- Jets quarterback Geno Smith just looks bad. He went 4 of 10 for 29 yards and an interception. It’s about time to jump ship on Smith.
- Meanwhile, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill went 28 of 43 for 331 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Tannehill will never be more than a game manager and should be considered a low-end, but steady, QB2 in dynasty circles.
- Jets running back Chris Ivory rushed for 61 yards on 12 carries for a 5.1 YPC. Not bad but the Jets played behind most of the game and never allowed Ivory to do his thing.
- Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline caught nine passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. He led the team with 15 targets with the Dolphins taking advantage of a weak Jets secondary. Don’t expect long-term success with Hartline.
- Dolphins defensive lineman Olivier Vernon had another good day with 10 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He now has 10 sacks on the year and has successfully held off #3 overall pick Dion Jordan to remain the starter. He’s an idea buy-low candidate.
- Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith’s downward slide continues, going 9 of 22 for 127 yards, two interceptions and zero touchdowns and even lost a fumble. Smith’s stock will never be lower if you’re still interested.
- The Ravens running attack continues to struggle, averaging just 2.2 YPC between Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. The Ravens need more playmakers on offense to take attention away from the run game otherwise Rice and Pierce will continue to get killed.
- Jets rookie defensive tackle continues to impress with an incredible (for an interior lineman) nine tackles and half sack. Richardson looks like another Geno Atkins which means a productive defensive tackle for dynasty leaguers, a feat almost as rare as unicorns.
- Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith looked exactly that. A rookie. He went 19 of 34 for 201 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
- Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell had 34 yards 16 carries against a very good defense. He has yet to crack 4.0 YPC but he’s only played in two games this year. It’s too early to tell how good Bell will be but he’ll be the work horse.
- Steelers receiver Antonio Brown continues to hog all the attention in the Pittsburgh passing game, catching nine balls on 11 targets. He’ll continue to be a low-end WR1 in PPR leagues.
- Jets defensive end Muhammed Wilkerson continues to prove his worth with two tackles, a sack and a tackle for a loss. At just 23, Wilkerson is someone to try to nab for your dynasty team as a long-term solution to your defensive line.
- Jets quarterback Geno Smith did it again – he threw three touchdown passes (on only 20 pass attempts) and no interceptions. He also rushed for 21 yards. It might be time to start Geno, at least in two quarterback leagues.
- With news about Julio Jones and Roddy White, Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez expects to get even more targets. Let him play a few games and see if you can sell high to a contender.
- Jets defensive lineman Muhammed Wilkerson had another sack to bring his season total to five. He also had two tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. Wilkerson is quickly becoming DL1 potential and, at just 23, should be targeted in your league.
- Jets linebacker David Harris had 14 tackles to bring his season total to 42. He has a shot to match his career high of 127. At 29, Harris best days are probably behind him but he can still produce.
College football kicks off tonight. Start looking at who might be on your dynasty draft board in 2014. In the meantime…
- The Raidas’ will alter their offensive scheme to fit quarterback Terrell Pryor’s skills. Typically, altering your scheme when camp is almost over doesn’t work out well. The Raiders may want to watch that South Carolina game tonight.
- Jets quarterback Geno Smith may get the start in Week 1, dashing any taxi squad chances for dynasty owners. It’s anybody’s guess who this will turn out.
- Browns running back Trent Richardson has another year under his belt with his underrated offensive line. T-Rich is in for a big year and should be a running back stud for years.
Not much news heading into the last week of pre-season. Giddy up.
We kicked off the series looking at the potential first round of rookies drafted in dynasty leagues here. Next, we look at the next set of picks in a 12-team, PPR league.
Round 2, Pick 1 – WR-Cordarelle Patterson (MIN) – In his first NFL game, first round pick Patterson exhibited exactly what scouts were drooling over at the draft which was his play-making ability. He totaled 104 yards and had a beautiful 50-yard catch after catching the crease. Patterson is still extremely raw but talent will win out over time in dynasty leagues. The only draw back will continue to be Christian Ponder and the quarterback situation in Minnesota. Not to mention, the current NFL MVP dominates the playbook (as he should). Patterson won’t be in a position to get big numbers early in his career but he’s got the talent to do some special things.
Round 2, Pick 2 – WR-Aaron Dobson (NE) – As with fellow rookie Kenbrell Thompkins, the opportunity for Aaron Dobson is the better than any other in the league. Massive turnover has opened up the opportunity for anyone to be the starting X receiver. He’s played well and is making plays in camp but he’s also getting into shoving matches and not exactly setting the world on fire in-game action. He’ll move on from that but he may not be able to beat out Thompkins for first crack. The talent is there, and the competition is bare, so Dobson is an excellent value pick in the second. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Tom Brady lobbing passes either.
