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.

2016 Fantasy Players Difficult to Predict

2016 Fantasy Players Difficult to Predict by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt

It’s time to take that leap of faith. You decide, he’s the guy for you. Is there the likelihood that he will completely let you down and break your heart? Yes! But the hopeless romantic in you takes the risk. What if he’s completely wonderful and surprises you week after week? You look at him and think, hey he’s got potential. He could be the one. So you take the plunge, and draft him.

OK maybe for you fantasy football is nothing like dating, but to me I see some similarities. Similar in the way that some of these players may end up being total disappointments. Don’t worry this article won’t be depressing. Then again, if some of you had a terrible season last year as a direct result from one of them, this might be a sore spot. So either get over it or if he seems sincere and apologizes for his previous mistakes, you may consider taking him back this year. It’s up to you.

The following are a list of 10 players who were difficult to predict last season and in some cases even harder to predict for the upcoming season. Let’s also pretend this list is random, because it’s just too difficult to rank 1-10.

Frank Gore – He’s a guy who on paper looks pretty darn good. He’s got opportunity and health on his side. However if you look at a chart of his points last season, it looks like the heart rate monitor of someone who’s been drinking red bull vodkas all night… Mess. Am I placing him in my RB1 spot? No… but if I’m picking him up, it’ll be as an RB 2 to someone with a far greater consistency rate. STEADY BOYFRIEND

Jamaal Charles – Ok guys, if he broke your heart last season don’t hold that against him, he wasn’t trying to get hurt. And if you didn’t handcuff this injury prone player that’s on you. Now if you handcuffed him with Knile Davis, I can empathize a little. As for this upcoming season, he is still a risk. Charles is clearly great when HEALTHY, but I’m nervous to take him as my first pick. If I do, I’m definitely picking up Charc-nado to handcuff. Or Ware.. Uhgg, madness. MY EX

Carlos Hyde – After a semi decent start it looked like Hyde was ready to go, but alas another injured RB. If I had to rank RBs right now, I would put him out of the top 15. He is the only 49er worth drafting and if he stays healthy, he could be great. Keep in mind he’s got a heavy workload with a tough schedule. SUMMER ROMANCE

Thomas Rawls – With Lynch’s retirement my first thought was Rawls is a must own. But with so many offensive options he could be on a short leash with Pete Carroll if he makes any mistakes. “Get back on the bench and keep Graham company!” STEADY BOYFRIEND

Rashad Jennings – The underwhelming starter had a measly 3 TDs this past season. He did have more rushing yards in 2015, than in seasons past, but that doesn’t win you games. And what’s the golden rule in fantasy? “You play to win the game!” thanks Herm Edwards. So don’t add Jennings, instead talk him up to the drunk guy at the draft to take him. BAD BLIND DATE

Vincent Jackson – I think Vincent Jackson hates me. Whenever I have played him, he’s been awful/ ineffective. Whenever I’ve benched him he’s had a big day. You sir, are frustrating. With the many options in Tampa, and one year older, it’s safe to say Jackson will be getting less targets this season. STOOD UP

Demaryius Thomas – Was and will remain unpredictable. This offense is dependent on who will be throwing the ball. I doubt Butt-Fumble will get the starting job, so preseason will be interesting who gets the job. Once that’s decided there’s still a bunch of available targets besides Thomas. So who knows….BOOTY CALL

Markus Wheaton – Mentioning him for two reasons; 1. With Bryant suspended he could be a legit WR2 in Pittsburgh, 2. I’m a Steelers fan, so yeah. Ben’s versatile and when he’s not passing to Brown, he’s creating volume in plays. Wheaton will be seeing targets, his floor is raised, and his ceiling?.. TBD…STEADY BOYFRIEND

Back field of San Diego – Yeah, just all of them. Melvin Gordon, a depressing bust last season, is coming back from a knee injury and will be eased back very slowly. Woodhead suffered an ankle injury in minicamp this week, was seen walking off the field, so hopefully nothing serious. Branden Oliver is coming back from a toe injury… Yeah not much confidence in this group. They also added Derek Watt, and though I’m biased because I’ve JJ in my IDP league, I’m sure anything Derek does has the potential to be awesome. CHEATER

Tyler Eifert – Some big games last season, amongst some sparse showings due to SO many targets in Cincinnati. What makes him most unpredictable is the time table for recovery from his ankle surgery. Estimated 3 months till he’s back to playing. However if I’ve learned anything from fantasy sports is never trust ankle injuries. Though the surgery is listed as “minimal”, anything that can weaken stability in the ankle is a bad sign. Plus they never rush a player back from that (and shouldn’t), because they can easily aggravate it. All that said, if he’s healthy in September, he’s a big-time playmaker. POSSIBLE HUSBAND MATERIAL

There you have it. I know there are many more unpredictables out there but I like to keep things simple. So draft at your own risk this season, and I’ll date at my own risk. Though with 4 leagues to manage and the Sunday Ticket, I’ll have no time for that nonsense.
Happy offseason to all!

Sam Holt

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

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

and Fantasy Stock Drops From 2016 Draft by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt

1st and 10 with DFF Week 13

1st and 10 with DFF Week 13 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

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

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

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

 

Week 13-  June 13th, 2016

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

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  I live in Kansas City, so in leagues with local friends and neighbors etc, we have a “homer” or two who will draft a lot of “Chief’s” players. Sometimes fantasy football owners will draft players because they like them and like rooting for them. Are either of these ever a deciding factor for you in any drafts?

OK Homer

DFF Response: (#1) This is definitely a factor for me, but I try my best to exercise caution and restraint when employing the “I like this guy” methodology in drafting players. For instance, in my first and second round I won’t allow the “like” factor to come into play if there is an objectively more talented player on the board. If I am debating a few players in the middle rounds and they are statistically even and their upside/team situations are similar, I’ll ask myself who I would rather root for and draft that player. In the late rounds, especially when there are only role players on the board, I look to pick up guys I want to root for just to make my roster that much more fun.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) Below is the NFL schedule for Week 1 of the upcoming 2016 season. What games in Week 1 are you particularly excited to see?

2016 NFL Week 1

DFF Response: Great question. I’m excited for all of them because I can’t wait for football season to start! In particular, though, I am very anxious to see two games: (1) the Vikes / Titans, because I’m an east coast Vikings fan and I can’t get enough of them; and (2) Steelers / Washington. I am interested to see, for fantasy purposes, which Pittsburgh wide receiver emerges as Martavis Bryant’s 2016 replacement as the team’s WR2. Bryant is, of course, serving a full year suspension for positive drug tests and while I think his replacement will only have the job for the next year, I want to scoop that guy up if he’s on waivers. For Washington, I am very excited to see how Kirk Cousins follows up an amazing end to the 2015 season. I’ll also be scouting Josh Doctson at the wideout spot and I hope to see Jordan Reed continue his dominance as the team’s top tight end.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) So far in recent mock drafts, fantasy owners do not seem to be worried about about GB WR Jordy Nelson’s 2015 injury, and are drafting him before Alshon Jeffrey, Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, Brandon Marshall and Demaryius Thomas. Are there any names here that you would draft before selecting Nelson?

DFF Response: I think people are convinced that Jordy is fully healthy and won’t have the same injury again. When he was hurt last year, the injury took place as he landed on the ground after jumping up in the air to catch a pass — hopefully that type of impact, awkward as it was, does not befall him again with similar results. I like Nelson, too, so I understand the high draft pick that many owners are spending on him. Personally I have higher hopes for guy like Cooper and Evans so I would be drafting them earlier than Nelson this season. With his top-end route running, I think Cooper is poised to be a machine in Oakland. It definitely doesn’t hurt that he has a great connection with Derek Carr. As for TB’s Mike Evans, the sky is the limit. Last year he suffered from a lot of dropped passes but he has made a noticeable effort to get synced up with the leader of the Bucs’ offense, QB Jameis Winston. I believe that the added off-season work will pay dividends quickly this year and I expect Evans to be a firecracker from the first snap! Brandon Marshall is not as high on my list because of questions at quarterback and, in all honesty, I am concerned that his frenetic scoring pace in 2015 may not continue with the same vigor. I like Demaryius, too, and I’ve seen him thrive with a great quarterback, and with a mediocre quarterback. When comparing Nelson and Thomas’ quarterbacks, though, I will ride with Aaron Rodgers for 2016 and therefore would take Jordy before Demaryius.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  Fantasy Football Index magazine 2015-

” We all know there’s a lot of luck involved in fantasy football. Every lucky win you have, is someone’s else’s bad luck.”
How much do you agree with this statement?

DFF Response: I don’t entirely agree with this statement for one reason: I don’t believe that there is, for instance, a meter of luck and 100% of that luck has to be dispersed at each game. Good fortune for one does not necessarily mean bad fortune for another. Granted, there are some freak plays that take place in a game and if you own the beneficiary player you probably feel like you got away with one while the owner facing off against that player feels like one was stolen. In that unique circumstance, yes I do believe the statement applies. However, for the majority of good plays and bad breaks I just believe they were mean to unfurl in the manner that they do! Therefore, just because someone gets lucky in a positive way, it doesn’t necessary mean that the other owner had bad luck.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Prior to the beginning of the 2015 NFL season, RB Joique Bell was at the top of the Lion’s depth chart, and now he is looking for a team to play for as a free agent. Can you think of a team that, in your opinion, would be a great fit for him right now?

DFF Response: I think San Diego is the way to go here. They didn’t do much in the draft and offseason to bring in RB help and we all watched Melvin Gordon go through a rough patch in 2015. This is not an indictment on Gordon and, to be quite honest, I believe San Diego expects Melvin Gordon to be their bell-cow for years to come. In the short term, however, we’ve seen Gordon undergo micro fracture surgery which opens up a Pandora’s box of uncertainty so it isn’t completely outside of the realm of possibility that the Chargers would or could bring in a veteran bruiser type back. I know they have Branden Oliver, but he similarly has been hurt and plays more of the Danny Woodhead pass-catching role. They also, obviously, have Woodhead on the roster – but he plays a different style of football than Joique Bell and I believe those two types of backs can coexist in a backfield with great success.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6)  Last week in our Week 11- 1st and 10 segment, with my role to respond to DFF’s questions, my reply to an inquiry about TB RB Doug Martin (paraphrased) was….“I believe the case for Doug Martin finishing the 2016 season as an RB1 is a strong one- Martin is in one of the few one-back offenses- Martin is still relatively young at 27 years old- Martin has a good cast of talented teammates around him.” It just occurred to me that back in 2015, I was high on WASH Alfred Morris for the “exact same reasons…even their ages are only a month apart”. As you know, Morris ended 2015 as the 45th RB in the NFL. Should I reconsider my position on Martin due to this revelation, or are the situations different enough to stand pat?

DFF Response: I think you should stand pat and continue to place your faith in Doug Martin for this upcoming season. Morris and Martin were in different situations last year and they are in equally different situations this year. In 2015, Martin was clearly the #1 RB and was given those snaps despite the existence of a shifty pass catching back in Charles Sims on the roster. Alfred Morris, may have been the #1 at the beginning of 2015, but in fact, saw less time because of not one but two (and eventually three) other backs: Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, and Pierre Thomas. Now in Dallas, Morris is 100% behind Ezekiel Elliott on the depth charts and I don’t see him getting nearly what Doug Martin will get in terms of opportunities, goal line carries, and overall playing time. This year, Morris can take a step even further back but I think the Buccaneers’ success will be proportional to Doug Martin’s success.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) In 2015, the Browns gave Bowe $9 million guaranteed money, and all the Browns got from the washed-up veteran was five catches for 53 scoreless yards. He was paid over $169,000 per yard. The numbers are truly laughable. Not to pour salt in the “city’s horrible acquisition wound” but because of their track record, didn’t it just figure that it would be Cleveland to do this?

DFF Response: You’re absolutely right: it had to be Cleveland. I’m sure the Browns’ heart was in the right place when it sought to bring in a veteran WR to help solidify its receiving corps and help tutor the younger wideouts. Unfortunately, as is usually the case with Cleveland sports, it completely blew up in the team’s face and became more of a distraction than anything else. I don’t want to go this far, but I would posit that the Dwayne Bowe fiasco had such a monumental effect on the organization in the negative that it very likely led to the team’s decision to draft what feels like a million rookie WRs in this year’s draft. It’s a shame. However, Hue Jackson is going to put his stamp on this team and I think they’ll do better than the past few years.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Please take these 4 names from the Saints receiving corps and rank how you would draft them in a redraft league, in a dynasty league and in a PPR league. Also, is there any other wide out on their depth chart with any fantasy value?

– WRs Cooks, Snead, Thomas, and Coleman-

DFF Response: For me, it starts with Brandin Cooks. I am taking him as early as the second round in dynasty drafts and honestly I can picture myself doing the same in redraft. Cooks has proven he can handle the spotlight, the targets, and the opportunities he’s been given. Other than getting injured during his rookie year, he has produced very well and I expect that to continue. He’s lighting fast, too; that’s a recipe for success in the NFL. Next is Willie Snead. I had my ups and downs with Snead last year and actually got burned by him in a few dynasty leagues when I either didn’t draft him/pick him up off waivers, or traded him away. I think he has done enough to show that when given the chance to be on the field he can definitely get the job done. He has good size too and that is something New Orleans needs to make use of this year. I would draft him in dynasty leagues at round 5 and redraft in rounds 6 or 7. Michael Thomas has a lot of upside as he comes to the NFL with good college tape. I think he will be a great complement to the Saints’ offense. Let’s see what he does this year, but I expect him to be a mainstay in NO. Brandon Coleman had an optimal opportunity with the Saints and all he did with it was lose the job to Snead. I am keeping hope alive that he will work out but I am not investing much draft capital in Coleman. I’ll watch from the sidelines!

PPR: Cooks; Snead; Thomas; Coleman
Dynasty: Cooks; Thomas; Snead; Coleman
Redraft: Cooks; Snead; Thomas; Coleman

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Soon, many will be posting their rankings for the NFL team’s offensive lines for 2016. Indianapolis drafted 4 new players for their O-Line, who haven’t played together, haven’t developed any chemistry together or even had a chance to prove that they are good NFL players. Therefore, can the Colts O-Line be ranked anywhere except near the bottom?

DFF Response:  Optimistically, I will say that the Colts’ offensive line can be ranked higher than the basement of the league. I would wait to see how the gel, if at all, during the preseason before I completely close the book on their projected 2016 success. However, in all actuality, it is more likely than not that they will be near the bottom of the league. I don’t base that off of the fact that the line has four rookies, necessarily, but that is certainly a factor. The biggest component to my prediction is the fact that most of these guys have not played together yet. There you have it: togetherness / chemistry / familiarity. I believe that a competent offensive line is predicated on knowing the other guys’ tendencies: “if I shift left, will the player to my right instinctively know to lean to my side?” etc. Indy’s line will need to bond and understand each other before it creeps out from the basement.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Can the Pat’s new acquisition TE Martellus Bennett, with TE Rob Gronkowski, be the 1-2 punch at the tight position, that Gronk and Hernandez were back in 2011?

