Thursday, March 8, 2012

3 comments Bleacher Report Is Now Including Other Site's Original Content on Their Slideshows

I have started a Fantasy Baseball league and Fantasy NCAA Tournament Bracket in Yahoo if anyone cares to join. The league ID is 76959 and password is "eckstein" for the Fantasy Baseball league and the league ID is 5876 and password is "eckstein" for the NCAA Tourney bracket. We have about three spots left in the Fantasy Baseball league and feel free to give feedback on the set up of the league if you would like.

What do you think when you hear there is list of the 50 most overrated players in the NFL circulating among the Interwebs? You would probably think this has to be a Bleacher Report production and you would be absolutely correct. Today, we are all lucky that we are going to discover the 50 most overrated players in the NFL right now. Actually, the author found 33 overrated players and then stole (sorry, "borrowed") 17 of the players from a list NFL players made earlier this year for The Sporting News. Don't worry, it will be seem even more egregious in a minute when the author explains it since uses the word "we" to describe The Sporting News poll.

My biggest issue is many people link other people's articles and content on a site for others to read, but where is the line for this. I link other people's articles all the time and for every post. I present another site (or person's) work as a way to discuss/refute what is being said. Without the original content, the reader would be very lost as to what I was complaining about. The issue for me is at what point does citing the content allow you to include your own original content along with the content from the other site? Can these two be mixed into one list? I don't think it is unethical or anything like that, but is it right to create a (supposedly) original list of 50 overrated NFL players and include 17 players based on information gathered from another site? Isn't that cheating the idea of creating original content by piggybacking another site's work, even if you do provide some commentary? What makes it worse is the author who wrote this Bleacher Report article states he doesn't agree with some of the 17 overrated players chosen by NFL players. So he potentially disagrees with a third of the original content he is creating for his slideshow.

I think if you are a site like Bleacher Report and an article about the 50 most overrated NFL players is being written, you owe it to your readers for 100% of that to be original content and not have 33% of the content in your slideshow be from another site. I don't think there is an issue in taking original content from another site and posting it as a part of a larger discussion (for example, if I included another person's criticism in with my criticism of an article), as long as the original content is part of the larger discussion and isn't intended to BE the discussion (for example, if I included another person's criticism of an article as my critique of an article). At the very least, including 17 slides (out of 50) from a poll The Sporting News did is lazy.

Who would be on your list of the top 10 of the most overrated players in the NFL today? If you are struggling to come up with 10 names, maybe you need to think about the question in a different way.

Or perhaps I just need to extend my list to 50 players in order to increase my pageviews. Yeah, I'll do that.

What if we asked who are the first 10 NFL players who come to your mind, the ones who receive far more publicity than their play on the field merits? Is it easier to come up with 10 names from that perspective? What if we plugged in the term "over-hyped"? Are the names coming easier now?

No, they are absolutely not coming easier now because being overhyped isn't the same thing as being overrated. They are two completely different things. LeBron James is overhyped, but he isn't overrated. Bleacher Report needs to hold a meeting very soon to explain their writers have to stick to the dictionary meaning of words. Overhyped and overrated are not the same thing. This seems to be a continuous problem in Bleacher Report articles I have read.

NFL players who make more money than their play warrants is another way to identify overrated players.

Nope. These players are overpaid. Again, this is different from being overrated.

Another way to think about this topic is, if you see an NFL story on a player and as soon as you either see the player on the screen or hear his name, and your first reaction is that you want to change the channel, there is a very good chance that you have identified a player who is overrated.

No, you haven't (Bengoodfella pulls all of his hair out), you have found a player who is overhyped or perhaps you have found a player you just don't like hearing about from the media. Jeremy Lin is a player like this for me. The fact I don't want to hear about Jeremy Lin doesn't mean he is overrated.

An overrated player is a player whose reputation and standing in the minds of many exceeds his actual output on the field. At least that's my definition.

We were asked not to just come up with 10 names, but rather the top 50 NFL players who are the most overrated in the NFL today.

Who is "we?" Do you have a squirrel in your pocket or something? This column only has one author from what I can see.

To help me out with this assignment—which is sure to make fans of the individual players who are named to this list jump up and defend their player—I am going to turn to some NFL players for help.

What he means by this is he is going to attempt to set a new low for Bleacher Report. He is going to use data that a real sports media entity (The Sporting News) gathered, link an article from about this data, and then incorporate this data into his list of the 50 most overrated NFL players. Basically, he is going to attempt to pretend Bleacher Report partnered with The Sporting News to gather this data. That's why he uses the word "we" a few times. I can't think of another reason the plural "we" would be used in an article with one author.

