Thursday, September 18, 2014

Week 3 Picks: Spread Formation

The house always wins (with time). This is the law of Las Vegas. The same is true for Vegas oddsmakers that set the point spreads on each NFL game. The more a season progresses, the better they get at setting lines with more data and insight available to them. Early on in the season, we always see more upsets than expected because we are all still learning the NFL landscape together, one week at a time.


Some interesting stats after the first two weeks of play:
  • Vegas Favorites have a record of 17-15, not calculating the spread
  • Vegas Favorite have a record of 11-20-1, with the spread factored in
  • The spread has changed the winning pick in 6 games, 18.75%
  • 17 games (53%) have been won by 10 points or more, virtually making the spread irrelevant in those games
  • 9 games (28%) have been won by 16 points or more
  • 7 games (21.8%) have been won by 3 points or less

My main takeaway from these stats is don’t worry about the spread this early in the season. Simply pick who you think will win the game. Look for underdogs, especially if they are playing at home. Underdogs are winning close to 50% of the games, without even adding the point spread. Find an underdog with +3.5 or more at home and you have a good shot at winning it.

Again, this advice only goes for week 3 and 4 and then we will have to adjust our strategy. But here are my picks, full of underdogs for week 3. Spreads are according the Vegas Consensus (most frequent betting line across all Vegas and Online sportsbooks).

Atlanta Falcons (-6) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – ATL -6.5
Buffalo Bills (-2.5) vs. San Diego Chargers – BUF -2.5
Dallas Cowboys (-1) @ St. Louis Rams – STL +1
Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) vs. Washington Redskins – PHI -6.5
Houston Texans (-2) vs. @ N.Y. Giants – NYG +2
New Orleans Saints (-10) vs. Minnesota Vikings – NO -10
Cincinnati Bengals (-7) vs. Tennessee Titans – TEN +7
Baltimore Ravens (-1.5) @ Cleveland Browns – CLE +1.5
Detroit Lions (-2) vs. Green Bay Packers – GB +2
Indianapolis Colts (-6.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars – JAX +6.5
New England Patriots (-14) vs. Oakland Raiders – NE -14
San Francisco 49ers (-3) @ Arizona Cardinals – ARI +3
Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) vs. Denver Broncos – SEA -4.5
Miami Dolphins (-4) vs. Kansas City Chiefs – MIA -4
Carolina Panthers (-3) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – CAR -3
New York Jets (-3) vs. Chicago Bears – NYJ -3

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Week 2 Match Up Breakdowns





Shout out to Dickey’s Barbecue for featuring us on their blog this week. They have some amazing slow-smoked ribs and brisket!

Before we dive in, let’s get some housekeeping out of the way and explain a few things we discuss below. We tried our best to give every starting player on each team (QB, 2WRs, RB, TE, K, DEF) a ranking of 1 to 5. For some matchups we list more players than that, and on just a few of them, less.

Just because we gave a kicker a ranking of 5 and a quarterback a ranking of 3, that does not mean we expect the kicker to score more fantasy points than the quarterback. Compare players of the same position to one another, for example a 5 star QB vs. a 3 star QB.

For the purposes of this column, a “sleeper” is defined as a player that is started in less than 30% of yahoo leagues. Just because someone is listed as a sleeper does not mean to necessarily start them. They could just be a player of interest worth a pick up or keeping an eye on, especially if something were to happen to the player in front of him.
Feel free to agree or disagree, but here are our opinions based on observations and cold-hard-stats. Take a deep breath, and

Here…… We…… Go.



Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens - Sunday, 9/13 1:00 pm ET

Ben Roethlisberger torched Joe Haden and the rest of the Browns secondary for 365 yards week one. The Ravens gave up 301 yards to Andy Dalton last week, giving optimism for more strong production through the air for the Steelers. Top corner Ladarius Webb missed last weeks game against the Bengals, returns this week however to bolster the Ravens secondary. Another factor working to quell fantasy appeal in this game is neither team has scored more than 23 points in their last 5 match ups. Look to the ground game for the best fantasy contributions in this match up.

5. Le'Veon Bell. The Ravens surrendered 62 yards receiving to Gio Bernard last week and Bell is coming off 193 total yard effort with 88 receiving. He's the only player in this matchup who's locked into elite status for the week.

4. Antonio Brown. Even with Ladarius Webb back in the line up Brown is easily a top 15 play at WR this week. He burned Joe Haden for 116 yards and a TD. I expect him to have another 90+ yard effort, but fail to score as a player who's never been a high yielding TD scorer.

3. Ben Roethlisberger. He's averaged 18.6 fantasy points per game over his last 9 going back to last season. Despite the lack of scoring potential this game holds, I see him producing around that 18 point mark, making him a back end QB1. Markus Wheaton. Jimmy Smith isn't an ideal match up but Roethlisberger trusts Wheaton to make plays. He made 8th overall pick Justin Gilbert his whipping boy, en route to a 97 yard day. I believe he's a top 25 play at WR this week. Bernard Pierce. The Steelers have struggled against the run and gave up 183 yards to the Browns last week. Pierce was benched after his fumble this past Sunday, but should return with a significant role Thursday night including goal line work. He will be in a heavy committee with Justin Forsett, but I believe there is enough to go around to make both strong flex plays this week. Justin Forsett. Could draw the start this week thanks to his strong 84 total yard week one effort. He received 6 targets against the Bengals. His involvement in the pass game will be a reoccurring theme. He's not an every down back, but a nice change of pace and 3rd down option for the Ravens. Another 80 total yard game is in store. Torrey Smith. He has a 40+ yard reception in each of the last two games against the Steelers, but never eclipsed 100 yards against them. The Ravens pass game was wildly inefficient against the Bengals, averaging just 5.6 yards per attempt. The Steelers were stout against the pass last season, giving up just 222 yards per game and Flacco has averaged just 204.5 ypg in the last 4 match ups (never eclipsing 251 yards) against the Steelers. Smith is a good bet to catch another deep pass in this one, but as the stats show, there won't be many yards to go around here. Dennis Pitta. Pitta might be the safest play out of the Ravens passing game. In Kubiaks system TEs are funneled passes and Pitta is a Flacco favorite as is. I think Pitta sits between 70-80 yards with a 50/50 shot at a TD.

2. Heath Miller. Might be the best bet to score out of all Steelers pass catchers, but if he doesn't I believe he will disappoint from a fantasy perspective. Steelers Defense. They gave up 27 points at home to the Browns and were ran all over. The Ravens should be able to have ample success running the ball against them as well. Leave them out of line ups and on the waiver wire. Steve Smith. His massive 15 targets against the Bengals is obviously not sustainable. Prior to last week he hadn't eclipsed 75 yards receiving since December 2012 and as stated above, there isn't going to be many yards to go around in this match up. Don't chase last weeks numbers. Leave Smith OUT of line ups this week. Ravens Defense As mentioned above, neither team has scored more than 23 points in their last 5 match ups, but the Ravens defense is only mediocre. They are a last resort streamline defense for this week. Kickers. Without a lot of scoring potential in this game, I'm looking elsewhere for my starting kicker.

1. LeGarrette Blount. Played only 5 snaps last week. He's a mere Bell handcuff.

Sleepers. Lorenzo Taliaferro. No one knows exactly how this backfield will play out without Ray Rice. Pierce has a concussion history and Forsett has never had more than 118 carries in a season. Taliaferro is a north-south runner who can grind out yards after contact. He's an appealing short-term stash in deeper leagues in case he rises to the top of the depth chart.

Game prediction: Steelers 23-20


Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee Titans - Sunday, 9/13 1:00 pm ET

The Titans offense operated very efficiently at Arrowhead Stadium in week one. They totaled 163 yards on the ground and another 266 through the air on just 33 Jake Locker attempts (8.1 ypa). Now they draw a Dallas defense that gave up 415 yards per game last season. Despite the score the Cowboys moved the ball very well last week against the Niners defense. They totaled 382 yards of offense. I see this game being one of the weeks highest scoring games.

5. Demarco Murray. He's an every week RB1

4. Jake Locker. After a productive preseason, Locker continued the momentum with poise and efficiency in a hostile environment. He totaled 266 yards and 2 TDs. He has top 5 upside at the position this week. Justin Hunter. Lead the team in targets (8) and yards (63) week one. He's by far their most talented weapon and red-zone threat. Against a vulnerable Cowboys defense I look for him to breakout similarly to Alex Hurns week 1. Dez Bryant. Locked in as a weekly high end WR.

3. Kendall Wright. Best route runner on the team should find plenty of holes in this match up. He's a top 25 play. Shonn Greene. After posting a serviceable stat line week one and proving to be the actual starter in Tennessee, Greene will be a strong play flex play in this match up. Delanie Walker. Walker is an intriguing option this week. Vernon Davis scored twice last week against the Cowboys. Walker is a good bet to reach the end zone as well . Ryan Succop. Team should spend a lot of time on the Dallas side of the field. Tony Romo. No reason he's not a top 12 play with his supporting cast at home in a potential shootout. Terrance Williams. Boom or bust WR3. I'm betting for production with the Titans focusing on Dez. Dan Baily. Despite the week one woes, Cowboys are a high end offense.

2. Bishop Sankey. While McCluster has role that could be parlayed into a fantasy friendly outing this week, Sankey does not. He's a bench stash until he over throws Greene as the starter.  Jason Witten. Old reliable reminds me a lot of Larry Fitzgerald at the position. He's declining and no longer the first QB read. Very minimal upside. I'd rather start Travis Kelce, Delanie Walker or even Heath Miller over him this week.

1. Defenses. Titans at home could be a sneaky streamline play but I don't recommend using either in this match up.

Sleepers. Nate Washington. Lead the team in snaps week one. Likely to lead the team in deep routes. He could easily come down with a long pass and reach the end zone. Dexter McCluster. He received 10 touches against the Chiefs. He could be heavily involved in the pass game this week.

Game prediction: Tennessee 29-27

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Washington Redskins - Sunday, 9/13 1:00 pm ET

Both teams have a plethora of question marks. It could be a rough game to watch if Washington can't find a spark. The Jags defense is really vulnerable and could be just what the Redskins need to ignite their offense at home.

5. None

4. Alfred Morris. Jacksonville gave up 4.5 ypc and 145 yards on the ground last week. Morris is locked in as a strong RB2 this week

3. Toby Gerhart. Banged up last week, but should be good to lead a heavily implemented rushing attack. He's a strong flex play with upside for high end RB 2 production against the Redskins. Allen Hurns. Shorts returned as a limited practice participant this week, but the Jaguars lost Marquise Lee to a hamstring injury. Hurns will work as the likely number one option. He's a WR3. Pierre Garcon. Jacksonville was the 7th worst team against the pass last season and gave up the second most pass plays of 20+ yards (65). The Redskins have a great opportunity to get on track this week at home against a secondary this vulnerable. With Jordan Reed out Garcon will absorb a few more targets and is always dangerous after the catch. He should serve as a WR2. DeSean Jackson. Jackson is a really good bet to slip past the Jags secondary for a big play or two this week. If the Redskins can gain continuity early, both Jackson and Garcon could post WR1/2 numbers. Robert Griffin III. Nearly impossible to trust, but has enough upside at home in this match up to roll the dice on. Washington Defense. The Jags were shutout in the second half by the Eagles weak defense. They lack playmakers and will likely struggle on the road. Washington is a serviceable streamline defense.

2. Cecil Shorts. He's a dicey play at less than 100%. Andre Roberts. Someone is going to make a big play in the Washington pass game. Athough Garcon and Jackson are the best bets, Roberts can't be completely disregarded. With Reed out he will likely see an expanded role, but can't be trusted as a fantasy starter. Kickers. I'm not trusting either as my kicker. Not enough points to go around.

