2016 Fantasy Players Difficult to Predict

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sam Holt

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

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

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

Fantasy Stock Drops From 2016 Draft

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


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

Top 10 Stock Drops:

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


1.    Ezekiel Elliott vs Darren McFadden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sam Holt

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

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

Rookie Fantasy Football Landing Spots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Quick Hits-

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

The Biggest Makeover from the Draft

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

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

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

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

– The Jacksonville Jaguars.

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

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

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

Cam Broady

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

2016 NFL Draft Round Two

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

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

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

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND TWO-

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND THREE- ( no notes)

 

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

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

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

67) Cowboys – Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska:

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

69) Jaguars – Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland:

70) Ravens – Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU:

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

72) Bears – Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida:

73) Dolphins – Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

81) Falcons – Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford:

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

83) Jets – Jordan Jenkins, LB, Georgia:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND ONE-LINK-

2016 NFL Draft Round One

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

 

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

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

 

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND ONE-

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 NFL DRAFT ROUND TWO-LINK-

The 2016 Strength of Schedule

The 2016 Strength of Schedule by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator & Doug Bowles

The 2016 NFL Schedule has recently been released, and with it comes every team’s new 2016 Strength of Schedule, which is is based on the win-loss records of their opponents. Football fans everywhere are scanning the calendar to see how “easy or difficult” it will be for their favorite teams in the upcoming season.

More often than not however, good teams have good seasons regardless of their schedules, and bad teams have bad seasons, so it may be unproductive to consider. I also believe that it is a flawed system for determining a “2016 Strength of Schedule”. In 2015, Washington won the NFC East, with Dallas in the basement with a 4-12 record. Was Washington the better team in 2015, or did Dallas have a losing season because QB Tony Romo was injured for most of the season? We know the answer is the latter. So Dallas was given an “easier” schedule ultimately based on an injury, and not necessarily because the NFL is trying it’s best to maintain a competitive balance within the league.

As I noted in February of this year, this report often doesn’t usually end up meaning much for NFL teams or for fantasy football when it’s all in the books at the end of a season.

If the “Strength of Schedule” actually is significant, it doesn’t show from the wins and losses recorded by NFL teams in 2015.

#32 (hardest)…PITTSBURGH………..10-6
#31 (hardest)…CINCINNATI…………12-4
#29 (hardest)…SEATTLE…………….10-6
#28 (hardest)…ARIZONA…………….13-3
#25 (hardest)…KANSAS CITY……….11-5
#23 (hardest)…DENVER………..……12-4
#21 (hardest)….MINNESOTA………..11-5

#10 (easiest)…PHILADELPHIA……….7-9
#9 (easiest)…DALLAS………………….4-8
#8 (easiest)…JACKSONVILLE……….5-11
#7 (easiest)…TENNESSEE………..…..3-13
#5 (easiest)…NEW ORLEANS………..7-9
#2 (easiest)…INDIANAPOLIS…….….8-8
#1 (easiest)…ATLANTA………………..8-8

NFL Playoffs – In 2015, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati had the 1st and 2nd hardest schedule respectively. As you know, these 2 teams went to the post-season.

LOOKING AT 2016-

#32 (hardest)…SAN FRANCISCO
#31 (hardest)…ATLANTA
#30 (hardest)…LA RAMS
#29 (hardest)…NEW ORLEANS
#28 (hardest)…SEATTLE
#27 (hardest)…TAMPA BAY

San Francisco is likely to have a terrible 2016 NFL season, and although their schedule doesn’t help any, they are going to lose because they aren’t very good. ( They will also lose because I believe Chip Kelly was the wrong man to hire as the 49er’s new head coach.) As for the rest of these teams, only Seattle had a winning season in 2015, and everyone of them would prefer an easy “Strength of Schedule” whether there is a debate about it’s significance or not.

#9 (easiest)…CINCINNATI
#8 (easiest)…DETROIT
#7 (easiest)…DALLAS
#5 (easiest)…CHICAGO
#2 (easiest)…NEW YORK GIANTS
#1 (easiest)…GREEN BAY

On the other side of the 2016 Strength of Schedule, Green Bay is likely to have a terrific 2016 NFL season, and although their schedule does help, they are going to win many games because they are a very good team.

FANTASY FOOTBALL – “Strength of Schedule” also doesn’t seem to matter in fantasy football. One would think that if a team has a very difficult schedule, then scoring would be more difficult. Not true! The Arizona Cardinals, with the #28 (hardest) Schedule was tops in the NFL in scoring points ( 489). Seattle (423), and Pittsburgh (423) also had tougher schedules while scoring in the top 10 of NFL teams for points in 2015.

For individual fantasy football players, the 2016 Strength of Schedule isn’t worth the trouble of considering. Examine the following inconsistencies….

The #1 WR for 2015 was PITT WR Antonio Brown- (The hardest) 2015 Strength of Schedule.  

The #2 WR for 2015 was ATL WR Julio Jones- (The easiest) 2015 Strength of Schedule.  

 

3 of the top 7 Running backs for 2015 had the (hardest) of 2015 Strength of Schedules.  

2 of the top 3 Running backs for 2015 had the (easiest) of 2015 Strength of Schedules.  

 

As for Quarterbacks– None of the 4 QBs with the (easiest) of Strength of Schedules for 2015…made it into the top 12 rankings for last season.

 

So, going into this 2016 season, I will ignore the “2016 Strength of Schedule” and I will concentrate on what really matters…the “2016 Strength of Talent”.

Drafting Rookie Quarterbacks

Drafting Rookie Quarterbacks by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

In case you haven’t heard….The LA Rams traded the Tennessee Titans for their #1 overall selection in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft (plus #113 and #177 overall picks). In return, Tennessee acquired LA’s 2016 picks Nos. 15, 43, 45 and 76. The Titans also get the Rams’ 1st and 3rd round picks in next year’s draft. New Tenn GM Jon Robinson said he wanted a “King’s ransom” for the No. 1 pick, and that’s what he was paid. The Rams are desperate for a franchise quarterback and they clearly believe he is in this draft. Although ESPN is reporting that “LA wants 2 weeks to “debate whether to take QB Goff or QB Wentz”, this is just drama.  LA didn’t “give away the farm” on “a still undecided”. Some think that 6’5″ N Dakota State’s Carson Wentz is headed for the west coast, while ESPN and others anticipate the Rams drafting Jared Goff with their new No. 1 overall. Either way, the Ram know who they want.

The gamble for LA is a huge one. The success rate for rookie quarterbacks drafted in the 1st round is the same as a coin flip. Since 2010, 7 rookie quarterbacks have successfully transitioned into NFL as high caliber starters, while 7 others have been “busts”. I have omitted 2 QBs from these 2 lists, creating a 3rd called “Yet Determined”.

Since 2010…..

7- Successful 1st Round Rookie Quarterbacks:

2010 Sam Bradford
2011 Cam Newton
2012 Andrew Luck
2012 Ryan Tannehill
2014 Blake Bortles
2015 Jameis Winston
2015 Marcus Mariota

7- 1st Round Rookie Quarterback Busts:

2010 T Tebow
2011 Jake Locker
2011 Blaine Gabbert
2011 C Ponder
2012 Brandon Weeden
2013 EJ Manuel
2014 J Manziel

2- 1st Round Rookie Quarterbacks “Yet Determined”:

2012 Robert Griffin III
2014 Teddy Bridgewater

What’s particularly interesting about this trade by HC Jeff Fisher and the LA Rams, is that they were the beneficiaries of a lopsided, disastrous trade only 4 years ago. In that infamous trade for Robert Griffin III in 2012, Washington received the draft’s No. 2 pick from the Rams, while the then-St. Louis Rams received a haul of eight players. Mike Shanahan was the head coach of Washington in 2012 and was fired a year later. He is currently unemployed and QB RG3 now plays in Cleveland.

One of my Twitter fantasy football brethren….Dave Bettach, said it best I think, when he wrote….“Snead ( LA Rams General Manager Les Snead) looks confused and more nervous than a guy on death row…and that’s where he’ll be if this trade tanks.”  You can follow Dave on Twitter @Titansffaan

2016 Free Agent Landings Part 2

2016 Free Agent Landings Part 2 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Week 2 of NFL free agency is in the books, and there are some teams that already have a new look, like the Houston Texans. Some teams like the Green Bay Packers were not aggressive in free agency, but did not lose any key players. Then there a few teams that added players, that may or may not have an impact in 2016.

The Good, the Bad and the Fuzzy Free Agent pick-ups so far.

the Good the bad and the fuzzy

The Good

new CLEV Texan QB Robert Griffin III- I do not believe that RGIII is a great quarterback, but I do think he has the potential to be better than Josh McCown, J Manziel, Austin Davis, Brian Hoyer, Connor Shaw, Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, Thad Lewis, Colt McCoy Seneca Wallace, Jake Delhomme, Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson etc etc etc.

new NO TE Coby Fleener- QB Drew Brees has never looked comfortable throwing to TE Josh Hill, who was signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Fleener is in a great situation for fantasy football owners because Saints HC Sean Payton admits that Fleener isn’t an asset as a blocker, so his role will be as a weapon for Brees.

new CINN WR Brandon Lafell– The Bengals need wide receivers to replace Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, and have begun building around WR A.J. Green with 6’4″ WR LaFell. The former Patriot was the #85 wide receiver in the NFL last year with 37 receptions for 515 yards and 0 TDs.

The Bad

new DET RB Stevan Ridley- This running back is now on his 3rd team in 3 years, and he missed eight games last season while recovering from a torn ACL. He is currently the #5 running back on the Lion’s depth chart, which means he won’t get any significant playing time.

new PHIL Eagle WR Rueban Randle- You know what the New Yorrk Giants thinks of Rueban Randle…..when they refused to re-sign him, and kept injured-plagued Victor Cruz instead. RR will have little fantasy value in 2016.

new BALT WR Mike Wallace- He has been making excuses for his poor play for a couple years now. Wallace recently blamed his former Minnesota quarterback for his lack of production, but he now needs to explain why he was out-played by rookie WR Stephan Diggs in that same offense. ( Diggs #46 WR in 2015……Wallace #75 WR in 2015). Maybe 60 Minutes gets motivated in 2016 with QB Flacco, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

new DET WR Jeremy Kerley- Last season Kerley only saw 26 targets total, and he blamed the Jets coaching staff for his lack of production. He will be playing behind WRs Golden Tate and Marvin Jones ( and anyone else the Lions bring in or draft) so Kerley’s 2016 fantasy value in minimal.

