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November 14, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 10 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 10 of the 2015 NFL season:

Green Bay Packers -11 over Detroit Lions (5 units)
Packers vs. Lions -- Over 49.5 (3 units)

The Packers have lost two straight games against very solid defenses on the road, but return home to face the lowly Lions, who just got destroyed two weeks ago in London vs Kansas City. I believe Aaron Rodgers could put up career numbers in this one. The Packers could come close to hitting this over by themselves. Matthew Stafford is prone to turn the ball over, and I see another multiple turnover game in his future. Packers win big at home, 46-20.

Denver Broncos -5 over Kansas City Chiefs (5 units)

I'd bet 20 units on this one if I could. I love this spot at home for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I expect to see the Peyton of old in this one, and I'm predicting a 300/3 type of performance. The Broncos defense even without Aqib Talib is still elite enough to shut down a very mediocre Chiefs offense. Don't let the Chiefs performance in London fool you. Denver, 30-17.

Panthers vs. Titans -- Under 44.0 (3 units)

The Titans defense is very underrated this season. They shut down a very good Atlanta offense, and last week when it counted shut down Drew Brees in the 2nd half. I think they will do a good job containing Cam Newton and the Panthers offense.

It wouldn't shock me to see the Titans win this one outright. This is the classic let-down spot for the Panthers. Marcus Mariota and the Titans offense don't have enough weapons to move the ball down the field vs. this defense, especially since Dorial Green-Beckham will probably be shut down by Josh Norman. Tennessee wins late, 16-13.

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November 12, 2015

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 10

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 10?

Sean Beazley - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BAL), $6,700

Before I get to my picks this week, I strongly recommend every DFS player to support FanDuel and DraftKings with their fight to keep DFS legal in NY. I'm not only saying this because I'm a resident of NY, but it's for the overall general good of the industry.

My DFS career is on the line, so why not go all-in on the mighty Jacksonville Jaguars this week! One player I absolutely love this week is receiver Allen Robinson. Robinson has a modest salary at $6,700 and faces the Ravens, who have one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Pairing Robinson with QB Blake Bortles ($5,600) on DK will be one of my favorite GPP stacks of the week. I believe Robinson could be under-owned in tournaments considering all the WRs in that same price tier that are coming off big weeks (Randall Cobb, Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, Alshon Jeffery, etc.).

Bonus Pick: Bears WR Alshon Jeffery was the focal point of my DFS lineups last week, and he will continue to be in my cash lineup until his price hits elite level. There is no reason why he shouldn't be priced in the same range as the elite WRs in the game. At $7,100, he is a must play in your cash lineup.

Brendan Donahue - Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (at NYG), $8,000

With Dion Lewis out for the season, look for Gronkowski to return to the focal point (or even more of the focal point) of the offense again. Lewis missed Week 7 vs. the Jets and Gronkowski had a season-high 16 targets that resulted into 11 catches for 108 yards and a TD. Couple that with the fact that the Giants have given up the third-most points (Draftkings scoring) to tight ends this season and this is shaping up for another monster game for the monster known as Gronk.

Kevin Hanson - Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins (vs. NO), $5,200

While he has been a bit boom or bust, Cousins has finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback twice over his past five games. While his overall level of production has varied, one constant has been passing volume. Cousins has thrown for 40-plus pass attempts in three consecutive games and in five of his past six.

This week sets up as a potential "boom" week for Cousins. Not only have the Saints allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but they have allowed an average of 351.3 passing yards per game and a total of 13 passing touchdowns over their past three games.

At only $5,200 (or just $200 above the position-minimum salary), Cousins has a ton of upside while creating plenty of salary-cap relief to load up elsewhere. He will be a staple in both my cash game and GPP lineups in Week 10.

Dan Yanotchko - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BAL), $6,700

This week, I am going with Allen Robinson of the Jaguars for $6,700, as he has one of the best matchups possible against the Baltimore secondary. Robinson has had an amazing stat split over the last four weeks, having 25 receptions on 41 targets for an average of 93.0 yards per game and four touchdowns. I feel Robinson is primed for a breakout week, and also fellow No. 2 Allen Hurns has already missed Wednesday practice with a sprained foot. Baltimore has been quite rough in the secondary this year, as they have given up 284 yards passing and 16 touchdowns, so I am green lighting Robinson this week.

Ryan Watterson - Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins (), $6,700

Although Landry gets a Philly defense that is giving away a lot of production to WRs, ranking third to last in FPA to that position. In addition, the Eagles are 31st against WR1's in particular. Landry continues to produce on a weekly basis despite some of the Dolphins passing game struggles. I think he blows up for a big week and pushes towards a top-5 finish at his position.

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November 08, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 9 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 9 of the 2015 NFL season:

Pittsburgh Steelers -5 over Oakland Raiders (3 units)

I highlighted Antonio Brown in my DFS Roundtable writeup this week. The Raiders give up over 300 yards per game through the air, which should equal a big day for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers receiving targets. (This will be the make-or-break game for me this week in DFS since I am deploying three Steelers in my main cash lineup.)

The Raiders looked fantastic last week, but they have the dreaded west coast team traveling to the east coast for a 1 PM game narrative. I think Derek Carr throws for over 300 yards as well, but I think Big Ben leads the Steelers to six touchdown drives this week. Steelers big, 42-27.

Philadelphia Eagles -3 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

I honestly can't see a way that a rested Eagles team doesn't go into Dallas on Sunday night and stomp the Cowboys. Sam Bradford, as bad as he has been this year, will not be as bad Matt Cassel. The Cowboys will need to control the clock with the running game to have a shot, but the Eagles run defense has been pretty good this season. I have a feeling this is going to be a Darren Sproles type of game. I think he has two scores on Sunday night. Eagles, 23-13.

Denver Broncos -6 over Indianapolis Colts (5 units)

Denver's defense has been fantastic this season. They get to play a banged-up Colts team who will most likely be without T.Y. Hilton for this one. Andrew Luck has looked absolutely horrible this season. He has turned the ball over at least two times in five of six games this season. You can't make those types of mistakes and expect to win games. We also have the Peyton Manning narrative of breaking Brett Favre's all-time passing record. I think Manning and his noodle arm get it done this week.

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November 05, 2015

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 9

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 9?

Brendan Donahue - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. CLE), $5,200

Bengals OC Hue Jackson said just yesterday "the arrow is pointing up" on Jeremy Hill. You can't ask for a much better matchup if Jackson wants to look smart. Hill's numbers haven't been where we had expected them to be yet this season, but this is a great time to get back on track. Cleveland is allowing over 130 yards on the ground and over 24 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs this year.

Sean Beazley - Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. OAK), $8,100

One play I really like this week is Steelers WR Antonio Brown. Brown is still extremely under priced at $8,100. Brown was targeted 11 times last week in Ben Roethlisberger's return, which was the most since Week 3. The Bengals have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and Big Ben did look a little rusty last week. Oakland ranks 31st in the NFL giving up 302 passing yards per game. This is the last week you will be able to get Brown below $9,000. Brown will be the staple of my cash lineup, and I will definitely roll out plenty of Ben/Antonio stacks in tourneys.

Bonus Play: The Patriots are favorite to beat Washington by two touchdowns on Sunday. I expect all of the Patriots skilled players to be highly owned, but I'm targeting a player on the Redskins, and that is TE Jordan Reed. Reed has a very nice salary at $4500, and I expect the 'Skins to be in catch-up mode, which should equate to another game where Reed sees a dozen targets. Reed averages just under 10 targets per game, and has an extremely high ceiling.

Kevin Hanson - Steve Johnson, WR, San Diego Chargers (vs. CHI), $3,200

The season-ending injury to Keenan Allen opens up plenty of opportunities for Johnson and others in the passing game. Only DeAndre Hopkins (113) and Julio Jones (103) had more targets than Allen (89) so far this season. Johnson has not exceeded 50 receiving yards since Week 1 (6/82/1), but I expect him to get eight to 10 targets in a favorable matchup this week. While I have Johnson ranked inside my top-20 fantasy receivers for the week, his salary is only $200 above the position minimum as 59 receivers are priced higher this week.

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November 01, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 8 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 8 of the 2015 NFL season:

Pittsburgh Steelers +1 over Cincinnati Bengals (3 units)

The return of Ben Roethlisberger is the difference in this one. I think the Big Ben to Antonio Brown show resumes this week, so if you play daily make sure you get Brown in your lineup at a discount. This game will likely be one of the highest-scoring contests of the day. Andy Dalton has been one of the best QBs in the league thus far this season, but I think he regresses a bit today. I do think he will throw for over 300 yards, but I also expect 2-3 turnovers. Steelers 34,Bengals 27.

Tennessee Titans +4 over Houston Texans (3 units)

The Titans have lost three games this season by less than three points. They are better than their record indicates. Zach Mettenberger gets the start again after a brutal performance last week vs. the Falcons. I think the extra week of practice as a starter pays off. Mettenberger should have a decent game vs. this very poor Texans D.

The Texans lost starting RB Arian Foster for the rest of the season during garbage time late in the 4th quarter. This was probably one of the worst coaching moves in recent history. This is the beginning of the end for Bill O'Bbrien. I like the Titans to be in this game on the road, 23-20.

Chicago Bears +1.5 over Minnesota Vikings (3 units)

This spread is a little off to me. The Bears should be three-point favorites in my opinion. Their defense isn't great, but offensively, they are finally healthy at the RB/WR position. I think Jay Cutler is also a sneaky GPP play in DFS. Bears at home, 27-17.

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October 29, 2015

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 8

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 8?

Brendan Donahue - Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams (vs. SF), $6,300

I am going to keep riding the Gurley Train until DraftKings decides to wake up and price him accordingly. Was he the most owned player last week? Yes, but he still delivered and if you didn't have him, you most likely had a hard time cashing. Coming off of a 35.3-point performance, he is still only $6,300 and going against a San Francisco defense that has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Fade at your own risk!

Sean Beazley - Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams (vs. SF), $6,300

Chasing big weeks is generally something I don't do, but sometimes it is warranted. One cash game must for me this week is Rams RB Todd Gurley. Gurley's price was bumped $1,300 to $6,300, but I believe this is still too good to pass up. Gurley had 23 touches last week, and I expect the same, if not more, vs. the 49ers. The Rams are eight-point favorites at home so the game script in this one should go Gurley's way.

Bonus Play: Saints D $2000. The Saints defense has scored in double digits the past two weeks and that is against two pretty good offenses (Indy and Atlanta). I do not like a lot of options this week at the position, so punting with a home team who does have a return threat to take one to the house is a very sneaky play. This play along with some of the other value plays really sets you up to roster some of the big stars this week that I absolutely love.

Ryan Watterson - Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings (at CHI), $4,800

Diggs is Teddy Bridgewater's new favorite target and the only Vikings WR that has produced much of anything with his opportunities. Coming off a strong performance against the Lions, Diggs takes on a Bears defense that is one of the worst in the league against the pass. Diggs represents great value this week at the WR position and allows you to spend elsewhere.

Kevin Hanson - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at ATL), $6,800

For me, Gurley is an obvious choice at running back and a strong consideration to list here, but considering Brendan and Sean both went with Gurley, I'll change it up for a little variety. I also considered listing Justin Forsett as the Chargers have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. In fact, they have allowed a top-9 weekly finish in six of seven games, four 100-yard rushing games and 10 touchdowns to the position this year.

My favorite receiver for tournaments this week is Tampa's Mike Evans. One of the more talented young receivers in the NFL, the 22-year-old Evans had a huge game following Tampa's bye with eight catches on 12 targets for 164 yards and a score against Washington last week. While it was Evans first touchdown of the 2015 season, he is one of the better red-zone options at 6-foot-5 and finished with 12 touchdowns as a rookie last year. Given the team's injuries at receiver (Louis Murphy out for the year and Vincent Jackson expected to miss this week's game), Evans should be targeted heavily in a game they are expected to trail. There is plenty of upside for Evans this week at a modest cost ($6,800).

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October 24, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 7 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 7 of the 2015 NFL season:

Indianapolis Colts -4.5 over New Orleans Saints (5 units)

I think Andrew Luck has finally recovered from injury. He looked pretty decent against the Patriots on Sunday night. I like Luck and the Colts to absolutely EAT vs. the dreadful Saints secondary. If you're a DFS player than I would definitely get exposure to this game. Luck will likely be low-owned compared to others like Carson Palmer & Philip Rivers. I'll also be targeting both T.Y. Hilton & Donte Moncrief. I love the Colts in this one, 38-24.

San Diego Chargers -4 over Oakland Raiders (4 units)

The Chargers have a ton of injury concerns on the offensive side of the ball. Antonio Gates is dealing with his first knee injury of his career, so it wouldn't shock me to see him sit, or be very limited this week. Keenan Allen is also battling a hip injury, but he did practice on Friday which is a good sign for Sunday. This is a must-win game for the Chargers after two tough losses the past two weeks.

The Raiders are fresh off a bye, and if they want to win this game they will need to rely on Latavius Murray. I think Murray should be able to run vs. the Chargers D, but I like the Chargers at home. Chargers, 26-20.

Baltimore Ravens +9 over Arizona Cardinals (3 units)

The Ravens secondary is absolutely BRUTAL. They have made quarterbacks like Derek Carr and Josh McCown look like Hall of Famers this season. I expect Palmer and the Cardinals offense to have a pretty big game.

I'm worried about the health of Cardinals WR John Brown, who is dealing with a hamstring. Brown really opens up the middle of the field. My gut tells me that Brown doesn't play Monday night. The Ravens aren't just going to roll over and play dead. It wouldn't shock me to see them win this game outright to be honest with you, but I'll take the points. Cardinals, 23-17.

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October 22, 2015

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 7

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 7?

Brendan Donahue - Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams (vs. CLE), $5,000

If you want the definition of a workhorse running back, take a look at Todd Gurley's past two games. Gurley has averaged 24.5 carries per game for 152.5 yards per game, so I think it's safe to say he's recovered from his injury and you can start him with confidence. He couldn't have a much better matchup this week going against the Browns at home who are giving up a league-high 149.8 yards rushing per game. At just $5,000, I expect him to be highly owned but he is just too good of a value this week to pass up.

Sean Beazley - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (at TEN), $9,100

There are a number of extremely chalky plays this week. If you aren't all over players like Antonio Gates, and Todd Gurley this week in your cash game, then you're probably a losing player in DFS. Gates was a lock for me before the salaries were released playing the Raiders who are awful vs TEs. Gates has been targeted 27 times in his first two games of the season. At the price of $5,000 you would be extremely foolish to not target him. Gurley, the other chalk play of the week, also sits at $5,000. Gurley will no doubt get 20-plus carries this week, and it wouldn't shock me to see him get around 30 given how I expect the game to go on Sunday.

My favorite tournament option of the week is Julio Jones. Jones is the perfect pivot off DeAndre Hopkins. I expect Hopkins to be among the highest owned players this week given receny bias. I believe this same bias (Julio's recent struggles), and the fact that Julio Jones costs $500 more than Hopkins will make Jones extremely under-owned. I also believe that Julio's teammate Devanta Freeman will be very popular, which also should keep people off Jones as pairing a RB/WR together is not usually a smart move. The Falcons played the Titans this pre-season and Jones absolutely dominated the Titans secondary. This was without CB Jason McCourty, but let's be honest, nobody can slow down a healthy Julio Jones. There are plenty of cheap options this week so you should have no problem fitting Jones in. You have the Rams D at a ridiculous $2400 vs. the Browns at home, and you could always go double TE for the savings.

Ryan Watterson - Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams (vs. CLE), $5,000

Gurley won't be this cheap for long, take advantage while you can. Gurley gets a Cleveland team that ranks 28th against RBs by DraftKings standards, and he will be the primary focus of this offense given the lack of other weapons - he had 30 carries last game. Given he is likely to touch the ball as much as anyone else this week, and has one of the best matchups, he is a must-start. Without question, he will be one of the most highly-owned players this week, but you can't afford to fade him in the majority of lineups.

Kevin Hanson - Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams (vs. CLE), $5,000

Coming off a torn ACL, Gurley sat the first two weeks of the season and was eased into action in Week 3. Since then, however, the talented top-10 pick from Georgia has carried the ball 49 times for 305 yards in his past two games. Now healthy and coming off his team's bye, Gurley is in line for another massive workload and the matchup couldn't be much more favorable.

The Browns have allowed a 100-yard rusher -- Latavius Murray (Week 3), Justin Forsett (Week 5) and Ronnie Hillman (Week 6) -- in three of their past four games. (And in Week 4, Danny Woodhead had 138 yards from scrimmage.) There is no doubt that Gurley will be one of the highest-owned players this week, but he's as safe as it gets with the upside for a monster game.

Dan Yanotchko - John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals (vs. BAL), $5,500

This week I am going with John Brown of Arizona, who has one of the best matchups against a very bad Ravens secondary. Brown has had a great start to the season, registering 33 catches for 497 yards and two touchdowns. The Ravens have been very bad on the back end, giving up 286 yards and 27 points per game. The league's highest-scoring offense, going against Baltimore in their second week in a row out west on the road? Yes, please.

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October 18, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 6 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 6 of the 2015 NFL season:

New England Patriots -10 over Indianapolis Colts (2 units)
Patriots at Colts -- Over 55.0 (5 units)

I wrote up Rob Gronkowski earlier this week in our DFS Roundtable post. I love the Patriots this week. Tom Brady and the Patriots have had this game circled on the calendar since the schedule was released this summer. The Patriots have scored six offensive touchdowns in each of their last three meetings with the Colts. You do the math, that's 42 points.

The Colts offense is good enough to score 20-plus points as well especially if this game gets out of hand, which I expect. The Patriots have dominated the Colts on the line of scrimmage racking up 200-plus rushing yards during this three-game span. I think this game is Brady's though. I expect Brady to throw for 5-plus TDs. Patriots, 48-26.

Detroit Lions -3.5 over Chicago Bears (3 units)

Matthew Stafford was benched last week in favor of Dan Orlovsky after a terrible showing vs the Cardinals. Detroit looked tired and sluggish after that heartbreaking B.S. loss to Seattle on MNF. I think with a full week's rest, and the fact that Matthew Stafford historically plays pretty well vs. the Bears, the Lions will get their first win on the season.

If you are playing DFS, I think a Stafford-Megatron stack makes a ton of sense this week in tournaments because Stafford is extremely under-priced. The Bears have squeaked out two wins vs. mediocre defenses the past two weeks. I think Cutler has a few turnovers this week. I'd consider risking more units if the Bears receiving corps turns out to be as depleted as it was last week. Detroit, 27-17.

Denver Broncos -4.5 over Cleveland Browns (3 units)

If you have watched the Broncos this year, you clearly can tell that Peyton Manning's better days are over. He just doesn't have the arm strength he did a few years back. I don't think it will matter in this one because the Broncos defense is so good right now. I like the Broncos DST/K to outscore the Browns in this one. I think C.J. Anderson makes an interesting tournament option in daily as well. Broncos, 23-6.

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October 14, 2015

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 6

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 6?

Sean Beazley - Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (at IND), $7,600

Last week for me was pretty rough especially with Jamaal Charles in all my cash lineups, and heavily used in the majority of my GPP lineups. This week, I'm going nearly all-in again and I'm going with Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski. I was completely wrong on Gronk last week, and paired with Charles you can get how awesome my Week 5 was.

Gronk is the most expensive TE on the board again at $7,600 but still is much cheaper than some of the elite WRs on the site. The Patriots sit as nearly double-digit fanvorites on Sunday, and the total is at 55.5. This is by far the biggest total of the week. This is the biggest FU game of the season for Tom Brady and the Pats since this is where Deflategate started. There is a concern that the Patriots take to the ground vs. the Colts since they racked up over 400 yards versus them last year in two meetings, but I think this is all about Brady.

I'll be trying to squeeze Brady in as my QB in my cash lineups as well, but for $400 savings you can get Aaron Rodgers, who has just a high as floor this week as Brady does in my opinion. The Patriots have scored six offensive touchdowns in each of their last three games vs. the Colts. I don't see any reason why they can't do that again on Sunday. I'm calling for a 30+ point week for Gronkowski, and the best part of it is the game is on Sunday Night. If you do not have a piece of this offense in your cash game this week, you will most likely lose.

Bonus GPP Stack - Colin Kaepernick/Anquan Boldin ($9,300 combined): The Ravens secondary has been god awful this season. They have made Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, and Josh McCown all look like Hall-of-Fame QBs. Playing this stack will definitely allow you to get a piece of all the top totals games (NE/IND, SD/GB, PHI/NYG) this week.

Brendan Donahue - Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears (at DET), $7,100

If you want someone who is guaranteed touches on a weekly basis, then Forte is your guy. He's averaged 20 carries and four receptions per game through the first five weeks. The only week he didn't have a reception was when Cutler was out so with him back, expect Forte to continue to get his targets in the passing game against a weak Detroit defense who will be out with Deandre Levy this week, so I expect him to finish as a top-three RB this week.

Ryan Watterson - Charcandrick West, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (), $4,000

With Jamaal Charles done for the season, West will be first in line to take the lead role for the rest of the season. He has the speed to be a game-breaker and with the increased opportunities, West has the chance to return significant value for his $4,000 salary.

Kevin Hanson - Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints (vs. NO), $3,300

Leading the team with 381 receiving yards, Snead has emerged as the team's most reliable receiver through the first five weeks of the season and he's on pace for 1,219 yards for the season. With 89 and 141 yards in his past two games, respectively, Snead now has at least five catches in three consecutive games. Even though the Saints are underdogs, they are still projected to score the fifth-most points this week based on Vegas odds. In what should be a high-scoring game, Snead has a solid floor with plenty of upside and his $3,300 price tag (60th-highest WR salary) offers owners plenty of salary-cap relief to afford higher-priced studs in other spots.

Dan Yanotchko - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers (vs. BAL), $4,300

This week, I really like Anquan Boldin of the 49ers, as he has a great matchup, and awesome price point at $4,300. Boldin had a great week against a bad Giants secondary, as he had eight catches for 108 yards and a TD. This week he gets another bad secondary in the Ravens, who have given up 288 yards passing per game, and their defense allows 27.4 points per game.

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October 11, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 5 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 4 of the 2015 NFL season:

New England Patriots -9.5 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

The Patriots are one of my favorite plays this week. Dallas has been hit with the injury bug pretty hard this year, but do get some good news that Sean Lee is expected to play. If Lee were to be sidelined, this would be what I call a mortgage payment type bet, but I'll be more conservative with him likely in the lineup. There is no doubt he is the anchor to the Cowboys defense.

Tom Brady and the Patriots will be in F.U. mode all season, so I have little concern about a back-door cover. I expect the Patriots to score on more than 50 percent of their possessions and it wouldn't shock me to see Brady have upwards of six touchdown passes. If you are playing DFS, I think this sets up nicely as a Rob Gronkowski week. If you are not paying up for Gronk, I think you will be a good 15 points behind as I don't think any TE will come close to his numbers today. Julian Edelman is also always in play, and I think this is a Dion Lewis game as well. Patriots 46, Cowboys 23.

Chicago Bears +9 over Kansas City Chiefs (3 units)

I know the Bears have struggled this season, but this line is definitely the head-scratcher of the week. Chicago battled last week and beat a very sneaky Oakland team, and I think they have a very good shot on the road in Arrowhead this week. I would like Chicago a little more if their receiving corps was healthy, but I still think they can keep it close. Matt Forte is a very under-the-radar play in DFS with everyone on Le'Veon Bell and Jamaal Charles. I think he finds the endzone twice today. This game will be close and it will be decided in the 4th quarter: Kansas City 24, Chicago 21.

Saints at Eagles -- Over 49.5 (3 units)

I think Sam Bradford and the Eagles finally figured out their offensive problems this past week in the loss vs. Washington. Bradford stretched the field and connected on two long touchdown passes which is something we didn't see in Weeks 1-3. The Saints defense is arguably one of the worst in the NFL. I think the Eagles will have little trouble moving the ball this week.

There is no secret that the Eagles like to play up in pace, so this game screams high scoring to me. The Saints are still above average offensively themselves and should be able to score at least three touchdowns as well. I'm all over Willie Snead on DraftKings today at minimum price which probably means it will be a Brandin Cooks week! Eagles 34, Saints 27.

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October 07, 2015

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 5

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 5?

Sean Beazley - Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. CHI), $7,800

I rarely have 100-percent exposure to a player, and there is good reason not to in tournaments, but this week I absolutely love Jamaal Charles and he will be the centerpiece in the majority of my lineups. The Chiefs are heavy favorites at home vs. the Bears so Charles should have plenty of opportunity to get into the endzone. Charles ($7,800) comes in at a bargain -- $700 cheaper than Le'Veon Bell.

Both RBs are in great situations this week, but the savings you get from Charles allows you a little more cap relief to roster some of the other studs this week. I'm trying to find combinations to get three studs into a lineup together. Rob Gronkowski will surely be my No. 2 stud, and I'm trying to find a way to get Julio Jones in the lineup as well, but it is very difficult with no clear-cut chalk value play like Karlos Williams was last week. One value play I'm considering is Saints WR Willie Snead. I think the Saints-Eagles game could be the highest-scoring game of the week.

Brendan Donahue - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. CHI), $6,000

Maclin has been a target machine in the first four weeks with at least seven targets each week including a season-high 13 targets last week. He's turning those targets into great fantasy stat lines, particularly the last two weeks, with 19 catches for 289 yards and a touchdown. He has a plus matchup this week vs. a Bears secondary that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers so far this year. Listed as the 17th-highest WR salary this week, he has plenty of potential to finish as a top-5 WR at a discounted price.

Ryan Watterson - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (at SD), $8,500
Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants (vs. SF), $4,400

I'm going with two players this week. First off, while it's important to identify low-cost value players, value isn't just about cost. The point of finding low-cost players is to spend it elsewhere. This week, my high-spend player will be Le'veon Bell in a lot of leagues. He is always a workhorse, but with Michael Vick under center, he figures to be even more involved (he had 29 touches last week). Vick will be more acclimated with the offense this week, but I would expect another conservative gameplan, putting Bell in a position to get a lot of checkdown passes as well. Against a Chargers defense giving up the second-most points to RBs by Draft Kings scoring, he should explode for another huge week.

My low-cost play this week is Rueben Randle. This is a risk/reward play, so probably a better tourney option. Randle has been more productive the last two weeks and will continue to see targets as the only legitimate option opposite Odell Beckham. The Giants take on the Niners, who actually looked decent (defensively, that is) last week holding the Packers offense in check. But that was at home, where they have given up an average of 18.5 points per game. The road is a different story, where they have allowed an average of 45 points per game. And guess where this game is being played? I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Randle post something like a 7/115/1 line this week. He could also go 3/35/0, but thats why it's a risk/reward.

Kevin Hanson - Owen Daniels, TE, Denver Broncos (at OAK), $2,700

My debate here was between St. Louis rookie running back Todd Gurley and Daniels. I'll have ton of exposure to both, but I'll likely have more of Daniels. With DraftKings, there is the ability to play two tight ends (with a flex spot) so playing Daniels doesn't mean you can't play Rob Gronkowski. Although Daniels has scored in back-to-back games, his production has been relatively modest -- 12 catches for 61 yards and two touchdowns over four games.

That said, no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season than the Raiders. In addition, they have allowed a top-two weekly finish at the position in PPR scoring (DraftKings uses full PPR) in every game this season -- Tyler Eifert (TE2), Crockett Gillmore (TE1), Gary Barnidge (TE2) and Martellus Bennett (TE1). If there's a week that Daniels has a huge game, this is the week. (Or Week 14 for this second matchup with the Raiders.)

Dan Yanotchko - Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (at NYG), $5,200

I'm going with another tournament play this week, and while I say this rarely, I like Colin Kaepernick this week. He has a great matchup this week against the Giants, who have allowed 316 yards per game an 68-percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks. Kaepernick does have big game potential as he threw for 335 yards against Pittsburgh, and he has not rushed for less than 40 yards in a game this year as well.

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October 04, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 4 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 4 of the 2015 NFL season:

New York Giants +5 over Buffalo Bills (3 units)

The Giants are very sneaky in this one on the road. I think Odell Beckham will have a very good game, and if you are playing DFS, he is a great pivot off of Julio Jones, who should be one of the top WRs owned this week.

The Bills will be without both LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins. I think the loss of these two playmakers will hurt QB Tyrod Taylor. Taylor has been great so far this year, but I'm not sold on the Bills WR corps led by Percy Harvin and Robert Woods. Watkins hasn't impressed this year in the stat category, but he has drawn the opposition's best CB. Karlos Williams will be the highest-owned DFS target this weekend and I think he makes it four straight games with a TD.

I actually think this game will be decided in the final few seconds. Bills 23 Giants 20

Cincinnati Bengals -4 over Kansas City Chiefs (4 units)

This line seems very off to me. The Bengals have been playing great football while the Chiefs have had a tough time the first three weeks of the season. Andy Dalton has been playing great football, and the return of TE Tyler Eifert to the passing game from last year's injury has given them a huge boost. I think Dalton beats this secondary even with Sean Smith coming back this week. Dalton is a pretty safe DFS cash QB option. I wouldn't put too much stock into Alex Smith's second-half numbers vs. the Packers on Monday Night. It was pretty much all garbage time and I'm off all Kansas City weapons in DFS this week outside of Jamaal Charles. Bengals win big at home, 31-17.

St. Louis Rams +7 over Arizona Cardinals (5 units)

The Cardinals have been on a tear this season. Carson Palmer is arguably the NFC MVP so far this season, but I have a very bad feeling for Palmer and the Cardinals this week. I think the St. Louis pass rush gets to Palmer and he is the next QB to sustain an injury this week. Without Palmer, this team is much different as we saw last year. If Palmer plays the whole game, and odds are that he will, then I still believe the Rams will cover. Division-rivalry games are always close when it's two good teams playing. I'm not as high on the Rams as I was last season, but I think they are good enough to win this one outright. I hope you aren't playing the Cardinals in your survivor pool! Rams 26, Cardinals 24.

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September 30, 2015

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 4

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 4?

Sean Beazley - Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders ($5,300)

There are a bunch of players I like this week. I like Donte Moncrief again despite the news today that Andrew Luck is nursing a shoulder injury. I'm on Martellus Bennett against the Raiders defense that has been dreadful against TEs, and I'll have my fair share of Karlos Williams as well even if LeSean McCoy plays on Sunday.

My favorite pick of the week though is a QB/WR stack and it's coming from a team that hasn't had fantasy relevance in like a decade. That team is the Oakland Raiders. I love Derek Carr at the $5,300 bargain price playing the Bears, who seem like they have already packed it in this season. Carr has had back-to-back 300-yard games and I think he has another one on Sunday. Carr is in play in both GPPs and cash games.

I'll have separate Carr stacks with both Amari Cooper ($6,300) and Michael Crabtree ($4,600). I'll have more exposure to Cooper, who should absolutely eat vs. the Bears on Sunday. Cooper has been targeted 31 times in his first three games, and I expect another 10-12 this week. I think Cooper finds the endzone twice in this one.

Ryan Watterson - James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers ($5,300)

Jones has shown a fantastic chemistry with Aaron Rodgers, which was never more evident than the two offsides that turned into huge plays against KC. It takes strong chemistry to convert those free plays as the WRs essentially improvise their routes and Rodgers needs to know what they are going to do in a split-second decision. The fact that he hit Jones on two such plays for huge gains (and a TD) demonstrates a lot of trust. With Davante Adams reaggravating his ankle, Jones is in line for a lot of work against a Niners secondary that has been awful to this point.

Kevin Hanson - Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills ($3,400)

For me, this is a fairly easy choice this week. In a secondary role to LeSean McCoy, Williams has been highly productive on a per-touch basis (7.8 YPC) so far this season. The only player to rush for a touchdown in all three games this season, Williams should be in line for a significant workload with McCoy a likely inactive for Week 4. The Giants have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points (PPR) to opposing running backs so far this season. At his price point, Williams should be the highest-owned running back, but he offers tremendous value and flexibility with 46 RBs priced higher.

Dan Yanotchko - Lance Dunbar, RB, Dallas Cowboys ($3,600)

This week I really love the matchup of Lance Dunbar and his 21 receptions, going against the New Orleans Saints. So far, Dunbar has been a PPR monster, and since Brandon Weeden does not throw the ball more than 7 yards downfield, I am looking at a similar day like he had against Atlanta -- 10 receptions for 100 yards. New Orleans also has an awful run defense, giving up 126 yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry. I really like the price point of $3,600 for Dunbar given his favorable matchup.

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September 26, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 3 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 3 of the 2015 NFL season:

Indianapolis Colts -3.5 over Tennessee Titans (5 units)
Colts at Titans -- Over 46.5 (2 units)

Andrew Luck faced the two toughest defenses he will face all season in Weeks 1 and 2. The Titans did a fairly good job vs. Johnny Manziel and the Browns last week. A couple of broken plays and a poor pass rush led to two Travis Benjamin bomb TDs.

As bad as the Colts have looked, with a win this week they will be in first place in the AFC South as I expect Jacksonville and Houston to also lose on Sunday. If you're a DFS player, then this is a game you need to target. I expect Luck to come out firing and think he definitely finishes in the top-three of QB scoring this week. I love Donte Moncrief, T.Y. Hilton, and Colby Fleener this week.

The Titans should be able to move the ball vs. the Colts defense as well. Delanie Walker returns from injury this week, which should help Marcus Mariota and the passing game. Colts shutdown corner Vontae Davis doesn't usually line up covering a slot wide receiver so I think Kendall Wright will have a nice day. As a Titans fan, I would love a win here, but the Colts own them. Luck rebounds in a big win, 41-26.

Baltimore Ravens -2.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (3 units)

The Ravens are better than their record indicates. The Ravens have played two consecutive games on the road to open the season, and looked pretty bad in each game. On the other hand, the Bengals looked pretty good in each of their wins. Andy Dalton historically has a pretty tough time with the Ravens, and I believe he will have a few turnovers in this one. I think Joe Flacco connects with big tight end Crocket Gillmore on two scores, and the Bengals struggle on offense. Ravens, 23-13.

New England Patriots -14 over Jacksonville Jaguars (4 units)
Jaguars at Patriots -- Over 48.5 (2 units)

I honestly believe that Tom Brady and the Patriots offense could make history this year. Individual passing record for yards and TDs could fall, and total team points. This team isn't as good as their perfect regular season team from a few years back, but Brady and the Patriots have a chip on their shoulder.

Unlike many teams, the Patriots don't take their foot off their opponent's throat when they are ahead so I have little worries about a back-door cover. The Jags did beat Miami last week, but this is a whole another ball game. I think the Patriots get in the end zone six times vs the Jags. (Rob Gronkowski 2, LeGarrette Blount 2, Aaron Dobson 1 and the defense 1). Patriots win big, 51-20.

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September 23, 2015

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 3

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 3?

Sean Beazley - Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts ($4,800)

There is one game I am looking forward to this weekend for DFS purposes and that's the Colts at Titans. There are a number of good plays I like in this one, but by far my favorite is Colts WR Donte Moncrief. Moncrief has 13 receptions on 19 targets this year, and has been the best Colts offensive playmaker thus far. Moncrief gets a juicy matchup vs. the Titans, who got torched last week deep by the Browns Travis Benjamin. Moncrief's salary is too low at $4,800. There are a lot of decent plays around this price point, so pairing Moncrief with one of those other players will give you the salary you need to pay up for an elite WR, RB or paying up for Andrew Luck. Titans CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson is my guess on who will draw Moncrief. He is one of the worst CBs in the league. He gets beat routinely down field, so I expect another big outing from the Colts wideout. I think he is a top-15 WR this week with upside to finish in the top-five.