Of course this act immediately passed the smell test of the Bleacher Report editor (assuming they exist). There may be nothing wrong with using data someone else gathered as long as you provide a link to the data, incorporate this data into your article, and then use the word "we" to repeatedly to make it seem like you personally had something to do with the gathering of this data. What's wrong with this? Maybe nothing. At the very least it is incredibly lazy to use 17 of your 50 slides based on data someone else collected. This is data that isn't even your own opinion included in a slideshow that is supposed to be an opinion-based slideshow.

We located a collective group of 111 NFL players from 31 NFL teams that agreed to participate in a poll by the Sporting News, to identify the NFL's most-overrated player.

"We." Who the hell is "we?" Were you or Bleacher Report part of the study? If not, then there isn't a "we" and you are merely taking someone else's work, including it in your slideshow as part of your opinion and indicating you were a part of the study when this isn't true.

If you feel the need to question their opinion, then I would have to wonder who else is in a better position to appreciate who the most overrated players are than fellow NFL players?

Apparently you are in a better position to judge who the most overrated players are, since 33 of these 50 players are players you chose for your own list.

Also notice how the author vouches for the ability of NFL players to accurately choose which NFL players are overrated and which aren't, but then the author disagrees with the NFL players' assessment of whether a few of these players are overrated or not. I'm not even sure why the results from The Sporting News poll are thrown into the slideshow, especially considering the author doesn't agree with some of the results of the players poll.

These players voted, and their votes are good enough for me to qualify their choices for the final 17 names on the list.

Since "we" gathered the data you may as well use the data "we" gathered, no?

As for the other 33 names, I came up with those, not because I have any personal issue with these players, but because that is my job.

Yes, you and The Sporting News. It's your job.

Get your Viewmaster ready and let's start the slideshow!

Bob Sanders

Ever since Bob Sanders joined the NFL in 2004, he has never played in all 16 games in the regular season. Not once. In fact, from 2004-present, he has only appeared in at least seven games in any year just twice in his entire career.

So he has been injured a lot. This doesn't make him overrated. This makes him oft-injured.

Sanders was named the NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2007, and even since then he has been trying to live up to that reputation, failing miserably to do so due to his inability to stay healthy.

Thanks for proving Sanders isn't overrated and contradicting your own opinion. So Bob Sanders is one of the best defensive players in the NFL when he is healthy, but he's never healthy. Therefore Sanders isn't overrated because he is what we believe him to be when he is healthy.

Because he was the Defensive player of the year, that would imply a certain level of toughness.

Outrageous. So Bob Sanders is injured every year because he isn't tough enough? And Sanders should be tougher because he is a great defensive player when healthy? So Sanders' implied non-toughness makes him overrated.

Matt Leinart

He seems to be content to exist as a backup quarterback, as if he is resigned to the assessment that his days as a starting NFL quarterback have passed him by.

I don't know if anyone rates Matt Leinart that high anymore. He is a backup quarterback at this point. I don't know of anyone who thinks differently.

The Houston Texans gave Leinart a great chance to be in the spotlight in 2011, but he couldn't even last one game as the starter after Matt Schaub went down for the year.

What a misleading sentence. The reason Leinart couldn't even last one game as the starter for the Texans had nothing to do with his performance, but he didn't last the entire game because he broke his collarbone. Of course, based on the author's comments about Bob Sanders, I am sure he believes Matt Leinart should have just played through this injury.

Nate Clements

Clements had 12 passes that he broke up in 2011, which was tied for the Bengals lead. While on one hand you might look at that and think that it was a good thing, the reality was that Clements skills have been starting to fade in pass coverage, so more teams are now throwing his way to pick on him.

I am not arguing one way or another for Nate Clements, but wanted to show how the author uses passes defensed as a negative statistic for why Clement is overrated. Again, I will agree with passes defensed not always being a sign of how good a cornerback actually is. I want to compare his use of passes defensed in this situation and with the next player on the list.

A.J. Hawk

In the 2011 season, Hawk's production dropped in most key categories. He played in 14 games in 2011, and his tackles dropped from 111 to 84.

A.J. Hawk had a terrible 2011 season. I don't know if he is overrated or not though. He only had one bad year and has been pretty solid prior to 2011.

He defended 10 passes in 2010—that number dropped to three in 2011.

But wouldn't this be a good thing? Also, are we really using passes defensed for a linebacker in a 3-4 defense?

