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Re: Willie Parker

Postby Humpback » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:00 pm

JasonSeahorn wrote:
sappisgod wrote:
Why would you put him in on goalline, with Mendenhall right there to use though? I understand why you'd WANT them to, but I wouldn't understand why the Steelers would throw out a smaller back when Mendenhall is quite good in short yardage. That would be one of the places I think Mendenhall would help, and find his niche (if need be) immediately.


Mendenhall is 1 inch taller and 1 pound heavier than FWP. That doesn't look like a big difference to me.

If the situation turns out like Dallas where Julius Jones was not great at converting short yards and goal line runs while Marion Barber was much better, then I agree the Steelers would use one back over the other in all short yardage situations. We won't really know that until they tell us something or we find out in preseason, so I would guess Tomlin would opt to boost his RBs' confidence by letting them finish a possession if they are the ones who brought the team to the goal line, unless it was an extreme situation like FWP had a 70 yard run and was tackled at the 3, so they would bring in Mendenhall because FWP could be too tired to punch it in. But this situation can happen to almost any running back.


I think you're confused- first you said Stewart in your earlier post, and now you say Mendenhall is 1 pound heavier? He's about 15 pounds heavier, and he could still add some muscle as he's only going to be 21 and hasn't been part of an NFL workout regimine yet.

They drafted Mendenhall, who is better suited for that whether you believe it or not, and they still have Davenport, who they did give a lot of the goal lines too last year. Davenport never had more than 6 receptions for 38 yards in a season in his career, and he's had almost as many receiving yards as Parker each of the last 2 years he's been in Pitt. That shows you that they aren't overly high on Parker's receiving skills. Moore has been a much better receiving RB than Parker in his career, and they usually don't bring in a guy on a 3 yr. deal just to return punts. He'll get some snaps, mostly on 3rd down.

Parker won't get much work on 3rd downs between Moore and Mendy, and probably won't get much work at the goal line between Mendy and Davenport. He'll score a few longer TDs, and I'll give him a couple of shorter ones too, but I disagree that he's going to get the obvious goal line carries. I think there's a 90% chance he doesn't as of now.

Tomlin's not going to be worried about leaving a guy in for his confidence (he wasn't last year), he's going to be trying to give his team the best chance to score and win. Keeping 2 or 3 guys in the mix helps keep everyone healthy and fresh for the season, which is why a lot of teams are moving in that direction. Parker is the smallest of the trio, so it wouldn't make sense to have him take the pounding of the short yardage plays.

It sounds like your basing your opinion on what you want them to do, not what it seems likely for them to do. It could happen, but I draft on what seems likely. I think he'll still get 15-20 touches per game, but I don't think he'll get the critical goal line or 3rd down plays that really add to a players value. 3rd or 4th round is right about where he should be drafted based on the entire situation right now IMO.
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Re: Willie Parker

Postby JasonSeahorn » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:31 pm

Made a mistake with the Stewart mention in my earlier post, must have had Jonathan Stewart's name in my mind when I wrote that.

I am now officially confused about Mendenhall's weight, http://www.nfl.com/players/rashardmendenhall/profile?id=MEN393702 lists him as 210 and http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=11257 lists him at 224. I guess the 224 must be the right one since that is the one you are referring to as 15 pounds heavier, not sure why NFL.com hasn't updated that yet.

In the case of the new weight, it makes more sense to hear that Mendenhall will be used more frequently for short yard conversions. His days of being a RB1 are definitely gone but don't have a problem with him being my RB2. With so many RBs and Wides + Brady and Manning going in the first 2 rounds, Parker will probably dip to the 3rd round and that is an ok place to take him IMO.
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Re: Willie Parker

Postby mattb47 » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:40 pm

Humpback wrote:If you don't think Parker has quite a few question marks, you must be looking at a different situation than I am. He broke his leg. Sure, maybe he's going to be 100%. If he's only 95%, that could be a big difference for someone with speed as his main asset. They drafted who many think was the best RB in the draft. They brought in a 3rd down specialist at RB, who played for Tomlin while at Minny. They gave the goal line carries to a below average RB last year, who they still have as of now. They lost their best run blocking O-lineman to FA. He was leading the league in rushing only because of the number of carries- he had a pedestrian 4.1 ypc.

