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Out Of Bounds

Real sports insight that non-sports fans can understand.

Archive for August, 2011

Fantasy Footballers…Time for Your Sleepers!

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Okay, so you just read about who you can scratch off your draft boards this year, now you need to know who to go for, especially in the later rounds. Because, let’s be honest; your league is won by drafting well in the middle to later rounds. While last year, your opponent gambled in the 14th round on Bengals backup running back Bernard Scott, you took a chance on Eagles QB Michael Vick. Those are the picks that win championships. So, here you go; list #2 to take into your draft. The sleeper picks that will win you a fantasy football championship this year. (ADP is the Average Draft Position based on a 12-team standard league snake draft)

1. Sam Bradford – QB St. Louis Rams (ADP: 106) – Bradford finished in the Top 15 for QB’s last year as a rookie. He set records for completions and TD’s and only Peyton Manning threw for more yards as a rookie. All this with a makeshift receiving corps. The Rams have tried to help Bradford by bringing in talented, but injury-prone Mike Sims-Walker and by drafting Tight End Lance Kendricks and receiver Greg Salas. Bradford is getting drafted around the ninth and 10th round, but could easily reach the top ten for QBs this year with better receiving options and pass-happy Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels running the show. He’s a QB2 with significant upside.

2. Beanie Wells – RB Arizona Cardinals (ADP: 75) – Okay, I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. Last year Wells was drafted as a RB2, but produced as a RB5. He was terrible. But Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt said that Wells is the lead back in Arizona and not only do I believe it, but with new QB Kevin Kolb running the offense, I think the running game will significantly improve. Wells is someone who has the opportunity and potential to produce RB2 numbers at a RB4 price. I’m in.

3. Greg Olsen – TE Carolina Panthers (ADP: 155) – The Panthers traded for Olsen shortly after the lockout and it couldn’t be a better for him. In Chicago, Olsen’s talented were wasted as Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz apparently hates Tight Ends. Now in Carolina, not only is he in a TE-friendly offense, but with rookie QB Cam Newton running the show, he’s going to need a safety valve. Enter Olsen. He’s getting drafted as a flier at the end of the draft. Make him your flier as a TE2 and he will produce TE1 numbers.

4. Alex Henery – K Philadephia Eagles (ADP: 190) – Yeah, I get it. You’re asking yourself, “How can he put a kicker on a sleeper list?” Well, I admit, this is a homer pick. I’m a life-long Nebraskan and I would go against the grain and take former Husker Henery a round or two before the last round. But I have a legit reason. He is the most accurate kicker in the history of college football. Yeah, Henery is THE MOST ACCURATE KICKER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY. And he is on arguably the most high-powered offense in the NFL. That means he could very well win you ever close game that you are in. Trust me on this one.

5. Danny Woodhead – RB New England Patriots (ADP: 129) – The Patriots grabbed Woodhead off of the New York Jets practice squad early in the season and he ended up being a perfect flex player by the end of the season as he averaged 5.6 yards a carry and scored six touchdowns. He’s not a starter, but he will fill in better than most. And he graduated from my alma mater Chadron State College. But it’s not a homer pick…seriously.

6. Rashad Jennings – RB Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: 134) – Jennings proved last year that he can handle the workload filling in admirably for lead RB Maurice Jones-Drew in the last two games of the year. MJD is recovering from off-season knee surgery and probably won’t make it through all 16 games this season. Whether you draft MJD (ADP: 13) or not, drafting Jennings anywhere after the 10th round is a steal.

7. Jacoby Ford – WR Oakland Raiders (ADP: 109) – Owner Al Davis loves speed and he has that with Jacoby Ford. He is a national champion sprinter and has the speed to take any reception to the house. He has a great repoir with QB Jason Campbell. With no other real competition, Ford could turn out to be  the #1 guy in Oakland which will yield some solid WR3 results at a WR4 price.

8. Jay Cutler – QB Chicago Bears (ADP: 125) – Cutler started off last year hotter than Olivia Wilde. But then his attitude started creeping in and he finished the year with an MCL injury that was universally-criticized. This season, he arrived to camp leaner and more focused. Being drafted as a low-end QB2 at the end of the 10th round, this could end up being Grand Theft Robbery.

So there you go. Sleepers to help you win your league. Did I miss one? Let me know who. Any other comments? Send them my way!

Fantasy Footballers! You Need This List!! Top 10 Busts!!

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Okay, if you are reading this, you have probably read dozens of sleeper and bust articles on the web detailing why you should draft Cardinals RB Ryan Williams over Beanie Wells or some other combination. But this is the one you want to take with you into your draft. Why? Because I’m right. Well, I think I’m right. Anywho, you won’t be dissappointed if this is the only list you use in your draft. So without boosting my word count any more, here are the 10 players to completely avoid or, at least, don’t draft where they’re average draft position (ADP) is. (The ADP is based on a 12-team draft on Fantasy Football Calculator.)

