Category Archives: Football

Rookie Late Round Running Backs To Track

The NFL Draft provides plenty of opportunities for over-analysis. I’ll spare you breaking down all the Running Backs selected in this year’s draft. In this piece I’m targeting the late round Running Backs I plan to pay attention to this offseason and in training camp.

Redskins RD 4 pick 114 Samaje Perine Oklahoma.  Serious threat to take starting job from Rob Kelley. Perine is a smasher that is better in the passing game than advertised. I plan to track Perine closely in training camp to see the rep distribution over Kelley. Matt Jones is possibly expendable after drafting Perine. Solid seasonal fantasy league prospect

Chiefs RD 3 pick 86 Kareem Hunt Toledo.  Excelled at Senior Bowl, but fell flat at Combine. Chiefs traded up to draft Hunt.  Solid runner that could steal touches and possibly job from Spencer Ware. This move downgrades Ware a bit on my draft boards. Late round seasonal fantasy league prospect and has significant value in the Dynasty Format.

Colts RD 4 pick 143 Marlon Mack South Florida. Mack is very physically gifted, but Colts coaching staff has a lot of work to do to get Mack ready to contribute. All of the bouncing outside and indecisiveness running inside doesn’t work in the NFL. With polish could be a solid contributor as a rookie. Worth a Dynasty league pick. Training camp reports will be very important in figuring out if and where to draft Mack in seasonal fantasy leagues.

Bucs RD 5 pick 162 Jeremy McNichols Boise State. 3-down back one of few rookie RB’s that is really solid in pass protection. Should provide competition to Martin, Sims, and Rodgers for playing time. Training camp reports may move McNichols for a solid dynasty pick to a solid late round seasonal choice.

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy has confirmed that despite drafting 3 running backs, Ty Montgomery is the starter. Late last season Montgomery provided the Packers with a spark in the backfield. We’ll see if the Packers go with more of a committee approach in 2017. Each 4 of these backs presents a different skill set. Camp reports will really dictate how to approach this backfield. If I had to choose today with Rookie RB to draft out of this trio, it would be Jones.

Packers RD 4 pick 134 Jamal Williams BYU.  Inside runner that doesn’t dance. Needs polish in running thru lanes and may not get much more than what is blocked. In Packers offense could be a solid contributor right away.

Packers RD 5 pick 182 Aaron Jones UTEP. Most dynamic out of this trio. Can run inside and has explosive play potential. I like him more than quite a few runners taken earlier in the draft.

Packers RD 7 pick 238 Devante Mays Utah St.  Most physically gifted out of this trio. Ankle injuries derailed his final college season. Mays is a terrific lottery ticket at pick 238. Contributing on special teams would help secure a roster spot. Would like to see if a program with NFL trainers could keep him healthy.

Is Glennon a Building Block or Stop Gap?

The Chicago Bears 3-year deal $45 million dollar deal with Quarterback Mike Glennon was one of eye opening signings in free agency. $19 million of the deal is guaranteed making it easier from the Bears to move on from Glennon after one season. Astoundingly this is near the going rate for starting QB’s. The Bears reportedly plan to draft a Quarterback this year as well.

Moving on from Jay Cutler was one of the top priorities this offseason. Cutler’s 8 years with the team had run its course. My belief is Cutler wouldn’t have played another down for the Bears in 2016 if Brian Hoyer didn’t get injured to miss the remainder of the season. The Bears QB comedy carousel got better as the 49ers signed Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley in free agency.

Glennon gets the opportunity to run an offense with a rebuilding unit. Kevin White hasn’t proven to stay healthy in his NFL career. Cameron Meredith showed flashes last season. Markus Wheaton couldn’t break thru in a talented receiving corps in Pittsburgh, but gets his shot in the Windy City. Kendall Wright put up numbers in Tennessee a few years ago, but was passed over with the current regime.

Glennon’s skill set was on display in 2013 and 2014 in Tampa. The Bucs got the 1st overall pick in 2015 and drafted Jameis Winston to lead their offense. One interesting tidbit that came out is the Bucs offered Glennon $8 million dollars to return as the backup.

