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Tag Archives: EJ Manuel

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 samwatkinsthe series by looking at one of the best receivers in the 2014 NFL Draft, Sammy Watkins.  I will look at some of his college production against his performance versus the Dolphins to dissect his dynasty value.

These are my thoughts after watching him in college: He has everything you wants in a receiver: hands, contorts himself to find the ball, great after the catch, skies to get the ball, creating space, and gets off the line with little issues.  Of course, in college there were not many corners that played with the physicality to match Watkins.  The Clemson receiver got used early and often mostly running short routes and bubble screens, but played big with his great athleticism and the best catch radius of his class. His usage in the screen game took the place of an active running game.  With a strong armed quarterback in Tajh Boyd, they built the chemistry for him to run under a lot of passing in stride for a lot of 50+ yard touchdowns.  I found him to be simply the best play maker in his class. Watkins is not a huge physical receiver, but he has enough quick twitch moves to separate from most NFL coverage.  In the right pass first offense, the young receiver could average 80+ catches, 1200 yards, and 7-9 touchdowns per season. Read More »

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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 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 evansconstant 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:

Bills vs. Bucs

The Bills defensive  front four collapsed the Tampa Bay pocket well, which hurried a lot of throws and shortened a lot of running lanes.  Unfortunately for Buffalo fans, EJ Manuel is looking worse, not better each week.  He does not set his feet, and rushes most of his throws.  The young quarterback got strip sacked for a touchdown and threw a pick when his tight end fell down on a route. Manual played better in the third quarter, but that was against the Buccaneer second and third team defenses.  Former Tampa receiver, Mike Williams, made a nice jump and stick the landing catch on the sidelines.  He also got behind his corner to score a red zone touchdown.

Doug Martin caught the ball well in stride, showed off a little wiggle, and got low on the way to a short yardage touchdown.  None of his backups are standing out in the preseason, so he should get the bulk of Tampa’s carries this season.  Rookie receiver Mike Evans does a great job of shielding his coverage away from the ball, and catches the ball at its highest point.  The young wide out gets sent out in motion to create the best one on one matchups.  He sprinted down the field 30 yards untouched to make a nice jump ball catch in the end zone.  I would be excited if I had him on my dynasty squad. 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 beginning.  My efforts concentrated on the younger players and/or new barrteam additions.  Here are some quick observations after watching the first half of each game:

Saints/Rams

New Orleans seems committed to running the ball a bit more.  Former first round pick, Mark Ingram, ran hard and powerfully, using a stiff-arm while looking more physical than he did at any time last season.  The back bounced off defenders and pulled out a rare spin move.  Backup rusher, Khiry Robinson, looked good in space, caught the ball well, and jumped over the line of scrimmage to score a short touchdown.  Training camp reports have been positive about second year quarterback Ryan Griffin.  The signal caller has a quick release, shows good pocket presence stepping up to get away from danger, but still needs work.  If you are looking for speed/quickness, Brandin Cooks is willing to answer the call.  The rookie offensive weapon returned punts, ran inside and outside routes taking a few hard shots in the middle of the field. Read More »