity environments. To a good approximation, predictions of the future value of individual stocks and long-term forecasts of political events are made in a zero-validity environment.

    [*]Validity and uncertainty are not incompatible. Some environments are both highly valid and substantially uncertain. Poker and warfare are examples. The best moves in such situations reliably increase the potential for success.

    [*]An environment of high validity is a necessary condition for the development of skilled intuitions. Other necessary conditions include adequate opportunities for learning the environment (prolonged practice and feedback that is both rapid and unequivocal). If an environment provides valid cues and good feedback, skill and expert intuition will eventually develop in individuals of sufficient talent.

    [*]Although true skill cannot develop in irregular or unpredictable environments, individuals will sometimes make judgments and decisions that are successful by chance. These “lucky” individuals will be susceptible to an illusion of skill and to overconfidence (Arkes, 2001). The financial industry is a rich source of examples.

    [*]The situation that we have labeled fractionation of skill is another source of overconfidence. Professionals who have expertise in some tasks are sometimes called upon to make judgments in areas in which they have no real skill. (For example, financial analysts may be skilled at evaluating the likely commercial success of a firm, but this skill does not extend to the judgment of whether the stock of that firm is underpriced.) It is difficult both for the professionals and for those who observe them to determine the boundaries of their true expertise.

    [*]We agree that the weak regularities available in low-validity situations can sometimes support the development of algorithms that do better than chance. These algorithms only achieve limited accuracy, but they outperform humans because of their advantage of consistency. However, the introduction of algorithms to replace human judgment is likely to evoke substantial resistance and sometimes has undesirable side effects.

    I was planning on grabbing T:F&S and re-reading that chapter to make sure I had the details right, but you saved me all the effort, so instead I'll just slap up a :goodposting: and continue on my merry little way.

    None of us here has developed enough expertise on the likelihood of repetitive injuries to joints across a relatively narrow range of body types for our intuitions to carry much, if any, weight. I'm not even sure if it would be possible to develop expertise in such an area, since the validity is indeterminate, the samples are small, and the feedback is heavily delayed (quick feedback is vital for the development of expertise- the quicker the better). That's why I'd much rather place my trust in an algorithm developed based on the study of the data, or in the people (front offices) who likely would have developed such an algorithm (whether formally or informally). In other words... make like Jerry MacGuire and shooooooow me the data!

  12. I agree that it's intuitive. That doesn't make it right. Beware intuitive explanations, because our cognitive process is so riddled with bias that being obvious cannot be taken as a proxy for being right.

    Just because you read it in your psych 1 textbook doesn't mean it always applies. Plenty of intuitive beliefs happen to have merit.
    :yes:

    For more on this read Gladwell's Blink. Gut reactions aren't invalid because they're based on simple intuition.

    I've been waiting to reply to this until I had more time, but I wanted to put a placeholder to make sure I don't forget. I'm familiar with Blink- I think I argued in this thread that maybe we should sometimes be more accepting of answers like "I don't know" or "just because" when someone is saying why they prefer one player over another, a concept inspired by Blink and which would probably be worth reviving and rehashing. With that said, Blink doesn't really grant human intuition carte blanche to decide whatever it decides without evaluation. Gladwell makes a point of discussing when intuition fails. There are all sorts of easy ways to demonstrate how easily intuition can lead us astray (I'll post more later, but here's a quick one- together, a bat and a ball cost $1.10. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? See what your intuition has to say about that one). Gladwell argued that, for highly trained individuals who had logged countless hours gaining expertise, their intuition proved especially insightful in the narrow range of their expertise- the example of the tennis coach knowing about tennis serves, or the chicken sexers being able to quickly determine gender. The problem is that, as far as I know, "structural integrity of human joints across a relatively narrow range of body types" doesn't fall under anyone here's field of expertise.

    Of course, the other problem with Gladwell is that pop psychology is not psychology. Gladwell is rewarded for being counterintuitive, shocking, fresh, and interesting. He's rewarded to a far lesser extent for accuracy. The unsurprising result is that in his rush to pull together large numbers of disparate studies to support a single unified theory is that he often latches on to studies that fit his narrative, but which prove difficult to replicate or easily debunked. The 10,000 hour theory of expertise has been shot full of holes. His choice paradox and subconscious priming studies have proven difficult to replicate. Gladwell is a smart guy who is genuinely inquisitive about the way the world works, and he's a very interesting read, but I wouldn't take him as an authority on anything. Daniel Kahneman has a whole lot of research on intuition and the way our mind works (it's very, very lazy), and his paints a much less rosy picture of the reliability of our subconcious.

