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My Content
Dec 24 2017, 11:06 AM
Here are some of my thoughts on last week's S5 NSFL Draft.

Coming into the draft, pre-update, Cameron Taylor was third in TPE for rookies. I believe Taylor was somewhere in the 210 TPE range. Far enough behind Bly Jr. and Crush that I definitely wasn't going Top 2. While 210 is an impressive TPE total pre-draft, it just so happens that most teams were pretty set at the Safety position. It also seems to be a far less impactful position during the sim in terms of stats.

I was contacted by all teams with a first round pick and not contacted by the few teams that didn't. Fair enough, most people were telling me I'd go first round, so I wasn't butthurt by SJ or PHI not contacting me. I was in contact shortly with LVL but with that whole debacle, I was unsure of where they were picking or what their priorities were. The teams that did were very awesome to talk to. All were pretty excited, but seemed to keep their cards close to their chests about if they were going to draft me or not. It was really starting to affect my Mockdraft. It seems most of the teams were set at Safety, but they were still interested in me playing CB or even at LB in coverage packages. Now I don't know if it's just customary to ask prospects if they'd agree to a position change, but most of the teams did. I responded each that the team should pay for it if they ask me to do it. Here are my thoughts:

1. If you need a corner, draft a corner. There were tons of awesome corners in this draft. I created a safety. I would like to play as a safety.

2. The position change would need to make sense in a scheme. As a safety, I won't be as big as a linebacker. So asking me to change to a blitzing OLB isn't realistic. I wouldn't want to change my height, and I probably wouldn't change my weight much. I know we are in a simulation league, but I'd prefer a hint of realism. The one change I could imagine is becoming a coverage linebacker in certain 3-4 sets like Deone Buccanon with the Cardinals. Or similar to how Mark Barron plays. Hard hitting coverage backers and don't blitz as much. So it is possible, but it would have to make sense in a scheme.

3. In my mind, if the team asks, the team should shoulder the cost. Especially since rookie contracts are pretty unsubstantial, the cost of a position change could impede progression throughout the season.

So while most of the teams asked similar questions, I did have pretty substantial conversations with the Wraiths, even during the GM turnovers, which was very impressive to me and told me they were committed to drafting me if I was available. During my Pythons locker room chats, Crush had in formed me #1, Bly Jr had to go #2, and Wachter was pretty confident at #3 to BAL. So it seemed like I was going #4. Now the bottom half of the first round was really messing with my mockdraft and it showed. I bombed it. But here are some of my thoughts from the rest of the draft.

1. Crush to the Yeti.
Duh. A++ pick

2. Bly Jr. to the Yeti.
Duh. A+. The Yeti picked up the best 2 players in the draft at impact positions on the field. Watch out for the Yeti, even as close as this year. They will be much improved.

3. Wachter to the Hawks.
Reigning DSFL player of the year and triple crown winner "falls" to number 3. Well, the Hawks offense just got a whole lot better. Wachter is versatile so he could slot in a TE in certain packages, play the slot, or play outside as a deep threat. Incredible pick and value at #3. A+

4. Cameron Taylor to the Wraiths
Right now, I'm behind some very talented safeties, so expect some time at 3rd CB or LB. Still, I'm proud I went 4th. A

5. Dean Jackson to Outlaws
Love the pick. Did their team just get ravaged by multis? Yes. Could they have chosen a CB, LB, DL who could plug a hole? Yes. Was it the best value? Probably not. Are good kickers very important to winning? Yes 100%. It's the year of the kicker. B+

6. Fletcher to the Hawks
I think the best CB in the draft, and he was drafted 6th. Great Value. Some people liked Atwell and Brister more, but Fletcher is a great shut down guy. Look at the DSFL stats in pass deflections and you'll see. A+

7. Sierra to the Otters
Great versatility and pretty good TPE earner. I believe he went DT post-draft which means OCO picked up a pretty high TPE defensive lineman. A little bit of grooming and some TPE boosts during the offseason and Sierra could fill a spot on the line in the near future. B+

8. Atwell to the Otters
Secondary was pretty deep in this years draft, so teams that needed secondary help could definitely get it. Atwell may not earn the most TPE, but is experienced with the league and knows how to get the job done. A standout DSFL corner, hopefully can make a smooth NSFL transition. B+

Other highlights:

9. Tilman to the Yeti
Great pick by the Yeti. Some had Tilman pretty high in the mocks. He's been very active in the past litle bid and has accumulated some great money and TPE gains. The Yeti picked up the best TE, the best CB, and the second best S in the draft. For a Yeti team looking for talent, they got a winner at 9. A+.

