Week 11 Injury Notes

Darren McFadden (groin) was limited in practice on Thursday, and will likely need a full showing on Friday to ease the minds of fantasy owners. Rod Smith would pick up the slack if McFadden is a surprise inactive. … Alshon Jeffery (groin, shoulder) did not practice on Thursday and his Week 11 status is in jeopardy. This situation reeks of “game-time decision.” … DeAndre Hopkins (knee) has missed two practices this week, but no reports from Houston have stated that the stud wide receiver is actually in danger of missing Week 11. More news should surface regarding Hopkins’ status Friday. … Matt Forte (knee) did not practice on Thursday, and his Week 11 status is in serious doubt. Forte will likely return in Week 12 to some form of timeshare with Jeremy Langford. … Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) made it through practice on Thursday and is in no danger of missing Week 11. … Emmanuel Sanders (finger) was limited in practice on Thursday, but coach Gary Kubiak expects Sanders to be ready for Week 11. … Michael Floyd (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday and looking like a dicey bet to play on Sunday after injuring a hamstring in Week 10 at Seattle. … Vincent Jackson (knee) hasn’t played since Week 7, but is getting closer to returning to game action and was limited in practice on Thursday. Jackson’s status may require extra attention over the weekend for fantasy owners. … Ryan Fitzpatrick (thumb) practiced in full on Thursday and is good to go this week as the Jets take on Houston. … Brian Hoyer (concussion) reportedly suffered memory loss on Monday night against Cincinnati, leaving Houston backup QB T.J. Yates to handle the passing duties for the Texans this week. … Ryan Mathews (concussion) missed practice on Thursday and is a good bet to sit out this week, leaving DeMarco Murray with plenty of opportunities to carry the ball against the Bucs. … John Brown (hamstrings) got in a limited practice on Thursday and is tentatively looking like he may suit up this week. Brown hasn’t caught a pass since Week 7 and is a risky fantasy start at the moment. … Sam Bradford (shoulder, concussion) did not practice on Thursday and will likely miss Week 11 while going through the NFL’s concussion protocol. Mark Sanchez is in line to get the start against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Wideout and Tight End Notes

Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker has resorted to watching his Louisville highlights to remind himself that he’s good and can make plays. He’s played just 110 snaps and seen seven total targets as the No. 5 receiver. … Lions signed former Giants WR Corey Washington to their practice squad. … Browns waived TE Rob Housler off injured reserve. The free-agent bust caught one pass for six yards before being placed on I.R. earlier this month. … Patriots promoted WR Chris Harper from the practice squad. … Kendall Wright (knee) is expected to miss Thursday night’s Week 11 game against the Jaguars. … Chiefs placed TE James O’Shaughnessy (foot) on I.R. … Ravens signed WR Kaelin Clay and TE Chase Ford. They waived WR Jeremy Ross. … Seahawks waived Super Bowl breakout WR Chris Matthews. He caught just four passes this season. His size should earn him another look. … Tom Brady hinted WR Keshawn Martin could have an increased role in the absence of Julian Edelman (foot). … Titans signed rookie WR Tre McBride off their practice squad. … There’s some belief Roddy White will be more involved on offense moving forward. … Coach Gus Bradley is unsure if WR Rashad Green (thumb) will be activated off I.R./recall this week. … Giants signed WR Hakeem Nicks, their 2009 first-round pick. He takes Victor Cruz’s (calf, I.R.) roster spot. … Julian Edelman underwent surgery on Monday to have a screw inserted into his broken foot.

Stafon Diggs Is Good!

Diggs

In his first three starts, Stafon Diggs has accumulated 237 receiving yards and he scored his first touchdown on a spectacular catch. There were rumors throughout the week that Charles Johnson would get a shot at his old job, but it was once again Diggs leading the way in Week 7.

A one time, Diggs was a top recruit out of high school who chose Maryland for his college career.  His Week 7 stat line was 6 receptions, 108 yards and 1 touchdown.

This team thought Mike Wallace was their top receiver heading into the season, with Charles Johnson looking like stiff competition. Instead, it looks like there is no competition for Diggs in Minnesota.

