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!
Ray Rice (Baltimore)
KC, a little credit. Phil Rivers has no running game and Flacco has ME, keeping defenders in the box. Isn't that a big advantage for the QB?
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
Having Rice in the backfield certainly helps but it isn't a panacea when it comes to vertical passing. Flacco turned a bunch of possession targets into quality vertical threats.
Clinton Portis (TBD at a later date)
Good afternoon, TFS. How many extra wins is your Guide worth during my FF season? I made the playoffs in all five of my leagues last year, but only won one title.
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
Truth be told, it depends on the fantasy team owner. The guide works best for those owners who do a lot of research and want more information to help them in that arena.
What fantasy players that may be highly rated will you be avoiding like the Noid?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
The Noid - Domino's needs to bring him back. Hard to say who is overrated, as I'm still finishing up the guide.
Snakes (Slithering in Philly)
Rumors are swirling that the Eagles might be interested in Big Al Haynesworth. What says the tape KCJ?
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
Haynesworth still showcased his ability to dominate single-team blocking last year (check out the TFS articles over the past couple of years for stat backup). As long as the Eagles coaches managed him properly (which is to say don't replicate the approach Shanahan took) he would be a great addition.
Gorman (Baltimore, MD)
KCJ, You would be hard pressed to find a bigger Ravens fan than myself. However, even I think its "Wacco" that you compared Flacco to PhiLLLLip Rivers (one L for each loss against MD when he was at NC State).
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
Gotta like the extra Ls - very creative! Regarding Flacco, part of the issue is that 245 of his vertical yards were via penalties. If those had been added into his standard passing stats, the perceptions surrounding his play might be different.
Phil K (DC)
K Sidge, how has the tape looked on the Redskins O-line? I know you were in the middle of it a few weeks back?
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
I had initially planned on doing the NFC East at the time, but the editorial plans shifted and the AFC got moved in front of the NFC. Having said that, I did just break down a couple of Redskins games in the past week and was quite impressed by their ability to create creases. Adding Helu to their lineup could make this a strong running team in 2011.
Will Torrey Smith be the deep threat that Flacco desperately needs?
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
Most likely he will down the road but don't expect a lot this year.
Chris (Lexington, KY)
Who is this year's Hakeem Nicks?
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
Try Leonard Hankerson. He isn't quite as good of a route runner as Nicks but he's very good at getting RAC yards and has deep abilities as well. Only caveat is he is a slow strider and that will have to be worked around.
Robert (Huntsville, Al)
Isn't your perception that the Ravens receivers are possession receivers the same type of perception that you are trying to disprove in the article? What was Bolden's YPA with the Cardinals last year?
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
Boldin's vertical YPA in his last year with Arizona was 14.0 if memory serves correct. He saw more than a two-yard drop-off in vertical YPA last season in large part because he was used more often on downfield passes.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
What happens in the NE backfield? I don't really trust BJGE...and there's 2 rooks, Woody, and Faulk (maybe)...
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
It will still be RBBC, but Law Firm will be the lead back. And as far as his productivity goes, you can trust him. A 6.1 good blocking YPA says he is capable of gaining quality yards when given quality blocking.
Shanahan really going to go with John Beck or is he going to sign a Bulger type as soon as the lockout ends? Thanks KCJ
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
Hard to see him going with anyone other than a veteran QB. Look for a FA signing or trade.
KC, simple question. Will we get a full season of football this year?
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
Simple answer - yes. Both sides don't want to see the loss of $700 million in preseason revenue and will get a deal done in time to get that money.
Jake Taylor (Cleveland Indians)
KCJ- Do you have a bigger man crush on Miles Austin or Hakeem Nicks? (lets go to the tape!!)
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
I'd call it a stat crush rather than a man crush. Not sure who wins in that one, would probably have to say Austin.
Sean O (Annapolis, MD)
Let's talk about what we all want to know- kickers. Has the lockout afforded you more time to concentrate on the fine art of kicking?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Lockout has afforded more time, but that has been devoted to college football. Enjoying getting to know that side of the game better.
Ed "Straight Arrow" Gennero (Texas St)
Thoughts on my movie "Neccesary Roughness"? Myself, Robert Loggia, Scott Bakula, KATHY IRELAND.... I could go on.
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Any movie with Kathy Ireland in her prime is a bona fide TFS hit.
The Dean (Arlington, VA)
Whats for dinner tonight Scientist? Been out anywhere good lately KCJ?
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
Early dinner question, still not sure what the plans are there. Did hit the Five Guys burger chain a couple of times over the past couple of weeks. Fantastic fries there.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
After seeing your numbers on Flacco, I was wondering how he compares with Matt Ryan. I think Matt is a solid QB but I've always thought he throws with a lot of arc in his balls, which can be very good for catchability, but nothing near the zip Flacco throws with. How do the two compare in both their throwing and their stats?
