Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy birthday to me!

It's my birthday!




I guess nobody really shares my fervor for this, huh?  Well, except these people!

Vince Carter (1/26/77) NBA
'98-'99 Rookie of the Year, 8-time All-Star, 24th all-time in points per game.  Oh, and he did this and this.

Ellen Degeneres (1/26/58) TV
Host of the show "Ellen" (I know you're shocked), amateur dancer, professional lesbian (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just that there's really not much to say here)

Wayne Gretzky (1/26/61) NHL
50 years old today, "The Great One" was an 18-time All Star, 1st all-time in goals, assists, and points, and is considered the greatest hockey player of all time.

Douglas MacArthur (1/26/1880) USA
Dude was one of the greatest generals in US Military history.  Look it up.

Paul Newman (1/26/25) Salad Dresser, Actor
Apparently a 9-time Oscar nominee (one-time winner for "The Color of Money"), but we really know him as the Newman's Own salad dressing guy, come on.

Gene Siskel (1/26/46) Movie Critic
I give this guy's career two thumbs up!  Oh wait, that's copyrighted.  Damn.

Bob Uecker (1/26/35) MLB
Still kickin' after some health troubles, he's been the Milwaukee Brewers' announcer since 1971, and was given the monaker "Mr. Baseball" by Johnny Carson.

Eddie Van Halen (1/26/55) Musician
Guitarist for the band Van Halen.  Bet you didn't know that.  Bet I couldn't name a single song by them. Runnin' with the Devil.  There.  All right, I looked it up, but so what? It's my birthday!

Alex Vigderman (1/26/90) Student
21-time All Star (according to my mom), 2 career Little League home runs, 0 career soccer goals, an uncounted but large amount of 3-point attempts in basketball, and 2010 Frameshmania Fantasy Football League champion

Monday, January 24, 2011

Re-visiting the 2010-11 Dream Team, a.k.a. the Miami Heat

The Big 3?  The 3 Musketeers?  Miami Thrice?

Whatever you call them, the trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh shook the basketball (and pretty much the entire sports) world when they decided to take their talents to South Beach and sign with the Miami Heat, a team that had two rostered players (Michael Beasley, who was later traded, and Mario Chalmers) at the time but became an instant title contender afterward.  Why, you ask?  Oh, perhaps because the three of them are each at the peak of their careers and have received a combined 63% of possible MVP voting "points" since 2004 (although only 0.6% of that is Bosh).

I wrote a piece about the Heat in September telling people not to believe the hype, and to some degree I was right.  They started slowly, which was not entirely surprising given the adjustments that need to be made to accommodate that combination of players, going just 9-8 in their first 17 games.  Against Boston, Orlando, New Orleans, Utah, and Dallas during that stretch (all teams with at least a .600 win percentage this year), they went 1-6.  Granted, they didn't lose that all-important tenth game until 23 games later when they had surged to 30-10, but there will be no threatening the Jordan Bulls this year.

Interestingly, though, the individual performances of the three players has not suffered as much as one could have predicted.  Lebron is averaging 26 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists per game and shooting 48% from the floor; that's just 2 points off his career average with no other stats suffering.  Wade is averaging 25 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists per game and shooting 49% from the floor; that's a slight reduction in assists but an increase in rebounds and shooting percentage from his career numbers.  Not only that, but James and Wade are still both in the top 3 in the league in Player Efficiency Rating (PER), a statistic kept by ESPN's John Hollinger that rates a player's per-minute productivity adjusted for the team's pace of play.  Bosh, on the other hand, has seen his output reduced by about 4 points and 1 rebound per game as a result of not being the only show in town.  He has seen his PER reduced by 20% this season from last season.

All right, so the Heat went 22-5 after their slow start and are now two games ahead of the Magic in the Southeast Division and 1.5 games behind the Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference.  What about the teams that James and Bosh left, the Cavaliers and Raptors?

Oh, them.  Well... the Raptors have the opposite record of the Heat (13-31) and have lost 7 games in a row, and the Cavs are the worst team in the league at 8-35 and have lost sixteen in a row.  And now we know why Lebron was the most valuable player in the league the last two years!

So how do the Heat's playoff prospects look?  The injury bug is a concern, as each of the members of Miami Thrice has spent time on the shelf for one reason or another.  The return of Mike Miller to the lineup will help balance the floor, but the big boost has to be the way that they have been able to just roll off wins lately (albeit against somewhat inferior competition with some exceptions), which should give them confidence that they can win a 7-game series the way they are currently constructed.

