2014 Fantasy Football: Top Ten Running Backs

Adrian Peterson

Photo Credit: Rich Moll

1. LeSean McCoy

McCoy should be this year’s first-overall pick. He is a perfect fit in Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense. Last season Shady won the rushing title by 268 yards. Over the past three seasons, McCoy is second in fantasy points only to Adrian Peterson. He had well over 350 touches last year and is not expected to see a decrease in usage this season. His high volume of carries is enough to edge out Jamaal Charles for the top spot. Expect over 2,000 yards from scrimmage and double-digit TDs again this season. The only concern is that newly acquired RB Darren Sproles could siphon some of McCoy’s PPR value. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football Gold Mine: Fantasy Draft Edition

cooks land

Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America

The sun is beginning to set on the 2014 preseason and many teams are quietly beginning to trim their rosters and send their unwanted players out to pasture. But as the NFL teams start cutting down to the final 53-man roster, fantasy football players are gearing up to put their rosters together.

There are only seven days left until the season kicks off in Seattle, and as the weeks have progressed players have begun to state a case for why they should be a part of your fantasy team.

As you get ready for the season and drafts begin to ramp up in the most exciting time of the year, what better time than now to discuss the players you should target or not target heading into draft day.

Gold Mine:

Brandin Cooks (WR, NO): A powerful, in your face, fast paced, air it out offense that focuses on the short to intermediate passing game and a player with veteran-like running ability, hands to catch the quick slant and legs to burn defensive backs deep, Brandin Cooks and the New Orleans Saints are a match made in heaven. Despite being listed as the #3 receiver on the depth chart and the #4 target with Jimmy Graham being Drew Brees’ go to option, Cooks looks primed to be the future heir apparent to an aging Marques Colston. In the preseason, Cooks looked dominant with six catches for 71 yards and a score and should eventually take over for Kenny Stills as the #3 option in New Orleans.

Outlook: Cooks was the fourth receiver off the board in 2014 Rookie Draft and twentieth overall, but arguably has the best skill set with the best situation of any of those taken before him. In a high-octane offense like New Orleans that has surpassed 5,000 passing yard seasons multiple times in the past few years, look for Cooks to have plenty of opportunities in open space to do what he does best.

Prediction: 77 Catches 1,147 yards, 6 TDs. ADP: 103 – 9th / 10th rounds. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football: Streaming Defensive Backs in Your IDP Leagues

cyprien land

Source: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images North America

I’m sure you’ve been told time and time again that you can draft defensive backs late and you don’t have to reach for a stud.  You’ve probably heard the saying from twitter when fantasy football enthusiasts tell you to stream team defenses and even test your luck and stream quarterbacks (depending on league size of course).  Well folks, I’m here to tell you that you can also stream your defensive backs in your IDP leagues, and it doesn’t matter whether or not you start one DB to three DBs, you’re bound to find a viable option on waivers.  Yes, it’s nice to own the TJ Ward’s and Earl Thomas’s of the IDP world, but what if I told you neither of them finished number one overall in any week from weeks one to 17? What if I told you that seven of the 17 weeks a cornerback led the DB’s in scoring that week? Allow me to break it down for you. Before I get started, this is the league scoring that I’ve used for this research.

IDP SCORING SETTING
TACKLES 1.75 PTS FORCED FUMBLE 3 PTS
ASSISTS 0.75 PTS FUMBLE RECOVERY 1 PT
SACKS 3 PTS FR YARDS 1 PT / 10
TACKLES FOR LOSS 0.75 PTS INTERCEPTIONS 3 PTS
PASS DEFENDED 1.5 PTS INT RETURN YARDS 1 PT / 10
SAFETIES 2 PTS TOUCHDOWNS 6 PTS
BLOCKED KICKS 5 PTS EACH

Let’s take a look at each week’s top two finishers and how their points fared amongst one another. Was there any big difference? You’ll ask yourself where did this DB come from? I could’ve picked him up off waivers (majority of the time you can!).  

WEEK PLAYER TEAM POINTS
1 DA’NORRIS SEARCY (S) BUF 28.25
BARRY CHURCH (S) DAL 23.25
2 ALTERRAUN VERNER (CB) TEN 23.75
TIM JENNINGS (CB) CHI 22
3 MAJOR WRIGHT (S) CHI 26.25
ERIC BERRY (S) KCC 22.5
4 DARIUS BUTLER (CB) IND 23.5
RICHARD SHERMAN (CB) SEA 23
5 MATT GIORDANO (S) STL 26.75
TJ WARD (S) CLE 21.25
6 JASON MCCOURTY (CB) TEN 29.75
MICHAEL MITCHELL (S) CAR 28.5
7 ANTONIO ALLEN (S) NYJ 26
LOGAN RYAN (CB) NEP 23.5
8 DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE (CB) DEN 28
ADAM JONES (CB) CIN 27.25
9 BRENT GRIMES (CB) MIA 27
SEAN SMITH (CB) KCC 24.25
10 JAMES IHENDIGBO BAL 26.5
ANTREL ROLLE NYG 20.25
11 WILL ALLEN (S) PIT 21.5
JOE HADEN (CB) CLE 20.5
12 LEONARD JOHNSON (CB) TBB 24.25
WILLIAM GAY (CB) PIT 23
13 JOHNATHAN CYPRIEN (S) JAC 20.75
MORGAN BURNETT (S) GBP 20
14 ANTOINE BETHEA (S) IND 20.25
JAMES IHENDIGBO (S) BAL 19.5
15 TASHAUN GIPSON (S) CLE 33.25
CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN (CB) CAR 28
16 WILL HILL (S) NYG 26.25
CORTEZ ALLEN (CB) PIT 24.25
17 DRE KIRKPATRICK (CB) CIN 28.25
MELVIN WHITE (CB) CAR 22.5

Just look at this list, then look at your roster from 2013. How many of these DB’s did you actually roster or knew existed? You’d have to win the luck of the draw if you started Darius Butler (IND) in week four or Leonard Johnson (TBB) in Week 12.  A lot of these DB’s mainly score their big points off interceptions and if they had a pick-six, then you get a handful that get points from racking up a bunch of tackles.  When deciding on which DB to start weekly as you pick your weekly streamers, you’re as good as a blind man throwing darts and hitting the bulls eye.

You can  kind of forecast certain games ahead of time. If you imagine one game being a shootout for example, then you’d want to target some DB’s in that game.  Or if you know the opposing team loves to run the football, then you’d want to look for a DB (preferably a safety) who’ll play more in the box, so there is some strategy to it, but don’t think too hard.  Another thing is interceptions. It’s hard to project who will get an interception and how many so I advise you don’t get upset with yourself when you start a DB then you project him to get an interception then he disappoints you. Instead, try and project a certain amount of tackles your DB will get or even add in pass deflections as anywhere between 4-8 tackles and 1-2 pass deflections are solid for a DB.

One week caught my attention for sure. First thing I said to myself was what’s the percentage of managers who actually started any of these DB’s during Week Nine because, other than a couple well known DB’s, it was filled with a bunch of waiver wire pick-ups (if that).

  1. Brent Grimes (MIA)
  2. Sean Smith (KCC)
  3. Mark Barron (TBB)
  4. Christopher Owen (MIA)
  5. Eric Weddle (SDC)
  6. Dimitri Patterson (NYJ)
  7. Orlando Scandrick (DAL)
  8. Drayton Florence (CAR)
  9. Kendrick Lewis (KCC)
  10. Bradley Fletcher (PHI)

Look at that weekly top 10 and you can tell yourself, maybe I should stream Defensive Backs in my league.  Now, I’m going to take a look at the Top 10 at mid-season (week 8) and the end of season Top 10 along with a few DB’s I chose to show you how many times each finished in the Top 10 in 2013. TOP 10 THRU 08 WEEKS OF 2013

RANK PLAYER TEAM POINTS
1 BARRY CHURCH DAL 117
2 EARL THOMAS SEA 112
3 TJ WARD CLE 104.75
4 DA’NORRIS SEARCY BUF 98.75
5 DEANGELO HALL WAS 97.25
6 TYRANN MATHIEU ARI 95.25
7 MAJOR WRIGHT CHI 95.25
8 DUKE IHENACHO DEN 92
9 TASHAUN GIPSON CLE 89
10 PRINCE AMUKAMARA NYG 84.75

END OF SEASON TOP 10 OF 2013

RANK PLAYER TEAM POINTS
1 BARRY CHURCH DAL 213.75
2 TJ WARD CLE 191
3 ERIC WEDDLE SDC 189.4
4 ANTREL ROLLE NYG 185.5
5 ERIC BERRY KCC 178
6 BERNARD POLLARD TEN 172.75
7 DEANGELO HALL WAS 171.5
8 EARL THOMAS SEA 171.25
9 TASHAUN GIPSON CLE 170.25
10 RESHAD JONES MIA 167

