Saturday, August 29, 2015

2015 All Under-valued Fantasy Football Starters

There are plenty of Cash Fantasy Football Leagues open that will be drafting in the next 2 weeks at Maximum Fantasy Sports to put this advice to use! This list varies a bit from a list of Fantasy Football Sleepers as these players are expected to have a good season, but their Average Draft Position does not reflect how good of a season they will have compared to others at their position.

QB Ryan Tannehill (Miami) – Tannehill lived up to expectations in 2014 and delivered for over 4,000 yards and 27 TDs against only 12 INTs. He was second to Lamar Miller in rushing and he now has three fine young receivers in Jarvis Landry, Ken Stills and DeVante Parker who will mesh with the talented quarterback. Additionally, the Dolphins added the veteran presences of Greg Jennings and new TE Jordan Cameron, so the Dolphins have plenty of weapons. Tannehill is in line for a 4,500 yard season, and considering you can get him in the ninth round; those are good dividends.
Also consider: Philip Rivers (San Diego), Carson Palmer (Arizona)

RB Latavius Murray (Oakland) – Murray was finally given an opportunity late last season and shined. He has great speed and vision to go along with a solid 6’3” 230lb frame. The only threat he has to his Touches is ROy Helu catching passes out of the backfield, but Murray projects to be a workhorse this season and should put up nice numbers, especially if QB David Carr continues to improve with each game.
Also consider: Carlos Hyde (San Francisco), Rashard Jennings (New York Giants)

WR Charles Johnson (Minnesota) – Johnson really gelled with QB Teddy Bridgewater last year as Teddy became more comfortable as the starting QB. In the Vikings last 7 games; CJ tallied 25 catches for 415 yards and 2 TDs. With the addition of RB Adrian Peterson and WR Mike Wallace, I expect Johnson to have more room to run his routes and make many more plays than last year and many more big plays. Johnson has great size and an existing rapport with Bridgewater. Wallace is a bigger name but Johnson will have a bigger impact as is a steal in round 9 and beyond.
Also consider: John Brown (Arizona), Marques Colston (New Orleans)

TE Richard Rodgers (Green Bay) – Actually, Rodgers qualifies as more of a true Sleeper than merely under-valued. Earlier this summer, the concern about Rodgers was how often QB Rodgers would look his way, but, since the season-ending injury to WR Jordy Nelson, Rodgers becomes more of a factor in the offense as defenses key on WR Randall Cobb and Rodgers looks to a group of relatively unfamiliar targets in Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery and Richard Rodgers. He is definitely worth a late pick in deeper leagues.
Also consider: Jordan Cameron (Miami), Charles Clay (Buffalo)

D  Minnesota Vikings – the Vikings defense played very well last season, especially after the offense began to perform better. The entire unit is young especially as the offense matured and stayed on the field longer each game. This unit is young and fast. The front four are not household names, at least not outside of the state, but Brian Robinson, Shariff Floyd, Linval Joseph, and Everson Griffen are collectively more talented than 75% of the defensive front four units in the league. They were weak in the secondary last season but the addition of rookie Trae Waynes will help motivate the unit into playing better or losing their spot to him.

Can The ‘Boys Repeat?

Written by Jake Loessin
The NFC East is a race between last year’s division champions Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Dallas won the East last season with a 12-4 record over the 10-6 Philadelphia Eagles and was one game and one heavily debated call away from facing Seattle in the NFC Championship game.  Since then both teams have made significant changes during the offseason.

The Cowboys traded the NFL’s leading rusher last season, Demarco Murray, to Philadelphia but return with a strong receiving corps and added a strong downhill runner in Darren McFadden from Oakland.  Dez Bryant’s contract was also a big concern going into this offseason but Bryant and the team reached a financial agreement that ultimately provided him with a long-term extension keeping the elite receiver in Dallas for many years to come.

The Eagles also made key changes in skill positions during the offseason.  The Eagles traded running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills and acquired DeMarco Murray from the Cowboys.  The Eagles also traded the young up and coming quarterback Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams for their quarterback Sam Bradford.  Bradford, when healthy, has proven to be a reliable quarterback who manages the game well.  Sam Bradford along with Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley and the addition of Tim Tebow will make the quarterback position an interesting one for the Eagles.

