Monthly Archives: July 2015

Training Camp Daily Dose: Dose: Training Camp Notes

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

Friday, July 31, 2015

It is finally that time of the year. Yes, training camp has come slowly – but that can only mean one thing: it’s officially the beginning of the fantasy football season. Embrace it.

Let’s get right down to the news you care most about.

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and tons more, check out our Draft Guide!

The Headlines

Two shocking (not actually shocking) bits of news came out about two much-maligned running backs on Thursday. First, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported he’s hearing “whispers” of the Raiders’ flyer on Trent Richardson “not going so well.” T-Rich apparently lost weight – he was reportedly up to 240 pounds last year – but there is a low chance he ever regains any competent form. He’s due only $600,000 guaranteed on his two-year deal, making him an easy cut if the Raiders want to search for a better 3rd running back behind Latavius Murray and Roy Helu.

Tell me if you have heard this story before: Darren McFadden has a hamstring injury. No really. The soon-to-be 28-year-old McFadden has dealt with oft-injured hamstrings his entire career and his most recent mishap has landed him on the active/PUP (physically unable to perform) list to start Cowboys camp. Joking aside, Darren McFadden carried the ball 155 times last year in Oakland and only popped one carry for 20-plus yards. With his signing bonus ($200,000) being the only guaranteed money in his deal, McFadden – like the aforementioned T-Rich – makes for an easy cut in Dallas’ convoluted backfield if he can’t stay healthy for a decent stretch. Please avoid him at his ADP of 108 overall.

Ravens’ rookie wideout with a 99th percentile height-adjusted speed score, Breshad Perriman, opened up camp with the starters on Thursday. Baltimore lost 92 targets from Torrey Smith and another 79 from Owen Daniels leaving a 31.6% target share up for grabs. Of course Perriman won’t see all of those targets right off of the bat, but with Steve Smith entering his age-36 season, Perriman will be thrown into the league’s water in a “sink or swim” mode as the Ravens’ “X” receiver in a similar fashion to Kelvin Benjamin in 2014.

In a good bit of injury news relating to Victor Cruz’s torn patellar tendon, he will avoid the PUP list and will be “eased in” to begin training camp. All signs point to Cruz’s availability Week 1 as of right now, but as an insurance policy, the Giants signed veteran 31-year-old wideout James Jones to a one-year deal. If he’s healthy, Cruz should slide back into the Giants’ slot-role with Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle on the perimeter. James Jones and Corey Washington will fight for the Giants’ No. 4 and 5 wide receiver duties.

Keeping the positive injury news train rolling, Bengals TE Tyler Eifert called himself 100% healthy on the first day of Bengals camp after suffering a season-ending elbow injury just eight snaps into Week 1 last year. Eifert still has breakout appeal in his third NFL season and is going in the late-10th round of fantasy drafts.

Finally, FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo reported that a “sizeable gap” remains between Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in talks of a new contract. A new deal will be struck at some point, but Wilson wants to be the highest-paid player in the league until Andrew Luck gets his brand new deal. Wilson has a career 72:26 TD-to-INT ratio and has completed 63.4% of his career passes while throwing to barely above replacement level receivers. He’s earned a big extension.

For everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @GrahamBarfield on Twitter.

Deeper News and Notes

Dolphins left tackle Branden Albert (knee) is “ahead of schedule” but is unsure if he’ll be ready to play Week 1 – Albert did avoid the reserve/PUP list, which is a good sign. DeVante Parker’s agent said he would be “shocked” if his client isn’t ready for Week 1 after having a “precautionary cleanup” on the screw in his surgically repaired left foot (fifth metatarsal) that he broke back in August of 2014 at Louisville. Parker’s average draft position is currently at 112 overall (WR48).

After being slapped with a four-game ban for substance abuse, Jets LE Sheldon Richardson is back in the news after a report surfaced he was arrested in Missouri earlier in July for “resisting arrest” and “various traffic citations”. The incident included Richardson driving as fast as 143 miles per hour and he was accused of eluding an officer that tried to pull him over.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported the Falcons believe Devonta Freeman is the “right” fit in OC Kyle Shanahan’s scheme even though the Falcons just invested third round draft capital into the Indiana product, Tevin Coleman. Early into camp, it looks like this running back situation is headed towards some sort of committee. Coleman’s average draft position is in the early-5th while Freeman’s is in the mid-7th.

Quick Hitters

Rams No. 10 overall pick RB Todd Gurley (ACL) avoided the PUP list but is expected to be limited in individual drills to start training camp… The Bengals signed Greg Little to a one-year contract and he is far from a lock to make Cincy’s final 53-man roster … Nick Wagoner of ESPN reported, “nothing appears imminent” in regards to Nick Foles receiving a new contract from the Rams before ever playing a snap in St. Louis … Giants owner said the team has “no idea” when Jason Pierre-Paul (thumb, finger) will report to camp after his July Fourth fireworks incident … Browns RB Terrance West “received first team carries” as Cleveland’s camp opened Thursday, as this seems like a continuing theme in an extremely muddy backfield … Finally, Eagles QB Sam Bradford was “moving great” according to rookie WR Nelson Agholor and Bradford is expected to be a “full go” when Eagles camp opens Sunday per NJ.com.

It is finally that time of the year. Yes, training camp has come slowly – but that can only mean one thing: it’s officially the beginning of the fantasy football season. Embrace it.

Let’s get right down to the news you care most about.

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and tons more, check out our Draft Guide!

The Headlines

Two shocking (not actually shocking) bits of news came out about two much-maligned running backs on Thursday. First, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported he’s hearing “whispers” of the Raiders’ flyer on Trent Richardson “not going so well.” T-Rich apparently lost weight – he was reportedly up to 240 pounds last year – but there is a low chance he ever regains any competent form. He’s due only $600,000 guaranteed on his two-year deal, making him an easy cut if the Raiders want to search for a better 3rd running back behind Latavius Murray and Roy Helu.

Tell me if you have heard this story before: Darren McFadden has a hamstring injury. No really. The soon-to-be 28-year-old McFadden has dealt with oft-injured hamstrings his entire career and his most recent mishap has landed him on the active/PUP (physically unable to perform) list to start Cowboys camp. Joking aside, Darren McFadden carried the ball 155 times last year in Oakland and only popped one carry for 20-plus yards. With his signing bonus ($200,000) being the only guaranteed money in his deal, McFadden – like the aforementioned T-Rich – makes for an easy cut in Dallas’ convoluted backfield if he can’t stay healthy for a decent stretch. Please avoid him at his ADP of 108 overall.

Ravens’ rookie wideout with a 99th percentile height-adjusted speed score, Breshad Perriman, opened up camp with the starters on Thursday. Baltimore lost 92 targets from Torrey Smith and another 79 from Owen Daniels leaving a 31.6% target share up for grabs. Of course Perriman won’t see all of those targets right off of the bat, but with Steve Smith entering his age-36 season, Perriman will be thrown into the league’s water in a “sink or swim” mode as the Ravens’ “X” receiver in a similar fashion to Kelvin Benjamin in 2014.

In a good bit of injury news relating to Victor Cruz’s torn patellar tendon, he will avoid the PUP list and will be “eased in” to begin training camp. All signs point to Cruz’s availability Week 1 as of right now, but as an insurance policy, the Giants signed veteran 31-year-old wideout James Jones to a one-year deal. If he’s healthy, Cruz should slide back into the Giants’ slot-role with Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle on the perimeter. James Jones and Corey Washington will fight for the Giants’ No. 4 and 5 wide receiver duties.

Keeping the positive injury news train rolling, Bengals TE Tyler Eifert called himself 100% healthy on the first day of Bengals camp after suffering a season-ending elbow injury just eight snaps into Week 1 last year. Eifert still has breakout appeal in his third NFL season and is going in the late-10th round of fantasy drafts.

Finally, FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo reported that a “sizeable gap” remains between Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in talks of a new contract. A new deal will be struck at some point, but Wilson wants to be the highest-paid player in the league until Andrew Luck gets his brand new deal. Wilson has a career 72:26 TD-to-INT ratio and has completed 63.4% of his career passes while throwing to barely above replacement level receivers. He’s earned a big extension.

For everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @GrahamBarfield on Twitter.

Deeper News and Notes

Dolphins left tackle Branden Albert (knee) is “ahead of schedule” but is unsure if he’ll be ready to play Week 1 – Albert did avoid the reserve/PUP list, which is a good sign. DeVante Parker’s agent said he would be “shocked” if his client isn’t ready for Week 1 after having a “precautionary cleanup” on the screw in his surgically repaired left foot (fifth metatarsal) that he broke back in August of 2014 at Louisville. Parker’s average draft position is currently at 112 overall (WR48).

After being slapped with a four-game ban for substance abuse, Jets LE Sheldon Richardson is back in the news after a report surfaced he was arrested in Missouri earlier in July for “resisting arrest” and “various traffic citations”. The incident included Richardson driving as fast as 143 miles per hour and he was accused of eluding an officer that tried to pull him over.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported the Falcons believe Devonta Freeman is the “right” fit in OC Kyle Shanahan’s scheme even though the Falcons just invested third round draft capital into the Indiana product, Tevin Coleman. Early into camp, it looks like this running back situation is headed towards some sort of committee. Coleman’s average draft position is in the early-5th while Freeman’s is in the mid-7th.

Quick Hitters

Rams No. 10 overall pick RB Todd Gurley (ACL) avoided the PUP list but is expected to be limited in individual drills to start training camp… The Bengals signed Greg Little to a one-year contract and he is far from a lock to make Cincy’s final 53-man roster … Nick Wagoner of ESPN reported, “nothing appears imminent” in regards to Nick Foles receiving a new contract from the Rams before ever playing a snap in St. Louis … Giants owner said the team has “no idea” when Jason Pierre-Paul (thumb, finger) will report to camp after his July Fourth fireworks incident … Browns RB Terrance West “received first team carries” as Cleveland’s camp opened Thursday, as this seems like a continuing theme in an extremely muddy backfield … Finally, Eagles QB Sam Bradford was “moving great” according to rookie WR Nelson Agholor and Bradford is expected to be a “full go” when Eagles camp opens Sunday per NJ.com.

Draft Analysis: ADP First Look: Undervalued

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

For this look at some guys undervalued in terms of Average Draft Position (ADP), I used MyFantasyLeague full-PPR best ball data. These leagues are for real money, so I find them to have the most accurate ADP – even if best ball (draft only leagues) have some different strategy than season long. As we prepare for drafts, understanding what our opponents think of players is almost as important as what we think of players. Take time to wrap your head around ADP.

For last week’s lost at overvalued players, bang it here.

Below are five guys I think are values at their current ADP:  

1. Arian Foster, ADP 14.9
The main reason Arian Foster is slipping into the early part of the second round is injury history – he’s missed 11 games over the last two years and been hobbled in a fistful of others. Granted, this is a legit concern. Foster will be 29 later this month and has had at least 260 carries in four of the last five seasons. Injury Predictor’s algorithm puts him around a 90 percent favorite to miss at least one game this year.

All that said, the per-game reward on Foster is massive. He was fantasy’s No. 2 RB in points per game last year, behind only DeMarco Murray. Our Graham Barfield has pointed out that Foster has been a top-12 RB in 67 percent of the games he’s played over the last five years. Coaches love riding this guy – he’s touched the ball an average of 23.5 times per game during that five-year span. He’s a game-flow neutral back as he excels in the pass game. And for a cherry on top, Foster enjoyed a completely healthy offseason and participated fully in OTAs.

Editor’s Note: For rankings, projections, draft recaps, exclusive columns and tons more, check out Rotoworld Football Draft Guide.

2. Sam Bradford, ADP 149.7
Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez have combined to throw 59 touchdown passes across Chip Kelly’s two-year tender in Philly. They’ve run for six more. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a healthy Sam Bradford is better than anyone in that trio at this point in their respective careers.

For everyone that wants to rip Bradford for his time in St. Louis, I’ll say this: He’s going from the league’s worst offensive line to one of the best. Going from Brian Schottenheimer, Jeff Fisher and Steve Spagnuolo to Chip. From one of the toughest defensive divisions to one of the softest. From Tavon Austin, Brian Quick and Jared Cook to Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor. From the league’s third-slowest paced team (59.8 plays/game) to the fastest (70.7).

Yes, Bradford has an ugly injury history dating all the way back to Oklahoma. But Chip’s sports science methods produced the league’s second-fewest injuries in each of his two years with the Eagles. As a late-round QB truther, I’ll roll the dice with Bradford as my QB1 and be happy about it.

3. Doug Martin, ADP 89.0
The Bucs coaching staff can’t stop talking up Charles Sims. They’re also talking out of both sides of their mouth. Sims only got 8.2 carries per game as a rookie and was dreadfully ineffective with them, forcing a pitiful six missed tackles on 66 attempts and averaging a miserable 1.36 yards per carry. This offseason, Doug Martin shed weight (which correlates directly with increasing YPC) and reportedly had the best offseason of his career. He monopolized the first-team reps. Sims’ rookie-year tape suggests he’ll max out as a passing back, leaving Martin to gobble up all the early-down work in an offense that should be drastically improved thanks to the arrivals of Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston. The eighth round is not a steep price to pay for a shot at a feature back.

Editor’s Note: The Rotoworld Football team is finally in the podcast game. Click here to subscribe (for free) on iTunes.

4. Rashad Jennings, ADP 79.8
Andre Williams isn’t very good at football. He’s an absolute liability as a pass-catcher, ranked 41st among PFF’s 57 qualifiers yards after contact per attempt and finished at 3.32 YPC. Shane Vereen is a very useful football player on pass downs, but is not one that will be used as a runner in the red zone and not one that has shown signs of carrying anything close to big workloads.

