NFL Players Are Like Movie Stars

NFL Players Are Like Movie Stars by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

Even at nine years old, I loved the NFL. It was 1972, and the local Sunoco gas stations in Jackson, Michigan (and I would assume elsewhere) had a promotion where they gave out an NFL stamp booklet with every tank full. Inside the booklet, were 9 stamps of current NFL players. For a small price, you could buy the ’72 NFL Action 56 Page Stamp Album to put them in. My friends and I found out that if we walked to the gas station (about 6 miles away) and asked nicely, the attendants would just give us each a booklet. The album required 624 stamps to fill (26 teams in the NFL at the time…12 offensive and 12 defensive players each). Needless to say, it took a long time, and more than a few long walks to fill my album, but I did it. I still love my album.

1972 Sunoco NFL Album

Back then, although I had no idea who he was, I very much needed a Duane Thomas RB Dallas Cowboys stamp to fill my Dallas team page. In 1972, you knew a handful of players from your favorite team, and a few of the most popular in the sport at the time (i.e. Terry Bradshaw, Joe Namath and Lyle Alzado) but that’s about it. You had favorite teams, not favorite players.

Now however, it’s a different story. Over 40 million people play fantasy football, and competing means knowing the players. Ask any seasoned fantasy owner who the 2nd string RB for the Jacksonville Jaguars currently is, and he or she will try to impress you with the speed in which they give you the answer. Combine this knowledge of NFL players with the explosion of media outlets and you have players in the NFL getting the attention that Al Pacino did when he played Michael Corleone in the Godfather (1972). Although the audience was down from what it was in 2015, the 2016 NFL Draft pulled in 7.47 million viewers on day one which translated to a 4.6 household rating. A lot of people found out quickly who Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Ezekiel Elliott were and what they looked like.

The sports’ popularity means that famous quarterbacks aren’t the only ones landing endorsement deals. JJ Watt can be seen doing commercials for Verizon and Ford, Jadeveon Clowney is making “crazy” money pushing Gillette products and even Marshawn Lynch, who hates publicity, hawks Nike, Activision and Pepsi for the big bucks. Whether they like it or not, most of the NFL players, not just a few, are now celebrities. Some of them handle it pretty well, like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, and some don’t, like the spiraling Johnny Manziel. Truth of the matter is, the stage for them is only going to get bigger, not smaller, so handling “being famous” almost over-night is going to be as much an issue for these young superstars as the their new-found wealth.

I get why the Commissioner has to come down hard on some of these young men for their wrong-doings, but I also try to understand how different this must be for them. I wonder how many autographs Odell Bechkam Jr has signed, since making his infamous TD catch? I guarantee that Lynn Swann made a few of those himself, but they weren’t caught by 9 different cameras or seen by 40 million people, so he wasn’t on national TV the very next week selling Old Spice.

Not only did some of the great characters like Dick Butkus, Reggie White, John Riggins and John Randle miss out on the giant contracts being handed out in the NFL today, they are also missing the ultimate limelight, that I know these guys would have loved.

 

You may also like to read my poem- “Zeke Zeke Physical Freak”

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

Fantasy Stock Drops From 2016 Draft

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


Push that afternoon meeting till tomorrow. Pass a beer, grab the chips. Plug in your headphones and log in. It’s Draft Day. Fantasy Fans all watch the draft in their own way. Some go all out, others wait for the highlights or 10 second delayed ESPN updates. How ever you watch, or don’t watch it, the Draft is an exciting night. For the players, dreams are made and crushed. For fantasy owners, it’s a whole list of shiny new players to mull and fight over. One of the most important parts of the draft, is figuring out who’s stock just dropped.

Top 10 Stock Drops:

(These are my Top 10, argue with me or make up your own mind….I don’t care. Training has barely begun and we’re nowhere near preseason yet. So calm down, these will all probably change.)


1.    Ezekiel Elliott vs Darren McFadden

This feels like the obvious one. Last season the RB position was in constant shift. I know this from picking up Dunbar off waivers, and getting one good week out of him before his season ending injury. By adding Elliott you could argue the possibility of a RB by committee situation here. If that were the case I’d say McFadden will fall to the RB2 slot and Elliott will rise to the #1 position. The key with Elliott here is his versatility. I see him running all over the place and plummeting McFadden’s numbers. My only complaint here is the midriff jersey… Stop it. Pretty sure Goodell will happily fine him if he tries to get away with that.

