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Stomping the Jags leaves Washington No. 2 behind only Denver. But what can we really learn from one big win early in the season, before we are applying opponent adjustments?

07 Jan 2010

2009 Quick Reads Year in Review

by Bill Barnwell

With another year of Quick Reads in the books, it's time to look back at the regular season and compile each week's totals into our cumulative year in review.

Using our advanced metrics, DYAR and DVOA (explained here), we'll be taking a look at the best and worst players at each position, identify players that have improved or declined from a year ago, and reveal which players are the league's most underrated and overrated by their traditional statistics.

No numbers are perfect, of course, so we'll also point out where we disagree with the data. Also, remember that DYAR is a cumulative statistic, so players are rewarded for answering the bell every week and doing the most with their many attempts. Some numbers might also look strange due to rounding (like Philip Rivers' totals, for example).

Quarterbacks

Top 5

1) Tom Brady, Patriots: 2,159 DYAR (2,170 passing DYAR, -11 rushing)
2) Philip Rivers, Chargers: 1,918 DYAR (1,919 passing DYAR, -2 rushing)
3) Peyton Manning, Colts: 1,911 DYAR (1,932 passing DYAR, -21 rushing)
4) Drew Brees, Saints: 1,884 DYAR (1,846 passing DYAR, 39 rushing)
5) Brett Favre, Vikings: 1,797 DYAR (1,803 passing DYAR, -6 rushing)

How are Peyton Manning and Drew Brees not, in some order, 1-2? The answer is strength of schedule. The difference between Brady's DVOA and VOA (our DVOA statistic, minus the defensive adjustments) is 9.5 percentage points, the largest such figure in the league for any quarterback with more than 100 attempts. That makes sense when you look at Brady's schedule: Over the course of the season, the Patriots played the pass defenses DVOA ranked first (the Jets, who they played twice), second (Panthers), third (Bills, again twice), fifth (Broncos), sixth (Ravens, with a second matchup this weekend) and ninth (Saints). That's half a season against defenses ranked in the top ten, plus two games against the defense ranked 11th (Dolphins). Brady had only one game against a pass defense ranked in the bottom five. Based on our numbers, Brady played the hardest schedule of pass defenses of any quarterback in the last 15 years.

If we ranked the quarterbacks by YAR -- without opponent adjustments -- Manning would be first, Brees would be second, and Brady would fall to sixth. The numbers suggest that it was a landmark year for quarterbacks; the DYAR totals of Brady, Rivers, Manning, and Brees are all high enough to rank amongst the top ten passing seasons since 1993 (the first season in our database).

Bottom 5

1) JaMarcus Russell, Raiders: -722 DYAR (-755 passing DYAR, 33 rushing)
2) Matthew Stafford, Lions: -498 DYAR (-531 passing DYAR, 33 rushing)
3) Matt Cassel, Chiefs: -483 DYAR (-460 passing DYAR, -20 rushing)
4) Keith Null, Rams: -402 DYAR (-394 passing DYAR, -7 rushing)
5) Derek Anderson, Browns: -342 DYAR (-361 passing DYAR, 19 rushing)

Russell's -722 DYAR is not only the worst by a wide margin, but it stands as the fifth-worst single-season quarterback DYAR in the 16-year history of the metric. He finished ahead of only David Carr (2002, -1075 DYAR), Bobby Hoying (1998, -1004 DYAR), Alex Smith (2005, -910 DYAR), and Akili Smith (2000, -733 DYAR). Russell recorded positive DYAR only twice during the season, in Week 1 (19 DYAR) and Week 15 (17 DYAR). On a bright note, he finished last for the week only once.

Null's inclusion on this list is also remarkable considering that he only played four games, but his week-by-week DYAR totals go -191, -60, -85, and -67. He never made it out of the bottom six in DYAR during any of the weeks he started.

Better than his standard statistics made him look: Matt Ryan, Falcons. Outside of Brady, Ryan had the biggest difference between his DVOA and VOA, 8.3 percentage points. (Backup Chris Redman was at 9.1 percent.) Although Ryan's sophomore season was considered a disappointment by most, his DVOA only fell from an elite 30.4% in 2008 to a very good 16.7% this season. If you believed that Ryan was a star a year ago, his advanced metrics suggest that's still the case.