The bottom dweller Giants and Redskins are looking to make improvements from last season’s poor efforts.  The Giants were unusually bad last year going 6-10 and Eli Manning never seemed to find his groove.  However, young players like Odell Beckham Jr. had a breakout rookie season and will hopefully continue to play at a high level in 2015.  The Giants will also have star wide receiver Victor Cruz back after missing all of last year with a knee injury.  Cruz will take a lot of the load off of Beckham Jr. and will definitely give Eli Manning more looks down field.

The Redskins continual slide into ineptness continued last year as they finished with a record of 4-12.  Coach Jay Gruden is on the “hot seat” and needs the ‘Skins to win bigtime to keep his job.  RG3 was reportedly 100% healthy when pre-season started but has already been beaten up and had his brain scrambled and the Redskins will need him healthy and playing well as their offense literally lives and dies with Griffin’s level of play.

The NFC East is the Cowboys division to lose.  Tony Romo is playing some of the best football of his life and he has a tremendous talent base around him.  Expect the Cowboys offense to be clicking from the get-go with its outstanding offensive line handling the load.  Dez Bryant and the rest of Dallas’ receiving core will light up NFC East secondaries and DeMarco Murray will be an afterthought due to their newly modified stable of running backs with Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle.  On paper it looks pretty obvious, but the question of who controls the East will be answered on the field when the Cowboys and Eagles go head to head on September 20th in Philadelphia

Week 1 College Football Picks

Written by Jake Loessin

The 2015 college football season starts Thursday September 3rd and historically the odds are in your favor early before Vegas makes adjustments.  I normally don’t do many Thursday night games because the “pond” is smaller with a lot less fish.  However, looking at this opening Thursday, the “pond” is well stocked so let’s dive in! All games are weighted the same. If I am betting on a game, I am using the same amount, unlike Bill, who prefers to weight games. Different philosophies. You choose a style that fits your budget.
Thursday 9/3 games
Ohio -10 @ Idaho
Ohio brings back 9 on offense (basically everyone) and 6 on defense.  In 2014, Ohio went 6-5 and a played in a better conference than the Vandals.  Idaho brings back 6 on offense and 7 on defense.  Although it really doesn’t matter, Idaho was horrible last year going 1-10 and their defense was a wet paper bag giving up 37 points a game ranking them at a smooth 114th.  Take Ohio and give the 10 points.   

Okla. St -16.5 @ Central Michigan
Oklahoma State brings back 8 on offense and 8 on defense.  Oklahoma State is one of the sleeper teams this year that could do some damage in the Big 12.  The Cowboys got on a late run at the end of last year, and knocked of then #20 Oklahoma to make a bowl game and then proceeded to dominate a middle tier Pac 12 team in Washington.  Central Michigan beat the teams they were supposed to beat and lost to all the “big boy” teams including a 24 -10 whipping by powerhouse Kansas…Kansas!  Give the 16.5 and watch the Pokes roll.    
TCU -14 @ Minnesota
TCU brings back 9 on offense and 5 on defense and should not miss a beat.  I have them winning the Big 12 and making the playoffs.  Minnesota got demolished by TCU last year 30-7. I don’t see anything changing this year.  This will be ugly, Horned Frogs win big.

Dog with bite: Michigan +5 at Utah

Friday 9/4 games
Baylor -34.5 @ SMU
Baylor giving up basically 35 points is not for the weak of heart.  But this is an Art Briles team and Art would run the score up on his mom if he could.  SMU is SMU and possibly might not score at all; meanwhile, Artie and Baylor will try for 80 points.  Give the 34.5 points, Bears big over the 'Stangs.
Michigan St. -19 @ Western Michigan
Michigan St. brings back 6 on offense and 7 on defense.  This was a damn good team last year going 11-2 and losing to a good Oregon team and to the eventual national champ Ohio State.  With that in mind, the Broncos have not won an opener since 2004.  It’s not a case if State is going to win, it’s by how much, Sparty wins big 49-14.

Saturday 9/5 games
UTEP @ Arkansas -33
Hogs run wild in Fayetteville and easily over the Miners 56-7
Akron @ Oklahoma -30.5
Zips get paid regularly to go get crushed in openers by the “big boys”. Last year, Oklahoma lost their last 2 games plus they got smoked by Clemson 40-6 in the bowl game. Right now, Bob Stoops has multiple veins popping out of his forehead.  Expect OU to make an opening statement.  Oklahoma 63-10.
Troy @ NC State -25
The Wolfpack are riding a 3 game win streak including a bowl win over a good UCF squad.  Troy is just a very bad team in the weak Sunbelt conference.  NC State rolls Troy 45-10.