All this leads us to Rashad Jennings, who Ben McAdoo saddled up and rode heavily last season when he could. In Jennings’ first eight outings as a Giant, he averaged 19.2 carries and 3.2 catches per game. That kind of usage isn’t typically available seventh round. I’m happy to take a shot while fully understanding Jennings’ age (turned 30 in March) and injury history.

5. Mike Wallace, ADP 80.7
I like prototypical size/speed breakout candidate Charles Johnson a lot. His game against the Jets in Week 14 last year was one of the highlights of my FanDuel season. Johnson is Norv Turner’s every-down X, a traditionally voluminous position. I still think there’s more value in using a seventh- or eighth-round pick on the forgotten Mike Wallace than the buzzy Johnson.

Even though Johnson played on 94.9 percent of the snaps over the final six weeks, he only averaged 3.1 catches for 54.6 yards with two touchdowns on 6.6 targets. Jarius Wright was far more effective on a per-snap basis. Meanwhile, Wallace’s (earned) reputation as a locker room cancer shouldn’t overshadow gamebreaking ability. If Ryan Tannehill could throw a deep ball, Wallace’s 67-862-10 line from last year would have looked far, far better. The bomb isn’t Teddy Bridgewater’s calling card, but he’s Dan Fouts compared to Tannehill. More encouragingly last year, Wallace showed an ability to not just be a burner by posting a reasonable 62.0 catch rate at a top-21 aDOT (average depth of target) of 14.8. This feels a little bit like last year’s Ravens situation, we everyone – myself included – thought Torrey Smith would be Gary Kubiak’s voluminous X. It turned out to be Steve Smith getting peppered with targets.  

For this look at some guys undervalued in terms of Average Draft Position (ADP), I used MyFantasyLeague full-PPR best ball data. These leagues are for real money, so I find them to have the most accurate ADP – even if best ball (draft only leagues) have some different strategy than season long. As we prepare for drafts, understanding what our opponents think of players is almost as important as what we think of players. Take time to wrap your head around ADP.

For last week’s lost at overvalued players, bang it here.

Below are five guys I think are values at their current ADP:  

1. Arian Foster, ADP 14.9
The main reason Arian Foster is slipping into the early part of the second round is injury history – he’s missed 11 games over the last two years and been hobbled in a fistful of others. Granted, this is a legit concern. Foster will be 29 later this month and has had at least 260 carries in four of the last five seasons. Injury Predictor’s algorithm puts him around a 90 percent favorite to miss at least one game this year.

All that said, the per-game reward on Foster is massive. He was fantasy’s No. 2 RB in points per game last year, behind only DeMarco Murray. Our Graham Barfield has pointed out that Foster has been a top-12 RB in 67 percent of the games he’s played over the last five years. Coaches love riding this guy – he’s touched the ball an average of 23.5 times per game during that five-year span. He’s a game-flow neutral back as he excels in the pass game. And for a cherry on top, Foster enjoyed a completely healthy offseason and participated fully in OTAs.

Editor’s Note: For rankings, projections, draft recaps, exclusive columns and tons more, check out Rotoworld Football Draft Guide.

2. Sam Bradford, ADP 149.7
Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez have combined to throw 59 touchdown passes across Chip Kelly’s two-year tender in Philly. They’ve run for six more. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a healthy Sam Bradford is better than anyone in that trio at this point in their respective careers.

For everyone that wants to rip Bradford for his time in St. Louis, I’ll say this: He’s going from the league’s worst offensive line to one of the best. Going from Brian Schottenheimer, Jeff Fisher and Steve Spagnuolo to Chip. From one of the toughest defensive divisions to one of the softest. From Tavon Austin, Brian Quick and Jared Cook to Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor. From the league’s third-slowest paced team (59.8 plays/game) to the fastest (70.7).

Yes, Bradford has an ugly injury history dating all the way back to Oklahoma. But Chip’s sports science methods produced the league’s second-fewest injuries in each of his two years with the Eagles. As a late-round QB truther, I’ll roll the dice with Bradford as my QB1 and be happy about it.

3. Doug Martin, ADP 89.0
The Bucs coaching staff can’t stop talking up Charles Sims. They’re also talking out of both sides of their mouth. Sims only got 8.2 carries per game as a rookie and was dreadfully ineffective with them, forcing a pitiful six missed tackles on 66 attempts and averaging a miserable 1.36 yards per carry. This offseason, Doug Martin shed weight (which correlates directly with increasing YPC) and reportedly had the best offseason of his career. He monopolized the first-team reps. Sims’ rookie-year tape suggests he’ll max out as a passing back, leaving Martin to gobble up all the early-down work in an offense that should be drastically improved thanks to the arrivals of Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston. The eighth round is not a steep price to pay for a shot at a feature back.

Editor’s Note: The Rotoworld Football team is finally in the podcast game. Click here to subscribe (for free) on iTunes.

4. Rashad Jennings, ADP 79.8
Andre Williams isn’t very good at football. He’s an absolute liability as a pass-catcher, ranked 41st among PFF’s 57 qualifiers yards after contact per attempt and finished at 3.32 YPC. Shane Vereen is a very useful football player on pass downs, but is not one that will be used as a runner in the red zone and not one that has shown signs of carrying anything close to big workloads.

All this leads us to Rashad Jennings, who Ben McAdoo saddled up and rode heavily last season when he could. In Jennings’ first eight outings as a Giant, he averaged 19.2 carries and 3.2 catches per game. That kind of usage isn’t typically available seventh round. I’m happy to take a shot while fully understanding Jennings’ age (turned 30 in March) and injury history.

5. Mike Wallace, ADP 80.7
I like prototypical size/speed breakout candidate Charles Johnson a lot. His game against the Jets in Week 14 last year was one of the highlights of my FanDuel season. Johnson is Norv Turner’s every-down X, a traditionally voluminous position. I still think there’s more value in using a seventh- or eighth-round pick on the forgotten Mike Wallace than the buzzy Johnson.

Even though Johnson played on 94.9 percent of the snaps over the final six weeks, he only averaged 3.1 catches for 54.6 yards with two touchdowns on 6.6 targets. Jarius Wright was far more effective on a per-snap basis. Meanwhile, Wallace’s (earned) reputation as a locker room cancer shouldn’t overshadow gamebreaking ability. If Ryan Tannehill could throw a deep ball, Wallace’s 67-862-10 line from last year would have looked far, far better. The bomb isn’t Teddy Bridgewater’s calling card, but he’s Dan Fouts compared to Tannehill. More encouragingly last year, Wallace showed an ability to not just be a burner by posting a reasonable 62.0 catch rate at a top-21 aDOT (average depth of target) of 14.8. This feels a little bit like last year’s Ravens situation, we everyone – myself included – thought Torrey Smith would be Gary Kubiak’s voluminous X. It turned out to be Steve Smith getting peppered with targets.  

Adam Levitan is in his seventh season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN’s overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
Email :Adam Levitan

Division by Division: Fantasy Watch: AFC North

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

All-Fantasy First Team

QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
RB1: Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
RB2: Jeremy Hill, Bengals
WR1: Antonio Brown, Steelers
WR2: A.J. Green, Bengals
WR3: Martavis Bryant, Steelers
TE: Tyler Eifert, Bengals
D/ST: Bengals
K: Justin Tucker, Ravens

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and tons more, check out our Draft Guide!

Overrated

1. Giovani Bernard, Bengals: I think Bernard is a very useful and skilled football player, but Jeremy Hill is the man now in Cincinnati and more than capable of being a three-down back. Hill can drop the hammer as an inside runner on first and second down and actually was PFF’s No. 7 pass-blocking back last season. Bernard saw 55 targets last season and will still see snaps on passing downs, but his looks will be harder to come by with Tyler Eifert and Marvin Jones healthy. I’d much prefer guys like Jeremy Maclin, Ameer Abdullah and Doug Martin in the same ADP range as Bernard.

2. Terrance West, Browns: Reports from Browns camp have been all over the place this offseason. At one point, West was running as the No. 4 back behind projected starter Isaiah Crowell, rookie Duke Johnson and veteran journeyman Shaun Draughn. Then, West ended up taking the first rep at training with the first-team offense. West was unimpressive on the field as a rookie and fell into the coaching staff’s doghouse off it. This is a muddy backfield with West having the least talent.

3. Steve Smith Sr., Ravens: Senior turned 36 earlier this offseason, and the Ravens have said they want to scale back his snaps after he wore down over the second half of last season. Baltimore drafted Breshad Perriman in the first round of April’s draft, while it also seems high on youngsters Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken and Michael Campanaro. New OC Marc Trestman is a pass-happy play caller, but I’m letting somebody else draft Smith, and I’ll take John Brown and Brandon LaFell in the same range.

For everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @NickMensio on Twitter.

Underrated

1. Andy Dalton, Bengals: Being drafted as QB26 behind guys like Nick Foles and Derek Carr, Dalton is basically free. How quickly we forget Dalton was a top-five fantasy quarterback in 2013 before tumbling to No. 18 last season. Thanks to injuries to A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert, Dalton was left with Mohamed Sanu, Brandon Tate and Jermaine Gresham as his top targets at times. With everyone back healthy and OC Hue Jackson ready to “open Pandora’s box,” I’ll gladly take Dalton in an AFC North without much defense. He’s going to have a number of top-10 fantasy weeks.

2. Isaiah Crowell, Browns: Give me a talented inside runner with a nose for the end zone who sits atop his team’s depth chart behind one of the league’s better offensive lines in the seventh round of drafts every day of the week. He’s not going to dominate touches in Cleveland’s backfield with rookie Duke Johnson figuring to have a role, but Crowell is the favorite on early downs and in the red zone.

3. Breshad Perriman, Ravens: Perriman’s god-awful head of hair aside, the dude is a mega-talent that just needs to harness it. The rookie has had an up-and-down first couple months with the Ravens. He’s been drop-prone at times but has also been praised as a “quick learner” by coach John Harbaugh. Perriman opened training camp as the starter opposite Steve Smith Sr. and has nobody but Senior and a host of unknowns in his way for targets in pass-happy OC Marc Trestman’s scheme. Alshon Jeffery developed into a star under Trestman in Chicago. Perriman is just as talented.

4. Marvin Jones, Bengals: Like with teammate Andy Dalton above, casual fantasy football owners have seemed to forget about Jones. He turned 77 targets into 10 touchdowns in 2013 and was PFF’s No. 7 receiver as a part-time player. Jones was a red-zone dominator two seasons ago before hurting his foot/ankle and missing all of 2014. Still 25 in one of the league’s most talented skill-position groups, Jones has WR3 upside at his very affordable, basically-free 12th-round ADP.

Late-Round Fliers

1. Lorenzo Taliaferro, Ravens: Last year’s fourth-round pick, Taliaferro averaged 4.3 YPC across 68 carries as a rookie and showed a nose for the end zone with four touchdowns. Leaner and quicker after dropping eight pounds and trimming body fat in the offseason, Taliaferro is the heavy favorite for early-down backup duties behind soon-to-be 30-year-old Justin Forsett. He’s worth a dart throw as the handcuff to an aging running back in Forsett.

2. Dwayne Bowe, Browns: Somebody’s got to catch the football in Cleveland, right? Being drafted after No. 4 receivers Phillip Dorsett and mega-bust Cordarrelle Patterson, Bowe will be in the mix to lead the Browns in targets and touchdowns. That may not be more than 800 yards and a handful of scores, but Bowe is a fine value at his 14th-round ADP.

3. Andrew Hawkins, Browns: Expect Hawkins to challenge Bowe for the team lead in targets as a sure-handed safety valve for Josh McCown. He turned 101 targets last season into a 63-825-2 receiving line with Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw. McCown is no worse. The only problem with Hawkins is he’s not going to score much, leaving most of his value in PPR leagues.

4. Kamar Aiken, Ravens: If for some reason first-round rookie Breshad Perriman isn’t able to adjust to the NFL in year one, Aiken will be the next man up. He ran with the starters during the spring while the Ravens broke Perriman in and made a number of dazzling grabs. With plus size (6-foot-2, 215) and speed (4.45 forty), Aiken at least has the upper hand for No. 3 work behind a raw rookie and 36-year-old veteran Steve Smith Sr.

5. Rob Housler, Browns: Housler has long been an intriguing name in the fantasy football community. Highly athletic with a 37-inch vertical and 4.55 speed, he’s been dubbed a wide receiver in a tight end’s body. Housler never had a chance in Arizona under coach Bruce Arians, who doesn’t feature the tight end, but signed on with the Browns to replace Jordan Cameron. The Browns will get him out away from the line of scrimmage as a “move” tight end and let him stretch the seams. Getting all the first-team reps on an offense starved for playmakers, Housler is going undrafted in 12-team leagues.

All-Fantasy First Team

QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
RB1: Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
RB2: Jeremy Hill, Bengals
WR1: Antonio Brown, Steelers
WR2: A.J. Green, Bengals
WR3: Martavis Bryant, Steelers
TE: Tyler Eifert, Bengals
D/ST: Bengals
K: Justin Tucker, Ravens

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and tons more, check out our Draft Guide!

Overrated

1. Giovani Bernard, Bengals: I think Bernard is a very useful and skilled football player, but Jeremy Hill is the man now in Cincinnati and more than capable of being a three-down back. Hill can drop the hammer as an inside runner on first and second down and actually was PFF’s No. 7 pass-blocking back last season. Bernard saw 55 targets last season and will still see snaps on passing downs, but his looks will be harder to come by with Tyler Eifert and Marvin Jones healthy. I’d much prefer guys like Jeremy Maclin, Ameer Abdullah and Doug Martin in the same ADP range as Bernard.

2. Terrance West, Browns: Reports from Browns camp have been all over the place this offseason. At one point, West was running as the No. 4 back behind projected starter Isaiah Crowell, rookie Duke Johnson and veteran journeyman Shaun Draughn. Then, West ended up taking the first rep at training with the first-team offense. West was unimpressive on the field as a rookie and fell into the coaching staff’s doghouse off it. This is a muddy backfield with West having the least talent.