Bonus Play -- Marcus Mariota, QB, $6,100: Mariota won the DuganBrothers $2,000,000 last week, and I think he makes for a very solid play this week. I think the Titans are going to get their asses handed to them by Luck & Co. so the Titans should be playing from behind. Mariota finished with 18.18 points last week. I think he finishes in the low 20's this week as I see pass attempts in the 40's for him. Mariota is the perfect GPP pivot off Tyrod Taylor ($5,800), who should be one of the most popular cheap QB plays this week.

Brendan Donahue - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers ($4,400)

Woodhead continues to be undervalued on Draftkings. After putting up 22.2 and 16.4 points in his first two games, he still is only $4,400 this week with a good matchup against the Vikings, who rank 22nd in fantasy points given up to RBs so far this year. With 10 catches on 13 targets for 88 yards through two games, Woodhead is a safe play to put up points even if he doesn't score a TD.

Ryan Watterson - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers ($4,400)

Being that I recommended Woodhead last week, this isn't exactly a creative choice. But he is still a great value at $4,400 this week. Woodhead has been more productive than Melvin Gordon and is essentially splitting snaps with him, so there is plenty of opportunity. The Vikings are vulnerable to RBs as receivers, giving up a combined eight catches for 66 yards to the Lion's RBs last week. Additionally, they are ranked 24th in efficiency against RBs as receivers. Add Woodhead to your lineup while he is still a bargain, as I'm not sure how long that will last.

Kevin Hanson - LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots ($4,000)

Not safe for cash-game lineups, this is a high-risk, high-reward play that I'll use in many of my tournament lineups this week. Entering the week as a two-TD favorite with the highest projected Vegas total, the game plan for the Patriots should be different than last week's where Tom Brady threw it 59 times, the second-most of his career.

Jacksonville has allowed just 2.9 YPC, second-best in the NFL, and Blount had just two carries for four yards on Sunday, both of which should lead to ultra-low ownership levels this week. In his past 13 games with the Patriots (counting the postseason), however, Blount has rushed for 14 touchdowns and he has five multi-touchdown games during that stretch. While Dion Lewis should have a much higher ownership level this week, it wouldn't surprise me if Blount scored a touchdown, or two, at an ownership level of one or two percent.

Dan Yanotchko - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,200)

I'm going with Allen Robinson of the Jaguars this week at $5,200. Fantasy points do not care about garbage time, and garbage time could come early on Sunday. The Patriots have allowed 260 yards per game, and four touchdowns so far this year. Robinson has also been Blake Bortles favorite receiver with 19 targets, seven receptions for 182 yards, and two touchdowns so far.

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September 19, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 2 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 2 of the 2015 NFL season:

Chicago Bears +2 over Arizona Cardinals (3 units)

The Bears looked pretty awful Week 1 vs. the Packers, but I think they come out and take care of business vs. the Cardinals. The Cardinals will be without starting RB Andre Ellington, which only leaves the Johnsons (Chris & David) to carry the workload. I think the loss of Ellington will hurt the Cardinals on Sunday. I think the Bears will move the ball with little problem this week. I expect Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffrey, and Martellus Bennett to have big games. The Bears get back on track at home, 24-20.

Pittsburgh Steelers -7 over San Francisco 49ers (3 units)

It's still early in the season, but west coast teams that travel east for a 1 PM start typically don't play well. The 49ers looked extremely good in their home win vs. the Vikings in Week 1. Carlos Hyde was the top fantasy RB on DK last week and he should be near the highest-owned RB this week. I just can't get behind the 49ers this week.

Big Ben is usually money at home, and I love him in this spot Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger is someone I love in DFS and very well could be my cash game QB (currently Sam Bradford) on Sunday. I am also favoring Antonio Brown over Julio Jones as I think this game sets up nicely for a 10/140/2 type of game. The Steelers are 0-5 in their last five games without LeVeon Bell, averaging only 16 points per game in those contests. There are trends and stats that go each way, but in the end you always have to go with your gut. My gut says the Steelers double up the 49ers, 34-17.

New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Over 47.5 (5 units)

The Bucs defense looked absolutely awful last week against a QB making his NFL debut. The Titans don't exactly have a juggernaut offense, but the Saints do. The Saints get some home cooking on Sunday and I expect Drew Brees to connect early and often with Brandin Cooks. Cooks is one of my favorite DFS plays this week. I think he is going to see a dozen targets this week.

The Bucs best WR Mike Evans returns from an injury this week, which should give them a good down field target and open up the running game a bit for Doug Martin. I think this game could be the highest-scoring game of the week and I like the Saints at home, 41-27.

Minnesota Vikings -2 over Detroit Lions (3 units)

I think this will be the game where people really start to talk about Matthew Stafford not being a franchise QB in this league. I have been saying this for the past two seasons. I think the Vikings D at home is a very sneaky GPP option on Sunday. I can see Stafford having a 3-4 turnover game. I like Teddy Bridgewater to get back on track as well. Give me the Vikings at home in an ugly performance by the Lions, 23-13.

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September 16, 2015

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 2

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 2?

Brendan Donahue - Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets ($4,700)

After posting 20 carries for 91 yards and 2 TDs for 23 points last week, Ivory has another great matchup against the Colts this week. The Colts gave up 147 yards on the ground last week to Buffalo and I think the Jets will try to control the clock and pound the run with Ivory all game. Great value for Ivory this week and should easily outproduce his salary.

Sean Beazley - Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles ($6,900)

My play for Week 2 is the same play I had Week 1 in all my cash games, and that is Sam Bradford. I absolutely love this spot for him. The total is set at a juicy 55.5 points, and that's even with Dez Bryant ruled out. Bradford and the Eagles offense was clicking in the second half vs. Atlanta, and we know how quick of a pace they play.

This will be the last week you can get Bradford (QB12) at a discount ($6,900). I honestly think Bradford is the safest bet for 300 yards this week. I'll have him rated as my No. 3 QB this week behind only Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers. I'll have a healthy dose of Jordan Matthews as well, and could pair the two together in both cash games and GPPs. The Eagles front-seven is pretty good against stopping the run, and I think Dallas takes some chances deep in this one, which could lead to some quick possessions. I'm a big fan of Terrance Williams in GPPs. I'm fading the DeMarco Murray revenge game, and actually believe Chip Kelly will go to the air more often using a little more play-action. My prediction is 350/3 for Bradford and at under 7K, that's a bargain.

Ryan Watterson - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers ($4,000)

Woodhead has always been a key piece to the Chargers offense when healthy, and last week proved Melvin Gordon's presence isn't going to change that. Woodhead is not only the third-down back, but he also had 12 carries to Gordon's 14, and out-touched Gordon 6-0 last week in the red zone.

While I don't expect that to always be the case, it goes to show that Woodhead will not be forgotten in this offense. This week, the Chargers take on a tough Bengals D. I would expect a lot of third-down situations, meaning a lot of potential opportunities for Woodhead to put up solid receiving numbers, in addition to around 10 carries. It won't take much to create value at his current salary, and the upside is there for another big game.

Kevin Hanson - Lance Dunbar, RB, Dallas Cowboys

In last week's DFS Roundtable, I went with a high-priced running back (Jeremy Hill). This week, I'm going with a minimum-salary option in Dunbar. Playing 32 of the team's 71 offensive snaps last week, Dunbar didn't get any carries, but he racked up eight receptions for 70 yards against the Giants, which was good for 15 DraftKings points (PPR scoring). With Bryant out this week, Dunbar should once again be heavily involved in the passing attack. The Cowboys are 5.5-point underdogs in the game with this week's highest over/under. Given his position-minimum salary, Dunbar gives me plenty of flexibility to load up elsewhere.

Dan Yanotchko - Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals ($6,700)

This week, I am really loving Carson Palmer at $6,700. Palmer had a great Week 1, posting 307 yards passing and 3 touchdowns against the much-maligned New Orleans pass defense, and this week he gets an even worse pass defense in Chicago. I know Aaron Rodgers only had 189 yards last week, but he still threw for three touchdowns, and completed 78 percent of his throws. I love the Cardinals weapons in Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John Brown, and I feel that with Andre Ellington out, the game plan is to air it out more.

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September 09, 2015

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 1

One of the benefits of playing daily fantasy football in Week 1 is that prices were set more than a month ago, which leads to plenty of cheap options.

Going into Week 1 this year, the most obvious bargain is Green Bay's Davante Adams. I'd expect Adams to be the most-owned play in cash games and GPPs alike.

There was plenty of buzz with Adams in the offseason (as Coach McCarthy dubbed him MVP of the OTAs) and he continued that momentum into training camp. With the torn ACL injury that cost Jordy Nelson his season, however, Adams immediately moves into the starting lineup opposite Randall Cobb. As the No. 2 receiver in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense, Adams should exceed 1,000 yards in his sophomore campaign.

For Week 2, Adams will be priced much higher than his bargain $4,400 salary for this week.

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play (aside from Adams) for Week 1?

Sean Beazley - Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,500)

There are a number of easy targets to pick Week 1. I expect Packers WR Davante Adams ($4,400) to be heavily owned in cash games, and he will be locked in on all of mine. I tend to play more tournaments than cash games, so for these roundtable questions, I will be focusing on tournament plays that I like. Finding value like all daily games is the key to success, but in tournaments, you need to differentiate yourself with the field if you want to place higher.

My favorite this week is Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin at a bargain price of $4,500. I think Martin will be very low-owned this week considering there are some other great value plays right around the same price. (Chris Ivory being one of them.) Martin has looked very sharp this preseason and he should be poised to have a big game vs. the Titans, who were 31st in the NFL against the run last year. The Titans added defensive legend Dick LeBeau to their coaching staff. And they have also made some good offseason moves (Brian Orakpo, re-signing Derrick Morgan, etc.), but I think this defense as a whole can and will get beat all season on the ground. Tampa Bay will still be a little vanilla with the play-calling with Jameis Winston so I expect the Muscle Hamster to shoulder the load -- 125-150 total yards, a few receptions and a touchdown or two is not out of the question here.

Brendan Donahue - Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles ($6,900)

This is maybe the only time you will be able to take advantage of Sam Bradford at this price this season. I'm not saying that just because I think he will excel in Chip Kelly's offense as he showed us a glimpse with his 10-for-10, 3-TD performance against the Packers, but also because with his injury history, you may literally not be able to put him in your lineups again this season. That being said, he has a great matchup against the Falcons, who gave up the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing QBs last year and did little to improve that in the offseason.

Ryan Watterson - Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,500)

Many of the top RBs this week have a tough matchup or some level of uncertainty associated with them. Martin has a clear-cut lead-back role and a fantastic matchup against a Titans defense that ranked in the bottom five against the run in almost any method of measurement. As opposed to previous years when Martin had a lead role and disappointed, he has looked very good by all accounts and it showed in the preseason. With a rookie QB, the Bucs will lean on their run game and Martin should exploit the Titans awful run D. At a mere $4,500, Martin could produce strong numbers and enable you to spend elsewhere.

Kevin Hanson - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals ($7,100)

Given the values to be had elsewhere this week, it's easy to afford higher-priced backs like Hill, although he is still a value in relative terms. With the ninth-highest salary among running backs, Hill is my second-ranked running back for the week. From Week 9 on, Hill led the NFL in rushing yards (929, 5.40 YPC) with five 100-yard games over that nine-game span. No team allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs last season and the Bengals had the fifth-highest run-play percentage (47.59 percent) in 2014. With a high floor and ceiling alike, I can see Hill get 20-plus carries, 100-plus yards (DK scoring gives three bonus points for a 100-yard rushing game) and a touchdown (or two) with a few receptions.

Dan Yanotchko - Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,500)

I love Doug Martin of the Buccanuthis week, as I feel he's a great value play at $4,500. The Muscle Hamster has looked great in the preseason, showing off that great quickness that made him a star in 2012. I love his matchup against the Titans, who were second worse in the league in giving up 2,195 yards and 4.3 yards per carry last year. The Titans also surrendered 17 touchdowns on the ground as well, giving Martin the potential for great numbers at his price.

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September 08, 2015

DraftKings GPP Lineup Construction for NFL Week 1

If you have watched television or listened to the radio recently, you have seen a commercial -- or a 1,000 of them -- for DraftKings or FanDuel this year. This is going to be the biggest year of daily fantasy sports ever.

DraftKings has an amazing $10 million guaranteed tournament for Week 1 alone, which is the richest prize pool ever. This is going to attract a lot of new players, which is great for people that have been playing for a few years.

If you are one of these new players, the key is research, research, and then more research. Read articles on game theory and recommended plays and they will help you in the long run. Join cheap H2H contests against some of the top players in the industry to see what type of lineups they are playing. Deconstructing lineups is probably the best tool most people overlook. Subscribe and listen to podcasts. There are about a dozen podcasts I listen to during football season. These will give you some great insight on which players to pick on Sunday.

My general strategy in large tournaments -- called Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs) -- is to pick a core group of players I really like and then to build teams around them.

Use Vegas as a guide. The higher the over/under, the more points you can expect to see. It's a fairly simple concept, but it's often overlooked by new players. (Note: We track weekly Vegas odds here.)

Excluding the Thursday Night Football matchup, we have three games this weekend that are projected above 50: Green Bay at Chicago, NY Giants at Dallas and Philly at Atlanta. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of GPP winners will have at least 1-2 players from these games. Games like Cleveland at NY Jets or Carolina at Jacksonville can be safely ignored this week for position players unless you are rolling out 20+ GPP lineups.

Here is my core group I like for Week 1.

WR - Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers, $4,400: Adams is the chalkiest play on the board for Week 1, but I'm not going to be contrarian just to be contrarian. There is a lot of value to fading Adams, because if he gets hurt or if Aaron Rodgers targets Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis or any of the TEs (more than Adams), then all of the non-Adams players have a leg up on the rest of the field. I just don't see that happening against the Bears defense. If I'm entering 20+ contests, I'd definitely throw some non-Adams lineups out there, but for newer players or people playing a small number of lineups, going 100 percent Adams is a great move.

WR - Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons, $9,300: At the $9300 price tag, Jones is the most expensive player on DK Week 1. I'm not sure exactly what his ownership level will be, but I think it could be very high with all the savings you can find elsewhere. Jones gets to match up vs. the Eagles defense that was awful against the pass last year. Paying up $9,300, you need to get around 30+ points from him to get value in a tournament and I think he is as safe of a bet as there is, barring injury.

RB - Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $4,500: I wrote Doug Martin up on our DFS Roundtable this week. Martin has a very juicy matchup vs the Titans week 1. He has looked explosive this pre-season and should be the primary back this season for the Bucs.

[Note: Our DFS Roundtable post will be up Wednesday night.]

TE - Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears, $4300: With Gronk playing Thursday night, that leaves the TE position with only a few solid choices. My usual strategy is to pay up for an elite player like Gronk or punt the position. I think this week I'm paying up for the fifth-most expensive TE. As I mentioned above, targeting players from the highest O/U games is something you should do. Bennett is a good red-zone target, and could get some extra targets with Alshon Jeffrey banged up, and Brandon Marshall in NY.

QB - I usually will never have a core QB in my lineups. I like to pair different QBs with WRs in each of my GPP lineups. There are many times where an outside-the-box combo like Ryan Fitzpatrick and DeAndre Hopkins (last year) could win you a tournament.

With those four core players, that's a salary of $22,500, which leaves us a nice $27,500 to play with five positions left.

Here is a look at how I will spend from this point. I'm targeting a defense next. My general rule of thumb is picking a defense at home vs. a sh%#{y offense. The one that stands out this week is the NY Jets at $2,900. There are some other defenses I like that I will sprinkle in on some of my lineups like Miami and Tampa Bay, but the Jets will probably be used in 50% of my GPP lineups. This leaves me with $24,600 for four players (or $6150 per player).

I can go a number of different routes at this point. I can pair my WRs (above) with their starting QBs --Rodgers at $8,600 or Matt Ryan $7,500 -- or I can try to find another QB/WR combo. For this example, I'm going to draft Matt Ryan at $7,500, leaving me with an average of $5,700 each for a RB/WR/Flex. Ryan should have a monster game vs the Eagles defense.

I want to get a piece of the NY Giants/Dallas game. I am going to take Dallas RB Joseph Randle at $5,900. The Cowboys have the best offensive line in football, and I expect a lot of people to be off Randle after the success that Darren McFadden had this preseason. Randle could be a very low-owned steal with an incredibly high ceiling. I'm left with $5,600 per player at this point.

I could go the even route and find two players near the same salary or try and go big with a sleeper and a more consistent player, who should have a higher floor. I'm all for winning GPPs or placing as high as possible so I'm going boom or bust.

WR - Eddie Royal, Chicago Bears, $3,900: The Bears should be down and Royal should have a fair number of targets vs. the Packers.

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals, $7,100: The Raiders run defense is pretty bad, and I think a lot of people will shy away from Hill Week 1. Hill has an incredible ceiling Week 1.

In this lineup, six out of eight players come from highest total games.

Here is another sample lineup without QB/WR combo.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills, $5,000: Taylor is at the site minimum and makes for a very sneaky GPP play. The Bills defense has improved this offseason, but they face arguably the best offense in the NFL this week. The Bills could be playing from behind in 3+ WR sets which would force Indy to play a lot of 5-6 DB sets. This would give Taylor a lot of space to run the ball. A modest game of 200 passing yards, 50 rush yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs gives Taylor plenty of value to pay off his price tag. This leaves me with $6533 left per player.

WR - Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys, $8,700: I get another elite WR who has 30+ scoring potential.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles, $7,200: The Eagles #1 WR should have a field day vs the leagues worst passing defense last year.

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles, $3,600 Punt play and high upside. I'm projecting the Eagles to score 40+ points on Monday night.

6 out of 8 players come from highest total games.

A more contrarian lineup with my core group

QB - Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts, $8,300: Luck has a very tough matchup vs Buffalo on the road, and I think he will get overlooked and be very low owned week 1. Sometimes you just play elite players regardless of matchup.

RB - Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals, $6,400: Ellington has a very soft matchup at home vs. the Saints. For only $300 more, you can snag DeMarco Murray in a game where I project their to be 60+ points. Ellington makes a pretty solid pivot to Murray.

WR - Stevie Johnson, San Diego Chargers, $3,700: It wouldn't shock me to see Johnson return to fantasy fame this year. He has a pretty good matchup vs. Detroit and the price is right.

Flex - Andre Johnson, Indianapolis Colts, $6,100 Luck/Johnson combo could reward you big time if Buffalo finds a way in slowing down T.Y. Hilton.

With this lineup i only have 3 of 8 players coming from the highest total games.

Typically the contrarian lineup will net you a bigger win than a chalkier lineup like 1 and 2, but you need to be prepared to lose the majority of the time with these lineups.

There is no right or wrong way in constructing a roster. You need to always tweak your strategy to stay ahead of the rest of the pack.

Best of luck to everyone this season.

Find me on Twitter at @Xtremedynasty.

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September 07, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 7

Here are Round 7 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft:

7.01 - Sean Beazley (Team I): LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots

As we've seen from Blount in the postseason, he can go from one yard on three carries (vs. BAL) one week to 30 carries for 148 yards and three touchdowns (vs. IND) the next week. Blount's carries in his final six games through the Super Bowl were as follows: 20, eight, 10, three, 30 and 14. While we can't always count on consistent running back workloads from Belichick, Blount figures to be the "guy" in the Patriots' backfield. And Blount has been dominant at the goal line for the Patriots with 15 rushing scores in his past 15 games (including playoffs) with the Pats.

7.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers

Woodhead missed all but three games last season, but prior to the 2014 season, he had finished as a top-30 fantasy running back in three of his previous four seasons. In his first full season with the Chargers (2013) which also coincided with the only full season for Ryan Mathews, Woodhead had 1,034 yards from scrimmage, 76 receptions and eight total touchdowns. Even though Melvin Gordon will get the largest share of the early-down work, Woodhead should get the majority of third-down snaps.

7.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins

Despite the revolving door at quarterback, Jackson was one of the few bright spots for Washington's offense in 2014. D-Jax finished with 56 catches for 1,169 yards and six touchdowns and he led the NFL in yards per reception (20.9). Even though he finished as the 23rd-highest scoring fantasy wide receiver, the big drawback of owning Jackson is his boom-or-bust nature. Jackson finished as a top-20 fantasy wide receiver in eight of 15 games last year; in six of the other seven games, he finished as the WR50 or worse.

7.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions

Scoring the 13th-most fantasy points among running backs (PPR) in 2014, Bell finished with 223 carries for 860 yards, both of which were career highs, as well as 34 receptions for 322 yards and eight total touchdowns. That said, it was the second consecutive season that Bell has averaged under 4.0 YPC.

While I expect Bell to lead the team's backfield in touches in 2015, second-round rookie Ameer Abdullah weakens Bell's grip on the featured-back role and it wouldn't surprise me if Abdullah emerged as the lead back at some point during the season, but I like his value as the RB32.

7.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Smith's first season as a Raven went better than expectations as he posted a 79/1,065/6 full-season stat line. With all four of his 100-yard games occurring in the first six games of the season, Smith was much less effective over the final 10 games. That said, he did have at least five catches in each of the final four games for a total of 25 catches during the final month of the season. Now 36 years old, it's unlikely that Smith posts another 1,000-yard season in what will be his final NFL season, but he has made a career out of disproving his doubters.

7.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Over his past three seasons, Romo's pass attempts have dropped from 648 (2012) to 535 (2013) to 435 (2014). Despite the drop in volume, Romo threw 34 touchdowns, the most for him since 2007, with only nine interceptions, a four-year low. In addition, Romo led the league in Y/A (8.5), completion percentage (69.9), touchdown percentage (7.8) and passer rating (113.2) last year.

Assuming the team stays committed to the run game without DeMarco Murray, who signed a free-agent deal with the Eagles, Romo's upside could be somewhat limited with a relatively modest uptick in pass attempts. Even with his career year in efficiency, Romo still finished just outside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks last season.

7.07 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Mathews has struggled with durability as he has played a full 16-game season only once in his five-year career. That said, he has been productive when on the field with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons under his belt and a career 4.40 YPC average. While he enters 2015 second on the depth chart behind last year's rushing champion, Murray has his own durability concerns as he is coming off a massive 497-touch season counting the playoffs.

7.08 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Since entering the league as a top-four pick, McFadden has largely disappointed fantasy owners due to durability issues or lack of production. Back in 2010 and 2011, he gave owners a glimpse of what could be with an average of 121.6 YFS per game and 5.27 YPC over 20 games played. For the first six seasons of his career, however, he missed at least three games every season and averaged only 11.17 games per year before finally playing a full 16-game season in 2014. In addition, McFadden has averaged just 3.34 YPC over the past three seasons combined. Having just turned 28, McFadden has some upside if he can stay healthy and get a significant share of the committee's workload. That said, the trade this weekend for Christine Michael lowers relatively modest optimism for McFadden.

7.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan has more than 4,500 passing yards in three consecutive seasons with the third-most (13,928) over that span. In addition, he has 26-plus touchdowns in five consecutive seasons and the sixth-most (143) during that span. The good news is that Ryan has finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of the past five years, which makes him a solid mid-QB1 option to target. That said, he has yet to finish as a top-six fantasy quarterback in his career. He's the QB9 in this mock.

7.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill posted career highs in passing yards (4,045), passing touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (66.4) with a career low in interceptions (12) in his first year playing for new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards, which ranked fifth among all quarterbacks last season. Starting in Week 6, Tannehill finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in six of 11 weeks, but he finished with the eighth-most fantasy points over the full season. The team's group of top pass-catchers was entirely turned over except for Jarvis Landry, but Tannehill has plenty of upside heading into 2015.

7.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Fitzgerald had 63 receptions for 784 yards and a career-low two touchdowns last season and his 784 yards were only four more than the career low he had as a rookie. Given the injuries to Carson Palmer and then Drew Stanton, the decline certainly wasn't solely the fault of Fitzgerald, who also missed two games. In the 22 games that Carson Palmer and Fitzgerald have played together over the past two seasons, Fitzgerald has averaged 5.18 receptions, 65.32 yards and 0.55 touchdowns per game. That's a 16-game pace of 83/1,045/9.

7.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Even though the 49ers have the second-fewest passing yards over the past two seasons, Boldin has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Niners. In addition, both of his yardage totals (1,179 and 1,062, respectively) were higher than any of his previous six seasons. Boldin is unlikely to blow up for 150 yards and two touchdowns in any given week, but he provides owners with consistent production -- 50-plus receiving yards in 12 of 16 games last season.

> Continue to Round 8 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 6 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft


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Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

With the college football season under way, we are now just days away from the start of the NFL season and here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 1:

Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons -- Over 56.5 (5 units)

This game will be the highest scoring game of the week, and if you do not have a piece of this one in the DFS world, you will probably lose. Sam Bradford is my cash game QB this week and I expect him to have a monster game on Monday night. The Eagles offense has been clicking on all cylinders and I expect them to put up 40-plus points in this contest.

If you are paying up for one player this week, then pay up for Falcons WR Julio Jones. Jones is arguably the most talented WR in the NFL and he has a very juicy matchup vs. a pass defense that ranked 31st in the NFL last year. (The 32nd ranked team was Atlanta). While I hate to guarantee big games, Jones is pretty much a lock in my mind for 25-plus fantasy points Week 1.

The Eagles offensive players are a little harder to predict as a number of different options could go off, but I like Philly to win this one in a shootout, 45-27.

New York Jets -3 over Cleveland Browns (3 units)
Jets/Browns -- Under 39.5 (3 units)

I will be picking on the Cleveland Browns early and often this season. Josh McCown is going to struggle this season with his god-awful WR corps, and I could see a scenario on Sunday where he is pulled from the game. The Jets defense is my No. 1 DFS target this week. I think the Jets play smart ball-control offense feeding Chris Ivory all game. Their defense will capitalize on a few turnovers and they will win in a very ugly contest. The favorite is this matchup is 5-0 ATS, and the under is 4-1 ATS in their past five meetings. I like the trend to continue on Sunday: Jets 19, Browns 9.

Miami Dolphins -4.5 over Washington Redskins (2 units)

I usually don't like taking small road favorites but I think Miami is the clear exception Week 1. The Dolphins defense is very underrated and the addition of Ndamukong Suh should give the Redskins mediocre offensive line some real trouble.

Kirk Cousins gets the nod for the 'Skins Week 1 and he's a turnover machine, which should give Miami some short field situations to with which to work. I'm not a huge Ryan Tannehill fan, but I believe he has some very good weapons — Jarvis Landry is a PPR monster and I expect him to have a big game on Sunday. Dolphins win, 24-14.

- Note: We will track all of our 2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread here.

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 6

Continuing the 2015 PPR Mock Draft that we began last week, another round is in the books.

Here are Round 6 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft:

6.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

After three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons, Brees fell just shy of that mark in 2014 but still tied (with Ben Roethlisberger) for the league lead with 4,952 passing yards and threw 33 touchdowns. For the first time since signing with the Saints in 2006, however, Brees finished outside the top-five fantasy quarterbacks (sixth) in 2014. And while he has thrown at least 650 pass attempts in five consecutive seasons and he led the league in pass attempts per game (41.2) last season, a transition to a more run-based offense could begin given their offseason moves.

6.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

With Judge Berman nullifying the four-game suspension for Brady, it's great to have a resolution (sort of, sans the NFL's appeal) to the Deflategate drama. After a slow start last season as Rob Gronkowski worked his way back from a torn ACL, only Peyton Manning (31) threw more touchdowns than Brady (29) from Weeks 5 to 17. During that span, Brady scored the fifth-most fantasy points among QBs on a per-game basis. Assuming continued good health for Gronk, Brady could finish as a top-five fantasy QB in 2015.

6.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Posting career highs of 84 catches for 1,008 yards last season, Olsen now has at least 69 receptions and 816 yards while finishing as a top-seven fantasy tight end in each of the past three seasons. Over that three-year span, Jimmy Graham (3,086) is the only tight end with more yards than Olsen (2,667) and only Graham (256) and Jason Witten (247) have more receptions than Olsen (226). He's never scored more than eight touchdowns in a season, but he has at least five scores for seven consecutive seasons. In addition, Olsen is extremely durable having played all 16 games in seven consecutive seasons.

6.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears

Setting career highs across the board in 2014 with 90 receptions, 916 yards and six touchdowns, Bennett finished as a top-five scorer among tight ends and led the position in receptions. With the Bears trading Brandaon Marshall to the Jets and the injury to top pick Kevin White, Bennett has the potential to come close to those numbers this season.

6.05 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Inactive for the first six games, Bryant went on a scoring spree in his first four NFL games with a total of six touchdowns during that span. After that point, however, Bryant had just 12 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns in the final six games of the season. Not only does he currently project as the team's No. 3 receiver, Bryant will miss the first four games of the season due to league suspension. It's a bit of a surprise that Sean took Bryant this early given his suspension, but he took receivers with his first two picks -- Demaryius Thomas and A.J. Green -- as his starters and Bryant certainly has upside once he returns from suspension.

6.06 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Just a couple of seasons ago, Martin racked up 1,926 yards from scrimmage, 49 receptions and 12 touchdowns in 16 games as a rookie when he finished the year as fantasy's RB2. Over the past two seasons (combined), Martin has missed 15 games while totalling only 1,080 YFS, 25 receptions and three touchdowns. Going into 2015, however, Martin is in line for the largest share of the backfield's workload and he has looked impressive this offseason and preseason (5.9 YPC).

6.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets

Although he averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC, Ivory once again rushed for more than 800 yards and set a career high with six touchdowns. Despite any of the additions to the Jets' backfield, Ivory is the clear favorite to lead the team's backfield in both workload and fantasy production. More productive than most probably realized, Ivory finished as a top-24 fantasy running back (PPR) last season.

6.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

Other than his rookie season, Witten's 64 receptions and 703 yards last year set or tied career lows. Witten lacks upside at this point in his career, but he should come close to last year's top-10 performance once again. If I don't get one of the top-five fantasy tight ends, however, I'd rather wait for a high-upside guy like Tyler Eifert as opposed to using a pick here on Witten.

6.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Better suited for his return to a change-of-pace role, Bernard should still have the opportunity to be productive as a solid RB2 in PPR leagues. As an example, Jeremy Hill carried the ball 22-plus times for 100-plus yards in the team's final three regular-season games. In those same games, Bernard finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy running back in PPR-scoring formats.

As beat writer Paul Dehner Jr. noted earlier this offseason, "... once settling into a complementary role the final three weeks, [Bernard] returned to the explosive, multi-dimensional player the Bengals team envisioned."

6.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Based on his 2014 average draft position (ADP), Roethlisberger was one of the biggest draft values last season. Only four quarterbacks scored more fantasy points and he threw for a career-high 4,952 yards, which tied Brees last season for the league lead, and 32 touchdowns, which tied a previous career high. With continuity on the offensive line and one of the league's best group of pass catchers, it wouldn't surprise me if Big Ben posted another top-five finish in 2015.

6.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Landing in Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense bodes well for Agholor's short- and long-term fantasy outlook. While the Eagles lost Jeremy Maclin (6-0, 198, 4.48 forty) in free agency, Agholor (6-0, 198, 4.42 forty) has earned comparisons to the departed receiver. An excellent route runner, Agholor has the ability to play both inside and outside and finished with a 104/1,313/12 stat line last year for USC.

6.12 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Possessing an impressive combination of size (6-2, 225) and athleticism (sub-4.4 forty), Johnson was reunited with Norv Turner in Minnesota after being released by the receiver-deficient Browns last offseason. In the final six games of the season, Johnson was on the field for all but 19 of the team's offensive snaps. And over his final seven games, Johnson posted 25 receptions for 415 yards and two touchdowns. With a full offseason and the continued development of second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson should pick up where he left off last season.

> Continue to Round 7 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 5 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft


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September 04, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 5

Here are Round 5 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft:

5.01 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

Among rookies, only his ex-LSU teammate Odell Beckham (91) had more receptions than Landry (84) last season. Over the final nine games of the season, Landry had a minimum of five receptions every game and racked up a total of 59 catches over that span. In addition, he had at least nine targets in six of his final eight games. Better in PPR formats, Landry, the WR23 in this mock, should improve upon his 84/758/5 rookie numbers.

5.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

After a boost in playing time down the stretch and a strong offseason, all signs pointed to Adams taking a step forward in year two. That said, no player benefits more the ACL injury to Jordy Nelson (from a fantasy perspective) than Adams, who finished with 38/446/3 numbers as a rookie, as he enters the starting lineup in two-WR sets.

5.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce played only 52.3 percent of the team's offensive snaps from Weeks 1 to 10, but that percentage jumped to 86.7 percent from Weeks 11 to 17. Despite his snap-count limits during the first half of the season, Kelce still finished with 67 receptions, 862 yards and five touchdowns and the sixth-most fantasy points (PPR formats) among tight ends last season. With good health, the sky is the limit for Kelce in 2015.

5.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

A top-three fantasy quarterback in 2014, Wilson rushed for 849 yards and six touchdowns, both of which were career highs, and netted fantasy owners an average of 7.56 fantasy points per game from rushing stats alone. While he won't post gaudy passing statistics in Seattle's run-dominant offense, Wilson is the first quarterback in league history to throw 20-plus touchdowns with 10 or fewer interceptions in each of his first three NFL seasons, per Pro Football Reference. Wilson's volume of pass attempts may not spike in 2015, but the Seahawks pulled off a blockbuster trade for tight end Jimmy Graham, which significantly upgrades the team's weapons in the red zone.

5.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions

At only 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds, Abdullah may lack the ideal size to be a bellcow back, but he has been impressive in both offseason workouts and the preseason. In addition, Abdullah posted three consecutive 1,100-yard seasons including back-to-back 1,600-yard campaigns at Nebraska. Among running backs at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, Abdullah finished first in the vertical jump (42.5 inches), broad jump (10-10), 3-cone drill (6.79) and 20-yard shuttle (3.95). Abdullah should begin the season behind Joique Bell on the depth chart, but his role within the offense should expand as the season progresses.

5.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

After sitting out all of 2013 with a torn ACL, Maclin returned to the Eagles on a one-year deal and posted a career-best season (85/1,318/10) in Chip Kelly's offense. He then parlayed that success into a massive five-year deal to reunite with his former coach.

While the transition from Kelly's up-tempo offense to one with a quarterback that rarely challenges defenses down the field isn't a positive, the Chiefs have made a concerted effort to get the ball in Maclin's hands during the preseason. As an example, Maclin had seven catches for 65 yards and a score in the Week 3 preseason dress rehearsal.

5.07 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The good news is that Jackson eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth consecutive season and sixth time in the past seven years -- the exception was his holdout-shortened 2010 season. The bad news is V-Jax had just two touchdowns, the lowest of his career since his three-catch rookie season (2005). Jackson should score more touchdowns in 2015, but the 32-year-old receiver is clearly the No. 2 receiver to Mike Evans.

5.08 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

Manning finished the year as the QB4 (312.68 fantasy points) behind Rodgers (354.14), Luck (350.74) and Wilson (327.6). In the first 11 games of the season, Manning averaged 23.96 fantasy points per game (323.45 YPG, 34 TDs and nine INTs). In the final five games of the season, however, he averaged just 9.83 FPPG (233.8 YPG, five TDs and six INTs) and never scored more than 13.02 fantasy points in any of those games. Much of the decline can be attributed to last year's thigh injury, but Manning's passing production also tends to slow as the weather turns colder. In a more balanced offense with some issues on the offensive line, it's possible that Manning fails to produce a top-five fantasy season.

