Category Archives: FANTASY

FANTASY GURU: UNDERRATED WR’S & TE’S

Butabi here, informing you that our fantasy guru Philipp J. Ferstenblatt is back to give you some more underrated players in fantasy for the upcoming year. In this post he breaks down 3 underrated WR’s and TE’s.

Top 3 Underrated Wide Receivers

1.) Alshon Jeffrey

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This player has been turning heads since his Gamecock days when his chemistry with full time USC party legend and part time quarterback Stephen Garcia was beyond explosive. He has a fiery temper, which is displayed in all of the penalties he tallies up and absolutely thrilling fights (particularly with Alfonzo Dennard), have lead to some face palming moments, but do not let that scare you because his job is definitely on the line this year. He can make a successful career for himself as long as he listens to his mentor, Brandon Marshall (scary thought, right?! Never thought mentor and Brandon Marshall could be used in the same sentence.), stays healthy and reduces the amount of penalties he obtains from just playing far too aggressively. As a fantasy owner, you always want that hot head mentality in your players, but you also want consistency, which is clearly lacking. His 3 “tuddies” were far from acceptable for the number two man on the Bears, however, if you can get your hands on him towards the second half of your 12 man draft, snag him. He’s a good guy to have once you have an established wide receiver corps. For those of you who want to see this fight, here. Okay, maybe I hyped this up a lot, but as far as NFL football brawls go, I think its pretty sweet. (0:52)

2. Brian Quick

I was the laughing stock of my league for taking him last year, but then again, I was made fun of for taking Jimmy Graham in the 6 so, child please. Brian had an atrocious year last year, but he may be able to step it up this year. There’s a lot of talent all of a sudden on the Rams aerial attack, and he is one of the reasons. With Givens, Pettis, Austin, and Quick, there is a lot of competition for field time. This offseason should’ve given the former second round draft pick time to learn the playbook since clearly last year, he had no idea what sport he was playing. I know I’m not selling him well thus far, but let me remind you of his competition. Seahawks, a team he must face twice a year, have Sherman and Browner who seem to have the speed, instincts, and coverage skills to take out anyone of these 6-foot or shorter wide receivers. This is where Quick comes in. Quick’s niche comes in play when he is utilized for the fade routes and jump balls. If Brian Quick has the hops to get over these secondary players, there is no one in the league who’ll be able to sufficiently cover him in the red zone. That is why he will be a tremendous fantasy player. I don’t care how well his out routes or his drags are, he is a red zone player and that is all the reason I need to save him a spot on my WR bench.

3. Darrius Heyward-Bey

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The best overall receiver Oakland has finally departed for the Midwest and joined the Indianapolis Colts. Darrius will probably be the most productive player to line up on the other side of the hash marks from Wayne since Marvin Harrison (except for Austin Collie but his brain was always half functional due to an unbelievable amount of concussions, so his lack of presence on the field gives me the ability to count him out as a consistent AND productive tool). This star has had a history of knee problems, which is a huge red flag so beware! However, out of all the sleepers I have discussed, he will be the most productive, but is also the biggest risk at the same time so don’t say I didn’t warn you. He will challenge the AFC South secondaries along with T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne. Not to mention Luck’s longtime friend and favorite target, Coby Fleener. I can see Darrius finally living up to his potential and demolishing his measly 5 TD career high season from last year.

Top 3 Underrated Tight Ends

1. Rob Housler

Perhaps one of the fastest 6’5” guy you’ll ever come across. At 250 pounds and running a 4.4, this makes him one tough dude to cover. He has been compared to Jimmy Graham and we all know how athletic he is. Larry Fitzgerald has nothing but praise for the guy. He can run, jump, block (but who cares, no fantasy points for that) and most importantly, has been significantly improving his catching skills. Honestly, with all these positive reviews on the guy, I can’t see a good reason why you wouldn’t take him…Oh, yeah, because he is completely unproven! Look, if you are looking at how Bruce Arians utilizes his tight ends (South Park ski instructor meme input), “your gonna have a bad time”. Bruce has been known to ignore the tight end in the passing game’s scheme and would rather use a wide receiver and take tight ends off the field. However, if you are one to see the glass as half full, then examine how Palmer targets his tight ends. According to http://www.4for4.com’s John Paulsen, when Carson has “talent” at the tight end position, he will throw to them on average 6 times a game, putting him in the upper half of the league for quarterbacks aiming for the tight end. To cut to the chase, size, height, and speed do not lie, but his poor hands from last season have me worried. If he can adapt to Arian’s vertical offense well, sky is the limit, which he could certainly reach. There is no doubt that he will be a key element in this new offense, but it is really up to you to gamble on Rob. Is he worthy to have a bench spot on your team? The skill set is present, but the professional experience is clearly vacant.

