1st and 10 Week 18

1st and 10 Week 18 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

Week 18-  July 18th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 18 Special Guest Writer- GuestFFL.com’s Matt Dougherty

Special thanks to Matt and be sure to follow him @FFLSFantasy and  @QuestFFL

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) Here is a Dynasty Quarterback Ranking that I got off of a popular  fantasy football website. Please comment on what you do and don’t agree with, regarding to the QBs on this list and where each is ranked.

1. IND Andrew Luck
2. GB Aaron Rodgers
3. CAR Cam Newton
4. SEA Russell Wilson
5. OAK Derek Carr
6. TB Jameis Winston
7. JACK Blake Bortles
8. TENN Marcus Mariota
9. DET Matthew Stafford
10. SD Philip Rivers

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: The top 3 QB’s are interchangeable and I would not fault anyone for taking any one of them as the first QB off the board, but Newton would be my #1 QB.  45 total TD’s in 2015 and that was with Ted Ginn and Jericho Cotchery as his top weapons.  Now he has a healthy Kelvin Benjamin, a developing Devin Funchess and a chip on his shoulder after his Super Bowl performance and post game meltdown.

Luck would come in as a close second and is a major buy low candidate after an abysmal 2015 season.  Expect a big bounce back season in 2015 and I love the young weapons he has around him with Hilton, Moncrief and Dorsett.

Rodgers is Mr. Consistent and you can always pencil him for over 30 TD’s and has Jordy Nelson coming back from injury.  At 32 years old, I would take Newton and Luck over Rodgers.  

I don’t have any issues 4-8 as all 5 QB’s will be great #1 options for the next 10 years.  Although Carr scares me a bit after his 2nd half performance in 2015 and would feel better taking a couple of the guys like Mariota, Bortles and Winston over Carr. In the final 5 games in 2015, Carr had a QB rating of 71.1 with a 8 TD’s and 7 INT’s.  

I expect a huge season from Rivers.  Travis Benjamin is a great addition and will put up some good numbers in that offense.  With Keenan Allen returning from injury and Antonio Gates back for another season, Rivers will easily surpass 30 TD’s and is a reliable #1 QB.  At 34, his age keeps him down in the rankings.  

I have a huge problem with Stafford in the top 10. Post Megatron, there is no way I trust him as my #1 fantasy QB. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones do not inspire much confidence.  I would take guys like Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, and even the oldies but goodies Drew Brees and Tom Brady, even with the suspension  over Stafford.  

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) Is Chip Kelly’s 1st year as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers doomed, if he is counting on either Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick to be his starting quarterback in 2016?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: Yes! I don’t expect either of them to be a long-term solution in SF and expect a musical chairs at QB this season.  In a tough NFC west, this should be a rebuilding season and a top 5 draft pick in 2017, where Kelly can grab his QB of the future.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) In 2015 San Francisco, Minnesota and St. Louis were last in the NFL in passing -respectively. Can you make a case for 1 or more of these improving enough to stay out of the bottom 3 again in 2016?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: Minnesota will make a big move up those rankings. QB Teddy Bridgewater should continue to progress as a passer and I expect the coaching staff to open up the playbook for him this season.  I also love the weapons Minnesota is putting  around him.  Teams will continue to stack the box with AP still a stud and the addition of Treadwell, who will contribute immediately, will help the passing game.  Diggs and Rudolph should continue to improve as well.

As stated above, I see no hope in SF this year.  Kelly will run Hyde into the ground as there are virtually playmakers on the offensive side.  The same goes for the Rams, with a likely rookie starting QB.  It will be the Todd Gurley show.  Jared Goff is someone to stash on your roster in dynasty leagues, however.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  Preseason football is just a couple weeks away. What do you think is important for fantasy football owners to pay attention to, in the 4 preseason games?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: I try not to pay too much attention to pre-season numbers, especially when it comes to established players that you will be relying on as starters during the season.  Players will be rested and coaches will keep play calling close to the vest.  Pay attention to what kind of reps backups and rookies are getting in pre-season games, as this is a good indicator of where they may end up on the depth charts.

(Utter-Fantasy: I like to see the 1st string O-Lines)

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) In 2015, TENN TE Delanie Walker had a league leading 94 receptions, while none of the other Titan receivers even topped 36 receptions ( H Douglas/ K Wright both had 36). WR Dorial Green-Beckham only had 32 catches in 2015. In his 2nd year, will QB Marcus Mariota be more successful in spreading the ball around to his offensive weapons? Also, what kind of receiving stats do you see TE D Walker, WR DGB, WR K Wright and Rishard Matthews ending the 2016 season with?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: Mariota will continue to develop as a passer and his passing stats should reflect this.  The addition of Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray will help open up the passing game for Tennessee and Mariota.  While I expect Walker to once again put up top 10 TE numbers, 94 catches will be tough to match with the weapons Tennessee has added and the development of WR’s like DGB.  DGB showed glimpses of the star that many think he will be the last half of 2015 with two 100 yard games out of the last 6.  1000 yards is not of the question for DGB.  Matthews and Wright could be a decent flex option in PPR leagues but their production will be inconsistent and their ceilings will be limited with the number of weapons Tennessee has.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Do you think a player like TB WR Mike Evans can dramatically improve his receiving abilities and concentration ( most drops in 2015 by a wide out), in only one off-season?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: I do and I expect Evans to have a huge year.  At only 22, and going into the magical 3rd year for a WR, I expect a big leap and Evans should not have a problem getting rid of the dropsies. With Winston continuing to develop and the Bucs also improving, I expect double digit TD’s and over 80 catches.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) An NFL team may often have a terrible losing record, but still provide great players for fantasy football owners. The New Orleans Saints ( 7-9 in 2015) are a good example. Of the 14 defensive players selected in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL draft, who are you expecting to help fantasy football owners the most in leagues that score individual defensive players?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: If you are looking for immediate production, Joey Bosa of the Chargers should rack up the tackle total.  For long-term production, Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack are the players to own if you are willing to be patient and have the roster room available to wait for them to recover from significant injuries.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) I have written that I thought Robert Griffin III could resurrect his career in 2016, if given the starting job in the preseason. However, looking at the upcoming NFL schedule, the Browns have 5 of their first 7 games on the road, and the 2 home games are against Baltimore and New England. A rough start will likely crush RG3’s fragile confidence, so I am back tracking on my earlier prediction. Good idea, based on the schedule?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: To go along with a fragile confidence, RG3 also has a very fragile body and I would be shocked if he makes it out of the first half alive. I would avoid him at all costs, especially with the price tag still a bit inflated with owners hoping he can replicate his rookie year performance.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) I recently published an article entitled “10 Players Getting No Respect” and on that list was JACK QB Blake Bortles. A few of my readers, who’s comments I very much welcome, disagreed with Bortles being on the list. They feel like he is already getting all the respect that he deserves in rankings and mock drafts. Which side of this subject are you leaning and why?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty:  I need to see another year of production from Bortles before I can give him the proper respect that a QB coming off a 35 TD season deserves.  With Jacksonville playing from behind so much in 2015, his TD stats are a bit inflated and I expect those totals to regress some in 2016.  With Jacksonville loaded with young offensive talent in Robinson, Hurns and Thomas, Bortles is set up for long-term successes.  I just need to see one more season before I am completely sold.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) As the commissioner of over 300 fantasy football leagues, many of which are “dynasty leagues”, what advice would give 1st year fantasy football owners starting in this type of formatted league?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: Study up!  Dynasty is a different animal than redraft leagues.  Review expert dynasty rankings, ADP and look at prior drafts on the site you are joining. Also, make sure you review the league scoring thoroughly before drafting.  PPR vs. non-PPR leagues are completely different drafting strategy.

 

Next Week’s Guest….IPA’s Arthur Richardson

 

1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

 

10 Players Getting No Respect

10 Players Getting No Respect by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

In less than a month, NFL fans will finally get to see some action when the 2016 preseason kicks off on Sunday, Aug. 7, in Canton, Ohio…the Green Bay Packers face the Indianapolis Colts in the Hall of Fame Game. Fantasy football fanatics are getting excited, and mock drafts and rankings are as abundant as campaign yard signs. Many people, including myself, have already participated in actually drafts, and are looking forward to more. With completed drafts, mock drafts and rankings, one can already get an idea who is expected to do well this upcoming season, and who is not.

This article showcases 10 NFL players that are currently getting little RESPECT from the NFL and fantasy community. They may end up being strong ‘sleepers” in 2016, so perhaps fantasy football owners should revisit their preconceived opinions on these players.

#1- WR Anquan Boldin– “Oo Baby…What you want”…if not this sure-handed receiver on your team, especially if you have young wide outs who need mentoring. Why this guy is still a free agent is a mystery to me. Like his former teammate WR Larry Fitzgerald, Boldin is the consummate professional. In 2014, Boldin was the #23 wide receiver in the NFL, and in 2015, he was #43. His stats for 2015 were better than MINN Stefon Diggs, PHIL Rishad Matthews, NE Danny Amendola and WASH DeSean Jackson (who all currently have jobs).

#2- WR Doug Baldwin– From Week 10 of 2015, to the end of the season, the only thing WR Doug Baldwin did was catch 60 passes for 848 yards and 13 touchdowns. He ended 2015 as the #7 among all NFL wide outs, but is currently having 24 wide receivers drafted before him. Nothing has changed in Seattle! TE Jimmy Graham is a shell of his early self, WR Tyler Lockett is emerging, but QB Russell Wilson trusts Baldwin.

#3- QB Blake Bortles– This Jacksonville leader quietly was the #3 quarterback for the 2015 NFL season, with 4428 passing yards, 310 rushing yards and 37 total touchdowns. You’d never know it, however, by the way the mock drafts are going. 10 quarterbacks are being selected before Bortles and in many standard league drafts Bortles can be stolen as late as Round 10.

#4- RB Chris Ivory– In the 2015 NFL Draft the Jaguars selected Alabama’s TJ Yeldon with their 2nd round pick. He was to be their workhorse and every down back for the future. The signing of RB Chris Ivory on March 10, 2016 to a three-year deal should give you a clue how they feel about Yeldon today. RB Chris Ivory is tough runner in the same mold as a Frank Gore, who wants the ball and wants to pound it for 4 quarters. In 2015 Ivory rushed for over 1000 yards as a Jet, and recorded 8 TDs. He is a massive upgrade over Yeldon, and his current RB ADP #26 is too low.

#5- WR Eric Decker– Even though the quarterback situation is currently unresolved, one has to assume that QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to come to his senses, and sign with the team. It’s the only time in Fitz’s career that he’s ever had any success for crying out loud. When he does, Decker should be drafted with confidence in the top 15 wide outs for 2016, rather than #30 where his ADP is today. In 2015, Decker was the #11 wide receiver in the NFL with 1027 receiving yards and 12 touchdown receptions. (If Fitz never signs, drafting Decker at #30 may be actually too high)

#6- RB Rashad Jennings– When the Raiders decided to let Jennings go after the 2013 NFL season, I was excited for him to get a starting job with the Giants. On March 12, 2014, Jennings signed a four-year, $14 million contract with New York. But Tom Coughlin was the head coach, and it wasn’t until Week 14 that the numbskull Coughlin, let RB Jennings have more than 13 carries in one game. The Giants won that game 31-24 in Miami. Ben McAdoo is the new head coach, so it remains to be seen if Jennings can get enough carries consistently to be a running back fantasy owners can rely on, but the potential is definitely there.

#7- WR Kamar Aiken– If WR Breshad Perriman did not get injured (again), I wouldn’t be writing this, but Perriman did, so I am. If you believe that WR Mike Wallace still has plenty left in the gas tank, then you and I will have to agree to disagree. So for me, that leaves Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken as the primary receivers in Baltimore. (Wallace will get some targets, just not a lot) Smith will wear down even quicker than he did last year, and has a bye in Week 8. Expect Aiken’s numbers to be good for the 1st 7 weeks, and take off after that.

#8- RB James Starks– Guess who had more total yards in 2015 than RB’s DeMarco Murray, Jeremy Hill, Eddie Lacy and CJ Anderson? Since his name is in bold type, and right before the question, so please tell me that everyone got this right! In a back up role mind you, RB James Starks was the #23 running back for 2015, and he may be the best suited running back for the Packer offense. I am not saying draft Starks before Lacy, but he may be the #1 RB handcuff to have in fantasy football, and should be drafted before the 51st RB off the boards, where he is currently going.

#9- QB Brock Osweiler– It is not uncommon to see a back up quarterback, who is suddenly thrusted into the starting job late in the season, to fall flat on his face. It’s almost expected. He hasn’t worked with the 1st team all year afterall, and is facing NFL defenses in real games for the first time. But QB Brock Osweiler did not fall on his face. Of the 7 games that he started in the final games of the 2015 season, the Broncos won 5, and Osweiler was a big reason why. Fantasy football owners are sleeping on this guy, and with his weapons in Houston, he is a steal in the later rounds.