Verdict: Believe it. Since Diggs burst onto the scene he leads the Vikings’ receivers in every category. He is Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target largely because he does more with his targets than any player on the team.

Diggs is in an outstanding situation with Norv Turner and Adrian Peterson. It’s conceivable that he could maintain a WR2 pace the rest of the season, even as teams focus on him. Incredibly, Diggs is still available in 39 percent of leagues. He should once again be the top waiver wire target.

News & Notes Following Week 6

We finally have what appears to be a bit of clarity in the Denver backfield, asRonnie Hillman took a step forward on Sunday. Hillman received 23 touches to 17 for C.J. Anderson and was far more productive with his opportunities once again, averaging 5.0 yards per touch. Hillman is the back to own in Denver and could begin to widen the workload gap in coming weeks. … Chargers rookie Melvin Gordon had a rough afternoon as he was benched for the final 36 minutes of San Diego’s loss at Green Bay after fumbling twice.Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver handled what little rushing attempts remained after Gordon’s benching with Philip Rivers throwing 65 times. … With Jamaal Charles sadly lost for the season, Charcandrick West and Knile Davis split the work in Kansas City’s backfield. West turned nine carries into 33 yards while David ran for 13 yards on five attempts. Both backs were lightly used in the passing game and it appears that West is still the preferred option in this backfield, although the Chiefs offense looked awful on Sunday. … Keenan Allen failed to score on Sunday but caught 14 of 15 targets for 157 yards, giving Allen three games this season with 12 or more receptions. … Minnesota rookie Stefon Diggs looks like the real deal, and caught seven passes for 129 yards on Sunday. Diggs has 13 receptions on 19 targets for 216 yards in the only two games he has played this season. Get those waiver claims ready.

Week 5 WR Start/Sits

Start of the Week: Kamar Aiken vs. Browns: Steve Smith Sr. (back) isn’t going to play Sunday, leaving Aiken as the default No. 1 receiver. Marlon Brown, Darren Waller, and Chris Givens round out the rest of the depth chart. Aiken has been in on 81.3 percent of the snaps the past two games and figures to pace Baltimore in targets Sunday. He caught 5-of-7 balls for 77 yards and a score last week when Smith Sr. was in and out of the game. “Shutdown” Browns CB Joe Haden has been anything but in the early stages of the season and is battling a broken finger and bruised ribs. Coming into the year, pass coverage was viewed as the strength of the Browns’ defense. To this point, the Browns haven’t able to stop the run or pass. They’re allowing the 11th-most fantasy points to receivers. Aiken can be plucked off the wire and plugged in as a WR3 immediately.

Starts

Travis Benjamin at Ravens: Staying in the same game as Aiken above, shift over to the Browns and take a look at Benjamin. It feels a bit like points-chasing with Benjamin after his strong first couple weeks, but the Browns are making a full effort to involve Benjamin more on offense. He’s played 77.9 percent of the snaps out wide the past two weeks, seeing 20 targets. Benjamin has reeled in 10 of them for 124 yards and a score. The Ravens have been getting killed in the secondary, giving up the second-most points to receivers, including the second-most touchdowns with seven. Easily Josh McCown’s favorite and most explosive target, Benjamin needs to start being taken seriously. The Browns aren’t likely to have much success running the ball.

Kendall Wright vs. Bills: If the Titans are going to have success throwing the ball, Wright will be involved. For some unknown reason, the Titans aren’t using Wright as an every-down receiver, and instead are riding Harry Douglas and Justin Hunter in two-wide sets. Still, the Titans play enough in three-wide that Wright has played 77.7 percent of the snaps the last two games. Tennessee has had two weeks to prepare for Buffalo. If the coaches have watched any tape, they know Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby are tough to beat on the outside. Wright runs over 70 percent of his routes out of the slot. Nickell Robey covers the slot for Buffalo. He’s a diminutive 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds. Wright is the Titans’ best receiver by a wide margin, and Robey is the weakest link. The Titans won’t be able to run on the Bills. Wright is a good bet to flirt with 8-10 targets.

