Panic or Do Not Panic Week 5

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 5 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

“Panic/ Don’t Panic” updates are an Utter-Fantasy original weekly column that tries to help fantasy football owners decide on players that should be producing big weeks for them, but so far, are not. Most fantasy football owners prepare for weeks, even months for their fantasy football drafts, and when it’s all over, they hope that their team is the best. After week one of the NFL season, some of us are rejoicing in our selections, while some of us are agonizing over them. Now it’s decision making time regarding the waiver wire, and who we have on our current rosters. I like to see a lot of opinions, and I hope mine help you make some of your tough decisions. That being said, it’s only Week 5, so I truly hope I’m re-tracking my “Panic’ players after Week 6. Until then….here’s my list of players to “Panic’ or “Do Not Panic” about…..

 

PANIC QBs

NYG QB Eli Manning- Manning has 5 TD passes in 5 games, with 3 coming in Week 1 . ( so 2 TD passes in the past 4 games!)  With BALT and LAR up next and WR Odell Beckham unable to keep his cool….you can “Panic.”

NYJ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick- Likely to be a regular here, because his NFL performances have been dismal, his receiving corps are decimated and his schedule is brutal.

DAL Dak Prescott- “Panic” a little. Although he’s winning games, I think Dallas is serious when they say it’s still QB Romo’s job when he gets back. The Cowboys have played Chicago, San Francisco and Cincinnati, 2 of them at home, so Prescott was suppose to win those. He’s averaging only 240 yards a game. Green Bay and Philadelphia up next.

 

PANIC RBs

CINN  RB Jeremy Hill– I’ve warned of his brutal schedule, and now he’s injured. I wish I didn’t have him on any of my teams, but I do.

LAR RB Todd Gurley- His production hasn’t been worthy of his early first round draft pick that is for certain. Defenses just are not afraid of the Rams quarterback, and why would they be, so they can stack the box. Although he has some nice match ups in the 2nd half, I’d be willing to package him for the right deal.

NYJ RB Matt Forte- Almost zippo for stats the past 3 weeks. It won’t get much better because of his schedule until after his Week 11 Bye…IF he is healthy.

JACK RB Chris Ivory- is back and playing terrible. JACK RB TJ Yeldon’s performance in Week 4 & Week 5 were actually rather impressive.

Others too good to panic about…but:

OAK RB Latavius Murray- Even if he comes back from his toe injury, which we know can linger, he will share with RB DeAndre Washington. His not the starter that we drafted early, prior to Week 1.

 

PANIC WRs

CHI WR Alshon Jeffery- He’s had great match ups and done nothing with new QB Brian Hoyer. If at home vs the Jags in Week 6 doesn’t help you in your fantasy leagues, you may want to move on from him. GB, then at MINN, then a Bye up next.

NYG WR Sterling Shapard- With TONs of promise, Shepard goes as Manning goes, which is down the toidy! Manning has 2 TDs in the past 4 games.

BALT WR Mike Wallace- Unfortunately he is dependent on a huge play to have a good game. Those are few and far between. He also wears down like Steve Smith does and he’s injured.

Others too good to panic about…but:

SEA WR Doug Baldwin- Baldwin has tow good games so far, and two stinkers….BUT… QB R Wilson has been injured. Hopefully both come back from Bye Week healthy and motivated. Stay Patient.

 

 

DON’T PANIC QBs

ATL QB Matt Ryan- Ryan took on Carolina and Denver and did very well, although his stats in Week 3 and 5 were not great.

JACK QB Blake Bortles- Chicago, Oakland and Tennessee up after their Week 5 Bye. Don’t Panic.

TB QB J Winston- Before their upcoming Bye in Week 6, Tampa Bay had to fight the Rams, the Broncos and the Panthers…ouch! Starting in Week 7, the 49ers, the Raiders, the Falcons and the Bears. Buy low.

 

DON’T PANIC RBs

HOU RB Lamar Miller- His schedule has not been easy, but he is still healthy and with outstanding match ups coming in 2nd half. Let’s see how he does at home vs a bad INDY, but I wouldn’t trade him away. Fantasy football owners who don’t have him, are now trying to get him.

SEA RB C Michael- I admit to not being a huge believer in RB Michael, because he has had many opportunities before 2016 to be successful, and he hasn’t been. Despite only having one good game so far, RB Thomas Rawls (fibula) is expected to miss all of October AND QB Russell Wilson is close to being healthy.

PHIL RB Ryan Mathews- Although it was not a huge day after his Week 5, Ryan in Week 6 had 75 total yards and a TD. He’s healthy and is the starter.

 

DON’T PANIC WRs

JACK WRs Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns- After their Week 5 bye, Jags have CHI-OAK-TENN and KC. It has to get better!

HOU WR Will Fuller- The Houston wide outs were not going to have good days vs New England nor Minnesota. QB Brock Osweiler grew a little in those tough games, and has INDY up next. (May have to sit Fuller Week 7 vs Denver however.)

GB WR Jordy Nelson- Only one big game so far, and you drafted him early for better games than one big game so far. They are coming! At home vs DAL and CHI….then at ATL, then back home vs INDY. Yummy!

 

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 4

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 3

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 4

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 4 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

The Utter-Fantasy original..the weekly “Panic/ Don’t Panic” updates: Most fantasy football owners prepare for weeks, even months for their fantasy football drafts, and when it’s all over, they hope that their team is the best. After week one of the NFL season, some of us are rejoicing in our selections, while some of us are agonizing over them. Now it’s decision making time regarding the waiver wire, and who we have on our current rosters. I like to see a lot of opinions, and I hope mine help you make some of your tough decisions. That being said, it’s only Week 4, so I truly hope I’m re-tracking my “Panic’ players after Week 5. Until then….here’s my list of players to “Panic’ or “Do Not Panic” about…..

 

PANIC QBs

TENN Marcus Mariota- One of my “Panics” following Week 3-LINK- and Mariota has gone 2 weeks now without throwing a touchdown pass. The sophomore jinx is working at full capacity. Panic and Pass on ROS.….if he can’t right the ship with this schedule coming up … (MIA-CLEV-IND-JACK-SD )

NYJ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick- We have seen this before. A quarterback demanding more money holds out in training camp and into the preseason, then fails miserably. Fitzpatrick’s performance Week 3 and Week 4 were embarrassments and his schedule is going to cause more embarrassments…SEA-PITT- then ARI  up next.

CINN QB Andy Dalton- The AJ Green connection is there, but nothing else is. He’s not getting Gio involved, he’s not getting WRs LaFell involved, nor the speedy rookie WR Tyler Boyd. Dalton has only 3 TDs on the season. If C Wentz or Dak Prescott were available, it may be time consider moving on from Dalton.

 

PANIC RBs

CINN  RB Jeremy Hill1) Hill’s schedule is BRUTAL. He has faced very tough teams vs the run and will so in upcoming games. 2) QB A Dalton is one of my “Panic” QBs, so how can the running game NOT be effected? At Dallas then at NE….ugh.

HOU RB Lamar Miller- Zero touchdowns in 2016 and topping 100 yards only once….how could you NOT be panicking? Let’s face it, we drafted him too high, but if you are in a deep league, you can’t drop or trade him. You just have to hope for some good games when he plays the weaker defenses.

JACK RB Chris Ivory- is back and playing terrible. JACK RB TJ Yeldon’s performance in Week 4 ( 14/71 averaging 5.1 yards per carry) really gave us reasons to “Panic” over Ivory. Who knows what will happen after their Bye week? I’d like to avoid both.

Utter-Fantasy’s “Panic” RBs from Week 3……T Rawls, J Forsett, TJ Yeldon, M Jones and Theo Riddick.

Others too good to panic about…but:

OAK RB Latavius Murray- Dealing with a (toe injury which we know can linger) is “doubtful” to play in Week 5 against the Chargers. RB DeAndre Washington is the Raiders’ likely starter for Week 5 against the Chargers.

 

PANIC WRs

MINN WR Stefon Diggs- Very talented but here’s why I’m about to “Panic”….you never know what the chemistry is going to be between a new QB ( Sam Bradford) and his new WRs. So far Diggs isn’t one of them. Only 40 yards in Week 3, only 47 yards in Week 5, and WRs Charles Johnson and C Patterson are getting more targets every week. TE K Rudolph is the redzone target.

CHI WR Alshon Jeffery- This guy is killing fantasy football owners who drafted him high, like yours truly. Now he’s injured.

GB WR Randall Cobb- Are you really surprised? It didn’t happen in 2015 when Jordy was out! Find a cheese-head who still loves Cobb and sell high.

CINN WR Tyler Boyd- Not the weapon yet, that we thought he’s be, and now TE Eifert is due back. He’ll have some good games, but unless you are in deep league, there must be better options for you.

Others too good to panic about…but:

JACK Allen Hurns- This guy is also killing fantasy football owners who drafted him high, like yours truly. QB Blake Bortles was the #16 QB in the NFL after Week 3, but the #9 after Week 4, so it’s getting better.

 

PANIC TEs

CLEV TE Gary Barnidge- Zero TDs and hasn’t topped more than 66 yards receiving. QB RG3 going sown really hurt his stats. Right now, I think I’d rather own SD TE Hunter Henry. ( Barndge’s targets have risen however)

IND TE Dwayne Allen- Although QB Luck was out much of 2015, did you know Allen only had 109 receiving yards and only 1 TD in 11 games last year? After his Week 1 performance, Allen now has a total of 75 yards in 3 games. That’s a 25 yards average.

ATL TE Austin Hooper- DEN TE Virgil Green- NYG TE Will Tye- Not enough targets.

 

DON’T PANIC QBs

SEA QB Russell Wilson- A Bye in Week 5 which will help Wilson tremendously to get healthy.  Stay patient.

JACK QB Blake Bortles- After a slow start, Bortles is starting to find his groove. QB Blake Bortles was the #16 QB in the NFL after Week 3, but the #9 after Week 4, so it’s getting better.

TB QB J Winston- His schedule was pretty rough, facing Arizona, L Rams, Denver and now Carolina in Week 5. After his Week 6 Bye, Winston has SF, OAK, ATL and Chicago. Buy low!

 

DON’T PANIC RBs

PHIL RB Ryan Mathews- PHIL QB C Wentz looks like the real deal, so defenses can’t just stack the box. HC Doug Pederson said Ryan Mathews (ankle) is healthy and will remain the Eagles’ starting running back

NE RB Le Blount- I know everyone is jumping off the Blount wagon, but I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. QB Tom Brady will be motivated and moving the ball up and down the field. I think Blount gets plenty of goal line opportunities. I may be wrong, but I see if I am before moving on from Blount.

DEN RB CJ Anderson- Big start in week 1, then an average Week 2, followed by a terrible Week 3. Like Lacy, then an average Week 4. Anderson’s schedule is so inviting, I want to find a fantasy football owner who has gotten discouraged and wants to trade him away.

 

DON’T PANIC WRs

NO WR Willie Snead- Snead started out the season very strong, but a tow injury had him miss week 3, followed by a below average week 4. Now on a bye week, he will be available in more leagues than he should be. He is reportedly back to 100%.

PHIL WR Jordan Matthews- Matthews had a great Week 1 ( 114 yards and 1 TD) then fell off some in Weeks 3 & 4. Every wide out has a few down weeks ( ATL Julio Jones had 1 catch for 16 yards in Week 3. Matthews is the #1 WR in Philly and may be available because of the Bye in Week 4.

OAK WR Amari Cooper- Defenses have been focusing on Cooper ( zero TDs in 2016) meanwhile WR Michael Crabtree hauled in 3 TDs in Week 4 and has out -targeted Cooper in back-to-back games. Week 4’s performance should cause defenses to pay attention to Crabtree and allow Cooper some huge games again.

DON’T PANIC TEs

TENN Delanie Walker- Walker led the team with 8 targets in Week 4 but his return from a one-week hamstring injury did not lead to a big game. QB Marcus Mariota’s sophomore slump is getting serious, but TENN has MIA-CLEV-IND-JACK in the next 4 weeks, and the last 3 are all home games. Delanie and Mariota will be 2016 busts if this 4 week schedule doesn’t help them.

DAL TE J Witten- Zero TDs in 2016, but he was targeted in the endzone a few times this year. 9 targets in Week 4 should be a sign of good things to come ( Dez is still injured)

Borderline:

KC Te Travis Kelce- One good game out of the first four. With the ultra conservative KC offense, this is about the pace you can expect.

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 3

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 3

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 3 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

The Utter-Fantasy original..the weekly “Panic/ Don’t Panic” updates: Most fantasy football owners prepare for weeks, even months for their fantasy football drafts, and when it’s all over, they hope that their team is the best. After week one of the NFL season, some of us are rejoicing in our selections, while some of us are agonizing over them. Now it’s decision making time regarding the waiver wire, and who we have on our current rosters. I like to see a lot of opinions, and I hope mine help you make some of your tough decisions. That being said, it’s only Week 3, so I truly hope I’m re-tracking my “Panic’ players after Week 4. Until then….here’s my list of players to “Panic’ or “Do Not Panic” about…..

 

PANIC QBs

NYJ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick- We have seen this before. A quarterback demanding more money holds out in training camp and into the preseason, then fails miserably. Fitzpatrick’s performance Week 3 was an embarrassment and his schedule is going going to cause more embarrassments…SEA and at PITT up next.

BUFF Tyrod Taylor- If you discount 2 flukey long TD passes in Week 2, Tyrod is averaging 125 passing yards a game- Still without WR Sammy Watkins, you can do better at QB in almost any format.

TENN Marcus Mariota- Mariota completed just 17/33 passes for 214 yards, no TDs, and two INTS in the Titans’ Week 3 loss to the Raiders. Panic Week 4.….but a VERY nice part of his schedule is coming up starting in Week 6… (CLEV-IND-JACK-SD )

 

PANIC RBs

SEA RB Thomas Rawls- Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Thomas Rawls (fibula) will miss multiple weeks. Move on.

BALT RB J Forsett- In a tasty match up at Jacksonville, Forsett carried the ball only 7 times. There are just TOO many running backs getting touches in Baltimore, and I don’t care if one of them has a fluke monster week. I don’t want any of them.

JACK RB TJ Yeldon- RB Chris Ivory is back and ( although he didn’t do much with them) Ivory had 12 carries to Yeldon’s 6 carries in Week 3.

WASH Matt Jones- I warned fantasy football owners of Matt Jones all summer. I believe he is an outstanding RB out of the backfield, but not a good runner between the tackles. If he can’t “bring it” Week 4 at home vs Cleveland, you may need to make a tough roster decision going forward with him.

DET RB Theo Riddick – In 2015, Detroit had the worst average per run attempt of any NFL team. This is a “throw first” offense, and Riddick’s first week ( Week 1- 108 total yards and 2 TDs) may happen again….but I doubt it.

Others too good to panic about…but:

NO RB Mark Ingram- Runs very hard but the Saints are always playing from behind, and probably always will be in 2016. I’d trade him away if I could get a deal.

OAK Latavius Murray- The touchdowns are there, but the yardage IS NOT! ( 38 total yards in Week 3.) Oakland’s tough schedule and poor defense may never allow the Raiders to get a big lead and lean on Murray to carry the ball 20+ times in a game. (averaging only 10 carries a game)

 

PANIC WRs

GB WR Randall Cobb- Are you really surprised? It didn’t happen in 2015 when Jordy was out! Find a cheese-head who still loves Cobb and sell high.

CINN WR Tyler Boyd- Not the weapon yet, that we thought he’s be, and now TE Eifert is due back. He’ll have some good games, but unless you are in deep league, there must be better options for you.

TENN WR Rishard Matthews- Oakland has one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL, and Matthews managed only 3 lousy receptions. Move on if you can.

DET WR Golden Tate- The trouble is, QB Stafford is throwing to a lot of different weapons, and defenses are concentrating on taking Tate out of games. With only only 41 yards as his best game so far, you’ll have just get lucky when you start him.

Others too good to panic about…but:

DAL WR Dez Bryant- That QB Dak Prescott struggles to even want to look for Bryant. Fortunately Dallas’ schedule is worth waiting for Bryant to score a big game for us, if the ankle isn’t worst than expected.

 

PANIC TEs

DET TE Eric Ebron- Averaging 50 yards per game with only 1 TD. With so many weapons in Detroit, Ebron will be a boom-or-bust candidate every week. Note: that no tight end in the NFL is going crazy great so far, as only 5 TEs have 2 TD receptions each, and they aren’t the tight ends that you’d expect to have them.

DAL TE J Witten- Averaging 47 yards per game with 0 TDs. Like above, with so many weapons in Dallas, Witten will be a boom-or-bust candidate every week.

DEN TE Virgil Green- Not enough targets.

 

DON’T PANIC QBs

SEA QB Russell Wilson- HC Pete Carroll said Russell Wilson (knee) is doing “remarkably well,” and he expects him to practice Wednesday and play Week 4 against the Jets. Wilson’s slow start is due to injuries, but he has a Bye in Week 5 which will help tremendously. Stay patient.

CAR QB Cam Newton- Averaging less than 270 passing yards in 3 games, Cam has to be mentioned here. He has however, Atlanta, Tampa, and New Orleans up next….he WILL pad his stats in a big way the next 3 weeks.

 

DON’T PANIC RBs

HOU RB Lamar Miller- Miller just wasn’t going to have a big game in Week 3 traveling to New England. Week 4 is the big test to see if many of us drafted him too high, playing at home vs Tennessee.

GB RB Eddie Lacy- Slow start with zero TDs. On a bye, fantasy football owners will be sick of starting/ holding him. Buy low! Great schedule coming up!

DEN RB CJ Anderson- Big start in week 1, then an average Week 2, followed by a terrible Week 3. Like Lacy, Anderson’s schedule is so inviting, I want to find a fantasy football owner who has gotten discouraged and wants to trade him away.

 

DON’T PANIC WRs

KC WR Jeremy Maclin– Pittsburgh Week 4, followed by a Week 5 Bye. Scoop him up because after that starting in Week 6….OAK-NO-IND-JACK….!!!!

JACK WR Allen Hurns- Currently the #57 wide receiver in the NFL, and we did not draft him to be that. Takes on Indianapolis in Week 4, and he had better deliver.

SEA WR Tyler Lockett- QB Russell Wilson is getting healthy, so after the Seahawks Week 5 Bye, you can expect Lockett to get back on track.

 

DON’T PANIC TEs

TENN Delanie Walker- Walker was close to playing in Week 3, before being declared inactive. Titans coach Mike Mularkey expects Delanie Walker (hamstring) to resume practicing and start in Week 4. Too good to lose patience on.

WASH TE Jordan Reed- Fantasy football owners expected at least 2 TDs by Week 3, instead, they have ZERO. Fortunately the yards and targets are there. Stay patient.

Borderline:

CLEV TE Gary Barnidge- New life came for Barndige in Week 3 as the rookie QB targeted the talented tight end 6 times ( 5 catches for 66 yards) More will come, because the Browns will likely be playing from behind in most games.

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 2

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 2 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

The original Utter-Fantasy weekly Panic/ Don’t Panic updates: Most fantasy football owners prepare for weeks, even months for their fantasy football drafts, and when it’s all over, they hope that their team is the best. After week one of the NFL season, some of us are rejoicing in our selections, while some of us are agonizing over them. Now it’s decision making time regarding the waiver wire, and who we have on our current rosters. I like to see a lot of opinions, and I hope mine help you make some of your tough decisions. That being said, it’s only Week 2, so I truly hope I’m re-tracking my “Panic’ players after Week 3. Until then….here’s my list of players to “Panic’ or “Do Not Panic” about…..

 

PANIC!

 

QBs

TB QB J Winston- Fantasy Football owners need to be concerned, very concerned about Winston’s schedule. Just like RB Jeremy Hill in Cincinnati, we thought we were getting a great player, and we did! Their brutal schedule however are killing us. The Bucs face the Rams in Week 3, then Denver, Carolina and then a bye! UGH!

NO QB Drew Bress- Don’t panic for 2 more weeks actually. ( Atlanta then San Diego) After that however, Brees has a bye in Week 5….followed by CAR…KC…SEA…SF…DEN…CAR….LAR….etc. After Week 4, I’d consider selling high.

 

RBs

BALT RB J Forsett- There are just TOO many running backs getting touches in Baltimore, and I don’t care if one of them has a fluke monster week. I don’t want any of them.

JACK RB TJ Yeldon- This ‘Bama RB I think will always be more Richardson than Lacy to me, and Ivory is coming back.

CHI RB Jeremy Langford- I hate QB Cutler being out but you could pick and choose the right games for Langford ( Week 5 IND, Week 6 JACK) and sit the others.

Others almost too good to panic about…but:

CINN RB Jeremy Hill – His schedule is BRUTAL.

BUFF RB Le McCoy- His schedule is BRUTAL.

ALT RB Devonta Freeman-  Tevin Coleman is simply stealing too much. I can not see Freeman coming even close to his 2015 stats as the #1 RB. Even after only two weeks, if another fantasy football owner still has a man-crush for Freeman, and package him with say….RB Gore and wide out I could use…I’d probably jump on it.

 

WRs

CHI WR Alshon Jeffrey/ Kevin White- How can you not be panicking…QB J Cutler out 2-3 weeks with a hand injury, which mean QB B Hoyer, and a sieve for an O line.

WASH WRS- Believe it or not, I still think QB Kirk Cousins is a decent quarterback, but with De Jackson, P Garcon, Doctson, Grant, Reed, V Davis, and receiving RBs.….how can you start a WASH wide out and sit someone else?

DEN  WR Emmanuel Sanders- A dream match up in Week 2 and Sanders managed only 3 catches for 39 yards. If you can stand to Panic one more week ( tough one at Cincinnati Week 3) …he does have more dream match ups coming, but will there ever be chemistry between Sanders and new QB Siemian???

TENN WR Rishard Matthews- 7 players had receptions in Week 1 for the Titans, 8 players had receptions in Week 2 for the Titans, and Rishard was not a top target for the team in either week. Too boom or bust for me to start over someone else. Currently #86 WR in the NFL.

NO WR Michael Thomas- The heralded rookie will take a back seat to WRs Cooks and Snead all year.

TB WR Vincent Jackson- He was barely an option a year ago ( #65 Wr for 2015…only 3 TDs). He hasn’t gotten younger, he’s gotten even older.

Others almost too good to panic about…but:

GB Randall Cobb- Currently the #60 wide out in the NFL….with zero touchdowns AND James Jones out-scored Cobb in 2015. I’d sell high.

 

TEs

CLEV TE Gary Barnidge- As much as I hated to do it, I waivered away Barnidge from every team Week 2, for PITT Jesse James, or BALT Pitta. Barnidge is a great athlete, but after two weeks of nothing, I do not see light at the end of this Brown tunnel. ( I apologize for the visual.)

NO Coby Fleener-  I am asked a ton about this guy, and maybe the Colts knew something when they let one of Luck’s good  friends leave…who knows…but I prefer PITT Jesse James and others. Utter-Fantasy Waiver Wire Link

 

 

DON’T PANIC!

 

QBs

GB QB Aaron Rodgers- This is a no-brainer even after his – 213 yards and only 1 TD performance in Week 2, but it does help support my yearly theory of not drafting a QB too early, unless in VERY large leagues.

IND Andrew Luck- Week 2 was bad, but it was expected vs Denver. San Diego is up next, then Jacksonville, then Chicago…….yummy!

DET Matthew Stafford- 260 yards and 1 TD isn’t great ( esp. compared to a lot of other QBs Week 20 AND playing Green Bay Week 3, but Chicago next followed by 3 straight home games. Don’t Panic, I understand if you also don’t feel great about him right now.