#10- Tim Hightower– RB Mark Ingram was drafted by the Saints in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft, and 2012 was the only year that he was able to play in all 16 games of a regular season. In 2013, Ingram only played in 11 games, in 2014 only 13, and in 2015 only 12 games. Last year when Ingram was out (again) with injuries, RB Tim Hightower stepped in and started the final 4 games. In that short span, Hightower racked up 456 total yards and 4 touchdowns. Hightower spent nearly four years out of the league before returning in strong fashion last year, and showed fresh legs and an eagerness to play football. Must add for Ingram owners.

(NOTE: CLEV RB Isaiah Crowell was #10, before his ill-advised instagram post. We’ll see how that one ends up playing out.)

Maybe I’ll be singing a different tune by Week 6 on some of these players, but this is what I think right now. If you disagree, “Break It to Me Gently”  (another great Aretha Franklin tune)…or not gently, I can take it!

 

1st and 10 Week 17

1st and 10 Week 17 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, 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 football implications.

On Monday afternoon, approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment in “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

Week 17-  July 11th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 17 Special Guest Writer- Jennifer Smith- senior writer for TheFantasyAuthority

Special thanks to Jennifer Smith and be sure to follow her on Twitter @FF_female920

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) The running back can be a hit-or-miss position. Of the 11 RBs selected early last year in fantasy football drafts, only one delivered on what people were hoping for, that would be Adrian Peterson. The disappointing group included Marshawn Lynch, Eddie Lacy, Arian Foster, Melvin Gordon and Jamaal Charles. I believe, however, that the current top 10 RBs are safer picks in 2016, than the top 10 RBs were last year? Do you agree Jennifer?

Jennifer Smith TFA: Well, injuries were the main factor last year with many you mentioned and those concerns are still present in this year’s top 10 RBs (as they always will be due to the ground and pound of being a workhorse); however, I’m confident in those at the top compared with last season. Age and durability have been the main topics coming up, but also small sample size/experience (e.g. Elliot, D Johnson). The main things I look for in my RB1 are 1) opportunity/volume 2) consistency 3) injury/durability concerns. If you spend an early round pick on these guys, you want a return and a big one at that. Both Charles and Bell are coming off knee injuries, but their rehab seems to be going well and I have no concerns about their volume or consistency when healthy. Doug Martin and Mark Ingram are integral pieces in their offenses (and consistent), and Lacy dropped weight and seems primed for a bounce back. I am high on Lamar Miller’s talent on a run heavy Texans team (he’s my #5 RB) and David Johnson will have to prove that his performance at the end of the season was legit. His coaching staff seems confident that Chris Johnson and Ellington will be complements and D Johnson will get lion’s share of the carries.

Devonta Freeman and Ezekiel Elliot are probably the backs I have more concern about, only because we haven’t seen Elliot at a professional level and there is always adjustment there, even though he is clearly very talented and well-rounded. Will he actually get 280-300 carries as is speculated? I’m thinking it will be less than that, but plenty to make a fantasy impact. Freeman’s efficiency started to wane over the second half of last season and with Tevin Coleman healthy, he will see less touches (265 carries last season, 73 receptions). The volume will be there and he showed he can be the bell-cow, but his performance over first half of last season (4.5 YPC; 9 TDs in 6 games) may be inflating fantasy owner’s expectations for 2016. He actually fell out of my top 10 (#11).

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) We all know that WR Antonio Brown will likely have another stellar season in 2016, but the other offensive players are harder to predict. Please write a brief sentence on the following Pittsburgh players with regard to their likely success with QB Roethlisberger and overall impact in fantasy football for standard formatted leagues. WR Markus Wheaton-WR Sammy Coates-WR Darrius Heyward-Bey-TE Ladarius Green

Jennifer Smith TFA:

WR Markus Wheaton- He will come out of the gate at the WR2 position and was tied with Heath Miller last season for the 2nd most red zone targets (third overall targets). He was pretty unimpressive in beginning of season, but had 4 TDs in last 6 games and seemed to develop chemistry with Big Ben. If he doesn’t step up initially with M. Bryant out, he’ll open the door for Coates. With a late 8th round ADP currently, you could snag a WR2 for a WR3 price (which is where I expect him to land for most of fantasy season), but I would rather have guys like Marvin Jones, Crabtree, or Travis Benjamin at a similar price.

WR Sammy Coates- They’ll involve Coates in 3 wide sets and give him an opportunity to show what he can do after having a “tremendous” off-season. He has the most to gain from M Bryant’s absence, but won’t hit his numbers in 2016. Coates is a great late round flyer in redraft and best-ball/MFL10 leagues due to his upside and opportunity.

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey- I don’t see him as fantasy relevant, as he is lowest on the totem pole out of all these listed. He had an increased role at the beginning of last season, but then was much less involved once Bryant returned.

TE Ladarius Green –He has the most upside for me, due to Ben’s extensive use of TEs in the past; however, this was with veteran Heath Miller who he developed chemistry with over 11 seasons. Green has been in Antonio Gate’s shadow in San Diego and definitely has the athleticism and size to dominate in the position. In the 3 games Gates was out in beginning of last season, Green averaged 4.6 rec, 58 yards, 12.5 yard average, and scored in 2 out of 3 games. I have him ranked as the #8 TE for 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) Most fantasy football prognosticators have a certain player(s) that they are higher on for the upcoming season than others might have them. I have DAL RB Zeke Elliott and SD WR Travis Benjamin higher than most. Who have you seen recently ranked perhaps too high, that you have reservations about?

Jennifer Smith TFA: Latavius Murray, Dion Lewis, and Devante Parker are the ones that I’ve seen creep up ranks this summer, perhaps too much. Murray’s YPC last season was unimpressive, but he was able to end the year as the #10 fantasy RB. The story this end result doesn’t show you is the weekly inconsistency and rollercoaster of production that he gave owners last season. He is currently ranked around #17-18 RB off the board and last season, he only bested this ranking in 6 games. The rest, he ranked #23 at best and #57 at worst. He’s ranked near guys like Forte, Anderson, Hyde, and D Murray (and above Gore, Gordon, Langford) and ADP in late 3rd round. This price is just too high for me given the issues mentioned and the addition of D Washington behind him (will probably steal mostly receiving touches, at least initially). I would rather have someone with more consistency for my RB2.

My concerns with Lewis are purely about durability. He has NEVER played a full season and is on the ever-mysterious NE Patriots which many downplay, but is a serious obstacle and frustration of many fantasy owners during season. I don’t question his talent one bit, but coming off another injury (ACL), I think drafting him at around #23 RB (near in ranking to J Hill, Stewart, Gore, D Murray, Landford, and Gordon) is too steep for me. My RB2 needs to be consistent and stable, and I just wouldn’t reach that high for someone with such high risk. FYI, I had the same mindset about Arian Foster last year and told others that even his lower ADP was too pricey. There’s a chance things turn out well for owners, but a higher likelihood of disappointment. Good best ball pick or RB3, but most likely someone is going to reach for him in your league. It won’t be me.

Devante Parker is a guy with upside and his performance at the end of last season after Rishad Matthews’ injury gave him the opportunity was impressive. I won’t argue the upside, as everyone saw how explosive he CAN be when he’s healthy and his fundamentals are sound. However, my concern is his ADP (6.10) and that he is flying off the board before guys like John Brown, Allen Hurns, Donte Moncrief, and Tyler Lockett. We have a limited sample of Parker and he has a nagging foot injury that he’s struggled with since college (missed time last season as well). There’s just not enough to justify a his increased ranking, in my eyes.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  In a follow up question, what player have you currently ranked higher than others, because you see them having a better 2016 NFL season than is expected?

Jennifer Smith TFA: I swear, I had him before he was mentioned in the last question but Travis Benjamin is a guy I really like this season. The Chargers offense will be improved this year with the return of Keenan Allen and better play by Melvin Gordon. Rivers ended 2015 as the #1 QB in completions (438) and pass attempts (662), so there’s plenty of targets for this deep threat player. Benjamin finished last season as the #28 fantasy WR, yet he is being ranked around #48 currently despite joining a better team and having a better QB. His ADP is in the ninth round right now, which is a steal for a WR2 across from Keenan Allen. Sign me up.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) The fantasy football draft can be one of the best parts of any fantasy season. One of my favorite “best ball’ leagues actually drafts “twice”…once prior to the beginning of the NFL season, then at Week 8 of the NFL schedule. (Each team freezes 2 players from their existing roster, all other players are thrown back into the “available pot” and we re-draft.) It is very fun, and brings a new, exciting element to the league as everyone has practically a brand new team. Have you ever participated in a mid-season re-draft league, and if not, would you ever recommend it for a future league?

Jennifer Smith TFA: I actually haven’t participated in a league with a mid-season re-draft, but I’m always game for ways to make fantasy more fun. I like the excitement of getting a “second crack” at drafting, but I would imagine as an owner that is dominating or drafted well initially, the second draft could be un-welcomed or frustrating. The owner that drafted poorly or whose team is plagued with injuries, would be ecstatic. If you sign up for one of these leagues, you know the 2nd draft is coming and most likely you enjoy something different to spice things up mid-season. Personally, I might steer clear of doing a lot of these leagues due to preparation that I do for my drafts and that this might be a lot to manage mid-season. I can definitely see the appeal, especially if you’ve been in fantasy football for a while and are getting bored with regular formats.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan has put up consistent fantasy numbers year after year, ending 2015 as the #16 overall quarterback. A few years ago he was being evaluated as a top-tier quarterback, but opinions have varied since then. Do you have faith that Matty Ice will have a productive 2016 campaign? Where would you rank him amidst QBs? How early or late should owners be looking to draft him?

Jennifer Smith TFA: Yes, I do think that Matt Ryan will have an improved season compared to 2015 and I have him ranked currently at #13 , right between Romo and Dalton. Ryan ended in the top 10 fantasy QBs in 2012-2014, but his dud last season might be steering owners away in 2016, which is a mistake. Ryan seemed to have difficulty adjusting to OC Kyle Shanahan’s system and threw 16 interceptions (2nd highest in career) and only 21 TDs (worse than any of his past 6 seasons; only season he did worse was his rookie campaign). Julio is Julio, but he can’t do everything. Roddy White clearly did help Ryan’s play in 2015, but Atlanta hopes that Sanu will contribute more. I think Sanu will be better than White and having a decent (emphasis on decent, not good) WR2 to help reduce double coverage on Julio Jones can only help the offense. Add in the successful running tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, and I think Ryan returns to form and ends the season just outside the top 10

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) Which team or teams that made the playoffs last season will suffer the biggest drop off and miss the tournament this year? Subsequently, which team could you see making the jump into relevance in 2016?

Jennifer Smith TFA: The Bengals may struggle in the AFC North division, as I think both the Steelers and the Ravens will have good 2016 seasons and, as already discussed, they have a depleted receiving corps heading into this season. As we all know as well, Dalton will have to step up his consistency in order to make the playoffs again this year. I know I might anger a bunch of fans here, but I think the Patriots might have a harder road this season to the playoffs than in many seasons past. The Jets missed playoffs by the skin of their teeth in 2015, Dolphins have some great upside, and Buffalo gets Sammy Watkins at full health and a dynamic quarterback in Tyrod Taylor.

I could see the Colts making a jump back into relevance this season with a healthy Andrew Luck. They improved their O-line and so can protect him better and I like their receiver corps of Hilton, Moncrief, and D Allen. Their run game is a little concerning, as if Gore goes down, there isn’t a lot of depth behind him. I could also see Cowboys having a big jump after a horrible 2015 season. They’ll need a healthy 16 games from Romo and Bryant, and for Elliot to hit the ground running (literally), but I could see them having a strong season. Their receiving corps isn’t very strong behind Bryant, however, so that’s something to keep in mind.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Of the following NFL players who had significant injuries in 2015, who concerns you the most for the upcoming season? RB LeVeon Bell… RB Jamaal Charles… TE Jimmy Graham… WR Jordy Nelson… WR Kevin White… WR Keenan Allen

Jennifer Smith TFA: I know many might say Kevin White (and I’m concerned somewhat, but more of his rookie performance and not injury), but I’m more concerned with Jimmy Graham. The reports out of Seattle about his recovery timeline have been mixed, some saying he will be ready Week 1 and others that he will start the season on the PUP/reserve list (costing him first 6 games of the season, a huge fantasy impact). As if this wasn’t enough, Graham was severely underutilized last season in Seattle after dominating in New Orleans. He had difficulty converting the few red zone targets he received (30% completion rate) and then tore his patellar tendon in week 12. This is considered one of the most serious injuries a player can face and his ability to bounce back is severely in question (see Victor Cruz). He concerns me most, followed by White.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Denver’s WR Demaryius Thomas had 14 TDs in 2013, 11 TDs in 2014 and only 6 TDs in 2015. Does his downward TD spiral continue in 2016, and what do you predict for his overall stats at the end of the upcoming season?

