1st and 10 with DFF Week 4

1st and 10 with DFF Week 4 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

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

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

 

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

 

Week 4-  April 4th, 2016

Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Samuel Feldman. Be sure to follow Zach on Twitter @ThaDudeFeldman

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  The starting quarterback for Buffalo is still Tyrod Taylor, with EJ Manuel as his back up. Since HC Rex Ryan didn’t make any free agent quarterback acquisitions, can he really be content going into the 2016 season with those 2 guys??

DFF Response) Yes, the Bills can be content with Taylor, but may not be content with Manuel. Although Ryan is the head coach, Greg Roman controls the offense. Roman had Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick at QB in his stint as OC in San Francisco. If you think he doesn’t want Tyrod as quarterback, then you overlook the archetype he already had before coming to Buffalo. At least at starter the Bills are content with Taylor, as for how they feel about Manuel, we will see based on moves they make throughout the rest of the off-season.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)  Last season, SD RB Melvin Gordon’s was, on average, the 14th running back taken in fantasy football drafts. He ended 2015 as the 51st RB with only 641 yards on 184 carries- ZERO touchdowns. HC Mike McCoy is blaming his 2015 offensive line. Is RB Gordon going to be a “better player” as a sophomore, or will he end being a 1st round bust for San Diego?

DFF Response)  Although the Chargers had offensive line issues last year, there was more to Melvin Gordon’s struggles then just that. His bad decision when running the ball and fumbling issues are things he needs to fix, regardless of his offensive line. Do I expect him to be better? Yes, but only because it is tough to be worse than he was in 2015. I am buying him if the price is low and right, but that means cheap and as my 3rd RB at best. Also going overlooked is how good Danny Woodhead is as more than just a passing back. Additionally, Branden Oliver is a very capable back who is worth owning as a deep stash in dynasty leagues as he could steal Gordon’s role if Gordon continues to struggle. While I expect Gordon to improve, it is because he was so bad, but I am not betting on him making a great impact. Stashing either of the other San Diego backs could turn out to be a wise investment if Gordon continues to struggle.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3)   Many fantasy football players like having kickers as one of the scoring options in fantasy leagues, and many just want the position eliminated. It’s usually as even a spilt, as choosing between Ginger and Mary Ann. Where do you vote….kicker or no kicker……(and Ginger or Mary Ann?)

DFF Response) While I am too young to take sides on Gilligan’s Island, I am for kickers in fantasy because having fantasy, somewhat resemble real football, makes it more fun. So what if you lose because of Justin Tucker kicking five field goals one week, it sucks, but that’s what makes fantasy football interesting, while often agonizing. If you don’t want kickers, that’s fine, but I will continue to remain on the kicker train even though I am now in leagues where there are not kickers. Having said that, I will never be on board with punters in fantasy.

(Utter-Fantasy Response- Mary Ann)

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  2015 was the first time in five seasons that RB Frank Gore failed to reach 1,000 yards. QB A Luck getting injured was a major factor, as was the hideously awful Indianapolis O-Line. If Indy gets help up front, are buying or selling RB Gore in 2016?

DFF Response) While there were many disadvantageous factors for Frank Gore in Indianapolis last year, I am not expecting a bounce back year from him. At age 32 and with over 2,800 carries between both regular season and postseason, it is time that Gore stops defying the odds of running back success. However, if Indianapolis drafts a back, Keith Marshall or Jonathan Williams for instance, then sign me up for drafting them. So, I am selling Gore, but buying his replacement.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5)  HC Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide usually produce 1-2 running backs that enter the NFL Draft as highly touted prospects. RBs Mark Ingram and Eddie Lacy have, for the most part, lived up to expectations. RBs Trent Richardson did not, and T.J. Yeldon hasn’t yet.  6’2″ Alabama RB Derrick Henry is slated as the #2 running back in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft. Could he be another product of a great system, or is he a great running back for the NFL?

