Thoughts On NFL Fantasy Football After Preseason Week 1

There is no better time than now for fans to draft players to their fantasy football teams. Sunday’s games have a lot to tell about the players and their value to their teams. Based on their performance, you can tell what player deserves to be on your team, and who is not worth the investment. Read on to get more insight on the NFL odds for week 1.

Could Robby Anderson be the New York Jets’ No. 1?

Anderson’s performance last season was nothing if not sterling, which is why he really ought to be a top priority for the Jets. With 14 receptions, 29 targets, 240 yards and 2 scores last week, he is well above most other players. He is a little over 6 feet tall, which makes him the tallest receiver. He might not weigh much at 190 lbs, but there is no denying that he is talented. Despite McCown’s attack on Saturday, Robby still deserves a place as one of the best New York Jets players.

The Patriots’ Backfield Uncertainty

There is little clarity on the status of the Patriots’ backfield. Dion Lewis seems to bear the bulk of the work after veteran player Mike Gilislee’s hamstring injury. Last season, Lewis did not get much time on the field due to injury, but this season seems more promising for him. According to many fantasy football enthusiasts, players like Rex Burkhead and James White seem invaluable, but the team’s coach Bill Belichick think that Lewis is just as important to the team.

Jameis Winston’s Astounding Performance

Winston beat Mike Evans with 7 targets and Cameron Brate with 19 and 8 yard gains, which is really not surprising. He remains a valuable player for his team, and one that you should consider drafting to your fantasy team. The case is different for rookie O.J Howard who despite showing great potential during the game remains a risky investment. Evan’s regression is a mere rumor, and since he has proven himself in other seasons, you might want to draft him into your team.

Is Kenny Galloday The Lions’ Star?

After two touchdowns, Lions’ rookie receiver enjoyed his well- earned time in the limelight. He has both flair and athletic ability, although this does not guarantee him a spot in the fantasy football community. This is because the Lions players rise through the ranks in a designated way. Currently, Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron and Theo Riddick are above Galloday in the pecking order. He might however be lucky since Ebron is prone to injury and Jones suffered huge statistical drop, so Galloday might still get his chance to shine.

Who will be the Dallas Backfield?

After Darren McFadden’s performance on Sunday, there is no doubt that he will be the Dallas backfield. He might be getting old and losing some of his exceptional flexibility as he turns thirty before the season kicks off, but he is still one of the team’s best players. Elliot’s pending suspension makes him a risky investment for your fantasy team. It is also hard to guess what a fair price for Zeke would be.

Colts Panic Due to Andrew Luck’s Absence

Luck has been missing in action for a while now after he suffered a shoulder injury that needed to be surgically repaired. This veteran quarterback’s absence from the field is unsettling to say the least. To make matters worse, his backup, Scott Tolzien, is not half as inspiring as Luck is. The team’s manager has not clearly stated that Luck won’t be joining the team, so there is still a glimmer of hope that he might return.

Rookies prove themselves

2017 seems like the year for rookie running backs to prove themselves. These include such players as Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara. It is somewhat reminiscent of the year 2014 where rookies like Odell Beckham Jr., Kelvin Benjamin and Mike Evans proved to be talented wide outs. Some rookie quarterbacks to watch out for include Deshaune Watson, Mitchell Trubisky and Deshone Kizer. Although it is clear that these rookies have immense talent, it is best to first observe them before drafting them for your team.

Fantasy Football: Don’t Buy Into The Hype of the Rookie Runners

Who knew that fantasy football could be so complicated? Up to thirty running backs selected in the 2017 NFL Draft season are expected to make a noticeable impact in fantasy football in the immediate future, and you can only imagine what that will do for the NFL betting picks for the 2018 season.

Rookies like Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette, and Joe Mixon were selected in the first fifteen rounds of the ten-team NFL.Com draft. If that wasn’t enough, there is no end to the level of hype analysts are raising over Jamaal Williams, Kareem Hunt and Joe Williams.

It is hardly surprising that everyone expects depth charts to be dominated by these youngsters and more. And you would be hard-pressed to make a solid argument suggesting that this hype isn’t warranted.

Then again, does it make sense to overvalue players that haven’t even run a lap on an NFL gridiron? And it isn’t like this sort of hype has produced notable results in the past. Prognostications about rookies, especially the optimistic kind, rarely end well. Just look at DeMarco Murray. Everyone thought that his time with the Tennessee Titans was over after Derrick Henry, a Heisman winner was drafted. Murray went on to dominate that season.

If that sounds like it could be an isolated case, consider this; of all the rookie runners that have risen in the last decade, only two dozen have appeared in the top 25 in fantasy points. If those numbers do not make sense to you, that means only three rookie runners a year ranked in the top 25.

