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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Free Agent Fallout: Have The Lions Finally Found Their Second WR In Golden Tate?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Lions offense is dynamic, led by Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and a two-headed monster in the backfield (Reggie Bush/Joique Bell). However, the team has long lacked a viable option who could make opposing defenses pay as they focused on Johnson. Just look at some of the names that caught passes in 2013:

  • Kris Durham – 38 receptions for 490 yards
  • Nate Burelson – 39 receptions for 461 yards
  • Kevin Ogletree – 13 receptions for 199 yards
  • Ryan Broyles – 8 receptions for 85 yards

In fairness to Burleson, he was held to just 9 games due to injury. Then again he’s played 15 games in the past two years and will be 33-years old by the start of the season. How much could really be expected of him?

Enter Golden Tate, who got a massive contract to land in Detroit (5 years and $31 million, with $13.25 guaranteed). While the team could still look to further address the need (perhaps in the draft), we have to wonder if Tate is going to be the answer they have been looking for.

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Free Agent Fallout: Running Back Edition: Will Gerhart Emerge In Jacksonville, Donald Brown To San Diego & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Running back is a young man’s position, and it’s been proven over and over again that talent can be found late in the draft.  However, that didn’t stop some teams from investing in running backs on the first day of free agency (and in some cases, in a puzzling manner).  Let’s take a look at the moves that were made yesterday and check out their fantasy impact:

 

Toby Gerhart Signs With The Jaguars
Can Gerhart prove that he’s capable of handling the load as a lead back?  Finally out of the shadow of Adrian Peterson, Gerhart is going to get his opportunity (based on the contract you would think he’s got the early lead over Jordan Todman).

That said, exactly what has Gerhart shown in the past?  He’s never rushed for more than 2 TD in a season.  Only once has he surpassed 322 yards.  Sure he’s caught some passes (three seasons of at least 20 receptions), but this appears to be an awfully big leap of faith.

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Fantasy Fallout: Henne & Cassel Retained, But Should We Care?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know there has been plenty of speculation regarding quarterbacks for the 2014 football season.  Whether it is who is going to target a QB at the top of the draft or where Michael Vick could potentially land, it’s clear that there is going to be ample changes across the league.

That said, two teams retained their quarterbacks before free agency even started.  Let’s take a quick look at the deals an if either quarterback could bring value in 2014:

 

The Jaguars resigned Chad Henne for 2 years and $8 million
Vito Stellino (via Twitter) reported:

“Gus Bradley just said even if they draft a QB at No. 3, odds are Chad Henne will start first regular season game”

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