His biggest asset to the Bears could be what he offers in the locker room. The Bears signed Glennon in what amounts to a one-year deal to be a stopgap QB. How early of a draft choice the Bears spend on a QB will provide a lot of insight in how the organization views Glennon long term. After a 6-10 season followed by a 3-13 season, GM Ryan Pace and company may need to squeeze out more wins while rebuilding to save their jobs.

Bears Won’t Tag Alshon Jeffery

The Chicago Bears reportedly will not use the franchise tag on WR Alshon Jeffery for the upcoming season. Using another franchise tag would have netted Jeffrey $17.5 million dollars for the 2017. Coming off a 3-13 record the Bears have spent a lot of money in free agency recently, yet still have a lack of talent across the roster. Jeffery in 5 years has missed 17 of a possible 80 games played. 4 games were lost due to a suspension in 2016.  Lower body soft tissue injuries have plagued Jefery for his NFL career. Those injuries happen to all football players, but Jeffery is on the injury report too much for my liking. At age 27, this South Carolina product should be able to command a sizeable contract in free agency.

Supporters will point to the 2013 and 2014 campaigns of 89 catches for 1421 yards, 7 TD and 85 catches 1,133 yards, 10 TD.  Imagine what numbers Jeffery would put up with a top flight NFL QB instead of Jay Cutler. (That’s an argument for another time.)  Jeffery has great ball skills in traffic and can help take the top off a defense.  This skill set should be in high demand on the free agent market. Chicago has so many holes that paying Jeffery premium dollar wouldn’t solve the problem.  The free agent class for Wide Receivers this year is also thin with DeSean Jackson, Terrelle Pryor, Kenny Britt, Pierre Garcon, Kendall Wright, and Terrence Williams all looking for work.  Connect the dots reporting would link the Rams, 49ers, Eagles, Bills, Browns, Bucs, and Titans to Jeffery.

Many fantasy football analysts view Jeffery as a WR 2 in drafts. His value theoretically should go up in a new situation. The new QB Jeffery gets to play with has a direct impact on his value.  Conversely, I’ve always avoided him in drafts due to injury concerns. I hate having to check Alshon’s status nearly each week. I will drop Jeffery even farther down draft boards if he signs with a team that plays on turf. Maybe a new training staff can help keep Jeffery healthy.  Risk-reward isn’t there for me with that high of a draft choice or auction cost.

 

Rams Can Only Go Up From Here

A listless 42-14 thrashing at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons was the nail in the coffin for the Los Angeles Rams to finally fire Head Coach Jeff Fisher.  A 31-45-1 record with 5 losing seasons was enough (2012-2016) 7-8-1, 7-9, 6-10, 7-9, and 4-9. Fisher finished his NFL head coaching career at 173-165 just one loss from breaking Dan Reeves record for most losses in NFL history. In 22 seasons at the helm, Fisher had only 6 winning seasons. I viewed Fisher as a solid coach in Houston/Tennessee during his 17 years there. Jumping into the Rams job with just 1 year off may not have been the best choice. Fisher seemed out of gas at the end in Tennessee. The tenure with the Rams was an unmitigated disaster that went on far too long. Fisher should have never made the trip out west with the Rams organization. Owner Stan Kroenke was too loyal to Fisher.  The million dollar question is why?

The first year back in Los Angeles hasn’t gone as planned for the Rams. With QB’s Case Keenum and first-overall-pick Jared Goff leading the charge, the Rams average a league worst’s in 286.2 yards per game and 14.9 points-per-game. Rams QB’s have combined for the 2nd worst passer rating at 73.3, 3rd most INT at 16.

Running back Todd Gurley in 13 games last season rushed for 1,106 yards, a 4.8 ypc, and 10 TD on 229 carries. In 13 games this year Gurley has rushed 227 times for 740 yards and 5 TD. Gurley hasn’t regressed as a player, the Rams offense around Gurley has regressed significantly. WR Kenny Britt has responded with a career high 63 catches for 937 yards. High draft choices spent on wide receivers Tavon Austin and Brain Quick haven’t panned out. The Rams offensive line is serviceable enough to have won more games with better talent at the skill positions.  Offensively have scored 20 touchdowns this season one more than the Brock Osweiler led Texans.