 

RBs

ARI RB David Johnson- It is very possible…we all expected too much from an RB who only had 125 carries in 2015. Rough schedule!!!

HOU RB Lamar Miller- Miller has yet to hit the endzone, and he probably won’t again in Week 3. Houston has a tough schedule in the 1st half, but be patient because Miller’s 2nd half will pay off big time, if he stays healthy.

DAL RB Zeke Elliott- Slow start and I too am hearing the “conditioning issues”… BUT…still the best O-Line in the NFL and remember that this team made a star out of Darren McFadden, who’s 1st big game didn’t come until Week 7

LAR RB Todd Gurley- Here’s the stats you have been waiting for I think….Rams at the Bucs Week 3. ( in the Panic section next week if he doesn’t)

 

WRs

TY Hilton– Plenty to panic about for the first 2 weeks, but his schedule is mouth-watering for a good stretch AND TD stealer WR D Moncrief is OUT for 4-6 weeks.

JACK Allen Hurns- Be Patient….. JACK WR Allen Hurns 2015 Week 1- 5/60/0 TD…Week 2 4/68/0 TD………………….2016 Week 1- 4/75/0 TD…Week 2 5/64/0 TD

ARI WR Michael Floyd- Gotta love WR Larry Fitz always, but it’s a LONG season and Fitz will wear down before Floyd does. Stay patient.

 

TEs

DAL TE Jason Witten- I am confident that QB Dak Prescott will learn to lean on Witten ( and WR Dez Bryant) as Romo did, rather than WR Cole Beasley.

WASH TE J Reed- Always hard for any player to follow up a monster season with another monster, but some do. Big games coming for Reed I believe in Weeks 3, 4 and 5.

Others almost too good to panic about…but:

KC TE T Kelce- This guy is taken early every season, and he still plays for the conservative, predictable, run first Chiefs……who has QB Alex ” Deacon Dunk’ as their QB.

 

1st and 10 Week 27

1st and 10 Week 27 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

UPDATE: With the publication of this article…Utter-Fantasy is taking a short sabbatical from “1ST and 10″ in order to provide fantasy football owners the best weekly information during the regular season.

 

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from knowledgeable people in our fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

1st and 10 Week 27-  Sept 19th, 2016

1st and 10 Week 27 -Special Guest: Senior Fantasy Football Writer at EndZonescore.com and writer at Gridiron Experts…Mitchell Renz

Special thanks to Mitchell Renz – Be sure to follow him on Twitter @MitchellRenz365

 

NOTE: All 1st and 10 Week 27 questions were asked of Mitchell Renz prior to the start of Week 1 off the NFL regular season.

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) The Chargers fell apart in 2015, after losing WR Keenan Allen for the season, injured in Week 8. Coincidentally, the Chargers fell apart in the 2nd half of Week 1 after losing WR Keenan Allen for the season at the end of the 2nd quarter. In a division that could be won by any of the 4 teams, how bad is this season now looking for San Diego, without this one receiver?

@mitchellrenz365) There is no doubt it is a huge loss, not sure anyone was higher on Keenan Allen than I was this offseason. The Chargers do have more depth this season at wide receiver with Travis Benjamin, and Tyrell Williams to pick up the slack now. Even with Allen, I didn’t think the Chargers would win the division because of their defense but now without him, I would say it’s almost impossible.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) Based only on what you have seen from the preseason and from Week 1 of the regular season, give me a bold prediction of who will win the 2016 Super Bowl and why you think now that they will.

@mitchellrenz365)  Before the season started I would have said Arizona Cardinals, so I am going to say the team that just beat them, The New England Patriots. The Patriots marched into Arizona without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski and controlled the game from the opening kick.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) A better offense vs a better defense! Both the Saints and the Browns went winless in the 2016 preseason, and after Week 1 of the this regular NFL season, both are still winless. Who ends up with the better record at the end of 2016 and why?

@mitchellrenz365) The Saints will easily.  They have QB Drew Brees and one of the league’s best offenses, yes their defense is horrible but so is the Browns defense.  The Browns are currently the worst team in the NFL and I don’t really think its close.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4) I already have some early round regrets from a couple of my fantasy football drafts. For example, I think I am going to end regretting selecting ATL RB Devonta Freeman over DEN RB CJ Anderson, when it’s all said and done. Do you already have a few fantasy football draft regrets?

@mitchellrenz365) Well I am sorry you drafted Freeman, he was my number one bust this season and you couldn’t have paid me to draft him especially over Anderson who I have on all of my teams this season.  I have a lot of Philip River stock and with the loss of Keenan Allen, that has hurt me but it’s still early to have regrets.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Do you think the following players were “undervalued” by the team that they departed from? QB Brock Osweiler, RB Lamar Miller, CB Josh Norman, WR Chris Hogan, and WR Travis Benjamin?

@mitchellrenz365) Personally I don’t think Brock Osweiler is any good and stats have shown that. He went 5-2 on the Broncos because their defense was really good. He has so many weapons surrounding him currently and still struggled against the Bears in week one. Love me some Lamar Miller, hard man crush on that guy.  My number one running back this season. Norman is the most overrated corner in the game, dude had one good season in his entire career because he played on an elite defense.  All reports out of camp are he is getting torched and ask the Giants players how they feel about him not going against Antonio Brown. Hogan is one of my sleepers I wrote about for Gridiron Experts (subscribers only).  I will say he is in the 99 percentile according to SPARQ scores when looking at athletes. Travis Benjamin finished as a top 30 receiver last season with just a circus of quarterbacks, now he is in a position to be the leading receiver in a pass happy offense.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) How do you see the Indianapolis Colts receiving corps ( WRs and TEs) pecking order…..currently and out several games?

@mitchellrenz365) I see it as Hilton, Moncrief, Dorsett, Allen.  In the Red-Zone Any tight end, Moncrief, Dorsett, Gore, The Kicker and then Hilton. (maybe exaggerating a little there) But Hilton has only three touchdowns his last 20 regular season games.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) Name a couple free agents that were signed by their current NFL teams that you think will turn out to be some of the best and some of the worst signings?

@mitchellrenz365) I guess I will start with the fact that Jeff Fisher received a three-year contract extension was surprising, to say the least. I will start on the offensive side of the ball.  I think the Texans will regret paying a quarterback with no track record the amount of money they did. I liked how the Broncos resigned CJ Anderson after the Dolphins tried to sign him.  The Josh Norman deal was just a way for Washington to make headlines.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) NO WR Willie Snead was a hot waiver wire pick up after his Week 1 success. Who else were targeting for your fantasy football teams off the waiver wire, or who were your top recommendations?

@mitchellrenz365) I will say check my Waiver Wire Article here.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) One of the most frequently asked questions that I have gotten over the past 10 days is what to make of the Chiefs backfield. We know it’s currently the RB Spencer Ware show, but how do you see shaking out for the “entire season”?

@mitchellrenz365) Once Charles comes back I expect him to handle 60 percent of the workload but he will lose touchdown opportunities to Spencer Ware. Charles doesn’t need to have a ton of touches to be successful, in fact, he has the highest yards per carry among running backs in the history of the NFL with 5.5 YPC.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Of the NFL teams that lost in Week 1, one has to think that the Colts thought they would be 1-0…facing the under-achieving Lions at home in Indy. Which of these statements are true, if any? 1) QB Andrew Luck isn’t as good as everyone thought. 2) The Colts coaching staff will prevent this team from winning their division. 3) The Colts defense stinks. 4) One week lost doesn’t mean much.

@mitchellrenz365: For me 3, and 4 are true.  I think Andrew Luck is an incredible talent.  But the guy can’t do it all himself.   Let’s pump the breaks one game into the season and we shouldn’t forget the Lions were 6-2 after the bye with Jim Bob Cooter as their OC. The biggest issue for the Colts minus their defense is their offensive line.  Worst in the league, Luck has no time to throw and just takes a beating.

 

1ST AND 10 WEEK 26 WITH THE NFL EXPORTER LANCE GOODMAN
1ST AND 10 WEEK 25 WITH THE 5TH DOWN FFS JOHNNY SLOKES
1ST AND 10 WEEK 24 WITH FANTASYIPA JONATHON BRAY
1ST AND 10 WEEK 23 WITH LWOS’ MIKE RANDLE
 1ST AND 10 WEEK 22 WITH THE FFCOUCHCOACH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 21 WITH THE FANTASY FOOTBALL GEEK
1st AND 10 WEEK 20 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES
1ST AND 10 WEEK 19 WITH FANTAYIPA’s ARTHUR RICHARDSON
1ST AND 10 WEEK 18 WITH QUESTFFL’s MATT DOUGHERTY
1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 1

Panic or Do Not Panic Week 1 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Most fantasy football owners prepare for weeks, even months for their fantasy football drafts, and when it’s all over, they hope that their team is the best. After week one of the NFL season, some of us are rejoicing in our selections, while some of us are agonizing over them. Now it’s decision making time regarding the waiver wire, and who we have on our current rosters. I like to see a lot of opinions, and I hope mine help you make some of your tough decisions. That being said, it’s only Week 1, so I truly hope I’m re-tracking my “Panic’ players by Week 3. Until then….here’s my list of players to “Panic’ or “Do Not Panic” about…..

 

PANIC!

 

QBs

BUFF QB Tyrod Taylor- Never been a fan, and with WR Sammy Watkins ailing, I can’t see him worth starting over many other QBs.

CHI QB Jay Cutler- Even “if” this guy has a big game passing, his “weekly” INTs and fumbles will end up hurting his stats.

MIA QB Ryan Tannehill- One of the most over-rated QBs in the NFL. Game after game, there are guys wide open, whether it be a wide receiver streaking long, a the TE over the middle, or a running back swinging out from the backfield…..Tannehill doesn’t see them.

BALT Joe Flacco- Gritty quarterback, but WR Steve Smith is a shell of himself, TE Ben Watson was lost for the season, and TE Maxx Williams has been a bust.

 

RBs

TENN RB Derrick Henry- RB D Murray made the case Week 1 for no RBBC. Henry will get some carries, and some receptions, but probably only has real good value going forward if Murray gets hurt.

ND RB Frank Gore- Three things bother me about owning Gore. 1) Luck likes to throw too much…i.e. there is no ground game established. 2) QB Luck rarely throws to Gore, who is actually a good receiving back. 3) Either Luck likes be the hero and always throw the TD pass in the redzone, or he likes to run it in. ( Faces Denver Week 2…ugh )

CLEV RB Duke Johnson- Too many fantasy football owners drafted RB Johnson “before’ RB Isaiah Crowell. Duke is more suited as a 3rd down receiving back, and that’s not what most fantasy football owners drafted him for.

Others almost too good to panic about…but:

ALT RB Devonta Freeman- Damn HC Quinn and his RBBC with T Coleman. ( how did that formula work in the first home game Quinn???)

CINN RB Jeremy Hill – His schedule is BRUTAL.

 

WRs

MIA WR Jarvis Landry- Likely drafted too high by fantasy football owners because he rarely gets an touchdowns ( only 4 in 2015). Nice PPR machine however.

CLEV WR Corey Coleman- Bad situation to begin with, and now with QB Robert Griffin out, not looking good. 2 receptions in Week 1.

NO WR Michael Thomas- The heralded rookie will take a back seat to WRs Cooks and Snead ( and eventually TE Fleener) all year.

BUFF WR Sammy Watkins- He says his foot is “fine after all”…….don’t believe it.

TB WR Vincent Jackson- He was barely an option a year ago ( #65 Wr for 2015…only 3 TDs). He hasn’t gotten younger, he’s gotten even older.

NE  WR Danny Amendola- He’s now way down the on the receiving pecking order for the Pats.

Others almost too good to panic about…but:

 

DAL WR Dez Bryant- Here’s what’s really troubling…last year when QB Romo went down, QBs B Weeden and QB K Moore would not target Bryant, and they preferred WRs Williams/Beasley and TE Witten. This year when QB Romo went down, QB Dak Prescott is targeting WRs Williams/Beasley and TE Witten.

DEN WRs Dem Thomas/ Emmanuel Sanders- This is a run first, run 2nd, run 3rd offense and QB Siemian does not have a cannon for an arm ( When asked if he thinks he’ll play Week 2, WQR D Thomas (hip) said, “I don’t know. Taking it day by day.”)

 

TEs

SEA TE Jimmy Graham- Never 100% and has zero chemisrty with QB R Wilson since getting to Seattle. What’s changed?

CHI TE Zach Miller- Can you really wait around for this guy to finally catch on in Chicago, while there are viable TEs options for you on the Waiver Wire? ( 3 catches- 14 yards in Week 1 ) Utter-Fantasy Waiver Wire Link

PHIL Z Ertz- It’s never good news when the team announces that Zach Ertz (ribs) could miss an “extended period.”

 

DON’T PANIC!

 

QBs

JACK Blake Bortles- The #3 QB for 2015 only threw 1 TD pass vs Green Bay, and ended Week 1 as the #16 quarterback. Don’t Panic…SD, BALT and IND are next up.

OAK Derek Carr- Carr only threw one TD in week 1, but he averaged 2 a game in 2016.

 

RBs

MINN  RB Adrian Peterson- Not sure what to make of his 31 yard performance in Week 1, but rest assured…it bothered no one more so, than AP. Don’t Panic, even with QB Bridgewater out.

DAL RB Zeke Elliott- ( only 51 yards and 1 TD Week 1) Best O-Line in the NFL. The rookie put up huge numbers…soon.

TB RB Doug Martin- 2015, he was in contract year so one has to wonder how motivated Martin is in 2016. Last year’s #3 RB  was 11/ 53 yards in Week 1 of 2015….so he’s done this before, and it turned out just fine.

GB RB Eddie Lacy- Did not find the endzone in Week 1, but he will.

LAR Todd Gurley- Don’t let Week 1 worry you

 

WRs

JACK Allen Robinson/ Allen Hurns– Zero TDs between the 2….doubt it happens very often…if again this year.

NYJ Brandon Marshall- Only 3/8 targets for 32 yards and 0 TDs in the Jets’ Week 1 loss to Cincinnati. If this scared any fantasy football owner into wanting to trade him “away”….jump on it!

DET WR Golden Tate- Tate got 7 targets, while Marvin Jones got 10, but Stafford does that… he will have a different favorite target every game. Don’t panic on Tate because RB Theo won’t have 2 TDs often, and Ebron won’t get a TD reception often.

ARI WR Michael Floyd- 7 targets in Week 1 ( to WR L Fitz’s 10) but Floyd is a big. fast target and I think he produces the most when 2016 is over.

SEA WR Tyler Lockett- With QB Russell Wilson getting injured, Week 1 cannot be a gauge for the rest of the season. Don’t panic!

IND WR TY Hilton- Faced Detroit Week 1, and faces Denver in Week 2, but then…..San Diego, Jacksonville, Chicago, Houston and Tennessee. ( WR Moncrief is the threat to steal TD receptions)

 

TEs

TENN Delanie Walker- (3 catches for only 42 yards) The titans played Minnesota Week 1, who are one of the best NFL team’s defending the TE position. Tennessee battles Detroit Week 2, one of the worst NFL team’s defending the TE position.

SD TE Antonio Gates- With WR Keenan Allen going down for the season, Gates will be asked to do a lot more.

PITT TE Jesse James- Only 31 yards in Week 1, but he was targeted in the endzone. QB Roethlis berger likes him ( a lot more than he does WR Sammie Coates) and the chemistry is building.

1st and 10 Week 26

1st and 10 Week 26 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from knowledgeable people in our fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

1st and 10 Week 26-  Sept 12th, 2016

1st and 10 Week 26 -Special Guest Writer: the NFLExporter Lance Goodman

Special thanks to Lance Goodman – Be sure to follow him on Twitter @NFLExporter

and please visit the NFLExporter.com website often!

 

NOTE: All 1st and 10 Week 26 questions were asked of the NFLExporter prior to the start of Week 1 off the NFL regular season.

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) The Tennessee Titan’s receiver corps is now an interesting one, since the release of WR Justin Hunter. This situation is difficult to judge, but the competition is for the No. 1 job, if we don’t already consider TE Delanie Walker as the No. 1. Fifth-rounder WR Tajae Sharpe has made all the headlines with spectacular play, but WR Rishard Matthews may still a better receiver and will still open as a starter in two-wide sets. After TE Walker, who would you prefer to own, rookie Sharpe of Matthews?

the NFLExporter Lance Goodman: With the way that Tennessee is looking to be a physical run first team, I don’t see either having much value to be a weekly play. It will depend on the match up and if it’s a game in which Tennessee is playing a high powered offense like Green Bay that may force them to pass more than what they want. At that point it seems like Sharpe has a little more value because of his ability to go deep. Matthews is more of a possession type wide receiver. Owners can expect an even split right now between Sharpe and Matthews because both are new on the team and developing chemistry with QB Marcus Mariota. I don’t see either getting more than 6-7 targets per game and that doesn’t merit real value.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) DAL rookie QB Dak Prescott has really impressed in the preseason. The Cowboys may not be in as bad a shape as expected after the DAL QB Tony Romo injury. That being said, did you lower WR Dez Bryant in your wide receiver ranking and did fantasy football owners make a mistake drafting him at #9 ADP for wide outs in their drafts?

the NFLExporter Lance Goodman: With Rookie QB Dak Prescott starting in place of Tony Romo, I didn’t lower Dez Bryant,s ranking at all. Prescott connected with Bryant on 2 TD passes in Preseason. One was a back shoulder throw in tight coverage to show he has confidence in Bryant’s abilities. I noticed that Prescott did a great job of spreading the ball around to his receiving corps in the Preseason however, but he knows that Bryant must be fed. Until Prescott gets the chemistry that Romo and Bryant had, the thing that may change is the quality and volume of Bryant’s targets. 

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) Give me your thoughts on the QB Sam Bradford trade to Minnesota. (i.e his impact on the Vikings offense and if you think Carson Wentz is ready be a starting quarterback in the NFL?)

the NFLExporter Lance Goodman: Sam Bradford going to Minnesota was a move of desperation and panic. Teddy Bridgewater only threw 14 TDs last yr and Minnesota had success, so a winning formula was already in place. Bradford is an upgrade but still relatively an unknown. He hasn’t done anything meaningful in his career and has been hurt half the time. As for Wentz being a starter to be honest, I haven’t seen a big enough body of work. He was hurt all Preseason. The defenses in the NFC East are suspect so he should be able to hold his own. His success will depend on what defenses are thrown at him and how well he can work within Doug Pederson’s system. A good running game will also help his progression. If Philly is ready to give him the keys this early, they have some type of confidence in him. Also, like any rookie, decision making and turnovers will impact his play as well.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4) Were you surprised that MIA RB Arian Foster beat out the younger RB Jay Ajayi for the starting job? ( Foster is officially listed as the No. 1 running back on the Dolphins’ depth chart )

the NFLExporter Lance Goodman: No I’m not surprised that Arian Foster beat out Jay Ajayi to become the starter in Miami. Ajayi is still a young player who may not be ready to be an every down back. In the NFL, pass protection is so important at the RB position and catching passes out of the backfield. Foster is more seasoned at both. Plus it allows Ajayi another year to grow and he will still get time behind Foster. But it was a lot to ask of Ajayi to completely take over Dolphins backfield in only his 2nd year. Miami is hoping to get the last of what Foster has left. ( Update: Foster started in Week 1, and Ajayi didn’t make the trip to Seattle after losing his starting job to Arian Foster. )

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) The NFLExporter loves running back questions, so here is one I was asked on Twitter, and Utter-Fantasy would like to know what your response is…”Should I drop Gio or Matt Jones for Gore in a Standard league format?”

the NFLExporter Lance Goodman: Gio Bernard would be the guy to drop for Gore. I like Bernard and he has value but he’s in a committee. As for Jones, he is “supposed” to be the work horse on the ground, which translates to assured weekly touches and he also is the goal line back, unlike Bernard. Jones has struggled early with injuries and holding onto the ball but Washington has a solid offensive line and good passing attack, so Jones should be able to get 75+ yards and some opportunities inside the 10 on a weekly basis…and that’s the plan for Gore. A solid 17 carries for 80 yards and TD opportunities weekly because the Colts offense can move the ball. So Bernard is the one that yields less value. Keep in mind that Gio’s an excellent handcuff if Jeremy Hill were to miss anytime.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Are you a fan of the NFL games played on Thursday Nights? (as a commissioner of many leagues, just weekly waiver moves can make Thursday games a difficult situation)

the NFLExporter Lance Goodman: No I don’t like Thursday night games. Its just another way for the NFL to make money. It allows them more advertising and sponsorship opportunities. The games usually are slow and lack the usual energy of a Sunday. Additionally, the games are all division games, so the teams are very familiar with each other so it can lack the entertainment value.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) I am sure that like most of us, you were involved in plenty of fun fantasy football drafts, prior to and over the Labor Day weekend. There were many players that I was targeting for my fantasy teams in 2016, and many of my teams have players in common, such as SD Travis Benjamin, CINN  Jeremy Hill and NYJ WR Eric Decker. Who are some players that are common threads throughout your fantasy football rosters?

the NFLExporter Lance Goodman: Some players that were drafted on multiple fantasy teams of mine are Chicago RB Jeremy Langford, Jags WR Allen Hurns, Jets WR Eric Decker, Raiders QB Derek Carr. All of those players end up my roster because they hold excellent value based on the round I draft them in and the need I have to fill at the time

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) What is your preferred fantasy football league format?

the NFLExporter Lance Goodman: Preferred format is standard with position bonuses for 300 yard passers, 100 yard rushers and receiving yards etc. I like this format because its a great mix of old school traditional fantasy and the player bonuses provide extra fun and excitement.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Sustainability may be one of the toughest things to achieve for any NFL player, yet PITT WR Antonio Brown has done it for 3 years in a row. Barring an injury, how shocked would you be if Brown ended 2016 as the #12 wide receiver, out of the top 10?

the NFLExporter Lance Goodman: I’d be completely shocked if Antonio Brown is not in the top 10 fantasy WRs. He gets too many targets, has great trust and chemistry with QB Ben Roethlisberger and has great work ethic. His team also depends on him. With his skill level and talent, he’s in a great position to succeed yearly until he slows down.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10)  Of these 8 NFL players that fantasy football owners have some real and legitimate concerns with, which ones concern you the most over the course of the 2016 NFL season and why?

1) SEA Thomas Rawls

2) BUFF WR Sammy Watkins

3) DAL WR Dez Bryant

$) IND Andrew Luck

5) KC RB Jamaal Charles

6) CHI WR Alshon Jeffrey

7) GB Jordy Nelson

8) DET RB Ameer Abdullah

the NFLExporter Lance Goodman: Its Ameer Abdullah. Fellow Lions RB Theo Riddick looks like a better player and gets equal playing time. Abdullah struggled with ball security last year and if it becomes a problem early, the Lions will have a short leash on him. He also has been a bit inconsistent running between the tackles. Abdullah is a young player. People get so caught up on his blinding speed and great elusiveness that he gets expectations that he can’t meet because he has to learn the fundamentals and mature as a player. So in terms of fantasy, he’s not consistent thus far and that makes it hard for owners to trust and play him. The moment that Abdullah has a big game, there’s so much hype and hope but when he tanks for the next 2-3 games, owners write him off. In order to be successful in the NFL and life in general, you have to be consistent and he’s not able to do that right now. 

( Update: BUFF WR Sammy Watkins (foot) “could be shut down for several weeks” because of “severe discomfort” in his surgically-repaired foot.)

