1st and 10 Week 15

1st and 10 Week 15 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 15-  June 27th, 2016

“1st and 10″ Week 15 Special Guest Writer- FanUp Network’s Eric DeWalt

Be sure to follow Eric and FanUp Network  on Twitter @FanUpNetwork

 

Utter-Fantasy #1)  The “Zero RB Draft Strategy” really gained steam as a popular draft strategy in 2014. A year after fantasy owners were still hooked on taking running backs early, this “wide receiver stacking strategy” seemed like a very intriguing option. It caught on with a lot of people, but not with me. I still value a strong running back roster for all of my fantasy football leagues. What do you think of the “Zero RB Draft Strategy” and have you tried this strategy in any of your drafts?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: I have not personally tried this strategy yet. But I have a friend that has used WR stacking as a strategy for the last few years, and he has experienced consistent success with this strategy. It is something I am looking at closely, especially considering how NFL passing yards are increasing while rushing yards drop.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)  Few players have had their values fluctuate over the past calendar year quite as much as Cowboys’ WR Dez Bryant. Once widely seen as a receiving dynamo, Bryant had an injury plagued 2015 season and lost some of his luster. What do you make of Dallas WR Dez Bryant in 2016?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: Bryant will bounce back and have a strong year. He is an intense competitor with a ton of pride, so I am sure he will be focused. Having QB Tony Romo back will be a big boost for him. Also, the addition of Zeke could provide more balance for the Cowboys, and give Dez more one-on-one coverage. Look for Dez to be an elite fantasy WR in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) The Cleveland QB Battle: I believe Robert Griffin III resurrects his career in 2016, and is a candidate as a decent QB sleeper. Others believe that the odds are favorable that McCown would give Cleveland its best chance to win, and that he will end up as the Brown’s starter. Which side are you on?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: The Browns are looking for a young QB to build around, so I think RG3 gets every opportunity to prove he is that guy. He has some decent weapons in Cleveland with rookie WR Corey Coleman, TE Gary Barnidge and RB Isaiah Crowell. I think RG3 wins the job and is worth a look as a late round pick.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)   I am in the midst of a 32 team dynasty league draft. I also have an 8 team (redraft) league draft scheduled for July 4th. Most of my other leagues won’t draft until the end of August. Are June and July simply too early to be drafting in fantasy football leagues, or is anytime a good time?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: One of the basic rules of FanUpNetwork is…”It is always Fantasy Football season!”… so anytime is a good time.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) When I drafted my very first fantasy football team, I was at a table with the other participants, and my first selection was DET RB Barry Sanders. Back then there were ONLY live drafts, because fantasy football websites hosting drafts did not yet exist! There are many young people today competing in fantasy leagues that have only drafted through websites and not never experienced the fun and excitement of drafting in person. What is your drafting preference?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: I really prefer in-person drafts. It creates a connection and energy that can spill into your season. I believe in-person drafts help create rivalries that help drive interest in a league and keeping a group together.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6)  In a recent 12 team, 15 round “mock draft” I observed, 18 tight ends were selected, and none of them were CHI TE Zach Miller. CHI QB Jay Cutler has always been a quarterback who has counted on his tight ends as important weapons in his offense. In the final 8 games of 2015, Miller had 31 receptions for 404 yards and 5 TD receptions. I would draft Miller before drafting DET E Ebron, TB ASJ, PITT L Green and IND D Allen. I think fantasy football owners are sleeping on Zach Miller. Do you?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response:  YES!!!! I believe you are correct. Miller is in position for a strong season, and most people are not very high on him. In a limited role for 2015, Zach Miller still managed to end the season as the #16 tight end, with 439 yards and 5 touchdowns. He did this playing in only 11 games. ( In Week 10 of last season, he had 5 grabs for 107 yards and 2 TDs.)  Jay Culter loves to throw to his tight ends and he already seems to have good chemistry with Miller.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) I think it’s safe to say that Jacksonville has Allen fever! Between Penn State standout Allen Robinson and unstaffed pass catch Allen Hurns, the Jaguars boasted one of the most electrifying young receiving corps of any team last season. Why do you think they had so much success last year, and can that level of play be sustained?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: The WRs compliment each other so well. Robinson can work downfield and make big plays with his jumping ability, while Hurns is always in the right spot at the right time, and rarely drops the ball. I believe they feed off the other. Look for their success to continue as they develop even more chemistry and confidence with the young QB Blake Bortles.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Based on their team’s roster of talent, which NFL team should have been more successful in the regular season over the past couple years?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response:  The Philadelphia Eagles should have experienced more success. The offense was inconsistent and they were not able to dominate the game with star tailbacks. At times, you saw flashes of what they could be, but their efforts seemed inconsistent. 2015 would have been a good time for the Eagles to step up and play to their potential. It didn’t take a great record to win the division last season. Washington won the NFC East with a 9-7 record.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Were you surprised that in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers did not address their offense until the 6th Round? (Round 6- QB Jeff Criskel…Round 6 RB Kelvin Taylor and Round 6 WR Aaron Burbridge) Will any of these 3 players impact the SF team in 2016?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response:  I was not shocked by their defense heavy draft. They had a lot of defensive losses since their Super Bowl team, and Chip Kelly seems to think offensive players are almost interchangeable. I do not expect any of their offensive rookies to make a real impact this season.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Free agent WR Anquan Boldin is one of my favorite NFL players, and I think it would be fun to see him reunite with WR Larry Fitz in Arizona. Unfortunately, the Cardinals do not have room on a crowded WR depth chart for Boldin. Can you tell me 3 NFL teams that could benefit greatly by signing the gritty and talented Anquan Boldin?

