2015 Fantasy Football: The All-Sophomore Team

The second-year stars may be the most important in fantasy football. For the most part we know what we’re getting from the established players and rookies are a crap shoot. However, it’s those sophomore guys that can make-or-break a fantasy season. Which guys will develop into super stars and who will hit the dreaded sophomore slump?

QB — Teddy Bridgewater, MIN

Bridgewater is the best quarterback in his class and now has some weapons to work with. He came on very strong down the stretch last season and now has Mike Wallace, Adrian Peterson and a healthy Kyle Rudolph at his disposal. It can’t be overstated how much pressure AP will take off of the young QB. Wallace wasn’t great in Miami, however, he is a much better fit in Minnesota. On top of all that, he still has Charles Johnson, Jarius Wright and even Cordarrelle Patterson to target as well. Look for Teddy Pain to take that next big step this season. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: The All-Rookie Team

Now that the draft is over, I can reveal my 2015 All-Rookie Team. It consists of a QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE and a Flex option (RB, WR, TE). These are the guys you may be able to steal for great value that can help you win a championship. Rookies are producing quicker than ever, so make sure you keep all these guys on your radar.

QB – Jameis Winston, TB
Winston is really the only option in my eyes. It’s him or Marcus Mariota and Winston is far-and-away the better quarterback. Especially when you factor in how much more NFL ready he is. This choice is almost by default. Winston is going to be a great QB, any other quarterback in this draft will be lucky just to be good. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: To Draft or Not to Draft — Rookie Edition

Rookies are the ultimate high-risk, high-reward players. We love their talent, but they have no NFL resume and even the brightest of scouts cannot definitely say how a prospect will perform on the next level. There are very few guys like Andrew Luck and Calvin Johnson who are can’t miss, slam dunk picks. In this article we will be going over which rookies you should draft and which you should pass on. Aside from quarterback, since it is so thin this season, we will avoid the obvious selections like Amari Cooper, Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: Ranking the Rookie Tight Ends

In this article we will be ranking the top five fantasy tight ends in re-draft PPR leagues. Of course this is pre-draft so things could dramatically change after we find out where these TEs land in the 2015 NFL Draft. For now, this is how I’m ranking them.

1. Clive Walford, Miami
Walford is by far the most NFL ready TE in this draft. He has a high football IQ and does everything well. He has a big strong body and knows how to get position. His hands are extremely reliable and he has a knack for making big catches. He’s also a very tough blocker which will help keep him on the field as a rookie. His blocking, excellent route running and great hands make him the TE most likely to have a year one fantasy impact. With Heath Miller aging in Pittsburgh, Walford could be a perfect fit.

Best Fit: Pittsburgh [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: Ranking the Rookie Wide Receivers

In this article we will be ranking the top five fantasy wide receivers in re-draft PPR leagues. Of course this is pre-draft so things could dramatically change after we find out where these wideouts land in the 2015 NFL Draft. For now, this is how I’m ranking them.

1. DeVante Parker, Louisville
Parker was expected to be one of the best wide receivers in the nation last season, although, there were questions about how he would perform without Teddy Bridgewater. Physically Parker is a superior athlete. Big, strong and fast. He has great hands with excellent catch radius and is an undeniable playmaker. Unfortunately he broke his foot and was forced to miss the first seven games of the season. No one really knew how he’d bounce back, at least right away. In the six games he managed to play in, all he did was catch 43 passes for 855 yards and five touchdowns. Needless to say Parker is my No.1 WR in this draft. He has the potential to become an A.J. Green type receiver.

Best Fit: Miami Dolphins [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Football: Ranking the Rookie Running Backs

In this article we will be ranking the top five fantasy running backs in re-draft PPR leagues. Of course this is pre-draft so things could dramatically change after we find out where these backs land in the 2015 NFL Draft. For now, this is how I’m ranking them.

1. Duke Johnson, Miami

Johnson became the all-time leading rusher at “The U” this past season as a junior. He surpassed the great Ottis Anderson. Other notable players he passed are Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore and Willis McGahee. Johnson is as explosive as they come. He has the breakaway speed to take it to the house on any play. He has speed to turn the corner and he’s a natural receiver out of the backfield. What a lot of people underestimate is his strength and toughness. Johnson put on weight last year in order to be slammed between the tackles. He’s a hard-nosed runner with the capability of getting those tough yards. On top of all his dynamic ability, he’s also a very willing blocker in pass protection. Look for Johnson to explode into the NFL. He has the potential to be a breakout star right out of the gate.

Best Fit: San Diego Chargers [Read more…]

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…]