2. Jordan Cameron

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I’ll inform you all right off the bat, injuries have been the name of the game for this guy, so he is walking on a thin line. This behemoth was a basketball player who decided to return to the sport he truly loved, and I couldn’t be happier. Well, honestly, I would be happier if he wasn’t on the Browns, but beggars/sleepers can’t be choosers. Also, I am not a fan of how he has two first names; very untrustworthy. Cameron will probably be the most targeted person on the team since Gordon has been “discovered” and will be facing some serious coverage all season long. I have a feeling the Jordon will be beyond capable of beating most defenders to the jump ball, which is a huge plus when examining his red zone usage. On a weak offense, he really is one of the few shining stars. There isn’t much I can say about this guy, but I have a gut feeling that he will be Cleveland’s hero this season.

3. Travis Kelce

WHO? Yeah, I’m psychic and knew you were going to say that. Cool, so lets go over what his deal is. Let me introduce him as nothing short of a pure athlete. This rookie was the wildcat quarterback for Cincinnati, an absolute bear in run blocking, and a beast in hauling in passes in the end zone as he caught 8 last season in college. Understandably, he is a rookie, and I despise going with rookies as sleepers, but lets zoom in and examine the trees instead of the forest. The tight ends for KC are Tony Moeaki and Verona’s very own Anthony Fasano. The problem with these two? Moeaki’s knees are essentially the same pieces use for Lego’s Bionicles at this point so you can be pretty sure they won’t hold up for an entire 16 game season. Anthony is a blocker, and catches as if he were wearing oven mitts (not saying I can do a better job, but c’mon man, its your full-time job). So, considering Alex Smith has been spoiled with Vernon Davis, I am sure he will want to break in the new glove, and that glove is named Travis Kelce. Smith loved getting rid of the pigskin to his tight ends in SF and something tells me he won’t be changing up his tendencies all too much. A pretty deep, heavy sleeping pick, but a rewarding one at that.

This is what Tony Moeki looks like underneath his pads.

From your favorite and number 1 fantasy football guru,

Philipp “Phil” J. Ferstenblatt

Fantasy questions? Email me at Baldinaf@miamioh.edu

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FANTASY PREVIEW: TIGHT END

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The tight end position is traditionally a tricky one to rank, and this year is no different. There are so many question marks out there. When will Gronk be back/how will he be when he returns? Gates is 33 years old, and had only 49 catches last year, is he finished? Can the godfather of TE’s Tony Gonzalez still get it done at 38? Can Owen Daniels stay healthy? Vernon Davis’s production went down when Kaepernick took over, will that continue? Outside of Jimmy Graham I can’t really name any sure fire, consistent studs.

1. Jimmy Graham: He came back down to earth a little bit last year, but still finished with close to 1,000 yards and 9 td’s. With the aerial attack that they have down there in New Orleans, Jimmy will have plenty of opportunities to get back to his incredible numbers from 2011. The NFC south doesn’t exactly boast inordinate defenses either. I think Graham improves on his number from last year, and gets back to his 2011 form.

2. Tony Gonzalez: There are a lot of weapons in ATL, but that didn’t stop TG from reeling in 93 balls last year.The best tight end of all time is 38 this year, but is still productive. He was close to the 1,000 yard mark last year, and had 8 td’s.  In an offense that boasts weapons all over the field in Julio Jones, Roddy White, and now Steven Jackson, people often forget about that old guy in the middle of the field.

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3. Rob Gronkowski: He’s at 3 almost by default.  So many question marks surrounding this guy with his countless injuries and surgeries. But when healthy he’s the best in the league. If he can get back on the field, he could come back in a huge way. Think about it…who else on god’s gracious earth is Tom Terrific going to pass to? Something tells me that Brady will be looking Gronk’s way often. I think even if Gronk misses a couple games early on, he could still finish #1 in TE points. It’s just a matter of whether you want to take that risk.

4. Jason Witten: He’s still a viable target. Witten was the only tight end in the league to get to the 1,000 yard mark last year. He had an unreal 110 catches. But only 3 td’s? For whatever reason Romo just does not look Witten’s way in the red zone. I think that changes this year. It will be very hard to replicate 110 catches and over 1,000 yards, but i think Witten at least doubles his touchdown count from last year.