5.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints

While Spiller may never rush for 1,000 yards again, Payton and the Saints coaching staff should maximize his production on a per-touch basis. Since Payton took over in New Orleans in 2006, the Saints have roughly one-third (six of 19) of the 70-reception seasons by running backs and Spiller figures to lead the backfield in receptions. One concern entering the season, however, is Spiller's recent arthroscopic knee surgery, but the expectation has been that he will be ready for Week 1.

5.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Selected with a top-36 pick in this year's draft, Yeldon has excellent size (6-1, 225) and goes to the front of the line in terms of the team's backfield depth chart. General manager David Caldwell said that he sees Yeldon as "a three-down back." Playing in an offense that ranked in the bottom two in both scoring and total offense last year could limit Yeldon's fantasy upside as a rookie, but he could end up leading rookie backs in touches in 2015.

5.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

The fourth overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, Watkins finished his rookie campaign with 65 receptions for 982 yards and six touchdowns. While Watkins had four 100-yard games including a career-high 157 yards against his new head coach's former team, he also had nine games with 35 receiving yards or less. In a run-first offense with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation, there will still be plenty of weekly inconsistency from Watkins, but his overall numbers should improve on a year-over-year basis and has some upside as the WR27 in this mock.

5.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

Morris averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC last season, but he rushed 265 times for 1,074, respectable numbers but also career lows, and eight touchdowns. Washington's offensive line struggled last year, but the team used the fifth-overall pick on Brandon Scherff and the addition of Bill Callahan to the coaching staff is certainly a positive for the team's offensive line play and rushing attack overall.

> Continue to Round 6 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft

View earlier rounds:
> Go back to Round 1 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 2 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 3 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 4 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 4

Earlier this week, four of our contributors started a new "slow" 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft and we are now one-third of the way through it.

Here are Round 4 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft:

4.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

Earlier today (Sept. 3rd), Judge Berman nullified the four-game suspension of Tom Brady, which obviously bodes well for all of the Patriots pass-catchers. After his breakout 2013 season (105/1,056/6), Edelman actually averaged slightly more receptions (6.57 in 2014 vs. 6.56 in 2013) and yards (69.43 in 2014 vs. 66.0 in 2013).

4.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals

The good news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. The bad news, I suppose, is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. Given Ellington's size (5-9, 199), it wasn't a huge (no pun intended) surprise that Ellington didn't hold up for a full season and missed the final four regular-season games.

With the substantial bump in workload, Ellington underwhelmed as his yards-per-carry average plummeted from 5.5 YPC as a rookie to 3.3 on 201 carries last season. That said, the foot injury he battled all of last season is now healed and the Cardinals improved their offensive line in free agency and the draft.

4.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets

It was a year to forget for Marshall (and the Bears) as he posted his lowest totals for both receptions (61) and yards (721) since his rookie season, but he gets a fresh start after being traded to the Jets this offseason. A return to his 2012 or 2013 numbers appear unlikely, but I expect a bounce-back season in the 1,000-yard range. Before last year, Marshall had seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

4.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

Not only did the Texans lead the NFL in rushing attempts (551), Foster is one of the league's few true workhorse backs, when healthy. Although Foster missed three games in 2014, he averaged 95.8 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry, both of which were four-year highs, and scored double-digit touchdowns (13). Not only did Foster finish as a top-five fantasy running back last season, he also finished as a top-12 fantasy running back in 10 of 13 weeks last season.

There is growing optimism that Foster will only miss a few games as opposed to half the season following his recent groin surgery. This could turn out to be a steal if he only misses three or so games.

4.05 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys

While he had only 51 carries in 2014, 11 (21.6 percent) of those 51 carries resulted in runs of more than 10 yards and he averaged 6.73 yards per carry on the season. More than anything, that production is a result of running behind one of the best offensive lines in football, which should be even better this year. His YPC average will certainly decline with a bump in volume, but Randle is expected to get the largest share of the workload within the team's committee backfield.

4.06 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers

With Frank Gore signing with the Colts, Hyde sits atop the 49ers depth chart at running back going into his second season. With Gore ahead of him on the depth chart last year, Hyde had just 83 carries for 333 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. Not only will his workload expand significantly, but I expect his effectiveness on a per-carry basis to increase from last year's 4.0 yards-per-carry average. Even though the offense has sputtered in general, Hyde has looked good this preseason (5.6 YPC).

4.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions

Tate had a career year with 99 catches for 1,331 yards and four touchdowns plus 30 rushing yards. From Weeks 4 to 8, Calvin Johnson missed three games and was a decoy in two other games (19 total yards). During that same five-game span, Tate averaged 119.8 yards per game and scored three of his four touchdowns. So, in other words, if Megatron is healthy for the entire season, Tate is unlikely to repeat last year's career numbers, but he's otherwise a solid WR2 for Dan.

4.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers

Over the final five games of the season, Stewart, who recently turned 28, rushed for 486 yards on 91 carries (5.34 YPC) and only DeMarco Murray (491) had more rushing yards during that span. With the team ready to rely on Stewart to carry the load, he has a ton of upside at this point in the draft. Durability is a real concern for Stewart, however, as he has played only 28 games over the past three seasons combined.

4.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks

Slowed by a shoulder injury, Graham had 54 yards or less in six of his final seven games last season and finished with only 889 yards, a four-year low. Over his past four seasons, however, Graham has averaged 89 catches, 1,099 yards and 12 touchdowns per year. With his trade to the Seahawks, Graham goes from an offense that averaged 41.2 pass attempts per game, second-most in the NFL last year, to one that averages the fewest (28.4/G). That said, I think he's a tremendous value at the end of Round 4.

4.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

While his season was cut short by a Week 10 foot injury, Robinson was quietly off to a strong rookie season. From Weeks 2 to 10, Robinson averaged 5.22 receptions and 60.89 yards per game with a minimum of four receptions every game during that span. With good health, Robinson is poised for a breakout season in 2015 especially given the hand injury that will sideline Julius Thomas for the next month.

4.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers

While his receptions increased from 71 to 77 in 2014, Allen's yardage (1,046 to 783) and touchdowns (eight to four) both dropped and he barely finished as a top-40 fantasy wide receiver in PPR formats last season. Allen turned 23 this spring and should have a bounce-back season as Brendan's WR2.

4.12 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams

Arguably the best running back prospect since Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, Gurley ended the drought of first-round running backs and possesses all of the physical tools to be a dominant RB1-type back for years to come. With his combination of size and speed, Gurley has the ability to run over and/or outrun opposing tacklers. Recovering from his torn ACL, however, Gurley sat out of the preseason and should be eased into what will eventually be a featured-back role.

> Continue to Round 5 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft
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September 03, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 3

Earlier this week, we began a new 12-team Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft.

Our mock will run 12 rounds and we will post the picks as each round is completed. We are now one-quarter of the way through our mock.

Here are Round 3 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft:

3.01 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Playing only 65.0 percent of the team's offensive snaps as a rookie, that ratio will undoubtedly spike in his second season as the team lost Jeremy Maclin via free agency. In his first season in the league, Matthews finished with 67 receptions for 872 yards and eight touchdowns and finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver.

3.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins coaching staff has seemed reluctant to give Miller as much work as his fantasy owners would have liked, but Miller was highly productive on a per-touch basis (5.09 YPC, 7.24 Y/R). With more than 15 carries in only four games last season, Miller still managed to post his first-ever 1,000-yard season (1,099 rushing yards). In addition, Miller was very consistent throughout the season as he finished as a top-20 fantasy running back in 12 of 16 weeks.

3.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts

The only real concern with Gore is his age (32). That said, Gore has been durable with no missed games over the past four seasons, a span during which he has rushed for more than 1,100 yards each season. Not only does he get a huge offense and quarterback upgrade, but the coaching staff views Gore as an every-down back, which means he should be much more involved as a receiver than he has been over the past four seasons (average of 18 catches per season) in San Francisco.

3.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints

Before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 11, Cook's 53 receptions led all rookie receivers. Generating plenty of buzz in the offseason and an excellent preseason, Cooks is poised for a major breakout as the focal point of the team's passing attack with the offseason trades of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills.

3.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Not only was he one of three rookie receivers to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark, but Evans was one of just five receivers to score at least 12 touchdowns last year. From Weeks 9 to 11, he gave us a glimpse of what we can expect when things really click as he posted a massive 21/458/5 line over that three-game stretch. Evans, who turned 22 in August, should take a step forward in 2015 although there may be some early-season inconsistency playing with a rookie quarterback.

3.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

In his first season with the Broncos, Sanders blew his previous career highs (67/740/6) out of the water. Sanders finished with 101 receptions for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns. The Broncos offense will be more balanced this season, but Sanders is a solid mid-tier WR2 option heading into 2015.

3.07 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, Rodgers was also the top-scoring fantasy quarterback as well. Since becoming Green Bay's starting quarterback seven years ago, Rodgers has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback in six of seven seasons with the lone exception due to injury (broken clavicle, 2013). Over the past four seasons, Rodgers has compiled a 139:25 TD-to-INT ratio with an average of 8.5 yards per attempt, 112.6 passer rating and 67.0 completion percentage. Even without Jordy Nelson (ACL), Rodgers should once again finish as a top-two fantasy quarterback.

3.08 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers

For re-draft purposes, I expect Gordon to be the most productive rookie running back in 2015. MG3 has drawn some comparisons to Jamaal Charles and enters a favorable situation with the injury-prone Ryan Mathews no longer in San Diego. The Bolts should give Gordon the bulk of the early-down work as I have him projected for 270 touches as a rookie.

3.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints

Once again, Ingram missed multiple games and has now missed a total of 14 games over his four-year career. That said, Ingram set career highs -- 226 carries, 964 rushing yards, nine touchdowns and 29 receptions -- in the 13 games he did play in 2014. Re-signing with the Saints, Ingram should lead the team in carries. And given the team's offseason moves, a transition to more of a run-based offense appears to be in the offing.

3.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders

Loaded with potential and upside, Murray is a physical freak that runs a sub-4.4 forty at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. Murray finally got a chance to showcase what he could do down the stretch last season as he gained 478 yards from scrimmage over his final five games on a total of 83 touches (72 carries and 11 receptions). With the changes to the team's backfield, Murray will be given every opportunity to be the team's lead back in 2015.

3.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Andre Johnson, WR, Indianapolis Colts

After back-to-back 1,400-yard seasons, Johnson finished with 85 receptions for just 936 yards and three touchdowns in 2014. Johnson's 62.4 Y/G and 11.0 Y/R were his lowest since 2005. Released by the Texans this offseason, Johnson gets a major upgrade in quarterback situation with Andrew Luck. Johnson, who turned 34 in July, may never record another 1,400-yard season, but Reggie Wayne finished with 106 catches for 1,355 yards in his age-34 season when Luck was a rookie.

3.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

No rookie receiver is more pro-ready than Cooper, the first Biletnikoff winner in Alabama history. Cooper racked up 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns last season and should become Derek Carr's go-to receiver immediately for a team that ranked fourth in the league in pass attempts per game (39.3) in 2014.

> Continue to Round 4 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft
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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 2

Another round of our new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft is in the books. This mock draft uses point-per-reception (PPR) scoring and we'll post each round as they are complete.

Here are Round 2 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft:

2.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Murray has always been productive on a per-game, per-touch basis. Before last season's career year, Murray averaged 4.95 yards per carry in his first three seasons combined. The issue with Murray (before 2014) was durability as he missed multiple games in each of those three seasons.

With a total of 497 touches including the playoffs last year, durability remains Murray's biggest concern in 2015 as well. Even though the team added another talented (and injury-prone) running back (Ryan Mathews) in free agency, I'd expect Murray to still get close to 20 touches per game, when healthy. And if he plays a full season for a second straight season, he has the upside to finish as fantasy's top scorer.

2.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Over the final nine games of the season, Hill had 22-plus carries and 100-plus rushing yards five times including the final three games of the regular season. During that nine-game span, Hill had 172 carries for 929 yards and six touchdowns and no running back had more rushing yards than Hill during that stretch. (Lynch was second with 824 yards.) Going into the 2015 season, Hill is clearly the team's lead back with Giovani Bernard back as the change-of-pace option.

2.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants

Closing the season with nine consecutive games of 90-plus yards, Beckham racked up a massive stat line of 81/1,199/9 on 115 targets during that stretch. In fact, only 11 other receivers had more yards in all of 2014 than OBJ had in his final nine games. And as impressive as that sounds, he was even more dominant over his final four games -- 43/606/7 on 63 targets.

While ODB is far from being the biggest receiver, his combination of hands, route-running ability, speed and elusiveness makes him nearly impossible to cover especially in today's age of offense-friendly rules.

2.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Including playoff appearances, Megatron has more 200-yard games (six) than any other receiver in league history. And while he still has as much potential as any receiver to take over a given game, he has missed a total of five games in 2013 and 2014. Johnson also appeared in a few games as a decoy, which can be even worse for fantasy owners than missed games. With five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, however, Megatron has averaged a stat line of 90/1,467/11 during that span and he has WR1 upside if he can stay healthy.

2.05 - Sean Beazley (Team III): A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Injuries kept Green from building upon his 2013 numbers (98/1,426/11), but he extended his streak of 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career to four. Only Megatron (6,214), Antonio Brown (5,092) and Demaryius Thomas (5,034) have more yards during that four-year span than Green (4,874). With good health, Green is a good bet for 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns in 2015.

2.06 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Recently turning 25, Cobb re-signed with the Packers prior to the official start of NFL free agency. Of course, playing in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense helps to maximize his fantasy value this year and going forward.

Cobb finished the season with 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns, all of which set career highs, but I would be surprised if he scored 12 touchdowns again in 2015. That said, the season-ending ACL injury to Jordy Nelson means that Cobb should finish as a top-eight fantasy receiver in 2015.

2.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Arguably the biggest surprise in fantasy football last season, Forsett scored more fantasy points than all but seven other running backs in 2014. Forsett, who re-signed with the Ravens this offseason, rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards last season and averaged an RB-high 5.4 YPC while adding 44 receptions for 263 yards. With Marc Trestman hired to run the offense, Forsett should set new career highs in receptions.

2.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

Barely finishing as a top-12 fantasy running back last season, McCoy finished third in the league in rushing (1,319 yards) and was one of only two 300-carry backs. Not only did he average nearly a yard per carry less in 2014 than 2013, however, McCoy also saw his receptions (52 in 2013) and touchdowns (11 in 2013) drop roughly in half to 28 and five, respectively.

Despite running behind an inferior offensive line (compared to Philadelphia's), McCoy should see a healthy volume of work within Buffalo's ground-and-pound offense, but will his per-touch effectiveness bounce back in a less-efficient offense? And there is at least some doubt about his Week 1 status.

2.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears

With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets and using a top-seven pick on West Virginia's Kevin White, who will miss at least the first six games, Jeffery now takes over as the team's clear No. 1 wide receiver. Despite year-over-year dips in both receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,133), Jeffery posted a career high in touchdowns (10) and finished with the 10th-most fantasy points (PPR) among wide receivers last season.

2.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Hilton had a breakout 82/1,345/7 season last year and that breakout would have been even better if he weren't limited down the stretch by a hamstring injury. Playing with Andrew Luck in one of the league's most high-powered offenses, Hilton could set new career highs in both receptions provided he stays healthy.

2.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

Emerging as the team's most productive wide receiver last season, Hopkins took a huge step forward in his second season with a 76/1,210/6 stat line. If there's any concern when it comes to Hopkins taking another step forward in his third season, it's the team's less-than-inspiring quarterback play, but he's a borderline WR1/WR2 option in fantasy leagues heading into 2015.

2.12 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Throwing for 4,761 yards and a league-leading 40 touchdowns, both of which were career highs, Luck's 40 TDs last season nearly equalled his total from his first two seasons combined (46 TDs). During the season, Luck had the second-longest streak of 300-yard games (eight) in NFL history. Not only does Luck lead one of the league's most prolific passing offenses, but he gets a boost from his mobility with at least 255 rushing yards each year and a total of 12 rushing scores.

> Continue to Round 3 of our PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft
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September 02, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 1

Four of our contributors -- Sean Beazley, Brendan Donahue, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- have begun a new 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft and we will post the rounds as they are finished.

In addition, I will post comments along with all of the picks.

This mock uses point-per-reception (PPR) scoring with four points per passing touchdown, six points per rushing or receiving touchdown, one point per 25 passing yards, one point per 10 rushing or receiving yards and one point per reception.

Here are Round 1 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft:

1.01 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Unfortunately for Bell (and his fantasy owners), he's suspended for the first two games of the season (although that was cut from his initial three-game ban). Once he returns, however, Bell's versatility makes him a true three-down back and his production won't vary much based on game flow.

Named 2014 AP First-Team All-Pro Team, Bell racked up 1,361 rushing yards, 83 receptions for 854 yards and 11 total touchdowns in his second season. Bell broke single-season franchise records for yards from scrimmage and receptions by a running back. Over the course of last year, he averaged 23.16 PPR points per game although his production spiked to 29.37/G with LeGarrette Blount out of the picture down the stretch.

And even though he'll miss the Patriots and 49ers games to start the season, I have Bell projected to lead all running backs in fantasy points.

1.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Playing in only the first game last year, it was a lost season for Peterson in 2014. Given his high volume of work over his career (19.75 carries per game), it may bode well for him on the football field in 2015. Assuming that he plays all 16 games (or close to it), the 30-year-old Peterson should finish as a top-five (or better) back in 2015. Just a couple of seasons, Peterson nearly broke the single-season rushing record with 2,097 yards despite coming off a torn ACL.

1.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Despite a somewhat disappointing season, Charles finished with the seventh-most fantasy points among running backs in 2014. The 28-year-old back rushed for 1,033 yards, his fifth 1,000-yard season, and added 40 catches for 291 yards while scoring a total of 14 touchdowns.

Despite a year-over-year decline in all of those numbers, the biggest concern was his reduction in workload. After 320-plus touches in back-to-back seasons, Charles had just 246 touches -- 15 running backs had more -- in 2014. Perhaps we won't see Charles get in the 320-range ever again, but it would be a surprise to see him as low as 246 again this season.

1.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers

Starting slowly while facing three elite rush defenses to start the season, Lacy scored the fourth-most fantasy points (PPR scoring) among running backs from Weeks 4 to 17. Over those final 13 games of the season, he averaged 18.92 touches for 108.85 YFS per game and scored a total of 13 touchdowns. The benefit of playing with Aaron Rodgers means that opposing defenses are less likely to stack the box to (try to) slow down Lacy. After averaging a relatively modest 4.15 yards per carry as a rookie, Lacy averaged 4.63 YPC last season (and 4.89 YPC over final 13 games).

1.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Surprisingly, Brown never finished as the highest-scoring fantasy wide receiver in any given week in 2014. (In fact, that applies to both standard- and PPR-scoring formats.) Yet no wide receiver had more fantasy points over the course of the season -- in either format -- than Brown.

Over the past two seasons, Brown has a combined 239 receptions for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns. More impressive than his overall level of production, however, is his consistency. Counting the playoffs, Brown has at least five catches and 50 yards in 33 consecutive games.

1.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos

From Week 10 to 17 last year, Anderson finished as a top-seven (PPR) fantasy running back in seven of eight games. (The exception was still a solid week, RB17, as well.) With a healthy backfield and new coaching staff entering 2015, there is perhaps some uncertainty about how the workload will be allocated, but it appears that CJA is set for a featured-back role. The Denver Post's Troy Renck projected Anderson to average 18 carries per game as the team's "bellcow" and to "roll for 1,400 yards."

1.07 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Targeted only 136 times, a three-year low, Bryant finished with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a career-high and league-leading 16 touchdowns. Dez now has at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. And aside from Marshawn Lynch, Bryant is the only other player with at least 50 total touchdowns over the past four seasons.

1.08 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

Despite his slow start, Thomas reached the 100-yard mark in 10 of his final 13 games and finished with a full-season stat line of 111 catches and 1,619 yards, both of which were career highs, and 11 touchdowns. A fourth consecutive year of 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns seems like a strong possibility with Peyton Manning back for (at least) one more year.

1.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

My second-ranked PPR wide receiver, Jones finished with 104 catches for 1,593 yards, both of which shattered his previous career highs, and six touchdowns in 2014. After scoring 0.62 TD/G on 74.4 YPG in his first two seasons, Jones has averaged just 0.40 TD/G despite a jump to 1087.7 YPG over the past two seasons. With plus size and speed, Jones should bounce back in terms of red-zone production and could put together a 100/1,500/10 season in 2015 with good health.

1.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

In his four full seasons in Seattle, Lynch has rushed for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in those seasons. During that four-year span, no player has more rushing yards (5,357), rushing touchdowns (48) and or total touchdowns (56). Beast Mode's production hasn't slowed at all, but his physical running style (granted, he seems to dish out more punishment than he receives), heavy workload (league-high 1,479 regular-season and playoff touches over that four-year span) and age (turned 29 in April) is at least somewhat concerning. That said, Lynch seems to be a lock for another 1,200 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns in one of the league's most run-dominant offenses.

1.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

When it comes to fantasy tight ends, he's in a tier all by himself. Named the 2014 AP Comeback Player of the Year after two injury-plagued seasons, Gronkowski posted an 82/1,124/12 stat line over 15 games. Scoring 266.4 fantasy points (PPR), Gronk had 36.5 points (or 15.88 percent) more than Jimmy Graham, who had the second-most among tight ends. Not only dominant over a full season, but Gronk was consistent as well finishing as a top-five weekly scorer at the position in eight of 15 games and a top-11 scorer in all but one game (Week 2).

1.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears

Not only did Forte lead all running backs in receptions (102) last year, but only three players had more -- Antonio Brown (129), Demaryius Thomas (111) and Julio Jones (104) -- as he broke the single-season record for receptions by a running back. With the coaching change, Forte isn't likely to see anywhere close to triple-digit receptions again, but he could certainly finish in the neighborhood of 60-70 catches.

And although Forte averaged less than four yards per carry for the first time since 2009, he has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons and has exceeded 1,400 yards from scrimmage in all seven of his NFL seasons. Only the Raiders (337) and Bucs (353) ran the ball less than the Bears (355) last season, but I'd expect the Bears to be more committed to the run in 2015 to limit Jay Cutler's turnovers.

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September 01, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 12

We have now completed the 12-round, 12-team 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft that we began on August 22nd.

Although the season is less than 10 days away, we have begun a new PPR mock draft and we will post those results as rounds are completed, so stay tuned.

For now, here are Round 12 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

12.01 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2013, Rivers followed up his bounce-back season with 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns but he also threw 18 interceptions. Dealing with a back injury, Rivers threw seven of those interceptions in the final three games of the season. Rivers should be a relatively safe bet for 4,000-plus yards and around 30 touchdowns once again in 2015. If Sam Bradford (11.12) stays healthy, Sean will have two potential top-12 fantasy quarterbacks to play based on matchups.

12.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Phillip Dorsett, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Dorsett appears to be ahead of Donte Moncrief for the team's No. 3 receiver role and the first-round rookie from The U. has speed to spare. That said, there will likely be plenty of inconsistency from Dorsett on a weekly basis unless there is an injury to T.Y. Hilton or Andre Johnson.

12.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants

Randle set career highs in his age-23 season with 71 catches for 938 yards as both Odell Beckham (four games) and Victor Cruz (10 games) missed a total of 14 games last year. It's unlikely that Randle will exceed last year's production without an injury to Cruz or OBJ, though.

12.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins

Jones has looked great this preseason -- 20 carries for 139 yards (7.0 YPC) -- and the third-rounder out of Florida should earn the third-down role behind Alfred Morris with the potential to steal some early-down touches from Alf as well.

12.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills

Wearing out his welcome in Minnesota and Seattle, it's a positive that he followed Rex to Buffalo after a brief stint together over the second half of last season. That said, Harvin is the third option, at best, in the low-powered Buffalo offense.

12.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Fleener finished with 774 yards and eight touchdowns, both of which were career highs, on 51 receptions last season. Unsurprisingly, Fleener's best games last season came in games that Dwayne Allen was out. In the four games that Allen missed or left early due to injury, Fleener had 355 yards and four touchdowns. In the other 12 games, he had just 419 yards and four touchdowns.

12.07 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings

Bridgewater improved throughout his rookie season, which is something you always want to see with a young quarterback. All four of his games with a completion percentage of at least 70 percent occurred within the final five games of the season. In addition, Bridgewater posted a 1:5 TD-to-INT ratio in his first four games but improved to a 13:7 TD-to-INT ratio for the remainder of the season. With the attention that Adrian Peterson commands from opposing defenses, it should open up the passing offense for Bridgewater in year two.

Through four preseason games, Bridgewater has been extremely efficient, completing 82.9 percent of his pass attempts (29 of 35) for 295 yards although he has thrown just one touchdown.

12.08 - Sean Beazley (Team I): James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers

The backup to one of the league's best running backs, Starks (Sean's RB6) isn't going to get a heavy workload barring an injury to Eddie Lacy. As much as the team blows out their opponents, however, there is the potential for him to get some fourth-quarter carries in addition to providing a breather for Lacy.

12.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Ty Montgomery, WR, Green Bay Packers

The season-ending knee injury to Jordy Nelson has moved Davante Adams into the team's starting lineup opposite Randall Cobb and opens the door for someone to emerge as the No. 3 receiver. I'd prefer Jeff Janis due to his upside, but the rookie out of Stanford started ahead of Janis in three-wide sets on Saturday.

12.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Andre Williams, RB, New York Giants

As a rookie, Williams led the team in carries (217), rushing yards (721) and rushing touchdowns (seven), but he averaged just 3.3 YPC and exceeded 3.5 YPC in only three games. Over the final four games of the season, the 230-pound back had 83 carries for 328 yards (3.95 YPC) and two touchdowns. Williams may only be the third-most productive fantasy back behind Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen, but he could be first in line for goal-line carries. Plus, Jennings' shaky durability could lead to a few big games for Williams.

12.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): Roy Helu, RB, Oakland Raiders

In four seasons, Helu has been relatively productive on a per-touch basis (4.4 YPC, 8.9 Y/R). At a minimum, Helu will get a lot of work as the team's third-down back, but there is upside with unproven Latavius Murray as the featured back.

12.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots

Even though Amendola played a full 16-game season last year, he finished with only 200 yards and one touchdown. He was more involved down the stretch -- 23 catches for 224 yards and three touchdowns over the final five games counting the playoffs -- and it's possible that Brandon LaFell (foot) ends up on the reserve/PUP list.

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August 30, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 11

We are now heading into the final round of our new 12-round 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft as the first 11 rounds are now complete.

Here are Round 11 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

11.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins

Garcon has now played full 16-game seasons in back-to-back years for the first time in his career. Things weren't all positive for Garcon, however, as his production was nearly cut in half to 68 catches for 752 yards and three touchdowns. (Garcon had 113/1,346/5 in 2013.) That said, the team is expected to make a more concerted effort to get the ball into Garcon's hands in 2015.

11.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

A big back (6-1, 224) with excellent receiving skills, Johnson had over 200 receiving yards in the game against Iowa last season. By signing Chris Johnson to a one-year deal, the third-round rookie isn't a lock to get the second-most touches among the team's backs this season. That said, it's fair to question Andre Ellington's ability to hold up for a full 16-game season, which gives (I suppose either) Johnson some upside.

11.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Generating plenty of buzz prior to the draft highlighted by a pair of sub-4.3's run at the UCF Pro Day, Perriman is the son of ex-NFL receiver Brent Perriman, who has a 1,400-yard season under his belt with the Lions. Much bigger than his father, Perriman (6-1, 212) has had some issues with drops and needs to improve as a route-runner, but he's a big play waiting to happen (when healthy). Coming off a career-best 50/1,044/9 season, Perriman has averaged more than 20.0 Y/R over the past two seasons and is an excellent fit to replace Torrey Smith as a vertical threat in this offense (again, when healthy).

11.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins

Stills set career highs with 63 receptions for a team-high 931 yards in his second season with the Saints, but he was traded to the Dolphins this offseason. One of the areas in which Ryan Tannehill has struggled is with downfield accuracy, which doesn't necessarily bode well for the speedy Stills.

11.05 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Owen Daniels, TE, Denver Broncos

Daniels had 48 catches for 527 yards and four touchdowns last season in Baltimore and he has once again followed Coach Kubiak to Denver this offseason. While I don't expect 12 touchdowns from Daniels, which the departed Julius Thomas had done in each of the past two years in Denver, I would expect an improvement across the board from his 48/527/4 line from last season.

11.06 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Jonas Gray, RB, New England Patriots

It's not often that a running rushes for 201 yards with four touchdowns one week and is a healthy scratch the next. So what to make of Gray's projected workload is anyone's guess. Of course, that's the norm with Bill Belichick and the workloads given to New England's running backs.

11.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Tennessee Titans

Receiving some pre-draft comparisons to Calvin Johnson, DGB isn't nearly as athletic as Megatron, but he has sub-4.5 speed with tremendous size (6-5, 237). Green-Beckham, the No. 1 overall high school recruit in 2012 (via Rivals.com), has the upside and potential to emerge as the best fantasy receiver out of this year's draft class long term, but his immediate impact could be limited after sitting out the 2014 college season.

11.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Carolina Panthers

The biggest appeal with taking Artis-Payne late is the durability of Jonathan Stewart -- or lack thereof. The Daily Show was one of the league's most productive backs down the stretch and he enters 2015 as the team's featured back, but he has missed 20 games over the past three seasons. If Stewart misses time, CAP should lead the team in touches in those games.

11.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals

Eifert's 2014 season ended almost as soon as it began with a dislocated elbow injury in Week 1. As a rookie and part of a timeshare with Jermaine Gresham, Eifert posted a solid 39/445/2 line in 2013. Now healthy and with Gresham gone, Eifert will be counted on to be a significant part of their passing attack. Provided he stays healthy, it wouldn't surprise me if the former first-round pick finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 2015.

11.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

Missing two games and at less than 100 percent for much of the season, it was a down year for Newton. That said, Newton has now exceeded 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons. Over those four seasons, he has averaged 3,606 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns per season as well as 643 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Despite the down year, Newton finished seventh in fantasy points per game (17.78) among QBs. And before last season, Newton finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in his first three NFL seasons. Before the injury to Kelvin Benjamin, I was much higher on Newton, but I still expect him to finish as a top-10 fantasy QB in 2015.

11.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill posted career highs in passing yards (4,045), passing touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (66.4) with a career low in interceptions (12) in his first year playing for new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards, which ranked fifth among all quarterbacks last season. Starting in Week 6, Tannehill finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in six of 11 weeks, but he finished with the eighth-most fantasy points over the full season. The team's group of top pass-catchers was entirely turned over except for Jarvis Landry, but Tannehill is a high-upside QB2 for Brendan behind Drew Brees.

11.12 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

In five NFL seasons since being drafted first overall by the Rams, Bradford has played a total of 49 games -- and only seven of 32 games in the past two years. If, a big if, Bradford starts 16 games for the Eagles, however, he has the potential to finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in 2015. The duo of Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez combined to throw 4,581 yards, 27 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last season and score 258.74 fantasy points, which would have placed them 14th among quarterbacks last year.

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 10

Last weekend, we began a "slow" Fantasy Football Mock Draft and we are now down to the final two rounds of our 12-round mock.

Here are Round 10 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

10.01 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants

With his season cut short after six games due to a torn patellar tendon, Cruz averaged just 56.2 yards per game, a four-year low, with only one touchdown. While he avoided the PUP list to start the season, there is still significant separation between Cruz and and the team's new No. 1 wide receiver, Odell Beckham.

10.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Overall, it was a disappointing season for Smith, who either set or tied career lows with 49 receptions for 767 yards. On a positive note, however, Smith set a career high with 11 touchdowns and he was much more productive from Week 6 to 17. During that span, Smith averaged 3.8/59.1/0.9 per game and scored the 14th-most fantasy points among receivers on a per-game basis. One of the league's more dangerous vertical threats, Smith fills a void for the 49ers, but his weekly production could remain relatively volatile.

10.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

In the first six games of the season, Eli finished outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in all but one game. Over the final 10 games of the season, however, Manning posted five weekly top-five performances. No quarterback had more top-five finishes during that span; only Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers had as many.

With better health from his wide receivers and the free-agent addition of Shane Vereen, a talented receiver out of the backfield, plus more comfort and familiarity with Ben McAdoo's offense, Eli has the potential to post career numbers in 2015. In addition, only Tampa and Washington have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Eli does.

10.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Floyd opened (5/119) and closed (8/153/2) the season with a bang, but there weren't many bright spots in between. Floyd had zero, one or two receptions in eight games last season and finished the year with a 47/841/6 line after his breakout second season (66/1,054/5). Given the team's quarterback injuries, however, it's no surprise that we didn't see Floyd take another step forward in 2014. With less buzz entering 2015 drafts, Floyd has some bounce-back appeal at a lower draft-day cost than in 2014.

10.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Replacing LeSean McCoy with DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews means that Sproles goes from second in line for touches to third. That said, Chip Kelly should continue to find ways to get Sproles the ball in space and recently described him as a "Swiss army knife." While he isn't exactly a handcuff for Murray, who Dan selected at 1.08, Sproles' weekly value will rise considerably in the games that Murray (or Mathews) misses.

10.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts

With eight touchdowns on only 29 receptions in 13 games, Allen is one of the league's better red-zone options at the position. In weeks he doesn't score, however, Allen's lack of volume (2.23 catches per game) will lead to mostly boom (scores a touchdown) or bust (doesn't score a touchdown) outcomes.

10.07 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints

On a per-game basis, Colston's 3.69 receptions, 6.25 targets and 56.38 yards per game were all career lows. One positive for Colston personally, not the offense in general, is that the team traded away both Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills so perhaps his targets and production will see a slight bump in 2015.

10.08 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos

Hillman had a couple of very productive games last season and he has a shot to earn the RB2 role behind C.J. Anderson. Hillman has run the ball well -- 16 carries for 120 yards (7.5 YPC) -- and has garnered praise from head coach Gary Kubiak this preseason.

10.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sims, who rushed for 3,465 yards in college but also added 203 receptions for 2,108 yards, was less than impressive as a rookie (2.8 YPC). While Doug Martin enters the season atop the depth chart and has looked much better than he has the past two seasons, he has missed 15 games over the past two seasons.

10.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Markus Wheaton, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Wheaton barely finished as a top-60 fantasy receiver (either format) last year with his 53/644/2 slash line, but he should improve upon those numbers in year three (perhaps by quite a bit). Per NFL Network's Albert Breer, Wheaton "[probably] had best offseason of the Steelers WRs." And Big Ben has predicted a breakout season for Wheaton, who will start opposite Antonio Brown. In addition, second-year receiver Martavis Bryant will be suspended for the first four games of the season.

10.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams

Tearing his rotator cuff in Week 8 last season, Quick played just seven games, but he started the season strong. In the first four games of the year, Quick had a total of 21 receptions for 322 yards and three touchdowns and finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver in all four games. Although he had just four catches for 53 yards in his other three games, Quick was on his way to a breakout season. Depending on his ability to stay healthy, that breakout season could come for the former Appalachian State receiver in 2015.

10.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Williams has had some really productive NFL seasons -- 1,515 rushing yards and 18 rushing scores in 2008, as an example -- and has averaged 4.78 YPC over his career. Now 32 years old, Williams won't be the featured back for his new team (starting in Week 3). With Le'Veon Bell suspended for the first two games, however, Williams is expected to lead the team's backfield in touches during that span. After that point, however, Williams would do well to average five carries per game over the final 14 games.

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August 29, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 9

We're closing in on the end of our new 12-round 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft that we started last weekend.

Here are Round 9 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

9.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

Other than his rookie season, Witten's 64 receptions and 703 yards last year set or tied career lows. Witten lacks upside at this point in his career, but he's a solid option that should come close to last year's top-10 performance once again.

9.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers

Woodhead missed all but three games last season, but prior to the 2014 season, he had finished as a top-30 fantasy running back in three of his previous four seasons. (Woodhead's the RB42 in this mock.) In his first full season with the Chargers (2013), which also coincided with the only full season for Ryan Mathews, Woodhead had 1,034 yards from scrimmage, 76 receptions and eight total touchdowns. Even though Melvin Gordon should get the bulk of early-down work, Woodhead should get the majority of third-down snaps.

9.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Since entering the league as a top-four pick, McFadden has largely disappointed fantasy owners due to durability issues or lack of production. Back in 2010 and 2011, he gave owners a glimpse of what could be with an average of 121.6 YFS per game and 5.27 YPC over 20 games played. For the first six seasons of his career, however, he missed at least three games every season and averaged only 11.17 games per year before finally playing a full 16-game season in 2014. In addition, McFadden has averaged just 3.34 YPC over the past three seasons combined. Having just turned 28, McFadden has some upside if he can stay healthy and get a significant share of the committee's workload.

9.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Slowed by injuries, Thomas followed up a breakout 2013 season with only 43 catches for 489 yards, but he once again scored 12 touchdowns. Signing a massive free-agent deal with the Jaguars, Thomas is unlikely to approach that red-zone success for a third straight year. Aside from the Browns (12), no other team threw fewer touchdowns than the Jaguars (15) last season.

9.05 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans

One year after his 94/1,079/2 breakout season in 2013, Wright's production dropped year over year to 57/715/6 although the issues at quarterback were at least partly to blame. And even though the Titans lost 14 games and nine of them by double digits, Wright saw 10 targets in only one game last season. While it's unlikely that Wright bounces back to his 2013-level production, chemistry between Mariota and Wright have been positive so far so he should improve upon last year's disappointing numbers.

9.06 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Eddie Royal, WR, Chicago Bears

Royal posted a 62/778/7 line last year with the Chargers and finished as a top-32 fantasy wide receiver (both scoring formats). Reunited with Jay Cutler via free agency this offseason, Royal's best season was his rookie campaign (91/980/5 with 109 rushing yards) with Cutler as his quarterback. With positive reports all summer and the injury to Kevin White, Royal has plenty of upside.

9.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Reggie Bush, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, Bush missed five games and gained a total of only 550 yards from scrimmage (50.0 per game) while averaging just 3.9 yards per carry and scoring just two touchdowns. Released by the Lions, Bush signed with the 49ers and will at least own a change-of-pace role to unproven second-year back Carlos Hyde.

9.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Jordan Cameron, TE, Miami Dolphins

In 2013, Cameron had a breakout season with 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. When healthy, he is clearly a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Unfortunately, Cameron missed six games last season and has a history of concussions. Perhaps no injury is more worrisome from a fantasy outlook given the greater susceptibility and unpredictability of a recurrence. If Cameron plays 16 games in 2015, however, he has top-five upside.

9.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz saw a year-over-year jump from 36 catches and 469 yards as a rookie to 58 catches for 702 yards, 11th-most among tight ends last season. With Jeremy Maclin leaving Philadelphia for Kansas City, however, Ertz should become even more involved in the passing game. That said, he was still working with the second-team offense before undergoing a surgery to repair a groin tear, both of which dampen his outlook.

9.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns

The all-time rushing leader at The U., Johnson's production is especially impressive considering the school's alumni of talented backs (Frank Gore, Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, etc.). While I like Johnson's skill set and his longer-term outlook, there could be some week-to-week variability in Johnson's rookie-season production. With that said, few running backs have generated as much buzz during the offseason and he appears set for a prominent role as a rookie.

9.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets

Unsurprisingly, Decker's first year with the Jets (74/962/5) was worse than his two previous seasons with the Broncos (and Peyton Manning), but he still finished as a top-30 fantasy wide receiver in both standard- and PPR-scoring formats. Both of Decker's 100-yard games came in the final three weeks of the season including a massive 10/221/1 line against the Dolphins in Week 17. Given the team's quarterback situation, Decker's upside is capped, but the addition of Brandon Marshall as a true No. 1 wide receiver should take the attention off of Decker.

9.12 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Knile Davis, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

The best handcuff among fantasy running backs, Davis had some big games when given the opportunity as he finished as a top-eight fantasy running back four times last season. With Jamaal Charles leaving Week 2 early (only two carries) and missing Week 3, Davis had a combined 60 touches for 237 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in those two games.

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August 28, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 8

We're now two-thirds of the way complete through our new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

Four of our contributors started a 12-round mock draft on Saturday and we have completed the first eight rounds.

Here are Round 8 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

8.01 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers

With the season-ending ACL injury to Kelvin Benjamin, no player benefits more from a fantasy perspective than Funchess. That said, it's highly unlikely that Funchess follows in Benjamin's steps and exceeds 1,000 yards as a rookie, but he moves into the WR3 mix due to his expanded role.

8.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans

Not only was Sankey the first running back selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, but he seemed (at least on paper) to have the clearest path to a sizable workload. While it's too early to call a player entering his second season a "bust," it's more than fair to say that his rookie campaign was a disappointment. Averaging only 3.7 YPC, Sankey finished with 170 total touches and only 702 yards from scrimmage. While I expect improved numbers from him in 2015, it wouldn't surprise me if rookie David Cobb is a more productive fantasy back in 2015.

8.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Averaging just 3.8 yards per carry as a rookie, Freeman had eight or fewer carries in all but one game, but he also finished with 30 receptions. Playing on just 21.5 percent of Atlanta's offensive snaps last season, Freeman will see a huge bump in snaps, touches and production in 2015 as he and Tevin Coleman form a committee backfield.

8.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Even though the 49ers have the second-fewest passing yards over the past two seasons combined, Boldin has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Niners. In addition, both of his yardage totals (1,179 and 1,062, respectively) were higher than any of his previous six seasons. Boldin is unlikely to blow up for 150 yards and two touchdowns in any given week, but he provides this team with consistent production -- 50-plus receiving yards in 12 of 16 games last season.

8.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Mike Wallace, WR, Minnesota Vikings

The Dolphins certainly had some buyer's remorse after signing Wallace to a big free-agent contract two offseasons ago and traded him to the Vikings this offseason. Wallace has three consecutive mediocre seasons of less than 1,000 yards and has averaged just 13.1, 12.7 and 12.9 Y/R over the past three seasons, respectively. Perhaps the change of scenery and Norv Turner's vertical-passing attack will help Wallace live up to his potential and exceed his draft spot. With three other receivers on his roster already, Dan won't have to rely on Wallace each week so it's worth a roll of the dice here.

8.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Over his past three seasons, Romo's pass attempts have dropped from 648 (2012) to 535 (2013) to 435 (2014). Despite the drop in volume, Romo threw 34 touchdowns, the most for him since 2007, with only nine interceptions, a four-year low. In addition, Romo led the league in Y/A (8.5), completion percentage (69.9), touchdown percentage (7.8) and passer rating (113.2) last year.

Assuming the team stays committed to the run game without DeMarco Murray, who signed a free-agent deal with the Eagles, Romo's upside could be somewhat limited as I project 20-plus QBs to throw more pass attempts this year. Even with his career year in efficiency, Romo still finished just outside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks last season.

8.07 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

With the NFL upholding Brady's four-game suspension, it's still unclear how many games Brady will miss as both sides are set to meet again in court on August 31st. Brady had a slow start last season, but only Peyton Manning (31) threw more touchdowns than Brady (29) from Week 5 through the end of the season. With good health once again for Rob Gronkowski, Brady could post top-five production on a per-game basis. How many games will Sean get from Brady?

8.08 - Sean Beazley (Team I): David Cobb, RB, Tennessee Titans

As noted earlier in this round, Sankey was a disappointment for the Titans last year. Coach Ken Whisenhunt described Cobb as a potential three-down back and I'd personally prefer Cobb over Sankey.

8.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams

Brendan selected Todd Gurley (4.09) earlier than I would have, but I think it's smart to pair Gurley with Mason. Mason didn't get his first carry until Week 6 last year, but he averaged 18.11 touches per game from Week 9 on. While Gurley should emerge as the lead back for the Rams at some point this season, Mason will occupy that role initially as the team eases Gurley in. From Weeks 9 to 17, Mason had the 14th-most fantasy points among running backs.

8.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots

According to some reports, LaFell (foot) could potentially land on the reserve/PUP list, which would cost him the first six games of the season. In his first year with the Patriots, LaFell had his best NFL season, by far, as he set career highs in receptions (74), yards (953) and touchdowns (seven). As solid as LaFell's overall numbers were, there was plenty of weekly inconsistency as he had four weekly top-12 finishes but he finished outside the top-36 eight times.

8.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Coming off a disappointing season, White still averaged a respectable 5.71 catches and 65.79 yards per game with seven touchdowns. Had he not missed two games, he was on a 16-game pace of 91/1,053/8. With White undergoing "minor" elbow surgery this month, turning 34 in November and Julio Jones now the clear-cut No. 1 wideout on the team, I have White projected for only 946 yards and six touchdowns. But that's good enough to place him among the top-35 fantasy wide receivers.

8.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

No quarterback underachieved expectations more last season than Stafford, who finished as the QB15 in 2014. Even with the free-agent signing and breakout season from Golden Tate (99/1,331/4), Stafford threw for only 4,247 yards, a four-year low, and 22 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. With better health from Calvin Johnson, who missed a few games and was a decoy in others, Stafford should post better numbers in 2015.

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 7

Last weekend, we began a new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft with four of our contributors including yours truly.

We are posting the rounds as they are complete and another round is in the books.

Here are Round 7 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

7.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The good news is that Jackson eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth consecutive season and sixth time in the past seven years -- the exception was his holdout-shortened 2010 season. The bad news is V-Jax had just two touchdowns, the lowest of his career since his three-catch rookie season (2005). Jackson should score more touchdowns in 2015 although the 6-foot-5 receiver has never scored double-digit touchdowns.

7.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

The Texans led the NFL with 551 rush attempts last season and Foster is one of the league's few true workhorse backs, when healthy. Although Foster missed three games in 2014, he averaged 95.8 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry, both of which were four-year highs, and scored double-digit touchdowns (13). Not only did Foster finish as a top-five fantasy running back last season, he also finished as a top-12 fantasy running back in 10 of 13 weeks last season.

Unfortunately, Foster recently had groin surgery, which means he'll miss some time to begin the season. That said, there is growing optimism that Foster will only miss a few games as opposed to half the season. Once Foster returns, he'll immediately become a starter for this team along with Le'Veon Bell (1.02).

7.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Possessing an impressive combination of size (6-2, 225) and athleticism (sub-4.4 forty), Johnson was reunited with Norv Turner in Minnesota after being released by the receiver-deficient Browns last offseason. In the final six games of the season, Johnson was on the field for all but 19 of the team's offensive snaps. And over his final seven games, Johnson posted 25 receptions for 415 yards and two touchdowns. With a full offseason and the continued development of second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson should pick up where he left off last season.

7.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Small but ultra quick, Brown had a solid rookie season especially given the team's injuries at quarterback and finished with 48 receptions for 696 yards and five touchdowns. Improved year-over-year production should be expected, but his personal outlook is less bullish than it would have been without Larry Fitzgerald back in Arizona.

7.05 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Speaking of Fitzgerald, he had 63 receptions for 784 yards and a career-low two touchdowns last season and his 784 yards were only four more than the career low he had as a rookie. Given the injuries to the team's quarterbacks, the decline certainly wasn't solely the fault of Fitzgerald, who also missed two games.

In the 22 games that Carson Palmer and Fitzgerald have played together over the past two seasons, Fitzgerald has averaged 5.18 receptions, 65.32 yards and 0.55 touchdowns per game. That's a 16-game pace of 83/1,045/9 so perhaps Fitz ends the drought of 1,000-yard seasons if both he and Palmer stay healthy.

7.06 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Mathews has struggled with durability as he has played a full 16-game season only once in his five-year career. That said, he has been productive when on the field with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons under his belt a career 4.40 YPC average. While he enters 2015 second on the depth chart behind last year's rushing champion, DeMarco Murray has his own durability concerns as he is coming off a massive 497-touch season counting the playoffs. And if Murray misses time, Mathews becomes an RB1-type fantasy back in those games.

7.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Smith's first season as a Raven went better than expectations as he posted a 79/1,065/6 full-season stat line. With all four of his 100-yard games occurring in the first six games of the season, Smith was much less effective over the final 10 games. That said, he did have at least five catches in each of the final four games for a total of 25 catches during the final month of the season. Now 36 years old, it's unlikely that Smith posts another 1,000-yard season in what will be his final NFL season, but he has made a career out of disproving his doubters.

7.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan has more than 4,500 passing yards in three consecutive seasons with the third-most (13,928) over that span. In addition, he has 26-plus touchdowns in five consecutive seasons and the sixth-most (143) during that span. The good news is that Ryan has finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of the past five years, but he has yet to finish as a top-six fantasy quarterback in his career.

7.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Based on his 2014 average draft position (ADP), Roethlisberger was one of the biggest draft values last season. Only four quarterbacks scored more fantasy points and he threw for a career-high 4,952 yards, which tied Drew Brees last season for the league lead, and 32 touchdowns, which tied a previous career high. It wouldn't surprise me if Big Ben posted another top-five finish in 2015 so I like getting him as the QB7 in this mock.

7.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns

On a positive note, the coaching staff wants to lean on the rushing attack and the Browns have one of the better run-blocking offensive lines, when healthy. On a less positive note, the coaching staff's allocation of carries was unpredictable on a weekly basis. Adding Duke Johnson to the mix only creates more uncertainty in projecting how things will shake out in Cleveland's backfield, but I still expect Crowell to lead the backfield in touches and (fantasy) production.

7.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants

Vereen is one of the league's better receiving backs and he set career highs last year with 52 catches for 447 yards. Especially with both Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams likely to get more carries, Vereen is a better fantasy running back in PPR formats, but he should be in the flex mix on a weekly basis in standard-scoring formats as well.

7.12 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

The biggest home run threat in college football last year, Coleman rushed for 2,036 yards on 270 carries with four 200-yard games and eight 60-yard runs, most in both categories. Clearly, that won't be repeated at the NFL level, but it illustrates his big-play ability as he joins one of the league's better offenses. With a committee approach between Coleman and second-year back Devonta Freeman expected to start the season, Coleman is likely to see his usage expand as the season develops.

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 6

Over the weekend, four of our contributors including yours truly began a "slow" 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft and we are posting each round as we complete them.

We are now at the midway point of our 12-round mock draft as Round 6 is complete.

Here are Round 6 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

6.01 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Posting career highs of 84 catches for 1,008 yards last season, Olsen now has at least 69 receptions and 816 yards while finishing as a top-seven fantasy tight end in each of the past three seasons. Over that three-year span, Jimmy Graham (3,086) is the only tight end with more yards than Olsen (2,667) and only Graham (256) and Jason Witten (247) have more receptions than Olsen (226). He's never scored more than eight touchdowns in a season, but he has at least five scores for seven consecutive seasons. In addition, Olsen is extremely durable having played all 16 games in seven consecutive seasons.

With the season-ending ACL injury to Kelvin Benjamin, Olsen clearly enters the season as the team's top pass-catcher should rank near the league lead in targets among tight ends.

6.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

After three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons, Brees fell just shy of that mark in 2014 but still tied with Ben Roethlisberger for the league lead with 4,952 passing yards and threw 33 touchdowns. For the first time since signing with the Saints in 2006, Brees finished outside the top-five fantasy quarterbacks (sixth) in 2014. And while he has thrown at least 650 pass attempts in five consecutive seasons and he led the league in pass attempts per game (41.2) last season, a transition to a more run-based offense appears set to begin with their offseason moves. My fourth-ranked fantasy quarterback heading into 2015, Brees is the fifth quarterback off the board in this mock.

6.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets

A lot went wrong for Marshall and the Bears offense last season as he missed multiple games, was limited in others, Jay Cutler struggled and was benched, etc. Marshall posted his lowest totals for both receptions (61) and yards (721) since his rookie season, but he was traded to the Jets in the offseason and gets a fresh start. A return to his 2012 or 2013 numbers appear unlikely, but I expect a bounce-back to the 1,000-yard range.

6.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Better suited for his return to a change-of-pace role, Bernard can still be productive as the flex for this squad. As an example, Jeremy Hill carried the ball 22-plus times for 100-plus yards in the team's final three regular-season games. In those same games, Bernard finished as the weekly RB11, RB17 and RB13, respectively, in standard-scoring formats. As beat writer Paul Dehner Jr. noted earlier this offseason, "... once settling into a complementary role the final three weeks, [Bernard] returned to the explosive, multi-dimensional player the Bengals team envisioned."

6.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

The fourth overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, Watkins finished his rookie campaign with 65 receptions for 982 yards and six touchdowns. While Watkins had four 100-yard games including a career-high 157 yards against his new head coach's former team, he also had nine games with 35 receiving yards or less. In a run-first offense with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation, there will still be plenty of weekly inconsistency from Watkins even though his overall numbers should improve on a year-over-year basis.

6.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

After sitting out all of 2013 with a torn ACL, Maclin returned to the Eagles on a one-year deal and posted a career-best season (85/1,318/10) in Chip Kelly's offense. He then parlayed that success into a five-year deal to reunite with his former coach. Few players, if any, have seen their fantasy stock drop more in free agency than Maclin as he transitions to an offense with a quarterback incapable and/or unwilling to challenge opposing defenses down the field. That said, he's a solid WR3 behind Dan's first two receivers -- Brandin Cooks and Amari Cooper.

6.07 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

Among rookies, only his ex-LSU teammate Odell Beckham (91) had more receptions than Landry (84) last season. Over the final nine games of the season, Landry had a minimum of five receptions every game and racked up a total of 59 catches over that span. In addition, he had at least nine targets in six of his final eight games. Landry should improve upon his 84/758/5 rookie numbers, but he's a much better option in point-per-reception (PPR) formats.

6.08 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions

Scoring the 14th-most fantasy points among running backs in 2014, Bell finished with 223 carries for 860 yards, both of which were career highs, as well as 34 receptions for 322 yards and eight total touchdowns. That said, it was the second consecutive season that Bell has averaged under 4.0 YPC.

While I expect Bell to lead the team's backfield in touches in 2015, second-round rookie Ameer Abdullah weakens Bell's grip on the featured-back role and it wouldn't surprise me if Abdullah emerged as the lead back at some point during the season. With Bell coming off a pair of offseason surgeries, he's still not practicing although he is expected to be ready for the opener.

6.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Just a couple of seasons ago, Martin racked up 1,926 yards from scrimmage, 49 receptions and 12 touchdowns in 16 games as a rookie when he finished the year as fantasy's RB2. Over the past two seasons (combined), however, Martin has only 1,080 YFS, 25 receptions and three touchdowns in 17 games. Going into 2015, Martin appears to be in line for the largest share of the backfield's workload.

6.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears

Setting career highs across the board in 2014 with 90 receptions, 916 yards and six touchdowns, Bennett finished as a top-five scorer among tight ends and led the position in receptions. With the Bears trading Marshall to the Jets and the injury to top pick Kevin White, Bennett has the potential to come close to those numbers this season.

6.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins

Despite the revolving door at quarterback, Jackson was one of the few bright spots for Washington's offense in 2014. D-Jax finished with 56 catches for 1,169 yards and six touchdowns and he led the NFL in yards per reception (20.9).

Even though he finished as the 16th-highest scoring fantasy wide receiver, the big drawback of owning Jackson is his boom-or-bust nature. Jackson finished as a top-17 fantasy wide receiver in eight of 15 games last year; in all seven of the other games, he finished as the WR53 or worse. Stated differently, Jackson had zero games within the range of WR18 and WR52 in a given week last year.

6.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans

Blue averaged just 3.1 YPC as a rookie last season and he backs up one of the league's few workhorses in Arian Foster, but he finished as a top-40 fantasy running back in 2014. The Texans were more committed to the run than any other team in the league and Foster, who missed three games last season, is always a candidate to miss a game or two. In fact, Foster will miss at least some games to begin the season following groin surgery.

At this point, however, I'd actually prefer Foster over Blue. There is some optimism that Foster may only miss a few games as opposed to half the season as initially expected.

> Continue to Round 7 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 5

Four of our contributors began a new "slow" 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft over the weekend and another round is complete and posted.

Here are Round 5 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

5.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions

Tate had a career year with 99 catches for 1,331 yards and four touchdowns plus 30 rushing yards. From Weeks 4 to 8, Calvin Johnson missed three games and was a decoy in two other games (19 total yards). During that same five-game span, Tate averaged 119.8 yards per game and scored three of his four touchdowns. If Megatron is healthy for the entire season, Tate is unlikely to repeat last year's career numbers, but he's otherwise a solid low-end WR2 in 2015. In this case, he's a WR3 for Dan's team with T.Y. Hilton and Julian Edelman ahead of him.

5.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce played only 52.3 percent of the team's offensive snaps from Weeks 1 to 10, but that percentage jumped to 86.7 percent from Weeks 11 to 17. Despite his snap-count limits during the first half of the season, Kelce still finished with 67 receptions, 862 yards and five touchdowns and the ninth-most fantasy points among tight ends last season. With good health and no playing time limitations, the sky is the limit for Kelce in 2015.

5.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

A top-three fantasy quarterback in 2014, Wilson rushed for 849 yards and six touchdowns, both of which were career highs, and netted fantasy owners an average of 7.56 fantasy points per game from rushing stats alone. While he won't post gaudy passing statistics in Seattle's run-dominant offense, Wilson is the first quarterback in league history to throw 20-plus touchdowns with 10 or fewer interceptions in each of his first three NFL seasons, per Pro Football Reference. Trading for Jimmy Graham gives Wilson an elite red-zone option for the first time in his young career.

5.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

With a slow finish to the season, Manning finished the year as the QB4 (312.68 fantasy points) behind Aaron Rodgers (354.14), Andrew Luck (350.74) and Wilson (327.6). In the first 11 games of the season, Manning averaged 23.96 fantasy points per game (323.45 YPG, 34 TDs and nine INTs). In the final five games of the season, however, he averaged just 9.83 FPPG (233.8 YPG, five TDs and six INTs) and never scored more than 13.02 fantasy points in any of those games.

Much of last year's decline can be attributed to his thigh injury, but Manning's passing production also tends to slow as the weather turns colder. In a more balanced offense with some issues on the offensive line, it's possible that Manning fails to produce a top-five fantasy season. (He's the QB6 currently in my rankings.)

5.05 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

After a boost in playing time down the stretch and a strong offseason, all signs pointed to Adams taking a step forward in year two. In addition, no player benefits more by the ACL injury to Jordy Nelson (from a fantasy perspective) than Adams, who finished with 38/446/3 numbers as a rookie.

5.06 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Inactive for the first six games, Bryant went on a scoring spree in his first four NFL games with a total of six touchdowns during that span. After that point, however, Bryant had just 12 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns in the final six games of the season. Not only does he currently project as the team's No. 3 receiver, Bryant will miss the first four games of the season due to league suspension.

[Note: Sean made this selection prior to the news of Bryant's pending suspension.]

5.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots

As we've seen from Blount in the postseason, he can go from one yard on three carries (vs. BAL) one week to 30 carries for 148 yards and three touchdowns (vs. IND) the next week. Blount's carries in his final six games through the Super Bowl were as follows: 20, eight, 10, three, 30 and 14. While we can't always count on consistent running back workloads from Belichick, Blount figures to be the "guy" in the Patriots' backfield. And Blount has been dominant at the goal line for the Patriots with 15 rushing scores in his past 15 games (including playoffs) with the Pats.

5.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets

Although he averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC, Ivory once again rushed for more than 800 yards and set a career high with six touchdowns. The Jets signed Stevan Ridley in free agency and traded a seventh-round pick for Zac Stacy, but Ivory should lead the team's backfield in both workload and fantasy production. More productive than most probably realized, Ivory finished as a top-20 fantasy running back last season.

5.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

With Antonio Brown and Nelson as my first two picks, the injury to Nelson hurts what I expected to be this mock's best receiving corps. Quietly off to a strong rookie season before a Week 10 foot injury ended his season, Robinson averaged 5.22 receptions and 60.89 yards per game with four-plus catches per game from Weeks 2 to 10. Assuming good health in 2015, Robinson is poised for a breakout season.

5.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints

Following his breakout 2012 season, the Bills (new and since ousted) coaching staff failed to utilize Spiller correctly over the past two seasons. That's certainly not a concern in 2015 as Payton & Co. should maximize Spiller's production on a per-touch basis.

Since Payton took over in New Orleans in 2006, the Saints have roughly one-third (six of 19) of the 70-reception seasons by running backs. One concern entering the season, however, is Spiller's recent arthroscopic knee surgery, but he is expected to ready for Week 1.

5.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Landing in Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense bodes well for Agholor's short- and long-term fantasy outlook. While the Eagles lost Jeremy Maclin (6-0, 198, 4.48 forty) in free agency, Agholor (6-0, 198, 4.42 forty) has earned comparisons to the departed receiver. An excellent route runner, Agholor has the ability to play both inside and outside and finished with a 104/1,313/12 stat line last year for USC. With that said, there are several receivers still on the board that I'd take before Agholor (WR25 in this mock).

5.12 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants

Dealing with multiple injuries, Jennings played in just 11 games in his first season with the Giants. Second-year back Andre Williams will steal some goal-line opportunities and Shane Vereen will steal some of his passing-down work, which limits the weekly upside of the soon-to-be 30-year-old Jennings.

On a positive note, the Giants used the ninth-overall pick on Ereck Flowers, one of the best run-blocking offensive linemen in this year's draft class. Only the Cardinals (3.3) and Chargers (3.4) averaged fewer YPC than the Giants (3.6) last season and at least part of those struggles can be attributed to the line play.

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 4

Another round of our new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft is complete. Four of our contributors are conducting a "slow" draft and we are posting updates as the rounds are complete.

With that said, another round is in the books.

Here are Round 4 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

4.01 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers

With Frank Gore signing a free-agent deal with the Colts, Hyde enters 2015 atop the 49ers depth chart at running back. With Gore ahead of him last year on the depth chart, Hyde had just 83 carries for 333 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. Not only will his workload expand significantly, but I expect his effectiveness on a per-carry basis to increase from last year's 4.0 yards-per-carry average. On a positive note, Hyde has shed some weight and is now in the "mid 220-pound range," which should improve his elusiveness yet still allow him to flourish near the goal line.

4.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

With previous career highs of 67/740/6, Sanders blew those numbers out of the water in his first season in Denver with 101 receptions for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns in 2014. Given a new coaching staff and more balanced philosophy, repeating a 101/1,404/9 line appears unlikely, but Sanders is a solid WR2 behind Dez Bryant (1.10) for Brendan.

4.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

I'm thrilled that Matthews made it to me at 4.03. Playing only 65.0 percent of the team's offensive snaps as a rookie, that ratio will undoubtedly spike in his second season as the team lost Jeremy Maclin via free agency. In his first season in the league, Matthews finished with 67 receptions for 872 yards and eight touchdowns and finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver. With Maclin gone, it wouldn't surprisie me if he posted top-10 numbers (like Maclin last year) as the No. 1 receiver in such a high-volume offense.

4.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers

Over the final five games of the season, Stewart, who recently turned 28, rushed for 486 yards on 91 carries (5.34 YPC) and only DeMarco Murray (491) had more rushing yards during that span. Entering 2015 as the team's clear featured back, Stewart will finally get the opportunity to carry the load for a full season. Well, the "full" season part is the only concern with him as Stewart has played only 28 games over the past three seasons. If, a big if, he can stay healthy for a full season, he has legitimate top-10 fantasy upside.

4.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers

While his receptions increased from 71 to 77 in 2014, Allen's yardage (1,046 to 783) and touchdowns (eight to four) both dropped and he finished as only the 48th-highest scoring wide receiver last season. Allen turned 23 this spring and should have a bounce-back season in 2015.

4.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

No rookie receiver is more pro-ready than Cooper, the first Biletnikoff winner in Alabama history. Cooper racked up 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns last season and should become Derek Carr's go-to receiver immediately for a team that ranked fourth in the league in pass attempts per game (39.3) in 2014.

4.07 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys

While he had only 51 carries in 2014, 11 (21.6 percent) of those 51 carries resulted in runs of more than 10 yards and he averaged 6.73 yards per carry on the season. More than anything, that production is a result of running behind one of the best offensive lines in football, which should be even better this year. His YPC average will certainly decline with a bump in volume, but Randle is expected to get the largest share of the workload within the team's committee backfield. The upside certainly warrants a selection higher than this and MG3/Randle give Sean two quality backs despite waiting until Rounds 3/4 to draft his first two running backs.

4.08 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Andre Johnson, WR, Indianapolis Colts

After back-to-back 1,400-yard seasons, Johnson finished with 85 receptions for just 936 yards and three touchdowns in 2014. Johnson's 62.4 Y/G and 11.0 Y/R were his lowest since 2005. Now 34 years old, Johnson may never have another 1,400-yard season, but he goes from a team with one of the league's worst quarterback situations to one of the best with Andrew Luck.

4.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams

Arguably the best running back prospect since Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, Gurley ended the drought of first-round running backs and possesses all of the physical tools to be a dominant RB1-type back for years to come. With his combination of size and speed, Gurley has the ability to run over and/or outrun opposing tacklers. Recovering from his torn ACL, however, Gurley will be eased in slowly before eventually settling on a featured-back role. That said, there a few running backs still available that I'd prefer over Gurley including the guy that Brendan took next ...

4.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders

Loaded with potential and upside, Murray is a physical freak that runs a sub-4.4 forty at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. Murray finally got a chance to showcase what he could do down the stretch last season as he gained 478 yards from scrimmage over his final five games on a total of 83 touches (72 carries and 11 receptions). With Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew out and Trent Richardson and Roy Helu in, Murray will be given every opportunity to be the team's lead back in 2015.

4.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Selected with a top-36 pick in this year's draft, Yeldon has excellent size (6-1, 225) and immediately goes to the front of the line in terms of the team's backfield depth chart. General manager David Caldwell said that he sees Yeldon as "a three-down back." Playing in an offense that ranked in the bottom two in both scoring and total offense last year could limit Yeldon's fantasy upside as a rookie, but he could end up leading rookie backs in touches in 2015.

4.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

After his breakout 2013 season (105/1,056/6), Edelman actually averaged slightly more receptions (6.57 in 2014 vs. 6.56 in 2013) and yards (69.43 in 2014 vs. 66.0 in 2013). I'd prefer a few receivers before Edelman, but he is in the low-end WR2/high-end WR3 range for standard-scoring leagues and is the WR20 in this mock.

> Continue to Round 5 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft

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August 27, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 3

Four of our contributors recently began a new "slow" 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft and another round is now complete.

Here are Round 3 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

3.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Hilton had a breakout 82/1,345/7 season last year. And that breakout year would have been even better if he weren't limited down the stretch by a hamstring injury. With good health, Hilton could set new career highs in both receptions and yards this season.

3.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Throwing for 4,761 yards and a league-leading 40 touchdowns, both of which were career highs, Luck's 40 TDs last season nearly equalled his total from his first two seasons combined (46 TDs). During the season, Luck had the second-longest streak of 300-yard games (eight) in NFL history. Not only does Luck lead one of the league's most prolific passing offenses, but he gets a boost from his mobility with at least 255 rushing yards each year and a total of 12 rushing scores.

Quarterback is deep and I usually like to wait on the position, but there is a clear-cut top tier with Luck and Aaron Rodgers and I'd be willing to take either in the third round.

3.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts

With the exception of an 11-game season in 2010, Gore has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in eight of his past nine seasons with at least 1,100 rushing yards in four consecutive seasons. Coach Pagano has said that he still views Gore as an every-down back, which means he should get the opportunity to extend that streak. One of the league's better pass-catching backs earlier in his career, Gore should be much more involved as a receiver with the Colts than he has been over the past four seasons (average of 18 catches per season) in San Francisco.

3.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

Emerging as the team's most productive wide receiver last season, Hopkins took a huge step forward in his second season with a 76/1,210/6 stat line and the team has subsequently released Andre Johnson in the offseason. If there's any concern when it comes to Hopkins taking another step forward in his third season, however, it's the team's less-than-inspiring quarterback play, but he's a strong WR2 option for Brendan behind his WR1 (Randall Cobb).

3.05 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

Morris averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC last season, but he rushed 265 times for 1,074, respectable numbers but also career lows, and eight touchdowns. Washington's offensive line struggled last year, but the team used the fifth-overall pick on Brandon Scherff and the addition of Bill Callahan to the coaching staff is certainly a positive for the team's offensive line play and rushing attack overall.

3.06 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers

With significant injuries to the team's running backs, the Chargers ran the ball only 39.45 percent of the time last season (compared to 46.66 percent, eighth highest, in 2013). Assuming a healthy backfield, I'd expect the Chargers to be closer to 46 percent than 39 percent this season. A top-15 selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, Gordon should get the bulk of the early-down work for the Chargers with Ryan Mathews now in Philadelphia.

3.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints

Before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 11, Cook's 86.3 fantasy points ranked 25th among all wide receivers and his 53 receptions led all rookie receivers. Once again generating plenty of buzz in the offseason, Cooks is poised for a major breakout with the offseason trades of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills.

3.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints

Once again, Ingram missed multiple games and has now missed a total of 14 games over his four-year career. That said, Ingram set career highs -- 226 carries, 964 rushing yards, nine touchdowns and 29 receptions -- in the 13 games he did play in 2014. Re-signing with the Saints, Ingram should lead the team in carries. And given the team's offseason moves, a transition to more of a run-based offense appears to be in the offing.

3.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins coaching staff has seemed reluctant to give Miller as much work as his fantasy owners would have liked, but Miller was highly productive on a per-touch basis (5.09 YPC, 7.24 Y/R) last season. With more than 15 carries in only four games last season, Miller still managed to post his first-ever 1,000-yard season (1,099 rushing yards).

In addition, Miller was very consistent throughout the season as he finished as a top-21 fantasy running back in 12 of 16 weeks. Although they didn't draft Jay Ajayi until the fifth round, his presence could cap Miller's upside in 2015 but I still expect his touches to be fairly close year over year.

3.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints

Slowed by a shoulder injury, Graham had 54 yards or less in six of his final seven games last season and finished with only 889 yards, a four-year low. With his trade to the Seahawks, Graham goes from an offense that averaged 41.2 pass attempts per game, second-most in the NFL last year, to one that averages the fewest (28.4/G).

Over his past four seasons, however, Graham has averaged 89 catches, 1,099 yards and 12 touchdowns per year. I think it's unlikely that reaches the 89/1,099 this season, but I do think he could score double-digit touchdowns as the Seahawks clear best red-zone (receiving) option.

3.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions

There is a lot to like about Abdullah, but this is a little too rich for my blood. Highly productive at Nebraska with back-to-back 1,600-yard campaigns, Abdullah finished first in the vertical jump (42.5 inches), broad jump (10-10), 3-cone drill (6.79) and 20-yard shuttle (3.95) among running backs at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. Provided Joique Bell is ready for Week 1, however, Abdullah will likely begin the season behind Bell on the depth chart, although his role within the offense should expand as the season progresses.