2.    Derrick Henry vs DeMarco Murray
Well he’s the Heisman Trophy winner and all around stud athlete. Did you see his combine tape? 6’2” 247 lbs, this guy is a beast. Though Murray will undoubtedly be named the “#1” for week 1, I can see Henry taking a chunk out of Murray’s goal line opportunities. As the season plays out it will not be shocking if he takes over as the number 1.

3.    Laquon Treadwell vs Stefon Diggs & Charles Johnson
Does this mean Teddy finally has himself a reliable WR? I think so. Diggs and Johnson will be competing with Treadwell for WR 1 and 2 positions. Treadwell came back strong in his junior year from a gruesome leg injury. At 6’2” 210 lbs, Treadwell is a physical and dynamic play maker with great ball security. I think we could be seeing some exciting stuff from this guy.

4.    Carson Wentz vs Sam Bradford
This is a situation where training camp will be really interesting. Though the Eagles have said Bradford is their guy, I could see him fighting for his job in the preseason. Time will tell on who officially has the starting job.

5.    Jordan Howard vs Jeremy Langford
Disciplined, fundamentally strong, a great pick up for the Bears. Though these two serve different roles, Langford was a drop-o-opotamus last season, and will need get a handle on that to keep from sliding this season (see what I did there? “hands” Haha adorable).

6.    Paxton Lynch vs Mark Sanchez
Sanchez has been a place holder on the bench for a long time, that’s not likely to change with the addition of Lynch. The question isn’t if Lynch will be starting QB, it’s when will they make the announcement. I’m guessing mid training camp.

7.    C.J. Prosise vs Thomas Rawls
With Lynch’s retirement and Rawls obvious great season, prior to his injury last year, I couldn’t see how his numbers could be significantly affected. Enter C.J. Prosise. He’s a great receiving back, incredibly versatile, and will be used in multiple ways in Seattle. He will definitely be a threat to Rawls, and will be looking to take over Rawls #1 slot.

8.    Corey Coleman vs ALL THE BROWNS WRs
He’s a major upgrade to the current WR talent for Cleveland. HOWEVER, he has RGIII as his QB. Personally I always like to be optimistic for a young(ish) player coming back from injury. Anyone see that Bruce Willis movie Unbreakable? That’s how I picture RGIII, Mr. Glass. If he can stay healthy, then there’s a good possibility to see some big numbers from Coleman. Hopefully the two of them gel during training camp, because damn this kid is fast and talented.

9.    Kenyan Drake vs Jay Ajayi
The depth for Miami at running back can best be described as lack luster. With this add they get a boost. Drake has the potential to see a good amount of work. This will make Ajayi’s numbers slide. Drastically? Maybe. But that could also be a factor if they sign a veteran running back. Arian Foster rumors and talks are still swirling. If this happens you will most certainly see a drop for Ajayi.

10.    Paul Perkins vs Rashad Jennings (and the rest of the NYG RBs)
With the Addition of Perkins we’ll see a big competition for the 1 and 2 slot. Jennings is getting on the older side and has a history of injuries. Should that be a factor this season you could see Perkins gaining a significant role. Camp will be interesting with Orleans Darkwa, Bobby Rainey, and Andre Williams all be competing with Perkins. Too many possibilities to consider this a big slide, but mentionable for stashing purposes.

Bonus: Jared Goff vs Case Keenum
Short and sweet: Keenum wasn’t fantasy relevant, but Goff will be. So this can kind of be considered a slide.
There you have it. I feel like May is too soon to “predict the future” regarding some of these rookies. Training Camp and Pre Season can be riddled with injuries, free agent signings and cuts. So I’ll look to revise this list in August. Until then, I’m going to keep watching rookie highlight reels because it’s fun and I miss football.

