Wednesday, August 31, 2016


We are up to Rounds 5 and 6 as I continue to share the pick-by-pick selection during the 2016 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Football PPR Experts League.

Round 5

41. Latavius Murray (RB):  Could be decent value here as Murray is a rare bell cow back that is usually not available this late in the draft.  His 2015 was very ordinary and lacked big plays but Murray has every chance to improve this season and he has 50-catch potential.

42. Demaryuis Thomas (WR):  I shared my displeasure of making this pick but Thomas was the best of the remaining wideouts.  The QB situation is quite disturbing but again Thomas did go for 100-plus catches last season with the worst QB in the game in 2015 in Peyton Manning playing the majority of the games.  I guess in Round 5 this is not bad for a guy who is a slam dunk WR 1 with even a competent passer under center.

43. C.J. Anderson (RB):  Like with Latavius Murray, not bad value in getting a bell cow back in the fifth round.  After I correctly called Anderson a bust waiting to happen prior to 2015, he redemmed himself with a big postseason that got him back into the starter's role for 2017. 

44. Travis Kelce (TE):  I prefer Jordan Reed and Greg Olsen over Kelce but this is still a very good pick.  The problem for Kelce is that he has a QB in Alex Smith who doesn't take chances down the field and that limits his overall upside. 

45. Jeremy Maclin (WR):  Maclin has become quite boring to draft but he was very solid in his first season with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016.  Again Alex Smith is a problem but Maclin looks like a solid low-end WR 2/3/.

46. T.Y. Hilton (WR):  Not a fan of Hilton and that remains as he is way too streaky and doesn't have the big reception numbers for a PPR league.

47. DeMarco Murray (RB):  Yes he has had a nice season and gets a fresh start in Tennessee but I hate this pick.  Murray has to contend with rookie Derrick Henry who will play and more than a little and he may not be the goal-line back.  No thank you.

48. Greg Olsen (TE):  Olsen should have gone over Travis Kelce but whatever.  Olsen is durable and always gets his numbers so this is a very good pick in Round 5. 

49. Tom Brady (QB):  Interesting.  Brady is down four games but he is a sure fire top five fantasy QB when on the field.  You also have to think that Brady will return all ticked off and ready to light up defenses.  Now this owner just needs to back this pick up with a solid starter for the first month.

50. Rashad Jennings (RB):  Worst pick of the draft so far.  No way in heck Jennings should go in Round 5 and that goes for even if he gets the majority of carries for the New York Giants as we expect to happen.  He is involved in a four-headed RB attack and the offense line is a joke.

Round 6

51. Golden Tate (WR):  I like Tate in PPR formats as he has shown he can put up big reception numbers the last two seasons and now there are a lot more receptions to go around with the retirement of Calvin Johnson. 

52. Kirk Cousins (QB):  This owner did his homework as he backed up Brady with Cousins who has a ridiculosuly appetizing slate of poor to awful defenses the first month of the season.  Well done.

53. Carlos Hyde (RB):  Hyde is already hurt as he is dealing with a concussion and he has missed a bunch of games his first two years in the league.  Plus he lasted this long due to the fact he simply doesn't catch the football.  I hate guys such as this in PPR.

54. Marvin Jones (WR):  Love this pick as Jones could be a double-digit TD guy right away in Detroit as the big-play wideout on the team and he also could go over 80 catches real easy.  I wanted him at the end of the round as well but tough for me.

55. Carson Palmer (QB):  The offense is absolutely loaded with a tremendous trio of wideouts and a pass-receiving back in David Johnson but Palmer has a long history of knee injuries to worry about.  If you go with Palmer, be sure to give him a top backup.

56. Thomas Rawls (RB):  Not a fan of Rawls at all and think there stands a good chance Christine Michael is the main ballcarrier this season.  Also Rawls doesn't catch the football so he is liabilty in this format.

57. Ryan Mathews (RB):  Yes there are certain to be games missed with injury but Mathews also has little competition for carries in the Philly backfield.  While he is active, Mathews could be a nice RB 2.

58. Randall Cobb (WR):  I like Cobb as a good bounce back guy now that Jordy Nelson has returned.  Not having Nelson available to draw defenders away really hurt Cobb last season but he could go right back over the 80-catch mark this season with his counterpart back.

59. Jeremy Langford (RB):  Again I needed another starting back with Le'Veon Bell suspended the first three weeks and I liked Langford the best of who was remaining.  While Langford is far from a given, he has been used as a bell cow back this summer and showed a year ago he can run and catch.

60. Kelvin Benjamin (WR):  Benjamin has struggled this summer getting back into the lineup after missing all of 2015 with an ACL injury but the guy is way too talented to not be at least a WR 2.  Nice value.



The Miami Marlins placed recent revelation starting pitcher David Phelps on the 15-day DL Wednesday with a strained oblique.  Phelps' strain is considered to be more on the serious side and the team's thinking is that he is likely out for the rest of the regular season. 

Analysis:  Terrible timing here as Phelps was absolutely lighting it up since moving into the Marlins rotation a few weels ago.  The K's began to explode once the move was made and so Phelps' loss is not a small one.  At the very least, he is now an interesting late round sleeper to stash away for 2017.


All right so one of the more repeated e-mails I have gotten over the years is from many of you challenging yours truly to either fantasy baseball or fantasy baseball.  In other words we have read your opinions and ideas on both games but now we want to show YOU what we the public are made of.  So with that said I am ready to take on the readers in the first annual Fantasy Sports Boss 2016 fantasy football PPR leagues.  I am making this a 12-team league that will go head-to-head with standard Yahoo categories (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF) and a few bench spots.  Other then 1 point per reception, it is all standard.  So if you are interested in taking me on, e-mail me at or drop me a direct line at Twitter

This is first come, first serve so get in now and don't delay. Also out of respect to myself and the league, ONLY join if you are a serious and hard-core player. Maybe winner gets a free draft guide for baseball or football next season. Let's go.




While most of the top prospects have already made their way to the majors leagues at this late juncture of the season, a few straglers remain on the farm.  Once such hyped name is Boston Red Sox top infield prospect Yoan Moncada who has put up terrific five-category numbers at Double-A where he has hit .298 with 15 home runs and 45 stolen bases.  While a good deal of those numbers were also picked up at High-A prior to the Double-A promotion, Moncada is the real deal at third base who and could be up Thursday when rosters expand.  The Red Sox have had major issues with third base this season as a hot start by Travis Shaw soon fizzled and they have gotten nothing out of Brock Holt or Aaron Hill.  Thus Moncada could be a big contributor down the stretch and his ability to help in all five categories makes him an immediate add in all formats.  Make the move now as Moncada is really going to be something. 


The report came late in the day on Tuesday but it was ominous nonetheless.  The report in question centered on the fact that it has been Spencer s Ware and not Jamaal Charles who has taken the first team reps for most of the summer.  And it got worse when later in the same report, it was suggested that Charles was not all the way back from his second ACL tear in his knee which ended his 2015 early.  All of this now points to a possible running back committee to begin the season or even worse for Charles owners, that the very capable Ware will be the primary back in Week 1.  As someone who owns Charles despite all the risks I talked about this summer, this is not good news.  I was able to nab Charles in the third round of the Experts League draft which was later than his average second round position which is the only reason why I went with him despite my misgivings.  Now we have this very troubling news which has suddenly made Ware a big pickup with the new season looming.  So what do we do now as a Charles owner and will Ware end up being the top back to own on the Chiefs this season?  Ultimately I still think Charles will be the primary back once he is 100 percent, even if that timeline starts in Week 2 or 3.  Ware could very well be the goal-line back and take a few more carries from Charles but in PPR formats the latter should still be a low-end RB 1.  After all don't forget that Charles has never not averaged more than 5.0 yards per carry in any of his NFL seasons so he will get his share of work.  Still overall this is not what you want to be dealing with as the season dawns.  So are you a Charles owner?  What are your thoughts on this?  Post below.  Also follow us on Twitter


Sorry for the quiet morning.  Had server issues.  Regular features going up ASAP. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


A report out of Kansas City late Tuesday suggested that the Chiefs could open the season in Week 1 splitting carries between Jamaal Charles and Spencer Ware.  With Charles coming back from his second torn ACL in his knee, head coach Andy Reid is being cautious with the veteran which is why Ware has gotten the most first-team reps in camp. 

Analysis:  As a Charles owner, this is not what I want to hear.  Charles had big risk attached to his name as I talked about this summer given his age and coming back from two ACL tears in his knees but earlier reports suggested he would be the primary ballcarrier in Week 1.  Now it looks like that won't be the case which makes it tough to decide what to do with Charles right out of the gate. 


 Updating an earlier item, various Minnesota Viking players threw up and were crying after witnessing what has been described as a "gruesome" injury suffered by QB Teddy Bridgewater during tuesday's practice. 

