2015 Fantasy Football: The QB Draft Class

This year’s NFL Draft is not exactly a great QB class. As a matter of fact it’s quite poor. Still, there is some talent there. It’s just a matter of separating the real talent from desperation reaches. In this article we’ll be going over some of the biggest names in this year’s draft. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: Why Le’Veon Bell Should Still Be Your First Overall Pick

leveon land

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

News broke on Thursday morning that Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell will be suspended for the first three games of 2015. The suspension stems from an incident last August. Bell was charged with possession of marijuana and DUI while with then teammate LeGarrette Blount. Many people will panic and drop him down their draft boards. However, that would be a major mistake. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: The Worst Free Agency Moves of the NFC

This is the final installment of our four-part series looking at the best and worst moves from free agency in the NFL.

QB Free Agent Signing
Blaine Gabbert, SF
Technically I’m breaking the rules here because this is a re-sign. I didn’t want to just default Shaun Hill to the best and worst QB signing this offseason. Gabbert is arguably the worst QB I’ve ever watched start in all my years watching football. He is absolutely horrendous. Ryan Lindley certainly gave him a run for his money though. In fairness to Lindley, he was supposed to be third string.

RB Free Agent Signing
Darren McFadden, DAL
McFadden edges out Reggie Bush and the Eagles duo for worst running back pickup in the NFC. He has been beyond injury prone and has missed 29 games in seven years. In the past three seasons he has not managed to rush for even 3.5 yards per carry in the past three seasons. You can make the argument that he was in Oakland where no one is overly successful. However, last season Latavius Murray averaged 5.2 YPC behind the same offensive line that McFadden only managed 3.4 YPC behind. Rashad Jennings also had success averaging 4.5 YPC in 2013.

Many will argue, with the Dallas O-line in front of him, he is less likely to get injured. First off, whether he is contacted at the line or three yards past it, contact is contact. More importantly, he is more susceptible to non-contact injuries at this point in his career. He has dealt with a laundry list of lower body injuries including hamstring, knee (torn meniscus) and ankle problems. However, his biggest issue has been with his feet. His foot injuries began in 2006 when McFadden was attending Arkansas. He was in a night club brawl and required surgery to repair his injured foot. He has since suffered turf toe and a lisfranc sprain.

Just because you have a great offensive line does not mean you should sign a terrible running back. Now they pretty much have to use a draft pick on a rookie.

WR Free Agent Signing
Dwayne Harris, NYG
The Giants pretty much paid a 27-year-old special teamer and blocking WR five-years, $17.5 million with $7.1 million guaranteed. He’s a decent return man but far from a star. He had zero TDs last season and the Cowboys had a below-average return game. He certainly isn’t a game-breaking wideout. In 16 games last season he caught seven passes for a grand total of 116 yards. There is no real logical explanation for this move. The Giants could have easily drafted a rookie on day two of the draft that has as much if not more talent than Harris. Perhaps the G-Men have a master plan but I just don’t see it. Not at that price.

TE Free Agent Signing
Jacob Tamme, ATL
If Tony Moeaki was the best, Tamme was the worst. First of all, options are limited, nevertheless, we all know any success he had was thanks to Peyton Manning and Atlanta already has a blocking TE. Had they known the Moeaki deal was going to get done they may have opted against signing Tamme. Odds are you could plug in a number of backup TEs for less money that could be just as productive as Tamme. It’s not a huge deal, but hey, somebody has to be the worst.

Defender/IDP Move
Byron Maxwell, PHI
This is more of a money issue. Maxwell has potential but not six-years, $63 million with $25.5 million guaranteed worth of potential. He’s not a top five corner and he’s only started 14 games in his career. It’s a lot easier to look good when you have the Legion of Boom behind you and a ferocious pass-rush in front of you. Not to mention a dominant group of run stoppers. Still, I’m not saying he won’t be a solid player and I understand most corners get overpaid. That doesn’t make it a good idea. This was just way too huge of a contract for Maxwell.