Sam Holt

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

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

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

Rookie Fantasy Football Landing Spots

Rookie Fantasy Football Landing Spots by Utter-Fantasy writer & illustrator Doug Bowles

The “Landing Spots” for NFL rookies can often mean the difference from being early fantasy football gold or fantasy football fool’s gold. Take for example the 2nd-round selection of WR Cody Latimer by Denver in 2014. He was the 10th receiver taken off the board that year, and has had basically no impact in the NFL so far, because he’s been buried on the Bronco’s depth chart behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. In Round Two of that same draft, WR Allen Robinson was selected after Latimer, and was immediately thrusted into the starting line-up, because he had little or no competition. WR Jarvis Landry was selected by the Miami Dolphins after Latimer and Robinson, the 12th wide out taken in the draft, and who also found himself in a great situation. Dynasty owners in particular have been forced to wait to see just how valuable WR Cody Latimer can be. I imagine it’s even harder for Cody Latimer to be patient, as he watches other wide receivers excel in the NFL, because they landed in more favorable “rookie fantasy football landing spots.”

In the order of the draft, here is a list of some of the offensive rookie stars from the 2016 NFL Draft, and the teams that they landed on. See if you agree if it was a good landing spot or a bad spot for them. ( unlike previous years, I believe the majority of the rookie players in 2016 can be happy about where they landed.)

QB Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams (Good Place) – Goff will have little or no competition for the starting job, and he can ease into the role by handing off to perhaps the best running back in the NFL.

QB Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles (Good/ OK Place) – This landing spot borders on “Bad Place.” The Eagles have been described as “a dysfunctional mess” by some, and former #1 draft pick QB Sam Bradford isn’t going to give up the starting role without a fight.

RB Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys (Good/ Great Place) – A three-down back that should take over #1 duties immediately, and he has to be thrilled where he landed with the best O-Line in the NFL in front of him. I even wrote a poem about it….http://utter-fantasy.com/zeke-zeke-physical-freak/

WR Corey Coleman – Cleveland Browns (Good Place) – Coleman is already being projected to get 100+ targets in 2016. I believe Robert Griffin III has something to prove, and that he’ll be surprisingly successful in 2016. Coleman’s competition in Cleveland is Brian Hartline and under-achieving Andrew Hawkins, which means he practically doesn’t have any competition. The variable we don’t know yet, and this is important, is chemistry with RG3. It isn’t automatic.

WR Will Fuller – Houston Texans (Good Place) – A speedster who will have to fight DeAndre Hopkins for targets, but QB Brock Osweiler has a huge arm and Fuller should be able to get deep down-field and fend off Cecil Shorts and Jaelen Strong for the #2 WR spot.

WR Josh Doctson – Washington (Good/ Great Place) – The downside for Doctson is that he will immediately start behind DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and target-monster TE Jordan Reed. Pierre Garcon is in the last year of his contract, so the long-term outlook for Doctson is exceptional.

WR Laquon Treadwell – Minnesota Vikings- (Good/ OK Place) – A possession receiver who’s landing spot was the easiest to predict. QB Bridgewater doesn’t have the arm for the speedy receivers previously selected. In 2015, QB Bridgewater only threw 14 touchdown passes in 16 games, and with a run-first offense, this likely won’t change much.

QB Paxton Lynch – Denver Broncos (Good/ OK Place) – Denver’s quarterback of the future will have sit behind starting QB Mark Sanchez for part of the season at least. Sanchez’s success is unpredictable….as he may thrive with great surrounding players and the #1 defense in the league, or he may flounder like he’s been known to do. The long-term outlook for Lynch could be very good.

WR Sterling Shepard – New York Giants (Good Place) –  Worried about WR Victor Cruz ( and they should be), the Giants selected a speedy weapon for Eli. Shepard is a small, shifty slot receiver with quickness. Victor Cruz (calf, knee) said he is “100 percent’, but it is very unlikely that he ever has success in the NFL like he once did. For Shepard, it is always a good landing spot when you arrive on a team with a prolific and established quarterback like Eli Manning.

WR Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints (Good Place) – Big target at 6’3′ and 212 pounds, Thomas was drafted to replace WR Marques Colston. Thomas hurts the fantasy football value of the other Saint receivers.

WR Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals (Good/ OK Place) – Cincinnati had to replace WR free agent Marvin Jones during free agency, and they lost Mohamed Sanu as well. QB Andy Dalton has plenty of other weapons in WR A.J. Green, newly acquired WR Brandon LaFell, TE Tyler Eifert and running backs Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard, so Boyd will battle for targets. (Established receiver Marvin Jones only had 4 TDs in 2015.) I like Boyd’s long-term outlook more than his short-term.

