Monthly Archives: August 2015

Financial Disaster

Written by : Posted on August 31, 2015 : No Comments

Financial Disaster

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Training Camp Daily Dose: Dose: As The Redskins Turn

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

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Redskins once again find themselves in the midst of a full-blown quarterback nightmare. On Friday, Robert Griffin III was surprisingly ruled out for the rest of the preseason with a concussion after reportedly being cleared earlier in the week. On Saturday, ESPN reported the team had already decided Kirk Cousins would start Week 1 even if Griffin was able to get cleared. On Sunday, ESPN reported Washington’s front office and coaches want to cut ties with Griffin, but owner Dan Snyder is resisting the change.

The dysfunction is dripping off this organization, and at this point Griffin moving on is probably in everyone’s best interest. The problem is Griffin has no trade value, and it would be very difficult for GM Scot McCloughan to cut Griffin without the owner’s support. Coach Jay Gruden claims he has the final say on who plays quarterback, but if that were the case Griffin likely would not have been named the starter in February.

Cousins, Griffin and even Colt McCoy could make starts this year, and Washington has the look of a team who will be picking very early in next year’s draft. All of this dysfunction could hurt Alfred Morris, who has been better with Griffin running the offense throughout his career, and the rest of Washington’s skill players should be downgraded a couple spots as well.

The Cowboys’ running back situation is not quite as dire as Washington’s quarterback room, but it is equally confusing. Jerry Jones spent all offseason pumping up Joseph Randle while Darren McFadden sat on the sidelines with two separate hamstring injuries, but Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson reports Dallas views McFadden as the “best of the bunch.”

Robinson also said the Cowboys are committed to using all of their running backs, including Lance Dunbar, but it now appears McFadden has a real shot to chair the committee. If true, it would mean Randle is being dramatically over-drafted in the fourth and sometimes the third round, and McFadden could be a value in the ninth. The best bet may be to avoid the situation altogether.

Editor’s Note: Get more from your 2015-16 daily fantasy football season by adding college football to the mix. Only familiar with NFL? Don’t worry, our partners at RotoGrinders.com have you covered. Check out their “Ultimate Guide to Daily Fantasy College Football Strategy” to get started.

In Other News…..

Randall Cobb suffered a shoulder injury in the Packers’ third preseason game. Cobb feared he had broken his collarbone when he walked off the field, but an MRI revealed only a sprained AC joint. The Packers have not officially announced Cobb’s chances of playing Week 1, but he should be ready to face the Bears. After losing Jordy Nelson to a torn ACL last week, Green Bay appears to have dodged a bullet.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Joique Bell is “moving along really well” in his recovery from offseason knee and Achilles surgeries. This has been Caldwell’s refrain since early in the summer, but Bell has yet to practice or play in a game this preseason. Bell does not expect to be limited when he returns, but he had a very slow start last year coming off a similarly unhealthy offseason. If he repeats that start this year, Ameer Abdullah could eat away at his workload.

ESPN’s Adam Caplan expects rookie Duke Johnson to lead the Browns’ backfield in touches if he stays healthy. The last part of that sentence is important, especially since the comments came before Johnson suffered a concussion in the third preseason game. With neither Isaiah Crowell nor Terrance West taking control of the job with Johnson sidelined, the rookie should have a large offensive role whenever he is able to suit up. For his part, coach Mike Pettine refused to rule out adding Ray Rice to Cleveland’s running back mix.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he does not expect Victor Cruz (calf) to practice this week. Coming back from a torn patellar tendon last season, Cruz strained his calf early in training camp. He has yet to play in a preseason game and is very unlikely to suit up for the fourth exhibition contest. Cruz’s availability for Week 1 is uncertain at best.

ESPN Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco said RB Denard Robinson “should be” the starting running back when the season begins. DiRocco has consistently questioned rookie T.J. Yeldon’s early-season workload, but Yeldon’s usage in the third preseason game told a different story. Yeldon was the clear feature back with Robinson serving in a change-of-pace role. Perhaps that will change if Yeldon struggles and Robinson keeps playing well, but it makes sense for the Jaguars to get Yeldon’s growing pains out of the way in a year they are unlikely to contend.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Tre Mason is questionable for Week 1 after suffering a hamstring injury in the team’s third preseason game. Rookie Todd Gurley is not expected to suit up for the regular season opener, meaning Benny Cunningham could have a surprisingly large role against the Seahawks. No one on the Rams offense will be a recommended play in that matchup.

The Panthers plan to “stick” with Corey Brown despite a rash of drops this preseason. Brown dropped three passes in the team’s third preseason game including his second drop in the end zone in as many weeks. The Panthers do not have much choice but to stick with Brown. Kelvin Benjamin (ACL) is out for the season, Devin Funchess (hamstring) is injured and unproven, and the rest of the depth chart is either old, uninspiring or both.

For individual player updates from all the preseason action, check out the Rotoworld News Page.  Also Buy the Rotoworld Draft Guide and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @RMSummerlin on Twitter. Championship

Quick Hits

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said the team is open to signing another running back. Bishop Sankey came back to earth in the third preseason game. … Falcons signed Julio Jones to a five-year, $71.25 million extension which includes $47 million guaranteed. Julio is very good at football. … Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said “everything points to” Julius Thomas (hand) being ready for Week 1. … Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said “everything’s in place” for Cody Latimer to have a big year, but he expressed disappointment Latimer had not taken advantage of his chances in the preseason. … James White played just two snaps in the Patriots’ third preseason game. He is behind Brandon Bolden and perhaps Dion Lewis for the third-down job. Travaris Cadet may not make the final roster. … Zach Zenner is expected to make the Lions’ final roster. He is not worth a pick in redraft right now, but he is a name to keep in mind if Joique Bell goes down. … ESPN Raiders reporter Bill Williamson said Trent Richardson is on the roster bubble. Averaging 2.8 yards per carry against mostly backups in the preseason will do that. … Redskins locked up Trent Williams to a five-year, $66 million extension which includes $43.25 million guaranteed. He now is the highest paid left tackle in the league. … ESPN’s Adam Caplan reported Brandon Albert (knee) is unlikely to return before Week 3. That would be a big hit to the Dolphins offensive line and Ryan Tannehill. … Bears released veteran CB Tim Jennings on Sunday. He had slipped down Chicago’s depth chart, but he will find a new home quickly. They also placed S Ryan Mundy (hip) on injured reserve. … Raiders RT Menelik Watson is done for the year with a torn Achilles’ tendon. 

The Redskins once again find themselves in the midst of a full-blown quarterback nightmare. On Friday, Robert Griffin III was surprisingly ruled out for the rest of the preseason with a concussion after reportedly being cleared earlier in the week. On Saturday, ESPN reported the team had already decided Kirk Cousins would start Week 1 even if Griffin was able to get cleared. On Sunday, ESPN reported Washington’s front office and coaches want to cut ties with Griffin, but owner Dan Snyder is resisting the change.

The dysfunction is dripping off this organization, and at this point Griffin moving on is probably in everyone’s best interest. The problem is Griffin has no trade value, and it would be very difficult for GM Scot McCloughan to cut Griffin without the owner’s support. Coach Jay Gruden claims he has the final say on who plays quarterback, but if that were the case Griffin likely would not have been named the starter in February.

Cousins, Griffin and even Colt McCoy could make starts this year, and Washington has the look of a team who will be picking very early in next year’s draft. All of this dysfunction could hurt Alfred Morris, who has been better with Griffin running the offense throughout his career, and the rest of Washington’s skill players should be downgraded a couple spots as well.

The Cowboys’ running back situation is not quite as dire as Washington’s quarterback room, but it is equally confusing. Jerry Jones spent all offseason pumping up Joseph Randle while Darren McFadden sat on the sidelines with two separate hamstring injuries, but Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson reports Dallas views McFadden as the “best of the bunch.”

Robinson also said the Cowboys are committed to using all of their running backs, including Lance Dunbar, but it now appears McFadden has a real shot to chair the committee. If true, it would mean Randle is being dramatically over-drafted in the fourth and sometimes the third round, and McFadden could be a value in the ninth. The best bet may be to avoid the situation altogether.

Editor’s Note: Get more from your 2015-16 daily fantasy football season by adding college football to the mix. Only familiar with NFL? Don’t worry, our partners at RotoGrinders.com have you covered. Check out their “Ultimate Guide to Daily Fantasy College Football Strategy” to get started.

In Other News…..

Randall Cobb suffered a shoulder injury in the Packers’ third preseason game. Cobb feared he had broken his collarbone when he walked off the field, but an MRI revealed only a sprained AC joint. The Packers have not officially announced Cobb’s chances of playing Week 1, but he should be ready to face the Bears. After losing Jordy Nelson to a torn ACL last week, Green Bay appears to have dodged a bullet.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Joique Bell is “moving along really well” in his recovery from offseason knee and Achilles surgeries. This has been Caldwell’s refrain since early in the summer, but Bell has yet to practice or play in a game this preseason. Bell does not expect to be limited when he returns, but he had a very slow start last year coming off a similarly unhealthy offseason. If he repeats that start this year, Ameer Abdullah could eat away at his workload.

ESPN’s Adam Caplan expects rookie Duke Johnson to lead the Browns’ backfield in touches if he stays healthy. The last part of that sentence is important, especially since the comments came before Johnson suffered a concussion in the third preseason game. With neither Isaiah Crowell nor Terrance West taking control of the job with Johnson sidelined, the rookie should have a large offensive role whenever he is able to suit up. For his part, coach Mike Pettine refused to rule out adding Ray Rice to Cleveland’s running back mix.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he does not expect Victor Cruz (calf) to practice this week. Coming back from a torn patellar tendon last season, Cruz strained his calf early in training camp. He has yet to play in a preseason game and is very unlikely to suit up for the fourth exhibition contest. Cruz’s availability for Week 1 is uncertain at best.

ESPN Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco said RB Denard Robinson “should be” the starting running back when the season begins. DiRocco has consistently questioned rookie T.J. Yeldon’s early-season workload, but Yeldon’s usage in the third preseason game told a different story. Yeldon was the clear feature back with Robinson serving in a change-of-pace role. Perhaps that will change if Yeldon struggles and Robinson keeps playing well, but it makes sense for the Jaguars to get Yeldon’s growing pains out of the way in a year they are unlikely to contend.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Tre Mason is questionable for Week 1 after suffering a hamstring injury in the team’s third preseason game. Rookie Todd Gurley is not expected to suit up for the regular season opener, meaning Benny Cunningham could have a surprisingly large role against the Seahawks. No one on the Rams offense will be a recommended play in that matchup.

The Panthers plan to “stick” with Corey Brown despite a rash of drops this preseason. Brown dropped three passes in the team’s third preseason game including his second drop in the end zone in as many weeks. The Panthers do not have much choice but to stick with Brown. Kelvin Benjamin (ACL) is out for the season, Devin Funchess (hamstring) is injured and unproven, and the rest of the depth chart is either old, uninspiring or both.

For individual player updates from all the preseason action, check out the Rotoworld News Page.  Also Buy the Rotoworld Draft Guide and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @RMSummerlin on Twitter. Championship

Quick Hits

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said the team is open to signing another running back. Bishop Sankey came back to earth in the third preseason game. … Falcons signed Julio Jones to a five-year, $71.25 million extension which includes $47 million guaranteed. Julio is very good at football. … Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said “everything points to” Julius Thomas (hand) being ready for Week 1. … Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said “everything’s in place” for Cody Latimer to have a big year, but he expressed disappointment Latimer had not taken advantage of his chances in the preseason. … James White played just two snaps in the Patriots’ third preseason game. He is behind Brandon Bolden and perhaps Dion Lewis for the third-down job. Travaris Cadet may not make the final roster. … Zach Zenner is expected to make the Lions’ final roster. He is not worth a pick in redraft right now, but he is a name to keep in mind if Joique Bell goes down. … ESPN Raiders reporter Bill Williamson said Trent Richardson is on the roster bubble. Averaging 2.8 yards per carry against mostly backups in the preseason will do that. … Redskins locked up Trent Williams to a five-year, $66 million extension which includes $43.25 million guaranteed. He now is the highest paid left tackle in the league. … ESPN’s Adam Caplan reported Brandon Albert (knee) is unlikely to return before Week 3. That would be a big hit to the Dolphins offensive line and Ryan Tannehill. … Bears released veteran CB Tim Jennings on Sunday. He had slipped down Chicago’s depth chart, but he will find a new home quickly. They also placed S Ryan Mundy (hip) on injured reserve. … Raiders RT Menelik Watson is done for the year with a torn Achilles’ tendon. 

Draft Analysis: Player-by-Player ADP Notes

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

With draft season raging like Anquan Boldin after an eight-yard catch, here’s a quick-and-dirty breakdown of the top 120 players by ADP. These are not my personal rankings. My top 25s can be found here. ADPs courtesy of FantasyFootballCalculator.com, and based on standard-league data culled from Saturday-Sunday.

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and more, check out the Rotoworld Draft Guide.

Round 1

1. Adrian Peterson (RB1) — There’s no clear-cut No. 1 this season, but it shouldn’t be a 30-year-old back with 23 touches over the past 20 months.

2. Le’Veon Bell (RB2) — The two-game ban hurts, but so did Josh Gordon’s in 2013.

3. Eddie Lacy (RB3) — The owner of this year’s highest floor, Lacy is an auto-draft at No. 3 overall.

4. Jamaal Charles (RB4) — Both Charles’ ceiling and floor are lower than a handful of the backs going behind him.

5. Antonio Brown (WR1) — Safe and steady like a government bond, but a bit early considering the high-end depth at receiver and jumbled state of RB6-15.

