Monthly Archives: June 2015

Offseason Low Down: AFC Team-by-Team OTA Notes

Written by : Posted on June 30, 2015 : No Comments

The notes below pertain to all 16 AFC teams. For the NFC notes, click here.

BALTIMORE
First-round WR Breshad Perriman was not handed a starting job at OTAs, running behind sneaky talent Kamar Aiken and showing some of the inconsistent hands we saw at Central Florida. Perriman remains a strong bet to win the No. 2 job and a reasonable bet to capitalize on the opportunity left behind by Torrey Smith, but I prefer guys like Allen Robinson, Charles Johnson and Zach Ertz in Rounds 7-9. … Dennis Pitta (hip) did not participate in spring workouts. If the Ravens get anything from him at all this season, it will be a bonus. … Maxx Williams admitted to swimming in the playbook a bit. Rookie right ends are never on my radar in fantasy. … The Ravens confirmed RB checkdowns will be a bigger part of the scheme under new OC Marc Trestman. Justin Forsett’s PPR arrow is pointing up and Buck Allen is a deep-league PPR flier. … Hard to buy coach John Harbaugh’s claim the team would like to reduce Steve Smith’s snaps. They don’t have any other reliable options for Joe Flacco.

BUFFALO
The quarterback battle was predictably ugly, with Matt Cassel faceplanting badly. It looks like E.J. Manuel will head to camp with his nose slightly in front of both Cassel and Tyrod Taylor. Yikes. I’m most intrigued by Taylor thanks to his running ability, and it sounds like Rex Ryan may be as well. … Sammy Watkins (hip) did a little 11-on-11 work and should be ready for training camp. But he’s still in a Rex offense with a zero at quarterback. Even as Watkins’ ADP tumbles, I’m passing. … Fumbling sideline-magnet Bryce Brown will need a big camp to keep his job ahead of Anthony Dixon. Even franchise favorite Fred Jackson isn’t guaranteed a spot at the crowded running back position. … The Bills haven’t been shy about their desire for LeSean McCoy to push for the league-lead in carries. Effectiveness behind a poor offensive line and reception volume are question marks, but volume is not.

CINCINNATI
Welcome back, Marvin Jones. Finally fully healthy off foot/ankle injuries, the playmaking Jones is penciled in opposite A.J. Green. Available in the Round 11-14 range, he’ll be one of my favorite fliers. … Tyler Eifert (elbow) is also back and “caught virtually everything thrown his way” during spring practices. A talented pass-catcher who will have a big role now that Jermaine Gresham is gone, Eifert is firmly on the TE2 radar. … A.J. Green may slip in your draft because his 2014 numbers were not that impressive. Realize those numbers were heavily impacted by injury. Green led the entire NFL in yards per route run last year (2.96) and is a steal in the mid- or late-second round. … 2014 fifth-rounder A.J. McCarron showed up big in the spring, leading to some whispers he could push Andy Dalton at camp. I doubt that, but the win-now Bengals should have Dalton on a short leash this season – especially now that he has all his weapons back healthy. No excuses.  

CLEVELAND
The star of Browns OTAs was rookie RB Duke Johnson, who outplayed incumbents Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. It’s not a surprise, as speedy space backs always excel at padded practices. Johnson’s skyrocketing ADP is not something I’m on board with as he could max out in a Gio Bernard kind of role. …. Isaiah Crowell opened the offseason as the starter and is in the lead for the early-down portion of this mix-and-match/hot-hand committee. I’d rather take a shot on the Crow over Johnson considering both are available in Round 7 or so. … The good news is Johnny Manziel hasn’t had any serious off-field incidents since getting out of rehab. The bad news is he continued to struggle on the field and enters training camp firmly behind 36-year-old journeyman Josh McCown. … Buried in Bruce Arians’ TE-unfriendly scheme with the Cardinals, pass-catching Rob Housler is locked as the first-teamer for the Browns. He’s a good bet for 50-60 catches as an “ideal” flex tight end (Mike Pettine’s words).  

Editor’s Note: The Rotoworld Football team is finally getting in the podcast game. Follow @FanDuelNFLPod and read here for more information.

DENVER
Cody Latimer didn’t know the plays as a rookie last season. This year, he was at Duke for the Peyton workouts and is penned in as the No. 3 wideout. I’d be higher on him if the Broncos weren’t shifting to a balanced offense under a new head coach that prefers to run lots of two-TE sets (Virgil Green and Owen Daniels). … I actually believe the Peyton Manning pay cut/trade rumors. Look at his tape over the final six games of last year and tell me if you wouldn’t take a couple first-round picks for him. That horrid play was all a result of the quad injury? Are you sure? Expect Manning’s attempts to dip sharply as Gary Kubiak emphasizes the run game. … A slimmed-down C.J. Anderson held the first-strong RB job throughout the spring, as expected. Don’t expect Montee Ball to muster any real threat in August – CJA’s one-cut style and pass-game ability fits perfectly. … Even Emmanuel Sanders thinks his statistics to take a hit this season thanks to the scheme change. I’m not chasing last year’s stats. More from Manny on that here.  

HOUSTON
Rookie WR Jaelen Strong missed a lot of time due to a hamstring injury, leaving the coaching staff to talk up Nate Washington. It’ll be an underwhelming three-man competition between Strong, Washington and Cecil Shorts for the right to complement rising stud DeAndre Hopkins. … Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett split first-team reps during the spring. Beat writers came away more impressed with Hoyer, but this is a competition that won’t be decided until mid-August at the earliest. Volume should mitigate the QB troubles Hopkins is sure to deal with. … Arian Foster enjoyed one of the healthiest offseasons of his career, participating fully in the program. The Texans are going to ride him at least as hard as they did last year, when he averaged 22.9 touches per game.

INDIANAPOLIS
First-round WR Phillip Dorsett spent time at multiple positions during practices. He’s a sneaky bet to see the field more than some expect in Year 1, at the expense of Donte Moncrief and quite possibly Coby Fleener. … Another rookie to keep an eye on is sixth-round RB Josh Robinson. He could easily beat out Boom Herron and Vick Ballard for the right to back up 32-year-old Frank Gore. Ballard (Achilles’) remains a PUP candidate. … Andre Johnson and Gore did not take any veteran time this spring. They appear poised to hit the ground running right away in their new surroundings. … Johnson was singled out for his early chemistry with Andrew Luck. Remember that Reggie Wayne had a 106-1,355-5 line at age 33 while playing the possession receiver role for Luck in 2012.

JACKSONVILLE
Allen Robinson was the most hyped player in the NFL this spring. Beat writers wouldn’t stop raving about the way the second-year WR dominated practices, calling him “unbelievable” and a “star.” I love taking Robinson in the sixth round. He can pay off that position even if Blake Bortles doesn’t make a leap. If Bortles does improve, look out. …The Jags wasted no time with rookie T.J. Yeldon, immediately installing him as their starter and talking up his three-down tools. He’s going to get a big workload while Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart fill complementary roles. I like Yeldon if we can get him in the fourth or fifth round. … Julius Thomas has gotten so “overrated” that he’s now underrated. He’s a talented athlete and red-zone focal point at a thin position and is available in the eighth or ninth round in many leagues. … Marqise Lee can’t stay out of the training room. This spring, it was his knee that bothered him. I’m completely off this train as he enters camp behind Allen Hurns. … The Jags have written off troubled wideout Justin Blackmon.

The notes below pertain to all 16 AFC teams. For the NFC notes, click here.

BALTIMORE
First-round WR Breshad Perriman was not handed a starting job at OTAs, running behind sneaky talent Kamar Aiken and showing some of the inconsistent hands we saw at Central Florida. Perriman remains a strong bet to win the No. 2 job and a reasonable bet to capitalize on the opportunity left behind by Torrey Smith, but I prefer guys like Allen Robinson, Charles Johnson and Zach Ertz in Rounds 7-9. … Dennis Pitta (hip) did not participate in spring workouts. If the Ravens get anything from him at all this season, it will be a bonus. … Maxx Williams admitted to swimming in the playbook a bit. Rookie right ends are never on my radar in fantasy. … The Ravens confirmed RB checkdowns will be a bigger part of the scheme under new OC Marc Trestman. Justin Forsett’s PPR arrow is pointing up and Buck Allen is a deep-league PPR flier. … Hard to buy coach John Harbaugh’s claim the team would like to reduce Steve Smith’s snaps. They don’t have any other reliable options for Joe Flacco.

BUFFALO
The quarterback battle was predictably ugly, with Matt Cassel faceplanting badly. It looks like E.J. Manuel will head to camp with his nose slightly in front of both Cassel and Tyrod Taylor. Yikes. I’m most intrigued by Taylor thanks to his running ability, and it sounds like Rex Ryan may be as well. … Sammy Watkins (hip) did a little 11-on-11 work and should be ready for training camp. But he’s still in a Rex offense with a zero at quarterback. Even as Watkins’ ADP tumbles, I’m passing. … Fumbling sideline-magnet Bryce Brown will need a big camp to keep his job ahead of Anthony Dixon. Even franchise favorite Fred Jackson isn’t guaranteed a spot at the crowded running back position. … The Bills haven’t been shy about their desire for LeSean McCoy to push for the league-lead in carries. Effectiveness behind a poor offensive line and reception volume are question marks, but volume is not.

CINCINNATI
Welcome back, Marvin Jones. Finally fully healthy off foot/ankle injuries, the playmaking Jones is penciled in opposite A.J. Green. Available in the Round 11-14 range, he’ll be one of my favorite fliers. … Tyler Eifert (elbow) is also back and “caught virtually everything thrown his way” during spring practices. A talented pass-catcher who will have a big role now that Jermaine Gresham is gone, Eifert is firmly on the TE2 radar. … A.J. Green may slip in your draft because his 2014 numbers were not that impressive. Realize those numbers were heavily impacted by injury. Green led the entire NFL in yards per route run last year (2.96) and is a steal in the mid- or late-second round. … 2014 fifth-rounder A.J. McCarron showed up big in the spring, leading to some whispers he could push Andy Dalton at camp. I doubt that, but the win-now Bengals should have Dalton on a short leash this season – especially now that he has all his weapons back healthy. No excuses.  

CLEVELAND
The star of Browns OTAs was rookie RB Duke Johnson, who outplayed incumbents Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. It’s not a surprise, as speedy space backs always excel at padded practices. Johnson’s skyrocketing ADP is not something I’m on board with as he could max out in a Gio Bernard kind of role. …. Isaiah Crowell opened the offseason as the starter and is in the lead for the early-down portion of this mix-and-match/hot-hand committee. I’d rather take a shot on the Crow over Johnson considering both are available in Round 7 or so. … The good news is Johnny Manziel hasn’t had any serious off-field incidents since getting out of rehab. The bad news is he continued to struggle on the field and enters training camp firmly behind 36-year-old journeyman Josh McCown. … Buried in Bruce Arians’ TE-unfriendly scheme with the Cardinals, pass-catching Rob Housler is locked as the first-teamer for the Browns. He’s a good bet for 50-60 catches as an “ideal” flex tight end (Mike Pettine’s words).  

Editor’s Note: The Rotoworld Football team is finally getting in the podcast game. Follow @FanDuelNFLPod and read here for more information.

