Thursday, 28 July 2016 00:00

Are we sleeping on Phillip Dorsett?

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Want a chance to win hundreds of dollars weekly? Enter the Fantasy Football Helpers challenge here. The 2015 NFL Draft class was considered full of potential WR1 talent. Guys like Amari Cooper, Breshard Perriman, Nelson Agholor, Phillip Dorsett and Devante Parker were all among the top prospects selected in the first round. Aside from Cooper, every receiver on that list was fantasy irrelevant in their respective rookie seasons. Still, there's some reason to believe one of them could emerge as a greatly improved fantasy asset in 2016. One of the receivers we'll be examining from that list is Indianapolis Colts receiver Phillip Dorsett. Dorsett disappointed from a fantasy standpoint as a rookie and finished with just 18 receptions for 225 yards and one touchdown. Despite his low numbers, it's important to put his performance into context and decide if these are the types of numbers we'll continue to see from Dorsett or if greater things are on the horizon, and there's plenty of reason to believe the latter. Sidenote: It's always worth noting when a player gets drafted in the first round because it shows the team is invested that players success, at least for a few seasons. Often times,…
It’s always exhilarating when you draft a player who flew under the radar then watch him take off during the season—giving you bragging rights over all your friends. Each year, a running back seems to possess that mystical power. Ameer Abdullah looked like one of those players last season, until he struggled with fumbles. The Lions staff didn’t want him involved in the offense for any reason, ultimately leaving those once-excited fantasy owners with sour tastes in their mouths. But there’s always another guy to be intrigued by, and Baltimore Ravens rookie running back Kenneth Dixon possesses all those potential traits in a slightly different way than Abdullah did last year, which leads him into sleeper territory this season. An exciting player with very good quickness when changing direction, Dixon can elude defenders in ways few running backs in this draft class can. While he’s not an overwhelmingly powerful runner standing at 5′10, 215 lbs, he runs with a sense of toughness and decisiveness that can help him win 1-on-1 battles despite his lack of size. Also a gifted receiver, Dixon will be able to assert himself in the short passing game on screen passes and also has the ability…
Thursday, 23 June 2016 00:00

Can Josh Ferguson have fantasy value in 2016?

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Franco Harris in 1983, John Henry Johnson in 1962 and John Riggins in 1984. Those three running backs all share one thing in common — they were the only RBs to rush for more than 1,000 yards after turning 33 years old. Frank Gore, the current starting running back for the Indianapolis Colts, is also 33 years old. If you're looking to draft Gore to your fantasy team this season at his more than reasonable ADP of RB26, keep in mind that while you're getting good value at that price, you're also wagering Gore will do something only three running backs in NFL history have done. Gore rushed for 967 yards last season and finished with six touchdowns. So while it's safe to say he hasn't completely lost his ability to produce, there's always a chance he drops off or at the very least needs to shoulder less of the workload. This creates a chance for someone else to enter the fray, and that someone in this case is current backup Josh Ferguson. Opportunity is definitely there for the undrafted back out of Illinois even aside from Gore's age. With Robert Turbin, Jordan Todman, Trey Williams and Tyler Varga rounding…
Rookie running back Devontae Booker has been one of the more polarizing draft prospects at the position this offseason. But there's good reason to believe he could be fantasy relevant this season and maybe, just maybe, snatch the starting position away from current Denver back, C.J. Anderson. Anderson was handed the keys to Denver's offense last season after going on a tear at the end of the 2014 season, but he didn't exactly flourish in his new role. He finished the year with 720 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns to go along with 25 catches for 183 yards and zero receiving touchdowns. He ended up ranking 31st overall among running backs in fantasy points for standard scoring. Some argue Anderson's struggles were a result of injury, and they have some merit. Anderson battled foot injuries early in the season which slowed his progress. In each of his first 3 games, he didn't eclipse more than 30 yards rushing. To be fair, Anderson was saddled with tough matchups against daunting run defenses such as Baltimore, Kansas City, and Detroit to start the season. But if you want to be considered a true feature back in your offense, you have to…
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 00:00