Dog with bite: Virginia +17 at UCLA
Sunday 9/6 games
Ohio State -14 @ Virginia Tech
Remember that time in 2014 when the Hokies beat Ohio State and ruined their undefeated season?  Yeah so does Ohio State.  It’s a revenge game and Urban Meyer will have the Buckeyes looking for blood. Ohio State rolls big.

Dog with bite: Purdue +8.5 at Marshall

2015 NFL Win Total Projections

Per annual tradition, Ron and I have separately formulated our Win/Loss projections for every NFL team and how that will project out for the playoffs and Super Bowl. We do this to help ourselves get our Futures bets ready for the year but enjoy sharing them with our customers as we always end up winning money on our bets. Of course, one can't handicap injuries so these projections must assume none and are based off of each team's talent level and schedule. 

From the projections below here are the teams that we both like versus the number that the sportsbook is giving out. You will find a numbers vary slightly from book to book as does the Juice so always get the best line possible. Speaking of winning cash, there are plenty of Cash Fantasy Football Leagues open that will be drafting in the next 2 weeks at Maximum Fantasy Sports.

Combined recommendations:
Under: Cleveland, Houston, Chicago, Carolina (was our favorite even before Benjamin's injury)
Over: Green Bay (sticking with it even after Nelson's injury)

Individual recommendations:
Under: Jets (Ron), Oakland (Ron), Washington (Ron), Tampa (Ron), San Fran (Bill)
Over: Pittsburgh (Ron), Dallas (Ron), Seattle (Ron), Arizona (Ron)


EastBillRonBook EastBillRonBook 
New England101110 Dallas9129.5 
Miami10109 Philly899.5 
Buffalo988.5 NY Giants888 
NY Jets767.5 Wash646 
North    North    
Baltimore9109 GB131311 
Pittsburgh9118.5 Detroit898.5 
Cincy898.5 Minny998 
Cleveland546.5 Chicago657 
South    South    
Indy111211 Atlanta978.5 
Houston768.5 NO888.5 
Tenn545.5 Carolina678.5 
Jax545.5 TB646 
West    West    
Denver101110.5 Seattle111311 
KC988.5 Arizona8108.5 
San Diego888.5 St. Louis877.5 
Oakland645.5 SF566.5 

Bill
AFC Division winners: Indy, Denver, New England, Pittsburgh
AFC Wildcards: Baltimore, Miami
AFC Championship game:  Indy over New England

NFC Division winners:  Green Bay, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta
NFC Wildcards:  Minnesota, Detroit (though a tie like this is hard to figure out how it would be broken)
NFC Championship game:  Green Bay over Seattle

Super Bowl Champs: Green Bay over Indy

Ron
AFC Division winners: Indy, Denver, New England, Pittsburgh
AFC Wildcards: Baltimore, Miami
AFC Championship game:  Pitt over Indy

NFC Division winners:  Green Bay, Seattle, Dallas, New Orleans
NFC Wildcards:  Arizona, Detroit
NFC Championship game:  Dallas over Green Bay

Super Bowl Champs: Dallas over Pitt

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Over-valued fantasy football players are not necessarily players that will struggle this season. They are players that are being drafted too high in the draft compared to their predicted output versus players at the same position being drafted much lower. Successful fantasy football team owners are the owners that recognize value in each round and draft accordingly. There is no set methodology on what position to draft in each round or what players should be drafted in each round. As always, KNOW YOUR SCORING system and let that dictate your drafting strategy and be flexible about your strategy so you can make adjustments on the fly based on how the draft is unfolding so you can recognize Value in the players still available.

Assuming a standard fantasy football scoring system, we are going to cite players that we are seeing drafted too high compared to other players at their position. Currently, the most over-valued fantasy football players thus far, according to their Average Draft Position, are as follows.