Let's take a look at your numbers- if we give Parker 250 carries, and we give him his 4.4 career ypc (even though that's declined every single year), that's 1100 yards. He had 2 TDs last year, so to project him for more than 5 this year, while certainly possible, would be too many. His career high in receiving is 222 yards. Let's give him 200, and that's generous given the circumstances.

Where do you think a 1300 total yard, 5 TD RB should be drafted? 3rd, 4th round? How is he a "flat out steal"? Sure, Mendenhall could stink or get hurt, Davenport could be arrested or cut, and Moore could be a non-factor. Maybe they don't bring in someone else if all those things happen. If that's the case, then maybe he'd be worth a late 1st or 2nd round pick. Until then, 3rd or 4th round is about right as a #2 RB. He has #1 upside, but he also has #3 downside.


Firstly, I never said Parker didn't have some question marks...but he's being dismissed rather easily as not going to have as being a pretty big part of the offense this year which is a pretty huge jump in assumptions. So very many times people look at draft picks and free agent acquisitions as being these HUGE hits to the current RBs role and how many times do we see the backup come in and not nearly make the kind of impact that some people assumed would happen and that the incumbent RB who knows everything in the system better is still the key part of that offense. I think we need to keep in mind that the Steelers didn't go into the draft saying that they wanted a player like Mendenhall or anything like that, it wasn't a high priority, but when someone like that drops into your lap, you don't let him pass. I mean even look at how much Chester Taylor was used last year alongside ADP, and Taylor is not as good as Parker and Mendenhall is nowhere near ADP.

How many times do you see a player in a limited role like that have the same or lower ypc? Not often at all. Look at Fred Taylor as an example. In every season he had played in the NFL before 2006-2007 when MJD joined up, he never had a ypc over 4.8 which was back in 2000 and his career average even with recent higher years added in is just 4.7. Yet, with Jones-Drew added into the mix and getting less touches per game his ypc has gotten BETTER each of the past to years going up to 5.0 ypc in 2006 and 5.4 ypc in 2007. You'll see a lot of times where RBs tend to get a better ypc in a split role than they would in a full time position...part of this is obviously going to be what the defense is looking to gameplan against since it's much easier to gameplan just against a pure speed back like Parker than a duo like Parker/Mendenhall and your defensive looks are going to be much different.

I think you're taking a lot of what are just "possible" situations and basically having them all go against Parker and assuming the worst he'll likely do this year. You're basically assuming that all of the free agent and draft acquisitions will somehow have a leg up on the incumbent Parker who has done a great job as RB for this team for 3 years now including helping them win a Super Bowl. From what you're saying, we'll have Mendenhall getting all of the goal line (which while he'll get most, he wont get all of them), some of the other carries, and then he or Moore will take 3rd downs. I think this happens a lot with free agent and draft acquisitions that lots of assumptions are made on what will happen when a lot of times things just don't end up going the way everyone seemed to think.
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Re: Willie Parker

Postby Humpback » Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:53 pm

mattb47 wrote:
Humpback wrote:If you don't think Parker has quite a few question marks, you must be looking at a different situation than I am. He broke his leg. Sure, maybe he's going to be 100%. If he's only 95%, that could be a big difference for someone with speed as his main asset. They drafted who many think was the best RB in the draft. They brought in a 3rd down specialist at RB, who played for Tomlin while at Minny. They gave the goal line carries to a below average RB last year, who they still have as of now. They lost their best run blocking O-lineman to FA. He was leading the league in rushing only because of the number of carries- he had a pedestrian 4.1 ypc.

