Projections for AP - slightly high if you believe...

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ProfPoobah
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Projections for AP - slightly high if you believe...

Postby ProfPoobah » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:29 pm

in a little thing I like to call The Curse of Jim Brown, or the 12312 Jinx. *cues ominous music*

Now, DS has projected Adrian Peterson for 597 yards this year in New Orleans. I am inclined to think this is high, based on the tendency of backs to end up with career totals very close to the totals of original bad-ass Jim Brown. Look, I get that he's not the all-time leading rusher anymore, and in fact has fallen all the way down to 10th, but if you look at the rushing totals of the men above him, most of them got well clear of the man, almost as though knew that just aiming to barely get there was to ask for trouble. Putting one's self in a position to just sneak across that Brown line fails far more than it succeeds. Consider, if you will... more dramatic music, with a tone shift

Franco Harris (1984) - Back when Brown was still #1, and Payton and Harris were considered likely to finish, Harris was coming off a 1,000-yard season, his first in 4 years. He asks for a pay raise from his lifelong team, and the Steelers refuse. Harris threatens to hold out, so Pittsburgh cuts the 34-year old rusher. He ends up eventually in Seattle, and grinds out 170 yards for the Seahawks on 68 carries that year (a paltry 2.5 average). Total yards - 12,120 (193 short)

Marcus Allen (1997) - Maybe not a last season blight here, but his fractured relationship with owner Al Davis certainly cost him, if Allen still would have played as long otherwise. After being largely a backup in the late 80's/early 90's, Allen moved from the Raiders to the Chiefs, and played 5 years, finishing at an impressive 37 years old. Despite scoring TDs at a considerable rate for that age (47 TD in a Chiefs uniform), Allen never broke 900 yards in a season there (finishing his career with 12 straight years missing that number) and limped home short of Brown's mark. Total yards - 12,243 (70 short)

Thurman Thomas (2000) - No jokes about lost helmets being a cause... After ripping through his prime in Buffalo with 8 straight 1,000-yard seasons, Thomas tailed off sharply as his career wound down, though the Bills loyally kept him around for a while. His yardage dropped from 643 to 381 to 152 as injuries piled up, and he took his talents to South Beach in 2000. However, the anvil that was the Jinx dropped on him, and he compiled a scant 136 yards in his lone season in Miami. Total yards - 12,074 (259 short)

Marshall Faulk (2005) - Maybe it's not fair to include him, as he was focused almost as much on creating as a receiver (767 career catches, one of only two players with 1000 rushing and receiving yards in the same year), but his end was quite abrupt. In 2005, Faulk lost his starting job and restructured his contract, while rushing for only 262 yards. However, he underwent reconstructive knee surgery in the summer of 2006 and missed the whole year. Despite declaring an intent to come back and play for the Rams in 2007 on national TV while rehabbing, he retired tantalizingly short of the number in question. Total yards - 12,279 (34 short)

Edgerrin James (2009) - Certainly the saddest of the scenarios listed. After replacing Faulk in Indianapolis, James moved on to Arizona where he spent 3 years. In the middle of the last year, during which the Cardinals made the Super Bowl, James lost almost all his carries and was used primarily in pass protection. James declared that he would not return to Arizona, despite a year remaining on his contract. his use and numbers rebounded in the postseason, but in the offseason his longtime girlfriend passed away of cancer. He asked for and was granted his release. At the end of training camp that summer, James would sign a one-year deal with Seattle. He gained 125 yards for them in 2009 in 7 games, and was cut. Total yards - 12,246 (67 short)

The only player I would say who withstood the Jinx at the end of his career is Tony Dorsett, who moved from Dallas to Denver needing 307 yards and gained 703 (numerology conspiracy people, you're welcome...) in his one year there. I do not count Frank Gore here because in his second year as a Colt he gained 1000+ yards last year as he passed Brown, and has come back to add to that total in 2017. This is more consistent with the previous players who withstood the Curse of Jim Brown, or the 12312 Jinx, or the Bad-ass Blight. Whichever. My point is that if this is AP's last year, history is not on his side. DS seems to think he will just beat the 566 yards he needs. I wonder what might trip him up along the way.

skiballs68
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Re: Projections for AP - slightly high if you believe...

Postby skiballs68 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:24 pm

I think the optimistic expectation (or hope) for AP in New Orleans is that he somehow imitates that Marcus Allen late career TD efficiency. There's no reason NOT to expect the Saints to have plenty of high value rushing opportunities (inside the 10/5 yd line), and they're projected with a fairly soft schedule. I'm not super into drafting AP in normal season long leagues, but he does seem like a decent best ball target, since you won't have to rip your hair out over the Sean Payton RB shenanigans. I could definitely see a scenario where AP is the RZ RB, and Ingram does the "between the 20s" work, including a decent bit of pass catching (which he's proven to be very good at).

EDIT: I do love these "old school" RB discussions. My boyhood room sported a poster of the top NFL RBs of the day- Walter, Dorsett, Harris, Campbell, et al.

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DS Jared
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Re: Projections for AP - slightly high if you believe...

Postby DS Jared » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:04 am

Awesome post, Poo! I learned a lot.

There are certainly plenty of reasons to be wary of AP this year. And he's not someone I'm actively targeting in drafts -- even at his 9th-round ADP.

But we're also talking about a guy who's defied the odds before, including a 2,000-yard season a year after tearing his ACL. So while I'm not willing to bet on AP at cost, I wouldn't be surprised if he exceeded expectations.
Glad Tim Biakabatuka is out of the league.


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