Willie Snead at Eagles: Snead has played over 58.7 percent of the snaps the past three weeks and continues to see them rise while Brandon Coleman loses playing time. Snead’s been targeted six times each of the past three games, catching 15 of his 18 targets for 177 yards and a score. He’s been the only semblance of any sort of downfield production in the Saints’ passing attack with Brandin Cooks continuing to be a disappointment. “No. 1” corner Byron Maxwell is battling a sore quad for the Eagles and said he could barely run earlier this week. When he’s been on the field, he’s been burnt to a crisp in coverage. Nolan Carroll plays opposite Maxwell. Snead should see both corners. The Eagles have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to receivers. With the Saints unlikely to have a ton of success on the ground, Drew Brees can take some shots downfield. Saints-Eagles has an over-under of 49.5 points and should be up in pace with both pass games notching big plays.

Allen Robinson at Bucs: I’m a big fan of playing big-bodied, ultra-athletic receivers like Robinson against teams that like to use smaller corners like the Bucs. Especially with RCB Johnthan Banks (knee) likely to be inactive, the Bucs will trot out some combination of Tim Jennings (5’8/186), Mike Jenkins (6’/200), Sterling Moore (5’10/204), and Alterraun Verner (5’10/189) at corner. Robinson is 6’3/210 with a 42-inch vertical. The Bucs are a middle-of-the-pack pass defense on a good day, and while I like the idea of streaming this unit at home against Blake Bortles, I still feel they’re vulnerable to a couple touchdowns. After seeing Josh Norman, Brent Grimes, and Vontae Davis in three of his first four games, Robinson finally gets a breather against Tampa Bay. He’s a lock for at least eight targets and could see close to a dozen while Julius Thomas (hand) is still out.

Sits

Golden Tate vs. Cardinals: The Lions’ offense is a mess right now, and Tate has yet to get his season off the ground. After going 105-1,420-5 last season, Tate is on pace to catch 72 passes for a mere 760 yards and has yet to score a touchdown. Clavin Johnson being back healthy has a lot to with it. Tate was a prime regression candidate heading into 2015. Matchups have been extremely tough for Tate, and it won’t get any easier Sunday against Cardinals slot CB Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu is Pro Football Focus’ No. 3 cover corner out of 104 qualifiers. On top of that, Tate isn’t even playing every snap for the Lions, being removed in certain packages, as OC Joe Lombardi put it. Matthew Stafford isn’t playing well and making a concerted effort to get Megatron the ball. Tate gets a boost being back home on the Ford Field turf, but its not enough for me to feel good about using him.

Michael Crabtree vs. Broncos: It’s hard to like anyone on the Raiders this week outside of Amari Cooper. Cooper is at least going to get his targets against the Broncos’ No. 1 pass defense and has a chance to break one. Crabtree has been fed well with 38 targets through four games, but he’s broke 80 yards just once, has one touchdown, and two games under 40 yards. At less than 100 percent because of an ankle injury suffered last week, I want no part of Crabtree against Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, and Bradley Roby. The Raiders could surprise and take this one at home from the 4-0 Broncos, but Cooper is going to have to do the heavy lifting with Latavius Murray.

James Jones vs. Rams: Jones has been lights-out since his return to the Packers with four touchdowns through four games. The Packers have a juicy 27.75-point team total at home against St. Louis, but this feels like a Randall Cobb, Richard Rodgers, and Eddie Lacy game. The Rams are excellent against the pass, but struggle with slot receivers. Jones is a big-bodied outside receiver who isn’t particularly fast. Rams LCB Trumaine Johnson has the size to match up with Jones and is PFF’s No. 9 cover corner. Janoris Jenkins, opposite Johnson, is a bit more up-and-down in coverage, but he tends to struggle more with speed receivers who blow by him for long touchdowns.