James Conner: Finish him

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Player card Name: James Conner School: Pittsburgh Height: 6'2 Weight: 240 lbs Class: Junior Accolades: ACC Player of the Year (2014), led ACC in touchdowns Notable injuries: Sprained MCL (expected to miss entire 2015 season) Biggest strengths: Power, yards after contact, pass blocking, vision, balance Biggest weaknesses: Speed to the edge, high pad level runner Biggest questions: Can he catch the ball consistently? Is he too tall a runner for the NFL? View image | gettyimages.com You remember 'Mortal Kombat?' A fighting video game back in the mid 1990s? You'd be beating up on your opponent to the point where you'd win the fight and the announcer would shout 'finish him!' then you'd launch into a sequence of button mashing on your controller in hopes of landing an array of punches and kicks to embarrass the person you're playing with. I know, it's definitely a guilty pleasure kind of video game. But finishing is an important part of playing running back at the NFL level too, and Pittsburgh Panthers running back James Conner finishes runs with a physicality that could make Shang Tsung say 'flawless victory.' Come on, let me have my fun with this. What he's done up until…
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 00:00

Dynasty prospect: Ezekiel Elliott

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The running back position requires an athlete to possess several traits for success. One of the crucial ones is competitive drive. The ability to initiate contact with defenders typically much bigger in size, keep your feet churning to break tackles and extend plays is key to turning a five yard gain into eight yards. This trait is even more crucial in short yardage situations where your team needs a few inches on the goal line for a touchdown or first down. One of the most promising prospects in this area is Ohio State junior Ezekiel Elliott, a running back that also possesses the athleticism and durability needed to excel at the pro level. Elliott was unveiled as the Buckeyes feature back for the first time in 2014, replacing current 49er Carlos Hyde. He flourished in coach Urban Meyer's revamped offense, a scheme that was a departure from his spread days in Florida. The attack focused more on inside zone blocking plays and power runs up the middle. While many hear 'zone blocking' and immediately equate it with running backs avoiding contact and seeking consistent three-to-four yard gains, that wasn't the case with Elliot. He was a physical runner that used…
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 00:00

Sleeper desirability rankings for 2015

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This is the week. The third week in August, where the majority of you are polishing up your draft strategy for your fantasy football season. Keep in mind, it's not the first two picks that will make or break your fantasy season. It's the mid-to-late rounds where you select those 'red' players, as Redskins GM Scot McCloughan calls them. Your studs are 'greens' and your starters are reds. You want as many quality reds as possible, guys who won't explode for tons of points but you can still count on on a consistent basis. It's important to find several players with ADP's past the 7th or 8th round who score in the 6-12 point range every week. Every year there's a few late-round gems that turn the tide of a fantasy league, and here's a crop of players that have as good a chance as any to be quality reds this season. These are the two players we're coveting most in 2015. 'Tier 1 sleepers' Stevie Johnson, WR San Diego Chargers Why he's a sleeper: Johnson is still a talented receiver. He was buried in a deep hole that was the San Francisco 49ers run-first attack in 2014, headed by…
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 00:00

