Scramble for the Ball: The Hanging Edge

Scramble for the Ball: The Hanging Edge
Scramble for the Ball: The Hanging Edge
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Tom Gower and Mike Kurtz

Tom: Over the summer, I wrote on a Titans blog about how the Titans got sacks and gave up sacks in 2011. One of the things I did for those series was try to provide an overview of how good the opponent was at various things. In doing that, I noticed something and then did some more digging and gathered better support for an idea that I'd found potentially interesting.

For each of the past ten seasons, there's been more range (greater standard deviation) in offensive Adjusted Sack Rates than there has been in defensive Adjusted Sack Rates. The magnitude of standard deviation has changed, as has the percent by which the offensive standard deviation exceeds the defensive standard deviation (36 percent in 2008 to 97 percent in 2004, average of 63 percent), but it's been the case every year.

I came up with two potential explanations, both straightforward but without an obvious way to distinguish between them:

1) Even beyond accounting for opponent adjustments, sacks have more to do with the offense than with the defense.
2) There's simply more variability in the ability of quarterbacks to avoid getting sacked than there is in the ability of defenses to get sacks.

Have we written about this before? Is this a surprise? Does either one of those explanations sound more plausible? Is there a good way to test which one of them is right? Are there other explanations I'm missing?

Mike: I don't think we have written about this, and honestly it is a bit of a surprise, although I can't tell you why ... I suppose I always just assumed offensive and defensive ASR were zero-sum. But that's really not how they're calculated.

Tom: I thought about this for a little bit once I had my results and started talking about the basic findings. And the more I thought about it, really the less surprised I was. Then again, that sort of thing to me screams "possible cognitive bias."

Mike: On the other hand, "sacks have more to do with the offense than the defense" is a pretty huge leap. Nobody would deny that the offense plays a major role, but considering the premium placed on the pass rush and elite pass rushers, that seems like a counter-intuitive conclusion.

Tom: Well, I think there's inherently more variability in what the offenses have ability to control versus what defenses can do.

Mike: True, but that is why we use ASR, instead of a simple sack rate.

Tom: Yes, but that's more situation and opponent, rather than measuring "runs lots of short passes and frequently makes a checkdown available" versus "is David Carr." I'd say Chan Gailey's offense has a lot to do with why Buffalo had the league's best Adjusted Sack Rate on offense last year.

Mike: True. I suppose, then, we're at a bit of a fork as to what ASR measures. Does it measure the team's ability to avoid sacks (scheme), or the offensive line's ability to pass block (which would theoretically have scheme factored out). I know that I always use it as a rough indicator of an offensive line's pass blocking quality, although generally within the context of fantasy football, where scheme is obviously in play.

Tom: I admit, there are stats of ours I use more than others. This is not one of the ones I use a lot. Instead, I tend to only use it situationally.

Mike: I wonder if there is a way to refine ASR into a "pass blocking skill" stat by comparing sack rates across similar pass lengths rather than lumping all passes together. That might adjust for teams that use quick passes to avoid sacks versus teams with good lines that can afford longer-developing plays

Tom: Maybe. I feel like that might result in skewed ratings for teams that are good at throwing the ball short and struggle throwing the ball downfield.

Mike: Will it, though? Conceptually, a team with a weaker offensive line will give up more sacks on short plays than a team with a stronger line would on the same short plays, and a team that struggles to throw the ball downfield will either simply not throw the ball downfield, or have a larger share of incompletions/interceptions. Not necessarily sacks. Of course, it's difficult to actually winnow out which plays are designed to have longer routes, especially given the way sacks are recorded in the gamebooks.

Tom: This seems like one of the questions you could theoretically make progress toward answering now that there's all-22 footage available. I'd also like to time how long it takes for every pass to come out. Doing some back of the envelope math, I bet you could do it in eight weeks if it was your actual job and you had a good setup. Just give me the budget to chart every team's pass routes on every dropback.

Mike: And a pony?

Tom: Yes. And a pony.

Fantasy Football Update

Tom: My heretofore kind of lousy fantasy team had a great week, with every player save one outperforming their Yahoo! projection. I put up the league's highest score and won in a blowout. Marques Colston had a great game. I picked up Rams defense an hour before Thursday's game (Seattle's DST thankfully wasn't available). Christian Ponder, fill-in for Second Round Auto-drafted QB Matthew Stafford on bye and the injured Jake Locker, put up almost 20 points.

