Archive for 5893

NEWS: Trent Richardson needs to answer the bell?

According to ESPN, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson had this to say on RB Trent Richardson: “Trent, he needs to answer the bell and do his job to the best of his ability. We’re all accountable here. I will say this, there are a lot of backs last year that wouldn’t have got [2.4] considering the amount of people he had in that box and the amount of bodies that were hitting him before he even seemed to get the ball sometimes. He’s such a hard runner, we know how tough he is, but he’s got to produce just like all these guys do on this final 53.”

SMITTY: Honestly, there is a lot of truth to the fact that many backs would have done poorly given Trent Richardson’s situation (new environment, lots of stacked boxes, watching his backup come in and see different defensive fronts). That said, Richardson might be battling a head game at this point, and if that remains the case heading into Weeks 1 and 2, he could be in trouble. If he can shake last year’s disappointments, and this year’s fear of repeating all that, I have faith he can run hard and run well. It’s honestly 50/50 that T-Rich shakes this head game – It will be good to analyze him once or twice more prior to Week 1. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Trent Richardson will get a shot at being the team’s bell cow.

According to Mike Wells on Twitter, Colts coach Chuck Pagano would “like to have a ‘bell cow’ when it comes to the running back position but he’s not against having RB by committee.”

SMITTY: With a 5.05 ADP, Trent Richardson has all kinds of upside heading into August drafts. Sure, he failed everyone last year, but he only has Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard to fend off. There is risk, as it was almost head-scratching how T-Rich couldn’t get it going at any point last season, but if you examine his runs, you can find some tough running in the footage, mixed in with a lot of bad situations where he’d immediately get hit at the line of scrimmage. I think Richardson has more reward-type upside than risk at anything close to his 5th-round ADP, so I’m buying in 2014! See where Richardson ranks on our Week 1 Power Rankings!

NEWS: Trent Richardson expected to have a great season?

According to usatoday.com, Colts coach Chuck Pagano predicts that Trent Richardson will have a “great” season in 2014.

SMITTY: This is a tough one, honestly, it is. I was sold on Trent Richardson last year, and he just didn’t deliver. In his defense, changing teams during a season is never easy, and I watched tape on the runner and he had some strong runs if you dig deep enough. The talent is there, but it’s almost as if his struggles last year were mental and confidence-related. That’s the only part that has me hesitating on his 5th-round ADP. Now, that’s not a bad risk/reward in the 5th-round, as I truly believe T-Rich has the talent, I am just not sure if he has shaken whatever made him ineffective for most all of last season. Here is what you have to ask yourself if on the clock and looking at Richardson’s name tag… are the other available players still a better grab? Players often available at Richardson’s ADP are: Ben Tate, Chris Johnson, Michael Floyd, Jordan Cameron and Joique Bell… All the runners listed have similar risk levels and similar upsides, but I’d have to say a handcuffed Ben Tate seems like the better 5th-round buy heading into August!

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!

Article: Top 25 Fantasy Football Players (‘Hardcore’ Dynasty Angle)

Below are my Top 25 Fantasy Football Dynasty Players heading into 2014 and beyond; however, these rankings won’t necessarily match any kind of site rankings that we have up, as these rankings below look toward the long-term in hardcore fashion! So, keep this in mind, as you’d typically see a Marshawn Lynch and Matt Forte ranking in the top 6-12 overall in both yearly-league and conservative-like dynasty rankings. This set of rankings is not either of those; with the below, we’re looking more toward 2015-2017! For example, while Lynch has top 5-10RB upside heading into just 2014, you’d be hard pressed to trade him away for even a mid second-round talent in an existing ‘future-geared’ dynasty league. Dynasty and redraft are truly that different, especially leagues that are more “future” focused. With all that said, let’s get to it!

Top 25 Fantasy Football Dynasty Players

1. LeSean McCoy RB PHI
Just like last year, the handcuff is critical, as concusions are still a worry. The upside is far too great to ignore if you can in fact handcuff (Sproles for 2014… maybe even Chris Polk – the future handcuff is probably a future rookie).
2. Jamaal Charles RB KC
He had 1,980 regular-season yards and 12TDs last year, but he only received 259 carries. This means being overworked isn’t a concern. Like McCoy, at least 2 more elite seasons could be on the horizon, maybe more.
3. Julio Jones WR ATL
No receiver has more upside than Jones; his only downside is the foot/injury-risk. That’s literally the only downside!
4. AJ Green WR CIN
Since his sophomore season, he averages 97.5 receptions, 1,388 yards and 11TDs per campaign. He will only get better and is the definition of consistency.
5. Calvin Johnson WR DET
While he might have slipped past Jones and Green in this article, 2-3 more years of top 1-4WR numbers makes you almost a steal at No. 5.
6. Dez Bryant WR DAL
Being 25 and entering a contract year, we should see Dez drop one of his best seasons ever as a pro. This will have him ranking high heading into 2015 and beyond. Hopefully he stays healthy during this contract year!
7. Demaryius Thomas WR DEN
Because it’s unclear how long Peyton Manning has left in the NFL, Thomas just can’t be ranked above the receivers upward, at least in my eyes. His “default” drop in value due to this issue, well, that makes him a bargain here, which is good news for those liking this value here at the seven spot.
8. Montee Ball RB DEN
Even if Manning isn’t under center for a grip of years longer, I maintain my stance that Ball is both elite and in a great situation. Many just share the view about his situation being ideal. Top 5RB numbers is in the cards in 2014, and I think he can dance in that top 5-10 range for a handful more seasons – at least. He is that special, a stance I’ve maintained since he was an incoming rookie.
9. Adrian Peterson RB MIN
At some point we have to drop Peterson down a few notches, right? Ok, maybe some really believe he is Superman. He might be for a few more years, but since these rankings are aggressively pointing toward the future more so than 2014, I think this is a fair spot. Even with an aggressive look to the future vs. the now, I still consider 2-3 years a long time in dynasty. It is entirely possible Peterson plays like a top 2-4RB in 2014, and then remains top 5-10 worth for 1-2 more seasons. If anyone can do this, it’s AP.
10. Eddie Lacy RB GB
I don’t hide that I was super critical of Lacy heading into his rookie season, and I still worry about his longevity. However, if I’m being fair, even with some injury concerns relating to his foot (yes, some will call them unfair concerns, I get that), 2-3 years is a long time, and I think he can last that long. This means, in that GB offense, he holds top 8-12 overall dynasty value. I admit that I was wrong about Lacy – He looks beast-like for that short 2-3 years, no question. Handcuffing him is wise, though.
11. Jimmy Graham WR NO
He is only 27, so 3-4 more seasons of 80 receptions, 1,000+ yards and 10+ touchdowns seems more than reasonable, which makes ranking him 11-14 reasonable as well. I am not big on drafting TEs this high, so my ranking here might not match where I’d take the guy, but that doesn’t make the strategy the only one. There are all kinds of ways to draft, and going TE early is a strategy many love.
12. Giovani Bernard RB CIN
Some worry about the presence of Jeremy Hill, but Gio is a big-time receiver, so denting his upside and future value is almost impossible when you’re talking about a pure runner like Hill. Gio had 1,209 total yards, 56 receptions and 8TDs during his rookie campaign, one where he didn’t get starters carries. Any questions?
13. Alshon Jeffery WR CHI
One could rank Brandon Marshall here, or Jeffery. Honestly, I could go either way with a 2014- and 2015-only outlook. But, since I’m looking a bit more toward the future with these ranks, Jeffery gets the nod here.
14. Aaron Rodgers QB GB
While many would wait on a passer, and draft-wise I would as well, there are roughly three quarterbacks that have 40TD upside for the now and future. Again, I would probably draft guys like A-Rod, Nick Foles and Andrew Luck a round later, but as I said, rankings don’t always parallel ADPs, thus, all three QBs will be steals in all start-up drafts!
15. Brandon Marshall WR CHI
He just turned 30, so if looking “hardcore” toward the future, Marshall has to fall below a few younger studs like the players up above. But, this feels about as far as I can let him drop given his upside for the next couple seasons.
16. Nick Foles QB PHI
You either believe in Foles or you don’t. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground on this issue. I think a 40TD passer is in the making, especially in PHI under Chip Kelly. Get on board!
17. Andrew Luck QB IND
Top 3QB numbers are surely approaching. He could dance in that 3-5 zone for 2014, then be everyone’s favorite QB to believe in come 2015, or he could thrive in elite fashion right out of the gate this upcoming season. Either way, his future is bright. Like I said above under Rodgers’ write-up, ranking him this high does not mean I’d draft him this high. Use ADPs!
18. Josh Gordon WR CLE
On one hand, how do you toss aside the potential that this guy has? On the other hand, you have to calculate in some future risk into his rank. This even feels a bit high, but surely he is capable of such a ranking. Comment on this ranking below, there are not wrong or right ways to rank Gordon right now.
19. Keenan Allen WR SD
Some doubt him, some call him too small.. I see a tremendous athlete that will easily be his team’s top-targeted receiver for handfuls of years. He had 71 receptions for 1,046 yards and 8TDs as a rookie. I’m not sure why many still doubt Allen. He is a fantasy WR1, and a bargain one at that.
20. Sammy Watkins WR BUF
This feels like a safe place to rank Watkins, but he certainly has upside to be better than this. No question!
21. Bishop Sankey RB TEN
Like with Watkins, this seems like a very safe place to slot Sankey, who isn’t quite as special as let’s say a Tre Mason, but he is still plenty good enough to be a top 5-10 fantasy RB if given the workload. Don’t get me wrong, he is very talented, and some players get so much better once they enter the pros and learn the game – I love his ability mixed with his situation, and his ability can surely grow into elite. This feels very safe with lots of room for upside!
22. Matt Forte RB CHI
A decline in production could strike as early as 2014; the upside Forte has makes it tough to push him down any further than this, though. Remember, in more casual dynasty rankings, he would rank higher; these are a bit more ‘future’ aggressive, though!
23. Doug Martin RB TB
The presence of Charles Sims is a concern, sure, but that’s why D-Martin is a 23rd overall-type pick and not a top 5RB. He has value and upside of a top 5-10RB, and the risk is literally built into his current valuation (in any format).
24. Randall Cobb WR GB
A top 5-7 fantasy WR that many will just overlook as such. He has injury risk, so he makes a better early third-round pick vs a late second-round pick – know that and use ADPs!
25. Andre Ellington & LeVeon Bell & DeMarco Murray
I made this a three-way tie at No. 25 because it was just too hard to leave some names out of this top 25… Is Ellington cracking the top 25 Bold? Sure. Could he be worth very little 2-3 years from now? Absolutely. He could also be a top 5-10RB staple. It’s a tough business predicting breakouts when coaches don’t make the right decisions. Even when players like Ellington feel 100% “Can’t Miss” to me, part of the prediction/analysis is on the coaching staff’s ability to recognize what fantasy worlds are recognizing. It’s amazing how some players never reach their potential under some leaderships. Arizona has a history of underutilizing their running backs, but at what point do you accept that Bruce Arians had nothing to do with any of that trending? I’m cautious, as I would NEVER draft Ellington this high (no. 25 overall); but, I feel his ceiling is much higher than this, so ranking him here with the intention of drafting him a bit later, well, that feels solid at this point in the off-season. Remember, even if he is not given the rushes we all would like to see him get, Ellington pulled in 39 receptions as a rookie, so he could be well on his way to 45-50 receptions in 2014, and more from then on out!
Missed The Cut

