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Thursday, June 28, 2012
Four fantasy nuggets, from Fitz to Lynch

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Four quick notes, one per NFC West team, from KC Joyner's newly published 2012 fantasy guide:
Joyner's guide, which is not free, runs 444 pages and includes charts and multiple text categories for potential fantasy contributors for each team.

I've provided most of the information from the chart for Alex Smith as an example. It shows Smith averaged 13.3 yards per stretch-vertical attempt (those traveling at least 20 yards) while making only five bad decisions, defined as mistakes with the football that lead to a turnover or near-turnover. Joyner considered those totals to be very good. He thought they made Smith better qualified than Cam Newton to represent the NFC in the Pro Bowl.

"It is by definition a subjective metric," Joyner writes. "But this subjectivity is held in place by a set of objective rules that limit the amount of sway the subjective side has in ruling a play as a bad decision."

Quarterbacks operating in conservative offenses should strive for bad decision rates (BDRs) of 1.5 percent or less. Those operating in more aggressive passing games would have higher rates. For Smith, we see that 26 percent of attempts qualified as vertical in nature. The percentage was 39.1 for Ben Roethlisberger, 38.5 for Eli Manning, 36.3 for Aaron Rodgers, 35.9 for Philip Rivers, 31.1 for Tom Brady and 30.2 for Matthew Stafford, to cite a few examples for high-profile passers.