Analysis:  Bridgewater is done for 2016 no doubt and now we have to wonder about his career.  This sounds like a sure broken leg and it looks like an injury along the lines of Joe Theisman or Kevin Ware with the Lousivlle Cardinals basketball team.  Just awful. 


Updating an earlier item,  Minnesota Vikings team official speaking on the condition of anonymity admitted that QB Teddy Bridgewater suffered a "major" injury during Tuesday's practice.  Having gone down in a non-contact way, speculation has centered on either a broken leg or an ACL tear.

Analysis:  Unreal.  This is bad no matter which injury we are talking about and a good Vikings team is now in trouble without playing a down that counts.  Shaun Hill is a very capable backup but he is a career backup for a reason.  It is unlikely the Vikes or any other team would check in on Colin Kaepernick but Mark Sanchez could be the guy to help keep them afloat.  However there would be a lot of learning to do on the fly for anyone who comes in so Hill is almost certain to start Week 1. 


All right so one of the more repeated e-mails I have gotten over the years is from many of you challenging yours truly to either fantasy baseball or fantasy baseball.  In other words we have read your opinions and ideas on both games but now we want to show YOU what we the public are made of.  So with that said I am ready to take on the readers in the first annual Fantasy Sports Boss 2016 fantasy football PPR leagues.  I am making this a 12-team league that will go head-to-head with standard Yahoo categories (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF) and a few bench spots.  Other then 1 point per reception, it is all standard.  So if you are interested in taking me on, e-mail me at or drop me a direct line at Twitter

This is first come, first serve so get in now and don't delay. Also out of respect to myself and the league, ONLY join if you are a serious and hard-core player. Maybe winner gets a free draft guide for baseball or football next season. Let's go.



Uh-oh.  The Minnesota Vikings 2016 plans might have taken a big hit as starting QB Teddy Bridgewater went down in a heap after suffering a non-contact injury to his knee during practice Tuesday.  Bridgewater was rolling on the ground in pain and the team quickly gathered around due to the visual severity. 

Analysis:  Shaun Hill is the next man up but this is obviously potentially a big blow to the Vikings as a whole.  There is not a ton of fantasy football impact here as Bridgewater is only backup material given the light TD totals but still you don't want to see this with the season getting set to get underway. 


So we already went through the first 20 picks of the Fantasy Sports Boss 2016 Fantasy Football Experts PPR league so now lets' dig into Round 3-4 with analysis.

Round 1 and 2 Review

1.  Odell Beckham Jr.
2.  Antonio Brown
3.  Julio Jones
4.  Dez Bryant
5.  DeAndre Hopkins
6.  Todd Gurley
7.  Brandon Marshall
8.  Lamar Miller
9.  David Johnson
10. Allen Robinson
11. Cam Newton
12. A.J. Green
13. Keenan Allen
14. Amari Cooper
15. Jordy Nelson
16. Adrian Peterson
17. Doug Martin
18. Rob Gronkowski
19. Le'Veon Bell
20. Devonta Freeman

Round 3
21. Aaron Rodgers (QB):  This is a good spot for Rodgers who many still consider the top quarterback in the game.  While he doesn't run anywhere near as often as Cam Newton, the passing numbers are always dominant and now Rodgers get Jordy Nelson back.  Good pick in Round 3.

22. Jamaal Charles (RB):  Since I took Le'Veon Bell in Round 2, I needed to back him up with another top running back since he will miss three games with suspension.  Mission accomplished as I get Charles as a good value pick in Round 3.  League was scared off a bit by the age and two career ACL tears which no doubt are valid points but I liked Charles over the other top backs that were left such as Zeke Elliott (not a fan as you have read), Mark Ingram (always hurt himself and not buying the receptions from 2015 just yet), and Eddie Lacy (not a chance).

23. Zeke Elliott (RB):  Nothing but negative news has surrounded Elliott this summer as he is being investigated for domestic violence, he reported to camp overweight, and he was seen walking into a marajuana store.  While no one doubts the ability, Alfred Morris has had a huge summer and has earned a look and veteran Darren McFadden is also back off his career-best 2015.  That is a lot of red flags, even in Round 3.

24. Russell Wilson (QB):  The QB's are starting to go now and Round 3 is usually when it happens as everyone gets their top wideout and running back out of the way.  Still too early in my book though but Wilson is the right choice behind Rodgers and Newton. 

25. Andrew Luck (QB):  Luck is looking to put his hideous 2015 in the rearview mirror as he battled injuries behind a terrible offensive line and a slew of interceptions as he tried to force things.  The line was addressed in the draft so that is a plus and a comfortable Luck can carve up any defense.  Very good bounce back upside.

26.  Alshon Jeffery (WR):  I liked Jeffery alot, the injuries notwithstanding.  He is the clear number 1 target for QB Jay Curler who likes to fixate on one wideout as we saw with him and Brandon Marshall.  As long as the health permits, Jeffery will be right up there with any wideout in terms of numbers in 2016. 

27. Eddie Lacy (RB):  Perhaps the biggest risk/reward guy in the draft.  Lacy is still a bit over the target weight the Packers wanted for him coming into camp but he is in a contract year which means he will be motivated to play well.  Remember that Lacy was a terrific RB 1 in both 2013 and 2014 so he has bounce back appeal as well.  The leash is not long though which makes him still quite risky.

28. Sammy Watkins (WR):  While Tyrod Taylor proved he was a decent QB in 2015, Watkins has really been held back by the passers in Buffalo since being drafted.  There are few players who have as much natural talent as Watkins but injuries and the poor play under center have held him back.  Maybe this will be the year.  Or not. 

29. Mark Ingram (RB):  While he remains very injury prone, Ingram opened many eyes a year ago by going over the 50-catch mark which was a huge career-high.  Ingram never showed receiving chops before which means we got to take that number with a bit of a grain of salt but he doesn't have much competition for work in New Orleans so this is very good value at the end of Round 3.

30. Doug Baldwin (WR):  While there is no denying the monster second half Baldwin had with his massive amount of scoring receptions, this is too high for a guy who was nothing but waiver fodder prior. 

Round 4.  

31. Matt Forte (RB):  One of the best PPR backs of all-time, Father Time is calling for Forte who missed three games with injury a year ago and battled a balky hamstring all summer.  There are only so many carries a back like Forte can take and the presence of Bilal Powell means he won't be the workhorse he was in Chicago.  Risky.

32. Mike Evans (WR):  Evans has much more value in a standard league given his TD proclivities and lower reception totals. 

33. Ben Roethlisberger (QB):  When you draft Big Ben, you go in knowing he will miss 1-3 games....if you are lucky and it is not worse.  The Steelers are now completely a passing outfit and the weapons are big surrounding Roethlisberger.  Easy top five fantasy QB when on the field.

34. Larry Fitzgerald (WR):  Coming off a career-high in receptions a year ago, Fitz has to prove that wasn't an outlier campaign.  Round 4 a tad too high but in PPR Fitzgerald has much more value. 

35. LeSean McCoy (RB):  Correctly called out McCoy as a bust waiting to happen last season but he is back healthy and no longer has the presence of Karlos Williams to deal with.  Tough call here as McCoy could have one more good year in him at a reduced draft price but it also could continue to in the wrong direction. 

36. Jarvis Landry (WR):  In PPR formats Landry is gold so I like it. 

37. Brandin Cooks (WR):  Was annoyed here as I was ready to pick Cooks two selections later but oh well.  Love the PPR potential here in the New Orleans offense. 

38. Julian Edelman (WR):  Landry, Cooks, and Edelman are all similar players which makes it funny there were picked one right after the other.  Edelman is a bit scary and overrated though as he continues to battle injuries and his TD totals are light. 

39. Drew Brees (QB):  Couldn't pass up Brees here despite my vow to wait longer on fantasy football passers.  The value was right relative to the other options remaining at RB and WR.  I get a stud QB who is still slinging it with the best of them and who does have a very manageable playoff schedule.  

40.  Eric Decker (WR):  A bit high for my tastes as Decker is better in standard leagues but not a disaster either. 


Josh Donaldson:  1/3 with his 34th HR while hitting .294.  Can't wait to do the 2017 Draft Debate between Donaldson, Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado, and Manny Machado. 

Jose Bautista:  1/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .229.  Rough season for Bautista both at the dish and with injuries.  Age, age, ae.  Goodbye OF 1 era.

Jayson Werth:  1/5 with his 19th HR while hitting .251.  Werth is still productive at his advanced age but only in an NL-only sense.  What is funny about him is that the ridiculous contract the Nats gave him actually hurt his draft standing in fantasy baseball.