Mike: In my competitive league, I had the opposite experience. Robert Griffin's injury certainly did not help, but Roddy White (6.8 points) and Jimmy Graham (0.4!) putting up borderline loser-league performances didn't help. I suppose Graham was also hurt, but still on the field for mastermindering reasons. Still, lowest score in the league last week, and a rather embarrassing defeat. After winning the league last year, I am now 0-5. Things were better in the other league, largely because, again, of Robert Griffin's injury! Fantasy football giveth, fantasy football taketh away.

Tom: Indeed it does.

Mike: Sick of putting up with Philip Rivers, I have raided the waiver wire for Andy Dalton. My team is still very strong with a core of Dalton, Victor Cruz, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles and Graham (non-injured version), but my WR2 and WR3 slots need help. Jeremy Maclin should shape up, but I'm getting impatient and I ended up starting Greg Little due to byes. Not pretty. I have clawed my way back to third place and am waiting for the main stretch of the season, which I think will reward a pretty talented roster. At least more than the early action has.

Tom: I kept wondering if Little would do something this year. Unfortunately, that "something" may be "lead the league in drops."

Mike: Dream big!

Loser League Update

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Quarterback: Yo Gabba Bla – wait, Gabbert wasn't our top loser? Le shocque! Gabbert's Gabbertesque 1 point was nothing compared to Matt Cassel's mighty -1.

Running Back: I am Chris Johnson, pro of all pros: look upon my 0 points, ye mighty, and despair!

Wide Receiver: Seeing Donald Jones on this list isn't a tremendous surprise, but being paired with Mike Thomas and Mike Wallace is both surprising and adds some alliterative appeal to the squad's 1 point each.

Kicker: Mason Crosby may not be an elite kicker, but he is an extremely valuable fantasy kicker, based on the quality of offense he works with. All the offense in the world doesn't help, however, when you miss two field goals in one game. Three extra points puts Crosby at -1 points and the top of the loser league charts.


KEEP CHOPPING WOOD: Willis McGahee had been having a surprisingly strong season for a 30-something running back who was never that great. That is, until the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Patriots, when he dropped an easy first down on fourth-and-1 and then fumbled in the red zone. As he tweeted after the game, "Man enough to admit I messed The game up... Put it on my shoulders I can handle it."

MIKE MARTZ AWARD: Marvin Lewis's decision to kick an extra point down 17-12 at the start of the fourth quarter was dubious enough in its own right. His decision to attempt a 41-yard field goal with three minutes left to play merely doubled down on his conservatism to the detriment of his team's fate.

Scramble Mailbag

Matt:As I try to fill the roster spots vacated by Cedric Benson and Ryan Matthews this week I have a few questions....

LaRod Stephens-Howling - Will he be Law-Firm Lite or Off-Brand Tire Company? ESPN seems to think he's now the man in Arizona, but what about Powell?

Green versus Starks - probably too late to add Alex Green in most leagues now, but I'm thinking Starks could wind up the starter in GB by week 7. Whose cusine will reign supreme?

Jermichael or Jermaine - I'm feeling indecisive about Jermichael Finley. I am officially done with drafting him, but is it to the point where I should be dropping him? I like Jermaine Gresham to fill in for him, but this irrational fear of Finley only being productive when he's not on my roster is keeping me from pulling the trigger a la Keanu Reeves in Point Break.

Tom: On LSH, I would guess they'll do a committee with Powell as the first among equals. If you can add one Cardinals back, it probably should be him. I like Alex Green as a player, have since he was in college. I don't think Starks will be starting soon if they're looking for the better runner. I get your aggravation with Finley, but he has the same number of catches and touchdowns as Gresham and is in my view has more upside. If you're just in this for fun and it makes you happy, you can drop Finley and go with Gresham, but I'd keep Finley.

Mike: I think it's too early to say exactly what Arizona plans to do with its running backs, because I don't think Arizona's coaching staff yet knows what it wants to do with its running backs. That's nothing new with the team, although the difference is now they seem to have some actual talent they may end up squandering. Starks will start and get the lion's share of the carries starting sometime around Week 9, so I think you're right, there. It's just going to take a while for the situation to settle down. I disagree with Tom about Finley's upside; I think they're fairly equivalent players at this point. If Finley is aggravating you that much, go with Gresham, and find someone who is willing to take a bit of a flier on Finley's upside to nab a solid RB2/WR2.