DENVER
Cody Latimer didn’t know the plays as a rookie last season. This year, he was at Duke for the Peyton workouts and is penned in as the No. 3 wideout. I’d be higher on him if the Broncos weren’t shifting to a balanced offense under a new head coach that prefers to run lots of two-TE sets (Virgil Green and Owen Daniels). … I actually believe the Peyton Manning pay cut/trade rumors. Look at his tape over the final six games of last year and tell me if you wouldn’t take a couple first-round picks for him. That horrid play was all a result of the quad injury? Are you sure? Expect Manning’s attempts to dip sharply as Gary Kubiak emphasizes the run game. … A slimmed-down C.J. Anderson held the first-strong RB job throughout the spring, as expected. Don’t expect Montee Ball to muster any real threat in August – CJA’s one-cut style and pass-game ability fits perfectly. … Even Emmanuel Sanders thinks his statistics to take a hit this season thanks to the scheme change. I’m not chasing last year’s stats. More from Manny on that here.  

HOUSTON
Rookie WR Jaelen Strong missed a lot of time due to a hamstring injury, leaving the coaching staff to talk up Nate Washington. It’ll be an underwhelming three-man competition between Strong, Washington and Cecil Shorts for the right to complement rising stud DeAndre Hopkins. … Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett split first-team reps during the spring. Beat writers came away more impressed with Hoyer, but this is a competition that won’t be decided until mid-August at the earliest. Volume should mitigate the QB troubles Hopkins is sure to deal with. … Arian Foster enjoyed one of the healthiest offseasons of his career, participating fully in the program. The Texans are going to ride him at least as hard as they did last year, when he averaged 22.9 touches per game.

INDIANAPOLIS
First-round WR Phillip Dorsett spent time at multiple positions during practices. He’s a sneaky bet to see the field more than some expect in Year 1, at the expense of Donte Moncrief and quite possibly Coby Fleener. … Another rookie to keep an eye on is sixth-round RB Josh Robinson. He could easily beat out Boom Herron and Vick Ballard for the right to back up 32-year-old Frank Gore. Ballard (Achilles’) remains a PUP candidate. … Andre Johnson and Gore did not take any veteran time this spring. They appear poised to hit the ground running right away in their new surroundings. … Johnson was singled out for his early chemistry with Andrew Luck. Remember that Reggie Wayne had a 106-1,355-5 line at age 33 while playing the possession receiver role for Luck in 2012.

JACKSONVILLE
Allen Robinson was the most hyped player in the NFL this spring. Beat writers wouldn’t stop raving about the way the second-year WR dominated practices, calling him “unbelievable” and a “star.” I love taking Robinson in the sixth round. He can pay off that position even if Blake Bortles doesn’t make a leap. If Bortles does improve, look out. …The Jags wasted no time with rookie T.J. Yeldon, immediately installing him as their starter and talking up his three-down tools. He’s going to get a big workload while Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart fill complementary roles. I like Yeldon if we can get him in the fourth or fifth round. … Julius Thomas has gotten so “overrated” that he’s now underrated. He’s a talented athlete and red-zone focal point at a thin position and is available in the eighth or ninth round in many leagues. … Marqise Lee can’t stay out of the training room. This spring, it was his knee that bothered him. I’m completely off this train as he enters camp behind Allen Hurns. … The Jags have written off troubled wideout Justin Blackmon. KANSAS CITY
Anthony Fasano is gone. That means Travis Kelce spent the offseason as the man, “demanding the ball” and exclusively running as an every-down first-teamer. Kelce won’t be cheap in drafts (current fifth-round ADP), but he’ll be worth it. He was fantasy’s No. 8 TE last year even though he only played 66 percent of the snaps and saw a meager 5.4 targets per game. … Rookie WR Chris Conley is a size/speed freak that got a lot of first-team work during the spring. It’s just hard to see him having success with checkdown king Alex Smith. … A healthy Jamaal Charles has slimmed down to 204 pounds and enters the season as the offensive focal point once again. He’s averaged 19.1 touches per game since Andy Reid took over. … Albert Wilson didn’t separate from the pack during OTAs as he battled a hamstring injury.

MIAMI
DeVante Parker (foot surgery) is in a race to be ready for Week 1. Expect him to be eased in slowly at first, leaving Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills as outside complements to slot maven Jarvis Landry. Add in pass-catching tight end Jordan Cameron and we have a very crowded situation. I’ll be avoiding. … I’m not buying talk that the Dolphins will be moving Landry around the formation more this season. We’ve seen where he wins and they have plenty of options on the outside. Landry and his pathetic aDOT (average depth of target, h/t Mike Clay) is a PPR-only option for fantasy leaguers. … Cameron enjoyed a healthy offseason and Dolphins were pleased with what they saw out of their new acquisition. Remember Charles Clay averaged 4.2 catches, 45.4 yards and 0.3 touchdowns over the last two years – and Cameron has better size and speed. … No news is good news on Jay Ajayi’s knee. I don’t think the Dolphins want to give Lamar Miller much more than the 13.5 carries per game they gave him last year, leaving Ajayi with decent opportunity.

NEW ENGLAND
We’re not expecting to have a final ruling on the Tom Brady appeal until mid- or late-July. There could even be another appeal after that, putting the situation further in limbo. … The passing back job is wide open. Some beat writers thought James White won the spring, while others thought it was Travaris Cadet. It’s a situation I’ll be watching in camp to see if anyone can separate and push for the 9.9 touches per game Shane Vereen got over the last two years. … Aaron Dobson is healthy and had a solid spring. He’ll be a primary backup to Brandon LaFell on the outside and shouldn’t be written off. … Rob Gronkowski spent the previous few offseasons rehabbing back, elbow and knee injuries. This year, he enjoyed a fully healthy Summer of Gronk. He’s very safe as a back-end Round 1 pick.

NEW YORK JETS
I’m not surprised the Jets named Geno Smith their starter without a fight. We’ve seen Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ceiling and you can’t win with it (33-55-1 record). Geno’s floor is obviously lower, but at least he gives them a chance. Evaluating him on a Rex Ryan team with Jeremy Kerley and Jeff Cumberland as primary weapons wasn’t completely fair. Now he has weapons galore and Chan Gailey is installing the spread Geno ran at West Virginia. … One of those weapons, Jace Amaro, underwhelmed in the spring. For now, I’d rather take a shot on Vernon Davis, Virgil Green or Niles Paul as a deep-league TE2. … Stevan Ridley (ACL) may not be ready for training camp, leaving pass-game specialist Bilal Powell as the No. 2. Coach Todd Bowles already confirmed Chris Ivory is the top dog in this backfield, but he’s a poor fit for the Gailey scheme. I’m ignoring this run game.  

OAKLAND
Latavius Murray ran as the first-team back throughout the offseason and sources inside the Raiders said he “has a chance at a huge year.” Murray is 6’3/225 with 4.38 speed and is playing in a Bill Musgrave offense. Musgrave previously oversaw big seasons from Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner and Fred Taylor. … Rookie TE Clive Walford impressed enough during OTAs to force a real battle with Mychal Rivera. Yawn. … Amari Cooper did nothing to disappoint in the spring, leading beat writers to say he’s “ready to break out immediately” and call him “the real deal.” Given the lack of other pass-game options for Derek Carr, Cooper’s target count will be high and 80 catches is a fair projection. … Rod Streater, back healthy, is expected to win the No. 3 job behind Cooper and Michael Crabtree.

PITTSBURGH
Le’Veon Bell still doesn’t know when the NFL will hear the appeal of his three-game suspension. Bell was originally suspended nearly three months ago. He’s still the No. 2 overall pick for me because we can easily navigate the suspension early in the season when there are no byes and we’re not fighting injuries. Tre Mason comes to mind as an interim play. … Martavis Bryant lit up OTAs and is on track to push for a 70-80 percent of the snaps role. I prefer him to Charles Johnson if we’re talking mid-round WR breakouts. … Markus Wheaton has been pushed into the slot and can be ignored. … Talk is that DeAngelo Williams will only get 10-12 carries per game while Bell is in street clothes. Those games will be at NE, vs. SF, at STL. I’ll pass.

SAN DIEGO
The latest excuse for Keenan Allen’s sophomore regression is that he wasn’t working hard enough. Now he’s practicing with more “focus and determination” (per Philip Rivers) and has dropped some weight. I’m not on him this year for the same reason I wasn’t last year – he doesn’t have the speed or athletic ability to threaten defenses vertically. … Another slight concern for Allen is the arrival of Stevie Johnson. He’s an upgrade on Eddie Royal in the slot and will steal targets. Johnson can also back up outside deep threat Malcom Floyd, who is six months away from retirement. Stevie is a sneaky late-round value pick.

Danny Woodhead is fully over the broken leg that ended his 2014 season. He’ll be the passing-down complement to Melvin Gordon, who did not  really participate in the pass game at Wisconsin. Remember Woodhead caught 76 balls from Rivers and scored eight touchdowns just two years ago. … Gordon was “as advertised” during OTAs. I’ll still pass on him as I rarely target strict two-down backs like Alfred Morris. It’s just too risky when game flow gets away from us. … The annual Ladarius Green hype machine is hard to believe this year. Not only is Antonio Gates still feeling good, but the arrival of Johnson should mean fewer two-TE sets.

TENNESSEE
The Titans are allegedly adapting their offense to fit Marcus Mariota’s skill set and the rookie thoroughly outplayed Zach Mettenberger in the spring. He was “deadly accurate,” per QBs coach Shawn Jefferson. Quarterbacks with Mariota’s kind of running ability have a higher floor than their fantasy draft position typically reflects – I’m just concerned Ken Whisenhunt is going to bungle this. Still prefer Sam Bradford and Colin Kaepernick as my QB2. … David Cobb reported to camp a bit overweight and was quiet from there. I like him to get roughly 200 carries plus goal-line work, but he’s still a fifth-round rookie. His progress in camp will be well worth watching. … Bishop Sankey spent time during the spring working a “great deal” on taking handoffs. Seriously. He also put on some weight, rarely a good thing for a running back in today’s game.

Justin Hunter has bulked up a bit. That won’t solve his inability to make plays on balls that aren’t right in his hands. … Dorial Green-Beckham missed a lot of OTAs with a hamstring issue. He’s still ahead of Hunter, but I prefer John Brown, Pierre Garcon, Brian Quick and even Terrance Williams over DGB in Round 10-13 range. … Kendall Wright essentially let it be known he doesn’t believe in a Whisenhunt scheme that saw him go from 94 catches in 2013 to 57 in 2014. Pass. … Talented seventh-round WR Tre McBride ran at the lower-upside possession slot and Z spots. He’s a backup to Wright and Harry Douglas for now.  

Breaking News: Rotoworld Podcast Coming!

Written by : Posted on June 30, 2015 : No Comments

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Rotoworld Football team is finally getting in the Podcast game. We’re thrilled to let everyone know that award-winning senior writers Evan Silva and Adam Levitan will be producing a weekly pod this season focused on FanDuel strategies.

Evan and Adam will go in-depth on each of the upcoming week’s games, focusing on exploitable matchups, FanDuel salaries and projected ownership percentages. There will also be a listener league and a weekly head-to-head matchup between the duo. The pod will go hand-in-hand with Silva’s industry-leading Matchups column and Adam’s Leverage.  

Season-long players will also find value in the pod as Evan and Adam will hit on many close calls as they go through the slate.   

The show, which will tape Thursday nights, will be available to download and stream on iTunes and everywhere else podcasts are found. Please follow @FanDuelNFLPod on Twitter for more info on the show.  

The Rotoworld Football team is finally getting in the Podcast game. We’re thrilled to let everyone know that award-winning senior writers Evan Silva and Adam Levitan will be producing a weekly pod this season focused on FanDuel strategies.

