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Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

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Re: Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

Postby mattb47 » Wed May 20, 2009 7:04 pm

Also...if anyone's wondering I'm not trying to "argue" per say with people's comments, just trying to give information on what went into me projecting the numbers for certain guys in question like I did. Wasn't really enough room to fully explain each one but I can try if you guys are wondering about any of them.

I'm also going to be working on a RB one of these...that one will probably take a LONG time but will be interesting to see what comes out of it. If anyone wants to help me with the determining of the split of carries in certain situations that would probably be a big help as that's going to be the hardest part is determining the % that each guy will take from the pie.
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Re: Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

Postby mrblitz » Wed May 20, 2009 8:04 pm

Hey Matt, Excellent Job. Love where you have McNabb. Palmer could be higher imho. Who needs fantasy mags when you got Mattb. Can't wait for Rb's! And you realize your'e gonna have to do WR's,TE,DEF, and Kickers too right? Just kiddin, sort of. Thanks for the huge effort with the lists.
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Re: Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

Postby Kensat30 » Wed May 20, 2009 8:09 pm

I like the method and I like the results you got Matt, good work.

I agree 100% with your top tier even though I have them in a slightly different order (Peyton #3 following loss of Harrison). I think Brees and Brady are good picks in the 2nd round of redrafts and Peyton in the 3rd. These three guys are the ones I can see carrying a team single-handedly into the playoffs.

Warner at #4 is the first trouble spot I see. I know the guy has played extremely well the last year and change, he's been great in the past, he has great weapons now, etc. etc. but the guy is old and has an injury history and a once highly thought of backup behind him. Forget that his #2 is unhappy with his contract and might not even end up on the team to start the season (10-20% chance now) or that his STUD WR is madden cursed, I see a lot of risk with Warner himself. All it will take is one hard hit and one concussion to send this guy plummeting into the forgotten land of QB benchwarmers. The guy has been known to be a fumble machine in the past. PPG-wise, I think that Warner actually belongs in the top tier of players up there with the Bradys and Brees of the world. That statement conflicts with what I said earlier about your top tier and here's why.

I've come to realize that there is a major flaw in the "stat projection" model after using it myself off and on the past several years. It doesn't accurately weigh the risk of your draft picks. I personally like to draft almost purely on upside and PPG potential, which stat projection does measure quite well, but I think it's foolish not to adjust rankings for the different types of risk that can affect value throughout the season. When you project stats, there is no range to give you a best and worst case scenario, only a single predicted value. You can factor out games for certain players, but I think that it's tough to justify putting a top tier player with an substantial injury risk such as Warner as the #10 projected QB due to games missed. Bottomline, pure projections just don't give you a complete picture.

If you wanted to do things differently, I think it would be extremely tough to get an accurate range for every player if you tried to do it that way. Anyone can get injured at any time and the true floor of any player on this list should be equal to what Tom Brady experienced last season, basically a lost season. But there ARE intuitive factors out there that you can associate with added risk that don't show up on paper. For instance if there is a talented backup behind a player and the job might not be as stable as it could be, if there is an injury history, the injury history of supporting cast, the change in scheme/coaching from year to year, change in offensive lines, defense, improvements in the division, etc. etc. A lot of these things factor into the projection you make, but then again there are a lot of things that don't. I think projections are a good tool to get an idea of what a player is capable of, but I don't think that you should base rankings entirely off projections.

That said:

I think projected numbers favor these players more than they should:
Kurt Warner, Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, and Matt Cassel.

I think projected numbers disfavor these players:
Matt Schaub, Ben Roethlisberger, Kyle Orton, Trent Edwards, Eli Manning, Jake Delhomme, and Matt Hasselbeck.


The one glaring mistake I see in your rankings for me is Matt Hasselbeck. This guy is a former top5 fantasy Qb. He plays in the weakest defensive division in football. Last year he was injured, his offensive line got injured, and his 1st, 2nd, AND 3rd string WRs got injured. Seattle added a potential pro-bowl WR in the offseason, recovered all the other starting WRs from last year, and added the biggest playmaker in the draft on defense. Factor in that the former division winners have both the Super Bowl curse and the Madden curse on their best player, and Seattle is my clear favorite to win this division in 2009. Matt Hasselbeck should be a shoe-in top10 QB barring injury. The RBs aren't good enough to score the points they need to win, so Matt Hasselbeck is going to be the guy carrying that load. Maybe you are waiting to move Hasselbeck up after the issues with the back injury are 100% okayed, but to have him down near #30 in the rankings and below even a guy like Shaun Hill, who has a good chance to open the year on the bench, is a big mistake IMO.