Whenever the draft season comes around and the hype surrounding rookies begins to rise, analysts and fans like to throw out names like Matt Forte, Chris Johnson and Jonathan Stewart from 2008. Those guys made it to the top 10 and it was a big deal. But one cannot ignore the fact that Rashard Mendenhall, Jamaal Charles and other high profile runners performed well below expectations.

Looking at the 2012 class, you can point to Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, and Alfred Morris as standouts. However, anyone who is anyone knows that 2012 didn’t have many talented options. The point is this: every rule has a few exceptions, and it seems a like a lot of analysts and fans in fantasy football are making their picks based on the exceptions instead of the rule.

Think about this. There have been 108 running backs in the NFL that have been selected in the first four rounds of the football draft over the previous decade. And among those running backs, only twenty-one have ever finished in the top 10.

Think about how demoralizing that figure should be, and then ask why rookie running backs are still being overvalued today.

Some rationale should be applied during the draft. And do not use the anxiety spreading online about rookie runners as an excuse to avoid rookie runners. That isn’t the take away here. The point here is this: be smart. Do not overreach for rookies. There are picks like Mixon that, while clearly impressive, should be saved for the third and the fourth rounds rather than the second. You do not want to miss on a player in the top fifty.

So, be smart.

10 Simple Fantasy Football Strategies for 2016

10 fantasy football ideas for your forthcoming drafts:

– Take a flyer on Browns pass receiver Terrelle Pryor, however not prematurely. That could be a problem in Northeast Ohio, where fantasy owners may reach for him. Take him as a WR3 alternative. Proceed with caution when targeting Josh Gordon, suspended for the very first 4 games.

– Some Sleepers for 2016: QB, Marcus Mariota, Titans; RB, Ryan Mathews, Eagles; WR, Kevin White, Bears; TE, Ladarius Green, Steelers

– Don’t relax between rounds. Keep concentrated, and also target young running backs and also receivers entering their second or 3rd year in the league. Many times, receivers catch on by Year 3 with their teams. Former Browns WR Travis Benjamin, now with the Chargers, and the Colts’ Donte Moncrief are two examples. An additional is the Dolphins’ Jarvis Landry, he’s been very good the last 2 seasons (194 catches), but might actually blast off in 2016!

– Remember regarding the likes of receivers Kelvin Benjamin of the Panthers and also the Bears’ White– skilled men that missed all of last season with injuries.

– The number of running backs should you draft? A whole lot. More crucial, be energetic throughout your organization’s waiver sessions. Running backs get injured– a lot. Be ready for significant shuffling at RB1 and RB2 throughout the season.

– Waiting for quarterbacks: The most effective method may be to draft the Patriots’ Tom Brady, he will miss the first 4 games of the season due to suspension, but should be outstanding when he returns. But there need to be a lot of strong choices for a four-week fill-in to replace Brady.

– When it comes to the consensus fantasy QB, the Panthers’ Web cam Newton, he’s one more example of a gamer blasting off in Year 3 with a team. He may distance himself even further from the crowd in 2016!

– Do not draft a defense/special team until your draft’s second-to-last round.

– Do not pick a kicker until the last round.

– In a situation you may have missed , Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell’s four-game suspension was just recently decreased to three, yet we wouldn’t draft him early. Three games is still a lot to miss!

FF-Winners.Com Reveals 3 Amazing Fantasy Bargain Sleepers for 2016-7

DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins — Jackson is going absurdly low in many fantasy football drafts — being taken outside the top 30 wide receivers in most leagues — mostly on account of misconceptions of his durability, production, and attitude (almost all of which are totally false). Yes, Jackson missed six games last season with a troublesome hamstring injury, but he was totally healthy from November onwards last year, playing in nine of the Redskins last 10 games of the season, including the postseason (he was held out of a meaningless game in Week 17 against Dallas). Prior to 2015, he played in 31 of 32 games over his last two seasons. In the eight regular season games that Jackson did play in last season, he recorded 30 catches for 528 yards and four touchdowns; project that over the course of a 16 game season, and that’s over 1,000 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. In 2014, Jackson had 1,169 yards and six receiving touchdowns with the Redskins revolving door at quarterback; so, the questions about his level of productivity are totally baseless. Finally, Jackson might’ve griped his way out of Philadelphia, but he’s been a great teammate in Washington. He’s looked the best he has in training camps, so far, as a member of the Redskins, and he spent the entire offseason working hard at the team facility. Jackson could be in line for a pretty big season in 2016, perhaps in line with the numbers we used to see him put up in Philadelphia during his prime.

Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Similarly, another wide receiver named “Jackson” is falling to absurdly low depths in most fantasy drafts — often being taken outside of the top 45 wide receivers — because of injuries curtailing his production in 2015. Vincent Jackson put up only 33 receptions, 543 yards, and three touchdowns in 10 games last year. But, he’s come into training camp determined for a bounce-back season. Last year was the first time since 2010 when Jackson missed a single game due to injury; prior to 2015, Jackson hadn’t missed a game in four years. As a member of the Buccaneers, he was ranked among the top 15 wide receivers in the NFL each year (including 2014, in Mike Evans’ rookie season). In his first five healthy games of last season, he still had 21 catches for 306 yards and two touchdowns (extrapolated over a full season, that would be 67 receptions for 979 yards and six touchdowns). With another year of experience for Jameis Winston, and teams increasingly keying on Evans, Jackson could be in for a nice rebound season, and should be a solid WR3 for most teams.

Theo Riddck, RB, Detroit Lions — Riddick should be on the radar for everyone playing in a PPR or half-PPR this season. Entering 2015 as mostly an afterthought, Riddick finished 19th among running backs in standard PPR scoring leagues, putting him firmly in the RB2 mix. He actually led the league in receptions among running backs (80 catches), was the second most targeted running back (99 targets), had the second most receiving yards among running backs (697 yards), and tied for seventh in receiving touchdowns. Riddick is often around the 40th running back taken in PPR/half-PPR leagues, making him a total bargain for players who are savvy enough to grab him in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft.

[Analysis by NFL expert Rajan Nanavati]

Be Creative With Your Fantasy Football League

If you can rattle off football stats faster than you can remember your mom’s birthday, there’s probably some kind of statistical probability that you are involved with a fantasy football league. They’re fun and interactive, aren’t they?

The Winnetka, Illinois-based FX comedy show “The League,” features six salt-of-the-earth football fans who take their fantasy football league to the extreme. Trying to incorporate some of their more outlandish antics and shenanigans into your team’s extracurricular gatherings is entirely up to you, of course. But hey, coming up with your own Shiva-esque trophy is one place to start.

Your entire team should keep up with all the stats, facts and games with “NFL Sunday Ticket” for this coming season. For those with players on out-of-market teams for your viewing area, you can all keep tabs throughout the entire day. Once you have your viewing schedule all mapped out, it’s time to start coming up with your own shenanigans to keep things interesting for the team.

Choose a Name for Your Team

Creating a team identity is a great way to have fun with puns and use your imagination. Sometimes fantasy football players choose names based on favorite players or teams. You can also draw inspiration from a group joke or something you remember from a previous game. One notable mention from Fan Duel Insider is “Forgetting Brandon Marshall,” inspired by the Chicago Bears wide receiver. Another classic name is the “Bradshawshank Redemption.”

Roast Your Fellow League Players

Not with actual fire, of course — use your word fire. Plan an evening involving a decadent vice or two. Beer, perhaps? Maybe you can all have a cookout leading up to a critical game and do some serious, yet well-organized, trash talking. With this event, choose an emcee that you all agree will keep the event fun and lively.

Go to Some Games Together

This one seems obvious, but sometimes working on the logistics can be tricky since cost and everyone’s respective schedules could be mitigating factors. At the very least, put it on the table for everyone to discuss.

Sour the Pot

Personal bets that don’t involve cash usually carry far more weight and laughs in the end for the person who loses. The gang on “The League” came up with some over-the-top wagers, so see what you can all come up with. One idea is for the loser (the “Sacko” equivalent from “The League”) to be required to sing a different embarrassing song in a restaurant, once a month. The crooner has to perform the song on command from the rest of the team.

Sleepers, Stars, and Busts To Look For In 2016-7 Fantasy Football

rp_hqdefault.jpgWith the start of the NFL season just a couple of months away, fantasy football fans are trying to figure out which players will have breakout seasons that will make them valuable to their teams. While fantasy football obviously has nothing to do with Super Bowl odds, there is still a lot of money to be made in private leagues and online daily fantasy sites.

To assist fantasy football fans find the right players for their teams, we have done some extensive research on players that will provide a lot of value, and sleeper picks that most people aren’t yet aware about.

Some of the sleepers picks to consider selecting this year are:

Torrie Smith
Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers
The fast wide receiver did not perform well for fantasy owners last season mostly because of the coaching and quarterback situation the San Francisco 49ers had last year. This year, Smith has a head coach in Chip Kelly, who likes to air the ball out. With Anquan Boldin still unsigned, Smith is the best receiver the 49ers have, which means he will get the ball a lot this season. If you need more proof, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin each had career years when they played for Kelly.

Ryan Tannehil
Quarterback, Miami Dolphins
Tannehil is another player that can be drafted in the later rounds because most people will hesitate to take him due to his dismal performance last season. We believe Tannehil is going to have a breakout season because the Dolphins made an effort to get him some weapons he can throw to, and the team also hired Adam Gase, who is considered an offensive genius, as their head coach.

