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

Buffalo Bills Team Profile 2016

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

Rex Ryan’s first year as head coach of Buffalo wasn’t a bad one. His last year with the Jets, Ryan led the team to only 4 wins, so ending 2015 with a record of 8-8 was respectable. For the 2015 Buffalo Bills Team Profile, Utter-Fantasy predicted two things would happen…….1) the players will love him 2) the team will have a losing season. Utter-Fantasy is happy to be wrong on one of them. Give the new head coach credit for getting 8 wins out of a team thrown together in the spring of 2015. QB Tyrod Taylor wasn’t the quarterback for Buffalo in 2014.  RB LeSean McCoy wasn’t the running back for Buffalo in 2014.  TE Charles Clay, you guessed it…….wasn’t the tight end for Buffalo in 2014. WR Sammy Watkins was a rookie in 2014 ( see Buffalo Draft) and forced to start over with a new QB in 2015. These players and others all had to come together as a team over the summer and in pre-season, and make it work during the regular season. Not an easy task.

2016 Team Outlook- Buffalo ( and the rest of the AFC East Division) get stampeded by the New England Patriots. The Pats are the thorn in Rexy’s side, it was while he coached the Jets and remains while he’s coaching Buffalo ( but that’s why he got the Buffalo gig, his familiarity with his opponents in that division.) On January 10th of this year, brother Rex hired brother Rob, former New Orleans defense coordinator, to run the Buffalo defense. ( On November 16, 2015, the day after a 47–14 loss to Washington, and with the New Orleans defense ranked last in the NFL, Ryan was fired.) Nepotism doesn’t get much more ridiculous than this. Rob stinks as a defense coordinator. Not my opinion, it’s a fact. Rex Ryan’s first NFL Draft as head coach was not considered to be a very good one. In 2015 , Mel Kiper handed out his NFL Draft grades and ranked the Buffalo Bills draft dead last.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook–

QB- Tyrod Taylor was signed away from Baltimore on March 12, 2015, the young quarterback signed a 3-year, $3.35 million contract with Buffalo. On August 31, 2015, Taylor was named the starting quarterback for the 2015 season by head coach Rex Ryan, after beating out former Bills first round pick EJ Manuel and veteran Matt Cassel in their preseason quarterback competition among the three. Although Taylor’s season wasn’t disasterous ( He set the Buffalo Bills’ franchise record for consecutive passes without an interception in the third quarter of a week 13 ) Bills GM Doug Whaley gave a half-hearted endorsement of Tyrod Taylor as the long-term starting quarterback.

RBs- A decent part of this section should be devoted to newly acquired RB LeSean McCoy’s accomplishments during the 2015 and how he overcame his Week 3 injury to become the starting running back for Buffalo once again in Week 9, but that’s ancient history for LeSean. McCoy has recently found himself in a peck of trouble. Arrest warrants for McCoy and and three other alleged assailants are expected to be served in February. McCoy is being accused of assaulting two off-duty police officers at a Philadelphia nightclub last Saturday night/Sunday morning. This has a long way to go still, but it’s possible McCoy serves time on Exempt List. In 2015, Buffalo selected rookie running back Karlos Williams’ in the 5th round of the NFL Draft. Throughout 2015, he shared time with McCoy, racking up 517 rushing yards along with 7 TD runs. He ended 2015 as the 31st ranked RB for the season. In light of McCoy’s legal trouble, Williams fantasy stock is on the rise.

WRs- Who are the wide receivers on the Buffalo Bill’s roster? Sammy Watkins. Good, now who else? Woods somebody. OK….his name is actually Robert Woods……who else? ZZZZZZZ. Therein lies the problem. Buffalo has actually been focused on selecting wide receivers in past drafts, and most are still on their roster. WR Marcus Easley was drafted in 2010, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin in 2013, Sammy Watkins in 2014 and Dezwin Lewis in 2015. Perhaps they are still in development and will be solid contributors in the future. One has to wonder however, why Buffalo keeps adding wide receiver journeyman on their roster, such as Greg Salas, Greg Little, Leonard Hankerson and Jarrett Boykin.

TEs- Scott Chandler is the only name worth mentioning one year ago, until Buffalo shuffled him off to New England and acquired former Miami free agent TE Charles Clay. He’s a big, tough guy and Buffalo signed a five-year, $38 million deal back in March, and Buffalo paid him like an elite tight end.  It was an expensive 51 catches for only 528 yards with 3 measley touchdowns. TE Scott chandler could have done that. Wait…Scott Chandler DID do that, in 2014….almost….47 catches for only 497 yards with 3 measley touchdowns for Buffalo. After only one year with a new head coach and new teammates, Clay can’t be considered a bust yet. Clay has great size and talent so the Bills need to tap into more of it in 2016.

K- Buffalo’s Dan Carpenter had been in the top 10 rankings for kickers in 2014 ( #6) and 2013 (#10) . Due to a poor offense, Carpenter fell to #20 in 2015. Carpenter seemed to struggle the most with the extra yardage added to extra point in 2015. He went only 34 for in 40 attempts, the most missed extra points in the NFL.

DEF- The Buffalo defense took a nose dive in 2015, falling from #3 in 2014 to #26. So how did Rexy decide to fix it. He brought in his brother Rob, who was fired from New Orleans for engineering the worst defense in the NFL. ( that’s like hiring CLEV WR Josh Gordon as a guidance counselor for chemical dependency!)

2015 Buffalo Fantasy Surprises- My fantasy football surprise from Buffalo isn’t Sammy Watkins ( we all expect him to do great things), but QB Tyrod Taylor. While running back LeSean McCoy was the only Buffalo Bills player to officially make the 2015 Pro Bowl, first-year quarterback Tyrod Taylor also made a trip to Hawaii as an alternate for the game, replacing Panther’s quarterback Cam Newton. Tylor ended 2015 as the 18th ranked quarterback in the NFL. He threw for 3035 yards and ran for 568 more. Taylor also had the least amount of interceptions (6) for any QB playing in al least 14 games. Another fantasy football surprise for 2015 was RB Karlos Williams. Many people questioned HC Ryan’s selection Williams in the 2015 NFL Draft, but Williams was a contributor to the offense in 11 of Buffalo’s 16 games last season and as mentioned earlier, RB McCoy’s legal trouble could lead to Williams be the #1 running back in Buffalo for 2016.

2016 Free Agents that Buffalo need to address- OG Richie Incognito, DT Corbin Bryant (RFA), OLB Nigel Bradham, WR Percy Harvin, FS Bacarri Rambo (RFA), DT Alex Carrington, CB Ron Brooks, DT Stefan Charles (RFA), OTJordan Mills, WR Leonard Hankerson LT Cordy Glenn

2016 NFL Draft- Buffalo has half of their O-Line headed for free agency, so if they can’t find a way to keep them, they must replace them. HC Rex Ryan ( and now Rob) have to fix a defense that ranked #26…..they need help with new linebackers and in their secondary.

Did you know- January 2016 marked the first time the two twins, Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan, had coached together since 1995. Back then, they were coaching under their father, Buddy Ryan, with the Arizona Cardinals.