Tanner Roark:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.87.  Roark is right there at the top of the "non-strikeout" pitcher fraternity.  Take out the bumbling of his role a year ago and we could have been looking at three straight dominant seasons from the guy.

Mookie Betts:  2/5 with his 30th HR while hitting .322.  Out of everything Betts has accomplished this season as he rivals Jose Altuve and Mike Trout for the honor of being the top player for both 2016 and in next season's draft, 30 home run was not something I foresaw.  Wow what a talent. 

Rick Porcello:  7 IP 6 H 3 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.26.  If Porcello had a 2.00 ERA, I still would never own him while he pitches for Boston.  There would be a pit in my stomach from the moment I put him in the lineup to start to the moment he threw his last pitch that night.  Sorry but I don't need that stress. 

Carlos Beltran:  3/4 with his 25th HR while hitting .292.  If it wasn't for David Ortiz, Beltran would be the graybeard MVP in 2016 fantasy baseball hands down. 

Yu Darvish:  6.2 IP 6 H 3 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.01.  Darvish remains a tremendous ace-level pitching talent but the volatility has really ramped up as far as ownership.  The 2017 sticker price will be decent given the missed time this season but Darvish screams out "RISK!" 

Jon Gray:  6 IP 4 H 0 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.41.  Kudos for anyone who had the stones to start Gray in Coors Field.  Guy has clear power ability but streaming at home is the plan of action which limits the overall impact. 

Orlando Arcia:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .196.  Arcia has looked overmatched at the dish early on but so did Corey Seager in April and now look at him.  This is a big talent who will steal a bunch of bases and score runs with developing power as a perennial top-of-the-order hitter real soon.  Love him for 2017.

Jedd Gyorko:  2/4 with his 23rd HR while hitting .249.  Every agent who has a struggling hitter as a client needs to do everything they can to get their guy to St. Louis.

Randal Grichuk:  1/5 with his 19th HR while hitting .232.  Guys with this power/ugly average profile are a dime a dozen across baseball so that is why I never bought into any hype here and instead pumped up Stephen Piscotty.  Nailed it.  If you wanted Grichuk so bad, you should have gone with Khris Davis instead.  Same player but much cheaper draft price.

Kolten Wong:  2/4 with his third HR and sixth SB while hitting .240.  Well at least Wong met expectations once the last two years. 

Carlos Martinez:  6 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 13 K with an ERA of 3.07.  Good to see Martinez finishing strong given the injury fears the last season-plus.  Like with Noah Syndegaard, you cross your fingers on every start with the hopes he makes it out in one piece. 

Zach Davies:  6.1 IP 7 H 3 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.07.  Where are these strikeouts coming from?  Talk about a new wrinkle that is changing the impact for the better here. 

Yoenis Cespedes:  3/5 with his 27th HR while hitting .299.  Walk-off shot here for Cespedes who is still hobbled with an ongoing quad issue but who is gutting it out as best he can.

Jose Fernandez:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 4 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.79.  The Marlins won't allow Fernandez to pitch more than six innings in any outing down the stretch as they go into innings consevation mode here but other than some walks, the comeback from Tommy John has been beyond smooth.  Or the firm opposite of Zach Wheeler. 

Justin Upton:  1/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .235.  Imagine that Upton owner who was so frustrated with his horrible first four months that they did an anger cut.  And now that owner is watching his red hot bat the last few weeks. 

Monday, August 29, 2016


So after a long and protracted (and at times ugly) competition this summer, the Denver Broncos have decided to cast their 2016 QB lot with 2015 seventh-round draft choice Trevor Seimian.  After veteran Mark Sanchez opened camp as the favorite for the job due to his experience, his ongoing mistake-prone ways reared their ugly heads again during preseason games in terms of fumbles and untimely interceptions.  That opened the door for Siemian to take the job which means he will now be under center for Week 1.  So what does this mean for the Denver skill positions players?  Well a common theme this summer has been that Demaryuis Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will be in trouble in terms of their fantasy football values, with the former being downgraded from elite WR 1 status to just a WR 2.  One thing that often has been overlooked though is that Thomas still caught over 100 passes a year ago with arguably the worst QB in the league at the time in Peyton Manning starting most of the games.  Even when Brock Osweiler got in there, he and Thomas were not exactly on the same page.  Also Thomas was plagued with the dropsies throughout the season so he actually should have had more receptions.  Now in terms of Siemian, he has shown the willingness and the ability to throw the football down the field and that will no doubt be a plus for Thomas.  He also has better accuracy than Sanchez so Thomas and Sanders are getting the best QB option they can get under the circumstances.  This does not change the fact that Thomas should be graded as a WR 2 and Sanders as a WR 3 but they may not be as bad in terms of numbers as many are anticipating this season. 


All right so one of the more repeated e-mails I have gotten over the years is from many of you challenging yours truly to either fantasy baseball or fantasy baseball.  In other words we have read your opinions and ideas on both games but now we want to show YOU what we the public are made of.  So with that said I am ready to take on the readers in the first annual Fantasy Sports Boss 2016 fantasy football PPR leagues.  I am making this a 12-team league that will go head-to-head with standard Yahoo categories (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF) and a few bench spots.  Other then 1 point per reception, it is all standard.  So if you are interested in taking me on, e-mail me at or drop me a direct line at Twitter

This is first come, first serve so get in now and don't delay. Also out of respect to myself and the league, ONLY join if you are a serious and hard-core player. Maybe winner gets a free draft guide for baseball or football next season. Let's go.



As I always do, the round-by-round analysis of the Fantasy Sports Boss PPR Fantasy Football Experts League Draft which took place Sunday.  I already shared my roster but this is how Round 1-2 went.

1.  Odell Beckham Jr (WR):  Yeah 9 out of 10 would go Antonio Brown but this owner cited Big Ben's injury habits and for the fact he owned Brown in another prime money league so he wanted to diversify.  Not the worst idea in the world too if you are in multiple money leagues.  Try to own different players so one injury to a key guy you have on both doesn't sink you.

2.  Antonio Brown (WR):  I waited all of two second to make this pick.  Could cacth 140 balls this season.  Pure insanity. 

3.  Julio Jones (WR):  The three top tier wideouts are off the board in the first three picks.  This is not your grandpa's fantasy football league anymore. 

4.  Dez Bryant (WR):  Yet another wideout but not the one I expected.  DeAndre Hopkins should have gone ahead of Bryant who is now without Tony Romo for 6-10 weeks.  While Dak Prescott seems capable, Bryant could struggle to put up WR 1 numbers. 

5.  DeAndre Hopkins (WR):  There we go.  Hopkins' amazing 2015 didn't get the hype it deserved as he went nuts with four truly awful QB's under center for the Houston Texans a year ago.  Now with the much more competent Brock Osweiler in town, Hopkins could go for 120/1,400/12.

6.  Todd Gurley (RB):  First running back goes off the board and I figured it was either Gurley or David Johnson.  The fact Gurley doesn't have two other capable runners looking for work on his team like Johnson does in Arizona made this the right choice.

7.  Brandon Marshall (WR):  Marshall is one of those guys you never not get your money's worth.  Ultra-durable and a reception machine, Marshall also is an impossible matchup near the red zone so he checks off all the boxes. 

8.  Lamar Miller (RB):  Everyone's favorite sleeper is Miller but a bit surprised he went over Johnson.  Still I think Miller is going to be a beast and he has an outside shot at being a fantasy football MVP.

9.  David Johnson (RB):  This is tremendous value for Johnson going toward the end of Round 1.  It just goes to show you how the wide receiver has become the "it" position to fill right away in PPR formats.  Johnson is set to do it all for the Cardinals this season and should be in the running himself for fantasy MVP.

10. Allen Robinson (WR):  So this makes it 7 wideouts in 10 first round picks with no quarterbacks.  I may not have agreed with the order but everyone did what they were supposed to do based on the format.


11. Cam Newton (QB):  You know someone just can't resist the urge to take the top fantasy football QB but at least this owner waited until Round 2.  I don't think Newton replicates his incredible 2015 numbers but I also don't think he will be that far from them.  Can't argue with the tremendous passing/running ability here but in this one-QB format, the value is not there to go with a passer this early. 

12. A.J. Green (WR):  I was hoping Green would land to me at the end of Round 2 but not shocked it didn't happen.  Green is going to be a very high target receiver this season as the Bengals lost Marvin Jones in free agency and Tyler Eifert is out until the end of September after ankle surgery.  Another guy you never are disappointed with.

13. Keenan Allen (WR):  Was going to take Allen too as his was on a crazy reception pace a year ago before suffered a kidney injury that ended his season early.  The Chargers will be playing catch-up a lot this season and that means a ton of slot throws to PPR machine Allen.

14. Amari Cooper (WR):  The receiver run continues on as now 10 of the 14 picks have been from that position.  This is a bit high for Cooper but I also think he will reach stardom very soon and likely in 2015 so I am all right with it.

