Chat with KC Joyner
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN Insider KC Joyner, will be here to answer your NFL questions.
Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, uses game film to track, tabulate and analyze nearly every measurable statistic in an NFL game. He is a regular Insider contributor and has his own website at thefootballscientist.com.
Send your questions now and join KC Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
KC Joyner (4:00 PM)
Hello! Let's start with some quick TFS news. This week's Pass Plays and Getting Defensive Insider articles can be found on the ESPN.com fantasy football home page under the columnist heading. This week's Draft Lab Insider article is on Cal CB Syd'quan Thompson and examines how his height and weight actually match up quite well against starting NFL CBs. The Countdown Daily Presented by IBM Football Scientist videos can be found under the Countdown Daily tab of the video pulldown menu that can be found at the top of the ESPN.com NFL page. You can also follow my material on Twitter at kcjoynertfs. Now let's talk some football!
Nice stat here: JaMarcus Russell's completion percentage in his first two games of the season -- 35.2. I admit I don't know what Matt Ryan's or Joe Flacco's are, but they have to be better than this. What stats are you going to cook up in your lab to support Russell?
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
I think this is a knock on the stats I ran in ESPN The Magazine's NFL preview issue showing how Russell did better than those two in passer rating down the stretch last year. I don't go about trying to "cook up" any numbers, however. I simply look over them to see what they are trying to say. In Russell's case, late last year he did well and this year he simply isn't.
Richard (Charleston (WV))
How do they figure out QB ratings and is it really as all telling as some people believe it is?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
It's a really good stat to show how efficient a QB is but it doesn't do as well with high risk QBs. Going over how it is figured would be too long and too complex for this discussion format.
KC, I must admit you're a genius with your call of Gibril Wilson not fitting in well with Yeremiah Bell as both are basically SS and neither can play the pass! Should they bench/release Wilson and let the rookie Clemons take a crack at it?
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
Majeed, I'd love to take credit for being a genius on that, but their coverage skills were such that it should have been obvious to anyone who watched their tapes. Wilson is a good box safety but he just doesn't have the speed or coverage skills for deep coverage. I don't know if they need to play a rook in his place but they need to do something to address the problem.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
KC: Sad time for me but I felt I needed to dump Visanthe Schiancoe in favor of Dustin Keller for one of my FFL teams. I did the right thing, didn't I?
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
I'd say you made a good move. Shiancoe will get better this year but Keller should see at least 5-7 targets every week. Shiancoe may see that in some weeks but he's not likely to see those every single week.
Zach (New York, NY)
Have the Jets been giving Revis over the top safety help? Can this guy really shut down the league's two best WR's back to back?
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
In a word, no. I ran some figures on this and over the past three years, Revis has given up just over 5 yards per attempt to Moss on something like 18 passes. He's shut him down both on his own and when he had over the top help. He makes Moss work hard on every play and that isn't #81's strong suit.
KC! I thought i was drafting some quality WR depth this year. Can I hope for rebounds coming from Donnie Avery and/or Lance Moore? Or should I cut bait for someone like Laurent Robinson?
I remember reading your long ball projections for TO and Evans this year. I think they are going to be way off, which isn't a knock on you but more Trent Edwards. Have you ever seen a QB who is as accurate as he is, but still does not trust himself to throw the ball the down the field? Even in the red zone, most of his passes do not reach the end zone!
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
The idea behind the long ball projections for those two was based on the Bills increasing their vertical throws to around the league average. If they don't increase them to that mark (which meant going from about 120 throws to 150), then Owens and Evans will both have subpar years. Edwards is just not the gunslinger who will take enough advantage of what he has on the outside, but some of it also has to fall on Jauron.
Who would you rather own in a dynasty league: Santonio Holmes or Vincent Jackson?
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Jackson. Holmes is a much improved wideout but his totals suggest more of a top 25 wideout than a top 10. Jackson's numbers are the kind that can be top 10 if he sees enough passes.
JJ STOKLEY (SF, CA)
Do you see the Jets falling off this week??
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
I said in Scientific Football 2009 that the Jets should be considered a candidate to win 8-10 games. Having said that, Sanchez is making mistakes at a 5 % clip and that is bound to catch up to him and this offense at some point. I don't think it will happen Sunday but it will happen soon.
