Good afternoon! Quick TFS update. The core passing metrics are available in the "KC Joyner's Statosphere" section of ESPN's Fantasy Football Magazine, which is now available on newsstands. I will be finished with the AFC South run blocking breakdowns today and should have them posted for Scientific Football 2009 pre-order customers over the weekend. I also did a post on the NY Times Fifth Down blog today on Joe Flacco's spectacular progression during his rookie season.Now let's talk some football!
I agree with your assessment that Dallas' offensive line was a problem last year, but what player on that line do you think will have a much better season in 2009? Other than lucking into a rehabbed Colombo, they haven't developed an offensive lineman in a while.
I think the improvement could come from Kyle Kosier. He posted a 76.9% POA win rate in his partial season last year and he is capable of doing much better. In fact, the big plus for Dallas' O line is that they don't need to make big improvements - all they need to do is get some of their low POA win rate linemen to get into the low 80s.
Did Duane Brown improve as the season progressed? Is he going to pan out for the Texans?
Has there been any new interesting or suprising conclusions you have drawn up from your recent analysis of Houston? Thanks
I'm hitting on both of these because I have Houston on my mind, what with having recently completed their metric review. The finding on the plus side - Mike Brisiel is darn good (85.1% POA win rate). The finding on the negative side - Duane Brown was terrible at run blocking (73.9% POA win rate). He is the lowest rated run blocking OT I've done so far and it wouldn't surprise me if the kept that mark.
KCJ: You ever think about doing a show on NFL Sirius? Currently I know an hour that could really use you...4-5PM (PST) they put an hour of NFL Access on. While I like watching NFL Total Access, I despise listening to it since a lot of what they do is visual. That aside, do you ever do guest commentary? If so, which shows are you normally on?
Shane, I'd be glad to do some national radio spots on Sirius! If you know a producer, send them my way. As far as regular spots, during the offseason I do a weekly segment for the Mike Gill Show on ESPN Radio 97.3 in South Jersey.
Which FS do you think is the best ever to play?
Give me Ronnie Lott. Great combo of coverage skills, ballhawking and someone who could knock a player out.
Come on Scientist, give me some metrics on Romo I can throw in the face of all Cowboys haters.
Mike, I hate to tell you this but last year wasn't the best metric season for Romo to throw in the face of the Cowboys haters. A 7.6 YPA, 12.0 vertical YPA and 2.4% bad decision rate are all solid but he's done much better in previous years in all of those categories.
How well do you think Jay Cutler will do with the Bears this year?
I've said it many times and I'll say it again - Cutler will make Bears fans remember Rex Grossman. He'll make just as many crazy passes but won't suffer the Grossman fate because Chicago's fan base is so in love with him that they will forgive the nutty throws he makes in ways that they never forgave Grossman.
Which O-line do you think will markedly improve it's metrics next season?
I'd put Cleveland on a short list there. Joe Thomas and Eric Steinbach are both capable of 85-90% POA win rates and both of them were in the low 80s last year.
Is Matt Light an elite blind side tackle?
Light has had some pass blocking issues but last year he posted a 90.1% POA win rate. When someone can run block that well, a coach will be willing to give him some chip pass blocking assistance from time to time.
Followup to Duane Brown: Can you forsee any improvement with him over the long term? The Houston coaches especially Gibbs really seem to like him. Thanks.
Rob, to put his POA win rate another way, he lost one out of every four of his run blocks last year. He has the physical capabilities to do much better than that so I would forecast significant improvement.
Do you think Matt Forte will have another great year with Cutler coming in
Forte will be this generation's Brian Westbrook. He'll have a great year no matter who is behind center for Chicago.
do u think the cowboys r americas team?
Bob, I heard more from Steelers fans than I did from Cowboys fans for my recent blog posts on each of their teams, so I'd have to say Pittsburgh is in the lead there.
Bob, I heard more from Steelers fans than I did from Cowboys fans for my recent blog posts on each of their teams, so I'd have to say Pittsburgh is in the lead there.
Steve McNair, HOF?
As much as I am on the Steve McNair should be remembered for much more than the way his life ended, I'd have to vote no here. He didn't have quite enough postseason honors and was only on top of the league for a couple of seasons.
What do you think the Jets are going to be this yearThanks for your answer
It's hard to win with a rookie QB, especially in a division as tough as the AFC East is going to be this year. They do have a great run blocking O line, so Sanchez won't have to do it all himself (I'm assuming he'll claim the starting role week 1), but I would still think an 8-8 mark in this transition year would be a good omen for the future.
KC, How do you rank the NFC Easts secondarys? Matt Mosely recently put Dallas as last in the division. I wanted to get your thoughts on that
ESPN had Terrence Newman as one the 25 most overrated players of the decade? Do the numbers match that assessment? He doesn't seem to get a lot of INTs, but he doesn't give up many TDs either, right?
