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

Jacksonville Jaguars Team Profile 2016

Jacksonville Jaguars Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Taking a quarterback in the 1st round of NFL drafts is a big gamble. Names like Manziel, Manuel, Locker, Gabbert, Ponder, Tebow are all examples of 1st  Round draft picks and gobs of money…..gambled away. Jacksonville used their 3rd overall pick on QB Blake Bortles in the 2014 NFL Draft, and their gamble is paying off. Their season record for 2015 doesn’t show it ( 5-11), but they have something good started and they will build on it in 2016.

2016 Team Outlook– The Jaguars were not a challenger for the AFC South division in 2015, but they are an interesting sleeper team in 2016. Jacksonille shares the division with Houston, Indianapolis and Tennessee. The Jags have plenty of pieces in place on their offense, but their defense ranked 26th last year, 31st vs the pass. If the Jaguars are to compete in the AFC South, they need a solid draft in April, aimed right at their defense.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-

QB– On January 5, 2014, Bortles announced that he would forgo his senior season of collegiate eligibility at UCF and entered the 2014 NFL Draft. He was drafted by the Jaguars third overall. In only his 2nd year in the NFL, Bortles ranked #3, only behind Cam Newton (#1) and Tom Brady (#2). Bortles ended 2015 with 4428 passing yard and 35 touchdown passes. He also added 310 rushing yards (6th best in the NFL for QBs) and 2 rushing TDs. Fantasy football owners can still wait to the later rounds to get Bortles, and Utter-Fantasy doubts that he disappoints in 2016.


RBs–
The Jags drafted Alabama-alum RB TJ Yeldon with their 2nd overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Some may argue that there may have been better running backs on the board for Jacksonville. Arizona’s running back David Johnson ranked #8 RB at the end of 2015, while Yeldon ended at #28. Arizona Cardinals GM said it is “scary” how good RB David Johnson can be, who was the 8th RB selected in 2015 Draft & 50 picks after TJ Yeldon. T.J. Yeldon was consistent as a rookie, despite scoring just three total touchdowns. With a solid offense around him, Yeldon needs establish himself as a solid RB2 in 2016. Do not draft early in fantasy football drafts next September. UPDATE: former Jet Chris Ivory signed 5-year deal w/ JACK.

WRs–
In Week 13 vs the Tennessee Titans, Jaguar’s wide receiver Allen Robinson reached 1,000+ receiving yards. When the Jaguar’s wide receiver Allen Hurns also reached 1,000+ receiving yards in Week 16 of the NFL 2015 season, he helped the team get its first 1,000-yard receiving duo since Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell did it in 2001. Only the duo of NYJ Brandon Marshall and NYJ Eric Decker had better season statistics for same team wide receivers in 2015. Both are legitimate top 10-15 fantasy football WR prospects for 2016.

TEs– I get really skeptical when players move from a team with a great offense, and are considered great players rather than products of that great offense. RB DeMarco Murray is a good example. Now he may still be great, but my arthritic grandfather could have run through the holes made by the great Dallas O-Line in 2014, and there was no way I was drafting Murray high in 2015, now in Philadelphia. TE Julius Thomas came from Denver, a great offense in 2014, and I warned fantasy football owners, not to draft him early. With only 2-3 productive games recorded in 2015, I warn again.


K–
The Jaguars went into 2015 with both Josh Scobee and Jason Meyers and both players had good preseasons. The Steelers later acquired K Josh Scobee from the Jaguars in exchange for a 6th round pick in the 2016 NFL draft after
PITT K Garrett Hartley suffering a potentially serious injury in the third preseason game. Myers ended 2015 as the #15 place kicker in thec NFL and will get competition in the pre-season.

DEF–
The Jaguars gave up the 2nd most points (448) to opposing teams in 2015. New Orleans gave up the most (476). Jacksonville’s pass defense ranked next to last. Improving this defense has to be the Jaguars #1 priority this off season, if they have any hope of competing with Colts and Texans.

2015 Jacksonville Fantasy Surprises–
For the past 5 years, no Jacksonville player had ended a season ranking in the top 40 among NFL wide receivers, except WR Cecil Shorts in 2012, at #22. In 2015 however, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns were both in the top 15…..( Robinson #4 & Hurns #14). QB Bortles was the biggest surprise, ranking as the #3 quarterback for 2015.


