Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Scramble for the Ball: Loser League/Playoff Draft 2007!

by Bill Barnwell

In this, the final Scramble for the Ball of the 2007 regular season, we partake in two traditional events. One is a look forward, our annual playoff draft; the other, which I'll get to first, is our look back at the beauty of absolute putridity: The results of the second half of the Loser League, and the crowning of both a second-half and overall winner.

First, though, we need to honor the players who have made it happen, the stars of suck. You may have corralled them, true, but they still needed to deliver on their lack of promise and underwhelming performance. We start off with a pair of rookie quarterbacks and a veteran who sometimes looks like one.

Quarterback: The valley at quarterback was a man who might, a year ago, have looked for all the world like a promising player. Instead, with his star running back on the shelf and his offensive line in shambles, Brodie Croyle was left to lead all quarterbacks to the bottom with a series of simply poor performances. Two 6s, a 4, and a 1 led Croyle to 69 points over the eight-week period.

The man who finished second was simply overmatched during his short stint as the Dolphins quarterback of the future. In this year's book, we mentioned that John Beck would need to perform as a starter immediately, or he'd suffer the fate of Chris Weinke, a player who'd be past his prime by the time he was prepared for an NFL offense. Beck managed to finish second despite picking up five penalties in an eight-week span. In the three weeks he played, in a season where offenses had their best performances of the DVOA era, he finished with 5, 4, and -2 points. His NFL career may already be over.

Their runner-up only narrowly beat Beck, and it was because of a superb game against the best team in football. Eli Manning has been discussed, to be honest, a little too much in the past few weeks. His Loser League performances are a nice little summation of the player he is: 11, 16, 9, 7, 12, 11, -3, 27. Usually competent, sometimes brilliant, more often dreadful.

Running back: One of the more astounding things in football is how bad Julius Jones manages to be behind the same offensive line that Marion Barber runs behind to top-5 DVOA ratings. Arguments about the abilities of Notre Dame players in the pros aside, Jones' resume pretty much consists of one very prominent good game from his rookie season, and even that can be narrowed down to one highlight run. His best week was the one time he enjoyed a penalty; beyond that, his numbers were absurdly low: -4, 1, 8, -4, 3, 2, and 1. He was the lowest skill-position player of the year, and he's approaching free agency. If the Dolphins' proposed fetish for all things Dallas actually rears its head, well, you'll have my pity, Dolphins fans.

Finishing second was DeShaun Foster, who, for all the chatter about his abilities in a zone-blocking scheme that fit his sklllset, continued to blow goats in 2007. Any resemblance to a legitimate NFL player is purely coincidental.

In a midseason fantasy football article, I mentioned that LenDale White might be a good pickup because of his fortuitous schedule. Well, he did well against the Raiders and ... that was mostly it. With four games under 4 points, White was third. Jesse Chatman and Warrick Dunn were fourth and fifth, respectively, and then there was a large gap between those five and the rest of the field.

Wide receiver: Being a star Loser League wideout is tricky, because you have to get enough catches to avoid the penalty, but do so little with them as to not gain too many points. That's an accurate summation of Muhsin Muhammad's year; while the Bears veteran had relative wastes of Olin Kreutz's back and hips throwing to him, he didn't do much with his opportunities, either. He didn't have a single double-digit game outside of his lone penalty, which put him at 44 points.

A narrow second was a receiver who was Muhammad's polar opposite, a player who looked for all the world to be a potential star in wait. Instead, Mark Clayton struggled with injury at the beginning of the season and, perhaps because his quarterback wasn't able to throw the ball on his knees, never picked up. For a deep threat with game-breaking speed, Clayton himself seemed to be the broken one this year. He had a 0, 1, two 2s, and a 3 in the final eight weeks of the campaign.

Third was a guy who managed to stay healthy all year for the first time in his career, but did little with that newfound strength. Ronald Curry's rep changed from "I'm an underrated dude who makes robot love noises when I move" to "I'm a dude who you can leave comfortably on your fantasy league waiver wire. And if you could hook me up with some oil, that would be good."

Kicker: I always feel bad for the kickers in Loser League. Usually, their low numbers aren't really their fault, but the vestiges of their atrocious teams groping blindly for offensive production. In that vein, Joe Nedney was the worst kicker of the second half and the Loser League MVP, with a league-low 29 points. Is that really his fault? Not particularly. Is he really more of a loser than Julius Jones? John Beck? Not when you can't get penalties. Second and third were Jay Feely and David Akers, respectively, the latter of whom has returned from the otherworldly run he had early in the decade into just another NFL kicker (JANK, of course, would be the appropriate acronym, but that evokes Sebastian Janikowski, who's actually not just another NFL kicker. Oh, what a conundrum.)

