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Monday, October 16, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL FANTASY SPORTS BOSS: HOW I DEALT WITH THE LOSS OF AARON RODGERS

It was swift, stunning, and instantly nauseating.  Yes yours truly was a proud owner of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and watched in horror as he was likely lost for the remainder of the season with a broken collarbone.  I drafted Rodgers in the third round of the Experts League this past summer and it marked the first time ever I owned him in this always cut-throat league.  I wanted to experience what it was like to own the best QB on the planet and for the first five weeks of the season it was as advertised.  Well here we are Monday morning and I no longer have Rodgers on my roster and also no longer have Carson Wentz who I drafted as a backup but cut back in Week 1 due to a roster crowing.  So with no backup on the roster and retreads such as Eli Manning, Jared Goff, and Blake Bortles starting back at me on the wire, I went ahead during the 1:00 games Sunday and made a buy low deal to acquire Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.  Fresh off a five INT game, all it cost me was the quickly fading Ty Montgomery.  Be that as it may, I still lost my game this past week to drop me to 4-2.  The problem is that I started 4-0 and now have dropped two in a row and lost my big QB advantage.  What was encouraging is that I lost by just five points despite Rodgers' loss as the rest of my roster played well.  Le'Veon Bell has become the monster I anticipated he would be and Zach Ertz continues to make me look smart for advising you all to draft him this summer.  My big breakthrough was another buy low trade I made leading up to Week 6 where I acquired both Mark Ingram and Aaron Jones for Golden Tate.  With Chris Hogan and Mike Evans I felt secure dealing away Tate and wanted to buy low on Ingram now that Adrian Peterson was shipped of town.  Well Ingram supplied 30 points as he scored twice, ran for over 100, and caught five balls.  He should be a borderline RB 1 the rest of the way and so I did well there.  I also avoided having Tate on my hands as he is now out weeks with a shoulder problem.  The bottom line is that even if you are a Rodgers owner like me, the season is far from over.  Do your due diligence and line up a replacement now.  There is still a long way to go.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 WRAPUP

-With five games in the books already, Atlanta Falcons ace wideout Julio Jones still has not scored a touchdown.  As excellent a player as Jones is, that has been the knock on him throughout his career with regards to never being a sizable TD guy despite a string of monster reception seasons.  Still Jones had a decent day Sunday in a loss to the Miami Dolphins as he caught 6 balls for 72 yards but he is falling well short of first round WR 1 status.

-Remember when we said right here on the site in a lengthy piece that Falcons QB Matt Ryan would go bust this season?  Well he has just six touchdown passes through five games and we will remind you the reason we had him down as a bust candidate was the change in offensive coordinator once Kyle Shanahan left to become the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.  During the team's loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Ryan completed 24-of-35 throws for 248 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT as his numbers are falling short of preseason expectations.  While we have been big Ryan boosters in the past, his draft price went above where it should have gone this season considering the OC changes.

-Finally Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi got back on track after three straight duds as he rushed for 130 yards on 26 carries.  The workload remains very high as head coach Adam Gase has not lost any faith in Ajayi and this was a nice sign going forward.  Still Ajayi always seems to leave you wanting more and the knee remains a long-term concern.  A sell high is not the worst idea.

-It looks like Jerrick McKinnon is finally ready to be an impact players after he failed to do much of anything when given the chance to fill in for an injured Adrian Peterson in the past.  McKinnon rushed for 69 yards and a score on 16 carries, while also adding 5 catches for 30 yards and another score in the win over the Packers.  In PPR leagues McKinnon has more upside as a RB 2 but even in standards it seems the workload will be there for him to be a low-end RB 2.

-Placed in an almost impossible situation taking over for the injured Aaron Rodgers early in Sunday's game, Green Bay Packers backup QB Brett Hundley was dreadful as he completed 18-of-33 throws for 157 yards with 1 TD and 3 INT.  This is what the Packers now have under center with Rodgers likely done for the year with a broken collarbone.  In other words, big trouble for Jordy Nelson and company.

-Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard is in the midst of a hot streak right now as he made it two big games out of the last three in rumbling for 167 yards on a crazy 36 carries, while adding one catch for another nine yards.  The workload was ridiculous but not unexpected with rookie QB Mitch Trubisky under center.  After a rough first few games, Howard is rounding into form as the first round pick he went for in most leagues.  With Tarik Cohen taking almost all the receptions however, Howard is squarely into top RB 2 status.

-Speaking of Cohen, he had an interesting game himself as he rushed for 32 yards on 14 carries, while adding 1 catch for 14 yards and also a passing touchdown.  Still a gadget player more than anything, Cohen stays in the RB 3 area code in PPR formats.

-It is really starting to get insane now with Houston Texans rookie QB DeShaun Watson who set the all-time NFL record for being the quickest rookie in history to reach 15 passing touchdowns.  Watson threw three of them on Sunday as he completed 17-of-29 throws for 225 yards with the three scores and one pick.  Watson also rushed for 24 yards on six carries and added a passing two-point conversion.  Incredible stuff for sure and Watson should be started in all leagues now.  Right now Watson also could be the biggest mid-season add of the season.

-Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins has now gone three straight games with 2 passing scores and he did it again on Sunday by completing 25-of-37 throws for 330 yards with the two scores and the pick in the win over the San Francisco 49ers.  While he still is trying to work through chemistry issues with the Redskins receivers, the fantasy football numbers are beginning to flow freely yet again.

-Alex Collins sure is exciting when he gets his hands on the football but Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh seems reluctant to completely take of the training wheels just yet.  Still Collins got the most carries on the team Sunday by rushing 15 times for 74 yards.  Collins did not catch a pass though as he clearly cedes that role to Javorious Allen.  Until Allen goes away, Collins is just a borderline FLEX play or RB 3/4.

-Boy it really has gone down the drain for Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery.  Already having missed a game, suffered broken ribs, and seen rookie Aaron Jones eat into his time, Montgomery rushed for just 28 yards on 10 carries, while adding one catch for 3 yards.  We already are at the point where Montgomery has to be benched everywhere and it could be getting closer to where he should be released since he still is not running well.  Even when scoring touchdowns the first three weeks of the year, Montgomery's average per carry was horrible and he remains a wideout trying to be a back.  No good.

-I guess a change of scenery (or offense) is what Adrian Peterson needed to put his name back on the fantasy football map.  Looking as spry as ever, Peterson rushed for 134 yards and two scores on 26 carries for the Arizona Cardinals in his debut.  It was really encouraging that the Cards used Peterson as a bellcow back right away and he looked tremendous.  Remember that Peterson has not played much the last three years due to suspension/injury and so his body probably feels pretty good.  If he was not picked up off waivers in your league, do so this week.

-Antonio Brown was back to his usual tricks after a quiet last couple of weeks; catching 8 balls for 155 yards and a score.  Still the best wideout in the game by a mile, Brown has no peer with Odell Beckham Jr. getting injured and Julio Jones still without a score.

-Things are getting pathetic with Los Angeles Rams wideout Sammy Watkins who caught just one pass for 11 yards in the team's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Watkins has just two catches total the last two games and has zero chemistry with QB Jared Goff.  This now makes it two stops in his professional career where Watkins has gone bust.  While we have given him a pass in the past due to the QB issues, perhaps maybe it is the player.

-Carson Palmer had it all working Sunday as he completed 14-of-22 throws for 283 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT.  Palmer was horrible for most of September but he has turned things around of late.  With Adrian Peterson now coming aboard to supply some help in the run game, Palmer is worth dusting off again.

-Rams running back Todd Gurley got off to a slow start Sunday but in the end rushed for 116 yards on 23 carries and caught one ball for 4 yards.  Not the best work by any means but Gurley now has three 100-yard rushing games.

-Larry Fitzgerald continues to defy age as he caught 10 balls for 138 yards and a touchdown Sunday in the team's win over the Tampa Bay Buc's.  With Fitzgerald still working as the number 1 wideout on the Cards, his status in PPR goes to borderline WR 1.

