1st and 10 with DFF Week 2 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.
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Week 2- March 21st, 2016
Utter-Fantasy #1) New England did not re-sign TE Scott Chandler, but they did sign former Chicago TE Martellus Bennett. He is not just your average tight end in the NFL. Do Gronk’s stats take a hit in 2016 from the signing?
DFF) Interesting development for sure. If you look back at how productive Gronk was with Hernandez you will find that he was just as productive if not more without him. Gronk is simply a freak and Brady has every bit of faith in him. However, has had his own bouts with injury over the last few season. The wear and tear has begun to affect his play, but I do not foresee the addition of Bennett thwarting Gronks season long production as much as some may contend. If he remains healthy, he is a surefire weekly TE1 and likely finishes the season as the best at the position.
Utter-Fantasy #2) QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is still unsigned. Where is the best landing spot for him, assuming a team is willing to meet his high salary demands?
DFF) Honestly I think Denver makes a lot of sense. Fitz isn’t going to burn up the stats sheets, but he is a steady QB with decent pocket presence who could keep the engines running in Denver. However, something in my gut tells me Elway nabs one of the bigger name QB prospects in this draft. Fitz would simply be temporary, but one who could still get the job done.
Utter-Fantasy #3) The Bengals let WRs Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu walk in free agency. Since they haven’t made any significant wide receiver signings so far, they don’t seem overly concerned about addressing the posititon yet. Should they be?
DFF) The easy answer is yes. I am shocked they let both men walk, while not retaining at least one of them. The noodle armed Dalton will need weapons. Eifert had his coming out party in 2015 and all signs point to his continued ascension to being a weekly TE1 option. However, they still need more weapons in order to mask Dalton’s limitations. Perhaps Gio stakes a claim to more dump off opportunities, but that would mean the offense most likely won’t offer much in the sense of explosive potential.
Utter-Fantasy #4) After DAL QB Tony Romo went down in 2015 with another shoulder injury, WR Dez Bryant’s production plummeted. I will advise fantasy football owners not to draft Dez as a top 5 wide receiver in 2016, because Romo will get hurt again. Will this be good advice?
DFF) Even with all of the new rules protecting the quarterback position you can’t truly game plan for injuries. All you can do is constantly be insulating yourself with production depth. I draft or acquire players based on one thing and one thing only, talent. Bryant is still one of the most talented players at his position. Rather than steer away from him due to the fear that Romo gets hurt again, why not select him, if the value is right (still top 5 in my opinion) and parlay that move when the opportunity presents itself.
Utter-Fantasy #5) WR Calvin Johnson has been QB Matt Stafford’s security blanket since the Detroit quarterback was drafted in 2009. Would you agree that the Detroit Lions have no chance the win the NFC North, with the retirement of Megatron?
DFF) They didn’t have chance even with Megatron. Although Detroit acquired Marvin Jones and many touted him as being worthy of a WR1, I don’t see it. He isn’t a particularly “special” athlete in my view. Speed will be his wheelhouse in that offense. Detroit is hoping to stretch the field with a fast paced offensive approach, but unless Ebron can turn the page on his career they will still be missing a true red zone threat. Hopefully Jones can become that viable red zone option, but he won’t be “replacing” what Megatron offered to that offense.
Utter-Fantasy #6) Early last season, QB Ben Roethlisberger was saying that 2015 would be a break out year for WR Markus Wheaton. Big Ben’s statements had Wheaton being drafted before WR Martavis Bryant. As we know, Wheaton did not have a break out season, and Bryant ended with superior stats, playing in 4 less games. WR Bryant is now suspended indefinitely, but should fantasy football owner’s be cautious of expecting too much from Wheaton again? Would you draft WR Sammie Coates over Wheaton?
DFF) If you are a Wheaton or Coates owner you should be selling, selling, selling!!! Brown, Bell and the newly acquired TE Green will dominate targets in 2016. Sure, Wheaton may have a game here or there where he puts up a silly stat line, but he isn’t someone I would hang my hat on as a weekly WR2. I would be much more comfortable with him as a WR3 or FLEX option. Coates’ size and athleticism will be a benefit occasionally, but I do not foresee consistency. Obviously, much will be gleaned from the pre-season and how these two will be used, but at this stage neither player would targets for me outside of deep FLEX formats.
Utter-Fantasy #7) The National Football League Competition Committee is expected to pass a rule making ejections automatic after 2 personal fouls. Is this a gross over-reaction to one uncontrolled game between Odell Beckham and Josh Norman in Week 15?
DFF) The “No Fun League” strikes again! All this makes me think of is the Tony Soprano gif “What are ya gonna do?” Maybe the NFLPA steps in, but I doubt very much that they end up doing that. Succinctly, do I “like” it? No.
Utter-Fantasy #8) ATL QB Matt Ryan went from the #7 quarterback for 2014, to #16 quarterback for 2015. The Falcons did make a nice acquisition to help the offense by signing C Alex Mack, formerly of the Browns. What are your expectations of Ryan in 2016?
DFF) I’ve never been a big fan of Ryan myself. Another ho-hum quarterback but anytime you have Julio as your WR1 there’s still a bit of appeal. The addition of Sanu and the emergence of Freeman are certainly intriguing for his future prospects and perhaps Ryan has the potential for a Top 10 finish.
Utter-Fantasy #9) In 2015, I recommended fantasy football owners to stay clear of DAL RB Darren McFadden, because he’s old, slow and can’t stay healthy. He ended the season with over 1400 yards and 3 TDs. What was your recommendation in 2015, and what is it for 2016?
DFF) I jumped off the D-Train years ago. Too fragile of a player with too much inconsistent production. He was the epitome of wasted talent in Oakland, while never ascending to elite status. If you currently own McFadden,you might consider selling him high. If you “still believe” then I advise you to not visit Vegas anytime soon…that gambling nature will be your undoing.
Utter-Fantasy #10) In my recent article “2016 Free Agent Landings Part 1″ I wrote that San Diego’s signing of WR Travis Benjamin might be my “favorite offensive pick-up in free agency so far, after the Houston QB Osweiler acquisition.” Are you as high on WR Benjamin for the 2016 season as I am?
DFF) It was a heartbreaking signing for me as I was (and still am) a huge supporter of 6’4″ WR Tyrell Williams. Alas, it appears the Charger front office doesn’t agree. Yes, I do believe Benjamin was a huge addition to the Charger offense and an explosive field stretching weapon granted to the gunslinging Rivers. I could see him matching his 2015 numbers with relative ease should be ascend to the WR2 in San Diego, but there are still unknowns on that offense. At this time, he’s to trade for who and someone you might get relatively cheap.
Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions for the Dynasty Football Factory