My prediction:  They finish with right around 60 wins (maybe 61-21?) and are able to get at least one playoff series victory.  I would just be concerned about playing the Celtics, because their playoff experience and depth are something that the Heat cannot compare with.  And there's still that whole "Lebron choking in the playoffs" thing...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And.... We're Learning to Count!

So as a child, many people of my generation were entertained by the show Sesame Street.  A prominent character on the show was The Count, a vampire who just loved to count things.  Well, as a statistics and math minor, I too love to count things.  And sports.  That too.  So let's take a look at some numbers, shall we?

One... The seed of the Falcons and Patriots going into the 2011 NFL Playoffs, whose seasons are done after losing a home playoff game in a season where the two teams went a combined 15-1.

Two... The number of Big Five teams playing in the Penn-Temple men's basketball game this evening.  Also the number of coaches in this game that recently worked for the other team (Temple head coach Fran Dunphy and Penn assistant coach Dan Leibovitz)

Three... The number of defensive linemen that Mel Kiper's most recent NFL mock draft has going in the first five overall picks: Auburn DT Nick Fairley to the Panthers at 1, Alabama DE Marcell Darius to the Bills at 3, and Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers to the Bengals at 4.  NOTE: Also the number of licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop (Source: the owl).

Four... The number of pitchers in the Phillies' starting rotation for 2011 that could be at the top of the rotation for half the teams in the league.  Also the number of no-hitters that they will throw this year.  OK that might be a stretch.

Five... The number of sets it took Roger Federer to beat Gilles Simon, who is actually ranked 34 in the world, in the second round of the Australian Open.  Yes, it's tennis.  No, I've never written about it before.  Yes, it's a sport too.

Six... The seed of the Packers and Jets going into the 2011 NFL Playoffs, who are playing in the conference championship game after winning two road games against teams that were a combined 25-7 at home this year and all but one of whom have been the top teams of the last decade (Colts, Patriots, Eagles).

Seven... The number of days until the birthdays of Vince Carter, Wayne Gretzky, and renowned Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker.  Also the number of days until my birthday.

Eight... The number of games the San Antonio Spurs have won in their last ten games.  Also the number of games their division rival, the Dallas Mavericks, have lost in that span.  Despite their aging and injury-prone backbone of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs have the best record in the NBA.

Nine... The AP and USA Today rankings of the UConn men's basketball team prior to defeating #7 Villanova in a nailbiter on Monday.  Kemba Walker made the game-winning shot with 2 seconds left, and 'Nova ran an inbounds play without a timeout (or a clue of what to do) and did not make the half-court prayer.  Also the number of times that 50 Cent has been shot.  Allegedly.

Ten...   The number of Jets offensive starters (plus my friend Julie) that will have their eyes on Mark Sanchez in the AFC Championship game, as his performance is possibly the most important of any single player in championship week.  Also the number of bowling pins you need to knock down at the start of a frame.  Also the number of numbers in this counting exercise.

Hope you had fun there, kiddies!  This blog entry was brought to you by the letter H!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Big Five: It's Really Just Two Though

Since I'm still recovering from the Eagles' season being over and so can't get myself to write anything about football right now and baseball really isn't doing much interesting, it's time for basketball!  Hey, guess what?  March Madness is in two months!  All the brackets and the Cinderellas and the analysts picking chalk for the Final Four and all that.  So excited.  Unfortunately, I really haven't paid much attention to what has been going on in the NCAA, so I can use my blogging as an excuse to do so!

However, it's a daunting task to get myself back into all of college basketball at once, so we'll start small with the Philadelphia local teams that make up the unofficial Big Five conference.  Let's begin at the bottom and work our way up.

St. Joseph's Hawks (5-12, 0-4 Atlantic 10)

My, how the mighty have fallen.  After achieving a 1-seed in the tournament in 2003-04 and winning the A-10 in '04-'05, Phil Martelli's Hawks have gone just 33-47 since 2008 and are looking at an even worse showing this year if the start of Atlantic 10 play is any indication (they're currently last in the conference).  Losses to bad St. Louis and Western Kentucky teams don't really help the cause.
The team IS young, with only 3 upperclassmen and only one of those, senior Forward Idris Hilliard, getting significant playing time.  Their leading scorer, sophomore Carl Jones, is averaging almost 18 points per game and certainly could anchor an improving team in the next couple years.