15. Jordy Nelson (WR):  Nelson is coming back from injury so there is risk there but the guy is TD monster who will once again be the top target of QB Aaron Rodgers.  That is a good position to be in as a wideout. 

16. Adrian Peterson (RB):  In PPR formats like this, Peterson loses some appeal as he has never been a big receptions guy so going in Round 2 no shock.  The wheels eventually have to fall off here right? 

17. Doug Martin (RB):  Now we are getting into the running backs as the top wideouts are off the board.  Martin is like a younger Peterson in that he doesn't catch many footballs but boy can he run. 

18. Rob Gronkowski (TE):  Yes Gronk is always tempting but his injury history and the deecnt depth now at tight end make this a risk I wouldn't take. 

19. Le'Veon Bell (RB):  So a three-game suspension knocks Bell to the end of Round 2 where I couldn't resist him.  Three games is a lot right off the bat as there could be later injuries to further muddle this so this is not a slam dunk pick by any means.  Still as long as you got the first three weeks covered, then the payoff could be monstrous.

20. Devonta Freeman (RB):  Freeman is a tough call as Tevin Coleman is being forced onto the field by the front office of Atlanta that drafted him and he averaged less than 4.0 per carry from October onward which was a red flag.  Still Freeman can really catch the football so in this setup he is impactful. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016


The Fantasy Sports Boss took part in the 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Experts League Draft on Sunday and I drew the second overall pick in the 16-round draft.  As the defending champion, I was once again preparing to go wide receiver-heavy in this PPR format, and was centered on either Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr.  So it was a nice surprise when the owner who picked first went with Beckham Jr. which allowed Brown to fall into my lap.  This owner cited the durability of Eli Manning compared to Ben Roethlisberger and for the fact he owned Brown in another PPR money league which meant he didn't want to be wed to the same top player in both.  So with Brown as the top anchor for my team, I was ready to wait awhile for pick number 2 at number 19 overall.  Names at the top of my target list included A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Keenan Allen.  So let's see how I did.

1.  Antonio Brown (WR)

2.  Le'Veon Bell (RB):  Shocked to see Bell drop to the end of Round 2 but the three-game suspension and risk of injury was the reason.  Also 7 of the 10 picks in Round 1 were wide receivers as these owners all had the same strategy in this PPR format.  I just couldn't pass on the value of Bell at the end of Round 2 but now I have to shift my strategy in terms of getting another prime back to overcome the three-game absence.

3.  Jamaal Charles (RB):  Charles dropped as well given his history of two ACL tears and age.  Still Charles has never averaged less than 5.0 yards per carry for a season and Andy Reid once again plans to use him heavily.  So with going RB-RB in Rounds 2-3, I have to really get in on a receiver as Marshall and Green were both picked before I took Bell and I accepted Jeffery and Allen won't return to me.

4.  Drew Brees (QB):  This is early for me to take a QB but Brees was the best value in this round and the New Orleans Saints playoff week schedule is as good as any in the league.  Again though I need that second wideout.

5.  Demaryuis Thomas (WR):  This is the first pick I didn't like to make. There is no question how good a wideout Thomas is but the Denver QB situation is as bad as any in the game.  Didn't want Thomas to be my WR 2 despite decent value to get him in Round 5.

6.  Jeremy Langford (RB):  Prime opportunity for Langford as the bellcow back for the Chicago Bears and he can both run and catch the football.  I can deal with Charles-Langford until Bell gets back.

7.  Jeremy Reed (TE):  Reed slipped here as well but there were only two tight ends picked by this point (Gronk and Greg Olsen) so the league was not in on this position until later.  Reed is as talented a tight end receiver as there is outside of Gronk but there is big injury risk here.

8.  Danny Woodhead (RB):  Believe it or not, Woodhead was the fifth highest scoring back in this league setup a year ago as he is a monster receiving back.  The Chargers play from behind a lot so Woodhead will likely clean up in garbage time again.  I now have four backs and need to still get a third wideout and a backup QB.

9.  Eli Manning (QB):  Love having the durable Manning as my backup and I can even stream him when Brees has a tough matchup as Eli has been money the last two seasons under the Ben McAdoo offense.

10. Michael Crabtree (WR):  Ugh.  Hate my wideouts behind Brown which is something I will work on.  I have never owned Crabtree and am not a fan with his injury history and inconsistent production.  Crabtree had his best season in 2015 but it is likely Amari Cooper will be the main receiver for the Oakland Raiders this season.

11. Chris Hogan (WR):  I will be the first to admit I reached by more than a little here.  This is me banking on the Pats either cutting Danny Amendola or giving Hogan his spot in the team's wideout hierarchy.  I love the PPR sleeper ability of Hogan who had a big preseason so far and if Julian Edelman gets hurt again, he could take off quickly.

12. Matt Jones (RB):  The league as a whole was way down on Jones and his outlook and I agree with this.  I think Jones is a paper tiger but in Round 12 the chance of him being the starter made him the best pick to make at this point.  With five running backs, I am well-stocked now.

13. Minnesota (DEF):  Wanted the Kansas City or Carolina defense but both got picked the previous round.  Went with Minnesota who finished strongly a season ago and have big pieces up and down the 1-man group.

14. Tyler Eifert (TE):  Didn't think this one through as Eifert has the same bye week as Jordan Reed but the value was tremendous here.  What I learned in this league is that injured players drop far and Eifert became a forgotten man once everyone had their starter.  Trade bait.

15. Corey Coleman (WR):  Another upside wide receiver this late which could help make up for my team's main weakness.

16. Steven Haushka (K):  Last round for the kicker and I got a good one in Haushka who kicks indoors and gets a lot of chances on this offense.

So this is how it ended up:

QB-Drew Brees
WR-Antonio Brown
WR-Demaryuis Thomas
WR-Michael Crabtree
RB-Le'Veon Bell
RB-Jamaal Charles
TE-Jordan Reed
K-Steven Haushka

QB-Eli Manning
RB-Jeremy Langford
RB-Danny Woodhead
RB-Matt Jones
WR-Corey Coleman
WR-Chris Hogan
TE-Tyler Eifert

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Jeremy Langford:  It was the Jeremy Langford show on Saturday as the Chicago Bears back carried 6 times for 17 yards as he completely ran with the 1's.  Despite some early reports that the Bears would use a committee of backs, Langford seems set to be the three-down back which should push his name up cheat sheets.

Ben Watson:  Coming off a career-year with the New Orleans Saints in 2015 despite being in the league more than a decade, Baltimore Ravens tight end Ben Watson did not have a lot of fantasy football attention attached to his name going into 2016.  That will be even more the case now after Watson suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon.  Non-contact injuries almost always result in serious injuries like this and now Watson can be scratched from your cheat sheets if you haven't drafted yet.

Kenneth Dixon:  A knee injury suffered by Baltimore Ravens rookie running back Kenneth Dixon dimmed what was looking like a very intriguing option going forward, especially after he opened up Saturday night's game rushing for 41 yards on only six carries.  Head coach John Harbaugh says the injury is not serious but coming so close to the start of the season, Dixon's outlook is murky at best.  Still the fact he ran with the 1's is a good sign that the Ravens plan to make use of him.  Pick up Dixon where available.

-Very bad news for those who own Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck.  Already having been hit more than any other QB in the game the last three seasons, Luck now lost starting LG Jake Mewort for the season with a torn ACL.  Not good by any means and it adds to the risk that Luck carries as he could be running for his life and forcing throws again.

Donte Moncrief:  On the positive side for the Colts, wideout Donte Moncrief caught 6 passes for 58 yards in the team's game Saturday night.  Moncrief looks like he is on the verge of having a nice breakout in 2016 and especially in PPR formats, he carries decent value.

-It was DeAndre Washington and not Latavius Murray who did the bulk of the running Saturday night for the Oakland Raiders.  While Murray ran twice for zero yards, Washington picked up 55 yards on 8 carries and a score.  Washington's big performance should give the Raiders more incentive to use him in rotation with Murray, which of course is bad news for the latter whose owners were counting on a big workload.  Something to keep watching.


Yet another non-contact injury results in a serious season ending injury, this time to Baltimore Ravens tight end Ben Watson.  Watson suffered a torn Achilles tendon during the team's Saturday night's third preseason game and now will go on IR and be done for 2016.  This just hours after Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo was diagnosed with a fracture in his back that will not allow him to come back until midseason.  Obviously Watson should be taken off your draft sheets and he was not really considered a hot property anyway now that he left pass-happy New Orleans.  Old friend Dennis Pitta is still on the roster but he is hurt as well, along with second-year man Maxx Williams.  Crockett Gilmore is the only man left standing right now which doesn't say much in the fantasy football realm. 


