Fantasy Football Strategy, Advice, and Commentary
By: Dave Stringer — September 17, 2013 @ 9:15 pm
Michael Vick, Eagles
Two games into the season, we can safely conclude that Vick has an opportunity to put together a career year in 2013. Provided he can stay healthy of course. With the Eagles taking their foot off the gas in Week 1, Vick amassed 29.6 fantasy points, and in Week 2 he put up 37.7 on 428 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns, as well as his second rushing touchdown of the season.
Rivers has 7 TD passes in 2 games.
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Rivers is protecting the football (one interception and no lost fumbles through two games) and elevating the play of his receivers, something that was missing from his game over the past couple of years. With seven touchdown passes and 614 passing yards in two games, Rivers has emerged as a low-end starter after two weeks. The schedule isn’t horrible, so this could be a situation where you can move your starter for help elsewhere and roll with Rivers.
Sam Bradford, Rams
This isn’t the St. Louis offense of yesteryear, dominated by Steven Jackson. The Rams are chucking it because of a subpar rushing attack, with Bradford second in the league in pass attempts. He has throw for 299 and 352 yards and multiple touchdowns (three and two, respectively) in each game. And the young weapons he has on offense will only get better as the season progresses.
Tom Brady, Patriots
I coach 8-year rep hockey, so I am well aware that what you start the season with isn’t what you finish it with. Unfortunately for Brady owners, they are going to have to endure more games like this week’s effort against the Jets, in which Brady completed 19 of 39 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown, before the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter. Simply put, this is the worst collection of receivers that he has ever had to work with.
Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
Two games into his free-agent year, it appears that Freeman is destined to make this a “break it” year rather than a “make it” one. He was abysmal this week against the Saints, going 9 of 22 for 125 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He wasn’t much better in Week 1, and control freak head coach Greg Schiano isn’t going to waste much more time before he inserts rookie third-round pick Mike Glennon into the lineup.
Robert Griffin III, Redskins
Ugh. It was another ugly performance for RGIII this week, although he still managed to pad his fantasy stats with 320 passing yards and three touchdown passes. At 0-2 and with the season on the line, there is a small chance that head coach Mike Shanahan will put him on a short leash if the turnovers keeping coming (three interceptions so far in 2013). The truth of the matter is that RGIII hasn’t produced other than in garbage time.
James Starks, Packers
Starks came off the bench this week to become the first Packers player in 44 games to top 100-yards rushing. With Eddie Lacy out with a concussion, Starks had the finest game of his four-year career with 132 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, while chipping in four receptions for 36 yards. He entered training camp fifth on the depth chart but pushed aside Alex Green (released) to keep his job. With rookie fourth-round pick Jonathan Franklin struggling, DuJuan Harris out for the year, and Lacy questionable for next week, Starks now sits atop the depth chart for a Packers offense that is humming. It’s worth mentioning that reports out of Green Bay in the preseason noted that Starks was having the best training camp of his career and that he looked like a different player.
Knowshon Moreno, Broncos
At this point, you can feel comfortable inserting Moreno into the starting lineup. He has outshined his two younger backups with 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 28 touches. There is simply no reason why the Broncos would give rookie second-round pick Montee Ball more touches in Week 3.
Fred Jackson, Bills
With FJax getting 33 touches over the first two weeks of the season, it looks like the plan to give C.J. Spiller the rock until he pukes isn’t going to be put in place. Jackson hasn’t even done a lot to warrant the work, averaging 3.9 yards per carry and 8.0 yards per reception, but his 11.1 PPG average looks pretty solid.
Joique Bell, Lions
Reggie Bush is having an MRI on his knee and Bell has made the most of his opportunities thus far in 2013, with 164 total yards and a pair of touchdowns on 24 touches.
Brandon Jacobs, Giants
Although he is destined for the bench when Andre Brown returns, Jacobs could prove useful for a few weeks. He had seven rushes this week, many of them as a short-yardage runner, scoring once. He even had a pass thrown his way, although the Giants presumably had the wrong personnel in the game on that play.
Jordan Todman, Jaguars
After a first-half ankle injury, Maurice Jones-Drew never returned. Rather than turn to Justin Forsett or Denard Robinson, the Jaguars inserted Todman, who carried five times. For seven yards. No, not pretty, but worth noting that he—not Forsett, as most expected—is MJD’s handcuff.
Arian Foster, Texans
I’m not pulling the plug yet because I think better days are ahead, but Arian is averaging 3.7 yards per carry against a pair of run defenses that aren’t exactly considered upper-tier.
Trent Richardson, Browns & DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
These guys aren’t chopped liver but the offensive lines they run behind sure are. Richardson is averaging 3.4 yards a pop while Murray is at 3.5. Let’s call these buy-low situations.
Mark Ingram, Saints
Stick a fork in this dude. He’s done. Unless the Saints offensive line becomes dominant, Ingram will never be a consistent fantasy producer. There is too much competition for touches in the Saints backfield and he just doesn’t deserve to get enough of them to make him fantasy relevant. This guy needs volume touches to put up decent numbers.
DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
With Andre Johnson out with a concussion, Hopkins hauled in the winning touchdown in the Texans overtime win over the Titans, finishing the day with seven receptions for 117 yards and the score. He was also instrumental on the Texans’ game-tying scoring drive in the fourth quarter with three receptions for 64 yards. It looks like Hopkins will get his in the Texans offense, but he will get even more if AJ is out for any length of time.
Eddie Royal, Chargers
Sometimes tone is important. You’re not here with me and these words are being typed, so let me spell it out for you: This is lukewarm endorsement. Sure, Royal has five touchdowns in two games and the Chargers passing offense looks surprisingly potent. But it won’t be a surprise if Royal doesn’t find the end zone over the rest of the season, since his five scores match his touchdowns production over the past four seasons combined.
Steve Johnson, Bills
Just in case anybody was doubting his fantasy relevance with rookie EJ Manuel at quarterback, Johnson has touchdowns in each of his first two games and topped 100 receiving yards this week.
Lance Moore, Saints
With four targets in each of his first two games (three receptions for 38 yards), Moore is starting to look like an afterthought in the Saints offense.
Vincent Brown, Chargers
Brown is averaging a respectable 5.0 PPG but that is padded by his Week 1 touchdown. With just six receptions on 11 targets for 39 yards, he has had a rather underwhelming start to a season in which he was considered a breakout candidate by many (not here, BTW—ahem).