Jennifer Smith TFA: I think Thomas bounces back in 2016 and I anticipate a 10-12 TDs, 110 receptions for around 1375-1400 yards. DT had some distractions (contract, mother’s release from prison) during the 2015 season and has admitted that these distractions took away from his performance. Add in Manning’s struggles and moves at QB, and this temporary dip in production makes some sense. Despite the uncertainty at QB for 2016, DT is by far the most targeted receiver (overall and in the red zone) in Denver, and it isn’t close. He will continue to be an anchor of the offense and looked toward to lead the team in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) The Cincinnati Bengals lost WRs Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to free agency. TE Tyler Eifert is injured again and does not expect to be ready for Week 1. The Bengals signed WR Brandon LaFell and drafted WR Tyler Boyd, but did they do enough in free agency and the 2016 NFL Draft to replace their depleted receiving corps?

Jennifer Smith TFA: It’s a strong no for me on this one. AJG can’t do it all himself and the injury to Eifert is a significant loss. Eifert represented the 3rd most targeted receiver overall and the 2nd most targeted player in the red zone. LaFell represents a fill-in and someone that could be fantasy relevant only because of volume/situation, not based on talent. Anyone that watched him last season couldn’t be overly impressed with his drops and completion percentage (50%), but the Bengals will look to him as WR2 as Boyd gets used in the slot. I was never very impressed with Sanu, so I think his loss hurts much less than Marvin Jones. He quietly had a solid 2015 season with a 65-816-4 line and was a consistent contributor across from Green, but left the Bengals to get more opportunities and leave Green’s shadow. Boyd will need to get his feet wet as a rookie and if Green gets injured, the Bengals will struggle significantly.

Next Week’s Guest….GuestFFL.com’s Matt Dougherty

1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

 

1st and 10 Week 16

1st and 10 Week 16 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, 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 football implications.

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

 

Week 16-  Happy July of 4th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 16 Special Guest Writer- RTFantasySports

Be sure to follow RTFantasySports  @RTFantasyFball

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) I recently posted my preseason standard league rankings for running backs, broken down into Tiers. Looking at my top tiers for RBs, is there anyone you would disagree with or change?

Tier One RBs
1. RB LeVeon Bell PITT
2. RB Todd Gurley LAR
3. RB David Johnson ARI
4. RB Adrian Peterson MINN
5. RB Ezekiel Elliott

Tier Two RBs
6. RB Lamar Miller HOU
7. RB Doug Martin TB
8. RB Devonta Freeman ATL
9. RB Eddie Lacy GB
10. RB Jamal Charles KC
11. RB Jeremy Hill CINN
12. RB Matt Forte CHI
13. RB Thomas Rawls SEA
14. RB Mark Ingram N.O.
15. RB CJ Anderson DEN
16. RB Latavius Murray OAK

RTFantasySports Response: I disagree with Ezekiel Elliott joining Bell, Gurley, Johnson and AP in Tier #1. For me it is tough to put a rookie who hasn’t played a single down in the NFL, in my top 5 running backs. Could he finish top 5? Absolutely, but before the season starts I will be recommending that he is the #10-12 RB taken off the boards.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) Does the loss of DE Malik Jackson and LB Danny Trevathan hurt Denver’s chances for being a top 3 defense in 2016?

RTFantasySports Response: The Broncos had the #1 defense in the NFL in 2015, (which in large part, helped Peyton get his second ring!) but Denver won’t even be top 3 defense in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) Kansas City’s offense looks almost identical to the one they had in 2015. With Denver likely to struggle in the AFC West in 2016, will the Chiefs be kicking themselves for not getting some more dynamic weapons for QB Alex Smith?

RTFantasySports Response: KC needed upgrades on offense and didn’t really make any moves that I thought they would have. Despite this, I still see them winning the AFC West division.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4) In 2015, WASH RB Matt Jones had plenty of opportunities to shine, but except for one nice Week 2 performance, he was pretty dull all season. Despite this, he is currently being ranked as the #13 or #14 RB to take in 2016. Why do fantasy football authorities and owners think Jones is suddenly going to be great?

RTFantasySports Response: I think Matt Jones ranked at 15/16 is where he should be, but I have seen him ranked as low as #25. He has upside because he is only entering his 2nd year in the NFL (Jones entered the 2015 Draft, after his junior season) and he is going to be given lots of opportunities immediately. RB Alfred Morris now plays for Dallas, leaving RB Chris Thompson as his only competition. Even then, Thompson is the favorite to operate as the Redskins’ passing-game specialist.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Kansas City, Detroit, LA Rams, Jacksonville and Seattle are projected to have the worst offensive lines for the upcoming season. Are there any players from these 5 teams that should be lowered in current rankings, because of the bad O-lines that are forecasted?

RTFantasySports Response: In my opinion, the entire Detroit offense is currently ranked too high, and I would recommend lowering all of the Lion’s skill position players. In 2015, Detroit had the worst yards per rush average in the NFL, and with the 4th worst projected O-Line for 2016, I don’t see their running game getting any better. I think HC Pete Carroll and the Seahawks will do the best with what they’ve got, over the other 4 teams on the list.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) If the Patriots have to play the first 4 games of the 2016 NFL season without QB Tom Brady, how many games can New England win with QB Garoppolo under center, and mastermind HC Bill Belichick having 3 months to plan for it?

RTFantasySports Response: I actually have the Patriots going 3-1 with Jimmy Garoppolo as their quarterback. Their first game is in Arizona, and I don’t think they have a chance of winning that game, even if HC Bill Belichick had 6 months to plan for it. Their next 3 games are home games however, with Miami, Houston and Buffalo playing in New England. Worst case for 2016, the Pats start the season 2-2, which is manageable.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) Newly acquired NYJ Matt Forte is a running back that I am higher on than most fantasy football owners. For the upcoming season, he is ranked as the #16 RB to take off the boards. I think that is far too low…is it for you?

RTFantasySports Response: I am with you on this! I too love Forte this year. I think he was a great acquisition for the Jets. I will go so far as to say that I feel RB Forte has the potential to be a top 7 RB in PPR leagues for 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Like Matt Forte in Question #7, is there a player that you think will have a great season in 2016, but who is currently ranked pretty low and why do you think he will be successful?

RTFantasySports Response: SF RB Carlos Hyde would be that player. I think with a season under his belt, that the 49ers and new HC Chip Kelly are looking more stable and committed to the run. Like I pointed out with Matt Jones earlier, Hyde will be given lots of opportunities immediately. Even Carlos seems to be excited for the new offense…”Chip Kelly’s system will help showcase all my abilities…not just as a ball carrier, but also as a threat in the passing game.”

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Of these 5 players who had spectacular 2015 seasons, which will be “least likely” to repeat their success in 2016 and why?

JACK QB Blake Bortles
KC WR Jeremy Maclin
WASH TE Jordan Reed
TB RB Doug Martin
HOU WR DeAndre Hopkins

RTFantasySports Response: In 2015, QB Blake Bortles was the #3 quarterback, but he was forced to throw a lot because the Jags were behind in every game. Jacksonville has vastly improved their defense, and have RB Chris Ivory to shore up their running attack. I still like QB Bortles, but he won’t end up as the #3 QB for 2016.

BONUS: I believe with WR DeAndre Hopkins’ talents and with a upgrade at the QB position with Brock Osweiler, that the sky’s the limit with the young wide out, and that he is “most likely” to repeat his success in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Fantasy football can be an emotional roller coaster throughout the season. I know of one guy who has broken two television sets due to a fantasy football setback such as a call reversed, a turnover or a TD negated by a penalty. Have you had any embarrassing tantrums that you do not mind sharing?

RTFantasySports Response: I do in fact… I once punched my wall with my fist because I lost a “Super Bowl” on a blocked punt. One lousy blocked punt cost me the title, so “I let my wall have it!”

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions to another knowledgeable person from our fantasy football community.

Next Week’s Guest….The Fantasy Authority’s Jennifer Smith!

1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

 

1st and 10 Week 15

1st and 10 Week 15 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, 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 football implications.

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

 

Week 15-  June 27th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 15 Special Guest Writer- FanUp Network’s Eric DeWalt

Be sure to follow Eric and FanUp Network  on Twitter @FanUpNetwork

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  The “Zero RB Draft Strategy” really gained steam as a popular draft strategy in 2014. A year after fantasy owners were still hooked on taking running backs early, this “wide receiver stacking strategy” seemed like a very intriguing option. It caught on with a lot of people, but not with me. I still value a strong running back roster for all of my fantasy football leagues. What do you think of the “Zero RB Draft Strategy” and have you tried this strategy in any of your drafts?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: I have not personally tried this strategy yet. But I have a friend that has used WR stacking as a strategy for the last few years, and he has experienced consistent success with this strategy. It is something I am looking at closely, especially considering how NFL passing yards are increasing while rushing yards drop.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)  Few players have had their values fluctuate over the past calendar year quite as much as Cowboys’ WR Dez Bryant. Once widely seen as a receiving dynamo, Bryant had an injury plagued 2015 season and lost some of his luster. What do you make of Dallas WR Dez Bryant in 2016?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: Bryant will bounce back and have a strong year. He is an intense competitor with a ton of pride, so I am sure he will be focused. Having QB Tony Romo back will be a big boost for him. Also, the addition of Zeke could provide more balance for the Cowboys, and give Dez more one-on-one coverage. Look for Dez to be an elite fantasy WR in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) The Cleveland QB Battle: I believe Robert Griffin III resurrects his career in 2016, and is a candidate as a decent QB sleeper. Others believe that the odds are favorable that McCown would give Cleveland its best chance to win, and that he will end up as the Brown’s starter. Which side are you on?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: The Browns are looking for a young QB to build around, so I think RG3 gets every opportunity to prove he is that guy. He has some decent weapons in Cleveland with rookie WR Corey Coleman, TE Gary Barnidge and RB Isaiah Crowell. I think RG3 wins the job and is worth a look as a late round pick.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)   I am in the midst of a 32 team dynasty league draft. I also have an 8 team (redraft) league draft scheduled for July 4th. Most of my other leagues won’t draft until the end of August. Are June and July simply too early to be drafting in fantasy football leagues, or is anytime a good time?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: One of the basic rules of FanUpNetwork is…”It is always Fantasy Football season!”… so anytime is a good time.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) When I drafted my very first fantasy football team, I was at a table with the other participants, and my first selection was DET RB Barry Sanders. Back then there were ONLY live drafts, because fantasy football websites hosting drafts did not yet exist! There are many young people today competing in fantasy leagues that have only drafted through websites and not never experienced the fun and excitement of drafting in person. What is your drafting preference?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: I really prefer in-person drafts. It creates a connection and energy that can spill into your season. I believe in-person drafts help create rivalries that help drive interest in a league and keeping a group together.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6)  In a recent 12 team, 15 round “mock draft” I observed, 18 tight ends were selected, and none of them were CHI TE Zach Miller. CHI QB Jay Cutler has always been a quarterback who has counted on his tight ends as important weapons in his offense. In the final 8 games of 2015, Miller had 31 receptions for 404 yards and 5 TD receptions. I would draft Miller before drafting DET E Ebron, TB ASJ, PITT L Green and IND D Allen. I think fantasy football owners are sleeping on Zach Miller. Do you?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response:  YES!!!! I believe you are correct. Miller is in position for a strong season, and most people are not very high on him. In a limited role for 2015, Zach Miller still managed to end the season as the #16 tight end, with 439 yards and 5 touchdowns. He did this playing in only 11 games. ( In Week 10 of last season, he had 5 grabs for 107 yards and 2 TDs.)  Jay Culter loves to throw to his tight ends and he already seems to have good chemistry with Miller.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) I think it’s safe to say that Jacksonville has Allen fever! Between Penn State standout Allen Robinson and unstaffed pass catch Allen Hurns, the Jaguars boasted one of the most electrifying young receiving corps of any team last season. Why do you think they had so much success last year, and can that level of play be sustained?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: The WRs compliment each other so well. Robinson can work downfield and make big plays with his jumping ability, while Hurns is always in the right spot at the right time, and rarely drops the ball. I believe they feed off the other. Look for their success to continue as they develop even more chemistry and confidence with the young QB Blake Bortles.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Based on their team’s roster of talent, which NFL team should have been more successful in the regular season over the past couple years?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response:  The Philadelphia Eagles should have experienced more success. The offense was inconsistent and they were not able to dominate the game with star tailbacks. At times, you saw flashes of what they could be, but their efforts seemed inconsistent. 2015 would have been a good time for the Eagles to step up and play to their potential. It didn’t take a great record to win the division last season. Washington won the NFC East with a 9-7 record.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Were you surprised that in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers did not address their offense until the 6th Round? (Round 6- QB Jeff Criskel…Round 6 RB Kelvin Taylor and Round 6 WR Aaron Burbridge) Will any of these 3 players impact the SF team in 2016?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response:  I was not shocked by their defense heavy draft. They had a lot of defensive losses since their Super Bowl team, and Chip Kelly seems to think offensive players are almost interchangeable. I do not expect any of their offensive rookies to make a real impact this season.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Free agent WR Anquan Boldin is one of my favorite NFL players, and I think it would be fun to see him reunite with WR Larry Fitz in Arizona. Unfortunately, the Cardinals do not have room on a crowded WR depth chart for Boldin. Can you tell me 3 NFL teams that could benefit greatly by signing the gritty and talented Anquan Boldin?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: Bills could benefit from having him mentor Watkins and be a reliable #2 WR to move the chains.
Vikings have proven to have some potential, but WRs have been underwhelming. QB Teddy Bridgewater could really benefit from having a reliable possession WR.
Chiefs and Boldin could also be a great fit. Bolden would be a great compliment to Maclin.

