Fantasy Football Builds Feisty Camaraderie

Fantasy Football Builds Feisty Camaraderie by Utter-Fantasy Football Guest Writer Chris Gundrum

There are over 200 days between the Super Bowl and the start of the next NFL season. But fans don’t have to endure that span without getting their football fix. Key events throughout the offseason including free agency, the draft and training camp serve as milestones on the path to opening day. While each event builds more anticipation for the regular season than the last, nothing fosters more excitement for the NFL season than a fantasy football draft. “I can’t imagine going a season without fantasy football,” said my brother and fantasy nemesis Ben Gundrum, who plays in the Elite 8 fantasy football league. “It just enhances the excitement of each game week to week.”

Elite Eight is a collection of eight guys who have been playing fantasy football together for the past four years. The draft is held live after the second preseason game of the year and past ones are sources of fond memories for the guys. One of the eight, Mike Freland, said his favorite draft was the first year Elite Eight got together. “We were all sitting in my aunt and uncle’s house with football magazines scattered on the floor and pizza boxes and cases of beer we used as tables to write on. It was our war room and it was majestic.”

Ben remembers that in that first year the league allowed trades to occur during the draft. “Matt Forte was on five different teams before the night was over,” said Gundrum. “It was crazy.” Although the league no longer allows trades during the draft, the guys now have game plans to take players just to use in trades afterward. Freland calls this particular strategy…“Stopping the homer”, and it comes into play after the draft. “If you know a guy has a favorite team and wants to draft a player from that team, you draft him first,” said Freland. “Are you doing it because you like the player? Hell no. You do it to get under the other guy’s skin and eventually use it as leverage. Inevitably every league has at least one homer. With Elite Eight there are plenty of opportunities to use this diabolical tactic because although everyone is from Cincinnati, they don’t all root for the Bengals. “We have two Jets fans, one Giants fan, one Cowboys fan, one lonely Raiders fan and 3 Bengals fans.” reports Freland. “Knowing the other guys favorite players is an essential part of drafting.”

While some leagues use a snake or linear draft order, Elite Eight uses a more unique format. The order for the first round is based on what place each person finished the previous year, and knowing what order each manager will draft is also an essential part of the draft. For example, the last place manager picks first, second to last picks second, and so on. However, rounds 2-15 are randomized. Therefore a manager may pick third in the first round and then sixth in the second round. “I like the way the first round goes,” said Gundrum. “But then the rest of the draft is so interesting because you never know how things will fall.”

No matter what order they’re picking or what players are available each round, what the members of this fantasy football league enjoy most is having everyone together in the same room for the draft. According to Elite Eight, the live draft is the best part. It’s all in good fun and the camaraderie between the guys is what’s most important.…in other words, we’ll never become “the Hateful Eight.” “It’s so much more boisterous and amusing having everyone together trash-talking about picks instead of sitting in front of a computer clicking a button,” proclaims Ben. “To me playing fantasy football is more than picking players and combing through piles of stats, or looking at past injury reports trying to predict how well someone is going to hold up for sixteen weeks,” said Freland. “Fantasy football is about getting a group of people together who have a common bond… their unwavering love of the game of football.”

This year’s draft has come and gone for Elite Eight and rosters are already being adjusted. Justin, who is the big Giants fan, has both Dez and Zeke and it’s killing him so we’ll see what happens there. Ben is the Cowboys fan and he took David Johnson with his first pick and Allen Robinson with his second but he could’ve picked Dez or Elliott and didn’t. That left us scratching our heads. Players are being dropped and added from free agency, which is all part of the “Elite Entertainment.” Soon, the members of Elite Eight Fantasy Football League will go head to head for sixteen weeks and eventually crown the 2016 fantasy football champion.

And after it’s all said and done, all they’ll have to do is wait another 200 days to do it all over again.

Elite1

Please follow Chris on twitter at @ChrisGundrum

Miami Dolphins Team Profile 2016

Miami Dolphins Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

9 in 11 years. Some were only interim, but that’s how many head coaches the Miami Dolphins have had since 2004. There’s been so many, we forget who’s been there. Here goes….Wannstedt, Bates, Saban, Cameron, Sparano, Bowles, Philbin, Campbell and Gase. The Miami Dolphins announced that Adam Gase would be their head coach on January 9, 2016. Stability and continuity is good for football ( ask any Pats or Bengals fan) so let’s hope Gase is Miami’s last hire for awhile.


2016 Team Outlook-

The big bully in the AFC East is still the New England Patriots, who have won the division 12 of the past 13 years. The Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets probably have a team that could beat New England if they could combine forces and create the perfect team, but separately, it’s likely another Pats win in 2016.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-


QB–
Ryan Tannehill was selected in the 2012 NFL Draft, the 8th eighth overall pick and was the 3rd quarterback off the boards then. Andrew Luck went #1 overall, and Robert Griffin III went 2nd. Tannehill is the “Alex Smith” of the AFC East. He’s a competent quarterback who gets the job done, and mid-range in touchdown passes, INTs and rankings at the end of each year. ( 2015- 24 TDs, 12 INTs, ranked #15)


RBs–
Lamar Miller, over the past two years, has 2623 total yards and 19 touchdowns. Like Tannehill, Miller was drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft. Miller was the #9 running back for 2014, and the #6 in 2015. Despite this incredible production, it’s quite possible Miami lets the free agent leave. The Dolphins still have RB Jay Ajayi, who was drafted by Miami in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Ajayi only had 49 carries in 2015…..which averages to 3 carries per game) UPDATE: Lamar Miller has signed with Houston


WRs–
Miami is so loaded with talented wide receivers, that they probably aren’t going to make a huge effort to re-sign WR Rishard Matthews (another player that Miami drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft.)  Jarvis Landry was Miami’s #1 receiver in 2015, with 1159 receiving yard and 4 TDs ( ranking Landry #17 for the season). WR DeVante Parker came on strong in the final 7 games of 2015, with 400+ receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Landry and Parker should be Miami’s #1 and #2 WRs in 2016.

TEs– When former Brown TE Jordan Cameron signed a two-year deal with the Dolphins, fantasy football owners were salivating. Their mouths dried up however, just like Cameron’s fantasy stats. He’s a very gifted athlete, but Tannehill doesn’t see tight ends as a huge offensive weapon, like NO QB Drew Brees or NE QB Tom Brady does. ( or maybe Tannehill and Cameron still need to build chemistry) Cameron was only #29th ranked- TE Rankings 2015

K– Seems like Miami has been trying to find a reliable place kicker is they  released Dan Carpenter back in 2013. Andrew Franks has won the Dolphins’ kicker job in September, 2015, beating out former Dolphin Caleb Sturgis. Franks had the lowest number of field goal attempts in 2015, only 16 ( he made 13)

DEF– Call me crazy…..but if a team gives a players a six-year deal worth $114 million ( with $60 million guaranteed), their defense ought to get better, not worst. On March 11, 2015, Miami signed Ndamukong Suh, making him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, and yet their defense went from #17 in 2014, to #25 in 2015. Now it’s not all Suh’s fault, but he was brought in to be a “difference maker”, and so far he has not been one.

2015 Miami Fantasy Surprises–
Ndamukong Suh is a fierce competitor, and sometimes it gets him into trouble, but he should have brought the Miami’s defense up few notches even in this first year. Jarvis Landry ran the football 17 times for 111 yards and 1 TD. His rushing yardage was 2nd most for wide receiver in 2015. FYI- STL WR Tavon Austin ran the football 52 times, most for a WR in 2015 (that was 5 more times than TENN RB B Sankey.)


2016 Free Agents that Miami Needs to Address–
, RB Lamar Miller, WR Rishard Matthews, QB Matt Moore, FS Michael Thomas (RFA), FS Louis Delmas, MLB Kelvin Sheppard, OLB Spencer Paysinger, DE Olivier Vernon, DE Derrick Shelby

2016 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Miami, like many teams, is repairing their O-Line. The Dolphins will likely draft an offensive tackle and offensive guard. The Miami Dolphins need an inside linebacker. It also wouldn’t be surprising if Miami gets a running back late if Miller bolts.  MIAMI’S 2015 DRAFT


Did You Know–
Longtime Dolphins coach Don Shula was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1951 as a defensive back. Shula signed a $5,000-a-year contract and played in all 12 of Cleveland’s games in 1951, making his first appearance as a starter in October, and recorded four interceptions.

Team Home Page: www.miamidolphins.com

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

Kansas City Chiefs Team Profile 2016

Kansas City Chiefs Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

One week after Kansas City’s loss to New England in the divisional round of the playoffs, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was still insisting that his team did everything right during in the clock management department over the game’s final 6:30. Ummm….no. No the Chiefs didn’t. But Reid has been in Kansas City for 3 years, with 3 winning seasons, so he can probably say what he wants.

2016 Team Outlook-

The Chiefs play in the AFC West division, with San Diego, Oakland and the Denver Broncos. With QB Peyton Manning likely retiring, ( he certainly won’t be back with Denver)….this might be the most evenly matched division in the NFL.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-

QB– In 2015, QB Alex Smith finally threw a touchdown pass to a Kansas City wide receiver! If you remember, there were none in 2014. Alex Smith ended 2015 as the #17 quarterback in the NFL, which is where he usually ranks each year. He gets the job done for Kansas City, and led team into the 2015 post-season. For fantasy football owners, he can only be counted on as a “Bye Week” replacement. His 245 yards passing and 1 touchdown “average per game”, won’t win anyone any championships.

RBs– RB Jamaal Charles now has 2 NFL seasons with injuries that have cost him to miss the season. Charles was drafted by the Chiefs in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Over the next 3 years, he would only miss one game. In Week of 2011, Charles suffered an ACL injury and was done for the season. Then over the next 3 years, he would only miss two games. On October 11, 2015, Charles tore his ACL in his right knee in a game against the Chicago Bears. I guess this means he’ll be good for another 3 years. KC played RBBC after Charles’ injury, with RBs C West, S Ware and D Thomas all getting action. None ranked in the top 30 among running backs in 2015.

WRs– In 2014, Dwayne Bowe ended his KC season as the #63 wide receiver in the NFL, with only 754 receiving yards and 0 TDs. Doesn’t sound very impressive does it? Well, apparently it did to the Cleveland Browns, who signed Bowe after his March 12, 2012 KC release. His contract was a ludicrous two-year deal worth $12.5 million. He had 5 catches in 2015. Thankfully for the Chiefs, they moved on to WR Jeremy Maclin, someone HC Reid knew well from days in Philly. Maclin’s 1088 yards and 8 touchdowns help KC get to the playoffs. The Chiefs know that they have to find a weapon opposite Maclin for 2016.

TEs– I do not pound the drums for Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, like everyone else does. “No offense Mr. Kelce, but you play on a team with no offense….passing anyways”. QB A Smith’s 307 passing attempts last year was dead last among 16 game starting QBs. Kelce only had 5 touch downs last year. 13 other tight ends had at least that many. Every year is going to be his breakout year…..and I’ll believe it when I see one.

K– In 2014, the Chiefs saved more than $1.5M going with a new kicker, Carlos Santos over Ryan Succop. In two years as Kansas City place kicker, Santos in only knocking in about 82% of his field goals. 30 of 37 in 2015.

DEF– Kansas City has a very good defense. It ranked #6 in the NFL for 2015, and the Chiefs were 5th best vs the pass. More importantly, they were 3rd best in points allowed ( 17.9 per game). Seattle was #1 allowing only 17.3, and Cincinnati 2nd allowing only 17.4. Most of the free agents that KC has to deal with soon, are on their defense.

2015 Kansas City Fantasy Surprises– WR Jeremy Maclin was in a good situation in 2015, being the clear cut #1 wide receiver on the Chiefs team, which means lots of targets. His 8 touchdowns receptions was the 3rd best on his career, and not bad for the conservative and predictable KC offense. RB Charcandrick West had 3 good games in 2015, filling in for RB J Charles. His best came against the best defense in the NFL…..Week 10 in Denver- 161 total yards and 2 TDs.

2016 Free Agents that Kansas City Needs to Address– QB Chase Daniel, WR Jason Avant, SS Eric Berry, CB Sean Smith (signed w/ OAK), ILB Derrick Johnson, DE Jaye Howard, OLB Tamba Hali, T/G Jeff Allen, SS Tyvon Branch, DE Mike DeVito, FS Husain Abdullah, OT Donald Stephenson, OLB Frank Zombo

2016 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of Kansas City starts with their O-Line. The Chiefs barely protected QB A Smith in 2015 and they could lose T/G Jeff Allen and OT Donald Stephenson in free agency. Next, KC needs a big time play-making wide receiver opposite WR Maclin. On defense, KC will likely draft a safety if they can’t re-sign SS Branch and/or FS Abdullah. – KANSAS CITY’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know–
that Andy Reid only as 3 losing seasons, in his 17 seasons as an NFL head coach? Only 3 losing seasons in Philadelphia and none so far in KC.

Team Home Page: www.kcchiefs.com

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

Take the Wonderlic Test

Take the Wonderlic Test by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

April is approaching, and means the 2016 NFL Draft…and Wonderlic Tests. Whether you think these tests are a valid benchmark for a player’s intelligence or not, they are interesting. The test is used to measure players’ aptitude for learning and problem solving. The possible score range is 1 to 50. The average football player scores around 20 points and scoring as low as 10 points suggests a person may be literate.

“Quick Quiz”The Wonderlic Test–  ….Now it’s your turn to see how you’d stack up. The following link is a shortened version of the test, but a good sampling of the questions found here.  You’ll have 3 minutes and 36 seconds to answer 15 questions.

“Full Quiz” –The Full Wonderlic Exam.  …and if you are feeling really ambitious, here is another website with both the “Quick Quiz” version, and a longer version. You’ll have 12 minutes to answer 50 questions.

…and if you are feeling really proud of your score, please share with us!

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the two top QB prospects in last year’s draft completed the test, and recorded the scores of Winston (27) & Mariota (33).

Here is a sampling of some more notable QB Wonderlic scores:

Punter Pat McInally- 50
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick- 48
TE Ben Watson- 48
WR Kevin Curtis- 48
OL Matt Birk- 46
WR Eric Decker- 43
WR Calvin Johnson- 41
QB Colin Kaepernick- 37
QB Tony Romo- 37
QB Aaron Rodgers- 35
QB Robert Griffin III- 24
WR Andre Johnson- 23
RB LeVeon Bell- 17
RB CJ Spiller- 10
QB Jeff George- 10
K Sebastian Janokowski- 10
RB Carlos Hyde- 9
RB Frank Gore- 6
RB Vince Young- 6
CB Morris Claiborne- 4

Good Luck!

 

Fantasy Champions Train for 15 Rounds

Fantasy Champions Train for 15 Rounds by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug “Light Heavyweight-” Bowles

Is your name Mike Tyson? If not, then you’re probably not going to win your fantasy league in the first round (and since boxing here is just a metaphor, it isn’t possible for even Iron Mike to win a league in the first round). So here are a few tips to help you KO your opponents this fantasy season.

Every team owner that will be drafting in August/September, studies, ponders and over-evaluates the first few rounds, determined to make the right decision on these important selections. And if you’ve been in as many drafts as I have been in, you notice something as the draft moves goes on. After the first 5 rounds or so, some team owners don’t seem to care as much anymore and their competitive intensity has diminished, compared to what it was at the start of the draft. They have drafted their starting QB, two decent RBs and a couple good WRs, so now it’s boring time, just filling the rest of their roster. And therein lies the mistake.

Truth is, anyone really can be successful in a fantasy football draft for the first 5 rounds. With the boom of FF, comes the boom of information to go with it. So any newcomer entering the ring, can figure out to take Antonio Brown, OBJ, Julio, Todd Gurley, then David Johnson, and Gronk, especially if your league requires you to score a tight end. Although it may be a little difficult to decide on a player in round 1, the list of who you should take is so obvious that you wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time in the gym to figure this out.

To finish off everyone at the end of the season however, you need some valuable players for that devastating upper cut, a good left hook and punishing body shots….and that’s what the middle and late rounds are for.

Last year, the following players below weren’t drafted on average, until the late rounds indicated (10 team leagues) . These were important fantasy players that not only strengthened the depth of fantasy football teams, but helped teams take a standing eight count, if sucker punched with player injuries.

