1st and 10 with DFF May 23rd

1st and 10 with DFF Week 10

1st and 10 with DFF Week 10 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

“1st and 10 with DFF” is a weekly segment of fantasy insights and a joint endeavor between the Dynasty Football Factory and Utter-Fantasy Football. We will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which may carry major fantasy implications.

Michael Goins is the owner of Dynasty Football Factory, which is a website that you must visit daily, or you are missing out on great fantasy football, especially dynasty formatted fantasy football. Follow him on twitter @DynastyFFactory

 

On Monday afternoon, approximately 2:00 PM Central, I will post the latest segment in “1st & 10 with DFF.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions for Michael, really let us know.

 

Week 10-  May 23rd, 2016

Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Michael Hughes for the new- “1st and 10 with DFF Week 10″.  Be sure to follow Michael on Twitter @thatshiftybloke

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) 1) PHIL QB Sam Bradford- FACT: If Bradford plays poorly, he will be yanked early in this season and it will be Wentz’s team going forward.

FACT or FICTION? : If Bradford plays well, and if Philadelphia is winning games, Wentz will not be the starter in 2016, despite being the #2 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft (and no matter how much the fans clamor for him.)

DFF Response) (A) Fact. The Eagles made a splash at the draft, trading up (twice) to ultimately nab the 2nd overall pick with the obvious and apparent intention of drafting the franchise’s quarterback of the future. GM Howie Roseman and others in the organization made that pretty clear in press conferences and statements all throughout the pre-draft and post-draft process. What is confusing to some is the fact that the team made a couple of plant-your-flag moves with three different QBs this offseason: signing Bradford to a lucrative extension; paying up big for what we expect to be backup QB Chase Daniel (who played for head coach Doug Pederson in Kansas City); and moving up big time in the draft to select Carson Wentz out of NDSU. It seems clear that the team is looking to solidify the position and back their guy. In this instance, with so much spent to move up to #2 in the draft, I think it is safe to say that Wentz is the clear cut favorite. If Bradford struggles this season – even for a little bit – you will see Carson Wentz for the duration of the year.

(B) I believe that Bradford has to play lights out to keep his job. Reading between the lines and dissecting the coach speak, it’s clear that the Eagles are no longer enamored with the Oklahoma product; they’re ready to move on. Bradford was the best of a bad lot when they traded for him; signed him; and signed him to an extension. Philly did not know or believe it would be able to trade up and select their future starter, so they had to shore up the position when Bradford was available. Look for that to change. If Bradford plays well enough for the team to win games consistently, he will keep his job. I expect to see Wentz in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)    Between 2009 and 2013, 12 quarterbacks total were selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft. To date, 7 are complete busts, 2 are struggling to stay in the NFL and only 3 are successful starting quarterbacks. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, 7 quarterbacks total were selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft. If Goff and Wentz go onto be as successful as Winston and Mariota, as expected, only Manziel will have failed to thrive at the NFL level. Do you think drafting a quarterback in the 1st round has become less of a gamble than if was between 2009 and 2013?

DFF Response) I think drafting anyone in the first round is a gamble. I say that, because first round draft picks – all first round draft picks –  are supposed to be sure things. NFL franchises are expected to have “gimme” selections that early in the draft. But unfortunately the pressure is very real when you are expected to select a no-brainer / can’t-miss prospect. That being said, I’m sure the Chargers will attest to how difficult the first round can be (see Ryan Leaf, number 2 overall, 1998 NFL draft). Thus, it is always a gamble. I know that scouting has gotten much better over the years and in fact there is an entire lucrative business to the draft, from trainers and agents, to merchandise and branding. As a Viking fan, I can tell you that Christian Ponder was as much of a gamble as any pick I’ve seen my team make in the last couple of years. The Vikings took him at 12 overall in 2011 and I was never confident that it was a great move, even if it was necessary for the team to do so. It would be flawed logic to say that the picks are less of a gamble now just because the prospects are hitting at a higher rate. If anything, it is a testament to the prospects themselves and the coaching regimes that are drafting them.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3)  ESPN projects Cleveland and San Francisco to only win 3 games in 2016, and Miami to only win 4 games. I’m on board with their projections for the Browns and the 49ers, but I believe the Dolphins will win at least 6 games. What are your thoughts on all 3 teams?