The Fuzzy-

new WASH TE Vernon Davis – As a Bronco last season starting in November, Davis ended up with 20 catches for 201 yards and 0 TDs…..not exactly what fantasy football owners were expecting when they flocked to the waiver wire to grab him. I doubt Davis interfers with WASH TE Jordan Reed from having another great season.

new NE Pat RB Donald Brown- This running back hasn’t been given a lot of chances to start in NFL games, but when he has, he has shown some ability and competitiveness. Unfortunately, no one can get excited about any running back in New England. I’m not drafting Brown unless he’s a good bargain in very late rounds.

new GB Cardinal TE Jared Cook- This acquisition by the Packers is confusing to figure out, because Cook will make the 5th tight end on the Green Bay roster. It also isn’t like the Packer’s didn’t already have a legitimate tight end weapon. TE Richard Rodgers was the #9 TE in 2015, with 8 touchdowns.

new DAL RB Alfred Morris- Last season, Morris looked like he was running on fumes, and Washington didn’t try to re-sign him. He’ll back up RB Darren McFadden, who stayed surprisingly healthy last season, but who knows if he will in 2016.

new IND RB Robert Turbin- 2015 was the first time in five seasons that RB Frank Gore failed to reach 1,000 yards. Gore will be 33 years old in May, and although he is one of the toughest men in the NFL, RB Turbin makes for an interesting handcuff for 2016.

 

2016 Top 10 Rookie WR Prospects

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

Two heads are better than one

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

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

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

Walterfootball.com- Top 10 Rookie WR Prospects

1. 6’2″ Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss

2. 6’0″ Will Fuller  Notre Dame

3. 6’2″ Michael Thomas Ohio State

4.  6’1″ Braxton Miller Ohio State

5. 6’2″ Josh Doctson TCU

6. 5’10” Corey Coleman  Baylor

7. 6’2″ Tyler Boyd  Pittsburgh

8. 5’11” Pharoh Cooper South Carolina

9. 5’10” Sterling Shepard  Oklahoma

10. 6’0″ Aaron Burbridge  Michigan State

 

CBS Sports.com-  Top 10 Rookie WR Prospects

1. 6’2″ Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss

2. 5’10” Corey Coleman  Baylor

3. 6’0″ Will Fuller  Notre Dame

4. 6’2″ Josh Doctson TCU

5. 6’2″ Tyler Boyd  Pittsburgh

6. 6’2″ Michael Thomas Ohio State

7. 5’11” Pharoh Cooper South Carolina

8. 5’10” Sterling Shepard  Oklahoma

9.  6’1″ Braxton Miller Ohio State

10. 6’1″ Rashard Higgins Colorado State

 

Ourlads.com- Top 10 Rookie WR Prospects

1. 6’2″ Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss

2. 6’2″ Josh Doctson TCU

3. 6’0″ Will Fuller  Notre Dame

4. 5’10” Corey Coleman  Baylor

5. 6’4″ De’Runnya Wilson Mississippi State

6. 6’1″ Braxton Miller Ohio State

6. 6’2″ Michael Thomas Ohio State

7. 6’2″ Tyler Boyd  Pittsburgh

8.  5’11” Pharoh Cooper South Carolina

9.  6’2″ Michael Thomas Ohio State

10.  6’2″ Charone Peake Clemson

 

Drafttek.com- Top 10 Rookie WR Prospects

1. 6’2″ Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss

2. 6’2″ Josh Doctson TCU

3. 6’0″ Will Fuller  Notre Dame

4. 5’10” Corey Coleman  Baylor

5. 6’2″ Michael Thomas Ohio State

6. 6’2″ Tyler Boyd  Pittsburgh

7.  6’1″ Braxton Miller Ohio State

8. 5’11” Pharoh Cooper South Carolina

9. 6’0″ Leonte Carro Rutgers

10. 6’0″ Roger Lewis Bowling Green

 

FFCouchCoach.com ( Tony Folino)-  Top 10 Rookie WR Prospects

1. 6’2″ Tyler Boyd  Pittsburgh

2. 6’2″ Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss

3. 6’2″ Michael Thomas Ohio State

4. 6’2″ Josh Doctson TCU

5. 5’10” Sterling Shepard  Oklahoma

6.  6’1″ Braxton Miller Ohio State

7.  6’1″ DeMarcus Robinson Florida

8. 5’10” Corey Coleman  Baylor

9. 6’0″ Will Fuller  Notre Dame

10. 6’0″ Leonte Carro Rutgers

 

Utter-Fantasy.com- Top 10 Rookie WR Prospects

1. 6’2″ Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss

2. 6’0″ Will Fuller  Notre Dame

3. 6’2″ Michael Thomas Ohio State

4.  6’2″ Josh Doctson TCU

5. 6’2″ Tyler Boyd  Pittsburgh

6. 5’10” Corey Coleman  Baylor

7.  6’1″ Braxton Miller Ohio State

8. 5’11” Pharoh Cooper South Carolina

9.  6’3″ Geronimo Allison Illinois

10.  6’0″ Aaron Burbridge  Michigan State

 

AVERAGE- Top 10 Rookie WR Prospects

1. 6’2″ Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss

2. 6’2″ Josh Doctson TCU

3.  6’0″ Will Fuller  Notre Dame

4. 6’2″ Michael Thomas Ohio State

5.  5’10” Corey Coleman  Baylor

6.  6’2″ Tyler Boyd  Pittsburgh

7.  6’1″ Braxton Miller Ohio State

8. 5’11” Pharoh Cooper South Carolina

9.  5’10” Sterling Shepard  Oklahoma

10.   6’0″ Leonte Carro Rutgers

 

2016 Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

2016 Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

 

2016 Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

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

Two heads are better than one

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

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

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

Walterfootball.com- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

4.  5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

5.  6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

6.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

7.  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

8.  5’9″ Illinois Josh Ferguson

9.  5’10” Arizona State D.J. Foster

10.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

 

CBS Sports.com-  Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

4.  5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

5.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

6.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

7.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

8.  6’0″ Alabama  Kenyan Drake

9.  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

10. 6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

 

Ourlads.com- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

4.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

5.  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

6.  6’0″ Alabama  Kenyan Drake

7.  5’9″ Illinois Josh Ferguson

8.  5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

9.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

10.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

 

Drafttek.com- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

4.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

5.   5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

6.  6’0″ Alabama  Kenyan Drake

7.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

8.  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

9.   6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

10.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

 

FFCouchCoach.com- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

3.  5’11” Georgia Keith Marshall

4.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

5.   6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

6.  5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

7.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

8.  5’9″ Illinois Josh Ferguson

9.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

10.  6’0″ California Daniel Lasco

 

Utter-Fantasy.com- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

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

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

4.  6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

5.   5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

6.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

7.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

8.  5’9″ Illinois Josh Ferguson

9.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

10.  6’0″ California Daniel Lasco

 

AVERAGE- Top 10 Rookie RB Prospects

1. 5’11” Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott

2.  6’2″ Alabama Derrick Henry

3.  5’10” Arkansas Alex Collins

4.  5’10” Utah DeVontae Booker

5.  5’10” Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon

6.  5’10” UCLA Paul Perkins

7.  6’0″ Notre Dame C.J. Prosise

8.  5’9″ Illinois Josh Ferguson

9.  5’11” Indiana Jordan Howard

10.  5’10” Arkansas Jonathon Williams

 

2016 Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

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

Two heads are better than one

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

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

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

Walterfootball.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

2. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’2″ Miss State Dak Prescott

6. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8. 6’3″ N.C. State Jacoby Brissett

9. 6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

10. 6’5″ Indiana Nate Sudfield

 

CBS Sports.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

2. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

6. 6’2″ Mississippi State Dak Prescott

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8. 6’3″ Arkansas Jacoby Brissett

9. 6’3″ N.C. State Brandon Allen

10. 6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

 

Ourlads.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

2. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

5. 6’2″ Miss State Dak Prescott

6. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

9. 5’11” Oregon Vernon Adams

10. 6’3″ Louisiana Tech Jeff Driskel

 

Drafttek.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

2. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’5″ W. Kentucky Brandon Doughty

6. 6’2″ Miss State Dak Prescott

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

9.  6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

10.  6’3″ N.C. State Brandon Allen

 

FFCouchCoach.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

2. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

3. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

6.  6’3″ Louisiana Tech Jeff Driskel

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8.  6’3″ Arkansas Jacoby Brissett

9.  6’1″ USC Cody Kessler

10.  5’11” Oregon Vernon Adams

 

Utter-Fantasy.com- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

2. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

6. 6’3″ N.C. State Jacoby Brissett

7. 6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

8. 6’2″ Miss State Dak Prescott

9. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

10. 6’3″ Louisiana Tech Jeff Driskel

 

AVERAGE- Top 10 Rookie QB Prospects

1. 6’5″ N Dakota State Carson Wentz

2. 6’4″ California Jared Goff

3. 6’6″ Memphis Paxton Lynch

4. 6’4″ Michigan State Connor Cook

5. 6’4″ Penn State C Hackenberg

6. 6’2″ Miss State Dak Prescott

7. 6’5″ Ohio State Cardale Jones

8.  6’3″ N.C. State Jacoby Brissett

9. 6’3″ Stanford Kevin Hogan

10. 6’3″ Louisiana Tech Jeff Driskel

2016 Free Agent Landings Part 1

2016 Free Agent Landings Part 1 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Week 1 of NFL free agency is in the books, and there are some teams that already have a new look, like the Houston Texans. Some teams like the Green Bay Packers were not aggressive in free agency, but did not lose any key players. Then there a few teams that added players, that may or may not have an impact in 2016.

The Good, the Bad and the Fuzzy Free Agent pick-ups so far.

the Good the bad and the fuzzy

The Good

new HOU Texan QB Brock Osweiler- Denver’s GM John Elway’s head must still be in the clouds from winning the Super Bowl. Letting QB Osweiler go to Houston is likely going to haunt the Broncos.

new SD Charger WR Travis Benjamin- This might be my favorite offensive pick-up in free agency so far. With Rivers as his quarterback, Benjamin is about to show the NFL what he’s been able to do all along, but couldn’t while in the Brown’s organization.

new NY Jet RB Matt Forte- It would have been nice to see Forte get paid by Chicago and stay a Bear. Chicago wouldn’t resign him so he signed a three-year deal with the Jets. He would be an excellent running back on any NFL team.

new HOU Texan RB Lamar Miller- He has stated that he “had grown weary of being underutilized in the Dolphins’ offense.” Miller was the  #6 running back in the NFL for 2015, but he only had 194 carries ( vs Adrian Peterson’s 327). He’s still young and talented. Miller is a great addition for the Texans.

new DET WR Marvin Jones– He’s not Megatron obviously, but he is 6’2″ and a dependable route runner. The former Bengals signed a five-year deal with Detroit worth $40 million

The Bad

new ARI Cardinal TE Jermaine Gresham- This move isn’t a bad one for Arizona, but it is for Gresham. The Cardinals do not have an offense for tight ends, so Gresham had better like to block.

new TENN Titan WR Rishard Matthews- This guy will have to fight TE Delanie Walker, WR Dorial Green-Beckham, WR Kendall Wright, WR Justin Hunter and RB Dexter McCluster for targets.

new PHIL Eagle WR Chris Givens- He reunites with Sam Bradford, who he had the most success with in St. Louis from 2012-2013. Can he improve on his meager 2015 stats of 353 receiving yards and 1 TD, with so many other weapons in Philadelphia?

new KC Chief WR Rod Streater- The Chiefs don’t have much after WR Jeremy Maclin except TE Travis Kelce, so Streater might be a contributor in 2016. Still, this wide receiver only had one catch in 2015, and this is the ultra-conservative KC offense.