Kenny Britt, Titans
After a one-reception, 15-yard performance in Week 1 in which he had only two targets, Britt was more involved in the Titans’ Week 2 matchup against the Texans. Unfortunately, he caught just four of his nine targets for 28 yards before getting benched.
Martellus Bennett, Bears
Bennett put together a career year last season in his first year with the Giants, despite playing through an early-season knee injury, and it looks like he will have another career year with another new team in 2013. Two games into his Bears career, Bennett is clearly a key cog in Chicago’s passing attack, with ten receptions for 125 yards and three touchdowns. He appears headed for mid-tier TE1 status.
Fred Davis, Redskins
Two games into the year, Davis has been targeted just six times compared to nine for rookie third-round pick Jordan Reed. While Reed has shown little playmaking ability, averaging 7.0 yards per reception, it appears there is a changing of the guard occurring at the tight end position in Washington.
Brandon Pettigrew, Lions
After a two-reception, six-yard performance in Week 1, Pettigrew was marginally better this week against the Cardinals, catching three of his six targets for 32 yards. After watching Rams tight end Jared Cook scorch the Cardinals safeties in Week 1, Pettigrew owners were hoping for more. Unfortunately, with the addition of Reggie Bush, his role in the Lions offense appears to have been marginalized.
By: Mike Krueger — September 3, 2013 @ 9:02 am
Player Projections, Rankings & Cheatsheets
Change Log – 9/3/13
- Zach Sudfeld (+3) – Should have value even when Gronk returns.
- Julius Thomas (+8) – Will start in Denver but will be the fourth option behind three standout receivers.
By: Dave Stringer — August 29, 2013 @ 12:14 pm
Even with additional weapons (Cook & Austin) Bradford remains a QB2.
QB Sam Bradford
(2012 QB Rank – #19, 18.0 FPts/G)
Entering 2013, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford faces a pivotal year as he attempts to establish himself as an upper-tier quarterback. Hopes are high that Bradford, with a bevy of speed receivers and a second consecutive year under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, will put together a career year in 2013. Of course, he will have to accomplish that without the services of Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola, both of whom departed in free agency, and Schottenheimer has never been mentioned as one of the league’s top offensive minds. Despite a leaky offensive and a cast of receivers that was among the league’s worst in 2012, Bradford set career highs with 3,702 passing yards and 21 touchdowns with just 13 interceptions. However, he threw for less than 200 yards five times and had just three 300-yard passing games. The lack of explosive games (partly caused by a lack of playmakers at the skill positions) caused him to finish the season as a mid-tier QB2, but he could be in for a breakout season in 2013. Rookie Tavon Austin offers plenty of potential at wide receiver, Chris Givens will look to establish himself as a big-play threat, and tight end Jared Cook is one of the league’s most athletic tight ends. If the Rams can get solid production from their running backs, Bradford could emerge as a low-end QB1. But that’s a lot of ifs. Consider Bradford a mid-tier QB2 once again this season.
RB Daryl Richardson
(2012 RB Rank – #51, 4.0 FPts/G; #46 PPR, 5.5 FPts/G)
A rookie seventh-round pick in 2012, Richardson got off to a fast start as Steven Jackson’s backup, racking up 451 rushing and 117 receiving yards over the Rams’ first 11 games. Then he crumbled like a cookie, with 16 rushes for 24 yards and eight receptions for 46 yards over the team’s final five games. The Abilene Christian product will enter 2013 as the Rams’ starting running back, but there are serious concerns whether his 5’10”, 196-pound frame is built to handle the lead role in St. Louis, or whether he would be best utilized as a change-of-pace back. While the speedy Richardson proved to be effective running outside the tackles, he struggled mightily once opposing defenses coordinators figured out he wasn’t much of an inside runner. However, with disappointing 2012 second-round pick Isaiah Pead and rookie fifth-round pick Zac Stacy as his only competition, Richardson has the starting role almost by default. We expect the Rams backfield to be a fantasy mess in 2013, with the hot hand getting the touches. Richardson rates as a low-end RB3.
RB Isaiah Pead
(2012 RB Rank – #126, 15.4 FPts/G; #126 PPR, 1.3 FPts/G)
Many felt the Rams finally addressed the backup running back spot behind Steven Jackson with the 2012 selection of Isaiah Pead in the second round of the draft. However, seventh-round pick Daryl Richardson stole that backup role and is expected to be given the first chance as the Rams starter in 2013. Pead rarely saw the field as a rookie, rushing just ten times for 54 yards and catching three passes for 16 yards. He didn’t endure himself to the Rams coaches with his lack of knowledge of the playbook, and then he was suspended for the opening game of the 2013 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policies. Looks like he has a lot of learning to do both on the field and off. While that might be the case, Richardson struggled at the end of the 2012 season and there are doubts that he can hold up as a starter. Don’t be surprised if Pead gets a shot in that role at some point in 2013, making him worth taking a flier on.
RB Zac Stacy
(2012 RB Rank – N/A)
The Rams used a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft to acquire Stacy, and he will be given an opportunity to earn a role in 2013. With neither Daryl Richardson nor Isaiah Pead having done much to establish themselves as consistent producers, Stacy could even earn the starting role at some point in his rookie season. While the 5’9”, 210-pound Vanderbilt product lacks upside because of his lack of speed and shiftiness, he was an effective inside runner in college, and neither Richardson nor Stacy have proven efficient in that role as pros. At worst, Stacy figures to get some yardage looks, so that makes him worthy of a late-round flier in your fantasy draft. Just don’t go mistaking opportunity for talent if you are thinking about grabbing Stacy in your dynasty league. He doesn’t have the feel of a long-time NFL starter even if he earns a few starts in 2013.
WR Tavon Austin
(2012 WR Rank – N/A)
With a lack of playmakers at the offensive skill positions and Danny Amendola having departed in free agency, St. Louis moved up in this year’s draft to select Austin with the eighth overall selection. The West Virginia product displayed outstanding playmaking ability during his collegiate career, effectively utilizing his shiftiness and 40 speed of 4.34, mainly working out of the slot. He will fulfill that role in St. Louis, and with quarterback Sam Bradford having shown an affinity for utilizing slot receivers, Austin could be a PPR demon in his rookie season. He figures to be a tough matchup out of the slot, with opposing defenses having to respect his blazing speed. Unfortunately, the Rams offense could struggle with no proven threat at running back and an offensive line that has been trouble for years. While that dampens our expectations for Austin in his rookie season, he is an outstanding dynasty league prospect and a player that should produce as a WR3 with upside in his rookie season.
WR Chris Givens
(2012 WR Rank – #52, 5.9 FPts/G; #58 PPR, 8.7 FPts/G)
The Rams hit a home run with the acquisition of Chris Givens with a fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft. The Wake Forest product used his blazing speed to emerge as St. Louis’s top receiving weapon, catching 42 passes for 698 yards and three touchdowns, with 689 of those yards and all three touchdowns coming in his last 12 games. At this point of his career, Givens is a less-established version of the Dolphins’ Mike Wallace but with plenty of upside. A one-trick pony for the first half of his rookie season, Givens was effectively used on intermediate routes over the latter part of 2012. In 2013, he may have even more room to operate due to the acquisitions of Tavon Austin and Jared Cook. Look for Givens to improve on his rookie season and make for a solid WR3 this year.
WR Austin Pettis
(2012 WR Rank – #82, 3.9 FPts/G; #81 PPR, 6.2 FPts/G)
Entering his third year in the league, Pettis figures to open the season in the Rams starting lineup for the first time in his career. A third-round pick out of Boise State in 2011, Pettis needs to beat out disappointing second-year player Brian Quick, but that appears to be a mere formality. Given that Pettis has averaged 9.1 yards per reception, he’s going to need plenty of targets to be a decent fantasy option. Unfortunately, he will rank as quarterback Sam Bradford’s fourth best receiving option behind Jared Cook, Chris Givens and rookie first-round pick Tavon Austin. Even though Pettis was a solid red zone option with four touchdowns on just 30 receptions last season, he isn’t worth owning in the majority of leagues.
WR Brian Quick
(2012 WR Rank – #111, 2.0 FPts/G; #121 PPR, 2.8 FPts/G)
After being taken with the first pick in the second round of the 2012 draft, Quick was a major disappointment as a rookie, catching just 11 of his 27 targets for 156 yards and one touchdown. After being targeted four times in Weeks 7 and 8, Quick became a forgotten man in the Rams offensive game plans. And that doesn’t figure to change in 2013. With the Rams taking Tavon Austin with the eighth selection in this year’s draft, Chris Givens locking down a starting spot after an impressive rookie season, and Jared Cook signing in free agency to start at tight end, Quick will need to beat out Austin Pettis to become the fourth best receiving option on the team. And offseason reports indicate that battle isn’t going Quick’s way. Quick isn’t even worth a late-round flier, and his dynasty prospects are sinking like a stone.
WR Stedman Bailey
(2012 WR Rank – N/A)
The Rams used a third-round pick to acquire Bailey in this year’s draft, and the expectation is that the West Virginia product will open the season buried deep on the team’s depth chart. Bailey lacks size at 5’10” and 195 pounds but has solid speed, having been clocked at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He will open the season fifth on the depth chart with a chance to unseat the disappointing Brian Quick. He rates as a lower-tier prospect in dynasty formats.
TE Jared Cook
(2012 TE Rank – #19, 5.9 FPts/G; #21 PPR, 9.3 FPts/G)
Even after a disappointing four-year run with Tennessee, Cook was one of the most sought after free agents on the market this offseason, signing a lucrative multi-year contract with the Rams. In St. Louis, he figures to be a key cog in an up-and-coming passing attack that has struggled to find a consistent big-play presence for years. Now, with Cook and wide receivers Chris Givens and Tavon Austin, the team now has the ability to line up plenty of speed across the board in the passing game. As the most proven of that trio, Cook figures to reach a career-high in targets (his previous was 81 during the 2011 season), after being underutilized in Tennessee. As well as being one of the fastest tight ends in the league, Cook has solid size at 6’5” and 248 pounds, so a career year seems to be in order in 2013. The question is whether he will blow away his previous production or merely take it a notch higher. Consider Cook a mid-tier TE1 with upside.
TE Lance Kendricks
(2012 TE Rank – #20, 4.7 FPts/G; #23 PPR, 7.4 FPts/G)
A second-round pick in the 2011 draft, Kendricks struggled as a rookie but showed marked improvement last season, catching 42 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games. However, a closer look revealed that outside of his four-reception, 119-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 16 against the Buccaneers, Kendricks was only marginally productive, failing to top 50 receiving yards in any other game. The Rams upgraded the tight end position this offseason with the signing of former Titan Jared Cook, and that will move Kendricks to a backup role in 2013. His fantasy prospects are looking pretty dim.
By: Mike Krueger — @ 12:09 am
Player Projections, Rankings & Cheatsheets
Change Log – 8/29/13
- Michael Vick (+2) – Named the starter but too much of an injury risk for a QB1.
- Terrelle Pryor (+20) – A good showing on Thursday will land him the starting job.
- Matt Flynn (-15) – The Raiders are going to have serious issues all year.
- Eddie Lacy (+2) – Gets a slight bump with season-ending injury to DuJuan Harris.
- DeAngelo Williams (+2) – JStew is out the first six weeks of the season.
- Chris Ivory (Tier 5) – Slid him down from Tier 4 to Tier. Rank # stayed the same.
- Roy Helu (+6) – Has established himself as the clear backup to Morris.
- Giovani Bernard (+3) – Should edge out TheLawFirm in fantasy points by season’s end.
- Jonathan Stewart (-17) – Bad ankles have landed him on the PUP list and out the first six weeks.
- Brandon Marshall (-1) – A slight bump down for what’s likely a diva moment for Marshall. His hip is fine.
- Lance Moore (Tier 6) – Rank # stayed the same, just a better fit in Tier 6 than Tier 5.
- James Jones (Tier 6) – Rank # stayed the same, just a better fit in Tier 6 than Tier 5.
- Kenbrell Thompkins (+5) – Looking like the starter opposite Amendola but his value is over-hyped.
- Jermichael Finley (+1) – We’ll see if Finley can keep the momentum going into the regular season.
- Robert Housler (-8) – High ankle sprain has derailed his fantasy value.