DFF Response: I think that the Pats’ top-two TEs can replicate the success of the 2011 Gronk/Hernandez duo. I am not convinced that they will, though. To be clear, I believe that if the situation presented itself in the same vein as 2011, that Bennett and Gronkowski are talented enough to pull off the same offensives heroics that Gronk/Hernandez did. However, I don’t believe the Pats will employ the same exact scheme that led to tandem successes in 2011. Bill Belichick is very keen and he is probably ahead of the curve in this instance, too. I believe that Belichick expects the league to gameplan to defend the 2011 Gronk/Hernandez tight end offensive plan. I secretly think Belichick plans on going in a different direction — not ignoring the TE spot, but I don’t think he’ll use Bennett in the same way that Hernandez was used; it will be another wrinkle in an already sophisticated offense. Therefore, my prediction is that Bennett and Gronk will have the same success as Gronk and Hernandez did in 2011 if the Pats decide to run the same offense. If, however, the team adapts and tries to stay one page ahead of the league, then the two TEs will still have productive seasons but the numbers will not be as impressive as the numbers from 2011.

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

 

1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 12
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 11
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 10
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 9
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 8
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

The Commissioner of 300 Fantasy Leagues

The Commissioner of 300 Fantasy Leagues by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

As a fantasy football fanatic, as a fantasy commissioner and as the creator of  Utter-Fantasy.com, I couldn’t help but take notice of someone in our fantasy football community who is the commissioner of over 300 leagues. His name is Matt Dougherty, and he is the owner of QuestFFL.com and FantasyFootballLeagueSite.com. Since 2007, Quest has been the top provider of long-term fantasy football leagues, who’s specialty is dynasty leagues, but who also hosts keeper leagues and the traditional (or “redraft”) leagues.

My mission, and Matt has accepted, is to find out a little about Mr. Dougherty, and information regarding his fascinating fantasy football websites. I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Utter-Fantasy Question #1 to Matt Dougherty) My first introduction to fantasy football was back in 1985, so I have been doing this for a while. I have an educated guess that you have been doing this for a while as well. What got you interested in fantasy football to begin with?

I have been a huge NFL fan and diehard Washington fan and season ticket holder since I was a child. HTTR!
I discovered fantasy sports in the 90’s and started with a redraft league, then keeper leagues and once I discovered dynasty, I was hooked. I love the bond that is formed with your team and fellow league mates as well as the rivalries that form. Dynasty leagues are year-round and I love the ability to trade and interact with league members during the off-season.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #2) That first league that I started with back in 1985, is still a fun and competitive league today. How many fantasy football leagues do you participate in? Are there 1 or 2 that you have participated in for a number of years?

With the growing number of leagues I am running, I have had to cut back the number of leagues that I am in, but I still participate in about 15 dynasty leagues. A couple of them began back in the early 2000’s.  I have also recently discovered Best Ball dynasty leagues, which are leagues where there are no waivers and the system selects your best lineup each week based on the highest scoring players.  This format is great for owners with multiple leagues and limited time. We just started offering this league type at QuestFFL with great success.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #3) I am the commissioner of a couple of leagues myself, and that’s plenty. How does any human being manage to be the commissioner of over 300 dynasty leagues?

It takes a good deal of planning and being as organized as possible.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #4) What is the most demanding part of being the commissioner of so many leagues?

Definitely the time commitment.  In May, Quest and FFLS held its annual Rookie drafts. Over 2 weekends I ran close to 300 rookie drafts. I don’t think I left my computer or slept for a week straight. I had a blast following all of the drafts though and interacting with all of the owners!

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #5) You are the owner of QuestFFL.com and FantasyFootballLeagueSite.com. What was your inspiration for the 2 sites?

I used to participate in several leagues where the commissioner was unresponsive, took days to process trades and was not receptive to changes in the league.  As a commissioner I take pride in being very responsive. I have my smartphone tied to my hip and always respond to questions and trades very quickly. I also welcome constructive comments and criticisms on ways to improve the sites. These are your leagues!

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #6) Is there a difference between Quest and FFLS?

The FantasyFootballLeagueSite has an extra flex spot for lineups and also uses a taxi squad which is modeled after the NFL practice squad.  At QuestFFL we offer a wider variety of dynasty and keeper league types such as Best Ball, SuperFlex, Devy and Auction Salary Cap Dynasty leagues as well as a traditional keeper leagues where you keep a total of 7 players each year.  We also run a Quest League of Champions- invite only league, reserved for our most active owners.  This a free league with a large 1st place prize.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #7) Can fantasy football owners join QuestFFL and FantasyFootballLeagueSite even after the NFL season begins?

We stop offering startup leagues right before the start of the season but there are usually some orphan teams that are available at big discounts during the season.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #8) What’s the most common question that you are asked about your two fantasy football websites?

Will my league ever fold and will I get paid my winnings at the end of the season?

With the demise of several large dynasty sites in recent years, we wanted to provide more security for owners.  We just recently moved all league funds to LeagueSafe at QuestFFL and FantasyFootballLeagueSite.  All league funds are held in a LeagueSafe escrow account.  The commissioner has no access to these league funds.  At the end of the season, a majority of league members must vote to approve the allocation of winnings.  Winnings are sent by the end of December each year.

Since offering dynasty leagues in 2007, we have never folded a traditional dynasty league. While most of our owners are committed long-term, each year some owners decide to leave the league for a variety of reasons.  In order to entice new owners to take over the orphan teams, we offer these orphans at significant discounts. We currently are offering orphans at close to 40% off the regular entry fee. The payout structure remains the same even if a team gets sold at a discount.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #9) What tends to be the most popular league that fantasy football owners join at Quest and FFLS?

Besides our traditional dynasty league, Devy dynasty leagues are becoming increasingly popular. In this league format, there is an annual draft in August reserved for non professional players. Any college player is eligible.
This allows you to follow college players as they make their way to the NFL. You can even select a high school player.  In the first devy draft I ran many years ago, an owner selected Dorial Green- Beckham who was a high school senior at the time.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #10) On Twitter you write- “Send me your #dynasty questions!” Is fantasy football advice something the 2 sites provide, or something you do for your twitter followers?

As a commissioner, I need to be impartial and do not offer any advice to owners on either site.  However, I do offer advice on my personal Twitter account, @MattDynastyFF.  I have run over 300 drafts and processed thousands of trades so far this offseason so I have a great idea of player values.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #11) Where would you like to see Quest and FFLS, 5 years from now?

The possibilities are endless.  I always welcome and encourage feedback from owners on ways I can improve the leagues. In recent years I have implemented many changes including implementing a toilet bowl, 3rd place game, additional roster and flex spots.  All of these changes are based on feedback from owners and will continue to make improvements based on the feedback I receive.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #12) Is there anything else, that would you like fantasy football owners to know about Quest and FFLS?

On both sites we have a large number of startup leagues currently open and will have drafts running continuously through the start of the season. We also have several dynasty orphan teams that are discounted up to 40% off the normal entry fee.  We also offer an additional $15 discount off any purchase for new owners.

Looking forward to great 2016 NFL season!

 

QuestFFL

Please follow our Twitter accounts for news regarding new leagues and orphans

@FFLSFantasy

@QuestFFL

1st and 10 with DFF Week 12

1st and 10 with DFF Week 12 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

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

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

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

 

Week 12-  June 6th, 2016

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

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) What were some surprises for you in the 2016 NFL Draft?

DFF Response: (#1) There were plenty of surprises throughout the draft, but Joey Bosa going number three overall really stood out to me. There were obviously many talented, top-tier prospects available and the Chargers decided that Bosa was the best fit for them at that spot. It signaled that Sam Diego is looking to retool and build its team from the line out, which is a traditional approach. I like Bosa as a d-lineman and believe he can definitely have an impact for the team, but I couldn’t have predicted that the Chargers would pass up offensive line help (a la Tunsil or Conklin). Either way, I’m excited to watch Bosa in SD. I was also surprised that Cory Coleman was the first of the high profile WRs selected, since most of the hype, especially early on, was focused on Laquon Treadwell. It sure looks like Cleveland has a plan in place for the direction it wants to move in.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) People know me as the fantasy football guy and often invite me to participate in fantasy baseball leagues, fantasy basketball leagues, and even fantasy NASCAR leagues. Unfortunately I have too much on plate handling all my FF leagues, my fantasy football website and as commish of a couple of FF leagues to compete in any of them. Do you spar in fantasy sports other than football?

DFF Response: I play in a lot of dynasty fantasy football leagues which takes up a good amount of time and attention. I used to play in fantasy hockey leagues, but they disbanded. Those were a lot of fun and I had to employ a great deal of strategy to ensure I had enough goalie starts (and that I chose the highest scoring performances before exhausting the allowable starts). My first foray into fantasy sports was fantasy baseball, which was great but ultimately I couldn’t keep up with all that it entailed — so many games to track!

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) The NFL is moving the Pro Bowl to Orlando, Florida in hopes of building more interest in the event. In my opinion, the location isn’t the problem and I don’t know what the NFL can do to make this a game to watch, do you?

DFF Response: I agree with you. I don’t believe the venue is the reason the game has lost some of its luster. The other major sports play their all star games mid season, but that understandably doesn’t work for the NFL given the physical demands on the players. Personally I’m not a fan of the all star game winner getting a benefit in the season, such as in the MLB where the ASG winner gets home field advantage in the World Series. In my opinion, the Pro Bowl started to go downhill when players seemingly stopped taking it seriously. It seems that it has become more of a vacation than a football game. Perhaps the players on the winning team could receive even more prize money, but I don’t know that money is really the answer. Whatever the answer is, I sure hope the NFL finds it soon!

 

Utter-Fantasy #4) NFL players are already being paid a lot of money, so I am often stupefied when a player would rather sign with a bad team for great money, than stay with a good team for good money. Are you?

DFF Response: I can’t say that I’ll ever know what it’s like to make pro athlete money, so I don’t know if enough is ever enough. In that light, I can understand the athletes seeking to make as much as they can during their limited playing careers. However, we often hear about athletes who are willing to do anything to win a ring. Those competing interests don’t always jive, so players will likely have to choose: money or higher probability at a championship.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Is Derek Carr a better quarterback than David Carr was?

DFF Response: This is a great question and ties in the family component! I think that David Carr was thrust into a very difficult situation when he was drafted by the Texans in 2002 and was asked to become the face of the franchise. Coming out of school, the elder Carr was revered for his athleticism and pure talent. Ultimately, his pro career never really took off. The younger Derek Carr was not as highly regarded coming out of college and does not have the draft pedigree that his older brother had. However, his NFL situation is much better and I believe he is set up for more success than David. All in all, I do believe that Derek is better than David and the added pressure of being the top pick probably hurt David in this evaluation. One thing is for sure: that has got to be one heck of a family football game at Thanksgiving!

 

Utter-Fantasy #6)  In 2014, KC QB Alex Smith threw 0 TD passes to a wide receiver. In 2015, WR Jeremy Maclin surprised many by ending the season as the #16 wide out in the NFL, with 1000+ receiving yards and 8 touchdown receptions. Are those numbers achievable in 2016?

DFF Response: I do think that Jeremy Maclin’s numbers are replicable in 2016. Even though the offensive coordinator has departed, the head coach and the general offensive scheme remain. I think that continuity will only help Maclin’s cause this year. Alex Smith clearly has trust in his top receiver and that is a significant factor in receiving success. Another key factor is the roster in KC. Other than Maclin, there isn’t really a WR on the team that has stepped up, which means that Maclin will almost assuredly be the main option when a play is drawn up for a wide receiver. I think having a healthy Jamaal Charles and company in the backfield will also boost the passing game.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) A couple of years ago in one of my fantasy football leagues, I lost 4 of my first 5 draft picks to season ending injuries by Week 2. Tell me some of your most memorable fantasy football casualties, how it effected your season and what you did to try to salvage your season.

DFF Response: I can tell you about one of my worst injury seasons in recent memory, and all of the injuries took place with the same team. Last season in one of my leagues I had Justin Forsett and Mark Ingram as my main RBs. Forsett broke his arm and Ingram missed the final few games of the year, so I was in a bad way heading into the playoffs. I had to slap together a running back corps in a hurry. Luckily I nabbed Buck Allen who had a few good games (PPR league) that helped me eek out some victories. I even relied on Alfred Blue for a game. At the end of the day, my plan B running back stable scored just enough points to keep me in each game and I won the league championship.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Which NFL team would struggle the most in 2016, if they lost their starting QB in the preseason……Miami, Atlanta or Detroit?

DFF Response: I believe that Atlanta would be most affected if the Falcons lost Matt Ryan. There isn’t another quarterback on the roster who could really step in and handle the offense if the top signal caller went down. That offense also relies heavily on accuracy in a heavy passing game. If you have Julio Jones, you had better be able to get him the ball! The running game which set the world on fire in 2015 would be snuffed out without an effective passing game. So, ultimately, a poor quarterback hurts Atlanta’s passing game and rushing game and they can ill afford to have that happen.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Last week I asked DFF for 2 pieces of advice that a fantasy football owner should absolutely know, if starting in a Dynasty League for the first time in 2016. Your response was…First and foremost – and this is a bit of a gimme – do not draft a QB early. I am currently in a 32 team “Dynasty Fantasy Football League’ draft and we may only draft one quarterback. I selected my QB in the 2nd round. Although we did not specify the number of teams in any “Dynasty league” question, I went against your advice. Was this a bad move?

DFF Response: I don’t believe it was a bad move at all. You always have to draft the team you want to root for, the team that will make you happiest; and that doesn’t always conform to one strategy or another. At best, fantasy football advice is aspirational – we speculate about the best options and the most effective players in trying to put together the winning team now and in the future. Here, with a 32-team league, it’s critical to get impact players that you can rely on as staples in your lineup. With all drafts, it’s key to not miss on your first few picks. This is a great opportunity to remind readers that draft strategies are not one size fits all, and each league may have separate and distinct settings like scoring rules and roster sizes. You have to evaluate each one and determine which theories and approaches work best for your league. Let us know how the draft turns out!

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) What year did you draft your first fantasy football team, what format was the league and how did that season go? Were you invited by friends to join an existing league?

DFF Response: I drafted my first fantasy football team in 2005. It was a redraft league with PPR scoring. My father and I were asked to join a league so we co-managed the team that year. Although we drafted some very successful players, we fell short and  didn’t win the championship that year.

