If this is your first visit, be sure to
check out the FAQ by clicking the
link above. You may have to register
before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages,
select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
No announcement yet.
Buffalo Bills parallel universe in which Xavier is GM
Your QB rankings are atrocious. Foles a top 5 QB? Really?
Tier 1: ELITE
1. Aaron Rodgers (GB) (1)
Tier II: Will make you a perennial Playoff team
2. Drew Brees (NO)
3. Andrew Luck (IND)
4. Peyton Manning (DEN)(assuming he's still functional)
5. Tom Brady (NE)
6. Philip Rivers (SD)
7. Ben (PIT)
8. Russell Wilson (SEA)
9. Tony Romo (DAL)
Tier 3: You can win the SB with him if you have a good supporting cast
10. Joe Flacco (BAL)
11. Matt Ryan (ATL)
12. Eli Manning (NYG)
13. Cam Newton (CAR)
14. Teddy Bridgewater (MIN)
15. Ryan Tannehill (MIA)
16. Sam Bradford (STL)
Tier 4: QB purgatory. Good enough to not get rid of, but bad enough to never do anything more than make the playoffs
17. Carson Palmer (AZ)
18. Colin Kaepernick (SF)
19. Andy Dalton (CIN)
20. Matthew Stafford (DET)
21. Alex Smith (KC)
Tier 5: Good back up/below average starter. Not a franchise guy
22. Nick Foles (PHI)
23. Blake Bortles (JAX)
24. Derek Carr (OAK)
25. Jay Cutler (CHI)
26. Geno Smith (NYJ)
Tier 6: Trash
27. Robert Griffin III (WAS) (I personally think he's damaged goods)
28. Mike Glennon (TB) (NR)
29. Every other QB
Not named Winston/Mariota since we haven't seen them play in the NFL yet
The only thing I've found with Stanzi is that he performed best in 'important' college games along with his size and arm capabilities. I think you have to give up on that one though, Xavier. He lost a preseason battle to sunk cost Mr. Lindy Slinger.
The one stat that blows the mind with Foles was he averaged a 20 yard completion every 6 attempts. I maintain that's mostly not his skill, that's the situation he (and Vick) were put in. Even the best QBs wouldn't have the chance of accomplishing that. I will say though, I think Foles should be rated higher by people. He earned the right to at least be a solid starting QB. But, he likely won't be for long. Foles isn't what NFL teams desire.
I'll assume Jordan Matthews and Allen Robinson are ahead of Watkins on your list. I expect that size will continue to gain value for NFL WRs, so I don't really disagree there.
I have no personal interest in Stanzi, but I would like to be fully convinced that he doesn't have it. He has never had a real showcase opportunity like Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum have. Stanzi played with Jacksonville 4th-stringers. Jacksonville has the worst talent in the league, and Jacksonville is the worst at evaluating QBs.
If Foles averaged a 20-yard completion every 6 attempts, how is that not fantastic evidence of his skill? That shows NFL arm strength and accuracy. Do you think anyone can do that? And he almost never threw INTs.
Ahead of Watkins right now, whether in fantasy or real-life, I think that a lot of people would accept Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin, and Jordan Matthews. From there, I would also include Allen Robinson and Cody Latimer on a talent basis.
Here's a forum.leeleefootball.com exclusive if you want to kill some time. It's a segment of a discussion I had with RC Fischer that never made it into any of our PTD/FFM/CFM collaborative articles. (We're both 'metrics' guys.)
What are your thoughts on 'chess piece valuations' of NFL positions?
