My All-Time Undrafted NFL Team: Offense

Just because the 2013 NFL Draft has concluded, that does not mean that NFL teams are done trying to find rookie players.  Immediately following the draft we saw storylines emerge about Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray signing with the Chiefs and Cris Carter’s son Duron Carter going to the Vikings.  The best NFL teams not only find exceptional value in the draft but the best also find value outside of it.  Recently Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo received a 6 year $108 million extension from the Dallas Cowboys.  He was an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois University.  The New York Giants hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in 2012 thanks largely to the efforts of undrafted Victor Cruz out of the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.  Who knows what future superstar teams may discover in the coming days but it has prompted me to throw together my all-time undrafted NFL team.

Below you will find my all-time undrafted offense.   Defense and Special Teams will be released later this week.

Quarterback

Kurt Warner, University of Northern Iowa
St. Louis Rams (1998 – 2003); New York Giants (2004); Arizona Cardinals (2005 – 2009)
Super Bowl XXXIV Champion; Super Bowl XXXIV MVP;  2x NFL MVP; 2x All-Pro; 4x Pro-Bowl
Fun Fact: Holds the record for the most yards passing in a Super Bowl (XXXIV), 2nd most yards passing in a Super Bowl (XLIII), and you guessed it – third most yards passing in a Super Bowl (XXXVI)

Runner-Up: Warren Moon, Washington
Houston Oilers (1984-1993); Minnesota Vikings (1994-1996); Seattle Seahawks (1997-1998); Kansas City Chiefs (1999-2000)

Running Backs

Joe Perry, Compton College
San Francisco 49ers (1948 – 1960; 1963); Baltimore Colts (1961 – 1962)
3x Pro-Bowl Selection; 2x First Team All-Pro; 2x Rushing Champion; NFL 1950’s All-Decade Team; San Francisco 49ers #34 retired; Pro Football Hall of Fame
Fun Fact: In 1954 Joe Perry rushed for over 1,000 yards becoming the first NFL player to every rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons

Priest Holmes, Texas
Baltimore Ravens (1997 – 2000); Priest Holmes (2001 – 2007)
Super Bowl XXXV Champion; 3x Pro Bowl; 3x All-Pro; 2001 Rushing Title; 2002 NFL Offensive Player of the Year
Fun Fact: In 2001, Priest Holmes became the first undrafted player to ever win a rushing title.  Arian Foster duplicated this feat 2010.

Runner-Up: Arian Foster, Tennessee
Houston Texans (2009 – Present)

Fullback

Marion Motley, Nevada
Cleveland Browns (1946 – 1953); Pittsburgh Steelers (1955)V
4x AAFC Champion; 1948 AAFC Rushing Champion; 1950 NFL Rushing Champion; 1950 Pro-Bowl Selection; 1950 NFL Champion; NFL 1940’s All-Decade Team; NFL 75th Anniversary Team; Pro Football Hall of Fame
Fun Fact: Motley holds the best career average for yard per rushing attempt at 5.7.  He was also the Browns starting linebacker when he played.

Runner-Up: Vonta Leach, ECU
Green Bay Packers (2004 – 2006); New Orleans Saints (2006); Houston Texans (2006 – 2010); Baltimore Ravens (2011 – Present)

Offensive Guards

Larry Little, Bethune-Cookman
San Diego Chargers (1967 – 1968); Miami Dolphins (1969 – 1980)
2x Super Bowl Champion; 5x Pro Bowl selection; 5x First team All-Pro; Pro Football Hall of Fame
Fun Fact: In 1969, Little was upset with a trade that sent him from the Chargers to the Dolphins because he wanted to go somewhere he could win a championship.  Little went on to win two Super Bowls including being an integral part of the undefeated 1972 Dolphins team.

Brian Waters, North Texas
Kansas City Chiefs (2000 – 2010); New England Patriots (2011 – 2012)
6x Pro Bowl Selection; 2x All-Pro
Fun Fact: Waters played tight end and defensive end at North Texas before the Chiefs converted him into an offensive lineman.

Runner-Up:  Kris Dielman, Indiana
San Diego Chargers (2003 – 2011)

Center

Jim Langer, South Dakota State
Miami Dolphins (1970 – 1979); Minnesota Vikings (1980 – 1981)
2x Super Bowl Champion; 6x Pro Bowl Selection; 6x All-Pro; NFL 1970’s All-Decade Team; Pro Football Hall of Fame
Fun Fact: The award for the top offensive lineman in Division II is the Jim Langer Award.  Interestingly, he was a middle linebacker in college and became a lineman once he joined the Dolphins.

