1 Week Wonders

WHAT VALUE DO SAINTS RB’S HAVE?

Monday, 23 June, 2014

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Perhaps no team in football has been as tortuous as the New Orleans Saints to figure out their stable of running backs. Pierre Thomas has had the highest prime value for the Saints. He went from a high carry back to an inordinate amount of carries. Last year his fantasy worthiness almost came exclusively out of the backfield.

The Saints have used a platoon of running backs intermittently that drives fantasy owners nuts. With Darren Sproles departed to the Eagles, it leaves the same backfield of players. Is the Saints backfield being overlooked from a fantasy standpoint because of this? Likely so.

It seems odd to think about, but Darren Sproles has been a main key to Brees career. Out in San Diego, Sproles played the lightning bolt to LT. When he became a free agent the Saints went after Sproles to replace Reggie Bush’s role. He filled it admirably.

Now who will Brees have to be his Reggie Bush or Darren Sproles?

Both guys were fantasy havens for PPR leagues and combined yards of rushing and receiving. It was a toss up between Sproles and Pierre Thomas for more effective fantasy running back. Neither lit the fantasy scoreboard on a weekly basis, but did just enough to be fantasy running back three or four.

Who is going to catch the out of the backfield receptions for the Saints? Sproles had over 70 catches for the Saints each of the last three seasons.

Based on the Saints current roster, you’d have to believe the Saints are planning on reducing Pierre Thomas’s carries some more. They dwindled quite a bit last year as he boosted his performance out of the backfield. Last year he caught 77 passes for over 500 yards. Before that career season he had over 40 catches just once in his eight year career. His yards per carry dipped to a career low of just 3.7 yards last season. This should be clear evidence that the Saints want to use Thomas as their Sproles/Bush 100 percent.

That leaves the big void of whom will be the Saints main tail back for rushing the football. Mark Ingram has been nothing short of a disappointment in his stint as a Saint. The former Heisman Trophy winner has struggled with injuries and consistency. One bright sign from Ingram was his finish to the 2013 season. He had two games in which he came close to 100 yards, including in a playoff victory over the Eagles. In the divisional round he did have a costly fumble against the Seahawks though.

The Saints other two running backs are Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet. Robinson had spots a year ago where he looked like he would overtake the main running back duties. It just never materialized and left fantasy owners regretful on taking a flyer on him.

Maybe that was a move warranted for this upcoming season. Robinson will likely have a fair amount of carries with Ingram. For now it’d be hard to rank one higher than the other. You’d expect the Saints to give Ingram every chance to gain the upper hand on the time split, but Ingram’s proven to drop the ball when given opportunities.

I’d still downgrade Ingram and have an asterisk on Cadet stealing some thunder from both. New Orleans has too many receptions and carries available to have fantasy eyes drifting. If you’re anti-Ingram take your shot in later rounds on Cadet or Robinson.

Best Ratios of Catches to Targets Week Eight

Tuesday, 29 October, 2013

Best Ratios of Catches to Targets Week Eight

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Ted Ginn Jr
Ginn Jr has had sprinkled results of success during the Panthers recent rise over the last four games. He adds the dimension of speed that is the perfect neutralizer to keep defenses on their heels against a Panthers effective run game. Ginn caught five of six targets week eight.

Calvin Johnson
Johnson ripped apart the Cowboys fans’ hearts with a day for the ages. His stats alone were out of the ordinary. What made his day even more remarkable is that Dallas could not halt Johnson’s catches to targets a tad. He had fourteen catches on sixteen targets.

Dexter McCluster
Five to ten years ago safety valve targets for a quarterback came via tight ends and preferred slot receivers. Nowadays teams have primary check down backs to get in the open field. McCluster has made a niche on the Chiefs roster as an open field threat to go long distances. Sunday he caught seven of ten targets.

Stevie Johnson
The best attribute to Johnson this season has been his maturity. He was starting to live up to the new age diva NFL receivers that were accustomed to showboating. He has toned that down and also kept quiet to the media. Sunday he finished with seven catches on eleven targets.