 

Next Week’s Special Guest….the Senior Fantasy Football Writer at EndZonescore.com and writer at Gridiron Experts…Mitchell Renz

 

1ST AND 10 WEEK 25 WITH THE 5TH DOWN FFS JOHNNY SLOKES
1ST AND 10 WEEK 24 WITH FANTASYIPA JONATHON BRAY
1ST AND 10 WEEK 23 WITH LWOS’ MIKE RANDLE
 1ST AND 10 WEEK 22 WITH THE FFCOUCHCOACH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 21 WITH THE FANTASY FOOTBALL GEEK
1st AND 10 WEEK 20 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES
1ST AND 10 WEEK 19 WITH FANTAYIPA’s ARTHUR RICHARDSON
1ST AND 10 WEEK 18 WITH QUESTFFL’s MATT DOUGHERTY
1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

1st and 10 Week 25

1st and 10 Week 25 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

1st and 10 Week 25-  Sept 5th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 25 -Special Guest Writer: the 5th Down FF’s Johnny Slokes

Special thanks to Johnny Slokes – Be sure to follow him on Twitter @JohnnySlokes

and please visit the 5th Down fantasy Football website often!

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) DAL Tony Romo’s injury highlights the need for every NFL team to have a competent back up quarterback on their roster. Which NFL teams do you think are in the best shape should their #1 QB go down for the season?

the 5th Down FF Johnny Slokes: Obviously I think Dallas is right up there in terms of back up QBs as Dak has looked pretty good thus far. We’ll get to see how New England fares early as well. Philadelphia might be in decent shape with Chase Daniels/Wentz, and NYG Eli Manning has been talking up his understudy Nassib. Drew Stanton was promised he would get first dibs at a starting job whenever Palmer shall go down/retire.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) DAL Tony Romo’s injury also puts the Cowboys in a tough situation, even if rookie QB Dak Prescott is exceeding all expectations. That being said, it didn’t take a great record to win the division in 2015 and I believe this is now Washington’s division to lose. Washington won the NFC East last year with a 9-7 record. Do you agree?

the 5th Down FF Johnny Slokes: In all honesty this is really a division up for grabs. Washington surprised many people last year and I don’t think they’ll be sneaking up on anybody. I thought the Cowboys we’re the favorites until Romo unfortunately went down again. I personally like the Giants to win this division. They made a lot moves on the defensive side of ball with the additions of Sterling Shepard and Paul Perkins, their already dangerous offense has become that more diverse and will be a hard unit to stop. If only their O-line and defense can step up.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) Last Week I requested this of FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray, and he had a lot of fun with it, so I thought I’d request it of you……Please give me one or two bold predictions for the upcoming NFL season, that the fantasy football owners reading this will say “You have got to be kidding!”

the 5th Down FF Johnny Slokes: This is a fun question and I’ve answered this one before. I’ll give a positive bold prediction and a negative bold prediction. My positive bold prediction is that Amari Cooper will be a top 3 WR this year! 90 catches 1400 yards with double digit TDs. My negative bold prediction is that by week 8-9 Larry Fitzgerald will end up on the waiver wires in over 50% of leagues.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4) For three preseason games in a row I have watched what the New York Giants are calling an “offensive line”, and what I see is absolutely atrocious. If you agree that it’s pretty bad, how do you see this horrific O-Line impacting the fantasy football players that fantasy football owners are counting on?

the 5th Down FF Johnny Slokes: Well I will agree that their line has been pretty bad. I think this team will once again be pass happy with little running success. With that being said, the way that their offensive system is set up to mask it a bit with a lot of quick short routes that rely on yards after the catch. Look for a lot of volume for the two WRs on the outside and even guys like Vereen to chip in a lot on 3rd down.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) If you are like me, you’ve already been involved in a few fantasy football drafts. Please tell me some surprises that you had during the draft, such as players that you thought were drafted “too early’ or players you drafted that you were shocked were still available for you.  (FYI- If you haven’t had any drafts, please comment on mock drafts you have seen or participated in- thanks)

the 5th Down FF Johnny Slokes: Honestly surprised some of the values at RB as it seems a lot of people are going WR heavy. Some RBs that you normally would have to get in the 1st are slipping a bit (Charles, McCoy, Forte). while a lot of that has to do with all the injuries last year and the mentioned backs are starting to get up there in age. Another couple of WRs that are surprising me is how much Donte Moncrief and Marvin Jones’s ADP has climbed over the past 2 months. back in May both of these players could be had in the 8th and 9th round respectively. Now Moncrief is starting to creep into the end of the 4th (even seen him taken right after Hilton in a couple of drafts) and Marvin Jones is closing in on his counterpart Golden Tate.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Honestly, if BUFF HC Rex Ryan had not hired his brother Rob to be the assistant head coach for Buffalo, do you think he would have been the defensive coordinator for any other NFL team?

the 5th Down FF Johnny Slokes: No, Rob Ryan should not have a job. anywhere.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) Since CB Josh Norman is now in Washington, that means he will now be covering WR OBJ twice a year, every year. Despite the NFL’s new rule… “Disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls”….I have to believe that we are going to still see fireworks when these 2 play against each other. Do you think they both have learned their lessons, or someone will be ejected in 2016?

the 5th Down FF Johnny Slokes: I think that the first game it will get pretty chippy, don’t think they’ll be ejected though because it will be too entertaining haha

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Which new NFL head coaches were given the best immediate team situation for success? CLEV HC Hue Jackson, MIA HC Adam Gase, NYG HC Ben McAdoo, PHIL HC Doug Pederson, SF HC Chip Kelly, TB HC Dirk Koetter or TENN HC Mike Mularkey? Also, who was given the worst?

the 5th Down FF Johnny Slokes: Out of all the coaches you have mentioned, I think McAdoo is the only coach on that list that will make the playoffs. Chip is in a pretty shitty situation. The reason that I think out of the mentioned coaches that McAdoo is in the best situation is the offense that he takes over is by far the best out of Cleveland, Miami, Tennessee, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, and Philadelphia. Also New York has one of the better front offices that typically make good decisions. They play in a weaker division in which they have a chance to win this year, so McAdoo is in a pretty good situation.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Sticking with NFL head coaches, these 6 coaches are believed to be on the proverbial 2016 hot seat….CINN HC Marvin Lewis, DAL HC J Garrett, SD HC Mike McCoy, LAR HC Jeff Fisher, BUFF HC Rex Ryan and NO HC Sean Payton. Which of these 6 do you anticipate being fired at the end of the 2016, and are there any who you are surprised are still head coaches? (As a Lions fan, I wish Mrs. Ford had canned HC Jim Caldwell with the rest of the Detroit staff in 2015)

the 5th Down FF Johnny Slokes: Honestly have no idea how Fisher wasn’t fired and if things start poorly I could see him fired before the end of the season. As a Detroit native, I always hated the Caldwell signing and am also surprised he wasn’t fired. I think the 6-2 finished saved him.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Can you name a few WR3s, such as DEN Benny Fowler, DET Anquan Boldin, HOU Braxton Miller, that you think will exceed fantasy football owners expectations in 2016?

the 5th Down FF Johnny Slokes: I do like Boldin, I think he has a chance to lead the team in TDs. If Cruz can came back look out for him ( he’s free in most drafting formats) and I like Caroo in Miami and possibly Doctson/Crowder in Washington. And obviously Arizona has 3 nice WRs.

 

Next Week’s Guest….the NFLExporter….Lance Goodman

1ST AND 10 WEEK 24 WITH FANTASYIPA JONATHON BRAY
1ST AND 10 WEEK 23 WITH LWOS’ MIKE RANDLE
 1ST AND 10 WEEK 22 WITH THE FFCOUCHCOACH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 21 WITH THE FANTASY FOOTBALL GEEK
1st AND 10 WEEK 20 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES
1ST AND 10 WEEK 19 WITH FANTAYIPA’s ARTHUR RICHARDSON
1ST AND 10 WEEK 18 WITH QUESTFFL’s MATT DOUGHERTY
1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

1st and 10 Week 24

1st and 10 Week 24 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

1st and 10 Week 24-  August 29th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 24 -Special Guest Writer: Jonathan Bray…Co-Owner of Fantasyipa.com.

Special thanks to Jonathan – Be sure to follow him on Twitter @FIPA_Bray

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) The Cincinnati Bengals have made the playoffs 5 years in a row, but like last year (lost to Pittsburgh 18-16 in 1st round), they never go far. If the Bengals were in a different division, (let’s say they swap places with Buffalo in the AFC East), would they have gone to the playoffs 5 years in a row?

FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray: I believe they would.  I have always viewed the AFC Central as one of, if not THE toughest division in the NFL (excluding the Browns of course).  The Bengals record against non-divisional foes each of the last 3 years?  7-3, 7-2-1, 8-2, 7-3, 7-3.  That is a team that consistently wins, regardless of the competition.  As far as why they perpetually lose in the playoffs so quickly…. perhaps the season simply wears them down, or Andy Dalton truly has head games going on.  I’m not sure, but the odds are bound to turn in their favor eventually.  Right??

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) After watching the Houston Texans the past two preseason games, QB Brock Osweiler is developing real chemistry, not just with DeAndre Hopkins, but with rookie Will Fuller (4-of-8 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s preseason game) and with rookie WR Braxton Miller as well. Based on this, could DeAndre Hopkins WR ADP (4) be too high now?

FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray: I do feel that Hopkins is being drafted a touch too high in 2016.  I of course like the big three along with everyone else (Antonio Brown, Julio and ODBJ) but I also have AJ Green and Dez above Hopkins for the upcoming season.  Therefore, still think of Hopkins as a first rounder, but more towards the end of the round based on a few factors:  (1) the aforementioned better WR talent around him which should reduce DeAndre’s ridiculous 192 target total from 2015, (2) Lamar Miller being a much better running option than the Alfred Blue/Jonathan Grimes combo for most of 2015 which could further reduce target volume, and finally (3) I believe Osweiler still has some growing pains to work through and the bell will eventually toll for Hopkins consistently receiving subpar QB play in Houston.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) Does it concern you, and effect how you draft, when certain players have not played in the preseason, such as IND F Gore, QB Aaron Rodgers, MINN RB Adrian Peterson or PITT QB Roethlisberger to name a few?

FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray: Truthfully, I think it depends on the experience level of the individual and the nature of their situation, such as, are they coming back from injury like Jamal Charles or Thomas Rawls or Julian Edelman.   In those cases, I prefer to see them take a couple hits and show some burst in game action to ease my fears about drafting them at ADP.  By and large for the list of guys you mention here, I think these veterans know how to prepare their bodies and minds for the rigors of an NFL season, and timing is really the main thing being sacrificed by not participating in the preseason.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4) Based on their team’s roster of talent, which NFL team “should” have been more successful in the regular season over the past couple years, and how will they fare in 2016?

FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray: That is a really great question, and the team that resounds in my mind is the Miami Dolphins.  Whether it is the underwhelming development of Ryan Tannehill, the porous and disappointing defensive line, or simply the bad coaching of Joe Philbin and staff, a lot has been left on the table it feels in terms of wins and losses the past two seasons.  How a team goes a collective 14-18 in 2014/2015 while featuring such top 10-15 positional talents as RB Lamar Miller, WR Jarvis Landry, OL Mike Pouncy, DT Ndamukong Su, S Reshad Jones, DE Olivier Vernon, and LB Jelani Jenkins…. I’ll never know.  Let’s see if the Adam Gase era can help this franchise achieve it’s potential!

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Does QB Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons have enough weapons to really compete in the NFC South, especially when you compare how many weapons QB Drew Brees has in New Orleans?

FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray: I think so, but I should probably disclaim that I am a Falcons fan (second only to the Cowboys).  That being said, I would take the combination of Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman over Brandin Cooks and Mark Ingram in terms of each QB’s primary weapons, and really the same could be said when compared to the Buccaneer and Panther talent as well.  Of course the depth of Brees’ teammates is pretty extensive with Willie Snead, Michael Thomas, Colby Fleener and CJ Spiller (if healthy and knowledgeable of the playbook in 2016 that is).  I believe for Atlanta to compete in the NFC South this season, they need to (1) have guys like Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper come in and contribute early in the season to take attention away from Julio, (2) see some development from Tevin Coleman in terms of his vision and ability to read blocks and (3) see the defense take another step forward in 2016 like they did in 2015 moving to the middle of the pack in most metrics.  I think the biggest thing hurting Atlanta right now is Matt Ryan himself, as he seems to have regressed in the past two seasons and I would now rate him #4 easily among the NFC QB group.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Can you name a few players that you have “flip-flopped” on in the past month (players who you thought would have a big season, and now you have reservations about, and vice versa)?

FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray: Certainly, I will give you two of each real quickly. In terms of positive flips, I would point to Dez Bryant first.  Coming off a very subpar season that saw him struggle with both injury and lack of focus, it concerned me immensely at the opening of camp when he was fighting teammates and dropping passes again.  However, he has shown up in full during his preseason action and all of this without Romo so I do not feel that the injury to Romo will much affect his fantasy outlook… Rookie Dak Prescott certainly looks the part 3 games in and has a nice rapport going with Dez.  A second positive flip flop would have to be RB Devonta Freeman.  He slowed down at the end of the 2015 season after an amazing first 9 weeks, and the assumption was that Tevin Coleman would likely gain more of the market share of the Falcon RB snaps in 2016.  However, after watching the two RBs thus far in the preseason, it is clear who the “much more developed runner/receiver is” in this offense and I no longer think Freeman comes off the field more than say 20% of the snaps this season. After outpacing all other NFL backs in PPR format by more than 50 points in 2015, I now have Freeman ranked as RB #3 going into the season.

On the negative side of the flip flop, I think I would point to Matt Forte and Kelvin Benjamin.  I loved the Forte move to the running back friendly Jet offense initially, but the closer we get to the season, the more I see a 50-50 split of the snaps with 5-year Jet vet Bilal Powell.  Similar to Forte, Powell is a well-rounded back with equal aplomb at running between the tackles as catching passes from the backfield.  Where Powell has advantages that I can no longer look past, are his familiarity with the offense combined with his health.   Forte has had trouble staying on the field this preseason and while a veteran that does not need a lot of reps, this is still a notably different offense than what he is familiar with from Chicago.  I now have Forte dropped to the #15 RB in my PPR ranks after being just inside the top 10 a few weeks ago. Kelvin Benjamin to me is the most grossly over-ranked WR out there this preseason.  Without digging in fully, I initially had Benjamin ranked where most others do, around WR25-WR30.  Upon further reflection however, I see the following in Benjamin: (1) still not quite 100% from ACL injury, (2) regressed as his rookie year wore on in 2014, (3) inefficient, volume dependent production as rookie, and (4) at risk to losing volume due to emergence of Teddy Ginn and Devin Funchess.  There are significant red flags when looked at collectively, for an early 4th round fantasy selection.  I’ll pass.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) Please give me one or two bold predictions for the upcoming NFL season, that the fantasy football owners reading this will say “You have got to be kidding!”

FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray: This is a fun one, just don’t hold me to it if these don’t work out just right though!  Bold prediction #1 – Frank Gore ends up in the top 10 fantasy running backs in PPR format.  Bold prediction #2 – the Oakland Raiders will defeat both the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos on their way to a long awaited Super Bowl appearance… I deleted and retyped this one twice before leaving it here, haha.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) A lot has happened since the 2016 NFL Draft, when the top 8 wide receivers selected went 1) Corey Coleman, 2) Will Fuller, 3) Josh Doctson, 4) Laquon Treadwell, 5) Sterling Shepard, 6) Michael Thomas, 7) Tyler Boyd and 8) Braxton Miller. Based on what you’ve seen so far, rank how you now see these 8 WRs ending the 2016 NFL season (barring any huge injuries).

FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray: Agree, a lot has in fact happened.  I would rank as follows now:  1) Corey Coleman, 2) Sterling Shepard, 3) Josh Doctson, 4) Michael Thomas, 5) Will Fuller, 6) Laquon Treadwell, 7) Tyler Boyd and 8) Braxton Miller.  The Treadwell lack of positive news is alarming in a run first offense at this stage, I believe he is 5th on the depth chart.  I love Boyd’s opportunity, but I think his talent is fairly marginal and will depend too much on volume to ever have big games.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) In 2014, Blake Bortles was the #21 QB for the season. Unexpectedly, he ended 2015 as the #3 QB. In this pass-friendly NFL league, name a couple of quarterbacks you see that could jump into the top 5, they aren’t expected to, and who would they be pushing out?

FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray: For 2016, I could certainly see a Bortles type repeat for either Ryan Tannehill or Tyrod Taylor, who finished 16th and 17th in 2015 QB fantasy ranks.  I believe Tannehill can make that long awaited jump if the Adam Gase offense kicks in timely enough, as he may have one of the deeper sets of receiving talents in the NFL with Jarvis Landry, Devonte Parker, Kenny Stills and rookies Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant.  Tyrod Taylor is a wild card coming into his second season as a starter within a run first offense.  He will certainly get his own yards on the ground, and with the release of Karlos Williams, it would not surprise me if the Bills are forced to throw more in 2016 with very little on the depth chart behind starting running back LeSean McCoy.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) What are your thoughts on PHIL RB Kenjon Barner, CLEV WR WR Terrelle Pryor, DAL QB Dak Prescott and SF TE Vance McDonald, who have all been stand outs in this preseason?

FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray: I think Barner is not as much of a fit in the new Philly offense under coordinator Frank Reich as he supposedly was in Chip Kelly’s offense.  So while he might be having a good preseason, I just don’t think he gets past Ryan Matthews or Darren Sproles on the depth chart this season without an injury taking place.

Pryor has shown great speed and ball tracking ability this preseason with a couple of the biggest plays across the league.  With a wide open WR depth chart behind Corey Coleman and Josh Gordon, I believe Pryor has an unmatched size-speed combo amongst the Cleveland receivers that coach Hugh Jackson would be wise to make use of regularly.

Sadly, as I type this, it is announced that Cowboy QB Tony Romo has a break in his back that will force him to miss the first half of the regular season.  Dak Prescott has suddenly played himself into a starting QB role just 4 months after being selected as the 8th QB off the board (4th round) in the NFL draft.  The fact he is getting a shot even before Jared Goff, Carson Wentz or Paxton Lynch is a complete shock to me but Prescott has shown a solid grasp of the offense from day 1, and remains calm under pressure while also showing that he can be a dual threat when the situation calls for it.  I do think he is likely to regress once he is hit hard a few times by 1st team rush ends, or he feels the need to press because the Cowboy defense shows little ability to keep opposing offenses out of the end zone regularly.  However, the future does look very bright for Dak!

Finally, Vance McDonald is certainly showing that he could win the valuable (fantasy wise) starting tight end job under Chip Kelly in San Francisco.  After coming on nicely in the second half of 2015, he demonstrated just how big, fast and elusive he is on his 40-yard touchdown play in the 49er’s first preseason game.  I am targeting McDonald as a backup tight end in many of my drafts this year as it would not completely surprise me to see him end up as a top 10 fantasy TE serving as one of few dependable receiving options for the subpar QBs in San Francisco.

 

 

Next Week’s Guest….the 5th Down FF’s Johnny Slokes

 

1ST AND 10 WEEK 23 WITH LWOS’ MIKE RANDLE
 1ST AND 10 WEEK 22 WITH THE FFCOUCHCOACH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 21 WITH THE FANTASY FOOTBALL GEEK
1st AND 10 WEEK 20 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES
1ST AND 10 WEEK 19 WITH FANTAYIPA’s ARTHUR RICHARDSON
1ST AND 10 WEEK 18 WITH QUESTFFL’s MATT DOUGHERTY
1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

1st and 10 Week 23

1st and 10 Week 23 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

1st and 10 Week 23-  August 22th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 23 – Special Guest Writer- Mike Randle/ Fantasy Football Writer for LWOS

Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter @FtsyWarriorMike

and for a great read, check out Mike’s “50 Shades of Fantasy Football” column on FanSided.com

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  Should it be a concern for any NFL team to go 0-4 in the preseason?

LWOS Mike Randle:   Not at all.  However, there is also a big misnomer that the preseason simply doesn’t matter.  It does matter, just not in wins and losses.  Look at the Colts.  They refused to play Luck because of how serious Rex Ryan takes the preseason.  The decisions are not based solely on football success.  Of course all teams want to get at least one win in the preseason, but there are many cases of teams that had double digit wins in the regular season, after going winless in the preseason.  Just to use the Colts as an example, they did it twice (2005 and 2010).  The preseason is a great time to identify fantasy sleepers, like Arian Foster in 2010, but I don’t downgrade a team because of a winless preseason.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) Who were some of the players that stood out to you in Preseason Week 1? Any unexpected sleepers? ( for example, Tampa Bay’s WR Russell Shepard looked very interesting…3/62 yards and 1 TD. The Bucs may have finally found a #3 WR.)

LWOS Mike Randle: Rookie wide receiver Michael Thomas of the Saints looked tremendous.  He looks ready to step right into that Marques Colston slot role.  I was particularly encouraged by Chargers running back Melvin Gordon.  He’s currently going in Round 6 of drafts, and has top 10 running back upside.  The Jaelen Strong-Will Fuller battle is fun to watch, and I’m leaning towards Strong after his 4 catches for 42 yard performance against San Francisco.  My big unexpected sleeper is Giants running back Andre Williams.  I was a huge fan of Williams coming out of Boston College, he has the size and quickness to be a successful NFL player.  All the noise coming out of New York is about rookie Paul Perkins and last year’s starter Rashad Jennings.  If Williams continues to hit the holes like he did against Miami, he could very well be the goal line running back in a high powered offense.   Fantasy owners assume that Perkins will be the handcuff to Jennings, I wouldn’t be so sure.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3)  TB Doug Martin was in a contract year in 2015, and ended as the #3 RB last year. He got his new contract, so would a down year for Martin be totally unexpected?

LWOS Mike Randle: Doug Martin is a tough one to figure out.  Second in the NFL in rushing last year, but I just can’t buy into a repeat performance.  My first concern is his 57.1% Snap Share.  That means he was only on the field for 57.1% of the plays that he could have been.  Part of my concern with Martin is my belief in Charles Sims, whose Snap Share of 38.8% is going to rise.  Sims’ 51 receptions ranked 7th among running backs last year, and if Martin slips even a little bit, Sims will be there to jump right in.  I still think Martin will have over 1000 rushing yards, but a down year wouldn’t be totally unexpected.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  Along those same lines…..HOU QB Brock Osweiler had questionable and inaccurate play in Preseason Week one, and with WRs J Strong, W Fuller and Braxton Miller all vulturing targets, could WR DeAndre Hopkins be a bust in 2016, at least in regards to where he is currently being selected in Round One of most drafts?

LWOS Mike Randle: I saw enough positive things out of Brock Osweiler last year to not be concerned.  It was a bad game for sure, but he can’t be worse than what Hopkins had last year at the quarterback position.  The vulturing targets argument has a flip side:  they take away coverage from Hopkins as well.  He has such athletic ability and is a massive red zone target (second in NFL in wide receiver red zone targets with 15).  His floor is a top ten wide receiver.  May underproduce to the tune of an early first round pick, but if you can get him late first/early second round, he will match value.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Would it say more about former Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly or more about new Philadelphia head coach Doug Peterson…if the Eagles went far in the playoffs in 2016?

LWOS Mike Randle: It would say a ton more about HC Doug Peterson.  This Eagles team does not look good at all.  The defense was terrible last year (30th in the NFL in yards allowed) and Sam Bradford was a huge disappointment after a good preseason.  The book is still very much out on Chip Kelly.  Is he really just Steve Spurrier in disguise?  High powered offense that isn’t sustainable in the NFL?  With mediocre quarterback play, an injury-plagued Ryan Mathews and a lack of explosive receiving targets, Peterson has a tough task.  If the Eagles even made the playoffs, I’d be shocked.  But if they go far in the playoffs…Peterson should get an immediate long-term deal.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Three new rule changes in the NFL for 2016. 1) 2 personal fouls and player is immediately ejected from game 2) Ball placed on 25 with kickoff touchback 3) Horse collar rule include player’s name plate when pulled to the ground. Any objections/concerns/opinions for you personally, with any of these three new rule changes?

