Saturday, September 6

Stat Boy Saturday: How Should You Deal With Questionable Players?

Another week with our honorary stat boy, Zach Fein of Fein Sports. A contributor with as much stat muscle as anyone in the business. You may not understand what he's says and use it for you fantasy leagues, but if you're in the mood to be baffled and confused, then boy does he have you covered. Because life is one big spreadsheet. This week he tackles the mystery novel that is the NFL injury report. You know the feeling: Half-hour before gametime, and you have three players listed as questionable in your starting lineup, frantically hoping all three play. The best thing to do is to wait until the inactives list comes out, and go from there. But what if you aren’t by a computer with Internet access, and can’t edit your lineup at all on Sunday? We know that some players—Brian Westbrook, Plaxico Burress, and Tom Brady up until this week—are always on the injury report and play 95% of their games. And we know that some teams—check that, a team—don’t like to release truthful injury information (*coughPatriotscough*). So can we figure out the percentage of players on a team’s injury report that play every week? Why yes, yes we can. The following table shows the amount of players listed as questionable last year that played and didn’t play for each team (with coaches and their changes if appropriate). All positions except for the offensive line were included. (Sorry for the big space; apparently blogger has a problem posting tables.)
Team HC Last HC Now %Play
ARI Whisenhunt same 70.0
ATL Petrino M.Smith/JAX 52.9
BAL Billick Harbaugh/PHI 53.4
BUF Jauron same 60.0
CAR Fox same 44.4
CHI L.Smith same 53.3
CIN Lewis same 30.0
CLE Crennel same 61.9
DAL Phillips same 53.8
DEN Shanahan same 28.9
DET Marinelli same 36.8
GBP McCarthy same 33.3
HOU Kubiak same 26.7
IND Dungy same 24.2
JAX Del Rio same 45.8
KC Edwards same 37.5
MIA Cameron Sparano/DAL 63.3
MIN Childress same 34.2
NE Belichick same 50.9
NO Payton same 25.0
NYG Coughlin same 72.7
NYJ Mangini same 85.9
OAK Kiffin same 35.0
PHI Reid same 60.0
PIT Tomlin same 16.7
SD Turner same 70.6
SEA Holmgren same 40.0
SF Nolan same 53.3
STL Linehan same 21.1
TAM Gruden same 63.8
TEN Fisher same 46.2
WAS Gibbs Zorn/SEA 35.7
  • The Jets had by far the most players listed as questionable, and by far the highest percentage of those players who played. The other New York team, the Giants, also had a high playing-percentage.
  • On the other end, the Colts had the second-most questionable players, and had more than three-quarters who didn’t play.
  • Want to know the percentages for the whole league? Almost half: 49.9%. There were 899 players listed as questionable last year; 449 played, and 450 didn’t. Among individual teams, 17 had less-than-half of their questionable players play, and 15 had more-than-half play.

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Friday, September 5

Creative Jucies Flow. "Start 'Em Sit 'Em" Retires. "Name Calling" Is Introduced. Week 1