The new just keeps getting worse for Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo as the fractured back he suffered last Thursday is now expected to keep him out until midseason.  That means rookie Dak Prescott will man the starting spot for at least 7-8 games. 

Analysis:  Wow.  Yes Prescott has looked great this summer but we have learned not to buy too much into preseason stats.  Opposing defensive coordinators will take him apart in terms of exploiting his weaknesses and that will leave it up to Prescott to respond.  I will say again that Dez Bryant gets hurt the most here as his numbers will no way approach his 2012-14 heyday with Romo out.  Also Zeke Elliott will find things much tougher to run with opposing defenses likely stacking the box against him. 


Well that was quick.  Dallas Cowboys oft-injured QB Tony Romo didn't even make it out of preseason this time before getting hurt, this time a broken bone in his back that he suffered in Thursday night's outing.  Romo was bent awkwardly early in the game and was in quite a bit of visible pain right after.  He lobbied to go back into the game but head coach Jason Garrett didn't bite.  Subsequent testing has revealed that Romo has a broken bone in his back which Garrett said was not related to his two previous back surgeries.  Romo is surely going to be out for the next 6-10 weeks which means preseason sensation Dak Prescott will see his era begin before even he anticipated.

The fallout here is huge all the way across the board on so many levels.  For one thing, the Cowboy skills position players such as RB Zeke Elliott and wideout Dez Bryant are likely going to see their numbers dip with Romo out.  We saw how awful the passing offense was last season without Romo and how awful Bryant's numbers were without his passer.  Also Elliott will now face an extra defender in the box as opposing defendes won't respect Prescott, at least right out of the gate.  As far as Prescott is concerned, his 7-0 TD/INT ratio during the summer has been beyond specacular and his ability to both run and throw it make him an immediate play in two-QB formats.  In single passer leagues, Prescott can be picked up of drafted as well due to the upside here being decent.  Those who already drafted Romo?  You have out condolences but you had to know what you were getting into.  At this state, Romo simply can't be counted on to stay in one piece. 


Another season and yet more injury question marks for San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde.  Now entering into his third NFL season, Hyde's checkered injury is well-documented as he has missed 9 games already out of his first 32 to begin his career.  Now we get word that Hyde suffered a concussion in Friday night's game which gives him a little more than two weeks to be cleared for the opener.  Again we have to talk about two key things here with Hyde, with the first being that his rampant injuries are a big red flag to his outlook and overall value.  If he is sitting on your bench, Hyde can't help you.  Meanwhile Hyde is also a format running back in that he works best in standard formats and is a clear level or two down in PPR where he doesn't catch the football.  Yours truly won't be drafting Hyde this season and you may want to do the same given what we have seen. 


All right so one of the more repeated e-mails I have gotten over the years is from many of you challenging yours truly to either fantasy baseball or fantasy baseball.  In other words we have read your opinions and ideas on both games but now we want to show YOU what we the public are made of.  So with that said I am ready to take on the readers in the first annual Fantasy Sports Boss 2016 fantasy football PPR leagues.  I am making this a 12-team league that will go head-to-head with standard Yahoo categories (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF) and a few bench spots.  Other then 1 point per reception, it is all standard.  So if you are interested in taking me on, e-mail me at or drop me a direct line at Twitter

This is first come, first serve so get in now and don't delay. Also out of respect to myself and the league, ONLY join if you are a serious and hard-core player. Maybe winner gets a free draft guide for baseball or football next season. Let's go.



Manny Machado:  2/4 with 2 home runs (31 for season) while hitting .305.  Second straight 30 homer season for Machado and the average is up a bit this season compared to last.  Again slot the top four third baseman how you like but Machado is right there as a mid-first round lock for 2017.

Gary Sanchez:  3/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .403.  Gary Sanchez cracked a home run.  In other words, water is wet.

Mark Teixeira:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .201.  At one time it looked like Tex was a lock for the Hall of Fame as he combined excellent first base defense with an annual 30 home runs.  The back nine of his career was ugly outside of the comeback 2015 campaign but still this guy was a tremendous player for many years.  Salute.

Yovani Gallardo:  7 ER in 1.1 IP with an ERA of 5.69.  Remember that trend of Gallardo turning to garbage in the second half every season?  Taking it to another level now.

Wilmer Flores:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .262.  10 of Flores' home run have come off lefties so keep on playing him against southpaws only.

Jose Reyes:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .281.  After working off the rust, Reyes has been pretty much his usual self hitting around .280 and starting to steal some bases, albeit not at the frequency he once did.

Asdrubal Cabrera:  2/4 with 2 home runs (15 for season) while hitting .264.  Taking out the steals here and you get the usual standard Asdrubal Cabrera.  Not exciting but gets the job done, especially in NL-only formats.

Russell Martin:  2/5 with his 15th HR while hitting .249.  If you picked Martin up a week ago, you have a guy who has hit nearly .300 with half his power during that span.

Josh Donaldson:  2/4 with his 30th HR while hitting .289.  I mean was there ever any doubt?

Todd Frazier:  2/3 with his 32nd HR while hitting .214.  Unbelievable that the average never turned around for Frazier.  I mean he literally became Adam Dunn at third base overnight.  Not a comparison you want.

Chris Sale:  9 IP 5 H 3 ER 0 BB 14 K with an ERA of 3.14.  Almost like Sale has said "screw to pitching to contact" deal he was seemingly doing in April and May.  What is really nice now about Sale is he is moving out of the Tommy John "danger zone" as he ages out of the 18-27 window where 90 percent of the cases are seen.  That makes him more dependable and less scary an investment.

Felix Hernandez:  7.1 IP 8 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.14.  Sale and King Felix finished the same game with the same ERA's.  Good outing for Hernandez but lots of baserunners which speaks to how he is more hittable than ever as the innings toll continues to do its thing.

Evan Gattis:  2/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .244.  Hey if you miss out on the insanity that will be the Gary Sanchez sweepstakes next season, this guy will likely be sitting there as a nice 25-home run value.

Carlos Correa:  1/3 with his 19th HR while hitting .271.  Hmmm.  Well I will take him if you still are disappointed.

Mookie Betts:  5/5 while hitting .320.  Top seven guys next season:  Betts, Altuve, Trout, Donaldson, Bryant, Arenado, Machado.

Albert Pujols:  1/4 with his 25th HR while hitting .259.  What is funny now is that Pujols is completing he career fantasy baseball arc where a guy is a monster sleeper, star, and then becomes downright boring to draft.

Justin Upton:  2/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .236.  Upton continues to scorch the baseball and is hitting for big power.  The better late then never tag applies here. 


-It was a predictable offensive walk in the park for the Pittsburgh Steelers attack Friday night versus the always accomodating New Orleans Saints defense.  Steelers QB Ben Roethlisbeger looked ready for the season to begin as he completed 12-of-17 passes for 147 yards and two scores.  Big Ben hit Antonio Brown for a 57 yard score and also hooked up with new tight end toy Jesse James.  Yours truly has grown to admire Roethlisberger's fantasy football impact as the Steelers have become a very potent passing attack the last few seasons but the price has to always be weighed here considering his injury history.

Meanwhile Brown was his typical silly self as he caught four passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.  There is no one more impossible to cover in all of football and with a fully healthy Big Ben, Brown could go over 140 receptions which is insanity and makes him the clear top pick in most leagues.

Finally, James is becoming more of a person of interest now that Ladarius Green can't get back onto the field.  Roethlisberger has always talked up James and his receiving skills and so this is a situation that needs to be watched.

-Cam Newton was rotten Friday night as he completed just 10-of-24 passes for 83 yards and two inteceptions.  He looked nothing like the 2015 MVP, as Newton looked completely out of sync with returning wideout Kelvin Benjamin.  Nothing major should be taken out of one game though but I still stand by my assessment that Newton will have a tough time replicating his 2015 numbers and that they look like a bit of an outlier to me.

-Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins was the passing star of the night as he carved up the Bufalo Bills to the tune of completing 12of-23 passes for 188 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT.  Cousins hooked up for scores with tight end Jordan Reed, Pierre Garcon, and Ryan Grant.  There are some who doubt Cousins will be able to replicate his own 2015 stupendous numbers but I on the other hand think the guy is completely legit.  The Redskins surrounded Cousins with a massive amount of receiving talent and the offense leans to the pass.  Take advantage of the nice price.

-After playing very well his first two preseason starts for the Cleveland Browns, Robert Griffin III threw in a clunker Friday night when he completed 8-of-14 throws for 119 yards and a score.  While the passing line was not terrible, Griffin was sacked five times and this is troublesome in the sense that if the Cleveland offensive line can't protect him, the already high injury risk will only be more pronounced.  I still like the bounce back appeal and dirt cheap draft cost on Griffin this season but again be aware of the injury risk.

