Archive for rookies

Spotlight: Duke Johnson

2015 fantasy football player spotlights

Duke Johnson (RB/CLE)

7/28/2015: Duke Johnson reportedly took some first-team reps away from Terrance West in minicamp OTAs. Despite the Browns suggesting they will ride the hot hand at the running back position this year, Johnson is a strong prospect and is clearly already gaining some ground/momentum. Everyone should… Read Spotlight

Spotlight: LeVeon Bell

2015 fantasy football player spotlights

Le’Veon Bell (RB/PIT)

7/28/2015: Le’Veon Bell’s three-game suspension has been reduced to two games. Bell was facing a three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. This gives Bell a huge bump, as… Read Spotlight

2015 ADP List + Smitty’s Top 23 Sleepers/Breakouts

Orange = Undervalued Stud based on ADP
Green = Sleeper based on ADP

2015 ADP List

Pick Name Pos Team Bye
1.01 Adrian Peterson RB MIN 5
1.02 Jamaal Charles RB KC 9
1.03 LeVeon Bell RB PIT 11
1.04 Eddie Lacy RB GB 7
1.05 Antonio Brown WR PIT 11
1.06 Dez Bryant WR DAL 6
1.07 Marshawn Lynch RB SEA 9
1.08 Arian Foster RB HOU 9
1.09 CJ Anderson RB DEN 7
1.10 LeSean McCoy RB BUF 8
1.11 Julio Jones WR ATL 10
1.12 Odell Beckham Jr WR NYG 11
2.01 Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 7
2.02 Matt Forte RB CHI 7
2.03 Andrew Luck QB IND 10
2.04 DeMarco Murray RB PHI 8
2.05 Calvin Johnson WR DET 9
2.06 Rob Gronkowski TE NE 4
2.07 Jeremy Hill RB CIN 7
2.08 A.J. Green WR CIN 7
2.09 Jordy Nelson WR GB 7
2.10 Aaron Rodgers QB GB 7
2.11 Randall Cobb WR GB 7
2.12 Justin Forsett RB BAL 9
3.01 Alshon Jeffery WR CHI 7
3.02 T.Y. Hilton WR IND 10
3.03 Melvin Gordon RB SD 10
3.04 Mike Evans WR TB 6
3.05 Jimmy Graham TE SEA 9
3.06 Frank Gore RB IND 10
3.07 Alfred Morris RB WAS 8
3.08 Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN 7
3.09 Mark Ingram RB NO 11
3.10 Brandin Cooks WR NO 11
3.11 Lamar Miller RB MIA 5
3.12 Kelvin Benjamin WR CAR 5
4.01 DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU 9
4.02 Peyton Manning QB DEN 7
4.03 Joseph Randle RB DAL 6
4.04 Carlos Hyde RB SF 10
4.05 Latavius Murray RB OAK 6
4.06 Jordan Matthews WR PHI 8
4.07 Andre Johnson WR IND 10
4.08 C.J. Spiller RB NO 11
4.09 Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 5
4.10 Andre Ellington RB ARI 9
4.11 Martavis Bryant WR PIT 11
4.12 Russell Wilson QB SEA 9
5.01 Todd Gurley RB STL 6
5.02 Amari Cooper WR OAK 6
5.03 Sammy Watkins WR BUF 8
5.04 Drew Brees QB NO 11
5.05 TJ Yeldon RB JAC 8
5.06 Keenan Allen WR SD 10
5.07 Golden Tate WR DET 9
5.08 Travis Kelce TE KC 9
5.09 LeGarrette Blount RB NE 4
5.10 Julian Edelman WR NE 4
5.11 Brandon Marshall WR NYJ 5
5.12 Joique Bell RB DET 9
6.01 Greg Olsen TE CAR 5
6.02 Jarvis Landry WR MIA 5
6.03 Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT 11
6.04 DeSean Jackson WR WAS 8
6.05 Giovani Bernard RB CIN 7
6.06 Rashad Jennings RB NYG 11
6.07 Ameer Abdullah RB DET 9
6.08 Jeremy Maclin WR KC 9
6.09 Allen Robinson WR JAC 8
6.10 Tevin Coleman RB ATL 10
6.11 Cam Newton QB CAR 5
6.12 Doug Martin RB TB 6
7.01 Julius Thomas TE JAC 8
7.02 Victor Cruz WR NYG 11
7.03 Matt Ryan QB ATL 10
7.04 Martellus Bennett TE CHI 7
7.05 Vincent Jackson WR TB 6
7.06 Nelson Agholor WR PHI 8
7.07 Tony Romo QB DAL 6
7.08 Isaiah Crowell RB CLE 11
7.09 Darren McFadden RB DAL 6
7.10 Tom Brady QB NE 4
7.11 Shane Vereen RB NYG 11
7.12 Kevin White WR CHI 7
8.01 Chris Ivory RB NYJ 5
8.02 Seattle Defense DEF SEA 9
8.03 Tre Mason RB STL 6
8.04 Zach Ertz TE PHI 8
8.05 Charles Johnson WR MIN 5
8.06 Mike Wallace WR MIN 5
8.07 Roddy White WR ATL 10
8.08 Matthew Stafford QB DET 9
8.09 Owen Daniels TE DEN 7
8.10 Ryan Mathews RB PHI 8
8.11 Michael Floyd WR ARI 9
8.12 Buffalo Defense DEF BUF 8
9.01 Duke Johnson RB CLE 11
9.02 Houston Defense DEF HOU 9
9.03 Davante Adams WR GB 7
9.04 Jordan Cameron TE MIA 5
9.05 Steve Smith WR BAL 9
9.06 Eli Manning QB NYG 11
9.07 Devonta Freeman RB ATL 10
9.08 Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI 9
9.09 Brandon LaFell WR NE 4
9.10 NY Jets Defense DEF NYJ 5
9.11 Ryan Tannehill QB MIA 5
9.12 David Cobb RB TEN 4
10.01 Tim Tebow QB PHI 8
10.02 John Brown WR ARI 9
10.03 David Johnson RB ARI 9
10.04 Breshad Perriman WR BAL 9
10.05 Bishop Sankey RB TEN 4
10.06 Knile Davis RB KC 9
10.07 Philip Rivers QB SD 10
10.08 Pierre Garcon WR WAS 8
10.09 Miami Defense DEF MIA 5
10.10 Terrance Williams WR DAL 6
10.11 Jason Witten TE DAL 6
10.12 Josh Hill TE NO 11
11.01 St. Louis Defense DEF STL 6
11.02 DeAngelo Williams RB PIT 11
11.03 Torrey Smith WR SF 10
11.04 Marques Colston WR NO 11
11.05 Reggie Bush RB SF 10
11.06 DeVante Parker WR MIA 5
11.07 Delanie Walker TE TEN 4
11.08 Teddy Bridgewater QB MIN 5
11.09 Eric Decker WR NYJ 5
11.10 Anquan Boldin WR SF 10
11.11 Montee Ball RB DEN 7
11.12 Charles Sims RB TB 6