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions to another knowledgeable person from our fantasy football community.

1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

2016 Mock Draft Peek Preview

2016 Mock Draft Peek Preview by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

In only a short time from now, the Green Bay Packers will face the Indianapolis Colts in Canton, Ohio for the traditional Hall of Fame game. It’s the time of the year that fantasy football fanatics are excited for, because the start of the NFL season is finally in sight.

That means it is time for many fantasy owners to start studying. Fantasy Football magazines will be hitting the bookstore shelves, fantasy websites will be posting their preseason rankings, and one of my favorite fantasy websites, fantasyfootballcalculator.com, will be cranking out a glut of completed mock drafts. You may review the results of recently ended mock drafts at this handy website and you may participate in any of the 8-10-12-14 team mock drafts that are available.

Here are the top 12 rounds of a recently ended 10 team standard league draft that I recent devoured, but did not participate in. These 10 teams were all humans….no computer picks. Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my round by round observations!

12 Rounds 2016 Mock draft

Round One- If the running back is still a “devalued’ position, you would not know it from Round One ( 4 RBs vs 5 WRs) and you certainly wouldn’t know it from Round Two ( 7 RBs vs 3 WRs). One fantasy owner obviously does not seem to be worried about GB WR Jordy Nelson’s 2015 season-ending injury, drafting him at the end of Round One, and in front of CINN A.J. Green, JACK Allen Robinson and DAL Dez Bryant. I am not sure that I am that confident yet.

Round Two- I’m shocked that DAL RB Zeke Elliott would drop to Round Two, and selected after ATL D Freeman, HOU L Miller and KC J Charles. If Elliott is there for me at the 14th overall pick, I’m doing my happy jig. I’m also drafting TB Doug Martin before BUFF LeSean McCoy.

Round Three- SF Carlos Hyde has reportedly lost weight and wants to play under 220 pounds in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense, but I’m going to pass on 49er players for the first 6 rounds, at least. SD WR Keenan Allen worries me in 2016, so I am after the other wide outs in this round, and I want WR Travis Benjamin as a sleeper in the later rounds. N.O. RB Mark Ingram was pretty disappointing in the 2nd half of last season, even before his Week 13 injury. He might be the “Alfred Morris” of 2016.

Round Four- Solid selections in Round Four, and although I am not a fan of drafting quarterbacks early, at least these two fantasy football owners waited until Round Four. Running backs are starting to get thin, so TENN RB DeMarco Murray is not bad here, but I am not high on him for 2016.

Round Five- NE WR J Edleman started the Round Five selections, but I would have preferred MIA J Landry or JACK Allen Hurns, available later in this round. I do not like MIA J Ajayi in 2016, and I am wondering why CINN Jeremy Hill is still available ( start of Round 7) so I am drafting him. ( I would have drafted him before TENN RB DeMarco Murray)

Round Six- 3 more QBs drafted, but good ones. ( How many times will Luck be the 4th, 5th or 6th QB drafted this season?) RBs Ryan Mathews and Chris Ivory are interesting backs to roster this season. I want both of them. Most believe that KC J Maclin can match his 2015 numbers ( 1088 yards and 8 TDs) but I am skeptical. I’d still want him in Round Six however.

Round Seven- MIA DeVante Parker is a nice sleeper in 2016, but if CHI Kevin White is there, I’ll be selecting him before Parker. There are too many running backs for me in Detroit, HC Caldwell never sticks with one back for more than two plays and the Lions had the worst average per rush in 2015, so you can draft RB Ameer Abdullah. I won’t be.

Round Eight- Why does everyone automatically think TE Ladarius Green will be a success in Pittsburgh, when he was a flop in a very tight end friendly San Diego offense? RBs Gore, Duke Johnson, and Gio are all decent pick ups in Round 8, but SD Melvin Gordon is way down here for a reason. I like TE Coby Fleener a lot for the 2016 season. He is a terrible blocker and the Saints’ know that, so he is an offensive weapon…period.

Round Nine- SEA WR Tyler Lockett is a huge pick up in Round Nine, and QB Blake Bortles ( #3 QB for 2015) should have been selected earlier than the #9 QB off the boards. I like WASH WR DeSean Jackson in Round Nine very much. Still too early to get a kicker, even NE Gostkowski.

Round Ten- PITT DeAngelo Williams, the #4 RB for 2015 with almost 1300 total yards and 8 TDs, should have been handcuffed in Round 9 by “Lucille Football” instead of drafting Woodhead. PHIL TE Zach Ertz was a monster in the last part of 2015, and if you are going to wait on a tight end, this is how you do it. Don’t particularly want JACK TJ Yeldon on any of my teams, unless I drafted RB C Ivory earlier. BALT Steve Smith still has football in him, for the first 7 weeks. He has a bye Week Eight, so trade him then.

Round Eleven- Both wide receivers Travis Benjamin and Marvin Jones have too much fantasy football value to be still available in Round 11. Like TE Ertz in Round 10, CLEV TE Barnidge is a steal here in Round 11. NE L Blount doesn’t interest me, because he plays for HC Belichick and Tampa Bay’s Charles Sims is still available, as is CLEV’s Isaiah Crowell ( Round 12). I won’t be drafting WR Stefon Diggs, probably not even in Round 11. MINN QB Bridgewater threw for less than 1 TD per game last year.

Round Twelve- QB Kirk Cousins ( #9 QB for 2015) is a steal here in Round 12. Ram’s WR Tavon Austin was the #21 wide receiver in the NFL last season and had 52 carries for 434 yards/ 4 rushing TDS. He should have been selected a couple of rounds before. CLEV WR Corey Coleman selected this late in ANY draft is ridiculous.

There you go. This was fun. I think I’d like to revisit this again, in the upcoming weeks!

1st and 10 Week 14

1st and 10 Week 14 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, 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 football implications.

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

 

Week 14-  June 20th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 14 Special Guest Writer-Co-Owner of Fantasyipa.com Jamey Black- Be sure to follow Jamie on Twitter @FIPA_Black

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  Wade Phillips is currently the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, but he has been the head coach of 3 different NFL teams. ( 4 NFL teams, if you count his short interim head coaching position in 2013 for the Houston Texans).The Denver Broncos (1993 to 1994), the Buffalo Bills (1998–2000) and the Dallas Cowboys (2007–2010). As Denver’s 2015 defensive coordinator, the only thing Phillips did was form the #1 defense in all of the NFL, and help win Super Bowl 50 with that defense. Will Wade be a head coach in 2017?

Jamie Black Response: No, I really don’t think so. We’ve seen enough of Wade Phillips to know what he is and what he isn’t. He is a great defensive coordinator and an average head coach. Everyone loves him, his players, ex-players, fellow coaches…they all love him. He’s been described as “sweet” and as a guy “without a mean bone in his body”. And that’s problem; head coaches need a kind of swagger or charisma that, at the very least invokes a healthy respect from others. I don’t think one needs to have a “mean streak” or scare players to be a good head coach. A more balanced characteristic that you see in successful head coaches is the ability to invoke a certain “healthy fear” that keeps players in line and sends the message that this is a guy who isn’t going to put up with any BS. Tony Dungy for example, you never saw him screaming at his players but he did demand a certain discipline and respect. Bill Belichick is similar in that regard and he will cut anyone who doesn’t fall in line. Maybe I’m a little bitter living in Dallas and watching the 2007 season unfold. The Cowboys finished 13-3 and went 3-0 against the two teams who eventually met in the NFC Championship Game that post-season, and won all 3 games by double-digits only to get bounced (coming off a bye) in round 2 by the Giants. You want to know what I remember most though…the relaxed approach the Cowboys took during their 1st round bye week. I mean, Tony Romo went on vacation to Cabo with Jessica Simpson! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

Make no mistake; Wade is a great defensive coordinator and Denver no doubt owes much their Super Bowl 50 success to the defense he put out on the field. I just don’t think he has the temperament to have sustained success as a head coach in the NFL.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) On June 1st, 2016, LA HC Jeff Fisher said that he thinks wide receiver “Tavon Austin can catch 100 passes this season”. In 2015, Austin rushed as many times as he had receptions ( both 52). If Fisher is correct, then Austin is either going to get 50% more touches in 2016, or the Rams are going to scale back dramatically the number of times Austin runs the ball. Which is likely to be the case?

Jamie Black Response: Neither, I don’t think the Rams can quit handing the ball to Austin, considering the success they’ve had doing so. Also, Austin is not a possession receiver and I don’t see him approaching 100 receptions, not even close. In fact, the Rams have two rookie receivers that I see offering more as possession receivers than Austin (Pharoh Cooper and Mike Thomas). Also, Fisher hasn’t had a receiver catch 70+ in 12 years. I think  Fisher is being overly optimistic, but more than that, I think he is publicly supporting their moving up to draft Goff. Considering all that the Rams had to give up to get Goff, Fisher is probably attempting to imply that they won’t be scared to throw the ball this year.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) What will the acquisition of rookie WR Will Fuller do for WR DeAndre Hopkin’s 2016 season, and where do you see Fuller ranking for NFL wide outs at the end of the upcoming season?

Jamie Black Response: Fuller will help both Hopkins and what Bill O’Brien wants to do on offense, which is to run the ball and throw it to Hopkins. Fuller has game-changing speed and defenses will have to account for that. He should take the top off of opposing D’s and further open up the underneath stuff for Hopkins and the running game…and the TEs if they decide to get them involved. Regarding Fuller’s production, I think he will be a better role player/NFL receiver than fantasy receiver. I do think he will score some long TDs which could mean a few big games. I can see him having seasons where he averages 18+ yards per reception, but I don’t see him being targeted a lot, just enough to keep defenses honest. I’d be surprised if he catches more than 45 passes and 4-5 TD’s his rookie year. He will probably rank out as a WR-5 and not worth redraft consideration. I think he could be a decent late round best ball (MFL10) flyer at WR, but I don’t see him being consistent enough to start on a weekly basis in most fantasy formats, at least not for now.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  Who are the 2 best head coaches currently in the NFL, and who are the 2 worst?

Jamie Black Response: I think everyone agrees Bill Belichick is easily the best current NFL head coach and is certainly in the conversation for best coach of all time. I would say the 2nd best current coach in the NFL is probably Pete Carroll, who coincidentally was replaced by Belichick as the Patriots head coach following the 1999 season.

Choosing the 2 worst coaches in the NFL is a bit more difficult. I’m going to say one of the worst current NFL head coaches is Mike Mularkey. That may not be fair because I’m judging him by what he did in Buffalo and Jacksonville, along with the 9 games last year as the interim head coach of the Titans after taking over for Whisenhunt. His winning percentage as an NFL head coach (right around 30% I believe) has to be considered though. With that said, the Titans did well in this year’s draft and in the offseason, and are possibly on the verge of being a team on the rise, so Mularkey’s arrow is probably pointing up going into this season. I don’t want to list any of the 1st-year coaches here, so with that in mind, I will say Gus Bradley is currently one of the worst 2 coaches in the NFL. In 3 seasons with Jacksonville, they haven’t really improved as a team and haven’t finished a season with more than 5 wins, in large part because of the defensive which is what he was brought in to fix. They have no doubt turned a corner on the offensive side of the ball and seemingly have put together a very impressive offseason and draft in which they addressed many of their defensive needs. Some of the names they’ve added on defense: DL Malik Jackson, S Tashaun Gipson, CB Jalen Ramsey and OLB Myles Jack…among others. They have the pieces in place now and I really think this is a make or break season for Bradley. Jacksonville is one of the teams I see taking a leap this year, so I absolutely do not expect to see Gus Bradley’s name on this list next year.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) What player, over the past 2 years, has surprised you most with is lack of production and lack of success in the NFL?

Jamie Black Response: A lot of guys come to mind…Jadeveon Clowney is a big one, although he has been injured. Johnny Manziel is another one, but I’m not sure I am too surprised there. When you say “surprised”, I think of someone who I’ve seen have success at the NFL level…so RGIII is that guy for me. I am very surprised with his lack of success over the past 2-3 seasons. Here is a guy who was hyped up so much coming out of college, he seemingly handled it well, he was drafted #2 overall, he lead his team to a division title for the first time in 13 years as a rookie…finishing that season on a 7 game winning streak, and finally tops it off by besting Andrew Luck for the 2012 offensive rookie of the year honors. I expected a lot more from him in the years that followed, in the NFL and definitely from a fantasy perspective. He rushed for over 800 yards and 7-TDs his rookie year, becoming only the 2nd time in NFL history that a QB had 3,000+ passing yards and 800+ rushing yards (1st time by Randall Cunningham 1990, later (2014) by Russell Wilson). Maybe he resurrects his career in Cleveland, I really don’t know, but his fall was very much unexpected for me.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6)  What NFL team could take a giant leap in their division, if they had one or two great players added to their current roster?

