Archive for 3986

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: Calvin Johnson (ankle) needs a miracle to play in Week 7.

SMITTY: He is officially questionable, but he hasn’t practiced all week — no one should be counting on his services this week. Not being ruled out for this week is a good sign for Week 8. Then again, the Lions have a Week 9 bye, so you have to think the team will be tempted to wait just one more week, which then buys Calvin two weeks of rest. Matthew Stafford owners need Calvin back soon so that they can once again see elite passing numbers. Stay tuned. Looking for Week 7 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Injuries heading into Week 6; Branden Oliver on the rise, Montee Ball could be out a bit, Calvin Johnson suffered a setback in Week 5.

Donald Brown left Week 5 with a concussion. Branden Oliver dropped 182 total yards and 2TDs in Week 5, and he now becomes a must-own in all leagues and this week’s top waiver wire grab.

Montee Ball suffered a groin injury in Week 5 and is getting an MRI. He is looking very questionable for the next couple games. Ronnie Hillman is a must grab this week.

Calvin Johnson suffered a setback in Week 5; his week 6 status is in question.

Rashad Jennings left Week 5 with a knee injury and will undergo an MRI. Andre Williams is not likely available in any leagues, but do check. If Jennings is out, Williams could produce fantasy RB2 numbers if getting starter carries.

Jimmy Graham injured his shoulder in Week 5, but early word is that it isn’t serious. Stay tuned.

Reggie Bush left Week 5 with an ankle injury. It is not though to be serious, but stay tuned. Hopefully Joique Bell will be back in the next contest.

Drew Stanton suffered a concussion in Week 5; Carson Palmer could be back next week, so keep tabs on this one. Palmer back would be good for Floyd, Fitz and Ellington.

Zac Stacy exited Week 5 with a calf injury. He did not return to the game, so there is concern here. Benny Cunningham is a must-grab if for some reason he is available. It’s not likely, though, but check waivers.

NEWS: Calvin Johnson expected to play Week 5; will he be effective?

SMITTY: He is set as ‘questionable’ for Week 5 with the ankle, but a couple sources now expect Calvin to play. How effective will be be this week, though? Will he once again be a decoy? The bottom line is this… if he plays, you have to run him out onto the field. Even as a projected decoy in the past, he always found a way to pull in big numbers. Just stay close to both our news wire and our Smart Alerts, as things could change directions during warm-ups. Whether Calvin is out or not, and even more so if he is, Reggie Bush could explode, as the team is without Joique Bell this week, and they need someone catching passes. Golden Tate is also set for a huge game if Calvin sits, but he is an excellent start this week even if Calvin goes. For more on this game, view your Smart Alerts that we just sent out on this, as we talk a bit about Sammy Watkins and Eric Ebron heading into this week.

Looking for Week 5 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Week 5 Quick-Hitting Probable/Questionable/Out List

We have so many probable, questionable and out players to report on today, I tossed a majority of them into this one post. It looks like Reggie Bush is going to get a ton of work in Week 5, he is an excellent start this week. Good luck with all your decisions, folks, and be sure to get on our forums and get some last-minute line-up advice!

Probable Players for Week 5

A.J. Green (toe) was limited in practice on Friday, but is probable for Week 5.
Julio Jones (ankle) is probable for Week 5.
Dez Bryant (shoulder) is probable for Week 5.
Jamaal Charles (ankle) is probable for Week 5.
Andre Ellington (foot) is probable for Week 5.
Jordan Cameron (shoulder) is probable for Week 5.
Arian Foster (hamstring) is probable for Week 5.
Tony Romo (back) is probable for Week 5.
Golden Tate (hamstring) is probable for Week 5.
Ladarius Green (hamstring) is probable for Week 5.
Sammy Watkins (ribs) is probable for Week 5.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (foot) is listed as questionable for Week 5.
Ben Tate is probable for Week 5.

Questionable Players for Week 5

Andre Johnson (ankle) was held out of Friday’s practice and is questionable for Week 5.
Vernon Davis (back) is questionable for Week 5.

Out Players for Week 5

Joique Bell is out for Week 5.

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: Matthew Stafford tosses 2TDs without Calvin Johnson; Tate catches 1TD.

Lions Matthew Stafford completed 9-of-10 passes for 88 yards and 2TDs in his Week 2 preseason outing against the Raiders; Golden Tate pulled in three receptions for 41 yards and 1TD in the game.

SMITTY: Matthew Stafford has top 5 fantasy QB upside heading into this upcoming season, and it was nice to see him look smooth as Calvin Johnson sat this one out. Golden Tate maintains his sneaky WR3-type appeal heading into mid-August, as his ADP sits around 8.01-8.12. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Calvin Johnson making jaw-dropping plays every day in camp?

According to ESPN, Lions WR Calvin Johnson “has looked impressive through the first two weeks of camp, making jaw-dropping plays essentially every day.”

SMITTY: Calvin Johnson is just insanely-talented, there is no other way to put it. I think Julio Jones is right there with him as far as pure physical ability, and of course Dez Bryant and AJ Green are almost right there with those two… receivers are dominating fantasy football consistency right now, and like last year, my favorite plan of attack for upcoming drafts is to go WR/WR and load up on Joique Bell-types at the running back position. I wouldn’t take the WR/WR approach in every league you do, but it’s a fantastic strategy if you know how to land your sleeper rushers. Back on the topic of Lions players, Matthew Stafford could be in for a big year given all his weapons, which includes newly-added Golden Tate, and still-solid Reggie Bush — That’s all on top of having a 100+ and 50+ reception players in both Calvin and Bell. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings on all these guys?

NEWS: Jon Baldwin claimed off waivers by the Lions.

According to reports, the Lions claimed WR Jon Baldwin off waivers from the 49ers.

SMITTY: Jon Baldwin, just 25, has always had talent, but he has never put all the pieces together. If he can’t make it in this situation, he likely never will. Golden Tate also has nice upside, but it wouldn’t be crazy to see Baldwin become the second-best receiver on that Lions roster. Due to his inconsistency and ability to continue to disappoint, it also wouldn’t be shocking if he never passed Kevin Ogletree on the depth chart. Monitor this situation… one of Baldwin/Tate should benefit from all the defensive attention that will be constantly thrown at Calvin Johnson in 2014, who will still likely find a way to total 100 receptions, roughly 1,400 yards (or more) and 10+ touchdowns.

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