Eric DeWalt FanUpNetwork Response: Bills could benefit from having him mentor Watkins and be a reliable #2 WR to move the chains.
Vikings have proven to have some potential, but WRs have been underwhelming. QB Teddy Bridgewater could really benefit from having a reliable possession WR.
Chiefs and Boldin could also be a great fit. Bolden would be a great compliment to Maclin.

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

1st AND 10 Week 14 With Jamie Black
1ST AND 10 WEEK 13 WITH DFF’s MICHAEL HUGHES

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

 

Team Profiles Philadelphia Eagles

Team Profiles Philadelphia Eagles by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug “wit out” Bowles

After only 2 seasons as an NFL coach, Chip Kelly has made it clear to everyone on planet Earth that he’s going to build this team “his way“, and apparently with the blessing of Eagle’s owner Jeffery Lurie. He’s been changing the Eagle’s roster faster than the Brown’s change quarterbacks, and he doesn’t seem to care who he let’s go. Players like DeSean Jackson, Trent Cole, LeSean McCoy, Carey Williams, and Todd Herremans have all had to buy new houses in different cities. Kelly came into the NFL wanting to change how the game is played, at least on his team, and only time will tell whether he ends being hailed as a genius or run out of town.

2015 Team Outlook– The NFC East is one of the strongest divisions in the NFL, and although Dallas had their best year since 2009, the Eagles and the Giants can handily challenge them for division champs in 2015. Washington is still in rebuilding mode with a new head coach and with QB RG3 regressing badly from his successful rookie season, so they may not be contenders. Kelly has 2 winning seasons so far (both years…10-6) so his maverick way of coaching hasn’t ruffled the feathers of too many Eagles fans, yet. If he had losing seasons in 2013 & 2014, trading home-town hero RB LeSean McCoy to Buffalo would likely have landed his head at the end of a stick! Even this ballsy move didn’t cause a huge, hostile commotion because ownership and the Philly fan base are going to give Kelly the benefit of the doubt…until he falls on his face, if he ever does.

2015 Fantasy Outlook–

QB– QB Nick Foles has got to be wondering what the heck he has to do in the NFL, to get a little respect. In only his second year, here’s how his 2013 season panned out. Foles finished with 27 touchdown passes and only 2 interceptions, and a season leading 119.0 passer rating. Foles led the Eagles to their 1st playoff berth since 2010. Hosting the Saints, the Eagles lost by two points as the game ended at 26-24. Foles threw for 195 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no INTs, for a passer rating of 105 in his postseason debut. Evidently this is only impressing me. Philly traded QB 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. Coach Chip Kelly said Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez are openly competing for the starting quarterback job, but the Eagles dealt Nick Foles and a second-round pick for Bradford and his $13 million salary, so Bradford is expected to start.

RBs– The Eagles are solid at the running back position for the 2015 NFL season, having one the best RBs in the NFL LeSean McCoy. Sorry, I mean, Buffalo is solid at the running back position, because HC Kelly traded McCoy in exchange for LB Kiko Alonso. (naturally, Alonso played his college football at Oregon) As of now, 5’6″ – 190 pound, 31-year-old Darren Sproles is listed as the starting running back. The Eagles also have RBs Matthew Tucker (an undrafted free agent) and Kenjon Barner (naturally, Barner played his college football at Oregon) on their roster, so perhaps HC Kelly thinks one of them can be a starter. UPDATE: The Eagles signed former RB Ryan Mathews and former RB DeMarco Murray.It will be a 3-headed monster in Philly with those two RBs and RB Darren Sproles. RB Murray is going very early in current mock drafts, but Utter-Fantasy has dropped his fantasy value and ranks him down to #17 RB confidently.