QB: Peyton Manning (Denver) – Peyton began showing his age towards the end of 2014. He was still the third highest scoring QB last season, but that won’t happen this year and he is being drafted as the third QB. Manning is a bit slower, throws more INTs, the Broncos are relying much more on their running game and Peyton has lost a few weapons. Wes Welker and Julian Thomas are gone and RB C.J. Anderson is breaking out. I still expect 4000 yards and 30 TDs from Peyton, but you can get that kind of production later in the draft from numerous other QBs…QBs that are much younger and more mobile than the 39-year old Manning.

RB: Jonathan Stewart (Carolina) – There are many people that felt that Stewart cane into his own last season and it will springboard him into a successful 2015. Sure, he averaged 100 ypg in his last 4 and the Panthers did let RB DeAngelo Williams go, but I don’t buy it. He has only had one season of over 200 carries due to injuries and has already tweaked his ankle this summer. If you decide that he is worth the risk, make sure to also grab Cameron Artis-Payne to plug in the day the switchover happens.

WR Sammy Watkins (Buffalo) – Sammy Watkins is as talented as a receiver gets in the AFC East, but you won’t notice this season. Kyle Orton was a serviceable QB, but he has retired and the list of QBs now in Buffalo makes a person cringe; Matt Cassel, E.J. Manuel and Tyrod Taylor. Coach Rex Ryan has faced this situation before and I can guarantee you that he is going to try to win by running the ball and letting his defense do the bulk of the work. Also, Sammy is coming off hip surgery which is definitely not going to help. The NFL is chocked full of quality WRs so don’t spend a pick on Watkins as it could just be a wasted pick.

TE Julius Thomas (Jacksonville) – Julius is very talented but he may never see the production that he had in Denver again. Of course, he has 46 million reasons not to be too upset about it. Thomas’ greatest value has always come in the form of TDs. Because Denver had so much talent, he was never relied upon to be a catch/yardage-heavy option. Now, Jacksonville is largely devoid of receiving talent, so it could mean that Thomas will compensate for his drop in TD receptions with more catches and yards, but it could also mean that he will face double-teams. He is far too risky to consider taking him in single-digit rounds when there could be a half-dozen tight ends that end up with the same, or better, numbers that are drafted in double-digit rounds.

K Stephen Gostkowski (New England) – Gostkowski was the highest scoring kicker in the NFL last season so he should be the highest drafted kicker, correct? Well, I would agree, but why take ANY kicker before your last or second-to-last round? Philly K Cody Parker was a mere 2 field goals behind Gostkowski in points and no one is thinking about taking him over a WR4 or RB4. Fill your bench before taking a kicker.

D Seattle – Along the same lines as a kicker, WAIT on your defense. Unless you have a robust scoring system that rewards defenses heavily, the difference in points between the top dozen defenses is too small to think about taking a defense in single-digit rounds. Seattle gets a LOT of press and has been to two straight Super Bowls, but they were not the top-scoring defense in fantasy last year even after having an ADP in single-digit rounds. As a matter of fact, in some formats, they were the 7-9th highest scoring defense in 2014. Before I take a kicker, I always start two rounds before and grab my first defense then grab my second defense. The top defenses fluctuate every year. Who would have figured that Philly would have had the highest-scoring fantasy defense last season?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Sleepers

One of the keys to winning your fantasy football league is the ability to draft Sleepers. “Sleepers” are NFL players who are drafted in much lower rounds in your fantasy football drafts than their ending statistics warrant. In shopping terms, this is like getting a 22oz bottle of Not Your Father’s Root Beer (the 19.9% version….mmmmm, mmmm) for A&W prices. In the full-season fantasy football world, this is the avenue to the league championship. We have seen championships won on the heels of Sleepers every year. They have come out of nowhere to register monster years after being double-digit or waiver wire picks. When you can grab a player at the end of your draft that becomes your number 1 producer at a certain position, you, my friends, have a true Sleeper. Below are a few projected fantasy football sleepers by position for the 2015 season.