 

TE Hunter Henry – San Diego Chargers (Bad Place) –  Antonio Gates is 36 years old and TE Ladarius Green went to Pittsburgh, so Henry should have opportunities early. My reservations on Henry are…1) he is not a dynamic athlete 2) Ladarius Green came into the same situation and failed, so one has to at least consider that the result could be the same for another rookie tight end in San Diego.

RB Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans (Bad Place) –  Let’s admit it, the Titan’s do not have a successful history of drafting running backs. Bishop Sankey and David Cobb have not been sensational additions to their offense. I thought Henry was also an odd choice by the Titan’s because the Alabama Alum runs like DeMarco Murray does…..quick thru holes but nothing spectacular. Tennessee signed Murray to be the starter, so Henry’s role will be as a back-up and change-of-pace for now.

QB Christian Hackenberg – New York Jets (Bad Place) – Here is the Jets QB Depth Chart…Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and we are waiting to see if Ryan Fitzpatrick ends up re-signing. Hackenberg becomes the 11th quarterback the Jets have picked since 2000 and is a long shot to become the Jet’s quarterback in the future.

RB Kenyan Drake – Miami Dolphins (Bad Place) – Drake landed behind 2015 fifth-rounder RB Jay Ajayi, who for now, the Dolphins are calling a a “three-down back.” Miami is expected to “ride with the hot hand” at running back, so neither Ajayi nor Drake may be a huge fantasy asset in 2016. Drake is a quality receiver, and may be more valuable to fantasy football owners in PPR leagues.

Quick Hits-

TE Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons (Good Place)– WR Braxton Miller – Houston Texans (Good Place)– WR Leonte Carroo – Miami Dolphins (Bad Place)– RB C.J. Prosise – Seatle Seahawks (Bad Place)– QB Jacoby Brisett – New England Patriots (Bad Place)– QB Cody Kessler – Cleveland Browns (Bad Place)– TE Nick Vannett – Seattle Seahawks (Bad Place)– RB Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears (Good/ OK Place)–  RB Devontae Booker –Denver Broncos (Good Place)–

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

Zeke Zeke Physical Freak

Zeke Zeke Physical Freak by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Zeke Zeke Physical Freak…..An Utter-Fantasy poem by someone who probably shouldn’t write a lot of poems!

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
Picked at draft’s peak
New Cowboy is unigue
No compare to his mystique

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
God-like ancient greek
Elliott is who I speak
Eagles up a creek

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
Draft this fantasy geek
Watch other teams shriek
Oh their pants will reek

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
Future far from bleak
Points week after week
Ain’t no hide and seek

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
Here’s my sneak peek
Hitting holes never weak
Slam- Weave- Streak

Zeke, Zeke, Physical Freak
Burst & vision- my critique
New Cowboy has technique
No compare to his mystique

The Biggest Makeover from the Draft

The Biggest Makeover from the Draft by Utter-Fantasy Writer Cambrick Broady

And the biggest makeover of the 2016 NFL Draft is……

It’s the ultimate adrenaline rush when your team is on the clock during the NFL draft, you wish you were in the war room with the team giving your expert fan advice; dreaming of the pick being the next Deon Sanders or Ray Lewis. If we share something in common (and we probably do), for weeks and weeks leading up to the big “NFL Red Carpet”, you’ve been trash talking with your NFL buddies on twitter up until the draft starts, and speculating who will be selected when and where.

This year was no different as the player pool was deep with talent and one team in particular found themselves striking gold in Chicago this year…

– The Jacksonville Jaguars.

Let’s be honest, if you draft a star player, the dynamic of your team shifts drastically in today’s NFL game. I had a strong feeling the Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t be able to pass on Jalen Ramsey with the 5th pick in the draft; we all know Jerry Jones has made a great living by drafting star players and maximizing their talent and marketability, but when their selection was Ezekiel Elliott (top rated RB out of Ohio State); the Jaguars found themselves with their first pot of gold in the 2016 draft. The team selected Jalen Ramsey (5th overall), the next Deon Sanders as we will know it in today’s NFL. The Florida State Seminole was the undisputed top rated defensive back in this year’s draft and with proven reason. If you’re watching film on a defensive back who can watch the quarterback’s eyes from the snap of the ball until completion of the play which ends in Ramsey batting down the pass; he’s got rare talent. I watched his interview with Deon Sanders when he visited the Florida State campus and what I do know about football is, you’ve got to have some “cool beans” about you to play corner in the NFL. Calm corners get burned; often. You need a short memory, athleticism and the consistency that sinks in the quarterback’s mind. Once you’re in his mind, he just doesn’t throw your way often.