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
Ryan landed in the bottom six of the league in vertical YPA. He needs a lot of receiving help, which is why the trade for Julio Jones made sense.
This is normally the time of year when I am debating Veteran #3 Wr's over highly drafted rookies on my FF board. The lockout is ruining my summer reading plans. Will your guide be out soon?
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
The dog days of summer - when musing over backup wideouts is a great way to pass the time. I'm finishing up the running back research for the draft guide over the next couple of weeks. Anticipate having the guide out around July 15. For more info on the guide, check out www.thefootballscientist.com (only website plug for the rest of the chat).
Robert (Huntsville, Al)
So because Boldin's YPA went down shows that Flacco is a good deep ball thrower? I guess I just see this as a "chicken vs the egg" kind of thing. Do you do Yards After Catch stats that would show the 14YPA in his last year with Ari was due to a large YAC than what he did this last year with Bal?
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
Boldin wasn't targeted on stretch vertical plays in Arizona, so his vertical YPA was really more medium passes than medium/deep/bomb passes. Baltimore targeted him more often in stretch verticals (21 versus 4 the year before) and that's why his overall vertical numbers dropped. Plus, Flacco got double-digit vertical YPA totals out of Boldin, Housh and Mason.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
You can't forget about Sinbad...oh wait, yes you can.
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
Not nice, but very funny! Kind of like Samuel L. Jackson's recent rendition of the book Go The **** To Sleep.
I loved Austin Miles going into last year. Your advice about him strengthened that to the point that I changed my draft strategy....worked out marvelously, except for Romo getting hurt(them the breaks). That said, D. Bryant did some really good things. Can Romo make two studs out of both WR's...what do you/the metrics say? Thanks!
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
Austin was having a really good year until Romo was hurt. After that, Kitna's dink/dunk passing took over and Austin's productivity dropped off. Bryant has talent but look for him to still end up being #3 on the target priority list for Romo.
When you wrote about Austin being an elite WR, I believed in you, stood up for you. You were vindicated, Austin really broke out. I think this Flacco/Rivers is way off but I again respect you for going out on a large limb. Kudos.
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
Hey, going out on a limb is part and parcel of this gig!
I want Freeman as my fantasy QB this yr. What do you think of the kid?
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
He's got a terrific future but it's hard to see him as a week to week fantasy football starter just yet. Target him as a backup and spot play him against favorable matchups and he will be worth the draft pick.
Your going to be afraid to post this... But although I am a big fam of stats, the YPA metric to rank quarterbacks on long, short and medium passes is not a good way to measure who is a better QB. And no, Flacco IS NOT as good Rivers. Im not a Chargers fan at all, I live much closer to Balt. And, its not that close either.
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
No fear in posting this type of response. It's the Anthony Weiner postings that won't make it to the chat. Regarding Flacco vs. Rivers, the odd part is that some are taking this as an insult to Rivers. In no way, shape or form is that the case. Rivers worked wonders with a limited set of pass catchers. It's just that Flacco did the very same thing.
Pat D (Silver Spring, MD)
KCJ, I just read the ESPN book. Since there were no KCJ references- are you a) really good at keeping your exploits quiet? or b)never in Bristol?
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
Breaking down football tapes just doesn't make for much of a story.
In honor of the Canucks losing The Cup last nite I woke up this morning and started my car on fire! Do you see S.Rice re-signing with the Vikes?
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
What happened in Vancouver was terrible. The team fell apart and then the city did the same. It's a darn shame, as they do have a lot to be proud of with that team. Regarding Rice, the Vikings may still be mad at him for letting the injury go as far as it did last year.
Have you ever thought of ranking a player higher than you normally would because you knew some of your draft league competition uses your material? Or are you confident in your ability to stack your board and beat anyone.
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
The rankings are always focused towards helping fantasy owners in valuing prospects. If that means my teams take a beating in fantasy football leagues where the other owners know who I'm highly valuing, so be it.
Have you looked over any tape of Kyle Rudolph? What kind of NFL TE will he be?
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
Last year, Rudolph had a mediocre YPA (low 6-yard range) if the long TD against Michigan was taken out. He also had only something like 6 games with 50 or more yards receiving in his college career. Hard to say he will be a high productivity NFL TE when he wasn't one in college.
HI KC. First time poster, so I'm not sure how this all works. Does getting Julio Jones make Matt Ryan a real option as a starter for my fantasy football team? In a 12 man league, what round do you think he should go in?
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
Thanks for the post. In general, interesting and/or funny comments/questions are always prioritized. Even in a best case scenario, it's hard to see Ryan as a #1 fantasy QB. Depending on your league set-up, he's probably something along the lines of a 5th-6th round prospect.
Best fit for Plaxico? Most likely landing spot? Gracias el scientist.
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
Philadelphia might be a good fit. They won't need him to be the focal point of the passing game.
