I know this is a fact I have brought up many times in private football conversations with friends but I don't think I have done so a whole lot publicly on GOI. I've always wanted to chart to see how many interceptions a QB really should have gotten credited to him. One year I was just going to do it for the Bears quarterback since I watch every game, but Football Outsiders has beaten me to the punch.
When I first saw what FO did, I practically ejaculated in my pants. It's the data I've always wanted to compile and had hoped some one would do it for me. Or I'd find the time to do it, publish my findings and be the next Voros McCracken for football. But alas, FO has done the work and here is their findings (through Week 14).
Football Outsiders have broken the interceptions into four categories: actual official score card interceptions (1), interceptions off of hail marys (2), interceptions that were the receivers fault (3), and interceptions that were dropped by the defender (4). Then, using kindergarten math, they calculated the quarterback's "true" INT rate by doing: 1 + 4 - 2 - 3.
You can read the full article here or see the results below (click to enlarge):
Some quick notes:
- It seems to be that Mark Sanchez has not really improved at all from his rookie year. The major difference between 2009 Sanchez and 2010 Sanchez (besides learning how to slide) was the interception rate. It seemed as though Sanchez had been making better decisions this year. But it looks like he is just getting extremely lucky this year.
- It's disheartening to see Jay Cutler so high, but not surprising. I still am under the contention that he truly is great QB but his supporting staff is really bad (mainly his offensive line. And also his receivers). Also, because I'm a Cutler supporter, guys like Derek Anderson are lowered because they haven't played as many games as Cutler. I think if Anderson had gotten as any attempts as Cutler had, Anderson would probably lead this list.
- In 2009, against the Packers, Jay Cutler threw four interceptions. At least two of them were the receivers fault yet probably would not be included in this analysis. I remember a particular play where Jay Cutler was throwing in a zone and not to a particular player. However, Johnny Knox cut left when the play was designed for Knox to cut right. Therefore, Cutler did what he was supposed to do and threw it where he should have, but there was no receiver there so the pass got intercepted. I'm under the firm belief that those should not count as INTs towards the QB, but fully admit plays like those are extremely hard to quantify.
- I'm very happy to see Peyton Manning's name up there because he's truly having a pretty bad season and the biggest reason for that is that he's been a turn over machine. Why is it that in 2009 when Manning had Wayne, Collie, and Garcon for receivers and Manning played well, everyone was praising Manning for being able to work with anyone. Yet in 2010 when Manning is having a bad year and also playing with Wayne, Collie, and Garcon that Manning gets a free pass because he's playing with shitty receivers?
EDITOR'S NOTE: After a night to rest and think about it, I'm not 100% sure how I feel about adding defender's drops into this equation. On one hand, I think adding it is a good indicator for the decision making of the quarterback and a good predictor or next year. But on the other, the final result of the play didn't affect anything. An interception is extremely costly to a team because it not only does it prevent you from scoring, it makes it easier for your opponent to score. If you look at statistics like passer rating, WAR, and EPA and such, interceptions bring down your numbers drastically. But when a defender drops an interception, the drive still continues. You still have a chance to score and your opponent does not because at the end of the day, there was not an interception.
The obvious choices are between Tom Brady and Michael Vick. I would have loved to have thrown Phillip Rivers' name in the mix as well considering how great of a first half he had and just how truly awful his receiving corps was at the time. But a bad second half and a playoff elimination sealed his fate for him also getting eliminated from the MVP hunt. I have talked to The 'Bright' One about this and he says hands down Vick deserves it. I could not strongly agree or disagree one way or another as long as one of those two men win it.
So to help me decide, I've decided to make a pro/cons list for Brady and Vick to help you, the reader, make an informed decision on who you think deserves to be the NFL MVP in 2010.
Pro Brady/ Anti-Vick
Tom Brady has been better at not turning over the ball
When the debate was still Rivers vs. Vick, the one thing that Vick had going for him is that he hadn't thrown an interception yet. In fact, he played in 7 straight games without throwing one. But then he faced the vaunted Bears defense and threw his first interception- in the red zone no less.
In 2010, Michael Vick ended the year (in 12 games) with 6 interceptions. Tom Brady on the other hand (in 15 games) has only thrown 4 interceptions. In fact, Tom Brady has set the record by throwing 319 straight attempts without throwing a pick and hasn't thrown an INT since Week 4. Vick has thrown at least one interception for the past five weeks versus Tom Brady who has only thrown a pick in two games this year.
Tom Brady has the better passer rating
Obviously this can be kind of a flawed statistic when one of the players you're comparing to is a great rusher, but Vick has also been a great passer has well with his 100.2 passer rating. But I think Brady's league leading 109.8 can not be ignored. Despite passer rating being more hard to calculate than the one millionth number in pi, I think it's a great stat and my favorite and best indicator and traditional statistic of greatness for a QB.
Michael Vick has the better supporting staff
You can look at the numbers of any Patriots player all you want, but what you really need to do is look at the physical skill of every player. Yes, Danny Woodhead had a fantastic year but the reason he looked so good is because of the great system Bill Belichick has in place. But being under 5'9", Woodhead would flounder in about 30 other systems. Compare his and The Law Firm's talents to LeSean McCoy- who was a top 2 running back in the NFC. McCoy looked like a healthy Brian Westbrook and has the physical tools to do what he did in 2010 on essentially every team (but probably not Carolina).
But what you really need to do is look at the team's receiving corps. Vick has a top 10 receiver talent in DeSean Jackson and a player that can score a TD and run past any corner in the league on any given play. At then you have a great young talent in Jeremy Maclin who would put up top 10 numbers if it weren't for Jackson there. No matter what you think of either player, they don't come anywhere close to the talent of Deion Branch and Wes Welker. You can look to see what Branch did in Seattle to know that he's purely a system guy and give all the praise you want to Welker, but there's a reason Miami was so easily and willing to get rid of him. Branch and Welker are products of their great system but Jackson and Maclin are just straight up great talents that would succeed anywhere.
And it's a helluva lot easier to put up great numbers with a great supporting cast around you.
Tom Brady has the better advanced stats
If you don't understand WPA, read here. WPA is the same stat used in baseball, just (obviously) used in a football context. Every down made and play made during that down affects the scoring of the game. The success of the play is weighted against what down was it, what's the current score of the game, how much time is left, and where did the play occur on the field. The best way to think of it: a 3 yard run on 4th and 2 is a lot more important than a 3 yard run on 1st and 20. It's this concept that goes into every play and is given a numerical value to each player.
I'm pretty sure this statistic also encompasses rushing plays made by a quarterback as well as passing plays and Tom Brady's 3.26 and .22 WPA/game is better than Vick's 1.78 WPA and .15 WPA/game.
That same concept for WPA also goes into another statistic called EPA where Brady leads all quarterbacks in that with 140.2 (compared to Vick's 102.1) and as well leading all quarterbacks in EPA/play with 0.26 compared to Vick's 0.20. You can read how to calculate EPA here.
Brady leads the league in both DYAR (total value) and DVOA (value per play) according to Football Outsiders, but even I'll admit this is extremely flawed because Vick's value comes in both the passing and running game whereas Brady's value comes essentially solely from the passing game- which is what DYAR and DVOA measure. Vick is first among QB's in rushing DYAR and 6th among QBs in rushing DVOA.
Pro Vick/ Anti-Brady
Michael Vick is the most exciting player in the game
I don't mean to say that MVP's should be given out solely based upon a subjective feeling of pleasure a fan gets from watching an NFL player, but think about why Vick is so much fun to watch- it's because he's been such a great passer as well as a great runner. Which means, as a defense, you have to account for Vick running as well as passing, which adds a huge strain to a defense. Especially when Vick is elite at doing both. And it's THAT reason that makes Vick a legitimate MVP candidate.
Although it's "easier" to scheme for Tom Brady because you know he's going to pass, it's still hard to execute. But because Vick is great at multiple aspects of an offense it makes him so much fun to watch and so hard to play defense against. Imagine if Dan Marino and Walter Payton were on the same team how great that offense would be? Now imagine if both were the same player and you get Vick (now obviously I'm being extremely hyperbolic, but I hope you get my drift). Having a top tiered quarterback and a top tiered running back in the same player is huge benefit to any team.
Tom Brady has the better passing offensive line
I don't care if you're Joe freaking Montana, if you're playing behind say this 2010 Bears offensive line (currently ranked dead last in passing tackling) or some of the Lions offensive lines in the past, then you are not going to put up great stats. When you have time to throw, you have time to go through multiple reads and then it is much easier for you to make completions and drive your team down the field. This is Football 101 (if thought by me. This is like grad school concepts if this class is being taught by Mike Lombardi). So you can look at straight stats all you want, but any statistic is going to favor the guys with the better line. This year, Brady and Vick are on equal footing as the basics of throwing the ball to a receiver to get 1st downs/touchdowns, so it's the "little" things like offensive line that really make the difference.
This year, the Patriots have the 6th best passing offensive line versus the Eagles who have the 27th best. That's a huge disparity and like Aaron Rodgers last year, it's a great accomplishment to put up elite numbers while having constant pressure in your face. And it's Vick's mobility that helps him get past a bad offensive line. If Brady played behind the Eagles line and Vick behind the Patriots line, then I'm sure Vick would put up passing numbers.
Unfortunately, that's pure conjecture. But the fact that Vick has the far inferior line gives him a great boost.
Vick has the better TD rate
I took into account both rushing TDs and passing TDs by each player. Brady currently has 35 total TDs (1 rushing) compared to Vick that has 30 total touchdowns (9 rushing). But Brady has played in three more games than Vick.
Currently, Brady has scored 2.33 TD/game versus Vick who has 2.50 TD/game- which gives the edge to Vick.
After I wrote the Brady bit I was going to conclude that Brady deserves the MVP but after finishing this article as a whole, I'm still conflicted. Even if you have a personal preference one way or the other, as long as either Vick or Brady is crowned MVP, the voters made the correct choice.
Duly noting that "Greinke the Yankee" would have been an infinitely better title, a question lingers as the dust from the most recent "blockbuster" trade settles: how valuable is Zack Greinke now that he is in the NL (Central)? That is the topic of today's conversation.
Before we look at Greinke's prospective 2011, let's look at his past and his pre-trade expectations.
Drafted with the sixth overall pick in 2002, Zack Greinke has been many things in his brief major league career. He was a stud prospect who played in the Futures Game (then again, so did Neil Cotts...) and was touted highly by Baseball America. Rushed to the majors, he pitched relatively well in 2004, logging a 3.97 ERA (4.28 xFIP), a 1.17 WHIP, and 6.21 strikeouts per nine innings over 145 innings as a rookie.
