Without a doubt, my favorite current TV show is
ABC's Shark Tank. If you have never seen the
show, I highly recommend it for anyone that has
an entrepreneurial or business background.
quick overview of the show:
5 very successful
business entrepreneurs (they are called
"Sharks") sit on a panel (for
example, Mark Cuban has signed on as one
of the notable "Sharks") and they await a small
business person to come before them and pitch
their business and/or product idea. Where the
delicious twist of the show is -- it is not a
"thumbs up or down" on your idea...it's better
than that. The small business people are on hand
to pitch the "Sharks" on their small business's plausibility
from the perspective of that they are there
seeking a loan/partnership from one or more of the
"Sharks." In exchange for the investment, the
small business owner offers a percentage equity
in their company in exchange for the investment.
It's not that simple though.
The "sharks" grill the entrepreneur on all
aspects of their business plan/idea, trying to determine
if they want to invest in it. Occasionally, a
bidding war erupts, which is marvelous drama.
Equally as superb to watch (since I'm
semi-sadistic), is when the "sharks" ask the
tough questions and the small business owner is
exposed to the fact that their current business,
and/or their business model, and/or their
overall business plan isn't
very rational (according to the "Sharks")...and
then what was once a high-hope for the small
business person, is reduced to possible
tears and embarrassment...and no investment is
made; the person walks out with nothing/no deal.
The TV show Shark Tank made me think of what
runs through my mind as I consider drafting or
trading for/away a player for an upcoming
Fantasy Football season. The "Sharks" quickly
scratch below the surface of the various
business hopefuls, all with the purpose of
determining if there is money to be made and/or
a value to be had. The "Sharks" usually never
give the person what they asked for...thus the
term "Sharks," they try to get what they want at
the best deal possible. I higher stake version
of Pawn Stars in a sense. Isn't that what we all
are doing, if we are playing Fantasy Football
"for keeps"...we're digging for the upper hand and
seeking value, and a big return for our investment?
With that in mind, let's consider Eagles QB
Michael Vick in the Shark Tank (for
Fantasy Football 2011).
Each show starts with a quick setup of the
back-story of the existing or new business, and
the investment deal being
Michael Vick was without a doubt the single
most important Fantasy Football player (when
playing) in 2010. In our system (based on 11.5
games), Vick averaged 26.8 PPG for Fantasy
Football in 2010 (4 pts per pass TD scoring
system)...which is an amazing amount of scoring
per game, and almost 6 PPG better than the next
closest QB (Aaron Rodgers). Last season Vick was
undrafted in nearly every Fantasy Football
league, and then was a starter in every Fantasy
Football league by Week-3.
This season, Vick comes with a hefty price
tag. He is the consensus #1 rated Fantasy
Football QB for 2011, and he is arguably a
candidate for the top overall pick in the 2011
Fantasy Football Draft...at a minimum, he is a
1st-Round-worthy selection. We see his current
ADP at #8-9 overall in the Fantasy Draft. Would
you invest a 1st-Round Fantasy Football draft pick in
Vick, maybe even the #1 overall pick? Let's put
Michael Vick in the (fictitious) Shark
debate the possibilities....
The (Pretend) Pitch...
On the show, after their intro, the small
business person walks down a long hallway and
through a giant set of double doors that open.
Awaiting the business person on the other side
of those doors are the 5 "Sharks"; sitting in
judgment. The business person makes their pitch,
and then the "Sharks" start chomping...
name is Michael Vick. I averaged 26.8 Fantasy
Football PPG last season (in Fantasy Football
Metrics system); by
far the best PPG player in Fantasy Football for
2010. I played so well in 2010 that the Eagles
have paid me $16m to retain my rights for 2011,
and the Eagles are also going to trade away the
future QB of their franchise (Kevin Kolb) in
order to turn the team over to me in 2011.
Imagine what I will be capable of in a
full-season, with a huge year of experience in
the Andy Reid system under my belt? My
proposition is, that I am asking that you draft
me as the #1 QB overall in the 2011 Fantasy
Football Draft...and I should be taken early in
the 1st-Round of the 2011 Fantasy Football
Draft, and maybe even taken as the #1 overall
pick in the entire Draft.
