Fantasy Football 2013: What Did We Learn from Saturday’s Preseason Week 3 Games? (B/R)

I haven’t been too good about updating lately – I’m going to start scheduling myself a couple minutes post article to add the stuff I write here.

Today’s piece is about what we learned from Saturday night’s action from a fantasy football standpoint.

Here’s a sample – as always, you can read the whole thing at Bleacher Report.

Michael Vick is a guy who frustrates the heck out of most fantasy GMs.

At 33 he’s still one of the most athletically gifted players in the league. He’s also always hurt, so you never have him for a full season, nor see his full potential. Last year he turned the ball over all the time.

We saw it all on display again Saturday night. The good, bad and ugly.

The Good was his 15 for 23 effort resulting in 184 yards and a touchdown. The Good was his ability to take advantage of head coach Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense to keep the defense off-balance, especially at the start of the second half.

The Bad were the moments he held the ball way too long, didn’t set his feet and made poor decisions to throw balls he never should have.

The Ugly was partially about Vick and partially about the team. For Vick it was his fumble and interception. After a season where he fumbled the ball 11 times and threw 10 interceptions, he can’t afford to make many mistakes.

On the interception, Vick threw a ball under pressure off of his back foot. It needed to be tossed out of bounds or totally clear from any player, but instead it floated right to Dwayne Gratz for a turnover.

Vick did that more than once, throwing the ball away poorly.

The offensive line was also part of The Ugly, allowing two sacks and seven quarterback hits in just two quarters. If you want to know why Vick is often hurt, that line is part of the reason.

With Michael Vick you get some fantastic fantasy numbers for part of a season. You also get a lot of turnovers and several missed games as well as a lot of unfulfilled promise.

Thanks for reading.

 

Top Fantasy Football Team Defenses for 2013 (Bleacher Report Video)

Again, really wish I could embed these.

Here is my gorgeous face talking about the top fantasy defenses in the NFL this year. Also, there is an accompanying piece about why the Denver Broncos missed the cut.

Enjoy!

Manziel’s Twitter Issues Highlight Challenges Facing Today’s Student-Athletes (Bleacher Report)

If you haven’t looked up Wright Thompson’s piece on Johnny Manziel at ESPN.com, do it.

I was moved to ponder how the new age of social media is challenging athletes about how they conduct themselves as well as what colleges (and major league teams) need to help them navigate it.

You can see the whole piece here, but here is a snippet:

By now, everyone has probably read Wright Thompson’s excellent piece on Johnny Manziel over at ESPN.

If you haven’t, take a few minutes and do so, because it’s fascinating.

For extra credit, read the comments, which are almost as fascinating as the article itself.

Since the article hit, there has been a wide range of reaction (perfectly represented by the comments on the article, by the way) about what the article means and who Johnny Football is.

The turmoil around Manziel highlights how athletes today are faced with challenges that athletes 10 or even five years ago weren’t confronted with.

Social media, especially Twitter, is a benefit and a curse.

Once upon a time, if you were a football player at Michigan and wanted to go to a party at Michigan State, you might get away with it.

Maybe someone would make a call to a local radio show and say something or perhaps the trip might end up in your student newspaper.

As long as you stayed out of trouble, though, you were probably fine.

Now, with Twitter, Facebook, Vine, YouTube, Tumblr and numerous other social media sites, you cannot burp without someone posting about it.

The most fascinating thing about articles like mine or Thompson’s is the venom regarding Manziel and his actions. It’s not that he’s acting out, mind you—it’s that his family has money.

That might say more about us than him.

Early Buzz Surrounding Top Training Camp Battles (Bleacher Report)

A little catching up today-first up an article talking about several of the bigger camp battles and where they stand.

Here’s a snippet—you can read the rest at Bleacher Report.

Mark Sanchez vs. Geno Smith, Quarterback, New York Jets

The assumption has been that veteran Mark Sanchez will get one last shot to carry the New York Jets to the playoffs. Rookie Geno Smith is raw, and I was told by someone tied to the Jets that they passed on him in the first round for defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson in part because they felt Smith would need a year on the bench to develop.

So far, though, Smith is proving to be more competition than some gave him credit for.

Yes, Sanchez started camp by getting the majority of the snaps with the first team, but head coach Rex Ryan has said each will get equal time there.

Smith has impressed with his long accuracy while with the first team and mentioned how important it was for a rookie to get a chance against a first-team defense. While Sanchez has been consistent, Smith has had more big plays.

Of course, the stat everyone looks at is interceptions, and while Sanchez has turned the ball over, Smith went the first three practices without a turnover. As Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reports, Smith still has a ways to go in terms of blitz pickup and pre-snap reads.

Overall, though, he’s done a good job—a sentiment echoed by Brian Bassett and Corey Griffin of SNY’s The Jets Blog in this video.

The competition is far from over, but so far it appears as if the rookie is impressing. We know what Mark Sanchez can do—we’ve seen it for four years.

The upside of Geno Smith could tempt the Jets coaching staff to roll the dice on the rookie and see what he can do instead.

There’s a lot more, so make sure you head to the full article—and as always thanks for reading (I’ll be posting more later).