10. Brister to the Legion.
He had to go here, but man, having the best statistical CB in the DSFL fall to 10 is great value

14. O'Sullivan to the Legion
The best RB in the DSFL dropping to 14 is a travesty. It may have not been a need for many of the teams, but just having the rights to a DSFL standout in case of retirement or trade is an asset. Even just sitting as a RB2, O'Sullivan could make an impact. I was hoping the Wraiths take O'Sullivan, and when they didn't I was hoping he'd drop to the next round. Great Value. A

20. Urlacher to SJ.
Congrats to SJ for having a draft selection finally.

22. Spinelli to PHI
Congrats to PHI for having a draft selection finally.

It was a great draft, and a fun experience overall. I did want to say thank you to HO and any of the other people on this site that put the effort into the draft process that makes it interesting to keep track of, rather than just receiving a notification that you've been drafted. Everything from the Twitch stream to the live draft board was great to watch this "year". This is a long ass article so I'm going to stop now.

1172 Words. Ready for Grading

Dec 19 2017, 07:51 AM
Hello all. This will probably (I think) be my last Portland Python Review piece. I'll be recapping the DSFL playoffs to the best of my abilities and my memory. This will be a bit different of a analysis because the index didn't update the final playoff game.

Round 1 vs NOR

What a game to open the playoffs with. Now again, I'll mention that I really feel bad for the Sea Wolves. They have now managed to go 0-5 against us this season. And this game wasn't pretty either. 31-0 in the playoffs. Portland pretty much dominated this entire game, as expected to be frank. We had 13 more first downs, converted half of our third downs, and held the Sea Wolves to only 14% third down efficiency. Everything of the Pythons team was firing. The game was already blown out at half time. To add insult to injury, Cameron Taylor (my first self shout out) returned a punt for 79 yards early in the 4th. That was the first special teams touchdown in the entire Portland season. That just goes to show how lucky/well the Pythons were playing this game. Everything was going their way. Portland had more passing yards, rushing yards, and held the ball for five more minutes than the Sea Wolves.

Again, I feel bad for NOR. They were a great team all year, but just couldn't beat us for some reason. Verdict: Sim gods got it right, but didn't need to make it such a blow out.

Finals vs SA

This is the game where I don't really have any stats to go with it, but I'll go off my memory. First of all, I was very worried coming into this game. San Antonio had a great team and was very well run and strategized well. That being said, Portland won both regular season games and was undefeated all season except losing 3 games to Chicago (still don't understand that one). So when the game started and San Antonio jumped out to a huge 2 touchdown lead right away, I was expecting the Portland magical rebirth run to end. San Antonio were pumping the ball on the ground and the Python defence just couldn't keep up. Add in a Vincent Draxel game where he looked like he's be playing a heck of a game, and I was preparing to accept second best in the league. And then, for some reason, the momentum just completely changed. Draxel went back to his usual ways and threw a pick 6, the defence started catching up to the run game, and the offence started doing something relevant. And then before I knew it, the Pythons had a lead, and then that lead got even bigger. So while the game started poorly, down the stretch we consistently played to our strengths and turned the tide. This has been the Python way for most of the season now. We started the season only 3-2, but we continued to play a good defensive system and played to our strengths on offense and it eventually paid off to leading us to the Ultimini trohpy. Still can't believe the season Portland had and could not be more proud of the Front Office and my fellow team mates.

Verdict: Sim got it right. Again, we won the regular season match-ups and we had more dominant players. SA had many more actives early in the season, but late in the season, our few actives were much more impactful that the remaining SA actives.

So here is my last Portland Python Review article. Thanks to those who kept up with them, and thanks to the Media graders who have fueled my TPE gains. I hope to continue writing media for my new team, the Yellowknife Wraiths.

627 Words. Ready for Grading

Dec 2 2017, 12:04 AM
Perusing through the DSFL season stats, I noticed my character Cameron Taylor had 0 interceptions and 0 pass deflections. Am I the worst safety in the league? Or is my build wrong? Or am I lacking in a very important stat? Well, I'm going to look at other safeties to figure out what's going on. I've been told that speed, agility, hands, and intelligence are all important towards getting INTs. Let's see if I'm adequate in those areas.

My build (according to most recent roster): 73 speed, 71 agility, 60 intelligence, 65 hands.
I wish I was faster, but I don't think I'm too deficient anywhere. 0 INTs 0 PDs

League leader in INTs - FS E. Kim (TIJ)
73 speed, 73 agility, 50 intelligence, 55 hands.

League leader in PDs (for safeties) - SS J. Masvidal (SA)
85 speed, 70 agility, 40 intelligence, 55 hands.

Fellow Teammate FS with 4 INTs and 5 PDs - FS Z. Richter (POR)
71 speed, 70 agility, 52 intelligence, 62 hands.

Fellow draft class mate, highest TPE Safety of the draft class, 2 INTs and 2 PDs - SS D. Morris (SA)
79 speed, 70 agility, 73 intelligence, 70 hands.