These are players crafty owners drafted late in 2015…(10 team league)
(based on their potential, rather than on previous success)

QB Blake Bortles  ( 2015- 3rd Ranked QB)- Draft Round 11 or 12 in 2015
QB Kirk Cousins  ( 2015-9th Ranked QB) – Round 13 or 14… if even drafted
RB Chris Ivory  ( 2015-7th Ranked RB) – Round 7 or 8
RB David Johnson  ( 2015-8th Ranked RB) – Round 12 or 13
RB DeAngelo Williams  ( 2015-4th Ranked RB) – Round 13 or 14
RB Charlie Sims  ( 2015-21st Ranked RB) – Round 14 or 15… if even drafted
WR Doug Baldwin  ( 2015- 7th Ranked WR) – Round 11 or 12
WR Allen Hurns  ( 2015-14th Ranked WR) – Round 14 or 15… if even drafted
WR John Brown  ( 2015-22nd WR) – Round 13 or 14
WR Ted Ginn Jr  ( 2015-25th Ranked WR)- Round 14 or 15… if even drafted
WR Kamar Aiken  ( 2015-30th WR) – Round 14 or 15… if even drafted
TE Jordan Reed  ( 2015-2ndh Ranked TE) – Round 9 or 10
CAR DEF  ( 2015- 4th DEF) – Round 15

 

Fantasy champions train for all 15 rounds so here are ringers I love this up-coming 2016 season, who can be grabbed in late rounds are……….(10 team league)

QB Kirk Cousins WASH- currently going in Round 12
QB Matthew Stafford DET- currently going in Round 15
RB Isaiah Crowell CLEV- currently going in Round 13
RB Danny Woodhead SD- ( 2015-12th Ranked RB) currently going in Round 11
RB Charlie Sims TB-  ( 2015-21st Ranked RB) – Round 11
WR Travis Benjamin SD- currently going in Round 12
WR Corey Coleman CLEV- currently going in Round 13
WR Devin Funchess CAR- currently going in Round 15
WR Will Fuller HOU- currently going in Round 15
WR Sammie Coates PITT- currently going in Round 15… if even drafted
TE Gary Barnidge CLEV- currently going in Round 10
TE Martellus Bennett NE- currently going in Round 15… if even drafted

So pay attention the entire draft, take some chances and study rosters in depth. If you do, you’re very likely to hit some sleepers in the later rounds that will help you pummel the other team owners in your league. Once you’ve done this, you can spend the last round doing the Ali shuffle and get your Kicker.

Knock ‘em into tomorrow Rock!

Team Profiles Miami Dolphins

Team Profiles Miami Dolphins by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

There have only been ten head coaches for the Dolphins franchise. The current head coach being Joe Philbin, who took over in early 2012 following Tony Sparano’s dismissal. Philbin’s head coaching career has been a turbulent one so far, with .500 or below records every season and a publicly embarrassing “bullying scandal” amongst Miami teammates while under his helm. On November 3, 2013, the Dolphins suspended Miami player Incognito for misconduct related to the treatment of fellow teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team a week earlier. Incognito’s conduct was said to be detrimental to the team. Despite some fan outcries to have Philbin removed, Owner Stephen Ross says the head coach will return in 2015.

2015 team outlook-

The other bully in the AFC East is the New England Patriots, who have won the division 6 years in a row. They have also been to the Super Bowl twice in 4 years, and won the “whole-shebang” in 2014. Like the AFC South where the Colts dominate while the other 3 teams struggle just to have a season above .500, so goes the AFC East with the Pats dominating, and Miami, Buffalo and New York struggle just to have a season above .500. At least Miami knows who their quarterback will be in 2015. Buffalo and the Jets do not. For this reason, I like Miami to easily place 2nd in their division in 2015.

2015 Fantasy outlook-


QB–
Ryan Tannehill is a competent quarterback that Miami selected eighth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Tannehill isn’t a fancy Ferrari sports car like QB Tom Brady is, but more like a Chevy Malibu. He’ll get you where you need to go without a lot of tinkering or maintenance. The Miami QB ended the 2014 season as the 10th ranked QB in the NFL, finishing with 4045 passing yards, 27 TDs and 12 INTs. He has gotten more efficient in every year he’s played. UPDATE: Miami signed QB Josh freeman to a one year deal, but it would be a shock if Freeman made the final 2015 roster.

RBs–
Cleveland wasn’t the only team to bring in a guy to be the workhorse the team needed, only to have him get injured early on and be replaced by someone already had on their roster. On March 27, 2014, the Dolphins signed former Denver Bronco Knowshon Moreno to a one-year contract worth $3 million. On September 14, 2014 Moreno sustained a dislocated left elbow in a loss to Buffalo and later,on October 14th, 2014 it was announced that Moreno is out for the season with a torn ACL. The Dolphins were forced to hand the ball off to RB Lamar Miller for the rest of the season, which turned out just fine. RB Miller took full advantage of the starting opportunity, and turned in 1374 total yards from scrimmage and scoring 9 TDs. He ranked #10 among running backs in 2014. Miami needs to address so many other deficiencies in the team via the draft and in free agency, so Miller should return in 2015 as Miami’s clear feature back. UPDATE: Miami selected 6’0″ RB Jay Ajayi in the 5th round of this year’s NFL Draft, but Miller proved himself in 2014, so Ajayi won’t start, he’ll just irritate Miller owners by stealing some carries.

WRs–
Miami recently cleaned house releasing Dolphin WR Brian Hartline and Berandon Gibson, with WR Mike Wallace said to be on the team’s trading block. Currently listed as Miami’s #1 wide receiver Jarvis Landry, a second round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and one of the many star receivers to enter the draft last year. WR Jarvis ended the 2014 season as the 42nd WR in the NFL, with 758 yards receiving and 5 TDS. Seventh rounder WR Richard Matthews from the 2012 Draft has reportedly asked for his release, and openly clashed with coach Joe Philbin in 2014, for spending most of the season as Miami’s No. 5 wide out. UPDATE: Miami Acquired WR Kenny Stills from the Saints in exchange for LB Danelle Ellerbe and a 2015 third-round pick. They also acquired a 2015 fifth-round pick from the Vikings in exchange for WR Mike Wallace and a 2015 seventh-round pick.The fantasy world fully expected WR Landry to build significantly on his 2014 rookie season, but with so many weapons around QB Tannehill now, 758 yards receiving and 5 TDS may be Landry’s range again in 2015.

TEs– The most productive of the Miami tight ends for the past 2 seasons has been TE Charles Clay, ranking in the 7th & 16th in the NFL for 2013 and 2014 respectively. Clay is a free agent this year but Dolphins executive VP Mike Tannenbaum confirms that the team would like to re-sign him. UPDATE: Miami signed former Brown TE Jordan Cameron to a two-year deal.

K– The 2014 place kicker for the Dolphins in 2014 was Caleb Sturgis, a fifth round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Sturgis has missed 16 of his 71 field goal attempts through two seasons, so he very much is in danger of losing his job to Zach Hocker, who’s also currently on Miami’s roster.

DEF– The Miami defense has improved every year for the past 4 years. They were terrible 4 years ago, bad 3 years ago, fair 2 years ago and better in 2014. But now that they have an OK defense, they also have a mess to deal with, having so many of players that Miami could rely on heading for free agency. UPDATE: The Dolphins reportedly will sign free agent Ndamukong Suh to a six-year deal worth roughly $114 million with $60 million guaranteed when the signing period opens on Tuesday. UPDATE: In one of the biggest moves of free agency, Miami signed former Lions DT Ndamukong Suh to a six-year deal.

2014 Miami Fantasy Surprises–
I’m always surprised at QB Tannehill breaking into the top 10 of NFL quarterbacks. What he does best, is throw an accurate pass. But making check-downs from receiver 1 to receiver 2 to receiver 3 like QB Aaron Rodgers and QB Drew Brees do…forget about it. RB Lamar Miller’s output and his ability to play all 16 games was a nice surprise. His best game came in Week 16-178 yards and 1 TD.

2015 Free Agents that Miami Needs to Address–
QB Matt Moore- RB Knowshon Moreno- RB Daniel Thomas- WR Brian Hartline (released)- TE Charles Clay (signed w/ Buffalo)- OT Jason Fox (re-signed)- G Daryn Colledge- DT Jared Odrick- LB Jason Trusnik- LB Kelvin Sheppard (re-signed)- S Louis Delmas (re-signed)- S Jimmy Wilson (signed w/ SD)

2015 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Miami are on their O-Line, at wide receiver and in the secondary. The Miami Dolphins led the AFC in team yards per carry, but need young help in the run game (OG), the Dolphins need to decide on WR Mike Wallace, TE Clay and they’ve released 2 other wide receivers mentioned previously (WR & TE) and Miami needs a No. 2 corner back plus a slot corner (CB). UPDATE: Miami’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- MIAMI’S DRAFT


Did You Know–
Former Miami head coach Don Shula had only two losing seasons in his 36-year career of coaching in the NFL. He is the all-time leader in victories with 347. He is first in most games coached (526), most consecutive seasons coached (33). Only HC George Halas had a longer coaching career than Shula (40 years…1920-1967).

Team Home Page: www.miamidolphins.com

Team Profiles- Kansas City Chiefs

Team Profiles- Kansas City Chiefs by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

There’s only been 5 days, over the past 16 years that Andy Reid hasn’t been a head coach of a team in NFL. Reid was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to December 30th, 2012, which was the day Eagles owner Jeff Lurie fired Reid. 5 days later, Andy Reid was the new head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Since joining the Chiefs, Reid has had 2 back-to-back winning seasons, and led the Chiefs to the playoffs in his first year, 2013. Reid took over for 2012 Romeo Crennel, who was fired after a 2-14 season. Andy Reid has had only 3 losing seasons in his entire NFL head coaching career, but has never won a Super Bowl.

2015 Team Outlook-

The Chiefs play in the AFC West division, which is a division they could win, if not for the Denver Broncos. Denver has won the division 4 straight seasons. Every team in the AFC West, Kansas City, Denver, San Diego and Oakland, has won the division at least twice since the year 2000. For the past 2 months, every Chief coach & player has secretly hoped and prayed that QB Peyton Manning would retire. It appears as though the Denver coaches and players are the ones that got their hopes and prayers answered, with QB Manning agreeing to play for at least one more season. The Broncos will win the division for the 5th straight year, and it will likely be Kansas City’s predictable offense duking it out with San Diego for 2nd place.

QB– Alex Smith, selected first overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft, was traded to Kansas City in early 2013. His first season with the Chiefs could not have started out better, with a 9-0 start and their first playoff berth in 3 years. I am going to give Smith the benefit of the doubt here and proclaim that the coaches in KC have handcuffed Smith so much, that he’s forced into being the ultimate “game manager”, if there ever was one. Smith has been limited to throwing only quick, short high percentage passes and dump offs to his running backs. (You might have heard, that no KC wide receiver caught a touchdown pass in 2014.) I remember watching Smith with the 49ers, and although he threw plenty of quick, short high percentage passes in SF, there was some nice deep passes thrown in. I doubt seriously that the 2 year conservative play-calling will suddenly get jiggy in 2015, so expect more of the same. (However, a Kansas City WR will catch a TD pass this coming season!)

RBs– So if QB Alex Smith isn’t throwing any TD passes to any wide receivers, how are they winning? 3 answers- RB Jamaal Charles…RB Jamaal Charles…and RB Jamaal Charles. (4 answers, if you count a pretty good defense, especially in 2013, when it ranked #1.) RB Charles is a special talent, who can hit a home run on any play with this crazy fast speed, and a double threat in the passing game. For the past 3 years, Jamaal has ranked #7, #1 and #8 among all NFL running backs. Despite his workload, he has only missed 2 games in those 3 years. RB Charles should be taken as the 1st or 2nd RB taken in September fantasy drafts. If Kansas City hopes to get into the playoffs in 2015 however, they have got to find some others weapons in their offense besides RB Charles.

WRs– Dwayne Bowe and few other unused guys. That’s the best way to sum up the KC receiving corps of 2014. If KC had not ended the 2013 & 2014 seasons with the winning records that they had (11-5 and 9-7 respectively) the coaching staff would have been crucified more than they were, for having such a conservative, boring and predictable offense. Kansas City’s #1 WR Dwayne Bowe didn’t even end the season in the top 60 among NFL wide receivers. That means that there were #2 & #3 wide receivers on other teams that had better seasons than Kansas City’s #1 WR. New Orleans Saint WR Brandon Cooks, a rookie who missed the last 6 games of the season due to injury, had a better season than Kansas City’s #1 WR. Remember all of those fantastic wide receivers that entered the draft last year, and who tore up the NFL? The WR needy team of the Kansas City Chiefs drafted NONE of them. There is another amazing class of wide receivers coming in April’s NFL draft, and if the Chiefs don’t draft one or more of them this time around, there will be riots in the KC streets…you watch. (KC released WR Donnie Avery.) UPDATE: Chiefs released WR Donnie Avery & WR Dwayne Bowe- Signed former Eagle WR Jeremy Maclin & re-signed WR Avant. Don’t expect great things from Maclin, his QB is Alex Smith.

TEs– KC recently cut TE Anthony Fasano, and many think that this is a sign that the Chiefs are ready for last year’s #8 NFL TE Travis Kelce, to go absolutely bonkers in 2015. Personally, I don’t think anyone except RB Jamaal Charles will go bonkers in this offense, but even staying conservative should net TE Kelce another 800+ yard season and 5 more TDs. This “break out” season that Kelce going to have is just chatter to me. Unlimited upside until HC Reid final loosens up that offense.

K– Rookie Cairo Santos has won the Chiefs’ kicking job, beating out veteran Ryan Succop, the most accurate kicker in Chiefs history at 81.0 percent last season. Santos played well enough to keep the job for another season hitting 25 of 30 field goal attempts and didn’t miss even one between Weeks 2 & 16.

DEF– The Kansas City Chiefs pretty much surprised everyone as the #1 defense in 2013. That year they had 47 sacks, 15 recovered fumbles, 21 INTs and 7 defensive TDs. 2014 wasn’t quite as impressive, with 46 sacks, 8 recovered fumbles, 6 INTs and only 1 defensive TDs. KC ranked #17 defense in 2014, and will need help from the draft to stay at #17.

2014 Kansas City Fantasy Surprises– (You might have heard, that no KC wide receiver caught a touchdown pass in 2014.) Also, TE Travis Kelce was ready for action last September, hauling in 3 TDs in the first 5 games. He then fell off the NFL radar scoring only 2 more in the next 11 games. His up-coming break out season is just chatter to me. For fantasy owners, it’s maddening to have any KC player other than RB Jamaal Charles. (I never draft any of them, because I never seem to get Charles.)

2015 Free Agents that Kansas City Needs to Address– RB Joe McKnight- WR Jason Avant-(re-signed)- TE Anthony Fasano (released)- OT Ryan Harris- OT Jeffrey Linkenbach- G Mike McGlynn- C Rodney Hudson (signed w/ Oakland)- DT Kevin Vickerson (signed w/ the Jets)- OL Justin Houston (franchise tag)- LB Josh Mauga (re-signed)- CB Chris Owens- S Kurt Coleman (signed w Carolina)

2015 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of Kansas City are on their O-Line, definitely at wide receiver and in the secondary. The Chiefs were 28th in pass protection last year and their center is a free agent (OL & C). You might have heard that no KC wide receiver caught a touchdown pass in 2014 (WRs) and strong safety is a major concern with the tragic news of Eric Berry’s illness. (DB) UPDATE: Kansas City’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- KANSAS CITY’S DRAFT

Did You Know–
Coach Hank Stram put a “curse” on the Kansas City Chiefs in 1974? Following a bad season and managing differences with then General Manager Jack Steadman, Hank Stram was fired. Hank then publicly cursed the team saying they would never make it to the Super Bowl until he wore Chiefs red again! The Chiefs made the playoffs only once in 16 years after Hank Stram’s dismissal, followed by 25 years of post-season disappointments.

Team Home Page: www.kcchiefs.com

Team Profiles- Cincinnati Bengals

Team Profiles- Cincinnati Bengals by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Marvin Lewis has been the head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals since 2003, making him the 2nd longest tenured head coach in the NFL, behind only NE Bill Belichick. The Bengals battled the Colts 26-10 in the first round of the playoffs, losing 26-10. This was the Bengals fourth straight lose in the playoffs. I guess you could call them the “Buffalo Bills’ of the playoffs. (Between 1991 and 1994, Buffalo reached the Superbowl 4 straight times, and lost 4 straight times.) Lewis has a record of 40-23 over the past 4 years, so unlike HC John Fox, he won’t lose his job for not winning the Superbowl.

2015 Team Outlook – Every year the Bengals have to contend with the Steelers and the Ravens in the AFC North. All three of these teams ended the 2014 season over .500, and all went the playoffs. (The Ravens beat the Steelers in Week 1 of this playoffs, but lost the Patriots in Week 2.) Both the Steelers and Ravens have quarterbacks that have won a Superbowl, so this will again be a very competitive division in 2015. (Oh, the Browns are in the AFC North as well.)

2015 Fantasy Outlook –

QB– The Bengals starting quarterback is Andy Dalton, and he reminds me of Scott Mitchell, from the Detroit Lions QB -1994 to 1997. Detroit’s big receiver at the time was WR Herman Moore, and Mitchell would lock in on Moore, waiting for him to get open. When the opposing defense came crashing in around around him, he’d let the ball fly, usually with disastrous results. Dalton ended the 2014 season with 19 TDs and 17 INTs, worst in the NFL for a starting QB. Dalton locks in on big Cincinnati receiver A J Green every game, usually with disastrous results. It’s one of the reasons no other receiver in Cincinnati can make a name for himself. In 2014, The Browns really had Dalton’s number! In Week 10, he went 10 of 33 for only 86 yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs. In Week 15, Dalton went 14 of 24 for only 117 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. Although there are plenty of teams in the NFL with worst quarterback situations, the Bengals will never go far with with Dalton. Fantasy owners won’t go far with him either.

RBs– The Bengals have one of the best one-two punch running back combos in the league. Prior to the 2014 season, RB Gio Bernard was touted as “the main running back threat” in Cincinnati. Rookie RB Jeremy Hill however, drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, wasn’t going to let any opportunity slip away, and he ended the 2014 season as the 9th ranked running back in the league. Hill totaled 1376 yards from scrimmaged and scored 10 TDs. RB Gio Bernard also had an impressive year, ranking 18th among RBs, with 1081 total yard and scoring 7 TDs. This young dynamic duo will be fun to watch in 2015.