Doug Baldwin at Bengals: Baldwin leads the Seahawks with 23 targets. Eight tight ends and 39 receivers across the league have more than that. This isn’t a voluminous passing attack in Seattle, and Baldwin is barely doing anything with his looks. He’s averaging less than 10.0 YPR and is averaging a meager 1.40 yards per route run, per Pro Football Focus. This game will be down in pace. Baldwin runs over 80 percent of his routes out of the slot. Savvy veteran Leon Hall covers the slot for the Bengals. Another year removed from a torn Achilles’, Hall has been stingy in coverage, allowing an 80.7 passer rating and 7.5 YPR against him. Avoid all Seahawks pass catchers.

Money Green

A.J. Green had a huge game as the Cincinnati Bengals battled the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Green caught 10 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns, with both of his scores coming in the fourth quarter of a tight game. Green now sits at 335 yards on the season after his first big game of the 2015 campaign.

Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin tears ACL

kbenjamin-inside

 

Kelvin Benjamin of the Carolina Panthers is out for the season after tearing his ACL.  He had a lot of upside for 2015 season, especially for a possible third through fifth round pick.  Benjamin’s injury was suffered during Wednesday’s joint practice with the Dolphins. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the exact moment it occurred was when Benjamin “went to plant” and tried to make a “swim move.”  Apparently, only Dolphins (not Panthers) can make swim moves!

Would You Rather 2015

1. Would you rather have Adrian Peterson no matter what team he plays for or the Chief’s Jamaal Charles?     Answer:  Adrian Peterson

2. Would you rather have Odell Beckham or Calvin Johnson?  Answer: Odell Beckham

3. Would you rather have Julius Thomas or Travis Kelce as your tight end?  Answer: Travis Kelce

4. Would you rather have Jeremy Hill or C.J. Anderson?  Jeremy Hill

5.  Would you rather have Drew Brees or Matt Ryan?   Answer: Matt Ryan (tough call)

Alshon Jeffrey Boost

jeff

Brandon Marshall will NOT be a Chicago Bear next year.  No, it’s not official that Marshall won’t be with the Bears next year, but the writing is on the wall.  There are many reason to get rid of Marshall such as his cap hit over the next 3 years:$9.575 million, $9.975 million and $10.375 million the next three years.  But who really needs two of the SAME receivers anyway (Jeffrey and Marshall) when team’s like the Saints, from which the Bears hired their new General Manager from, and the Seahawks (and even the Patriots) have modeled that spending elsewhere might be more valuable than having a superstar receiver.  Bottom line is the Bears have way too many holes to fill to waste talent at wide receiver.  And you definitely don’t need to be dealing with locker room dysfunction at a time when building your organization is the goal.

Does the absence of Marshall make Alshon more of a fantasy factor?

Yes!

I believe this move will significantly increase the value of Alshon Jeffery.  We all know Jeffery played out of his mind with Josh McCown 2 years ago when Marshall was out injured.  At the very least, he will become the number one red zone option going forward.

Odell Beckham

Don’t laugh at the person next year who takes Odell Beckham of the New York Giants in ROUND 1.  Start imagining the situation where you pick Odell in your draft BEFORE Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions.  You probably have read all the stats by now, but think to yourself if you have SEEN him play and ask one question:  DOES HE PASS THE EYEBALL TEST?  The hands down answer is ‘Yes.’  Great route running, great hands, and nothing but ELECTRIC.  Think Devin Hester who can play receiver!

odell

Rookie Wide Receiver

kelvin

Well it’s official, no longer should we be afraid to play rookie wide receivers in fantasy football.  Rule changes have completely changed the landscape of football forever.  I don’t even need to provide you with the stats of the following rookie receivers this season to prove this out.  Names alone should suffice.  What a rookie class:  Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin, Martaveous Bryant, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Jordan Mathews, and Brandin Cooks.

Time for Josh Gordon

gordon

If Josh Gordon is still mistakenly on your league’s waiver wire, it’s time to go scoop him up.  He is eligible to return November 23rd (Week 12) versus the Atlanta Falcons.  Brian Hoyer has led the Browns to a respected 3-3 record.  Personally, I feel confident in Hoyer’s ability to get Gordon the ball.