6. Marshawn Lynch (RB5) — You could take him at No. 1 and win your league.

7. Dez Bryant (WR2) — The top combination of floor and ceiling at his position.

8. C.J. Anderson (RB6) — Ronnie Hillman looms. Anderson “safer” in the RB8-10 range.

9. Julio Jones (WR3) — I wouldn’t take Jones over clockwork Demaryius or stratospheric Beckham.

10. Demaryius Thomas (WR4) — Has compelling case to be first receiver off the board.

11. Jeremy Hill (RB7) — Hill is no longer a true bargain, but boasts No. 1 overall upside wherever he’s taken.

12. Matt Forte (RB8) — Forte isn’t a first-rounder, and arguably belongs in the third.

Round 2

13. Odell Beckham (WR5) — Beckham has the kind of upside you shouldn’t be able to find at No. 13.

14. Andrew Luck (QB1) — It’s early for a quarterback, but hard to argue with getting the odds-on favorite to be fantasy’s top player in the second round.

15. Calvin Johnson (WR6) — Megatron has peaked, but he’s not in the Fitzgerald Valley.

16. DeMarco Murray (RB9) — Far too low for last year’s RB1. At the very least, Murray is a no-brainer ahead of Forte and Anderson.

17. Rob Gronkowski (TE1) — Gronk will go in the first rounds of many drafts, so be glad if you get him in the second.

18. Randall Cobb (WR7) — I’m not taking Cobb ahead of A.J. Green, but his shoulder injury doesn’t appear to be a concern for Week 1.

19. LeSean McCoy (RB10) — His quarterback, coordinator and recent injury history are just three of the reasons Shady could struggle to match last year’s RB11 finish.

20. A.J. Green (WR8) — Green was the WR5 in both 2012 and 2013. He led receivers in yards per route run last season. He’ll easily outperform his draft position if he stays healthy.

21. Justin Forsett (RB11) — Crazy upside in Marc Trestman’s offense, but an even-crazier track record. RB11 is the right price for Forsett’s risk-and-reward cocktail.

22. Aaron Rodgers (QB2) — Jordy Nelson’s injury is a cobweb on Rodgers’ ceiling, but not enough to knock him from the top two at QB.

23. T.Y. Hilton (WR9) — I wouldn’t take Hilton ahead of Alshon Jeffery or Mike Evans, but he belongs in the top 12.

24. Lamar Miller (RB12) — Miller cloned Jamaal Charles’ 2014 while you weren’t looking. The arrow is still pointing up.

Round 3

25. Brandin Cooks (WR10) — There’s some wishful thinking required to take Cooks ahead of Jeffery and Evans, among others, but the top 10 isn’t outlandish.

26. Frank Gore (RB13) — Gore is a used part, but capable of big things in the Colts’ V12 offense.

27. Alshon Jeffery (WR11) — Jeffery should coast to another top-12 finish with Brandon Marshall out of the picture.

28. Jordan Matthews (WR12) — Aggressive, but Chip Kelly has coaxed superstar seasons out of two different No. 1 receivers in two years on the job. Many reasons to believe Matthews will make it 3-of-3.

29. Mike Evans (WR13) — Evans will finish in the top 12 if he stays healthy.

30. Mark Ingram (RB14) — Ingram was a potential overdraft that ended up going right where he should.

31. Latavius Murray (RB15) — Murray’s upside is legitimate, but his floor opens up into a hole that comes out on the other side of the earth.

32. Jimmy Graham (TE2) — Graham has the role and quarterback to atone for last year’s disappointment.

33. Alfred Morris (RB16) — This is probably still too high for a player who might get Pipp’d by Matt Jones.

34. DeAndre Hopkins (WR14) — This is the right price for a player at the crossroads of Brian Hoyer and infinite targets.

35. Emmanuel Sanders (WR15) — Fantasy drafters are showing surprising/warranted restraint with last year’s WR7, but this might still be too high.

36. Joseph Randle (RB17) — Just as likely to be dropped by mid-October as he is to run with DeMarco Murray’s old job.

Round 4

37. Davante Adams (WR16) — A “role pick” if there ever was one, Adams is far more realistic as a WR3 than high-end WR2.

38. Melvin Gordon (RB18) — Rookie backs are some of the most reliable underperformers in fantasy football, but this isn’t a bad price for a player with a three-hour mail route on first and second down.

39. Carlos Hyde (RB19) — Hyde’s slow start to camp and Reggie Bush are concerns, but the second-year second rounder has run well this summer. A sensible cost.

40. Ameer Abdullah (RB20) — Be honest with yourself — you’re projecting your own hopes and dreams onto Detroit’s rookie back. You’re also taking an understandable gamble on an electric runner’s role, talent and competition.

41. Doug Martin (RB21) — A riser if there ever was one, Martin is neither a bargain nor a reach.

42. Andre Johnson (WR17) — Does Johnson have another Lazarus act in him? Andrew Luck the right place to go for a resurrection.

43. Peyton Manning (QB3) — People are probably pricing in only half of Manning’s risk, but QB3 isn’t crazy talk.

44. Amari Cooper (WR18) — It’s an overdraft. Be happy if Cooper matches Sammy Watkins’ WR25 finish from last season.

45. Golden Tate (WR19) — Another overdraft, but Tate’s floor masks some of the upcharge.

46. Jonathan Stewart (RB22) — Stewart’s injury history is 40 pages long and comes in three languages, but this isn’t egregious based on the backs going behind him.

47. Andre Ellington (RB23) — Ellington has little shot at finishing as an RB2.

48. Chris Ivory (RB24) — A top-15 darkhorse you should be glad to get after Randle.

Round 5

49. Keenan Allen (WR20) — Allen is coming with surprisingly little markdown after last year’s catastrophe, but WR20 is not far fetched.

50. Arian Foster (RB25) — Foster soft-tissue injuries have become the stuff of legend, but you don’t let this kind of upside slide any farther down the board.

51. Brandon Marshall (WR21) — Like Allen, Marshall is being bought at full price, but he’s as plausible a rebound candidate as any.

52. Jeremy Maclin (WR22) — A top-15 receiver coming with a Dwayne Bowe discount.

53. Jarvis Landry (WR23) — Landry is polishing floors, not painting ceilings, but has WR2 potential all the same.

54. Russell Wilson (QB4) — Last year’s rushing numbers could prove tough to match, but there’s nothing unreasonable about this valuation.

55. Todd Gurley (RB26) — Jeff Fisher lets rookies age like wine in a cellar, but Gurley’s draft position and Fisher’s lack of job security should conspire to create a big early-season role.

56. Travis Kelce (TE3) — A perfectly reasonable spot to take a shot on a darkhorse for TE1 overall status.

57. Drew Brees (QB5) — The Saints are sobering up on offense, but Brees will still accumulate 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.

58. Ben Roethlisberger (QB6) — Last year’s QB3 has to deal with suspensions, but is playing the best football of his life.

59. Greg Olsen (TE4) — Olsen’s odds of approaching last season’s career year improved exponentially with Kelvin Benjamin’s injury.

60. T.J. Yeldon (RB27) — Ticketed for a three-down role, Yeldon is shaping up as a real bargain after missing most of the preseason.

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

With draft season raging like Anquan Boldin after an eight-yard catch, here’s a quick-and-dirty breakdown of the top 120 players by ADP. These are not my personal rankings. My top 25s can be found here. ADPs courtesy of FantasyFootballCalculator.com, and based on standard-league data culled from Saturday-Sunday.

Editor’s Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and more, check out the Rotoworld Draft Guide.

Round 1

1. Adrian Peterson (RB1) — There’s no clear-cut No. 1 this season, but it shouldn’t be a 30-year-old back with 23 touches over the past 20 months.

2. Le’Veon Bell (RB2) — The two-game ban hurts, but so did Josh Gordon’s in 2013.

3. Eddie Lacy (RB3) — The owner of this year’s highest floor, Lacy is an auto-draft at No. 3 overall.

4. Jamaal Charles (RB4) — Both Charles’ ceiling and floor are lower than a handful of the backs going behind him.

5. Antonio Brown (WR1) — Safe and steady like a government bond, but a bit early considering the high-end depth at receiver and jumbled state of RB6-15.

6. Marshawn Lynch (RB5) — You could take him at No. 1 and win your league.

7. Dez Bryant (WR2) — The top combination of floor and ceiling at his position.

8. C.J. Anderson (RB6) — Ronnie Hillman looms. Anderson “safer” in the RB8-10 range.

9. Julio Jones (WR3) — I wouldn’t take Jones over clockwork Demaryius or stratospheric Beckham.

10. Demaryius Thomas (WR4) — Has compelling case to be first receiver off the board.

11. Jeremy Hill (RB7) — Hill is no longer a true bargain, but boasts No. 1 overall upside wherever he’s taken.

12. Matt Forte (RB8) — Forte isn’t a first-rounder, and arguably belongs in the third.

Round 2

13. Odell Beckham (WR5) — Beckham has the kind of upside you shouldn’t be able to find at No. 13.

14. Andrew Luck (QB1) — It’s early for a quarterback, but hard to argue with getting the odds-on favorite to be fantasy’s top player in the second round.

15. Calvin Johnson (WR6) — Megatron has peaked, but he’s not in the Fitzgerald Valley.

16. DeMarco Murray (RB9) — Far too low for last year’s RB1. At the very least, Murray is a no-brainer ahead of Forte and Anderson.

17. Rob Gronkowski (TE1) — Gronk will go in the first rounds of many drafts, so be glad if you get him in the second.

18. Randall Cobb (WR7) — I’m not taking Cobb ahead of A.J. Green, but his shoulder injury doesn’t appear to be a concern for Week 1.

19. LeSean McCoy (RB10) — His quarterback, coordinator and recent injury history are just three of the reasons Shady could struggle to match last year’s RB11 finish.

20. A.J. Green (WR8) — Green was the WR5 in both 2012 and 2013. He led receivers in yards per route run last season. He’ll easily outperform his draft position if he stays healthy.

21. Justin Forsett (RB11) — Crazy upside in Marc Trestman’s offense, but an even-crazier track record. RB11 is the right price for Forsett’s risk-and-reward cocktail.

22. Aaron Rodgers (QB2) — Jordy Nelson’s injury is a cobweb on Rodgers’ ceiling, but not enough to knock him from the top two at QB.

23. T.Y. Hilton (WR9) — I wouldn’t take Hilton ahead of Alshon Jeffery or Mike Evans, but he belongs in the top 12.

24. Lamar Miller (RB12) — Miller cloned Jamaal Charles’ 2014 while you weren’t looking. The arrow is still pointing up.

Round 3

25. Brandin Cooks (WR10) — There’s some wishful thinking required to take Cooks ahead of Jeffery and Evans, among others, but the top 10 isn’t outlandish.

26. Frank Gore (RB13) — Gore is a used part, but capable of big things in the Colts’ V12 offense.

27. Alshon Jeffery (WR11) — Jeffery should coast to another top-12 finish with Brandon Marshall out of the picture.

28. Jordan Matthews (WR12) — Aggressive, but Chip Kelly has coaxed superstar seasons out of two different No. 1 receivers in two years on the job. Many reasons to believe Matthews will make it 3-of-3.

29. Mike Evans (WR13) — Evans will finish in the top 12 if he stays healthy.

30. Mark Ingram (RB14) — Ingram was a potential overdraft that ended up going right where he should.

31. Latavius Murray (RB15) — Murray’s upside is legitimate, but his floor opens up into a hole that comes out on the other side of the earth.

32. Jimmy Graham (TE2) — Graham has the role and quarterback to atone for last year’s disappointment.

33. Alfred Morris (RB16) — This is probably still too high for a player who might get Pipp’d by Matt Jones.

34. DeAndre Hopkins (WR14) — This is the right price for a player at the crossroads of Brian Hoyer and infinite targets.

35. Emmanuel Sanders (WR15) — Fantasy drafters are showing surprising/warranted restraint with last year’s WR7, but this might still be too high.

36. Joseph Randle (RB17) — Just as likely to be dropped by mid-October as he is to run with DeMarco Murray’s old job.

Round 4

37. Davante Adams (WR16) — A “role pick” if there ever was one, Adams is far more realistic as a WR3 than high-end WR2.

38. Melvin Gordon (RB18) — Rookie backs are some of the most reliable underperformers in fantasy football, but this isn’t a bad price for a player with a three-hour mail route on first and second down.

39. Carlos Hyde (RB19) — Hyde’s slow start to camp and Reggie Bush are concerns, but the second-year second rounder has run well this summer. A sensible cost.

40. Ameer Abdullah (RB20) — Be honest with yourself — you’re projecting your own hopes and dreams onto Detroit’s rookie back. You’re also taking an understandable gamble on an electric runner’s role, talent and competition.

41. Doug Martin (RB21) — A riser if there ever was one, Martin is neither a bargain nor a reach.

42. Andre Johnson (WR17) — Does Johnson have another Lazarus act in him? Andrew Luck the right place to go for a resurrection.

43. Peyton Manning (QB3) — People are probably pricing in only half of Manning’s risk, but QB3 isn’t crazy talk.

44. Amari Cooper (WR18) — It’s an overdraft. Be happy if Cooper matches Sammy Watkins’ WR25 finish from last season.

45. Golden Tate (WR19) — Another overdraft, but Tate’s floor masks some of the upcharge.

46. Jonathan Stewart (RB22) — Stewart’s injury history is 40 pages long and comes in three languages, but this isn’t egregious based on the backs going behind him.