WRs–
As previously mentioned, the wide receiver that Dalton can’t help but lock in on every game is 6’4″ WR A J Green, drafted by the Bengals fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. In Green’s rookie season, he recorded four 100-yard games and led all NFL rookies in receptions and receiving yards, catching 65 passes for 1,057 yards in 15 games. His seven touchdown receptions was second among rookies. Unfortunately WR Green was injured for most of the 2014, missing 4 of the 16 regular season match ups, and played at less than 100% for the entire second half. He ended the season ranked #23 among wide receivers with 1041 receiving yards and 6 TDs. One of the wide receivers ignored in Cincy’s offense is WR Mohamed Sanu, who ended the 2014 season with 821 yards and 5 TDs. Even these meager stats were skewed in large part because Dalton had to throw to someone in WR Green’s absence. 2 of WR Sanu’s 5 TDs, came in games in which WR Green had to sit out. Sanu’s other 3 TDs came in games in which WR Green was active, but not productive due to a concussion he suffered, or a bicep injury Green sustained late in the season. WR Marvin Jones is listed as the Bengals #2 wide receiver, but he’s only played in 11 games since 2012. UPDATE: Re-signed WR Brandon Tate and sign former Raider WR Denarius Moore.

TEs– The only TE offense weapon listed on the Bengals roster right now is Tyler Eifert, because Jermaine Gresham is currently a free agent. Neither is a weapon really, because they too are not involved enough in the offense. TE Gresham’s best game in 2014 came in Week 11 vs the Saints, where he had 13 yards and 2 TDs. Eifert missed almost the entire 2014 season from a week one injury.

K– Mike Nugent has been the Bengals place kicker since 2010. In 2014, he only knocked in 27 of his 34 field goal attempts, and 5 of those came in one game (week one). He’s a terrible option for fantasy owners. Cincinnati may try to replace him, as Nugent is a free agent this year.

DEF– Cincinnati usually puts a pretty strong defense on the field every year, but in 2014 they ranked #14. (They were the 5th ranked defense in 2013) Linebacker struggles played a big role in Cincinnati’s 2014 weakness versus the run and Cincinnati ranked dead last in sacks.) They will try to find help in this years draft. UPDATE: Bengals sign former GB LB A J Hawk. Sign CB Brandon Ghee and DT Pat Sims to 1 year deals.

2014 Cincinnati Fantasy Surprises – Despite QB Dalton’s erratic and poor play in 2014, he still managed to rank #18 among starting QBs. He basically beat out QB Alex Smith and a handful of rookie or back up quarterbacks in the NFL. RB Jeremy Hill was a pleasant surprise as a 2nd round drafted rookie, and should rank in the top 10 again in 2015.

2015 Free Agents that Cincinnati Needs to Address – QB Jason Campbell- RB Cedric Peerman (re-signed)- TE Jermaine Gresham-WR Dane Sanzenbacher- OT Eric Winston- OT Marshall Newhouse-G Clint Boling (re-signed)- MLB Rey Maualuga (re-signed)- CB Terence Newman-S Taylor Mays- CB Chris Lewis-Harris (re-signed)- K Mike Nugent (re-signed)

2015 NFL Draft – The early needs of Cincinnati are help on the front seven, a stronger pass-rush, getting a strong back-up QB for Dalton and help at the wide receiver position. The Bengals struggled mightily against the run last season (LB) and they couldn’t sack anyone (DL). All 3 wide receivers mentioned earlier are in contract years, and only WR A J Green is assured a roster spot in the future (WR). UPDATE: Cincinnati’s’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- CINCINNATI’S DRAFT

Did You Know – that the franchise takes its name from an earlier Cincinnati Bengals team, which played from 1937–1941? The Bengals are one of the 13 NFL teams that have never won a Superbowl. Also, did you know that the team’s cheerleading squad is known as the “Ben-Gals’?

Team home page: www.bengals.com

Team Profiles- Carolina Panthers

Team Profiles- Carolina Panthers by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Ron Rivera has been the head coach of the Panthers since 2011, and despite having 3 losing seasons out of 4, he has a winning record in Carolina (Thanks to 2013, where they won their NFC South division with a 12-4 regular season record.) HC Rivera successfully led the Panthers to the 2014 season playoffs, victorious over the Arizona Cardinals in Round 1. Although any victory is sweet in the playoffs, the Cardinals were starting a back-up-back-up QB due to injuries, so the real test was in week two of the playoffs, where they lost badly to the defending Superbowl champs Seattle Seahawks 17 to 31. It was never close.
2015 Team Outlook- The Panthers share the NFC South division with the Saints, the Falcons and the Buccaneers. It sounds like a tough division, but in 2014, not one of these teams ended the season over .500. Carolina won the division with 7-8-1 record. The last two years, the Saints seem like a Frank Caliendo impersonation, rather than the real Saints showing up to games. Despite all their talent, the Saints ended the 2014 season with a 7-9 record. Atlanta only won 6 games in 2014, Tampa Bay only 2 games, so they have rebuilding to do. New Orleans will right the ship, so they will be the team the Panthers fight to be the NFC South division champs in 2015.

2015 Fantasy Outlook-

QB- When Cam Newton was selected as the first overall pick by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft, he had all the tangibles to be one of the best quarterbacks that the NFL has ever had. Newton has never quite lived up the those expectations, but there are about 15+ teams in the NFL that wish that Cam was their starting QB, and the Panthers are glad that they selected him. Since being selected first round in 2011, 6 other quarterbacks have been drafted with first round picks, who currently aren’t even starting QBs. QB Newton likely won’t be in the top 10 of 2015 QBs, but he’ll be in the top 15. You can expect approximately 3800 total yards, 24 TDs and 13 INTs from Cam this next season. (Despite all his injuries, Cam has only missed 2 games over the past 3 years.)

RBs- It seems like we’ve been talking about the running back combo of RB DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart for over a decade. RB Williams was drafted in 2006, and RB Stewart in 2008, so it actually has been a LONG time. They must have a bet going with the Kansas City Chiefs. If the Panthers draft a top-prospect running back, they lose the bet. If the Chiefs draft a top-prospect wide receiver, they lose the bet. (The Panthers haven’t drafted a RB in the first 3 rounds of any NFL Draft since Stewart went in the 1st -2008.) For a lot of reasons, including QB Newton’s running abilities around the goal line, Panther running backs are bad news fantasy football-wise…so just avoid them if you can. DeAngelo Williams was only available for six games in 2014, we doubt Carolina wants him back.

WRs- The Panthers drafted one of the star wide receivers in the 2014 NFL Draft, WR Kelvin Benjamin, who more than surpassed any and all expectations. WR Benjamin finished #13 among ALL NFL WRs in 2014, racking up 116 yards and 9 TDs. Next September, don’t wait to long in your drafts to get this amazing athlete for your fantasy team. In 2015 the anthers selected another big wide receiver 6’4″ Devin Funchess. UPDATE: On August 19th- WR Kelvin Benjamin suffered a torn ACL in Wednesday’s training camp practice- WRs Philly Brown, jerical Cotchery and Ted Ginn Jr will try to replace Benjamin

TEs- The Chicago Bears earned an ESPY “Bone-head” award in 2011 when they traded TE Greg Olsen to the Carolina Panthers for a 2012 third round draft pick. Since trading him, Olsen has ranked 6th among TEs in 2012, 8th in 2013 and 4th in 2014. Only Gronk, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham bested Olsen in 2014. He ended the season with 1008 yards and 6 TDs. I expect the same, if not better in 2015, because his chemistry with QB Newton is only growing. Olsen hasn’t missed a game in 4 years.

K- Graham Gano, Carolina’s place kicker, ranked 13th among NFL kickers in 2014. He went 29 for 35 in field goal attempts which will keep him his job. He does play well in nice weather, usually.

DEF- You can thank Ron Rivera for turning this defense around. In 2011, when he was hired as the new head coach, the Panthers ranked 30th in overall defense. In 2012, they got a little better, and ranked 21st. They got a lot better in 2013 and ranked as the 3rd best defense. 2014 was another good year for the Carolina defense, ranking #10.
HC Rivera will always put a strong defense on the field, so pencil them in as a top 10 defense for 2015.

2014 Carolina Fantasy Surprises- 1) Jonathan Stewart played 46.4 percent of snaps in 2014. He almost always is injured. 2) Carolina didn’t release WR Cotchery when they released Avant. Cotchery ended the season with 1 TD, rookie WR Benjamin had 9. 3) QB Cam Newton only missed one game, despite breaking ribs in a serious car accident in early December.

2015 Free Agents that Carolina Needs to Address- QB Joe Webb- TE Ed Dickson- OT Byron Bell- OT Garry Williams- DT Colin Cole
2015 NFL Draft- The early needs of Carolina are help on their O-Line, wide receivers (badly) , and upgrade on defense. The Panthers had a poor offensive line play all year, and need to surround QB Newton with solid blockers (OT), you already know by now the sad wide receiver situation in Carolina, other than Benjamin (WRs), and Rivera will likely get rid of Greg Hardy because of all his off-field crap, so they desperately need another edge pass rusher (DE).

Did You Know- then linebacker Ron Rivera played in the 1985 Superbowl XX, where the Bears beat the New England Patriots, 46-10? Mike Ditka was the head coach and Rivera became the first Puerto Rican to play on a Super Bowl championship team.

Team Profiles Buffalo Bills

Team Profiles Buffalo Bills by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Rex Ryan is now the new head coach of Buffalo. I actually like the guy. He’s the funny uncle you always want to hang around with at family reunions. But how good of a head coach is he? He managed to land a head coaching job with Buffalo, with the words of “You’re fired’ still ringing in his ears from the brass in New York. His last year with the Jets, he led the team to only 4 wins. He had a winning record in New York only 2 out of 6 years, and those were the first two years, when the personnel of the team wasn’t of his making. Sons of Buddy Ryan, the Ryan brothers (Rex & Rob) are the Nicky and Paris Hiltons of the NFL. Two things are almost certain year one in Buffalo…….1) the players will love him 2) the team will have a losing season.

2015 team outlook- Buffalo always gets stampeded by the New England Patriots AFC East Division. Miami, Buffalo and New York Jets try not to come in last. One of the real reasons that Rex Ryan got the Buffalo head coaching gig was his familiarity with all the teams in the division. Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. Ryan is a fun guy and the NFL loves having him around. Buffalo won’t in 4 years. MAYBE….if Rex Ryan ever went to a team with a quarterback, he could manage a winning season….but then, if they already had a good quarterback, then they’d probably have had a winning season, and therefore, there wouldn’t be a HC vacancy for Ryan to fill. Buffalo 6-10 in 2015

2015 Fantasy outlook-

QB- Retired/ Unretired QB Kyle “I stuck it to Jerry Jones” Orton is retired again, leaving only E J Manuel. E J manuel needs to read a QB manual on how to play the quarterback position without throwing interceptions. He’s not very good. Another college quarterback drafted in the 1st round who was thrown into action way too soon, as usual. What ever happened to holding a clipboard for a while and LEARNING? Tom Brady did it. Drew Brees did it. Aaron Rodgers did it. I was recently in a 20 round- 16 team fantasy draft and E J manuel went in the 19th round, the 36th QB selected. That’s about right.

RBs- Everyone has the list of “I’ll never draft that guy ever again”…..and I guarantee you, C J Spiller is on a ton of them, not just mine. I’ll draft extra wide receivers before I draft him ( or Reggie Bush) ever again. He’s a free agent anyways, so he may not even be back in Buffalo. RB Fred Jackson is an old school running back who always leaves everything on the field. I like his hard running style and his grit. You can wait on him in drafts because he won’t go too early, but he’s solid, and hopefully he can stay heathy. The #2 RB listed on the Buffalo roster is Anthony Dixon, but I am not a big fan. I do like RB Bryce Brown however, and hopefully Rex sees what a talent he could be if ever given the chance that he was promised when he left Philadelphia. UPDATE: HC Rex Ryan signed former Eagle RB LeSean McCoy and give McCoy as many touches as he can handle. RB McCoy is in a better place for himself, for Buffalo and for fantasy owners.

WRs- Prior to the 2014 season, I wrote an article about being “All In’ with the rookie class of wide receivers coming into the league, and although I didn’t like where he landed, WR Sammy Watkins topped my list. (Oh, how I wanted Detroit to draft Sammy Watkins, and see him line up opposite Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. Instead, Detroit threw away another 1st round selection, which they always do with regularity) Watkins will make any QB look good, but his fantasy value will always have to be tempered because he’s in Buffalo. Even the die-hardest of NFL and fantasy footballers struggle to remember who the other wide receivers are in Buffalo. They are WR Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin and Chris Hogan. They had a combined 9 TDs all of last year.

TEs– Scott Chandler is the only name worth mentioning here. He’s a big, tough guy and could be a huge part of an offense somewhere else. He’ 6’7″ and 260 pounds and a serviceable TE but has been in the league side 2007. UPDATE: Buffalo snagged TE Charles Clay and huge a huge upgrade for the team at that position, but fantasy-wise, I am not bumping him up from last year. His TE ranking drops because of the QB situation in Buffalo.

K- Former Miami Dolphin Dan Carpenter was Buffalo’s top scorer in 2014, but more because the offense was bad, rather than because he was so good. He did knock in 34 of 38 field goals, which ranked 10h for place-kickers in the NFL-2014

DEF- The Buffalo defense kept the team in many games during the 2014 season. They quietly ranked in the top 5 of NFL defenses, and with defense-minded Rex Ryan running the show now, they likely won’t fall off that top 5 list in 2015.

2014 Buffalo Fantasy Surprises- When Buffalo pulled QB Orton off the streets and threw him in as the immediate QB starter, this actually helped the team and WR Watkins’ productivity, at least for a few games. Watkins later would play at less than 100%, but he played in all 16 regular season games his rookie year. RB Bryce Brown is a talented running back and it was surprising that Buffalo didn’t use his talents much in 2014. I don’t like RBBC ( running back by committee) especially if it’s a big committee, rotating 3 & 4 running backs all in the one game like Buffalo did last year. HC Ryan won’t surprise us and start doing that. He will rotate two, but he’ll pick one of them as his workhorse.

2015 Free Agents that Buffalo need to address- RB C J Spiller- WR Marcus Easley- WR Deonte Thompson- TE Lee Smith- G Erik Pears- S Da’Norris Searcy

2015 NFL Draft- The early needs of Buffalo are Quarterback, OL , and TE. The Bills haven’t had a quarterback throw over 25 touchdown passes in a season since Jim Kelly threw 33 in 1991( QB), Buffalo’s right guard and right tackles were a glaring weakness in 2014 (OLB), and although Scott Chandler plays hard, he isn’t the big-time playmaker that any Buffalo QB will need (TE).

Did you know-
Buffalo drafted RB Marshawn Lynch with their 1st round -the 12th overall NFL selection in 2007? Lynch played for Buffalo from 2007-2010 and only scored a total of 17 TDs in those years. On October 5th, 2010 in mid-season, Buffalo had seen enough of Lynch and traded him to Seattle for two draft picks, a 4th round in 2011 and a 5th round in 2012.

Women Love Fantasy Football Too

Women Love Fantasy Football Too by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Fellas, Females love Fantasy football Too

30 years ago in a Manhattan restaurant, a group of guys who loved sports and athlete statistics, came up with the idea of fantasy football. For a while, the phenomenon grew only amongst the “stat geeks”, and was not a part of the sports mainstream. For decades, even the NFL was hesitant to endorsed the product. Things have changed over the last five years however, and the league now clearly supports and benefits greatly from fantasy football.

In 2012, the number of participants in fantasy leagues rose to a record 33 million Americans, or roughly 10% of the U.S. population. Today, that number has grown to over 42 million. Not only has the number of participants grown, but so has the demographics. It’s not just a bunch of nerdy guys drafting in someone’s mancave anymore. Women have come into the fantasy fold in droves, and have quickly become 20% of the the players in fantasy sports. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) estimates that women will comprise 1/3 of all fantasy football players in the very near future. Along with the joy of competition, women interviewed reported by that fantasy football facilitated staying in touch with friends, being a part of the draft day experience, being part of the water cooler talk, and being able to hang with the guys as incentives to participate.

Fantasy football is a multi-billion dollar industry, and aiding fantasy football’s popularity is the ever growing stream of daily fantasy sports websites. A few years ago, the only type of fantasy football available was the standard season-long league where you have the same players on your team the entire year. Instead, these daily websites allow you to choose new players (hence a new team) each week. FanDuel has more than 1 million paying users and is valued at more than $1 billion during its last investment round, according to a source familiar with the company’s finances. Additionally, women are joining FanDuel twice as fast as men, according to the company’s chief executive, Nigel Eccles. The next-biggest site, DraftKings, based in Boston. This year the daily fantasy-sports industry will collect more in entry fees than all the sports books at Vegas casinos combined, according to research conducted about the gaming industry.
Utter-Fantasy-Football

Fantasy football owners, men and women alike, might be surprised to know that there are now websites that offer real insurance that provides coverage when players on their teams have season-ending injuries. Fantasyplayerprotect.com is available for a fee (premium), and the coverage is intended to replace the league entry fee, plus research expenses such as magazine or online subscriptions. Since fantasy football has become a legitimate part of the most sports, it makes sense that these insurance products will also grow in popularity. An estimated $2 billion dollars was spent on fantasy league fees last year.

So fellas, the next time you are heading out the door to a fantasy draft, don’t be surprised if instead of asking when you’ll be home, she instead asks you to hold that door, because she’s heading out for one herself.