Standard scoring except 0.5 point per reception
Current situation:
RB Murray
RB R Bush
RB/WR Colston
WR Cruz
WR Bowe
Bench Ridley
Bench Martin
Bench Greene
Bench Torrey Smith
Bench Maclin
Bench Stewart
Proposal: Ridley, Martin, Colston for LeSean McCoy.
What do you think?

Mike: I really dislike this trade for the poster. Reggie Bush is by no means a guaranteed thing.

Tom: Well, no, but McCoy is an upgrade over Ridley.

Mike: And he's giving up a lot of quality depth in exchange for a player on a team whose coach, when going into panic mode, forgets he has a running back. He also plays with a quarterback that is getting to the point where defenses aren't taking him seriously. Actually, that's unfair, he forgets he has a running back in normal mode, also.

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Tom: Yes, and sometimes he remembers. The reason I oppose this trade is Ridley's drawback is that he just won't be a good start some weeks. That means if you own him you can really benefit from sitting him those games. You have good depth. You are not one of those owners who really needs an upgrade over Ridley.

Mike: Especially when you're already comfortably in first place.

Tom: As we told the guy last week with Matt Ryan and RG3, it's a common temptation to want to take advantage of your bench depth, but it's not always the best move.

Mike: Avoid the urge for mastermindering!

Kimble: Thanks to injuries, byes, a 16-team league, huge benches, and the 14th spot in waiver claims, I am forced to start any four of these players in my PPR league:

RB: Chris Johnson*, Bilal Powell
WR: Davone Bess*, Rueben Randle
TE: Jared Cook*, Anthony Fasano*, Ben Watson

I'm leaning toward the asterisked players, but should I worry about starting multiple Titans and/or Dolphins? (Those are the four highest-scoring players for the season so far. AccuScore would start CJ2H and all the TEs.) How hurt would the Giants' other WRs have to be before I started Randle -- and if so, who should sit?

Tom: Beautiful. Mike, you may have a different opinion on things, but I have no object in principle to starting multiple players from the same team. If Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden are both out again, then I think that is enough to make Randle a good play. He was only in on half the snaps last week, but put up 14 PPR points. Yes, it’s Cleveland, but still. Chris Johnson’s value hasn’t gotten the PPR boost I was expecting as of late, but with Javon Ringer out with a knee injury, he should have more value than he did last week. Depending on the Giants wideout injury situation, I would go ahead and start the four players you marked, but if the Giants are still beset by injuries, I would go with Randle over Fasano.

Mike: I have absolutely no problem starting multiple players from the same team, so long as that team is not Tennessee or Miami. I think the Giants are getting healthier starting this week (there is some scuttlebutt that Nicks will be playing on Sunday, even if it is a limited role), so Randle doesn't have much value to my mind. Honestly, I think you're playing a bit of a crapshoot with these players, but you don't have better options. Go with the guys you highlighted.

Lock of the Week

Tom: Your weekly reminder: all lines are courtesy of Bovada and were accurate as of time of writing. All picks are made without referring to FO’s Premium picks for the week. Sorry, Mike.

Mike: How.

Tom: You picked the Packers.

Mike: How did that happen.

Tom: They looked great for a half. Then they didn't.

Mike: I'm starting to get the feeling that the Packers are just Not Very Good. Well, that's unfair. Not Nearly So Good As We Thought isn't very snappy, however.

Tom: I watched the game for most of the first half, then switched away because it wasn't that interesting. Meanwhile, the Rams were kind enough to beat the Seahawks, so we are now both 2-2.

Mike: Part of the problem at this point is that I don't really trust any team. And neither does the book! There are no games with a line greater than +/-6.

Tom: Ahem, Atlanta -9 versus Oakland.

Mike: Oh. OK, there is one. Still!

Tom: Remember how we wrote that column a couple weeks ago about these great teams with mediocre records? The world has been somewhat restored to its axis, but there are still some really good teams with mediocre results so far.

Mike: Yes, although some of those teams are coming dangerously close to "actually not as good as originally believed," which is a problem if you are, say, a Steelers fan. I'm still not sold on the Patriots, either, but I like them enough this week against a talented-but-overmatched Seattle defense. New England Patriots -4 at Seattle Seahawks.