1. Logan Paulson. Despite Reeds injury, he isn't a fantasy option. Roy Helu. No. just no.

Sleepers. None

Game prediction: Washington 20-13


Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants - Sunday, 9/13 1:00 pm ET

The Giants look pathetic all around. Their line struggles to open up running lanes. Their QB struggles to do anything positive. Their defense is very vulnerable on the back end. It looks like a long season for the Giants. The Cardinals lack rhythm on offense as their QB play is also shaky and their line has struggles of its own. Their defense, however, is stout and plays with energy. They can set up the offense in good positions. The Cardinals also have some really nice deep threats in emerging number one WR Michael Floyd and John Brown. They have enough fire power to exploit the Giants secondary.

5. None

4. Michael Floyd. The Giants were absolutely shredded last week by the Lions. They couldn't cover anyone. I think Floyd is the best fantasy play in this matchup as the best bet to burn this secondary. Fitzgerald runs mostly underneath routes leaving the downfield passes to go mostly in Floyds direction. He could very well eclipse the 100 yard mark with a score in this one.

3. Andre Ellington. He admittedly played Monday nights game at less than 100%. Something he will likely be playing at for much of the year. He's still an effective runner, but until this offense proves to be more potent, he's going to remain a flex play as opposed to an RB2. Larry Fitzgerald. Bruce Arians is obviously not going to make a concerted effort to design plays for Fitzgerald. He saw just 4 targets on Monday night. He's no longer an elite fantasy play. However, against a secondary like the Giants, he should have little trouble getting open. He's a strong WR3 play. Arizona Defense. They are less appealing on the road, but this is a great match up. They held the Chargers to just 290 total yards and now they face Eli Manning who lead the league in INTs last season. Chandler Catanzaro. The Cardinals should spend enough time on the Giants end of the field to give Catanzaro enough fantasy appeal to throw out as your kicker if need be. Rashad Jennings. Jennings is the lone bright spot and trustworthy option for the Giants. He runs hard, makes defenders miss and plays all 3 downs. The Giants are an absolute mess on offense so he can only be counted on as a flex. Rueban Randle. Randle only totaled 1 yard last week. Not inspiring a lot of confidence is his breakout potential. Still, he was able to get open last week, but Manning failed to deliver him the ball. I look for the Giants to review tape and see the need to get Randle the ball. Malcom Floyd found multiple openings downfield against the Cardinals but only managed to secure one of those downfield throws on a 32 yard connection. With Patrick Peterson matched up with Victor Cruz, Randle could very well find openings against the Cardinals. He's a boom or bust WR3 worthy of a dice roll in deeper leagues.

2.  Carson Palmer. Palmer has been inconsistent since preseason. Despite the match up, he's not a fantasy option. Victor Cruz. Hard to trust anyone tied to the Giants pass game. Thrown in a matchup against Patrick Peterson and you have a situation to avoid.

1. Jonathan Dwyer. He's not even worth rostering with Ellington healthy enough to play. Eli Manning. Can definitely be safely dropped. Josh Brown. Leave on waivers.

Sleepers. John Brown. Expected to play about 60% of the snaps (played 58% last week), Brown has some WR3 appeal on the pass happy Cardinals in this match up. He caught the game winning TD on Monday night and saw an additional end zone target on a fade route in the game. He only saw 5 targets, but his usage is encouraging and the Giants secondary has a lot of holes.

Game prediction: Cardinals 24-10

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills - Sunday, 9/13 1:00 pm ET

Both teams are coming off huge victories and carry a lot of momentum into this early divisional match up. Miami, under the guidance of new OC Bill Lazor may have just found their identity in week one. Pound the rock and kill the clock. If they continue to run the ball that effectively their play action deep balls to Mike Wallace will be lethal. It will also control the tempo of the game and keep their defense fresh so the likes of Cameron Wake can wreak havoc on opposing offenses. The Bills win, on the other hand, has the looks of anomaly more so than reason for optimism. EJ Manual hasn't suddenly become an efficient NFL QB and their defense still surrendered 427 total yards last week.

5. None

4. Knowshon Moreno. Moreno is coming off a 134 yard workhorse effort and now draws the Bill who gave up 4.8 ypc last week. Moreno has over taken Lamar Miller as the lead back. Miller will get his fair share of playing time, but Moreno is locked in as an RB2 in this one. Mike Wallace. The Bills gave up 341 yards passing last week and the 5th most pass plays of 40+ yards last season with 14. With the run game rolling, I believe Wallace gets a long score in this one, making him a WR2.

3. Lamar Miller. Despite losing the reigns to Moreno, Miller will still be heavily involved. He received 4 red-zone targets and 4 red-zone carries last week. The usage, although not sustainable, is very encouraging for his season long outlook. He's a nice flex play. Caleb Sturgis. The Dolphins lack red-zone options, making Sturgis an attractive fantasy option. CJ Spiller. He received 18 touches in week one. That kind of workload will keep Spiller as no worse than a Flex play. Fred Jackson. He's locked into the 3rd down and change of pace role. He will also get goal line usage making him a weekly flex play. The Bills are among the heaviest run teams in the league. There's enough carries to go around for both Spiller and Jackson.

2. Charles Clay. I don't think the Dolphins will throw enough to support multiple fantasy pass catchers. Miami Defense. The Miami defense has fantasy potential, but mid level defenses on the road aren't appealing. Sammy Watkins. Best bet for production out of all Bills WRs, but not a fantasy option until the Bills pass game shows life. Buffalo Defense. Home defenses are nice, but I expect the Dolphins to run wild.

1. Brian Hartline. Can't be trusted as a fantasy option yet.

Sleepers None

Game prediction: Dolphins 20-17


New England Patriots @ Minnesota Vikings - Sunday, 9/13 1:00 pm ET

New England surrendered 191 yards on the ground to the Dolphins week one and now draw Adrian Peterson. This match up sets up nicely for fantasy. The Vikings offense is going to surprise this season with Nor Turner calling plays. Playing at home and coming off a dominant win, the Vikings should come out with energy and confidence. The Patriots on the other side should come out with high energy of their own, wanting to avoid an 0-2 start. This has the makings of Fantasy gold.

5. Tom Brady. The Vikings were 31st against the pass last season and haven't improved. Brady will be looking to make a statement and have this offense playing with a sense of urgency. Brady is a top 5 QB play this week. Rob Gronkowski. Look for more usage of Gronk to exploit mismatches against the Vikings. He's going to score at least once. Adrian Peterson. As stated above the Patriots gave up 191 yards rushing to the Dolphins. Peterson is primed for a monster stat line.

4. Shane Vereen. Vereen is the unquestioned lead back for the Pats. He creates mismatches in the pass game and is an efficient runner. He also received 3 goal line carries last week. The Pats are going to explode on offense. Vereen will be one of the main beneficiaries. Julian Edelman. There's going to be plenty to go around in this one and Edelman will be open a lot. He's a solid WR2 play. Kyle Rudolph. In the TE friendly Norv Turner offense Rudolph will be heavily involved in the weekly game plans. This game has the makings of a shootout and with the Vikings needing to keep pace with the Pats, Rudolph should be fed nicely. Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson is down right hellacious with the ball in his hands. He's going to be a weekly WR2 and makes for a high upside one in this game.

3. Stevan Ridley. Only played 26% of the snaps week one, but the Patriots offense fell out of sync. This week they should hit the ground running and keep their stride till the end. Ridley should receive 12-14 touches with a goal line look or two. He's worthy of a flex play. Kickers. With all the points going around and this game being played in a dome, both kickers are strong plays

2. Kenbrell Thompkins. If Dobson plays Thompkins won't be a fantasy option. Tim Wright. His role will grow but not trustworthy just yet. Greg Jennings. Likely to be sacrificed to Revis Island. Matt Cassell. Despite the shootout appeal there are plenty of better options. He is an intriguing start in 2 QB leagues though.

1. Danny Amendola. Firmly behind Edelman. He's hardly worth rostering at this point.

Sleepers. Aaron Dobson. He was a healthy scratch week one. If he does suit up he will likely serve as the Patriots deep threat. The one element they are lacking.

Game prediction: Patriots 34-31

New Orleans Saints @ Cleveland Browns - Sunday, 9/13 1:00 pm ET

The Browns gave up 376 yards passing last week and a whopping 11.1 ypa. Only one team surrendered more yardage and that team happened to be the Saints. However, that still doesn't inspire a lot of confidence for the Browns passing game. The Saints on the other hand are likely to be angry after letting their first game slip away. The match up is great for the Saints pass game.

5. Drew Brees. He's locked in as an elite weekly play. Jimmy Graham. Graham might draw Joe Haden, but should still find a way to score either way.

4. Brandin Cooks. Cooks and Brees have instant chemistry. Cooks will be dynamite in the slot this week. Terrance West. West has elite running skills which he showcased with his 100 yard output week one on just 16 carries. The Browns will lean heavily on the run in desperation to keep the Saints off the field. West is a strong RB2 play.

3. Mark Ingram. In this offense Ingram is a weekly RB2/flex with his TD potential. Pierre Thomas. His role isn't going anywhere. He's a strong flex play against a team that gave up 88 yards receiving to Bell last week. Shayne Graham. Graham will be a solid weekly play for the Saints high scoring offense. Jordan Cameron. If practice reports deem him 100%, bump him up to the 4 range. He is the lone Browns pass catcher you can count on.

2. Marques Colston. Likely to draw Joe Haden with Graham lining up mostly in the slot. Colston doesn't have the athleticism to separate from him. Saints Defense. Despite getting torched week one the Saints retain moderate appeal against the Browns. As I've mentioned before I hate road defenses, but if your out of options, the Saints should be useable. Andrew Hawkins. He could make his fantasy day in garbage time, but I haven't seen enough to use him as a starter yet.

1. Browns Defense. Billy Cundiff

Sleepers. Isaiah Crowell. West will handle lead back duties, but Crowell is incredibly talented and vultured both rushing TDs last week. He has flex appeal this week with how run heavy the Browns figure to be.

Game prediction: Saints 31-17

Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati Bengals - Sunday, 9/13 1:00 pm ET

The Falcons offense is for real and they are lethal. The Bengals are a tough match up particularly on the road, but they aren't elite by any means. The Falcons are loaded with weapons who all carry different sets of skills. Even with Steven Jackson on his last leg, this offense is diverse. They faced last years number two team against the pass and 4th in points allowed last week. They erupted for 568 yards and 37 points.

5. Matt Ryan. With his weapons and week one performance he's locked in as an elite QB. AJ Green. My bet for the number one position player this week.

4. Julio Jones. The Saints double teamed Julio last week and he still hauled in all 7 of his targets for 116 yards. Roddy White. With Julio drawing double teams, White is an every week WR2. Giovanni Bernard. Bernard dominated backfield snaps and touches week one and now draws a very good match up on paper against last years 31st ranked run defense. Hue Jackson promises to use Hill more going forward, but he's locked in as a high RB2 this week.

3. Steven Jackson. His usage should increase as the season goes on. He should get 60-70 total yards and is a decent bet to score on this high end offense. Matt Bryant/Mike Nugent. Both kickers are strong plays this week and going forward. Andy Dalton. Great match up against a vulnerable defense. If this game turns to a shootout he could prove to be very useful this week.

2. Harry Douglas. I don't think there is enough to go around in this match up for Douglas to draw any line up consideration. Mohamed Sanu. Unless he scores he won't provide much use and he's not exactly a red-zone dynamo.

1. Devin Hester. Jermaine Gresham.

Sleepers. Jeremy Hill. Hue Jackson wants a power run game. Bernard doesn't provide one. Hill is the most efficient runner on the team. At some point this season he will become a weekly flex play. It might start as soon as this week against a defensive unit that struggles mightily against the run.

