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Needles From the Haystack - Week 14

  Posted 12/3 by Jeff Haseley, Exclusive to Footballguys.com


Are you a fan of interesting stats or tidbits of information about what's happening in the NFL? I make it my goal to unearth the most useful and useless stats that you can or can't think of. If that kind of thing excites you, sit back, relax and read on, because in the haystack of the NFL, I have found some needles.


Fantasy points vs. Red Zone chances

The Top 20 Fantasy Quarterbacks vs. Red Zone chances

286 FP
1 Drew Brees, NO - 68 RZ
2 Kurt Warner, ARI - 90 RZ
3 Aaron Rodgers, GB - 57 RZ
4 Jay Cutler, DEN - 62 RZ
260 FP
5 Philip Rivers, SD - 64 RZ
240 FP
6 Donovan McNabb, PHI - 75 RZ
7 Peyton Manning, IND - 64 RZ
225 FP
8 Tony Romo, DAL - 35 RZ
9 Eli Manning, NYG - 87
10 Matt Cassel, NE - 74 RZ
11 Brett Favre, NYJ - 75 RZ
200 FP
12 Chad Pennington, NYJ - 37 RZ
13 David Garrard, JAC - 57 RZ
14 Matt Ryan, ATL - 57 RZ
15 Joe Flacco, BAL - 36 RZ
16 Jason Campbell, WAS - 54 RZ
180 FP
17 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT - 39 RZ
18 Jake Delhomme, CAR - 37 RZ
19 Tyler Thigpen, KC - 38 RZ
20 Trent Edwards, BUF - 46 RZ
175 FP

Summary

  • The correlation of QB FP to red zone chances is fairly uniform. In general, RZ chances decreased as FP decreased
  • The top five QBs have 341 RZ chances combined (68.2 Avg)
  • The top 6-10 QBs have 335 RZ chances (67.0 Avg)
  • The top 11-15 QBs have 262 RZ chances (52.4 Avg)
  • The top 16-20 QBs have 214 RZ chances (42.8 Avg)
  • Surprisingly, Tony Romo by far has the fewest RZ chances among the top 10 ranked QBs. Romo's avg of 3.8 RZ chances per game would only be 45.6 if he did not miss three games. Aside from Romo, the top 10 QBs averaged 71.2 RZ chances

The top 20 Fantasy Running Backs vs. Red Zone chances

205 FP
1 Thomas Jones, NYJ - 61 RZ
2 Michael Turner, ATL - 57 RZ
3 Matt Forte, CHI - 35 RZ
4 Adrian Peterson, MIN - 43 RZ
190 FP
5 DeAngelo Williams, CAR - 27 RZ
6 Clinton Portis, WAS - 35 RZ
7 Marion Barber, DAL - 43 RZ
170 FP
8 Brandon Jacobs, NYG - 38 RZ
9 Frank Gore, SF - 41 RZ
10 Steve Slaton, HOU - 49 RZ
11 Chris Johnson, TEN - 35 RZ
12 Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC - 31 RZ
13 Marshawn Lynch, BUF - 37 RZ
14 Brian Westbrook, PHI - 35 RZ
160 FP
15 LaDainian Tomlinson, SD - 52 RZ
16 Ronnie Brown, MIA - 37 RZ
140 FP
17 LenDale White, TEN - 37 RZ
120 FP
18 Jamal Lewis, CLE - 49 RZ
19 Kevin Smith, DET - 19 RZ
20 Steven Jackson, STL - 14 RZ
110 FP

Summary

  • In general, the RZ chances decreased as FP decreased.
  • DeAngelo Williams' 27 RZ chances is 22 less than the average (49.0) of RBs in the top five, excluding him. Williams has a very impressive 6.8 FP per RZ chance. As does Kevin Smith 6.0 FP/RZ chance and Steven Jackson 8.0 FP/RZ chance
  • Jamal Lewis has approximately 50 less FP than Steve Slaton, but both have identical RZ chances
  • The top five RBs have 223 RZ chances (44.6 Avg)
  • The top 6-10 RBs have 206 RZ chances (41.2 Avg)
  • The top 11-15 RBs have 190 RZ chances (38.0 Avg)
  • The top 16-20 RBs have 156 RZ chance (31.2 Avg)