  13. If Bwah wins the Superbowl, I think he wins COTY with either Kwah or Smwah at QB, but if its Kwah and he plays very studly then its pretty much a lock because he made the risky decision to go with Kwah over Smwah this early in the year.

    :lmso:Bwah might honestly be the worst nickname Ive ever heard. Ever.
    Kaep is named the starter for the third consecutive week, and all is concentrated on a nickname. Glad to see I can grab them with 4 letters. :banned:
    Not a nickname. The worst nickname ever. We might as well start referring to Peyton, Aaron, Calvin, Larry, and Jamaal as "Neeng", "Jurrs", "Trawn", "Ruwld", and "Ahrls". Seriously, that is the level of brain-numbing awfulness that is at play, here.
  14. I'm also, by default, leery of any theory that suggests there is a very simple, intuitive, obvious heuristic to predict NFL success that has not yet occurred to and been accounted for by the results-driven, Multi-million dollar scouting industry.

    Unless you have an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of every personnel department in the league, I don't think you're qualified to say what they have and haven't accounted for. I'd venture to guess that quite a few teams have looked at the kind of things I'm talking about.
    I agree. I think it's a virtual certainty that all teams have looked into the link between size and injury risk. Which is why when someone like Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson, who is not the ideal shape, goes in the first round, I don't hold his size against him. After all, NFL teams, who have done a lot more research on the subject and have a lot more data on the players, sure didn't.

    I have, as of yet, not seen a single attempt to support your "non-ideal body types are more likely to sustain injury" with actual real-world data. I haven't even seen an attempt to strictly define non-ideal body types, which allows for a lot of goalpost moving. As a result, I treat your theory with extreme skepticism.

    You're not going to find an objective measure. Durability is a combination of luck, toughness, running style, usage, and body type. BMI is a pretty good starting point for determining body type, but it's flawed because it doesn't provide any information about the distribution of a player's weight, which is important. All else being equal, a top-heavy back is going to be less durable than a back who carries his weight in his lower body. The best support for the "ideal body type" argument is the fact most of the RBs who have had great careers in recent history have fit the mold pretty well. Guys like Ricky Williams, LaDainain Tomlinson, Marshall Faulk, Barry Sanders, Clinton Portis, Shaun Alexander, Jamal Lewis, Frank Gore, and Edgerrin James are all built more or less the same. It's probably not a coincidence that Trent Richardson and Doug Martin are physically cut from this same cloth as well. Those guys are actually the exact same height (5'9.1"), and their weight is only separated by 5 pounds. The NFL clearly has a preference for a certain type of RB. It drafts more of them in the first round. More of them go on to great careers.To be fair, we've also seen some thinner backs like Darren McFadden and CJ Spiller earn very high draft slots in recent years, but neither has yet demonstrated the ability to accumulate a Tomlinson/Edge/Ricky workload over multiple seasons. The same goes for Reggie Bush, who has a career high of 216 carries after 8 years in the league. Jamaal Charles is hovering around the same territory right now. Chris Johnson is really the only guy with a non-traditional build who has shown the ability to handle a high volume of carries over multiple seasons, and he has a few subjective factors working in his favor (running style, distribution of weight, super freak athlete). I don't think BMI is a perfect indicator of body type, but I'd be interested in seeing a study that tracks all backs who were drafted within the past ten years and determines the average workload as it relates to body type, factoring in draft position (because a non-ideal first round RB is probably going to have a higher expected amount of touches than an ideal seventh rounder due to differences in talent). I'd venture to guess that a study like this might corroborate some of what I'm saying.
    The problem I have with "I'll know it when I see it" as a rule for which backs are injury prone is that it very quickly morphs into "I'll see it once I know it". Absent objective criteria, the entire practice quickly devolves into a giant Texas Sharpshooter fallacy. It's the same problem I have with the Lewin Career Forecast or Sackseer or any other formula or rule that purports to separate the busts from the steals. Even if the formula does manage to identify a genuine inefficiency in the market, the market is extremely efficient and will incorporate that information to correct the inefficiency as soon as it's discovered. A decade ago, the As made a killing because the market undervalued OBP. The market quickly realized its error and corrected, to the point that OBP is no longer undervalued. Pitt used to be able to make a killing gobbling up tweeter LB/DEs that nobody else wanted for artificially low prices. Now we get guys like Von and Aldon going in the top 10 picks, where they belong. Tedford QBs were overvalued, the market reacted, and Rodgers almost fell out of the first entirely. By the time you identify an inefficiency, it's already being corrected for. If non-ideal guys really were enhanced risks, the market would have realized it, and guys like Bush, Peterson, Johnson, Spiller, and Charles wouldn't be so routinely getting taken with premium picks. The market is aware of your theory, and the market has roundly rejected it.
  15. Possible Alex Smith comp: Chad Pennington?