Pennsylvania Quakers (5-7, 0-0 Ivy)

Hurrah, hurrah, Pennsylvania!  Um, at least my Quakers are just two wins away from improving on last year's record, right?  The Quakers have not recovered from the loss of Coach Fran Dunphy to Temple (we'll discuss him a little more later), going 32-24 in the Ivies in the four years since he left after going 49-7 in the four years prior, and that includes a 13-1 year in 2006 when Dunphy's players were all still there.
Junior point guard Zack Rosen has been the main scorer for the team the last two years, but he's limited slightly in out-of-conference play by the fact that he's a red-headed Jewish kid from New Jersey.  Not to say that he's talented and whatnot, but it's just hard to compete with teams that actually recruit athletes for their athleticism.  And yet he is second on the team in rebounds.  Senior forward Jack Eggleston is the team's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder just in time for him to graduate this year and leave us with nobody who can do anything in the paint.
At least you can blame three of their losses on a tough schedule, losing to three top-15 teams in Pitt, Kentucky, and Villanova, and they're facing Temple on Wednesday.  They're trending upward, I guess, but just in time for me to graduate and not enjoy the spoils.

La Salle Explorers (8-10, 0-3 Atlantic 10)

The Magellans haven't made the NCAA tournament since 1992 and really haven't threatened the conference much in the last several years, ending the year in the bottom three in the conference twice in the last four years.  They do have two big guys averaging 15 points and 8 boards per game this year, sophomore center Aaric Murray and senior forward Jerrell Williams, but a top-heavy Atlantic 10 and tough games against Baylor, Missouri, and of course Villanova are keeping La Salle down.
I really don't have much to say about La Salle other than that, though, as I have never known someone who goes there nor seen them succeed in any capacity, so on to the next one I guess.  Win some games and we'll talk.

Temple Owls (12-4, 3-1 Atlantic 10, AP #19)

The 3-time reigning Atlantic 10 champions look poised to continue the trend with a 12-4 start.  A loss recently to Duquesne stings because they now reside atop the conference, but it's early and Temple has the pedigree and players to get it done.
This year's team returns point guard Juan Fernandez and forward Lavoy Allen (who was the A-10 Most Improved Player last year) and also boasts an additional scoring threat in junior guard Ramone Moore, which gives them some nice balance and more varied threats than what they had in past years with just one elite scorer in Dionte Christmas.  This seems to have helped them thus far as they have beaten #10 Georgetown and lost a nailbiter to Villanova.
Coach Fran Dunphy made 9 NCAA tournament appearances with Penn from 1989 to 2006, winning just one game.  Many thought that when he was given greater recruiting resources at Temple he would have greater tourney success, but he has gone 0-3 in the NCAA tournament at Temple, including an upset loss to a 12-seeded Ivy League Cornell team.  I like the way that the team looks this year, though, and if they can get hot at the right time or get a nice matchup in the tournament maybe Fran can get it done.

Villanova Wildcats (16-1, 4-0 Big East, AP #7)

The 'Cats are a perennial power in the Big Five and in the Big East as well, going 26-2 in the Big Five and 73-33 in the ultra-competitive Big East since 2004.  After last year they lost their star point guard, Scottie Reynolds, but the Coreys (Fisher and Stokes) and big man Mouphtaou Yarou have proven to be more than sufficient in maintaining the program's status among the tops in the nation.
However, I am not confident in the team's chances in the Big East and NCAA tournament due to their relatively soft schedule so far (although they are about to play top-ten teams in UConn and Syracuse in their next two games).  Their wins against Big Five competition have not been particularly impressive, winning their three games against teams not named Temple by an average of 8.7 points against teams that are a combined 18-29.  I was at the Temple game and came away from it not particularly impressed.
Despite that, Jay Wright's resume with the team has been solid, earning 8 NCAA tournament bids and going 12-8 in the tournament while achieving, on average, 0.2 wins per tournament more than the expectation based on his seed, 13th among coaches who have made as many appearances (see for more on that).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Giving the Baseball Hall of Fame a Little Juice

Now that the NFL regular season has come and gone, it's time to get into baseball mode a little bit more.  However, there is still a bit of time before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training (believe me, you would have heard my mom cheering if that time had passed), so the only really timely news on the baseball front is the naming of the 2011 Hall of Fame class.