3. Steve Smith Sr., Ravens: Senior turned 36 earlier this offseason, and the Ravens have said they want to scale back his snaps after he wore down over the second half of last season. Baltimore drafted Breshad Perriman in the first round of April’s draft, while it also seems high on youngsters Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken and Michael Campanaro. New OC Marc Trestman is a pass-happy play caller, but I’m letting somebody else draft Smith, and I’ll take John Brown and Brandon LaFell in the same range.

For everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @NickMensio on Twitter.

Underrated

1. Andy Dalton, Bengals: Being drafted as QB26 behind guys like Nick Foles and Derek Carr, Dalton is basically free. How quickly we forget Dalton was a top-five fantasy quarterback in 2013 before tumbling to No. 18 last season. Thanks to injuries to A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert, Dalton was left with Mohamed Sanu, Brandon Tate and Jermaine Gresham as his top targets at times. With everyone back healthy and OC Hue Jackson ready to “open Pandora’s box,” I’ll gladly take Dalton in an AFC North without much defense. He’s going to have a number of top-10 fantasy weeks.

2. Isaiah Crowell, Browns: Give me a talented inside runner with a nose for the end zone who sits atop his team’s depth chart behind one of the league’s better offensive lines in the seventh round of drafts every day of the week. He’s not going to dominate touches in Cleveland’s backfield with rookie Duke Johnson figuring to have a role, but Crowell is the favorite on early downs and in the red zone.

3. Breshad Perriman, Ravens: Perriman’s god-awful head of hair aside, the dude is a mega-talent that just needs to harness it. The rookie has had an up-and-down first couple months with the Ravens. He’s been drop-prone at times but has also been praised as a “quick learner” by coach John Harbaugh. Perriman opened training camp as the starter opposite Steve Smith Sr. and has nobody but Senior and a host of unknowns in his way for targets in pass-happy OC Marc Trestman’s scheme. Alshon Jeffery developed into a star under Trestman in Chicago. Perriman is just as talented.

4. Marvin Jones, Bengals: Like with teammate Andy Dalton above, casual fantasy football owners have seemed to forget about Jones. He turned 77 targets into 10 touchdowns in 2013 and was PFF’s No. 7 receiver as a part-time player. Jones was a red-zone dominator two seasons ago before hurting his foot/ankle and missing all of 2014. Still 25 in one of the league’s most talented skill-position groups, Jones has WR3 upside at his very affordable, basically-free 12th-round ADP.

Late-Round Fliers

1. Lorenzo Taliaferro, Ravens: Last year’s fourth-round pick, Taliaferro averaged 4.3 YPC across 68 carries as a rookie and showed a nose for the end zone with four touchdowns. Leaner and quicker after dropping eight pounds and trimming body fat in the offseason, Taliaferro is the heavy favorite for early-down backup duties behind soon-to-be 30-year-old Justin Forsett. He’s worth a dart throw as the handcuff to an aging running back in Forsett.

2. Dwayne Bowe, Browns: Somebody’s got to catch the football in Cleveland, right? Being drafted after No. 4 receivers Phillip Dorsett and mega-bust Cordarrelle Patterson, Bowe will be in the mix to lead the Browns in targets and touchdowns. That may not be more than 800 yards and a handful of scores, but Bowe is a fine value at his 14th-round ADP.

3. Andrew Hawkins, Browns: Expect Hawkins to challenge Bowe for the team lead in targets as a sure-handed safety valve for Josh McCown. He turned 101 targets last season into a 63-825-2 receiving line with Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw. McCown is no worse. The only problem with Hawkins is he’s not going to score much, leaving most of his value in PPR leagues.

4. Kamar Aiken, Ravens: If for some reason first-round rookie Breshad Perriman isn’t able to adjust to the NFL in year one, Aiken will be the next man up. He ran with the starters during the spring while the Ravens broke Perriman in and made a number of dazzling grabs. With plus size (6-foot-2, 215) and speed (4.45 forty), Aiken at least has the upper hand for No. 3 work behind a raw rookie and 36-year-old veteran Steve Smith Sr.

5. Rob Housler, Browns: Housler has long been an intriguing name in the fantasy football community. Highly athletic with a 37-inch vertical and 4.55 speed, he’s been dubbed a wide receiver in a tight end’s body. Housler never had a chance in Arizona under coach Bruce Arians, who doesn’t feature the tight end, but signed on with the Browns to replace Jordan Cameron. The Browns will get him out away from the line of scrimmage as a “move” tight end and let him stretch the seams. Getting all the first-team reps on an offense starved for playmakers, Housler is going undrafted in 12-team leagues.

Nick Mensio is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
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Dolphins owner Ross: Expect to make playoffs

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

If the Dolphins don’t make the playoffs, they’ll have to deal with an unhappy owner. (USATSI)

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is getting just a tad antsy as he waits for his team to finally turn the corner from mediocre and middling to playoff caliber. Just how impatient is Ross?

He went full Walter White on Thursday.

According to Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald, Ross was asked if he’s getting antsy for some positive results. Here’s how Ross responded to that question:

“You’re god damn right.”

Like I said, Ross went full Walter White.

Just in case head coach Joe Philbin wasn’t entirely clear on what the expectations were for this upcoming season, Ross made them crystal clear:

Like crystal, crystal clear:

In fairness to Philbin, he appears to have already understood what needs to get done in 2015. On Sunday, Philbin communicated his desire to win a championship in Miami, saying he “didn’t come here to be average and be 8-8.

Well, since Philbin’s arrival in Miami, 8-8 is the best result he’s been able to muster, compiling a 23-25 record in his three seasons as the team’s head coach. Now, with Ndamukong Suh signed to a $114 million deal…

…and with quarterback Ryan Tannehill entering his fourth year in the league, the Dolphins are expecting to make the leap to the postseason.

Otherwise, they’ll face the wrath of Wal…Stephen Ross.

Draft Analysis: Who’s No. 1?

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

There are years to have the No. 1 overall pick. 2013, for instance. Adrian Peterson was 28 and coming off a 2,097-yard season. You took him. But that sort of clarity is fleeting at the top. Where 2013 had Peterson, most years have a jumble of injuries and confusion. 2015 features questions inside of questions, and headaches on top of heartburn. Can Le’Veon Bell produce enough to make up for two missed games? Is Jamaal Charles starting to break down? Can Peterson storm back from his exile? There are no clear answers.

So we’ve established this season lacks consensus at the top. What it does not lack is contenders. Especially with fantasy drafters more open than ever to first-round receivers, viable cases can be made for almost a dozen players at No. 1. Some of them are much flimsier than others, but I think these 10 deserve a fair trial. Without further ado, here are this year’s most-worthy candidates for the No. 1 overall pick in standard leagues. I think three stand out above the rest.

Note: This list is not the order I’m drafting in this summer. The first five were determined via FantasyPros’ consensus ADP. The next five are players outside the top five I believe have at least a reasonable case for No. 1 overall.     

Jamaal Charles

ADP: 1.8

Case For: Consistent and durable, Charles has never averaged fewer than 5.0 yards per carry. He’s missed more than one game just once in seven NFL seasons. Both feats are practically unheard of for modern NFL running backs. The funnel through which the Chiefs’ offense is filtered, Charles is still only 28, and has a modest 1,511 career touches to his name. Time and career workload are still on his side.   

Case Against: Durable though he may be, Charles touched the ball just 246 times last season as he battled minor ankle, knee and hamstring issues. He also played a smaller role in the passing game, averaging 3.9 targets after posting a 6.9 mark in 2013. With Knile Davis proving to be one of the league’s best backups, perhaps the Chiefs are ready to start handling their veteran workhorse with greater care.

My Take: If you’re searching for predictability, Charles is hard to pass up at No. 1, but his upside isn’t what it once was. From Eddie Lacy to Marshawn Lynch, there are also arguably “safer” options, whatever that means at a position with staggering injury attrition. There’s no clear-cut argument that Charles is even the top fantasy running back, so why make him fantasy’s top overall player? Charles would likely work out just fine as your No. 1 pick, but I’m searching for greater ceiling.  

Adrian Peterson

ADP: 2.0

Case For: Peterson is one of the greatest players in league history. He is three years removed from an historic campaign, and two years removed from an elite one.  

Case Against: The dossier against Peterson is thick. Peterson talk can sometimes take on the air of myth and superstition. Peterson isn’t like other football players. This is well established. But he is a human being, one who has played one football game in the past 20 months, and turned 30 in the interim. Even for a player of Peterson’s caliber, it’s a leap of faith to assume he’ll simply pick up where he left off. And it’s important to remember he isn’t picking up on his 2,097-yard 2012, but a more modest 2013. Peterson’s last campaign saw him average 4.5 yards per carry, and finish as the RB6 in fantasy leagues. Along the way, he dealt with foot, groin and hamstring issues. The last runner over the age 30 to finish as a top-10 fantasy back was Thomas Jones in 2009.        

My Take: It’s not crazy to assume Peterson will bounce back from his lost 2014 as the star he’s always been, but the case for him at No. 1 overall doesn’t progress far past “he’s Adrian Peterson.” With players like Charles, Lacy, Lynch — among others — all coming off strong 2014s with fewer question marks, the case for Peterson at No. 1 simply isn’t good enough. Peterson won’t be a consideration for me in leagues where I have the top spot.   

Eddie Lacy

ADP: 2.3

Case For: Rolling into his prime, Lacy is a 25-year-old bowling ball who has scored 24 touchdowns in 31 NFL games. Playing for the league’s highest-powered offense, he was the RB7 as a rookie and RB6 as a sophomore. Appearing in all 16 games, Lacy averaged 4.63 yards per carry in 2014, and 5.04 over the season’s final eight games. He also came into his own as a receiver, catching 42 passes for 427 yards and four scores. The only RBs to average more yards per catch than Lacy’s 10.2 were Roy Helu and Le’Veon Bell. Lacy is a versatile, complete back, one who operates from Aaron Rodgers’ jumpseat.   

Case Against: Lacy is a violent runner, one who has suffered two concussions. Most running backs can reasonably be labeled as “injury risks,” of course, but it rings particularly true in Lacy’s case. You could also argue Lacy is more of a “floor” than “ceiling” back. Although a huge part of the Packers’ offense, he isn’t the foundation in the way that Charles and Lynch are.  

My Take: There isn’t a safer bet at No. 1 overall. Lacy is a versatile, consistent back, one who despite an “injury-prone” reputation has missed only one game in two NFL seasons. He is the goal-line back for the league’s best offense, and now a proven threat on dump-offs and screens. There are two other players I’m seriously considering at No. 1 — more on that later — but Lacy is in the right place at the right time to be fantasy’s top producer.    

 

Marshawn Lynch

ADP: 4.3

Case For: The guy is literally named “Beast Mode.” Seattle’s 2014 was supposed to end with Lynch being shown the door. Instead, people couldn’t believe they didn’t give him the ball. Lynch is everything you should want in a top-five fantasy pick. Durable and consistent, Lynch has scored at least 13 touchdowns in each of the past four seasons, including a career-high 17 last year. Lynch’s age and workload are both getting near the outer limits for a bellcow NFL back, but his claim to the No. 1 throne is as good as anyone’s in football.  

Case Against: It’s not a particularly strong one. Lynch has missed one game in five years, and is averaging 4.6 yards per carry since the start of the 2012 season. He’s coming off a career campaign as a pass catcher. With Russell Wilson on the rise and Jimmy Graham now in the fold, the ‘Hawks may not have to ride “Beast Mode” to the extremes they have the past five seasons, but his floor is every bit that of a top-five player. It’s just his ceiling isn’t No. 1 overall. Go for gold with the top spot. Lynch is an excellent silver or bronze.

My Take: I’m thinking bigger at No. 1, but waiting for Lynch to fall to me at No. 4 or 5.

 

Le’Veon Bell

ADP: 4.8

Case For: Coming off one of the most jaw-dropping breakout campaigns in recent memory, Bell was fantasy’s most consistent running back last season. Once — that’s how many times Bell failed to either score a touchdown or surpass 100 yards from scrimmage. Once. In 16 games. His 854 receiving yards were 40th in the NFL, while his 2,215 yards from scrimmage were second only to DeMarco Murray’s 2,261. That’s despite the fact that Murray touched the ball 76 more times. If not for a curiously-low touchdown total (11), Bell would have run away with RB1 overall status.  

Case Against: As a fantasy prospect, Bell is almost too good to be true. He’s dynamic as a runner, a difference maker in the passing game and the No. 1 threat to score for a team that wants to average 30 points per game this season. But it is too good to be true for 2015. That’s because Bell is suspended for the first two games of the season. Coupled with the Steelers’ Week 11 bye, it means Bell is already slated to miss 23 percent of the 13-week fantasy schedule. Bell is great, but is he that much better than the players he’s up against for the No. 1 overall pick?

My Take: Bell comes with greater risk than anyone else on this list, but also greater upside. Yes, you will be missing Bell for Weeks 1 and 2, but you will not be starting a blank space. You will still get points, albeit from a backup. If you can’t take the plunge, I can’t blame you. Every football player should be expected to miss games, so why lock yourself into someone who’s already been docked two. It’s just that Bell’s role is the stuff that dreams are made of. He scored fewer than 10.0 fantasy points one time in 16 games last season. Beast Mode was held below 10.0 four times, Charles six and Lacy four. For me, having Lacy in Weeks 1 and 2 is enough to put him above Bell, but when it comes to everyone else, I’ll weather three weeks of my bench (suspension and bye) for 10 of Bell.      