Fine though, we can use passes defensed. If we are going to use passes defensed as proof a cornerback isn't very good in coverage because teams throw at him a lot, wouldn't it also make sense to say a drop in passes defensed means a linebacker covered well and teams didn't throw at him as much? You can't just flip-flop when you want passes defensed to be a positive and negative statistic based on the point you are trying to prove. If you use an increase in passes defensed as a negative, then you can't use a decrease in passes defensed as a negative because it fits what you are trying to prove.

He came up with three interceptions in 2010, and had none in 2011.

Again, interceptions can be a result of a quarterback throwing in the direction of a defensive player. A decrease in interceptions doesn't mean a player didn't play as well in a given year, it can mean a player didn't have as many passes thrown in his direction.

Michael Crabtree

It is the Crabtree Curse!

If you are a top 10 draft pick, there is a certain level of production that is expected from you.

Granted, Crabtree's production has been on the rise every year since he turned pro. The third year is the year you are supposed to break out, and it is true that this past year was the best year of his career.

"While it is true Crabtree has improved every year he has been in the NFL and this was the first year he had consistently quality quarterback play, let's not let this get away from the fact I want to believe Michael Crabtree is overrated."

But when the San Francisco 49ers were in the national spotlight, playing the New York Giants for the NFC Championship game, Crabtree basically disappeared, as he only caught one pass for three yards in the entire game.

Why use a larger sample size of 14 games to judge Crabtree when you can use one game where he didn't play well to help prove your point? Use whatever sample size helps to prove your point. It's about convincing us you are right, not about whether the facts support your contention or not.

Also, Crabtree is only 24 years old and has improved every year in the NFL. I think this is important to know. He needs to step it up this year, I will agree with that, but I don't know if he is overrated.

Crabtree has had the opportunity to work with his quarterback, Alex Smith, for three straight years. By now you would think that their chemistry was such that they would be able to connect more than one pass play in a crucial game.

This is the first year Alex Smith has started 16 games for the 49ers with Crabtree on the roster. They haven't been able to work on their chemistry because they haven't been on the field together for three straight years.

Hines Ward

Hines Ward isn't overrated. He is 35 years old and not able to play at a high level anymore.

As emotionally attached as Steelers fans appear to be to having Ward remain with the team, the only way that I can see that happening is if another team signs away Mike Wallace in free agency.

I don't believe Hines Ward is the backup plan for Mike Wallace's potential free agency departure. I would hope the Steelers are deciding Ward's fate independent of Wallace's contract situation.

That would create a roster opening, and free up money for Ward.

But who would Steelers fans rather have in the lineup, Wallace or Ward? Case closed.

No, case re-opened. Hines Ward is old and no longer useful to the Steelers. Ward isn't overrated based simply on the fact the Steelers would rather keep a 25 year old Pro Bowl receiver on the roster over him. The case for a 35 year old Hines Ward to be overrated is based on the fact the Steelers would rather keep a 25 year old Pro Bowl receiver over him. That's not a very convincing case for Ward being overrated. Though I do have to respect the confusing logic behind using Wallace's value to the Steelers to call Hines Ward overrated, while ignoring the 10 year gap in age between them.

Michael Turner

Turner had a 4.5 ypc average, 11 touchdowns and 1300 yards last year. He isn't considered a premier running back, but is considered to be very good. I think those numbers back this contention up.

But when I conducted research on players who were overrated in the NFL, I was rather surprised to see how often Turner's name popped up.

Quick conducting research on players who are overrated in the NFL actually doing research or simply finding out which players other people think are overrated so you can include them on your list also? I'm just wondering since whether a player is overrated or not is purely an opinion. If you are doing research on other people's opinion, doesn't this mean you are not using your own opinion and are merely using a consensus of what others think and passing it off as your own opinion? I can see doing research as to why a player you believe is overrated actually is overrated, but I'm not sure about "researching" other people's opinion to come to a conclusion about a player.

From an article by, Turner is thought to look sluggish and came up with too many rushes that resulted in negative plays.

If you take a look at that overrated list by Walter Football, you will see quite a few of those players end up on this Bleacher Report list of overrated players. This again goes back to my question of whether this is good research on if a player is overrated or simply a matter of one writer parroting what another writer has written?

If you look at forums for Falcons fans, you will see a number of complaints that Turner's stats are misleading because he has many one- and two-yard runs, and then he will break off a 20-yarder. The stats don't tell the whole story.

You could say the exact same thing about Barry Sanders. He lost yardage all the time on runs and then would break a long one. Was he overrated?

It is very conceivable that he has taken enough of a pounding over the years that his legs and body are starting to wear out and that he has lost at least a step, if not more.