Now, players in the 2011 class must have retired in 2006 or earlier, which means that they would have played most of their careers in the 90's or earlier.  I'm not gonna lie here, I didn't pay too much attention to the general baseball world at that point, and was not alive for many of the players up for nomination.  Therefore, I'm not too concerned with Bert Blyleven or Roberto Alomar getting in.  I'm more concerned with what happens over the next several years with the "juicers," those players that have been connected with steroid use during the productive years of their careers (e.g. McGwire, Sosa, Bonds) and thus have huge but questionably earned numbers.

First of all, I guess it's important to make clear that the Baseball Hall of Fame votes players into their fraternity mostly through the votes of baseball writers with at least ten years of experience, and a player must earn 75% of the vote to be selected for the Hall.

This year, acclaimed steroid abusers Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro were up for election (McGwire for the fifth year) and received 19.8% and 11.0% of the vote, respectively.  McGwire had hovered at around 23% until this year.

Are Hall of Fame voters dogging these sluggers and punishing them for accusations (or admissions) of cheating the game?

Let's just take a look at the numbers here for a moment.

Mark McGwire:  583 home runs (10.6 AB per HR, 1st all-time), 12-time All-Star, 3-time top-5 MVP votegetter, 63.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR, 91st all-time among position players), 8th all-time in slugging percentage.

Rafael Palmeiro: 569 home runs (18.4 AB per HR, 78th all-time), 3020 hits (24th all-time), 1835 RBIs (15th all-time), 4-time All-Star, 66 WAR (79th among position players)

The power numbers are all-time good, as no one in the 500 home-run club has been excluded from the Hall of Fame until recently.  McGwire's stats scream steroid use since his big numbers come in power categories (HR, slugging), whereas Palmeiro has a more balanced resume which includes being one of only four players to record 3000 hits and 500 home runs in a career, and his longevity at the position is more impressive.  The first basemen in the Hall of Fame already have significantly less impressive power numbers than one would expect given the power that the position is associated with these days, so these two guys definitely have numbers that would warrant inclusion into the Hall.

It of course comes as no surprise, then, that there's some uncertainty and suspicion involved with voting for a guy based on statistics that are not created based on his god-given talent alone.  In my opinion, the key distinction here is to what degree you think the person could have done what he did without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs.  McGwire's low batting average and high output in a short period of time seem to indicate that he would not have been able to produce nearly those kinds of numbers in a normal set of circumstances.  Palmeiro, however, has a slightly more befuddling case, as his longevity and consistent production could give a voter pause as to the validity of his career performance.

If we project Hall voting into the next couple years, the appearance of Barry Bonds presents an intriguing case, because despite the fact that he hit 317 home runs after age 35, which is absurd, he was on pace for 500 home runs through his first seven years in Pittsburgh, where he hit .312 and won two MVP awards.  Despite the huge cloud that Bonds has over him with the lengthy scandal that he has dealt with and the fact that he broke one of the most sacred records in sports, the all-time home run record, you have to consider that Bonds' career would have been at least close to Hall of Fame worthy without the needles and stuff.

The Jist of It
Unfortunately, we don't really have enough access to the drug history of every player ever to make these sorts of distinctions, do we?  A lot of sports writers are going to make blanket judgments about everyone who was accused of using steroids during their careers, possibly preventing people who really didn't get much help from steroids at all from achieving the greatest honor in the sport.  Not only that, three of the greatest players of this generation, Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez, have had steroid confessions hurt their image and the potential validity of their impressive performances.  What do you do when what appears to be one of the top-ten players of all-time may not actually be so?

I think that, in the absence of damning evidence from the majority of a player's career, it would be hard for me to vote against a guy who has the numbers to easily make the Hall.  Marginal guys who just seem to have power numbers (McGwire) should receive less consideration because the supposed benefits from steroids would have a greater impact on his specialty.  Guys who have transcendant numbers should get in because they have ridiculous totals that, even if they were helped by steroids, may have gotten them in anyway.  However, I am a big fan of withholding votes for a few years as punishment and to give the person's transgressions extra time to air out and possibly be brought to greater light.

And we're not going to get into the Pete Rose thing.  If a guy who used steroids gets into the Hall of Fame, Pete Rose should be immediately entered.  Seriously?

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011: The Year of Massive Phillies Hype

Yes, this is overdue.  Yes, you will deal with it.  The season doesn't start for another three months anyway.

We are all going to die a terribly pre-ordained death sometime in 2012.  Before that happens, it appears that Ruben Amaro Jr. wants Philadelphia to experience the last World Series victory ever.  He did so by stealing Cliff Lee out from under the Yankees this offseason, which was the second time that New York had experienced this tomfoolery in 2010 (the Rangers made a deal for Lee midseason despite the Yankees' utmost efforts).