Fantasy sleeper: Cody Latimer

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Want to help yourself in fantasy this season and support our site at the same time? Sign up for FantasyPros Draft Wizard by clicking this link. Try out many other FantasyPros tools including their Draft Analyzer, Cheat Sheet creator, Draft Assistant and Auction Creator. All great options to help you win your league. Want to give daily fantasy leagues a try? Sign up for DraftKings here. A young, big-body receiver who'll be expected to step into a much bigger role in 2015, Broncos wideout Cody Latimer is creeping onto the fantasy radar as a potential dark horse. As part of a prolific offense headed by still-great-but-aging Peyton Manning, Latimer is giving off good value with an ADP of 172 overall according to Fantasypros. That means he's going later than guys like Terrance Williams, Pierre Garcon and Devante Parker. There's plenty of potential value to be had if fantasy owners take the leap and draft Latimer. As a 2014 second-round pick, Latimer got lost in the shuffle due to lack of snaps last season. He finished his rookie year with a paltry two catches for 23 yards and saw only 3.7 percent of the team's overall snaps, falling victim to the…
Love baseball? Love making $5,000 in a free contest? Sign up here. There is no other quarterback, or player for that matter, in the 2015 NFL Draft that has been inspected under the proverbial microscope by scouts and media members than Florida State redshirt sophomore Jameis Winston. Although Winston possesses talent that in my opinion puts him right up there with Andrew Luck and Teddy Bridgewater as elite quarterback prospects, his lack of maturity off the field have led to questions about whether or not Winston possess the mental makeup to be a franchise quarterback. Player: Jameis Winston School: Florida State University Position: Quarterback Height: 6'3" Weight: 230 lbs Class: RS Soph Position Rank: 1 Scouting Report From strictly an on-field evaluation you will be hard-pressed to find a quarterback that is more prepared to run an NFL offense than Winston. Standing at 6'4" around 230 lbs Winston possesses the ideal frame of an NFL quarterback. While Winston will never be placed in the same class athletically as RGIII, Cam Newton, or Andrew Luck, Winston possesses more than enough athletic ability to make plays on the boundary of a defense. Due to the experience in a pro-style system that Florida…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 00:00

Prospect: RB Michael Dyer

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Sometimes the most interesting prospects are those who get lost in the shuffle due to issues off the field. Isaiah Crowell was a good example of that last season with Cleveland. Plus, if you look at the trends of good running backs going undrafted (Branden Oliver last season and Arian Foster in 2009) or late in the draft (Alfred Morris, Alfred Blue, Andre Williams) you'll find there's always fantasy value to be found in nearly every round of the draft. So you can't sleep on anybody. Let's take a look at a running back who may end up fitting all that criteria listed above and analyze how his skills could translate to the next level. That running back is Louisville product and former Auburn running back Michael Dyer. An undisclosed violation of team rules led him to being kicked off the Auburn Tigers in 2011, but Dyer left a mark while he was there. Dyer rushed for 1,093 yards on 182 carries and five touchdowns as a freshman in 2010 and helped the Auburn Tigers to a National Championship victory over the Oregon Ducks that same year. In that game, Dyer rushed for 143 yards on 22 carries and was…
Friday, 10 April 2015 00:00

Prospect: RB David Cobb

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Gopher it Gopher it. That's what you should be saying to yourself when you peer into your dynasty draftboard during the later rounds and realize Minnesota product David Cobb is still available. His journey up until this point Aside from Melvin Gordon and Jay Ajayi, no running back had more carries (314) than Cobb did in 2014. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry in a run heavy offense that allowed him to maximize his stats and finish 11th overall in rushing yards. One of the biggest knocks on David Cobb throughout the draft process has been his speed. He ran a 4.81 40-yard dash at the combine, which ranked 4th worst among more than 30 running backs who participated. He injured his quad during the run, which likely played a role in the slow time. Since then, Cobb recently clocked in at 4.65 and 4.70 at his pro day earlier this week. Slightly better than last, but don't let the slow 40 times fool you, there are reasons to believe this won't hinder him too much from being a relevant fantasy back in the future. Even going back to the history of running backs and 40 times, a 4.4 40…
Thursday, 26 March 2015 00:00