LWOS Mike Randle: The personal foul one should just be called the OBJ/Normal rule.  It was necessary and I’m glad it’s in place.  Tom Coughlin got way too much criticism for not pulling Odell Beckham out of the game.  It was an intense matchup, but nothing we didn’t see in the 1980’s all the time.  That should be on the officials, not the coach.  The kickoff one is tricky.  I know the kickoff return is a dangerous play, but I’m not sure if the 25 yard line is enough to deter teams from trying.  Either ban the kickoff entirely or let it go at the 20 yard line.  Five yards isn’t going to make a big difference.  I’m fine with the horse collar rule.  Players need to have more protection above the shoulders and if a player can grab the back of the collar, he can grab the feet just as easily.  That is a good rule change.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) In 2015, CAR WR Ted Ginn Jr stepped up in a big way for the Panthers and ended the season as the #18 wide out with 958 total yards and 11 TDs. WRs D Funchess and K Benjamin are healthy along with star TE Greg Olsen, but is Ginn necessarily undraftable now? ( He was targeted by QB C Newton in Preseason Week 1, but in a 12 team- 15 round mock draft I recently viewed, he went undrafted while unlikely fantasy candidates Victor Cruz and SF Bruce Ellington were drafted.)

LWOS Mike Randle: Great question.  I was thinking about Ginn just yesterday.  Is he undervalued?  When’s the last time a guy with 11 touchdowns was going undrafted the following year? Ginn had 10 catches of 20 yards or greater, and five catches of 40 yards or greater.  I don’t see Benjamin or Funchess cutting into those deep balls plays. My bigger concern is I see a regression coming on QB Cam Newton.  He outperformed his previous touchdown high by ten (35 total TDs in rookie season), and the previous year’s total by 22!  After a huge overachieving season, Newton comes back to earth a bit in 2016.

No way Ginn has the same amount of touchdowns as last year, and he’ll always be “feast or famine.”  But I do think that there’s value in having him on your bench for the right matchup, or if Benjamin or Funchess gets hurt.

( Preseason Week 2- 1 catch for 61 yards- TD )

 

Utter-Fantasy #8)   I predict that the Kansas City Chiefs will win the AFC West in 2016. Who do you think will win that division, and will they go far in the playoffs?

LWOS Mike Randle: It is such a fun division, and this year the battle will be closer than ever.  A record of 10-6 wins this division.  In short here are my team thoughts:

Denver Broncos:  Will not win the division again.  Quarterback play is shaky, and Wade Phillips has a shaky track record in defensive success during year two of his tenure.  In Philadelphia, Atlanta and Denver on his previous stint, there has been a serious regression during this second year.  I like C.J. Anderson, provided he plays the entire season. These factors add up to the Broncos not winning this division.

Kansas City Chiefs:  Highest floor of any AFC West team.  Running game is best in the league.  Jamaal Charles has the highest yards per carry of any running back in NFL history at 5.5 ypc.  Charcandrick West had a nice year in 2015, and Spencer Ware is having a great preseason.  Andy Reid is a great coach.  When Justin Houston comes back, I agree, this is the team to beat.

San Diego Chargers:  Should be much better than 4-12 finish last season.  Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is back in San Diego.  The last time he guided the Chargers offense, quarterback Philip Rivers had his best season. I can’t see the defense improving to the point where they would challenge for the division title, but their offense will be explosive.

Oakland Raiders:  The hardest team to figure out in the division.  The offensive line and defense is absolutely good enough, and the Raiders have offensive playmakers at all skill positions.  They key is quarterback Derek Carr and running back Latavius Murray.  If they have big season, I think the Raiders actually win the AFC West.

Regardless I think the winner of this division can definitely make the AFC title game. The Broncos showed the way last season.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) The Detroit Lions had the worst yards average per run attempt in 2015. With Jim Caldwell still the head coach, I as a Lions fan, I do not see this changing…so why do other fantasy football owners? ( RB Ameer Abdullah is being drafted before CLEV Isaiah Crowell, Rashard Jennings and MIA Jay Ajayi. )

LWOS Mike Randle: The Lions running game this year will be improved, but it’s the worst fantasy football backfield in the NFL.  I love Ameer Abdullah, his Burst Score and Agility Score are both 98th percentile on PlayerProfiler.com.  That puts him in the upper 2% of running backs.  But why is their best running back still returning kicks?  Abdullah is not the goal line running back, that appears to be Zach Zenner.  Then there’s Steven Ridley; who’s impossible to figure out.  The most versatile running back on this team is Theo Riddick.  His role is the most defined and was second among running backs in receptions (80) and receiving yards (697 yards).  The only player you mentioned above that I would draft ahead of Abdullah is Jay Ajayi.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10)  I have a few drafts already in the books, and unless I can get some rescheduled…..I may be in 4 back-to-back drafts coming up on Saturday Sept 3rd. Do you have a lot of drafts coming up as well and have you had any crazy packed draft days in the past?

LWOS Mike Randle: Mine are pretty spaced out.  I try to plan that so I have time to write articles.  I like to have three spaced out over a weeks time.  I find that each time my plan is easier to execute.  Its so important to get a feel of where players are going so that you know who you can wait on.

 

Next Week’s Guest….FantasyIPA’s Jonathan Bray

 

 1ST AND 10 WEEK 22 WITH THE FFCOUCHCOACH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 21 WITH THE FANTASY FOOTBALL GEEK
1st AND 10 WEEK 20 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES
1ST AND 10 WEEK 19 WITH FANTAYIPA’s ARTHUR RICHARDSON
1ST AND 10 WEEK 18 WITH QUESTFFL’s MATT DOUGHERTY
1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

1st and 10 Week 22

1st and 10 Week 22 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

1st and 10 Week 22-  August 15th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 22 – Special Guest Writer- the 1 & only…..FFcouchcoach

Be sure to follow The FFcouchcoach on Twitter @FFcouchcoach

and visit FFcouchcoach.com often!

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  WASH TE Jordan Reed is currently ranked higher in ADPs than is CAR TE Greg Olsen. NE WR Julian Edleman is currently ranked higher in ADPs than are WRs Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Larry Fizgerald. The reason I write about TE Reed and WR Edleman is because both are often injured and are unable to play a full 16 game season. Are fantasy football owners putting too little importance on a player’s durability? ( Reed is being ranked above TE G Olsen, who hasn’t missed a game since 2011)

FFcouchcoach:   I love Jordan Reed.  I own him myself in one league… but I traded for him.  In a startup draft, I will more-than-likely never own Reed because of how high his ADP is.  I don’t believe in drafting a TE early because the TE pool is so rich.  Obviously, there’s a drop off in tiers… but it’s more dedicated to hoarding WRs early in drafts.

Out of the 4 WRs mentioned above, the guy I’m drafting – in redraft or dynasty drafts – is Golden Tate.  He’s the man in Detroit, and I think he is going to have one hell of a season.  After that, it really depends on the type of league.  Redraft, I’m taking Larry Fitzgerald next, followed by Baldwin, then Edelman.  In dynasty, I’d go with Baldwin next, then Edelman… then Fitz.

“Injury-prone” is a term thrown around too loosely in fantasy football.  It’s something guys say as filler while they’re speaking. While a player’s injury history should be a factor to consider, I don’t allow it to become my decision-maker.  I’m more concerned with things like ADP value… and situation.  As I stated, I wouldn’t draft Jordan Reed – but it has nothing to do with his injury proneness… it’s because he’s being taken too high in drafts for my liking.  At the same time, I also would not draft Julian Edelman… but it’s only partially because of his age & injuries.  My reason for preferring someone else over him is because he will be without Tom Brady for 4 weeks to open up the 2016 season. Compound that with his injury issues, and I’m staying away.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) Are you in agreement with so many in the fantasy football community, that SF running back Carlos Hyde is “an amazing fit” for the Chip Kelly system?

FFcouchcoach: I’ll begin by disclosing that I am an Eagles fan.  I was one of the bozos chanting “In Chip We Trust” when he came riding in on his Super-Fast-Paced-Offense Stead.  Needless to say… I have a bit of a sour taste left in my mouth.  That being said; the Chip Kelly offense does produce very nice fantasy football running backs.  It’s all about that volume, and the 49ers will be running lots of plays under Chip.  As a result, Carlos Hyde will be fed.  Another 49ers RB to consider later in drafts is Shaun Draughn.  He’s a very nice PPR back, and you can stash him on the back end of your bench for cheap. I wrote more about Shaun Draughn here.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3)  NE TE Rob Gronkowski is the clear #1 tight end in the NFL, and the drop off from #1 to #2 is the biggest gap at any position. Which position has the 2nd biggest drop off and who are the 2 players involved in your decision?

FFcouchcoach:  The WR position in fantasy is extremely deep… and I’d say the transition from tier to tier is the most gradual, making the drop-off not so drastic.  When looking at it, I’d say the next dramatic drop is at the RB position.  When you take a look at the Team FFCC Consensus Dynasty RB Rankings, you’ll see what I mean.  The top 6 RBs are: Gurley, Elliot, Johnson, Bell, Miller, Ingram.  After that, you have Yeldon, Freeman, Hyde, Gio.  The drop off in talent – and in offensive role – is pretty clear.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  The running back situation for the New England Patriots may be the most unpredictable for fantasy football owners on draft day. Take a stab at this backfield and tell me how you think 2016 will shake out between the current roster of Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount, James White, Brandon Bolden and Donald Brown.

FFcouchcoach: I really like Dion Lewis, and I think the Patriots do too.  I can remember watching a game last season where Dion Lewis fumbled twice… and we still saw him play!  That, in my opinion, was huge because similar past instances have shown us that a fumbling RB on a Bill Belichick offense does not step foot onto the field.  Lewis is a nice PPR back, and showed he’s got what it takes to run with the big dogs before suffering a season-ending injury in 2015.  Blount is an OK buy later in drafts.  He is nothing to get excited about, but he’s affordable in drafts, and can be a decent plug-and-play in a pinch.  The problem is; his use is so sporadic, it’s more frustrating to own him than it’s worth.  A guy in New England I really like that no one is really talking about is Tyler Gaffney.  Keep an eye on this kid – and check out his profile on PlayerProfile.  Wowza!

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Pittsburgh has a bye in Week 8. Even though RB LeVeon Bell now has a maximum of playing in 12 games. who are some of the upper echelon running backs that you still rank below Bell?

FFcouchcoach: The most notable guys I have ranked below him are Gio Bernard and T.J. Yeldon.  It’s not because I wouldn’t want to own these 2 – it’s just that Le’Veon Bell is just that damn good (when playing).  That being said… I am avoiding Bell.  This is one of those instances where calling someone injury prone is acceptable, and that’s not even the reason I’m avoiding him.  I’m avoiding him because he is a knucklehead who can’t keep his head on straight.  He’s a rule-breaker, and that could result in a wasted early 1st round selection.  I prefer to stay away from the trouble maker players.  It’s like buying a house in a bad neighborhood, then sinking a ton of money into it in hopes that you can turn around and sell it for a profit.  You will never recover that value… because of outside factors, not because of the house.  It’s an amazing house with all the bells & whistles… but it doesn’t change the fact that you can get robbed at any time.  Bell could be suspended at any time.  Amazing talent… not worth the investment he’ll cost you.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Would the Hall of Fame game fiasco been avoided if Goodell had not been the NFL commissioner? (cancelled on August 7th)

FFcouchcoach: If I were the commish, I would be out there with my shirt off… sloshing a grading rake back & forth yelling “This game is happening, people!!”

Perhaps ole Roger needs to try harder?  Haha, kidding!  I was pretty surprised when the cancellation happened – but I just kinda went on about my business.  Definitely weird… just not sure if it rests squarely on the commish’s shoulders.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) Green Bay and Philadelphia both have a “Bye” week as soon as Week 4 of the NFL regular season. This will mean that they will have to play 13 games in a row after their bye. Is this an advantage, a disadvantage or irrelevant for these two teams?

FFcouchcoach: I don’t think it’s going to matter for the Eagles.  Either way, this team is expected to be pretty bad in 2016.  The Packers are ranked at 32nd (dead last) for Strength of Schedule, and I’d think a Week 4 BYE would have something to do with that.  The Green Bay offense was almost unrecognizable in 2015, and that was largely due to the fact that they lost WR Jordy Nelson for the season – before the season even began.  I’d imagine it’s safe to say that playing 13 straight games makes it harder to remain healthy all season long.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8)  In 2015, I recommended that fantasy football owners avoid RB Darren McFadden like the Bubonic Plague 0f 1347. Thanks to the best O-Line in the NFL, McFadden ended 2015 as the #13 running back in the NFL, and made my recommendation a very bad one. Who in 2015 ( or in previous years) have you missed on with an “avoid” recommendation?

FFcouchcoach: Before the 2015 season began, I can remember making fun of a friend of mine for hanging on to Michael Crabtree – saying that I wouldn’t give him a can of beans for him in a trade.  This was when Crabtree was still on the 49ers.  It appeared as though Crabtree was a fantasy stinker… a let-down.  Crabtree signed on with the Raiders, and he became a valuable asset.  It happens!  Womp womp…

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) The curse of the Madden is well known, and of the past Fantasy Football Index magazine covers ( QB A Luck, QB P Manning, RB Adrian Peterson, TE Gronk. and RB Arian Foster ) only Manning has not had a disappointing season. My question to you is….do you believe in a jinx?

FFcouchcoach: Naa, I don’t believe in the mumbo jumbo.  If I can get my studs where I prefer them in a draft… I’m jumping on them!  I don’t care about any coincidental “curse”.  Let’s not forget: football is an extremely violent game.  We have 22 super athletes running at full speed towards one another & colliding… for hours on end… every week.  There are going to be injuries, and the cover of some game has zero to do with it.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10)  How much will DET QB Matthew Stafford miss “Megatron?”

FFcouchcoach: I think The Lions have brought in some really nice pieces for Matt Stafford to continue his success in the NFL – and for him to be a valuable fantasy football QB in 2016.  Like everyone else, I love Megatron… he was amazing.  But for the first time, this offense will not revolve around one guy.  I think Calvin’s absence will allow the ball to get spread around more, and Stafford’s stats won’t skip a beat.  Golden Tate is a monster after the catch, and the signing of Marvin Jones gives them a very reliable 2nd target.  The RBs are coming along nicely, and Eric Ebron seems to have escaped a big-deal injury.  I’m kind’ve excited to see what the 2016 Detroit Lions offense will do.

 

Next Week’s Guest….Mike Randle/ Fantasy Football Writer for LWOS

 

1ST AND 10 WEEK 21 WITH THE FANTASY FOOTBALL GEEK
1st AND 10 WEEK 20 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES
1ST AND 10 WEEK 19 WITH FANTAYIPA’s ARTHUR RICHARDSON
1ST AND 10 WEEK 18 WITH QUESTFFL’s MATT DOUGHERTY
1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

1st and 10 Week 21

1st and 10 Week 21 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

1st and 10 Week 21-  August 8th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 21 – Special Guest Writer- DFSArmy.com’s Kevin E, aka The Fantasy Football Geek

DFSARMY

Be sure to follow The Fantasy Football Geek on Twitter @FFootballGeek

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  Denver likely won’t be dominating the AFC West in 2016, and Green Bay is favored again in the NFC North. Which divisions do you anticipate having the biggest changes happening in the upcoming season?

The Fantasy Football Geek: This season the AFC South is really interesting. I expect the Colts to show major improvement over their injury marred 2015 season. The Texans, Titans and Jags all look like they have significantly improved as well. That division should be up for grabs.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) Are you a “Sunday Gameday Bar Guy”…or are you a “Mancave NFL Ticket Guy”, and what makes your Sundays special? ( my mancave, actually named the “Manpit” by my wife 15 years ago, has 6 television sets!)

The Fantasy Football Geek:  I’ve always been a mancave type of guy. You just can’t pay complete attention at a bar with all the distractions particularly on Sundays where there are multiple games happening simultaneously. I’ll have redzone network going full blast alongside a second screen with the game I’m most interested in.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) What does your crystal ball say the headlines will be at the end of 2016 for the Cleveland Browns, and will QB/WR Terrelle Pryor be in one of those headlines?

The Fantasy Football Geek: Unfortunately, I do not see Pryor in a positive headline this season. More likely will be the resurgence of the RG3 to Gordon connection. These two guys played college ball together and now they are reunited in what will be a sort of redemption season for the duo.  Cleveland added another WR weapon, Corey Coleman, in the 1st round of the draft. With Coleman, Gordon, Barndige at TE and a surging Duke Jr at RB I think this offense has scary good potential. 

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  What’s harder for you to deal with…..a fun, successful NFL season coming to an end, or waiting for a new one to start?

The Fantasy Football Geek:  Between writing for my website and managing multiple season long teams, and investing tons of time and energy in to daily fantasy football I generally find the end of a season bitter sweet. Sad that the action is over but also looking forward to some well earned down time. By the time June rolls around I’m itching for the action again so definitely waiting for a new season is tougher for me.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Even if it is highly unlikely, tell me a few NFL players that you would like to see have an unpredictably great 2016 season?

The Fantasy Football Geek: I’ll go back to RG3 from the last answer. The weapons are in place for him to have success. Hopefully the past season humbled him and helped him focus. Another guy I like as a super sleeper break out candidate is Patriots WR Chris Hogan. The Patriots brought Hogan in to be the starter at outside WR. They haven’t made much effort to acquire anyone else at the position. That tells me that Belichick believes in him and that’s good enough for me. I’m making sure to stash Hogan on my fantasy bench in all my leagues.


Utter-Fantasy #6) What impact will new acquisition WR Anquon Boldin have on the Detroit Lion’s team, and how does Boldin now affect the production of WRs Golden Tate and Marvin Jones?

The Fantasy Football Geek: I thought Jones was being overrated and overdrafted a bit prior to the Boldin acquisition. Jones was the WR2 for a while with the Bengals and he did nothing. I would not trust him as a WR3 at this point. Boldin is a nonfactor for me.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) The 5 worst O-lines projected for 2016 are Kansas City, Detroit, LA Rams, Jacksonville and finally Seattle. Does this information change your rankings for any running backs from these 5 teams? Any of the 5 quarterbacks?

The Fantasy Football Geek:  I don’t buy in to those types of predictions. Instead, a good way to consider RB’s is to look at opposing defenses and strength of schedule. The NFC West schedule is rough this season. Initially because all the NFC West teams feature solid run defenses. Secondarily because they face the AFC East which also features some tough run defenses. Looking at those situations individually:

KC – QB Alex Smith is a situational spot starter at best for fantasy purposes and Charles is somewhat matchup proof.

Detroit – QB Matt Stafford is off the QB1 radar, Abdullah is in RB4 territory

Rams – This one is interesting. They face a brutal schedule as far as the run defenses they will face. That’s more acceptable with a player like David Johnson because he is highly utilized in the passing game. For Gurley I think this is a slight negative that drops him a smidge in my rankings.

Jacksonville – They didn’t have much of a running attack last season and I don’t expect that to change. That’s good news for Bortles and his pass catchers because they tend to score almost exclusively through the air. They also play in a high scoring division so I’m looking for big things from this offense from a fantasy production standpoint.

Seattle – Wilson, like Cam Newton, is a special player with the ability to not only negate a pass rush, but to punish teams that get too aggressive by utilizing his scrambling abilities. I love this offense as a whole and would not shy away from any of them.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) This year ARI Larry Fitzgerald will be 33 ( August 31st). In 2015, he led the team in receiving with 1215 yards and 9 touchdowns. Fitzgerald was followed by John Brown ( 1003 yards and 7 touchdowns) and Michael Floyd  (849 yards and 6 touchdowns). Assuming QB Carson Palmer can stay healthy and have another tremendous season, will 2016 end with Fitz on top again, followed by Brown then Floyd?

The Fantasy Football Geek:  If you look back to last season, Fitzy did the most damage when Floyd was out or hobbled. Palmer loves to spread the ball around but I’d reverse the order as far as fantasy production for this season with Floyd topping the list followed by Brown and then Fitzy.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) In redraft leagues for 2016, I am not high on not Matt Jones, Melvin Gordon, Jay Ajayi, Dion Lewis, DeMarco Murray or Ameer Abdullah. Are there any names on this list who you think I should be higher on?

The Fantasy Football Geek: I suppose that depends on what your definition of “high on” is. Looking at this list I see a ton of redraft potential as compared to where some of these guys are currently being drafted. Matt Jones doesn’t have much competition in Washington right now, if any. For players that employ a zero RB strategy he could make for a decent player with top 10 upside in the later rounds. Lewis is another player that should make for an acceptable flex play in PPR formats. You could do worse than Abdullah as the second player off your bench as well. We still don’t know what he will become.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Last December I wrote that in 2016…Dallas owner Jerry Jones would break the bank ( one of his) to sign a dependable backup quarterback for QB Tony Romo. With only rookie Dak Prescott and journeyman Kellen Moore on the roster behind Romo, it’s safe to say my prediction has not come to fruition. Not that I mind, but is Jones setting himself up for a repeat of 2016…seriously?

The Fantasy Football Geek: Nick Foles is out there right now and it wouldn’t shock me to see him in a Dallas uniform at some point soon. As much as I love T-Rom as a player, with all the injury issues he can’t be trusted to make it through a season healthy.

 

Next Week’s Guest….the one and only…..FFcouchcoach

 

1st AND 10 WEEK 20 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES
1ST AND 10 WEEK 19 WITH FANTAYIPA’s ARTHUR RICHARDSON
1ST AND 10 WEEK 18 WITH QUESTFFL’s MATT DOUGHERTY
1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

1st and 10 Week 20

1st and 10 Week 20 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

1st and 10 Week 20-  August 1st, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 20 – Special Guest Writer-DFF’s Michael Hughes…an all-time favorite guest for Utter-Fantasy

Be sure to follow Michael on Twitter @thatshiftybloke

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  In Week 5 of 2015, vs Washington…Atlanta WR Julio Jones recovers a RB Devonta Freeman fumble in the end zone for the first Falcons touchdown. Most fantasy football leagues scored this as special teams TD, while others gave it to Julio as a touchdown that he could use in Week 5 for his fantasy football stats. How should this have been called, and how was it called in your leagues?

DFF’s Michael Hughes: It is very ironic that you bring this up, because I was both a beneficiary and a loser on this play. In one of my leagues, I did not get the touchdown points for Julio and that cost me the entire week, so you could imagine how I felt about that particular scoring set up. I did confirm with the commissioner and it was specifically delineated in the rules that such a play would not result in offensive points. As a result, I licked my wounds and accepted my fate. In another league, the scoring was set up to provide for the recovering player’s offensive touchdown and I did receive those points. As you would expect, though, it ironically made no difference and I lost that week by a solid amount. That being said, I do believe that you should receive points that are commensurate with the player’s actual stat sheet that week. So, although it may not be a perfect way to handle every situation, I do believe that if a player on the offensive side of the ball recovers a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, he should be awarded six points for a touchdown. No sour grapes here!


Utter-Fantasy #2) For fantasy football owners who have already had fantasy drafts, the PITT RB LeVeon Bell suspension was a huge blow to their team. Was this totally unexpected? No, not totally. Tell me 5 running backs and 5 wide receivers who you think are not necessarily the best fantasy players, but who are the “safest”.