Joining a Fantasy Football League

Joining a Fantasy Football League by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

Or Starting Your Own

We have new players ask us about how to start their own leagues, so we
thought we would cover the subject as a bonus chapter, for those who are
interested.

There are countless internet sites that you can play
on, and keep track of your fantasy leagues. Many
popular sites don’t charge a fee. It is
free to park your leagues there. The most
recommended ones are NFL, ESPN and Yahoo.

When you decide to play fantasy football, joining
one of these sites is easier than you might think.
Let’s say you want to have Yahoo host your league.
(You’ll be asked to sign into your Yahoo! Account if you haven’t already.)

· Go to Yahoo.com.

· Select the Sports tab from the list of Yahoo services.

…Next click on the “Fantasy” tab in the Sports Section.

· Scroll down to “Fantasy Football” or click this link…YAHOO FOOTBALL FANTASY SPORTS

· There you will find two choices…”Join a League” or “Create a League”.

To Join a League – Simply click this link – you will see open leagues that
need teams.

To Create a league – Click this link and a window will appear. It will ask
you for your League name – Type of league you want (Points vs HD2HD) –
How & When you want to draft – Click “Finish” and voila!– You can even
customize your league settings right there.

ESPN also hosts Free Fantasy Leagues and offers
• Existing Leagues
• New Leagues
• Previous Leagues
Click this link to Go to ESPN Fantasy here- ESPN FANTASY FOOTBALL

As a league, decide on rules for trades, player moves each week and for
submitting weekly line ups. You’ll also need to decide how long your season
will last and if your league will have playoffs. These are decisions every team
member should vote when starting a new league.
If you’re invited to join a friend’s league, you’ve probably received an e-mail
with a link to the sign-up page. Just click on the link, accept your spot, pick
a team name and logo. This type of league works exactly like a public league
when the season begins, but the league’s commissioner can customize the setup. Yahoo has a certain set of standard defaults for roster requirements,
scoring, free agency, and so on.

So, there you have it…setting up your league with a Free Fantasy Football
Hosting Site is as easy as taking a ride on the Reading Railroad!
To learn more about your new obsession and get more advanced
fantasy tips and advice, be sure to visit us at
Utter-Fantasy.com often.

Greatest Fantasy Team Ever Assembled

Greatest Fantasy Team Ever Assembled by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

QB Peyton Manning
RB Ladainian Tomlinson
RB Emmitt Smith
WR Randy Moss
WR Calvin Johnson
WR Jerry Rice
TE Rob Gronkowski
K Adam Vinatieri
DEF Balt Ravens
FLEX…?

When I joined my first fantasy football league, it was back in 1985, and it was back before we had any fancy fantasy football websites or fancy fantasy football apps. We didn’t know how our teams did until each of us got our own Monday morning newspaper and scanned the sports section to find out. Then, we had to wait for the commish to send out a newsletter in the mail (not e-mail) to find out how we did compared to everyone else in the league. It is from this history of fantasy participation that I put together this ultimate team. I wasn’t that difficult….what I mean is, I didn’t crunch numbers to do it, like I usually do. These are the guys each year I either said “Damn it, I wish I had that guy” or “I’m damn glad I have that guy.”

(It would be interesting to dig out each of these guy’s best game ever, and see just how big a score in fantasy it would come out to be, if scored in the same week. Maybe I’ll add an addendum to this article if I get so inspired.)

So, above is my “Greatest Fantasy Team Ever Assembled”, and here’s why…

QB- Other names obviously pop into mind for the quarter back…Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Dan Marino etc, but Peyton’s last couple years wins it for me. He broke the NFL record of throwing for more than one touchdown pass in 14th consecutive games and in 2013, he threw 55 TD passes. (7 TDs in Week 1) In 2014, he threw 39 more TD passes. Manning has also averaged over 31 TDs a year over his 17 year career.

RBs- Ladainian Tomlinson & Emmitt Smith were the solid pieces of any person’s fantasy team that drafted them. They produced every week, and had many multiple TD games over their career. 2 names that one could easily make a case for being here are Adrian Peterson & Marshall Faulk, possibly over Emmitt Smith. Smith I would like to remind you however, had 2 back-to-back seasons over 20 TDs while AP had none.

WRs- Randy Moss single-handedly helped me win more than one fantasy championship, so he has to be here. Oh those days of Culpepper to Moss. Tom Brady threw him a few as well. I remember one snowy game in Foxboro that the Brady/Moss connection got me 3 TDs of the long variety…nice! Although Calvin seems to be at the end of his career, there’s no denying that he is #1 WR in fantasy football over the past 8 years. When it comes to fantasy consistency, the only other wide receiver that comes to my mind other than Jerry Rice, is Larry Fitzgerald. Unfortunately Fitz didn’t always have great QB like Rice did, so Rice gets my 3rd spot.

TE- Gronk is the best TE ever to play the game, in my opinion. He’s unstoppable when healthy. Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez are/were great and they get the credit for changing the position. Jimmy Graham is a beast, but I still have to put Gronk on my Greatest Fantasy Team.

K- After 42 year old Adam Vinatieri recently nailed a 53 FG during a playoff game vs the Bengals, he was summoned to take a drug test, the following day! He passed. Two long careers, one with the Patriots, the 2nd with the Colts, this future Hall of Famer is my choice for the Greatest Fantasy Team.

DEF-
Over the past 20 years, when you say great NFL Defense of all time…you have to be talking about Baltimore. In 2001, they won a Superbowl with Trent Dilfer as their quarterback…that’s how great they were that year. Seattle is who you think of today, but the Seahawks don’t have the reputation Baltimore has, since the year 2000.

FLEX-
For all the greats that I have mentioned, but who didn’t make the The Greatest Fantasy Team Ever Assembled, pick one and put them in the flex position…icing on the Greatest Fantasy Team Ever cake.

NFL 2015 Quarterback Rankings

NFL 2015 Quarterback Rankings

1. Andrew Luck IND
2. Aaron Rodgers GB
3. Drew Brees NO
4. Peyton Manning DEN
5. Ben Roethlisberger PITT
6. Tom Brady NE
7. Russell Wilson SEA
8. Tony Romo DAL
9.  Philip Rivers SD
10. Matthew Stafford DET
11. Matt Ryan ATL
12. Eli Manning NYG
13. Cam Newton CAR
14. Jay Cutler CHI
15. Joe Flacco BALT
16. Carson Palmer ARZ
17. Ryan Tannehill MIA
18. Nick Foles ST L
19. Sam Bradford PHIL
20. Derek Carr OAK
21. Teddy Bridgewater MIN
22. Colin Kaepernick SF
23. K Cousins WASH
24. Blake Bortles JAX
25. Alex Smith KC
26. Andy Dalton CIN
27. Brian Hoyer HOU
28. Josh McCown CLEV
29. Tyrod Taylor BUFF
30. Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ
31. Marcus Mariota – Rookie Tennessee
32. Jameis Winston – Rookie Tampa Bay
33. Jimmy Garoppolo NE
34. Matt Cassel BUFF
35. Mike Glennon TB
36. Mark Sanchez PHIL
37. Colt McCoy WASH
38. Zach Mettenberger TEN
39. Ryan Mallett HOU
40. Brock Osweiler DEN
41. Geno Smith NYJ- Out 6-10 Weeks broken jaw
42. A.J. McCarron CIN
43. J Manziel CLEV
44. Christian Ponder OAK
45. RG3 WASH
46. Tom Savage HOU
47. Austin Davis STL
48. Aaron Murray KC
49. Ryan Nassib NYG
50. Logan Thomas ARZ

•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Running Back Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Wide Receiver Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Defense Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Tight End Rankings

2015 Player Rankings Tight Ends

2015 Player Rankings Tight Ends by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

1. Rob Gronkowski- Patriots
2. Greg Olsen – Panthers
3. Jimmy Graham – Seahawks
4. Martellis Bennett – Bears
5. Jason Witten – Cowboys
6. Travis Kelce – Chiefs
7. Jordan Cameron- Dolphins
8. Dwayne Allen – Colts
9. Ben Watson- Saints
10. Owen Daniels – Broncos
11. Ladarius Green – Chargers
12. Coby Fleener – Colts
13. Delanie Walker – Titans
14. Zach Ertz – Eagles
15. Kyle Rudolph – Vikings
16. Heath Miller – Steelers
17. Charles Clay – Buffalo
18. Larry Donnell – Giants
19. Jordan Reed- Wash
20. Josh Hil- Saints
21. Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Bucs
22. Richard Rodgers – Packers
23. Jordan Reed – Washington
24. Mychal Rivera – Raiders
25. Brent Celek – Eagles
26. Rob Housler – Browns
27. Maxx Williams- Rookie- Ravens
28. Jacob Tamme – Falcons
29. Tyler Eifert – Bengals
30. Jared Cook – Rams
31. Julius Thomas – Jaguars- Out until likely Week 5 ( finger) then Bye Week 8
32. Garrrett Graham – Texans
33. Antonio Gates – Chargers- suspended four games
34. Eric Ebron – Lions
35. Luke Wilson – Seahawks
36. Jace Amaro – Jets
37. Jermaine Gresham – Bengals
38. Anthony Fasano – Titans
39. Andrew Quarless – Packers
40. Clive Walford – Rookie
41. Lance Kendricks – Rams
42. Troy Niklas – Cardinals
43. Jordan Reed- Washington
44. Gavin Escobar – Cowboys
45. Brandon Myers – Bucs
46. Joseph Fauria – Lions
47. John Carlson – Cardinals
48. Marcedes Lewis – Jaguars
49. Tony Moeaki – Falcons
50. Dion Sims – Dolphins
51. Jeff Cumberland – Jets
52. Crockett Gilmore – Ravens

 

•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Quarterback Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Running Back Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Wide Receiver Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Defense Rankings

NFL 2015 Player Rankings Defenses

 

NFL 2015 Player Rankings Defenses by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Here are the Top preseason NFL 2015 Player Rankings Defenses ranked for the upcoming NFL season based on their success in 2014. It also takes in account every NFL team’s strength of schedule for the upcoming season. In 2014, the seattle seahawks were ranked #1 for NFL defense, while the Atlanta Falcons were ranked #322, dead last in the NFL

NFL 2015 Player Rankings Defenses

1. Seattle Seahawks – #1 NFL ranked defense 2014
2. Houston Texans
3. Arizona Cardinals
4. Buffalo Bills – #4 NFL ranked defense 2014
5. St Louis Rams
6. Green Bay Packers
7. Carolina Panthers
8. Denver Broncos- #3 NFL ranked defense 2014
9. Baltimore Ravens
10. New England Patriots
11. New York Jets
12. Miami Dolphins
13. Kansas City Chiefs
14. Detroit Lions- #2 NFL ranked defense 2014
15. Dallas Cowboys
16. Philadelphia Eagles
17. Minnesota Vikings
18. Pittsburgh Steelers
19. Cleveland Browns
20. Indianapolis Colts
21. New York Giants
22. Cincinnati Bengals
23. San Francisco 49ers
24. Tampa Bay Bucs
25. Chicago Bears
26. San Diego Chargers
27. Atlanta Falcons- #32 NFL ranked defense 2014
28. Tennessee Titans
29. Washington
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
31. New Orleans Saints
32. Oakland Raiders

•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Quarterback Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Running Back Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Wide Receiver Rankings
•Utter-Fantasy’s Preliminary 2015 Tight End Rankings

About Utter-Fantasy Football

About Utter-Fantasy Football by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

1987. There was one game on TV. Kansas City Chiefs vs the Los Angeles Raiders. I didn’t have anyone playing. I almost got Raider Craig Ellis, who had a big game, but Hotujac freakin’ took him right before my pick. I swear he read my mind. So now I am hoping that the RB I ended up getting, did well on Sunday, Pittsburgh Steeler Earnest Jackson. I won’t know until Monday however, when I walk up to the corner gas station and get a newspaper out of the vending box. That’s how it went back then. Watch what little you could on Sunday, then check the newspaper Monday morning ( and even then you didn’t know how you did the league, because the letter from the commish, who added up all the scores each week, wouldn’t come in the mail, until Friday.)

You young punks out there are so spoiled now. Scores rolling across ESPN every minute, instant updates on CBS Sportsline and countless APPs. In 1987, your Sunday Ticket was to see Lethal Weapon at 1:00 pm at the Cinema. Of coarse, you young punks helped to make FF as popular as it is right now, so kiss my butt for being spoiled and thank you for playing.

And unlike most of you young punks, I happen to be in a position where I can retire (a little) and spend some of my time now, doing what I love. I have 4 loves actually, and they are the NFL football, talking about NFL football, fantasy football (FF) and art. (Drinking alcoholic beverages should be listed in there somewhere, but I am trying to be a better roll model.) Put all these together, and you get a new fantasy football website. Sure, there already are some, but with my buddy Phil E. Stake, we think there’s room for another. A better one, Utter-fantasy.com. A site barely alive. But gentleman, we can build it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic fantasy football website. Better, stronger, faster. (OK, maybe not bionic or faster, but funnier…definitely funnier)

We are not all chuckles and grins however. I take my FF very serious as well. I have won more leagues than I have lost, and I think that what I have to say might help you and your teams. I also think that I can learn something from all of you as well, so together, lets kick some ass.

Players Whose Team Will Miss Them

Players Whose Team Will Miss Them by Utter-Fantasy writer & illustrator Doug Bowles

 

 

Dear ___________ (player’s name here)

I remember how it used to be 
when nothing else mattered but you and me

music, country roads, and Super Bowl dreams.

I miss you, I wish you could see
 that without you here, I miss you and me.

Love,
Coach
Utter-Fantasy’s Top 10 Missed Players:

#1) Jimmy Graham – Oh, the players the Saints had to part with, to make sure Drew Greed got all of the $100 million he demanded.
 ( Remember, he held out of camp and the team has gone down since) Graham is a FREAK, and he made teams afraid. I do not like that he went to Seattle however. He won’t be the same fantasy star there unfortunately.

#2) Revis/ Browner – I know Belichick is a wizard at getting the most from players, but New England’s defense took a big hit, no matter what. Their weak division however, will likely make this manageable.

#3) Andre Johnson – Andre clearly was sick of being a Texan with lousy quarterbacks, so the move was excellent for him, and I love that he is in Indianapolis ( WR Sleeper), but the Texans now have a receiving corps full of young kids, albeit talented ones, and I think his veteran leadership will be missed most.

#4) Frank Gore – I remember watching a game Nov. 30th, 2010, where he came out injured in early second half, and since I had him on my fantasy team I desperately wanted him back in. Gore was clammering to get back in on the sidelines, so I was screaming at the TV/ HC Singletary to let him. Turns out he had a broken hip. That guy had a broken hip and wanted back in!  You want guys like that on a team. Love him now in Indy as well. ( RB Sleeper)

#5) Brandon Marshall – Despite all the trouble he created in his early years, Marshall has since become quite the mentor, and not unlike Houston, Chicago has now a receiving corps full of young kids, albeit talented ones, and I think his veteran leadership will be missed most. He won’t do much as a Jet.

#7) Jeremy Maclin– Chip Kelly has gotten too big for his too big britches. You can’t cast off every talented person because you think you’re a creative genius, because maybe you’re not. You haven’t won anything, not even a playoff game. I would have sucked up some humility and I would have kept Maclin, and I would have kept McCoy. We’ll see how 2015 plays out.

#8) Dwayne Bowe – I do not include him because I think he’s great- he’s not. But he is a talented wide receiver in the NFL, and for the life of me, I will never understand KC’s ridiculous stubbornness to avoid having TWO good wide receivers on a KC roster. Finally…..Bowe gets some to line up opposite him, when good bye Bowe, you’re off to Cleveland. Welcome to KC Maclin, but I bet you’ll hate it there.

#9) Julius Thomas – I do not think Denver will miss Julius, just the opposite, and had to put this in. Of all the players to find new teams, I think Julius Thomas will miss his old team the most. Remember that game when he caught his 2nd TD, and was heard yelling “This is too easy!” Bet you 20 bucks he never yells that in Jacksonville.