-Le'Veon Bell has fully rounded into shape after working off the holdout rust in September.  He was a monster in rushing for 179 yards and a score on 32 carries, while adding 3 catches for 12 more yards.  With David Johnson having suffered a serious injury at the start of the season, there is no doubting that Bell is the number 1 player in fantasy football.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CONFIRMED AARON RODGERS SUFFERS BROKEN COLLARBONE

Updating an earlier item, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers could miss the rest of the season after it was confirmed he suffered a broken collarbone in Sunday's game versus the Minnesota Vikings.  We already have discussed the fallout here previously and so all the skills players on the Packers will face a sizable drop in value. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY FALLOUT: PACKERS FEAR BROKEN COLLARBONE FOR AARON RODGERS

Oh my goodness.  Week 6 in fantasy football has already been one of those earth-shattering weeks that makes everyone pay attention.  Of course we are talking about the fears that Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers QB suffered a broken collarbone early in Sunday's game versus the Minnesota Vikings.  Obviously this is as big as it gets in terms of star power/injury and if it is in fact broken, this would mark the second such occasions that Rodgers suffered that injury which brings back bad memories of Tony Romo during the last few years of his career.  With all signs pointing to Rodgers being out for awhile, the fallout is that wideouts Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb are ALL going to drop in value a full WR spot.  That means Nelson drops to WR 2 status, while Adams goes to WR 3, and Cobb to bench WR 4.  You simply can't replace Rodgers and the inexperienced Brett Hundley will have his hands full just grasping the plays.  Just a brutal turn of events for all Rodgers owners. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: AARON RODGERS CARTED OFF WITH SHOULDER INJURY

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was carted off to the locker room after suffering an apparently serious shoulder injury during the first quarter of the team's Sunday game versus the Minnesota Vikings.  Rodgers looked to be in immense pain and the fact he was carted off is telling.  A major separation could be a multi-week absence and obviously it doesn't get any bigger in terms of injury to a top-tier player.  Stay tuned. 
 

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: GAME-TIME CALL FOR WILLIE SNEAD (HAMSTRING)

New Orleans Saints wideout Willie Snead is expected to be a game-time decision Sunday for the team's game versus the Detroit Lions due to a stubborn hamstring strain that is still impacting him going into Week 6.  Snead has yet to suit up this season due to the being suspended for PED's and then for the hamstring which has made him virtually a non-story with regards to 2017 fantasy football.  While the numbers should flow eventually, it has been a long wait for any meaningful contribution from Snead this season.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: DeVANTE PARKER (ANKLE) OUT SUNDAY

Miami Dolphins big-play wideout DeVante Parker is expected to sit out the team's game Sunday versus the Atlanta Falcons due to the ankle injury he suffered in last week's game.  Having come off a string of impact games in terms of fantasy football, Parker's loss is a big one in a game against Atlanta that figures to feature lots of passing.  Kenny Still figures to be the one to pick up the slack while Parker is sidelined.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: BILAL POWELL (CALF) OUT SUNDAY

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell will be a no go on Sunday due to the calf injury he suffered in last week's game.  There was little chance Powell was going to be able to play against the New England Patriots Sunday given the fickle nature of calf injuries and so the returning Matt Forte and more alluring Elijiah McGuire will handle the workload against the brutal Pats defense in Week 6.  McGuire at the very least has some FLEX appeal but the return of Forte was an annoying development for his fantasy football owners. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 INJURY WATCH: MIKE WILLIAMS (BACK) TO BE ACTIVE SUNDAY

Los Angeles Chargers rookie wideout Mike Williams will make his NFL debut on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders after missing the previous five weeks and most of training camp with back trouble.  Williams was the Chargers' first round pick amid some heightened expectations coming into his rookie year but the early back woes severely set him back.  He now returns or an offense that has both Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams ahead of him on the depth chart which limits Williams' fantasy football impact for now but longer-term in the year he could gain some serious value as the talent is not in question here.  On the potential alone Williams is worth adding.


PRE-ORDER THE EARLY OFFSEASON FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE

Yes we already are working on our 2018 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide as our EARLY OFFSEASON EDITION comes out in mid-November, followed by our POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION out in mid-January.  Our yearly guides are always lauded for the literally hundreds of pages of information; including going a paragraph or more on over 600 players.  We also have updated position eligibility, compiled prime sleepers, busts, and rookies for 2018; not to mention our Injury Risk Pitchers To Avoid column.  If you want to pre-order your copy, use the PAYPAL button either below or on the homepage to order.  Yes Aaron Judge made the cover.  Enjoy.



2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 ISSUES: RETURN OF TY MONTGOMERY A PROBLEM FOR AARON JONES DAY

Boy has the running back storyline changed drastically in Green Bay.  We already discussed this past week who rookie Aaron Jones is set to take over the starting role on the team coming off a spectacular Week 5 performance but the expected return of previous starter Ty Montgomery complicates everything for all involved.  Montgomery is expected to wear a flack jacket to protect his broken ribs and figure he at least plays on third downs;, while Jones handles the majority of work on first and second.  That would mean Jones is the clear play here but Montgomery is now the one in position to steal carries.  Going against a stout Minnesota Vikings defense Sunday is another potential issue as well for both Montgomery and Jones.  So while Jones still retains RB 2 status in standard formats, his status in PPR is looking quite shaky for Week 6 since Montgomery will be the one hauling in most of the passes.  Adjust accordingly.  


Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: JOSE ABREU 1B CHICAGO WHITE SOX

One of the stranger developments in the fantasy baseball community during the last year or so has been the growing indifferent attitude many have when it comes to Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.  It wasn't always this way of course as Abreu was a highly targeted sleeper when he first arrived from Cuba prior to 2014 and the hype went crazy when the guy went out and swatted 36 homers with a .317 average as a rookie.  Since that time however, Abreu has seen his name fade from discussions regarding the top first baseman in today’s game as he seemingly entered into the "old news" section. This tends to happen to players who don't steal bases like Abreu and who also don't exactly blow up any one category.  What we have with Abreu is a guy who is very good in four categories (runs, RBI, average, HR) but who for some reason saw his ADP slip into the second and even third round for 2017 drafts.  Those who took advantage of the discount got another vintage Abreu season as he hit 33 home runs, drove in 93, and batted .304.  Add in 95 runs scored and once again Abreu was tremendous in four categories like always.  Also while we always talk about the insane stability/dependability of Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, Abreu is pretty close when it comes to writing down in ink his expected yearly numbers.  Consider that Abreu has hit 30 or more homers in three out of his four MLB seasons; while at the same time never hitting less than .290.  We always love our sluggers to hit for average and power when it comes to fantasy baseball and you can argue Abreu does this better than Rizzo (higher lifetime batting average) for a cheaper draft price.  Ultimately Rizzo wins out due to the fact he steals a few bases each year (just six for Abreu in four MLB seasons) but the two sluggers are very similar.  So while Rizzo will go in Round 1 in most drafts this spring, the better value may very well be Abreu in Round 2. 

2018 PROJECTION:  .295 32 HR 101 RBI 93 R 1 SB  

Friday, October 13, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 6 running back rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Kareem Hunt
2.  Leonard Fournette
3.  Todd Gurley
4.  LeVeon Bell
5.  Melvin Gordon
6.  Jordan Howard
7.  Devonta Freeman
8.  Jay Ajayi
9.  DeMarco Murray
10. C.J. Anderson
11. Aaron Jones
12. Lamar Miller
13. Alvin Kamara
14. Marshawn Lynch
15. Mike Gillislee
16. Doug Martin
17. Duke Johnson
18. Ameer Abdullah
19. Jerrick McKinnon
20. Carlos Hyde
21. Javorious Allen
22. Mark Ingram
23. Tevin Coleman
24. Chris Thompson
25. Andre Ellington
26. Elijiah McGuire
27. James White
28. Frank Gore
29. Adrian Peterson
30. Derrick Henry
31. Isaiah Crowell
32. Latavius Murray
33. Wayne Gallman
34. Marlon Mack
35. Samaje Perine


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL THURSDAY WRAPUP: PANTHERS/EAGLES

The Eagles are soaring under a massive breakout from QB Carson Wentz, while Christian McCaffrey is further solidifying his PPR abilities.  All of that and more as we check out the fantasy football news to come out of Thursday's games.

-Boy are the Eagles going placed with Wentz.  The second year QB is in the midst of a tremendous season that has him now in the top ten among all passers in fantasy football.  Wentz is now up to 12 touchdown passes on the year as hew threw three more Thursday night as part of his 16-of-30 evening for 222 yards.  While he did lose a fumble and has been hit a lot behind a leaky offensive line, Wentz is clearly the real deal.

Meanwhile Cam Newton was coming off two monster games in a row but struggles Thursday in throwing three interceptions.  For the night Newton was 28-of-52 for 239 yards with 1 TD and the 3 picks, plus 71 yards rushing and another score.  The two touchdowns and rushing yards saved the day for Newton but losing points with the picks hurt.  At the very least, Newton looks healthy now and that's all you can ask for.

-While Christian McCaffrey remains a complete non-factor when it comes to running the football (sorry standard league owners), he has become a PPR maven as he caught 10 balls for 56 yards and a score.  While he did get 4 carries, they went for just 8 yards as McCaffrey is a zero on that side of things.  Now up to two scores on the year, McCaffrey remains a very good RB 2 in PPR but a bench guy in standards. 

