Stats from the pit

I cant post tables in comments to other posts, so here’s a table on what the proposed changes to scoring  would do- i.e that players would get return yds and TDs on their individual weekly scores.

Flex = end of season total points rank for RBs and WRs using the current pts system (1 is best)

Return = rank of points scored on return

Pts = points total under current system

Total pts = what the proposed change would have done to this years scores

new flx = what the rank would have been if we’d used the proposed system this year

change = change in ranking – kind of how far up the draft order they might go

In addition, there were 14 returning TDs scored by the top 100 returners over the season, about 1 a week. So that’s 76 points that would not have been scored by DSTs under the new system. Of course we are only using 12 DSTs in any 1 week, so we wouldn’t lose all of those pts

So what? it’s just a guide, personally though this is an interesting development to our league. None of the sites I use for guidance on waiver pickups etc take into account return yards, so I’d find it a lot harder to draft and waiver, it’s not that it can’t be done by an ‘amateur’ like me- but it is more work.

We end up with 6 players who break into the top 60 WR/RB list (basing that on 12 teams x 5 players) Jarvis Landry breaks into the top 10, but maybe more interesting Tyler Lockett and Dwayne Harris move up the list dramatically, from outside the top 100 into just about top 30, putting them well into WR2 territory in our league.

Anyone who wants my full data just drop me a line for the spreadsheet

flex rank Return Player Pts Ret pts total pts new flx change
1 0 Freeman, Devonta ATL RB 194.7 0 194.7 1 0
2 0 Peterson, Adrian MIN RB 181.1 0 181.1 2 0
3 0 Hopkins, DeAndre HOU WR 178.9 0 178.9 3 0
4 0 Brown, Antonio PIT WR 177.8 0 177.8 4 0
5 0 Beckham, Odell NYG WR 175.7 0 175.7 5 0
6 0 Robinson, Allen JAC WR 174 0 174 6 0
7 0 Jones, Julio ATL WR 173.8 0 173.8 7 0
8 0 Marshall, Brandon NYJ WR 162.2 0 162.2 8 0
9 0 Martin, Doug TBB RB 156.7 0 156.7 9 0
24 10 Landry, Jarvis MIA WR 125.16 31.35 156.51 10 14
10 0 Ingram, Mark NOS RB 153.4 0 153.4 11 -1
11 0 Ivory, Chris NYJ RB 145.5 0 145.5 12 -1
12 0 Green, A.J. CIN WR 143.7 0 143.7 13 -1
13 0 Fitzgerald, Larry ARI WR 142.7 0 142.7 14 -1
14 0 Miller, Lamar MIA RB 142.6 0 142.6 15 -1
15 0 Johnson, Calvin DET WR 136.5 0 136.5 16 -1
54 5 Johnson, David ARI RB (R) 96 36.6 132.6 17 37
16 0 McCoy, LeSean BUF RB 132.1 0 132.1 18 -2
17 0 Stewart, Jonathan CAR RB 131.9 0 131.9 19 -2
18 0 Gurley, Todd STL RB (R) 131.8 0 131.8 20 -2
19 0 Williams, DeAngelo PIT RB 131.3 0 131.3 21 -2
20 0 Murray, Latavius OAK RB 129.8 0 129.8 22 -2
21 0 Cooks, Brandin NOS WR 126.8 0 126.8 23 -2
22 0 Decker, Eric NYJ WR 126.1 0 126.1 24 -2
23 0 Baldwin, Doug SEA WR 125.8 0 125.8 25 -2
25 0 Gore, Frank IND RB 118.5 0 118.5 26 -1
26 0 Forte, Matt CHI RB 118.3 0 118.3 27 -1
27 0 Crabtree, Michael OAK WR 118 0 118 28 -1
106 2 Lockett, Tyler SEA WR (R) 60.9 55.5 116.4 29 77
28 0 Hill, Jeremy CIN RB 116.2 0 116.2 30 -2
29 0 Hurns, Allen JAC WR 115.8 0 115.8 31 -2
30 0 Hilton, T.Y. IND WR 115.5 0 115.5 32 -2
109 1 Harris, Dwayne NYG WR 59.2 55.65 114.85 33 76
31 0 Woodhead, Danny SDC RB 114.8 0 114.8 34 -3
32 0 Maclin, Jeremy KCC WR 114.5 0 114.5 35 -3
33 0 Murray, DeMarco PHI RB 114.4 0 114.4 36 -3
34 0 Rawls, Thomas SEA RB (R) 114.2 0 114.2 37 -3
35 0 Cooper, Amari OAK WR (R) 113.7 0 113.7 38 -3
36 0 Yeldon, T.J. JAC RB (R) 113.6 0 113.6 39 -3
37 0 Thomas, Demaryius DEN WR 113.2 0 113.2 40 -3
41 86 McFadden, Darren DAL RB 111 1.15 112.15 41 0
38 0 Edelman, Julian NEP WR 111.5 0 111.5 42 -4
40 0 Bernard, Giovani CIN RB 111.3 0 111.3 43 -3
39 0 Blount, LeGarrette NEP RB 111.3 0 111.3 44 -5
42 0 Cobb, Randall GBP WR 109.4 0 109.4 45 -3
43 0 Benjamin, Travis CLE WR 108.9 0 108.9 46 -3
44 0 Austin, Tavon STL WR 106.5 0 106.5 47 -3
45 0 Brown, John ARI WR 105.9 0 105.9 48 -3
46 0 Bryant, Martavis PIT WR 105.5 0 105.5 49 -3
47 0 Jones, James GBP WR 105.1 0 105.1 50 -3
101 4 Abdullah, Ameer DET RB (R) 64.8 40 104.8 51 50
48 0 Langford, Jeremy CHI RB (R) 103.8 0 103.8 52 -4
49 0 Hillman, Ronnie DEN RB 102.6 0 102.6 53 -4
50 0 Sanders, Emmanuel DEN WR 101.6 0 101.6 54 -4
51 0 Johnson, Chris ARI RB 101.2 0 101.2 55 -4
52 0 Evans, Mike TBB WR 101 0 101 56 -4
53 0 Watkins, Sammy BUF WR 99.5 0 99.5 57 -4
77 23 Amendola, Danny NEP WR 78.74 20.6 99.34 58 19
102 9 Sproles, Darren PHI RB 64.6 32.35 96.95 59 43
55 0 Allen, Keenan SDC WR 94.5 0 94.5 60 -5