#10) Brian Hoyer – Think what you want, but the Browns were winning until that spineless head coach caved, and put in Mr. Rehab Manziel. They could have gone to that playoffs that season. I think Hoyer is a gamer ( not heading to Canton mind you, but decent) and I don’t think McCown is the answer ( and certainly Manziel clown isn’t )

BONUS) Trent Richardson– Just kidding- The Browns don’t miss him, the Colts don’t miss him, for now the Raider’s don’t miss him and I wouldn’t miss him if he left the NFL altogether. Rough I know, but he stinks! ( McFadden does too! I wouldn’t miss him either)

NFL Preseason Week Three Fantasy Review

NFL Preseason Week Three Fantasy Review by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator & Doug “happy it’s finally started” Bowles

The Dress Rehearsal

WASH vs BALT ( 31-13 )

• WASH QB K Cousins started with RB A Morris and out performed injured quarterback RG3 and Out. K Cousins threw 20/ 27 for 190 yards with an interception and a one flukey touchdown. QB C McCoy came in for the 2nd half- HC J Gruden has named QB Cousins the starter for 2015
• WASH starting WRs were A Roberts, Ryan Grant and P Garcon with TE Jordan Reed. WR Garcon was held without a reception- WR R Grant was targeted often by QB Cousins-
• WASH RB C Thompson came into the game after RB Morris, but it was RB Matt Jones who again, came in for WASH later and added a spark- He is one to watch
• WASH’s first TD of the preseason came in the 2nd qtr when QB K Cousins pass from the 22 yard line was deflected by WASH Roberts, right into the hands of WASH Crowder’s hands who then easily ran into for essentially a 22 yard TD pass

• BALT QB Flacco started with RB Forsett and vet WR Steve Smith. Flacco still has a cannon for an arm and was very accurate in this game- ( anyone ranking one of these rookie QBs ahead of him…… is laughable)
• BALT WR Steve Smith put on a show before being tossed out of the game near the end of the first half- WASH player #52 Robinson illegally piled drived BALT WR Aiken and caused an on-field fight between the teams- ( Even HC Harbaugh and HC Gruden got into with words) – #52 Robinson WASN’T ejected but this cheap shot will get it in the wallet for certain
• BALT WR K Aiken started opposite Steve Smith- Rookie Perriman did not play
• BALT WR Steve Smith’s 63 TD pass and 2 Tucker FGs were the only Balt scores
• BALT RB Forsett played much of the 1st half, ending with 8 carries for 19 yards

PITT vs BUFF ( 19-43 )

• PITT QB Roethlisberger started- he only attempted 4 passes- completing 2 for 30 yards-  QB M Vick came in after Roethlisberger- his first pass went for 63 ards to WR M Bryant ( Bryant is suspended for the 1st 4 games)
• PITT WR was targeted often but only came away with 1 catch- 20 yards
• PITT LeVeon Bell was in with the 1dt stringers for a very short time, before giving way to DeAngelo Williams. Williams showed burst of speed and will have the 1st two games of the reg season as the starter- He went 3/15 yards and 1 TD run- he also had one reception for 10 yards

• BUFF QB EJ Manuel made his case to reclaim the starting job by going 7 of 8 for 170 yards and two touchdowns in a 43-19 preseason win over the Steelers on Saturday. Manuel hit TE Charles Clay for 67 yard TD pass near the end of the 1st qtr
• BUFF RB Fred Jackson started behind QB manuel and his 1st run went for 41 yards. Jackson loves to play and loves to play hard. It wouldn’t be surprising if he go most of the goal line carries- RB McCoy did not play
• BUFF WR Sammy Waktins- Rovert Woods and ( Of Course) Percy Harvin did not play- the starters were WRs Andre Davis and M Goodwin
• BUFF started their 1st string O-Line into the 3rd qtr
• BUFF K D Carpenter is struggling this preseason

MINN vs DAL ( 28-14 )

• MINN QB Teddy Bridgewater continued his impressive preseaosn by going 7 for 7 for 76 yards ( I still don’t get how he throws “better” with gloves on, but he does)- He played 3 series, one ended with a other two in FGs
• MINN RB Peterson did not play- Some sites have this guy as their #1 overall- I don;t get that either- I know the child abuser is a super human athlete, but he hasn’t played a down since Week One of 2014 and it’s not like he hasn’t been injured before- Too risky for me for 1st pick, even first round
• MINN RB McKinnon stared- nothing great for sure- 6 carries for 10 yards- Later RB M Asiata had 3 carries for 2 yards
• MINN WR Charles Johnson had been QB Bridgewater’s favorite target in previous games, but wasn’t targeted in the Preseason Week 3 game. WR Wallace had 3 receptions for 50 yards

• DAL QB Tony Romo played 5 series. He hit WR T Williams on a beautiful slant that went 60 yards for a TD ( over half YAC)
• DAL WR Bryant has dealt with a strained hamstring throughout camp and hasn’t played since signing his new $70 million, five-year contract in mid-July
• DAL O -Line did not look like the O-Line that was making giant holes for RB DeMarco Murray last year
• DAL TE J Witten started but was held without a catch
• DAL WR Cole Beasley heard it from QB Romo on the 2nd series for running the wrong route, but made up for it later with a 40 yard punt return- WR C Patterson in the 2nd qtr had a 107 kickoff return TD run
• DAL QB Vaughan came in for Romo in the 2nd half, as well as QB J Showers- QB Weeden did not play

ARI vs OAK ( 30-23 )

• ARI QB C Palmer started with RB Ellington, WRs Larry Fiyz and John Brown – with TE D fells- WR M Floyd did not play- Coach Bruce Arians is “optimistic” Michael Floyd (fingers) will play Week 1
• ARI QB Palmer threw 2 interceptions and was sacked three times in a rough first half – 8/22 for 103 yards- Game of FGs the entire first half
• ARI RB Chris Johnson did not play
• ARI back up QB Drew Stanton fared OK against Oakland’s starting defense, going 8 for 9 for 58 yards in his only drive and threw an 8-yard TD pass to rookie Davis Johnson

• OAK 2nd year QB Carr also struggled- 18/34 for 213 yards and one INT-
• OAK RB Lat Murray also started and couldn’t find any room- 7 carries for 1. You know you had a bad day when back up RB Trent Richardson out rushes you ( 5 for 19 yards) even if Richardson was against 2nd-3rd string DEF
• OAK right tackle Menelik Watson Out for the season to a ruptured Achilles.
• OAK WR Amari Cooper had four catches for 62 yards, his longest went for 36-yards- WR Crabtree started opposite Cooper- 1 catch for 6 yards
• OAK K S Janokowski kicked 5 field goals in the first half

HOU vs NO ( 27-13 )

• HOU QB B Hoyer was given the start- he attempted 11 passed, completing 7 for 82 yards- No TDs. His first series ended with a RB A Blue 1yd TD run- QB B Hoyer played into the 3rd qtr- He was followed by QB R Mallett- ( RB A Blue con’t to play w/ Mallett
• HOU A Blue had 4 carries for 12 yards- 1 TD run. 1 reception
• HOU starting WRs were De Hopkins, Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington ( WR Sleeper)
• HOU WR rookie J Strong had a 6 yard TD pass from QB Mallett in the 3rd qtr

• NO Brees played only one series, which ended with a Z Hocker FG
• NO QB L McCown followed Brees and went 8/14 for 117 yards – No TDs- No INTS
• NO RB M Ingram started and has been featured plenty in the Saint’s passing game ( Ingram gets a bump in PPR legaues)
• NO offense isn’t the same without big threat TE Jimmy Graham- New Orleans’ first two trips inside Houston’s 20 produced only 3 points
• NO Wr B cooks is having an outstanding preseason and is shaping up as a true #1-#2 WR
• NO K Z Hocker and D Hopkins are battling for the Saint’s kicking job-Dustin Hopkins has a stronger leg and has been more accurate and is outperforming Zach Hocker so far

SF vs DEN ( 12-19 )

• SF QB C Kaep started and struggled mightily vs a tough DEN defense- he went2/5 for 143 yards and no TDs- No INTs- He did have 3 nice runs for 53 yards, but his job is to throw the ball, and he’s not doing it
• SF RB C hyde did his best with an O-Line that looks bad ( which is a big part of QB Kaep’s problems) Hyde did go 4 carries for 28 yards and was targeted in the passing game but held without a reception
• SF RB K Hunter was rotated in occasionally with RB Hyde- RB Reggie Bust Bush had his first preseason work- 1 carry
• SF WR Torrey Smith had one reception for 5 yards- WR A Boldin stared opposite WR T Smith and was held without a reception- hard to get excited about this offense

• DEN QB P manning started and was 14 for 21 for 124 yards and was sacked three times- there is no zip on his passes at all, and Peyton may struggle to be a top 15 QB this year
• DEN offense, with HC Kubiak, is now a run first team, and they seem committed to #1 C J Anderson, then #2 R Hillman- RB M Ball is only getting carries at the end of preseason games
• DEN WR Emmanuel Sanders did not play. WR starters were Dem Thomas, Andre Caldwell. J Norwood and Cody Latimer. With P Manning struggling, Dem Thomas will struggle to come anywhere close to his stats in 2014- Emmanuel Sanders (hamstring) is expected to resume practicing next week
• DEN WR J Norwood seems to have grown into the “Wes Welker” role for the Broncos
• DEN TE O Daniels had only 1 catch for 3 yards despite QB Manning playing the entire first half

TENN vs KC ( 10-34 )

• TENN M Mariota started for the Titans and got off to a slow start for Tennessee missing on his first three throws. The first-round pick went 7 of 8 for 99 yards the rest of the half
• TENN RB B Sankey couldn’t add to his preseason week 2 success, going 6 carriesfor 17 yards and 1 fumble. Fantasy owners should not have taken his preseason week 2 success as anything but a fluke
• TENN starting WRs were K Wright, H Nicks and J Hunter with TE Delanie Walker- TE Walker was targeted on a deep pass which was incomplete- K Wright ended the game with 3 receptions for 60 yards
• TENN offense only scored a Fg and a 2yard TD run by RB A Andrews, all in the 2nd qtr- With a rookie QB and an RB no defense is afraid of, this offense will likely struggle all season

• KC QB A Smith threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns in less than a half- Smith targetd WR J Maclin early and often- The first drive ended with a TD pass to Maclin for 29 yards
• KC RB J Charles started behind QB Smith an quickly chalked up 41 total yards on 5 touches ( 3 runs, 2 receptions)- RB K Davis was rotated in with the starters
• KC TE T Kelce finally showed up for anxious fantasy owners- 2 catches for 42 yards and a TD pass from QB Smith
• KC WR A Wilson stared opposite WR Maclin- 1 catch for 16 yards
• KC second year QB Aaron Murray was QB Smith’s back up and secured the win- 15/20 for 146 yards and 2 TDs

CLEV vs TB ( 31-7 )

• CLEV QB J McCown stared against his former team and was impressive- 17 for 23- 117 yards and 2 TDs- No INTs. McCown played into the 3rd qtr, hitting TD passes to WR B Hartline and TE Gary Barnidge- He also had 3 runs for 20 yards
• CLEV RB I Crowell started in the ridiculous RB music chairs that HC pettine has been famous for since getting the coaching job- Pick an RB already!- QB McCown likes to target RB Crowell in the passing game
• CLEV WR D Bowe finally decided to play and Dwayne Bowe failed to catch any of his three targets in the Browns’ third preseason game- WRs T Gabriel and T Benjamin each had 4 catches
• CLEV RB T West came in later and had 7 carries for 26 yards- 1 reception- CLEV scored 4 TDs in this game

• TB QB J Winston struggled as a rookie will and was 6 of 15 for 90 yards. He threw one interception and was sacked four times before leaving after one series in the third quarter- He should be ranked #32 QB and nothing higher
• TB RB Doug Martin built on his previous preseason success, running the ball 9 times for 40 yards and a TD run ( 19 yards)- no receptions- RB martin’s TD run was Tampa Bay’s only score-
• TB RB C Sims had a quiet day- 3 carries for 9 yards- 1 reception for 12 yards
• TB WR V Jackson had 2 receptions for 38 yards- WithQB Winston under center, both TB star receivers should be dropped in rankings- WR M Evans did not play
• TB has signed former DEN K Connor Barth due to K P Murray’s recent struggles

DET vs JACK ( 22-17 )

• DET QB M Stafford completed 11 of 15 passes for 173 yards and 2 TDs in his start vs the Jags- Stafford played the entire 1st half
• DET RB A Abdullah got the start with QB Stafford and wasn’t as impressive- 3 carries for 8 yards- 1 reception for 21 yards- DET insists that QB J Bell is still their starter
• DET WRs in the 1st half were WR G Tate, Greg Salas and J Ross- Detroit played without star WR Calvin johnson for the third consecutive game
• DET RB Zenner- co MVP with G Tate for the preseason will likely make the team and play special teams for the most part

• JACK QB B Bortles is having a great preseason and has excelled in his 2nd year- He completed 20 of 29 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 38 yards, including two third-down scrambles that kept scoring drives alive
• JACK RB T J Yeldon– welcome to the NFL- 8 carries for only 10 yards, but he did have a 1 yard TD run
• JACK WR A Hurns had a 13 yard TD pass from QB Bortles-  Wr A Robinson started opposite WR Hurns and caught 2 balls for 14 yards in the Jaguars’ third preseason game. (Robinson caused a scare when he briefly left the game with a first-half shoulder “contusion” (bruise)
• JACK TE Julius Thomas once again did not play
• JACK had 14 players record a reception in Preseason Week 3- Although it was a mix of 1st-2nd-3rd stringers, they do spread the ball around in that offense

SEA vs SD ( 22-17 )

• SEA QB R Wilson played into the 3rd qtr but only threw 7/15 for 56 yards – No TDs- No INTs- SEA back up QB later came in for Wilson and threw almost identical stats
• SEA RB M Lynch stared but barely played – 2 carries for 6 yards- SEA RB R Turbin came in for Lynch as he has done all preseason. RB C Michael always come in after Turbin
• SEA WR starters were D Baldwon and J Kearse with TE J Graham- Graham had 2 rec- 24 yds in Preseason Week 3 & on a missed throw by QB Wilson, Graham looked VERY frustrated- I doubt he’s happy this year in SEA
• SEA WR rookie T Lockett is tearing it up special teams in this preseason and took another punt return to the house- 67 yard TD
• SEA K Hauschka nailed a 60 yard FG in the 4th qtr

• SD QB P Rivers was efficient as always- 13 for 19- 140 yards- No TDs – No INTS
• SD RB Melvin Gordon wasn’t spectacular— 14 carries for only 34 yards- No TDs
• SD RB D Woodhead was featured once again in the SD offense, getting 9 total touches- SD RB B Oliver had an impressive 70 yard TD pass from back up QB K Clemens in the 3rd qtr
• SD TE L Green has been a disappointment this preseason- only one catch in this game- QB Rivers doesn’t look for him like he has Gates

ATL vs MIA ( 19-43 )

• ATL QB Matt Ryan played the entire first half- In the 4 series that Ryan played, 4 ended with punts and 1 FG- Ryan was 3/7 for 49 yards- No TDs- No INTs
• ATL RB rookie Tevin Coleman started RB D Freeman did not play- Coleman found no running room because of Miami’s stout defense led by N Suh- Coleman had 4 carries for 2 yards- no receptions- RB T Ward saw some action late
• ATL WRs that started with QB Ryan were Julio, L Hankerson ad Devin Hester- Julio did not have a catch- Hankerson had the most yardage ( 50 yards receiving )
• ATL offense only managed 3 FGs by K M Bryant

• MIA QB R Tannehill played most of the first half- He was productive going 15/19 for 145 yards and 1 TD pass- no INTs- Like ATL, the first half was filled with plenty of Miami punts- ( 5)
• MIA RB L Miller was featured for much of the 1st half- 6 carries for 22 yards and 5 receptions for 31 yards- He’s a must own in PPR leagues
• MIA WR Jarvis “Greg” Landry is by far and away QB Tannehill’s favorite weapon, and Landry had some great plays in this game- 5 catches – 84 yards
• MIA TE Jordan Cameron did not get his first target/catch until QB Tannehill’s  3rd series- he ended the day with 1 catch
• MIA WR K Stills was not in the game until late in the first half- 2 catches-26 yards- WR DeVante Parker did not play

IND vs STL ( 24-14 )

• IND QB A Luck started with Rb Dan “Boom” Herron as tailback- RB F ore did not play- Luck was 12/21 for 161 yards and 1 TD pass ( to WR Andre Johnson)
• IND RB B Herron ran 9 times for 25 yards- 1 catch for 10 yards
• IND TY Hilton started opposite WR A Johnson, and sustained a concussion in this game- Hilton had 3 receptions for 44 yards
• IND TE D Allen had 2 receptions for 25 yards- I do not think I have seen TE C Fleener play once this year- The Colts are expected to play more “three- and four-receiver formations” this season, so TE Fleener’s role could be cut drastically
• IND D Moncrief spent time with the 1sr string, particularly on 3rd downs- his role has been cut drastically with the signing of WR Andre Johnson

• STL QB N Foles was in control of the offense thru the first half although he did not atttempt anything deep until the the 3rd series- Foles reminds me of QB Flacco with his accuracy and arm strength
• STL RB T Gurley did not play again, which gave the start to RB Tre Mason- Mason was 4 carries for 12 yards ( 2 catches for 19 yards) before suffering leg injury right at the end of the 1st qtr- STL RB B Cunningham took over
• STL WR C Givens, on the very first play of the 3rd series, caught a nice 44 yards pass in the endzone thrown by QB Foles- Givens ended this game with 2 catches
• STL TE J Cook was the starting TE- 1 catch for 5 yards- STL usually has a TE produce a great game every 4-5 games during the regular season- They become waiver wire darlings, the do nothing for the next 4 games
• STL offense’s only other score was a 3 yard TD run by back up RB T Watts in the 3rd qtr

NE  vs CAR ( 17-16 )

• NE QB Tom Brady played the first half, and wasn;t very good until the last series when he lobbed a nice 18 yrad TD pass to TE Scott Chander with a minute left in the 2nd qtr- His 3rd series was the first time this preseason that QB Brady led the offense even across mid-field. Brady ended 7/13 for 84 yards- 1 TD and 2 INTs
• NE RB J Gray started with QB Brady and averages 2 yards a carry- 5 for 11 yards- RB B Bolden wa rotated in- RB L Blount did not play until the 3rd qtr when QB J Garoppolo took over ( maybe HC Belichick wants Blount playing with the QB that will likely be starting Week 1)
• NE players that did not dress for this game were WRs Edleman and LaFell- TE Gronk
• NE WR Reggie Wayne was targeted a couple times, but looked lost in this offense- no receptions