Game prediction: Falcons 24-23.

Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers – Sunday, 9/13 1:00 pm ET

The Panther’s Defense is legit. They held the Buccaneers to just 14 points last week (all scored in the 4th quarter) and have allowed 2 touchdowns or less in 15 of their last 17 games. Matthew Stafford had a tremendous week 1, but I expect him to take a step back this week on the road. Cam Newton had a full practice this Wednesday and coach Ron Rivera has already said Newton is good to go this week.

5. Calvin Johnson. He is an absolute beast and is always Stafford’s first read. Never bench him.

4. Kelvin Benjamin. Let’s not get too carried away on Benjamin’s potential just yet, but Cam was on the sidelines watching him make play after play. Newton will be like a kid that can’t wait to play with his shiny new toy on Christmas morning. Greg Olsen. Olsen looked great in his season debut (8-83-1), I have him as a solid TE1.

3. Cam Newton. We haven’t seen Newton in action this year yet, even on “mediocre’ weeks, he makes up for it with his rushing stats (585-6 last year), and I expect him to be efficient on the ground against the Lions this week. Matthew Stafford. He lit up the score board in week one and has a good shot to be a top 6 QB this year, but he will take a slight step back this week against Carolina’s fast, physical defense. Joique Bell. Reggie Bush and Bell are going to be very difficult to predict week-to-week. I have Bell ranked as a RB3/Flex play this week and slightly ahead of Bush. He had 15 rushing attempt last week and just 1 reception. Expect his targets in the passing game to increase. Golden Tate. Things are looking up for Tate this year as defenses key in on Megatron, he has plenty of room to run free. He is elusive with the ball in his hands in open field. He is a WR3 this year, borderline WR2 in PPR (6 receptions in week1). CAR Defense. It’s hard to recommend any defense against the Lions, but Carolina should surprise at home this week. No need to panic and hit up the waiver wire if you have this group.

2. Reggie Bush. Bush seems to play better on the turf at home and was seen icing his knees in practice this week. He will play and get the start, but Bell will be used often as mentioned above. Brandon Pettigrew. DET DefenseNate Freese. Graham Gano.

1. Jerricho Cotchery. DeAngelo Williams. If you are starting a Panther’s running back, your roster needs a makeover. DET Defense

Sleepers: None. Mostly because I want zero part of Carolina’s 3 headed backfield. If I had to choose one though, I’d go with Jonathan Stewart (12 total touches week 1), but I hope you have other options.

Game Prediction: Panthers 24-20
St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday, 9/13 4:05 pm ET

Neither one of these teams looked stellar in week 1, and both suffered some injuries. Doug Martin is still questionable and has yet to practice as of Wednesday after exiting the game last week. The Rams lost QB Shaun Hill before the half last week. He did not practice Wednesday as well. The replacement QB is Austin Davis. He threw for 192 yards, 1 TD, suffered 4 sacks and threw a pick-six in just over one half of play last week. After a disappointing week 1, expect the Buccaneers defense to feast on whoever is behind center.

5. TB Defense. If you like to stream your defense based on matchups, Tampa Bay is currently available in 60% of yahoo leagues. They are my #3 defense this week.

4. Vincent Jackson. VJ disappointed last week with only 36 yards. However, he did lead the team in targets with 9, and this week he faces a much easier opponent. Don’t bail on him just yet.

3. Brian Quick. Doug Martin. If he is able to play, don’t expect RB1 numbers this week. His volume will be limited as he is used in rotation with Bobby Rainey, who was the every-down back in Martin’s absence last week. Mike Evans. Josh McCown. He is looking like he was merely a product of Trestman’s offense and the talent around him in Chicago. The matchup is favorable this week, but his o-line has problems and he made several poor decisions last week that luckily only led to two interceptions.

2. Zac Stacy. Stacy could end up disappointing a lot of owners that drafted him in the late second round this year. The Ram’s issues will have them playing from behind a lot this year and Stacy lost work in passing situations to Benny Cunningham. The split of touches in week 1 was 12-9 in Stacy’s favor, but Cunningham got an entire series to himself, which is worrisome. Jared Cook. Brandon Myers. Greg Zuerlein. Patrick Murray.

1. Shaun Hill/Austin Davis. Kenny Britt. Had no catches on 3 targets last week. Not looking like the Ram’s top receiver at all. STL Defense.

Sleepers: Brian Quick. Currently owned in just 12% of yahoo leagues, he is entering just his 3rd season, and has a great physical frame at 6’3”. The Rams have major issues at QB, but will be playing from behind most of the season and going to the air to catch up. Quick lined up with the first team all day and was the most targeted receiver on the team. He finished with 7 catches for 99 yards. He is a fantastic pickup if you are thin at WR, especially in PPR leagues. Don’t expect too much, but he is a decent flex play and will come in handy once bye weeks roll around. Mike Evans is started by just 14% of virtual teams this week. He is a highly touted rookie, and rightly so. Another great speed-size combo player (6’5”) who saw 9 targets in week 1. He will benefit playing opposite of Vincent Jackson and should see plenty of single coverage and will work the middle of the field versus linebackers who will struggle to keep up with him.

Game Prediction: Buccaneers 24-10
Seattle Seahawks @ San Diego Chargers - Sunday, 9/13 4:05 PM

The Seahawks proved in week 1 versus Green Bay that they are the favorites this year to win the Super Bowl. The Legion of Boom held Aaron Rogers to 189 yards and got an interception. They also only allowed 80 total yards of rushing. You don’t want to have to start anyone against this group except for the most elite of players. The Chargers blew a 17-6 lead going into the 4th quarter against the Cardinals, and allowed 304 yards and 2 TD’s to Carson Palmer last week.

5. Steven Hauschka. Marshawn Lynch. I was not betting on a decline from Lynch this year. He went full Beast Mode in week 1, gaining 110 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 carries (5.5 YPC). Expect another great performance this week.

4. Russell Wilson. He threw for 191 yards, 2 TD’s and added 29 yards rushing. A very modest output of 17 fantasy points. He is a safe bet to finish top 10 amongst QB’s for this week, expect a slight bump in production. Percy Harvin. I had Percy Harvin ranked lower than I should have in drafts. Sure there is his injury history, but he was exciting to watch in week 1. The Seahawks lined him up all over the field. He was an absolute blur on sweep plays when they brought him into the back field in motion pre-snap. He was a perfect 7 receptions on 7 targets for 59 yards, and ran the ball 4 times for 41 yards. Even on weeks he doesn’t reach the end zone his combined rushing/receiving totals will put him in the range of 7-10 fantasy points every week. SEA defense.

3. Ryan Mathews. Mathews is good when he is healthy. 2013 was his first full season of his career. You want to play him while you can. His involvement in the passing game should keep him relevant this week, but only as a flex play. Keenan Allen. He started off his season with a dud, pulling in 5 balls for 37 yards. He did see 9 targets, and we saw in week 1 that Richard Sherman will not follow the number 1 receiver around the field. He will stay put on the left. The entire Seahawks secondary is solid, but I am expecting a TD for Allen this week.

2. Philip Rivers. The only value in Philip Rivers this week comes from volume and garbage time yardage towards the end of this volume. Zach Miller. Malcom Floyd. Antonio Gates. Ladarius Green has been an extremely buzzy name in the fantasy community, but I am not buying it. Last week, Antonio Gates looked like he gained back a little speed and he knows how to use his body well. He had 6 receptions on 10 targets for 81 yards. Meanwhile, Green played a mere 24 out of 62 offensive snaps (39%) and only caught 2 passes for 24 yards. Rivers trusts Gates. His matchup isn’t favorable, so he is only a high end TE2 this week. Nick Novak.

1. Doug Baldwin. Ladarius Green. Danny Woodhead. SD defense.

Sleepers: Zach Miller is started in only 2% of Yahoo leagues. It is hard to predict which Seahawks pass catcher, outside of Harvin, will do well on any given Sunday, but Miller had a spectacular one-handed catch last week, and I love that sort of thing. If San Diego loads the box against Lynch near the goal line, Miller could slip out on a play action for an easy TD. Malcom Floyd (2% started) has not been able to stay healthy much over his long NFL career, but Antonio Gates recently said “he's by far the most underrated player in the last 10 years.” I’m not so sure about that, but Floyd did have 4 receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown in week 1. Oh, and did I mention he is 6’5” and is playing his 10th year alongside Rivers? Hard to expect much against Seattle but is worth monitoring or a pick up if you need help at WR.

Game prediction: Seahawks 31-13


 Houston Texans @ Oakland Raiders - Sunday, 9/13 4:25 pm ET

The Texans, sadly, lost the number 1 overall pick of the NFL draft, Jadeveon Clowney, for a minimum of 4 weeks with a torn meniscus. J.J. Watt and the Texan’s defense are still near the top of the ranks this week facing rookie QB Derek Carr. Maurice Jones-Drew had a minor procedure done on his hand this Monday. He did not practice Wednesday and his status is still up in the air. The Raiders were dead last in offense, both 32nd in rushing and receiving, in week 1.

5. Arian Foster.  Foster is healthy and running with purpose. He should have a big day against Oakland’s weak front seven. HOU Defense.

4. Andre Johnson. He saw 9 targets to Hopkins’ 5 in week 1. Hopkins was the beneficiary of a 76 yard TD on a broken play where no one covered him. He gets 3 stars because of the favorable matchup, but Andre is still the main man here.

3. DeAndre Hopkins. Darren McFadden. Randy Bullock. Quick shout out to Bullock, we both went to high school with him at Klein. Go Bearkats!

2. Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Texan’s have plenty of talented weapons on offense, except at arguably the most important position, quarterback. Garrett Graham. Rod Streater.

1. Derek Carr. Derek Carr wasn’t terrible in his first ever NFL start, 151 yards, 2 td’s, 0 interceptions. Expect Watt to be in his face all afternoon batting down passes at the line and putting him on his back.  Maurice Jones-Drew. James Jones. Mychal Rivera. It’s worth noting that TE Mychal Rivera moved ahead of David Ausberry on the depth chart. Neither should be started or rostered except in the deepest of leagues at this point. OAK defense. Sebastian Janikowski.

Sleepers: DeAndre Hopkins is starting in 19% of yahoo leagues. Coverage will be focused on Johnson, or may not be there at all. If you own him and he catches another TD this week, it’s a great sell high opportunity. Hit the trade block. Darren McFadden. The Raider’s have two running backs that are on the tail-end of their careers. However, if MJD misses this week, McFadden (2% started) could be a good flex play. The Texans allowed 140 yards rushing to the Redskins last week.                                                                                         
Game Prediction: Texans 20-10
New York Jets @ Green Bay Packers - Sunday, 9/13 4:25 pm ET

 

I love going with guys that are proven, yet they are coming off a bad week due to their whole team playing poorly. Add in a favorable matchup, and you have the recipe for fantasy gold this week in the Green Back Packers. The J-E-T-S are off to a 1-0 start but now travel to Lambeau Field for a rude awakening.

5. Aaron Rogers. Rogers will light up the Jets secondary this week, expect top-3 QB numbers. Jordy Nelson. It was very encouraging to see A-Rod target Jordy 14 times, resulting in 9 receptions for 83 yards. Against any other defense those 14 targets will turn into some nice numbers for Nelson. Start him with confidence every week now that the Seahawks are in the rear view mirror. GB Defense. The Packers defense is only 23% owned. If you need a streaming option, this is a great pick this week. They have tons of talented players: Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers looked fantastic as a stand up outside linebacker, corner and Sam Shields was all over the place breaking up plays last week. I expect this group to emerge as a top-10 unit this season, they just didn’t have the chance to show it on the road vs. Seattle last week.  Mason Crosby.