Of course, now we can embark on a much happier track and reward you, the readers, who were able to identify the biggest losers before other readers.

First, the second-half winner. I don't mean to disparage this man's hometown (or merely the place he listed as his residence), but everyone I've ever known who has spent part of their lives in Ithaca, New York, has left shaken by the experience. Perhaps not coincidentally, Daniel Keys' team name is "Shaken Not Stirred" -- which is further ironic since, of course, Ithaca is not stirring. OK, that's enough. Congratulations on your victory, Daniel. You win a free copy of Pro Football Prospectus 2008.

Plus, we have a surprise gift for the overall champion, the best combined score between both contests. I can't make any good jokes about his hometown, so I will just offer my confused applause to Joshua Starling of Barberton, Ohio, and his "Mutinous Puppets," who took the prize with a score of 646 points over the entire season. Only two other teams competing ended with fewer than 700 points, so his performance is really a testament to his ability to peg the dreadful with such astounding alacrity. Joshua wins a $100 gift card for NFL merchandise courtesy of the folks at State Farm Insurance.

(Ed. note: The reason you didn't know about this prize is that we didn't have it until a couple weeks ago. And now, if you were wondering why we ran an XP last week that seemed like an advertisement, you know the answer.)


Check out the Football Outsiders comics archive and Jason's wacky Gil Thorp blog.

Playoff Draft

Of course, our other Week 18 feature -- going back, I believe, to the pre-FO days -- is a draft of those players whose teams qualified for the playoffs. As part of the challenge, we leave the opportunity for the readers to pick a "Best of the Rest" team in the comments, using players we've neglected to draft for our own teams. If your team beats one of our teams, you get the right to generally condescend anyone you come across, as if you were smarter than them. Particularly if it's one of us in the draft.

Joining me in this exercise were Aaron Schatz, FO assistant editor Tim Gerheim (on loan to Germany without a view to a permanent transfer), Doug Farrar, Sean McCormack, and resident FO cartoonist Jason "Big House" Beattie. The round-by-round details of our draft are below.

Round 1

Sean: Tom Brady, QB, NE
Tim: Peyton Manning, QB, IND
Doug: Matt Hasselbeck, QB, SEA
Jason: Randy Moss, WR, NE
Aaron: Laurence Maroney, RB, NE
Bill: Joseph Addai, RB, IND

Round 2

Bill: Tony Romo, QB, DAL
Aaron: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, SD
Jason: Ryan Grant, RB, GB
Doug: Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
Tim: Fred Taylor, RB, JAC
Sean: Marion Barber, RB, DAL

Round 3

Sean: Wes Welker, WR, NE
Tim: Clinton Portis, RB, WAS
Doug: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
Jason: Earnest "Goes to the Playoffs" Graham, TB
Aaron: Terrell Owens, WR, DAL
Bill: Shaun Alexander, RB, SEA

Round 4

Bill: Joey Galloway, WR, TB
Aaron: Brett Favre, QB, GB
Jason: Greg Jennings, WR, GB
Doug: Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG
Tim: Antonio Gates, TE, SD
Sean: Jason Witten, TE, DAL

Round 5

Sean: Plaxico Burress, WR, NYG
Tim: Donald Driver, WR, GB
Doug: Bobby Engram, WR, SEA
Jason: Dallas Clark, TE, IND
Aaron: Ben Watson, TE, NE
Bill: Patrick Crayton, WR, DAL

Round 6

Bill: Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
Aaron: New England D
Jason: Jabar Gaffney, WR, NE
Doug: Jerramy Stevens, TE, TB
Tim: Green Bay D
Sean: Anthony Gonzalez, WR, IND

Round 7

Sean: Najeh Davenport, RB, PIT
Tim: Chris Chambers, WR, SD
Doug: Seattle D
Jason: David Garrard, QB, JAC
Aaron: Deion Branch, WR, SEA
Bill: Marvin Harrison, WR, IND

Round 8 (two each)

Bill: Donald Lee, TE, GB
Bill: Tampa Bay D
Aaron: Hines Ward, WR, PIT
Aaron: Nick Folk, K, DAL
Jason: Mason Crosby, K, GB
Jason: San Diego D
Doug: Reggie Williams, WR, JAC
Doug: Josh Brown, K, SEA
Tim: Adam Vinatieri, K, IND
Tim: Santana Moss, WR, WAS
Sean: Nate Kaeding, K, SD
Sean: Indianapolis D

Our final teams, with comments presented by the owner where available:

Sean

QB: Tom Brady, NE
RB: Marion Barber, DAL
RB: Najah Davenport, PIT
WR: Wes Welker, NE
WR: Plaxico Burress, NYG
WR: Anthony Gonzalez, IND
TE: Jason Witten, DAL
K: Nate Kaeding, SD
D: Indianapolis

Comments: Tom Brady was a no-brainer with the first pick, as he's liable to throw for 900 yards and 12 touchdowns if the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl. My philosophy when picking first is to accept that the running backs are going to be gone and to stock up at receiver and tight end to make up the difference. I'm very happy with my trio of Welker, Gonzalez and Burress, and I expect Jason Witten to be Tony Romo's primary target in every game as defenses overload against Owens. I was hoping to double up on Giants with Burress and Brandon Jacobs, but Jacobs came off the board a few picks before I was up.