The reason McCaffrey is not getting more carries is because of the continued presence of veteran back Jonathan Stewart.  If Stewart has more games like Thursday night, that could change.  Stewart wound up rushing for a laughable -4 yards on 8 carries but he was not helped by his O-line which got run over by Fletcher Cox and company.  Right now Stewart is starting to look old but the current arrangement should remain in place. 

-On the other side of the running back ledger, LeGarrette Blount got the lion's share of work with Wendell Smallwood out and he was solid in rushing for 67 yards on 14 carries and a converted two-point conversion.  Nothing flashy as always but Blount remains a RB 2 in standard leagues.

-Nelson Agholor is really starting to take off after struggles finding his way the last two seasons.  Agholor had another big game Thursday night as he caught 4 balls for 55 yards and a score.  It seems Wentz is preferring Agholor over Alshon Jeffery (4 for 71) but at the very least he is now graduating into firm WR 3 status. 

Joining Agholor in the end zone was tight end Zach Ertz who only managed two catches for 18 yards but BOTH went for scores.  This was the first time Ertz didn't catch at least five passes this season but he obviously made up for it with the scores.  Outside of Travis Kelce, there has not been a better tight end in fantasy football this season.

-Kelvin Benjamin had his best game of the year as he caught 9 passes for 99 yards.  Benjamin has been a health mess the last couple of seasons but he is looks spry now.  The talent has always been there and so the rest of the season could be  very promising. 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 ISSUES: TY MONTGOMERY COULD BE GOING BUST RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES

When it comes to the world of fantasy football. things tends to change at a rapid pace.  A player can be a star one week and then out of a job the next.  Such a scenario is now unfolding in Green Bay where incumbent starter Ty Montgomery might have seen his starting role go up in smoke due to suffering broken ribs at the start of the team's game versus the Chicago Bears back in Week 4.  With Montgomery unable to go the following Sunday, that opened the door to impressive rookie Aaron Jones to rumble for 125 yards and a score on just 19 carries in the team's comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys.  Right away the talk began in terms of Jones remaining a big part of the offense even when Montgomery comes back but now that chatter has gone up another notch on Thursday.  It was early in the day when reports indicated Jones will remain the starter even if Montgomery were to be healthy; with the latter coming in on third down passing plays.  This would be a devastating blow to Montgomery's fantasy football outlook as Jones will take a a tremendous chunk of prospective numbers.  So Montgomery in essence is going from a solid RB 1 who played well in a PPR sense the first three weeks to someone who is worth dropping on the wire.  All in the span of two weeks.  Meanwhile Jones is becoming a major person of interest and could carry immense RB 2 value the rest of the season.  Incredible.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT ROUGNED ODOR 2B TEXAS RANGERS

Once again showing the fluky nature of the batting average category in fantasy baseball, we present to you the 2017 version of Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor.  Considered almost a sure thing as the next superstar middle infielder coming off a monstrous 2016 at the age of only 22 (33 HR, 88 RBI, 14 SB), Odor was being drafted as high as the third round given the remaining upside to an already potent bat.  What happened next was a haul of numbers that were almost impossible to believe were from the same person in terms of the mostly extreme positives but one giant negative.  As far as the positives were concerned, Odor once again was a power-hitting dynamo who also flashed some speed as he smacked 30 home runs, drove in 75 runs, and stole 14 bases.  Getting a 30/14 split in the home run/steal categories from a second baseman is always gold when it comes to fantasy baseball and again the extreme youth of Odor made it extra special what he was accomplishing.  Unfortunately what caught most of the attention was Odor's hideous .204 batting average that caused much consternation to his owners and it was another reminder this category gets over-emphasized way too much by the fantasy baseball community.  In terms of the number itself, Odor arguably was the most unlucky everyday hitter in the entire game last season as his .224 BABIP is simply hard to believe.  Very rarely does a BABIP go that low and it is especially fluky when you consider guys with good speed like Odor possesses usually can beat the curve to a point.  As a result, Odor's .204 average needs to be COMPLETELY thrown out.  Yes his 24.9 K/9 was ugly but that number went up as the season went along which would tell you the kid was hacking more and more due to having to look at the surface average on a daily basis.  What we must do here is focus on how Odor is still a baby as he turns just 24 in February and already has two 30-homer seasons under his belt.  There will be a sizable average correction coming and when combined with a likely drop in draft position this spring, Odor can turn out to be a mighty value play.
2018 PROJECTION:  .267 32 HR 84 RBI 86 R 11 SB

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: TYLER KROFT TE CINCINNATI BENGALS

When ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday that Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert may be facing season-ending back surgery, those in the fantasy football community immediately began to ponder what this meant for backup Tyler Kroft.  Having missed the last three games with no return on the horizon, it certainly looks like Eifert stands a good chance of going under the knife and that means Kroft's already intriguing fantasy football upside becomes much more prominent.  Kroft has managed to become an instant weapon in the Bengals' passing attack; catching a total of 13 passes for 124 yards and 3 scores in place of Eifert the last three weeks and it looks like QB Andy Dalton is trusting in him more and more as the season goes on.  So while Kroft was looked at as a placeholder for those dealing with the numerous injuries that have befallen the tight end position this season, he now could be knocking on top ten status with Eifert out of the way for the remainder of 2017.  If Kroft is still available on your league's waiver wire, pick him up immediately as he at the very least can be a terrific backup and someone who can easily help in a pinch.  Meanwhile Eifert should be cut in all leagues as he was not even playing well before the back flared up again.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 6 QB rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Tom Brady
2.  Aaron Rodgers
3.  Drew Brees
4.  DeShaun Watson
5.  Kirk Cousins
6.  Cam Newton
7.  Matt Ryan
8.  Carson Wentz
9.  Matthew Stafford
10. Jameis Winston
11. Marcus Mariota
12. Carson Palmer
13. Philip Rivers
14. Ben Roethlisberger
15. Alex Smith
16. Jacoby Brissett
17. Derek Carr
18. Trevor Siemian
19. Case Keenum
20. Josh McCown
21. Brian Hoyer
22. Jared Goff
23. Blake Bortles
24. Joe Flacco
25. Eli Manning
26. Jay Cutler
27. Kevin Hogan
28. E.J. Manuel
29. Mitch Trubisky
30. Matt Cassell

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: FREDDIE FREEMAN 1B ATLANTA BRAVES

Oh what might have been.  After years of very good production that hinted at a possible blockbuster campaign being on the horizon, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman looked to be on his way toward an MVP season as 2017 got underway.  Freeman burst out of the gates by cracking 9 home runs and batting a scorching .381 in March/April to begin all the fun and May was going swimmingly with 5 more long balls before disaster struck in the form of a fractured left wrist from an HBP.  The break kept Freeman out from May 18 all the way to July 4th; in the process stunting what was shaping up to be some truly monster offensive numbers.  What is crazy is that despite missing all that time, Freeman still ended up with 28 home runs and a .307 average in 514 at-bats.  On a per game basis, few hitters were more potent than Freeman was in 2017 and as an added bonus; he gained third base eligibility for those whose qualification number was 15 games or below.  Overall  the offensive production last season was no shock as Freeman swatted 34 home runs the year prior and that just so happened to coincide with the Braves finally giving him some protection in the lineup.  The talent was never in question here and so now at the age of 28, more bonanza numbers are going to be on the way for Freeman in 2018.  What really makes Freeman a complete hitter is the fact that he draws walks at a high rate (12.6 BB/9) and keeps the K’s down (18.5 K/9) to help supply the string of .300 averages with all the pop.  Add in a surprising 8 steals last season and Freeman is as good of a second round pick as you are going to get this spring. 
2018 PROJECTION:  .310 36 HR 95 RBI 109 R 7 SB 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STOCK WATCH: ADRIAN PETERSON GETS NEW LIFE IN ARIZONA

Almost from the start, Adrian Peterson looked like a square peg in a round hole on the New Orleans Saints offense.  With Mark Ingram still a big part of the plans and rookie pass-catching back Alvin Kamara quickly becoming a Sean Payton favorite, Peterson had virtually no role as he barely got any carries the first four games of the year.  Sensing this, Peterson then began complaining of his role on the team as his fantasy football value dropped off the map.  Enter in the RB-needy Arizona Cardinals who acquired Peterson on Tuesday to help make up for the ongoing loss of David Johnson.  With Chris Johnson showing he is finished, the Cards now bring Peterson in to try and see if he there is any gas left in the proverbial tank.  While on the surface this move is a boost to Peterson's fantasy football value given the fact he will now have a clear path to a high amount of carries, the O-line in Arizona is a joke and the former All-Pro looks pretty shot himself.  Yes Peterson is worth a waiver add this week given the fresh start but don't expected miracles with this. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL MONDAY WRAPUP:

It was an ugly end to fantasy football Week 5 as the Minnesota Vikings played the Chicago Bears in a game where points were precious.  Let's get to it.