2016 Free Agents that Jacksonville Needs to Address-
TE Marcedes Lewis, WR Bryan Walters, TE Clay Harbor, QB Chad Henne (Re-signed 2-year, $8M deal), DE Ryan Davis (RFA), C Stefen Wisniewski, P Bryan Anger, DE Andre Branch, DT Abry Jones (RFA), OT Sam Young, DT Abry Jones (RFA)

2016 NFL Draft–
Like 2015, the immediate needs of Jacksonville is everywhere on defense. The Jags are in dire need of a safety., a center and outside linebackers. JACKSONVILLE’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know–
Due to the original Jaguars logo looking too much like the logo for the Jaguar automobile, an agreement was worked out where Jaguar would be the official automobile of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Team Home Page: www.jaguars.com

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

Team Profile- Jacksonville Jaguars

Team Profile- Jacksonville Jaguars

by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

On January 17, 2013, Gus Bradley was hired as the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, replacing HC Mike Mularkey, who was let go after only one season. Along with the Carolina Panthers, the Jaguars joined the NFL as expansion teams in 1995. The Jags have had a rough couple of years, and have not had a winning record since 2007. When Bradley took over as the head coach, he inherited a team that in 2012, ranked #28 on offense, and #28 on defense. After his first year, the defense stayed the same (28th) but the offense sunk further down to #32 in the NFL. HC Bradley is a defensive-minded coach, having been Seattle’s defense coordinator from 2009-2012. The defense will get better under HC Bradley, but Jacksonville’s new QB Blake Bortles (drafted in 2014) is a work in progress, and as the QB goes, so does the offense.

2015 Team Outlook– The Jaguars battling the Colts in the AFC South division is like “a mom & pop” store opening up across the street from WalMart. If Jacksonville could somehow get Indianapolis kicked out the AFC South, then they would only have to fight Tennessee and Houston, which would give them a 33% chance of winning. Right now they have a 0% chance. If QB Bortles can become the franchise quarterback that the Jags hoped he be when drafting him 3rd overall in ’14, then maybe in a couple short years, Indianapolis won’t be as dominating in that division. But right now for Jacksonville, it isn’t close. The Jags are 14-50 over the past 4 years.

2015 Fantasy outlook-

QB– The Jaguars haven’t had a franchise quarterback that can win games for them, since QB Mark Brunell (1995-2002) Jacksonville has used their #1 NFL Draft selection on a college QB 3 times in the past 11 years. In 2003 they selected Bryon Leftwich #1, who lasted 3 seasons. In 2011 they selected Blaine Gabbert #1, who lasted 2 seasons. In 2014 they selected Blake Bortles #1, who is going into his 2nd season. QB Bortles ended his first season throwing for 2907 yards, rushing for 419 yards, throwing only 11 TD passes, while throwing 17 INTs. 11 touchdown passes to 17 interceptions is not good, and if Bortles can’t cut back on all the mistakes, he will be yet another QB on the Jag’s long list of QB failures. Jacksonville’s back-up QB is Chad Henne, who has had some success in his NFL career.

RBs–
Coming into the 2014, the free agent RB pick-up that was going to be the workhorse for Jacksonville was Toby Gerhart, but he quickly failed to impress. RB Gerhart came over from Minnesota, where he had marginal success, and started five games for the Vikings during the 2011 regular season, rushing for 531 yards. On March 11, 2014, Gerhart signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Jags, which included $4.5 million guaranteed. Unfortunately, the Jaguar’s team is littered with poor decisions like signing Gerhart over the past 7-8 years, and the team’s record has reflected as such. After Gerhart’s poor performance in the first 5 games (48 attempts, 121 yards and 1 TD…ugh!) the Jags turned to RB Denard “Shoelace” Robinson, who was surprisingly successful until landing on I.R. with a torn ligament in his foot after Week 14. The Jaguars are sure to grab at least one RB out of free agency, but RB Robinson is currently listed as the starting running back for the 2015 season. UPDATE: Claimed former Raven RB Bernard Pierce off waivers, who will be insurance only IF he makes the team in September. The Jags drafted RB TJ Yeldon with their 2nd overall pick. Regardless of the landing spot, I am not a fan of Yeldon’s and not a fan of the Jaguars offense. An Alabama Alum, so TJ Yeldon is either going to be an “Eddie Lacy” or a “Trent Richardson”, and I am leaning toward the latter. Pick this guy if he is available in later rounds in your fantasy drafts, but NOT EARLY.