Tim

QB: Peyton Manning , IND
RB: Fred Taylor, JAC
RB: Clinton Portis, WAS
WR: Donald Driver, GB
WR: Chris Chambers, SD
WR: Santana Moss, WAS
TE: Antonio Gates, SD
K: Adam Vinatieri, IND
D: Green Bay

Doug

QB: Matt Hasselbeck, SEA
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC
RB: Brandon Jacobs, NYG
WR: Reggie Wayne, IND
WR: Bobby Engram, SEA
WR: Reggie Williams, JAC
TE: Jerramy Stevens, TB
K: Josh Brown, SEA
D: Seattle

Comments: I had a coin flip with Favre and Hasselbeck, but since Hasselbeck doesn't have a running game, he won out. And if I'm taking Seattle's quarterback, I'm taking Bobby Engram, who's been his one reliable target all year. A 34-year-old receiver who suffered from Graves' Disease last year and finished this season seventh in DPAR? Yeah, I'll take that. Pocket Hercules is a bowling ball in the red zone, and it's always nice to have a nasty downhill runner like Jacobs in the postseason. Jerramy Stevens was the "best" tight end I had left when I picked that position (as a Seahawks fan, I feel slightly dirty), and I had to add Reggie Williams for the matching set of supposedly refurbished former first-round busts from Washington. Reggie Wayne was the no-brainer of the bunch. Seattle's defense should be good for sacks and picks as long as they go in the tournament, and Josh Brown has regained his touch now that the Seahawks have signed a long snapper who can, you know, actually snap the ball.

Jason

QB: David Garrard, JAC
RB: Ryan Grant, GB
RB: Ernest Graham, TB
WR: Randy Moss, NE
WR: Greg Jennings, GB
WR: Jabar Gaffney, NE
TE: Dallas Clark, IND
K: Mason Crosby, GB
D: San Diego

Comments: Moss at four was a no-brainer to me -- outside of Brady, the clearest No. 1 at his position. After that, I decided to grab the best running backs available on the board whose last name started with the letter G (sorry Samkon Gado!). Then I filled out the rest with a combination of players who were hot going into the playoffs and/or could complement my earlier Green Bay/New England picks (Jennings, Gaffney, Crosby, San Diego D). I'm hoping that Dallas Clark will put up some stats in a couple games with the wide receiver corps of Indy still dinged up, especially since I picked him over Ben Watson, who's been MIA for weeks now. And after losing at chicken with Aaron over the next-to-last quarterback available (Favre), I selected Garrard as the strongest first-week QB left on the board. In retrospect, I might have liked to grab Favre and roll the dice on a Green Bay Super Bowl, but that would have also meant ending up with a much crappier second runner (see Alexander, Shaun.)

Aaron

QB: Brett Favre, GB
RB: Laurence Maroney, NE
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson SD
WR: Terrell Owens, DAL
WR: Deion Branch, SEA
WR: Hines Ward, PIT
TE: Ben Watson, NE
K: Nick Folk, DAL
D: New England

Comments: Mine are pretty easy. Maroney has definitely gotten more usage in the last few weeks, and as a Pats fan I didn't feel like rooting for Joseph Addai. L.T. should be worth tons of points as long as San Diego plays at least two games. Having Favre and T.O. means I probably have a high scoring player on the NFC champion, as long as T.O. comes back from the injury after three weeks of rest. After that, it was "get players likely to play three games at TE/K/D."

Bill

QB: Tony Romo, DAL
RB: Joseph Addai, IND
RB: Shaun Alexander, SEA
WR: Joey Galloway, TB
WR: Patrick Crayton, DAL
WR: Marvin Harrison, IND
TE: Donald Lee, GB
K: Stephen Gostkowski, NE
D: Tampa Bay

Comments: My team is predicated upon two things: Trying to avoid players who are going to play one game, and trying to avoid teams that are going to play the Patriots. That led to a focus on NFC guys, although I couldn't resist taking a shot at Harrison with my final wideout pick. He was healthy enough to play last week, so that should bode well for his chances in the playoffs, assuming he gets to two games. Romo and Addai as my Round 1 and Round 2 sandwich picks give me guys with very good shots of playing at least two games in positive situations (figuring that Indy potentially playing Jacksonville in round two and Dallas getting either the Giants or Buccaneers are the likeliest scenarios). Gostkowski was the first kicker off the board, but in this scoring system, kickers can be a huge part of the right scheme, and I got the one likeliest to score the most points.

