Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Aug 2011

ESPN: Most Overrated/Underrated

Looking at places where the Football Outsiders numbers disagree with the recently released Scouts Inc. player grades at ESPN Insider, including Brandon Jacobs, Vontae Davis, and the Houston offensive line.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 26 Aug 2011

21 comments, Last at 01 Sep 2011, 2:43am by Shattenjager


by Mark Pitcavage (not verified) :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 12:40pm

When you post a link to a story that people have to pay to read, please indicate this, so that people who know they do not want to pay any money don't have to waste their time clicking on the link. Thanks.

by battlered90 (not verified) :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 12:58pm

All of the pay stories start with ESPN:... This indicates the story is underneath the ESPN insider pay for play umbrella.

by DRohan :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 1:06pm

Good luck recovering those lost 5 seconds.

by dkbergen :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 1:12pm

When you post a comment on this message board to complain about something trivial, please include as a preface "I am a huge d-bag with a tiny dipstick", so that people who do not want to read snarky comments don't waste their time reading it. Thanks.

by Tom Gower :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 5:30pm

As a general rule, please try to limit the personal invective you direct at other posters. We think we tend to have pretty good discussion sections and would like to keep it that way. Thanks.

Virtually all of our articles written for ESPN are behind the In$ider paywall. Our normal style is to add the ESPN prefix to denote this without mentioning each and every time that the article is only available to ESPN In$iders.

If you're an FO Premium member, you can get a discount for signing up. You can also regularly find an ESPN the Magazine subscription which comes with ESPN Insider at a discounted price through Amazon, your local school's magazine drive, or internet deal sites.

by Anonymous(not that one) (not verified) :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 6:38pm

Ad hominem attacks are funny, don't be such a PC clown.

by drobviousso :: Sat, 08/27/2011 - 12:00am

Insults are not necessarily ad hominem. This is one such example.

Ad hominems are isomorphic to "your point is invalid because...(insulting or potential non-insulting classification)." Insults are isomorphic to "you are a poopy head."

by dkbergen :: Sun, 08/28/2011 - 6:51pm

My apologies, Tom - I meant no harm; I just wanted to ensure that we continued to foster an environment where the comments on an article were, in fact, about the content of the article.

Random side note: I have been told quite often that my sense of humor tends to err on the side of inappropriate - this is the first time it has happened online, though!

by Not a Sucker (not verified) :: Sun, 08/28/2011 - 8:14pm

95% of the info posted on these premium sites gets copy and pasted to free sites by some schmuck dumb enough to pay for it. Which makes you a sucker if you actually pay for it.

by LeStephen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 4:30pm

It also says right in the blurb that it's ESPN Insider.

by William Barath :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 4:28pm

LOL dkbergen!

by Yaguar :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 5:24pm

FO is 100% correct about Houston's offensive line.

Yaguar's theorem: Offensive players who play on teams with an awful defense are constantly underrated.

Houston's player rankings at their positions:

QB Schaub: 13th
RB Foster: 6th
WR Johnson: 1st
WR Walter: 55th
WR Jones: 86th
T Winston: 14th
T Brown: 28th
G Smith: Unranked
G Brisiel: 61st
C Myers: 9th
TE Daniels: 6th
FB Leach: 1st

If you believed the Scouts ratings, Houston has a mediocre QB with only one passing option (Daniels was injured), and a good-but-not great RB. Most of its linemen are mediocre, but its guards are so incompetent that they trip over their own feet.

If I remember how things actually went for the Texans, I believe they produced about 6500 yards of total offense, coming in 2nd in DVOA, and generally steamrolling every single rush defense they faced.

But I don't think Scouts, Inc. looks at little things like Arian Foster's 21 touchdowns or his brutal consistency. I think they look at who made the playoffs and who didn't, and they blame offensive players for the faults of their defensive teammates.

by tuluse :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 5:29pm

I think you're selling 6th and 13th rankings quite a bit short

by Yaguar :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 5:41pm

Not as short as those rankings sell Arian Foster and Matt Schaub, who are elite players at their positions.

by nath :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 6:52pm

6th for Foster is fine. 13th for Schaub is a little ridiculous, although I'd have to look at who else was ahead of him to say for sure.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 7:00pm

Just a guess: Rivers, Manning the Elder, Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, Brady, Ryan, Romo, Vick, Manning the Younger, Freeman, Flacco.

by rageon :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 10:05pm

Agreed, 6th is pretty high for someone who has been a regular for only 1 season, and did so as a running back behind a line coached by Rick Dennison.

by Mr Shush :: Sun, 08/28/2011 - 12:56pm

To me, their rankings of Schaub and Foster are at the low end of the plausible continuum (I'd go maybe 8th and 4th) but not ridiculous. Mike Brisiel as the 61st best guard in the league, though, and Wade Smith unranked . . . now that is freakin' ridiculous. Neither is Bruce Matthews, but both are above average starters.

by Not a Sucker (not verified) :: Sun, 08/28/2011 - 8:14pm

Oh and good programming:

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by Hank (not verified) :: Tue, 08/30/2011 - 12:41pm

Would it really be that hard to put the little red/orange "IN" symbol from ESPN next to these posts?

by Shattenjager :: Thu, 09/01/2011 - 2:43am

Glad to see Marshall show up as overrated.