Breakout Candidate: Can Ryan Tannehill Rise To QB1 Status In 2014?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Ryan Tannehill actually had a surprisingly successful season in 2013 when you look at the pure numbers:

355 completions (60.4% completion percentage)
3,913 yards
24 TD
17 INT
238 rushing yards
1 rushing TD

That placed him 10th in the league in passing yards, ahead of Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick and a host of others. He was seventh in the league in attempts and 11th in completions.

Can we safely expect the Dolphins to continue putting the ball in his hands? They should run the ball a little bit more this season, but that may actually help Tannehill more than hurt him.

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Why Marshawn Lynch Is A 2014 Bust Candidate

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are few backs that have carried the load for their teams like Marshawn Lynch has over the past three seasons. Just look at what he’s done

2011:
Regular Season – 285 carries, 28 receptions
Total Touches – 313

2012:
Regular Season – 315 carries, 23 receptions
Postseason – 36 carries, 4 receptions
Total Touches – 378

2013:
Regular Season – 301 carries, 36 receptions
Postseason – 65 carries, 1 reception
Total Touches – 403

So, for the past three seasons Marshawn Lynch has gotten 1,094 touches. Soon to be 28-years old, you have to wonder how much wear and tear that type of workload is going to have on him. The fact is we have seen backs breakdown from that type of workload.

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Fantasy Fallout: Will Chris Johnson or Chris Ivory Provide More Value In The New Jets’ Backfield?

by Ray Kuhn

Not long ago Chris Johnson was a perennial first round draft choice, but as he enters his seventh season in the NFL that is no longer the case. In fact, it has not been for at least the past two years. When Johnson was eclipsing the 2,000 yard mark, who would have thought that a few years later he would be cast off by the Tennessee Titans?  Or that he would generate minimal interest from the other 29 teams? After finding there was not a trade market for Johnson, the Titans released the soon to be 29-year old running back (generally considered to be young, though not in running back years).

All Johnson was able to muster up on the free agent market was a two year $8 million contract from the New York Jets, with another $1 million in possible incentives. Johnson will now share the Jets backfield with the oft-injured Chris Ivory.

So what should fantasy owners expect out of this tandem?

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Draft Prospect to Watch: Do The Concerns Regarding Bishop Sankey Limit His Fantasy Appeal?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Washington’s Bishop Sankey was one of the most productive running backs in college football in 2013. When a running back puts up this type of line you would think there are high expectations:

1,870 yards (5.7 yards/carry)
20 TD
28 receptions for 304 yards and 1 TD

However, there are also some concerns based on his size (5’9″, 209 lbs.). NFL.com in their combine scouting report for Sankey said that:

“Lacks ideal bulk and functional run strength — not a robust tackle-breaker. Too often grounded by single-tacklers or tripped up by the ankles. Shows some hip tightness. Average explosion, speed and elusiveness.”

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Landing In St. Louis, Will Kenny Britt Finally Emerge As A Top 30 WR?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There is no questioning the talent of Kenny Britt, though he has never quite been able to put it all together. Part of the problem has been a long list of off the field issues, part has been injuries (including a torn ACL and MCL in 2011) and part has been his quarterbacks/receiving depth in Tennessee.  He never seemed to be fully healthy in 2012, averaging just 13.1 yards per reception. Last season Pro Football Focus has him with 7 dropped passes on just 33 targets, just adding to the question marks (in 2012 he had 7 drops on 85 targets).

In fact, despite the upside Britt has never exceeded 45 receptions (2012), 775 yards (2010) or 9 TD (2010).

Reuniting with Jeff Fisher, he could finally get his opportunity to be “the” wide receiver in St. Louis. The contract he signed, a one-year deal based on incentives, should be a motivating factor. If he plays well he will be able to parlay it into a big contract next offseason.

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Draft Prospect To Watch: Does Odell Beckham Jr. Profile As A Viable Option In 2014 Or Beyond?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Is interesting that there has been talk of LSU junior wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. sliding into the late first round. It’s not like his 2013 numbers really stand out, with 59 receptions for 1,152 yards and 8 TD. In fact, the TD were spread across just four games and only once did have more than six receptions in a contest.