Antonio Gates
Tight End, San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates has been one of the best tight ends in the NFL for most of his career, but suffered injuries that forced him to miss a lot of games last year. Due to the injuries, Gates stats were down, bit when healthy, he is still one of the best in the league. Since he is also quarterback Phillip Rivers’ favorite target, expect him to be targeted a lot this season.

These are some of the players we believe will be breakouts next season:

Ezekiel Elliot,
Running Back, Dallas Cowboys
A lot of people will use high picks selecting Elliot because he was one of the best running backs in college last season, and he will be playing behind the Dallas Cowboys offensive line, which is considered to be one of the best in the NFL.

We also believe Elliot is worth the risk because he will likely beat out Darren McFadden for the starting job in training camp, and he is also the first running back to come out of college in a long time that looks like he was born to play in the NFL. Being compared to Adrian Peterson also helps his cause.

Carson Palmer
Quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
Palmer is a quarterback that you can take in the middle rounds and still get a lot of value from. Last season, he led the NFL in passes that travelled at least 10 yards and was fifth in QBR on those throws. The Arizona Cardinals also had one of the best offenses in the league because Palmer had the best season of his career. Last season, Palmer was coming off a season ending injury and performed well, this year, he isn’t going into training camp healthier than he has been in a long time, and is expected to have an even better year.

John Brown
Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals
Brown had a breakout season last year, gaining over 1,000 receiving yards in his second season in the league. Now that he is more comfortable in the offense, he will have an even better season because Carson Palmer is playing the best football of his career right now, and he has Larry Fitzgerald on the other side of the ball to take some attention away from him.

These are the players to stay away from this year:

Phillip Rivers
Quarterback, San Diego Chargers
Rivers will be one of the quarterbacks people will want to take early because he threw for over 4,700 yards last season. However, the statistics can be a little misleading, because he didn’t throw a lot of touchdowns last year, and he threw a lot of interceptions, meaning you won’t get a lot of points from him as your starting quarterback.

Teddy Bridgewater
Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
Bridgewater is definitely a quarterback you want to stay away from, especially after last season, which was supposed to be a breakout season for him. The fact that the Vikings are a run oriented team means Bridgewater won’t throw the ball as much as other quarterbacks, which is why he isn’t worth a high pick.

Fantasy Football Notes for Those Who Haven’t Been Watching!

 

* DeMarco Murray will help Tennessee balance out their offense.

* Martellus Bennett left Chicago and will compliment Gronk in New England. The Pats love 2-TE sets and Bennett is a solid target for Brady (who will be suspended for the first 4 games by the way).

* Michael Crabtree’s commute to work got just a tiny bit longer as he’ll suit up for Oakland this year.

* Coby Fleener left Indy for New Orleans where the hole left by Jimmy Graham wasn’t filled last year.

* Lamar Miller is taking the lead spot in Houston and that means that Arian Foster will likely end up somewhere else.

* Robert Griffin III has finally gotten out of Washington, but landing in Cleveland isn’t all that exciting.

* Alfred Morris also left Washington, but he’ll be suiting up for Jerry and company in Dallas. We don’t expect him to unseat rookie Ezekiel Elliott for the starting gig though.

* Chris Ivory jetted out of New York (pun intended) and caught a nonstop flight to Jacksonville where he’ll duke it out with Denard Robinson and TJ Yeldon.

* The Falcons have bid farewell to our friend Roddy White.

* The Mike Wallace experiment continues with a trip to Baltimore.

* Mark Sanchez left New York for Denver after Brock Osweiler signed a major deal to become Houston’s starting QB.

* Calvin Johnson and Marshawn Lynch have officially retired.

* The Packers signed TE Jared Cook to a one-year agreement. A big TE is exactly what Green Bay needs.

* Speedy WR Martavis Bryant won’t be playing for the Steelers or anyone else this year as he sits out a year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

* The Jets acquired a new PPR stud in the backfield when Matt Forte left the Windy City

Murray,Latavius Struggled in the 2nd half with a 3.3 YPC (134/436) as did the rest of the Raiders offense. Part of that can be attributable to an extremely difficult schedule (D+), and that should improve to a C grading this season. This should help him take advantage of one of the expected better Olines in supporting the run. Solid as a backfield receiver with a 77% catch rate, yet the YPC are a bit disappointing at 5.7. Should improve on his 6 Rushing TDs this season. Currently a mid 5th round ADP, that offers significant upside value.

Thompson,Chris Recovering from shoulder surgery, but is expected to be ready for the open. Solid 1.93 FP per attempt last season, but under utilized as a back field receiver. Will back up Matt Jones, who showed volatility in his rookie season.

Riddick,Theo Registered almost 100 targets last season (99), and caught a solid 81% of them, while maintaining an above average 8.7 YPR. His points per attempt were off the charts at 2.92 (best in the league for anyone over 80 touches). That said, he still might lose some touches to 2nd year Ameer Abdullah. Although he only registered 2 QS in non PPR leagues, he registered 10 QS in PPR leagues.