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

1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 11
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 10
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 9
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 8
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

NFL Players Are Like Movie Stars

NFL Players Are Like Movie Stars by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

Even at nine years old, I loved the NFL. It was 1972, and the local Sunoco gas stations in Jackson, Michigan (and I would assume elsewhere) had a promotion where they gave out an NFL stamp booklet with every tank full. Inside the booklet, were 9 stamps of current NFL players. For a small price, you could buy the ’72 NFL Action 56 Page Stamp Album to put them in. My friends and I found out that if we walked to the gas station (about 6 miles away) and asked nicely, the attendants would just give us each a booklet. The album required 624 stamps to fill (26 teams in the NFL at the time…12 offensive and 12 defensive players each). Needless to say, it took a long time, and more than a few long walks to fill my album, but I did it. I still love my album.

1972 Sunoco NFL Album

Back then, although I had no idea who he was, I very much needed a Duane Thomas RB Dallas Cowboys stamp to fill my Dallas team page. In 1972, you knew a handful of players from your favorite team, and a few of the most popular in the sport at the time (i.e. Terry Bradshaw, Joe Namath and Lyle Alzado) but that’s about it. You had favorite teams, not favorite players.

Now however, it’s a different story. Over 40 million people play fantasy football, and competing means knowing the players. Ask any seasoned fantasy owner who the 2nd string RB for the Jacksonville Jaguars currently is, and he or she will try to impress you with the speed in which they give you the answer. Combine this knowledge of NFL players with the explosion of media outlets and you have players in the NFL getting the attention that Al Pacino did when he played Michael Corleone in the Godfather (1972). Although the audience was down from what it was in 2015, the 2016 NFL Draft pulled in 7.47 million viewers on day one which translated to a 4.6 household rating. A lot of people found out quickly who Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Ezekiel Elliott were and what they looked like.

The sports’ popularity means that famous quarterbacks aren’t the only ones landing endorsement deals. JJ Watt can be seen doing commercials for Verizon and Ford, Jadeveon Clowney is making “crazy” money pushing Gillette products and even Marshawn Lynch, who hates publicity, hawks Nike, Activision and Pepsi for the big bucks. Whether they like it or not, most of the NFL players, not just a few, are now celebrities. Some of them handle it pretty well, like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, and some don’t, like the spiraling Johnny Manziel. Truth of the matter is, the stage for them is only going to get bigger, not smaller, so handling “being famous” almost over-night is going to be as much an issue for these young superstars as the their new-found wealth.

I get why the Commissioner has to come down hard on some of these young men for their wrong-doings, but I also try to understand how different this must be for them. I wonder how many autographs Odell Bechkam Jr has signed, since making his infamous TD catch? I guarantee that Lynn Swann made a few of those himself, but they weren’t caught by 9 different cameras or seen by 40 million people, so he wasn’t on national TV the very next week selling Old Spice.

Not only did some of the great characters like Dick Butkus, Reggie White, John Riggins and John Randle miss out on the giant contracts being handed out in the NFL today, they are also missing the ultimate limelight, that I know these guys would have loved.

 

You may also like to read my poem- “Zeke Zeke Physical Freak”

1st and 10 with DFF Week 11

1st and 10 with DFF Week 11 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

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

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

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

 

Week 11-  May 30th, 2016

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

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) Give me two pieces of advice that a fantasy football owner should absolutely know, if starting in a Dynasty League for the first time in 2016.

DFF Response: (#1) First and foremost – and this is a bit of a gimme – do not draft a QB early (i.e., within the first 5 rounds). Let someone else take Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, and/or Aaron Rodgers with a top-3 round pick. For every QB that gets drafted too early, that’s one more elite talent WR or RB that falls to you in later rounds. Quarterbacks like Eli, Romo, Rivers, and even Carr, can be had in the double digit rounds. By drafting skill position players with your first 8-10 picks, you give yourself the best opportunity to amass startable talent. Disclaimer: if you are in a 2QB/Superflex league, you can take a QB a little earlier.

(#2) Never, ever, under any circumstances, draft to “fill your starting lineup” before taking depth at a position. You have to make sure you are drafting the best players each and every time you are on the clock. The quickest way to ruin a team is to draft your starting tight end before you take your third wide receiver. Similar to the “best player available” strategy in rookie drafts, you need to be sure and draft the best skill player on the board. Depth is the key to a victorious team. (#3) BONUS: In dynasty leagues, strategy is different than what you may have seen in redraft leagues. For instance, you do not worry about bye weeks in dynasty leagues (after all, in dynasty you play for years and years – and bye weeks change every year). You’ll want to make sure you look at the big picture in dynasty leagues.

Utter-Fantasy #2) Only 6 wide receivers in 2015, had more touchdown receptions than CAR Ted Ginn Jr did, and he finished the season as the #18 wide out in the NFL. Fantasy football owners are very excited about the return of WR Kelvin Benjamin and understandably so. (In his rookie 2014 season, Benjamin had 1008 receiving yards and 9 TDs.) With TE Greg Olsen always a huge weapon in the Panther offense, is there any room for 2015- 2nd rounder WR Devin Funchess in their receiving corps?

DFF Response: I actually think there is room for Funchess, but no room for Ginn. I believe that Ted Ginn’s production in 2015 was solely due to opportunity – with Benjamin out, and Funchess having not emerged as a viable threat yet, Greg Olsen was the only real receiving threat the Panthers had. The Carolina offense was force-feeding Ginn the ball; and that likely will not happen in 2016. The target hierarchy goes: KB, Olsen, Funchess, then the rest, in my opinion. Don’t forget that Ted Ginn had a multitude of dropped passes (most, while he was not even covered by a defender). I firmly believe Ginn is not an elite WR. I would fade Ginn on your fantasy teams this year and buy into Devin Funchess, who clearly has the size and isn’t as much of a target squanderer. Funchess also has draft pedigree. I’m on board with Funchess in 2016.

Utter-Fantasy #3) In 2015, I warned fantasy football owners about drafting CAR RB Jonathon Stewart based on his injury history, QB Cam Newton’s running abilities especially near the goal line and the draft selection of RB Cameron Artis-Payne ( Round 5 of the 2015 NFL Draft.) I thought his ceiling would be close to his 2014 statistics of 812 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs. Stewart was far better than I expected in 2015, with over 100 total yards and 7 total TDs. My concerns in 2016 however, are the same that they were in 2015, and I am going to double-down on my warning and those 2014 ceiling statistics. Do you think this is good or bad advice?

DFF Response: I believe that your advice is sound: steer clear of Jonathan Stewart this season. Stewart is a year older (again), and he’s entering an offense that is finally healthy. I don’t believe that Cameron Artis-Payne is the heir apparent, or a threat, but we have seen Carolina employ a slew of running backs to spell Stewart. Stewart may put up decent touchdown numbers, even though it isn’t something you can necessary predict, but I do not see him as a viable RB1 this year. Spend your money elsewhere.

Utter-Fantasy #4) DAL QB Tony Romo has made a lot of progress and has been throwing for the last month without issue. I don’t care. I think it’s inevitable that Romo will be injured again, early on, and hurt every fantasy football owner who drafts Dallas players ( except for RB Ezekiel Elliott, I think he’ll have a strong season regardless.)  When owners draft WR Dez Bryant, QB Romo and TE Witten early, I will silently be saying “thank you”. What will you be saying?

DFF Response: I’ll say what I always say: Pass! I have never been a believer in Dez Bryant, so I don’t look to draft him to begin with, especially where I would need to take him in drafts. He’s a good talent, but there are many other top talent receivers that I would rather have for the same price. As for Witten, he is a reliable tight end but he’s getting older and I believe that Dallas is looking to incorporate Gavin Escobar a lot more than they previously had. If Witten falls to me with one of my last picks in a draft, I’m interested; but only at that price. Tony Romo has been injury prone, for sure, but I’m still interested in the undrafted gunslinger. If I can select Romo later in the draft, I would be happy to do so. It’s a long shot that he’ll stay healthy, but I would rather be the Romo owner during the year that he remains healthy. I believe with the weapons around him, he is a sleeper (for the right price).

Utter-Fantasy #5) There is talk of the Dolphins having interest in free-agent RB Arian Foster. If Foaster ends up signing with Miami, and is somehow healthy for the start of the season, what’s your percentage that he ends up with the bulk of the carries for the Dolphins in 2016?

DFF Response: I don’t think Foster will carry the bulk of the load with any NFL team. If he signs in Miami, I believe he will be a 1 to 2 down back, working to spell RB Jay Ajayi who Miami is clearly looking to support. By drafting RB Kenyan Drake out of Alabama, I think Miami is sending a message that it has the future Dolphins running back(s) on the roster. Arian Foster will be a part-time RB if he signs in Miami, so I would pay a commensurate price for him. Do not overspend here!

Utter-Fantasy #6) ESPN believes Green Bay WR Jeff Janis is one of the “losers” of the offseason. Janis had a 7-145-2 game stat line from the Divisional Round in the 2015 playoffs, and HC McCarthy took some heat for not playing this man earlier in the season. WR Davante Adams is a constant disappointment and many don’t even consider his roster spot as a “sure thing”.  I believe fantasy owners will be kicking themselves if they do not draft Janis? Will you be recommending Janis?

DFF Response: I am not recommending Janis this year. Jordy Nelson is returning to a WR corps that has plenty of options for Aaron Rodgers. What concerns me with Janis is clearly the depth chart and glut of receivers in GB. Nelson and Cobb will occupy the top two spots, and then GB has Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, and Ty Montgomery, not to mention TE Jared Cook who stands to gain a lot of targets this year. Janis did flash some skill in that playoff game in 2015, but I do not know if the coaching staff will give him a fair amount of playing time and targets.

Utter-Fantasy #7) I hate the no group celebration rule and penalty for doing so, after a touchdown. Who would know Ickey Woods if not for the “Ickey Woods Shuffle?” I understand keeping sportsmanship in the game, but I think the Washington “Fun Bunch” celebration and the Ram’s “Bob’N Weave” added fun to the NFL, not unsportsmanlike conduct, don’t you?  ( DISCLAIMER: Never cared for the Atlanta “Dirty Bird” !)

DFF Response: I understand there has been a movement to eliminate the unsportsmanlike actions by players, but I think there needs to be some visible fun in the big plays. After all, this is a game. I would like to see the league move to allow for those group celebrations again. Even soccer does it…

Utter-Fantasy #8) Former Panther DB Josh Norman was one of the league’s best players in 2015, and Carolina probably could have resigned him but didn’t. Was this only about money, or do you think his personality AND particularly the altercations with WR Odell Beckham Jr in Week 15 last year could have played a big role in rescinded Norman’s franchise tag, making him a free agent?

DFF Response: I think it was about money. If Norman had accepted the offer that Carolina made, I do not believe we would be having this conversation about Norman’s proclivity toward the bombastic. Even during the Odell Beckham saga, Norman’s actions were downplayed by the team. As more information emerges from the fallout between Norman and the Panthers, it is pretty clear that Carolina’s management drew a line in the sand as it pertained to money and realized that they would be overspending via franchise tag and would have to significantly over pay to keep their stud DB. Carolina decided what it wanted to pay, and there was no wavering.

Utter-Fantasy #9) Some NFL players are known to be very superstitious. Some might listen to the same song every week, eat the same food before games or wear the same pair of socks over and over. Fantasy football owners can be just as superstitious. Do you have any draft day or game day rituals that we can tease you about later?

DFF Response: I usually watch NFL Redzone, which plays most of the high points of the games. But I have a serious suspicion about changing the channel when things are going well. I feel that once things are rolling I absolutely cannot change the channel because it will disrupt the good vibes and fantasy production. I also usually rock a Vikings jersey under all circumstances; hasn’t done much for Minny, but it sure has helped my fantasy squads!

Utter-Fantasy #10) Are you familiar with fantasy football insurance? Here’s one company’s pitch….”Protect your fantasy investment with fantasy football insurance”….then they add….”A serious injury, such as a concussion, can mean the end to a star player’s time on the field – and if that player is the star of your fantasy football team, then your season might be over too.” A great idea, or too absurd to catch on?

DFF Response: I can admit that I’ve never heard of fantasy football insurance. I actually think the idea is somewhat defeating – the point of fantasy football is to take chances and capitalize on the wealth of knowledge you have. Injuries obviously play a role in the NFL and, thus, in fantasy, and because of that you have certain opportunities that would not otherwise arise: you can buy low on injured players, for example, or you can beat a better team because its star player is hurt and can’t produce. Injuries, therefore, are just part of the game. I think that by using insurance, you are taking the fun out of the game. The highs and lows have to be left alone – you win some, you lose some! Remember not to take fantasy sports too seriously; it’s fantasy, after all!

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

1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 10
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 9
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 8
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

1st and 10 with DFF Week 10

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Week 10-  May 23rd, 2016

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

• A) Ben Watson to Baltimore-

• B) Jared Cook to Green Bay-

• C) Ladarius Green to Pittsburgh-

• D) Coby Fleener to New Orleans-

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

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

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

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

 

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

1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 9
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 8
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

Fantasy Stock Drops From 2016 Draft

Fantasy Stock Drops From 2016 Draft by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt


Push that afternoon meeting till tomorrow. Pass a beer, grab the chips. Plug in your headphones and log in. It’s Draft Day. Fantasy Fans all watch the draft in their own way. Some go all out, others wait for the highlights or 10 second delayed ESPN updates. How ever you watch, or don’t watch it, the Draft is an exciting night. For the players, dreams are made and crushed. For fantasy owners, it’s a whole list of shiny new players to mull and fight over. One of the most important parts of the draft, is figuring out who’s stock just dropped.

Top 10 Stock Drops:

(These are my Top 10, argue with me or make up your own mind….I don’t care. Training has barely begun and we’re nowhere near preseason yet. So calm down, these will all probably change.)


1.    Ezekiel Elliott vs Darren McFadden

This feels like the obvious one. Last season the RB position was in constant shift. I know this from picking up Dunbar off waivers, and getting one good week out of him before his season ending injury. By adding Elliott you could argue the possibility of a RB by committee situation here. If that were the case I’d say McFadden will fall to the RB2 slot and Elliott will rise to the #1 position. The key with Elliott here is his versatility. I see him running all over the place and plummeting McFadden’s numbers. My only complaint here is the midriff jersey… Stop it. Pretty sure Goodell will happily fine him if he tries to get away with that.

2.    Derrick Henry vs DeMarco Murray
Well he’s the Heisman Trophy winner and all around stud athlete. Did you see his combine tape? 6’2” 247 lbs, this guy is a beast. Though Murray will undoubtedly be named the “#1” for week 1, I can see Henry taking a chunk out of Murray’s goal line opportunities. As the season plays out it will not be shocking if he takes over as the number 1.

