News

2015 Wide Receiver Rankings

2015  Wide Receiver Rankings

1. Antonio Brown – Steelers
2. Odell Beckham Jr – Giants
3. Dez Bryant – Cowboys
4. Julio Jones – Falcons
5. Demaryius Thomas – Broncos
6. A J Green – Bengals
7. Randall Cobb – Packers
8. Calvin Johnson – Lions
9. Brandon Cooks- Saints
10. T Y Hilton – Colts
11. Alshon Jeffery – Bears
12. Jordan Matthews- Eagles
13. DeAndre Hopkins- Texans
14. Golden Tate – Lions
15. Mike Evans – Bucs
16. Emmanuel Sanders – Broncos
17. Davante Adams – Packers
18. Charles Johnson – Vikings
19. Jarvis Landry- Dolphins
20. Steve Smith Sr – Ravens
21.John Brown – Cardinals
22. Amari Cooper – Oakland Rookie
23. Jeremy Maclin- Chiefs
24. Sammy Watkins- Buffalo
25. DeSean Jackson WASH
26. Torrey Smith – 49ers
27. Devin Funchess – Carolina Rookie
28. Markus Wheaton – Steelers
29. Andre Johnson- Colts
30. Julian Edelman- Patriots
31. Nelson Agholor – Rookie Eagles
32. Keenan Allen – Chargers
33. Pierre Garcon – Washington
34. Marques Colston – Saints
35. Michael Floyd- Cardinals- Likely out Week 1
36. Vincent Jackson- Bucs
37. Terrance Williams – Cowboys
38. Malcolm Floyd – Chargers
39. Anquan Boldin – 49ers
40. Martavius Bryant- Steelers- 4 game suspension
41. Eric Decker – Jets
42. Roddy White – Falcons
43. Mike Wallace – Vikings
44. Eddie Royal – Bears
45. Victor Cruz – Giants- Likely will not play Week 1
46. Kendall Wright – Titans
47. Larry Fitzgerald – Cardinals
48. Doug Baldwin- Seahawks
49. Marvin Jones – Bengal
50. Breshad Perriman – Rookie Baltimore- Likely will not play Week 1
51. Brandon LaFell – Patriots
52. Cecil Shorts – Texans
53. Danny Amendola – Patriots
54. Michael Crabtree – Raiders
55. Leonard Hankerson – Falcons
56. Dwayne Bowe – Browns
57. Mohamed Sanu – Bengals
58. Brian Hartline – Browns
59. T Y Montgomery- Packers
60. Kenny Britt – Rams
61. Jermaine Kearse – Seahawks (injured)
62. Allen Hurns – Jaguars
63. Jericho Cotchery- Panthers
64. Rueban Randle – Giants
65.  Jeff Janis – Packers
66. Chris Givens – Rams
67. Greg Jennings- Dolphins
68. James Jones- NYG
69. Marguess Wilson – Bears
70. Donte Moncrief – Colts
71. Stevie Johnson – Chargers
72. Nate Washington – Texans
73. Cody Latimer – Broncos
74. Cole Beasley – Cowboys
75. Percy Harvin – Buffalo
76. Kenny Stills – Dolphins
77. Jaelen Strong – Rookie Houston
78. Reggie Wayne- New England
79. Brian Quick – Rams
80. Harry Douglas – Titans
81. Sammie Coates – Rookie Steelers
82. Ted Ginn Jr- Panthers
83. DeVante Parker – Rookie Miami
84. Dorial Green-Beckham – Rookie Tennessee
85. Riley Cooper – Eagles
86. Robert Woods – Buffalo
87. Andre Holmes – Raiders
88. Jarrett Boykin – Panthers
89. Jeremy Kerley – Jets
90. Nick Toon – Saints
91. Cordarrelle Patterson – Vikings
92. Andrew Hawkins – Browns
93. Corey Brown – Panthers
94. Stedman Bailey – Rams
95. Andre Caldwell – Broncos
96. Brandon Lloyd – 49ers
97. Josh Huff – Eagles
98. Jacoby Jones – Chargers
99. Aaron Dobson – Patriots
100. Marquise Goodwin – Buffalo
101. Denarius Moore – Bengals
102. Andre Roberts – Washington
103. Paul Richardson – Seahawks-(injured)
104. Rod Streater – Raiders
105. Justin Blackmon – Jaguars
106. James Wright – Bengals
107. Taylor Gabriel – Browns
108. Devin Smith – Rookie Jets-(injured)
109. Robert Herron – Bucs
110. Santana Moss- Free Agent
111. Wes Welker- Free Agent