Tate and Baldwin

If in need of a receiver, take action and start Detroit’s Golden Tate and/or Seattle’s  Doug Baldwin.  The absence of Percy Harvin will put the ball in Baldwin’s hands more as evidence with his 123 yard and 1 score performance last week.  Golden Tate is also the beneficiary of his running mate being out.  Calvin Johnson’s injury keeps Tate in line for big outings each week in Calvin’s absence.  Last week he had 10 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown.  Start them both this week if you have one.

Play Raider’s James Jones Week 7

jamesjones

 

Well, if you were looking for a week to play wide receiver James Jones of the Oakland Raiders, give him a shot in Week 7.  The Raiders play the 31st ranked defense versus receivers when they face the Arizona Cardinals.  Shocking right?  The Cardinals have Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, and Dominique Cromartie but for some reason it’s their run defense that is tough as nails.  Jones posted 3 touchdowns on the year, with one hundred yard game, and 26 receptions in 5 games.  The Raiders are at home.  He’s worth a start if you’re needing someone.

WR Brian Quick of Rams

St. Louis Rams quarterback Austin Davis has found a connection in his wide receiver Brian Quick.  For the year, Quick has 16 (Team Rank 1st) receptions for 235 yards (Team Rank 1st) and a score and hasn’t scored last than 9 points in a game in standard leagues.  He has caught 75% of the targets thrown his way by Davis which explains the connection and why Davis would want to throw to him.  He is currently tied for first on his team with 21 targets.  Don’t be afraid to us the former Appalachian State star.

 

Quick

Rookie Wide Receivers

This will be short:  Don’t Take Rookie Wide Receivers!

I suppose if you want to take one as a #4 on your squad, otherwise, let others reach for them.  Had to tell my partner in one of my leagues last year to stop the love for Tavon Austin cause I’m not drafting him.  He was drafted #8 overall but it was an obvious call to  stay away.

Every year rookie wide receivers don’t pan out consistently.

This year people will be tempted with Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, and Kelvin Benjamin who were all drafted in round one.  Personally, I love Sammy Watkins the best as a wide receiver but as rookies, I would say Mike Evans will have the best season this year.  The fact that Evans will be across from Vincent Jackson should make a difference in the red zone specifically.  I can see him catching 9 touchdowns this year but don’t count on it.  

And instead of drafting Sammy Watkins, take a look at the early production by Robert Woods (USC) who will be opposite of Watkins in Buffalo.  Woods is in year two and he is a good one.  He probably will go undrafted and can be plucked off the wire if you see anything from him early.

Alshon Jeffery Ready To Shine

jefferyalshon

If you’re in need of a receiver for your roster, look no further than the Chicago Bears Alshon Jeffery.  This sub 4.5, 6’3″, 216 pound monster athlete is about to be a contributor in the world of fantasy football.  Jay Cutler isn’t going to forever throw every time to Brandon Marshall.  Last week, he had 5 catches for 117 yards and a score.  This is just the beginning.  Just as Roddy White and Julio Jones can both be productive on the same team or Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin too.  Marshall and Jeffery can both co-survive together and be great.  I don’t think Martellus Bennett is going to keep up this early season pace.  In fact, I think he fades and allows Jeffery to grow in the offense.  Also, Marshall has been ailing with a foot injury lately.  He did not practice Wednesday and he wasn’t spotted at practice today (Thursday) for the portion that was open to the media.  So take a chance on this second year wideout Alshon Jeffery.

 

Need A Receiver?

BlackmanJustin

 

If you’re looking for a receiver, look no further than picking up the Jacksonville Jaguar Justin Blackmon this week.  He is coming off his 4-game suspension this week.  The Jaguar’s offense was looking great in preseason with him playing.  Unlike Cecil Shorts, it doesn’t matter which quarterback (Gabbert or Henne) is throwing to Blackmon.  Do you remember his last four games last year?  Blackmon was targeted 48 times in his final four games of the year.  Pick him up and feel confident in him.  It’s time for some breakout moments for him.

Can We Hold On All The Tavon Austin Hype?