47. Andre Ellington (RB23) — Ellington has little shot at finishing as an RB2.

48. Chris Ivory (RB24) — A top-15 darkhorse you should be glad to get after Randle.

Round 5

49. Keenan Allen (WR20) — Allen is coming with surprisingly little markdown after last year’s catastrophe, but WR20 is not far fetched.

50. Arian Foster (RB25) — Foster soft-tissue injuries have become the stuff of legend, but you don’t let this kind of upside slide any farther down the board.

51. Brandon Marshall (WR21) — Like Allen, Marshall is being bought at full price, but he’s as plausible a rebound candidate as any.

52. Jeremy Maclin (WR22) — A top-15 receiver coming with a Dwayne Bowe discount.

53. Jarvis Landry (WR23) — Landry is polishing floors, not painting ceilings, but has WR2 potential all the same.

54. Russell Wilson (QB4) — Last year’s rushing numbers could prove tough to match, but there’s nothing unreasonable about this valuation.

55. Todd Gurley (RB26) — Jeff Fisher lets rookies age like wine in a cellar, but Gurley’s draft position and Fisher’s lack of job security should conspire to create a big early-season role.

56. Travis Kelce (TE3) — A perfectly reasonable spot to take a shot on a darkhorse for TE1 overall status.

57. Drew Brees (QB5) — The Saints are sobering up on offense, but Brees will still accumulate 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.

58. Ben Roethlisberger (QB6) — Last year’s QB3 has to deal with suspensions, but is playing the best football of his life.

59. Greg Olsen (TE4) — Olsen’s odds of approaching last season’s career year improved exponentially with Kelvin Benjamin’s injury.

60. T.J. Yeldon (RB27) — Ticketed for a three-down role, Yeldon is shaping up as a real bargain after missing most of the preseason.

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

Round 6

61. Julian Edelman (WR24) — Should remain the most useful player you hate to start as the Pats battle injury attrition in the receiver corps.

62. LeGarrette Blount (RB28) — The most logical RB2 candidate in New England’s backfield, but Bill Belichick’s internal logic is a 1,000-page Pynchon novel.

63. Nelson Agholor (WR25) — There are safer bets going behind him, but WR25 is a credible outcome for the first-round rookie in Chip Kelly’s offense.

64. C.J. Spiller (RB29) — Spiller isn’t an RB2 fever dream in the old Darren Sproles role, but is already hurt.

65. Sammy Watkins (WR26) — This is exactly where Sammy Watkins should be getting drafted.

66. Allen Robinson (WR27) — Will end up an absurd bargain if Blake Bortles takes anything resembling a step forward.

67. Charles Johnson (WR28) — I’ve got my money on Johnson finishing as a WR2.

68. Martavis Bryant (WR29) — Bryant’s four-game suspension puts him behind the eight ball, but WR29 is far from impossible for a player who was the WR43 on 306 snaps last season.

69. Rashad Jennings (RB30) — A “least bad option” sort of pick. Let someone else do it.

70. Matt Ryan (QB7) — Sure, why not.

71. Alfred Blue (RB31) — You’re not drafting an RB3 so much as renting a car for September.

72. Martellus Bennett (TE5) — Bennett could be on the way out of CHI after the season, but they need him to soak up targets in the interim. Legit top-five TE.

Round 7

73. DeSean Jackson (WR30) — Some pretty serious recency bias here. Washington is a mess, but missing the preseason doesn’t matter for one of the game’s top deep threats. D-Jax will be a WR2.

74. Vincent Jackson (WR31) — V-Jax is becoming more of a streak specialist, but mid-range WR3 feels right for a 32 year old with four straight 1,000-yard seasons.

75. Tony Romo (QB8) — Romo’s ceiling isn’t as high as it appears. Pass-heavy O had him QB13 in 2013, same as run-heavy O last season.

76. John Brown (WR32) — Brown literally lived with Carson Palmer this summer.

77. Ryan Mathews (RB32) — Mathews and his season-long scoring potential should be flipped with Blue’s September fill-in status.

78. Joique Bell (RB33) — The wisdom of crowds pushing Bell and his myriad red flags down the board.

79. Victor Cruz (WR33) — Uncertainty growing by the day, but not a bad place to take a flier on a player with Cruz’s track record.

80. Tom Brady (QB9) — Could be the bargain of the draft if the feds decide the Wells Report was as spurious as it was extravagant.

81. Giovani Bernard (RB34) — I’m all in on Jeremy Hill, but this isn’t a bad price for someone with Bernard’s playmaking ability as a passing-down specialist.

82. Owen Daniels (TE6) — Too high for a player not entirely dissimilar from late-career Dallas Clark. Daniels is more appropriately priced in the TE10-12 range.

83. Tre Mason (RB35) — Battling a “mild” hamstring injury. Mason is a September move more than anything else.

84. Tevin Coleman (RB36) — Coleman is a home run hitter, but seems doomed to share an Uber with Devonta Freeman all season.

Round 8

85. Steve Smith Sr. (WR34) — Sr. faded down the stretch in 2014, but his step has appeared restored this summer.

86. Matthew Stafford (QB10) — This is shaping up as the ceiling for a player who should be better than he is.

87. Jordan Cameron (TE7) — The right place to gamble on someone who was the TE4 two seasons ago.

88. Julius Thomas (TE8) — It feels like a reach, but it really isn’t when considering the tight ends behind him.

89. Mike Wallace (WR35) — Should finish in the WR28-36 range.

90. Isaiah Crowell (RB37) — The kind of player you could end up dropping before Week 2.

91. Ryan Tannehill (QB11) — Last year’s QB10 finish is probably close to Tannehill’s ceiling, but his floor in on stilts as the Dolphins have built their offense around him.

92. Devin Funchess (WR36) — You only get to take a shot in the dark on a player who struggled in the Big 10 but is now a No. 1 receiver as a rookie once.

93. Shane Vereen (RB38) — Vereen is a good fit for the Giants’ offense, but never finished higher than RB28 in New England. A breakout is unrealistic.

94. Markus Wheaton (WR37) — You’re drafting Wheaton’s role, not his track record, but there are worse things to do at No. 94.

95. Larry Fitzgerald (WR38) — Last year’s WR55 is not a bargain at No. 95.

96. Bishop Sankey (RB39) — Has shown improvement, but doomed to a committee. The top 40 is not a given.

Round 9

97. David Cobb (RB40) — The highest-upside option in Tennessee’s backfield, but that isn’t saying much.

98. Seahawks Defense (DEF1) — Too early, but you already knew that.

99. Duke Johnson (RB41) — A solid bet to finish in the top 36.

100. Eli Manning (QB12) — Even playing the best football of his career, Eli is best paired with another quarterback.

101. Eddie Royal (WR39) — The top 36 seems like a given for a player you don’t want to draft, but will be happy you did.

102. Darren McFadden (RB42) — He’s looked good this summer, but also the same. DMC’s upright running style will produce a bruised quad or whatnot by Week 3 or 4.

103. Jason Witten (TE9) — An “out of ideas” pick, but tight end is a wasteland this season.

104. Danny Woodhead (RB43) — Someone you should hopefully never have to play in a standard league.

105. Roddy White (WR40) — Seems like a bargain at first blush, but White could be a player who simply can’t stand the rigors of professional football any longer.

106. Sam Bradford (QB13) — Once a bargain, Bradford is now boom or bust. Saturday’s performance happened, but so did the past five years.

107. Devonta Freeman (RB44) — Maybe you’ll use him once or twice. That’s not bad for the RB44.

108. Philip Rivers (QB14) — The top 12 seems more likely than not.

Round 10

109. Terrance Williams (WR41) — Has anyone ever seemed more perfect as the WR41?

110. Texans Defense (DEF2) — Good work could be undone by having to be on the field too much.

111. Marques Colston (WR42) — WR42 isn’t unrealistic, but the path figures to be arduous.

112. Anquan Boldin (WR43) — Boldin > Colston.

113. Delanie Walker (TE10) — It’s hard to know what to expect with a new quarterback. Marcus Mariota may not check down as much as his predecessors.

114. Bills Defense (DEF3) — A good unit, but not the kind you reach for before the final two rounds.

115. Tyler Eifert (TE11) — One of the few real bargains in the TE10-20 range.

116. Knile Davis (RB45) — A great spot for arguably the top handcuff in football.

117. Brandon LaFell (WR44) — Should continue to fall as reserve/PUP becomes more likely.

118. Cam Newton (QB15) — Newton’s No. 1 receiver is a second-round rookie who had 733 yards on the Big 10 last season.

119. Brian Quick (WR45) — Could get off to a slow start after a summer of non-contact, but WR3 upside lies within.

120. David Johnson (RB46) — The bottom could drop out quickly, but you don’t usually find this kind of ceiling at RB46.

Going Deep: High-Target Receiver Sleepers

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

Fantasy football success comes at the intersection of talent and opportunity, but at this theoretical intersection opportunity is the highway and talent is the avenue. We have seen plenty of low-talent grinders like Zac Stacy vault into fantasy relevance simply based on volume, and there are plenty of theoretically high-talent players languishing on Dynasty benches because they cannot find playing time. Talent is great, but without the opportunity it is meaningless.

Nowhere is this relationship between opportunity and fantasy points more evident than at the wide receiver position. Every single wide receiver who finished in the top 20 of PPR last year had at least 115 targets, and Randall Cobb’s 127 targets were the fewest of anyone in the top 12. Of the 111 individual seasons with 120 targets or more over the last five years, just eight have resulted in finishes outside the top 30 in PPR scoring. If a player reaches 120 targets, they are very likely to return WR3 value.

All of this means identifying low-priced receivers with big-target upside is an important exercise when preparing for a draft. Here are some wide receivers going outside of the top 30 at the position who have a real shot at 120 targets this season.

Three steps to fantasy football glory. Buy the Rotoworld Draft Guide, stay up to date on all the breaking news at the Rotoworld News Page, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @RMSummerlin on Twitter. Championship.

Davante Adams – WR32

This one is kind of cheating because he is already going inside the top 30 and his ADP will reflect that before draft season is over, but it is a great chance to talk about the most important news of the week. The season-ending injury to Jordy Nelson has created a massive target hole in the Packers’ offense. Nelson was the target on 28.4 percent of the Packers’ throws last season, and his 151 targets were the fourth most in the league. He had just one game all season with less than five targets.

Adams might not soak up all of those looks, but he is in a great position to take on the vast majority of them. Adams’ main competition for targets will be Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis, Ty Montgomery and Richard Rodgers. There is not much room for target growth for Cobb, who already saw 127 targets last season and had never gotten more than 105 targets in a single season before last year. He could certainly jump into the 140-150 range, but Nelson last season was the first player in the Aaron Rodgers’ era to break the 150-target mark. Rodgers tends to spread the ball around, even if he is spreading it around to names like James Jones and Jarrett Boykin.

The other three options are all even more unproven than Adams, who at least has a full season of snaps and 38 receptions under his belt. Perhaps whoever emerges out of the battle for the No. 3 sport takes the majority of Adams’ 66 targets from a year ago, and Richard Rodgers adds 30 targets to his total from last year. Not predicting any falloff from Andrew Quarless, who will almost certainly see less than 46 targets this year, we still have enough left over for Adams to reach 120. Those looks plus his touchdown upside – he scored 24 touchdowns his final year at Fresno State – make him a solid WR2 with the possibility for more.

Charles Johnson – WR30

Perhaps the most important thing to know about Charles Johnson’s chances of reaching 120 targets is where he stands on the depth chart. The news coming out of Minnesota this offseason has consistently painted a picture which showed Johnson as an ascending player. Norv Turner called him “far and away” the best receiver on the roster in February, ESPN’s Adam Caplan said Johnson was “the real deal” in training camp, and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Matt Vensel said Johnson is “the receiver Teddy Bridgewater trusts most.” Even with Mike Wallace in town, Johnson plays the right position and has the right profile to lead the team in targets.

The real question is how many targets are available in the offense? Minnesota threw on 58 percent of their plays and attempted 517 passes last year. Both numbers ranked in the bottom half of the league. More worryingly, Bridgewater’s attempts per game actually decreased as the year went on. Following the team’s Week 10 bye, Bridgewater averaged just over 29 attempts a game and attempted more than 30 passes in just two of seven games. Together with the potential impact Adrian Peterson could have on the run-pass split, these numbers do not bode well for Johnson’s target chances.

There is some reason for optimism, however. The Vikings only ran 981 plays last season, which is almost 100 less than Norv Turner called with Cleveland the year before and slightly less than Turner averaged in San Diego. There is a chance the Vikings increase the tempo in Bridgewater’s second year in the league. Even if they do not, Johnson was still able to manage 6.7 targets over the final seven games of the year, which is a 107 target pace. That is not quite 120, but a slight uptick in tempo or attempts could get him across the finish line.

John Brown – WR37

Saying John Brown has a chance at 120 targets is not the most courageous piece of prognostication considering he topped 100 as a rookie despite playing behind Michael Floyd for the majority of the year. With Floyd uncertain for the beginning of the year and likely stuck behind Brown on the depth chart regardless, it is not a far-fetched notion that Brown gets the roughly one extra target a game he needs to reach 120, especially if Carson Palmer is able to stay healthy and the Cardinals’ running game struggles again.

The great news is the drafting public has yet to realize Brown’s potential for growth. Though Brown was not efficient with his targets at any point last season, he was markedly better with Palmer under center. He caught 50 percent of his targets in games Palmer started and just 45 percent of the passes thrown by the other Cardinals “quarterbacks.” Natural progression in his second year could see him climb closer to the 55 percent career mark of DeSean Jackson, who has a similar usage pattern.

