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The amazing time for dynasty fantasy football continues.  We are getting some rookie practice reports; all kinds of fantasy football drafts are underway which gives everyone a chance to put their jreedmoney where their mouth is in respect to player evaluation and strategy.  I joined a start-up league run by my buddy Stan Hyatt.  It is a 12 teamer with 40 regular roster spots and five taxi squad spots (rookies only).  The lineups are as follows: 1 QB, 2-3 RBs, 2-5 WRs, 1-3 TEs (need eight combined players out of RB/WR/TE spots), 1 K and on the defensive side 3-4 LBs, 3-4 DBs, 2-3 DLs with ten total defensive starters.  It is PPR scoring for all positions, tackle heavy IDP scoring, 6 points for every touchdown, .1 points per 1 yard of offense (rushing and receiving), and .05 per yard of passing and/or returns.  I was lucky enough to end up with my favorite roster spot, 10th overall in a straight snake format.  You can find the league here: http://football24.myfantasyleague.com/2015/options?L=78307&O=17

16.10 TE Jordan Reed, Washington

This third year oft-injured tight end did not have a good second season.  Reed missed five games last season while only had five fantasy impactful games.  2015 will be a make or break year for him.  Is he more talented than the 19th guy at his position, sure, but potential will only get you so far.  Huge risk/reward play here, I hope it works out. Read More »

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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 »

This is the follow-up to yesterday’s article about the start-up dynasty draft.  We will now cover the highs and lows of the six round rookie draft that got held the week after the NFL Draft.  There were several trades that left a few of the teamsrichardson without picks for the first two to three rounds.  Keep in mind the starting lineups are as follows: 1-2 QBs, 2-3 RBs, 3-4 WRs, 1-2 TEs, 2-3 DLs, 2-3 DBs, and 3-4 LBs, so basically everyone starts one offensive flex (that could be a QB) and one defensive flex.  You can find the league here: http://www99.myfantasyleague.com/2014/home/63805#0

The league has four first time dynasty owners and the rest of the league owners have three plus years of dynasty experience, but once the picks start flying all that is out the window.   Return yardage counts the same as rushing or receiving .1 points per yard, backs get .5 points per reception (PPR), wide receivers get 1 PPR, tight ends get 1.5 PPR, and all touchdowns are worth six points other than passing touchdowns (only worth five).  Let’s take a look at the six rookie draft rounds to see where you can find good values and not so good values, but keep in mind you can flex a quarterback (15 of them were in the top 25 scorers in 2013).

Round One

1.10 WR Brandin Cooks, Saints- The young receiver was great value here, but due to the quarterback flex aspect, players tend to slip a little.  Because this was my pick, I am more than overjoyed to brag about it. Read More »

Re-print of my Senior Bowl articles, I hope these will help you during your rookie drafts.
Well the long Senior Bowl week is almost over.  Most of the NFL coaches and scouts have gone back to their team headquarters.  The team meetings, practices, press conferences, and hospital visits are over.  Now is the time to
play.  Whoborland really stood out in real game conditions? I will break down my thoughts from the press box in alphabetical order:
Antonio Andrews, RB
The running back runs well behind his pads and can be a very effective power rusher and receiver.  He was a volume back in college so he tends to start slowly and work himself into the game.  This might be an issue as I’m not sure if there is an NFL that would be willing to start him right away.  Andrews might not be worth more than a fantasy flier.
Chris Borland, LB WISC
The athletic linebacker was everywhere in the game.  He covers potential receivers tightly out of the backfield and is a very hard hitter.  For a stretch of two quarters it seemed like he was a part of every single tackle as he is always around the ball. His size means nothing to me as Borland can flow to the ball, disengage blockers and hit.  If you are in tackle heavy leagues, he might be a LB2 this season!

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This is a re-print of my Senior Bowl experience and it might be helpful for your rookie drafts. 

Thursday was the final day that the media could view a semi-meaningful practice. The players were back to shells and helmets mostly ran plays at half speed. In yesterday’s article I ranked the offensive skill position players and the van noyimpressions they made.  Because there is not a lot more to gleam from walk-through practices, I will spend this article reviewing and ranking these defensive players by their positions.

Linebackers/defensive ends (mostly outside rushers, unless indicated)

1) Kyle Van Noy, BYU
This linebacker is the best defensive player here, just beating out the undersized DT Aaron Donald.  He flies to the ball with good vision and instinct.  Van Noy tackles with force, wraps his arms, and takes the ball carrier down hard. He sheds blockers out of his way quickly while rushing the quarterback or playing the run.  The linebacker is a leader and is better suited to play an outside linebacker spot, but can play inside backer as well.  Van Noy is in my top five rookie fantasy linebackers.