3.    Laquon Treadwell vs Stefon Diggs & Charles Johnson
Does this mean Teddy finally has himself a reliable WR? I think so. Diggs and Johnson will be competing with Treadwell for WR 1 and 2 positions. Treadwell came back strong in his junior year from a gruesome leg injury. At 6’2” 210 lbs, Treadwell is a physical and dynamic play maker with great ball security. I think we could be seeing some exciting stuff from this guy.

4.    Carson Wentz vs Sam Bradford
This is a situation where training camp will be really interesting. Though the Eagles have said Bradford is their guy, I could see him fighting for his job in the preseason. Time will tell on who officially has the starting job.

5.    Jordan Howard vs Jeremy Langford
Disciplined, fundamentally strong, a great pick up for the Bears. Though these two serve different roles, Langford was a drop-o-opotamus last season, and will need get a handle on that to keep from sliding this season (see what I did there? “hands” Haha adorable).

6.    Paxton Lynch vs Mark Sanchez
Sanchez has been a place holder on the bench for a long time, that’s not likely to change with the addition of Lynch. The question isn’t if Lynch will be starting QB, it’s when will they make the announcement. I’m guessing mid training camp.

7.    C.J. Prosise vs Thomas Rawls
With Lynch’s retirement and Rawls obvious great season, prior to his injury last year, I couldn’t see how his numbers could be significantly affected. Enter C.J. Prosise. He’s a great receiving back, incredibly versatile, and will be used in multiple ways in Seattle. He will definitely be a threat to Rawls, and will be looking to take over Rawls #1 slot.

8.    Corey Coleman vs ALL THE BROWNS WRs
He’s a major upgrade to the current WR talent for Cleveland. HOWEVER, he has RGIII as his QB. Personally I always like to be optimistic for a young(ish) player coming back from injury. Anyone see that Bruce Willis movie Unbreakable? That’s how I picture RGIII, Mr. Glass. If he can stay healthy, then there’s a good possibility to see some big numbers from Coleman. Hopefully the two of them gel during training camp, because damn this kid is fast and talented.

9.    Kenyan Drake vs Jay Ajayi
The depth for Miami at running back can best be described as lack luster. With this add they get a boost. Drake has the potential to see a good amount of work. This will make Ajayi’s numbers slide. Drastically? Maybe. But that could also be a factor if they sign a veteran running back. Arian Foster rumors and talks are still swirling. If this happens you will most certainly see a drop for Ajayi.

10.    Paul Perkins vs Rashad Jennings (and the rest of the NYG RBs)
With the Addition of Perkins we’ll see a big competition for the 1 and 2 slot. Jennings is getting on the older side and has a history of injuries. Should that be a factor this season you could see Perkins gaining a significant role. Camp will be interesting with Orleans Darkwa, Bobby Rainey, and Andre Williams all be competing with Perkins. Too many possibilities to consider this a big slide, but mentionable for stashing purposes.

Bonus: Jared Goff vs Case Keenum
Short and sweet: Keenum wasn’t fantasy relevant, but Goff will be. So this can kind of be considered a slide.
There you have it. I feel like May is too soon to “predict the future” regarding some of these rookies. Training Camp and Pre Season can be riddled with injuries, free agent signings and cuts. So I’ll look to revise this list in August. Until then, I’m going to keep watching rookie highlight reels because it’s fun and I miss football.

Sam Holt

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

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 9

1st and 10 with DFF Week 9 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

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

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

 

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

 

Week 9-  May 16th, 2016

Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Michael Hughes. Be sure to follow Michael on Twitter @thatshiftybloke

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) Because WR DeSean Jackson hasn’t played a 16 game season since joining Washington, and WR Pierre Garcon is 30 years old this year, can first-round WR Josh Doctson become the #1 receiver for QB Kirk Cousins this season?

DFF Response) DeSean Jackson was a perennial WR1 once he gained his footing in Philadelphia, despite the criticism that he was only a “home-run hitter,” a receiver that excels on deep passing routes and has little to no other relevance in the offense. Since joining Washington, he has been much more of the traditional deep-ball threat. As noted, he has also been plagued by the injury bug. Pierre Garcon’s yearly statistics have declined since his breakout year in 2013 in the Nation’s Capital. The perception on Garcon is that his abilities are dwindling due to age, fatigue, etc. The reality is that Garcon has occupied the same space on the teams he’s played for: he is a reliable WR with veteran prowess, which makes him the ideal target for his quarterback during crunch time, while running the two-minute offense, or trying to convert a 3rd and short. DJax and Garcon will in all likelihood continue to garner a decent number of targets in 2016. QB Kirk Cousins is looking for another prolific offensive year in order to cash in with a lucrative, long-term contract. That last note bodes well for Doctson, who will be thrust into the offense as a wiry WR with skills, above average hands and footwork, and lots of size. As we’ve seen in the traditional Jay Gruden offense, the WR1 is typically drowning in targets, receptions, and opportunities to make big plays (see: AJ Green, 2012-2013). Doctson has draft pedigree, having been selected 22nd overall by Washington in this year’s draft. Gruden obviously likes what he’s seen from the 6’2”, 202-pound product from TCU. The stars are aligned for Josh Doctson to come into camp, solidify his position within the offense as a large bodied wideout with good hands, and make a real name for himself early in the ‘Skins offense. I like Doctson’s chances to finish 2016 as the #1 receiver in Washington.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)    As an owner of at least one Dynasty League team, did you have any of your players’ fantasy stock get clobbered by an NFL team’s draft selection in 2016? ( If not, you must know someone who did?)

DFF Response) The three-headed monster of Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden, and Lance Dunbar all took a collective hit with the Cowboys’ selection of Ezekiel Elliott from Ohio State at number four overall. Many dynasty owners were holding on to McFadden by a thread, recognizing that he has an injury-riddled past and that he is getting up there in age. Last year’s performance warranted keeping McFadden on your bench and many owners did just that, hoping to eke out one more year of fantasy production. Unfortunately for McFadden owners, Easy E is now in the Big D and will spell certain doom for McFadden’s fantasy output. Similarly, Alfred Morris owners were invigorated by the fact that a now older, veteran back with questionable catching ability had landed on a team with a great run-blocking offensive line. The shine on Morris was buffed out almost immediately, as the team drafted college’s top running back. Lance Dunbar – had you forgotten about him? – was also in position to be Dallas’ top pass-catching back. He had demonstrated a penchant for catching passes out of the backfield in previous years and it seemed logical that he would slide right back into that role. At present, it seems that Dallas is committed to Elliott and will give the Buckeye product the lion’s share of the carries and, likely, the majority of passes, too. If you own any of the other Dallas RBs, you’re likely going to have some dead roster weight this upcoming season.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3)  Who is going to win the NFC East Division and why?

DFF Response) As of May 2016, my money is on Dallas to win the NFC East. Forget what you know about the 2015 Cowboys and think back to the Cowboys teams of 2013 and 2014. Last year was an anomaly; Dez Bryant was injured for most of the year and Tony Romo couldn’t stay on the field, either. Going into next season, Dallas has its top offensive weapons available and healthy – and as mentioned above, they’ve added a top-tier running back to play behind the league’s scariest O-line. If their defense can avoid a total meltdown week in and week out, the team can make some noise. By exclusion, if you look at New York, Philly, and Washington, you see some shortcomings that may derail those teams’ seasons. Philly is going to adapt to a new head coach, a muddied quarterback room, and many new faces. Pragmatically speaking, there is much more than just X’s and O’s to digest in Philadelphia, and I believe that will ultimately keep them from winning the division. Not too dissimilarly, the Giants will be directed by first-time head coach Ben McAdoo this year. Although McAdoo is not a new face to the organization, it will be the first time that the former NYG O-Coordinator will be calling all of the shots. Add to that the uncertainty on defense, and there is just enough fuel to flame the fires of doubt for the G-Men. Finally, Washington, the defending NFC East champions, will seek to win their second straight division title. Unfortunately, I do not see the absolutely eye-popping numbers for QB Kirk Cousins continuing this year. Cousins is a good QB and he will be just fine, but he won’t blow the doors off the arena each week like he did during the tail-end of the 2015 season. Running back Matt Jones will need to step-up and convince the league that he can carry the load for a team that seeks to run the ball a decent amount. All in all, I believe Washington falls just shy of its goal of repeating as champs.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  How do you see the saga with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets ultimately playing out?

DFF Response)  If you had asked me this question in April 2016, prior to the draft, I would have brushed it off and exclaimed that there is nothing to see: Fitz will be a Jet in 2016. However, with the Jets-Fitzpatrick contract standoff and the team’s recent decision to select Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg in the draft, I am a little less confident that Fitzpatrick starts for GangGreen next year. Recently, long-time Fitz supporter WR Brandon Marshall even said that the team can win without Fitzpatrick. Many draftniks regailed us with tales of the Jets’ in-depth scouting of Hackenberg, which apparently started as early as Christian’s freshman year at PSU. Given the team’s recent failures at drafting a signal caller, one would think that they wouldn’t take a chance on a questionable prospect again (a la Geno Smith out of WVU, and then Bryce Petty out of Baylor). By taking Hackenberg, the Jets are looking to silence the critics who believe the team is habitually unable to scout QB talent. Hackenberg may not be the answer in New York. Whatever happens, though, it seems more and more likely that the Jets are calling Fitzpatrick’s bluff. I don’t believe Fitz-Magic calls plays in New York in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5)  The newer owners in the NFL are “OK” with a team moving to Las Vegas, while the veteran owners are opposed to a team in “Sin City” because of the distractions and vices that may be prevalent there. Are the veteran owners just being “grumpy old men” about a team in Las Vegas?

DFF Response) There are two types of NFL owners: Old NFL and New NFL. The New NFL ownership groups are looking to capitalize on all possible football-centric revenue streams, including new media, merchandising, etc. These owners are less fixated on the shield/NFL logo, and are more concerned with the entertainment aspect of the sport. Old NFL is looking to capitalize as well, but on its own terms. The history of the NFL shows us that owners have been relatively stingy and tight with the purse strings, often passing up innovation in favor of the comfortable, familiar ways of the past. Old-school owners want to control every part of the NFL’s day to day business and they want to do so on their own terms. A professional team in Las Vegas would be a new occurrence and, as with anything that hasn’t been seen before, there is no way to game plan or prepare for each and every scenario that will follow. Older owners are not keen on being ill-prepared for major events like a new team in a vice-haven like Las Vegas. Thus, I don’t believe the older NFL owners are telling the new owners to get off their lawn; instead, they’re moving cautiously and calculating all of the risks involved.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Can a person be in “too many” fantasy football here leagues?

DFF Response) Yes, an owner can be in too many fantasy football leagues, but what constitutes “too many leagues” is really a personal preference. To each his own. There is no one-size-fits-all portfolio of fantasy teams/leagues. My advice would be to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself: can you handle the number of leagues you’re currently in? If so, would you be able to add another league without it siphoning resources and attention from your other leagues and from your life as a whole. Despite the fact that fantasy football is a hobby, it requires a lot of attention and energy. This is magnified in dynasty leagues, which typically run year-round and allow for trading and scheming in the off-season. I like to devote a good amount of time to each team I manage and I get to know my rosters very well. I am always aware of bye weeks, roster limits, roster construction, positions of weakness, and positions of strength. I also endeavor to identify the tendencies of other owners. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work going in to each team and if you have other responsibilities it can become a chore. My advice to each owner is this: take on as many teams as you are comfortable managing without feeling like setting your lineup, reviewing the waiver wire, and evaluating trades has become work. You want this to be fun, so don’t allow fantasy football to become an inconvenience.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) What are your thoughts on the fantasy sports websites FanDuel and Draft Kings and the legislation trying to shut them down?

DFF Response) Gambling has always been an issue with major sports in America, and that will likely never change. Fantasy football connoisseurs work to differentiate fantasy sports from traditional gambling. The main argument is that fantasy sports requires some amount of skill, whereas placing a wager on which team will win is decidedly different. Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, the particular legislature in each state will decide – as it often does – what it believes is safe and beneficial to its residents. For me, the main concern with sites like FanDuel and Draft Kings has to be the role it plays on those with gambling addictions and the inability to exercise self-discipline. It is obvious that you can lose money quicker in daily fantasy sports than yearly sports because of the timeframe of each league or contest. With daily fantasy you enter and win or lose at the conclusion of the games in question, whereas with season long fantasy football you do not find out whether you’ve won until the end of the year. For these reasons, a player needs to know his or her limits. If you can’t afford to play and lose with daily fantasy sports leagues, then the season-long route is the way to go.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8)  Would you rather be…… the new NFL Commissioner or a short-lived, but very successful NFL quarterback?

DFF Response) I would personally prefer to the NFL Commissioner. The rationale here is simple: money aside – and both positions are paid well, verily – I have a passion for football that would be best addressed in the league offices. As commissioner you can leave your stamp on the league and further the efforts of innovations. The longevity of getting to act as commissioner is enticing, too, as opposed to playing in the league for a short time. For me, the opportunity to effect regulation and rule making over a longer period of time is more appealing than having been the successful player.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) PITT RB DeAngelo Williams was a fantasy stud in 2015, filling in for RB LeVeon Bell. Make the case that he is more than just a handcuff, if LeVeon Bell is 100% in 2016.

DFF Response) Stud running backs like LeVeon Bell typically do it all: they rush well, they catch passes, and they play all three downs. The reason many backup running backs are only seen as handcuffs, and thus do not possess stand-alone player value, is because they are not expected to play many snaps and by extension will not put up stunning fantasy numbers. It usually takes a unique situation, such as injury to a top player or garbage time offensive snaps, for a role player or backup to gain any exposure. Without that limited window of opportunity, few backups get the chance to shine. When LeVeon Bell missed multiple games in 2015 due to suspension and injury, DeAngelo Williams was given the opportunity to demonstrate his value. He did just that, amassing 907 rushing yards and scoring 11 rushing touchdowns. He also added 40 catches for 367 yards. Those sure look like RB1 numbers to me. We all expect LeVeon to return to the starting role, but is D-Will still going to be relegated to back-up duties? I think that he has shown enough to warrant more playing time. Pittsburgh and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have not been shy in the past and I believe that DeAngelo Williams will benefit from a larger complement of plays where the goal is to get him the ball, be it via pass or run. NFL teams value versatility, ball control, and vision. Williams has all of that and I believe the Steelers will reward him with more playing time than the average back up RB.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) It is well-known that WR Wes Welker has had multiple concussion injuries, but the free agent still wants to play in the NFL. After a certain number of these types of injuries, should the league be able to tell a player that they are not allowed to play anymore, even if a competent doctor clears them to play?