Runner-Up: Jeff Saturday, North Carolina
Indianapolis Colts (1999 – 2011); Green Bay Packers (2012)

Offensive Tackles

Lou Groza, Ohio State
Cleveland Browns (1946 – 1959; 1961 – 1967)
4x AAFC Champion; 4x NFL Champion; 9x Pro Bowl Selection; 4x All-Pro; NFL 1950’s All-Decade Team; Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor; Cleveland Browns #76 retired; Pro Football Hall of Fame
Fun Fact: Nicknamed “The Toe”, Lou Groza was also the placekicker for the Browns, leading the league in field goals on five occasions and retired as the all-time points leader in the NFL.

Nate Newton, Florida A&M
Dallas Cowboys (1986 – 1998); Carolina Panthers (1999)
3x Super Bowl Champion; 6x Pro Bowl Selection; 2x All-Pro
Fun Fact: While in Dallas he was nicknamed “The Kitchen”, the reason being he was larger than the Bears’ William “The Refrigerator” Perry.

Runner-Up: Jason Peters, Arkansas
Buffalo Bills (2004 – 2008); Philadelphia Eagles (2009 – Present)

Wide Receivers

Rod Smith, Missouri Southern State University
Denver Broncos (1994 – 2006)
2x Super Bowl Champion; 3x Pro Bowl; 2x All-Pro
Fun Fact: Rod Smith is the only undrafted player to ever eclipse the 10,000 career receiving yards mark.

Wes Welker, Texas Tech
San Diego Chargers (2004); Miami Dolphins (2004 – 2006); New England Patriots (2007 – 2012); Denver Broncos (2013 – Present)
5x Pro Bowl; 2x First Team All-Pro; 2x Second Team All-Pro; 3x NFL Receptions Leader
Fun Fact: Wes Welker was widely considered “too small” to be successful at the college level.  Only 1 Division I school offered him a scholarship (Texas Tech) and it was only offered to him after another recruit backed out of the offer right before Welker’s freshman year.  That same disrespect apparently followed him to the NFL Draft.

Drew Pearson, Tulsa
Dallas Cowboys (1973 – 1983)
Super Bowl XII Champion; 3x First Team All-Pro; 1x Second Team All-Pro; 3x Pro Bowl Selection;  Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor; Pearson’s #88 reserved for Best Cowboy’s Receivers (worn by Michael Irvin & Dez Bryant)
Fun Fact: In the 1975 Playoffs in a game against the Minnesota Vikings, Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach threw a 50 yard game winning touchdown pass to Drew Pearson with seconds left on the clock.  Afterwards he said of the pass, “I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary” and the Hail Mary pass was born.

Wayne Chrebet, Hofstra
New York Jets (1995 – 2005)
New York Jets #80 Discontinued
Fun Fact: In 1995, Wayne Chrebet became the first player from Hofstra University to make an NFL roster since 1964

Runner-Up: Victor Cruz, University of Massachusetts
New York Giants (2010 – Present)

Tight Ends

Antonio Gates, Kent State
San Diego Chargers (2003 – Present)
8x Pro Bowl Selection; 5x All-Pro; NFL 2000s All-Decade Team; San Diego Chargers 50th Anniversary Team
Fun Fact: Antonio Gates played basketball at Kent State but after his agent told him he wouldn’t make the NBA he arranged private NFL workouts with as many as 19 NFL teams.  His first was with the Chargers, they signed him on the spot.

Zeke Mowatt, Florida State
New York Giants (1983 – 1989; 1991); New England Patriots (1990)
Super Bowl XXI Champion
Fun Fact: Upon his retirement, Zeke Mowatt founded Mowatt, Inc. – a janitorial service in the New Jersey area.

Runner-Up: None.

Well there you have it, my all-time great NFL undrafted offense.  For some positions the options available is astounding (quarterback), while there are other locations where there is a surprising lack of choices (tight end and offensive tackle) but that does not change the fact that in hindsight every one of these players deserved to be drafted (and would’ve been high draft picks) but have succeeded in spite of it.   We often hear about the first round guys that don’t pan out but these are the undrafted guys who did.

Questions? Comments? Snide Remarks? Let me hear ’em!
Remember to follow us on Twitter @can_of_corn!

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2012 NFL Postseason Award Predictions

Yesterday evening prior to kickoff I laid out where I believed each team would finish for the 2012-13 NFL Season.   Dallas impressed last night and only verified where I believe they are as a team and that they will move ahead of the Giants in the NFC East.  Today we look at individual players and see what the postseason award picture will look like.  While I knew all of these picks on Tuesday, this is my first chance to write them down.  Last night’s game solidified my belief in one of my picks.