DeSean Jackson
Throughout the quarterback carousel in Philadelphia, DeSean Jackson has remained a fantasy football haven at wide receiver. Each week he is providing a different element. In years past you just couldn’t depend on Jackson from a consistency standpoint. This past week he bypassed double digits in fantasy points by catching eight of eleven passes.

Cecil Shorts III
Even though the Jaguars haven’t done enough to get a win this year, they’ve been a different ball club offensively with Chad Henne at quarterback over Blaine Gabbert. Part of that had to do with Justin Blackmon’s return from suspension, but mostly it’s the attributes Henne has over Gabbert. Shorts caught seven of ten targets Sunday.

David Nelson
Geno Smith’s weeks at quarterback are as unpredictable as your drunk buddy playing darts. Each game (round) may be different because with sporadic play. Smith clearly does not even have a number one target to throw to which is hurting his development. Any game the Jets are down double figures the Jets chances for a comeback are gone out the window. Nelson was the latest receiver to join Smith’s target list catching eight of twelve throws Sunday.

Others: Reggie Bush 8 catches/9 targets, Jordan Cameron 4 catches/4 targets, Scott Chandler 7 catches/11 targets, Victor Cruz 7 catches/10 targets, Emmanuel Sanders 7 catches/11 targets, Antonio Brown 9 catches/13 targets, Jordan Reed 8 catches/14 targets, Demaryius Thomas 7 catches/11 targets, Wes Welker 6 catches/10 targets, Harry Douglas 12 catches/18 targets, Jarrett Boykin 5 catches/6 targets,

Poor Results: Vincent Jackson 5 catches/13 targets, Terrance Williams 3 catches/10 targets, Mike Wallace 3 catches/10 targets, Justin Blackmon 4 catches/10 targets, AJ Green 3 catches/7 targets

Post Week Three Waiver Wire

Monday, 23 September, 2013

Post Week Three Waiver Wire

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It’s time to scour those waiver wires. Bye weeks are upcoming and some of you might be in desperate situations for personnel. Take a peak on who to seek for your waiver wire deadlines this week.

Quarterbacks

Jake Locker
Anytime you can be a threat with your legs as a quarterback you have a shot at being fantasy worthy. Locker’s arm is a whole different story but he outperformed many top tier quarterbacks Sunday with near 300 yards passing. His consistent fantasy threat will be with his legs. His creativity to scramble helped keep drives alive and opened up the passing game a bit.

One Week Wonders: Geno Smith

Running Backs

Jonathan Franklin
In a bizarre fate of Green Bay running backs the mystery of falling backs continues. I found it awfully weird how Franklin hardly received any carries in preseason, and had zero in the first two weeks and one quarter. Sunday that changed due to injury and Franklin made the most of his time on the field. Packers fans won’t be happy with his fumble but fantasy owners can only be pleased with his stats.

Bilal Powell
Powell had the biggest surprise day of any back. New York’s running game had been abysmal last year and to start this season. Powell though had a surge for the ground attack against the Bills, which allotted the Jets to use play action passes for some big plays. Now for Powell can he keep his legs churning week to week with a high amount of carries (27 Sunday)?

LeGarrette Blount
This isn’t an immediate waiver wire pickup. If you’re in a position to take a flier for potential, than Blount is an option to test for a few weeks. Stevan Ridley has hit a wall of sorts and the lack of rushing attack has been part of the blame for the Patriots lighter scoring performances. Blount did okay in fill in duty Sunday, and is just a few years removed from his breakout rookie campaign. Once Shane Vereen comes back though Blount’s share of the carries should diminish to where they were at the start of the season.

Jacquizz Rodgers
Atlanta’s had no problem moving the football. Their woes in scoring position have cost them two games that could have easily been decided with one extra touchdown. They’ll have to get that corrected either by advancing the running game or getting targets to the right people. Rodgers may see an increase in carries even with a healthy Steven Jackson, as the Falcons look for long term protection if they make the playoffs.