Let's take a look at your numbers- if we give Parker 250 carries, and we give him his 4.4 career ypc (even though that's declined every single year), that's 1100 yards. He had 2 TDs last year, so to project him for more than 5 this year, while certainly possible, would be too many. His career high in receiving is 222 yards. Let's give him 200, and that's generous given the circumstances.

Where do you think a 1300 total yard, 5 TD RB should be drafted? 3rd, 4th round? How is he a "flat out steal"? Sure, Mendenhall could stink or get hurt, Davenport could be arrested or cut, and Moore could be a non-factor. Maybe they don't bring in someone else if all those things happen. If that's the case, then maybe he'd be worth a late 1st or 2nd round pick. Until then, 3rd or 4th round is about right as a #2 RB. He has #1 upside, but he also has #3 downside.


Firstly, I never said Parker didn't have some question marks...but he's being dismissed rather easily as not going to have as being a pretty big part of the offense this year which is a pretty huge jump in assumptions. So very many times people look at draft picks and free agent acquisitions as being these HUGE hits to the current RBs role and how many times do we see the backup come in and not nearly make the kind of impact that some people assumed would happen and that the incumbent RB who knows everything in the system better is still the key part of that offense. I think we need to keep in mind that the Steelers didn't go into the draft saying that they wanted a player like Mendenhall or anything like that, it wasn't a high priority, but when someone like that drops into your lap, you don't let him pass. I mean even look at how much Chester Taylor was used last year alongside ADP, and Taylor is not as good as Parker and Mendenhall is nowhere near ADP.

How many times do you see a player in a limited role like that have the same or lower ypc? Not often at all. Look at Fred Taylor as an example. In every season he had played in the NFL before 2006-2007 when MJD joined up, he never had a ypc over 4.8 which was back in 2000 and his career average even with recent higher years added in is just 4.7. Yet, with Jones-Drew added into the mix and getting less touches per game his ypc has gotten BETTER each of the past to years going up to 5.0 ypc in 2006 and 5.4 ypc in 2007. You'll see a lot of times where RBs tend to get a better ypc in a split role than they would in a full time position...part of this is obviously going to be what the defense is looking to gameplan against since it's much easier to gameplan just against a pure speed back like Parker than a duo like Parker/Mendenhall and your defensive looks are going to be much different.

I think you're taking a lot of what are just "possible" situations and basically having them all go against Parker and assuming the worst he'll likely do this year. You're basically assuming that all of the free agent and draft acquisitions will somehow have a leg up on the incumbent Parker who has done a great job as RB for this team for 3 years now including helping them win a Super Bowl. From what you're saying, we'll have Mendenhall getting all of the goal line (which while he'll get most, he wont get all of them), some of the other carries, and then he or Moore will take 3rd downs. I think this happens a lot with free agent and draft acquisitions that lots of assumptions are made on what will happen when a lot of times things just don't end up going the way everyone seemed to think.


Read what I wrote again. I'm not assuming worst case scenario for Parker at all, I'm just factoring everything and coming up with my most likely scenarios. Worst case, Parker isn't even a #3 RB, nevermind a #2 (yes it is possible that Mendy overtakes him this year, although not likely IMO). I'm going based on what happened last year (Parker wasn't a great FF RB, and Davenport got a lot of short yardage and 3rd down work), and accounting for all of the changes this offseason. It's hard to go gaga over a guy who was a #2 RB last year (even before the injury), and his situation has gotten worse, not better. The only positive spin for this offseason is that his ypc might increase if his workload decreases (although that could be offset by the fact that his ypc has decreased every single season so far), but let's not compare Parker to F. Taylor. Taylor is a much, much better all around RB than Parker, who is mostly a one-trick pony. Everything else (they brought in 2 more RBs, lost their best lineman, he's coming off an injury, etc.) is a negative for him.