Trade
Sam Bradford, PHI
What the H? I don’t get it. This guy can’t stay healthy and the Eagles give up Nick Foles a second and fifth round pick for Bradford and a fourth? I’m not buying it. I still fully believe that the Eagles plan to trade him on draft day. If not, this is a ridiculous move. Who knows how good he even is anymore after so many injuries including back-to-back torn ACLs. A lot of people are buying the fact that Chip Kelly is some sort of genius mastermind. I hate pretty much everything they’ve done this offseason.

Re-Signing
Randall Cobb, GB
A lot of people are going to get mad at this one but hear me out. While fantasy owners should be thrilled, there is one major concern for Green Bay. They now have nearly $20 million per season tied up in two wide receivers (Cobb and Jordy Nelson). Not to mention a $120 million QB  (Aaron Rodgers). That could put a major strain on the rest of the team, including the defense, O-line and Eddie Lacy, who is due for a new contract in no more than two seasons.

Also, if you look at the most successful teams, they don’t spend money on WRs. Take the Patriots and Seahawks for example. You can go back years, very few Super Bowl teams are stacked at receiver. An elite QB should be able to raise the level of his WRs so you don’t have to pay them. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to be successful in the playoffs. Cobb is a great player, but that’s a lot of money to have tied up in one aspect of the team.

2015 Fantasy Football: The Worst Free Agency Moves of the AFC

With most of the big name free agents off the board, we are doing a four part piece on the best and worst moves made in this offseason’s free agency. We previously covered the best moves made in the AFC and NFC. We will now change direction and focus on the worst moves made in the AFC.

QB Free Agent Signing
Josh McCown, CLE
McCown is just another puzzling decision by the Browns. By now we have gotten used to Cleveland making awful personnel choices at quarterback. McCown has been a career journeyman that is a decent backup at best, a disaster at worst. Sure, he had six solid games throwing to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in 2013, but that’s six games in a decade. In 2014, McCown was the Week 1 starter on the team now on the clock with the first-overall pick in the NFL Draft. His incompetent performance at one point saw him benched in favor of Mike Glennon. The benching was more than justified being that the Bucs had the worst offense in the NFL last season and that’s with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson out wide. Now he has Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline. In 11 games last season, McCown tallied a putrid 11-to-14, TD-to-INT ratio.

They let an already subpar Brian Hoyer walk for an even worse McCown. To make matters worse they gave him $14 million over three years. This is way too much money to pay a QB that will undoubtedly be benched at some point in favor of Johnny Manziel. This signing shows little logic. Even if they merely want McCown to be a mentor. A grossly overpaid mentor. Don’t be surprised if the Browns have the worst offense in football next season. Don’t worry, there’s more from the Browns coming up. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: The Best Free Agency Moves of the NFC

With most of the big name free agents off the board, we will be doing a four part piece on the best and worst moves made in this offseason’s free agency. We previously looked at the best moves of the AFC. Today we’ll look at the best moves made in the NFC.

QB Free Agent Signing
Shaun Hill, MIN
How can Shaun Hill be the best option you ask? He must be the only option, you say? Well you would be 100 percent right. There was no other option. So the Vikings getting a decent backup win this category. Our apologies, but I promise it can only go up from here.

RB Free Agent Signing
Shane Vereen, NYG
You have to love this signing for the Giants. Vereen gives Eli Manning a very dangerous weapon in the passing game. He will force the defense to account for him and cause all types of matchup problems. This pickup wasn’t as high-profile as some of the others, nevertheless, Vereen will have a major impact and at a very reasonable price. He brings something to the table that the Giants were lacking. They may be a very dangerous offense in 2015. That is why they are my early pick to win the NFC East. Not because of Vereen, but he will play a key role. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: The Best Free Agency Moves of the AFC

With most of the big name free agents off the board, we will be doing a four part piece on the best and worst moves made in this offseason’s free agency. We will start with the best moves made in the AFC.