DFF Response)   In my view, Derrick Henry will be a good NFL running back, if he ends up in the right power running system. Expect Henry to be the ugly, unsexy (for fantasy purposes) bruiser in a committee backfield. Places like the Jets, Cowboys, Giants and Colts all present interesting fits. The first two spots are actually very interesting because both have cloudy backfields, which may lead to him falling in some drafts thus, making him a value as he should win roles in those places. Nevertheless, Henry is “very landing spot dependent” in my opinion.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6)  Tampa Bay seems to think WR Vincent Jackson has at least 1-2 more good NFL years in him, do you? ( VJ was the #65 wide receiver last season with only 543 receiving yards and 3 TDs, with basically no other competition for targets other than WR Mike Evans )

DFF Response) Jackson may very well have a good year or two left in him, as he was effective when healthy. However, it is tough to bet on an old veteran receiver coming off numerous injuries the year before. For that reason, I will only own shares of him if he is very inexpensive, because I do not expect more than a few good games from him this year. Additionally, Tampa Bay has five options at skill positions on that offense who all could end up being more valuable. Those options include; Mike Evans, Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and Kenny Bell. Therefore, tread very very cautiously with Jackson and ultimately do not expect anything of significance from him this year.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7)  7 – I thought RGIII would be signed by owner Jerry Jones as a dependable back-up for Romo, but RGIII signed with Cleveland. There aren’t a lot of options left, unless Jones is planning on a rookie from the 2016 NFL Draft. What do you think about Michael Vick signing with Dallas?

DFF Response) I am not a fan of Vick in Dallas. I actually would rather see Christian Hackenberg get drafted by the Cowboys. Sitting behind and learning from Romo would most likely be an ideal situation for both Hackenberg and the Cowboys long term. Additionally, that offensive line in Dallas would give Hackenberg a chance to see a clean pocket for the first time in years should be be called on to play sometime this season. If anything, the Cowboys need to look at both short and long term when looking at a back-up for Romo and Hackenberg provides potentially the best of both worlds.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8)  Even splitting time with RBs DeMarco Murray and Darren Sproles, Ryan Matthews ended 2015 as the #33 running back in the NFL. I think he will be sneaky #1/#2 RB that will surprise most fantasy football owners and can be selecting as late as the 3rd or 4th rounds. What are your thoughts on him?

DFF Response) As long as Philadelphia does not look to draft a running back and Mathews stays healthy (a big IF), he has a good chance to be a league winner for fantasy teams this year. People hated on him more for being injured rather than for lacking talent, so if he is the lead back then he can provide some very good value this year. Additionally, Mathews is still at a reasonable age for running backs and he has good measurables, akin to Marshawn Lynch, so hoping for a bellcow year is not unreasonable. Overall, Mathews presents good risk-reward value for those willing to take him in that range, as he could turn into a fantasy difference-maker with the lead role in Philadelphia.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9)   TE Vernon Davis just signed with Washington. Last year when he was signed by Denver, it was a waiver wire storm for fantasy football owners trying to get him. Davis ended up with 20 catches for 201 yards and 0 TDs for the Broncos. Do you agree that his signing won’t hurt TE Jordan Reed’s stats in 2016?

DFF Response)  I am probably disliking Davis a little too much, but I am calling him a camp body, to show just how little I am concerned with his fantasy value. he won’t hurt Reed’s stats or value, because Davis is not as good as he once was. Simply, this is Washington looking for more Reed insurance in case he gets hurt again. Although, I am a fan of Niles Paul should anything happen to Reed. I am dubious of Washington running more two tight end sets if both Paul and Reed are healthy.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10)   If you were a team last year looking to draft a rookie quarterback, who would you have selected, Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota?

DFF Response) Plain and simple, I am a Mariota guy. I was always was aboard the Mariota train, but could never fully hop on the Winston train. However, both are good and should be good for years, but Mariota is my guy plain and simple.

 

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

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