1st and 10 with DFF Week 3 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
On Monday afternoon, approximately 2:00 PM Central, I will post the latest segment in “1st & 10 with DFF.” If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any questions for Michael, really let us know.
Week 3- March 28st, 2016
Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Zach Van Kirk. Be sure to follow Zach on Twitter @DFF_Zach
Utter-Fantasy #1) The Kansas City Chiefs had a top 5 defense in 2015, but OLB Justin Houston’s (ACL) season is now “in jeopardy”. Are you buying or selling the KC defense in 2016 with this key player now missing from the upcoming season?
DFF Response) The loss of Justin Houston will be major loss to the team, but not so much to the fantasy world. Houston had a large drop off in production from his near record setting campaign in 2014. Granted, Houston did miss 5 games in 2015 and was likely playing at less than 100%. Even with Houston ailing, the Chiefs sacked the QB 47 times, good for 4th in the league, and finished as the top scoring fantasy defense in 2015. I wouldn’t expect to see the same type of fantasy production from the Chiefs defense in 2016, as team defenses has proven to be fairly volatile, but I would argue that they are a must start in the coming season.
Utter-Fantasy #2) The NFL has now expanding the international games to China in 2018. I don’t believe that NFL players are jumping for joy over this, having to travel all the way across the world for one game. As a fan, I truly don’t think this brings much to the game, do you?
DFF Response) This is one of those moves that the NFL is doing in hope of expanding the brand and increasing revenue. They are doing so with little regard to the players or fans. From a fan standpoint, I could do without games in China. I am a creature of habit when it comes to the regular season schedule and the games in England last year had earlier start times than normal. I love watching as much football as I can but as a fan on the west coast, I had to wake up earlier than I do during the week to check who was active and confirm my lineup. I think the majority of fans and players would be more welcoming of games in Mexico City, like they are doing in 2016.
Utter-Fantasy #3) N.O Sean Payton was the highest paid head coach in the NFL last year, but has had back-to-back losing seasons in 2014 & 2015. Is this guy worth the new five-year contract that he was just given, worth “in excess” of $45 million?
DFF Response) In my opinion, Payton isn’t worth this much money. The entire move seems a bit odd considering the downtrend that the Saints have been in recently. The defense is most to blame for the lack of success in 2015 by allowing the most points per game (29.8) and the second most rushing and passing yards over the season. Rob Ryan took most of the blame for the defense when he departed, so now the focus will shift to 37 year old QB Drew Brees. The Saints offense has still been able to produce even with an aging Brees, but it remains to be seen how Payton will replace Brees. There is also the question of if Payton can be successful without Brees, as the two of them have been connected at the hip since 2006.
Utter-Fantasy #4) The 2016 NFL Draft is in a month. It will begin, like it always does, with Roger Goodell walking on stage and being booed mercilessly….and I love it. Do you think he has any idea how hated he is, or does a $40 million dollar paycheck every year, make all the jeers just fade away?
DFF Response) I would hope Goodell is smart enough to understand how much everyone hates him. Players and fans voice their opinion on Goodell after every controversial decision. At this point, I don’t think he cares. The NFL continues to see success and is only gaining momentum. While the hatred for him grows, it seems increasingly unlikely that we will see him bounced from his job. At this point, the owners seem too content with the revenue stream to put up much of a fight against him. We won’t see Goodell removed from his office without a major scandal.
Utter-Fantasy #5) Coach Rex Ryan reiterated at Tuesday’s NFL Coaches Breakfast that he wants free agent Percy Harvin back with the Bills. Here are Harvin’s stats for the past 3 years…….(2013)-1/17/0…..(2014)-51/361/1…..(2015)-19/218/1. How the heck does this guy keep getting a spot on team rosters???
DFF Response) Harvin will continue to find work because of the stats he put up from 2010 to 2012. Since those three productive years in Minnesota, he has been plagued by injuries and also pegged as an outsider in the locker room. Harvin, as a free agent, also comes at a much lower price compared to the 1st, 3rd, and 7th round picks that the Seahawks sent to Minnesota in early 2013. Although it is highly unlikely that Harvin will find the same form he had in Minnesota, I would say that it is at least worth a gamble. If the Bills bring Harvin back for pennies, any sort of production would come as a warm welcome.
