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Midsummer day's links

Need to be quick with my post today - I'll be back tomorrow with a lengthier, linkier (did I just make up a new word? sweeeeeet) post!
  • Late Round Targets from FFToolbox - I'm totally on the same page with these guys on Kevin Walter.
  • Seeing as we're moving and setting up a new tv package in the next few weeks, I'm quite interested in reading this note on DirectTV selling Sunday Ticket for iPhones. Can I really envision myself watching a game on my iPhone though at that exorbitant price?
  • If you're in a PPR league, take note of FantasySharks.com's guidance on receivers that are PPR-friendly and those that are not in You down with PPR? Yeah, you know me!
  • The rise and fall of dynasty QBs is noted in Rotoworld's Pancake Blocks blog.
  • Oh o-lines. I love, love, love them. And Ultimate Fantasy Football Strategy has finally wrapped up their individual team review and put together their annual 2009 Offensive Line Rankings and Analysis article.

Comments

Peter said…
I disagree with the O-line ranking for Minnesota as 'mediocre'. McKinnie is a mountain of a tackle, Hutch is the best guard in the league, and Herrera is a solid/underrated RG. Sullivan replaces Birk at C, sure, but when Birk replaced Christy that transition went very well. Sullivan is younger and can be more physical than Birk can anymore, and will pick up on the mental nuances of the game quickly. Birk and Sully both went to academically elite schools.

The biggest weakness of the line last year was RT Cook. Lots of false starts, mental mistakes, missed blocks, sacks allowed. (Of course, having Jackson and Frerotte doesn't help an o-line avoid sacks, but still) Rookie Loadholt will struggle to adapt to the game, but he's big and strong and will be a great runblocker in his first year.

I don't think they have the best line (like some are prone to say), but it's definitely top 10, right?
Hey Peter, they're one of the o-lines that I have ranked lower than most people and here's why. Sure they have one of the best run blocking lines in the NFL but they allowed 43 sacks last year and 38 the year before.

They were above average in run blocking, below average in pass protection which makes them about an average line last season. This season they lost Birk so they'll see a small downgrade which outs them in the Mediocre category. My prediction is they may average somewhere between 4.0 and 4.4 yards per carry and allow 45 to 50 sacks, that's not a top 10 line.

I know they'd probably allow fewer sacks if they had a better QB but I still don't think they can be a top 10 line when they allowed so many sacks last year and lost their center.
Peter said…
You make good points, and I still feel that both arguments are reasonable. You already know my two counters (bad QBs encourage sacks & Sullivan is more physical than Birk and should be a decent comparison mentally with time), so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Time will tell, of course.

Although, really, at the end of the season I'll laud the o-line for their runblocking and you'll criticize them for allowing sacks. I guess the bottom line is: does the o-line help the team win games or contribute to losses?
Just to add one more thing, this is actually the main reason why I rank them in groups instead of 1 to 32, it's so subjective but even in groups there's a ton of disagreements.
As you said some prefer a run blocking line, some a pass protecting line, depends on the offense they play on etc.

If I were to build an NFL team, I'd choose the Vikings line ahead of a bunch of teams I have ahead of them knowing I can run any RB behind that line and have success and I'd compensate with a QB who gets rid of the ball quicker.

Problem is for a fantasy football website that becomes way too subjective so I just look at statistics from last year and see who got better or worse. Not a perfect way, maybe not the best way either but hey it's football, it's complicated, that's why we love it.
Les Savy Ferd said…
I'm just happy to see that some view Buffalo's O-line as improved. I have to say that I am skeptical, based on past performance but I suppose that doesn't matter much when EVERY position will be manned by someone new this year.

The rooks really need to come together and of course Walker needs to 'translate' well at his new spot. But a solid O-line could make for a better passing game and allow Lynch to hit 'beast mode' all the more often.

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