Hold on, let me get this straight. I have a
1st-Round pick, and I can take any QB I want...I
can take Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady,
Peyton Manning; all QBs who have had top notch
Fantasy Football performances for years...but
now you want me to skip past that security and
consistent productivity, and jump past all of
those QBs to select you as the first QB in the
2011 Fantasy Football Draft? Aren't you a QB
that has played only 11 good/great Fantasy
Football games in the past 4 years?
be fair, I was in jail for 2 of those years.
That's really not helping your case...
did see that Monday Night Football game last
year in Week-10 against Washington where I
scored 6 TDs and scored 49+ Fantasy Football
points (4 pts per TD)? That isn't bad for a
"jail-bird". If I'm holding you guys up from
considering all the other QBs, or any other
position players, that are capable of scoring 6
TDs in a game; I'll just be on my way...
Touché...however, we seem to remember another
famous game you had against the Redskins in
2010, the one where you were folded in half like
a New Yorker eating a giant slice of pizza --
and then you were out on IR for several games. You
want us to invest a 1st-Round pick in a player
who is a "human piñata"? The thing that makes
you great, is also the thing that makes you not
worth $16 million dollars a season, nor worth a
1st-Round pick in the 2011 Fantasy Football
Draft. You cannot assure us that you won't get
hurt again, and ruin our entire Fantasy Football
season before it even starts?
QB can get hurt. Coach Reid says I need to be
more cautious and not run as much, plus slide
more...I'm working on becoming a smarter QB.
So I'm hearing you're not going to run for a TD
per game then, like you almost did last year (0.78
TDs per game in 11.5 games)? If you don't run
for a high TD count, then "buddy" I'm not
interested. You have one mega-Fantasy Football
value item, and one mega-item only...the heavy
rushing stats and TDs. If you take the big
rushing TD counts away, then I'm not interested
in risking a 1st-Round Draft pick. In your 4
prior seasons with Atlanta, before you went to
jail, in 3 of those four seasons you had...1 TD,
2 TDs and 3 TDs rushing. If you start playing
cautious, and your rushing TDs go down...your
Fantasy Football value goes down, hard. Please
tell me you are not going to sell me on your
passing skills to be a top Fantasy Football QB?
2010 was my career-best passing yardage,
Completion Percentage, passing TDs, and QB
rating...there is no reason that 2011 won't
result in career high passing totals again.
That's assuming you can make it through an
entire season without missing games due to
injury. Even so, we're to assume now you "get
it" as a passer? Prior to last season you had a
career passer rating under 80.0, you'd never
thrown for over 3,000 yards in a season in your
career, and in your last four seasons with
Atlanta, you had 43 TDs to 41 INTs. I think
teams have figured you out Michael, I really do.
In the first 7 games that you played last season
you had an awesome 11 Passing TDs and 0
INTs...and you won every game that you started
and finished. In the final 6 games that you
played last season (including the playoff game),
you had a (3-3) record; and had declining passing stats with 11 TDs and 7 INTs
in that span.
might have had a (3-3) record in those final 6
games, but who are you "Jimmy the Greek"? Are
you betting on 1-900 lines, or are you trying to
win Fantasy Football games and championships?
Note that I rushed for 5 TDs in those last 6
games, I delivered those precious rushing TDs
you wanted so badly!
additional Fantasy Football research articles
and commentary on our blog,
recent blog articles released:
Caleb King, the recently declared for the
NFL supplemental draft RB =
Caleb King Declares for the NFL
Supplemental Draft, Should We Care for
Fantasy Football? | Fantasy Football Metrics
– RC Fischer Blog
Billy Cundiff, Ravens Kicker interesting
data (hopefully, cut me some slack...it's a
Please DO NOT draft Billy Cundiff to
begin Fantasy Football 2011 | Fantasy
Football Metrics – RC Fischer Blog
Da'Rel Scott, NY Giants 2011 drafted
rookie RB =
Taking a 2nd Look at the Giants RB Da’Rel
Scott for Fantasy Football/Dynasty Drafts |
Fantasy Football Metrics – RC Fischer Blog
The "Sharks" Decision...