The Rams defensive numbers are skewed a bit due to the offensive ineptitude. The Rams defense in my opinion is good enough to make the playoffs with an average NFL offense.  The defensive unit has solid core players to build around in Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree, and TJ McDonald.

Since offense is the major problem in Los Angeles, I would gear more towards an offensive minded coach. A coach to develop Jared Goff should be the first priority.  LA is a major media market and the ability to handle the spotlight is another critical factor with this job more so than others. I wouldn’t go after a defensive minded coach with the current stage the organization sits.

Stanford Head Coach David Shaw fits the bill, but doesn’t have NFL head coaching experience. Shaw has NFL coaching experience with the Eagles, Raiders, and Ravens. His NFL positions ranged from Quality Control coach, to Quarterback and Wide Receiver coach.

New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels was the Rams OC in 2011 after a failed stint as the Broncos head coach. McDaniels is a hot commodity and can be very selective in his coaching endeavors. Has McHoodie learned enough from the failure of being a head coach to do it better the 2nd time around? It will cost a lot of money to find out.  Maybe McDaniels never leaves and waits for Belichick to hang it up.

Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan is also linked to Head Coaching openings. Shanahan has worked in the NFL since 2004 and as an offensive coordinator since 2008.  Shanahan has worked as offensive coordinator in Houston, Washington, Cleveland, and Atlanta.  The experience in Houston and Washington was for Gary Kubiak, and his father Mike Shanahan. Kyle was in charge of running the offense in Cleveland and Atlanta. Shanahan will be a head coach some day, but I’d rather see more success as an OC before giving him a Head Coaching job.

Tom Coughlin’s overall track record speaks for itself as a possible hall of fame worthy coach. At age 70 I’d go in another direction since Coughlin’s teams failed down the stretch in recent years. Coughlin should remain in the league office.

University of Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is often linked to NFL openings despite leaving the league to coach his alma mater. An eventual return to the NFL for Harbaugh is expected, but would he spurn Michigan after just 2 years? X’s and O’s Harbaugh is a terrific coach and also has the personality to deal with the spotlight. He also brings credibility to Rams. I believe his personality leads to a shorter tenure on the job. His act carries more weight in college; NFL guys can tune him out.

Jon Gruden is linked to job openings every year, but this could be the one to pull him out of the Monday Night Football Booth and back down to the sideline.  Gruden hasn’t coached since the 2008 season and holds an overall NFL record of 95-81. Gruden won a Super Bowl in 2002 against the team he built in the Raiders. This hiring would provide instant credibility and star power. Gruden would be a great fit to tutor Goff. The defense is in place the offense is the problem, but could be put in the hands of one of his former pupils that is expected to be fired soon.

Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is coaching out the string and could rehab his career as the defensive coordinator in Los Angeles.   Bradley could also bring along a few assistant coaches in Nathaniel Hackett, Ron Middleton, and Monte Kiffin to fill out Gruden’s coaching staff.  All of these coaches worked under Gruden previously.

Does GM Les Snead remain to fix this mess or get shown the door as well? Did Fisher have more power than Snead in running the Rams?  I find it hard to believe a big name coach would come in to work under Snead.  A big name coach is going to want his own personnel director. Kroenke has the money to pay for the Head Coach he wants. As owner of the Rams I’d send Snead packing, then go after Gruden, McDaniels, and Shaw.

Be Proactive Pick Up Perkins

Giants running back Paul Perkins is a player fantasy owners should get familiar with real soon.  The G Men’s rushing attack is the worst in the NFL averaging 68.2 yards per game on the ground. Jennings leads the team in carries so far this season with 64 rushing attempts and is averaging 2.6 yards per carry.   In 5 contests, Jennings is averaging just 33.6 yards-per-game. The veteran back missed games 3, 4, and 5 with a thumb injury.  There has been slightly more success among the other Giants running backs with Shane Vereen averaged 4.7 ypc before getting injured with Orleans Darkwa 3.7ypc, Bobby Rainey 3.6 ypc and Paul Perkins 3.4ypc.