4. Eddie Lacy. He seems to have recovered fully from the minor concussion suffered last week and should start. New York defends well against the run, but Lacy is RB1 quality attached to this high scoring offense. Randall Cobb.

3. Eric Decker. Decker is the team’s uncontested #1 receiver. With the Pack expected to run away with this game, Decker should see the majority of the team’s targets as they play from behind. Chris Johnson. The Jets are making it clear they will run the ball heavily again in 2014. CJ received the slightly more carries but it was close to a 50-50 split with running mate Chris Ivory. Johnson is a great receiver and dangerous in open field (5 receptions, 23 yards, TD in week1).

2. Chris Ivory. James Starks. Geno Smith. He had an 82% completion rate week 1 and threw for 221 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception. He tacked on 38 yards rushing but also put the ball on the ground twice. Not enough volume to warrant a start. Nick Folk.

1. Andrew Quarless. Jeremy Kerley. Jeff Cumberland. NYJ Defense.

Sleepers: Chris Ivory is owned in 49% of yahoo leagues. Let’s get the number closer to higher. Even though he is in a full on RBBC, he is still listed at the top of the depth chart and the Jets figure to be close to the top of the league in rush attempts. He ran for a 71 yard TD in week one. He makes a nice flex play in deeper leagues and will save some owners during bye weeks this year. James Starks is a must add behind Eddie Lacy after his week 1 concussion, another big shot to the head and Lacy will miss multiple weeks. If Lacy ever misses time, Starks is more than capable of carrying a full load. He posted a 5.3 YPC last week on 7 attempts and was involved in the passing game with 2 receptions.

Game Prediction: Packers 31-20


Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos – Sunday, 9/13 4:25 pm ET

The Broncos are the top rated team for fantasy purposes week in and week out. This roster is full of top tier talent and with Peyton Manning leading the way, the sky is the limit. This week, the broncos draw the Chiefs at home. Kansas City looked abysmal last week, giving up 26 points and 428 total yards of offense to the Titans. Try not to drool on your keyboard or screen imaging the numbers Denver will put up this week.

5. Peyton Manning. Not much to say here. Easy matchup at home. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get benched in the second half due to a huge lead. Montee Ball. He actually disappointed last week, gaining just 63 yards on 23 carries (2.9 YPC). He will produce plenty of good stat lines though with the high volume. He had a TD last week and added 2 catches for 16 yards. Demaryius Thomas. Grabbing just 4 receptions on 11 targets is not what fantasy owners wanted to see week 1. Expect a better output from DT this week. He is the real deal. Julius Thomas. It’s not fair to classify him as a TE. He only has 20 NFL games under his belt and a full offseason with Peyton did him absolute wonders. Last year I thought he looked awkward and hesitant, but in week one he looked fluid, athletic, and made cuts right into the gaps of the defense instinctively. Start this monster every week. Jamaal Charles. Week one was an anomaly. Head coach Andy Reid stepped up and took blame for the poor play. He said it was “negligence” to only give Charles 11 touches. He will see tons of work going forward. He was the Chiefs’ leading rusher AND receiver in 2013, totaling 1,980 yards. Brandon McManus.

4. Emmanuel Sanders. I had Sanders ranked ahead of Welker even before the suspension and concussion. Peyton looked to him early and often in week 1 (9 targets, 6 receptions), and we know this offense can produce 3, if not 4, starting quality fantasy WRs. Very high upside WR2 this week.

3. Travis Kelce. DEN Defense. I am not as bullish as most on this defensive unit this week, but still, you are not benching them unless you have an elite option.

2. Alex Smith. He threw 3 interceptions last week. His only hope is a TD or 2 late in this game while desperately playing catchup. It will probably come in the form of a dump off to Charles on a screen play. Dwayne Bowe. Bowe sat out with a one game suspension last week. He has shown he is an elite receiver throughout his NFL career, however his environment severely limits him. Andre Caldwell.

1. Donnie Avery. KC Defense. Cairo Santos.

Sleepers: It’s hard to find a “sleeper” on the Broncos, because we are starting so many of them with confidence. Cody Latimer is the rookie who’s name gets thrown around a lot, but he didn’t play a single snap in week one, he is not worth of a roster spot a the moment. Travis Kelce is started in just 10% of yahoo leagues currently. Last week, he caught 3 passes for 49 yards. Kelce is Smith’s security blanket in the passing game, and has a decent chance to score this week. Denver allowed a line of 7-85-1 to the Colts’ tight ends last week. I have him as a low end TE1 in week 2.

Game Prediction: Broncos 36-14
 


Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers - Sunday, 9/13 8:25 pm ET

Although this matchup is ripe with talent on both teams, it could prove to be problematic for the Bears in San Francisco. The Bears offense was inconsistent against a vulnerable Bills secondary week one with two interceptions. The end game numbers were nice, but the efficiency wasn't. Now traveling on the road to face a defense that is coming off a 4 TO two TD effort, the Bears could face a similar fate as the Cowboys. The Bears defense is weak especially against the run where they finished worst in the league last season.

5. Matt Forte. He's an every week RB1 and the Niners gave up 118 yards to Demarco Murray week one. Frank Gore. The Bears defensive struggles up front make Gore an RB1 this week. He should eclipse 100 yards and find the end-zone.

4. Brandon Marshall. Marshall is the only Bears pass catcher I'm starting with confidence this week. The Niners secondary was all over Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams last week. Colin Kaepernick. EJ Manuel completed 73% of his passes with a 7.9 ypa average. Manuel is one of the worst QBs in the league. With Kaepernicks weapons in place he has high end QB1 upside in this match up.

3. Alshon Jeffery. He was knocked out of last weeks game with a hamstring injury and didn't return. He missed practice Wednesday which is further concern. If he plays it likely won't be at 100% and this is a bad match up on paper.  Jay Cutler. For all the reasons already mentioned I'm not starting Cutler with confidence this week. I'd rather start Jake Locker Andy Dalton or even RGIII in his place. Michael Crabtree. His week one production had all to do with game flow and nothing to do with his role in the offense. Start him with confidence as a WR3 this week. Vernon Davis. He won't get a lot of targets outside the red-zone, but who cares if he continues to be a high volume TD producer. He will be Kaepernicks main red-zone option. Anquan Boldin. In this match up he's worth a WR3 plug in if you are limited on options. Niners Defense. They are a good bet to force multiple TOs at home against Cutler. Phil Dawson. This game has the makings of Niner dominance. Dawson should play a role in that.

2. Santonio Holmes. I don't know if Holmes will ever be worth starting this season. Martellus Bennett. If he doesn't score, he isn't going to be useful and I sincerely doubt he finds the end-zone in this one.

1. Bears Defense. They aren't even worth rostering. Robbie Gould. I don't see the Bears having many scoring opportunities. Stevie Johnson/Brandon Lloyd. Neither is worth a roster stash.

Sleepers. Carlos Hyde. He could end up being a sneaky flex play. Right now he is a better runner than Gore. He has excellent burst and vision. He's an explosive back who the Niners will slip in more and more as the season goes on and he already vultured a TD week one. The Bears can't stop the run. If Hyde receives 10-12 touches he will be a nice flex play this week.

Game prediction: Niners 30-17


Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis Colts - Monday, 9/14 8:30 pm ET

The NFL couldn't have picked a better game for MNF this week. I say that because I believe this game is the best bet to be an absolute shootout. When you bring two bottom end defenses to match up against two high end offense, you should have an onslaught of offensive production.

5. LeSean McCoy. He's an unquestioned weekly RB1. Andrew Luck. The Colts run game doesn't offer much support. Luck will carry the load against the defense that was worst in the league against the pass last season.

4. Nick Foles. His weapons aren't as good as Lucks, but the match up is ripe for success.  Jeremy Maclin. I think the Eagles will be playing catch up in this one. Another 10+ targets are in store for Maclin. Zac Ertz. He's no Julius Thomas but the Colts did surrender 3 TDs to the TE position last week and Ertz is the teams biggest red-zone threat. Reggie Wayne. Even at his age he is still Lucks top target. Should have a field day against this secondary.

3. Riley Cooper. He received 7 targets last week. He should see at least that many this week putting him on the WR3 map. Darren Sproles. Chip Kelly will find ways to use him especially when playing from behind. Cody Parkey. Kicking on a high end offense in a dome in a high scoring affair. What more do you want from your kicker ?  Hakeem Nicks. All Colts WRs should find room to work in this game. With his size he might just be the best bet of all Colts WRs to score. T.Y. Hilton. I think he's going to make a big play in this one at some point with a strong chance to take it the distance. The Eagles gave up 62 pass plays of 20+ yards last season. Adam Vinateri. I prefer Parkey, but he works too.

2. Jordan Mathews. Mathews has some sleeper appeal in this one, but he can't be trusted just yet. Dwayne Allen. He's a match up nightmare and easily the Colts best red-zone threat, but I don't think he will see enough targets to be a truly bankable fantasy asset.

1. Eagles Defense. Coby Fleener. Colts Defense. Trent Richardson. Do yourself a favor and keep him on your bench.

Sleepers. Ahamad Bradshaw. Bradshaw is easily the best back on the Colts roster. He will be the starter at some point, but even as a change of pace back he holds value in this offense playing on 3rd downs. He had 70 yards receiving last week. I think he posts 80 total yards with a possible score to give him significant flex appeal.

Game Prediction: Colts 38-30

So there you have it. We would love your feedback and if you have any specific Start/Sit questions for your roster, tweet Joe @Reservations4six or @NickSoliz. You can also call Joe at his Fantasy Football hotline, anytime at 281-537-7333 to discuss all of your roster options. Best of luck in week 2 gamers!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

THE TOP 175 Fantasy Football Big Board

Written by Joseph Turnbull




We will be providing a hot line for you to call anytime with any fantasy football related questions and we will do our best to help you better your team and start your optimal line up each and every week ! You can also email your questions to joet46@att.net or tweet your questions @Reservations4six. For more information be sure to read the About Us section.
 


For all your Fantasy Football questions this season call our hot line at 281-537-7333
 







1. Jamaal Charles - One of the most efficient RBs in NFL history with a coach who finally knows how to unleash him. The Chiefs over-achieved as a team last year and are due a significant regression, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. That won't effect Charles though. No matter what the game situation, the Chiefs offense will run through Charles. With check down McGee under center he's sure to be force fed the ball through the air and ground. There's no other weapons on this team and Charles career ypc is 5.6.


 


McCoy will be without his top lineman for the first 4 games due to suspension. DeSean Jackson won't be there to keep safety's out of the box. The addition of Sproles caps his receiving production and his recent turf toe, no matter how slight, is nothing to over look. Charles is in charge.


 


2. LeSean McCoy - The negatives mentioned above are more reasons for Charles to be number one than actual knocks on McCoy. He's an undoubted elite NFL back and fantasy weapon in the prime of his career on the best running system in Football. There really isn't anything more to say.


 


3. Adrian Peterson - AD is out to prove no one can stop him, not even Father Time. It's hard to believe he's already 29. He's always been a freak and although past his true prime, he's not only still an elite talent with the best offense he's had since the Brett Favre days, but now under the guidance of a coordinator who will use him in the pass game. The two seasons he has had at least 40 catches in have been his greatest two fantasy seasons in his career. Under Norv Turner, Peterson is once again set to receive 40 catches. Although I value Lacy and Peterson similarly this season I side with AD as the superior talent and focal point of an underrated offense.

 

4. Eddie Lacy - The Packers have been looking for a workhorse runner for years and finally have their guy in Lacy. He's sure to run early and often this season on an elite offense. From weeks 5-17 last year Lacy averaged 21 touches per game. He was without Rodgers for essentially 8 of those games which may lead to the perception he will be leaned on less this season. This is incorrect. His workload won’t fall but his efficiency will rise (he had just 4.1 ypc last season). The Packers are likely to be playing with leads in many 4th quarters this season looking to Lacy to secure victories. The Packers are also without their top two red zone targets from last season after the departure of James Jones and loss of Jermichael Finley, which should lead to further usage for Lacy near the goal line. His upside is massive. 1700-1800 total yards and 15 TDs isn't out of the question this year.