As far as NFC East secondaries go, I'd have to agree with Matt on that one. Dallas has a big hole at SS and none of the other teams have a similar level of weakness. Newman's issue is that he had some really strong years wrapped around a couple of subpar years. He's remembered for the strong years and that's why he ends up on an overrated list. I personally wouldn't have put him there because of the grief Dallas fans have given him over the years but I understand the ranking.
What are teams' offensive and defensive game plans when they play the Titans?
Stop the slant play on O and stop the pass rush on D.
Who do you think will win the AFC South this year?
I see from the post that you are from Indiana, so I hesitate to say this, but I've got the Texans as a darkhorse AFC South candidate. The Colts have done a good job of masking the talent depletion they've gone through the past few years but they can't keep that up forever. Tennessee is really good but I think they will rue losing Haynesworth and teams will take a page out of the way they were defensed later in the year and make Collins have to beat them. Houston's passing attack is elite and if their D improves just a bit they'll be able to make a run at the playoffs.
Will Steve Slaton have a sophomore slump?
I'm not counting on it. Slaton hit the rookie wall last year (Kubiak even gave him a full week off to help him get past it) and I'd bet that he adjusts his conditioning routine to help him avoid that this year.
So are you taking Forte number 1 in a PPR league or do you go with AP?
In a PPR league, I'd take Forte over AP.
Have you seen enough of Knowshon Moreno and Beanie Wells to say who you think will have more success in the NFL?
I'm still up in the air on Moreno but I do have a take on Wells. Whisenhunt wants to run the ball more and his O line is good enough to do it (they had very solid POA win rates). His backs were the problem more than the blocking and now that he has Wells, Whisenhunt will pound the rock more. Look for Beanie to make a run at ROY.
That's the craziest assumption I've ever heard in my life. If Cutler is as bad as Grossman, you'll get promoted and Jay will be run out of town with JA, Lovie and company.
It's funny - whenever I say Cutler will remind Bears fans of Grossman, they get all up in arms. All Grossman did was take Chicago to their first Super Bowl in years and the Bears fans couldn't run him out of the starting spot quick enough. They'll win with Cutler but man will they grit their teeth when he blows a game or two with his over the top risk taking.
what about me?
See my NY Times blog piece on the Cards RBs production when they had good blocking versus bad blocking. You weren't able to post a solid YPA in either case.
Kerry Collins does not seem to have what it takes to put together a 4th quarter 2 minute drill. As far as his abilities, what is he missing?
It seems to me that what he is missing in Tennessee is a good receiving corps. Having said that, if memory serves me correct, Collins did have a few game winning drives last year.
What's your take on Dustin Keller this year for FF purposes?
Let me borrow a line from the fantasy mag and say that he'll be one of the 7-8 tight ends who will post 100 attempts this year. You'll want to land one of them.
You have lauded the Eagles for the aquisition of Jason Peters. His run blocking as you mentioned were great, but wasn't he a turnstile protecting Edwards' blindside? Any metrics on his pass pro?
He gave up 11.5 sacks last year but I think Philly is of the mindset that they can get him back to his earlier pass blocking level where he gave up 2-4 sacks a year.
KCJ, so you think Dallas' secondary is worse than Washington's. It's arguable because of the loss of Henry. But by the same token, do you see their young guys(scandrick, Jenkins) having upside? Dallas seems to like what they see in Scandrick and Jenkins is much better suited for the man-style that Newman is, as Henry was more of a short, cover 2 corner...
Don't get me wrong on Dallas - they have some talent in their secondary. Jenkins had a sub-6 yd YPA (although some of that was due to dropped and overthrown passes) and Scandrick is a solid nickel candidate. I just can't get the coverage crater that is their SS position out of my head.
who is better metrics wise? Andre Johnson or L Fitz?
They were really close YPA-wise last year (Fitz 10.0, Johnson 9.9) but Johnson had a better success rate and vertical totals.
Denver fans still defending Jay I see. Did they not witness that epic collapse at the end of last year? I mean the guy threw 2 picks in the red zone against the Bills in week 16 to lose at HOME. Blindness
You know what really bothers me about Cutler? The idea that fans can't comment on him in a non-emotional manner. Every Bears fan thinks he is the next coming of Jim McMahon. When I point out that he has performance issues and that Grossman had those same issues, they just go overboard instead of saying "Hey, that's a good point, can he improve in that area?"
When will hard copies of your Fantasy Football Draft Guide begin being shipped out? Thanks! Looking forward to beating the competition again with your help, KC!!
I'll be sending matchup charts here in the next week or so. The guide itself will be ready by the first preseason game (or likely a week or so before that).
how do you see the running game playing out in san diego...does sproles really get a heavier work load this year? i see LT as the type of player who bounces back big time...
LT started playing better as his toe healed up and I'm with you on that he will have a better season. Having said that, if I am SD, I try to take a bit of the load off of LT by giving Sproles the ball more often. It will be a difficult thing to ask LT to become a split carry guy but if they handle it properly (i.e. let everyone know LT is their #1 RB), it would be the best move they could make.
