Jul 31, 2013
We spent some time watching 2012 game tape on some of the more intriguing fantasy players for the upcoming season. The players we chose to watch weren’t necessarily marquee fantasy players in 2012, but they could be key players this upcoming season. We tried to pinpoint some of the strengths and weaknesses of each player by watching a couple games. We decided to publish a series of blogs detailing what we saw with our raw notes.
These are raw notes, so forgive grammatical errors or the occasional poor language. Nor were they intended to be comprehensive or definitive takes. We simply thought it’d be another way to gain some extra insight into some of the more intriguing 2013 fantasy players. We watched 36 players total, so we’ll post notes on 4 players a day over a nine-day period. Here are the players we watched and when our notes will be posted:
July 30: Christian Ponder, Brandon Weeden, David Wilson, Lamar Miller
July 31: Chris Ivory, Daryl Richardson, Cecil Sorts, Dennis Pitta
Aug. 1: Shane Vereen, Danario Alexander, Josh Gordon, T.Y. Hilton
Aug. 2: Chris Givens, Kendall Wright, Michael Floyd, Bernard Pierce
Aug. 5: Pierre Garcon, Antonio Brown, Torrey Smith, Vernon Davis
Aug. 6: Greg Olsen, Dwayne Allen, Greg Little, Bryce Brown
Aug. 7: Ronnie Hillman, Joique Bell, Robert Turbin, DuJuan Harris
Aug. 8: Justin Blackmon, Rod Streater, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon LaFell
Aug. 9: Mohamed Sanu, Jared Cook, Antonio Gates, Rob Housler
Week 9 vs. Phi (10/48/1, 1/2/0) 12.0 FPG
-bounces his first run off of right end because of penetration, gets up field quick with subtle juke to pick up 9 yards.
-counter run off right end, sets up blocks in front of him and explodes through hole, shows enough wiggle in open field to slow safety just enough to blow past him for a 22-yard TD.
-another counter run off right end, easily gets to corner and uses left hand to throw a diving defender off his legs to pick up 8 yards.
-a designed run off right end is bottled up but stays patient and finds room on a cutback off the inside of his tackle to pick up 9 yards when nothing there.
-next play again makes something out of nothing, original run is off left side but lots of trouble, so he makes a quick jump cut and gets to the right side to pick up 2 yards.
-showed speed and decisiveness on pitch play off the right end, quickly got up field to get 6 yards and punish safety.
-a bit tentative on a pitch play off the right end, a couple hesitant steps allow CB to plow through to knock him for 2-yard loss.
Week 10 vs. Atl (7/72/1, 1/13/0) 15.5 FPG
-run off RG is sniffed out by OLB, shows great vision to jump cut to get to the left side and finds vacated area where the OLB left to pick up 8 yards.
-last checkdown on playaction pass in left flat, makes a CB whiff with juke move then punishes another CB who tries to go low and tackle him to pick 13 yards.
-ILB flies into backfield to hit him on run off RG, spins off the solid hit and somehow picks up 4 yards out of it.
-goes a little too wide to accept a pitch to the right side, slow developing play, he needed the extra space and time to get up the field quicker.
- fails to follow off the butt of his FB on inside counter play, tries to take it outside and gains just a yard.
Week 2 vs. Was (15/83/0, 2/19/0) 12.2 FPG
-on designed runs to the right, he cuts it back to the left side and outruns an outstretched London Fletcher for 8 yards.
-gets small behind pulling guard on a run up the middle down inside the 10, squirms his way for 4 yards.
-made a 53-yard run out of absolutely nothing on a run off right end, defense looked to have him contained but beat the defense to the sideline with his sideline and kept in high gear for a huge gain before CB from other side had enough of an angle to knock him out.
-shows great leg drive up the middle to churn out a score on a 2-point conversion play.
-swing pass out of the backfield, with the ball in his hands couldn’t make CB miss out in space one-on-one.
-doesn’t recognize blitz coming from outside (Bradford didn’t either) and runs right into the blitzer off right end for loss of a yard.
-made defense pay for blown coverage with an 18-yard gain to the 1-yard line, but he didn’t give his WR in front another half second to throw a block to easily get in the end zone.