Well, it turns out that the league leader in INTs has the worst hands, bad intelligence, and is one of the slower players listed. The best rookie safety has 2 picks and 2 deflections. So that goes against the common thought. Now, I'm not denying that running sim after sim, the higher speed, hands, and intelligence will result in more INTs, but as far as this league goes, how do we make sense of this? We are told that certain stats should produce certain results, so why doesn't Morris have the league lead in INTs?

Regarding my build, if I were to compare my build to the other 4, I feel like I should have a better chance at grabbing INTs that the rest except Morris. I have better hands and intelligence and similar speed to the other 3. Yet, Morris and I have the worst INT numbers of the bunch.

The best safety in the DSFL, Morris, only managed to grab 2 INTs and 2 PDs and his coverage stats are out of this world. We see a pretty low TPE player in Richter double Morris's numbers. So what's going on here?

My two theories:
1) Myself and Morris are good at coverage so nobody throws our way, limiting the chance for INTs. We see the lower intelligence guys get picks, but maybe they give up more catches too? I think this may apply to Morris, but I'm not at his level of coverage ability so I'm not sure this is the reason I get no picks. We also see this with really good corners, like Bly Jr. Maybe he's so good at coverage that nobody throws his way and that why he only has 3 INTs, yet he's one of the highest TPE players in the league.
2) Strong Safeties are cursed. It sound ridiculous, but hear me out. The list above, the better INT numbers belong to the FSs. Masvidal being the exception because as a backup SS, he likely lines up at CB once in a while. The top 5 safeties in the league with the most interceptions are all Free Safeties except 1. As a group, the FSs snagged 21 INTs this year. The SSs grabbed only 13. So maybe it's not a matter of build or stats, but how the game uses the safeties differently. If the sim thinks that FSs are more for coverage and SS more for run support, of course the FSs will get more INTs. So my advice to any incoming safeties looking to get some INTs, ask your GM to play you at FS.

In summary, I have no clue how to get more interceptions other than line up at Free Safety. I can't find a trend in TPE allocations to determine that one particular stat will help get more INTs or PDs. Or, it could be that I am indeed the worst sim safety in the league.

677 words. Ready for grading

Dec 1 2017, 05:09 PM
The Portland Pythons finished the second season of the DSFL with an impressive 11-3 record and is the top team heading into the playoffs against their Western conference rival, the Norfolk Seawolves. We’ll recap how the Pythons got to this point starting with season 1.

Season 1
In season 1, the Pythons finished last in the Western conference and tied the Tijuana Luchadores for the worst record in the DSFL. The team was 5th in the league in offense and 4th in the league in defense with Mitch Stars as the starting quarterback. Although he wasn’t the worst quarterback among those who started, he finished the season with 2,807 passing yards, 55.5% completion rate, and 16 touchdowns. The top receiver was Johnathon Shaloiko who finished the season with 84 receptions, 1253 yards, and 4 touchdowns. On defense, they had an amazing linebacker in Noah Goodson and a decent defensive line with Andreas Waiters sacking quarterbacks left and right. Goodson had the 3rd highest tackles in the league that season and Waiters finished with 18 sacks as one of the best defensive players in the DSFL.
So the Pythons weren’t in a terrible spot last season and had some core pieces that laid a good foundation. Goodson would end up going to the big leagues, but fortunately for the Pythons Waiters would come back to play another season.

New Leadership
Anti-Hype went MIA without any notice and RainDelay did his best to hold the team together, but it was difficult to handle it all alone so he decided to step down and find 2 new GMs to take over the Pythons. Enter PDXBaller and Cosbornballboy! PDXBaller was actually from Portland and Cosbornballboy’s been very active in the league since he joined so they were both great candidates for the job despite being new to GMing at the time.

The first thing the GMs of Portland wanted to do was get some new pieces to form an all new offense that would be fun to watch and exciting to play with. They traded quite a bit to get one of the best quarterbacks available in the DSFL…Jameis Christ. Christ was a former NSFL starting quarterback with a proven history of success and Portland wanted him to start over Stars. The next trade was also with San Antonio to get a new running back to start over Jack Stats so they ended up trading him for John Goose. Goose was the second best running back in the DSFL in season 1 and had the most rushing touchdowns that season. The Pythons weren’t done yet! They traded 2 picks in the S6 draft to Tijuana to get Hingle Mcringleberry to strengthen their linebacker group and then made a last minute trade with Chicago to trade offensive lineman Bernard Forthward to get another running back in David Turner.

The Pythons had 5 picks in the S4 DSFL draft after giving up a lot of picks to San Antonio. They drafted John Wachter with the second pick in the draft and this surprised everyone since they didn’t consider John a first round prospect. The GMs wanted Christ to have a strong receiver and John was really active before the draft so he was impressive from the get-go. Carlito Crush somehow ended up in the second round which was another surprise and Portland lucked out in picking him for their starting tight end. These 2 players would become the Python's best receivers.