Tom: Well, I don't believe in the Lions. At all. For a 3-2 team, the Eagles are surrounded by an awful lot of doom and gloom. I believe some of it, in that Michael Vick is not a consistent week-to-week player. But I've watched the Lions play what they allege is pass defense. The Titans were able to throw the ball successfully against them. The Titans! Philadelphia Eagles -5 vs. Detroit Lions is my lock of the week.

Who do you not believe in? Send us your musings, ramblings and fantasy questions to Contact Us!


30 comments, Last at 15 Oct 2012, 1:22pm

#1 by James B (not verified) // Oct 10, 2012 - 1:17pm

I've thought for a while now that sacks are primarily mistakes by the quarterback where as QB hits+hurries+sacks is more indicative of how the lines play. Do you chart those things? Worth looking into?

Points: 0

#13 by theslothook // Oct 10, 2012 - 3:32pm

I've actually played around with the week to week data at Pff for charting their qb hits and hurries in an attempt to codify line play. You know what I ended up with? Qb hits and qb hurries are also a function of the qb and the scheme so that leaves you nowhere.

The only way to judge true o line play is to literally grade every linemen in how he handles a rusher one on one or how they handle their blocks.

Points: 0

#18 by James B (not verified) // Oct 10, 2012 - 8:56pm

It seems incredibly counterintuitive that skill on the DLine only has such a small effect on pass rushing efficiency. The only other thing I can think of is that there is a relatively static "optimum of pass rush" that coaches on both sides of the ball try to maintain by increasing the amount of blitzes on one side and keeping extra guys in to block on the other. Or maybe my intuition is just completely wrong.

Points: 0

#2 by Will Allen // Oct 10, 2012 - 1:31pm

My goodness, those decisions by Lewis are awful. I know the most important work a coach does happens during the week, or sometimes even in the month of May and August, but that doesn't mean that what happens on Sunday afternoon can be ignored completely. Egads.

Points: 0

#9 by Paddy Pat // Oct 10, 2012 - 2:33pm

I sometimes wonder if coaches wear down the way that running backs do. Too many seasons worrying about job security, playing with lousy talent for an owner that won't scout properly or shell out big bucks... you become too habituated to holding down the margin of defeat, so it's hard to remember how to win.

Points: 0

#11 by Steve in WI // Oct 10, 2012 - 2:38pm

I agree that both decisions were bad, especially the field goal, but it still surprises me how many people think that teams should kick the extra point unless they absolutely *must* have a 2-point conversion.

I was listening to Bears pregame on the radio this past Sunday while the Packers/Colts game was going on, and when the Colts scored to make it 21-19 and tried for the conversion but failed, someone said "I don't know why they did that, because it didn't work." I don't remember if it was the 4th quarter yet or just the end of the 3rd, but either way, I think going for 2 is clearly the better decision. The difference between being tied and being down 1 is pretty big, and the difference between being down 1 and down 2 isn't. (I don't even think I need to mention the bad logic in "if it didn't work, it must have been the wrong decision.")

Points: 0

#12 by Will Allen // Oct 10, 2012 - 2:50pm

Obviously, the closer you are to the end of the game, the more going for two makes sense. Down five, at the end of the fourth quarter, however? How many more possessions did Lewis think he was going to get in 15 minutes?

Coaches really love their kickers and punters way too much.

Points: 0

#15 by Marko // Oct 10, 2012 - 5:14pm

I will preface this by saying that I didn't see any of the game and don't know the exact details, such as how much time was left when the Bengals chose not to go for 2 and how many yards there were to go on 4th down when they attempted the 41 yard fieild goal, what the weather conditions were, and how many timeouts the Bengals had left.

Keeping the above in mind, I don't really have a problem at all with going for the extra point to make it 17-13 with nearly a full quarter left. If you don't make it and then the opponent kicks a field goal, now you need a TD plus the 2 point conversion just to tie the game. Ask Panthers fans about going for 2 too early. The difference in the Super Bowl between the Panthers and the Patriots basically came down to a failed two point conversion (and of course a kickoff out of bounds by John Kasay, but that's a different story) when in my opinion the Panthers went for 2 when they should have gone for the extra point. (I note that at the time the Panthers went for two the first time, I opined to my friends that I thought it was a mistake. So this is not just a case of hindsight.) It seems to me that people that advocate going for 2 so early assume that the other team will not score again. Going back to the Super Bowl, the Panthers and Patriots both scored 4 TDs and 1 field goal. If the Panthers had not gone for two early in the fourth quarter when the score was 21-16 (a five point difference, just like the 17-12 score in the Bengals-Dolphins game when the Bengals went for the extra point), the game very well may have been tied at 31 and gone to overtime.