5. Kyle Rudolph: The golden domer alum nabbed 9 tuddy’s last year. But he was extremely inconsistent with only 53 catches and not even 500 yards receiving. In Rudolph and Ponder’s 3rd year together, I see improvement. The game plan will continue to be feed the beast that is Adrian Peterson, but Rudolph can work off play-action and will rarely get double teamed now that Greg Jennings is in town. He also sees soft defenses in the Packers and Lions twice a year. Look for the Vikings O to be improved, and Rudolph’s catches and yards to go up.

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6. Greg Olsen: Olsen has been Scam Newton’s number 2 receiver thus far. The entire panthers offense got off to a horrid start last year, but actually started to make big under the radar improvements as the year went on. I think Cam was humbled by the lack of wins last year, and will come back this year ready to shine. Olsen is a huge target with great red zone leaping ability. I like Olsen to get back to consistent fantasy relevance in 2013.

7. Owen Daniels: Daniels is another guy who can’t stay out of the training room. He has dealt with hammy and back issues his whole career. But like Gronk, when healthy, this guy is good.  The Texans have evolved into more of a run first attack, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be plenty of balls for Daniels to catch. With Andre Johnson and now DeAndre Hopkins on the outside, Daniels will be able to own the middle of the field, and Schaub will hit him there.

8. Vernon Davis: The guy is a physical specimen. If Alex Smith was still the quarterback in San Fran, Vernon Davis would be number 2 in my rankings. But as we saw last year, this Kaepernick read-option offense is so perimeter oriented, it is hard for Davis to get looks in the middle of the field. The offense is all about winning the edge, and utilizes a lot of sideline comeback routes. There have been camp reports that the Niners have tried him a little at WR to get him more involved. But Delanie Walker is gone, and Crabtree is hurt, so maybe Kaepernick will prove me wrong and use his TE more this year, but i just can’t rank him too hight after he averaged less than 2 catches in the 7 games that Kaepernick started last year.

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9. Antonio Gates: Finally Gates was relatively healthy last year, and had a somewhat decent year. He was able to find pay dirt 7 times which was solid, but his yardage did not impress. But Rivers will continue to look to the big fellow in the middle of the field. Yes, Gates is 33 now. But he’s never been a speedy tight end anyway, he uses his size and crisp route running to get open, and i think he’ll continue to do that for a couple more years. Plus Rivers doesn’t exactly have supreme outside targets, so look for Gates to go up in yards.

10. Brandon Meyers: Meyers had a very good year in the woeful raiders offense. This year he comes East to the G-men. I feel a pretty good offensive year from the giants now that Nicks is healthy and Cruz is signed. Eli traditionally has made average tight ends look good, so what can he do with Meyers?

11. Jared Cook: Cook is a lot like Vernon Davis in terms of his physical ability. But he has never really broken out the way people thought he might. Well it’s tough to do that in Tennessee’s awful passing game. Now he is in St. Louis with Sam Bradford and rookie Tavon Austin. Chris Givens is a solid target as well. St Louis has built a pretty solid passing attack, and hopefully Cook will enjoy more targets than he is used to.

12. Martellus Bennett: Jay Cutler really hasn’t had anyone to throw to other than Brandon Marshall. The addition of Martellus Bennett could help this Bears offense a lot. Bennett had 5 td’s with the giants last year, but i think he could improve on that with the Bears. Cutler needs a second option, and Bennett has the talent to become that.

13. Jermichael Finley: The guy with a huge mouth had a small amount of td’s last year, 2 to be exact. But now Jennings is gone, and Jordy Nelson is out for training camp after having knee surgery. Cobb is still there and James Jones is solid, but neither guy is a prime red zone target. I think Finley has a chance to get back to his 2011 numbers when he grabbed 8 td’s from within 12 yards. All of this can only happen if Rodgers stays upright, which will be difficult with the offensive line woes.

14. Ed Dickson: Dickson has never really shown me that much, but i put him at 14 because, well, somebody has to catch passes in Baltimore. Boldin is gone and Pitta is out for the year. Both those guys did all their work in the middle of the field. Torrey Smith is legit, but he does all his work on the perimeter. The opportunity for Dickson to step up and be the guy is there.

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15: Brandon Pettigrew: He’s a receiver on the Lions not named Calvin Johnson i know. But Pettigrew is a pretty talented young tight end. Stafford drops back so many times a game that there will be opportunities a plenty for Pettigrew to rack up stats. Plus we all know how much attention Megatron gets.

16-25:

16: Coby Fleener

17: Tyler Eifert

18: Fred Davis

19: Dustin Keller

20: Jermaine Gresham

21: Dwyane Allen

22: Jordan Cameron

23: Delanie Walker

24: Heath Miller

25: Rob Housler

– Steve Butabi

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Fantasy Guru: Underrated Players

Butabi here introducing one of our partners in crime, Philipp J. Ferstenblatt, our fantasy guru. Philpp is doing an underrated fantasy players piece for us. Today he breaks down 3 underrated QB’s and RB’s.