If you take a look at both ranks, there’s a handful that kept their rank amongst the top 10 at seasons end.  Guys like Barry Church (waiver wire pick-up of the year by the way), TJ Ward (CLE), Deangelo Hall (WAS), Earl Thomas (SEA) all remained in the top 10 when the season was over.  Others like Antrel Rolle (NYG), caught fire in the second half of the season which is why he moved up into the 4th overall at seasons end; Rolle was so dominant (avg 13.9 points per week from week 8 on). Let’s take a look at how many Top 10 Weekly Finishes some DB’s had in 2013:

  • Barry Church (DAL): 4
  • Deangelo Hall (WAS): 4
  • Eric Weddle (SDC): 4
  • TJ Ward (CLE): 4
  • Da’Norris Searcy (BUF): 3
  • Johnathan Cyprien (JAC): 3
  • Antrel Rolle (NYG): 3

These DB’s can pretty much make a case that they’re worth taking as your DB1, but guys like Deangelo Hall and Da’Norris Searcy are guys that people bypass on draft day then regret not taking in the beginning of the season.  Another thing to consider is trading the hot commodity. Searcy started off hot then kind of died down as he was getting exposed in coverage and the return of Jarius Byrd, therefore the time to have traded Searcy was in the beginning and some owners panned out.

If you want consistency, one guy comes to mind and that’s Chargers Eric Weddle.  In 2012 he finished as the 8th overall DB and last year he was the 3rd overall. This season I have him ranked as my #1 DB and if I’m not streaming I’m gunning for Weddle. Another valid point in wanting to stream DB’s is you find guys like Barry Church, who went undrafted in majority of the leagues and was one of the top waiver wire acquisitions in Week One (I was one of many who picked him up without hesitation).  Back in 2012, there was a NYG DB by the name of Stevie Brown that finished the season as the 5th overall DB and was waiver material in the beginning, yet he produced 183 points with an 11.4 points per game average.

Put streaming on the side for a minute and I’m going to tell you who I predict will finish #1 at seasons end. That’ll be Jaguars DB Johnathan Cyprien.

Before I go, streaming DB’s is just another option for you. It helps your drafting strategy somewhat if you know you’re just going to stream DB’s week in and week out. You’d normally just grab a few DB’s towards the end of your draft and it’ll give you wiggle room to build quality depth at other positions (like LB).  You can also take one of the stud DB1′s; I have no problem with that unless you reach for one, because more times than not the Top DB will have outscored the 15th overall LB or 10th overall DL so you’re losing value.  Let’s take a look at my Top 10 DB’s entering 2014-2015 season and I’ll tell you who I’m targeting and if I don’t land either of them then streaming I go.

  1. Eric Weddle (SDC)
  2. Harrison Smith (MIN)
  3. Eric Berry (KCC)
  4. Johnathan Cyprien (JAC)
  5. TJ Ward (DEN)
  6. Bernard Pollard (TEN)
  7. Tyvon Branch (OAK)
  8. Kam Chancellor (SEA)
  9. Kenny Vaccaro (NOS)
  10. Barry Church (DAL)

Of this bunch, ones I’m heavily targeting are Johnathan Cyprien, Tyvon Branch, Kam Chancellor and Kenny Vaccaro.  If I can land just one at a solid price; I’m buying.  To see my full DB rankings and start familiarizing yourself with some late round gems, you can take a look on my other page. Happy Drafting Everyone, Cheers to another Fantasy Football Season upon us and as always, feel free to follow me on twitter and I’ll answer any questions you have in a timely manner (@IDPwithBEE_DSE). Aloha.

2014 Fantasy Football Team Preview: The Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson

NoteThis piece was originally written on July 15th by Andrew Miller and is one of many unique pieces that can be found in our 2014 fantasy football draft guide. None of this information has been updated since it was originally published.

Detroit took several steps to improving its football team this offseason both through additions on the field and on the sideline. The Lions traded for Golden Tate and drafted tight end Eric Ebron out of North Carolina with the 10th overall pick. Jim Caldwell was hired as head coach after being Peyton Manning’s quarterback coach during Indy’s championship season in 2006 and Baltimore’s offensive coordinator in its title-winning season. Joining Caldwell is new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, formerly of New Orleans where he spent seven years as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach. Detroit’s offseason moves should improve most if not all production on the field this season.

Quarterback
[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football: Potential Wide Receiver Busts To Avoid In Your Drafts

Wes Welker

The definition of a sleeper or a bust has drastically changed over the years. Access to the Internet — and instant news feeds such as Twitter — have ultimately provided equal access to relevant cutting edge information to all fantasy football enthusiasts.