I can imagine the Bears fan reaction, they are in denial they gave up two first rounders and a starting qb for a grossman-like player with more upside.
Good point Ryan. Maybe I need to look at this from their perspective.
What are your thoughts on Donald "Duck" Brown vs Joey Addai? Any truth to the rumor Brown will be given goal line touches since Joey like to jump like a kangaroo when he goes through a hole?
The Colts had expected Addai to take a big step forward last year and were said to be quite disappointed with how he played. Given how poorly their O line held up early on (admittedly most of it was due to injury), I don't know why they put the blame on Addai's doorstep, but they did and Brown will benefit from that in 2009. I'd bet they give him the goal line rock quite often.
What can the Panthes do at QB? Jake hasnt been what hes used to be, and conference finals is an example of that. They've got all the other pieces that they need after signing Peppers, they just need a qb so what can they do?
I wouldn't quite give up on Delhomme just yet. I'd also mention that Delhomme's personality makes him a really hard guy to replace. His fiery approach is something the other players feed off of and my scouting eye says they miss it big time when he isn't in there.
It's amazing what one game does to the fans perception at QB. If I'm not mistaken, Jake was pretty darn good except for one bad playoff game. It's not like he is Jay Cutler or something... (yeah, sorry Bears fans...had to do the cheap shot...)
Is the Titans depth chart on defensive solid enough to make it to the playoffs? I see about 4 to 5 positional holes with Harper, Finnegan, Kearse, Hayes, and Tulloch. Do you agree?
Hate to disagree but I don't see any of those players being a positional hole. Tulloch is a speed demon, Finnegan and Harper both had good coverage metrics (with Harper's actually being the better of the two) and Kearse did fine job in his role.
When watching QB's, do you pay attention to what the QB is looking at post snap? For instance, Manning and Brady are watching what the D is doing. Someone like Grossman or Cutler watches his receivers. Someone like Cleo Lemon watches A receiver.
What I'm looking for is how they handle themselves in the pocket. I don't want to see things like happy feet or unnecessary floating. I also want to see a QB who is keeping his eyes downfield and not on the pass rush.
I understand the need for 2 good RB's in today's NFL. But it seems like the Pantheres RB's are both "too" good. Wouldn't it behoove them to try toget value for one of the backs, fill another position and then acquire a regular 2nd RB?
Given the injury state of the Panthers RBs, I'd say they would do well to keep both of them. RB is a position that you simply can't have enough depth in because it is one position that is prone to injury.
KC, all advanced metricians like yourself seem to love what John Carlson did last year.. I see a healthy Hasselbeck along with Carlson leading a newly explosive offense and a 9 win Seattle team back to the playoffs.. your thoughts?
Raj, I do like Carlson and do like the Hawks offense if it is healthy this year (something it wasn't for just about the entire 2008 season). They also play in a weak division, so it won't take an earth shattering comeback to post nine wins. Having said that, I do have questions about Jim Mora. His Falcons team ended up in a coaches/players battle at the end of his tenure and I worry about that happening in Seattle as well. It might not occur this year, so a nine-win total is reachable, but it something to watch out for in the future.
Robert, what are you talking about? When I got the ball I would just look for Marshall and throw it as hard as I can to him. Hester will be my guy now
If it wasn't official before, it's official now - today is Jay Cutler day on ESPN SportsNation!
KC- great job alienating an entire fanbase. I can guarantee you you're in the minority when you compare Grossman with Cutler. It's quite embarassing and rediculous. He's only 25, and as a Bear fan we're quite aware he has plenty of room to improve.
Paul, I'm basing my Cutler comments on three seasons of Denver tape breakdowns. He's a huge risk-taker and that equates to about 1 in 20 of his passes being an int or near int because of a mistake on his part. He'll win games in the Windy City and when he does, I'll hear it from Bears fans. I just want to hear from those same fans when his risk-taking costs the team a big game (and I'll all but guarantee that will happen).
Right now, the Titans defense is very confident. They do not realize the reason why the Titans were 13-3 last year is mostly because of CJ and Haynesworth. Do you think CJ is our only hope for playoffs?
Tennessee will miss AH but I would not come close to counting them out. They have proven to be very adept at developing D linemen, so even though they will see a drop-off, Fisher and company should be able to ameliorate it to a certain extent.
will devin hester become a reliable option for the bears at wr this year, especially with the upgrade at quarterback in jay cutler?
Might as well end the chat with a Bears question. Hester showed more route running ability last year than he did in season's past, so I am of a positive mindset he will have a better 2009. Having said that, look for Greg Olsen to be the breakout receiving candidate. He'll give Cutler the same skill set Scheffler gave him in Denver.Well, Mrs. Scientist has hamburgers cooking so dinner is just about ready to be served and I have to run. I hope to see you all next week!