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Top 3 Underrated Fantasy Players At Every Position

QB:

1. Andy Dalton

Yes, the Red Rider himself. I had him on every fantasy team since he has enteredthe league, and to be honest, I’ll probably take him again for the third year in a row.He is always available late, and never gets the recognition he stoutly deserves. Let’s examine his numbers. Last year, he had 31 TDs (4 of which were from running) andhad over a 62% completion rating. Not bad when you have to face every AFC Northteam twice a year (the division with probably has the best secondary in the entireAFC). Only the very experienced Big Ben (Miami University alumni!) had a better completion rating than Dalton within that division, which speaks pretty loudly about Dalton’s accuracy. And there is only upside to this kid. Why? Tyler Eifert (who is a hell of a golfer by the way) has joined the Bengals, which inspired a possible two tight end system. Could this be the next New England Patriots? Only time will tell, but probably not. I can’t picture Marvin Lewis in a Belichick hoodie.

2. Alex Smith

I may get a lot of heat for this, but honestly, I’m in sales so I hear more insults from strangers over the phone than you could even imagine so I’ll go ahead and completely disregard anything negative you have to say about this one. The former Utah superstar quarterback has a lot to offer. There is definitely a controversy still whether or not Jim should’ve continued to name Alex the starting QB over Colin, but whatever, they went to the ‘ship so I guess Coach Harbaugh knows what he’s doing. Regardless, Alex was brought to KC for a reason, and truthfully, I still think he’s got a lot of fire. First off, he has a chip on his shoulder, and I know he wants to prove the 49’ers wrong for getting rid of him. He deserved that starting job, but unfortunately in the world of sports, sometimes things don’t always work the way you want them to. Believe it or not, Smith has a lot of decent targets to work with, including Bowe, Baldwin, and Moeki (who will soon be replaced by a huge rookie who will explode in the near future named Travis Kelce, but I’ll talk about him later in another article). Alex has plenty to offer and I believe KC will find success with him.

3. Ryan Tannehill

AKA, the guy with a smoke show for a wife. I am not a huge fan of the guy personally, but there are only so many “sleepers” at the QB position you can select. Ryan has been given plenty of weapons to utilize for next year (most notably, Mike Wallace), so he better prove to the Dolphin’s organization that he wasn’t the worst first round selected quarterback drafted to a Florida team in recent memory. LOL JK that award definitely goes to Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars.

RB:

1. Lesean McCoy

Okay, I get it. He is still a first round draft pick in most standard fantasy leagues of 12 or greater but I am still going to justify this because he is going to have the best season in his career this year and will perform like a top tier player. Several reasons for this. First, Chip Kelly is a new coach in the NFL, and there is no safer way to start off your career than the old fashioned ground-and-pound. I can easily see Shady McCoy adapting easily to Chip’s Oregon uncertain and unpredictable offense. Options, counters and screen passes galore! Secondly, the NFC East teams all have ENORMOUS holes within their defense. Want to hear them? Okay well the Giants have JPP who is a tremendous pass rusher but an embarrassingly bad run stopper (which is surprising considering how much praise he gets.) Don’t believe me? Watch every game when the Redskins play the Giants and run it at his direction as he bites for the fake handoffs and him falling for the counter like a Boonton Bomber (s/o to the Herd). Cowboy’s interior will be a mess when they don’t have Jay Ratliff due to his hamstring injury so they better stack the box and hope for the best. Lastly, Redskins have an intimidating defense… if you were looking at the right side. They lost Kerrigan due to surgery for 4-5 months and the 3-year man Jarvis Jenkins is an easy fix with a double team. That leaves the old man London Fletcher to hobble down the field to catchy the young, elusive running back. Yeah, that’s not happening. Last reason why McCoy will light the league on fire this year is because of his unbelievable, natural, play-making ability. He is a no brainer in my opinion and I wouldn’t let him slip if I were you. EDIT: I wrote this the night before Jenkins was suspended, which just proves my point even further. The guy has to take PEDs to keep his side of the defense on par, but failed miserably because he got caught.

2. Chris Ivory

This kid shined every time the ball was in his hands. I am so happy now that he is not on a pass heavy team. The Jets organization certainly has its question marks, but one safe way to get yards is to run it up the gut (especially with Mangold paving and mauling the way). This will take the pressure off Sanchez (Or Geno?) and lead to perhaps better decisions and maybe lead to a successful play action giving the whole team confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I respect what Shonn Greene did, but I don’t think he is as nearly talented as Ivory. I say this because Chris is a big back at 6 foot and over 220 lbs but is light on his feet and lowers his shoulders for the linebackers. His timing when it comes to putting on the right move for a defender is impeccable, to say the least. I hope Chris pays off for New York and I am sure he will give you a run for your money.

3. Rashard Mendenhall

If Carson Palmer doesn’t work out, the former Steeler will be able to relieve some stress. This division has an abundance of ridiculously gifted linebackers and secondary players, but there is some opportunity for a well-designed running game to thrive. Especially with superstar tackle Eric Winston’s recent signing and rookie guard Jonathan Cooper (who will sign), that right side looks pretty strong all of a sudden. Bruce Arians should have a field day with unexpected draws and right side pitches to Rashard, Beanie Wells, Andre Ellington. But for the sake of my prediction, lets just hope he sticks with Mendenhall.

Next up, WR and TE.

From your favorite and number 1 fantasy football guru,

Philipp “Phil” J. Ferstenblatt

Fantasy questions? Email me at Baldinaf@miamoh.edu

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FANTASY PREVIEW: WR

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Time to cover another fantasy position that can make or break your team. Wr’s are crucial in fantasy. Every year it seems like there are guys that breakout, and guys that are huge busts (Braylon Edwards in ’08, still haven’t forgiven him for that). Wide outs are valuable because there are always decent ones on the waiver wire. Like i said in the RB’s preview, these are the rankings as of today, injuries and suspensions can occur which could possibly throw these off. (Note the injuries that have already taken place).

1. Calvin Johnson:

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 Not even going to waste my time writing a long explanation for this one. Almost 2,000 yards last year…absolutely absurd. I see nothing but improvements to the Lions O by adding a lineman and Reggie Bush, which means Megatron should pick up right where he left off.

2. AJ Green: AJ had a bit of a scare a couple days ago when he hurt his knee. Luckily for the Bengals and fantasy owners, Dr’s concluded that it was just a bruise. I don’t think that bruise or opposing defenses will be able to slow him down this year, as him and the Red Rider continue to develop together. Green was sensational last year, 1350 yards and 11 TD’s, and with another year of experience for him and his quarterback, I’m predicting he finishes somewhere around 1,500 and 12 tuddys in 2013.

3. Brandon Marshall: Love B-Marsh as a person and a player. But Cutler loves him even more (118 receptions for Brandon last year). There is no question who Cutler is throwing to when he drops back. It doesn’t matter how covered he is, Marshall is getting the rock. Targets are crucial to wide outs in fantasy, which is why i love B-Marsh. Also, first year head coach Marc Trestman loves to air it out, and Marshall has been on record already saying how much the Bears already love this new offense.

4. Dez Bryant:

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I just have a good feeling about Dallas’s offense this year. Jerry decided to back Romo by paying him big bills, which i think will ultimately help him play better. Dez is super talented and broke out last year with 1,382 yards and 12 TD’s. When Demarco Murray is healthy the Cowgirls have a very balanced offense, and Jason Witten and Miles Austin keep the double teams at bay for Dez.

5. Juliooooo Jones: 

I waffled over this one for a long time. First i had him at 8, then i moved him to 4, finally i settled here at 5. I just don’t know about taking Julio as a top 5 wideout when he doesn’t even finish number 1 in catches on his team. Roddy White is the safe target for Matty Ice. But Julio is the big play guy. We saw what Julio could really do last year, and this year I think we see it even more. The benefit of Rowdy Roddy White being opposite Julio is it keeps defenses from keying in on Julio. I think Jones gets enough big plays this year to solidify himself as a top 5 fantasy wide out.

6. Andre Johnson: What? This old guy at 6?!? The Natural is still a top 5 WR talent in my opinion, he has just been hurt a lot lately. When healthy, this guy can ball. He was banged up all last year and still was close  to 1,600 yards (only 4 TD’s though). 1 thing he’s been missing his whole career is a legit threat opposite him. I think the Texans have that now in rookie DeAndre Hopkins. Kubiak says Hopkins has been very impressive early on in camp. If Hopkins can prove himself early and take some pressure off Andre, i see a big 2013 for The Natural in my crystal ball.

7. Demaryius Thomas: Be warned, there are a lotttt of hands that could be touching the ball for the Broncos this year. Thomas had a big year last year, but I think the addition of Welker could actually hurt him. The guy eats catches like I eat my grandmother’s lasagna. But I still like Thomas as a top 10 wide out. Peyton Man-thang knows how to get the ball to all of his weapons, and i think DT will still be the priority as the outside deep threat. Any fantasy points that DT loses to Welker in yards, he will make up for in touchdowns.

8. Roddy White: Rowdy’s tuddys were down to the lowest they’ve been since 2008. But he is always a reliable target and still piles up the catches. The falcons offense is poised to have another big year, and Roddy White will be right in the middle of it. I feel like this guy is always a lock for around 1,300 yards. Even if he doesn’t have the huge 2 TD games that Julio sometimes has, he will always provide consistent points week to week for your team. I love consistent players in fantasy.

9. Larry Fitzgerald: 

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With a consistent QB, this guys is one of the first 3 WR’s off the board every year. I just couldn’t bring myself to leave such a talent out of the top 10. While an improvement from Skelton, I just don’t know if Carson Palmer is the answer for Larry. But i do think Palmer is experienced and good enough to get Larry back to relevance. I mean all you have to do is lob it up to this guy for christs sake how hard can it be. I think Fitz finds pay dirt 10 times this year.

10. Vincent Jackson: V-Jax is a physical specimen, and has always been a great downfield threat. I like what Tampa Bay did this offseason and i think they can make a playoff push. Doug Martin provides the balance that Josh Freeman needs. Mike Williams is solid opposite Jackson as well. I think V-Jax could have a very good year.

11. Randall Cobb: Almost got to 1,000 yards last year to go along with his 8 touchdowns. I’m high on Cobb as well as Jordy Nelson this year now that Jennings is gone. Jordy Nelson is the more talented downfield threat, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he finished with more fantasy points than Cobb, but i like Cobb’s versatility and the number times Rodgers looks Cobb’s way. Cobb is the safer pick because he works the slot and will get more targets. He is also good for a punt return or 2 every year.

12: Victor Cruz: I would probably put Cruz ahead of Cobb if i didn’t see Cruz complain about his brand new contract. The guy just signed for good money then complains like come on Vic figure it out kid. But I like Cruz’s ability to get fantasy points nonetheless, with a healthy Hakeem Nicks with him, the sky is the limit for the giants passing game. You know Cruz will get catches and yards working the middle of the field, but the question is can he mimic all those big plays he had last year?

13: Jordy Nelson: Like I said before, i’m high on the Green Bay wide outs. Nelson is the best of the bunch when he’s healthy. I have Cobb a couple spots ahead of him, but I really think if Nelson stays healthy he has a shot to have the biggest year. But both should be solid options.

14. Marques Colston: With Sean Payton back, Brees can go back to just playing QB. There used to be a lot of hands reaching in the pot in New Orleans, but the departure of  Meachem last offseason helped Colston have a solid year last year. They throw it a lot, he’s bound to catch a good amount of em.

15. Wes Welker: 

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You know he’s going to work the slot and get catches, but there is too much talent on the outside of this Broncos offense for Welker to up around double digit TD’s in my opinion. Peyton will get him the rock, and he will be a solid constant fantasy WR, just not a fantasy stud.

16: Reggie Wayne

17:  Danny Amendola

18: Hakeem Nicks

19: Steve Smith

20: Mike Wallace: (Tanny can throw the long ball…could be a sleeper).

21: Torrey Smith

22: Antonio Brown

23: Eric Decker

24:  Dwyane Bowe

25: James Jones

This was tough, there is so much talent in the 16-25 range. I think any of those guys especially Torrey Smith, Antonio Brown, and Amendola can have great years. There guys outside this top 25 that can easily finish top 15. Guys like Greg Jennings, Desean Jackson (in Chip’s offense), Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt could easily have big years. This year wr’s go deep.

– Steve Butabi

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FANTASY PREVIEW: RB

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Fantasy football is one of my favorite things in the world. During the fall semester I spend significantly more time editing my lineup, scavenging the waiver wire, and scouting trades, than i do on school work. Throc Morton hit you with the QB’s preview a couple days back, now it’s Butabi here previewing the RB’s. Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to cover every fantasy postion including kickers, and we’re also bringing in fantasy football guru Andrew Baldinger to do an overall preview post, so if you’re looking for fantasy advice…look no further then Press Box Pillow Talk.

These are my rankings heading into camp. The NFL season is obviously barely out of the womb, so things like injuries and suspensions can still take place and change things up.

1. Adrian Peterson:

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The Wolverine. AD is a machine. Now we know why his dad nicknamed him “All Day.” Coming back from a complete ACL tear as a RB is no joke, and the guy was what, 9 yards away from the single season rushing record? Scary. Offensively Harvin is gone, Ponder will have his ups and downs. I don’t think much will change with this offense. Name of the game will be feed the beast…”All Day.”