Worse than his standard statistics made him look: Aaron Rodgers, Packers. Rodgers led the NFL in fantasy points and was fourth in quarterback rating, but those figures overestimate his value. There's a difference of 5.7 percentage points between Rodgers' DVOA and his VOA, which means that he played an easy schedule. (Among starting quarterbacks, only Alex Smith had a bigger difference.) Neither quarterback rating nor fantasy points account for sacks taken, and Rodgers' 8.5 percent sack rate was among the league's highest. Finally, the Packers ran 176 non-spike drives through the first 16 games; only six teams in the league got more opportunities to pick up yards and points than Rodgers' Packers.

Most improved: Brett Favre, Vikings. A middling season from Favre against a weak slate of pass defenses a year ago pegged him with a -2.2% DVOA that ranked 26th in the league, his first time outside of the top 20 in the history of the statistic. After dumping most of the interceptions and healing up his wing, he was fifth in the league in DVOA this year.

Biggest decline: Matt Cassel, Chiefs. Cassel's 2009 season is a monument to how much schedule, scheme, and the talent around a quarterback can affect his numbers. Cassel was the best quarterback in the league by DVOA over the second half of the 2008 campaign, with heavy thanks to a schedule that ranked as one of the easiest pass defense slates of the last decade. (You'll note that fellow AFC East quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Trent Edwards looked particularly good in 2009, either, with some thanks to how easy their schedules were the year before.) Cassel went from Moss and Welker to, well, Chris Chambers and Bobby Wade.

All 2009 quarterback numbers here.

Running Backs

Top 5

1) Chris Johnson, Titans: 456 DYAR (343 rushing DYAR, 113 receiving)
2) Ray Rice, Ravens: 369 DYAR (241 rushing DYAR, 128 receiving)
3) Pierre Thomas, Saints: 301 DYAR (220 rushing DYAR, 81 receiving)
4) Ryan Grant, Packers: 293 DYAR (251 rushing DYAR, 41 receiving)
5) DeAngelo Williams, Panthers: 262 DYAR (175 rushing DYAR, 88 receiving)

Johnson led the league in rushing DYAR with more than 100 to spare, although his league-leading total of 343 rushing DYAR was the third-fewest for a league leading back in the DYAR/DVOA Era. It's yet another sign of how the league is moving further towards the pass with each season; as recently as 2005, Johnson's rushing DYAR would've ranked fifth in the league, not first. Despite all his yards, Johnson did not earn a historic DYAR total because his highlight runs were combined with a lot of carries stuffed for a loss or no gain.

Of course, Johnson was also great as a receiver; his 113 receiving DYAR ranked seventh in the league, with Darren Sproles' 181 receiving DYAR pacing the league. Two backs in the past 16 years have led all backs in both rushing and receiving DYAR: Marshall Faulk in 2000 and Brian Westbrook in 2007.

Bottom 5

1) Glen Coffee, 49ers: -119 DYAR (-85 rushing, -34 receiving)
2) Larry Johnson, Chiefs/Bengals: -103 DYAR (-91 rushing, -12 receiving)
3) Darren McFadden, Raiders: -67 DYAR (-80 rushing, -27 receiving)
4) Marshawn Lynch, Bills: -64 DYAR (-41 rushing, -23 receiving)
5) Jacob Hester, Chargers: -59 DYAR (-33 rushing, -26 receiving)

Coffee's 83 carries yielded seven first downs, while 22 of those carries went for either no gain or a loss. Johnson had -115 rushing DYAR while he was on the Chiefs; the good news is that he picked up 24 DYAR as a member of the Bengals, but the bad news is that Jamaal Charles gained 233 DYAR behind Johnson's former offensive line. Hester was used almost exclusively in short yardage and got stuffed too frequently.

Better than his standard statistics made him look: Steven Jackson, Rams. Jackson managed to get up to 217 DYAR despite playing with the carcass of Marc Bulger, Kyle Boller, and Null at quarterback. He also played against one of the league's toughest run defense schedules. If only he got to play the Rams on Sundays, too!