Offensive Rookie of the Year – 

Doug Martin, RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

More often than not, the offensive rookie of the year has been a running back.  While we’ve had a few young quarterbacks receive the award in recent years, I foresee a return to the running back trend.   The Boise State product has great vision and is a threat running the ball as well as catching out of the backfield.  He has already secured a starting position on a talented roster that considers itself a playoff team this year.  While I don’t see Tampa making their playoff return quite yet, I’m expecting great things from Martin.

Others that will be considered: Andrew Luck, QB – Indianapolis Colts, Robert Griffin III, QB – Washington Redskins, Trent Richardson, RB – Cleveland Browns, Kendall Wright, WR – Tennessee Titans, Alshon Jeffrey, WR – Chicago Bears, Coby Fleener, TE – Indianapolis Colts, & Matt Kalil, OT – Minnesota Vikings

Defensive Rookie of the Year –

Luke Kuechly, LB – Carolina Panthers

Going into this year’s draft, I thought that – outside of Vikings OT Matt Kalil – Kuechly was the rookie most prepared for the NFL.  The young star from Boston College has great vision and leadership qualities and he has been thrust into a talented defense that fits his talents perfectly.  I am a big believer that linebacker is the easiest defensive position for a rookie to have success in and I believe that given his talent, situation, and position that Kuechly will be the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year this season.
Others that will be considered: Morris Claiborne, CB – Dallas Cowboys; Harrison Smith, S – Minnesota Vikings; Stephon Gilmore, CB – Buffalo Bills;  Janorris Jenkins, CB – St. Louis Rams; Mychal Kendricks, LB – Philadelphia Eagles; Dont’a Hightower, LB – Houston Texans; & Fletcher Cox, DT – Philadelphia Eagles

Offensive Player of the Year –

Arian Foster, RB – Houston Texans

There is a very good reason that most fantasy football experts listed Foster at the top of their draft boards this season.   It is because, in my opinion, the Houston Texans are the most talented and most complete team in the NFL.  On a team that I expect to have the NFL’s best regular season record in 2012, Foster is the best player.   He is a threat on the ground and in the receiving game.  If he can stay healthy, I fully expect Foster to eclipse the 2,000 all-purpose yards mark.

Others that will be considered: Calvin Johnson, WR – Detroit Lions; Ray Rice, RB – Baltimore Ravens; Aaron Rodgers, QB – Green Bay Packers; Matt Schaub, QB – Houston Texans; Tom Brady, QB – New England Patriots; & Matt Ryan, QB – Atlanta Falcons

Defensive Player of the Year –

DeMarcus Ware, LB – Dallas Cowboys

Last year I mentioned on multiple occasions that I believed 2011 would finally be the year that Jared Allen broke through and won his 1st NFL Defensive Player of the Year award after being such a force for so many years in the League (and let’s face it – not giving the award to Allen was a travesty).  Well this year I believe that Ware will finally get his due.  I see Ware getting a minimum of 15.5 sacks this year (and last night’s 2 sack performance making him the 2nd fastest player ever to record 100 sacks) doesn’t hurt matters.  I believe that Dallas wins the East this year and Ware is going to be a big part of that.
Others that will be considered: Jared Allen, DE – Minnesota Vikings;  Aldon Smith, OLB – San Francisco 49ers; Von Miller, LB – Denver Broncos; J.J. Watt, DL – Houston Texans; Patrick Willis, LB – San Francisco 49ers; Patrick Peterson, CB – Arizona Cardinals; & Mario Williams, OLB – Buffalo Bills

 NFL MVP –

Aaron Rodgers, QB – Green Bay Packers

Only two quarterbacks have ever won back-to-back MVP awards, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, but there is no reason to believe that Rodgers can’t duplicate this feat.   The Packers were far and away the best offense in the NFL last season but at the same time, if something were to happen to Rodgers, the Packers would fall off pretty drastically.  I really believe the Packers without Rodgers would be close to the 2011 Colts without Manning.  The Packers figure to be in the thick of things this year and it’s Aaron Rodgers who is going to get them there.