Lacy,Eddie Points per Game dropped from 17.3 to a miserable 9.6. Somehow he still put together 4 quality Starts in his final 7 games. Conditioning (or weight control) is the major concern here, and right now it’s looking ok as Lacy lost weight this offseason with a conditioning program…but maintenance is at issue. If he can, he’s still productive, especially in Red Zone situations.

Ellington,Andre Performed extremely well in limited action. Averaged 6.4 YPC on his 45 carries and 1.50 FP per attempt. Yes DJ is clearly the lead dog here, but Ellington is going to see time, and is a capable backup if he can stay healthy.

White,James Solid receiving numbers out of the backfield with 33 receptions and 6 TDs in the 2nd half. Since he struggled in the run game, he’s more of a backup option to Dion Lewis at this point.

Hill,Jeremy Although his Red Zone numbers were quite encouraging with 12 total TDs (23% Red Zone success), his overall yardage numbers were disappointing (223/794 yards 3.6 YPC). His offensive line is considered above average (C+), and his schedule is neutral for 2016. We expect that there will be a rebound in the rushing totals, and his 7 QS from 2015, will climb closer to 8-9 in 2016, so there is value in his current last 6th round ADP.

Anderson,CJ Registered for an encouraging 6.3 YPC in the 2nd half while posting a superior 1.12 FP per attempt. However his usage came in spurts, and with Hillman still on the roster and rookie Davinte Booker in play, it’s something he may have to contend with again in 2016. Expected to open as starter, but still a volatile pick, with upside of course.


Who will be 2016s Cam Newton in the fantasy world? Newtons 2015 was one for the ages, particularly when you consider where he was drafted in most leagues. I can tell you in quite a few leagues, he was drafted in the lower third of all QBs which wasnt surprising given the lack of receiving talent, especially when Kelvin Benjamin was injured and lost for the season. Instead of a season that most experts thought wouldnt even match his lackluster 2014 (18 passing TDs), he went on to throw for a career-high 35 TDs and rushed for 10 TDs. He threw five TDs in three different games and when you factor in rushing TDs, he scored multiple TDs in all but four games and threw and/or ran for at least one TD in every game. I can remember dropping him in one league (Andrew Luck was my starter and Newton was my backup) after Week 1 when injuries started to hit and Newton had a lackluster season opener against Jacksonville. It was the biggest mistake of mine in that league and probably cost me a shot at the title. Even without Benjamin, Newton maximized the talent of the receivers he did have, especially his tight end Greg Olsen who had a career year. We havent even mentioned the Panthers D /ST which set up the offense many times as they became dominant, so Newtons year was really the result of a perfect storm. Looking at this year there are some names that will exceed expectations but to say any one of them will play to the level of what Newton did last year, would be unwise. Jameis Winston does come to mind after a nice rookie season that saw him throw for 4,044 yards and 22 TDs. He did throw 15 INTs but with one year of experience under his belt and a new offensive minded head coach in Dirk Koetter, not to mention stud receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, insiderfootball.com projects 29 passing TDs. Tyrod Taylor managed to hold on to the starting QB job in Buffalo all of last year and will be much better this year for it, especially when you consider he finished the season with five quality starts in his final eight games. Coming off 20 TD passes and just six INTs along with 568 rushing yards, we project increases in all parts of his game, including TD passes which we have at 28. If Buffalos D can knock off the penalties and give its offensive counterparts more chances to succeed, Taylor can take the next step up. Marcus Mariota looked good in his rookie year when healthy which is saying something because he had pretty close to no talent around him in Tennessee. He had eight quality starts and will look to increase that this year. The Titans did make the move to acquire DeMarco Murray which was brilliant because it will take pressure off of Mariota and allow a beefed up offensive line to dominate in the trenches. Although some will see this move as a limit to what Mariota can put up, we project 30 passing TDs and a much more confident QB picking his spots much more efficiently. Jasbir Singh

