Archive for 4832

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?

NEWS: Jimmy Graham misses practice; expected to miss 2-3 weeks.

SMITTY: He is definitely considered ‘out’ for Week 7, and expect to miss at least another game, but we will certainly keep you updated should things change. For now, Ben Watson has some appeal if you are absolutely desperate at the position. 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: Justin Hunter explodes for 111 yards and 2TDs in second preseason contest; Jimmy Graham pulls in 2TDs.

In Friday night’s Week 2 preseason contest against the Saints, Titans WR Justin Hunter pulled in five balls for 111 yards and 2TDs. Despite 1INT, Zach Mettenberger looked fantastic throwing for 269 yards and 2TDs. Mark Ingram ran the ball five times for 19 yards and pulled in a 23-yard touchdown reception. Joe Morgan pulled in three balls for 108 yards, showing incredible speed on a 52-yard stretch play. Jimmy Graham scored twice and pulled in five balls for 48 yards.

SMITTY: Sleeper alert ladies and gentlemen! Justin Hunter has held some serious upside heading out of last season, which was his rookie year. He only pulled in 354 yards and 4TDs last season, but he had two super-impressive 100-yard, 1TD games in the second-half of the season, and the brilliance was showcased in those performances. I love the kid. My only concern has been what happens if Jake Locker gets hurt, but Zach Mettenberger actually looks efficient enough, and word is that he has been tossing the ball 75 yards with ease in practice. I love both Hunter and Kendall Wright — these are two very good young receivers. Jimmy Graham is just insane and easily worth that high-second round ADP he appears to be locked into. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings?

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: Jimmy Graham inks $40 million deal with Saints

According to Jimmy Graham on Twitter, the Saints and Jimmy Graham have agreed upon a contract extension. “It’s official I’m bleeding black and gold this morning! Thank you WhoDatNation for all the support,” Graham tweeted.

SMITTY: The deal reportedly makes Jimmy Graham the highest paid tight end in the league. The deal is said to be a four-year deal worth $40 million (with $21 million guaranteed). Graham had his best season as a pro in 2014, dropping 86 receptions for 1,215 yards and 16TDs. While it’s hard to imagine even Graham duplicating such a season, we wouldn’t bet against the “receiving” talent. Our Draft Analyzer has Graham dominating all other tight ends entering 2014, and it has him scoring like a top 8 wide receiver.

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: Jimmy Graham is ruled a tight end for franchise designation purposes.

According to Ian Rapoport on Twitter, Saints TE Jimmy Graham has been ruled a tight end for franchise designation purposes.

SMITTY: Jimmy Graham was used as a wide receiver well over 60% of the time in 2013, but will be paid just over $7 million on his one-year deal vs. what could have been over $12 million had he been ruled a wide receiver. Expect Graham to once again lead all tight ends in fantasy scoring – He remains a top 12 overall fantasy player walking into 2014 and beyond. Looking for 2014 fantasy football projections for Graham and others?

NEWS: Jordan Cameron impossible to cover this spring.

According to clevelandbrowns.com, Browns TE Jordan Cameron “was impossible to cover in the spring.”

SMITTY: Jordan Cameron has all kinds of top 5TE upside this season. In fact, he could flirt with the third overall tight end spot behind Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski (for right now, he could start Week 1). It’s hard to say if the absence of Josh Gordon (facing potential year-long suspension) will hurt Cameron (more defensive attention) or help him (more targets). Drop a comment below and provide your take. Also, see where we have Cameron ranked heading into 2014.