- The Dolphins had a fairly efficient night scoring 27 points on 55 plays. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill had 236 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He’ll never be a long-term solution in dynasty leagues but he might not be a bad QB2.
- Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers had himself a nice day with 86 yards rushing and two catches for seven yards in place of Steven Jackson. Now would be a good time to sell high as Jackson might not be back until week 7 and Rogers is, by no means, the long-term solution. He has yet to crack the 4.0 YPC mark and won’t anytime soon.
- Dolphins rookie defensive end Dion Jordan had his second straight quiet game after racking up a sack in his pro debut. Now might be the time to pluck him off an unsuspecting victim and stash him away for taxi squad purposes.
- Meanwhile, Dolphins linebacker Dannell Ellerbe racked up 10 more tackles to go along with his 20 for the season. Ellerbe is a solid contributor in standard scoring IDP dynasty leagues.
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’re getting closer and closer to the beginning of the season. Let’s see what’s happening down the final stretch.
- It appears Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball are doing everything they can to NOT start at running back for Denver this year. Neither can pass protect and have had trouble holding on to the ball. Their stock should drop in dynasty drafts this week but Ball still makes a ton of sense long-term.
- Rob Gronkowski is expected to play most, not all, of this season. However, at just 24, he’s still a top two tight end dynasty pick. The only hesitation would be his injury history, which is getting more frequent. It’d be ideal to draft Gronk’s current backup, rookie Zach Sudfeld for insurance.
- Rookie Mike James is officially the #3 running back in Tampa. He’s got some talent but is only worth a taxi squad spot at this point, especially if you have Doug Martin.
- Oakland appears to be moving on from Matt Flynn and giving Terrelle Pryor a shot at quarterback. Pryor has flashes but, ultimately, won’t be the long-term answer. We fully expect Oakland to be in the mix for the top pick in the NFL draft in 2014 and could take one then.
That’s all for now. One more pre-season game to go.
Finally, football is back.
- From last night’s game, Lamar Miller looked solid (besides the botched hand off) with two runs of 10 and 11 yards. Miller is rated 13th in the latest running back ranks.
- Detroit running back Reggie Bush has been everything he was supposed to be – catching balls and getting top-line speed very quickly. Reggie is a solid RB2 at his current 20th ranking. But if you built a strong dynasty team around him, he could be a low-end RB1 in PPR leagues.
- Eddie Lacy looked good in Green Bay’s scrimmage. He’s set up for a lot of goal-line work as a RB2 in their high powered offense. Meanwhile, Johnathan Franklin did not impress so temper your expectations.
- Chicago’s Alshon Jeffery has firmly established himself as the #2 in Chicago. If Cutler gets up to 600 pass attempts, he’ll need to throw to someone else besides Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte. Plus, Brandon Marshall isn’t getting any younger at 29.
- Tennessee rookie receiver Justin Hunter had two drops in practice. Hunter is still only a taxi-squad level prospect until he can be reliable.
- Cincy rookie tight end Tyler Eifert made the most of AJ Green sitting out of practice. Eifert needs to be the first rookie tight end off your board and could be a top 10 pick in dynasty leagues.
- On the flip side, Dallas rookie tight end Gavin Escobar has done nothing to stand out. Escobar was entering a good situation with Dallas’ pass-happy offense and learning from one of the best tight ends in history. Use caution.
- Jacksonville rookie receiver Ace Sanders caught a couple of first downs in practice. We looked at Sanders in-dept here.
Happy Monday everybody.
It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday…
- Fred Davis seems to have recovered from his ankle injury. With the dearth of quality tight ends, Davis isn’t a bad option as a high-end TE2. Just 27 and RG3 as his quarterback, the potential is there in dynasty leagues.
- Stevie Johnson is working out of the slot in Buffalo. The goal is to develop Johnson into the Wes Welker role, where Welker averaged 100 catches a year. If E.J. Manual can develop, Johnson would make an intriguing dynasty receiver going forward and worth more than his current 36th ranking in dynasty charts.
- Jermichael Finley is having a great camp and, apparently, justifying his TE1 status. Still just 26 and in one of the best offenses in the NFL, Finley is in a great position. He just needs to not be so charitable.
- Arian Foster should be coming back Sunday. Foster is no stranger to injury. At 27, it’s fair to question how much longer Foster has to be an elite running back option. I might avoid Foster until at least the last half of the first round in dynasty drafts. I also might consider trading him sometime this season or after.
- Mike Wallace has been dealing with a groin injury. The hope is he comes back for Sunday’s game and can keep working with Ryan Tannehill. Wallace is a still WR2 but has potential for a WR1 if Tannehill can make the leap.
- Fresh off our look at rookie running backs, Denard Robinson’s snaps have decreased to ‘free up his mind.’ Don’t draft Robinson until his play improves.
- Dion Sims is officially the #2 tight end in Miami and has looked good. After looking at his chances, we like Sims for a taxi squad role on your dynasty team in his rookie year.
- The Bengals confirmed what we hoped for Tyler Eifert – he will line up wide. He’s been getting high praise and deserves to be the first rookie tight end of your dynasty board.
- Golden Tate has looked good in camp. With Percy Harvin out for a while, Tate is someone to keep in mind. At just 24, he’s a great mid-to-late round dynasty pick and, at the moment, worth more than his 66th ranking.