2. Arian Foster: The undrafted running back had 1411 yards and 15 td’s last year. Biggest plus about this guy is that he plays in a balanced offense that can pound the rock and also go up top with Schaub and Andre Johnson. Defenses can’t stack the box against him. Foster thrives in the zone blocking scheme that Houston implemented a couple years ago. Don’t see him slowing down this year.

3. Marshawn Lynch:

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Beast Mode may have poor grammar, but I think he’s a smart guy. Why you ask? Because he got the hell out of Buffalo and ran as far away as he could, and he’s been nice ever since. With 1590 yards and 11 td’s last year, Lynch impressed. The addition of versatile Percy Harvin should help him out even more, forcing opposing defenses to key in on more then just Lynch.  With some solid weapons, Russel Wilson will be at the helm of a dangerous offense, but it starts with Marshawn Lynch.

4. Jamaal Charles: Charles is a yardage monster. A smaller back with olympic speed, Charles is a threat to find paint from anywhere on the field. Traditionally though, he doesn’t score many touchdowns, (only 5 last year). But I think that changes with Andy Reid in town. Although Andy loves to toss the rock, he also utilizes his backs in many ways. Charles is versatile and can catch the ball out of the backfield very well. I think Andy Reid will find ways to get Charles in the open field, where he’ll do the rest.

5. Doug Martin: Last year Muscle Hamster pulled up to the scene with his ceiling missing. Highlighted by his 51 fantasy point week in week 9 against Oakland, Martin had an unbelievable rookie campaign. I’m a guy who’s cautios of the sophomore slump, especially now that defenses will be keying on him. But i think with Freeman and company Tampa should have enough to keep the pressure off the second year stud. Look for Martin to have another big year.

6. LeSean McCoy: The offense was bad, he was hurt, the team gave up…last year was just a mess. Shady went from 17 td’s in 2011 to 2 td’s last year. But i think LeSean bounces back with a big year in 2013. A lot has been made of Chip Kelly’s offense translating into the NFL. One thing i know is true is that other than 2 triple option teams, Kelly’s Oregon teams have been the best rushing teams in the country the last couple of years. RB’s are the biggest beneficiaries of the read-option. There are safer choices out there and this may be a risk  seeing as we don’t know if Kelly will be able to work that same magic at this level, but I’m willing to take that risk. I think McCoy will benefit in a big way.

7. Ray Rice: I thought about this one for a while. I’m pretty down on the Ravens as a team this upcoming year coming off of their miracle run to the Superbowl. Ray Ray however is the one guy who can be relied on to give consistently solid fantasy points. I mean with Boldin gone…who else is going to score the touchdowns? It’s really only Ray Rice and Torrey Smith over there in Baltimore, to go along with a good but unbelievably overpaid Flacco. And Bernard Pierce has been starting to get more and more carries as well.

8. Matt Forte: His numbers were down last year, but Forte is talented enough to bounce back. I think Forte is a lot like McCoy, in terms of their head coaches bringing new offenses to the team. Marc Trestman has been coaching the last couple of years in the CFL for the always dangerous Montreal Alouettes. But he does have a lot of NFL and NCAA experience prior to that. He has been called an offensive genius, and has stated that he will incorporate a little bit of the read-option, which we all know does wonders for running backs.

9. CJ Spiller:

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Spiller finally broke out in 2012. It looks like he finally has overtaken Fred Jackson for the lead man in Buffalo. For me it’s all about carries with CJ. I think he’s a top 7 RB in the league in terms of pure talent. He can hit the homerun on any play, grind out tough yards, and catch the ball out of the backfield. Look for him to improve on his 1244 rushing yards and and 6 td’s from last year.

10. Trent Richardson: Trent had a solid rookie year. He didn’t get to 1000 yards, but his 11 td’s was big. I think he will be up around the same amount of td’s this year, but his yards will improve. I don’t like the browns offense what so ever, teams will load the box on him but…the Browns have no one else to give the ball to so Trent will get unreal carries.

11. Steven Jackson: Jax is not done yet. He’ll be in a balanced offense that will score a lot of touchdowns, even if he’s not the focal point, he will be in the endzone a lot.

12. Alfred Morris: Don’t think the Skins will run quite as much read-option, we have yet to see if he is truly an efficient RB in a non read-option offense. He’s still a solid fantasy back in my opnion, just not top 10.

13. Frank Gore: Another beneficiary of the read-option, I think Frank Gore can have another solid year. There are a lot of RB’s in San Fran and i think his carries will be down, but not down enough to keep him from being an effective fantasy back.