112. Donnie Avery- Free Agent

 

•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Quarterback Rankings
• Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Running Back Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Tight End Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Defense Rankings

NFL Injury Reports

NFL Injury Reports by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

Arizona Cardinals-

Atlanta Falcons- ATL WR  Julio Jones (leg) is “expected to be fine” despite missing the final drive of Atlanta’s Week 2 win over Oakland

Baltimore Ravens- Breshad Perriman (knee) said he has “no doubt” he will be ready for Week 2. ( Breshad Perriman caught 2-of-5 targets for 32 yards in the Ravens’ Week 2 win over the Browns._

Buffalo Bills- WR Sammy Watkins played in Week 2, but his foot injury is undeniably effecting his game

Carolina Panthers-

Chicago Bears- With his sprained thumb, CHI QB Jay Cutler expected to miss 2-3 weeks, source said. Timeline depends on how he heals over the next 3 days

• Bears OLB Lamarr Houston has been diagnosed with a torn left ACL, and is done for the season.

Cincinnati Bengals- TE Tyler Eifert (ankle) is out and will be until at least Week 4

Cleveland Browns- QB Josh McCown’s shoulder injury is believed to be serious. CLEV QB Josh McCown apparently suffered a broken left collarbone in Week 2. ( an injury that is likely to have him out  two months. Tony Romo missed nine weeks with a similar injury last season)

Dallas Cowboys-

Denver Broncos- DEN LB DeMarcus Ware suffered an ulnar fracture Sunday  in the Broncos’ Week 2 win over the Colts and is expected to miss 3-6 weeks

• Broncos TE Virgil Green will have an MRI on his injured right calf

Detroit Lions- DET RB Ameer Abdullah’s injured foot came back negative, but Abdullah likely will miss some time. RBs Theo Riddick and rookie Dwayne Washington should carry the load

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans-

Indianapolis Colts-  IND WR Donte Moncrief will have an MRI on his shoulder Monday. If serious, WR Phillip Dorsett would become a must-start option

•IND DEF without three starting DBs Week 3-

Jacksonville Jaguars– ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports RB Chris Ivory (illness) remains hospitalized.

KC Chiefs-

LA Rams-

Miami Dolphins-

Minnesota Vikings- Adrian Peterson’s knee will likely force him now to miss the rest of the season. Waiver RB McKinnon and Asiata

New England Pats- NE QB J Garropolo left Week 2 with a shoulder injury

New Orlean Saints

New York Giants- RB Rashad Jennings’ left wrist and thumb were “heavily wrapped” as he left the locker room after Week 2’s game

New York Jets- WR Brandon Marshall (knee) was not seen at the start of practice on Monday, following getting banged up Sunday Week 2

Oakland Raiders- 

Philadelphia Eagles- TE  Zach Ertz is week-to-week with a rib injury. ( Update: Zach Ertz (ribs) has been ruled out for Week 3 against the Steelers.)

• Eagles CB Leodis McKelvin exited the Eagles’ Week 1 win over the Browns with a hamstring strain. He’s week-to-week

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Diego Chargers– SD TE Antonio Gates (hamstring) didn’t practice Wednesday. Probably not a good idea to start Gates Week 3

•SD RB Danny Woodhead exited the Chargers’ Week 2 game against the Jaguars with a knee injury. Woodhead undergoes an MRI on Monday

• Chargers WR Keenan Allen was lost for the season Week 1

San Francisco 49er

Seattle Seahawks-  WR Tyler Lockett suffered a sprained knee Week 2 against the Rams. Lockett sat out most of the second half in Week 2

•SEA RB Thomas Rawls suffered a leg bruise in the Week 2  loss to the Rams. Should play Week 3

• With RB Thomas Rawls still recovering from an injury, the Seahawks featured a committee approach

• QB Russell Wilson said he “hopes” his injured ankle “will feel amazing” when he plays the 49ers in Week 3

• The MRI on Doug Baldwin’s knee came back negative. Baldwin may be limited in practice…he’s day to day

Tampa Bay Bucs- TB RB Doug Martin said he suffered a “slight tweak” to his hamstring in the Week 2 loss to the Cardinals. Martin left Martin left and never returned. RB Charles Sims should be owned in all leagues- expected to miss 2-3 weeks

Tennessee Titans

Washington-

 

The Cursed Heisman Trophy


The Cursed Heisman Trophy
by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator & Believer in Curses Doug Bowles

It’s summer, but we had to get past a football-less spring, which can be a depressing time for fantasy leaguers. It meant that the NFL regular season was over, and even staring at a couple new fantasy football trophies on the mantle doesn’t help.
 April did give us some melancholy relief by giving us the 2015 NFL Draft, and in it, two Heisman trophy winners were on top of draft boards… Florida State QB Jameis Winston (2013) & Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (2014). QB Winston went to Tampa Bay as the #1 overall, and QB Mariota #2 to Tennessee, as the #2 overall, as expected.