Worse than his standard statistics made him look: Willis McGahee, Ravens. McGahee's 14 rushing touchdowns cause his numbers to leap off the page, but the majority of those touchdowns come as a result of opportunity, not ability. He's no more of an elite goal-line back than anyone else on the roster, and with a difference between his VOA and DVOA of 5.4 percentage points, he faced a pretty easy schedule this year.

Most improved: Chris Johnson, Titans. Perhaps it's boring to pick the same player twice, but Johnson was seventh in rushing DYAR and 48th in receiving DYAR a year ago. He improved in all facets of the game, becoming both more consistent and breaking big plays more frequently. Playing with Vince Young, who attracts more attention as a potential runner than Kerry Collins, probably helped; our research suggests that running backs derive a reasonable advantage when they play alongside a running quarterback.

Biggest decline: Brandon Jacobs, Giants. While former teammate Derrick Ward fell off in Tampa Bay, Jacobs was surrounded by the same quarterback and offensive line, and went from second in the league in rushing DYAR to 85th. A back that had 300 rushing DYAR a year ago went all the way down to a grand total of 4.

All 2009 running back numbers here.

Wide Receivers

Top 5

1) Sidney Rice, Vikings: 476 DYAR
2) Vincent Jackson, Chargers: 452 DYAR
3) Wes Welker, Patriots: 423 DYAR
4) Miles Austin, Cowboys: 397 DYAR
5) Randy Moss, Patriots: 395 DYAR

What a strange group of players. It includes two undrafted free agents, a player that apparently dogs it all the time, and a receiver (Rice) whose team tried to give up on him by signing T.J. Houshmandzadeh this offseason. Remember, kids: These are the professionals.

Rice pulled ahead of Jackson in the season's final week, thanks to the sudden case of narcolepsy enveloping the entire Giants' defense. Jackson made up for it by narrowly winning the DVOA race, with his 39.6% DVOA beating out Robert Meachem (39.2%) and Rice (35.4%).

Bottom 5

1) Eddie Royal, Broncos: -139 DYAR
2) Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders: -106 DYAR
3) Louis Murphy, Raiders: -105 DYAR
4) Bryant Johnson, Lions: -102 DYAR
5) Chansi Stuckey, Jets/Browns: -99 DYAR

On his receiving performance alone, Joshua Cribbs would rank second on this list. Royal had fantasy owners dreaming of a 100-catch season under the idea that he'd play the Wes Welker role in Josh McDaniels's offense, but he caught only 47 percent of the passes thrown to him. Welker's normally in the 75 percent range, and Royal was at 71 percent a year ago. -65 of Stuckey's -99 DYAR came with the Jets, where he caught 42 percent of his targets and had only four receptions for more than eight yards.

Better than his standard statistics made him look: Roddy White, Falcons. Much like Ryan, White faced a Murderer's Row of pass defenses this year. Even with Chris Redman at quarterback, he managed to put up big games against teams like the Eagles, and there was a gap of 4.8 percentage points between his VOA and his DVOA.

Worse than his standard statistics make him look: Anquan Boldin, Cardinals. Boldin puts up big numbers thanks to volume, but he consistently faces easy pass defenses thanks to his presence in the NFC West; there were 4.9 percentage points between his DVOA and his VOA. That DVOA is -0.6%, ranking well below cohorts Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston. They play different roles, and Boldin's a great blocker, but Boldin was in the top-20 each of the last two years. He just wasn't that good as a receiver this year.

Most improved: Meachem. Thought of as almost a comical bust following a 2007 season that saw him as a healthy inactive for the entire campaign, Meachem was the Saints' fifth receiver a year ago and was their best receiver during 2009. The bad news is that his huge DVOA and DYAR figures were propped up by a 70 percent catch rate that's not likely to recur. (Meachem was at 79 percent before his final disastrous week across from Mark Brunell.)

Biggest decline: Antonio Bryant, Buccaneers. The famously-erratic Bryant was eighth in DYAR a year ago with 284; this year, thanks to injury, regression to the mean, and the presence of three new quarterbacks, he was down to 3 DYAR.

All 2009 wide receiver numbers here.