Greinke was also a "bust" in 2005, pitching 183 innings of 5.80 ERA, 4.64 xFIP, 5.61 K/9 baseball. The young hurler then walked away from baseball in 2006 with depression and anxiety issues, only to return in a primarily-relief role in 2007. He was successful on the surface (3.69 ERA), but his 45.5% flyball percentage overall and 4.28 xFIP indicated that he may have been pitching a bit over his head. As a starter in 2007, Greinke logged a 3.80 ERA, but his 6.68 K/9 and 4.69 xFIP were well below the quality of his numbers as a reliable reliever (9.28 K/9, 3.77 xFIP). At this point in his career he barely whelmed Royals fans.
Then, in 2008, Greinke took his first big step forward. As a full-time starter, he struck out 183 batters (8.14 K/9) and walked a mere 56 hitters (2.49 BB/9) over the course of 202.1 strong innings for the Royals (3.47 ERA, 1.28 WHIP). His peripherals were also strong, as he logged a career-best 3.76 xFIP and 3.77 tERA with a much stronger groundball showing (42.7%) than he had ever posted prior. His 3.47 ERA that season was the lowest ERA logged by a full-time Royals starter in 11 years and Dayton "trust the process" Moore rewarded Greinke with a ridiculously team-friendly, four-year, $38 million contract that bought out the rest of Greinke's arbitration years plus two free agency years.
2009, however, was Greinke's breakout season. Fantasy owners who took a shining to him and put stock in his 2008 showing were greatly rewarded with fantasy and surface statistics which, like Tim Lincecum, matched his underlying peripherals. By season end, Greinke "only" accumulated 16 wins (because the Royals offense was truly terrible that season), but he tossed 229.1 strong innings of 2.16 ERA, 1.07 WHIP baseball with 242 strikeouts to a meager 51 walks (4.75 K/BB, second to only Roy Halladay's 5.94 mark in the AL).
His peripherals were just as solid as his fantasy numbers: 9.50 K/9, career best 9.9 Swinging-Strike Percentage (SwStr%), 2.00 BB/9, 0.99 GB/FB ratio, 3.15 xFIP, 2.33 FIP, 2.59 tERA. Baseball Monster ranked Greinke as the second-most-valuable fantasy player of 2009 for rotisserie leagues, behind only Albert Pujols. In terms of value per outing, he ranked fourth (per Baseball Monster), behind only Albert Pujols, Tim Lincecum, and Chris Carpenter.
Given Greinke's 2009, 2010 was a slight disappointment. His career-best groundball showing (46.0%) was offset by a huge step back in the strikeouts column (7.40 K/9, 7.5% SwStr%) and a little regression with the free passes (2.25 BB/9). While still a strong pitcher (his numbers were on par with the peripherals of Ricky Romero, Ubaldo Jimenez, Clayton Kershaw and C.C. Sabathia), the Royal's truly terrible combination of awful defense (-45.5 team fielding runs) and no hitting ability (-8.2 team batting runs) led to lackluster numbers on Greinke's end: 4.17 ERA and 10 wins to 14 losses. But hey, his 1.25 WHIP was still solid.
Heading into 2011, Greinke had been the center of a lot of trade rumors this offseason and with good reason, too. He was clearly the best available pitcher on the market, and if CC Sabathia does not opt out of his contract with the Yankees following the 2011 season, the best free-agent pitcher on the market next off-season will likely be a battle of Number Twos between Ryan Dempster (who will be 35 years old), Hiroki Kuroda (37 years old), Javier Vazquez (35 years old) and Wandy Rodriguez (33 years old) if the Astros do not extend him.
Greinke, only 27 right now, is affordable (two-years, $27 million), imposes minimum health risk (no history of physical injury, only a two-year commitment), and will likely end up with Type-A status and therefore net his employer some prospects in 2013 if deemed too expensive to extend long term. Victor Wang's free agent compensation valuation research and some number manipulation courtesy of Sky Kaulkman reveals that "the average Type-A compensation package averages around $5.5M in value." Accordingly, Greinke's expected "cost" (ignoring the offset of prospects traded for him) is only $21.5 million over the next two seasons.
Using a $5 million rate per win commensurate with this offseason's spending by teams, he would only need to be worth a cumulative +4.3 WAR over the next two seasons, or about +2.2 WAR per season, to be worth his salary. Greinke has been worth at least that per Fangraphs' WAR valuation (FIP-focused) every year that he has pitched in the major leagues except 2006, where he logged a mere 6.1 innings.
Noting this, you can understand why, in real life, a team like the Brewers would want to acquire Greinke, especially with Prince Fielder most likely leaving and the other established major league talent on the roster (Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, etc.) getting more expensive and ever closer to free agency. This trade by the Brewers, along with the Shaun Marcum deal, is a clear win-now-and-next-year move. But I digress.
Prior to the trade, Greinke was positioned at No. 22 in my top 100 starting pitcher rankings (to be released in January). The perpetually poor defensive posture of the Royals, the failure of Dayton Moore to convincingly upgrade the offense, and the recent influx of hitting talent to the AL Central (Victor Martinez, Adam Dunn, Tsuyoshi Nishioka) kept me from green lighting dollar allocation commensurate with another 2009 or relatively elite season, irrespective of Greinke's pitching abilities. On the Royals, he was pegged for a 3.90 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and an 8.0ish K/9. Strong numbers, but Ubaldo Jimenez, Mat Latos, Chad Billingsley or even Shaun Marcum may be safer choices.
The move to the NL (and the NL central, no less) changes everything, however, and a reassessment is necessary. This background set, let's move to the post-trade analysis.
Before forecasting Greinke's 2011, it is necessary to settle upon a baseline set of numbers to massage into a rough projection. Let's start with the strikeout rate. Since returning to his role as a full-time starter in 2008, Greinke has posted Swinging-Strike rates of 9.3%, 9.9%, and 7.5%. The major league average is around 8.5%. Greinke's K% (the major league average is 17.2%) and K/9 over this period closely track the changes in SwStr%: 21.5% (8.14 K/9), 26.4% (9.50 K/9), 19.7% (7.40 K/9).
What caused Greinke's change in whiffs is difficult to pin down. Perhaps it was a matter of pitch selection and pitch quality. A quick glance at the pitch values and usages on Fangraphs indicates that Greinke was utilizing a slightly-above-average curveball 12% of the time in 2009 and 14.3% in 2009. In 2010, the curveball was a below average pitch, which he only utilized 10% of the time.
Greinke also turned to his best pitch, the slider, less often in 2010. Whereas he went to a slider (worth more than +2.3 runs per 100 times thrown in each of 2008, 2009, and 2010) 18.8% of the time in 2008 and 20.2% of the time in 2009, Greinke's usage percentage dropped to 15.5% in 2010.
This decreased usage of sliders and curveballs manifested in the form of increased changeup usage, who tossed the pitch 13.0% of the time last year after throwing it only 7.7% of the time in 2008 and 6.1% of the time in 2009. The changeup is by far and away Greinke's worst pitch in his four-pitch arsenel. At a pitch value of -0.87 runs per 100 times thrown over the course his career, the changeup is Greinke's only distinctively below-average pitch.
While pitch classification is an inexact science, these usage changes of greater than five percent seem to indicate something. What, if anything, is difficult to say, especially if the numbers are just changes in the classification algorithms. I will defer to others, who are warmly welcomed to constructively explain/criticize the data in the comments, to make the qualitative judgments. The primary concern here is to identify possible explanations for Greinke's strikeout fluctuations.
Greinke's strikeout stuff, be it by luck or modifications in pitch selection or something else, should rebound somewhat in 2011. As noted above, in the AL his expected K/9 was around 8%. Using Greinke's 2008 (21.5% K%) as a rebounding point, let's move on to projecting an innings total and an expected batters-faced figure.
Greinke has logged 200+ innings each of the past three seasons as the Royals' ace. Assuming he is anointed the Brewers' ace and routinely gets the standard four days of rest treatment (a lofty assumption in light of the Brewers' desperate usage of C.C. Sabathia in 2008), a 162-game schedule would give Greinke 33 prospective starting opportunities. Given that he has started 98 games over the past three seasons, 33 games started seems like a fair starting projection.
Over the past three seasons, Greinke has average 6.2 innings per outing. Keeping this figure constant and applying it to his 33 expected games started, we get an expected innings total baseline of 220. As noted last month in my Ted Lilly analysis, "an average of 4.31 batters have come to the plate per inning" over the past three seasons. Applying this rate to our 220 innings baseline for Greinke, we get an expected total batters faced (xTBF) figure of approximately 948.
Taking Greinke's xTBF of 948 and applying his 2008 strikeout rate (21.5%), we find that his expected strikeout total for 2011 would have been 204, for a K/9 of 8.35, had he remained with the Royals. Greinke was traded to the Brewers, however, and facing a pitcher every ninth batter rather than a DH clearly has an impact on a pitcher's strikeout rate.
According to Derek Carty's research from two years ago, pitchers switching from the AL to the NL tend to see a +0.57 increase in their K/9. Applying that figure to Greinke's expected mark had he stuck with the Royals (8.35), we find a new expected K/9 of approximately 8.92. This would raise Greinke's strikeout total from 204 to 218 over the course of 220 innings pitched.
Next, we need an ERA baseline to manipulate. Greinke's golden 2009 was book-ended by two seasons of 3.76 xFIPS, with tERAs of 3.77 and 3.51 in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Given Greinke's career ERA of 3.82, let's semi-arbitrarily settle upon a 3.65 ERA as the baseline for this analysis. That accounts for the likelihood of his "true talent" being around 3.76 with a realization that 3.76 might be a bit of an undersell. Over the course of 220 innings pitched, a 3.65 ERA would approximate into 89.2 total runs allowed (RA).
First accounting for a change in league per Derek Carty's league changing research for pitchers, an AL-to-NL switch for pitchers tends to subtract 0.42 runs per nine off a pitcher's bottom line ERA. Over the course of 220 innings, that 0.42 runs per nine translates into approximately 10.3 fewer runs allowed. Subtracting this figure off of Greinke's baseline RA total, we find a new NL-adjusted expected RA total of 78.9.
Next, we need to adjust for park figures. According to Baseball-Reference.com's multi-year park factor data, Miller Park surprisingly depresses offense by about 4 percent. Multiplying Greinke's NL-adjusted expected RA figure by 0.98 (as the Brewers only play half of their games at home), we get a new league-and-park-adjusted RA total of 77.3. That figure would approximate into an ERA of 3.16.