The 3 point difference in the final score (32-29) resulted from 3 two point conversion attempts that all went in favor of the Patriots. If the Panthers had gone for the extra point the first time (to make it 21-17), they never would have gone for two (and failed) the next time. Instead of being up only 22-21, they would have been up 24-21. So then when the Patriots scored a TD, they would have gone for 1 and a 28-24 lead rather than going for two (which they did when the score was 27-22 to make it 29-22). The Panthers late TD then would have put them up 31-28 instead of only tying the game at 29. And Adam Vinatieri's game-winning field goal only would have tied the game at 31 had the Panthers just gone for 1 the first time. Here is the box score from that game:

There have been other games I have seen where I thought a team's decision to go for 2 too early ultimately cost them the game. There have even been times that my team went for two too early in my opinion and made it, and I have still criticized the decision. So my thinking is not just based on the results.

As for the late field goal attempt, I would need to know more information before deciding whether or not I think it was a good idea. I note that the Falcons beat the Panthers 30-28 earlier this year with two field goals in the last five minutes. The first field goal still left the Falcons trailing by one point, and it was only a 33 yard field goal. So they could have gone for a TD and the lead then. Here is the box score from that game: Of course, the Falcons did need a lot of luck to win that game late due to mistakes by the Panthers. But if you have confidence in your kicker to make the field goal, in your defense to get the ball back, and your offense to then go down and score (factoring in the time left, the timeout situation and the weather), then this is not always a simple decision where foregoing the field goal to go for a TD is the only reasonable choice.

Points: 0

#3 by Will Allen // Oct 10, 2012 - 1:41pm

ASR is most certainly not a good metric for the quality of pass blocking. That metric can only be obtained with the coach's tape and a stopwatch. Even then, the number obtained has to be factored with the disparity among qbs in throwing safe incompletions, or taking the sack. Eli Manning makes David Diehl look like he is still a serviceable tackle.

Points: 0

#8 by peterplaysbass // Oct 10, 2012 - 2:16pm

So here's a question, then. Do you think Ponder's low sack rate has more to do with the improved line or with Ponder's play? Clearly Kalil is a good left tackle, but how much of the pass protection improvement in Minnesota over last year can be credited to the growth of the QB?

Points: 0

#10 by Will Allen // Oct 10, 2012 - 2:38pm

Can I be a chicken and say most likely both factors are playing a significant role? It isn't just Kalil on the o-line, by the way. Fusco is huge upgrade over Herrera, who was just used up, as much I admired the enthusiasm with which he played. Loadholdt is playing a lot better too; I really think the Viings suffered a lot last year with the lockout, and until Davidson started coaching the unit in August 2011, the o-line in particular has not been well coached since Tice was fired. That fact was simply concealed somewhat by having really good veterans like Birk and Hutchinson, who weren't as dependent on coaching. I don't think it is a coincidence, however, that Mckinnie started to go over the falls with the arrival of the Childress era, or that Sullivan, and now Loadholdt, have made big strides under the current regime.

Having said that, Ponder's performance last year was obviously impacted by being thrust into the starting job about 70 days after opening an NFL playbook for the first time, and he has made huge strides as well. It'd be interesting to do a stop watch analysis with the coach's tape from last year to this year.

Points: 0

#28 by LionInAZ // Oct 11, 2012 - 6:23pm

Doesn't FO already time sacks (see the Under Pressure feature)? Since ASR only applies to OL/DLs, it seems to me it could be improved by filtering out long (i.e., coverage) sacks and counting only short sacks for ASR. Of course, it's still limited without counting hits, hurries, or pressures.

Points: 0

#4 by Nathan Forster // Oct 10, 2012 - 1:43pm

My fantasy team is built a bit like the Washington Redskins--talent at the starter level with almost no depth. But this week I have only my second "who do I start?" quandry of the season. Specifically, I'm trying to decide between Alf Morris against the surprisingly stout Vikings defense and Mendenhall, who faces a defense that even the Detroit Lions could run against (Titans). I'm leaning towards Mendenhall, but I'm a bit apprehensive given that he is just coming back from the injury and it's hard to bench Morris, who has been oh so good to me. Thoughts?