- Heath Miller (+5) – Tomlin hinted that Miller might avoid the PUP list.
- Tony Moeaki (dropped) – Chiefs TE suffered a fractured shoulder.
By: Dave Stringer — August 26, 2013 @ 1:32 pm
QB Colin Kaepernick
(2012 QB Rank – #27, 15.6 FPts/G)
After taking over for a concussed Alex Smith in Week 10 against St. Louis, Kaepernick never relinquished the starting position, leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl loss to the Ravens. He established himself as a solid playmaking quarterback, capable of winning games both with his arm and his legs. Despite playing in the 49ers’ conservative offense, he topped 200 passing yards in six of his seven starts while throwing for ten touchdowns and three interceptions in those games. Even more impressive was his rushing ability, as he gained 415 yards with five touchdowns on just 63 carries. And that’s not counting the playoffs where he ran for a quarterback playoff record of 181 yards against the Packers in a Divisional Playoff win. Entering the offseason, Kaepernick appeared on the verge of being a top five fantasy QB, a prognosis that grew even more sound with the trade for wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Shortly after that, Michael Crabtree suffered a torn Achilles tendon that could cause him to miss all of the 2013 season. While that dampens Kaepernick’s outlook somewhat, he remains a solid option as a mid-tier QB1 for the upcoming season.
Frank Gore: He keeps on ticking.
RB Frank Gore
(2012 RB Rank – #11, 12.4 FPts/G; #10 PPR, 14.2 FPts/G)
Gore is like a Timex—he just keeps on ticking. There was little difference between his production in 2011 and 2012 other than one key area: receptions. He ran for just over 1,200 yards for the second year in a row. with eight rushing touchdowns, but he was more involved in the passing game in 2012, catching 28 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown. And that wasn’t just because Kendall Hunter missed five games due to injury, since Hunter caught only nine passes on the season. At 30 years of age, Gore is bound to hit the wall at some point, but it doesn’t appear this will be the season that occurs. He averaged a solid 4.7 yards per carry last year, although part of that was aided by running behind arguably the league’s best run-blocking offensive line. The bigger concern is whether the offensive game plans will call for Gore to approach the 286 touches he had last season. With Hunter back from injury and 2012 and second-round pick LaMichael James due for a larger role, the 49ers could limit Gore’s regular-season workload in order to keep him fresh for a playoff run. That would prevent him from hitting double-digit fantasy points in 14 of 19 games, which shows just how consistent he was in 2012. With so much talent surrounding him in the backfield, Gore should be considered a mid-tier RB2 with little upside in 2013.
RB Kendall Hunter
(2012 RB Rank – #58, 5.0 FPts/G; #60 PPR, 5.8 FPts/G)
It has been an interesting two-year run in the NFL for Hunter. After an impressive rookie season in which the 2011 fourth-round pick ran for 473 yards and two touchdowns while chipping in 195 receiving yards, the 49ers chose another smallish back in the 2012 draft to challenge him, using a second-round pick to acquire LaMichael James. Hunter not only held him off but was even more impressive, rushing for 371 yards in 11 games while averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Unfortunately, a ruptured Achilles tendon ended his season in Week 12. That was followed up with the 49ers drafting Marcus Lattimore in the fourth round of this year’s draft. While it doesn’t appear Hunter is in the 49ers’ plans as a starting option down the road, James has done little to warrant taking his backup job away, so Hunter should enter the season as Frank Gore’s main handcuff. With Gore hitting the magical age of 30, Hunter rates as a solid handcuff and one who could be worthy of flex consideration in larger leagues.
RB LaMichael James
(2012 RB Rank – #108, 3.9 FPts/G; #114 PPR, 4.6 FPts/G)
After playing in Oregon’s spread offense in college, James was expected to have a redshirt season in 2012 as a rookie second-round pick, playing behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. And that’s exactly what happened, with James not even dressing until Hunter was lost for the season in Week 12. After that, James played reasonably well with 125 yards on 27 carries and three receptions for 29 yards. However, the backup job appears to be Hunter’s to lose in 2013, with all indications that James will need a great preseason to unseat him. That makes James nothing more than a late-round flyer in 2013 and a dubious one at that. In addition, his value in dynasty leagues took a hit with the fourth-round selection of Marcus Lattimore, further crowding the team’s backfield.
RB Anthony Dixon
(2012 RB Rank – #100, 2.5 FPts/G; #111 PPR, 2.5 FPts/G)
If there’s one thing you can say about Dixon, it’s that he’s a survivor. Despite seeing his production decline in each of the last two years after he ran for 237 yards and a pair of touchdowns as a rookie sixth-round pick in 2010, Dixon should hold on to a roster spot once again in 2013, provided rookie fourth-round pick Marcus Lattimore doesn’t make a miraculous recovery from his knee issues. While Dixon has done little, he is worth knowing about because both of Frank Gore’s main backups, LaMichael James and Kendall Hunter, lack the size necessary to handle major touches. If Gore goes down, Dixon could be a solid flex option as a short-yardage and close-out runner.
RB Marcus Lattimore
(2012 RB Rank – N/A)
The 49ers took a flier on Lattimore in the fourth round of this year’s draft even though he has little chance of playing in 2013 due to the horrific knee injury that ended his collegiate career. The South Carolina product would have otherwise been a first-round selection given his solid size, speed and athletic ability, and there is a chance he could take over for Frank Gore in the 49ers starting lineup at some point down the road. And it’s worth noting that San Francisco has some experience going this route, having acquired Gore in the 2005 draft despite his injury issues. Even though there are no assurances that Lattimore will fully recover, he is worth stashing on your dynasty league roster because of his potential.
WR Anquan Boldin
(2012 WR Rank – #31, 7.8 FPts/G; #30 PPR, 12.1 FPts/G)
The 49ers’ decision to acquire Boldin for just a sixth-round pick turned out to be a great move after the team lost Michael Crabtree to a torn Achilles tendon in May. That opens the door for Boldin to take over as the team’s lead wide receiver, but the question is how much gas the 32-year old Boldin has left in the tank. While he was lights out during the Ravens’ four-game march to a Super Bowl victory last season, he has failed to top 1,000 receiving yards over the past three seasons, despite being Baltimore’s leading receiver. And there are warning signals on the horizon. Even though he’s a possession receiver at this point in his career, he caught just 58 percent of his targets last season, hauling in 65 receptions for 921 yards and four touchdowns. However, since the 49ers have major issues on the wide receiver depth chart below him, Boldin is expected to have a major role in the team’s passing offense in 2013, along with tight end Vernon Davis. Consider Boldin a WR3 but one who is a bit risky and could be in line for an inconsistent season while facing the solid cornerbacks that reside in the NFC West.
