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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.

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

NEWS: Aaron Rodgers having his best spring yet.

According to jsonline, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is having his best spring. “I think Aaron’s had probably his best spring, if I’m going to sit back and try to rank them,” McCarthy said.

SMITTY: If he remains healthy, Aaron Rodgers should have no problem reaching the 4,200-4,400 yards and 38-44TDs this upcoming season. He has a higher ceiling, but those numbers are very attainable for the stud passer. Both Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson should be set to pull in 80+ passes in 2014, and both should dance with double-digit touchdowns. Some feel Cobb could reach 100 receptions this year, which is something I can envision happening should he play 16 games. Eddie Lacy is in for a big season… he could have 340+ total touches, with 40 or so being receptions. If Rodgers stays healthy, the Packers are going to be a fun team to watch in 2014. Want exact projections for all these players (based on your scoring)? Run this:
draft analyzer

NEWS: Randall Cobb to lead the league in receptions in 2014?

According to Packers.com’s Vic Ketchman, Packers WR Randall Cobb “could lead the league in receptions this season.”

SMITTY: While it’s certainly possible that Randall Cobb could lead the league in receptions, keep in mind this is one man’s perspective. Cobb’s best year was in 2012, where he pulled in 80 receptions, and then missed 10 games last year. I think the safe prediction is between 80-90, which is still a breakout campaign for Cobb, a receiver I love this upcoming season… he is also very capable of double-digit scores. That entire offense, from Jordy Nelson (strong bet for 80-85 receptions) to Eddie Lacy (a strong bet for double-digit scores), should explode in 2014… Aaron Rodgers, if healthy, almost feels like a lock to toss 40+ touchdowns. For exact projections on all these players (and based on your exact scoring system), launch our Draft Analyzer:
draft analyzer

NEWS: Eddie Lacy much more comfortable in offense: Aaron Rodgers to play smarter?

According to jsonline.com, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has acknowledged that he has “gotten smarter and takes less chances as a scrambler”, although, he will “always” want to use his legs. The report also speaks to how Eddie Lacy will enter 2014 “much more comfortable” with both his offense and the speed of the NFL game.

SMITTY: Both Rodgers and Lacy are in for big seasons, assuming both stay healthy. Scrambling is good, especially when it leads a fantasy quarterback to average about 3.5TDs/270 rushing yards per season; however, Rodgers, easily a top 1-3 fantawsy QB this upcoming year, does need to eliminate some risk. As for Lacy, I still have my concerns about his longevity in the league, but he can easily be considered a top 5-10 rusher for 2014 and 2015 — This offense is loaded with players that can rank near the top of their positions, as both Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson could be in for 1,000/8-10TD type seasons. Check out where we have all of these players ranked entering 2014.

2014 Projections & Analyzers Are Ready!

We here at Fantasy Football Starters are excited to announce that our 2014 NFL Fantasy Football Projections are ready, which means that our fantasy football Analyzers are ready as well! Our famously-accurate Draft Analyzer, Lineup Analyzer, Trade Analyzer and Team Analyzer are already loaded with well over 400 NFL Player Projections.

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