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.

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