Archive for Matthew Stafford

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!

NEWS: Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford look sharp in camp

According to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein, the play of the day on Tuesday was when Matthew Stafford tossed “a 50-plus yard pass to Calvin Johnson that resulted in a touchdown during 11-on-11 drills.”

SMITTY: Being involved in a big play during camp isn’t news, but it’s nice to report that Calvin Johnson (finger and knee) looks fully healthy. Stafford looking sharp is great to hear as well, as he could be having a cup of coffee with the top 5-6 fantasy quarterbacks all season long in 2014. In redraft, Calvin is clearly a top 1-3 receiver, if not plain old No. 1. In dynasty, it’s never a bad idea to test out the good old trade waters when it comes to a player like Calvin, who is sitting at max value and turning 29. Selling is only wise if you’re getting tremendously-good value in return. The key word is “test” the trade waters… Need trade help? Go here:

fantasy football trade analyzer

2014 Projections & Analyzers Are Ready!

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