WR Michael Crabtree
(2012 WR Rank – #15, 10.3 FPts/G; #15 PPR, 15.6 FPts/G)
In 2012, Crabtree finally showed the league that he was worthy of being the 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft. With a full training camp and solid play from his quarterback, Crabtree emerged as a true lead receiver, hauling in 85 of his 127 targets for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns. That is impressive production considering San Francisco’s offense is based heavily on the run. Unfortunately, a torn Achilles tendon suffered in May cast a major cloud over Crabtree’s prognosis for the 2013 season. Rather than being a candidate to emerge as a WR1 for fantasy purposes, he is not expected to be available until mid-November. And by available, we mean available to begin practicing. Since a torn Achilles is a major issue for a wide receiver, we don’t see Crabtree being startable in any fantasy format in 2013. Consider stashing him in your dynasty league.
WR Mario Manningham
(2012 WR Rank – #76, 4.8 FPts/G; #73 PPR, 8.3 FPts/G)
While Manningham has more talent than he is given credit for, he made a major blunder when he signed with the 49ers prior to the 2012 season. Rather than being a key contributor as a backup with the Giants, he went to San Francisco in order to secure a starting position but ended up sharing that role with Randy Moss in a 49ers offense that relied heavily on the run game and rarely threw deep. Or not to Manningham, at least. Torn ACL and PCLs ended his season in Week 16 but by then he had done little, with just 42 receptions on 57 targets for 449 yards and a touchdown. While there is an opening for a larger role in 2013, with Michael Crabtree expected to miss much of the season with a torn Achilles tendon, Manningham’s slow recovery casts doubt on his ability to open the season in the starting lineup. He isn’t worth drafting but could be a worthwhile one-week fill-in if he can return to health early in 2013.
WR Austin Collie
(2012 WR Rank – N/A)
With a major hole in the depth chart at wide receiver, the 49ers signed Collie early in training camp and he will have an opportunity to carve out a role in the team’s passing attack in 2013. A torn patellar tendon ended his 2012 season in Week 1, and concussions have plagued him throughout his four-year career, although he did manage to remain healthy for 16 games in 2011. While Collie is just two years removed from a 2010 season in which he had 649 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in just nine games, we don’t expect him to put together a bounceback season in 2013. He fits best working out of the slot, and slot production just hasn’t been a major factor in San Francisco’s offense during Jim Harbaugh’s two years leading the team. Collie might be worth taking a flier on in deeper leagues, but that’s about it. And keep in mind that he isn’t even a lock to be on the 49ers opening-day roster.
WR Quinton Patton
(2012 WR Rank – N/A)
The 49ers used a fourth-round pick to acquire Patton and the plan was to relegate him to a minor role as a rookie. However, Michael Crabtree’s torn Achilles tendon, Mario Manningham’s slow recovery from a torn ACL, and the lack of development of 2012 first-round pick A.J. Jenkins have given Patton a path to playing time in 2013. The Louisiana Tech product has solid size and, provided he can learn the team’s playbook and show some dependability in the preseason, he has a decent chance to open the season in the starting lineup. With Jenkins looking like a bust and Manningham and Kyle Williams both coming off knee injuries, we won’t be all that surprised if Patton starts in Week 1. Of course, there is no telling if he can produce. Monitor the 49ers’ situation at wide receiver and consider grabbing Patton off the waiver wire early in 2013.
WR A.J. Jenkins
(2012 WR Rank – N/A)
Despite possessing a depth chart featuring Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, and Randy Moss, the 49ers used a 2012 first-round pick to acquire A.J. Jenkins. While he displayed excellent speed and playmaking ability at Illinois, he was considered a raw prospect, and that proved to be prophetic when he failed to catch a single pass during his rookie season. In fact, he barely played. With offseason reports indicating that Jenkins had done little to impress the 49ers brass despite Crabtree being out with a torn Achilles tendon, he got shipped off to Kansas City in exchange for Jonathan Baldwin. Perhaps the change in scenery will do him some good, but he won’t do any good for your fantasy team this year.
TE Vernon Davis
(2012 TE Rank – #15, 5.7 FPts/G; #20 PPR, 8.4 FPts/G)
Is this the year Davis reemerges as an upper-tier fantasy TE? After a monster year in 2009 with 965 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, Davis once again topped 900 receiving yards in 2010 while scoring seven touchdowns. Since then, he has been a major disappointment; especially last season when he hauled in just 41 passes for 548 yards and five touchdowns. With Colin Kaepernick taking over for Alex Smith at quarterback in Week 9, Davis went AWOL from the 49ers offense. He was targeted just 12 times over a six-game stretch from Weeks 12 to 17, catching six passes for 61 yards and no touchdowns. The good news is that he topped 100 receiving yards in both of the 49ers’ playoff games, and he should figure prominently in the team’s passing attack in 2013 with wide receiver Michael Crabtree expected to miss most of the season with a torn Achilles tendon. Anquan Boldin will help fill the void left by Crabtree’s injury, but he is no longer a true No. 1 receiver and the team lacks quality depth behind him. Add it all up and Davis should be line for a solid season in 2013. Just remember that we’ve said that before.
By: Dave Stringer — August 24, 2013 @ 1:51 pm
QB Russell Wilson
(2012 QB Rank – #11, 20.8 FPts/G)
You would have to look pretty hard to find a bigger steal than Wilson in the 2012 rookie draft. Taken in the third round, the Wisconsin product quickly ascended the depth chart and by opening day had beat out both Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson to become the Seahawks starter. With the team’s coaching staff keeping the offensive game plan heavily run-based early in the season, Wilson failed to eclipse 160 passing yards in his first four starts. After that, the chains came off somewhat, with Wilson averaging 23.3 PPG over his remaining 12 regular-season games. However, it’s his final five starts, including two playoff games, that have the fantasy landscape abuzz. Despite attempting just 125 passes in those games (completing a nifty 83 of them), Wilson averaged 31.3 PPG on the strength of nine touchdown passes, 306 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. The question is whether he can produce that way over an entire season. While Wilson rates as a lower-tier QB1, expecting him to average 61 rushing yards and a touchdown per game (his averages over his final five games) isn’t realistic. And he is also unlikely to approach 4,000 receiving yards given that he had just two regular-season games with over 250 passing yards and the highly anticipated arrival of Percy Harvin will have to wait until late in the 2013 season. There is nothing wrong with liking Wilson. Just don’t reach too high for him.