DFF’s Michael Hughes: Yet again, you are absolutely reading my mind. I was recently in a start up dynasty football draft and had the opportunity to draft Le’Veon Bell in the middle second round and I decidedly passed on the opportunity. For me it was all about risk and truth be told, I am seeing too many negative trends for this guy – injuries, drug suspensions, attitude issues… On the other side of the spectrum, there are definitely some players in the NFL at every position who provide a level of comfort in their actions and demeanor that arm their fantasy owners with a type of security. At the running back position, there is obviously a lot of volatility and last year that point was made very clear. I think you can point to your best to consistantly play it straight up and not bring about off field issues, but don’t forget that injuries are an unfortunate part of fantasy football. My top five “safe” running backs has to start with Danny Woodhead in San Diego because you know what you will get with him. The last few years have seen Woodhead score a lot, and I believe that he will continue with that kind of success and you know that you’re getting a reliable player who does not cause trouble. I also look to Duke Johnson in Cleveland, Adrian Peterson in Minnesota (even though he has had his fair share of shoes, you know that he is going to be a workhorse delivering significant fantasy points), Doug Martin in Tampa Bay, and Mark Ingram in New Orleans.

On the receiving side of the ball, I think the perfect picture of a safety blanket with explosive, high upside would be Julian Edelman with the New England Patriots. Edelman consistently puts up points because of his catches, yards, and touchdowns, and has always been reliable for both his team and your fantasy team. The other reliable fantasy receivers are guys who you can count on to catch a number of passes each game for a decent output of yards with the prospect of at least one touchdown: AJ Green in Cincinnati, Keenan Allen in San Diego, all three receivers in Arizona, and Allen Hurns in Jacksonville.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) I’m listing 5 NFL players below. Please write a one line statement for each, as to why they were NFL busts.

DFF’s Michael Hughes:

1) Trent Richardson- (2012 NFL Draft- 1st round- 3rd overall) ….MCH: Trent Richardson was a bust in the NFL because he did not work hard enough and replaced his work ethic with takeout food.

2) Cordarrelle Patterson- (2014 NFL Draft, 1st round- selected 29th overall) ….MCH: Disclaimer, as a Viking fan I still believe that Patterson will eventually do something of value. Despite that disclaimer, Cordarrelle Patterson failed in the NFL because he did not commit to his craft and ultimately has not and seemingly will not master the route tree.

3) E J Manuel- (2011 NFL Draft, 1st round selection- 16th overall) ….MCH: EJ Manuel was a bust in the NFL because he was drafted to a team that did not truly give him the opportunity to succeed. Management was not supportive either.

4) Bishop Sankey- (2014 NFL Draft, 2nd round- selected before Jeremy Hill and Carlos Hyde) ….MCH: Bishop Sankey was an NFL bust because, as the first running back taken in that year’s rookie draft, the height and expectation was way too high and there was no way he could realistically deliver. At this point, even if he has a good day, everybody will expect it to be a fluke.


5) Chris Ponder- (2011 NFL Draft, 1st round selection- 12th overall) ….MCH: Christian Ponder was just not that good. Objectively speaking, and taking the fan out of me, Ponder did not have confidence in his own stuff and it was evident in his decision-making, or lack thereof, and in his reaction to panic in situations when he was being chased.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  In 2015, NYJ WRs Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker were the most prolific WR duo in the NFL. Who will be the the best NFL WR duo in the NFL in 2016…AND… the 2nd best?

DFF’s Michael Hughes: I believe that in 2016 you can look to the Jacksonville Jaguars to give you a top wide receiver pairing in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. That pair was electric last year, and even though they may not put up the exact same numbers I do believe they’re going to be consistently productive together. My selection for second-best pair of wide receivers on the same team this upcoming year would have to go to Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin with the Chargers. Philip Rivers always delivers the ball to his top targets and Travis Benjamin proved last year that he is a reliable WR one or two on the roster.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) If the NFL forced teams to start the regular season NEXT SUNDAY, which team would be in the most trouble because of the question marks that the team currently has, and who would be in 2nd most trouble. ( Lets skip NY Jets as an answer….we know the QB situation makes them one team)

DFF’s Michael Hughes: UPDATE: The Jets signed Fitzpatrick as of the time of this writing, so their issues are a little less glaring.

I believe that the team who would be most prejudiced and least prepared should the season start in a week would be the Miami Dolphins. Dolphins recently hired Adam Gase as head coach and I genuinely believe that team will need some time to mesh together and truly internalize the new offensive system that their recently hired coach seeks to employ. That is not to say that the Dolphins will be bad this year, but I do think they will greatly benefit from some preseason time together with one another and the new offense. Cleveland would be 2nd. HC Hue Jackson has been reluctance to fully commit to RGIII. ( Bonus- Denver’s QB Mark Sanchez can’t even beat out Trevor Siemian for the team’s starting job. They’ll need thatd efense more than ever.)

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Here are a few names of quarterbacks that started NFL games in 2015. Will any of them ever be considered a starting QB again?
Brian Hoyer
Josh McCown
Nick Foles
J Manziel
Brandon Weeden

DFF’s Michael Hughes: I think that Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel are as good as gone in the NFL. I do not believe they will get a second chance and I do not think they are good enough to make anything of a potential second chance. Nick Foles was cut earlier this week and is likely going to resurface as somebody’s backup quarterback – that seems to be where he will remain for the rest of his career. Josh McCown can still start if Robert Griffin does not impress in Cleveland, so I do think the counter stands a chance. For what it’s worth, as long as the Bears are willing to put up with Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer is nothing more than an injury replacement for Chicago.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) CLEV WR Josh Gordon is suspended for the first 4 games of the regular NFL season, but he will be reinstated and able to play starting in Week 5. That is over 10 weeks from now. In a recent Twitter poll I conducted, only 23% of the fantasy football community think that Gordon will keep his nose clean until Week 5. How do you think he fares?

DFF’s Michael Hughes:  I personally and sincerely hope that he takes this opportunity to heart and makes a change for himself and his family. I thoroughly enjoyed his on-field exploits a few seasons ago when he ended the year as the top receiver. I can’t promise that he has learned his lesson, or that he has learned anything at all, but I believe that this will be the last opportunity he will ever get in the NFL. On the back of that assumption, I feel he will make the most of it and stay clean, sober, and motivated. Dear Cleveland, I’m sorry in advance if this is a jinx!

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) SD QB Philip Rivers said one goal of the 2016 season is to get TE Antonio Gates at least eight touchdowns to break Tony Gonzalez’s tight end touchdowns record. 8 TDS would be the 2nd most touchdown receptions for Gates since 2010…if he can get that many. I do not think he can. How many do you think Gates can get in 2016 at 36 years old?

DFF’s Michael Hughes:  It really would be a great story if he could get 8 touchdowns and break the record this year, although it may take two years. I am in agreement with you that he will not get eight this year because the opportunities will be fewer simply due to the fact that other teams will recognize his role in red zone plays and will likely double cover him to prevent him from scoring more times than not. I think a realistic number is 5 or 6 touchdowns this year again due to the fact that he will be covered very well in the red zone and I do not believe he currently possesses the wheels necessary to break long touchdown runs from anywhere beyond the 20. 

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) I asked this question to QuestFFL’s Matt Dougherty 2 weeks ago, (and with preseason just around the corner),  I think it’s an important one to ask you as well. What do you think is essential for fantasy football owners to pay attention to, in the 4 preseason games?

DFF’s Michael Hughes: This is a great question and I’m very happy to have the opportunity to share some of what I look for in the preseason games with your audience. Last year was a great example of the need to scout lesser-known running backs. One glaring example for me was watching Fitzgerald Touissant in Pittsburgh because he may, in the near future, play a significant role as a back up or third-down running back. Last season he showed me glimpses of significant promise prior to the beginning of the regular season. You can never know enough about a team’s running back stable!

Obviously, in most preseason games you will not see many of the household name NFL stars and are likely to be watching aspiring back ups or practice squad players. However, you can really put yourself ahead of the game by paying attention to those who are on the roster bubble and those who are lower on the depth chart. One of the best examples of this took place a few years ago when the New York Jets were on HBO’s hard knocks. When the Jets played the Giants in the Snoopy Bowl, it was hard not to notice Victor Cruz as a burgeoning star in the league. As it turned out, he became a very valuable fantasy asset. What I would recommend is reviewing the teams depth chart prior to the game so you spend more time watching the tape and less time fumbling through notes about who each player is.

The last piece of advice I would give is to monitor relationships between backup players, like second string quarterbacks and who the receivers /tight ends are that he has formed chemistry with. The benefit to this process is that you can capitalize if a starter should go down. For instance, a few years back in Philadelphia, Mark Sanchez, then the second string quarterback, and Jordan Matthews the receiver from Vanderbilt, had a lot of chemistry in the preseason. Later in the year when Sanchez started a number of games, it was clear that he had an affinity for Jordan Matthews and your preseason knowledge would have allowed you to capitalize on that chemistry.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Have you joined any new fantasy football leagues for 2016? How many leagues will you be in this year, and which ones are your favorites?

DFF’s Michael Hughes: If you know me at all, you know all too well that I cannot stop adding new teams to my portfolio! This is partly because fantasy football is one of the best past times and hobbies you could have, but also because we as owners of multiple teams definitely look to diversify certain players in certain positions to make things more interesting. As of right now, I will be in 11 dynasty fantasy football leagues and two redraft leagues at the beginning of the 2016 season. Two of my favorite leagues are where I am playing against some of the bigger analysts and personalities in the fantasy football arena. Without question though, my favorite league is the one where I took over a middle-of-the-road team and went to the championship last year. There are few things better than reviewing all of the trades and waiver wire requisitions that you made during the year that helps you overcome disappointing weeks and ultimately brings home the championship!

 

Next Week’s Guest….DFSArmy.com’s Kevin E, aka The Fantasy Football Geek

 

1ST AND 10 WEEK 19 WITH FANTAYIPA’s ARTHUR RICHARDSON
1ST AND 10 WEEK 18 WITH QUESTFFL’s MATT DOUGHERTY
1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

 

1st and 10 Week 19

1st and 10 Week 19 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

1st and 10 Week 19-  July 25th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 19 -Special Guest Writer: Arthur Richardson…Co-Owner of Fantasyipa.com.

Special thanks to Arthur – Be sure to follow him on Twitter @Fantasy_IPA

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  In 2015, the Jacksonville Jaguars had the 6th worst defense in the NFL. In the 2016 NFL Draft, they selected 4 defensive players and signed DE Malik Jackson, FS Tashaun Gipson, and CB Prince Amukamara. Are they automatically a better defense starting 2016, or will this side of the team take time to jell and have to prove that they are an improved defense?

FantasyIPA’s Arthur Richardson: I think that the influx of talent (including a rookie class full of upside) and it being Bradley’s 4th year with the team, that it can only mean positive things for the Jaguars.  It may take a couple of games, but I really see the Jags as having a chance to ascend at least to the upper half of defenses if not higher.  While there will be some time needed to establish chemistry (and health will play a big factor)… I do point to the Jaguars as the team most likely take the biggest leap as a defense in 2016.  So yes, I am on board with a big year from the Jags Defense and am even grabbing them as a flyer DST2 in Best Ball leagues.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) If you could ask RB Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, and/or Jim Brown a question, what would it be?

FantasyIPA’s Arthur Richardson: I would ask Barry Sanders about his true passions or lack thereof as it pertains to the NFL.  I find it amazing that one of the most talented players in history would be willing to give up Professional Football early, in that sense… I often wonder what it is that he is passionate about and/or what took his passion away from the NFL.

I would ask Walter Payton how it felt to become the all-time leader in rushing and compare/contrast with his accomplishments as a family man.  He’s one of my favorite players of all time and it’s really nice to know he was charitable and grounded with strong family roots.

Jim Brown is tough because he has played football, been a political voice and has also had a lot of Hollywood moments…. literally.  I would give him an open forum to discuss whatever he wanted and see where he took it!!

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) TE Ben Watson is in nearly every top 12 statistical category for 2015 tight ends. I realize that the Baltimore TE depth chart is crowded, but he is currently on top of it, and yet Watson’s ADP isn’t even in the top 20. Are fantasy football owners sleeping on a possible sleeper?

FantasyIPA’s Arthur Richardson: I think we could be sleeping, but looking at the tight ends going ahead of him, I can only see 2-3 that I “might” question.  So I think he may be right where he should be as far as ADP, given the lack of a track record beyond Brees and the TE friendly offense in New Orleans. More importantly the extremely muddled offensive situations that are not only around the Tight ends but the running backs and wide receivers in Baltimore.  While I wouldn’t be surprised if he outperforms his ADP, I am not really targeting him.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  New HOU QB Brock Osweiler- I want you to play both optimist and pessimist. Tell me why QB Osweiler will have a great season in 2016, and tell me why QB Osweiler will have a bad season in 2016.

FantasyIPA’s Arthur Richardson:  Optimist– **“Brock can throw 70 yards on his back”.  I am pretty big on infrastructure and think that Bill O’brien and his system could be a great combination for any young quarterback.  Houston made a sizable investment to bring in an unproven, if not slightly proven commodity in Osweiler.  He will be given every opportunity to succeed and will definitely have the backing of the front office.
**Quote: Doug Bowles-Fantasy IPA Podcast 2016

Pessimist– While Brock Osweiler has the physical tools to become a great QB, my biggest concern is whether he has the mental side of the game down.   The “Belichick/Patriots” offensive scheme which O’brien is implementing in Houston has been known to render physical talents into bench players that could not pick up it up. Couple that with the fact that Osweiler is in a new system, that he has not had long stretches in production and that he had a propensity to hold onto the ball too long raises red flags for me.  It could take “a while” for this offense to become second nature and in today’s NFL we do not always have “a while”.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) In 2015, RB LeSean McCoy dominated the Buffalo backfield with 1187 total yards, but he did not dominate in touchdowns for a Buffalo running back. RB Karlos Williams got that honor with 9 TDs ( McCoy 5 TDs). Williams also had 613 total yards to go with his TDs, and was the #32 RB for 2015. With McCoy one year older, can you see one of the other Buffalo running backs  dominating the Buffalo backfield in 2016 in both total yards and touchdowns?

FantasyIPA’s Arthur Richardson: I definitely don’t see Williams dominating Buffalo’s backfield, especially after recent struggles with weight and more importantly the 4 game suspension.  I still see Shady Mccoy as being the clear cut feature back in this offense for 2016 regardless of Williams’ status.  I think the main question now would be who is next in line.  Mike Gillislee actually showed very well in spot duty last season and the Rookie Jonathan Williams could factor in.  If I am drafting today, I would grab Gillislee as the handcuff, but would monitor the Rookie’s performance and be on the lookout for Buffalo to bring in a veteran.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Despite his post-season heroics ( 7 for 145 yards and 2 Tds in the 2015 Divisional Round game vs Arizona)…GB WR Jeff Janis is getting very little love from the fantasy football community, in ADP and in mock drafts. Considering the Packers high octane offense, and GB WR Davante Adams propensity to drop passes, why aren’t  fantasy football owners believers in Janis?

FantasyIPA’s Arthur Richardson: Well there are multiple things keeping Owners apprehensive
·         Owners have been swinging and missing on Janis for a couple of years now
·         Very small sample size of productive games
·         Very crowded receiving corps in Green Bay
·         Repeated reports of inconsistency and inability to pick up the mental side of the game

With all of these issues it makes sense that Janis’ ADP is pretty low.  I tend to own him in quite a few leagues at his current price.  So while I understand the reasons for his ADP, mark me down as someone targeting him at that price and hoping for a 4th year emergence ala Jordy Nelson!

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) Every year the NFL talks about reducing the number of preseason games (4) for a multiple of reasons, but apparently the owners are making too much money on them to ever move forward with the change. Do you think the NFL should reduce the number of preseason games to 3?

FantasyIPA’s Arthur Richardson: I don’t really think that they should change the preseason format. I know that some of the games do not feature much playing time from the starters, but that will also be shaken up if we drop a game. I do, however, think that the general public is right that the money is a main driver.  From a coaching perspective, I  imagine it is beneficial to see all 4 preseason games to aid them in choosing the correct players to roster. Each game translates to things like game prep, practice reps, wider outcomes based on opponents….. From a consumer point, I think 1 less game would be fine, but from a global perspective I think the current format is fine.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) 2015 Post Season Conference Games- Denver beat New England 20-18. Carolina whipped Arizona 40-14, sending them to Super Bowl vs Denver. The Broncos won SB 50 24-10. What surprised you most about how all this played out?

FantasyIPA’s Arthur Richardson: On an overall scale, I don’t think I was really too surprised.  I have heard as long as I can remember that “Defense Wins Championships”.  And this was just another example of that adage being proved out.  If I was surprised by anything it was just how dominant the pass rush from the Broncos was and how it not only physically put a stamp on the game, but mentally seemed to always have the Broncos in the driver’s seat.  I think the secondary deserves a ton of credit as well.  If you can get to Brady as often as they did, your secondary has to reduce the opportunities in a quick strike horizontal offense. I think the Pass Rush will always be remembered, but the Defense as a whole was pretty unbelievable for the eventual Champs.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Only 4 tight ends had 1000+ receiving yards in 2016. Only 3 had double digit touchdowns and of the top 38 tight ends from 2015, 23 had 3 or less TD receptions. Why is it taking so long for NFL teams to discover the tight end as an offensive weapon, like New England and Carolina for example, have done for years?  ( TE Darren Fells lead Arizona tight ends with ONLY 311 receiving yards in 2015!)

FantasyIPA’s Arthur Richardson: I agree that many NFL teams have been slow to utlilize their tight end as an offensive weapon, like Arizona which you pointed out. I think there a few reasons for this. 1) Not every team has an incredible athlete at the position that can be a large, quick dependable target over the middle making contested catches, like the Pats and Panthers have. 2) It’s depends on what the head coach and offensive coordinator are comfortable with calling….i.e. preferring the way that receivers can separate, leading to more uncontested catches and which theoretically should result in more success. 3) By the very nature/definition of the TE position, they are much more relied on as a blocker.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) ( The following question happened last year to a friend of mine in one of our leagues, so I wanted to ask you) ….Have you ever thought after a fantasy football draft, that yours was the worst team, only to have it win everything?

FantasyIPA’s Arthur Richardson: I have definitely come out of a draft feeling like it was a terrible draft only to field a very good team that year.  I would also say that the other side has happened…coming out of a draft where you love your team and it ends up bombing.  The main takeaway is that there are many different factors that go into Fantasy production and you have to be nimble.  Injury, under the radar emergence, suspensions…..are all things that change player value, you have to be on your toes and ready to react.  Fantasy Football is a week to week game.

I preach max effort no matter what state your team is in.  Drafting is important but waivers, trades, starting the right players are just a few other  factors that will determine success or failure.  “All you have to do is get to the dance, once in, anything can happen!”

 

Next Week’s Guest….1st and 10 alum DFF’s Michael Hughes

1ST AND 10 WEEK 18 WITH QUESTFFL’s MATT DOUGHERTY
1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

 

1st and 10 Week 18

1st and 10 Week 18 by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy football insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which ones might carry major fantasy football implications.

Every Monday, at approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment of “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

Week 18-  July 18th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 18 Special Guest Writer- GuestFFL.com’s Matt Dougherty

Special thanks to Matt and be sure to follow him @FFLSFantasy and  @QuestFFL

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) Here is a Dynasty Quarterback Ranking that I got off of a popular  fantasy football website. Please comment on what you do and don’t agree with, regarding to the QBs on this list and where each is ranked.

1. IND Andrew Luck
2. GB Aaron Rodgers
3. CAR Cam Newton
4. SEA Russell Wilson
5. OAK Derek Carr
6. TB Jameis Winston
7. JACK Blake Bortles
8. TENN Marcus Mariota
9. DET Matthew Stafford
10. SD Philip Rivers

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: The top 3 QB’s are interchangeable and I would not fault anyone for taking any one of them as the first QB off the board, but Newton would be my #1 QB.  45 total TD’s in 2015 and that was with Ted Ginn and Jericho Cotchery as his top weapons.  Now he has a healthy Kelvin Benjamin, a developing Devin Funchess and a chip on his shoulder after his Super Bowl performance and post game meltdown.

Luck would come in as a close second and is a major buy low candidate after an abysmal 2015 season.  Expect a big bounce back season in 2015 and I love the young weapons he has around him with Hilton, Moncrief and Dorsett.

Rodgers is Mr. Consistent and you can always pencil him for over 30 TD’s and has Jordy Nelson coming back from injury.  At 32 years old, I would take Newton and Luck over Rodgers.  

I don’t have any issues 4-8 as all 5 QB’s will be great #1 options for the next 10 years.  Although Carr scares me a bit after his 2nd half performance in 2015 and would feel better taking a couple of the guys like Mariota, Bortles and Winston over Carr. In the final 5 games in 2015, Carr had a QB rating of 71.1 with a 8 TD’s and 7 INT’s.  

I expect a huge season from Rivers.  Travis Benjamin is a great addition and will put up some good numbers in that offense.  With Keenan Allen returning from injury and Antonio Gates back for another season, Rivers will easily surpass 30 TD’s and is a reliable #1 QB.  At 34, his age keeps him down in the rankings.  

I have a huge problem with Stafford in the top 10. Post Megatron, there is no way I trust him as my #1 fantasy QB. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones do not inspire much confidence.  I would take guys like Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, and even the oldies but goodies Drew Brees and Tom Brady, even with the suspension  over Stafford.  

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) Is Chip Kelly’s 1st year as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers doomed, if he is counting on either Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick to be his starting quarterback in 2016?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: Yes! I don’t expect either of them to be a long-term solution in SF and expect a musical chairs at QB this season.  In a tough NFC west, this should be a rebuilding season and a top 5 draft pick in 2017, where Kelly can grab his QB of the future.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) In 2015 San Francisco, Minnesota and St. Louis were last in the NFL in passing -respectively. Can you make a case for 1 or more of these improving enough to stay out of the bottom 3 again in 2016?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: Minnesota will make a big move up those rankings. QB Teddy Bridgewater should continue to progress as a passer and I expect the coaching staff to open up the playbook for him this season.  I also love the weapons Minnesota is putting  around him.  Teams will continue to stack the box with AP still a stud and the addition of Treadwell, who will contribute immediately, will help the passing game.  Diggs and Rudolph should continue to improve as well.

As stated above, I see no hope in SF this year.  Kelly will run Hyde into the ground as there are virtually playmakers on the offensive side.  The same goes for the Rams, with a likely rookie starting QB.  It will be the Todd Gurley show.  Jared Goff is someone to stash on your roster in dynasty leagues, however.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  Preseason football is just a couple weeks away. What do you think is important for fantasy football owners to pay attention to, in the 4 preseason games?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: I try not to pay too much attention to pre-season numbers, especially when it comes to established players that you will be relying on as starters during the season.  Players will be rested and coaches will keep play calling close to the vest.  Pay attention to what kind of reps backups and rookies are getting in pre-season games, as this is a good indicator of where they may end up on the depth charts.