Jamie Black Response: The Oakland Raiders. I think they did a good job adding players like OL-Kelechi Osemele, CB-Sean Smith and LB-Bruce Irvin. Retaining S-Nate Allen and OLB-Aldon Smith was vital as well and they started their draft by grabbing 3 more defensive prospects. I think Derek Carr is the real deal and Amari Cooper should step up again and produce like a true #1 WR. If they were to improve on defense by adding an every down pass rusher and/or if they had a true, every down stud at running back, they would probably be one of the best teams in the NFL. I think they are going to get there regardless. They have the offensive line and have added prospects, and even with minor improvement they should be contenders in their division, perhaps even this year, but unquestionably in a year or two.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) On August 7, 2010, Emmitt Smith thanked his fullback Daryl “Moose” Johnston during his Hall of Fame Induction speech in Canton, Ohio, for helping to pave Smith’s way to the Hall of Fame. Smith was not the most gifted running back in the NFL and credits his durability and Johnston to his success. The fullback’s role is to block for the lead tailback, but it also includes power running and blocking for the quarterback, which has never been more important in the NFL. Should NFL team’s revisit the use of the fullback position?

Jamie Black Response: I can certainly attest to what Emmitt Smith said about Daryl Johnston, I can honestly say growing up in Dallas during those Super Bowl years was fun, exciting, and I don’t think I missed one game. Today’s NFL is so different though, the pace is faster, it’s more wide open and other than the quarterback, the receivers are the stars of many NFL offenses. I really don’t remember there ever being a time with so much talent at WR in the NFL, so teams have to get their playmakers on the field. With that said, there is definitely a place for the fullback and a power running game. As defenses change and adjust to wide open offenses, I think offenses could benefit from using a fullback and being able to run the ball 40+ times a game when needed.

To answer the question more directly, yes, I think teams should revisit the use of the fullback position…just maybe not to the extent fullbacks were used 20+ years ago. The Patriots are a team that I think of when I mention this. They might throw the ball 60 times for 4 TDs one week and then run it 50 times for 4 TDs the next. Having the ability to game-plan a power running scheme (using a fullback) on offense is something every team should at least attempt to revisit.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Who would you rather NOT owe a lot of money to…..CINN LB Vontaze Burfict, PITT LB James Harrison or MIA DT Ndamukong Suh?

Jamie Black Response: Obviously I wouldn’t want to owe any of these three players any money, because they are all known to be mean and even dirty players. ( I can’t turn out good for me regardless!) However, if I am being forced to pick one, I’ll go with MIA DT Ndamukong Suh, who signed that huge 6 year contract last season  worth $114,375,000 with the Miami Dolphins, including a $25,500,000 signing bonus, $59,955,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $19,062,500. Perhaps with all this money, he will be less likely to get mean and dirty with me, trying to get what I apparently own him!

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) In 2015, a few of my fantasy football leagues changed the rules on scoring field goals, due to the rate at which place kickers are now successfully kicking them from long distances. Did any of your league adjust place kicker scoring, and will we see a record breaking 70 yard field goal in the near future?

Jamie Black Response: Sure did, last year in one of the contract leagues I am in, we dinged kickers (-1) point for missed XPs, but we only dinged kickers for missed FGs under 30 yards. Since the XP was moved out beyond 30 yards, we simply quit taking a point away from kickers for missed PATs. There are a few other leagues I am in where we started awarding FG points based on distance (ie – 38 yard FG was awarded 3.8 points). Regarding a 70 yard field goal, I don’t know if that will happen anytime soon. It took 43 years to break Dempsey’s record of 63 yards (Matt Prater, 2013 – 64 yards). I know when they could use a tee in the NCAA there were a few long field goals approaching 70 yards, but unless a kicker is kicking off a tee, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Dallas’ RB Ezekiel “Zeke” Elliott, CLEV WR Corey Coleman and NYG Sterling Shepard are all obvious targets for fantasy owners in every draft this year. Who are 3 offensive sleepers from this year’s NFL Draft?

Jamie Black Response: Well, I actually wrote a piece about CJ Prosise back in the beginning of May basically touting him as a mid-1st round pick in rookie drafts, and he is definitely a guy that is not necessarily on everyone’s radar. Those playing in dynasty leagues are certainly well aware of Prosise by now, but for those who only play in redraft leagues, this is a guy who might be flying under the radar. He has every down running back potential and will enter the 2016 season with a defined role as the 3rd down RB in Seattle, and since the Seahawks are being quiet about Thomas Rawls and his ankle, there is no guarantee he will be ready Week 1. I can see Prosise as a less dynamic version of David Johnson type. He is someone to keep an eye on and who certainly should be owned in all dynasty and keeper formats.

Another one is Jordan Howard, rookie RB in Chicago. I also like him in the1st round of rookie drafts and one of my partners in crime at Fantasy IPA has been all over him since day 1. He definitely has a chance to carve out a role in Chicago as a rookie (John Fox has always used two RBs). I know Fox doesn’t generally trust rookies, but I feel this is an exception.

I want to get into a couple of guys who probably aren’t top 20 offensive rookie picks for fantasy purposes. I’ll start with a teammate of Corey Coleman’s and fellow Browns rookie WR Rashard Higgins. I would say to anyone in redraft leagues, I wouldn’t draft Higgins; he is more of a developmental guy for dynasty leagues. There is a lot I like about him and we have hit on that in a few of our podcasts at Fantasy IPA.

I’ll give one more name as a deep sleeper, TE Austin Hooper. There are a lot of things to like about him, the fact that he can block and catch, has very long arms and big hands; he is very fast for his size and he should be given the opportunity to get on the field a lot this year in Atlanta. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a red-zone weapon for the Falcons from day 1. He obviously is not Tony Gonzalez, but he could be the answer the Falcons have been looking for since Gonzalez retired.

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions to another knowledgeable person from our fantasy football community.

Three Food Tiers of NFL Quarterbacks

Three Food Tiers of NFL Quarterbacks by Utter-Fantasy Writer Cambrick Broady

 

Three Food Tiers of NFL Quarterbacks: “Filet Mignon”, “Buffalo Wings” and “Just order a cheap Pizza”

Many fans, analysts, writers and regular people debate often about the 32 teams in the NFL being good or bad and the #1 selling point on your argument typically revolves around the quarterback.  There are a few teams every year that can overcome with shaky quarterback play with their dominant running backs, wide receivers or defenses but eventually that will catch up to you….(unless you are the 2015 Denver Broncos!)
Hopefully you are at least “Buffalo Wings” if you’re starting for a team in the NFL. So why are there so many “cheap pizza” QBs you wonder? Well, GM’s have been trying to figure that one out since the league started, and if you know they answer, let every GM, fantasy football fanatic and delivery man know.. In the meantime- here’s my breakdown of the 32 teams quarterbacks currently sitting at the top of their depth chart, who are either “Filet Mignon, Buffalo Wings and Just order a cheap Pizza”, along with commentary and fantasy projections for the first two.

“Filet Mignon and Sipping your favorite Red Wine”

1.    Tom Brady QB New England Patriots; putting the golden boy shouldn’t get any back lash on any social media site or grumble in your random sports bar. If you’re a New England fan, the sound of his name is like someone just offered you a tall glass of water in the middle of the desert. If you’re a Jets, Dolphins or Bills fan his name probably strikes that nerve of someone’s kid in the store that just WON’T SHUT UP! There aren’t many players in the Kobe/Jordan/Russell category…you know those guys who’ve won 4 or more titles for the franchise that drafted them. Fantasy Projection: Round 4-5; yes, I know he’s suspended 4 games but when he comes back it’s business as usual.

2.    Aaron Rodgers QB – Green Bay Packers; you know you’re good when your TD celebration becomes the entire storyline of an insurance commercial. Well, he’s as good as advertised and Packer fans will make sure you know it. He makes all WR’s better and with a stable running game, the Packers will compete every year with him at the helm. Fantasy Projection: Round 2-3; should be no argument here, he’s been a solid fantasy starter for years.

3.    Ben Roethlisberger QB – Pittsburgh Steelers; I’m sure some Steelers fans cringed when they drafted him in 2004 out of Miami, Ohio. Ask that same fan now, how they feel now about his career 94% passer rating and 2 Super Bowl rings? They’ve always got championship written all over them and with a healthy running game, the usual Pittsburgh fan has ammo in any fan smack talk. Fantasy Projection: Round 4-5; I think you should be taking him earlier than I saw in last year’s drafts as he will be throwing a lot to Antonio Brown and that says enough.

4.    Drew Brees QB – New Orleans; has some of the best pocket presence you’ll see and does a great job reading defenses, one of those QBs where it doesn’t matter the receiver out there as long as they can catch. He gave the city of New Orleans a championship when they needed it most and has a guaranteed fantasy sleeper WR on his roster every year. Fantasy Projection: Round 4-5; I’m scared to say his numbers may drop this year considering he’s got a new target in Michael Thomas and Brees normally makes all receivers look good.

5.    Russell Wilson QB – Seattle Seahawks; Every year in the playoffs, one Super Bowl under his belt, and he’s done this without a true #1 WR.  (doesn’t hurt to have a stout defense behind you) Want to argue him being Filet Mignon? Well, his passing yards have increased each year, he hasn’t thrown more than 10 interceptions in any year and he is a dual threat. Case closed. Fantasy Projection: Round 5-6;

6.    Cam Newton QB – Carolina Panthers; 2015’s NFL MVP showed sustained improvement in his footwork and decision making. He led the Panthers to the Super Bowl without a legit #1 receiver…wow! The challenge now is consistency and keeping his demeanor in check, I like the guy personally and his new custom ride is pretty nice. He gets Kelvin Benjamin back this season as well. Fantasy Projection: Round 2-3; last year a guy won my league by picking up Newton as a FA. That won’t happen this year, take him in the top 5 if you want and I won’t blink an eye.

7.  Matt Ryan QB – Atlanta Falcons; he’s been in the top 5 for NFL passing yards every year since 2012 (bet you didn’t know that). His first NFL pass was a TD and it was a dart that he read instantly. He’s got good footwork and has been putting up career numbers behind an under-performing offensive line for a few years. Signing C Alex Mack and WR Mohamed Sanu will give Ryan an edge going into this season. Fantasy Projection: Round 5-6; you may want to take him earlier than normal this year, he’s got intriguing new weapons.

8.    Andrew Luck QB – Indianapolis Colts; I’m admire him honesty and he didn’t have the best season last year by any means. He actually looked as if he regressed (I know he was injured) which I know was scary for Colts fans. Don’t worry however, this talented QB will bounce back this year. His skillset of passing accuracy, strength and running ability will allow him to get back on track. You don’t write off Luck after one bad season. In my league he was drafted #1 overall because of his spectacular 2014 season ( #1 QB) ; and expectations were that he could take the Colts deep in the playoffs. Now one must be concerned because his division has seriously improved. Fantasy Projection: Round 3-4; he should come back on a vengeance and could be in line for comeback player of the year.

9.    Tony Romo QB – Dallas Cowboys; You can blast me on twitter all you want for listing Romo as a QB that should have a spoon of herb flavored brown butter right over the top…but tell me that the NFC East teams aren’t scared to play the Cowboys this year with a healthy Romo and Elliott in the backfield. If you aren’t, you haven’t been paying attention to football. He has the accuracy, he also has the command you like and his OL is the best in football. He has to minimize the turnovers though. Fantasy Projection: Round 6-7; he’s got all kinds of weapons in this offense and will be serviceable but I understand if you want to proceed with caution due to his injury history.

10.    Eli Manning QB – New York Giants; Listen, I don’t want to hear it at all. He’s a hot and cold type of QB but has won 2 Super Bowls and I’ll bet your favorite QB hasn’t won any. I’ll agree he’s the bottom Filet Mignon on my list. He makes great reads and if the Giants can get his guy a running game, the NFC East will have serious competition. Fantasy Projection: Round 7-8; I have to be realistic with his fantasy projection, even with a dynamic OBJ, he just hasn’t been as reliable in fantasy. I predict a comeback this year so take in round 6 with confidence.

