Four Round Fantasy Football Mock Draft

 

By Joseph Zbytek

Summer is finally here for those who love the heat. That also means it’s one more Sunday closer to the 2016 NFL season. There is absolutely no better day than “draft day”.

In one of my many leagues called “The Cheektowaga Poolside League” (Yes i know, our league name sucks) our closest friends all get together and all throw down some money and cook some meat. Every year we decide on something different. We all bring our own “refreshments”,  go swimming in our Commissioners pool, hang out and either talk trash or just talk football.

There really is not a day (besides the Buffalo Bills home opener) that I would never want to miss. Even the drafts where it is pouring we are still out there making our picks while our paper and draft board is getting soaked. I can’t stop thinking about draft day so this is where I’m making my own mock draft.

This will be standard scoring, no PPR. Six points awarded for a receiving or rushing touchdown and four points for a touchdown pass

 

 

“And with the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL fantasy football draft. Team such and such selects…”

  1. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers: Bell is coming off an injured MCL and PCL to his knee. He is on a terrific offense that can put up a lot of points. Being a versatile player who can run and catch brings up his value. Everyone knows what Bell brings to the table and in a standard scoring league he is the top player to draft.

2. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: Has there ever been a draft where players on the same team were picked number one and two? Brown is an outstanding player with great hands, speed, and elusiveness. Martavus Bryant is suspended the whole year which will give Brown even more targets. If you are in PPR league you may even want to consider drafting him first overall.

3. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons: Julio! Whoaaaaa! If the guys in my league hear me chant his name one more time they’ll probably want to slap me upside the head. The departure of Roddy White is going to leave Julio with a lot more targets. The Falcons have established a great running game which will open up the passing game. Last year, Julio had career bests in catches (136) and yards (1,871).

4. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams: Last season Gurley had 1,106 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns as a rookie. Did I mention he didn’t start his first game until Week 4? If you seen his highlights you already know that he is a top player. Really he’s the only star player on this team. Expect another great season from him this year.

5. Odell Beckham Jr, WR, Giants: OBJ didn’t have the same spectacular season as he did last year but he did manage to put up 90 catches, 1,305 yards and 12 TDs. Rueben Randle is no longer a Giant, so expect much more targets for OBJ.

6. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings: Even though A.P. Is 31 years old, he was still an absolute monster last year. With 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns, I just don’t see that theres anyway that he will have a bad year. Being one of the best running backs of this generation, its hard to see him not being picked in the top 10.

7. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans: “Nuk” had an outstanding season last year. Posting career bests in catches yards and touchdowns. New quarterback Brock Osweiler will help give Hopkins even more targets. The Texans also drafted Will Fuller and Braxton Miller who will help take the double coverage off Hopkins.

8. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys: Don’t be afraid to take a rookie in the top 10 of your draft. “Zeke” is an every down back who will run behind the best offensive line in the NFL. He is a great pass catcher as well and may even want to be drafted higher in PPR leagues.

9. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals: Johnson exploded after the injury of Chris Johnson. He is an excellent pass catcher as well as a runner totaling 581 yards rushing and 457 yards receiving. Head Coach Bruce Arians is going to want to keep giving him the ball after seeing what he did on the field last season.

10. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys: Yes we all know Dez had a tough season last year, but we all also know that he wasn’t healthy and his quarterback Tony Romo wasn’t either. Dez and Romo are both fully healed and we should expect to see them put up big numbers together again.

Round 2

11. Lamar Miller, RB, Texans: The Dolphins really didn’t know how to use Miller last year although he did finished sixth in fantasy points among runners. Moving to the Houston could have been the best decision for him. The Texans love to run the ball and this seems like the perfect spot for Miller to be the lead back.

12. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals: Green finished the 2015 season with over 1,200 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns. With Marvin Jones and Mohsmed Sanu both not with the Benglas anymore, Green is going to see a lot more targets coming his way.

13. Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers: Guess who back? After tearing his ACL in the beginning of last season, Jordy is back being the top receiver on the Packers. He is Aaron Rodgers favorite target and look for them both to put up big numbers this year.

14. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons: If you landed Freeman late in your drafts last season, then most likely your team made it into the playoffs. In a four game stretch, he had reached the end zone a total of 9 times and had 25+ points in each of those games. Don’t expect the same numbers from Freeman this year but expect a productive season.

15. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots: Gronk is the most valuable tight end in the entire NFL. He has put up over 1,100 yards and double-digit touchdowns in back to back seasons. The only reason I don’t have him higher is because of the Tom Brady suspension. If the suspension is vindicated, then expect Gronk’s value to rise.

16. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs: Charles was on his way to another spectacular season before blowing out his ACL once again. He’s had multiple 1,000 yard rushing seasons and is excellent catching the ball. We all know what Charles is capable of and theres no doubt that he is going to be the work horse in the Chiefs offense.

17. Mark Ingram, RB, Saints: Despite only playing 12 games last year, Ingram finished the season with 769 rushing yards and 6 scores. He is a hard runner who will fight to get inside the end zone. The only problem with Ingram is that he has never started more than 10 games in a season due to injuries.

18. LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills: McCoy is one of the most elusive runners in the NFL. In 12 games he ran the ball 203 times for 895 yards and three scores. He also caught 32 balls for 292 yards and two scores.  He runs behind a very good offensive line and is excellent at pass catching. McCoy averaged 12 fantasy points a game. Look for him to have a much better year.

19. Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers: Remember when Jon Gruden called this guy the “muscle hamster”? Well Martin had a bounce back year gaining a total of 1,402 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. He is the Bucs feature running back behind QB Jameis Winston. Don’t be afraid to draft him this year.

20. Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills: Watkins is one of the top candidates for breakout player of the year. In 13 games Watkins had 60 catches for 1,047 yards and 9 touchdowns. He averaged 17.5 yards a catch. With the loss of Chris Hogan, expect Tyrod Taylor to get the ball to Watkins a lot more.

Round  3

21. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears: Jeffery missed seven games last season along with posting awful numbers. The games that he did play though, he averaged just shy of 100 yards in the nine games he did play. He is still the Bears number one receiver and it looks like he is 100% healthy.

22. Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers: Being called the “fat kid” does not go over well with most people. Lacy took it to heart and shed off some of the weight and is back into shape. This is a contract year for Lacy so look for him to give it everything he’s got.

23. Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars: “A-Rob” had an outstanding year last season posting 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. He had 10 or more points in 12 games with at least one touchdown in 10 of those games. Robinson is a top notch receiver and you should not pass on him here.

24. Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets: Marshall was one of the best receivers last year posting an incredible 1,502 yards with 14 touchdowns. As long as the Jets keep quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, then Marshall is going to post excellent numbers once again. If not, then expect his value to drop.

25. Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: Although Cam was the number one fantasy player in 2015 season, the QB position is extremely deep. He has his number one receiver back and he is an absolute threat running the ball himself. If they are at the goal line, you would have to expect Cam to try and punch it in himself at least once.

26. Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders: Cooper had an excellent year posting just over 1,000 yards and six scores. It looks like the Raiders have solidified their offense and it should continue to improve every year. He is going to be a solid pick this year and an excellent receiver on your team.

27. Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks: When Rawls carried the ball in the absence of Marshawn Lynch, Rawls averaged 16 fantasy points a game. Lynch has “hung up the cleats” which gives Rawls the opportunity to be the premiere back in Seattle. He had suffered a broken ankle near the end of the season so you may want to keep tabs on that.

28. Brandin Cooks, WR, Saints: Cooks had a slow start to the 2015 season although he did finish strong putting up 1,138 yards and 9 touchdowns. Having Drew Brees as your quarterback always helps your value and he is the clear number 1 receiver in New Orleans.

29. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers: A lacerated kidney kept Allen from having one of his best seasons of his career. In just 8 games he had 725 yards and 4 scores. Phillip Rivers has developed a very good chemistry with Allen and it seems that Allen is completely healthy from his injury. Don’t be shy to draft him.

30. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers: I just can’t see “A-Aron” discount double checking to the fourth round. Even without his number one receiver last year he still put up 286 fantasy points. Like I said a few picks ago the quarterback position is deep, so in a few drafts he may even go higher. He could be a steal if you can snag him this late.

Round 4

31. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers: Evans had a lop sided year in 2015. There were times where he showed signs of being just a practice squad receiver, then came back the following game and showed what he was expected to be. He finished the year with just over 1,200 yards but only 3 touchdowns. Expect the TD total to increase this year.

32. Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers: Hyde only played 7 games last year and in that span he totaled 470 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is a hard runner and is now in an offense where Coach Chip Kelly absolutely loves to run the football. As long as Hyde can stay healthy he can be quite the bargain here in the fourth round.

33. Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals: Hill didn’t hit the 1,000 yard mark last year but he did score 11 touchdowns. Since joining the NFL, no other running back has scored more rushing touchdowns than Hill. In fact, he has never missed a game in his career. This RB could be a steal in this round and could be your number one back if he stays consistent all year.