smitty staff

You want The List? Using this ADP to the left, so this list can change in August, here are my Top 23 Sleepers/Breakouts heading into the 2015 fantasy football season.
View Top 23 Sleepers

Spotlight: Calvin Johnson

2015 fantasy football player spotlights

Calvin Johnson

7/17/2015: With a 2.03-2.05 ADP, which is about 15-17 overall, there is a lot to like about drafting Calvin Johnson in 2015. That’s his redraft ADP, too. His dynasty ADP is even lower, which is… Read Spotlight

FREE Spotlight: Dez Bryant & Demaryius Thomas

2015 fantasy football player spotlights

Dez Bryant & Demaryius Thomas

7/15/2015: We had two big signings in the NFL Today, as the Broncos signed WR Demaryius Thomas to a five-year, $70 million contract, including $43.5 million in guarantees, and the Cowboys signed WR Dez Bryant to a five-year, $70 million contract, including $45 million in guarantees.

This is great news for fantasy owners, as both receivers can now focus on football and now this won’t linger into August. Both Bryant and Thomas have top 5WR upside in fantasy, but Bryant feels like he has a touch more ceiling, as he can arguably be the No. 1 overall scoring fantasy football receiver in 2015. While it’s possible that Thomas could drop those kinds of numbers, it’s not near as likely given how the Broncos plan to run more in 2015. Still, Thomas has a 5-7 overall wide receiver feel heading into August drafts, and that’s solid. Oh, and for you dynasty guys, nothing really changes value wise, both have a long career ahead of them at these same value levels.

Read More Spotlights

2015 Draft Strategies for the 2015 fantasy football season

smitty staff

Each year around this time, fantasy football owners everywhere do some last minute wrestling with draft strategies. Do you go running back in the first-round? Wide receiver? Do you set a specific plan at all, or just go “Best Player Available” no matter what?

Honestly, there are several ways to build a winning fantasy football team, so the wrong advice is to suggest that any single strategy is the best. A lot depends on your strengths as a fantasy football drafter/trader… if you’re awesome at landing sleeper wide receivers late, then obviously taking runners and quarterbacks early is a great approach. Or, if you are the master at filling holes later through free agency and trade, trading up in a draft and having a 3-4 picks in the top 15 might be your best approach to take.

So, using that self analysis, here are my top three recommended draft strategies heading into the 2015 fantasy football season.

Draft Strategies for 2015

WR/WR and WR/WR/WR Draft Strategies

This strategy is becoming more and more popular as running backs become less reliable in fantasy football. I will add that later on I talk about how… Read Article

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft In July!

smitty staff

The below 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft took place on our forums (by our users), in fact, the draft is still ongoing and in the third-round. However, below are the draft results as of this moment, and I have attached some comments after each round. Enjoy, and follow along with the last grip of picks here.

Note: This was a PPR redraft mock.

2015 Mock Draft

Date: 7/9/15

Round One

1.1 – Jamaal Charles
1.2 – Adrian Peterson
1.3 – Odell Beckham Jr.
1.4 – Julio Jones
1.5 – Antonio Brown
1.6 – Arian Foster
1.7 – Dez Bryant
1.8 – Eddie Lacy
1.9 – Calvin Johnson
1.10 – LeVeon Bell
1.11 – Marshawn Lynch
1.12 – AJ Green

Smitty’s Comments: Honestly, I can argue in favor of either Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles at 1.01. However, those are my locks inside the top two right now, even in PPR. I think the receivers from Odell Beckham (1.03) down to AJ Green (1.12) are as closer in value than ever before, so honestly, I’m really feeling the bookend 1.12/2.01 draft slots this year. I love grabbing two high-end wide receivers like AJ Green and Demaryius Thomas, I think that kind of start for a redraft squad (or dynasty) would be huge and somewhat risk-free. I am a huge WR/WR believer, and have been for years, and I even love going nuts with the occasional WR/WR/WR… But, if given the 1.01 or 1.02 this year, though (in redraft), I’m taking Jamaal Charles (with Knile Davis) at 1.01, read more as to why, and Adrian Peterson at 1.02… I think this is the year some elite runners bounce-back and having one of these two will once again give fantasy owners a huge advantage.

Round Two

2.01 – Demaryius Thomas
2.02 – Alshon Jeffery
2.03 – Jordy Nelson
2.04 – Matt Forte
2.05 – C.J. Anderson
2.06 – Rob Gronkowski
2.07 – LeSean McCoy
2.08 – Randall Cobb
2.09 – Andrew Luck
2.10 – Mike Evans
2.11 – Aaron Rodgers
2.12 – DeAndre Hopkins

Smitty’s Comments: I was kind of surprised … Read Entire Mock

Number 2 on the Upside Board is…

smitty staff

Ok, folks, No. 2 on the 2015 Upside Board is up! The players have moved around a bit, so if you haven’t viewed the UBoard in a while, check it out!

View Upside Board

Spotlight: Ameer Abdullah

2015 fantasy football player spotlights

Ameer Abdullah

6/23/2015: Ameer Abdullah has some serious upside; in fact, he has monster upside. This isn’t to say I don’t like Joique Bell a lot, as he could have a big season if he can stay healthy. The thing is, though, it’s June, and while Bell could be solid in 2015, we could be looking at a future stud in Abdullah, so dynasty owners need to be on the lookout. His value is consistently rising, so you most likely won’t be able to steal him away from his current owner in any of your dynasty leagues, but it’s worth a try. And, if you can’t steal him away, it isn’t a bad idea to… Read Spotlight

Article: Top Handcuff RBs in 2015?

smitty staff

Ok, folks, it’s time to look at the Top Running Back Handcuffs entering 2015! This is written in kind of a redraft overview, as we’re talking about 2015, but I do toss in some dynasty insight as well (see Tre Mason), as now is a great time to buy-low on some of these so called ‘back-up’ running backs.

Note: Some teams have duo-type starters, and those players aren’t listed below as handcuffs, as both players in the duo are scoring enough to be starters in fantasy. Some of those players/duos include: Giovani Bernard/Jeremy Hill, CJ Spiller/Mark Ingram and Carlos Hyde/Reggie Bush.

The Top Handcuff in Fantasy Football In 2015

1. Knile Davis (to Jamaal Charles) – In 2014, Davis piled up 463 yards, 6TDs, 16 receptions for 147 yards and 1TD… the dude proved he can ball, and honestly, I think if starting in place of an injured Jamaal Charles, he cranks out near-as-good numbers. There is no safer RB to own in 2015 than Jamaal Charles, if you have him handcuffed to Knile Davis. That duo is my #1 fantasy running back in 2015.

More Elite Handcuffs in 2015

2. Alfred Blue (to Arian Foster) – Like with Knile Davis above, Alfred Blue cuffed to Foster makes for a super-safe RB1 entering 2015. Cuffing Blue to Foster doesn’t make for a super-high RB1, but a strong/safe low-end RB1 for sure… Blue ran for 528 yards, 2TDs, pulled in 15 receptions for 113 yards and 1TD in 2014. He proved that he can be at least a low-end RB1 if given 20+ carries, as he ran for 156 yards in Week 11 against Cleveland. His future is a question mark, so don’t go crazy trading for him in dynasty, but as for 2015 is concerned, he is a MUST for all Foster owners, and if paired with Foster, he makes Foster seem 100x safer as a RB1.

3. Tre Mason (to Todd Gurley) – Because Gurely might not be ready for 2015, Mason has huge appeal early on in the 2015 fantasy football season. He is a PPR talent, too, so even when Gurely is back, he could still be used. I love Gurely, so don’t get me wrong, Gurely will thrive once/if healthy. It’s just a shame such a strong talent, Tre Mason, is a back-up in this league. Mason has low-end RB1-type talent, but that’s a good thing if you are a Rams fan, and a great thing if you can cuff both runners together. This is the third-most important handcuff in fantasy in 2015, and it’s arguably the first- or second-most important dynasty handcuff in fantasy football.

4. Montee Ball (to CJ Anderson) – This could flip should Ball have a huge preseason, and Anderson struggle. But, for now, Ball is the back-up and can be had cheap via trade and draft. All Anderson owners HAVE to own Montee, or you’re playing with fire in 2015. If you own both, you are setup pretty well for low-end RB1-type numbers, and those are safe expectations (if you have both!).

5. Ameer Abdullah (to Joique Bell) – I like Theo Riddick, and he too can be a sleeper if given the chance… but here is a bold statement for someone that also loves Joique Bell. If Bell gets hurt, and I think Bell could have a great year if healthy, Ameer Abdullah will be a super-sleeper RB2 in 2015. This kid is an insane talent, he just needs a shot. I am a huge Joique Bell believer, but that doesn’t mean a team can’t have two players that I like a lot, or a backup that I like just as much as the starter that I support. Abdullah/Bell is a big-time sneaky RB2 in 2015, and I’m trying to own Abdullah in most all leagues even if I don’t own Bell. Joique is old… Abdullah has monster dynasty appeal… Sleeper Alert to the extreme degree, folks!

6. Darren McFadden (to Joseph Randle) – This is another one of those situations that could flip later, but for now, McFadden is the one battling to win the job, Randle pretty much has the gig. For now. Don’t write-off Lance Dunbar either, though. Honestly, I like him the most, but Randle has the burst to run away with the starting job should he put all the other pieces together.

7. Devonta Freeman (to Tevin Coleman) – This could swap all year long, but for now, we have to assume the team will eventually turn to Coleman. Look, I love Freeman, I think he has huge upside in that offense if getting starter carries, but the same can be said for Coleman. Both have RB2 written all over them if given starter carries, and both are must-have players if you own one. Both are a very sneaky RB2 if you want to go cheap at your RB2 this year! Sleeper duo alert!

8. David Cobb (to Bishop Sankey) – This is a big-time sleeper that won’t cost you much. He has a struggling sophomore runner in front of him, so his path to the line-up isn’t a long one. Sleeper alert, folks!