AustinTavon

The more I hear talk about Tavon Austin, the more people falsly believe that he is going to be a legitimate fantasy receiver this season.  I see 50 catches for 800 yards this season.  Is that something you want to draft on your team?  To me, Tavon Austin does not seem to be the type of guy to have 100-yard receiving games with any consistency.  I loved him at West Virginia.  In fact, I had him pegged as a 2nd or 3rd round pick that some team was going to get great value on.  As it turns out, he gets drafted in the first round as the best wide receiver on the board at #8.  He is good, but at eight overall, this pick was a bit of a reach.  He is 5’8″!

I think his value is tied to him busting a punt return or kick return for a touchdown.  That is not something I would put my money on in fantasy football.  I put my value on consistency and guys that are going to catch passes.  I envision Austin games of 2 catches for 40 yards here and there.  As of now, Chris Givens is the number one wideout for the Rams who you can value as the player to get the ball in that offense.

I also feel like for Tavon to have value, the Rams are going to have to use him to bust a reverse or big run somehow.  At this point, we don’t know how the Rams are going to use him.  Finally, they are still just the Rams.  They aren’t this high flying offense yet that will produce fantasy numbers for their players just by the style of their play.  Sam Bradford and company still have a lot to prove.  So can we slow down all the Tavon Austin hype?

I don’t think he is strong enough to be a runner to be like a Percy Harvin.  Is he more like a DeSean Jackson, Devin Hester or maybe a Dexter McCluster?  I think his goal should be to become something like a Steve Smith.  That would make all the hype legit.  It’s too early to tell.  We know he is lightning fast, but let’s just see how he does first before we anoint him something great.

Who is Kenny Stills?

Stills

There is a young receiver down in New Orleans that is turning heads.  This time I am not talking about second year wide receiver Nick Toon.  Rookie wide receiver Kenny Stills had another solid performance in preseason versus the Texans.  The former Sooner had 2 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.  He made his two catches versus two respectable starting corners in Kareem Jackson and Johnathon Joseph.  In his last two games, he has 6 catches for 118 yards and 2 scores.

He’s not a big receiver as he only stands 6′ and 194 pounds, but is playing with a purpose.  Keep an eye on the Saints and how this all falls out as they have some talents to figure out.  See where he falls on the depth chart, how they are using Stills and if there are injuries down the road.  He may be worth picking up later.

Must Have Player On Your Fantasy Team

Amendola

It is almost draft time for many leagues who have yet to put together the best day of their football season.  I am going to put myself out there and say Danny Amendola is a must have for your fantasy team.  You might think I’m crazy and say he has only played in 12 games in the last two years.  In fact, I was listening today at the fantasy football convention in Hammond, Indiana to Stephania Bell from ESPN talking about Amendola.  She discussed his last two season ending injuries in detail describing them both as very unusual.  The first being a dislocated elbow, which isn’t all that unusual per say, but the fact that the triceps tore as a result was very strange.  The second involved the sternum.  Again, this injury wasn’t unusual except for the fact that it inverted, which apparently never happens, instead of protruding outward.  From this information, she connected some fantasy dots that this might mean some mythical conclusion that he is more prone to weird injuries.

Despite all that injury hoopla that you cannot predict with any certainty, I still believe Amendola is so valuable to the fantasy teams he is on.  If you draft him, you will be getting a #1 wide receiver in the 5th or 6th round.  He will be a top 10 wideout this season easily.  No matter what draft strategy you use, grabbing an automatic #1 receiver in the 5th or 6th round gives you a huge advantage each week.  You will win consistently whether you nabbed two or three running backs early to go with two #1 receivers.  Or if you pick a quarterback early and get Amendola in these rounds.  Even if you pick Jimmy Graham, you will have a solid team even if Amendola ends up being your #1 receiver and you don’t have another true #1.

I don’t even want to go into the Patriots offense, Tom Brady, the slot receiver and any Wes Welker comparisons.  You just need to take my word for it.