Tight Ends

Andrew Quarless
Quarless is a familiar name in the fantasy football world as he has had to fill in before when Jermichael Finley went down a few seasons ago. Based on the severity of Finley’s concussion Quarless should see some field action once again. Keep on eye and see if Finley’s status is doubtful before picking up Quarless. A Packers tight end is an automatic upgrade if you do not have one of the top six to eight tight ends.

Wide Receivers

Sidney Rice
Jacksonville’s secondary continued to be woeful Sunday and that led to Rice having a big day. Yardage is something we can tend to expect Rice to be fantasy worthy once in awhile. He seems to be healthier now and if he can find the end zone more frequently he can be a welcomed edition to fantasy rosters.

Santonio Holmes
Disregard Stephen Hill completely. If the Jets are going to keep throwing the football and have established success, it’ll come on the hands of Holmes. If Holmes is back to the capabilities the Jets expected of him when they signed him, than Hill can be a deeper league fantasy asset. One thing to love about Geno is he looks to throw the football down the field and take chances.

Mohammed Sanu
I’ve listed Sanu for a few weeks now and will continue to do so. He is underrated in an offense that has a lot of growing to do still this year. Sanu’s size makes him a prime target to continue to improve week to week and blossom for fantasy playoff weeks. He did have a key drop Sunday but had a solid day otherwise.

Josh Gordon
Gordon’s availability in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues likely had to do with his two game suspension. I would tab Gordon as a one week wonder except that he has shown enough even as a Brown to be fantasy worthy weekly. Minnesota had no answer for him Sunday as their secondary looked awful from start to finish. With rumors that the Browns are looking to deal Gordon, he could end up on a more prolific offense.

Darius Heyward-Bey
I’ve been impressed with Bey’s demeanor and the way he has handled his role as a Colt. Other first round picks told to have a smaller role on a new team might have fizzled and got themselves cut. Bey is the Colts second receiver and has taken considerable value away from TY Hilton as a fantasy receiver. Bey is showing to be more polished than the home run or bust tag he had in Oakland. Maybe Reggie Wayne is rubbing off on him.

Kenbrell Thompkins
Thompkins flourished for the Patriots in red zone packages as the Buccaneers seemed to blanket Edelman in that area. With Danny Amendola’s injury history it may still end up being up to Thompkins or Aaron Dobson to pick up the slack. Thompkins did it week three and may have gained the Brady trust for future games.

Brandon LaFell
LaFell’s been a cellar fantasy wide receiver. If he is on a fantasy team, he is likely on a fantasy team that has issues at wide receiver. Carolina’s offense has been up and down the last few years, but defeating the Giants could be the turn up they need. It seemed the Panthers allowed Newton to do some early designed runs. After that the offense seemed to pickup all around. LaFell has a golden opportunity with the decline of Steve Smith and a speed threat also on the field in Ted Ginn Jr.

One Week Wonders: Donnie Avery

Week Two Fantasy Football Wonders

Monday, 16 September, 2013

Week Two Wonders

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Think before pulling that waiver wire trigger or assuming you’re going to get solid stats from a player on your roster. Here are names of some players you need to hold caution on before considering a waiver wire move or prominent position in your fantasy football lineups.

Quarterbacks

Sam Bradford
Once the Falcons had a three touchdown lead it looked as if the Falcons defense relaxed to the lead and played lacksadaisical. Bradford took advantage and mounted a solid comeback effort that was too little to late. The talent the Rams have is going to cause issues for opposing defenses. Bradford needs to be more consistent from the onset of games to be a higher fantasy backup value.

RG3
RG3 still looks like he is in preseason mode while the rest of the league is at full speed. If calculations were factored into RG3′s Sunday performance, he likely led all fantasy players with the amount of garbage fantasy points he accumulated.

Philip Rivers
The Chargers have been pass happy the first two games of the year. In week one it failed in the fourth quarter when Rivers threw a pick six. Week two the Chargers slowed things down and carved up the Eagles defense. The Eagles were unable to get pressure on Rivers which is what he struggles against. Credit the Chargers for running a quicker rhythm offense to alleviate some of the pressure off of Rivers. I’m still not sold he can maintain it as the Eagles will be ranked towards the bottom of total defense all season long.