Others that will be considered: Tom Brady, QB – New England Patriots; Matt Schaub, QB – Houston Texans; Arian Foster, RB – Houston Texans; Matt Ryan, QB – Atlanta Falcons; Tony Romo, QB – Dallas Cowboys; & Ray Rice, RB – Baltimore Ravens

Comeback Player of the Year –

Peyton Manning, QB – Denver Broncos

I’m more than aware that this is an extremely popular pick for this award and while I gave it a lot of thought I came to the conclusion (that like Brett Favre when he went to the Vikings) you can never count Peyton Manning out.   I find it so hard to pick against Peyton Manning that I chose the Broncos to get into the postseason over the Steelers, Bengals, Jets, Chargers, Titans, & Raiders.  There are concerns now but Peyton Manning is going to make Demaryius Thomas & Eric Decker into household names.  After everything he has gone through if he can get the Broncos to the playoffs there is no doubt this award will belong to him.

Others that will be considered: Randy Moss, WR – San Francisco 49ers; Eric Berry, S – Kansas City Chiefs; Jamaal Charles, RB – Kansas City Chiefs; Adrian Peterson, RB – Minnesota Vikings; & Matt Schaub, QB – Houston Texans

Coach of the Year –

Romeo Crennel – Kansas City Chiefs

Now if the carousel of New Orleans Saints coaches can get that team to the playoffs they may be considered but let’s look at the facts: the NFL loves to give this award to rookie head coaches who have success.  Secondly, a team either has to be extremely dominant or go from worst to first (a la a San Francisco 49ers transformation) for a coach to get this award.  While this is Crennel’s 2nd go-around as a head coach, I believe that he will win.  His team finished in last place in the AFC West last year (though they only finished a game behind champion Denver) and the roster is much improved.  On top of that this team is getting Matt Cassel, Tony Moeak, Jamaal Charles, and Eric Berry all back from injury.  I believe that the Chiefs can make some noise in the AFC this year and when they do, Romeo will receive his first Coach of the Year award.

Others that will be considered: Gary Kubiak – Houston Texans; Chan Gailey – Buffalo Bills; Pete Carroll – Seattle Seahawks; Jason Garrett – Dallas Cowboys; Mike McCarthy – Green Bay Packers; & Mike Smith – Atlanta Falcons

Executive of the Year –

John Elway, Executive VP of Football Operations – Denver Broncos

Let’s look at everything this guy has done in the last two years.  He took a team that had the #2 overall pick in last year’s draft and got them to the playoffs by playing a running back at QB.   That player started a media blitz that could fill the hole in ESPN programming left behind by Brett Favre’s 17th retirement.  In the process that running back turned QB became the most popular athlete in the Mile High City since well… John Elway.  And then Elway was actually cheered for shipping that QB off to New York (ask the Nuggets how hard it is to ship a beloved Denver athlete to New York) because he brought in the man who in my estimation will one day be, statistically, the best QB of all-time.   He had another great draft and surrounded Manning with young and veteran talent alike.  If the Broncos get back to the playoffs, there is no doubt that Elway should be the Executive of the Year.

Others that will be considered: Ryan Grigson, GM – Indianapolis Colts; John Schneider, GM – Seattle Seahawks; & Les Snead, GM – St. Louis Rams

The Know-It-All Fantasy Football PPR Rundown

Fantasy Football PPR Rankings

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

Here is my first batch of news/notes from the preseason. Focusing on PPR leagues:

1st Round Buys & Sells

Buy:

Arian Foster, HOU–  Best player in the draft, not much he can’t do. Only concern is health. Faces one of the easiest schedules for running backs this season.

Ray Rice, Bal– Good for 70+ receptions, not to mention his 1,500 rushing yard potential and double digit TD. He is a top 3 fantasy player.

Calvin Johnson, DET– 150+ targets, good for 85+ receptions and double digit TDs

Darren McFadden, OAK– Injuries have slowed him down, BUT he has potential to be the Top Fantasy Running Back. Good for 1,300 rushing yards. Is averaging .82 points per touch the last 2 seasons. With Michael Bush gone, look for him to do some work.

Julio Jones, ATL– Yes I left out Roddy White. Jones is emerging, and this is his year. Look for 75+ receptions, and double digit TDs from him.

Sell:

Matt Forte, CHI–  Running behind a below average offensive line. Look for the Bears to throw it more in the RedZone with the addition of Brandon Marshall. Let someone else take Forte in the first round.

Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC– Has a high redzone success rate of 21%, but his team never gets in the Redzone. With him holding out and being on a dismal team, I would pass.

Wes Welker, NE– 173 Targets in 2011. With Lloyd in town, I see those targets going down. Declining Endzone Rate, with higher risk of injury on top of the worst schedule in the league for a Wideout.

Andre Johnson, HOU– Injuries have killed his last 2 seasons. Top player at his position, but he can’t produce when he is on the bench.