 

5. Matt Forte - The last of the "elites" at RB Forte comes in at number 5. Under Mark Trestman Forte had his best season as a pro totaling 1933 yards from scrimmage 74 catches and 12 TDs. The offense will once again be one of the league’s best, potentially taking another step forward in Trestman’s second year. Couple that with his durability (he has only 5 missed games in his 6 year career) and Forte is one of the safest bets in all of Fantasy.


6. Calvin Johnson - Astoundingly Calvin has averaged over 105 yards a game each of the last 3 seasons. Although I think Dez, Demaryius, Julio and even Nelson could all be the number one fantasy WR this season there is no safer bet at the position than the one they call Megatron.

7. Dez Bryant - For those of you just tuning in to the Football world here's the rundown on Dez.
    
 Offensive guru Scott Linehan is now in control of the Cowboys passing game. For those unfamiliar with Scott Linehan, he called plays for the Lions from 09-13. Those teams were at or near the top of the league lead in pass attempts each of those years.
Linehan has coached Randy Moss, Torrey Holt and Calvin Johnson. Unlike the Cowboys schemes from the past, he doesn't keep his premier weapon locked into one position so that defenses may game plan to take them away. He moves them around and uses them in a variety of ways helping those past WRs reach the pinnacle of the position. Now its Bryants' turn.
Dez is in a contract year. The Cowboys seem set on making him play out this season prior to extension which will only further motivate him to a massive season.
In addition to those little fun facts the Cowboys defense is in line for a horrific season which should lead to numerous shootouts especially in their division. Dez is set for career totals across the board.
   

8. Demaryius Thomas - Back to back seasons over 1400 yards as the number one option on the most prolific offense of all time.... What's not to like ? Ohh yeah and last years number two WR is now gone leaving behind 136 targets and 11 TDs to be absorbed. Sure, many of those targets will go to Deckers replacement in Sanders, but Thomas is a good bet to add on a portion of those TDs. His ceiling is through the roof especially with Welkers' suspension.

9. Julio Jones - For those who haven't heard the stat Julio was on an absolute torrid pace of 1856 yards through 5 games before re injuring his foot last season. His upside is unquestioned. Health is the lone concern, but he's back to 100%. If you need proof you need only click here to see his ridiculous TD vs the Titans. A healthy Roddy White and Harry Douglass makes this a potent offense that will need to lean on its pass game with deficiencies in the run game and on defense. As the clear cut number one option on a pass first offense with Tony Gonzales' 121 targets up for grabs, Jones has near unlimited potential.

 
 
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10. Demarco Murray - With the addition of OG Zack Martin via the draft the Cowboys now have one of the top O-lines in place. The strong play from this unit should help bring efficiency and ball control to the offense, giving them the potential to be down right dominate. The addition of Linehan will also give a huge boost to Murray. Under his guidance Moe Williams  caught 65 passes as lead back on the 2003 Vikings. Steven Jackson caught 90 in 2006. Jahvid Best hauled in 58 passes for the 2010 Lions. Joique Bell caught 105 balls over the past two seasons and Reggie Bush had 54 in 14 games last year alongside him. Murray Could eclipse 70 catches with ease. There are those who believe Lance Dunbar will slide into the Bell role for the Cowboys this season. Dunbar is talented so it isn't completely out of the realm of possibility, but unlike Bush, Murray is a true 3 down workhorse. So it's unlikely Dunbar will carve out a significant role without a Murray injury. If health holds Murray will contend for the number one overall fantasy RB crown.

11. Montee Ball - Ball is over the appendectomy and ready to fill the role that Knowshon Moreno parlayed into a top 5 finish at the position last season. As a superior runner to Moreno, the Broncos could lean more on the run this season. Another factor playing in his favor is lack of talent behind him. Ronnie Hillman is purely a change of pace option and CJ Anderson is very inexperienced. Experience is a major factor in having a role in a Manning offense as you have to be able to keep up with him mentally. As long as he stays healthy Ball should have little trouble being the workhorse for the leagues top offense. A situation that will provide a plethora of scoring opportunities.

12. Jordy Nelson  - In the 9 games Nelson played with Rodgers last season his 16 game pace was 94 catches 1559 yards and 12 TDs which would have placed him 2nd at the position. Sure Cobb wasn't in many of those games but its very clear Nelson is the man in the Packers pass game. Already with 29 TDs in his last 37 games with Rodgers, Nelson has a pretty good track record for scoring. Now with the Packers minus their top two red zone targets from last season his TD total could creep into the 14-15 range making him a dark horse for the number one overall WR.

13. AJ Green - The switch from Jay Grudens' pass first scheme to Hue Jacksons' run heavy offense in addition to Andy Daltons limitations at QB will hinder Green from keeping pace with the other elite WRs. I've watched his highlights from last season and was disturbed to find only once was Green hit in stride. Time after time he had to wait on a long ball. Turn back to catch a pass behind him on slants and crossing patterns, costing him many opportunities to run ahead into clear areas. Who knows what kind of numbers he could've ended with had he had better QB play. You may be thinking of the numbers both he and Dalton posted last season and question my judgment. To that I will back up my prior statements about Dalton efficiency. He was 5th in interceptions with 20. 16th in completion percentage. 16th in Total QBR and 16th in passer rating. Pretty pedestrian totals for someone in the user friendly Jay Gruden offense. Green made many of his big plays from Dalton heaving up prayers and Green making exceptional plays to come down with the ball. Now in Hue Jacksons' run heavy conservative offense Dalton will have less opportunities to make big plays which could lead to a drop in production for Green.

14. Jimmy Graham - The leagues premier TE and major weekly difference maker due to lack of premium talent at the position should be once again highly coveted. He's one of the safest players in the game and best bets to repeat elite production. The optimism surrounding Gronk and upside of Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron and Kyle Rudolph knocks Graham down my ranks a bit. Not because I doubt him but rather because I see the difference between him and Gronk to be minimal.

15. Peyton Manning - Coming off the greatest season the league has ever seen at the position a regression is almost a certainty. Who cares ! If he "drops" to 5000 yards and 45 TDs he will still be the number one QB and overall scorer in the fantasy game.

16. Rob Gronkowski - Ok I know he holds a lot of health risk but there is a lot of optimism surrounding his outlook. Even if he's only 50/50 to play week one and misses a couple games this season here is why he's worth it. From 2011-2013 Gronk has 11 games with MULTIPLE TDs and just 12 games without a TD. An astounding figure and a great look at what he's capable of doing when he's on the field. His weekly scoring differentials will make him a fantasy god.

17. Brandon Marshall - His two year average in Chicago is 109 catches 1401 yards and 11.5 TDs. Jeffery is on the rise and will likely siphon some red zone targets, but there's no denying his high floor and consistency. I look for the Bears to take another step forward in year two of Trestman which should add to his yardage total from last season making up for any regression in TDs.

18. Antonio Brown - How many games with less than 5 catches did Brown have last season ? ZERO. Ok, well how about games under 50 yards receiving ? ZERO. Brown is the king of week to week consistency. He's also one of the most dangerous players with the ball in his hands. The departures of Sanders and Cotchery leaves 17 TDs from last season to be replaced. Although the return of Heath Millers' health will make him the primary red zone target, Brown should still see an uptick in red zone looks. Brown will once again be near the top of the reception and yardage totals and a potential uptick in redzone usage makes him a lethal fantasy weapon in every format.

19. Alshon Jeffery - The sophomore sensation tipped the yardage scales with 1526 total yards (105 rushing) last season yet still has room for improvement. Despite his freakish measurables and massive yardage totals, he only splashed pay dirt 7 times. A number that is likely to go up significantly this season.

 
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20. Doug Martin - The injury to potential RBBC partner Charles Sims gives a massive boost to Martins' outlook. The O-Line looks to be shaky, but the offense is much improved with the additions of Mike Evans, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Josh McCown. Martin can play all 3 downs and is just 2 years removed from a number 2 finish at the RB position. Add in Login Mankins, a run blocking dynamo and Martin is primed for a massive bounce back year.

21. Marshawn Lynch - His slide to 21 in my rankings doesn't mean I "hate" Lynch because I don't. I just don't see much of a difference between him and some of the other backs further down the ranks. Yes, he is the workhorse on a run heavy team, but the roles of Robert Turbin and Christine Michael should grow and he doesn't play on 3rd downs as it is. I also believe Russell Wilson will steal some TDs from Lynch this year. Lynch is also heavily worked and history hasn't been kind to RBs with 3 straight seasons of 250+ carries. Last season there were 3 backs who fell in that category. Stevan Jackson, Ray Rice and Chris Johnson. SJax and Rice certainly didn't lead any teams to championships and Johnson posted a 3.9 ypc. I don't think Lynch will be a bust, but I do think his production will dip.

22. Andre Ellington - His running style is Jamaal Charles-esk and so is his ypc of 5.5 from last season. He's in line for 300 touches this season without a legitimate running mate. Im very anxious to see what he does with that kind of workload as he weaves his way through defenses effortlessly. He's a great receiver and excels in space. The lone knock being his size for it brings about durability questions. Guys like Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles have been able to thrive in the NFL and they have very similar frames and running styles. Yes, those guys are rare breads but I believe Ellington is as well.

23. Drew Brees - All the guy does is throw for 5000 yards. The loss of Sproles and Lance Moore will be supplemented by the arrival of Brandin "Sonic Boom" Cooks. A truly special talent. The Saints defense was much improved last season particularly against the pass where they ranked 2nd. They also finished 4th in sacks and 4th in points allowed. They added Jarius Byrd in the offseason which will only add to their new defensive prowess. Its not out of the realm of possibility the Saints will look to become more like Seattle and utilize their 3 backs heavily. Limiting drop backs from Brees and capping his upside. When you factor in the potential their defense has he may not have to throw for flashy numbers in order for them to win. Still he's Brees. The floor is HIGH.

24. Aaron Rodgers - This offense is ready to push for number one in the league. With Lacy moving the chains on the ground and keeping pass rushers on their heels, Rodgers should be able to throw for 4500+ yards with ease.

25. Zac Stacy - The loss of Bradford shouldn't be too much cause for pause. He was without him for much of last season and still had over 1100 yards in just 12 games. Stacy will be an absolute workhorse for a very run heavy team.

26. Le'Veon Bell - Things look bleak I know, but he's unlikely to be hit with a suspension any time soon and even if he does it will only be a first time offense costing him one game. Blount will factor in and steal some goal line work, but Bell will be the workhorse behind a much improved Steelers line. He is a great receiver and the Steelers have promised to run more no huddle this season which Blount won't be on the field for. If the Steelers defense struggles again this year they will also be needing more passing packages which again will be utilizing Bell for. He's going to have 1000 yards rushing and close to 500 receiving with 6+ TDs.

27. Randall Cobb - Another slice of that sweet Packer pie. Cobb is a dynamic playmaker with 100 catch upside as a moveable chess piece in this elite offense. He lacks elite scoring potential but will make up for lack of TDs with huge yardage totals and is in a contract season.

28. Julius Thomas - Although greatly separated from the top two TEs I still give Thomas an elite label at the position. The absence of Decker gives him 15 TD potential (he had 12 in 14 games last season). With serious questions marks surrounding Welkers health in addition to his 4 game suspension, Thomas could also enjoy a nice uptick in targets as well giving him potential for a truly special season at the position.