However, he clearly has electric ability (19.5 yards per catch) and put those skills on display at the Combine. According to Walter Football:

“The 5-foot-11, 198-pounder had an official 40 time of 4.43 with a 10-yard split of 1.50. Beckham performed well with good speed and hands in the gauntlet. The Combine served to confirm that he is worthy of a late first-round pick.”

His yards per reception was actually second most in college football among receivers with at least 50 catches (Mike Evans had a 20.2 mark). He also added an additional 1,005 yards on returns and won the Paul Horning Award as college football’s most versatile player.

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Could Ben Tate Finally Emerge As A Must Use Option In Cleveland?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Even if the Browns’ hadn’t traded Trent Richardson during the early part of the 2013 season, many likely would’ve been saying that they needed to upgrade their stable of running backs (especially considering his ultimate struggles).  With Richardson out of the mix, the team was in dire need of an influx of talent.  Just look at their rushing leaders from a year ago:

  • Willis McGahee – 377 yards on 138 carries
  • Chris Ogbonnaya – 240 yards on 49 carries
  • Edwin Baker – 171 yards on 43 carries

In other words, signing Ben Tate to a 2 year, $7 million contract was a no-brainer.  The real question is if he has the potential to post gaudy numbers in his new locale.

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Looking At The Impact Darren Sproles’ Arrival Has On LeSean McCoy

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Darren Sproles may be on the wrong side of 30 and you could argue that he’s coming off an extremely disappointing season (824 total yards, 4 TD).  Yet, his arrival in Philadelphia could have a significant fantasy impact.

That impact won’t necessarily be felt by Chip Kelly’s newest toy, though that’s not to say that Sproles won’t remain fantasy relevant.  As a running back who has had at least 71 receptions each of the past three seasons, Sproles should become an integral part of the team’s offense.  While he may fall short of that type of number, his skill set should fit well in the Eagles’ fast-paced offense.

No, the bigger impact that Sproles will have is taking touches away from LeSean McCoy.  It’s not like McCoy is going to suddenly fall from being among the elite in the league, but the order is likely going to shuffle.

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Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Despite Josh McCown’s Arrival, Fantasy Owners Shouldn’t Sleep On Mike Glennon

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was somewhat surprising to hear that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had already tabbed newly signed Josh McCown as the starter for 2014. Maybe he deserves the job and maybe he doesn’t, but you would at least think that Mike Glennon deserved a shot to compete.

Glennon fared fairly well in his rookie season, completing 59.4% of his passes for 2,608 yards, 19 TD and 9 INT over 13 games. That was done mostly without the benefit of a viable running game (with Doug Martin injured) and Mike Williams playing just six games. Throw in that the team allowed the sixth most sacks (47), and you would’ve thought Glennon was ticketed for bigger and brighter things in 2014.

For now, though, fantasy owners are preparing as if McCown will be the man under center. He too impressed last season, appearing in eight games and completing 66.5% of his passes for 1,829 yards, 13 TD and 1 INT.

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Free Agent Fallout: Why Eric Decker Will Likely Disappoint In New York

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Jets desperately needed help with their receiving corps, so it makes sense that they targeted one of the top receivers available in free agency.  Is he a true top receiver?  That’s definitely not a given, as you have to wonder if he was more of a Peyton Manning product as opposed to anything else.

Over the past two seasons he’s posted at least 85 receptions, 1,064 yards an 11 TD a year, but that was with countless other weapons taking away the attention of defenses and the elite QB in the league throwing him the football.  How are the numbers going to react based on the downgrade under center?

I know some people are going to point to the 8 TD he had in 2011, when Tim Tebow was controlling the Broncos’ offense, but that’s not a number to hang our hats on.  He had just 44 receptions for 612 yards and touchdowns can be a bit of a fluky statistics (though Decker was always considered a red zone threat, so he does have that going for him).  While Geno Smith is not Tebow, he also is hardly one of the elite in the game.

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