Archive for Player Analysis

Fantasy Fallout: Is It Finally Time For A Ladarius Green Breakout?

by Ray Lin

Draymond Green may not be the only Green to surprise this year and come through with big money fantasy production. With the shocking announcement of Antonio Gates’ 4 game PED suspension, the window of opportunity for Ladarius Green has swung wide open for the opening month of the NFL season.

If you recall my buzzy TE article from last Fall I highlighted Green as one of the Top 5 tight end prospects for fantasy football. He rated as the fastest out of those tight ends according to his 4.45 40-yard dash time (faster than Jordan Reed and fellow 2015 breakout candidate Zach Ertz). In fact, Green’s time is faster than both Keenan Allen (4.71) and rookie Melvin Gordon (4.52). Allen is known as more of a polished route-runner as opposed to straight burner, but it’s still noteworthy that Green could potentially be the second-fastest player on the field (Danny Woodhead is the only one who clocked faster, at 4.33), at least for the first month of the season. Read more

Offseason Loser: Why Jeremy Maclin’s Move To Kansas City Isn’t A Good Thing

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Jeremy Maclin is coming off a career year, setting career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,318) and yards per reception (15.5) while also tying his career high in TD (10).  There’s a good chance that he would have been labeled an offseason “loser” regardless of where he landed, outside of re-upping with Chip Kelly and Philadelphia.  Of course, it may not have gotten any worse than seeing him reunite with Andy Reid in Kansas City.

Remember Reid was Maclin’s coach for the first four years of his NFL career.  Over that span he averaged:

  • Receptions – 64.5
  • Yards – 863.75
  • Touchdowns – 6.5 Read more

Bust Alert: Why Sammy Watkins Is Likely To Disappoint In 2015

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know how impressive last season’s rookie wide receiver class was, with Odell Beckham Jr. leading the way.  Included in that group was the Bills’ Sammy Watkins, the fourth overall selection in 2014, who posted 65 receptions for 982 yards and 6 TD over his rookie season.  So we’d expect growth and development in Year 2, right?  Maybe watch him rise into borderline WR1 territory?  Not so fast, as there are a slew of obstacles working against him.

New Coaching Staff/New Faces
While the Bills have always been more of a run first team, the addition of LeSean McCoy this offseason should help make that an even more dominant split.  One of the elite running backs in the league, you know he’s going to be the centerpiece of the offense.

New coach Rex Ryan believes in a ground and pound approach, and he definitely has the talent on defense to help support it.  As it is, here’s where the Jets’ offense ranked in rushing attempts during his time as head coach:

  • 2009 – 1st
  • 2010 – 2nd
  • 2011 – 16th
  • 2012 – 6th
  • 2013 – 5th
  • 2014 – 4th

This team is going to try and wear down opponents on the ground and shutting them down on defense.  Why risk making a mistake through the air?  As it is the team also added Charles Clay at tight end and Percy Harvin at wide receiver.  With a limited number of opportunities to go around and a crowded group needing to get looks, Watkins may have a tough time replicating his 128 targets from a year ago.

Poor Quarterback Play
The Bills are primed to open the season with a combination of EJ Manuel and Matt Cassell under center.  That hardly instills much confidence, simply by looking at the career completion percentage and yards/attempt from the two:

  • Cassell – 59.0% // 6.64
  • Manuel – 58.6% // 6.43

That’s poor, to say the least, and further helps to feed into the idea of focusing on LeSean McCoy and the rushing attack.

It’s easy to imagine fantasy owners buying into the hype of Watkins and ultimately overpaying to acquire him.  That’s not to say that there isn’t upside potential, but there are significant factors working against him and his production.

He currently has an average ADP of 46.0 and is coming off the board as the 19th wide receiver.  That’s not a terrible spot, but we simply can’t ignore the risk.  He certainly shouldn’t go any higher than that and fantasy owners may want to look in a different direction.

As of right now Latavius Murray is going in the same area of the draft (average ADP of 49.0) and you can get a similar upside wide receiver in Keenan Allen (average ADP of 55.7) in the following round.  That are gambles I’d rather take.

Sources – CBS Sports, Pro Football Reference, Fantasy Pros

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Offseason Winner: Latavius Murray: Could He Actually Emerge As A RB1?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There had been rumblings that the Raiders were going to pursue DeMarco Murray this offseason. Whether they did and failed or it was pure speculation is irrelevant, because at the end of the day he’s not in Oakland. All the Raiders ended up adding this offseason was Trent Richardson and Roy Helu via free agency.

You would’ve thought that the team would’ve added a running back in a deep draft class. However, like free agency, that has come and gone and there was no addition.

