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Fantasy Impact – Greg Jennings Signs with Division Rival


By: — March 16, 2013 @ 9:35 am
Greg Jennings

Jennings gives Ponder a legitimate weapon on the outside.

Following the path of other ex-Packers (QB Brett Favre, K Ryan Longwell, S Darren Sharper), wide receiver Greg Jennings tested the free agent market and found a home in Minnesota.

Jennings signed a five-year, $47.5 million deal with the Vikings worth roughly $27 million over the first three years. His contract comes in below deals recently signed by Mike Wallace (5 years $60 million) and Dwayne Bowe (5 years, $56 million) but substantially above Wes Welker’s agreement in Denver (2 years, $12 million).

Minnesota had little choice but to sign Jennings after trading away their main receiving threat, Percy Harvin, to the Seahawks in exchange for draft picks. Jerome Simpson was resigned earlier this week but given the lack of talent in the receiving corps it won’t come as a surprise if the Vikings use one of their two first-round draft picks (#23 & #25) on a receiver.

Fantasy Impact

The 29 year-old Jennings appeared in eight games last year due to injury and turned in his worst season as a pro (36 rec, 366 yds, 4 TDs). He fills a gaping hole in the Vikings offense and has the ability to play on the outside or in the slot. Regardless of any moves at the receiver position yet to come, he will be the focus of the passing attack.

An attack led by Christian Ponder, not Aaron Rodgers.

Ponder and the Vikings passing offense won’t be confused the Packers aerial assault anytime soon. Minnesota ranked 31st in passing yards last season and with Ponder averaging 6.1 yards per attempt (31st also), Jennings could catch 90 balls and not break 1000 yards. And do forget, the offense runs through Adrian Peterson and their run-first philosophy won’t change anytime soon.

It’s not all doom and gloom however, as Jennings would be one of many mouths to feed in Green Bay as Randall Cobb, James Jones, Jordy Nelson and TE Jermichael Finley are very deserving of targets… and will get them. In Minnesota, Jennings will be the big fish in the purple pond but will have a hard time cracking WR1 territory without significant improvement from QB Christian Ponder and the Vikings demonstrating a willingness to open up the offense.

In the end, this likely is a neutral move for Jennings’ fantasy value, representing as a low-end WR2 with very little upside due to below average quarterback play.


Free Agent Frenzy – Day 2


By: — March 14, 2013 @ 1:04 am

Fantasy highlights from Day 2 of free agency. It didn’t disappoint.

The biggest splash occurred when Wes Welker moved on from Tom Brady and into the arms of Peyton Manning. The Patriots reportedly offered the prolific slot receiver $10 million plus incentives for two years. The Broncos offered $12 million for the same time frame. This move creates a ripple effect in Denver. Eric Decker‘s fantasy value takes a hit along with the Broncos’ tight ends. Downgrade the fantasy value of Welker also. It’s hard to catch 100 passes with Demaryius Thomas on the outside… but our own Dave Stinger doesn’t agree.

Danny Amendola

Injury history is a huge red flag with Amendola.

After losing Welker, the Patriots turned right around and picked up Danny Amendola to fill the void. Long thought of as a poor man’s Wes Welker, Amendola’s fantasy value took a jump today but his huge injury risk limits his leap. He’s missed 20 games in the last two years.

If the Patriots hold firm with the receivers they have now, the biggest beneficiary may be TE Aaron Hernandez who is capable of playing in the slot and could rack up huge numbers if Amendola continues to demonstrate his brittle nature.

After a quiet Day 1, the running back position made some noise as Reggie Bush left South Beach for Detroit, signing a four-year deal. This gives Bush added upside but with Mikel Leshoure still in the mix and likely to get goaline carries, Bush’s value will be greatest in PPR leagues with 60 catches a real possibility.

Rashard Mendenhall reunites with Bruce Arians as the former Steelers running back signed a one-year deal with Arizona. Mendenhall tried to come back last season after tearing his ACL in early January of 2012. He never rushed for more than 50 yards in any game. If Mendenhall can win the starting job over Ryan Williams he may slide into low-end RB2 territory but with injury concerns and no quarterback play, that’s wishful thinking.

Tennessee added depth at running back, picking up Shonn Greene from the Jets. Both Greene and Chris Johnson take hits to their fantasy value with this move. Greene could become a vulture at the goaline and gives the Titans the option to form a RBBC if desired. This is still CJ2K’s starting job but a 65-35 split wouldn’t surprise me.


Free Agent Frenzy – Day 1


By: — March 13, 2013 @ 10:11 am

Whew. It was quite a day as the NFL kicked off the calendar year with over 50 players changing teams. Here’s a quick recap of the fantasy highlights…

Quarterbacks

After a very public phone conversation between Buffalo GM Buddy Nix and Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik, in which Nix was heard longing for a franchise QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick got cut… Hmmm. Expect the Bills to go after a QB early in the draft. They have pick No. 8.

Chase Daniel, backup to Drew Brees in New Orleans, signed in KC. He’ll backup Alex Smith as the trade between the 49ers and Chiefs will be filed with the league today.

