NFC West: Robbie Gould

BOSTON -- Good morning, NFC West. I'm actually in AFC East country through the weekend for a sports conference.

Not just any sports conference. It's the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, where a placard to my immediate left carries a headline reading, "Going for three: Predicting the likelihood of field goal success with logistic regression."

The placard summarizes findings from MIT's Torin Clark, Aaron Johnson and Alexander Stimpson regarding how certain field goal kickers performed from 2000 through 2011 in relation to expectations, and to what degree certain stadiums were more likely to facilitate successful tries.

Rob Bironas, Robbie Gould, Connor Barth, John Kasay and Dan Carpenter topped the list for added points per attempt. Wade Richey, Jose Cortez, Tim Seder, Nick Novak and Steve Christie were at the bottom.

Anyway, the point isn't to go on forever about field goal regressions, but rather to provide a glimpse into the sort of work that's on display here. I'll be attending presentations throughout Friday and Saturday.

In the meantime, we've got another item scheduled to appear at noon ET. That one touches on every team in the NFC West.

But if you're really interested in that kicker information, here you go.

Sebastian Janikowski, Carpenter, Ryan Succop, Josh Scobee and Mason Crosby were considered most underrated by raw field goal percentage. That means they attempted longer field goal tries on average, affecting their percentages. Stephen Gostkowski, Mike Vanderjagt, Gary Anderson, Shayne Graham and Lawrence Tynes were considered most overrated by raw percentage. They benefited from shorter tries.

Former Arizona Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers owned the second-best single season during the period in question. That was in 2005, when he added 18.7 expected points. Only Janikowski's 2009 season (plus-19.4) was better.

Video: Gruden, Tirico check in from 'MNF'

November, 19, 2012
11/19/12
1:00
PM ET

ESPN's Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico have been camped out in the San Francisco Bay Area advancing the 49ers' appearance on "Monday Night Football" in Week 11.

They offer their thoughts in the accompanying video.

Gruden focuses on both teams' defenses.

Meanwhile, Tirico's podcast also previews the game. He speaks with Gruden, Merrill Hoge and Robbie Gould.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


The NFC West Gridiron Challenge is a bigger challenge than I thought.

My team managed all of 63 points in Week 3, with Reggie Wayne and Philip Rivers as my only players in double figures. The total was well below average and bad enough to leave my three-week total in the 41st percentile while dropping my team about 500 spots in the standings. It was a horrific week.
Rank NFC West Gridiron Challenge Team Fantasy Points Percentile
1 rockandema
448 100.0
2 J MacKay
443 100.0
3 Ballquzi 438 100.0
4 nealcsprong
433 99.9
5 bha26 431 99.9
6 Transplanted Cowboy
430 99.9
7
kckshrugged
427 99.9
8
B-Ham Vegan Fairies
426 99.9
9 Rprinz8
420 99.8
10 Sulmoney 417 99.7
1148 sandowife
317 51.1
1351 Mike Sando
306 41.7
MICH MAIZE N BLUE enjoyed the strongest Week 3 of any team in the nearly 2,000- team field. The rest of us are in awe of this lineup:
The chart shows overall leaders through Week 3, plus a couple of stragglers. My wife, who flashed her fantasy expertise by asking me Thursday whether starting Frank Gore would be a good move in Week 4, moved past me in the overall standings despite a so-so Week 3. And in case you're wondering, I told her the truth about Gore's status. I'll probably regret it.

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