2016 Fantasy Players Difficult to Predict

2016 Fantasy Players Difficult to Predict by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt

It’s time to take that leap of faith. You decide, he’s the guy for you. Is there the likelihood that he will completely let you down and break your heart? Yes! But the hopeless romantic in you takes the risk. What if he’s completely wonderful and surprises you week after week? You look at him and think, hey he’s got potential. He could be the one. So you take the plunge, and draft him.

OK maybe for you fantasy football is nothing like dating, but to me I see some similarities. Similar in the way that some of these players may end up being total disappointments. Don’t worry this article won’t be depressing. Then again, if some of you had a terrible season last year as a direct result from one of them, this might be a sore spot. So either get over it or if he seems sincere and apologizes for his previous mistakes, you may consider taking him back this year. It’s up to you.

The following are a list of 10 players who were difficult to predict last season and in some cases even harder to predict for the upcoming season. Let’s also pretend this list is random, because it’s just too difficult to rank 1-10.

Frank Gore – He’s a guy who on paper looks pretty darn good. He’s got opportunity and health on his side. However if you look at a chart of his points last season, it looks like the heart rate monitor of someone who’s been drinking red bull vodkas all night… Mess. Am I placing him in my RB1 spot? No… but if I’m picking him up, it’ll be as an RB 2 to someone with a far greater consistency rate. STEADY BOYFRIEND

Jamaal Charles – Ok guys, if he broke your heart last season don’t hold that against him, he wasn’t trying to get hurt. And if you didn’t handcuff this injury prone player that’s on you. Now if you handcuffed him with Knile Davis, I can empathize a little. As for this upcoming season, he is still a risk. Charles is clearly great when HEALTHY, but I’m nervous to take him as my first pick. If I do, I’m definitely picking up Charc-nado to handcuff. Or Ware.. Uhgg, madness. MY EX

Carlos Hyde – After a semi decent start it looked like Hyde was ready to go, but alas another injured RB. If I had to rank RBs right now, I would put him out of the top 15. He is the only 49er worth drafting and if he stays healthy, he could be great. Keep in mind he’s got a heavy workload with a tough schedule. SUMMER ROMANCE

Thomas Rawls – With Lynch’s retirement my first thought was Rawls is a must own. But with so many offensive options he could be on a short leash with Pete Carroll if he makes any mistakes. “Get back on the bench and keep Graham company!” STEADY BOYFRIEND

Rashad Jennings – The underwhelming starter had a measly 3 TDs this past season. He did have more rushing yards in 2015, than in seasons past, but that doesn’t win you games. And what’s the golden rule in fantasy? “You play to win the game!” thanks Herm Edwards. So don’t add Jennings, instead talk him up to the drunk guy at the draft to take him. BAD BLIND DATE

Vincent Jackson – I think Vincent Jackson hates me. Whenever I have played him, he’s been awful/ ineffective. Whenever I’ve benched him he’s had a big day. You sir, are frustrating. With the many options in Tampa, and one year older, it’s safe to say Jackson will be getting less targets this season. STOOD UP

Demaryius Thomas – Was and will remain unpredictable. This offense is dependent on who will be throwing the ball. I doubt Butt-Fumble will get the starting job, so preseason will be interesting who gets the job. Once that’s decided there’s still a bunch of available targets besides Thomas. So who knows….BOOTY CALL

Markus Wheaton – Mentioning him for two reasons; 1. With Bryant suspended he could be a legit WR2 in Pittsburgh, 2. I’m a Steelers fan, so yeah. Ben’s versatile and when he’s not passing to Brown, he’s creating volume in plays. Wheaton will be seeing targets, his floor is raised, and his ceiling?.. TBD…STEADY BOYFRIEND

Back field of San Diego – Yeah, just all of them. Melvin Gordon, a depressing bust last season, is coming back from a knee injury and will be eased back very slowly. Woodhead suffered an ankle injury in minicamp this week, was seen walking off the field, so hopefully nothing serious. Branden Oliver is coming back from a toe injury… Yeah not much confidence in this group. They also added Derek Watt, and though I’m biased because I’ve JJ in my IDP league, I’m sure anything Derek does has the potential to be awesome. CHEATER

Tyler Eifert – Some big games last season, amongst some sparse showings due to SO many targets in Cincinnati. What makes him most unpredictable is the time table for recovery from his ankle surgery. Estimated 3 months till he’s back to playing. However if I’ve learned anything from fantasy sports is never trust ankle injuries. Though the surgery is listed as “minimal”, anything that can weaken stability in the ankle is a bad sign. Plus they never rush a player back from that (and shouldn’t), because they can easily aggravate it. All that said, if he’s healthy in September, he’s a big-time playmaker. POSSIBLE HUSBAND MATERIAL

There you have it. I know there are many more unpredictables out there but I like to keep things simple. So draft at your own risk this season, and I’ll date at my own risk. Though with 4 leagues to manage and the Sunday Ticket, I’ll have no time for that nonsense.
Happy offseason to all!

Sam Holt

Follow Sam’s 2016 quest for another Dynasty Fantasy Football championships on twitter @SamanthaRHolt

Also by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt…”This is How We Dynasty Football”

and Fantasy Stock Drops From 2016 Draft by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt

Denver Broncos Team Profile 2016

Denver Broncos Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

QB Peyton Manning got his 2nd Super Bowl ring, and the football world got what they were clamoring for. The “Sheriff” now has the green light to go out on top….if he wants to. It was the Broncos 3rd Super Bowl victory since 1998. I have to think Manning would have liked to win with a historic Manning-esque showing, rather than 141 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. The Denver #1 defense was ferocious all season, and was a nightmare for Carolina QB Cam Newton in Super Bowl 50.

