Is Arian Foster Worth Drafting Or Is He A Bust Waiting To Happen?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After being limited to just 8 games in 2013 due to a back injury, there is at least a shadow of doubt hanging over Arian Foster. However, that only adds to the potential draft day appeal.

We all know that talk this time of year is meaningless, but you have to like hearing things like this:

“In the past, we’ve had guys like Kevin Faulk, Danny Woodhead in this offense that have filled those types of roles,” said O’Brien, who served in various roles in the Patriots’ organization from 2007-11, “and now it looks like definitely Arian will be able to do that and more.”

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Updated 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 15 Tight Ends

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Training camps are officially underway and the preseason games are going to start before we know it.  Where did the time go?  Obviously our rankings are going to be constantly changing, so let’s start getting things updating our Top 15 tight ends:

1. Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints
2. Jordan Cameron – Cleveland Browns
3. Julius Thomas – Denver Broncos
4. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers
5. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins
6. Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers
7. Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
8. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys
9. Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens
10. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots Read more

Will Dennis Pitta Breakout In 2014?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Ravens Dennis Pitta missed the bulk of 2013 due to surgery on his hip, though catching 20 passes over the final four games does give us reason for optimism. Though he managed just 169 yards and 1 TD, he was still a constant focus of the offense (33 targets).

With Gary Kubiak now tasked with offensive coordinator duties, that role may increase even more. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (click here for the article):

“Signed to a five-year, $32 million contract in March, the tight end is expected to have a versatile role in new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s offensive system. That includes everything from Pitta being split out as an extra wide receiver to working out of the backfield as well as traditional in-line tight end alignments.”

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Late Round Running Back Fliers Worth Taking (Latvius Murray & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When I say “flier”, I’m thinking about a player who may not even be drafted in most leagues but is just significant struggles or an injury away from making a monster impact. In the last few rounds of your draft, with an average ADP of 144 or greater, there certainly is no harm in making the selection and crossing your fingers. Even if they don’t pan out, they will be easily replaced.

Who is sitting atop my fliers list?  Let’s take a look:

 

Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders
We’ve already taken an in depth look at Murray, which you can read by clicking here. While the Raiders brought Darren McFadden back (injury risk) and signed Maurice Jones-Drew (looked like a shell of himself in 2013), neither are a lock to produce in 2014. If they stumble, or can’t suit up, it’s the intriguing Murray who will get his chance to show what he’s capable of. If you have a deep bench, he’s a player that needs to be drafted.

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Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Why Greg Olsen Is A Tight End To Target

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It is easy to overlook the Panthers’ Greg Olsen among tight ends, but is that really a mistake you want to make? First, just look at the numbers he’s posted over the past two years:

  • 2012 – 69 receptions, 843 yards, 5 TD
  • 2013 – 73 receptions, 816 yards, 6 TD

More importantly, he has been targeted at least 100 times each of the past two seasons. That’s something that isn’t common for tight ends.  In fact, Olsen is one of only four tight ends to have accomplished that (joining Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez).  That alone shows how important of a role he plays on the passing game.

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Rich’s Random Ramblings: Three Fantasy Football Draft Mistakes

by Rich Justmann

It’s that time:  Fantasy Football!  OK maybe not yet.  We’ve only just begun the OTA’s but hey, it’s close enough.  I can almost hear Vince Lombardi “Gentlemen, this is a football” and Henry Jordan “Coach, could you slow down a little?”

Of course, with the advent of the football season comes the fantasy football drafts.  In this post I am discussing the mental side of the draft – not the rankings or the position sequence.  Rather, the focus is on your composure during the draft.  Here are three of the top mental mistakes fantasy football players make.

  1. Letting a bad pick influence your next pick.  Hey, to quote Rafiki, “It doesn’t matter.  It’s in the past.”  So if you made a bummer pick, forget it and make your next pick a good one.  Seriously, you don’t know if it really was a bad pick.  You’ll know for sure later, much later, but it may turn out to be your best pick of the draft! Read more

Quick Hit: Will Eagles’ Rookie Jordan Matthews Make An Impact In 2014

Phil Sheridan of ESPN recently wrote (click here for the article):

“Second-round draft pick Jordan Matthews had people at organized team activities comparing his physique to that of Terrell Owens and could be a star in the future.”


Thoughts

The key takeaway from that statement needs to be “in the future”. The Eagles play a fast paced offense and lost DeSean Jackson, so it makes sense that many are drawn to Matthews as a potential rookie sensation.  It’s not to say that it can’t happen, but it also shouldn’t be expected. The offense is going to run through LeSean McCoy. Darren Sproles was added to help relieve him a bit, but will also be a key component in the passing game.

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Draft Day Decision: Who Should You Select Fifth Overall?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s easy to assume that Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson are going to go 1-2-3, in some order. Matt Forte makes sense as the fourth pick, although it’s not 100% given that he goes in that spot (though he should). Where it really gets interesting is at #5, where the top players on your draft board will likely be:

  • Eddie Lacy
  • Calvin Johnson
  • Jimmy Graham

I know the idea of selecting Graham in the first round is in vogue this season, and it does make sense. He gives you a significant advantage over your opponents at tight end. Does it make any sense to select him fifth, though? You would be leaving a player who will likely outperform him, and by a fairly wide margin, on the board. It’s a pick I certainly couldn’t get behind.

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Order The Rotoprofessor 2014 Fantasy Football Draft Guide For $6 & Be Entered To Win Brett Favre Autograph!

That’s right, for the first time ever Rotoprofessor will be offering a Fantasy Football Draft Guide!!  Scheduled to be released by July 1, the guide will be very similar to our Baseball Guide (including regular updates based on news/injuries).  If you purchase the draft guide by August 20 (if you have already ordered you will automatically be entered into the drawing), you will be entered to win a free Brett Favre autographed 8×10 (authenticated)!!  There will be only one winner, but don’t miss your opportunity!The guide will be delivered via e-mail (as an Excel spreadsheet) and will include:

  • Expanded Positional Rankings (Top 75 RB, Top 100 WR, etc.)
  • Expanded PPR Rankings
  • Overall Rankings (Both PPR & Non-PPR)
  • Projections (Including Player Analysis)
  • Sleepers/Breakouts/Busts
  • Offensive Line Rankings
  • Coaching Change Implications
  • And so much more!!

To ensure being one of the first to receiver the guide, make sure to pre-order it today for just $6.  Make sure you keep checking back for more details and be sure to reserve your copy early!!


Is There Reason Not To Believe The Bernard Pierce Preseason Hype? There Actually Is…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that Ray Rice could face suspension to open the 2014 season, though the length of that suspension remains a mystery (the assumption appears to be that he’s going to miss between 2 to 4 games).  Regardless, any time missed is going to open the door for Bernard Pierce to potentially emerge and take hold of the Ravens’ starting running back job.  With Rice banged up and struggling Pierce was in a similar spot in 2013, yet failed miserably to grab hold of his opportunity:

Rushing
152 carries
436 yards (2.9 yards per carry)
2 TD

Receiving
20 receptions
104 yards
0 TD

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