Golden Tate is a Must Start in Week 6

Emmanuel Barrera


Golden Tate arrived in Detroit this year through free agency and was immediately handed the number 2 role in a pass happy offense. Last week playing alongside a hobbled Calvin Johnson, Tate racked up 8 receptions on 10 targets for 116 yards. This week, reports indicate Johnson may be deactivated in order to nurse an ailing ankle, which immediately boosts Tate up to a high upside WR1 through volume alone, as Matt Stafford is averaging 35.8 attempts per game through 5 weeks. What makes Tate a stronger play is his matchup versus a suspect Vikings defense whose secondary graded out as a -6.7 according to Pro Football Focus. Perhaps even more significant, Minnesota’s pass rush graded out as a -6.0 which should give Matt Stafford plenty of time to throw. If by some reason Tate is still on your bench or waiver wire, this week would be a strong time to play him, otherwise he is a strong candidate to play in one week re-draft leagues.

If Johnson is deactivated, Tate clearly becomes the #1 in Detroit which could pose problems if they decide to double him. While Minnesota’s starting corners leave quite a bit to be desired, Free Safety Harrison Smith has been completely rejuvenated in Mike Zimmer’s new defensive scheme, grading out with a +6.5 in PFF’s system. On the other hand, Smith did not practice on Tuesday and was seen a walking boot, which could boost Tate’s value even more so.

Week 4 Sleeper-Allen Robinson

Written by, Emmanuel Barrera

If you’re like me, you’re in some sort of fantasy football bind right about now either because bye weeks are taking guys out of your lineup or your team has fallen victim to the recent accumulation of injuries to key players. If you’re in a deeper league, chances are players you wanted to snag are gone, or maybe you’re looking for a quality add for various other reasons. Regardless, this week I’m going to go ahead and jump on the Jacksonville Jaguars bandwagon. Blake Bortles has seemingly breathed life into this offense, once again making it fantasy relevant. I was incredibly high on the second round pick out of Penn State when he declared for this years past draft, and my praise of Robinson is seemingly being echoed by the Jacksonville coaching staff as he seems to have surpassed UDFA Allen Hurns as the starter opposite Cecil Shorts, playing 42 out of a possible 60 snaps (according to rotoworld). Not only is Robinson getting on the field, but he’s also being productive with 11 catches on his last 16 targets for 154 yards. While it is extremely likely Robinson may hit the “rookie wall” and suffer a setback in production, he will likely be afforded a lot of opportunities to produce this year, given the lack of production from the Jacksonville backfield. Rookie Blake Bortles will throw early and often, particularly with a defense ranked 31st in the league.

Week 4 Matchup:

As mentioned before, rookies are generally inconsistent, this is especially true for receivers. However, Robinson has a chance to remain productive in a tough matchup versus a stingy San Diego defense. While veteran Brandon Flowers will likely shadow Cecil Shorts, Robinson will probably see his fair share of second year starter Shareece Wright and potentially fellow rookie Jason Verrett. Robinson holds a significant height advantage at 6’3’’ with a 39 inch vertical jump at this years combine, Verrett (5’9’’) is particularly vulnerable. Through 3 weeks, San Diego has shown to be vulnerable against number 2 receivers surrendering 119 yards on 5 catches to Michael Floyd in week 1 and a 15.3 average with 61 yards on 4 receptions to Jermaine Kearse in week 2. Despite a better showing against the Bills in week 3, limiting rookie Sammy Watkins to 19 yards on 2 receptions, the potential for explosive plays is there for Robinson in week 4.

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Top 5 QB prospects in college football

Christopher High
August 25, 2014

This past year’s draft was full of talent at just about every position. Next years draft seems to have just about as much talent but much more so at the the most important position in football. Quarterback. Here are my top five draft eligible college quarterbacks.
1. Marcus Mariota: Mariota is the new prototype of the NFL today. He’s big, listed at 6′ 4″, athletic, and has a very live arm. He has a feel for running lanes and uses his legs to pick up yards and extend the play. Watching him play he feels a lot like a more polished Ryan Tannahill. About the same size both had good arms and are athletic. The only real flaw in Mariota’s game at this point is under pressure. When asked to carry the offense he seems to get overwhelmed quickly. he will need to learn to make more reads in the NFL where he will be asked to go through his progressions as apposed to at Oregon Where he is asked to throw to only one side of the field.

2. Bryce Petty: Where as Mariota is a sports car Petty is much more of the family sedan. He’s got good size at 6’3″ and a very good frame to be able to take the hits in the NFL. He shows good ball placement and accuracy and also has a strong arm. Don’t be fooled into thinking he’s a running quarterback by his 14 rushing touchdowns. He is very much so a pocket passer who is a niffty runner able to get those scores in the red zone but do not look for him to remind you of Cam Newton in the open field. The biggest question I have about Petty is if his success is because of him, his coach, the players around him, or a mix of all of these.

