1st and 10 Week 14

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

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

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

 

Week 14-  June 20th, 2016

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

1st and 10 with DFF Week 13

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

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

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

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

 

Week 13-  June 13th, 2016

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

 

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

OK Homer

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

 

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

2016 NFL Week 1

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

– WRs Cooks, Snead, Thomas, and Coleman-

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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)–

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 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