34. C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos: Compared to his average draft position from last year, his value has dropped a couple rounds into the fourth. He didn’t pick things up until the end of the year in 2015, but he is still the Broncos lead and go-to back for this upcoming season.

36. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos: With “The Sheriff” finally retiring from football, the Broncos will have new quarterback in town. This is going to decrease Thomas’s value and we won’t see the same numbers from him that we had seen in the past.

37. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers: In 13 games last year, Stewart finished just shy of a 1,000 yards and scored 6 times. In a 8 game stretch, he had carried the ball over 20 times in all of those games. No other running back had more in 3 straight games.

38. Matt Forte, RB, Jets: Forte is on a new team this year, but will still be the lead back in New York. He is a great pass catcher which will increase his value in certain leagues such as PPR. Wait to see what happens with their quarterback situation first before you pull the trigger on him.

39. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts: With the return of a healthy Andrew Luck this year, Hilton should be able to achieve similar stats as he did in 2014. He has over 1,000 yards receiving in each of his last three seasons. Hilton can be a nice commodity to your team this season.

40. Ryan Matthews, RB, Eagles: Once again it looks like Matthews will be the number one back for Philly this season. Although he is injury prone, he’s healthy as of now. He shows signs of being a good running back, but when you draft him; make sure you grab his handcuff.

To Be Continued…

Top 5 RBs for the 2016 Fantasy Football Season

By Joseph Zbytek

 

    • adrian-petersonAdrian Peterson. Can you believe this is going to be A.P’s 10th season? At age 31, it seems like nothing can slow this guy down. An ACL injury will usually effect a players performance the following year. Not for Peterson, he’s a machine. Last year A.P ran the ball 327 times for 1,485 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. In seven games he had rushed for 100 yards or more while averaging 4.5 yards per carry. According to a source close with the team, Peterson wants to be heavily involved in the passing game. If this is the case then expect Peterson’s value to rise even higher come draft day. A.P was ranked second with the most points for fantasy, trailing behind Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman.

 

    • New Orleans Saints v Pittsburgh SteelersLe’Veon Bell. In 2015, Bell severely injured his MCL and his PCL. He underwent surgery during the offseason to repair both ligaments in his right knee. Last year, Bell was suspended for marijuana possession and driving under the influence. He sat out the first two games and only played in six games after that. He had rushed 113 times for 556 yards and punched in three touchdowns. At the time, he was averaging a bruising 4.9 yards per carry. Bell is probably the most explosive player in the NFL. If you give him open space, he will burn right through everyone. He is a big part of the Steelers passing game just as much as the run. Everybody knows what Bell is capable of. Now, it’s really just a matter of if he can stay healthy for a full season.

 

    • Cowboys rookie campEzekiel Elliot. It’s tough to even think a rookie can crack the top five without proving himself in the NFL, but “Zeke” is a different story. He has the best offensive line to run behind. If Darren McFadden can eclipse 1,000 yards behind that line, imagine what Elliot is going to do. McFadden is going to miss a couple months due to an elbow injury which will leave a wide open door for Elliot to gain more reps. Being such a versatile player is going to make him become a big part of the passing game, which will increase his value. It seems like Elliot has already won the starting job.

 

    • 028e5f3c-7ab5-4ae0-868a-a60aac3139daTodd Gurley. Gurley is going to try to avoid the sophomore slump this season after he had a tremendous rookie year. In 13 games in 2015, Gurley carried the ball 229 times for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 4. 8 yards per carry. After adding only 21 catches for 188 receiving yards, the Los Angeles Rams may need to start throwing the ball to him a lot more. He really is the only person on that team with any sort of talent. Rookie quarterback and number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jared Goff is going to need a good amount of help from Gurley if he has any chance of surviving under center. Gurley was ranked as the 5th best running back in fantasy last season.

 

  • lamar-miller-texansLamar Miller. Goodbye Miami and welcome to Houston! Miller finally has a chance to show everyone what he can do, we saw glimpses of his excellence in 2015. In 16 games, Miller rushed the ball 194 times for 872 yards and ran in eight touchdowns. He also accumulated 47 receptions for 397 yards and scored twice. He is an excellent pass catcher who has explosive speed. Miller is now on a team with a decent quarterback (Brock Osweiler) and gifted receivers around him such as DeAndre Hopkins. This will open up his running game. Expect big numbers from Miller this season. He is going to be a steal in fantasy drafts.

 

Who is the Best Wide Receiver Duo in the NFL?

By Joseph Zbytek

Why have one great wide receiver, when you can have two? This seems to be the case for a handful of teams lately. Number two receivers can look like number one receivers and vice versa.

