Fantasy Football Strategy, Advice, and Commentary
By: Mike Krueger — June 10, 2013 @ 7:43 pm
Our annual June mock got rolling today and it was no surprise that Adrian Peterson was the first player off the board. It was also no surprise that 11 running backs and 1 wide receiver were taken in the first round.
This is a standard performance scoring draft and non-PPR which made the pick of Jamaal Charles at 1.02 very interesting. Dan’s reasoning?
“I considered Arian Foster at #2, and he was the one consistently being taken top-three that I dismissed. I like him, and he’s probably safe, but I’m that guy who isn’t comfortable with the nagging injuries, His receiving yards dropped last year, as well, and I am thinking that might be more a trend going forward. That raises the value of a Ray Rice, who was one of my other two serious considerations.”
Good enough. I suspect the addition of Andy Reid and constant chatter of Charles reaching career highs in receptions is pushing the KC running back up draft boards. We’ll see if the Charles hype continues over the summer. I suspect it will.
Charles was a mild surprise at 1.02, the pick of Steven Jackson at 1.11 by WhiteWonder was a jaw dropper, especially with a Alfred Morris still on the board. SJax is in a great situation in Atlanta but I’d prefer the younger RB on a run-first team.
Here’s the complete first round…
- 1.01 – ICEMAN- RB Adrian Peterson, Min.
- 1.02 – Dan- RB Jamaal Charles, KC
- 1.03 – Shovelheadt- RB Doug Martin, TB
- 1.04 – Remote Controller- RB Arian Foster, Hou.
- 1.05 – RicemanX- RB Ray Rice, Bal.
- 1.06 – Matt’s Eagles- WR Calvin Johnson, Det.
- 1.07 – Robb- RB C.J. Spiller, Buf.
- 1.08 – Vikings4Ever- RB Marshawn Lynch, Sea.
- 1.09 – Fumbleweed- RB LeSean McCoy, Phi.
- 1.10 – Ray Lewis’ Limo Driver- RB Trent Richardson, Cle.
- 1.11 – White Wonder- RB Steven Jackson, Atl.
- 1.12 – JScott- RB Alfred Morris, Was.
We’re off and running with our June mock and looking forward to more surprises in Round 2. You can follow the draft in our Mocking Station forum.
By: Mike Krueger — June 3, 2013 @ 4:12 am
Player Projections, Rankings & Cheatsheets
Change Log – 6/3/13
Our initial release for 2013 has over 800 players projected and ranked. Sporadic updates will occur in June with weekly updates kicking off in July through the start of the season. We’ll also do unscheduled updates as needed, typically for significant injuries that occur between scheduled updates.
- Robert Griffin III (#15) – I know my inbox will be flooded, but his injury risk is too sizeable for my taste. I’ll slide him up as we get closer to Week 1 assuming his rehab continues to go well, but even healthy, I don’t see him cracking my top ten.
- Tom Brady (#7) – The Pats have lost their lone rock at the receiving position and replaced Welker with an adequate, but injury-prone player. Is this the year the revolving door at the position takes a bite out of Brady’s magic?
- Carson Palmer (#20) – I like his upside in Bruce Arians’ offense and should be a great fantasy QB2 with QB1 upside.
- Arian Foster (#2) – His heavy workload the last three years will shouted at you by many fantasy analysts this summer and an early calf injury only adds fuel to the fire. He’s No. 2 for now, but I wouldn’t hold it against anyone for taking Dougie instead.
- Le’Veon Bell (#12) – Great opportunity for the rookie. We’ll follow his progress closely during camp.
- Reggie Bush (#14) – PPR value is back on the rise.
By: Mike Krueger — April 29, 2013 @ 11:44 am
After a scan of the runners taken during the 2013 draft this past weekend, here are my early top ten rookie running backs for re-draft leagues. Keep in mind; a number of rookies had a fantasy impact last year – Doug Martin, Alfred Morris, Trent Richardson, Vick Ballard and David Wilson. Martin, Morris and Richardson finished among the top ten fantasy running backs in 2012.
The new workhorse in Pittsburgh.
1. Le’Veon Bell, PIT – With Mendenhall moving on to Arizona the Steelers have a void at the RB position. Bell is projected to be an every-down back and rumors of Jonathan Dwyer being shopped in a potential trade have begun to surface.
2. Eddie Lacy, GB – Lacy was a shoe-in to be top on the list until the Packers selected Johnathan Franklin later in the draft. Lacy’s likely use around the goaline gives him the early leg up over the smaller Franklin.
3. Montee Ball, DEN – The Broncos have a crowded backfield at the moment but with one pick slip handed to Willis McGahee, Ball’s fantasy value will shoot up the charts. He has the potential to be the focus of the Broncos running game.
4. Giovani Bernard, CIN – Bernard is a much better receiver than the LawFirm but is a bit on the smallish side (5-foot-9) to be a workhorse. He’s got a chance to fill the role Bernard Scott has yet to fulfill.
5. Johnathan Franklin, GB – Franklin is a perfect compliment to Lacy and could become a fantasy force if Lacy’s injury concerns become a reality in 2013. He’ll likely compete with DuJuan Harris for carries.
6. Zac Stacy, STL – Stacy lands in St. Louis in a prime situation. Gone is Steven Jackson and left behind are second-year players Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead with Stacy the more likely to receive goaline carries.
7. Stepfan Taylor, ARI – Mendenahll will get his chance this year to be the workhorse in Arizona but he is on a one-year contract and prone to injury. Coaches are typically reluctant to put rookie running backs on the field due to their lack of prowess in pass-blocking but Taylor does have above-average ability in that department. At the very least, he should fill a complementary role to Mendy in 2013.
8. Knile Davis, KC – Davis is known as injury-prone and a fumbler but does have immense talent. He’ll have to shake the former if he wants a steady role as Jamaal Charles’ backup and with Shaun Draughn currently holding down the job, the opportunity is there.
9. Andre Ellington, ARI – Bruce Arians is definitely trying to revamp his running back group. Ellington will likely spend most of time on special teams this season but he’s someone to keep an eye on if the Mendenhall experiment fails.
10. Joseph Randle, DAL – DeMarco Murray is the unquestioned started in Big-D but behind him is a vacancy. Jerry Jones already projects him to be the backup behind Murray making him very fantasy relevant given Murray’s injury history.
By: Mike Krueger — March 16, 2013 @ 9:35 am
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.
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.
By: Mike Krueger — 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.
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.
By: Mike Krueger — 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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Guys we’re keeping our eye on include Reggie Bush, Steven Jackson, Greg Jennings, Wes Welker and Danny Amendola. The frenzy is under way.
By: Mike Krueger — March 12, 2013 @ 8:57 am
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.
Vikings – Christian 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.
Seahawks – Russell 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.
By: Mike Krueger — March 5, 2013 @ 2:59 pm
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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.
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