Archive for 1093

NEWS: Jimmy Graham (questionable) likely to play Week 8; Khiry Robinson ruled out?

SMITTY: Most all reports/sources are predicting that he plays, and despite playing last week and pulling in zero passes, fantasy owners almost have to start Jimmy Graham if he is playing. Even if used in red zone situations, the guy can score 2TDs in such a role. Check out where we have Jimmy Graham ranked on our Week 8 Power Rankings. As for those Saints rushers, Mark Ingram just got a huge bump (him and Travaris Cadet, who could play the PT role), given that both Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson are both out for this one.

NEWS: Jimmy Graham limited on Thursday, but still expected to play Week 8?

SMITTY: He will most likely be questionable this week, but most everyone, for now, expects him to play this week. Monitor him in warm-ups, as setbacks happen, but it’s extremely hard to sit the tight end if ever playing, because he can pull in 2TDs and play just a handful of red zone snaps. Plus, after playing last week, even though he wasn’t a big part of the game plan, he could play more than expect this week, we just don’t know. Looking for Week 8 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Jimmy Graham could play a red-zone role in Week 7? Calvin still doubtful in the contest?

SMITTY: It’s tough to speculate on this just yet, and Graham and the Saints still have over a day to decide. If Graham does go, even in a limited red-zone look capacity, he is a must-play, so stay on both our news wire and Smart Alerts. We will also keep you updated if any news breaks on Calvin Johnson, who is currently expected to miss this contest between the Saints and Lions. If both of these studs sit, Calvin and Graham, both Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford lose their top 5QB upside this week, but both are still must-starts (unless you have Stafford and a comparable QB with a better match-up). Reggie Bush and Golden Tate should have nice outings if both end up being Stafford’s top receiving options in Week 7. Looking for Week 7 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Jimmy Graham said he does not know if he will play Week 7.

SMITTY: While Jimmy Graham has felt more ‘doubtful’ than anything else all week long, clearly there is a small chance he plays in Week 7. It will come down to how he looks/feels in warm-ups, so stay tuned to this news wire as well as our Smart Alerts — This could be a last-minute type update for sure. Drew Brees has a tougher than expected matchup at Detroit this Sunday, but he’d get a nice bump on our projections if Graham was able to play (and play effective). Looking for Week 7 Power Rankings?

RADIO: Listen Russ Bliss and Smitty Talk Zac Stacy, Andre Ellington, Montee Ball and more.

Take a listen to Russ Bliss’ third radio show of the 2014 fantasy football season! Russ has been doing fantasy radio for over 20 years with his famous “The Red Zone” program, which airs on NBCSports Radio (1060am). Smitty is slotted to join Russ almost every Tuesday night, and below is the third show of the year. Take a listen!

The Red Zone With Russ Bliss

Date: 8/26/14

Guest: Smitty,

Topics: Tim Wright, Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill, Zac Stacy, Andre Ellington, Montee Ball, Tony Romo, Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde, Demaryius Thomas, AJ Green, Calvin Johnson, Eddie Lacy, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Giovani Bernard, Marshawn Lynch, Dez Bryant, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and more

Listen Now!

NEWS: Drew Brees calls Brandin Cooks’ work ethic “pretty rare for a young guy.”

According to nola.com, Saints QB Drew Brees had this to say about rookie WR Brandin Cooks: “Feed me, feed me information. He absorbs it very quickly and goes out and applies it. I’d say that’s pretty rare for a young guy.”

SMITTY: Brandin Cooks has all kinds of “home run” upside, even as a rookie. Occasionally rookie wide receivers come along and post 1,000-yard seasons during their first campaigns. Well, if anyone can do that, it’s Cooks, who arguably has one of the best situations any rookie could ask for (pulling in passes from Drew Brees, and having defensive attention on Jimmy Graham, who is 80/1,200/12+ capable). Any receiver in this situation would have rookie upside, but when you mix in Cooks’ skill set with that Saints air attack, the sky is the limit, and this is especially the case entering his second NFL season. Looking for 2014 Brandin Cooks Fantasy Football Projections?

NEWS: Brandin Cooks playing at a different speed?

According to ESPN, teammates of Saints WR Brandin Cooks claim that the rookie is playing at a different speed than everyone else when on the field.

SMITTY: His teammates have also nicknamed him “lightning”. Brandin Cooks and Jordan Matthews are in a competition to be this year’s Keenan Allen. Both receivers have been drafted into high-octane passing attacks and both should have enough targets to feed a five-year veteran. These two will absolutely have a shot at Rookie of the Year honors in 2014.