29. Arian Foster - A player coming off back surgery, who battled a hamstring injury throughout camp is not someone I look to build my team around. His contemplation of retirement this offseason makes me really question his passion for the game this season. He certainly has a chance to be very productive if his health holds, but with so many red flags surrounding Foster, he's someone I won't be having on any of my teams.


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30. Shane Vereen - He caught 47 passes in just 8 games last season. With or without Gronk in the line up Vereen will be the catalyst for the Patriots offense. He's a mismatch everywhere he lines up (i.e. game vs Panthers). He will lead the backfield in snaps. 160-180 carries with 80-90 catches is a real possibility.

31. Ben Tate - The lone bright spot for the Browns this preseason. Tate is a natural fit for the zone blocking scheme. Even if the Browns don't find continuity on offense Tate should have little trouble settling into a grove. HC Mike Pettine has already anointed Tate with the every down role, giving him added value especially in PPR. If the Browns do find a spark on offense especially if it comes from Manziel, Tate could have a breakout similar to what Alfred Morris had his rookie season. RB1 is a real possibility if he stays healthy.

32. Toby Gerhart - One of the rare 3 down workhorses in the league this year. Gerhart, a severely underrated athlete, will be run into the ground this season. He's a near lock for 300 touches with lack of competition and is a dark horse to lead the league in carries. Although almost certain to come down it is worth noting that his career ypc is 4.7. Even if he averages just 4 yards a carry he will eclipse 1000 rushing with 300+ receiving. If Bortles makes the offense serviceable it will only better his opportunity to thrive.

33. Rashad Jennings - Laughably underrated. He's not your typical old veteran stop gap. Jennings has real talent. He always makes the first man miss. He has excellent hands and he has enough speed to take it the distance. Andre Williams will get work around the goal line, but he offers zero in the passing game. Jennings will be a total yardage machine despite how horrid the Giants offense could potentially be. He's in great shape and as hungry as any back in the league to make the most of his starting opportunity.

34. Gio Bernard - Incredibly inefficient. 4.1 ypc last year and just 2.45 ypc this preseason. Sure, he's a very shifty back who's great in space and as a receiver but he's not a workhorse. Sooner or later the Bengals will realize the need to even out the workload of Jeremy Hill and Bernard.

35. Andre Johnson - He has over 3000 yards the last two seasons. He may be past his prime, but he's incredibly productive and mightily overlooked. His yardage total should once again be high as the teams top WR especially if Foster goes down and his TDs could rise back to the 7-8 range under new head coach Bill O'Brian.




36. CJ Spiller - Ahh CJ Spiller. First he has owners bragging to their friends about their future fantasy plunders. Then he’s causing owners early baldness and weekly nightmares because of his playing time blunders. What do we make of Mr. CJ Spiller? Will he lose 3rd down snaps to Fred Jackson limiting his receiving totals? Yes. Will he cede goal line work to Jackson as well capping his scoring upside? Yes again. So why should we invest in Spiller?


 


For starters he's truly an elite runner who still eclipsed 1100 total yards and averaged 4.6 ypc with four 100 yard rushing games last season, playing essentially on one leg. A performance more deserving of a medal than verbal abuse. Doug Marrone is the most run heavy coach in football and the addition of Sammy Watkins should help alleviate a little defensive pressure. Fred Jackson is over 33 years old and while the case can be made that a Jackson injury would only bring the name Bryce Brown into the Spiller house of horrors, that is not necessarily the case. Spiller would assume the 3rd down role while also seeing an uptick in red zone usage which would be all he needs to produce elite weekly totals. Even without a Jackson injury Spiller’s top 5 skill set and other worldly explosion could run him right through all these blockades and right back into fantasy owners hearts.


 


37. Ryan Mathews - Despite his fragile frame, his history of injuries, and his team signing Donald Brown and extending Woodhead’s contract, its hard to ignore the value of a 26 year old coming off a career season in rushing yards (1255). He also registered the second most fantasy points per snap last year behind only Jamaal Charles. Mathews also received at least 26 touches in each of the last 4 games in the 2013 season totaling over 100 yards in each with 3 TD splashes, perhaps giving a preview of a true workhorse in the making.


 


38. Reggie Bush - Bush enjoyed a career year of over 1500 total yards in his first season as a Lion and there’s little reason to doubt he will duplicate that in year two, despite Joique Bell’s rising role. Under new OC Joe Lombardi 75+ catches is on the horizon. Bush has become a very efficient player (he averaged 5.5 yards per touch last year) and is just as explosive as ever, as shown by his 86-yard TD scamper in his last preseason game.

 

39. Alfred Morris  - The Redskins offense looks abysmal in preseason action. Yes, its only preseason but if that is any preview of what the regular season has in store there is sure to be headaches. Morris is a gifted runner but lacks receiving ability. That will limit his snaps in Jay Gruden’s pass first scheme. The offense has a lot of potential with RGIII, Garcon, DJax and Jordan Reed. If they get it together he will be a tremendous value as an efficient TD scorer, but with this offense’s flop potential he gets bumped down the ranks for now.

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40. Vincent Jackson - VJax has back-to-back seasons over 1200 yards in Tampa and this looks to be the best offense yet with Doug Martin healthy and Josh McCown tossing him passes. The addition of Mike Evans shouldn't be seen as a negative as it makes the offense more potent and helps keep defensive pressure off Jackson. McCown knows how to utilize big targets. In his 6 starts last season McCown averaged 291 yards with 12 TDs. Jackson should eclipse last years totals of 1224 and 7 with McCown giving him plenty of opportunities to make big plays, especially in "50/50" ball situations where Jackson’s skills can thrive.


 


41. Cordarrelle Patterson - Everyone's WR darling in drafts this year should prove his worth in the pass heavy vertical style of Norv Turner. He won't be Josh Gordon but he is playing his position in the same offense that saw Gordon average over 100 yards a game last season. Even with significant regression of those numbers there's still plenty to be excited about. Patterson is absolutely hellacious with the ball in his hands. He can turn any route into a house call. Matt Cassell appears to be a natural for Turner’s offense and should provide more than enough under center competency to launch Patterson into the high end WR 2 stratosphere.


42.  Joique Bell - Underwhelming as a runner but exceptional in the pass game and serviceable in short yardage and goal line situations. Back to back seasons with over 50 receptions and now the offense is under the controls of Joe Lombardi who coached TWO RBs to over 70 catches last season in Sproles and Thomas. Bell may not be ripe with talent but his situation is one of the best among RBs this season. He will be fed 180-200 carries and catch another 50+ passes playing the Pierre Thomas/Mark Ingrim role to the Sproles/Bush role of Bush himself in a top ten offense.

43. Torrey Smith - Playing the same target monster "X" position Garcon and Andre Johnson played last season. Garcon led the league in targets playing that role and Andre is always among the league leaders in that category. His route tree has expanded. Smith is primed to build off last seasons career best 1128 yards (only 65 receptions) with his scoring total rising back to the 7-9 range.

44. Emmanuel Sanders - Sanders brings yet another element to the most prolific offense of all time. An explosive vertical threat who will never have coverage rolled to his side of the field playing alongside Julius and Demaryius. Manning doesn't zone in on any one man. He looks for mismatches and Sanders will find himself in plenty which was put on display against Houston when he posted 128 yards and 2 scores in one half of play. Welker is seemingly one concussion away from retirement and set to miss the first 4 games due to suspension providing further usage for Sanders. He's oozing with upside.




45. Roddy White - As stated above with Julio Jones, the Falcons have 120 targets left behind by Tony Gonzales. Julio and Roddy will be the main beneficiaries. His abysmal 2013 was due in large part to injuries. As he regained health, he returned to form down the stretch, posting 8.6 catches for 100.6 yards per game from weeks 13-17. With the Falcons defense still set to be in the bottom half of the league, White makes for a strong WR2 this year.


 


46. Keenan Allen - Despite his fantastic rookie campaign, I don't expect Allen to be such a sensation in year two. He doesn't do anything special at the position, particularly speed (he ran just a 4.7 at his combine). Even with what is looked at as a major breakout season, he still had 6 games with less than 50 yards receiving. Now with a whole year of tape on him for defensive coordinators to utilize in game planning, I see Allen as more of a disappointment.


 


47. Victor Cruz - Set to play the moveable chess piece slot position in Ben McAdoos offense, Cruz will be heavily targeted. He's not only a great possession WR, he's dynamic with the ball in his hands. He has 100 catch upside in this system, but due to the Giants significant struggles this preseason expectations must be tempered for now.  


 


48. Michael Floyd - Floyd is entering his 3rd season and already coming off a breakout 1,000 yard campaign. Bruce Arians loves to throw the ball and loves to throw the ball deep. With a solid line in place, the emergence of John Brown, and the ever versatile Andre Ellington in the backfield, this offense could very well play fast. I don't expect Floyd to be the first read, but I do expect him to build off last year’s numbers as the main vertical threat in an emerging offense that could be surprisingly dynamic if Carson Palmer can prove to be above average. 


 
49. Frank Gore - Although Gore still looks nimble, he is now 31 and has 3 straight seasons with over 250 carries (aka this kiss of death as mentioned with Marshawn Lynch). The wheels have to come off at some point and the Niners know it. They have coveted backs in three straight drafts with Carlos Hyde being the most recent. I look for the Niners to scale back Gores workload this season leaning more on Hyde who has exceeded all expectations this preseason with great play.
 
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50. Larry Fitzgerald - At 31, his skills have started to diminish. He's lost a step which played a major role in him failing to eclipse the 1000 yard mark last season despite 82 receptions. He's now running mostly short and underneath patterns with Floyd working the downfield routes. Still their best red zone option however, Fitzgerald should be able to match last seasons stat line of 954 10.

51. Matt Stafford - His massive totals the last 3 seasons have come hand in hand with massive volume. The Lions still look to be pass heavy under the guidance of new OC Joe Lombardi, but now with Golden Tate (Staffords best WR opposite Calvin ever) and TE Eric Ebron (10th overall pick in this years draft) added to the mix his efficiency should spike. Matt Stafford as an efficient passer is a very scary thought for defensive coordinators. He has 5000 yard 40 TD upside.

52. Stevan Ridley - The name Stevan Ridley is usually followed by "Dog House". He has fumbling issues. He's also by far the best between the tackles runner on the team by a mile and the best bet for goal line work in a high end offense. Remember just 2 years ago he was a top ten back thanks to a 1263 yard 12 TD season on the ground. Vereen will lead the team in snaps, but Ridley will be heavily used as well. 1000 yards and double digit TDs is very likely with upside for more if he can just hang on to the ball. 

53. Michael Crabtree - Looking back at Crabtree in 2012 he was incredibly lethal after the catch looking every bit the highly touted WR coming out of Texas Tech. His chemistry with Kaepernick was by far the best on the team which gave his 2013 outlook a lot of hype. That is until he tore his Achilles. After an essentially lost 2013, Crabtree is once again healthy and ready to rock. The Niners defense won't be the stalwarts of seasons past, which should lead to more dependence on the pass game. Crabtree is only 26. He has high end WR2 upside.



54. Pierre Garcon - Garcon led the league in targets last season. With DeSean Jackson added and Jordan Reed healthy, he will easily lose 50+ targets. Do not expect a repeat of last years number. You can however, expect an uptick in efficiency with Jackson clearing out space and attracting attention Garcon should rise from the 11.9 ypr back to around 14. That will keep his value from completely plummeting and still sit him firmly in the WR2 category.

55. Percy Harvin - Seattle will do everything in their power to keep Harvin fresh for another SB run. They don't need him to make the playoffs. They are the most conservative team in football when it comes to rushing attempts and that's not going to change much this season. Harvin is one of the most talented WRs with the ball in his hands and should prove to be incredibly efficient with the targets he's given. That however, will likely make him a better value to Seattle than to your fantasy team.