3.Brett Hundley: For my money Hundley is by far the best most physically gifted draft eligible QB. He’s big, strong, fast, big frame, big arm, and has the change of direction skills coaches look for in running back not quarterbacks. Hundley like many college quarterbacks doesn’t have a lot of reads. He mostly looks at one receiver then runs if nothing is open but on broken plays he does a great job keeping his eyes down the field. The problems? Well for starters he has a low release point and a slower throwing motion then you would like. Also the UCLA offense is built a round short quick passes that doesn’t always show Hundley’s arm strength throwing the ball down the field. But with another year as a starter under his belt we could see Hundley become the top QB prospect by the time all is said and done.

4. Jameis Winston: There is so much to love about Winston and yet so much that will make you cringe. On the good side he’s a huge hulking man who is so strong he can shrug off defensive ends. But the bad part of that is he will old onto the ball too long and take a sack. Hes got an amazingly strong arm. But he often throws late. He just wills his way to victory. But he sometimes kills the team with mistakes. There were games last year i didn’t believe him to be the best QB on the field. I’m not as big a fan of his as most people are. He has one of the slowest releases you will ever see and that unlike footwork and mechanics is almost impossible to change. I don’t have too big of an issue with his mental mistakes considering this was his first year starting at this level. He is inconsistently accurate but his ball placement is terrible. There are about 3 or 4 times a game where he would throw it up to Kelvin Benjamin, who would of course come down with it, where if Jameis had thrown it right at Kelvin it would have been an even bigger play because of yards after the catch. I see Jameis as a good player though i don’t believe he is a great player and i don’t know if he will ever be that. Especially at the next level.

5. Sean Mannion: The purest pocket passer out f all the guys on this list, I really like the way this kid throws the ball. He’s large at 6′ 5″ and has the frame to put on a little more weight to take the hits in the NFL. Mannion’s arm strength is by far his biggest asset. Not many quarterbacks in the NFL can make the throws he does off their back foot. But that is also a down side for Mannion, turn on the tape against Utah and he seems to never set his feet. Now that has a lot to do with his offensive line but even when given time there are times he doesn’t step into his throws. He goes throw progressions to some extent though not at an NFL level yet. With a very quick release for his size Mannion has all the tools to be a very good NFL QB. The biggest things he need to fix are the habit of throwing off his back foot, locking into targets, and most importantly throwing with accuracy on a consistent basis. He can make throws that take your breathe away but then he can turn around and overthrow a target that’s wide open. Mannion could turn into the best QB out of this draft but he needs to fix those problems.

Release the Kraken: Andre Ellingtion unchained

David “Sho” Showalter
August 23, 2014

This season a second year running back is going to be put into a great position to succeed. He will be the bellcow in vertical passing offense that is about to take off. This back is explosive, elusive, and more durable than he is given credit for. Hearing that you’d think people would be all in especially at the value you can get him at, but numerous analysts never paint the complete picture for this guy who averaged 5.53 yards per carry as a rookie. You’re gonna need a bigger boat, Andre Ellington is gonna be an absolute monster!

Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinal’s offense is about to take a major step forward this year. Having threats at receiver position, consummate pro Larry Fitzgerald, budding star Michael Floyd, and offseason sensation John Brown, will greatly benefit Ellington and his overall effectiveness as a runner as well as a receiver. With Palmer having no fear to sit back and sling the rock as much as Bruce Arians asks him to, opposing defenses won’t be able to stack the box. Ellington should consistently see 7 or less defensive fronts making it easier for him to consistently reach the second level of the defense. That plays into one of his greatest strengths; his explosiveness.

I’m not someone who thinks “Pro Football Focus”(PFF) is the end all be all of player evaluation, but a lot of valuable information can be obtained through their statistical records. One of PFF’s signature stats for running backs is “breakaway percentage” that shows which runners earn the highest, and lowest, percentage of their yardage on big plays (any runs of 15 yards or more). Ellington led the NFL last year in “breakaway percentage” in a little more than half the amount of attempts as it took a fellow explosive Clemson back, C.J. Spiller, who was second. Spiller is known as a home run threat anytime he touches the ball. There is no reason to think Ellington can’t be just as electric as Spiller.

Now with that being said, you could attempt to make an argument, that with such a large percentage of this yardage coming from big plays (47.9%), if Ellinton doesn’t hit a home run, his yards per game could be really fluky. Another great PFF signature stat is their “elusive rating.” “Elusive rating” rates a runner’s success beyond the point of being helped by his blockers. Ellington also ranks very high on this list at 5th in the NFL just barely below star backs like Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson, and considerably above another stud, LeSean McCoy. Stop the press!, this guy sounds like he could be legit! To reinforce that point even more, he was 2nd in the NFL with 3.15 yards after contact (9th with 2.47 Yco on inside runs and 1st with 4.62 Yco on outside runs). Take a second to let that sink in. Little old Andre Ellington had a higher average than the Purple Jesus.