LeSean McCoy– There is no way he is repeating 20 TDs from last year. He was unsuccessful on a high rate of 30% of pass plays directed at him. I blame some of that on his Quarterback. He is a nice player, but has to be the most overrated player in the 1st round with ADP of #3 overall.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Prep: Week 2 Edition

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Prep

 

Week 2 Weekend Player Updates

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

Injuries continue to be the theme this season. We saw plenty of season ending injuries, to the nagging injuries continue this week. Could it be poor conditioning due to the lockout? It is important to keep an eye on injury reports. Brandon Lloyd was a surprise late scratch. Arian Foster started but was pulled in the second half because of his hamstring. Injured players can also contribute. Santonio Holmes and his bum ankle started and scored, Miles Austin and his bad hammy put up 41 fantasy points, and Tony Romo brought the Boys back with fractured ribs.

Digging for Gold:

As we wrap Week 2, we are starting to see trends begin with players. Cam Newton and Ryan Fitzpatrick stayed on the list for the second straight week. There is plenty of gold still left in your Free Agent Pool. Injuries by star players are giving backups the reps to shine.

Quarterback:

Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF– If Fitzpatrick is still in your FA Pool, now is the time to pick him out. Fitzpatrick is completing over 60% of his passes and spreading the ball around nicely. His biggest asset is the guy calling the plays, head coach Chan Gailey. The Bills offense has racked up two 38+ point performances back to back, which means more opportunity for Fitzpatrick to shine. He has 7 TDs to 1 Int for the season.

Cam Newton is putting the doubters to rest...for now

Cam Newton, CAR– Wow…. If you saw this coming, shut up and sit down because you are a liar. Newton is still breaking records in only his second week as a pro. He looked very comfortable in the first half but got too comfortable in the second half. Still I am sitting here trying to dig for the negatives about this kid and trying not to buy the hype. The fact that he is a rookie and that Carolina has the NFL’s toughest schedule are the only big negatives I can come up with. Here are the positives that make it worth taking a chance on him. Newton is completing over 60 percent of his passes. Newton is a threat to run, 2 rushing TD’s this season and over 50 yards rushing in week 2. Carolina is clearly letting him air it out, 46 attempts in week two and back to back 400 yard passing games. Worth the waiver claim.

Running Back:

Thomas Jones, KC– Jamaal Charles is done for the year with a torn ACL and in steps the veteran. The 33 year old running back’s better days are way behind him, but he is the first in line to handle the running game for the Chiefs. The Chiefs do not have another clear choice to go to so Jones job looks safe. I would not expect huge results from Jones, but he is worth the bench spot on your team, until a better option emerges.

Former K-State star Daniel Thomas is emerging as the #1 back in Miami

Daniel Thomas, MIA- Was the only bright spot for Miami on Sunday. Rushed for over 100 yards in his debut with a 5.9 yards per carry. Has had some minor injury concerns, but Thomas complements Reggie Bush as the between the tackles back. If Bush goes down this year… ok not if but WHEN Reggie Bush goes down you will see Thomas have a chance at more targets in the passing game. If he is not on your bench then this is the week to pick him up. Could develop into a nice flex option.

 

Wide Receivers:

Eric Decker, DEN-  Trying to do his best Ed McCaffrey impression wearing #87, Decker filled in for the injured Brandon Lloyd and made the best of the 9 targets thrown in way. 100+ yards receiving and 2 Touchdowns helped the Broncos to victory. He is competing with the underperforming Eddie Royal for a starting spot. Lots of injuries have given Decker this opportunity. Kyle Orton is known to favor one receiver and load them down with targets. So when Lloyd returns you will see a decline in Decker’s numbers.

The Crypt Keeper aka Al Davis still controls the Oakland Offense

Denarius Moore, OAK– The rookie posted 146 yards and a touchdown Sunday. With Ford and Murphy injured this is another speedster that Al Davis has picked to “Go Long”. Oakland hasn’t been able to produce a consistent wideout since Tim Brown, but as long as Al Davis is “calling the plays”, you expect the Raiders to look for the deep threat.

Preston Parker, TB- With Mike Williams producing negative yardage, Josh Freeman found comfort in Parker. Eights targets produced 98 yards for the second year player. With Josh Freeman trying to find a rhythm, Parker could shine in the slot as Williams demands the double team this year.

Tight Ends:

Scott Chandler, BUF–  Chandler found the endzone again. Only 2 catches, but 3 redzone targets. Fitzpatrick seems to be building a nice relationship with his tightend.

Dustin Keller, NYJ– Six targets, Six catches. 101 receiving yard and a Touchdown was a big day for Keller. Mark Sanchez has always looked his way, I still don’t understand why people refuse to draft this consistent TightEnd. As Sanchez grows, Keller will get more chances to shine.