DFF Response) The most important aspect of this situation is safety. Competent doctors must evaluate a player and determine if playing football is still an option. Ultimately, it is the league’s responsibility to protect players. As we have seen with other changes to the game, the goal is now to make the NFL safer and that very well may lead to certain instances where teams may keep players out of games for health interests.

 

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

1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 8
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

Rookie Fantasy Football Landing Spots

Rookie Fantasy Football Landing Spots by Utter-Fantasy writer & illustrator Doug Bowles

The “Landing Spots” for NFL rookies can often mean the difference from being early fantasy football gold or fantasy football fool’s gold. Take for example the 2nd-round selection of WR Cody Latimer by Denver in 2014. He was the 10th receiver taken off the board that year, and has had basically no impact in the NFL so far, because he’s been buried on the Bronco’s depth chart behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. In Round Two of that same draft, WR Allen Robinson was selected after Latimer, and was immediately thrusted into the starting line-up, because he had little or no competition. WR Jarvis Landry was selected by the Miami Dolphins after Latimer and Robinson, the 12th wide out taken in the draft, and who also found himself in a great situation. Dynasty owners in particular have been forced to wait to see just how valuable WR Cody Latimer can be. I imagine it’s even harder for Cody Latimer to be patient, as he watches other wide receivers excel in the NFL, because they landed in more favorable “rookie fantasy football landing spots.”

In the order of the draft, here is a list of some of the offensive rookie stars from the 2016 NFL Draft, and the teams that they landed on. See if you agree if it was a good landing spot or a bad spot for them. ( unlike previous years, I believe the majority of the rookie players in 2016 can be happy about where they landed.)

QB Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams (Good Place) – Goff will have little or no competition for the starting job, and he can ease into the role by handing off to perhaps the best running back in the NFL.

QB Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles (Good/ OK Place) – This landing spot borders on “Bad Place.” The Eagles have been described as “a dysfunctional mess” by some, and former #1 draft pick QB Sam Bradford isn’t going to give up the starting role without a fight.

RB Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys (Good/ Great Place) – A three-down back that should take over #1 duties immediately, and he has to be thrilled where he landed with the best O-Line in the NFL in front of him. I even wrote a poem about it….http://utter-fantasy.com/zeke-zeke-physical-freak/

WR Corey Coleman – Cleveland Browns (Good Place) – Coleman is already being projected to get 100+ targets in 2016. I believe Robert Griffin III has something to prove, and that he’ll be surprisingly successful in 2016. Coleman’s competition in Cleveland is Brian Hartline and under-achieving Andrew Hawkins, which means he practically doesn’t have any competition. The variable we don’t know yet, and this is important, is chemistry with RG3. It isn’t automatic.

WR Will Fuller – Houston Texans (Good Place) – A speedster who will have to fight DeAndre Hopkins for targets, but QB Brock Osweiler has a huge arm and Fuller should be able to get deep down-field and fend off Cecil Shorts and Jaelen Strong for the #2 WR spot.

WR Josh Doctson – Washington (Good/ Great Place) – The downside for Doctson is that he will immediately start behind DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and target-monster TE Jordan Reed. Pierre Garcon is in the last year of his contract, so the long-term outlook for Doctson is exceptional.

WR Laquon Treadwell – Minnesota Vikings- (Good/ OK Place) – A possession receiver who’s landing spot was the easiest to predict. QB Bridgewater doesn’t have the arm for the speedy receivers previously selected. In 2015, QB Bridgewater only threw 14 touchdown passes in 16 games, and with a run-first offense, this likely won’t change much.

QB Paxton Lynch – Denver Broncos (Good/ OK Place) – Denver’s quarterback of the future will have sit behind starting QB Mark Sanchez for part of the season at least. Sanchez’s success is unpredictable….as he may thrive with great surrounding players and the #1 defense in the league, or he may flounder like he’s been known to do. The long-term outlook for Lynch could be very good.

WR Sterling Shepard – New York Giants (Good Place) –  Worried about WR Victor Cruz ( and they should be), the Giants selected a speedy weapon for Eli. Shepard is a small, shifty slot receiver with quickness. Victor Cruz (calf, knee) said he is “100 percent’, but it is very unlikely that he ever has success in the NFL like he once did. For Shepard, it is always a good landing spot when you arrive on a team with a prolific and established quarterback like Eli Manning.

WR Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints (Good Place) – Big target at 6’3′ and 212 pounds, Thomas was drafted to replace WR Marques Colston. Thomas hurts the fantasy football value of the other Saint receivers.

WR Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals (Good/ OK Place) – Cincinnati had to replace WR free agent Marvin Jones during free agency, and they lost Mohamed Sanu as well. QB Andy Dalton has plenty of other weapons in WR A.J. Green, newly acquired WR Brandon LaFell, TE Tyler Eifert and running backs Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard, so Boyd will battle for targets. (Established receiver Marvin Jones only had 4 TDs in 2015.) I like Boyd’s long-term outlook more than his short-term.

 

TE Hunter Henry – San Diego Chargers (Bad Place) –  Antonio Gates is 36 years old and TE Ladarius Green went to Pittsburgh, so Henry should have opportunities early. My reservations on Henry are…1) he is not a dynamic athlete 2) Ladarius Green came into the same situation and failed, so one has to at least consider that the result could be the same for another rookie tight end in San Diego.

RB Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans (Bad Place) –  Let’s admit it, the Titan’s do not have a successful history of drafting running backs. Bishop Sankey and David Cobb have not been sensational additions to their offense. I thought Henry was also an odd choice by the Titan’s because the Alabama Alum runs like DeMarco Murray does…..quick thru holes but nothing spectacular. Tennessee signed Murray to be the starter, so Henry’s role will be as a back-up and change-of-pace for now.

QB Christian Hackenberg – New York Jets (Bad Place) – Here is the Jets QB Depth Chart…Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and we are waiting to see if Ryan Fitzpatrick ends up re-signing. Hackenberg becomes the 11th quarterback the Jets have picked since 2000 and is a long shot to become the Jet’s quarterback in the future.

RB Kenyan Drake – Miami Dolphins (Bad Place) – Drake landed behind 2015 fifth-rounder RB Jay Ajayi, who for now, the Dolphins are calling a a “three-down back.” Miami is expected to “ride with the hot hand” at running back, so neither Ajayi nor Drake may be a huge fantasy asset in 2016. Drake is a quality receiver, and may be more valuable to fantasy football owners in PPR leagues.

Quick Hits-

TE Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons (Good Place)– WR Braxton Miller – Houston Texans (Good Place)– WR Leonte Carroo – Miami Dolphins (Bad Place)– RB C.J. Prosise – Seatle Seahawks (Bad Place)– QB Jacoby Brisett – New England Patriots (Bad Place)– QB Cody Kessler – Cleveland Browns (Bad Place)– TE Nick Vannett – Seattle Seahawks (Bad Place)– RB Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears (Good/ OK Place)–  RB Devontae Booker –Denver Broncos (Good Place)–

1st and 10 with DFF Week 8

1st and 10 with DFF Week 8 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

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

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

 

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

 

Week 8-  May 9th, 2016

Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Michael Vincent. Be sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MVtweetshere

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) I believe Robert Griffin III has something to prove, and that he’ll be surprisingly successful in 2016. Furthermore, I believe that he will easily hold off veteran QB McCown and 3rd Round Draft pick USC’s Cody Kessler for the entire year. How do you think he fairs this season?

DFF Response) I need to agree with you here. So many quarterbacks over the last few seasons have had a career resurgence with a change of scenery. That has gone for veterans and younger players that did not get a chance to showcase their talents at their first landing spot. Players like Carson Palmer and Ryan Fitzpatrick have been left for dead over and over, but continue to produce into their mid-thirties and both arguably had their best seasons in 2015. Palmer was 35, on his third team and 13th season. Fitzpatrick did it in his 11th season at age 33 on his sixth stop! Let’s not forget about the greatest free agent signing of all time, Drew Brees, resurrecting his career in New Orleans after being shown the door in San Diego to make way for Philip Rivers. Tyrod Taylor was a relative afterthought as a backup in Baltimore before signing with Buffalo prior to the 2015 season and beating out E.J. Manuel for the starting spot. What RGIII did in 2012 was not an accident. There was a reason he burst onto the scene. Bad luck, injuries, and an odd coaching situation left him in no-man’s land last year, and it didn’t help him that Kirk Cousins took the starting job and never looked back. Griffin may get a chance to do it all over again in for Cleveland with the likes of Duke Johnson, Isaiah Crowell, Gary Barnidge and a trio of rookie receivers in Corey Coleman, Rashard Higgins and Jordan Taylor. A purge of negativity and distractions in Cleveland over the last few years may bode well for Griffin, who could be the answer that so many others have tried to be.  (Answered by DFF’s @mvtweetshere)

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)    I thought the Alabama RB Derrick Henry selection by the Titans was a questionable selection to make because he reminds me a back that they “already have” in DeMarco Murray. (Henry is a downhill runner who has an underrated burst and can break off long runs). Does Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott who was selected by Dallas, remind you of anyone?

DFF Response) From a physical stand point Elliott reminds me of Matt Forte. Their metrics are comparable in terms of size and agility. In terms of running, Zeke reminds me of a faster version of Doug Martin. His landing spot is not comparable to anyone though. I feel as if the 1.01 in rookie draft is more valuable this year than it has been a long time.   (Answered by DFF’s IDP Guru @DFF_Josh)

 

Utter-Fantasy #3)  Do you think Cincinnati did in enough in free agency and the 2016 NFL Draft to replace who they lost in their receiving corps?

DFF Response) The Bengals lost Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones to free agency after both became too expensive to keep around. Both seemed to want WR1 money, but landed in very questionable situations in Atlanta and Detroit, where Sanu goes from A.J. Green’s shadow to Julio Jones shadow for the Falcons, and Jones goes to Detroit where he will spend the better part of his prime being compared to Calvin Johnson. The Bengals may miss them in terms of athleticism and skill set, but they will not have trouble filling the 152 targets that departed this offseason. Jones had the second most targets on the team in 2015, trailing only A.J. Green, but Sanu was the fifth most targeted Bengal, behind Green, Jones, tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Giovani Bernard. Their departures will be filled in a twofold process. First, Eifert and Bernard’s role will most likely expand in 2016. Eifert was a red zone machine last season, coming down with 13 touchdown catches and should only continue to get better if he’s used everywhere on the field. Bernard will continue to thrive in his change-of-pace role, unless Jeremy Hill becomes a more well-rounded back (and stops fumbling.) The other side of the coin is the younger players stepping up, most notably rookie second round pick Tyler Boyd and second year wide receiver Mario Alford. In my opinion, Boyd had the best landing spot among all the rookie receivers and should thrive in a role that fits his style of play. Brandon LaFell was also brought in as a free agent and may be able to carve himself a role in the offense if no one steps up. The lazy answer is MORE AJ GREEN, of course.  (Answered by DFF’s @mvtweetshere)

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  Former HC Tom Coughlin has stated many times now that he’s not ready to retire and would like another team to coach. I think it would be interesting to see Jon Gruden coach again. Is there a former head coach you’d like to see in the NFL again?

DFF Response) Of all the great recent NFL coaches to run an NFL franchise, Tony Dungy is one I’d like to see return. Not only was he the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl, but he also was intuitive enough to design his own defense–Tampa 2–with a completely different team. Dungy’s philosophy would easily adapt to the modern NFL. In fact, he would most likely be on the forefront of the newest craze, similar to the read-option explosion a few years back.  (Answered by DFF’s Giants truther and Pigskin Paradise WR1 hoarder @DFF_Rich)

 

Utter-Fantasy #5)  Was it too early for Indianapolis to take a center in the 1st Round, 18th overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft? (I thought it was a great selection because they needed a good one for QB Andrew Luck)

DFF Response) According to Matt Zenitz of AL.com, there was only one Pro Day attended by both Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and Colts coach Chuck Pagano. That was for Ryan Kelly, the former Tide center whom Indianapolis selected in the first round of the NFL draft last week (No. 18 overall). The Colts had targeted Kelly “for months” leading up to the draft, Grigson told reporters in Indianapolis during a news conference last week.  I don’t think it’s a reach if it’s a glaring need. They targeted him, they scouted him tremendously, and they got him. He was the top ranked center in this draft (25th overall) and had a round 1-2 grade, according to CBS Sports. To put it in perspective, the second ranked center in the draft was ranked 65th overall among all players and received a round 2-3 grade. Only six centers had a projected draft selection of 6-7th or better. They took the best available player at a position that they drastically needed , and he would not have been there the next time around for the Colts, who did not pick again until the 57th pick of the draft. (Answered by DFF’s @mvtweetshere)

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Some talented tight ends were grabbed in this recent draft, with a couple being calling “can’t miss” selections, but people were saying that last year about Baltimore’s Maxx Williams and in 2014 about Detroit’s Eric Ebron. Would you agree that the tight end is a very capricious position in the NFL and least lends itself to the predictability of “can’t miss” players?

DFF Response) Due to the fantasy aspect, more attention is brought to the lack of immediate success from younger tight ends. While success early in a player’s career is always welcomed, it should not be expected from this position during the first two, and sometimes even three years in the league. In dynasty, these players make great stashes, as their values will likely depreciate after the rookie draft in the same way a car loses value once you drive it off the lot. The term “can’t miss” is used to create more buzz around the draft and to draw in hopeful fans but it is still accurate when referring to some of these tight end prospects in the same regard as quarterbacks or offensive lineman who receive the same praise. (Answered by DFF’s Mock Draft expert @DFF_Zach)

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) The Broncos selected QB Paxton Lynch with the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The last time Denver selected a QB late in the 1st round, was big bust Tebow in 2010. Why will this selection turn out better for the Broncos?

DFF Response) I do not believe that Tebow was a bust for the Broncos; he took over in 2011 and led the team to the playoffs after taking over a team that was 1-4. He was then traded after Denver signed Manning. It’s hard to argue that he could have been better than Manning and I won’t even begin to try to do that. I do think Lynch will turn out to be a better pick then Tebow because the Broncos have that defense behind him. We saw that defense take a worn down, beat up and bad QB in Manning and win a Super Bowl. Another thing that is playing into Lynch’s favor is the fact that he has two dynamic wide receivers at his disposal in Sanders and Thomas, as well as a running game that turned it on towards the end of the year. That defense will allow Lynch to go through growing pains and yet still succeed. The last move notable deal Elway did for a QB was getting Peyton Manning and we all saw how that turned out. Even if Lynch doesn’t start immediately, he’ll be able to sit back and learn from Mr. Butt Fumble. The reigns will be handed over to him at some point. The Broncos front office and coaching staff are a very smart group and they know what they have in Lynch. I see them putting him in the game when all parties agree he’s matured and ready to be an NFL quarterback.   (Answered by DFF’s ADP Grunt Austin Brunk @DFF_Brunkie21)

 

Utter-Fantasy #8)  Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was clearly a disappointment ( if not a bust) for Miami last season, especially considering his monstrous contract he got and now his teammates are “privately steamed” about the high-priced defensive tackle skipping voluntary workouts. Don’t you think for many players, that they lose a ton of their competitiveness, when money is never again an issue….or themselves or for any of their family members….for generations to come?