The Fuzzy-

new JACK Jaguar RB Chris Ivory- If the Jags had traded TJ Yeldon, I would like this move more. Ivory is a football player, and he likes to get the ball. I think he’ll be unhappy in Jacksonville splitting carries, and I doubt he’ll be an asset to fantasy football owners, with roughly 8-10 carries a games.

new PITT Steeler TE Ladarius Green- His best game in 2015 was Week 1, for 74 yards and 1 TD. He had opportunities in San Diego, when TE A Gates was suspended for the 1st four games of the 2015 season, and he did not capitalize on it. QB Roethlisberger loved throwing to retired TE Heath Miller, so we’ll just have to see if he loves throwing to TE Green.

new ATL Falcon WR Mohamed Sanu- Last season, WR Leonard Hankerson had 241 yards and and 2 touchdowns in the 1st 4 games. The Falcons desperately need weapons to compliment WR Julio Jones. Sanu possesses the skills to be a slot receiver and red-zone weapon.

new BALT Raven TE Ben Watson- In 2015, with QB Drew Brees, Watson was the #7 Tight End in the NFL. He had 825 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. Although Baltimore is an offense that utilizes the tight end position, the Ravens drafted TE Maxx Williams in the 2015 NFL Draft and also have Crockett Gillmore as another tight end weapon.

Washington Team Profiles 2016

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

If it wasn’t obvious to you that new HC Jay Gruden didn’t like like RG3…then you weren’t paying attention. Also, If you didn’t see that QB Kirk Cousins was the better quarterback in Washington…then you weren’t paying attention either. It was an unpopular move to make by HC Gruden with management and with the fans, but he made Cousins the starter, and they won the division. No one is questioning him now.

2016 Team Outlook – In the past 5 years, every team in the NFC East has won the division at least once. NYG in 2011, PHIL in 2013, DALLAS in 2014 and WASH in 2015. It didn’t take a great record to win the division in 2015. Washington won the NFC East with a 9-7 record. No team has the obvious edge heading into 2016.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook –

QB- These are the quarterbacks from the 2012 NFL Draft- The jury is still out o QB Nick Foles, who has had some success in the NFL, and only Cleveland wasted their pick.

IND A Luck- Rd 1 #1
WASH R Griffin III- Rd 1 #2
CLEV B Weeden Rd 1 #22
DEN B Osweiler Rd 2 #57
SEA R Wilson Rd 3 #75
PHIL N Foles Rd 3 #88
WASH K Cousins Rd 4 #102

Cousins was the #9 quarterback in 2015, with 4166 passing yards and 29 TD passes. His numbers ranked him higher than QBs Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan, who all were able to play the entire 16 game season in 2015. Robert Griffin III is a free agent, and he is currently talking with the Jets organization. UPDATE: RGIII was traded to Cleveland and signed a 2 year deal with the Browns.

RBs– In most of last year’s fantasy football drafts, Alfred Morris was the 13th overall running back selected. If you were in a 10-12 team fantasy football league, and took Morris, he hurt your fantasy football season. Reliable in previous years, Morris ended 2015 as the #45 RB, with only 763 yards and only 1 touchdown. The 27-year-old free agent averaged a career-worst 3.7 yards per carry and failing to reach 1,000 yards rushing for the time in his career. RB Matt Jones is the assumed heir-apparent to the starting job, but in a few games last year when he was given the start, he failed to capitalize on the opportunity. He is an excellent receiving running back out of the backfield, but may not be a 3-down back. I doubt very much that he ends up with the most carries in Washington, when the 2016 season is over. Washington tendered exclusive rights free agent RB Chris Thompson. UPDATE: Free agent Alfred Morris signed a 2-year deal w/ DAL

WRs–  WR DeSean Jackson is an explosive play-maker when he is on the football field, which isn’t often. In 2015, Jackson only played in 8 games. HC Jay Gruden was clearly frustrated with Jackson’s 8 game season, but Washington doesn’t have a lot of depth in their receiving corps. DeSean will be back in 2016, but it will be his last season, if he doesn’t play. Pierre Garcon is the “Roddy White” in Washington, but still with a job. He was a talented receiver, but he just has too many miles on him. He was drafted by the Colts in 2008, so 2016 will be his 9th year in the NFL. Washington drafted 2 wide receivers in the 2015 NFL Draft, Jamison Crowder in Round 4, and Evan Spencer in Round 6. Neither is projected to do much in 2016.

TEs – In 2014, Jordan Reed was injured and had only 465 yards and 0 TDs. In 2015, Reed was healthier and played 14 games. He went on an offensive tear in the final 5 games of the regular season ( 498 yards and 6 TDs. ) He also had 9-of-17 targets for 120 yards and a touchdown in Washington’s Wild Card Round loss to Green Bay. For the season, Reed was the #2 tight end, just behind Gronk, with 952 receiving yards and 11 TDs. QB Kirk Cousins loves him and so should you in 2016. UPDATE: Free agent Vernon Davis signed a 1-year deal w/ WASH and Logan Paulsen re-signed 1-year.

K– Akers, Novak, Suisham, Cundiff, Gano, Hocker, Forbath, and Hopkins are just a few of the place kicker names associated with Washington. It can be a temporary gig. K Kai Forbath was replaced by Dustin Hopkins in September of 2015, who lost a preseason competition with Saints kicker Zach Hocker. Hopkins only missed 3 field goals last year ( 25 of 28 and 9th best percentage in the NFL), so hopefully he can stick around for awhile in Washington. Hopkins was a sixth-round pick of the Bills in 2013.

DEF– You wouldn’t think that Washington could win the NFC East again in 2016, with another defense that ranked #21, but none of the 4 teams in that division are very good. The Giants were #30, while Dallas and Philadelphia ranked #17 and #19 respectively. If one of these 4 teams can making significant improvements on defense, they’ll likely win the division because of it. Washington was 19th vs the pass, and 22nd vs the run in 2015.

2015 Washington Fantasy Surprises– QB Kirk Cousins was going to be the starter for Washington, but his #9 ranking for 2015 likely even surprised HC Jay Gruden. TE Jordan Reed finally played more than 11 games, since being drafted by Washington in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. 2015 was only RB Alfred Morris’ 4th season in the NFL, but he looked out of gas early on last year, and he isn’t getting much attention so far in free agency.

2016 Free Agents that Washington Needs to Address– QB Kirk Cousins (Re-signed 1-year deal), RB Alfred Morris, FB Darrel Young, RB Pierre Thomas, QB Colt McCoy, TE Logan Paulsen, ILB Mason Foster, CB Will Blackmon, OLB Junior Galette, NT Kedric Golston, ILB Will Compton (RFA), ILB Keenan Robinson, G/C Josh LeRibeus, NT Terrance Knighton,

2016 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of Washington is on their defense that ranked #21 in 2015. Washington needs inside linebackers and a revamped defensive line that can actually slow down an opposing team’s running attack. Like everyone else, they need help on their O-Line. ( former Brown’s Center Alex Mack would have been a huge acquisition, but he signed with ATL)- Washington still needs a workhorse running back and more talent in their receiving corps.-WASHINGTON’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know – Former Redskins Running Back John Riggins went to college at Kansas University where he broke the rushing record of another great Running Back, Gale Sayers.

Team Home Page: www.redskins.com

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

Tennessee Titans Team Profile 2016

Tennessee Titans Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

On November 3, 2015, the Titans relieved Ken Whisenhunt of head coaching duties and announced that Asst HC Mike Mularkey would step in as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2015 season. On January 16, 2016, Tennessee officially named Mularkey as their full-time head coach for the upcoming season.

2016 Team Outlook– Indianapolis had won the the AFC South in 2 consecutive years, prior to 2015. With the Colt’s QB Andrew Luck on the sidelines last season, there was a better chance for Tennessee, Houston or Jacksonville to take the division. Houston ended up winning the AFC South, with a 9-7 record. Tennessee had a new rookie quarterback and ended with a 3-13 record. The Jaguars were 5-11 because they did not have a defense to compete with. If QB Luck is 100% healthy, I like the Colts to rebound, but Houston is making it interesting with their recent player acquisitions.


2016 Fantasy Football Outlook–

QB–  QB Marcus Mariota went #2 overall to the Titans in the 2015 NFL Draft, and started in Week 1. The rookie quarterback wasn’t able to play an entire 16 game season, diagnosed with a sprained right MCL after Week 15. Tennessee’s record dictated shutting the rookie QB down for the remainder of the season. Mariota ended 2015 with 2818 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns and 10 INTs. In Week 13 vs Jacksonville, Mariota had 9 rushes for 112 yards  and 1 TD. (most of the yards coming on a fun-to-watch 87 touchdown run in the 4th quarter) New HC Coach Mike Mularkey has stated that the Titans will “design more running plays” for Marcus Mariota in his second NFL season.

RB-  Down around #46 is where you’ll find the Titan’s top running back last season, Antonio Andrews. He had 556 rushing yards and 3 TDs. If you keep digging deep, you can find Tennessee’s other backs if you want, Bishop Sankey, Terrence West and David Cobb. Fantasy football owners were disappointed, and so were the Titan’s. On March 7, 2016 Tennessee traded for former Eagle RB DeMarco Murray. Happy to be out of Philadelphia, Murray signed a 4-year contract worth $25.5 million. Murray is a solid running back, but he was made special by Dallas’ #1 offensive line in 2014. There were 14 running backs I ranked ahead of Murray at the start of 2015, and #15 is my ranking for Murray in 2016. UPDATE: Titans acquired RB DeMarco Murray from the Eagles in exchange for undisclosed draft pick compensation.

WRs– The Titans have used the NFL Drafts to fortify their receiving corps over the past 4 years. Kendall Wright was selected in 2012 and Justin Hunter in 2013. In the  2015 NFL Draft, the Titans grabbed 2 more….6’5″ Dorial Green-Beckham ( 2nd round) and 6’0″ Tre McBride ( 7th round). Still trying to surround their quarterback with weapons, Tennessee signed former Dolphin wide out Rishard Matthews on March 9th, 2016. It’s an imposing core of receivers, and now fantasy football owners need to decide who will help them the most. No Titan receiver ranked in the top 50 last year. I would wait until the late rounds in 2016 fantasy football drafts to get a receiver from this team. UPDATE: former Dolphin WR Rishard Matthews signed a 3-year deal w/ TENN.