Sure they can talk about a battle for the starting role, but is anyone buying?  Given the depth chart it’s certainly hard to imagine: Read more

Fantasy Fallout: NFL Draft Round 1: Who Is A Must Target & Who Can We Ignore?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The first round of the NFL Draft is in the books and there certainly were a few surprises, whether it was two running backs being selected (let alone coming in the first 15 picks) or the Colts adding another wide receiver to the mix.  What is the fallout from a fantasy perspective?  Let’s take a look at the skill players who were selected and see how they look for the coming season:


1) Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Quarterback
Not a surprising pick, Winston should immediately step into the starting quarterback job and become a fantasy asset from Day 1.  He certainly has talent at wide receiver at his disposal, with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, as well as the developing Austin Seferian-Jenkins at tight end.  Sure we’d love to see another RB added to the mix (and maybe that comes on Day 2 or 3), but there’s potential in the three-headed monster of Doug Martin, Charles Sims & Bobby Rainey. Read more

Now In Cleveland, Could Rob Housler Finally Live Up The Breakout Hype?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Rob Housler has long been considered a potential breakout tight end, though he never seemed to get that opportunity in Arizona.  Part of the issue has been injuries, but over the past few years the numbers have simply regressed at an alarming rate (partly thanks to the presence of Bruce Arians and the scheme he was running):

  • 2012 – 45 receptions (68 targets), 417 yards, 0 TD
  • 2013 – 39 receptions (57 targets), 454 yards, 1 TD
  • 2014 – 9 receptions (17 targets), 129 yards, 0 TD

He was surprisingly behind the likes of John Carlson (33 receptions for 350 yards) last season, but he lands in an ideal location to rebuild his value.  The Browns are void of talent in the receiving game, thanks to the departure of TE Jordan Cameron and the suspension of WR Josh Gordon.  Sure the team brought in Dwayne Bowe, but that doesn’t mean much. Read more

Does Duron Carter Have Sleeper Value in 2015?

by Ray Kuhn

Potential and buzz. After the 2014 CFL season, that is what was surrounding Duron Carter as he sought employment from an NFL team.  However as you know, situations like this are never as simple as they seem.

For starters, the majority of us have never seen Carter play live. But does that even matter?

Carter has a superstar pedigree, his father is Cris Carter, and he is also looks like he emerged straight out of wide receiver central casting. The younger Carter is 6-foot-5 and weighs in at about 205 pounds and certainly proved himself as a top receiver in the past two seasons.

Read more

Third Year Receiver: Could Kenny Stills Be A Breakout Candidate?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Prior to the 2014 season we had labeled Kenny Stills as a potential sleeper (click here for the article). While he didn’t fully breakout the way we had hoped, we may have been a year too early with the label. He will be entering his “magical” third season in the NFL, and while a lot can change between now and the start of the season he appears to be in line for a major role in the offense.

With injuries piling up, Stills came alive in the second half of the season:

  • First 8 games – 24 receptions, 373 yards, 1 TD
  • Final 8 games – 39 receptions, 558 yards, 2 TD

Overall he averaged 14.8 yards per catch, helping to dispel the notion that he is nothing but a boom or bust receiver. Coming out of college, that certainly wasn’t the scouting report. Walter Football said (click here for the full report): Read more

Is Virgil Green A Potential Breakout Candidate In 2015? You’d Better Believe So…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Mike Klis of The Denver Post (click here for the article):

“The Broncos and their two-time Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas haven’t formally split, but they seem to be headed their separate ways.”

There is still time for the Broncos and Thomas to work out a deal, but with each passing day that seems to become less and less likely.  Where he lands and if he is simply a product of Peyton Manning is a story for another day, the question for today is if the Broncos already have an in-house replacement. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Could Stevie Johnson Return To Fantasy Relevance?

by Ray Kuhn

It might seem like ancient history, but in the not so distant past Stevie Johnson was actually a pretty good wide receiver. At this point, in early February, it is hard to look at much in fantasy football with too much certainty. However that also doesn’t mean we won’t try, as it is never too early to lay the groundwork for 2015.

First, let me qualify the statement about Johnson being a pretty good receiver. The three year stretch spanning the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons were very kind to him, but at the same time it also seemed like he was overrated as his public persona out-shined what he actually produced on the field. Regardless of that, it is hard to ignore the numbers that he put up with, for the most part, a sub-par supporting cast.

  •   2010: 82 receptions/1,073 yards/10 TD
  •   2011: 76 receptions/1,004 yards/7 TD
  •   2012: 79 receptions/1,046 yards, 6 TD Read more