56. Ray Rice - Rice looks much quicker thanks to his weight loss this offseason. The quickness should help him bounce back nicely after a horrid, injury riddled 2013. Sitting out the first two games could actually work in his favor by having him a little more on the fresh side down the stretch. Bernard Pierce is a very capable back, but he is not by any means a superior runner to Rice (Pierce had just a 2.9 ypc last season). He has also suffered a concussion this preseason which could cause him to miss significant time down the road if he receives another. Rice can play all 3 downs and excels in the pass game. Still just 27 and with new OC Kubiaks system in place, Rice could reemerge as one of the games best all purpose backs.

57. Kyle Rudolph - Looking for this years Jordan Cameron ? Look no further than Kyle Rudolph. In the same system Cameron enjoyed his breakout campaign, Rudolph will be a main focal point in Norv Turners offense. The Vikings paid him 36.5 million this offseason and he's already proving his worth. After dropping 15 lbs this offseason to ready himself for a bigger receiving role, Rudolph has added more explosiveness to his game as showcased on his 51 yard TD verse the Cardinals this preseason. He is by far their best red zone option after Adrian Peterson and is just two years removed from a 9 TD campaign. All signs point to a big time breakout for Rudolph.

58. Jordan Cameron - I must admit Cameron could very easily finish much higher than this ranking expectation. I just don't have a lot of hope for the Browns passing game providing much of anything. Yes, He should be the focal point of the pass game but unless the play gets at least serviceable under center, I feel a lot of head aches are in store.

59. DeSean Jackson - Most likely Jackson will be a boom or bust play each week this season. Prior to last years breakout he never had more than 63 catches. Never eclipsed the 1200 yard mark and only had more than 6 TDs in a season once. Enter Chip Kelly, add in the injury to Jeremy Maclin and his numbers shot through the roof. Now without Kelly and playing opposite of last years target leader he could easily fall back on the previous statistical path.
 
 
 
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60. Andrew Luck - Boring conservative OC Pep Hamilton isn't getting the most out of the Colts offense. Instead of attempting to find a rhythm for Trent Richardson and the run game, he needs to do what his offense is best manned to do. Throw the ball. It appears the Colts have at least started to realize this as they brought in Rob Chudzinski to help spice up the offensive philosophy. With Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, T.Y. Hilton, Da'Rick Rodgers and two plus pass catching TEs, the personnel reads spread. With a very fantasy favorable schedule, the plethora of weapons at his disposal and the likelihood of an opened up offense, Luck is dripping with Aaron Rodgers upside. 


61. Golden Tate - A unique athlete with incredible acceleration is Tate who is now in the best spot for production of his career. Playing Robin to Calvin Johnsons Batman should provide regular mismatches for Tate to exploit. Career totals across the board are in store for Tate in this pass happy offense.

62. Mike Wallace - Wallace was poorly utilized last season, being stuck on one side of the field for the defense to account for. Now, under the guidance of new OC Bill Lazor, Wallace could enjoy a DeSean Jackson like 2013 season. Lazor promises to move Wallace around to prevent defenses from keying in on him and peppering him with targets as the best vertical weapon on the team. The chemistry with Ryan Tannehill is still in question, but the upside is here.

63. Terrance Williams - Could be mightily inconsistent, but as the number 2 WR on a team ripe with weekly shootout potential, Williams should provide plenty of big games. The coaches have praised him all offseason and as a 6'2" nimble athlete opposite Dez Bryant, he should find himself in consistent mismatches.

64. Steven Jackson - Not a "sexy" player by any means, but Jackson could very well prove to be a vital difference making piece on teams this season if health holds. Yes, he carries all the red flags in the world, but he is set to play week 1 and will be the lead back for a likely top 10 offense. Many scoring opportunities will be provided and with Julio Jones and Roddy White healthy, he could see a limited number of stacked boxes. Jackson could easily be an RB3/Flex who produces like a mid-level RB2

65. Brandin Cooks - First, wins the Biletnikoff award as the nations top collegiate WR. Then, posts the top 40 and shuttle times for WRs at the combine. Next, the Saints trade up to select him 20th overall in the draft. Followed by non-stop rave reports all offseason and preseason. Wait, who is he playing for again ? The Saints. Oh, who is their QB ? Drew Brees. Yeah..... Cooks is ready to hit the ground running filling the Darren Sproles and Lance Moore roles.

66. Bishop Sankey -  He's still listed as the number 2 back, but the Titans didn't select Sankey as the first RB in this years draft to sit the bench behind an underwhelming journeyman in Shonn Greene. He's going to play frequently and will be running behind one of the best lines in football. Sankey should have his role increased more and more as the season progresses. He should eventually become an every week RB2.

67. Reggie Wayne - By all accounts he is fully recovered from his ACL injury and ready to once again be Andrew Lucks top target. Even at 35 Wayne can still run routes with the best of them and should prove to be a consistent back end WR2.

68. Mark Ingram - Could this finally be the year Ingrim proves to be who the Saints traded up in the first round for ? I think so. The light finally came on for him as he ran with tenacity, averaging 4.9 ypc. A full yard higher than each of the previous two seasons. He has built on that momentum this preseason averaging 7.05 ypc. Looking explosive. The Saints know if they want to win another SB they have to get past Seattle and San Francisco. Playing their usual finesse style won't cut it. That's why have quietly reshaped their team this offseason. They traded away Sproles and invested mightily in Jarius Byrd at safety. The Saints defense was 2nd against the pass last year, 4th in sacks and 4th in points allowed. Now they just need to kick start a power run game to control the clock. Ingram will be used to do just that.

69. Justin Hunter - He's still listed as the number 3 WR so don't expect box scores to be blown up early on, but he has freakish talent waiting to be unleashed. He's uncoverable in the red zone. If the stars align just right he could end up being this years Alshon Jeffery.
 
 
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70. Lamar Miller - Knowshon Moreno is here to stay regardless of how well Miller performs this season. Miller is going to be in a major committee with Moreno, severely capping his upside.

71. Knowshon Moreno - Will be in a near even split with Miller and play 3rd downs and goal line situations. Think Fred Jackson.

72. Fred Jackson - He's ancient, but has a great role locked down. He will fall short of last years numbers, but he remains an RB2/Flex.

73. Marques Colston - Colston comes up on a lot of "undervalued" lists. I disagree with that term. Over the last two seasons he has 17 games UNDER 70 yards. Last season he had 5 games where he scored LESS than 5 points and 8 games scoring 6 points or less. I'm not a fan of starting a guy you are clueless as to what he will produce. With so much dud week potential and no way of knowing I'd rather someone else deal with it.

74. Kelvin Benjamin - Benjamin has looked stellar thus far. If he and Cam stay on the same page their is no reason Benjamin can't produce a 900+ yard total with double digit scores. He will be dynamite in the red zone. Could easily end up being a nice WR2 as a rookie.

75. Jordan Reed - I don't doubt the talent, but with the concussions he has piled up in his young career he does carry a major health risk. If his health holds he will be a tremendous value running free underneath in mismatches while Jackson and Garcon warrant the defensive attention.

76. Matt Ryan - Ryan looks to me as the safest bet out of this tier. He has back to back seasons over 4500 yards and his defense will be much worse than Cams, Bradys, and Cutlers. Julio Jones looks primed to chase records and Roddy White is healthy and motivated. I know we have all heard it before, but Devin Hester actually looks like he will be a significant offensive contributor for the Falcons as well. He's not on the fantasy radar, but for Matt Ryans' value he does give a slight boost.

77. Cam Newton - His rib and ankle injuries are cause for concern as are the offensive line woes. He's not without flaws but has arguably the best weapons of his career and never finished outside the top 5 at the position.

78. Jay Cutler - Cutler is behind the best line since he arrived in Chicago. He has the best supporting cast of his career and now in year two of Mark Trestmans QB friendly offense he is ready to explode. 4500 yards and 35 TDs is a real possibility with the weapons he has.
 
 
 
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79. Tom Brady - Brady was the number 4 QB last year while Gronk was in the line up. Now that he's back I see no reason why Brady can't resurface as a top 5 QB. The weapons are in place and if Vereen does in fact dominate the backfield snaps this offense will be an absolute juggernaut.

80. Colin Kaepernick - Kaepernick is all world talent. The team added Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd in the offseason while drafting Bruce Ellington. He also gets his favorite target Michael Crabtree back healthy and ready to go. This receiving group is deep and talented. The Niners defense is also a good bet to struggle with the losses to key personnel. He didn't look sharp this preseason, but with his talent and weapons around him he is going to be a major fantasy contributor.

81. Nick Foles - It is becoming more apparent to me that Foles actually can replicate last years production. Will he throw more picks ? Of course, but he isn't going to suddenly contend with Eli for the league lead in that category. Chip Kelly is an offensive master mind. Trust in Chip Kelly. Foles will once again pay your fantasy tolls.

82. Tony Romo - Injury risk, but with the worst defense in the league and Scott Linehan dialing up plays the upside is great.

83. Robert Griffin III - Washington has looked absolutely awful. RGIII looks as if he has forgotten how to play football. I don't have much confidence in him especially since he doesn't have a very high floor, but he's healthy and still carries tremendous upside if the light ever comes back on.

84. Russell Wilson - Wilson looks as sharp as ever. He will still lack the volume to hang with the elites at the position, but he has a great weekly floor thanks to his athleticism. He's an ideal QB pair for Cutler, Cam and Romo.

85. Maurice Jones-Drew - MJD looked vintage in his TD scamper vs the Packers this preseason. As long as he stays healthy he will be a weekly RB3/Flex.

86. Rueban Randle - Randle has major breakout potential with an every down role in Ben McAdoos' offense. He is great after the catch and should serve the teams vertical threat in addition to number one red zone target.

87. Eric Decker - The case of going from Peyton Manning to Geno Smith completely killing his value is a little over blown. Decker is a TD scorer. Even when Tebow was under center, Decker still caught 8 TDs. I think Geno will be more than serviceable as a passer, giving Decker a lot of value. He will  be a weekly WR2/3.

 88. Bernard Pierce - Will be an RB2 the first two weeks and possibly remain in the Flex discussion if he performs well. He isn't going to hold on to the job over Rice however so don't invest much in him. Also carries concussion concerns.
 
 
 
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89. Jeremy Hill - As mentioned above, Bernard is a very inefficient runner. Jeremy Hill averaged 6.9 ypc in the SEC last year and 4.6 ypc this preseason. In the preseason finale he proved his every down work horse ability by gaining 90 yards on 20 carries and catching all 6 of his targets for another 70 yards. Green-Ellis was cut shortly after as a result of the confidence the team has in the 55th overall pick in the draft. Hue Jackson wants a power running game. Hill will provide just that. Don't be shocked if he passes Bernard at some point this season as the featured back.

90. T.Y. Hilton - Hilton had 9 games where he scored LESS than 5 points last year and his targets will only go down this year with Hakeem Nicks in the mix and Dwayne Allen healthy. He's plenty talented, but nothing more than a boom or bust WR3.

91. Julian Edelman - So many mouths to feed in NE if health holds all around, but Edelman has earned his fair share of targets. He should be able to haul in around 80 passes this season and if the injury bug once again hits the Patriots he could be huge.

92. Carlos Hyde - Hyde has exceeded expectations thus far, earning what I believe to be a significant role in the offense. He's done well in pass protection too which could result in a 3rd down role in addition to the change of pace role. Hyde is an incredibly talented runner and must own for Gore owners as I believe he would have more value as the starter than Gore himself. Definite RB1 if Gore collapses.

93. Wes Welker - The suspension could actually end up working in his favor as it will give him more time to recover from his concussion and possibly stay healthy the remainder of the season. I'm not in any way opposed to buying low on him right now.

