Aug 1, 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 11 vs. Ind (11/40/1, 1/11/0) 12.1 FPG
-showed quick feet to make a slight change of direction on run up middle and got small through middle of field to pick up 8 yards.
-hits the hole extremely quick on run up the middle out of the shotgun gained 13 yards in the blink of an eye.
-lines up out wide and catches a short WR screen pass and quickly hits it up field, following his blockers for 11 yards.
-bounces off the butt of his guard and keeps churning his feet with defenders on him to pick up 4 yards.
-makes proper cut inside for easy 4-yard TD on a pitch play off the left end.
-quick hitter up the middle, he doesn’t see a small lane to his left and runs into defender on his right.
-chopped his feet too much in the hole on one run at the end of a blowout, and he bounced the next run to the outside for no gain instead of burying his head and taking whatever was there.
Week 12 @ NYJ (10/42/0, 2/91/1) 21.3 FPG
-pitch play to the left end, easily gets outside of the DE and gets up field for 7-yard gain.
-lets his blocks develop on a counter play up the middle and finds a seem up the middle of the field for 13 yards.
-gets a couple cracks inside the 10-yard line, doesn’t have the power to move the pile but slithers through small cracks to maximize his yardage.-
-abuses an absolute blown coverage on a wheel route out of the backfield for an 83-yard TD. No or S follows Vereen out of the backfield and no S help from behind, so Vereen simply makes the catch on a bullet pass and then flashes track speed down the sideline to outrun the defense to the end zone.
-tough to cover out of the backfield even for a safety and breaks the safeties ankle tackle to pick up 8 yards.
-obviously not powerful, but shows enough strength to rip one-arm tackles and ankle tackles.
-has some wiggle around the goal line but can’t carry a pile on yet another crack near the goal line, no threat to take goal-line carries from Stevan Ridley.
Week 11 @ Den (7/96/2) 28.6 FPG
-used his body beautifully to shield CB from ball on tough catch over the middle on dig route for 15 yards, CB draped all over him.
-easy touchdown on back shoulder throw to front pylon, smaller CB had no chance to stop the bigger Alexander on 8-yard TD.
-went up to get pass on 12-yard curl pattern and held onto the ball as his legs were taken out from underneath him in midair.
-running the dig route quite a bit against the Broncos, shows concentration with catch between three defenders for 14 yards
-yet another dig pattern and long gain for 18 yards.
-quick feet at the line of scrimmage gets him a free release to the outside on vertical pattern, makes great midair adjustment to catch ball at peak on his back shoulder for 21-yard TD.
-awful throw by Rivers on a dig route, ball at Alexander’s feet but he couldn’t dig it out of the ground.
Week 14 @ Pit (7/88/2) 27.8 FPG
-breaks a couple tackles on WR screen pass, fights for 6 yards. Tough guy to bring down for a CB.
-absolutely torched CB with a subtle double-move on a 3rd-and-1 play, made a slight adjustment on an underthrown pass but still easy 39-yard TD.
-another WR screen pass and Steeler CBs struggling to bring down the big WR for 8 yards.
-given an outside release by CB but still works back to get inside on a 7-yard curl route.
-gets another outside release to down sideline but ball is slightly underthrown, but he adjusts and leaps in front of CB for 15-yard touchdown.
-doesn’t have a future as QB in the NFL as he couldn’t pull the trigger on a gimmick play.
Week 13 @ Oak (6/116/1) 23.6 FPG
-shows great concentration to catch a slightly deflected pass at the line of scrimmage for a 14-yard gain on a slant pattern.
-finds soft spot in against a Cover 2 zone and quickly gets upfield for additional yardage on an 18-yard gain.
-next play simply ran right past CB for a 44-yard TD. Perfectly thrown pass and runs right underneath it in stride.
-vertical TD earlier in the game clearly worked to his advantage on a playaction post pattern for 20 yards. Used the threat of speed to get open underneath.
-ran free into zone coverage on an intermediate drag off playaction, but he almost drifted too deep into coverage. Should’ve been thrown much sooner, so not all his fault.
Week 14 vs. KC (8/86/0) 16.6 FPG
-came back to his quarterback as a secondary option and Weeden found him for 6 yards.
-gets out of cut quick on a deep out and watches ball into hands for a 15-yard gain.
-got his redemption for a bad drop pass on the same slant pass near the goal line for a 15-yard gain.
-really used his arms and the rest of his body to sell a vertical pattern and then cut it off for an 11-yard curl route.
-sold a drag route with the ball at 11-yard line, stopped in the middle of the field and CB overpursued and took it to the 2-yard line.
-showed some fight to get up field on a WR screen pass, shedding a tackle by the much bigger Tamba Hali but only picked up 2 yards.
-bad, bad, bad dropped pass on slant route that would’ve gone for at least 10 yards, just lost focus on it and tried to turn up field before he had it.
Week 9 vs. Mia (6/102/1) 22.2 FPG
-explodes off the snap of the ball in the slot, CB had no chance to get even close to him on a quick slant for a 12-yard gain.
-deep curl, sells the vertical route and comes back to the pass for 25-yard gain
-shows versatility, taking handoff from Luck on jet motion in red zone for a 9-yard gain.
-great concentration on a deep post to catch a perfectly thrown ball between CB and S for a 36-yard TD. Luck and Hilton made a difficult play look quite easy.
-last option on playaction roll to right, keeps himself alive along on the sideline
-just misses a pass off of his fingertips on an out pattern at the goal line, tough catch but could’ve made it.
-smaller frame doesn’t help him box out CB on post pattern near end zone, play is easily broken up.
Week 11 @ NE (6/100/2) 28.0 FPG
-quickly gets up field and follows behind guard downfield on quick screen to pick up 13 yard.
-great body control and concentration to make sliding catch on post pattern in the back of the end zone for a 14-yard TD. Went down low to catch the pass but kept his body in play.
-blanketed on dig pattern, but Luck kept play alive and Hilton came back to his QB to make tough catch for 16 yards.
-simply ran right past CB and through a hold to try to slow him down on vertical route, catches it in stride for 43 yards.
-dropped a ball a little in front of him on a slant pattern in tough coverage.