Another week in the books and I thought it would be fun this week to post some classic memes that at one time were true but now seem like possible jokes of the past. Dallas may get over the 8-8 slump they have been in the last 3 seasons.... Philip Rivers actually looks like a fantasy stud again.... Cleveland is looking good with a back-up.... and Detroit is still in first (still without a kicker as well). It has been a fun season thus far (minus some very bad off the field issues) and I don't imagine it slowing down. Without further ado...
These Bengals will not only win the division this year but I see them going on a playoff run. Andy may be worth the money after all....
I'm pretty sure Rivers can put the marker down now. No equations needed to figure out what went wrong, these Chargers look set to make a run for the division as well as possibly more.
This one makes me laugh every time I read it. Now I don't see the browns doing much in any kind of playoff discussions but I am impressed with the way they have played as of late.
Oh Tony. Is this the year? He hasn't been to the playoffs since 2009 and that was also the last time he ended the season with a winning record. It looks like that could all change this year. Then again, I watched the Detroit Lions start the 2007 season at 6-2 only to watch them lose 7 of the last 8 to go 7-9. Let's hope Dallas fans don't have to go through that!
Well that is my time for today. As I always say, If you have any that you would like to share, feel free to send them my way. Until next time...
The fantasy season is almost upon us, and every year we like to take the preseason to break down each position individually. We’ll be starting this year with the Quarterbacks. This article will focus on QB’s that have good draft value, and others that do not. Remember, this isn’t exactly who’s going to land in or out of the top 10 this year, but it’s who you can target, or avoid, in a draft to get yourself the best roster.
For a more in-depth discussion, check out our podcast from 8/18/15, The QB Show!
QB’s that have good value:
Can Palmer start all 16 games this season?
Carson Palmer - #11 on our rankings, Palmer is an excellent QB, when healthy. The Cardinals have a decent offense which was able to move the ball when Palmer was out last year. Their defense will make sure the offense gets plenty of possessions. Palmer has an ECR of 19, giving him the largest gap of any QB on our list. His ADP of 22 (153 overall) means that you can take him at the end of nearly every draft, and have a guy that we think should finish just outside the top 10.
Palmer Targets: Fitz!, Michael Floyd, Jaron & John Brown, Andre Ellington, CJ?K, Whoever starts at TE.
Relevant stats: Arizona threw the ball 35.1 times per game in 2014, right in the middle of the pack for the NFL. Palmer is on a 3-year trend upward (extrapolating last year's stats over 16 games). The Cardinals' window is closing fast, look for them to pull out all the stops to make a Super Bowl run this year.
Tom Brady - #8 on our rankings, he has an ECR of 14, mostly, I suspect, due to his looming suspension. If he plays all 16, I think he’ll go up a bit. Overall, I think we underestimate Tom every year, and every year he’s playing in January, so he must be doing something right. What we do know about Brady is that he has Gronk, and it doesn’t really matter who else is there.
Relevant stats: The Pats threw the ball 38.6 times per game last year, 7th most in the league. Brady has thrown over 30 TD's in 4 of the last 5 seasons, and usually keeps the INT's low. Don't be fooled by the lack of targets, it's never bothered Brady.
Tony Romo - #5 on our rankings, he has an ECR of 9 and an ADP of 8. Romo’s value is going up, he’s currently being drafted about 1 round higher than his overall ranking would put him, however we rank him even higher, so there is still value to be had here. Romo is a tough QB leading what is likely to be a top 5 offense in the NFL this season. Romo is the highest tier QB with a good value rating.
Romo Targets: Dez Bryant (over 135 targets each of the last 3 years), Witten, Williams, Beasley, Randle/Dunbar/McFadden
Relevant stats: Last year, Dallas threw the ball only 29.2 times per game, the second fewest in the league. Romo made the most of the times he did throw the ball, leading the league in completion % (69.9), TD % (7.8) and yards per pass attempt (8.5). He has been trending up in TD's and down in INT's over the last 3 years. Romo is playing better than he ever has and will need to pick up the slack after Demarco Murray's departure. Don't worry about his age either, he may be over 35, but he's only started 20 more games than Rodgers, so he has plenty of football left in him.