Evan and Adam will go in-depth on each of the upcoming week’s games, focusing on exploitable matchups, FanDuel salaries and projected ownership percentages. There will also be a listener league and a weekly head-to-head matchup between the duo. The pod will go hand-in-hand with Silva’s industry-leading Matchups column and Adam’s Leverage.  

Season-long players will also find value in the pod as Evan and Adam will hit on many close calls as they go through the slate.   

The show, which will tape Thursday nights, will be available to download and stream on iTunes and everywhere else podcasts are found. Please follow @FanDuelNFLPod on Twitter for more info on the show.  

Essay on DNA. What exactly is it now?

Written by : Posted on June 30, 2015 : No Comments

Essay on DNA. What exactly is it now? On September 9, 2014 the Cathedral of Jesus Christ of Latter-week Saints dispatched a note to all or any Priesthood administrators. The message advised Priesthood executives to mail doubting or curious individuals to a number of essays a short while ago publicized within the Gospel Information area of LDS.org.dollar-essay.com/ This is an excerpt on the notice: “The aim of the Gospel Articles segment requires you to present correct and translucent tips on Church history and doctrine around the framework of faith??¦when Chapel customers have questions regarding Church background and doctrine, maybe that comes when detractors distributed misinformation and question, you should one on one their appreciation of these resources.” In 2013, the existing Chapel historian, Elder Steven E.

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What’s writing that is essential

Written by : Posted on June 29, 2015 : No Comments

What’s writing that is essential

It’s typical for feedback on student publishing to target about the need to interact less uncritically with the supply material. Standard reviews from instructors are: ‘too descriptive’, or. This Research Manual offers suggestions for HOWTO improve the level of research that is critical your publishing is demonstrated within by you.write essay bad feelings dowse your property Other Study Books you might not find useless are: What is Crucial Reading? Utilizing Lines As Well As The Artwork of Editing. What’s important writing?

The absolute most characteristic capabilities of essential writing are: A confident and clear rejection to accept the conclusions of additional writers without considering data and the justifications that they supply; A balanced presentation of reasons why the conclusions of writers that are other may be acknowledged or could need to be treated with caution;

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Offseason Low Down: Texans Fantasy Preview

Written by : Posted on June 26, 2015 : No Comments

Friday, June 26, 2015

Texans Year in Review

2014 Pass Attempts Rank: 30th (485)
2014 Rush Attempts Rank: 1st (551)
2014 Total Offensive Plays Rank: 8th (1,062)
2014 Yards Per Play Rank: 24th (5.2)

Projected Starting Lineup

QB: Brian Hoyer
RB: Arian Foster
WR: DeAndre Hopkins
WR: Cecil Shorts
TE: Garrett Graham
TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz
LT: Duane Brown
LG: Xavier Su’a-Filo
C: Ben Jones
RG: Brandon Brooks
RT: Derek Newton

Passing Game Outlook

Although the Texans intend to hold a camp battle at quarterback, all indications during OTA and minicamp season were that Brian Hoyer had obtained an edge on Ryan Mallett, and quite possibly a significant one. In all likelihood, both Hoyer and Mallett will make 2015 starts. Hoyer was arguably the worst passer in football last season, posting a 12:13 TD-to-INT ratio while ranking 40th in completion rate (55.3) and 38th in passer rating (76.5) among signal callers with at least 100 attempts. Mallett showed command of coach Bill O’Brien‘s offense in two spot starts last year, but was traded away by Bill Belichick for a conditional seventh-round pick, and got outplayed by Hoyer in spring practices. Regardless of the identity of the Texans’ starter in a given week, O’Brien’s approach will involve “hiding” that quarterback with a high-volume run game and turnover-causing defense. Houston’s quarterbacks are also surrounded by one of the NFL’s least-talented pass-catcher corps. They’re not going to have fantasy value this season.

The inefficiency of Houston’s quarterback play is the most glaring concern for DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins, however, dealt with sub-par passing last year (Mallett, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Savage) and made out just fine. “Nuk” managed to finish 14th in fantasy wideout scoring despite ranking 22nd in targets, while then-No. 1 Texans receiver Andre Johnson ranked fifth in targets but 39th in receiver points. Hopkins has above-average size (6’1/214) and good-enough speed (4.57), and is a route technician with top-shelf playmaking ability on the ball, allowing him to win at all three levels of the field. A candidate for 150 targets as the new No. 1 pass option on a team otherwise short on pass catchers, 23-year-old Hopkins is a value at his late-third-round ADP.

Veteran retreads Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington will compete with third-round pick Jaelen Strong to start opposite Hopkins. A person I trust with Texans connections recently described Strong as “way behind” after battling sub-par conditioning and a hamstring injury this spring, and said he “highly doubt(s)” Strong will be “a factor this year.” Washington and Shorts both practiced well at OTAs, and it’s possible they’ll share No. 2 duties in an offense that regularly features two-tight end sets. Nothing will be decided until late August, but my pick to win the No. 2 job is Shorts, who is 27 years old with one top-25 fantasy finish under his belt, and offers position flexibility at Z and slot receiver. Washington can also play multiple spots, but is going on age 32 and better suited for a sub-package role. Strong easily offers the highest Dynasty ceiling, but is young for a rookie (21) and needs a lot of polish, especially as a route runner. I could envision Strong as an early-season game-day scratch who emerges later in the year.

Although Bill O’Brien made heavy use of tight ends as an offensive overseer in New England, he did not deem Garrett Graham or C.J. Fiedorowicz worthy of big pass-catching roles his first year in Houston. Graham, who turns 29 in August, saw just 28 targets across 11 games, blocking on 51.4% of his snaps and doing so poorly, earning negative grades as both a run and pass blocker from Pro Football Focus. Since the Texans have a major question mark at No. 2 receiver, they may be looking for second-year TE Fiedorowicz to step up. A 2014 third-round pick out of Iowa, Fiedorowicz was targeted just seven times in 15 games as a rookie, and blocked on 75.3% of his downs. Fiedorowicz is the member of Houston’s tight end group about whom we can have some optimism simply because he’s still a relative unknown, but it’s hard to imagine him or Graham suddenly emerging as a 2015 fantasy factor. Technically, Graham is the flex tight end in O’Brien’s offense, while Fiedorowicz lines up most frequently on the line of scrimmage.

Running Game Outlook

Arian Foster showed up on the weekly injury reports with hip, groin, and hamstring ailments last season, but when healthy remained one of the NFL’s most-effective runners. His yards-per-carry average (4.79) was Foster’s best in a half-decade, and DeMarco Murray was the lone running back to outscore Foster in standard-league points per game. Only Le’Veon Bell and Murray outdid Foster in per-game PPR scoring. Foster turns 29 in August, but is in the midst of his healthiest offseason in memory, and coach Bill O’Brien recently recommitted to Foster as the centerpiece of Houston’s offense. “We have a very good running back,” O’Brien said. “So you can rest assured that as long as he’s healthy and he’s out there, we will run the ball. I can tell you that. That’s one thing we will do.” Foster is a first-round fantasy pick this season.

Alfred Blue turned in two slightly-memorable fantasy performances last season, posting a 13-78 line in a Week 3 spot start at the Giants, and a 36-156 rushing number in Week 11 at Cleveland. Blue’s overall rookie-year play was poor, however, averaging 3.12 YPC behind one of the league’s top offensive lines and pass blocking ineffectively per PFF’s grades. A big (6’2/223), methodical-moving plodder with 4.63 speed, Blue’s handcuff role should not be assured as training camp approaches. The Texans return more-explosive third-down back Jonathan Grimes, and they signed former Eagle Chris Polk before selecting LSU power back Kenny Hilliard in the seventh round of the draft. Due to Foster’s past durability woes, this will be a camp battle to monitor. Blue will enter July as the favorite, but don’t be surprised if versatile Polk beats him out.

Vegas Win Total

The Texans are a tricky team to project. Their Vegas Win Total is 8.5, and they certainly benefit from facing perennial doormats Jacksonville and Tennessee twice in by-far the NFL’s easiest division. They are well coached, have one of the best running games in football, and boast a disruptive, J.J. Watt-led defense. They’re also likely to be a team that plays in-season musical chairs at quarterback, are painfully short on pass-catching talent beyond DeAndre Hopkins, and must win close games because they simply aren’t going to score a lot of points. The Jaguars and Titans do look slightly improved from last season, and this year the AFC South faces the beastly defenses of the AFC East in addition to the dangerous offenses of the NFC South. I wouldn’t bet much money on the Texans’ win total either way, but would go with the under if forced to pick.

Texans Year in Review

2014 Pass Attempts Rank: 30th (485)
2014 Rush Attempts Rank: 1st (551)
2014 Total Offensive Plays Rank: 8th (1,062)
2014 Yards Per Play Rank: 24th (5.2)

Projected Starting Lineup

QB: Brian Hoyer
RB: Arian Foster
WR: DeAndre Hopkins
WR: Cecil Shorts
TE: Garrett Graham
TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz
LT: Duane Brown
LG: Xavier Su’a-Filo
C: Ben Jones
RG: Brandon Brooks
RT: Derek Newton

Passing Game Outlook

Although the Texans intend to hold a camp battle at quarterback, all indications during OTA and minicamp season were that Brian Hoyer had obtained an edge on Ryan Mallett, and quite possibly a significant one. In all likelihood, both Hoyer and Mallett will make 2015 starts. Hoyer was arguably the worst passer in football last season, posting a 12:13 TD-to-INT ratio while ranking 40th in completion rate (55.3) and 38th in passer rating (76.5) among signal callers with at least 100 attempts. Mallett showed command of coach Bill O’Brien‘s offense in two spot starts last year, but was traded away by Bill Belichick for a conditional seventh-round pick, and got outplayed by Hoyer in spring practices. Regardless of the identity of the Texans’ starter in a given week, O’Brien’s approach will involve “hiding” that quarterback with a high-volume run game and turnover-causing defense. Houston’s quarterbacks are also surrounded by one of the NFL’s least-talented pass-catcher corps. They’re not going to have fantasy value this season.

The inefficiency of Houston’s quarterback play is the most glaring concern for DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins, however, dealt with sub-par passing last year (Mallett, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Savage) and made out just fine. “Nuk” managed to finish 14th in fantasy wideout scoring despite ranking 22nd in targets, while then-No. 1 Texans receiver Andre Johnson ranked fifth in targets but 39th in receiver points. Hopkins has above-average size (6’1/214) and good-enough speed (4.57), and is a route technician with top-shelf playmaking ability on the ball, allowing him to win at all three levels of the field. A candidate for 150 targets as the new No. 1 pass option on a team otherwise short on pass catchers, 23-year-old Hopkins is a value at his late-third-round ADP.

Veteran retreads Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington will compete with third-round pick Jaelen Strong to start opposite Hopkins. A person I trust with Texans connections recently described Strong as “way behind” after battling sub-par conditioning and a hamstring injury this spring, and said he “highly doubt(s)” Strong will be “a factor this year.” Washington and Shorts both practiced well at OTAs, and it’s possible they’ll share No. 2 duties in an offense that regularly features two-tight end sets. Nothing will be decided until late August, but my pick to win the No. 2 job is Shorts, who is 27 years old with one top-25 fantasy finish under his belt, and offers position flexibility at Z and slot receiver. Washington can also play multiple spots, but is going on age 32 and better suited for a sub-package role. Strong easily offers the highest Dynasty ceiling, but is young for a rookie (21) and needs a lot of polish, especially as a route runner. I could envision Strong as an early-season game-day scratch who emerges later in the year.