Robert (Huntsville, Al)
It's been awhile since I've been able to chat, glad to be back. I've watched Stafford play since he was a freshman at Georgia. Honestly, he is exactly the same QB then as he is now. He never showed improvement in 4 years there. I never understood how he projected to the NFL so well. Do you see something different?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Good to have you back, Robert! Stafford is the perfect Lions draft pick - lots of physical talent but can't play as well as his talents suggest he should be able to. He's not a bad QB by any stretch, but if they expect him to pull them out of the winless slump any time soon, their expectations for him are too high.
Are regulars more likely to get their questions answered? What if I pretended to be J.B. for example.
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
The question always trumps the person asking it. Believe me, the regulars get a lot of their questions passed over.
Which winless team is the worst?
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
St. Louis looks like the worst team I've seen on tape thus far, although Jacksonville is not far behind. Both of their offenses need a lot of help.
Are you ready to reverse your NFC Champ from the Eagles to the Gmen? I don't know if a healthy McNabb is a reliability, and even so...
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
Not quite yet. Losing to the Saints when you have a backup QB isn't a surprise, especially with how well Brees and company are playing right now.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey KC, first off, you're the best football stats and numbers analyst in the business. One of the new popular categories is targets. How much do you consider targets when ranking, starting or trading for players?
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
Thanks for the good words, Craig. Targets are good as long as they are kept in perspective. Using them in conjunction with YPA is a really good way to balance performance versus volume.
KC, you may have commented on this already, but in Dallas can Roy Williams be a true number one receiver?
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
It's the same old story with him. When Williams has someone kicking him in the tail the way Mike Martz did in Detroit, he's capable of being one of the top wideouts in the league. When he doesn't get that motivational push, he'll move between great one week and terrible the next. The Boys don't have a coach to do that to Williams so expect more of the same the rest of the year.
Paul (your old foe) (Denver)
What are your impressions so far of Johnny "fort" Knox?
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
He's made a on-field friend of Jay Cutler and since Cutler likes to play favorites, I like his chances of being a quality fantasy wideout the rest of the year.
Thanks for taking my question, KC. Maybe its a bug on the site, but I dont see an answer? Here it is again for your convience of not scrolling back up!KC! I thought i was drafting some quality WR depth this year. Can I hope for rebounds coming from Donnie Avery and/or Lance Moore? Or should I cut bait for someone like Laurent Robinson?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
I'd say expect a bounceback with Moore but not so much from Avery. I might let Avery go for Robinson but I would not do so with Moore.
joey (rutland Vt)
what about the Vikings? ATL? I think both those teams r a force and I'm a Giants fan!
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Joey, I'm still not sold that Favre can get vertical. He ranked in the bottom five of the league in cumulative vertical passing over the past three years and nothing I've seen so far in his first two purple games is making me change my mind. He only threw three vertical passes last Sunday, which is a pace that would be about 1/3 of what Jason Campbell threw in 2008. He'll eventually have to prove he can do this and until that day comes, I'm holding off on raising expectations for the Vikes.
i have hakeem nicks and anthony gonzalez, both injured and i only have one IR spot. who do i keep?
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
Gonzalez. Nicks has a much tougher schedule and he's a rookie. Gonzalez will give you more value later in the year.
Is Nick Harper as bad as he has looked the last two weeks, it looks like he is an old, washed up CB.
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
I hesitate to knock him too much for being beaten by Andre Johnson. Let's give him one more shot before putting that label on him.
Alon (Brooklyn, NY)
Who do you think has more upside for the rest of the season, Manningham or Ginn?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
Ginn. Eric Karabell wrote an article earlier this week showing why Manningham's long-term value might be a bit shaky and I'm inclined to agree with that (although his short-term value is quite good). I hate Ginn's drops (that one pass would have won the game) but he's a high-volume receiver.
Hey KC, Hope the MRS is cooking something tasty!! Many people believe that Detroit will win its first regular season game in over a year this Sunday. I can't see it. J. Campbell is 2-0 against the lions with a rating of a lot. What are your thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
It's football practice night for my eldest son, so Mrs. Scientist says it's a Hamburger Helper night. As far as Washington goes, check out my Countdown Daily video on the subject (which is free courtesy of IBM). In a nutshell, the Skins toasted this secondary last year and there is no reason to think they won't do it again.