Missed The Cut

Of course guys like Drew Brees, Zac Stacy, Marshawn Lynch, CJ Spiller, Trent Richardson, Cordarrelle Patterson, Mike Evans, and even Arian Foster deserve consideration for placement up in that top 18-25. So, if you’re thinking, “how did Le’Veon Bell not crack that top 25? Or, if you’re thinking the same thing about DeMarco Murray, it’s close enough that I could easily swap either, or both, out and place them into that 22-25 range. It’s just that close, and a call had to be made. And, Marshawn Lynch not being in the top 25 feels crazy, I know, but again, he would have been if this was more of a “now” and “future” dynasty analysis vs. a more hardcore look at the future… so, given that the guy has 1,955 total regular-season touches, it screams ‘breakdown’ on the horizon. How quickly will he fall apart? That’s tough to say, and we could be a year early predicting a decline, no question. But, isn’t being safe better than being a year late?

Two players that intrigue me a lot despite one being super young (and not in a position to start yet) and one being a bit older age-wise (but set to thrive in his role): Christine Michael and Joique Bell. Both of these rushers have crazy-sneaky Top 25 Overall Dynasty Appeal, even for the deep future.

2014 Projections & Analyzers Are Ready!

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NEWS: Toby Gerhart to be used on all three downs?

The Florida Times-Union is reporting that the Jaguars like Toby Gerhart’s “ability to gain yards after contact and thrive on third down.”

SMITTY: Look, there are several reasons to like Toby Gerhart right now, but there are even more reasons to sell-high in dynasty formats. Don’t sell-low, I’m not predicting that Gerhart will for sure be a bust, but given that fantasy worlds seem to be settling into the idea that this guy holds steady RB2-type value, I say package Gerhart in a more complex deal and upgrade another runner into stud territory (or make a lateral move into a safer-type player, one that you’d be just fine with should Gerhart even go on to prove to be the real deal). And, as far as redraft leagues go, I’m not sure about you guys, but now that Gerhart is pulling in ADP data around names like Andre Johnson, Trent Richardson, Chris Johnson, and even Cordarrelle Patterson, I’m staying clear of the Jaguars’ rusher (at those prices at least)… I even love me some Joique Bell over Gerhart heading into yearly-league drafts! If you roll with Gerhart in any format, though, Jordan Todman is a must-own handcuff! Our Draft Analyzer, which will certainly help you maneuver through such dilemmas, will be 2014-ready soon!

Source: Florida Times-Union