The biggest value on your list other than Hasselbeck is Jake Delhomme. Jake is the single most underrated QB in the NFL IMO. This is a guy who has both Steve Smith and Mushin Muhammad on the team right now, the same two guys he turned into the #1 fantasy WR in the NFL in different seasons. Jake Delhomme was without Steve Smith for a couple of games last year and they had the #1 most potent running game in the league by far. Every division in this division is improving, and I think Carolina is going to need to pass more to win football games. Deangelo Williams is a great player and so is Jonathon Stewart, but what they accomplished last year was a fluke. These guys regularly ran for a ton of yards and they punched in virtually every single touchdown in the redzone. Meanwhile Steve Smith quietly received on 100 yards a game pace. Step down the running game and step up the passing game just a slight bit and Delhomme is a servicable QB1. At 20+ in the rankings, this guy is a tail-end QB2.

The most overrated player on your list is Phillip Rivers. First and most importantly, Ladanian Tomlinson was injured all of last season. This is the same guy who was consistently the most productive RB in the league in rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns. ESPECIALLY rushing touchdowns. Last year the Chargers had only 13 TDs on the ground, when they are usually up above 20, and a few times up near 30! The LT injury allowed Rivers to pass for 34 TDS despite the lack of a true #1 WR. Darren Sproles played a lot more than he would have if LT was healthy, and the guy caught FIVE TD passes on less than 30 receptions. Can you say fluke? If they used this guy like Reggie Bush and gave him 70-80 catches, do you think he is going to score 12 times? The answer is no.

Meanwhile in the AFC West, the only real competition in Denver looks to have joined both Kansas City and Oakland as one of the worst 5 or 6 teams in the league. San Diego should coast into the playoffs and that means these guys could all be sitting early resting up and it also means that they are going to be running the ball an awful lot and late into games. 2008 was a total fluke for Phillip Rivers and virtually everything fell his way outside of the Chambers injury. The guy passed the ball less than 500 times (bottom third in the league), yet he averages over 8 yards a throw(led the league) and leads the league in touchdowns. Yeah, that's going to happen again.
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Re: Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

Postby mattb47 » Wed May 20, 2009 8:36 pm

Thanks for the input Kensat. Before I submitted the list I was considering adding in a "risk" rating of some sort to really adjust things to be a more accurate list of rankings but in the end I decided against it for a couple reasons. I think that it's good to have the "baseline" nailed down first which I wanted some opinions on as far as points per game go but also I was having trouble devising a system that would be accurate down the line on how to analyze the risk of the players in question. One problem I was having was giving a true "number" value to different kinds of risk...is the number value higher or lower for a guy you think has huge injury risk compared to moving to a new team or a perhaps unfavorable situation? If anyone can help with that it is definitely something that I wanted to implement in the end but just have yet to do so.

I'm also planning on continually updating the "projections" as I see different things develop. Guys coming back from injury is one thing to look at...there are just so many things up in the air right now that I'm sure a lot of these could change substantially by the time it is really finalized. This is really just "version 1.0" at the moment.
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Re: Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

Postby Kareighuis » Wed May 20, 2009 10:18 pm

mattb47 wrote:As I've said a few times now...I didn't adjust ANYONE based on my own personal opinions of upside vs. downside or anything like that other than what is already reflected in their projected numbers which I tried to do my best to keep personal bias out of. Hasselbeck has had trouble staying healthy and he's getting up there in age, I don't have any problem where he is currently because I think he's a guy with low value and the potential to just be somewhat relevant which shouldn't make a big impact fantasy wise.

I think Romo is an odd one to guesstimate for...was one of the tougher ones to be honest in my inputting of his potential statistics for this season but here was my thinking behind what decisions I made. The loss of Owens is a big hit to his production I think...he may not have used him as much as he could have but you don't lose a guy who is a perennial 1000+ yard receiver and 10+ TD guy without it making some sort of impact. I didn't really have a huge drop in his production either...his yardage and things are about right on if he passes the ball fewer times than he would have last year, which I think he would and I even have his completion percentage being higher than it was last year. The only drop I have there is in his TDs/INTs. I have him with fewer TDs this year but also fewer INTs than he normally tosses which ends up balancing a bit but not completely. I think we'll see him in the 24-28 TD range at the most quite honestly...I don't like their current receiving corps as much and I don't see him being "elite" this year. He'll probably still be overdrafted to where his value is though...he won't go as the 7-9th QB off the board...he'll probably be taken top 5.