I don't think Mendy will get all of the goal lines, but I do think the combination of him and Davenport get most of them, just like I think the combo of him and Moore get the majority of the 3rd down work.

I'm not dismissing him at all, especially from an NFL standpoint. But, from a FF standpoint, he's a #2 (even lower #2) RB right now, and should be drafted in the 3rd or 4th round. Like I said, he has upside from there if a lot of things go his way, but he also has downside if they don't. It's not like I'm saying he should be drafted in the 8th round or anything, but higher than the 3rd and you're taking a lot of risk without as much reward.

I'm projecting him for about 1250 total yards and 5 TDs, which is worth a 3rd or 4th round pick- what are your projections that make him such a big steal?
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Re: Willie Parker

Postby sappisgod » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:02 pm

Humpback wrote:
JasonSeahorn wrote:
sappisgod wrote:
Why would you put him in on goalline, with Mendenhall right there to use though? I understand why you'd WANT them to, but I wouldn't understand why the Steelers would throw out a smaller back when Mendenhall is quite good in short yardage. That would be one of the places I think Mendenhall would help, and find his niche (if need be) immediately.


Mendenhall is 1 inch taller and 1 pound heavier than FWP. That doesn't look like a big difference to me.

If the situation turns out like Dallas where Julius Jones was not great at converting short yards and goal line runs while Marion Barber was much better, then I agree the Steelers would use one back over the other in all short yardage situations. We won't really know that until they tell us something or we find out in preseason, so I would guess Tomlin would opt to boost his RBs' confidence by letting them finish a possession if they are the ones who brought the team to the goal line, unless it was an extreme situation like FWP had a 70 yard run and was tackled at the 3, so they would bring in Mendenhall because FWP could be too tired to punch it in. But this situation can happen to almost any running back.


I think you're confused- first you said Stewart in your earlier post, and now you say Mendenhall is 1 pound heavier? He's about 15 pounds heavier, and he could still add some muscle as he's only going to be 21 and hasn't been part of an NFL workout regimine yet.

They drafted Mendenhall, who is better suited for that whether you believe it or not, and they still have Davenport, who they did give a lot of the goal lines too last year. Davenport never had more than 6 receptions for 38 yards in a season in his career, and he's had almost as many receiving yards as Parker each of the last 2 years he's been in Pitt. That shows you that they aren't overly high on Parker's receiving skills. Moore has been a much better receiving RB than Parker in his career, and they usually don't bring in a guy on a 3 yr. deal just to return punts. He'll get some snaps, mostly on 3rd down.

Parker won't get much work on 3rd downs between Moore and Mendy, and probably won't get much work at the goal line between Mendy and Davenport. He'll score a few longer TDs, and I'll give him a couple of shorter ones too, but I disagree that he's going to get the obvious goal line carries. I think there's a 90% chance he doesn't as of now.

Tomlin's not going to be worried about leaving a guy in for his confidence (he wasn't last year), he's going to be trying to give his team the best chance to score and win. Keeping 2 or 3 guys in the mix helps keep everyone healthy and fresh for the season, which is why a lot of teams are moving in that direction. Parker is the smallest of the trio, so it wouldn't make sense to have him take the pounding of the short yardage plays.

It sounds like your basing your opinion on what you want them to do, not what it seems likely for them to do. It could happen, but I draft on what seems likely.
I think he'll still get 15-20 touches per game, but I don't think he'll get the critical goal line or 3rd down plays that really add to a players value. 3rd or 4th round is right about where he should be drafted based on the entire situation right now IMO.


Exactly. I could easily see Mendenhall reach sometime in the near future, though it wouldn't be in his best interest to exceed that by much.
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Re: Willie Parker

Postby stomperrob » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:27 pm

Steelers Notebook: Tomlin says Parker in goal-line mix again
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Willie Parker wouldn't mind a change in nicknames from Fast Willie to Touchdown Willie.

