Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

05 Sep 2008

FO on ESPN: Week 1 Matchups

This year, the matchups column you saw on Rotoworld last year will appear weekly on ESPN, with new, improved methodologies getting its back.

Instead of pinning my justification for the column on Alex Smith (not the smartest thing I've ever done), we're looking at the greatest back no one's ever heard of.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 05 Sep 2008

25 comments, Last at 09 Sep 2008, 6:12pm by Phoenix138

Comments

1
by Paging Roger Cossack (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 1:28am

Knock, knock. Did someone with an anti-Packers slant fail to mention the fact that Ryan Grant rushed 25 times for 119 yards and a TD last year against those very same Vikings with the very same defensive tackles? I do understand Favre's gone, but surely you can't lean on his absence for every single one of your pessimistic Packers outlooks.

Garrard had 3 INT's last year.

Kevin Curtis is damn fast, while lily-pale. Inconsistent deep threat? That doesn't sound too different from Lee Evans at all.

Di4 yi1?

2
by podpeople (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 10:13am

Reggie Brown unfortunately won't be the "number 1" WR this week. That honor goes to Fraction Jackson.

3
by keith (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 10:22am

I like the thought of playing Watson against KC. I only have one spot for TE and I just can't see myself benching Gates. I shouldn't, right?

4
by dmb (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 11:19am

That was a brilliant way to introduce the importance of matchups.

5
by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 12:28pm

This article seems to be telling me to start Jeff Garcia instead of David Garrard. Do I dare?

6
by NYCBucsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 1:14pm

@ #2 - Pod, where did you get that info on DeSean starting at #1? I'm trying to decide on which rookie to put at flex--him or Felix Jones.

7
by podpeople (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 1:31pm

Andy Reid came out and said Jackson is starting at the Flanker position. Plus it's now being reported in Philly that Brown won't play at all.

8
by Bill Barnwell :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 6:28pm

Knock, knock. Did someone with an anti-Packers slant fail to mention the fact that Ryan Grant rushed 25 times for 119 yards and a TD last year against those very same Vikings with the very same defensive tackles? I do understand Favre’s gone, but surely you can’t lean on his absence for every single one of your pessimistic Packers outlooks.

Or, you know, it could be that the previous five games where the Packers faced the Vikings saw their running backs gain like 60 yards.

Garrard had 3 INT’s last year.

This is true.

Kevin Curtis is damn fast, while lily-pale. Inconsistent deep threat? That doesn’t sound too different from Lee Evans at all.

Kevin Curtis isn't that fast and has averaged 13.3 yards per reception during his career; Evans has averaged 16 yards per reception. They don't play similar whatsoever.

Di4 yi1?

IDK my BFF Jill?

9
by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 6:49pm

Jerricho Cotchery, WR, NE (8%)

is that true!

10
by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 6:51pm

ha ha, figured it out
should stop posting drunk

11
by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 6:57pm

Joey Galloway, WR, TB (23%)
Benjamin Watson, TE, NE (18%)
Joe Flacco, QB, BAL (17%)
Thomas Jones, RB, NE (16%)
Santonio Holmes, WR, PIT (15%)

I had a theory but it was wrong
how are jones and watson both NE?

12
by Paging Roger Cossack (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 7:02pm

Re: Bill

Yeah, of course I don't believe that Grant will probably run for 120 yards again, but I do find it curious that you didn't even choose to mention it in your wrap-up, as I think it's something worth noting. I'm not going to say that Grant far better a player than the Williams duo has ever shut down (people have good games and bad games), but it's safe to say he's better than the Packerbacks you referred to in your comment.

It's fair to say Lee Evans is faster than Kevin Curtis, but it still isn't like Curtis is a possession receiver. He too is inconsistent and catches his fair share of deep balls. Besides, if you had JP Losman throwing you the ball, what's the chance you could ever have a low YPC (unless you're Robert Royal)??? Last year, take out two plays, a 70 and 85 yard bomb, and Evans averaged 13.0 yards per catch. That's possession-receiver material. Clearly that's cherry-picking, but ypc isn't the end-all-be-all; Andre Johnson's career YPC is 12.9. Curtis isn't slow by any means. He isn't Wes Welker.

Di4 yi1 is a (very loose) translation for "first" in Chinese, rather than some sort of txt tlk.

13
by fromanchu (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 7:42pm

does this mean i should start selvin instead of jones-drew?

14
by Kurt (not verified) :: Fri, 09/05/2008 - 11:32pm

So, what's 118% of zero?

(Which is my clever way of expressing concern about the "D" next to Ben Watson's name and the corresponding note on his ESPN page)

15
by shake n bake (not verified) :: Sat, 09/06/2008 - 9:29am

Re 5 I was doing it before I saw this article. I put Garcia in the starting spot for week 1 right after the draft.

