Archive for Matt Forte

NEWS: Matt Forte shutdown in Week 2; a good buy-low candidate?

Matt Forte ran the ball just 12 times for 24 yards against the 49ers in Week 2; he added five catches for just 15 yards.

SMITTY: This was a touch match-up, and it makes Forte a strong buy-low candidate in redraft leagues. Test the trade waters and run your offers by our forum folks! Brandon Marshall (5/48/3TDs) was an absolute beast in this one, and his value is so high right now, entertain offers for sure, but only considering if you can improve your team in at least two areas (only sell super-high). For those worried about Alshon Jeffery, don’t panic and sell-low, he will see better coverages after Marshall’s hot start!

NEWS: Eddie Lacy could lead the league in rushing in 2014?

According to jsonline.com, Packers running back coach Sam Gash believes that RB Eddie Lacy is capable of leading the league in rushing this season. “Without a doubt,” Sam Gash, the team’s running backs coach, said Monday. “He has the capability of being the leading rusher and maybe even combined yards if he catches a lot of balls. I absolutely do think that. I think he’s a bell cow. He’s a big guy, and he’s physical.”

SMITTY: Gash isn’t alone, which is why Eddie Lacy’s ADP has climbed into the 1.04 range in many redraft drafts. He and Matt Forte are dominating the ADP data for being the 4th-ranked rusher heading into 2014. Looking for Eddie Lacy Week 1 Power Rankings?

RADIO: Listen Russ Bliss and Smitty Talk Zac Stacy, Andre Ellington, Montee Ball and more.

Take a listen to Russ Bliss’ third radio show of the 2014 fantasy football season! Russ has been doing fantasy radio for over 20 years with his famous “The Red Zone” program, which airs on NBCSports Radio (1060am). Smitty is slotted to join Russ almost every Tuesday night, and below is the third show of the year. Take a listen!

The Red Zone With Russ Bliss

Date: 8/26/14

Guest: Smitty,

Topics: Tim Wright, Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill, Zac Stacy, Andre Ellington, Montee Ball, Tony Romo, Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde, Demaryius Thomas, AJ Green, Calvin Johnson, Eddie Lacy, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Giovani Bernard, Marshawn Lynch, Dez Bryant, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and more

Listen Now!

RADIO: Listen to Russ Bliss and Smitty talk sleepers on 1060am (8-19-14)

Take a listen to Russ Bliss’ first radio show of the 2014 fantasy football season! Russ has been doing fantasy radio for over 20 years with his famous “The Red Zone” program, which airs on NBCSports Radio (1060am). Smitty is slotted to join Russ almost every Tuesday night, and below is the first show of the year. Take a listen!

The Red Zone With Russ Bliss

Date: 8/19/14

Guest: Smitty, Gary Davenport

Topics: Sleepers, Draft Strategies

Listen Now!

NEWS: Brandon Marshall scores in Week 2 of the preseason; Carey looking reliable as CHI backup.

Bears QB Jay Culter completed 7-of-9 passes for 75 yards and 1TD in his team’s Week 2 preseason contest against the Jaguars. Allen Jeffery pulled in two passes for 24 yards, and Brandon Marshall pulled in a 4-yard touchdown. Ka’Deem Carey ran the ball 13 times for 36 yards and 1TD. Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart ran the ball six times for 19 yards.

SMITTY: While Brandon Marshall, who is 30, might be a player to sell-high after this season, he looks ready for another 95-100/1,300+/10TD season in 2014. I love Ka’Deem Carey in Chicago for some reason. There are many that feel he doesn’t have an every-down skill set, but I think if given the chance, he can prove very reliable in that offense. All Matt Forte owners should be sure to handcuff the two in 2014. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings?

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: Alfred Blue could be Arian Foster’s back-up in 2014; Foster to bounce-back?

According to ESPN, Texans rookie RB Alfred Blue has a chance to earn the Texans’ back-up running back job behind starter Arian Foster.