Tight Ends

Top 5

1) Antonio Gates, Chargers: 358 DYAR
2) Dallas Clark, Colts: 261 DYAR
3) Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings: 221 DYAR
4) Jason Witten, Cowboys: 216 DYAR
5) Brent Celek, Eagles: 201 DYAR

Gates set the single-season tight end DYAR record in 2009, only a year after he seemed a shell of his former self thanks to multiple injuries. He'd finish seventh on the wide receiver charts, behind the five players mentioned above and Reggie Wayne. Gates has four of the top 10 tight end seasons in DYAR history (since 1994). Clark also had one of the top ten tight end seasons, lining up in the slot more often than he did in 2008 but not as much as he did in 2007.

Depending upon where you set the target cutoff, the DVOA leader for tight ends was either Benjamin Watson (49.3% DVOA in 42 targets) or Gates (38.4% DVOA in 116 targets). Obviously, Gates' performance over nearly three times as many targets makes him the more valuable player.

Bottom 5

1) Daniel Coats, Bengals: -79 DYAR
2) Donald Lee, Packers: -58 DYAR
3) Joey Haynos, Dolphins: -53 DYAR
4) Desmond Clark, Bears: -51 DYAR
5) Jerramy Stevens, Buccaneers: -50 DYAR

It seems unfair to blame Coats for his struggles; he was penciled in as the third-string tight end coming into camp, but injuries pushed him into the starting lineup. Lee lost his job to Jermichael Finley, and Clark was too busy serving as the Bears' best offensive lineman to catch many passes or run very far downfield.

Better than his standard statistics made him look: Owen Daniels, Texans. Daniels isn't a great blocker, but he runs the same route tree that a wide receiver does, which creates opportunities for Daniels, other receivers, and the running game. Texans fans will have to hope Daniels, who had a difference of 2.9 percentage points between his DVOA and his VOA, will recover fully from his torn ACL.

Worse than his standard statistics make him look: Shawn Nelson, Bills. The Buffalo tight end turned his 30 targets into just 159 receiving yards, and had a difference of 5.1 percentage points between his VOA and his DVOA.

Most improved: Jermichael Finley, Packers. A non-factor last year as a tweener receiver -- too big to be a wideout, too slow to be a tight end -- Finley was uncoverable at times this season. His 76 percent catch rate was behind only Jason Witten amongst qualifying tight ends (minimum: 30 attempts).

Biggest decline: Donald Lee, Packers. Many of Lee's former targets went to Finley instead, as the former starter -- who'd been in the top-five in DYAR and DVOA for tight ends as recently as 2007 -- had the second-worst DYAR in the league. Lee picked up only three first downs on the 14 targets he received on third and fourth down.

All 2009 tight end numbers here.

(This article originally ran on ESPN Insider on January 6, 2010.)

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 07 Jan 2010

40 comments, Last at 11 Jan 2010, 4:09pm by commissionerleaf

Comments

2
by JoeHova :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 2:13pm

**"too big to be a wideout, too slow to be a tight end"**

Is this right? If he's too slow, what changed? Also, if he's too big to be a WR and too slow to be a TE, wouldn't that just make him a bad TE rather than a "tweener"? I thought a tweener was someone who has some attributes of each position but is missing something of each as well (the classic basketball tweener is when a guy has the size of a 3 but the game of a 4). If Finley is both too big and too slow, why would he be considered a WR at all?

4
by dryheat :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 2:35pm

Good catch. Usually, the phraseology goes "Too small to be a TE, too slow to be a WR." That was the book on me coming out of HS, so instead I'm an internet commenter.

And the links don't work for me, either.

20
by drobviousso :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:50pm

I was too slow to be a NT, too out of shape to be a OG.

14
by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 3:41pm

Er, too slow to be a WR, too thin to be a TE. My bad.

1
by Marcumzilla :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 2:09pm

Anyone else not having the links work?

3
by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 2:33pm

Sorry, links should be fixed now.

5
by dryheat :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 2:40pm

Okay...I'm a bit confused. Why are your top 5 abstracted here different than your top 5 when I click the links?

6
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 2:58pm

Totals in charts above are totals across passing, running and receiving, while links sort on passing, running and receiving totals only.

