1st and 10 Week 26

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

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

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


1st and 10 Week 26-  Sept 12th, 2016

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

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

and please visit the NFLExporter.com website often!


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

1) SEA Thomas Rawls

2) BUFF WR Sammy Watkins

3) DAL WR Dez Bryant

$) IND Andrew Luck

5) KC RB Jamaal Charles

6) CHI WR Alshon Jeffrey

7) GB Jordy Nelson

8) DET RB Ameer Abdullah

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

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


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


1st AND 10 Week 15 with Eric dewalt
1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black

Fantasy Football Builds Feisty Camaraderie

Fantasy Football Builds Feisty Camaraderie by Utter-Fantasy Football Guest Writer Chris Gundrum

There are over 200 days between the Super Bowl and the start of the next NFL season. But fans don’t have to endure that span without getting their football fix. Key events throughout the offseason including free agency, the draft and training camp serve as milestones on the path to opening day. While each event builds more anticipation for the regular season than the last, nothing fosters more excitement for the NFL season than a fantasy football draft. “I can’t imagine going a season without fantasy football,” said my brother and fantasy nemesis Ben Gundrum, who plays in the Elite 8 fantasy football league. “It just enhances the excitement of each game week to week.”

Elite Eight is a collection of eight guys who have been playing fantasy football together for the past four years. The draft is held live after the second preseason game of the year and past ones are sources of fond memories for the guys. One of the eight, Mike Freland, said his favorite draft was the first year Elite Eight got together. “We were all sitting in my aunt and uncle’s house with football magazines scattered on the floor and pizza boxes and cases of beer we used as tables to write on. It was our war room and it was majestic.”

Ben remembers that in that first year the league allowed trades to occur during the draft. “Matt Forte was on five different teams before the night was over,” said Gundrum. “It was crazy.” Although the league no longer allows trades during the draft, the guys now have game plans to take players just to use in trades afterward. Freland calls this particular strategy…“Stopping the homer”, and it comes into play after the draft. “If you know a guy has a favorite team and wants to draft a player from that team, you draft him first,” said Freland. “Are you doing it because you like the player? Hell no. You do it to get under the other guy’s skin and eventually use it as leverage. Inevitably every league has at least one homer. With Elite Eight there are plenty of opportunities to use this diabolical tactic because although everyone is from Cincinnati, they don’t all root for the Bengals. “We have two Jets fans, one Giants fan, one Cowboys fan, one lonely Raiders fan and 3 Bengals fans.” reports Freland. “Knowing the other guys favorite players is an essential part of drafting.”

While some leagues use a snake or linear draft order, Elite Eight uses a more unique format. The order for the first round is based on what place each person finished the previous year, and knowing what order each manager will draft is also an essential part of the draft. For example, the last place manager picks first, second to last picks second, and so on. However, rounds 2-15 are randomized. Therefore a manager may pick third in the first round and then sixth in the second round. “I like the way the first round goes,” said Gundrum. “But then the rest of the draft is so interesting because you never know how things will fall.”

No matter what order they’re picking or what players are available each round, what the members of this fantasy football league enjoy most is having everyone together in the same room for the draft. According to Elite Eight, the live draft is the best part. It’s all in good fun and the camaraderie between the guys is what’s most important.…in other words, we’ll never become “the Hateful Eight.” “It’s so much more boisterous and amusing having everyone together trash-talking about picks instead of sitting in front of a computer clicking a button,” proclaims Ben. “To me playing fantasy football is more than picking players and combing through piles of stats, or looking at past injury reports trying to predict how well someone is going to hold up for sixteen weeks,” said Freland. “Fantasy football is about getting a group of people together who have a common bond… their unwavering love of the game of football.”

This year’s draft has come and gone for Elite Eight and rosters are already being adjusted. Justin, who is the big Giants fan, has both Dez and Zeke and it’s killing him so we’ll see what happens there. Ben is the Cowboys fan and he took David Johnson with his first pick and Allen Robinson with his second but he could’ve picked Dez or Elliott and didn’t. That left us scratching our heads. Players are being dropped and added from free agency, which is all part of the “Elite Entertainment.” Soon, the members of Elite Eight Fantasy Football League will go head to head for sixteen weeks and eventually crown the 2016 fantasy football champion.

And after it’s all said and done, all they’ll have to do is wait another 200 days to do it all over again.


Please follow Chris on twitter at @ChrisGundrum

NFLExporter Extra Points Podcast

NFLExporter Extra Points Podcast by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

I am of the belief, that if two heads are better than one, than a bunch of heads is way better! One of the best ways for fantasy football owners to ultimately decide on the players that they want to draft, is hear many opinions on NFL players, from several different sources. Podcasts are an excellent way to hear those different opinions, and many are available. Utter-Fantasy was asked to share one, that we participated in.

Please enjoy my conversation with Lance Goodman, the NFLExporter, as we discuss a few rookie wide receivers and some of the top running backs in the NFL. Utter-Fantasy appreciated the opportunity to talk fantasy football with the NFLExporter, and will hopefully do it again in the near future.

If fantasy football owners have any particular topics that you would be interested in hearing discussed, please send them to utterfantasyfootball@gmail.com or visit the NFLExporter’s website at http://www.nflexporter.com/

Follow Utter-Fantasy.com on Twitter…@UtterFantasy

and please follow Lance Goodman, the NFLExporter, on Twitter…@NFLExporter