DFF Response) SUHHHHHHHHH, being a lions fan I was able to watch his best and some of his worst moments. I think there are many athletes that tend to skip voluntary workouts, whether it be due to contract negations, or them not wanting to workout with the team and more so with their personal trainer. We hear examples of it all the time. This is just Suh being Suh. He had a down year in 2015 mainly because he wasn’t surrounded by the same defensive weapons as he was around in Detroit. I guess we’ll see how it plays out this year. I do think many players find their competitiveness level drops due to a huge contract signing. The contract he signed sets up his family for years to come as long as he’s able to manage it properly and not waste it all. I think Suh was playing his hardest to get that pay day and he deserved it. While in Detroit, he played at his tip top game. All I know is he’s set for life and loved ones are as well. (Answered by DFF’s ADP Grunt @DFF_Brunkie21

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) How do you think the NFL justifies paying Commissioner Roger Goodell “twice as much” as the highest paid player in the league?

DFF Response) I think the NFL justifies Roger Goodell salary with a few factors. First, according to the CBA, his job as commissioner covers a large range of responsibilities, resulting in a great amount of power being bestowed upon him. In decisions that lack precedence, he is the one to set the precedent for a multibillion dollar industry, which, I imagine, can be quite difficult on many different levels. Second, outside of players that transcend their local media markets, Goodell is a public figure who is probably the most widely recognized person associated with the NFL, which often makes him the first person to receive blame in situations where something goes wrong. Finally, he is tasked with tough decisions that will almost always result in some people disagreeing with him, especially in areas involving disciplinary action. Ultimately, it is a stressful job that requires tough decisions be made, often in a timely manner, in high pressure situations. (Answered by “the treasurer” DFF’s @2A4T3T Graham)

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Despite Seattle drafting 3 rookie running backs, I still think that if he’s 100% in the pre-season, that fantasy football owners can draft RB Thomas Rawls confidently for the 2016 season. What are your thoughts now RB Rawls?

DFF Response) In terms of what I saw in 2015, albeit a small sample size, I fully believe that Rawls will have the opportunity to prove that he can carry the load for Seattle. There have been several positive comments coming from HC Carroll regarding Rawls which only helps to strengthen my belief. It obviously comes down to whether Rawls can take his opportunity. As a runner he proved extremely dynamic and effective when given the chance last year, and it is my belief that he will continue to do so in ’16. Whilst his UDFA status seems to be the main reason for doubt, I believe him to be an exception to many norms and don’t see Seattle factoring this in. 2016 draft pick RB Prosise looks a talented player, although his initial role will predominantly be as a pass catcher, and I see it as unlikely he will progress beyond this in the short term. Due particularly with the importance of pass protection and the difficulty that rookies tend to have picking this up. I would say that Prosise has a chance long term to prove himself as more than a pass catcher, so would see him as a more valuable dynasty asset than a season long, and would feel very confident in Thomas Rawls in 2016, if he shows up to preseason 100% healthy. (Answered by DFF’s Trade Machine, Rawls truther @dckeyte)

 

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

 

1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

Zeke Zeke Physical Freak

Zeke Zeke Physical Freak by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Zeke Zeke Physical Freak…..An Utter-Fantasy poem by someone who probably shouldn’t write a lot of poems!

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
Picked at draft’s peak
New Cowboy is unigue
No compare to his mystique

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
God-like ancient greek
Elliott is who I speak
Eagles up a creek

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
Draft this fantasy geek
Watch other teams shriek
Oh their pants will reek

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
Future far from bleak
Points week after week
Ain’t no hide and seek

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
Here’s my sneak peek
Hitting holes never weak
Slam- Weave- Streak

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
Burst & vision- my critique
New Cowboy has technique
No compare to his mystique

1st and 10 with DFF Week 7

1st and 10 with DFF Week 7 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

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

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

 

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

 

Week 7-  May 5th, 2016

Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Michael Vincent. Be sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MVtweetshere

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) Many speculated that Denver would take QB Paxton Lynch in the 2016 NFL Draft, and that’s who they got. They now head into the season with QB Mark Sanchez as the week 1 starter and Lynch possibly under center later in the season. Is Denver content with their roster now, or do you anticipate any more movement at the quarterback position between now and the season opener.

DFF Response) I think content is probably the right word. Denver survived last season with a subpar quarterback play for most of the year with Brock Osweiler and Peyton Manning under center. They went 12-4 and won the Super Bowl on the back of their defense and relegated Manning, Osweiler, and then Manning again to effective game manager, making enough plays not to lose. While that formula can eventually blow up in their face, that defense is in their prime and they could probably get by with Sanchez doing just enough and Lynch developing in that system long enough to have a successful 2016. If Sanchez can bring any semblance of consistency and the defense plays at the level they did last year, they are a shoo- in to compete for a playoff spot. If Sanchez costs them games, and Lynch is brought in much quicker than anticipated, that’s when there may be the need to bring in another arm. Street free agent quarterbacks come by the bushel, so perhaps some camp competition for Sanchez while Lynch learns the system. Coach Kubiak will rely on the running game and defense regardless.

 

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)   Fantasy football has helped the NFL become the most popular sport in America, and it is not even close. Is it there an opportunity now to re-examine the possibility of another league, such as the United Football League, that failed to catch on before?

DFF Response) I don’t think so. What makes the NFL so popular through fantasy football are the people in the NFL. All of the characters, athletes, heroes, villains – narratives, storylines, and emotional attachment to players for whatever reason. Fantasy football builds a bridge of an investment that goes beyond the game. There is no chance the UFL, or whatever else would spring up, could ever compete with the NFL and what it has to offer. They own a day of the week because of who and what they are. The NFL is where it is because of the people involved and the fact that they are the greatest athletes in the world, not the other way around.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3)  DeMarco Murray says that he “loves” the selection of Derrick Henry in the second round of the NFL draft. He’s got to be a little disappointed…right? ( Who ever WANTS to split carries?)

DFF Response) Murray may be trying a different approach after a humbling 2015 season. He is saying the right thing and looks like he is saying what is in the best interest of the team and what may bring him competition. The answer is yes, after thinking he’d be the lead dog again in Tennessee, he may be in a situation where he is splitting touches and snaps on the field with the rookie. Hard to imagine Tennessee using a second round pick on a player that is not their immediate future, but with so many picks in 2016, they may have been looking to stock up at the position. Tennesse couldn’t pass up on the value. Can’t fault the Titans for looking ahead as DeMarco is 28 and came off his most unproductive season as a starter. Henry will push him in camp and it will ultimately lead to the same headaches any RBBC creates.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  Rotoworld’s Evan Silva gave the 49ers the worst grade of the 2016 NFL Draft for drafting of these players….do you agree?

1 (7). Oregon DE DeForest Buckner
1 (28). Stanford OG Josh Garnett
3 (68). Mississippi State CB Will Redmond
4 (133). LSU CB Rashard Robinson
5 (142). Appalachian State DE Ronald Blair
5 (145). Georgia OT John Theus
5 (174). Ole Miss OT Fahn Cooper
6 (207). Louisiana Tech QB Jeff Driskel
6 (211). Florida RB Kelvin Taylor
6 (213). Michigan State WR Aaron Burbridge
7 (249). Western Kentucky Prince Charles Iworah

DFF Response) What jumps out is the lack of immediate contributors after Buckner and Garnett; even Garnett at 28 was a stretch considering they traded up to get him. For the amount of picks, the sheer volume of new faces does not address any immediate needs except depth, with very little guarantee that all of the picks end up on the 53-man roster after camp. My sleeper in the draft and a player that I have targeted in the late rounds is Michigan State WR Aaron Burbridge, who may surprise people by winning a receiving job over the likes of Eric Rogers, Bruce Ellington and Deandre Smelter. Burbridge was a machine for the Spartans last season as they won the Big Ten Championship and may thrive in Chip Kelly’s system.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5)  Rotoworld’s Evan Silva gave the Ravens the best grade  of the 2016 NFL Draft for drafting of these players….do you agree? ( Note: Only one true wide receiver selected in this draft for the Ravens, and not until the 4th Round)

1 (6). Notre Dame LT Ronnie Stanley
2 (42). Boise State OLB Kamalei Correa
3 (70). BYU DE Bronson Kaufusi
4 (104). Temple CB Tavon Young
4 (107). Cincinnati WR Chris Moore
4 (130). Nebraska OT Alex Lewis
4 (132). Michigan DT Willie Henry
4 (134). Louisiana Tech RB Kenneth Dixon
5 (146). Grand Valley State DE Matt Judon
6 (182). Navy ATH Keenan Reynolds
6 (209). Virginia CB Maurice Canady

DFF Response) The Ravens addressed many needs that they had including both lines, the secondary and the pass rush. The Kenneth Dixon draft pick is an interesting one and it makes me think they are not sold on Buck Allen to be the future at the position. Along with Allen and Dixon, the Ravens will open camp with Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Terrance West and Trent Richardson. Other than that pick, Baltimore did what some teams failed to do, which was filling as many needs as possible in one draft class. Sixth round pick Keenan Reynolds out of Navy will be a fun player to watch as he is listed as a receiver but played quarterback in college.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Dallas came in last in their division in 2015 because they did not have a reliable back up for QB Tony Romo. In my opinion, they still don’t. Do you agree?

DFF Response) I agree that they don’t have a reliable backup, however they do have a Schrödinger’s cat in Dak Prescott now. I think that if Romo goes down again the team is better equipped to succeed in a short term situation without him with Zeke and a healthy Dez. If another long term injury occurred I’d like to see the Cowboys spend a little money on a guy like Fitzpatrick if he holds out through the season. If Romo goes down again this season for considerable time there’s no doubt the Cowboys will go all out for a QB of the future in 2017 with what’s projecting to be a much better crop of quarterbacks.  ( Answered by DFF Pigskin Paradise’s Justin McCasland @MacLandJ )

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) No NFL team addressed their offense like the Rams did in the 2016 NFL Draft with the selections of Cal QB Jared Goff, TE Tyler Higbee, WR Pharoh Cooper, TE Temarrick Hemingway, and WR Michael Thomas.  in the 2016 NFL Draft, With with the exception of RB Todd Gurley and WR Tavon Austin, LA could be putting an entirely new offense on the field in 2016, which includes the rookie QB. Can they be competitive at all in the NFC West or should they just be given a pass this season?

DFF Response) Every year, each organization, from players to GM, will tell you that they plan on winning the Super Bowl. While it’s a given that these teams will always try their best, being competitive in a division with the Cardinals and Seahawks may be difficult with a handful of rookies joining the offense. That being said, the Rams did a great job of reloading their offense with immense talent. Goff is clearly the best quarterback in this class and, while he may not see immediate success, he will certainly have plenty of opportunities to hone his skills as the expected starter for the 2016 season. Pharoh Cooper is a perfect match for the Rams as his skill set has been compared to Tavon Austin. Conversely, Michael Thomas may be one of the best true receivers in this class and could quickly win the starting position over Britt and Quick who are only signed through 2016. Adding depth at the tight end was a big need after the Rams released veteran Jared Cook. Both Hemingway and Higbee are considered move tight ends and should be used heavily in the passing game. Outside of Hunter Henry, Higbee is the best tight end prospect to be drafted this year and, despite his off-field legal issues, should still see plenty of playing time. The bottom line is that the Rams needed more offensive talent and they were fortunate enough to draft some of the best talent available in a fairly thin draft class. ( Answered by DFF’s Zach Van Kirk @DFF_Zach )

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) In a surprising move right after the draft, the Bears released OG Matt Slauson, who finished No. 18 in Pro Football Focus’ 2015 guard ratings and only allowed one sack in 16 starts last season. If he’s unemployed for a week I’d be even more surprised…how about you?

DFF Response) It was a strange move but it looks like they’ve drafted their future left guard in Whitehair. He wasn’t an issue in the locker room and he has helped mentor some of the younger players, but it may just be the case of an older player from a previous regime that does not fit in the future plans for Chicago. He has already made visits to other teams such as San Diego and Buffalo and will find a landing spot before training camp. He is 30, which is not that old for offensive linemen and his productive 2015 will help him latch on somewhere. The Bears are gambling on their depth and may look silly if they lose any of their projected starting guards without at least letting Slauson earn his spot in 2016. With Slauson gone, only Kyle Long remains from the 2013 Chicago Bears offensive line that played every offensive snap together until from Week 1 until the last game of the season. Only Long, Alshon Jeffery and Jay Cutler remain from that starting offense that was one play fourth down conversion away from defeating Green Bay and capturing the NFC North in 2013.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) A recent Fox Sports article was titled “the Philadelphia Eagles are the most dysfunctional mess in the NFL.” I feel that there is a stronger case to be made for the Cleveland Browns getting that inauspicious title, or even the Detroit Lions, who fired team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew in December, and most recently fired 2 more scouts in post draft shakeup. Who would you nominate?

DFF Response) The Colts. Even though many believe the Eagles front office out to be “dysfunctional” that statement is inaccurate. Though some of the decisions made this offseason can be questioned it’s apparent that the front office is all pulling in the same direction since the removal of Chip Kelly. On the other hand the Colts still employ Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano. Last season it was widely reported that the front office would tell the coaches what players should receive playing time. The Colts players held a players only meeting to remind each other to focus on actually playing football and not the drama between the coaching staff and front office. Last season there was rampant speculation that Pagano would be fired after every loss, at no point did Grigson support his coach publicly. At the conclusion of last season it was widely assumed Pagano would be going his own way and the Colts would go theirs. Jim Irsay, the Colts owner, decided he liked the Pagano/Grigson dynamic and decided four more years of it would be just awesome. So the Colts go on with no change, well except for firing all of the coaches, Offensive coordinator being the most prominent, that Grigson forced upon Pagano. I for one cannot wait until the Colts next 3 game losing streak. (Answered by DFF’s Shane @DFF_ShaneShame)

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) What would we be saying about Cleveland WR Josh Gordon now, if he had been an exemplary player in the NFL since being drafted in 2012, with no suspensions to speak of?