Lee decided to sign a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phils in lieu of a six year, $132 million offer from the Yanks.  There are rumors that this had something to do with Lee's wife being mistreated by Yankee fans while attending Rangers/Yankees games, but I would like to think this had a bit more to do with Lee's perception of the way that the two teams do business.  Yes, the Phillies have thrown lots of money around recently as well (see Halladay, Roy, and Howard, Ryan), but the Phillies have such a great clubhouse demeanor (that Lee can attest to) and the Yankees are just so cold about their spending.  My friend who is a Yankee fan was not concerned about the Yankees losing to Lee in the playoffs this year because the Yankees would "buy" him after the season.  Not "sign" him, not "pick him up," but "buy" him.  It's just not the way you should think about this sort of thing.

Lee, who had a 3.18 ERA with seven complete games last year and has a career 2.13 ERA in the playoffs, joins a rotation that already had three starters with ERA's below 3.10 last year in Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels.  Not only that, but Halladay and Hamels are signed through next year and Oswalt has an option for next year as well.  So what happens when a team has four aces?  MAD HYPE.

Yes, this is a ridiculous rotation.  No, the Phillies will not win 80% of their games.  However, since these guys' career win percentages are all around 64%, we can really only expect around 100 wins.  See the hype thing?

Now, Joe Blanton is being shopped to get some of his contract off the books, but I would think that Ruben can replace him with a suitable starter that won't go 3-15 or something.  Besides, Blanton was pretty league-average to begin with, and that only represents a fifth of the games.

On the other side of this, though, is the loss of Jayson Werth and the disappointing offensive season this team had last year.  Without the thumping right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup, isn't it a lot easier to pitch to this team?

I think that the Phils' lineup should do about as well as it did last year, because there were a LOT of injuries last year, and our opening day lineup only suited up together for about 20 games.  Having a healthier season should account for some of the issues with losing Werth, but whoever replaces him (Domonic Brown will likely NOT be this person, at least full-time) will need to be serviceable for this lineup to get it done.

So the NL East is ours.  What about the rest of the league?

Well, the team that beat us, the Giants, didn't really add anybody, and everybody seems to think that the stars aligned for them last year and it will be tough for them to put that kind of season together again (especially with their ridiculous pitching towards the back end).
The Reds should have some improved pitching with Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman getting another year under their belts, but did you see how we beat them in the playoffs this year?  Unless Chapman can put his talent together as a quality starter, I'm not seeing it.
The Cardinals fell off at the end of last year, but the Pujols/Holliday and Carpenter/Wainwright combo is hard to ignore; in a short series, they could be a tough out.
The Brewers traded for Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke to put some actual pitchers in their rotation, and held onto Prince Fielder for what appears to be one last hurrah.  We'll see how that works out.
The Padres got rid of Adrian Gonzalez and appear to be content with mediocrity again.

The Red Sox GOT Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, and if Josh Beckett and John Lackey can have bounceback years, they are most definitely the favorite to represent the AL in the World Series, and their makeup is quite similar to the Phillies', but with a less dominant rotation and more dominant lineup.
The Yankees lost out on Lee, Werth, Crawford, and Greinke, and really don't have the rotation depth to compete with the Sox, let alone the Phillies.
The Rays lost Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford and appear to be content with something greater than mediocrity for the time being, although Jeremy Hellickson could come up and be a nice starter behind David Price.
The Tigers and White Sox have some nice bats, but I'll need to see their rotations put it together to consider them legit contenders.  The Twins can't get it done in the playoffs, so I'm disregarding them.
The Rangers lost Lee but have some nice young pitchers that were showcased in the playoffs and a great middle of the lineup in MVP Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz.  I just don't see the pitching getting it done in the postseason.

Really, it's just too easy to pick a Sox/Phils World Series, which would be great for TV ratings and this guy.  I just hate the idea that it's a foregone conclusion, and both of these teams were so decimated with injuries last year that they know better than anyone what can go wrong during a long season.

And it's going to be a long, seemingly-unimportant season.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The last fantasy football post of the season!

Any well-run fantasy league avoids Week 17 because of the whole resting-players thing, so the fantasy season is over!  


Sabotage the League got just 21 points from his three running backs as I got 42 from two of my backs (Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster) and the Patriots defense put up over 20, and that was all she wrote.

But enough about me.  How about the entire fantasy season in review?