Sorry JPP!

Points: 0

#7 by peterplaysbass // Oct 10, 2012 - 2:13pm

I'm sure you're asking others, but I'll put in my $.02

I would start Mendenhall. Teams have to respect Big Ben and that opens things up. Plus, he's pretty good. Morris has had the benefit of playing against teams that allow a lot of fantasy points to RBs so far, but his schedule gets tougher starting this week.

I could see Morris getting 30+ touches if RGIII doesn't play, and so he may end up with 100 yards in that scenario even if he's not helping his team much - otherwise I think Mendenhall has a better day.

I would start Mendy.

Disclaimer: I'm a Vikings fan.

Points: 0

#21 by Tom Gower // Oct 10, 2012 - 11:33pm

Ideally in my book this is a Sunday morning decision based on RG3's status, but of course you can't do that. It sounds like he's playing this week, based on the early practice reports. Last week Mendenhall was in a timeshare with Isaac Redman (14 carries to 13), and my guess is that won't change dramatically soon. The Titans have played better run defense the last couple weeks (not great, better), and Morris has been so consistently productive that I'm starting to come around on him. Mendenhall's not a bad option, Morris is just a better one.

Points: 0

#5 by dk240t // Oct 10, 2012 - 2:01pm

You point out that it doesn't make sense that the offense has more to do with sacks than defense because everyone puts a premium on getting pass rushers. They do put a major premium on pash rushers, true, but I'd say the highest premium they put is on getting quarterbacks! Quarterbacks have a lot to do with sacks. We know this to be true. Many of the best QBs don't get sacked very often (Brees, Brady, Manning), and in the case of Manning, that has been despite sub-par offensive lines often times. Some top tier QBs like Roethlishowdoyouspellit and Rodgers have had higher sack rates, but due to both poor offensive line play AND their own desire/ability to extend plays into explosive plays.

I think offense has a lot to do with it, clearly, as you pointed out in your "has David Carr" note.

Can we lump sacks, hits, and hurries together, then correct for the quality of pass rushing defense or pass rush avoiding offense?

Points: 0

#6 by Wayne in the Fort (not verified) // Oct 10, 2012 - 2:01pm

I would take the Mendenhall Matchup over Morris, but Morris has been consistently good all year. I get worrying about Mendenhall as well since the "ACL boys" seem to do well in week 1 and not as well in week 2 of their comeback. I tend to overthink things though (Started Andre Brown for his big week, Kevin Smith in week one but also Ryan williams against St Louis).

Points: 0

#14 by theslothook // Oct 10, 2012 - 3:36pm

Tom & MIke. The more interesting thing I think is how important is pass rush of any kind in the first place? I think Danny posted this a while back about the impact of pass rush, but even I have found, the best pass rushing teams are getting pressure at most about 35 percent of the time and even then; you still need to actually cover people to be successful.

Points: 0

#19 by BaronFoobarstein // Oct 10, 2012 - 9:34pm

I think the concept of pressure is insufficient. A quarterback will adjust his play based on foreseeable pressure without that pressure actually coming to bear, at least as I understand pressures to be calculated.

Points: 0

#16 by MJ (not verified) // Oct 10, 2012 - 6:41pm

Week 6 bye and poor Donald Brown's injury (especially tragic given my fantasy team is named after him) makes me have a really awful flex situation for my PPR league. I have Domenic Hixon and LSH. There's Josh Gordon available as well considering the fact that Cleveland has about no other healthy receivers that are capable of catching anything.

Points: 0

#17 by MurphyZero // Oct 10, 2012 - 8:41pm

I drafted Brady in the first round and Luck in the last. Luck has outscored Brady in all but the first and his bye weeks. I have Gore, Martin and Bradshaw as my RBs due to grabbing Mike Wallace, Welker, Nicks and Wayne at WR in a PPR. My TEs are Martellus and Hernandez.
Should I trade one of the QBs for a RB (if I can find a trading partner) Otherwise, which QB should I be riding?

Points: 0

#20 by dbostedo // Oct 10, 2012 - 10:03pm

Keep Brady (please don't ride either one)... he may not outscore Luck the rest of the way, but he could; And his floor and ceiling are probably much higher.