3.12 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals

The good news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. The bad news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. Given Ellington's size (5-9, 199), it wasn't a huge (no pun intended) surprise that Ellington didn't hold up for a full season and missed the final four regular-season games.

With the substantial bump in workload, Ellington underwhelmed as his yards-per-carry average plummeted from 5.5 YPC as a rookie to 3.3 on 201 carries last season. That said, the foot injury he battled all of last season is now healed and the Cardinals improved their offensive line this offseason.

> Continue to Round 4 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft

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August 23, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 2

This weekend, four of our contributors began a new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

Although it is a "slow" mock, we are posting the picks as they occur and another round is now complete.

Here are Round 2 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

2.01 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants

Closing the season with nine consecutive games of 90-plus yards, Beckham racked up a massive stat line of 81/1,199/9 on 115 targets during that stretch. In fact, only 11 other receivers had more yards in all of 2014 than OBJ had in his final nine games. And as impressive as that sounds, he was even more dominant over his final four games -- 43/606/7 on 63 targets.

While ODB is far from being the biggest receiver, his combination of hands, route-running ability, speed and elusiveness makes him nearly impossible to cover especially in today's age of offense-friendly rules.

2.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Over the final nine games of the season, Hill had 22-plus carries and 100-plus rushing yards five times including the final three games of the regular season. During that nine-game span, Hill had 172 carries for 929 yards and six touchdowns and no running back had more rushing yards than Hill during that stretch. (Marshawn Lynch was second with 824 yards.)

Going into the 2015 season, Hill is clearly the team's lead back with Giovani Bernard back as the change-of-pace option. Considering that the Bengals ranked in the top-five in run-play percentage last season, it's possible that Hill challenges for the league lead in rush attempts in 2015.

2.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Jones finished with 104 catches for 1,593 yards, both of which shattered his previous career highs, and six touchdowns in 2014. After scoring 0.62 TD/G on 74.4 YPG in his first two seasons, Jones has averaged just 0.40 TD/G despite a jump to 1087.7 YPG over the past two seasons. With plus size and speed, however, Jones should bounce back in terms of red-zone production and could put together a 100/1,500/10 season in 2015 with good health.

2.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

The only receiver to score more fantasy points than Nelson last season was Antonio Brown, coincidentally Nelson's teammate to start this squad. While he may not finish as a top-two fantasy receiver once again, Nelson posted a 98/1,519/13 line last season and has scored a total of 43 touchdowns over the past four seasons.

Granted, the duo of Brown/Nelson means I'll have one of this league's strongest receiving corps, I tend to dislike how my teams turn out when I fail to secure my RB1 in one of the first two rounds. I'll be cautiously optimistic as I wait to see who falls to me in the next couple of rounds.

2.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Including playoff appearances, Megatron has more 200-yard games (six) than any other receiver in league history. And while he still has as much potential as any to take over a given game, he has missed a total of five games in 2013 and 2014 while appearing as a decoy in some others. With five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Megatron has averaged a stat line of 90/1,467/11 during that span. And if he does play a full 16-game season, it wouldn't be a surprise if he finished the year as the WR1 (or at least higher than his WR7 draft slot).

2.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Arguably the biggest surprise in fantasy football last season, Forsett scored more fantasy points than all but seven other running backs in 2014. Forsett, who re-signed with the Ravens this offseason, rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards last season and averaged an RB-high 5.4 YPC while adding 44 receptions for 263 yards. With Marc Trestman hired to coordinate the offense, Forsett is virtually guaranteed to set a new career high in receptions, but it's perhaps a bit of a concern that the soon-to-be 30-year-old journeyman back has a new coordinator after last year's career year.

2.07 - Sean Beazley (Team II): A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Injuries kept Green from building upon his 2013 numbers (98/1,426/11), but he extended his streak of 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career to four. Only Megatron (6,214), Antonio Brown (5,092) and Demaryius Thomas (5,034) have more yards during that four-year span than Green (4,874). With good health, Green is a good bet for 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns in 2015.

2.08 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, Rodgers was also the top-scoring fantasy quarterback as well. Since becoming Green Bay's starting quarterback seven years ago, Rodgers has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback in six of seven seasons with the lone exception due to injury (broken clavicle, 2013).

2.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Prior to the official start of NFL free agency, Cobb re-signed with the Packers. Of course, playing in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense helps to maximize his fantasy value this year and going forward. Cobb finished his age-24 season with 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns, all of which set career highs, but I would be surprised if he scored 12 touchdowns again in 2015.

2.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Not only was he one of three rookie receivers to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark last year, but Evans was one of five receivers to score at least 12 touchdowns. From Weeks 9 to 11, he gave us a glimpse of what we can expect when things really click as he posted a massive 21/458/5 line over that three-game stretch. Turning just 22 this month, Evans should take a step forward in 2015 although playing with a rookie quarterback could lead to some early-season inconsistency.

2.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears

With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets, Jeffery now takes over as the team's clear No. 1 wide receiver. Despite year-over-year dips in both receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,133), Jeffery posted a career high in touchdowns (10) and finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among wide receivers last season. Jeffery is the 11th receiver off the board in this mock.

2.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

Barely finishing as a top-12 fantasy running back last season, McCoy finished third in the league in rushing (1,319 yards) and was one of only two 300-carry backs. Not only did he average nearly a yard per carry less in 2014 than 2013, McCoy also saw his receptions (52 in 2013) and touchdowns (11 in 2013) drop roughly in half to 28 and five, respectively.

Despite running behind an inferior offensive line (compared to Philadelphia's), McCoy should still see a healthy volume of work within Buffalo's ground-and-pound offense due to philosophy and necessity (poor QB situation). In fact, I have McCoy projected to lead all running backs in carries. But will his per-touch effectiveness bounce back in a less-efficient offense?

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August 22, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 1

Four of our site's contributors — Kevin Hanson, Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley and Dan Yanotchko — have begun a new 12-team, 12-round 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

Although this is a slow draft, we will post picks as they occur, along with comments from yours truly, as opposed to waiting for the entire mock draft to be completed.

Here are Round 1 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

1.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Despite a somewhat disappointing season, Charles finished with the seventh-most fantasy points among running backs in 2014. The 28-year-old back rushed for 1,033 yards, his fifth 1,000-yard season, and added 40 catches for 291 yards while scoring a total of 14 touchdowns.

Despite a year-over-year decline in all of those numbers, the biggest concern was his reduction in workload. After 320-plus touches in back-to-back seasons, Charles had just 246 touches -- 15 running backs had more -- in 2014.

1.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Unfortunately for Bell (and his fantasy owners like me), he's suspended for the first two games of the season (although that was cut from his initial three-game ban). And despite that two-game ban, I have Bell projected to score more fantasy points than all other running backs.

Once he returns, however, Bell's versatility makes him a true three-down back and his production won't vary much based on game flow. Bell broke single-season franchise records for both yards from scrimmage (2,215) and receptions (83) by a running back.

1.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

One of the league's all-time best running backs, Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards back just a couple of seasons ago. Assuming that he plays all 16 games (or close to it), the 30-year-old Peterson should finish as a top-five (or better) back in 2015.

1.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers

Starting slowly while facing three elite rush defenses to start the season, only DeMarco Murray and Bell scored more fantasy points than Lacy from Weeks 4 to 17. Over those final 13 games of the season, Lacy averaged 18.92 touches for 108.85 YFS per game and scored a total of 13 touchdowns.

The benefit of playing with Aaron Rodgers means that opposing defenses are less likely to stack the box to (try to) slow down Lacy. After averaging a relatively modest 4.15 yards per carry as a rookie, Lacy averaged 4.63 YPC last season (and 4.89 YPC over final 13 games).

1.05 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

In his four full seasons in Seattle, Lynch has rushed for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of those seasons. During that four-year span, no player has more rushing yards (5,357), rushing touchdowns (48) and or total touchdowns (56).

Beast Mode's production hasn't slowed at all, but his physical running style (granted, he seems to dish out more punishment than he receives), heavy workload (league-high 1,479 regular-season and playoff touches over that four-year span) and age (turned 29 in April) is at least somewhat concerning. That said, Lynch seems to be a lock for another 1,200 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns in one of the league's most run-dominant offenses.

1.06 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

When it comes to fantasy tight ends, Gronkowski is in a tier all by himself. Named the 2014 AP Comeback Player of the Year after two injury-plagued seasons, Gronkowski posted an 82/1,124/12 stat line over 15 games. Scoring 184.4 fantasy points, Gronk had 30.3 points (or 19.66 percent) more than Antonio Gates, who had the second-most among tight ends.

Not only dominant over a full season, but Gronk was consistent as well finishing as a top-five weekly scorer at the position in eight of 15 games and a top-12 scorer in all but two games.

1.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears

With the coaching change, Forte isn't likely to see anywhere close to triple-digit receptions he had last season, but he could certainly finish in the neighborhood of 60-70 catches. And although Forte averaged less than four yards per carry for the first time since 2009, he has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons and has exceeded 1,400 yards from scrimmage in all seven of his NFL seasons.

Only the Raiders (337) and Bucs (353) ran the ball less than the Bears (355) last season and I'd expect the Bears to be more committed to the run in 2015 to limit Jay Cutler's turnovers.

1.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): DeMarco Murray, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Murray has always been productive on a per-game, per-touch basis. Before last season's career year, Murray averaged 4.95 yards per carry in his first three seasons combined. The issue with Murray (before 2014) was durability as he missed multiple games in each of those three seasons.

With a total of 497 touches including the playoffs last year, durability remains Murray's biggest concern in 2015 as well. Even though the team added another talented (and injury-prone) running back (Ryan Mathews) in free agency, I'd expect Murray to still get close to 20 touches per game, when healthy.

If he holds up for 16 games, he certainly could finish as a top-seven running back like his draft slot in this mock, but will he hold up for another full season?

1.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Surprisingly, Brown never finished as the highest-scoring fantasy wide receiver in any given week in 2014. (In fact, that applies to both standard- and PPR-scoring formats.) Yet no wide receiver had more fantasy points over the course of the season -- in either format -- than Brown.

Over the past two seasons, Brown has a combined 239 receptions for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns. More impressive than his overall level of production, however, is his consistency. Counting the playoffs, Brown has at least five catches and 50 yards in 33 consecutive games.

1.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos

From Week 10 to 17 last year, Anderson finished as a top-five fantasy running back in six of eight games. In the other two games, he was still very productive as the RB10 and RB16 for those given weeks. With a healthy backfield and new coaching staff entering 2015, there is perhaps some uncertainty about how the workload will be allocated, but it appears that CJA is set for a featured-back role.

In his mailbag column, Troy Renck of the Denver Post projects Anderson to average 18 carries per game as the team's "bellcow" and to "roll for 1,400 yards."

1.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Targeted only 136 times, a three-year low, Bryant finished with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a career-high and league-leading 16 touchdowns. Dez now has at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. And aside from Marshawn Lynch, Bryant is the only other player with at least 50 total touchdowns over the past four seasons.

1.12 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

Despite his slow start, Thomas reached the 100-yard mark in 10 of his final 13 games and finished with a full-season stat line of 111 catches and 1,619 yards, both of which were career highs, and 11 touchdowns. A fourth consecutive year of 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns seems like a strong possibility with Peyton Manning back for (at least) one more year.

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July 09, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 15

The 15-round, 12-team 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft that we began at the end of June is now complete.

Here are Round 15 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

15.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Williams has had some really productive NFL seasons -- 1,515 rushing yards and 18 rushing scores in 2008, as an example -- and has averaged 4.78 YPC over his career. Now 32 years old, Williams won't be the featured back for his new team (starting in Week 4). With Le'Veon Bell suspended for the first three games, however, Williams is expected to lead the team's backfield in touches during that span, which works well for Sean since he took Bell at 1.01.

15.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Two seasons ago, Jones broke out with 51 catches for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he missed all of last season. Healthy now, he should move back into the team's No. 2 receiver role, but the Bengals ranked near the bottom of the league in pass attempts (31.7/G) last season.

15.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Kenny Britt, WR, St. Louis Rams

Britt scored the 54th-most fantasy points among wide receivers last season and he gets a quarterback upgrade in Nick Foles. That said, he averaged 6.71 fantasy points per game after the injury to Brian Quick compared to 4.52/G prior to the injury. While the upside isn't high, Britt provides some depth for this team.

15.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Titans

The hype going into 2014 got out of hand and Hunter vastly underperformed expectations (28/498/3). Expectations are obviously much lower going into 2015, but the physical tools are there to make him worth a roll of the dice this late.

15.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams

Through two seasons, Austin has just 1,035 yards from scrimmage -- 660 receiving and 375 rushing -- and nine touchdowns. In fact, he was only targeted 44 times in 15 games last season.

15.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Like Buck Allen, Taliaferro will back up Justin Forsett, who is coming off a career year (1,266 rushing yards) for the Ravens. As noted earlier, hiring Trestman to run the offense will boost the pass-catching opportunities for the backfield.

15.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): James White, RB, New England Patriots

The departure of Shane Vereen in free agency opens the door for a new third-down back in New England. If that's White (and he appears to be the favorite), he's a nice value here.

15.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos

Hillman had a couple of very productive games last season, but he is currently third on the depth chart behind C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball. He's worth a flier this late, however.

15.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers

The backup to one of the league's best running backs, Starks isn't going to get a heavy workload barring an injury to Eddie Lacy. As much as the team blows out their opponents, however, there is the potential for him to get some fourth-quarter carries in addition to providing a breather for Lacy.

15.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Mohamed Sanu, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

With the injuries to the team's top receivers, Sanu had the best season of his career with 56 catches for 790 yards and five touchdowns. As the team's No. 3 receiver, it will likely take more injuries for him to repeat that production.

15.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Miller parlayed 91 targets last season into a 66/761/3 stat line, which was good for the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends in 2014. While he only has four touchdowns in 30 games over the past two seasons, he's one of 10 tight ends I have projected for 60-plus catches in 2015.

15.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

In five NFL seasons since being drafted first overall by the Rams, Bradford has played a total of 49 games -- and only seven of 32 games in the past two years. If, a big if, Bradford starts 16 games for the Eagles, however, he has the potential to finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in 2015. The duo of Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez combined to throw 4,581 yards, 27 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last season and score 258.74 fantasy points, which would have placed them 14th among quarterbacks last year.

- Go back to Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 14

Another round of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft is complete and posted.

Here are Round 14 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

14.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins

With Roy Helu now in Oakland, the team used a second-day pick on Jones, who is expected to take over Helu's third-down role. Jones is a bigger back (6-2, 231) that can handle a heavy workload in the event of an Alfred Morris injury, but he should be better in PPR formats given his initial role.

14.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Lance Dunbar, RB, Dallas Cowboys

With DeMarco Murray totalling close to 500 touches including the postseason, the team's other backs had a limited role. With Murray gone, Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden figure to handle the largest share of the workload, but ESPN's Todd Archer writes that the Cowboys "plan to get Dunbar more involved in 2015" -- and this time, "the Cowboys actually mean it." With Randle (6.03) and McFadden (6.07) long gone in this mock, Dunbar is a cheaper/additional way to get some exposure to the Cowboys backfield.

14.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Despite his past off-the-field concerns, Winston possesses strong on-field intangibles (leadership skills and football intelligence) that you'd want in a franchise quarterback. The Bucs will certainly want him to cut down his turnover rate, but Winston enters his pro career with a talented group of wideouts. And while the Bucs will find themselves trailing often in 2015, Winston has the softest fantasy football strength of schedule among QBs going into the 2015 season.

14.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick averaged fewer yards per attempt (7.0), threw fewer touchdowns (19) and more interceptions (10) than he did in 2013 (7.7 Y/A, 21 TDs and eight INTs) despite throwing more pass attempts (478 in 2014 vs. 416 in 2013). Given the changes to the roster and coaching staff, the 49ers should find themselves trailing (and throwing) more often in 2015.

Meanwhile, the addition of Torrey Smith gives the 49ers a vertical threat that can take advantage of Kaepernick's strong arm. Kaepernick also set career highs in rush attempts (105) and rushing yards (639) even though he rushed for only one touchdown last year (after nine touchdowns in the previous two years combined). While I wouldn't want to count on him as my every-week starter, few QB2 options have as much upside as Kaepernick.

14.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears

Cutler's turnovers really hurt the Bears and no quarterback had more multi-interception games (seven) than he did in 2014. If he doesn't cut down on his turnovers in 2015, he's likely to have a short leash with a new coaching staff in town. On a positive note, they drafted the talented Kevin White with the seventh overall pick to give him another dynamic weapon opposite Alshon Jeffery and have other talented pass-catchers on the roster with Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett, etc.

14.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions

Rookie tight ends typically struggle and Ebron, the 10th-overall pick in 2014, posted a modest 25/248/1 stat line over 13 games last season. There is plenty of upside with Ebron, but he needs to cut down on drops, which were still a problem in the offseason.

14.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings

Rudolph has failed to reach double-digit games in each of the past two seasons. While he has the potential to excel in the red zone (nine touchdowns in 2012), Rudolph has just five touchdowns in 17 games over the past two years. And while Norv Turner runs a tight end-friendly offense, Rudolph actually posted three-year lows on a per-game basis in receptions (2.67/G) and receiving yards (25.7/G) in his only season with Turner. He has some upside here, but he needs to stay healthy.

14.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Carolina Panthers

The biggest appeal with taking Artis-Payne late is the durability of Jonathan Stewart. The Daily Show was one of the league's most productive backs down the stretch and he enters 2015 as the team's featured back, but he has missed 20 games over the past three seasons. If Stewart misses time, CAP should lead the team in touches in those games.

14.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Owen Daniels, TE, Denver Broncos

Playing for Kubiak last season in Baltimore, Daniels had 48 catches for 527 yards and four touchdowns. With Julius Thomas leaving in free agency, Daniels doesn't have the 12-touchdown upside that Thomas had, but it's fair to expect the same or better production than his 48/527/4 line from last season.

14.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Malcom Floyd, WR, San DIego Chargers

For only the second time in his career, Floyd played a full 16-game season and finished with 856 yards and six touchdowns, both of which tied career highs. Floyd played just two games in 2013, but he has averaged 17.5 Y/R and 61.7 Y/G over the past five seasons. Finishing as a top-40 fantasy receiver last season, Floyd is a safe bet, barring injury, to outproduce his draft slot (WR65).

14.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills

Although he started the season slowly, Clay averaged 4.56 catches for 51.0 yards per game and scored all three of his touchdowns from Weeks 7 to 17 while finishing fifth among tight ends in fantasy points per game (7.1) during that stretch. The concern for Clay's outlook -- and that of the other Bills' skill players -- is the team's quarterback situation.

14.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

In two NFL seasons, Reed has played nine and 11 games, respectively, and that's the biggest concern (durability) with Reed. That said, he's been reasonably productive in those 20 games -- 95 receptions for 964 yards (plus 18 rushing yards) and three touchdowns. I like Reed's upside if he can stay healthy, but he also was invisible in too many games last season as he had 25 yards or less in five of his final seven games and didn't score a single touchdown last season.

- Continue to Round 15 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Start from Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 13

Another round of our new 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft is complete and posted.


Here are Round 13 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

13.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens

With Justin Forsett having a breakout season in 2014 and re-signing with the Ravens this offseason, Allen is no better than second in line for touches among the team's backs. That said, Allen is a versatile back that rushed for 1,489 yards that also had 41 receptions for 458 yards last year at USC. With Marc Trestman now running the offense, all of the team's running backs benefit from a scheme standpoint in PPR formats.

13.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Andre Williams, RB, New York Giants

As a rookie, Williams led the team in carries (217), rushing yards (721) and rushing touchdowns (seven), but he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry on the season. Williams may only be the third-most productive fantasy back on the Giants behind Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen, but he could be first in line for goal-line carries.

13.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Well, at least Bowe can't have fewer touchdown receptions in 2015. After back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011, Bowe has 801, 673 and 754 receiving yards in his past three seasons, respectively. Bowe may be one of a few free-agent wide receivers where Cleveland as a landing spot doesn't necessarily hurt his fantasy stock. As the 62nd wide receiver off the board in this mock, he's nothing more than some depth at the position.

13.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Terrance West, RB, Cleveland Browns

The frustrating part of owning a Browns running back is the inconsistency in carries. In West's final seven games played last season, here are his rush attempts: 26, 5, 14, 7, 15, 5 and 18. Reducing workload predictability for West is the selection of Miami's Duke Johnson in the third round of this year's draft. And based on the buzz Johnson has generated this offseason, it appears that West will be third in line for running back touches.

13.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Lee missed most of the offseason program due to a knee issue and he appears to be third behind Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns on the depth chart going into training camp. The majority of Lee's rookie-season production came with Robinson sidelined as four of Lee's five games with 50-plus yards came in the final six games of the season.

13.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts

With eight touchdowns on only 29 receptions in 13 games, Allen is one of the league's better red-zone options at the position. In weeks he doesn't score, however, Allen's lack of volume (2.23 catches per game) will lead to mostly boom (scores a touchdown) or bust (doesn't score a touchdown) outcomes.

13.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings

Bridgewater improved throughout his rookie season, which is something you always want to see with a young quarterback. All four of his games with a completion percentage of at least 70 percent occurred within the final five games of the season. In addition, Bridgewater posted a 1:5 TD-to-INT ratio in his first four games but improved to a 13:7 TD-to-INT ratio for the remainder of the season. With the attention that Adrian Peterson commands from opposing defenses, it should open up the passing offense for Bridgewater in year two.

13.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seferian-Jenkins played only nine games in his rookie season and finished with 21 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns. With good health in 2015, there is some breakout appeal for ASJ and he gives Brendan two tight ends with upside. (Brendan also drafted Zach Ertz at 8.05.)

13.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills

Although Jackson rushed for a career-low 3.7 yards per carry, he also set career highs with 66 receptions for 501 yards. In fact, Matt Forte (102) and Le'Veon Bell (83) were the only running backs that had more receptions than F-Jax last season. Now 34 years old, however, Jackson is likely to see fewer touches in 2015 especially considering the Bills upgraded the position by trading for LeSean McCoy. In fact, it appears that Jackson isn't a lock for the 2015 roster.

13.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions

With Joique Bell and second-round rookie Ameer Abdullah ahead of Riddick on the running back depth chart, many of Riddick's snaps may come out of the slot. Either way, Reggie Bush missed five games last season and Riddick had only 20 carries on the year.

13.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Ladarius Green, TE, San Diego Chargers

There were high hopes this time last year that Green would see an expanded role in 2014, but fantasy owners were left disappointed. Green posted just 19 receptions for 226 yards (and no touchdowns) while Antonio Gates finished second among tight ends in his age-34 season. For at least the first four games of this season, however, Green will see his role expand with Gates suspended for PEDs, which could open the door for maintaining an expanded role once Gates is back.

13.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Baldwin set career highs of 66 receptions and 825 yards last season and his numbers post-Percy Harvin (4.55/58.0/0.27) were much better than they were prior to the trade (3.2/37.4/0.0). Adding Jimmy Graham and Tyler Lockett to the mix, however, there is little to no upside with Baldwin in Seattle's run-first offense. That said, he's more than a fair value as the WR64 in this mock.

- Continue to Round 14 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft


- Start from Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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July 08, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 12

Another round of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft has been posted.

Here are Round 12 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft:

12.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks

A second-round pick a couple of seasons ago, Michael may not be the heir apparent to Marshawn Lynch, as initially thought, and it appears even that he may enter training camp on the roster bubble. ESPN's Terry Blount wrote "[i]t's 'step up or step out' time for Michael" with undrafted free-agent Thomas Rawls impressive during OTAs. Blount went on to write that Michael "needs to do everything right in camp or he might find his days in Seattle have ended."

12.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Generating plenty of buzz prior to the draft highlighted by a pair of sub-4.3's run at the UCF Pro Day, Perriman is the son of ex-NFL receiver Brent Perriman, who has a 1,400-yard season under his belt with the Lions. Much bigger than his father, Perriman (6-1, 212) has had some issues with drops, which has continued during OTAs, and needs to improve as a route-runner, but he's a big play waiting to happen.

Coming off a career-best 50/1,044/9 season, Perriman has averaged more than 20.0 Y/R over the past two seasons and is an excellent fit to replace Torrey Smith as a vertical threat in this offense. At a minimum, he's worth a flier as the 57th wide receiver off the board in this mock.

12.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys

With the Cowboys leaning heavily on their ground game last year, Williams saw a drop in targets (74 to 64), receptions (44 to 37) and yards (736 to 621). On a positive note, Williams had eight touchdowns with another three coming in the team's two playoff games. Going into his third season, however, Williams will likely remain a TD-dependent option as he finished with two or fewer receptions in 12 of 16 games last year.

12.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Jaelen Strong, WR, Houston Texans

Strong missed a bunch of time in OTAs due to a hamstring injury, but the competition for the No. 2 receiver role after DeAndre Hopkins is only Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington. Even if he wins that job, however, the team's quarterback situation isn't all that inspiring and the Texans were the most run-heavy team in the league last year (partly due to sub-mediocre quarterback play).

12.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Dan Herron, RB, Indianapolis Colts

While the Colts plan to utilize Frank Gore as a workhorse back and he hasn't missed a game in four years, he turned 32 in May and is approaching 3,000 career touches (2.784 going into 2015). Over the final nine games of last season including the playoffs, Herron rushed for 447 yards (4.43 YPC) and three touchdowns with 39 receptions for 292 yards and obviously has tremendous upside if Gore misses any time.

12.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

Other than his rookie season, Witten's 64 receptions and 703 yards last year set or tied career lows. Witten lacks upside at this point in his career, but he's a solid option that should come close to last year's top-10 performance once again.

12.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2013, Rivers followed up his bounce-back season with 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns but he also threw 18 interceptions. Dealing with a back injury, Rivers threw seven of those interceptions in the final three games of the season. Rivers should be a relatively safe bet for 4,000-plus yards and around 30 touchdowns once again in 2015.

12.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans

Blue averaged just 3.1 YPC as a rookie last season and he backs up one of the league's few true workhorses in Arian Foster, but he finished as a top-40 fantasy running back in 2014. The Texans were more committed to the run than any other team in the league and Foster, who missed three games last season, is always a candidate to miss a game or two. Blue ranked 24th in carries (169) last season.

12.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Cody Latimer, WR, Denver Broncos

As a rookie, Latimer played just 37 offensive snaps and had just two receptions for 23 yards on four targets. Two of the team's top pass-catchers -- Wes Welker and Julius Thomas -- have departed via free agency. Going into his second season, Latimer should see a big bump in snaps as Emmanuel Sanders could move inside in three-WR sets and Latimer has plenty of upside.

12.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

Walker set career highs in both receptions (63) and yards (890) and led the team in both categories last season. It may be difficult for Walker to repeat that production with a rookie quarterback, but the team's quarterback situation was less than ideal last year and Marcus Mariota has generated positive reviews during offseason workouts.

12.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill posted career highs in passing yards (4,045), passing touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (66.4) with a career low in interceptions (12) in his first year playing for new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards, which ranked fifth among all quarterbacks last season.

Starting in Week 6, Tannehill finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in six of the final 11 weeks, but he also finished with the eighth-most fantasy points over the full season. The team's group of top pass-catchers was entirely turned over except for Jarvis Landry, but Tannehill has plenty of upside as the QB15 in this mock.

12.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Patterson had 45 catches for 469 yards plus 158 rushing yards and nine total touchdowns as a rookie in 2013. Those that expected a breakout from him in 2014 were largely disappointed. Patterson had 238 yards from scrimmage in Weeks 1 to 3, but had two or fewer receptions in all but one game after that. With the trade for Mike Wallace this offseason, Patterson's 2015 outlook isn't much brighter.

- Continue to Round 13 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Start from Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 11

We have completed the 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft that we began a couple of weeks ago and I am in the process of catching up on the comments.

Here are Round 11 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

11.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Eli Manning, QB,New York Giants

In the first six games of the season, Eli finished outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in all but one game. Beginning with Odell Beckham's third NFL game (Week 7), however, Manning finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback in five of his final 10 games last season. (And a sixth game was inside the weekly top 10.) With a full season of ODB, the return of Victor Cruz, the free-agent addition of one of the league's better receiving backs (Shane Vereen) and more comfort and familiarity within Ben McAdoo's offense, Eli has the potential to post career numbers in 2015, also a contract year. In addition, only Tampa and Washington quarterbacks have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Eli does.

11.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins

Garcon played a full 16-game season in back-to-back years for the first time in his career, but things weren't all positive for Garcon as his production was nearly cut in half to 68 catches for 752 yards and three touchdowns. (Garcon had 113/1,346/5 in 2013.) That said, the team has said that it plans to get Garcon more involved in 2015 although he won't come anywhere near the 113 catches he had last season.

11.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Roy Helu, RB, Oakland Raiders

In four seasons, Helu has been relatively productive on a per-touch basis (4.4 YPC, 8.9 Y/R). At a minimum, Helu should get plenty of work as the team's third-down back, but there is upside with unproven Latavius Murray as the featured back.

11.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Smith's first season as a Raven went better than expectations as he posted a 79/1,065/6 full-season stat line. With all four of his 100-yard games occurring in the first six games of the season, Smith was much less effective over the final 10 games. That said, he did have at least five catches in each of the final four games for a total of 25 catches during the final month of the season. Now 36 years old, it may be unlikely that Smith posts another 1,000-yard season, but he has made a career out of disproving his doubters.

[Per Pro Football Reference, there have five 1,000-yard seasons by an age-36 receiver (or older) and Jerry Rice has three of them.]

11.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Fleener finished with 774 yards and eight touchdowns, both of which were career highs, on 51 receptions last season. Unsurprisingly, Fleener's best games last season came in games that Dwayne Allen was out. In the four games that Allen missed or left early due to injury, Fleener had 355 yards and four touchdowns. In the other 12 games, he had just 419 yards and four touchdowns. Assuming that Fleener and Allen are healthy for the entire season, I prefer a number of tight ends still on the board over Fleener.

11.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Tennessee Titans

Long term, there is plenty of upside with Green-Beckham, who possesses great size (and athleticism for that size) and was the top recruit in the country coming out of high school. There are a couple of things working against him in re-draft formats, however, as he sat out all of 2014 following his dismissal from the Mizzou program and he will have to shake off that rust with a fellow rookie at quarterback.

11.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings

When McKinnon was on the field last year, he was productive (4.76 YPC) and he averaged 16.38 touches per game from Weeks 4 to 12 before missing the rest of the year due to injury. McKinnon's volume of work won't approach anything close to 16 touches per game with Adrian Peterson back as the team's workhorse.

11.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Small but ultra quick, Brown had a solid rookie season especially given the team's injuries at quarterback and finished with 48 receptions for 696 yards and five touchdowns. Improved year-over-year production should be expected and he's a solid WR5 for Brendan.

11.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams

Tearing his rotator cuff in Week 8 last season, Quick played just seven games, but he started the season strong. In the first four games of the year, Quick had a total of 21 receptions for 322 yards and three touchdowns and finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver each week. Although he had just four catches for 53 yards in his other three games, Quick was on his way to a breakout season. Depending on his health, that breakout season could come for the former Appalachian State receiver in 2015.

11.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders

The free-agent market for Crabtree's services was anything but robust, which led to his one-year deal with the Raiders. While Crabtree played a full 16-game season last year, he averaged only 10.3 Y/R and 43.6 Y/G, both of which were career lows. The good news is that the Raiders will trail often and need to throw (they ranked fourth in pass attempts last season), but the team drafted Amari Cooper fourth overall.

11.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Rueben Randle, WR,

A top-30 fantasy wide receiver in PPR scoring last season, Randle finished with 71 receptions for 938 yards on 127 targets, all of which shattered previous career highs. Randle benefitted from Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz missing a total of 14 games, but Randle just turned 24 years old this offseason and Eli Manning has predicted a "breakout" season for Randle in 2015.

11.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Moncrief had a couple of big games last season and earlier in the offseason, it appeared that 2015 would be a breakout year with Reggie Wayne no longer back in Indy. With the addition of Andre Johnson and Phillip Dorsett via free agency and the draft, respectively, modest improvement may come without a true "breakout" for Moncrief.

- Continue to Round 12 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Start from Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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June 30, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 10

We are entering the final stretch of our new Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft as 10 of the 15 rounds are now complete.

Here are Round 10 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

10.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers

Although his targets (98), receptions (69) and yards (821) were down year over year, Gates finished with 12 touchdowns, the second-most of his career, and scored the third-most (PPR) fantasy points among tight ends last season. Gates finished as a weekly top-two tight end four times and top eight at the position eight times last season. While Dan shouldn't expect another top-three finish from the 35-year-old Gates, a top-10 finish is certainly within reach.

10.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The current regime inherited Doug Martin, but used a relatively early pick on the versatile Sims, who rushed for 3,465 yards in college but also added 203 receptions for 2,108 yards. It wouldn't surprise me if he led the Bucs' backfield in fantasy points this season, but he was less than impressive when healthy over the final eight games of his rookie season -- 2.8 yards per carry. And reports are that Martin has had a good offseason. With that said, Martin has struggled with durability -- 15 missed games over the past two seasons -- that Sims has upside here.

10.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Reggie Bush, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, Bush missed five games and gained a total of only 550 yards from scrimmage (50.0 per game) while averaging only 3.9 yards per carry and scoring just two touchdowns. Released by the Lions, Bush signed with the 49ers and will at least own a third-down role to unproven second-year back Carlos Hyde. And considering the offseason losses (via free agency and retirement) for the Niners, it's likely they throw the ball more often than they have in recent seasons.

10.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Overall, it was a disappointing season for Smith, who either set or tied career lows with 49 receptions for 767 yards. On a positive note, however, Smith set a career high with 11 touchdowns and he was much more productive from Week 6 to 17. During that span, Smith averaged 3.8 catches for 59.1 yards and scored 10 of his 11 touchdowns. One of the league's more dangerous vertical threats, Smith fills a void for the 49ers, but his weekly production could remain relatively volatile.

10.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

In Week 17 and their two playoff games, Adams was on the field for 91.2, 88.7 and 90.4 percent, respectively, of the team's snaps. While his numbers may not see a major spike with the Packers re-signing Randall Cobb, Adams will certainly improve upon his 38/446/3 rookie numbers and we've seen instances in which the Packers have had three productive fantasy wide receivers at the same time. In addition, Coach McCarthy dubbed Adams the "MVP" of OTAs.

10.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins

I get that there were concerns with Ajayi's knee, but it really surprised me that he slipped all the way to fifth round. Meanwhile, the Dolphins seemed fairly reluctant to give Lamar Miller a large workload (despite his level of production). The versatile Ajayi is a downhill runner with excellent size (6-0, 221) that also displayed excellent pass-catching ability with 50 receptions for 536 yards last season as well.

10.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Knile Davis, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Davis had some big games when given the opportunity as he finished as a top-eight fantasy running back four times last season. With Jamaal Charles leaving Week 2 early (only two carries) and missing Week 3, Davis had a combined 60 touches for 237 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in those two games. In the other games, Davis averaged just 6.92 touches per game but he had double-digit touches in four of those games as well. While he may be better as a handcuff for the Charles owner, Davis has the potential to provide Dan with some highly productive weeks as his RB5.

10.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Denard Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars signed Toby Gerhart last offseason expecting him to be the team's featured back, but Gerhart was a major disappointment. Of the team's running backs, Robinson was head and shoulders above the rest in terms of effectiveness. Shoelace got a shot at the featured role in Week 7 and posted back-to-back 100-yard games while averaging 4.3 yards per carry last season, but he finished the season on IR due to a foot injury. Going into 2015, he'll be nothing more than a change-of-pace option to T.J. Yeldon, on whom the Jags used a top-36 draft pick.

