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

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”

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)–

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-

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

2016 Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

2016 Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Two heads are better than one

1. proverb-
…it’s helpful to have the advice or opinion of a second person, and even better with a 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th.

This time of year is a fascinating time in the NFL. Free agents are finding new stadiums to play in, and prognosticators are evaluating the collegiate talent and creating streams of rookie rankings. The 2016 NFL Draft will likely end up almost as different as your NCAA Pick’ EM Brackett, but 6 notable fantasy football websites want you to know who they think will be the top 10 rookie Quarterbacks selected in April.

I finish this article with the average of these 6 sites, and we’ll see in a month, if 6 heads are better than one.

Walterfootball.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

2. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’2″ Miss State Dak Prescott

6. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8. 6’3″ N.C. State Jacoby Brissett

9. 6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

10. 6’5″ Indiana Nate Sudfield

 

CBS Sports.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

2. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

6. 6’2″ Mississippi State Dak Prescott

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8. 6’3″ Arkansas Jacoby Brissett

9. 6’3″ N.C. State Brandon Allen

10. 6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

 

Ourlads.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

2. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

5. 6’2″ Miss State Dak Prescott

6. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

9. 5’11” Oregon Vernon Adams

10. 6’3″ Louisiana Tech Jeff Driskel

 

Drafttek.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

2. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’5″ W. Kentucky Brandon Doughty

6. 6’2″ Miss State Dak Prescott

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

9.  6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

10.  6’3″ N.C. State Brandon Allen

 

FFCouchCoach.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

2. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

3. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

6.  6’3″ Louisiana Tech Jeff Driskel

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8.  6’3″ Arkansas Jacoby Brissett

9.  6’1″ USC Cody Kessler

10.  5’11” Oregon Vernon Adams

 

Utter-Fantasy.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

2. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

6. 6’3″ N.C. State Jacoby Brissett

7. 6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

8. 6’2″ Miss State Dak Prescott

9. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

10. 6’3″ Louisiana Tech Jeff Driskel

 

AVERAGE- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

2. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

6. 6’2″ Miss State Dak Prescott

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8.  6’3″ N.C. State Jacoby Brissett

9. 6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

10. 6’3″ Louisiana Tech Jeff Driskel