Remember, if you’re able to read this, it’s the best day ever.
It’s the last day of the month. Let’s see what we got:
- Danny Amendola has been a bright spot in Patriots camp so far. They predict he should be able to do what Wes Welker did and catch 100 balls. In PPR dynasty leagues, Amendola is high on the list.
- Jason Witten is catching balls in the red zone during camp. Hopefully Witten can capitalize on that as he’s never had more than 9 touchdowns in a season. Witten is still solidly at #4 in dynasty rankings.
- The running back picture in Denver is still not clear. Until there is some clarity, don’t treat any back, Montee Ball especially, as a stud.
- Pierre Garcon is making the catches at camp. With RG3 as his quarterback, Garcon may be underrated with his current 26th dynasty ranking.
- Brock Osweiler improved greatly from last years camp to this years. As the primary backup to 37-year old Peyton Manning, Osweiler is a fantastic taxi squad prospect whether you have Manning or not.
- Jonathan Franklin didn’t get off to a great start in pass blocking drills. If he can’t get in the game on passing downs, it’s going to be hard to get in at all.
- Coming off our report yesterday, Jon Baldwin continues to not impress.
Next month will be drafting time. Giddy up.
Previously, we looked at the three receivers drafted in the first round of the NFL draft and what kind of impact to expect from them in dynasty leagues. Part II will look at those receivers drafted in the second round. Typically, they can provide more value as you’ll be drafting them later.
- Justin Hunter (TEN) – Before the draft, Greg Cosell called Hunter the most physically gifted receiver among those that were eligible. After his 6′ 4″ frame ran a 4.4 40-time in the combine, Hunter was drafted 34th overall by Tennessee. Hunter has the tools but will he have the opportunity to be successful? Hunter joins Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright in the Tennessee rotation and is coming off a hamstring injury in OTA’s. Perhaps most damning is that Jake Locker is still the Tennessee quarterback. There’s a lot to overcome so it might be wise to use a taxi-squad spot for Hunter initially. Plus, there’s other receiver that were drafted later than Hunter that have a better opportunity to make an immediate impact. Hunter currently sits at 49 in average dynasty rankings.
- Robert Woods (BUF) – Woods was drafted 41st overall from USC after posting a 74/849/11 line his junior year. Of course this was after his sophomore season of 111/1,292/15. Physically, Woods has a pedestrian build at 6′ 0″ and 190 pounds but is considered the most NFL-ready of any receiver thanks to a quick grasp of the playbook and good route-running. He is walking into a good situation with Buffalo hitting the reset button in the off-season. With a new coach and quarterback, who he’s already hitting it off with, Woods has time to prove he belongs. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be starting opposite Steve Johnson in the Fall. Definitely worth a mid-level draft pick in dynasty circles. Woods is 51 in combined dynasty rankings.
- Aaron Dobson (NE) – My personal favorite of the second round picks, Dobson is walking into an ideal situation. Drafted 59th overall out of Marshall, the 6′ 3″ Dobson is just one of the many new faces in the New England receiving corps. which means everyone is starting fresh. Additionally, last year’s New England team was fourth in the league in pass attempts. Drafted to provide some height, Dobson was compared by Cosell to Larry FItzgerald in terms of size and hands. If he can keep up with Tom Brady and the playbook, there’s nothing stopping Dobson from being successful early and often in dynasty leagues. And with Belichick, supposedly, gushing about him while praising his basketball background (hello, Jimmy Graham), Dobson is set up for big things now and in the future. With the uncertainty in New England about who’s going to catch the ball, it might not be a bad idea to grab Dobson early in dynasty drafts. Expect his current 59th spot in our dynasty ranks to improve.
Let’s do this:
- DeAngelo Williams is penciled in as the starter at running back until Jonathan Stewart can prove he’s healthy. When that will be, no one’s exactly sure. Williams is sure to be of some value this year with one of the best quarterbacks in the league and with no additions to the receiving corps. After 2013 is another story for the 30-year old which is why he sits at only 52 in dynasty rankings. Only draft/trade for Williams if you’re in win-now mode.
- With Robert Griffin III still recovering from his knee injury, Kirk Cousins will take first-string snaps at quarterback for most of the pre-season. In his lone start last year, Cousins completed 70% of his passes on 37 attempts for 329 yards in a 38-21 win at Cleveland. With a solid pre-season, Cousins can improve his stock even further. Signed to a four-year rookie contract, the Redskins will use Cousins as much as they can before he makes great trade bait a la Matt Schaub. I love Cousins as a taxi-squad player that could be a starter in 2-3 years. And if you’re an RG3 fantasy owner, what are you waiting for?
- The Chiefs seem to be setting up rookie tight end Travis Kelce to line up in a variety of positions which bodes well for targets. Drafted in the third round, Kelce is competing with Anthony Fasano and Tony Moeaki for snaps. Fasano was just signed in March but has traditionally been a blocker while Moeaki has significant injury concerns. Kelce had serious character issues coming in to the draft but, after being drafted in the 3rd round, would appear to be set up to be the long-term solution in Kansas City. Kelce currently sits at 20 in dynasty rankings thanks to his age and the fact that tight end is such a premium.