WRs–
Jacksonville has drafted 5 wide receivers in past 4 years, and of course, this list contains players that have failed badly for the Jags. Topping their “bust” list is WR Justin Blackmon. Jacksonville used their #1 selection in 2012 on Blackmon, only to have him get suspended twice during 2013 for violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Blackmon did not play a single down for the Jaguars during the 2014 season. Consequently, he has just been released by the team. The other recent WRs drafted by Jacksonville are WR Ace Sanders (2013), Marqise Lee (2014) and Allen Robinson (2014). Undrafted free agent WR Allen Hurns, the star of the preseason for the Jaguars, was the only Jag wide receiver to rank in the top 50 WRs in the NFL for the 2014 season.

TEs– Jacksonville ranks near the bottom in nearly every NFL category, and the tight end’s category is no exception. Two Jacksonville TEs, Clay Harbor & Marcedes Lewis ranked 39th & 43rd respectively in 2014. TE Marcedes Lewis was actually Jacksonville’s #1 draft pick in 2006. Lewis has played his entire career with Jacksonville, but poor QB performances year after year has hurt his production. Do not expect much in 2015 from the Jacksonville’s tight ends, because their targets from QB Bortles averaged only 2 per game last season. I don’t see it changing. UPDATE: Jags signed former Bronco TE Julius Thomas to a 5 year deal. Thomas’ success in Denver with QB Peyton Manning will have him selected rounds earlier than he should be. Note that Jacksoville was dead last in points per game in 2014, and that’s not likely to change much in 2015.

K–
Josh Scobee is an 11 year veteran playing on a team that scores very few points. Scobee attempted a paltry 26 field goals in 2014, and knocked in only 20 of them. It’s futile and boring trying to write something interesting about a Jacksonville place kicker.

DEF–
The Jaguars have a very young offense, that is either going to grow into a success, or fail badly. If it does fail, then fixing it will be HC Bradley’s priority next year, but for now it is in place. The means that the Jags can concentrate on fixing the defense this year, which it sorely needs. Jacksonville has ranked in the bottom 5 of NFL defenses for too many years now, so expect a lot of personnel changes in 2015. UPDATE: Jags released CB Will Blackmon. Re-signed DL Ryan Davis & DE Tyson Alualu.

2014 Jacksonville Fantasy Surprises–
RB Denard “Shoelace” Robinson is not a big, rugged running back, so even HC Bradley admitted at the Combine this year, that he was “shocked” by Robinson’s emergence in 2014. (Robinson was the starting quarterback in all 26 games for the 2010 & 2011 U of M Wolverines.) When QB Blake Bortles entered the 2014 NFL Draft, his attributes included an accurate arm and good decision making. 11 TDs and 17 INTs doesn’t reflect an accurate arm and good decision making.

2015 Free Agents that Jacksonville Needs to Address-
WR Cecil Shorts (signed w/ Houston)- DE Tyson Alualu (re-signed)- OL Geno Hayes- OL J T Thomas (signed w/ NY Giants)- CB Alan Ball (signed w/ Chicago)

2015 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Jacksonville is everywhere on defense and help on their O-Line. The Jags have been trying to upgrade at center since last year and also at right tackle (C & RT), Jacksonville was last in the NFL last year in INT takeaways, so they need to upgrade their secondary (S & CB) and they need to pressure QBs by solidifying the front seven (DT). UPDATE: Jacksonville’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- JACKSONVILLE’S DRAFT

Did You Know–
The Jaguars purposely wear their white jerseys during home games in the first half of the season, because it forces their opponents to wear their dark uniforms, which is extremely hot and uncomfortable in the sweltering autumns in Jacksonville?

Team Home Page: www.jaguars.com