Top Performers
Michael Vick-- 300 (missed almost four games)
Aaron Rodgers-- 279 (missed almost two games)
Tom Brady-- 274
Peyton Manning-- 261
Philip Rivers-- 260

Vick put up a ridiculous 27 points per game in the games he finished, which may put him near the top of the draft board next year.  The rest of the top five were all drafted in the top 7 among quarterbacks, which stands as a testament to the reliability of a top-flite quarterback.

Running Back
Arian Foster-- 282
Adrian Peterson-- 229 (missed one game)
Peyton Hillis-- 217
Darren McFadden-- 208 (missed two games)
Jamaal Charles-- 208

Arian Foster ran away with this one, as the only two games in which he had less than 15 carries were the only ones in which he had less than 10 fantasy points.  Talk about reliable.  Adrian Peterson was the only expected name on this list, and he really let people down towards the end of the season with the whole Brett Favre craziness.

Wide Receiver
Dwayne Bowe-- 194
Brandon Lloyd-- 190
Greg Jennings-- 184
Calvin Johnson-- 182
Roddy White-- 181

Yes, that's Dwayne Bowe up there.  More on him later.  Lloyd came out of nowhere in the beginning of the year and didn't slow down even for Tim Tebow.  Jennings started slow and White finished slow, but both were consistent for a lot of the year.

Tight End
Jason Witten-- 136
Antonio Gates-- 134 (missed five games)
Vernon Davis-- 114
Marcedes Lewis-- 113
Kellen Winslow-- 94

Since Jermichael Finley, Dallas Clark, and Gates were injury-plagued, it's no surprise that it took until the last week of the season for someone to pass Gates despite having missed five games.  Kellen Winslow eeked into the top five at the position despite averaging just 6 points per game.

Draft Sleeper Successes
Arian Foster-- 23rd RB drafted -> 1st in scoring
Darren McFadden-- 39th RB drafted -> 4th in scoring
Dwayne Bowe-- 22nd WR drafted -> 1st in scoring
Mike Wallace-- 26th WR drafted -> 6th in scoring
Hakeem Nicks-- 25th WR drafted -> 7th in scoring (missed two games)

Draft Busts (not including injuries)
Randy Moss-- 2nd WR drafted -> 67th in scoring
DeAngelo Williams-- 8th RB drafted -> would have been 32nd in scoring (missed 9 games)
Shonn Greene-- 12th RB drafted -> 35th in scoring
Ryan Mathews-- 13th RB drafted -> somewhere in the 30's in scoring (various injuries)
Larry Fitzgerald-- 3rd WR drafted -> 18th in scoring

A couple of these (Greene and Mathews) had to do with the other guy on the team doing well, Fitz just didn't have a quarterback, and Moss just didn't have the motivation, I guess.  Weirdest draft bust ever I think.

Best Waiver Pickups
Michael Vick (#1 QB)
Peyton Hillis (#3 RB)
Brandon Lloyd (#2 WR)
Josh Freeman (#7 QB)
Steve Johnson (#9 WR)

Top Scoring Performances
Michael Vick, Week 10-- 49 points
Darren McFadden, Week 7-- 43 points
Arian Foster, Week 1-- 41 points
Jahvid Best, Week 2-- 40 points
Kenny Britt, Week 7-- 40 points

We all know about Vick's ridiculous game, but how about that Jahvid Best game?  He scored a combined 40 points in his next SEVEN games.  And McFadden even had the kindness to put up a 38-point game too!

The "Huh?" Award
Randy Moss!  What the hell happened there?  Off a double-digit touchdown year with Tom Brady at quarterback, and you get yourself traded after a donut in Week 4?  He averaged 10 points per game prior to that, and averaged a not-terrible 7 points per game with the Vikings.  But then he somehow managed to get himself entirely removed from our consciousness with an absurd 5 points in SEVEN WEEKS with the Titans.

Honorable mention: Dwayne Bowe.  Drafted just outside the top-20 at wide receiver, Bowe disappointed his owners with just 5 points per game in his first four games.  Then he proceeded to put up  21 points per game for the next seven weeks, vaulting him to the top spot among wide-receivers.  The next three weeks, Bowe scored a total of 5 points.  What?

Projected 2011 Top-10 picks
1. Adrian Peterson
2. Chris Johnson
3. Maurice Jones-Drew
4. Ray Rice
5. Michael Vick
6. Arian Foster
7. Michael Turner
8. Aaron Rodgers
9. LeSean McCoy
10. Roddy White