How do you know who is the true number one receiver on the team? Well for some these teams, you just don’t. These receivers are getting the ball spread evenly and are acquiring similar stats.

So who has the best duo in the NFL?

  • Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns110915-NFL-Jaguars-Allen-Robinson-pi-ssm.vresize.1200.675.high.8

The “A-Team” from the Jacksonville Jaguars were marvelous last season. Robinson hauled in 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Hurns caught 64 balls thrown his way for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns. These two Allens were dynamic together and quarterback Blake Bortles is thrilled to have them on his team. On NFL Network, Bortles made an appearance on NFL HQ and was asked about the duo.

“A-Rob is obviously the guy that can go downfield, jump and make the big play while Hurns is Mr. Reliable. He doesn’t drop a whole lot of balls and is always in the right place at the right time.” Bortles said.

These two receivers compliment and feed off of each other. Robinson’s playmaking is exceptional and Hurns’ dependability and consistency will give opposing defenders a run for their money during the upcoming seasons.

  • Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker

This duo from the New York Jets were superb during the 2015 season. Marshall lead the team with 109 receptions, 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns. Decker nabbed 80 catches with 1,027 yards with 12 touchdowns.

 

They set a new NFL record last year with the most games in which teammates caught one or more touchdowns passes with eight. The record was held by Randy Moss and Chris Carter in 1998 with seven.

Marshall and Decker are both veterans that have played for multiple teams. They know the system, they know how things work, and how to get open.

If the Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick can come to an agreement on a contract, then expect these two receivers to put up elite numbers again for years to come.

  • Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb141126-nelson-cobb-300

In the beginning of the 2015 season, Jordy Nelson had suffered a season-ending ACL tear. With a full year to recover from his injury, he is ready to make a splash this upcoming season.

In 2014, Nelson had 98 receptions for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. Randall Cobb caught 91 passes for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. In that season they clearly established themselves as the best wide receiver duo in the game.

Does it help that these wideouts on the Packers have one of the best quarterbacks in the league? Yes. Aaron Rodgers is more than happy to have two superstar receivers to throw to. As long as both of these two receivers can stay healthy, then the NFC North is going to have a consistent division contender each and every year.

 

 

Broncos CB Aqib Talib Shot in Leg

By Joseph Zbytek

 

Aqib Talib, cornerback for the Denver Broncos has suffered a gunshot wound to the leg following a fight at Dallas nightclub early Sunday morning.

It has been reported that Talib was one of three people shot following a fight. He was taken to the hospital for his injury. The Denver Broncos have confirmed that Talib’s wound is to the lower right leg and that he will make a full recovery.

There is conflicting hospital information on whether Talib was released earlier, but a team source says that he will be staying overnight.

 NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington has tweeted about the incident.

 

The Denver Broncos have been in touch with the NFL on this matter and they will provide additional updates when appropriate.

The cornerback’s current contract is a six-year, $57 million deal. He had one of his best years last year, helping the Broncos become the number one ranked defense and winning the Super Bowl.

Talib has gotten into trouble in Texas before. He was involved with an assault with a deadly weapon case that was later dismissed.

The current situation is under NFL investigation and they will have more information as the story develops.

Hypothetical: “A Fiztpatrick-less Jets”

With the NFL season fast approaching many teams begin to assess their strengths and weaknesses, for the New York Jets that means the ever so important quarterback position. Reports have recently come out that the Jets will not sign there starter from last season, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and that leaves the Jets in an undesirable situation. Although there is still time left there seems to be a real possibility that the Jets will have a quarterback “competition” between Geno Smith, Christian Hackenberg, and Bryce Petty. The options listed are hardly desirable, however they all have two things in common: they are young and inexpensive.

So, assuming that the Jets will not be able to come to terms with Fitzpatrick before the season starts let’s break down each potential Jets starting quarterback.

Geno Smith: Smith is the veteran of the bunch at twenty five years old and also carries with him more NFL starting experience than the other two candidates combined. Smith missed almost all of last season because of injury and in his previous two years playing he was not a very good player. Smith threw for 21 interceptions in his rookie season paired with only 12 passing touchdowns, Smith finished that season with a career low passer rating of 66.5. The next season, although Smith improved significantly, he still struggled to finish with both 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, ending the season with an improved passer rating of 77.5. Smith was drafted in the second round out of West Virginia back in 2013 and despite his struggles he still may be the best candidate for the role of starting quarterback.

Bryce Petty: Petty is also twenty five years old, but lacks any NFL playing time as he enters his second season of his career. Petty is a long shot candidate for this job and when the Jets drafted him in the fourth round out of Baylor they certainly did not expect him to be starting this early in his career (if ever), but everyone is in the running for the Jets starting quarterback job and certainly crazier things have happened.

Christian Hackenberg: The twenty one year old fresh faced rookie out of Penn State will likely be in a competitive battle for this job against Geno Smith. Hackenberg was drafted in the second round, like Smith, and with the Jets situation seemingly getting more desperate Hackenberg might just be the guy who comes in and saves the day for the Jets.

This is only a hypothetical right now, but with the NFL season fast approaching and the Jets running out of options it looks like this might soon become a reality.

New Contender in the AFC West?

By Joseph Zbytek

It’s already less than a 100 days until the 2016 NFL season is under way. It seems like just yesterday that the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl L and their defense made Cam Newton look like a normal quarterback.

It is now the beginning of a new season and the time has come where one of the all time greats, Peyton Manning has finally retired.

Denver was in a quarterback controversy in the offseason. They had traded a seventh round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for former quarterback Mark Sanchez and drafted Paxton Lynch out of Memphis in the NFL draft.

Does this mean a new front runner for the AFC West?

One team that caught the attention of everyone last season was the Oakland Raiders, who went 7-9. They finally have players with actual talent on their roster. Derek Carr has shown some flashes of promise in 2015, throwing for 3,987 yards with 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In my opinion, that sounds like top 10 quarterback numbers right there.Raider-head-Copy1

Carr has two gifted wide receivers to throw to. First round pick out of Alabama, Amari Cooper and a rejuvenated Michael Crabtree have solidified that offense. Cooper had over 1,000 yards last year with six touchdowns and Crabtree had just over 900 yards with nine touchdowns.

In the backfield the Raiders have a talented running back behind Carr named Latavius Murray. He carried the rock 266 times, over 1,000 yards and scored six touchdowns. The Raiders also drafted DeAndre Washington, running back out of Texas Tech in the fifth round, giving Murray a breather from time to time. Washington was just shy of 1,500 yards his final season and had 14 touchdowns.

khalil-mackThat pretty much sums up the Raiders offense, so lets talk about that defense. The Raiders defense is lead by linebacker Khalil Mack. He was the fifth overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, out of the University of Buffalo. Last season Mack had a total of 15 sacks on opposing quarterbacks. Mack is a monster on the field, he’s quick and will bull rush opposing lineman to get to the quarterback. It’s tough to even double team this guy, he’s just that good.

During the offseason the Raiders acquired an excellent linebacker, Bruce Irvin to help Mack and take a little pressure off of him. Irvin who was an unrestricted free agent had spent the last four season with the Seattle Seahawks. At 6 foot 3 and 260 pounds, Irvin has 22 sacks in his career. He is a very versatile player with the ability to play standing up as a linebacker or with his hand in the dirt as a defensive end.

In this years draft the Oakland Raiders selected Karl Joseph, a safety out of West Virginia in the first round. Since the legendary Charles Woodson has retired, the Raiders needed to fill the void that he left. Joseph is a dynamic playmaker who models his game after Brian Dawkins. Others say his style of play reminds them of Bob Sanders.

The Raiders have really turned things around the last couple of years and a lot of positive change has been happening for this franchise. They have an enormous fan base, which I can attest to since I work with two silver and black fans. If the Raiders keep playing solid football and fix the small mistakes, I can see them taking this division. All they have to do is “just win baby”.

 

Which Rookies Will Have an Impact in 2016?

By Joseph Zbytek

For every young man, being drafted in the NFL is a dream come true. They all have imagined themselves catching the game winning touchdown to win the “Super Bowl” or throwing it to the wide open receiver on a Hail Mary to win the game. Whatever their dreams may have been, these young men have waited and worked incredibly hard to be drafted.

Each rookie is getting acquainted with their new teammates, coaches, and their new playbook. The NFL is a lot different than college ball. Just ask Tim Tebow, I can guarantee that he would agree. But I’m also going to stop there before I rant anymore about Tebow.

So the question is, which rookies will have a major impact on the upcoming season?

    • 0506 Cowboys 24RB Ezekiel Elliot. Out of Ohio State, this young fellow was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys fourth overall and runs behind the best offensive line in the NFL. He is going to be a day one starter. Elliot has superb run blocking abilities and is also a threat catching the ball as well. Tony Romo is back from injury this year, and if the Cowboys need to continuously run the ball to keep him healthy, they will. Elliot is a prime contender to be Rookie of the Year. NFL comparison: Edgerrin James.

