QB Fantasy News

Some NFL teams have the likes of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck. Others don't have an obvious starter. We examine two of those battles.

 

Tight ends average 7 out of the 100 top fantasy football players. Last season there were breakout fantasy TEs, but also a lot of disappointments. Trades and injuries have changed the dynamic for the TE position for this fantasy season. The Injury Round-Up will focus on those injuries and will give analysis on TEs who always seem to catch the injury bug. 

Several fantasy relevant tight ends, as well as a superstar, have found new homes since the 2014 season ended. We analyzed how they will preform in 2015 and what it will mean for your fantasy team.

By Ajallade Hennis

RB Fantasy Football News

Rookie running backs are to fantasy football owners what presents are to kids at Christmas: New, exciting and hopefully something you play with for a while, but at times the interest wavers quickly. Here's an early look at five of the first-year back owners worth jumping for joy over, at least come draft time.

Fantasy Focus

The New England Patriots are coming off another Super Bowl winning season, their fourth since 2001.  After losing 41-14 to the Kansas City Chiefs in week four, the Patriots went on a seven game winning streak propelling them to 12-4 finish in 2014.  As the top seed in the AFC, the Patriots knocked off both Baltimore and Indianapolis on their way to their eighth Super Bowl appearance.  In Super Bowl XLIX, the Patriots took down the Seahawks by a score of 28-24 thanks in large part to Tom Brady and undrafted rookie cornerback, Malcolm Butler, who intercepted Russell Wilson on the Patriots goal line in the final seconds of the game to secure the victory.  Since then, they have stayed in sporting news for reasons both good and bad.

Arizona Cardinals:

The Arizona Cardinals ended their 2014 with a whimper when third string quarterback Ryan Lindley was beaten down by the Panthers in the Wild Card Round. Their regular season play with Carson Palmer however was fantastic, with the team going 8-1 and showcasing an impressive offense. The Cards haven’t had a superstar NFL fantasy option since the decline of Larry Fitzgerald, but there are some solid mid and late round options which can be valuable assets as reserves.

Fantasy Focus

For better or worse, “DeflateGate” coverage has consumed our lives and sporting news for the better part of the last six months. No matter what your stance on the entire quagmire or where you live (it’s been unbearable in New England thanks for asking), you are forced to care about Tom Brady’s appeal because it has massive fantasy impact. 

As it stands today the future Hall of Fame quarterback is suspended for the first four games of the upcoming season, which means he will effectively miss the first five weeks of the season because of where New England’s bye week falls (Week 4). If Brady’s suspension is overturned or even reduced, it will significantly impact his fantasy stock. He is currently being selected as the 12th quarterback off the board in fantasy drafts, according to the average draft position (ADP) data on MyFantasyLeague.com.

In shallow leagues, Brady is pretty much an afterthought. Both Teddy Bridgewater and Ryan Tannehill are being selected ahead of him and given his current ADP, he is likely the last starting quarterback off the board in standard 12-team leagues. If his suspension is reduced following the appeal process, it’s hard to imagine that his fantasy stock won’t rise substantially, making him an elite option once again. 

Advanced Sports Logic’s stellar projection system, “The Machine” projects that Brady as the 6th-best quarterback in fantasy on a points-per-game basis, ahead of stalwarts like Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger and everyone’s favorite “sleeper” Tannehill. Brady’s per-game production (if you can live with five weeks of replacement level production) makes him one of the most valuable fantasy quarterbacks to target in drafts this upcoming season.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss (the best in the business for a reason folks), “there is no set timetable” for when a decision will be made in regards to Brady’s appeal process, which began with a hearing with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this week at the NFL offices in New York. Brady is already a tremendous value. If his suspension is reduced at all, he becomes an even better investment.    

Here are the rest of the hottest headlines from the rest of the AFC this week. Next week, we will dive into the key fantasy updates from the NFC.

Buffalo Bills – New city, same old problem for Rex Ryan. The quarterback situation remains a mystery in Buffalo and is likely to remain that way until the start of training camp. The favorite to regain the starting job is the incumbent, E.J. Manuel, who lasted just four games before being benched in favor of veteran Kyle Orton last season. Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News wrote earlier this week that Manuel “might be a bit more decisive and better with his recognition than he has been the past two years, but he still seems capable of making the killer mistake at the least opportune time.“ It’s not a ringing endorsement, but it’s much less harsh than the observations he had regarding offseason import Matt Cassel.