Not only did Jacksonville draft Ramsey, but they also landed star linebacker Myles Jack in the 2nd round (36 overall) who was a projected top 10 pick until a mild injury concern; (  I see it this way, the possibility for injury in the NFL is I’m sure about 99.9% for all players, that’s why you pay for the doctors; to evaluate players and determine the severity. Jack’s is minor and he’s solid pick) Myles Jack becomes the Jag’s “Ray Lewis” and second pot of gold. I love the selection, because you get a linebacker that can do it all! He can get you a pick 6 and will play all 3 downs for you. 6 out of their 7 draft picks were defense, which is warranted considering Jacksonville gave up 448 points last year; good enough for second worst in the league behind the New Orleans Saints. This defense has been given a makeover by adding 2 potential pro bowl talents in the draft and racked up plenty of free agent talents with Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, Chris Ivory and Prince Amukamara. They should compete in the AFC south much better than their 5-11 record last season.
Draft Grade: A

There are some firm honorable mentions for a few teams that all receive B grades from me after their productive NFL drafts:
–    Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones has done it again. In walks Ezekiel Elliott (have you seen him plant and cut…wow) and he will be special behind their pro bowl filthy offensive line. Taking Jaylon Smith in the 2nd round was just pure genius.
–    Atlanta Falcons: Believe it or not the Falcons filled every need on their team except defensive line in this draft…oh wait they signed Derrick Shelby in free agency. The pick few are talking about is TE Austin Hooper, but he will be a nice new target for Matt Ryan who has been known to make tight ends look good. Neal, 2nd round LB Jones and Hooper could all find themselves starting week 1.
–    Cleveland Browns: Have you seen all of their draft picks? Talk about filling all of your needs and building depth, they did it this year. But some will say that they still don’t trust it… just look at their history of drafting players; But this year, they really drafted quite a few quality players and plenty of All Americans. Corey Coleman is a day 1 starter and will give RGIII a nice reliable target. Looking at their picks, you almost feel like they drafted every position possible on an NFL roster; that’s got to translate into some wins…right?
–    Oakland Raiders: We all cringed with fear as the Raiders drafted Karl Joseph, a hard hitting safety that can cover in a division that just lost Peyton Manning. They followed it up with 2 more defensive ends in Jihad Ward and Shilique Calhoun after an already successful free agency of obtaining Bruce Irvin and Reggie Nelson. Oh yeah and Khalil Mack will lead the league in sacks this season. Look out AFC West.

Cam Broady

Cambrick Broady is Sports Scout, Fantasy Sports Analyst and a contributing writer for Utter-Fantasy.com. Please follow Cambrick on twitter @cambrickbroady

2016 NFL Draft Round Two

2016 NFL Draft Round Two by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator & Doug Bowles

The highly anticipated 2016 NFL Draft finally arrived, and defense is the big story of Round Two. 20 of the 32 selections were defensive players.

Here’s a look at Round Two, with a brief Utter-Fantasy comment on each.

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND TWO-

 

32) Cleveland Browns – Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State: The Browns kick off 2nd round with a pass rusher. pass rush. Cleveland had only 29 sacks all of last season.

33) Tennessee Titans – Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson: The Titans get help for the 24th ranks defense vs the pass- 24th vs the run. Height: 6-5. Weight: 277…many thought he’d go in Round One.

34) Dallas Cowboys – Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame:  Smith tore two knee ligaments and suffered nerve damage in his leg last January’s Fiesta Bowl. Huge gamble for Dallas.

35) San Diego Chargers – Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas: A Gates is 36 years old and TE Ladarius Green went to Pittsburgh.

36) Jaguars (from Baltimore Ravens) – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA:  Jags surrendered the most points in the AFC in 2015. Back-to-back players to help out their defense.

37) Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco 49ers) – Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State: Kansas City’s lands a hulk of a defensive lineman.

38) Miami Dolphins (from Ravens via Jaguars) – Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor: A big corner to battle big receivers in their division.

39) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Noah Spence, OLB/DE, Eastern Kentucky: DEFENSE! Bucs get a needed corner in Round 1, and an edge rusher in Round 2.