So the fact he will wear down as he gets older, just like most running backs tend to do, makes him overrated right now?

Miles Austin

Austin's receiving yards have dropped from 1,320 to 1,041 to 579 in the last three years.

Of course Miles Austin only played in 10 games last year due to injury. If he has an overrated quarterback throwing the ball to him (whoops, spoiler alert), then can we consider him overrated? At what point does Romo's overratedness affect the perception of Miles Austin? If Tony Romo is overrated then wouldn't that make Austin look overrated as well? That's the problem with naming two players who rely on each other as both being overrated. It is possible one player's performance has an impact on another player's performance.

If you look at the numbers Austin would have had 926 yards receiving on 68 catches in 2011 if he had played in all 16 games. Those statistics are below his 2010 numbers, but it is also reasonable to think Austin's performance was affected by his injuries.

Is it possible that Austin has peaked already by the age of 27?

It is possible. It is also possible he isn't a superstar, but a receiver who catches 60 passes for 1000 yards and 7 touchdowns on a yearly basis. I'm not sure his contract of 6 years at $54 million with $18 million guaranteed makes him overrated if he keeps putting up these type of statistics.

Jermichael Finley

Now that the contract is done, Finley can go out and start focusing on catching the football again. In 2011, Finley had nine drops in 13 games, according to this article from the Journal Sentinel.

If the drops continue in 2012, Aaron Rodgers will not have any trouble looking for his other targets. As Finley's level of compensation goes up, so does the expectation that the drops will be a thing of the past.

That's it. That's all the reasoning we get that Finley is overrated. He had trouble with drops this past season, so this makes him overrated. Finley isn't considered to be one of the best tight ends in the NFL and his statistics reflect he is really good, but not great.

DeSean Jackson

Jackson has been impacted due to several concussions and he prefers not to run routes over the middle that could lead to some devastating hits.

The author basically parrots the opinion from the Walter Football overrated list that was linked earlier...

But here's the thing - they shouldn't have been so afraid. Jackson's bark is way worse than his bite; after suffering concussions last year and taking a vicious hit against the Texans in an early December battle, Jackson apparently decided that he would run nothing but go routes.

Then comes this comment...

Not only that, but he has too many drops to be relied on, and then when you factor in his attitude,

From Walter Football...

If that's not enough, Jackson's frequent drops and poor attitude make him undesirable in my book.

Obviously the author didn't copy this directly and he does make a point or two that are sort of different from Walter Football's opinion. We do know he used Walter Football for his research, so it is a bit suspicious. Still, this is a list of 50 overrated NFL players where 17 of the players are taken from a list already formed and some of the other overrated players seem to be taken from other lists that were researched by the author.

Dez Bryant

So we have Dez Bryant as being overrated, Tony Romo as being overrated, and Miles Austin as being overrated. A smart person might think it is impossible for all three players to be overrated and would understand how one player's performance could possibly be linked to another player's performance. So is the entire passing game of the Cowboys overrated?

What is of more importance to us is how his production numbers will either improve or decline in 2012. So far, there have been enough concerns posted about Bryant that make us wonder how high the ceiling will truly be for him.

He's been in the NFL for two years, is 23 years old and posted 63 catches for 928 yards and nine touchdowns this past season. I can't see how he is overrated.

James Harrison

I am not necessarily arguing against Harrison being overrated, just arguing against the reasoning.

In 2011, Harrison didn't have a single interception, defended pass or fumble recovery.

So we are judging 3-4 linebackers on how many interceptions, passes defensed and fumbles they recover? I've already described the issue with using passes defensed. The statistic is being used in a positive way or a negative way, depending on which way this author chooses to use it.

Harrison has 18 career passes defensed, with a season high of 5. He's probably lost a step in coverage, but he hasn't always racked up the passes defensed and 0 passes defensed isn't necessarily bad. It could be good. It could mean quarterbacks didn't throw in his direction while he was in coverage. It could mean Harrison didn't drop back in coverage as much in 2011 as he did in previous years.

Harrison has seven career fumbles recovered, so what if he didn't recover one in 2011? This is a weird statistic to use. Why not use forced fumbles?

Harrison has five career interceptions and plays linebacker. He only had one interception in 2008 when he was named Defensive Player of the Year, so it isn't like this is the statistic that can easily tell us if he is overrated or not.

Note: The final 17 slides include the most overrated players as voted on by their peers in the Sporting News poll.

Oh yes, the slides that "we" came up with. The author states in the comments that he doesn't necessarily agree with these 17 choices, which doesn't explain why the hell he put them on his list if he doesn't agree with them.