-New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garopolo was not good Friday night as he completed just 9-of-15 passes for 57 yards.  Tom Brady then came on and led the Pats on two scoring drives which speaks to the underwhelming performance of Garopolo.  Clearly the Pats will run the ball more than usual the first four games of the season while Brady is suspended and the weak preseason eliminates any allure of adding Garopolo in two QB formats.

-An interesting development is taking place in the New England backfield as Tyler Gaffney got the start over LeGarrette Blount.  While Gaffney was not great in rushing for 35 yards on 9 carries, he has some receiving skills and Bill Belichick appears to be a fan.  Maybe some growing waiver wire value.

-Speaking of Blount, he was the better back Friday night as he rushed for 26 yards on 5 carries and also managed to catch three passes for 16 more yards.  No matter the Gaffney situation, Blount will be the primary runner and get all the goal-line work which puts him in low-end RB 2 territory just in standard leagues.

-Eli Rogers looks like he has fully passes Sammy Coates as the third wideout for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.  The Steelers throw it enough that three wideouts can carry fantasy football value in the offense but Rogers is more of an early-season monitoring play.

-How about Josh Gordon?  Guy hasn't played in forever and then he comes off the couch to catch two passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.  This is deal with Gordon who is as dynamic as they come at wide receiver and is a top five talent when he is on the field.  While he will be suspended for the first four games of the season, Gordon is well worth reaching a round or two early to snag his immense upside.

-One guy I LOVE this season is Tampa Bay Buc's QB Jameis Winston.  Operating the Dirk Kotter passing offense that made Matt Ryan as fantasy football staple until he left town to coach Tampa, Winston is in line to be that guy this season.  He looked great Friday night as he completed 16-of-25 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns to further make that point.  Winston looks to be on the verge of stardom and he has two huge weapons at receiver in Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.  If you wait to draft your QB, this is the guy to take.

-As far as Evans is concerned, he went wild in catching 5 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown.  While Evans loses some value in PPR formats due to the lack of huge catch totals, his WR 1 status in standard leagues is set in stone.

-The first sleeper post I did previewing the 2016 fantasy football season was on New England Patriots slot man Chris Hogan.  The thinking was that Hogan could supplant the inconsistent Danny Amendola and become a big PPR weapon.  Well Hogan showed why Friday night as he caught five passes for 62 yards and a score.  Amendola is still on the roster but he could be cut due to his sizable salary.  Outings like this from Hogan will make that decision more likely.  Be sure to add Hogan now if you have already drafted.  If not bump him up on your rankings.

-Le'Veon Bell is a supreme talent who would have been the number 1 pick in many leagues if he was not suspended for the firsy three games.  He had a big outing Friday night as he rushed for 21 yards on 3 carries while also grabbing 5 passes for 37 more yards.  The running/receiving game is as good as it gets but you have to weight a first round grade now given the misses starts at the beginning of the season.

Friday, August 26, 2016


Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones suffered an apparent re-injury to the same hamstring that has hobbled him for more than a week.  Jones came out of the game after running to first base after his first at-bat and the immediately went to the locker room. 

Analysis:  We could be looking at a DL stint here as Jones' hamstring needs more time to right itself.  We have seen injuries like this linger and so the Orioles need to make sure it is 100 percent before the postseason.  As for Jones' owners, this is not the time to be losing someone so important. 


According to, Dallas rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott is struggling with conditioning after missing most of camp with hamstring trouble.  While Elliott ran the football well during his outing Thursday night versus the Seattle Seahawks, Elliott's conditioning has been a source of concern for the team since the start of the summer. 

Analysis:  As if you need more reasons to proceed with caution here.  While I love the overall running and receiving ability here, the red flags are beginning to pile up.


Since arriving via trade at the Aug. 1 deadline, Jay Bruce has hit .169 with 2 home runs in 77 at-bats.  Average for season now down to .240 as Bruce reminds me why I never draft the guy. Way too streaky and average a killer. 


All right so one of the more repeated e-mails I have gotten over the years is from many of you challenging yours truly to either fantasy baseball or fantasy baseball.  In other words we have read your opinions and ideas on both games but now we want to show YOU what we the public are made of.  So with that said I am ready to take on the readers in the first annual Fantasy Sports Boss 2016 fantasy football PPR leagues.  I am making this a 12-team league that will go head-to-head with standard Yahoo categories (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF) and a few bench spots.  Other then 1 point per reception, it is all standard.  So if you are interested in taking me on, e-mail me at or drop me a direct line at Twitter

This is first come, first serve so get in now and don't delay. Also out of respect to myself and the league, ONLY join if you are a serious and hard-core player. Maybe winner gets a free draft guide for baseball or football next season. Let's go.



On the day that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones publicly rebuked rookie running back Zeke Elliott for being seen going into a marajuana store, reports out of the NFL offices center on the league growing increasingly concerned about ther behavior of the former Ohio State star.  Elliott is still under investigation for domestic violence accusations leveled by his former girlfriend and now the marajuana store visit.

Analysis:  As if I haven't said it enough, steer clear of Elliott as a first round pick.  I mean is he trying to do everthing he possibly can in terms of making wrong choices?  There is becoming diminishing returns when it comes to an Elliott first round investment no matter how high the ceiling may go. 


There was a bunch of excitement and hype surrounding the arrival of Coby Fleener to the New Orleans Saints during this past offseason, with visions of him becoming a Jimmy Graham monster reception machine in the Drew Brees/Sean Payton passing offense.  As a result, Fleener's draft stock has been pointing upwards in a very sharp manner as the consensus thought is that he should easily be a top tier receiving tight end no questions asked given the opportunity at hand.  However there have been some disturbing reports coming out of Saints camp as Fleener has struggled catching the football and integrating in the offense.  There also are reports that Brees is more comfortable throwing to Josh Hill then Fleener which again adds to the angst of those who already drafted the latter.  Reminders of Fleener's very disappointing tenure in Indianapolis came back to the forefront based on these reports and now one has to wonder if his draft price will turn out to be money not well spent.  Remember that in Indy, Fleener had a big time QB in Andrew Luck at his disposal and he still struggled to the point he was passed by backup Dwayne Allen on the depth chart.  Those who drafted Fleener already are wed to the guy for better or worse but those who still haven't drafted, you may want to start pushing him down your cheat sheets some. 


-All it took was a few snaps in the all-inmportant third preseason game to start taking about injuries with Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo.  After getting bent back awkwardly just a few plays into the game, Romo was in visible pain as he was forced to the sidlines and then soon had his night officially ended when Jason Garrett refused to allow him to go back in.  Romo was seen throwing on the sidelines a few minutes after exiting the game and appeared to be pleading go return but Garrett was having none of it after the scare.  Right now it looks like a scare as owner Jerry Jones went so far to say Romo was not injured after the game.  What a scare it was though as it is a clear reminder that at 36, Romo is one of the least dependable "name" passers in 2016 fantasy football and is impossible to depend on as your every week starter.  Yes the value is there as Romo's draft price has plummeted and the numbers have been excellent and clear top ten among QB's when he is healthy but two broken collarbones and a series of back injuries in his career have made Romo radioactive.  However if Romo goes down again we could have something interesting at bay in the form of preseason MVP Dak Prescott.  I say MVP because the rookie from Mississippi State has been nothing short of sensation this summer, bringing his TD/INT ratio to a sparkling 7/0 after completing 17-of-23 throws for 116 yards and a score replacing Romo in Thursday night's game.  It is amazing how comfortable Prescott has looked since the biggest knock on him coming out of college was that he was more of an athlete than a passer.  Based on what we have seen, I would even consider using a last round pick on Prescott based on the inevitability Romo gets hurt.

-Staying with the Cowboys, there was finally some good news to talk about with rookie running back Zeke Elliott as he the kid rushed for 48 yards on only 7 carries, showing burst and decisiveness in the holes.  Alfred Morris continued to run wild this preseason and looks primed for a comeback campaign but right now Elliott figures to be involved heavily.  Where this leaves Darren McFadden is anyone's guess.  Ultimately I continue to suggest avoiding Elliott in Round 1 as Morris and McFadden will play enough to hurt the totals for the Ohio State star and there are still off-the-field issues to sort out.

-Yeah so this Christine Michael thing is happening.  Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has no choice but to ride Michael who is having a preseason running back version of what we are seeing from Dak Prescott at QB.  In other words, everything is going right as Michael rushed for 58 yards on only 7 carries Thursday night and for the preseason has averaged a ridiculous 6.5 a touch.  It could be one of those things here where Michael finally got serious about football after some early ugly play in his career but the opportunity is golden right now as he has only the untested and injured Thomas Rawls in front of him.  Michael seriously needs to be moved up a lot on cheat sheets if you haven't drafted yet, especially in standard leagues.  The receiving skills are not good which makes Michael more dicey in PPR formats but the arrow is pointing upwards.

