Archive for Matthew Stafford

RADIO: Russ Bliss and Smitty talk Week 9 fantasy football.

Take a listen to Russ Bliss’ during his second show of this Week 9 — This is Russ’ Wednesday show.


Wednesday Show The Red Zone With Russ Bliss

Date: 10/28/14

Guest: Smitty

Topics: Start Bench, Trade Advice, Buy-Low

Listen Now!

NEWS: Calvin Johnson will definitely return after the Lions Week 9 bye?

SMITTY: According to Tory Petry, a Detroit Lions reporter, Lions WR Calvin Johnson will “definitely” return to the field after the Lions’ Week 9 bye. As we recommend via our Buy-Low/Sell-High Article this week, consider selling high on Golden Tate now. It’s not that we don’t believe in him, he can still play well, but his value will never be higher than it is right now, and that kind of extra value can do a lot for your team if it’s in need of a spark! Looking for Week 9 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Calvin Johnson (questionable) is not expected to play in Week 8; Reggie Bush (ankle) now doubtful.

SMITTY: We have been hearing this for a while now, so we’re simply passing along the reinforcing info on this one whenever it shows its ugly face. His ankle injury clearly is bad and the logic here is that the team will rest both Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush (ankle) this week since the Lions are on a bye in Week 9 (giving both players two weeks to get healthier). Kick off for this game, in London, is at 9:30 AM ET, so stay close to both this news wire and your Smart Alerts for updates on both players. For now, get ready for a whole lot of Golden Tate and Joique Bell, especially with rookie TE Eric Ebron also set to miss Week 8! Looking for Week 8 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Jimmy Graham could play a red-zone role in Week 7? Calvin still doubtful in the contest?

SMITTY: It’s tough to speculate on this just yet, and Graham and the Saints still have over a day to decide. If Graham does go, even in a limited red-zone look capacity, he is a must-play, so stay on both our news wire and Smart Alerts. We will also keep you updated if any news breaks on Calvin Johnson, who is currently expected to miss this contest between the Saints and Lions. If both of these studs sit, Calvin and Graham, both Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford lose their top 5QB upside this week, but both are still must-starts (unless you have Stafford and a comparable QB with a better match-up). Reggie Bush and Golden Tate should have nice outings if both end up being Stafford’s top receiving options in Week 7. Looking for Week 7 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Calvin Johnson (ankle) needs a miracle to play in Week 7.

SMITTY: He is officially questionable, but he hasn’t practiced all week — no one should be counting on his services this week. Not being ruled out for this week is a good sign for Week 8. Then again, the Lions have a Week 9 bye, so you have to think the team will be tempted to wait just one more week, which then buys Calvin two weeks of rest. Matthew Stafford owners need Calvin back soon so that they can once again see elite passing numbers. Stay tuned. Looking for Week 7 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Calvin Johnson expected to play Week 5; will he be effective?

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?

NEWS: Matthew Stafford tosses 2TDs without Calvin Johnson; Tate catches 1TD.

Lions Matthew Stafford completed 9-of-10 passes for 88 yards and 2TDs in his Week 2 preseason outing against the Raiders; Golden Tate pulled in three receptions for 41 yards and 1TD in the game.

SMITTY: Matthew Stafford has top 5 fantasy QB upside heading into this upcoming season, and it was nice to see him look smooth as Calvin Johnson sat this one out. Golden Tate maintains his sneaky WR3-type appeal heading into mid-August, as his ADP sits around 8.01-8.12. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Calvin Johnson making jaw-dropping plays every day in camp?

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?

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: Eric Ebron to move around in 2014; Bell and Bush to pull in 50 passes each?

According to NFL.com, Lions rookie TE Eric Ebron is going move around all over the field in that Lions offense in 2014. “I’ve been everywhere and that is what’s killing me,” Ebron said. “I’m used to either learning the Y or learning the A, which we had at North Carolina. But now it’s the Y, the F, the Z.” He added, “Fifty percent in the slot, 40 percent with my hand in the ground, 10 percent in the backfield.”

SMITTY: Eric Ebron has HUGE upside entering future years, but I think it’s important to curb expectations as he enters his first NFL season. Matthew Stafford is in for a big year, possibly of the top 5-6 variety, but there are a ton of mouths to feed in Detroit in 2014. So, it’s hard to imagine a rookie tight end hitting the ground running in the consistency department, but his presence, especially in the red zone, will create all kinds of mismatches, which in turn will help keep defenses honest and spread out. This helps every other high-impact fantasy player on that Lions’ roster. Calvin Johnson is going to scoop up 100 receptions, and both Joique Bell and Reggie Bush could pull in 50+ receptions a piece… 60-70 could be going to Golden Tate, which makes Ebron more of a touchdown threat than anything as a rookie. Don’t get me wrong, on occasion he could very well look the part of an up-and-coming elite tight end, I just think he is going to need a year to get settle before we all can start expecting top 5 fantasy football tight end numbers. As said above, his presence alone is going to help every high-impact fantasy player around him, and at 6-4, 250 pounds, his dynasty value is unreal!