Joe Flacco Update

For some reason Joe Flacco is my boy. I don't really like him all that much. In my quarterback rankings (post soon to come) I ranked Flacco 13th. But for some reason I have been following his career and posting about it. So why not write one more.

In the offseason before the 2010 NFL season began, the Ravens traded for Anquan Boldin. Therefore, I wrote a post predicting how well Flacco and the other receivers would do. This is what I predicted for Flacco before the season:
515 attempts, 345 completions, 4031 yards, 25 TDs, 11 INTs, 6 fumbles, 55 rushing attempts, 200 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs.
These were pretty ballsy numbers, mainly considering Flacco had never thrown for over 4000 yards in a season or thrown over 500 attempts. Here's the numbers Flacco did end up with:
489 attempts, 306 completions, 3622 yards, 25 TDs, 10 INT, 9 fumbles, 43 rushing attempts, 84 rushing yards, 1 TD.
I predicted a 25/11 TD/INT ratio for Flacco and he ended up with a 25/10 ratio so I think that's pretty damn impressive. But I also thought Flacco would throw it a bit more and thus get more yards. I thought the addition of Boldin would improve Flacco's numbers. But it did not.

I kind of think that the numbers Flacco put up this year are the numbers that he'll put up for his career. I think he'll have about a 63% completion percentage (63.1 in 2009, 62.6 in 2010) and he'll throw for about 485-500 times (499 in 2009, 489 in 2010).

Before I predicted Flacco's numbers I predicted his wide outs numbers. Anquan Boldin has had a great career so I predicted his numbers to fall in line partially with what he did in the past. By doing so that naturally raised Flacco's numbers (who I thought would improve and continue to develop as he got another year of experience under his belt).

Another major assumption that I made was that Anquan Boldin would be Flacco's number one target. Throughout Flacco's short career he's had a clear cut number one guy and a clear cut number two guy. It turns out that split was mainly because of the talent of Mason and Mark Clayton and not because of the system or how Flacco throws or what-have-you. While Boldin was technically Flacco's number one target with 108, Mason was not far behind with 100. Here's what I predicted for Anquan Boldin:
130 targets, 92 receptions, 1100 yards, 9 TDs, 3 fumbles, 4 carries, 40 yards, 0 TDs
Now right off the bat you should be able to tell that my prediction was way off because I thought he would get 130 targets and he only got 108. Here's Boldin's numbers on the year:
108 targets, 64 receptions, 837 yards, 7 TDs, 1 fumble, 2 carries, 2 yards, 0 TDs
Well at least I correctly predicted Boldin wouldn't get any rushing touchdowns.

Another big problems with my prediction/actuality split was that Boldin had one of the worst catch rates of his career. In 2009 and 2008, Boldin caught 71% of his passes. He only caught 59% of them in 2010. The lack of targets and catching his targets drastically decreased Boldin's numbers which seems to me shows a sign of lack of talent. Or maybe he was just in a new system and had an outlier year because of it. Whatever the reason was, it was a huge difference to why my Flacco prediction was so off.

Here's what I predicted for Derrick Mason:
85 targets, 52 receptions, 730 yards, 5 TDs, 1 fumble, 1 carry, 2 yards, 0 TDs.
I have a pretty good system in how to calculate targets but a poorer way ho to calculate catch rate and an even poorer way still to calculate yards per reception. Mason has had a sporadic catch rate and YPR the past three years as I pointed out in my original post. Here's the numbers Mason actually did get:
100 targets, 61 receptions, 802 yards, 7 TDs, 0 fumbles, 0 carries.
While Mason's targets did take a huge drop with the addition of Boldin (He averaged a shade under 140 the past few years compared to the 100 he got in 2010) my 85 prediction was WAY too low.

I did however hit Mason's catch rate (61%) right on the nose.

I did however guess incorrectly Mason's YPR. I should have averaged out in 2009 and 2008 campaign (which would have given me 13.5 YPR which was closer to the 13.1 Mason actually got as opposed to be 14.0 I gave him as opposed to adding that third year. But so is life.). However, for fantasy purposes, because of his increases in targets he far exceeded my expectations of him and he did well for anyone that drafted him.

Here's what I predicted for TE Todd Heap:
80 targets, 52 receptions, 588 yards, 4 TDs, 0 fumbles, 2 carries, 18 yards.
Here's what Heap ended up with in 2010:
64 targets, 40 receptions, 599 yards, 5 TDs, 0 fumbles, 0 carries.
Considering Heap had the best YPR of his entire career and by far did anything better than he's ever done, I think my fantasy prediction of him was pretty damn spot on.

Last, but not least, we have Ray Rice. I pegged him as the third best running back in fantasy (behind CJ and AD) and I sincerely apologize for that. I paid 70 dollars for him in one league and he severely disappointed me. I really don't know why the decrease in his production from what I thought but here's what I predicted for Rice:
290 carries, 1505 rushing yards, 8 TDs, 2 fumbles; 100 targets, 77 receptions, 658 yards, 2 TDs.
Here's what Rice ended up with:
307 carries, 1220 rushing yards, 5 rushing TDs, 0 fumbles, 82 targets, 63 receptions, 556 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD.
In the past, Flacco's success has arisen because of his quick dump offs to his running backs so the decrease in the touches as I predicted for Rice and the decrease in the amount of passing yards I predicted to Rice was a huge factor in my poor prediction of Joe Flacco.

Here's how Flacco's targets broke down in 2010:

Boldin: 22%
Mason: 20%
Rice: 16.8%
Heap: 16.3%
Houshmandzadeh: 11.8%
McGahee/McClain: 9.0%
Other Receivers: 6.7%

Top 2 Receivers: 42.5%
RBs: 25.8%
Heap: 16.3%
Other Receivers:
RBs: 18.6%

As what the head of BP/DP kept saying throughout the Coon and Friends three parter of South Park last season, "Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry."