Archive for 5071

NEWS: Tony Romo has two fractured transverse processes and remains questionable for Week 9.

SMITTY: Despite the “two fractured transverse processes”, Tony Romo still has a shot to start Week 9 against the Cardinals. Still, most sources are predicting that he sits, so really it’s just a “shot” at this point. If Romo sits, something you will want to monitor our News Wire and Smart Alerts for, expect a bump down stat-wise for both Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams, and while DeMarco Murray’s workload will surely increase, his yards-per-rush certainly won’t, especially against that Cardinals’ rushing defense. Don’t get us wrong, Murray is always a must-start, as all it takes is one TD run by him to have a great day, but a more balanced attack (led by Romo) is just better for the rushing attack. Brandon Weeden will start against the Cards if Romo can’t go. Stay tuned. Looking for Week 9 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Tony Romo (back) will participate in practice Saturday.

SMITTY: He is still the definition of a game-time decision, so stay glued to our news wire and Smart Alerts heading into kickoff. Romo playing affects all Cowboy players from a fantasy perspective. Looking for Week 9 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Tony Romo questionable for Week 9 with back; RG3 on waivers in your league?

SMITTY: Tony Romo (back) is listed as questionable for Week 9 against AZ. After three missed practices, he is sounding more questionable to doubtful, but expect a game-time decision here. If he sits, downgrade Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams a bit, and while this could go either way with the rushing game, our take is AZ will just focus more on shutting down the run, and they already are one of the toughest teams to run against. A more balanced offense, so Romo playing, is better for Murray owners, but then again, all it takes is one monster TD run by Murray, so anything can happen. Stay tuned on Romo via our Smart Alerts, which we will send out Sunday morning. For now, though, Romo owners better start preparing to use someone else, like maybe a Robert Griffin III who might just be on your waiver wire? Looking for Week 9 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Tony Romo (back) is at best questionable for Week 9 against AZ?

SMITTY: According to Ian Fitzsimmons, of ESPN Radio, Tony Romo (back injury) is “questionable” at best for Week 9 against the Cardinals. This situation got a lot worse as yesterday moved along. Initially reported not to be the same back issue that ended Romo’s 2013 season, the injury is clearly something to be worried about if you own the passer in fantasy leagues. We will keep you posted via this news wire and via our Smart Alerts, so keep checking back with us. Without Romo in Week 9, Dez Bryant would get a bump down stat-wise, and even though one would think it could mean more running for DeMarco Murray, really, a balanced offense is the best thing for ground success against a mean Arizona rushing defense — Murray owners want Romo under center! Looking for Week 9 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Week 8 Monday Night Inactives: Robert Griffin III, Aldrich Robinson

SMITTY: It’s sounding more and more likely that Robert Griffin III will try and return in Week 9, but much of that will depend upon how well Colt McCoy performs in this one. Expect to see a whole lot of Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray in this one. Terrance Williams is also a very strong fantasy WR3-play in this one. As for those Washington players, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are strong WR3 plays this week, and Jordan Reed remains a low-end TE1 for as long as he is on the field. Looking for Week 8 Power Rankings?

NEWS: DeMarco Murray drops 149 rushing yards and 2TDs in Week 4; Murray a top 1-3 overall player moving forward.

SMITTY: What a beast. Not many saw this big of a season coming, aside from a select group on our forums. The guys i on pace for over 2,136 rushing yards and 20TDs. Will he continue on this monstrous pace? While I wouldn’t rule it out, I wouldn’t count on 133.5 rushing yards and 1.25TDs per-game. No matter what you expect, or no matter what you accept as a ‘pattern’ at this point, Murray is a top 1-3RB lock moving forward. Looking for Week 4 Power Rankings?

ARTICLE: Who could disappoint, who could surprise in Week 1?

smitty staff

Our friends over at FantasyPros asked us to participate in a two-question expert panel where the following (below) questions were asked. My answers are also below; keep in mind that the topics were to call out ‘surprise’ players on the good and bad side, so don’t go sitting DeMarco Murray for a mediocre option or anything, it’s just at tough matchup, and disappointment isn’t hard to imagine for this Week 1 contest:

Q1: Give us the player you think will be the top positive surprise this week (someone who will be a good sneaky start for owners).

BEN TATE (RB, at PIT) – “This isn’t the easiest matchup known to man, but it certainly won’t hold Tate back from getting good usage. Could Cleveland struggle to score? Could Pittsburgh get up big and force the Browns to pass, pass, pass? Sure, but that’s why this is a “surprise” pick, and I think Tate deserves such confidence given he has 100/1TD upside each game that he starts.”

Q2: On the flip side, name the player you believe will be week 1′s biggest disappointment.

DEMARCO MURRAY (RB, at SF) – He faces the 49ers, and I think it’s tough to expect big numbers out of him this week. Always start your studs, don’t sit him for a mediocre option or anything, as he could still find his way into a scoring situation somehow, but Week 1 could be rough on Murray owners.”

Read the entire article here.

NEWS: Lance Dunbar still impressing?

According to dallasnews.com, Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar “continues to be impressive.”

SMITTY: DeMarco Murray has top 15 overall upside heading into 2014, no question, but there are some injury concerns with the dynamic talent. The solution if you plan on investing in Murray in 2014 (or if you own him in dynasty)? Handcuff him to Lance Dunbar. Some will argue that the true back-up is Joseph Randle, who is likely ahead of Ryan Williams, but I love Dunbar’s skill set, and I think he shines if ever forced to carry more weight for the Cowboys in ’14. First off, he is already cemented into that Cowboys’ passing attack, so he has big PPR appeal. If Murray went down, Dunbar would shine if given the shot.

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: Lance Dunbar a big-time sleeper in 2014?

According to FoxSports, Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar could be used all over the field in 2014. Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown had this to say on the runner: “Well, he’s a guy that’s going to be a complete weapon. We can line him up anywhere on the team-tailback spot, at the wide receiver spot, in the slot. He has tremendous hands and he’s just not a specialty guy. He could play tailback if you need him to go out there and give you 15 or 20 carries.”

SMITTY: I’ve been pumping this guy up since last year, but he was hit with a knee injury last season. He is small, standing at 5-8, 188 pounds, but he is super dynamic, can pull in passes extremely well, and in that Cowboys offense, I think he’d perform like a champ if his number was called. He won’t unseat DeMarco Murray (who should have a big season himself), but if Murray ever got hurt, I think Dunbar would thrive. Dunbar is a must-own for all Murray owners and he is crafty solo-own for those looking to stash a super sleeper this upcoming season (I just scooped him up in the 4th-round of my expert league vet/rookie draft). I’ll leave you with this… Scott Linehan was brought over from Detroit and he is now the Cowboys’ passing game coordinator. He was able to get 1,197 total yards, 53 receptions and 8TDs out of Joique Bell last year, this while still getting 1,006 rushing yards, 7 total TDs, 54 receptions and 506 receiving yards out of Reggie Bush — Don’t be surprised if Dunbar becomes flex-worthy even playing behind a healthy Murray. Want 2014 Projections?
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