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