2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft In July (Redraft, PPR)

Below is a 2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft (in July), and below each round you will find my commentary/take on that round. This mock draft took place on our forums, so it’s a great indicator of current/true player values. The scoring for this fantasy football mock draft was assumed to be PPR, and it was done with a ‘redraft’ (2014 only) frame of mind. Thanks to all who participated. Enjoy.

Round One
1.01 – LeSean McCoy RB
1.02 – Jamaal Charles RB
1.03 – Adrian Peterson RB
1.04 – Calvin Johnson WR
1.05 – Eddie Lacy RB
1.06 – Matt Forte RB
1.07 – AJ Green WR
1.08 – Demariyus Thomas WR
1.09 – Julio Jones WR
1.10 – Jimmy Graham TE
1.11 – Marshawn Lynch RB
1.12 – Dez Byrant WR

Smitty’s Take: There weren’t very many surprises in round one, and their usually aren’t. Sure, a case can be made for Peyton Manning being round one worthy, but it’s not surprising to see him fall to 2.01. LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson are spot on in my book, and I can’t argue a bit with 1.04-1.12 (aside from pushing Manning into that 1.09-1.12 range, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea).

Round Two
2.01 – Peyton Manning QB
2.02 – Monte Ball RB
2.03 – Aaron Rodgers QB
2.04 – Rob Gronkowski TE
2.05 – Doug Martin RB
2.06 – Brandon Marshall WR
2.07 – Antonio Brown WR
2.08 – Randall Cobb WR
2.09 – Demarco Murray RB
2.10 – Arian Foster RB
2.11 – Leveon Bell RB
2.12 – Julius Thomas TE

Smitty’s Take: Ok, so this is where one draft will look completely different than another draft (even if that mock draft took place on the same exact forum 10 minutes later). I love the value of Montee Ball, even though his value has climbed higher than most expected (aside from us, as we predicted the climb). This is a redraft mock, but we’ve been pimping Ball since last season, and he and Nick Foles (and Christine Michael) have been our top “go get” players all off-season long. This was when Foles was still in most everyone’s bottom-half of their top ten-ranked passers, and this was before Ball started sniffing second-round value (he was even a 4th-round player on average back in February). In redraft, though, don’t shy away from making Ball your second-drafted player, as he is very likely to crank out top 1-5RB numbers in that extremely-potent Denver offense. I wouldn’t even shy away from grabbing him ahead of Lynch in round one. Crazy? Well, let’s talk come season’s end.

Aaron Rodgers probably seems high to some, and not high to others. Frankly, how high QBs go depends on your league and league trends, so anyone suggesting that Rodgers at 2.03 is too early, or too late, is obviously speaking based on trends that they see league-wide. His 2.03 slotting above is neither too early or too late, as he can easily earn top 15 overall value. Doug Martin has a touch more risk than upside at his 2.05 slotting above, but if you can handcuff him to Charles Sims, you can minimize most of that risk. But, if drafting at that spot, I would have let him slide to the 2.10-2.12 range, which is where I’m more comfortable snagging Martin in 2014; he has tons of talent, but he also has an injury label that he needs to shake, plus he has a potential sharing situation heading his way. Arian foster has awesome value heading into 2014, as he constantly falls in that late second-round range. He may go in the first-round in some leagues, as again, every league is different with players like this (faced injury the prior season and has some overworked concerns). He has top 5RB upside, so 2.10 is low-risk/high-reward in my opinion.

Round Three
3.01 – Giovani Bernard RB
3.02 – CJ Spiller RB
3.03 – Nick Foles QB
3.04 – Jordy Nelson WR
3.05 – Victor Cruz WR
3.06 – Drew Brees QB
3.07 – Keenan Allen WR
3.08 – Zac Stacy RB
3.09 – Bishop Stankey RB
3.10 – Cordarrelle Patterson WR
3.11 – Andre Johnson WR
3.12 – Pierre Garcon WR