Although Bill O’Brien made heavy use of tight ends as an offensive overseer in New England, he did not deem Garrett Graham or C.J. Fiedorowicz worthy of big pass-catching roles his first year in Houston. Graham, who turns 29 in August, saw just 28 targets across 11 games, blocking on 51.4% of his snaps and doing so poorly, earning negative grades as both a run and pass blocker from Pro Football Focus. Since the Texans have a major question mark at No. 2 receiver, they may be looking for second-year TE Fiedorowicz to step up. A 2014 third-round pick out of Iowa, Fiedorowicz was targeted just seven times in 15 games as a rookie, and blocked on 75.3% of his downs. Fiedorowicz is the member of Houston’s tight end group about whom we can have some optimism simply because he’s still a relative unknown, but it’s hard to imagine him or Graham suddenly emerging as a 2015 fantasy factor. Technically, Graham is the flex tight end in O’Brien’s offense, while Fiedorowicz lines up most frequently on the line of scrimmage.

Running Game Outlook

Arian Foster showed up on the weekly injury reports with hip, groin, and hamstring ailments last season, but when healthy remained one of the NFL’s most-effective runners. His yards-per-carry average (4.79) was Foster’s best in a half-decade, and DeMarco Murray was the lone running back to outscore Foster in standard-league points per game. Only Le’Veon Bell and Murray outdid Foster in per-game PPR scoring. Foster turns 29 in August, but is in the midst of his healthiest offseason in memory, and coach Bill O’Brien recently recommitted to Foster as the centerpiece of Houston’s offense. “We have a very good running back,” O’Brien said. “So you can rest assured that as long as he’s healthy and he’s out there, we will run the ball. I can tell you that. That’s one thing we will do.” Foster is a first-round fantasy pick this season.

Alfred Blue turned in two slightly-memorable fantasy performances last season, posting a 13-78 line in a Week 3 spot start at the Giants, and a 36-156 rushing number in Week 11 at Cleveland. Blue’s overall rookie-year play was poor, however, averaging 3.12 YPC behind one of the league’s top offensive lines and pass blocking ineffectively per PFF’s grades. A big (6’2/223), methodical-moving plodder with 4.63 speed, Blue’s handcuff role should not be assured as training camp approaches. The Texans return more-explosive third-down back Jonathan Grimes, and they signed former Eagle Chris Polk before selecting LSU power back Kenny Hilliard in the seventh round of the draft. Due to Foster’s past durability woes, this will be a camp battle to monitor. Blue will enter July as the favorite, but don’t be surprised if versatile Polk beats him out.

Vegas Win Total

The Texans are a tricky team to project. Their Vegas Win Total is 8.5, and they certainly benefit from facing perennial doormats Jacksonville and Tennessee twice in by-far the NFL’s easiest division. They are well coached, have one of the best running games in football, and boast a disruptive, J.J. Watt-led defense. They’re also likely to be a team that plays in-season musical chairs at quarterback, are painfully short on pass-catching talent beyond DeAndre Hopkins, and must win close games because they simply aren’t going to score a lot of points. The Jaguars and Titans do look slightly improved from last season, and this year the AFC South faces the beastly defenses of the AFC East in addition to the dangerous offenses of the NFC South. I wouldn’t bet much money on the Texans’ win total either way, but would go with the under if forced to pick.

Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva

Offseason Low Down: Packers Fantasy Preview

Written by : Posted on June 26, 2015 : No Comments

Friday, June 26, 2015

Packers Year in Review

2014 Pass Attempts Rank: 20th (536)
2014 Rush Attempts Rank: 14th (435)
2014 Total Offensive Plays Rank: 24th (1,001)
2014 Yards Per Play Rank: 1st (6.2)

Projected Starting Lineup

QB: Aaron Rodgers
RB: Eddie Lacy
WR: Jordy Nelson
WR: Randall Cobb
WR: Davante Adams
TE: Andrew Quarless
LT: David Bakhtiari
LG: Josh Sitton
C: Corey Linsley
RG: T.J. Lang
RT: Bryan Bulaga

Passing Game Outlook

Aaron Rodgers was so dominant in 2014 that the Packers continuously took their pedal off the gas in second halves of games, which actually served to limit Rodgers’ stats. Rodgers still overtook Andrew Luck as fantasy’s top quarterback late in the season, but there was “meat on the bone,” as Joseph Randle might say. Despite ranking 24th in offensive snaps, last year’s Packers led the NFL in scoring and finished No. 1 in yards per play. Rodgers captains a truly special offense that returns all 11 starters, including second-year C Corey Linsley and second-year WR Davante Adams. I’m not into using high fantasy picks on quarterbacks, but can’t quibble with Rodgers in the second round. It’s unlikely that Green Bay will have to tap the breaks as often as they did last season. Expect improvement in Rodgers’ fantasy numbers.

I’ve ranked Jordy Nelson aggressively the past several seasons and he’s delivered with top-12 wideout finishes in three of the last four years, including two top-three campaigns. I’m treading a little lightly this season as 30-year-old Nelson returns from offseason hip surgery. All reports on Nelson’s progress have been upbeat, and it’s entirely conceivable Jordy’s 2015 goes off without a hitch. It’s also possible the hip gives him problems when he resumes practicing or playing, which would be an obvious red flag. I still have Nelson as a top-ten receiver, but am unwilling to place him ahead of younger, healthier options in the “elite” tier. It was slightly concerning to me to see Nelson struggle to win against Brandon Carr‘s man coverage in January’s playoffs. Jordy finished that game with 22 yards on five targets.

Randall Cobb went berserk in his 2014 contract year, establishing career bests in catches (91), yards, (1,287), and touchdowns (12) while exhibiting a natural chemistry with Aaron Rodgers on broken plays, and/or passes that took place outside the pocket. Locked up this March on a four-year, $40 million deal, Cobb is not yet 24 years old. (He’s only six months older than rising Panthers second-year WR Kelvin Benjamin.) While projecting 5-foot-10, 191-pound Cobb to repeat double-digit TDs would probably not be a great bet, he does have room for growth in receptions and yards. The Packers’ lack of a consistent pass-catching tight end solidifies Cobb as at worst the No. 2 option in Rodgers’ passing attack, and Cobb’s upside could get a boost if Jordy Nelson‘s surgically repaired hip becomes problematic. Cobb is a low-end, but high-floor WR1 with an underrated 2015 ceiling. He’s a value at his 2.12 ADP.

2014 second-round pick Davante Adams needed just three weeks to usurp Jarrett Boykin as the Packers’ third receiver and assert himself as a roughly 70% player on offense. Adams was a hit-or-miss producer as Green Bay’s No. 4 option behind Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb, but flashed his potential in a 6-121 late-season bout with the Patriots, and a 7-117-1 playoff effort against Dallas. There were growing pains, however, as Adams ranked a disappointing 75th in fantasy receiver scoring and managed a 61.3% catch rate, a low number considering the greatness of his quarterback and the fact that Adams largely had to contend with No. 2 and nickel cornerbacks. Bear in mind Adams was a 21-year-old rookie who got better as the season progressed. The “MVP of OTAs” according to head coach Mike McCarthy, Adams returns locked in as Green Bay’s No. 3 receiver. Adams is built like Hakeem Nicks, but is better than Nicks ever was after the catch. I like Adams’ chances of pushing for WR3 value in year two, and perhaps making a big leap if something goes wrong for Jordy.

Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers are role-player tight ends who offer minimal fantasy appeal. In-line starter Quarless is a known commodity; he’s been in the NFL five seasons and never so much as finished as a fantasy TE2. Theoretical “flex” tight end Rodgers is a second-year player whose abysmal run blocking may always pose a threat to his playing time, and whose athletic deficiencies cap his pass-catching ceiling, even in an Aaron Rodgers-led attack. At 6-foot-4, 257, Rodgers runs 4.87 with a 31 1/2-inch vertical and sluggish 7.23 three-cone time. His college production was another red flag, managing two career touchdowns at Cal. Rodgers has garnered some intrigue in the fantasy community as a top-100 NFL draft pick on the Packers, but he doesn’t project as more than a part-time player in the short or long term. I have little hope for Quarless or Rodgers emerging as a fantasy starter this year.

Running Game Outlook

Eddie Lacy has made 31 NFL appearances. He’s scored 24 career TDs and averaged 96.8 total yards per game. Lacy’s carries dipped last season as the Packers treated him as more of a complementary player than the featured piece Lacy was with Aaron Rodgers injured as a rookie, but his targets jumped from 44 to 55, and Lacy was more efficient on the ground, averaging 4.63 YPC. A legitimate three-down bellcow and one of the best short-yardage/goal-line runners in football, Lacy may struggle to top 300 touches again this season, but is a good bet to hit pay dirt week in and week out. Lacy has finished each of his first two NFL seasons as a top-six fantasy back and warrants selection in the first half of round one in 2015 drafts.

James Starks generated scant interest in 2014 free agency before re-signing with the Packers for two years and $3.166 million. Including bonuses, he can earn $2.15 million in 2015, the final year of Starks’ deal. Now 29, Starks is a trusty No. 2 runner, but is not as skilled in the passing game as Lacy and earned nine or more carries in just two games last year. While it’s clear Starks isn’t a real threat to Lacy’s workload, he’s one of the better handcuffs in fantasy. If something happened to Lacy, Starks would take over as the feature back in an Aaron Rodgers offense. Rajion Neal and John Crockett do not pose serious competition for Starks’ No. 2 job.

Vegas Win Total

The Packers’ 2015 Win Total is 11 games, tied with Seattle for the highest in football. As I’ve alluded to previously in these writeups, the biggest risk taking the over on teams — particularly ones with very high win totals — is the possibility of the quarterback getting hurt. In that scenario, Aaron Rodgers would give way to Scott Tolzien, a popgun-armed former UDFA out of Wisconsin. Still, I think the best bet is the over on Green Bay’s win total. The Packers have a good chance to field the NFL’s best offense this season, and their defensive personnel is above average at worst. There is not an NFC North opponent that is legitimately threatening to Green Bay’s division crown, and the Packers’ schedule otherwise is unimposing.

Packers Year in Review

2014 Pass Attempts Rank: 20th (536)
2014 Rush Attempts Rank: 14th (435)
2014 Total Offensive Plays Rank: 24th (1,001)
2014 Yards Per Play Rank: 1st (6.2)

Projected Starting Lineup

QB: Aaron Rodgers
RB: Eddie Lacy
WR: Jordy Nelson
WR: Randall Cobb
WR: Davante Adams
TE: Andrew Quarless
LT: David Bakhtiari
LG: Josh Sitton
C: Corey Linsley
RG: T.J. Lang
RT: Bryan Bulaga

Passing Game Outlook

Aaron Rodgers was so dominant in 2014 that the Packers continuously took their pedal off the gas in second halves of games, which actually served to limit Rodgers’ stats. Rodgers still overtook Andrew Luck as fantasy’s top quarterback late in the season, but there was “meat on the bone,” as Joseph Randle might say. Despite ranking 24th in offensive snaps, last year’s Packers led the NFL in scoring and finished No. 1 in yards per play. Rodgers captains a truly special offense that returns all 11 starters, including second-year C Corey Linsley and second-year WR Davante Adams. I’m not into using high fantasy picks on quarterbacks, but can’t quibble with Rodgers in the second round. It’s unlikely that Green Bay will have to tap the breaks as often as they did last season. Expect improvement in Rodgers’ fantasy numbers.