You study a lot of tape: How frequently do OL trip DL? Seems like a dirty play but one that may not be as noticeable with 3-4 matchups every play?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
Not too often, and many times it looks like more of an accident. I think that's what got Tuck so upset - it didn't look at all accidental.
Hey KC, do you think Forte will have a down year because of Cutler?...should I trade him away in my keeper league?...
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
I've been saying from the start that Cutler will want this offense to revolve around him and that will hurt Forte. I might wait to trade Forte after he had a good game, however, as his perceived value is way low right now. I'd also not trade him for anything less than an elite player.
How much long of a leash should I give Steve Slaton and Roy Williams? They are killing me!!
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
I'd not give Williams much of one for reasons I mentioned earlier in the chat. As far as Slaton goes, he's the biggest surprise thus far this year. I think he might just be a slow starter so I'd make that leash at least five weeks long.
Good Day KC, Will Parker rebound or is it the Big Ben show from now on? Mike Bell worth picking up or does Pierre carry the torch? Biggest year for a TE, Daniels, Carlson, Winslow or Cooley?Thanks
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
Parker will rebound. Go with Bell. Carlson biggest in that group with Daniels a very close second.
Follow-up to Nathan's question: Are you expecting much lower numbers than 2008 for Forte all the way around (RuYd, ReYd, TDs)?
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
Absolutely. Cutler wants this O to revolve around him and involving Forte won't get that done.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Would you suggest Bernard Berrian owners drop him or keep him in the background for a while? Seems like Brett and Percy are beginning to bond pretty well.
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
Berrian is another guy to consider trading after he puts up a good game. Favre isn't the vertical passer he used to be and Berrian will get low numbers many games this year because of it.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Miami seems like its in a tough spot going to San Diego desperate for a win, do you think the Dolphins will win if they continue doing what they did on Monday?
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
I hate to say it but they could be in even worse shape this week because Rivers and company are a better passing combination than Manning and company. I see the Fins going 0-3.
Is there anymore upside with Reggie Bush or is this what we get? I just can't believe the likes of Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell are getting more touches than this guy.
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
Don't forget that he is coming off of microfracture surgery. That is probably as much to blame for the lack of touches as anything.
In your film study can Rashard Mendenhall eventually start having an expanded role in Pitt and eventually take over? Everyone wants to label him a power back, but if they move to a spread offense, he excelled in one in college.
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
You are exactly right about Mendenhall. He doesn't want to power it in there (he seems to dislike contact) but if you get him out in space, he's terrific. Pitt will have to change their offense to get the most out of him, or at least change it to the point where they have a special spread offense package just for RM.
Is Carson palmer back as a Top 10 QB for fantasy? Will he start throwing more to Chris Henry?
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
He's darn close. This week will show if he's truly turned that corner. I don't see Henry getting a lot more passes.
Hey KC. Any analysis on the Broncos improved D this year? is it just a product of a new system/coach, or is there something else there?
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
I think a lot of it is health and having the Broncos asking their players to do what they are capable of. Elvis Dumervil is a perfect example. Last year they had him playing DE and he's just not big enough to do that. This year he's a pure rush LB and is collapsing the pocket because of it.
If Palmer is close to top 10 do you trust him more this week vs Pitt than taking a chance on Campbell vs Detroit?
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
Playing Detroit trumps just about any other factor. I'd take Campbell over Palmer in that one.
Do you think Beanie Wells (if he can hang onto the ball) will be the offensive rookie of the year? I know he has Sanchez and Harvin to deal with as well...for now.
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
I had him as my ROY candidate before the year but holding onto the ball is something he'll have to do to stay in that lineup. Whisenhunt benched Edge last year when he had a rare case of the dropsies and if he did that a pro's pro like James, he'll certainly do it to a rook.
Phillip Rivers (SD)
Over/under for my passing yards this week: 350. What are you taking?
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
I'd take the over but not by much. 350 is a lot of passing yards, even against a defense like Miami's.
Rick (Irvine CA)
KC, I just want to say that yours is the only chat that I really look forward to, and I think your analysis is excellent. With that said what is your thoughts on what is going on with the Ravens running game, I have Rice and thought he would be a stud?
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
Thanks for the good words, Rick! Regarding Rice, it's a matter of a couple of things. The first is that Baltimore wants to get away from the 600/400 run/pass ratio they had in 2008. That means fewer carries across the board. Second is obviously McGahee. He lost the confidence of the coaches in 2008 but seems to have won it back.