 

    • i-2LB Myles Jack. From UCLA, Jack was drafted 36th overall in the second round to the Jacksonville Jaguars. This was a steal for the Jags in the second round. He was a top-rated prospect coming into the draft, but his medical problems seemed to be the reason teams passed on him. Jack is versatile and can play the run and pass game very well. He is extremely athletic and can get to the ball from any position on the field, being a former running back with tremendous speed. Head coach Gus Bradley is thrilled to have an every-down playmaker on his team. NFL comparison: Navarro Bowman.

 

    • 2463928_sd_sp_chargers_0514_GASx002_r900x493DE Joey Bosa. Another product out of Ohio State, Bosa was drafted third overall to the San Diego Chargers. Lets face it, the Chargers need a ton of help on that defense. They allowed over 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns to opposing rushers during the 2015 season. The Chargers now have a player who has an NFL ready frame, that’s going to help their defense. He has a solid burst off the snap and has extraordinary power in his hands. Bosa has the talent to be an excellent defensive end/outside linebacker, he will thrive at whatever position the coach puts him in. NFL comparison: Ryan Kerrigan.

 

    • 26_4559309LB Reggie Ragland. Alright, for those who may not know, I was born and raised in Buffalo. So obviously I am a Bills fan (the best fans in the league) and I am thrilled with this pick by Buffalo. Ragland was drafted in the second round, 41st overall out of Alabama. In the first round they nabbed DE Shaq Lawson, who is going to receive shoulder surgery before the upcoming season (also the reason he’s not on this list).GM Doug Whaley stated that Ragland is going to be a starter right off the bus. He is an old school player who will blast you if you try to run up the middle. Ragland is an instinctive linebacker who shows great understanding of angles and leverage. He is another prime contender for Defensive Rookie of the Year and he will flourish in Rex Ryan’s defensive scheme. NFL comparison: Derrick Johnson.

 

  • 20160506-OrientationCB Jalen Ramsey. Coming out of Florida State, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Ramsey with the fifth overall pick in the draft. He was the top-rated defensive back and went to a team where they needed help on defense. Ramsey is a dominant athlete, his catch up speed is spectacular and he has no problems stopping on a dime from a full sprint. The only player that could probably beat him on a jump ball would be “Megatron”and we all know Calvin Johnson is retired now. Jacksonville now has two top defenders at the corner positions. The Jags 2015 first round pick Dante Fowler Jr. will make his debut this year, returning from his ACL injury at the start of training camp last year. Jacksonville has done a great job drafting and recruiting players. If everyone can stay healthy, they are going to be scary. NFL comparison: Patrick Peterson

Football is Coming..Comeback Player of the Year?

By Joseph Zbytek

        Spoiler Alert.. Winter is not coming, but football is! Much like the resurrection of Jon Snow from the HBO television series Game of Thrones, the NFL will also have a player who revives with a gasping effort to save his career. Who may that player be? Well, my friends that is going to be Eddie Lacy.

        The second round pick out of Alabama had his worst year in 2015. Carrying the rock 187 times for 758 yards with only three touchdowns. He had rushed for over 1,100 yards the previous two seasons.

        1382132287000-USP-NFL-Green-Bay-Packers-at-Baltimore-RavensSo why the decline in production? Lacy had missed curfew prior to a Thursday night game against Detroit causing him to ride the bench. He also had gained a noticeable amount of weight, which is why fans were giving him the nickname “Cheeseburger Eddie”. Recent reports state that he has been working out with P90X creator, Tony Horton to try and shed some of this weight.

        In my opinion, I think his feelings are hurt from his new nickname or because he wants to be back to rookie form and play good football again. Which ever it may be, it has been reported that he has lost nearly 20 pounds and is looking great.

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       Last year, wide receiver Jordy Nelson endured a season-ending knee injury during the preseason. The Packers passing game just wasn’t as top notch as it should have been. Aaron Rodgers was second highest with most times sacked, at 46 times. It seems like every year the Packers are having offensive line trouble, whether it be due to injuries or just poor judgment.

        This year in the 2016 NFL Draft the “Cheese heads” took offensive tackle Jason Spriggs out of Indiana. At 6’6 and just over 300 pounds I really think this rookie will help protect Aaron Rodgers in the pocket and open up a passing game with a rejuvenated Jordy Nelson back. Everyone knows the famous Rodgers to Nelson play that works every time; “Play action roll out with Nelson taking the deep post” play. This will open up the running game, along with the help of Spriggs and get the slimmed down “Caesar salad Lacy” more room to run.