Perhaps I should have phrased it differently. Really like the methodology of inputting stat estimates for the coming season and letting the results dictate ranking, rather than haphazardly throw names around like a one-eye dart-thrower. I'm just disagreeing with the stat estimations for Hass. I think his upside warrants a higher projection of 2009 TDs. Romo?- I think he'll be overdrafted and will underperform your projections.

Again, I can only imagine the amount of dedication it would take to calculate this and thanks for providing the results of your labor.

I'll give some thought to the injury risk thing- a vague idea is floating around in my brain.
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Re: Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

Postby Azrael » Wed May 20, 2009 10:36 pm

I just want to comment on Jake Delhomme because like I surmise about Orton and Ryan this year, I had similar thoughts about Delhomme and Warner last year. These were my 2 guys I targeted in all my drafts. I had Warner and Delhomme both on 3 of my 4 teams. I almost would have laid money that Delhomme would have easily been a top 10 QB, coming back healthy, and adding Muhammad and Hackett to the passing attack.

It seems I still had hopes for a repeat of 2004 when Delhomme was just a disgusting WW pickup. He also threw the ball about 100 more times than he did in any of his other seasons. He's another guy who typically just doesn't throw the ball that many times. I think you could expect 20 TDs and 3,300 yards out of him. Same thing with Roethlisberger, guy just doesn't throw it that much. I would suspect similar stats. As I and I think Kensat said before, this is also a big red flag for Rivers too.
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Re: Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

Postby Free Bagel » Wed May 20, 2009 11:01 pm

Rivers really comes down to how you feel about two things:

1. Will LT return to the LT of old?
2. Will the Charger's defense massively improve?

It was mentioned above that San Diego could spend much of the 4th quarter this year running out the clock. Why? That defense isn't going to hold anyone down even with Merrimen back. I see no reason why those two games against Denver and KC won't continue to be shootouts like they've been for years now.

And while I think LT may be better than last year, there are clear indications that he's slowing down and I don't see this team going back to the type of team that scores 60% of its touchdowns on the ground. Sproles won't score on 1 in 6 receptions again but those TDs could easily get made up via Gates, Chambers, and an ever-improving VJax, not to mention Sproles could end up with more receptions altogether if LT really is wearing down.

I don't expect Rivers to match last year's numbers, but even if you bring his YPA back down to his career average and and his TDs down by 7 to give those extras to the running backs, that would still leave him right on mattb's projections for him with last year's number of attempts, which puts him at QB7 with a lot less risk than the three guys right above him.
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Re: Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

Postby mattb47 » Wed May 20, 2009 11:12 pm

I'm in the camp personally that think LT isn't quite done yet and that the apparent "slowing down" was due more to him suffering from turf toe all season and not just because he's actually just losing a step. There are a lot of guys that don't even attempt to play with turf toe and couldn't even think of putting up the kind of numbers LT did while suffering through that injury...that's a VERY painful injury to play with. I expect the rushing game of SD to be their primary scoring tool this season and Rivers will take a backseat to LT as "the man" for that team this year again.
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Re: Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

Postby moochman » Thu May 21, 2009 9:35 am

Bravo, Matt47. Heck of an undertaking.
I too, fall into the group that see guys like Delhomme, Hasslebeck, and even Palmer or Orton as potential great values this season. I love seeing the possibilities for some juicy targets to slide down the draft board.

Thanks for all the hard work you've done. ;-D ;-D ;-D
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Re: Mattb47's 2009 QB Projections/Rankings

Postby Kensat30 » Thu May 21, 2009 1:53 pm

mattb47 wrote:Thanks for the input Kensat. Before I submitted the list I was considering adding in a "risk" rating of some sort to really adjust things to be a more accurate list of rankings but in the end I decided against it for a couple reasons. I think that it's good to have the "baseline" nailed down first which I wanted some opinions on as far as points per game go but also I was having trouble devising a system that would be accurate down the line on how to analyze the risk of the players in question. One problem I was having was giving a true "number" value to different kinds of risk...is the number value higher or lower for a guy you think has huge injury risk compared to moving to a new team or a perhaps unfavorable situation? If anyone can help with that it is definitely something that I wanted to implement in the end but just have yet to do so.

