Archive for Player Analysis

Draft Day Target: Why Duke Johnson Is Worth The Gamble

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Last season the Cleveland Browns rotated their running backs, based on their practice performance during the week.  One week it was Isaiah Crowell…  The next it was it was Terrance West…  It was a fantasy nightmare and now the team added Duke Johnson through the draft, just adding another wrinkle.

It’s fair to think that Johnson could quickly rise to the top of the depth chart, considering the performances of the other two last season:

  • Terrance West – 3.9 YPC
  • Isaiah Crowell – 4.1 YPC

It makes sense for the Johnson hype machine to be in full force.  Taken in the third round, NFL.com compared him to Justin Forsett (who was one of the breakout performers a year ago) saying: Read more

Three Late Round Wide Receivers Worth Targeting

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofesso)

Which wide receivers are worth targeting at the tail end of your draft?  There are definitely going to be gambles worth taking, but here are three of our favorites:

 

Pierre Garcon – Washington Redskins
Current ADP – 138.5 (WR48)

How quickly we forget how great he was in 2013, with 113 catches for 1,346 yards.  Is he going to be that good?  No, but he also should be better than last year’s 68 catches for 752 yard performance.  He was certainly on pace over the first eight games of the season, before he disappeared in the second half:

  • First 8 Games – 39 catches, 443 yards, 3 TD
  • Final 8 Games – 29 catches, 309 yards, 0 TD Read more

Three Running Backs I’m Willing To “Reach” For (Latavius Murray & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are always going to be players that some people like more than others.  Which running backs are we seemingly more favorable on than others as we head into draft season?  Let’s take a look at three running backs we’d be willing to “reach” for, compared to where they are currently being drafted:

 

Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders
Rotoprofessor Ranking – 33
Average ADP – 45.3

Why I Like Him – We all saw what he can do, when given an opportunity, turning 82 carries into 424 yards last season (while also catching 17 passes for 143 yards); Lack of competition on the depth chart, with Trent Richardson, Roy Helu & Marcel Reece being the only real alternatives; An improved passing game (thanks to the additions of Amari Cooper and, to a lesser extent, Michael Crabtree) should help to keep defenses honest Read more

Breaking Down The Depth Chart: Is There Value In Minnesota’s Secondary Receivers?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The team added Mike Wallace to operate as their top option and the offense is going to run through Adrian Peterson, but is there a second receiving option worth grabbing? There’s definitely potential, and an obvious favorite, but there is also a bit of risk. It’s not like the team didn’t have the opportunity to grab a starting caliber WR, like DeVante Parker in the first round (who was a college teammate of Teddy Bridgewater), but instead opted to roll mainly with what they had.  Let’s take a look at the candidates and where fantasy owners should be looking:

Charles Johnson
The 6’2″, 215 pound Johnson emerged last season, turning 58 targets into 31 catches for 475 yards and 2 TD. The former seventh round selection out of Grand Valley State certainly has potential. Norv Turner was quoted by ESPN Cleveland (click here for the article) as saying: Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Will 2015 Finally Be Owen Daniels’ Year To Shine?

by Ray Kuhn

Tight end is an interesting position for 2015. We have the obvious top of the list options, the young guns with loads of potential and then a myriad of possible value picks. If you decide to stream tight ends, or wait until later in your draft to select one, then Owen Daniels should be on your radar.

To be clear, I am not advocating that you count on Daniels as your starter each week. The strategy of waiting on the tight end position could end up being a disaster if you don’t give yourself two quality options. Daniels should not be overlooked if that’s the route you go.  At the same time, there are a few factors that we should not use to overrate Daniels either.

Yes, Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks ever and he made a star out of Julius Thomas. Denver sports one of the most explosive offenses in the league with numerous options at the skill positions, meaning lots of fantasy points. Plus, Gary Kubiak is back in Denver which bodes well for Daniels. Kubiak’s offense is hospitable to tight ends and Daniels has had success playing for him. Read more

Draft Day Decision: Is Lamar Miller A Player To Target Or Is He Destined To Disappoint?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Are the Dolphins really committed to Lamar Miller as their lead running back?  Sure the numbers were impressive overall last season, with 1,099 yards and 8 TD, but when you start looking at his usage there are obvious questions/concerns.

When looking at Miller’s upside for the 2015 campaign ESPN recently published (click here for the full article) the following interesting stat:

“Miami’s coaching staff only gave Miller 15 or more carries in six of 16 games last year. He also never hit the 20-carry mark, which is unusual for a 1,000-yard rusher. Miller has durability questions dating to college at the University of Miami.” Read more

Breakout or Bust: 2015 Will Be The Year DeAndre Hopkins Truly Arrives

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all have our favorite breakouts from year to year and, heading into 2015 the wide receiver sitting atop my list is DeAndre Hopkins.  Based on last year’s numbers you could argue that he’s already “arrived”:

2014 Statistics:
76 receptions, 1,210 yards, 6 TD

At the same time, everything is slanting in his favor this season.  In fact I’d make the bold prediction that he will produce like a WR1 in 2015.  Why?  Let’s take a look: Read more

Sleeper Spotlight: Could The Cardinals’ John Brown Emerge As A Deep Sleeper?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Darren Urban of azcardinals.com (click here for the article):

“As it was last year, Palmer has brought wide receiver John Brown to southern California to live with him and work out.”

According to Brown:

“We’re trying to get our timing down, trying to learn protections, be on the same page with one another, so we’ll be able to play faster,” Brown said.

Of course this is an offense that has Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Andre Ellington, so it’s tough to predict big numbers from anyone else. That said, there appears to be an opportunity here for Brown to quickly emerge. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Will Drew Brees Still An “Elite” Fantasy Option In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Saints obviously underwent a significant overhaul this offseason. The most notable move was the trade sending Jimmy Graham to Seattle, but he was not the only weapon that was sent packing. Kenny Stills was dealt to Miami, meaning the two top receivers in terms of receptions from 2014 are gone. Throw in the departure of Pierre Thomas and Marques Colsten being another year older and things will be taking on a significantly different look. That has led some to think that Drew Brees will not be a productive option this season, though those types of thoughts are clearly misguided.

Obviously the Saints still have offensive talent, the question is if the strategy is going to change. On the surface you would think yes, given the departures and the moves made to strengthen the offensive line (acquiring center Max Unger, using a first round pick on Andrus Peat).’ Looks can be deceiving, though.

Obviously you can make the case that improving the offensive line benefits Drew Brees. He needs time to throw the football, right? It’s not as if Brees will be void of talent to distribute the ball to. Read more

2015 Bust Alert: Just Because He’s In SF Doesn’t Make Torrey Smith A “Good” Buy

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Over his years in Baltimore Torrey Smith has developed into one of the most frustrating wide receivers for fantasy owners.  Despite opportunities and allure, he instead was nothing more than a boom-or-bust option more often falling flat as opposed to producing gaudy numbers.

Sure he’s had his moments, including scoring 11 TD last season, though it would’ve been hard to expect him to replicate that given his 49 receptions and 767 yards.  Now moving to San Francisco the outlook looks even more questionable.  Let’s take a look at a few of the questions facing him as we try to determine if he’s worth investing in:

 

1) The downgrade from Joe Flacco to Colin Kaepernick
You may or may not believe in Flacco as a fantasy QB, but Kaepernick’s outlook is even worse.  He’s hardly a touchdown machine regardless of how you slice it, throwing a total of 40 TD over the past two seasons while completing 58.4% and 60.5% of his passes.  Flacco, meanwhile, is coming off a 27 TD campaign. Read more