Chat with KC Joyner
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN Insider KC Joyner, will be here to answer your NFL questions.
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 Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
KC Joyner (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon! Let's talk some football!
What should us Dolphins fans expect from Tyler Thigpen tonight?
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
When Thigpen had his terrific run in Kansas City, he operated a similar spread offense to the one he ran at Coastal Carolina. He's not nearly as good of a pocket passer, so look for Miami to possibly run a more pass-heavy spread offense.
Ryan (Germantown, MD)
Hey KC, does your metrics show a clear cut goat for the Giants during the Cowboys game?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
Will be looking at Terrell Thomas in that realm. Thomas is allowing 9.5 YPA this year and has been playing worse than that of late. Jeremy Maclin could post huge numbers against him.
You have kept me rolling along TFS! This week in Eliminator do I go with SD, Dallas (betting against Lions on the road), or NYJ? Thanks!!
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
Go with the Cowboys. Detroit has played well on D this year but their secondary has been struggling of late.
Thanks for the food suggestions last week! Ted's Montana Grill was awesome! (cant say the same about the Ravens 4th quarter defense) :(
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
Chatters, thanks a ton for the suggestions! I'd never heard of this place but it is now on the TFS Atlanta road trip agenda.
Now that Browns fans have roughed up a little boy, can we all say the Philadelphia no longer has a monoploy of thuggishness? Can we all say that fans in every stadium have simply gotten worse and it's not just a couple of places, it's everywhere?
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
BSB, it all comes down to one word - drunkenness. I've been to a multitude of big college games over the years and rarely saw any problems on either side. In the few pro games I've been to (can't leave the tape room on Sundays), there were problems regardless of the magnitude of the game. NFL needs to consider finding more ways to limit alcohol consumption at its games.
Jimmy N (Arlington, VA)
KC, your readers owe you dearly for the SAAAAAGE advice about Mike Thomas! Now then, what on earth happened to my beloved Redskins on Monday?
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
Sage advice - very apt! Thomas had a solid game up until the big play, but for those who did pick him up and start him, I'm glad he was lucky and good! Re: Redskins, they are on pace to give up the 2nd most yards in NFL history. It wasn't just Monday, it's been all season long.
Philly fans (World's Worst Fans)
No, the fans in Philadelphia are still the world's worst. At least the Browns fan didn't vomit on the child after tackling him. Just saying.
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
Now that's just gratuitous bashing of the Eagles fans!
Much has been made of Josh McDaniels' misses here in Denver (notably Hillis and A Smith). How come he's not getting credit for upgrading the WR and QB position while saving money by moving Cutler and Marshall?
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Couldn't agree more on that he should get credit for moving two potential headache players out the door. In order for him to get more credit, he's got to win more often. Three wins by mid November won't cut it.
I know tomorrow is fantasy but our league locks at the start of the 1st game... Larry Fitz or Dez Bryant? Thanks KC! (we owe you a playoff share for your advice this yr)
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
Both are must starts on the TFS start-sit charts (more info about which can be found at www.thefootballscientist.com) but Bryant has by far the better matchup (Fitz has Brandon Flowers). Go with Bryant. Re: the playoff share, just buy me a beer next time I'm in DC!
The puker was a drunk from NJ. Welcome to the club Cleveland. We are all losers here.
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
Too true. And let's not forget how terrific the Jets were in trying to rectify this. The NFL does not want this to be the fan experience and NYJ's management deserves big time kudos for stepping up like they did. One of the times I'm proud to be an NFL fan.
I found it interesting that people complimented Brady for his "tough leadership" the other night, yet when Rivers did something similar it was "whining". Manning has thrown his OL under the bus numerous times but doesn't seem to take much criticism for it. I saw a poll the other day on ESPN about the best QB's and which one you'd like to have. No mention of Rivers of the five listed. I'd take Rivers over anyone right now. He's not the one kicking, blocking, and tackling on special teams. A little fact - Rivers has the second best QB rating EVER behind Steve Young, and has a better YPA and TD-INT ratio than Manning and Brady. Does he have a ring? No. But again, football is more a team sport than any other. Your thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
Long post, Matt, but I'll put it up because it does make a great point about Rivers. He's getting plenty of positive coverage on ESPN (check out today's TFS Insider article and Mike Sando's MVP Watch) but your point is well taken.