EFFL AGM 2016 – Reid Hoose on SuperBowl Night

Current items for the AGM.

  1. Highest Scorer- Extend highest scorer to cover the entire season. passed
  2. Diddy playoffs- Scrap diddy playoffs. Lineups will be valid for all teams in postseason and will contribute towards the prize for the highest scoring team. All transactions for non-playoff or eliminated teams will end. passed
  3. Waivers- “As Fantasy football has evolved, so too has weekly waivers. But not in every case. Nearly all free leagues and even some of the home leagues you participate still utilize the archaic feature of first come, first serve. In that format, the best Fantasy option is awarded to whoever can get online first to press a button; boiling down to being rewarded for having a smart-phone or more time on their hands. Not fair to you, especially in a “non cutthroat league”. Not much better is the waiver wire format that rewards the best available to the owners with the worst records in the league. This is similar to kiddy football where everyone wins a trophy. In order for Fantasy football to be fair, the integrity of the league should never be compromised. Weekly free agent acquisition should incorporate a strategy; just like the draft and weekly starting line-up assignments. It is for this reason that free agent blind bidding should be the universal process for all leagues.”

    As part of a wider change to waivers here are the proposals;

    Option A- Nightly waivers. Waivers are processed at a set time-every day. If you want a player you have to put a request in. Except Sundays when FCFS will be available 4 hrs before kickoff.