Dez Bryant

ADP: 10.5

Case For: The most consistent WR1 in fantasy, Bryant is also the league’s premier touchdown artist. Over the past three seasons, Bryant has found the end zone 12, 13 and 16 times, good for an average of 13.6. Combined, Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson have mustered three 13-score campaigns in 17 total NFL seasons. Bryant is a force of nature, one who bettered his 2013 totals by three scores 87 yards last year despite drawing 22 fewer targets. He is unstoppable, and in his prime.    

Case Against: Bryant’s touchdowns give him one of the highest floors in fantasy football, but his ceiling simply does not match that of many of the running backs, or even Odell Beckham. Bryant also comes with lower reception upside than Beckham and Brown, meaning his weekly floor is missing a pillar Beckham and Brown provide. Bryant is capable of singlehandedly winning weeks, but also comes with a higher dud potential than most on this list. Bryant’s multi-touchdown games are fantasy bonanzas, but he scored fewer than 10.0 fantasy points six times last season. Brown was held below 10.0 only three times, while OBJ was held below 9.3 exactly once in 11 games as a starter.    

My Take: If you want pure safety at No. 1 overall, Bryant is a great pick. There are simply better combinations of weekly floor and ceiling. Bryant is a first-rounder, but not the first rounder.  

Rob Gronkowski

ADP: 13.5

Case For: No player provides a bigger weekly edge at their position. Gronk averaged 2.2 more points than any other tight end in 2014, and 2.4 more than his one-time equal Jimmy Graham. Including the playoffs, Gronk either scored a touchdown or tallied 90 receiving yards in 15-of-18 contests. Gronk has managed a minimum of 10 touchdowns in every season where he’s played at least 11 games. Almost no one finds the end zone with greater frequency than Gronk, who buttresses his floor by soaking up receptions and yards to go along with his scores.  

Case Against: Yes, Gronk is without peer at tight end, but he’s also in the middle of the pack when it comes to non-QB fantasy points. Combined, 18 wideouts and runners averaged more than Gronk’s weekly 12.3 in 2014. In guaranteeing yourself a weekly edge at fantasy’s most-neglected position are you also leaving too many points on the board by not taking a higher-upside running back or receiver?  

My Take: Gronk’s single tier atop the tight end ranks is worth the plunge near the end of Round 1, but I simply have to have a player who is a weekly threat for 15-18 points at No. 1 overall. That means someone like Lacy, Bell or DeMarco Murray. I’ll mix and match upside TE2s instead of paying the iron price for Gronk.  

DeMarco Murray

ADP: 13.8

Case For: Murray was the best running back in the league last season. En route to amassing 1,845 yards on the ground — 484 more than anyone in football, and the second-highest total of the 2010s — Murray seized control of the Cowboys’ offense from Tony Romo, and led Dallas to its first NFC East title since 2009. Murray also did damage through the air, where his 57 receptions and 416 yards ranked fourth and seventh, respectively, amongst runners. His 2,261 yards from scrimmage were 12th all time. No non-quarterback averaged more weekly fantasy points than Murray’s 19.0. Coming off a dominant campaign and the owner of a lifetime 4.84 YPC, Murray is one of the best all-around players in football, and in the prime of his career.   

Case Against: Murray dominated “real” and fantasy football alike last season. So why is his ADP in the second round? For starters, he’s left behind Dallas’ league-best offensive line. Then there’s his injury history. A big part of Murray’s career 2014 was the fact that it was the first time he managed to stay healthy for all 16 games. Murray plays upright, which usually ups the injury risk for a runner. Then there’s the matter of Murray’s backfield competition. In Dallas, he didn’t have any. In Philly, there’s Darren Sproles to siphon passing-game targets, and Ryan Mathews to offer breathers. Breaks were something Murray didn’t get in 2014, where he touched the ball 449 times during the regular season, and 497 overall. Only three players have ever handled the ball more times in one year. Further down that road, just 10 other backs have run the ball 390 times in one season, with Eric Dickerson doing it twice. How did they fare the following year? 7-of-11 were held to fewer than 1,000 yards. You don’t bang into NFL defenders 497 freaking times without paying some sort of price.       

My Take: Murray is not going to match his historic 2014. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Murray was not a creation of Dallas’ dominant offensive line. His 4.70 YPC last season was actually lower than his pre-2014 mark of 4.90. Murray has never needed linemen to clear his lanes, even if they did an elite job of it last year. Murray has also never needed boffo workloads to place himself amongst the fantasy elite. Murray was the RB8 in 2013 despite missing two games and handling the ball only 270 times. And he’s not exactly going to be running behind lambs in Philly. The Eagles have been Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 run blocking team in both of Chip Kelly’s seasons as head coach.

Is Murray’s 2014 workload a concern? Yes. But 11 disparate seasons scattered across 31 years do not constitute a “trend.” They’re disconnected data points. To wit, one of those 11 post-390 carry campaigns was Eric Dickerson’s 1984, where he rushed for a still-record 2,105 yards. If you’re hung up on Sproles and Mathews, I can’t be quite as forceful. Murray has more competition for touches than he did in Dallas. There’s no way around it. But Kelly didn’t give Murray $21 million guaranteed to play pattycake with Ryan Mathews. And even though Sproles dominated passing-game touches last year, LeSean McCoy still caught 28 balls. That’s Murray’s absolute floor as a receiver. I’m also not convinced Kelly is prepared to lean on Sproles as is popularly believed. Sproles has missed time with injury each of the past three seasons, and Kelly backed off considerably after funneling Sproles 26 combined touches in Weeks 1 and 2 last season. From there on out, Sproles averaged a modest 4.7 weekly touches.

Last but not least is Murray’s “injury history.” Yes, he’s seemed to get hurt a lot. But he appeared in 30-of-32 games in 2013-14. The excellent SportsInjuryPredictor.com actually considers his 2015 injury risk “medium,” the same as Charles, and (much) lower than Lacy and Bell.

My Take, Attempted Summary: Murray’s role, workload, injury and offensive line concerns are not what they are made out to be. Murray is not going to match last year’s utterly-dominant campaign, but he’s still one of the league’s very best — if not best — backs playing for a creative, run-obsessed coach. Even if he’s part of a committee, he’s making chairman money. Murray has red flags, but so does everyone else on this list. The only players I’d consider over him at No. 1 overall are Lacy and Bell.

Odell Beckham

ADP: 12.3

Case For: There wasn’t a more-electrifying player in football last season. Beckham finished as the WR5 despite missing four games and starting only 11. After becoming an every-week starter, Beckham averaged 17.8 fantasy points, a number that would have led all wideouts by 2.2. Even with his lousy non-start thrown in, Beckham turned in 17.2 weekly points, 1.6 more than Antonio Brown. In each of his final nine contests, Beckham caught at least six passes for 90 yards, a stunning statistic. A breathtaking playmaker, Beckham is simply uncoverable, and capable of making catches no one else in the NFL can. He is the focal point of the Giants’ offense, and an every-week difference maker in fantasy.  

Case Against: To say Beckham’s track record is short for a potential No. 1 overall pick is an understatement. You can draft any player in football — should it really be someone with 12 career appearances? And however dominant OBJ was a rookie, he still didn’t average the weekly points of a Murray or Bell. Unlike Gronk, Beckham is not separated from his rivals by a canyon. Brown, Bryant, Thomas, Julio Jones and Megatron are all viable competitors for WR1 overall status.  

My Take: Beckham’s upside is stratospheric, but Lacy, Bell and Murray are all more sensible bets at No. 1 overall. That may not be the case a year from now.  

Antonio Brown

ADP: 7.3

Case For: Unusually consistent for a receiver, Brown has caught at least five passes for 50 yards in 33-straight games. The WR1 last season, Brown was the WR7 in 2013. His 129 receptions last year were the second most all time. Defenses don’t know how to cover Brown. He zips in and out of breaks like a phantom, and doesn’t drop passes. Despite standing in at 5-foot-10, he’s caught 21 touchdowns over his past 32 games. Even in a crowded WR1 tier, Brown has a floor/ceiling combination that is unmatched.   

Case Against: Consistent though he may be, Brown’s average 15.6 fantasy points would have ranked fifth amongst running backs last season. He was outplayed by Beckham in the second half of the year, and does not separate from his peers at his position the way Gronk does.

My Take: Brown is a unique, elite talent, but with everyone on the board, he’s not who I’m taking at No. 1 overall.


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There are years to have the No. 1 overall pick. 2013, for instance. Adrian Peterson was 28 and coming off a 2,097-yard season. You took him. But that sort of clarity is fleeting at the top. Where 2013 had Peterson, most years have a jumble of injuries and confusion. 2015 features questions inside of questions, and headaches on top of heartburn. Can Le’Veon Bell produce enough to make up for two missed games? Is Jamaal Charles starting to break down? Can Peterson storm back from his exile? There are no clear answers.

So we’ve established this season lacks consensus at the top. What it does not lack is contenders. Especially with fantasy drafters more open than ever to first-round receivers, viable cases can be made for almost a dozen players at No. 1. Some of them are much flimsier than others, but I think these 10 deserve a fair trial. Without further ado, here are this year’s most-worthy candidates for the No. 1 overall pick in standard leagues. I think three stand out above the rest.

Note: This list is not the order I’m drafting in this summer. The first five were determined via FantasyPros’ consensus ADP. The next five are players outside the top five I believe have at least a reasonable case for No. 1 overall.     

Jamaal Charles

ADP: 1.8

Case For: Consistent and durable, Charles has never averaged fewer than 5.0 yards per carry. He’s missed more than one game just once in seven NFL seasons. Both feats are practically unheard of for modern NFL running backs. The funnel through which the Chiefs’ offense is filtered, Charles is still only 28, and has a modest 1,511 career touches to his name. Time and career workload are still on his side.   

Case Against: Durable though he may be, Charles touched the ball just 246 times last season as he battled minor ankle, knee and hamstring issues. He also played a smaller role in the passing game, averaging 3.9 targets after posting a 6.9 mark in 2013. With Knile Davis proving to be one of the league’s best backups, perhaps the Chiefs are ready to start handling their veteran workhorse with greater care.

My Take: If you’re searching for predictability, Charles is hard to pass up at No. 1, but his upside isn’t what it once was. From Eddie Lacy to Marshawn Lynch, there are also arguably “safer” options, whatever that means at a position with staggering injury attrition. There’s no clear-cut argument that Charles is even the top fantasy running back, so why make him fantasy’s top overall player? Charles would likely work out just fine as your No. 1 pick, but I’m searching for greater ceiling.  

Adrian Peterson

ADP: 2.0

Case For: Peterson is one of the greatest players in league history. He is three years removed from an historic campaign, and two years removed from an elite one.  

Case Against: The dossier against Peterson is thick. Peterson talk can sometimes take on the air of myth and superstition. Peterson isn’t like other football players. This is well established. But he is a human being, one who has played one football game in the past 20 months, and turned 30 in the interim. Even for a player of Peterson’s caliber, it’s a leap of faith to assume he’ll simply pick up where he left off. And it’s important to remember he isn’t picking up on his 2,097-yard 2012, but a more modest 2013. Peterson’s last campaign saw him average 4.5 yards per carry, and finish as the RB6 in fantasy leagues. Along the way, he dealt with foot, groin and hamstring issues. The last runner over the age 30 to finish as a top-10 fantasy back was Thomas Jones in 2009.        

My Take: It’s not crazy to assume Peterson will bounce back from his lost 2014 as the star he’s always been, but the case for him at No. 1 overall doesn’t progress far past “he’s Adrian Peterson.” With players like Charles, Lacy, Lynch — among others — all coming off strong 2014s with fewer question marks, the case for Peterson at No. 1 simply isn’t good enough. Peterson won’t be a consideration for me in leagues where I have the top spot.   

Eddie Lacy

ADP: 2.3

Case For: Rolling into his prime, Lacy is a 25-year-old bowling ball who has scored 24 touchdowns in 31 NFL games. Playing for the league’s highest-powered offense, he was the RB7 as a rookie and RB6 as a sophomore. Appearing in all 16 games, Lacy averaged 4.63 yards per carry in 2014, and 5.04 over the season’s final eight games. He also came into his own as a receiver, catching 42 passes for 427 yards and four scores. The only RBs to average more yards per catch than Lacy’s 10.2 were Roy Helu and Le’Veon Bell. Lacy is a versatile, complete back, one who operates from Aaron Rodgers’ jumpseat.   

Case Against: Lacy is a violent runner, one who has suffered two concussions. Most running backs can reasonably be labeled as “injury risks,” of course, but it rings particularly true in Lacy’s case. You could also argue Lacy is more of a “floor” than “ceiling” back. Although a huge part of the Packers’ offense, he isn’t the foundation in the way that Charles and Lynch are.  

My Take: There isn’t a safer bet at No. 1 overall. Lacy is a versatile, consistent back, one who despite an “injury-prone” reputation has missed only one game in two NFL seasons. He is the goal-line back for the league’s best offense, and now a proven threat on dump-offs and screens. There are two other players I’m seriously considering at No. 1 — more on that later — but Lacy is in the right place at the right time to be fantasy’s top producer.    

 

Marshawn Lynch

ADP: 4.3

Case For: The guy is literally named “Beast Mode.” Seattle’s 2014 was supposed to end with Lynch being shown the door. Instead, people couldn’t believe they didn’t give him the ball. Lynch is everything you should want in a top-five fantasy pick. Durable and consistent, Lynch has scored at least 13 touchdowns in each of the past four seasons, including a career-high 17 last year. Lynch’s age and workload are both getting near the outer limits for a bellcow NFL back, but his claim to the No. 1 throne is as good as anyone’s in football.  

Case Against: It’s not a particularly strong one. Lynch has missed one game in five years, and is averaging 4.6 yards per carry since the start of the 2012 season. He’s coming off a career campaign as a pass catcher. With Russell Wilson on the rise and Jimmy Graham now in the fold, the ‘Hawks may not have to ride “Beast Mode” to the extremes they have the past five seasons, but his floor is every bit that of a top-five player. It’s just his ceiling isn’t No. 1 overall. Go for gold with the top spot. Lynch is an excellent silver or bronze.