(Utter-Fantasy: I like to see the 1st string O-Lines)

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) In 2015, TENN TE Delanie Walker had a league leading 94 receptions, while none of the other Titan receivers even topped 36 receptions ( H Douglas/ K Wright both had 36). WR Dorial Green-Beckham only had 32 catches in 2015. In his 2nd year, will QB Marcus Mariota be more successful in spreading the ball around to his offensive weapons? Also, what kind of receiving stats do you see TE D Walker, WR DGB, WR K Wright and Rishard Matthews ending the 2016 season with?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: Mariota will continue to develop as a passer and his passing stats should reflect this.  The addition of Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray will help open up the passing game for Tennessee and Mariota.  While I expect Walker to once again put up top 10 TE numbers, 94 catches will be tough to match with the weapons Tennessee has added and the development of WR’s like DGB.  DGB showed glimpses of the star that many think he will be the last half of 2015 with two 100 yard games out of the last 6.  1000 yards is not of the question for DGB.  Matthews and Wright could be a decent flex option in PPR leagues but their production will be inconsistent and their ceilings will be limited with the number of weapons Tennessee has.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Do you think a player like TB WR Mike Evans can dramatically improve his receiving abilities and concentration ( most drops in 2015 by a wide out), in only one off-season?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: I do and I expect Evans to have a huge year.  At only 22, and going into the magical 3rd year for a WR, I expect a big leap and Evans should not have a problem getting rid of the dropsies. With Winston continuing to develop and the Bucs also improving, I expect double digit TD’s and over 80 catches.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) An NFL team may often have a terrible losing record, but still provide great players for fantasy football owners. The New Orleans Saints ( 7-9 in 2015) are a good example. Of the 14 defensive players selected in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL draft, who are you expecting to help fantasy football owners the most in leagues that score individual defensive players?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: If you are looking for immediate production, Joey Bosa of the Chargers should rack up the tackle total.  For long-term production, Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack are the players to own if you are willing to be patient and have the roster room available to wait for them to recover from significant injuries.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) I have written that I thought Robert Griffin III could resurrect his career in 2016, if given the starting job in the preseason. However, looking at the upcoming NFL schedule, the Browns have 5 of their first 7 games on the road, and the 2 home games are against Baltimore and New England. A rough start will likely crush RG3’s fragile confidence, so I am back tracking on my earlier prediction. Good idea, based on the schedule?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: To go along with a fragile confidence, RG3 also has a very fragile body and I would be shocked if he makes it out of the first half alive. I would avoid him at all costs, especially with the price tag still a bit inflated with owners hoping he can replicate his rookie year performance.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) I recently published an article entitled “10 Players Getting No Respect” and on that list was JACK QB Blake Bortles. A few of my readers, who’s comments I very much welcome, disagreed with Bortles being on the list. They feel like he is already getting all the respect that he deserves in rankings and mock drafts. Which side of this subject are you leaning and why?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty:  I need to see another year of production from Bortles before I can give him the proper respect that a QB coming off a 35 TD season deserves.  With Jacksonville playing from behind so much in 2015, his TD stats are a bit inflated and I expect those totals to regress some in 2016.  With Jacksonville loaded with young offensive talent in Robinson, Hurns and Thomas, Bortles is set up for long-term successes.  I just need to see one more season before I am completely sold.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) As the commissioner of over 300 fantasy football leagues, many of which are “dynasty leagues”, what advice would give 1st year fantasy football owners starting in this type of formatted league?

GuestFFL.com Matt Dougherty: Study up!  Dynasty is a different animal than redraft leagues.  Review expert dynasty rankings, ADP and look at prior drafts on the site you are joining. Also, make sure you review the league scoring thoroughly before drafting.  PPR vs. non-PPR leagues are completely different drafting strategy.

 

Next Week’s Guest….IPA’s Arthur Richardson

 

1ST AND 10 Week 17 WITH TFA’S JENNIFER SMITH
1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

 

10 Players Getting No Respect

10 Players Getting No Respect by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

In less than a month, NFL fans will finally get to see some action when the 2016 preseason kicks off on Sunday, Aug. 7, in Canton, Ohio…the Green Bay Packers face the Indianapolis Colts in the Hall of Fame Game. Fantasy football fanatics are getting excited, and mock drafts and rankings are as abundant as campaign yard signs. Many people, including myself, have already participated in actually drafts, and are looking forward to more. With completed drafts, mock drafts and rankings, one can already get an idea who is expected to do well this upcoming season, and who is not.

This article showcases 10 NFL players that are currently getting little RESPECT from the NFL and fantasy community. They may end up being strong ‘sleepers” in 2016, so perhaps fantasy football owners should revisit their preconceived opinions on these players.

#1- WR Anquan Boldin– “Oo Baby…What you want”…if not this sure-handed receiver on your team, especially if you have young wide outs who need mentoring. Why this guy is still a free agent is a mystery to me. Like his former teammate WR Larry Fitzgerald, Boldin is the consummate professional. In 2014, Boldin was the #23 wide receiver in the NFL, and in 2015, he was #43. His stats for 2015 were better than MINN Stefon Diggs, PHIL Rishad Matthews, NE Danny Amendola and WASH DeSean Jackson (who all currently have jobs).

#2- WR Doug Baldwin– From Week 10 of 2015, to the end of the season, the only thing WR Doug Baldwin did was catch 60 passes for 848 yards and 13 touchdowns. He ended 2015 as the #7 among all NFL wide outs, but is currently having 24 wide receivers drafted before him. Nothing has changed in Seattle! TE Jimmy Graham is a shell of his early self, WR Tyler Lockett is emerging, but QB Russell Wilson trusts Baldwin.

#3- QB Blake Bortles– This Jacksonville leader quietly was the #3 quarterback for the 2015 NFL season, with 4428 passing yards, 310 rushing yards and 37 total touchdowns. You’d never know it, however, by the way the mock drafts are going. 10 quarterbacks are being selected before Bortles and in many standard league drafts Bortles can be stolen as late as Round 10.

#4- RB Chris Ivory– In the 2015 NFL Draft the Jaguars selected Alabama’s TJ Yeldon with their 2nd round pick. He was to be their workhorse and every down back for the future. The signing of RB Chris Ivory on March 10, 2016 to a three-year deal should give you a clue how they feel about Yeldon today. RB Chris Ivory is tough runner in the same mold as a Frank Gore, who wants the ball and wants to pound it for 4 quarters. In 2015 Ivory rushed for over 1000 yards as a Jet, and recorded 8 TDs. He is a massive upgrade over Yeldon, and his current RB ADP #26 is too low.

#5- WR Eric Decker– Even though the quarterback situation is currently unresolved, one has to assume that QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to come to his senses, and sign with the team. It’s the only time in Fitz’s career that he’s ever had any success for crying out loud. When he does, Decker should be drafted with confidence in the top 15 wide outs for 2016, rather than #30 where his ADP is today. In 2015, Decker was the #11 wide receiver in the NFL with 1027 receiving yards and 12 touchdown receptions. (If Fitz never signs, drafting Decker at #30 may be actually too high)

#6- RB Rashad Jennings– When the Raiders decided to let Jennings go after the 2013 NFL season, I was excited for him to get a starting job with the Giants. On March 12, 2014, Jennings signed a four-year, $14 million contract with New York. But Tom Coughlin was the head coach, and it wasn’t until Week 14 that the numbskull Coughlin, let RB Jennings have more than 13 carries in one game. The Giants won that game 31-24 in Miami. Ben McAdoo is the new head coach, so it remains to be seen if Jennings can get enough carries consistently to be a running back fantasy owners can rely on, but the potential is definitely there.

#7- WR Kamar Aiken– If WR Breshad Perriman did not get injured (again), I wouldn’t be writing this, but Perriman did, so I am. If you believe that WR Mike Wallace still has plenty left in the gas tank, then you and I will have to agree to disagree. So for me, that leaves Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken as the primary receivers in Baltimore. (Wallace will get some targets, just not a lot) Smith will wear down even quicker than he did last year, and has a bye in Week 8. Expect Aiken’s numbers to be good for the 1st 7 weeks, and take off after that.

#8- RB James Starks– Guess who had more total yards in 2015 than RB’s DeMarco Murray, Jeremy Hill, Eddie Lacy and CJ Anderson? Since his name is in bold type, and right before the question, so please tell me that everyone got this right! In a back up role mind you, RB James Starks was the #23 running back for 2015, and he may be the best suited running back for the Packer offense. I am not saying draft Starks before Lacy, but he may be the #1 RB handcuff to have in fantasy football, and should be drafted before the 51st RB off the boards, where he is currently going.

#9- QB Brock Osweiler– It is not uncommon to see a back up quarterback, who is suddenly thrusted into the starting job late in the season, to fall flat on his face. It’s almost expected. He hasn’t worked with the 1st team all year afterall, and is facing NFL defenses in real games for the first time. But QB Brock Osweiler did not fall on his face. Of the 7 games that he started in the final games of the 2015 season, the Broncos won 5, and Osweiler was a big reason why. Fantasy football owners are sleeping on this guy, and with his weapons in Houston, he is a steal in the later rounds.

#10- Tim Hightower– RB Mark Ingram was drafted by the Saints in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft, and 2012 was the only year that he was able to play in all 16 games of a regular season. In 2013, Ingram only played in 11 games, in 2014 only 13, and in 2015 only 12 games. Last year when Ingram was out (again) with injuries, RB Tim Hightower stepped in and started the final 4 games. In that short span, Hightower racked up 456 total yards and 4 touchdowns. Hightower spent nearly four years out of the league before returning in strong fashion last year, and showed fresh legs and an eagerness to play football. Must add for Ingram owners.

(NOTE: CLEV RB Isaiah Crowell was #10, before his ill-advised instagram post. We’ll see how that one ends up playing out.)

Maybe I’ll be singing a different tune by Week 6 on some of these players, but this is what I think right now. If you disagree, “Break It to Me Gently”  (another great Aretha Franklin tune)…or not gently, I can take it!

 

1st and 10 Week 17

1st and 10 Week 17 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which may carry major fantasy football implications.

On Monday afternoon, approximately 12:00 Noon Central, I will post the latest segment in “1st & 10.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions, really let us know.

 

Week 17-  July 11th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 17 Special Guest Writer- Jennifer Smith- senior writer for TheFantasyAuthority

Special thanks to Jennifer Smith and be sure to follow her on Twitter @FF_female920

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) The running back can be a hit-or-miss position. Of the 11 RBs selected early last year in fantasy football drafts, only one delivered on what people were hoping for, that would be Adrian Peterson. The disappointing group included Marshawn Lynch, Eddie Lacy, Arian Foster, Melvin Gordon and Jamaal Charles. I believe, however, that the current top 10 RBs are safer picks in 2016, than the top 10 RBs were last year? Do you agree Jennifer?

Jennifer Smith TFA: Well, injuries were the main factor last year with many you mentioned and those concerns are still present in this year’s top 10 RBs (as they always will be due to the ground and pound of being a workhorse); however, I’m confident in those at the top compared with last season. Age and durability have been the main topics coming up, but also small sample size/experience (e.g. Elliot, D Johnson). The main things I look for in my RB1 are 1) opportunity/volume 2) consistency 3) injury/durability concerns. If you spend an early round pick on these guys, you want a return and a big one at that. Both Charles and Bell are coming off knee injuries, but their rehab seems to be going well and I have no concerns about their volume or consistency when healthy. Doug Martin and Mark Ingram are integral pieces in their offenses (and consistent), and Lacy dropped weight and seems primed for a bounce back. I am high on Lamar Miller’s talent on a run heavy Texans team (he’s my #5 RB) and David Johnson will have to prove that his performance at the end of the season was legit. His coaching staff seems confident that Chris Johnson and Ellington will be complements and D Johnson will get lion’s share of the carries.

Devonta Freeman and Ezekiel Elliot are probably the backs I have more concern about, only because we haven’t seen Elliot at a professional level and there is always adjustment there, even though he is clearly very talented and well-rounded. Will he actually get 280-300 carries as is speculated? I’m thinking it will be less than that, but plenty to make a fantasy impact. Freeman’s efficiency started to wane over the second half of last season and with Tevin Coleman healthy, he will see less touches (265 carries last season, 73 receptions). The volume will be there and he showed he can be the bell-cow, but his performance over first half of last season (4.5 YPC; 9 TDs in 6 games) may be inflating fantasy owner’s expectations for 2016. He actually fell out of my top 10 (#11).

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) We all know that WR Antonio Brown will likely have another stellar season in 2016, but the other offensive players are harder to predict. Please write a brief sentence on the following Pittsburgh players with regard to their likely success with QB Roethlisberger and overall impact in fantasy football for standard formatted leagues. WR Markus Wheaton-WR Sammy Coates-WR Darrius Heyward-Bey-TE Ladarius Green

Jennifer Smith TFA:

WR Markus Wheaton- He will come out of the gate at the WR2 position and was tied with Heath Miller last season for the 2nd most red zone targets (third overall targets). He was pretty unimpressive in beginning of season, but had 4 TDs in last 6 games and seemed to develop chemistry with Big Ben. If he doesn’t step up initially with M. Bryant out, he’ll open the door for Coates. With a late 8th round ADP currently, you could snag a WR2 for a WR3 price (which is where I expect him to land for most of fantasy season), but I would rather have guys like Marvin Jones, Crabtree, or Travis Benjamin at a similar price.

WR Sammy Coates- They’ll involve Coates in 3 wide sets and give him an opportunity to show what he can do after having a “tremendous” off-season. He has the most to gain from M Bryant’s absence, but won’t hit his numbers in 2016. Coates is a great late round flyer in redraft and best-ball/MFL10 leagues due to his upside and opportunity.

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey- I don’t see him as fantasy relevant, as he is lowest on the totem pole out of all these listed. He had an increased role at the beginning of last season, but then was much less involved once Bryant returned.

TE Ladarius Green –He has the most upside for me, due to Ben’s extensive use of TEs in the past; however, this was with veteran Heath Miller who he developed chemistry with over 11 seasons. Green has been in Antonio Gate’s shadow in San Diego and definitely has the athleticism and size to dominate in the position. In the 3 games Gates was out in beginning of last season, Green averaged 4.6 rec, 58 yards, 12.5 yard average, and scored in 2 out of 3 games. I have him ranked as the #8 TE for 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) Most fantasy football prognosticators have a certain player(s) that they are higher on for the upcoming season than others might have them. I have DAL RB Zeke Elliott and SD WR Travis Benjamin higher than most. Who have you seen recently ranked perhaps too high, that you have reservations about?

Jennifer Smith TFA: Latavius Murray, Dion Lewis, and Devante Parker are the ones that I’ve seen creep up ranks this summer, perhaps too much. Murray’s YPC last season was unimpressive, but he was able to end the year as the #10 fantasy RB. The story this end result doesn’t show you is the weekly inconsistency and rollercoaster of production that he gave owners last season. He is currently ranked around #17-18 RB off the board and last season, he only bested this ranking in 6 games. The rest, he ranked #23 at best and #57 at worst. He’s ranked near guys like Forte, Anderson, Hyde, and D Murray (and above Gore, Gordon, Langford) and ADP in late 3rd round. This price is just too high for me given the issues mentioned and the addition of D Washington behind him (will probably steal mostly receiving touches, at least initially). I would rather have someone with more consistency for my RB2.

My concerns with Lewis are purely about durability. He has NEVER played a full season and is on the ever-mysterious NE Patriots which many downplay, but is a serious obstacle and frustration of many fantasy owners during season. I don’t question his talent one bit, but coming off another injury (ACL), I think drafting him at around #23 RB (near in ranking to J Hill, Stewart, Gore, D Murray, Landford, and Gordon) is too steep for me. My RB2 needs to be consistent and stable, and I just wouldn’t reach that high for someone with such high risk. FYI, I had the same mindset about Arian Foster last year and told others that even his lower ADP was too pricey. There’s a chance things turn out well for owners, but a higher likelihood of disappointment. Good best ball pick or RB3, but most likely someone is going to reach for him in your league. It won’t be me.

Devante Parker is a guy with upside and his performance at the end of last season after Rishad Matthews’ injury gave him the opportunity was impressive. I won’t argue the upside, as everyone saw how explosive he CAN be when he’s healthy and his fundamentals are sound. However, my concern is his ADP (6.10) and that he is flying off the board before guys like John Brown, Allen Hurns, Donte Moncrief, and Tyler Lockett. We have a limited sample of Parker and he has a nagging foot injury that he’s struggled with since college (missed time last season as well). There’s just not enough to justify a his increased ranking, in my eyes.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  In a follow up question, what player have you currently ranked higher than others, because you see them having a better 2016 NFL season than is expected?

Jennifer Smith TFA: I swear, I had him before he was mentioned in the last question but Travis Benjamin is a guy I really like this season. The Chargers offense will be improved this year with the return of Keenan Allen and better play by Melvin Gordon. Rivers ended 2015 as the #1 QB in completions (438) and pass attempts (662), so there’s plenty of targets for this deep threat player. Benjamin finished last season as the #28 fantasy WR, yet he is being ranked around #48 currently despite joining a better team and having a better QB. His ADP is in the ninth round right now, which is a steal for a WR2 across from Keenan Allen. Sign me up.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) The fantasy football draft can be one of the best parts of any fantasy season. One of my favorite “best ball’ leagues actually drafts “twice”…once prior to the beginning of the NFL season, then at Week 8 of the NFL schedule. (Each team freezes 2 players from their existing roster, all other players are thrown back into the “available pot” and we re-draft.) It is very fun, and brings a new, exciting element to the league as everyone has practically a brand new team. Have you ever participated in a mid-season re-draft league, and if not, would you ever recommend it for a future league?

Jennifer Smith TFA: I actually haven’t participated in a league with a mid-season re-draft, but I’m always game for ways to make fantasy more fun. I like the excitement of getting a “second crack” at drafting, but I would imagine as an owner that is dominating or drafted well initially, the second draft could be un-welcomed or frustrating. The owner that drafted poorly or whose team is plagued with injuries, would be ecstatic. If you sign up for one of these leagues, you know the 2nd draft is coming and most likely you enjoy something different to spice things up mid-season. Personally, I might steer clear of doing a lot of these leagues due to preparation that I do for my drafts and that this might be a lot to manage mid-season. I can definitely see the appeal, especially if you’ve been in fantasy football for a while and are getting bored with regular formats.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan has put up consistent fantasy numbers year after year, ending 2015 as the #16 overall quarterback. A few years ago he was being evaluated as a top-tier quarterback, but opinions have varied since then. Do you have faith that Matty Ice will have a productive 2016 campaign? Where would you rank him amidst QBs? How early or late should owners be looking to draft him?

Jennifer Smith TFA: Yes, I do think that Matt Ryan will have an improved season compared to 2015 and I have him ranked currently at #13 , right between Romo and Dalton. Ryan ended in the top 10 fantasy QBs in 2012-2014, but his dud last season might be steering owners away in 2016, which is a mistake. Ryan seemed to have difficulty adjusting to OC Kyle Shanahan’s system and threw 16 interceptions (2nd highest in career) and only 21 TDs (worse than any of his past 6 seasons; only season he did worse was his rookie campaign). Julio is Julio, but he can’t do everything. Roddy White clearly did help Ryan’s play in 2015, but Atlanta hopes that Sanu will contribute more. I think Sanu will be better than White and having a decent (emphasis on decent, not good) WR2 to help reduce double coverage on Julio Jones can only help the offense. Add in the successful running tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, and I think Ryan returns to form and ends the season just outside the top 10

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) Which team or teams that made the playoffs last season will suffer the biggest drop off and miss the tournament this year? Subsequently, which team could you see making the jump into relevance in 2016?

Jennifer Smith TFA: The Bengals may struggle in the AFC North division, as I think both the Steelers and the Ravens will have good 2016 seasons and, as already discussed, they have a depleted receiving corps heading into this season. As we all know as well, Dalton will have to step up his consistency in order to make the playoffs again this year. I know I might anger a bunch of fans here, but I think the Patriots might have a harder road this season to the playoffs than in many seasons past. The Jets missed playoffs by the skin of their teeth in 2015, Dolphins have some great upside, and Buffalo gets Sammy Watkins at full health and a dynamic quarterback in Tyrod Taylor.

I could see the Colts making a jump back into relevance this season with a healthy Andrew Luck. They improved their O-line and so can protect him better and I like their receiver corps of Hilton, Moncrief, and D Allen. Their run game is a little concerning, as if Gore goes down, there isn’t a lot of depth behind him. I could also see Cowboys having a big jump after a horrible 2015 season. They’ll need a healthy 16 games from Romo and Bryant, and for Elliot to hit the ground running (literally), but I could see them having a strong season. Their receiving corps isn’t very strong behind Bryant, however, so that’s something to keep in mind.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Of the following NFL players who had significant injuries in 2015, who concerns you the most for the upcoming season? RB LeVeon Bell… RB Jamaal Charles… TE Jimmy Graham… WR Jordy Nelson… WR Kevin White… WR Keenan Allen

Jennifer Smith TFA: I know many might say Kevin White (and I’m concerned somewhat, but more of his rookie performance and not injury), but I’m more concerned with Jimmy Graham. The reports out of Seattle about his recovery timeline have been mixed, some saying he will be ready Week 1 and others that he will start the season on the PUP/reserve list (costing him first 6 games of the season, a huge fantasy impact). As if this wasn’t enough, Graham was severely underutilized last season in Seattle after dominating in New Orleans. He had difficulty converting the few red zone targets he received (30% completion rate) and then tore his patellar tendon in week 12. This is considered one of the most serious injuries a player can face and his ability to bounce back is severely in question (see Victor Cruz). He concerns me most, followed by White.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Denver’s WR Demaryius Thomas had 14 TDs in 2013, 11 TDs in 2014 and only 6 TDs in 2015. Does his downward TD spiral continue in 2016, and what do you predict for his overall stats at the end of the upcoming season?

Jennifer Smith TFA: I think Thomas bounces back in 2016 and I anticipate a 10-12 TDs, 110 receptions for around 1375-1400 yards. DT had some distractions (contract, mother’s release from prison) during the 2015 season and has admitted that these distractions took away from his performance. Add in Manning’s struggles and moves at QB, and this temporary dip in production makes some sense. Despite the uncertainty at QB for 2016, DT is by far the most targeted receiver (overall and in the red zone) in Denver, and it isn’t close. He will continue to be an anchor of the offense and looked toward to lead the team in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) The Cincinnati Bengals lost WRs Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to free agency. TE Tyler Eifert is injured again and does not expect to be ready for Week 1. The Bengals signed WR Brandon LaFell and drafted WR Tyler Boyd, but did they do enough in free agency and the 2016 NFL Draft to replace their depleted receiving corps?

Jennifer Smith TFA: It’s a strong no for me on this one. AJG can’t do it all himself and the injury to Eifert is a significant loss. Eifert represented the 3rd most targeted receiver overall and the 2nd most targeted player in the red zone. LaFell represents a fill-in and someone that could be fantasy relevant only because of volume/situation, not based on talent. Anyone that watched him last season couldn’t be overly impressed with his drops and completion percentage (50%), but the Bengals will look to him as WR2 as Boyd gets used in the slot. I was never very impressed with Sanu, so I think his loss hurts much less than Marvin Jones. He quietly had a solid 2015 season with a 65-816-4 line and was a consistent contributor across from Green, but left the Bengals to get more opportunities and leave Green’s shadow. Boyd will need to get his feet wet as a rookie and if Green gets injured, the Bengals will struggle significantly.

Next Week’s Guest….GuestFFL.com’s Matt Dougherty

1ST AND 10 WEEK 16 WITH RTFANTASYSPORTS
1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

 

1st and 10 Week 16

1st and 10 Week 16 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which may carry major fantasy football implications.

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

 

Week 16-  Happy July of 4th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 16 Special Guest Writer- RTFantasySports

Be sure to follow RTFantasySports  @RTFantasyFball

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) I recently posted my preseason standard league rankings for running backs, broken down into Tiers. Looking at my top tiers for RBs, is there anyone you would disagree with or change?