10.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets

Although he averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC, Ivory once again rushed for more than 800 yards and set a career high with six touchdowns. The Jets signed Stevan Ridley in free agency and traded a seventh-round pick for Zac Stacy, but Ivory should lead that trio in both workload and fantasy production although Bilal Powell will likely get most of the third-down snaps.

More productive than most probably realized, Ivory finished as a top-24 fantasy running back in PPR formats last season. As the 51st running back off the board, Ivory may not be an exciting pick, but there is some upside.

10.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints

Colston, who turned 32 in early June, finished with 59 receptions for 902 yards, both of which were the lowest of his career apart from an 11-game season in 2008. On a per-game basis, however, his 3.69 receptions, 6.25 targets and 56.38 yards per game were all career lows. One positive for Colston personally, not the offense in general, is that the team traded away both Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills so his targets and production are likely to see a bump in 2015.

10.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Jordan Cameron, TE, Miami Dolphins

In 2013, Cameron had a breakout season with 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. When healthy, he is clearly a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Unfortunately, Cameron missed six games last season and has a history of concussions. Perhaps no injury is more worrisome from a fantasy outlook given the greater susceptibility and unpredictability of a recurrence. If Cameron plays 16 games in 2015, however, he has top-five upside for Brendan.

10.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans

This is earlier than I'd take Mariota, but there is fantasy upside given his dual-threat abilities. We've seen quarterbacks post big fantasy weeks with relatively modest passing numbers due to elite rushing stats. I like Mariota long term, but his rookie season production could be quite volatile on a weekly basis. With back-to-back picks, Sean takes the quarterback I would have targeted at 11.01.

- Continue to Round 11 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

Go back to earlier rounds:
- Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 2 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 3 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 4 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 5 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 6 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 7 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 8 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 9 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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June 29, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 9

One week ago, we started a new PPR 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft. The mock is a "slow" draft and we posting the rounds as they are complete. With that said, another round of our 15-round mock is in the books.

Here are Round 9 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

9.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Just a couple of seasons ago, Martin racked up 1,926 yards from scrimmage, 49 receptions and 12 touchdowns in 16 games as a rookie, but 2012 feels like it was a decade ago. Over the past two seasons (combined), Martin has only 1,080 YFS, 25 receptions and three touchdowns in 17 games. To complicate matters for 2015, Charles Sims, the new regime's third-round pick from last year, will be healthy to start the year.

On a positive note, The Tampa Tribune has recently described this as Martin's "best offseason in three years" and writes that "the upswing in his play could not have come at a better time" (to hold off Sims for the featured-back role).

9.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Mike Wallace, WR, Minnesota Vikings

The Dolphins certainly had some buyer's remorse after signing him to a big free-agent contract two offseasons ago and traded him to the Vikings this offseason. Wallace has three consecutive mediocre seasons of less than 1,000 yards and has averaged just 13.1, 12.7 and 12.9 Y/R over the past three seasons, respectively. Perhaps the change of scenery and Norv Turner's vertical-passing attack will help Wallace live up to his potential and exceed this draft slot (9.02) and even his ADP (7.09).

9.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Only the Jets have fewer passing yards than the 49ers over the past two seasons, yet Boldin is now two-for-two in 1,000-yard seasons with the Niners. In addition, both of his yardage totals (1,179 and 1,062, respectively) were higher than any of his previous six seasons. Boldin is unlikely to blow up for 150 yards and two touchdowns in any given week, but he provides me with consistent production as he exceeded 50 receiving yards in 12 of 16 games last season.

9.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers

Woodhead missed all but three games last season, but prior to the 2014 season, he had finished as a top-30 fantasy running back in three of his previous four seasons. In his first full season with the Chargers (2013) which also coincided with the only full NFL season for Ryan Mathews, who's now with the Eagles, Woodhead had 1,034 yards from scrimmage, 76 receptions and eight total touchdowns. If though Melvin Gordon was drafted to fill Mathews' void, Woodhead should get the majority of third-down snaps for the Bolts.

9.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots

In his first season with the Patriots, LaFell had his best NFL season, by far, as he set career highs in receptions (74), yards (953) and touchdowns (seven). As solid as LaFell's overall numbers were, there was plenty of weekly inconistency as he had four weekly top-12 finishes but he finished outside the top-36 six times. At best, he's the team's third option in the passing game behind Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, but he's a solid option in Round 9.

9.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

No quarterback underachieved expectations more last season than Stafford, who finished as the QB15 in 2014. Even with the free-agent signing and breakout season from Golden Tate (99/1,331/4), Stafford threw for only 4,247 yards, a four-year low, and 22 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. With better health from Calvin Johnson, who missed a few games and was a decoy in others, Stafford should post better numbers in 2015.

9.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins

Stills set career highs with 63 receptions for a team-high 931 yards in his second season with the Saints, but he was traded to the Dolphins this offseason. One of the areas in which Ryan Tannehill has struggled is his downfield accuracy, which doesn't necessarily bode well for the speedy Stills. While I don't dislike Stills, I'd prefer to draft him closer to his ADP (12.03).

9.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

While it appears that the Cardinals remain committed to Andre Ellington in a workhorse role, Johnson is a big back (6-1, 224) with excellent receiving skills. In fact, Johnson had over 200 receiving yards in the game against Iowa last season. Coach Bruce Arians said of Johnson, "[h]e’s got good power, but his receiving ability is as close to Andre’s as anybody I’ve seen." In addition, general manager Steve Keim described him as a "three-down" back.

9.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Fitzgerald had 63 receptions for 784 yards and a career-low two touchdowns last season and his 784 yards were only four more than the career low he had as a rookie. Given the injuries to Carson Palmer and then Drew Stanton, the decline certainly wasn't solely the fault of Fitzgerald, who also missed two games. That said, Fitzgerald now has three consecutive seasons with less than 1,000 yards.

9.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Based on 2014 average draft position (ADP), Roethlisberger was one of the biggest values last season. Only four quarterbacks scored more fantasy points than Roethlisberger -- Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning. Once again, he's being overlooked as the 10th quarterback off the board, providing Sean with a nice value.

Big Ben threw for a career-high 4,952 yards, which tied Brees last season for the league lead, and 32 touchdowns, which tied a previous career high. It wouldn't surprise me if Roethlisberger posted another top-five finish in 2015.

9.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets

Decker's first year with the Jets (74/962/5) was worse than his recent seasons with the Broncos, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but he still finished as a top-30 fantasy wide receiver in both standard- and PPR-scoring formats. Both of Decker's 100-yard games came in the final three weeks of the season including a massive 10/221/1 line against the Dolphins in Week 17. Given the team's quarterback situation, Decker's upside is capped, but the addition of Marshall as a true No. 1 wide receiver could actually help (take the attention off) Decker.

9.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

As Brady faces a four-game suspension for the DeflateGate scandal, it's unclear whether -- and by how much -- his suspension will be reduced. There has been speculation that he would take it to court if his suspension isn't completely overturned.

Looking back at last season, Brady had a rough four-game start as he averaged just 197.75 Y/G with only four total touchdowns during that span. From Week 5 on, however, things clicked as only Peyton Manning (31) threw more touchdowns than Brady (29) over that stretch. With good health once again for Rob Gronkowski, Brady could post top-five production on a per-game basis in 2015.

And if Brady's suspension is overturned or even reduced to two games (or less), this would represent a tremendous value.

- Continue to Round 10 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

Go back to earlier rounds:
- Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 2 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 3 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 4 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 5 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 6 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 7 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 8 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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June 28, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 8

Earlier today, we posted Round 7 of our new Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft and now another round is complete and posted.

Here are Round 8 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

8.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Replacing LeSean McCoy with DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews means that Sproles goes from second in line for touches to third. Recently described by Chip Kelly as a "Swiss army knife," Sproles may have the occasional productive game, but I personally wouldn't reach for the 32-year-old back a couple of rounds earlier than his current PPR ADP (10.03) as Dan did here.

8.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Slowed by injuries, Thomas followed up a breakout 2013 season with only 43 catches for 489 yards, but he once again scored 12 touchdowns. Signing a massive free-agent deal with the Jaguars, Thomas is unlikely to approach that red-zone success again this year. Aside from the Browns (12), no other team threw fewer touchdowns than the Jaguars (15) last season, but he represents a fair value as he's going roughly a round earlier (7.04) in drafts this offseason.

8.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans

One year after his 94/1,079/2 breakout season in 2013, Wright's production dropped year over year to 57/715/6 although the issues at quarterback were at least partly to blame. And even though the Titans lost 14 games including nine of them by double digits, Wright saw 10 targets in only one game last season. While second-overall pick Marcus Mariota appeared to exceed expectations during OTAs, the ups and downs of an offense led by a rookie quarterback could mean that Wright doesn't have a bounce-back season in 2015. Given that uncertainty, I wouldn't select Wright more than three rounds earlier than his ADP (11.08) as Sean did.

8.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

During the draft process last year, Freeman drew some comparisons to Frank Gore. Meanwhile, new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said that he "loved" Freeman when evaluating him last year. Averaging just 3.8 yards per carry as a rookie, Freeman had eight or fewer carries in all but one game, but he also finished with 30 receptions. Freeman played on just 21.5 percent of Atlanta's offensive snaps last season, but he should see a huge bump in snaps, touches and production in 2015 even though the Falcons drafted Tevin Coleman.

8.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz saw a year-over-year jump from 36 catches and 469 yards as a rookie to 58 catches for 702 yards, 11th-most among tight ends last season. The Eagles used their first-round pick on Nelson Agholor to replace Jeremy Maclin, but Ertz could become more involved in the passing game in 2015.

8.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): David Cobb, RB, Tennessee Titans

Last year's first running back selected, Bishop Sankey, was a disappointment for the Titans. With that said, it's certainly possible that Cobb, the team's fifth-round pick this year, could lead the team's backfield in touches as early as his rookie season. Coach Ken Whisenhunt described Cobb as a potential three-down back.

8.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Coming off a disappointing season, White still averaged a respectable 5.71 catches and 65.79 yards per game with seven touchdowns last year. Had he not missed two games, he was on a 16-game pace of 91/1,053/8. With White turning 34 in November and Julio Jones now the clear-cut No. 1 wideout on the team, there may not be too much upside above last season's per-game averages, but he's a solid value here.

8.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills

Following his former head coach to Buffalo this offseason, Harvin is a dynamic playmaker in the open field. In 13 games with the Seahawks and Jets last season, Harvin had a total of 51 receptions for 483 yards, 33 carries for 202 yards and three total touchdowns. The drawback with Harvin is that he's the third option, at best, in an offense with subpar quarterback play.

8.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

Two seasons ago, the oft-injured Mathews played a full 16-game season and rushed for a career-high 1,255 yards. Playing only six games last season and gaining a yard shy of 400 yards from scrimmage, Mathews has now missed multiple games in four of his five NFL seasons. Although Mathews will be (at least) second in line for touches behind DeMarco Murray, the Eagles play at such a fast pace and Murray has his own durability concerns -- especially following a 497-touch season -- that I would not be surprised if Mathews reached 200 carries if (a big if) he can stay healthy.

8.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots

As we've seen from Blount in the postseason, he can go from one yard on three carries (vs. BAL) one week to 30 carries for 148 yards and three touchdowns (vs. IND) the next week. Blount's carries in his final six games through the Super Bowl were as follows: 20, eight, 10, three, 30 and 14. With some changes to the team's backfield this offseason, I think his weekly production will be smoothed out some but still a bit volatile. With that said, Blount is more than a two-round discount here from his current ADP (6.07). Plus, Blount is this team's RB4 and not needed on a weekly basis.

8.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions

At only 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds, Abdullah may lack the ideal size to be a bellcow back and he's had some ball-security issues (13 career fumbles) in his collegiate career at Nebraska. That said, Abdullah was highly productive at Nebraska with three consecutive 1,100-yard seasons including back-to-back 1,600-yard campaigns. Among running backs at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, Abdullah finished first in the vertical jump (42.5 inches), broad jump (10-10), 3-cone drill (6.79) and 20-yard shuttle (3.95).

Although I expect Joique Bell to still lead the team's backs in workload and fantasy production in 2015, Abdullah will likely see his role within the offense expand over the course of the season. And it's certainly not out of the question that he emerges as the team's lead back by the team the season is up given Bell's relatively weak production on a per-carry basis over the past two seasons (less than 4.0 YPC each season).

8.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

With the exception of Jarvis Landry, all of Miami's top pass-catchers are newcomers including first-round rookie DeVante Parker. The 6-foot-3 Parker missed the first seven games of the season with a foot injury, but he closed the season with 43 catches for 855 yards and five touchdowns in just six games. Parker gives the Dolphins someone who can develop into a true No. 1 wideout long term, but unfortunately he recently underwent another surgery on the same foot and may miss most/all of training camp.

It's normally a difficult transition for college receivers into the NFL and the lack of reps certainly dampens his re-draft outlook. For me, this is too early for Parker in re-draft formats and more than two rounds earlier than his current ADP (11.06).

- Continue to Round 9 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

Go back to earlier rounds:
- Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 2 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 3 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 4 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 5 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 6 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 7 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft


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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 7

Nearly a week into the new PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft that we started on Monday, we are roughly halfway through the 15-round mock.

Here are Round 7 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

7.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans

Like Sean's previous pick at the turn, I think this is a bit early as well. Sean is a Titans' fan so I can imagine the source of motivation for taking Sankey quite a bit earlier than his ADP (9.09), but I'm certainly not sold on him. It was a disappointing season for Sankey -- and the Titans offense in general -- as he averaged just 3.7 yards per carry as a rookie. It wouldn't surprise me at all if rookie David Cobb leads the Titans' backfield in fantasy production in 2015.

7.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

After three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons, Brees fell just shy of that mark in 2014 but still finished with a league-high 4,952 yards and threw 33 touchdowns, which ties a seven-year low. For the first time since signing with the Saints in 2006, Brees finished outside the top-five fantasy quarterbacks (sixth) in 2014. Brees has thrown at least 650 pass attempts in five consecutive seasons and led the league in pass attempts per game (41.2) last season, but a transition to a more run-based offense has begun in earnest with both Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills traded in the offseason.

7.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The good news is that V-Jax eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth consecutive season and sixth time in the past seven years -- the exception was his holdout-shortened 2010 season. The bad news is that Jackson had just two touchdowns, the lowest of his career since his three-catch rookie season (2005). That said, he should at least be able to produce at his draft slot of WR32 in this mock.

7.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Inactive for the first six games, Bryant went on a scoring spree in his first four NFL games with a total of six touchdowns during that span. After that point, Bryant had just 12 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns in the final six games of the season. Although Bryant could reach double-digit scores in 2015 and should start ahead of Markus Wheaton in two-WR sets, there will likely be some week-to-week inconsistency from Bryant as well, but he certainly has plenty of upside heading into his second season.

7.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan has more than 4,500 passing yards in three consecutive seasons with the third-most (13,928) over that span behind only Brees (15,291) and Peyton Manning (14,863). In addition, Ryan has 26-plus touchdowns in five consecutive seasons and the sixth-most (143) during that span.

Over his past five seasons, Ryan has finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of them, which makes him a solid mid-QB1 option to target. That said, he has yet to finish as a top-six fantasy quarterback ever in his career -- and is the sixth fantasy QB off the board in this mock.

7.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams

One year after Zac Stacy got a huge workload down the stretch, Mason, the team's third-round pick in 2014, emerged as the team's lead back over the second half of the season. Mason didn't get his first carry until Week 6, but he averaged 18.11 touches per game from Week 9 on. Unfortunately for Mason and his fantasy owners, the team used the 10th-overall pick on stud running back Todd Gurley. Mason may have a few games early this season as the featured back while Gurley rehabs from his ACL injury, but once Gurley is fully healthy, it's his job.

7.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

Dealing with multiple injuries and missing two games, it was a down year for Newton who appeared to be less than 100 percent when he was on the field. That said, Newton has now exceeded 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons. Over those four seasons, he has averaged 3,606 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns per season as well as 643 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. And despite the down year, Newton finished seventh in fantasy points per game (17.78) among QBs.

7.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Possessing an impressive combination of size (6-2, 215) and athleticism (sub-4.4 forty), Johnson was reunited with Norv Turner in Minnesota after being released by the receiver-deficient Browns last offseason. In the final six games of the season, Johnson was on the field for all but 19 of the team's offensive snaps. And over his final seven games, Johnson posted 25 receptions for 415 yards and two touchdowns. With a full offseason and the continued development of second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, things should only be better for Johnson in 2015 and beyond.

7.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Over his past three seasons, Romo's pass attempts have dropped from 648 (2012) to 535 (2013) to 435 (2014). Despite the drop in volume, Romo threw 34 touchdowns, the most for him since 2007, with only nine interceptions, a four-year low. In addition, Romo led the league in Y/A (8.5), completion percentage (69.9), touchdown percentage (7.8) and passer rating (113.2) last year.

Assuming the team stays committed to the run game without DeMarco Murray, who signed a free-agent deal with the Eagles, Romo's upside could be somewhat limited if he throws in that 450-attempt range again this year. Despite his career year in efficiency, Romo finished just outside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks last season.

7.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns

Johnson has generated plenty of buzz throughout offseason workouts and Sean once again lands Johnson after selecting him in our standard-scoring mock draft following the 2015 NFL Draft. The all-time rushing leader at The U., Johnson's production is especially impressive considering the school's alumni of talented backs (Frank Gore, Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, etc.). While I like Johnson's skill set and his longer-term outlook, my only concern with Johnson is the potential for week-to-week variance in touches that we've seen with the Browns' backs last season.

7.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns

On a positive note, the coaching staff wants to lean on the rushing attack and the Browns have one of the better run-blocking offensive lines. On a less positive note (as noted with the previous pick), the coaching staff's allocation of carries was unpredictable on a weekly basis as the guy with the "best practice" during the week got the most carries. Ultimately, I still expect Crowell to be the most productive Browns running back in 2015.

7.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants

With his season cut short after six games due to a torn patellar tendon, Cruz averaged just 56.2 yards per game, a four-year low, with only one touchdown. It appears that his rehab is going well as coach Tom Coughlin does not expect Cruz to start on the PUP list when training camp opens next month. That said, there is still significant separation between Cruz and and the team's new No. 1 wide receiver, Odell Beckham.

- Continue to Round 8 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

Go back to earlier rounds:
- Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 2 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 3 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 4 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 5 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 6 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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June 27, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 6

Continuing the new PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft that we began on Monday, another round is complete and posted.

Here are Round 6 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

6.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders

Loaded with potential and upside, Murray is a physical freak that runs a sub-4.4 forty at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. Finally getting a chance to showcase what he could do down the stretch last season, Murray gained 478 yards from scrimmage over his final five games on a total of 83 touches (72 carries and 11 receptions). With Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew out and Trent Richardson and Roy Helu in, Murray should be given every opportunity to be the team's lead back in 2015.

6.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

The good news is that Manning has passed for 4,954 yards and 44 touchdowns per season over his three seasons in Denver. That said, Manning's most recent football was less inspiring -- 233.8 yards per game with five TDs and six INTs over his final five games. A thigh injury was at least partly to blame for his drop in production, but there are other concerns going into 2015: (1) offensive line losses (injury and free agency), (2) now 39 years old and (3) more of a balanced offense expected under Kubiak.

Given all of those things, Manning is still my fourth-ranked quarterback going into 2015 behind Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson and he has an average draft position of two rounds earlier than this.

6.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Based on the composition of Sean's team through this point, Randle could be a key determinant to its success. Sean has perhaps the strongest receiving corps within the league as he used his first three picks on receivers -- Odell Beckham, Calvin Johnson and Jordan Matthews -- and a top-four tight end -- Greg Olsen. That means that he goes into the season with Carlos Hyde and Randle drafted as his top-two running backs.

We've seen how productive DeMarco Murray could be behind the Cowboys dominant offensive line with a high volume of work. Randle won't approach Murray's workload, obviously, and he's not nearly as talented as Murray, but he was productive on a per-touch basis (6.73 YPC) last year. I expect him to lead the backfield in touches and production even if it's a timeshare with McFadden and his high-upside nature lends well to Sean's strategy with this team's roster.

6.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants

Dealing with multiple injuries, Jennings played in just 11 games in his first season with the Giants. Second-year back Andre Williams will steal some goal-line opportunities and Shane Vereen will steal some of his passing-down work, which limits the weekly upside of the soon-to-be 30-year-old Jennings. On a positive note, the Giants used the ninth-overall pick on Ereck Flowers, one of the best run-blocking offensive linemen in this year's draft class. Only the Cardinals (3.3) and Chargers (3.4) averaged fewer YPC than the Giants (3.6) last season.

6.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants

Vereen is one of the league's better receiving backs and he set career highs last year with 52 catches for 447 yards. In fact, Vereen has a total of 99 receptions in 24 games over the past two seasons and has the potential to approach 70 receptions in 2015.

6.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

One of two second-round receivers selected by the Jaguars last season, A-Rob's season was cut short by a season-ending foot injury in Week 10, but he was quietly off to a strong rookie season. From Weeks 2 to 10, Robinson averaged 5.22 receptions and 60.89 yards per game. During that nine-game span, Robinson had a minimum of four receptions every game and more than 50 receiving yards in seven of nine games.

Especially if Blake Bortles takes a step forward going into his second season, Robinson could make a substantial leap forward in Year 2 with Cecil Shorts in Houston and Justin Blackmon unlikely to see the field this year.

6.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Since entering the league as a top-four pick, McFadden has largely disappointed fantasy owners due to durability issues and/or a lack of production. Back in 2010 and 2011, he gave owners a glimpse of what could be with an average of 121.6 YFS per game and 5.27 YPC over 20 games played. For the first six seasons of his career, he missed at least three games every season and averaged only 11.17 per season before finally playing a full 16-game season in 2014. Over his past three seasons, however, he has averaged just 3.34 YPC.

Only 27 (turns 28 in August), McFadden has plenty of upside if he can stay healthy and get a sizable workload behind the Cowboys dominant offensive line although Randle appears to be the early favorite to lead the backfield's committee in touches.

6.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

The biggest home run threat among rookie backs, Coleman rushed for 2,036 yards on his 270 carries last season with four 200-yard games and eight 60-yard runs, most in both categories. Clearly, that won't be repeated at the NFL level, but it clearly illustrates his big-play ability as he joins one of the league's better offenses.

Beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives Coleman the slight edge (1A to 1B) over Devonta Freeman in his early projected depth chart. That said, it has been Freeman in that role during the offseason workouts.

6.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins

Despite the revolving door at quarterback, Jackson was one of the few bright spots for Washington's offense in 2014. In his first season with Washington, D-Jax finished with 56 catches for 1,169 yards and six touchdowns and he led the NFL in yards per reception (20.9). While he's better in standard-scoring formats (WR16 last year), he still finished as a top-24 receiver in PPR formats in 2014.

The biggest drawback of owning Jackson, however, is his boom-or-bust nature. Based on PPR scoring, Jackson finished as a weekly top-20 fantasy wide receiver in eight of 15 games. In his other seven games, he finished as the WR50 or worse six times.

6.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears

Bennett set career highs across the board in 2014 with 90 receptions, 916 yards and six touchdowns. Finishing as a top-five scorer among tight ends, Bennett led the position in receptions and his 916 yards ranked third behind Gronkowski and Olsen. With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets, Bennett has the potential to post even better numbers this season.

6.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Landing in Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense bodes well for Agholor's short- and long-term fantasy outlook. While the Eagles lost Jeremy Maclin (6-0, 198, 4.48 forty) in free agency, Agholor (6-0, 198, 4.42 forty) has earned comparisons to the departed receiver. An excellent route runner, Agholor has the ability to play both inside and outside, is one of the most pro-ready receivers in this year's rookie crop and finished with a 104/1,313/12 stat line last year for USC.

6.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos

In general, I like the idea of drafting Ball late. But much later than this, however. I'm not sure why Sean was willing to take him so early especially given that his ADP (via FFC) of 12.01 is nearly twice this spot. If he wanted to make sure that he got Ball, he likely could have waited two more turns back at picks 10.12/11.01. This is definitely a head-scratcher.

- Continue to Round 7 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

Go back to earlier rounds:
- Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 2 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 3 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 4 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 5 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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June 24, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 5

Continuing the new 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft we started on Monday, we have completed another round.

Here are Round 5 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

5.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

The fourth overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, Watkins finished his rookie campaign with 65 receptions for 982 yards and six touchdowns. While Watkins had four 100-yard games including a career-high 157 yards against his new head coach's former team, he also had nine games with 35 receiving yards or less. In a run-first offense with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation, there will still be plenty of weekly inconsistency from Watkins even though his overall numbers should improve on a year-over-year basis.

With only one running back on this roster so far (Le'Veon Bell, 1.01), I would have added an RB2 over Watkins (Sean's WR3) here as there are a few running backs on the board that I really like. And as great as Bell is (and will be) for this team, he stands to miss the first three games of the season.

5.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Selected with a top-36 pick in this year's draft, Yeldon has excellent size (6-1, 225) and immediately goes to the front of the line in terms of the team's backfield depth chart. In fact, general manager David Caldwell said that he sees Yeldon as "a three-down back." Playing in an offense that ranked in the bottom two in both scoring and total offense last year could limit Yeldon's fantasy upside as a rookie, though.

5.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Finishing as a top-three fantasy quarterback in 2014, Wilson rushed for 849 yards and six touchdowns, both of which were career highs, and netted fantasy owners an average of 7.56 fantasy points per game from his rushing stats alone. While he won't post gaudy passing statistics in Seattle's run-dominant offense, Wilson is the first quarterback in league history to throw 20-plus touchdowns with 10 or fewer interceptions in each of his first three NFL seasons, per Pro Football Reference.

Wilson's volume of pass attempts may not jump a ton in 2015, but the Seahawks pulled off a blockbuster trade for tight end Jimmy Graham, which significantly boosts the team's weapons in the passing game and especially in the red zone.

5.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce played only 52.3 percent of the team's offensive snaps from Weeks 1 to 10, but that percentage jumped to 86.7 percent from Weeks 11 to 17. Despite his snap-count limits during the first half of the season, Kelce still finished with 67 receptions, 862 yards and five touchdowns and the sixth-most fantasy points in PPR formats among tight ends last season. With good health, the sky is the limit for Kelce in 2015.

5.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

No rookie receiver is more pro-ready than Cooper, the first Biletnikoff winner in Alabama history. Cooper racked up 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns last season and should become Derek Carr's go-to receiver immediately and the Raiders ranked fourth in the league in pass attempts per game (39.3) in 2014.

5.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Opening (5/119) and closing (8/153/2) the season with a bang, Floyd had zero, one or two receptions in eight games last season and finished with a 47/841/6 line after his breakout second season (66/1,054/5). Given the team's quarterback injuries, however, it's no surprise that we didn't see Floyd take another step forward in 2014.

While there is some bounce-back appeal with Floyd, Dan is apparently much higher on Floyd than I am. Floyd's current ADP (via FFC) stands at 8.03 and I think Round 8 would be a fair spot for Floyd.

5.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

Not much of a receiver, Morris is a decent value as the 23rd running back off the board. On average, he's going a round earlier than this in PPR mocks (ADP: 4.04, RB18). Morris averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC last season, but he rushed 265 times for 1,074, also career lows, and eight touchdowns.

Despite the shaky quarterback situation, Alf should benefit on a per-carry basis if RG3 is back as the starter with his athleticism putting additional strain on run defenses. Washington's offensive line struggled last year, but the team used the fifth-overall pick on Brandon Scherff and the addition of Bill Callahan to the coaching staff is certainly a positive for the team's offensive line play and rushing attack overall.

5.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers

I really like how this team is shaping up for Brendan. Through five rounds, he has Andrew Luck at quarterback, Dez Bryant and Emmanuel Sanders at receiver and Marshawn Lynch and Stewart at running back.

Over the final five games of the season, Stewart, who recently turned 28, rushed for 486 yards on 91 carries (5.34 YPC) and only DeMarco Murray (491) had more rushing yards during that span. With DeAngelo Williams now in Pittsburgh, it appears that the team finally recognizes that The Daily Show gives their offense the best opportunity for success.

5.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears

From a dynasty standpoint, I'm a huge fan of White, who possesses a special combination of size (6-3, 215), speed (4.35 forty) and strength. During the draft process, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah compared White to Atlanta's Julio Jones.

That said, I'm not sure what to make of his 2015 re-draft impact. I do expect White to start early in his career, likely Week 1, but he's no better than fourth in line for targets/touches behind Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett. And based on reports from OTAs, it's possible that even Eddie Royal gets more targets than White.

5.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Posting career highs of 84 catches for 1,008 yards last season, Olsen now has at least 69 receptions and 816 yards while finishing as a top-seven fantasy tight end in each of the past three seasons. Over that three-year span, Graham (3,086) is the only tight end with more yards than Olsen (2,667) and only Graham (256) and Jason Witten (247) have more receptions than Olsen (226). Olsen has never had more than eight touchdowns in any season of his career, but he has at least five scores for seven consecutive seasons. In addition, Olsen is extremely durable having played all 16 games in seven consecutive seasons.

5.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints

His free-agent landing spot may not maximize his opportunities for carries, but Spiller is certainly more attractive in PPR formats (like this mock). I have faith in Sean Payton's ability to utilize Spiller correctly (or at least much better than Doug Marrone had) to maximize his production on a per-touch basis and many of the receptions that went to Pierre Thomas and Travaris Cadet last season could find their way to Spiller.

5.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

After sitting out all of 2013 with a torn ACL, Maclin returned to the Eagles on a one-year deal and posted a career-best season (85/1,318/10) in Chip Kelly's offense. He then parlayed that success into a five-year deal to reunite with his former coach Andy Reid. Few players, if any, have seen their fantasy stock drop more in free agency than Maclin, however, as he transitions to an offense with a quarterback incapable and/or unwilling to challenge opposing defenses down the field. As the 28th receiver off the board, however, this is a fair spot for him.

- Continue to Round 6 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

Go back to earlier rounds:
- Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 2 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 3 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Round 4 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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June 23, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 3

Yesterday morning, we started a new 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft.

Four of our contributors are drafting for three teams each and the mock will go 15 rounds.

Instead of posting the results when the mock is completed, we are updating as we complete rounds and Round 3 is now in the books.

Here are Round 3 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

3.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Hilton had a breakout 82/1,345/7 season last year. And that breakout year would have been even better if he weren't limited down the stretch by a hamstring injury. With good health, I'd expect Hilton to set new career highs in both receptions and yards this season.

3.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

Emerging as the team's most productive wide receiver last season, Hopkins took a huge step forward in his second season with a 76/1,210/6 stat line. If there's any concern when it comes to Hopkins taking another step forward in his third season, it's the team's less-than-inspiring quarterback play, but he's a strong WR2 for Brendan's team.

3.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Arguably the biggest surprise in fantasy football last season, Forsett scored more fantasy points than all but seven other running backs in 2014. Forsett, who re-signed with the Ravens this offseason, rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards last season and averaged an RB-high 5.4 YPC while adding 44 receptions for 263 yards. With Marc Trestman hired as the team's new offensive coordinator, Forsett could finish with 70 or more receptions after Matt Forte set the single-season running back record (102) under Trestman last season.

3.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, Rodgers was also the top-scoring fantasy quarterback as well. Since becoming Green Bay's starting quarterback seven years ago, Rodgers has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback in six of seven seasons with the lone exception due to injury (broken clavicle, 2013).

3.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals

There are a few running backs on the board that I'd prefer over Ellington here, but the good news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. (I suppose the bad news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season.)

Given Ellington's size (5-9, 199), it wasn't a huge (no pun intended) surprise that Ellington didn't hold up for a full season and missed the final four regular-season games. With the substantial bump in workload, Ellington underwhelmed as his yards-per-carry average plummeted from 5.5 YPC as a rookie to 3.3 on 201 carries last season.

With all of that said, Ellington's foot injury that he played through all of last season is nearly 100 percent again. Another positive is that the team significantly upgraded their offensive line with the free-agent signing of Mike Iupati and the first-round selection of Florida OT D.J. Humphries.

3.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

Much better in PPR formats, Edelman finished with the 15th-most fantasy points in PPR (versus T21st in standard-scoring formats). After his breakout 2013 season (105/1,056/6), Edelman actually averaged slightly more receptions (6.57 in 2014 vs. 6.56 in 2013) and yards (69.43 in 2014 vs. 66.0 in 2013).

3.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers

For re-draft purposes, I expect Gordon to be the most productive rookie running back in 2015. MG3 has drawn some comparisons to Jamaal Charles and enters into a favorable situation with the injury-prone Ryan Mathews no longer in San Diego. The Bolts should give Gordon a significant share of the early-down work and I expect him to approach 250 touches as a rookie.

3.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Throwing for 4,761 yards and a league-leading 40 touchdowns, both of which were career highs, Luck's 40 TDs last season nearly equalled his total from his first two seasons combined (46 TDs). During the season, Luck had the second-longest streak of 300-yard games (eight) in NFL history. In addition, Luck gets a boost from his mobility as he has rushed 62-64 times in all three seasons with at least 255 yards each year and a total of 12 touchdowns. While I prefer Rodgers over Luck, they are close and in the top tier by themselves.

3.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers

Along with Mike Evans and Odell Beckham, Benjamin was one of three rookie 1,000-yard receivers in 2014. Like Evans, Benjamin is a big-bodied (6-5, 240) receiver that wins in the red zone (although he reported to OTAs as a bigger-bodied receiver).

As a rookie, Benjamin was the focal point of the passing attack along with tight end Greg Olsen and he should only see his stream of targets increase in his sophomore campaign even though the team used an early pick on Devin Funchess. That said, Benjamin will need to cut down on his drops as only Mohamed Sanu (14) had more drops than Benjamin (11) last season, according to PFF.

3.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Playing only 65.0 percent of the team's offensive snaps as a rookie, that ratio will undoubtedly spike in his second season as the team lost Jeremy Maclin via free agency. Even if the Eagles were able to re-sign Maclin, I would have expected Matthews to play in two-WR sets ahead of Riley Cooper, who played in 81.7 percent of offensive snaps. In his first season in the league, Matthews finished with 67 receptions for 872 yards and eight touchdowns and finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver. While Chip Kelly used the 20th-overall pick on Nelson Agholor to fill Maclin's void, Matthews has top-12 upside in his second season.

3.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints

Playing only 10 games as a rookie before landing on season-ending Injured Reserve, Cooks, like most rookie receivers, was inconsistent on a week-to-week basis. That said, Cooks had three top-12 performances last season including two in his final four games before the injury. Through Week 11, his 86.3 fantasy points ranked 25th among wide receivers over that span.

Going into 2015, I expect better production from Cooks on a per-game basis with a full offseason to get more comfortable with the offense. In addition, the team traded away two of its best weapons -- Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills -- in the passing game. And Cooks has generated tons of positive buzz in the offseason program.

3.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions

It was a career year for Tate, but at least part of his 99/1,331/4 production should be attributed to a Calvin Johnson injury. In the six games from Weeks 4 to 9, Tate had 50/708/3 and all five of his 100-yard games. During that same span, Megatron was a decoy in Week 4 (two catches for 12 yards) and Week 5 (one catch for seven yards) and missed Weeks 6 to 8. While I'd prefer several other receivers still on the board, Tate is a solid WR2 behind Jordy Nelson for this team.

