FanDuel - WFBC

January 02, 2014

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 29 comments

Update about the Baseball HOF vote:

It seems that the number of players appearing on voters ballots is WAY up from last year, and (it seems) from any year before in the history of the vote. Public tallies are showing an average of 9.3 names per ballot (up from 6.4 the year before).

It looks like Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas are shoo-ins for the HOF, while Biggio might hang on to make it as well. The interesting story will be if Piazza can sneak in (he's below the threshold right now on public ballots) and if the "silent majority" will have enough to push Morris into the HOF (it looks like they'll fall a few percentage short for both of them).

posted by grum@work at 08:35 AM on January 02

From BaseballThinkFactory ballot collecting thread:

Updated: Jan.2 - 6:00 ~ 101 Full Ballots ~ (17.8% of vote ~ based on last year)

100 - Maddux
97.0 - Glavine
90.0 - F. Thomas
80.2 - Biggio

72.3 - Piazza
65.3 - Bagwell
62.4 - Jack (The Jack) Morris
56.4 - Raines
44.6 - Bonds
43.6 - Clemens
38.6 - Schilling
34.7 - Mussina
23.8 - Trammell
19.8 - L. Smith
19.8 - E. Martinez
15.8 - McGriff
12.9 - Kent
11.9 - L. Walker
10.9 - McGwire
8.9 - S. Sosa
7.9 - R. Palmeiro
5.0 - D.Mattingly

1.0 - P. Rose (Write-In)

posted by grum@work at 08:38 AM on January 02

The Raptors are 9-3 over their last 12 with wins over the Thunder and the Pacers. The best part about trading for Rudy Gay is how good you get when you eventually trade him away.

posted by tron7 at 10:10 AM on January 02

Every NFL player has the right to buy two Super Bowl tickets under the labor agreement, whether or not he's in the game.

posted by rcade at 10:12 AM on January 02

Only one of us advanced to the fourth round of the Fantasy Premier League Cup: BS Johnson. El tigre negro de holden, Lawn Wrangler, billsaysthis, me and Fat Buddha all were eliminated, with Bill losing 42-42 on the second tiebreaker (goals conceded).

There are 262,144 players left out of the 2,097,152 who began the first round.

posted by rcade at 10:23 AM on January 02

The best part about trading for Rudy Gay is how good you get when you eventually trade him away.

It's shocking how fundamentally better the Raptors are right now. They move the ball well, are getting easier looks and don't break down as much on D.

The Kings are 4-6 with Gay in the lineup, which is actually an improvement percentage wise for them, but he's also shooting an unsustainable 48% from the field. There will be regression.

posted by dfleming at 10:48 AM on January 02

Yikes. $18m per year for the first three - if all or most of that is guaranteed, the Bears panicked hard.

He wasn't even their most effective QB this year. The money is definitely out there for Cutler on the open market (too many teams with long-term shitty QB situations), but it seems pretty quick to have taken all other scenarios off the table. At least entertain other possibilities until free agency is looming - it's not like there was much of a discount at this stage anyways.

posted by dfleming at 12:02 PM on January 02

Should we do a straight-up pick 'em contest for the NFL Playoffs this year, or has the Yahoo contest obviated the need?

posted by rcade at 12:08 PM on January 02

The Kings are 4-6 with Gay in the lineup, which is actually an improvement percentage wise for them, but he's also shooting an unsustainable 48% from the field. There will be regression.

True shooting .558 which is higher than any of his single season marks. Though, he is rebounding at a career low rate and turning the ball over at a career high rate since the trade so regression will both hurt and help him.

Really, I don't think he's that bad of a player, just the most overpaid and overrated. Here are some of the guys on his similarity scores on basketball reference: Thad Young, Jared Dudley, Marvin Williams. If he was held in the same regard as those guys I probably would never talk about the guy.

posted by tron7 at 12:08 PM on January 02

Bobby Ryan's upset about Brian Burke's comments about him during the public process of selecting the US Men's hockey roster, which Ryan was left off of. Specifically, Burke was quoted as saying "He is not intense. That word is not in his vocabulary. It's never going to be in his vocabulary. He can't spell intense."

posted by dfleming at 12:26 PM on January 02

Yikes. $18m per year for the first three - if all or most of that is guaranteed, the Bears panicked hard.

He wasn't even their most effective QB this year. The money is definitely out there for Cutler on the open market (too many teams with long-term shitty QB situations), but it seems pretty quick to have taken all other scenarios off the table. At least entertain other possibilities until free agency is looming - it's not like there was much of a discount at this stage anyways.

Looks like (from some reports) about $50MM is guaranteed. Not sure how that gets spread out in terms of cap hit, but if this basically just guarantees the first three years, seems a reasonable gamble (based on the going rate for starting QBs and the fact that the only real alternative in the near future would be to draft a replacement, as there is not a ton of movement of top-tier QB talent on the free agent market anticipated) as they could restructure or cut him after that.

I think it's pretty difficult to get a clear read on Cutler considering his offensive line woes, injuries, and instability in consistent offensive coaching/approach/weapons during his time in Chicago. Seems ownership and the personnel folks/coaches think that he has potential to be a top 5-10 QB with full health (a big assumption), improving line, emergence of Jeffery as a legitimate second threat behind Marshall (or maybe even 1A and 1B), continued top-level, all-purpose back performance from Forte, and further development and implementation of Trestman's offensive philosophy.

