Jul 13, 2010
In case you did not know, I am hosting a daily show on the new Sirius/XM Fantasy Sports channel (XM 147 and Sirius 211) from 2-5 PM ET, and Senior Writers Matt Camp and Joe Dolan are doing weekend shows from 11am-2pm ET. It’s a little different than the Friday night and Tuesday night shows on Sirius NFL Radio channel 124 (which are no more) in that we have so much more time to delve deeper into the world on fantasy football. One of the ways we’re doing that is to offer up our “Stat of the Day,” which is supposed to be a random but interesting fantasy-related stat or series of stats. BTW, if you are a Sirius subscriber you have to add on “The Best of XM” package to get the show. Obviously, that’s not my call.
As you would expect, I have retained the services of resident stat head Mike Horn to help with these, and he’s been feeding them to me daily.
The show’s in its third week (I’m actually on vacation this week), so we have a decent number of Stat of the Day’s on file, so I figured I’d share them here on the blog in what is deadest period on the NFL calendar. From here on out, I’ll post a week’s worth here on the blog, for those interested.
Here’s what we have used so far for the Stat of the Day. These are unedited, and since I’m on vacation right now, I’m not exactly inclined to carefully edit them for merely a blog post, but you’ll get the point of each tidbit.
- It’s important to watch changes in teams as the season progresses. Last year, the Texan defense gave up 38 fantasy points per game to the opposing RBs (total, not just to one back) it faced in Weeks 1-3 (the Jets, Titans, and Jaguars). If you just assumed you could plug in any old back against Houston and feast on their defense, you would have been wrong. From week 4 on, the Texan defense only allowed about 15 FP/game to opposing RBs – well below the league average of about 19 and a half.
- Everyone knows Darrelle Revis shut down the best WR on opposing teams. But how did the second best WRs on those teams fare against the Jets D? While there’s some judgment involved in picking who those WRS were, they scored 90 FP (standard scoring) over 16 games against the Jets. That would be around the #46 ranked WR – so as low-end fantasy WR4s. The Patriots did alright, with Edelman and Welker putting up 10 and 20 FP respectively. Lee Evans had a good game (13 FP0 the first time the Bills faced the Jets, but only 4 FP the next time. Michael Jenkins (14 FP) and Austin Collie (9 FP) did well enough. Bottom line – a team with a good second wideout would do alright but weak WRs were still weak even against the 2nd best CB on the Jets.
- Philip Rivers averaged 8.8 YPA last year. Only 9 times have QBs had YPA that high since 1988 – Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner did it twice. In the next season, 3 QBs got hurt and played less than 14 games. Of the QBs who stayed healthy the next year, Roethlisberger ranked 9th in total FP (2006), Boomer Esiason finished 6th, and the others ranked #3 or better.
- Jay Cutler’s 26 INTs last year were only the 7th time since 1988 that a QB has thrown 25 or more interceptions in a season. Peyton Manning did it as a rookie and came back to rank 4th in total FP scoring the next year. Brett Favre did it in 2005 and ranked 8th in 2006. None of the other QBs finished in the top 12 QBs in the year after throwing so many picks.
- 77 RBs since 1988 have had yards per carry of 3.3 or less on at least 100 rushes and played the next season. 56 finished out of the Top 30 RBs in total FP. 5 ranked in the top 10, most recently Eddie George. Marshall Faulk came back from a bad 1996 where he averaged under 3 yards per carry in his 3rd season to rank 7th in 1997. So at least there is a slim hope for Steve Slaton.
- Thomas Jones was only the 3rd RB to rush for a 1000 yards while setting a career high at age 31. The other two were Curtis Martin, who also did it as a Jet and only ran for 735 yards the next season. The other was James Brooks, who had a slow start to his career just like Jones before breaking out in his late 20s. Brooks ran for 1239 yards at age 31 and a 1004 yards at age 32 before tailing off at 33.
- Clinton Portis had 9202 rushing yards at age 27. Only Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Jim Brown, and Edgerrin James had more at that age. Like Payton, Portis had a down year at age 28, only rushing for 596 yards (Portis had 494). Payton bounced back with four more seasons over 1300 yards rushing before declining at age 33. Payton only played 9 games in his down season while Portis played 8 last year. The difference was Payton was limited by a strike while Portis was hurt.