Running Backs

Knowshown Moreno
Moreno has stepped up surprisingly after being written off with the drafting of Hillman a few years ago, and then Montee Ball this offseason. Moreno kept working and it looks like the work ethic of Denver’s former back in Willis McGahee has paid dividends. The yards per carry he averaged against the Giants is definitely a sign of a one week wonder.

Charles Clay
Clay had his best game as a pro Sunday with a one yard touchdown run and heavy damage out of the backfield with over one hundred yards receiving. He looks to be overtaking Daniel Thomas as the Dolphins second option at running back. That role may be bounced back and forth as Miami truly wants Thomas to have the job, but he doesn’t seem to be fit to handle it.

James Starks
We will all have to see the extent of Eddie Lacy’s injury. The rookie has been brittle while at Alabama and during the offseason with the Packers. Even if he makes a quick recovery Starks has cemented a higher share of carries by being the first Packer running back to eclipse 100 yards in over forty games. Still the Packers are a strong pass first team and have a very bland running attack. Starks’s yards came with a very large lead and the Redskins defense giving a lackluster effort.

Ben Tate
Tate has outproduced his fellow partner Arian Foster to start the year. With the Texans protecting their star back in Foster it may be until midseason for the Texans to give Foster the load that we are accustomed to seeing from Foster. Tate’s average may stay high as the Texans try to wear defenses down with their dominating backfield. He just won’t have very many games of over ninety yards rushing.

Wide Receivers

DeSean Jackson
Jackson has not had this type of fantasy impact in quite awhile. His stats have been padded greatly by two horrific performances by the Redskins and Chargers secondary. Jackson’s big plays came all on go routes in which he roasted the Chargers defensive backs with his speed advantage. The way the Eagles offense is tiring out teams Jackson will likely have a career year. Just not games of near 200 yards receiving again.

Eddie Royal
Credit new offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt, for utilizing the Chargers receivers much better than the Chargers have in years past. Eddie Royal was practically non-existent a year ago, and now is being utilized in a proper role offensively. The quick routes have been there for Royal, but it’ll be shut down in the upcoming weeks now that it has been so successful.

DeAndre Hopkins
It’s good to see the rookie shine in a major way week two. But rookie wide receivers tend to fade more than they shine throughout a sixteen game schedule. Hopkins should never crack your lineup unless injuries have taken a major toll to your team.

Week One Wonders

Monday, 9 September, 2013

Week One Wonders

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The waiver wire is going to be flooded like it typically is after week one. Should you over bid for certain player's or should you let the feasting to be desired by the rest of the league? Here are some players that I believe were week one wonders.

Geno Smith
With all the New Yorkers out there I'll go ahead and keep it simple for you. Geno Smith delivered a drive before half from near the fifty yard line, and then another twenty five yard drive that setup their game winning field goal. Besides that Smith was sporadic and ran a simplified offense. At the end of the day it's hard to see how he accumulated over 250 yards passing.

Russ Wilson
The day I see Russ Wilson as my opponent's fantasy starting quarterback, I'll know instantly I have one position won. Wilson has the Tim Tebow flare because he plays his best late in games and in fourth quarters. He has quarterbacking skills but I believe they're vastly overrated from where they should be. He may get to that level but lets cool his rankings a bit. 300 yard passing games are not going to be the norm from Wilson.

Rashard Mendenhall
People do not always just look for the yardage and fantasy numbers from a player to consider him a worthy waiver wire pickup. Mendenhall had sixteen carries Sunday, and that looks fantastic for owners looking for quality backs. The problem was that Mendenhall only averaged 3.8 yards a carry. His best days are long behind him. It will only be a matter of time before the Cardinals platoon a higher ratio of carries in a crowded backfield.