You wouldn’t know it from the their stat lines in the 2015 Rose Bowl, but neither QB was particularly impressive, and neither gave me a very good feeling about their success in the NFL, at least as rookies.

Winston has potential, but I see more of a cross of QB Josh Freeman and QB Vince Young, and they weren’t great. QB Vince Young ( who ironically, was selected by Tennessee in 2006) and Winston are both 6’5″ ish, 230 pounds, not particularly fast, and have cannons for an arm. What would be perfect for this article, is if Young had also won the Heisman Trophy. He did not. In 2005, he came in 2nd to RB Reggie Bush. Although Vince Young’s 5 year NFL career wasn’t completely void of adequate performances, he didn’t come close to being worthy of the 3rd overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, and certainly was not a franchise quarterback.

Mariota has plenty of potential, but his mechanics are bad and he would be well served to hold a clipboard for a year, and learn. He throws nearly every pass off his back foot, and in the Rose Bowl I mentioned, there were really only two passes that had any “wow factor”. The first was a “dart of a pass” 15 yards down field to WR Darren Carrington that turned into a 56 TD. ( It was set up nicely from a previous play ) The second was a perfect 30 yard “touch pass” also to a streaking WR Darren Carrington, that also turned into a TD. Other than those two passes, the rest were boring screen passes, bubble passes and quick slants. QB Mariota wasn’t the story of this game, the 5 Florida State turnovers in the 2nd half was. QB Mariota might have been great, but he didn’t have to be.

I don’t know what it is about the Heisman, but like the Madden Cover, the success rate of anyone getting the Heisman Award is not good. Here’s 15 years worth….

2000-QB Chris Weinke
…..In 2001, he was the starter when the Panthers finished with a 1-15 record. Back up QB the rest of his career. Out in 2007

2001- QB Eric Crouch…..Drafted by St. Louis, but seen by the NFL as too short to play QB and better suited for playing wide out. Because of the injury, Crouch left the team before playing a single game

2002- QB Carson Palmer…..successful as the starting QB in Cincinnati and Arizona, but injuries have limited what Palmer might have been able to accomplish

2003- QB Jason White…..Despite a strong college career, White was not selected in the 2005 NFL Draft and did not receive a tryout from any NFL team

2004- QB Matt Leinart…..famous for his rookie season “hold-out”, Leinart spent four seasons with the Cardinals, primarily as backup for Kurt Warner

2005- ( RB Reggie Bush- Trophy & Award Forfeited )

2006- QB Troy Smith…..In the NFL from 2007 to 2009. Smith wasn’t drafted until Day 2, and was finally selected at the end of the fifth round by the Baltimore Ravens.

2007-
QB T Tebow….A ridiculous 1st round selection by Denver, and began the 2011 season as the Denver backup QB, behind Kyle Orton. Traded to the Jets in 2012 and a short stint with the Patriots, he was out of the NFL by 2013.

2008- QB Sam Bradford…..Drafted in 2010 by St. Louis. Expectations have been high for often-injured Bradford. In 2011, he went 4-0 in the preseason, but the Rams finished a dismal 2-14

2009- RB Mark Ingram….. Selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 2011 NFL Draft. Ingram’s best season so far is 2014. In prior seasons, Ingram never topped 602 yards or 5 TDs.

2010- QB Cam Newton…..most successful of Heisman trophy winners since 2000. Starter for the Carolina Panthers since 2011. 82 TDs vs 54 INTs

2011- QB Robert Griffin III…..has only 12 wins since starting in 2012

2012-
QB J Manziel…..1st NFL start for the Browns’ Week 15 game vs Cincinnati. He completed 10-of-18 passes for 80 yards and 2 INTs for a 27.3 passer rating. The Browns lost 30-0.