    Option B- Bidding- you are given a budget that will allow you to purchase free agents over the course of the season. You cannot sign free agents unless you have money. Your week 1 roster will be set and no players can be acquired until week 2. Bids will be processed on Wednesday and Friday evenings.  COMMISSIONER RRECOMMENDATION

    Option C- Continue with status-quo, but change the resolve time on Wednesday to an evening. option B selected (details established later)

  4. Change 50 yard field goals to 3 points and punish kickers for misses (-1 for FG, -0.25 for XP) (passed but commissioner overrule on implementation-delayed for 1 season)
  5. Allow return yards and touchdowns for offensive players. Additional scoring for defenses by yards allowed. (not passed)
  6. Add a survivor league. (passed)


  1. We will continue with current league fees unless prices rise at MFL or there is a league requirement to increase the prize pot. passed
  2. Scoring- Apart from the proposals above in the interests of consistency I propose to retain the current scoring system. passed
  3. Is league happy to continue with divisional setup? passed
  4. We currently have 2 requests to join league. (1)Are all owners happy to continue? (2) Does the league wish to expand?. all owners wish to continue. No expansion
  5. Weekly preview and review articles. MFL auto generates these but they’re a “bit” shit. I particularly enjoy the View from the Pit, but Gavé shouldered every single week on his own last year, does anyone want to help out? There is no format you just write what you want to read. Gav continuing, Cozy volunteers to restart writing.
  6. League chat- The MFL chat is ok, but wasn’t well used. Is everyone still happy to continue with FB or would you like to switch to something else? passed
  7. I propose that our 2 co-commissioners continue in their post and function as the executive committee. If anyone would like to join the executive committee we have space for 1 more person. Continue with 3 man committee (ensures no ties)
  8. Draft Day- It looks very likely that draft night will be on Saturday 11th September 2016. We won’t know for sure until the NFL schedule is published in June so please keep the 5th September free in your diary. We don’t have a venue for next years draft so if anyone would like to volunteer it would be appreciated. SB for Paul and Draft for Richie

How to spot what a defense is doing….part 3

Last time on How to spot what a defense is doing we discussed the versatile Cover 3 and Cover 2 defenses. This time we’ll concentrate on the final basic coverage defense, Cover 1, and touch briefly on the concepts of zone and man pressure. We’ll also touch briefly on one of my favourite defenses, Buddy Ryan’s 46.

Cover 1

The Cover 1 shell uses (almost) exclusively man to man concepts with the free safety being the lone free defender. For a team to routinely play Cover 1 concepts it needs a star free safety with a rare combination of speed and ball skills. Some of the greatest NFL defenses have featured a player of this calibre. Think Earl Thomas at the Seahawks; Ed Reed at the Ravens, Ronnie Lott of the 49ers and the Cowboy’s Cliff Harris. A talented safety allows underneath defenders to play aggressively and this challenges an offense by making passes on short routes difficult to complete.

In general terms the Cover 1 can be spotted by looking for a single high safety positioned far from the line of scrimmage. You can see this clearly in the image below as the Jets adopt a Cover 1 look against the Dolphins at Wembley (circled red). If you’re eagle-eyed you may be able to spot Revis and Cromartie taking an outside shade on their receivers. They use this technique to limit outside breaking routes (those heading to the sideline) and it helps them re-route receivers to the centre of the field (where the help is!)


As the cornerbacks can play off-man or jam at the line of scrimmage it’s usually their shade that gives away the technique they’re employing rather than how close they are to the line of scrimmage (although don’t be surprised to see inside shade technique used if a receiver deliberately position themselves close to the sideline . In fact playing man to man gives the cornerbacks a lot of freedom to pressurise routes by using different techniques. They can do this by playing off, jamming at the line of scrimmage or playing 3 step routes aggressively by crowding short breaking routes early (this requires VERY GOOD corners!). Of course Cover 1 was THE shell of choice for the Glasgow Lions D.

This reliance on man to man coverage allows a defense with good cornerbacks to create mismatches close to the line of scrimmage including using 8 men fronts with the cushion of deeper safety help. In fact early in a play there should be 2 levels of help from the free safety and a spare LB.

Alternatives to the Cover 1 usually involve disguising man to man coverage with zone looks. The Robber (or Rat in the Hole) look uses cover 1 assignments with the strong safety or an athletic linebacker dropping into a hole just beyond the line of scrimmage (circled blue). It can also be disguised as a Cover 2 look and is designed to eliminate inside crossing techniques and catch-out unaware QBs!