There are a lot of ifs surrounding Brown, but those ifs are not that far-fetched. It would be surprising if the sophomore did not outplay his current draft price, and he has the upside to be a weekly low-end WR2. That is an easy bet to make in the eighth round.

Devin Funchess – WR43

Like Adams, this one is cheating a bit because Devin Funchess’ ADP is sure to climb following the season-ending injury to Kelvin Benjamin. Unlike Adams, however, there is a real chance Funchess remains outside the top 30 despite Benjamin’s injury. There were plenty of people – present author included – who did not like Funchess in the pre-draft process, and Funchess does not have a great showing in a nationally televised game pushing him up the draft board like Adams does. Together, those two things could slow Funchess’ climb up the draft board. All in all that might be a good thing.

Funchess has a decent shot at 120 targets. Benjamin saw 26.6 percent of the Panthers’ targets last season while the rest of wide receivers on the roster saw a combined 31.9 percent. Greg Olsen could be asked to take on some of Benjamin’s targets, but he was already at 123 looks last season, which was the fourth highest among tight ends. Someone has to get those targets, and Jerricho Cotchery, Corey Brown, Ted Ginn or Jarrett Boykin are not better options than Funchess. At least we are not positive Funchess is bad, old or unable to function as anything more than a deep threat.

The concern with Funchess is he very well might be bad. Benjamin was inconsistent and inefficient last season, but he at least show an aptitude for using his size to win in contested situations. Funchess rarely did that in college, and he often times played smaller than his 6’4, 232-pound frame. On top of that, he has the same hands concerns as Benjamin. If Funchess stays outside the top 40 he is worth a shot on volume alone, but it will be difficult to select him ahead of receivers like John Brown or Eric Decker.

Fantasy football success comes at the intersection of talent and opportunity, but at this theoretical intersection opportunity is the highway and talent is the avenue. We have seen plenty of low-talent grinders like Zac Stacy vault into fantasy relevance simply based on volume, and there are plenty of theoretically high-talent players languishing on Dynasty benches because they cannot find playing time. Talent is great, but without the opportunity it is meaningless.

Nowhere is this relationship between opportunity and fantasy points more evident than at the wide receiver position. Every single wide receiver who finished in the top 20 of PPR last year had at least 115 targets, and Randall Cobb’s 127 targets were the fewest of anyone in the top 12. Of the 111 individual seasons with 120 targets or more over the last five years, just eight have resulted in finishes outside the top 30 in PPR scoring. If a player reaches 120 targets, they are very likely to return WR3 value.

All of this means identifying low-priced receivers with big-target upside is an important exercise when preparing for a draft. Here are some wide receivers going outside of the top 30 at the position who have a real shot at 120 targets this season.

Three steps to fantasy football glory. Buy the Rotoworld Draft Guide, stay up to date on all the breaking news at the Rotoworld News Page, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @RMSummerlin on Twitter. Championship.

Davante Adams – WR32

This one is kind of cheating because he is already going inside the top 30 and his ADP will reflect that before draft season is over, but it is a great chance to talk about the most important news of the week. The season-ending injury to Jordy Nelson has created a massive target hole in the Packers’ offense. Nelson was the target on 28.4 percent of the Packers’ throws last season, and his 151 targets were the fourth most in the league. He had just one game all season with less than five targets.

Adams might not soak up all of those looks, but he is in a great position to take on the vast majority of them. Adams’ main competition for targets will be Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis, Ty Montgomery and Richard Rodgers. There is not much room for target growth for Cobb, who already saw 127 targets last season and had never gotten more than 105 targets in a single season before last year. He could certainly jump into the 140-150 range, but Nelson last season was the first player in the Aaron Rodgers’ era to break the 150-target mark. Rodgers tends to spread the ball around, even if he is spreading it around to names like James Jones and Jarrett Boykin.

The other three options are all even more unproven than Adams, who at least has a full season of snaps and 38 receptions under his belt. Perhaps whoever emerges out of the battle for the No. 3 sport takes the majority of Adams’ 66 targets from a year ago, and Richard Rodgers adds 30 targets to his total from last year. Not predicting any falloff from Andrew Quarless, who will almost certainly see less than 46 targets this year, we still have enough left over for Adams to reach 120. Those looks plus his touchdown upside – he scored 24 touchdowns his final year at Fresno State – make him a solid WR2 with the possibility for more.

Charles Johnson – WR30

Perhaps the most important thing to know about Charles Johnson’s chances of reaching 120 targets is where he stands on the depth chart. The news coming out of Minnesota this offseason has consistently painted a picture which showed Johnson as an ascending player. Norv Turner called him “far and away” the best receiver on the roster in February, ESPN’s Adam Caplan said Johnson was “the real deal” in training camp, and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Matt Vensel said Johnson is “the receiver Teddy Bridgewater trusts most.” Even with Mike Wallace in town, Johnson plays the right position and has the right profile to lead the team in targets.

The real question is how many targets are available in the offense? Minnesota threw on 58 percent of their plays and attempted 517 passes last year. Both numbers ranked in the bottom half of the league. More worryingly, Bridgewater’s attempts per game actually decreased as the year went on. Following the team’s Week 10 bye, Bridgewater averaged just over 29 attempts a game and attempted more than 30 passes in just two of seven games. Together with the potential impact Adrian Peterson could have on the run-pass split, these numbers do not bode well for Johnson’s target chances.

There is some reason for optimism, however. The Vikings only ran 981 plays last season, which is almost 100 less than Norv Turner called with Cleveland the year before and slightly less than Turner averaged in San Diego. There is a chance the Vikings increase the tempo in Bridgewater’s second year in the league. Even if they do not, Johnson was still able to manage 6.7 targets over the final seven games of the year, which is a 107 target pace. That is not quite 120, but a slight uptick in tempo or attempts could get him across the finish line.

John Brown – WR37

Saying John Brown has a chance at 120 targets is not the most courageous piece of prognostication considering he topped 100 as a rookie despite playing behind Michael Floyd for the majority of the year. With Floyd uncertain for the beginning of the year and likely stuck behind Brown on the depth chart regardless, it is not a far-fetched notion that Brown gets the roughly one extra target a game he needs to reach 120, especially if Carson Palmer is able to stay healthy and the Cardinals’ running game struggles again.

The great news is the drafting public has yet to realize Brown’s potential for growth. Though Brown was not efficient with his targets at any point last season, he was markedly better with Palmer under center. He caught 50 percent of his targets in games Palmer started and just 45 percent of the passes thrown by the other Cardinals “quarterbacks.” Natural progression in his second year could see him climb closer to the 55 percent career mark of DeSean Jackson, who has a similar usage pattern.

There are a lot of ifs surrounding Brown, but those ifs are not that far-fetched. It would be surprising if the sophomore did not outplay his current draft price, and he has the upside to be a weekly low-end WR2. That is an easy bet to make in the eighth round.

Devin Funchess – WR43

Like Adams, this one is cheating a bit because Devin Funchess’ ADP is sure to climb following the season-ending injury to Kelvin Benjamin. Unlike Adams, however, there is a real chance Funchess remains outside the top 30 despite Benjamin’s injury. There were plenty of people – present author included – who did not like Funchess in the pre-draft process, and Funchess does not have a great showing in a nationally televised game pushing him up the draft board like Adams does. Together, those two things could slow Funchess’ climb up the draft board. All in all that might be a good thing.

Funchess has a decent shot at 120 targets. Benjamin saw 26.6 percent of the Panthers’ targets last season while the rest of wide receivers on the roster saw a combined 31.9 percent. Greg Olsen could be asked to take on some of Benjamin’s targets, but he was already at 123 looks last season, which was the fourth highest among tight ends. Someone has to get those targets, and Jerricho Cotchery, Corey Brown, Ted Ginn or Jarrett Boykin are not better options than Funchess. At least we are not positive Funchess is bad, old or unable to function as anything more than a deep threat.

The concern with Funchess is he very well might be bad. Benjamin was inconsistent and inefficient last season, but he at least show an aptitude for using his size to win in contested situations. Funchess rarely did that in college, and he often times played smaller than his 6’4, 232-pound frame. On top of that, he has the same hands concerns as Benjamin. If Funchess stays outside the top 40 he is worth a shot on volume alone, but it will be difficult to select him ahead of receivers like John Brown or Eric Decker.

Kendall Wright – WR45

Following a breakout 94 catch campaign in 2013, Kendall Wright was limited to 93 targets in Ken Whisenhunt’s first year in Tennessee. Part of Wright’s slump came down to Whisenhunt’s offense, which did not allow Wright to freelance as much. Wright and Whisenhunt reportedly hashed out their differences this offseason, and new QB Marcus Mariota should offer plenty of opportunities to freelance with his ability to extend plays with his legs and improvise.

While Wright’s discomfort with the offense certainly played a role, the bigger culprit in his slump was the low-volume nature of the offense. Tennessee ran just 919 plays last season, which was the lowest total plays run by a team since the Titans themselves ran 907 in 2010. Whisenhunt has never run a fast-paced offense, but 919 plays was easily the fewest one of his teams has ever run.

There was not one reason the Titans ran so few plays, but there are some important factors that stand out. The first was their inability to maintain drives. The Titans averaged a league-worst 4.93 plays per drive last year and were second worst in the league at converting third downs. The Titans also averaged the fourth-lowest time of possession last season, partly because of their inability to maintain drives and partly because they had a league-leading 515 rushing attempts against. They also had the fourth-fewest turnovers created.

Long story short, the Titans were bad last year. The good news for Wright is they could be better this time around. Improved quarterback play and a hopefully improved running game should help the offense sustain drives, thus creating more offensive opportunities. Defenses tend to regress to the mean more readily than offense, especially when it comes to turnovers. Though the Titans are unlikely to become a top-ten defensive team this season, they should play better against the run and force more turnovers, again creating more offensive chances. If both of these things happen, we could see a situation where the Titans run 100 more offensive plays and Wright finds himself back in the 120-target club.

Eddie Royal – WR50

With the specter of Kevin White coming in and stealing all his targets now not a concern, it is somewhat surprising Eddie Royal is still being this disrespected in fantasy drafts. He was the favorite to open the season opposite Alshon Jeffery even before the White injury was announced, but now he is guaranteed a starting spot in an offense which lost 140 targets last season, not to mention the at least 30 targets and likely closer to 60 targets Matt Forte will lose. Perhaps Jeffery and Marquess Wilson soak up some of those looks, but the vast majority should go to Royal.

All of those targets should create a nice weekly floor for Royal in PPR, but the real question is ceiling. Eight touchdowns walked out the door when Brandon Marshall was traded to the Jets, and while Royal does not have the physical profile of a touchdown creator, he has 15 scores over the last two years. 10 of those touchdowns have come in the red zone, and six have come inside the 10-yard line. Royal converted 36 percent of his red-zone targets into touchdowns last season.

Everyone keeps projecting Royal to stop scoring touchdowns, and yet he just keeps finding the end zone, usually in bunches. Royal has four multiple touchdown games the last two years, which is tied for the eighth most in the league over that span. Matched with the high-floor his targets should provide, the chance for multiple touchdowns provides the week-to-week ceiling needed in a WR3. He is an easy pick at his current ADP.

Anquan Boldin – WR40

We have entered the disrespected old guy section of the article, and no receiver fits that description better than Anquan Boldin. Despite seeing 259 targets total his first two years in San Francisco and finishing as a WR2 both years in PPR, Boldin’s ADP languishes in the 40s because of concerns about his age and upside, but mostly because fantasy players are quick to discard old reliable options for the new shiny toys which come out of the draft every year. Try as I might, I cannot fix the overvaluing of young talent, but I can discuss Boldin’s age and upside concerns.

Boldin will be 34 when the season begins. Since 2000, there have been 107 instances of a wide receiver 34 or older playing at least one game in a season. 27 of those seasons (25 percent) have resulted in at least 120 targets and 40 (37 percent) have resulted in 100 targets or more. There have been 2,403 instances of a wide receiver in their 20s playing at least one game in a season since 2000. Just nine percent of those players reached 120 targets, and only 16 percent reached 100 targets. Of the 232 wide receivers who played in at least one game last year, just 22 had more than 120 targets and 41 hit the 100-target mark. The higher percentage of big-target seasons for the older players is not that surprising. If a wide out lasts until their mid-30s in the NFL, they are probably very good and an important part of the team. Boldin is both of those things, and on top of that he has a game which has aged very well. On a team with a talent-deficient defense, he should easily surpass 120 targets.

The other question about Boldin is his week-to-week upside. The average score for the weekly WR12 in PPR scoring last season was 21.2 points. Anquan Boldin reached that mark four times last season, meaning he had WR1 production in 25 percent of his games. That is the same number of times T.Y. Hilton reached the WR1 threshold and only two times less than Demaryius Thomas. People do not question their ceilings.

Steve Smith – WR41

The other disrespected old guy is Steve Smith, who finished one spot below Boldin in the PPR rankings last season. All of the old, good players get targeted a lot information from Boldin applies to Smith with the added caveat that the Ravens have basically no one else to throw the ball. Rookie Breshad Perriman is dealing with an ever more concerning knee injury, their highest-upside tight end is a rookie who is reportedly coming around slowly, and Michael Campanaro and Marlon Brown are always injured and very unproven. At this point it appears Kamar Aiken has a real shot to open the season opposite Smith. Though I like him, he is 26 and has just 24 career receptions, which all came last season. If Baltimore is going to throw, it is more than likely going to be to Smith.