My Take: I’m thinking bigger at No. 1, but waiting for Lynch to fall to me at No. 4 or 5.

 

Le’Veon Bell

ADP: 4.8

Case For: Coming off one of the most jaw-dropping breakout campaigns in recent memory, Bell was fantasy’s most consistent running back last season. Once — that’s how many times Bell failed to either score a touchdown or surpass 100 yards from scrimmage. Once. In 16 games. His 854 receiving yards were 40th in the NFL, while his 2,215 yards from scrimmage were second only to DeMarco Murray’s 2,261. That’s despite the fact that Murray touched the ball 76 more times. If not for a curiously-low touchdown total (11), Bell would have run away with RB1 overall status.  

Case Against: As a fantasy prospect, Bell is almost too good to be true. He’s dynamic as a runner, a difference maker in the passing game and the No. 1 threat to score for a team that wants to average 30 points per game this season. But it is too good to be true for 2015. That’s because Bell is suspended for the first two games of the season. Coupled with the Steelers’ Week 11 bye, it means Bell is already slated to miss 23 percent of the 13-week fantasy schedule. Bell is great, but is he that much better than the players he’s up against for the No. 1 overall pick?

My Take: Bell comes with greater risk than anyone else on this list, but also greater upside. Yes, you will be missing Bell for Weeks 1 and 2, but you will not be starting a blank space. You will still get points, albeit from a backup. If you can’t take the plunge, I can’t blame you. Every football player should be expected to miss games, so why lock yourself into someone who’s already been docked two. It’s just that Bell’s role is the stuff that dreams are made of. He scored fewer than 10.0 fantasy points one time in 16 games last season. Beast Mode was held below 10.0 four times, Charles six and Lacy four. For me, having Lacy in Weeks 1 and 2 is enough to put him above Bell, but when it comes to everyone else, I’ll weather three weeks of my bench (suspension and bye) for 10 of Bell.      

Dez Bryant

ADP: 10.5

Case For: The most consistent WR1 in fantasy, Bryant is also the league’s premier touchdown artist. Over the past three seasons, Bryant has found the end zone 12, 13 and 16 times, good for an average of 13.6. Combined, Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson have mustered three 13-score campaigns in 17 total NFL seasons. Bryant is a force of nature, one who bettered his 2013 totals by three scores 87 yards last year despite drawing 22 fewer targets. He is unstoppable, and in his prime.    

Case Against: Bryant’s touchdowns give him one of the highest floors in fantasy football, but his ceiling simply does not match that of many of the running backs, or even Odell Beckham. Bryant also comes with lower reception upside than Beckham and Brown, meaning his weekly floor is missing a pillar Beckham and Brown provide. Bryant is capable of singlehandedly winning weeks, but also comes with a higher dud potential than most on this list. Bryant’s multi-touchdown games are fantasy bonanzas, but he scored fewer than 10.0 fantasy points six times last season. Brown was held below 10.0 only three times, while OBJ was held below 9.3 exactly once in 11 games as a starter.    

My Take: If you want pure safety at No. 1 overall, Bryant is a great pick. There are simply better combinations of weekly floor and ceiling. Bryant is a first-rounder, but not the first rounder.  

Rob Gronkowski

ADP: 13.5

Case For: No player provides a bigger weekly edge at their position. Gronk averaged 2.2 more points than any other tight end in 2014, and 2.4 more than his one-time equal Jimmy Graham. Including the playoffs, Gronk either scored a touchdown or tallied 90 receiving yards in 15-of-18 contests. Gronk has managed a minimum of 10 touchdowns in every season where he’s played at least 11 games. Almost no one finds the end zone with greater frequency than Gronk, who buttresses his floor by soaking up receptions and yards to go along with his scores.  

Case Against: Yes, Gronk is without peer at tight end, but he’s also in the middle of the pack when it comes to non-QB fantasy points. Combined, 18 wideouts and runners averaged more than Gronk’s weekly 12.3 in 2014. In guaranteeing yourself a weekly edge at fantasy’s most-neglected position are you also leaving too many points on the board by not taking a higher-upside running back or receiver?  

My Take: Gronk’s single tier atop the tight end ranks is worth the plunge near the end of Round 1, but I simply have to have a player who is a weekly threat for 15-18 points at No. 1 overall. That means someone like Lacy, Bell or DeMarco Murray. I’ll mix and match upside TE2s instead of paying the iron price for Gronk.  

DeMarco Murray

ADP: 13.8

Case For: Murray was the best running back in the league last season. En route to amassing 1,845 yards on the ground — 484 more than anyone in football, and the second-highest total of the 2010s — Murray seized control of the Cowboys’ offense from Tony Romo, and led Dallas to its first NFC East title since 2009. Murray also did damage through the air, where his 57 receptions and 416 yards ranked fourth and seventh, respectively, amongst runners. His 2,261 yards from scrimmage were 12th all time. No non-quarterback averaged more weekly fantasy points than Murray’s 19.0. Coming off a dominant campaign and the owner of a lifetime 4.84 YPC, Murray is one of the best all-around players in football, and in the prime of his career.   

Case Against: Murray dominated “real” and fantasy football alike last season. So why is his ADP in the second round? For starters, he’s left behind Dallas’ league-best offensive line. Then there’s his injury history. A big part of Murray’s career 2014 was the fact that it was the first time he managed to stay healthy for all 16 games. Murray plays upright, which usually ups the injury risk for a runner. Then there’s the matter of Murray’s backfield competition. In Dallas, he didn’t have any. In Philly, there’s Darren Sproles to siphon passing-game targets, and Ryan Mathews to offer breathers. Breaks were something Murray didn’t get in 2014, where he touched the ball 449 times during the regular season, and 497 overall. Only three players have ever handled the ball more times in one year. Further down that road, just 10 other backs have run the ball 390 times in one season, with Eric Dickerson doing it twice. How did they fare the following year? 7-of-11 were held to fewer than 1,000 yards. You don’t bang into NFL defenders 497 freaking times without paying some sort of price.       

My Take: Murray is not going to match his historic 2014. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Murray was not a creation of Dallas’ dominant offensive line. His 4.70 YPC last season was actually lower than his pre-2014 mark of 4.90. Murray has never needed linemen to clear his lanes, even if they did an elite job of it last year. Murray has also never needed boffo workloads to place himself amongst the fantasy elite. Murray was the RB8 in 2013 despite missing two games and handling the ball only 270 times. And he’s not exactly going to be running behind lambs in Philly. The Eagles have been Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 run blocking team in both of Chip Kelly’s seasons as head coach.

Is Murray’s 2014 workload a concern? Yes. But 11 disparate seasons scattered across 31 years do not constitute a “trend.” They’re disconnected data points. To wit, one of those 11 post-390 carry campaigns was Eric Dickerson’s 1984, where he rushed for a still-record 2,105 yards. If you’re hung up on Sproles and Mathews, I can’t be quite as forceful. Murray has more competition for touches than he did in Dallas. There’s no way around it. But Kelly didn’t give Murray $21 million guaranteed to play pattycake with Ryan Mathews. And even though Sproles dominated passing-game touches last year, LeSean McCoy still caught 28 balls. That’s Murray’s absolute floor as a receiver. I’m also not convinced Kelly is prepared to lean on Sproles as is popularly believed. Sproles has missed time with injury each of the past three seasons, and Kelly backed off considerably after funneling Sproles 26 combined touches in Weeks 1 and 2 last season. From there on out, Sproles averaged a modest 4.7 weekly touches.

Last but not least is Murray’s “injury history.” Yes, he’s seemed to get hurt a lot. But he appeared in 30-of-32 games in 2013-14. The excellent SportsInjuryPredictor.com actually considers his 2015 injury risk “medium,” the same as Charles, and (much) lower than Lacy and Bell.

My Take, Attempted Summary: Murray’s role, workload, injury and offensive line concerns are not what they are made out to be. Murray is not going to match last year’s utterly-dominant campaign, but he’s still one of the league’s very best — if not best — backs playing for a creative, run-obsessed coach. Even if he’s part of a committee, he’s making chairman money. Murray has red flags, but so does everyone else on this list. The only players I’d consider over him at No. 1 overall are Lacy and Bell.

Odell Beckham

ADP: 12.3

Case For: There wasn’t a more-electrifying player in football last season. Beckham finished as the WR5 despite missing four games and starting only 11. After becoming an every-week starter, Beckham averaged 17.8 fantasy points, a number that would have led all wideouts by 2.2. Even with his lousy non-start thrown in, Beckham turned in 17.2 weekly points, 1.6 more than Antonio Brown. In each of his final nine contests, Beckham caught at least six passes for 90 yards, a stunning statistic. A breathtaking playmaker, Beckham is simply uncoverable, and capable of making catches no one else in the NFL can. He is the focal point of the Giants’ offense, and an every-week difference maker in fantasy.  

Case Against: To say Beckham’s track record is short for a potential No. 1 overall pick is an understatement. You can draft any player in football — should it really be someone with 12 career appearances? And however dominant OBJ was a rookie, he still didn’t average the weekly points of a Murray or Bell. Unlike Gronk, Beckham is not separated from his rivals by a canyon. Brown, Bryant, Thomas, Julio Jones and Megatron are all viable competitors for WR1 overall status.  

My Take: Beckham’s upside is stratospheric, but Lacy, Bell and Murray are all more sensible bets at No. 1 overall. That may not be the case a year from now.  

Antonio Brown

ADP: 7.3

Case For: Unusually consistent for a receiver, Brown has caught at least five passes for 50 yards in 33-straight games. The WR1 last season, Brown was the WR7 in 2013. His 129 receptions last year were the second most all time. Defenses don’t know how to cover Brown. He zips in and out of breaks like a phantom, and doesn’t drop passes. Despite standing in at 5-foot-10, he’s caught 21 touchdowns over his past 32 games. Even in a crowded WR1 tier, Brown has a floor/ceiling combination that is unmatched.   

Case Against: Consistent though he may be, Brown’s average 15.6 fantasy points would have ranked fifth amongst running backs last season. He was outplayed by Beckham in the second half of the year, and does not separate from his peers at his position the way Gronk does.

My Take: Brown is a unique, elite talent, but with everyone on the board, he’s not who I’m taking at No. 1 overall.


Don’t forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB or @RotoPat on Twitter.

Training Camp Daily Dose: Daily Dose: Bengals Ready to Roll

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Can’t you feel it in the air? It’s cliché season!

Let’s start this column off with a little game. Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson used a cliché while addressing the media earlier this week. Which one was it?  Remember to let the theme music from Jeopardy play while you make your decision.

A) Leave no stone unturned

B) Opening a can of worms

C) Opening Pandora’s box

D) Reinventing the wheel

If you chose C, you are correct! Bravo. Here is the exact quote from Jackson: “We’re going to open Pandora’s box more. We tickled it a little bit last year. We’re going to open it up a little bit more this year and be who I think we can be.”

It’s easy to dismiss this as generic coach-speak (because that’s exactly what it is) but Jackson’s well-placed cliché gives us an opportunity to look at one of the league’s most promising offenses. It begins with Andy Dalton, a two-time Pro Bowler (seriously) with 99 career touchdown passes. That’s more than Tom Brady had in his first four seasons as a starter (97). Despite these accolades, Dalton has never won in the playoffs (0-4) and produced one of the worst games in NFL history last year against Cleveland (2.0 passer rating).

Depending on how you look at it, Dalton is either the worst good quarterback in the league or the NFL’s best bad quarterback. Regardless, head coach Marvin Lewis likes what he’s seen from Dalton this offseason. “He’s always been a very accurate passer, but his anticipation continues to grow and get better,” said Lewis. “As he goes, he spurs the rest of the team on. They have to play up to his standard and he has a very high standard that way. And that’s very helpful to us.”

The Bengals certainly aren’t short on offensive weaponry. Superstar wideout A.J. Green managed to reach 1,000 yards for the fourth year in a row last season, even while missing three games with a toe injury. The 26-year-old has even more to play for in 2015 as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.

Jeremy Hill, the NFL’s leading rusher among rookies last year, is back to team up with passing down specialist Giovani Bernard. With Green drawing most of the coverage downfield, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones should get their fair share of open looks. If everyone stays healthy, the Bengals will have a great chance to improve on the 22.8 ppg they averaged last season.

The Bengals open training camp Friday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and tons more, check out our Draft Guide!

Brady Latest

 

“Right now, we’re focused on getting the team ready for the 2015 season.”

That’s what Patriots coach Bill Belichick had to say Wednesday when asked about Tom Brady and his four-game suspension. When pressed, Belichick responded, “It’s already been addressed.”

Illuminating as always, Bill.

Fortunately for the purposes of writing this article, Brady wasn’t as tight-lipped. The quarterback took to Facebook to voice his opinion Wednesday, saying he was “disappointed” the league decided to uphold his suspension. Brady was particularly adamant in denying that he intentionally destroyed his cell phone: “To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.” Brady said he only replaced his phone after lawyers told him it wouldn’t be needed for the investigation.

Brady’s agent, Don Yee, had a feeling the public would blow the phone issue out of proportion. “They shifted from PSI to the new shiny object, the cell phone,” said Yee. “We expected this. Because this was the easy way to pivot off the junk science and get off the PSI issue.”

The NFL Players Association wasted no time in taking the case to district court. Judge David Doty, who presides over U.S. district court in Minnesota, was asked to make a ruling before September 4 so Brady won’t have to miss practice ahead of September 10’s season opener against Pittsburgh. Doty could also grant Brady an injunction, allowing him to play until a decision is reached. Doty, of course, was the same judge who overturned Adrian Peterson’s suspension earlier this year.

It might work out for Brady in the end, but Patriots owner Robert Kraft is furious that it’s gotten to this point. “I was wrong to put my faith in the league,” said Kraft. “The decision handed down by the league yesterday is unfathomable to me.”