Comments

1
by fish shure (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:19pm

I don't know Daniel Keys, but I do live in Ithaca, and right now it is a balmy 1 degree outside. The sun is out, though! It feels more like 10.

2
by mrh (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:46pm

in this scoring system, kickers can be a huge part of the right scheme, and I got the one likeliest to score the most points.

And the scoring scheme is...?

3
by JasonK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:57pm

Best strategy for a BotR team is to pick a team that everyone else is avoiding and be a total homer for that squad, filling in the gaps with the best remaining guys in the other conference. This gives you a strong chance of winning in the unlikely event that that team makes a run. As a Giants fan, this makes me feel a little dirty, but I'm going to be a Redskins homer:

QB: Todd Collins, WAS
RB: LenDale White, TEN
RB: Kevin Faulk, NE
WR: Santana Moss, WAS
WR: Antwan Randle El, WAS
WR: Dennis Northcutt, JAC
TE: Chris Cooley, WAS
K: Shaun Suisam, WAS
D: Washington

4
by JasonK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:02pm

Oops. Santana was taken. Change that WR to Justin Gage, TEN.

5
by Ari (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:04pm

#3,

I agree with you, except that Santana Moss was already taken. Reche Caldwell, perhaps?

6
by DK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:06pm

My best of the rest:

QB: Todd Collins, WAS
RB: LenDale White, TEN
RB: Ladell Betts, WAS
WR: Roydell Willams, TEN
WR: Justin Gage, TEN
WR: Antwaan Randle El, WAS
TE: Chris Cooley, WAS
K: Shaun Suisham, WAS
D: Washington

Pretty ugly, but by putting all my eggs in two baskets, this could turn out OK if both teams play 2 games.

7
by DK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:07pm

OK, looks like I'm not as clever as I thought.

8
by admin :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:14pm

Sorry, our generic fantasy scoring system is listed here:

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/glossary.php#fantasy

9
by mrh (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:18pm

Re 8 - thanks

10
by Ian (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:21pm

First off, scoring system is 4 pts passing TD, 6 pts other TD. 1 pt per 20 yds passing, 1 pt per 10 yds rsh or rec. 2 pts per 2-pt conversion. -2 for INT or fumble. 1 pt per XP, 3 per FG, 4 for a 40+, 6 for a 50+.

My BotR:

QB: Philip Rivers, SD
RB: Maurice Morris, SEA
RB: Heath Evans, NE
WR: Donte Stallworth, NE
WR: DJ Hackett, SEA
WR: Nate Burleson, SEA
TE: Chris Cooley, WAS
K: Josh Scobee, JAX
DT: Tampa Bay

11
by doktarr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:26pm

The three wide receivers you mention are Mushin Muhammad, Mark Clayton, and Ron Curry. What do those three have in common? Oh, yeah... they were three of the four WRs I drafted in my fantasy league. The fourth was Donté Stallworth. Thanks, KUBIAK.

Before anyone jumps down my throat - it is a league where you keep 5 players so the studs are already gone, and yes, I know this was an unusually bad year for KUBIAK. I traded LJ (a keeper) and Stallworth for MJD and Colston, and eventually ended up with the Seattle wideouts filling out my roster, so things went fine.

12
by oljb (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:26pm

BotR:

QB: Big Ben
RB: LenDale White
RB: Kenton Keith
WR: Santonio Holmes
WR: Nate Washington
WR: Roydell Williams
TE: Chris Cooley
K: Jeff Reed
D: Steelers

Worked in '05.

13
by Flounder (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:32pm

Hmmm how about:
QB Phillip Rivers
RB Kevin Faulk
RB Maurice Morris
WR Koren Robinson
WR Ruvel Martin
WR James Jones
TE Bubba Franks
K Shaun Suisham

Go GB. Go Five wide receiver sets!

14
by Flounder (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:42pm

Re: 11 Hell, I had never played FF before this year, and KUBIAK combined with my own thoughts and a couple good trades and waiver pick-ups made me the champion of both leagues I participated in. One of the best $20 I've spent!

15
by Carlos (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:48pm

My BotR:

QB: Collins, WAS
RB: Faulk, NE
RB: Keith, IND
WR: Stallworth, NE
WR: Randel-El, WAS
WR: uhhhh, Ike "1 TD all year" Hilliard, TB?
TE: Cooley, WAS

I'm stunned that Cooley wasn't drafted, especially given that Jerramy Stevens was. Cooley had 800 yds and 8 TDs vs. 189 yards and 4 for Stevens. Even if Cooley is 1 and done, he seems like a better choice.
K: Suisham, WAS
D: WAS

There's no way to win with a BotR against Brady and Manning, unless you get a WC team that goes all the way to the SB, and that's got to be in the NFC. So I went w/ WAS, as my homer choice.

