Saturday, August 13, 2011

Response to Matthew Berry's Draft Day Manifesto

Good Morning God Hates Losers!

Today I want to put my two cents in about the infamous Draft Day Manifesto. The Manifesto is an epic post done every year and presented by Fantasy Guru Matthew Berry of ESPN. He is a writer that I truly respect and try to emulate with every post.

However, in the recent Draft Day Manifesto post, the first thing he talks about is Michael Vick. I would have no problem getting Vick on my team, but anyone who has read any of my posts will know that I don't find him a first round quarterback. Berry disagrees. You can read the entire Draft Day Manifesto here (don't worry kids, it will open in a new window). But I'll lay down the groundwork of the disputed statistics in his column.

Here we go.

Berry's argument is this: In the 12 games that Vick played last year, he averaged 25 points per game. Rodgers averaged 19.5 in the 15 games that he played. That is a 5 point difference. Berry also points out that Antonio Gates should be your tight end, since he scored 13.4 points per game that he played.

This statistic was also included:
Vick had 25 points per game. The average of the 2-11 finishing QBs had 16.8 points per game. A difference of 8.5 ppg.
Arian Foster had 19.6 ppg. Average of 2-11 RBs was 13.8. Difference: 5.8.
Hakeem Nicks/Brandon Lloyd: 12.7 ppg. Average of 2-11: 11.7. Difference: 0.9.
Antonio Gates: 13.4 ppg. Average of 2-11: 7.1. Difference 6.3

Berry goes on to state that had Vick played all 16 games, he would have scored 449 points. Compared to the 313 points that Arian Foster scored last year. If Vick played all 16 games, then he would have had more points that Rodgers and Cedric Benson combined.

That about sums it up. Matthew Berry is saying that your first round pick should be Vick and your third pick should be Antonio Gates.

My response to his column is this:

I won 3 different fantasy leagues last year. I didn't own Vick or Gates in a single one of those leagues. The stats are very impressive when you look at a ppg perspective, but that's not the real world. Vick didn't play for 5 games. That is five games that Vick owners were without their star QB. I will take a consistent quarterback that will always get me 20 points per game every single week over one who will get me 25 points per game but only play 2/3 of the games. Of course, no one can predict the injuries. Vick could very well play every single game.

A second prong to the argument is that if you take Vick with your first round pick, and Gates with your third round pick. You are going to be getting one good RB, and one mid-tier RB. And three mid tier receivers. The statistics that Berry uses in this article are flawed from a draft perspective. He shows the difference between the best at each position compared to the 2-11 placed players of that position. But by taking a QB and TE with round 1 and 3 means that you will get one running back that falls in 2-11, but your other RB and all three of your receivers will be out of that category. Vastly skewing the difference in points.

So, you can take Matthew Berry's data however you like. Personally, I still stand by the strategy that two elite RBs is the way to go. Berry brings up great points, but what it boils down to is that his stats are not at all true to actual drafts. If you pick Vick and Gates, there is no way that you are going to get any WRs in the top 11, and your RB2 won't be either.


  1. Love this blog-great information!

    Here's my sittuation. I have taken over the reigns for a team in a keeper league which is heavily RB focused. I have the 10th overall pick in my draft. While I don't know who is being kept I'm looking for ideas of who would be ideal picks if available. My current potential keepers are Moreno, Witten, Manningham, Welker, and Ricky Williams. I am going to keep Moreno and probably Witten. Comments are appreciated! Thanks.

  2. idk how many keepers you get but if it is more than 2 i would go with moreno, manningham then witten, with steve smith gone in NY and nicks looking at double teams, manningham will be good for at least 900-1000 yds and easily 8-10 tds, which is more than what i think witten will get since they should have romo with austin and dez

  3. Thanks for reply. After reading a little more, I started leaning towards Manningham, instead of Witten. We can only protect two and Moreno/Manningham is the likely combo. Still wondering on my 10th spot for 1st Round. From what I've seen on adp's it seems like MJD, Gore, Forte, or hopefully Rice if I'm lucky. The problem with MJD/Gore is durability, Forte now has Barber who will steal goal line touches, Rice may not make it to my spot.