If you look at the top QBs by average annual salary, this puts Cutler about 6th (tied with Romo) at $18MMPY, behind Rodgers ($22MMPY, $54MM guaranteed), Ryan ($20.75MPY, $42MM guarnteed), Flacco ($20.1MMPY, $29MM guaranteed), Brees ($20MMPY, $40MM guaranteed), and Peyton Manning $19.2MMPY, $18MM guaranteed). Of course, the guaranteed money seems, based on current reports, to be higher than his peers -- and the cap hit/flexibility over time from the guaranteed money (depending on how structured) obviously can be much more important.

Notable players behind Cutler in average annual salary and who have played out their rookie contracts are Stafford, Eli Manning, Rivers, Roethlisberger, and Brady. See list here. Obviously, most of those guys, as well as some guys on team-favorable rookie deals, are presently better than Cutler and likely to be so for at least the next couple of years (although all except Stafford -- who is still only 25! -- are also older than Cutler). But once Wilson, Newton, and Luck, and possibly RGIII and Kaepernick (in each case, depending on how he comes along over the next year or two) sign their first non-rookie scale deals, Cutler probably will be around the 10th highest paid QB. The question I guess is whether Cutler will play like a top-10 QB to justify where he slots in. Seems like he could be, although jury is still out -- but seems like the Bears brass is making a bet that Cutler will improve under the new offense and with greater stability. Although I live in Chicago, not a Bears fan, so no real dog in this fight so to speak, but I think the deal borders on being defensible (assuming a number of things fall into place, which I appreciate is a big if) and it will be interesting to see how it works out.

posted by holden at 02:03 PM on January 02

Cutler's deal reinforces a belief I have stated earlier, namely that QB deals are more a function of marketing and projecting a steady team for the future than anything related to production/talent.

posted by Bonkers at 02:50 PM on January 02

Did somebody just make an argument for signing Tim Tebow?

posted by rcade at 05:10 PM on January 02

.. and the fact that the only real alternative in the near future would be to draft a replacement

Isn't McCown an alternative? He had far superior numbers than Cutler this year.
Puzzling move.

Att Comp Yds Comp % Yds/Att TD TD % INT INT % Long Sck Sack/Lost Rating

Cutler 355 224 2621 63.1 7.4 19 5.4 12 3.4 67 19 132 89.2

McCown 224 149 1829 66.5 8.2 13 5.8 1 0.4 80 11 37 109.0

posted by cixelsyd at 05:14 PM on January 02

If the Bears wanted to do some Chicago style QB marketing, they should have let Cutler wander off, and found a way to obtain Roethlisberger.

posted by beaverboard at 06:10 PM on January 02

Every Chicagoan I know is weirdly pro-Cutler and anti-McCown. Like, viciously so. It's like the whole city got Stockholm syndrome.

posted by Etrigan at 06:52 PM on January 02

McCown will be 35 by the start of next season, and I seem to remember a story in the last week that he was contemplating retirement...

posted by MeatSaber at 07:57 PM on January 02

Catches win matches.

posted by etagloh at 08:29 PM on January 02

Isn't McCown an alternative? He had far superior numbers than Cutler this year.

First, sample size. Second, as MeatSaber said McCown is 35 and is contemplating retirement so that he can be closer to his family in North Carolina. McCown is not a long term solution and it would have been silly for the Bears to let Cutler go in hopes that they could groom a successor for McCown.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:36 PM on January 02

Well, let's hope that the Bears figure Cutler wasn't able to grasp the offense as quickly as McCown and they expect he'll perform better next year.

I group Cutler in with Romo and Rivers - 3 great plays and 1 horrendous out of every 10. Good enough to beat anyone but destined to lose.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:26 PM on January 02

I'd like to see a pick 'em for the playoffs this year, although I'm open to using some off-site solution if its easy (ie, I don't need to create an account). If someone steps us, please post about it on the main site, because I never check the locker room.

posted by hincandenza at 12:20 AM on January 03

The Yahoo! league ended at the end of the regular season.

Btw, congrats to tron7 and owlhouse for finishing with a 135-115 record against the spread. tron7 wins via tie breakers. Team "Shouldabeen" (SpoFi username unknown) wins the Costanza for having the worst record, 105-145, of everyone who made picks every week. No Danny No! (rcade) placed 11th, going 123-127.

If somebody sets it up I'm in for a straight up pick-em or confidence points pool for the playoffs.

posted by MrFrisby at 01:18 PM on January 03

I posted a pick 'em with rules we've used in the past

Finishing under .500 in the Yahoo contest is weak cheddar.

posted by rcade at 06:11 PM on January 03

Team "Shouldabeen" (SpoFi username unknown) wins the Costanza for having the worst record, 105-145, of everyone who made picks every week.

I would like to point out that this is a "Golden Costanza" result. A "Golden" (or "True") Costanza result is where if you had literally reversed everyone one of your picks, you would have won the entire thing. If "Shouldabeen" had done that, he would have finished in first place (running away) with a 145-105 record.

posted by grum@work at 10:21 PM on January 03

congrats to tron7 and owlhouse for finishing with a 135-115 record against the spread. tron7 wins via tie breakers

Ahem. The first tie breaker should have been "Do you know anything about American football". Lowest score wins.

/congrats tron7.

posted by owlhouse at 11:38 PM on January 03

Btw, congrats to tron7 and owlhouse for finishing with a 135-115 record against the spread. tron7 wins via tie breakers.

Woo! Back-to-back pick-em champion!

I've heard the break even line for betting NFL games is right around 52.5% which means only 4 spofites, out of the 20 or so that were active the entire year, would have made any money if they bet all the games.

posted by tron7 at 03:47 PM on January 07

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