I’ve ranked Jordy Nelson aggressively the past several seasons and he’s delivered with top-12 wideout finishes in three of the last four years, including two top-three campaigns. I’m treading a little lightly this season as 30-year-old Nelson returns from offseason hip surgery. All reports on Nelson’s progress have been upbeat, and it’s entirely conceivable Jordy’s 2015 goes off without a hitch. It’s also possible the hip gives him problems when he resumes practicing or playing, which would be an obvious red flag. I still have Nelson as a top-ten receiver, but am unwilling to place him ahead of younger, healthier options in the “elite” tier. It was slightly concerning to me to see Nelson struggle to win against Brandon Carr‘s man coverage in January’s playoffs. Jordy finished that game with 22 yards on five targets.

Randall Cobb went berserk in his 2014 contract year, establishing career bests in catches (91), yards, (1,287), and touchdowns (12) while exhibiting a natural chemistry with Aaron Rodgers on broken plays, and/or passes that took place outside the pocket. Locked up this March on a four-year, $40 million deal, Cobb is not yet 24 years old. (He’s only six months older than rising Panthers second-year WR Kelvin Benjamin.) While projecting 5-foot-10, 191-pound Cobb to repeat double-digit TDs would probably not be a great bet, he does have room for growth in receptions and yards. The Packers’ lack of a consistent pass-catching tight end solidifies Cobb as at worst the No. 2 option in Rodgers’ passing attack, and Cobb’s upside could get a boost if Jordy Nelson‘s surgically repaired hip becomes problematic. Cobb is a low-end, but high-floor WR1 with an underrated 2015 ceiling. He’s a value at his 2.12 ADP.

2014 second-round pick Davante Adams needed just three weeks to usurp Jarrett Boykin as the Packers’ third receiver and assert himself as a roughly 70% player on offense. Adams was a hit-or-miss producer as Green Bay’s No. 4 option behind Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb, but flashed his potential in a 6-121 late-season bout with the Patriots, and a 7-117-1 playoff effort against Dallas. There were growing pains, however, as Adams ranked a disappointing 75th in fantasy receiver scoring and managed a 61.3% catch rate, a low number considering the greatness of his quarterback and the fact that Adams largely had to contend with No. 2 and nickel cornerbacks. Bear in mind Adams was a 21-year-old rookie who got better as the season progressed. The “MVP of OTAs” according to head coach Mike McCarthy, Adams returns locked in as Green Bay’s No. 3 receiver. Adams is built like Hakeem Nicks, but is better than Nicks ever was after the catch. I like Adams’ chances of pushing for WR3 value in year two, and perhaps making a big leap if something goes wrong for Jordy.

Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers are role-player tight ends who offer minimal fantasy appeal. In-line starter Quarless is a known commodity; he’s been in the NFL five seasons and never so much as finished as a fantasy TE2. Theoretical “flex” tight end Rodgers is a second-year player whose abysmal run blocking may always pose a threat to his playing time, and whose athletic deficiencies cap his pass-catching ceiling, even in an Aaron Rodgers-led attack. At 6-foot-4, 257, Rodgers runs 4.87 with a 31 1/2-inch vertical and sluggish 7.23 three-cone time. His college production was another red flag, managing two career touchdowns at Cal. Rodgers has garnered some intrigue in the fantasy community as a top-100 NFL draft pick on the Packers, but he doesn’t project as more than a part-time player in the short or long term. I have little hope for Quarless or Rodgers emerging as a fantasy starter this year.

Running Game Outlook

Eddie Lacy has made 31 NFL appearances. He’s scored 24 career TDs and averaged 96.8 total yards per game. Lacy’s carries dipped last season as the Packers treated him as more of a complementary player than the featured piece Lacy was with Aaron Rodgers injured as a rookie, but his targets jumped from 44 to 55, and Lacy was more efficient on the ground, averaging 4.63 YPC. A legitimate three-down bellcow and one of the best short-yardage/goal-line runners in football, Lacy may struggle to top 300 touches again this season, but is a good bet to hit pay dirt week in and week out. Lacy has finished each of his first two NFL seasons as a top-six fantasy back and warrants selection in the first half of round one in 2015 drafts.

James Starks generated scant interest in 2014 free agency before re-signing with the Packers for two years and $3.166 million. Including bonuses, he can earn $2.15 million in 2015, the final year of Starks’ deal. Now 29, Starks is a trusty No. 2 runner, but is not as skilled in the passing game as Lacy and earned nine or more carries in just two games last year. While it’s clear Starks isn’t a real threat to Lacy’s workload, he’s one of the better handcuffs in fantasy. If something happened to Lacy, Starks would take over as the feature back in an Aaron Rodgers offense. Rajion Neal and John Crockett do not pose serious competition for Starks’ No. 2 job.

Vegas Win Total

The Packers’ 2015 Win Total is 11 games, tied with Seattle for the highest in football. As I’ve alluded to previously in these writeups, the biggest risk taking the over on teams — particularly ones with very high win totals — is the possibility of the quarterback getting hurt. In that scenario, Aaron Rodgers would give way to Scott Tolzien, a popgun-armed former UDFA out of Wisconsin. Still, I think the best bet is the over on Green Bay’s win total. The Packers have a good chance to field the NFL’s best offense this season, and their defensive personnel is above average at worst. There is not an NFC North opponent that is legitimately threatening to Green Bay’s division crown, and the Packers’ schedule otherwise is unimposing.

Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva

Is That This a new Ca . Money Rush?

Written by : Posted on June 26, 2015 : No Comments

Is That This a new Ca . Money Rush?

You can find a rush for renewable energy in southeastern Cal. Tehachapi-Mojave has substantial gift ideas of vibrant force of the wind and golden sun. in addition to other one of a kind traits, that has the area along the side of an item as astounding as 1849And Precious Dash. Currently, the Tehachapi Mountain tops web host the state major circumscribed running wind power total capacity and also Mojave Wilderness houses their stateAnd only solar technology plant life, some trough services from Kramer Junction on to the border along with solar energy tower in Lancaster.linked here But some of those installation are simple expressions at what will eventually complete a spot containing what is actually referred to as Andlone of the biggest insolations in the world,Andr ltheir state leading breeze abilityAndr and lwind that peaks while in summit electric source growing demand .

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Targets and Touches: Running Back Target Rankings

Written by : Posted on June 25, 2015 : No Comments

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Running Back Targets can be affected by game flow and personnel, or in-season personnel turnover. The use of running backs in the passing game can be dictated by scheme, and/or strengths and weaknesses of a team’s running back as a receiver and/or pass blocker. Regardless of scheme, a team whose lead back is Chris Ivory is probably not going to throw to its running back as much as a team whose lead back is Le’Veon Bell. Running back targets are also impacted by how many plays a team runs overall, and how often the team throws the ball. Last year’s running back targets are not necessarily a reliable projection for 2015.

But I did want to take a look at last year’s results and see which teams targeted their running backs most. Keep in mind the running back target count for a team like last year’s Bears could be more applicable to this year’s Ravens because Marc Trestman moved on to Baltimore. Last year’s running back targets in Atlanta could be more relevant for this year’s Buccaneers after Dirk Koetter was hired as the new playcaller in Tampa Bay. Former 49ers OC Greg Roman is now overseeing the offense in Buffalo. Pass-catching maven Shane Vereen was signed by the Giants, while stone-handed Andre Williams‘ role will be significantly reduced.

If we are able to get a somewhat accurate read on how many targets teams will allocate to their running backs, we could gain an edge in our PPR leagues.

1. New Orleans Saints — 166. C.J. Spiller, welcome back into our good graces.
2. Detroit Lions — 165. Offense run by ex-Saints assistant. Hello, Ameer Abdullah.
3. Oakland Raiders — 160. Pretty heavily skewed by FB Marcel Reece‘s 59 targets.
4. Buffalo Bills — 154. New OC Greg Roman‘s 2014 49ers ranked 31st in RB targets.
5. Chicago Bears — 137. Marc Trestman gone. Adam Gase‘s Broncos ranked 23rd.
6. Kansas City Chiefs — 136. Alex Smith + Andy Reid + Jamaal Charles = RB targets.
7. Atlanta Falcons — 133. May be more useful for TB. Koetter throws to his backs.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers — 132. Le’Veon Bell had 6+ targets in 12 games last year.
9. Cincinnati Bengals — 121. Both Jeremy Hill & Giovani Bernard can catch.
10. Minnesota Vikings — 118. A good omen for Adrian Peterson‘s catch total.
11. St. Louis Rams — 116. There was a lot of Benny Cunningham (52 targets).
12. Indianapolis Colts — 114. Frank Gore‘s 2014 49ers ranked 31st in RB targets.
13. Arizona Cardinals — 111. Both Andre Ellington and David Johnson can catch.
14. San Diego Chargers — 110. Keep in mind this was without Danny Woodhead.
15. Baltimore Ravens — 108. May be more applicable to this year’s Broncos.
15. New England Patriots — 108. Gone is Shane Vereen, who had 77 targets.
17. Washington Redskins — 104. Roy Helu (47 targets) gone. Alfred Morris had 26.
18. Philadelphia Eagles — 102. Actually up from Chip’s first year (only 82 RB targets).
18. Miami Dolphins — 102. Offense run by Chip disciple; Exact same RB targets.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars — 101. Now coordinated by Greg Olson, who came from OAK.
21. New York Giants — 100. Should rise after Giants signed Shane Vereen.
21. Tennessee Titans — 100. Dexter McCluster & Leon Washington combined for 67.
23. Denver Broncos — 98. OC Adam Gase replaced by Gary Kubiak/Rick Dennison.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — 94. Outgoing OC Marcus Arroyo replaced by Dirk Koetter.
25. Dallas Cowboys — 92. Will likely throw more this season, raising RB targets.
26. Green Bay Packers — 90. Packers finished 24th in offensive plays.
26. Houston Texans — 90. Were heavily run committed and will remain so.
28. New York Jets — 81. May be irrelevant with Chan Gailey hired as OC.
29. Seattle Seahawks — 74. Seahawks ranked 32nd in 2014 team pass attempts.
30. Carolina Panthers — 68. Cam Newton is not a checkdown quarterback.
31. San Francisco 49ers — 64. Applicable for BUF. Note: FB Bruce Miller had 25.
32. Cleveland Browns — 48. A leap to expect big catch total for Duke Johnson.

Running Back Targets can be affected by game flow and personnel, or in-season personnel turnover. The use of running backs in the passing game can be dictated by scheme, and/or strengths and weaknesses of a team’s running back as a receiver and/or pass blocker. Regardless of scheme, a team whose lead back is Chris Ivory is probably not going to throw to its running back as much as a team whose lead back is Le’Veon Bell. Running back targets are also impacted by how many plays a team runs overall, and how often the team throws the ball. Last year’s running back targets are not necessarily a reliable projection for 2015.

But I did want to take a look at last year’s results and see which teams targeted their running backs most. Keep in mind the running back target count for a team like last year’s Bears could be more applicable to this year’s Ravens because Marc Trestman moved on to Baltimore. Last year’s running back targets in Atlanta could be more relevant for this year’s Buccaneers after Dirk Koetter was hired as the new playcaller in Tampa Bay. Former 49ers OC Greg Roman is now overseeing the offense in Buffalo. Pass-catching maven Shane Vereen was signed by the Giants, while stone-handed Andre Williams‘ role will be significantly reduced.