If you don’t take Amendola, you most likely will end up with guys that won’t be top 10 receivers.  Unless, you pick two top guys early on which will definitely deplete your running back production.

He will single handedly put your team into the playoffs if you make decent picks in rounds 1 through 4.  I think if you just make average picks in those first four rounds, you will be winning with regularity in the regular season with this Amendola strategy.  And again, you will make the fantasy playoffs.  From that point, it is sometimes luck or sometimes match-ups that decide the outcome, but, at least, you have a chance to win your Super Bowl.

Victor Cruz Might Crack Top 5 Fantasy Receivers

CruzVictor

This is the year for Victor Cruz to engrain himself as a Top 10 fantasy wideout for sure, but can he crack the Top 5?  Think of Steve SmithCarolina Panthers, in his breakout season.  When Steve Smith was 26, he had 103 receptions for 1,500+ yards and 13 total scores.

Victor Cruz is 26.

Victor is electric, confident and breaks loose often.  But he isn’t just a “go-deep” receiver. In the red zone, he is able to find seems or places to sit down in, and Eli Manning is confident to go to him for touchdowns.

No need to be concerned about Hakeem Nicks taking away from Cruz’s statistics anymore.  It is almost guaranteed Nicks will not have some sort of a bounce back year.  Cruz does need Hakeem on the field, in my opinion, to be more effective, but Nicks definitely won’t hinder Cruz.

Brett Myers caught 79 balls last year for the Raiders.  He is the Giants new tight end this year to replace Martellus Bennet.  Myers didn’t play particularly well last night.  He caught zero balls.  He needs to do a little better to keep defenses honest, obviously, but he doesn’t hurt Victor’s value either.

Cruz did just bruise his heel last night in Preseason game #2.  Hopefully, that goes away quickly cause Victor is in for a big year this season.

Pierre Garcon versus Steve Smith

Garcon

If you had to choose between Pierre Garcon and Steve Smithwho would you choose?

You have two number 1 wide receivers for their teams.

One is  27 years old (Garcon) and the other is 34 (Smith).

Garcon timed at 4.48 in the 40 and Smith 4.41.

Garcon 6’0″ 210 lbs., Smith is 5’9″ and 185 lbs.

One is relatively proven in Smith, the other is not.

Garcon’s Redskins were 9-1 with him last year, and 2 and 4 without him.

Smith’s Panther’s were 7-9 with him.

Both have mobile quarterbacks throwing to them (Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III)

Both are on mediocre teams with mediocre passing statistics.

Smith had 5 100-yard games last season, injured Garcon managed 2 100-yard games.

They both had 4 touchdowns last year.  Both should have more this season as Smith will have a bounce back TD season and Garcon should have more just if he stays healthy.

Garcon missed 6 games last year.  Smith missed zero. Garcon’s injury was a foot (toe) injury.  Then in the offseason had labrum surgery.

After all this information, are you any closer to making a decision on who to pick if you were deciding between the two for your fantasy team?

I think it would depend if you also have other guys on your team already that are injury risks like Amendola, Gronkowski, Jordy Nelson, McFadden, and DeMarco Murray types.

Garcon is the UPSIDE with RISK.  Smith is SAFER.SmithSteve

 

 

Dwayne Bowe to Boom?

BoweDwayneHard to envision Dwayne Bowe to be an elite wide receiver after some putrid seasons.  He has never had 1,200 yards.  He has never had 90 receptions.  Other than his one year he scored a massive 15 touchdowns, his touchdowns totals have been unimpressive (3, 5, 4, 7, 5).  

But now Andy Reid is in town and a new quarterback (Alex Smith).  Can he be a star this year? 

Last season, Alex Smith completed 70.2 percent of his passes, the most of any player with at least 200 attempts.

In Dwayne Bowe‘s career (2007-12), Chiefs quarterbacks have completed 57.8 percent of passes, 28th in the league in that span.

Over the past nine seasons, Andy Reid offenses have been top-10 in the NFL in passing yards eight times.

From Week 1 of 2004 to Week 8 of 2005, Terrell Owens, playing for Andy Reid, was targeted 214 times, fourth-most in the NFL during that time frame.