DFF Response) So many moving parts in Cleveland, Gordon or not, to really put any quantified level of success for Flash whether or not he had been suspended and missed parts or all of the last three seasons. When he has played, he has shown flashes of brilliance. He has the skill set and the metrics to be one of the bigger impact players in the NFL; there is a reason that he is lauded among fantasy players and defended tirelessly against those who want to just write him off. The talent is there, and he is in Cleveland. He would probably still be getting his numbers and put up an average of 70 catches, 1200 yards and a handful of touchdowns, much like Calvin Johnson, but ultimately he would be lost in the shuffle on a bad team. He could have been, and still could be, as productive as Megatron and Julio Jones as long as his team stabilized the quarterback position.

 

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

 

1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

The Biggest Makeover from the Draft

The Biggest Makeover from the Draft by Utter-Fantasy Writer Cambrick Broady

And the biggest makeover of the 2016 NFL Draft is……

It’s the ultimate adrenaline rush when your team is on the clock during the NFL draft, you wish you were in the war room with the team giving your expert fan advice; dreaming of the pick being the next Deon Sanders or Ray Lewis. If we share something in common (and we probably do), for weeks and weeks leading up to the big “NFL Red Carpet”, you’ve been trash talking with your NFL buddies on twitter up until the draft starts, and speculating who will be selected when and where.

This year was no different as the player pool was deep with talent and one team in particular found themselves striking gold in Chicago this year…

– The Jacksonville Jaguars.

Let’s be honest, if you draft a star player, the dynamic of your team shifts drastically in today’s NFL game. I had a strong feeling the Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t be able to pass on Jalen Ramsey with the 5th pick in the draft; we all know Jerry Jones has made a great living by drafting star players and maximizing their talent and marketability, but when their selection was Ezekiel Elliott (top rated RB out of Ohio State); the Jaguars found themselves with their first pot of gold in the 2016 draft. The team selected Jalen Ramsey (5th overall), the next Deon Sanders as we will know it in today’s NFL. The Florida State Seminole was the undisputed top rated defensive back in this year’s draft and with proven reason. If you’re watching film on a defensive back who can watch the quarterback’s eyes from the snap of the ball until completion of the play which ends in Ramsey batting down the pass; he’s got rare talent. I watched his interview with Deon Sanders when he visited the Florida State campus and what I do know about football is, you’ve got to have some “cool beans” about you to play corner in the NFL. Calm corners get burned; often. You need a short memory, athleticism and the consistency that sinks in the quarterback’s mind. Once you’re in his mind, he just doesn’t throw your way often.

Not only did Jacksonville draft Ramsey, but they also landed star linebacker Myles Jack in the 2nd round (36 overall) who was a projected top 10 pick until a mild injury concern; (  I see it this way, the possibility for injury in the NFL is I’m sure about 99.9% for all players, that’s why you pay for the doctors; to evaluate players and determine the severity. Jack’s is minor and he’s solid pick) Myles Jack becomes the Jag’s “Ray Lewis” and second pot of gold. I love the selection, because you get a linebacker that can do it all! He can get you a pick 6 and will play all 3 downs for you. 6 out of their 7 draft picks were defense, which is warranted considering Jacksonville gave up 448 points last year; good enough for second worst in the league behind the New Orleans Saints. This defense has been given a makeover by adding 2 potential pro bowl talents in the draft and racked up plenty of free agent talents with Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, Chris Ivory and Prince Amukamara. They should compete in the AFC south much better than their 5-11 record last season.
Draft Grade: A

There are some firm honorable mentions for a few teams that all receive B grades from me after their productive NFL drafts:
–    Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones has done it again. In walks Ezekiel Elliott (have you seen him plant and cut…wow) and he will be special behind their pro bowl filthy offensive line. Taking Jaylon Smith in the 2nd round was just pure genius.
–    Atlanta Falcons: Believe it or not the Falcons filled every need on their team except defensive line in this draft…oh wait they signed Derrick Shelby in free agency. The pick few are talking about is TE Austin Hooper, but he will be a nice new target for Matt Ryan who has been known to make tight ends look good. Neal, 2nd round LB Jones and Hooper could all find themselves starting week 1.
–    Cleveland Browns: Have you seen all of their draft picks? Talk about filling all of your needs and building depth, they did it this year. But some will say that they still don’t trust it… just look at their history of drafting players; But this year, they really drafted quite a few quality players and plenty of All Americans. Corey Coleman is a day 1 starter and will give RGIII a nice reliable target. Looking at their picks, you almost feel like they drafted every position possible on an NFL roster; that’s got to translate into some wins…right?
–    Oakland Raiders: We all cringed with fear as the Raiders drafted Karl Joseph, a hard hitting safety that can cover in a division that just lost Peyton Manning. They followed it up with 2 more defensive ends in Jihad Ward and Shilique Calhoun after an already successful free agency of obtaining Bruce Irvin and Reggie Nelson. Oh yeah and Khalil Mack will lead the league in sacks this season. Look out AFC West.

Cam Broady

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

2016 NFL Draft Round Two

2016 NFL Draft Round Two by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator & Doug Bowles

The highly anticipated 2016 NFL Draft finally arrived, and defense is the big story of Round Two. 20 of the 32 selections were defensive players.

Here’s a look at Round Two, with a brief Utter-Fantasy comment on each.

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND TWO-

 

32) Cleveland Browns – Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State: The Browns kick off 2nd round with a pass rusher. pass rush. Cleveland had only 29 sacks all of last season.

33) Tennessee Titans – Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson: The Titans get help for the 24th ranks defense vs the pass- 24th vs the run. Height: 6-5. Weight: 277…many thought he’d go in Round One.

34) Dallas Cowboys – Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame:  Smith tore two knee ligaments and suffered nerve damage in his leg last January’s Fiesta Bowl. Huge gamble for Dallas.

35) San Diego Chargers – Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas: A Gates is 36 years old and TE Ladarius Green went to Pittsburgh.

36) Jaguars (from Baltimore Ravens) – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA:  Jags surrendered the most points in the AFC in 2015. Back-to-back players to help out their defense.

37) Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco 49ers) – Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State: Kansas City’s lands a hulk of a defensive lineman.

38) Miami Dolphins (from Ravens via Jaguars) – Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor: A big corner to battle big receivers in their division.

39) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Noah Spence, OLB/DE, Eastern Kentucky: DEFENSE! Bucs get a needed corner in Round 1, and an edge rusher in Round 2.

40) New York Giants – Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma: Worried about WR Victor Cruz ( and they should be), Giants select a speedy weapon for Eli. Shepard is a small, shifty slot receiver with quickness.

41) Buffalo Bills (from Chicago Bears) – Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama: Back-to-back defensive players for Rex and Rob

42) Ravens (from Dolphins) – Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise State: Ravens addressing aging defense. ( i.e  Suggs and Dumervil )

43) Titans (from Philadelphia Eagles via Los Angeles Rams) – Austin Johnson, DL, Penn State: More help for the 24th ranks defense vs the pass- 24th vs the run. In a draft deep in defensive linemen, Johnson is described as having “quick, strong hands and often wins on first contact”.

44) Oakland Raiders – Jihad Ward, DL, Illinois: Raiders believe (hope) Ward won’t have lingering knee issues.

45) Titans (from Rams) – Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama: The Heisman Trophy winner. An odd choice since Henry runs like Murray does. Quick thru holes but nothing spectacular. I’d bet that Murray felt the same way about this pick, as QB Bradford did when Philly selected QB Wentz.

46) Detroit Lions – A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama:  Lions made the imposing defensive tackle their 2nd-round pick, continuing their effort to fortify their D-Line.

47) New Orleans Saints – Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State: Big target to replace WR Marques Colston. Thomas hurts the fantasy football value of the other Saint receivers.

48) Green Bay Packers (from Indianapolis Colts) – Jason Spriggs, T, Indiana: 6-6 and  301-pounds! Solid selection to protect QB Aaron Rodgers.

49) Seattle Seahawks (from Bears via Bills) – Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama: Seattle gets help for their D-line that lost big talent in free agency.

50) Houston Texans (from Atlanta Falcons) – Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame: Brother of Cowboys all-pro G Zack Martin… should replace C Ben Jones. ( who left for Tennessee)

51) New York Jets – Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State: 11th quarterback the Jets have picked since 2000. Coach Todd Bowles said Friday that Geno Smith will enter OTAs as the Jets’ starting quarterback. ( We’ll see )

52) Falcons (from Texans) – Deion Jones, LB, LSU: Atlanta knows that they can’t win their division with a defense near the bottom again. This helps, along with their 1st round selection.

53) Washington Redskins – Su’a Cravens, LB/S, Southern California: Washington addressing defense after getting a WR in Round 1.

54) Minnesota Vikings – Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson: The Vikings drafted first rounder CB Trae Waynes in 2015, and gives him a partner opposite in Alexander.

55) Cincinnati Bengals – Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh: Cincinnati had to replace WR free agent Marvin Jones during free agency, and they lost Mohamed Sanu as well.

56) Bears (from Seahawks) – Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State: O-line reinforcement to help QB Jay Cutler and RB Jeremy Langford.

57) Colts (from Packers) – T.J. Green, DB, Clemson: Indianapolis reinforces their secondary with speed. Green ran a 4.34 40-yard dash.

58) Pittsburgh Steelers – Sean Davis, DB, Maryland: The Steelers may no longer have the AFC’s worst pass defense!

59) Buccaneers (from Chiefs) – Roberto Aguayo, K, Florida State: The Bucs couldn’t find an answer for a place kicker in 2015. This may have solved their problem.

60) New England Patriots – Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama: Jones is a converted wideout and will also return punts.

61) Saints (from Arizona Cardinals via Patriots) – Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State: Saints added Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins in Round 1, and now Bell- But they aren’t done trying to fix the worst defense in the NFL.

62) Carolina Panthers – James Bradberry, CB, Samford – CB Josh Norman’s unpleasant exit from Carolina left a big hole-  Bradberry may be big enough to fill it- 6’1′ / 211 pounds.

63) Denver Broncos – Adam Gotsis, DT, Georgia Tech – The Broncos selected the Abbotsford native 63rd overall at the NFL draft in Chicago, making him the highest pick Australia has ever drafted. 

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND THREE- ( no notes)

 

64) Titans – Kevin Byard, S, Middle Tennessee:

65) Browns – Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State:

66) Chargers – Max Tuerk, C, Southern California:

67) Cowboys – Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska:

68) 49ers – Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State:

69) Jaguars – Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland:

70) Ravens – Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU:

71) Giants – Darian Thompson, S, Boise State:

72) Bears – Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida:

73) Dolphins – Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama:

74) Chiefs (from Buccaneers) – KeiVarae Russell, DB, Notre Dame:

75) Raiders – Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State:

76) Browns (from Titans via Rams) – Shon Coleman, T, Auburn:

77) Panthers (from Eagles via Lions and Browns) – Daryl Worley, CB, West Virginia:

78) Patriots (from Saints) – Joe Thuney, OL, North Carolina State: H

79) Eagles – Isaac Seumalo, OL, Oregon State:

80) Bills – Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State:

81) Falcons – Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford:

82) Colts – Le’Raven Clark, T, Texas Tech: Good value here.

83) Jets – Jordan Jenkins, LB, Georgia:

84) Redskins – Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech:

85) Texans – Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State:

86) Dolphins (from Vikings) – Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers:

87) Bengals – Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State:

88) Packers – Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State:

89) Steelers – Javon Hargrave, DL, South Carolina State:

90) Seahawks – C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame:

91) Patriots – Jacoby Brissett, QB, N.C. State: Intriguing.

92) Cardinals – Brandon Williams, CB, Texas A&M:

93) Browns (from Panthers) – Cody Kessler, QB, Southern California:

94) Seahawks (from Broncos) – Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State:

95) Lions (compensatory selection) – Graham Glasgow, C, Michigan:

96) Patriots (compensatory selection) – Vincent Valentine, DT, Nebraska:

97) Seahawks (compensatory selection) – Rees Odhiambo, OL, Boise State:

98) Broncos (compensatory selection) – Justin Simmons, S, Boston College:

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND ONE-LINK-

2016 NFL Draft Round One

2016 NFL Draft Round One by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator & Doug Bowles

 

The highly anticipated 2016 NFL Draft finally arrived, and it started off as expected. Rookie QBs Goff and Wentz went 1 & 2, and Roger Goodell was “booed’ everytime he walked onto the stage.

Here’s a look at the 31 picks, with a brief Utter-Fantasy comment on each.

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND ONE-

 

1) Los Angeles Rams: QB Jared Goff – The Rams have their quarterback, and paid a King’s ransom for him. Coach Jeff Fisher said the “goal” is for No. 1 pick Jared Goff to be the Week 1 starting quarterback.

2) Philadelphia Eagles: QB Carson Wentz – Philly says QB Sam Bradford is still their starter…..but fans will be hollering for Wentz. Bradford needs to fight for his job.

3) San Diego Chargers: DL/LB Joey Bosa – Highly coveted linebacker from Ohio State. The Buckeyes had five players taken in the first 20 picks of the draft.

4) Dallas Cowboys: RB Ezekiel Elliott – RB Darren McFadden is out of a job. RB Elliott is a three­-down running back from the Buckeye State.

5) Jacksonville Jaguars: DB Jalen Ramsey – Ramsey falls into the Jag’s lap….they are thrilled. The Jags had the #26 ranked defense in 2015, and were 31st vs the pass. ( Many thought Ramsey was a Titan favorite at No. 1 overall prior to their trade with the Rams.)

6) Baltimore Ravens: OL Ronnie Stanley – Keeping QB Flacco upright is a priority that the Ravens addressed immediately.

7) San Francisco 49ers: DL DeForest Buckner – Chip Kelly predictably grabs a Duck, and a great physical player. Taunted as one of the more NFL-ready prospects in this draft.

8) Tennessee Titans: OL Jack Conklin ‐ The Titans were speculated to go after one of the talented wide receivers…this was better for QB Mariota.

9) Chicago Bears: LB Leonard Floyd – Risky moving up for Floyd. The Georgia football player had just 4.5 sacks for the Bulldogs last year, and left school with 17 career sacks total.

10) New York Giants: CB Eli Apple – Unexpectedly, Eli “Big” Apple joins Eli in the Big Apple. 3rd player from Ohio State selected.

11) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Vernon Hargreaves III – Helps the Buc’s 2015 – 26th ranked pass defense.

12) New Orleans Saints: DL Sheldon Rankins – Rankins joins newly-signed Nick Fairley to help get the Saints out of the cellar defensively.

13) Miami Dolphins: OL Laremy Tunsil – The AFC East forces Miami to gamble on high risk/ high reward players that other teams passed on.

14) Oakland Raiders: S Karl Joseph – A talented safety, which Oakland desperately needed.

15) Cleveland Browns: WR Corey Coleman – Fast but only 5’11”. May end up wishing that they had selected Fuller.