Smith did fade down the stretch last year, but he saw double-digit targets in three of the last four games and put up WR2 numbers in two of those contests. He also played well in the playoffs, going over 100 yards against Pittsburgh and catching a touchdown against the Patriots. The narrative that he ran out of gas at the end of last season is a little overblown, and at any rate he should be good and rested when the season begins. If he is only really good for the first four games of the season again this year, he will still repay his draft price. 

Training Camp Daily Dose: Dose: Martavis Suspended

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

Friday, August 28, 2015

It was a busy Thursday for fantasy-relevant news. Let’s immediately get down to it.

Martavis Bryant Suspended

Steelers WR Martavis Bryant will miss the first four games of the regular season for “multiple” failed marijuana tests and per Ian Rapoport, Bryant’s appeal is already in the “latter stages”.

Martavis’ average draft position has stagnated slightly over the past month partially due to an elbow infection that required surgery in early-August and a preseason depth chart listing Markus Wheaton ahead of Bryant in 2-WR sets. Regardless, Bryant is now in the boom-or-bust WR3/4 range. We’ll see where the market prices him in the coming days, but I’d bet Bryant’s ADP slips past the eighth round.

Markus Wheaton now becomes the defacto No. 2 WR in Pittsburgh until Bryant returns Week 5. Before Martavis Bryant was activated in Week 7 last year, Wheaton played 80-plus percent of the snaps in 5-of-6 games. During that span, he saw 38 targets and posted an abysmal 24-277-0 line. Wheaton certainly could have improved this offseason, but I wouldn’t get overly excited. He’s still bumped up from a WR5/6 in fantasy to a low-WR4 on the news.

Editor’s Note: Play against our writers in the Rotoworld Football Championship – a series of one-week fantasy contests on FanDuel with $20K in FREE prizes! Enter the Week 1 contest before it fills.

Arian Foster Update

Per ESPN Houston’s Jayson Braddock, Texans RB Arian Foster “has been in Houston … and expectations are for him to return to the field in some facet by Week 2-4.”

Foster’s groin injury has been a little tricky to figure out to say the very least. Initial reports indicated Foster’s groin was “torn off of the bone” leaving him on the shelf at least 3 months.  A few days later on August 8th – once Foster had surgery – optimism grew that he may only miss 4-6 weeks with a “sports hernia” procedure.

We’ll likely never know the full extent of the damage to Foster’s groin but we can be reasonably confident he’ll avoid the PUP list and subsequently not sit the Texans’ first eight games. If we operate under the theory that Arian Foster will miss anywhere between 2-5 games, he’s a no brainer in the 6th-8th round of upcoming fantasy drafts. According to a fantasy running back bust rate study done by numberFire’s JJ Zachariason last year, 42.2% of running backs drafted in the RB31-RB48 range fail to finish in the top-48 at the position. Since drafters typically have such a low rate of success in that ADP range, I’d much rather take Foster’s floor over RBs that are fairly unlikely to pan out.

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

“No Timetable” For Breshad Perriman’s Return

I’m officially concerned about Breshad Perriman’s Week 1 availability. He has not practiced since July 30th with a sprained PCL (knee) and will more than likely miss the entire preseason with the ailment. I’m a big believer in Perriman’s opportunity, as the Ravens’ genuinely have zero depth at receiver beyond 36-year-old Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken. We’ll see how this situation plays out, but for now Perriman is best suited as an upside WR4/5. His average draft position has nose-dived nearly 25 overall spots in the past three weeks as a result of his absence from practice.

E.J. Manuel Randomly Named Starter … For Week 3 Preseason Game

I’m fully aware this reads like an “Onion” headline. In an odd turn of events in the Bills’ QB battle, HC Rex Ryan named Manuel the starter for Buffalo’s regular season dress rehearsal. I’m not sure if Rex Ryan is trying to play mind games with his QB stable or if he’s already decided on a starter and just isn’t releasing that information at this time. Whatever the reason may be, the consensus has been that Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel are clearly head and shoulders above Manuel for the Bills’ starting job. It’s hard to grasp Rex Ryan’s thought process here.

Rams Still Taking it Easy With Gurley

This isn’t surprising at all, but Todd Gurley is still not involved in blitz-pickup drills at practice. Just nine months removed from an ACL-tear, Gurley is receiving some team work but likely won’t be a “full-go” at any point before Week 1. His average draft position has slid nearly a full round in the past three weeks, dipping from the mid-4th to the early/mid-5th round.

Don’t forget, for everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @GrahamBarfield on Twitter.

Quick Hits

Aaron Rodgers “isn’t quite sure” who the Packers’ No. 3 WR will be. … After losing the Texans’ QB battle to Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett overslept Thursday’s practice. … Panthers HC Ron Rivera hinted Devin Funchess will see most of the snaps at the “X” receiver with Kelvin Benjamin out this year. … 10 year veteran Miles Austin “hasn’t stood out enough” in Eagles camp. … NFL.com reports Chris Johnson is expected to make the Cardinals’ final 53-man roster. … Emmanuel Sanders (hamstring) is expected to return to practice next week. … Baltimore signed SS Will Hill to a one-year extension. … The Bills are still “optimistic” LeSean McCoy (hamstring) will be available Week 1. … Finally, Falcons rookie RB Tevin Coleman (hamstring) will make his first career appearance and is slated to play in Saturday’s preseason game.

It was a busy Thursday for fantasy-relevant news. Let’s immediately get down to it.

Martavis Bryant Suspended

Steelers WR Martavis Bryant will miss the first four games of the regular season for “multiple” failed marijuana tests and per Ian Rapoport, Bryant’s appeal is already in the “latter stages”.

Martavis’ average draft position has stagnated slightly over the past month partially due to an elbow infection that required surgery in early-August and a preseason depth chart listing Markus Wheaton ahead of Bryant in 2-WR sets. Regardless, Bryant is now in the boom-or-bust WR3/4 range. We’ll see where the market prices him in the coming days, but I’d bet Bryant’s ADP slips past the eighth round.

Markus Wheaton now becomes the defacto No. 2 WR in Pittsburgh until Bryant returns Week 5. Before Martavis Bryant was activated in Week 7 last year, Wheaton played 80-plus percent of the snaps in 5-of-6 games. During that span, he saw 38 targets and posted an abysmal 24-277-0 line. Wheaton certainly could have improved this offseason, but I wouldn’t get overly excited. He’s still bumped up from a WR5/6 in fantasy to a low-WR4 on the news.

Editor’s Note: Play against our writers in the Rotoworld Football Championship – a series of one-week fantasy contests on FanDuel with $20K in FREE prizes! Enter the Week 1 contest before it fills.

Arian Foster Update

Per ESPN Houston’s Jayson Braddock, Texans RB Arian Foster “has been in Houston … and expectations are for him to return to the field in some facet by Week 2-4.”

Foster’s groin injury has been a little tricky to figure out to say the very least. Initial reports indicated Foster’s groin was “torn off of the bone” leaving him on the shelf at least 3 months.  A few days later on August 8th – once Foster had surgery – optimism grew that he may only miss 4-6 weeks with a “sports hernia” procedure.

We’ll likely never know the full extent of the damage to Foster’s groin but we can be reasonably confident he’ll avoid the PUP list and subsequently not sit the Texans’ first eight games. If we operate under the theory that Arian Foster will miss anywhere between 2-5 games, he’s a no brainer in the 6th-8th round of upcoming fantasy drafts. According to a fantasy running back bust rate study done by numberFire’s JJ Zachariason last year, 42.2% of running backs drafted in the RB31-RB48 range fail to finish in the top-48 at the position. Since drafters typically have such a low rate of success in that ADP range, I’d much rather take Foster’s floor over RBs that are fairly unlikely to pan out.

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

“No Timetable” For Breshad Perriman’s Return

I’m officially concerned about Breshad Perriman’s Week 1 availability. He has not practiced since July 30th with a sprained PCL (knee) and will more than likely miss the entire preseason with the ailment. I’m a big believer in Perriman’s opportunity, as the Ravens’ genuinely have zero depth at receiver beyond 36-year-old Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken. We’ll see how this situation plays out, but for now Perriman is best suited as an upside WR4/5. His average draft position has nose-dived nearly 25 overall spots in the past three weeks as a result of his absence from practice.

E.J. Manuel Randomly Named Starter … For Week 3 Preseason Game

I’m fully aware this reads like an “Onion” headline. In an odd turn of events in the Bills’ QB battle, HC Rex Ryan named Manuel the starter for Buffalo’s regular season dress rehearsal. I’m not sure if Rex Ryan is trying to play mind games with his QB stable or if he’s already decided on a starter and just isn’t releasing that information at this time. Whatever the reason may be, the consensus has been that Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel are clearly head and shoulders above Manuel for the Bills’ starting job. It’s hard to grasp Rex Ryan’s thought process here.

Rams Still Taking it Easy With Gurley

This isn’t surprising at all, but Todd Gurley is still not involved in blitz-pickup drills at practice. Just nine months removed from an ACL-tear, Gurley is receiving some team work but likely won’t be a “full-go” at any point before Week 1. His average draft position has slid nearly a full round in the past three weeks, dipping from the mid-4th to the early/mid-5th round.

Don’t forget, for everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @GrahamBarfield on Twitter.

Quick Hits

Aaron Rodgers “isn’t quite sure” who the Packers’ No. 3 WR will be. … After losing the Texans’ QB battle to Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett overslept Thursday’s practice. … Panthers HC Ron Rivera hinted Devin Funchess will see most of the snaps at the “X” receiver with Kelvin Benjamin out this year. … 10 year veteran Miles Austin “hasn’t stood out enough” in Eagles camp. … NFL.com reports Chris Johnson is expected to make the Cardinals’ final 53-man roster. … Emmanuel Sanders (hamstring) is expected to return to practice next week. … Baltimore signed SS Will Hill to a one-year extension. … The Bills are still “optimistic” LeSean McCoy (hamstring) will be available Week 1. … Finally, Falcons rookie RB Tevin Coleman (hamstring) will make his first career appearance and is slated to play in Saturday’s preseason game.

One-Week Fantasy: FanDuel Rotoworld Championship

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rotoworld and FanDuel have been partners for the past couple seasons. But this year, FanDuel is doing something special for Rotoworld’s readers and writers. They’ve launched the Rotoworld Football Championship.

Each week for the first 10 weeks of the regular season, FanDuel will host a 1,130-player “qualifier” league that includes $5,000 in guaranteed prize money. For Week 1, the first-place winner wins a cool $500, while the top 229 win money. It’s only $5 to enter, and each user can enter up to 10 times.

Here’s the catch. Rotoworld’s four main fantasy football writers — Evan Silva, Patrick Daugherty, Nick Mensio, and Raymond Summerlin — will also be playing in the weekly tournament. Users that finish ahead of all four of Silva (evanssilva), Daugherty (rotopat), Mensio (nmensio), and Summerlin (rmsummerlin) will win a free entry to the final round of the Rotoworld Football Championship in Week 11, which will essentially be a freeroll. For those new to DFS, a freeroll means you pay nothing for your entry and can obviously still win prize money.

The exclusive Week 11 championship includes $20,000 in added prizes, and the first-place winner will bring home $2,500. Do you have what it takes to beat Rotoworld’s NFL writers in one-week fantasy football? Well, now is the time to find out for just $5. Enter the exclusive Week 1 qualifier here.

Rotoworld and FanDuel have been partners for the past couple seasons. But this year, FanDuel is doing something special for Rotoworld’s readers and writers. They’ve launched the Rotoworld Football Championship.

Each week for the first 10 weeks of the regular season, FanDuel will host a 1,130-player “qualifier” league that includes $5,000 in guaranteed prize money. For Week 1, the first-place winner wins a cool $500, while the top 229 win money. It’s only $5 to enter, and each user can enter up to 10 times.

Here’s the catch. Rotoworld’s four main fantasy football writers — Evan Silva, Patrick Daugherty, Nick Mensio, and Raymond Summerlin — will also be playing in the weekly tournament. Users that finish ahead of all four of Silva (evanssilva), Daugherty (rotopat), Mensio (nmensio), and Summerlin (rmsummerlin) will win a free entry to the final round of the Rotoworld Football Championship in Week 11, which will essentially be a freeroll. For those new to DFS, a freeroll means you pay nothing for your entry and can obviously still win prize money.

The exclusive Week 11 championship includes $20,000 in added prizes, and the first-place winner will bring home $2,500. Do you have what it takes to beat Rotoworld’s NFL writers in one-week fantasy football? Well, now is the time to find out for just $5. Enter the exclusive Week 1 qualifier here.

Fantasy Roundtable: Roundtable: Preseason Standouts

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Jesse Pantuosco: Welcome one, welcome all to this year’s NFL Roundtable. This week we’ll start off with a fairly straightforward topic. Which players have jumped out at you during the preseason?

Personally, I think Jimmy Garoppolo has really helped his stock over the last couple weeks. Since the second half of New England’s loss to Green Bay, he’s completed 43-of-50 passes for 365 yards. I know he’s mostly gone against second and third-stringers, but keep in mind he’s done this while throwing to scrap-heap guys like Chris Harper and Brandon Gibson. Who knows what the judge will say in Tom Brady’s court case but I think Garoppolo is someone to keep an eye on, particularly in DFS where he should be relatively cheap. Anyone else on the Jimmy G bandwagon?

Raymond Summerlin: Garoppolo was more impressive in his second outing than his first, but I still have a hard time trusting him in any format. It appears Brady’s lawsuit is going about as well as he could have hoped, and the news coming out suggests he could get away with at the very least a reduced suspension. Add in the very real possibility the Patriots employ a run-heavy approach while Brady is sidelined, and one can see a scenario where Garoppolo will be overvalued in both redraft and DFS. I will be fading him in both formats.