-While Michael and Rawls don't catch the ball, rookie Notre Dame product C.J. Prosise does and he should be in line to be the third down back to open the season.  Prosise looked spry himself Thursday night as he rushed for 23 yards on 4 carries and more importantly showed his hamstring is fine.  I think there are too many heads to feed in the Seattle backfield hierarchy for Prosise to get enough to be impactful but in PPR he needs to be watched closely in case injuries open up some more carries.

-Arian Foster scored a rushing touchdown and had some big receptions Thursday night for the Miami Dolphins as he had the type of outing that has to give head coach Adam Gase the greenlight to start him.  Jay Ajayi simply has not shown much of anything going back to 2015 and Foster's ability in the receiving game make him one to target in PPR formats as a potential decent value.

-Tyler Lockett should be the number 2 receiver behind Doug Baldwin for the Seattle Seahawks this season.  Lockett caught three passes for 41 yards and a touchdown Thursday night but the Seahawks do figure to dial back on the amount of passes this season in trying to balance the offense.  Again Baldwin is the guy to own in this offense but Lockett is a late round pick with upside.

-Kenny Stills had a decent night in the Miami Dolphins passing game Thursday night, grabbing 4 passes for 46 yards.  The bigger news is that Stills looked to be ahead of second-year man and sleeper DeVante Parker.  Not a big fan of either Stills or Parker as Ryan Tannehill continues to be shoddy under center and Jarvis Landry is the guy as the clear number 1 target in the passing game.

-Owners of Atlanta Falcons ace wideout Julio Jones got a major scare Thursday night when he exited with an ankle injury after getting tangled up going for a deep ball.  All signs point to it being a precautionary move which is a huge bit of news with the season right around the corner.  Jones had a reputation of being injury prone coming out of college and his early two seasons in the NFL included more trouble on the health front.  However Jones has been durable the last two seasons and his numbers put him in a clear tier 1 with Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown.


Thursday, August 25, 2016


With PPR formats becoming more popular by the season, there are some clear dividing lines when it comes to some running backs in today's game and how they rate both in standard and in the point per recepion realm.  Putting it more succinctly, there are some big pass catching backs in fantasy football who do very little in the way of running and thus have little to no value in TD-heavy standard formats where no points per reception are counted.  With that in mind, here are some nicely priced "RB 2's" who could add some big value in PPR formats without costing a bundle.

Shane Vereen:  While many thought leaving New England where he developed into a key pass receiving back would be a detriment, New York Giants veteran back Shane Vereen set a career-high in receptions in 2015 with 59 grabs for 495 yards and four scores.  Vereen also averaged 4.3 per carry on his 61 touches but receiving is his game all the way.  Yes the Giants backfield is very crowded with Rashad Jennings, Andrew Williams, Paul Perkins, Orleans Darkwa, and Bobby Rainey all still around but Vereen should be good for another 50-plus receptions and around 500 yards.

Duke Johnson:  Johnson is doubly intriguing for the Cleveland Browns as only the up-and-down and limited Isaiah Crowell sits in front of him on the depth chart.  Already Johnson has developed into a terrific receiving back as he grabbed 61 passes for 534 yards a year ago.  There is more running upside here for Johnson as opposed to someone like Vereen who won't get enough carries to be helpful there. 

Darren Sproles:  Yes Sproles is aging but he is one of the best receiving backs of all-time and now we get recent word that the Philadelphia Eagles will "feature" Sproles in the passing game.  This is a good idea as Sproles can still be an effective weapon there.  While his days of catching 80-plus balls left the station when Sproles exited New Orleans, he still caught 55 passes on a terrible Eagles offense a season ago and he only has the injury-prone Ryan Mathews in front of him for carries as well.  Sproles looks like a monster value play in PPR based on the setup.

Theo Riddick:  This one came out of the blue in 2015 as Riddick caught 80 big passes for 697 yards.  Riddick was pretty much a non-factor for the Detroit Lions his first two years in the game before last season's explosion and like in Philly, he has little in front of him in terms of big players.  Amir Abdullah is anything but a proven commodity and he is an injury waiting to happen with his smallish size.  As a result, Riddick could also be in line for an increase in usage like with Duke Johnson. 

Danny Amendola:  Perhaps the most accomplished pure receiving back specialist in the game today, Woodhead excelled again in 2015 by catching 81 balls for 756 yards and 6 scores.  Basically Woodhead is now what Darren Sproles was in New Orleans.  Yes Woodhead is aging a bit and injuries are becoming more and more of his storyline but the San Diego Chargers figure to trail in a bunch of games again this season which means more garbage-time production. 


Evan Gattis:  1/3 with his 20th HR while hitting .241.  Everyone is going to pay through the nose for Gary Sanchez and Wilson Contreras next season but Gattis and his 20-25 home runs will be sitting there as a big potential value.

Gerrit Cole:  5 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 3.55.  It has been a rough season for Cole who not only has seen his K rate plummet but his stuff has simply not been crisp.  He has pitched far from the ace level he was drafted at prior to 2016 and his outlook for 2017 has some risk flags attached as I don't think the health is good here.

Ryan Braun:  2/4 with 2 home runs (24 for season) while hitting .317.  Yeah Braun has been a slugging star this season and his average is the best it has been since his Biogenesis bust.  Whether Braun found a new "magic" pill or not, he is safely back into OF 1 status.

Nolan Arenado:  1/4 with his 34th HR while hitting .286.  Nothing else needs to be said that hasn't been said in glowing terms before.

Zach Davies:  6 IP 5 H 1 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.06.  The kid looks like he is 10-years-old but Davis has been very good as a borderline SP 4 with a big of giddyup in his fastball.

Gary Sanchez:  2/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .389.  I mean this is starting to get silly now.  Clearly Sanchez has skills and clearly opposing pitchers don't know how to handle him yet which is why we are seeing such a crazy amount of home runs but I will already say that the Yankee backstop will be the biggest sleeper fight of all in drafts for 2017.

Masahiro Tanaka:  7 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.11  When he gets his rest, Tanaka is a fantasy baseball ace.  Rinse and repeat.

Kendall Graveman:  6 IP 6 H 1 ER 2 BB 2 K with an ERA of 3.97.  Yeah Graveman is begging you to pick him up but just in AL-only formats.

Miguel Cabrera:  4/5 with his 28th HR while hitting .313.  So after all that talk of Cabrera being on the downside of his career, he is in the batting title race and will go over 30 home runs.  Yeah it is not 45 but this is still a monster first round bat.  At least for 2016.

Justin Upton:  2/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .236.  Applaud the strong finish for Upton is you will but it just underscores how much of a truly colossol disgrace he was the first four months of the season.

Brian Dozier:  2/4 with his 30th HR while hitting .270.  Dozier hitting .270 this late in the season is huge as he already has logged a career-high in bombs.  Have to admit I blew it on the guy but honestly if you saw this uptick in average from his usual .235 range, all the power to you.  And prove to me you predicted this.

Manny Machado:  4/6 with his 29th HR while hitting .306.  No steals at all from Machado so we have to remove the five-tool tag but my goodness those other four tools are insane.

Matt Wieters:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .245.  Still think Wieters is much better then this as he has missed so much time the last few seasons but even I have to say the average is not good.

Daniel Murphy:  3/5 with his 24th HR while hitting .347.  So yeah Murphy is hitting almost .350 as September gets set to get underway.  He should be in clear contention for the MVP not only in real baseball but in fantasy baseball as well.  If we did a total game of baseball award here though, Jose Altuve now is locked up.

Danny Espinosa:  2/4 with his 20th HR while hitting .220.  20 home runs is always a good benchmark in fantasy baseball but my goodness that ugly average makes it tough to stomach Espinosa on a daily basis.

Jose Fernandez:  7 IP 6 H 0 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.91.  There are quite a few Fernandez owners who ended up in the hospital with a heart scare after their ace hobbled off after the seventh.  Just a cranp.  Whew.

Evan Longoria:  1/5 with his 30th HR while hitting .287.  No one would have thought we were going to be talking about 30 home runs again from this guy.

David Ortiz:  2/5 with his 30th HR while hitting .322.  Goldie oldie night in Tampa Bay with Ortiz and Longoria homering.  And makes sense with the early bird crowd in Tampa.

Stephen Piscotty:  3/5 with his 19th HR while hitting .279.  Piscotty was a guy I loved a bunch coming out of spring training but the power has been even better than I anticipated.  What I also love about Piscotty is that while he has been a sizable impact player, he has not blown it up to the point he will be a highly sought after commodity in 2017.  Winning.

Randal Grichuk:  2/3 with his 17th HR while hitting .231.  If Piscotty could give Grichuk some contact skills, we could have a big player here.