2015 Fantasy Football Sleepers

QB: Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota) – Teddy took over the reins from Matt Cassel in Minny in Week 4 in 2014 and never looked back. He was poised, confident and productive and he is back in 2015 as the opening game starter with experience and new toys. He had a trio of running backs to hand the ball off to last year but none of them were named Adrian Peterson. One might think that the Vikings will run Peterson into the ground since he has fresh legs, which they may, but having him in the backfield will open up the passing game far more than last year’s timeshare did. The Vikings also upgraded at WR by swapping out aging Greg Jennings and adding field-stretcher Mike Wallace. On top of that, the Vikings will have a healthy TE Kyle Rudolph to add to the mix. Teddy is being drafted in double digit rounds as a QB2 but there is no reason not to believe that you won’t find more games than not that you will want to start him.
Also consider: Derek Carr (Oakland), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buffalo)

RB: Joseph Randle (Dallas) – Though owner Jerry Jones is an idiot, there is no way that he lets DeMarco Murray go and is satisfied with bringing in RB Darren McFadden to replace him unless he was confident on his backup RBs from 2014. I believe the McFadden move was a sympathy move from a fellow Razorback alumnus as McFadden has been a true bust since he was drafted by Oakland in 2008, though injuries are the main reason why. He was very talented in college but one has to wonder how much of a toll his slew of injuries has taken on his speed. With McFadden already battling hamstring injuries, Randle is strengthening his position as the opening game starter as Dallas realizes that McFadden is as far from a reliable workhorse back as I am. Randle is only 23 years old and has a great combination of size and speed. Even if Randle starts the season off with a mere 15 carries a game, I expect good things as I could probably get 100 yards per game behind that massive Cowboys offensive line.
Also consider: David Cobb (Tennessee), David Johnson (Arizona)

WR: Nick Toon (New Orleans) – We featured Brandin Cooks from the Saints in the spot last season and he made us look smart….until he was lost to injury. He is back this season and healthy but the Saints have rebuilt their offense and, in the process, lost TE Jimmy Graham and WR Kenny Stills. With WR Marques Colston getting older, Cooks is going to need a running mate and we expect Toon to be that mate. He is entering his third year in the league and seemed to get in tune with QB Drew Brees towards the end of 2014 when he pulled in 17 of his career 23 catches in the final 6 games of the season. Even though the Saints began to rely more on the running game last season, there is no way that they don’t keep Brees’ throwing arm active and we see Toon MUCH more involved than he ever has been in the past. You should be able to grab him with your last WR selection and not risk much for huge upside.
Also consider: Allen Robinson (Jacksonville), Davante Adams (Green Bay)

TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Tampa Bay) – Jenkins was thought highly of going into his 2014 rookie season, but he limped through the season with foot, ankle and back issues and made little impact. He comes into 2015 healthy and with a rookie QB, which is often good for a pass-catching tight end as a rookie QB often checks down quickly and finds his TE when the pass rush gets close. At 6’6” 262lbs, Jenkins will be easy for QB Jameis Winston to find on the field. The Bucs did add new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter this season from Atlanta. Atlanta put the ball in the air more than all but two teams last season so there should be plenty of opportunities to get that ball in Austin’s big hands in Tampa.
Also consider: Rob Housler (Cleveland), Josh Hill (New Orleans)

K: Connor Barth (Denver) – Barth came aboard in 2014 after the Broncos kicked Brandon McManus to the curb and promptly hit 15 of 16 field goal attempts and all of his extra points. Barth didn’t line up for any real long field goal attempts but had proven the strength of his leg over his four seasons in Tampa so I would expect to see those opportunities present themselves in Denver’s thin air this season. Denver’s offense may not be the powerhouse this season that it has been since QB Peyton Manning joined the team, but they will provide Barth with more than ample opportunities for him to compete for the league scoring title.
Also consider: Greg Zuerlein (St. Louis), Blair Walsh (Minnesota)


D: Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins were slightly above average last season with DEs Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon wreaking a bit of havoc. In the off-season, the Fins added Ndamukong Suh and now this defensive line is one of the top 2 or 3 units in the league. With the added pressure, you can also expect a rise in fumbles and interceptions. Expect the defense to really rack up the points in the first half of the season as no opponent has an offense that is scary expect for one game in Foxboro and, truthfully, I am expecting the Patriots to step down a notch this year.
Also consider: New York Jets, Minnesota

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015 NFL Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

With our fantasy football drafts approaching, it is time to look at the rookies who have a chance to make an impact on the fantasy football landscape in 2015. These are the relevant rookies at the core skill positions and their projected draft round in standard 12-team fantasy football leagues. There was a time that we would avoid all rookie QBs and WRs that came into the league. However, the game has changed at the collegiate and professional level in ways that allow talented QBs to step under center and talented WRs to line up and be productive immediately. Now, it is still very hit-and-miss so do not reach and grab rookies too high or you could be looking up at the rest of the league quickly.

