Archive for Player Analysis

Draft Day Decision: Is Frank Gore Worth A Top 50 Pick?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Running back is always a tough position to fill, especially now with more teams looking to employee committees as opposed to having a true lead back. In the past the 49′ers Frank Gore would be an easy selection early in your drafts, but is that still the case?

Age
Now 31-years old, Gore has accumulated a lot of mileage on his tires. Over the course of his career he has 2,187 carries and 331 receptions. Throw in an additional 140 carries and 18 receptions in the post season and you have a total of 2,676 touches over a nine-year NFL career.

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Which Browns’ Running Back Should Fantasy Owners Target?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Buried in an article about Johnny Manziel by Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (click here for the article) was this quote from coach Mike Pettine regarding training camp battles:

“And the best competition might be Ben Tate and our guy from Terrance West from Towson, who I really like.”

The assumption has been that Tate would be handed the starting job, with West operating as a complimentary back.  That has certainly been reflected in their ADP in the early going (courtesy of Fantasy Pros):

  • Ben Tate – 56.4
  • Terrance West – 118.0

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Notable PPR Decliners: Wide Receiver Edition (Cordarrelle Patterson, Desean Jackson & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We’ve already looked at some of the notable wide receiver risers when we look at a PPR league as opposed to a non-PPR league (click here to view).  What about those that go the other way?  Let’s take a look:

 

Cordarrelle Patterson – Minnesota Vikings
PPR Formats – 22
Non-PPR Formats – 17

Patterson is going to be a heavily hyped receiver as draft days approach, and rightfully so.  His numbers were limited in his rookie season (45 receptions for 469 yards and 4 TD), but Norv Turner running the offense alone is going to help him.  However, where Patterson thrives is with the ball in his hands and his ability to make big plays.  To an extent Turner himself said that, in this recent quote from Fox Sports Minnesota (click here for the article): Read more

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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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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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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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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Quick Hit: Could Dwayne Bowe Rebound Into Fantasy Viability?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (click here for the article):

“A couple months shy of his 30th birthday, Bowe said he weighs around 212 pounds — down from his playing weight of 222 to 225 in the past — thanks to a diet featuring fish, vegetables and fewer carbs, plus intense workouts in Miami with his personal trainer.”


Thoughts:

Bowe is hoping to bounce back strong, after disappointing in 2013 with 57 receptions, 673 yards and 5 TD. It’s great that he’s in better shape, but it’s still hard to imagine him putting up an impressive line.

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Is Julius Thomas Worth An Early Round Investment?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The perception is certainly there that Julius Thomas is worth a hefty investment, as evidenced by his average ADP (according to Fantasy Pros) of 30.0. That’s not only the second tight end coming off the board, but the 29th player overall. Given his line, over just 14 games, it makes a little bit of sense:

65 receptions
788 yards
12 TD

That puts him among the upper echelon of tight ends, but does that justify a third round selection? If you are going to make that pick you had better be sure that you are getting a player close to Jimmy Graham, and unfortunately I’m not sure that you are.

For those willing to draft him that high, you are obviously making two key assumptions.

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