-The big story for the Bears was rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky getting his first start and overall he looked like a rookie in completing just 12-of-25 throws for 128 yards with 1 TD and 1 bad late game INT.  Still Trubisky threw well on the move and he was a very accurate QB in college.  I am optimistic.  Meanwhile Sam Bradford only made it a half before taking a seat as he was not right physically.  Case Keenum once again came off the bench firing as he tossed a second-half TD to help lead the comeback.  Nothing of significance to discuss there from a fantasy football angle.

-Jordan Howard is now a complete zero in the passing game as he was held without a catch.  That means he needs to really contribute on the ground in terms of gathering scores.  With Trubisky at the help though, scores could be tough to come by as Howard rushed for just 76 yards on 19 carries.  He has been far below what a first round pick should be.  Also Tarik Cohen pretty much was a Week 1/2 wonder and nothing since.  He rushed for 13 yards and caught one lousy pass for -1.  Cut him loose.

On the other side, Latavius Murray and Jerrick McKinnon split reps evenly which makes both RB 3/4's.  McKinnon did have 95 yards and a score on 16 carries but we have seen him before as a prime runner and it was not attractive.

-Anyone who needed a solid game out of Vikes wideout Stefon Diggs on Monday got hosed as he went out early with a groin injury after catching just one pass for 4 yards.  There is the rub with Diggs who was constantly injured last season as well.  Adam Thielen was not much better as he caught 5 for 34 and Kyle Rudolph contributed 6 for 45.  

As far as the Bears are concerned, there is never anything to discuss when it comes to their receivers and any fantasy football usage.  This won't likely change for the remainder of the season.  


Monday, October 9, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: CARLOS HYDE RB SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

All it took was one game where San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde was operating at less than 100 percent for head coach Kyle Shanahan to claim late Monday that he would ride the hot hand at the position moving forward.  This after Hyde was terrific the first four weeks of the season in running with authority and even contributing in the passing game.  Rumors from the beginning of Shanahan's hiring over the winter however indicated that he was no fan of Hyde and that he may even go so far as cutting him before the opener.  While that did not happen, it looks like Shanahan is taking advantage of a down week in terms of Hyde's stock to change around things at running back.  Rookie Matt Brieda is now the object of Shanahan's eye and especially after seeing him rush for 49 yards on just 10 carries against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5.  This of course is potentially disastrous for Hyde's fantasy football value moving forward as it will remove the rare bellcow role he was carrying and open the door to him being replaced as the starter as well.  Anyone who owns stock in Hyde may want to start offering him around the league before this circulates entirely. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WRAPUP: WEEK 5

-Boy has Jacksonville Jaguars rookie back Leonard Fournette been something else.  While Kareem Hunt and previously Dalvin Cook have gotten most of the pub in 2017 fantasy football, Fournette has been a monster as he showed again Sunday in rushing for 181 yards and two scores on 28 carries.  The workload has been tremendous here and Fournette has scored in every game to make him one of the most dependable players in all of fantasy football this season.  While I do worry about the workload given Fournette's lengthy injury history, he has been performing like a top tier back no matter the setup. 

-It was a not a good day at the office for Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger to say the least.  His fantasy football owners got a dud from him as he completed just 33-of-55 passes for 312 yards with 0 TD and FIVE interceptions.  Two of the picks led to pick-six scores and over the last three games Big Ben has all of two scores.  The weaponry in Pittsburgh is way too top shelf for Roethlisberger to continue struggling like this but he is 37 years old. 

-Fantasy football owners of Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford know the drill with the comeback kid.  Even if Stafford has a bagel in the scoring column going into the fourth quarter, there is no need to get nervous since he is just getting started.  Stafford once again was a fourth quarter passing game as he tossed two late touchdown passes to save his fantasy football day and overall he completed 23-of-35 for 229 yards.  Next week Stafford gets the New Orleans Saints and so he will be in line for another huge day.

-It was Daniel Fells and not Eric Ebron who was the pass-receiving tight end of the day Sunday as he caught both of Matthew Stafford's TD passes in the loss to the Carolina Panthers.  Fells caught just those two balls for the two scores and 24 yards as Erbon dropped one pass after another.  While Fells has zero fantasy football value, Ebron might have reached the point where he can be dropped as it simply is not happening here. 

-San Francisco 49ers QB Brian Hoyer continues to play well despite the team now being 0-5 on the year.  Hoyer completed 29-of-46 passes for 353 yards with two scores in the OT loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and in two-QB formats he has gained value once again like during his stints in Houston and Chicago. 

-Surprisingly Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton has made the best of a very bad QB situation in Indy as he continues to put up numbers despite being without Andrew Luck.  Hilton caught 7 balls for 177 yards in the OT win over the 49ers Sunday but still is on the WR 2/3 border going forward until Luck returns. 

-A changing of the guard could be happening in the Indy backfield as rookie Marlon Mack rushed for 91 yards and a score on just 9 carries Sunday.  Mack shows flash that aging Frank Gore doesn't possess anymore and so look for the kid to continue to eat into the carries of the latter.  Mack should be added where available this week.

-For the second week in a row, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton was a stud as he completed 26-of-33 passes for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win over the Lions.  While he failed to pick up one rushing yard, Newton is looking so much better than he ever has as a pocket passer.  This is clearly what head coach Ron Rivera had in mind when he said over the winter he wanted Newton to stay in the pocket and his QB's fantasy football value right now is the highest it has been since 2015.  While I have been as big a Newton critic as there is, even I can't argue with how well he is playing right now. 

-Cam Newton loves his tight ends and whether it is Greg Olsen or Ed Dickson, the numbers flow from the spot.  Dickson showed that he can be a very solid Olsen replacement on Sunday as he exploded to the tune of catching 5 balls for 175 yards.  This from a guy who previously was a blocking tight end.  Of course we have to consider this game a fluke but Dickson has become a safety valve outlet now for Newton.  If you really are hurting at tight end, take a shot. 

-Melvin Gordon has really been testing the patience of his fantasy football owners since the start of the season with some listless game results but in Week 5 he broke out big by rushing for 105 yards on 20 carries, while adding 6 catches for another 58 yards and 2 scores.  Gordon has all the ability in the world but the workload will always be there and the PPR numbers are flowing again as well.  He will be fine. 

-Devin Funchess is becoming a story in Carolina as he has taken over from Kelvin Benjamin the mantle of being the top receiver on the offense.  He went for 7 catches for 53 yards and a touchdown and has had 8 targets in three straight games.  Funchess' ascension has come at the expense of Benjamin who can be downgraded to WR 3 status.  Meanwhile Funchess is knocking on the WR 2 door. 

-While he did score his first NFL touchdown, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey only picked up 7 rushing yards on 3 carries as he remained a complete non-factor in the running game.  McCaffrey did catch 5 balls for 31 yards and a score to save his day but he is now a volatile weekly fantasy football option in all formats given the extreme dependency on catching the football. 

-Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi struggled yet again Sunday in picking up just 77 yards rushing on an insane 25 carries.  He also added just two catches for two yards as whispers continue to grow that he is dealing with a sore knee again.  Ajayi has not looked right since debuting in Week 2 and he has now dropped to RB 2 status and the bust talk is starting to grow as well. 

-Jarvis Landry has always been a much better PPR wideout than one in standard due to his lack of scoring but he got into the end zone Sunday as part of his 5-catch day for 44 yards.  Without the score, Landry was barely as WR 3 in even PPR formats and so it is imperative that the catch totals remain high.

-A big part of the problem for Landry, Ajayi and the Miami offense as a whole is the brutal play of QB Jay Cutler who should have stayed in retirement.  Cutler was a bomb for the third game in a row as he completed just 12-of-26 throws for 92 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Those numbers don't work anymore and the offense really needs to be overhauled. 

-We wrote in our draft guide this past summer that Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz was one of the very best value play options at any position when it comes to drafts and the guy has more than made us look smart with his incredible play through five weeks.  Piloting an offense with a massive infusion of offensive talent, Wentz completed 21-of-30 passes for 304 yards with 4 TD and 1 INT, while adding 11 rushing yards.  Wentz now has 10 touchdowns on the season and the Eagles are throwing more than ever.  This is on stock moving up sharply. 

-While the Eagles brought in Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery in the offseason, it has been Nelson Agholor who arguably has been the best wideout on the team.  Agholor had a second monster game this season as he caught 4 balls for 93 yards and a score in the team's win over the Arizona Cardinals.  While Agholor has been completely inconsistent in the past, he seems to have found a rapport with Wentz which puts him on the WR 3 map.

-It was fun while it lasted but Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff saw his big start to the season end with a thud as he completed just 22-of-47 throws for 288 yard with 0 scores and 2 INT's in the team's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.  Nothing to worry about here just yet but it is a reminder that Goff is still just in his second year in the league and there will be some additional growing pains. 

-With the Seahawks defense looking as ferocious as ever, Rams running back Todd Gurley had his first dud of the year as well as he rushed for just 43 yards on 14 carries and a lost fumble.  He also caught just one pass as the Seahawks defensive game plan worked wonders.  Gurley had been the highest rated fantasy football running back this side of Kareem Hunt the first four games however and so no need to worry about any long-terms struggles. 

-DeShaun Watson is insane.  For the second week in a row, the Houston Texans rookie QB accounted for FIVE touchdowns.  Yes the garbage time theme was in working order here as the Texans had to throw on almost every play in the second half but Watson still completed 16-of-31 passes for 261 yards and the five scores.  He also added 3 carries for 31 yards.  Clearly Watson has the tools to succeed at the NFL level and those who snagged him off waivers last week could really have something big on their hands with the rookie. 


Sunday, October 8, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: ODELL BECKHAM JR. CURRENTLY HEADING FOR SURGERY

Updating an earlier item, New York Giants ace wideout Odell Beckham Jr. is already heading for surgery on the ankle he hurt late in the team's game versus the Los Angeles Chargers.  That would indicate something very serious and possibly life-threatening given how quickly Beckham is being prepped for surgery.  It is likely a season-ending injury for Beckham and so his fantasy football owners are going to be in for a world of hurt literally the rest of the season.  Obviously given how fluid this situation is, fantasy football is the least of concerns right now given how serious the nature of the injury is.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: ODELL BECKHAM JR. CARTED OFF WITH SERIOUS ANKLE INJURY

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is facing an extended absence from the team after he suffered a serious ankle injury during Sunday's game versus the Los Angeles Chargers.  Beckham joined Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall as other wideouts who suffered injuries for the Giants Sunday in an almost unfathomable development given how decimated the position became in one game.  Beckham was carted off with the injury and already we have to fear a break to the ankle or even the lower leg.  Our top rated receiver this week, Beckham's loss would be as big as it gets. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: GIANTS LOSE BOTH STERLING SHEPARD AND BRANDON MARSHALL TO INJURY

First New York Giants wideout Sterling Shepard went down with an ankle injury during the second quarter of the team's Sunday game versus the Los Angeles Chargers and almost immediately thereafter, Brandon Marshall was carted off with a possible torn Achilles.  Already coming into the game 0-4, the Giants day so far can go under the heading "when it rains, it pours."  In terms of severity, Marshall is in big potential jeopardy of having his season finished as it looks like a classic torn Achilles and Shepard was seen in an air cast which means his ankle problem could be of the high variety which requires 2-4 weeks to heal.  This is awful news for Giants QB Eli Manning as his weapons will be shrinking drastically and so tight end Evan Engram and Odell Beckham Jr. will see more targets.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING INJURY NEWS: MATT CASSELL TO LOCKER ROOM WITH POSSIBLE CONCUSSION

Already without starting QB Marcus Mariota, the Tennessee Titans may have lost backup Matt Cassell to a concussion.  Cassell was forced to head to the locker room for testing after taking a hit early in the game and the recently signed Brandon Weeden is now in for the Titans.  We said to pick up the Miami Dolphins defense during the week given the presence of Cassell and now that move looks tremendous with Weeded in there. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CHARLES CLAY CARTED TO LOCKER ROOM WITH KNEE INJURY

Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay was carted off into the locker room during the first quarter of the team's game versus the Cincinnati Bengals with a knee/leg injury. Clay hurt himself on a play going out of bounds and was down for a time before the cart was brought in to transport him to the locker room.  It would be a reach to think Clay could return and so he will really put a hurting on his fantasy football owners given how early he left the game.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 5 WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 5 wide receiver rankings based on opposing matchups.  

1.  Odell Beckham Jr.
2.  Jordy Nelson
3.  A.J. Green
4.  Antonio Brown
5.  DeAndre Hopkins
6.  Stefon Diggs
7.  Dez Bryant
8.  Doug Baldwin
9.  T.Y. Hilton
10. Tyreek Hill
11. Keenan Allen
12. Devante Parker
13. Golden Tate
14. Larry Fitzgerald
15. Pierre Garcon
16. Randall Cobb
17. Adam Thielen
18. Jarvis Landry
19. Kelvin Benjamin
20. Tyrell Williams
21. Risard Matthews
22. Davante Adams
23. Alshon Jeffery
24. Sammy Watkins
25. Devin Funchess
26. Sterling Shepard
27. Michael Crabtree
28. Jaron Brown
29. Will Fuller
30. Martavis Bryant
31. Jeremy Maclin
32. Allen Hurns
33. Amari Cooper
34. Paul Richardson
35. Kenny Stills
36. Kenny Humphries
37. Cooper Kupp
38. Jermaine Kearse 
39. Eric Decker
40. Marvin Jones




2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 5 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 5 running back rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Le'Veon Bell
2.  Todd Gurley
3.  Ezekiel Elliott
4.  Kareem Hunt
5.  Leonard Fournette
6.  Carlos Hyde
7.  Melvin Gordon
8.  Jay Ajayi
9.  LeSean McCoy
10. Bilal Powell
11. Jordan Howard
12. Lamar Miller
13. Ameer Abdullah
14. DeMarco Murray
15. Marshawn Lynch
16. LeGarrette Blount
17. Duke Johnson
18. Wayne Gallman
19. Christian McCaffrey
20. Frank Gore
21. Aaron Jones
22. Joe Mixon
23. Tarik Cohen
24. Latavius Murray
25. Alex Collins
26. Andre Ellington
27. Jonathan Stewart
28. Thomas Rawls
29. Isiah Crowell
30. Derrick Henry
31. Jerick McKinnon
32. Eddie Lacy
33. J.D. McKissic
34. Gio Bernard
35. Theo Riddick
36. Javorious Allen
37. Jamaal Williams
38. Elijiah McGuire
39. D'Onta Foreman
40. Shane Vereen


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: MARCUS MARIOTA DOWN 2-4 WEEKS WITH BUM HAMSTRING

                                                         

NFL Network's Ian Rappaport is reporting that Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota will miss the next 2-4 week with the hamstring injury he suffered in last week's game.  Mariota already has been ruled out for Week 5 with the the injury and the 2-4 week timetable likely means it is of the Grade 2 variety.  Already off to a shaky start to the season before going down, Mariota has been a decent bust thus far in terms of fantasy football. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 5 INJURY WATCH: WENDELL SMALLWOOD OUT SUNDAY, BIG WORKLOAD ON TAP FOR LeGARRETTE BLOUNT

                                                          

The Philadelphia Eagles will be without running back Wendell Smallwood for Sunday's game versus the Arizona Cardinals and as a result, power back LeGarrette Blount is expected to serve as the team's bellcow runner.  Smallwood's loss is a decent one as he rushed for 34 yards and a score, while adding 4 catches for another 45 yards in last week's game but Blount is full capable of carrying solid RB 2 value in all fantasy football leagues in a week where there is massive turnover at the position.  Start Blount everywhere. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: MIKE WILLIAMS (BACK) TO RETURN WEEK 6

                                                          

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Los Angeles Chargers rookie wideout Mike Williams will make his return from a preseason back injury Week 6 against the Oakland Raiders.  Williams has missed the entire season so far battling a stubborn back injury that cropped up soon after the Chargers drafted him 7th overall but he has tremendous upside and could be a steal off the waiver wire since he has been well off the fantasy football radar for a bit.  Make the add where available. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DEREK CARR (FRACTURED BACK) TO RETURN WEEK 6

                                                         

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr is set to make his return to the team for Week 6 after he sits out this Sunday's game versus the Baltimore Ravens.  Carr suffered the back injury in Week 4's game but right off the bat said he believed he would return in short order.  E.J. Manuel is making the start for the Raiders today which no doubt hurts the fantasy football potential for wideouts Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree but the quick return of Carr should help minimize long-term damage to their prospects. 