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This is the third in a six part series covering the 2014 Senior Bowl and practices that occurred in January that could give you more insight for your rookie drafts.

This is day three, the last real practice with the most hitting and realistic conditions.  It was a lot colder than I expected for Alabama (27 degrees in the morning practice), but the players were ready to go and show off their new skills and seniorbowl2talents. Teamwork was more evident today. Even ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted about some of the impressions the players had made here in Alabama.  Here are my thoughts on the players Wednesday practices broken down in alphabetical order:

Antonio Andrews, RB W KY

The young back has soft hands and impressed me with a one-handed catch that he made off-balance.  He is a fighter when it came to pass blocking drills as he never gave up.  Andrews uses his quick feet, runs crisp routes gaining separation from his coverage, and carries the ball well inside.  He did not finish the practice, but he looked fine standing on the sidelines.
Jared Abbrederis, WR WISC
The receiver made a habit of confusing his coverage by starting a route to the inside and then crossing up to break outside.  I don’t think I saw him catch the ball with anything, but his hands, never letting it into his body.  Abbrederis shows good body control, catches the ball well in traffic, and moves well laterally.  Once again he was the best receiver in the North.

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We take a quick walk down memory lane to give you some more insight into your rookie drafts.

It’s day two here in Mobile and it was time for some full pads football.  There was too much stretching, a lot of wind, but a great time was had by all watching today’s practices.  Cross training was on display, making sure that players had the chance to improve, adjust, and showcase their strengths.  I will say, if you ever get the chance to come and watch practices, you will get to see some of the best stretching know to man, but on to the practices.  I list the players in alphabetical seniorbowlorder:

Jared Abbrederis, WR WISC
The slim receiver has a good burst, catches the ball in front, and always catches the pigskin with his fingertips.  He isn’t afraid to make the difficult catch in traffic, and creates separation with crisp routes and good footwork.  Abbrederis is the best North receiver in my eyes.

Antonio Andrews, RB W KY
Andrews improved on his great Monday practice with a better one on Tuesday.  He did not let a single robber get past him in the pass blocking drill.  The back kept his feet driving, so he might get the chance to be a three down back with a little seasoning.  Andrews has quick hips, can start and stop on a dime, and uses good downfield vision to help him read running lanes and key on blocks.

Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB/DE
The defensive hybrid gets low, has a solid base, and can be quick while powerful in the same movement.  Attaochu is great at getting to the quarterback whether he is lined up as a defensive end or an outside backer.  He will do whatever it takes to bring the signal caller down. Read More »

This year’s crop of defensive linemen got reduced by its biggest potential asset when Jadeveon Clowney became a Texan in the 3-4 (three down linemen and four linebackers) system.  He will play an outside linebacker role, rushing from alawrence two point stance.  There are a few exciting defensive linemen that should provide good potential dynasty fantasy value.  For a short review, defensive linemen that play in a 4-3 (four down linemen and three linebackers) usually get more opportunities to tackle the ball carrier, sack the quarterback, and cause turnovers.  In a 3-4 system, the defensive line is more responsible for keeping the offensive line occupied to let the linebackers roam to make the play.

1. DE Demarcus Lawrence, Dallas

He is in the best situation to succeed this season and in the next three to five years.  Sure Lawrence is a little undersized to play defensive end in a 4-3 system, but he possesses good speed and size to bend the edge.  With his combination of power and quickness, Lawrence could become a top ten fantasy option at defensive end.  He might not ever be the best Dallas Demarcus ever, but he may come close. Read More »

The entire IDP community is getting a huge bump with the speculation and discussion of Jadeveon Clowney. There are other viable defensive linemen in this class though. Surely there will be one or two defensive tackles that will garner an clowneyNFL first round pick, the rest of the defensive ends, however, do not look to be drafted in the NFL’s first round. Before I discuss these players, let’s review the differences of the 4-3 defense and the 3-4 defensive schemes.

A 4-3 defense has four defensive lineman with two defensive ends lined up close to their offensive tackle counterparts (outside shoulder, perhaps squared up). The defensive end’s job is to provide pass rush and to contain outside runs for the most part. With the two interior defensive tackles, one tries to force a double team (usually the nose tackle aka guy who plays closest to center) and the other defensive tackle is usually the shiftier, quicker twitched tackle that provides inside pressure and crashes running lanes. For fantasy, the defensive ends and the defensive tackle allowed to freelance are usually your best options, so keep that in mind on your draft day. In the 3-4 defensive schemes, the defensive linemen’s jobs are more to take on double teams and apply pressure, leaving four linebackers to flow to the ball quickly. So unless your name is Clowney or Watt, you should avoid most of the defensive linemen that play in 3-4s. Read More »