WRs– In early 2014, Chip Kelly released WR DeSean Jackson without any kind of compensation whatsoever. This year WR Jeremy Maclin is a free agent, and it doesn’t appear that the Eagles want to pony up and pay Maclin. If the Eagles lose Maclin…then Jordan Matthews, Riley Cooper, and Josh Huff would be left as their top three receivers. Matthews is a young star that was drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Cooper is barely worth keeping, but cutting Riley Cooper would cost Philadelphia more, thanks to the ridiculous deal the Eagles gave the wide receiver last year. ($22.5M with $10M guaranteed) Josh Huff was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. (naturally, Huff played his college football at Oregon) Huff could and should replace Cooper as the #2 WR if Maclin flies off to another team, and Huff is a 2015 low-end sleeper either way. Update: Philly signed former Brown/Cowboy WR Miles Austin, but he has no fantasy value. UPDATE: The Eagles selected 6’0″ WR Nelson Agholor with their 1st pick in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He will start immediately opposite 2nd year player Wr Jordan Matthews and Agholor is a nice sleeper candidate for 2015.

TEs– An increasing number of NFL offenses are learning to feature pass-catching tight ends in their offense, but even before Chip Kelly took over, the Eagles have always been a team that already did this. Philadelphia almost always has a tight end rank in the NFL top 15 and in 2014 it was TE Zack Ertz at #13. He totaled 703 yards and 3 TDs on the season. Ertz really showed it off how valuable he could be Week 11, hauling in 15 passes for 115 yards. Long-time Eagle TE Brent Celek came in at #35 with 340 yards and 1 TD. With the wide receiving corps going through a transformation, HC Kelly may rely on his athletic TEs even more in 2015. I have TE Ertz sneaking into my top 10 TEs rankings for the upcoming fantasy season.

K- Eagle’s place kicker Cody “Parker” Parkey was recently showcased in an Utter-Fantasy player profile. For an interesting, in-depth review of the kicker who’s cleats will soon be on their way to Canton, OH…see “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure“.

DEF– The Eagles defense took a step forward in 2014, under HC Chip Kelly and DC Bill Davis (former depressive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals.) Only the Houston T& Pittsburgh had more defensive TDs than Philadelphia did in 2014 (5 vs 4) and only Buffalo & Baltimore had more sacks. The Eagles special teams had a very special year as well, scoring twice as many kick off touchdowns than any other team in the NFL. (4) Fortunately, the Eagles don’t have big headache to face with core defensive players heading for free agency, like the New york Giants have for instance. UPDATE: Philly released CB Cary Williams.

2014 Philadelphia Fantasy Surprises–
RB LeSean McCoy is one of the best receiving running backs in the NFL. With the quick hitting offense that Philly has, it makes sense that McCoy would have grown with the system and improved on his 2013 stats of 540 receiving yards and 2 TDs. Instead, McCoy had the first season since his rookie year, that he had no receiving TDs and less than 315 receiving yards (only 155 in 2014) If you read K Parkey’s player profile, you may have been surprised to see that he ranked as #2 place kicker in the NFL in 2014.

2015 Free Agents that Philadelphia Needs to Address– QB Mark Sanchez (re-signed)- WR Jeremy Maclin(signed w/ KC)- WR Brad Smith- TE James Casey (released)- OT Todd Herremans (released)- OLB Brandon Graham- LB Casey Matthews- CB Bradley Fletcher- CB Cary Williams- S Nate Allen.

2015 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of Philadelphia are at quarterback, wide receivers and need depth on their entire defense. The Eagles will have to pay a king’s ransom to move up and get Mariota (QB), if Maclin becomes a free agent for another team, the Eagles need help at wide receiver, especially with WR Cooper almost impossible to move (WRs) and Philadelphia has under-sized corners who have to clash with WRs in the division who are not under-sized (CB & S). UPDATE: Philapelphia’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- PHILADELPHIA’S DRAFT

Did You Know-
In June of 2002, the Lincoln Financial Group paid a lump sum of $139.6 million to name the Eagle’s football stadium…the Lincoln Financial Field. In 8 years, the Group will need to write another big check, or let the city find another suitor. (I’m hoping for “Pat’s King of Steaks Field” as a name…original home of the Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich.)

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

Team Home Page: www.philadelphiaeagles.com