TEs– A tight end can be a rookie quarterback’s best friend. After the 2015 season was in the books, Walker was the #5 tight end in the NFL. He led all NFL tight ends with 94 receptions. He is a weapon that QB Mariota likes to get the ball to.

K– Mr. Irrelevant from 2009, Ryan Succop, did not have a great fantasy football season in 2015, but you can’t blame Mr. Irrelevant from 2009, Ryan Succop. The man only had 16 field goal attempts in 2015, and made 14 of them. That’s good for a 87. 5%…..11th best in the NFL. The Titans re-signed K Ryan Succop to a three-year contract.

DEF– The Titans were the 23rd worst defense in 2015. Tennessee was 24th vs the pass and 24th vs the run. Houston was the only team in that division with a strong defense (#8 in the NFL) and they won the AFC South. The Titans need a defense that isn’t ranked in the bottom 3rd every year.

2015 Tennessee Fantasy Surprises– 1) If you get as far as the NFL, you are a special talent. Tennessee had talented running backs on their roster in 2015, but none of them did very much, so they traded for RB DeMarco Murray. 2) I am a believer in letting a quarterback hold a clipboard for year, before throwing them at NFL defenses filled with world class athletes. Mariota was given very little time to be a starting NFL quarterback, and he was one.

2016 Free Agents that Tennessee Needs to Address–
TE Craig Stevens, ILB Zach Brown, CB Coty Sensabaugh, NT Sammie Lee Hill, NT Al Woods, RT Byron Bell, G/T Jamon Meredith

2016 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Tennessee is protecting the quarterback that they spent a #2 overall 2015 NFL Draft on. The Titan’s allowed a league-high 54 sacks in 2015. The Titan’s need defensive backs in April and need reinforcements on their defensive line. TENNESSEE’S 2015 DRAFT-

Did You Know– While playing for the Titans, Chris Johnson twice had the longest TD run of the season in the NFL. He did this with a 91 yard scoring run in 2009 and then again with a 94 yard touchdown run in 2012.

Team Home Page: www.titansonline.com

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

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team Profile 2016

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

For Lovie Smith, an 8-24 record after two years in Tampa Bay = FIRED!  You are FiredSmith was a head coach in the NFL for 11 years, he had a winning percentage of .500 and never won a post-season game. Gone now from the NFL, Smith was named head coach for the University of Illinois on March 7, 2016. Dirk Koetter became the Buccaneers’ new head coach on Jan. 15, 2016, after a successful season as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator in 2015. Koetter’s offensive leaderahip led the team to finish 5th in the NFL in total offense. (Impressive considering the Buc’s roster of very young players, including 21-year-old rookie quarterback.)

2016 Team Outlook – The Buccaneers compete in the NFC South division with Carolina, New Orleans and Atlanta. The Panthers won the division with a 15-1 record, and went to Super Bowl 50. It probably would have been just fine with the Bucs, if QB Cam Newton had also retired (aka Peyton Manning) after the 2015 season. Cam did not, so Carolina is the favorite team to take the NFC West title in 2016.


2016 Fantasy Football Outlook –

QB– Florida State QB Jameis Winston was the #1 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. Tampa Bay was definitely going to draft one of the two highly coveted college quarterbacks, ( Winston and M Mariota) but Winston’s connection with the state of Florida likely sealed the deal for the Bucs. Rookie quarterbacks seldom have the success that both Winston and M Mariota had in 2015, so hats off to them, and their offensive coordinators. Winston threw for over 4000 yards last years with 28 total touchdowns ( 22 passing, 6 rushing. )

RB– Buccaneers agreed to terms with RB Doug Martin on a five-year, $35.75 million contract, including $15 million guaranteed. For a couple of weeks, free agent Martin was being sought by many NFL teams, but the Bucs wanted him back and got the contract done. On a team with a rookie quarterback, and with an average O-Line, Martin powered his way to the #3 running back for 2015. He racked up almost 1700 total yards and 7 TDs. Teammate running back Charlie Sims may have had the quietest 1000+ yard seasons (rushing and receiving) in the NFL last year. A talented back out of the backfield, Sims had 4 receiving touchdowns. RB Bobby Rainey is a free agent. UPDATE: Bobby Rainey signed a 1-year, $840K deal with NYG.

WRs– Mike Evans had 1208 receiving yards in 2015 and at the same time led the NFL in drops last year. It’s scary how good this guy could be in 2016. If he can fix his butter fingers, if QB Winston can go to the next level as an NFL quarterback, and if the Bucs bring in another receiving threat…Evans will be a top 10 fantasy football wide receiver. WR Vincent Jackson turned 33 this year, and although he is on the decline in his career, he’s still a big, talented receiver ( 6’5″).  In the 2015 NFL Draft, the Bucs drafted 6’1″ Nebraska WR Kenny Bell and new HC Coach Dirk Koetter has stated that Bell is “a big part of the Bucs’ future plans.”

TEs– In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Bucs used their 2nd draft selection on 6’5″ TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. His rookie season ended with only 221 receiving yards and 2 TDs, playing in 9 games. 2015 was a slight improvement, with 338 receiving yards and 4 TDs, but playing in only 7 games. In 2 seasons, ASJ has spent as much time watching from the sidelines, as on the field. He needs to stay healthy in 2016, to avoid being considered a 2nd round bust for the Bucs. ( Maybe someone needs to remind ASJ that the Bucs have other decent TE options…as in Luke Stocker, Cameron Brate and Brandon Myers.)

K– The Bucs started the preseason out with place kicker competition between Connor Barth and Kyle Brindza. The Week 1 job went to Brindza. 6 missed field goals later by Brindza, and Connor Barth got his job back. Barth will likely get competition again, missing 5 FGs of his own last year.

DEF– Tampa Bay’s defense playing in the NFC South, is like 3 nerds in a room, with one jock. Tampa Bay, Atlanta and New Orleans can all hang together with defenses that rank near the bottom of the NFL, while Carolina flexed their defenses muscles at #2. Tampa Bay’s defense must rebound with key additions coming from the 2016 NFL Draft.

2015 Tampa Bay Fantasy Surprises – If I am an NFL defense facing Tampa Bay with a rookie quarterback, I am going to stack the box, stop the run, and force the Bucs to beat me through the air. It’s a logical strategy. In 2015, defenses couldn’t stop RB Doug Martin. The #3 running back in the NFL had an incredible 4.87 yard average per carry at season’s end.

2016 Free Agents that Tampa Bay Needs to Address – RB Doug Martin (re-signed), RB Bobby Rainey, DT Jacquies Smith (RFA), DT Henry Melton, CB Sterling Moore, OLB Danny Lansanah (RFA), SS Bradley McDougald (RFA), FS Keith Tandy, DT Tony McDaniel, FS Chris Conte, CB Mike Jenkins

2016 NFL Draft–
Taking a look at who the Bucs could lose in free agency, the immediate needs of Tampa Bay are on defense. The Bucs secondary was a joke in 2015, 26th worst vs the pass. Tampa Bay needs corners and a caliber safety. The Bucs also need to find some pass rushers to help out a new secondary. The best thing that Tampa Bay can do for their 2nd year QB J Winston, is get reinforcements for the O-Line. Young talent opposite WR Mike Evans might be added.  – TAMPA BAY’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know –
Buccaneers running back Mike Alstott (1996-2006) played his first two seasons in the NFL with his name misspelled on the back of his jersey, it read “Alsott”

Team Home Page: www.buccaneers.com

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

Los Angeles Rams Team Profile 2016

Los Angeles Rams Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

The NFL football team now known as the Los Angeles Rams played in St. Louis, Missouri as the St. Louis Rams from the 1995 through the 2015 seasons. Although it seems like Jeff Fisher has been head coach for the Rams for a long time, it’s really only been since 2012. Fisher did not have one winning season in any of the 4 years in St. Louis, so maybe the change of scenery will be welcomed.

2016 Team Outlook –
Unfortunately for Fisher and the Rams, they didn’t change divisions, just cities. They still have to contend with Arizona and Seattle in the NFC West. Fisher isn’t worried about the San Francisco 49ers. Arizona won the NFC West in 2015, with a 13-3 record. Seattle was close behind with a winning record as well…..10-6. For the Rams, it’ll be tough to compete…..as of now, they don’t even know who their starting quarterback will be.

UPDATE: Rams acquired the No. 1, No. 113 and No. 177 overall picks of the 2016 draft from the Titans in exchange for picks Nos. 15, 43, 45 and 76 in this year’s draft as well as 1st- and 3rd-round picks next year.


2016 Fantasy Football Outlook –

QB– The Rams have QBs Case Keenun, Nick Foles and Sean Mannion on their roster. (Nick Foles came over from Philly in the san Bradford trade and started the 2015 season.) Los Angeles has restricted free agent Case Keenum atop their depth chart, so for now he’s projected to be the starter.” Keenum became the starting QB halfway through last season when the Rams lost faith in QB Foles. The Rams currently have the 15th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Moving up to get one of the top quarterback prospects is expensive and risky. Less than 50% of quarterbacks drafted in the 1st round, ever pan out to be successful NFL QBs…..( just ask the Cleveland Browns, if you don’t believe me.)

RB–
In the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, two selections in particular ( by two different teams) had me trying to figure out what the heck those teams were thinking. 1) Indianapolis selecting a T Y Hilton-clone WR Philip Dorsett……and 2) St. Louis’s pick of RB Todd Gurley.  The Colt’s pick is still a mystery, but after watching Gurley last year, I get it. I knew he was crazy talented, but at the time… he was injured, and at the time, the Rams were stock piled with running backs. When Gurley was drafted, the Rams already had 3 talented RBs….Tre Mason, Zac Stacy, and Benny Cunningham. In 2015, Gurley was the #5 running back in the NFL, playing in only 13 games.

WRs– In 2015, St. Louis was loaded with young, talented wide receivers. The Rams had Tavon Austin, Brian Quick, Kenny Britt, Austin Pettis and Chris Givens. Not 1 of them ended 2015 ranking in the top 50 of wide receivers in the NFL. The Rams were a mess last year at quarterback, when Foles didn’t work out, and Case Keenum had to take over. (Foles had more INTs than TDs in his 11 starts – Keenum only had 4 TD passes in his 5 starts.) On November 9, 2015, the St. Louis Rams signed Welker to a one-year, but he won’t be back. Brian Quick is a free agent. UPDATE: Brian Quick re-signed a 1-year, $1.75M deal with LAR.