2013- QB Jameis Winston

2014-
QB Marcus Mariota

The end of any regular NFL season is pretty darn depressing, but perhaps not as depressing as this pitiful list. I’ll be happy when one Heisman trophy winner actually comes along and really makes a lasting mark in the NFL. Perhaps one or both of these two young men will and prove me wrong. I hope so.

Can You Lick the Wonderlic

 

Can You Lick the Wonderlic by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

April showers bring May flowers…excitement for the upcoming NFL Draft…and Wonderlic Tests. Whether you think these tests are a valid benchmark for a player’s intelligence or not, they are interesting. The test is used to measure players’ aptitude for learning and problem solving. The possible score range is 1 to 50. The average football player scores around 20 points and scoring at least 10 points suggests a person is literate.
Jameis Winston and Marcus Marita, the two top QB prospects in this year’s draft recently completed the test, and recorded the scores of 27 & 33 respectively. Here is a sampling of some there notable QB Wonderlic scores:

Pat McInally – 50
Ryan Fitzpatrick – 48
Colin Kaepernick – 37
Tony Romo – 37
Aaron Rodgers – 35
RG3 – 24
Jeff George – 10
Vince Young – 6

Now it’s your turn to see how you’d stack up. The following link is a shortened version of the test, but a good sampling of the questions found here- the Wonderlic Exam.

You’ll have 3 minutes and 36 seconds to answer 15 questions.

…and if you are feeling really ambitious, here is a link to the long version, which gives you 12 minutes to answer 50 questions- the long Wonderlic Exam.
…and if you are feeling really proud of your score, please share with us!

The Trent Richardson Bust

The Trent Richardson Bust By Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

No, I don’t think Trent is going to Canton. It’s called “Illustrated Sarcasm”.

A 1st Round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2012, the 3rd overall pick to be exact. The Brown’s brilliantly selected Brandon Weeden with their next valuable ( and wasted) pick also in Round One. I’ll actually admit to drafting him early that fantasy season, when he went to Cleveland. Backs from Alabama usually do well in the NFL, so I wasn’t alone in that fantasy fiasco.

Well, we know how it turned out in Cleveland, or rather, how it didn’t, and for some reason Richardson stayed employed with a trade to Indianapolis. The Colts gave up their 2014 1st Round draft pick to get Richardson.

Well, we know how it turned out in Indianapolis, or rather, how it didn’t, and for some reason Richardson stayed employed when on March 17, 2015, Richardson signed a two-year, $3.9 million contract with the Oakland Raiders.

Well, if you haven’t heard how it that out in Oakland, or rather, how it didn’t, the Raiders placed RB Trent Richardson on the active/NFI list. No explanation has been given yet, but we should get details soon. It seems likely Richardson failed to pass his conditioning test.

Well, what do you want to bet that some team picks him up this month? This guy is like a cat with 9 lives, and I do not understand what Cleveland saw, ( at least not for a 1st round- 3rd overall pick), I do not see what Indianapolis saw, I do not see what Oakland saw, but I do know what I saw- a career 3.3 rushing average and 17 rushing TDs in 4 years!

 

Shuffle Up and Draft

Shuffle Up and Draft by Utter-Fantasy Writer and Illustrator Doug “the Vet” Bowles

On May 8th, 2014, New York City will again host the NFL Draft where all teams will buy in and come to the table ready (and hoping) to hit the jackpot as they select their favorite NFL prospects.

* For the record, I want to say that a couple thousand hands ago, I was a cub scout, and later a boy scout. In college I was a beaver scout, and in 1994 I saw a movie called The Scout (which was like someone calling my queen high, crap hand fluff…it sucked) I am NOT an NFL scout nor do I do consider myself an NFL scout. Not “sort of” an NFL scout, not remotely an NFL scout. Not an NFL scout! All I am is a professional football enthusiast, who has an opinion, no more valid than your own.

That being said, as far as fantasy football goes, I have to say I am folding on this 2014 class of QBs coming out of college….but…I am “All In” on this 2014 class of wide receivers.

(Perhaps a team will catch a card on the river with one of the 2014 QB prospects, but I think you’re probably drawing dead. If I am on the big blind and have to play, I think the best starting hand is with Derek Carr. He’s fourth on most scout’s lists, but I like him at the top, with Blake Bortles. Carr is a decent 6-2 and 215 pounds, he has great accuracy and do not under-estimate the advantage he has being mentored by his older brother David Carr. With some of the others, I don’t like the accuracy problems, and I am just not a believer in small, scrambling QBs who come with a circus. Names like B Weeden, B Gabbert, B Quinn, J Russell, M Leinart and V Young remind GMs and head coaches that it’s already risky to gamble your first round pick on a QB in any year, because the odds of them panning out, is the same as a red or black card coming up…..50-50.)