The next step in the expected ERA analysis is quite tricky. As noted in my Ted Lilly analysis:
Figuring out the defensive adjustment for the Dodgers in 2011 is a less exact process than the park factor adjustment. Mathematically speaking, you take the team's cumulative UZR and divide it by the team's total innings played in the field and then multiply by the individual pitcher's expected innings total. You then subtract this number (which will either be negative or positive, depending on the quality of the team defense) from the pitcher's adjusted runs allowed. Simple, right?
Not exactly. This formulation of defensive adjustment makes several assumptions which are not true. Dave Cameron recently explained in detail the problems of measuring defense as it applies to a pitcher's value in a two-part post on Fangraphs. There are two primary problems:
First, not all pitchers will get equal defense. Defense measures a total of groundball, line drive and flyball fielding ability. Not all players have an equal distribution of fielding talent between all types of fielding scenarios. A groundball pitcher will probably not get the same level of defense as a flyball pitcher.
Second, this defensive adjustment approach assumes that a team's cumulative UZR in a season reflects that team's true defensive ability. This is incorrect for three reasons: roster turnover, the unpredictable distribution of fielder playing time (especially in the NL, where player substitutions define the predominant late-game strategy), and the unreliability of single-season fielding data.
As should be obvious by the above quote, applying defensive adjustments to pitchers is highly inaccurate. Given this and the Brewer's largely average defense last season (-4.7 team fielding runs) and returning cast of characters, minus Jim Edmonds and his +7.0 UZR glove in 2010, let's leave Greinke's league-and-park-adjusted RA total of 77.3 largely untouched. Feel free to apply a defensive adjustment as you see appropriate, but for the purposes of this analysis, we are merely going to round out Greinke's expected ERA to 3.20.
With a strikeout rate/total and expected ERA in place, we turn finally to Greinke's prospective WHIP and walk rate. His walk rate over the past three seasons has remained largely stable. His F-Strike% has fluctuated between 61.6% and 62.4%, while walking 56 batters in 2008, 51 batters in 2009 and 55 batters in 2010. Greinke also plunked 15 batters to only two intentional free passes (+13 net modified walks (mBB*)).
*mBB = BB - IBB + HBP
If we smooth out Greinke's three-year control rates and account for the +13 modified walks over three seasons, Greinke's expected BB% comes out to 6.5%. Applying this to Greinke's 948 xTBF figure, we get an expected modified walk rate total—ignoring the change in leagues—of 61.8. Alternatively, Greinke's expected BB/9 is 2.53. Derek Carty's league change research for pitchers indicates that pitchers moving from the AL to the NL largely see their walk rates remain constant, only decreasing by 0.05 walks per nine. Applying this figure, we find a trade-adjusted modified walk total for Greinke of 63.
With an expected mBB in place, we turn finally and optimistically to Greinke's 2010 batted ball distribution to find an expected WHIP using the beta formula for version 2.0 of my xWHIP Calculator (not yet on "public release," but it will be shortly after the new year—until then, you can download xWHIP version 1.4.3 by clicking here).
Last season, Greinke allowed 659 balls in play (BIP) and his batted ball distribution was 117 line drives (17.8 LD%), 303 ground balls (46.0% GB%), and 239 fly balls (36.3% FB%), with 21 infield flies (8.8%). Carty's league change research indicates an AL-to-NL league change for pitchers tends to result in a +0.37% LD% and a +0.33% GB% at the expense of a -0.70% change in FB%. Likewise, there is an expected +0.11% IFFB% at the expense of a -0.11% change in OFFB%. Applying these numbers, we find a new distribution of 119.4 LD, 305.2 GB, 234.4 FB, 20.9 IFFB, and 213.5 OFFB, keeping the BIP total constant.
Plugging these numbers, plus Greinke's expected mBB rate of 63, into the beta version of the xWHIP 2.0 calculator...
...we find an expected WHIP of 1.235. Modify the figure as you see fit based upon the Brewers' prospective defense. The expected innings figure (228) is a new feature of the xWHIP 2.0 calculator, and while it reveals a previous year's (or set of years') defense-independent expected innings total, expected innings is really only relevant in this context for the purpose of determining an expected WHIP. Version 1.4.3 of my xWHIP calculator, which utilizes actual innings (220 here) and is generally pessimistic on individual pitchers, spits out an expected 1.286 WHIP -- still a strong figure. Essentially, a WHIP repeat of last season for Greinke is entirely plausible.
All the above considered, Greinke's expected pitching line for 2011 is something along the lines of: 220 IP, 3.20 ERA, 218 K, 63 mBB, 3.46 K/BB, and a 1.235 WHIP. Oliver is slightly more pessimistic overall, projecting Greinke the Brewer for a 3.49 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 200 K and 55 BB over 218 innings pitched in 2011. Bill James is even more pessimistic, forecasting a 3.57 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 193 K to 56 BB over 222 IP. Both Oliver and Bill James forecast 13 wins, but I'm willing to go closer to 16 provided the Brewers do not disassemble their team come July.
No matter whether you believe my projections, Oliver's or Bill James', Greinke's prospective 2011 numbers seem solid. Given his WHIP upside, the trade to the Brewers bumps him up from No. 22 on my starting pitchers list to No. 13, ahead of Jered Weaver, Max Scherzer, and Cole Hamels, but behind Francisco Liriano.
Greinke has gone from an overrated fantasy asset to a potentially break-even investment, which is what you look for in your high-bid, early-round studs. Others are likely to take note of Greinke's propensity for greater things in 2011, but if you can get him outside the top 50 names picked off the board, you might be in a good position, like the Brewers, with your ace.
Anyways, I'm like a week or two behind on my B.S. Report's and I was recently listening to a podcast where Simmons and Lombardi were talking about the Bears/Jets game. Now since this game already happened before I started listening to the podcast, I was very upset at what I was listening to. Let me share some excerpts from the podcast with you.
Mind you, the Bears won this game 38-34
Mike Lombardi: I don't see how the Jets lose this game.Are you now blind Mike Lombardi? Seriously though, the Bears are a good team, they were fighting for home field advantage throughout the playoffs and this game was being played IN Chicago, yet there was NO WAY you could see the Bears lose!? What!
This is a bad match up for the Bears because the Bears can't really block all this pressure stuffWhat is "pressure stuff"? What are you, the new marketing director for Oreos? Kids, come out and try our new Pressure Stuffed Oreos!
and the more pressure stuff the more Jay Cutler will turn the ball overHe ain't the best analyst in the biz for nothing folks. Bringing you top quality analysis like, "the more pressure a defense gets on a quarterback, the harder it is for the quarterback to be effective". Thank you Mike Lombardi for graduating from elementary school and watching the NFL for at least one full season. By the way, way to not actually watch Jay Cutler since Chicago's bye and realize he's not the turnover machine he was last year. Cutler only had one turnover this game.
not that I think the Bears can't play good defenseWhat!? The team that has the 3rd best scoring defense coming into this game has the possibility of playing good defense? Again, top notch stuff Lombardi, top notch. And just to pile more shit on Lombardi, the Bears played horrific defense this game.
I mean the Bears have to try and win this game in the teens, 16-13, but I think the Bears offense will make a mistake.Yep, a real low scoring game. A real doozy of a tilt we had goin' on up in herrr. Also, more nonsense, cliche dribble like the Bears are automatically going to turn it over.
The Bears don't have anything they can hang their hat on, they don't have a great running game"Honey I'm home"
"Lovely Matt, what did you do today?"
"Well, I just ran for 113 yards on 19 carries which is good for a 5.9 yards per carry. Plus, I had a great rushing touchdown run"
"Oh, that's just lovely dear, can I take your hat? I think we just found a new resting place for it"
and the more they throw the less, more opportunity they have to pass.ENGLISH MOTHAFUCKA! Do you speak it?
I think the Jets can go in there, they're good on the road, they kind of have a mutter type mentalityWhat does "mutter" mean? I can make up words and intangibles too! "The Bears have a strongforce, grittering type of style that is the reason they win games."
and I think they can play enough defense against a bad offense. They usually shut down bad offenses and I'm not sure the Bears have a great offense.Yeah, keep shitting on this offense some more and they'll go laugh when the scoreboard reads that they have more points than their opponent.
Bill Simmons: The Bears are not a team that is equipped to drop 35 pointsWith the exception of this game where the Bears put up 38 points. Oh and the game before where they put up 40.
M.L.: And they're not going to be able to handle all the pressure stuff, the overloads.Quick! Somebody call the Manning brothers and get this man a cookie stat! He's hungry!
Not that Mike Martz won't know how to block it but Mike Martz will have a hard time getting it done because they can't block, the right tackle's a liability, the left guard's a liability, those are problems.Because it's not like Mike Martz isn't an above average offensive coordinator or anything and it's not like he (a) doesn't make adjustments during games and (b) hasn't been making adjustments during games all season long.
You commonplace dumb piece of shit Mike Lombardi. You can't keep spitting out platitudes and then wonder why you keep wiping egg off of your face every week. But I thank your stupidity for giving me a chance to laugh at you. And you were SOOOOOO confident the Jets were going to win this game too.
1) Sexy Rexy
Last Week: 9-7
Clutch Games: Green Bay over New York (N), Detroit over Miami
WTF Games: Oakland over Indianapolis, Atlanta over New Orleans
2) The 'Bright' One
Last Week: 9-7
Clutch Games: N/A
WTF Games: N/A
Last Week: 8-8
Clutch Games: Detroit over Miami
WTF Games: Tennessee over Kansas City, Seattle over Tampa Bay
I'm going to claim that I won this contest no matter what happens in Week 17. Let's be honest, there's a reason most fantasy leagues have their championship game in Week 16. Teams rest their players and the outcome of most of these games don't matter to a lot of teams. Picking Week 17 games is like picking pre season games.
Therefore, congratulations to Sexy Rexy on the wonderful win.
Game Of Inches Fantasy Football League
First Place: Swag On
Second Place: St1fe5
Third Place: The 'Bright' One
But first, we'll begin with the Monday Night Football game
- Matty Ice! Oh wait. Sad trombone wah, wah. Matt Ryan had only lost one game at home before MNF. Now he has two as the New Orleans Saints defeat the Atlanta Falcons 17-14. I'm pretty sure Jay Cutler was the first of those 2 loses.
- Instead of watching this game I went and saw The Fighter. After hearing the end of the game on the radio and seeing the highlights/ box score, I still don't regret my decision. Although what a great MNF game, huh?
- Illinois Jerk Off Alert- Pierre Thomas: 19 carries, 63 yards (3.3 YPC), TD, 7 catches/targets, 39 receiving yards. Devery Henderson, Julius Jones, Reggie Bush, and Drew Brees each get one carry.