I'm also planning on continually updating the "projections" as I see different things develop. Guys coming back from injury is one thing to look at...there are just so many things up in the air right now that I'm sure a lot of these could change substantially by the time it is really finalized. This is really just "version 1.0" at the moment.


I think nailing down a ranking system that accounts for the different risk factors is so complicated it is damn near impossible to implement mathematically. How do you account for the improvement of a defense for the QB position. Does the return of Merriman and the drafting of Larry English help Phillip Rivers due to the increased field position due to turnorvers/sacks, or does it hurt him since they will be a better team, more likely to be leading late and running out the clock. Or how about something broaded such as the effect that a new OC has on a QB. Or the new defensive coordinators in his division changes the landscape of his close competition. How much do preaseason scheduling impact players, not just difficult by the amount of travelling from East to West coast. There are just so many changes that take place from season to season that can small effects on a player and his potential production, I think it's impossible to measure them all and often times unless you incredibly deep to get the true picture of everything and THEN measure it accurately. But how do you measure a risk factor that often times you don't even know exists? Even guys like us who read every news article, follow individual teams and players closely in the offseason, we don't even even some of the basic information that NFL insiders know. I pickup on a lot of stuff listening to Sirius NFL Radio that blows my mind listening to former management and highly connected and informed guys like Pat Kirwan and Gil Brandt talk about team management, philopsophy, scheme changes, the strengths of different players and how they fit into new and different schemes. All that stuff just piles onto the easily obtainable information out there and you have to use your brain to factor it all in. Even these guys with all that they know, they don't know everything either. These guys get to watch the pure NFL game tape and analyze the stuff, while we are sitting here reading the same news articles over and over from 5 different sources.

That's why I think we see most everyone putting players in tiers/buckets/etc. instead of projecting stats and then ranking the players where the stats tell them they should be. I think the people who DO use projected stats, will often time use qualitative factors to bias those projected stats in some way and in effect they are just using a veiled tier system anyways that uses their final PPY and PPG numbers as boundaries. Peyton Manning should never be the #1 PROJECTED QB if you project based on his highly predictable and consistent numbers, but for the past decade he often times was. Other guys around him were getting downgraded because you KNEW Peyton Manning was going to stay healthy and be up there among the best (although not the single best).

I really like your projections and agree with a lot of what you did here. Some of them really stand out to me and will definitely change my perceptions on the value of a few players. I don't agree that projections should equal final rankings though, you can get caught in the trap of not using all the factors available to you if you look at numbers you've made up without accounting for the full picture.

I think year when Priest broke down and LJ broke out is when I realized that my projections were just not cutting it. The numbers and discussion here at the cafe helped a lot of us draft LJ much earlier than ADP would indicate he was worth based on the numbers. But at the same time, there were a lot of arguments, including from myself, that also made us choose Priest Holmes over guys like Shaun Alexander, knowing that if we took Priest early and that the combination of Priest and LJ would lock in that insane stud production in KC no matter what happened. That is exactly what did happen when Priest went down and LJ started scoring 20+ points a game for the remainder of the season. But did the drafting of Priest add to our risk or reduce it though? Some, but not all, saw that Priest was a major risk no matter what LJ did. I don't know that many of the Priest naysayers were in the camp that draft LJ early camp. But leading up to my main draft I was firmly in the camp that Priest should be taken with LJ in order to reduce overall risk and lock in those stud numbers. By the day before my draft, I had a nagging sensation in my gut that I should not draft Priest at all and go with a guy like Alexander early instead to increase my chances at multiple studs. Looking back, I'm sure I glossed over an argument that was made at some point by someone that smart move was to draft Alexander over Priest and then STILL drop the very early pick on LJ. The combination of Priest/LJ lowered the risk in one way, but the drafting of an injury prone guy like Priest himself raised risk in another way that by himself that may have outweighted the combination of drafting both. I may not be making a clear argument here, but I just wanted to share at when I realized that my projections were pretty useless as a pure basis for rankings.
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