16) Detroit Lions: OL Taylor Decker – Strong leader that will shore up a weak DET O-Line. Detroit was last in 2015 for rushing yards per attempt.

17) Atlanta Falcons: SS Keanu Neal – Defense is a priority Atlanta- this is a start- Need a pass rusher as well….having finished dead last in the NFL in sacks (19).

18) Indianapolis Colts: C Ryan Kelly – Excellent selection to help QB Luck, who is returning from a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle. Remember what C Jeff Saturday did for Peyton?!

19) Buffalo Bills: DL Shaq Lawson – Good pass rusher for Buffalo…this may end up being the player Atlanta should have selected first.

20) New York Jets: LB Darron Lee – Defensive-minded HC Todd Bowles gets the fastest linebacker at the Combine.

21) Houston Texans: WR Will Fuller – How scary is WR DeAndre Hopkins, now that Will Fuller is playing opposite him? Very Scary!

22) Washington Redskins: WR Josh Doctson – Great weapon for QB Cousins, with veteran WR Garcon probably given one more year in Washington….in the final year of his contract.

23) Minnesota Vikings: WR Laquon Treadwell – A possession receiver who’s landing spot was the easiest to predict. QB Bridgewater doesn’t have the arm for the speedy receivers previously selected.

24) Cincinnati Bengals: CB William Jackson III – 3 first-rounders for the Bengal’s secondary in the past 4 years. Likely need a wide receiver next.

25) Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Artie Burns – The Steelers did not have a legit No. 1 corner going into 2015. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is confident that Burns will quickly become an elite player.

26) Denver Broncos: QB Paxton Lynch – The last time Denver selected a QB this late in the 1st round was big bust Tebow in 2010. ( QB Kaep likely stays in SF )

27) Green Bay Packers: DL Kenny Clark: – Wrestling star who will add a big body to the middle of the Packer’s defense.

28) San Francisco 49ers: OL Joshua Garnett – Not an Oregon Duck, but his father Scott Garnett, also played professionally for the 49ers.

29) Arizona Cardinals: DL Robert Nkemdiche – Their 2015 #2 defense needed some young players mixed in. Nkemdiche can push the pocket with power and offers the versatility to make an impact vs. the run.

30) Carolina Panthers: DT Vernon Butler – I love that the strong defensive NFL teams are getting even stronger! Butler was the Football Focus’ top-rated defensive lineman outside the Power 5 conferences last year.

31) Seattle Seahawks: OL Germain Ifedi – HC Pete Carroll is a master in the NFL Drafts. I’d bet that this “considered gamble”….pays off for Seattle.

*NOTE: New England didn’t have a 1st round selection due to “deflategate” punishment

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND TWO-LINK-

1st and 10 with DFF Week 6

1st and 10 with DFF Week 6 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

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

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

 

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

 

Week 6-  April 18th, 2016

Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Jeremy Funk. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter @DFF_Deuce

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) Everyone has an opinion by now about the blockbuster trade made by the Rams with the Titans to get the #1 selection in the 2016 NFL Draft? What is yours?

DFF Response) Overall, I like this trade for both teams honestly.

LA: It tells me who the Rams will be drafting. Between the lines and largely missed by most media outlets, Hue Jackson, Jared Goff, and Adam Silver (NFL Network Analyst) are all linked directly to one another by the CAL program. After the Trade, Silver tweeted:

the Tweet image

This tells me Goff will undoubtedly be a Ram. Also, I think this opens an awesome window to buy some of the options in LA. Quick and Austin are likely to increase in value. Goff is a great talent and has been hailed by Matt Waldman as the best QB to come out as Luck. He will also be in a place where he can rely on arguably the best RB in the game and a defense that will control the game.

TEN: The Titans will now have the needed picks to add a good RT (probably Conklin), take some shots on skill positions, and add more talent to that Dick LeBeau defense. I think this is largely beneficial to QB Mariota. Going forward, I am nervous for Murray. With six picks in the top 50, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Henry or Dixon in a TEN jersey.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)   Do you think the NFL does enough to prepare young athletes for fame and fortune, or could they do more to prevent disasters like Titus Young, Josh Gordon, Aldon Smith, Joseph Randle and Johnny Manziel from happening?

DFF Response) You are trying to get me to go on a rant, aren’t you!
Before I begin, I love the game of football enough to spend my free time writing about a game within a game. Please keep that in mind before tweeting me hate mail…

Personally, I struggle with a lot of mixed feelings about the ethics the NFL displays at times. To be frank, I don’t think the NFL cares. The tragedy of these young men is caused by clinical illness. However, they are seen through the eyes of business, which is in light of tickets, jersey sales, cost cutting.

For example, if we drug tested every single player on a random day, do you think we would have more players test positive? Yes, because the NFL has set a standard date for drug testing. Therefore, the players who are able to stop doing drugs for the month or so, to flush their systems, are able to pass the test. This biased sampling process causes two types of people to test positive: those who don’t care enough to known the testing rule and those suffering from a mental illness. The NFL then chooses to cut bait on them after they cannot stop, which leaves them to a life of mockery and often further addiction.

I do not want to paint the NFL as doing this on purpose, but I do want to present this narrative in a different light. By the addition of Fantasy Football, the NFL has gotten fans to also view the players as an owner does….. Another asset to our team.

“I don’t care if you are healthy, get on the field!  They are gonna cost me money!!”

I challenge you to see the difference between if I was quoting the thoughts of a NFL owner or something we have all thought in one way or another.

…. So in short, NO THEY DON’T and ABSOLUTELY!

(Utter-Fantasy Response- You won’t get “hate mail”, we all agree with you Jeremy!)

 

Utter-Fantasy #3)  Remember the “Good ol’ Days” when TE Jimmy Graham was the #1 tight end in the NFL? In 2012 and 2013 he had a combined 26 touchdown receptions. I am currently participating in a DFF IDP Mock draft in which 14 tight ends were selected before TE Graham was taken in the 17th round (of the 30 round draft). Are fantasy football owners sleeping on TE Graham for the upcoming 2016 season?

DFF Response) No…..He should be lower than that, honestly.

I have not research this injury, specifically. However, I can name off more than four people that have had such a rare and significant injury (Torn Patellar Tendon). Victor Cruz, Ryan Williams, Morris Claiborne, Cadillac Williams….Jimmy Graham.

Here’s a quote from RB Ryan Williams to Victor Cruz: “Growing up I thought the worst injury you could have is the ACL. No, when you tear that patellar tendon and your kneecap shifts into your thigh, that’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy…… There’s no easy way to walk anyone through the process.”

Not only did these guys never produce a fantasy viable season again, NONE have returned to the field for starter snaps after their injury. However, this is only from my knowledge, so there is a lot of hope still. If Victor Cruz is able to come back, I will definitely reconsider my stance. Until then, Jimmy has retired in my opinion.

Here’s a great article that better describes the injury and its viability of return.
http://dynastyleaguefootball.com/2013/06/01/the-dynasty-doctor-6/

 

Utter-Fantasy #4) In 2014, Buffalo had the #2 defense in the NFL. In 2015, they had the #24 defense in the NFL. So how did HC Rex Ryan address his floundering defense in the off-season? He hired his brother Rob Ryan, who was fired as defensive coach in New Orleans following the team’s 47-14 loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 10. Under Ryan, The Saint’s defense ranked dead last in the NFL in both yards allowed and points allowed. Would you like to speculate how the Buffalo defense fares in 2016 under the Ryan brothers?

DFF Response) ***Sigh***

It’s bad business to partner yourself with family. Just like his dad, Rex continually proves to be a terrible head coach in the NFL. I can’t blame Rob for what happened in NOLA. The front office was selling everyone on with decent talent to make up for their mismanagement of the salary cap. If I remember correctly, most of them were on the defense. Rob will be a positions coach, so he won’t have much say in the in-game play calling… thank god. As far as Rex, he will be back to his coordinator position in no time.

To bring it back to fantasy, a decaying Rex Ryan defense is great…………. FOR SAMMY WATKINS!!!

 

Utter-Fantasy #5)  Arian Foster, Joique Bell, Ronnie Hillman, Pierre Thomas, Anthony Dixon, Bryce Brown, Bernard Pierce and Kendall Hunter. Are you surprised that any of these unsigned running backs are still available as free agents and if so, why?

DFF Response) Hillman is the one I am most confused by. He’s recent production was worthy of a contract. I think that is bad news for him. He is either seeking too much money or teams know something we don’t.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) In 2015, KC QB Alex Smith was sacked the 6th most often in the NFL. The Chiefs’ O-Line was atrocious last year and they just lost T/G Jeff Allen and OT Donald Stephenson in free agency. If the Chiefs don’t come up big in the 2016 NFL Draft with help for their offensive line, I will drop KC skill position players substantially in my rankings. Will you?

DFF Response) Every push has an equal pull, right? If they don’t take O-line, then they will be adding talent to the skills or Defense. If its defense, I would say it helps the running game and keeps Maclin the same. However, I think they hurt everyone’s fantasy value if a skill player is drafted there.

In general, I would be selling all options in KC. If I am drafting and players are falling down the boards by 2-3 rounds, I would draft them.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) Talk about winning and losing the “Takeaway/ Giveway” Battle…in 2015, the Carolina Panthers were #1 in the NFL with a plus 20 record in season turnovers and Dallas was dead last with negative 22. It’s hard to imagine Carolina successfully repeating with plus 20 again or Dallas being this bad again, but who do you think will come closest in 2016?

DFF Response) I thought about this for nearly 20 minutes. I think the odds are even, honestly. The answer lies in how the Defense is playing. I don’t know if Dallas can create turnovers and prevent them from falling behind. If Dallas can run the ball, they will commit a lot fewer turnovers. Carolina was great last season, but from what I have seen, Cam made a lot of throws that should be intercepted. However, their defense is good enough to create turnovers at will. I’m sorry, but I honestly can’t decide.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) 2014 was the year of the amazing rookie wide receiver class. Will 2015 be considered the year of the amazing rookie running back class?

DFF Response) 2015 is not even close to as dominant as the 2008 draft. Here are some of the names:
Darren McFadden
Jonathan Stewart
Felix Jones
Reshard Mendenhall
Chris Johnson (CJ2k)
Matt Forte
Ray Rice
Kevin Smith (Injury derailed)
Jamaal Charles
Steve Slaton
Peyton Hillis
Justin Forsett

We will be blessed if half as many of the guys in 2015 hit as well as this class. However, I truly believe 2017 is the next big influx of young talent at RB. Don’t believe me? Judge for yourself.

2017 Running Backs

(Utter-Fantasy Response- Great players in 2008, no doubt about it, but there can be more than one amazing rookie running back class.)

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Last week one of my 1st & 10 questions from DFF addressed the Falcon’s urgency at wide receiver. Atlanta is also in dire need of multiple pass-rushers, having finished 2015 dead last in the NFL in sacks (19). Should the Falcon’s prioritize these concerns before selecting a wide out?

DFF Response) That was actually one of my questions, so I find it fitting to answer a rebuttal. I can answer strongly about one position and only speculate on the other.

The lack of sacks can be due to a number of reasons. A) The edge rush is ineffective. B) The DT position cannot provide the internal push to prevent the QB from stepping up in the pocket. C) Poor understanding or skill by linebackers and safeties allow for an exploitable weakness underneath.

Out of all those situations, I find it most likely due to the DT or LB weakness. However, I don’t want to make that judgment without watching the film, but with such a low sack total clearly shows a defensive need. They are also committed to a developing a defense, so it would not be surprising if the need elsewhere comes before a running mate for Julio.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) There is so much spectacular wide receiver talent in the NFL, and I am still blown away that PITT WR Antonio Brown was the #1 wide out in the NFL for the second straight year. He can’t possibly make it 3 years in row… or can he?

DFF Response) Absolutely, he is in the prime of his career. He and Ben have a “Harrison-Manning esc” relationship. However, the dramatic falloff in production the few times Big Ben was injured has been troublesome. Ben being 34 makes me think that the end might be sneaking up on us quicker than we might hope.

 

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

Drafting Rookie Quarterbacks

Drafting Rookie Quarterbacks by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

In case you haven’t heard….The LA Rams traded the Tennessee Titans for their #1 overall selection in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft (plus #113 and #177 overall picks). In return, Tennessee acquired LA’s 2016 picks Nos. 15, 43, 45 and 76. The Titans also get the Rams’ 1st and 3rd round picks in next year’s draft. New Tenn GM Jon Robinson said he wanted a “King’s ransom” for the No. 1 pick, and that’s what he was paid. The Rams are desperate for a franchise quarterback and they clearly believe he is in this draft. Although ESPN is reporting that “LA wants 2 weeks to “debate whether to take QB Goff or QB Wentz”, this is just drama.  LA didn’t “give away the farm” on “a still undecided”. Some think that 6’5″ N Dakota State’s Carson Wentz is headed for the west coast, while ESPN and others anticipate the Rams drafting Jared Goff with their new No. 1 overall. Either way, the Ram know who they want.

The gamble for LA is a huge one. The success rate for rookie quarterbacks drafted in the 1st round is the same as a coin flip. Since 2010, 7 rookie quarterbacks have successfully transitioned into NFL as high caliber starters, while 7 others have been “busts”. I have omitted 2 QBs from these 2 lists, creating a 3rd called “Yet Determined”.

Since 2010…..

7- Successful 1st Round Rookie Quarterbacks:

2010 Sam Bradford
2011 Cam Newton
2012 Andrew Luck
2012 Ryan Tannehill
2014 Blake Bortles
2015 Jameis Winston
2015 Marcus Mariota

7- 1st Round Rookie Quarterback Busts:

2010 T Tebow
2011 Jake Locker
2011 Blaine Gabbert
2011 C Ponder
2012 Brandon Weeden
2013 EJ Manuel
2014 J Manziel

2- 1st Round Rookie Quarterbacks “Yet Determined”:

2012 Robert Griffin III
2014 Teddy Bridgewater

What’s particularly interesting about this trade by HC Jeff Fisher and the LA Rams, is that they were the beneficiaries of a lopsided, disastrous trade only 4 years ago. In that infamous trade for Robert Griffin III in 2012, Washington received the draft’s No. 2 pick from the Rams, while the then-St. Louis Rams received a haul of eight players. Mike Shanahan was the head coach of Washington in 2012 and was fired a year later. He is currently unemployed and QB RG3 now plays in Cleveland.

One of my Twitter fantasy football brethren….Dave Bettach, said it best I think, when he wrote….“Snead ( LA Rams General Manager Les Snead) looks confused and more nervous than a guy on death row…and that’s where he’ll be if this trade tanks.”  You can follow Dave on Twitter @Titansffaan