        With all that being said, I believe with a healthy offensive line as well as having Jordy Nelson back, Lacy reaching another 1,000-yard season should not be a problem. He is going to be a fantasy steal in drafts this year and will bounce back from that awful season. From a fantasy perspective, I have him as the 8th best running back, going in the second or third round.

Lacy is solid back with a lot of potential ahead of him. He is on a Super Bowl winning team, surrounded by superior players. If Lacy can continue to keep that lean figure and work just as hard as he did his first two seasons, then we should expect to see some spectacular plays from him.

Top 5 QBs for the 2016 Fantasy Football Season

By Joseph Zbytek

Fantasy football is just around the corner! It’s time to start getting an idea of who you want on your team and why. That is where I come in, to try and help you win your fantasy league. Each week I will give you my top 5 players for each position.

    1. Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons
      (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

      Aaron Rodgers.  He’s got it all: the brains, the arm, the legs, consistency, the composure. I mean seriously the guy is a fantasy stud, he is the definition of a quarterback and you need him to be on your fantasy team. Having a healthy Jordy Nelson back as well as a rejuvenated offensive line is really going to give him that production that we all expected to see from him last year. Eddie Lacy seems to have lost some weight and is looking great, this is going to open up the passing game for Rodgers. The Packers have some major weapons on their offense; Randall Cobb,  James Starks, and newly acquired tight end Jared Cook will be on the prowl to help out Rodgers. Look for “A-Aron” to put up major numbers this season

    2. iCam Newton. He has the perfect name to hide who he really is, everyone knows he’s actually Superman! Last year he led all fantasy QBs  with the most total points. Cam had an outstanding season, even with their number one receiver getting hurt. This year Kelvin Benjamin is back from injury, and Superman will have his go to guy. I don’t see him matching the same amount of 10 rushing touchdowns that he had last year, but I do see him getting those rushing yards. Don’t let what happened in the Super Bowl fool you into not picking Cam Newton; he is going to put up a huge amount of points. If you need QB and he’s there, don’t hesitate, draft the one they call Superman.
    3. Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks
      (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

      Russell Wilson. Is it just me or are these mobile quarterbacks just climbing up the ladder? Wilson is very wise while being under center, he can read defenses and audible when he needs to. He has a great arm and is very agile. He reminds me of Fran Tarkenton, with the way he can scramble out of the pocket while under duress and how he dodges defenders then somehow finds an open man downfield. Wilson won’t put up a lot of passing yards, but he will find ways to score touchdowns with his arm and his feet.

    4. ben-roethlisberger-steelers-extensionBen Roethlisberger. Should I just say Antonio Brown and leave it as is? If you didn’t already know, Big Ben can play. He doesn’t have any trouble getting the ball to his number one receiver Antonio Brown. With Le’Veon Bell as the running back (barring injury), this should open up the passing game. Ben also loves to dump the ball off to Bell and when Bell has an open field to run; its over. Big Ben will put up tons of yards and touchdowns for your fantasy team, but don’t expect him to do anything on the ground. Leave that for Brown and Bell.
    5. cowboys-cardinals-football-carson-palmer_pg_600bCarson Palmer. Thats right, you heard it first. I have Palmer beating out Luck, Brees, and Brady this year for fantasy football. This old man can still throw the ball. He has an abundance of great players on his offense. Larry Fitzgerald probably has the best hands in the NFL and will rarely drop the ball. The Cardinals seemed to have found their starting running back in David Johnson, so you know Palmer will find his receiver downfield. Palmer loves to throw the ball deep and hit Michael Floyd, John Brown, or Jaron Brown. I would say another 30+ touchdown season from Palmer along with over 4,200 yards. If you’re waiting to get a quarterback late in your draft, this is the guy to take.

Top 20 Fantasy Football QBs For The 2015 Season

Quarterback, the rock of all football teams (unless you’re the Browns) and what should be the rock of your fantasy team. QB is always the most consistent position in fantasy football. QB is typically going to provide you with the most points week to week, even if you have a lower tier QB. Even though it is only late June it is never too early to begin ranking players. After each player I rank I will provide a short reasoning on why I have them ranked where I do.

1. Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers is simply the most consistent QB in the NFL. When he plays he is going to put up monster numbers. Last season Rodgers only had one game where he was in single digit fantasy points. He also lead all fantasy players in scoring last year, in standard scoring leagues.

2. Andrew Luck

Luck has more potential than Rodgers on a total point basis, but Luck also sees more rough games. Aaron is just simply more consistent, that is the only reason Rodgers is the better pick. With all that being said, these two are head and shoulders above the rest of the competition in the fantasy football world.

