For Vikings, Ponder not the answer

christian ponder

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The Minnesota Vikings have been a fairly surprising team to this point in the season. Even after getting RGIII’d yesterday in the Nation’s Capital, the Vikings are 4-2 and just half a game behind the Chicago Bears for first place in the NFC North.

The reason for the team’s surprising start, other than a weak early schedule, can be attributed to the offense finally using Percy Harvin as much as possible, but a lot of local fans and NFL analysts have been giving a lot of credit to Christian Ponder. If you look at Ponder’s traditional stats (completion percentage, TD:INT ratio, yards, QB rating) he’s having a good season. He’s posted a completion percentage just under 69 percent thus far, has thrown 8 TD and 4 INT, and he’s on pace to throw for more than 3,500 yards. His QB rating is a very respectable 92.8.

However, those stats are extremely misleading. Stats are very useful, but only if you know what stats to look for. All stats are is a number representing a VERY SPECIFIC part of the football game. What helps Ponder’s completion percentage? Is he throwing the ball downfield less than other quarterbacks? Some fans will INSIST they can determine these things over the course of the season by just watching the team play; these fans are wrong. They might have an idea that Ponder’s arm strength isn’t great; but looking at statistics and how he’s performed will give a better idea on Ponder’s arm than simply watching every game. Nothing is more correct than the stats; as long as we understand that each stat only tells a small part of the story. You need to combine the right statistical analysis to get a real picture of how a player is performing. Read more…

Fantasy Football Week 6: Waiver Wire Pickups

Joel Dreesen-TE-Broncos Back in August before the regular season began, we touted Dreesen, just 7% owned in leagues, as one of the tight ends to consider drafting should the top six be off the board. Had you drafted him you would have noticed (now that we’ve finished over 30% of the season), that other TE’s such as  88% owned Jason Witten, 60% owned Jacob Tamme, and 96% owned Jermichael Finley ALL have less fantasy points than Dreesen. We’re not suggesting that at the end of the year Dreesen will be a better TE than Finley-what we’re saying is to at least take a flier out on him if you’re satisfied with who you own and watch how he does over the next game or two. He seems to be one of Matt Schaub’s  favorite red zone targets as he now has as many touchdowns as the three other TEs we mentioned… combined!

Christian Ponder-QB-Vikings- We selected Ponder as a waiver wire pickup several weeks ago and yet he is still widely available. If not a permanent part of your roster, at the very least you might consider him someone you can’stream’or fill in when your starting QB is on a bye week. Ponder is owned in just 30% of most leagues and has the same fantasy points as the 72% owned Jay Cutler who, by the way, is on a bye this week. 99% owned Matthew Stafford, who was on a bye last week, has half the touchdowns and twice as many INT’s as Ponder. (Just something to think about). Need some more convincing? Ponder has 77 rushing yards and a TD, has only thrown 2 picks in his first five games this season, and surprisingly enough, he’s on a team that’s 4-1. Just saying.. Read more…