1. Kenny Britt – WR Tennessee Titans (ADP: 72) – There are two main reasons to drop him from your draft board. 1. He is incredibly injury-prone. He only played in 12 games and despite nine touchdowns, he was too boom or bust for me. Almost a third of his yards and exactly one-third of his touchdown total came in one game last year. Yes, when he’s on the field, he is a force, but how can he dominate with a 35-year-old Matt Hasselbeck and/or rookie Jake Locker running the offense? There is just too much risk for him to be rated as a Top 30 receiver.

2. Peyton Manning – QB Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 35) – Yeah, you read right. The most consisent QB of the past decade will be a bust this year. He’s coming off of his second neck surgery in 15 months and isn’t expected to play at all this preseason. Now, if there is anyone that can come back and play like he never left, it’s Manning. But I think he will have serious issues scanning the field with a bad neck. Add in an aging and inconsistent rest of the offense and the 35-year-old could be seeing the beginning of a slow steady decline.

3. BenJarvis Green-Ellis – RB New England Patriots (ADP: 67) – The Lawfirm came through as a waiver-wire savior last year, but when has coach Bill Belichek ever stuck with just one RB? Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead were the one-two punch last year, but it’s just as possible that Belichek goes with two complete unknowns by Week 4. It’s not that The Lawfirm isn’t talented enough to be drafted as a mid-6th rounder, it’s that his coach may not give him the opportunity to do so. If he falls to the 8th round, I’d take him. But 6th? I’ll let someone else take a gamble on him.

4. Marques Colston – WR New Orleans Saints (ADP: 44) – Colston has had five knee surgeries in five seasons. His knees are bound to give out at some point and I’m betting it’s this year. Yes, the Saints are one of the biggest offenses in the league, but QB Drew Brees has 47 targets to throw to. Colston may be the go-to receiver for now, but I don’t see it lasting long if his knees can’t hold up. A mid-4th rounder it too high for a walking injury.

5. Ryan Matthews – RB San Diego Chargers (ADP: 39) – Last year, he was the rookie to draft going as high as the second round in fantasy drafts. This year, expectations are tempered, but he’s still going in the late 3rd and early 4th round. Matthews didn’t prove anything last year and he already battling a preseason injury. You can get his backup Mike Tolbert at least four rounds later and I’m betting they get the same stats. Take a sure thing around pick 40. Potential should be later in the draft.

6. Brandon Lloyd – WR Denver Broncos (ADP: 49) – Last season, Lloyd connected with QB Kyle Orton in then-head coach Josh McDaniels’ high-flying offense for 11 TDs and over 1400 yards. This year, new head coach John Fox is a much more conservative and run-oriented guy which does not bode well for Lloyd (or Orton for that matter). Lloyd didn’t do much the previous six years of his career and at the age of 30, I doubt he will again.

7. Frank Gore – RB San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 17) – Frank, you’ve had a lot of good years with San Fran and you have made many a fantasy owner very happy. But you are 28 and the punishment of being the only running back for four years is certainly taking its toll. You will probably put up solid numbers, but you missed the last five games of last year with a hip injury and the quarterback and receiver play can’t get much worse. You’re it and defenses know it. So do savvy fantasy owners. If you take Gore, you better have a solid #3 RB on your bench, you’re going to need him.

8. Jeremy Maclin – WR Philadelphia Eagles (ADP: 50) – I love Jeremy Maclin, but there is one major question with him. He reportedly had mono during the offseason and for the brief amount of time that he was in camp, he was weak and appeared frail. Now he is having tests done back in his hometown of St. Louis. The worst part? The Eagles are not saying a word about it. Nobody knows what is going on with Maclin, what is wrong  and when (or if) he’s going to be back. Don’t get me wrong, if he was healthy he’s easily a WR2. But I’m not spending a WR2 pick on someone who is the epitome of a question mark.

9. Marshawn Lynch – RB Seattle Seahawks (ADP: 68) – Lynch had one of the best runs in history during the playoffs against the Saints. But that’s not going to happen every week. In fact, with a patchwork offensive line (stud right tackle Russell Okung already has a high-ankle sprain) and the mediocre-at-best Tarvaris Jackson at QB, Lynch is going to have to shoulder a lot of the burden in Seattle. He might be able to, but I don’t think he has the ability to take over a team like Arian Foster did last year in Houston. Lynch is being drafted as a third RB, which is probably where he should be, but I see RB4 numbers with one or two breakout games mixed in. Good luck starting him in those games.

10. Michael Crabtree – WR San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 82) – Look, Crabtree thinks he’s Terrell Owens. “If I piss and moan enough then I’ll get the ball thrown my way and I’ll get my stats.” Reality check: Crabtree has done nothing to prove that he has TO’s skill set since he turned pro. Crabtree held out his rookie year and last year he played in every game, but the QB play was so horrific that he only caught 6 TDs and accumulated 741 yards. This year he’s already hurt, they brought in downfield threat Braylon Edwards and the QB play is not going to get any better with Alex Smith back and rookie Colin Kaepernick nipping at his heals. Crabtree is being drafted as a WR3, but he’s nothing more than a bye-week fill-in until things improve under center…and he gets his prima-donna tendencies in check.

Disagree with my assessments? Let me know in the comments.