With the draft still more than a month away and the biggest names in free agency finding homes, we are in a little bit of a lull when it comes to news. However, John Hansen attended the combine and Adam Caplan spent time at the owners’ meetings looking to pick up any information from coaches, executives, and other team officials. What we have here are some of the nuggets from the coaches that spoke last week in Arizona.
Bruce Arians, Cardinals
-Believes addition of Rashard Mendenhall helps because of their history. Mendenhall doesn’t need to come out of the game.
-Prefers to use one RB instead of committee
-Wants to name starting QB ASAP, possibly by end of spring. Comfortable with Drew Stanton because he knows the system already and has some athleticism.
-Outside of Levi Brown at LT, there will be competition on the OL.
-Wants flexibility at TE because he doesn’t like to use a FB. Rob Housler praised for being an excellent receiver, just scratching the surface.
Tom Coughlin, Giants
-Excited about Brandon Myers’ catch total from 2012. Believe he’s well rounded and can help with ground game.
Jason Garrett, Cowboys
-Need more than one RB. Need to run it better. Need to balance offense and healthy [...]
Each year, we publish an article about Overvalues & Players to Avoid, but make a point to say that at the right value, anyone is worth drafting. While I agree with that philosophy for the most part, there is always a group of players I want nothing to do with due to injury history, continuing off-the-field issues, too much competition at the position, or a coach who doesn’t care about your fantasy team (looking at you, Mike Shanahan). With training camp underway and mock drafts happening much more often, I figured I’d share my 2012 list with you. You’ll probably have some disagreements, which is understandable since some of these are based on gut feeling. I asked some of you on Twitter about players on your list and will include them below.
There's too much going against Ahmad Bradshaw to draft him with confidence this year.
Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw has been one of my favorite players to watch since making a name for himself as part of the Earth, Wind, and Fire backfield for the 2007 Giants. After Derrick Ward departed, Bradshaw got a much-deserved increased role in the offense. I’ve given him plenty of credit for being a [...]
With this being championship week, I will not be focusing on the obvious players since they are going to be in your lineup no matter what. Instead, I will be taking a quick look at each game with more emphasis on players you’ll be making decisions on this week.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
The fantasy QB situation has been a steady rotation of matchup plays when it comes to low-end starters. That’s why someone like Matt Moore looks like a solid start this week with a great matchup against the terrible Patriot defense. I can personally say that I picked up Moore to backup Ben Roethlisberger a few weeks ago and will be starting him with confidence for the second straight week with my season on the line. Aaron Hernandez had one of his best games of the season against the Broncos last week and feels like another good start this week. I realize he’s not going off like teammate Rob Gronkowski, but he’s still one of the better players at the position in the league and probably in the next group after the weekly starters.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
You know at this point that Maurice Jones-Drew is [...]
It is playoff time in the world of fantasy football, so if you are still making meaningful lineup decisions, I salute you for getting this far. As we have been saying, this is no time to be a hero, so a running theme in this week’s blog will be my comfort level with players. Let’s get into this week’s games.
Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are looking more and more like too risky of a team to trust when it comes to fantasy, especially when they get blown out by the hapless Jaguars. It’s tough to play LeGarrette Blount or Mike Williams with any confidence this week. I could easily see Blount disappearing if the Buccaneers fall behind and Williams’ success hinges on Josh Freeman. We can only hope he’s a little healthier this week. Felix Jones certainly became relevant in a hurry and would appear to be a good start, although I’m not expecting him to get a ton of carries all of a sudden. Remember, he’s had some issues carrying the load in the past and has 18 carries just once in his entire career. He should catch a few passes in this game though, so [...]
If you are still alive, congratulations. With just a few weeks remaining in the fantasy football season, now is not the time to be a hero. Being safe is not a bad thing and there are plenty of good matchups that should allow you to do just that this week.
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
Ray Rice and the Ravens ran all over the Browns last week and could do much of the same this week. We know the Colt defense is vulnerable on the ground and through the air, but I don’t expect to see Joe Flacco throwing very much when he can hand the ball off to one of the best RBs in the game. When the Ravens do throw it, Torrey Smith could be getting some looks downfield, which makes him an intriguing option as a flex play this week. Dan Orlovsky might have been the captain of the garbage-time production offense last week against the Patriots, but I doubt he and the Colts get that kind of production against a much better Raven defense in Baltimore on Sunday.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
The Falcon run defense may be one of the best in the league, but they had [...]