Running Backs

All was quiet on the RB front on Tuesday. We’ll be watching Steven Jackson and Reggie Bush closely today. As we speak, Bush is paying a visit to Detroit while it appears the Packers may have cooled on Jackson.

The Pittsburgh Steelers tendered offers Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman allowing them to match any offers they receive in free agency. Dwyer and Redman will likely share duties at running back for the Steelers in 2013 unless the Steelers pursue a free agent running back or address the position in the draft. This is a fantasy situation will have more clarity by the time training camp comes around in late July.

The Giants re-signed Ryan Torain. He’ll provide depth behind David Wilson and Andre Brown.

Wide Receivers

Mike Wallace

Wallace to Miami. The biggest move of the day was expected.

The Dolphins got their man for 5 years, $60 million with $30 million guaranteed. Mike Wallace will provide a much-needed lift to Miami’s offense but his fantasy value may have taken a hit into the low-end WR2 territory.

Surprisingly, Jerome Simpson was re-signed by the Vikings. They currently have the worst wide receiving corps in the league after trading Percy Harvin to Seattle.

Darrius Heyward-Bey got the axe in Oakland while the Jets retained Santonio Holmes. Holmes battled foot problems last season and didn’t play a snap past Week 4. His guarantee for 2013 ($7.5 million) forced the Jets to keep his services. On a team in rebuilding mode, Holmes will be a very risky WR3 in fantasy drafts this summer.

Tight Ends

Some interesting moves in this category. Jared Cook landed in St. Louis and judging by the contract he got (5 years, $31 million, $19 million guaranteed) he should be a focal point of the offense. His fantasy stock is on the rise.

Martellus Bennett left the Giants for Chicago and gives Cutler a legitimate receiving threat at the position.

Anthony Fasano was signed by Kansas City. He will be paired with the oft-inured Tony Moeaki. While Andy Reid likes to use the tight end position, neither will have much fantasy value unless one is thrust into a clear starting role.

The Titans lost Cook but gained Delanie Walker from San Francisco (4 years, $17.5 million, $8.6 guaranteed). He hasn’t had a chance to be a primary target at his position and is better known for his blocking ability. He’ll likely share time with Taylor Thompson.

Day 2

Guys we’re keeping our eye on include Reggie Bush, Steven Jackson, Greg Jennings, Wes Welker and Danny Amendola. The frenzy is under way.


Percy Harvin Gets His Wish – Fantasy Impact


By: — March 12, 2013 @ 8:57 am
Percy Harvin

Harvin wanted out of Minnesota. He got his wish on Monday.

The day before free agency proved to be an eventful one, with a number of teams making moves in preparation for the frenzy set to come. No move was bigger than Percy Harvin being dealt by the Vikings to the Seahawks for, reportedly, a trio of draft picks including Seattle’s first-round pick (#25 overall) and seventh-round pick in 2013, plus a mid-round pick next season—rumored to be a third-round selection.

Harvin has had a rocky ride during his four years in Minnesota, often at odds with management about playing time, injuries and his contract. He suffered a sprained ankle in Week 9 and was placed on IR in Week 14, never to return to the team despite the Vikings making it to the playoffs and losing to the Packers during the Wild Card round. Even though head coach Leslie Frazier was saying all the right things, by season’s end it was clear Harvin’s days were numbered in Minnesota.

Harvin’s move to Seattle will reunite him with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who was with Minnesota when they drafted Harvin in 2009. This move works on a lot of levels for the Seahawks, giving them a smaller, quicker, multi-talented weapon on offense to pair with the bigger Sidney Rice. Harvin will also add game-breaking ability in the return game. Nobody has had more kick-return touchdowns (5) since 2009 than Harvin.

Fantasy Impact

VikingsChristian Ponder is a QB2 who just lost his best receiver. He’s damaged fantasy goods until further notice.

This move leaves the receiving corps in Minnesota without a leader. With Jerome Simpson testing the free agent market, Jarius Wright and Stephen Burton and their 27 combined catches would be lining up outside if the Vikings were to play today. Expect Minnesota to be active in free agency, pursuing the likes of Greg Jennings, Danny Amendola or even the expensive Victor Cruz, who comes with a hefty first-round pick price tag.

Tight End Kyle Rudolph’s value holds steady but could use the assistance of a proven threat on the outside. If the Vikings choose to address their receiver needs through the draft and fail to get a proven wideout, Rudolph will be a marked man by defenses in 2013.

SeahawksRussell Wilson gets the biggest fantasy boost from this trade. His stock was already on the rise after averaging 31.3 fantasy points over his last five games (including the playoffs). He now has one of the most explosive weapons in the league at his disposal, giving the Seahawks a very balanced offensive attack. Wilson is shaping up as a low-end QB1 in the 8–12 range.