 

The Ups & Downs:

With the amount of injuries in week 2, several players have stood out.

 

Players on the Rise:

Matt Ryan QB, ATL: Ryan came to play against the tough Eagles Defense. He got banged around all game, but was still able to get the ball in the endzone and find open receivers. The Falcons high powered offense in finally taking off.  Hopefully this is the year Ryan takes his game to the next level.

 

Can Matt Stafford stay healthy for 16 games?

Matt Stafford QB, DET: Another great performance by Stafford with a 30+ fantasy point production. Stafford has been predicted by some to top 30 touchdowns this season, that’s if he can stay on the field.

 

Matt Forte RB, CHI: Forte has put up huge total yardage numbers again. He just hasn’t been find the endzone enough. Looks like a poor mans Marshall Faulk.

 

Javid Best RB, DET: If Javid Best is on your bench, move him up now. This second year back is a threat on the ground and in the passing game. If Stafford and him stay healthy, this connection has very high potential. Best had 110+ total yards and had the ball 25 times. Health and the curse that he is a Lion are his only downfalls.  

 

Players on the Down:

 

Knowshon Moreno RB, DEN: Being in a pass heavy offense the past 2 seasons has not helped Moreno’s cause. Now with more injury problems in 2011, Moreno’s chances of living up to the fantasy hype are running away from him. If you currently own him, try to sell as high as you can. If you have room on your bench you can store him there and hope for better health and a bigger role in the Broncos offense.

 

Arian Foster RB, HOU: One of many running backs battling to get on the field, Foster has yet to win the battle. I urged everyone to stay clear of him in the draft, and I will continue that theme throughout the season until he can prove he can play 100% and stay 100%. Ben Tate is also stealing Foster’s thunder. The Texans would be smart and shut him down for a few weeks, and get him back 100%. You would also be smart staying away from this 2010 Fantasy Stud for the obvious reasons.

 

Kerry Collins has to be missing retirement

ALL INDY WIDEOUTS: With Kerry Collins wishing he would have stayed retired, and Curtis “I Should Have Been A” Painter as the next best option, all hope looks about as broken as Peyton Manning’s neck. Reggie Wayne has been decent with 33 pts so far, but he can hardly receive targets because Collins can’t get the ball out of his hands fast enough with that swiss cheese O-Line in front of him. If you look back at a previous article ( Player Evaluations), I explain how it is important to draft and acquire players from successful teams. The Colts, Chiefs, and Seahawks are reinforcing my point.

 

Antonio Brown WR, PIT: Before this season this kid was on my sleeper picks, and then he was on everyone’s sleeper list before long. The only thing that scared me was the Steelers anti-pass offense. That and the emergence of Emmanuel Sanders has limited Brown’s targets. Many wideouts have left Pittsburgh complaining about this issue and it is something to consider when drafting #2 and #3 wideouts on the Steelers.

Donovan McNabb QB, MIN: I do not blame Sunday’s loss on McNabb, it was the head coach that lost them the game. BUT! McNabb came into this season with a lot to prove to all the doubters in the Redskins and Eagles organizations, and he has yet to show us anything. After a disaster performance against the Chargers, he rebounded with 60% completion rate and did throw more than 39 yards. No Touchdowns, or game changing performances on Sunday makes one to wonder when Christian Ponder will be getting his first snaps in Minnesota.

 

Buy or Sell:

You should always be looking to buy low off another team’s rosters and sell high on your roster. Just don’t get trade happy. The goal is to upgrade your current position.

Buy Low:

Mike Thomas WR, JAC-          Didn’t do much against a tough Jets D, but is the #1 option in Jacksonville

Matt Ryan QB, ATL     –           4 TDs against the Eagles. Lots of Weapons around him. The Sky is the limit

Shonn Greene RB, NYJ-           Has been low key so far, added 6 more carries in week 2 and is a nice option as LT wears down

Fred Davis is becoming a favorite target in Washington

Daniel Thomas RB, MIA-        Will take over the lead back role in Miami, if he can stay healthy big numbers are ahead of him

Fred Davis TE, WAS-               Grossman’s favorite target. Put up great fantasy value back to back weeks

 

Sell High:

Chris Johnson RB, TEN-           Fire Sale! If you didn’t listen to me last week, Trade him this week

LaDainian Tomlinson RB, NYJ-            Has seen his better days behind him, now a mentor to Shonn Greene.

Felix Jones RB, DAL-                Cannot stay away from injuries. Even with his high ceiling, he has little value if he can’t play 

The D Bowe show is wrapping up in Kansas City

Dewayne Bowe WR, KC-         With the current trend in KC, Bowe might find himself on the IR. With his attitude he will have a hard time finding motivation with the Chiefs.

Cam Newton QB, Car-                        His stock could not be higher, will probably have one more stellar week against the Jaguars, but then that tough schedule kicks in.

 

 

 

THE GOLDEN RULE:

Stay Focused on the Free Agent Wire. Good chance “That Guy” dropped Ben Tate for Cam Newton this week. Seize the Moment.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @KStafford32

The Know-It-All Fantasy Football Ramblings

 

Preseason Player Updates

 

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

Throughout the season I will give weekly Updates on Quality Free Agents, Players on the Rise & Decline, and Players to Buy/Sell on. This is the inaugural “Player Update” Article. Enjoy!

Digging for Gold:

If you are looking at Free Agency before the season here are 3 reasons why:

#1        You are unhappy with your draft

#2        You where handed the dreaded “Auto Pick”….. Get a better connection

#3        You took Arian Foster in the 1st round…. Follow me on twitter and you would not have made that mistake

Filling a need at this point is a huge shot in the dark. Look for the players that are receiving the most targets/carries. They are your best chance to have an immediate impact. Also take a look at players who are the backup to a starter with injury risks.

If you drafted Arian Foster in the 1st round, what is your next move?

 

 

The Ups & Downs:

Do not pay attention to preseason stats. Teams do not show the entire playbook during preseason and playing time is limited. Preseason does show who is moving up or down on the depth chart and the health of players coming back from injury. It also gives you a glimpse how new players will fit into the current system.

 

Players on the Rise:

Antonio Brown WR, Pit: His stock has been soaring. Looks to fill the Big Play role.  Unfortunately this is a negative for the veteran Hines Ward. If he doesn’t survive the draft don’t overpay, he is not a high target receiver

 

Lance Kendricks TE, STL: Kendricks fits the Rams scheme. Although Sam Bradford relied heavy on the TE position in his rookie year, I see him growing and spreading the ball around this year. Look at the Josh McDaniels offense in Denver last year. Kendricks is comparable to Tony Moeaki as a Rookie.

 

Tim Hightower RB, Was: Hightower will get more looks this year than any previous year he had with Arizona. The Redskins have zero talent on offense, but I see Hightower as the goal line back that can also catch the ball. It is worth it to mention Mike Shananhan’s amazing history with running backs in his run-block scheme.

 

Vince Young QB, Phi: Yeah I went there… he has looked surprisingly comfortable in Andy Reid’s Offense and if/when Mike Vick gets blindsided he will have plenty of weapons around him.

 

Tim Hightower hopes to be the next in line to have success in Shananhan's Run Blocking Scheme

 

Players on the Down:

 

Tim Tebow QB, Den: I believe he could put up amazing but meaningless stats that would vault him into a Top FANTASY Quarterback. Look what Tyler Thigpen did in 2008 with the Chiefs. Obviously, John Elway and John Fox do not play fantasy football because they are taking a play out of Herm Edwards book and are Playing to Win the Game. The past 4 weeks Tebow has gone from Fan Favorite #1 Jersey Selling Starting Quarterback to Fan Favorite #1 Jersey Selling 4th String Quarterback. Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn have looked very impressive this preseason and will keep their jobs as long as the Broncos are around .500.

 

Clinton Portis RB, FA: Portis is running out of teams to play for. Huge questions about his health and his age are keeping this once consistent Fantasy Runner out of the league. If you want to see how this story ends look at the end of Shawn Alexander’s Career.

 

Brandon Gibson WR, Stl: Gibson had a lot of hype after the Rams acquired him from the Eagles last year. The Rams were hit with lots of injuries that promoted Gibson to the #1 target. He put up 620 yards with 53 catches in 12 games. With Donnie Avery coming back, and Mark Clayton resigning there just isn’t enough balls to go around for Gibson. Gibson also has a hard time with dropped passes. Recent injury reports say he has a possible Turf Toe injury that could linger all season.

 

Jonathan Baldwin WR, KC: The 2011 First Round Pick of the Chiefs was expected to be a big redzone target opposite of Dewayne Bowe. Baldwin had a disappointing training camp with players and coaches complaining about his immaturity and lack of respect for the coaching staff. Thomas Jones took matters into his own fists and put Baldwin in his place…. Which also put the rookie on the injury report with a broken wrist out 4-6 weeks.

