5 Things To Know: Tuesday Morning Quarterback

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1. That’s How You Lose?

From almost disaster to celebration for the Broncos last night.  That kick though, by Mcmanus at the end of regulation – Cripes!  It almost cost them, but hey at least Denver figured out how to play in the 2nd half – problem is, it seems they haven’t played a full game since the Packers.

For me, the issue becomes less about Osweiler or Manning – it’s Denver’s line play.  The playoffs are a different animal and the inability to protect the QB, or run the ball consistently, or consistently generate a pass rush could lead the Broncos chances in the playoffs as a little more than Fool’s Gold.

Yes we have seen flashes of the line holding up, running the ball and sacks.  But look back at the playoff game against the Colts last year in Denver.  Ware and Miller never touched Luck and if you’re gonna play that much man-to-man coverage you need pressure on the other-team’s QB, if you can’t run the ball.  This team has something going for it, it’ll just depend if they can put it all together long enough to make it to Superbowl L.  It could be worse, you could be the Bengals and just keep watching guys go down like the Edmund Fitzgerald – if McCarron is hurt they’ll have to start what’s-his-name – here are some more thoughts about the game, with help from Elias Sports Bureau.

Broncos are the comeback kings of 2015

The Bengals led 14-0 late in the second quarter, but the Broncos came back to win 20-17 in overtime. It was Denver’s third win this season in a game in which it trailed by at least 14 points. No other team has won more than one such game in 2015.

Cincinnati had won its previous 29 contests in which it led by at least eight points since losing to Chicago in the first week of the 2013 season. That had been the longest active streak in the NFL.

+ Another long go-ahead TD run by Anderson

C.J. Anderson’s 39-yard touchdown run gave the Broncos a fourth-quarter lead in their overtime win over the Bengals. There have been three go-ahead rushing touchdowns of 30-plus yards in the fourth quarter or overtime this season, and Anderson has been responsible for two of them; he scampered 48 yards for the winning score in overtime against the Patriots in Week 12. The other run of that type in 2015 belongs to Marcus Mariota, who ran 87 yards against the Jaguars in Week 13.

Dunlap sets Bengals sack record

Carlos Dunlap sacked Brock Osweiler three times Monday, bringing his career total of quarterback takedowns to 49. Dunlap, who has spent his entire career with the Bengals, passed Eddie Edwards (47½) for the most sacks in team history (the NFL has recorded this statistic for individual players since 1982). Cincinnati is the only current franchise for which no player has produced 50 sacks.

2. FanDuel – 2×4’s and Milk

Source: NFL Week 16 Retrospectacle: Making Sense of Topsy Turvy Fantasy Action

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Arizona Cardinals Defense (33.0)—Nine sacks, four turnovers and two touchdowns in a rout of Rodgers, of all quarterbacks. You cannot love this play on FanDuel against the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday, but wouldn’t most have thought the same thing against Rodgers?

QB Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (31.22)—He still turns the ball over way too much for the Jags to be an elite contender or to be immune to the matchups, but you have to love the way he came through in the dream matchup against the New Orleans Saints defense. Bortles posted his sixth 300-yard game and his fifth game of three-plus touchdowns. We cannot recommend him against the Houston Texans defense in Week 17, but he is going to be a top-eight fantasy starter for 2016.

RB Tim Hightower, New Orleans Saints (30.4)—A long-time fantasy goner making countless fantasy owners champions, posting 169 combined yards with three receptions and two touchdowns. Who’da thunk this one? He’s even more surprising from August to December than Bortles. Hightower looks like a solid FanDuel play against the Atlanta Falcons run defense that has given up a league-high 19 rushing touchdowns.

RB DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (30.3)—In an offense that is counted on for huge fantasy passing numbers, the ageless Williams continues to deliver for FanDuel owners even in losses and tough statistical matchups. The Baltimore Ravens had only given up five rushing touchdowns to fantasy backs before Williams posted two, 153 combined yards and six receptions Sunday. The Steelers need a victory and help, so D-Will will be a huge FanDuel play in NFL Week 17 against the Cleveland Browns, the NFL’s worst run defense.

WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (28.3)—The mark of a true fantasy star—one worth his salt on the FanDuel price list and a first-round candidate in season-long formats—is being immune to the matchups. Mark Jones down in the category after he torched Josh Norman’s Carolina Panthers for 9-178-1. He is 243 yards from breaking Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yards record. Chalk that up as a distinct possibility with that Saints defense on tap.

QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (28.18)—He went from game-time decision to game-time fantasy monster. We don’t love him against the Falcons secondary next week, but clearly he is not done being an impact fantasy player, passing for 412 yards and three touchdowns in a shootout victory over Bortles’ Jags. You have to love great fantasy quarterbacks with bad defenses in favorable matchups.

WR Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (27.5)—Usually a move to the Jets turns fantasy wideouts into wastes. It has given Marshall the best season of his career with a career-high 13 touchdowns. His 8-115-2 from Sunday should have a solid encore next week against the Buffalo Bills.

WR Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (26.6)—He turned out to be an outstanding pivot play in that Jags stack with Bortles and WR Allen Robinson, as we wrote Sunday morning the NFL Week 16 Tipsheet. Hurns’ 8-106-2 put him over the fantasy receiver holy grail of 60-1,000-10.

WR Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (24.1)—Many were all over the Robinson breakout this season, but no one could have imagined this. He went 6-151-1 and moved into the elite with his 75-1,292-14 season totals. The Jags have an exciting set of Year 3 fantasy picks for 2016.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (23.14)—The Jets QB-WR stack has made FanDuel players a lot of prize money this season, something that won’t be forgotten in a must-win game against the New England Patriots. Fitzpatrick posted 296-3 and has averaged just a cut below that the past five games. Marshall and WR Eric Decker have helped Fitz to a career year, and a clear-cut starting role for 2016.

K Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings (23.0)—We have always loved a fantasy kicker backed by a great running game to get the ball into scoring position and a quarterback who struggles to stick the ball into the end zone. The Vikings with RB Adrian Peterson and QB Teddy Bridgewater are precisely that.

Houston Texas Defense (22.0)—This unit is rolling and is just a home victory over the Jags away from the AFC South title, something few could have expected this summer. Like the Cards above, it is not the most favorable of final matchups for the Texans, but they are the hot hands on FanDuel.

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QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (5.8)—Just 215 yards, two interceptions and no passing touchdowns is not what we’re used to seeing from Big Ben. This was a Baltimore Ravens defense that came into the game with a league-worst four interceptions all season and just one since Week 3. D’oh!

WR Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (1.5)—His appearance here goes down as a first in his Year 2 breakthrough. He hadn’t had a week this bad: Just one catch for six yards. The good news is we should jump back on the Big Ben stack against the Browns in Week 17.

WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (3.2)WR Jordy Nelson’s (knee) loss for the season was supposed to be a catalyst for Cobb’s best season of his career. Instead of bringing him fantasy production, it brought him extra attention and frequently to our bums list. You cannot play him against the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday.

TE Richard Rodgers, Green Packers (0.7)—Did he make a deal with the devil before that Week 13 Hail Mary touchdown? In the three games since, he has caught just three passes for 12 yards. Thwadt!

TE Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints (1.0)—Now, this one just isn’t fair. We get the matchup right against the Jags because Brees goes off for 400-plus yards and three touchdowns; yet, Watson manages just one catch for five yards. That’s not just elementary, Watson. You simply stunk.

K Jason Myers, Jacksonville Jaguars (1.0)—His team scores 27 points in a shootout and all he can muster is one measly PAT. Fantasy football fate is just so unforgiving.

CoachingHotSeat3. TRYING TO PREDICT ‘BLACK MONDAY’:

In one week, the complexion of numerous NFL coaching staffs will change following the annual round of “Black Monday” firings. Besides affecting the lives of the coaches and their families, these decisions dramatically alter the NFL landscape, setting up some teams for future success while crippling others.

However, just as important as the firings are the teams that instead choose to retain their current coach. For one reason or another, some good coaches struggle to obtain success early. In those instances, patience from the front office and ownership can lead to reward later on. The past decade certainly would have played out much differently had the Giants parted ways with Tom Coughlin before 2007 or 2011, as they reportedly considered.

Let’s take a look at the current landscape via Magic 8 Ball-like predictions……(continue reading)

Source: A look at which NFL coaches will be fired next week.

DesmondCespedes4. MLB HOT STOVE UPDATE: BUYER BEWARE

For those among us who yearn for baseball season and all the happiness that comes with it, good news: We are closer to the first day of pitchers and catchers reporting (54 days until Feb. 19) than we are the last day of the World Series (56 days since the Royals beat the Mets).

The not-so-good news for a bunch of players out there is that they are about to start a new year without new jobs. That’s normal, of course, with free agency’s biggest names (the David Prices and Zack Greinkes and Ben Zobrists of the world) highlighting November and December and the next tier (the Justin Uptons and Alex Gordons) seeing action any day now.

So with a couple of dozen quality, established big league free agents still to be had, a reminder: They come with tremendous risk, and some more than others. Here’s a bit of a closer look at a handful of those seemingly brand-name free agents and why they might not be as attractive as one might assume, in the hopes of explaining why the market isn’t moving very fast.

Source: Some MLB free agents are riskier than others.

5. Ultimate Value Lineup – Week 16

All we want to do is provide you valuable information at a great price.  We’ve already helped hundreds of people learn how to make some extra lettuce playing fantasy sports; so let us Teach You How to #win!

Giving you the Perfect Lineup is easy and we tweet it, post it on Facebook and create an entire post about our RESULTS, so……What about if you had the greatest value lineup of all time?  A Lineup that every player chosen had low ownership, way less, and never cost you more than $6k – well my friends this is the Ultimate Value Lineup – culled directly from the numbers and our reports – look for us on twitter when we post the less than 12% lineup and follow along with the value-madness!!!

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Over/Under Value

I’ve spent some time reviewing the experts and their consensus (ECR) and playing around several mock drafts to find an average draft position (ADP) for a lot of the players that’ll be selected in your Fantasy Football League(s).  In participating, I found some strange outcomes that should help you, and I have put together a little something that might help your plan of attack.  For me, it has been about QB’s and WR’s for years and that knowledge has taken me to no worse than 3rd place in any year I have played FF (currently reigning world champ) – so it is still surprising to me how often people go after RB’s so early.  Here is an example from one of my mock drafts, I was drafting 6th, out of 10:

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At the end of day, it is still your draft, and your choices, along with your instincts that sometimes you have to go with.  Afterall, you know your league-mates better than anyone else, and what they are going to do.  So, to recap – a player’s ECR and their ADP (average draft position) will not coincide with one another very often. There are players with large discrepancies from where the experts are projecting them and where drafters and mock drafters alike are selecting their picks.

With less than two months until the start of the season, let’s take a look at which players are being overvalued and undervalued based on their difference in ECR and ADP. It’s a classic experts versus the average drafter. I’m providing three undervalued and three overvalued players at each of the four offensive positions (QB, RB, WR, TE).

Undervalued QBs

  • Colin Kaepernick – SF (ECR-105, ADP-138, Diff. +33)
    It appears that a lot of people are down on Xerxes after a sub-par 2014 season, as he is being massively undervalued as the 21st QB. He finished last year as the 16th-best QB. With Jim Harbaugh out of the mix and the defense depleted from retirement, I expect Kaepernick to get plenty of garbage time opportunities to rack up fantasy points.
  • Teddy Bridgewater – MIN (ECR-104, ADP-136, Diff. +32)Teddy Two-Gloves came into his own the last five games of 2014 and could take another leap with Adrian Peterson returning to the mix. He is a borderline QB1 yet is currently being drafted as the 19th QB off the board, even behind rookies Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota –  If you are a fan of streaming QBs, Teddy might be your guy to target for 2015.
  • Ryan Tannehill – MIA (ECR-75, ADP-95, Diff. +20)Tannehill, who was the eighth-best QB in 2014, is currently being taken nearly two rounds later than what experts would expect. Many fantasy owners are still unsure of Tannehill, but with his underrated running ability (317 yards), he still looks like a steal as the 11th QB taken.