94. Chris Johnson - An inefficient 28 year old RB, with severe wear, switching from one of the best lines to one of the worst isn't a ripe situation. Chris Johnson has had at least 293 touches in all 6 of his NFL seasons. His effort is always in question and now he has the insatiably hungry Chris Ivory as a running mate. Ivory is healthy and could easily win lead back duties for the Jets, relegating Johnson to change of pace duties. For those thinking he will be big in the pass game, know that Chris Johnson can't pass protect. He lost the 3rd down job to Javon Ringer once upon a time. He struggles with drops as well. Best case scenario for him is Bilal Powell plays 3rd downs, Ivory short yardage and goal line, leaving the between the 20's role for him. Not much appeal. If you have him, hope he shows well early and then trade him for whatever you can.

95. Mike Evans - Playing opposite Vincent Jackson will provide a lot of opportunities for Evans to excel. He should have no problem beating single coverage especially in the red zone. Josh McCown doesn't mind throwing "50/50" balls, giving his WRs chances to make plays. Evans could wind up being a strong WR3 play.

96. Pierre Thomas - With Sproles gone Thomas will remain heavily used in the pass game. He's an RB3/Flex

97. Dennis Pitta - For those of you who don't know the Ravens new OC Gary Kubiak, he has a strange TE fetish. He loves getting the ball in the TEs hands especially in the red zone. Flacco has no problem feeding Pitta targets. He once threw him the ball 18 times in a single game. Pitta will be a relatively safe weekly play this year.

98. Jason Witten - Witten plays on a team with weekly shootout potential. Witten however provides very little after the catch and is now 32. 32 historically is the age TEs begin to take nose dives in production. Although the situation is good I remain skeptical that he can be anymore than a back end starter.
 
 

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99. Kendall Wright - He's a 24 year old 3rd year WR coming off a 94 catch 1079 yard season. Their is question on whether Locker will be able to get him the ball accurately enough to match those totals as well as the concern of Justin Hunters emergence. I don't see these as being significant road blocks to his value. Hunter plays an entirely different role and Wright runs many high percentage routes. He can match last years totals just don't expect many TDs.

100. Trent Richardson - If he gets it together or simply just gets what's blocked he will be a strong RB3. His preseason play didn't really inspire much confidence. He was truly worthless last year and because of that I don't want any share of Richardson.

101. Chris Ivory - He is 100% the best runner on the team. Only a matter of time before Rex Ryan realizes it. Ivory runs like he's mad at the ground. He averaged the most yards after contact per carry last season (Chris Johnson finished 30th out of 32 who qualified). He's truly tenacious as a ball carrier. If his health holds he will receive significant carries coupled with goal line work. His style will win the hearts of Jet fans, coaches and fantasy owners.

102. Sammy Watkins - Can his talent over come woeful QB play? I'm not going to bet against him being serviceable. Bills should go to great lengths to get the ball in his hands.

103. Danny Woodhead - Should once again be a nice RB4 and bye week plug in with weekly flex consideration.

104. Jonathan Stewart - Looks back to his old self. Could easily take over lead back and goal line duties as by far the best runner on the team. If he does, he's a weekly RB2.

105. Dwayne Bowe - A nice WR4. Bowe is a good bye week plug in.

106. DeAndre Hopkins - Received rave reviews from coaches and beat writers all offseason. Should be a solid WR3 for much of the season.

107. Hakeem Nicks - Looked like the fluid athlete of old in the preseason. A rejuvenated Nicks catching passes from Luck has a lot of WR3 appeal.

108. Ben Roethlisburger - Team promises to implement more no huddle. Defense looks to struggle. Annually underrated, Ben has top 8 upside.
 
 
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109. Phillip Rivers - Same weapons and scheme of last season. Excellent QBBC partner for match ups.

110. Heath Miller - Two years removed from an 800 8 campaign. Could easily recapture those numbers finally fully healthy again. The Steelers lost their main red zone target in Cotchery. Miller should lead the team in receiving TDs.

111. Zach Ertz - Should be main red zone offense on an offense that will be there often.

112. Lance Dunbar - Full extent of his role is still unknown, but talent and system are ripe. Murray doesn't exactly carry an "unbreakable" label either.

113. Terrance West - West had a horrendous showing in the preseason, allowing UDFA Isiah Crowell to make the team. West has loads of talent and is the handcuff to Ben Tate, but until he adjusts to the NFL he isn't going to see the field much.

114. Devonta Freeman - Incredibly explosive back, but would still be in a committee if Jackson goes down.

115. Shonn Greene - Made it out of preseason remaining the starter. Underwhelming yes, but will at least have early season flex value.

116. Deangelo Williams - Very little appeal here. Strictly 2 down back. Now at age 31 with a healthy Jonathan Stewart.

117. Greg Olsen - Could have a career year if Cams' health holds.

118. Vernon Davis - Upside severely capped with Crabtree healthy.
 
 
 
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119. Ladarius Green - Lost a lot of appeal with Gates still starting but a good stash and should over take Gates at some point.

120. Travis Kelce - Truly looks like Gronkowski on the field. KC lacks weapons and doesn't have any mismatches other than Kelce himself. He's behind Anthony Fasano, but Andy Reid is no fool. Kelce will be heavily involved particularly in the red zone.

121. Ahmad Bradshaw - Bradshaw has a true 3 down skill set. If Richardson falters again, Bradshaw could easily take over lead back duties in a rising offense.

122. Cecil Shorts - Bortles will be under center sooner rather than later and when he does Shorts value will spike.

123. Anquan Boldin - Niners offense will be more aggressive. Boldin will have some WR3 value.

124. Aaron Dobson - Finally healthy, Dobson immediately over takes Kenbrell Thompkins. Dobson is extremely talented. If he can just get on the same page with Brady he will be a high upside WR3.

125. Cody Latimer - Great roster stash before Welker suspension, now has the opportunity to earn significant snaps in his absence. He's an athletic monster that can excel in both vertical routes and red zone jump balls.

126. James Starks - I believe he will be used more than just a mere back up. The Packers SB hopes ride largely on Eddie Lacy and they will want to keep him fresh. Starks could have flex value as the garbage time and change of pace back in some weeks. Must own if you have Lacy.

127. Markus Wheaton - A better route runner and more explosive athlete than Emmanuel Sanders. Has plenty of upside with an every down role locked up.

128. Jordan Mathews - Eagles offense is one to invest in. Maclins' knee looks sketchy and Matthews is the most gifted WR on the roster.
 
 
 
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129. Jarret Boykin - Plenty to go around in the Packers offense. His 2013 tape is impressive and now is firmly placed into the James Jones role. Cobb isn't exactly injury proof either.

130. Kenny Britt - Shaun Hill will be serviceable. Britt will have every opportunity to be a reliable WR3.

131. Benny Cunningham - Run heavy team. Zac Stacy handcuff and the Rams really like him.

132. Knile Davis - RB1 upside if Charles goes down.

133. Brian Quick - Definite 3rd year breakout appeal even without Bradford. Physically gifted and getting rave reviews all offseason.

134. Seattle Defense - Far and away the best bet for fantasy defenses. Rare weekly floor at the position and dynamite at home.

135. LeGarrette Blount - Could see 8-10 carries a game with some goal line work without any injury to Bell.

136. James Jones - Arrow pointing up with Derek Carr starting.

137. John Brown - Will play the T.Y. Hilton role in Bruce Arians offense. Could become a nice WR3 if the offense truly opens up.

138. James White - Strictly a handcuff to Vereen or Ridley, but not unthinkable that either Vereen gets hurt or Ridley fumbles his role away.
 
 
 
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139. Steve Smith - Looked good in the preseason. Still plenty left in the tank and playing with a chip on his shoulder once again.

140. Danny Amendola - Simply a hail marry fliar at this point behind Edelman.

141. Jerricho Cotchery - Sneaky bet for 70+ catches if Benjamin goes through rookie growing pains. Coming off a 10 TD season will be a nice red zone target as well.

142. Darren Sproles - Shouldn't receive many touches, but under Chip Kelly will have value.

143. Roy Helu - Could have stand alone value in PPR. Would become borderline RB1 with a Morris injury.

144. Greg Jennings - With Nor Turner calling the shots, Jennings could eclipse 900 yards and 5-7 TDs.

145. Darren McFadden - Carr could breath some life into the Raiders offense this season. McFadden might just become a weekly flex play.

146. Robert Turbin - Sadly the better handcuff for Lynch.

147. Christine Michael - Despite the talent, won't shake Robert Turbin from the picture under any scenario.

148. Bryce Brown - Will be border line RB2 if Jackson or Spiller goes down.
 
 
 
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149. Odell Beckham Jr - Outlook becoming more bleak by the day, but a legit playmaker when healthy.

150. Mohamed Sanu - As long as Marvin Jones is out Sanu will have WR4 value

151. Riley Cooper - With DeSean Jackson gone Cooper will serve as teams big play threat.

152. Khiry Robinson - Will need an injury to either Pierre Thomas or Mark Ingrim to have any real fantasy value.

153. Martellus Bennett - So many mouths to feed in the Bears offense. Bennett offers very little upside.

154. Ryan Tannehill - Has a little 2013 Nick Foles vibe under new OC Bill Lazor. Athletic enough to approach 350 rushing yards in the system will make Tannehill a sneaky serviceable fantasy plug in.

155. Jake Locker - Very low floor, but the upside is real with his athleticism and guided by Ken Whisenhunt.

156. Andy Dalton - Top 5 QB last year won't fall completely off a statistical cliff in Hue Jacksons run first offense.

157. Carson Palmer - Looked completely out of sync in the preseason, but with the weapons in place and Bruce Arians system he retains mid QB2 value.

158. Josh McCown - Bucs offense is on the rise. McCown has 4000 yard 25 TD upside
 
 

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159. Johnny Manziel - Still an intriguing stash in deeper leagues or 2 QB leagues with the weekly upside he brings as a runner and improvisational player. Even Terrelle Pryor was a top 16 QB.

160. Andrew Hawkins - Someone other than Jordan Cameron has to catch passes this season for the Browns. Hawkins has the most upside particularly in PPR formats.

161. Kenny Stills - A boom or bust WR3 you can utilize in deeper leagues or leagues with deep benches and plug in when you need a hail marry.

162. Ronnie Hillman - Any back with ties to Peyton Manning is worthy of rostering. Strictly a change of pace back even if Ball were to go down, but would have significant PPR value with Ball down.

163. CJ Anderson - Would be the likely lead back if Ball goes down. Better handcuff than Hillman in standard leagues.

164. Charles Clay - Mid level TE2 coming off a career year. Could do a lot worse for a TE committee partner.

165. Bobby Rainy - Simply a Doug Martin handcuff, but is a talented runner.

166. Alfred Blue - Superior runner to Grimes. Would have the most upside if Foster goes down.

167. Harry Douglas - Atlanta could be in a lot of shootouts this season giving Douglas WR3 appeal.

168. Coby Fleener - Despite numerous mouths to feed he is still one of Lucks favorite targets.
 
 
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169. Dwayne Allen - Dark horse to lead the Colts in TDs.

170. Denarius Moore - Coaching proclamations of him "taking the next step" coupled with cannon arm Derek Carr under center is all the reason needed to stash Moore away.

171. Jonathon Grimes - The direct back up to Foster, but underwhelming as a runner.

172. Donald Brown - Would see the biggest jump in value if Mathews gets injured. He's the actual handcuff for Mathews owners as Woodhead would keep the same change of pace and 3rd down role.

173. Kenbrell Thompkins - If injuries take place amongst Patriot WRs, Thompkins will once again be fantasy relevant.

174. Andre Caldwell - Short on talent, but with Welker out for 4 games he will get on the field.

175. Ka'Deem Carey - Carey was recently promoted to the number 2 job behind Matt Forte which puts him back on the fantasy radar.


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