7
by dryheat :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 2:59pm

Ah. Thanks.

8
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 3:01pm

At least it is for the QBs and RBs. WRs are only graded on receiving.

Give Murphy his 20 DYAR for rushing!!

9
by Nathan :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 3:07pm

also, do the numbers place a huge emphasis on 3rd down receptions or something? desean jackson at 20 for the year? does this pass the gut check? from where i was sitting desean singlehandedly won the eagles several games this year... he's sandwiched between two 600 yard receivers...

11
by JasonK :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 3:22pm

54% catch rate holds him back, as do the 2 fumbles.

It also doesn't include his work as a punt returner.

12
by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 3:29pm

Adjusted receiving DYAR/DVOA that accounts for the fact that receivers who run deeper routes will have lower catch rates is very high on the offseason to-do list, although we'll only be able to do it for 2005-2009.

24
by nat :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:12am

This idea seems odd to me. While I understand that deeper routes may result in lower catch rates, isn't that the point? They may, in fact, end up with lower value (per target) than an "average" route run by an "average" WR?

38
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 01/10/2010 - 6:32pm

Yes, but right now DVOA treats all incomplete passes as equally bad. While this is a fair assessment of team production, it is not a fair to judge the individual QB's or WR's performance if the pass was deep and therefore harder to catch.

Basically, as far as team production is concerned, one incomplete pass is the same as another. But if you want to assess performance rather than production, you should account for the difficulty of the pass. It's like the difference between VOA/YAR (production) and DVOA/DYAR (performance).

39
by nat :: Mon, 01/11/2010 - 3:46pm

I can see some of the point, at least for WRs. It's not their fault the play called for them to go deep. (Although in today's offenses the WR often gets the option of running a short or long route depending on the coverage.)

What I don't understand is why a 10-yard pass with 20 YAC should be valued differently from a 30-yard pass with 0 YAC. Sure, the skills involved are different, but the result is and the value should be the same.

Same goes for incomplete passes. Zero yards and loss of down is the same no matter how long the pass attempt.

The only tweak that would make sense to me would be to limit the value of YAC. This is similar to limiting the value of very long runs. At some point the data says "the safety took a bad angle" and the rest is a non-repeatable skill.

13
by Nathan :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 3:32pm

Yeah, or the couple of 60 yard end arounds he had... I understand that the stats don't like boom or bust style players but I think that it might undervalue ridiculously explosive plays... especially with receivers. A boom or bust runningback who can't consistently get 4 yards on the ground but breaks big runs once a game is going to hurt you more than a deep shot specialist who you're only throwing to 6 times a game.

Also I'm guessing the stats truncate very long catches because there's not much difference between a go route that results in a 40 yard touchdown and a go route that results in a 90 yard touchdown... but being so fast you never get caught from behind by corners and safeties seems like it should be rewarded a bit more (CJ, Desean).

EDIT: as Aaron just said

10
by Eddo :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 3:13pm

I'm a big fan of this piece. It's nice to see a season wrap-up.

15
by El Miriodor :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 4:27pm

Earlier in the year I noted that Antonio Bryant's career year came as he took over the flanker position in Jon Gruden's offense. I also noted that Galloway, and Michael Clayton had also experienced remarkable productivity while occupying that position. This year was going to be an interesting test case for whether or not Gruden's offense actually inflates the statistics of his flanker receiver. The result is a landslide. Say what you want about Chucky, but his offense can make chicken salad out of chicken feathers as far as WRs go.

16
by mm (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 4:39pm

The bad news is that his huge DVOA and DYAR figures were propped up by a 70 percent catch rate that's not likely to recur. (Meachem was at 79 percent before his final disastrous week across from Mark Brunell.)

Catch rate: Colston- 65%, Henderson-61%, Moore 74%, Shockey 72 %, D. Thomas 73%, Meachem 70%.

Right now Meachem strongly benefits from the fact that he plays with Brees and the fact the Brees is probably less likely to throw an imperfect pass to him than any other receiver the Saints use.

He is generally the receiver in power running formations that only have one WR on the field. Meachem is a good blocker, but these formations also make for great play-action pass opportunities for Brees to throw deep without getting hurried.