    Just wondering who might be the safest of the those choices. If Mendenhall or McFadden are available, I might consider those as well.

    Thanks again.

  4. I agree with fortes. Manningham is looking like a great option here. I am not a moreno fan, especially since he has more RBs to contend with now, but he could do alright. If its two, keep Moreno and Manningham.

  5. 10th spot is hard. Any of the top tier guys would be good to take first round, as you listed. I don't see MJD or Rice being there. But Gore would be a good pick. If he is out, I have Mendenhall moving up my list a bit higher than McFadden. You are definitely going to need to take a RB with this pick since all you have now is a weak Moreno.

  6. Ahmad Bradshaw or LeGarrette Blount and why?

  7. Bradshaw in both standard and PPR. PPR is pretty self explanatory. But this year it seems that Bradshaw will be more of a feature back while the Tampa Bay coaching staff is insistent that they will use more of a committee type system.

  8. There are a few RBs I've been wondering about that I don't hear talked about. I'm talking about the guys that put up pretty good numbers for their teams as secondary backs, but seem to have completely dropped off the radar when I look at rankings. Guys like LT, Brandon Jacobs, and Thomas Jones. Why have these guys dropped so low in rankings? Have their situations changed that much? I remember Thomas Jones in KC torching me twice last season when I faced him! When my 12-team league starts getting into the late rounds and I start scraping the bottom of the RB barrel to fill my bench, is there any reason I shouldn't consider picking these guys over guys like Helu and Sproles?

    Also, I posted this in another thread, but I don't think you saw it. I started a new league and my friends and I thought it would be fun to try a flex position (none of us has ever played with one). Do you think it would be better to add the flex on to the existing lineup (i.e. QB, 2RBs, 3WRs, TE, FLEX, K, D/ST) and shorten the bench to 5 players, or replace one of the WR slots with the flex?

  9. The only player that I really wonder about that you listed is LT. I haven't heard really anything about him, but after what he managed last season, I'd be very surprised if he went completely quiet in 2011. I think a lot of these guys (LT, Jacobs, Jones) are getting ignored because each of the teams have someone younger that they are grooming to be their number one guy. Shonn Greene will get a lot of looks because they want to see if he can carry their team. Same with Bradshaw and Jamaal Charles.

    I don't think it would be a terrible idea to grab one of these guys in a late round. There is definitely a chance that there will be a repeat of what happened last season, and if there is ever an injury, you are in a very prime position. Just don't be surprised if they flounder out. They are worth the risk to add to your bench though.

    My apologies for missing a comment. I'm still getting used to the comment system on blogger. The flex systems that I have played in have all been 2 RB, 2 WR, one Flex. But if you guys are getting together and want to try it for fun, then go ahead and make it an extra slot. You don't necessarily have to shorten your bench either. The good thing about custom leagues is that you can go out and have fun with it.

  10. I've read the Manifesto a number of times and will probably read it a few more before my BIG draft on the 27th. I've had one "play around" draft already and went by it. I had the 10th overall pick in a 10 team league so I wasn't able to get Vick (I wouldn't have taken him anyways, that's one thing I disagree with Berry on is his value). I ended up getting Mendenhall and Brady back to back and by some act of God (or stupidity on the friends I play with) I was able to snag Nicks and Gates with my 3rd and 4th picks. I was all about Dez Bryant too (as I previous commented on your Dez post a few weeks ago) and was able to get him as well. All in all my team looks pretty solid on paper. We will see how the season goes. I gotta lot of redemption to do in this league as last year I traded Arian Foster after his breakout week 1 (thinking I could see him high). I packaged him in a deal with Brady, and got Rodgers, Gore and Jermichael Finley in return. At the time I thought I was a genius. Rodgers panned out nicely until playoff time and Gore and Finley both went down before playoffs. Kinda sucked to get that one rubbed in my face.