These players are the ones who got multiple votes and eight of them got 2 votes, which doesn't seem like a whole lot of votes to call a player overrated. It does make me wonder what the players are thinking for some of these players. Here are the players who received multiple votes as being overrated which I disagree with...

Darrelle Revis
Eli Manning
Maurice Jones-Drew
Tom Brady

Then Tim Tebow was named the most overrated player in the NFL. This survey was taken among NFL players halfway through this past season, which could explain why Eli Manning was on the list.

Either way, I don't get why a third of the slideshow consists of players the author didn't even have a hand in choosing, including some of whom he disagrees with in terms of being considered overrated.


rich said...

That is absolutely embarrassing, then again, it's bleacher report which is really all you need to say about that.

Michael Turner

If you can't stretch the defense with your passing game, of course your running game is going to suffer. With Matt Ryan as the QB, the Falcons can't stretch the field because of captain checkdown there.

Like you said, Ben, he's not elite, but he's certainly a very capable back.

Turner is thought to look sluggish and came up with too many rushes that resulted in negative plays.

If a running play goes for negative yards, it's not indicative of a bad running back, it's indicative of your line being dominated. If you can't get your running back enough time/space to even get out of the backfield, then not even Bo could save your team.

Austin's receiving yards have dropped from 1,320 to 1,041 to 579 in the last three years.

Three years ago it was him and Roy Williams, so he got a lot of targets.

Two years ago, Dez was a rookie and so Romo had to get Dez, Whitten and Austin the ball, so naturally his yards are going to go down.

This year, he was hurt and the emergence of Laurent Robinson meant that there were now four guys Romo could go to.

So basically, he went from one of two receiving options on the team, to one of three to one of four, got hurt and this doofus is shocked his numbers went down?

Jermichael Finley

The drops are a huge issue with Finley, but overrated? He had 55 catches for almost 800 yards... on a team loaded with receivers.

If Finley is overrated than Vernon Davis is too (and he's not).

The author basically parrots the opinion from the Walter Football overrated list that was linked earlier...

Which is stupid because if you need to steal someone else's thoughts on why Jackson is overrated you clearly haven't watched him play.

He doesn't run routes over the middle anymore and honestly, for him that makes sense. Vick, for all of his improvements, often throws passes that will get his receivers killed. When Jackson and Maclin have had three concussions (all on plays over the middle) a lot of that goes on your QB (and Dunta Robinson for being such a piece of shit).

So far, there have been enough concerns posted about Bryant that make us wonder how high the ceiling will truly be for him.

Make "us" wonder? Anyone who watches this guy play see that he's a number 1 receiver. He and Nicks are going go give defenses fits for the next decade.

I also have to comment on one other person on the list:

Brandon Jacobs.

Brandon Jacobs cannot be overrated because he sucks and everyone knows this. He's a decent change of pace back when Bradshaw is healthy and he realizes his role is to just run into people.

Is there anyone else who thinks Jacobs is worth anything? I mean, he's had to take paycuts last year and this year just to ensure the Giants didn't cut him.

I also enjoyed how the guy puts Heyward-Bay, Crabtree, Bryant and a bunch of other really young guys on the list because they were drafted high and didn't include Mark Sanchez.

Pedro's Rooster said...

Please be careful.

It's bad enough that you risk your mental health with long-term exposure to bad sports writing, but dissecting the Bleacher Report?

Dude, that's like eating mercury and peyote sandwiches.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, it's very embarrassing. The idea a running back is overrated because he has a lot of running plays go for negative yardage is false. It can be indicator of a poor passing game, bad offensive line play or perhaps the running back just takes a lot of negative losses, but supplements them with large gains. Turner doesn't exactly have escapability, so if his O-line doesn't block, he's screwed.

What's funny is the writer thinks Dez Bryant is overrated too. So Austin is overrated because Bryant caught some of the passes that went to him and Bryant is overrated just because he is overrated. Yeah, Bryant is going to be a good player. He has to be given more than a couple of years to play well. This year was his first real chance and I think he responded really well.

Jacobs is what he is. If you have the misconception that Jacobs is a franchise back, then yes, he is overrated. If you know his role on the Giants, then he is what he is and isn't overrated.

I'm not sure how Mark Sanchez didn't end up on the list. What's interesting is DHB finally started to play at a higher level this year. Sanchez should probably be on the list.

Pedro, it is a dangerous life I choose to lead. The fact he inserted information from another site and said "we" came up with the information absolutely killed me. How can you do that?