And, man, was it tough to find a 3rd WR who might play two games. Patrick Clayton was my runner up for 3rd WR, behind the dangerous (to me) Ike Hilliard.

16
by mrh (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:07pm

OK, the Giants are the biggest underdogs by DVOA. So in theory there should be few Giants picked by others on this site. Winning this is a longshot anyway, so I’ll do the opposite of what I expect most to do, plus grab a couple of spare parts from the Greatest DVOA Team Ever and a couple of overlooked parts of the Seahawk offense.

QB: Eli Manning, NYG (unstoppable)
RB: Maurice Morris, SEA (I keep wanting to type Mercury – showing my age)
RB: Kevin Faulk, NE (might as well have a Pat here somewhere)
WR: Donte Stallworth, NE (or two)
WR: DJ Hackett, SEA
WR: Amani Toomer, NYG (Spell check suggests Armani )
TE: Kevin Boss, NYG (Hugo and Armani for the best-dressed team)
K: Tynes, NYG (in for a penny…)
D: Giants (…in for a pound)

17
by jimmo (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:26pm

Best of the Rest:

q- Rivers
r- Faulk
r- Julius Jones
w- Matt Jones
w- Hackett
w- Stallworth
t- Boss
k- Scobee
d- Dallas

My money is on Sean to win it among the FO-ers...

18
by Tom (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:32pm

QB: Todd Collins WAS
RB: LeDale White TEN
RB: Betts WAS
WR: Antwaan Randle El WAS
WR: Donte Stallworth NE
WR: Roydell Williams TEN
TE: Chris Cooley, WAS
K:Shaun Suisam WAS
D: Washington

wow, mine is the same as 6 other than i have Donte Stallworth over Justin Gage. If WAS and TEN go all the way you guys will be losing to the comments board bigtime.

19
by Doug Farrar :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:32pm

#15 - If Jason Campbell had been named Washington's starter for this game, I would have taken Cooley without question. Collins likes to spread the ball around more, and Stevens has been scoring touchdowns of late. I also figured it's about time that someone in the greater Seattle area got something good out of Jerramy Stevens.

20
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:39pm

QB: Philip Rivers, SD
RB: Julius Jones, DAL
RB: Kenton Keith, IND
WR: Dante Stallworth, NE
WR: Vincent Jackson, SD
WR: James Jones, GB
TE: Marcedes Lewis, JAC
K: Josh Scobee, JAC
D: Dallas

21
by justanothersteve (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:48pm

BOTR:
QB: Todd Collins
RB: Kevin Faulk
RB: Maurice Morris
WR: Terry Glenn
WR: Koren Robinson
WR: Vincent Jackson
TE: Chris Cooley
K: Shaun Suisham
D: Jax

22
by Carlos (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:56pm

#19 - interesting rationale, but in the 4 Collins games, Cooley has 202 yards, just slightly over 1/4 of his season production. He did however only have 1 TD catch as Collins seems able to find his receivers in the endzone. Yes, Stevens has 4 TDs in the last 4 games, but is that by design, or b/c TB has been coasting and resting starters? Honest question.

23
by Doug Farrar :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 3:01pm

#22 - I think it's both, as Gruden finds out what Stevens can bring to the table. Maybe the Giants sell out on Galloway? Stevens has always been a wonderful potential red zone threat at 6-7 and 265. Problem has been from the neck up in the past.

24
by Chad Dukes (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 3:10pm

Chris "Red Zone" Cooley couldn't get picked up?

25
by Don (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 3:19pm

QB: Big Ben
RB: LenDale White
RB: Maurice Morris
WR: Justin Gage
WR: James Jones
WR: Antwaan Randle El
TE: Chris Cooley
K: Rob Bironas
DEF: Dallas

26
by DGL (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 3:46pm

My BOTR:

QB: Manning, NYG
RB: Morris, SEA
RB: White, TEN
WR: Northcutt, JAX
WR: Toomer, NYG
WR: Gage, TEN
TE: Lewis, JAX
K: Bironas, TEN
D: JAX

Thoughts: Going with Elijah at QB, hoping for two games worth of "usually competent" or "sometimes brilliant". White was the only starting RB not picked, and Morris had 70% as many carries as Alexander (is it unethical to hope for Alexander to go down in the first quarter with some kind of minor injury, just enough to keep him from playing the rest of the year?).

Beyond that, it's basically the anti-homer strategy -- since I'm a Steelers fan, I'll pick a bunch of Jaguars so if they beat the Steelers I'll at least have the compensation of a better chance for my BOTR team... That, and pulling for TEN to upset the Norvster.

