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Sunday, August 31, 2014


In 2009 the patriots relied heavily on backup Matt Cassel.  Unfortunately despite his strong play he left as a F/A.  He was a clear product of the patriots offense.   He struggled over the next few seasons in KC (where Alex Smith has starred).  Now Cassel is Teddy Bridgewater's backup (or backup to be) in Minny.   Since then the Patriots have drafted Brian Hoyer, who struggled as a Patriot until he eventually was cut.  Hoyer then became the Browns starter (through a ton of injuries and cuts).   In 2011 the patriots replaced both of the former backups with Ryan Mallet.  Mallet has thrown 4 career regular season passes and struggled in each and every preseason but became a notable name.   In 2013 trade rumors started circling and the drafting of Jimmy Garllapolo sealed his fate.  Earlier today the patriots sent Mallet away for a sixth round pick (mallet was a 3rd rd.).  Mallet is now likely to battle Case Keenum, Tom Savage and Ryan Fitzpatrick for starts in Texas.  I expect Savage and Fitz to remain ahead o9f mallet until he proves himself or lucks out and they are injured.  Mallet can easily be compared to Hoyer, who was a 3rd string but started because Campbell and Weeden got injured.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

BURBs (Backup Running backs for Fantasy)

Since 2010 the number of people playing fantasy football has nearly tripled.   Whether it's a fade or is rising in popularity naturally doesn't matter but one of the biggest questions in fantasy football is the Handcuff Dilemma.  Should an owner Draft a backup knowing he wont start?   I don't have the answer but what i do have is a compiled list of the best backup RB or BURB.   So lets begin.

Tier 1: Fantasy RB3's (Very low end)

1. Joique Bell-  He will get some goal line work and contributes in everything while be a 40% guy behind a fragile Reggie Bush.  He has proven that he can deliver if given the time of day but needs a bigger role to be a RB3 (high end).

2. Bernard Pierce-  Although he has downside he could be a day one starter (actually he will be) .  If Ray Rice bounces back he is more of a 33% guy.  Pierce struggle last year but looked good in the offseason.
3.  Mark Ingram-  Most people arent nearly as high on Ingram as me but the dude was a first round pick, has loads of talent and looked great this off-season.   He is the clear GLB.  This ranking might be cheating considering he has a chance to start.
4. Jeremy Hill-  Maybe the GLB but a lock for 180 carries behind a talented cohort he is a 36-40% guy in a run first offense.    Jeremy Hill has upside but could also struggle if Ben Jarvus Green Ellis plays at all.

Tier 2: Fantasy RB4's ( Above Average)

5. LerGarette Blount- In 2011 he was a full time starter but struggled to be anything more than an RB3, now he is a top tier backup in Pittsburgh.   With Le'Veon Bell struggling and the Steelers run first mentality he could have some big weeks especially as a GLB or starter (if the injury prone Bell is hurt).
6. Jonathan Stewart- Since 2010 DeAngelo Williams and Stewart have been a mess due to injuries and lack of carries but a big offseason, Declining Williams andinjuries slowing Newton this year we could see stewart eclipse his longtime 33% role maybe even push to be the starter however his max upside is RB3 due to Tolbert, Newton and Williams.
7. Knowshon Moreno-Injuries had plagued if not ruined his career until Peyton Manning changed Moreno from backup to star.  Well that's what I call the Peyton Effect.  Guys like Dallas Clark, Jacob Tamme, Austin Collie, Joesph Addai, Eric Decker and Joel Dressen have all looked like border line stars with Peyton Manning.   Moreno was just another.  Reporting into Fins camp out of shape and injury Was just another reminder that he is at best a third down back.
8. Andre Williams-  Some people are probably saying who? as they Read this.  He is a future star if he gets a chance.  He thrived as a undersized GLB (like Zac Stacy and Frank Gore)  but showed burst like Darren Sproles or C.J Spiller.   He was a 4th Rd. Pick but the NYG claimed they thought he was a second round talent.  Behind injury Prone career backup, Rashad Jennings, He is a player to target with potential RB2 upside.  His downside?  Bernard Pierce Esc.
9. Chris Ivory- He is the clear backup and a 40% guy w/ CJ2K.   If he secures GLB duties he is a solid late round value pick.  In 2012 while playing behind Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles he surpassed 1st rd pick Mark Ingram and shined late in the season.
10. Terrance West-  He Could be in a platton or he could be a pure backup but my opion is that no matter what expect 33-44% of the carries and an upswing by seasons end.He is much better in Dynasty leagues.

