Fantasy Focus: Cincinnati Bengals

Our latest NFL team profile looks at a midwestern based NFL team with a productive yet migraine-inducing quarterback running the show. No, not Jay Cutler and the Bears, but Andy Dalton and the Bengals.

Fantasy Focus: TE

Tight ends often offer completely different value in real life vs. in fantasy. Coaches may be more inclined to gain value from tight ends by having them block rather than serve as a receiving option. The best fantasy options at the position are the ones who transcend the blocking background of the position and put up receiver-like numbers. A few teams are dealing with this balance and trying to figure out who to start at tight end and how to use them as options for their teams' offense. This week, we focus on a few of the more interesting tight end situations in the league and analyze them in more detail.

Fantasy Focus

The Baltimore Ravens are in the midst of a transition offensively now that Torrey Smith plays elsewhere and the injured Dennis Pitta doesn't play. Then again, the rock solid Joe Flacco still lives in Charm City, as do some other interesting options for fantasy football this season.

Fantasy Focus

Preseason games allow players who are on the roster bubble the chance to show coaches why they should earn a spot on the roster. For many players trying to make a roster, preseason games are the first NFL experience that they’ve ever had. From these games, fantasy owners can get a preview for potential breakout stars in the coming seasons and learn more about a team’s style of play.

Fantasy Focus: WRs

As a fantasy owner, nothing is more painful than drafting a bust, a player who potentially derails a promising season. Though these receivers performed well below expectations last season, it's time to forgive and forget, and target them in drafts because of their lowered values. Look to fill your roster with these players on draft day.

The “sleeper” is dead. Every intelligent fantasy football analyst has been saying this for years, but it might finally be sinking in. Grantland’s Bill Barnwell had an excellent take on “sleepers” in his column last week. As he pointed out, it’s virtually impossible to predict which players are on the precipice of a breakout, in the mold of Odell Beckham Jr, C.J. Anderson or Justin Forsett from last season, because a lot of that has to do with factors outside of their control like injuries and playing time. So if identifying prototypical “breakout” candidates ahead of time isn’t an exact science, where should fantasy owners invest their late round selections?

Fantasy Focus

Despite Carolina’s ugly 7-8-1 record, the Panthers won their Wild card playoff game before losing to the Seahawks in the divisional game. It was a bit of a disappointment from their 2013 campaign but Cam Newton and his crew will be looking to take the weak NFC-South title once again. They are a very good defensive unit but their offense has quite a bit of weak spots. Cam Newton has some nice weapons to throw too but there is a lack of depth on the roster. The offensive line is also extremely thin which may be a problem especially for the running game. Jonathon Stewart running behind a weak line does not bode well. The Panthers could very well lose their division-title if their offense regresses from 2014.

This week on Fantasy Focus, the sleeper search arrives at defenses. To be honest, it’s difficult to give fantasy updates on a sleeper on defense because, after the first couple, most defenses are interchangeable. Sure, somebody in your draft might go for the Seahawks D in the 6th round, but you can wait until the penultimate or even the last round to snatch up a defensive unit. While you could get proper value by drafting an elite defense in the 9th or 10th round, the small difference in value between the 1st and 10th ranked fantasy defenses means that you can wait until a bit later for even more value. So this week, we highlight some defenses that, while likely not “sleepers” per se, deserve an extended look.

Fantasy Focus

We examine a few interesting training camp and preseason fantasy updates from around the NFL...

Fantasy Focus

Last season was a roller coaster ride for the Chargers.  They started 5-1 then lost three straight, including 37-0 loss against the Dolphins.  The Chargers followed up with three straight wins to improve to 8-4.  They then dropped three out of their last four to fall to 9-7 and failed to make the playoffs.  The 2015 season shouldn’t be any easier for the Bolts as 8-time Pro Bowl tight end, Antonio Gates, will be suspended for the first four games.  On the bright side, the Chargers drafted running back, Melvin Gordon, with the 15th pick in the draft and Peyton Manning didn’t exactly look like himself toward the end of last season.  With some good luck and good performances from Rivers and Gordon, the Chargers could make a push for the division.