QB Free Agent Signing
Thad Lewis, CLE

I didn’t want to go with the default pick of Brian Hoyer to the Texans because I believe Ryan Mallet will be the starting QB. They may have been better off just saving the money and keeping Tom Savage as a backup. Hoyer isn’t much better than Ryan Fitzpatrick.

So Lewis to Cleveland it is. I’ve been watching this kid for a few years now and watched him at Duke. I’ll go out on a limb right now and say although Lewis is signed to be a backup, he will give the Browns the best chance to win this season.

We have a very small sample size on Lewis, however, his numbers are not bad if you’re judging him as a rookie. Lewis has thrown 189 passes in his career while appearing in seven games. He has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,092 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. He also brings an ability to make plays with his legs.

Johnny Manziel is dealing with personal issues and was horrendous when he played. Josh McCown has had one good six game run in a decade and was at the reins of the worst offense in football last season. He could not produce with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, now he has Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe. As of this moment, I honestly believe that Lewis gives the Browns the best chance to win and is making far less money. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: Frank Gore and Andre Johnson Reunite in Indy

The Colts have made some major splashes in free agency, reuniting veterans Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. Both were teammates at The University of Miami and won a National Championship in 2001. However, the fact that they were both on arguably the greatest college football team of all-time shows their age. It will be very interesting to see how these two acclimate themselves to their new surroundings. How much can they have left in their tanks? Let’s take a look at their potential fantasy value. [Read more…]

A Theory About Chip Kelly’s Master Plan

In the past week alone, Chip Kelly has traded LeSean McCoy for former Oregon Duck linebacker Kiko Alonso, let Jeremy Maclin leave for Kansas City and hlet offensive guard Todd Herremans sign with the Colts. He is clearly doing a team overhaul, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Although he also gave pass rusher Trent Cole and corner back Cary Williams the boot recently as well. The Eagles have also signed corner back Byron Maxwell to a huge deal, 31-year old running back Frank Gore and quarterback Mark Sanchez on Sunday. They reportedly gave Sanchez a two-year, $16 million contract. That begs the question, what are they doing? After talking to sources familiar with the organization I have developed a theory on what Philly’s master plan is. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: LeSean McCoy Traded to Buffalo

A trade between the Bills and Eagles that would send RB LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for ILB Kiko Alonso (coming off a torn ACL) is expected to be made official next Tuesday when the new football year officially begins. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly continues his team overhaul, bringing in “his guys.” Alonso is yet another Oregon product picked up by the Eagles. The trade will save Philly more than $9 million and will give them plenty of room to maneuver this offseason. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: Sophomore Breakout Candidates

While there were many star rookies in the 2014 rookie class, there were also a handful of disappointments. This article covers rookies that we had had high hopes for but who didn’t live up to the billing. However, these guys could excel in their sophomore campaigns. Whether it was due to circumstance, injury or they just weren’t ready, these players struggled to be fantasy relevant in 2014 but are poised to breakout in 2015.

RB Devonta Freeman, ATL
Last season I predicted Freeman would be the top rookie running back. Obviously that didn’t happen, however, I may have just been a year off. I did not account for Steven Jackson playing a full season or the emergence on Antone Smith (although it was short-lived). It appears likely that the 32-year-old Jackson will be released and Smith is now a free agent. Freeman will win the starting job over Jacquizz Rodgers and even Smith if he is re-signed. This situation may be complicated should the Falcons sign a big name free agent.

As of now, Freeman is primed to make a huge jump next season. In 2014, Freeman carried the ball only 65 times for 248 yards and a TD. He added 30 receptions for 225 yards and another TD. These numbers could skyrocket in 2015. With a full NFL season and another offseason under his belt, the former Seminole should be able to sure-up all those fundamental issues that cost rookie backs playing time. Look for Freeman to be a breakout star next season and a nice fantasy sleeper. [Read more…]