Surprisingly, “The Machine” projects Cassel as the Bills probable starting signal caller and he grades out as the systems 30th ranked quarterback. Cassel may only be a waiver wire option in two-quarterback leagues, but the interesting name is Manuel. If he does take this job away from Cassel, he won’t be on most fantasy owners radars coming into draft day, which could make him a decent value in the late rounds.

New York Jets – If you were counting on Stevan Ridley as a surprise late round sleeper, it might be time to reconsider. The fifth-year running back has shown flashes of brilliance (and a propensity to put the ball on the turf) in the past, but coming off a major knee injury, reports out of New York indicate that it is likely that the former LSU product will start the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which would keep him out for the first six weeks of the season. Somehow he is still being drafted as the 60th running back off the board in fantasy drafts this summer, which proves that some fantasy owners still believe. Sadly, I’m not one of them.    

Miami Dolphins – It’s no secret that Ryan Tannehill is primed for another impressive fantasy season with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor calling the shots. After the Dolphins significantly upgraded his weapons this offseason, bringing in DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings, Jordan Cameron, ESPN’s James Walker believes that Miami will improve greatly in the red zone.

“I think you saw some really good things down in the red zone,” said Miami head coach Joe Philbin. “Like I said, we spent a lot of time down there this offseason. We’ve worked on the chemistry between him and the receivers and conceptually we’ve added a couple things that are slightly different and then reinforced other things.”

The Machine projects Tannehill as the 9th-best option at the quarterback position this season, which is exactly where he is going off the board in terms of average draft position. He won’t be a bargain, but it’s looking like the former Aggie is a virtual lock to finish near the top of the position given how high his floor is relative to some of the other options fantasy owners are choosing from.  Look for Tannehill in fantasy news.

Jacksonville Jaguars – According to ESPN’s Mike DiRocci, sophomore wide receiver Allen Robinson was a sensation to behold at Jaguars OTA’s last week. Robinson was off to a stellar rookie campaign catching 48 passes for 548 yards and a pair of touchdowns before a stress fracture in his foot ended his season prematurely.

The Machine is confident that barring injury, Robinson will finish the upcoming season as a top-40 fantasy wide receiver, which would make him a mid-round selection in most snake drafts. Unless you were paying close attention last year, you may have forgotten about Robinson, who is currently going as the 27th wide receiver off the board, according to MyFantasyLeague.com average draft position data.

San Diego Chargers – Offensive coordinator Frank Reich hasn’t given up on tight end Ladarius Green just yet. “I'd be shocked if he didn't have his most productive year,” Reich told Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune last week. There are a variety of factors, which could have influenced Green’s lack of production a year ago, when he caught just 19 passes for 226 yards. Regardless of the reason, he wasn’t worth owning in most leagues.

We hear these types of stories, the “best shape of his life” ones, out of every offseason program around the league, but rarely do they come to fruition once the leaves start to change color. The Machine doesn’t foresee a breakout coming for Green either, who is somehow being drafted as the 21st tight end off the board in average draft position. The fourth year tight end barely cracks the top 30 on The Machine’s projections. If you’re looking for a sleeper at tight end, take a flier on Jared Cook instead. He ranks 16th in The Machine’s projections, but is currently being selected as the 33rd tight end off the board, if he’s even being drafted at all.

sam bradford

QB Fantasy News

Last season three first-team QBs lost their position due to season ending injuries. Of those three QBs, two were traded as “damaged goods” in return for draft picks and a fresh start with new franchise QBs. This week on the Injury Round-Up, the article will focus on how QBs have come back from season ending injuries and how they will impact the offensive game moving forward into the 2015 season.

Several key fantasy WRs have changed both teams and roles since the end of the season. We broke down what you can expect from them this year in their new circumstances.

QB Fantasy News

There are many talented rookie quarterbacks all around the league. Only a few of these rookies will start this season (and possibly become a great fantasy QB option) while others will serve as backups while gaining experience for the day their number is called. Here's a look at the new signal callers with 2015 in mind.