- Drew Brees is still having interception problems this year which is why I've been downgrading him but I think it's safe to say he was not affected by the Madden curse. Some of the interceptions he made (especially the shovel pass one) were truly horrendous and even Jay Cutler is looking at those passes and thinking, "What the hell was that!?". But Brees comes back and wins the game. His final numbers: 71% completion percentage, 302 yards, 1/2 TD/INT ratio, below average 77.1 passer rating.
- Normally the only New Orleans wide out you can trust is Marques Colston. Well not this week. Colston's numbers: 2/5, 21 yards. This week was the Robert Meachum show. His numbers on the day: 10 receptions (13 targets), 101 yards.
- Jimmy Graham gets Brees' lone TD and outside of Thomas and Meachum, no receiver caught more than 4 passes.
- Matty Ice fails. I still don't like him and I don't think my hatred of him is as irrational as my Eli Manning hate but it's games like these that give me justification to not like Ryan. After the Saints took the lead, Ryan and the Falcons had a chance to at least tie the game and didn't. After a great Ryan run, the Falcons go three and out, punt the ball, and never see it again. So much for being that great comeback kid leader. His final, pedestrian numbers: 52% completion percentage, 148 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 77.9 passer rating.
- There's a legitimate argument to be made why Ryan is a Pro Bowler this year, but not ahead of Vick and Brees (who made it) and Aaron Rodgers (who did not).
- Speaking of Pro Bowlers, Michael "The Burner" Turner deserved to be one of them (by default). I'm convinced the way Turner has played this year that if Ryan Grant was healthy, I would have lost my bet to Cubsfan4evr1 that Turner would be the better fantasy back. His final, pedestrian numbers: 17 carries, 48 yards (2.8 YPC). Matt Ryan (4) had more carries than Jason Snelling (1).
- Roddy White acts like the Pro Bowl starter that he his and he is hands down the best wide out in the NFC this year. His numbers on MNF: 3/5, 41 yards, TD. OK, those don't scream Pro Bowl, but he's had a great great great year. I'm eagerly awaiting Cubsfan's comments about how he also loves White.
- Michael Jenkins has quietly been a darn good receiver this year. He put up numbers eerily similar to White on Monday night. All right. That rhymes. 5/9, 40 yards. OK, maybe not THAT eerily.
- Thank you thank you thank you Joe Webb and the Minnesota Vikings for defeating the Eagles in Philadelphia 24-14 on Tuesday night. Hey, that's what you get when you act like pussies and don't play in the snow. Not my words but Philly's mayors words. I know Philadelphia fans are the biggest cunts in sports, but when your own city's mayor is calling you "pussies"!? I mean, come on.
- Joe Webb (87.8) has a better QB rating than Michael Vick (74.1). Webb doesn't have an interception, but he doesn't get a passing TD either. But he did get a rushing TD. So did Vick. Vick had one TD and interception and got 63 rushing yards on 8 "carries". On the Twitter, analysts are claiming that this game just lost Vick the MVP. That may be going a bit too far but wouldn't surprise me either. I honestly don't know who I think the MVP should be and I would not be upset if either Vick or Tom Brady won it.
- All Day's numbers on the day: 118 yards in 22 carries (5.4 YPC). If LeSean McCoy (44 yards on 13 carries (3.4 YPC), 4/5, 41 receiving yards) is getting screwed out of a Pro Bowl birth and obviously won't start, then AD needs to be the Pro Bowl starter. Those two guys are the clear cut top two backs in the NFC this year. Fuck Michael Turner.
- Brent Celek and DeSean Jackson led all receivers in this game with 12 targets. Celek catches 10 of them for 97 yards. On the other hand, Jackson only catches two of them for 32 yards. Let me repeat that because I don't know if that sunk in, DeSean Jackson gets TWELVE targets and only catches TWO passes. How does DeSean Jackson get 12 targets and NOT get 200+ receiving yards!?
- Percy Harvin's migraines take a break as he catches 7 out of his 8 targets for 100 yards on the button. Let's hope the NFL doesn't take one of those yards back a la Rashard Mendenhall last week. Sidney Rice only catches one of his 5 targets for 16 yards. It's a sad state of affairs when you have as many receiving yards as Bernard Berrian. It's even sadder when Berrian has more catches and less targets than you while doing it.
Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads.
- The Green Bay Packers demolish the New York Giants 45-17 at Lambeau
- To be honest I could care less who won or lost this game. A Giants win meant the Green Bay Fuckheads lose and that's always a good thing. A Packers win makes it just that much easier for the Bears to earn a first round playoff bye.
- Aaron Rodgers comes back from a concussion and proves that he can do all. Most impressive is that I can't remember anytime where a QB threw over 350 yards, nevertheless 400 yards in a win. Especially a blow out win. High passing yard total tends to mean the team was down and needed to throw to attempt to get back in the game. Rodgers' numbers on the day: 404 yards, 66 completion percentage, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, almost perfect passer rating at 139.9. I don't know exactly how you calculate passer rating, but I'm pretty sure Rodgers' numbers should be perfect.
- Brandon Jackson got 18 carries (2.2 YPC). Dmitri Nance gets 9 (3.6 YPC). John Kuhn gets 6 (3.7 YPC) but also gets 2 rushing TDs and a receiving TD. James Starks gets 0.
- Two Green Bay receivers get over 100 yards: Greg Jennings (7/10, 142 yards) and Jordi Nelson (4/7, 124 yards, TD). James Jones gets a TD and TE Donald Lee also gets a TD. The fantasy GOAT of this receiving corps was Donald Driver (3/5, 44 yards).
- Eli Manning goes out and fuels my irrational hatred towards him. I think it's because I hate Giants fans. He throws for 4 interceptions and I'm 98% positive he has the most amount of turnovers in his career in 2010. He ends the day with a 63.6 passer rating.
- Brandon Jacobs gets 8 carries but leads all rushers in this game with 47 yards (5.9 YPC). Ahmad Bradshaw gets 12 carries (2.6 YPC) and 5 receptions for 41 yards. Because this is the 2010 Giants we're talking about, both guys lose a fumble.
- Mario Manningham steps up on Sunday and acts like he's Greg Jennings or Hakeem Nicks or something: 4/6, 132 yards, TD. Speaking of Nicks, he has another good game: 4/9, 93 yards, TD.
- In an upset, the San Diego Chargers- who were still fighting for a playoff birth, not only loses to the Cincinnati Bengals but loses big 34-20. If you're Cincy I honestly don't know why you're still trying to win games considering you're in the Andrew Luck running. Stupid Marvin Lewis trying to show other teams why he's a good coach.
- It turns out the problem with this team was T.O. and Ochocinco. With those guys out, Carson Palmer and the receiving corps have great games. Palmer: 76 completion percentage, 4/0 TD/INT ratio, 157.2 passer rating (0.9 short of being perfect).
- It's a sad state of affairs when I need to click on your name on the ESPN box score to find how what your first name is. Jerome Simpson leads all receivers in this game with 124 yards. He has a great game catching 6 out of his 7 targets and 2 TDs. Bug-eyed Andre Caldwell also has a pretty good game: 4/5, 87 yards. My boy Jordan Shipley catches one of his two targets but it's a three yard TD and TE Jermaine Grisham catches 4/5 for 56 yards and a TD.
- Cedric Benson gets 24 carries but only gets a measly 52 yards (2.2 YPC). Bernard Scott gets 11 carries but is by far more effective as shown by his 4.5 YPC. He also got the only Bengals rushing TD.
- A week after Vincent Jackson actually plays a full game and catches 3 TDs, he falls flat catching 4 out of his 9 targets for only 54 yards and no TDs.
- Phillip Rivers disappointed me because he was in the MVP race for at least the first half of the season. His numbers: 66% completion percentage, 1/1 TD/INT ratio, 82.9 passer rating.
- Mike Tolbert only gets 4 carries (-2 yards) but I think part of that had to do with the fact he was carted off of the field. Ryan Matthews gets 12 carries (4.6 YPC) and a rushing TD. Darren Sproles gets 3 carries for 8 yards but also 8 catches (10 targets) for 55 yards. The Chargers leading receiver today was Legedu Naanee with his 59 yards. I had to click on "Naanee"'s name, but not because I needed to know what his first name was, but how to correctly spell it.
- For some reason I thought the Oakland Raiders would defeat the Indianapolis Colts. I guess it's because I predicted the Colts to miss the playoffs and I'll do everything in my power short of being a ref, or on the coaching staff, or being an actual football player to do it. That means I'll just pick against them in Pigskin Pick 'Em. Colts defeat the Raiders 31-26 and also knock them out of the playoff hunt.
- Peyton Manning continues to throw picks (3/2 TD/INT ratio) and still looks really bad this year but I'll give him lots of credit because he's winning games. Oh wait, no, fuck Peyton Manning and his horse he rode in on. His numbers on the day: 53% completion percentage, 76.9 passer rating.
- Joseph Addai is back baby! All is right in the world and he gets the Colts lone rushing TD. But he is second in carries (12) and yards (45) to the immortal Dominic Rhodes (17 carries for 98 yards- for a great 5.8 YPC). Donald Brown gets 6 carries.
- Tagrets: Tamme (9), Garcon (8), Wayne (5), White (4). Yards: Tamme (78), Wayne (40) Garcon (35), White (20). Tamme, Garcon, and White all catch a Manning TD pass.
- Eight Oakland receivers got at least two catches and they all essentially had the same numbers: 3/6 for 30 yards. TE Zach Miller stands out because he led Oakland in yards (66), targets (12), receptions (9), and TDs (1).
- Darren McFadden has a pretty darn good YPC (4.1) but only gets 11 carries. Michael Bush and Marcel Reese each get 3.
- My boy Jacoby Ford starts off the game with a 99 yard kick return for a TD.
- In a chance to regain glory to the NFC West by actually not having a losing record if they win the division, the Seahawks fall flat on the faces in a pile of horse manure. They lose to the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay 38-15. If the Seahawks win next week they will win the NFC West and only have 7 wins.
- Old Man Matt Hasselbeck gets injured in this game and the great and immortal Charlie Whitehurst leads this team to mediocrity with his 68.3 passer rating.
- Leon Washington only gets one carry but he makes it worth his while by getting a 16 yard TD run and the great and omnipresent C.W. converts the two point conversion. At one point the Seahawks were winning this game because the first score was a Hasselbeck rushing TD.
- For shits and giggles: Marshawn Lynch's numbers on the day: 14 carries for 53 yards (3.8 YPC). Justin Forsett gets 8 carries.