Owens had an injury in Week 8 of 2005, but from Week 1 of 2004 until that injury, he also had 1,963 yards (third-best in the NFL during that time frame) and 20 touchdowns, tied for most in the NFL.

Bowe is listed at 6-2, 221 pounds. He’s going in the seventh round, on average, in ESPN drafts.

Owens was listed at 6-foot-3, 226 pounds.

You will have to make your own assumptions, but I think Bowe could actually be a legit fantasy #1 this season.

Top 10 Wide Receivers for 2013


BryantDez

The following list is my best fantasy educated guess on how the wide receivers will be ranked at the end of the season as far as most points scored in fantasy.  The list isn’t necessarily how I would rank them per say.  It is simply a hypothetical end of the season finish as no ranking is ever 100% correct.  So this has some built in hunches.  This is meant to be for fun but make you think a bit.

1.  Dez Bryant

2. Calvin Johnson

3. Randall Cobb (Previous Article)

4. Brandon Marshall

5. A.J. Green

6. Danny Amendola (Previous Article)

7. Roddy White

8. Demaryius Thomas

9. Victor Cruz

10. Julio Jones

(*Players I wanted to include but just couldn’t: Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne, and Dwayne Bowe)

Randall Cobb

CobbRandall

You might think Randall Cobb broke out last year.  I think he breaks out even bigger this year.  During his rookie campaign, I saw enough in him to say to myself “wow, that guy is explosive.”  He was on the radar and I was just looking and waiting to see when he would get more touches.

Last year, with James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings all on the roster, they were all going to eat into his fantasy production, so he didn’t have a high ceiling.  Amazingly enough, he still was productive.  I was able to grab Cobb with a 13th round draft choice.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enjoy his production as I was able to land a stable wideouts that included Eric Decker, Vincent Jackson and Dwayne Bowe.  And then with a couple of trades I finished with Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones and Decker on my team.  As you can see, the value of Cobb wasn’t as needed.

This year, I would count on him to be one of your main guys.  With Greg Jennings bolting to Minnesota, Cobb is going to be all over the field making plays.  He has a little bit of Percy Harvin in him, yet, he will probably be healthy.  If he doesn’t touch 100 receptions this year, it’ll be close and with a minimum of 8 touchdowns too. If you have to take him in the 3rd round, you will definitely get the production from that draft slot.  I’m hoping 4th round as my baseline for round to take him.

The Next Wes Welker That Never Was

Poor Ryan Swope!  I had that kid being the next Wes Welker of the NFL.  The wide receiver from Texas A&M caught my eye one day and immediately I made the comparison to Welker.  I couldn’t wait until draft day to see where he landed.  Then on draft day I was amazed at how his name didn’t get called round after round.  He ended up landing with the Arizona Cardinals in the 6th round to my surprise.  It turns out he dropped due to concussion issues.

Concussions or not, I thought him being sandwiched between Larry Fitzgerald on one side and Michael Floyd the other that he was going to be an instant success.  The Cardinals were going to be a force to be reckon with.  But before his career even got going, he has retired due to concussion issues.  I love when I get my hunches and get to see if I’m right or wrong.  I guess I’ll just have to keep looking for gems in other places.

Ryan Swope Retires Article

Swope

Predicting Touchdown Receptions for 2013

It’s fair to say that if a player had an unusually high number of receiving touchdowns in one year, they will probably come back down to reality the next year. A perfect example from the year before was Jordy Nelson who had 15 touchdowns in 2011 and 7 in 2012. Another Packer, James Jones, will probably have the same drop-off this year. From the below list, I believe Eric Decker and Mike Williams will have significant drop-offs. It’s also safe to say that the rest will have roughly 2 fewer TDs as well. On the other side, I think we can safely predict an increase in touchdowns from the following players (2012 TD receptions): Calvin Johnson (5), Reggie Wayne (5), Pierre Garcon (4), Larry Fitzgerald (4), Danny Amendola (3), Michael Floyd (2), DeSean Jackson (2).

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