Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Top Players Leaguewide

Here are the top offensive players, by DPAR, for the 2007 season:



Tom Brady 200
Peyton Manning 134
Brett Favre 103
Drew Brees 99
David Garrard 91
Tony Romo 89
Carson Palmer 85
Matt Hasselbeck 78
Ben Roethlisberger 75
Jay Cutler 71
Derek Anderson 65
Jeff Garcia 59
Phillip Rivers 54
Donovan McNabb 53
Randy Moss 52
Kurt Warner 49
Brian Westbrook 46
Terrell Owens 44
Jon Kitna 44
Reggie Wayne 44
Jason Campbell 43
LaDainian Tomlinson 41
Sage Rosenfels 39
Wes Welker 37
Matt Schaub 36
Marcus Colston 35
Chad Johnson 34
Antonio Gates 34
Bobby Engram 32
Marion Barber 32
Jason Witten 32

These 31 players contributed roughly one "win" or more above replacement level to their teams in 2007. The point of me making this list is this: To show how important Quarterback play is. It's to show that when talking about the best players in the league: you essentially have to ignore Quarterback play to allow any other position to dominate the list.

If I were making a top NFL talents list, this would be a good place to start. Sure, it's hard to quantify individual linemen and defensive players in terms of their effect on the game, but one would think this list would be a pretty solid start, no?

This is where I bring in Pete Prisco's list of the top 50 players in the NFL.

Prisco's list isn't particularly offensive, and I'm not going to bother to tinker with his defensive rankings, but a few of the offensive talents on the list could have been better chosen:

34. Braylon Edwards, WR, Cleveland Browns: Edwards was second to Moss with 16 receiving touchdowns in his third season in the league. He averaged 16.1 per catch and will only get better as he hits his prime.

Is Braylon Edwards really a top 50 player in the NFL? Really?

This year, he caught 52% of balls thrown his way, posted a slightly above average DVOA, and 20 DPAR, which puts this season -- his best -- among such company as Najeh Davenport and Quinn Gray. Obviously, it's easier to acquire a RB better than Davenport or a QB better than Gray than it would be to replace Edwards, but Braylon Edwards shouldn't even be close to a top 50 NFL players list.

49. Fred Taylor, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Taylor finally got his due last season with his first Pro Bowl appearance. At 32, he remains one of the biggest home-run threats in the league. His 5.4 per-carry average was second best among the league's best rushers to Peterson (5.6).

Fred Taylor is an underrated back. No one is going to confuse him for one of the 50 best players in the NFL.

He's now 32 years old. He might be capable of another good season, but Prisco only has 4 other RBs on this list: Tomlinson, Westbrook, Adrian Peterson, and Steven Jackson (who is defensible because he was hurt last year). Joseph Addai, Laurence Maroney, and Brandon Jacobs all missed the cut that Fred Taylor made.

50. Devin Hester, KR, Chicago Bears: I don't normally put return men on these lists, but this guy has earned it. It will be interesting to see how long he can maintain it.




He's really fast and breaks a lot of games wide open with special teams plays. Good for him. He's also incredibly fumble prone and can't play on the offensive or defensive sides of the ball, yet at least.

Additionally, if you are going to count for return ability, how do you not take Josh Cribbs! The guy only had, according to the link, the greatest return season ever last year. Bonus: He can also play on offense! What a concept!

No comments: