Tag Archives: Mike Vick

2012 Fantasy Football Prep 101: Sleepers and Busts

Sleepers by definition are typically players that outperform their generally perceived value. Now some people think that sleepers are players that few people have heard of and might be fantasy football relevant.  I would call those type of players deep sleepers and in a league of 10 to 12 teams deep sleepers do not usually need to be considered until they “wake up”.  That being said here are my sleepers for the 2012 fantasy football season.

SLEEPERS

Brandon Pettigrew: He very well could be the Rob Gronkowski, or at the very least, Jimmy Graham of this season. He is on a pass first team with a top quarterback. He has a top flight wideout beside him to take some of the attention of the defense and he has received increased redzone looks.

John Skelton: He should beat out a very pathetic looking Kevin Kolb to become the starter in Arizona. That being the case he will have an outstanding wideout to throw to in Larry Fitzgerald. Last year the Cardinal quarterbacks threw for nearly 4000 yards and 21 touchdowns. Building off the experience from last year he should be able to improve those TD numbers and cut down on the INTs.

Greg Little: Brandon Weeden is an unknown quantity. What is known is that he should be throwing the majority of his passes to Little. With the addition of a legitimate running back in Trent Richardson the passing game should be better than last year when Peyton Hillis was hurt for much of the year.

Cedric Benson: The Green Bay Packers signed the veteran running back. Normally someone signed this late in the preseason is just roster fodder or battling for a backup spot. Not in this case. Alex Green is coming off a knee injury and James Starks has yet to show that he can be a starter in the NFL. I think Benson will push Starks and eventually take the starting job. In the very least he will get the majority of goalline carries something that the Packers were unwilling to give to Starks last year.

Kyle Rudolph: Another tight end on the sleeper list. Why? Well because tight ends were fantasy gold last year if you were lucky enough to have one of the top ones. I think that Mr. Rudolph has a chance to join the low end of those top tight ends. This is because his quarterback, Ponder, needs a safety blanket like Rudolph to throw to. I expect Rudolph to get a lot of redzone looks this season.

Antonio Brown: I know many of you are thinking how can Brown be considered a sleeper. He had over 1000 yards last season, but only 2 touchdowns. I expect that number to go up, dramatically. This should be especially the case considering his chief competition for touchdowns has been a hold-out for much of training camp.

Robert Meachem: He has Phillip Rivers as his quarterback. There is no established #1 receiver in San Diego and I think that Meachem will end up being Rivers primary target all season.

Doug Martin: Tampa Bay is ready to make a change. They are tired of Blount, especially the fumbles, and will look to give Martin a chance to prove himself. I think Martin takes that chance and runs with it. 1000 yards and 8 TDs is not out of the question if Blount is completely out of the picture. That might not happen so 700 yards and 5 TD might be more what happens. Still worth a late round flyer.

Tim Hightower: Looked like he would be the man last year for the Redskins and then he got hurt. He is still recovering from that injury but I believe come the 1st week of the season Hightower will be the starter and primary goalline back. The only concern is the injury and the potential of RG3 of stealing goalline plunges.

Willis McGahee: McGahee had a decent season last year losing opportunities to the likes of Knowshon Moreno, Lance Ball and Tim Tebow. He now has a legitimate threat in quarterback Peyton Manning to take eyes off of him. This could be the chance McGahee has been waiting for.

A bust by definition is a player that under performs compared to common expectations. That being the case here are my fantasy football busts for the 2012 season.

BUSTS

Torrey Smith: Smith will get the majority of the defensive game planning geared towards him in pass defense. With Boldin showing his age defenses will key on Smith. Couple this with Ray Rice in the the backfield and I do not see Smith having a season close to last year. Expect a big regression.

Matt Forte: Forte got paid. Last year Chris Johnson got paid and look what happened. The biggest concern looking at Forte is the addition of Michael Bush to the Bears’ roster. Bush will steal carries especially around the goalline. This will diminish Forte’s value immensely.

James Starks: The addition of Cedric Benson to the Packers’ roster says two things. One, that the Packers’ running backs are not very healthy right now. Two, that the Packers’ are not convinced Starks can handle the load. Last year Starks was less than impressive in a shared backfield. I think he is looking at sharing a backfield again if not losing out entirely and becoming a backup.

Andre Johnson: He will get his yards if he stays healthy but he has yet to have a season with double digit touchdowns. People continually place him in the upper class of receivers but unless you are in a league the really rewards receptions and receiving yards over scoring he just does not justify that status.  Additionally he is coming off an injury that might slow him down this year.

Maurice Jones-Drew: Two words HOLD OUT. Hold outs rarely turn out for NFL players. This is especially the case for NFL running backs. IF he plays this year he will be a shadow of his 2011 self. I would stay away from any hold out player. The longer the hold out the farther away I would stay.

Percy Harvin: Migraines! Plain and simple he will miss games. Everyone sees him as this tremendous value as a deep threat and return man but his inability to stay healthy combined with a run first offense led by Christian Ponder means that his value is less than many other receivers that might not be household names.

Tim Tebow: Tebow-mania aside his have very little fantasy value. You do not get points for having a quality locker room guy on your squad. People he is a backup quarterback. If somehow he is able to unseat Sanchez this is about what you can expect maybe 1800 yards and 10 passing touchdowns, 600 yards and 5 touchdowns rushing. If that sounds good to you go ahead and snatch that up. He reminds me a lot of the next player on the list, Mike Vick.

Mike Vick: Another player that continually gets overvalued. Vick had career seasons in 2011 and 2010. He passed for a career high in yards in 2011. In 2010 he passed for a career high in touchdowns  and rushed for a career high in touchdowns.  Based on his 2010 season people were expecting more. They shouldn’t have. Prior to joining the Eagles, Vick had never passed for over 3000 yards or over 20 touchdowns. Now many would point to running ability as the counter to his lower passing numbers.  The yardage is nice but aside from 2002, 2006 and 2010 he has not rushed for more than 3 touchdowns in a season. The 9 he had in 2010 was a career high which was previously 8 in 2002 when he was a much younger man.

Mike Wallace: Same thing as MJD, he is a HOLD OUT! In his absence Antonio Brown has asserted himself as a go to receiver. It may be just my perception but players that hold out seem to get hurt and have sub par years. I could be wrong.

LaGarrette Blount: He is on his last legs in Tampa Bay. They may give him the chance to start the season as the #1 but I feel that he will be solidly outproduced by Martin.

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2012 Fantasy Football Prep 101: Runnning Backs

A wise man once said “No matter what draft a running back in the 1st round” He also said “There is nothing more delicious than 23 herbs and spices”
~The Colonel

As we continue our preparation for the upcoming 2012 Fantasy Football season we will preview the Running Back position. Typically the good old running back in fantasy gold. Everyone goes out of their way to snap up backs in the first few rounds. Conventional wisdom states that to have a successful team you MUST draft the best running back available in the first two rounds and then fill out the rest of the positions later. In the past that may have been the case, but as the NFL has become a pass first league it has become less and less the case. I remember when passing for 3000 yards in a season was

Grossman: Wait a minute… I threw for just over 3000 yards last year. Does that make me a failure?
McNabb: As someone who knows, yes that makes you a failure

considered good. Now it would be seen as a complete failure of the offense. Still there is some truth to the notion that snapping up a good back in the first round is a good idea. I would just say that sometimes it is better to have the best quarterback rf receiver than the 5th best running back. With that said lets take a look at the running back position.

As with the quarterbacks it is always a good idea to look at the stats for the year before. Below are how the running backs fared in Pabst and Blatz Fantasy Football League scoring system which is 1 point for every 25 yards rushing, 1 point for every 25 yards receiving and 6 points for every touchdown. Of course players can also score by throwing touchdowns and scoring conversions but that happens so rarely it really doesn’t change much.

As it is blatantly obvious, LeSean McCoy was the standout from last year with Ray Rice coming in a close second. McCoy’s 17 rushing touchdowns is what put him over the top. This number of touchdowns I really do not see him repeating mostly because of the touchdown vulture Mick Vick poised to steal rushing TD inside the red zone.

I have a need…a need to run for touchdowns. Screw you LeSean and all your fantasy owners.

Ray Rice had a similar problem with bigger backs stealing his goal-line carries in the past. Still both scored at a level far above the competition. Arian Foster should have been the class of the field but injuries kept him from reaching the top. This year he will be spelled by an established Ben Tate so he will not get the amount of carries he has in the past. The same can be said for Michael Turner  he will be getting many more carries taken away from him. Let’s take a look at projections for the 2012 season. Here are some of my own devising:

There are 5 tiers of running backs as denoted by the colors. Tier 1 backs should be taken in the 1st round. If one of them survives to the 2nd round you have gotten yourself a steal. The tier 2 backs should be taken in the 2nd-4th rounds.  By the end of the 4th round typically any starting running back that is worth anything has been taken. The 3rd tier of backs can be taken later in the mid rounds. They are what is left of the starters, promising backups, and number two backs in running back by committee. The backs in tier 4 are to be taken only if you need depth on the bench or as a flyer/hedge against a more established back getting hurt. The backs in tier 5 should not be drafted at all. You will be able to get these backs off the waiver wire if and when they become relevant. I would advise you select better players at different positions.

The very best as predicted for next year will be Arian Foster. McCoy should come back down to Earth a bit but he will still be a premium back as will Ray Rice.  Peterson, Wells and Charles are all coming off of injuries and Michael Turner will no longer be a 300 carry back. The situation in Washington is a mess but look for Helu to come out as the starter. Detroit’s backfield is equally a mess. At this time all of the backs there may get a decent amount of carries making none of them fantasy relevant. Shonn Greene no longer has anyone sharing the backfield with him but Tebow may steal some of his yards and touchdowns.

As far as the rookies are concerned only Trent Richardson and Doug Martin are set to start right now. This of course may change. I like Richardson but he is in a situation where he is a starting rookie tailback sharing a backfield with a rookie quarterback. He should get plenty of carries but will the Browns be playing from behind to often. Martin has to worry about Blount stealing carries and touchdowns.

Do I look like a guy that would drink and drive?

Handcuffing situations: If you take Arian Foster you MUST, I repeat must take Ben Tate. If for some reason you have James Starks on your roster as a starter I suggest also taking Alex Green. Jahvid Best and Kevin Smith should be locked together. As well as Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers. Other handcuffs to considers are Frank Gore and Brandon Jacobs, Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings, Matt Forte and Michael Bush, Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis, and the always popular DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart.

McDonalds Drive Thru: Welcome to McDonlds may I take your order?
Jahvid: I see four fingers coach.
McDonalds Drive Thru: What was that sir?
Jahvid: Put me in coach! I’m ready!
McDonalds Drive Thur: Does that complete your order?

Words of caution: Marshawn Lynch is looking at a suspension from the league due to a little drinking and driving, Jahvid Best is on the PUP list still from concussions from the previous year.  Maurice Jones-Drew is thinking about holding out. Beanie Wells is not 100%. No one knows who is going to start in New England. No one knows who is going to start in Washington. Green Bay’s running game looks awful.

Top 10

#1 LeSean McCoy He is the best back available and should be the first selected. Both runs and catches touchdowns. The only downside is that Mike Vick is looming to steal some of his scores.

#2 Arian FosterWould have been number one but he now has injury concerns and the real possibility of losing carries to Ben Tate. Still is is hard to deny someone that dresses that well. He could be considers 1a to McCoy’s 1.

#3 Ray Rice with other backs stealing his goal-line carries he slips a bit. Still he catches the ball well and is a dynamic threat.

#4 Chris Johnson He got PAID! and how did he reward the Titans? With a subpar year. He is set for a major rebound. He still won’t be worth what the Titans are paying him but he should make his fantasy owners happy.

#5 Darren McFadden No more Michael Bush. McFadden is on his own. This could mean his best season ever OR he will wear out and get injured much earlier than usual. IF he goes 16 games he will be an absolute stud. Prepare for him to go 13 games that way if he goes more you can be pleasantly surprised. Addition of a legitimate quarterback should help him stay health…right?

#6 Ahmad BradshawAhmad Bradshaw you just won the Superbowl what are you going to do now…. Well he should get a large amount of carries. Jacobs is gone. If he gets half of Jacobs’ 7 touchdowns added to his total we are looking at an elite back. His backup at the moment is young and inexperienced so he will not take too many carries for Bradshaw. Could be his best year ever.

#7 Maurice Jones Drew One of the premier fantasy stud running backs for years he now has the dreaded two words HOLD OUT hanging over his head. Typically any back the holds out even for a small amount of time does not have a fantasy year that they are capable of. Use caution here as he also has injury concerns. Still if he is anywhere close to last year you will love having him on your team.

#8 Adrian Peterson Turn to the left, turn to the right, one more straight ahead. If being injured wasn’t bad enough good ol’ All Day went and got himself arrested in the off-season. With the Commish loving to come down hard on players what will happen to Adrian? Probably nothing. The injury his more a concern. If he is healthy by the start of the season he should continue to be a great fantasy back.

#9 Jamaal Charles  Hi, I’m Jamaal Charles. You may remember me from my role in the 2010 fantasy football season. Well….I’m BACK! Whether or not he is ready to go is another question. The Chiefs went and picked up Peyton Hillis for insurance…you may want some insurance too.

#10 Ryan Mathews Hi, I’m Ryan Mathews. I play football for the San Diego Chargers. Anyone out there heard of me? No more Mike Tolbert should mean a better fantasy year for Mathews. Give him half of Tolbert’s eight TDs and he would have been a top 5 back last year.

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