If we are able to get a somewhat accurate read on how many targets teams will allocate to their running backs, we could gain an edge in our PPR leagues.

1. New Orleans Saints — 166. C.J. Spiller, welcome back into our good graces.
2. Detroit Lions — 165. Offense run by ex-Saints assistant. Hello, Ameer Abdullah.
3. Oakland Raiders — 160. Pretty heavily skewed by FB Marcel Reece‘s 59 targets.
4. Buffalo Bills — 154. New OC Greg Roman‘s 2014 49ers ranked 31st in RB targets.
5. Chicago Bears — 137. Marc Trestman gone. Adam Gase‘s Broncos ranked 23rd.
6. Kansas City Chiefs — 136. Alex Smith + Andy Reid + Jamaal Charles = RB targets.
7. Atlanta Falcons — 133. May be more useful for TB. Koetter throws to his backs.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers — 132. Le’Veon Bell had 6+ targets in 12 games last year.
9. Cincinnati Bengals — 121. Both Jeremy Hill & Giovani Bernard can catch.
10. Minnesota Vikings — 118. A good omen for Adrian Peterson‘s catch total.
11. St. Louis Rams — 116. There was a lot of Benny Cunningham (52 targets).
12. Indianapolis Colts — 114. Frank Gore‘s 2014 49ers ranked 31st in RB targets.
13. Arizona Cardinals — 111. Both Andre Ellington and David Johnson can catch.
14. San Diego Chargers — 110. Keep in mind this was without Danny Woodhead.
15. Baltimore Ravens — 108. May be more applicable to this year’s Broncos.
15. New England Patriots — 108. Gone is Shane Vereen, who had 77 targets.
17. Washington Redskins — 104. Roy Helu (47 targets) gone. Alfred Morris had 26.
18. Philadelphia Eagles — 102. Actually up from Chip’s first year (only 82 RB targets).
18. Miami Dolphins — 102. Offense run by Chip disciple; Exact same RB targets.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars — 101. Now coordinated by Greg Olson, who came from OAK.
21. New York Giants — 100. Should rise after Giants signed Shane Vereen.
21. Tennessee Titans — 100. Dexter McCluster & Leon Washington combined for 67.
23. Denver Broncos — 98. OC Adam Gase replaced by Gary Kubiak/Rick Dennison.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — 94. Outgoing OC Marcus Arroyo replaced by Dirk Koetter.
25. Dallas Cowboys — 92. Will likely throw more this season, raising RB targets.
26. Green Bay Packers — 90. Packers finished 24th in offensive plays.
26. Houston Texans — 90. Were heavily run committed and will remain so.
28. New York Jets — 81. May be irrelevant with Chan Gailey hired as OC.
29. Seattle Seahawks — 74. Seahawks ranked 32nd in 2014 team pass attempts.
30. Carolina Panthers — 68. Cam Newton is not a checkdown quarterback.
31. San Francisco 49ers — 64. Applicable for BUF. Note: FB Bruce Miller had 25.
32. Cleveland Browns — 48. A leap to expect big catch total for Duke Johnson.

Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva

Bump and Run: Tom Pleads His Case

Written by : Posted on June 25, 2015 : No Comments

Thursday, June 25, 2015

When Tom Brady decides to tuck and run there’s nothing fast about it. So why would his appeal hearing be any different?

If you haven’t turned on a TV in a couple months, the Patriots quarterback was suspended four games after a three-month investigation revealed he was “at least generally aware” of violations related to underinflated footballs (not to shamelessly self-promote, but I did write an article on this topic not too long ago). Attorney Ted Wells reported his findings in a 243-page document that very few people read because Game of Thrones was happening.

Anyway, the golden boy traveled to NFL headquarters in New York Tuesday to plead his case to Roger Goodell. Dressed to the nine and cheesing for the cameras, Touchdown Tom didn’t lack for confidence heading into his big meeting. The NFL moved the hearing to the basement because there were so many people in attendance (reports say close to 40). One of them was Wells, who was available to answer questions from either side. After a grueling 10-hour session, the meeting finally wrapped up around 8:30 p.m. Now it’s up to the NFL’s heavily scrutinized commissioner to decide Brady’s fate.

So how did Tom Terrific perform? It depends who you ask.

Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter Brady gave an “A+ performance” and was his own “greatest ally.”  PFT’s Mike Florio heard something different. According to his sources, Brady “simply reiterated his denial” and didn’t come off as “entirely credible.”

Glad we got that cleared up.

Goodell’s verdict is anyone’s guess, but there’s one thing we can be sure of: he won’t be sharing it with us anytime soon. Cowboys DE Greg Hardy had his suspension appeal heard on May 28. Still crickets.

If Brady can’t get his suspension reduced, he could take the case to federal court like Adrian Peterson did a few months ago. Peterson’s appeal was successful but in general, ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson said “judges are reluctant to second-guess arbitrators.”

For a player of average caliber, the lengthy appeals process might not be worth the effort. But Brady proved he’s worth every penny by having another brilliant offseason. Last year’s Super Bowl MVP completed 108 of 150 passes (72 percent) during team drills with only one interception. Backup Jimmy Garoppolo threw seven picks during New England’s offseason program.

Peyton Could Have Been a Texan

The Broncos almost traded Peyton Manning.

Seriously.

Okay, maybe “almost” isn’t the right word. Sports Radio 610 in Houston confirmed the Broncos and Texans had “very preliminary” talks about Manning before he accepted a $4 million pay cut. The Broncos probably wanted something outrageous for Manning (cue the clip of Dr. Evil holding the world ransom for $100 billion) but the fact that Denver even entertained the idea has to have Peyton rattled. 

With Peyton getting fewer reps than usual at minicamp, the Broncos are taking a long look at professional clipboard-holder-turned-quarterback Brock Osweiler. The 24-year-old’s contract is up at the end of the year. Mike Klis of the Denver Post said the Broncos initially asked Manning to take a $10 million pay cut, another sign that Peyton’s relationship with GM John Elway may not be as hunky-dory as we all thought.

The Broncos wear orange but all I see are red flags. Manning carries significant risk in fantasy this season. Red zone favorite Julius Thomas is gone and the offense is expected to funnel through third-year running back C.J. Anderson. Not to mention Manning turned 39 in March and is coming off a torn quad muscle.

Manning’s current ADP on Yahoo is 34.4. Buyer beware.

Goodbye Quarterback, Hello Wide Receiver

Getting cut by three teams in a year isn’t bad luck. It’s the NFL sending you a message. For Terrelle Pryor the message was quite clear: evolve or die.

After failing to impress at Bengals minicamp, Pryor finally threw in the towel at quarterback (no pun intended). For most players, that would be the end of the line. For an athletic freak like Pryor, it’s just the beginning.

Pryor announced he’s switching to wide receiver, a move he probably should have made ages ago considering his huge 6’5” frame and 4.4 speed. The 26-year-old caught three passes at Ohio State and one with the Raiders so he does have a little experience catching passes.

That’s probably enough to fill two lines on a resume but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. The Browns certainly fall under the “beggars can’t be choosers” category. With Josh Gordon (suspended) and Jordan Cameron (signed with Miami) both gone, Cleveland will open the year with a powerhouse receiving corps of Andrew Hawkins, Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe.

Grab a jersey, Terrelle. You’re hired.

Pryor doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. The final touchdown of the Super Bowl last season was caught by Julian Edelman, a college quarterback who successfully transitioned to wideout in the pros.

In 14 NFL games, Pryor has averaged 6.7 yards per carry. With that kind of scrambling ability, Pryor could be useful as a hybrid receiver/running back like Percy Harvin or Cordarrelle Patterson.

Of course, the quarterback situation in Cleveland is so bleak it may not matter. Josh McCown is coming off a brutal year in Tampa and Johnny Manziel still hasn’t proven he can run an NFL offense. So much for being glass half-full.

 

AFC Quick Hits: Stevan Ridley’s recovery from ACL surgery is going about as fast as Tom Brady’s appeals process. There’s a very real chance the Jets running back will begin the year on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list … With Ridley sidelined, Bilal Powell is expected to open the season as New York’s No. 2 running back behind starter Chris Ivory. Former Ram Zac Stacy is a distant third on the depth chart … Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News said Matt Cassel was “easily the worst-looking quarterback” at minicamp and OTAs. E.J Manuel and Tyrod Taylor are Buffalo’s other options at QB, which means LeSean McCoy might get 400 carries this year … Speaking of Bills running backs, veteran Fred Jackson isn’t sure if he’ll make it through training camp. “We’ll see what happens with me getting cut or not,” said Jackson. “I’ll go out and do whatever I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.” F-Jax led Buffalo with 525 rushing yards last season … Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin will compete in the long jump this weekend at the USA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. He’s hoping to qualify for the World Championships in Beijing later this summer … Rob Gronkowski admitted on Jimmy Kimmel he hasn’t read a book since ninth grade, but he’s no dummy. The Pro Bowl tight end said he hasn’t spent a cent of his football earnings, instead relying on endorsement money to pay his bills … Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald recently called James White a “carbon copy” of Shane Vereen. No wonder the Pats let Vereen walk in free agency … Foxboro Country Club is showing their support for Tom Brady by putting a No. 12 flag on every hole. That must be pretty confusing … The Denver Post’s Troy Renck said “the window closed” on Montee Ball last season. Sounds like the Broncos are going to ride or die with C.J. AndersonDre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard are having a spirited battle for Cincinnati’s left cornerback position. Kirkpatrick appears to have the inside track after closing last season with three picks in his last three games … The Allen Robinson hype machine continues to grow. ESPN’s Mike DiRocco called the receiver “the most impressive offensive player” at Jaguars minicamp. Robinson was on pace for 876 yards last season before suffering a broken foot in Week 10 … Browns DC Jim O’Neil is giving Barkevious Mingo some tough love. He said the third-year linebacker will have to “earn playing time” this season … Joe Flacco seems to be a fan of second-year slot receiver Jeremy Butler. The Ravens QB said Butler was “incredible” at last week’s minicamp … ESPN Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky suspects rookie David Cobb will lead the team in rushing attempts this season. That doesn’t say much for Bishop Sankey … The Titans still haven’t signed No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota. The two sides have been haggling over offset contract language … The NFL suspended former Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw one game for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The 29-year-old is currently unsigned.

 

NFC Quick Hits: Though he hasn’t signed his franchise tender yet, Dez Bryant was present at last week’s minicamp and even shared a hug with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. He also appeared at a photo shoot for Sunday Night Football. I discussed Bryant’s contract situation in greater detail in last week’s Bump and RunTerrance Williams injured his elbow on the last day of minicamp. Cowboys wide receivers coach Derek Dooley didn’t sound overly concerned. “Hopefully he’ll be OK, and we’ll see him in five weeks.” … Morris Claiborne checked in at 172 pounds at last week’s minicamp. That means he’s lost at least 20 pounds since his knee surgery … The Rams gave themselves an out with Todd Gurley by only guaranteeing the first two years of his contract. The University of Georgia star is coming off ACL surgery and may not be ready for the Rams’ season opener against Seattle on September 13 … The Falcons are expected to start Devonta Freeman at running back over rookie Tevin Coleman. Atlanta averaged the ninth-fewest rushing yards in the NFL last season … Mike Evans trained with Randy Moss in North Carolina this offseason. The Buccaneers receiver tied Odell Beckham for the most rookie touchdowns last season with 12 … Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews mostly lined up in the slot during minicamp and OTAs. Riley Cooper and Josh Huff played on the outside … NJ.com’s Eliot Shor-Parks believes Tim Tebow has a good chance to make the Eagles’ roster because he “doesn’t turn the ball over” and can “make plays with his legs.” If Tebow makes the team, it would likely be at the expense of Matt Barkley … The NFL is investigating a 2013 video that allegedly shows Junior Galette assaulting at least two people. Galette missed Saints minicamp last week because of a torn pectoral muscle … Antonio Brown and DeSean Jackson both made cameos on the premiere of HBO’s new series Ballers starring Dwayne Johnson. Free agent Steven Jackson also made an appearance, claiming he had just spent $265,000 on a pet elephant. 

