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Here it is, another week of NFL preseason games.  Hopefully your fantasy football starters play a bit more, so we might get a few more glimpses into what each team will look like in the regular season.  Keeping up with the latest news is very m leeimportant as it can get 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:

Jags vs Bears

There wasn’t anything of note on the Bears side due to the broken collarbone of second year receiver Marquess Wilson.   The Jaguars brought out one of their biggest free agent acquisitions, running back Toby Gerhart.  He has good leg drive, uses a nice stiff-arm, and does well when running north and south.  His problems start when the runner gets forced to run east and west; Gerhart does not have the speed to turn the corner and usually gets spread out to cause a negative or unproductive play.  Rookie receiver Marqise Lee ran smooth routes, caught the ball in stride, and was heavily targeted.  The wide out tells a story with his routes.  On his touchdown catch, Lee played possum acting like it was a run play; then he reversed his direction sharply to break free into the end zone.  Even though Jaguars aren’t saying it right now, first round quarterback, Blake Bortles, is fighting for the starting job now.  The young signal caller gets the ball quickly, scans the field, and shows good ball placement.  Bortles looks confident in the pocket, stepping up from danger,  and sets his feet to deliver the pigskin accurately. Read More »

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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 »

tannyThe journey through my dynasty fantasy football leagues continues to the Gardiner Packers.  This is the third year of the league, which is a 32 teamer with doubles of every player (only warning is that a single owner cannot own two of the same player).  It is one of the famed Paragon Leagues that have strong commissioners and spelled out rules for almost every single situation.  Scoring is as follows: 4pts for passing touchdowns, 6pts for all other touchdowns, .5pts for running back per reception, PPR for wide receivers and tight ends, and sacks are worth three times as much as tackles for the defensive line.  A starting lineup consists of 1 QB, 2-3 RBs, 3-5 WRs, 1-2 TEs, 1 K, 1-2 DTs, 2-3 Des, 3-4 LBs, 2-3 CBs, and 2-3 Ss.  In the offseason, teams can have 73 players on their squad (65 regular roster spots and eight on the taxi squad).  This was my first league of this kind.  This concept gets duplicated a lot, but never as well.  You can find the league here:http://www11.myfantasyleague.com/2014/home/47455#0  Let’s discuss my team which has come close two years a row to making the playoffs:

QBs- Tony Romo, Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Griffin (start 1)

Romo is an underrated quarterback that will be forced to throw even more with the Dallas putrid defense.  Will Tannehill excel in a high paced offense similar to Philly?  If the answer is yes, he might actually be worth his late first round rookie pick selection in 2013.  I have my starters’ backups, for now, and I invested a few dollars on the waiver wire to get Brees’ athletic backup. Read More »

breesBecause we are at a lull in the NFL and most dynasty fantasy football news, I thought this would be a great time to give full disclosure on my teams in all eight of the leagues that I am in.  I will cover each one in an article, the good and the bad.  Some are championship contenders and some are fixer uppers.  It is so easy to fall into groupthink and lose sight of what you are trying to build.  Hopefully this will give some insight into my philosophy and won’t be boring “let’s talk about my team” pieces.  I will start with my most recent dynasty team, Darwin’s Theory 3.  All touchdowns are worth 6 points, 1 PPR for all positions, and tackle heavy scoring.  You can find the league herehttp://www24.myfantasyleague.com/2014/home/32962#0 : Read More »

gallonWe are now in the “dead zone” of the NFL football year.  This is the time for making sure your dynasty fantasy football taxi squads are full.  Sure these aren’t superstar players, but just like penny stocks their value could soar if you get lucky.  I based my write-ups on their performances during their 2014 collegian bowl games.

Jeremy Gallon, WR MICH NE
I’m an admitted Michigan fan and love the athletic skills that the diminutive play maker (5′ 8″ 183 lbs.) displays on the field.  He gets used in the reverse game a lot.  Gallon has the shiftiness and ability to sink his hips to catch the defense off guard.  The wide out lines up on the outside and in the slot while outmaneuvering away from the jam.  He fully extends himself to make  receptions, grabbing the ball in stride, while keeping an eye on the yard marker.  More physical defensive backs knock him around a bit, but he has good balance to take advantage of over-aggressive ones. Gallon tracks the ball well in the air and makes adjustments mid-stream to secure the catch.  Don’t underestimate his athleticism as he threw for a two point conversion catching the defense unaware.  The young receiver could begin his NFL career as a returner and then wow a team for more playing time. Read More »

Today I’m reviewing the fantasy rookie draft connected with the 14 team league that I did a replacement owner draft (yesterday’s article).  The most interesting part of this draft is that only around half of the owners had picks in the first bridgewaterround.  There were two power player teams that were willing to trade out for a high price.  I took a few notes on some picks that either surprised me or were good value.  For inquiring minds, you can find the rookie draft here:  http://football11.myfantasyleague.com/2014/options?L=48665&O=17.

1.08 WR Marqise Lee, Jaguars

Despite being able to start five wide receivers, I found this selection to be quite high.  Will he be the WR1 or WR2 or WR3?  There are still some injury concerns floating around with him and this was the earliest I saw him drafted. 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 »

Since most of us are in the middle of rookie drafts or we have just completed them, I am continuing my three-part weekly series discussing the trends that are occurring in myfantasyleague.com fantasy football rookie drafts.  When a trend isn’t sankeyreally changing like Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans get drafted one and two in almost every single draft, then I will discuss other players unless their draft position is changing dramatically.  As always, my thoughts get based on dynasty PPR leagues with sacks being worth 2.5 times that a tackle is worth.

Although I did not mention this in my first article, newly minted Titans running back Bishop Sankey gets selected third overall in most fantasy rookie drafts.  While I do think he is a relatively safe rusher, this screams opportunity over talent.  There is little upside when an owner decides to go with Sankey over a more talented skill player like Saints Brandin Cooks.  Running backs are a dime a dozen in the NFL these days and I would rather have someone who could ascend, not just tread water. Read More »

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.

Read More »

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 »

Editor’s note: I wanted to replay my first Senior Bowl experience to help differentiate the rookies that you are drafting as we speak.  I hope you enjoy:

I don’t know what it is, but there is something pretty awesome about sitting in a room with hundreds of the best football minds this country has to offer. Looking around and seeing general managers, head coaches, offensive and defensiveabby coordinators, really made me feel lucky to be a part of the Senior Bowl.

My adventure started the day before when I got on my third and final flight of the night from Chicago and as it turned out, I was on the plane with the majority of the Bears coaching staff on their way to Mobile.

Weigh-in/measurements part of the day is a necessary evil, but I was not a fan.  They are made to parade in front of 500 scouts/media members/coaching staffs in their underwear.  If there was something noteworthy I will mention it in my individual player notes.  Now on to my South and North practice notes listed in alphabetical order:

Jared Abbrederis, WR WISC
The powerfully built receiver was physical catching the ball, throwing off a defensive back hanging on him.  He runs crisp routes, sinks his hips, and catches the ball out in front in stride with strong hands.  There is something about him that reminds me of former Cincinnati Bengal TJ Houshmanzadeh.  If anyone could be called the North’s best receiver, it is Abbrederis. Read More »