- Bill Simmons' boy Josh Freeman gets 5 touchdown passes and no INTs. He has a 81% completion percentage and for some reason has a worse QB rating than Palmer at 144.2 Stupid under 10.0 YPA. Kellen Winslow and Mike Williams each catch 2 TD passes and M. Stovall catches the 5th one.
- LaGarette Blount runs all over this Seattle D: 18 carries for 164 yards. I honestly don't know how a RB can gain that many yards without scoring a TD. Seriously, was he in a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial or something and sprinklers popped up from the ground and kept tripping him?
- Ah, now time for the main event. The Denver Tebow's defeated the Houston Averages 24-23.
- Tim Tebow's numbers: 55% completion percentage, 308 passing yards, 1/1 TD/INT ratio, 89.4 passer rating, 27 rushing yards on 10 "carries" and a rushing TD. He also "led" the team on two fourth quarter TD drives as the Broncos come into the quarter losing 23-10.
- After being so good in the second half of the season, Knowshown Moreno takes a back to seat to Correll Buckhalter: 11 carries, 42 rushing yards, rushing TD, 3 receptions, 50 receiving, receiving TD.
- Illinios Jerk Off Alert- Brandon Lloyd: 5/9, 111 yards.
- I really don't care about Houston and I'm tired so I'm going to do what I did for the Patriots and just combine everybody in one giant sentence.
- Arian Foster: 19 carries for 91 yards and a TD Jacoby Jones actually acts like the preseason sleeper that people thought he would be and steps up with stupid freaking Andre Johnson inactive: 5/7, 115 yards Owen Daniels gets 14 targets but only catches 8 of them and luckily one of them was Schaub's lone TD pass speaking of Schaub his numbers on the day: 70% completion percentage, 310 yards, 1/1 TD/INT ratio, 96.8 passer rating
Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn
- As always we'll begin with the Bears
- I truly do not understand why there is STILL Bears hatred. I'm not saying the Bears will win the Superbowl- or even make it. I'm not saying they're the best team in the NFC. I'm not even saying they will win a playoff game. But despite that, there are a DAMN FINE football team and I don't care if I'm Atlanta and the Bears are coming to my house to fight for spot in the Superbowl. I'm legit scared to face the Bears and any team should be. The Bears defeat the Jets 38-34.
- There was essentially no defense in this game which made everybody look like a Pro Bowler. One of those guys was Matt Forte. I didn't know his YPC or numbers before doing this post, but he looked amazing rushing against the vaunted Jets D. Forte ended with up with 113 rushing yards on 19 carries (5.9 YPC), a great rushing TD run, and 56 receiving yards on 4 catches. I know I've been harping on the Bears to play Chester Taylor more (4 yards on 4 carries) but when Forte plays like this, Taylor needs to be the best cheerleader ever- and be on the bench. It's games like today that make me glad my girlfriend's parents bought me a Forte jersey for Christmas.
- Cutler look awful overall in the first half but made up for it and then some in the 3rd quarter when he threw for 3 TDs- two to Johnny Knox and one to Devin Hester. Cutler's numbers on the day: 215 yards, 4 TDs (one rushing), 1 INT, and a 104.2 passer rating. I think I heard Skip Bayless say that Cutler was 20 for 20 (in wins) when he has over a 100 passer rating. Make that 21.
- Johnny Knox: 4/6, 92 yards, TD. Devin Hester: 3/5, 48 yards, TD, and still an amazing, elite returner. I don't think it's a coincidence that as Hester's role in the offense decreases, his awesomeness in the return game increases.
- Another one of those players that looked like a Pro Bowler was Mark Sanchez. I gotta say, every time I have seen Sanchez play he looks really good. He looked like he was carving up the Bears Cover-2 scheme like a ham on Christmas. It also helps when Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards aren't dropping passes like they normally do. Sanchez' numbers on the day: 65 completion percentage, 269 yards, 1/1 TD/INT ratio, 84.2 passer rating. Holmes' numbers: 4/8, 69 yards, TD. Braylon Edwards: 8/6, 78 yards. The Jets leading receiver was Dustin Keller: 7/9, 79 yards.
- Neither Shonn Greene not L.T. had scored a rushing TD since Week 6. Both make up for lost time buy each getting into the end zone. Greene was by far the most effective back. Greene: 12 carries for 70 yards (5.8 YPC). L.T.: 13 carries for 28 yards (2.2 YPC). Both get 2 catches for 14 yards.
- As always, the New England Patriots steamroll the Buffalo Bills 34-3.
- Tom Brady doesn't look like he should be awesome with his 27 attempts for only 140 yards (and less than 60% completion percentage). But he throws 3 TDs with no INTs. The Patriots just do not turn over the ball and Brady broke another record by throwing 319 straight attempts without an interception. If Brady throws a TD next week, it'll be only the 7th time a player has thrown a TD in all 16 games of his season.
- So many fantasy impacts on the Pats side of the ball; Where to begin, where to begin? Hell let's just make one giant sentence. Like in those beer commercials "Here We Go!":
- The Law Firm BJGE gets 104 yards on 19 carries (5.5 YPC) Danny Woodhead gets 93 rushing yards on 13 carries (7.2 YPC) along with 3 catches for 32 yards with Aaron Hernandez out Rob Gronkowski gets 2 of Brady's TDs and leads all Pats with 54 receiving yards Alge Crumpler gets Brady's other TD Deion Branch and Wes Welker combine for 5 catches for 44 yards and no touchdowns. Phew. That was hard (That's what she said)
- We have a Fred Taylor sighting! He missed his lone target and gets one carry for -3 yards. Glad you're back buddy.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick has a 37.1 passer rating due to the fact he threw 3 interceptions and no touchdown. Thanks buddy for making me not regret the decision to bench you for Tim Tebow.
- Fred Jackson started out the game rushing for 50 yards on 5 carries (10.0 YPC). He then finishes with 31 yards on 8 carries (3.9 YPC) and no TDs. CJ Spiller is still alive with his 6 carries and at least one muffed punt.
- The Ravens defeat the Browns like they should. Moving On.
- Coming off his best game of 2010 and his best fantasy day, Ray Rice does just fine and last week over exceeded expectations. He gets 25 carries for 92 yards (3.7 YPC) and no rushing TDs along with only 1 catch for 0 yards. Willis McGahee gets 8 carries.
- Joe Flacco is his normal self. Because he only got 102 passing yards it looks like he won't hit 4000+ on the season but he's still had a great season (hopefully a wrap up post for him but we'll see. I have so many more "lists" to write. Seriously.) He finished the game with a 90.2 passer rating. He threw two TDs- one to the Ravens #1 wide out this year Derrick Mason and they other to T.J. I'm-Not-Going-To-Bother-To-Learn-How-To-Properly-Spell-Your-Last-Name.
- Peyton Hillis continues again to disappoint you in the fantasy playoffs by getting only 35 yards on 12 carries (2.9 YPC). I'm going to blame it on the fact he's never gotten this many carries before in his life. We'll see what happens to him next year. Still a great trade (obviously) by the Browns.
- My boy Colt McCoy pulls a Ryan Fitzpatrick by getting 3 INTs to zero touchdowns. He ends up with only a 52% completion percentage and a 27.0 passer rating. Mohamed Massaquoi ends up with a perfect passer rating because he threw a 29 yards TD pass to Brian Robiskie.
- The Kansas City Chiefs officially won the AFC West in part by defeating the Tennessee Titans 34-14.
- The Matt Cassel to Dwayne Bowe train got right back on the tracks after it got derailed by Cassel's appendix. Bowe catches 6 of his 9 targets for 153 yards and a score. Cassel has a great game with his 71% completion percentage, 314 yards, 3 TDs, zero INTs which helped him to get a 128.8 passer rating.
- Jamaal Charles could have possible HURT his YPC by ONLY getting 5.9 today- 77 yards on 13 carries. He also catches Cassel's other two TD passes and gets 40 yards on 4 catches. Thomas Jones has a bad day with his 2.2 YPC.
- Tony Moaeki graces our presence again by catching 5 out of his 7 targets for 63 yards.
- Kerry Collins for MVP!!! Remember when people said that and they actually meant it? Well not on Sunday they did not. He threw 2 touchdowns but also two picks along with a even-Derek-Anderson-is-laughing-at-you bad 38% completion percentage. That explains his 55.6 passer rating.
- Remember also when we were all SO SURE that Chris Johnson was the #1 fantasy selection overall? When will we ever learn that it's always Adrian Peterson. Always. CJ gets 58 yards on 14 carries (4.1 YPC) with no touchdowns. That's not too shabby at all if we didn't expect greatness from him.
- Some guy with the last name of "Cook" leads all Titans receivers with 96 yards plus a score. But who cares about him. Kenny Britt gets 89 yards and a score. Nate Washington sucks. He's still better than Randy Moss who didn't even get a target.
- The 6-8 Rams were facing the 5-9 49ers for a playoff spot. If San Fran had won this game- both teams would be 5-9. And leading the NFC West. God lord I hate this game and possibly this division, I would be fuming. But the Rams did win this game and they still have a chance to get a playoff birth going 8-8. The Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos a few years back in Week 17 to win the AFC West so it's been done before. Please St. Louis. Please beat the Seahawks next week to have more dignity than those kids do in "Glee". The Rams won 25-17.
- I feel so bad for Steven Jackson. If he was on the Jets he'd be the best RB in the league hands down. But he's not. He's on the Rams. Which would help explain his 2.0 YPC. On 24 freaking attempts. But he did get a rushing TD.
- Every week I write it and every week I still can't believe it's true considering how dominant Donkey Kong Suh looks and is. But the Rams made the right choice selecting Bradford. His numbers: 76% completion percentage, 292 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 107.0 passer rating.
- This week Laurent Robinson (catching Bradford's TD pass) and Danario Alexander (6/7, 99 yards) win the Sam Bradford sweepstakes.
- Troy Smith started this game for the 49ers and after Singletary yelled at T. Smith ("I want winners on my team! I can't win with him!") Alex Smith finished the game. Sometimes you have to admit when you're wrong. I have a friend who keeps hating on the Bears. He had legit reason to at the beginning of the season, but since their bye and defeating teams like the Eagles and Jets, he should just admit he was wrong and stop hating. My buddy is like the 49ers franchise. They were wrong on Alex Smith. Trade him, cut him, whatever. He is not a good quarterback. Although Troy Smith didn't do anything to help his case either with his 62.0 passer rating.
