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Better RB, Larry Johnson or Shaun Alexander

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Postby Free Bagel » Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:41 am

There's more to football than almanacs.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Mon Dec 26, 2005 11:13 am

Alexander had never avg'd 5 YPC or had a rushing title until this year. :-? Who's to say he'll ever do it again (or even will this year...what if he plays next week and gets stopped enough to get him under 5 YPC - highly unlikely but still)?

I just think it's too bad Deuce got hurt this year and has had an inept QB (and coach) to deal with for his whole career.

Deuce's rushing YPG in his first three years as a starter - 91.2 (in 45 games)
Shaun's rushing YPG in his first three years as a starter - 81.8 (in 48 games)

That's not even counting receiving yards - something that Deuce does way more of than Shaun. Those are two of the reasons why we had such high expectations for Deuce this year. The chances for improvement were there for him, especially with the new running scheme they were supposed to implement. He does seem to get hurt a little bit though which is about the only drawback I see as opposed to Shaun.

If you count everything but their first year (in which Deuce did average 5.7 YPC ;-)) - you get 94.1 for Shaun, 88.8 for Deuce. Pretty dang close if you ask me. Add in Deuce's receiving yards, and I'll bet the total yardage numbers are almost identical. It's just the TD's that make it look so different at this point.

Note that I don't play in keeper leagues in which I own Deuce or anything like that. I did draft him in two leagues this year though because I felt that he had a chance to really tear up the league.

OK...back to your regularly scheduled LJ/SA debate. :-/
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Postby alkaline » Mon Dec 26, 2005 9:07 pm

MEK4178 wrote:Larry has been amazing, and i mean amazing, but the only thing i worry about is that i'm not sure he can go a full season of carrying 30 times a game (like he has been)..


why not? Ricky Williams carried the ball like 3,000 times a few years ago...didn't slow him down...maybe caused him to retire...
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Postby The Great Gambini » Mon Dec 26, 2005 9:14 pm

It really does depend on how you mean: stat/fantasy-wise, or best tools-wise. If you're going statwise, you can't argue with SA...not only has he done it with the TDs and yards this year, but the year before that, and the one before that, etc. This 7 or 8 game stretch from LJ, while impressive indeed, doesn't even come close to matching the output we've seen from SA over the last few years.
By talent, I still think LT is the best. I've never seen SA or LJ completely juke out guys like LT does almost regularly...granted he's been brutal the last few weeks.
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Postby octagon999 » Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:20 am

Looking at the stats in my PPR league, LJ was the #4 points producer, even counting in Priest Holmes taking away time. Actual breakdown was: SA, LT, Steve Smith and then LJ.

In my league that only gives 0.5 ppr, it was SA, LT, and then LJ.

I'll be looking real long and hard at all three of them next year, but I still can't see taking anyone over LT, nor can I see anyone crying over getting any one of those three in the top three picks. Unlike say *cough*Peyton Manning*cough* owners.
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Postby Shader » Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:29 pm

Free Bagel wrote:There's more to football than almanacs.


Maybe so, but anyone that thinks Deuce Mcallister is in the same area code as Shaun Alexander really makes me question if they've actually watched the two play? Deuce had one really good year, but other than that has done nothing. SA is more consistent, runs for a higher ypc, scores more touchdowns, is ten times more durable...I mean how can you even make an argument for Mcallister without really stretching the facts and making wild assumptions of what "could have been"? LJ vs SA, LT vs SA, these are good arguments. Deuce vs SA?? Please.

Stats aren't everything, but they aren't meaningless, either.
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Postby awwchrist » Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:45 pm

But what about Alexander versus Portis? /throws grenade.

Seriously though, I can't help but see this as a mirror image of McGahee. Half a season. Sick stats. Potential bumps him for next season's draft....

The only difference is that McGahee got billing as top 5 material, LJ is getting first pick overall.

That's a lot of eggs to put in one basket. And anyone with McGahee this year can tell you how their basket fared.

Next year is going to be another situation where I'd much rather get the #3 spot and get whichever back falls to me (Tomlinson, Alexander, LJ).
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Postby biju » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:10 pm

awwchrist wrote:But what about Alexander versus Portis? /throws grenade.

Seriously though, I can't help but see this as a mirror image of McGahee. Half a season. Sick stats. Potential bumps him for next season's draft....

The only difference is that McGahee got billing as top 5 material, LJ is getting first pick overall.

That's a lot of eggs to put in one basket. And anyone with McGahee this year can tell you how their basket fared.

Next year is going to be another situation where I'd much rather get the #3 spot and get whichever back falls to me (Tomlinson, Alexander, LJ).


I understand what you're saying about McGahee, but do keep in mind that even though it's been only two separate halves of seasons where LJ has torn up the field (both last year and this year) at least he has something else to fall back on. McGahee has the end of last season and maybe a game or two this season. Otherwise he's been either hurt or crap.

I do agree he's going to get overvalued some in redraft leagues (he's probably already gone in keepers) but I don't think a first round pick is out of the question at all. And given the number of 1st round busts this year I would feel good saying he's top 5 at the very least.

As for the SA vs. LJ debate I think it's a little silly. You cannot compare a partial season against a full season. If you think that way, you probably also picked up Frisman Jackson and figured Cadillac Williams was going to run away with the rushing title.

Also, I'm certainly hoping LT has owners remembering how lousy he was in these last 3 weeks so he drops in other leagues. ;-D
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:13 pm

Shader wrote:
Free Bagel wrote:There's more to football than almanacs.


Maybe so, but anyone that thinks Deuce Mcallister is in the same area code as Shaun Alexander really makes me question if they've actually watched the two play? Deuce had one really good year, but other than that has done nothing. SA is more consistent, runs for a higher ypc, scores more touchdowns, is ten times more durable...I mean how can you even make an argument for Mcallister without really stretching the facts and making wild assumptions of what "could have been"? LJ vs SA, LT vs SA, these are good arguments. Deuce vs SA?? Please.

Stats aren't everything, but they aren't meaningless, either.


Talent wise - they are obviously 2 different kinds of RBs, but I do think Deuce is arguably a better RB than SA in terms of talent. The biggest thing that favors SA is the injury history.

What facts are you referring to when you say they must be stretched to make an argument? Are you referring to combine scores, scouting grades, that sort of thing, or are you referring to stats?

Also - regarding stats - what can you take from them that directly relates to talent? If a RB runs for 2000 yds, how much of that is talent, how much is his oline, his offense, his home stadium, what about his SOS? So, what exactly can you take from a players stats that you would directly attribute to his talent?

These are generally the attributes that are looked at when trying to define how talented a RB is: Speed, Acceleration, Shiftyness, Vision, Hands, Catching, Blocking, Awareness, Durability. So, if SA ran for 1800 yds and 26 TDs this yr, how fast is he? How would you grade his blocking ability? Is he shifty in small spaces?

Bottom line - how can you possibly correlate stats into talent?
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Postby Azrael » Wed Dec 28, 2005 1:14 pm

The difference with McGahee is that the defense was pretty bad versus last year's where the defense created alot of opportunistic situations. The O-line wasn't real good and Bledsoe left.

As long as all the pieces remain in place on the offense for LJ in KC, there should be no reason he doesn't put up huge numbers all year.

While Alexander has most likely had his career year, there's no reason for him to not be taken No. 1 overall next year as he'll probably put up 1,500yds and close to 20 TDs again. He does it every year.
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