40) New York Giants – Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma: Worried about WR Victor Cruz ( and they should be), Giants select a speedy weapon for Eli. Shepard is a small, shifty slot receiver with quickness.

41) Buffalo Bills (from Chicago Bears) – Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama: Back-to-back defensive players for Rex and Rob

42) Ravens (from Dolphins) – Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise State: Ravens addressing aging defense. ( i.e  Suggs and Dumervil )

43) Titans (from Philadelphia Eagles via Los Angeles Rams) – Austin Johnson, DL, Penn State: More help for the 24th ranks defense vs the pass- 24th vs the run. In a draft deep in defensive linemen, Johnson is described as having “quick, strong hands and often wins on first contact”.

44) Oakland Raiders – Jihad Ward, DL, Illinois: Raiders believe (hope) Ward won’t have lingering knee issues.

45) Titans (from Rams) – Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama: The Heisman Trophy winner. An odd choice since Henry runs like Murray does. Quick thru holes but nothing spectacular. I’d bet that Murray felt the same way about this pick, as QB Bradford did when Philly selected QB Wentz.

46) Detroit Lions – A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama:  Lions made the imposing defensive tackle their 2nd-round pick, continuing their effort to fortify their D-Line.

47) New Orleans Saints – Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State: Big target to replace WR Marques Colston. Thomas hurts the fantasy football value of the other Saint receivers.

48) Green Bay Packers (from Indianapolis Colts) – Jason Spriggs, T, Indiana: 6-6 and  301-pounds! Solid selection to protect QB Aaron Rodgers.

49) Seattle Seahawks (from Bears via Bills) – Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama: Seattle gets help for their D-line that lost big talent in free agency.

50) Houston Texans (from Atlanta Falcons) – Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame: Brother of Cowboys all-pro G Zack Martin… should replace C Ben Jones. ( who left for Tennessee)

51) New York Jets – Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State: 11th quarterback the Jets have picked since 2000. Coach Todd Bowles said Friday that Geno Smith will enter OTAs as the Jets’ starting quarterback. ( We’ll see )

52) Falcons (from Texans) – Deion Jones, LB, LSU: Atlanta knows that they can’t win their division with a defense near the bottom again. This helps, along with their 1st round selection.

53) Washington Redskins – Su’a Cravens, LB/S, Southern California: Washington addressing defense after getting a WR in Round 1.

54) Minnesota Vikings – Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson: The Vikings drafted first rounder CB Trae Waynes in 2015, and gives him a partner opposite in Alexander.

55) Cincinnati Bengals – Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh: Cincinnati had to replace WR free agent Marvin Jones during free agency, and they lost Mohamed Sanu as well.

56) Bears (from Seahawks) – Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State: O-line reinforcement to help QB Jay Cutler and RB Jeremy Langford.

57) Colts (from Packers) – T.J. Green, DB, Clemson: Indianapolis reinforces their secondary with speed. Green ran a 4.34 40-yard dash.

58) Pittsburgh Steelers – Sean Davis, DB, Maryland: The Steelers may no longer have the AFC’s worst pass defense!

59) Buccaneers (from Chiefs) – Roberto Aguayo, K, Florida State: The Bucs couldn’t find an answer for a place kicker in 2015. This may have solved their problem.

60) New England Patriots – Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama: Jones is a converted wideout and will also return punts.

61) Saints (from Arizona Cardinals via Patriots) – Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State: Saints added Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins in Round 1, and now Bell- But they aren’t done trying to fix the worst defense in the NFL.

62) Carolina Panthers – James Bradberry, CB, Samford – CB Josh Norman’s unpleasant exit from Carolina left a big hole-  Bradberry may be big enough to fill it- 6’1′ / 211 pounds.

63) Denver Broncos – Adam Gotsis, DT, Georgia Tech – The Broncos selected the Abbotsford native 63rd overall at the NFL draft in Chicago, making him the highest pick Australia has ever drafted. 