“Buffalo Wings and a Sam Adams”

1.     Carson Palmer QB – Arizona Cardinals. Fantasy Projection: Round 7-8; he’s a bargain pick this year
2.    Blake Bortles QB – Jacksonville Jaguars. Fantasy Projection: Round 7-8; #3 QB in 2015…great new defense
3.    Matthew Stafford QB – Detroit Lions Fantasy Projection: Round 8-9; worst rushing average per attempt in the NFL…and Megatron retired.
4.    Joe Flacco QB – Baltimore Ravens. Fantasy Projection: 9-10 What weapons does he have? I’ll wait.
5.    Kirk Cousins QB – Washington Redskins. Fantasy Projection: Round 9-10; no RB, forced to pass a lot
6.    Andy Dalton QB – Cincinnati Bengals. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; proceed with caution
7.    Phillip Rivers QB – San Diego Chargers. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; who are his WR’s?
8.    Derek Carr QB – Oakland Raiders. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; he will improve this year, but RB??
9.    Jamies Winston QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; needs more passing yards
10.    Marcus Mariota QB – Tennessee Titans. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; new RB’s will really help him

These quarterbacks are good and on any given Sunday, they can be “really good”. If any of these guys are your teams quarterback, you can go into the season with a great deal of optimism. • Many of you feel Carson Palmer is Filet Mignon and I will argue that all day otherwise,and show you the tape of him playing in Oakland. He’s good because he doesn’t lose the game for you, but Arizona was a top 3 defense and as long as you don’t turn the ball over; that’ll keep you in games. • Blake Bortles makes the list because he was the #3 QB in the NFL last year, his progression has been impressive and he has made Robinson and Hurns red hot receivers who none us knew about before last season. • Matthew Stafford has been a adequate fantasy football quarterback, but has he been an adequate NFL quarterback? • I know Joe Flacco won a Super Bowl and is the only QB on this list to have done so, but I’m just not sold on him being more than good Buffalo Wings. Give Matt Ryan the defense that Flacco had that year with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and the Falcons might be 2 Super Bowls deep by now. The best QBs overcome a bad OL, no WR’s, no RB’s and still have good productive and competitive seasons. • Kirk Cousins was the sole reason the Washington Redhot Sauces won their division. • The only QB that I see possibly getting bumped down next year is Andy Dalton; he’s shown flashes of being really good and shown flashes of being really bad. He did not play in the post-season last year which hurt their team and the NFL window shortens each season. • In 2013, Phillip Rivers QB was the #6 QB in the NFL, 2014 he was #9 and 2015 he was #10. I can see the downward trend continuing. • Derek Carr needs to be careful with his decision making, considering his division is full of strong defenses outside of San Diego. • Some may look at the list and say “Jamies Winston and Marcus Mariota….really?” But after this year, they will back off that statement as they pass the celery and bleu cheese. Marcus Mariota could find himself with a solid running game this year but his defense will need to hold up. Jamies Winston impressed me at times last season and he’s got a good WR and RB.

“Just order a cheap Pizza with a free Mountain Dew”

1.    Alex Smith QB – Kansas City Chiefs.
2.    Jay Cutler QB – Chicago Bears
3.    Sam Bradford QB – Philadelphia Eagles
4.    Colin Kaepernick QB – San Francisco 49ers
5.    Mark Sanchez QB – Denver Broncos
6.    Nick Foles QB – LA Rams
7.    Brock Osweiler QB – Houston Texans
8.    Ryan Tannehill QB – Miami Dolphins
9.    Tyrod Taylor QB – Buffalo Bills
10.    Teddy Bridgewater QB – Minnesota Vikings
11.    Robert Griffin III QB – Cleveland Browns
12.    Geno Smith/Ryan Fitz QB – New York Jets

I’ll get some flack about a few of these guys I’m sure. • Alex Smith has silenced plenty of doubters after the 49ers gave up on him for Kaepernick (and who knows, they may still be kicking themselves). • Jay Cutler hasn’t been good despite having decent weapons in Forte, Bennett and Jeffrey, who some see as a top 5 WR. Cutler might be the worst QB inside the red-zone in the NFL. • Sam Bradford has been robbing teams since being drafted, and he reminds me of NBA’s Grant Hill and what he did to many teams, always being hurt. • Colin Kaepernick misses wide open WR’s…I mean WIDE OPEN so enough said there. • Mark Sanchez, ha, I’m sorry but Denver should concede this season or they might think about starting Lynch sooner than later. • I was going to list Jared Goff as average and put a disclosure by it, but I don’t think that’s fair; I’ll give him time to toss a few pies first and Nick Foles is surely average to LA Rams fans. • Brock Osweiler hasn’t shown us much so far but he has the potential to move out of the Little Caesar’s section. • Ryan Tannehill is the QB that the analysts every year say is going to have “a breakout season” but just never does. • Tyrod Taylor really should be a back-up pizza cook; I saw a lot of good routes run by Sammy Watkins with no pass coming his way. Reminds me of how upset Michael Vick used to make his WR’s because they’d get open and wouldn’t have a chance to make a play. • Teddy Bridgewater plays in a “run-first” offense and only threw 14 touchdown passes last season. • Robert Griffin III doesn’t know how to slide and Geno Smith/ Fitz are here because where else are they going to be….and no argument about them being average I’m sure.

Cam Broady

Cambrick Broady is Sports Scout, Fantasy Sports Analyst and a contributing writer for Utter-Fantasy.com. Please follow Cambrick on twitter @cambrickbroady

Also by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Cambrick Broady…”The Biggest Makeover from the Draft”

 

Gals Put Their Flare on Fantasy Football

Gals Put Their Flare on Fantasy Football by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

I was chatting with many of my fantasy football friends on twitter, when I saw this “tweet’….”I’m doing a Harry Potter themed fantasy football leagues with my best gal pals, and I am beyond giddy”. I wrote to Kelcy Engstrom and asked “please tell me this really happened!” Kelcy not only told me that it did, but that the girls were planning their next theme…..likely “Mean Girls!”

Fantasy football is already fun, but it’s pretty cool that these gals have put their own twist on their league, to make it even more fun for them. I asked Miss Kelcy, who is a Peace Corps volunteer over seas right now, a few questions about their league, and here’s what she had to say about it.

Utter-Fantasy) Please tell me about your league- How many teams, who is in it and when did it begin?

Kelcy) We are 8 teams and it’s made up of a group of really good friends, most of us met in middle school and then rest became friends during high school and we’ve always kept in touch and remained very close. We started doing a league about 2 years ago, we’re all from Wisconsin except for one unfortunate Bear fan who was born in Illinois but moved to our hometown during middle school so all of us have grown up with the Packers and football as a big part of our lives.

When we got interested in fantasy it made sense that we would all do it with our best friends, to maximize shit talking potential.

 

Utter-Fantasy) When did creating a theme for your fantasy football league start, and how do you determine what the theme will be? Are there suggestions and a vote?

Kelcy) So I really like themes and group activities in general so I kind of forced everyone to go along with it. I picked the Harry Potter one because I’m pretty sure I saw a comment in Reddit talking about a Potter themed fantasy team name and it just struck me a very funny for some reason, also because I know a few gals in the league are INTO Harry Potter in a big way. For example the owner of ‘Weasley’s Wizard Wins’ took her honeymoon at Harry Potter studios while others are not so into it like the owner of ‘Harry’s Dead RIP’ but she still went along with it which is cool.

 

Utter-Fantasy) It is such a fun idea, but how does it work? How was the Harry Potter theme incorporated into the 2015 fantasy football season?

Kelcy) It’s just a standard league set up really, since this was the first time doing a theme we didn’t have many ideas to really customize it so it’s just the team names, my two personal favorites are ‘Two-Patronus Conversion’ and ‘4th and 9 3/4′ with ‘Rita Skeet Skeet Skeeter’ rounding out the top 3. We have it set up on ESPN.

This year I’d probably make up a house cup as the trophy, throw a theme party for the draft, maybe force the points looser that week to give up a bench player to the deatheaters or something. But full disclosure, I’m a bit of a filthy casual the only Harry Potter thing I’m super into is Wizard People, Dear Reader. But I am hoping to read the books eventually.  

 

Utter-Fantasy) Will you share some of the other theme ideas that have been suggested?

Kelcy) We’re probably gonna change it up this year with a new theme, I’m thinking a Mean Girls one would be pretty good, but we also watch a lot of Golden Girls and RuPaul’s Drag Race so that could be fun as well, and we’re all big fans of Beyonce but we’ll see whoever comes up with the best idea.

 

Utter-Fantasy) Do you and your best gal pals get together on game day for some quality Harry Potter/NFL time??

Kelcy) The girls that can still do get together on Sundays to watch football when possible, I’ve been living in Eastern Europe for about 2 years so I haven’t been able to do that for awhile. But sitting around watching football, drinking beer and shit talking in person is something that we all enjoy doing as sister girls

 

I appreciate Miss Kelcy sharing her fantasy football league with me, and I hope the gals venture into a Dynasty Football League! Having a “Dynasty” themed Dynasty Football League is just to good, not to start up!

Dynasty Fantasy football TV

 

Follow Kelcy’s on twitter @MaryKMart to see how she does in her fantasy football league and what theme the gals came up for 2016.

Kelcy fantasy football

This is How We Dynasty Football

This is How We Dynasty Football by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt

 

Active in Fantasy Football for 6 years, received 1st Championship in 2015 Season. Token woman of the Sunday Funday League.

Sunday-Funday-league

Six tables are set facing a large white board. Laptops are in place alongside binders filled with copious notes. The room is a buzz with chatter. Shifty glances are exchanged. Monitors with skype callers begin to light, it’s almost time. Owners move to their seats, last minute beers and drinks are made. It’s time, for the Rookie Draft, the first Owner is on the clock. He fields offers for his pick, bidding wars are waged, the decision is made, Amari Cooper is taken first overall in the 2015 Sunday Funday League Rookie Draft.

Sounds a bit intense? Well that’s because it is my friends, if you’re reading this you understand that Fantasy Football is not merely a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. I believe there is no better example of this than in my Dynasty League. That’s a pretty biased statement, but fuck it, it’s my opinion.

The Beginning

Our inaugural season began in 2013, and our Commissioner is the glue that brought us all together. All members had multiple years of experience prior to joining, no newbies, you needed to know your shit to be invited. It was important when this began that if you were to be an owner in this League, you needed to be an active owner. No Tacos in this league (but there are at least 2 Ruxin’s and a definitive Andre). We wanted our league to resemble what real owners deal with in managing a team. We are an Auction, 8 keeper, IDP league; with the ability to trade Free Agency Cash and Rookie Draft Picks. We have a cap for keeper salary going into our auction draft, and a Salary Cap to begin the season. We now also have an in season salary cap. Oh and each player drafted has a set contract you can keep them at their salary for before you have to extend their contract by increasing their salary. Does that sound like a lot? You still following me?

The Details

Each Season begins with our Annual League Rules Meeting that rolls into our Rookie Draft. The Rules Meeting starts out simply enough. This is where we vote on changing any current rules or adding new ones. Straight forward no bullshit, and you can’t say you weren’t aware of a change because we have a binder with a meeting agenda and Google drive documents of the Rules and Changes made during the meetings. To the Rookie Draft! It obviously takes place sometime after the NFL Draft, depending on coordinating the schedules of 12 Owners. There are 3 rounds in the Draft and each owner has a draft pick. Top 6 picks are picked at random amongst teams with worst records from the previous season. What makes the Draft more fun however is that we’re allowed to trade our picks. So goes the bidding war for those who ended up with multiple picks. Rookies are valuable because they’re drafted at set low salaries with 3 year contracts (ex: 1st Round: $5, 2nd Round: $3, 3rd Round $1).

Draft Day

Auction draft is held at a location decided on by the winner of the previous year. Last year it was held at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, in Lagasse’s Stadium. If you want to do a draft party in Vegas that’s the place to go. They have package deals where you can have a private suite with multiple TVs pool table and waiters that constantly and quickly bring drinks and great food. It was a sweet draft, needless to say we were all destroyed afterwards, worth it. We have a max of 8 keepers and their salaries combined must be $200 or less. Max Salary to start the season is $300. This may seem high, but keep in mind this fantasy football league is based on the idea that this is a marathon not a sprint. WE can make moves that will benefit over several years or make moves for the immediate. We each strategize our own ways but it’s a system designed to fit the Owner’s needs.

Shenanigans

The number one thing we get the most positive feedback from is that fact that we hold an Awards Ceremony at the end of every season. Our Commissioner painstakingly puts together the Awards packet with nominees for each category and each owner submits their votes to the Commissioner for counting. He then has awards made with the category and winners names engraved. The ceremony itself has written monologues for the host, speeches for the presenters, songs written & recorded for the winning teams to walk up to, friends are invited to the exclusive guest list, and there are video interviews for the nominees of the “big award” of the night, Team of the Year. The answer to your next question is: Yes, we do have too much time on our hands and spend a lot of money on something that is purely for fun. Why? Because it’s fun and we’re awesome, what better reason do you need?! The ceremony is a red carpet affair. We literally bought our own red carpet and had a back drop made (with logos I designed) for photos with the photographer we hired for the event. *insert gif of Lil’ Jon throwing money here*

Dynasty Leagues are complicated. Ours is no exception. However, if we didn’t have this league set up the way we do, we wouldn’t be able to reap all the benefits that fantasy football has to offer. This has turned the game into a year round sport for us. So while some of you are patiently waiting for next season to get close enough to mock draft efficiently. I’m watching the Combine and reading player stats to prep for the rookie draft. #Boom.

Samantha Holt

Follow Sam’s 2016 quest for another Dynasty Fantasy Football championships on twitter @SamanthaRHolt

Girl Power Crushes Fantasy Football

Girl Power Crushes Fantasy Football by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Female fans of the NFL now represent the fastest-growing demographic in sports. So naturally, more female fans translates into more women jumping into the fantasy football arena and teaching guys a thing or two about it! Although men are more likely to play fantasy football, nearly 20% of the 75 million fantasy football owners competing in leagues are now women. ( and many are winning!)