This group of wide receivers on the other hand, are the real deal.…
Clemson’s Sammy Watkins is another NFL ready WR like Julio Jones and A J Green were, and I am “All In ” on this guy pre-flop. He’s 6-1, 200 pounds, very fast and here’s the kicker, he’s smart. (I know the Detroit Lions have made some bad sucker bets in the past on first round wide receivers…i.e. Charles Rogers 2003, Roy Williams 2004, and Mike Williams 2005…but if you are a Lions fan like I am, wouldn’t you love to see this guy opposite Calvin Johnson!)

The other wide receivers I’m betting heavy on are…( and you should as well )

Texas A & M Mike Evans (Height 6-5 Weight 225 and Project 40 time 4.55)
Florida State Kelvin Benjamin (Height 6-5 Weight 234 and Project 40 time 4.55)
LSU Odell Beckham (Height 6-0 Weight 225 and Project 40 time 4.40)
USC Marquise Lee (Height 6-0 Weight 190 and Project 40 time 4.40)
Vanderbilt Jordan Matthews (Height 6-3 Weight 212 and Project 40 time 4.46)

As for the RBs in this year’s draft, I would have no problem check-raising with…

Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde (Height 5-11 Weight 230 and Project 40 time 4.66)
LSU Jeremy Hill (Height 6-0 Weight 233 and Project 40 time 4.66)
They are big, fast and would help a weak hand like Oakland or Tennessee right away.

Houston has the first pick this year, and trading away Matt Schaub may be a “tell” that Houston is looking at the draft for a franchise QB, and that Oakland isn’t!

Update 4/22/2014:

Earlier we wrote, “That being said, as far as fantasy football goes, I have to say I am folding on this 2014 class of QBs coming out of college”…but I am “All In” on this 2014 class of wide receivers. In the past few weeks, the 2014 class of QBs are spiraling out of the 1st round even, proving that:

1) No team is likely willing to risk an early 1st round pick on any of them.
2) That teams are taking a lesson from Seattle, who took Russell Wilson in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft and won a Super Bowl with him. They are willing to wait.

I hereby, and happily, remove any and all QBs from my top 10. Bump up Mack, and after that, it’s just quality picks, and there are good ones in the first round.

Utter-Fantasy Buffalo Wing Recipe

Utter-Fantasy Buffalo Wing Recipe by Utter-Fantasy writer & illustrator & chef Doug Bowles

Ingredients
Chicken wings (usually one pound per person)
Franks RedHot Original Hot Sauce-Lg 23 oz bottle
Chili Powder
Butter Salt Seasoning
Pepper
Celery AND carrots
Marie’s Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing
Directions for Wings
(Do not skip any of these steps, for the best wings you’ve ever had.)
I use a Fry Daddy. Fill to mark inside with vegetable oil and let it get hot.
Cut wings at joints (Wing tips can be saved for making stock.)
Don’t over-crowd the Cooker. A medium-sized Fry Daddy should cook about 10 wing pieces at a time.
They will turn golden brown and float when cooked.
Remove from fryer and pat dry with paper towels.
Put cooked wings in Refrigerator, as you go. (You want them cool when coating with hot sauce.)
Continue frying until all wings are cooked.
Let ALL wings cool in Refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. (This let’s the wing grab the sauce, instead of melting it off, which it does when hot.)
Directions for Sauce
•    While wings are cooling, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
•    Put entire bottle of Franks RedHot Original Hot Sauce in a medium mixing bowl.
•    Add 1 tablespoon Chili Powder.
•    Add 1 tablespoon Butter Salt Seasoning.
•    Add 1 tablespoon Pepper.
•    Wisk together.
Putting it all Together
Take cooled wing pieces, dunk into sauce and place on cookie sheets (More than one cookie sheet may be required.)
Do not let the wings touch each other. Keep them an inch apart on pan if possible.
When all wings are coated and placed on cookie sheets, place in preheated oven.
Bake for 35-45 minutes. The wings should be caramelized and dry, as well as the excess sauce on bottom of pans. – (dry)
You may need to rotate pans on oven racks half way thru, to bake all wings evenly.
Remove from oven, scoop hot with spatula, dunk in Marie’s Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing and ENJOY!