The following list of names may guide you to a few wins this season. However, these guys may not return a profit based on their ADPs, and you may want to avoid them on draft day.

All ADP data is found in parenthesis (ADP) and taken from FantasyPros.com. All commentary reflects a 12-team league.

You can get our #FrontOffice package, which includes the kit ($20 value) for FREE by depositing $10 at DraftKings here. 

Andre Johnson | Texans (36)

An aging pass catcher whose failed to eclipse five receiving touchdowns in each of the past three seasons is the concern here. Johnson is one of the best receivers of the current generation, no one should dispute that. He’s hit for more than 1,000-yards and 100 receptions five times in his career, which is incredible. But the dip in touchdown totals — especially considering three of last season’s five came from within the five yard line parlayed with the dip in yards per receptions could be a concern. A new coaching staff and Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center could also be a concern. I’m passing, unless ‘Dre falls to me in the fourth or fifth rounds.

Wes Welker | Broncos (41)

In each of the last three seasons, Welker has seen his touches, receiving yards and yards per reception take a hit. He does have Peyton Manning calling plays who likes to spread the ball around pretty evenly, but the Broncos still have a ton of talent going out for passes even after the departure of Eric Decker. Aging and recent concussions are also a cause for concern — as it is for most players — but, I’m going to be playing it safe and steering away from Welker in year-long formats.

DeSean Jackson | Redskins (49)

Jackson is coming off of a career year in terms of receiving yards (1,332) and receiving touchdowns (9). But the Eagles released him, then he landed with their division rival Washington Redskins? What gives? I’m not so sure, but Jackson is a deep-threat receiver that will need to share the rock with Pierre Garcon and Robert Griffin favorite, Jordan Reed, this season. With Alfred Morris also needing the pigskin out of the backfield, I’m just not sure there will be enough touches to go around each week. I know it only takes one deep connection, but the uncertainty week-in and week-out will likely cause me to pass on him this year.

Eric Decker | Jets (89)

For Decker, a well-deserved payday came his way. He earned it. He’s hauled in more passes, for more yards in each of the last three season. And that’s with a stable of wide receivers around him! But, two of those three season were also with Peyton Manning behind center. Yes, Peyton Manning. That’s a lot different than second-year man Geno Smith. While Smith could work out in the long-term for the Jets, he’s not exactly someone I want to put faith in this season to get one of my top pass catchers the ball. There are way too many other options with way better signal-callers. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Decker.

Hakeem Nicks | Colts (122)

A change of scenery sounded like the best option for former Giants’ wideout Hakeem Nicks. But based on preseason reports, Nicks hasn’t been all that impressive and will be fighting for targets with Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. Add in a couple of talented tight ends and Nicks may not see enough looks to warrant your attention in a 12-team league. But in a 12-team league, not many selections after the tenth round could be considered a bust, so some may be willing to take on the risk. Not me, I’d rather reach for some young guns in a good situation with a high ceiling. Happy Drafting!

2014 Fantasy Football: TheFantasyFix.com Podcast with Ryan Noonan

Cam Newton

Ryan Noonan (@RyNoonan) hosts while usual host Brett Talley (@TheRealTAL) takes a turn letting someone else ask the questions. The guys go through their fantasy football rankings and discuss some guys they have different opinions on and some guys they agree on but differ in opinion with the expert consensus. It’s somewhere between half an hour and 45 minutes.

2014 Fantasy Football: Top Ten Quarterbacks

1. Peyton Manning

Peyton+Manning+Denver+Broncos+v+Chicago+Bears+x-utpSyTuFml_jpg_cf

Last season Manning threw for 5,477 yards, 55 TDs and just 10 interceptions. Need I say more? He also just happens to have the No. 2 ranked fantasy WR (ADP 8.4) Demaryius Thomas and the No. 3 ranked TE (ADP 28.97) Julius Thomas. They are complimented by one of the most productive slot receivers of all time, Wes Welker. Welker has averaged over 106 receptions per year over the past seven seasons. They also added Emmanuel Sanders who caught 67 passes for 740 yards and six TDs last season in Pittsburgh. Montee Ball will force defenses to respect the rushing attack and catch passes out of the backfield. Manning is pretty much a no brainer. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football: The Receiver to Own in St. Louis

bailey

Source: Joe Robbins/Getty Images North America

There are a ton of questions surrounding the St. Louis Rams receiving corps. With a bunch of unproven receivers, who is the guy to own? Most will say Tavon Austin. Despite a disappointing rookie campaign, he is currently being drafted as the No. 43 WR (ADP 112.29). In this case, most people would be wrong. The next Rams WR being drafted is Kenny Britt. The troubled Rutgers alum is currently being drafted as the No. 56 WR (ADP 147.63). Britt has talent and has shown flashes of greatness in the past, however he is also not the receiver you should be drafting in St. Louis. The man to own is second-year WR Stedman Bailey. [Read more...]