This guy got $65 million...
Philip Rivers - #10 on our rankings, his ECR is 13, so we’re not too far off there, but it’s a game of inches, isn’t it? Rivers just got a huge new contract, with something like $65 mil GUARANTEED. That means it’s his job to now go out and prove to the team that he deserves it. The Chargers’ ground game got a big upgrade this season, drafting Melvin Gordon #14 overall. This should take a bit of pressure off Rivers. Rivers had 31 TD’s, but also 18 INT’s. He’s generally not that errant of a passer, so if he can cut down on the picks, he will finish in the top 10 yet again.
Relevant stats: San Diego threw the ball 35.9 times per game last season, 14th in the league, but threw it 43 times per game in the last 3 games, two of which were against division opponents. Rivers has gone over 4000 yards in 6 of the last 7 seasons and over 30 TD's in 5 of them. He's wonderfully consistent and can be counted on to be in the top 12 every years. Pick him up when he's available late. Oh yea, the new contract doesn't hurt his outlook any.
QB’s that are overvalued:
Colin Kaepernick – Kaepernick is ranked 22 on our sheets and has an ECR of 15. He won’t be drafted as a starter in standard leagues anyways, but I wanted to just reiterate how much we do not like the 49ers offense this year. The rankings, thankfully, agree with us. His overall stats for the last 3 years have been underwhelming, so let someone else reach for him as their backup QB.
Kaepernick Targets: Boldin, Smith, Davis, Hyde/Bush – See why we aren’t hyped?
Relevant stats: the 49ers threw the ball only 30.4 times per game last year, good for 29th in the league. Kaepernick already only completes 60.1% of his passes through his career, so you need to rely on his feet to get you big points. The problem there is that his rushing TD's have gone from 5 to 4 to 1. Are you ready to bet it's going back up to 5? His Int's are the other alarming trend, going up each year that he's been in the league.
Cam's job got a lot harder with Benjamin going down.
Cam Newton – Newton has a rank of 13 on our sheet, but an ECR of 7. He’s clearly favored by pundits and fans alike, but our rankings sheet is not so high on him. Newton has slightly regressed in his stat line every year since he broke into the league back in 2011. Even though it may “feel” like Newton is due to rebound back to what he had his rookie year, his risk is not worth the price you have to pay. His ceiling is actually rather low, especially considering he will run less and less as he gets older. It’s not worth it, in my opinion, to draft a guy as the 7th best QB when he really only has a shot at being #5 at the very highest.
Newton Targets: Benjamin, Ginn, Funchess, Cotchery, Corey Brown, Olsen, Stewart/Tolbert/Whittaker
Relevant stats: Carolina threw the ball 34.1 times per game last season, but Newton only has a career 59.5 completion %. Newton has also only thrown the ball about 31 times per game in his career, so I expect his pass attempts to stay flat, at best. Newton was only the 16th best fantasy QB last year, right above our buddy Kaepernick. At least he's above the Andy Dalton line.
Ryan Tannehill - #14 in our rankings, Tannehill is a guy who we have been pumping up all year, and it looks like we’re not the only ones. His ECR is 10, so the experts like him, and his ADP of 13 indicates that he hasn’t quite caught up to his ECR in the rest of the fantasy world. Here’s the thing though, Tannehill is the QB who is being hyped as the best value or biggest jump from last year. News like this spreads like wildfire and the draft season is now in full swing. Just this past weekend, I was in a draft where he was the 7th overall QB taken, late in the 6th round.