The obvious answer to the question is Ronnie Hillman, who has averaged 7.5 yards per carry this preseason and vaulted past Montee Ball on the depth chart. His preseason start has been so good 9News’ Mike Klis called him the “1B” to C.J. Anderson’s 1A. Last season was the first time Hillman did anything meaningful with a big workload, and he ended up breaking down after just five games of double-digit carries. At 5-9 and perhaps 200 pounds soaking wet, Hillman is unlikely to steal the starting job away from Anderson, but he should get enough change-of-pace work to be a thorn in the side of Anderson’s fantasy owners. If anything, Hillman’s emergence has knocked Anderson a couple pegs down my board.

Pantuosco: Fair enough. Garoppolo didn’t try to bomb the ball downfield against the Saints, which I thought was an improvement. Like the future Hall of Fame quarterback he’s filling in for, short and intermediate passes are going to be his bread and butter. I also agree Hillman is a must-have handcuff in all formats.

Another guy who stood out to me was Charles Johnson. He seemed to be Teddy Bridgewater’s go-to receiver against the Raiders, drawing five targets compared to only one for Mike Wallace. I grabbed Johnson for $4 in an auction draft recently and obviously RotoPat saw enough upside to include him in his Top 25 for wide receivers.

Evan Silva: I liked the way the Chiefs used Jeremy Maclin. He’s lining up all over the place and even scored his touchdown on a little RB-type smoke route where he lined up sidesaddle with Alex Smith in the shotgun. Looks like the Chiefs are really gonna emphasize scheming Maclin the rock.

Graham Barfield: One bit of information that has been floating around this preseason is the Steelers’ use of Markus Wheaton and his place on Pittsburgh’s August depth chart. It doesn’t really matter if Wheaton is running ahead of Martavis Bryant in 2-WR sets because last year the Steelers base offense was 3-WR sets. Three wideouts were on the field in Pittsburgh 65.1% of the time in 2014; that was the seventh highest percentage in the league and well above the NFL average (51.9%). Martavis Bryant‘s ADP has subsequently slipped a full round since August 1st for next to no good reason.

Silva: Martavis will play a good amount for sure from a real-life standpoint. From a fantasy standpoint, it’s a disappointment to me that he will likely be more of a 60% player than an 85% guy. We already had concerns with his volume. I still think he outscores Wheaton but being on the field less hurts his chances at seeing somewhat consistent volume. There will be games where the Steelers are ahead a lot, run a lot and Martavis only sees 2-3 targets.

Patrick Daugherty: Matt Jones is the most impressive player I’ve seen so far. It’s starting to look like the suspicions were right: His underachievement at Florida had more to do with the environment than his skills. He’s looked so, so slick. Lightning quick with subtle moves. Scot McCloughan has one of the best eyes for talent in the NFL, and has compared the guy to Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch

Also happy with what we’ve seen from David Johnson. He really flashed his athletic chops last Saturday. That, coupled with Chris Johnson‘s immediate injury after signing means he could open the season with the passing-down role we were hoping for when he was drafted. 

Silva: I rewatched a bunch of guys on NFL Game Pass. Dorial Green-Beckham really stands out. Dude is a tree and moves so fluidly. Also showed competitiveness after the catch and got some run with the Mariota group. Loving DGB as a late flyer WR5 pick and I’m a definite Mariota believer.

I didn’t come away impressed with David Johnson as a runner, but he got production and I believe poses a clear threat to Andre Ellington‘s workload.

Bishop Sankey was decisive downhill and the Titans’ O-Line opened gaps for Bish to exploit. This past preseason game was probably Sankey’s best as an NFL player. I still think that team ends up in a RBBC.

Carlos Hyde, Doug Martin, and Latavius Murray all ran well. Their team situations still concern me.

If you’re into stacking your bench with high-upside backup RBs in hopes one hits, Matt Jones, Khiry Robinson, and Damien Williams stand out. Buck Allen is also in good position with Zo Taliaferro nursing a multi-week knee injury.

Nick Mensio: I agree on Matt Jones and Dorial Green-Beckham, especially. I’ve been trying to watch every preseason game on Game Pass, and when those two come on, they really pop off the screen.

Especially with so much fringe talent playing in these exhibitions, you can see which guys are a cut above the rest. Jones is so explosive and hits the hole fast and gets upfield. He’s definitely one of my favorite late-round dart throws at running back. DGB falls in that same category. For a guy who hasn’t played a lick of football in almost 2 years, he looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. Like Evan said, he’s so big and fluid and really knows how to use his frame.

Another guy that I was legitimately excited about after watching his first preseason game was Devin Funchess. He made a great, acrobatic sideline catch against the Bills and was able to keep both feet in bounds and was later inches away from scoring a long touchdown on another pass. I was left wanting to see more after that small taste. He obviously missed the next preseason game with a hamstring issue, but was back at practice this week. After watching Cam Newton overshoot Philly Brown on a couple throws in the second preseason game, you get the sense Funchess’ big body will be relied on by Cam. He’ll become the No. 1 WR quickly.

Pantuosco: All good thoughts. I’ve been operating under the assumption that Jones is going to play a big role right away, which is why I’ve been avoiding Alfred Morris like the plague in re-draft leagues. We all know Morris can’t catch, so Jones will start off on third downs and work his way up from there. Also, I’m not buying this whole “receiver by committee” business in Carolina. In the end, Funchess is going to get a ton of work, probably enough to warrant a mid-round pick on draft day.

Just to put a bow on this, I liked what I saw from Allen Robinson last week against the Giants. He had a tough matchup going up against Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie but still came away with three catches for 64 yards. His best play came on a crossing route when he absolutely smoked Jon Beason for a 36-yard gain. You wouldn’t know this guy broke his foot last year with the way he’s been running. There are going to be growing pains, he’ll drop a pass here and there, but if we’re going on pure volume, I think 1,000 yards is definitely within his grasp.

Jesse Pantuosco: Welcome one, welcome all to this year’s NFL Roundtable. This week we’ll start off with a fairly straightforward topic. Which players have jumped out at you during the preseason?

Personally, I think Jimmy Garoppolo has really helped his stock over the last couple weeks. Since the second half of New England’s loss to Green Bay, he’s completed 43-of-50 passes for 365 yards. I know he’s mostly gone against second and third-stringers, but keep in mind he’s done this while throwing to scrap-heap guys like Chris Harper and Brandon Gibson. Who knows what the judge will say in Tom Brady’s court case but I think Garoppolo is someone to keep an eye on, particularly in DFS where he should be relatively cheap. Anyone else on the Jimmy G bandwagon?

Raymond Summerlin: Garoppolo was more impressive in his second outing than his first, but I still have a hard time trusting him in any format. It appears Brady’s lawsuit is going about as well as he could have hoped, and the news coming out suggests he could get away with at the very least a reduced suspension. Add in the very real possibility the Patriots employ a run-heavy approach while Brady is sidelined, and one can see a scenario where Garoppolo will be overvalued in both redraft and DFS. I will be fading him in both formats.

The obvious answer to the question is Ronnie Hillman, who has averaged 7.5 yards per carry this preseason and vaulted past Montee Ball on the depth chart. His preseason start has been so good 9News’ Mike Klis called him the “1B” to C.J. Anderson’s 1A. Last season was the first time Hillman did anything meaningful with a big workload, and he ended up breaking down after just five games of double-digit carries. At 5-9 and perhaps 200 pounds soaking wet, Hillman is unlikely to steal the starting job away from Anderson, but he should get enough change-of-pace work to be a thorn in the side of Anderson’s fantasy owners. If anything, Hillman’s emergence has knocked Anderson a couple pegs down my board.

Pantuosco: Fair enough. Garoppolo didn’t try to bomb the ball downfield against the Saints, which I thought was an improvement. Like the future Hall of Fame quarterback he’s filling in for, short and intermediate passes are going to be his bread and butter. I also agree Hillman is a must-have handcuff in all formats.

Another guy who stood out to me was Charles Johnson. He seemed to be Teddy Bridgewater’s go-to receiver against the Raiders, drawing five targets compared to only one for Mike Wallace. I grabbed Johnson for $4 in an auction draft recently and obviously RotoPat saw enough upside to include him in his Top 25 for wide receivers.

Evan Silva: I liked the way the Chiefs used Jeremy Maclin. He’s lining up all over the place and even scored his touchdown on a little RB-type smoke route where he lined up sidesaddle with Alex Smith in the shotgun. Looks like the Chiefs are really gonna emphasize scheming Maclin the rock.

Graham Barfield: One bit of information that has been floating around this preseason is the Steelers’ use of Markus Wheaton and his place on Pittsburgh’s August depth chart. It doesn’t really matter if Wheaton is running ahead of Martavis Bryant in 2-WR sets because last year the Steelers base offense was 3-WR sets. Three wideouts were on the field in Pittsburgh 65.1% of the time in 2014; that was the seventh highest percentage in the league and well above the NFL average (51.9%). Martavis Bryant‘s ADP has subsequently slipped a full round since August 1st for next to no good reason.

Silva: Martavis will play a good amount for sure from a real-life standpoint. From a fantasy standpoint, it’s a disappointment to me that he will likely be more of a 60% player than an 85% guy. We already had concerns with his volume. I still think he outscores Wheaton but being on the field less hurts his chances at seeing somewhat consistent volume. There will be games where the Steelers are ahead a lot, run a lot and Martavis only sees 2-3 targets.

Patrick Daugherty: Matt Jones is the most impressive player I’ve seen so far. It’s starting to look like the suspicions were right: His underachievement at Florida had more to do with the environment than his skills. He’s looked so, so slick. Lightning quick with subtle moves. Scot McCloughan has one of the best eyes for talent in the NFL, and has compared the guy to Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch

Also happy with what we’ve seen from David Johnson. He really flashed his athletic chops last Saturday. That, coupled with Chris Johnson‘s immediate injury after signing means he could open the season with the passing-down role we were hoping for when he was drafted. 

Silva: I rewatched a bunch of guys on NFL Game Pass. Dorial Green-Beckham really stands out. Dude is a tree and moves so fluidly. Also showed competitiveness after the catch and got some run with the Mariota group. Loving DGB as a late flyer WR5 pick and I’m a definite Mariota believer.

I didn’t come away impressed with David Johnson as a runner, but he got production and I believe poses a clear threat to Andre Ellington‘s workload.

Bishop Sankey was decisive downhill and the Titans’ O-Line opened gaps for Bish to exploit. This past preseason game was probably Sankey’s best as an NFL player. I still think that team ends up in a RBBC.

Carlos Hyde, Doug Martin, and Latavius Murray all ran well. Their team situations still concern me.

If you’re into stacking your bench with high-upside backup RBs in hopes one hits, Matt Jones, Khiry Robinson, and Damien Williams stand out. Buck Allen is also in good position with Zo Taliaferro nursing a multi-week knee injury.

Nick Mensio: I agree on Matt Jones and Dorial Green-Beckham, especially. I’ve been trying to watch every preseason game on Game Pass, and when those two come on, they really pop off the screen.

Especially with so much fringe talent playing in these exhibitions, you can see which guys are a cut above the rest. Jones is so explosive and hits the hole fast and gets upfield. He’s definitely one of my favorite late-round dart throws at running back. DGB falls in that same category. For a guy who hasn’t played a lick of football in almost 2 years, he looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. Like Evan said, he’s so big and fluid and really knows how to use his frame.

Another guy that I was legitimately excited about after watching his first preseason game was Devin Funchess. He made a great, acrobatic sideline catch against the Bills and was able to keep both feet in bounds and was later inches away from scoring a long touchdown on another pass. I was left wanting to see more after that small taste. He obviously missed the next preseason game with a hamstring issue, but was back at practice this week. After watching Cam Newton overshoot Philly Brown on a couple throws in the second preseason game, you get the sense Funchess’ big body will be relied on by Cam. He’ll become the No. 1 WR quickly.

Pantuosco: All good thoughts. I’ve been operating under the assumption that Jones is going to play a big role right away, which is why I’ve been avoiding Alfred Morris like the plague in re-draft leagues. We all know Morris can’t catch, so Jones will start off on third downs and work his way up from there. Also, I’m not buying this whole “receiver by committee” business in Carolina. In the end, Funchess is going to get a ton of work, probably enough to warrant a mid-round pick on draft day.

Just to put a bow on this, I liked what I saw from Allen Robinson last week against the Giants. He had a tough matchup going up against Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie but still came away with three catches for 64 yards. His best play came on a crossing route when he absolutely smoked Jon Beason for a 36-yard gain. You wouldn’t know this guy broke his foot last year with the way he’s been running. There are going to be growing pains, he’ll drop a pass here and there, but if we’re going on pure volume, I think 1,000 yards is definitely within his grasp.

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

Has Global Warming Stalled?

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

Has Global Warming Stalled?

Has climate change stalled? This is progressively more becoming required owing to perception about nearby weather condition really being fantastic and damp, or on account of perception your world-wide denote heat level is not really increasing at its previously cost or maybe the long-term rates believed from environment model type projections. The solution will depend very much as to what only one suggests by “global warming”. For those it truly is equated into the “global imply temperature”.thesis papers That amount preserves rising but additionally has good and the bad from year to 12 months. More on that briefly. Why would it surge? Nicely, considering that the planet is heating from human fun-based activities. With growing co2 in addition to warm up-trapping garden greenhouse unwanted gas through the environment, it comes with an difference in strength flows out and in of your major-of-environment: the green house unwanted gas ever more capture even more radiation thus build warming up. “Warming up” very means that heat, so it is generally demonstrated in many ways. Increasing layer conditions are merely only one manifestation. Melting Arctic water ice is the one other. So is melting of glaciers and various other get an ice pack that add to growing seas concentrations. Raising the moisture never-ending cycle and invigorating hard storms is another. Then again, most (more than 90%) of your electricity imbalance goes into the seas, and a few analyses have now indicated this.