The top 20 Fantasy Wide Receivers vs. Red Zone chances

170 FP
1 Anquan Boldin, ARI - 24 RZ
2 Larry Fitzgerald, ARI - 24 RZ
150 FP
3 Greg Jennings, GB - 9 RZ
4 Calvin Johnson, DET - 6 RZ
5 Roddy White, ATL - 12 RZ
140 FP
6 Andre Johnson, HOU - 22 RZ
7 Terrell Owens, DAL - 14 RZ
8 Randy Moss, NE - 16 RZ
120 FP
9 Steve Smith, CAR - 9 RZ
10 Lance Moore, NO - 19 RZ
11 Brandon Marshall, DEN - 16 RZ
12 Reggie Wayne, IND - 8 RZ
13 Santana Moss, WAS - 15 RZ
14 Kevin Walter, HOU - 19 RZ
15 Bernard Berrian, MIN - 7 RZ
16 Hines Ward, PIT - 17 RZ
17 Dwayne Bowe, KC - 14 RZ
110 FP
18 Lee Evans, BUF - 6 RZ
19 Eddie Royal, DEN - 8 RZ
20 T.J. Houshmandzadeh, CIN - 12 RZ
105 FP

Summary

  • Excluding the two Arizona WRs, the top 3-5 averaged only 9.0 RZ chances, while the top 6-10 averaged 16.0 RZ chances
  • The top 11-15 WRs have 65 RZ chances (13.0 Avg)
  • The top 16-20 WRs have 57 RZ chances (11.4 Avg)
  • Five of the bottom 10 in RZ chances are ranked in the top 10 in FP

RZ chances rank of top 20 WRs (FP rank in parenthesis)

  • 24 Anquan Boldin (1)
  • 24 Larry Fitzgerald (2)
  • 22 Andre Johnson (6)
  • 19 Kevin Walter (14)
  • 19 Lance Moore (10)
  • 17 Hines Ward (16)
  • 16 Brandon Marshall (11)
  • 16 Randy Moss (8)
  • 15 Santana Moss (13)
  • 14 Dwayne Bowe (17)
  • 14 Terrell Owens (7)
  • 12 Roddy White (5)
  • 12 T.J. Houshmandzadeh (20)
  • 9 Steve Smith (9)
  • 9 Greg Jennings (3)
  • 8 Reggie Wayne (12)
  • 8 Eddie Royal (19)
  • 7 Bernard Berrian (15)
  • 6 Calvin Johnson (4)
  • 6 Lee Evans (18)

Target Alert

Take note of the following players

  • Jason Witten had 10 targets last week - the most since 11 targets in week seven
  • Zach Miller had 11 targets last week - his highest of the year. Previous high was 8 targets in week four vs. SD
  • Deion Branch had 11 targets last week - the first time he reached 10+ all season
  • Davone Bess has 3, 5, 9, 10 targets in his last four games
  • Kevin Faulk has 4, 5, 6, 9 targets in his last four games. Faulk leads all RBs with 24 targets in that time span
  • Antwaan Randle El had 9 targets last week, the most since 10 targets in week five
  • LaDainian Tomlinson has 6 targets in three of his last four games
  • Pierre Thomas had 8, 5, and 5 targets while Reggie Bush was out. He had 1 target last week for Bush's return
  • Matt Forte has 19 receptions on 21 targets in his last four games - 90.5% reception percentage
  • Anquan Boldin is averaging nine receptions per game in his last four games.

Trivia Question of the Week

Two players this season have reached 200+ yards rushing or receiving in a game. One RB and one WR have accomplished the feat. Who are they? See bottom for answer


Matt Cassel Inside the numbers

Is he as valuable as we think he is?

  • Average yards passing per game: 232
  • Avg yards passing per game eliminating his two 400-yard games: 196.9
  • TD passes: 13
  • TD passes excluding his two 400-yard passing games: 7
  • TD passes per game: 1.08
  • TD passes per game excluding his two 400-yard passing games: 0.7
  • Games with 0 TD passes: 5 or 41% of the time
  • Games with more than one TD pass: 3 or 25% of the time

There's more to fantasy success than just Touchdowns

The following players are outside of their position's top 20 in fantasy points, despite the high amount of TDs scored

  • 9 TDs - Tim Hightower (25th)
  • 7 TDs - Pierre Thomas (32nd)
  • 6 TDs - Jonathan Stewart (33rd)
  • 6 TDs - Le'Ron McClain (23rd)
  • 6 TDs - T.J. Duckett (57th)
  • 6 TDs - Isaac Bruce (25th)
  • 6 TDs - Laveranues Coles (24th)
  • 5 TDs - Chris Chambers (49th)
  • 5 TDs - Vincent Jackson (22nd)
  • 5 TDs - BenJarvus Green-Ellis (53rd)
  • 5 TDs - Sammy Morris (41st)

Running Backs with at least 50 yards receiving in a game this season

Four times

  • Reggie Bush, NO

Three times

  • Marion Barber, DAL
  • Frank Gore, SF
  • Steve Slaton, HOU
  • Derrick Ward, NYG

Two times

  • Patrick Cobbs, MIA
  • Kevin Faulk, NE
  • Matt Forte, CHI
  • Steven Jackson, STL
  • Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC
  • Marshawn Lynch, BUF
  • Darren McFadden, OAK
  • Jerious Norwood, ATL

