Chat with KC Joyner
Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, uses game film to track, tabulate and analyze nearly every measurable statistic in an NFL game. He is a regular Insider contributor and has his own website at thefootballscientist.com.
Send your questions now and join KC in The Show on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
KC Joyner (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon! There are a number of questions in queue so let's get this thing started!
James (Philadelphia, PA)
Hey KC, long time chat reader, first time chat poster. Love your stuff. With Lito Sheppard's YPA being in the 8's, and his ball hawking skills being relatively minimal last season, why does he seem to think he's worth Asante Samuel money, when he can't even beat out Sheldon Brown for the other starting gig on the Eagles?
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
It's good to have you here, James! I can't speak for why Sheppard thinks he deserves a big contract, but I will say that part of tomorrow's Insider article will review some reasons he deserves that big money and some reasons that he doesn't.
KC--I disagree with the nature of your analysis for LTs. Your study assumes that all teams use identical and uniform blocking schemes. It could--and is quite likely--be that teams with a bad LT give them lots of help, and thus their numbers are softened. I normally agree with your use of metrics, but in this instance I suggest to you that they were misapplied.
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
Andrew, one of the things I wrote at the end of the left tackle chapter of Blindsided was that I hoped this would be one of many reviews done on the subject by analytical football reviewers. I'm all for disagreement but I'd really like to see some research done on the other side of the issue.
David Fairborn, OH
Such a tease KC, such a tease. What if James can't afford insider?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
OK, I'll give you the gist of it. Lito did fantastic last year when he faced top-level competition but when he went up against anything other than elite WRs, his performance level dropped off dramatically. The Eagles want to see the dominant Sheppard all of the time, not just some of the time.
KC, has all your other homework for the upcoming season done yet? If all other items are finished then we can work on the fantasy football league, with Mikey's hopes of beating you.
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
Travis, the update on the fantasy league is that we have about 9 people so far. I'd like to get that number up to at least 12, so if any of the other regulars who haven't jumped on board yet want to join, shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Darren, Lagrange GA
Who would be a better choice for rb Brian Westbrook or Adrian Peterson
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
I assume you mean for fantasy leagues. Westbrook is the better choice in PPR. Peterson should be great but there is the possible downside of that he tends to have big games surrounded by small point totals, or at least that was how it went last year.
Steve (Issaquah, Wa)
KC, Trufant went to the probowl last year but how is his partner Kelly Jennings doing? Is he worthy of a first round pick? thanks.
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
Jennings problem last year was the exact opposite of Sheppards. Jennings had a 10.4 YPA versus red-rated WRs (those with 9 or more overall YPA). He kept everyone else in check but until he can handle the top-level WRs, he'll be considered a target.
How much does Chad Pennington help the Dolphins? Will his lack of arm strength hold back the growth of Ted Ginn Jr?
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Two key points to remember about Chad Pennington. First, his vertical pass numbers have always been good, even on deep out passes, so that part of his game shouldn't be a problem. Pennington's issue last year was that he had a 3.7% bad decision rate. That means he forced a pass into coverage once in every 27 attempts. That's what he needs to improve upon.
Why is YPA still demeaned as a fringe stat as it was called this week in the Philadelphia Inquirer? Are we going to need to wait until the younger generation (15-25) who is more computer savvy and interested in learning the numbers becomes sportswriters until we see your work in the mainstream? I'm tired of hearing about leadership, intangibles and coachability.
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
I cover the subject of what it is going to take to get analytical football over the top in Scientific Football 2008. The gist of it is that I don't think analytical football is going to have that quantum leap moment baseball had with Bill James in the 1980s and then Moneyball later. It's going to take time to build up the industry.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
How big of a deal is it that Engram and Branch are out for a while for Seattle? Do they have the guys to replace them while still winning games?
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
It's huge. Ben Obomanu had terrible metrics last year and Courtney Taylor didn't show much of anything either. Nate Burleson is solid but he won't be enough for them to lean on while Engram is on the mend. They need one of those first two to step up in a big time way.
Erik (Pompton Lakes, NJ)
KC, tell Amazon to get your latest book off backorder! I can't wait for it!
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
I'm working on it! I'll actually have a firm ship date for Scientific Football 2008 tomorrow and will post it on the site.
Robert (Latrobe, PA)
How bad is the Panthers' passing game looking for the first 2 games without Steve Smith? Does anybody on that roster provide any hope?
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
DJ Hackett is a lot better than most people think. In some ways his metrics were just as good as Smith's over the past few years (albeit on fewer attempts) so don't be surprised to see him post a couple of high volume/high production days early on.
KC, which position in fantasy has the biggest dropoff in talent, warranting an early selection. QB (after top 4), RB(after top 15), WR (after top 20)...thanks!
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
In most years I'd say RB but this year QB will give that position a run for its money. I say this because the research in my draft guide shows just about every potential elite fantasy QB not named Brady or Peyton has a terribly tough schedule this year. I think it will be a necessity for most teams to have two quality spot starters if they don't have Peyton or Brady this year.
How long into the season before we see Losman throwing passes to Hardy for real? Seems inevitable that there will be a controversy again this year. Edwards just is not THAT much better (if at all).