Tier One RBs
1. RB LeVeon Bell PITT
2. RB Todd Gurley LAR
3. RB David Johnson ARI
4. RB Adrian Peterson MINN
5. RB Ezekiel Elliott

Tier Two RBs
6. RB Lamar Miller HOU
7. RB Doug Martin TB
8. RB Devonta Freeman ATL
9. RB Eddie Lacy GB
10. RB Jamal Charles KC
11. RB Jeremy Hill CINN
12. RB Matt Forte CHI
13. RB Thomas Rawls SEA
14. RB Mark Ingram N.O.
15. RB CJ Anderson DEN
16. RB Latavius Murray OAK

RTFantasySports Response: I disagree with Ezekiel Elliott joining Bell, Gurley, Johnson and AP in Tier #1. For me it is tough to put a rookie who hasn’t played a single down in the NFL, in my top 5 running backs. Could he finish top 5? Absolutely, but before the season starts I will be recommending that he is the #10-12 RB taken off the boards.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) Does the loss of DE Malik Jackson and LB Danny Trevathan hurt Denver’s chances for being a top 3 defense in 2016?

RTFantasySports Response: The Broncos had the #1 defense in the NFL in 2015, (which in large part, helped Peyton get his second ring!) but Denver won’t even be top 3 defense in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) Kansas City’s offense looks almost identical to the one they had in 2015. With Denver likely to struggle in the AFC West in 2016, will the Chiefs be kicking themselves for not getting some more dynamic weapons for QB Alex Smith?

RTFantasySports Response: KC needed upgrades on offense and didn’t really make any moves that I thought they would have. Despite this, I still see them winning the AFC West division.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4) In 2015, WASH RB Matt Jones had plenty of opportunities to shine, but except for one nice Week 2 performance, he was pretty dull all season. Despite this, he is currently being ranked as the #13 or #14 RB to take in 2016. Why do fantasy football authorities and owners think Jones is suddenly going to be great?

RTFantasySports Response: I think Matt Jones ranked at 15/16 is where he should be, but I have seen him ranked as low as #25. He has upside because he is only entering his 2nd year in the NFL (Jones entered the 2015 Draft, after his junior season) and he is going to be given lots of opportunities immediately. RB Alfred Morris now plays for Dallas, leaving RB Chris Thompson as his only competition. Even then, Thompson is the favorite to operate as the Redskins’ passing-game specialist.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Kansas City, Detroit, LA Rams, Jacksonville and Seattle are projected to have the worst offensive lines for the upcoming season. Are there any players from these 5 teams that should be lowered in current rankings, because of the bad O-lines that are forecasted?

RTFantasySports Response: In my opinion, the entire Detroit offense is currently ranked too high, and I would recommend lowering all of the Lion’s skill position players. In 2015, Detroit had the worst yards per rush average in the NFL, and with the 4th worst projected O-Line for 2016, I don’t see their running game getting any better. I think HC Pete Carroll and the Seahawks will do the best with what they’ve got, over the other 4 teams on the list.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) If the Patriots have to play the first 4 games of the 2016 NFL season without QB Tom Brady, how many games can New England win with QB Garoppolo under center, and mastermind HC Bill Belichick having 3 months to plan for it?

RTFantasySports Response: I actually have the Patriots going 3-1 with Jimmy Garoppolo as their quarterback. Their first game is in Arizona, and I don’t think they have a chance of winning that game, even if HC Bill Belichick had 6 months to plan for it. Their next 3 games are home games however, with Miami, Houston and Buffalo playing in New England. Worst case for 2016, the Pats start the season 2-2, which is manageable.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) Newly acquired NYJ Matt Forte is a running back that I am higher on than most fantasy football owners. For the upcoming season, he is ranked as the #16 RB to take off the boards. I think that is far too low…is it for you?

RTFantasySports Response: I am with you on this! I too love Forte this year. I think he was a great acquisition for the Jets. I will go so far as to say that I feel RB Forte has the potential to be a top 7 RB in PPR leagues for 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Like Matt Forte in Question #7, is there a player that you think will have a great season in 2016, but who is currently ranked pretty low and why do you think he will be successful?

RTFantasySports Response: SF RB Carlos Hyde would be that player. I think with a season under his belt, that the 49ers and new HC Chip Kelly are looking more stable and committed to the run. Like I pointed out with Matt Jones earlier, Hyde will be given lots of opportunities immediately. Even Carlos seems to be excited for the new offense…”Chip Kelly’s system will help showcase all my abilities…not just as a ball carrier, but also as a threat in the passing game.”

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Of these 5 players who had spectacular 2015 seasons, which will be “least likely” to repeat their success in 2016 and why?

JACK QB Blake Bortles
KC WR Jeremy Maclin
WASH TE Jordan Reed
TB RB Doug Martin
HOU WR DeAndre Hopkins

RTFantasySports Response: In 2015, QB Blake Bortles was the #3 quarterback, but he was forced to throw a lot because the Jags were behind in every game. Jacksonville has vastly improved their defense, and have RB Chris Ivory to shore up their running attack. I still like QB Bortles, but he won’t end up as the #3 QB for 2016.

BONUS: I believe with WR DeAndre Hopkins’ talents and with a upgrade at the QB position with Brock Osweiler, that the sky’s the limit with the young wide out, and that he is “most likely” to repeat his success in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Fantasy football can be an emotional roller coaster throughout the season. I know of one guy who has broken two television sets due to a fantasy football setback such as a call reversed, a turnover or a TD negated by a penalty. Have you had any embarrassing tantrums that you do not mind sharing?

RTFantasySports Response: I do in fact… I once punched my wall with my fist because I lost a “Super Bowl” on a blocked punt. One lousy blocked punt cost me the title, so “I let my wall have it!”

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions to another knowledgeable person from our fantasy football community.

Next Week’s Guest….The Fantasy Authority’s Jennifer Smith!

1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

 

1st and 10 Week 15

1st and 10 Week 15 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which may carry major fantasy football implications.

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

 

Week 15-  June 27th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 15 Special Guest Writer- FanUp Network’s Eric DeWalt

Be sure to follow Eric and FanUp Network  on Twitter @FanUpNetwork

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  The “Zero RB Draft Strategy” really gained steam as a popular draft strategy in 2014. A year after fantasy owners were still hooked on taking running backs early, this “wide receiver stacking strategy” seemed like a very intriguing option. It caught on with a lot of people, but not with me. I still value a strong running back roster for all of my fantasy football leagues. What do you think of the “Zero RB Draft Strategy” and have you tried this strategy in any of your drafts?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: I have not personally tried this strategy yet. But I have a friend that has used WR stacking as a strategy for the last few years, and he has experienced consistent success with this strategy. It is something I am looking at closely, especially considering how NFL passing yards are increasing while rushing yards drop.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)  Few players have had their values fluctuate over the past calendar year quite as much as Cowboys’ WR Dez Bryant. Once widely seen as a receiving dynamo, Bryant had an injury plagued 2015 season and lost some of his luster. What do you make of Dallas WR Dez Bryant in 2016?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: Bryant will bounce back and have a strong year. He is an intense competitor with a ton of pride, so I am sure he will be focused. Having QB Tony Romo back will be a big boost for him. Also, the addition of Zeke could provide more balance for the Cowboys, and give Dez more one-on-one coverage. Look for Dez to be an elite fantasy WR in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) The Cleveland QB Battle: I believe Robert Griffin III resurrects his career in 2016, and is a candidate as a decent QB sleeper. Others believe that the odds are favorable that McCown would give Cleveland its best chance to win, and that he will end up as the Brown’s starter. Which side are you on?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: The Browns are looking for a young QB to build around, so I think RG3 gets every opportunity to prove he is that guy. He has some decent weapons in Cleveland with rookie WR Corey Coleman, TE Gary Barnidge and RB Isaiah Crowell. I think RG3 wins the job and is worth a look as a late round pick.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)   I am in the midst of a 32 team dynasty league draft. I also have an 8 team (redraft) league draft scheduled for July 4th. Most of my other leagues won’t draft until the end of August. Are June and July simply too early to be drafting in fantasy football leagues, or is anytime a good time?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: One of the basic rules of FanUpNetwork is…”It is always Fantasy Football season!”… so anytime is a good time.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) When I drafted my very first fantasy football team, I was at a table with the other participants, and my first selection was DET RB Barry Sanders. Back then there were ONLY live drafts, because fantasy football websites hosting drafts did not yet exist! There are many young people today competing in fantasy leagues that have only drafted through websites and not never experienced the fun and excitement of drafting in person. What is your drafting preference?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: I really prefer in-person drafts. It creates a connection and energy that can spill into your season. I believe in-person drafts help create rivalries that help drive interest in a league and keeping a group together.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6)  In a recent 12 team, 15 round “mock draft” I observed, 18 tight ends were selected, and none of them were CHI TE Zach Miller. CHI QB Jay Cutler has always been a quarterback who has counted on his tight ends as important weapons in his offense. In the final 8 games of 2015, Miller had 31 receptions for 404 yards and 5 TD receptions. I would draft Miller before drafting DET E Ebron, TB ASJ, PITT L Green and IND D Allen. I think fantasy football owners are sleeping on Zach Miller. Do you?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response:  YES!!!! I believe you are correct. Miller is in position for a strong season, and most people are not very high on him. In a limited role for 2015, Zach Miller still managed to end the season as the #16 tight end, with 439 yards and 5 touchdowns. He did this playing in only 11 games. ( In Week 10 of last season, he had 5 grabs for 107 yards and 2 TDs.)  Jay Culter loves to throw to his tight ends and he already seems to have good chemistry with Miller.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) I think it’s safe to say that Jacksonville has Allen fever! Between Penn State standout Allen Robinson and unstaffed pass catch Allen Hurns, the Jaguars boasted one of the most electrifying young receiving corps of any team last season. Why do you think they had so much success last year, and can that level of play be sustained?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: The WRs compliment each other so well. Robinson can work downfield and make big plays with his jumping ability, while Hurns is always in the right spot at the right time, and rarely drops the ball. I believe they feed off the other. Look for their success to continue as they develop even more chemistry and confidence with the young QB Blake Bortles.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Based on their team’s roster of talent, which NFL team should have been more successful in the regular season over the past couple years?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response:  The Philadelphia Eagles should have experienced more success. The offense was inconsistent and they were not able to dominate the game with star tailbacks. At times, you saw flashes of what they could be, but their efforts seemed inconsistent. 2015 would have been a good time for the Eagles to step up and play to their potential. It didn’t take a great record to win the division last season. Washington won the NFC East with a 9-7 record.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Were you surprised that in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers did not address their offense until the 6th Round? (Round 6- QB Jeff Criskel…Round 6 RB Kelvin Taylor and Round 6 WR Aaron Burbridge) Will any of these 3 players impact the SF team in 2016?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response:  I was not shocked by their defense heavy draft. They had a lot of defensive losses since their Super Bowl team, and Chip Kelly seems to think offensive players are almost interchangeable. I do not expect any of their offensive rookies to make a real impact this season.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Free agent WR Anquan Boldin is one of my favorite NFL players, and I think it would be fun to see him reunite with WR Larry Fitz in Arizona. Unfortunately, the Cardinals do not have room on a crowded WR depth chart for Boldin. Can you tell me 3 NFL teams that could benefit greatly by signing the gritty and talented Anquan Boldin?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: Bills could benefit from having him mentor Watkins and be a reliable #2 WR to move the chains.
Vikings have proven to have some potential, but WRs have been underwhelming. QB Teddy Bridgewater could really benefit from having a reliable possession WR.
Chiefs and Boldin could also be a great fit. Bolden would be a great compliment to Maclin.

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions to another knowledgeable person from our fantasy football community.

1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

2016 Mock Draft Peek Preview

2016 Mock Draft Peek Preview by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

In only a short time from now, the Green Bay Packers will face the Indianapolis Colts in Canton, Ohio for the traditional Hall of Fame game. It’s the time of the year that fantasy football fanatics are excited for, because the start of the NFL season is finally in sight.

That means it is time for many fantasy owners to start studying. Fantasy Football magazines will be hitting the bookstore shelves, fantasy websites will be posting their preseason rankings, and one of my favorite fantasy websites, fantasyfootballcalculator.com, will be cranking out a glut of completed mock drafts. You may review the results of recently ended mock drafts at this handy website and you may participate in any of the 8-10-12-14 team mock drafts that are available.

Here are the top 12 rounds of a recently ended 10 team standard league draft that I recent devoured, but did not participate in. These 10 teams were all humans….no computer picks. Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my round by round observations!

12 Rounds 2016 Mock draft

Round One- If the running back is still a “devalued’ position, you would not know it from Round One ( 4 RBs vs 5 WRs) and you certainly wouldn’t know it from Round Two ( 7 RBs vs 3 WRs). One fantasy owner obviously does not seem to be worried about GB WR Jordy Nelson’s 2015 season-ending injury, drafting him at the end of Round One, and in front of CINN A.J. Green, JACK Allen Robinson and DAL Dez Bryant. I am not sure that I am that confident yet.

Round Two- I’m shocked that DAL RB Zeke Elliott would drop to Round Two, and selected after ATL D Freeman, HOU L Miller and KC J Charles. If Elliott is there for me at the 14th overall pick, I’m doing my happy jig. I’m also drafting TB Doug Martin before BUFF LeSean McCoy.

Round Three- SF Carlos Hyde has reportedly lost weight and wants to play under 220 pounds in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense, but I’m going to pass on 49er players for the first 6 rounds, at least. SD WR Keenan Allen worries me in 2016, so I am after the other wide outs in this round, and I want WR Travis Benjamin as a sleeper in the later rounds. N.O. RB Mark Ingram was pretty disappointing in the 2nd half of last season, even before his Week 13 injury. He might be the “Alfred Morris” of 2016.

Round Four- Solid selections in Round Four, and although I am not a fan of drafting quarterbacks early, at least these two fantasy football owners waited until Round Four. Running backs are starting to get thin, so TENN RB DeMarco Murray is not bad here, but I am not high on him for 2016.

Round Five- NE WR J Edleman started the Round Five selections, but I would have preferred MIA J Landry or JACK Allen Hurns, available later in this round. I do not like MIA J Ajayi in 2016, and I am wondering why CINN Jeremy Hill is still available ( start of Round 7) so I am drafting him. ( I would have drafted him before TENN RB DeMarco Murray)

Round Six- 3 more QBs drafted, but good ones. ( How many times will Luck be the 4th, 5th or 6th QB drafted this season?) RBs Ryan Mathews and Chris Ivory are interesting backs to roster this season. I want both of them. Most believe that KC J Maclin can match his 2015 numbers ( 1088 yards and 8 TDs) but I am skeptical. I’d still want him in Round Six however.

Round Seven- MIA DeVante Parker is a nice sleeper in 2016, but if CHI Kevin White is there, I’ll be selecting him before Parker. There are too many running backs for me in Detroit, HC Caldwell never sticks with one back for more than two plays and the Lions had the worst average per rush in 2015, so you can draft RB Ameer Abdullah. I won’t be.

Round Eight- Why does everyone automatically think TE Ladarius Green will be a success in Pittsburgh, when he was a flop in a very tight end friendly San Diego offense? RBs Gore, Duke Johnson, and Gio are all decent pick ups in Round 8, but SD Melvin Gordon is way down here for a reason. I like TE Coby Fleener a lot for the 2016 season. He is a terrible blocker and the Saints’ know that, so he is an offensive weapon…period.

Round Nine- SEA WR Tyler Lockett is a huge pick up in Round Nine, and QB Blake Bortles ( #3 QB for 2015) should have been selected earlier than the #9 QB off the boards. I like WASH WR DeSean Jackson in Round Nine very much. Still too early to get a kicker, even NE Gostkowski.

Round Ten- PITT DeAngelo Williams, the #4 RB for 2015 with almost 1300 total yards and 8 TDs, should have been handcuffed in Round 9 by “Lucille Football” instead of drafting Woodhead. PHIL TE Zach Ertz was a monster in the last part of 2015, and if you are going to wait on a tight end, this is how you do it. Don’t particularly want JACK TJ Yeldon on any of my teams, unless I drafted RB C Ivory earlier. BALT Steve Smith still has football in him, for the first 7 weeks. He has a bye Week Eight, so trade him then.

Round Eleven- Both wide receivers Travis Benjamin and Marvin Jones have too much fantasy football value to be still available in Round 11. Like TE Ertz in Round 10, CLEV TE Barnidge is a steal here in Round 11. NE L Blount doesn’t interest me, because he plays for HC Belichick and Tampa Bay’s Charles Sims is still available, as is CLEV’s Isaiah Crowell ( Round 12). I won’t be drafting WR Stefon Diggs, probably not even in Round 11. MINN QB Bridgewater threw for less than 1 TD per game last year.

Round Twelve- QB Kirk Cousins ( #9 QB for 2015) is a steal here in Round 12. Ram’s WR Tavon Austin was the #21 wide receiver in the NFL last season and had 52 carries for 434 yards/ 4 rushing TDS. He should have been selected a couple of rounds before. CLEV WR Corey Coleman selected this late in ANY draft is ridiculous.

There you go. This was fun. I think I’d like to revisit this again, in the upcoming weeks!

1st and 10 Week 14

1st and 10 Week 14 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10″ is a weekly segment by Utter-Fantasy.com, getting fantasy insights from a knowledgeable person in the fantastic fantasy football community. With 10 questions each week, we will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which may carry major fantasy football implications.

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

 

Week 14-  June 20th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 14 Special Guest Writer-Co-Owner of Fantasyipa.com Jamey Black- Be sure to follow Jamie on Twitter @FIPA_Black

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  Wade Phillips is currently the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, but he has been the head coach of 3 different NFL teams. ( 4 NFL teams, if you count his short interim head coaching position in 2013 for the Houston Texans).The Denver Broncos (1993 to 1994), the Buffalo Bills (1998–2000) and the Dallas Cowboys (2007–2010). As Denver’s 2015 defensive coordinator, the only thing Phillips did was form the #1 defense in all of the NFL, and help win Super Bowl 50 with that defense. Will Wade be a head coach in 2017?

Jamie Black Response: No, I really don’t think so. We’ve seen enough of Wade Phillips to know what he is and what he isn’t. He is a great defensive coordinator and an average head coach. Everyone loves him, his players, ex-players, fellow coaches…they all love him. He’s been described as “sweet” and as a guy “without a mean bone in his body”. And that’s problem; head coaches need a kind of swagger or charisma that, at the very least invokes a healthy respect from others. I don’t think one needs to have a “mean streak” or scare players to be a good head coach. A more balanced characteristic that you see in successful head coaches is the ability to invoke a certain “healthy fear” that keeps players in line and sends the message that this is a guy who isn’t going to put up with any BS. Tony Dungy for example, you never saw him screaming at his players but he did demand a certain discipline and respect. Bill Belichick is similar in that regard and he will cut anyone who doesn’t fall in line. Maybe I’m a little bitter living in Dallas and watching the 2007 season unfold. The Cowboys finished 13-3 and went 3-0 against the two teams who eventually met in the NFC Championship Game that post-season, and won all 3 games by double-digits only to get bounced (coming off a bye) in round 2 by the Giants. You want to know what I remember most though…the relaxed approach the Cowboys took during their 1st round bye week. I mean, Tony Romo went on vacation to Cabo with Jessica Simpson! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

Make no mistake; Wade is a great defensive coordinator and Denver no doubt owes much their Super Bowl 50 success to the defense he put out on the field. I just don’t think he has the temperament to have sustained success as a head coach in the NFL.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) On June 1st, 2016, LA HC Jeff Fisher said that he thinks wide receiver “Tavon Austin can catch 100 passes this season”. In 2015, Austin rushed as many times as he had receptions ( both 52). If Fisher is correct, then Austin is either going to get 50% more touches in 2016, or the Rams are going to scale back dramatically the number of times Austin runs the ball. Which is likely to be the case?

Jamie Black Response: Neither, I don’t think the Rams can quit handing the ball to Austin, considering the success they’ve had doing so. Also, Austin is not a possession receiver and I don’t see him approaching 100 receptions, not even close. In fact, the Rams have two rookie receivers that I see offering more as possession receivers than Austin (Pharoh Cooper and Mike Thomas). Also, Fisher hasn’t had a receiver catch 70+ in 12 years. I think  Fisher is being overly optimistic, but more than that, I think he is publicly supporting their moving up to draft Goff. Considering all that the Rams had to give up to get Goff, Fisher is probably attempting to imply that they won’t be scared to throw the ball this year.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) What will the acquisition of rookie WR Will Fuller do for WR DeAndre Hopkin’s 2016 season, and where do you see Fuller ranking for NFL wide outs at the end of the upcoming season?

Jamie Black Response: Fuller will help both Hopkins and what Bill O’Brien wants to do on offense, which is to run the ball and throw it to Hopkins. Fuller has game-changing speed and defenses will have to account for that. He should take the top off of opposing D’s and further open up the underneath stuff for Hopkins and the running game…and the TEs if they decide to get them involved. Regarding Fuller’s production, I think he will be a better role player/NFL receiver than fantasy receiver. I do think he will score some long TDs which could mean a few big games. I can see him having seasons where he averages 18+ yards per reception, but I don’t see him being targeted a lot, just enough to keep defenses honest. I’d be surprised if he catches more than 45 passes and 4-5 TD’s his rookie year. He will probably rank out as a WR-5 and not worth redraft consideration. I think he could be a decent late round best ball (MFL10) flyer at WR, but I don’t see him being consistent enough to start on a weekly basis in most fantasy formats, at least not for now.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  Who are the 2 best head coaches currently in the NFL, and who are the 2 worst?

Jamie Black Response: I think everyone agrees Bill Belichick is easily the best current NFL head coach and is certainly in the conversation for best coach of all time. I would say the 2nd best current coach in the NFL is probably Pete Carroll, who coincidentally was replaced by Belichick as the Patriots head coach following the 1999 season.

Choosing the 2 worst coaches in the NFL is a bit more difficult. I’m going to say one of the worst current NFL head coaches is Mike Mularkey. That may not be fair because I’m judging him by what he did in Buffalo and Jacksonville, along with the 9 games last year as the interim head coach of the Titans after taking over for Whisenhunt. His winning percentage as an NFL head coach (right around 30% I believe) has to be considered though. With that said, the Titans did well in this year’s draft and in the offseason, and are possibly on the verge of being a team on the rise, so Mularkey’s arrow is probably pointing up going into this season. I don’t want to list any of the 1st-year coaches here, so with that in mind, I will say Gus Bradley is currently one of the worst 2 coaches in the NFL. In 3 seasons with Jacksonville, they haven’t really improved as a team and haven’t finished a season with more than 5 wins, in large part because of the defensive which is what he was brought in to fix. They have no doubt turned a corner on the offensive side of the ball and seemingly have put together a very impressive offseason and draft in which they addressed many of their defensive needs. Some of the names they’ve added on defense: DL Malik Jackson, S Tashaun Gipson, CB Jalen Ramsey and OLB Myles Jack…among others. They have the pieces in place now and I really think this is a make or break season for Bradley. Jacksonville is one of the teams I see taking a leap this year, so I absolutely do not expect to see Gus Bradley’s name on this list next year.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) What player, over the past 2 years, has surprised you most with is lack of production and lack of success in the NFL?