Points: 0

#22 by Brendan Scolari // Oct 11, 2012 - 1:22am

PPR League. Start 1 QB, 2 RB's, 2 WR's, 1 TE, and 1 RB/WR/TE. My team:

QB: Peyton Manning
Andy Dalton

RB: Matt Forte
Adrian Peterson
Pierre Thomas
Brandon Bolden
Toby Gerhart
Mike Goodson

WR: Hakeem Nicks
Stevie Johnson
Denarius Moore
James Jones
Mike Williams (Bucs)
Ramses Barden

TE: Rob Gronkowski
Jacob Tamme

Someone proposed this trade to me: Mark Ingram and Mike Wallace for Pierre Thomas and Denarius Moore. Seems like I should pass as I'm giving up two usable players for one but not sure if Wallace is enough of an upgrade over Moore to compensate.

Other than that any moves I can make? I lost Santonio Holmes for the year and my sleepers this year (Roy Helu, Shane Vereen, and Denarius Moore) haven't exactly shined so I don't have a ton of depth really. I'm not sure what to do to improve the team but after staring 3-0 I've lost the past two weeks and my faith in this team has dipped a bit. First, I'm going to drop Barden for James Starks, Jahvid Best, Vick Ballard, Larod Stephens-Howling, or someone of that ilk.

Points: 0

#23 by Nate Dunlevy // Oct 11, 2012 - 5:53am

The only player who can actually control whether or not there is a sack is the quarterback.

He has the ball and can throw it away at any time. Granted, that throw may not be good or may result in grounding, but he can ensure he isn't sacked if he wants to. Likewise, if he holds the ball too long, he virtually ensures a sack, even against a weaker pass-rush.

All that to say, I think it makes sense that the offense controls sack rate more than the defense. The QB has the power.

Points: 0

#24 by Podge (not verified) // Oct 11, 2012 - 8:30am

I don't know FO's financial situation or the economics of industry, but are you not at/near the point where you can employ someone or some group of people to do specific research tasks like the pass timing one? I'm sure there are quite a few people who read FO who are, for example, unemployed and would love the opportunity to do a menial football related task for a few weeks to get a bit of cash in.

Actually, I just fleshed out the back of envelope calculations. The national minimum wage in the UK is £6.19. Assuming 8 hour days, that's just about 50 quid a day, 250 quid a week, so about 2k quid if it was an 8 week project.

Just add a column for gamecharting. A rough estimate just by counting "one and/mississippi two and/mississippi three and/mississippi four" and so on from snap to throw/sack for each pass play shouldn't add more than about 5 minutes per half.

Points: 0

#27 by D2K // Oct 11, 2012 - 4:48pm

PPR League - Start 1 QB, 1 RB, 3 WR/TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE). I am 5-0 in this league and I am playing a bottom feeder this week. Yet my problem is this: I have 3 TE's starting because Colston is on a bye.

My line-up is:

QB - Matt Ryan
RB - Ray Rice
WR/TE - Victor Cruz
WR/TE - Dennis Pitta
WR/TE - Scott Chandler
Flex - Kyle Rudolph

I like Pitta vs Dallas (17th rated pass defense according to DVOA and 28th against opposing TE's), even though he has scored 3 pts the last 2 weeks.

I like Chandler @ Arizona (8th ranked pass defense and 23rd against opposing TE's), but Buffalo was stagnant offensively against the 9ers (which surprises no one) and is historically bad on the road.

I like my match-up with Rudolph against the Skins because their pass defense is abysmal and they are 26th vs. opposing TE's.

My question is this: I have Denarious Moore/Sidney Rice/Martellus Bennett and Kenny Britt on my bench. Should I start a WR over any of the above mentioned TE's, or should I trust my gut and DVOA and keep my line-up as is?

Side question if you feel free: Standard scoring (different league, duh) looking for solid flex - Chandler vs Zona / Chris Johnson vs pittsburgh (without woodley and Troy) or Mikel Leshoure vs philly?

My gut says Chris Johnson, partly because of pittsburgh injuries, partly because isnt he due?

Points: 0

#29 by jfam // Oct 14, 2012 - 12:29pm

Ppr league. Kyle Rudolph or gronk?

Reggie bush, miles Austin or Jordy?

Points: 0

#30 by купить светящи… (not verified) // Oct 15, 2012 - 1:22pm

Interesting position. Good speed work. Although some points I disagree. Especially at the end.

Points: 0

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