The pending four-game suspension isnt the only concern with Pittsburgh running backLeVeon Bell; hes also coming off another knee injury. However, the news is better on that front. ESPN.coms Jeremy Fowler wrote that Bell no problem with his open field cutting. The Steelers have a bubble around him, but movements really fluid, Fowler added…Arizona wide receiver John Brown is in the leagues concussion protocol after banging his head on the turf during practice on Sunday. Its early enough in camp that this should be a nonfactor, but all concussion issues are worth monitoring…The Buffalo Bills signed veteran running back Reggie Bush to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million, including incentives. He will likely be used in a niche role within the offense and be utilized in the teams return game. Bush could get a spike in value if starter LeSean McCoy were to go down, but offers minimal stand-alone value…Eagles running backRyan Matthews (ankle) has yet to see the practice field in Philadelphia. Given his injury history, its not surprising. The longer he remains the more opportunities rookie Wendell Smallwood will have to get some reps…Rookie running back C.J. Prosise is expected to miss 7-10 days of training camp due to a strained hamstring. The injury doesnt appear to be too serious, but any loss time for a rookie running back is never a good thing in training camp when the depth chart is as crowded as it is in Seattle…CBS Sports Jason La Canfora reports that Redskins rookie wide receiver Josh Docston (Achilles) is expected to return to action in a few weeks.  Hes been sidelined since May and if he wants a shot at having an early-season impact Docston can ill afford to fall too far behind…Chargers wideout Stevie Johnson has sustained a torn meniscus and will seek a second opinion before undergoing surgery. His timetable will become clearer after he is operated on, but for now it doesnt appear hell be much of a factor in fantasy football or for the Chargers in 2016…Chicago wide receiver Eddie Royal and tight end Zach Millerare both in concussion protocol, but neither issue appears to be serious. Both are expected back on the practice field later in week….The Chargers and rookie defensive end Joey Bosa are still not close to a deal. The No. 3 overall pick and his reps havent spoken to the club since last Thursday.

After missing nearly a week of action, Alshon Jeffrey (hamstring) was back on the practice field on Monday for the Bears.  Chicago placed the franchise tag on their top wide receiver this offseason partially because of concerns of his durability issues…Sammy Watkins (foot) passed his physical and was taken off the Bills PUP list on Monday. Thats a huge plus for Watkins and his Week 1 playing status…The Eagles will be without wide receiver Jordan Matthews (knee) for 2-4 weeks as he deals with a bone bruise, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.  A loss of Matthews would be devastating to an offense starving for weapons…The Dolphins have listed Jay Ajayi as their No. 1 running back on their initial preseason depth chart, of newly signed free agent Arian Foster. Expect the two running backs to share the workload for most of the season in Miami…After initially believing the Detroit tight end Eric Ebron suffered an Achilles injury, ESPNs Adam Schefter is reporting it is actually a high ankle sprain issue Ebron is dealing with. That is better news than originally anticipated and could still mean hell be available for Week 1…Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon (suspension) has plenty of work to do to get back into shape before hes eligible to return in Week 5.  He will be the first to tell you he needs to lose weight, according to head coach Hue Jackson…Denver has listed Mark Sanchez and Travis Siemian as co-starters at quarterback on their initial depth chart…The Redskins will not dress wide receivers Jamison Crowder (hamstring) or Josh Doctson (Achilles) in Thursdays preseason opener… Buffalo left tackle Cordy Glenn (ankle) is expected to miss the entire preseason. Glenn hasnt missed a game since 2012.
* Of the Top 10 RBs drafted last year, only 2 finished the season in the Top 10 (Peterson and Forte). The average finish for the remaining eight? 32nd. Don’t be afraid to take a WR with your first pick.

* Tony Romo will miss half the season with a broken bone in his back. Even if/when he comes back, he’s not likely someone you’re going to want to roster.

* Dion Lewis will miss 8-10 weeks while he gets his knee cleaned up. Only Bill Belichick knows what that Pats’ backfield is going to look like.

* Thomas Rawls will be ready for Week 1. Christine Michael looked good this preseason, but Rawls will be at the top of the depth chart.

* According to Ian Rapoport, Bengals’ TE Tyler Eifert should be ready to play by Week 4.

* The NFL has redefined the “Questionable” label for injuries this year. Any player whose chance is less than 100% this year (even if it’s 95%) will be considered Questionable. That should make Sunday mornings real fun…

* Ben Watson tore his ACL and will miss the season. Bad news for the Ravens before the season has even started.

CONFIDENTIAL FILE EXPOSED: Top 3 Picks for 2016 NFL Fantasy Drafts

2016 may represent a changing of the guard, when it comes to the first overall pick in standard scoring fantasy football leagues. Previously, especially in leagues that didn’t incorporate any points per reception component, it was a foregone conclusion that you’d take the best running back in the league. Over the last decade, guys like Priest Holmes, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Adrian Peterson were almost always off the board by the second overall pick. Sure, there would be the odd year when Peyton Manning or Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers would enter the consideration set, but the ability to capitalize on the rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and receiving yards and touchdowns that the elite franchise running backs produced was just too much to pass up.

So with this changing of the guard, who enters the 2016 season as the top overall picks? Here’s are the 

Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers —  Brown may be the singularly most dominant wide receiver in fantasy football (and football in general) since Randy Moss.  In 2014, he lead the league receptions, receiving yards, and passes caught for a first down. He averaged over 100 receiving yards per game, and almost one touchdown per game (he had 13). How did he follow that up in 2015? By again leading the league in receptions and receiving yards, exceeding both totals from 2014. His 136 receptions was the second highest total in NFL history, and his 1,834 yards was the 4th highest total in NFL history. Few players have shown that type of year-over-year consistency, in terms of re-writing NFL standards for their position. With Ben Roethlisberger throwing the football as well as any quarterback in the league, and with the suspension of Martavis Bryant opposite Brown (meaning the Steelers will likely have to continue to force targets in Brown’s direction), there’s no reason to see those statistics dropping.

Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams — at this point last year, there were legitimate questions as to whether Gurley would even play in the 2015 season for the team that drafted him; he suffered a torn ACL injury in November while playing his last season for the University of Georgia. The Rams tried to bring him along slowly, not rushing him into immediate action when the season began.  It started with just a few spot carries in an ugly game against the Steelers; Gurley had a paltry nine rushing yards on six carries (and one reception for five yards). From there? Everything changed. Over the next four games, Gurley ripped off 566 rushing yards and four touchdowns, drawing rave reviews from the rest of the league for his startling combination of vision, size, and speed. Despite really only playing in 12 games last year, Gurley finished third in the NFL with 1,106 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns (the latter tied for second best in the NFL). Who knows what a full season of carries, and an improvement at the quarterback position — assuming the Rams select a quarterback with the #1 overall pick — could bring.

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers — Once Bell returned from his two game suspension to start the 2015 season, the conversation began as to whether he emerged as the best running back in the NFL. His ability as a runner and a receiver began to draw comparisons to Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk. In the five games prior to the early November matchup against Cincinnati, when he suffered his season-ending knee injury, Bell recorded over 125 combined yards in four of those five games. He remains one of the true “bell cow” running backs in the NFL, but the biggest question around Bell will be whether he will be fully healthy when the 2016 season begins, after his offseason surgery to fix the damaged MCL/PCL in his knee.

Ewwwww! Don’t draft these fantasy busts!

 

From yahoo.com:

Peyton Manning, Den, QB
ADP (From Fantasy Football Calculator): 38.6 (QB3)
If I’m going to use my late-third or early-fourth round pick on a QB (the average price tag for Peyton), it’s not going to be on a 39-year-old with a recent history of quad and neck injuries, the former being used as the excuse for an ugly performance stretch over the final five weeks of ’14 (though the injury occurred at the mid-way point of that slide) . And, if the guy is also losing a Red Zone Hoover like Julius Thomas, a velcro-handed chain mover like Wes Welker and three starting offensive linemen from last season, then I’m definitely going to look a different direction. And let’s not forget that we also have to take into account a change at head coach (Gary Kubiak), which also means a change in offensive philosophy, one that should be decidedly more ground heavy if history tells us anything. If the early rounds are about minimizing risks, then avoiding Elder Manning as his career nears the cliff’s edge is the prudent course of action. (Brandon Funston)

Arian Foster, Hou, RB
ADP: 8.4 (RB6)
Every featured back in the NFL comes with risk – it’s tackle football, after all – but I see more warning signs with Foster than the ordinary player. He’ll turn 29 right before the season, and there’s a fair amount of tread on the tires – he’s missed 14 games over the last four years, battling a laundry list of physical problems (last year it was hamstring, knee, hip and groin injuries). Only Marshawn Lynch has more rushing attempts than Foster over the past five years (a 46-carry edge), and consider Lynch has played in 13 more games than Foster. Houston’s bell cow takes on a lot of contact at 6-feet-0, 232 pounds, and I’d like to be more floor driven with my early picks, especially at the running back position. (Scott Pianowski

Kelvin Benjamin, Car, WR
ADP: 36.1 (WR15)
Last year, the scintillating performances of Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, Jordan Matthews and Benjamin left the fantasy community thirsting for more. Their break out rookie campaigns, unsurprisingly, have raised expectations to near unprofitable levels. However, of all the second-year targets likely to experience a sophomore slump, Benjamin tops the list. To be fair, he’s a preeminent red-zone threat. Tight end-like at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds and blessed with plus leaping ability, he’s a menace near the goal-line. In one more game he enticed the same number of red-zone targets (17) as Rob Gronkowski. He should again be a preferred weapon of Cam Newton, but red flags are flapping in the wind. Benjamin missed 10-of-14 summer practices due to hamstring problems which caused him to pack on 10 pounds of unnecessary weight. The wideout said recently he’s already shed the extra baggage and is healed, but I have my doubts. Hammies can flare up at a moment’s notice. Just ask the dude who owned Miles Austin a while back. Couple that with adjustments defenses are bound to make, Carolina’s conservative approach and Devin Funchess increasing competition for targets and it’s plain to see the increased downfall probability. At best, you’re hoping for a repeat of 2014 (73-1008-9). At his WR15 price, the margin simply isn’t there.  (Brad Evans)