My absolute favorite catch phrase in Shark
Tank is at the end (and sometimes in the middle)
of the prospect's pitch. I'm a sucker for a good
catch phrase. Donald Trump's "You're Fired" (do
I owe a royalty for typing that?), yes it's
cheesy...but in it's hey-day I loved it. You
knew when it was coming and Donald kinda built
up the dramatic pause, made me wait for it...and
then boom -- open palm smacked onto mahogany,
finger extended, dramatic music stopped for a
moment, and suitcase soon to roll.
On Shark Tank, when a "Shark" is interested
in the "deal", they either agree to the proposed
offer, or more likely they make a counteroffer. However, the
classic Shark Tank catch phrase occurs when the
"Sharks" are not interested in the deal. They
summarize the negative side of the situation
briefly, and then conclude with those magic
words..."I'm out." The "out" is like a punch to
the gut -- the music stops, the camera pans over
to the hopeful small business person (with their jaw usually
agape and/or eye balls bulging). It just hangs
there, "...and for that reason, I'm out," or "I
want no part of this, I'm out."
What are we to make of Michael Vick for
Fantasy Football 2011? Without a doubt, if Vick
has a full season with no games missed...he is
likely to be the #1 Fantasy Football scorer
again. However, can you count on a fully healthy
season from a 31-year old QB, who seems to be
"in danger" of a major injury seemingly on every
play? Then there is the motivation factor -- how
motivated is Vick now that he has earned the $16
million dollar contract and Nike re-endorsement?
Last season, Vick was literally running for his
life, his job, for his creditors...every TD, every yard mattered financially. Is Vick mature
enough to be redeemed now, and then come back
huge again in 2011? If he backs off just a
little, and runs for only 2-3 rushing TDs -- he
could be a Fantasy Football letdown from the
lofty expectations. If he gets injured, for some
or most of 2011...he will be high pick "bust"
due to the terrible return-on-investment.
If I were a "Shark", on Shark Tank, I
would play it like this:
Michael, there is no denying what a talent you
are -- however, this is a major business
decision. I can either taken an established
great QB like Aaron Rodgers, who
appears to have no flaws and has been a high
producer since day-1 that he stepped onto the
field. The alternative is to select you, a
player who potentially had a career year like a
"typical" player entering his free-agent/big
contract season and suddenly gives it 150% (like
Reyes in baseball right now). Your 2010 was not
normal -- you've been a mediocre passer for
almost your entire career, as well as being a
perpetual injury risk...you have no sustained
track record of consistent success, much less
exhibited leadership and maturity. You are
currently our #1 rated projected points per game
QB for Fantasy Football (based on a fully
healthy season), but because of all the risk for
the level of investment..."I'm out."
Post Show Wrap Up...
I know it may seem odd to have a player
listed at the top of our computer/statistical
rankings for 2011, and then ultimately say, "I
can't/won't take him." The computer assumes a
healthy Vick, if you assured me of a healthy
Vick...I would be inclined to take him #1.
However, one of the reasons that we show our
player rankings with projected points per
game...is to show how close the gap between two
(or more) position players might be. I love our computer
models, but the difference between Vick and
Rodgers in our system right now is as close as a
single fumble during the season. Certainly, we
have a "margin of error" in our statistical
projections. Our computers are great, but Vick
and Rodgers are essentially rated the same in
our system. Given the choice, I will take Aaron
Rodgers (if I had to name/take a high pick QB)
and pass on Michael Vick.
If you were an NFL GM playing all your
cards for just this one 2011 season, who would
you take between Vick and Rodgers for an NFL
team? Likely, you would select Rodgers without
thinking twice. We know in our mind that Rodgers
is the smart play, but it's the Vick stat
explosion potential/highlight reel plays that
paralyze us on this choice, but for the most
part, in his career Vick has not produced like
he did in 2010. The 2010 season was a
aberration, if you look at his entire body of
work over a decade.
Will you be willing to use a 1st-Round draft
pick on Vick off of an aberration season, given
all the other garbage that might come with him
is that a wise business decision?, for me, it is
not...and for that reason.........."I'm out."
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