DFF Response) The Browns are in rebuild mode, but they’re starting the rebuild on a positive note having just amassed a lot of draft capital by trading back in the first round. I think they’ve done themselves a great service by hiring Hue Jackson and I expect the team to make waves in a few years. San Francisco is going in the other direction. I do not believe the Chip Kelly experiment will work in SF because I don’t believe they currently have the personnel that Kelly wants/needs to succeed, and it all starts at QB. Expect them to be mediocre for a while. Miami is in a different boat; I actually like their head coach hiring. Adam Gase will come in and build upon an offense that had success at times last year. I believe Miami wins more than 3 games this year, but I do not believe they make the playoffs. Expect the offense to run smoothly, but the defense will be the linchpin. The defense has to fire on all cylinders; they are paid too much not to. If the defense can play well and avoid the colossal meltdowns of 2015, then Miami will be able to win more than a few games.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  With RB DeMarco Murray out of town, Ryan Matthews is a huge sleeper for me in 2016, that few people are currently talking about. Am I right to be excited about his fantasy potential this season or is his current ADP ( #59th overall-#24 RB) where it should be?

DFF Response)  You’re absolutely right to be excited about Ryan Matthews in 2016. If you look at running backs under Doug Pederson in the past (I’m looking at you, all three KC Chiefs’ backs), it is clear that Pederson knows how to deploy running backs. Scheme and coaching says Matthews will succeed, but that’s not all. There is very little competition at the RB position in Philly this year. Darren Sproles will occupy the same role he always has, and that will not eat into Matthews’ carries. Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood will both be given an opportunity to see the field, but they’re too green to come in and steal snaps from an established back like Matthews. All fantasy players should be looking to acquire Ryan Matthews in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5)  In most 2015 redraft leagues, QB Andrew Luck was the first quarterback selected and he clobbered fantasy football owners, playing in only 7 games. Luck declared himself fully healthy last month, and Indianapolis drafted 4 offensive linemen to protect him. He won’t be the #1 quarterback selected in 2016, but where is he in your current QB redraft rankings? Who would you recommend drafting as your QB, before drafting Luck?

DFF Response) I still have Luck in the top 3. For me, it goes Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, and then Andrew Luck. I watched Luck in college and in the pros for the past few years, so I know what he is capable of doing. Too many fantasy players are scared off by what happened last year. Don’t let that recency bias manipulate your game plan. Remember the pedigree for Luck, and remember that he has as much natural talent as any QB in this league. He was injured last year and that resulted in a poor season, but that won’t happen every year. As always, the QB position is devalued somewhat in fantasy because there are many viable options on a weekly basis. If you do decide to draft a QB earlier than others, Luck is a fine option. Oh, did I mention that Indy beefed up its offensive line? Sign me up for Luck this year.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) You’re a Dynasty league guy…I recent saw a dynasty league team owner offer THREE 1st round picks for the 2016 rookie 1.01 draft selection and was turned down. One owner obviously wants DAL RB Zeke Elliott very much, and the other owner will get him and won’t give him up. Who’s crazy here…..the guy offering THREE 1st round picks or the guy who turned him down?!

DFF Response) I think they’re both sane. Ezekiel Elliot is a rare bird; he has all of the God-given talent that you could ever, literally ever, ask someone to have. He also landed in the consensus top spot for running backs. It’s a match made in fantasy football heaven. The allure of dynasty fantasy football is that you can keep a player for their entire career if you so choose. Running backs are brittle, and last year demonstrated just how quickly you could lose your grip on that position if your guys get injured. Because of these truths, getting a stud young RB like Elliott or Todd Gurley is a slam dunk success. Thus, trading the world to go get Zeke is totally sane. So, too, is trading away the 1.01 for a complete windfall. Both sides are right – and both sides would be enriched by such a deal. I myself had two 1.01’s in the 2016 rookie drafts in different leagues. I traded one for AJ Green because I value him very highly in an offense with little competition for targets – and it is a start one RB league, so running backs are devalued even more. In another league where I am in full re-build mode for an orphan team I took over in 2015, I moved the 1.01 and Dorial Green-Beckham for Amari Cooper. I am confident that the trades will ultimately help all teams involved. In my two deals, I got top-tier wide receivers in point-per-reception (“PPR”) leagues; similarly, the other teams got the draft capital necessary to select one of the best running back prospects since Adrian Peterson. I call that mutually beneficial!

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) In current 10 team mock drafts, BUFF WR Sammy Watkins has overall been the 13th wide receiver selected, in front of such names as Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall, Randall Cobb, and TY Hilton. With all things considered, including recent foot surgery, is that too early for the Bill’s wide out?