Ultimately the commissioner did what he had to do to protect his image. Upholding the ban was a win/win for Roger Goodell. Scrapping Brady’s suspension entirely would have made him look weak and probably would have infuriated the 31 other franchises the Patriots have tormented over the last decade.

Now Brady’s fate is in Judge Doty’s hands. Brady might eventually get his way but Goodell was still able to hold his ground. After botching the Ray Rice scandal, Goodell will take any small victory he can, even if it means taking a year to settle something as minor as an underinflated football. It’s already been six months, but who’s counting?

For everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @JessePantuosco on Twitter.

 

Quick Hits: Former Dolphins and Rams OT Jake Long will visit the Broncos later this week. He met with the Giants on Wednesday but left without signing a contract … According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland’s Trent Richardson experiment is “not going so well.” T-Rich hasn’t averaged more than 3.6 yards per carry in any of his three seasons … Remember Miami’s old logo with the dolphin wearing a helmet? It’s coming back. The Dolphins will wear special throwback uniforms December 14 when they host the Giants on Monday Night Football … Chiefs SS Eric Berry was back at practice on Wednesday. He missed the end of last season while undergoing cancer treatment. His words to live by: “Fear nothing, attack everything” … Redskins OLB Ryan Kerrigan agreed to a five-year, $57.5 million extension on Wednesday. He led Washington with 13.5 sacks last season … OLB Junior Galette will visit with the Redskins on Thursday. He was let go by the Saints earlier this month … The Redskins recently put out a report claiming that 7.8 billion people followed their training camp coverage last season. Since Earth only has about 7.2 billion inhabitants, where are the other 600,000 million viewers coming from? Mars? … Jason Pierre-Paul continues to distance himself from the Giants. Instead of using team doctors, he’s been rehabbing on his own … Jerry Jones endorsed Joseph Randle as the Cowboys’ No. 1 running back. Considering the other choices were Lance Dunbar and Darren McFadden, I think he made the right call … Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey skipped the team’s flight to training camp and is holding out for a new contract. Dallas can fine Mincey up to $30,000 for every day he misses … Jameis Winston said he’s down to 236 pounds. He’s been known to fluctuate between 230 and 250 … Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will not have any restrictions heading into training camp. “We’re not counting throws all the time, and it’s not a concern as it will be when he’s later in his career,” said coach Mike McCarthy … The Cardinals waived CB Alfonzo Dennard on Wednesday. It’s the second team he’s been cut from this offseason … Jen Welter will coach inside linebackers and serve as an intern for the Cardinals during training camp. She’s the first female coach in NFL history … Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has been practicing with the second team. That’s probably not a great sign … Seattle SS Kam Chancellor isn’t happy with his contract and is contemplating a holdout. Michael Bennett, Bruce Irvin and Russell Wilson have also asked the Seahawks for more money this offseason. Wouldn’t you love to be Seattle’s GM? … Panthers receiver Stephen Hill was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia at a routine traffic stop. A borderline player to begin with, this certainly doesn’t won’t help his chances of cracking the 53-man roster … Joique Bell (knee/Achilles) will open training camp on the active/PUP list. Second-round pick Ameer Abdullah will get the lion’s share (no pun intended) of Detroit’s first-team reps … Falcons receiver Roddy White will need to have his knee drained periodically throughout the season. The last time he had it drained was during minicamp … CSN Area’s Matt Maiocco believes the 49ers will use “more than one person” in their backfield this year. That’s a fancy way of saying running back by committee … Josh Hill has gotten a lot of ink this offseason, particularly on this website. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, ESPN’s Mike Triplett isn’t as bullish on the Saints tight end. He considers Jeremy Shockey’s 2009 numbers (48 catches, 569 yards, three touchdowns) a “realistic” goal for Hill … Marques Colston (undisclosed) and Jairus Byrd (knee) were both placed on the active/PUP list, though Saints GM Mickey Loomis said “they’ll be ready to roll soon” … Interested in buying Refrigerator Perry’s championship ring? It will be up for auction Thursday at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. Just be warned, it might not fit you. Perry wears a size 25 … You want to talk about dedication? During OTAs, Eagles receiver Nelson Agoholor arrived at the team’s facility every day at 6:15 a.m. The rookie shuttle didn’t even leave until 7:15.

Can’t you feel it in the air? It’s cliché season!

Let’s start this column off with a little game. Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson used a cliché while addressing the media earlier this week. Which one was it?  Remember to let the theme music from Jeopardy play while you make your decision.

A) Leave no stone unturned

B) Opening a can of worms

C) Opening Pandora’s box

D) Reinventing the wheel

If you chose C, you are correct! Bravo. Here is the exact quote from Jackson: “We’re going to open Pandora’s box more. We tickled it a little bit last year. We’re going to open it up a little bit more this year and be who I think we can be.”

It’s easy to dismiss this as generic coach-speak (because that’s exactly what it is) but Jackson’s well-placed cliché gives us an opportunity to look at one of the league’s most promising offenses. It begins with Andy Dalton, a two-time Pro Bowler (seriously) with 99 career touchdown passes. That’s more than Tom Brady had in his first four seasons as a starter (97). Despite these accolades, Dalton has never won in the playoffs (0-4) and produced one of the worst games in NFL history last year against Cleveland (2.0 passer rating).

Depending on how you look at it, Dalton is either the worst good quarterback in the league or the NFL’s best bad quarterback. Regardless, head coach Marvin Lewis likes what he’s seen from Dalton this offseason. “He’s always been a very accurate passer, but his anticipation continues to grow and get better,” said Lewis. “As he goes, he spurs the rest of the team on. They have to play up to his standard and he has a very high standard that way. And that’s very helpful to us.”

The Bengals certainly aren’t short on offensive weaponry. Superstar wideout A.J. Green managed to reach 1,000 yards for the fourth year in a row last season, even while missing three games with a toe injury. The 26-year-old has even more to play for in 2015 as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.

Jeremy Hill, the NFL’s leading rusher among rookies last year, is back to team up with passing down specialist Giovani Bernard. With Green drawing most of the coverage downfield, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones should get their fair share of open looks. If everyone stays healthy, the Bengals will have a great chance to improve on the 22.8 ppg they averaged last season.

The Bengals open training camp Friday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and tons more, check out our Draft Guide!

Brady Latest

 

“Right now, we’re focused on getting the team ready for the 2015 season.”

That’s what Patriots coach Bill Belichick had to say Wednesday when asked about Tom Brady and his four-game suspension. When pressed, Belichick responded, “It’s already been addressed.”

Illuminating as always, Bill.

Fortunately for the purposes of writing this article, Brady wasn’t as tight-lipped. The quarterback took to Facebook to voice his opinion Wednesday, saying he was “disappointed” the league decided to uphold his suspension. Brady was particularly adamant in denying that he intentionally destroyed his cell phone: “To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.” Brady said he only replaced his phone after lawyers told him it wouldn’t be needed for the investigation.

Brady’s agent, Don Yee, had a feeling the public would blow the phone issue out of proportion. “They shifted from PSI to the new shiny object, the cell phone,” said Yee. “We expected this. Because this was the easy way to pivot off the junk science and get off the PSI issue.”

The NFL Players Association wasted no time in taking the case to district court. Judge David Doty, who presides over U.S. district court in Minnesota, was asked to make a ruling before September 4 so Brady won’t have to miss practice ahead of September 10’s season opener against Pittsburgh. Doty could also grant Brady an injunction, allowing him to play until a decision is reached. Doty, of course, was the same judge who overturned Adrian Peterson’s suspension earlier this year.

It might work out for Brady in the end, but Patriots owner Robert Kraft is furious that it’s gotten to this point. “I was wrong to put my faith in the league,” said Kraft. “The decision handed down by the league yesterday is unfathomable to me.”

Ultimately the commissioner did what he had to do to protect his image. Upholding the ban was a win/win for Roger Goodell. Scrapping Brady’s suspension entirely would have made him look weak and probably would have infuriated the 31 other franchises the Patriots have tormented over the last decade.

Now Brady’s fate is in Judge Doty’s hands. Brady might eventually get his way but Goodell was still able to hold his ground. After botching the Ray Rice scandal, Goodell will take any small victory he can, even if it means taking a year to settle something as minor as an underinflated football. It’s already been six months, but who’s counting?

For everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @JessePantuosco on Twitter.

 

Quick Hits: Former Dolphins and Rams OT Jake Long will visit the Broncos later this week. He met with the Giants on Wednesday but left without signing a contract … According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland’s Trent Richardson experiment is “not going so well.” T-Rich hasn’t averaged more than 3.6 yards per carry in any of his three seasons … Remember Miami’s old logo with the dolphin wearing a helmet? It’s coming back. The Dolphins will wear special throwback uniforms December 14 when they host the Giants on Monday Night Football … Chiefs SS Eric Berry was back at practice on Wednesday. He missed the end of last season while undergoing cancer treatment. His words to live by: “Fear nothing, attack everything” … Redskins OLB Ryan Kerrigan agreed to a five-year, $57.5 million extension on Wednesday. He led Washington with 13.5 sacks last season … OLB Junior Galette will visit with the Redskins on Thursday. He was let go by the Saints earlier this month … The Redskins recently put out a report claiming that 7.8 billion people followed their training camp coverage last season. Since Earth only has about 7.2 billion inhabitants, where are the other 600,000 million viewers coming from? Mars? … Jason Pierre-Paul continues to distance himself from the Giants. Instead of using team doctors, he’s been rehabbing on his own … Jerry Jones endorsed Joseph Randle as the Cowboys’ No. 1 running back. Considering the other choices were Lance Dunbar and Darren McFadden, I think he made the right call … Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey skipped the team’s flight to training camp and is holding out for a new contract. Dallas can fine Mincey up to $30,000 for every day he misses … Jameis Winston said he’s down to 236 pounds. He’s been known to fluctuate between 230 and 250 … Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will not have any restrictions heading into training camp. “We’re not counting throws all the time, and it’s not a concern as it will be when he’s later in his career,” said coach Mike McCarthy … The Cardinals waived CB Alfonzo Dennard on Wednesday. It’s the second team he’s been cut from this offseason … Jen Welter will coach inside linebackers and serve as an intern for the Cardinals during training camp. She’s the first female coach in NFL history … Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has been practicing with the second team. That’s probably not a great sign … Seattle SS Kam Chancellor isn’t happy with his contract and is contemplating a holdout. Michael Bennett, Bruce Irvin and Russell Wilson have also asked the Seahawks for more money this offseason. Wouldn’t you love to be Seattle’s GM? … Panthers receiver Stephen Hill was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia at a routine traffic stop. A borderline player to begin with, this certainly doesn’t won’t help his chances of cracking the 53-man roster … Joique Bell (knee/Achilles) will open training camp on the active/PUP list. Second-round pick Ameer Abdullah will get the lion’s share (no pun intended) of Detroit’s first-team reps … Falcons receiver Roddy White will need to have his knee drained periodically throughout the season. The last time he had it drained was during minicamp … CSN Area’s Matt Maiocco believes the 49ers will use “more than one person” in their backfield this year. That’s a fancy way of saying running back by committee … Josh Hill has gotten a lot of ink this offseason, particularly on this website. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, ESPN’s Mike Triplett isn’t as bullish on the Saints tight end. He considers Jeremy Shockey’s 2009 numbers (48 catches, 569 yards, three touchdowns) a “realistic” goal for Hill … Marques Colston (undisclosed) and Jairus Byrd (knee) were both placed on the active/PUP list, though Saints GM Mickey Loomis said “they’ll be ready to roll soon” … Interested in buying Refrigerator Perry’s championship ring? It will be up for auction Thursday at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. Just be warned, it might not fit you. Perry wears a size 25 … You want to talk about dedication? During OTAs, Eagles receiver Nelson Agoholor arrived at the team’s facility every day at 6:15 a.m. The rookie shuttle didn’t even leave until 7:15.

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

Injury Analysis: Backup RBs To Own

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sports Injury Predictor has partnered with Rotoworld in 2015 to give you an even greater chance of winning your league this coming season. As a quick introduction we have an algorithm that figures out which players are more likely to get injured in the coming season and the injury history of every player in the NFL. Follow us on Twitter @injurypredictor and check out our injury search engine here.

A fundamental principle of risk management is that you either minimize risk through making investments that have a low probability of failure or you have a plan to manage the impact of risky investments that don’t work out as intended. The same is true of fantasy football. No one ever won their league by playing safe but you can reduce your risk by not overpaying (check out our risk reward profiles in the draft guide) and you can minimize the impact of injury by adopting different approaches to positions where you may be exposed.

One way to leverage injury probability whether it’s in season-long leagues or MFL10s is by looking for backup Running Backs who are the next man up if the player in front of them on the depth chart gets injured. This is not to say you should handcuff your RB1 and 2 with their backup on the depth chart as a blanket practice. We’re not suggesting you burn up spots on your roster stocking players who are not likely to see the field.

But there are some situations that provide insight into who is more likely to get injured that can lead to good draft planning.

Using our injury prediction model we have assigned a probability of injury to every player who is relevant for Fantasy Football. We then took our list of our top 10 Running Backs (found here) and divided the backup RBs into tiers 1, 2 and 3.

Tier one includes those backup RBs who a) have an established role on the team so that there is a defined path for opportunity in the event of an injury and b) have a track record of getting it done when given the opportunity in the past.

Tier two describes situations where the backup running backs are rookies whose roles have not been established and have not been tested with live play, but who are in situations where they most likely will get the opportunity to start at some point in the season.

Tier three covers situations where the mix in the backfield is cloudy but due to a high risk of injury to the lead RB there is a good chance opportunity will be presented to someone at some point this season. If you were to draft tomorrow it would be a dice roll as to which, if any, of the backup RBs would take over in the event of an injury. These are situations to keep an eye on as the preseason progresses as this picture should get clearer as roles get established.

