Apr 16, 2008
I was going to do some NFL schedule analysis this week, but I’ve decided to wait until after the draft. I arrive at my projected SOS by assigning each defense a number grade (100 being the highest) versus the run and the pass, and I won’t truly know a team’s strengths against the run and pass until after the draft. So I’m holding off on that, but it’ll be banged out shortly after the draft. I’ll at least have the rankings and the numbers the week after the draft, while the analysis may wait another week.
I’m still a little high after hearing Weezer’s new song for the first time today. The track is called “Pork & Beans” and I love it. The sound reverts to classic Weezer, perhaps from their 1994 debut album. There are few things I like better than fresh Weezer, so I’m really looking forward to the new record, which drops in June.
I’ve been working this week on the player previews for this year’s FantasyGuru.com Magazine, and of course for the site. I’ve grappled a little with the guys we want to rank in the top-10. In fact, after you get past 6-7, it’s a tough call. I’m still working on the final rankings, and the draft will be a big factor, obviously, but for now I’ve got Matt Schaub at #10. Yeah, I know he’s an injury risk and he had some issues last year, but thanks to staff stat-head Mike Horn, I have some stats and insight on Schaub that is pretty compelling.
Before I do, here’s a look back at a post I made on 4/26/07 on Tony Romo. You can go back and read the whole post, but here are some highlights:
“As I began writing about the QBs for this year’s magazine, and started to look deeper into the players, Romo stands out as a value. It’s still very early, so it’s hard to get a handle on his true ADP, but he seems to be going around 70-90th overall, in
around rounds 6-8 in a typical 12-team league.
That’s a solid value, but what stood out to me are the findings of our stat man, Mike Horn. Here’s a recent MB post from Mike on Romo:
Romo completed 65.3% of his passes for 8.51 YPA. Since 1978, 17 times QBs have thrown 300 or more passes, completed 64% or better of them for 8+ YPA. Here’s the list and their fantasy rank in the following year:
Ken Anderson 1982: 23; Games – 13 i.e. Anderson achieved the benchmarks in ‘82, then in ‘83 he ranked 23rd while playing 13 games:
Marc Bulger 2004: 23; Games – 8
Daunte Culpepper 2004: x; Games – 7
Trent Green 2004: 12; Games – 16
Jim Kelly 1991: 5; Games – 16
Peyton Manning 2004: 3; Games – 16
Peyton Manning 2005: 1; Games – 16
Dan Marino 1984: 2; Games – 16
Joe Montana 1984: 1; Games – 15
Joe Montana 1989: 3; Games – 15
Kurt Warner 1999: 14; Games – 11
Kurt Warner 2000: 1; Games – 16
Kurt Warner 2001: x; Games – 7
Steve Young 1992: 1; Games – 16
Steve Young 1993: 1; Games – 16
Steve Young 1994: 9; Games – 11
Steve Young 1997: 1; Games – 15
And then I added:
“So I’m ready to anoint Romo as a player to target this year, but what could really put him over the top for me would be the Cowboys selecting a quality wideout early in the draft. They will definitely take one on the first day, but if they opt to use their #1 pick on a receiver such as Ted Ginn, Robert Meachem, or Dwayne Bowe, Romo’s supporting cast at receiver will be downright deadly. It’s going to be good no matter what – watch out for TE Jason Witten this year, by the way – but it could be scary-good.”
Now, this year, as I was reviewing options to squeeze into the top-10, I read up on Horn’s stuff on Schaub. Once I read it, I was more than ready to slot him at #10, at least for now. If he sticks that high, we’ll have to spell out the caveats over and over again because there are two big ones (injuries and a man name Rosenfels, who is a fan favorite).
Here’s how Horn begins his overview:
“QB A completes 67% of his passes for 7.3 YPA with 2 TDs and 6 INTs in 165 throws. QB B has a 66% completion rate for 8.4 YPA, 7 TDs, and 3 INTs on 124 attempts. QB A is not bad, especially for a young guy, but made too many mistakes and didn’t throw for enough TDs to really stand out. QB B is a star in the making and although he has to prove it over it over a whole season, he’s over the 64%/8 YPA mark discussed in the Brady and Romo comments. Not enough throws to be significant, but tantalizing nonetheless. Of course, they’re actually the same player. It’s just that Schaub Part B got to throw to Andre Johnson and Part A did not.
Knowing how the formula worked out beautifully with Romo last year, and knowing that I saw Schaub play very well with my own two eyes, that’s pretty compelling stuff.
Horn goes on to give us more insight on the Completion %/YPA analysis:
“Since 1978, 23 QBs have topped a 66% completion rate and 7.7 YPA while throwing over 250 passes. Three of them were last year: Tom Brady, Brett Favre, and Matt Schaub. Eleven of the others missed two or more games but even so seven of the eleven them finished between #9 and #25 in fantasy QB scoring. But of the nine who stayed healthy, five finished as the #1 fantasy QB, two were #3, one was #6, and one was #12.”
Okay, for one, that’s damn good company, Brady and Favre. But check out the stat about the 23 guys who did what Schaub did with Johnson in the lineup last year (granted, a pretty small sampling). Throw out the guys who got hurt and focus on the nine guys who didn’t miss any time. More than half of them finished as the #1 fantasy QB the next year, which is amazing. Three more were in the top-6, and they were all in the top-12.
Based on these numbers, if Schaub can manage to stay healthy, he should be a mortal lock to finish in the top-10. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know that’s the big question, but isn’t he worth a flyer as a very low-end starter or a top backup? Based on his skills, his play last year when things were going well, and his potentially sick receiving corps, I say, hells yeah.