In the 4th round, the Pythons picked safety Cameron Taylor to give their secondary a boost in defense. Taylor wasn’t widely known at the time and would turn out to be one of the more active players from the later rounds of the draft. For the last 2 picks, Portland picked up 2 cornerbacks in the CB heavy draft pool. These guys would help out in game, but didn’t end up being very active overall.

In the supplemental draft, the GMs wanted to upgrade the offensive line and defensive lines and picked up Otto Von Gerhardt, Francois LeMoreux, Tim Tebow, Crith Coalrange, and Busters Brownce. All of these guys were former NSFL players who were sent down and Portland was happy to have them. Portland also used their top position in the waiver wire to pick up a new player in Norman Bagwell for their starting defensive tackle.

Strategy Change
PDXBaller called this the “Strike First Strike Hard” era and wanted to make it exciting with an air based offense and slow gritty defense. They had the best DSFL quarterback to start the season with and 2 receivers in John and Carlito to make it happen. With an upgraded offensive line, the Pythons would be able to end the season with the best passing offense in the league with the most yards overall. On defense, they ended the regular season with the best defense in points, 3rd in the league for rushing defense and 4th in league for passing defense.

We’ll see how the playoffs go for the Pythons since it will be their first time heading into the post season, but they have home field advantage for the West playoffs and the championship if they make it there.

861 words. Ready for grading.

250k to PDXBaller for helping with research please

Dec 1 2017, 05:02 PM
The Pythons were rolling coming into the final two weeks of the season... and they kept rolling. First, they took on a KC team that under performed all season long, and then headed to Tijuana to take on the hottest team in the DSFL. Both games had their moments, but Portland walked away with two more win and ended the season at 11-3, the best season in DSFL history. The Portland Pythons also gave up the least amount of points and had the second best point differential. Those of you that recall, I started writing these reviews because Portland had such terrible point differentials in the standing to start the season, but we still had a good record. I wrote these articles to prove that the point differentials seen early in the season were anomalies, and not the full story. Stats like time of possession, 3rd down efficiency, and discipline have been better indicators to team success rather than the scoreboard. And for the past season, Portland has put up great time of possession differentials, maintained good 3rd down efficiency, and is a relatively disciplined team. This resulted in the 1--3 record, and the point differential eventually climbed out of the basement to be second best to SA. And with that, on to the game reviews.

Week 13 - vs KCC

Early in the season, the Bly Jr. vs Wachter match up was supposed to be the highlight of the week. This far deep in the season, with POR locked into 1st, and KCC grasping at straws to sneak into 2nd in the East, both teams have other things to do than to focus on the Bly Jr. vs Wachter match up. Now during the sim, we only see completions and from what I watched (either from good game planning, or part of the sim logic) Bly Jr. and Wachter were rarely matched up to begin with. Now there were two big trends I noticed while watching. Both teams had very good 3rd down efficiency, POR 7/15 and KC 6/15, but POR put together longer drives and used those 3rd downs to their advantage to put together scores. KCC had a first down here and there but didn't put together many huge drives. Side note, KCC did have the ball on the POR 19 with 47 seconds left and went 4 and out to end the game. Could have been a much different outcome. The other factor I noticed in the game stats is the amount of penalties that KC took. In the game earlier in the season, KC took 8 penalties for 67 yards while POR took 3 penalties for 35. This game, took 10 penalties for 92 yards while POR took 3 for 25 yards. KC handed us almost a full length of field for free. KC played a great game, just too many mistakes. Verdict: Sim gods got it right.

Week 14 - @TIJ

I cannot believe we won. TIJ was smoking hot heading into week 14 being 7-1 in their last 8. On the road, POR had their work cut out for them. But surprise surprise, POR came to play. We had a +5 possession time differential and a crazy 58.3% 3rd down efficiency. That was the type of game POR needed to cool off the Luchadores. While the passing game performed well, with Wachter finally managing to get some TD catches, it was the run game that kept the ball in our hands. To repeat myself from last week, the POR run game has been disrespected all season. These last 4 weeks have proven to the league the POR is not a pass only team. We are an offensive powerhouse. Combined, the RB Goose and Turner had 143 yards and 2 TDs. Very impressive for a "one-dimensional" offense. On the other side of the ball, Spinelli torched us for 93 yards and 2 TDs, but the pass defence was pretty good for the Pythons. Brown was held to 41% completion percentage and 112 yards for the game. A pretty successful game for the Pythons all around. Verdict: Sim gods got it right

Thanks for reading all season. Can't wait for the next.

697 words. Ready for grading

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