TEs– 6’5″ Jared Cook led the St. Louis Rams in 2015 with 481 yards and 0 TDs. ( the Ram’s wideouts weren’t the only position to have a rough 2015 season) Lance Kendricks only had 281 yards receiving, but hauled in 2 TD receptions last season. On Feb. 19th, 2016, the Rams released TE Jared Cook. Lance Kendricks could have a bigger role following Cook’s release, but Los Angeles needs a quarterback, before we start expected good things from any Rams’ tight end.

K– Unlike a nice bottle of wine, place kicker Greg Zuerlein isn’t getting better with time. Free agent Zuerlein was a Ram 6th Round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Zuerlein started his career strong, but was a liability for the Rams especially  last season. In 2015, “Legatron” made only 66.7 % of his field goal attempts ( 20 of 30) which was dead last in the NFL. He has 6 months to turn it around if he wants to be employed in Week 1.

DEF–
If you’re going to play with the tough kids on the playground, you had better be pretty tough yourself. The NFC West has some pretty tough defenses playing in it, namely Arizona and Seattle. The Rams can say that they held there own in 2015, with the #7 defense in the NFL. The Rams were 8th vs the pass, 7th vs the run last year. FYI- Of the top 12 defenses in the NFL from 2015, all went into the post-season….except the NY Jets (#5) and the STL Rams (#7).


2015 St. Louis Fantasy Surprises –
WR Tavon Austin did not have a spectacular receiving year in 2015 as compared with other NFL wideouts, but he was rather spectacular rushing the ball. Austin had 52 rushing attempts last year, totaling 434 yards Austin with 4 turning into touchdowns. He became the first player to score at least five receiving touchdowns, four rushing touchdowns, and a punt return touchdown in a single season since Gale Sayers did so for the Chicago Bears in 1965. RB Todd Gurley is a special talent, so his 1108 rushing yards and 10 TDs isn’t surprising, but he did so playing in only 13 games, following rehab from a torn ACL.


2016 Free Agents that St. Louis Needs to Address –
QB Case Keenum (RFA), RB Benny Cunningham (RFA), WR Brian Quick, DE Eugene Sims, WR Wes Welker, K Greg Zuerlein, FB Cory Harkey, C Tim Barnes, CB Janoris Jenkins, DT Nick Fairley, CB Trumaine Johnson, DE William Hayes, LB/S Mark Barron, FS Rodney McLeod,

2016 NFL Draft –
The immediate needs of Los Angeles is getting a center and guards for their O-Line, a quarterback and they desperately need defensive backs. If the Rams lose FS Rodney Mcleod, that leaves a hole at free safety as well. The Rams have one of smallest receiving corps in the NFL. Most are 5’10”, except for Kenny Britt, so Fisher might grab a receiver with some height.- ST LOUIS’ 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know – In one of the most unique trades in professional sports history, 1971 saw Baltimore Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom trade his entire franchise to Rams owner Robert Irsay. Essentially the two owners swapped complete organizations. No players or other personnel changed teams in the transaction.

Team Home Page: www.therams.com/

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

 

Seattle Seahawks Team Profile 2016

Seattle Seahawks Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Pete Carroll began coaching the Seattle Seahawks in 2010, and it took a couple of seasons to turn the team into his winning organization. 2010 and 2011 both ended in 7-9 seasons. In 2012 HC Carroll drafted Russell Wilson with the 12th pick in the third round (75th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. Since the selection, the Seahawks have had no less than 10 wins for the past 4 years.

2016 Team Outlook – The Arizona Cardinals, led by HC Bruce Arians, ended the Seattle Seahawks 2 year domination of the NFC West Division. In 2015, Arizona had a 13-3 record vs the Seahawks 10-6 record. Arizona and Seattle share their division with the L.A. Rams and the SF 49ers. The Rams and 49ers are rebuilding, and don’t even have starting quarterbacks on their rosters, so it’s likely only a 2 team battle for the division in 2016.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook –

QB– In the 2012 NFL Draft, 5 quarterbacks were selected before Seattle grabbed Russell Wilson in the 3rd round. The most egregious was Cleveland’s selection of Brandon Weeden in Round One. Seattle has been rewarded for their savvy pick, with a franchise quarterback who has never had a losing season, 4 straight post-season appearances and one Super Bowl victory. Wilson was a top 5 quarterback in 2014 and 2015. Wilson is an excellent fantasy football QB that fantasy leaguers can wait to get in Rounds 4 and 5.

RB– On February 7, 2016, the day of Super Bowl 50, Lynch announced his retirement. Lynch battled injuries throughout the 2015 NFL season, and only played in 7 games last season. Prior to 2015, Lynch had 4 straight seasons with 1200+ rushing yards and 11+ touchdown runs. The Lynch-era in Seattle is over, and the Thomas Rawls-era as the full-time #1 RB in Seattle begins. HC Carroll has stated that RB Rawls will have to win the job in 2016, but only an injury is going to prevent Rawls from being the starter. In 2015 while filling in for RB Lynch, Rawls had 906 total yards and 5 touchdowns, making him the #26 running back in the NFL.

WRs–
On March 10, 2015, N.O. TE Jimmy Graham was traded to the Seahawks. If you were a Seattle wideout, you probably thought that your upcoming 2015 player stats….just got cut in half. What’s worst, is that this was already a run-first team to begin with. So if you had told WR Doug Baldwin on March 11th, 2015 that he was going to have the best year of his career, and that he’d end up with over 1000 yards receiving and 14 touchdown receptions….he probably would have started laughing at you. Rookie Tyler Lockett is proving to be a steal from the 2015 NFL Draft, drafted by the Seahawks in the third round. He ended 2015 as the #42 WR in the NFL and he is a premier kick returner. In his first NFL appearance, Lockett had a 103-yard kick return touchdown against the Broncos in Seattle’s preseason opener. WR Jermaine Kearse also had the best season of his career in 2015, with 685 yards and 5 TDs. Kearse is a free agent and intends to test the open market. UPDATE: Jermaine Kearse re-signed a 3-year, $13.5M deal with SEA.


TEs–
It needs to be noted that even before newly-acquired TE Jimmy Graham tore his right patellar tendon in the Seahawks’ Week 12 win over the Steelers, there seemed to be little chemistry between him and QB Russell Wilson. Graham had zero touchdown receptions from Week 3 – Week 12 and had only one game with over 100 yards receiving in 2015. It’s doubtful that Graham will be healthy enough to start the 2016 season in Week 1. Seattle has 2 other competent tight ends in Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet.

K– Steven Hauschka joins NE Stephen Gostowski as one of the most accurate and dependable place kickers in the NFL. Hauschka’s 93.5% for field goal completions in 2015 was only bested by NYG K Josh Brown, who was successful in 93.8% of his attempts.

DEF– Teams with good defenses go to the post-season. Teams with the top 2 defenses go to the Super Bowl. These statements may not be true every year, but they were in 2015. Denver, Carolina, Arizona and Seattle were the top 4 defenses in the NFL last year. Seattle was 3rd vs the pass, 3rd vs the run and only Denver allowed fewer points to opposing offenses last season.

2015 Seattle Fantasy Surprises –
RB Marshawn Lynch was drafted by the Bills in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft, so 9 years as an NFL running back will take a toll on any man. Its no surprise that he finally wore down, and has ultimately decided to retire. WR Doug Baldwin and undrafted RB Thomas Rawls were the fantasy surprises for this team last season. Both are Utter-Fantasy recommendations as early adds in fantasy football drafts this September.

2016 Free Agents that Seattle Needs to Address – WR Jermaine Kearse, RB Christine Michael (RFA), RB Fred Jackson, RB Bryce Brown, QB Tarvaris Jackson, OG J.R. Sweezy, DT Ahtyba Rubin, C Patrick Lewis (RFA), P Jon Ryan, DT Demarcus Dobbs, T/G Alvin Bailey (RFA), LT Russell Okung, OLB Bruce Irvin, NT Brandon Mebane, CB Jeremy Lane

2016 NFL Draft– QB Russell Wilson was pressured a lot in 2015, and sacked a career high 45 times. Seattle needs immediate help on their offensive line to protect Wilson and reestablish the team as a run-first offense again. WR J Kearse departure will leave Seattle needing another wideout. Free agency could wipe out all of RB Rawl’s current back-ups, so Seattle needs help there. The Seahawks also needs a more dependable corner opposite LCB Richard Sherman. – SEATTLE’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know – RB Thomas Rawls was signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He played college football at Michigan and Central Michigan. Rawls currently holds the record for the most single game rushing yards by a rookie running back for the Seattle Seahawks (209), as well as the most rushing yards by an undrafted rookie in his first 6 games (711).

Team Home Page: www.seahawks.com

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

San Francisco 49ers Team Profile 2016

San Francisco 49ers Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Fill in the blank……. ___________ wants out of San Francisco. You could put many current SF players here. (You knew things were bad when former 49ers Jim Harbaugh left. Harbaugh was a winning coach, he never had a losing season, he went to the Super Bowl in 2012, and then left for the college ranks in 2015.)  Jim Tomsula lasted one 2015 season as the 49ers head coach, and 2016 starts the “Chip Kelly” era (hired on January 14, 2016.)  This has disaster written all over it, at least for 2016.

2016 Team Outlook–
  San Francisco’s 5-11 season in 2015 was their worst since 2007. ( also 5-11 ) The 49ers play in the NFC West, with Seattle, Arizona and L.A. Ram. The last time I looked, those 3 other teams were pretty good. HC Chip Kelly would get “Coach of the Century” if he could win this division, this year.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook–

QB–  Things got so bad for QB Colin Kaepernick last year, that in November, 2015 he was benched Week 11 and Blaine Gabbert started against the Falcons. It was reported that even Colin Kaepernick’s teammates wanted him benched so that he could “clear his head.” “Kaep” most likely won’t be with this team in 2016, and teams around the league are content to wait it out until April 1 to see if the 49ers cut Kaepernick before his salary becomes guaranteed. Gabbert is a back-up quarterback, so the 49ers are currently without a starting QB.

RBs– Carlos Hyde only played on 7 games last year, but he would not have had a great year even if he had stayed healthy. With all the kaos surrounding this team, the poor quarterback play, and a hideously bad offensive line, it would have been hard for any running back to put up big numbers. Hyde had 470 yards rushing last season, and that was tops for any SF RB. In March of 2015,  49ers signed RB Reggie Bush to a 1-yr $2.5 million contract, with $500,000 guaranteed, and a $500,000 signing bonus. They got 8 carries for 28 yards for that brilliant investment. UPDATE: Shaun Draughn re-signed 1-year deal with SF.

