Automatic/Don’t Do It

Is Jay Ajayi Worth A Top Fantasy Pick?

Thursday, 1 June, 2017

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The Miami Dolphins finally broke through last season finishing at 10-6. Qualifying for the playoffs was a feat not accomplished since 2008 and just the second time since 2001.

To call it a season of building forward would be an understatement to Dolphins fans that have dealt with repeated .500 seasons.

Adjusting to the new age of the NFL happened with the hiring of Adam Gase. Quickly Gase transformed his style of play and built a culture that flourished in Miami. Blending a quick trigger offense calmed the unsteady arm of Ryan Tannehill.

He toned down his turnovers and showed the ability to make the big play when needed.

Bouncing back from a late season injury will be a task that Tannehill hasn’t dealt with in his young career. As is the case in most player injuries can Tannehill refrain from developing a repetitive issue of injuries?

One main reason for the Dolphins ascent was the presence of running back Jay Ajayi.

At first it appeared Ajayi would be the backup as he had been with former running back Lamar Miller. Named as the starter was former Pro Bowler and veteran running back Arian Foster.

Displaying a poor level of professionalism, Ajayi did not accompany Miami in their week one loss to Seattle.

Foster’s quick decline in play and in-season abrupt retirement led to the Dolphins giving Ajayi another shot.

He made the most of it and tallied the best three-week span of production in the NFL. From weeks six to week nine (week eight Dolphins bye-week) Ajayi ran for an average of 176 yards.

It cemented Ajayi as the waiver wire steal of the season. It was also no coincidence that his first 200 yard rushing effort in week six sprung together nine of ten wins for the Dolphins.

Should fantasy owners be leery of drafting Ajayi in the first round of fantasy drafts? Certainly. At the back of fantasy owners minds has to be the attitude he displayed when demoted as starter to Arian Foster.

One of the reasons he slide on draft boards to the fifth round was because of fumbling issues at Boise State. An issue that was masked last season as of his four fumbles only one was lost.

At just 23 years old it’s hard to ignore the upside Ajayi has. When on he is the home run threat you want on your fantasy team. In between those home run games though can be bottom end fantasy outings.

I’ll further assess his draft board thoughts as we get closer to the meat of fantasy football draft season.

Dbacks Bullpen Set to Cave

Tuesday, 30 May, 2017

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Early season anomalies are common in sports. Perhaps no more so than in MLB. A high dependance on extended pitching is called upon for a seven-month season.

Out in the NL West the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks have surged out in front.

Could we see the success happening offensively for both teams? Yes, the Rockies have been a power offensive team for years and the Diamondbacks have one of the best hitters in the game in Paul Goldschmidt.

Vegas and offshore books showed that they didn’t expect the Diamondbacks to improve. Off of last year’s horrid season the Dbacks win total was given between 74 and 77.5 wins.

Several moves with current roster arms and signings set the stage for a quality beginning by the Diamondbacks pitchers. Veteran arms in Jorge De La Rosa and closer Fernando Rodney were brought in. While both had rocky 2016’s they’ve held a strong role thus far in 2017.

The biggest move though for the Diamondbacks was moving Archie Bradley from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Tonight, marked his first true struggling performance as he sustained his first loss of the season against the Pirates.

How will he bounce back from allowing a walk-off home run? Psyche of a pitcher can flip overnight based on one outing. Based on Bradley’s history of stringing together poor starts last season, one has to be worried as a Diamondbacks fan.

I for one was in disagreement that the Diamondbacks did not use him the closer role originally or bring him back into the starting rotation when Shelby Miller went down.

It’s almost a no-brainer for an organization to bring up their best reliever with starting pitching experience over calling up a pitcher. Yet, that was not the case with Bradley.

Fantasy owners still believe in Archie somewhat as he is owned in over 67% of NFBC leagues. In all likelihood that number has been based more on a stash with hope for a bigger role.

My overall recommendation would be to cut Bradley and expect struggles to lurk much more than what has transpired.

POST WEEK FOUR FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE

Monday, 29 September, 2014

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Week four featured six teams on bye week to trouble fantasy owners around the country. Week five there are just two teams on bye. Plan ahead the next bulk of bye weeks this waiver wire period, and grab yourself one of the following options.

Quarterbacks

Joe Flacco
At home Baltimore is showing once again they are a force. With the running game on the uptrend, Joe Flacco has once again regained the form we witnessed in his elite playoff run two seasons ago. The resurgence has been done with veteran Steve Smith, who has caught fire with Flacco. Joe nearly had one of his oh-no interceptions against Carolina, but linebacker Luke Kuechly dropped the ball. Flacco is one of those spot starters that shouldn’t be on the waiver wire.

