Scatterbrained: Week 3 Tips & Trends

Scatterbrained: Week 3 Tips & Trends

Opening Thoughts

Left is right. Up is down. Continuing to pick up the pieces of Week 3, I’m still in awe of Philadelphia de-pantsing Pittsburgh so handily. The last time Pittsburgh lost (almost) this badly on the road was in 2011, in a 35-7 rout by Baltimore. I’ll handle the alleged Wentz wizardry shortly, but will say this: I’m dubious.

We also reveled in the Patriots whipping the Texans with about the rawest rookie quarterback we’ve seen in some time, running a college offense on a short week. It was ugly, and beautiful, at the same time.

The ability of New England’s staff to successfully morph an offense with such abbreviated preparation leaves us scratching our heads. Why can’t more coaching staffs do the same when faced with sudden quarterback changes? Are coaches so ossified in their approach that they’re unable to react? If we reflect for a moment, we realize that probably 90% of the Patriots’ offense ran read- or speed-option spreads in college. They already understand the concepts, so it was likely a cinch for Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels to implement such an offense seemingly overnight. It’s also highly likely that McDaniels pulled some trusty plays from his 2010 Denver playbook, which featured Tim Tebow late in that season.

Bottom line – what the Patriots staff pulled off in three days should leave us all questioning just why the hell the coaches of our favorite teams are so inflexible and unimaginative.

Scattered Thinking About Week 3

What’s brewing in Philly?

What exactly is going on in Philadelphia to make the Eagles so successful this early? A considerable amount of their success can probably be attributed to the “fresh voice bounce” we often see when teams shed a tired coach for a reinvigorating attitude.

Below is a passing air yard split for Carson Wentz. I put this together to illustrate what I see when I watch his games, but I find it immensely useful when seeing how an offense distributes passes, how a defense allows distribution, or how a passer either unleashes or limits himself within the construct of his offense.

The table is split into two halves – top (deep passes), and bottom (short passes). The three middle columns divide the field width into thirds – left, middle, and right. The far right column handles plays with no pass direction (NA), which are sacks, spikes, or un-aimed throwaways.

Carson WentzdeepDLDMDR 
Carson WentzshortSLSMSRNA
16atts538
15.1%atts %4.7%2.8%7.5%
ave air.yd25.419.728.8
ave air.yd3.05.83.0-1.8
79.2%atts %34.0%11.3%34.0%5.7%
84atts3612366

qb-pays-legend

Now, let’s compare this to what Jason Garrett is asking Dak Prescott to do with the ball… or, rather, what Prescott is preferring to do within the confines of his offense.

Dak PrescottdeepDLDMDR 
Dak PrescottshortSLSMSRNA
18atts837
17.5%atts %7.8%2.9%6.8%
ave air.yd21.817.023.1
ave air.yd5.46.93.90.0
76.7%atts %28.2%20.4%28.2%5.8%
78atts2920296

What I immediately noticed watching Wentz in his Monday Night Football game against Chicago was the direction of his throws. He wasn’t throwing to the middle unless forced to (2nd & long, 3rd & long, 4th & any), or on a broken play.

Here is a breakdown of Carson’s middle-of-the-field throws:

wentz-middle

 

The bottom line is Doug Pederson and his staff are doing a commendable job of eliminating risk by having Wentz throw almost exclusively to the boundaries (Short Left, Short Right) on hooks, comebacks, and screens, then depending on yards after the catch to move down the field.

It’s working so far. As the season continues, I expect it won’t last.

Passing Points Against Expectation

With regards to the revered rushing (or receiving) Fantasy Points Over Expectation statistic from the fine folks at Rotoviz (FPOE), I decided to apply their work and have a look at which passers are performing well or poorly against expected point output.

As Rotoviz will explain, FPOE is calculated by accounting for the difference in total fantasy points a player has scored against the expected points a player should score for all plays from a given line of scrimmage.

Example: For a play run from the offense’s own 31 yard line, we expect the QB to score .269 fantasy points. If a QB scores .480 (say, a 12-yard completion), then the passing points above expectation (PPAE) would be .480 – .269, or .211 PPAE.

