Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cut Above The Rest

Basing my picks on the quarterback starts with determining the good from the bad. If you think guys like Jay Cutler or Kyle Orton are anything but average, then you will probably lose money. That's why it's important to correctly classify who to put your money behind.

At the beginning of last year, this was easy.

THE ELITE
In 2010, the magical 6 elite quarterbacks were (in no order) Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Phil Rivers and Drew Brees. This group went a combined 63-28 (69%), while the rest of the league went 193-228 (47%). Essentially, these are the quarterbacks that you want to put your money behind, and not bet against.

SECOND TIER: GOOD to VERY GOOD
Before last year, I had the following quarterbacks in this tier (in no order): Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre, Tony Romo, Mike Vick, Vince Young, and Jake Delhomme (seriously!). Delhomme was there because he did have an impressive career record of 53-38. Vince Young was there because he was 26-13, when the same exact team went 13-12 without him (they ended up going 2-6 without him in 2010). Believe it or not, but Vince Young makes a huge difference when it comes to winning games.

This batch did pretty good, going 60-43 (58%). Even Jake The Mistake Delhomme didn't hurt too much (he won 2 of his 4 starts).

Note: Despite not being the Week 1 starter, Michael Vick turned out to be the Eagles featured QB, and from his previous criminal, uh I mean track record, he would still fit into this tier.

AVERAGE JOES
The average qbs went as follows: Matt Cassel, Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, David Garrard, Matt Schaub, Matt Hasselbeck, and Kyle Orton. These guys went (GUESS)....essentially .500---with a 50-49 record.

Interesting to note, Hasselbeck is 13-24 in the last 3 years (treading bad territory), and Kyle Orton has lost 17 of his last 22 starts, which is enough for Denver fans to be calling for Tim Tebow or even Just Quinn, Brady.

PARTS UNKNOWN
Like average QBs, unknown quarterbacks are generally STAY-AWAYS. Going into last year: Sam Bradford, Matt Moore, Chad Henne, Matthew Stafford, Josh Freeman and Mark Sanchez were all still unproven in a sense where we didn't know how their careers would pan out. Sanchez, Bradford and Freeman all turned out to be good, while Stafford remains in the unknown (and getting to a point where he's hilariously fragile). Henne and Moore didn't fair too well...okay, they sucked. This group went a combined 36-34.

THE BAD
The laughing stock included Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, Carson Palmer (everyone except John Clayton knew he was awful), and Derek Anderson. These chumps went a combined 13-35 (27%), which Derek Anderson would agree isn't funny. The Bills and 49ers are guaranteed to be in the Andrew Luck chase in 2011, because they made the baffling decisions of bringing back their crappy quarterback. Thanks for making it easy for us guys!

THE HIDDEN SECRET
Backups and spot starters are the hidden secret to this all. Non-starters went a combined 34-67 (34%). This group comprised of deer in headlights quarterbacks such as Brodie Croyle, Jimmy Clausen, Brian St. Pierre, Tyler Thigpen---you get the idea.

SO WHAT DID WE LEARN?
So just removing the average and unknown quarterbacks from the equation: the Good to Elite level quarterbacks went a combined 123-71 (63%) vs. Bad quarterbacks and Backups, who went a combined 47-102 (31%). For all you statistical nerds- that's the difference between going 5-11 and 10-6.

So here are my three simple rules for gambling this year.

RULE #1: Put your money behind/Don't bet against Elite or Very Good QBs.

RULE #2: Proceed with caution with average or unknown QBs.

RULE #3: Always bet against/Never put money on Bad or Backup QBs (sometimes the same thing).

For all you wondering who falls into what group this year---here's the low down (in no particular order).

ELITE: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Phil Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and bumped to the elite: Matt Ryan and Michael Vick.

GOOD TO VERY GOOD: Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Tony Romo, and Donovan McNabb (really!). Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, and Sam Bradford have all been bumped up to this tier from the unknown.

AVERAGE: Matt Cassel, Jay Cutler, David Garrard, Matt Schaub, Jason Campbell. The following are barely avoiding the downgrade to "Bad": Matt Hasselbeck, Kyle Orton and Chad Henne

UNKNOWNS: Matthew Stafford (third year in a row), Andy Dalton, Colt McCoy, Cam Newton, and Kevin Kolb.

THE BAD: Repeat offenders: Alex Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick

Teams missing due to QB Controversy: Washington and Seattle. John Beck would fall into the bad category. Chaz Whitehurst would fall into the unknown category, and both Rex Grossman and Tarvaris Jackson would fall into the average category. As much as I want to put Tarvaris into the "Bad"--he's still won half of his starts in his career. Whichever qb doesn't win the starting job for either team---make sure to bet against them if they end up starting some games (see "The Hidden Secret"). If this confuses you--don't worry, both Seattle and Washington will be terrible nonetheless.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Back 4 the Futures...

Sure, ESPN has unveiled a new Quarterback Rating, after I have been repeatedly stalking (::cough cough::) sending them my book since 2009--and getting positive feedback from that company. No big deal.

So what they both preach the importance of having a good quarterback in terms of wins and losses. They have a catchy name "QBR" while my formula is called the "Fourcade" or "4CR."

That's fine...our formulas are kind of different...I guess. Whatevs, right? Yet, I still feel my "4CR" (I kinda like that!) is still viable---and can possibly be used in a more creative way... ::::drum roll:::: GAMBLING!

Last year I was in a pool betting against the spread. Just from loosely backing the better quarterbacks of the league, and going against the Turd Sandwiches (see picture), I went a respectable 58-44 (57%)--which is considered slightly above the magic number in the gambling world. Which is fine and dandy--but my picks weren't strict enough with my theory--with too many picks being determined by my gut, and not my quarterback theory.

So for the 2011 NFL season, I will solely use my research and the 4CR, and document the highs and lows of my picks and predictions based solely on what guy starts at quarterback each week. If it works, the world is my oyster. If it fails---at least I'll still be smarter than Merril Hoge.