Jamie Black Response: A lot of guys come to mind…Jadeveon Clowney is a big one, although he has been injured. Johnny Manziel is another one, but I’m not sure I am too surprised there. When you say “surprised”, I think of someone who I’ve seen have success at the NFL level…so RGIII is that guy for me. I am very surprised with his lack of success over the past 2-3 seasons. Here is a guy who was hyped up so much coming out of college, he seemingly handled it well, he was drafted #2 overall, he lead his team to a division title for the first time in 13 years as a rookie…finishing that season on a 7 game winning streak, and finally tops it off by besting Andrew Luck for the 2012 offensive rookie of the year honors. I expected a lot more from him in the years that followed, in the NFL and definitely from a fantasy perspective. He rushed for over 800 yards and 7-TDs his rookie year, becoming only the 2nd time in NFL history that a QB had 3,000+ passing yards and 800+ rushing yards (1st time by Randall Cunningham 1990, later (2014) by Russell Wilson). Maybe he resurrects his career in Cleveland, I really don’t know, but his fall was very much unexpected for me.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6)  What NFL team could take a giant leap in their division, if they had one or two great players added to their current roster?

Jamie Black Response: The Oakland Raiders. I think they did a good job adding players like OL-Kelechi Osemele, CB-Sean Smith and LB-Bruce Irvin. Retaining S-Nate Allen and OLB-Aldon Smith was vital as well and they started their draft by grabbing 3 more defensive prospects. I think Derek Carr is the real deal and Amari Cooper should step up again and produce like a true #1 WR. If they were to improve on defense by adding an every down pass rusher and/or if they had a true, every down stud at running back, they would probably be one of the best teams in the NFL. I think they are going to get there regardless. They have the offensive line and have added prospects, and even with minor improvement they should be contenders in their division, perhaps even this year, but unquestionably in a year or two.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) On August 7, 2010, Emmitt Smith thanked his fullback Daryl “Moose” Johnston during his Hall of Fame Induction speech in Canton, Ohio, for helping to pave Smith’s way to the Hall of Fame. Smith was not the most gifted running back in the NFL and credits his durability and Johnston to his success. The fullback’s role is to block for the lead tailback, but it also includes power running and blocking for the quarterback, which has never been more important in the NFL. Should NFL team’s revisit the use of the fullback position?

Jamie Black Response: I can certainly attest to what Emmitt Smith said about Daryl Johnston, I can honestly say growing up in Dallas during those Super Bowl years was fun, exciting, and I don’t think I missed one game. Today’s NFL is so different though, the pace is faster, it’s more wide open and other than the quarterback, the receivers are the stars of many NFL offenses. I really don’t remember there ever being a time with so much talent at WR in the NFL, so teams have to get their playmakers on the field. With that said, there is definitely a place for the fullback and a power running game. As defenses change and adjust to wide open offenses, I think offenses could benefit from using a fullback and being able to run the ball 40+ times a game when needed.

To answer the question more directly, yes, I think teams should revisit the use of the fullback position…just maybe not to the extent fullbacks were used 20+ years ago. The Patriots are a team that I think of when I mention this. They might throw the ball 60 times for 4 TDs one week and then run it 50 times for 4 TDs the next. Having the ability to game-plan a power running scheme (using a fullback) on offense is something every team should at least attempt to revisit.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Who would you rather NOT owe a lot of money to…..CINN LB Vontaze Burfict, PITT LB James Harrison or MIA DT Ndamukong Suh?

Jamie Black Response: Obviously I wouldn’t want to owe any of these three players any money, because they are all known to be mean and even dirty players. ( I can’t turn out good for me regardless!) However, if I am being forced to pick one, I’ll go with MIA DT Ndamukong Suh, who signed that huge 6 year contract last season  worth $114,375,000 with the Miami Dolphins, including a $25,500,000 signing bonus, $59,955,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $19,062,500. Perhaps with all this money, he will be less likely to get mean and dirty with me, trying to get what I apparently own him!

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) In 2015, a few of my fantasy football leagues changed the rules on scoring field goals, due to the rate at which place kickers are now successfully kicking them from long distances. Did any of your league adjust place kicker scoring, and will we see a record breaking 70 yard field goal in the near future?

Jamie Black Response: Sure did, last year in one of the contract leagues I am in, we dinged kickers (-1) point for missed XPs, but we only dinged kickers for missed FGs under 30 yards. Since the XP was moved out beyond 30 yards, we simply quit taking a point away from kickers for missed PATs. There are a few other leagues I am in where we started awarding FG points based on distance (ie – 38 yard FG was awarded 3.8 points). Regarding a 70 yard field goal, I don’t know if that will happen anytime soon. It took 43 years to break Dempsey’s record of 63 yards (Matt Prater, 2013 – 64 yards). I know when they could use a tee in the NCAA there were a few long field goals approaching 70 yards, but unless a kicker is kicking off a tee, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Dallas’ RB Ezekiel “Zeke” Elliott, CLEV WR Corey Coleman and NYG Sterling Shepard are all obvious targets for fantasy owners in every draft this year. Who are 3 offensive sleepers from this year’s NFL Draft?

Jamie Black Response: Well, I actually wrote a piece about CJ Prosise back in the beginning of May basically touting him as a mid-1st round pick in rookie drafts, and he is definitely a guy that is not necessarily on everyone’s radar. Those playing in dynasty leagues are certainly well aware of Prosise by now, but for those who only play in redraft leagues, this is a guy who might be flying under the radar. He has every down running back potential and will enter the 2016 season with a defined role as the 3rd down RB in Seattle, and since the Seahawks are being quiet about Thomas Rawls and his ankle, there is no guarantee he will be ready Week 1. I can see Prosise as a less dynamic version of David Johnson type. He is someone to keep an eye on and who certainly should be owned in all dynasty and keeper formats.

Another one is Jordan Howard, rookie RB in Chicago. I also like him in the1st round of rookie drafts and one of my partners in crime at Fantasy IPA has been all over him since day 1. He definitely has a chance to carve out a role in Chicago as a rookie (John Fox has always used two RBs). I know Fox doesn’t generally trust rookies, but I feel this is an exception.

I want to get into a couple of guys who probably aren’t top 20 offensive rookie picks for fantasy purposes. I’ll start with a teammate of Corey Coleman’s and fellow Browns rookie WR Rashard Higgins. I would say to anyone in redraft leagues, I wouldn’t draft Higgins; he is more of a developmental guy for dynasty leagues. There is a lot I like about him and we have hit on that in a few of our podcasts at Fantasy IPA.

I’ll give one more name as a deep sleeper, TE Austin Hooper. There are a lot of things to like about him, the fact that he can block and catch, has very long arms and big hands; he is very fast for his size and he should be given the opportunity to get on the field a lot this year in Atlanta. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a red-zone weapon for the Falcons from day 1. He obviously is not Tony Gonzalez, but he could be the answer the Falcons have been looking for since Gonzalez retired.

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions to another knowledgeable person from our fantasy football community.

1st and 10 with DFF Week 13

1st and 10 with DFF Week 13 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

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

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

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

 

Week 13-  June 13th, 2016

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

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  I live in Kansas City, so in leagues with local friends and neighbors etc, we have a “homer” or two who will draft a lot of “Chief’s” players. Sometimes fantasy football owners will draft players because they like them and like rooting for them. Are either of these ever a deciding factor for you in any drafts?

OK Homer

DFF Response: (#1) This is definitely a factor for me, but I try my best to exercise caution and restraint when employing the “I like this guy” methodology in drafting players. For instance, in my first and second round I won’t allow the “like” factor to come into play if there is an objectively more talented player on the board. If I am debating a few players in the middle rounds and they are statistically even and their upside/team situations are similar, I’ll ask myself who I would rather root for and draft that player. In the late rounds, especially when there are only role players on the board, I look to pick up guys I want to root for just to make my roster that much more fun.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) Below is the NFL schedule for Week 1 of the upcoming 2016 season. What games in Week 1 are you particularly excited to see?

2016 NFL Week 1

DFF Response: Great question. I’m excited for all of them because I can’t wait for football season to start! In particular, though, I am very anxious to see two games: (1) the Vikes / Titans, because I’m an east coast Vikings fan and I can’t get enough of them; and (2) Steelers / Washington. I am interested to see, for fantasy purposes, which Pittsburgh wide receiver emerges as Martavis Bryant’s 2016 replacement as the team’s WR2. Bryant is, of course, serving a full year suspension for positive drug tests and while I think his replacement will only have the job for the next year, I want to scoop that guy up if he’s on waivers. For Washington, I am very excited to see how Kirk Cousins follows up an amazing end to the 2015 season. I’ll also be scouting Josh Doctson at the wideout spot and I hope to see Jordan Reed continue his dominance as the team’s top tight end.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) So far in recent mock drafts, fantasy owners do not seem to be worried about about GB WR Jordy Nelson’s 2015 injury, and are drafting him before Alshon Jeffrey, Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, Brandon Marshall and Demaryius Thomas. Are there any names here that you would draft before selecting Nelson?

DFF Response: I think people are convinced that Jordy is fully healthy and won’t have the same injury again. When he was hurt last year, the injury took place as he landed on the ground after jumping up in the air to catch a pass — hopefully that type of impact, awkward as it was, does not befall him again with similar results. I like Nelson, too, so I understand the high draft pick that many owners are spending on him. Personally I have higher hopes for guy like Cooper and Evans so I would be drafting them earlier than Nelson this season. With his top-end route running, I think Cooper is poised to be a machine in Oakland. It definitely doesn’t hurt that he has a great connection with Derek Carr. As for TB’s Mike Evans, the sky is the limit. Last year he suffered from a lot of dropped passes but he has made a noticeable effort to get synced up with the leader of the Bucs’ offense, QB Jameis Winston. I believe that the added off-season work will pay dividends quickly this year and I expect Evans to be a firecracker from the first snap! Brandon Marshall is not as high on my list because of questions at quarterback and, in all honesty, I am concerned that his frenetic scoring pace in 2015 may not continue with the same vigor. I like Demaryius, too, and I’ve seen him thrive with a great quarterback, and with a mediocre quarterback. When comparing Nelson and Thomas’ quarterbacks, though, I will ride with Aaron Rodgers for 2016 and therefore would take Jordy before Demaryius.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  Fantasy Football Index magazine 2015-

” We all know there’s a lot of luck involved in fantasy football. Every lucky win you have, is someone’s else’s bad luck.”
How much do you agree with this statement?

DFF Response: I don’t entirely agree with this statement for one reason: I don’t believe that there is, for instance, a meter of luck and 100% of that luck has to be dispersed at each game. Good fortune for one does not necessarily mean bad fortune for another. Granted, there are some freak plays that take place in a game and if you own the beneficiary player you probably feel like you got away with one while the owner facing off against that player feels like one was stolen. In that unique circumstance, yes I do believe the statement applies. However, for the majority of good plays and bad breaks I just believe they were mean to unfurl in the manner that they do! Therefore, just because someone gets lucky in a positive way, it doesn’t necessary mean that the other owner had bad luck.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Prior to the beginning of the 2015 NFL season, RB Joique Bell was at the top of the Lion’s depth chart, and now he is looking for a team to play for as a free agent. Can you think of a team that, in your opinion, would be a great fit for him right now?

DFF Response: I think San Diego is the way to go here. They didn’t do much in the draft and offseason to bring in RB help and we all watched Melvin Gordon go through a rough patch in 2015. This is not an indictment on Gordon and, to be quite honest, I believe San Diego expects Melvin Gordon to be their bell-cow for years to come. In the short term, however, we’ve seen Gordon undergo micro fracture surgery which opens up a Pandora’s box of uncertainty so it isn’t completely outside of the realm of possibility that the Chargers would or could bring in a veteran bruiser type back. I know they have Branden Oliver, but he similarly has been hurt and plays more of the Danny Woodhead pass-catching role. They also, obviously, have Woodhead on the roster – but he plays a different style of football than Joique Bell and I believe those two types of backs can coexist in a backfield with great success.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6)  Last week in our Week 11- 1st and 10 segment, with my role to respond to DFF’s questions, my reply to an inquiry about TB RB Doug Martin (paraphrased) was….“I believe the case for Doug Martin finishing the 2016 season as an RB1 is a strong one- Martin is in one of the few one-back offenses- Martin is still relatively young at 27 years old- Martin has a good cast of talented teammates around him.” It just occurred to me that back in 2015, I was high on WASH Alfred Morris for the “exact same reasons…even their ages are only a month apart”. As you know, Morris ended 2015 as the 45th RB in the NFL. Should I reconsider my position on Martin due to this revelation, or are the situations different enough to stand pat?

DFF Response: I think you should stand pat and continue to place your faith in Doug Martin for this upcoming season. Morris and Martin were in different situations last year and they are in equally different situations this year. In 2015, Martin was clearly the #1 RB and was given those snaps despite the existence of a shifty pass catching back in Charles Sims on the roster. Alfred Morris, may have been the #1 at the beginning of 2015, but in fact, saw less time because of not one but two (and eventually three) other backs: Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, and Pierre Thomas. Now in Dallas, Morris is 100% behind Ezekiel Elliott on the depth charts and I don’t see him getting nearly what Doug Martin will get in terms of opportunities, goal line carries, and overall playing time. This year, Morris can take a step even further back but I think the Buccaneers’ success will be proportional to Doug Martin’s success.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) In 2015, the Browns gave Bowe $9 million guaranteed money, and all the Browns got from the washed-up veteran was five catches for 53 scoreless yards. He was paid over $169,000 per yard. The numbers are truly laughable. Not to pour salt in the “city’s horrible acquisition wound” but because of their track record, didn’t it just figure that it would be Cleveland to do this?

DFF Response: You’re absolutely right: it had to be Cleveland. I’m sure the Browns’ heart was in the right place when it sought to bring in a veteran WR to help solidify its receiving corps and help tutor the younger wideouts. Unfortunately, as is usually the case with Cleveland sports, it completely blew up in the team’s face and became more of a distraction than anything else. I don’t want to go this far, but I would posit that the Dwayne Bowe fiasco had such a monumental effect on the organization in the negative that it very likely led to the team’s decision to draft what feels like a million rookie WRs in this year’s draft. It’s a shame. However, Hue Jackson is going to put his stamp on this team and I think they’ll do better than the past few years.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Please take these 4 names from the Saints receiving corps and rank how you would draft them in a redraft league, in a dynasty league and in a PPR league. Also, is there any other wide out on their depth chart with any fantasy value?

– WRs Cooks, Snead, Thomas, and Coleman-

DFF Response: For me, it starts with Brandin Cooks. I am taking him as early as the second round in dynasty drafts and honestly I can picture myself doing the same in redraft. Cooks has proven he can handle the spotlight, the targets, and the opportunities he’s been given. Other than getting injured during his rookie year, he has produced very well and I expect that to continue. He’s lighting fast, too; that’s a recipe for success in the NFL. Next is Willie Snead. I had my ups and downs with Snead last year and actually got burned by him in a few dynasty leagues when I either didn’t draft him/pick him up off waivers, or traded him away. I think he has done enough to show that when given the chance to be on the field he can definitely get the job done. He has good size too and that is something New Orleans needs to make use of this year. I would draft him in dynasty leagues at round 5 and redraft in rounds 6 or 7. Michael Thomas has a lot of upside as he comes to the NFL with good college tape. I think he will be a great complement to the Saints’ offense. Let’s see what he does this year, but I expect him to be a mainstay in NO. Brandon Coleman had an optimal opportunity with the Saints and all he did with it was lose the job to Snead. I am keeping hope alive that he will work out but I am not investing much draft capital in Coleman. I’ll watch from the sidelines!

PPR: Cooks; Snead; Thomas; Coleman
Dynasty: Cooks; Thomas; Snead; Coleman
Redraft: Cooks; Snead; Thomas; Coleman

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Soon, many will be posting their rankings for the NFL team’s offensive lines for 2016. Indianapolis drafted 4 new players for their O-Line, who haven’t played together, haven’t developed any chemistry together or even had a chance to prove that they are good NFL players. Therefore, can the Colts O-Line be ranked anywhere except near the bottom?

DFF Response:  Optimistically, I will say that the Colts’ offensive line can be ranked higher than the basement of the league. I would wait to see how the gel, if at all, during the preseason before I completely close the book on their projected 2016 success. However, in all actuality, it is more likely than not that they will be near the bottom of the league. I don’t base that off of the fact that the line has four rookies, necessarily, but that is certainly a factor. The biggest component to my prediction is the fact that most of these guys have not played together yet. There you have it: togetherness / chemistry / familiarity. I believe that a competent offensive line is predicated on knowing the other guys’ tendencies: “if I shift left, will the player to my right instinctively know to lean to my side?” etc. Indy’s line will need to bond and understand each other before it creeps out from the basement.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Can the Pat’s new acquisition TE Martellus Bennett, with TE Rob Gronkowski, be the 1-2 punch at the tight position, that Gronk and Hernandez were back in 2011?

DFF Response: I think that the Pats’ top-two TEs can replicate the success of the 2011 Gronk/Hernandez duo. I am not convinced that they will, though. To be clear, I believe that if the situation presented itself in the same vein as 2011, that Bennett and Gronkowski are talented enough to pull off the same offensives heroics that Gronk/Hernandez did. However, I don’t believe the Pats will employ the same exact scheme that led to tandem successes in 2011. Bill Belichick is very keen and he is probably ahead of the curve in this instance, too. I believe that Belichick expects the league to gameplan to defend the 2011 Gronk/Hernandez tight end offensive plan. I secretly think Belichick plans on going in a different direction — not ignoring the TE spot, but I don’t think he’ll use Bennett in the same way that Hernandez was used; it will be another wrinkle in an already sophisticated offense. Therefore, my prediction is that Bennett and Gronk will have the same success as Gronk and Hernandez did in 2011 if the Pats decide to run the same offense. If, however, the team adapts and tries to stay one page ahead of the league, then the two TEs will still have productive seasons but the numbers will not be as impressive as the numbers from 2011.

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

 

1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 12
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 11
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 10
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 9
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 8
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

The Commissioner of 300 Fantasy Leagues

The Commissioner of 300 Fantasy Leagues by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

As a fantasy football fanatic, as a fantasy commissioner and as the creator of  Utter-Fantasy.com, I couldn’t help but take notice of someone in our fantasy football community who is the commissioner of over 300 leagues. His name is Matt Dougherty, and he is the owner of QuestFFL.com and FantasyFootballLeagueSite.com. Since 2007, Quest has been the top provider of long-term fantasy football leagues, who’s specialty is dynasty leagues, but who also hosts keeper leagues and the traditional (or “redraft”) leagues.

My mission, and Matt has accepted, is to find out a little about Mr. Dougherty, and information regarding his fascinating fantasy football websites. I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Utter-Fantasy Question #1 to Matt Dougherty) My first introduction to fantasy football was back in 1985, so I have been doing this for a while. I have an educated guess that you have been doing this for a while as well. What got you interested in fantasy football to begin with?

I have been a huge NFL fan and diehard Washington fan and season ticket holder since I was a child. HTTR!
I discovered fantasy sports in the 90’s and started with a redraft league, then keeper leagues and once I discovered dynasty, I was hooked. I love the bond that is formed with your team and fellow league mates as well as the rivalries that form. Dynasty leagues are year-round and I love the ability to trade and interact with league members during the off-season.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #2) That first league that I started with back in 1985, is still a fun and competitive league today. How many fantasy football leagues do you participate in? Are there 1 or 2 that you have participated in for a number of years?

With the growing number of leagues I am running, I have had to cut back the number of leagues that I am in, but I still participate in about 15 dynasty leagues. A couple of them began back in the early 2000’s.  I have also recently discovered Best Ball dynasty leagues, which are leagues where there are no waivers and the system selects your best lineup each week based on the highest scoring players.  This format is great for owners with multiple leagues and limited time. We just started offering this league type at QuestFFL with great success.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #3) I am the commissioner of a couple of leagues myself, and that’s plenty. How does any human being manage to be the commissioner of over 300 dynasty leagues?

It takes a good deal of planning and being as organized as possible.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #4) What is the most demanding part of being the commissioner of so many leagues?

Definitely the time commitment.  In May, Quest and FFLS held its annual Rookie drafts. Over 2 weekends I ran close to 300 rookie drafts. I don’t think I left my computer or slept for a week straight. I had a blast following all of the drafts though and interacting with all of the owners!

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #5) You are the owner of QuestFFL.com and FantasyFootballLeagueSite.com. What was your inspiration for the 2 sites?

I used to participate in several leagues where the commissioner was unresponsive, took days to process trades and was not receptive to changes in the league.  As a commissioner I take pride in being very responsive. I have my smartphone tied to my hip and always respond to questions and trades very quickly. I also welcome constructive comments and criticisms on ways to improve the sites. These are your leagues!

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #6) Is there a difference between Quest and FFLS?

The FantasyFootballLeagueSite has an extra flex spot for lineups and also uses a taxi squad which is modeled after the NFL practice squad.  At QuestFFL we offer a wider variety of dynasty and keeper league types such as Best Ball, SuperFlex, Devy and Auction Salary Cap Dynasty leagues as well as a traditional keeper leagues where you keep a total of 7 players each year.  We also run a Quest League of Champions- invite only league, reserved for our most active owners.  This a free league with a large 1st place prize.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #7) Can fantasy football owners join QuestFFL and FantasyFootballLeagueSite even after the NFL season begins?

We stop offering startup leagues right before the start of the season but there are usually some orphan teams that are available at big discounts during the season.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #8) What’s the most common question that you are asked about your two fantasy football websites?

Will my league ever fold and will I get paid my winnings at the end of the season?

With the demise of several large dynasty sites in recent years, we wanted to provide more security for owners.  We just recently moved all league funds to LeagueSafe at QuestFFL and FantasyFootballLeagueSite.  All league funds are held in a LeagueSafe escrow account.  The commissioner has no access to these league funds.  At the end of the season, a majority of league members must vote to approve the allocation of winnings.  Winnings are sent by the end of December each year.

Since offering dynasty leagues in 2007, we have never folded a traditional dynasty league. While most of our owners are committed long-term, each year some owners decide to leave the league for a variety of reasons.  In order to entice new owners to take over the orphan teams, we offer these orphans at significant discounts. We currently are offering orphans at close to 40% off the regular entry fee. The payout structure remains the same even if a team gets sold at a discount.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #9) What tends to be the most popular league that fantasy football owners join at Quest and FFLS?

Besides our traditional dynasty league, Devy dynasty leagues are becoming increasingly popular. In this league format, there is an annual draft in August reserved for non professional players. Any college player is eligible.
This allows you to follow college players as they make their way to the NFL. You can even select a high school player.  In the first devy draft I ran many years ago, an owner selected Dorial Green- Beckham who was a high school senior at the time.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #10) On Twitter you write- “Send me your #dynasty questions!” Is fantasy football advice something the 2 sites provide, or something you do for your twitter followers?

As a commissioner, I need to be impartial and do not offer any advice to owners on either site.  However, I do offer advice on my personal Twitter account, @MattDynastyFF.  I have run over 300 drafts and processed thousands of trades so far this offseason so I have a great idea of player values.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #11) Where would you like to see Quest and FFLS, 5 years from now?

The possibilities are endless.  I always welcome and encourage feedback from owners on ways I can improve the leagues. In recent years I have implemented many changes including implementing a toilet bowl, 3rd place game, additional roster and flex spots.  All of these changes are based on feedback from owners and will continue to make improvements based on the feedback I receive.

 

Utter-Fantasy Question #12) Is there anything else, that would you like fantasy football owners to know about Quest and FFLS?

On both sites we have a large number of startup leagues currently open and will have drafts running continuously through the start of the season. We also have several dynasty orphan teams that are discounted up to 40% off the normal entry fee.  We also offer an additional $15 discount off any purchase for new owners.

Looking forward to great 2016 NFL season!

 

QuestFFL

Please follow our Twitter accounts for news regarding new leagues and orphans

@FFLSFantasy

@QuestFFL

1st and 10 with DFF Week 12

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

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

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

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

 

Week 12-  June 6th, 2016

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 11

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

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

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

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

 

Week 11-  May 30th, 2016

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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