- New York Jets defense allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last year (11.6 in site default scoring system). Since 2002, as far back as our data base goes, the teams that led in this stat in one year gave up about 25% more points to opposing QBs the next season. They were still tough opponents, on average ranking in the bottom quarter for QB points allowed, just not as tough. Something to think about when judging Tom Brady or Chad Henne’s schedules.
- Randy Moss almost led WRs in fantasy scoring per game last year. He almost averaged a half point a game more than Andre Johnson. He almost averaged 16.3 yards per reception. Those were what his stats looked like in 14 of his 16 games. But he had to play against Darrelle Revis in his other two games and that pulled Moss down to 2nd place and 15.2 yards per catch.
- Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez are the only TEs to gain over 3000 yards the last three years. While helped that they also played all 48 games something only about a dozen teams have done – but they were also the only TEs to even average 60 yards a game, so there was no one who would have matched them even if he had stayed healthy.
- The five RBs who ran for 2000 yards before Chris Johnson averaged 2234 yards from scrimmage and over 15 TDs. In their next season, four of them averaged about 1400 yards from scrimmage and 7 TDs. And of course Terrell Davis only rushed 67 times before getting hurt.
- LaDainian Tomlinson was in his 9th season last year when he ranked 19th in points per game. His last three years, he ranked #1, #7, and #19. LT looked done last year, but at least one great back has had a rebound late in his career. Emmitt Smith, whose career looked a lot like Tomlinson’s, was #1 in his 6th season, then #6, and #18 – a very similar pattern although a year earlier in his career. Smith bounced back to rank 6th and then 5th in his 9th and 10th seasons.
- Only one QB has had a year close to Brett Favre’s at age 40 or older. In 1997, Warren Moon ranked 7th among QBs in total fantasy points at age 41 – Favre was 5th at age 40. Moon dropped to rank 28th in his next season. Favre is a year younger, probably on a better team, and was better than Moon at his peak. But time catches up to everyone.
- Terrell Owens played his 14th season in the NFL last year and ranked 26th in total fantasy points. Only 16 WRs played a 15th year. Only 3 ranked among the top 30 WRs – even the great Jerry Rice did not, although he still had 3 top 30 years in him and had ranked in the top 10 in his 14th season. Four other WRs ranked in the top 10 in the 14th year, and only James Lofton was a top 30 WR the next season (he ranked 19th).
- Last year, NFL TEs combined for 188 TD receptions, a new high, breaking the previous record of 187 in 2004. Here are the totals for the last several years: 2004 – 187, 2005 – 147, 2006 – 158, 2007 – 181, 2008 – 138, 2009 – 188. Each previous time the league’s TEs broke 180 TDs, the next year saw a decline of about 40 TDs by the group. If this pattern holds, TE TDs as a whole will decline in 2010.
- Aaron Rodgers was the first QB since Jeff George in 1997 be sacked 50 or more times while throwing less than 10 INTs. It only happened 5 other times since 1978, all between 1983 and 1987, including Ken O’Brien twice. In the subsequent season, their yards and TDs dropped 25%.
- 18 RBs since 1978 fumbled 20 or more times in their 1st three seasons, including Adrian Peterson. It was not a bar to 5 of them reaching the Hall of Fame – Eric Dickerson, Earl Campbell, Thurman Thomas, Marcus Allen, and Tony Dorsett. More recent examples include Jamal Lewis, Travis Henry, and Ricky Williams.
- At age 32, Randy Moss scored 204 fantasy points in a standard scoring system. Five other WRs scored over 200 points at age 32. They averaged 171 points at age 33, with 4 of the 5 declining and Jerry Rice improving from 249 to 284 points.
- Since 1978, TEs have scored 10 or more TDs 17 times, including 3 times in 2009 – Vernon Davis, Dallas Clark, and Visanthe Shiancoe. Four of the other 14 got hurt the next year and 10 played 14 or more games. Those 10 averaged 7 TDs after averaging 11 the year before.