Overvalued QBs

  • Jameis Winston – TB (ECR-152, ADP-131, Diff. -21)Winston is being taken almost a full two rounds before the experts’ consensus. Winston is still a gamble at best in 2QB leagues, as we’ve yet to see him take a snap under center in the league. The Bucs’ offensive line is one of the worst in the league and they have zero run game. Do not reach on Famous Jameis until the last round of your draft.
  • Tom Brady – NE (ECR-86, ADP-72, Diff. -14)Even if his suspension were cut to zero games, Brady is being taken as an elite quarterback, a level he only briefly performed at in 2014. Despite a stretch of monster games in Weeks 5-9, Brady was a QB1 only two more times. In other words, if you are expecting consistency and an elite level of performance every week, look elsewhere.

 

  • Peyton Manning – DEN (ECR-43, ADP-31, Diff. -12)Manning is being taken consistently as the third QB in drafts, mostly propped up from years of fantasy football respect. During the second half of 2014, Manning was a replacement level QB, as the Broncos leaned heavily on the run game. He’s not the Peyton of old, so be sure to draft accordingly.

Undervalued RBs

  • Roy Helu – OAK (ECR-150, ADP-235, Diff. +85)Helu is another PPR owner’s dream that is slipping tremendously in drafts. The newly-inked Oakland Raider should be an active third down back with exceptional receiving skills. At +85, Helu has by far the greatest discrepancy of any ECR vs. ADP ranking. Maybe snag this guy in your drafts because no one else seems to be!
  • LeGarrette Blount – NE (ECR-59, ADP-73, Diff. +14)It looks like owners are still skeptical of the weekly Patriots RB roulette. Despite being the most talented back in New England, Blount is being taken behind Giovani Bernard, Joique Bell, and Tevin Coleman, backs in a clear time-share situation. He was the lead back after being acquired in Week 12 and lead man throughout the playoffs. He represents great value as a RB3/FLEX play.
  • Danny Woodhead – SD (ECR-139, ADP-149, Diff. +10)Woodhead is currently being taken as the 57th RB mostly as a reaction to his lost 2014 campaign due to a broken fibula in Week 3. As a third-down back, he is a perfect PPR candidate as a FLEX and should be taken above other backs with no clear role in their offenses (Duke Johnson, Charles Sims, Darren McFadden).

Overvalued RBs

  • DeAngelo Williams – PIT (ECR-175, ADP-127, Diff. -48)As Le’Veon Bell’s handcuff and replacement during his suspension, owners are scooping up Williams almost 50 picks before the experts’ consensus. He offers replacement-level value at best and does not offer long-term fantasy relevance at his current ADP. He is simply not a must-own for those who do draft Bell early.
  • Todd Gurley – STL (ECR-58, ADP-44, Diff. -14)The former Georgia Bulldog has yet to touch the field as a professional and yet is being drafted as a clear-cut RB2 and the 20th RB overall. Drafters seem to have much more confidence in Gurley than the experts. Although he has the talent, he is still a relative unknown for fantasy purposes coming off ACL surgery.
  • Joique Bell – DET (ECR-64, ADP-57, Diff. -7)Bell’s fantasy value has taken a hit this offseason, especially with the Lions’ drafting of speedster Ameer Abdullah. This has not kept owners from grabbing Bell as a borderline RB2. Expect his value to drop even further as preseason begins and Bell loses his grip on the starting role.

Undervalued WRs

  • Anquan Boldin – SF (ECR-93, ADP-122, Diff. +29)Although many owners have pegged Boldin as over-the-hill and it seems like he’s been in the league forever, the veteran finished his 2014 campaign 21st WR in standard formats and 18th in PPR scoring. He is being “rewarded” for these efforts by being selected as the 47th WR. He will still be Kaepernick’s favorite target and an excellent WR3 candidate for those who wait patiently.
  • Allen Robinson – JAX (ECR-74, ADP-87, Diff. +13)Robinson has been one of the most talked about fantasy players of the offseason yet is still not receiving his due. Despite being the Jaguars clear No. 1 option at WR, he is going a full round later than projected. He will only go up in value from this point, as he has WR2 potential.
  • Vincent Jackson – TB (ECR-61, ADP-71, Diff. +10)Jackson had a hard-luck 2014 season, as he had only 55% of his targets considered “on-target,” the lowest total in the league. His two touchdowns were a disappointment, another testament to poor QB play. He is being drafted currently as a WR3 and could present some sneaky value.