Last season C.J. Anderson, Justin Forsett and even Knile Davis probably helped you a lot if you picked them up. Let’s break down who might be the 2015 RB backup that takes you towards the title.

Tier 1

Primary RB: Eddie Lacy

Backup: James Starks

Lacy has been one of the most efficient backs in the NFL since arriving in 2012. His violent downhill running style, often compared to Marshawn Lynch, is filled with rage and causes him to usually run through the defender(s) rather than make them miss. This season Lacy has even come out with his own T-Shirt called “Business Decisions” which is what he says defenders need to do make before they decide to tackle him. But with this intensity comes risk. Two concussions in back to back years are a concern along with some of the nagging injuries he has been able to play through in his first two seasons in the NFL. While he has not missed any significant time it’s not a stretch of the imagination to see him missing games in 2015.

James Starks has proven he is very capable of filling in for the Packers over the last 5 years. He is the owner of a career 4.3 YPC and is a very capable receiver out of the backfield. He also has no competition in the event of Lacy going down. This coupled with the fact he is playing on a team commanded by arguably one of the all-time greatest quarterbacks to throw a pigskin should allow him to produce in the event of Lacy missing time.

Editor’s Note: For the rest of Jake’s column analyzing backup RBs to own this season, get the Rotoworld Draft Guide. In addition to in-depth injury analysis, you’ll find extensive player profiles, standard, half-PPR, full-PPR, Dynasty and Auction rankings, tiers, ADP reports, sleepers, busts, projections, positional strength of schedule and much more.

Sports Injury Predictor has partnered with Rotoworld in 2015 to give you an even greater chance of winning your league this coming season. As a quick introduction we have an algorithm that figures out which players are more likely to get injured in the coming season and the injury history of every player in the NFL. Follow us on Twitter @injurypredictor and check out our injury search engine here.

A fundamental principle of risk management is that you either minimize risk through making investments that have a low probability of failure or you have a plan to manage the impact of risky investments that don’t work out as intended. The same is true of fantasy football. No one ever won their league by playing safe but you can reduce your risk by not overpaying (check out our risk reward profiles in the draft guide) and you can minimize the impact of injury by adopting different approaches to positions where you may be exposed.

One way to leverage injury probability whether it’s in season-long leagues or MFL10s is by looking for backup Running Backs who are the next man up if the player in front of them on the depth chart gets injured. This is not to say you should handcuff your RB1 and 2 with their backup on the depth chart as a blanket practice. We’re not suggesting you burn up spots on your roster stocking players who are not likely to see the field.

But there are some situations that provide insight into who is more likely to get injured that can lead to good draft planning.

Using our injury prediction model we have assigned a probability of injury to every player who is relevant for Fantasy Football. We then took our list of our top 10 Running Backs (found here) and divided the backup RBs into tiers 1, 2 and 3.

Tier one includes those backup RBs who a) have an established role on the team so that there is a defined path for opportunity in the event of an injury and b) have a track record of getting it done when given the opportunity in the past.

Tier two describes situations where the backup running backs are rookies whose roles have not been established and have not been tested with live play, but who are in situations where they most likely will get the opportunity to start at some point in the season.

Tier three covers situations where the mix in the backfield is cloudy but due to a high risk of injury to the lead RB there is a good chance opportunity will be presented to someone at some point this season. If you were to draft tomorrow it would be a dice roll as to which, if any, of the backup RBs would take over in the event of an injury. These are situations to keep an eye on as the preseason progresses as this picture should get clearer as roles get established.

Last season C.J. Anderson, Justin Forsett and even Knile Davis probably helped you a lot if you picked them up. Let’s break down who might be the 2015 RB backup that takes you towards the title.

Tier 1

Primary RB: Eddie Lacy

Backup: James Starks

Lacy has been one of the most efficient backs in the NFL since arriving in 2012. His violent downhill running style, often compared to Marshawn Lynch, is filled with rage and causes him to usually run through the defender(s) rather than make them miss. This season Lacy has even come out with his own T-Shirt called “Business Decisions” which is what he says defenders need to do make before they decide to tackle him. But with this intensity comes risk. Two concussions in back to back years are a concern along with some of the nagging injuries he has been able to play through in his first two seasons in the NFL. While he has not missed any significant time it’s not a stretch of the imagination to see him missing games in 2015.

James Starks has proven he is very capable of filling in for the Packers over the last 5 years. He is the owner of a career 4.3 YPC and is a very capable receiver out of the backfield. He also has no competition in the event of Lacy going down. This coupled with the fact he is playing on a team commanded by arguably one of the all-time greatest quarterbacks to throw a pigskin should allow him to produce in the event of Lacy missing time.

Editor’s Note: For the rest of Jake’s column analyzing backup RBs to own this season, get the Rotoworld Draft Guide. In addition to in-depth injury analysis, you’ll find extensive player profiles, standard, half-PPR, full-PPR, Dynasty and Auction rankings, tiers, ADP reports, sleepers, busts, projections, positional strength of schedule and much more.

A Penning Tips guide for College or university Essays

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

A Penning Tips guide for College or university Essays

By Katherine Cohen, PhD. Eventhough Halloween season constantly signifies the start of the vacation time for America’s merchants, when you are a Older signing up to university or college, your day signals the unofficial start of the university application form months.fun details about albert einstein and their free academic essay writer online additions to physics and math No matter your levels or check standing, you will probably challenge writing your own private declaration, commonly known as “the university essay.” Right here are half a dozen recommendations to assist you through this annoying, but required part of the college request . 1.

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Training Camp Daily Dose: Dose: Brady’s Ban Upheld

Written by : Posted on July 28, 2015 : No Comments

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Training camps are opening this week, which means our little summer vacation here at Rotoworld Football has come to a close. It’ll be full-steam ahead here for the next seven months.

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and tons more, check out our Draft Guide!

While the rest of the teams and its fan bases are looking at fresh starts, the NFL continues to hold onto last season. The #Deflategate Saga continued on Tuesday with the league announcing it has upheld Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for allegedly having the footballs altered in the playoffs.

According to Profootballtalk’s Mike Florio, the league offered Brady a reduced suspension to one or two games as long as he was willing to provide an admission of guilt. Brady would’ve had to admit he knew the Patriots’ ball men were taking air out of the footballs, admit he didn’t cooperate with the Ted Wells investigation and then apologize for his acts. Brady refused and appears dead-set on either getting his suspension wiped out completely or biting the bullet and sitting all four games.

The next step in this dragged-out, never-ending process will be Brady taking the NFL to federal court, though the NFL beat him to the table by asking the U.S. District Court to “confirm” Brady’s ban. Brady’s account in this took a hit when it was revealed he destroyed his cell phone on the day he met with Ted Wells earlier this offseason. We have a long way to go here with no end in sight.

As for Brady’s backup and potential starter for the Patriots’ first four games, Jimmy Garoppolo reportedly showed far better command of the offense this spring than he did at any time as a rookie. He’s going to get a ton of reps this summer, and we’d expect the offense to keep on ticking with the former second-round pick calling the shots. Rob Gronkowski’s stock won’t take a hit.

For everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @NickMensio on Twitter.

In Other News…

Rams first-round RB Todd Gurley, the 10th overall pick in the draft, appeared to be a lock to open training camp on the active/NFI list as he continues his rehab from ACL surgery. But the Rams instead announced Tuesday that Gurley passed his conditioning test with flying colors and will open camp on the active roster. That means he’s ineligible for reserve/NFI to open the year, which would have cost Gurley the first six games. Expect St. Louis to still bring its rookie along slowly, but Gurley should be doing team drills in short order and has a chance to see meaningful preseason action. Look for Gurley’s ADP to rise over the next month, though we’re not entirely comfortable with his situation in an anemic offense behind the league’s most inexperienced offensive line.

Let’s start with the bad Chiefs news first. They were dealt a big blow on Tuesday when it was revealed NT Dontari Poe will miss all of training camp after undergoing back surgery to repair a herniated disk. He’s a near-lock to open the season on reserve/PUP, costing him at the very least the first six games of the year. Coach Andy Reid thinks it’s reasonable Poe could return at some point near the end of the season. Poe is a budding star in the middle of the Chiefs’ defense.

On to the good — let’s go GREAT — news in Kansas City. Safety Eric Berry has beaten cancer and will practice with his teammates on Wednesday. Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December after complaining of chest pain. He underwent standard chemotherapy treatments and is now cancer-free. The Chiefs will need strong back-end play to make up for the loss of Poe.

While the league is sticking it to Tom Brady with his four-game ban, the news that Le’Veon Bell’s three-game suspension has been reduced to two games flew under the radar a bit on Tuesday. He’ll now miss Weeks 1 and 2 against the Patriots and 49ers before returning for Week 3 against the Rams. While some had dropped Bell down redraft rankings due to his suspension, he’s now squarely back atop the list as the unquestioned No. 1 overall player in both standard and PPR formats.

Quarterback & Running Back Slants

Robert Griffin III “exhibited growth” during the offseason. … The Dolphins re-signed Josh Freeman after releasing him last Friday. … Justin Forsett’s catch total could “potentially double” under new OC Marc Trestman. … Cowboys waived/injured Ryan Williams (knee), and he reverted to season-ending injured reserve. He’ll be a candidate for an injury settlement at some point this year if he ever gets healthy. Dallas signed UDFA RB Gus Johnson to take Williams’ roster spot. … The Cowboys have no interest in free agent Ray Rice. … Coach Joe Philbin said the Dolphins are open to giving Lamar Miller more carries in 2015 after he failed to receive 20 carries in any game last year. … Terrance West was battling Duke Johnson and veteran Shaun Draughn for carries in the spring.

Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants

Saints second-year WR Brandon Coleman is playing “faster and more at ease” after struggling last summer and spending the season on the practice squad. … Kamar Aiken “consistently” ran with the first-team offense opposite Steve Smith Sr. during the spring, ahead of rookie Breshad Perriman. … Bengals waived/injured WR James Wright (knee) and are working out free agent WR Greg Little. Denarius Moore has reportedly been unimpressive at Bengals camp. … Markus Wheaton has reportedly had the “best offseason of the Steelers’ receivers”. Rookie Sammie Coates apparently “has work to do”. … Mike Wallace admits he needs to be a better person and player in Minnesota. … Prince Amukamara raved about Victor Cruz (knee) after the pair worked out together in the offseason. … Rookie Maxx Williams didn’t get off to a hot start during spring practices.

Training camps are opening this week, which means our little summer vacation here at Rotoworld Football has come to a close. It’ll be full-steam ahead here for the next seven months.

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and tons more, check out our Draft Guide!

While the rest of the teams and its fan bases are looking at fresh starts, the NFL continues to hold onto last season. The #Deflategate Saga continued on Tuesday with the league announcing it has upheld Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for allegedly having the footballs altered in the playoffs.

According to Profootballtalk’s Mike Florio, the league offered Brady a reduced suspension to one or two games as long as he was willing to provide an admission of guilt. Brady would’ve had to admit he knew the Patriots’ ball men were taking air out of the footballs, admit he didn’t cooperate with the Ted Wells investigation and then apologize for his acts. Brady refused and appears dead-set on either getting his suspension wiped out completely or biting the bullet and sitting all four games.

The next step in this dragged-out, never-ending process will be Brady taking the NFL to federal court, though the NFL beat him to the table by asking the U.S. District Court to “confirm” Brady’s ban. Brady’s account in this took a hit when it was revealed he destroyed his cell phone on the day he met with Ted Wells earlier this offseason. We have a long way to go here with no end in sight.

As for Brady’s backup and potential starter for the Patriots’ first four games, Jimmy Garoppolo reportedly showed far better command of the offense this spring than he did at any time as a rookie. He’s going to get a ton of reps this summer, and we’d expect the offense to keep on ticking with the former second-round pick calling the shots. Rob Gronkowski’s stock won’t take a hit.

For everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @NickMensio on Twitter.

In Other News…

Rams first-round RB Todd Gurley, the 10th overall pick in the draft, appeared to be a lock to open training camp on the active/NFI list as he continues his rehab from ACL surgery. But the Rams instead announced Tuesday that Gurley passed his conditioning test with flying colors and will open camp on the active roster. That means he’s ineligible for reserve/NFI to open the year, which would have cost Gurley the first six games. Expect St. Louis to still bring its rookie along slowly, but Gurley should be doing team drills in short order and has a chance to see meaningful preseason action. Look for Gurley’s ADP to rise over the next month, though we’re not entirely comfortable with his situation in an anemic offense behind the league’s most inexperienced offensive line.

Let’s start with the bad Chiefs news first. They were dealt a big blow on Tuesday when it was revealed NT Dontari Poe will miss all of training camp after undergoing back surgery to repair a herniated disk. He’s a near-lock to open the season on reserve/PUP, costing him at the very least the first six games of the year. Coach Andy Reid thinks it’s reasonable Poe could return at some point near the end of the season. Poe is a budding star in the middle of the Chiefs’ defense.

On to the good — let’s go GREAT — news in Kansas City. Safety Eric Berry has beaten cancer and will practice with his teammates on Wednesday. Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December after complaining of chest pain. He underwent standard chemotherapy treatments and is now cancer-free. The Chiefs will need strong back-end play to make up for the loss of Poe.

While the league is sticking it to Tom Brady with his four-game ban, the news that Le’Veon Bell’s three-game suspension has been reduced to two games flew under the radar a bit on Tuesday. He’ll now miss Weeks 1 and 2 against the Patriots and 49ers before returning for Week 3 against the Rams. While some had dropped Bell down redraft rankings due to his suspension, he’s now squarely back atop the list as the unquestioned No. 1 overall player in both standard and PPR formats.