• CA QB Cam Newton started and it was obvious he missed WR K Benjamin- His chemistry with everyone else ( except Olsen ) wasn’t there
• CAR RB J Stewart had 7 carries in the first half, that totaled 12 yards. He had no receptions
• CAR TE Greg Olsen dropped a couple passes but still ended the game with 6 receptions for 51 yards which was by far the most of any CAR receiver
• CAR WR J Cotchery may not be flashy or a big name, but he is going to get targets- WR Corey Brown was terrible in this game, and may have cost himself playing time – WR Ted Ginn Jr will be their #3-#4 Wr and return man
• CAR rookie RB C Artis-Payne hasn’t been impressive- 6 carries for 15 yards vs 2nd-3rd string defenses

PHIL vs GB ( 30-23 )

• PHIL QB S Bradford looked sensational in his 1st start and was 10 of 10 for 121 yards with 3 TD passes-backup QB M Sanchez in the second quarter for Philadelphia (3-0).
• PHIL RB DeMarco Murray started with QB Bradford nad had 6 carries for 28 yards. PHIL DeMarco Murray fantasy owners should be concerned however- RB Murray was taken out -3 of 3 times when Eagles were inside the 10 in Preseason Week 3- Twice for RB Ryan Matthews and once for RB D Sproles- RB Sproles had a 8 yard TD reception from QB Bradford in the very first series
• PHIL WR J Matthews was targeted often by QB Bradford- 3 catches for 51 yards
• PHIL rookie WR N Agholor had his first reception in the 4th series, thrown by QB Sanchez

• GB QB Aaron Rodgers did not play, allowing 5th rd rookie QB Brett Hundley to get a lot of playing time- He went 22/31 for 315 yards and 2 TD passes. He had 1 INT
• GB RB Eddie Lacy started, but only played one series. RB J Starks came in one the 2nd series and scored a TD run from the 1 yard line
• GB WR R Cobb left after landing on his right arm while trying to catch a pass near the sideline on Green Bay’s first offensive series, but it isn’t reported to be serious
• GB WRs in the 4th series were Janis, Ty Montgomery and M White. All had receptions in this game. 2nd year player WR M White ended the game with 9 receptions for 89 yards. 2nd year player WR J Janis ended the game with 3 receptions for 72 yards and a TD from back up QB Blanchard
• GB TE R Rodgers started this game and had 1 catch for 10 yards

NYJ vs NYG ( 28-18 )

• NYJ QB Ryan Fitz started and went 9/14 for 127 and 2 TDs. He did not throw an INT. QB Fitz 1sts series ended with a punt- His 2nd series began with strong running by RB C Ivory, then capped off with an 18 yard TD pass to WR E Decker- QB Fitz played 5 series- the entire first half
• NYJ RB C Ivory had 6 carries for 38 yards and had been featured in NYJ passing game, but did not have a reception in Preseason Week 3- Former Ram RB Z Stacy had a 24-yarder TD screen pass from QB Fitz in the 2nd qtr
• NYJ WRs E Decker and B Marshall were both starters and both had 3 receptions

• NYG QB Eli Manning has not had a great preseason and did not score in this game until his 3rd series, which was a 1 yard TD run by RB R Jennings- The first 2 drives resulted in punts. In QB Manning’s 5th series with 19 seconds left in the 1st half, Eli was picked off by NYJ A Cromartie who scored a DEF TD on the play- Manning was 12/16 for 91 yards- No TDs
• NYG RB R Jennings started at tailback and had 28 yards on 9 carries- 1 TD- NO receptions- RB A Williams only had 2 carries for 0 yards
• NYG WR O Beckham was QB Mannings main target- WR James Jones has been the #2 WR for the Giants in the absense of Wrs R Randle and V Cruz- WR Cruz recently stated that he may not be ready for reg season Week One
• NYG RB Sh Vereen  continues to be rotated into the game – 3 carries and 3 receptions
• NYG TE L Donnell started and was targeted but did not record a reception

CHI vs CINN ( 10-21 )

• CHI QB Jay Cutler started this game and was efficient- 13/17 for 98 yards- No TDs- No INTs- QB Cutler played 6 series that went into the 3rd qtr- QB Clausen followed Cutler- It’s reported that Clausen suffered a concussion in this game
• CHI RB M Forte also started Preseason Week 3- He had 6 carries for 16 yards- No receptions- RB Jacquizz Rodgers has been playing behind Forte but only had 3 touches total
• CHI WRs A Jeffery, E Royal and M Wilson all sat this game out- With all the injuries to CHI’s receiving corps….HC J Fox could ill-afford to lose anyone else in a meaningless game
• CHI TE M Bennett had 7 receptions for 45 yards ( as the only starter to throw to by QB Cutler )
• CHI’s offense only generated a FG in this game- also the Bears offense has managed five field goals and no touchdowns in the preseason

• CINN QB A Dalton started and went 6/6 for 52 yards before sneaking in a touchdown on Cincinnati’s opening drive, then came out of the game as a precaution with a sore neck – former Alabama QB back up A McCarron was impressive during his first stint with the starting offense completing his first 7 passes, including a 31-yard TD pass to WR Marvin Jones
• CINN RB J Hill carried the ball 11 times for 46 yards and 1 yard TD run in the 2nd qtr
• CINN WR A J Green stared opposite WR M Jones- WR Mohamed Sanu was held without a catch in the Bengals’ third preseason game
• CIN  TE T Eifert ended the game with 2 receptions for 30 yards
• CINN’s offense generated 3 TDs in the first half and was shut out in the second half

Utter-Fantasy’s Preseason Week Two Review-WEEK TWO

Utter-Fantasy’s Preseason Week One Review-WEEK ONE

All scores can be seen at this link- PRESEASON WEEK 3

 

NFL Preseason Week Two Fantasy Review

NFL Preseason Week Two Fantasy Review by Utter-Fantasy writer & illustrator & Doug “happy it’s finally started” Bowles

In less than 3 weeks we will be watching the NFL season regular season kick off with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the New England Patriots Thursday Sep10th. Probbably the most disappointing injury so far for fantasy owners is CAR WR Kelvin Benjamin Out for the Season. Let’s hope there aren’t many more like his. (Spoke too soon- WR Jordy Nelson Out for the Season)

DET vs WASH ( 17-21)

• DET QB Matt Stafford stared and went 6/8 for 78 yards- No TDs- no INTs[ Stafford’s offensive drive ended with a M Prater FG
• DET QB D Orlovsky followed Stafford and was 13/17 with 2 TDs ( 1 TD pass to WR J Ross- 1 TD pass to RB Z Zenner )- QB D Orlovsky looked very good • DET WR C Fuller started in place of WR Cal Johnson, but did not record a reception
• DET WR J Ross could find his way into the starting line up if their are any significant injuries to the DET receiving corps
• DET TE E Ebron had one reception for 13 yards and is not a fantasy favorite of Utter-Fantasy

• WASH QB RG3 was hit hard on 6 of his 8 passing plays, and suffered a concussion on a down while retrieving his own fumble-
• WASH QBs Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins came into the game following RG3s injury and both had impressive outings
• WASH WR LeSean Jackson did not play and during an interview w/ former     WASH C Portis, stated that he is currently at 85 % healthy
• WASH RB A Morris started and racked up only 10 yards on 3 carries- no receptions- RB Matt Jones came in after Morris and was a spark to the offense- 8 carries for 44 yards and 1 TD run. He also had 2 catches for 25 yards-Jones looked very good and should end up as Morris’ handcuff

BUFF vs CLEV ( 11-10 )

• BUFF QB Tyrod Taylor started and although his stats don’t show it, he had command of the offense and impressed – 7/10 for 65 yards
• BUFF QB M Cassel did not play • BUFF • BUFF HC Pettine did his usual musical RBs, starting West this time, and rotating in RB I Crowell
• BUFF RBs Seale and Hill were just signed to play in this game due to all the injuries to BUFF RBs
• BUFF defense was relentless, going after CLEV QBs McCown and Manziel

• CLEV QB J McCown started and played the entire first half. 7/10 for only 57 yards- no TD passes- 2 INTs-
• CLEV O-Line looked very bad most of the game- McCown was under duress nearly every down
• CLEV HC Pettine did his usual musical RBs, starting West this time, and rotating in RB I Crowell
• CLEV WR D Bowe once again did not play and “hopes” to play in Preseason Week 3
• CLEV QB J Manziel came in the 2nd half, and attempted mostly short high percentage plays ( 10/18- 118 yards and 1 TD pass vs BUFFs 3rd-4th stringers )

SEA vs KC  ( 13-14 )

• KC QB Alex Smith started with RB J Charles- 1st play was a “token” deep incomplete pass by QB Smith for the 2nd straight week.
• KC RB J Charles did not carry the ball once, but had 3 receptions for 7 yards
• KC RB Knile Davis handled the rushing duties in the 1st half- 11/ 29 yards- 2 receptions for 6 yards
• KC WR J Maclin started- WR J Avant was the starting #2 WR- Maclin had 2 receptions for 22 yards and 1 (3 yard) TD pass- which was the 1st TD pass reception by a KC WR since 2013
• KC offense was ultra-conservative as usual- even on a 3rd down and a long 14 yards- QB Smith only threw a pass for 3 yards, resulting in a 4th down punt
• KC TE T Kelce was targeted in the 1st 4 series- he ended with only one catch- 23 yards

• SEA  QB R Wilson started- no offense was slow- 1st 3 series were 3 and outs- 4th series ended in a Hauschka FG
• SEA RB R Turbin started his 2nd Preseason game ( not C Michael) 6 carries for 4 yards- RB M Lynch did not play
• SEA TE J Graham wasn’t targets in the 1st 3 series- he ended this game with 3 receptions for 39 yards
• SEA WRs that started were Doug Baldwin and rookie T Lockett
• SEA back up QB R Archer played the 2nd half for Seattle. No TD passes for either Seattle QB

ATL vs NYJ  ( 22-30 )

Game officiated by Pete “the Cheat” Morelli

• ATL QB Matt Ryan started with RB T Ward- ( RBs T Coleman and D Freeman did not play) – Ryan finished 4 of 5 for 75 yards, including a 60-yard completion to fullback C Mooney
• ATL WRs Julio Jones and Roddy White started with WR L Hankerson ( who is carving himself a spot in this offense as the 3rd WR – 3/15 and 1st qtr TD pass from QB M Ryan)- TE Tamme started but did not record a reception
• ATL WR Devin Hester nearly took his 21 st punt return for a TD- instead- 61 yards to the 5 yard line
• ATL QB T Yates ( formerly from Houston) took over after QB Ryan
• ATL WRs Julio Jones and Roddy White did not record a reception

• NYJ  QB R Fitzpatrick started with RB C Ivory- 1st 4 series ended without a score
• NYJ starting WRs were B Marshall and E Decker- TE J Cumberland
• NYJ RB C Ivory was featured in the passing ( which he isn’t known for) 3/20 yards… a bonus for PPR leagues- RB Ivory had a nice 33yd TD run in the 2nd qtr- (the man has some wheels!)
• NYJ QB Fitzpatrick found WR B Marshall for a 2-point conversion that cut New York’s deficit to 14-10.
• NYJ defense was tough all night and recorded a safety (sack in the endzone)

BALT vs PHIL ( 17-40 )

• BALT QB Joe Flacco started with RB J Forsett at tailback- Flacco was 3/7 for 23 yards- RB Forsett carried the ball 5 times for 29 yards- he had 1 reception
• BALT QB M Schaub followed Flacco into the game with 10 minutes left in the 2nd qtr- neither Flacco nor Schaub produced any points
• BALT RB T Magee ( 5th on BALT’s RB depth chart ) had the bulk of the carries for BALT in this game- 11/ 44 yards- no TDs
• BALT’s TDs all came in the 4th qtr with QB back up B Renner
• BALT TE rookie Maxx Williams had 3 receptions for 25 yards

• PHIL  QB S Bradford started for the Eagles 3/5 for 35 yards and no TDs
• PHIL QB M Sanchez took over after Bradford- 14/20 for 118 yards – no TDs
• PHIL RBs De Murray- Ryan Mathews and D Sproles were all participants as starters in the 1st qtr- Mathews and Murray both had TD runs- Murray was featured as the goal line back.
• PHIL return specialist Kenjon Barner took a punt return to the house- 68 yards- Barner also returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown in Preseason Week One
• PHIL WR N Agholor continued to impress catching 4 passes for 49 yards, most by Philly WRs in Preseason Week Two

NE vs N.O. ( 26-24 )

• NE QB Tom Brady  started with RB LeGarrett Blount- Brady played 3 series in the 1st qtr- all were 3 & outs resulting in punts- Brady was 2/5 for 13 yards
• NE QB J Garroppolo finished the game, as he did in Preseason Week One- obviously getting a lot of reps with Brady’s looming suspension- after starting out slow- Garroppolo finished completing 28 of 33 for 269 yards and 1 TD pass
• RB Blount played most of the 1st half, rotating with RB D Lewis who was used for the most part in NE passing game- although Lewis did have a TD run in the 3rd qtr- NE RBs could do little in this game as the Saints run DEF was outstanding
• NE only scored in the 1st half with 54 seconds left in it- a TD pass from Garroppolo to WR C Harper
• NE TE Gronk did not play

• NO  QB D Brees & company had their way with NE for the entire 1st half- Brees hit WR B Cooks- RB M Ingram and RB K Robinson easily and often
• NO RB M Ingram played the 1st half with Brees and back up QB McCown
• NO QB L McCown ( brother to CLEV’s new QB J McCown) came in following Brees and went 4/6 with 1 TD pass to rookie TE J Hill
• NO WRs starting this game were B Cooks- M Colston and B Coleman ( Saints coach Sean Payton singled out second-year WR Brandon Coleman as the player who’s impressed him most in training camp )
• NO TE Benjamin Watson started with the 1st string- and caught a 10 yard TD pass from Brees

OAK vs MINN ( 12-20 )

• OAK QB Carr started with RB Lat Murray- Carr played 3 series and went 4/8 for 78 yards – No TDs – No INTs
• OAK starting WRs were rookie Amari Cooper- Michael Crabtree and Kenbrell Thompkins ( former NE Pat)- Crabtree did not have a reception
• OAK starting WRs were rookie Amari Cooper- Michael Crabtree and Kenbrell Thompkins ( former NE Pat)- Crabtree did not have a reception
• OAK Latavius Murray had 4 carries for 20 yards and a 2 yd TD run- his TD run was set by a 40 yard reception by WR A Cooper from QB Carr
• QB C Ponder came in after Carr- working with RB T Richardson- WRs Seth Roberts, A Holmes and K Thompkins- RB Richardson was 5 carries for 5 yards

• MINN  QB Teddy Bridegwater started with RB McKinnon and WRs Charles Johnson, Mike Wallace and J Wright- Bridgewater’s passes were sailing high on him- TE Rudolph and WR Wallace missed catching a couple of them  ( QB Shaun Hill has had a strong preseason as Bridewater’s back up)
• MINN RB Peterson did not play
• MINN WR Ch Johnson was targeted often and ended the game  4/40 yards and an outstanding 10 TD reception in the back of the endzone
• MINN  TE K Rudolph started for the Vikings- 1/4 yards
• MINN K Blair Walsh continued his kicking struggles, missing a 35 FG attempt and an extra point- Walsh is 2/ 4 on FG s this preseason and was 26/35 in 2014

GB vs PITT ( 19-24 )

• GB QB A Rodgers started with RB Eddie lacy and WRs J Nelson and R Cobb
• GB QB A Rodgers went 4/5 for 57 yards- No TDs- No INTs- Rodgers was sacked in the endzone during the 1st qtr
• GB RB E Lacy was very productive on 6 carries- 30 yards  with a 7 yard TD run
• GB WR Jordy Nelson may be out for the season! Nelson landed awkwardly while trying to cut after making an 8-yard reception on Green Bay’s opening drive and it’s feared that he my have torn his ACL
• GB WR Davanta Adams now becomes the #2 Wr in Gb and a must add in every league

• PITT  QB Ben Roethlisberger had a stellar outing, going 11/14 for 100 yards and 1 TD pass ( to WR M Wheaton)
• PITT’s WRs were Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton  and Martavis Bryant- QB Ben Roethlisberger has been raving about Wheaton much of the preaseason
• PITT RB LeVeon Bell started and 6 carries for 16 yards- 2 receptions for 16 yards
• PITT Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey left with a left ankle injury in the first quarter and expected to miss 8 + weeks
• PITT new kicker G Hartley ( K Suisham Out for the Season) connected on a 46 FG

DEN vs HOU ( 10-14 )

• DEN QB Peyton Manning started 4 series for the Brncos and went 8/14 for 52 yards- NO TDs- No INTs- Manning will always be very accurate, but despite an off-season to rest, there lacks a “zip” to his passes. With Denver’s new emphasis on the running game with HC Kubiak, Manning may struggle in 2014 to be a top 10 QB
• DEN RB C J Anderson started with QB M and racked up 24 yards on 4 carries-
he left the game with an apparent leg injury- RB R Hillman had 8 carries for 54 yards after Anderson
• DEN WR Dem Thomas played for the 1st time this preseason- Manning targeted him often- TE Owen Daniels was another Manning favorite ( Daniels- 4 catches – 25 yards)
• DEN WR E Sanders did not play- Emmanuel Sanders has been sidelined the last 11 days with a hamstring injury.
• DEB QB B Osweiler took over in the 5th series ( 2nd qtr) and threw a nice 57 TD pass to WR A Caldwell- throwing the ball 60 yards looked effortless for Osweiler-