Mr. Skittles is primed for another big fantasy season.
RB Marshawn Lynch
(2012 RB Rank – #4, 15.7 FPts/G; #5 PPR, 17.1 FPts/G)
Over the last two seasons, Lynch has emerged as one of the league’s most consistently productive running backs. After rushing for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns during his first full season in Seattle in 2011, he followed that up with a 1,590-yard, 11-touchdown season. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is clearly sold on the importance of a heavy rushing attack and on the benefits of giving Lynch a major role in that effort (his 348 touches last season were a career high). Lynch reached double-digit fantasy points in 13 of the Seahawks’ 18 games (counting two playoff contests) in 2012, and he had nine points in three other games. Furthermore, he’s hit double digits in 23 of the Seahawks’ last 30 games. The Beast shows up every week, and with 25 touchdowns in his last 28 games, he usually finds the end zone. Lynch seems to have put some major character concerns to rest, and that solidifies his position as a top five fantasy RB, even though the team now has a pair of talented players behind him on the depth chart.
RB Christine Michael
(2012 RB Rank – N/A)
Despite some rather material character concerns, as well as injury issues, the Seahawks used a second-round pick in this year’s draft to acquire Michael. Of course, when your roster lacks any real major holes, you can afford to grab a high-upside player like Michael. At least that is the party line in Seattle. At 5’11” and 220 pounds, Michael has the size, along with solid speed, to eventually take over for Marshawn Lynch as the Seahawks’ leading rusher. While Michael has the potential to be an explosive player, he doesn’t have a clear path to playing time as a rookie. Lynch is locked in as the team’s starter and the team was also pleased with the play of second-year back Robert Turbin during his rookie season in 2011. That means Michael will need to first unseat Turbin to have any fantasy value at all in redraft formats. We like the chances of that happening at some point in 2013, if not by opening day. Lynch’s owners need to monitor that battle, and dynasty leaguers should consider Michael a solid prospect with the chance of being in the Seahawks’ starting lineup by 2015.
RB Robert Turbin
(2012 RB Rank – #59, 3.6 FPts/G; #55 PPR, 4.8 FPts/G)
Taken in the fourth round of last year’s draft, Turbin quickly solidified the backup running back position behind Marshawn Lynch. Using his solid size (5’10”, 222 yards), Turbin rushed for 354 yards (at 4.4 yards per carry) and had 181 receiving yards (9.5 yards per reception), with a 100-yard rushing performance against the Cardinals in Week 14. Unfortunately for him, Seattle added rookie second-round pick Christine Michael to their depth chart at running back. While Turbin has the ability to have a lengthy NFL career, his talents are no match for those of Michael. Turbin may hold him off early in 2013, but we expect Michael to emerge as Lynch’s top backup at some point this season.
WR Sidney Rice
(2012 WR Rank – #29, 7.3 FPts/G; #36 PPR, 10.5 FPts/G)
The good news is that in 2012 the Seahawks began to get some return on their five-year, $41-million investment in Rice. The bad news is that it wasn’t exactly the type of return they were hoping for. After appearing in just nine games his first year in Seattle, Rice was healthy for all of last season but was a bit of a disappointment with just 50 receptions for 748 yards and seven touchdowns. While the touchdown count was nice, he simply isn’t a lead receiver at this point of his career. He had just four games with more than 60 receiving yards, and upper-tier cornerbacks can neutralize him. While Rice’s solid size (6’4”, 202 pounds) make him an enticing red zone target, we don’t anticipate him once again averaging a touchdown every 7.1 receptions. If he regresses to his pre-2012 form of one touchdown for every 8.9 receptions, Rice will rate as a lower-tier WR5 in 12-team leagues. And a risky, injury-prone, inconsistent one at that. The talent is there, just don’t reach for it.
WR Golden Tate
(2012 WR Rank – #35, 7.5 FPts/G; #41 PPR, 10.5 FPts/G)
After a pair of disappointing seasons to open his career, Tate came on strong in 2012, finishing the year with career highs in every receiving category. Although he caught an impressive 45 of his 67 targets for 688 yards and a healthy seven touchdowns, the Seahawks hedged their bets by trading with the Vikings to acquire Percy Harvin. However, with Harvin undergoing hip surgery in the preseason, Tate will return to the starting lineup. And we expect even more improvement and big plays from him. The one area where Tate could continue to improve is with his consistency (he had six games with less than five PPG), and offseason reports indicate that he has been the team’s most consistent performer at wide receiver. With fellow starter Sidney Rice experiencing knee issues, it won’t be a surprise if Tate once again leads the Seahawks in receiving yards. However, that doesn’t make him a great breakout candidate, considering Seattle’s heavy run-to-pass ratio. Consider Tate a low-end WR3 or, better yet, a high-end WR4 this season, but remember that he could lose his spot in the starting lineup when Harvin returns.
WR Doug Baldwin
(2012 WR Rank – #80, 3.9 FPts/G; #79 PPR, 6.0 FPts/G)
If you’re looking for the poster boy for sophomore slumps, we present Doug Baldwin. As a rookie undrafted free agent out of Stanford, Baldwin wasn’t on anybody’s fantasy roster entering 2011, but he managed to carve out a solid role in the Seahawks offense, hauling in 51 of his 85 targets for 788 yards and four touchdowns. However, his production plummeted to just 29 receptions for 366 yards and three touchdowns in 2012, despite his having played in 14 games. Golden Tate surpassed Baldwin on the depth chart, and with Sidney Rice appearing in all 16 games (he missed seven contests in 2011), Baldwin saw his role shrink. Although free-agent signee Percy Harvin will be out most or all of the 2013 season, that just puts Baldwin in the same place he was last year—stuck behind Rice, Tate and tight end Zach Miller. That increases the odds that he will more likely replicate his 2012 production and not his rookie production of 2013. He is waiver-wire material.