Creating Pressure- Zone and Man

We’ve worked through the basic coverage shells and they are the foundations in which a defense combats offensive gameplans. Occasionally defenses need to force the issue and be a little more aggressive and that’s where pressure schemes come into play. We could easily fill the rest of this year looking at pressure schemes, but lets concentrate on the two basic concepts- zone and man pressure. Although the shells protecting the defense are different the concept behind generating pressure is the same- get to the quarterback!

Zone pressure uses zone shells behind the pass rushers and although conceptually it just involves the defenders having to defend slightly larger areas it’s actually slightly more nuanced than that. Initial set-up put as many defenders as possible into the throwing lanes to disrupt and delay short passes. Obviously the longer it takes the extra rusher to get to the quarterback the more pressure it puts on the remaining defenders. Zone pressure schemes also allow for pseudo-blitzes to come from unexpected directions with athletic linemen replacing linebackers in short zones.

Man pressure generally sees the defense sending more than 1 extra rusher with the rest of the team taking up man to man matchups (generally without help). Defenders will attempt to prevent inside breaking routes as this forces the QB to make more difficult outside or deep throws. It also allows the defenders to use the sideline as an alternative to safety help.

The key to both pressure concepts is disguising the defenses intentions and thus creating maximum surprise and confusion to hopefully lead to big plays and turnovers.

46 Defense

“Some say the 46 is just an 8 man front. That’s like saying Marilyn Monroe is just a girl!”

….And that brings us to the Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense. Made famous by the Chicago Bears Super Bowl win in 1985 and later perfected by the 1991 Eagles defense the 46 was born out of Ryan’s desire to play aggressive football and to endanger the most important position on the field, the QB.

Starting as an assistant with the Jets during their Super Bowl season before moving on to coach one the greatest ever defensive lines at the Vikings. Ryan finally got his chance to coach his own defense when he got to the Bears in the late 70s. It was several years of development before the fully fledged monster appeared, but when it arrived it changed defensive pressure schemes and offensive gameplan forever.

Named after safety Doug Plank (#46) the 46 is  an 8 man run stop front (that is 8 men occupy the line of scrimmage) with a Cover 1 shell. But, as Ryan eloquently described the 46 is more than a simple pressure front. It positively dares an offensive to throw because of its almost complete shut-down of the running game.

Doug Plank teaching the 46

Doug Plank teaching the 46

The defining feature of the 46 is the reduced front. The weakside defensive end lines up outside of the offensive tackle in a wider pass rush position, while the other defensive end and the defensive tackles set up directly over the guards and the center. This forces the interior offensive linemen into awkward and difficult one-on-one matchups.

The innovation didn’t simply end with the linemen. One of the key concepts of the 46 is although it appears to employ Cover 1 concepts it creates pressure based on offensive protections e.g. if the RB stays to protect, the defense rushes 6 men. If the offense uses 2 players to help out the offensive linemen, the defense rushes 7 and so on thereby effectively using the offense’s own protection scheme against itself.

By having so many defenders close to the line of scrimmage the 46 allows the defense to disguise it’s blitzers and extra rushers. This makes it difficult for the QB to find the weak spots as the 46 rushes defenders as a response to reads given to it by the offense and this means it is essentially NOT BLITZING allowing safer zone coverage to be employed.

So what happened to the 46?

Defenses had been reactionary for most of football’s history. “Bend but don’t break” concepts were common through much of NFL history  to combat run first offenses. The 46 was designed primarily as a run stopping defense and it had spectacular success in that era.

However, as offensive innovators like Bill Walsh and Don Coryell led the NFL to a pass first league it became too risky to employ the 46 as an every down defense and it slowly faded into the background. But don’t be fooled into thinking the 46 was a 1-hit wonder defense. It’s legacy of pressure concepts and aggressive defense lives on in Arizona, Baltimore, Buffalo, Carolina, Kansas City, New York and almost every other modern NFL defense. Perhaps it’s time we heralded Buddy Ryan as the father of the passing league.