Aug 9, 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. 8: Ronnie Hillman, Joique Bell, Robert Turbin, DuJuan Harris
Aug. 9: Justin Blackmon, Rod Streater, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon LaFell
Aug. 12: Mohamed Sanu, Jared Cook, Antonio Gates, Rob Housler
Week 11 @ Hou (7/236/1) 36.6 FPG
-finds soft spot in middle of zone defense on crossing pattern from slot, senses big hit coming from his right and spins left to avoid it for a 15-yard gain.
-simple seam route out of slot, gets inside of CB and catches low laser between CB and S, rumbles for 63 yards before the CB and S eventually catch him.
-runs past CB in soft coverage on post pattern, easy 39-yard gain.
-nickel CB has no chance covering him out of slot on out pattern for 11-yard pickup.
-another seam pattern out of the slot, goes up and catches pass between CB and two safeties, takes hit from one safety but bounces off of it and races away from the three defenders for an 81-yard TD.
-goes low to make a sliding catch on a dig pattern for a 15-yard gain.
-worked a ton out of the slot in this game.
Week 16 vs. NE (7/79/1) 20.9 FPG
-tough to cover out of the slot, hauls in a pass with defender raking both his arms as ball hits his hands, picks up 18 yards.
-ball at the 3-yard line, motions to be the wide man in 3-WR bunch, jabs like he’s running fade and breaks inside on slant for uncontested TD.
-can’t run past CB on soft coverage on outside but still nearly makes catch on a high pass with one hand. Shows great vertical and body control.
-seeing bracket coverage coming in coverage, breaks off a deep out in between CB and deep safety
-clearly drawing double coverage from New England, especially late in the game, still hauls in 9-yard curl route.
-catches pass at 1-yard line on 5-yard drag but could stretch the ball across goal line before going out of bounds in 7-point game in fourth quarter. Next three plays: false start, 10-yard sack, Henne INT. Jags lose game
Week 14 vs. Den (4/100/0) 14.0 FPG
-splits CB and S on seam route down the middle of field, catches the pass in stride and carries safety on his back for additional 10 yards on a 58-yard gain.
-gets the CB to turn his hips just enough and breaks off route for curl pattern, and carries CB forward for 5 yards on 13-yard pickup.
-fakes outside release on CB Champ Bailey, cuts back inside on slant pattern for a 15-yard gain. Rookie made the veteran look silly, and Bailey visibly pissed after the play.
-double out patterns to the left, as outside catches ball and picks up extra 7 yards on 14-yard gain.
-drops an easy pass over the middle of the on drag pattern, could hear the footsteps of a LB in area.
Week 17 @ SD (4/77/0) 11.7 FPG
-doesn’t get a ton of separation on drag route off of Pryor PA, but makes nice catch on throw behind him while taking a hit for a 10-yard gain.
-goes up and gets a high pass on curl route and takes a nice lick from a LB when he lands for 14-yard gain.
-on the next play, works open going back to the sideline and takes yet another big hit, this time from a S, picking up 15 yards.
-fakes inside on a slant route and works back to get outside release and gets a couple steps and makes nice catch with CB grabbing at his left arm for a 38-yard gain.
-shields off defender fairly well on deep throw into back corner of end zone but ball glances off of his fingertips on a catchable pass to cancel out a potential 17-yard TD reception.
-makes a tough catch on a ball over the middle between three defenders for 15 yards, but defender rips the ball out of his hands for a fumble. A roughing the passer call saved his butt and negated the fumble.
Week 1 vs. Ind (3/80/1) 17.0 FPG
-Cutler forces a pass into him on a dig pattern between three defenders, good concentration to bring it in and doesn’t go down easily on a 15-yard pickup.
-curl pattern and CB loses his footing, tanks advantage of it by getting upfield quickly for a 23-yard gain.
-playaction pass, gets up the seam and does a subtle out fake, CB bites just enough on fake and S support over top is shading to Marshall’s side, Jeffery shows some speed and concentration, catching an over-the-shoulder pass in the back of the end zone for a 43-yard score.
-doesn’t sell post route particularly well on a post-corner pattern, CB doesn’t bite at all and play has no chance of connecting.
Week 17 @ Det (4/76/0) 11.6 FPG
-first play of the game, curl-and-go pattern, both CB and S bite on the fake, smooth transition from curl fake to vertical route, catches the ball in stride and takes big hit from S with CB draped on his arms for a 55-yard gain.
-makes tough catch on pass way behind him on his wrong hip on a drag pattern to pick up 5 yards.
-gets some separation on a deep jump ball down the sideline near the end zone, nearly makes acrobatic over the head of CB but can’t quite reel it in.
-holds on to the ball in traffic on comeback route after S jumped the route 9-yard gain.
-on next play, seeing double coverage, works to get open when play breaks down a bit to pick up 7 yards and first down.
Week 2 NO (6/90/0) 15.0 FPG
-blown coverage leaves him wide open down sideline, poor throw makes him wait on throw but adjusts and gets back heels in bounds and turns up field for a few extra yards on 27-yard pickup.
-initially running a fly route but when he looks back recognizes that Newton is flushed from the pocket, stops and sprints back to his QB for a 12-yard gain.
-catches bubbled screen and follows WR blocks and gets upfield quickly for 11-yard gain.
-sharp break on out route coming out of the slot, picks up 19 yards, but doesn’t have total awareness near sideline, could’ve had a couple extra yards if he turned it up.
-working out of the slot quite a bit in 3-WR sets, breaks off a post-corner route for 20-yard gain.
-ball slips through his fingertips on a short drag route across the field with a CB draped all over him.
Week 11 vs. TB (5/93/1) 20.3 FPG
-settles in the middle of the field against a very soft zone defense on 3rd-and-17, picks up just 11 yards.
-works through physical coverage on comeback route and goes up to catch a high pass and takes a hit on a 9-yard gain.
-gets to the middle of the field against a zone, Newton finally looks at him after he looks to break pocket, turns short gain into 20 yards by aggressively getting upfield and breaking a tackle.
-fights for the end zone on a 29-yard skinny post, carrying a S on hips just into the end zone.
-clearly isn’t a top option in the passing game today, Newton seems to be only throwing him to as a last-ditch option or when the defense is leaving LaFell open third-and-long and at the end of the half.