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
J, I think the Bills management just doesn't believe in Losman. It doesn't matter how much he outperforms Edwards (and the essay in SF 2008 says he did that pretty much all year last year), they don't want him as their starter. It's too bad because Losman has the tools to develop into a top 10 QB but it won't happen as long as he is in Buffalo.
enjoyed listening to you down here in lafayette, la. GREAT shockey fantasy insight!
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
Thanks! I was glad to do a spot with the Billy Ryckman!
Ben (San Fran)
What kind of credentials do we need to play in your fantasy league? I have a 2.3 PPA (place per attempt) since 1997 and my metrics suggest that I am still improving.
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
Ben, if you know that much about metrics, I think you would qualify for the league!
i know romo has a terrible schedule...but brees too?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
Good eye, Joe! Brees is the other elite fantasy QB with a favorable schedule. I just got the charts out and besides those three, Derek Anderson is the only other top-level fantasy QB with a decent schedule. All of the rest have schedule strengths (something I metricize in the guide) that are much lower than the top three previously mentioned.
Hey KC....my Niners are killing me...looks like JT is gonna be the starter instead of a number one pick three years ago. Another long season and horrible offense looks to be staring us in the eyes. Any reason to torture myself by watching other than Willis?
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Well, let's see, we could possibly add Manny Lawson to that list. Not much beyond that but that's at least one more guy to watch!
Where do you rank K2 among your TE,S
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
I've got him #4 due to his injury history but it's a very close #4. Really any of the top four tight ends would be good to have. You just don't want to get outside of the top six because then you are going to be chasing TE points all year long.
Jamal Lewis (Cleveland)
what type of year do you see me having? worth a 2nd/3rd round pick in fantasy?
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
You have maybe the toughest schedule of any top-level RB but you also have the best O line in the NFL. Not sure I'd go 2nd round for him, though, as there might be better players out there at that point (depends on your draft slot).
JP Losman can be a top 10 QB in this league? KC I love your insight as always, but come on, where are you getting this from?
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
OK, first off I just want to let everyone know I won't let this turn into a Bills-only chat, so don't worry that I'm answering another Losman question. Williss, the gist of the Losman analysis is that he has elite level vertical pass numbers whenever Buffalo cuts him loose. He isn't a dink and dunk guy and that's what they want and that's why he never pans out the way they want him to. Put Losman in a vertical pass offense with Norv Turner and he'd be taking trips to Hawaii every year.
Is Chad Pennington worth of a Top 10 QB? This guy is pretty bad.
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
Pennington on his best day cracks the top 10 but all in all he's more of a top 15 guy. I will say that he will make a decent #3 fantasy QB.
where do you see pittsburgh going this year?will holmes emerge as one of the leagues top wideouts?
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
Santonio Holmes is already an elite WR in some ways. He posted double digit YPAs against every level of competition except red rated CBs and he had terrific YPAs at every depth level. All he needs is more volume (he had only 84 attempts last year) and he'd be a legit Pro Bowl candidate.
What about Brees? Do you not consider him elite? Their schedule is considered easy, no?
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
That's what I was saying in the earlier post. He's elite and has an easy schedule. I just didn't have the charts open when I did the first post and that's why I initially passed him over.
Is the Cardinals OT- Levi Brown going to the Pro Bowl anytime soon?
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
I went to a concert in Saginaw many years ago, so I say welcome to another Michigan post! I wish I had better news for you on Brown. He gave up 8.5 sacks last year and five of them were of the one on one type. That's too many for a Pro Bowl candidate so he's got some improving to do.
You say Derek Anderson is a top-level fantasy qb? He did throw alot of interceptions toward the end of the year, which tells me that teams have figured out his weaknesses and are ready to exploit them.
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
Anderson has top 10 potential but as I say in the draft guide, I think he has only a 65/35 chance of repeating last year. His O line is great and his receivers are top of the charts, so the supporting cast is certainly in his favor. He did post a very high bad decision rate in 2007, so he does have to work on that, but there are many positives in his column.
KC, I am the last Phins fan besides your brother... Teddy Ginn... do you have enough data to project how he will turn out?
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
That would mean my younger brother Jason (although my older brother also likes the Fins, just not as much as Jason). I would also add chat regular Majeed to that list. Regarding Ginn, he had a 6.7 YPA on 63 attempts. That's not a good total but he's young and was in a bad O last year so it probably wasn't all on him.
Hey KC, Scientific football is great reading. Updated draft guide coming out soon? Evans gonna play well or gonna be another letdown again. If Peters stays out then who is gonna watch Edward's backside.
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
I'm glad you are enjoying the electronic copy of the book! I can't wait to get the hard copies out. The updated draft guide did go out earlier this week, so if you didn't get it, shoot me an email and I'll send it to you. Regarding Evans, I don't think he'll be a fantasy letdown in that his draft value will be low enough that the downside will be limited.