> Continue to Round 4 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 2 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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June 22, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 2

Earlier this morning, four of our contributors started a new (and "slow") 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft.

We will post the picks as they are made and another round of the mock is now complete.

Here are Round 2 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

2.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

Barely finishing as a top-12 fantasy running back last season, McCoy finished third in the league in rushing (1,319 yards) and was one of only two backs with 300-plus carries. Not only did he average nearly a yard per carry less in 2014 than 2013, McCoy also saw his receptions (52 in 2013) and touchdowns (11 in 2013) drop roughly in half to 28 and five, respectively. Despite running behind an inferior offensive line (compared to Philadelphia's), McCoy should see a healthy volume of work within Buffalo's ground-and-pound offense.

2.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

Did you know that the Houston Texans led the NFL in rush attempts in 2014? When healthy, Foster is one of the league's few workhorse backs. Although Foster missed three games in 2014, he averaged 95.8 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry, both of which were four-year highs, and scored double-digit touchdowns (13). Even though he missed three games last season, Foster still finished as a top-five fantasy running back in 2014.

2.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Injuries have forced Johnson to miss five games (and act as a decoy in a few others) over the past two seasons. Even so, Megatron has racked up 155 catches for 2,569 yards and 20 touchdowns in those 27 games in 2013 and 2014, which works out to a per-game line of 5.7/95.1/0.7. While he may never reach the 122 receptions and 1,964 yards that he had in his last full season (2012), the 29-year-old (turns 30 before Week 3) receiver still has the potential to finish as fantasy's WR1 if he can stay healthy for a full season.

2.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Injuries kept Green from building upon 2013's numbers (98/1,426/11), but he extended his streak of 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career to four. Since he's entered the league, only three receivers have more yards than Green (4,874) -- Megatron (6,214), Antonio Brown (5,092) and Demaryius Thomas (5,034). With good health, Green is a good bet for at least 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns in 2015.

2.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

In his four full seasons in Seattle, Lynch has rushed for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in those seasons. And in each of the past two seasons, Lynch has at least 36 receptions as well. During that four-year span, no running back has more rushing yards (5,357) or rushing touchdowns (48) and no player has more total touchdowns (56).

Beast Mode's production hasn't slowed at all, but his physical running style (granted, he seems to dish out more punishment than he receives), heavy workload (league-high 1,479 regular-season and playoff touches over that four-year span) and age (turned 29 in April) is at least somewhat concerning. That said, Lynch seems to be a lock for another 1,200 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns in one of the league's most run-dominant offenses.

2.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Personally, I would have taken Jones over a couple of the receivers already off the board, but I do think all of the top-eight fantasy wide receivers are elite options and you could make a case for any of them. Jones shattered previous career highs with 104 catches for 1,593 yards last season.

After scoring 0.62 TD/G on 74.4 YPG in his first two seasons, Jones has averaged just 0.40 TD/G despite a jump to 108.7 YPG over the past two seasons. With plus size and speed, Jones should bounce back in terms of red-zone production and could put together a 100/1,500/10 season in 2015 with good health.

2.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans started and finished slowly in terms of yardage, but he was one of three rookie receivers to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark last year. And from Weeks 9 to 11, he gave us a glimpse of what we can expect when things really click as he posted a massive 21/458/5 line over that three-game stretch. The 6-foot-5 receiver is already one of the league's best red-zone threats as he scored 10 touchdowns over his final nine games as a rookie and should put together an even better season in 2015 with improved quarterback play.

2.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears

With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets and using a top-seven pick on West Virginia's Kevin White, Jeffery now takes over as the team's clear No. 1 wide receiver. Despite year-over-year dips in both receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,133), Jeffery posted a career high in touchdowns (10) and finished with the 10th-most fantasy points (PPR) among wide receivers last season.

2.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

One of my favorite players to target in fantasy, Hill closed the season strong as he moved into the lead-back role for the Bengals. Over the final nine games of the season, Hill had 22-plus carries and 100-plus rushing yards five times including the final three games of the regular season. During that nine-game span, Hill had 172 carries for 929 yards and six touchdowns and no running back had more rushing yards than Hill during that stretch. (Lynch was second with 824 yards.)

2.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos

Anderson enters the 2015 season as the heavy favorite to be the team's featured back after seizing the opportunity when given a chance last season. CJA finished as a top-seven fantasy running back in seven of the final eight games of the season and the lone exception was a weekly RB17 performance.

2.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Set to turn 25 in August, Cobb re-signed with the Packers prior to the official start of NFL free agency. Of course, playing in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense helps to maximize his fantasy value this year and going forward. Cobb finished the season with 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns, all of which set career highs, but I would be surprised if he scored 12 touchdowns again in 2015.

2.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks

Slowed by a shoulder injury, Graham had 54 yards or less in six of his final seven games last season and finished with only 889 yards, a four-year low. Over his past four seasons, Graham has averaged 89 catches, 1,099 yards and 12 touchdowns per year. With his trade to the Seahawks, Graham goes from an offense that averaged 41.2 pass attempts per game, second-most in the NFL last year, to one that averages the fewest (28.4/G).

> Continue to Round 3 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 1

With the six-week lull in between mandatory minicamps and the start of NFL training camps at the end of next month now upon us, four of our contributors have started a new (and "slow") 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will continue to post the picks as they occur and I'll include comments for all picks made.

The mock uses full point-per-reception (PPR) scoring and we will draft 15 rounds of players (no kickers or defenses).

Here are Round 1 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

1.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

In his second season, Bell's production spiked to 1,361 rushing yards, 83 receptions for 854 yards and 11 total touchdowns. In fact, he scored more fantasy points than any other running back last year in PPR formats last season.

Whether the Steelers have the lead (and want to use the clock) or trail (and need to throw), Bell's versatility makes him a true three-down back and his production won't vary much based on game flow. Unfortunately for Bell (and his fantasy owners), he's suspended for the first three games of the season. The chances that his suspension gets reduced on appeal appear to be slim to none, but I expect Bell to lead all backs in per-game production once he returns to the field.

More: I took Bell at 1.01 in a 14-team PPR mock of our Mock Draft Per Day series last night.

1.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

It was a somewhat disappointing season for Charles, who rushed for 1,033 yards, his fifth 1,000-yard season, and added 40 catches for 291 yards while scoring a total of 14 touchdowns. Charles essentially missed two games -- had two carries in Week 2 and missed Week 3 -- as he saw a year-over-year decline in touches to 246 (from 329 in 2013).

Even if we exclude Week 2, his per-game touches dropped from 20.56/G in 2013 to 17.43/G (16.4/G if we don't exclude Week 2) in 2014. On a positive note, Charles still finished as the RB7 last year despite the drop in touches and I expect his touches to increase in 2015 even if he doesn't get to 325-plus level again.

Here's a random (and incredibly impressive) stat that I tweeted about Charles recently:

1.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

One of the league's all-time best running backs, Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards back just a couple of seasons ago. In fact, he did so only nine months after tearing his ACL. After last year's lost season, it was unclear where he would play in 2015, but the draft has come and gone and Peterson has reported to the team. Assuming that he plays all a full 16-game season (or close to it), the 30-year-old Peterson should finish as a top-three (or better) back in 2015.

1.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears

Not only did Forte lead all running backs in receptions (102) last year, but only three players had more -- Antonio Brown (129), Demaryius Thomas (111) and Julio Jones (104) -- as he broke the record for receptions by a running back. With the coaching change, Forte isn't likely to see anywhere close to triple-digit receptions again, but he could still finish with 70-plus catches.

And although Forte averaged less than four yards per carry for the first time since 2009, he has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons and has posted 1,400-plus yards from scrimmage every year of his career. Only the Raiders (337) and Bucs (353) ran the ball less than the Bears (355) last season and I'd expect the new Bears coaching staff to be more committed to the run in 2015.

1.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers

After a slow start against three elite rush defenses, Lacy was dominant from Weeks 4 to 17. Over those final 13 games of the season, he averaged 18.92 touches for 108.85 YFS per game and scored a total of 13 touchdowns. The benefit of playing with Aaron Rodgers means that opposing defenses are less likely to stack the box to (try to) slow down Lacy. After averaging a relatively modest 4.15 yards per carry as a rookie, Lacy averaged 4.63 YPC last season (and 4.89 YPC over final 13 games).

1.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): DeMarco Murray, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Murray has always been productive on a per-game, per-touch basis. Before last season's career year, Murray averaged 4.95 yards per carry in his first three seasons combined. The issue with Murray (before 2014) was durability as he missed multiple games in each of those three seasons.

With a total of 497 touches including the playoffs last year, durability could remain Murray's biggest concern in 2015 as well. Even though the team added another talented (and injury-prone) running back (Ryan Mathews) in free agency, I'd expect Murray to still get roughly 20 touches per game, when healthy. But will he hold up for another full season?

1.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Surprisingly, Brown never finished as the highest-scoring fantasy wide receiver in any given week in 2014. (In fact, that applies to both standard- and PPR-scoring formats.) Yet no wide receiver had more fantasy points over the course of the season -- in either format -- than Brown. Over the past two seasons, Brown has a combined 239 receptions for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns.

You often hear the expression that "you can't win your fantasy league in the first round, but you can lose it in the first round." More impressive than Brown's overall level of production, however, has been his consistency. Counting the playoffs, Brown has at least five catches and 50 yards in 33 consecutive games and he's as "safe" of a first-round pick as they come.

1.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Targeted only 136 times, a three-year low, Bryant finished with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a career-high and league-leading 16 touchdowns. Dez now has at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. And aside from Marshawn Lynch, Bryant is the only other player with at least 50 total touchdowns over the past four seasons. The Cowboys used their franchise tag on Bryant and it appears unlikely that the two sides will find common ground on a long-term deal prior to the July 15th cutoff. That said, I don't expect Dez to hold out as some reports have suggested he might consider.

1.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

When it comes to fantasy tight ends, he's in a tier all by himself. Named the 2014 AP Comeback Player of the Year after two injury-plagued seasons, Gronkowski posted an 82/1,124/12 stat line over 15 games. Scoring 184.4 fantasy points, Gronk had 30.3 points more than Antonio Gates, who had the second-most among tight ends. So, in other words, he had 19.66 percent more than the guy that had the second-most. Gronkowski finished as a top-five weekly scorer at the position in eight of 15 games and a top-11 scorer in all but two games.

1.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants

Closing the season with nine consecutive games of 90-plus yards, Beckham racked up a massive stat line of 81/1,199/9 on 115 targets during that nine-game stretch. In fact, only 11 other receivers had more yards in all of 2014 than OBJ had in his final nine games. And as impressive as that sounds, he was even more dominant over his final four games -- 43/606/7 on 63 targets. While ODB is far from being the biggest receiver, his combination of hands, route-running ability, speed and elusiveness makes him nearly impossible to cover especially in today's age of offense-friendly rules.

1.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

Despite his slow start, Thomas went over 100 yards in 10 of his final 13 games and finished with a full-season stat line of 111 catches and 1,619 yards, both of which were career highs, and 11 touchdowns. With the Broncos using their franchise tag on Thomas (in hopes of finalizing a long-term deal prior to the July 15th deadline) and Peyton Manning returning for at least one more season, a fourth consecutive year of 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns seems like a strong possibility.

1.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

Not only is wide receiver deep, it's deep with elite wide receivers. The only receiver to score more fantasy points than Nelson last season was Brown. While Nelson may not finish as a top-two producer at the position once again, he's certainly one of a group of eight wideouts that has the talent and opportunity to do so.

> Continue to Round 2 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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May 23, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 12

Two Saturdays ago, we began a new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft with four of our contributors. While it was a "slow" mock draft that we posted round by round, we have now completed our 12-round mock.

Here are the Round 12 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

12.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Williams is essentially a short-term rental for Dan (and fantasy owners) as he'll lead the team in touches during Le'Veon Bell's three-game suspension. Beginning in Week 4, the 32-year-old back will become droppable in 12-team leagues like this as Bell will assume his every-down role again.

12.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Small but ultra quick, Brown had a solid rookie season especially given the team's injuries at quarterback and finished with 48 receptions for 696 yards and five touchdowns. Improved year-over-year production should be expected, but his personal outlook is less bullish than it would have been without Larry Fitzgerald back in Arizona.

12.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

There were a few potential breakout receivers going into the 2014 that disappointed, but Patterson was easily the poster child of that group. Going in the first four rounds (ouch!) in many fantasy drafts last August, Patterson's numbers dropped in his sophomore campaign to 33 catches for 384 yards, 117 rushing yards and two total touchdowns in 2014. Over the final five games of the season, Patterson played just three, one, nine, nine and six offensive snaps, respectively.

Coach Zimmer recently said of Patterson that he's "doing a good job in this offseason. He has been in better shape coming in, and he is doing a better job of running routes, of competing each and every down. I look forward to him coming on and I’m a big fan of his." With a much lower ADP, perhaps Patterson exceeds diminished expectations in 2015.

12.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Fleener finished with 774 yards and eight touchdowns, both of which were career highs, on 51 receptions last season. Unsurprisingly, Fleener's best games last season came in games that Dwayne Allen was out. In the four games that Allen missed or left early due to injury, Fleener had 355 yards and four touchdowns. In the other 12 games, he had just 419 yards and four touchdowns. Assuming that Fleener and Allen are healthy for the entire season, I actually prefer Allen over Fleener but the Colts often use two-TE sets and both are heavily involved in the passing offense.

12.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers

Woodhead missed all but three games last season, but prior to the 2014 season, he had finished as a top-30 fantasy running back (in standard-scoring leagues) in three of his previous four seasons. In his first full season with the Chargers (2013), which also coincided with the only full season for Ryan Mathews, Woodhead had 1,034 yards from scrimmage, 76 receptions and eight total touchdowns. As the RB53 in this mock, Woodhead should easily exceed value provided he stays healthy.

12.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Going into his second season, Seferian-Jenkins certainly has plenty of breakout appeal. Not only is it difficult for rookie tight ends to make significant impacts, but ASJ battled some injuries in his rookie season that limited his production as well. Seferian-Jenkins was highly productive (146/1,840/21) in three seasons at Washington and should be featured more often within Dirk Koetter's offense.

12.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Andre Williams, RB, New York Giants

As a rookie, Williams led the team in carries (217), rushing yards (721) and rushing touchdowns (seven), but he averaged just 3.3 YPC and exceeded 3.5 YPC in only three games. Over the final four games of the season, the 230-pound back had 83 carries for 328 yards (3.95 YPC) and two touchdowns. Williams may only be the third-most productive fantasy back behind Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen, but he could be first in line for goal-line carries and has some upside if/when the 30-year-old Jennings gets injured.

12.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Moncrief (6-foot-2, 220 pounds, 4.4 speed) flashed his potential with a couple of big games last season -- 7/113/1 in Week 8 and 3/134/2 in Week 13. Playing only 39.1 percent of the team's offensive snaps last season, Moncrief should improve upon last year's 32/444/3 rookie campaign. The signing of Andre Johnson, who was released by the Texans, and selection of Phillip Dorsett in Round 1, however, will limit his opportunity for a true breakout season.

12.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Generating plenty of buzz prior to the draft highlighted by a pair of sub-4.3's run at the UCF Pro Day, Perriman is the son of ex-NFL receiver Brent Perriman, who has a 1,400-yard season under his belt with the Lions. Much bigger than his father, Perriman (6-1, 212) has had some issues with drops and needs to improve as a route-runner, but he's a big play waiting to happen. Coming off a career-best 50/1,044/9 season, Perriman has averaged more than 20.0 Y/R over the past two seasons and is an excellent fit to replace Torrey Smith as a vertical threat in this offense.

12.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2013, Rivers followed up his bounce-back season with 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2014, but he also threw 18 interceptions. Dealing with a back injury, Rivers threw seven of those interceptions in the final three games of the season. Fortunately Rivers didn't need back surgery this offseason and he should be a relatively safe bet for 4,000-plus yards and around 30 touchdowns once again in 2015.

12.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Marquess Wilson, WR, Chicago Bears

One of my favorite sleepers last offseason before he broke his clavicle, Wilson, still only 22 years old, had less than 20 receiving yards in all but one of his seven games played last season. Even though the Bears traded Brandon Marshall, they used the seventh-overall pick on Kevin White, which lessens his breakout potential in 2015. In fact, ESPN's Jeff Dickerson wrote recently that "Wilson needs a strong preseason to ensure he’s on the 53-man roster."

12.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Dwayne Bowe, WR, Cleveland Browns

The good news is that Bowe can't have fewer touchdown receptions in 2015. After back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011, Bowe has 801, 673 and 754 receiving yards, respectively, in his past three seasons with the Chiefs. Bowe may be one of a few free-agent wide receivers where Cleveland as a landing spot didn't necessarily hurt his fantasy stock. Although it doesn't necessarily help it, either. (No team threw fewer touchdowns than the Browns last season, but at least some of them went to wide receivers.)

> Go back to Round 11 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 1 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 22, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:: Round 11

We are down to the final few picks in our new 12-round 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

Here are the Round 11 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

11.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos

Three different Broncos running backs had more than 20 touches in a game last season -- Ball (Week 1), Ronnie Hillman (Weeks 6 and 8) and C.J. Anderson (Weeks 12 through 16). Going into 2015, Anderson is the clear favorite for the featured role under new head coach Gary Kubiak, but it wouldn't be a complete surprise if Ball or Hillman occupies that role at some point in the season as well so Ball is certainly worth the gamble in Round 11. That said, he averaged just 3.13 yards per carry in the games he did play last season.

11.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins

A downhill runner with excellent size (6-0, 221), Ajayi is a versatile back with excellent receiving skills (50 receptions for 536 yards last season) that slipped further than expected in the draft due to long-term medical (knee) concerns. That said, his skill set profiles as a three-down back and he would have likely been a second-round pick had their not been concerns about his knee. He'll back up Lamar Miller, but the Dolphins have seemed reluctant to feature Miller. Despite his production on a per-carry basis (5.09 YPC), Miller exceeded 15 carries only four times last season.

11.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Knile Davis, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

The best handcuff among fantasy running backs, Davis had some big games when given the opportunity as he finished as a top-eight fantasy running back four times last season. With Jamaal Charles leaving Week 2 early (only two carries) and missing Week 3, Davis had a combined 60 touches for 237 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in those two games. In the other games, Davis averaged just 6.92 touches per game but he had double-digit touches in four of those games as well.

11.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Carolina Panthers

With DeAngelo Williams no longer in Carolina, Artis-Payne should win the backup role to Jonathan Stewart going into the 2015 season. Given Stewart's durability track record (only 28 games in past three seasons), it's certainly possible that CAP could find himself as the team's lead back for a game or two this season.

11.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

Setting career highs in both receptions (63) and yards (890), Walker led the team in both categories last season. It will be difficult for Walker to repeat that production, however, with rookie Marcus Mariota under center, but this team needs a tight end and he's my top-ranked tight end still on the board.

11.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams

Tearing his rotator cuff in Week 8 last season, Quick played just seven games, but he started the season strong. In the first four games of the year, Quick had a total of 21 receptions for 322 yards and three touchdowns and finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver in all four games. Although he had just four catches for 53 yards in his other three games, Quick was on his way to a breakout season. Depending on Quick's recovery and health, that breakout season could come for the former Appalachian State receiver in 2015.

11.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Cody Latimer, WR, Denver Broncos

As a rookie, Latimer played just 37 offensive snaps and had just two receptions for 23 yards on four targets. Two of the team's top pass-catchers -- Wes Welker and Julius Thomas -- have departed via free agency. Going into his second season, Latimer should see a big bump in snaps as Emmanuel Sanders could move inside in three-WR sets and Latimer has plenty of upside as Brendan's WR5.

11.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins

Stills set career highs with 63 receptions for a team-high 931 yards in his second season with the Saints, but he was traded to the Dolphins this offseason. One of the areas in which Ryan Tannehill has struggled is his downfield accuracy, which doesn't necessarily bode well for the speedy Stills, but he's a solid WR5 on this team for Brendan.

11.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Reggie Bush, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, Bush missed five games and gained a total of only 550 yards from scrimmage (50.0 per game) while averaging only 3.9 yards per carry and scoring just two touchdowns. Released by the Lions, Bush signed with the 49ers and will at least own a change-of-pace role to unproven second-year back Carlos Hyde.

11.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders

Since his breakout 2012 season (85/1,105/9) and tearing his Achilles the following offseason, Crabtree has a total of 87 receptions for 982 yards and five touchdowns in 21 regular-season games. Crabtree signed a one-year free-agent deal with the Raiders, but rookie Amari Cooper should emerge as Derek Carr's go-to receiver sooner rather than later.

11.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints

Colston, who turns 32 in June, finished with 59 receptions for 902 yards, both of which were the lowest of his career apart from an 11-game season in 2008. On a per-game basis, however, his 3.69 receptions, 6.25 targets and 56.38 yards per game were all career lows. One positive for Colston personally, not the offense in general, is that the team traded away both Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills (and drafted no receivers) so perhaps his targets and production will see a bump in 2015.

11.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins

On a positive note, Garcon played a full 16-game season in back-to-back years for the first time in his career. Things weren't all positive for Garcon, however, as his production was nearly cut in half to 68 catches for 752 yards and three touchdowns. (Garcon had 113/1,346/5 in 2013.) Dan should expect a small bump from last year's numbers, but there is no chance that he returns to his 2013 level of production.

> Continue to Round 12 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 10 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 20, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 10

We're closing in on the end of the 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft that began roughly 10 days ago.

Our mock draft will run 12 rounds and we now have just two rounds to go.

Here are the Round 10 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

10.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Jordan Cameron, TE, Miami Dolphins

In 2013, Cameron had a breakout season with 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. When healthy, he is clearly a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Unfortunately, Cameron missed six games last season and has a history of concussions. Perhaps no injury is more worrisome from a fantasy outlook given the greater susceptibility and unpredictability of a recurrence. If Cameron plays 16 games in 2015, however, he has top-five upside.

10.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The current regime inherited Doug Martin, but used a relatively early pick last year on the versatile Sims, who rushed for 3,465 yards in college but also added 203 receptions for 2,108 yards. After missing the first-half of his rookie season due to a ankle injury, he was less than impressive when healthy over the final eight games of his rookie season -- 2.8 yards per carry. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if he led the Bucs' backfield in fantasy points this season.

10.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings

As mentioned earlier in this mock, this team has three strong positions -- wide receiver, quarterback and tight end. This mock assumes two starting receivers (although a third could be started as a flex), but Sean has four starters at those three positions that are ranked inside my top five at each respective position -- Dez Bryant (WR3), Odell Beckham (WR5), Russell Wilson (QB3) and Greg Olsen (TE4).

What the team does lack, however, is a strong running back position as he waited until Round 4 (39th-overall pick) to draft his first running back. McKinnon is Sean's fifth running back and I'd use at least one, if not both, of his final two picks on another running back.

McKinnon clearly enters the season second on Minnesota's depth chart behind Adrian Peterson, but he was productive when he was on the field last year. McKinnon averaged 4.76 YPC as well as 16.38 touches per game from Weeks 4 to 12 before missing the rest of the year due to injury. If the 30-year-old Peterson misses any games, McKinnon would become a solid RB2.

10.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Williams saw his receptions (37), yards (621) and targets (66) drop year-over-year from his rookie campaign, but he did set a career high with eight touchdowns in 2014. Williams had more than two receptions in only four of 16 games despite starting opposite Bryant for the entire season. Perhaps the Cowboys will throw it more often with DeMarco Murray no longer on the roster, but I think the Cowboys prefer to stay heavily committed to their rushing attack, which could limit Williams ability to post solid numbers on a consistent basis. Tony Romo averaged a career-low 29.0 pass attempts per start last season.

10.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins

Brendan used his ninth-round pick on Tom Brady, who's currently suspended for the first four games of the season, although I expect the suspension to be reduced after his appeal. To fill the void, however, Tannehill is a more-than-competent fill-in during that suspension. In fact, Tannehill (QB8) outscored Brady (QB9) in 2014.

Tannehill posted career highs in passing yards (4,045), passing touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (66.4) with a career low in interceptions (12) in his first year playing for new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards, which ranked fifth among all quarterbacks last season.

10.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

While it appears that the Cardinals remain committed to Andre Ellington in a workhorse role, Johnson is a big back (6-1, 224) with excellent receiving skills. In fact, Johnson had over 200 receiving yards in the game against Iowa last season. Coach Bruce Arians said of Johnson, "[h]e’s got good power, but his receiving ability is as close to Andre’s as anybody I’ve seen." In addition, general manager Steve Keim described him as a "three-down" back. If Ellington misses games, like last season, I'd expect Johnson to assume the lead-back role during that stretch.

10.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers

Although his targets (98), receptions (69) and yards (821) were down year over year, Gates finished with 12 touchdowns, the second-most of his career, and scored more fantasy points than all tight ends not named Rob Gronkowski. Gates finished as a weekly top-two tight end four times and top eight at the position eight times last season. While I don't expect another top-two finish from the 35-year-old Gates, a top-10 finish is certainly within reach. (Gates is the TE10 in this mock.)

10.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots

In his first season with the Patriots, LaFell had his best NFL season, by far, as he set career highs in receptions (74), yards (953) and touchdowns (seven). As solid as LaFell's overall numbers were, there was plenty of weekly inconistency as he had four weekly top-12 finishes but he finished outside the top-36 eight times. At best, he's the team's third option in the passing game behind Gronkowski and Edelman, but he's this squad's fifth wideout.

10.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Smith's first season as a Raven went better than expectations as he posted a 79/1,065/6 full-season stat line. With all four of his 100-yard games occurring in the first six games of the season, Smith was much less effective over the final 10 games. That said, he did have at least five catches in each of the final four games for a total of 25 catches during the final month of the season. Now 36 years old, it's unlikely that Smith posts another 1,000-yard season, but he has made a career out of disproving his doubters.

10.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Replacing LeSean McCoy with DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews means that Sproles goes from second in line for touches to third. That said, Chip Kelly should continue to find ways to get Sproles the ball in space and recently described him as a "Swiss army knife," but he's probably more value to the Eagles than to Dan's fantasy team.

10.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): David Cobb, RB, Tennessee Titans

Last year's first running back selected, Bishop Sankey, was a disappointment for the Titans. With that said, it's certainly possible that Cobb, the team's fifth-round pick this year, could lead the team's backfield in touches as early as his rookie season. Coach Ken Whisenhunt described Cobb as a potential three-down back.

10.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills

Following his former head coach Rex Ryan to Buffalo this offseason, Harvin is a dynamic playmaker in the open field. In 13 games with the Seahawks and Jets last season, Harvin had a total of 51 receptions for 483 yards, 33 carries for 202 yards and three total touchdowns. There is some upside with Harvin as the 48th receiver selected based on his skill set, but he's the third option, at best, in an offense with a subpar quarterback play.

> Continue to Round 11 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 9 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 18, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 9

A week ago Saturday, four of our contributors began a 12-round "slow" 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft and we are nearing the end of the mock.

With Round 9 in the books, we have just three rounds to go. Not only are we posting the mock by round, but you can also view the mock draft by teams or by positions selected.

Here are the Round 9 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

9.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans

One year after his 94/1,079/2 breakout season in 2013, Wright's production dropped year over year to 57/715/6 although the issues at quarterback were at least partly to blame. And even though the Titans lost 14 games and nine of them by double digits, Wright saw 10 targets in only one game last season. Assuming that second-overall pick Marcus Mariota is the full-season starter, it's possible that Wright doesn't have a bounce-back season in 2015.

9.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz saw a year-over-year jump from 36 catches and 469 yards as a rookie to 58 catches for 702 yards, 11th-most among tight ends last season. With Jeremy Maclin leaving Philadelphia for Kansas City, Ertz could become more involved in the passing game than he was last season.

9.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

Other than his rookie season, Witten's 64 receptions and 703 yards last year set or tied career lows. Witten lacks upside at this point in his career, but he's a solid late-round option that should come close to last year's top-10 performance once again.

9.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Tennessee Titans

Off-the-field issues with Green-Beckham led to his dismissal from the Mizzou program and he sat out the entire 2014 season, as required, with his transfer to Oklahoma. While he gets some comparisons to Calvin Johnson, DGB isn't nearly as athletic as Megatron, but he has sub-4.5 speed with tremendous size (6-5, 237). Green-Beckham, the No. 1 overall high school recruit in 2012 (via Rivals.com), has the upside and potential to emerge as the best fantasy receiver out of this draft class, but a fellow rookie at quarterback and sitting out a year should limit his first-year impact.

9.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Two seasons ago, the oft-injured Mathews played a full 16-game season and rushed for a career-high 1,255 yards. Playing only six games last season and gaining a yard shy of 400 yards from scrimmage, Mathews has now missed multiple games in four of his five NFL seasons. Although Mathews will be (at least) second in line for touches behind DeMarco Murray, the Eagles play at such a fast pace and Murray has his own durability concerns that I would not be surprised if Mathews reaches 200 carries if he can stay healthy.

As my fourth running back, I won't need much from Mathews, but he would become a plug-and-play RB2 behind Marshawn Lynch (this team's RB1) in weeks that Murray misses. And after nearly 500 touches in the regular season and playoffs last year, there is a good chance that Murray misses a game or two this season.

9.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets

Decker's first year with the Jets (74/962/5) was worse (no surprise) than his recent seasons in Denver, but he still finished as a top-30 fantasy wide receiver in both standard- and PPR-scoring formats. Both of Decker's 100-yard games came in the final three weeks of the season including a massive 10/221/1 line against the Dolphins in Week 17. Given the team's quarterback situation, Decker's upside is capped, but the addition of Brandon Marshall as a true No. 1 wide receiver could actually help (take the attention off) Decker.

9.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Mike Wallace, WR, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins certainly had some buyer's remorse after signing him to a big free-agent contract two offseasons ago and traded him to the Vikings this offseason. Wallace has three consecutive mediocre seasons of less than 1,000 yards and has averaged just 13.1, 12.7 and 12.9 Y/R over the past three seasons, respectively. Perhaps the change of scenery and Norv Turner's vertical-passing attack will help Wallace live up to his potential and exceed this draft slot.

9.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

As Brady faces a four-game suspension for the DeflateGate scandal, it's unclear whether -- and by how much -- his suspension will be reduced following his appeal. (My guess is that it gets cut to two games.) Brady had a rough four-game start to last season as well as he averaged just 197.75 Y/G with only four total touchdowns during that span. From Week 5 on, however, things clicked as only Peyton Manning (31) threw more touchdowns than Brady (29) over that stretch. With good health once again for Rob Gronkowski, Brady could post top-five production on a per-game basis in 2015.

9.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans

Whoa! To me, this is the biggest surprise (reach) of the mock so far, by far. If you were wondering, yes, Sean is a Titans fan. (Perhaps this pick gave it away.) Not only does Sean's (fantasy) team already have a starter (Tony Romo), but there are still a dozen or so fantasy quarterbacks that I'd take ahead of Mariota in re-draft leagues.

When I asked Sean about why Mariota, he pointed to his ceiling (due to his rushing ability) and the potential to move him if he gets off to a hot start in terms of fantasy production. Without a previous track record in the NFL, a hot start from Mariota (compared to non-rookie options available) would keep other fantasy owners from putting the same limitations on his rest-of-season outlook as they might with other fantasy quarterbacks (in Sean's view).

I disagree with the pick for a few reasons. As noted above, I have more than a dozen QBs ranked higher. Given the relative stability of quarterback production compared to the volatility of running backs, I'd rather use this pick on a running back where there is a greater chance of hitting a home run as opposed to a second QB. (Four of the top-12 fantasy running backs in 2014 had ADPs outside the top-30 running backs.) Last but not least, Sean could have waited to the last round of this mock if he really wanted Mariota.

[To be fair, Sean was the most-accurate fantasy expert in 2014 quarterback rankings (via FantasyPros) so who am I to question this pick?]

9.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Fitzgerald had 63 receptions for 784 yards and a career-low two touchdowns last season and his 784 yards were only four more than the career low he had as a rookie. Given the injuries to Carson Palmer and then Drew Stanton, the decline certainly wasn't solely the fault of Fitzgerald, who also missed two games. That said, Fitzgerald now has three consecutive seasons with less than 1,000 yards.

9.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

While he started slowly, Manning finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback in five of his final 10 games last season. (And a sixth game was inside the weekly top 10.) With a full season of Odell Beckham, the (likely) return of Victor Cruz, the free-agent addition of one of the league's better receiving backs (Shane Vereen) and more comfort and familiarity within Ben McAdoo's offense, Eli has the potential to post career numbers in 2015, which is coincidentally a contract year. In addition, only Tampa and Washington have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Eli does.

9.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants

One of the league's better receiving backs, Vereen set career highs last year with 52 catches for 447 yards. Especially with both Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams likely to get more carries, Vereen is a much better fantasy running back in PPR formats. That said, he should be to outproduce his draft status (RB42) in this mock.

> Continue to Round 10 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 8 of our fantasy football mock draft

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 8

Another round of our new 2015 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft is in the books. With our new post-NFL Draft mock, we are drafting 12 rounds and excluding kickers and team defenses.

With that said, here are the Round 8 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

8.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

In Week 17 and their two playoff games, Adams was on the field for 91.2, 88.7 and 90.4 percent, respectively, of the team's snaps. While his numbers won't see a major spike with the Packers re-signing Randall Cobb, Adams will certainly improve upon his 38/446/3 rookie numbers and we've seen instances in which the Packers have had three productive fantasy wide receivers at the same time.

8.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans

After back-to-back 1,400-yard seasons, Johnson finished with 85 receptions for just 936 yards and three touchdowns in 2014. Johnson's 62.4 Y/G and 11.0 Y/R were his lowest since 2005. Released by the Texans this offseason, Johnson signed with the Colts and gets a major upgrade in quarterback situation with Andrew Luck. A return to his 1,400-yard days is out of the question, but I wouldn't be surprised if he exceeds 1,000 yards once again and think he's an excellent value in the eighth round.

8.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions

At only 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds, Abdullah may lack the ideal size to be a bellcow back and he's had some ball-security issues (13 career fumbles at Nebraska). That said, Abdullah was highly productive at Nebraska with three consecutive 1,100-yard seasons including back-to-back 1,600-yard campaigns. Among running backs at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, Abdullah finished first in the vertical jump (42.5 inches), broad jump (10-10), 3-cone drill (6.79) and 20-yard shuttle (3.95).

While Sean's team is strong at receiver (OBJ and Dez), quarterback (Wilson) and tight end (Olsen), it's weak at running back (Gio, Coleman and Sankey) and I like the value of Abdullah here.

8.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Over his past three seasons, Romo's pass attempts have dropped from 648 (2012) to 535 (2013) to 435 (2014). Despite the drop in volume, Romo threw 34 touchdowns, the most for him since 2007, with only nine interceptions, a four-year low. In addition, Romo led the league in Y/A (8.5), completion percentage (69.9), touchdown percentage (7.8) and passer rating (113.2) last year. Assuming the team stays committed to the run game without DeMarco Murray, who signed a free-agent deal with the Eagles, Romo's upside is somewhat limited if he throws in that 450-attempt range again this year. Despite his career year in efficiency, Romo finished just outside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks last season.

8.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Slowed by injuries, Thomas followed up a breakout 2013 season with only 43 catches for 489 yards, but he once again scored 12 touchdowns. Signing a massive free-agent deal with the Jaguars, Thomas is virtually guaranteed to not duplicate that red-zone production again. Aside from the Browns (12), no other team threw fewer touchdowns than the Jaguars (15) last season.