2014 was a BANNER year for rookie wide receivers and a mediocre year for rookie quarterbacks and running backs. This season, the crop of running backs is the deepest it has been in years and the crop of wide receivers is bountiful once again, though I can't imagine them collectively exceeding last year's bumper crop. Who from this year's draft class will be the key players on your run to your fantasy league championship? Below is the consensus review from MFS for the new crop of NFL rookies.



Quarterbacks

1. Jameis Winston (TB). Famous Jameis is scheduled to take the field as the starting QB for Tampa this season and has the potential to post good numbers in his weaker matchups. Oh, he is going to make a lot of mistakes, but is startable in Bye weeks or a few matchups this season making him a decent QB2 or QB3. With big targets like WR Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, feel free to spend a 12th or 13th round big on the rookie.

2. Marcus Mariota (TENN). Unlike Winston, Mariota will be competing for the starting QB position in Tennessee and has far inferior weapons at wideout. He will post better running numbers that Winston but will be a longshot to match his passing yards and TDs. If I draft Mariota, I do so as my last non-kicker selection.

3. Bryce Petty (NYJ).While current QB, Geno Smith, has made a mockery of the QB position in New York, the Jets will go with veteran, Ryan Fitzpatrick, long before giving Petty a shot. Petty had a nice career at Baylor, but will only see the playing field in mop-up time at best this season.

4. Garrett Grayson (NO). Grayson seemed to be a reach in the 3rd round for New Orleans this year, especially since he only takes the field after a Drew Brees injury, and will not get drafted in anything but the deepest of leagues or those that are hosted near the Colorado St campus. Grayson's trajectory will be to study under Brees for 2-3 years before getting a legitimate chance to get much playing time.

5. Sean Mannion (STL). Even though St. Louis will be starting fragile Nick Foles this season, Mannion has backups Austin Davis and Case Keenum in front of him so the odds of him getting any playing time this year is pretty much nil. He had a nice career at Oregon St so he can easily move up the depth chart this season in advance of 2016, but he should not be considered in any format this season.


Running Backs

1. Melvin Gordon (SD). Todd Gurley was the first running back selected this year but Gordon will easily be the most productive. He was a beast in college and arrives to a Chargers team that needs a workhorse back. Gordon is just that back, though he will not be a factor in the receiving game as RB Danny Woodhead will dominate backfield receptions, so you can downgrade Gordon in PPR leagues. However, there is no reason to expect him to last past the 3rd round in standard leagues.

2. Tevin Coleman (ATL). Like Gordon, Coleman arrives in an ideal situation. Atlanta has a solid aerial assault, which opens up the run game, they have a desire to be a better balanced team and they need a franchise running back. Coleman has been overlooked since he played at Indiana, but he is a game-breaker. He joins the team after they released Steven Jackson and his primary competition is last year's heir apparent, Devonta Freeman, who did little with his opportunity. I believe that the Falcons will break camp with a shared backfield and commit to Coleman more and more as the season wears on. So, I believe his ideal draft position should be in the 6th round.

3. T.J. Yeldon (JAX). Yeldo is another player coming into a great situation. The Jags pictured Toby Gerhart being their savior last season and he was an unmitigated Bust. They did catch a surprise with QB-turned-WR-turned RB Denard Robinson but they don't believe that he would last long in the NFL as a full-time back. So, Yeldon has a low bar to surpass to get on the field productively. He just came up short of three consecutive 1000-yard seasons at Alabama so the Jags like his production. The question is whether or not the Jags start off with a committee approach before committing a full load to Yeldon or not. I would grab him as the next running back after Coleman.

4. Todd Gurley (STL). Todd Gurley is projected to be the best running back over the course of his career from this draft. However, unless you are in a Keeper League, that is of no immediate concern to redraft players. Gurley is coming off a torn ACL and there is no guarantee that he will avoid the PUP list. At the very least, it is expected that RB Tre Mason will begin the season as the Rams lead back. The Rams liked what they saw in Mason but expect Gurley's overall size and power to provide them with a franchise back. It is a mystery on when his NFL career will start and how involved he will be when he does get on the field. Don't reach for Gurley with so many new backs coming into the league. I won't jump before the 9th round unless it is one of my last drafts and the reports out of the Rams' training camp are ravening about Gurley.