Quarterback & Running Back Slants

Robert Griffin III “exhibited growth” during the offseason. … The Dolphins re-signed Josh Freeman after releasing him last Friday. … Justin Forsett’s catch total could “potentially double” under new OC Marc Trestman. … Cowboys waived/injured Ryan Williams (knee), and he reverted to season-ending injured reserve. He’ll be a candidate for an injury settlement at some point this year if he ever gets healthy. Dallas signed UDFA RB Gus Johnson to take Williams’ roster spot. … The Cowboys have no interest in free agent Ray Rice. … Coach Joe Philbin said the Dolphins are open to giving Lamar Miller more carries in 2015 after he failed to receive 20 carries in any game last year. … Terrance West was battling Duke Johnson and veteran Shaun Draughn for carries in the spring.

Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants

Saints second-year WR Brandon Coleman is playing “faster and more at ease” after struggling last summer and spending the season on the practice squad. … Kamar Aiken “consistently” ran with the first-team offense opposite Steve Smith Sr. during the spring, ahead of rookie Breshad Perriman. … Bengals waived/injured WR James Wright (knee) and are working out free agent WR Greg Little. Denarius Moore has reportedly been unimpressive at Bengals camp. … Markus Wheaton has reportedly had the “best offseason of the Steelers’ receivers”. Rookie Sammie Coates apparently “has work to do”. … Mike Wallace admits he needs to be a better person and player in Minnesota. … Prince Amukamara raved about Victor Cruz (knee) after the pair worked out together in the offseason. … Rookie Maxx Williams didn’t get off to a hot start during spring practices.

Nick Mensio is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
Email :Nick Mensio

Training Camp Daily Dose: Training Camp Daily Dose

Written by : Posted on July 27, 2015 : No Comments

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NFL training camps are open for business. Take a deep breath and let that soothing thought ease your anxiety and stress. Whether you’re facing deadlines at work, have in-laws in town, or your kids won’t stop yelling “Minions,” just relax and let visions of the approaching NFL season clear your mind.

Thank you for joining us for the first Training Camp Daily Dose of the young 2015 NFL preseason. My name is Jeff Brubach (you can find me here at this incredibly creative Twitter handle) and I’ll be with you throughout the year, but today we will be recapping the most pertinent fantasy football information spewing from the college campuses and practice facilities hosting the NFL’s annual boot camps.  While NFL training camp start dates vary from team to team, we have plenty of news to cover from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings as both teams are already in camp. Let’s dig right in and check out the most notable news swirling around the fantasy landscape.

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and plenty more, check out our Draft Guide!

Pittsburgh’s Martavis Bryant has been an offseason obsession of many as the young wide receiver looks to build on an explosive rookie season that saw him haul in eight touchdowns on just 26 catches. After offseason compliments from his quarterback and sterling OTA performances, Bryant tossed more gasoline on his blazing hot fantasy draft stock by beefing up to 225 pounds, which is 14 pounds heavier than his 2014 combine weight. Although fantasy leagues aren’t dishing out points per pound, the added weight on Bryant’s frame will ideally make him more of a load for opposing defenses to handle in the middle of the field and in the red zone. With wheels to spare (4.42 forty at the 2014 combine), a bigger Martavis Bryant could be on his way to stardom, a sentiment that Yahoo’s Charles Robinson shared today after watching Bryant live in action.

Continuing with the Weight Watchers theme, Pittsburgh running back DeAngelo Williams shed weight this offseason to dip below 220 pounds. The Steelers are hoping they can squeeze some explosiveness out of Williams’ 32-year-old legs while star running back Le’Veon Bell is suspended to start the season.

Speaking of Bell, the Pittsburgh lead back was a full participant at camp on Monday, as last postseason’s knee troubles appear to be behind the fantasy workhorse. A looming 3-game suspension is now the only hurdle preventing Bell from building on his monstrous 2014 season in which he racked up 2,215 total yards.

Minnesota State University was hopping on Monday as the Vikings held practice at the home of Mavericks in Monkata, Minnesota. Coach Mike Zimmer gave the fantasy world some reassurance as camp got underway, by declaring that running back Adrian Peterson will get “As much as he can take, and as much as he can handle in all the things that we’re doing.” Peterson’s one-year layoff may frighten fantasy owners looking to invest a first round pick in the Minnesota star running back, but a massive workload appears to be on the way. The receiving game will be a large part of Peterson’s expected workload, as our good pal Norval Eugene Turner (Minnesota’s OC) enjoys feeding his running backs in the passing game. Over the last four years, Norv Turner offenses have seen running backs Mike Tolbert (‘11), Ronnie Brown (‘12), Chris Ogbonnaya (‘13), and Matt Asiata (‘14) all collect 44 or more receptions in a season. It’s fair to say that Peterson is a tad better than the names on that list and he should be a powerhouse once again this season.

After spending the summer of 2014 as a fantasy breakout candidate, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson migrated to fantasy bust and then to fantasy voodoo doll status all before Thanksgiving. The 2015 preseason didn’t kick off any better for Patterson, as coach Mike Zimmer questioned the young receiver’s consistency in practice on Monday. After the Vikings brought in Mike Wallace over the offseason, Patterson is now staring at a pile of receivers ahead of him on the Minnesota depth chart and is a long shot for any type of fantasy production in the near future.

In other news, Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney was placed on the active/PUP list on Monday. This designation is not a death sentence for Clowney’s IDP status for the 2015 season, as he could still very well be ready for Week 1 action. Stay tuned to Rotoworld for more developments in Houston surrounding 2014’s top draft pick.

New England wide receiver Brandon LaFell is also sitting with the cool kids at the active/PUP list table, as he has been dealing with a foot injury over the offseason. Again, this is likely a precaution taken by the Patriots but it will require monitoring as preseason games inch closer.

Cleveland coach Mike Pettine called a misdirection play on Monday, stating that he won’t guarantee Josh McCown will start in Week 1, shortly after calling Johnny Manziel the “clearcut No. 2 quarterback” behind McCown. McCown will likely get the first crack at the starting gig, but expect Cleveland to pound the ball on the ground once again this season to limit the damage from their signal callers. Cleveland was sixth in the NFL is rushing attempts in 2014 and although the Browns swapped offensive coordinators over the offseason, Pettine will likely keep this offense on the path to minimal fantasy relevance outside of the running game.

More quarterback news surfaced on Monday as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports said he expects New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith to get a “solid half season” to prove that he can or can’t handle the starting job. Geno now gets a more pass-friendly OC in Chan Gailey and the additions of Brandon Marshall and rookie Devin Smith alongside the returning Eric Decker will give Smith his best set of weapons since he entered the league in 2013. Ryan Fitzpatrick and his beard are waiting in the wings in the event that Smith falters.

Rand Getlin of the NFL Network announced on Monday that free agent running back Chris Johnson’s agent has been in contact with the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson failed to make much of an impact last season with the Jets, but the Dallas offensive line could spring new life into the former 2,000 yard back. Even if Johnson signs on with Dallas, he will be shoved into the mess of other running backs vying to replace the departed DeMarco Murray which would make the Dallas backfield equal parts tricky and interesting as the season begins.

As training camps and preseason games approach, New York Giants GM Jerry Reese nominated wide receiver Corey Washington as a player to watch during camp. Washington was lightly used in 2014 and faces a crowded depth chart, but go ahead and scribble his name on your preseason watch list.

St. Louis Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley’s recovery from 2014 ACL surgery is still shrouded in a bit of mystery as August rolls into town, but ESPN’s Nick Wagoner thinks Gurley could be back before the Rams enjoy their Week 6 bye. Gurley is a major talent but his knee recovery is the primary concern when creating a reasonable ADP for the Rams running back this fantasy season. This will be a situation worth monitoring closely as St. Louis attempts to ease their prized rookie into game action. If Gurley appears to be moving closer to a September return, his draft stock will approach early rounds with ease.

NFL training camps are open for business. Take a deep breath and let that soothing thought ease your anxiety and stress. Whether you’re facing deadlines at work, have in-laws in town, or your kids won’t stop yelling “Minions,” just relax and let visions of the approaching NFL season clear your mind.

Thank you for joining us for the first Training Camp Daily Dose of the young 2015 NFL preseason. My name is Jeff Brubach (you can find me here at this incredibly creative Twitter handle) and I’ll be with you throughout the year, but today we will be recapping the most pertinent fantasy football information spewing from the college campuses and practice facilities hosting the NFL’s annual boot camps.  While NFL training camp start dates vary from team to team, we have plenty of news to cover from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings as both teams are already in camp. Let’s dig right in and check out the most notable news swirling around the fantasy landscape.

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and plenty more, check out our Draft Guide!

Pittsburgh’s Martavis Bryant has been an offseason obsession of many as the young wide receiver looks to build on an explosive rookie season that saw him haul in eight touchdowns on just 26 catches. After offseason compliments from his quarterback and sterling OTA performances, Bryant tossed more gasoline on his blazing hot fantasy draft stock by beefing up to 225 pounds, which is 14 pounds heavier than his 2014 combine weight. Although fantasy leagues aren’t dishing out points per pound, the added weight on Bryant’s frame will ideally make him more of a load for opposing defenses to handle in the middle of the field and in the red zone. With wheels to spare (4.42 forty at the 2014 combine), a bigger Martavis Bryant could be on his way to stardom, a sentiment that Yahoo’s Charles Robinson shared today after watching Bryant live in action.

Continuing with the Weight Watchers theme, Pittsburgh running back DeAngelo Williams shed weight this offseason to dip below 220 pounds. The Steelers are hoping they can squeeze some explosiveness out of Williams’ 32-year-old legs while star running back Le’Veon Bell is suspended to start the season.

Speaking of Bell, the Pittsburgh lead back was a full participant at camp on Monday, as last postseason’s knee troubles appear to be behind the fantasy workhorse. A looming 3-game suspension is now the only hurdle preventing Bell from building on his monstrous 2014 season in which he racked up 2,215 total yards.

Minnesota State University was hopping on Monday as the Vikings held practice at the home of Mavericks in Monkata, Minnesota. Coach Mike Zimmer gave the fantasy world some reassurance as camp got underway, by declaring that running back Adrian Peterson will get “As much as he can take, and as much as he can handle in all the things that we’re doing.” Peterson’s one-year layoff may frighten fantasy owners looking to invest a first round pick in the Minnesota star running back, but a massive workload appears to be on the way. The receiving game will be a large part of Peterson’s expected workload, as our good pal Norval Eugene Turner (Minnesota’s OC) enjoys feeding his running backs in the passing game. Over the last four years, Norv Turner offenses have seen running backs Mike Tolbert (‘11), Ronnie Brown (‘12), Chris Ogbonnaya (‘13), and Matt Asiata (‘14) all collect 44 or more receptions in a season. It’s fair to say that Peterson is a tad better than the names on that list and he should be a powerhouse once again this season.

After spending the summer of 2014 as a fantasy breakout candidate, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson migrated to fantasy bust and then to fantasy voodoo doll status all before Thanksgiving. The 2015 preseason didn’t kick off any better for Patterson, as coach Mike Zimmer questioned the young receiver’s consistency in practice on Monday. After the Vikings brought in Mike Wallace over the offseason, Patterson is now staring at a pile of receivers ahead of him on the Minnesota depth chart and is a long shot for any type of fantasy production in the near future.

In other news, Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney was placed on the active/PUP list on Monday. This designation is not a death sentence for Clowney’s IDP status for the 2015 season, as he could still very well be ready for Week 1 action. Stay tuned to Rotoworld for more developments in Houston surrounding 2014’s top draft pick.

New England wide receiver Brandon LaFell is also sitting with the cool kids at the active/PUP list table, as he has been dealing with a foot injury over the offseason. Again, this is likely a precaution taken by the Patriots but it will require monitoring as preseason games inch closer.

Cleveland coach Mike Pettine called a misdirection play on Monday, stating that he won’t guarantee Josh McCown will start in Week 1, shortly after calling Johnny Manziel the “clearcut No. 2 quarterback” behind McCown. McCown will likely get the first crack at the starting gig, but expect Cleveland to pound the ball on the ground once again this season to limit the damage from their signal callers. Cleveland was sixth in the NFL is rushing attempts in 2014 and although the Browns swapped offensive coordinators over the offseason, Pettine will likely keep this offense on the path to minimal fantasy relevance outside of the running game.

More quarterback news surfaced on Monday as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports said he expects New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith to get a “solid half season” to prove that he can or can’t handle the starting job. Geno now gets a more pass-friendly OC in Chan Gailey and the additions of Brandon Marshall and rookie Devin Smith alongside the returning Eric Decker will give Smith his best set of weapons since he entered the league in 2013. Ryan Fitzpatrick and his beard are waiting in the wings in the event that Smith falters.

Rand Getlin of the NFL Network announced on Monday that free agent running back Chris Johnson’s agent has been in contact with the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson failed to make much of an impact last season with the Jets, but the Dallas offensive line could spring new life into the former 2,000 yard back. Even if Johnson signs on with Dallas, he will be shoved into the mess of other running backs vying to replace the departed DeMarco Murray which would make the Dallas backfield equal parts tricky and interesting as the season begins.

As training camps and preseason games approach, New York Giants GM Jerry Reese nominated wide receiver Corey Washington as a player to watch during camp. Washington was lightly used in 2014 and faces a crowded depth chart, but go ahead and scribble his name on your preseason watch list.

St. Louis Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley’s recovery from 2014 ACL surgery is still shrouded in a bit of mystery as August rolls into town, but ESPN’s Nick Wagoner thinks Gurley could be back before the Rams enjoy their Week 6 bye. Gurley is a major talent but his knee recovery is the primary concern when creating a reasonable ADP for the Rams running back this fantasy season. This will be a situation worth monitoring closely as St. Louis attempts to ease their prized rookie into game action. If Gurley appears to be moving closer to a September return, his draft stock will approach early rounds with ease.