We are excited to announce the launching of a new STARTERS feature here in February of 2015…. Player Spotlights!
What are Player Spotlights?
Well, they are individual 2015 fantasy football player write-ups, loaded with both dynasty and redraft spin. They are your On the Rise/Decline and Trade Advice write-ups… they are your Waiver Wire recommendations, or your Sleeper/Breakout features. They are short and sweet, loaded with just the right amount of fantasy football advice, statistics, and predictions. So get to it!
2/10/2015: He turns 29 in April, and runs harder than any running back in the league. That usually spells early decline for running backs in the NFL, but Lynch is a unique player, so one could be a year early dumping him off prior to the beginning of the 2015 fantasy football season. Then again, there is some talk that he could retire this off-season, and while not likely, and could soon be an afterthought, that makes one question the odds of him playing past 2015. Selling now is just smart for many reasons, but only if you get RB1-type value. Will every owner pay that value? No way. Will every single league have at least one owner that will pay that value? No, not every league, so understand that selling high isn’t a lock of an option for everyone/every league. However, I venture to say at least a couple owners in most dynasty leagues have a “now” mentality, at least one that overpowers the “future” side of their team building and trading. Test the trade waters… the 1.01, Odell Beckham, Jimmy Graham and some, all these come to mind for quick ideas.
2/10/2015: While there is a solid chance Calvin makes it through another season, or two, and doesn’t turn into an always-injured stud, but the guy feels like a…
Read More Spotlights
SMITTY: This news makes both Joique Bell and Theo Riddick sneaky-good flex plays this week. Riddick has all the PPR upside, whereas Bell could either have 50 yards rushing or 90 and a touchdown. It’s risky to count on either, but with Bush out, they are both worth considering in the right situation. See where we have both on our Week 12 Power Rankings.
SMITTY: This is great news for Calvin Johnson owners, as it sounds like the stud is near healed from that bad ankle injury. Get ready for a strong run of games by the top 3 fantasy WR. Now is the time to buy-low on Calvin and Matthew Stafford, and consider selling high on Golden Tate. Looking for Week 10 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: Theo Riddick has been a player we’ve liked a lot for a while now, and it’s nice to see him finally get a chance. It’s tough to say how good he can be splitting time with Reggie Bush, who both already share time with Joique Bell, but if Bush can’t stay healthy, watch out. Riddick is a top-five pick-up heading into Week 9 Add/Drops. Looking for Week 9 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: He is set as ‘questionable’ for Week 5 with the ankle, but a couple sources now expect Calvin to play. How effective will be be this week, though? Will he once again be a decoy? The bottom line is this… if he plays, you have to run him out onto the field. Even as a projected decoy in the past, he always found a way to pull in big numbers. Just stay close to both our news wire and our Smart Alerts, as things could change directions during warm-ups. Whether Calvin is out or not, and even more so if he is, Reggie Bush could explode, as the team is without Joique Bell this week, and they need someone catching passes. Golden Tate is also set for a huge game if Calvin sits, but he is an excellent start this week even if Calvin goes. For more on this game, view your Smart Alerts that we just sent out on this, as we talk a bit about Sammy Watkins and Eric Ebron heading into this week.
Looking for Week 5 Power Rankings?
According to reports, Lions RB Reggie Bush (knee) was limited during Wednesday’s practice; Bush was seen icing his knee on Wednesday.
SMITTY: Predicting injury is a tough business to be in, but there is a reason Joique Bell has been one of my biggest sleeper rushers heading into 2014… Bush has huge injury risk with those knees, and given how aggressively he cuts and runs, the odds of Bush getting hurt are better than the odds of him staying healthy, especially given that he played through last year with knee issues. Even in a sharing role, that Lions offense force-feeds Joique Bell solid touches, proof by his 51 yards rushing and 1TD last week. On top of that, the guy catches 50+ passes a season in that sharing role. If not given the majority of carries, Bell still has awesome flex-type value… but, if given a starter’s workload, this could be the runner that puts strong RB2s on many fantasy benches in the near future. I say all this now not so that you all can go buy-high… go buy-low if you can, his value, if healthy, can almost go nowhere but up. Take a look at our Joique Bell Week 1 Power Rankings?
According to ESPN, Lions WR Calvin Johnson “has looked impressive through the first two weeks of camp, making jaw-dropping plays essentially every day.”
SMITTY: Calvin Johnson is just insanely-talented, there is no other way to put it. I think Julio Jones is right there with him as far as pure physical ability, and of course Dez Bryant and AJ Green are almost right there with those two… receivers are dominating fantasy football consistency right now, and like last year, my favorite plan of attack for upcoming drafts is to go WR/WR and load up on Joique Bell-types at the running back position. I wouldn’t take the WR/WR approach in every league you do, but it’s a fantastic strategy if you know how to land your sleeper rushers. Back on the topic of Lions players, Matthew Stafford could be in for a big year given all his weapons, which includes newly-added Golden Tate, and still-solid Reggie Bush — That’s all on top of having a 100+ and 50+ reception players in both Calvin and Bell. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings on all these guys?
According to reports, the Lions claimed WR Jon Baldwin off waivers from the 49ers.
SMITTY: Jon Baldwin, just 25, has always had talent, but he has never put all the pieces together. If he can’t make it in this situation, he likely never will. Golden Tate also has nice upside, but it wouldn’t be crazy to see Baldwin become the second-best receiver on that Lions roster. Due to his inconsistency and ability to continue to disappoint, it also wouldn’t be shocking if he never passed Kevin Ogletree on the depth chart. Monitor this situation… one of Baldwin/Tate should benefit from all the defensive attention that will be constantly thrown at Calvin Johnson in 2014, who will still likely find a way to total 100 receptions, roughly 1,400 yards (or more) and 10+ touchdowns.
According to MLive.com, Lions RB Joique Bell, who missed OTAs and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, was cutting and accelerating with “ease” during Tuesday’s training camp practice.
SMITTY: Player is one of our biggest sleeper rushers heading into this upcoming fantasy season. Why? Well, for a long write-up on the matter, read this. In a nutshell, the guy is a 50-60 reception running back that will likely be asked to run the ball a whole lot more in 2014. Last year, he rushed for 650 yards, pulled in 53 passes for 547 yards, and scored 8TDs. I think all that looks about right for 2014, except he could have a grip more yardage. For exact projections on Bell (and Reggie Bush, who can still produce RB2-type numbers himself in ’14), check out our full-season 2014 Fantasy Football Projections.
According to mlive.com, Lions RB Joique Bell (knee) is full-go and is expected to be ready for minicamp. “I’m feeling 100 percent,” Bell said. “I’m feeling great.”
SMITTY: Joique Bell has breakout/sleeper written all over him. Sure, most knowledgeable fantasy owners know he has nice upside, but I think his ceiling is still quite a bit higher than his current ADP, which is 5.10 to 6.04. Now, Reggie Bush could run the ball 180-200 times, and 50+ receptions is almost a given for Bush (assuming he stays healthy), but the Lions have all kinds of room for both of these guys to produce given that they each pull in 50+ receptions. Bell could run the ball over 200 times and pull in even 55 passes in 2014; he might even punch in 8 scores. That’s high-end RB2 appeal, so 5.10-6.04 is a steal! Note: if Bush or Bell get hurt (and especially if both get hurt), get ready for the Theo Riddick show (grab him in deep leagues and make him a must-own if you have either Bush or Bell or both).