Utter-Fantasy #6) DE Chris Long obviously comes from good NFL pedigree, but he has battled injuries for the past 2 years. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams 2nd overall in the 2008 NFL Draft, and LA Rams HC Jeff Fisher has stated that Long will ‘be a factor’ for Patriots. Do you agree?
DFF Response) I love the move. While Chris Long has dealt with his fair share of injuries, he came at an incredible bargain. I am confident that Bill Belichick will get every ounce of potential out of the 31 year old defensive end. Long may not end the year as a defensive player of the year candidate but he should be a huge factor in helping the Patriots compete for another championship.
Utter-Fantasy #7) I have always liked the competitive fight in WR Anquan Boldin, and even on a lousy 49er team in 2015, he hauled in 69 receptions for 789 yards and 4 touchdowns. Although he’s 35 years old, I am surprised that he’s still free agent…are you? ( I would love to see him reunite with WR Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona!)
DFF Response) I am fairly confident that Boldin will find a home before preseason. He may be getting older but he has shown much more resiliency than other 35 year old receivers. As an Arizona native, I would love to see Q back here. My family had the good fortune of meeting him several times during his time in the desert and he was always extremely kind and receptive to fans. On top of his on-field production, Boldin’s good nature is likely to woo a GM or Coach during the free agency period. We already know that Q’s first game with a new team will be a good one: AZ Debut- 10/217/2, Baltimore Debut- 7/110, San Francisco Debut- 13/208/1.
Utter-Fantasy #8) I am always relieved in fantasy football drafts when WR Rueban Randle is taken early, so I don’t even have to consider him in later rounds. The Giants did not try to re-sign him, and now that he is Philadelphia, his stock drops even more for me, if that’s possible. Does he have much fantasy value for you in 2016?
DFF Response) As a perpetual Randle owner, I can say that this move doesn’t excite me in the least. I have rostered Randle in the past as a bye week filler but the Philly signing will hurt that stock as well. Everyone expects the Philly offense to be much different than it was under Chip Kelly but that still doesn’t mean that Randle will be anything outside of a desperation flex play. The team already has two stars in the making with WRs Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor, so it’s likely that Randle will take over as the 3rd receiver, competing with Chris Givens and Josh Huff. After Victor Cruz went down, Randle’s biggest advantage in NY was not having a true WR2 to surpass him on the depth chart. Barring a setback or injury to Agholor or Matthews, Randle should lose all fantasy value and retain very little NFL value as well.
Utter-Fantasy #9) RGIII is now in Cleveland, and the Browns have a capable quarterback of sorts. They have wasted 5-1st rounds picks on quarterbacks since 1999, so this signing means that they won’t draft a QB in the 1st round, correct?
DFF Response) I have mixed feelings about RGIII in Cleveland. They have made a lot of positive changes including the hiring of Hue Jackson. All signs point to this being a productive move for the Browns and RGIII, but they are still the Browns. The problem arises if the Browns draft a quarterback with the second overall pick. This would likely create an unnecessary media distraction and ultimately leave the Browns with two starter potential quarterbacks, both with lost confidence.
Utter-Fantasy #10) True or false……Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak is “coo coo” if he believes Mark Sanchez can “run the Denver offense.”
DFF Response) False. Falso. Faux. Falsch. Mark Sanchez is the opposite of a franchise QB. I am still racking my brain on how Sanchez, Rex, and the Jets made it to the AFC championship in back to back years. If I could insert a gif in here to support my argument, it would be the ultra famous Butt Fumble. We may never see something so terrifically entertaining ever again. After a few years of great offseason and draft moves by Elway, this is the biggest head scratcher. Sanchez has all the talent in the world to be a backup QB, but he should never be a starter again. The support that he has received from Kubiak is likely coach talk and the Broncos will end up with Ryan Fitzpatrick or a rookie in the upcoming draft. Don’t expect to see Sanchez on the field in 2016 besides in preseason games.
Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions for the Dynasty Football Factory