Posted on: August 20, 2008 10:41 pm
I'm really wondering how much both Real Football and Fantasy Football are going to be affected by the change in the pushout rule. It makes the field just a little smaller for pass catchers and quarterbacks.
Of course, as you approach the goal line the field gets smaller and smaller. From the 50 yard line, you are dealing with 3180 square yards of field to the back of the end zone. From the 5 yard line you have only 765 square yards to deal with. Let's say that the push out rule is going to make you try to avoid the last 2 yards on the sidelines and back of the end zone. Suddenly you have 2842 Square Yards from the 50, and only 596 Square Yards to deal with on the 5 yard line. From the 50, you are only talking about a 9% change in usable field size...and the field is quite large so it isn't such a big deal. From the 5 yard line, you are talking about a 23% change in the workable size of the field. That is significant.
My biggest question was...how many passing touchdowns come within the five yard line. I took the top ten quarterbacks in passing touchdowns and checked to see how many touchdowns of five yard or less they had. It turns out that out of the 313 TD's thrown by the Top Ten Quarterbacks, 99 of them were five yards or less. This means that 31% of passing scores came in this tight area last season.
For fantasy reasons, it may be important to consider who the top "Really Red Zone" TD passers were. Here is a list of the ten QB's I looked at, the number of TD's they had inside the five, and the percentage of total TD's it was.
Tom Brady 50 Total, 16 IF, 32%
Tony Romo 36 Total, 8IF, 22%
Ben Roethilisberger: 32 Total, 5 IF, 16%
Peyton Manning: 31 Total, 7 IF, 22%
Derek Anderson: 29 Total, 8 IF, 28%
Matt Hasselbeck: 28 Total, 5 IF, 18%
Brett Favre: 28 Total, 10 IF, 36%
Drew Brees: 28 Total, 14 IF, 50%
Kurt Warner: 27 Total, 11 IF, 41%
Carson Palmer: 26 Total, 9 IF, 35%
We have a pretty decent split here...those that make a living throwing TD's on short yardage and those that don't. Drew Brees and the Saints may need to game plan a little differently as a full half of their passing TD's came inside the five. Matt Leinart (Assuming he gets the start over Kurt Warner) and Aaron Rodgers may have difficulties putting up the types of passing numbers that the QB's they are replacing did the season before as they posted 41% and 36% of their TD's inside the five.
On the other hand, I would assume that running backs on some of these teams may see more goal line carries, increasing their value. Reggie Bush/Deuce Mccallister/Pierre Thomas on the Saints, Edgerrin James on the Cardinals, Ryan Grant on the Packers, and Rudi Johnson on the Bengals. If teams find that they are struggling because they cannot throw at the side or back of the end zone, they are going to have to replace those pass attempts with rushes.
Just something to think about.