Stuart (Brooklyn, NY)
What's wrong with Garcon and is James Jones a better option? Thanks for your vast knowledge and contribution for our enjoyment!
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
Hard to say, but it is worth noting he is battling injuries. Jones vs. the Vikings D is a very good option. Borderline call if Driver plays but if Jones starts for Driver, start him over Garcon.
Gorman (Baltimore, MD)
Next time your in the DC area, I'll buy you a beer at the Irish Times! Maybe I'll bring Jimmy N too!
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
You that Jimmy?! The first round is on Gorman!
Matt (Austin, TX)
Cowboys it is!!! Thanks. KC, think the Dolphins D could be a good sneaky play tonight? Cutler threw 5 picks on Thursday night last year.
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
Would be except that it is hard to trust Thigpen the first game out (and TFS is one of his biggest backers).
Randy Moss: Good or Bad start this week?
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
The matchup against DeAngelo Hall says he should be a great start. It just matters if he'll run hard all game long and if Young isn't too slowed by his ankle. Moss ranks 19th on the WR charts, if that gives any indication (means he's a must start but one of the lower-end ones).
Don (New Jersey)
Is LaDanian's falling YPC a sign of what's to come for fantasy owners?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
He's an aging player whose GBYPA (a measurement of how well he does on runs with good blocking) wasn't great even earlier this year when he was looking like the LT of old. It is likely a sign to come, in other words.
Is Reggie Wayne's value going to suffer until some other Colts get healthy? He's been a total dud for more than month.
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
Wayne's numbers all year long have been a dud (or at least they have been duds for what one expects from Wayne). He's just not what he used to be, so expect more of the same for the most part.
To Matt: Rivers's reputation as a "whiner" also comes from him barking at fans after losses in the past (might have been just one time - even so, raises the question of maturity and therefore is rightly grouped in with other times that he's barked). Don't think Brady's ever done that. BTW - their TD to INT ratio: Brady - 2.349, Rivers - 2.358. Statistically insignificant, and Brady has 2,000 more pass attempts.
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Rivers is something of an antagonist on the field, but that works for him and his team. Good point on Brady having a lot more pass attempts but let's not sell Rivers too short - he's playing fantastic right now.
KC what's your overall strategy thoughts on the following...I have Forte but I'm starting Phins D?
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
If those are your best options, you have to play them even if they are playing one another. Forte can score TDs and Miami can pick off Cutler passes, so it could easily still be a win-win for you.
Sean O (Annapolis, MD)
Did the Eagles BREAK any of the metrics Monday night? Beakers exploding? Calculators say "TILT"? What exactly is wrong with Mason Crosby this year?
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
Not sure on Crosby, but the MNF game did have the lab equipment going nutty! Again, worth pointing out the Redskins D is on pace to allow the 2nd most yards in NFL history. That game was as much about the Redskins D playing poorly as it was about the Eagles O playing well.
Neil and Bob (San Francisco)
On Our team we just aqquired Sydney Rice, how productive do you see him being once he is back? Thanks TFS
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
He's a good pickup in that if it works out, he'll have huge upside potential. Having said that, it is a TFS general rule that injured players should not be relied upon. Don't put him into the lineup until he has proven he is once again an impact player.
Robert (Huntsville, Al)
Once again you are spot on KC. After watching the Colts game I thought, "If they dominated the Bengals like that two years ago, they would have won by 30pts" The offense is struggling badly right now...
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
Would take credit for being spot on except that prior to the analysis for the Peyton article, I was on board with his being a strong MVP candidate. Was surprised by how poorly this offense has played this year.
