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twestIn my weekly column, we take a long look at impact fantasy football rookies.  I compare their performance to date against my original expectations of them.  Let’s continue this 2014 version of the series by looking at the Browns dynamic rookie running back duo of 2014 third rounder Terrance West and free agent selection of Isaiah Crowell.

Here is what I saw in college from West: This runner saw a lot of carries playing for little Towson College finishing with over 4,800 rushing yards and 84 touchdowns in a three-year career. The rookie back runs with a lot of power and uses his pad level to inflict pain on the defense. West has good patience and vision combined with quick feet to get to the hole quickly. The young runner doesn’t create much room for himself, but he takes what the defense opens up. He is dependable as the day is long, but is not very flashy. The biggest knock against him is that he hasn’t played against great competition with a lot of touches, so much of his fate will rest on with which team drafts him. Read More »

In this weekly column, I typically explore some young players who haven’t made much of a consistent impact to date on their fantasy football teams. Some players may be available on your waiver wire, some may be available via a cheap or stacymoderate trade. Acquiring or not acquiring one of these players could decide how well your dynasty or keeper team does for the next few years.  This week I decided to watch the St. Louis Rams second year running backs Zach Stacy and Bennie Cunningham in action against Tampa Bay.  I own either Stacy, Cunningham, and/or Tre Mason in three leagues with a desire to understand what is going on. Read More »

The début of CBS Thursday Night Football featured two first round linebackers playing against each other from their college days into their now bitter rivalry in the AFC North.  In every single rookie or start-up IDP draft I participated in this cjmospring and summer, former Ohio State backer, Ryan Shazier, got drafted first.  Then perhaps a few picks later former Alabama backer, CJ Mosley, got selected. Each linebacker has a talented veteran anchoring the inside along with them in 3-4 defenses, giving the rookies more of a free flow to the ball with fewer responsibilities.  Let’s look at their performances against each other’s teams to get a better feel for their fantasy and NFL futures. Read More »

In my weekly column, we take a long look at impact fantasy football rookies.  I compare their performance to date against my original expectations of them.  Let’s start this 2014 version of the series by looking back at Brandin Cooks.cooks

Here is what I saw in college from Cooks: The diminutive former Oregon State receiver, 5′ 10″ 189 lbs., has a huge catch radius, possesses great stop/start agility, blazing 4.31 40 speed,  along with good downfield vision. I see a rare combination of Steve Smith (big and my ball mentality) and DeSean Jackson (smoothness with acrobatics) to his game.  Cooks uses his smaller stature to motivate himself and demand the ball like Smith and Jackson do.  He has a solid Read More »

In this weekly column, I typically explore some young players who haven’t made much of a consistent impact to date. Some players may be available on your waiver wire, some may be available via a cheap or moderate trade. Acquiring or not wheatonacquiring one of these players could decide how well your dynasty or keeper team does for the next few years.

Marcus Wheaton, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Wheaton, in his second year with the Steelers, was the main cog of the 2012 Oregon State offense with his 5′ 11″ and 182 lbs. frame. He spent most of his college career out of the slot a lot while carrying the ball on a few reverses. The wide receiver is very quick/agile and uses good angles to make the most out of his touches. Wheaton can climb the highest point to get to the ball and can catch those worm burners near the ground.  Due to injuries in his rookie year, the former Beaver receiver only received 13 targets his rookie year, catching six of them for 64 yards.  During the preseason, the chemistry between the second year wide out and Ben Roethlisberger seemed mixed.  The game against the Browns was their first test together. Read More »

In fantasy football, there are several new trends: daily leagues, dynasty leagues, and individual defensive player leagues.  This weekly column will combine two of those by discussing two young IDPs.  I will give my scouting thoughts on how they paulwplayed a particular week.  Today I will be discussing the young Atlanta Falcons linebacker core of second year Paul Worrilow, second year Joplo Bartu, and rookie Prince Shembo.

Paul Worrilow

During the preseason, I got drawn to the big play ability of Worrilow.  He sees the play as it is developing and flows well to attack the ball carrier.  In coverage, Worrilow is athletic enough to keep up with most tight ends, but is not an elite pass defender.  The young backer sheds blockers quickly, stepping up into the play instead of around, and is very useful applying inside pressure with a strong pass rush up the middle when called upon.  Worrilow is the leader of this defense. Read More »

The NFL preseason is finally over.  Many younger and/or fringe players fought for roster spots on NFL and your fantasy football teams. We got slight glimpses into the thought pattern of some teams with how much or how little these athletes richardsonplayed and others we can only guess.  Here are my general thoughts about some of the more interesting younger players or free agents from the first half of their last preseason game.

Falcons vs. Jaguars

The Hard Knocks legend, rookie running back Devonta Freeman, may continue to get dressed down in team meetings and see the field third of the backs, but he continues to produce.  I love the way he gets small in the hole, shows a good burst, and runs tough between the tackles.  The former FSU runner scored a short yardage touchdown, makes clean catches in the passing game, and is working on his pass blocking.  Second year linebacker, Paul Worrilow, gets to the ball quickly with good vision and agility.  He also provides pressure in the passing game rushing the passer or can drop back into coverage.