• HOU  QB R Mallett got the start and was not great- he couldn’t generate any offense- 5/7 for only 23 yards- No TDs- No INTs- he played 2 series
• HOU QB B Hoyer came in on the 3rd series and wasn’t great either- 7/11 for 32 yards- both QBs seemed content dropping short passes off to RBs, although Hoyer did try a few time s to get the ball to TE G Graham- HC O’Brien is doing his best CLEV HC Pettine impression and won’t name a starter going into Pre Week 3
• HOU RB A Blue started this game-4 for 10 yards- he was followed by RB Grimes- Grimes added some spark to the offense
• HOU rookie WR J Strong didn’t come into the game until the 3rd qtr
• HOU WR N Washington ( former Titan) is making a strong case as HOU’s #3 WR

DAL vs SF ( 6-23 )

• DAL QB T Romo got his 1st Preseason action, but Romo’s day was done after one three-and-out series then Dallas turned to QB B Weeden who left with a possible head injury- Dallas did not core any points until a TD pass from back up late in the 4th qtr
• DAL RB D McFadden started this game in from of RB Randle, and had 7 TOTAL yards rushing and receiving- DMC stands for “Draft McFadden Cataclysmic”- RB J Randle started the 3rd series
• DAL WRs T Williams and Devin Street- WR Dez did not play
• DAL RB Gus Johnson sustained a shoulder injury preseason Week 1, but played in this game – 3 carries for 24 yards
• DAL RB L Dunbar only came in on 3rd downs- 2 receptions- 3 yards

• SF QB C Kaep started with 1st stringer RB C Hyde- WRs A Boldin, Torrey Smith and TE Vernon Davis- only RB C Hyde recorded a reception
• SF offense showed many new looks including running RB Hyde out of the i-formation with full back Bruce Miller ( and TE V Davis even helped as fullback on a play)
• SF WRs Boldin and T Smith were both targeted in the redzone/endzone by QB C Kaep, but both attempts failed- SF FG
• SF QB B Gabbert came in after QB Kaep- 6/6 for only 21 yards- RB M Davis was featured as the running back w/ Gabbert ( Davis 8 carries for 34 yards)
• SF RB Reggie B did not play….again

CINN vs TB ( 11-25 )

• CINN A Dalton played 6 series vs TB and zero points- Reminiscent of Dalton’s horrific game last year ( Week 10 vs Cleveland- 10/33 for 86 yards and 3 INTs)- Dalton couldn’t get anything going- one INT ( not his fault- AJ Green let it going thru his hands)- went for a DEF TD- Dalton’s 2nd INT was just bad
• CINN RB J Hill started with Dalton but he couldn’t get going witht eh offesne goig “3 and out” on the 1st 3 series- Hill had a costly fumble- RB Gio B was used in punt returns again
• CINN WRs starting were AJ Green- M Sanu and Marvin Jones ( Jones was targeted once in this game- zero catches and his ADP is too high
• CIN  offense generated 17 total yards in the 1st half
• CIN QB A J McCarron finally saw action- 11/15 for 97 yards- no TDs

• TB rookie QB J Winston started with RB Doug Martin- Wrs Mike Evans and V Jackson- TE A Seferian- Jenkins
• TB had a strong 1st series- most of it was RB Doug Martin finding holes in the ST L run defense- at the 1 yards line Winston bootlegged around right side for TD run- This one series will have QB Winston and RB D martin drafted higher than they should be- Winston sustained a twisted ankle but seemed OK on sidelines
• TB WR E M Evans was targeted twice- one a deep pass that Winston over threw- Evans had zero receptions- WR V Jackson was targeted a couple times by Winston- 1 REC-16 yrds- Mike Evans exited the Bucs’ second preseason game Monday night with a strained hamstring
• TB QB M Glennon followed Winston into the game- faired well- 10/15 and a nice TD 22 lob to WR R Shepard

JACK vs NYG ( 12-22 )  Game of FGs

• JACK QB B Bortles started, and like Preseason Week One, Bortles did a nice job of spreading the ball around, although his go-to-guy is clearly 6’3″ WR Allen Robinson- Bortles- Bortles, who was 11 of 15 in a preseason opener, hit 8 of 16 passes for 98 yards
• JACK RB Den Robinson stared with QB Bortles- RB Yeldon did not play- Jaguars HC Gus Bradley said rookie RB T.J. Yeldon will work with the first-team offense in the team’s third preseason game
• JACK starting WRs were Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns
• JACK TE Julius Thomas did not play
• JACK offense with the starters produced 3 FGs

• NYG QB Eli Manning started with RB Rashad Jennings and WRs Odell Beckham and Preston Parker- over-rated WR Rueban Randle did not play which is frustrating HC Coughlin
• NYG RB R Jennings started, but did not have his 1st touch until 8 minutes left in the 2nd qtr- RB A Williams and Sh Vereen were rotated in often- a RBBC for certain
• NYG WR O Beckham was targeted 6 times by QB E Manning in the 1st 3 series but had no catches and one red-zone drop- Eli isn’t sharp
• NYG J Brown ended the day with 5 FGs
• NYG QB R Nassib finished the game after Eli Manning- 19/35 for 217 and 1 TD pass early in the 4th qtr

MIA vs CAR ( 30–31)

• MIA QB R Tannehill started and put on a Tannehill performance- very efficient- completing 12 of 15 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown to 2nd yr RB Damien Williams- Williams scored twice for the Dolphins- 1yd TD run and 11 yard TD pass
• MIA RB L Miller got the start but was used sparingly- 3 for 5 yards
• MIA WR J Landry started along with Kenny Stills and R Matthews- Landry was/is Tannehill’s primary target- TE J Cameron also started- 1 catch for o yards
• MIA offense has so many weapons ( 14 players had a reception for Miami in this game) that most won’t ever get a chance to be fantasy stars- except L Miller- J Landry and possibly TE J Cameron

• CAR QB Cam Newton started struggled without WR Kelvin Benjamin ( Out for the Season) and temporarily without rookie WR D Funchess who did not play
• CAR RB Jon Stewart started with QB Newton and had 2 carries for 2 yards- Stewart was targeted once by Newton- incomplete
• CAR starting WRs were Corey Brown, Ted Gin Jr and TE Greg Olsen- Corey Brown was targeted 3 times by Newton- all incomplete- TE G Olsen ended this contest with 3 receptions for 27 yards- Olsen will be featured more in this offense with KB out, but defenses will game plan more for him as well- CAR loss of KB is bigge than GB’s loss of WR J Nelson
• CAR 5th-round RB rookie RB Cameron Artis-Payne was the No. 2 back through after Stewart and had four carries for 33 yards in Carolina’s second preseason game. Artis-Payne should be owned as a handcuff to injury-prone Jonathan Stewart
• CAR K G Gano went 3/3 FGs …all in the 2nd qtr- it will be interesting to see if CAR ends up kicking more FGs this year due to a struggling offense

STL vs TENN ( 14-27 )

• STL QB N Foles started and did not look comfortable all night, probably due to not enough reps in real action- I still like him fantasy-wise this year, but he’s going to have to do better than 3/7 for 18 yards and 1 INT- ( TENN DEF TD)
• STL RB T Gurley did not play- RB Tre Mason got the start 3 for 6 yards- the first string team did not score at all- RB B Cunningham was rotated in with Mason every other series- something HC Fisher …unfortunately… has been a lot of
• STL WRs starting were K Britt, T Austin and TE Jared Cook- I did not see T Austin targeted even one time by QB Foles and he did not have a reception- K Britt had 2 passes from Foles- 2 for 15 yards
• STL C Keenum came in for Foles in the 3rd qtr and hit WR C Givens on a 80 deep TD pass

• TENN QB M Mariota started and looked better than I thought he would- He started nder center occasionally and hit a roll out pass to TE C Stevens for 35 yards- Mariota seems to have a nice rapport with WR K Wright
• TENN RB B Sankey started and had a productive outing- 6 carries for 45 yards- I still wouldn’t get excited about him
• TENN WRs for Mariota were K Wright, J Hunter and Harry Douglas-TE Del Walker (thumb) did not play
• TENN M Mariota would have had a TD pass to RB McCluster but McCluster simply dropped it
• TENN QB Z Mettenberger came in the 2nd qtr- he hit WR H Nicks for a 40 yard catch & run ( Nicks only reception- he has little/no fantasy value)

CHI vs IND ( 23-11 )

• CHI QB Jay Cutler started and led Chicago to three first-half field goals- he went 8/9 for 69 yards- No TDs- No INTs- Cutler played 4 series- The Bears have won their first two preseason games under new coach John Fox
• CHI RB M Forte began the game w/ QB Cutler and played quite a bit- 8 carries for 24 yards- 1 reception for 12 yards- his clear back up is RB Jacquizz Rodgers ( former Falcon)- 9 carries- 34 yards
• CHI WRs with Culter were Eddie Royal and Mar Wilson- Alshon Jeffery did not play- Cutler targeted Wilson early
• CHI QB J Clausen came in after Cutler

• IND QB Luck started with WRs T Y Hilton and Andre Johnson- Johnson has immediately gone into the starting line up opposite Hilton- Luck-5/9 for 71 yards- No TDs- No INTs- Luck had a 5yd TD run in the 2nd qtr
• IND RB Frank Gore started but only had 2 carries- 10 yards- RB Dan “Boom” Herron came in for Gore and ran 5 times- 16 yards
• IND WR T Y Hilton dropped an easy slant pass from Luck, but redeemed himself with a 45 yard catch early in the 2 qtr whci set up luck’s TD run
• IND first-round draft pick WR Philip Dorsett had the most receptions for IND WRs but left in the third quarter with an injured right knee

SD vs ARI ( 22-19 )

• SD QB Rivers did not play- QB K Clemens started this game and played the entire first half- the first 4 drives ended with punts
• SD RB Melvin Gordon did not play- Gordon missed this game due to an ankle issue – He is expected to get “ample” carries in Saturday’s Preseason Week 3 game against the Seahawks
• SD RB D Woodhead got the start- 3 carries for 5 yards- no receptions- RB B Oliver had a 3 yard TD run in the 2nd qtr, which was set up by a SD INT from back up ARI QB D Stanton
• SD Starting WRs were Keenen Allen and M Floyd with TE A Gates- Gates had 1 reception for 9 yards and is suspended for the first 4games of the reg. season

• ARI QB C Palmer started and played less than one quarter going 3/7 for 88 yards and had a 17-yard TD pass to WR John Brown
• ARI RB A Ellington started with QB Palmer- he had 2 carries for 12 yards RB David Johnson got most of the RB work in this game-
• ARI RB rookie David Johnson got most of the RB work in this game- the 4th round pick ( who had been out most of training camp with a hamstring injury) rushed for 66 yards in 13 carries in his NFL debut
• ARI WR John brown was the go-to-guy in this game and is a favorite target of QB Palmer and should put up solid fantasy stats in 2015
• ARI WR L Fitz was not targeted by QB Palmer but did have a 5 yard completed pass from back up QB Stanton

More reviews to come as games are played

Utter-Fantasy’s Preseason Week One Review- Week One Review

All scores can be seen at this link- PRESEASON WEEK 2 SCORES

NFL Preseason Week One Fantasy Review

NFL Preseason Week One Fantasy Review by Utter-Fantasy writer & illustrator &  Doug “happy it’s finally started” Bowles

Well my fellow FFers…I have some good news, and I have some good news. The good news is, Preseason Week One finally got here, and has been fun to watch. Now for the good news….there were only a few significant injuries so far- WASH TE Niles Paul- ankle fracture- Out for season- K S Suisham out for season and JACK TE Julius Thomas has stable fracture on back of hand. ( TE Thomas out for rest of the preseason)

PITT vs MINN- HOF Game ( 3-14)

• PITT No Starters ( because they play again Aug 15th)
• PITT Shakim Phillips- signed as an 2015 undrafted free agent- nice one-handed catch
• PITT K S Suisham injured on kick-off coverage- Out for season
• PITT RB L Bell did not play
• PITT RB D Archer and RB C Stingily handled running duties- RB Archer is fast and elusive, but only 5’8″ 173 lbs

• MINN- QB T Bridgewater started ( 5/44 no TDs )- missed a wide open target on a bootleg pass- Bridgewater still needs work
• MINN- WR C Patterson returned kickoff and looked so slow- WR S Diggs is more exciting
• MINN- TE M Pruitt looks impressive if TE Rudolph is ever hurt ( 4/51 and TD )

Week One Preseason

DAL vs SD  ( 7-17 )

• DAL QB Romo didn’t play- QB Weeden started
• DAL RB Gus Johnson had solid outing- ( 13/35 and TD run) -injured shoulder but not serious
• DAL WR Devin Street has been filling in as a starter during OTAs. Looks promising

• SD RB M Gordon started- nothing special yet ( 6/11)
• SD RB D Woodhead scored a TD run ( 8 yds)
• SD RB B Oliver nice zig-zag 10 yd TD run- ( 10/53 yds)

MIA vs CHI (10-27 )

• MIA RB L Miller- Picked up where he left off last season as league average rushing leader ( 3/32)
• MIA RB D Willlams followed RB Miller, then RB L James
• MIA QB Tannehill’s promise of deep passes never happened. ( 6/7 for 56 yds) – QB M Moore 2nd QB
• MIA WR J Landry- 2 yard TD pass

• CHI QB Jay Cutler started, but was without his 2 top weapons WR Alshon Jeffery and WR K White. Cutler targeted WR Eddie Royal and has chemistry Royal from Denver days
• CHI RB J Rodgers started for Forte- he was not impressive
• CHI WR Alshon Jeffery is expected to miss another week w/ mild calf strain
• CHI QB J Clausen followed QB Cutler into the game and played until the closing minutes and was 17 of 27 for 151 yards
• CHI once-famous defense was not impressive nor has it been for the past couple years- #24 ranked in 2014

GB vs NE ( 22-11 )

• GB QB A Rodgers started and ended with 11 of 19 for 117 yards- no TDs- his back ups were QBs Tolzien and Hundley
• GB WRs J Nelson and R Cobb started with QB Rodgers, as did RB Eddie Lacy
• GB RB Eddie Lacy had 5 carries for 36
• GB RB back up A harris ripped off a 25 yard TD run in the 3rd qtr

• NE QB T Brady played in the 1st 2 series- going 1/4-10 yards and no TDs
• NE QB J Garoppolo played the remainder of the game- HC Belichick obviously wants him to get plenty of reps in light of Brady’s looming suspension- Garoppolo ended the day 20/30- 159 yards and no TD passes- he was sacked 7 times
• NE RB Le Blount did not play
• NE RB J Gray (7/74) started and ripped off a 55 yard TD run early in the 2nd qtr- RB J White was also mixed in and only managed 12 yards on 8 carries- he did however have 4 receptions for 52 yards
• NE K S Gostowski had one FG- 56 yards

DET vs NYJ ( 23-3 )

• DET QB M Stafford and WR G Tate jelling early ( Tate 2/57 and 35 yd TD pass )
• DET WR Calvin Johnson did not play- DET RB J Bell (knee) did not play
• DET RB Ameer Addullah- quick and agile- ( 7/67 ) – RB Theo Riddick mixed in often
• DET Announcers glowing about TE Ebron- Don’t believe it …QB Stafford doesn’t like throwing to TEs

• NYJ RB C Ivory 6 carries for 25 yards early- HC T Bowles seems committed to the run and Ivory
• NYJ Jets didn’t convert a 3rd down until end of 2nd qtr- offense looks weak

TENN vs ATL ( 24-31 )

• TENN QB Rookie M Mariota was rough as expected. He threw an INT on his 3rd pass- then lost a fumble which was returned for a DEF TD by ATL-
• TENN RB Sankey was “stankey” as expected- ( 8/15 )- RB D Cobb and RB A Andrews came in after Sankey
• TENN RB D McCluster bolted on an end around quick 6 yd TD run
• TENN Z Mettenberger came in after Mariota and had some good plays ( 8/11 for 129 yes- 1 TD – 1INT)

• ATL QB M Ryan wasted no time getting the ball to WR Julio Jones- 4 quick passes for 61 yards and 13 TD pass ( most YAC)
• ATL QB T Yates came in after QB Ryan
• ATL WR L Hankerson seems to be the new #3 WR
• ATL RB Ant Smith ran a lot- scored a TD run, but aggravated his hamstring

WASH vs CLEV ( 20- 17 )

• WASH QB RG3 started and looked bad- quick to get rid of ball rather than examine the field
• WASH QB K Cousins came in after RG3 and was the best QB on the field, for both teams ( 12/14 for 154 )
• WASH WR Ryan Grant started opposite WR P Garcon
• WASH WR P Garcon dropped a easy would-be 68 TD pass on the 1st series

• CLEV QB J McCown started ( 5/5 and 1 TD pass) – Seemes to have chemistry with WR T Benjamin ( 2/10 and 1 TD rec)
• CLEV QB J Manziel- came in after McCown- ONLY short high percentage passes- he’s terrible ( 7/11 for 42 yards)
• CLEV RB I Crowell started, but HC Pettine is known for changing starters week-to-week- no consistency
• CLEV WR D Bowe did not play

DEN vs SEA ( 22 -20 )