Matty Murder is a smart, funny chick who won her 2015 fantasy football league and contributes her championship to having a few peculiar quirks. “My win was because I wore the same bra every Sunday and my husband pulled a Taco and drafted 4 QBs.”  Mary describes her league as…“an 8 man league, with two married couples and a bunch of my husband’s friend and I beat every single one of those asshats.” While Matty came in first last season, her husband with his own team, came in 7th. Matty will respond to his 7th place finish when she stops laughing.

This fantasy football player and commish thinks that this beauty might have some brains to go with that lucky bra….for when she’s not stomping the male anatomy with her fantasy team, she’s an environmental scientist.

I’ve asked our dominating damsel a few questions about her dazzling victory and when you read her sassy answers, you’ll know why I wanted to interview Miss Matty.

Utter-Fantasy: Let’s begin by telling us how long your league has been around and how long you’ve been in it?

Matty: This was our 2nd year with the same league members. Two women with a love for the sport, their husbands who know slightly less than they do, and friends from all across the country. We are all affiliated with the US military and Fantasy Football allows us to have the same banter over beers that we would have had were we all still in the same duty-stations. Our internet platform allowed for us to comfortably interact [read: shit talk each other] during the week while keeping up with our adult responsibilities and still be able to kick ass Thursday through Sunday. Though we were nice enough to occasionally warn people when they happened to have someone starting that was on a bye. Maybe only 5 minutes before the game started, but still.

Utter-Fantasy: Who in particular did you take in the draft that was like a twisting knife in your fellow fantasy football owners’ hearts?

Matty: Well, I remember being in a bar and talking line-ups with a friend and the bar tender overheard that I had both Brady and Rodgers on my team. However, I had an ulterior motive. I personally hate Tom Brady. I am sure he could be a great person in person but I just cant stand him. So he was my first round pick and I benched him the whole season. This bartender had NO IDEA why I would do something so “stupid” and waste my time. Then a sports segment came on right behind his head talking about the top 3 QBs in the NFL. Number 3? Aaron. Fucking. Rodgers. Ended up getting a few free beers out of that one. If you scroll through my twitter feed my mid-season pickup of Andrew Luck was perhaps the most talked about player on my team. We had lots of mental conversations about his playing and apparently on more than one occasion he took my critiques to heart and came out swinging after halftime.

Utter-Fantasy: What was your drafting philosophy going into the 2015 fantasy season?

Matty: Funny story. ..most of our league took a group vacation to Mexico over the summer and over unlimited drinks on the beach talked about how amazing the 2014 season had been. We decided mid-trip that we should do it again. One of the boys in particular had a whole defensive monologue he would spout for anyone to listen, on why he was going to draft Tony Romo right out of the gate because, if you look at his stats he is “actually quite consistent”. Well that didn’t go well for him. I on the other hand did my research, got my facts in order, and went with my gut. As a scientist I am no stranger to research, and on the weekends and evenings I would shift my focus to football. My ultimate goal was to do better than these men who would assume because I am a woman I was going to randomly click players in until I had a full team and then hope for the best. There was no more satisfying feeling than sipping my beer while the league chat sang my praises. Though more in the form of trash talking my opponent.

Utter-Fantasy: Did the guys in your league feel castrated by your victory or were they pretty good sports about it?   ( or as “Star Lord” would say….”Bitta’ both!” )

Castrated may be a bit strong. They walked into this season knowing us ladies could hold our own in the league setting. We are two strong women who have always stood our own in conversations, nights on the town, and have made it through years worth of deployments and come out the other side stronger. There were many many close calls, nights I would have to go to bed before games ended simply hoping that my boys would pull it off. All in all they were good sports. Of course if they had said a thing about coming in place after a woman I would have simply called their dedication to the craft into question. What did I do that you didn’t? Oh right, win.

Utter-Fantasy: Were there any key trades during the season that paid off big-time for you and that you care to brag about?

Matty: Trades? Nah. My husband plays video games with the other league members during the week and they did occasional trades. I am too hardheaded to admit that someone else has something I might need. I research ways to make it work or find some who can pull it off on my own. My wins were all me.

Utter-Fantasy: Was your draft live or was it completed online? Any fun details from it?

Matty: Because we are all spread out it had to be online, but we were in a skype chat! So we still were able to judge everyone elses choices and drink together. Only fun detail is how my husband kept running off while other people were drafting because he though he had important things to do (video games in the other room) and ended up drafting WAY too many QBs. We called him Taco for the rest of the season, after the episode of The League where Taco drafted…was it 13 kickers? When husband caught his mistake he felt pretty silly, rightly so. 

Utter-Fantasy: Do you have a fun ball-busting team name?

Matty: No, we all had team names that played off of our actual names. My name is no fun. So I just went with “Matty’s Morgue” to play off of my twitter name.

Utter-Fantasy: What was the prize for whooping all of the asshats in your league….was there a trophy or cash?

We had no prize except for bragging rights. Though I wish we had a trophy. I would put it on my mantle right next to my two degrees and wedding pictures. It is an accomplishment I don’t take lightly. Though as my husband talks to the other guys more than I do he did brag on my behalf for a bit. And we went out to celebrate, steaks!

Utter-Fantasy:  What else won this 2015 league, besides your Sunday best bra? A smart draft perhaps, or good research, luck, a woman’s intuition, savvy waiver wire moves….all of the above?

Matty: Besides the lucky bra, a trick I actually got from my Dad who wears the same underwear every time the Texas Rangers play, I credit my win to my research! My draft didn’t make all of my wildest dreams come true. I pulled the wins off through smart research and occasional input from league outsiders. Though they didn’t always think I was making the right choices, like the bartender from the start of the season. In the end I went with my gut and it paid off.

Utter-Fantasy: Who would you say is your favorite fantasy football player?

Matty: This season it would have to be Aaron Rodgers. I had faith in him from the start and in most instances he didn’t let me down. Plus I feel like when people doubted me for putting him above others his abilities pulled through for me. Plus he seems like a genuinely cool guy and sometimes that is what it comes down to for me. “Would I want to have a drink with this person?” and in his case I would.  

Utter-Fantasy: Have you inspired other rad chicks to take on their own teams and kick some of their own male-dominated fantasy football asses?

Sadly us league ladies have not yet convinced others to join. But we do have a small group of other women who know enough about football to talk and enjoy games with. They are too busy to play. Into the future I hope that isn’t the case with my husband and I. We are good partners but I think Fantasy Football is something that we can do together to unwind at the end of the week. With the responsibilities of our adult-lives becoming more and more, my wish is that we can continue to make time for it. But I would settle for a Cowboys-Redskins game with him over beers and burgers to have a fun night. As long as the Eagles are somewhere losing.

( Utter-Fantasy Wrap Up: Matty wasn’t the only cool chick to walk away with trophies in male-dominated fantasy football leagues in 2015. There were a lot of women strutting their stuff and there will be even more in 2016. I for one enjoy what the gals bring to fantasy football and look forward to competing against them in 2016!)

Matty Murder

Follow Matty’s 2016 quest for back-to-back championships on twitter @MattyMurder

 

Miami Dolphins Team Profile 2016

Miami Dolphins Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

9 in 11 years. Some were only interim, but that’s how many head coaches the Miami Dolphins have had since 2004. There’s been so many, we forget who’s been there. Here goes….Wannstedt, Bates, Saban, Cameron, Sparano, Bowles, Philbin, Campbell and Gase. The Miami Dolphins announced that Adam Gase would be their head coach on January 9, 2016. Stability and continuity is good for football ( ask any Pats or Bengals fan) so let’s hope Gase is Miami’s last hire for awhile.


2016 Team Outlook-

The big bully in the AFC East is still the New England Patriots, who have won the division 12 of the past 13 years. The Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets probably have a team that could beat New England if they could combine forces and create the perfect team, but separately, it’s likely another Pats win in 2016.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-


QB–
Ryan Tannehill was selected in the 2012 NFL Draft, the 8th eighth overall pick and was the 3rd quarterback off the boards then. Andrew Luck went #1 overall, and Robert Griffin III went 2nd. Tannehill is the “Alex Smith” of the AFC East. He’s a competent quarterback who gets the job done, and mid-range in touchdown passes, INTs and rankings at the end of each year. ( 2015- 24 TDs, 12 INTs, ranked #15)


RBs–
Lamar Miller, over the past two years, has 2623 total yards and 19 touchdowns. Like Tannehill, Miller was drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft. Miller was the #9 running back for 2014, and the #6 in 2015. Despite this incredible production, it’s quite possible Miami lets the free agent leave. The Dolphins still have RB Jay Ajayi, who was drafted by Miami in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Ajayi only had 49 carries in 2015…..which averages to 3 carries per game) UPDATE: Lamar Miller has signed with Houston


WRs–
Miami is so loaded with talented wide receivers, that they probably aren’t going to make a huge effort to re-sign WR Rishard Matthews (another player that Miami drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft.)  Jarvis Landry was Miami’s #1 receiver in 2015, with 1159 receiving yard and 4 TDs ( ranking Landry #17 for the season). WR DeVante Parker came on strong in the final 7 games of 2015, with 400+ receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Landry and Parker should be Miami’s #1 and #2 WRs in 2016.

TEs– When former Brown TE Jordan Cameron signed a two-year deal with the Dolphins, fantasy football owners were salivating. Their mouths dried up however, just like Cameron’s fantasy stats. He’s a very gifted athlete, but Tannehill doesn’t see tight ends as a huge offensive weapon, like NO QB Drew Brees or NE QB Tom Brady does. ( or maybe Tannehill and Cameron still need to build chemistry) Cameron was only #29th ranked- TE Rankings 2015

K– Seems like Miami has been trying to find a reliable place kicker is they  released Dan Carpenter back in 2013. Andrew Franks has won the Dolphins’ kicker job in September, 2015, beating out former Dolphin Caleb Sturgis. Franks had the lowest number of field goal attempts in 2015, only 16 ( he made 13)

DEF– Call me crazy…..but if a team gives a players a six-year deal worth $114 million ( with $60 million guaranteed), their defense ought to get better, not worst. On March 11, 2015, Miami signed Ndamukong Suh, making him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, and yet their defense went from #17 in 2014, to #25 in 2015. Now it’s not all Suh’s fault, but he was brought in to be a “difference maker”, and so far he has not been one.

2015 Miami Fantasy Surprises–
Ndamukong Suh is a fierce competitor, and sometimes it gets him into trouble, but he should have brought the Miami’s defense up few notches even in this first year. Jarvis Landry ran the football 17 times for 111 yards and 1 TD. His rushing yardage was 2nd most for wide receiver in 2015. FYI- STL WR Tavon Austin ran the football 52 times, most for a WR in 2015 (that was 5 more times than TENN RB B Sankey.)


2016 Free Agents that Miami Needs to Address–
, RB Lamar Miller, WR Rishard Matthews, QB Matt Moore, FS Michael Thomas (RFA), FS Louis Delmas, MLB Kelvin Sheppard, OLB Spencer Paysinger, DE Olivier Vernon, DE Derrick Shelby

2016 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Miami, like many teams, is repairing their O-Line. The Dolphins will likely draft an offensive tackle and offensive guard. The Miami Dolphins need an inside linebacker. It also wouldn’t be surprising if Miami gets a running back late if Miller bolts.  MIAMI’S 2015 DRAFT


Did You Know–
Longtime Dolphins coach Don Shula was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1951 as a defensive back. Shula signed a $5,000-a-year contract and played in all 12 of Cleveland’s games in 1951, making his first appearance as a starter in October, and recorded four interceptions.

Team Home Page: www.miamidolphins.com

All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS

Kansas City Chiefs Team Profile 2016

Kansas City Chiefs Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

One week after Kansas City’s loss to New England in the divisional round of the playoffs, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was still insisting that his team did everything right during in the clock management department over the game’s final 6:30. Ummm….no. No the Chiefs didn’t. But Reid has been in Kansas City for 3 years, with 3 winning seasons, so he can probably say what he wants.

2016 Team Outlook-

The Chiefs play in the AFC West division, with San Diego, Oakland and the Denver Broncos. With QB Peyton Manning likely retiring, ( he certainly won’t be back with Denver)….this might be the most evenly matched division in the NFL.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-

QB– In 2015, QB Alex Smith finally threw a touchdown pass to a Kansas City wide receiver! If you remember, there were none in 2014. Alex Smith ended 2015 as the #17 quarterback in the NFL, which is where he usually ranks each year. He gets the job done for Kansas City, and led team into the 2015 post-season. For fantasy football owners, he can only be counted on as a “Bye Week” replacement. His 245 yards passing and 1 touchdown “average per game”, won’t win anyone any championships.

RBs– RB Jamaal Charles now has 2 NFL seasons with injuries that have cost him to miss the season. Charles was drafted by the Chiefs in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Over the next 3 years, he would only miss one game. In Week of 2011, Charles suffered an ACL injury and was done for the season. Then over the next 3 years, he would only miss two games. On October 11, 2015, Charles tore his ACL in his right knee in a game against the Chicago Bears. I guess this means he’ll be good for another 3 years. KC played RBBC after Charles’ injury, with RBs C West, S Ware and D Thomas all getting action. None ranked in the top 30 among running backs in 2015.