NFL and fantasy football pundits alike should be discussing first round rookie quarterback, Blake Bortles.  The young signal caller showed maturity taking a sack when nothing was open and no safe passing lanes were present.  He is very mobile, sets his feet before he throws, but needs to improve his pocket presence.  For his detractors that question Bortles’ accuracy and arm-strength, look at his 45 yard rainbow that fellow rookie Marquise Lee caught for a 57 yard touchdown.  Receiver Cecil Shorts is still knocking off the rust for not playing the rest of the preseason due to injury.  The wide out creates separation with clean, crisp routes and a bit of wiggle.  Third year defensive end Alan Branch is stepping up his game, playing the Leo position at times.  He gets good penetration off the snap, and flows quickly down the line playing both the run and pass equally well. Read More »

The NFL preseason is now over.  Many younger and/or fringe players are fighting for roster spots on NFL and fantasy football teams as you read. We got slight glimpses into the thought pattern of some teams with how much or how little theselandry athletes played and others we will never know.  Here are my general thoughts about some of the more interesting younger players or free agents from the first half of their last preseason game.

Rams vs. Dolphins

The later the game, the leaner the talent is to find.  With that being said, Miami rookie receiver Jarvis Landry keeps on getting better.  He catches passes in traffic, and gets to the ball at its highest point.  The former LSU wide out fights for extra yardage and uses his body to block the defensive back from getting to the ball.  For the Rams, second year Stedman Bailey appears to be the best receiver on the Rams, despite his four game suspension.  He runs crisp routes, looks to bail his quarterback out of trouble, and has a good catch radius.  Shaun Hill will miss his calming presence over four games.   Rookie runner, Tre Mason, isn’t close to taking carries away from Zach Stacy, Bennie Cunningham is clearly the better runner right now.   Mason gets knocked around in pass protection, catches the ball with his body, and doesn’t seem to have a lot of lower body strength.  That isn’t to say that the young back can’t get small in the hole and learn how to pass block well, but it isn’t going to be this year. Read More »

The NFL preseason is now over.  Many younger and/or fringe players are fighting for roster spots on NFL and fantasy football teams as you read. We got slight glimpses into the thought pattern of some teams with how much or how little these jfootathletes played and others we will never know.  Here are my general thoughts about some of the more interesting younger players or free agents from the first half of their last preseason game.

Browns vs. Bears

This is one of those games only the fantasy community and the greater Northeast Ohio area could love (I speak from experience coming from Wayne County).  Johnny Manziel plays like a crazy man.  One minute the quarterback shows patience in the pocket, sets his feet, perhaps he bootlegs one side or the other, and then throws with a solid motion connecting downfield.  On the very next play, the rookie tosses a wobbly duck across his body.  Two plays after that Manziel doesn’t feel pressure and gets strip sacked.  Fast forward to the next series, he runs around in the backfield trying to give his receivers time to get open downfield then runs for a five yard gain.  Inconsistency is the name of his game.  The running back race just got a lot tighter with rookie Isaiah Crowell showing up in the third quarter to have over one hundred yards on 13 carries.  Yes, most of the people playing at that time are not NFL employees anymore, but the troubled free agent rookie finally shined carrying tacklers with him.  Crowell got low, ran thru defenders, and demonstrated a high effort.  Read More »

The NFL preseason is now over.  Many younger and/or fringe players are fighting for roster spots on NFL and fantasy football teams as you read. We got slight glimpses into the thought pattern of some teams with how much or how little these garopathletes played and others we will never know.  Here are my general thoughts about some of the more interesting younger players or free agents from the first half of their last preseason game.

Patriots vs. Giants

Don’t be fooled by Rashad Jennings two super carries in front of his first team offensive line against the Pats second and third team defense.  Rookie Andre Williams once again showed off a low center of gravity, powerful legs, a nice stiff-arm, and some open field burst.  The dreaded running back by committee seems inevitable in New York.  Oh by the way, Eli Manning and Rueben Randle still haven’t worked out their timing issues.  Read More »

d'a thomasThe time is drawing near. Preseason game three is the dress rehearsal for every NFL franchise and the most important game for fantasy football. The players get placed in real game scenarios and get game planned against. The only constant about the NFL is that it is always evolving and this week’s games are no different. I watched at least three-quarters to get the best idea about how these players would be used. My focus is on the first three-year players and this year’s free agents.  Here are my observations:

Chiefs vs. Vikings

The Travis Kelce show took a detour against the Vikings when Anthony Fasano got the majority of the targets with the first team.  Second year running back, Knile Davis, has good hands, nice leg drive, and uses a stutter stop and start to get past defenders.  He is no Charles though, even with a few spins and forward lean. Rookie offensive weapon De’Anthony Thomas seems to be used as a distraction with a few trick plays here and there.  He has great burst combined with good downfield vision which makes his very dangerous in space. Unfortunately, Thomas is so small that I’m not sure if he can hold up with more than five touches a game. Read More »

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