-huge fourth quarter fumble on run a off right tackle, Fletcher rips it free as rookie had just one arm on the ball
Week 6 @ Mia (11/76/0, 2/23/0) 11.9 FPG
-show incredible speed to get to the outside on pitch play to right, makes one subtle cut inside and follows his blockers back to the sideline and turns on burners for 44-yard gain.
-feeding him pitches, this time to left, sets up his blocks well and gets upfield quickly to pick up 11 yards.
-hits the hole hard on run off RT for 6-yard gain, but it didn’t take much to bring him down.
-picks his way through the middle of the defense on a draw play during the 2-minute drill to pick up 5 yards.
-runs screen pass to perfection, making the catch and getting up field quickly, shrugging off defender trying to tackle him from behind to net 23 yards.
-bobbles a designed swing pass to him in the flat, has to double catch it, ruining any chance for a gain and results in a 3-yard loss.
-little slow in backfield on a counter run, too much separation from FB, gets gobbled up behind the line.
-loses footing trying to make a cut inside on a pitch play, results in just a 1-yard gain.
Week 8 @ GB (8/116/0) 19.6 FPG
-Gabbert steps up in pocket and Shorts makes himself available by coming back to his QB and goes up to secure a 15-yard pass.
-nice double-move on a post-corner route to get separation from CB, takes hit and holds on to the ball for 17 yards.
-runs right past CB and S on a long pass attempt, which was initially ruled a 43-yard gain before a review showed the ball hit the ground on an underthrown ball.
-shakes CB on fade pattern for potential long gain, but Gabbert waits a second too long and is hit while throwing to him.
-catches a deep over the middle and knows what to do, keeps moving downfield while letting his other WR throw a block to create some more yardage on 35-yard pick up.
-catches a short crossing pattern and avoids big hit and puts two arms around the football for 6 yards.
-uses subtle arm swat to gain just enough separation to make an 8-yard catch on a curl route.
-settles into a soft area along sideline between CB and S against Cover 2 zone look, and makes a difficult catch on somewhat high pass with his heels close to the sideline for 24 yards.
-instantly gets inside against press coverage for a pitch-and-catch slant for 9-yard gain.
-easily beats press coverage on a vertical route but couldn’t outrun the CB on poorly thrown deep ball
Week 10 vs. Ind (6/105/1) 22.5 FPG
-nearly makes a spinning, one-handed catch deep along sideline (play is initially called catch) but lost it when he hit the ground.
-great individual play by Shorts to catch the ball in traffic on hitch-and-go route, made CB bite on pattern and caught just in front of S and made him miss to gain 52 yards.
-catches the ball and quickly looks to get up field and maximizes his YAC on a 15-yard gain.
-makes a difficult, back shoulder catch on an out pattern at the goal line for a 4-yard touchdown.
-always keeping plays alive downfield and lets his WRs block for him to pick up extra yardage
Week 1 vs. Cin (5/73/1) 18.3 FPG
-get man-to-man on OLB, easily beats him for 12-yard out route to the sideline.
-sells playaction like he’s going to block to left then reveres field to get open behind LBs in zone coverage for 23-yard gain.
-Used his big body to shield S in man coverage from breaking up a short 3-yard hitch route.
-rips through press coverage on nickel CB to get behind defense in the end zone, Flacco’s pass is criminally underthrown, but Pitta once again outmuscles the CB to make a great TD catch.
-another playaction pass where he sells the fake, this time to the right, and goes across the field behind LBs in zone coverage for 25-yard gain.
Week 15 vs. Den (7/125/2) 31.5 FPG
-quickly gets to the inside on a slant while lined up in a 3-wide bunch to pick up 10 yards.
-makes a remarkable, leaping catch between CB and S on a deep post to score a 31-yard TD. Great body control and concentration to haul in the pass.
-made a big-time individual play (on an awful defensive play) on what started out as a simple pass to the flat and turned into a 61-yard TD in garbage time. Tiptoes the sideline after the initial catch and dodges to two out-of-control tacklers along the sideline before skipping out of another ankle tackle and running away from the defense.
-failed to gain any separation from nickel CB on out route but did make tough catch with CB draped all over him. Still, route went 9 yards when Ravens need 10 on third down.
-slant pattern 10 yards downfield, by no means a perfect pass but a leaping catch the could’ve been made.
-another poor pass from Flacco, this time in the flat, but another pass that Pitta could’ve caught.