Round 2, Pick 3 – TE-Travis Kelce (KC) – The first pick of the third round, Kelce is a physical specimen at the tight end position at 6′ 5″ and 260 pounds. He’s also a great receiver and athletic and can block. His only major downfall was character concerns. He was suspended the whole 2010 season which, in this day and age of leniency, means he majorly messed up. The hope is he’s moved on since then and seemingly has since he hasn’t had any issues since. Looking at his situation, he’s got a pass-happy coach who has committed to throwing more. Alex Smith will have the first shot of getting Kelce the ball. Smith didn’t have a problem getting Vernon Davis the ball so there is hope. He’ll have to battle Anthony Fasano and Tony Moeaki for snaps but his sheer athleticism should take care of that. Kansas City does plan to line him up in a variety of positions. Giddy up.
Round 2, Pick 4 -QB-Geno Smith (NYJ) – Drafted in the second round, Smith was drafted to inject some life into the abysmal Jets offense. Originally graded to be the first quarterback taken, Smith slid to the second after several off-field issues regarding agents and attitude. But the football skills are all there and Smith looks like the real deal. With little competition ahead of him (see: Sanchez, Mark), Smith has a golden opportunity to join E.J. Manuel as the only starting rookie quarterbacks. He did trip a little leading up to his first pre-season game but turned in a solid performance. The supporting cast is a different story. With zero legitimate targets to throw to, it’s hard to imagine Smith putting up even decent numbers his first year. The hope is he takes his rookie year to sort things out and be ready to utilize whatever new targets the Jets bring in. He’s a taxi-squad candidate at this point.
Round 2, Pick 5 -WR-Robert Woods (BUF) – Second rounder Woods is already stated to start in Buffalo. Like Spider-Man, that can be a gift and curse. Woods was the most NFL-ready coming in to the draft and has impressed so far in camp. He’s a part of the renaissance in Buffalo with rookie E.J. Manuel quarterbacking. But he’ll be tied to Manuel’s growing pains which will prohibit huge numbers from any Buffalo receiver for the foreseeable future. Not huge upside but has the chance to be a steady contributor for years to come.
Round 2, Pick 6 – WR-Keenan Allen (SD) – Unlike Robert Woods, Allen is a project. Drafted in the third round, the skill is there as he set the Cal record for receptions. The injury bug also has afforded Allen the opportunity to use those skills early on. However, Allen has had an up-and-down camp so far and everyone agrees that Allen has ways to go. Originally projected as a first round pick, he’s not immune from injuries either after missing the last couple games of his college career. The path is certainly clear for Allen to take over but it’ll remain to be seen if he can stay healthy.
Round 2, Pick 7 – RB-Marcus Lattimore (SF) – The ultimate taxi squad player in dynasty drafts this year, Lattimore was a legit first round talent before shredding both knees in college. Drafted in the 4th round, neither fantasy owners or San Francisco has any hope that he’ll contribute this year as he hopes to follow in the foot steps of fellow knee-injury victims Willis McGahee and, you guessed it, Frank Gore. He enters a delicious situation with Gore’s contract ballooning to $6.5 million in 2014 (at age 31), Kendall Hunter with just 184 carrie to his name, and LaMichael James as nothing more than a passing situation back. With San Francisco’s power running scheme, Lattimore is sure to be in the mix. Draft him and stash him.
Round 2, Pick 8 – TE-Zach Sudfeld (NE) – Another undrafted rookie for New England, Sudfeld has rapidly found himself playing with the first string unit. At 6′ 7″ and 255 pounds, he’s being compared to that other New England tight end (who’s still on the team) and could get work as the injures dictate. Jake Ballard was originally supposed to take over Aaron Hernandez’s production but that now appears to go to Sudfeld, who’s catching everything in sight. He’s a huge unknown but New England seems to trust him. Don’t be afraid to draft him in the second round and look like a genius.
Round 2, Pick 9 – RB-Johnathan Franklin (GB) – Franklin steps into an ideal situation for a pass-catching back. The Green Bay offense, and Aaron Rodgers in particular, will continue to pass the ball despite the presence of Eddie Lacy. He won’t be an every down back but if Franklin can establish himself as a passing-down back, he could be in for a bunch of catches. Of course, he’ll have to shore up his pass protection to even see the field. Assuming he can work those issues out, he’ll be an intriguing change of pace back.
Round 2, Pick 10 – WR-Stedman Bailey (STL) – While Bailey only sits at #4 on the depth chart, he’s had a good camp so far. St. Louis claims to be opening up the offense more which would mean more opportunities to spread the wealth. Of course, it remains to be seen if Sam Bradford can handle that load. If so, Bailey stands to gain in the long-term. If not, Bailey wouldn’t be worth a taxi squad spot.
Round 2, Pick 11 – QB-Tyler Bray (KC) – Signed as an undrafted free agent, Bray already has the strongest arm in Kansas City camp (which isn’t saying a whole lot). His lack of maturity was what set him back in the draft but he seems to have overcome those. Setting behind Alex Smith and Chase Daniel, Bray doesn’t have a clear shot to starters minutes but could develop into a tradable asset. He’s not a bad pick to stash on taxi squads especially with other rookie quarterbacks struggling.