When he is playing in their multiple receiver formations, I don't think Brees ever targets him when he's feeling harrassed. If Brees has to throw an imperfect pass in a hurry, it most often seems to go to Shockey (he's been out the entire Saints' losing streak; in the Cowboy game especially he would have been very helpful) or Colston, with Henderson, D.Thomas, or the running backs sometimes getting some imperfect passes. This is likely because Brees has (justifiably) great confidence in the ability of Shockey and Colston to get difficult passes, and also because Meachem probably runs deeper routes.

As long as the Saints' offense returns intact next year, I wouldn't expect Meachem's catch rate to drop much.

17
by Joseph :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 5:13pm

mm,
Thanks for helping to point that out, as that jumped out at me from reading the article. Since KUBIAK projected him for 16 catches on 50 attmepts (32%), 304 yds (19 ypc), and 1 TD; total DVOA -33.2%, I feel that BB wanted to take away from Meachem's success. But when the QB (Brees) sets an ALL TIME NFL RECORD with over 70.6% completion percentage, ALL PASS CATCHERS are going to have high catch rates!! Meachem benefitted from CATCHING THE BALL--since Brees almost always puts in on the money. This was painfully obvious observing Brunell in week 17.
(BTW, I know that when Aaron replied to my Saints' questions back in pre-season, he said that he manually adjusted that percentage upward--as sometimes KUBIAK spits out some way-out-in-left-field ridiculous stats. I just think that anyone who catches passes from Brees, P Manning, Brady, etc. will have pretty good catch rates.)

28
by commissionerleaf :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 2:05pm

Meachem is Dennis Northcutt or Az-Zahir Hakim (or Dallas Clark). He's the third/fourth target in a prolific passing offense. He's only thrown to when he's wide open, so his statistics per pass are very good. If Meachem's route doesn't "work", Brees throws into coverage to a big, strong guy. Meachem doesn't catch passes in coverage, ergo DVOA darling.

This isn't a criticism of DVOA; Meachem really is producing those numbers. Not everyone could. And there's no real way to empirically test catches for the efficacy of coverage (especially against zone defense). But it ought to give us all pause before anointing Meachem the Next Big Thing, since he and Devery Henderson are basically the same skill set (decent but mostly one dimensional fast guys).

Brees' numbers would be more amazing if he didn't have six receivers that were all better than anyone on some playoff and playoff-ish teams (Giants, Jets, Ravens). Meachem is better than anyone catching passes in Indianapolis except Reggie Wayne, and he barely gets playing time. Reggie Bush is the best pass catching running back in the NFL (too bad that isn't a really important skill for running backs...).

Payton and the Saints front office deserve a lot of credit for rebuilding that team in spite of the Reggie Bush pick. I doubt they'll go far in the playoffs (the defense really isn't that good) but they're going to be in the playoffs as long as they can keep their young team together.

33
by mm (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 3:29pm

I disagree that Meachem is only thrown to when he's 'wide open', as Brees will throw a ball into tight coverage if he thinks he can fit in in a tight space. This is true for all receivers in the Saints offense. However, as I said before, he seems to be the last guy Brees looks to when he doesn't have time to make a perfect pass.

18
by JonC :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:03pm

Chargers running backs got stuffed too frequently.

Fixed.

19
by BlueStarDude :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:15pm

"1) Antonio Gates, Chargers: 358 DYAR
2) Dallas Clark, Colts: 261 DYAR
3) Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings: 221 DYAR
4) Jason Witten, Cowboys: 216 DYAR
5) Brent Celek, Eagles: 201 DYAR"

One of these is not like the others.

22
by bubqr :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 5:06am

We never saw 1), 2), 4), 5) penises ?

21
by Levente from Hungary :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 4:54am

Most improved QB: Brett Favre, Vikings.
Franchise QB of the future!

23
by bubqr :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 5:08am

Keith Null and his -403 DYAR on 4 games, was on pace for -1612 DYAR on the season. Quite outstanding !

25
by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:31am

Byron Leftwich had a positive DYAR?