WR Percy Harvin
(2012 WR Rank – #43, 11.3 FPts/G; #39 PPR, 18.1 FPts/G)
Unable to agree on a long-term contract extension with Minnesota, Harvin was traded to Seattle during the offseason. Expected to be the Seahawks lead wide receiver and bring a dynamic playmaking dimension to the passing offense, he will instead miss much of the season after undergoing hip surgery early in training camp. While the prognosis for Harvin’s recovery from the surgery is good, his fantasy prospects for this season are not. He is not expected to return to the active roster until late in the year, with Seattle hoping to have him available for the stretch run to the playoffs. That puts fantasy owners in a major bind. If he returns late in the season, can you trust him in your starting lineup? Remember, this is his first year in Seattle and his first year with a new quarterback. Unless your league’s rosters are deep or you can stash him on injured reserve, Harvin isn’t worth owning in redraft formats.
TE Zach Miller
(2012 TE Rank – #29, 3.6 FPts/G; #30 PPR, 6.0 FPts/G)
Two years into the lucrative five-year contract he signed to join the Seahawks, it is safe to conclude that Miller has not lived up to his salary. After averaging 756 receiving yards during his final three seasons in Oakland, Miller has had seasons with 233 and 396 receiving yards with the Seahawks. Looks like he is earning his paycheck as a blocker. While his usage went up last season (53 targets, compared to 44 in 2011) and he had an eight-reception, 142-yard, one-touchdown performance in the Seahawks’ playoff loss to the Falcons, we’re not excited by his 2013 prospects. He did catch three touchdowns in his last six games last season (including two playoff games), but those are the only touchdowns of his Seahawks career. Miller is a low-end TE2 with little upside.
By: Dave Stringer — August 23, 2013 @ 12:39 pm
Target Carson Palmer in the late rounds. A good QB2 with upside.
QB Carson Palmer
(2012 QB Rank – #16, 19.9 FPts/G)
Buyer beware. Palmer regularly gets lukewarm reviews as a fantasy QB, but he deserves more credit than he gets in that his arm isn’t nearly as bad as it is made out to be. Sure, elbow surgery has taken some zip off of his passes, especially his deep throws, but there are plenty of quarterbacks who have worse arm strength than Palmer. Despite having to play with a group of Raiders receivers that was among the worst in the league last season, Palmer threw for more than 4,000 yards for the third time in his career, with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. And that was despite missing almost two full games. In Arizona he gets a full set of receiving options in the form of Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts and Robert Housler and an opportunity to operate new head coach Bruce Arians’ downfield passing attack. There is some risk to drafting Palmer since his poor mobility is a bad fit playing behind a suspect Cardinals offensive line. Since Palmer finished last season as the 16th-ranked quarterback despite a lack of receiving talent, consider that his floor for 2013. Safely grab him as your QB2 and don’t be shocked if he is surprisingly productive.
RB Rashard Mendenhall
(2012 RB Rank – #83, 5.1 FPts/G; #84 PPR, 6.6 FPts/G)
He ain’t sexy, he’s Rashard Mendenhall. Insert collective yawn. A first-round pick of the Steelers in 2008, Mendenhall has failed to live up to his draft status. Even in 2010 when he ran for 1,274 yards and 13 touchdowns, he averaged a paltry 3.9 yards per carry, proving volume can make up for a lack of talent. A torn ACL late in the 2011 season limited Mendenhall’s production last season, as he carried the ball just 51 times for 182 yards and no touchdowns. Even more unimpressive is that he lost his job to a pair of middling talents in Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman. However, he gets another chance in 2013, signed by the Cardinals in the offseason to a make-it contract and reunited with former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, now Arizona’s head coach. Even though the Cardinals have a crowded depth chart, it is populated by the unimpressive and injury-prone Ryan Williams and a pair of rookies in Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington. With Arians’ preference for using one back in a workhorse role, Mendenhall appears to be the first man up. Since the Cardinals offense can’t be any worse than it was last season and since Mendenhall is a solid short-yardage runner, he should be considered a mid-tier RB3 with upside in 2013.
RB Ryan Williams
(2012 RB Rank – #96, 4.2 FPts/G; #99 PPR, 5.6 FPts/G)
Two years into his career, Williams has done exactly nothing to justify the Cardinals having used a second-round pick to acquire him in the 2011 draft. A torn patella tendon caused him to miss his entire rookie campaign, and he missed 11 games last season because of a shoulder injury. And when Williams did play, he was awful, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry and failing to find the end zone on 58 carries. Rashard Mendenhall has replaced Beanie Wells as the Cardinals’ starter at running back, but Williams has almost no chance of unseating him by opening day. That’s because he has missed time with a knee injury, further frustrating the coaches. With new management and a new coaching staff, Williams’ draft status will do nothing to enhance his chances of making the team. While plenty of pundits consider him a potential starter and sleeper candidate at running back, it won’t be a surprise if he finds himself on the street on opening day, provided rookies Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington play reasonably well in the preseason. Even if Williams sticks, he will likely be relegated to a backup, pass-receiving role behind Mendenhall.
RB Stepfan Taylor
(2012 RB Rank – N/A)
Taken in the fifth round of this year’s draft, Taylor joins a crowded Cardinals backfield that faces much uncertainty entering the season. Starter Rashard Mendenhall is coming off a pair of injury-plagued seasons, as is top backup Ryan Williams. Fellow rookie Andre Ellington needs to prove his worth as a receiving, chance-of-pace option, while Taylor has more size and could emerge as a player capable of fulfilling a more full-time role. The 5’9”, 214-pound Stanford product will need to have an impressive preseason to unseat Williams and challenge Mendenhall. While the opportunity is solid, Taylor’s upside isn’t. He lacks speed and agility and doesn’t have the size necessary to thrive as a short-yardage runner. However, with Williams struggling in the preseason, Taylor is definitely worthy of being owned in standard leagues. He is also a decent dynasty prospect, but you get the feeling that Arizona would add to its backfield stable if Mendenhall doesn’t produce in 2013.