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND THREE- ( no notes)

 

64) Titans – Kevin Byard, S, Middle Tennessee:

65) Browns – Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State:

66) Chargers – Max Tuerk, C, Southern California:

67) Cowboys – Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska:

68) 49ers – Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State:

69) Jaguars – Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland:

70) Ravens – Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU:

71) Giants – Darian Thompson, S, Boise State:

72) Bears – Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida:

73) Dolphins – Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama:

74) Chiefs (from Buccaneers) – KeiVarae Russell, DB, Notre Dame:

75) Raiders – Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State:

76) Browns (from Titans via Rams) – Shon Coleman, T, Auburn:

77) Panthers (from Eagles via Lions and Browns) – Daryl Worley, CB, West Virginia:

78) Patriots (from Saints) – Joe Thuney, OL, North Carolina State: H

79) Eagles – Isaac Seumalo, OL, Oregon State:

80) Bills – Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State:

81) Falcons – Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford:

82) Colts – Le’Raven Clark, T, Texas Tech: Good value here.

83) Jets – Jordan Jenkins, LB, Georgia:

84) Redskins – Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech:

85) Texans – Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State:

86) Dolphins (from Vikings) – Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers:

87) Bengals – Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State:

88) Packers – Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State:

89) Steelers – Javon Hargrave, DL, South Carolina State:

90) Seahawks – C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame:

91) Patriots – Jacoby Brissett, QB, N.C. State: Intriguing.

92) Cardinals – Brandon Williams, CB, Texas A&M:

93) Browns (from Panthers) – Cody Kessler, QB, Southern California:

94) Seahawks (from Broncos) – Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State:

95) Lions (compensatory selection) – Graham Glasgow, C, Michigan:

96) Patriots (compensatory selection) – Vincent Valentine, DT, Nebraska:

97) Seahawks (compensatory selection) – Rees Odhiambo, OL, Boise State:

98) Broncos (compensatory selection) – Justin Simmons, S, Boston College:

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND ONE-LINK-

2016 NFL Draft Round One

2016 NFL Draft Round One by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator & Doug Bowles

 

The highly anticipated 2016 NFL Draft finally arrived, and it started off as expected. Rookie QBs Goff and Wentz went 1 & 2, and Roger Goodell was “booed’ everytime he walked onto the stage.

Here’s a look at the 31 picks, with a brief Utter-Fantasy comment on each.

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND ONE-

 

1) Los Angeles Rams: QB Jared Goff – The Rams have their quarterback, and paid a King’s ransom for him. Coach Jeff Fisher said the “goal” is for No. 1 pick Jared Goff to be the Week 1 starting quarterback.

2) Philadelphia Eagles: QB Carson Wentz – Philly says QB Sam Bradford is still their starter…..but fans will be hollering for Wentz. Bradford needs to fight for his job.

3) San Diego Chargers: DL/LB Joey Bosa – Highly coveted linebacker from Ohio State. The Buckeyes had five players taken in the first 20 picks of the draft.

4) Dallas Cowboys: RB Ezekiel Elliott – RB Darren McFadden is out of a job. RB Elliott is a three­-down running back from the Buckeye State.

5) Jacksonville Jaguars: DB Jalen Ramsey – Ramsey falls into the Jag’s lap….they are thrilled. The Jags had the #26 ranked defense in 2015, and were 31st vs the pass. ( Many thought Ramsey was a Titan favorite at No. 1 overall prior to their trade with the Rams.)

6) Baltimore Ravens: OL Ronnie Stanley – Keeping QB Flacco upright is a priority that the Ravens addressed immediately.

7) San Francisco 49ers: DL DeForest Buckner – Chip Kelly predictably grabs a Duck, and a great physical player. Taunted as one of the more NFL-ready prospects in this draft.

8) Tennessee Titans: OL Jack Conklin ‐ The Titans were speculated to go after one of the talented wide receivers…this was better for QB Mariota.

9) Chicago Bears: LB Leonard Floyd – Risky moving up for Floyd. The Georgia football player had just 4.5 sacks for the Bulldogs last year, and left school with 17 career sacks total.

10) New York Giants: CB Eli Apple – Unexpectedly, Eli “Big” Apple joins Eli in the Big Apple. 3rd player from Ohio State selected.

11) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Vernon Hargreaves III – Helps the Buc’s 2015 – 26th ranked pass defense.

12) New Orleans Saints: DL Sheldon Rankins – Rankins joins newly-signed Nick Fairley to help get the Saints out of the cellar defensively.

13) Miami Dolphins: OL Laremy Tunsil – The AFC East forces Miami to gamble on high risk/ high reward players that other teams passed on.