Here is the full table:

pl.yfogpa.attpa.ydpa.yd00pa.sucfpt.stdfpt.fdfpt.dkfpt.fa
pl.yfogpa.attpa.ydpa.yd00pa.sucfpt.stdfpt.fdfpt.dkfpt.fa
11209.720.9400.4080.3390.3970.3970.436
21256.220.5750.3840.1370.1930.1930.199
31146.390.5850.3680.1680.2120.2120.232
41737.540.7100.4160.2440.2730.2730.319
52526.340.6320.3370.2380.2530.2530.301
62396.430.6550.3560.2400.2570.2570.305
72537.120.7140.3950.2220.2610.2610.293
84096.400.6860.3770.2120.2340.2340.276
94218.000.9050.4280.2350.2870.2870.315
107387.290.7430.3850.2480.2730.2730.321
115476.620.8700.3550.2170.2410.2410.284
125856.930.7930.3860.2330.2620.2620.302
136497.670.9690.4080.2820.3100.3100.359
146577.180.8640.4190.2410.2670.2670.313
159607.760.9160.4360.2690.2940.2940.346
168466.750.8570.3890.2340.2570.2570.302
179117.020.8060.3840.2520.2730.2730.323
1810237.340.9890.4160.2620.2840.2840.336
1910897.870.9830.4310.2910.3190.3190.369
2057427.530.8070.4890.2710.2970.2970.346
2113438.001.0540.4330.2930.3170.3170.373
2215136.620.8520.4000.2210.2500.2500.287
2315877.051.0010.4250.2530.2790.2790.324
2414257.481.0830.4500.2810.3010.3010.356
2518166.961.0960.4500.2400.2660.2660.310
2614967.261.2520.4470.2720.2930.2930.344
2714617.451.3560.4620.2800.3030.3030.355
2813697.161.5890.4570.2540.2820.2820.326
2912977.822.3790.4730.2680.3010.3010.346
3014947.160.9440.4200.2780.2980.2980.350
3116067.270.9610.4310.2690.2930.2930.342
3214407.291.0460.4400.2640.2900.2900.337
3314547.120.9530.4260.2490.2760.2760.320
3413827.421.1180.4410.2680.2910.2910.342
3515927.230.9790.4370.2620.2830.2830.334
3613357.531.0060.4460.2850.3050.3050.360
3713937.431.0690.4340.2900.3090.3090.364
3812896.991.1570.4470.2440.2730.2730.314
3913567.661.2300.4430.2710.3120.3120.348
4015747.671.1660.4620.2950.3190.3190.372
4113297.361.0770.4470.2840.3120.3120.358
4212647.121.1820.4300.2630.2850.2850.334
4312206.981.0760.4260.2630.2820.2820.332
4411847.741.2570.4470.3160.3450.3450.394
4514367.421.1340.4480.2690.2980.2980.343
4612207.081.0330.4240.2750.2960.2960.346
4711567.121.0770.4380.2640.2920.2920.335
4811637.371.1250.4400.2950.3170.3170.368
4911227.501.2940.4370.2880.3150.3150.363
5013117.471.1610.4400.3040.3240.3240.378
5111246.921.0420.4160.2610.2920.2920.330
5210847.051.1640.4150.3060.3290.3290.376
5310927.481.1360.4530.3380.3590.3590.412
549547.251.1460.4270.3050.3290.3290.377
5511297.271.0940.4490.2820.3110.3110.354
5611007.251.1820.4280.2900.3210.3210.362
579767.091.1070.4300.3180.3460.3460.389
589356.791.0570.4190.3040.3350.3350.372
599426.711.0860.4120.3090.3400.3400.376
6010717.171.1260.4310.3200.3560.3560.392
619267.211.1710.4250.3470.3760.3760.419
628937.131.0210.4380.3080.3350.3350.379
638886.731.1190.4280.2900.3200.3200.357
649177.001.0890.4230.3450.3720.3720.415
659996.791.0230.4270.3480.3740.3740.416
669036.481.0130.3840.3830.4100.4100.448
678916.030.8490.3830.2970.3230.3230.358
688506.661.0130.4140.3580.3830.3830.425
698117.111.1750.4410.4320.4490.4490.503
709046.300.9350.4100.3380.3680.3680.401
717606.470.9740.4050.4010.4320.4320.465
727246.511.0200.4120.3790.4110.4110.444
737596.280.9750.3980.3910.4260.4260.453
747326.420.9880.4060.4810.5050.5050.545
758196.370.9290.4220.4820.5030.5030.546
767515.860.8370.3650.4640.4880.4880.522
777545.920.9230.4190.4330.4620.4620.492
786945.930.8950.4010.5050.5240.5240.564
796755.620.9120.3790.5180.5370.5370.574
807945.510.7320.3720.5560.5870.5870.611
816954.940.7860.3340.5370.5630.5630.587
826355.320.8380.3920.5910.6220.6220.644
836394.940.7070.3790.6110.6320.6320.660
846774.860.7810.3600.5960.6340.6340.645
856964.390.7010.3530.5950.6150.6150.639
866664.440.6580.3500.6580.6880.6880.702
875884.590.7590.3980.7990.8250.8250.845
885863.930.6550.3570.7340.7630.7630.773
896223.990.7010.3620.8890.9010.9010.929
906513.620.6260.3470.9350.9730.9730.971
915933.200.5330.3310.9921.0191.0191.024
925173.220.5830.3441.1541.1721.1721.186
935662.670.5440.3111.1671.1921.1921.194
945452.220.4850.2951.2051.2411.2411.227
956391.980.4470.2791.4751.5031.5031.495
965641.500.4100.2871.3751.4061.4061.390
974911.200.4330.2871.6121.6331.6331.624
984670.910.4640.2961.8351.8481.8481.844
994980.490.4880.3131.9992.0132.0132.004