• DEN QB B Osweiler started ( QB manning did not play) – Denver really wants Manning rested as much all season
• DEN C J Anderson started- looked quick- RBs M Ball and R Hillman both got 8 carries a piece after RB Anderson
• DEN WR Dem Thomas did not play
• DEN WR Cody Latimer ( 4/49 ) was targeted often by QB Osweiler

• SEA QB R Wilson started- his only pass- 12 yards to TE Jimmy Graham
• SEA TE Jimmy Graham caught 12 pass from QB Wilson to the 10 yard line- then taken out- NOT used in goal line package- ??
• SEA WR T Lockett very impressive w/ returns ( 103 TD return in 2nd qtr)
• SEA RB R Turbin played all 1st qtr- RB C Michael didn’t enter game until 7:20 left in 2nd qtr ( 7/15 yards )

ST L vs OAK ( 3-18 )

• ST L QB N Foles started and looked comfortable- ( 3/5 for 69 yards )- played 2 series-  Sleeper QB w/ speedy receivers
• ST L RB Tre Mason stared- RB T Gurley did not play
• ST L RB B Cunningham followed RB Mason ( 3/12 )
• ST L WR WR Britt and WR T Austin started for ST L
• ST L QB C Keenum followed Foles and seems to have chemistry w/ WR Bailey

• OAK QB D Carr played a couple series- went to rookie WR A Cooper often
• OAK QB D Carr signaled to WR Cooper at the goal line ( telegraphing the play) and was easily picked off in the end zone
• OAK WR M Crabtree started opposite A Cooper
• OAK RB L Murray started and ran well- He looked explosive on a 17-yard run in the first series and another long run on a quick cut back

NYG  vs CINN ( 10- 23 )

• NYG QB Eli Manning started and stayed in for 4 series, because the Giants couldn’t generate any offense
• NYG RB R Jennings started and but alternated series with RB A Williams
• NYG WR O Beckham started but had zero receptions
• NYG RB Sh Vereen came on 3rd downs ( 2/4 -no receptions)
• NYG S Mykkele Thompson carted off the field

• CINN QB A Dalton started one series, led team to first TD
• CINN WR M Sanu started opposite WR A J Green- Sanu ( 1/3 – a TD reception)
• CINN WR M Jones one catch- by back up QB
• CINN RB Gio Bernard ineffective as RB after RB J Hill ( who only played one series)- CINN seems are trying other ways to get Gio the ball- lined up as WR- returning punts- RB J Hill could see 20+ carries a game this season

CAR vs BUFF ( 25-24 )

1st Qtr w/ starters- BUFF- Punt…CAR- Punt…BUFF- Missed FG…CAR- PUNT

• CAR QB Cam Newton started w/ WR K Benjamin and RB Jon Stewart ( although RB Stewart didnt record a carry)
• CAR QB Newton targeted WR K Benjamin ( 3/36 ) a lot- final pass- 2 yd TD
• CAR WR Corey Brown started opposite WR K Benjamin ( Brown did not record a reception)
• CAR RB F Whitaker came in after RB J Stewart and was very in-effective
• CAR WR D Funchess came in game at end of 2nd qtr. He’s going to be exciting in 2015

• BUFF QB M Cassel started and proved to be competent. He will be a good game manager- QB T Taylor finished 2nd qtr- E J Manuel didn’t come in until 2nd half
• BUFF LeSean McCoy started, had a couple nice runs, and ended w/ 6 receptions
• BUFF WRs- #1 S Watkins….#2 R Woods…#3 C Hogan to start game
• BUFF TE Charles Clay had a nice 17 yard 3rd down conversion- great throw by QB Cassel

PITT vs JACK ( 21-23 )

• PITT QB B Roethlisberger started, along W/ RB LeVeon Bell and WR A Brown- one series
• PITT offense w/ starters marched down the field lik an oiled machine and scored w/ 44 yd TD pass to WR M Bryant
• PITT RB LeVeon Bell had 3 touches in a row- A reception, followed by 2 carries
• PITT RB DeAngelo Williams replaced RB Bell and was mediocre- ( 6/28 )
• PITT QB L Jones came in after Roethlisberger and finished the game ( 24/46 )

• JACK QB B Bortles started and was impressive spreading the ball around ( he connected with WRs Allen Robinson-Allen Hurns- T Washington- A Benn- TE Lewis- TE C Harbor- RB Gerhart- RB B Pierce) Bortles played almost 1st half and score on a TD run
• JACK RB Denard Robinson started the game returning 1st kickoff, then started at tailback- Do not fall asleep on versatile RB Robinson this year- RB SLEEPERS
• JACK RB Gerhart still running occasionally- looked good in this game
• JACK RB Rookie T.J. Yeldon (finger) did not play in the Jaguars’ preseason opener Friday night.

KC vs ARI ( 34-19 )

• KC QB Alex Smith played into the 2nd qtr. His first pass was a token deep pass try to WR J Maclin. Incomplete and Smith doesn’t have a cannon for an arm- The rest of his attempts where “Dink & Dunk” as usual ( 6/10- 42 yards)- On a 3rd down & a long 12, Smith threw an INT- “flag on the play” but picked up- How? Pete “the Cheat” Morelli is still officiating and was in this game!
• KC RB Knile Davis started- RB Charles did not play. Davis had one nice 20 yard run
• KC WRs Albert Wilson and F Hammond started with Maclin. WR J Maclin had one catch for 12 yards
• KC TE T Kelce had two swing out receptions- both short -KC’s conservative offense hasn’t changed and Kelce won’t be high on our rankings until it does
• KC QB Chase Daniels was very effective in after QB Smith- 17/21- 189 yards and 3 TDs- ( a QB controversy??)

• ARI QB C Palmer looked great- connecting with WR John Brown and RB A Ellignton twice ( one of which weas a quick slant that went for 57 yards setting up a TD run also by Ellington. Only one seeries by Palmer- replaced by QB Drew Stanton
• ARI WR M Floyd did not play- Floyd (dislocated fingers) is “hopeful” he’ll be ready for Week 1. I did not see WR Fitz in the game
• ARI RB Ellington only played one series, and was followed by RB Kerwynn Williams, who only went 7/ 20 yards
• ARI only scored a safety and a late TD pass after the 10 points in 1st qtr.

TB vs MINN ( 16-26 )

• TB QB J Winston started and played the entire 1st half- He did not look ready for the NFL ( whatever happened to holding a clipboard for a year?)
• TB WRs Mike Evans, V Jackson and L Murphy started. WR Evans was targeted only once, but Winston missed badly on the throw. V Jackson hauled in a 43 yard pass on broken coverage by MINN.
• TB RB Doug Martin started, followed by RB Ch Sims and Rainey. MINN stacked the box constantly so none of them had room to run
• TB offense will take a lot of time to produce with Winston, so fantasy owners beware- even a star like WR M Evans won’t have a good season. I’m steering clear of all TB players
• TB QB M Glennon came in 2nd half- rough start- ended with 9/17- 98 yds- no TDs

• MINN QB T Bridgewater started and played two series, scoring on both- a FG and 1 yd TD run by MINN fullback Z Line
• MINN WRs starting were Ch Johnson, M Wallace and J Wright. QB T Bridgewater seems to have nice chemistry with WR Wright- at least in this game
• MINN RB J McKinnon started, followed by RB M Asiata. AP did not play
• MINN QB Shaun Hill came in after Bridgewater and was very efficient going 8/9 for 104 yards and 2 TDs
• MINN There should be concern for the Vikings O-Line as RT Phil Loadholt suffered torn Achilles. Loadholt, 29, hadn’t missed a start in more than 5 years before a torn pectoral muscle sidelined him for the last five games in 2014. T.J. Clemmings, a rookie fourth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, took over at right tackle after Loadholt’s injury

SF vs HOU ( 10-23 )

• SF QB C Kaepernick started and played one series with other starters RB C Hyde, WR A Boldin and Torrey Smith Kaepernick failed to move the offense on his only drive, going 1/ 3 for 14 yards before the 49ers punted
• SF QB C Kaepernick missed on a 65 yard bomb to WR Torrey Smith, which was over-thrown…but should be a hint of nice things to come
• SF RB C Hyde only had 2 carries for 6 yards. He was followed by former-Australian Rugby player RB J Hayne, who reeled off a strong 53 yd run
• SF QB B Gabbert followed Kaepernick and went 8/11 for 86 yards and 1 TD to TE G Celek
• SF QB B Gabbert seemed to have chemistry w/ WR J Simpson, targeting him often

• HOU QB B Hoyer played one strong series which resulted in a nifty 58 yard TD pass to WR Cecil Shorts. WR Shorts started opposite WR D Hopkins.
• WR De Hopkins did not record a reception, but caught a 2pt conversion from QB Hoyer
• HOU QB R Mallett came in after QB Hoyer’s only series. Mallett was proficient going 10/11 for 90 yards- no TDs. QB T Savage finished the game
• HOU RB Alfred Blue was the starting running back and 9/59 yards. He looked good- Blue was eventually replaced with rookie RB Hilliard then RB Grimes
• HOU WR rookie Jaelen Strong ( 3rd round) reeled in a 10 yard TD pass from QB T Savage in the 3rd qtr

IND vs PHIL ( 10-36 )

• IND QB A Luck played approx. two series ( 5/6 for 43 yards ) and was followed by back up QB M Hasselbeck
• IND RB F Gore did not play, nor did WR T Y Hilton or CB Vontae Davis
• IND RB Z Tipton started at running back- an unimpressive 16/34
• IND only scored a FG in the 1st qtr, then a 9 yd TD run by sixth-round RB J Robinson. The rookie easily outplayed Tipton and should have no problem beating him out on the depth chart
• IND WR Andre Johnson had one catch for 9 yards- WR P Dorsett had four catches for 51 yards, but lost a fumble.

• PHIL QB M Sanchez started this contest and ended his outing with 2/7 and 1 TD pass. It was a rough start for him, but his stats were saved by a great catch and run by rookie WR N Agholor for a 34 yard TD
• PHIL RB Ryan Mathews started for Philly (2/18) RB D Murray did not play
• PHIL WR Jordan Matthews started with WR Agholor
• PHIL WR M Austin had 2 catches for 41 yards playing witht the 2nd string
• PHIL K Cody Parker missed an extra point and a FG in this game

NO vs BALT ( 27- 30 )

• NO QB D Brees did not play- NO QB L McCown started- the Saint’s offense was held to back-to-back three-and-outs. and only netted 11 yards on their first two drives
• NO RB Mark Ingram started but only carried 4times for 15 yards. RB K Robinson had 2 carris-35 yards and 3 receptions for 37 yards ( one TD pass from back up QB R Griffin)
• NO RB Tim Hightower, recently signed, has been out of the league since 2011 after tearing him ACL, and had the bulk of the carries in this game (12 for 31 yards) Saints obviously trying to keep their RB depth chart fresh
• NO RB C J Spiller did not play and is a fantasy player to avoid- C.J. Spiller underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday and will likely miss all of the preseason
• NO WR B Cooks looks ready and ended with 1 catch- a 28yard TD pass from QB McCown
• NO TE J Hill had 3 receptions for 40 yards ( most on the team for this game)

• BALT QB J Flacco started and went 5/6 for 33 yards and a 17-yard carry. His series end with a RB L Taliaferro 1 yard TD run-
• BALT RB L Taliaferro came in after RB J Forsett, who only had 2 carries for 3 yards
• BALT QB M Schaub played the majority of this game as Flacco’s back up, going 11/18 for 134 and one TD pass- ( a 45 yard TD pass to WR M Campanaro- a candidate to play a bigger role in Marc Trestman’s offense than most expect)
• BALT rookie TE Maxx Williams had 2 catches for 36 yards. Maxx was the first TE selected in this NFL Draft

All game and boxscores can be seen with this link- PRESEASON WEEK ONE

 

 

The Cursed Heisman Trophy


The Cursed Heisman Trophy
by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator & Believer in Curses Doug Bowles

It’s summer, but we had to get past a football-less spring, which can be a depressing time for fantasy leaguers. It meant that the NFL regular season was over, and even staring at a couple new fantasy football trophies on the mantle doesn’t help.
 April did give us some melancholy relief by giving us the 2015 NFL Draft, and in it, two Heisman trophy winners were on top of draft boards… Florida State QB Jameis Winston (2013) & Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (2014). QB Winston went to Tampa Bay as the #1 overall, and QB Mariota #2 to Tennessee, as the #2 overall, as expected.

You wouldn’t know it from the their stat lines in the 2015 Rose Bowl, but neither QB was particularly impressive, and neither gave me a very good feeling about their success in the NFL, at least as rookies.

Winston has potential, but I see more of a cross of QB Josh Freeman and QB Vince Young, and they weren’t great. QB Vince Young ( who ironically, was selected by Tennessee in 2006) and Winston are both 6’5″ ish, 230 pounds, not particularly fast, and have cannons for an arm. What would be perfect for this article, is if Young had also won the Heisman Trophy. He did not. In 2005, he came in 2nd to RB Reggie Bush. Although Vince Young’s 5 year NFL career wasn’t completely void of adequate performances, he didn’t come close to being worthy of the 3rd overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, and certainly was not a franchise quarterback.

Mariota has plenty of potential, but his mechanics are bad and he would be well served to hold a clipboard for a year, and learn. He throws nearly every pass off his back foot, and in the Rose Bowl I mentioned, there were really only two passes that had any “wow factor”. The first was a “dart of a pass” 15 yards down field to WR Darren Carrington that turned into a 56 TD. ( It was set up nicely from a previous play ) The second was a perfect 30 yard “touch pass” also to a streaking WR Darren Carrington, that also turned into a TD. Other than those two passes, the rest were boring screen passes, bubble passes and quick slants. QB Mariota wasn’t the story of this game, the 5 Florida State turnovers in the 2nd half was. QB Mariota might have been great, but he didn’t have to be.

I don’t know what it is about the Heisman, but like the Madden Cover, the success rate of anyone getting the Heisman Award is not good. Here’s 15 years worth….

2000-QB Chris Weinke
…..In 2001, he was the starter when the Panthers finished with a 1-15 record. Back up QB the rest of his career. Out in 2007

2001- QB Eric Crouch…..Drafted by St. Louis, but seen by the NFL as too short to play QB and better suited for playing wide out. Because of the injury, Crouch left the team before playing a single game

2002- QB Carson Palmer…..successful as the starting QB in Cincinnati and Arizona, but injuries have limited what Palmer might have been able to accomplish

2003- QB Jason White…..Despite a strong college career, White was not selected in the 2005 NFL Draft and did not receive a tryout from any NFL team

2004- QB Matt Leinart…..famous for his rookie season “hold-out”, Leinart spent four seasons with the Cardinals, primarily as backup for Kurt Warner

2005- ( RB Reggie Bush- Trophy & Award Forfeited )

2006- QB Troy Smith…..In the NFL from 2007 to 2009. Smith wasn’t drafted until Day 2, and was finally selected at the end of the fifth round by the Baltimore Ravens.

2007-
QB T Tebow….A ridiculous 1st round selection by Denver, and began the 2011 season as the Denver backup QB, behind Kyle Orton. Traded to the Jets in 2012 and a short stint with the Patriots, he was out of the NFL by 2013.

2008- QB Sam Bradford…..Drafted in 2010 by St. Louis. Expectations have been high for often-injured Bradford. In 2011, he went 4-0 in the preseason, but the Rams finished a dismal 2-14

2009- RB Mark Ingram….. Selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 2011 NFL Draft. Ingram’s best season so far is 2014. In prior seasons, Ingram never topped 602 yards or 5 TDs.

2010- QB Cam Newton…..most successful of Heisman trophy winners since 2000. Starter for the Carolina Panthers since 2011. 82 TDs vs 54 INTs

2011- QB Robert Griffin III…..has only 12 wins since starting in 2012

2012-
QB J Manziel…..1st NFL start for the Browns’ Week 15 game vs Cincinnati. He completed 10-of-18 passes for 80 yards and 2 INTs for a 27.3 passer rating. The Browns lost 30-0.

2013- QB Jameis Winston

2014-
QB Marcus Mariota

The end of any regular NFL season is pretty darn depressing, but perhaps not as depressing as this pitiful list. I’ll be happy when one Heisman trophy winner actually comes along and really makes a lasting mark in the NFL. Perhaps one or both of these two young men will and prove me wrong. I hope so.

Can You Lick the Wonderlic

 

Can You Lick the Wonderlic by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

April showers bring May flowers…excitement for the upcoming NFL Draft…and Wonderlic Tests. Whether you think these tests are a valid benchmark for a player’s intelligence or not, they are interesting. The test is used to measure players’ aptitude for learning and problem solving. The possible score range is 1 to 50. The average football player scores around 20 points and scoring at least 10 points suggests a person is literate.
Jameis Winston and Marcus Marita, the two top QB prospects in this year’s draft recently completed the test, and recorded the scores of 27 & 33 respectively. Here is a sampling of some there notable QB Wonderlic scores:

Pat McInally – 50
Ryan Fitzpatrick – 48
Colin Kaepernick – 37
Tony Romo – 37
Aaron Rodgers – 35
RG3 – 24
Jeff George – 10
Vince Young – 6

Now it’s your turn to see how you’d stack up. The following link is a shortened version of the test, but a good sampling of the questions found here- the Wonderlic Exam.

You’ll have 3 minutes and 36 seconds to answer 15 questions.

…and if you are feeling really ambitious, here is a link to the long version, which gives you 12 minutes to answer 50 questions- the long Wonderlic Exam.
…and if you are feeling really proud of your score, please share with us!