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Training Camp Daily Dose: Daily Dose: Packer Problems

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Aaron Rodgers is sure of one thing—that he’s not sure.

“Not sure what the playing time will be, but whatever [coach] Mike [McCarthy] decides, I’m confident we’ll be ready when the season starts,” said Rodgers Wednesday when asked about the Packers’ new plan on offense. The old plan went out the window Sunday when Jordy Nelson suffered a torn ACL on his sixth play from scrimmage.

It’s a good thing the Packers held on to Randall Cobb this offseason. The 25-year-old was tempted with better offers during free agency but decided winning was more important than money. That’s why he chose to stay with Green Bay.

Considering Nelson drew the fourth most targets in football last season, it’s reasonable to expect Cobb’s volume to increase. Unfortunately for target-thirsty fantasy owners, Cobb doesn’t think that’s the case. He doesn’t expect his role to change much in Nelson’s absence.

“We planned on moving around this year, so I don’t think our plan changes,” Cobb told ESPN. “It’s just finding that guy that’s going to be able to plug in and be able to fit into what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Cobb already has an idea of who that guy might be. He expects Davante Adams to enjoy a breakout season. “He’s poised for a big year,” said Cobb. “I look forward to helping him accomplish that.”

The 22-year-old’s rookie season, at least on paper, was riddled by inconsistency. He went over 50 yards five times but failed to reach 15 yards on nine other occasions (playoffs included). It was a classic case of boom or bust.

Of course, that lack of stability had less to do with Adams’ skills and more to do with his team’s favorable circumstances. Simply put, Green Bay’s offense was an embarrassment of riches last season.

With Nelson and Cobb healthy and Eddie Lacy leading a rejuvenated Packers backfield, Adams was rarely asked to do the heavy lifting. When Rodgers targeted him seven or more times, he racked up 50-plus yards on each occasion. He went over the century mark both times he saw 10 or more targets. The increased workload should put Davante firmly in the WR2 discussion.

When it comes to the No. 3 spot on Green Bay’s wide receiver depth chart, the Packers are sending out mixed signals. Second-year wideout Jeff Janis replaced Nelson after his injury in Sunday’s preseason game but Ty Montgomery got first crack at No. 3 duties at practice this week.

It’s a fun cat and mouse game the Packers are playing, but does it really matter? Since Rodgers took over as quarterback in 2008, No. 3 receivers for the Packers have averaged 556 yards and four touchdowns. In fantasy, that’s benchwarmer material. Heck, you could find a dozen guys like that on the waiver wire.

But remember, Cobb is no iron man. Last year was the first time he played all 16 games. If Cobb suffers the same fate as Jordy, or even if something minor slows him down like a sprained ankle or a bum hamstring, Janis and Montgomery are going to have major roles. Thankfully for both, none of Green Bay’s tight ends have the receiving chops to threaten their workload.

Editor’s Note: Play against our writers in the Rotoworld Football Championship – a series of one-week fantasy contests on FanDuel with $20K in FREE prizes! Enter the Week 1 contest before it fills.

Sanders (Hamstring) Still Not at Practice

 

In today’s pass-first NFL, it’s not uncommon for a team, particularly one with a great quarterback, to boast two elite fantasy receivers. This scenario played out last year in Denver with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders both reaching 100 catches. That hadn’t been accomplished since Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne did it for the Colts in 2009. For Thomas, it was more of the same. For Sanders, it was a breakout year few could have predicted (101 catches, 1,404 yards, nine touchdowns).

Sanders posted superstar numbers last season, but the fantasy community has been slow to embrace him. A sure thing like Sanders shouldn’t be available late in the third round, yet that’s exactly where fantasy owners are drafting him. His current ADP on Yahoo is an underwhelming 33rd. That puts him behind Mike Evans and barely ahead of Brandin Cooks.

You’d think Sanders would be his own biggest fan, but even he has doubts. “It’s not going to be one of those offenses where you catch it and you’re going to have two receivers catching over 100 passes,” Sanders told DenverBroncos.com back in May. “Hopefully, my goal is really to try to get a 1,000 yards to just help this team win ball games.”

Usually people add insult to injury but Sanders did it backwards. He hasn’t practiced since hurting his hamstring on August 6 and at this point, it’s unlikely he’ll play in the preseason. Sanders expects to be ready for Week 1 but with so few training camp reps, he might not be at his best.

None of these are encouraging signs, but if we’re truly accepting the “Sanders won’t be as good as last year” premise, we have to really buy what Gary Kubiak’s selling. After years of ripping teams apart in the passing game, Denver’s new head coach has promised a more balanced offense this season.

In some ways, it makes perfect sense. Asking Peyton Manning, the league’s oldest quarterback, to deliver 600 passes probably isn’t a great idea. Plus the Broncos have finally found a running back they can rely on in C.J. Anderson.

But Manning knows his arm is too good to waste. Over his last five seasons, none of Peyton’s teams have run the ball more than 45 percent of the time. Manning, who is basically his own offensive coordinator, wouldn’t know balance if it smacked him right on his huge forehead.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not convinced Sanders has peaked. He may not reach 1,400 yards again but I don’t think his workload will be that much different from last year.

I used $23 of my $100 budget on Sanders in a recent auction keeper draft and I stand by my decision. Hopefully he’ll prove me right.

Quick Hits: Wednesday must have been an interesting day to be Connor Barth. The placekicker got cut by Denver but signed with the Buccaneers only a few hours later … Ravens QB Joe Flacco said he still isn’t sure if Dennis Pitta will play this season. The tight end is recovering from offseason hip surgery … Terrelle Pryor returned to practice on Wednesday. The quarterback-turned-wide receiver had been out with a hamstring injury … An elbow injury will likely keep Johnny Manziel out for the remainder of the preseason. Fortunately an MRI showed no structural damage … Jadeveon Clowney (knee) won’t appear in Houston’s preseason game this weekend but he should be ready for Week 1 against the Chiefs … Adrian Peterson missed practice Wednesday to attend a court hearing. The NFL Players Union wants Judge David Doty to hold Roger Goodell in contempt of court for keeping Peterson on the commissioner’s exempt list after his suspension was overturned … Construction on the Vikings’ new stadium was suspended Wednesday after a worker fell to his death. Another worker was injured … The Falcons signed journeyman quarterback Rex Grossman to a one-year contract on Wednesday. He’ll be reunited with former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan … Redskins linebacker Junior Galette will miss the season with a torn Achilles. He suffered the injury at Wednesday’s practice … When asked how he felt after his first practice with the Patriots, Reggie Wayne said “like a rookie” … Patriots safety Devin McCourty didn’t enjoy playing cornerback in last week’s preseason game against the Saints. “It didn’t feel great and I don’t think it looked great” … Pro Bowl linebacker Osi Umenyiora announced his retirement on Wednesday. He signed a one-day contract with the Giants so he could retire with the team that drafted him … Sheldon Richardson is still waiting to hear back from Roger Goodell about his four-game suspension. “As long as I get the day of when I can actually return, then I can actually start moving forward. But until then, it will just be a cloud over my head” … 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was indicted on misdemeanor sexual battery charges stemming from an incident at a pool party last December. His former teammate Ray McDonald was charged with raping an intoxicated woman and will likely face a lengthy jail sentence … Bears slot receiver Eddie Royal missed practice Wednesday with a sore hip. He might not play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Bengals … Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (MCL sprain) returned to a limited practice on Wednesday. He’s hoping to be back for the season opener against the Raiders on September 13 … Dolphins rookie DeVante Parker (foot) is still a week away from returning to individual drills. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready for Week 1 … Eagles tight end Zach Ertz isn’t sure if he’ll be ready for Week 1. He had surgery to repair a torn groin in mid-August … Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula said the team plans to replace Kelvin Benjamin (torn ACL) with a wide receiver by committee. So much for Devin Funchess having an early impact … How did Cardinals cornerback Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu spend his off day? He put on an apron and scooped ice cream at a Cold Stone Creamery in Chandler, Arizona. 

Aaron Rodgers is sure of one thing—that he’s not sure.

“Not sure what the playing time will be, but whatever [coach] Mike [McCarthy] decides, I’m confident we’ll be ready when the season starts,” said Rodgers Wednesday when asked about the Packers’ new plan on offense. The old plan went out the window Sunday when Jordy Nelson suffered a torn ACL on his sixth play from scrimmage.

It’s a good thing the Packers held on to Randall Cobb this offseason. The 25-year-old was tempted with better offers during free agency but decided winning was more important than money. That’s why he chose to stay with Green Bay.

Considering Nelson drew the fourth most targets in football last season, it’s reasonable to expect Cobb’s volume to increase. Unfortunately for target-thirsty fantasy owners, Cobb doesn’t think that’s the case. He doesn’t expect his role to change much in Nelson’s absence.

“We planned on moving around this year, so I don’t think our plan changes,” Cobb told ESPN. “It’s just finding that guy that’s going to be able to plug in and be able to fit into what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Cobb already has an idea of who that guy might be. He expects Davante Adams to enjoy a breakout season. “He’s poised for a big year,” said Cobb. “I look forward to helping him accomplish that.”

The 22-year-old’s rookie season, at least on paper, was riddled by inconsistency. He went over 50 yards five times but failed to reach 15 yards on nine other occasions (playoffs included). It was a classic case of boom or bust.

Of course, that lack of stability had less to do with Adams’ skills and more to do with his team’s favorable circumstances. Simply put, Green Bay’s offense was an embarrassment of riches last season.

With Nelson and Cobb healthy and Eddie Lacy leading a rejuvenated Packers backfield, Adams was rarely asked to do the heavy lifting. When Rodgers targeted him seven or more times, he racked up 50-plus yards on each occasion. He went over the century mark both times he saw 10 or more targets. The increased workload should put Davante firmly in the WR2 discussion.

When it comes to the No. 3 spot on Green Bay’s wide receiver depth chart, the Packers are sending out mixed signals. Second-year wideout Jeff Janis replaced Nelson after his injury in Sunday’s preseason game but Ty Montgomery got first crack at No. 3 duties at practice this week.

It’s a fun cat and mouse game the Packers are playing, but does it really matter? Since Rodgers took over as quarterback in 2008, No. 3 receivers for the Packers have averaged 556 yards and four touchdowns. In fantasy, that’s benchwarmer material. Heck, you could find a dozen guys like that on the waiver wire.

But remember, Cobb is no iron man. Last year was the first time he played all 16 games. If Cobb suffers the same fate as Jordy, or even if something minor slows him down like a sprained ankle or a bum hamstring, Janis and Montgomery are going to have major roles. Thankfully for both, none of Green Bay’s tight ends have the receiving chops to threaten their workload.

Editor’s Note: Play against our writers in the Rotoworld Football Championship – a series of one-week fantasy contests on FanDuel with $20K in FREE prizes! Enter the Week 1 contest before it fills.

Sanders (Hamstring) Still Not at Practice

 

In today’s pass-first NFL, it’s not uncommon for a team, particularly one with a great quarterback, to boast two elite fantasy receivers. This scenario played out last year in Denver with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders both reaching 100 catches. That hadn’t been accomplished since Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne did it for the Colts in 2009. For Thomas, it was more of the same. For Sanders, it was a breakout year few could have predicted (101 catches, 1,404 yards, nine touchdowns).

Sanders posted superstar numbers last season, but the fantasy community has been slow to embrace him. A sure thing like Sanders shouldn’t be available late in the third round, yet that’s exactly where fantasy owners are drafting him. His current ADP on Yahoo is an underwhelming 33rd. That puts him behind Mike Evans and barely ahead of Brandin Cooks.

You’d think Sanders would be his own biggest fan, but even he has doubts. “It’s not going to be one of those offenses where you catch it and you’re going to have two receivers catching over 100 passes,” Sanders told DenverBroncos.com back in May. “Hopefully, my goal is really to try to get a 1,000 yards to just help this team win ball games.”

Usually people add insult to injury but Sanders did it backwards. He hasn’t practiced since hurting his hamstring on August 6 and at this point, it’s unlikely he’ll play in the preseason. Sanders expects to be ready for Week 1 but with so few training camp reps, he might not be at his best.

None of these are encouraging signs, but if we’re truly accepting the “Sanders won’t be as good as last year” premise, we have to really buy what Gary Kubiak’s selling. After years of ripping teams apart in the passing game, Denver’s new head coach has promised a more balanced offense this season.

In some ways, it makes perfect sense. Asking Peyton Manning, the league’s oldest quarterback, to deliver 600 passes probably isn’t a great idea. Plus the Broncos have finally found a running back they can rely on in C.J. Anderson.

But Manning knows his arm is too good to waste. Over his last five seasons, none of Peyton’s teams have run the ball more than 45 percent of the time. Manning, who is basically his own offensive coordinator, wouldn’t know balance if it smacked him right on his huge forehead.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not convinced Sanders has peaked. He may not reach 1,400 yards again but I don’t think his workload will be that much different from last year.

I used $23 of my $100 budget on Sanders in a recent auction keeper draft and I stand by my decision. Hopefully he’ll prove me right.

