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Week 6 Beyond the Box Score: A Cracked Phone But Solid Reasoning

week 6 beyond the box score
Photo Credit: hugovk

I dropped my phone last week.

Despite it being in an Otterbox, my phone suffered a tiny chip in the upper left corner. Of course that tiny chip in the phone caused big issues. I could receive phone calls; that was the good news. The bad news however was I was out of the house all day Sunday and I couldn’t check a single Fantasy team on my phone. My phone screen was completely unreadable. Sure, I heard about Aaron Rodgers. Or I heard that a particular member of my team scored. But without my phone, I was unable to check a single Fantasy game score.

One of my buddies turned to me at one point during the afternoon and said, “You really are going through withdraw, aren’t you?” The answer was of course. The good news however is I ended up with my first perfect week of the season, winning in every one of my seasonal leagues. Even won a little money in DFS too. Maybe I should just leave my phone off on Sundays.

Um, no. And with that silly theory put to rest, let’s look at another silly theory.

Beyond the Box Score Week 6

Quarterbacks taken in the first round are often busts

The above is a outdated and popular theory, but Deshaun Watson is making that look stupid. Watson now has 14 passing touchdowns in four weeks.

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Of course, Watson could just be an outlier. And if we look at the 2006 and 2007 drafts, there is some strong evidence to support that claim as the five first round quarterbacks taken in those drafts were Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Jay Cutler, JaMarcus Russel (the poster boy for QB busts), and Brady Quinn. When Cutler is the best of a group, that’s not a great group. Yet in 2008, the trend immediately reversed itself as Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco were the only two QBs taken in the first round; both have taken their teams to a Super Bowl, the latter winning it thanks to another “January Joe” performance. Those two QBs were part of 24 first round quarterbacks taken over the remaining years plus the three this current year (Watson, Mitch Trubisky, and Patrick Mahomes).

Of those 24, only six could be really considered “busts” as Mark Sanchez took his team to the AFC Championship and Tim Tebow also won a playoff game. Let’s even throw those two into the “bust” camp. That still gives us a success rate of 66%. As the saying goes, two out of three ain’t bad. That is not a high bust rate, in fact that is a decent success rate, especially given the rookie salary cap. And if we look at the list of quarterbacks taken #1 overall since 2008, all six are still playing on teams, including Cam Newton who also took his team to the Super Bowl and has been a Fantasy stalwart most of his career.

And most of Newton’s poor seasons are due to injury. The same thing could be said of Adrian Peterson.


The Cyborg in the Dessert

So the big story last week was the Adrian Peterson trade. But here at Beyond the Box Score, we don’t simply focus on what he would or did do. Instead, I focus on why he was able to rumble for 134 yards and two touchdowns.

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Tampa Bay has been in the middle of the pack against the run this year but after Sunday, they find themselves giving up the third most Fantasy points. The matchup was a good one for starters.

Second, its obvious that game flow played a huge part of AP’s success. Arizona Head Coach Bruce Arians wanted to keep the explosive Tampa Bay offense off the field and once ahead, it made sense to run the ball as well.

Third, while the Arizona OL has not been horrible, they have not been great either. This past week however, they were pretty good:


Or it might be the fourth reason why Peterson ran so well–formation. According to NextGen stats, Peterson has averaged 4.46 yards per carry over the past three season when running out of singleback or I-formation sets. Yet when running out of the shotgun during the same period he’s managed just a paltry 3.05 ypc average. The Saints run a lot of shotgun formations and given how strong they look now, it’s hard to fault them for that. However, Arians loves power football and they ran nearly 65% of their plays out of singleback or I formation compared to just 19% out of the shotgun on Sunday.

Arians is no dummy and I expect him to continue to utilize Peterson well. This will also set Carson Palmer up nicely for play action, one of the things that Palmer does particularly well. Bottom line, I would expect a few more good weeks out of Peterson, but it will be dependent on game flow. And speaking of how things flow, let’s jump to this week’s controversial call.

Controversial Call of the Week

Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have a controversial play to discuss every week? Hope aside, here’s this week’s play in case you missed it:


You can hear both announcers question the call. Even Mike Pereira seemed to agree with the announcers.


However, click this link for the Senior Vice President of NFL Officiating Alberto Riveron’s response:

I won’t waste time trying to convince you of my perspective. I’ll let you make your own decision; I need to go figure out how to get my contacts back onto my new phone.

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