Smitty’s Take: I love the value of Gio Bernard at 3.01, but I don’t think you will see him fall that far on average. I could be wrong, and I sure hope that I am wrong, as I’d love this value in all my real upcoming 2014 fantasy football drafts. Gio Bernard is fantasy RB1-capable, yet he landed at 3.01 above… that’s crazy-good value, and again, that’s why I think that this won’t happen on average (he will more often be a 2.04-2.08 range player). Cordarrelle Patterson is now creeping into the 3rd-round in a lot of early 2014 mock drafts… expect this trend to continue, possibly even in the upward direction. He can earn that value, though, he has WR1-type upside, I just wonder if that production is still a year away. It might not be, but it gets a bit risky when you’re talking 3rd-round vs. 4th-round is all (I like him a lot in the 4th). Keenan Allen is another player that is climbing mock draft boards as of late, and let me tell you, I see the guy producing borderline low-end fantasy WR1-type numbers this year. He often falls into the 4th-round outside of STARTERS/DraftCalc communities, so snag him in the 4th-round where you can, as he can crush that value! Nick Foles is another player that ranks and gets drafted higher in DraftCalc and FFStarters worlds, so know that he often falls to the 4th-round, or even the 5th-round… and if I consider the 3rd-round still a steal (in terms of what he can do by season’s end), you can imagine how big of a steal he is to me at 4th- and 5th-round value. Use ADP data to your advantage and don’t draft Foles in the 3rd-round if you don’t have to, but I think we’re about to see Foles drop a top 3 fantasy QB season (with appearances with the top 1-2 on lots of occasions).

Round Four
4.01 – Andre Ellington RB
4.02 – Alshon Jefferey WR
4.03 – Matthew Stafford QB
4.04 – Alfred Morris RB
4.05 – Michael Floyd WR
4.06 – Vincent Jackson WR
4.07 – Wes Welker WR
4.08 – Frank Gore RB
4.09 – Andrew Luck QB
4.10 – Kendall Wright WR
4.11 – Percy Harvin WR
4.12 – Shane Vereen RB

Smitty’s Take: Not a lot of surprises in terms of players falling into this round, but I will say that Andre Ellington is the only running back left that has top 5-10 fantasy running back upside. He has almost no risk as a 4th- to 5th-round pick, because he pulled in 39 receptions as a rookie, and 40-50 receptions feels like a given entering his first season as a starter. Ellington has HUGE, HUGE upside! I can’t wait to watch him breakout!

Just Missed The Cut

Now, a 4th-round argument can be made for any of the below players, especially Ben Tate (if handcuffed to Terrance West), Tom Brady, and Chris Johnson.

Larry Fitzgerald
Reggie Bush
Sammy Watkins
Ben Tate & Terrance West
Trent Richardson
Toby Gerhart
Chris Johnson
Rashad Jennings
Joique Bell
Cam Newton
Tom Brady
RG3
Ryan Mathews
Mike Evans
Vernon Davis
Ray Rice / Bernard Pierce
Jordan Cameron
Michael Crabtree
Eric Decker
Lamar Miller
Mike Wallace
Matt Ryan
Tony Romo
Hakeem Nicks
Julian Edelman

NEWS: Toby Gerhart averages 4.4 YPC; is the runner the real deal?

According to Mike Clay on Twitter, Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart has a career 4.4 YPC average, and has “a combine 5.6 YPC vs. Nickle/Dime/Quarter” packages.

SMITTY: Toby Gerhart is a player you either love, or doubt. There doesn’t seem to be much in between. I won’t go as far as to call him a bust candidate, because I think he has low-end RB2-type value, but I won’t be owning him much this upcoming season given that his ADP is in the high-end RB2-type range. In leagues where I did own the guy, I made some lateral trades into players I quietly value a bit higher, or I packaged Gerhart into a 2-for-1 and upgraded my quarterback into a Drew Brees or Nick Foles type passer. Sometimes selling high is just safe. If you do plan to roll with Gerhart in 2014, trust your gut, but be sure to back him up with Jordan Todman (and monitor rookie Storm Johnson). If you want to spit up the coffee you’re drinking as you read our news, check out our Nick Foles projections for 2014.

NEWS: Brandin Cooks to spend two weeks this Summer working out with Drew Brees?

According to Gil Brandt on Twitter, Saints WR Brandin Cooks is expected to “spend two weeks in SD working out” with Drew Brees.

SMITTY: Brandin Cooks has already been nicknamed “lightning” by cornerback Keenan Lewis. Cooks was our No. 2-ranked rookie receiver back in February, and Mike Evans barely passed him heading into the month of April, so we’ve been talking this receiver up since the start of the 2014 fantasy football off-season. You won’t find many sites higher on Cooks than we are. Drew Brees has already identified Cooks as the main replacement for Darren Sproles, so expect to see Cooks all over the field right out of the gate! He is an early favorite for Rookie of the Year, and for good reason. It wouldn’t be shocking if he pulled in 6-8TDs as a rookie. Checkout his 2014 Projections right here (based on your very own scoring).