Philip Rivers has been in the league longer, but he is a 65-66% completion percentage guy who throws for low to high 4000s in yards. 4700, (1100 more than Flacco last year) with his whole corp hurt or out. Flacco is a 62-63% guy whose thrown for 3600 yards last two years. I can see him maybe one day being a 4000-4100 yard guy, but never more. And i think Rice helps Flacco's completion percentage as it is. Just not as high a ceiling. Thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:37 PM)
Had a bit of an Internet freeze, sorry about that. Flacco nearly reached the 4,000 level last year if the penalty yards are added in. He also led the league in stretch vertical yards. That he doesn't have to throw as often as Rivers means his overall figures aren't quite as high, but that doesn't mean he isn't as good.
Sam (North Carolina)
KC, I have a ton of respect for your ability to compare players with metrics and other statistics, but how can you suggest Flacco is on Rivers' level? Anyone who watched football for the past few seasons would easily take Rivers above Flacco.
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
Up until this past season, I would be on that page. Flacco turned a corner in 2010.
Roy Orbison (Heaven)
Still have not gotten over the slight from last week re: Traveling Wilburys... George freaking Harrison?? Really?
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
Roy, I totally respect your work, but Harrison was a Beatle. They changed the world.
Skins backfield seems crowded... Torain, K. Williams, Helu, and Evan Royster. How do you handicap the depth chart?
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
Williams probably gets the #1 spot for the moment. Helu would be second and could overtake Williams with a good preseason. Torain is third if only because he hasn't shown he can stay healthy.
Would you really consider ranking Big Ben number 1 in your guide or are you just saying you think he will be better then most bc of his schedule?
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
He might not get the top spot in the guide if only because his upper limit on pass attempts might be in the 550 range. A 600-650 attempt QB could end up rated over him because of the extra attempt volume.
We did our draft lottery, I have the 5th pick. A lot of options at that spot, I'm leaning towards McCoy or Rice
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
I'm still finishing up the run game analysis, but can say there will be a big surprise in the fantasy RB category. Got one player who could post top 5 point totals but will be available as late as the second round.
I am ready for the lockout to end!!!!! Do you realistically think they can get this done by the 4th of July?
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
It's possible but the Peter King prediction of July 10 might be more realistic.
Sorry to keep throwin questions but REBUTTAL: Last year Flacco threw 13 more times for 600 less yards. And i'm sure Rivers had penalty yards too in there (plus who knows if the pass would have been completed otherwise anyway). Rivers had 50 more attempts this year, but 1100 more yards. Not to mention better TD to INT in both years. Maybe they're closer than general opinion, but Rivers is the next tier above Flacco.
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
Flacco-Rivers aren't exactly alike, but the gist of the article still holds true. Rivers got elite productivity out of limited pass catchers and was considered an MVP candidate. Flacco does the same thing and is barely considered a top 10 QB. I'm just saying the gap is a heckuva lot closer than that.
Jimmy N (DC)
Any truth to the rumor that Carson Palmer shattered the bad decision metric?? I can't see a strong market for his services, but what do I know- I advocate Sage Rosenfels for every open QB job. SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
Jimmy, you ought to be Sage's agent! And, yes, Carson Palmer did struggle in the bad decision metric. 4.0 percent, third worst in the league.
Can we guess on that potential Top 5 RB?
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
Can't quite say just yet. There will be something about it both in the draft guide and on ESPN.com.
Mike (San Diego)
KC Joyner (4:49 PM)
Good guess, but I will say it isn't him. Big issue for Charles is whether or not he can deal with a workload of 300-350 carries/receptions. If that wasn't a question, he would be the #1 pick hands down.
Seriously KC, flacco as good as Rivers? Man I guess anyone can manipulate stats in ones favor. What's next Ryan as good as Brady?
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
The anti-Flacco comments just keep coming in. The funny thing is that it wasn't a matter of stat manipulation. It was a matter of looking over the charts and noticing that Flacco's vertical and stretch vertical totals were very good.
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
That's it! OK, not really.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
With all the talk of Mark Cuban saying that rings are "outdated" should the Packers give a few different types of jewelry to preempt Cuban and be the first team to give out something besides rings?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
Super Bowl rings are a great tradition. Even if other sports go in another direction, the NFL should stick with tradition.
Any shoulder strength metrics on Stafford? Hope he stays healthy this year, that offense will be fun to watch.
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
Getting him back would certainly go a long ways towards fixing the Lions vertical pass issues. Shaun Hill was last in the league in both vertical and stretch vertical YPA.
Old Guys (Country Buffett)
Screw your so-called advanced metrics! If I need to know who's better, I'll look at things like Pro Bowls!
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
I can do that one better - GET OFF MY LAWN!
still a fan of yours though. Everyone has a bad day LOL
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
Not sure how to take that?
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
Well, it's been fun but it's time to run. Before going, two quick notes. The TFS material is always posted on Twitter @kcjoynertfs. More info on the fantasy draft guide and in-season start-sit service can be found at www.thefootballscientist.com. Hope to see you all here next week!