5. Ameer Abdullah (DET). Abdullah joins a full backfield in Detroit, but one that has injury tendencies. Also, the incumbent running backs have not had a long history of success. RB Joique Bell assumed the RB1 position for the first time last year. He did deliver over 1200 total yards but Detroit was still high enough on Abdullah to bring him aboard. Notre Dame graduate, Theo Riddick, did his best Reggie Bush impression last season and figured to keep that position this season. Abdullah fits between these two styles. He is solid enough to run between the tackles and a good enough route-runner to snag his share of passes. He will get limited playing time initially, but I am certain that his load will increase as the season wears on. This is another back that I will be looking at around the 9th round.

6. David Cobb (TENN). The Titans 2014 running back savior, Bishop Sankey, underwhelmed enough that Shonn Greene was extremely active in the Titans gameplan, which is not a vote of confidence for Sankey. I expect him to get another shot at showing his collegiate skills before involving Cobb more. It will be difficult for either back to be overly productive this season as the Titans' offensive line is not stellar and they are guaranteed to have youth under center and an inability to stretch the field with the passing game so many teams will stack the box. I would have no problem taking a shot on Cobb in the 12th round and sticking him on the bench.

7. David Johnson (AZ). Much like Cobb, David Johnson fell into a nice situation. The Cardinals have not been able to keep a solid running back healthy for quite some time, much like their QB. RB1 Andre Ellington was having a nice campaign in 2014 before succumbing to injury. After him, the depth chart is unimpressive so the 6'1" 224lb Northern Iowa graduate will see some workload this season. The question for him will be "when" and "why". He will be useful if as an injury replacement. If not, he won't see more than 10 Touches per game. Personally, I skip over Taylor and grab Johnson as my Ellington handcuff in the 12th round.

8. Jay Ajayi (MIA). Ajayi's draft stock took a major hit due to his surgically repaired knee and fell all the way to the 5th round. It was unexpected for Ajayi since he was coming off a season where he rushed for over 1800 yards and added 500 receiving yards as whipped cream. Needless to say, the 6'0" 221lb Boise St grad arrives to the NFL was a considerable chip on his shoulder. The Dolphins finally witnessed RB1 Lamar Miller have a season like they expected, rushing for over 1000 yards and average over 5ypc. So, Miller is the undisputed workhorse for the Dolphins, but Ajayi is a Must-draft handcuff in the 12th round.


Wide Receivers

1. Amari Cooper (OAK). Cooper was a flat-out stud for Alabama and had a Heisman-worthy year in 2014 with 124 catches for 1727 yards. His selection put a smile on second-year QB Derek Carr's face as the Raiders has very little talent at wide receiver last season. The Raiders did add WR Michael Crabtree via free agency but Cooper is the horse that Carr will ride since he knows that he is his meal ticket. This could be a formidable combination for years to come, folks. There are many talented, established receivers in the league, but Cooper will fly off the board before many of them. I would be shocked if he was still available in the 6th round.

2. Kevin White (CHI). I fully expected Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to roam the hallowed sidelines of Soldier Field for many years. However, Marshall found it impossible to keep quiet about the ineptitude of the Chicago front office and the extremely poor play of QB Jay Cutler and found himself shipped off to the Jets. The Bears front office is still inept and Cutler will still be slinging the ball carelessly all over the field this season, but someone has to replace Marshall and Kevin White was selected to do just that. No doubt that Jeffery is The Go-To receiver for the Bears, but he will see an awful lot of double coverage. White displayed great speed while playing for West Virginia and will find himself in Cutler's good graces as long as he doesn't suffer from the rookie yips and drop too many passes. If so, all he will see is The Smirk. White has the talent to exceed in Chicago, but they will also be implementing a new offense so I would not grab White before the 8th round.

3. Breshad Perriman (BAL). Perriman was drafted to replace Torrey Smith. After Smith stole a huge contract after a mediocre 49 catches for 767 yards last season, I would expect Perriman to equal that total for far less cash and be positioned as a much better long-term investment. He does have a bad case of the Drops, so any owner hopes that he corrects that at the pro level, which is a big reach. However, Flacco's other options are limited; aging WR Steve Smith, underwhelming WR Malcolm Brown (double-check***) and fellow rookie TE Maxx Williams so they opportunity is there for Perriman to top Smith's numbers in his inaugural season. I can see snagging Perriman in the 9th round.