Mike Vick
I was one that believed whole heartedly that the Jets had planned to use Geno to neutralize Michael Vick’s health. A Mike Vick that plays 3/4ths of a season instead of a full might last the entirety. The rumblings with the fans have started and now the coaching staff awaits to pull the trigger. It may be two weeks away, but if you’re searching for a quarterback go nab Vick this week.

Mike Glennon
After a woeful first half, Glennon seemed shook that off for a phenomenal second half capped off by a game-winning touchdown throw. Sorry McCown but there is no getting your job back after that finish. Glennon has an arm to hit tall receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. Tampa Bay just needs to tone down their offensive penalties to keep offensive momentum going.

Running Backs

Justin Forsett
One week with a big game from Lorenzo Taliaferro and Justin Forsett was tossed aside in fantasy owners minds. Forsett might not be a high carry back but he has a definite roll for the Ravens. Sunday he made several key plays including a great run after the catch on a third and long to extend a drive. I wouldn’t pick him up expecting touchdowns from Forsett, but he can get you sneaky yardage and PPR points.

Branden Oliver
The Chargers must find something out of their running game soon. Philip Rivers is just carrying too much on his shoulders right now to continue at this rate. Plus, the defense hasn’t exactly looked sharp either. But neither Oliver or Donald Brown have been able to fill in adequately for Ryan Matthews or Danny Woodhead. Oliver will continue to get chances. With what we have seen from Brown over the last four seasons, I’d take my shot on Oliver.

Jerick McKinnon
Wow, Minnesota saw something to expose the Falcons and executed it to perfection. They ran the football down the Falcons throats and used a running back no one has heard of. I didn’t hear Paul Charchian or Matthew Berry giving a name drop on McKinnon. Now the Black Friday waiver wire rush will occur as owners scurry to scoop McKinnon. McKinnon didn’t find the end zone but has likely found himself a bigger role with Matt Asiata.

Wide Receivers

Mike Evans
Evans hamstring injury has not been diagnosed yet. Lets hope its just a minor issue. If it is a minor issue, Evans should be picked up in a heartbeat. Glennon had solid chemistry with Evans and got the offense going once they connected in the third quarter. This duo could make for a big young dual threat for years to come.

Mike Williams
Yes, that Mike Williams that has been a fantasy threat for several years when he was a Buccaneer. Off the field issues caused the Bucs to part ways and trade Williams back to his old college football coach in Buffalo. After being buried on the Bills depth chart, Williams has appeared to work his way back on the field. Will Williams be a one week wonder or will he continue to build off this week.

James Jones
James Jones has been captain of crunch time garbage fantasy points. Seeing as the Raiders are likely going to continue to suffer with blowout losses, Jones should be an adequate third or fourth wide receiver for fantasy teams. He is only owned in 47% of Yahoo leagues currently.

Eddie Royal
Royal continues to be that yearly fantasy football one week wonder teaser. Lets let him tease owners again.

Jarius Wright
Will have to see how impactful Teddy Bridgewater’s ankle injury is. If it is going to keep him out than Wright dwindles down as a non fantasy pickup. Keep an eye on Bridgewater’s status.

Post Week Three Fantasy Football Waiver Wire

Tuesday, 23 September, 2014

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Three weeks are in the books. Injuries were not as significant in week three as the first two weeks, but now we start to enter the zone of bye weeks. Six teams are on byes this week. Cincinnati, Seattle, Arizona, St. Louis, Denver, and Cleveland. If you’re have bye week concerns added to injury woes, this is a crucial waiver wire period for you. Here are some names to consider adding.

Mike Evans
Some people are abandoning anything associated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After their prime time disaster on Thursday night against the Falcons. Still it’s only three weeks into the season. Evans is a tall target that sooner or later is going to display why he was picked in the first round.

Donald Brown
Brown is still available in a large amount of fantasy leagues. With Danny Woodhead now injured as well it makes for an immediate pickup. Brown needs to show more on field production to deserve a starting fantasy spot, even with the bulk of carries coming his way.

Austin Davis
Davis had some costly errors that produced a loss for the Rams, but he showed signs that he can be a starter in this league. For a quarterback that was a third stringer just a little bit over a month ago, the Rams have to be happy with what they saw. Zac Stacy is not producing to the caliber he did a year ago. For people looking for a short term fill in or fantasy backup, Davis could be your guy.