Phil K (DE)
Hello Scientist, I am worried about my beloved Ravens D. Ed Reed looks a step slow (and always wants to pitch the ball!!), Ray Ray just doesnt look the same. Only Suggs still has the burst. Am I crazy? No way the old Ravens let a team go 80 yards in 40 seconds.
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
Not crazy to be worried, as the Ravens pass D is bad in multiple places. Washington got benched, Wilson hasn't held up and even Lardarius Webb is struggling. If Baltimore can't shore this up for the stretch run, it's hard to see them making much of a playoff run.
Ryan (San Diego)
To Nick, Rivers never curses on the field or at fans. The public display you are talking about is the Colts playoff game 3 years ago when he got hurt and the Colts fans were letting him have it. All he said was "I'll be back." He has a passion for the game and sometimes that rubs people the wrong way but anybody who is around him often knows that he is one of the nicest guys and a very good team leader
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
Great points. Plus, I get a huge kick out of the commercial he did with the Countdown crew. His look of "what have I gotten myself into" when the guys are arguing over what to have for breakfast is a classic!
BSB (Taking his talents to South Beach)
Who does Eli Manning look to for first down catches now that Steve Smith is out? Does Boss get more looks?
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
BSB, you would be missed in Philly - don't pull a LeBron and leave! Eli looks for Manningham - check out the TFS ESPNNewYork.com blog post from earlier this week for more details.
Is St Louis D for real? 5th vs. the run?
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
And Ron Bartell has been a shutdown CB. And Chris Long has turned into a very good pass rusher. And they have superb stats against the pass. This team is very good on multiple levels and they have one of the best defensive minds in the NFL in Spagnuolo. They will be playing January football in the near future (meaning playoff football, not just because of an 18-game schedule).
So TFS, in hindsight and in the future, would you rather have Rivers or Eli Manning?
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
The way Rivers is making something out of nothing this year, I'd have to lean in his direction. His performance is nothing short of phenomenal.
Pretty sure Rivers and Cutler got into it too..not saying Cutler's a beacon of integrity. Don't you think Payton and the boys can rebound against a shaky NE secondary?
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
Peyton and company could very well rebound. The article was not saying he is anything less than a great QB, but rather that he isn't playing up to his usual level.
Is Mike Williams (of SEA) worth trying to acquire at the trade deadline?
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
BMW is playing great but he's got a brutal CB schedule from here on out. Keep the price low, as he has a shot at not performing well because of that.
Lt Caffee (Cuba)
Scientist- I want the truth! I want you on that wall (I need you on that wall). Now then- who should I start- Schuab or Ryan Fitzpatrick?
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
Mrs. Scientist and I were just talking about that movie. She said Tom Cruise's only watchable film is Jerry Maguire, and I mentioned A Few Good Men as potential watchable Cruise film #2 (she isn't much for Risky Business). Go with Ryan, as that Atlanta offense is playing quite well.
Hollinger said today in the NBA margin of victory is the most important team metric regardless of strength of schedule. Do you figure the same holds in the NFL?
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
Yep. It is a big factor in every metric system from Football Outsiders' to gambling systems from way back. Winning big is a very good indicator of future success.
LT Caffee (Cuba)
You misread KC.... I said Ryan FITZPATRICK or Schuab? Thanks.- Lt Caffee.
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
You see, you really don't want me on that wall after all! Go with Fitzpatrick, as Schaub is coming off of an injury, a hospital visit and is on the road facing a NYJ D that has the capacity to shut down Andre Johnson.
So does a team's pass def #'s really matter, or should we look at individual CB matchups? Trying to determine playoff matchups for WRs...
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
The start-sit charts focus pretty heavily on individual matchups, but overall pass defense is good barometer as well. The idea is to avoid the bad matchups as much as targeting the good ones.
