Archive for Player News

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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Player News: Chris Johnson Played Injured In 2013, But Do We Really Care?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Jason La Canfora (via Twitter):

“Titans RB Chris Johnson gutted out almost all of 2013 season with a meniscus tear in his knee. Will finally have it repaired tomorrow…”

In subsequent tweets he noted that the injury occurred in Week 3 and the recovery time is 4-6 weeks. It’s not like Johnson was stellar over the first two weeks, totaling 166 yards on 50 carries (3.3 yards per carry). He also has failed to rush for more than 6 TD each of the past three seasons (though he did add 4 receiving TD in 2013).

That said, a knee injury for a RB who will turn 29-years old less than a month into the season is going to be a concern. While he’s shown flashes over the past three seasons, he’s totaled just 11 games of 100+ rushing yards (in 2009 he had 12 alone, with another 8 in 2010).  Part of that can be attributed to a poor offensive line, but Johnson too needs to take plenty of blame.

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Fantasy Football Walking Wounded: Adrian Peterson, Randall Cobb, Dez Bryant & More

by Ray Kuhn

Week 17 might be the most difficult week in which to set your lineup…

OK, that might be over dramatizing it just a bit, but it certainly is a difficult exercise. Unless teams are taking the field with playoff berths on the line, extreme caution is used with regards to injuries. It is unknown what kind of defense a team will put on the field, and that can very well have an impact on fantasy results as well. Let’s take a look at some injury situations that could potentially have an impact as you close out your season.

  • After a few weeks of impatiently waiting, Aaron Rodgers is primed to return this week. It makes sense since the Packers are playing for the division this week, and up to this point they have been conservative with their star quarterback. Continue to monitor his status leading up the kickoff (just in case), but I would not have a problem inserting him back into your lineup. This also helps boost the status of Rodgers’ receivers as well as Eddie Lacy (if he plays, which as of now looks likely).
  • Not only is Green Bay getting Rodgers back, but it also looks like Randall Cobb will be returning as well. I’m not sure how much the Packers will rely on Cobb, but he is sure to have at least a minimal impact on the game. If you have other options, which it is likely that you do, then I would try to stay away from Cobb with his role being unclear and Green Bay having a plethora of other options. Read more

Fantasy Football Walking Wounded: Week 16 (2013): Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Victor Cruz & More

by Ray Kuhn

We have made it! This is it as Championship Sunday for most of you is on the horizon. This is why we play, plan, think, dissect and obsess all season long. Let’s take a look at some injury issues to be aware of going into Week 16:

  • At this point, it is looking like we will not be seeing Aaron Rodgers again for this fantasy season. On Friday the official word will come down, but I think it is safe to have an alternative plan. Again the Green Bay skill positions should be downgraded a little bit as well. Matt Flynn has proved to be a capable option for the Packers, but I don’t think we can expect to see a performance like he had in the second half against the Cowboys last week. Flynn is probably at best a middle tier QB2 this week against the Steelers.
  • Staying in Green Bay, I would not be concerned that Eddie Lacy did not practice on Thursday. The rookie had 25 touches this past week and it is getting late in the season, so the Packers do need to monitor his workload. While I obviously like Lacy better if Rodgers is under center, he is an RB1 regardless this week. Read more

Sunday Morning Updates: Reggie Bush, Julius Thomas and More

by Will Overton

It’s game day ladies and gentlemen! There are but a few final hours left for you to make your lineup decisions for the week. You’re going to need as much info as you can going into the day and that’s what I am trying to do for you.

Here is some of the latest news and what you should do in response to it:

  • I have no intention to suggest you play Jason Campbell outside of a two QB league or a 16 team league, maybe. However, the fact that he has been cleared to play does mean something. It means Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron are much more likely to have nice games. I was saying all week you can’t bench Gordon no matter who the QB is, but I feel so much better knowing Campbell and not Caleb Hanie is going to be starting.
  • According to the report of Tim Twentyman a Detroit Lions beat writer, there is a pretty good chance that Reggie Bush is going to play today. Bush has had issues with a knee injury throughout the year, but now all the sudden it’s a calf injury that gives him the questionable tag. Bush didn’t practice all week until Friday where he was limited. Still all signs are pointing towards Bush playing right now and as long as he is playing you should probably be using him. It’s worth noting though that if Bush is a little limited Joique Bell is much more likely to be a nice flex play. Read more

The Fantasy Football Walking Wounded: Julius Thomas, Reggie Bush and More

by Ray Kuhn

With the playoffs upon us, the roster decisions will not get any easier, and of course there are injury issues to deal with. Let’s take a look at some of those situations and how they will impact your team for Week 14.

  • For those of you that were looking forward to Aaron Rodgers’ return this week, you are not in luck. He has not officially been ruled out, but it is looking that way. Rodgers did practice on Thursday, and his head coach Mike McCarthy did allow that his star quarterback made progress, but that is about it. It was Rodgers first time back in pads, with Green Bay on the brink of the playoff picture; it appears that he will be held out once again. Matt Flynn will look to improve on his dismal Thanksgiving outing and help to get the offense back on track. The Packers will try to rely on Eddie Lacy who will find it difficult to find room to run. You also have to downgrade Green Bay’s receivers here as their offense has not looked good in Rodgers’ absence.
  • We do officially have word that Jay Cutler will be out again this week. Josh McCown gets another start this week against a hospitable Dallas Cowboys’ defense. McCown has done well filling in for Cutler and should be considered a QB1. This move also should not have any impact on the Bears’ skill position players. Read more

Fantasy Football Walking Wounded: Percy Harvin, Michael Crabtree, Jay Cutler & More

by Ray Kuhn

Logging onto your league’s waiver wire is likely a painful experience, at least I know it is for me. You see names like Julio Jones, Doug Martin, Randall Cobb and David Wilson sitting there available, and you are reminded of their injuries. Then you look on your bench and you have players like Aaron Rodgers just taking up space.

Thankfully, it seems like we might have reached a lull in injuries, and a few players might actually be on their way back. It also tells you how bad this season has been, when Mike James going down with a broken ankle is truly a big deal.

Let’s take a look at some injury situations to be aware of for this week:

  • You have to give Jay Cutler some credit as he returned quickly from his groin injury, only to subsequently hurt his ankle last week. Cutler is out for this week which means that Josh McCown is back under center. McCown did well filling in, so he is a perfectly good backup plan for your fantasy team. Brandon Marshall might see a slight decrease in productivity, but he is still a WR1. The problem is more for Cutler owners that are looking ahead to the next few weeks, there is no guarantee for his return. Read more

Fantasy Football Walking Wounded: Victor Cruz, Arian Foster & More

by Ray Kuhn

It is never a dull moment in the NFL. Going into Monday night, I’m sure every Aaron Rodgers owner thought they were all set at the quarterback position heading into the playoffs and beyond. Instead they were suddenly left to add Seneca Wallace or to look elsewhere for quarterback help. Let’s take a look at the other injury issues to be aware of as Week 10 is upon us.

  • After tearing his Achilles this spring, Michael Crabtree has returned to practice. While he should prove to be a worthy roster stash, this will not be the week. I still would not expect the wide receiver back for another week or two, but he is someone to keep an eye on.
  • However, a 49ers receiver that does look set to return this week is Mario Manningham. San Francisco’s passing game has underperformed all season, so it is very likely that he will step into the starting lineup. In deeper leagues he is at least worth a look as the opportunity is there and he has been practicing in full. Read more