qb-ppae-legend

And, without further ado, here are the QBs:

psr.namepsr.tmpsr.pospa.attpa.fptexp.fptppaeppae.per
J.GaroppoloNEQB6235.9220.1815.740.25
M.RyanATLQB10964.8049.7015.100.14
M.StaffordDETQB12863.4049.8913.510.11
S.BradfordMINQB6530.2822.857.430.11
C.WentzPHIQB10650.7641.069.700.09
D.BreesNOQB14572.4859.5012.980.09
J.McCownCLEQB3614.4011.083.320.09
A.RodgersGBQB10250.6842.138.550.08
D.CarrOAKQB12052.6845.117.570.06
R.TannehillMIAQB11847.7641.566.200.05
B.RoethlisbergerPITQB12448.6443.285.360.04
A.LuckINDQB13356.5252.823.700.03
T.TaylorBUFQB8329.0826.502.580.03
C.NewtonCARQB12042.3639.742.620.02
P.RiversSDQB10551.7249.272.460.02
J.WinstonTBQB14857.1655.451.710.01
T.SiemianDENQB9944.2442.931.310.01
E.ManningNYGQB11347.0047.39-0.390.00
S.HillMINQB339.449.73-0.29-0.01
J.CutlerCHIQB5414.9216.14-1.22-0.02
R.WilsonSEAQB10836.2037.97-1.77-0.02
J.FlaccoBALQB12534.9638.67-3.71-0.03
A.DaltonCINQB12741.5246.68-5.16-0.04
A.SmithKCQB12741.4446.52-5.08-0.04
B.HoyerCHIQB6123.8026.09-2.29-0.04
C.KesslerCLEQB369.7611.63-1.87-0.05
C.PalmerARIQB12746.6453.29-6.65-0.05
M.MariotaTENQB11336.9243.03-6.11-0.05
B.BortlesJACQB13641.7249.45-7.73-0.06
B.GabbertSFQB9827.2832.81-5.53-0.06
D.PrescottDALQB10334.6840.70-6.02-0.06
B.OsweilerHOUQB11531.8041.07-9.27-0.08
C.KeenumLAQB9724.3631.66-7.30-0.08
K.CousinsWASQB12845.5657.15-11.59-0.09
R.GriffinCLEQB295.609.47-3.87-0.13
J.BrissettNEQB317.8013.81-6.01-0.19
R.FitzpatrickNYJQB11528.0451.36-23.32-0.20

ppae-legend

Wrapping Up

Thanks for letting me invade your brain again this week with the constant chatter from my own mind.

Look for Game Script Splits later this week. I expected to present them in today’s article, but an untimely “error of omission” that ADHD folks are prone to commit short-circuited my plan.

If you have questions about what I presented, or want to discuss in more detail, please find me on Twitter @FantasyADHD.

Josh Hornsby

Josh Hornsby leads engineering teams in the oil & gas industry. His background in new product development, combined with nearly 20 years of data-driven fantasy experience, compels him to think outside the box and wreck the echo chamber of current fantasy analysis. Josh loves to challenge popular thinking and typically does so with numbers in hand. You can find him on Twitter @FantasyADHD

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