"I want to score some touchdowns," Parker said after he scored on the first play of the goal-line drill that ended practice last night.

Two years ago, Parker was a touchdown machine; he scored 16. Last year, he nearly was shut out; he scored just two.

"I wasn't playing on the goal line," Parker explained of the difference. "When you don't play on the goal line, that's a big difference."

That's why Parker wants to persuade coach Mike Tomlin to return him to the goal-line offense, a job held last year by the now-departed Najeh Davenport. He got that wish for the first of seven goal-line plays last night and popped into the end zone off right guard.

con't...



rest of article: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08219/902115-66.stm
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Re: Willie Parker

Postby steelerfan513 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:17 pm

stomperrob wrote:
Steelers Notebook: Tomlin says Parker in goal-line mix again
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Willie Parker wouldn't mind a change in nicknames from Fast Willie to Touchdown Willie.

"I want to score some touchdowns," Parker said after he scored on the first play of the goal-line drill that ended practice last night.

Two years ago, Parker was a touchdown machine; he scored 16. Last year, he nearly was shut out; he scored just two.

"I wasn't playing on the goal line," Parker explained of the difference. "When you don't play on the goal line, that's a big difference."

That's why Parker wants to persuade coach Mike Tomlin to return him to the goal-line offense, a job held last year by the now-departed Najeh Davenport. He got that wish for the first of seven goal-line plays last night and popped into the end zone off right guard.

con't...



rest of article: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08219/902115-66.stm


I can't say I'm too surprised. 9 of Parker's 13 rushing touchdowns from two years ago were 4 yards or shorter, and only one was longer than 9 yards, so he does have a history of successful goal line work. If Parker were to win the job, my guess is Mendenhall would get carries right away, and Moore would probably take over third downs to keep both Parker and Mendenhall fresh.

But we have to wait and see. Parker, Mendenhall, and Gary Russell all have a shot at getting the goal line work. Plus, it might not matter who it is if the offensive line can't get their s**t together.
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Re: Willie Parker

Postby mystykoekaki » Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:35 pm

"Tomlin says Parker in goal-line mix again" ... bunch of bologna.
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Re: Willie Parker

Postby Munboy » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:22 pm

mystykoekaki wrote:"Tomlin says Parker in goal-line mix again" ... bunch of bologna.


I agree. I read an article the other day where Parker is going to be on the field most of the time, but he will be taking the reps that go outside the tackle box. Menny will be pounding the middle, with Moore taking 3rd down reps. When it gets down to the goalline, I'm sure we'll be seeing Menny trotting onto the field. Don't forget, while Parker was leading the league in rushing until he broke his leg, he only had a handful of TDs. Another thing that scares me away from Parker is the fact that the Steelers are trying to convert from a power/play action run team to a zone blocking team. Their most athletic/best pulling Olinemen is now with the Jets and a lot of the guys they have brought in over the past few years are for power running...so, their weakest link last year remains so this year. :-t
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Re: Willie Parker

Postby LT Blue Colt » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:36 pm

Munboy wrote:
mystykoekaki wrote:"Tomlin says Parker in goal-line mix again" ... bunch of bologna.


I agree. I read an article the other day where Parker is going to be on the field most of the time, but he will be taking the reps that go outside the tackle box. Menny will be pounding the middle, with Moore taking 3rd down reps. When it gets down to the goalline, I'm sure we'll be seeing Menny trotting onto the field. Don't forget, while Parker was leading the league in rushing until he broke his leg, he only had a handful of TDs. Another thing that scares me away from Parker is the fact that the Steelers are trying to convert from a power/play action run team to a zone blocking team. Their most athletic/best pulling Olinemen is now with the Jets and a lot of the guys they have brought in over the past few years are for power running...so, their weakest link last year remains so this year. :-t


I don't think I'd hold much on that article. If it were true, then I guess every team would know what to do when they played Pittsburgh. ;-7
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