27
by Jonas (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 3:55pm

QB Rodgers, GB (you never know...)
RB Faulk, NE
RB Betts, WAS
WR Northcutt, JAC
WR Randle El, WAS
WR Stallworth, NE
TE Cooley, WAS
K Scobee, JAC
D JAC

28
by Sunil (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 4:04pm

LenDale White on the loser league is a bit of a surprize. He had a 1000 yd season as Jeff Fisher's battering ram and better stats than RBs (> 150 carries) such as Thomas Jones, Cedric Benson, Julius Jones, Warrick Dunn. His DPAR ranking is middle of the pack.

What gives?

29
by Basilicus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 4:06pm

I think all these guys are still healthy:

-QB Philip Rivers, SD (playcalling's improved and he's more likely to play two games than Big Ben)
-RB Maurice Morris, Sea (easiest choice here)
-RB Kenton Keith, Ind
-WR Dennis Northcutt, Jax
-WR Nate Burleson, Sea (50-694-9 this season)
-WR Donte Stallworth, NE (not happy with this one)
-TE Mike Vrabe...oh, wait. Um, Donald Lee.
-K Josh Scobee
-Defense Dallas

My rationale is to choose players from home teams, which are more likely to play at least two games. I'm willing to make the Scobee Exception, also the title of a Robert Ludlum novel, in Jacksonville's case.

30
by Flounder (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 4:36pm

So any chance that the loser league page gets updated soon?

31
by DerekZ (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 4:42pm

QB - E. Manning - NYG
RB - A. Bradshaw - NYG
RB - H. Evans - New England
WR - A. Toomer - NYG
WR - S. Holmes - Pittsburgh
WR - D. Stallworth - New England
TE - K. Brady - New England
K - Bironas
D - Pittsburgh

32
by Sean D (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 4:53pm

QB: Phillip Rivers, SD
RB: Julius Jones, Dal
RB: Kevin Faulk, NE
WR: Vincent Jackson, SD
WR: Santonio Holmes, Pit
WR: Donte Stallworth, NE
TE: Chris Cooley, WAS
K: Josh Scobee, Jax
D: Jacksonville

33
by Daniel Keys (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 4:56pm

Wow, what an honor it is to have my ass crowned. Of course, it was my LL team who hit the field every single week looking shaken, not stirred.

The real key to their success (besides the 3 stud RBs, Jones, Foster & Dunn), was chemistry. These guys played like a team. Whenever one guy put up big numbers - like Arnaz Battle's 26 points in week 12, when his only catch was a 57 yard touchdown - there were two other guys ready to play to their potential (like Darrell Jackson and Marty Booker, combining that week for 9 points with 90-odd yards on 9 catches). Loser League success is not just about picking a bunch of bad players, it's about building a team that will play badly together. Take Feely and Janikowski: they totaled 74 points between them, but together on the same team they only picked up 14 for the entire half-season, less than half the score of the best individual kicker. The other 60 points wasted away on the bench.

Here's one way to look at it: excluding QBs (Griese & Alex Smith, who drew the penalty almost every week), there were 14 times when an individual on my team reached double figures. None of those 14 started. Here's another way to look at it: pick any two players on the team at the same position (QB excluded), and the correlation between their weekly scores is negative (ranging from -.22 for SF boys Battle and Jackson to -.69 for Booker and Battle). That is teamwork. That is chemistry, which is what champions are made of.

And say what you will about Ithaca, its people, or its weather, but there's one thing about our fair town that you cannot deny: Ithaca is punny.

34
by Tundrapat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 5:19pm

#23 - I think Gruden's gonna find out that Stevens usually brings a 40 of Olde English to the table...

35
by Dash (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 5:31pm

My Best of the Rest (hoping for Pittsburgh to play 2):

QB: Roethlisberger, PIT
RB: LenDale White, TEN
RB: Maurice Morris, SEA
WR: Santonio Holmes, PIT
WR: D.J. Hackett, SEA
WR: Nate Washington, PIT
TE: Heath Miller, PIT
K: Jeff Reed, PIT
DEF: Giants

36
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 5:58pm

So that's 54 players selected. Is that standard? There's basically nothing left!

37
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 6:30pm

Here's Team No Chance:

QB: Philip Rivers, SD
RB: Maurice Morris, SEA
RB: Julius Jones, DAL
WR: Donte' Stallworth, NE
WR: Vincent Jackson, SD
WR: Ike Hilliard (he didn't produce down the stretch and had one TD all year, but the other option was taking the 3rd or 4th SEA WR or taking Wilford)
TE: Chris Cooley, WAS
K: Matt Bryant, TB (I'm picking against the Giants anyway)
DEF: Dallas

There you go. I'm not going to ride a team I don't think wins a game, so I'll just pick up whatever is left from the teams I do think play more than one game.

congrats to the Loser League winners, by the way. I missed the deadline for the first half, and then in the second half, Benson torpedoed my chances.