 

Jonathan Baldwin got lit up by those guns on Mr. Jones

 

 

Buy or Sell:

 I will not list players until after the season starts. A few notes on trading before the season starts.

-Always counter to all trade offers. If keep trade talks alive and you never know if someone might accept your offer. Why Not?

-Fills holes without creating holes. You drafted your Key Players for a reason, don’t sell the farm before the season starts

-Find the Guy that loves Trading. Identify the Owner in your league that makes a trade every week. Send him offers or feelers now, eventually he will send you an offer that you will like because he is addicted to trading.

 

Don't Be "That Guy"

 

THE GOLDEN RULE:

Always schedule your draft after the Preseason wraps up. Otherwise you will be “That Guy” with Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, and Arian Foster.

 

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Football Draft Prep

 

 

 

Kyle Stafford – @KStafford32 

FACT:

How you draft in your fantasy football league will be at least 75% responsible for how you finish.  The other 25% is based on lucky free agent pick-ups, trades in your favor, and staying focused on the goal.

Everyone in your league will be listening to this guy. Do your own homework.

You can sell out and get your Draft Prep from the popular talking heads, example: Matthew Berry. The problem with that is that you and nine other guys are sitting together on draft day with the same draft sheets and player evaluations. I am not selling that Matthew Berry doesn’t make a good point every once in a while, but I would like to think that you are smart enough to make your own fake football choices.

WHERE DOES IT BEGIN? 

Player Evaluations, Player Evaluations, Player Evaluations…. did I mention Player Evaluations??? My example would be the master mind in New England Bill Freaking Belichick. Only certain players and draft picks “fit” Belichick’s player standards. You need to have standards when it comes to who is on your team. If you don’t you might as well have your wife/girlfriend draft your team for you because of the color of the teams jersey look cool, or Tom Brady looks nice in spandex. I’m not saying… I’m just saying. Here are a few key areas I look at when I am drafting any player:

  • Injury History
  •  Age
  •  Team Success
  • Role in the Offense

There are also key areas to look at for each position

Quarterback:

Type of Offense, Completion %, Receiving Talent, Offensive Line

Running Back:

Does he split carries, Receiving Threat, over or under 30

Wide Out:

Targets, Quarterback, Offensive Scheme

A rookie like Mark Ingram could be a low-risk high reward pick late in your league's draft.

A few unknowns to look for are Rookies and Coaching Changes. For the most part Rookie Wide Receivers and Running Backs are safe bench picks. Rookies can turn out like Texans RB Adrian Foster, or the flip side Chargers RB Ryan Mathews. Coaching changes can change how many targets a wideout receives or how many handoffs a running back carries.

I hate to mention Herman Edwards, but when he took over the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006 he let RB Larry Johnson carry the ball for an NFL record 416 times. Previously Johnson had only carried the ball no more than 336 times in a season. Another great example is the Mad Scientist Mike Martz. Whatever offense he is reinventing, (Currently the Chicago Bears) you can expect his Quarterback to throw 40+ times, Wideouts to have their targets increase, and high paid running backs become glorified pass blockers.

WRITE IT DOWN… NOW!

Now is the time to set your teams formula. Here are a more few in-depth tips.

 

Injuries: I never draft a player that has a history of injuries or is coming back from a major injury. The risk/reward is not high enough. Let your competition draft Ronnie Brown with his 2nd Round pick and in week 4 he will be the one desperate for a lucky Free Agent or Trade.

Age: Age increases the chance of injuries. Running Backs are a no-brainer on this. They die off approaching age 30. Wideouts are productive in their 30’s but they tend to drop off in yardage and are more venerable to a rookie taking their job.  Quarterbacks with small injury history become safe with age. Be careful with Peyton Manning this season. If you are in a keeper league trade your aging players a year early instead of a year late.

Team Success:  Success is contagious. Players on top teams or high powered offenses have a higher rate of return. Tom Brady wears a ton of bling and he made fantasy studs out of guys like Deion Branch, David Patten, and David Givens?!?  Success is contagious.

These are the top 3 areas I look at when drafting any player. You would be wise to do the same.

THE GOLDEN RULE:

Never Fall In Love With Your Players. You should always be looking to upgrade your team. Nobody is untradeable and to a degree undropable. Just because you took a player in the first round doesn’t mean he has earned a spot to start on your team. Your goal is to beat your dumb friends at fake football, not harbor your man crush for Peyton Manning while he is on the IR all year….prediction?

Be on the lookout for my next FFB Draft Prep Article: The Perfect Draft Formula and Don’t Mess with It!

 

Questions? Comments?

Follow Me on Twitter @KStafford32

All views submitted in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Can of Corn.