Overvalued WRs

  • Kevin White – CHI (ECR-98, ADP-78, Diff. -20)What do we know so far about White as an NFL receiver? Other than Mel Kiper Jr. drooling over his potential and the hangover owners are experiencing from last year’s rookie WR blowout party – White should be handled with much more care than the nearly two-round differential he is being selected at. Owners need to take into account newly-signed slot receiver Eddie Royal, who will compete with White and gather targets over the middle from QB Jay Cutler.
  • Victor Cruz – NYG (ECR-114, ADP-97, Diff. -17)After a devastating patellar tendon injury ended his 2014 season, owners seem to think Cruz is capable of coming back with a vengeance. He will compete for second place in the Giants’ target pecking order with Rueben Randle, someone who is currently going 204th overall and presents much better value. For Cruz’s skill set as a shifty, speed receiver, a big return from this kind of injury is unlikely and does not warrant anything above a ninth- or tenth-round pick.
  • Sammy Watkins – BUF (ECR-55, ADP-46, Diff. -9)After a rookie year in which Watkins flashed game-breaking ability as well as having major hip surgery, owners are drafting him as the 19th-best WR. With an unsettled quarterback situation and a change in the coaching regime in Buffalo, Watkins has too many variables to be taken this early.

Undervalued TEs

  • Larry Donnell – NYG (ECR-133, ADP-231, Diff. +98)Poor Larry…He is basically being undrafted, as there’s a huge difference between the ECR and ADP. Although he crept in as a TE1 and was a red-zone target for Eli Manning
    last year, he is currently being forgotten behind throw-aways Eric Ebron and Jared Cook.
  • Tyler Eifert – CIN (ECR-137, ADP-219, Diff. +82)Eifert represents a significant value for owners with TE1 upside. Eifert had major shoulder surgery in the offseason but will be the main TE target in Cincinnati following Jermaine Gresham‘s departure. If you are looking for a late-round flyer, he should be available. Yahoo has basically dropped Eifert off the face of the planet, ranking him as the 55th TE overall and 1840th overall!
  • Delanie Walker – TEN (ECR-103, ADP-140, Diff. +37)Walker quietly put together a solid season despite poor QB play in Tennessee, finishing as the 8th TE overall. Owners must have forgotten that a trusty TE is always a rookie QB’s best friend, as he is currently going behind a suspended Antonio Gates, an offseason-hyped Josh Hill, and a TD-dependent Dwayne Allen. Walker has great value and should finish as a TE1.

Overvalued TEs

  • Julius Thomas – JAX (ECR-94, ADP-75, Diff. -19)Other than being a red-zone monster (12 TDs) in 2014, Thomas had minimal value with 43 catches for only 489 yards. After getting paid by the Jaguars this offseason, he currently is being drafted as the sixth TE, almost two rounds before the experts. Taking into account the change of scenery from Denver, it will be hard to recreate Thomas’ red-zone opportunities from 2014. Advice; pass on him at his current ADP.
  • Owen Daniels – DEN (ECR-126, ADP-110, Diff. -16)It is clear that Daniels and Gary Kubiak have a good thing going. From Houston to Baltimore and now Denver, Daniels has had a significant role in each offense Kubiak has led. Drafters are betting on Manning finding Daniels regularly, although he could face stiff TE competition from an emerging Virgil Green.
  • Dwayne Allen – IND (ECR-122, ADP-111, Diff. -11)Much like Thomas, most of Allen’s value in 2014 came from the eight touchdowns he scored on only 29 catches. He is being drafted as the 11th overall TE yet will be splitting time with Coby Fleener. Earlier this offseason, the Colts also revealed that they are ditching their two-TE sets, meaning Allen should be falling even further in an offense where the ball will be flying all over the place.