WRs– In 2014, Dwayne Bowe ended his KC season as the #63 wide receiver in the NFL, with only 754 receiving yards and 0 TDs. Doesn’t sound very impressive does it? Well, apparently it did to the Cleveland Browns, who signed Bowe after his March 12, 2012 KC release. His contract was a ludicrous two-year deal worth $12.5 million. He had 5 catches in 2015. Thankfully for the Chiefs, they moved on to WR Jeremy Maclin, someone HC Reid knew well from days in Philly. Maclin’s 1088 yards and 8 touchdowns help KC get to the playoffs. The Chiefs know that they have to find a weapon opposite Maclin for 2016.

TEs– I do not pound the drums for Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, like everyone else does. “No offense Mr. Kelce, but you play on a team with no offense….passing anyways”. QB A Smith’s 307 passing attempts last year was dead last among 16 game starting QBs. Kelce only had 5 touch downs last year. 13 other tight ends had at least that many. Every year is going to be his breakout year…..and I’ll believe it when I see one.

K– In 2014, the Chiefs saved more than $1.5M going with a new kicker, Carlos Santos over Ryan Succop. In two years as Kansas City place kicker, Santos in only knocking in about 82% of his field goals. 30 of 37 in 2015.

DEF– Kansas City has a very good defense. It ranked #6 in the NFL for 2015, and the Chiefs were 5th best vs the pass. More importantly, they were 3rd best in points allowed ( 17.9 per game). Seattle was #1 allowing only 17.3, and Cincinnati 2nd allowing only 17.4. Most of the free agents that KC has to deal with soon, are on their defense.

2015 Kansas City Fantasy Surprises– WR Jeremy Maclin was in a good situation in 2015, being the clear cut #1 wide receiver on the Chiefs team, which means lots of targets. His 8 touchdowns receptions was the 3rd best on his career, and not bad for the conservative and predictable KC offense. RB Charcandrick West had 3 good games in 2015, filling in for RB J Charles. His best came against the best defense in the NFL…..Week 10 in Denver- 161 total yards and 2 TDs.

2016 Free Agents that Kansas City Needs to Address– QB Chase Daniel, WR Jason Avant, SS Eric Berry, CB Sean Smith (signed w/ OAK), ILB Derrick Johnson, DE Jaye Howard, OLB Tamba Hali, T/G Jeff Allen, SS Tyvon Branch, DE Mike DeVito, FS Husain Abdullah, OT Donald Stephenson, OLB Frank Zombo

2016 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of Kansas City starts with their O-Line. The Chiefs barely protected QB A Smith in 2015 and they could lose T/G Jeff Allen and OT Donald Stephenson in free agency. Next, KC needs a big time play-making wide receiver opposite WR Maclin. On defense, KC will likely draft a safety if they can’t re-sign SS Branch and/or FS Abdullah. – KANSAS CITY’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know–
that Andy Reid only as 3 losing seasons, in his 17 seasons as an NFL head coach? Only 3 losing seasons in Philadelphia and none so far in KC.

Team Home Page: www.kcchiefs.com

All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS

Team Profiles Miami Dolphins

Team Profiles Miami Dolphins by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

There have only been ten head coaches for the Dolphins franchise. The current head coach being Joe Philbin, who took over in early 2012 following Tony Sparano’s dismissal. Philbin’s head coaching career has been a turbulent one so far, with .500 or below records every season and a publicly embarrassing “bullying scandal” amongst Miami teammates while under his helm. On November 3, 2013, the Dolphins suspended Miami player Incognito for misconduct related to the treatment of fellow teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team a week earlier. Incognito’s conduct was said to be detrimental to the team. Despite some fan outcries to have Philbin removed, Owner Stephen Ross says the head coach will return in 2015.

2015 team outlook-

The other bully in the AFC East is the New England Patriots, who have won the division 6 years in a row. They have also been to the Super Bowl twice in 4 years, and won the “whole-shebang” in 2014. Like the AFC South where the Colts dominate while the other 3 teams struggle just to have a season above .500, so goes the AFC East with the Pats dominating, and Miami, Buffalo and New York struggle just to have a season above .500. At least Miami knows who their quarterback will be in 2015. Buffalo and the Jets do not. For this reason, I like Miami to easily place 2nd in their division in 2015.

2015 Fantasy outlook-


QB–
Ryan Tannehill is a competent quarterback that Miami selected eighth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Tannehill isn’t a fancy Ferrari sports car like QB Tom Brady is, but more like a Chevy Malibu. He’ll get you where you need to go without a lot of tinkering or maintenance. The Miami QB ended the 2014 season as the 10th ranked QB in the NFL, finishing with 4045 passing yards, 27 TDs and 12 INTs. He has gotten more efficient in every year he’s played. UPDATE: Miami signed QB Josh freeman to a one year deal, but it would be a shock if Freeman made the final 2015 roster.

RBs–
Cleveland wasn’t the only team to bring in a guy to be the workhorse the team needed, only to have him get injured early on and be replaced by someone already had on their roster. On March 27, 2014, the Dolphins signed former Denver Bronco Knowshon Moreno to a one-year contract worth $3 million. On September 14, 2014 Moreno sustained a dislocated left elbow in a loss to Buffalo and later,on October 14th, 2014 it was announced that Moreno is out for the season with a torn ACL. The Dolphins were forced to hand the ball off to RB Lamar Miller for the rest of the season, which turned out just fine. RB Miller took full advantage of the starting opportunity, and turned in 1374 total yards from scrimmage and scoring 9 TDs. He ranked #10 among running backs in 2014. Miami needs to address so many other deficiencies in the team via the draft and in free agency, so Miller should return in 2015 as Miami’s clear feature back. UPDATE: Miami selected 6’0″ RB Jay Ajayi in the 5th round of this year’s NFL Draft, but Miller proved himself in 2014, so Ajayi won’t start, he’ll just irritate Miller owners by stealing some carries.

WRs–
Miami recently cleaned house releasing Dolphin WR Brian Hartline and Berandon Gibson, with WR Mike Wallace said to be on the team’s trading block. Currently listed as Miami’s #1 wide receiver Jarvis Landry, a second round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and one of the many star receivers to enter the draft last year. WR Jarvis ended the 2014 season as the 42nd WR in the NFL, with 758 yards receiving and 5 TDS. Seventh rounder WR Richard Matthews from the 2012 Draft has reportedly asked for his release, and openly clashed with coach Joe Philbin in 2014, for spending most of the season as Miami’s No. 5 wide out. UPDATE: Miami Acquired WR Kenny Stills from the Saints in exchange for LB Danelle Ellerbe and a 2015 third-round pick. They also acquired a 2015 fifth-round pick from the Vikings in exchange for WR Mike Wallace and a 2015 seventh-round pick.The fantasy world fully expected WR Landry to build significantly on his 2014 rookie season, but with so many weapons around QB Tannehill now, 758 yards receiving and 5 TDS may be Landry’s range again in 2015.

TEs– The most productive of the Miami tight ends for the past 2 seasons has been TE Charles Clay, ranking in the 7th & 16th in the NFL for 2013 and 2014 respectively. Clay is a free agent this year but Dolphins executive VP Mike Tannenbaum confirms that the team would like to re-sign him. UPDATE: Miami signed former Brown TE Jordan Cameron to a two-year deal.

K– The 2014 place kicker for the Dolphins in 2014 was Caleb Sturgis, a fifth round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Sturgis has missed 16 of his 71 field goal attempts through two seasons, so he very much is in danger of losing his job to Zach Hocker, who’s also currently on Miami’s roster.

DEF– The Miami defense has improved every year for the past 4 years. They were terrible 4 years ago, bad 3 years ago, fair 2 years ago and better in 2014. But now that they have an OK defense, they also have a mess to deal with, having so many of players that Miami could rely on heading for free agency. UPDATE: The Dolphins reportedly will sign free agent Ndamukong Suh to a six-year deal worth roughly $114 million with $60 million guaranteed when the signing period opens on Tuesday. UPDATE: In one of the biggest moves of free agency, Miami signed former Lions DT Ndamukong Suh to a six-year deal.

2014 Miami Fantasy Surprises–
I’m always surprised at QB Tannehill breaking into the top 10 of NFL quarterbacks. What he does best, is throw an accurate pass. But making check-downs from receiver 1 to receiver 2 to receiver 3 like QB Aaron Rodgers and QB Drew Brees do…forget about it. RB Lamar Miller’s output and his ability to play all 16 games was a nice surprise. His best game came in Week 16-178 yards and 1 TD.

2015 Free Agents that Miami Needs to Address–
QB Matt Moore- RB Knowshon Moreno- RB Daniel Thomas- WR Brian Hartline (released)- TE Charles Clay (signed w/ Buffalo)- OT Jason Fox (re-signed)- G Daryn Colledge- DT Jared Odrick- LB Jason Trusnik- LB Kelvin Sheppard (re-signed)- S Louis Delmas (re-signed)- S Jimmy Wilson (signed w/ SD)

2015 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Miami are on their O-Line, at wide receiver and in the secondary. The Miami Dolphins led the AFC in team yards per carry, but need young help in the run game (OG), the Dolphins need to decide on WR Mike Wallace, TE Clay and they’ve released 2 other wide receivers mentioned previously (WR & TE) and Miami needs a No. 2 corner back plus a slot corner (CB). UPDATE: Miami’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- MIAMI’S DRAFT


Did You Know–
Former Miami head coach Don Shula had only two losing seasons in his 36-year career of coaching in the NFL. He is the all-time leader in victories with 347. He is first in most games coached (526), most consecutive seasons coached (33). Only HC George Halas had a longer coaching career than Shula (40 years…1920-1967).

Team Home Page: www.miamidolphins.com

2015 Running Back Rankings

2015 Running Back Rankings

1. Marshawn Lynch SEA
2. Eddie Lacy GB
3. Jamal Charles KC
4. LeVeon Bell PITT- suspended 2 games
5. Matt Forte CHI
6. Adrian Peterson MINN
7. C J Anderson DEN
8. Mark Ingram NO
9. Jeremy Hill CINN
10. Justin Forsett BALT
11. Frank Gore IND
12. Carlos Hyde SF
13. LeSean McCoy BUFF
14. Lamar Miller MIA
15. DeMarco Murray PHIL
16. Melvin Gordon SD – rookie
17. Alfred Morris WASH
18. LeGarrett Blount NE
19. Joseph Randle DAL
20. Latavius Murray OAK
21. Andre Ellington ARI
22. Joique Bell DET- injured
23. Chris Ivory NYJ
24. Jonathan Stewart CAR
25. Isaiah Crowell CLEV
26. Rashard Jennings NYG
27. Doug Martin TB
28. Ameer Abdullah DET
29. Gio Bernard CINN
30. T J Yeldon JACK- rookie
31. Todd Gurley ST L
32. Tevin Coleman ATL- rookie
33. Alfred Blue HOU- May be the starter in Houston
34. DeAngelo Williams PITT
35. Tre Mason ST L
36. Andre Williams NYG
37. Davonta Freeman ATL
38. Danny Woodhead SD
39. C J Spiller NO
40. Ryan Mathews PHIL
41. Shane Vereen NYG
42. Denard Robinson JACK
43. David Johnson ARI
44. Fred Jackson BUFF
45. Darren Sproles PHIL
46. James Starks GB
47. Bishop Sankey TENN
48. Knile Davis KC
49. Reggie Bush SF
50. Chris Johnson ARI
51. Montee Ball DEN
52. Benny Cunningham ST L
53. Terrance West CLEV
54. Duke Johnson CLEV- injury hammy
55. Jacquizz Rodgers CHI
56. Charlie Sims
57. Roy Helu OAK
59. Robert Turbin SEA
59. Jerick McKinnon MINN
60. Lorenzo Taliferro BALT
62. Chris Johnson- ARI
63. Arian Foster HOU- Out 8 weeks of reg. season
64. Theo Riddick DET
65. Branden Oliver SD
64. Dan Herron IND
66. Zac Stacy ST L
67. Toby Gerhart JACK
68. Jeremy Langford CHI
69. James White NE
70. Jay Ajayi- MIA- broken ribs sustained Pre Wk 4
71. Darren McFadden DAL
72. Khiry Robinson NO
73. Kerwynn Williams ARI
74. Daniel Thomas CHI
75. Brandon Bolden NE
76. Bryce Brown BUFF
77. Bernard Pierce JACK
78. Deon Lewis NE
79. Anthony Dixon BUFF
80. Marcel Reece OAK
81. Chris Polk HOU
82. Travaris Cadet NE
83. Matt Asiata
84. Donald Brown SD
85. Knowshon Moreno- unsigned free agent
86. Trent Richardson- released by OAK
87. Steven Jackson- unsigned free agent
88. Shonne Greene- unsigned free agent
89. Pierre Thomas-unsigned free agent
90. BenJarvus Green-Ellis-unsigned free agent

 

 

•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Quarterback Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Wide Receiver Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Tight End Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Defense Rankings

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