Dare to Compare

colin kaepernick

When you have started only 10 games in your professional football career, yet have the all-time record for rushing yards in a game for a quarterback and have come one play away from winning a Super Bowl, you get treated a little bit differently.  If he did not know it would be the case, Colin Kaepernick learned this past offseason that performing at such a high level in the NFL means you no longer get to live an ordinary life.  Blessed with elite arm strength and blazing speed, Kaepernick has the potential to change the way quarterbacks are viewed in both fantasy football as well as the real action that takes place on the field.

“I want to try to break that perfect football mold. I don’t want to be someone who can be put into a category. I want to be my own person. I want my own style. I want to be someone who can’t really be compared to anybody.”, Kaepernick says in a recent interview with SI’s Peter King.  Sorry Colin, when someone shows the promise you did after taking over for Alex Smith early in the 2012 season (when Smith led the league in quarterback rating nonetheless) writers like me try to make those connections.  So who did I try to compare to Kaepernick?

Michael Vick 

Anyone who watched Colin Kaepernick rush for 181 yards against the Packers in last season’s divisional playoff round had to immediately think of a young Michael Vick.  Unlike Kaepernick, Vick was already in his 3rd year as a full time starter by the time he was 24, and had already struck fear into opposing defenses with his ability to gain yards with his arm and legs.  The stark contrast between Vick, who rushed for 902 yards during the 2004 season, and Kaepernick lies in their ability to accurately make throws.  While the Falcons limited an inaccurate Vick to only 20 passing attempts per game of which he completed 56.4%, the 49ers showed enough confidence in Kaepernick’s accuracy, 62.4%, to let him throw nearly 30 passes per game.  Despite the fact that both quarterbacks could beat you with their legs, the fact that Kaepernick continues to throw accurate darts around the field, leads me to look for another QB to compare the young Niner to.

Randall Cunningham

Since he last served as a full time starting quarterback in 1998, most fantasy football players might not remember how electric Randall Cunningham was running an NFL offense.  Like Colin Kaepernick, Cunningham stood tall in the pocket at 6’4″, and had the arm strength to throw as deep as any quarterback in the league.  Opposing defenses feared Cunningham for his ability to break the pocket and scramble for yards- at the time very few planned runs were called for signal callers.  Like Vick however, Cunningham struggled with his accuracy, only completing 54.9 of his throws at Kaepernick’s age.  Does any quarterback in NFL history have the ability to beat a team with his legs while being incredibly precise with his throws?

Steve Young

Conveniently, Colin Kaepernick found himself on a team with a tremendous pedigree at the quarterback position.  The last quarterback who I looked to compare to Kaepernick is another 49er, Steve Young.  Young is a Hall of Famer and Super Bowl MVP who was renowned for his ability as a passer as well as a runner.  Where Young differentiates himself from other dual threat QBs was in his tremendous accuracy.  He led the league in pass completion percentage 5 times and was the single season record holder at 70.3% for accuracy up until a guy named Drew Brees beat his mark in 2011.  But what about Young at the age of 25?  He completed 53.3% of his passes and threw more interceptions than TDs- a far cry from what we saw from Kaepernick at the same age.

So what is Kaepernick’s ceiling?  Without a player to compare him to from the past, it is tough to create a career path for the young QB.  Assuming he is able to stay healthy, we might have to simply get used to seeing him go first overall in fantasy draft through the year 2020.

2 Guys share their inside strategies for Fantasy Drafting and discuss the rise of young QBs

ty-hilton-13-colts

2 Guys bounce back with another can’t miss episode this week.

Frank and Evan discuss some of the tricks of the trade when it comes to honing your fantasy draft strategy.

Evan also talks about how to find potential breakout candidates before your opponents do.

Lastly, 2 Guys discuss the rise and the impact the young signal callers are having on the game.


3 Reasons Why an 18 Game Schedule Would Ruin the NFL

RogerGoodell

There’s no question that right now the NFL is the big dog when it comes to American Sports.

The NBA and MLB are battling for second place among the American sports viewing audience.

The NFL can seemingly do no wrong, even amidst a myriad of rule changes that threaten to take the way the savage nature that is at the very root of the game which we all love.

