1st and 10 with DFF Week 12

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

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

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

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

 

Week 12-  June 6th, 2016

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 11

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

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

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

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

 

Week 11-  May 30th, 2016

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 10

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Week 10-  May 23rd, 2016

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

• A) Ben Watson to Baltimore-

• B) Jared Cook to Green Bay-

• C) Ladarius Green to Pittsburgh-

• D) Coby Fleener to New Orleans-

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 9

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Week 9-  May 16th, 2016

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 8

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Week 8-  May 9th, 2016

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 7

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

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

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

 

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

 

Week 7-  May 5th, 2016

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 6

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

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

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

 

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

 

Week 6-  April 18th, 2016

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

 

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

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

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

the Tweet image

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

DFF Response) ***Sigh***

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

2017 Running Backs

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Atlanta Falcons Team Profile 2016

Atlanta Falcons Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

On Feb 2nd, The Atlanta Falcons hired Dan Quinn, former defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, as their new head coach for the 2015 season. This was Quinn’s first job as a head coach in the NFL. Atlanta ended the 2014 season with a 6-10 record, which cost Mike Smith Smith his job, fired on December 29, 2014. Smith had two losing seasons in a row. Expectations were now high for new HC Quinn and Atlanta in 2015, but they missed the playoffs…….finishing with a disappointing 8-8 record.

2016 Team Outlook- The Carolina Panthers easily won the NFC division in 2015, winning 15 of 16 regular season games, and losing to Denver ( and the refs) in Super Bowl 50. New Orleans and Tampa Bay will likely struggle again in 2016, so Atlanta’s battle is with Carolina for the NFC South.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-

QB- Matt Ryan had finished in the top 10 of NFL QBs every year since 2010, but he took a step backwards in 2015 finishing #16 among NFL quarterbacks. He WAS rock solid quarterback for fantasy owners until the 2015 season. Last year Ryan had 8 games in which he only threw for 1 touchdown, and had 2 games with none. Atlanta will need to address their receiving corps if Ryan is to rebound. WR Julio Jones was a one-man show and that’s about all QB Ryan had.

RBs- Nobody saw RB Devonta Freeman’s breakout season coming. ( If someone says they did see it coming, check to see if their pants are on fire.) Weeks 2 thru 9, Freeman was the “hottest fantasy football running back” in the NFL. In that span, Freeman racked up 1094 total yards and 11 TDs. Freeman unfortunately suffered a concussion Week 11 during the game, and forced to miss Week 12. ( Freeman never posted more than 81 rushing yards in any game after his concussion.) Fantasy football owners seem skeptical of a repeat season, currently drafting Gurley, Peterson, LeVeon Bell and David Johnson ahead of Freeman in recent mock drafts. ( see Utter-Fantasy article “Mock Football Drafts from 2015 to 2016″ )

WRs- Heading into the 2015 season, Atlanta was thought to have one of the stronger receiving corps in the NFL. QB Matt Ryan and Falcons fans found out otherwise. Wide receiver Roddy White is sadly a shell of his former self, and injuries to Leonard Hankerson and Devin Hester left the the team without weapons. The Falcons are really feeling it, having ignored the WR position in many NFL Drafts since 2008. ( see Atlanta Falcon Draft history ). 2015- 4th rounder Justin Hardy ( 5’10”) is the only WR drafted by Atlanta since Julio Jones’ 1st round selection in 2011. 2010 5th rounder WR Kerry Meier only played in 12 career games in Atlanta, on special teams. UPDATE: The Falcons have released Roddy White…..Falcons sign former Bengal WR Mohamed Sanu

TEs- Jacob Tamme was brought into Atlanta to give QB Matt Ryan another weapon and try to fill in for Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez who called it quits in 2013. Tamme failed to do so however, with only 59 receptions in 2015, 657 receiving yards and only 1 TD. The Falcons need to address wide recievers and a tight end in free agency and/or the 2016 NFL Draft if they are going to have any chance competing with Carolina in their division.

K- On December 11th, Falcons placed K Matt Bryant (quad) on injured reserve, ending his season. Shayne Graham closed out the season as Atlanta’s placekicker. The Falcons have Matt Bryant signed through 2017, after giving him an offseason extension. ( Shayne Graham is a free agent)

DEF- In 2014, Atlanta was the 8th worst defense in the NFL. In 2015, Atlanta was the 5th worst defense in the NFL. If the Falcons do not get help fast, they will be in the cellar of the NFC South, looking up at Carolina, New Orleans and Tampa Bay, no matter how many points their offense puts up.

2015 Atlanta Fantasy Surprises- Clearly there were two obvious fantasy football surprises from Atlanta in 2015, one good and one bad. As I wrote earlier, nobody saw RB Devonta Freeman’s breakout season coming (the Good) and few likely saw QB Matt Ryan’s mediocre 2015 fantasy season coming ( the Bad).

2016 Free Agents that Atlanta Needs to Address-  DT Adrian Clayborn, DE Kroy Biermann, MLB Paul Worrilow (RFA), DE/LB O’Brien Schofield, SS Charles Godfrey, OLB Philip Wheeler, RT Ryan Schraeder (RFA), OG Chris Chester,K Shayne Graham

2016 NFL Draft- The early needs of Atlanta are Defensive End, help on the O-Line and Wide Receivers/ Tight End. The Falcons actually need multiple pass-rush additions (LBs), having finished dead last in the NFL in sacks (19). An upgrade at center is critical for a new Falcon offense because C Mike Person isn’t the answer and OG Chris Chester is headed for free agency. I’ve already written enough about Atlanta’s receiving corps woes.

Did You Know- that the owner of the Atlanta Falcons is Arthur M. Blank (born September 27, 1942) and co-founder of Home Depot. His current net worth is $2.6 Billion.