Harvin was my #4 ranked fantasy wideout last preseason and was on his way to living up to the ranking until injury struck in Week 9. The benefits of a familiar voice on staff and a new contract stroking his ego will serve Harvin well, but posting 110 catches and 1,200+ receiving yards will be a challenge. Those numbers he was on pace for prior to injury last season will be difficult to come by in Seattle with a capable Sidney Rice on the outside and Golden Tate a viable third receiving option. I do expect Harvin to lead the team in receiving and give fantasy owners bonus points in the running game, but a low-end WR1 in the 10–15 range is likely his ceiling unless the Seahawks make a conscious effort to open up their offense, which ranked last in pass attempts with 405 last season.


Full Seven-Round Draft Order


By: — March 5, 2013 @ 2:59 pm
Filed under: NFL Draft

2013 NFL Draft We’ve updated the NFL Draft Tracker to include picks for all seven rounds. Compensatory picks (awarded at the bottom of Rounds 3-7) will be announced by the league later this month.

The 49ers have 11 picks currently, plus 3 more compensatory picks expected along with a 2nd-round pick from Kansas City as compensation for the pending Alex Smith trade.  That’s 15 picks in total. Division rival Seattle has 10 picks in the upcoming 2013 Draft.


2013 Strength of Schedule


By: — February 7, 2013 @ 6:47 pm
Filed under: Other

I’ve just posted the 2013 Strength of Schedule report based on wins and losses from the 2012 season.

As you can see in the chart below, the Panthers have the toughest schedule thanks in large part to home and away games with the Falcons (13 wins in 2012) and a matchup with the Patriots (12 wins in 2012).

The Broncos have the easiest schedule due to the putrid performance of the remaining AFC West teams. The Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders were a combined 13-35 last season.

 2013 Strength of Schedule
Rk Team Percentage Win/Loss Record Games vs. Quality Opp.*
1 Carolina Panthers 0.543 138-116-2 7
T-2 Detroit Lions 0.539 138-118-0 10
New Orleans Saints 0.539 137-117-2 6
St. Louis Rams 0.539 137-117-2 8
5 Baltimore Ravens 0.535 137-119-0 8
6 Green Bay Packers 0.533 136-119-1 10
T-7 Arizona Cardinals 0.520 131-121-4 7
Miami Dolphins 0.520 133-123-0 6
San Francisco 49ers 0.520 132-122-2 7
T-10 Minnesota Vikings 0.516 132-124-0 9
Seattle Seahawks 0.516 130-122-4 7
T-12 Cincinnati Bengals 0.508 130-126-0 7
Jacksonville Jaguars 0.508 129-125-2 7
New England Patriots 0.508 130-126-0 5
15 Atlanta Falcons 0.504 128-126-0 5
16 Chicago Bears 0.502 128-127-1 8
17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0.500 127-127-2 5
18 Washington Redskins 0.498 127-128-1 8
T-19 New York Jets 0.496 127-129-0 5
Philadelphia Eagles 0.496 127-129-0 8
T-21 Cleveland Browns 0.492 126-130-0 8
Pittsburgh Steelers 0.492 126-130-0 8
23 Tennessee Titans 0.488 124-130-2 7
T-24 New York Giants 0.480 123-133-0 7
Dallas Cowboys 0.480 121-134-1 8
T-26 Buffalo Bills 0.473 121-135-0 5
Houston Texans 0.473 120-134-2 7
Kansas City Chiefs 0.473 121-135-0 6
29 Oakland Raiders 0.469 120-136-0 6
30 Indianapolis Colts 0.461 117-137-2 7
31 San Diego Chargers 0.457 117-139-0 7
32 Denver Broncos 0.430 110-146-0 6


Projections & Rankings Update – 9/6/12


By: — September 6, 2012 @ 1:32 pm
Filed under: Forecast

Quarterbacks

  • No significant changes.

Running Backs

  • Peyton Hillis (+5) – The Chiefs would be wise to lead the league in rushing this year.
  • Isaac Redman (-3) – The Steelers backfield is one to avoid right now.
  • Rashard Mendenhall (+3) – Encouraging signs from the practice field but the Steelers backfield is one to avoid right now.
  • Bilal Powell (+27) – There’s no clear-cut No. 2 RB behind Greene, but Powell is trending upward.

Wide Receivers

  • Kevin Ogletree (#55) – It looks like Cowboys have found a #3 wideout. I’m not expecting Laurent Robinson type production and you probably saw his best game of the season last night.
  • Julian Edelman (+2) – The Patriots released a host of veteran receivers leaving Edelman to pick up the pieces.
  • Justin Blackmon (+6) – Looking more and more like he will be the clear-cut No. 1 wideout in Jacksonville.
  • Denarius Moore (-12) – Heading into the season already banged up.
  • Rod Streater (+32) – Injuries to Moore and Ford may give Streater an opportunity in 2012.
  • Donald Jones (-5) – Will start opposite Stevie, but Nelson will be targeted more from the slot.

Tight Ends


Projections & Rankings Update – 9/3/12


By: — September 3, 2012 @ 4:56 pm
Filed under: Forecast

Player Projections, Rankings & Cheatsheets
Change Log – 9/3/12

Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

  • Julian Edelman (+9) The Patriots released a host of veteran receivers leaving Edelman to pick up the pieces.

Tight Ends


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