*head done asplodes*

36
by Sifter :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 4:50pm

His first 2 games were OK (v Dallas he could even have been called 'good'), but everyone just remembers his last game, shutout v Giants. That was at the point in the season where everyone thought the defense would turn around and it must be the QBs fault. Umm, wrong... but I guess the defense did play a bit better down the stretch, too bad the season was long gone by then.

26
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 1:01pm

Interesting to see Rodgers as the prime example for worse than traditional stats say. I don't disagree, he is a top flight QB but not quite as good as some of the numbers say. Your stats have him as the #9 passer and #8 QB if you combine rush and pass (his rushing DYAR would pull him ahead of Big Ben just barely Ben 1392 pass, 35 Rush, 1427 Total; Rodgers 1293 pass, 136 rush, 1429 Total). So going from #4 traditional to #8 FO stats is the biggest gap? Brees goes from #1 to #4 so that is almost as big. Ben would go from #5 to #9 same gap as Rodgers. Is there really not a bigger gap between QB Rating and total DVOA than 4 places? Again I think Rodgers as 8 or 9, is closer to where he really is than 4 or 5, just wondering if there wasn't a bigger gap.

Or is it more because of the fantasy points putting him at #1? I thought it was pretty well established, especially here, that fantasy points had very very little relation to how good a player actually was on the field. Even with the gap between VOA and DVOA, Rodgers still performed at a top 10 level. Ah well. Just a little thing.

30
by Eddo :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 2:29pm

It is definitely established here that fantasy points don't reflect reality very well. However, this article was originally published on ESPN's site, and the general public will still overrate players based on fantasy stats.

It's not just the fantasy stats, though. The Sporting News, I believe, anointed Rodgers the "player of the next decade" or something like that.

34
by Arkaein :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 3:43pm

That was based mainly on the fact that he's young enough to play well throughout the next decade (compared to Manning, Brady, Brees, etc. who are too old to lpay well up to 2020), and that he's had two very good years so far and is so more established than other you QBs (Ryan, Flacco, etc.)

I don't think it had anything to do with misreading actual player value.

35
by Eddo :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 4:17pm

Yes-ish, but why not Philip Rivers, then? He's only two years older than Rodgers, and at this point in time is definitely a better QB.

And besides, I wasn't necessarily saying they were wrong, just that there is indeed a non-fantasy-related media outlet that was placing Rodgers in an elite class of some sort.

40
by commissionerleaf :: Mon, 01/11/2010 - 4:09pm

Rivers isn't "definitely" a better QB than Rodgers. They're roughly equivalent commodities, at best. And Rodgers is younger.

27
by TheScruple (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 1:25pm

"3) Darren McFadden, Raiders: -67 DYAR (-80 rushing, -27 receiving)"

I'm not sure how this adds up. Either he had -107 total DYAR, or his rushing and receiving DYARs are off.

29
by commissionerleaf :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 2:07pm

He's just on the Raiders. Negative DYAR on the Raiders sort of runs into itself and gets tangled up. They're so bad that some of the awful ends up cancelling itself out.

31
by deflated (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 3:12pm

Eddie Royal 2008 DYAR: 115
Eddie Royal 2009 DYAR: -139

Can anyone think of another WR that cratered that badly due to a change in scheme/QB in recent memory? Injury is one thing but its like Royal forgot how to play when Orton stepped on the field. Weird.

32
by dryheat :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 3:19pm

Without checking numbers, Michael Clayton and Keary Colbert seem to be likely candidates.

37
by Dan :: Sat, 01/09/2010 - 4:32pm

What a year for passing. It looks like 6 of the top 12 passing DYAR seasons in the DVOA era happened this year. Matt Schaub didn't even make this year's top 5, but in 11 of the past 16 years his numbers would've led the league. Perhaps it's time to start adjusting for era?

2007 T.Brady NE 2,788
2004 P.Manning IND 2,497
2006 P.Manning IND 2,308
2009 T.Brady NE 2,170
2009 P.Manning IND 1,932
2004 D.Culpepper MIN 1,930
2008 D.Brees NO 1,921
2009 P.Rivers SD 1,919
2009 D.Brees NO 1,846
2007 P.Manning IND 1,845
2009 B.Favre MIN 1,803
2009 M.Schaub HOU 1,789