WRs– Anquin Boldan is one name that you can write in that blank above. In 2015 Boldin had his lowest receiving yards last season since 2004. The free agent is going to get his wish of getting out of San Francisco and says that “he wants to play for a team that is a Super Bowl contender”. (I don’t blame him, but doesn’t everyone?) After Anquan is officially gone, the 49er’s receiving corps are left with Torrey Smith, Bruce Ellington and Quinton Patton. This is a team for fantasy football owners to steer clear of next September.

TEs– There is actually a 49er offensive player ( other than the place kicker) who ranked among the top 32 at their position. Vance McDonald was the #31 tight end in the NFL last season, with 326 yards and 3 TDs. He has a nice 2 week stretch to thank for most of those stats, in Week 11 & Week 12. McDonald had 65 yards and 1 TD, and 71 yards and 1 TD respectively in those 2 weeks. UPDATE: TE Garrett Celek re-signed 4-year, $14M deal with SF.

K– K Phil Dawson is 41 years old and still kicking. He is on a two-year contract that he signed in March of 2014 and he finished 2015 as the #24 place kicker in the NFL. He went 24 for 27 in field goal attempts.

DEF– The San Francisco went from the #5 defense in 2014 ( 4th vs the pass- 10th vs the run) to the #27 defense in the 2015 ( 30th vs the pass- 23rd vs the run.) This wasn’t just a spiral down for this defense, but a spiral down and flush. The San Francisco’s defense was 4th worst at giving up points to opposing offenses.

2014 San Francisco Fantasy Surprises–
Granted, it seems like a long time ago, but in 2012, QB Colin Kaepernick took his team to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans against the Baltimore Ravens. In 2013, Kaepernick led his team to two victories in the post-season…..only one game away from another Super Bowl appearance. It’s surprising that the #12 QB in 2013…the #16 QB in 2014….was the #33 QB in the NFL in 2015, and benched in Week 11.

2015 Free Agents that San Francisco Needs to Address–
WR Anquan Boldin, RB Shaun Draughn, RB DuJuan Harris, RB Reggie Bush, (RFA), K Phil Dawson, ILB Michael Wilhoite (RFA), NT Ian Williams, OG Alex Boone,DE Tony Jerod-Eddie

2015 NFL Draft– The San Francisco 49ers have so many glaring weaknesses, that it would almost be faster to write what positions they don’t need to address in this upcoming draft. For starters however, they need a quarterback for the future. The niners need offensive line reinforcements, wide receivers, a legit shutdown cornerback, defensive linebackers, etc. ect. etc. – SAN FRANCISCO’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know– 
During his senior year of high school Joe Montana was offered full ride scholarships from North Carolina State University as well as the University of North Carolina… to play basketball.

Team Home Page: www.49ers.com

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

San Diego Chargers Team Profile 2016

San Diego Chargers Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

After starting out 2-2 in 2015, the Chargers went 2-10 for the remainder of the NFL season. The team had its worst season since 2003 with that 4–12 record. Mike McCoy became the head coach of the San Diego Chargers on January 15, 2013, and had winning seasons in 2013 and 2014.

2016 Team Outlook– The Chargers have had to watch the Denver Broncos win the AFC West Division for 5 years in a row now. QB Peyton Manning is about to announce his retirement, so every team has a shot at winning the division in 2016. With an aging quarterback, the Chargers will treat this year as the “must-win” season, before the rebuilding starts in 2017.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook–

QB– Philip Rivers 160 consecutive starts ranks 4th all-time among NFL quarterbacks. and for active QBs, only trails NYG QB Eli Manning. In early 2015, there were speculations that Rivers wanted out of San Diego, but he ultimately signed a four-year contract extension on Aug. 17, 2015 with the team that will keep him with the team through 2019. He was the #9 QB for 2015. UPDATE: Kellen Clemens re-signed 1-year, $1.065M deal with SD.

RBs– “Out” with RB Ryan Mathews (who was drafted by the Chargers in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Chargers-12th overall)…..and “In” with Melvin Gordon (who was drafted by the Chargers in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft-15th overall.) In a crowded backfield now in Philadelphia, Matthews ended 2015 as the #33 overall running back with 685 total yards and 7 TDs. In an uncrowded backfiled, Gordon ended 2015 as the #51 overall running back with 833 total yards and 0 TDs. The Chargers fell to 30th and 31st ranked run offense, over the past two years. Gordon- Dec. 12th, 2015….”I’m going to be better. This whole team is going to be better. I can promise you that. This record will not be the same next year. I promise you.”

WRs– In 2015, Utter-Fantasy wrote…”the Chargers have no shortage of talented wide receivers on their roster. For fantasy owners, they may have too many WRs and TEs catching passes from QB Rivers.” Oh, what a difference a year can make! Injuries, free agency, old age and retirement has turned a crowded San Diego receiving corps into an almost empty one. Every tight end for the Chargers is headed for free agency, and the only dependable wide receiver San Diego has right now is Keenan Allen. UPDATE: former CLEV Brown Travis Benjamin signed a 4-year, $24M deal with SD.

TEs– TE Antonio Gates, TE Ladarius Green and TE David Johnson are all free agents. Gates will likely re-sign with San Diego, which is good, he should eventually retire a Charger. Gates is 36 years old however, and it’ll be tough for him to be productive for all 16 weeks in 2016. Ladarius Green hasn’t been the tight end San Diego had hoped he’d be, so they will likely let him walk. There are some interesting tight ends available in 2016 Free Agency, and NFL.com has the top 2 prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft as Hunter Henry TE, Arkansas and Nick Vannett TE, Ohio State. UPDATE: Antonio Gates re-signed a 2-year, $11M deal with SD and Ladarius Green signed a 4-year, $20M deal with PITT.

K– Nick Novak entered 2015 as the San Diego place kicker, but undrafted free agent Josh Lambo won the Chargers’ job in early September. Lambo ranked #19 at season’s end, hitting 26 of 32 field goal attempts. ( Novak went onto to kick for Houston, playing in 13 games)

DEF– San Diego was near the bottom as a defense in 2015 ( ranked #28) while Denver, who is their in AFC West Division, was #1. If San Diego wants to take advantage of a wide open division that is any team’s to win in 2016, they cannot be #32 vs the run….again. The San Diego defense needs a major Meg Ryan-ish face lift on their defensive line and in their secondary.

2015 San Diego Fantasy Surprises–
RB Melvin Gordon was high on most fantasy football owner’s draft board in the fall of 2015. The rookie running back was being drafted before Todd Gurley, Lamar Miller, Latavius Murray, Doug Martin and I could name a lot more. He ended the season with 0 touchdowns, and ended many fantasy football owner’s chances of winning a fantasy championship in 2015. The NFL suspended Chargers TE Antonio Gates for the 1st 4 games of the 2015 season, for violating the league’s PED policy. This was 6’6″ TE Ladarius Green’s opportunity to take over the position and score big for fantasy football owners. He did not.


2016 Free Agents that San Diego Needs to Address–
  TE Antonio Gates, TE Ladarius Green, TE/FB David Johnson, RT Joe Barksdale, SS Jahleel Addae (RFA), DE Ricardo Mathews, DE Kendall Reyes, OT Chris Hairston, FS Eric Weddle, CB Patrick Robinson

2016 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of San Diego are fixing their defense and help on their O-Line. The Chargers finished with the 25th overall defense in 2014 and got even worst in 2015. San Diego needs a safety and they will need 2 new corners, especially if they lose free agent CB Patrick Robinson. The Chargers will likely sign free agent wide out talent, but they could also address the position after first selecting players for their defense – SAN DIEGO’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know– The San Diego Chargers are one of just five NFL teams that  have never drafted a Heisman Trophy winner in the NFL Draft.

Team Home Page: www.chargers.com

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

Pittsburgh Steelers Team Profile 2016

Pittsburgh Steelers Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Mike Tomlin became the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach on January 22, 2007, which will make 2016 his 10th year. Tomlin has never had a losing season with Pittsburgh. Despite key players suffering serious injuries, the Steelers had another winning season in 2015, with a 10-6 record. It wasn’t enough to top Cincinnati, who won the division with an even better record of 12-4.

2016 Team Outlook – Over the past 10 years, Baltimore has won the AFC North Division 3 times, Cincinnati has won it 3 times and Pittsburgh 4 times. The team not mentioned here is Cleveland. It’s been 29 years since the Browns won an NFL Division title ( 1989- and it was the AFC Central then.) Pittsburgh and Cincinnati have been taking turns winning the division since 2013…so with the Bengal’s title in 2015, the edge goes to Pittsburgh in 2016.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-

QB– The Steelers got into trouble in 2015, then same way the Dallas Cowboys did. When their star quarterback went down, there wasn’t a strong back up quarterback on the roster that could carry the team. Ben Roethlisberger only played in 12 games last season, and only 13 in 2012. He’s a big quarterback who often takes big hits. He has been increasingly prone to injury, but when healthy, Big Ben is a top 5 QB in the NFL.

RBs– For some fantasy football owners, Le’Veon Bell’s two game suspension was a blessing in disguise. (reduced by the NFL from a three-game suspension for being a first-time offender of league policy) Many avoided selecting LeVeon Bell in fantasy football drafts because of the suspension, and unfortunately for Bell, he suffered a season-ending torn MCL in the game vs Bengals. In Week 9, RB DeAngelo Williams became the #1 Waiver Wire pick up. –Week 9 Waiver Wire– ( (While Bell was on suspension Weeks 1 & 2, Williams proved he could fill in with 224 total yards and 3 TDs) Williams ended 2015 as the #4 RB in the NFL, and will return as Bell’s back up in 2016. ( On Mar. 1 st , 2016, LeVeon Bell had been cleared to begin running.)

WRs– Antonio Brown was drafted by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. 21 wide receivers were selected in that draft, before Antonio Brown was selected by the Steelers with the 195th overall in the 6th round. 3 wide outs from the Pittsburgh Steelers ranked in the top 40 in 2015. Brown was #1, Martavis Bryant ranked #32 and Markus Wheaton was #40. (Antonio Brown was the #1 WR in 2014 as well) UPDATE: NFL suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant a minimum of one year for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

TEs– Heath Miller, who QB Ben Roethlisberger has called the best tight end in the NFL, has called it quits after 11 years in the NFL. On February 19, 2016, Miller announced his retirement from football and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jesse James, drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft, will likely be the starting tight end for Pittsburgh Week 1, 2016. UPDATE: Steelers sign former Charger TE Ladarius Green

K– Shaun Suisham missed all of 2015 with a torn ACL. Suisham was replaced by Chris Boswell, who did well for Pittsburgh, converting 29-of-32 field goal attempts. His 90.6% field goal percentage was 7th best in the NFL. Both Suisham and Boswell will compete for the position in 2016.