RE: 29

Lee was taken.

RE: 10

Tampa was taken.

38
by JasonK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 6:30pm

#6, 12, 18:

Bad news: Roydell Williams is out for the playoffs. (link on my name)

39
by Crabbie (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 6:51pm

QB - Jeff Garcia
RB - Michael Turner
RB - Michael Pittman
WR - Donte Stallworth
WR - Vincent Jackson
WR - Nate Burleson
TE - Alex Smith
K - Matt Bryant
DEF - Dallas

That the Dallas defense went un-picked is amazing to me. I'm also surprised that I'm the first BotR team to take Garcia, who rips the hearts out of Giants fans better than any QB except perhaps Eli.

Basilicus and Ian might want to note that the Tampay Bay D and Donald Lee aren't available.

40
by DGL (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 6:56pm

Does anyone else think that a Playoff Loser League would be fascinating in a twisted way?

41
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 7:10pm

There's actually a very tough call at QB. I think Rivers has the best chance of the remaining guys to play 3 or 4 games. However, he faces the best pass defense in the NFL, and if he gets past that, he's rewarded by facing #3. Wow.

By the way, why did Jason take Garrard in round 7? Couldn't he have waited until his last pick?

42
by Buff (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 11:22pm

QB - Ben Roethlisberger, Pit
RB - Maurice Morris, Sea
RB - LenDale White, Ten
WR - Santonio Holmes, Pit
WR - D.J. Hackett, Sea
WR - Antwan Randle El, Was
TE - Heath Miller, Pit
K - Jeff Reed, Pit
D - Pittsburgh

43
by Matt (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 1:09am

QB - Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
RB - Leonard Weaver, SEA
RB - Heath Evans, NE
WR - Nate Burleson, SEA
WR - Koren Robinson, GB
WR - Ernest Wilford, JAX
TE - Chris Cooley, WAS
K - Josh Scobee, JAX
D - Tennessee

Hitching my wagon to the fullbacks

44
by Basilicus (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 2:18am

#37, 39

Thanks. I'll take Marcedes Lewis, Jax, instead of Lee at TE then. Although Mike Vrabel is a touchdown machine.

45
by Jason (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 2:51am

#41: Actually I did take Garrard at the end (after I took Crosby), it was just documented wrong. (Marmaduke was our secretary...)

46
by the K (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 3:52am

QB: Big Ben (Pit)
RB: Maurice Morris (Sea)
RB: Julius Jones (Dal)
WR: Donte Stallworth (NE)
WR: DJ Hackett (Sea)
TE: Heath Miller (Pit)
K: Josh Scobee (Jac)
DT: Dallas

Looks okay to me!

47
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 4:18am

RE: 46

Doesn't look ok to me! You're short a receiver. ;)

48
by Steve (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 2:44pm

BoTR

QB - Jeff Garcia (TB)
RB - Maurice Morris (SEA)
RB - Kevin Faulk (NE)
WR - Reggie Williams (JAX)
WR - Donte Stallworth (NE)
WR - DJ Hackett (SEA)
TE - Marcedes Lewis (JAX)
K - Josh Scobee (JAX)
D - Dallas

49
by Snowglare (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 3:05pm

Re: 30

I'd like to see it updated as well. I want to save each half's results so I can always remember who I had on my team. I'm also curious to see how high I finished in the second half. I was sixth before week 17, and by my calculations, Shaken Not Stirred (congrats!) was the only team I didn't pass. So I think I got 2nd, but I'm not sure.

Also, I'd love to see a follow-up to this Scramble, highlighting the top LL players for the entire season. Leinart was the #2 QB in Part I, with Croyle and Beck heading the Part II QB class, but obviously none of them would be LL All-Stars for the season.

And woo! My Puppets didn't have the most clever name, but we'll gladly take the title of Losingest Losers of 2007. Dunn and Foster were unquestioned Least Valuable Players. After their improbably bad first halves, I was sure to carry them over to my second half team.

I don't know what I was thinking when I made Orange Julius my #3 back in real fantasy, nor what Dallas was thinking when they made sure he got 8 carries more often than not, but he was an easy replacement for Brokedown Cadillac in LL.

Receivers nearly torpedoed me. I had Wilford and Curry in the first half, but between Wilford's one-catch games and Curry flashing talent here and there, I decided to drop them and the surprising Kevin Walter for the second half. Then I managed to pick the one Carolina WR who wasn't good for LL, Keary Colbert, who managed to avoid the penalty twice before busting up his knee. Furrey and Randle El worked out better, but not as well as I'd have liked.