When Tom Brady decides to tuck and run there’s nothing fast about it. So why would his appeal hearing be any different?

If you haven’t turned on a TV in a couple months, the Patriots quarterback was suspended four games after a three-month investigation revealed he was “at least generally aware” of violations related to underinflated footballs (not to shamelessly self-promote, but I did write an article on this topic not too long ago). Attorney Ted Wells reported his findings in a 243-page document that very few people read because Game of Thrones was happening.

Anyway, the golden boy traveled to NFL headquarters in New York Tuesday to plead his case to Roger Goodell. Dressed to the nine and cheesing for the cameras, Touchdown Tom didn’t lack for confidence heading into his big meeting. The NFL moved the hearing to the basement because there were so many people in attendance (reports say close to 40). One of them was Wells, who was available to answer questions from either side. After a grueling 10-hour session, the meeting finally wrapped up around 8:30 p.m. Now it’s up to the NFL’s heavily scrutinized commissioner to decide Brady’s fate.

So how did Tom Terrific perform? It depends who you ask.

Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter Brady gave an “A+ performance” and was his own “greatest ally.”  PFT’s Mike Florio heard something different. According to his sources, Brady “simply reiterated his denial” and didn’t come off as “entirely credible.”

Glad we got that cleared up.

Goodell’s verdict is anyone’s guess, but there’s one thing we can be sure of: he won’t be sharing it with us anytime soon. Cowboys DE Greg Hardy had his suspension appeal heard on May 28. Still crickets.

If Brady can’t get his suspension reduced, he could take the case to federal court like Adrian Peterson did a few months ago. Peterson’s appeal was successful but in general, ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson said “judges are reluctant to second-guess arbitrators.”

For a player of average caliber, the lengthy appeals process might not be worth the effort. But Brady proved he’s worth every penny by having another brilliant offseason. Last year’s Super Bowl MVP completed 108 of 150 passes (72 percent) during team drills with only one interception. Backup Jimmy Garoppolo threw seven picks during New England’s offseason program.

Peyton Could Have Been a Texan

The Broncos almost traded Peyton Manning.

Seriously.

Okay, maybe “almost” isn’t the right word. Sports Radio 610 in Houston confirmed the Broncos and Texans had “very preliminary” talks about Manning before he accepted a $4 million pay cut. The Broncos probably wanted something outrageous for Manning (cue the clip of Dr. Evil holding the world ransom for $100 billion) but the fact that Denver even entertained the idea has to have Peyton rattled. 

With Peyton getting fewer reps than usual at minicamp, the Broncos are taking a long look at professional clipboard-holder-turned-quarterback Brock Osweiler. The 24-year-old’s contract is up at the end of the year. Mike Klis of the Denver Post said the Broncos initially asked Manning to take a $10 million pay cut, another sign that Peyton’s relationship with GM John Elway may not be as hunky-dory as we all thought.

The Broncos wear orange but all I see are red flags. Manning carries significant risk in fantasy this season. Red zone favorite Julius Thomas is gone and the offense is expected to funnel through third-year running back C.J. Anderson. Not to mention Manning turned 39 in March and is coming off a torn quad muscle.

Manning’s current ADP on Yahoo is 34.4. Buyer beware.

Goodbye Quarterback, Hello Wide Receiver

Getting cut by three teams in a year isn’t bad luck. It’s the NFL sending you a message. For Terrelle Pryor the message was quite clear: evolve or die.

After failing to impress at Bengals minicamp, Pryor finally threw in the towel at quarterback (no pun intended). For most players, that would be the end of the line. For an athletic freak like Pryor, it’s just the beginning.

Pryor announced he’s switching to wide receiver, a move he probably should have made ages ago considering his huge 6’5” frame and 4.4 speed. The 26-year-old caught three passes at Ohio State and one with the Raiders so he does have a little experience catching passes.

That’s probably enough to fill two lines on a resume but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. The Browns certainly fall under the “beggars can’t be choosers” category. With Josh Gordon (suspended) and Jordan Cameron (signed with Miami) both gone, Cleveland will open the year with a powerhouse receiving corps of Andrew Hawkins, Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe.

Grab a jersey, Terrelle. You’re hired.

Pryor doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. The final touchdown of the Super Bowl last season was caught by Julian Edelman, a college quarterback who successfully transitioned to wideout in the pros.

In 14 NFL games, Pryor has averaged 6.7 yards per carry. With that kind of scrambling ability, Pryor could be useful as a hybrid receiver/running back like Percy Harvin or Cordarrelle Patterson.

Of course, the quarterback situation in Cleveland is so bleak it may not matter. Josh McCown is coming off a brutal year in Tampa and Johnny Manziel still hasn’t proven he can run an NFL offense. So much for being glass half-full.

 

AFC Quick Hits: Stevan Ridley’s recovery from ACL surgery is going about as fast as Tom Brady’s appeals process. There’s a very real chance the Jets running back will begin the year on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list … With Ridley sidelined, Bilal Powell is expected to open the season as New York’s No. 2 running back behind starter Chris Ivory. Former Ram Zac Stacy is a distant third on the depth chart … Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News said Matt Cassel was “easily the worst-looking quarterback” at minicamp and OTAs. E.J Manuel and Tyrod Taylor are Buffalo’s other options at QB, which means LeSean McCoy might get 400 carries this year … Speaking of Bills running backs, veteran Fred Jackson isn’t sure if he’ll make it through training camp. “We’ll see what happens with me getting cut or not,” said Jackson. “I’ll go out and do whatever I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.” F-Jax led Buffalo with 525 rushing yards last season … Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin will compete in the long jump this weekend at the USA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. He’s hoping to qualify for the World Championships in Beijing later this summer … Rob Gronkowski admitted on Jimmy Kimmel he hasn’t read a book since ninth grade, but he’s no dummy. The Pro Bowl tight end said he hasn’t spent a cent of his football earnings, instead relying on endorsement money to pay his bills … Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald recently called James White a “carbon copy” of Shane Vereen. No wonder the Pats let Vereen walk in free agency … Foxboro Country Club is showing their support for Tom Brady by putting a No. 12 flag on every hole. That must be pretty confusing … The Denver Post’s Troy Renck said “the window closed” on Montee Ball last season. Sounds like the Broncos are going to ride or die with C.J. AndersonDre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard are having a spirited battle for Cincinnati’s left cornerback position. Kirkpatrick appears to have the inside track after closing last season with three picks in his last three games … The Allen Robinson hype machine continues to grow. ESPN’s Mike DiRocco called the receiver “the most impressive offensive player” at Jaguars minicamp. Robinson was on pace for 876 yards last season before suffering a broken foot in Week 10 … Browns DC Jim O’Neil is giving Barkevious Mingo some tough love. He said the third-year linebacker will have to “earn playing time” this season … Joe Flacco seems to be a fan of second-year slot receiver Jeremy Butler. The Ravens QB said Butler was “incredible” at last week’s minicamp … ESPN Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky suspects rookie David Cobb will lead the team in rushing attempts this season. That doesn’t say much for Bishop Sankey … The Titans still haven’t signed No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota. The two sides have been haggling over offset contract language … The NFL suspended former Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw one game for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The 29-year-old is currently unsigned.

 

NFC Quick Hits: Though he hasn’t signed his franchise tender yet, Dez Bryant was present at last week’s minicamp and even shared a hug with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. He also appeared at a photo shoot for Sunday Night Football. I discussed Bryant’s contract situation in greater detail in last week’s Bump and RunTerrance Williams injured his elbow on the last day of minicamp. Cowboys wide receivers coach Derek Dooley didn’t sound overly concerned. “Hopefully he’ll be OK, and we’ll see him in five weeks.” … Morris Claiborne checked in at 172 pounds at last week’s minicamp. That means he’s lost at least 20 pounds since his knee surgery … The Rams gave themselves an out with Todd Gurley by only guaranteeing the first two years of his contract. The University of Georgia star is coming off ACL surgery and may not be ready for the Rams’ season opener against Seattle on September 13 … The Falcons are expected to start Devonta Freeman at running back over rookie Tevin Coleman. Atlanta averaged the ninth-fewest rushing yards in the NFL last season … Mike Evans trained with Randy Moss in North Carolina this offseason. The Buccaneers receiver tied Odell Beckham for the most rookie touchdowns last season with 12 … Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews mostly lined up in the slot during minicamp and OTAs. Riley Cooper and Josh Huff played on the outside … NJ.com’s Eliot Shor-Parks believes Tim Tebow has a good chance to make the Eagles’ roster because he “doesn’t turn the ball over” and can “make plays with his legs.” If Tebow makes the team, it would likely be at the expense of Matt Barkley … The NFL is investigating a 2013 video that allegedly shows Junior Galette assaulting at least two people. Galette missed Saints minicamp last week because of a torn pectoral muscle … Antonio Brown and DeSean Jackson both made cameos on the premiere of HBO’s new series Ballers starring Dwayne Johnson. Free agent Steven Jackson also made an appearance, claiming he had just spent $265,000 on a pet elephant. 

Jesse Pantuosco is a football and baseball writer for Rotoworld. He has won three Fantasy Sports Writers Association Awards. Follow him on Twitter @JessePantuosco.
Email :Jesse Pantuosco

Offseason Low Down: Lions Fantasy Preview

Written by : Posted on June 24, 2015 : No Comments

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lions Year in Review

2014 Pass Attempts Rank: 11th (604)
2014 Rush Attempts Rank: 25th (396)
2014 Total Offensive Plays Rank: 11th (1,045)
2014 Yards Per Play Rank: 21st (5.2)

Projected Starting Lineup

QB: Matthew Stafford
RB: Ameer Abdullah
WR: Calvin Johnson
WR: Golden Tate
TE: Eric Ebron
TE: Brandon Pettigrew
LT: Riley Reiff
LG: Laken Tomlinson
C: Travis Swanson
RG: Larry Warford
RT: Cornelius Lucas

Passing Game Outlook

Similar to its treatment of Ryan Tannehill last offseason, the fantasy community is presently down on Matthew Stafford, an inefficient passer whose first season under OC Joe Lombardi was rocky and exacerbated by Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush‘s injury-plagued campaigns, as well as a poor debut from Eric Ebron. Still only 27, Stafford enters year two of Lombardi’s system with a healthy Megatron, hopefully-more-mature Ebron, and a coaching staff that promises to run the ball more in hopes of minimizing Stafford’s wildness and creating a more consistent, chain-moving attack. Stafford did rally a bit down last season’s stretch, posting a 9:2 TD-to-INT ratio with a healthy Calvin in Detroit’s final five regular season games. Stafford has finished as a top-12 fantasy QB in three of his last four seasons, mixing in two top-seven efforts. While Stafford may never recapture his 41-touchdown form of the 2011 lockout-affected season, I like his chances of taking a 2015 step forward with a healthy Megatron.