    pennington never had the arm.
    He had more arm before he destroyed his shoulder. He was never a Jay Cutler, but without injury he easily could have been a Rich Gannon. In fact, when he had his amazing breakout in 2002, that's exactly what I thought he was- a young Rich Gannon.
    In every full season that he was healthy (of course that was an issue) Chad Pennington led his team to the playoffs - some of them coming after he destroyed his shoulder. That was with two different teams, neither of which were loaded with talent. He was a much better QB than people ever give him credit for being. People would rather call him "noodle arm" or "mr. glass", because it's funnier that way. I like the Gannon comparison.
    Absolutely. Really great QB. Could have been viewed as a Hasselbeck, Trent Green in their prime kind of QB- back half of the top 10- had his arm not gotten shot to hell. He was masterful at hiding and overcoming his limitations. After his shoulder got shot, though, his arm strength definitely was a limitation. He was capable of efficiently moving the football, but he could no longer constrain the defense or force them to defend the entire field. Every offense he was in would naturally be limited, no matter how efficient he was, simply because there were certain aspects the defense simply didn't have to respect. In fact, in that respect, he's far closer to Smith than to Kaep- hyper efficient, underrated, but makes a defense's job easier and an offense's job harder when he's on the field.Edit: Actually, now that the comparison has been made, I'd say the whole Smith/Kaepernick situation has a lot of similarities to Pennington/Henne.
  16. I agree that it's intuitive. That doesn't make it right. Beware intuitive explanations, because our cognitive process is so riddled with bias that being obvious cannot be taken as a proxy for being right.

    Just because you read it in your psych 1 textbook doesn't mean it always applies. Plenty of intuitive beliefs happen to have merit. In the case of anatomy, it's clear to anyone who knows anything about the animal kingdom, architecture, or engineering that function follows form.

    If people want to believe that this body will hold up as well to contact as this one, so be it. I think it's pretty clear that the job duties of an NFL featured back favor certain body types over others. I've missed one or two gems with this approach, but that number is far outweighed by the amount of scrubs and failures that I've completely avoided.

    Yes, plenty of intuitive beliefs have merit. I never claimed that there was a negative correlation between intuition and accuracy (I.e. intuitive beliefs are more likely to be wrong than counterintuitive beliefs). I would expect a positive correlation between "intuitiveness" and "accuracy", I'm just saying that that correlation will be many orders of magnitude weaker than the correlation between "substantiated by data" and "accuracy". Which is why I prefer theories that are actually supported by the data. I have, as of yet, not seen a single attempt to support your "non-ideal body types are more likely to sustain injury" with actual real-world data. I haven't even seen an attempt to strictly define non-ideal body types, which allows for a lot of goalpost moving. As a result, I treat your theory with extreme skepticism.

    I'm also, by default, leery of any theory that suggests there is a very simple, intuitive, obvious heuristic to predict NFL success that has not yet occurred to and been accounted for by the results-driven, Multi-million dollar scouting industry.

  17. What happens if they win the SB with Smith though? Can you trade or bench a SB winning QB on the heels of the winning season?

    Good question. I think the most likely case is that if the 49ers win the Superbowl, it'll be because of their defense. In that case you can't say Smith won you the Superbowl and I'd go with Kaep next year.

    Because you think it makes the team better?

