Archive for Sammy Watkins

NEWS: Sammy Watkins owners should be concerned about EJ Manuel?

Bills WR Sammy Watkins pulled in zero of his three targets during Sunday night’s preseason opener against the Giants; EJ Manuel completed just 2-of-7 passes for 19 yards, Robert Woods pulled in four passes for 49 yards and 1TD, Mike Williams pulled in 1 pass for 11 yards, CJ Spiller ran the ball one time for two yards, and Bryce Brown ran the ball seven times for 40 yards. On the Giants side of the football, Eli Manning completed 6-of-7 passes for 43 yards, Andre Williams ran the ball seven times for 48 yards and 1TD, and Rashad Jennings ran the ball seven times for 23 yards.

SMITTY: Sammy Watkins owners could be in some trouble early on in 2014 if EJ Manuel can’t find a way to deliver him the football. Manuel haters need to give it more than seven passes before they completely write him off as a legitimate NFL passer, but I can’t say he looked good on Sunday night, that’s for sure. He telegraphed everything, something he will need to remedy moving forward he he wants to get his rookie the football. Despite some early EJ Manuel concerns, we still have Sammy Watkins set for some pretty good full-season projections.

Article: 2014 Rookie Rankings & Analysis

smitty staffIt’s late July, so it’s time to reevaluate the 2014 Fantasy Football Rookies. Below is a one-player taste of our Premium 2014 Rookie Rankings with Analysis, so if you aren’t a 2014 STARTERS Subscriber, get access right after you read this sample (who is #5 on our Rookie Rankings)… after you read this, there are 11 more rookie write-ups just like it waiting for you, along with a complete ranking of my top 50 rookies… here we go!

5. Jordan Matthews | PHI WR

Date: 7/24/14

This 2014 rookie receiving class is just flat-out phenomenal, as we are talking about the 4th receiver ranked, and this receiver can be a fantasy WR1 if he develops properly. Jordan Matthews is 6-3, 212 pounds, but he plays like he is 6-5, 225 pounds. He has a long reach and has phenomenal spacial awareness. View this exact play right here to see what I mean… if you watched that play, you should have noticed not only Matthews’ timing pulling in the reception, but his innate ability to use his body to defend the area around the football. It’s an instinct most players don’t develop until their second or third NFL season, but Matthews has a natural instinct to use his body to position the defender where he wants the defender. It’s masterful if you take the time to watch him in acton. Like Brandin Cooks, Matthews couldn’t have landed in a more potent offense. And, in Matthews’ case, the Eagles are in need of a big-time possession receiver, and it appears Chip Kelly is going to immediately lean on the rookie. Don’t be surprised if Matthews makes a strong case for Rookie of the Year in 2014! It wouldn’t be shocking if the guy pulled in 55-60 receptions for 900-1000 yards and 6-7 scores as a rookie. The rookie receiver position is changing, and these guys are maturing much faster than they use to.



View All 2014 Rookie Rankings & Analysis

NEWS: Sammy Watkins to pull in 1,000 yards and 7TDs as a rookie?

According to buffalobills.com’s Chris Brown, the rookie season AJ Green produced back in 2011 could be comparable to the rookie season Sammy Watkins is about to produce. Brown writes that the 65 receptions, 1,057 receiving yards, and 7TDs that Green pulled in as a rookie are not unrealistic numbers for Watkins this upcoming year.

SMITTY: Not many rookie receivers pull in 1,000 yards, let alone 7TDs, but it’s crazier to rule out such a stat line for Sammy Watkins this season than it is to rule it in. For our exact 2014 projections for Watkins (based on your scoring), run our Draft Analyzer. As for other Bills players, an elusive Watkins running all over the field is sure going to create nice rushing lanes for CJ Spiller, who could very well bounce-back in 2014.

NEWS: CJ Spiller could return kicks in 2014?

According to buffalobills.com, the Bills are considering using CJ Spiller on special teams in 2014.

SMITTY: There are two ways to look at this. First, if the team does use CJ Spiller on returns, that could indicate that he may not be guaranteed as many starter-type carries on offense (meaning Bryce Brown and Fred Jackson could be more involved in the rushing game than most had predicted). Or, this could mean that Buffalo’s coaching staff just wants to get their most powerful weapon on the field more. Either way, returning kicks puts Spiller in a position to get hurt, so I’m not a fan of the idea. Nothing appears to be locked in, this report merely points out that Spiller is in the competition for the return job. If not returning kicks, which still could be the outcome here, Spiller could be in for a bounce-back year… Sammy Watkins also has a shot at the gig. Watkins should be in for a big rookie campaign, and could pull in 1,000 yards and 6 or so scores as a rookie (which is rare, but he is a rare talent).

NEWS: Sammy Watkins’ acceleration after catch is rare; CJ Spiller to be used more?

According to buffalobills.com, Bills WR Sammy Watkins’ acceleration after the catch is “very rare.” The site also suggests that Bills’ offensive coaches “seem eager to expand the ways in which he’ll [Spiller] be used on the field this fall.”

SMITTY: Spiller has huge upside, there is no doubt about it, but depending on his ADP, he also comes with some risk. We saw him go in the late 2nd-round in very early mocks this off-season, but recently, Spiller’s ADP is trending down around 3.07-3.10… that’s not bad value, and it eliminates a lot of the risk. So, draft accordingly! As for Watkins, it seems like everyone is on board when it comes to this kid’s upside, and across all leagues and formats, too… so, I doubt Watkins is going to be undervalued in any fantasy formats, and that goes for both redraft and dynasty. It wouldn’t be all that shocking to see Watkins have a Keenan Allen-type rookie season. For exact projections for both players (based on your league’s exact scoring format), go here:
draft analyzer

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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