2016 Team Outlook –
Denver has won the AFC West five years in a row now, and a Super Bowl as the cherry on top. The rest of the AFC West, the Chiefs, the Chargers and the Raiders may be happy about Super Bowl 50 and hope Manning does in fact retire. Th Chargers had the worst record in the division last year, 4-12, so they have the most work to do to be competitive in 2016.


2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-

QB– Peyton Manning still hasn’t declared retirement ( as of Feb 18, 2016 ) but the Broncos’ organization really needs to move in a different direction. Additionally, the Broncos have not opened contract negotiations with impending free agent Brock Osweiler either, and the clock is ticking. Osweiler could get plenty of interest if he hits free agency. Brock Osweiler- drafted 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft, started for Denver Weeks 10-17 of the regular season while Manning (foot) recovered from injuries. Osweiler finished the season completing 170 completions out of 275 attempts (61.8%) for 1,967 yards for 10 touchdowns and 6 interceptions while having a 86.4 quarterback rating. UPDATE: QB Brock Osweiler signs with Houston


RBs–
Fantasy football owners of C J Anderson had to be a bit nervous through the first 7 weeks of the 2015 regular NFL season. RB Ronnie Hillman already had 2 100+ yard rushing games and 2 touchdowns. RB Anderson did not. Anderson didn’t get going until Week 8, with 101 rushing yards ( thanks to a 28 yard TD run) By the end of the season, both backs had 7 rushing TDs and both over 1000+ total yards from scrimmage. Hillma is a free agent this year and CJ Anderson has said that “he believes he can be a bell-cow back….25 times, 27 times, 28 times, either way!”

WRs–
  Few wide receivers would call 1304 receiving yards/ 6 touchdowns an “off year”, but it was for WR Demaryius Thomas.  He was the #13 wide receiver for 2015….not quite the #4 WR that he was in 2014, the #2 in 2013, or the #5 in 2012. Thomas will return as the Broncos’ No. 1 receiver in 2016. His base salary will be $13 million. -WR Emmanuel Sanders ended 2015 as the #18 wide receiver with numbers very close to those of Demaryius Thomas….1135 receiving yards and also 6 touchdowns. Sanders signed a three-year, $15 million contract- the deal contains $6 million guaranteed. Another $3 million is available through incentives. $5 million in 2016. He’ll be a free Agent in 2017. 6’2″ Cody Latimer continues to be a disappointing 2014 2nd-round pick , and was even stuck behind WRs Fowler and Norwood.. The consistent production by Thomas and Sanders makes it almost impossible for another wide receiver to shine in Denver.


TEs–
Where Gary Kubiak goes, so goes TE Owen Daniels. Both were in Baltimore  and on March 10th, 2015, the Broncos signed TE Owen Daniels to three-year, $12 million contract. 46 receptions in 2015, 517 yards with 3 TDs, and he came up huge in the Conference post-season game vs New England- 2 catches, 33 yards and 2 TDs. On Nov. 2, 2015 the Broncos acquired TE Vernon Davis and a 2016 seventh-round pick from the 49ers. Fantasy football owners hot to waiver wire the new acquisition were painfully disappointed- only 2 games over 25 yards receiving and zero TDs in Denver.

K–
Former Colts K Brandon McManus, ended 2015 as the #10 place kicker in the NFL. 30 of 35 field goals and 35 of 36 extra points, McManus the season kicking 3 field goals for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50.


DEF–
The Denver defense went from a respectable in 2014, to revered in 2016. #1 vs the pass and #4 vs the run…..Denver’s #1 defense in the NFL ran over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Not bad for DC Wade Phillips, who was out of football in 2014, and who had 22 defensive coordinators hired to NFL teams before Denver snagged him on January 28th, 2015. Super Bowl 50 MVP OLB Von Miller is a free agent.

2015 Denver Fantasy Surprises–
It was written that QB Brock Osweiler regressed from Week 10 to Week 17, when he took over for rehabbing QB Peyton Manning. When we look at Week 16 however, who could complain with a 27/39-299 yards passing with 1 TD- 0 INTs in a game in which Denver won? He was yanked in Week 17, but was it for 2 INTs ( after throwing a 72 yard TD bomb to WR D Thomas) or because QB P Manning was ready? Denver would be wise to sign this guy.

2016 Free Agents that Denver Needs to Address–
QB Brock Osweiler (signed w/ HOU) , RB Ronnie Hillman, TE Vernon Davis, WR Jordan Norwood, OLB Von Miller, DE Malik Jackson, ILB Danny Trevathan (signed w/ CHI) , ILB Brandon Marshall (RFA), OG Evan Mathis, DE Antonio Smith, SS David Bruton, FS Shiloh Keo, FS Omar Bolden, LT Ryan Harris, OT Tyler Polumbus (RB C.J. Anderson, RFA)

2016 NFL Draft–
A lot will depend on what happens to free agents QB Brock Osweiler,  as well RBs Anderson and Hillman Denver would rather concentrate on shoring up one of the weaker O-Lines in the NFL.  The Broncos could also key components from their defense. Denver’s 2015 NFL Draft.

Did You Know–
Hall-of-Fame Quarterback John Elway played his entire career with the Broncos, although he was drafted by the Colts and forced a trade to Denver by threatening to play Professional Baseball with the New York Yankees.

All team reports can be seen here- TEAM REPORTS

Team home page: www.denverbroncos.com