- The guy in the tirade I referred to in the above bulled point is Vernon Davis, who since that speech, has been pretty damn amazing. He goes 3 for 7 for 70 yards. Michael Crabtree goes crazy though catching 6 of his 10 targets for 122 yards and the 49ers lone passing TD.
- Brian Westbrook gets 10 carries (4.0 YPC). Anthony Dixon gets 6 (2.8 YPC).
- Teddy Ginn Jr. does what he's best at. No, not running routes. No, not catching passes. No, not being a good receiver. It's being a kick returner. He returns a punt for a TD today.
- Mike Singletary gets fired after this game. I don't know what's the point of that when there's only one more week left. But whatever.
- Congratulations Detroit! You have won three straight games in a row. What are you going to do now? I'm going to Disneyworld! Probably not that far of a drive for the Lions after they defeated the Dolphins in Miami 34-27. The Dolphins have gone 1-7 at home this year yet going 6-1 on the road. So much for home field advantage.
- Shaun Hill starts this game for the Lions and has a darn effective games with his 108.2 passer rating.
- Jahvid Best leads all Lions rushers with an amazing 24 yards. But he gets a 53 yard TD pass. Best gets 6 carries (4.0 YPC) and Maurice Morris gets 12 (1.8 YPC) but also gets the Lions sole rushing TD.
- Tight end Brandon Pettigrew gets Hill's other TD pass. Megatron's numbers: 4/7, 52 yards, 0 TDs.
- Former Bear Nathan Vasher returns to his 2006 ways and gets an INT. Henne's other pick was a Pick Six by DeAndre Levy.
- People at Michigan State love the expression "Chad Henne rhymes with douche bag" But they go to Michigan State so of course THEY think that makes sense AND that's it's hilarious. He has an awful game with a 1/2 TD/INT ratio and a 72.0 passer rating. I truly believe my boy Tyler Thigpen, if he started all 16 games, would have been a great player this year and been better than Henne.
- Brandon Marshall, in the fantasy playoffs, performs like you thought he would when you drafted him. He gets 102 yards off of 10 receptions (16 targets). But Davone Bess (5/8, 34 yards) gets Henne's lone TD pass.
- Ricky Williams (5.1 YPC) gets 14 carries and leads all Miami RB's with 71 rushing yards. Ronnie Brown (3.1 YPC) gets 12 carries and a rushing TD. There must be a glitch on ESPN or something or someone's messing with me because someone named "Lousaka" gets a rushing TD for Miami as well- Lousaka Polite.
- Lastly, we get to my name sake: Rex Grossman. The Washington Redskins defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars (a team that was in the drivers seat to win their division not more than 3 weeks ago) 20-17. Jack Del Rio is soon to follow Singletary.
- With Mo Jo out, Yahoo! predicted Rashad Jennings to score almost 20 fantasy points for my team. I was so proud of myself for starting him. But of course, with my luck, Jennings does shit: 32 yards on 15 carries (2.1 YPC). Hell, he wasn't even the team's leading rusher, QB David Garrard (39 yards plus a rushing TD) was.
- Speaking of Garrard: 58% completion percentage, 1/2 TD/INT ratio, 70.0 passer rating.
- Mike Thomas: 6/9, 96 yards, TD. Mike Sims-Walker: 1/1, 31 yards.
- Like what the Chicago Bears did, the Washington Redskins won this game despite Grossman, but because of him. One of the main reasons the Cardinals releasing Matt Leinart was fucking retarded was because we all knew Derek Anderson blows. And Derek Anderson is better than Rex Grossman, so how dumb of a move is this? Sure he knows the system like the Redskins claim, but he can't execute it for shit. Grossman ends up with a 49% completion percentage, 4.7 YPA, 1/1 TD/INT ratio, and a 60.0 passer rating. On the positive side, he didn't lose a fumble- he didn't even fumble!
- Ryan Torrain gets 20 carries. Keiland Williams gets 2. Torrain (65 yards, 3.3 YPC) gets a rushing TD.
- Santana Moss leads all Redskins receivers with 85 yards. Chris Cooley gets 48. Anthony Armstrong gets 15. Back up TE Fred Davis gets Grossman's lone TD. Don't cha just love a fantasy gold mine like the Redskins where they have a QB like Grossman to share the wealth.
Again, gotsta love games taken out of the Sunday morning slot.
Nobody puts baby in a corner.
Ryan Doumit C (100), OF (18)
Jake Fox C (19), OF (13), 1B (10)
Buster Posey C (76), 1B (30)
Victor Martinez C (110), 1B (14)
Michael Cuddyer 1B (84), OF (67), 3B (14)
Aubrey Huff 1B (100), OF (63)
Garrett Jones 1B (112), OF (49)
Xavier Nady 1B (52), OF (28)
Mike Napoli 1B (70), C (66)
Luke Scott 1B (19), OF (14)
Ty Wigginton 1B (98), 2B (40), 3B (22)
Mike Aviles 2B (87), SS (13)
Clint Barmes 2B (88), SS (47)
Ronnie Belliard 2B (20), 3B (16), 1B (10)
Andres Blanco 2B (40), SS (16)
Reid Brignac 2B (68), SS (50)
Mike Fontenot 2B (49), 3B (19)
Alberto Gonzalez 2B (38), 3B (27), SS (16)
Cristian Guzman 2B (63), SS (20)
Jonathan Herrera 2B (57), 3B (16)
Omar Infante 2B (65), 3B (29), OF (21), SS (19)
Howie Kendrick 2B (143), 1B (15)
Adam Kennedy 2B (86), 1B (51)
Jeff Keppinger 2B (126), SS (12)
Jed Lowrie 2B (28), SS (23)
Julio Lugo 2B (59), SS (26)
John McDonald 2B (23), SS (19), 3B (19)
Augie Ojeda 2B (15), 3B (12)
Martin Prado 2B (98), 3B (43)
Sean Rodriguez 2B (92), OF (21)
Adam Rosales 2B (47), SS (14)
Skip Schumaker 2B (123), OF (17)
Ruben Tejada 2B (50), SS (28)
Ryan Theriot 2B (119), SS (29)
Matt Tolbert 2B (20), 3B (14)
Eric Young Jr. 2B (35), OF (10)
Geoff Blum SS (18), 3B (14), 1B (14)
Jamey Carroll SS (69), 2B (48), 3B (11)
Alexi Casilla SS (30), 2B (24)
Juan Castro SS (33), 3B (11)
Craig Counsell SS (42), 3B (20)
Bobby Crosby SS (22), 2B (16), 3B (10)
Jason Donald SS (47), 2B (41)
Tyler Greene SS (22), 2B (15), 3B (11)
Jerry Hairston SS (62), 2B (47), OF (12)
Paul Janish SS (62), 3B (11)
Ramon Santiago SS (85), 2B (25)
Marco Scutaro SS (132), 2B (16)
Juan Uribe SS (103), 3B (26), 2B (24)
Wilson Valdez SS (59), 2B (42)
Danny Worth SS (24), 2B (12)
Tony Abreu 3B (20), SS (15), 2B (12)
Jeff Baker 3B (33), 2B (26)
Miguel Cairo 3B (37), 1B (14)
Alberto Callaspo 3B (130), 2B (12)
Jorge Cantu 3B (81), 1B (40)
Pedro Feliz 3B (102), 1B (15)
Brendan Harris 3B (27), SS (11)
Maicer Izturis 3B (28), 2B (22)
Felipe Lopez 3B (58), 2B (24), SS (24)
Andy Marte 3B (45), 1B (32)
Melvin Mora 3B (63), 1B (25), 2B (19)
Jayson Nix 3B (56), 2B (28)
Eduardo Nunez 3B (15), SS (11)
Ramiro Pena 3B (48), SS (23)
Jhonny Peralta 3B (100), SS (46)
Placido Polanco 3B (123), 2B (12)
Nick Punto 3B (48), SS (31), 2B (12)
Kevin Russo 3B (16), OF (11)
Pablo Sandoval 3B (143), 1B (11)
Mark Teahen 3B (52), OF (10)
Miguel Tejada 3B (97), SS (58)
Omar Vizquel 3B (83), 2B (19)
Brandon Wood 3B (56), SS (22)
Jose Bautista OF (113), 3B (48)
Willie Bloomquist OF (35), 3B (11)
Bill Hall OF (65), 2B (51)
Eric Hinske OF (50), 1B (32)
Don Kelly OF (74), 1B (28), 3B (15)
Carlos Lee OF (133), 1B (20)
Adam Lind OF (16), 1B (11)
Mike McCoy OF (15), 2B (14)
Mike Morse OF (72), 1B (19)
Eric Patterson OF (65), 2B (14)
Ryan Raburn OF (91), 2B (18)
Juan Rivera OF (105), 1B (13)
Ryan Ryal OF (36), 1B (24)
Matt Tuiasosopo OF (14), 3B (12)
Delwyn Young OF (21), 2B (10)
Ben Zobrist OF (110), 2B (55), 1B (14)
But despite my religion handicap, my girlfriend is Christian so I did end up spending a lovely evening celebrating Christmas. Unfortunately for all ten of you GOI fans, I was unable to watch this game- but I'm sure not many people outside of Dallas did. And it's a shame because after driving home in a blizzard- I saw the highlights on Sportscenter and the stats of the scroll at the bottom of ESPN and it made me regret not being able to watch this game. In fact, one of my gf's cousins said "Hey, I think there's some football on." I asked who was playing. He told me it was Dallas versus Arizona. I said "PSH! Who wants to watch that game? Dallas is going to destroy the Cardinals." Oh, how wrong I was. We'll begin just as soon as I miss an extra point to essentially lose the game.
- The Cardinals upset the Cowboys 27-26 thanks to a missed extra point with 1:41 minutes go to and a Jay Feely field goal with 5 seconds left in the game.
- Like I said earlier, I only saw the highlights of this game but the few times they showed Marion Barber he looked amazing (aside from the few times he slipped and fell on the sidelines). He has 8 carries for 58 yards (7.3 YPC) and Dallas' sole rushing TD. Felix Jones got 16 carries with a pretty good 4.8 YPC and Tashard Choice got 4 carries with an average 4.0 YPC.
- Old Man Rivers-Kitna gets knocked out of this game. He's an old man so guess what injury he had? Yep, a bad hip. He was pretty ineffective in the first half with his 53.1 passer rating. Both of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns (one of which was done by one half of my favorite NFL relative duo Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie). 3rd stringer Stephen McGee was pretty darn effective with his 102.8 passer rating, 1 TD (which should have been at LEAST a game tie-er) and no interceptions.