Saturday, October 7, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL CRISIS POINT: ISAIAH CROWELL RB CLEVELAND BROWNS

It gets late early when it comes to fantasy football and as we move toward Week 5, there are some clear letdown performances that are putting a hurt on some owners out there.  Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell is one such player and while he was not looked at as a star RB 1, the bellcow role and solid 2016 numbers made the guy at the very least a decent RB 2 in all leagues.  As far as those 2016 numbers were concerned, Crowell rushed for 952 yards at a very impressive 4.8 per carry and 7 scores for a terrible team facing 8-man fronts consistently which raised the profile here.  Even more impressive was the fact the previously stone-handed Crowell caught a career-best 40 passes for another 319 yards.  With that solid batch of numbers behind him, Crowell seemed like a solid RB 2 to place your 2017 draft dollars.  Like everything else with the Browns this season however, Crowell has gone bust and there are already rumblings Duke Johnson should take on a more prominent role.  Through four games where the Browns have failed to record a single win, Crowell is averaging a horrible 2.9 per carry and he has failed to even reach 50 rushing yards in one of the four games.  With just 5 receptions as well and 0 touchdowns, Crowell has been a huge bust to say the least.  Meanwhile Johnson has made the most of his limited chances to tough the football, averaging 5.7 per carry and collecting two scores on the ground; while also catching 20 passes to help in PPR.  Right now there are no plans for the Browns to make a change at running back but picking up Johnson where available is a good proactive move given what we have witnessed so far this season.  Crowell should be benched everywhere as well until he gets his act together. 


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: WIL MYERS 1B SAN DIEGO PADRES

Everyone’s draft day darling after hitting 28 home runs and stealing 28 bases in a crazy good 2016 campaign, San Diego Padres first baseman Wil Myers pretty much paid back whatever the high draft cost was the previous spring.  What is very stable here is the power which became Myers’ calling card when making his way up the minor league ladder with the Tampa Bay Rays and he re-affirmed that skill last season by swatting a career-best 30 home runs.  While we did have concerns about the 28 steals the previous season due to the outlier odor they gave off, Myers kept on running (but at a lesser frequency) by picking up 20 more in 2017.  So while the power/speed game remained immense and very rare for a first baseman, Myers did have problems elsewhere.  First of all, Myers’ average was a big problem as it sank all the way down to .243 from 2016’s .259.  Myers’s old high strikeout ways came back to bite him as his 27.7 K/9 was a career-worst mark; while he also eroded both in runs/RBI compared to the previous season.  The reason being for the negatives was likely due to the fact the Padres front office stripped down the roster/batting order which left Myers will very little in the way of protection.  Anyone who owned Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman from 2014-15 know all too well about the issues this can bring to a slugger’s numbers and so at least some of Myers’ slippage can be blamed on that aspect of things.  Be that as it may, we are still talking about a 30/20 first baseman which is incredibly value given the lack of speed at the position and we can’t imagine Myers being as bad with the strikeouts again in 2018.  The draft price may drop a tad based almost solely on the .243 average and so in that scenario, Myers looks like a smart play.  Just keep in mind Myers no longer carries outfield eligibility. 

2018 PROJECTION:  .255 29 HR 92 RBI 94 R 19 SB  

Friday, October 6, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: WAYNE GALLMAN GETS ANOTHER CHANCE TO CLAIM STARTING ROLE SUNDAY

The New York Giants updated the all-important Friday injury report early in the afternoon and the most pressing fantasy football topic at the moment centers on the fact that starting running back Paul Perkins will miss Week 5 with the rib problem that surfaced in last week's game.  Already ineffective running the ball, Perkins can safely be dropped in most fantasy football leagues and the fallout here is that intriguing rookie Wayne Gallman gets a prime chance to build on his encouraging debut last Sunday.  While Gallman didn't light the world on fire, he did managed to produce 50 yards and a score on 13 total touches and going back to college was a weapon both running and catching the football.  Meanwhile the San Diego Chargers come for a visit and bring their annually poor run defense with them which makes Gallman even more interesting for Week 5.  At the very least Gallman is a decent FLEX option but in PPR formats he can make it as a low-end RB 2.  I said prior to last week's game that Gallman was worth adding given the fact nobody has been able to run the football on the Giants and last week's debut showed the kid has some interesting and useful fantasy skills.  If somehow Gallman is still out there on waivers, go get him right this minute. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WRAPUP: PATS/BUC'S

I think Nick Folk just missed another field goal.  In what was a tough game to watch at times, the the New England Patriots came out on top on the road versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Here are the fantasy football-worthy items to come out of the game.

-Despite a ferocious Tampa pass rush, Pats QB Tom Brady completed 30-of-40 throws for 303 yards with 1 TD.  Brady did turn over twice though with 1 INT and a lost fumble.  The one score game is an anomaly for Brady and a slight disappointment for his fantasy football owners but in the end we all know he will be just fine.

On  the other side, Jameis Wintson padded his numbers in the second half as the Buc's had to throw constantly to get back into the game but overall it was a letdown of a game as he completed 26-of-46 for 334 yards with 1 TD.  While he didn't turn it over, Winston has fallen way short off preseason expectations.  While you can still go with Winston another week, his utter lack of consistency and inaccuracy so far are concerning to say the least.  

-Doug Martin looked spray coming off his three game suspension as he rushed for 74 yards and a score on 13 carries.  We all know Martin has the ability with 2 seasons of over 1.400 yards rushing but he just has to keep his head on straight and put in the work which did not happen a year ago.  Those who have been waiting on Martin's return might be getting a rare in-season workhorse back.

For the Pats, it was Dion Lewsi' turn to be the guy behind Brady as he rushed for 53 yards on just 7 carries.  Mike Gillislee was not bad either with 52 yards on 12 carries but when he doesn't score, the night is a bust.  

-Mike Evans has been testing the patience of his fantasy football owners with quiet numbers outside of one game this season.  Evans was a non-factor again Thursday night as he caught just 5 balls for 49 yards.  The connection between the two needs some fine-tuning right now but a buy low here would be a pretty good idea given how talented Evans is.  So while Evans struggle,d DeSean Jackson had his first big game of the year in catching 5 for 106.  Jackson still has his big speed but he too is very dependent on score and runs very hot-and-cold to ever be more than a WR 3.  Finally, Cameron Brate has been the tight end on the Buc's to own all season long which is what WE said over the summer.  Winston loves throwing to Brate as his safety valve and the two connected 5 times for 68 yards and a score.  Brate should be a weekly play like he was last season.

-Prior to the game, I said that Chris Hogan would benefit the most with Rob Gronkowski missing in action.  Well for the fifth time already this season, Hogan scored a touchdown as part of his 8 catches for 74 yards day.  Hogan is becoming 1B to Gronk's 1A in terms of who Brady looks for in the red zone and it clearly is working.  Overall Hogan has been the big breakout guy we thought he would be when Julian Edelman tore his ACL.

Of course Hogan got help in the form of Danny Amendola who did his Edelman impersonation by grabbing 8 passes for 77 yards.  And better yet, Amendola made it through the game in one piece. In PPR formats Amendola is a weekly play but he won't score enough touchdowns to be more than a WR 4/FLEX in standards.  

Finally, James White quietly goes about his business by catching a ton of balls.  This time it was 5 for 54 yards and already he has 29 receptions on the season.  PPR RB 2 but barely.  


Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY FALLOUT: NO ROB GRONKOWSKI THURSDAY NIGHT

It was just 24 hours earlier where we learned that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was being listed as questionable for Thursday night's game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Despite traveling with the team to Tampa Bay, Gronkowski reportedly will sit out tonight's game.  While this is just the first missed game of the year for Gronk, it is the second injury he has dealt with already as he was hobbled earlier with a chest problem.  With Gronk out of action tonight, the fallout is that wideouts Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, and Danny Amendola will see a sharper increase in catches.  In particular Hogan stands the best chance of having the biggest night as he already has been a big red zone weapon of QB Tom Brady and that will be even more pronounced with Gronk out.  Also Amendola will likely see a jump in catchers along with Cooks so all three are worth using.  As far as Gronk is concerned, it is same old,. same old. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 5 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 5 QB rankings based on opposing matchups:

1.  Aaron Rodgers
2.  Tom Brady
3.  Russell Wilson
4.  Jameis Winston
5.  Matthew Stafford
6.  Dak Prescott
7.  Ben Roethlisberger
8.  DeShaun Watson
9.  Cam Newton
10. Alex Smith
11. Eli Manning
12. Carson Palmer
13. Carson Wentz
14. Philip Rivers
15. Andy Dalton
16. Jacoby Brissett
17. Jared Goff
18. Tyrod Taylor
19. Marcus Mariota
20. Sam Bradford
21. Jay Cutler
22. DeShon Kizer
23. Brian Hoyer
24. Case Keenum
25. Blake Bortles
26. Josh McCown
27. E.J. Manuel
28. Mitch Trubisky
29. Joe Flacco
30. Matt Cassell


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY RB CAROLINA PANTHERS

Ever since the Carolina Pantehrs selected Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the fantasy football community began anticipating with much excitement just how the kid's multi-dimensional skills would translate to the pro game.  Clearly there was some serious optimism as McCaffrey was habitually being drafted in the second round in many fantasy football leagues this past summer despite never having played an NFL down.  Those who take part in PPR leagues were even more determined to make sure McCaffrey was a part of their rosters.  As much as we respected the ability of McCaffrey, we put the brakes a bit on being that aggressive here in drafts given the fact that Jonathan Stewart was still on the roster and Cam Newton had become far from a sure thing at QB. 