4. Nelson Agholor (PHL). Agholor may not be in a position like Perriman (positioned to be the new WR1), but he may end up scoring more points due to the Chip Kelly offense. Agholor will step in as Jeremy Maclin's replacement, but Jordan Matthews in the new WR1. However, the Eagles will have a new QB under center so it is unknown who Sam Bradford will bond with best. Agholor is a skilled kick returner as well so the possibility of adding return TD points is there if your scoring system awards the player as well as the ST position. I can certainly see Agholor going just after Perriman in the 9th round.

5. DeVante Parker (MIA). Parker provides an interesting conundrum for the drafting community, which has been demonstrated by the wild swings in his ADP. Parker is coming off foot surgery. The word is that he will be ready for week 1 but will miss training camp and pre-season, which is far from good for a rookie. The Miami receiving corps strike no fear into opposing defensive coordinators and Parker is too talented to sit for too long, but expect him to start behind WRs Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry, not to mention TE Jordan Cameron. Stills was the deep threat at Louisville, but Stills is an established deep threat so Parker's best shot at real playing time will come at the expense of Jennings. Personally, I wouldn't draft Jennings in the deepest of leagues as his best days are behind him and Parker will be supplanting in by week 4. That being said, I wouldn't reach for him before the 10th round.

6. Dorial Green-Beckham (TENN). The Titans have mediocre receivers and a rookie QB. DGB has million dollar talent and a 5-cent head. He was an absolute beast at Missouri before getting bounced out. He definitely could make your season, but he won't kill you in the 11th round, so you can take him as a WR5.

7. Devin Funchess (CAR). Carolina has had a hard time with the WR2 since their Super Bowl. They scored nicely with 2014 number 1 pick, WR Kelvin Benjamin. He through double-teams, he would bring in passes. So, the Panthers thought, why not try to find lightning-in-a-bottle twice and drafted QB-convert, Devin Funchess. Funchess has a similar speed to Benjamin, but not as much speed. However, with his size, he could find himself getting a fair share of Targets, including in the end zone. He is worth looking at in the 12th round.

8. Jaelen Strong (HOU). If only Houston could put a solid QB under center, they would be Super Bowl contenders. They could have the best defense in the league this year and have one of the game's best running backs. But, they are very weak at QB and are just OK at WR. I love DeAndre Hopkins, and he is the uncontested WR1, but oft-injured Cecil Shorts is WR2. Strong can help make a bad QB look mediocre with his abilities, but I would not expect much consistency from Houston's receiving corps this year. Maybe take a flier on him in round 13 if you need another WR.

9. Phillip Dorsett (IND). Dorsett can flat out giddy-up. He may not be a polished receiver, but he can get down the field. Unfortunately, the Colts are well too stocked at the position to count on Dorsett for much outside of the return game. However, it would not be a surprise to see the Colts understand how to better utilize his speed on offense as the season wears on and some of their receivers wear down. Unless you are in a deep league (16+ players per team), I would not recommend drafting him but to be ready to bounce on the waiver wire if he starts taking more offensive snaps.


Tight Ends

1. Maxx Williams (BAL). There is nothing to be excited about at the TE position in this rookie class outside of Maxx. Baltimore has always used their tight ends extensively in their offensive gameplan and are building plays around Maxx's big hands and athleticism. The only other TE on the roster to worry about is Dennis Pitta and he has been waylaid with injuries the past few seasons so expect Williams to start right away. Tight end is a deep position in the NFL so I wouldn't look his way until the 10th or 11th round.

2. Clive Walford (OAK). Incumbent TE Mychal Rivera has a stronghold on the position going into the position, but keep your eye on Walford. He can block and catch the ball, which gets a TE2 onto the field more often than being one-dimensional. He is not worth drafting, but make note of the number of snaps he is on the field for as each week passes.

3. MyCole Pruitt (MINN). Another TE in the "watch only" category is yourCole, MyCole Pruitt. TE1 Kyle Rudolph has had a helluva time staying healthy so Pruitt is one injury away from the playing field.