3. Russell Wilson

Wilson isn’t going to pass for very many yards, and often times he doesn’t get many passing attempts, but his mobility makes him an easy top five fantasy quarterback for 2015. Plus, they now have a legit redzone threat in Jimmy Graham.

4. Peyton Manning

Manning had a horrible ending to the 2014 fantasy campaign, but with all the weapons he has, a new system, and a new coach, he is still going to be a top five guy at the QB position. Hopefully he can stay healthy for the entire season, unlike last year.

5. Drew Brees

The loss of Jimmy Graham is going to hurt Brees, but he still has solid weapons around him, and a lot of speed which will be big on the turf in the Superdome. He’s getting older but Brees should still be able to put up nice numbers this season even without Graham.

6. Ben Roethlisberger

Following a solid 2014, Big Ben is a safe bet to post similar numbers, barring injury. The suspension of Le’Veon Bell is going to hurt him the first three games, but fantasy titles aren’t won in weeks 1, 2, and 3.

7. Matt Ryan

The only things that have been slowing Matt Ryan’s production down have been this offensive line and the health of Jones and White. Atlanta has made a few moves to better themselves upfront so that Ryan will have more time in the pocket, as for the health of his weapons, that is something that is uncontrollable. Ryan is a safe bet to be a top 10 fantasy QB this season.

8. Tony Romo

Romo will drop if Dez Bryant does not get a deal with Dallas before the start of the season, but as of now I am going to assume that Dallas does everything they can to get him at practice. Without Murray the Cowboys will be forced to throw more, which isn’t a bad thing. They have one of the best wide outs in the game, a great offensive line, and a good QB.

9. Cam Newton

Newton has very limited options from a receiving standpoint. He has not shown much progress over the past couple of years from a technical standpoint in the pocket, which is going to cause you to lean on his rushing for points, which is fine, but that also wasn’t there for Cam last year. If he had better receivers I’d be fine with taking Newton at seven, but that isn’t the case.

10. Ryan Tannehill

Last year Tannehill finished eighth in fantasy points among QBs. He lost Mike Wallace and Charles Clay, but gained Jordan Cameron, Kenny Stills, and DeVante Parker. I am expecting the same amount of production from Tennehill this season as he did in the last.

11. Tom Brady

The suspension is the only bad thing about Brady. He still has solid weapons, he did lose some members of his line, and they’re always going to have one of the best schemes in the NFL. If you can make it through the first five weeks of the season with someone else and then grab him in a late draft round or off the waiver wire that would be best.

12. Eli Manning

A shaky offense is what the New York Giants have, but they do have some good pieces for Eli to throw to, Odell Beckham JR, Larry Donnell, and Victor Cruz (once he is healthy). Interceptions are always the main downfall to Eli’s game, causing him to be 12th on my ranks, not inside the top ten.

13. Carson Palmer

Injury killed him in 2014, but when he played he was averaging over 15 fantasy points a game. He has been prone to injury his entire career so he is always going to be a risk, but in most league you can get him after the 12th round, or even later, so he’s worth the shot.

14. Philip Rivers

I am expecting a more balanced attack from the Chargers this year with their rookie running back Melvin Gordon, not to mention the aging Gates and lack of star receivers.

15. Matthew Stafford

Over the past few seasons Stafford’s deep ball accuracy has declined and he has been having more and more of his deep passes intercepted, that’s a major problem in the Lions offense.

16. Teddy Bridgewater

Peterson back, the addition of Mike Wallace, and the a great rookie season actually make Bridgewater a draftable fantasy quarterback. He was very accurate in his first season, plus Norv Turner has always had a very fantasy friendly offense.

17. Jameis Winston

Tampa Bay isn’t going to have much, if any, of a running game this season, so Jameis should be slinging the rock early and often. Evans, Jackson, and Seferian-Jenkins are going to help the development of Jameis and will prove to be great redzone targets.

18. Sam Bradford

Assuming he stays in Philly, Bradford will be under a Chip Kelly offense that has been great for fantasy quarterbacks. They are going to be run heavy, which they have been ever since Kelly took over, so do not expect any big massive games from Bradford, but he could be a consistent point guy.

19. Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick is now under a new head coach, he lost a few of his offensive weapons, and he has gotten worse over the past two seasons. He is very risky and doesn’t have much upside. He does run well, but that isn’t enough to make him the slightest bit appealing.

20. Jay Cutler

Cutler has the talent to be a great fantasy QB, like he was at the start of last season, but he often loses his cool and tries to force the ball into windows that even Aaron Rodgers couldn’t fit it into. Hopefully Fox’s new system will help, but I find it hard to believe that he will be successful in his new system if he wasn’t successful in Trestman’s.