Archive for 4865

NEWS: Victor Cruz could catch 100 passes in 2014?

According to nj.com, Giants WR Victor Cruz is “playing the role of Green Bay’s Randall Cobb and being moved all over the field, 100 receptions is a possibility.”

SMITTY: Eli Manning, who threw 27 interceptions last season, was the problem in 2013, the problem wasn’t Victor Cruz. Cruz went from pulling in 86/1092/10TDs in 2012 to producting 73/998/4TDs in 2013; I think Cruz can easily replicate his 2012 stats if Manning gets back to playing just ‘decent’ football. Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle will play well enough in 2014 to provide Cruz with some space to play that Randall Cobb-type role, which equals tons of receptions! Checkout where Victor Cruz ranks on our Week 1 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Cordarrelle Patterson says he will be a top-five playmaker in 2014.

According to NFL.com, Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson believes he is in for a breakout season in 2014. “I’m going to be a top-five playmaker,” Patterson said. “I’m a playmaker, I like to make plays. Like I tell them, just get the ball in my hands I feel like I’m special with it. I just like to do special things with the ball.”

SMITTY: Cordarrelle Patterson is on most everyone’s breakout radar, however, the guy can still smash his currently-rising ADP, which has now climbed into the 4.12-5.03 range. His ADP has climbed quite a bit over the last two months, there is no denying it, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t nicely outplay it even at 4.12-5.03 value, as that’s where players like Roddy White, Chris Johnson, Trent Richardson and DeSean Jackson are being taken. A couple players below the 4.12 spot are players I like as much as Patterson, like Michael Floyd and Joique Bell, but Patterson has as much value, or more, as some players in the 3rd-round, like Reggie Bush, Vincent Jackson, Victor Cruz, and Ryan Mathews. I love VJax and Cruz this year, so I’m not predicting bust for those guys, I just feel that Patterson also belongs in that late 3rd-round range with those big names, which is fantastic news for those able to snag him in the late 4th- or early 5th-rounds. Want to know where we have all these players ranked based on your exact league scoring? Get your hands on our fantasy football cheat sheets 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: Victor Cruz continues to want to improve.

According to ESPN, Giants WR Victor Cruz “continued his quest for self-improvement, even after signing a big contract.” The article also talks about how after signing his big extension last year, Cruz reported to training camp and told his coaching staff that he “wanted to work to improve his blocking.”

SMITTY: Victor Cruz has all kinds of bounce-back upside this coming season, to the tune of a potential low-end fantasy WR1. Now, don’t even think about drafting him that high, or trading for him at that value… use ADP data to your advantage, data that indicates Cruz’s average draft slot is right around the middle of the 4th-round, which could be steal-type material at season’s end. While Cruz only pulled in 4TDs and 998 receiving yards last year, that’s on Eli Manning, who threw 27 INTs in 2013. Sure, there is a chance Manning struggles again in 2014, but my guess is we will see much improvement in Eli’s stat lines, which gets Cruz back into his 80/1000+/9-10TD stat lines. Improvement in the passing game is good news for both up-and-coming receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Ruben Randle. For full projections on all these guys, especially Victor Cruz, check out our Draft Analyzer projections for fantasy football 2014!

NEWS: Rueben Randle more focused receiver in 2014.

According to ESPN, Giants WR Rueben Randle is more focused heading into 2014.

SMITTY: Ruben Randall is entering his third NFL season, which is typically a breakout year for receivers. While I feel Randle does have sleeper appeal, there are a lot of mouths to feed in New York this year. Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. are likely the team’s top two receivers heading into 2014, or at least we expect Beckham Jr. to be locked into the that WR2 spot soon enough. And, with Eli Manning being the definition of inconsistency (18TDs and 27INTs last season), it’s tough to know what to expect out of the Giants’ third receiving option. Last year, Randle pulled in 41 receptions for 611 yards and 6TDs. Check out his 2014 projections right here.

2014 Projections & Analyzers Are Ready!

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