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Tag Archives: Devonta Freeman

 

There is something great about the NFL Draft.  Optimism is in the air for everyone as it represents a new beginning.  This is even more true with your dynasty squad especially if you are coming off a rough season.  After the rookie draft, you AndrewMiley_Twitterhave new exciting players, but now the draft and perhaps excitement are over.  Many owners stop visiting their league site for a while, go on that vacation, perhaps read a few articles here and there, and then log in right before Labor Day.  I’m not saying don’t go on vacation for a week or two, just don’t take a summer hiatus from your league(s).

Keep up with the news.

Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes play outside linebacker and not defensive ends in the new Rex Ryan scheme, that could be major news in leagues where owners have to scramble for defensive linemen.  Devonta Freeman might be a better fit for the Falcons running game than rookie Tevin Coleman.  This is the time to keep track of the little things, because you never know when a little crumb from the local media will pay off big.

Know your waivers.

I’m in seven leagues right now and every week I go thru the available players for every league.  On leagues that use the myfantasyleague.com site, there is a feature called the “my draft list” that you get to from the “For Owners” tab.  I sort the available players first by position and then by team to be thorough and add all interesting free agents.  This list keeps all of the free agents organized at a moments notice.  I still go low tech as well with my index cards.  When I tell my friends this, they say “why bother”, because I want to know who is available at any time.  If you want to make a trade, the knowledge that a replacement level player is available can reduce the risks you take. Read More »

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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 continue this 2014 version of dfreethe series by looking at one of my highest rated running backs, Devonta Freeman.  I will look at some of his college production against his performance versus Carolina to discern his dynasty value.

Here are my thoughts after watching him in college: Despite his limited touches (under 200 each season of college), Freeman is a decisive back who appears to be able to carry an NFL workload as a feature back.  He played at fullback, half back, and receiver.  As a lead blocker, Freeman squared his shoulders, got good leverage, knocked his defender back, and opened up a seam to run thru.  The back ran routes well enough to need corners to cover him. When acting as a pass blocker, he attacks the blitzers, squaring his shoulders, keeping contact throughout the block usually forcing them backwards.  Freeman sees the pressure pre-snap and adjusts his stance to account for it.  The back is good at selling fakes that freeze the defenders, giving his teammates an opportunity to get an extra step.  When acting as a receiver, the runner adjusts to poorly thrown passes, runs crisp routes, fully extends to make the catch, and does his best to make the reception in stride for the biggest gain.  Freeman is dangerous in the open field with his quickness and wiggle that makes defenders miss.  He also comes back to assist the quarterback whether he needs an outlet receiver, or a block down the field to free up a running lane. 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 »

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 »

Here it is, another week of NFL preseason games.  Hopefully your fantasy football players are more involved this week, so we might get a better idea about how each team will look like in the regular season.  It’s critical to keep up with the NFL clowneychanging landscape, because it gives you a jump on the waiver wire and possible trade scenarios.  My efforts concentrated on the younger players and/or new team additions.  Here are some quick observations based on around the first three-quarters of each game:

Falcons vs Texans

The hype train led by HBO’s Hard Knocks and most of the fantasy community including myself is cooling in regards to rookie running back Devonta Freeman.  He was the fourth member of the Atlanta backfield to show up.  Sure he looks more productive against his competition, but then again much of the defense he played against won’t be in the league.  The back got three snaps in the first half and one of those was for a kneel down play.  The young player who is for real is second year inside backer, Paul Worrilow.  He flows quickly to the ball, decoding the play almost instantaneously.  Worrilow plays the run a little better than the pass, hits hard, and holds his own in pass coverage.

The monster known as Jadeveon Clowney made his presence felt against the Falcons first team offense.  He anticipates where the ball is flowing, gets there before the offense, and strikes.  His combination of vision, speed, and power is uncanny.  Arian Foster owners take note, there are two backs that are vying for his scraps or an injury to him.  Jonathan Grimes runs with power and balance.  He is the steady back that has a little penance using a spin move or snaring a ball out of the air with his soft hands.  The rookie Albert Blue gets lower and is much more explosive.  The problem with Blue is that he doesn’t have the patience for the blocking scheme yet.  Ever since Mobile, rookie tight CJ Fiedorowicz keeps growing on me.  He is a good blocker who is always on the field and sneaks out for passes.  Considering the uncertainty at quarterback, the tight ends and backs might be the most popular offensive weapons.  Read More »

At dynasty blitz, I am watching each preseason game and let my readers known what I’m seeing.  The NFL landscape is very fluid, so please consider that this is only the first week.  My efforts concentrated on the younger players and/or new Careyteam additions.  Here are some quick observations after watching the first half of each game:

Bucs/Jags

The return of Doug Martin got met with a whimper instead of applause.  He looked rather ordinary with little room to run.  The offensive line did not get off their stances quicker than the Jags defensive line.  In regards to the quarterbacks, second year Mike Glennon seemed more poised than newly acquired journeyman Josh McCown.  I have a feeling the younger player could make a push into the starting lineup before we all get to see “The Great Pumpkin”. Then again it could be that Glennon played against the second team while McCown faced the fearsome attacking Jacksonville starting defense. Read More »

This is the final installment of my full disclosures of my dynasty fantasy football teams.  My team, Ivanka Trumps All, is coming off its first title in 2013 and looking for more championships.  This is my longest running league that started in dalton2010.  The league began as a local NYC league with my friend Derek aka Swoop as the commissioner several years earlier.  He was a member of my old Anakin’s Dynasty League (which lasted five years earlier) and liked the dynasty concept.  Only about half of his New York league mates wanted to make the jump to a dynasty fantasy football league, so Swoop and I ended up mixing his local friends and several of my online friends to form this 12 team league.  You can find the league here:http://www19.myfantasyleague.com/2014/home/49187#0

This is a “starter IDP league”.  Sometimes new IDP players are nervous about trying different things, so this league only starts four IDP positions: 1-2 LBs, 1-2 DLs, and 1-2 DBs with tackle heavy scoring.  I attempt every year to get more defensive players added to no avail.  On offense the starting lineup looks like: 1 QB, 1-3 RBs, 1-3 WRs, 1-3 TEs (6 starters between RB/WR/TE), and 1 K.  All touchdowns are worth 6pts and the PPR concept stagers with 1pt for running backs, 1.25 for wide receivers, and 1.5 for tight ends.  There are also bonuses for certain thresh holds: 5pts for 100 yards rushing or receiving (not combined) and 5pts for 300 yards passing.  During the regular season, the rosters drop to 30 regular spots and four taxi squad slots for rookies and injured players listed as doubtful or worse.

QBs- Tony Romo, Andy Dalton, Josh McCown, AJ McCarron (start 1)

Romo, when healthy, is a good starter who seems to get to 300 yards a lot with their porous defense.  I picked up Dalton in a trade last year and am ok with him as a backup, but I don’t trust him or McCarron much.  McCown helped carry me last season when Cutler got hurt and will only stay on this team if he is starting.  Read More »

Since most of us are in the middle of rookie drafts or we have just completed them, I wanted to write a weekly article about the trends that are occurring on myfantasyleague.com fantasy football rookie drafts.  This will be a three-part series,d freeman because most leagues complete their rookie drafts before those long summer days that get filled with vacations, outside chores and activities.  As always, my thoughts get based on dynasty PPR leagues with sacks being worth 2.5 times that a tackle is worth.

The easy trend to predict was Buffalo’s Sammy Watkins and Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans get drafted one and two in almost every single draft.  These receivers seem to be the safest bets based on talent and situation.  I don’t feel there is much of a difference in value between them, so if you receive an offer to more from the 1.01 to the 1.02 for something that could improve your team, make the move.  If there is any thing as a sure thing, it is those two this year. Read More »

The excitement of the draft weekend has come and gone.  Now is the time to put in the hard work as your rookie fantasy drafts are upon us. My running back dynasty fantasy rankings get based on a two to three-year window, not their immediate impact.  Talent and situation get considered here.  This position, more than any other, is the most fluid and volatile on your fantasy teams. There are only a few good situations this season for teams that needed starters and/or had carries available.sankey

1. Bishop Sankey, Titans- The safest back in the draft landed in the most running back starved team.  Sankey will not overwhelm you with his athleticism, but he will be a safe 250 touch back.  He can pass block, catch the pigskin, and looks good near the goal line.  I consider him this year’s Zach Stacy aka solid and not exciting. He should be the first back chosen in your rookie drafts near the middle to end of the first round. His situation got a little better with the news that Shonn Greene just had knee surgery. Read More »

The 2014 running back class is not as deep or as good as the 2014 wide receiver class, but don’t be in despair just yet.  There are a few talented runners that not many people are discussing.  One of the best runners is the not often used d freemanDevonta Freeman of Florida State.  The young back was a part of a three-man committee so he did not see the normal wear and tear that most runners see in their college careers.  He isn’t the biggest back at 5’ 8” 206 lbs., nor is he one of the fastest timing out at a 4.58 40 in Indianapolis.  I watched four of his 2013 games: Duke, Auburn (national championship game), NC State, and Bethune-Cookman so I could better evaluate the skill set that he brings to the NFL. Read More »

hydeThe 2014 rookie running back class is a bit lacking this year. There are no Adrian Peterson talents, heck there aren’t even any Eddie Lacy type backs. That is not to say that there isn’t a few talented ball carriers, but I have my doubts that any of these runners will get 230+ touches in the foreseeable future. Does that make them less important, perhaps as the draft is rich with receiver talent, a few good tight ends, some outstanding defenders, and some encouraging quarterback prospects? Let’s take a look at my top seven 2014 rookie running backs, but keep in mind I will evaluate their talents more completely in individual player reports.

1. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State

This senior runner is the most physical, big back in his class. Not only does he have the size and power to run over and through opposing defenses, but Hyde catches the ball well. This back can play in a west coast type offense, or a power running scheme. He has a good nose for the end zone too. It was discouraging to see him come up lame at the Combine running his 40 yard dash, but I believe he is the only back in his class that could become a workhorse back. Reports have come out stating that he ran 4.5s in private NFL team workouts.

2. Bishop Sankey, Washington

Sankey is not the biggest, strongest, or fastest back in his class. No, this back is not spectacular in any way, but he can do everything. If a team needs a goal line back, he is your man. If you need a solid pass blocker, count on him. Heck if you need, three yards for the first down, give the ball to Sankey. Read More »