    But the team won't be better if Kaep goes through some growing pains when opposing defenses catch on to his game. Right now, Kaep is the better option, but I worry come playoff time. That's something I haven't seen the Kaep supporters really address. Do you think teams will catch on to Kaep's game? If so, when? How much will it affect him? It's not like Kaep's been lighting up the stat sheet right now. If teams catch on and his stats and game goes down, what does that do to the Niners' chances in the playoffs this year?
    You're right. The team won't be better if Kaep struggles. So, to recap- you switch because you think it makes the team better. The team won't be better if Kaep struggles. Jim Harbaugh made the switch. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that Jim Harbaugh doesn't think Kaep will struggle. It's basic syllogism. Major premise: Jim Harbaugh makes the moves he thinks gives his team the best chance to win. Minor premise: Jim Harbaugh switched from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick. Conclusion: Jim Harbaugh thinks that switching from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick gives his team the best chance to win. You asked why someone would switch from Smith to Kaepernick, and this is your answer- they would do it because they think it makes the team better.Edit: the question of whether he's right is an interesting question. The question of why he did it is extremely boring.
  18. What are that Quizz gets 60%+ of the teams RB touches next season? He seems to be a guy under the radar, in that regard. I wouldn't be shocked to see it happen, and the Falcons are becoming, if not already, one of the elite offenses in the NFL.

    The Falcons have been leaning on him more and more, so now is the time to buy, if you like him.

    Do not want.

    Trent Richardson is 5'9.1" 229 pounds, making him one of the biggest running backs in the NFL in terms of weight per height. He is built similar to guys like Maurice Drew and Michael Turner, who have had tremendous durability. He is the embodiment of the prototypical high volume NFL RB.

    Beanie Wells is 4 inches taller, but only 6 pounds heavier. Completely different body type. Not nearly as compact, which is the biggest problem. His ankles and lower body are much more exposed. Same deal with guys like McFadden, Lattimore, and Murray. It's not impossible for someone with this type of build to be a successful long term NFL RB, but it's a lot less likely than with the compact guys.

    I posted a list of 15+ RB 6'0" or taller that had long healthy careers. I could put together a long list of guys shorter than that, who didn't.

    Please tell me how Lattimore's height led to either of his injuries. Tell me how him being 5'10" or 5'11" would have prevented them.

    It's not height as much as it's about body mass. Steven Jackson is tall, but he's not brittle because he's strong as hell throughout his lower body.

    Imagine that you're an engineer building an athlete that needs to survive a lot of hits to the lower body.

    Would you want someone who looks like this?

    http://cache.deadspin.com/assets/images/11/2008/09/beanie_wells.jpg

    http://i.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0708/top20.running.backs.cfb/images/darren.mcfadden.jpg

    http://fitsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/lattimore-surgery.jpg

    http://www.vikingsgab.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/DeMarco-Murray.jpg

    Or this?

    http://cdn.everyjoe.com/files/2012/08/michael-turner-fantasy-football.jpg

    http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/J+Williams+Maurice+Jones+Drew+Denver+Broncos+ufFrDZ3KFZWl.jpg

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_F2xmCQ3UB9Y/Rxw3tzmIIMI/AAAAAAAAA54/WKfSRfHM7Gg/s400/rayrice.jpg

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-C3lo7wAjraI/TwdRufuQbKI/AAAAAAAAAg8/vs6sMLS1OuQ/s1600/dyer.jpg

    A more compact frame presents a smaller target. A thicker limb can withstand more force.

    Considering how intuitive this is, I'm surprised that there's always so much resistance to it. Think of the legs as a tree trunk. I'm no expert in physics, but I'd venture to guess that a shorter, wider trunk is going to be a lot more resistant to cracking than a longer, thinner trunk. It's also going to do a better job of absorbing hits and reducing strain. It's the same reason why a baseball bat will crack if hit at the handle, but not if hit at the barrel.

    Of course there are examples of thin backs who have been very durable (like Chris Johnson) and stocky backs who have had durability problems (like Rashard Mendenhall), but that's because there are a lot of variables involved. Running style is an important factor. So is luck. But I think it's pretty obvious that, all else being equal, a player with a strong frame is a lot more likely to survive the beating of life in the NFL trenches than a player who is stretched out and thin at the points where he is hit most often. It is no coincidence that guys like McFadden, Beanie, Murray, and Lattimore are always going down with foot/ankle/knee injuries. They don't have the anatomy to survive their own running styles.