Jennings looks to have lost a step and looks to barely get what’s blocked at this point.  Orleans Darkwa is a complimentary back while Bobby Rainey is better suited to be the passing down back.  The learning curve for Perkins was going to be difficult since he missed all of organized teen activities this spring while attending college at UCLA.  Coming out of the bye, Perkins split carries with Jennings in their 28-23 win over the Eagles.  Perkins out produced Jennings this week and should start to see the workload go in his favor as the season progresses.  The time to buy Perkins is now before his full outburst takes place.

There’s no reason the Giants shouldn’t be able to run the ball better with their other offensive weapons.  Perkins has more wiggle, burst, and speed than anyone else in the backfield at this point.  The problem with many rookie running backs is their struggles in pass protection. Perkins doesn’t seem to be fully trusted in pass protection yet, which will curb some of his playing time. Jennings could take away some short yardage work while Rainey could play a bit on 3rd Downs.  The upcoming schedule provides some solid opportunities for the Giants to get the running game in order.

Week 10 Bengals       22nd

Week 11 Bears          14th

Week 12 @Browns   31st

Week 13 @Steelers   13th

Week 14 Cowboys     6th

Week 15 Lions          17th

Week 16 @Eagles     18th

It’s always better be proactive than reactive on waivers. Perkins is worth a waiver claim this week. Owners should expect Perkins to be in their starting lineups as an RB2 or Flex Play sooner rather than later.

bestbetscasino.net

How Fantasy Owners Should Evaluate Jordan Cameron

Dolphins TE Jordan Cameron has been inconsistent and struggled with drops during the preseason. Cameron had a phenomenal 2013 campaign with 80 catches 917 yards and 7 TD with the Cleveland Browns. Some fantasy owners have been chasing those stats the last few years. The bottom fell out in 2014 with just 20 catches and 2 TD in 10 games. 2015 wasn’t much better with the Dolphins (35 catches 3TD). The sad part of Cameron’s 5- year career is the fact that if your take out 2013 stats the other 4 years resulted in 85 catches 1069 yards and 6TD.

Cameron is avoidable in 10-12 leagues for the most part. I drafted Cameron in a 12-team dynasty keeper league with 40 roster spots and also plan to pick him up in a 16-man league where unfortunately I had to auto draft. Drafting 3 kickers was surprising treat. The track record shows that Cameron has been a one-hit wonder at this stage of his career. A salary reduction to stay with the Dolphins also doesn’t bode well for Cameron’s prospects.

The reason I drafted Cameron was for the situation in Miami. Head Coach Adam Gase is known for involving the Tight End position in his offense. I don’t put too much stock with what Gase did with the Broncos. I’ve always viewed Peyton Manning as the head coach/offensive coordinator. What Gase did with the Bears holds more stock with me. Gase did a good job of reeling in Jay Cutler and getting him to play more controlled. Cutler utilized his Tight Ends quite a bit last season as Martellus Bennett and Zach Miller put up solid stats.

Ryan Tannehill saw his completion percentage drop a bit last season as he threw downfield more than in years past. Tannehill and Cameron never seemed to get on the same page last season. Jarvis Landry picked up the slack leading the team in receiving with 110 catches for 1,157 yards and 4 TD. DeVante Parker was impressive late last season with 26 catches for 494 yards and 3 TD. Parker is expected to take a step forward this season. There’s still room in the Dolphins passing attack for Cameron to put up some stats especially in the red zone.

The preseason hasn’t been a good sign results wise for Cameron so far. Owners should take find the balance of Cameron’s track record of production and the offense ran by Adam Gase in terms of if to draft Cameron. I view Cameron as a TE2 in deeper leagues. If Cameron proves to not pan out right away, he’s a cut piece for another player off waivers. I believe Cameron is worth a late round lottery ticket to find out if he can carve out a role in the offense. If not, no harm no foul.