Tier 3: Fantasy RB4's (Low End)
11. Ahamed Bradshaw- In Week 3 of last season Bradshaw was the lone bright spot in the colts back Field.  Donald Brown was being Doanld, Vick ballard was hurt and Trent was in CLE, Bradshaw was a RB2/3 for fantasy but then Richardson and injury happened.  If healthy Bradshaw could usurp Richardson like D-Brown did late last season.
11. Devonta Freeman-A College star, Freeman was drafted high to be the heir apparent to Steven Jackson, However a poor offseason might have opened up the job to Jaquizz Rodgers, at least for a little while.    Freeman's value is more in the future.
12. Darren McFadden- A former 1st Rd. Top 10 pick, McFadden is now a backup but also a 44-50% guy in a rapidly improving offense.  If it wasn't for his fragility he would be a top 5 backup.
13. Stevan Ridley- Wow what a difference 12 months and 5 fumbles makes.   If he stops fumbling he is the starter and #1 on this list but guess what he wont.  Rumors that he is on the roster bubble isn't helping his causes.
14. Fred Jackson- He might be a 40% guy in a run first offense and could even start a couple times but the fact is Spiller is a 45% guy and Bryce Brown is a 15% guy.  Jackson's max upside is what he was last year, minus 5% playtime.  He is probably the only guy on the list who could be a RB3 but has  only downside.
15. Roy Helu- If he wasn't so injury prone Helu could be in Tier 2.  He is the ideal back in Gruden's offense.  He fits in and has the talent but his injury history and Alf Morris are in between him and the starting gig.
16. Benny Cunningham- He lead the NFL in YPC last year but yet fails to be even the clear cut backup why?  he only works in space he is a true scat back in a very run heavy offense.   He could be a solid 25% of carries player but will not produce big numbers unless he starts.

Tier 4: Fantasy RB5's
17. Carlos Hyde-  Gore's heir but still only a 25% RB
18.Danny Woodhead- Started the year as a top 25 RB but Mathews got hot and they added D. Brown
19. Darren Sproles- Former fantasy favorite, Sproles is now a 5% guy with slot opportunities
20. Shonn Greene-  Injury prone former Jets starter.   Now just a short yardage back and a 20% guy.

Tier 5: Pure Handcuffs
21. Robert Turbin- Still second on the depth chart, behind aging Lynch.  5% at best
22. Lance Dunbar- A solid backup, Lineahan claims he will have a role but 10-15% and even w/ injury a RB4
23. Christine Michael- A top 5 BURB talent, Michael still isn't the number 2.
24. Khiry Robinson-  Has no upside as long as Ingram and Thomas are around.  Similiar to 2010 Chris Ivory.
25. KaDeem Carey- Former injury prone starter Matt Forte, pure handcuff.
26. Knile Davis- See KaDeem Carey but substitute Forte w/ Jamaal Charles.
27. Andre Brown (F/A)-  Depends where 2013 Giants starter Lands.

Tier 6: No Value
28./29 James Stark/ DuJuan Harris
30./31. Jonathan Grimes/ Ronnie Brown
32./33./34.  Denard Robinson/ Jordan Todman/ Storm Johnson
35./36. James White/ Brandon Bolden
37. Matt Asiata
38.  Marcel Reece
39.  Jaquizz Rodgers
40. Donald Brown

Keep in mind I did not list any starters and that some of these rankings may contradict my RB rankings due primarily to the Tier System.

So since I have talked so much about fantasy sport here's a great Fantasy Football link.  Fanduel  is an excellent website for anyone interested in getting started playing Fantasy Football.  It's a great way to unwind a relax while have some competitive fun with you're friends.  It features weekly leagues allowing for short term trial or intense high stake games.