8.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Based on 2014 average draft position (ADP), Roethlisberger was one of the biggest values last season. Only four quarterbacks scored more fantasy points than Roethlisberger -- Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning. Big Ben threw for a career-high 4,952 yards, which tied Drew Brees last season for the league lead, and 32 touchdowns, which tied a previous career high. As the 10th quarterback off the board in this mock, it appears that Roethlisberger has been overlooked once again, but Brendan gets a nice value here.

8.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

During the draft process last year, Freeman drew some comparisons to Frank Gore. Meanwhile, new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said that he "loved" Freeman when evaluating him last year. Averaging just 3.8 yards per carry, Freeman had eight or fewer carries in all but one game, but he also finished with 30 receptions. Freeman played on just 21.5 percent of Atlanta's offensive snaps last season, but he should see a huge bump in snaps, touches and production in 2015 even after drafting Indiana's Tevin Coleman.

8.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Even though the 49ers were one of only four teams to average less than 200 passing yards per game, Boldin is now two-for-two in 1,000-yard seasons with the Niners. In addition, both of his yardage totals (1,179 and 1,062, respectively) were higher than any of his previous six seasons. Boldin is unlikely to blow up for 150 yards and two touchdowns in any given week, but he provides owners with consistent production. He exceeded 50 receiving yards in 12 of 16 games last season.

8.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Dan Herron, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Part of last year's Boom (Herron) and Bust (Trent Richardson) backfield, Herron was the more productive back in the duo down the stretch after Ahmad Bradshaw was placed on IR in the middle of the season. And in the team's three playoff games, Herron was a workhorse with a total of 298 yards from scrimmage on 65 touches including 20 receptions.

With the release of Richardson but addition of Gore, Herron should handle a secondary role to Gore, who has been extremely durable -- no missed games in the past four years. That said, Gore turns 32 in May and has the third-most touches (1,301 including playoffs) over that four-year span.

8.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Failing to live up to my expectations last season, White still averaged a respectable 5.71 catches and 65.79 yards per game with seven touchdowns. Had he not missed two games, he was on a 16-game pace of 91/1,053/8. With White turning 34 in November and Julio Jones now the clear-cut No. 1 wideout on the team, I wouldn't expect much more than 1,000 yards in 2015.

8.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Overall, it was a disappointing season for Smith, who either set or tied career lows with 49 receptions for 767 yards. On a positive note, however, Smith set a career high with 11 touchdowns and he was much more productive from Week 6 to 17. During that span, Smith averaged 3.8 catches for 59.1 yards and a touchdown per game and scored the 14th-most fantasy points among wide receivers on a per-game basis. One of the league's more dangerous vertical threats, Smith fills a void for the 49ers, but his weekly production could remain relatively volatile.

8.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2012 feels like it was 10 years ago for Martin and his fantasy owners. Just a couple of seasons ago, The Muscle Hamster racked up 1,926 yards from scrimmage, 49 receptions and 12 touchdowns in 16 games as a rookie. Over the past two seasons (combined), however, Martin has only 1,080 YFS, 25 receptions and three touchdowns in 17 games. To complicate matters for 2015, Charles Sims, the new regime's third-round pick from last year, will be healthy to start the year.

> Continue to Round 9 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 7 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 16, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 7

This morning, we posted Round 6 in our new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft. Now another round, Round 7, is in the books.

Here are the Round 7 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

7.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

With the exception of Jarvis Landry, all of Miami's top pass-catchers are newcomers including first-round rookie DeVante Parker. The 6-foot-3 Parker missed the first seven games of the season with a foot injury, but he closed the season with 43 catches for 855 yards and five touchdowns in just six games. Parker gives the Dolphins someone who can develop into a true No. 1 wideout, but this is a little earlier (WR31 in this mock) than I'd select Parker.

7.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Landing in Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense bodes well for Agholor's short- and long-term fantasy outlook. While the Eagles lost Jeremy Maclin (6-0, 198, 4.48 forty) in free agency, Agholor (6-0, 198, 4.42 forty) has earned comparisons to the departed receiver. An excellent route runner, Agholor has the ability to play both inside and outside and finished with a 104/1,313/12 stat line last year for USC.

7.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan has more than 4,500 passing yards in three consecutive seasons and has thrown 26-plus touchdowns in five straight. Over his past five seasons, Ryan has finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of them. During that same span, however, he has never finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback. Even though he is the 10th-ranked quarterback in my rankings, perhaps being the seventh quarterback off the board is the perfect spot for him ...

7.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants

With his season cut short after after six games due to a torn patellar tendon, Cruz may or may not be ready for the start of the season although early reports appear positive. Cruz averaged a four-year low of 56.2 yards per game before his injury last year and he will clearly be the team's No. 2 receiver behind Odell Beckham once he returns to the field. I think there is a good chance that Cruz would have still been available for Dan a few rounds later than this.

7.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

One of two second-round receivers selected by the Jaguars last season, A-Rob's season was cut short with a season-ending foot injury in Week 10. From Weeks 2 to 10, however, Robinson averaged 5.22 receptions and 60.89 yards per game. During that nine-game span, Robinson had a minimum of four receptions every game and more than 50 receiving yards in seven of nine games. Especially if Blake Bortles takes a step forward going into his second season, Robinson could make a substantial leap forward in Year 2 as Cecil Shorts is in Houston and Justin Blackmon reportedly had his application for reinstatement rejected.

7.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

It was a down year for Newton, but he dealt with numerous injuries throughout the season and missed two games. That said, Newton has now exceeded 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons. Over those four seasons, he has averaged 3,606 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns per season as well as 643 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Despite the down year, Newton finished seventh in fantasy points per game (17.78) among QBs.

7.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Since entering the league as a top-four pick for the Raiders, McFadden has largely disappointed fantasy owners. Even though he averaged 121.6 YFS per game and 5.27 YPC over 20 games played in 2010 and 2011, he has missed at least three games in each of his first six seasons before finally playing a full 16-game season in 2014. In addition, he has averaged just 3.34 YPC over the past three seasons. While I'd prefer Joseph Randle, who averaged 6.7 YPC last season, over McFadden, I'll target both backs as I expect at least one of the two to finish as a top-20 fantasy back in 2015 behind the Cowboys dominant offensive line.

7.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Floyd opened (5/119) and closed (8/153/2) the season with a bang, but there weren't many bright spots in between. Floyd had zero, one or two receptions in eight games last season and finished the year with a 47/841/6 line after his breakout second season (66/1,054/5). Given the team's quarterback injuries, however, it's no surprise that we didn't see Floyd take another step forward in 2014. With less buzz entering 2015 drafts, Floyd has some bounce-back appeal at a lower draft-day cost than in 2014.

7.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns

While this is earlier than I'd select Johnson in re-draft leagues, Sean believes that Johnson is better than both Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West and could win the lead job early in his rookie season. Personally, I expect Crowell to lead the team's backfield, but I do like Johnson's versatile skill set and he is the all-time leading rusher at The U, which says plenty considering their talented alumni. Sean also told me that he made this selection as a "swing-for-the-fences" type of pick as Johnson is his fourth running back. That said, one of those running backs is Todd Gurley, who could possibly start the season on the PUP list.

7.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans

Not only was Sankey the first running back selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, but he seemed (at least when he was drafted) that he had the clearest path among rookie backs to a sizable workload. Sankey's workload instead fluctuated quite a bit, but his lack of productivity on a per-touch basis remained consistent. Sankey averaged less than four yards per carry in 10 of his final 12 games and the two exceptions were modest (4.2 and 4.5 YPC) as well.

On a positive note, Sankey's rookie campaign -- 170 touches, 702 yards from scrimmage and 3.7 YPC -- has set the bar low for year two. All of those should increase in 2015, but the question remains: by how much? Given that the team used their fifth-round pick on Minnesota's David Cobb, it may not be by much.

7.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys

While he had only 51 carries in 2014, 11 of those 51 (21.6 percent) of those carries resulted in runs of more than 10 yards and he averaged 6.73 yards per carry on the season. More than anything, that production is a result of running behind one of the best offensive lines in football, which should be even better this year. The YPC average will certainly decline with a spike in volume, but Randle has RB2 upside if he can get around 12 carries per game. And some reports project him as the favorite (over McFadden) to lead the team in carries. Randle could turn out to be a steal here.

7.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots

On a full-season basis, Blount is the clear favorite to lead the Patriots' backfield in both real and fantasy production. The only question is how much can we rely on his production on a week-to-week basis as we've seen with Blount in the playoffs -- one yard on three carries (vs. BAL) one week to 30 carries for 148 yards and three touchdowns the next week (vs. IND). With that said, he should be able to outproduce his draft slot (RB36) in our mock.

> Continue to Round 8 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Continue to Round 6 of our fantasy football mock draft

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 6

Last weekend, we began a new and "slow" 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

We are drafting 12 rounds with no kickers or team defenses so we are now halfway through the mock as Round 6 is in the books.

Here are the Round 6 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

6.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

No quarterback underachieved expectations more last season than Stafford, who finished as the QB15 in 2014. Even with the free-agent signing and breakout season from Golden Tate (99/1,331/4), Stafford threw for only 4,247 yards, a four-year low, and 22 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. With better health from Calvin Johnson, who missed a few games and was a decoy in others, Stafford should post better numbers in 2015.

6.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints

Spiller's free-agent landing spot certainly does not maximize his opportunities for the volume of his workload as part of the team's three-headed rushing attack. That said, I have faith in Sean Payton's ability to utilize Spiller correctly (or at least much better than Doug Marrone had) to maximize his production on a per-touch basis. While Spiller may never rush for 1,000 yards again, he should be productive as this team's RB3/flex option.

6.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Posting career highs of 84 catches for 1,008 yards last season, Olsen has now finished with at least 69 receptions and 816 yards while finishing as a top-seven fantasy tight end in each of the past three seasons. Over that three-year span, Jimmy Graham (3,086) is the only tight end with more yards than Olsen (2,667) and only Graham (256) and Jason Witten (247) have more receptions (226). Olsen has never had more than eight touchdowns in any season of his career, but he has at least five scores for seven consecutive seasons. In addition, Olsen is extremely durable and has played all 16 games in seven consecutive seasons.

6.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants

Dealing with multiple injuries, Jennings played in just 11 games in his first season with the Giants and had a total of only three carries in Weeks 14 and 15. Although he had 20-plus touches in six of his first eight games, rookie Andre Williams led the team in carries (217) last season. Williams will steal some goal-line opportunities and Shane Vereen will steal some of his passing-down work, which limits the weekly upside of the soon-to-be 30-year-old Jennings. On a positive note, the Giants used the ninth-overall pick on Ereck Flowers, one of the best run-blocking offensive linemen in this year's draft class.

6.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Possessing an impressive combination of size (6-2, 215) and athleticism (sub-4.4 forty), Johnson was reunited with Norv Turner in Minnesota after being released by the receiver-deficient Browns last offseason. In the final six games of the season, Johnson was on the field for all but 19 of the team's offensive snaps. And over his final seven games, Johnson posted 25 receptions for 415 yards and two touchdowns. With a full offseason and the continued development of rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, things should only be better for Johnson in 2015 and beyond.

6.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce's offensive snaps jumped to 86.7 percent (Weeks 11 to 17) after being on the field for only 52.3 percent of them through Week 10. That said, he still managed to finish with 67 receptions, 862 yards and five touchdowns. With good health, the sky is the limit for Kelce in 2015 and I was hoping he would make it one more pick to me at 6.07.

6.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The good news is that V-Jax eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth consecutive season and sixth time in the past seven years -- the exception was his holdout-shortened 2010 season. The bad news is that Jackson had just two touchdowns, the lowest of his career since his three-catch rookie season (2005). With Peterson and Miller at running back, Green and Matthews at wide receiver and Gore at flex, Jackson will essentially be a bye-week fill-in at WR/flex. I'll be hoping that he has one of his few boom weeks during those weeks.

6.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns

On a positive note, the coaching staff wants to lean on the rushing attack and the Browns have one of the better run-blocking offensive lines when center Alex Mack is healthy. On a less positive note, the coaching staff's allocation of carries was unpredictable on a weekly basis as the guy with the "best practice" during the week got the most carries. Ultimately, I expect Crowell to be the most productive Browns running back in 2015, but the team's coaching staff will keep us guessing on a week-to-week basis.

6.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears

Bennett set career highs across the board in 2014 with 90 receptions, 916 yards and six touchdowns. Finishing as a top-five scorer among tight ends, Bennett led the position in receptions and his 916 yards ranked third behind Rob Gronkowski and Greg Olsen. With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets, Bennett has the potential to post even better numbers this season.

6.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams

While Mason didn't get his first carry until Week 6, he averaged 18.11 touches per game from Week 9 on. Unfortunately for Mason, the team used the 10th-overall pick on stud running back Todd Gurley. Mason may have a few games early this season as the featured back while Gurley rehabs from his ACL injury, but once Gurley is fully healthy, it's his job.

6.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets

Although he averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC, Ivory once again rushed for more than 800 yards and set a career high with six touchdowns in 2014. The Jets signed Stevan Ridley in free agency and traded a seventh-round pick for Zac Stacy, but Ivory should lead the team's backfield in both workload and fantasy production. More productive than most probably realized, Ivory finished as a top-20 fantasy running back last season.

6.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

After three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons, Brees fell just shy of that mark with 4,952 yards, which tied Big Ben for the NFL lead, in 2014 and threw (only) 33 touchdowns, which ties a seven-year low. For the first time since signing with the Saints in 2006, Brees finished outside the top-five fantasy quarterbacks (sixth) in 2014. Brees has thrown at least 650 pass attempts in five consecutive seasons and he led the league in pass attempts per game (41.2) last season, but a transition to a more run-based offense has begun in earnest.

> Continue to Round 7 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 5 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 15, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 5

As we continue our new (and "slow") 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft, another round is in the books.

Here are the Round 5 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

5.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears

Long term, there is a lot to like about White as a prospect and NFL wide receiver, but this is probably a little earlier than I'd select him in re-draft formats. While some may label White as a "one-year wonder" after going the JUCO route to begin his collegiate career, White possesses a special combination of size (6-3, 215), speed (4.35 forty) and strength. During the draft process, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah compared White to Atlanta's Julio Jones and he should start early in his career, likely Week 1, opposite Alshon Jeffery.

5.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders

Loaded with potential and upside, Murray is a physical freak that runs a sub-4.4 forty at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. Murray finally got a chance to showcase what he could do down the stretch last season and he gained 478 yards from scrimmage over his final five games on a total of 83 touches (72 carries and 11 receptions). With Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew out and Trent Richardson and Roy Helu in, Murray should be given every opportunity to be the team's lead back in 2015 and I was hoping he'd slide a couple more spots to me at 5.05.

5.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions

Tate had a career year with 99 catches for 1,331 yards and four touchdowns plus five carries for 30 yards. With Calvin Johnson missing three games and being a decoy in a couple of others, Tate was especially productive over the middle of the season when he racked up a nine-game line of 64/935/3. If Megatron is healthy for the entire season, Tate is unlikely to repeat last year's career numbers, but he's otherwise a solid low-end WR2 in 2015.

5.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Inactive for the first six games, Bryant went on a scoring spree in his first four NFL games with a total of six touchdowns in those four games. After that point, Bryant had just 12 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns in the final six games of the season. Although Bryant could reach double-digit scores in 2015 and should start ahead of Markus Wheaton in two-WR sets, there will likely be some week-to-week inconsistency from Bryant as well but he has plenty of upside.

5.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

With a slow finish to the season, Manning finished the year as the QB4 (312.68 fantasy points) behind Aaron Rodgers (354.14), Andrew Luck (350.74) and Russell Wilson (327.6). In the first 11 games of the season, Manning averaged 23.96 fantasy points per game (323.45 YPG, 34 TDs and nine INTs). In the final five games of the season, he averaged 9.83 FPPG (233.8 YPG, five TDs and six INTs) and never scored more than 13.02 fantasy points in any of those games. Much of that decline can be attributed to his thigh injury, but Manning also struggles (in relative terms) as the weather gets colder. I like the value of Manning in the middle of the fifth round.

5.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Except for an 11-game season in 2010, Gore has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in eight of his past nine seasons with at least 1,100 rushing yards in the past four seasons. Underutilized as a receiver (18 receptions per year over past four seasons), Gore, once one of the league's top receiving backs, should see an uptick in targets with the Colts. Ranked as the RB19 in my rankings, Gore is a solid RB2 option in Indy's high-powered offense, but I really like him as my RB3/flex.

5.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins

Despite the revolving door at quarterback, Jackson was one of the few bright spots for Washington's offense in 2014. In his first season with Washington, D-Jax finished with 56 catches for 1,169 yards and six touchdowns and led the NFL in yards per reception (20.9). It was the second time in his career that he posted a Y/R average greater than 20.0.

Even though he finished as the 16th-highest scoring fantasy wide receiver, the big drawback of owning Jackson is the boom-or-bust nature of his production. Jackson finished as a top-17 fantasy wide receiver in eight of 15 games last year; in all of the seven other games, he finished as the WR53 or worse. Stated differently, Jackson had zero games within the range of WR18 and WR52 in a given week last year.

5.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

After sitting out all of 2013 with a torn ACL, Maclin returned to the Eagles on a one-year deal and posted a career-best season (85/1,318/10) in Chip Kelly's offense. Among players changing locker rooms in free agency, few players, if any, have seen their stock drop more than Maclin, who signed a five-year deal with the Chiefs to reunite with former head coach Andy Reid.

5.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Selected with a top-40 pick in this year's draft, Yeldon has excellent size (6-1, 225) and should immediately go to the front of the line in terms of the team's backfield depth chart. In fact, general manager David Caldwell said that he sees Yeldon as "a three-down back." The Jags ranked in the bottom two in both scoring and total offense last year and the general offensive struggles could limit Yeldon's fantasy upside as a rookie.

5.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

The biggest home run threat among backs in the 2015 NFL Draft, Coleman rushed for 2,036 yards on his 270 carries last season with four 200-yard games and eight 60-yard runs, most in both categories. Clearly, that won't be repeated at the NFL level, but it clearly illustrates his big-play ability as he joins one of the league's better offenses. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives Coleman the slight edge (1A to 1B) over Devonta Freeman in his early projected depth chart.

5.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

2013 seemed to be a perfect storm for Edelman as he was surrounded by other first-year receivers (either rookies or free agents) and Rob Gronkowski missed more than half of the season due to injury. After his breakout 2013 season (105/1,056/6), however, Edelman actually averaged slightly more receptions (6.57 in 2014 vs. 6.56 in 2013) and yards (69.43 in 2014 vs. 66.0 in 2013). While I'd prefer for Edelman to be my third receiver (instead of my second), he's my 23rd-ranked receiver and the 27th receiver off the board in this mock.

5.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

Among rookies, only his ex-LSU teammate Odell Beckham (91) had more receptions than Landry (84) last season. Over the final nine games of the season, Landry had a minimum of five receptions each game and racked up a total of 59 catches over that span. In addition, he had at least nine targets in six of his final eight games. While's much better in PPR formats, Landry should improve upon his 84/758/5 rookie numbers.

> Continue to Round 6 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 4 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 12, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 4

Four of our contributors began a new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft over the weekend.

As picks are made in our "slow" mock draft, I am posting the individual picks along with my comments.

With that said, here are the Round 4 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

4.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals

The good news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. The bad news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. Given Ellington's size (5-9, 199), it's not a huge (no pun intended) surprise that Ellington was unable to hold up for a full season and he missed the final four regular-season games of the year.

With the substantial bump in workload in his second season, Ellington underwhelmed as his yards-per-carry average plummeted from a league-best 5.5 YPC as a rookie to 3.3 YPC on 201 carries last season. Instead of feeding Ellington 20 to 25 touches per game, he would be better suited for a change-of-pace role with 12 to 15 touches per game although comments from Bruce Arians suggest that Ellington could see a similar volume of touches (while healthy). The Cards used a third-round pick on David Johnson, who's a bigger back and also possesses excellent receiving skills.

4.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers

Along with Mike Evans and Odell Beckham, Benjamin was one of three rookie 1,000-yard receivers in 2014. Like Evans, Benjamin is a big-bodied (6-5, 240) receiver that wins in the red zone. As a rookie, Benjamin was the focal point of the passing attack along with tight end Greg Olsen and he should only see his stream of targets increase in his sophomore campaign. That said, Benjamin will need to cut down on the drops as only Mohamed Sanu (14) had more drops than Benjamin (11) last season, according to PFF.

4.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Sean has a pair of stud receivers -- Odell Beckham and Dez Bryant -- and Russell Wilson, a top-three fantasy quarterback, but the sacrifice is having Bernard as his RB1. That said, there are a few running backs, such as Justin Forsett and Jonathan Stewart, that I would prefer over Bernard at this spot.

Settling back into a change-of-pace role behind Jeremy Hill, Bernard is better-suited to be a fantasy team's second back as well. Even with Hill going over 100 yards on large workloads in the team's final three regular-season games, Bernard still finished as the weekly RB11, RB17 and RB13, respectively, in standard-scoring formats. It would make sense for Sean to load up on running back in the upcoming middle rounds in hopes of hitting on one that could turn out to be an RB1 type.

4.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

In his first season with the Broncos, Sanders blew his previous career highs out of the water. With previous career highs set in 2013 of 67/740/6, Sanders finished with 101 receptions for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns. Even though Sanders is a better option in point-per-reception (PPR) formats, he's a solid mid-tier WR2 option in standard-scoring leagues heading into 2015.

4.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Arguably the biggest surprise in fantasy football last season, Forsett scored more fantasy points than all but seven other running backs in 2014. While it's a positive that Forsett re-signed with the Ravens, Lorenzo Taliaferro should see a larger share of the workload and the Ravens also drafted USC's Buck Allen.

That said, Forsett rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards last season and averaged an RB-high 5.4 YPC while adding 44 receptions for 263 yards. With Marc Trestman hired as the team's new offensive coordinator, Forsett should finish with another career high in receptions, at least, as Matt Forte set the position record last season under Trestman.

With Forte, C.J. Anderson and Forsett as his team's three running backs and Hilton at receiver, I like how this team is shaping up for Brendan.

4.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers

The long wait from Stewart's fantasy owners for him to be the featured guy is finally here. Over the final five games of the season, Stewart, who recently turned 28, rushed for 486 yards on 91 carries (5.34 YPC) and only DeMarco Murray (491) had more rushing yards during that span. With DeAngelo Williams now in Pittsburgh and only fifth-rounder Cameron Artis-Payne added to the backfield, it appears that the team finally recognizes that The Daily Show gives their offense the best opportunity for success.

4.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

In his first season in the league, Matthews finished with top-25 fantasy production of 67 receptions for 872 yards and eight touchdowns. Playing just 65.0 percent of the team's offensive snaps as a rookie, that ratio will spike in his second season as the team lost Jeremy Maclin via free agency. Even if the Eagles were able to re-sign Maclin, I would have expected Matthews to play in two-WR sets ahead of Riley Cooper, who played in 81.7 percent of offensive snaps.

4.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets

A lot went wrong for Marshall and the Bears offense last season as he missed multiple games, was limited in others, Jay Cutler struggled and was benched, there was a rift between Marshall and Cutler, etc. Marshall posted his lowest totals for receptions (61) and yards (721) since his rookie season, but he was traded to the Jets in the offseason and gets a fresh start. A return to his 2012 or 2013 numbers are unlikely, but I expect a bounce-back season of more than 1,000 yards. Before last year, Marshall had seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

4.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions

Scoring the 14th-most fantasy points among running backs in 2014, Bell finished with 223 carries for 860 yards, both of which were career highs, as well as 34 receptions for 322 yards and eight total touchdowns. The addition of second-rounder Ameer Abdullah puts Bell's role as a featured back in jeopardy, but I still expect him to lead the team in touches for at least the 2015 season.

4.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

No rookie receiver is more pro-ready than Cooper, the first Biletnikoff winner in Alabama history, and racked up 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Cooper should become Derek Carr's go-to receiver immediately for a team that ranked fourth in the league in pass attempts per game (39.3) in 2014.

4.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

Watkins finished his rookie campaign with 65 receptions for 982 yards and six touchdowns. While Watkins had four 100-yard games including a career-high 157 yards against his new head coach's former team, he also had nine games with 35 receiving yards or less. In a run-first offense with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation, there will likely be plenty of weekly inconsistency from Watkins even though I think his overall numbers will improve on a year-over-year basis.

4.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers

While his receptions increased from 71 to 77 in 2014, Allen's yardage (1,046 to 783) and touchdowns (eight to four) both dropped and he finished as only the 48th-highest scoring wide receiver last season. Turning just 23 in April, Allen should have a bounce-back season in 2015.

> Continue to Round 5 of our fantasy football mock draft

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 3

Here are the Round 3 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

3.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks

With a shoulder injury slowing Graham down, he had 54 yards or less in six of his final seven games last season and finished with only 889 yards, a four-year low. The good news, however, is that Graham avoided surgery on his shoulder. Over his past four seasons, Graham has averaged 89 catches, 1,099 yards and 12 touchdowns per year. With Graham traded to the Seahawks, he goes from an offense that averaged 41.2 pass attempts per game, second-most in the NFL last year, to one that averages the fewest (28.4/G) although the red-zone opportunities should remain relatively consistent.

3.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

So far, this team has an all-Green Bay roster with Eddie Lacy, Randall Cobb and now Rodgers. All things being equal, I'd prefer to not have my quarterback, top running back and top wide receiver on the same team, but it's not something that I would avoid -- and clearly Brendan doesn't have any concerns about it either.

The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, Rodgers was also the top-scoring fantasy quarterback as well. Since becoming Green Bay's starting quarterback seven years ago, Rodgers has finished as either the No. 1 or No. 2 fantasy quarterback in six of those seven seasons with the lone exception being his injury-shortened (broken clavicle) 2013 campaign. In his past four seasons, Rodgers has compiled a combined 139:25 TD-to-INT ratio with an average of 8.5 yards per attempt, 112.6 passer rating and 67.0 completion percentage.

3.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

Morris set career lows in carries (265), yards (1,074) and yards per carry (4.1) last season. The addition of Brandon Scherff with a top-five selection in the draft and Bill Callahan to the coaching staff should bode well for Alf in 2015. Even though the team drafted running back Matt Jones in the third round, Jay Gruden says that Morris will continue in his featured back role.

3.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Throwing for 4,761 yards and a league-leading 40 touchdowns, both of which were career highs, Luck's 40 TDs last season nearly equalled his total from his first two seasons combined (46 TDs). During the season, Luck had the second-longest streak of 300-yard games (eight) in NFL history; only Drew Brees (nine games, twice) has ever had a longer streak.

Like with Rodgers, Luck gets a boost from his mobility and he rushed for 263 yards and three touchdowns last year. Luck has rushed 62-64 times in all three seasons with at least 255 yards each year and a total of 12 touchdowns. It wouldn't surprise me if Luck finishes as the highest-scoring fantasy quarterback in 2015, but either way, he and Rodgers are close and alone in the top tier of fantasy quarterback options for 2015.

3.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers

With Frank Gore signing a free-agent deal with the Colts, Hyde projects atop the 49ers depth chart at running back although they signed Reggie Bush in free agency and drafted Mike Davis as well. With Gore ahead of him last year on the depth chart, Hyde had just 83 carries for 333 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. Not only will the volume of his workload expand significantly, but I expect his effectiveness on a per-carry basis to increase from last year's 4.0 yards-per-carry average. Still a big back that could thrive at the goal line, Hyde has shed roughly 10 pounds to the mid 220-pound range.

3.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins coaching staff seemed reluctant to give Miller as much work as his fantasy owners would have liked, but Miller was highly productive on a per-touch basis (5.09 YPC, 7.24 Y/R). With more than 15 carries in only four games last season, Miller still managed to post his first-ever 1,000-yard season (1,099 rushing yards). In addition, Miller was very consistent throughout the season as he finished as a top-21 fantasy running back in 12 of 16 weeks. Although they didn't draft Jay Ajayi until the fifth round (due to long-term concerns about his knee), Ajayi profiles as a potential three-down back in this league and that puts a limit on Miller's upside, but I still expect him to be a solid RB2 for this team.

3.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

Hopkins delivered with a 76/1,210/6 second-year stat line and emerged as the team's most productive wide receiver. In fact, the Texans released Andre Johnson this offseason. If there's any concern when it comes to Hopkins taking another step forward in his third season, it's the team's less-than-inspiring quarterback play, but he's a strong WR2 (behind Julio Jones) for Brendan heading into 2015.

3.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Hilton had a breakout 82/1,345/7 season last year. And that breakout year would have been even better if he weren't limited down the stretch by a hamstring injury. With good health, I'd expect Hilton to set new career highs in both receptions and yards this season.

3.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams

Based on his long-term view, I'm as high on Gurley as anyone and the talented rookie ranks fourth in my dynasty running back rankings. In terms of his re-draft value, however, I expect the Rams to be extra cautious with the young (turns 21 in August) running back as he continues to rehab from his ACL injury. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Gurley began the season on the PUP list and I'd probably wait another round before taking Gurley in re-draft leagues. When healthy though, Gurley will be the centerpiece of Jeff Fisher's offense and has a rare combination of size and speed to run over and/or outrun opposing tacklers.

3.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson would have been a productive fantasy running back based on his rushing stats alone. His 849 rushing yards were tied for 16th in the NFL with Denver's C.J. Anderson. It is probably unrealistic to expect another season of 800-plus rushing yards, but Wilson has rushed for at least 489 yards in all three seasons. In large part to his gaudy rushing statistics, Wilson finished third last season in fantasy points scored behind only Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck.

Despite playing in a run-dominant offense, Wilson became the first quarterback in league history to throw at least 20 touchdowns with 10 or fewer interceptions in each of the first three seasons to begin a career. Wilson's volume of pass attempts may not jump a ton in 2015, but the Seahawks blockbuster trade for tight end Jimmy Graham significantly boosts the team's weapons in the passing game.

3.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints

Once again, Ingram missed multiple games and has now missed a total of 14 games over his four-year career. That said, Ingram set career highs in the 13 games he did play in 2014 -- 226 carries, 964 rushing yards, nine touchdowns and 29 receptions. Re-signing with the Saints, Ingram should lead the team's three-headed rushing attack in carries as a transition to more of a run-based offense appears to be in the offing.

3.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints

Playing only 10 games as a rookie before landing on season-ending Injured Reserve, Cooks, like most rookie receivers, was inconsistent on a week-to-week basis. That said, Cooks had three top-12 weekly performances last season including two in his final four games before the injury. Through Week 11, his 86.3 fantasy points ranked 25th among wide receivers.

Going into 2015, I expect better production from Cooks on a per-game basis with a full offseason to get more comfortable with the offense. In addition, the team traded away two of its best weapons -- Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills -- in the passing game, which will help to pave the way for Cooks to have a breakout season.

> Continue to Round 4 of our fantasy football mock draft

> Go back to Round 2 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 10, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 2

Four of our contributors began a new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft on Saturday and now another round is complete and posted.

As noted yesterday, we will post the rounds of our "slow" mock draft as they are completed instead of waiting until the end to post them all.

With that said, here are the Round 2 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

2.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Including playoff appearances, Johnson has more 200-yard games (six) than any other receiver in league history. And while he still has as much potential as any receiver to take over a given game, he has battled some injuries over the past couple of seasons with five missed games in 2013 and 2014. With five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Megatron has averaged a dominant stat line of 90/1,467/11 during that span. While I'd personally take Demaryius Thomas or Dez Bryant ahead of him, Johnson is one of seven or eight elite wideouts wtih the ability to be the top-scoring fantasy receiver provided he stays healthy.

2.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

Did you know that no team had more rushing attempts than the Texans (551) last season? (The Seahawks were second with 525.) While there have been some changes within the passing offense, the Texans will continue to rely on the ground game in 2015.

With Foster, who turns 29 in August, it boils down to his health. Although Foster missed three games in 2014, he averaged 95.8 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry, both of which were four-year highs, and he scored double-digit touchdowns (13). Finishing as a top-five fantasy scorer at running back last season, Foster was a weekly top-12 fantasy running back in 10 of 13 weeks last season.

2.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Even with the team's new-found commitment to the ground game, Bryant finished with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a career-high and league-leading 16 touchdowns last season. Dez now has at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. And aside from Marshawn Lynch, Bryant is the only other player with at least 50 total touchdowns over the past four seasons.

2.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

Thomas started 2014 slowly but eclipsed 100 yards in 10 of his final 13 games to finish with a full-season stat line of 111 catches and 1,619 yards, both of which were career highs, and 11 touchdowns. With the Broncos using their franchise tag on Thomas (in hopes of finalizing a long-term deal prior to the July 15th deadline) and Peyton Manning returning for at least one more season, a fourth consecutive year of 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns seems like a strong possibility.

2.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos

From Week 10 to 17 last year, Anderson finished as a top-five fantasy running back in six of eight games. In the other two games, he was still very productive as the RB10 and RB16 for those given weeks. With a healthy backfield and a new coaching staff heading into 2015, how will Gary Kubiak allocate the workload between Anderson, Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball? Provided Anderson remains in a featured role throughout the season, he has top-five upside.

2.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

On the season, Jones finished with 104 catches for 1,593 yards, both of which shattered his previous career highs, and six touchdowns. After scoring 0.62 TD/G on 74.4 YPG in his first two seasons, Jones has averaged just 0.40/G despite a jump to 1087.7 YPG over the past two seasons. With plus size and speed, Jones should bounce back in terms of red-zone production and could put together a 100/1,500/10 season in 2015 with good health.

2.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Injuries kept Green from building upon career-best 2013 numbers (98/1,426/11), but he still extended his streak of 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career to four despite missing a few games. Only Megatron (6,214), Brown (5,092) and Demaryius (5,034) have more yards during that four-year span than Green (4,874). With good health, Green is a good bet for at least 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns in 2015 and I'd be glad to settle for Green as the seventh receiver off the board.

2.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

Not only is wide receiver deep, it's deep with elite wide receivers. The only receiver to score more fantasy points than Nelson last season was Antonio Brown. While Nelson is far from a lock to finish as a top-two producer at the position once again, he's certainly one of a group of eight wideouts that has the talent and opportunity to do so.

2.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans started and finished slowly in terms of yardage, but he was one of three rookie receivers to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark last year. From Weeks 9 to 11, he gave us a glimpse of what we can expect when things really click as he posted a massive 21/458/5 line over that three-game stretch. And the 6-foot-5 receiver is already one of the league's best red-zone receivers as he scored 10 touchdowns over his final nine games as a rookie.

2.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears

With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets and using a top-seven pick on West Virginia's Kevin White, Jeffery now takes over as the team's clear No. 1 wide receiver. That said, he still finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among wide receivers last year. Despite year-over-year dips in both receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,133), Jeffery posted a career high in touchdowns (10) last season.

2.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Set to turn 25 in August, Cobb re-signed with the Packers prior to the official start of NFL free agency. Of course, playing in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense helps to maximize his fantasy value this year and going forward. Cobb finished the season with 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns, all of which set career highs, but I would be surprised if he scored 12 touchdowns again in 2015.

2.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers

As much as I prefer Todd Gurley from a long-term dynasty outlook, Gordon has the potential to be the most productive rookie for re-draft in 2015. With Danny Woodhead healthy and expected to handle third-down responsibilities, MG3 should dominate the early-down touches as he fills the role of the departed (and oft-injured) Ryan Mathews. It wouldn't surprise me if MG3 finishes with 250-plus touches and rushes for 1,000-plus yards as a rookie.

> Continue to Round 3 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 1 of our fantasy football mock draft

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