Underrated/Overrated: Davis name carrying more value than game
Can you believe the season is almost half over? Can you remember when we were all worried that there might not even be a season at all? Frankly, I don't know what I would have done with my Sundays, other than watch
We'll start off out West, where Vernon Davis has under-delivered and then move East, making stops in Indianapolis before finishing off under the bright lights of New York City. We'll pick it up again over some barbecue in Nashville, even more barbecue in Houston, before sleeping off all of that delicious, delicious grub under the desert skies of Phoenix.
Garcon is the prototypical big-play guy, which is a nice way of saying that he's an inconsistent and frustrating mess. He has only caught 53 percent of passes thrown his way -- a pair of bricks for hands does not help -- and while he may be Curtis Painter's new favorite target, that's sort of like saying he's the star of a sitcom on the WB. Bottom line, he's averaging less than four points/game in the past month, and the Colts offense doesn't look like it's going to be even remotely competent anytime soon. Consider the drop.
Like Garcon, Davis has struggled as of late, despite the emergence of Michael "Holdout" Crabtree as a viable secondary option to draw coverage away from the seam. In his last three games, he is averaging less than two points, atrocious even for the lax standards of tight ends. Sure, he has an impressive 82 percent catch rate, but Alex Smith has only targeted Davis 38 times this year. That may be why his TE counterpart on the 49ers, Delanie Walker, is actually twice as efficient as Davis on a per reception basis. Sell the name while you can.
LaDainian Tomlinson pulled a Winona Ryder this week, stealing a TD from Shonn Greene in the surprisingly one-sided affaire du Bills. Let's be charitable and simply say that Greene's owners were not pleased. Greene has yet to break 16 points in any single week and has scored less than four points on two separate occasions. Both Greene and Tomlinson have similar (read: poor) rushing efficiencies, but Tomlinson has added tremendous value through his receiving game. Don't be surprised if Tomlinson continues to steal touches from Greene, and don't be surprised if Greene owners subsequently panic like they're holding shares of Groupon.
The Titans have flown somewhat under the radar, mostly because everyone assumed that Methuselah Hasselback could no longer play QB effectively. Everyone knows Chris Johnson has been underwhelming this year, so by process of elimination, the Titans must be doing at least one thing correctly -- passing the ball. Hasselbeck ranks 13th among QBs in
Tate is still playing behind Arian Foster, but he's getting significant action as the Texans implement a highly appropriate and alliterative two-step approach to rushing. They're mixing him in for good reason: Tate ranks fourth in the league in efficiency added at the running back position, adding almost eight points to the Texans' offense on his carries. While it's clearly not an apples to oranges comparison, it's also worth nothing that Tate has 109 carries and is averaging 5.7 yards a carry, a full 1.4 yards per carry more than Foster. Digging even deeper -- like an oil well in the heart of the Texas basin -- in every game that Tate has gotten at least 12 touches, he has broken 80 rushing yards. Compare his 47 percent run success rate to Arian Foster's 40 percent and you've got a running back poised for success. Just don't forget where you first heard it, OK?
Like Hasselbeck, Doucet has been consistent but that consistency is not going to fly off the stat sheet. The clear No. 2 guy in Arizona, Doucet has scored less than four points only once and scored eight-plus in the majority of his games. His 54 targets is well ahead of the No. 3 option in Arizona. It's also notable that Doucet has the highest catch rate among Arizona receivers at 63 percent. Now if he could only convince Kurt Warner to come out of retirement.