    I agree that it's intuitive. That doesn't make it right. Beware intuitive explanations, because our cognitive process is so riddled with bias that being obvious cannot be taken as a proxy for being right. It's intuitive that when you're in a lot of debt you should cut spending, yet applying that intuitive logic to the government leads to something called the fiscal cliff. It's intuitive that breaking a bone will weaken it and leave it more susceptible to further breaks, but the opposite is actually the case. It's intuitive that players listed on the injury report as questionable would be more limited and therefore score fewer points than average when they play, but the truth is that players score as many points in weeks where they are listed on the report as they do in weeks where they aren't. It's intuitive that a team that has come back from several scores down to tie the game would have "momentum" and therefore be more likely to earn the win, but the reality is that a tie game is a 50/50 affair, regardless of the order of the scoring.

    I agree that you would think a shorter, thicker, more muscular leg would be less prone to injury, but it also occurs to me that most injury occurs at the joint, and I can't envision a clear mechanism that would cause different musculature to increase or reduce injury risk at the joint. I'd be really interested in seeing some sort of objective, rigorous, comprehensive, data-driven analysis of the subject. Absent that, I'll remain leery of plausible-sounding but wholly unsubstantiated (or purely anecdotal) explanations.

    Last thing on the subject, and my apologies for beating a dead horse:

    It seems like when Ingram and Richardson have knee issues, they just have them. Beanie does because he's tall. When Ingram gets turf toe, he just does. Beanie and McFadden get it because they are tall. When MJD sprains his foot, he just does. McFadden and Murray did because they are tall. When LeSean McCoy sprains his ankle, he just does. Beanie, McFadden, and Forte did because they were tall.

    It simply doesn't add up to me. And I'm done.

    I'm mostly with you on this one CC...but I wouldn't dismiss EBF's theory on it out of hand. I think there's a logic to it that lends it some credence. I believe he gives the idea too much weight in his evaluations...but it deserves some weight.
    I agree it deserves some weight. I disagree that we are the ones to assign that weight. The NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is hugely performance based. I'm sure the thought that body type might be linked to injury risk has occurred to front offices. I'm sure they've invested resources into investigating that possibility. If they're investing heavy resources in a player, that should be all the reassurance we need that either (a) they have concluded he's not an undue risk for injury, or (b) they have concluded that he's such an obscene, league-altering talent that he was worth the risk. Yes, scouting departments get it wrong all the time. The question is who you place more trust in- the multi-million dollar scouting industry that is vetting, working out, and medically examining these players, or some guy on the Internet looking at how skinny a player's legs are.
  19. 3. Peterson

    8. Foster

    To me, if you're ranking Foster this low, I think you can make a solid argument that his workload + age = less value than guys like Martin and Richardson.

    However, to then rank Peterson at #3 contradicts that. Look, we can agree than Peterson is a once in a lifetime talent. There's no doubt. But this seems like a ranking that's built around pedigree more than it is performance.

    Arian Foster

    -- Rushing --	-- Receiving --	
    YEAR GP ATT YARDS TD RCPT YARDS TD
    2010 16 326 1614 16 66 604 2
    2011 13 278 1224 10 53 617 2
    2012 10 249 949 10 20 111 2

    Adrian Peterson

    -- Rushing --	-- Receiving --	
    YEAR GP ATT YARDS TD RCPT YARDS TD
    2010 15 283 1298 12 36 345 1
    2011 12 209 973 12 18 139 1
    2012 10 195 1128 7 29 155 0

    Read my responses to the Foster ranking. My thoughts on him have nothing to do with either workload and age, and everything to do with a major decline in effectiveness. He's averaging under 4 yards per carry behind a good line (not as good as last year, but still a quality unit). His receiving numbers have fallen off a cliff. He's on pace for 400 carries, which is often the kiss of death. If he still had a ypc above 4.5 and 25 receiving yards per game, he'd still be in my top 3. If Peterson had 1.5 fewer yards per carry, he'd be nowhere near my top 5.
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