Xavier Cromartie: I first wanted to figure out how the NFL answers this question. At the top of the first round of recent drafts, you typically see QB, LT, WR, and DE/OLB, and then maybe a slight dropoff to TE, CB, DT, S, and LB. For a more definitive answer, I looked at player salaries. What does the free market say? I found a pretty clear Fibonacci sequence regarding positional valuation that confirmed what we see in the draft:
13: DE, CB, WR, LT
8: DT, TE, ILB, S
5: RB, RT, G, C, OLB
3: K, P
I automatically assume that the NFL is wrong somehow. RB is most obviously replaceable, with guys like Zurlon Tipton or Kerwynn Williams available for nothing. But there are not-so-obvious poor valuations as well. I'm reading that the Lions are seriously considering whether to franchise DT Ndamukong Suh at $26.7M. I watched the spread for the Lions/Cowboys playoff game. Suh was initially suspended, but he won his appeal a day later. And what impact did it have on the spread? Not even half a point. How can Suh be worth so much money if he has zero impact on the spread? I recall a sudden nine-point swing when Aaron Rodgers got injured. And for a clear example of the value of a QB, look at how the 2011 Colts did without Manning. I think the dropoff from an elite QB to a bad backup is actually worth 15-20 points per game. And so, based on my own thoughts and research, I'd value positions this way instead:
5: WR, TE
3: LT, RT
1: DE, DT, S, CB, G, C, OLB, RB, K
Someone's reply to this valuation might be, "Look at Atlanta/New Orleans." Ok, they both went 13-3 twice within the last few years, because they were excellent on offense and competent on defense. They missed the playoffs this season because they were possibly the two absolute worst defenses in the league. But those problems can be fixed without raining dollar bills on Suh. How much did an excellent defense help the Cardinals or Bills? The teams that you always see in the playoffs are almost always the ones with the best QB play. The final four this season were Wilson, Rodgers, Brady, Luck. Where are those elite defensive linemen like Justin Houston, JJ Watt, Mario Williams, or Cameron Wake? None of those four guys made the playoffs.
RC Fischer: You are correct, which is why I think the most important positions are: QB, and then the backup QB, followed by the developmental QB.
Kicker may be higher than we all think?think of how critical if they are money on FGs + can kick out of the end-zone.
WRs and TEs less value because they all flow with the QB.
Get a great QB, suddenly you have wonderful WRs and TEs.
Final four teams best WRs: Hilton, Edelman, Baldwin(?), Jordy?how important is Calvin and Julio?
Personally, I go something like?
10: Head Coach
5: LT, RT, C
4: OG, DT
3: everything else
Xavier Cromartie: I am happy to further analyze each position.
Kicker instinctively seems important because it is a point-scoring position and also affects field position. Short-term (seasonal) variation in field-goal percentage ranges from 95% for a great season to 75% for a poor season, and that difference matters. But in the long-term (career), however, I believe that you can expect any of the world's best 32 kickers to make approximately 85% of their FGs. You can find an 85% kicker like Cody Parkey, Chandler Catanzaro, or Connor Barth as easily as you can find a 4.2 YPC RB... floating in the free agent pool.
As for field position, a simple question to ask is how much is Nick Novak hurting the Chargers with his poor kickoff distance/touchback rate? I did some quick math and found the Chargers' opponents are typically starting on the 25 yard line. Chandler Catanzaro ranked first in kickoff distance, but I calculated the 23 yard line as the opponents' starting spot for him. (Touchbacks are accounted for.) How much are 2-3 yards per kickoff worth?
Until recently, I was a big advocate of prioritizing defensive talent. I subscribed to the Navy theory; any fit young men who play 'Navyball' can rush for 400+ yards. The real talent, I had thought, is in the ability to stop the offense. But, looking mathematically at the NFL, I've found that the opposite is true. The talent is in the ability to generate offense, primarily via the QB. When an individual defender goes out, it has no statistical impact on winning. I think that defenses operate more as a scheme/unit, and the 'machine' keeps running the same when you replace a part of it.
Another way to think about it is that when a QB stars/busts early, rarely does a coach/scheme change make much difference. Likewise with WR; Brandon Marshall and Anquan Boldin have been consistently good despite many changes in their careers. But there are more often stories of defensive stars suddenly turning to duds, or duds turning to stars, with a change in team/scheme. I can't keep straight whether Antonio Cromartie and Brandon Flowers and among the best CBs or the worst CBs.
More specifically for WRs/TEs, let's look at whole seasons rather than single playoff games. How are teams getting 13+ regular season wins in recent years?