Fast forward to through four weeks of the NFL season and overall McCaffrey has just been all right.  While those in PPR have done much better with the investment due to the fact McCaffrey has been heavily involved in the passing game with 22 catches for 206 yards, his running numbers have been very shaky.  In fact McCaffrey has been pretty putrid running the ball as he is averaging just 2.9 per carry on 31 rushes for 89 yards.  And when you combine both skills, McCaffrey has zero touchdowns on the year which really puts a hurt on those who own him in standard formats.  Stewart has remained the starting running back as expected and taken all of the goal-line opportunities as well.  So if you had to grade McCaffrey so far in terms of fantasy football, you would have to give him a D + in standard leagues and a C+ in PPR.  While saying McCaffrey is overrated is too strong a word to use, there is no denying the fact that he has been a letdown to this point. 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: ROB GRONKOWSKI TE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Questionable again.  That is the status for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for fantasy football Week 5 as he reportedly is now dealing with a thigh issue.  Once again this is part for the course for Gronk who already has endured multiple injuries this season and thus continues to really test the patience of his owners.  It was just a week ago where Gronk's status was up in the air due to a chest injury and now this.  In between all the health chatter however has been Gronk doing his usual offensive thing as he currently has 20 catches for 318 yards and 2 TD's.  With Tom Brady showing no signs of slowing down, he and Gronkowski are once again making sweet passing music together such as in Week 3 when the duo connected on 8 catches for 89 yards and 1 score.  Clearly Gronkowski still is a first round talent when his body allows to be so but the fact he is questionable now with another injury is a reminder that investing year on a yearly basis is as frustrating as it can get. 


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: CHRIS ARCHER SP TAMPA BAY RAYS

Talk to any odd MLB personnel man and they will tell you that Tampa Bay Rays righty Chris Archer has some of the most overpowering stuff in baseball.  With a fastball which reaches the upper-90's and offspeed stuff that has crazy movement, Archer carries the potential for a no-hitter in any one outing.  To drive home the point regarding how much of a handful Archer is for opposing hitters, here are his season strikeout totals from the last three seasons:  252, 233, 249.  Those are some incredible numbers and it speaks to the annually massive potential Archer brings to the fantasy baseball table.  Unfortunately Archer has made it a bad habit to always leave his owners wanting more in putting forth season numbers that fall way below expectations relative to the quality of stuff.  It is almost impossible to understand how Archer has posted ERA's of 4.02 and 4.07 the last two years despite all those strikeouts but underachievement is now the name of the game here.  When searching for the culprit in Archer's struggles, the main problem centers on the home run ball.  Archer continues to lose that battle with the long ball; having registered HR/9 rates over 1.20 each of the last two years.  While Archer can strike out 10 batters in any one outing, he also can miss with one or two pitches that end up over the outfield wall. Throw in some Tommy John scares last season and Archer doesn't look as enticing as he once did.  
2018 PROJECTION:  14-10 3.86 ERA 1.27 WHIP 225 K

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: AARON JONES RB GREEN BAY PACKERS

The waiver wire battle leading up to Week 5 in fantasy football figures to be extremely fierce when it comes in particular to the running back fraternity.  With big-time injuries taking down Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson; plus Ty Montgomery likely sitting out at least one game with fractured ribs, the running back replacements are all going to be fought over heavily leading into the waiver picks tomorrow.  Getting back to Montgomery, reports have been all over the maps regarding how severe Montgomery's ribs are and if in fact he will miss Week 5.  It appears as though the Packers are leaning toward sitting Montgomery out and so the rookie Aaron Jones out of UTEP becomes a major person of interest.  Coming into the year as the third-string back, Jones moves into a possible role given the fact second-stringer Jamaal Williams is likely out for Week 5 with a bum knee.  So Jones will get his chance and it needs to be noted that he was a dual-threat player at UTEP in terms of helping both in the running and receiving game.  Last season with UTEP, Jones rushed for 1,773 yards and also hauled in 28 passes.  With bellcow work expected if Montgomery is out, Jones should be the top running back add behind Latavius Murray. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 5 MONDAY NIGHT WRAPUP: CHIEFS/REDSKINS

The Kansas City Chiefs are for real at 4-0 and with a motivated and possibly ticked off QB playing out of his mind.  Let's get to all the fantasy football-worthy items coming out of the game.

-It took 11 seasons but Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith might finally be an every week fantasy football QB in single passer formats.  A big Week 1 has carried over into the next three games, with Smith completing 27 of 37 throws for 293 yards with 1 TD; to go with 56 yards rushing and a second score on only 7 carries.  Smith has always been very accurate and he now has his best stable of weapons since arriving in K.C.  Ride it out as they say. 

On the other side, Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins was just all right in completing 14-of-24 throws for 220 yards with 2 TD's and 38 rushing yards.  The two TD's were the key of course and helped save the day when the yardage fell short.  While behind on last year's per game rates, Cousins is still a solid low-end QB 1.

-Another game and another 100 yards rushing for Chiefs rookie back Kareem Hunt.  It did take 27 carries but Hunt picked up 101 yards on the ground and another 20 in the air on 4 catches.  The kid is showing no signs of slowing down and remains the steal of 2017 drafts. 

Meanwhile if Cousins was your leading rusher, the Redskins running backs had a terrible day.  Samaje Perine only picked up 27 yards on 6 carries, while Chris Thompson added 23 on 6 with a lost fumble.  Rob Kelley could be back this week which will destroy any Perine value and make Thompson just a RB 3 in PPR. 

-Ryan Grant made the most of his two catches for 16 yards and a score.  Grant has good speed but he is not worth adding given the fact he is down the receiving depth chart.  Terrell Pryor caught the the TD as part of his 3-catch day for 70 yards.  So far Pryor has not lived up to the preseason hype and barely has been a WR 3.  Finally Jordan Reed contributed just three catches for 21 yards as he looks completely unhealthy.  Told you not to get involved here.

The Chiefs got another big game from tight end Travis Kelce who caught 7 balls for 111 yards and a score.  Let there be no debate that Kelce is the number 1 tight end now in fantasy football given his durability over Rob Gronkowski.  Also it was a quiet game for Tyreek Hill who managed just 35 yards on 5 catches.  I said he would run hot-and-cold like a DeSean Jackson and this is what is taking place. 


Monday, October 2, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY FALLOUT: DEREK CARR DOWN 2-6 WEEKS WITH A FRACTURE IN BACK

For the second season in a row, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr suffered a serious injury.  Last year it was a broken leg that knocked out Carr for the playoffs and sunk the team and this time it was a back fracture that could keep him out 2-6 weeks.  This is obviously another huge blow to Carr's fantasy football owners and those owners need to go out and grab DeShaun Watson off waivers.  Also Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are in big trouble the next few weeks with their numbers as well.  Just a bad situation all the way around. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 5 WAIVER ADDS

It was a brutal week in the running back community in fantasy football this past Sunday as both Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson suffered season-ending injuries.  That means running backs are the prime waiver adds, plus a rookie QB that all of a sudden is all the rage. 

Wayne Gallman:  With the New York Giants run game as bad as any team's in the entire NFL through 3-plus games on the year, a possible solution could come in the form of rookie Wayne Gallman.  Gallman gave the Giants a spark Sunday in rushing for 42 yards on 11 carries, while adding two catches for 8 yards and a score.  Gallman was a very productive college back at Clemson and the draft pedigree was solid enough as a fourth round pick.  With Paul Perkins injured and ineffective, Gallman could be a steal from this point forward.

Latavius Murray:  The biggest fantasy football news of the day in Week 4 was the torn ACL that finished the already impressive rookie campaign of Minnesota Vikings back Dalvin Cook for the season.  That means free agent signee Latavius Murray will become the primary back and thus a major person if interest from the wire this week.  Remember Murray was a productive back the last few seasons for the Oakland Raiders and he helped both running and catching the football.  While Jerrick McKinnon likely will handle the latter, Murray carries decent RB 2 value given the step up in usage. 

Eddie Lacy/Thomas Rawls:  The other big running back news of Week 4 was the broken ankle suffered by rookie Chris Carson who was not able to build off a big preseason.  That means old friends Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls are back as the primary runners for the Seattle Seahawks, with an emphasis on the latter according to Pete Carroll.  We have seen both acts before and not been impressed so both guys only carry RB 3 value. 

