Is Michael Crabtree Worth A Fifth Round Draft Pick?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

If you want to select the 49ers Michael Crabtree it is going to cost you around a fifth round, given his current average ADP of 47.4. Is a player who only played 5 games a year ago really worth that type of commitment?

The quick answer is yes, but let’s look at why.

As we have said before, when Crabtree and Colin Kaepernick are on the field together they simply have the potential to be electric. We particularly saw it over the final eight games of 2012, when Crabtree posted 46 receptions for 665 yards and 6 TD. Even in his limited time last season he managed 14.9 yards per catch.

Just for comparison, in the first eight games of 2012 Crabtree averaged 11.3 yards per reception. In 2011 he was at 12.1. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is C.J. Spiller Too Big Of A Draft Day Risk?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Adam Levitan (via Twitter) after the team’s third preseason game (viewed as the regular season dress rehearsal):

Bills’ first-team O played 47 snaps vs PIT. I had Fred Jackson with 26 snaps, Spiller 12, Dixon 9. Zero 3rd-down or RZ touches for Spiller.

Spiller is one of those players with tremendous upside, yet his opportunities and a shared backfield continue to hamstring him. While we try not to read too much into preseason splits, the breakdown of touches in the Bills’ backfield is a bit concerning.

Read more

Updated 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 30 Running Backs: PPR Formats

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

This time next week we’ll all be preparing for the first Sunday of NFL action!  While it can’t get here soon enough, there are still a lot of people who are still preparing/drafting for the upcoming season.  Let’s take one last look at our rankings, for those still in draft mode:

 

  1. Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs (1)
  2. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears (2)
  3. Lesean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles (3)
  4. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings (4)
  5. Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals (5)
  6. Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers (8)
  7. Arian Foster – Houston Texans (6)
  8. Montee Ball – Denver Broncos (7)
  9. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10)
  10. Zac Stacy – St. Louis Rams (11) Read more

Breaking Down The “Buzziest” Tight Ends: Reed, Ertz, Kelce & More

by Ray Lin

The middle to back-end tiers of tight end are ripe this year with buzzy players that many savvy drafters will take a chance on in drafts.  When we compare wide receivers, we often like to look at height advantages to exploit defensive backs and project their relative success. What about using the same comparisons for tight ends? Tight ends play one of the most interesting offensive roles of anyone at the line of scrimmage. Their size and strength is not only important to their pass catching abilities but also to their pass blocking, which helps them stay on the field for more snaps and more target potential.

Let’s look at five of the “buzziest” tight ends entering this season and how their size/speed numbers stack up with each other.

Jordan Reed, WAS (6’3 / 237 lbs / 4.72s 40-yard dash)
Reed is both the smallest and arguably most buzzy player on this list. Built and utilized more in the mold of a wide receiver, Reed won’t overpower defensive backs as well as the guys below. He is the smoothest in his route-running, though. Reed is also perhaps the most lethal with the ball in his hands in space, frequently looking like a running back with his agility. Read more

Three Players Worth Reaching For On Draft Day

by Matthew Gordan

Every draft is unique. Each one is a volatile entity that can break in any direction at any moment. No matter how much you plan, players you’ve targeted can escape your grasp. It’s easy, it happens all the time and it hurts, but that’s why we draft. It’s fun! Of course, you always have more fun when you employ players you actually like and sometime this means you have to reach in order to obtain those players. The following three players, one for each level of the draft, are choices I feel would be wise to reach for.

 

Montee Ball, RB (Broncos)
Once upon a time, every successful NFL player was unproven. I understand the notion that “unproven” equals risky 1st round pick, but let’s remember Ball is not some alien from outer space. Forget his illustrious college career; it means nothing in the NFL. Don’t forget the second half of last season, particularly the playoffs, when Ball was given more reps and produced.  Read more

Kearse vs. Richardson: Which Young Wide Receiver Should We Target In Seattle?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Seattle Seahawks have never been known as a passing team and it’s hard to imagine things suddenly changing. However, with there being a ton of risk tied to Marshawn Lynch this season and a healthy (for now) Percy Harvin now in the mix. That could open up a few opportunities, and the team has two young receivers who could step up and make an impact. Who should have more fantasy appeal? Let’s take a look:

 

Jermaine Kearse
He made a name for himself in the Super Bowl last season, with 4 catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. Having also scored a TD in the NFC championship game, there’s obviously going to be a little bit more attention paid to a receiver who only managed 22 catches for 346 yards and 4 TD in the regular season. Read more

Has Bishop Sankey Played His Way Out Of Fantasy Viability?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Heading into the season Bishop Sankey appeared primed to be the clear-cut, top rookie running back in 2014. That’s not to say he is the most talented, but he certainly had appeal and was ticketed with the best opportunity. When Tennessee cut ties with Chris Johnson, all that was left was Sankey and Shonn Greene. It was a slam dunk that he would open the season as the lead back…

And then he fumbled in the first preseason game. And then, for good measure, he fumbled in the second as well. While it wasn’t a problem in his college career at Washington, two fumbles in two preseason games is an issue that couldn’t be ignored.

As Josh Alper of NBC Sports pointed out (click here for the article), the Titans were able to diagnose the problem:

“Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Sankey needs to show more attention to details like footwork and exchanges with the quarterback because they are the root cause of the fumbles. Sankey appears to have taken the coach’s words to heart.”

Read more

Rules for Drafting In IDP Formats

by Ray Kuhn

Not all positions are created equal.

Don’t tell that to NFL players, coaches or general managers, but it is true… At least it’s true in fantasy circles.

For starters the majority of drafts focus on just four positions and in most leagues only one quarterback and one tight end are started, so that is where fantasy owners direct their focus. It is not that simple. Kickers and Team Defenses are started in just all about all formats, and in some leagues Individual Defense Players (IDP’s) are also part of the starting roster. So should each position be weighted equally in your rankings and on your draft boards?

Absolutely not, well at least if you want the best chance to win. It might be best to have a draft board for the “skill position” players, and another for the “ancillary” positions. Read more

Updated 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 15 Quarterbacks

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The top of the rankings remain unchanged, but after the Top 5 questions and injuries have sent things into flux (most notably due to the under performance of Robert Griffin III and the rib injury to Cam Newton).  How do things shake out just over a week before the start of the season?  Let’s take a look:

 

  1. Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos (1)
  2. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints (2)
  3. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers (3)
  4. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions (4)
  5. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts (5)
  6. Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers (7)
  7. Tom Brady – New England Patriots (9)
  8. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers (8)
  9. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons (10)
  10. Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins (6) Read more

Draft Day Decision: Is Cam Newton Worth The Risk?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Who is Cam Newton going to throw the ball to? It’s a fair concern and one that you have to think is going to drag down his draft day value. With Steve Smith jettisoned in the offseason, it definitely is a questionable cast of characters in Carolina…

Jerricho Cotchery?!?!?
Jason Avant?!?!?

Throw in his ankle, which required surgery in the offseason, as well as the new rib injury and it’s fair to have some significant concerns as we head into 2014. It’s also not that owners are being unreasonable, with his average ADP of 61.6 (and moving down, given the recent injury). Still, it’s easy to forget just how productive of an option Newton has the ability to be. Read more