2013 DEN 13-3 QB: Manning WR/TE: D Thomas, Decker, Welker, J Thomas
2013 SEA 13-3 QB: Wilson WR/TE: Tate, Baldwin
2012 ATL 13-3 QB: Ryan WR/TE: Jones, White, Gonzalez
2012 DEN 13-3 QB: Manning WR/TE: D Thomas, Decker
2011 GB 15-1 QB: Rodgers WR/TE: Nelson, Jennings, Jones, Driver, Finley
2011 NE 13-3 QB: Brady WR/TE: Welker, Gronk, Hernandez
2011 NO 13-3 QB: Brees WR/TE: Colston, Graham, Sproles
2011 SF 13-3 QB: Smith WR/TE: Crabtree, Davis
2010 NE 14-2 QB: Brady WR/TE: Welker, Gronk, Hernandez
2010 ATL 13-3 QB: Ryan WR/TE: White, Gonzalez
2009 IND 14-2 QB: Manning WR/TE: Wayne, Garcon, Collie, Clark
2009 NO 13-3 QB: Brees WR/TE: Colston
2009 SD 13-3 QB: Rivers WR/TE: Jackson, Gates
In every case (except maybe Alex Smith), these teams had a top-level QB. But in most cases, they had multiple talented receiving threats to go with them. I would say SEA and SF were the only exceptions, because they had elite defenses those seasons. Two of the five highest-scoring offenses of all-time had Randy Moss (16-0 Patriots 2007 and 15-1 Vikings 1998). Warner's Rams had Bruce and Holt.
I can't put a numerical value on coaches. The positions are the chess pieces, and the coaches are the ones playing the chess game. I can try to explain why GMs and coaches seem to have trouble getting along. They have different objectives. The coaches are the only part of the team that really care about winning. (Everyone 'wants' to win, but coaches have the job of figuring out how to win.) The GM's goal is to acquire valuable talent. The talent provided to the coach may not necessarily aid in winning.
For example, imagine an alternate universe in which you're the Patriots GM and I'm the head coach. We should get along very well since we're like-minded. But you place a higher value on CBs, so you say, "We're drafting Bradley Roby to play opposite Revis." Whereas I might say, "I don't need him. Come on, remember what happened to Brady when he had to rely on Kenbrell Thompkins? Get me Cody Latimer!" And then I get frustrated because I feel like I'm not getting the pieces that I need to win, while you get frustrated that I'm not doing more with the talent that you're giving me.
RC Fischer: I have no real absolute answers on any of this, just blathering?
I say those title WRs look good because of the QB?not that the QB must have them to be good/great?the WRs are made by the QB. That?s why I would take Bradley Roby over Cody Latimer 1st-round, because I could have taken any number of talented WRs later/next round. We remember those listed title winning WRs because they won the title, but you could have gotten many other WRs in that era, and still have won the titles?but not true of QBs?just a handful that can get to the mountain top.
All those 13+ win teams had an elite QB driving the bus, and in Matt Ryan?s case a good QB throwing a ton. Smith, to me, is good not great. He is the exception to all this it looks like, but he?s not a dud.
I don?t mean that WRs are irrelevant?and I?d argue more in your camp years ago, but now the WRs are flooding in from college and impacting right away. Teams don?t need to covet a WR anymore, like they might have in the past.
This year?s Super Bowl is now filled with late-round, scrap heap type WRs. Maybe the two of the four worst WRs groups in the NFL.
You couldn?t make the Super Bowl with a bottom 4 QB anymore, or a bottom 4 kicker?but could with a bottom 4 defense.
Kickers?two of the best playing in the Super Bowl this year. I think upper-end accuracy, with distance, and one who can pop it away from KR return man threats has more value than we give credit. A top QB will get you into scoring position more often, so Kicker important to deliver on 40+. I want touchbacks to take the odds of giving up a KR return TD, or long one to midfield is off the table?it?s a back-breaker.