An ankle injury cost Calvin Johnson three games and rendered him a decoy in others early last season. His remaining ability showed up in a healthy second half, posting a receiving line that would extrapolate to 98-1,458-12 over 16 games. My opinion is Megatron doesn’t look quite as explosive off the line of scrimmage and straight-line fast on tape as he once was, but that can be difficult to assess with bigger receivers, and I’m confident he has plenty left to still qualify as a top-five WR1. The Lions’ offense seems likely to improve in its second year under OC Joe Lombardi, and Johnson remains the focal point. Even going on age 30, Megatron offers a great floor and monstrous ceiling. He’s a value pick at his round-two ADP.

Golden Tate‘s career-best 2014 stat line looks terrific on paper, but keep in mind those numbers were spiked by an increased role in the games Calvin Johnson missed or was used as a decoy. Tate’s receiving pace was an otherworldly 125-1,917-10 in those five contests, compared to 87-1,065-2 in the 11 others. Three of Tate’s four TDs came in the games where Johnson was limited or missing, and Tate topped 100 yards four times during that stretch compared to just once in the other 11. Tate will be a useful fantasy wideout this year, but his targets and stats are going to take a hit. He’s best viewed as a high-floor, low-ceiling WR2/3.

Eric Ebron entered the league as a decidedly raw, 21-year-old third-year junior prospect with big athletic upside but inconsistent college film. Ebron spent his first NFL season as a part-time player and posted a 54.3% catch rate, which ranked 63rd among 67 qualified tight ends in Pro Football Focus’ ratings. Ebron is big and fast with sneaky lateral movement to his game, but the jury is very much out entering year two. At times, Ebron seemed averse to fighting for the ball in traffic, and he continued to have issues with dropped passes during OTAs. Keep in mind rookie tight ends invariably struggle, and Ebron’s profile coming out of North Carolina very strongly hinted he would, too. My guess is we see incremental improvement in Ebron’s second year, but not quite to the extent that he emerges as a trustworthy fantasy starter.

Running Game Outlook

There are a number of red flags common amongst running backs that should be avoided in fantasy: Age, health, ineffectiveness, and more talented players on the depth chart behind them. Joique Bell enters 2015 with all four. He turns 29 before the season. He missed all of OTAs and minicamp following knee and Achilles’ surgeries, after having an additional knee surgery last offseason. Bell has averaged 3.88 yards per carry over the last two years. The draft brought second-round pick Ameer Abdullah, an explosive playmaker with some Ray Rice to his game. Despite all this, Lions beat writers expect Bell to open this season as the Lions’ starter. Even if he gets that far, it’s hard to imagine Bell’s lead-back grip lasting long.

A terrific NFL prospect from both a game-film and metrics standpoint, Ameer Abdullah was a playmaking all-purpose workhorse at Nebraska, averaging 6.06 YPC over his final two college seasons, registering the highest SPARQ score among running backs at the NFL Combine, and offering an elite combination of lateral agility and lower-body explosion. Abdullah was one of the best all-around football players I watched play intensely before the draft, running between the tackles with determined decisiveness and turning should-be short gains into longer runs. Abdullah needs to clean up his pass protection and ball security, though those are common deficiencies amongst college backs. Already a favorite of the Lions’ coaching staff, Abdullah handled first-team OTA and minicamp reps while Joique Bell nursed multiple surgeries. Abdullah seems likely to emerge as Detroit’s lead back before midseason. Dynamic in space and able to run inside, Abdullah has the traits of a fantasy difference maker.

I watched almost every game Theo Riddick played at Notre Dame, where he converted from slot receiver to tailback and was an inferior runner by every measure to eventual UDFA Cierre Wood, who is currently out of the league. Riddick’s calling card certainly is not his running ability; he’s earned 29 carries through two NFL seasons and averaged 2.62 yards per tote. Riddick can be useful as lightly used receiver out of the backfield, where he posted receiving lines of 5-75-1, 8-74-1, 6-54-0, and 5-34-1 in spot duty last year. Essentially a poor man’s Shane Vereen, Riddick’s passing-game usefulness is threatened by his poor pass protection and could be rendered moot by Ameer Abdullah, who is just as good a receiving weapon, if not better. Riddick could flirt with PPR value this season if Joique Bell or Abdullah goes down. Most likely, Riddick will handle minimal snaps per game as the clear-cut No. 3 running back.

Vegas Win Total

The Lions’ 2015 Win Total is 8.5, one year removed from an 11-5 campaign where they broke in two new coordinators and a new head coach, dealt with a five-week ankle injury to Calvin Johnson, and fielded a bottom-five running game. They aggressively addressed the latter weakness in the draft, selecting power-blocking LG Laken Tomlinson in round one and playmaking RB Ameer Abdullah at No. 54. Their big defensive losses were on the interior line, where they will replace Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, and C.J. Mosley with Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, and Caraun Reid. I don’t think the Lions will continue playing league-best run defense, but I do think DC Teryl Austin‘s unit will remain rock solid and am confident their offense will make 2015 strides. I like Detroit to finish in the range of 9-10 victories this year.

Lions Year in Review

2014 Pass Attempts Rank: 11th (604)
2014 Rush Attempts Rank: 25th (396)
2014 Total Offensive Plays Rank: 11th (1,045)
2014 Yards Per Play Rank: 21st (5.2)

Projected Starting Lineup

QB: Matthew Stafford
RB: Ameer Abdullah
WR: Calvin Johnson
WR: Golden Tate
TE: Eric Ebron
TE: Brandon Pettigrew
LT: Riley Reiff
LG: Laken Tomlinson
C: Travis Swanson
RG: Larry Warford
RT: Cornelius Lucas

Passing Game Outlook

Similar to its treatment of Ryan Tannehill last offseason, the fantasy community is presently down on Matthew Stafford, an inefficient passer whose first season under OC Joe Lombardi was rocky and exacerbated by Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush‘s injury-plagued campaigns, as well as a poor debut from Eric Ebron. Still only 27, Stafford enters year two of Lombardi’s system with a healthy Megatron, hopefully-more-mature Ebron, and a coaching staff that promises to run the ball more in hopes of minimizing Stafford’s wildness and creating a more consistent, chain-moving attack. Stafford did rally a bit down last season’s stretch, posting a 9:2 TD-to-INT ratio with a healthy Calvin in Detroit’s final five regular season games. Stafford has finished as a top-12 fantasy QB in three of his last four seasons, mixing in two top-seven efforts. While Stafford may never recapture his 41-touchdown form of the 2011 lockout-affected season, I like his chances of taking a 2015 step forward with a healthy Megatron.

An ankle injury cost Calvin Johnson three games and rendered him a decoy in others early last season. His remaining ability showed up in a healthy second half, posting a receiving line that would extrapolate to 98-1,458-12 over 16 games. My opinion is Megatron doesn’t look quite as explosive off the line of scrimmage and straight-line fast on tape as he once was, but that can be difficult to assess with bigger receivers, and I’m confident he has plenty left to still qualify as a top-five WR1. The Lions’ offense seems likely to improve in its second year under OC Joe Lombardi, and Johnson remains the focal point. Even going on age 30, Megatron offers a great floor and monstrous ceiling. He’s a value pick at his round-two ADP.

Golden Tate‘s career-best 2014 stat line looks terrific on paper, but keep in mind those numbers were spiked by an increased role in the games Calvin Johnson missed or was used as a decoy. Tate’s receiving pace was an otherworldly 125-1,917-10 in those five contests, compared to 87-1,065-2 in the 11 others. Three of Tate’s four TDs came in the games where Johnson was limited or missing, and Tate topped 100 yards four times during that stretch compared to just once in the other 11. Tate will be a useful fantasy wideout this year, but his targets and stats are going to take a hit. He’s best viewed as a high-floor, low-ceiling WR2/3.

Eric Ebron entered the league as a decidedly raw, 21-year-old third-year junior prospect with big athletic upside but inconsistent college film. Ebron spent his first NFL season as a part-time player and posted a 54.3% catch rate, which ranked 63rd among 67 qualified tight ends in Pro Football Focus’ ratings. Ebron is big and fast with sneaky lateral movement to his game, but the jury is very much out entering year two. At times, Ebron seemed averse to fighting for the ball in traffic, and he continued to have issues with dropped passes during OTAs. Keep in mind rookie tight ends invariably struggle, and Ebron’s profile coming out of North Carolina very strongly hinted he would, too. My guess is we see incremental improvement in Ebron’s second year, but not quite to the extent that he emerges as a trustworthy fantasy starter.

Running Game Outlook

There are a number of red flags common amongst running backs that should be avoided in fantasy: Age, health, ineffectiveness, and more talented players on the depth chart behind them. Joique Bell enters 2015 with all four. He turns 29 before the season. He missed all of OTAs and minicamp following knee and Achilles’ surgeries, after having an additional knee surgery last offseason. Bell has averaged 3.88 yards per carry over the last two years. The draft brought second-round pick Ameer Abdullah, an explosive playmaker with some Ray Rice to his game. Despite all this, Lions beat writers expect Bell to open this season as the Lions’ starter. Even if he gets that far, it’s hard to imagine Bell’s lead-back grip lasting long.

A terrific NFL prospect from both a game-film and metrics standpoint, Ameer Abdullah was a playmaking all-purpose workhorse at Nebraska, averaging 6.06 YPC over his final two college seasons, registering the highest SPARQ score among running backs at the NFL Combine, and offering an elite combination of lateral agility and lower-body explosion. Abdullah was one of the best all-around football players I watched play intensely before the draft, running between the tackles with determined decisiveness and turning should-be short gains into longer runs. Abdullah needs to clean up his pass protection and ball security, though those are common deficiencies amongst college backs. Already a favorite of the Lions’ coaching staff, Abdullah handled first-team OTA and minicamp reps while Joique Bell nursed multiple surgeries. Abdullah seems likely to emerge as Detroit’s lead back before midseason. Dynamic in space and able to run inside, Abdullah has the traits of a fantasy difference maker.

I watched almost every game Theo Riddick played at Notre Dame, where he converted from slot receiver to tailback and was an inferior runner by every measure to eventual UDFA Cierre Wood, who is currently out of the league. Riddick’s calling card certainly is not his running ability; he’s earned 29 carries through two NFL seasons and averaged 2.62 yards per tote. Riddick can be useful as lightly used receiver out of the backfield, where he posted receiving lines of 5-75-1, 8-74-1, 6-54-0, and 5-34-1 in spot duty last year. Essentially a poor man’s Shane Vereen, Riddick’s passing-game usefulness is threatened by his poor pass protection and could be rendered moot by Ameer Abdullah, who is just as good a receiving weapon, if not better. Riddick could flirt with PPR value this season if Joique Bell or Abdullah goes down. Most likely, Riddick will handle minimal snaps per game as the clear-cut No. 3 running back.

Vegas Win Total

The Lions’ 2015 Win Total is 8.5, one year removed from an 11-5 campaign where they broke in two new coordinators and a new head coach, dealt with a five-week ankle injury to Calvin Johnson, and fielded a bottom-five running game. They aggressively addressed the latter weakness in the draft, selecting power-blocking LG Laken Tomlinson in round one and playmaking RB Ameer Abdullah at No. 54. Their big defensive losses were on the interior line, where they will replace Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, and C.J. Mosley with Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, and Caraun Reid. I don’t think the Lions will continue playing league-best run defense, but I do think DC Teryl Austin‘s unit will remain rock solid and am confident their offense will make 2015 strides. I like Detroit to finish in the range of 9-10 victories this year.

Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
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