Archive for 2516

NEWS: Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery disappoint in Week 10; Eddie Lacy, Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson Explode.

SMITTY: Aaron Rodgers was just unstoppable in this game, tossing for 315 yards and 6TDs in the Packers huge win over the Bears. Jordy Nelson pulled in six passes for 152 yards and 2TDs. Randall Cobb pulled in four passes for 72 yards and 1TD. Eddie Lacy once again was limited carry-wise (14-50/0TDs), but once again dominated in the receiving department (3-68/1TD). On the Bears side, Matt Forte was extremely disappointing, rushing 17 times for 54 yards and three catches for 27 yards, while Alshon Jeffery only pulled in six passes for 63 yards (but did have a team-high 12 targets). Brandon Marshall pulled in 8-112/1TD, but he left the game with an ankle injury and did not return. We will keep you posted on this as we hear more. Of all the Bears players, Matt Forte has the most ‘buy-low’ value, and given that Jeffery still saw a team-high 12 targets (and given Marshall is banged up), he too is a great buy-low. Need trade ideas? Get on our Fantasy Football Forums and get some help!

NEWS: Aaron Rodgers (hamstring) is fine; Eddie Lacy have success in Week 10?

SMITTY: We are not concerned about his hamstring. Aaron Rodgers will be ready to do his usual fantasy damage in Week 10. The real question for this game is, will Eddie Lacy get over 12-13 carries? He had over 100 receiving yards last week, so he is still scoring well, but fantasy owners can’t rely on that kind of receiving production weekly, so hopefully the Packers lock into the idea of giving him 15-18 carries per game moving forward. We will try to bring you more on this topic as the week rolls along, and be sure to sign-up for our Smart Alerts, as we blast out last-minute advice on such things prior to kickoff(s). Checkout where we have him ranked for Week 10 !

TV: STARTERS live on the Week 8 “Sam Acho Show” on AZCentral

Watch/listen to Fantasy Football Starters’ CEO (Jeff) talk Week 8 on the “Sam Acho Show” that is always live on AZCentral.com. Jeff attacks topic like Start/Bench as well as Buy-Low/Sell-High.

Watch STARTERS on the Week 8 Sam Acho Show!

NEWS: Eddie Lacy explodes in Week 5; He is back!

SMITTY: Eddie Lacy was one of our top buy-low players heading into Week 5, and his 105 rushing yards and 2TDs was a fantastic bounce-back effort. He looked phenomenal, too, it wasn’t like his yardage wasn’t tough-running. It was! Be sure to sign-up for our newsletters, as we often email out trade tips and ‘buy-low’ candidates heading into the coming week, like Lacy’s:

week5buylow

In all fairness, we have stuck by Cordarrelle Patterson as a strong buy-low candidate, yet he continues to disappoint. Given his value is climbing into low-end flex value, if not lower, he still remains a nice buy-low, but maybe stash him until Bridgewater returns (which could be next game). As for the rest of the Packers, Randall Cobb pulled in three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown during Thursday night’s win over the Vikings, and Jordy Nelson caught one pass for 66 yards and a touchdown. The only Viking to play even decent last night was Matt Asiata, who rushed 15 times for 72 yards against the Pack. Looking for Week 5 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: Jared Abbrederis suffers torn ACL; done for the season?

According to reports, Packers WR Jared Abbrederis suffered a torn ACL and will be done for the year.

SMITTY: Jared Abbrederis had quite the fan club on our forums, and he had some intriguing dynasty appeal; however, with Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin set to command all of the top targets in Green Bay in 2014, I’m not so sure Abbrederis would have made a big impact as a rookie anyway. He is young, hopefully he can rebound. As for Cobb and Nelson, both command 80-1,200+/8-12TD upside; Aaron Rodgers has all the tools he needs to reach 40TDs in 2014. For exact full-season projections on all these guys, based on your league’s exact scoring, Run our Draft Analyzer.

WR Jordy Nelson inks a four-year, $39 million contract extension with Packers.

According to reports, Packers WR Jordy Nelson signed a four-year, $39 million contract extension with the Green Bay Packers.

SMITTY: Jordy Nelson is usually underrated, and being 29 and cemented in Green Bay (with Aaron Rodgers locked up through 2019), it’s hard not to like Nelson as a top 25 overall dynasty player right now. Receivers can usually play at a high level through age 32/33, so 3-4 more elite years for Nelson is a long time, yes, even in dynasty. Now the Pack will look to extend Randall Cobb, who also has top 25 overall dynasty appeal. Two receivers capable of top 25 overall dynasty value? I think it’s pretty safe to assume where Aaron Rodgers ranks on our dynasty rankings.

Analyzing the July ADP: 2014 Value Grabs

smitty-staff

Ok, so it’s the middle of July, which means that 2014 fantasy football drafts are around the corner. Are you ready? Do you know know where players are falling on average in recent fantasy football mock drafts? Knowing a player’s ADP (average draft position) is a critical aspect of fantasy football drafting, as you always want to maximize draft value with every pick that you make. Now, what does that mean? Here are two examples:

Not Maximizing Draft Value

An example of this would be drafting Marshawn Lynch in the 1.08-1.09 range. Keep in mind, I am not calling the selecting of Lynch at 1.08-1.09 a bad pick, it’s just not a pick that is going to give you tons of unexpected value. In fact, Lynch has to have a top 5ish fantasy running back season for him to earn you back your investment. While you won’t be able to draft underrated players at every selection, especially in the first round, this is an example of picking a player where he deserves to be selected. There is both nothing wrong with this pick, nor is there anything spectacular about it. It’s just a good predictable pick.