Relevant stats: Miami was in the top half of the league, throwing the ball 37.2 times per game in 2014. Tannehill's stats have generally been trending up over his first three years in the league. They just got Jordan Cameron and drafted Devante Parker. Yes, things are looking up for Ryan Tannehill, but the secret's out. He's got a good shot at going too early in your draft. Give a silent nod and just move on. If he's available closer to his ADP of 13, then go for it.
Welcome back to the article geared to help you break the bank at FanDuel. This week I'm investing on a game in Philadelphia to provide buku fantasy points, targeting a bargain barrel WR and using those savings to splurge on some high dollar talent poised for a breakout week. Good luck this week gamblers! Donations are of course always welcome if the advice pays out.
QB - Tony Romo, DAL - $8,500 at PHI: In what should be the highest scoring game of the week I'm betting on Romo to put monster numbers. Dez Bryant may be out, but there are still enough weapons on the Dallas roster to get the job done. Expect big chunks of yards thrown to Terrance Williams and Jason Witten to collect on a couple TD tosses.
RB - Matt Forte, CHI - $8,900 vs. ARI: Going a bit on the expensive side here, but with Forte's track record, he is worth every dollar. The Bears realize their offense must run through Forte, and that may be the case even more with news that Alshon Jeffery missed practice Friday with a hamstring injury. Expect high volume touches for Forte in both the running and passing game.
RB - Carlos Hyde, SF - $7,000 at PIT: We witnessed the coming of Carlos Hyde last week after he put up 168 yards on 26 carries and 2 TDs on the ground adding another 2 catches for 14 yards. With the combination of the Niners passing game being non-existent and with Reggie Bush already ruled out for week 2 Hyde will repeat on the high volume of touches. Amazing value for the price tag this week.
WR - Jordan Matthews, PHI - $7,000 vs. DAL: This is primarily a combo play to Romo/Witten with the expectation of a high scoring affair. Matthews should exceed his performance from last week where he had 10 catches on 12 targets for 102 yards and should have had a touchdown that Chip Kelly opted not to challenge
WR - Calvin Johnson, DET - $8,100 at MIN: Johnson had an abysmal week 1 catching only 2 balls for 39 yards on 4 targets in a losing effort. I fully expect the Lions to force feed the ball to Johnson this week giving him plenty of opportunities to get in the end zone.
WR - Pierre Garcon, WAS - $5,400 vs. STL: With DeSean Jackson sidelined for 2-3 weeks with a hamstring injury Garcon will slide into the #1 receiver role. This is a position he thrived in prior to the Redskins acquisition of Jackson. I'd expect double digit targets to Garcon with a few of them being in the red zone. Very cheap price for the value.
TE - Jason Witten, DAL - $6,000 at PHI: Witten was already slated to see an increase in targets this season after the departure of DeMarco Murray. Now with Dez Bryant sidelined he will be leaned upon even more. Expect quality red zone and 3rd down conversion looks to Witten in a high scoring affair against Philly this week.
K - Josh Brown, NYG - $4,500 vs. ATL: Partially riding the Josh Brown train after his 17 fantasy points in week 1, but also expecting a decent amount of points to go around in this matchup against the Falcons. Looks like the best kicker available for the minimum price.
DEF - Titans, TEN - $4,600 at CLE: The Titans defense are coming off a strong effort in week 1 and have a great match up this week against the turnover prone Johnny Manziel and the Browns inept offense. Not to mention the great Dick LeBeau is involved in the defensive scheme.
There’s lots of guys that are injured every week in the NFL, it’s really just a part of the game. We’re here to help you stay on top of what’s going on with them so you can field the best possible team going into next week.
Tony Romo(Replacement: Brandon Weeden) – Tony Romo injured his collarbone while being sacked in Sunday’s contest against the Eagles. Romo is expected to be out at least 8 weeks as he has been put on the IR/return list. He cannot return to the field any earlier than week 11, and it’s a strong possibility that he isn’t back until Thanksgiving or later. This is far too long to wait for him to return – pick up the best available QB on your waiver wire asap. No, Brandon Weeden is not a sufficient replacement on your team.