RB Andre Ellington
(2012 RB Rank – N/A)
The Cardinals drafted a pair of running backs this offseason, with Ellington being taken in the sixth round. While fifth-round pick Stepfan Taylor has more size, Ellington, at 5’9” and 199 pounds, will likely battle Ryan Williams to become the team’s change-of-pace and receiving back. While Williams has struggled with injuries both in the past and during training camp, Ellington hasn’t been able to take advantage of his absence because of a concussion. The Clemson product possesses solid speed and playmaking ability, but his use in 2013 likely depends on just how fed up the Cardinals are with Williams’ injuries and lack of productivity. That makes Ellington waiver-wire material in redraft leagues but a player to keep your eye on. He is also a decent prospect in dynasty formats.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
(2012 WR Rank – #42, 6.5 FPts/G; #33 PPR, 10.9 FPts/G)
You would be hard-pressed to find a player who remained healthy for 16 games and was a bigger fantasy disappointment than Fitzgerald. Just don’t go blaming him for that. Despite possessing some of the best hands in the league to go along with his 6’3” and 218-pound frame and excellent leaping ability, he caught just 45.5 percent of his targets in 2012. Blame that on the shoddy play of the Cardinals quarterbacks. Fitzgerald finished the season with just 71 receptions (the third lowest of his nine-year career) for 798 yards (the second lowest total of his career) and four touchdowns (a career low). Ouch. Want more ugly? He caught just six of his 37 targets during a four-game stretch from Week 11 to Week 14. He had nine games with four receptions or less. He failed to top 50 receiving yards eight times. Not pretty, but things are looking brighter for 2013 with Carson Palmer now heading up new head coach Bruce Arians’ downfield passing attack. While Palmer isn’t a world-beater at this point of his career, he is light years better than the quarterbacks employed by Arizona in 2012. Can you say bounceback? Consider the 29-year old Fitzgerald a low-end WR1 for the coming season.
WR Michael Floyd
(2012 WR Rank – #68, 4.5 FPts/G; #65 PPR, 7.5 FPts/G)
Stuck behind Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts on the depth chart, Floyd struggled for much of his rookie season, finishing the year with modest totals of 45 receptions for 562 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Cardinals’ 2012 first-round pick was used sparingly for the first half of the season (just 18 targets over the first seven games) and failed to provide many big plays when given more of an opportunity over the second half of the season (outside of an eight-reception, 166-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 17 against the 49ers). Floyd had more than 50 receiving yards just twice, but the Cardinals envision a much bigger role for him in 2013. He is expected to unseat Roberts in the starting lineup, and with Carson Palmer now at quarterback, he is primed for major improvement. The issue is how much. Given his solid speed and size (6’3”, 225 lbs.), Floyd rates as a potential breakout candidate; but it appears the odds are against that happening. Consider him a solid WR4 with major upside in 2013.
WR Andre Roberts
(2012 WR Rank – #39, 7.3 FPts/G; #34 PPR, 11.5 FPts/G)
Last season, the fantasy football world penciled in first-round pick Michael Floyd to take over as Arizona’s starting wide receiver opposite Larry Fitzgerald, but Roberts had other ideas. The Cardinals’ 2010 third-round pick continued to steadily improve, finishing the season with 64 receptions for 759 yards and five touchdowns, marking the third consecutive season that his production had increased in the major receiving categories. At 5’11” and 195 pounds, Roberts lacks Floyd’s upside, but his solid play in 2012 ensures that he will continue to have a large role in Arizona’s offense. The question is whether he can once again relegate Floyd to a secondary role. Given Floyd’s upside, we don’t like the chances of that happening. Even worse is that the Cardinals are experimenting with cornerback Patrick Peterson as a receiving option. While Roberts will continue to have a role in Arizona’s offense as a slot receiver, he is unlikely to approach the 114 targets he had last season. He rates as a low-end WR5.
TE Robert Housler
(2012 TE Rank – #38, 3.2 FPts/G; #31 PPR, 6.7 FPts/G)
Housler earned a spot in the Cardinals’ starting lineup during his second year in the league but failed to establish himself as a solid fantasy producer. The Cardinals’ 2011 third-round pick finished the season with just 45 receptions for 417 yards while failing to find the end zone in 15 games. The good news is that he caught an impressive 66.2 percent of his passes, a solid feat considering the play of the team’s quarterbacks in 2012. The bad news is that the offensive line remains a work in progress, which could contribute to Housler being used in a blocking role—and this guy named Larry Fitzgerald is a pretty darn good option in the red zone. However, with his solid speed and agility and with Bruce Arians’ downfield passing attack now in Arizona and being led by Carson Palmer, Housler is a potential breakout candidate at TE. We like him better as an upper-tier TE2, but don’t feel too badly if you have to use him as a starter in 2013.
By: Mike Krueger — August 22, 2013 @ 1:01 am
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Player Projections, Rankings & Cheatsheets
Change Log – 8/22/13
- Michael Vick (+6) – Named the starter but too much of an injury risk for a QB1.
- Geno Smith (+12) – He may start but your fantasy team shouldn’t care. Stay away.
- Arian Foster (-6) – Foster returns to practice and I move him down. Go figure. He’s still a bottom of Round 1 RB.
- DeAngelo Williams (+3) – With Stewart still battling his ankles, Williams could be a nice flex play.
- Monte Ball (-7) – Hillman isn’t going anywhere.
- Le’Veon Bell (-36) – This one hurts. I’ve been high on him since early June and was happy to draft him as my RB2… not anymore. A foot injury will cause him to miss at least 6 weeks.
- Isaac Redman (+11) – May be the lead back in a RBBC with Dwyer but this is a situation to avoid.
- Julio Jones (+1) – A slight bump for Jones as I re-organize his and White’s numbers.
- Lance Moore (-5) – Distributed some of Moore’s yardage to Stills and Sproles.
- Brian Hartline (+4) – A very unsexy pick, but should benefit most from the loss of TE Keller.
- Dustin Keller (dropped) – Ugly knee injury for the Dolphins TE.
- Rob Gronkowski (no change) – Still ranked at #2 but took away 100 yards and 1 TD. It doesn’t appear he will be ready for Week 1.
- Zach Sudfeld (+9) – Any Patriots’ TE running with the first team deserves a bump.
- Vernon Davis (+2) – It will be an upset id Davis isn’t 2nd on the team in receiving this season.
- Fred Davis (+4) – I continue to be bullish on Fred. A sneaky TE1 in the making.
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