Jonathan Stewart, Car, RB
ADP: 43.4 (RB21)
Coming off his most productive year since 2011, Stewart is going all Lisa Kudrow and attempting to make a fantasy comeback. With DeAngelo Williams soon to be suiting up for the Steelers, Stewart has been loosed from RBBC bondage and will assume Carolina’s workhorse duties. His ADP has soared accordingly. However, this volume that everyone is predicting is far from guaranteed. Head Coach Ron Rivera has never leaned on a single back. Not even in the Divisional Round of the playoffs where Mike Tolbert was tapped over Stewart on a crucial third down play. Speaking of Tolbert, the human bowling ball is back to full health and ready to vulture the end zone. And he’s not the only one. Fozzy Whitaker and rookie Cameron Artis-Payne are also in the mix. Still, the biggest threat to Stewart’s production is his quarterback. Cam Newton rushed the red zone twelve times and scored three touchdowns in 2014. J-Stew had nineteen attempts from the goal-line, but only managed two scores. Throw in Stewart’s obvious durability concerns and his current price tag seems a bit bloated, especially in standard scoring formats which are so touchdown dependent.  (Liz Loza)

Travis Kelce, KC, TE
ADP: 54.8 (TE3)
I challenge you to go find a fantasy analyst — anyone, anywhere — who isn’t extremely bullish on Kelce this season. Go ahead, take a minute to search. We’ll wait. Nothing, right? It’s amazing, really. We have never agreed on anything the way we seem to agree on the greatness of Kelce. Kansas City’s tight end is carrying a fifth round ADP these days, and I’ve seen him selected much earlier than that — and everyone who picks the guy takes an immediate victory lap in draft chat. While I have plenty of respect for Kelce’s talent (and we’re all impressed at his recovery from microfracture), I really hate these situations where we price a player at a level where he needs to make a significant value leap. Let’s not pretend the team context in KC so great; this team’s passing offense ranked No. 29 last season and No. 24 the year before. When the Chiefs visit the red-zone, Jamaal Charles is basically the entire show. If you’re counting on Alex Smith boosting the value of any member of his receiving corps, well, I mean … c’mon. We’re talking about a hyper-conservative quarterback and a low-yield passing game. KC only put the ball in the air 493 times last season, finishing with only 18 touchdown passes. No need to pay a premium price to get a share in this passing game. I’ll take Zach Ertz in the eighth or Josh Hill in the eleventh, thank you very much. Kelce is all yours. (Andy Behrens)

Andre Ellington, Ari, RB
ADP: 45.0 (RB22)
Andre Ellington got 5.5 YPC during his rookie campaign, but he was one of the biggest busts as a sophomore last season, when that number dropped to 3.3. Pro Football Focus graded him as the No. 56 runner out of 57 qualified backs, as Ellington got just 1.8 YPC after contact, which was the second lowest in the NFL. He played hurt, which undoubtedly contributed to his lackluster season, but there’s reason to be concerned about the 5-9 back’s durability moving forward, which is evidenced by the Cardinals spending a third round draft pick on David Johnson. Moreover, did you realize he’s already 26 years old? LeSean McCoy just turned 27 two weeks ago. Given his health risk and coming off last year’s truly dismal performance, I can’t see drafting Ellington as a top-25 fantasy back in 2015. (Dalton Del Don)

Want To Win Your Fantasy League: Pick These 3 Players!

According to fantasy.usatoday.com:

1. RB David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
ADP: 110.8 (RB 44)

Do you trust Andre Ellington to stay healthy or handle carries between-the-tackles on a regular basis? Me neither. Especially not at his 40.9 overall ADP (RB 18).

Johnson (6-1, 224 pounds) possesses the better profile for full-time work and inside-the-20 chances. This should be close to an even split in touches, and in this case, it’s best to favor the one who’d pull into the lead for touchdown potential.

He could do all the things blind believers thought Ellington could last year — and he’ll offer that upside at a fraction of the price.

2. WR Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
ADP: 98.4 (WR 41)

He led the NFL with 113 catches and 182 targets in 2013 but snared just 68 in 2014 with an inconsistent role.

Heading into 2015, Garcon (pictured) is being moved to the “Z” receiver spot, which would put him in motion more often to take more advantage of his possession abilities.

Even with the risk presented by Robert Griffin III under center, Garcon remains a threat to climb back toward 90 catches, which would provide excellent value for looks as a WR3. Listening, PPR gamers?

3. WR Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals
ADP: 144.3 (WR 58)

Jones missed all of 2014 with foot and ankle problems. But in the previous season, he celebrated a six-pointer 10 times while averaging 14.0 yards per catch.

He’s on average being selected behind names such as Brian Quick, DeVante Parker and Dorial Green-Beckham — who have smaller resumes in less desirable environs. Jones could once again corral double-digit scores from quarterback Andy Dalton.