Son we live in a world that has walls. Who's going to guard them? You? You Lt. Weinberg? Who's going to guard Peppers tonight KC, Long and a RB/Fasano?
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
Long, Fasano and Lt. Weinberg!
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
And a RB!
Col. Jessup (You can't handle the truth!)
Who cares about Cruise? Nicholson OWNS. Bench Andre this week for R. Moss or M. Floyd?
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
Nicholson does rule in that film. Tough call and it would depend on if you think you can risk the potential goose egg from Moss. Go with Andre if you can't (Revis is playing well but not quite up to his Revis Island level), but go with Moss if you want to play for the potential 15 point game.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Regarding N from DC's comment, would you agree that turnover margin is another important team metric?
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
Yes, with a caveat. The 1979 Steelers won the Super Bowl despite having a poor turnover margin due to a couple of really bad performances. Find a way to factor something like that out and turnover margin is a nearly foolproof metric.
What can we expect from Austin Collie if he is deemed healthy enough to play? The matchup should be nice.
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
I've got him listed as a borderline must start due to the matchup. He's the only Indy WR to improve his metrics over last year, so his performance is not a mirage.
Love the stuff KC, as always. What do your metrics say about Matt Ryan? I'm convinced he's not a "game manager" and that he should be considered as elite as nearly any other signal caller in the league. What say you KC?
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
The concern on Ryan coming out of college is that he was a huge risk taker at BC. That hasn't been the case in the NFL, as he has posted quality bad decision totals. He's now adding in some verticality to his passing game. If he keeps these up, he'll be an elite passer sooner rather than later.
All work and no Play (Makes me)
GO CRAZY!! Here's Johnnny! Which backup RB is more likely to get some snaps and go crazy in the coming weeks due to the incumbent starters injury concerns, Bernard Scott or Jerome Harrison?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
Another movie where Jack rules (although, if memory serves correct, he played a writer in that film - a scary thought of what this business can do to a person!). Go with Scott in this one.
Trying to acquire a WR for the remainder of the season James Jones, N Burleson, or K Walter?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
Burleson has posted pretty good numbers all year long and he has a favorable set of matchups. He's the safest choice of the bunch.
Jobin (Guantanamo Bay)
What are your thoughts on Brandon Lloyd? Where did this outburst come from, and does he have a favorable CB schedule moving forward?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
He finally starting playing to his talent level instead of playing to avoid injury. His CB matchups are a mixed bag, some tough matchups, some weak ones, some average ones.
So based on the previous post, would you bench Wayne for guys like Crabtree or Nate Washington?
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
I'd strongly consider it. Wayne's upside this year has been fairly low and Washington faces that Redskins secondary that is already bad and could get worse if Carlos Rogers misses the game (although they actually might want him to play given how poorly he has performed of late).
Homer Simpson (Tree House of Horror)
No TV and no beer make Homer something, something.
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
The great thing about Homer is just when you think he can't get any dumber, the writers find a way to remove a couple of more of his brain cells.
KC, can we get a prediction of the final score of tonights game and what players may have big games.
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
Tough call but TFS says it will be 24-17 Bears. Cutler has a solid day, as does Knox.
Mike (Danbury, CT)
Whats on the menu tonight from the Mrs? I'm thinking Pepperoni Rolls would be an excellent choice!
KC Joyner (4:59 PM)
Mrs. Scientist says a big I don't know on dinner. Our home's plumbing is clogged right now (tree branch growing in the pipes) and she's a bit flustered because of that. Maybe we'll have to call out for some Pepperoni Rolls!
TFS - does Forte have a big enough day to bench Turner?
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
Rams are doing well against the run but no way should Turner be benched right now. Have to consider him a must start pretty much regardless of matchup. Well, it's been fun but I should go help Mrs. Scientist with the cleanup. Quick note - fantasy football chat w/TFS tomorrow at 4 PM ET. Also can follow TFS material on Twitter @kcjoynertfs. Hope to see you all tomorrow!