SMITTY: Alfred Blue is a big boy at 6-2, 223 pounds. I like him a lot for that back-up gig come mid-season, but I suspect that Andre Brown is going to come out of the preseason looking most prepared to be Arian Foster’s back-up (and must-own). Now, I have Foster pegged for a bounce-back season in 2014… coach Bill O’Brien recently said that Foster will fill the roles played by previous students of his (Kevin Faulk and Danny Woodhead back in New England), which could mean 50-60 receptions for Foster in 2014. If healthy, he could still see anywhere between 250-280 carries, which should have him producing 1,100-1,200 rushing yards and potentially double-digit touchdowns. Interesting facts: Matt Forte has 1,892 regular-season touches to his name, and Marshawn Lynch has 1,955 regular-season touches to his name… Foster, a player many have written off as overworked, has just 1,320 total touches to his name. Want 2014 Full-Season Fantasy Football Projections for Foster?

NEWS: Charles Sims has elite upside; a must-own for Doug Martin owners?

According to joebucsfan.com, Bucs rookie RB Charles Sims has a “Hall Of Fame Chance” despite walking into 2014 as the back-up rusher in Tampa Bay.

SMITTY: According to the article, Howard David (SiriusXM NFL Radio host) thinks that Charles Sims “has Hall of Fame talent in his body.” David said, “I think they got themselves a steal here. I don’t want to give him the bust into Canton just yet, but I think he’s got a chance.” It’s high praise for sure, and it’s important not to get too carried away with such a report, but it’s good for fantasy football owners to responsibly absorb everything that they can, then make informed decisions. The take-away here is this… Doug Martin has low-end fantasy RB1-type talent, but his handcuff (Sims) has been compared to Matt Forte on more than one occasion from more than one scout. Now this… the point here is to not overreact or overvalue Sims, but he does have serious upside, and he is almost a must-own this season for all Martin owners (especially dynasty league owners). Owning both running backs will have you sleeping like a baby, as Martin still has an injury label to shake loose. View where we have both players on our 2014 fantasy football cheat sheets.

Note: Thanks to STARTERS forum moderator rabidbucfan for the heads up on this article.

NEWS: Jay Cutler has cleaned up fundamentals.

According to csnchicago.com, Bears QB Jay Cutler has been working hard on “cleaning up” his fundamentals.

SMITTY: From what we hear, Jay Cutler has really become a student of improvement, from how he holds the ball to how he lines up during certain plays. Entering his second season in relatively the same system/personnel, Cutler could really be in for a big season, which is clearly great to hear if you own Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery. While I worry about Forte’s mileage (roughly 1900 total touches), that’s more of a dynasty concern; at 28, Forte should be good for one more top 4-6RB season (just handcuff him to Ka’Deem Carey to lock in that Bears’ running back production). Both Marshall and Jeffery have 1,200-1,400/double-digit touchdown upside, with Marshall likely to reach the 100-reception mark and Jeffery probably looking at 80-90 pulled-in passes. For exact projections for all these Chicago players, launch our 2014 Draft Analyzer.

NEWS: Arian Foster to catch a lot of passes in 2014?

According to csnhouston.com, Texans coach Bill O’Brien will use Arian Foster in the passing game much like he has used Kevin Faulk and Danny Woodhead in his previously-coached offenses.

SMITTY: With a shockingly-low 2nd-round ADP (according to most ADP data), there is a ton to like about Arian Foster heading into 2014. If he stays healthy, he could blast past 300 total touches (maybe even 330-340), and 50 of those could be receptions (if not more). There are few players outside the top 12-15 (ADP-wise) that have as high a ceiling as Foster, and that ceiling is top 5-10RB type value. For those that feel Foster has too much mileage on his tires, keep in mind that his career regular-season carry total is just 1,131, whereas Marshawn Lynch has 1,753 carries to his name, and Matt Forte has 1,551 carries to his name. Still feel that Foster has been overworked? Check out our 2014 projections for Foster (based on your league scoring) right here:
draft analyzer