Name Calling Is Our Weekly Feature where we help you figure out which name to call for that flex position, #3 wideout spot, or any other lineup conundrum you may be faced with. Our goal is to help you decide on borderline starters by revealing who will hit pay dirt and who will implode. None of this "start Tom Brady" or "sit Derek Hagan" non sense. No loving, hating, flaming, or video gaming either. Just a bit of name calling is all. "Do we have a schedule for you... Best part is, unlike the offseason, we think we're going to be able to stick to it!" This is awkward. First day in and crazy come from nowhere schedules already are putting us off. Umm... I'll just get on with it then... Who You Gonna Call Chad Pennington - If you're in a 12 team league or bigger and you have say, Mat Schaub as your starter going up against the Steelers, look Pennington's way. Two of New York's cornerbacks have been limited in practice this week and are questionable for Sundays matchup, which could open up room for the passing game. Both CB's play on the right side of the defense, which could also mean a huge night for Ted Ginn, as he'll be playing the Jets' third stringer. Plus, Chadwick may have a little grudge against his former team. Some guy pulled out of retirement and stole his job or something. Lawrence Maroney - Maroney has a cake walk first matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, he was good down the stretch at the end of last season, and the word on the street is that Belichick won't throw the bal 3289 times a game this year. Lawrence should benefit. Start him in all leagues. Patrick Crayton - Crayton shows up around three times a year and the rest of the season just fades into oblivion. Bank on this week being one of those three times. Cleveland got brutalized by passing games all last year, giving up 29 touchdowns through the air, the second highest total in the league. Crayton's the number 2 guy in Dallas so he'll get the looks. Plug him in as a 3rd wide receiver or a flex guy in 12 teamers. Derrick Mason - Joe Flacco is starting this game for the Ravens and it will be his first chance against an NFL defense. Actually, Cincinatti being called an NFL defense is arguable. They can't stop the pass at all. Flacco has an easy matchup to start his career and he'll be targeting his number 1 wideout and safety option Derrick Mason early and often. Mason's a quality start in all leagues. Who You Not Gonna Call Donovan McNabb - Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis are not expected to play. The St. Louis Rams were surprisingly not horrible against the pass last year. Donovan's not going to put up big numbers against St. Louis throwing to Hank Baskett. Maurice Jones Drew and Fred Taylor - Two. That's how many running backs got 100 rushing yards off the Tennessee Titans during the regular season. Fourty eight. That's how many yards Taylor and MoJo combined for in last year's season opener against the Titans. Four. That's how many names Maurice Christoper Jones-Drew has. While that is tempting, resist. Sit both guys in 12 team leagues. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart - I'm not picking on running back by commitees. Really, I'm not. It's just that the two best timeshares in the league both have ridiculously hard matchups in this first week. The Chargers front seven might be the best in the league. DWill and JStew won't get enough individual touches to put up solid numbers against the Bolts. In all normal sized leagues they should be on your bench. Any Denver Wide Receiver - Brandon Marshall being out is not good for the rest of the wide outs on his team. They'll get more opportunities, but overall, Darrell Jackson and Keary Colbert and whoever else you might think would benefit is not a good fantasy option. They're playing the Raiders. Oakland actually has a good secondary. All Denver WR's will be playing up a spot so they'll be faced against better corners than they're used to. A guy like Jackson is not a fantasy starter when he's going up against Nnamdi Asomugha. That's it folks. A special, abbreviated week 1 Name Calling for a special, umm, abbreviated week that had a game on Thursday. Aww that's a reach. I just got busy.
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Thursday, September 4

And So It Begins...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Actually what am I saying. Right now is most definitely only the best time of the year. Football season.
And do we have a schedule for you this year. A-Koz, Stat Boy, a new guy who you haven't met yet, and I have put together an amazing content lineup to guide you along your epic quest to fantasy fame and pride.
Best part is, unlike the offseason, we think we're going to be able to stick to it!
Now if I can get my lovely assistant to remove the red curtain...
- Weekend Recap
- HAIRY's. The weekly awards for which we're still looking for ideas (see the side column)
- Monday Night Recap. With in depth analysis of Tony Kornheiser's "jokes"
- Running the Wire
- News From Ball Street. Or Stock Watch if you are too cool for a little pun
- Weekly Distraction From Your Fantasy Football That Is Distracting You From Work. The weekly post of irrelevancy.
- Man Crush Thursday. It's a shame it didn't fit into a schedule slot that could provide some alliteration
- Start 'Em, Sit 'Em. Because we couldn't think of anything more creative
- Stat Boy Spotlight. You know the drill
- Keeping Up With the Bones'. Thank you, thank you, I'll take my pulitzer now (Injury Report)
There ya go. Now you know exactly what to expect each day for when you're perusing the interweb for fantasy help and lameness.

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