Chris - Giantsville
What team has had the most success finding gems(6th & 7th rounds and free agent rookies) in the last couple of years? Giants are up there, right?(Ryan Grant, Micheal Johnson, Ahmad Bradshaw)
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
Chris, I can't say that I have done a specific analysis of this, but the G-Men would have to rate up there. Having said that, they don't have Grant any longer so that isn't in their favor!
tim (normal, IL)
what are the chances of Ricky Williams becoming a stud again?
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
If I just based it on what I saw last week, they would be very good. The Fins O line is a strong run blocking group and Williams was breaking tackles quite often. I'm still a skeptic but he is moving up the fantasy RB radar.
what do the metrics say about Jason Taylor? Us skins fans want to know if he'll really help our D that much. Thanks and love the work!
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
The metrics were mixed on Taylor last year. Five of his 10 sacks were coverage sacks and only one of them was a one on one sack. Given how strong the Skins secondary is, Taylor could repeat that coverage sack performance but I'd still like to see more one on one sacks from him.
KC, sorry forgot to give my email address! Ill do it today. I am in for FF!
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
OK, we can now make it 10!
KC, how does losing Williams effect the Vikings pass coverage metrically? I know he hasn't played a game for them yet, so can you at least give me an educated guess?
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
Pat Williams had a POA success rate nearly 30% last year. That's an elite total but let's not forget that Kevin Williams had numbers that were just as good. That means teams will run at them a bit more but K Williams is not a guy you want to go at very often, so don't look for a huge change in pass/run ratio.
KC, are you still looking for more? I am in, and will sedn my email if you need it.
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
I'd like to get anywhere from 12-16 in the league so shoot me that email!
Matt's not looking like the best niners fan KC. You said yourself in a column awhile back that A. Smith has a low mistake %, Gore is a beast, and we have an above avg. D.
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
Chris, I guess it's that O line that is holding me back. Plus, I didn't like some of what I saw in how the Niners handled adversity last year. This will be another transition year (any time you switch to a Martz offense, it's a transition) and I'm a bit concerned about how they'll handle that.
better chance to break out this year....McFadden, Forte or Stewart?
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
That's a tough call because I think they will all have good seasons, but give me McFadden.
I meant M. Williams KC, sorry for forgetting to differentiate the Williams' on that team.
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
Don't you just hate how many Williams are on that team (just kidding)! Madieu Williams did not have great coverage metrics last year (placed 30th in deep assist for example) so I wasn't exactly on board with his upgrading that pass D.
Wait what is wrong with Pat? I thought it was Madieu Williams who was hurt.
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
I believe I read that Pat had a leg injury but I may have been mistaken. I'll look it up after the chat and give Pat an apology if I'm wrong!
Last week you said Joe Thomas was your number 1 LT... was that based on metrics, or value going forward?
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
It was based on the metrics I ran on him last year. He was in the 90% range on POA run blocking success and gave up only two sacks.
KC, I have the 4th pick in my FF draft with my friends! I know LT, Westbrook, Peterson are off the board for sure? Who do i choose out of Brady,Jackson, or Moss? Its a PPR league 1pt every 20yds(for all pos) and 6pts TDs! I dont really like Addai dont ask me why?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
Go Brady in that case. Moss's numbers will drop off some this year (meaning he'll be in double digit TDs but not over 20) and Jackson has O line issues.
Jake Long looked pretty good against Gaines Adams. Is he going to prove everyone wrong that said he wouldnt be a great LT?
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
I don't think anyone said he couldn't be a great left tackle from a run blocking perspective. The issue for him has been pass blocking. He had some trouble in camp on that front (or so I am told by someone who saw him in camp) but he started getting better quite fast. I don't think he'll ever be Joe Thomas but as long as he can hold down the fort on a fairly consistent basis pass blocking wise, Miami will be quite happy with their pick.
KC, who do you see as being the best Jets receiver for fantasy this year? I remember a few plays last year where I was really impressed with either Cotchery or McCareins. But of course McCareins is now with the Titans...
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
I'll put it this way. Cotchery's metrics over the past couple of years have been just as good as Coles's. Coles may cost more in a lot of draft rooms and not give that much more value, so I'd say Cotchery is the best value.
Fat Pat Williams had his elbow cleaned out.
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
I knew I read something about him getting worked on. And I wouldn't call him fat to his face, Dave!
Jess (New Mexico)
Do you think Favre will put up consistent all season?
KC Joyner (4:59 PM)
Half of any player's fantasy value comes from volume. Favre didn't go to NY to have the team run the ball 30 times a game. He'll be a 500 attempt candidate so yes he will be a good fantasy QB.
What do you feel the Bears need to address most - the QB, RB, WR, or OL positions?
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
WR. I can't see going far with Booker, Hester, Lloyd and Bradley.
KC, Whats your take on Andre Johnson this season? What about Torry Holt?
KC Joyner (5:02 PM)
Andre Johnson had phenomenal metrics last year. The question for him is the same as it always is - can he play 16 games. If he does, he's an elite All Pro candidate. Regarding Holt, he was able to post solid numbers last year despite the turmoil that was the Rams offense. He's not the best WR in the league any more and he might have to fight for a top 10 spot but he's still one of my favorites. Well, dinner is just about on the table so I've got to hit the road. I hope to see you all next week!