Drew Brees(Replacement: Luke McCown) – Brees injured his rotator cuff in the loss to the Bucs on Sunday. Initially, it seemed like he might miss several weeks. After a second opinion, it seems that he has a shot to play this week against Carolina. We will know more about this situation once the injury reports are released on Wednesday, so make sure to pay attention. This is a short-term injury, so do not drop Brees for a backup. Also, look elsewhere for a fill-in, McCown is almost certainly not the best option on your waiver wire.
Cutler is expected to be out for two weeks.
Jay Cutler(Replacement: Jimmy Clausen) – Cutler hurt himself (hamstring) yet again while chasing down a defender who had picked him off. This seems to be something that Cutler just kind of does once per season. If we had any sort of real backup, the fans in Chicago might even be happy, however Clausen is no legit NFL starter. The year that he started, he had 3 passing TD’s in 10 games. He should have accidentally gotten to 5. Cutler will be back in a few weeks, in the meantime, just stay away from any Bears player not named Matt Forte.
Matt Stafford(Replacement: none) – Stafford has been banged up the last few weeks and the Lions don’t have any wins to show for it. Stafford had x-rays on his ribs which came back negative, but it’s clear that he’ll be playing with some pain in week 3. The Broncos defense has been outstanding in the first two weeks, and Stafford’s ineffectiveness combined with potential rib injury lead me to recommend you start anyone else in week 3, even in a 2 QB league.
Eddie Lacy(Replacement: James Starks) – Lacy had an early exit from Sunday night’s game as apparently everyone in Green Bay had an ankle injury. Lacy doesn’t play until Monday night in week 3, so he has an extra day to get ready. As of now, he’s probably going to play, but as always, wait for the injury report to come out. James Starks is one of the best backups in the league and can be inserted immediately into your lineup if Lacy does not start, so pick him up as an insurance policy, if he’s still available.
Tevin Coleman(Replacement: Devonta Freeman) – Coleman missed the entire second half of the game this past Sunday against the Giants after he was carted off with a broken rib. This is the kind of injury that has a lot to do with pain threshold and less to do with the body working mechanically correctly. Coleman has looked very good so far and has out-carried Devonta Freeman, so keep him on your roster until he’s healthy again. Freeman is an OK replacement, not as good as James Starks, but he’s much closer to the performance of Coleman than some of the previously mentioned backup QB’s are to their starters. Coleman should be back in a couple of weeks, keep your eyes on the injury report and if he’s been practicing.
Lamar Miller(Replacement: Damien Williams) – Miller says that he’s going to be OK after suffering an ankle injury during Sunday’s game in Washington. He’s basically day-to-day at this point, so you shouldn’t worry too much about his status for week 3. What’s more worrisome are his stats in the first two weeks – he’s only gaining just over 50 yards per game on an offense that is supposed to be improving. Damien Williams would get the start if Miller doesn’t go, but against the Buffalo defense, you might want to just find another option.
Denard Robinson(Replacement: T.J. Yeldon, Bernard Pierce) – Robinson has been diagnosed with an MCL sprain which could leave him out for 1-2 months – the timeline is not very certain this early in the injury. Robinson was already taking a backseat to Yeldon, who has been impressive in the early going of 2015. Yeldon is not likely to be available in any leagues - if he is, please take all of your opponent’s money mercilessly as that’s one easy fantasy league. Pierce is unlikely to be useful anywhere but in the deepest of leagues, and as a handcuff for Yeldon.
The Jets' dynamic duo.
Eric Decker(Replacement: Chris Owusu, Quincy Enunwa) – Decker suffered a PCL injury during Monday night’s game and wasn’t heard from for basically the entire second half (thanks Decker, couldn’t get another 1 point?). Decker has had success this season with Fitzpatrick, so if he plays, go ahead and slot him in. If he doesn’t’ play, Chris Owusu and Quincy Enunwa will probably take targets away from each other. (Note: Owusu is out for a couple weeks, but it doesn't really help Enunwa anyways) The tandem of Decker and Marshall looks to be a strong one this year, so stick with them while they play, but there’s not likely to be anyone filling their shoes if they don’t.