DFF Response) I will preface this response by saying that Sammy Watkins is my man-crush. I try to acquire him in every single dynasty league I play in; he’s just that good to me. Naturally, with that backdrop, I will tell you that Watkins is every bit as valuable as the other names mentioned. I also understand that there is a big picture to account for. My advice is thus: if you are in a redraft league, you should pump the brakes on Watkins this year and not overspend for him. Remember that he is in a sub-par offensive scheme for wide receivers and he has a starting QB in Tyrod Taylor that may or may not keep his job. Sammy also just broke his foot and there are many questions surrounding his health and whether he will be back in time – oh, and don’t forget his history of foot and hip problems. If you are drafting for a one-year team as is the case in redraft leagues, then you should not select Watkins over guys like Demaryius Thomas. DT has already proven himself to be quarterback proof and reliable. However, if you are drafting in a dynasty league start up, then please feel free to take Watkins in the top 8 picks and feel great about doing so. All you need to do is look at his scouting tape and any of the many highlight reel catches he’s made. That will show you how valuable Watkins is and will continue to be. In conclusion: I love Watkins. If others in my leagues don’t want him, I will certainly scoop him up.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8)  A few of my disappointing fantasy football players from 2015 include Eddie Lacy, Melvin Gordon, Randall Cobb, Mike Evans ( 1208 receiving yards but only 3 TDs), QB Teddy Bridgewater, TE Jordan Cameron and Ladarius Green. Who else should be on my list?

DFF Response) Don’t forget to add Andrew Luck (see above) for his injury riddled lost 2015 campaign. I also throw DeMarco Murray on the pile here. Murray was the best running back in the league two years ago and then last year completely fell asleep at the wheel of his offensive production. Chip Kelly’s coaching and offensive scheme did not help Murray at all, but even when he was given chances to succeed he completely missed the mark. He owes me a lot of touchdowns this year.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) The 49ers locker room bought into QB Blaine Gabbert at the end of the 2015, as he led them to 3 wins in their last 8 games. QB Colin Kaepernick stirred the pot early in 2016 by requesting out of San Francisco. Even if “Kaep” gets an attitude adjustment and plays better than Gabbert in training camp …….can this ever really be “his” team again?

DFF Response) No, I don’t believe it can be Kaep’s team again. Chip Kelly essentially guaranteed as much when he publicly spoke out in favor of Gabbert. Kelly has a history of poor professional player relations: you can ask most of the guys on the 2015 Philadelphia Eagles about that. Kelly has recently begun to mend the fences with Kaepernick, but I think that is more going through the motions than genuine desire to having a working relationship with the (former) starting QB. Kaep wants out, Kelly wants Kaep out, and most people in the Niners’ building want a new start, so look for Kaepernick to ride the pine this year, or ultimately make an exit from San Fran soon.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Give me a brief comment on each of these tight end moves to a new team in 2016.……

• A) Ben Watson to Baltimore-

• B) Jared Cook to Green Bay-

• C) Ladarius Green to Pittsburgh-

• D) Coby Fleener to New Orleans-

DFF Response) A) Ben Watson seemed like the ageless wonder last year when he made the league’s most resounding comeback in a Drew Brees-led offense. Watson’s numbers were gaudy in 2015 and he single-handedly won fantasy weeks for many people. I expect that his production will decidedly drop off in 2016. Let’s look at the factors: different QB, different offensive system, many more receiving threats/weapons/options than the Saints had; and there is the little matter of the future of TE Maxx Williams, on whom the Ravens spent significant draft capital last year. Sell now on Watson, if you still can.

(B) Jared Cook will likely have the best season of his career in GB; that’s not saying much considering Cook couldn’t definitively hold on to the top TE spot in St. Louis/LA where his competition was Lance Kendricks. I mean, come on. Aaron Rodgers likes using his TEs, but hasn’t been able to lately because of the poor play of that group. I think Cook will be a reliable option for Rodgers and I would look to acquire him if the price isn’t too steep.

(C) Ladarius Green landed in the ideal spot for an emerging TE. Pittsburgh will look to use Green in much the same way they used Heath Miller for so many years. That alone bodes very well for Green. Besides, Green is very athletically gifted and he will be spirited to be out from under the shadows of Antonio Gates. The price for Green has skyrocketed, so I don’t think it’s a smart buy at this point in time because the asking price is way too high. However, if you have him then congratulations – you’re about to step in to TE1 territory.

(D) Coby Fleener was Andrew Luck’s roommate in college and presumably one of the QB’s best friends on the team. And Fleener still stunk up the joint. I know, I know: Fleener had to contend with Dwayne Allen in Indy, too. That’s fair, but I don’t think he is an elite tight end. I am not a Fleener truther and I don’t believe in his talent. I do, however, believe in his new landing spot. Brees loves the TE (see Ben Watson, two paragraphs above). Fleener is a sleeper this year based solely on the anticipated number of red zone targets he will likely receive this year. Good luck!

 

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions for the Dynasty Football Factory

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