Football is a gladiator sport, and while all who watch know that the men who suit up everyday Sunday (Monday, Thursday, and occasional Saturday) are putting themselves at a major health risk on every snap we still relish (even cherish) each play.

Every game becomes a battle in a 17 week war that could turn the tide to change our team from also ran to Champion.

With revenue at all an time high, rules for player safety being enacted to keep the young men who play it safer, and a stranglehold on American sports, the NFL wants to expand it’s territory even further by adding 2 more games to the regular season schedule.

And while it’s not set in stone that the NFL will move to an 18 game schedule this post is a preemptive strike against the potentially expanded NFL regular season.

1 – Division Play Would Mean Nothing

Since 2002 the league has been neatly balanced into eight, four team divisions with a 16 games schedule that is comprised of 6 division games per team.

To take it a step further the 16 game schedule is constructed as follows: 6 division games, 4 intra-conference games against an entire division (rotates yearly), 4 inter-conference games against an entire division (rotates yearly), and 2 games against an intra-conference opponent that shares an identical place in the standings from the previous year.

So where would the 2 additional games come from? You can’t add them to division play because then you wouldn’t be able to play each team in your division an even number of times.

You could add the 2 games to the inter-conference games or the intra-conference games but either way you’d be weakening what division play means.

If only 6 out of 18 games are against your division, the idea that only a third of your schedule is related to your division doesn’t make sense. Technically a team could go 0 – 6 in their division and still win 12 games. Doesn’t seem right does it?

If you look at it from that angle the NFL might be better off doing away with the divisions and just seeding everything based solely conference records.

But either way I don’t think that it makes the game any better to use this format.

2 – Mediocrity Would Become the New Standard

Ready for a 9 – 9 team to make the playoffs?

How about that scintillating Week 19 match up between two teams with a record of 6 – 11 and 3 – 14?

With an 18 game schedule it will certainly happen and likely far too often. Don’t we have enough parity already?

And to be honest for the most part if you watch the NFL closely parity is just a buzz word for mediocrity.

There are so many teams looking bad one week and great the next week, I have my inner conspiracy theorist on speed dial.

I watch too many games on Sundays (DirecTv Sunday Ticket/Red Zone) and I am just thinking why are these teams even in the league?

I won’t mention any team names because I don’t want to make enemies (maybe next week) but you should be catching my drift on this one.

In the end, a couple of extra games might seem like it would bring more excitement but in reality it would just be more money you have to fork out for games and TV packages to watch a product that’s already quite mediocre in many ways.

3 – You Would Get Bored

The NFL’s popularity has soared in the last decade because it’s been able to package the product in such a way that your always left wanting more.

Unlike the MLB and NBA whose regular seasons sometimes seem anticlimactic, the NFL has perfected the ability to have you on the edge of your seat each week with baited breath so that you don’t want to miss a single play, let alone a whole game.

However, there are some chinks starting to form in the NFL’s armor. If the incessant Thursday night games last season were a harbinger of things to come then people are going to start taking the league for granted.

The NFL has to realize that being too available is counter intuitive to the purposes of keeping their popularity at the insane level where it currently stands. Too much NFL on too many different days (Thursday, Saturday, Monday) other than Sunday will start to confuse fans and make them go away from the game that they couldn’t get enough of.

The crazy thing here is the NFL has likely peaked in popularity already (it can’t really expand globally) so how will they deal with keeping the product fresh in the eyes of its consumers? The NFL should definitely stick with the old adage .’Less is More’ when it comes to adding additional games.

So what you think about a potential 18 games schedule? Will you still watch if the NFL adopts it? Share your thoughts here.

Fantasy Training Camp Begins! – 2 Guys talk about rookies and vets to watch in 2013

trent-richardson

It’s been a while since 2 Guys has been on the scene but they are back with a vengeance this week.

Frank and Evan breakdown some young players set to have great years based on their current situation.

Frank examines a very prolific veteran QBs chances to stay to productive based on a tumultuous off season.

Lastly, 2 Guys give a preview of their upcoming draft strategy for 2013.