Round 2, Pick 12 – WR-Kenny Stills (NO) – Drafted in the fifth round, there was not clear spot for Stills until Joe Morgan went down with an injury and smaller injuries allowed him to play with the first string. Now entrenched as the 3rd down receiver, Stills has put together a quietly good camp and could receive considerable attention from Drew Brees and co. He should man the slot between Marques Colston and Lance Moore. If Sean Payton works his magic upon his return, they’ll be plenty of targets to go around including ones to Stills.
While rookie quarterbacks are rarely valued in re-draft fantasy leagues, in dynasty fantasy leagues they’re valued just as much as the real NFL. In 2012, we were spoiled with, not one but, two franchise quarterbacks entering the league in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. 2013 doesn’t afford the same quality at the top but does have a few options further down the list.
- EJ Manuel (BUF) – The first quarterback taken off the board in the 2013 draft, Manuel was a surprise pick for Buffalo. For fantasy purposes, he shows the most promise for an early return. He has a superior runner in CJ Spiller and quality receiving target in Stevie Johnson. At worst, Manuel has the second easiest path to starting. Kevin Kolb currently sits atop the Bills depth chart but him and Manuel recently split snaps at mini-camp. Additionally, Kolb has yet to start more than 9 times in a season due to injuries and general ineffectiveness. If Manual, who has two inches and 20 pounds on Kolb, shows any promise in training camp, Buffalo will start him early. He didn’t get drafted to sit. His dynasty prospects are a little murkier only because of the many unknowns. Buffalo has had a complete regime change from the top down that should buy Manual time to develop. Only time will tell if first-year general manager Doug Whaley and first year coach Doug Marrone can provide a strong environment
- Geno Smith (NYJ) – Smith was largely perceived to be the first quarterback taken in the draft but fell to the Jets in the second round. Smith definitely put up the numbers of a first round pick at West Virginia but was still not as accurate as scouts had hoped. While it certainly wouldn’t take much to unseat Mark Sanchez, the fact is Smith has done nothing to give the Jets any reason to even consider starting Smith. Furthermore, Smith’s development doesn’t appear to be a priority of the Jets coaching staff. Last year, Mike Shananhan purposely blended the pro playbook with RG3’s college playbook in an effort to east the transition. The Jets have no such plans. Yikes. Smith certainly doesn’t warrant a high pick in dynasty leagues.
- Matt Barkley (PHI) – No prospect fell further from before the 2012 season than Barkley. Originally thought to go first overall before opening 2012, Barkley fell to the fourth round and Philadelphia. Once there, he immediately was penciled in behind Mike Vick and Nick Foles. It’s not hard to realize Vick (33) won’t be an Eagle much longer (possibly sooner rather than later) but Nick Foles still looms. Just 24, Foles still has three years left on his rookie contract and is giving Vick a run for his money on the starting job. Still, there’s something to be said for being picked by the new coach and Barkley has impressed in OTA’s. Barkley probably won’t contribute this year but is worth a stash in dynasty leagues, especially taxi squads.
- Tyler Wilson (OAK) – One of the likelier rookies to see playing time early is Wilson. Early reports out of Oakland mini-camp have Wilson impressing. Of course, he’ll need to keep that up in live action but it shouldn’t be difficult to force his way in the conversation. With Terrell Pryor unimpressive so far and Matt Flynn getting balls batted down in non-contact drills, it’s not inconceivable that Wilson gets started early. Long-term, however, his chances of sticking around in Oakland aren’t great. Unless Dennis Allen can improve on his 4-12 debut, and there have been no personnel changes to suggest otherwise, the Raiders will be bad again. The badder they are, the higher in the draft they’ll go and increase their chances of drafting a franchise quarterback (hello Teddy Bridgewater). Truly, the only person that can help Tyler Wilson’s dynasty value is Tyler Wilson. He’d be another taxi squad candidate with a decent chance to start this year.
- Mike Glennon (TB) – Perhaps the most intriguing prospect of this year’s class, Glennon could create a perfect storm for himself to take over in Tampa. At 6′ 7″ with a huge arm, Glennon has the physical tools to be a starter with NFL Matchup’s Greg Cosell even comparing Glennon to Matt Ryan as a prospect. He can make the throws and will be given the opportunity to make an impression in pre-season. It all falls on incumbent Josh Freeman to stick around after his rookie contract expires this year. Freeman has been uneven with seasons of 25 and 27 touchdowns but also seasons of 17, 18, and 22 interceptions, sometimes in the same year. Freeman will need a great year to warrant an extension. The bottom line is Tampa has the weapons to make either quarterback successful. It would be worth a mid-level pick to invest in Glennon.