Fantasy Football Week 8: Early Advice for Your Roster (B/R)

Hey, we’re going to be gearing this thing back up again (we meaning me) and I’ll have a few announcements later but for now, just know that I’ll keep posting my stuff here as well as new material directly for this site.

This morning I posted one of my weekly columns for Bleacher Report, a fantasy football piece on matchups to take advantage of as well as playersa you want to dump or grab while you can.

 

Here’s a sample – as always you can read the whole thing here.

 

We’re about to hit a very difficult two-week stretch for fantasy owners, as we lose six teams worth of players in both Week 8 and Week 9.

Here is a list of the players you could be losing this week. Each position has at least one stud in it, and all of them also have multiple fantasy relevant players who could have been anything from a No. 2 receiver to a flex-spot tight end.

QB: Andrew Luck, Jake Locker, Luke McCown, Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco, Case Keenum

RB: Matt Forte, Chris Johnson, Trent Richardson, Donald Brown, Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead, Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Arian Foster, Ben Tate

WR: Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, T.Y. Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Keenan Allen, Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal, Torrey Smith, Marion Brown, Tandon Doss, Jacoby Jones, Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins

TE: Martellus Bennett, Delanie Walker, Coby Fleener, Antonio Gates, Ed Dickson, Garrett Graham

 

Week 4

Green Bay , Carolina

Week 5

Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

Week 6

Atlanta, Miami

Week 7

Oakland, New Orleans

Week 8

Chicago, Tennessee, Indianapolis, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston

Week 9

Denver, Detroit, New York Giants, Arizona, San Francisco, Jacksonville

Week 10

Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, New York Jets

Week 11

Dallas, St. Louis

Week 12

Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle

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Fantasy Football 2013: Buying or Selling Value of Top Preseason Stars (B/R)

This past week we took a look at who really is going to be as good as they looked in the preseason and who might not be.

There’s little more precarious than trying to figure out what preseason really means in terms of fantasy football value, so as always, I am happy to help.

Here’s a sample as always:

BUY: DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Houston Texans

Hopkins looks like the solution to Houston’s longstanding quest to find a receiver opposite Andre Johnson. Johnson attracts the lion’s share of the secondary attention, but so far nobody has been able to regularly take advantage of that.

But that’s where the former Clemson University wide receiver comes in.

While he has missed most of the preseason due to a concussion, and according to CBS Houston, still isn’t through the NFL‘s concussion protocols, Hopkins should be ready to go Week 1.

What we saw in the small preseason sample was impressive, though. Hopkins caught a total of six balls for 74 yards and a touchdown.

The touchdown—which came in the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings—was a good example of what the wide receiver is capable of. In single coverage against cornerback Bobby Felder—who admittedly is a depth guy and may not be on the roster come Week 1—Hopkins ran a simple go route towards the end zone.

Felder stayed with him, but as the pass from T.J. Yates came in—a high, lofting ball—Hopkins leapt up, caught it at the high point of his jump and came down. Felder got his hand on the ball a bit but was turned around, and Hopkins held on as they fell to the turf in the end zone.

On the broadcast, announcer Spencer Tillman relayed a story about when he asked Houston wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey if Hopkins could catch in traffic. They said Kirksey simply told them, “There’s nothing he [Hopkins] can’t do.”

Hopkins can take advantage of the space created by his size and frame, while his speed can create separation.

That won’t change in the regular season.

As always you can read the whole thing at Bleacher Report.

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).

 

Predicting the Biggest Potential Preseason Roster Cut at Every Position (Bleacher Report)

Good morning!
Back again today with a new piece at Bleacher Report: Predicting the Biggest Potential Preseason Roster Cut at Every Position.

Not all of them are “big” but hey, there’s only so much you can do to work with a title.

Here’s a sampling—as always you can read the whole thing at B/R.

Offensive Line: Derek Sherrod, Green Bay Packers

When Getty Images only has one picture of you since you’ve joined the NFL, that’s a bad sign.

After Derek Sherrod’s rookie season, cut short by a broken leg, the young tackle hasn’t seen the field. Worse, he’s been placed on the PUP list to start training camp, according to Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

That’s not good, especially not a year-and-a-half after the initial injury.

As decimated as the Packers offensive line was again last year, if he was even remotely healthy he would have played. That he’s either still being handled with kid gloves (best-case scenario) or still too hurt to practice (worst-case scenario) is alarming and a bad sign.

It’s safe to assume if he doesn’t see the field in camp, he may see an injury settlement and the waiver wire.

There’s three for every position, so check the whole thing out.

I’ll have a video up at BR later as well, so stay tuned.

And as always, thanks for coming by.

The Complete NFL Training Camp Guide for All 32 Teams

I’ve been bad updating this the last few weeks—vacation does that.

So I’ll make it up to you with a massive slideshow – a complete NFL Training Camp Guide for All 32 Teams.

Here’s a taste with the Houston Texans—as always you can read the whole thing at Bleacher Report.

The Houston Texans and quarterback Matt Schaub were so close to a Super Bowl appearance before getting curb-stomped in the second half of their game in the divisional round by the New England Patriots.

A fantastic J.J. Watt-led defense gets Brian Cushing back, while the offense has added a potentially fantastic No. 2 wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins whom the team hopes will pull some coverage off Andre Johnson.

The Texans hit camp in high spirits, hoping that this is the year to push their franchise over the top. Matt Goldstein has everything you need to follow the action in his Texans camp guide.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

ps – have done a bunch of video in the last month – will make sure that’s updated as well. Wish I could get the embed working though……

Why JaMarcus Russell’s Comeback Attempt Should Already Be Considered a Success (at B/R)

Today’s Bleacher Report piece is about JaMarcus Russell. You remember him? First overall draft pick, he of the strong arm and shaky work ethic?

He’s mounting a come back and while he might not get another gig in the NFL, the effort itself makes it a success, considering where he started from.

As always, here’s an excerpt, and you can read the whole thing over at Bleacher Report.

Everyone fails at some point. But the successful people pick themselves back up, dust off and get back to work. It’s not easy, and evidence indicates that if you’re a rich millionaire you could be convinced to just hang out and count your money instead.

JaMarcus Russell is trying to get back up off the ground and give football another shot. The fact that he’s making the effort itself makes this a success in many ways. That he’s had one tryout with the Chicago Bears with a second one potentially on the horizon with the Baltimore Ravens according to ESPN makes it even more so.

Many first-round busts have walked away from football and not looked back. Sometimes the NFL was equally interested in walking away from that player (goodbye, Ryan Leaf), but often the player in question took their enormous paycheck and headed home.

Russell isn’t doing that, or at least he isn’t anymore.

Again, thanks for reading along.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1676827-why-jamarcus-russells-comeback-attempt-should-already-be-considered-a-success