- Miles Austin returns to the 2009 version of himself leading all receivers in this game with 115 yards (but a pretty ineffective 6 receptions on 13 targets) and the "game tying" touchdown. Jason Witten catches 8 out his 11 targets for a measly 45 yards and Kitna's sole receiving touchdown.
- John Skleton isn't good enough. Oh wait, I need to finish that sentence. I could go with "to be an NFL quarterback" or "to pleasure his wife" but I'm not THAT mean (but I mean, come on, I AM a blogger so I'm pretty mean). But what I meant to say is "to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald". Fitzy only catches one of his three targets for 26 yards. Some no namer named Andre Roberts catches 5 out of his 9 targets for 110 yards and Skelton's only TD.
- Speaking of Skelton: 44 completion percentage, 82.6 passer rating, 1/0 TD/INT ratio. Hooray for your back up being Derek Anderson without the turnovers! At least it's a start.
- Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower have such bad numbers that Santa will want to put coal in their stockings (Oooh! At least I got one good reference in there)
And we... aRE... OUT!
According to the data, home runs and steals are the most significant when it comes to determining ADP. Of more interest, however, is the distribution of stats and their ADP relevance. Which stats are most undervalued by ADP? Which stats are you most able to accrue late in the game? Check it out, cool stuff.
This is how were doing in each category:
As you see I am doing terrbile in BLK's, 3PTM, and FT%.
Earlier I did a post on how TBO and my team came out after the draft. This is how my roster currently looks:
Darren Collison is killing me in points, assists, and steals. I thought he would play liked he did last year when he filled in for the inured Chris Paul, but he has not settled into a groove yet in Indiana. Blake Griffin started out slow, but has been a double double guy of late. Andre Miller has saved me as my second point guard considering Collison has done nothing. I didn't expect much from Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter, and they still let me down.........................
If you play in the GOI Fantasy Basketball League and want to be included in future updates plese let us know.
Today's tip relates to poor-control starters and ERA. You like Morrow's upside? Let me warn you of his downside.
In doing some excel charting today, I discovered that the average ERA of a starting pitcher with a BB/9 greater than 4.00 over the past three seasons was a whopping 4.51. The league average ERA for starters was only 4.17 over this period, however.
Those high K, high BB guys like Bud Norris, Justin Masterson and Brandon Morrow seem nice, but you need to stay grounded and be cognizant of the risks inherent in their enticing peripherals. Of the 32 starters with BB/9 greater than 4.0 over the past three years (min. 150 IP), only Edinson Volquez, Rich Harden, Clayton Kershaw, C.J. Wilson*, Carlos Zambrano, and Yovanni Gallardo posted ERAs under 4.00. Don't forget poor control guys also mess with your WHIP.
*C.J. Wilson pitched exclusively in relief in both 2008 and 2009.
You've been warned.
At the end of July, right before the fall season starting airing, I did a list of the best shows of the year up to that point. Well now that 2010 is all but over, it's time to revisit that list and add to it.
I will say that I of course have not seen every single show on television this year. Hell, even TV critics don't do that. But I have spent many anights flipping through my On Demand to watch a shit ton of television. Sure, that means I am biased towards NBC, USA, and FX because those channels are actually smart, live in the 21st century, and realize nobody watches live TV anymore. So instead of me going to watch shows I like via the internet, I just watch shows I never would have been accustomed to because of the convenience of On Demand. But the downfall of that is that I have watched a lot of bad TV- especially of late. I mean A LOT of bad TV. I have seen every single episode of Chase, Law and Order L.A., and Undercovers simply because they were there. Yes, I unfortunately had a lot of free time of my hands.
And I also do not get HBO or Showtime which also limits my selections. The #1 show people have asked me about this year was HBO's and Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire. It's gotten great, critical reviews. I went out of my way to see the one and half hour pilot spectacle- and I wasn't impressed. The only show I have seen all the way through after being disappointed by the pilot (besides the aforementioned crappy NBC shows) was Heroes. And even that show was not all that good (May you rest in peace). So if I'm disappointed by the pilot, I honestly don't think I will like the show. Now I'm sure I'm proven wrong by essentially everyone who has seen Boardwalk Empire, but I do not foresee me ever watching that show in the future.
Now, the overall theme of this list is "disappointing". This was an extremely poor year for television and this was the year for dribble. So many shows this year were either not even close to being as good as they once were or had a pretty bad sophomore season. I was very disappointed in this year and therefore the top of this list was not hard to create.
As always, I'm going to start off with shows that didn't make my list but I'm sure the vast majority of people think they should.
Let me first start off by saying that I have seen every single episode of Louie- another benefit of being board and having On Demand. Let me also get the disclaimer out there that I love Louie C.K. as a comedian. The 'Bright' One and I have discussed (I'm sure on a podcast) how much we were anticipating the release of this show because we are huge Louie C.K. fans. But I can not understand why people like this show.
I can understand why people think it's good. Louie C.K. is such a smart comedian and I'm not an idiot to recognize the quality of the product that was being delivered to me (i.e. good versus entertaining- this show was good). But at the end of the day- I need to either be entertained by the show and especially for a comedy- it needs to make me laugh. The only time I laughed was during the stand up scenes a la Dmitri Martin's Important Things. I hated the skits and I truly don't understand why critics and fans alike jerked off to this show.
Persons Unknown (NBC)
OK, so no critic and probably no rational person has this miniseries in their top 10- or even top 20 of 2010 list. But I had this show in my mid-season top 15 and I just want to spend a few seconds talking about it. Even though I am looking at my top 15 and really want to replace it at minimum in the "15" slot, I will restrain myself. Partially because if I wasn't bored during the summer and did not have On Demand (notice another theme here) I probably would not have watched this show.
The show is something out of The Cube and followed 8 strangers and their journey to escape from a town run by an international company that will not let them escape- even if they do escape. I loved the first few episodes and I loved the fact that after each episode another layer of the onion gets peeled back for the audience to see what's happening in this town. And I absolutely loved the end (I'm going to spoil the show for you right here because let's face it, if you haven't seen it by now, you never will) where even though everybody escaped the town, the corporation brings them right back to continue on with the process. The look of defeat on the main characters faces when they realize they can never escape and all hope is lost and there is no happy ending is great. But the show spent about 5 episodes too many dragging the story along.
Anyways, and now on with the list.....
15) 30 Rock (NBC)
I really wanted to leave 30 Rock off of my list. In fact, in my heart of hearts I think I have Persons Unknown over 30 Rock, but alas I could not do it. 30 Rock has been such a brilliant show for so long that even though Season 5 was by far and away the worst season of the show so far, it still is better than most of the dribble that's out there. Plus, the second half of Season Four occurred in 2010 which means I can't take the show off of the list.
The best part about 30 Rock is that it is side-splittingly funny. Despite all of it's clever jokes and characters, the show always made me laugh. But outside of a few exceptions in Season 5 (most notably the second episode where Jack is filming self-help videos for his unborn son and Tracy gets stuck on Cash Cab on his way to the hospital for the birth of his daughter) this season was not funny. Like at all.
And to pour salt on the wounds, the show built up story lines and then made them disappear without any excuses. Season 4's plot focused on the addition of a new member of TGS with Tracy Jordan and except for a cameo in the SNL-funny (i.e. not funny) live episode of 30 Rock, I didn't see the new cast member once. In Season 4, Tracy was on a quest to EGOT (to get an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony). While that story line did emerge in the new season (with Tracy making a movie a la Precious to earn him an Oscar) it still fell short of the goal and "umph" that it had in the previous season. I could go on and on with plot holes like this (the fact that NBC is now a porn distributor known as Kabletown and that senator Queen Latifah forced Jack to put more black people on NBC shows and then proceeded to never bring it up again) that made the show frustrating to watch.
But the 2010 Season 4 30 Rock was excellent as always and there were still some great episodes laying underneath the pile of manure that was Season 5 and because it's still the most original comedy on television, 30 Rock earned a spot on this list.
I feel like I was a judge on the Japanese version of Iron Chef. I just explained why the challenger had the best and tastiest dishes, how the Iron Chef's dishes were the worst pile of crap ever, and yet still overwhelmingly voted for the Iron Chef.
14) The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
So I wrote WAY to much for 30 Rock so I'll do my best to keep this short.
This show is hilarious. The End.
But in all seriousness, whenever I watch this show I always crack up and even though TBBT is still using its formula from Season One (even the Penny/ Leonard will they won't they even after they dated and then broke up) it's still funny. The one drawback to this current season is that they gave Sheldon a girlfriend. Which I'm absolutely glad the writers did that because as much fun and flack as the other characters gave about Sheldon not knowing how to interact with a girl, he still is a human and still needed a girlfriend. But what I don't like about it is that she is the exact same character as Sheldon but with boobs and a va-jay-jay. Sheldon as a character is one of the best characters on television, but you can't replicate him. The writers needed to find a way to make a girlfriend that would realistically be with Sheldon but still be her own character.
But I'm nitpicking (sort of) and although this show is mind numbing, it's still funny and always a pleasure to watch. And for that, The Big Bang Theory earns a spot on this list.
"They built a pyramid!"
13) Glee (FOX)
I will more than happy take lumps and shit for admitting to liking this show. Everyone who is a hater has never seen the show and therefore can't judge. These people are the same people who love to use Jay Cutler as a punching bag- even though they have never actually seen him play or even care to root for him.
Listen, the writing on this show is Heroes-esque bad. It's stupid teen drama that at the end of the day, is only good for talking about with other people who watch the show. It's unrealistic in two senses: First, no high school is that mean and would give shit to a glee club- especially one where the vast majority are football players and cheerleaders. Secondly, it pisses me off when the show breaks off into song at the drop of a hat, without any practice, performs it beautifully. The band magically knows and hits every note and beat, the glee club members magically hit every single note and song lyric perfectly, and they all magically dance in perfect sync with each other.
But you know what, who cares? Like me, everyone watches Glee solely for the music (although I'm very upset that 13 year olds are retarded and think songs not sung by Beyonce are the show's original creations) but the music is still very good nonetheless. The episode in which Gweynth Paltrow guest stars alone got me hooked to this show with her rendition of Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You" (called "Forget You" in the show) and a fantastic mash up of Rihanna's "Umbrella" with "Singing In The Rain".
For having great music and for being very awesomely mind numbing, Glee earns a spot on this list.
12) The League (FX)
I was recently watching this show On Demand while my dad was in the other room. He pointed out to me that this show really does use the lowest form of humor. The show is extremely "blue" and uses cheap five year shit and barf jokes to get cheap laughs. But I don't care. I will take funny "pull my finger" jokes over Season 5 of 30 Rock (extremely smart but NOT funny) any day of the week.