Quick Hits: Wednesday must have been an interesting day to be Connor Barth. The placekicker got cut by Denver but signed with the Buccaneers only a few hours later … Ravens QB Joe Flacco said he still isn’t sure if Dennis Pitta will play this season. The tight end is recovering from offseason hip surgery … Terrelle Pryor returned to practice on Wednesday. The quarterback-turned-wide receiver had been out with a hamstring injury … An elbow injury will likely keep Johnny Manziel out for the remainder of the preseason. Fortunately an MRI showed no structural damage … Jadeveon Clowney (knee) won’t appear in Houston’s preseason game this weekend but he should be ready for Week 1 against the Chiefs … Adrian Peterson missed practice Wednesday to attend a court hearing. The NFL Players Union wants Judge David Doty to hold Roger Goodell in contempt of court for keeping Peterson on the commissioner’s exempt list after his suspension was overturned … Construction on the Vikings’ new stadium was suspended Wednesday after a worker fell to his death. Another worker was injured … The Falcons signed journeyman quarterback Rex Grossman to a one-year contract on Wednesday. He’ll be reunited with former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan … Redskins linebacker Junior Galette will miss the season with a torn Achilles. He suffered the injury at Wednesday’s practice … When asked how he felt after his first practice with the Patriots, Reggie Wayne said “like a rookie” … Patriots safety Devin McCourty didn’t enjoy playing cornerback in last week’s preseason game against the Saints. “It didn’t feel great and I don’t think it looked great” … Pro Bowl linebacker Osi Umenyiora announced his retirement on Wednesday. He signed a one-day contract with the Giants so he could retire with the team that drafted him … Sheldon Richardson is still waiting to hear back from Roger Goodell about his four-game suspension. “As long as I get the day of when I can actually return, then I can actually start moving forward. But until then, it will just be a cloud over my head” … 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was indicted on misdemeanor sexual battery charges stemming from an incident at a pool party last December. His former teammate Ray McDonald was charged with raping an intoxicated woman and will likely face a lengthy jail sentence … Bears slot receiver Eddie Royal missed practice Wednesday with a sore hip. He might not play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Bengals … Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (MCL sprain) returned to a limited practice on Wednesday. He’s hoping to be back for the season opener against the Raiders on September 13 … Dolphins rookie DeVante Parker (foot) is still a week away from returning to individual drills. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready for Week 1 … Eagles tight end Zach Ertz isn’t sure if he’ll be ready for Week 1. He had surgery to repair a torn groin in mid-August … Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula said the team plans to replace Kelvin Benjamin (torn ACL) with a wide receiver by committee. So much for Devin Funchess having an early impact … How did Cardinals cornerback Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu spend his off day? He put on an apron and scooped ice cream at a Cold Stone Creamery in Chandler, Arizona. 

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

Fantasy Fallout: Fallout: Losing Jordy Nelson

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Now that Jordy Nelson (ACL) is out for the season, the entire fantasy community is scrambling to figure out how the Packers’ offense will shift his leftover workload to their other weapons on offense. The most immediate and obvious answer for the Packers’ loss is second-year wideout, Davante Adams.

However, there are other less apparent impacts besides Green Bay trying to fill in the void of Nelson’s lost production. Discerning where the Packers’ go next is tricky, but with Aaron Rodgers at the helm their offense is still primed for efficiency and fantasy production. Let’s try to fill in the blanks.

Editor’s Note: Play against our writers in the Rotoworld Football Championship – a series of one-week fantasy contests on FanDuel with $20K in FREE prizes! Enter the Week 1 contest before it fills.

Impact: Aaron Rodgers

I’m hesitant to say Rodgers’ fantasy outlook changes much without Jordy Nelson in the lineup. Since Nelson became a full-time starter in 2011, Rodgers has played just four games without his go-to target in the last four seasons. Albeit a small sample, Rodgers’ per-game fantasy output in those four games dipped by just 4.2%. He still averaged a handsome 7.4 yards per attempt in that handful of games, but that is below his career average of 8.2 YPA.

There may not be much useful information to derive from that tiny sample, but there also isn’t much evidence suggesting Rodgers fantasy stock takes a significant blow with Nelson out. Rodgers’ career per-game fantasy finishes in 4-point per passing touchdown leagues has been as follows: QB1, QB4, QB2, QB1, QB2, QB1 and QB2.

Impact: Eddie Lacy

Eddie Lacy was a sure-fire top-5 selection in all re-draft fantasy formats before Green Bay lost Nelson. The same bell rings true post-injury. In fact, Lacy’s stock may get a very slight boost from the news. Consider that Nelson saw 156 targets last year (28 of which came in the red zone) and Davante Adams won’t jump in and immediately “replace” Nelson’s production. Lacy received 44 targets in 2013 and 56 last year and while he won’t subsequently become a 90-plus target back, it’s not a stretch to believe a few more targets trickle down his path in 2015.

Regardless, Green Bay has run more plays inside of the 20-yard line than any team in the league over the past two seasons and they tied for 7th in total red zone rushing touchdowns (27) during that span. Lacy is still as good of a bet as any to lead the league in rushing touchdowns. I wouldn’t contend taking him first overall this year.

Impact: Randall Cobb

Of course this operates in hindsight, but I’d wager GM Ted Thompson is very happy Cobb re-signed and stayed home back in March.

Retrospection aside, Randall Cobb ran 87.3% of his routes from the slot last year and that is likely to remain unchanged without Nelson on the field. The main change may come in the form of Cobb’s target share. Cobb saw 24.4% of Green Bay’s targets last year and 25.7% of all red zone targets. While those shares account for close to a quarter of Rodgers’ looks in both instances, there’s now room for a little bit of growth as Nelson’s 27.6% target share is unaccounted for. Just 25-years-old, Cobb is a top-15 pick in fantasy as Aaron Rodgers’ main target.

Impact: Davante Adams

First, some background on Adams’ rookie year: despite seeing 77 targets from the NFL’s most efficient quarterback last year Adams only scored 1.62 PPR fantasy points per target, finishing 57th out of 90 qualified receivers. To reiterate: Adams was a 21-year-old (turned 22 December) rookie in 2014. Of course Adams can improve in his second year; but averaging fewer yards per route run (0.96) than Brian Hartline (0.99) last year with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback is less than stellar.

That might not matter in 2015.

Adams’ average draft position spiked from 102nd (mid-9th) to 50th overall (early-5th) overall once Nelson’s torn ACL was confirmed on Monday. As mentioned above, Adams will not immediately slide into Nelson’s 156 vacant targets, but he’ll be the main outside receiver in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense. That has its perks. In his seven seasons as a starter, Rodgers has supported two top-24 wide receivers in per-game PPR output five times.

Now with a massive role ahead of him, Adams must step up. Overnight he went from WR4/5 in fantasy to a WR2 with huge upside in the 5th-6th round. Drafting Adams anywhere past the WR24 range in ADP should be heralded a steal.

Impact: Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery

One of the fantasy community’s favorites, Jeff Janis is a 98th percentile SPARQ athlete with 4.4 speed and is the lone receiver on the Packers roster with a body-type that could hypothetically fill the loss that will be felt on Jordy Nelson’s deep targets. Nelson commanded 52.1% of the Packers targets 20-plus yards down field in 2014 and had a 36.5% share of deep targets in 2013.

There are still two preseason games left to determine who will start Week 1, but 3rd round pick Ty Montgomery is getting the first crack at the Packers No. 3 gig opposite Davante Adams.

Last year Davante Adams only had two top-24 (WR2) scoring weeks as the Packers’ No. 3 receiver – but a 12-18% target share in the Packers’ highly efficient offense has its place in the fantasy world. At the moment, Montgomery and Janis are both in the WR5/6 range but that could change if one of the receivers runs away with the job in the coming weeks. Montgomery’s average draft position is at 189 overall while Janis is being drafted 180th on average.

Impact: Richard Rodgers

The second-year tight end out of California will likely see an increased role inside of the red zone this year and will without a doubt have a bigger presence in the Packers’ offense in 2015. Rodgers played just 44.7% of snaps and received six targets inside of the 20-yard line last year, but he passed Andrew Quarless on the Packers’ depth chart in mid-August. Rodgers is now a mid-TE2 with definite streaming appeal.

Now that Jordy Nelson (ACL) is out for the season, the entire fantasy community is scrambling to figure out how the Packers’ offense will shift his leftover workload to their other weapons on offense. The most immediate and obvious answer for the Packers’ loss is second-year wideout, Davante Adams.

However, there are other less apparent impacts besides Green Bay trying to fill in the void of Nelson’s lost production. Discerning where the Packers’ go next is tricky, but with Aaron Rodgers at the helm their offense is still primed for efficiency and fantasy production. Let’s try to fill in the blanks.

Editor’s Note: Play against our writers in the Rotoworld Football Championship – a series of one-week fantasy contests on FanDuel with $20K in FREE prizes! Enter the Week 1 contest before it fills.

Impact: Aaron Rodgers

I’m hesitant to say Rodgers’ fantasy outlook changes much without Jordy Nelson in the lineup. Since Nelson became a full-time starter in 2011, Rodgers has played just four games without his go-to target in the last four seasons. Albeit a small sample, Rodgers’ per-game fantasy output in those four games dipped by just 4.2%. He still averaged a handsome 7.4 yards per attempt in that handful of games, but that is below his career average of 8.2 YPA.

There may not be much useful information to derive from that tiny sample, but there also isn’t much evidence suggesting Rodgers fantasy stock takes a significant blow with Nelson out. Rodgers’ career per-game fantasy finishes in 4-point per passing touchdown leagues has been as follows: QB1, QB4, QB2, QB1, QB2, QB1 and QB2.

Impact: Eddie Lacy

Eddie Lacy was a sure-fire top-5 selection in all re-draft fantasy formats before Green Bay lost Nelson. The same bell rings true post-injury. In fact, Lacy’s stock may get a very slight boost from the news. Consider that Nelson saw 156 targets last year (28 of which came in the red zone) and Davante Adams won’t jump in and immediately “replace” Nelson’s production. Lacy received 44 targets in 2013 and 56 last year and while he won’t subsequently become a 90-plus target back, it’s not a stretch to believe a few more targets trickle down his path in 2015.

Regardless, Green Bay has run more plays inside of the 20-yard line than any team in the league over the past two seasons and they tied for 7th in total red zone rushing touchdowns (27) during that span. Lacy is still as good of a bet as any to lead the league in rushing touchdowns. I wouldn’t contend taking him first overall this year.

Impact: Randall Cobb

Of course this operates in hindsight, but I’d wager GM Ted Thompson is very happy Cobb re-signed and stayed home back in March.

Retrospection aside, Randall Cobb ran 87.3% of his routes from the slot last year and that is likely to remain unchanged without Nelson on the field. The main change may come in the form of Cobb’s target share. Cobb saw 24.4% of Green Bay’s targets last year and 25.7% of all red zone targets. While those shares account for close to a quarter of Rodgers’ looks in both instances, there’s now room for a little bit of growth as Nelson’s 27.6% target share is unaccounted for. Just 25-years-old, Cobb is a top-15 pick in fantasy as Aaron Rodgers’ main target.

Impact: Davante Adams

First, some background on Adams’ rookie year: despite seeing 77 targets from the NFL’s most efficient quarterback last year Adams only scored 1.62 PPR fantasy points per target, finishing 57th out of 90 qualified receivers. To reiterate: Adams was a 21-year-old (turned 22 December) rookie in 2014. Of course Adams can improve in his second year; but averaging fewer yards per route run (0.96) than Brian Hartline (0.99) last year with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback is less than stellar.

That might not matter in 2015.

Adams’ average draft position spiked from 102nd (mid-9th) to 50th overall (early-5th) overall once Nelson’s torn ACL was confirmed on Monday. As mentioned above, Adams will not immediately slide into Nelson’s 156 vacant targets, but he’ll be the main outside receiver in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense. That has its perks. In his seven seasons as a starter, Rodgers has supported two top-24 wide receivers in per-game PPR output five times.

Now with a massive role ahead of him, Adams must step up. Overnight he went from WR4/5 in fantasy to a WR2 with huge upside in the 5th-6th round. Drafting Adams anywhere past the WR24 range in ADP should be heralded a steal.

Impact: Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery

One of the fantasy community’s favorites, Jeff Janis is a 98th percentile SPARQ athlete with 4.4 speed and is the lone receiver on the Packers roster with a body-type that could hypothetically fill the loss that will be felt on Jordy Nelson’s deep targets. Nelson commanded 52.1% of the Packers targets 20-plus yards down field in 2014 and had a 36.5% share of deep targets in 2013.

There are still two preseason games left to determine who will start Week 1, but 3rd round pick Ty Montgomery is getting the first crack at the Packers No. 3 gig opposite Davante Adams.

Last year Davante Adams only had two top-24 (WR2) scoring weeks as the Packers’ No. 3 receiver – but a 12-18% target share in the Packers’ highly efficient offense has its place in the fantasy world. At the moment, Montgomery and Janis are both in the WR5/6 range but that could change if one of the receivers runs away with the job in the coming weeks. Montgomery’s average draft position is at 189 overall while Janis is being drafted 180th on average.

Impact: Richard Rodgers

The second-year tight end out of California will likely see an increased role inside of the red zone this year and will without a doubt have a bigger presence in the Packers’ offense in 2015. Rodgers played just 44.7% of snaps and received six targets inside of the 20-yard line last year, but he passed Andrew Quarless on the Packers’ depth chart in mid-August. Rodgers is now a mid-TE2 with definite streaming appeal.