Jordan Matthews
There was absolutely no defense being played by either the Redskins or Eagles Sunday. Don’t let the blindside hit on Foles fool you. The Eagles have made it look easy the first few games of the season and Matthews finally shined Sunday. Matthews went from being the undervalued preseason name to overlooked, to now hot pickup of the week.

Alfred Blue
Houston started off running the ball well with Blue against the Giants. But after Fitzpatrick’s costly interceptions they had to abort the running game. Look for them to establish the run this week against the Bills and stick to it.

DeAndre Hopkins
Hopkins is on here again and deserves every bit of attention. He is becoming the Texans number one option over Andre Johnson. He has shown the ability to catch the deep ball and score as he did against Washington, and also to catch the ball and run.

Bishop Sankey
The Titans blowout loss to the Bengals was not as bad as the score presented. Penalties and timely mistakes attributed to this loss. But yardage wise the Titans had outgained the Bengals by halftime. Sankey finally showed some of the flash that fantasy owners hoped in drafting him as a sleeper. Some may have released him early. See if you can snare him off waivers.

John Brown
As long as Carson Palmer is out John Brown needs to be on your fantasy team. Stanton has obvious chemistry with the rookie, as they likely have worked together on the second units in practice. Brown beat the 49ers twice on the same go route move in which Stanton dropped the ball in perfectly for touchdowns.

Others: Khiry Robinson, Lorenzo Taliferro, Steve Smith, Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson, Stevie Johnson, and Joe McKnight

ANALYZING KEY LINE MOVEMENTS IN WEEK FOUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Friday, 19 September, 2014

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The market in college sports sees key trigger movements in point spread totals and lines all week. Many people look at the last minute fluctuation that occurs between Friday night and Saturday morning as a barometer of sharp movement. That typically is a toss up when it comes down to the final 24 hours.

An area that can’t be disputed is when we see line movement from Sunday through Friday in a game. That’s where you probably want to head for smart action. Lets take a look at four games that have had line movement throughout the week.

Some may think the value is lost because they may have missed out on two to four points. You can look at it that way, or you can say the market is telling you something. In the stock market when a stock soars five to ten dollars it typically doesn’t stop. More buyers buy and continue to push it upward. If you play all four of these games listed below, you’ll likely come out no worse than a split.

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FANTASY FOOTBALL: FIVE PLAYERS TO UPGRADE AND DOWNGRADE

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014

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Each Wednesday, Notjustagame.com will take a look at key fantasy football contributors to upgrade and downgrade based on the past week. When placing these labels of course these upgrades or downgrades can be viewed as short term and long term.

Upgrades

Andre Ellington
I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong on Ellington. Arizona has had key defensive injuries, suspensions, and was without Carson Palmer in week two. Ellington shook off a foot injury that was first reported to keep him out to suddenly becoming a dominant force in his second season. Teams haven’t figured him out yet, and the Cardinals are off to a 2-0 start.

Antonio Gates
Even if Gates season drastically declines he has already put up borderline tier one/tier two tight end stats. His week two performance against Seattle was one for the ages. He’ll look back at it as one of his many career moments. This from a tight end some fantasy analysts had ranked in the high teens to start the season.

Bobby Rainey
It doesn’t look like Doug Martin’s health will ever be to the level of a number one tailback. Whether that’s on the field health or playing with the injuries he has endured in his young career. Rainey on the other hand showed last year he can fill in admirably and did so in last week’s start.

Others: Mohamed Sanu and Eric Decker

Downgrades

Shane Vereen
Vereen can be a PPR monster but New England has made it clear that Ridley is their main tail back. Unless Ridley’s fumble woes resurface you have to take the Patriots back field for what it is. With Gronkowski back in the fold, Vereen’s pass catching value is diminished.

Hakeem Nicks
Nicks just doesn’t seem to have close to the skillset he had just four years ago as a Giant. He can still be a red zone threat, but between the 20’s he isn’t even a top 75 fantasy wideout. It’s time to move on from Nicks unless you’re in extreme deep fantasy leagues.

Jake Locker
It’s a shame that Locker can’t nail down the number one intangible of being an NFL quarterback, accuracy. It’s plagued his NFL career and eventually will lead to his starting role being taken away. Locker missed wide open receivers Sunday at home against the Cowboys. For the strong skills he has such as athleticism, passion, and leadership, he just does not have the accuracy to be in the NFL.

Others: Ben Tate and Anquan Boldin