With the playoff fantasy season upon us, this is no time to get cute with lineup decisions. You should not feel the need to shake things up just for the hell of it and I implore you not to try to be a hero. Here are my thoughts on Week Thirteen.
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bill offense came back to life last week against the Jets of all teams. Lost in Stevie Johnson’s controversial TD celebration was one of the best performances we’ve ever seen against Darrelle Revis. Unfortunately, we didn’t see much from C.J. Spiller, although that really should be that surprising considering how little Spiller had been used before Fred Jackson landed on the IR. Speaking of coming back to life, Chris Johnson emerged from the fantasy graveyard yet again last week with a huge performance against the weak Buccaneer run defense. Johnson could be in for another product game this week with the Bills struggling to stop the run and both Johnson and the Titans seem to understand that Johnson needs a high volume of carries to get going and he should get that in this game.
Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears
Who’s excited [...]
I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and the decent football we got to watch throughout the day. Due to the holiday and some traveling, this week I will be focusing more on the games that have more significance and only glossing over the lesser matchups.
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons could catch a couple of breaks this week. First, it looks like they’ll avoid Adrian Peterson, although it would have been interesting to see what he could have done against their great run defense. Second, they may have Julio Jones back from his hamstring injury, which is great because they are facing one of the worst secondaries in the league. While we know the Falcons like to have Michael Turner carry the offense, this could be a week where they decide to throw it a little more, especially since the Vikings have done a solid job against backs. Minnesota looks like a fantasy wasteland right now if Peterson out, so outside of Percy Harvin, I would only consider using Toby Gerhart from this team and that would only be for volume purposes.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
The Brown backfield looks like it could have both Montario Hardesty and Peyton Hillis [...]
It is an ugly slate of games this week, but we had some interesting matchups last week and things did not turn out so well. Let us jump into the Week Eleven action.
Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions
Cam Newton is coming off one of his worst games in his young career, and admitted the Titans did a great job getting pressure on him, which the team didn’t react to well. He better be ready from more of the same this week against an even better Lion pass rush. Newton has been able to put up numbers in tough matchups, so I’m not too worried about him, but I might lower my expectations just a little bit. Neither one of these teams has run the ball with any consistent success this season, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. It’s interesting to note that Kevin Smith was already working ahead of Keiland Williams in practice, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him utilized a bit more in this game. I can understand if you’re a little worried about Matthew Stafford. I’m not there yet based on an ugly game in bad conditions, but I will be concerned if [...]
The halfway point of the season is already behind us and we are coming down the stretch in the fantasy regular season. Now is not the time to get cute. If you need to make a bold move to get back in it, do it. Time is running out in a hurry.
And now, my thoughts on Week Ten…
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
We know the Falcons like to like Michael Turner carry their offense, and while that is certainly possible in this game, they’ll have to throw it and throw it well. Julio Jones had a very Randy Moss-like 3/131/2 with scores of 50 and 80 yards last week, but we haven’t seen much consistency out of their passing game all year. However, Jones is the type of player they’ve lacked in recent seasons, but his big-play ability is what can allow them to get back into games quickly, which was a missing ingredient for last year’s team. The Saint passing attack should be fine since the Falcon pass rush hasn’t been very good and their secondary looks beatable. What this means is a possible fantasy bonanza, and we could certainly use one. A key to this game could [...]
More than a few intriguing games on the Week Nine slate and it should make for an interesting week in the world of fantasy football. I am back to help you navigate through the murky fantasy landscape with my thoughts on all 14 games.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
The Bills aren’t going away, but I have a feeling they’ll be in trouble this week. With Stevie Johnson as the lone receiver the Jets have to worry about, look for Darrelle Revis to be on him with the team focused on stopping, or at least containing Fred Jackson. If the Jets can continue to get pressure, they can force Ryan Fitzpatrick to make mistakes, especially if Johnson is stuck on Revis Island. The Jets have talked about getting Joe McKnight involved more all season long, and with an offense that lacks firepower, it might not be a bad idea, although I wouldn’t expect that to happen right away just because they had a bye week to think about it. The Jets appear to be getting back to the plan that’s helped them win a lot of games over the last two years, and that’s relying on their ground game to [...]