14) Oakland Raiders: S Karl Joseph – A talented safety, which Oakland desperately needed.

15) Cleveland Browns: WR Corey Coleman – Fast but only 5’11”. May end up wishing that they had selected Fuller.

16) Detroit Lions: OL Taylor Decker – Strong leader that will shore up a weak DET O-Line. Detroit was last in 2015 for rushing yards per attempt.

17) Atlanta Falcons: SS Keanu Neal – Defense is a priority Atlanta- this is a start- Need a pass rusher as well….having finished dead last in the NFL in sacks (19).

18) Indianapolis Colts: C Ryan Kelly – Excellent selection to help QB Luck, who is returning from a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle. Remember what C Jeff Saturday did for Peyton?!

19) Buffalo Bills: DL Shaq Lawson – Good pass rusher for Buffalo…this may end up being the player Atlanta should have selected first.

20) New York Jets: LB Darron Lee – Defensive-minded HC Todd Bowles gets the fastest linebacker at the Combine.

21) Houston Texans: WR Will Fuller – How scary is WR DeAndre Hopkins, now that Will Fuller is playing opposite him? Very Scary!

22) Washington Redskins: WR Josh Doctson – Great weapon for QB Cousins, with veteran WR Garcon probably given one more year in Washington….in the final year of his contract.

23) Minnesota Vikings: WR Laquon Treadwell – A possession receiver who’s landing spot was the easiest to predict. QB Bridgewater doesn’t have the arm for the speedy receivers previously selected.

24) Cincinnati Bengals: CB William Jackson III – 3 first-rounders for the Bengal’s secondary in the past 4 years. Likely need a wide receiver next.

25) Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Artie Burns – The Steelers did not have a legit No. 1 corner going into 2015. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is confident that Burns will quickly become an elite player.

26) Denver Broncos: QB Paxton Lynch – The last time Denver selected a QB this late in the 1st round was big bust Tebow in 2010. ( QB Kaep likely stays in SF )

27) Green Bay Packers: DL Kenny Clark: – Wrestling star who will add a big body to the middle of the Packer’s defense.

28) San Francisco 49ers: OL Joshua Garnett – Not an Oregon Duck, but his father Scott Garnett, also played professionally for the 49ers.

29) Arizona Cardinals: DL Robert Nkemdiche – Their 2015 #2 defense needed some young players mixed in. Nkemdiche can push the pocket with power and offers the versatility to make an impact vs. the run.

30) Carolina Panthers: DT Vernon Butler – I love that the strong defensive NFL teams are getting even stronger! Butler was the Football Focus’ top-rated defensive lineman outside the Power 5 conferences last year.

31) Seattle Seahawks: OL Germain Ifedi – HC Pete Carroll is a master in the NFL Drafts. I’d bet that this “considered gamble”….pays off for Seattle.

*NOTE: New England didn’t have a 1st round selection due to “deflategate” punishment

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND TWO-LINK-

2016 Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

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

Two heads are better than one

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

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

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

Walterfootball.com- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

4.  5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

5.  6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

6.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

7.  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

8.  5’9″ Illinois Josh Ferguson

9.  5’10” Arizona State D.J. Foster

10.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

 

CBS Sports.com-  Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

4.  5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

5.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

6.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

7.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

8.  6’0″ Alabama  Kenyan Drake

9.  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

10. 6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

 

Ourlads.com- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

4.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

5.  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

6.  6’0″ Alabama  Kenyan Drake

7.  5’9″ Illinois Josh Ferguson

8.  5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

9.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

10.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

 

Drafttek.com- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

4.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

5.   5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

6.  6’0″ Alabama  Kenyan Drake

7.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

8.  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

9.   6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

10.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

 

FFCouchCoach.com- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

3.  5’11” Georgia Keith Marshall

4.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

5.   6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

6.  5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

7.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

8.  5’9″ Illinois Josh Ferguson

9.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

10.  6’0″ California Daniel Lasco

 

Utter-Fantasy.com- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’11” Georgia Keith Marshall  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

4.  6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

5.   5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

6.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

7.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

8.  5’9″ Illinois Josh Ferguson

9.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

10.  6’0″ California Daniel Lasco

 

AVERAGE- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

4.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

5.  5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

6.  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

7.  6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

8.  5’9″ Illinois Josh Ferguson

9.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

10.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams