Archive for rookies

RB Analysis (32-Team Breakdown)

smitty staff

Below you will find my take on the 32 running back situations heading into the 2016 fantasy football season!

AFC

BUF: LeSean McCoy RB – The clear starter and potential a top 5-10RB in 2016. Just be sure to handcuff him to Mike Gillislee.

MIA: Arian Foster RB – He should have a nice season per start, but will he start many games, or will he get hurt fast? He should be handcuffed to Jay Ajayi

NE: LeGarrette Blount RB – The early favorite for starter carries with Dion Lewis likely to miss at least 8 weeks. James White and Tyler Gaffney command consideration, as this is NE, anyone could be starting by Week 5.

NYJ: Matt Forte RB – He is 30, and Bilal Powell is kind of a threat, but Forte has a good situation and could be one of this year’s “I shouldn’t have written him off yet as a RB1” type calls.

BAL: RB – While the early favorite to start, Buck Allen, Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon (injured, could miss several weeks) make this a cloudy situation, and one to avoid unless the value is right/low-risk.

CIN: Jeremy Hill RB – This is one undervalued RB that could play like a low-end RB1 this year. Gio Bernard is a solid flex grab all on his own, but a must-own for all Hill owners. Gio would thrive if forced to start, keep that in mind.

CLE: Isaiah Crowell RB – Looking like the clear starter, Crowell has one of the most talented backups in the league right behind him in Duke Johnson (who caught 60 balls for 500+ yards last year in a non-starting role. Imagine him starting and getting the rushes! Duke is the long-term bet come mid-season.

PIT: LeVeon Bell RB – He will miss three games, but he is still a top 7-10 overall pick in redraft. DeAngelo Williams is a must-own and will play like a low-end RB1 in Weeks 1-3.

HOU: Lamar Miller RB – Get ready for a top 5-10RB season!

IND: Frank Gore RB – He is old and injury is always a worry, but rookie Josh Ferguson is not impressing (yet), and Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman are the only other RBs that could steal carries. Todman is talented, but I’m not so sure the team would turn to him (at least right away) if Gore got hurt.

JAC: T.J. Yeldon RB – He’s the back to own if forced to pick between he and co-starter Chris Ivory, however, with Ivory looking like the goal line guy, this is a RBBC to avoid until one becomes the clear starter, which might only happen with injury.

TEN: DeMarco Murray RB – Derrick Henry looks good, and he would thrive starting, but Murray is the main guy and will have a great season if he stays healthy. He’s a sneaky-good RB2 this year, as somehow people are valuing him at lower value than that!

DEN: CJ Anderson RB – The clear starter, but both Devontae Booker and Ronnie Hillman could steal more touches than people think by 3-4 weeks into the season. Booker has the home upside of all the DEN rushers.

KC: Jamaal Charles RB – A top 5-10RB this year according to must, but he MUST be handcuffed to both Spencer Ware/C-West, and owning just the duo backups is often a great strategy to use!

OAK: Latavius Murray RB – The clear starter, but as the season moves along, DeAndre Washington could start making it tough for the Raiders to give Murray all the carries. Murray has the talent, but he needs to step up.

SD: Melvin Gordon RB – Breakout season coming!

NFC

DAL: Ezekiel Elliott RB – He could hit a rookie wall near Weeks 10-11, and that would be a great time to laterally trade in redraft… keep that in mind. But, he has a great situation, and he can be a top 4-8RB in 2016 when all is said and done!

NYG: Rashad Jennings RB – The clear starter, but Shane Vereen will pull in a lot of passes and will cut into the receptions that could be going to Jennings.

PHI: Ryan Mathews RB – He is the clear starter as of now, but staying healthy could be tough for the RB. Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood would fight for carries if Mathews went down.

WAS: Matt Jones RB – Banged up now, he could return in Week 1 or soon after. Rob Kelley is a must-own and will likely start Week 1 if Jones isn’t ready for Week 1.

CHI: Jeremy Langford RB – A big time breakout candidate.

DET: Ameer Abdullah RB – He should breakout this year, but if he drops the ball early and often, look for Theo Riddick to be the guy to own. Interesting fact: Riddick pulled in 80 receptions last year.

GB: Eddie Lacy RB – Lots of bust potential here. James Starks is a must-own.

MIN: Adrian Peterson RB – He should have one more elite season left.

ATL: Devonta Freeman RB – So underrated it’s crazy! He was the top RB last year, and his so called ‘drop off’ was not something that should scare off anyone, as his ‘drop off’ was still an elite RB numbers wise. Tevin Coleman is a must-own.

CAR: Jonathan Stewart RB – Hard to trust the guy, but he is younger than Matt Forte if you can believe that. Cameron Artis-Payne is a must-own.

NO: Mark Ingram RB – A top 10RB if healthy.

TB: Doug Martin RB – Kind of an underrated top 7-10RB this year. Charles Sims is a must-own.

AZ: David Johnson RB – His coaches call him the best receiving back they’ve ever seen — A top 1-3RB season in the cards! Chris Johnson is a must-own.

STL: Todd Gurley RB – Double-digit TDs and 1,400 rushing yards is in the cards in 2016. He might turn out to be a much better WR than people are projecting, keep that in mind, too.

SF: Carlos Hyde RB – A breakout season on the way, he just needs to stay healthy!

SEA: Thomas Rawls RB – The starter, if healthy, but watch out for Christine Michael, who has nothing to lose. He also has tremendous talent. Michael could be a huge force if given starter carries!

Radio Show: Russ Bliss’ Redzone August 24th

Below is Russ Bliss’ Red Zone fantasy football show on August 24th, 2016. Russ talks about sleepers, breakouts, fantasy football 2016.


Play Show – August 24th, 2016

Revisiting the 2016 Rookies

smitty staff

It’s the middle of August and a lot has changed over the last couple months, especially in terms of the 2016 rookies… it’s time to revisit the 2016 Rookie Class. Below I will rank the rookies, and provide commentary for certain players.

Note: These rankings are ranked with a dynasty/keeper frame of mind, but I provide commentary for both yearly leaguers and dynasty leaguers.

Top 10 Rookies

1. Ezekiel Elliott RB DAL – By far the 1.01 in 2016 in any rookie-only draft. He has top 6-10 overall value in all redraft leagues, which is super high for a rookie. He has that much appeal in DAL in 2016!
2. Corey Coleman WR CLE – This kid could be a top 10WR of the future. He is polished and NFL ready. He is my No. 2 overall in terms of rookies in dynasty.
2. Derrick Henry RB TEN – While I wonder how many years he can play at his highest level (at this size), he has fantastic upside for the next few years. DeMarco Murray is the starter in TEN, but if he gets hurt, Henry should thrive in 2016. Then I consider selling high at that point (if in dynasty).
3. Laquon Treadwell WR MIN – Lots of future appeal, but with Bridgewater tossing him the ball, I think Treadwell could be spotty and inconsistent in 2016, as he will naturally have ups and downs as a rookie, but he will also be limited when Bridgewater isn’t throwing a lot.
4. Kenneth Dixon RB BAL – This is my monster sleeper of this class, as I think he thrives if getting the carries. It’s a crowded backfield, though, so it’s tough to predict this situation. Just grab and stash in redraft, and get excited for the long-term.
5. Devontae Booker RB DEN – After Dixon, this is my next biggest sleeper rookie. He could be starting by mid-season, if not sooner. That’s not a lock, that’s a bold prediction, so draft/trade accordingly, don’t reach, as that would defeat the term ‘sleeper’ and all the upside that goes along with acquiring a sleeper.
6. Josh Doctson WR WAS – Nice long-term appeal and decent redraft appeal.
7. Sterling Shepard WR NYG – An exciting player that I want to get excited about, as everyone seems to be expecting so much out of this kid; however, if Odell Beckham is healthy, you have to wonder if many could be disappointed in 2016. He has nice long-term appeal, though.
8. Michael Thomas WR NO – Exciting receiver in a situation that could have him maturing fast.
9. Josh Ferguson RB IND – Nice sleeper potential in Indy.
10. Tyler Boyd WR CIN – Nice future and solid skill set.

The Rest

Will Fuller WR HOU
Wendell Smallwood RB PHI
DeAndre Washington RB OAK
Keith Marshall RB WAS
Alex Collins RB SEA
Pharoh Cooper WR LA
Leonte Carroo WR MIA
Paul Perkins RB NYG
C.J. Prosise RB SEA
Jordan Howard RB CHI
Kenyan Drake RB MIA
Jared Goff QB LA
Hunter Henry TE SD
Carson Wentz QB PHI
Jonathan Williams RB BUF
Tyler Ervin RB HOU
Braxton Miller WR HOU
Rashard Higgins WR CLE
Malcolm Mitchell WR NE
Paxton Lynch QB DEN

Fantasy Draft Prep: QBs

smitty staff

With 2016 fantasy football drafts around the corner, it’s time to breakdown all of the impact fantasy football players. We will start with the AFC QBs. The NFC will soon follow.

QBs (AFC) Coming This Week

AFC

BUF: Tyrod Taylor QB – He enters a very important year. Is he the real deal? His 3,035 yards and 20TDs/6INTs was rather impressive in his 14 games, and his 568 yards and 4TDs on the ground makes him a very sneaky low-end QB1 in all formats. If you draft him, have a back-up plan!

MIA: Ryan Tannehill QB – After four seasons, it’s rather clear what we have here in this QB. He is a 4,000/25-27TD passer. He has two amazing talents to throw to in Landry and Parker, so we could see him dance in the 28-32TD range during some seasons to come, but this is a low-end fantasy QB1 right here.

NE: Tom Brady QB – It’s hard to believe Brady has played 16 seasons. He should have a top 5QB season left in the tank, but that will be his ‘pace’ stat wise, as he will face a four game suspension to start the season. If you need a QB in any kind of existing league, Jimmy Garoppolo is a solid fill-in.

NYJ: Ryan Fitzpatrick QB – Fitz just inked his new deal, which pays him $12 million. It’s fully guaranteed and has more money in incentives, so this is the Jets’ starter, make no mistake about it. After an impressive 3,905/31TD season in 2016, he makes a fine QB2 in larger 2016 redraft leagues.

BAL: Joe Flacco QB – He could miss the entire preseason (as of July 27). This makes him a risky low-end QB1 in 2016, as he could be rusty and not have solid timing with his receivers come Week 1. With how deep the QB pool is in 2016, he should be avoided as a starter unless you’re in a larger league.

CIN: Andy Dalton QB – Fully healthy from his thumb injury, Dalton enters 2016 as a high-end QB2. The QB pool is just far too deep this year to start Dalton as a QB1, unless your league is huge.

CLE: Robert Griffin III QB – Equal parts bounce-back and risk, there is some appeal here entering 2016. He shouldn’t be anyone’s QB1, but in 2QB leagues, or as a solid back-up, RG3 at least has a shot to throw for 3,200 yards, 18-20TDs, while totaling 300-400/2-3TDs on the ground. He could just as easily bust, but that’s why no one should make him a fantasy starter out of the gate.

PIT: Ben Roethlisberger QB – This guy is always rock solid and makes for a fine QB5-7 in any format. His ADP is about the 6th-round, which feels about right.

HOU: Brock Osweiler QB – Os is totally unproven and doesn’t have amazing measurables. If you take his 8 played games last year, he would have totaled 3,934 passing yards, 20TDs and 12INTs. Os has enough talent to get DeAndre Hopkins the targets that he needs, which is great news, and he has a solid rusher in Lamar Miller. The talent surrounding him could have him totaling those same 2015 numbers (extrapolated out), which isn’t a bad season. He may have more than 12INTs, though.

IND: Andrew Luck QB – He is completely underrated entering 2016. I’ve seen some magazines and ‘sources’ out there that have this guy as the 4th or 5th QB entering 2016. Take advantage of his bad 2015 campaign. He has top 1-3QB written all over him and he is a monster steal at his current 5.01 ADP. There may not be many players with more upside given their ADP than Luck!

JAC: Blake Bortles QB – Everything said about Luck above can be said here, minus the bad campaign last year. Bortles had a great season last year, and Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns just lock in his top 4-6 fantasy QB status if you ask me. With an 8th-round ADP, he and Luck have some of the best draft value in 2016.

TEN: Marcus Mariota QB – He is expected to run more in 2016, which is great news, as his 252 rushing yards and 2TDs from last year could double to 400+ and 4-5. Mix that with what should be 3,800-4,000 passing yards and 27-30TDs, that’s a sneaky QB1 in 2016.

DEN: Mark Sanchez QB – Not fantasy relevant and may not start for long in 2016 (if he even makes it into the lineup for Week 1).

KC: Alex Smith QB – A fantasy QB2.

OAK: Derek Carr QB – Capable of top 5-10 fantasy QB numbers, but only costs 9th-round value. Amari Cooper could explode this year; these two will connect early and often!

SD: Philip Rivers QB – Always good for 4,300-4,500 yards, 28-30TDs, he remains a quiet fantasy QB1. He is a great QB to pair with a similar type talent, which makes for a good match-up situation (if that strategy plays to your strengths).

Russ’ 2016 eBook Released

Russ Bliss’ eBook Is Here!!!

russ bliss ebook - 2014 fantasy football starters

Russ Bliss’ 2016 eBook is below!

Updated: 7/30/16


Download PDF

 

 

 

 

Is Ezekiel Elliott a top 5RB already?

Our Draft Analyzer already has Ezekiel Elliott ranked inside the top 5RBs for 2016 (depending on your entered scoring). Is this premature? Is there too much risk counting on the runner at top 5RB value?

I say he is worth top 5-10RB consideration, no question. I caution anyone to rank him ahead of the big three RBs, LeVeon Bell, Todd Gurley, and David Johnson, but after those big guns, there are a grip of RBs that warrant that 4th rank. Devonta Freeman, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, there are a handful of running backs worth ranking in that 4th spot, and Elliott has just as much 2016 upside as any of those players. Word out of Dallas is that the rookie could see 300 carries in 2016, and while that is a bit concerning for his dynasty value, as it could wear him down, it’s fantastic news for redraft leaguers who plan to own Zeke. He is in a potent offense behind one of the best offensive lines in the league, and while Tony Romo has had trouble staying healthy over the last couple of years, that Dallas passing game, led by Dez Bryant, will make stacking the box against Elliott extremely tough. Elliott, if healthy, should easily earn top 5-10RB numbers. He could bounce around even higher than that from time to time.

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Smitty’s 2016 Rankings Cheat Sheet

smitty staff

Here at STARTERS, the famous Draft Analyzer is key to helping you create custom Cheat Sheets for your draft. The tool factors in projections, previous year’s stats, trending, etc, so be sure to use it when getting ready for your draft. However, last year I created my own stand-alone set of Rankings, and while they might differ from the Draft Analyzer here and there, I think it’s important to take a bit of variation with you to your draft! So enjoy, this is my personal set of 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings. For Dynasty Rankings, check out Smitty’s Dynasty Content over at SleeperU.

Smitty’s 2016 Redraft Rankings

Updated: 8/6/16 (these rankings are only updated through Week 1)

QBs

1 Aaron Rodgers
2 Andrew Luck
3 Cam Newton
4 Blake Bortles
5 Drew Brees
6 Russell Wilson
7 Derek Carr
8 Carson Palmer
9 Ben Roethlisberger
10 Tom Brady
11 Eli Manning
12 Philip Rivers
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TEs

1 Rob Gronkowski
2 Greg Olsen
3 Delanie Walker
4 Jordan Reed
5 Travis Kelce
6 Tyler Eifert
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RBs

1 Todd Gurley
2 David Johnson
3 Devonta Freeman
4 Adrian Peterson
5 Ezekiel Elliott
6 Lamar Miller
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WRs

1 Julio Jones
2 Antonio Brown
3 DeAndre Hopkins
4 Odell Beckham
5 Amari Cooper
6 Allen Robinson
7 Dez Bryant
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2016 Rookie Rankings (June Update)

We have provided a few 2016 Rookie Rankings updates since the April NFL Draft, and because many of you have upcoming rookie drafts here in June and July, here is one more update for June. Expect at least one more in July.

2016 Rookie Rankings

Date: 6/6/2016

1. Carson Wentz
2. Jared Goff
3. Paxton Lynch
4. Christian Hackenberg
5. Connor Cook
1. Ezekiel Elliott
2. Derrick Henry
3. Kenneth Dixon
4. Devontae Booker
5. Cj Prosise
6. Wendell Smallwood
7. Paul Perkins
8. Jordan Howard
9. Keith Marshall
10. Alex Collins
11. Johnathan Williams
12. Daniel Lasco
13. Kenyan Drake
14. Tyler Ervin
15. Deandre Washington
1. Laquon Treadwell
2. Josh Doctson
3. Corey Coleman
4. Michael Thomas
5. Will Fuller
6. Sterling Shepard
7. Pharoh Cooper
8. Leonte Carroo
9. Keyarris Garrett
10. Tyler Boyd
11. Moritz Boehringer
12. Braxton Miller
13. Malcolm Mitchell
14. Charone Peake
15. Rashard Higgins
16. De’runnya Wilson
17. Tajae Sharpe

1. Hunter Henry
2. Austin Hooper
3. Nick Vannett

Deep Sleepers: May

There are a ton of deep sleepers to target in 2016 fantasy football drafts, and this article will just touch on a few. We will provide more and more names as we near August, so stay tuned for future versions of this column.

Devontae Booker (RB/DEN)

CJ Anderson might have the starting job locked up in Denver, as he was signed to a huge off-season contract, but don’t sleep on Devontae Booker, a Devonta Freeman type rusher with a ton of determination. He has made it public that he plans to attack the starting gig, and he has the skill set to do it. Anderson isn’t the most secure RB1 in fantasy football, and his ADP is falling despite his huge contract and placement in that lineup. I think people fear that he isn’t for real, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people aren’t still sleeping on Booker. They are. Take advantage and draft him as a stash type rusher.

Wendell Smallwood (RB/PHI)

Ryan Mathews and aging Darren Sproles are the only thing standing in the way of Smallwood, a runner that could easily be one of the bigger rookie running back surprises in 2016. He may not develop, so it’s important not to reach too high to grab him, but his ADP is in the crazy-low range where he isn’t even showing up in the top 100 of redraft ADPs. He has monster upside with no risk.

Running Backs to Doubt in 2016?

Below you will find a few big name running backs we caution against drafting in 2016, unless the price is right. Everything comes down to value.

Mark Ingram | RB Saints

It’s not that we doubt the guy’s talent, as he can play like a top 10RB when fed the ball. However, his ADP is in the top 10RB range, and that’s a bit high given his injury history and the potential he doesn’t get the carries he deserves. Don’t trade him away on the cheap if you own him in dynasty, but make sure you rank him in the low, low end of the RB2s heading into 2016, this way he won’t disappoint. We’ve seen some value him as a low end RB1 and that’s risky.

CJ Anderson | RB Broncos

Not only is his lack of experience a red flag, so is his inability to stay on the field. And, with Devontae Booker, the new rookie in Denver, now on the Denver roster, Anderson ‘could’ disappoint in 2016. Again, like with Ingram above, don’t sell cheap if you already own him in dynasty, but don’t draft him in upcoming drafts expecting elite RB1 numbers. His ADP is super high and we just don’t like the value even if he is relatively talented. If you plan to roll with CJ this year, just be sure to cuff him to Booker!

Thomas Rawls | RB Seahawks

He is still equal parts sleeper and risk, so know that the potential is there. This is great for those that bought low months and months ago in dynasty. Keep him, or trade him high… but don’t sell dirt cheap. All that said, don’t go drafting him at high-end RB2 value at this point, as the Seahawks drafted two rookies that have big skill sets, one being CJ Prosise. Cuff him to Rawls if you roll with Rawls this year! If drafting today, though, I think I avoid Rawls at his current asking price. I bought low in a lot of leagues, and I’m happy about that, but values change and some players turn into risks at the going rates. This is that situation.