Fantasy Football 2014: Five Breakout Sophomores

Justin Hunter Titans

Credit: Brian Hill on Flickr

NoteThis piece was originally written on July 15th by Adam Ganeles and is one of many unique pieces that can be found in our 2014 fantasy football draft guide. None of this information has been updated since it was originally published.

This list is not meant to identify the top-five most productive second year players for 2014. It’s simply a group of players that I expect to burst onto the scene, taking into account their uninspiring rookie campaigns. I’ll leave it for another scribe to write up Cordarrelle Patterson, Giovani Bernard, DeAndre Hopkins, Terrance Williams, etc.

E.J. Manuel, QB Buffalo

A week one starter as a rookie, Manuel ironically produced his top performance of 2013 in the season opener versus New England. It wasn’t an overwhelming statistical effort – 150 yards and two touchdowns – but it would be the only positive PFF grade (1.5) he’d earn all year. He managed a less than stellar pass rating of -17.0 despite missing six games while nursing a knee injury. In those ten healthy starts, Manuel was sacked 28 times. A hesitant QB behind a shaky offensive line is not a winning combination.

Alas, his ability is not a concern… there is plenty of room for optimism entering the new campaign C.J. Spiller claims he’s the healthiest he’s been since 2012, and dynamic runner Bryce Brown has been added to the fold. Their presence should result in more manageable down and distance situations and take pressure off what was an overwhelmed pass blocking unit; not to mention open up opportunities in the play-action game. Manuel thrived when utilizing deception at FSU but finished 29th in PA QB Rating a year ago. He’ll be scanning the field for fellow second-year target Robert Woods (possession) and super rook Sammy Watkins (vertical). Oh yeah, sprinter Marquise Goodwin and veteran Mike Williams can both blow the top off a defense on any given play.

I’ll go out on a limb (or ledge) and project that Manuel will quickly earn QB1 confidence in 12-team leagues. The competency of his O-Line will have a large say in the feasibility of that prediction.

Knile Davis, RB Kansas City

Mostly considered by fantasy owners in premiere “handcuff” terms, don’t sleep on Davis contributing alongside a healthy Jamaal Charles. We don’t want to take coach speak too seriously, but Andy Reid has expressed an interest in utilizing more of a sophomore-mature Davis. Remember: Charles and his 5’11 199 lb. frame had 329 touches in 2013. Don’t be surprised to see more of JC lining up on the outside and more of Davis in the backfield.

Davis takes heat for lacking game-breaking speed in tight quarters, but 89 of his 242 rushing yards last season were achieved on 15+ yard runs (five in total). His 4.37 wheels are capable of providing major rewards when holes open up. With that said… weighing in at 227 pounds, power should be Davis’ meal ticket for the foreseeable future. He’s fully recovered from a fractured leg and participated in OTA’s.

Let’s take a peek at Davis’ production in the final two games of 2013 with Charles either sitting or injured:

Week Attempts Yards TD YCo
17 @ SD 27 81 2 55
WC @ IND 18 67 1 (+Rec TD) 38

Latavius Murray, RB Oakland

Murray first opened eyes in the 2010 Liberty Bowl with 104 yards against Georgia. At 6’3 230 pounds, he quickly assumed the moniker of “measurable freak”. He recorded a 4.38 forty-yard dash time and an explosive 10-4 broad jump at his Pro Day. Nevertheless, those attributes didn’t always translate to gridiron success, and Murray didn’t come off the board until round 6 of the NFL Draft.

His early professional days weren’t smooth sailing. It didn’t take Murray long to find himself in head coach Dennis Allen’s doghouse, and he was ultimately placed on Injured Reserve in August (ankle). A year later, the coaching staff is singing a different tune. Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson gushed when discussing Murray’s outlook for 2014: “We’re looking for big things from Latavius Murray right now, coming off the foot injury. He’s shown, to me, the biggest upside right now in what we’ve seen thus far, if he can stay healthy.”