I don?t care about overall accuracy as much as 40+ yards accuracy. I know most kickers are money from 1-35-ish. It?s the 40+, or even a 50+ leg like Zuerlein that starts to make a scoring difference to me. Most NFL games are settled within one score, and a lot of 3 or fewer margins (this the critical -3.5 in wagering)?a kicker with a leg can make a massive difference.
On top of that: Kicking with the game on the line, and making it is different than kicking long FGs down 24. It?s the quality under pressure kicker I want?and how many of those are there? Can a rookie be counted on for that?or does it take years to develop?
To me, the kicker is critical because of the solo pressure of the job. A couple of games each year, for every team, comes down to them in many instances.
If a QB injury/change can move the line 7+, but a top DT (Suh) out barely moves the line?I bet the difference of Gostkowski or Tucker or Bailey out vs. off the street kicker that week changes it more than 1+ points?and then, if so?doesn?t that make them more valuable besides anyone than the QB?
Just a theory/wondering?.
Xavier Cromartie: They way I see it with our hypothetical Patriots franchise is...
Elite QB (Brady) + competent defense = 10-12 wins
Elite QB (Brady) + competent defense + receivers = 12-14 wins
Elite QB (Brady) + competent defense + receivers + OTs = 13-15 wins
Complete team = 14-16 wins
No doubt QB is the most important thing. But I think the Seahawks actually help my WR case. Baldwin/Kearse were nightmarish against the Packers, and they should have cost them the game despite the home and defensive advantage. The Seahawks were only 12-4 this season, nothing special on offense despite Wilson, and proved vulnerable at home to the Cowboys and Packers (who have elite QBs with better receiving weapons). With better receivers, the Seahawks could be more of a dominant 14-2 team.
The Patriots have Gronk, who is hardly a scrap-heap target. He's one of the best in football. I think it's rare to find someone of Edelman's usefulness for cheap. Looking at the WRs taken late in recent drafts, most of them are low-end backups or long gone. I wouldn't say any turned into quality starters except for Antonio Brown. And so I think that you have to try to get your WR/TEs within the first three rounds. If there's such a flood of WR/TE supply, why are so many teams (Jets, Browns, Chiefs, Vikings, etc) lacking quality at WR/TE? But sure, you should take advantage of the silliness of other teams if they're going to let WRs like Latimer and Matthews fall into rounds 2-3.
Justin Tucker is currently the all-time most accurate FG kicker in history. Let's say he's out and the Ravens have to replace him with whoever the 33rd best kicker is. The Broncos were just able to sign Connor Barth off the street in week 13. Teams average two FG attempts per game, one from under 40 and one from more than 40. For simplicity we're granting all the under 40-yarders as 100%. How 'clutch' is Tucker from 40+? 38/48 (79%) career regular season. Barth is 53/69 (77%). So if a FG is worth 3 points, I would say Tucker moves the line 0.06 points. If the Ravens were to get stuck with a terrible long-range FG kicker (50%), then Tucker would be worth 0.87 points. Still not that much. The Ravens would probably go for it on fourth down in that case, which would likely be the smarter move mathematically in any case.
5: WR, Receiving TE
3: Pass Rush, LT, DT
2: Rest of defense and OL
1: RB, K
I try to not read so much into spread changes because every position but QB will not alter more than a point, and usually not at all.
I've long agreed with your defensive belief, it's about the unit and offenses will target your weakest piece. Therefore, having stars doesn't help your team as much as most think. The only exception was pass rush, but the role has evolved to where it's easy to find adequate replacements in various positions. Also, the days of 'shutdown' corners are dead due to rule changes, a good throw will defeat the best coverage.
Kickers are similar to RBs. Their job is important, but replacements are very easily found.
OL is similar to defense. They're a cohesive unit. G is slightly less valuable because it's a simpler position to plug n' play people at, and LT still is slightly more valuable because they face the better pass rushers.
Man, it's pretty impressive that you actually managed to make the Bills worse.
Originally posted by Daniel
Me and my gun buddies aren't paranoid, but let me tell you about how Hillary's gun squads will come into your home to take away your God-given freedoms and guns, while forcing you to gay marry illegal immigrants and turn your home to Muslim abortion clinics.