Jackie Battle
Tennessee is a team that is not goin to light up the scoreboard offensively. That has always made the Titans a one man fantasy backfield. Lendale White had a bit of success but that was years ago with a better all around offense. If Fitzpatrick becomes the Titans quarterback than Battle may be worth looking at. For now ignore his touchdown Sunday, even though he is the goal line back of the Titans.

Brian Hartline
Hartline is included in the waiver wire column this week as well. His outbreak this week might end up being his best output of the season. Ryan Tannehill is obviously most comfortable with his only receiver that sees the field that was on last year's team. It'll take some time for Tannehill to develop the same chemistry with Gibson and Wallace. Once it happens Hartline will likely just be a depth filler.

Doug Baldwin
The Seahawks have not had a 1,000 yard receiver since Bobby Engram in 2007. Baldwin has flirted with fantasy rosters in the past. Owners hopefully learned last year that he is not fantasy roster material. His 90 yards week one will surely be his high of the year. If he surpasses 600 yards receiving it'll be a big surprise. Baldwin's biggest contribution for the Seahawks is on special teams.

Marlon Brown
I profiled the Ravens dilemma at receiver a bit in the waiver wire article post week one. Brown is figured to be the next guy in line to fill in for Jacoby Jones over the next month. He'll be used intermittently but I believe the Ravens are going to lean more in the veteran directions of Brandon Stokely and Dallas Clark.

Calm Down With Sudfeld Projections

Tuesday, 20 August, 2013

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Preseason can be one of the harsh gray areas for fantasy football participants to over predict. Just because someone has a stellar preseason does not mean it will carry over into the regular season. Actual sleepers tend to come during the season and are because of injury. With Rob Gronkowski’s rehabilitation dragging into the season, many are quick to wrap their sights and take Sudfeld as a sleeper now.

Before you pull that trigger on Sudfeld lets calm the storm before you get tossed into it. It’s evident that Sudfeld would step into a significant role with New England. As Tom Brady has been one of the better quarterbacks in the league at diagnosing mismatches with his tight ends. The skill set that Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez had over Sudfeld is obvious. They were more athletic and possessed the speed to whirl by their opposing defenders. Seam routes were fantasy havens for owners of Gronk and Hernandez especially when it came down to red zone opportunities.

Defensively teams had to pick their poison on who was at-risk in one on one coverage especially when both Gronkowski and Hernandez were on the field at the same time. Their ascent to the rise of tight ends in the NFL was largely due to their complementary abilities of each other, and the fact that they were deemed elite tight ends coming out of college.

Before Brady had the duo of Hernandez and Gronk, Brady never had even close to the success statistically over the first nine years of his career. In the pre-Gronk and pre-Hernandez era Brady had unreliable fantasy tight end targets. Remember the names of Kyle Brady, Ben Watson, and Christian Fauria? I’d guess maybe ten percent of you had Ben Watson as your fantasy tight end during those bottom tier years of tight end significancy out of New England.
Watson’s top year receiving yards wise was 643 yards and he also topped out another year with six touchdowns. Christian Fauria and Kyle Brady were did not even touch the blips of waiver wire consideration.

My point with New England is they’ll likely figure out a shuffle of guys not just Sudfeld to make due for however long Gronkowski is out. The Patriots will not let it be known just yet what the time table for Gronkowski return is. More than likely the team will keep him out as long as possible to ensure proper prevention is met this time, as he has been unstable with injuries over the past year.

Sudfeld sure had an great performance in the first game of the preseason. Teams have no true game plans going in and sure as heck did not have Sudfeld in mind for assignment attention. Regular season will be a different story. If he is going to see twenty plus plays on the field, the opposing defenses will be ready for him. He is a big target at 6’7 with soft hands but does not possess the physical or speed attributes that New England had with Gronk and Hernandez.

Sudfeld’s three touchdowns in the preseason are bound to cause some fantasy football owners to reach out for Sudfeld as a *sleeper*. Others can buy low on Sudfeld as I do believe his three touchdowns in two weeks of the preseason are an aberration. Come the regular season I’ll be shocked if he reaches that touchdown total for the entire season.