  11. Yeah, thats one want too great in retrospect. From what I hear though your first 5 rounds went pretty solid. Congrats

  12. Thanks for the input! I think I may get rid of that extra WR slot. And no worries about the missed comment. Your replies are far more reliable than anyone else out there!

  13. Here is a question for you......and It's a tough one for me to decide!

    I am in a 12 man Yahoo League where we play with a QB, RB, RB, WR,WR,WR/TE, and K.......No Flex, No DEF, etc. Our current scoring system is standard with 4 points for passing TD and 6 points for rushing/receiving. I currently have the number one overall pick and everyone I talk to says that I need to take this true (due to his ability to add rushing TDs)???

    Also another interesting spin is that I currently have a trade offer on the table for my 1st round (#1 overall) and an 8th round for his 1st round (5th overall) and his 3rd round!!! Seems like I should consider this trade, shouldn't I????? This guy is so in love with Vick that I may be able to reach and offer him my 10th round instead of packaging in my 8th.........your thoughts and expertise please????


  14. You are definitely in the drivers seat and if I were you I would take the trade. I am completely against taking Vick as the number one selection for the reasons stated in this article. You are just moving down to the 5th pick, meaning that if he takes Vick first, you will likely have Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles and MJD to choose from, any one of them would be a great first rounder.

    And making the deal even sweeter is the third rounder for a 10th rounder. Meaning that you can do really whatever you want in rounds 2, 3 and 4 and fill out all of your starting QB/RB/WR positions. Its really a win-win for you. Even if Vick does well, you can rest assured that your extra top 36 selection will outweigh the points you lost at QB.

  15. Your the man......and that's why I love your blog! Thanks for the advice and I'll be sure to post back to let you know how my draft goes!!!

  16. Sounds good. Good luck. I've got my first actual draft tomorrow. I'm very excited about it.

  17. Well, Good Luck! I learned from a wise man once........dont draft Vick with your #1 overall pick!!!!!!

  18. the trade that I explained above and the one you gave your blessing on is official!

    I now have the #5 pick in my 12 man league instead of my original #1.........that also got me an extra 3rd round pick, so as you stated in your reply, I can possible fill my QB/RB/WR each with a #1. Here is my current dilema and I need advice!

    Scoring system is as follows

    Roster Positions: QB, WR, WR, RB, RB, W/T, K, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN
    Fractional Points: Yes
    Negative Points: No
    Passing Yards 20 yards per point
    Passing Touchdowns 4
    Rushing Yards 10 yards per point
    Rushing Touchdowns 6
    Reception Yards 10 yards per point
    Reception Touchdowns 6
    Return Touchdowns 6
    2-Point Conversions 2
    Offensive Fumble Return TD 4

    I'm having a problem playing this out in my head, and keep in mind that I do have 4 picks in the first 3 rounds or first36 picks, as you mentioned. Do I go QB,RB,WR,RB, or RB,RB,WR,WR, or RB,QB,WR,RB, or RB,WR,WR,TE? Do I even take a TE since we are not required to play one? Do I not even worry about a QB in my first 3 rounds and "hopefully: settle for a Schuab, Rommo, etc???

    Please Help................btw, how did your draft go????

  19. I still haven't had a draft this season. One got pushed back. I'll have one on Saturday and one on Monday. Saturday's had IDP, and 24 total roster spots in a 12 team league, so things could get interesting.

    Its looking like you have a pretty standard scoring league, so research shouldnt be too hard to find. At pick 5, I'd definitely take an RB first. In the second you can go either WR/RB or take a QB if they are going early in your draft. And both third rounders you can play by ear. Ideally you will end up with 2 running backs, a quarterback and a receiver in the first three rounds. If quarterbacks are falling later and people are stocking up on RB and WR, then you could even go with 2 RBs and 2 WRs and take a QB in the 4th.

    Since you have a W/T positions instead of a regular TE, then you don't really need one. I'd still probably draft one later, just in case, but WRs typically score more points than tight ends, so it seems logical that they only TEs you would possibly start in that position are Witten, Gates or Clark or someone who has a breakout year.