Dynasty Wide Receiver Tier 2.0: Nelson Agholor

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Player: Nelson Agholor School: University of Southern California Position: Wide Receiver Height: 6'0" Weight: 198 lbs Class: Sr. Position Rank: 6 While I try and watch as much college football as possible, being from the midwest it makes it hard to watch sports that take place on the west coast due to the late start times. Because of the limited viewing possibilities I cannot form a proper opinion of some draft prospects. This year, USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor is a player that I may have been late to the party too, but after watching left a major impression on me. Strengths: Exceptional Route-Runner Legitimate Deep Threat Well-Rounded Game Hands Catcher Special Teams Capabilities Ability to Line Up at Multiple Places in an Offense Attacks Top of Stem Well Sinks into Breaks High Motor Player Should be Day 1 Contributor Recognizes Soft Spots in Zone Coverage Quick Twitch Player Works Back to Football Well Weaknesses: Slight Frame, Lacks Prototypical No. 1 WR Size Mediocre Run Blocker, Absorbs Hit Rather Than Deliver It Struggles with Contested Catches Lacks Elite Trait Not a "Vertical"/Jump Ball Threat Will Struggle in Red Zone Collegiate Career Although Agholor did not have the heralded college career…
Sunday, 08 March 2015 00:00

Dynasty draft running backs tier 2: Jay Ajayi

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Tired of getting beat by the pros in Daily Fantasy leagues? Try this beginners contest with over $1 million in prizes. Running backs who can catch the ball are crucial for fantasy success. We mentioned Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon earlier last week as a potential underrated pass catcher. We also mentioned Miami prospect Duke Johnson as one of the more natural receivers in this year's draft. Johnson also possesses the gift of elusiveness shared by pros like LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles. Yeldon, on the other hand, is more of a steady running back who prefers to move the chains rather than break tackles and rattle off huge gains. Both styles have their pros and cons. For example, Yeldon might not make the biggest splash in the points category from week to week, but he looks like a steady, serviceable back that can move the chains and hover around 80-100 rushing yards mark and toss in the occasional 30-35 receiving yards. This is all depending on whether or not he gets drafted to a team that wants to utilize him in that way of course. When it comes to Johnson's weakness, his undersized frame may lend itself to the…
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 00:00

Dynasty Wide Receiver Tier 2.0: Tyler Lockett

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Tired of getting beat by the pros in Daily Fantasy leagues? Try this beginners contest with over $1 million in prizes. Player: Tyler Lockett School: Kansas State University Position: Wide Receiver Height: 5’10” Weight: 182 lbs Class: Sr. Position Rank: 5 Over the last few seasons undersized receivers such as the Steelers Antonio Brown and the Colts T.Y. Hilton have been able to establish as premier player makers at the wide receiver position. In the 2015 NFL draft class, Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett is a player that has been overlooked due to his diminutive size, but in my opinion has a chance to come in and play a major role during his rookie season. Strengths: Big Play Threat (14.3 YPC) Ability to make people miss after catch Uses Quickness/Speed to be a mismatch against bigger defensive backs Very quick feet Elite Short Area Quickness Works back to football very well Versatility to line up at multiple positons within an offense Surprising ability to play above the ground (35.5” vertical) Attacks top of stem, explosive out of routes Special team capability High Character Individual Weaknesses: Can get swallowed up by press-coverage Double-catches, and occasional drops due to small hands…
With the NFL draft, it’s natural to be drawn to the big names. However, premiere NFL teams are successful finding players with potential to contribute despite not being as highly regarded as other prospects. As an example, let’s review the wide receiver position. With the game of football transitioning to a game predicated on high-flying passing offense, lower-level college programs have been able to develop players with the ability to make an impact at the NFL level. Players such as Victor Cruz, T.Y. Hilton, Antonio Brown, and Anquan Boldin are examples of mid-late round wide receivers that have been able to achieve successful NFL careers. Additionally, there are three players I feel the potential to develop as starting caliber NFL wide receivers and consistent fantasy options - William & Mary’s Tre McBride, UNLV’s DeVante Davis, and Eastern Carolina’s Justin Hardy. Tre McBride WR/William & Mary Every year there seems to be a player that comes from the Division IAA level or lower who makes a serious impact in the NFL. This year, my number one rated small school prospect is William & Mary wide receiver Tre McBride. The senior receiver finished his career with 196 receptions for over 2,653 receiving…

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