But in line with my "disappointing" theme, Season 2 of The League was nowhere close to the greatness of Season 1. I feel like Season 1 was scripted more or had more time put into it and therefore was better. I also agree with Bill Simmons that this show really could be done so much better. A TV show centered around a group of guys in a fantasy football league is a great premise that I truly feel FX is squandering.
It also upsets me that in an 8 team fantasy football league an owner has to make a decision between Donald Brown and Steve Breaston. I barely have to make this choice in a 14 team league, nevertheless an 8 team league. No club in an 8 team league even owns Breaston or Brown or many of the decisions the show brings up. But that's REALLY nitpicking.
But I still laugh at the show and since EVERYBODY plays fantasy football, it's a great show to talk with people about it. And for that, The League earns a spot on this list.
11) Modern Family (ABC)
This is the only ABC show to crack the list. Unfortunately, I have not seen too many episodes of Season 2 (which primarily aired in 2010) but the ones I have seen I have enjoyed heavily.
Because I don't really know a whole lot of my friends/ acquaintances who watch this show I really don't have a whole lot of anecdotes and thus I don't have much to say. But this show is brilliant as it is funny- following around three abnormally normal families who are all related to each other.
If you haven't seen this show yet, go out and watch the first episodes of the first season and you'll be hooked. Plus, Sofia Vergara is smoking hot. If you don't know who she is, Google her.
10) The Office (NBC)
I don't think The Office will ever be as good as it was during Season 2 or Season 3. But I think I need to stop comparing future seasons to those seasons. If I do, Season 7 doesn't even come close to those seasons. But Season 7 is still better than Seasons 4 and 5. But not as good as Season 6- it's predecessor and the season I will and properly compare it to. And thus, also falls along with my "disappointing" theme.
There are basically four different character traits of Michael Scott: there's the authoritative Michael Scott (as seen in: where he yells at Stanley after Stanley refused to listen to a word Michael says; seen rarely; a great side), the goof ball Michael Scott (as seen in: after Michael eats the pretzel and goes into a sugar high; seen very often; mainly a good side), the awkward Michael Scott (as seen in: Michael hitting on any woman not named Holly (er, rather, Michael hitting on any woman); seen often; can be hit or miss), and the petulant, baby Michael Scott (as seen in: the Glee episode where Michael doesn't get his way; seen often; the worst side of Michael Scott).
Season 7 featured a vast majority of petulant, baby Michael Scott which is an awful thing to be shown consistently. This season also featured a lot of a lazy, not funny, and not good prank playing Jim which added insult to injury.
But overall, this show was still funny, still far better than 30 Rock and still enjoyable to watch. Even though I am super glad that after this season Steve Carrel is leaving and the show can finally rest in peace and die. But for the aforementioned reasons, The Office earns a spot on this list.
9) Community (NBC)
Community is like Gordan Beckham. It initially started off slow, then it hit like crazy and was amazing to watch, and then it had a break, and then just when you expected it to be awesome, it sinks like man floating in caramel like a Milky Way commercial. That's not fully an apt comparison because Community still is in the top 10 and Bacon's first half of 2010 looked like I was the one out there hitting. But overall I think it's a good one.
If the second season of Community was its first season, I probably would have had #1 on my list. The show is still smart and funny but my expectations were held too high and its for that reason Community earns a spot on this list.
And you can rant and rave all you want DME, Joel McHale IS funny and IS great on this show. Stop being a hater.
8) White Collar (USA)
I like Psych and Royal Pains a lot but not only is White Collar the best of the USA shows, it's kind of the epitome of USA shows. And therefore, White Collar is the only USA show to make my list. The USA Network fully admits that is produces "happy" shows. These shows have conflict to keep you entertained, but it's really nothing like something as heavy as you would see on maybe a Law and Order SVU and it's not as gripping as say like a Mad Men or Breaking Bad.
USA shows are a great On Demand pleasure, and unlike Law and Order L.A. or Outlaw, I don't regret watching it when I'm done. In fact, quite the opposite. And it is for that reason that White Collar (representing the USA Network) cracks my list.
7) Archer (FX)
The reason I ranked Archer so low during the midseason was because I thought the show had too many lows and the highs were not THAT great to warrant it any higher. But I was wrong. The "Skytanic" episode was the shows best and it still is one of the funniest things ever and I just recently watched the second half of the season (by recently I mean right before this post) and while it still is pretty bad, it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it was and it still was fairly clever and original and funny. And it's for those reasons that Archer earns a spot on this list. It comes back in January of 2011 and I'm super excited for its return.
6) It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX)
It's Always Sunny is probably the worst name for a TV show just because it's so long to say and to write out. But it is excellent (I don't want to use "brilliant" even though it fits justly but I've used it to often already) and still impressive and strong after six seasons. Shows like The Office show us that you can only be good for X amount of time until you lose your edge and you deserve to go, but not Sunny.
The show is just as funny as it was in it's inception and even though the subject matter is extremely crude, it's actually smarter comedy than a show like The League. Seinfeld was great in it's dialogues and situations and It's Always Sunny takes that smart, genius humor and uses it in the raunchiest scenarios possible. It is for those reasons that Always Sunny earns a spot on this list and I apologize for not ranking it during my midseason rankings.
5) Justified (FX)
"Oh My Gosh! Sexy Rexy! Really!? Another FX show?" As Lana would say in Archer, "YUUUP!" And it's not even the last one on the list. FX is the best network out there, and with the exception of Louie (a show everyone but me loves) FX is batting 1.000. I'll say what I wrote in my midseason wrap up where I ranked Justified #3- this show is just Timothy Olphyant being a bad ass. It's got heart and character development, but it's just Olphyant being a bad ass and it's awesome. Period. Now go watch it in anticipation for Season 2. Also, I told you about how awesome FX is earlier in the year. Now I'm putting my money where my mouth is. So to speak. Ish.
4) Entourage (HBO)
The first few episodes of Season 7 were bad. I mean really bad. I mean "Gigli" bad. Hell, the conflict in the first few episodes was that Vinny got a haircut and thus messed up the re-shoots of his newest movie. But then, without you even realizing it, the show got great. I stopped watching for a bit because the beginning was so bad, but then I saw like three episodes in a row and I got hooked and wanted more.
The best episodes and seasons of Entourage are the ones in which Vinny Chase's and Ari's careers are in trouble and in jeopardy. That's what made the rebound 5th season of the show so great and made the show really good from Seasons 1-3. But from Season 6 to the first part of Season 7, nothing really happened. Everything was really all good for Vinnie and the boys. And thus bad television.
But then Vince met and started dating porn star Sasha Grey and that led to a Don Draper-esuqe (see next show) downward spiral that you didn't know where he would land. That in turn affected his personal life, but most importantly, his professional life. And when Ari is threatened to get exposed and lose his job and to lose being a member of the team to bring an NFL franchise to Los Angeles because of his normal antics, like Vinnie, both his personal and professional life get threatened. I also loved the Johnny Drama's side storyline where his career is in jeopardy but could possibly get saved by the return of Billy Walsh.
It is for those reasons that Season 7 of Entourage deserves a spot on this list and I regret anyone who jumped off the bandwagon too early. But like The Office, I'm also glad this show is on it's last season.
3) Mad Men (AMC)
**Spoiler alert, if you have not seen Season 3 or Season 4 of Mad Men, stop reading right now. I repeat, stop reading and move on to my #2 selection**
This was the worst season for Mad Men. I normally enjoy and respect HitFix.com and TV critic Alan Sepinwall's opinion, but he just jerks off to this season of Mad Men (along with Bill Simmons) and I don't understand why. This season might have had the best Mad Men episode ever (but not really) in "The Suitcase"- an episode that just solely focuses on Don Draper and Peggy Olson and I hope both get Emmy's for their brilliant performances in that episode. But as a whole, this season was just alright. This season was Michael Young or Derrick Mason of Mad Men seasons- there were no real highs but there were no real lows and it was just steady, constant performances.
I found the best part about Mad Men was Don Draper being Don Draper. He was a cheating scoundrel who was a smooth talker- both to the ladies and his clients. But since he is no longer married and starting spiraling into a drunken mess, he was no longer smooth with either.
Now the show still had some great conflict, like with the future of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce and the future of Don Draper which made for some FANTASTIC television. But it wasn't all good as its previous seasons. Nonetheless, Mad Men still earns a spot on this list. And bee tee dubs, an off year for Mad Men is still a top 5 show, so what does that tell you about how great the show is, huh?
2) How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
HIMYM is currently the funniest show on television. During my midseason rankings, I didn't even rank How I Met Your Mother (this show is up there with Always Sunny as the wost title ever) and ranked 30 Rock in my #2 spot. Oh how the tides have turned. The reason for the 30 Rock dropping was because of Season 5. But HIMYM rose- mainly because I'm actually watching it now. And stupid Lifetime network syndicating the show. It's awesome that I get to watch HIMYM a lot more, but I also now have to stop on the Lifetime Channel when I'm channel surfing on the off chance Mother is on. Plus, I've seen a bajillion more stupid Lifetime movie advertisements in one month than I ever want to see in my life time. But, for being the funniest show on television, and proving (unlike The Office) that you can still be hysterical after six seasons, How I Met Your Mother earns a spot on this list- and the best comedy slot.
1) Terriers (FX)
Even though I was just bashing Alan Seppinwall a minute ago, I have to praise him for getting me hooked on this show. I'm so upset that this show got cancelled and it ranks right up there with Freaks and Geeks as the best one season show ever. The show followed around two private investigators- one former alcoholic cop played by Donal Logue and one former thief played by Michael Raymond-James. The show had heart, it had depth, it had GREAT character development, it had mystery, and it had a great cliffhanger literally the very end of the season finale that I sadly will never get to see resolved.
The show starts off with the two investigators shaking off a murder rap that they were framed for and then flipping the table and framing the man who was the actual killer and ends with them solving one of the greatest conspiracies ever laid out on television. I wouldn't expect anything less from the writer of Ocean's 11 (although I did have to sit through Ocean's 12 and 13). The show was simply great and I loved every single episode.
In a year where every single show was not the best season in the show's history and there were not many (or really ANY) good new shows, a great show like Terriers takes 2010's top spot as the best show of the year.
So here's a recap of my list:
15) 30 Rock (NBC)
14) The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
13) Glee (Fox)
12) The League (FX)
11) Modern Family (ABC)
10) The Office (NBC)
9) Community (NBC)
8) White Collar (USA)
7) Archer (FX)
6) It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)
5) Justified (FX)
4) Entourage (HBO)
3) Mad Men (AMC)
2) How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
1) Terriers (FX)