All those bells and whistles sound great right, but how will Ellington last an entire season with a 5’9 199 frame? Well first off he put on 8 to 10 pound of muscle this offseason in preparation of a larger workload. Cardinal’s beat writers reported that he hasn’t lost any of his elusiveness or explosiveness. Let me tell you, 209 pounds is extremely compact and thick for someone who is 5’9! Second, Ellington can be just as durable as backs that aren’t as stout as he is like Chris Johnson (5’11 203) and Jamaal Charles (5’11 199). Both of those backs are/were the focal parts of their offense and the primary concern of defensive coordinators. Ellington is not the primary focus! He will be in a better situation than people realize.

All this disbelief about Ellington needs to go away. He has legit high end RB 1 upside at a RB 2 value and should be pounced on when he falls to you. It’s time for everyone to grow a pair and make the bold move to draft him so you’ll look like a genius. Don’t fear the Reaper, Andre Ellington will be a fantasy superstar!

Alshon Who?

David “Sho” Showalter
August 23, 2014

If you ask any analyst who the best young receivers are, 10 times out of 10, they’d say A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas, and Dez Bryant with no hesitation. Given all their track records it’s pretty hard to make a case against these studs being the top, up and coming, elite wide outs. But what about Alshon Jeffery?

This underrated receiver, in his second year as a pro broke out for 89 receptions on a massive 150 targets for 1,421 yards and 7 touchdowns. After having a monster season like that, you’d think people wouldn’t shut up about him. Instead, his success was met with caution and uncertainty that he’d continue to perform at that level. A reason for these tempered expectations is because Jay Cutler overly favors Brandon Marshall. This is a misconception that many people have.
The thought that Josh McCown favored Jeffery over Marshall seems to be universal around the league. But when faced with the facts you’ll be quite surprised. In the games only McCown started (games 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13) the targets were actually identical at 52 each. Wait what? Mind blown right!?

On the flip side, during the games only Cutler started, Marshall barely over took Jeffery with 89 targets to 73. This really isn’t as huge a difference given the relationship Cutler and Marshall have had on and off the field over the course of their careers.

Now that the fog from this myth has been lifted, let’s refresh everyone’s memory that Jeffery was the best receiver in the SEC in 2010. It’s easy to see that he completely DOMINATED the conference that year with 88 catches for 1,517 yards and 9 touchdowns. Yes I used all caps because when you have almost 400 more than the next receiver, 384 to be exact, it’s justified. Who was the next receiver I wonder? Mr. Julio Jones, the receiver held in much higher regard. Jones posted a 78-1,113-7 stat line and Green had 57-848-9 that same year. Both of these “studs” were blown out of the water by Jeffery. Seems like a lack of logic.

Another plus for Jeffery is his fluid situation. Out of Jeffery, Jones, and Green, he is the only receiver whose situation didn’t change, but instead got better. In the offseason this year Marshall was able to train instead of rehabbing his hip from surgery. Last year he was still successful despite not being able to train due to his surgery. Marshall is gonna be a monster this year. Plus one for Jeffery! Jones, from a target perspective, is in a better situation, but with the loss of the ageless wonder, Tony Gonzales, cannot be understated. With Gonzales being gone, coverage will roll even more towards Jones. People don’t take into consideration the adverse effect this could have on Jones’s numbers. Green’s new offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, runs a scheme that’s more run orientated and wants to control the game clock. Paired with an uncertainty that Marvin Jones can be the threat, opposite of Green, the Bengals need; Green also seems to be in a less than ideal situation. Jeffery is the most likely of the three to repeat his success or even surpass it.

With all that said, any of these beasts are a safe bet to draft as a cornerstone of your dynasty team. So let people talk up the other receivers, draft them first, and you can be the one to smirk while drafting Jeffery knowing the steal you just got. The receiver I believe could very well surpass all of them and possibly, one day be the best receiver in the league.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of the Year!

Amin Khan
Aug 8, 2014

It’s that time of year which a growing number of people every year are very much looking forward to. Okay, a larger number of mostly guys are looking forward to (with all due to respect to the Jenny MacArthurs of the world), it’s Fantasy Football time!

Yes, that time of year when your spouse gets tired of seeing you reading updates on player news and managing your team. When your daughter is rolling her eyes hearing you gab on the phone about shady trades you’re proposing or others in your league are attempting and you’re whining with the same passion they do when they’re gossiping about their classmates. When Microsoft’s “seriously” commercial showing people detached from the real world as it continues on without them due to typing on smartphones is being redubbed/reimaged to show how “seriously” we zone in on all things Fantasy Football, oblivious to your children, work, and life in general. Yes, it’s finally that time of year again.

Well, I hope to share some snippets and thoughts I have on the matter. Hope they’re useful to you as you know exactly what “not” to do after reading my suggestions, or perhaps the coin will land heads and my advice will coincide with being useful.

Let the Draft preparations begin!


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