My favorite choice, although it hurt me, was Dave Rayner in Part II. 7, 0, 3, then cut by the Chiefs. I almost think you should get bonus points for choosing someone so bad that they manage to get cut.

50
by El Angelo (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 3:37pm

Best of the Rest, from the guy that won it in 2004 (talk about hanging on to past victories)....

QB: Todd Collins
RB: Kevin Faulk
RB: LenDale White
WR: Santonio Holmes
WR: Donte Stallworth
WR: Antwaan Randel-El
TE: Chris Cooley
K: Shaun Suisman
Def: Dallas

51
by Mitch (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 4:08pm

BoTR

QB - Philip Rivers (SD)
RB - Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG)
RB - Kevin Faulk (NE)
WR - Terry Glenn (Dallas)
WR - Chris Chambers (SD)
WR - James Jones (GB)
TE - Alex Smith(TB)
K - Josh Scobee (JAX)
D - Dallas

52
by Week 17 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 4:25pm

Loser League week 17 results linked below.

53
by Final Standings (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 4:27pm

Losing League final standings for the 2nd half of the season linked below.

54
by MJB (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 6:19pm

My Best of the Rest-
QB: Todd Collins, Was.
RB: Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG.
RB: Kevin Faulk, N.E.
WR: Antwan Randle El, Was.
WR: D.J. Hackett, Sea.
WR: James Jones, G.B.
TE: Chris Cooley, Was.
K: Josh Scobee, Jax.
D: Jaguars, Jax.

55
by Snowglare (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 10:19pm

Re: Week 17 Results

I don't suppose it makes any difference, but Randle El had 3 catches last week. He should've scored a 2, not a 17.

56
by Wes (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2008 - 12:54am

BOTR:

QB - Rivers - SD
RB - J.Jones - DAL
M.Morris - SEA
WR - Burleson - SEA
R.Martin - GB
Stallworth - NE
TE - Cooley -WAS
K - Scobee - JAX
D - Jacksonville

57
by kyle (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2008 - 4:35am

Team Drowning Sorrows:

QB- Jeff Garcia
RB- LenDale White
RB- Michael Bennet
WR- James Jones
WR- Donte Stallworth
WR- Antwaan Randle-El
TE- Chris Cooley
D- Jacksonville
K- Matt Bryant

come on, Tampa.

58
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2008 - 11:30pm

I screwed up. Should've taken DJ Hackett. I would've, but I thought Branch would play, which would've left Hackett as the 4th WR.

59
by jimmo (not verified) :: Sun, 01/06/2008 - 3:16am

you and Aaron both.

Not much lost on day one for the FO crew; one team losing two guys and even the one & done Davenport putting up some good points...

60
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 01/06/2008 - 6:31pm

I'm glad I didn't take Garcia, but looks like I just lost my kicker and WR. Got 2 XPs from Bryant and nothing from Hilliard. Lost Cooley and got almost nothing from him.
That's why we're called Team No Chance.

61
by jimmo (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2008 - 1:09am

yeah, don't ask me why...BOTR leaders after Wild Card weekend:

Buff #42: 96.45 but only 2 guys left.
MJB #54 : 88.3, six guys left.
Dash #35: 80.65, three guys left.
SeanD #32: 76.5, seven guys left.
DGL #26: 71.05, six guys left.

I'm using decimal scoring obviously; 13 yards = 1.3, 337 passing yards = 16.85 and so on.

Lowest score so far to Flounder #13 with 19.9, but he only had three guys play this weekend and has eight guys left.

mrh #16, myself (jimmo #17), Turbohappy #20, & Basilicus #29 & #44 each have all nine guys remaining for what that's worth, with mrh having top score in that group w/ 62.45.

DK's two-eggs strategy in #6 netted him 56.9 points, and no players left, the only such distinction. OJIB #12 has Kenton Keith left to add on to his 54.35 points. Tom's #18 DK near-clone team has, that's right, one guy left; Donte Stallworth will hope to add on to his 55 point week-one output.

Highest one-and-done scorer was Roethlisberger w/ 18.15, but the best value was Heath Miller @ 14.5 due to position scarcity; his score could easily hold up and outscore all of the BOTR TE's remaining, combined (Franks, Boss, Lewis, Brady).

Matt Jones has I believe the honor of being the only guy suited up this weekend that didn't score a single point for his BOTR team (mine!), though he did get yelled at by coaches to get the hell on the field for a play when he was apparently not expecting such a call. As Jacksonville's at best #4 receiver I guess I can't blame him for that. If Michael Bennett was even active today for Tampa he joins Jones in the shutout category, but at least Matt lives to sit another week.

Well, I guess I'll go do something actually productive with my time now...