Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Aug 2013

ESPN: NFL's Most Irreplaceable Players

Training camp injuries have already begun to take their toll; who are the five skill players at each position that their respective teams can't afford to lose?

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 01 Aug 2013

13 comments, Last at 13 Aug 2013, 10:05am by arshadul1


by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 08/01/2013 - 7:03pm

There was no XP for it, so I'm putting it here. Luke Ingram was just waived. Any thoughts on the long term implications for the league?

by dbostedo :: Thu, 08/01/2013 - 9:57pm

Umm... I don't get it. I assume there's some sarcasm or criticism buried in there, but I don't get it.

by bhauck :: Thu, 08/01/2013 - 7:05pm

Are you going to do this for non-glory positions?

by rageon :: Fri, 08/02/2013 - 1:01pm

No Insider here, so all that loaded was Aaron Rodgers. I have to assume that the most truly irreplaceable players in the NFL are basically Rodgers, Manning, Brees and Brady, and then maybe Calvin Johnson, maybe. I mean, really, take the top 10 teams and how many of them are winning more than 9 games with their backup QBs (obviously only the Patroits, right???)

by Nathan :: Sat, 08/03/2013 - 9:39am

I'm fairly high on Mallett but I don't see him winning 10 games with the weapons they have right now and that defense. Brady can probably make that receiving corps work, don't think Mallett can.

by Sakku Urinza (not verified) :: Sat, 08/03/2013 - 8:43pm

Really? Links to insider page. Don't do that. Mention in the link it is an insider article.

by Jerry :: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 12:18am

Welcome to FO. When the title says "ESPN:", it's an Insider article.

by Tim Wilson :: Mon, 08/05/2013 - 6:06pm

They do the top 5 for every skill position on offense. So it's not just QBs.

Rodgers, Brees, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton, Kaepernick. Brady is left off due to Mallet's presence.

AP, Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles, Darren McFadden, MJD

Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Dwayne Bowe

Gronk, Tony Gonz, Vernon Davis, J Graham, Fred Davis. it's insane that Witten is not on this list and Davis is-- yes the Cowboys have TE depth, but so much of what they do offensively relies on Witten.

by LionInAZ :: Mon, 08/05/2013 - 8:51pm

Yes, they rely a lot on Witten. but he's not young and Bryant may have finally matured.

On the other hand, I find it more incredible that they put McFadden ahead of Ray Rice or Arian Foster.

by Tim Wilson :: Mon, 08/05/2013 - 11:55pm

You serious? How does Bryant's emergence replace Witten's role in the offense? Unless Bryant is going to start functioning as an F-back and an in-line blocker on some plays. Seems unlikely.

The Texans' offense saw little dropoff when Ben Tate replaced Foster the past couple years, and Kubiak's scheme can likely succeed with other backs (although maybe not to quite the same degree). As for Ray Rice...not sure on the logic there, you'd have to read the Insider article. I'd guess it's based around the Raiders' lack of other viable weapons in their offense.

by Ryan D. :: Tue, 08/06/2013 - 10:58am

How would that NOT apply to the Ravens, now that Boldin and Pitta are gone?

by Tim Wilson :: Tue, 08/06/2013 - 11:44pm

Again, not my article, you'd have to take it up with Football Outsiders. I'm just passing along the information, and had an objection on Witten's omission. Maybe they think more of Bernard Pierce as a viable fill-in starter than you do.

by arshadul1 :: Tue, 08/13/2013 - 10:05am

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