14. Steven Ridley: Brady’s weapons are no where to be found. Ridley was solid last year and I think NE goes to the run even more this year.

15. Demarco Murray: He has been injured for the majority of his career, but we have seen that when he’s healthy…he’s good. I think the cowboys will put up numbers this year, and he will be a big part of it.

16-25:

16. Chris Johnson 17. Reggie Bush 18. MJD 19. Darren McFadden 20. Ryan Matthews 21. Montee Ball 22. Darren Sproles 23. Chris Ivory 24. David Wilson 25. Lamar Miller.

Let the games begin

– Steve Butabi

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Fantasy Preview: QBs

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Last year in the NFL, numerous QBs where throwing up numbers left and right. Brees broke records, 3 QBs carried the ball (give or take) 100 times, and first and second year starters lit up the league.  This is going to be a wild year at the QB position as well, take a peek and see who we think you should have higher up on your big board.

1-5 (Superstars)

1. Drew Brees

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I don’t think you can really go against him as number 1.  Don’t expect him to drop another 5k plus season with close to 45 TDs to go with it, but Drew is going to throw up big numbers, like he has done year after year. It would be no-risk, very-high reward to take him early and as the first QB in the draft.

2. Peyton Manning – with the addition of Tom Brady’s long time safety blanket, Welker, Peyton is even more dangerous. He has 4 serious threats to throw to on every down, his numbers should increase a significant amount.  This is a no-brainer, but take Mr. Manning if you have the opportunity.

3. Aaron Rodgers – Discount Double Check is just as talented as the two QBs ranked ahead of him, dont get it twisted, he is as elite as you get in this league. He dropped 39 TDs to go along with only 8 INTs, those are some promising ass numbers. Rodgers is another one who you can afford to take early and get exactly what you want out of him, if not more.

4. Tom Brady – he did lose two BIG weapons, but this isn’t Tom Terrific’s first rodeo.  He finished 2nd in overall points last year, and will more than likely be back in the top 5 area this year.  Tom gets it done, and he will do just that.  A lot of fans love taking Tom as high as top 3, so if you love him, be aware that you might have to give up big name RBs.

5. Cam Newton – Cam obviously brings something different to the table.. a 700+ yard rushing season in both of his years in the league. His passing stats went down last year, so look for that to jump back up. Cam is a player that you can ride to the playoffs, and can also single handedly win you multiple weeks when other players don’t perform.

Image6-12 (Solid Ass Starters)

6. Matt Ryan – Matty Ice has been very very good as an NFL starter, and with his #1 wide receiver combination on the outside, mixed with Tony G, and an always solid run game, he will put up huge #s. Matt Ryan is someone I would take a risk on if you think he is jumping off the board soon.

7. Andrew Luck – dropped some big numbers last year, and I don’t see a reason why one of the most promising young players in the game can’t improve. Don’t be afraid of having a second year QB as your guy, Luck won’t disappoint this year. As a matter of fact, he might very well make a case for being an “elite”.

8. Tony Romo – to everyones surprise, Tony was a statistical beast last year, ending up less than 100 yards shy of a 5k season. He probably wont do that again, but Romo is a reliable starter when it comes to fantasy football, real life football is a different story.

9. Robert Griffin III – 826 yards rushing last year, 3200 passing yards and 27 total TDs.  Bobby Griff was a big success in the league last year.  The ACL tear will probably duck his rushing attempts quite a bit, but it might just boost his passing game that much. RG3 is fun to watch, and this year he will be fun to have.

10. Matthew Stafford

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it is no secret that Stafford is a monster at putting up numbers, he was also very close to a 5k season last year. Although INTs keep stafford down from being an elite fantasy QB, his rocket arm and Megatron are enough reasons to have Stafford as your starter.

11. Eli Manning – his numbers never really jump off the page, but he is pretty solid as a fantasy player. In a 12 man league, Eli is an ideal mid round quarterback pick.

12. Russell Wilson – what a stud last year, breaking the rookie-record for TDs, and throwing up backup RB numbers running the rock. Russ should be on your list of intriguing players, and definitely worth some research into being your QB.

13-25 (Weekend Warriors)

13. Colin Kaepernick 14. Joe Flacco 15. Andy Dalton 16. Josh Freeman 17. Sam Bradford 18. Matt Schaub 19. Ben Roethlisberger 20. Philip Rivers 21. Jay Cutler 22. Alex Smith 23. Carson Palmer 24. Ryan Tannehill 25. Brandon Weeden

– Throc Morton

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