Strong Handcuffs

9. Dan Herron (to Frank Gore) – Gore is in a unique situation, one that could have his 32-year-old body cranking out one more elite season. That said, he is 32, and he has 10 seasons under his belt. Herron is a must-own for all Gore owners, no question. He is also a sneaky-good hold all by himself and would produce if Gore went down. That offense would have him produce by default.

10. David Johnson (to Andre Ellington) – Ellington is healthy, so he is extremely undervalued right now. Some assume he is the back up, but given his PPR role in that AZ offense, he is going to have a nice year if healthy. Johnson is a must-own and would do relatively well if given all the touches, but Ellington is almost the huge sleeper when bringing up this situation!!! Sleeper alert on Ellington!!!

11. Charles Sims (to Doug Martin) – This is another situation that could flip. Both should be owned if you plan to start one at any point this year.

12. DeAngelo Williams (to Le’Veon Bell) – With Bell set to miss 3 games this year, D-Will is already locked into some starts. He is a must own for all Bell owners, but if you draft/owner him outside of owning Bell this year, hold him over the Bell owner’s head in your league and get value now before Bell returns. You might be better off trading him and upgrading somewhere, that’s how I’d use D-Will if I owned just him.

13. Ryan Mathews (to DeMarco Murray) – Should he be forced to start, he will produce in this offense. DeMarco owners have to have both.

The Rest

Robert Turbin/Christine Michael (to Marshawn Lynch) – The duo is almost a must-own for all Lynch owners, as Lynch runs hard and has serious milage entering his 29-age season. Michael is a top 10RB per start, but will he ever start?

Cameron Artis-Payne (to Jonathan Stewart) – Fozzy Whittaker could still be in the mix as a RB2 in CAR, but Artis-Payne has big-time sleeper written all over him given the value, and his value is almost at zero in redraft. Dynasty leagues value him a bit more, but he is still relatively cheap and worth getting if you can. J-Stew staying healthy as a starter seems like a long-shot.

Jerick McKinnon (to Adrian Peterson) – We already know the guy has talent. He is a must-own for all AP owners.

James Starks (to Eddie Lacy) – Lacy plays hard and is carrying a ton of weight on those knees/feet, so Starks is a must-own for all Lacy owners.

Matt Jones (to Alfred Morris) – He won’t take Morris’ job, but he is a must-cuff. If he gets the job via injury, he could surprise.

Andre Williams/Shane Vereen (to Rashad Jennings) – This is a tough one, as either could be solid if Jennings missed time. Which one would get more run? That’s tough to say, but my guess is both would see equal-type touches, with Williams on the ground and Vereen more through the air. That makes it tough to cuff Jennings to a player this year.

Roy Helu (to Latavius Murray) – While Helu won’t be a RB1 if starting, as the Raiders would likely use him and a combo of Marcel Reece/others, he is a sneaky RB2 if forced to start some games, especially in PPR. All Murray owners should cuff the two together, no question. If healthy, it’s L-Murray time, though!

Ka’Deem Carey/Jeremy Langford (to Matt Forte) – This is a battle at the RB2 slot, so time will tell which will be the cuff. If drafting/trading now, it makes it tough. For now, Carey has the job, but Langford is talented.

Danny Woodhead (to Melvin Gordon) – A very good handcuff. Not a must, but close to it. Branden Oliver is still very talented, so if Gordon should miss time, Woodhead won’t get a grip of carries each game, but he is still the cuff to own because of his PPR involvement. In deep leagues, I own all three if I own Gordon. In shallow leagues, where I have Gordon, I grab Woodhead.

Terrance West/Duke Johnson (to Isaiah Crowell) – Last year the Browns proved that they won’t stick with anyone too long should they struggle.

Lorenzo Taliaferro/Buck Allen (to Justin Forsett) – This is a sneaky RB duo to draft even if you don’t own Forsett, but both are almost must-owns for Forsett owners.

Fred Jackson (to LeSean McCoy) – He would rank higher if he was for sure locked into all the carries should McCoy go down.

Jay Ajayi (to Lamar Miller) – He would rank higher if he was locked in as the RB2, which he isn’t – yet.

Brandon Bolden (to LeGarrette Blount) – This is a dice roll but worth a look very late in drafts, especially if you own Blount.