Posted on: October 10, 2011 2:54 pm
Only 5 weeks into the season, but the Eagles are finished with a record of 1-4.
Another week, another disappointing performance by the Eagles. This time, the Eagles made a comeback attempt but still had a critical turnover that led to a 31-24 loss to the Bills.
These are some reasons why the Eagles lost:
-The defense was unable to stop the run, put any pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick or make any plays in the secondary. The defense is loaded with "talent" and guys that have made plays in the past so there has to be an issue with Castillo and his schemes. The one thing this group did well in the last few weeks was get to the quarterback and they couldn't even do that this week. The coaches have players in the wrong positions/scheme. That is the only explanation.
-Jason Avant had a great game statistically, catching 9 passes for 139 yards, but he made two terrible plays that cost the Eagles the game. When a sure-handed guy like Avant can't hold on to the ball you know things just aren't going your way.
-Michael Vick doesn't deserve much of the blame for this one. Of his 4 interceptions, only one was a truly terrible pass. Vick is doing everything he can with what little time he is given and scrambling for his life when there is nothing open downfield. He can't be blamed for tipped passes becoming interceptions and for the inept line in front of him. Watching the post game show, you can see that Vick hates to lose. The same can't be said about other players on the eagles sideline. There is not enough heart on that team. They need leaders in the locker room; they aren't responding to Andy Reid anymore!
-How about giving the ball to LeSean McCoy more often? Only 15 touches for Shady, who still managed over 100 total yards. McCoy is one of the best backs in the NFL, but the Eagles don't use his skills enough. Look what Minnesota did this week...won the game by jumping on Adrian Peterson's back. I think McCoy is good enough to be the focus of the eagles offense.
-I'm so glad Juqua Parker was healthy enough to suit up this week so he could make a boneheaded play a the end of the game to seal the loss for the Eagles. That moron needs to be cut from the team. I don't care if they have to pay a penalty for cutting ties. Everyone fan watching the game knew they weren't going to snap the ball. How does a professional player make that kind of mental mistake?
-By my count, Jamar Chaney made the first play by a linebacker all season long when he picked off Fitzpatrick. The Eagles have the worst LBs in the entire NFL. Horrible (I blame this on Andy Reid and his lack of focus at that position)
At 1-4, this season is effectively over for the Eagles. They might get a few wins and find themselves back in the NFC East title picture, but there isn't any reason to think that this team is going to start playing well. This is a broken team that has talent but can't seem to put all of the pieces together. There is no leadership and no heart.
Andy Reid has been a great coach in Philly, but it's time for a change in philosophy. Why wait until next year? The Eagles should cut ties right now and get first dibs on a new coach.
I can't root for this team anymore. I really hope they lose every single game for the rest of the year, so they are forced to make changes.
Posted on: December 28, 2009 10:12 am
The holidays are great, because you get to exchange gifts and get some time off from work. With that being said, the best part about this holiday was that I won the championship in both of my fantasy (money) leagues. Nothing is more satisfying that taking money from your friends.
After watching a few of the worst games over one weekend that I can remember in some time, and how it affected the fantasy football world, one thing kept coming to mind: who can we trust in fantasy? I pulled out a win in both of my championship games, but some of my money players weren’t so “money.” Seriously, no one should expect a professional in any vocation to work at peak efficiency 100% of the time, but for a league in which so many "pros" are making more money in one season than many of us will make over the 25-30 years, it would seem that consistency would not be so hard to find. Granted, most of us do not have to: worry about RBBC at our jobs (imagine for a second if lawyers or doctors "shared the load" at their jobs, for example, one lawyer was the opening argument and cross-examination specialist while another one strictly handled closing arguments), face the prospect of the media trying to pull apart your co-workers at every turn or concern ourselves with people at work whose sole purpose is to stop us from doing what we want to do, even if sometimes seems that way.
But getting back to the issue of trust, who makes your list of "trustworthy" players? I decided to investigate this a bit further. Just as in school where 70% is a passing score, winning about 70% of your games during a 13-week fantasy regular season will leave you with a 9-4 record (.692 winning %), which will almost always get you a playoff berth, if not a division title and first-round bye. Using that same rationale, I'm setting the bar at 70% consistency for all fantasy players (or players who are subpar less than 30% of the time) across the board.
This analysis is only for the last two seasons and is simply looking for fantasy players who were subpar less than 30% of the time they took the field. Since the measuring sticks change each year, I cannot give a firm fantasy point average for each position, but rather the "subpar level" that each position recorded that season. I think you'll be surprised by the results.
1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Larry Fitzgerald
3. Wes Welker
4. Andre Johnson
5. Dwayne Bowe
6. Antonio Gates
7. Tony Gonzalez
Meet your fantasy best friends, the players who over the last two seasons were there for you more often than anyone else. Consider the magnitude of this list for a minute if you would. At QB, you need your fantasy signal-caller to average 200 yards passing and two scores in seven of every 10 games. At RB, the averages are 60 yards and a score. At WR, five catches for 70 yards will do the trick and, at TE, five catches for 50 yards is just about enough. Further consider this list could have been reduced to five if you want to get technical and hold injuries or suspensions against a player. For example, Welker missed a few early games due to injury and Bowe just got done serving a four-game suspension. What's most surprising to me is the fact that not a single RB made the list. Believe it or not, last year's qualifiers were Matt Forte, LaDainian Tomlinson, Steve Slaton, Thomas Jones and Peyton Hillis. (Peyton Hillis, really?!?!?)
Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair at setting the cutoff at 30%. For those of you wanting to know, here is the list of additional players that would make the cut if I raised the bar to 35%:
1. Drew Brees
2. Peyton Manning
3. LaDainian Tomlinson
4. Adrian Peterson
5. Chris Johnson
6. Frank Gore
7. Steve Smith (CAR)
8. Vincent Jackson
9. Brandon Marshall
10. Dallas Clark
However, if we were to make the cutoff at 40%, we'd also be assuming that 8-5 (.615 winning %) always gets fantasy owners into the playoffs, which it does not. And we all know that somewhere along the way, at least of our opponents will make you their Super Bowl, which shrinks the margin of error even further. Granted, not all of your consistent players are going to hit rock bottom in the same week, so I understand this analysis is a bit lacking in some areas. With that said, it's becoming easier to see why the gap between the #1 team and #10 team is about three games in competitive leagues. We are dealing with a lot of mediocre fantasy players, some much more so than others.
How is this possible? After all, I'm certainly not calling Manning or Chris Johnson mediocre, am I? The answer is no. In psychology, students are often taught that “people are a product of their environment". The same statement applies here as well. Manning, for instance, can blame his knee rehab in 2008 and young WR corps in 2009 for being left off the first list. Johnson was being eased in last year during his rookie season and dealt with a more pass-heavy offensive approach from his offense before the bye in 2009. Steven Jackson's lack of a credible supporting cast recently has made him less consistent than he is capable of while players like Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice are off both lists entirely due to their respective delays to "feature-back" status.
Looking ahead to 2010, you're going to see roughly 10-12 of the 17 aforementioned players go in the first two rounds of fantasy drafts next summer and rightfully so, barring the unforeseen. But some of these players (in particular Bowe, LT, Smith, Gates and Gonzalez) will all be seen as players coming off disappointing seasons and thus will see their stock drop. But should it?
Due to his age and shaky future with his current employer, LT will be a hard sell as anything more than a low-end RB2 next season. Outside of him, I think the other 16 names listed above are players that you definitely can "trust". I'll project now that if you can kick off your draft with Gore (Round 1), Manning (Round 2), Welker (Round 3), Smith or Bowe (Round 4) and Gonzalez (Round 5) next summer, you will find that you have yourself an incredibly consistent and competent team. The point I want to make here is that in a game like fantasy football that has so many variables contributing to its outcome each week, the goal should be to land as many constants as possible. With 4-5 "constants" making up your nine-man starting lineup, you increase your margin for error significantly, which is a very good thing. Ultimately, the draft only puts you in position to succeed; in-season management takes your team to the playoffs and wins championships. But the path to fantasy success begins by locking up as many constants as you can early on, so you don't leave early-season points (and thus, wins) on the bench and easily identify your team's weaknesses before your competition takes advantage. When an owner can use the waiver wire as a way to supplement their bench as opposed to their starting lineup, then it is quite likely their team is in very good shape.
Let's get back to what makes even the NFL's best players "untrustworthy". Sometimes, the biggest obstacle can be the one group of people that fantasy owners SHOULD be able to count on - coaching. For as much good as the great coaches do for their teams, isn't it amazing how often even they forget their team's identity? If I can say that about the great coaches, what does it say about the average or poor ones? The answer to these types of questions usually can be answered in one of two ways: 1) the GM "hints" who should play and the head coach or coordinators don't feel they has the authority to go against him or 2) the coaching staff, as a whole, are poor talent evaluators who can easily be swayed by a box score or the public. One of my biggest never-to-be-answered questions is: what exactly goes on during an NFL practice? Of course I'm being a bit sarcastic, but I ask because I find it amazing how often players just seem to burst on the scene. Let's examine a few pertinent examples:
Some of you may have a few players YTP, before the championship is decided, but now is the time to start thinking about next FFB season. I already cashed in on both of my leagues, by winning the championships. I won, because I prepared for the draft, starting in April. This is how I won:
QB: Matt Schaub
RB: Ray Rice
RB: Knowshon Moreno / LeSean McCoy / Donald Brown / Darren McFadden
WR: Andre Johnson
WR: Chad Ochocinco / Calvin Johnson / Pierre Garcon
TE: Vernon Davis / John Carlson
K: Lawrence Tynes
DEF: Jets / Chargers
QB: Matt Schaub
RB: Chris Johnson
RB: Knowshon Moreno / Jamaal Charles / Jonathan Stewart / Darren McFadden
WR: Andre Johnson
WR: Vincent Jackson / Jericho Cotchery
TE: Dallas Clark
K: Nate Kaeding
DEF: Eagles / Saints
Category: Fantasy Football
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Andre Johnson, Antonio Gates, Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson, Chad Ochocinco, Chargers, Chris Johnson, Dallas Clark, Donald Brown, Drew Brees, Dwayne Bowe, Eagles, fantasy, Frank Gore, Jamaal Charles, Jerome Harrison, Jets, LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean McCoy, Matt Schaub, Miles Austin, NFL, Peyton Manning, Ray Rice, Saints, Steve Smith, Tony Gonzalez, Vernon Davis, Vincent Jackson, Wes Welker