If he can stay upright, and Run DMC takes his usual weekly hobbled trip to the sidelines, Murray has the physical packaging to make an immediate fantasy dent. An excellent receiver, his skills should play well in PPR formats.

Justin Hunter, WR Tennessee

When granted significant snap share in 2013 – at least 35 snaps – Hunter rewarded the faith only 40% of the time. But when he did leave an imprint, it was massive:

Week 12 at Oakland: six receptions on six targets for 109 yards (long of 54), 37 YAC and a score.

Week 14 at Denver: four receptions on eight targets for 114 yards (long of 57), 32 YAC and a score. *Three dropped passes*

Offensive Coordinator Jason Michael has been quoted as saying “the sky’s the limit” when referring to Hunter, but down in, down out desire and mental acuity have long been concerns. He’s added 15 pounds of muscle this offseason, which should make the 6’4 Hunter even more formidable on jump balls. From an athleticism lens, there’s not much he can’t do. He can develop into a dynamic receiver by accident.

If stability is what you’re after, avoid Hunter in re-drafts. If you’re a REWARD over RISK fantasy owner, however, Hunter is a must snag in the early teen rounds. 16 of his 41 targets last season came 20+ yards from the line of scrimmage.

Travis Kelce, TE Kansas City

We go back to the Heart of America for a second helping. Is Kelce more “sleeper” than “security”? Probably so, but he’s getting criminally overlooked. According to data from FantasyPros, Kelce is the 43rd tight end coming off the board, behind names like Brandon Pettigrew and Scott Chandler.  While a knee injury prevented him from making an impact as a rookie — he’s expected to be ready to roll for training camp — it was widely believed that Kelce possessed the talent to develop into a rare playmaker at TE, particularly as a field stretcher. The Chiefs trust Anthony Fasano in the blocking game, but it would be a sin not to use Kelce in two-tight end sets. Fantasy owners in keeper/dynasty formats (heck, even redraft) who ignore Kelce late on draft day will miss the boat. As Teddy KGB once said, “You must be kicking yourself for not drafting Travis Kelce when you could. Bad judgment.”

2014 Fantasy Football: Overvalued and Undervalued Players

cordarrelle

Source: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images North America

It’s time to explain myself. Here are the guys that I have ranked farthest away from the expert consensus (ECR) on FantasyPros.com.

Quarterback

Undervalued

Cam Newton — My rank: 4 — ECR: 8

Editor’s Note: This article was written without knowledge of Newton’s hairline rib fracture. As a result, the author would have Newton ranked closer to his ECR of 8. However, if Newton’s ranking and ADP among quarterbacks fall lower than eight as a result of the injury news, Newton would be a value as the eighth QB off the board.

This one is pretty easy to explain. Newton has been a top four quarterback in each of his three seasons in the league. I see absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t be ranked as if he’ll do it again. I understand why the big three are ranked ahead of him, but I don’t get why any other quarterback would be ranked ahead of him.

Matthew Stafford is ahead of him in the consensus despite only being a top five quarterback one time in a season where he threw for 5,000 yards and 40+ touchdowns. Think he’s doing that again? That’s kind of what you’re betting on if you think he’s better than Cam this year. Andrew Luck? I’ve come around on him from where I was last year, but I find it hard to believe he’s going to garner 60+ fantasy points with his legs again this year. Matt Ryan should have his receivers back this year, but he had them both in 2012 and didn’t crack the top five at the position. Nick Foles has only ten games of being good under his belt. I don’t understand why people are finding reasons to rank them ahead of Cam.

I took a trip around the internet to find out some reasons people don’t like Cam this year. The main reason I came across was that a weak supporting cast is going to hold him back. Supposedly the absence of Steve Smith will hurt his passing numbers and a lesser offensive line will hurt his rushing numbers. As for Smith, he wasn’t that good by any metric last year. He was 44th among receivers in fantasy scoring and 42nd in yards per pass route run. So Cam can’t keep doing what he has done without a guy who wasn’t a top 40 receiver last year? And Kelvin Benjamin can’t be a top 40 receiver? It would only take about 800 yards and four touchdowns to get there. I think it’s possible his receiver situation is better than it was last year. As for the offensive line, ProFootballFocus had Carolina at 30th in the league in run blocking. Maybe they’ll be worse, but they can’t be that much worse. And he still put up 100+ fantasy points with his legs with a bad offensive line. That’s partly due to the fact that a bad run blocking offensive line doesn’t have that much to do with a quarterback’s rushing production. You could argue that a bad O-Line leads to more scrambling and thus more rushing production. [Read more...]