16
by countertorque (not verified) :: Sat, 09/06/2008 - 10:32am

Nice article. Much better than last year.

17
by Scott C. (not verified) :: Sat, 09/06/2008 - 11:51am

Bill -- You guys keep talking about Marquis Harris as Merriman's backup and an up and coming player. Yup, he's pretty good, but Merriman's backup is Jyles Tucker -- Winner of Defensive Player of the Week for Week 17 last year.

He's a better bass rusher than Marquis, but not quite as well rounded otherwise. From a pure pass rushing perspective, he is very good. There's a reason the Chargers gave the former UDFA a nice contract through 2012 just recently.

18
by Scott C. (not verified) :: Sat, 09/06/2008 - 11:55am

Oops, one other thing I forgot about Jyles Tucker:

The Chargers have a 3rd and long package that includes 3 OLB's. Phillips, Merriman, and Tucker. Harris is not in that package because the coaches know the best pass rushing OLBs are the three above.

19
by birk (not verified) :: Sat, 09/06/2008 - 3:46pm

Two things:

1. For some reason, all Jets players are listed with NE instead of NYJ.

2. I think this would be much better if there was a listing of the top players at each position for this week rather than listing the percentages. Even though the ranking won't be using the right fantasy point values for everyone's league, I think it would be more useful.

20
by SamoanRob (not verified) :: Sun, 09/07/2008 - 10:42am

Regarding Garcia/Galloway: I'm sitting Garcia (and Garrard) for Aaron Rodgers, but I'll start Galloway over Berrian, pending the pre game update.

21
by TheGonz (not verified) :: Sun, 09/07/2008 - 12:23pm

Packer team rushing performances since the Williams brothers got together in Minnesota:

11 Nov 07: 32 carries, 120 yards
30 Sep 07: 20 carries, 46 yards
21 Dec 06: 24 carries, 46 yards
12 Nov 06: 26 carries, 47 yards
21 Nov 05: 14 carries, 21 yards
23 Oct 05: 23 carries, 45 yards

Last year's game at Lambeau is more of an example of the proverbial blind squirrel finding an acorn than an indication of Ryan Grant having even a remote chance of success on Monday night. Combine it with the impending epic fail at QB that is Aaron Rodgers, and I wouldn't go anywhere near the guy

22
by Xeynon (not verified) :: Mon, 09/08/2008 - 12:45am

Kevin Curtis isn’t that fast and has averaged 13.3 yards per reception during his career; Evans has averaged 16 yards per reception. They don’t play similar whatsoever.

Curtis ran a 4.30 40 yard dash in his draft year. Lee Evans ran a 4.33. Even if you want to chalk it up to different running surfaces, a good day for Curtis and a bad one for Evans, etc., how does that make Evans significantly faster than Curtis?

As for the YPC averages, I'd say that the fact that Curtis played on a team with Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce and was used mostly as a slot receiver running short routes for the first four seasons of his career has more to do with his lower average than lack of speed. Last year, when he was placed on the outside more, he averaged 14.4 YPC in an offense that doesn't throw the ball deep nearly as much as the Bills' does.

23
by Tom D (not verified) :: Mon, 09/08/2008 - 2:44am

Good call on Thomas Jones, but playing Holmes over Evens almost killed me. Of course there is no way you could know that Big Ben was going to do a reenactment of his rookie year. But it seems like you have Seattle's defense overrated, or Lee Evans way underrated.

24
by Boston Dan (not verified) :: Tue, 09/09/2008 - 10:23am

Even with these tools (DVOA, DYAR) one must remember certain trends, such that Seattle stinks on the road especially against AFC teams.

25
by Phoenix138 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/09/2008 - 6:12pm

Packer team rushing performances since the Williams brothers got together in Minnesota:

11 Nov 07: 32 carries, 120 yards
30 Sep 07: 20 carries, 46 yards
21 Dec 06: 24 carries, 46 yards
12 Nov 06: 26 carries, 47 yards
21 Nov 05: 14 carries, 21 yards
23 Oct 05: 23 carries, 45 yards

Last year’s game at Lambeau is more of an example of the proverbial blind squirrel finding an acorn than an indication of Ryan Grant having even a remote chance of success on Monday night. Combine it with the impending epic fail at QB that is Aaron Rodgers, and I wouldn’t go anywhere near the guy

Pre-season opinions about the fail that is Aaron Rodgers aside, probably would have been worth noting that Ryan Grant was the starting RB in only the last game. He's a bit better than DeShawn Wynn, Tony Fisher, and a broken down Ahman Green.