DEF– In 2015, it was a whole lot easier to pass against Pittsburgh, than it was to run against them. Pittsburgh’s 2015 group of corners has one of the weakest in the NFL, and now depleted due to CB William Gay, CB Antwon Blake, and CB Brandon Boykin all free agents. The Steelers were 5th vs the run, and held teams to under 95 yards rushing on average per game.

2015 Pittsburgh Fantasy Surprises– If you grabbed RB DeAngelo Williams in  fantasy football drafts last fall, either as RB LeVeon Bell’s handcuff or simply as  a starter for the first 2 games of the season ( Bell was suspended) you were rewarded with the #4 running back for 2015. Williams has 1174 total yards and 11 TDs. Last year QB Roethlisberger was talking up WR Markus Wheaton as a player ready for a breakout season. Many fantasy football owners fed on this, and selected Wheaton over WR Bryant in their fantasy drafts. Bryant and Wheaton’s numbers were very close at season’s end, but Bryant played in 5 less games.

2016 Free Agents that Pittsburgh Needs to Address–  QB Bruce Gradkowski, QB Michael Vick, RB Jordan Todman, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, LT Kelvin Beachum, OG Ramon Foster, CB Brandon Boykin, NT Steve McLendon, CB William Gay, SS Will Allen, ILB Sean Spence, CB Antwon Blake, FS Robert Golden, DE Cam Thomas

2016 NFL Draft– Pittsburgh’s immediate needs are addressing most positions on defense, especially at cornerbacks and safety. The Steelers did not have a legit No. 1 corner going into 2015, and must get at least one for 2016. Protecting QB Roethlisberger starters with their O-Line and they have holes, thanks to free agency. The Steelers also need a quarterback to groom and back up Roethlisberger. PITTSBURGH’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know– Steelers’ fullback Rocky Bleier was drafted in 1968 and played his rookie season for the team before being drafted again, this time by the United State Government, and sent to Vietnam. After being wounded in Vietnam, Bleier had trouble even walking without pain yet came back to work his way into NFL shape and star for the Steelers through the 1980 season.

Team Home Page: www.steelers.com

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

Philadelphia Eagles Team Profile 2016

Philadelphia Eagles Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

After only 2 seasons as the Philly head coach, Chip Kelly was fired. His offenses were regularly at the top of the league, but his defenses were not. He wasn’t a “players’ coach,” and he didn’t get along well with management. “OK” with San Francisco apparently, who hired Kelly as their head coach on January 14, 2016. Four days later, the Philadelphia Eagles announced the hiring of Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson as their team’s new head coach.

2016 Team Outlook– All four teams in the NFC East has won the division at least twice in the past 10 years. It’s a very balanced and competitive division, and if history has any say in 2016, it will be Philadelphia’s turn to take the NFC East title. ( not a prediction! )

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook–

QB– On March 10, 2015, the Philadelphia Eagles traded QB Nick Foles, a 2015 fourth-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick to the ST L Rams, in exchange for QB Sam Bradford and a 2015 fifth-round pick. Philly also re-signed QB Mark Sanchez. Bradford is a capable quarterback, when he can stay healthy. Since being drafted #1 overall by the Rams in the 2010 NFL Draft, Bradford has only played in all 16 games twice. On March2 , 2016, Bradford signed a new two-year deal that can pay him up to $40 million- Read more

RBs– In 2015, Utter-Fantasy warned fantasy football owners to avoid drafting DeMarco Murray early. –Eagles Profile 2015– “Utter-Fantasy has dropped his fantasy value and ranks him down to #17 RB.” The reason was, Murray didn’t have that gigantic Dallas O-Line now making him holes, and there were 2 other backs in Philly also part of the offense. DeMarco Murray ended 2015 as the #18 running back. New head coach Doug Pederson is coming from KC, where a one-back offense is primarily installed. It will be interesting what this team looks like with Peterson’s stamp on it. UPDATE: DeMarco Murray signed with TENN.

WRs– After losing WR DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, the Eagles flew with  Jordan Matthews, Riley Cooper, Josh Huff and rookie Nelson Agholor. The Eagles selected 6’0″ WR Nelson Agholor with their 1st pick in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Eagles released WR Riley Cooper, so Philadelphia is hoping for a big second-year leap for WR Nelson Agholor in 2016. Eagles #1 wide receiver Jordan Matthews was selected in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and was the #19 WR for 2015 with 997 yards and 8 TDs. UPDATE: Rueben Randle signed a 1-year deal w/ PHIL.

TEs– In the final 5 games of 2105, tight end Zach Ertz put up more yards receiving and touchdown receptions, than he did in the first 11 games combined. On Jan 25, 2016,  Zack Ertz signed a five-year, $42.5 million extension through 2021, making him the fourth-highest paid tight end in the league. One day later, the Eagles signed TE Brent Celek to a three-year, $13 million extension through 2018. Both tight ends will have importance in the 2016 eagle offense.

K- Eagle’s place kicker Cody Parkey’s 2015 season was cut short when he tore “all three” groin muscles in Week 3. He was replaced by former-Dolphin Caleb Sturgis, who made 18 or 22 field goals for the remainder of the season. Parkey should return as the Eagle kicker if he can get healthy.

DEF– One has to think that there were members of the Philadelphia defense that were damn glad to see former HC Chip Kelly go. Because of the fast pace of the Eagle’s offense, there were times that the Philly defense was on the field for seemingly hours during a game. When you’re on the field that long, you get tired…..which might be why this defense was 28th vs the run in 2015. On Jan. 19, 2016, HC Doug Pederson announced that Jim Schwartz had been hired as his defensive coordinator.


2015 Philadelphia Fantasy Surprises–
It isn’t often that you see at a season’s end, 3 running backs from the same team, all ranking in the top 42 among RBs for that year. DeMarco Murray ended 2015 as the #18 RB…..Ryan Matthews as the #33…..and Darren Sproles as the #42. That means that each of these 3 RBs saw a lot of action. Only HC Peterson knows how these guys will be used in 2016 (none are free agents) but this Eagle team will likely be as different on offense and defense as before and after pictures of Michael Jackson.

2016 Free Agents that Philadelphia Needs to Address– QB Sam Bradford, DE Cedric Thornton, SS Walter Thurmond III, CB Nolan Carroll, OG Matt Tobin (RFA), CB E.J. Biggers

2016 NFL Draft– With the 28th worst defense vs the run last year, the immediate needs of Philadelphia is depth on their defense line. The Eagles were 14th vs the pass, but that could get worst, if they don’t acquire a couple dependable defensive backs. The Eagle’s may keep the receiving corps growing with another wide out to replace Riley Cooper and a successor to QB Sam Bradford is a good idea. PHILADELPHIA’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know-
Former Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil owns the distinction of being named Coach of the Year at four different levels; high school, junior college, NCAA Division I, and the NFL

Team Home Page: www.philadelphiaeagles.com

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

 

Oakland Raiders Team Profile 2016

Oakland Raiders Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Jack Del Rio is heading into his 2nd season as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Del Rio was hired in January 2015….previously the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003 until 2011. Did you know Del Rio was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball out of high school in 1981? Later drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 3rd round of the 1985 NFL Draft. Jack hopes to improve on the Raider’s 7-9 record from 2015.

2016 Team Outlook –AFC West Division might be the hardest division to predict in 2016. The Raiders battle San Diego, Kansas City and the Denver Broncos. With Denver starting over with a new quarterback ( likely Brock Osweiler) and Oakland finally jelling as a team, any of these four teams could rise to top and represent the AFC West next year in the playoffs.


2016 Fantasy Football Outlook –


QB–
Cleveland took Manziel in Round One of the 2014 NFL Draft, while Oakland waited until Round Two, selecting QB Derek Carr ( and Oakland still has their quarterback.)  Carr did not fall into the proverbial “Sophomore Slump” in 2015, on the contrary, he was even better. As a rookie, Carr ended the year as the #20 QB in the NFL with 3270 passing yards, 21 TDs and 12 INTs. In 2015, Carr ended the year as the #14 QB in the NFL with 3987 passing yards, 32 TDs and 13 INTs.

RBs– One game in 2014, bolted RB Latavius Murray from the bench, into the starting line-up in 2015. On only 4 carries in the game versus the Kansas City in Week 12 of the 2014, Latavius Murray had 112 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns, including a long 90-yard touchdown run. Murray played in all 16 games in 2015, ended as the #10 running back for the season. On December 24, Murray became the first Raider to reach the 1000-yard mark rushing, since Darren McFadden in 2010. His work was huge in 2015…so look for the Raiders to concentrate on a running back to spell Murray more in 2016.


WRs–
Amari Cooper was the first wide receiver taken in the 2015 NFL Draft. Oakland had the 4th overall pick, and selected the Crimson Tide wide out over WR West Virginia’s Kevin White. (White was later picked 7th overall by the Chicago Bears, but never played in 2015.) Cooper was an legitimate weapon for the Raiders from the get-go, and his success helped open up the field for Michael Crabtree, who had an even better 2015 than Cooper did. Crabtrees 85 catches and 9 TDs were career highs. WRs Andre Holmes and Rod Streater, who played behind Cooper and Crabtree, are free agents in 2016.

TEs–
For the first time in 3 seasons, TE Mychal Rivera wasn’t the top tight end in Oakland. In 2015, rookie Clive Walford was the preferred target by QB Derek Carr, with 28 grabs for 329 yards and 3 TDs. Walford was the 3rd overall pick by the Raiders, who used the 2015 NFL Draft to surround QB Carr with weapons. Walford should have a stronger 2nd year, with Mychal Rivera right behind him.


K-
Since Sebastian “Seabass” Janikowski’s 2015 season was a relatively boring one, how about if I just write some of the records that he currently holds. Longest field goal in overtime: 57 yards…Most field goals in one quarter: 4…Most field goals of 60 yards or more in a career: 2…Most field goals attempted of 60 or more yards in a career: 8…Most field goals of 50 yards or more in one game: 3.

DEF– HC Jack Del Rio is a defense-minded coach having played linebacker in the NFL for 11 years. When with Jacksonville, the Jags finished the season with the second-ranked rush defense and sixth best overall defense. With Ken Norton Jr on board, the Raider’s defense went from #26 in 2014, to #15 in 2015. FS Charles Woodson has retired, putting an end to a career that began in 1998, so Oakland needs lots of help for their pass defense. UPDATE:
<strong>Raiders signed formerly Chief CB Sean Smith</strong> to a four-year, $40 million contract.

