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This blog was born out of a Dynasty Rankings thread originally begun in October, 2006 at the Footballguys.com message boards. The rankings in that thread and the ensuing wall-to-wall discussion of player values and dynasty league strategy took on a life of its own at over 275 pages and 700,000 page views. The result is what you see in the sidebar under "Updated Positional Rankings": a comprehensive ranking of dynasty league fantasy football players by position on a tiered, weighted scale. In the tradition of the original footballguys.com Dynasty Rankings thread, intelligent debate is welcome and encouraged.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Football Outsiders | Audibles at the Line: Week 1

I did this last year over at the Dynasty Rankings thread on the FBG message boards, and it seemed to be a nice way to stimulate conversion. So let's try it again. Below are Dynasty relevant quotes from Football Outsiders' weekly Audibles at the Line:


Doug Farrar: With Jason Campbell and the offense, it’s just going to take time. It’s all well and good to say, “Well, he played in kind of a West Coast thing part of his time at Auburn, so it should be a solid transition,” but I guarantee you he’s never seen anything like this. It’s not the Al Saunders 700-page playbook (he wasn’t really effective with that, anyway, beyond dump-offs to Chris Cooley — I don’t think he threw a touchdown to a wide receiver in the first half of the season), but it’s tempo and execution and fractional variations in verbiage. It requires an extreme focus on mechanics. I hope for Campbell’s sake that Zorn is given the time to make it work. Putting the kid in danger of double-digit offensive coordinators since his college days is just silly.

Mike Tanier: Yeah, I remember when Hasselbeck looked like he stunk in the same system. At least Hasselbeck wasn’t learning one coach’s pass offense and a different coach’s rush offense like Campbell is.

Vince Verhei: I knew the Redskins were in trouble on their first play from scrimmage, when Campbell took a three-step drop. His first read wasn’t open, so rather then look elsewhere, or take off running, he just kind of drifted to his right, right into the pass rush. He wasn’t even being pressured. It went beyond incompetence into some more severe realm of bad, bad football. And how many failed completions did he have on third down tonight?

Bill Barnwell: Steve Smith looked like a pretty good secondary target to me. He and Kevin Boss are competing for the same passes, but Smith really has promise — for a guy who’s so young, he really runs crisp routes.

Aaron Schatz: It’s hard to overstate just how bad Larry Johnson looked. He was running into a big pile of defenders on nearly every play. Sure, part of that is the lack of an offensive line. But he didn’t show any strength pushing those piles, and he didn’t really show much vision to sidestep the pile and find a seam. It was just run up into the line for two yards, over and over.

Doug Farrar: On Seattle’s first drive, Courtney Taylor dropped a pass on first down and failed to cut a route on time on third down. This is entirely on Seahawks team president Tim Ruskell; the receiver situation is the centerpiece of a series of really “interesting” offensive decisions.

Second drop for Taylor halfway through the first quarter. This formerly lockstep passing offense looks like hell to start.


Ben Riley: And how about that new-look RBBBBBC for Seattle? Iit’s possible that I’ve been too hard on Shaun Alexander, because the running game looks pathetic; if you drafted Julius Jones in your fantasy league, you can commence weeping now. Also, I think center Chris Spencer is in danger of losing his job. It’s your third year in the league, Chris — time to recognize the blitz and make the line adjustment.

Doug Farrar: True to his 2007 numbers, the only thing Julius Jones appears to be good at is catching the ball out of the backfield. The one long run he got off in this game was a 24-yarder with six minutes left in the game, and that was because the Bills were running that weird “Moving Cow” defense where the front four is milling around instead of setting, and safety Donte Whitner was essentially a defensive tackle. Other than that, he doesn’t look like he could bust a wet paper towel.
Doug Farrar: OK, back to the Julius Jones acquisition for a moment: I’m watching Felix Jones scooting through holes the size of small tractors thanks to this incredible Dallas run-blocking line, and I’m thinking to myself, how is it that a personnel executive like Tim Ruskell — a guy who has forgotten more about football than I’m ever going to know — takes a look at Julius Jones spinning out behind that line and cannot see that behind the weaker Seattle line, disaster is looming? Is it that hard to realize how important offensive lines are from left to right, and that you can’t just plug a back in with a different style if your line collapses under the smallest amount of pressure? How many cautionary tales do there need to be?

Benjy Rose: 9:00 in the first quarter, Chad Pennington overthrows Greg Camarillo on a deep out. Threw it about 30 yards downfield, and looked effortless doing it. Haven’t seen him make a throw like that in about four years. Usually that’s a put-your-whole-body-into-it heave. Other than that, though, Pennington looks bad; poor throws, some poor choices. He’s seemed to get it together towards the end of the first quarter, though.

Sean McCormick: I thought Vernon Gholston might be buried on the bench after his dismal preseason showing, but he’s been in a regular rotation with Bryan Thomas and has been playing pretty well. He cleaned up on a Shaun Ellis sack and pushed the right tackle back on several other passing downs.

Benjy Rose: Dwight Lowery (the Jets’ rookie fourth-round pick) is having a HUGE day. Two passes defensed at the goal line will be the highlights, but he’s been tight on coverage all day. Considering the secondary has been a big liability (aside from Kerry Rhodes) for a while, this is nice. Darrelle Revis and Dwight Lowery: cornerbacks for the future. Of course, I’m not sure why the Dolphins passed twice on third- and fourth-and-goal from the 2, but that’s not the point.

Sean McCormick: Wow. Dwight Lowery just singlehandedly shut down that Dolphins’ drive halfway through the fourth quarter with back-to-back defenses on third- and fourth-down throws where he was isolated against the receiver. Beautiful defensive back play.

Ben Riley: Glass is half-full, half-empty if you are a Browns fan. The good news: Derek Anderson looks good and his numbers would be even better if Braylon Edwards would stop dropping passes. The bad news, already identified by Aaron: absolutely no pass rush. None. Romo has had eight seconds to scan the field, wave to Jessica, and then hit Witten or Terrell Owens.

Vince Verhei: On the whole, I thought O’Sullivan played OK, certainly better than his teammates. His one interception came when he didn’t see Adrian Wilson. Wilson made a great play, breaking in front of the receiver before the ball had even been released.

Warner, on the other hand, took several sacks where he just stood in the pocket forever, including once in the red zone.


Vince Verhei: The Panthers’ interior line owned the Chargers’ front seven. Just owned them. Big, gaping holes that anyone reading this could have run through for at least three yards.


Ben Riley: We are only in the first quarter of the first game of the season, but I’m thinking my pessimism about Matt Forte may have been premature. He’s making great cuts and plowing through defenders, much like Cedric Benson didn’t. And he’s going to get plenty of carries, given that Kyle Orton seems to be struggling with something as simple as the three-step drop.

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