Tyler Kroft:  Tyler Eifert remains an injury-prone mess for the Cincinnati Bengals and so it was nice to see step up and catch six balls for 68 yards and two scores on Sunday.  If Eifert is out again in Week 5, Kroft becomes a big play at a rough position thus far in 2017. 

DeShaun Watson:  Wow has the Clemson rookie been impressive. DeShaun Watson seems to have the "it" factor as he tossed FOUR touchdowns and rushed for another Sunday in dismantling the Tennessee Titans.  While he obviously won't keep up that pace, Watson could be a swell add given his multiple skills. 

Alvin Kamara:  Catching 10 balls as a running back as New Orleans Saints rookie Alvin Kamara did in Week 4 will get the attention of anyone in the fantasy football community and those in PPR formats need to be all over this.  Clearly Sean Payton has a love for Kamara who is increasingly making both Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram irrelevant.  Right there with Murray and Watson as the top waiver adds this week. 


Sunday, October 1, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 WRAPUP

-Different team but same old ugly results for Miami Dolphins QB Jay Cutler who completed 20-of-28 throws for 163 yards with 0 TD and 1 INT.  The Dolphins offensive attack is simply not working right now and Cutler no doubt is part of the problem.  While his arm has always been intriguing, Cutler has zero value yet again in fantasy football.

-Hope you didn't drop Alvin Kamara  Despite some up-and-down early results and a three-headed attack at running back, the pass catching dynamo hauled in a crazy 10 balls for 71 yards and a score, while also rushing for 25 yards on 5 carries.  Those in PPR need to be all over Kamara if he is available on waivers this week as Sean Payton has clearly found something that works.

-Adrian Peterson is a square peg in a round hole right now for the New Orleans Saints as he played all of six snaps in the London win over the Miami Dolphins.  It is amazing how pathetic Peterson has been and how bad the setup has been as well.  You wonder if Payton was not on board with the Peterson signing but he has zero value no matter who endorsed bringing him aboard.  What a joke this whole thing is.

-Holy crap DeShaun Watson.  That will be the collective response after seeing Watson complete 25-of-34 throws for 283 yards with 4 TD and 1 INT.  Watson also rushed for a fifth score as part of a 4 carries for 24 more yards.  Watson already looks like a star and unlike Cam Newton, the Clemson product can pass accurately from the pocket.  If Watson is still out there, put in the waiver add now.

-There was finally a Lamar Miller sighting Sunday as the Texans running back rushed for 75 yards and a score on 19 caries, while adding a second score on 4 catches for another 56 yards.  With QB DeShaun Watson tossing four touchdowns in the game, the big takeway here is that now Miller could be looking at fewer defenders in the box and thus find more open space.  This is one stock looking up.

-It might be time for rookie QB DeShon Kizer to take a seat as the Cleveland Browns rookie was terrible again on Sunday as he completed just 16-of-34 throws for 118 yards with 0 TD and 1 INT.  Kizer is the future for the Browns but the present is looking very ugly.  Obviously he has zero fantasy football value but Kizer is also hurting the rest of the Browns offensive players.

-The terrific ascension of DeShaun Watson has unleashed the beast for wideout DeAndre Hopkins who caught ten balls for 107 yards and a score Sunday.  Hopkins has been phenomenal with Watson under center and we are seeing his WR 1 ability that he always had.  Those who bought low on Hopkins this summer are being rewarded in a major way.

-Andy Dalton has put together two very good weeks in a row now which just so happens to coincide with the change at OC for the Cincinnati Bengals.  Dalton tore apart the Browns on Sunday in completing 25-of-30 passes for 286 yards with 4 TD and 0 INT, while adding 29 rushing yards on four carries.  We can now say that Dalton should be started again in two QB formats.

-A.J. Green has been another beneficiary of the change at OC for the Bengals as he too had a second big week in a row by catching five balls for 57 yards and a score in the win over the Browns.  Fully back now to WR 1 status.

-Will Fuller made his return this week and he jumped right into action by catching 4 balls for 35 yards and two scores for the Texans.  While DeAndre Hopkins is the clear top dog in the Texans' receiving hierarchy, Fuller has talent as a former top pick by the team.  Yes Fuller tends to drop passes but the offense is humming so well now that he is worth adding this week.

-Cam Newton got well against the New England Patriots defense of all things Sunday as he completed 22-of-29 throws for 316 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT.  The Patriots defense is so awful that they should be dropped.  Meanwhile as much as I hate on Newton, this outing could signal that he is finally feeling good physically.

-Tyler Krioft has put himself on the fantasy football map after catching 6 passes for 68 yards and two scores for the Bengals in place of the injured Tyler Eifert.  There is no consensus return date for Eifert and so Kroft should continue to be used until that takes place. 

-We touted New York Jets running back Bilal Powell all week leading up to the team's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars given the prime opportunity at hand with the injury absence of Matt Forte.  Well as he almost always does, Powell delivered as he rushed for 161 yards and a score on 21 carries, while also adding 4 receptions for another 27 yards.  Powell was not alone in Jets runners going wild as Elijiah McGuire had a big day himself in rushing for 93 yards and a score on just 10 carries, while adding 2 catches for 38 yards.  Obviously days like this won't happen often for the Jets running the football but Powell has some major PPR upside and even is well worth a look in standards. 

-It has been impressive regarding the pure passing improvement of Dallas Cowboys sophomore QB Dak Prescott who completed 20-of-36 passes for 252 yards with 3 TD and 1 IN in the team's loss to the Los Angeles Rams.  Adding 25 yards rushing on 3 carries and it looks like Prescott is ready to move up to another level as a passer. 

-There we go.  Le'Veon Bell is now fully ready to go coming off his preseason holdout.  After some listless performances to open the season, Bell rushed for 144 yards and 2 TD's on 35 carries, while also adding 4 catches for another 42 yards.  While the high amount of carries is a bit concerning, this is vintage Bell who is the top player in all of fantasy football given the injury to David Johnson.

-Joe Flacco had a second straight hideous game Sunday as he completed just 31-of-49 throws for 235 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT.  While Flacco is in no danger of getting benched, even in two-QB formats he can be let go. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DALVIN COOK DONE FOR YEAR WITH TORN ACL

Updating an earlier item, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cooks is done for the season after tearing his ACL during the team's game versus the Detroit Lions on Sunday.  Cook tore the ACL in a classic non-contact manner that almost always leads to that result and it puts an unwanted finish to what was shaping up to be a monster rookie campaign.  In Cooks' place will go Latavius Murray who all of a sudden is a major person of interest this week off the waiver wire.  Murray is a proven commodity who can help both running and catching the football.  He is a must add. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: MARCUS MARIOTA OUT WITH HAMSTRING INJURY

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota was forced out of the team's game versus the Houston Texans with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Matt Cassell.  Already having thrown two picks in the game, Mariota was having a tough day before getting hurt.  While on paper the unit looked potent coming into the season, the Titans offense has struggled and now Mariota could be out going forward. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DALVIN COOK EXITS WITH NON-CONTACT KNEE INJURY

Oh boy.  The dreaded non-contact knee injury cropped up again and this time it is Minnesota Vikings hot shot rookie back Dalvin Cook.  Cook limped off the field and into the locker room with the knee injury which was of the non-contact variety.  Tests are being conducted and an update is expected soon.  This could be very bad for Cooks and his fantasy football owners as the kid has been phenomenal and working as a bellcow this season.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: MELVIN GORDON (KNEE) TO START SUNDAY

                                                        

Despite dealing with a bruised knee, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon will start Sunday versus the Philadelphia Eagles  Gordon is operating as a rare bellcow back this season but once again is struggling with his rushing average as he is at just 3.3 through 3 games.  The work volume is in Gordon's favor however and so he should be in play for RB 1 numbers in all formats as long as he stays relatively healthy. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 INJURY WATCH: CARLOS HYDE TO START SUNDAY

                                                        

San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde will be active and start Sunday despite being listed as a game time decision with a hip injury.  Averaging a splendid 5.2 yards per carry in picking up 253 yards and 2 scores in a bellcow role, Hyde has been one of the better running back values in 2017 fantasy football.  He gets a decent matchup against an Arizona Cardinals defense that has had its struggles this season.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 4 DEFENSE RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 4 defense rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Seattle
2.  Arizona
3.  Jacksonville
4.  Kansas City
5.  Denver
6.  Pittsburgh
7.  Houston
8.  Minnesota
9.  New York Giants
10. Philadelphia
11. New England
12. Atlanta
13. Tampa Bay
14. Los Angeles Chargers
15. Cincinnati
16. Baltimore
17. Los Angeles Rams
18. Detroit
19. Tennessee
20. Dallas