Maximizing Draft Value

An example of this would be to draft Aaron Rodgers at 3.01. Given that Rodgers could arguably lead all fantasy football players in scoring in 2014, there is a ton of room for over-performing with a 3.01 selection. Again, you can’t find value above and beyond at every turn, but in rounds 2-5 (not so much in round 1), there are handfuls of players that fit the bill.

Ok, so now that I’ve explained “Maximizing Draft Value”, it’s time to call out some “value grabs” heading into early 2014 fantasy football drafts. The ADP data below was provided by our friends over at fantasy football calculator:

2014 Fantasy Football ADP (as of 7/16/14)

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Value Grabs

Round One

There never are a lot of over-performing players in the first-round, as you can only over-perform so much from a first-round draft slot. However, if trying to pin down a couple names, I’d say that both Montee Ball and Peyton Manning have the ability to lead their position in scoring, so given they both have ADPs near the tail-end of the first-round, there is some value if we have to muster some up in this first-round.

Rounds 2-3

2.01 – Arian Foster: Honestly, Foster falls a lot further than this in all the drafts I’ve participated in, but because he has top 5RB appeal, even a 2.01 slotting has some value written all over it. So, expect Foster to fall more in the 2.05-2.12 range in your upcoming draft, and that’s fantastic value. Yes, there are some injury concerns, but Foster only has 1,320 regular-season touches to his name, which is 635 less than Marshawn Lynch (1,955) has to his name, and 572 less than Matt Forte (1,892) has to his name.

2.02 – AJ Green: I’m not sure why a receiver that could potentially finish as the No. 1 overall receiver in 2014 sits at 2.02 — That’s quite a bargain, and this data has over 800 drafts averaged.

2.04 – Julio Jones: Everything just said about AJG above can be said here. Are there injury concerns? Sure, but Julio has as much upside and physical ability than any receiver in the league (if not more).

2.07 – Giovani Bernard: While it’s entirely possible the little guy finishes around this range overall come season’s end, he has a ceiling in the top 5-10RB range, so this is a screaming deal, especially in PPR.

2.08 – Aaron Rodgers: I think I already covered how awesome this value is (in paragraph one of this article); the dude can be the No. 1 overall scorer. I don’t care if QBs fall late, or if there is always good QB value later, anytime you can land a player at 2.08 that can lead all fantasy players in scoring, you’re looking at a monster-type steal.

3.06 – Andre Ellington: Some might even think that this ADP is too high for an unproven Arizona rusher, but the soon-to-be sophomore rusher pulled in 39 passes as a rookie! He is easily considered the starter in AZ heading into 2014, and it wouldn’t shock me at all if he drops top 5-10RB numbers. This is a home run pick right here, and if he remains healthy, it’s a pick that won’t likely leave you burned, as he can earn 3.06-type value even if he doesn’t meet my lofty expectations.

3.07 – CJ Spiller: He still has top 10RB appeal, so the risk is low in the middle-to-late third!

Round 4-5

4.07 – Cordarrelle Patterson: There is very little risk right here, as CP can drop low-end WR2-type numbers on a disappointing season. His ceiling is easily top 6-12 for WRs in 2014 and beyond.

5.08 – Michael Floyd: The stud receiver could very well takeover as Arizona’s top option by late this year, or at least early next year. On his journey to that talent level, he should drop super-high fantasy WR2-type numbers.

5.11 – Joique Bell: The runner turns 28 before Week 1, so he is no spring chicken…. just keep that in mind in dynasty, although he has low mileage. For all you yearly-league players out there, this runner could very well crank out high-end fantasy RB2-type stats this upcoming season, which would make him a steal in hindsight when talking about 5.11-type ADP. If healthy, he feels like a lock for 50-60 receptions… I envision him running for 1,000 yards and 6TDs this year, as well… even if he doesn’t, he still earns 5.11-type value in PPR. If he meets my expectations, well, then he crushes 5.11 value!

We could go on and on, as there are handfuls of later-round grabs that could explode from their current ADPs (like Nick Foles in the 6th-round), but this should have you covered through round 5. For more on this topic, or any other, get on the forums!

NEWS: Aaron Rodgers and Packers plan to execute 75 plays per game in 2014.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers plan to speed-up the offense in 2014. According to the report, “McCarthy and his quarterback have one primary goal in mind for 2014: Run 75 plays per game.”

SMITTY: This would be great news for fantasy owners of Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin. The Broncos led the NFL last year with 72 plays per game, while the Packers were just outside the top 10. Rodgers, if healthy, feels like a strong bet for 40TDs this upcoming year, and both Nelson and Cobb have double-digit touchdown potential… all this spells a big ’14 season for Eddie Lacy, who will have all kinds of wide-open rushing lanes all year long. For full-season projections for all these guys, launch our Draft Analyzer below:

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