Davante Adams(Replacement: Ty Montgomery, James Jones) – Adams went down with an ankle injury briefly on Sunday night. Apparently, those injuries are contagious. Adams struggled during the game, but who wouldn’t struggle when you have Richard Sherman covering your every move. Since Adams was able to return, I expect him to be ready to play next Monday night. He’s definitely lost some of the work everyone thought he was going to get to James Jones, so keep that in mind if you want to start Adams. If Adams can’t go, Ty Montgomery did have an OK game, collecting 4 receptions on 4 targets. I like his potential if given an entire game.
Jerricho Cotchery(Replacement: Ted Ginn Jr.) – Cotchery suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday, an injury which typically lingers in NFL players. Cotchery may be able to tough it out and play in week 3, but seeing as he’s the only real veteran receiver they have, Carolina might be smart to let him sit a week or two. Ted Ginn Jr. and Greg Olsen will be the ones to absorb Cotchery’s targets, though that number has never been too high. The receivers in Carolina are very sketchy at best – stick to starting Cam, Greg and Jon (athan Stewart).
Jordan Cameron(Replacement: Jake Stoneburner) – Cameron exited his week 2 game with a groin injury, but at least had the courtesy of putting up a few fantasy points before doing so. Cameron has suffered from so-called soft tissue injuries in the past, so this could definitely put him on the sidelines a couple weeks. As always, keep an eye on injury reports and practice status before making a final decision. Backup TE Jake Stoneburner will step into Cameron’s role, and already has caught a TD and secured both targets sent his way from Ryan Tannehill. This isn’t exactly a direct replacement you can plug in, however his TD in week 1 is intriguing, so he is worth a flyer.
Jason Witten(Replacement: Gavin Escobar) – Witten is already banged up after two weeks into the 2015 season with two bad ankles and a sprained knee. Even veterans usually don’t see this kind of wear and tear until late November or December. Witten will play through most everything he can, and even be effective while doing so. The exception to this is when Tony Romo is not out there throwing him the ball. Witten should not play this week because the Cowboys have already lost their two most important offensive players. If they lose Witten for the season because they pushed him in week 3, that will just be icing on the injury cake that Jerry Jones is currently choking on. Gavin Escobar would normally jump into a top 10 TE role right away with Witten out, however with Weeden throwing him the ball, Escobar is worth a roster spot if you’re hurting, but I’d wait a week to see if you should be starting him.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins(Replacement: Brandon Myers) – ASJ had an incredible week 1 and a back-to-earth week 2. I do expect him to do well in the long run with Jameis Winston, however you can chalk week 1’s performance up to a fluke (and really, garbage time points). ASJ is out for 4-6 weeks now with a strained shoulder, so drop him and look elsewhere for a TE to fill your roster. Maybe our waiver wire picks? Brandon Myers is not the answer here, so avoid him everywhere but in the deepest leagues.
We're joined by fantasy football veteran and former drinkfive.com contributor Vince Foss as we discuss the very best plays moving forward into championship week. We'll analyze the matchups and go over recent NFL news and updates that can impact the production of your players.
For Fantasy Football team managers, playing in week 15 is all about making the right starts to get to the championship. Whether you fought hard to get into the playoffs from the bottom of the league or coasted into a bye spot early on, everyone is on an even playing field and (in most cases) only has one shot.
We'll be paying special attention to the players that you should and shouldn't start in week 15 and what matchups to keep in mind should you make the championship game in Week 16. We're joined by regular guest and drinkfive.com contributor Mike Mocerino.
Welcome back! We're joined this week by fantasy football veteran Matt Ellis to discuss the best starts moving forward into Week 13. This is the last week of the regular season of most fantasy football leagues, so put your best foot forward!