2015 Oakland Fantasy Surprises – Michael Crabtree was one of those “never-again” guys. Never again would I waste a fantasy football draft pick on that guy.  In 2013 he played in only 5 games for the 49ers, with 284 receiving yards and 1 TD for the year. 2014 wasn’t much better. 698 receiving yards and 4 TDs. But the change of scenery was good for Crabtree, and he had chemistry with QB Carr. He played in 15 games, he had 923 yards with 9 TDs and ended 2015 as the #20 WR in the NFL. I hope he keeps it up.


2016 Free Agents that Oakland Needs to Address –
WR Andre Holmes, WR Rod Streater, QB Matt McGloin (RFA), G/C Tony Bergstrom, P Marquette King, CB Neiko Thorpe (RFA), FS Larry Asante, SS Taylor Mays, T/G Khalif Barnes,  LT Donald Penn, OLB/DE Aldon Smith, T/G J’Marcus Webb, OLB Benson Mayowa (RFA)

2016 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Oakland is all over on their defense. FS Woodson’s retirement and previous draft busts forces Oakland to get two new starting safeties. A young slot corner is needed and also help on the defensive line. Oakland might use a late round pick on a running back.- OAKLAND’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know –
The Raiders have had three players play for them named Napoleon. Napoleon McCallum, Napoleon Kaufman, and Napoleon Harris

Team Home Page: www.raiders.com

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

New York Jets Team Profile 2016

New York Jets Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Todd Bowles became the 18th head coach in Jet’s team history on January 14, 2015. Bowles worked as a defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and 2014. Usually, a new head coach is given a pass on his 1st year, to organize the team and make it his own ( afterall, the previous guy was fired for likely creating a bad team.) But HC Todd Bowles didn’t need a pass, proving that he was the right man for the job with a 10-6 record in 2015.

2016 Team Outlook – I am not a believer in running up the score, when you’re beating the crap out of another team. But some purists will say…”Hey, if the team doesn’t like the score….then stop them!” Same can be said about the AFC East Division. If the New York Jets, Buffalo and Miami don’t like New England winning all the time…..then stop them!”

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook –

QB– Ryan Fitzpatrick may have finally found a home. Fitzpatrick was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round of the 2005 NFL Draft and he has bounced around the league playing for 6 different teams. Those teams are the St. Louis Rams, the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and the New York Jets. Fitzpatrick finished the year with 3,905 passing yards, 31 touchdowns with 15 interceptions, breaking Vinny Testaverde’s 1998 franchise record for most touchdown passes in a season. In Week 17 of 2015, the Jets were eliminated from playoff contention despite finishing the year with a 10-6 record. FYI- Fitzpatrick has the highest Wonderlic Test score ever achieved among NFL quarterbacks.

RBs– Chris Ivory played in 15 games for the Jets in 2015, and finished the season as the #7 running back in the NFL. He ranked near the top in rushing attempts, proving to be durable and reliable. Ivory is a free agent this year, and is expected to test the open market. If the Jets can’t re-sign him, the team is hurting because their other productive back, RB Bilal Powell, is also a free agent. UPDATE: Jets lose RB Ivory ( to Jacksonville) …but sign former Bear’s RB Matt Forte…..Bilal Powell (resigned).  Khiry Robinson signed a 1-year deal w/ NYJ.

WRs– There are a few wide receiver tandems in the NFL, that make “receiver-weak” teams drool. Demaryius Thomas/ Emmanuel Sanders in Denver….Allen Robinson Allen Hurns in Jacksonville…and Brandon Marshall/ Eric Decker in New York. No tandem produced more in 2015 than Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. The pair is just what the doctor ordered for the offense, for Jet’s fans and for resurrecting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s career. UPDATE: Jeremy Ross signed a 1-year deal w/ NYJ.

TEs– Two words that can murder a tight ends stats…..Chan Gailey
. Prior to 2015, the Jets had at least one tight end rank in the top 30 for the past 4 years. In 2015, TE Kellen Davis was the #83 Te in the NFL, beating out fellow Jet;s TE Jeff Cumberland at #84. The tight end position not a big part of offenses designed by OC Chan Gailey, who runs the most four-wide sets in the NFL.

K– On Nov. 10, 2015…Jets placed K Nick Folk on injured reserve with a quadriceps injury, ending his season. Former Texan Randy Bullock took over kicking duties for the rest of the season. Folk should be back in 2016.

DEF– New head coach Todd Bowles is defensive minded, and improved the 21st ranking in 2014….to 5th best defense in 2015. The Jets were #1 vs the run. The head coach probably didn’t like being 9th vs the pass however. On Feb. 22,2016 the Jets released CB Antonio Cromartie.

2015 New York Jets Fantasy Surprises
–By season’s end of  2015, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ranked ahead of GB QB Aaron Rodgers, MIA QB Ryan Tannehill and ATL QB Matt Ryan. Fitzpatrick’s 3905 passing yards with 31 TDs landed him #11 for last year. RB Bilal Powell was an untapped resource for the Jets, until the latter part of the season. Powell is a talented pass-catching back who had 25 receptions for 243 yards and 2 TDs in the final 4 games of 2105.


2016 Free Agents that New York Needs to Address –
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Chris Ivory, RB Bilal Powell (resigned), TE Kellen Davis, WR Chris Owusu, RB Stevan Ridley, K Randy Bullock, DE Muhammad Wilkerson, NT Damon Harrison, DE Leger Douzable, ILB Erin Henderson, ILB Demario Davis, OLB Calvin Pace, OG Willie Colon, CB Darrin Walls, ILB Jamari Lattimore, SS Antonio Allen

2016 NFL Draft– QB Ryan Fitpatrick is 34 years old and that means, the Jets have to protect him ( O-Line help in the draft) and they have to think about tomorrow, by drafting a quarterback to groom. Even if the Jets sign one of their free agent running backs, it’s time to draft a young guy. Look for the Jets to select an outside linebacker and address their secondary. – NEW YORK JET’S DRAFT

Did You Know –During his five seasons with the Jets, quarterback Mark Sanchez threw 68 touchdown passes. They were caught by 22 different players.

Team Home Page: www.newyorkjets.com

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

New York Giants Team Profile 2016

New York Giants Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

After 12 years of being the New York Giants head coach, ol’ grumpy pants is out ( forced to “resign”). Tom Coughlin’s run in New York was a good one, having only 4 losing seasons out of the 12, and two Super Bowl rings to show for it. On Jan. 15, 2016, the Giants announced that Ben McAdoo will become the 17th head coach in franchise history. McAdoo, 38, was the team’s offensive coordinator the previous two seasons.

2016 Team Outlook– The Giants are joined in the NFC East by Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington. This division was won in 2015 with a 9-7 record by Washington. Dallas will get QB Romo back, and if he can stay healthy, the Cowboys won’t have another 4-12 season repeat. It’s anyone’s division to win in 2016.

2016 Fantasy Outlook–

QB–
In 2013, Eli Manning had a tough time of it, throwing for 3818 yards and only 18 touchdowns….#21 QB for that season ( that was the year Peyton Manning had a career year of 5477 yards passing and 55 touchdowns.) Drafting wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr in the 2014 NFL Draft, will solve the problems of almost any quarterback. With Beckham to throw to, Manning rebounded in 2014 and 2015. He became the #8 QB for 2014, and #7 in 2015, throwing for a combined 65 TDs over the past two seasons.

RBs- Ol’ Grumpy Pants Coughlin definitely made fantasy football owners grumpy in 2015, by taking the hated RBBC approach to his offense. In the first half of the season, the Giants had 4 running backs all getting touches. Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, and Shane Vereen saw action every week, and New York added RB Orleans Darkwa into the mix in Week 7. It wasn’t until the end of the season that the Giants finally got it….”Letting a running back get hot”. In Week 15, Rashad Jennings rushed for 107 yards and 1 TD, and in Week 17, 170 yards and one touchdown on 27 carries. Hopefully HC Ben McAdoo finds himself a workhorse for 2016…. fantasy football owners hope so anyways.

WRs– If you want to know how to get under WR Odell Beckham’s skin, watch the 2015 Week 15 game vs DB Josh Norman and the Panthers. We all know Beckham can trash talk, but Norman was pushing Beckham’s buttons the entire game, and Beckham lost it. (committing two personal fouls and launching himself into Panthers CB Josh Norman’s head at the end of a play.) The “Meltdown” cost Beckham a game suspension in Week 16, and some fantasy football owners a championship. Beckham will learn from this. The Giants don’t seem keen on keeping Victor Cruz around, nor free agent Rueban Randle. There will be new WR faces in New York for 2016. UPDATE: Cruz was re-signed with a paycut, and Rueban Randle signed with PHIL.

TEs–
The Giants have both of their tight ends peeking at free agency right now…. TE Daniel Fells and restricted free agent TE Larry Donnell. If the Giants don’t resign these guys, there are some interesting names that are also free agents…
Antonio Gates, Ladarius Green, Dwayne Allen, Vernon Davis, Coby Fleener, Ben Watson, Zach Mille, Marcedes Lewis, Jared Cook.

K– Josh Brown had a great 2015 season, not bad timing for someone headed for free agency. Brown was tied for #1 in field goal percentage hitting 93.8% last year ( tied with SEA Steve Hauschka). I suspect New York tries hard to re-sign him.

DEF– The Giants cannot challenge in the NFC East against Dallas, Washington and Philadelphia, if they have the 30th worst defense again. New York was 28th vs the pass, and that doesn’t bode well versus wide receivers in their division such as DAL Dez Bryant, WASH DeSean Jackson or PHIL Jordan Matthews. A revamped defense is coming.

2015 New York Giants Fantasy Surprises– At the end of the season, New York finally let a running back get more more than 7 carries, and Rashad Jennings did what he was brought in to do. WR Rueban Randle was a name with “break out season” always attached to it, but Utter-Fantasy was never on board with that. Still, he ended 2015 as the #29 WR in the NFL for 2015. It will be interesting to see where he, as a free agent, lands in 2016

2016 Free Agents that New York Needs to Address– WR Rueben Randle, K Josh Brown, WR Hakeem Nicks, TE Daniel Fells, TE Larry Donnell (RFA), DT Cullen Jenkins, CB Trumaine McBride, SS Brandon Meriweather, MLB Jasper Brinkley, C/G Dallas Reynolds, DE George Selvie, CB Jayron Hosley, FS Craig Dahl, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, CB Prince Amukamara, DE Robert Ayers,

2016 NFL Draft– As far as their defense goes, it would be quicker to write where the Giants don’t need help from this 2016 NFL Draft. The Giants receiving corps  needs a big make over, behind Odell Beckham. Victor Cruz can’t stay healthy and Rueban Randle likely won’t be back.- NEW YORK GIANT’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You know–
Bill Parcells is the only person to have coached both of the NFL’s New York franchises, the Giants and the Jets. BONUS Did You know– Neither the New York Giants or the New York Jets play games in New York, they both play in New Jersey.

Team Home Page: www.giants.com


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