One time

  • J.J. Arrington, ARI
  • Correll Buckhalter, PHI
  • Michael Bush, OAK
  • Ken Darby, STL
  • Warrick Dunn, TB
  • Ahmard Hall, TEN
  • Peyton Hillis, DEN
  • Fred Jackson, BUF
  • Chris Johnson, TEN
  • Clinton Portis, WAS
  • Ray Rice, BAL
  • Michael Robinson, SF
  • Kevin Smith, DET
  • Darren Sproles, SD
  • Chester Taylor, MIN
  • Pierre Thomas, NO
  • Mike Tolbert, SD
  • LaDainian Tomlinson, SD
  • Leon Washington, NYJ
  • Leonard Weaver, SEA
  • Brian Westbrook, PHI

What a difference a year makes

Players outside of the fantasy top 20 in 2008 after being in the top 20 in 2007

2007 rank (Name) 2008 rank

Quarterback

  • 1 Tom Brady 57
  • 6 Matt Hasselbeck 33
  • 7 Derek Anderson 28
  • 9 Carson Palmer 38
  • 13 Jon Kitna 36
  • 18 Jeff Garcia 25
  • 19 Vince Young 52
  • 20 Tarvaris Jackson 43

Running Back

  • 5 Joseph Addai 28
  • 8 Willis McGahee 35
  • 10 Edgerrin James 51
  • 11 Earnest Graham 27
  • 16 Willie Parker 42
  • 17 Ryan Grant 24
  • 18 Fred Taylor 50
  • 19 Kenny Watson 110
  • 20 Chester Taylor 38

Wide Receiver

  • 3 Braylon Edwards 32
  • 6 Chad Johnson 48
  • 8 Marques Colston 60
  • 10 Plaxico Burress 45
  • 13 Torry Holt 50
  • 15 Bobby Engram 87
  • 17 Kevin Curtis 81
  • 18 Santonio Holmes 37
  • 20 Derrick Mason 23

Tight End

  • 7 Heath Miller 22
  • 11 Jeremy Shockey 29
  • 12 Desmond Clark 31
  • 13 Ben Watson 34
  • 14 Vernon Davis 27
  • 15 Alge Crumpler 35
  • 17 Randy McMichael 46
  • 18 Chris Baker 48
  • 19 Alex Smith 24
  • 20 Leonard Pope 62

About Face - A Complete 180

  • The 2007 Chargers had 19 rushing TDs. This year they have only six.
  • The 2007 Jets had six rushing TDs. This year they have 15.
  • The 2007 Patriots had six defensive TDs. This year they have zero.
  • The 2007 Patriots scored 75 TDs. This year they have scored only 28.
  • The 2007 Falcons scored 16.2 points per game. This year they are averaging 24.8 .
  • The 2007 Panthers had four touchbacks all year. This year they have 22 to lead the league.

The top kickers are 0-for-50 yards or longer

In a year where 21 different kickers have kicked at least one 50-yard FG or longer, none of the top three in FGs made have blasted one from 50 or beyond

  • Matt Bryant, TB 28 FGM, his longest was 49 yards. 0-for-2 from 50+
  • John Carney, NYG, 27 FGM, his longest was 48 yards. He has not attempted a 50+ FG
  • Stephen Gostkowski, NE, 27 FGM, his longest was 49 yards. He has not attempted a 50+ FG

Some IDP Love

  • Panthers second year LB, Jon Beason is the only player with 100+ tackles and three INTs. According to NFL.com stats, nobody else with 100+ tackles has even two INTs.
  • Steelers LB James Harrison has 80 tackles and 14.0 sacks. The most sacks of anyone with 65 tackles or more. But that's not all. Harrison also has six forced fumbles, one safety and one INT. Those are Defensive Player of the Year numbers, people.
  • Packers Safety Nick Collins has five INTs. this year. Three of them have been returned for a TD

What happened to Devin?

Devin Hester has 31 kickoff returns this year - none of which were returned for TDs. In 23 punt returns, Hester also has zero TDs with only two returns over 20 yards.


Speaking of punt returners

Is this the definition of fearless? Buccaneers rookie WR from Appalachian State, Dexter Jackson has 20 punt returns without a single fair catch. For what it's worth, Lions WR has five returns and five fair catches.


You'd think they would have him returning more punts

Redskins WR Santana Moss has just three punt returns this year, one of which was an 80-yard return for a TD. It sounds like a no-brainer to me. Put him back there.


Trivia Answer

WR Terrell Owens, 213 yards on seven receptions in week 12 vs. San Francisco
RB Michael Turner, 220 yards on 22 carries in week one vs. Detroit


Thanks as always - Enjoy the games!

Please feel free to send any comments to haseley@footballguys.com.