Matt Carpenter:  1/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .284.  Carpenter's injury removed him from possible NL MVP consideration but don't let the missed games cloud what has been an excellent season. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Some bad news was shared by the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday when head coach Bruce Arians admitted that big-play wideout John Brown was still experiencing post-concussion symptoms which has kept him off the practice field and likely won't allow him to suit up anymore for preseason games.  With Arians not going into specifics, the fantasy football community now has to wonder if the emerging Brown will be on the field for Week 1 given how unpredictable concussion recovery can be.  Overall Brown has now missed three weeks with concussion issues and again Week 1 is now far from a given.  If Brown were to miss time, obviously Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd will get a bump up in work.  While we are still two weeks-plus from the start of the season, those who haven't drafted yet should bump Brown down a few places in your cheat sheets. 



By Eric. C. Wright 
Much more so then in fantasy baseball, a fantasy football draft bust can absolutely cripple your team to the point of no return.  The 2015 season saw an astronomical amount of first or second round picks go bust which made it a major challenge for owners of these players to keep their title hopes alive.  The roll call of these disastrous picks read like a pre-2015 potential All-Pro team:  Eddie Lacy, Andrew Luck, Jamaal Charles, DeMarco Murray, Le’Veon Bell, Dez Bryant, Matt Forte.  On and on it went as each of those first or second round picks went down with injury or had a terrible season numbers-wise.  Prior to 2015, they were among the most sought after players, which make predicting a fantasy football bust very tough to forecast.  With that said, there are some factors and themes that can at least identify the players who carry more risk than others.  We are not saying to avoid all of the players we identified as falling under this premise below but proceed with caution.
Russell Wilson:  It is not that we don’t respect the player that Russell Wilson has become since entering into the NFL but the 34 touchdowns he tossed in 2015 scream “outlier.”  For one thing, the Seattle Seahawks have been one of the most run-heavy teams in football during Wilson’s tenure and they only were forced to throw more in 2015 due to the season-ending injury to star RB Marshawn Lynch.  Head coach Pete Carroll has said publicly that the Seahawks will go back to running the football more heavily in 2016 and that will mean fewer chances for Wilson to repeat his 30-TD passes.  Wilson will be hyped up due to last season’s numbers combined with the terrific work he does on the ground but the chances of duplicating such an effort seem unlikely. 
Matthew Stafford:  Always a bit of an enigma, Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford surprised with 32 passing touchdowns in 2015 to go with 4,252 yards.  Unfortunately Stafford will now have to go into a season for the first time in his career without star wideout Calvin Johnson who is off into retirement and replacement Marvin Jones is a clear downgrade.  With the Lions once again fielding a leaky offensive line, Stafford could go right back to his maddening ways this season. 
Todd Gurley:  With so many first and second round running backs going bust in 2015, there is zero doubt that some other prime early round options from the position will follow suit.  Once guy who we think screams out “bust potential” is super-fast St. Louis Rams second year back Todd Gurley.  While we are not doubting Gurley’s electrifying game-breaking ability in the least, we instead are focusing on the durability question marks that are well earned.  From the torn ACL in college to the turf toe issue that landed him in a walking boot to finish out 2015, Gurley has not proven yet that he can physically handle a consistent NFL pounding.  The injury question mark is legitimate and Gurley could very well become the latest first round running back to ruin his owners’ seasons due to ill health. 
Doug Martin:  Cashing in on a contract year, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin erased the memories of TWO ugly back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014 with 1,402 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.  Now that Martin has been paid, the edge is off in terms of a desire to gain a new contract.  Throw in the very capable backup presence of Charles Sims who handles most of the pass receiving among the Tampa Bay backs and Martin is not without risk. 
Devonta Freeman:  One of the bigger mid-season storylines in 2015 was the sudden emergence of Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman.  With rookie Tevin Coleman going down injured right at the start of the season, the Atlanta Falcons’ plan to use a two-headed rushing attack went up in smoke. Forced to ride Freeman as the bell cow back, some big numbers began flowing throughout the middle portion of 2015.  The good times didn’t extend into December though as Freeman slowed and for the season his yards per carry was mediocre.  The return of Coleman is perhaps the biggest issue for Freeman’s ceiling in 2016, as the Atlanta front office are wedded to the former 2015 draft pick and as a result, will want to see what they have there.  A strict split is likely between the two which caps the value of both Freeman and Coleman.  Since most will draft Freeman expecting last season’s numbers, there is a high probability of disappointment here. 
Matt Forte:  We have to be careful doubting Chicago Bear defections to the New York Jets after totally blowing it on Brandon Marshall in 2015 but Matt Forte looks like a classic case of a back in the twilight of his career that is headed for a major drop in production.  Forte has had a ton of carries and mileage on his legs during his very productive tenure with the Bears and his 2015 was messy with a drop in yards per carry and for the fact he missed time with injury.  Now Forte goes to a Jets team with a very capable back of their own in Bilal Powell and at the very least the latter should play on third downs and take up a good chunk of potential pass receptions.  While Forte should still receive a sizable amount of work, we saw with Steven Jackson when he left St. Louis for Atlanta that things can get ugly in a hurry for an aging back. 
T.J. Yeldon:  It was durability question marks regarding T.J. Yeldon that led the Jacksonville Jaguars to sign free agent power back Chris Ivory during the winter and as a result, the former Alabama star is facing a tough challenge being viable in 2016 fantasy football.  While Yeldon will clearly handle the pass receiving duties, Ivory comes off his best season in 2015 and will likely take on a large amount of carries.  Yeldon could supply some RB 3 value in PPR setups but that is not a lot to go on when it comes to weighing a pick here. 
Demaryuis Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders:  We felt it made total sense to include both Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryuis Thomas in the same blurb because both are looking at trouble ahead due to the QB situation being less than ideal in Denver.  With Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch dueling it out for the right to start in Week 1, the fantasy football fortunes of both Thomas and Sanders look quite shaky.  Even last season, we saw both players get hurt production-wise (especially Sanders) due to the utter collapse of Peyton Manning’s arm and the up-and-down play of Brock Osweiler.  We think Thomas can still be impactful but more in a WR 2 sense.  His draft price doesn’t figure to drop to that range though and that is where the trouble lies.  Sanders meanwhile should be in the WR 3 range and nothing more. 
Sammy Watkins:  Every season we seem to say the same thing about Buffalo Bills wideout Sammy Watkins.  Incredible talent but a guy who is hurt badly by the poor annual play of the team’s quarterbacks.  While Tyrod Taylor did a decent enough job for the team in 2015, he lacks the arm and the accuracy to be a consistent passer to continue feeding Watkins.  That means Watkins’ amazing athleticism and ability will get underutilized again in 2016 and ultimately will disappoint his owners. 
Jordan Reed:  It was a crazy second half performance by Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed a year ago that led to many of his owners coming home with their league’s loot by the end of the season.  Proving unstoppable at times, Reed did it all in terms of catching a ton of passes and also hauling in a slew of TD’s.  What allowed all of this to happen was Reed staying healthy for more than a game or two which was a losing challenge for him both in 2013 and 2014.  Counting on Reed to stay so healthy for the second season in a row is asking a ton and that becomes scary when you consider the elevated draft cost for Reed this time around. 
Gary Barnidge:  When you see a guy literally come out of nowhere at the advanced age of 30 after 6 years in the NFL and post a top five receiving season at any position, the numbers have to be looked at with a grain of salt.  The outlier police are shouting to the rafters when it comes to Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Bardidge after his crazy 2015 breakout when he caught 79 passes for 1,043 yards and 9 scores. 
Antonio Gates:  Pushing back on retirement due to a new two-year contract extension with the San Diego Chargers, All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates remains a big name in fantasy football circles.  That big name is well-deserved due to Gates’ annually splendid contributions in the Chargers’ passing game but at the age of 35, trouble could very well lie ahead.  Gates was never a dependable guy with his health even when he was young and asking him to stay in one piece for all of 2016 is foolhardy.  Gates missed a slate of games a year ago which served  as a reminder of how fragile he can be and overall the name brand currently outpaces what the actual production will be for him going forward. 
ANY DEFENSE OR KICKER BEFORE LAST TWO ROUNDS:  We remind you all each and every season the utter foolishness of drafting a kicker before the very last round or a defense before the second-to-last.  Sure we would all love to have the Seattle Seahawks defense at our disposal but they were very inconsistent and downright lousy during the first half of 2015.  This served as another reminder of how crazy it is to draft a defense before the second-to-last round as we strongly advise streaming the units based on matchups.  Meanwhile kickers should be picked in the last round period.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Don’t be that guy who likes to be different for the sake of being different.  You will hurt only yourself and help your league by making such a big drafting error.