After two games, which former USC star LB has impressed you most? Cushing has had more tackles, but Maualuga has created big play after big play.
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
They are both playing lights out. I'd take Maualuga (sic?) because of the big plays but they are both on track to making the all-rookie team with ease.
Why are you not high on Manningham?
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
He has really favorable matchups the next few weeks but later in the year he has a string of red-rated CBs (red being the best rating for a CB).
PITS vs. CINCI?? GB vs Rams?? I need a survivor pic!
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
I'd go GB in that one.
Will GB's OLine shape up in the near future? Not counting the STL game, obviously that's a joke of a team.
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
They've got the same problem this year they had in 2008 - injuries. For example, Jason Spitz, their center, plays well whenever he can stick with one position but the Pack end up having to move him around all of the time and his performance suffers because of it. I don't know how they fix that, as the injuries are true injuries and not just hurts that their players aren't fighting through.
john (panama city bch, fl)
EVEN a defense like MIAMI's??? Do the Fins suck THAT bad?
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
I hate to say it but at this moment, yes they do. Their issue is a poor set of safeties (at least poor from a coverage perspective) and rookie CBs. Their rookies will get better with experience, so long-term I'm good with them, but the history of their safeties suggests that will not improve.
Mangino vs. Kobayashi?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
I do a lot of metrics but speed eating isn't one of them!
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
KC: Yet another follow up on Manningham here. If we are talking about one red-rated CB per team and Smith is on the other side, can't Manningham still produce? I ask because I am trying to learn something.
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
The red rating doesn't just say who the best CB is on that team - it is based on how well the CB is playing. A team can have two red-rated starting CBs.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
KCJ: Is Green Bay currently the most overrated team? Their O-Line looked totally out of sync with Rodgers (i.e. they didnt seem to know when Rodgers was stepping up in the pocket) and the much-talked-about GB Defense is not living up to the hype.
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
I beg to differ on their D. GB led the league with 24 forced bad decisions last year and they are on pace to top that this year. The O line is terrible and that is affecting Rodgers, but their D is good enough to lead them to a win even with a hiccup filled offense.
Alex (Pittsburgh, PA)
Which Matt Shaub should we expect for the rest of the season...Wk 1 v the Jets or Wk 2 v the Titans?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
Week 2. He led the league in vertical YPA in 2008 and not every team has Darrelle Revis to take Andre Johnson out of the game.
Not high on Manningham but are you high on Steve Smith (NYG)?
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
Longer term, yes. He's never going to be a Fitz because he's more of a possession WR, but that means he'll be more consistent. He also has more favorable matchups long-term.
Does the Buccs horrific safety play further enforce how valuable TJack is? They look lost without him. Sabby is an embarassment.
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
I've been on the TJack bandwagon for a while now. Sabby isn't good as the starter but he's enough of a playmaker that they'll keep him around once Jackson is back.
could the big tuna finish, at one seating with a one hour time limit, a 76 oz steak
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
That earlier Hamburger Helper reference must have made everyone hungry, as this is the second food reference I've seen in the past 10 minutes.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
What position does your son play and give us his metrics.
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
Charlie plays mostly defensive end. He's learning to box the play in and had his best practice of his short flag football career this past Tuesday. He's not winning many POA blocks but the idea of his position is to force the runner inside and he's doing that at least 70% of the time.
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
And thanks for asking - it will make his day!
a. boldin (arizona)
will my numbers improve? so far I have been stagnant. is it my attitude/contract holding me back
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
I wouldn't go so far as to say that. Fitz's numbers are down as well and no one is saying that about him. The offense is moving to more of a run and safe short pass O. I don't necessarily agree with that (why not get the ball to your best players as often as possible?) but Whisenhunt is bound and determined to develop something other than the downfield passing attack.
HENRY (Billings, MT)
Do you like Slaton to bounce back more than SJAX and FJAX this week? PPR league, so i have some options...
KC Joyner (5:03 PM)
I like Slaton to bounce back against the Jags. Go with him and Fjax (shootout against NO means a high-scoring game). Well, hate to do it but I've got to run - dinner and a football practice are calling. Don't forget that you can follow my works on Twitter at kcjoynertfs. Hope to see you all next week!