2 SLEEPER Quarterbacks POISED TO PERFORM IN WEEK 2

Terrell Pryor should make a dent in the Jacksonville defense

Terrell Pryor should make a dent in the Jacksonville defense

Week 2 brings some very tough match-ups for several quality quarterbacks. Tom Brady already struggled against a much improved Jets defense on Thursday night and Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford and Robert Griffin III all have tough match-ups this week.  All of these quarterbacks are also playing on the road except Russell Wilson.

Here are a pair of unheralded quarterbacks who might prove to be worth more than just backups before the season is over.

Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor was the leading rusher in the NFL before LeSean McCoy went off against the Redskins on Monday night.  Pryor put together a decent debut on the road against the Colts in week 1 and has possibly the most favorable match-up of any quarterback in the NFL this week as he takes on the Jaguars at home.

Pryor will be one of the best athletes on the field with his 6′ 6″ 233 pound frame and sub 4.5 second 40 time.  Pryor is a threat to score on the ground on every single play and if he improves on his performance from last week, he could even end up outscoring a few of the elite quarterbacks this week. Tom Brady owners already wish they could have started Pryor this week and Russell Wilson and Tony Romo owners should seriously consider starting Pryor this week because this could be his coming out party.

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler has a great match-up during Week 2 as the Bears take on the Vikings at home.  Cutler put up decent numbers against one of the most talented defenses in the NFL (Cincinnati Bengals) last week.  The Vikings play the run fairly well, so Cutler will get plenty of chances to air it out on Sunday and he is almost a lock to throw for 250 plus yards with a pair of touchdowns through the air.

With an improved offensive line and one of the best receivers in the league (Brandon Marshal) at his disposal, Cutler could put up some monster numbers this week. Once again, Russell Wilson and Tony Romo owners should seriously consider starting Cutler this week as both of them have extremely tough match-ups on the road.

 

 

 

 

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2 SLEEPER Quarterbacks POISED TO PERFORM IN WEEK 2

Terrell Pryor should make a dent in the Jacksonville defense

Terrell Pryor should make a dent in the Jacksonville defense

Week 2 brings some very tough match-ups for several quality quarterbacks. Tom Brady already struggled against a much improved Jets defense on Thursday night and Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford and Robert Griffin III all have tough match-ups this week.  All of these quarterbacks are also playing on the road except Russell Wilson.

Here are a pair of unheralded quarterbacks who might prove to be worth more than just backups before the season is over.

Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor was the leading rusher in the NFL before LeSean McCoy went off against the Redskins on Monday night.  Pryor put together a decent debut on the road against the Colts in week 1 and has possibly the most favorable match-up of any quarterback in the NFL this week as he takes on the Jaguars at home.

Pryor will be one of the best athletes on the field with his 6′ 6″ 233 pound frame and sub 4.5 second 40 time.  Pryor is a threat to score on the ground on every single play and if he improves on his performance from last week, he could even end up outscoring a few of the elite quarterbacks this week. Tom Brady owners already wish they could have started Pryor this week and Russell Wilson and Tony Romo owners should seriously consider starting Pryor this week because this could be his coming out party.

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler has a great match-up during Week 2 as the Bears take on the Vikings at home.  Cutler put up decent numbers against one of the most talented defenses in the NFL (Cincinnati Bengals) last week.  The Vikings play the run fairly well, so Cutler will get plenty of chances to air it out on Sunday and he is almost a lock to throw for 250 plus yards with a pair of touchdowns through the air.

With an improved offensive line and one of the best receivers in the league (Brandon Marshal) at his disposal, Cutler could put up some monster numbers this week. Once again, Russell Wilson and Tony Romo owners should seriously consider starting Cutler this week as both of them have extremely tough match-ups on the road.

 

 

 

 

3 Quarterbacks You Need for a Rainy Day

A healthy Michael Vick will thrive under Chip Kelly

A healthy Michael Vick will thrive under Chip Kelly

The football season is finally here.  Teams have been drafted and everyone has a good idea about who the top 10-12 quarterbacks are.

But even fantasy teams with Rodgers, Brees, Brady and Manning need to think about a second quarterback for their bye week. A few top 12 quarterbacks also could turn into busts, so it’s always good to have an insurance policy for a bye week, injury or a bad match-up.

Quarterbacks:

 Michael Vick

Michael Vick probably has the most upside of any quarterback not in the top 12. Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense could prove to minimize the punishment Vick receives on the field and keep him healthy for an entire season. With Vick’s rushing ability, he’s always a threat to get some easy points on the ground and his team has a fairly favorable schedule as well.

 Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler is a household name, but is not respected in the fantasy football community.  Cutler has been putting up pedestrian numbers for the last few seasons, but he’s been held down by one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.

The Bears signed former Saints Left Tackle, Jermon Bushrod to protect Cutler’s blind side, which should increase Cutlers productivity quite a bit and keep him off of his back. Combine an upgraded left tackle along with the new offensive-minded head coach, Marc Trestman and Cutler could put up top 10 fantasy numbers this year.  If you aren’t 100% sold on your starting quarterback, Cutler could prove to be a nice security blanket.

Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer played for arguably the worst team in the last decade (Oakland Raiders) with no receivers worth mentioning and still managed to throw for more than 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns.  This year he will be throwing the ball to Larry Fitzgerald and will be working under new head coach, Bruce Arians.

Arians is a very well respected offensive mind around the NFL and Palmer is intent on extending his playing career. Palmer should not be a starter for any fantasy team early in the season, but if your quarterback is on a bye or has an unfavorable match-up, Palmer could be a nice filler.

3 Quarterbacks You Need for a Rainy Day

A healthy Michael Vick will thrive under Chip Kelly

A healthy Michael Vick will thrive under Chip Kelly

The football season is finally here.  Teams have been drafted and everyone has a good idea about who the top 10-12 quarterbacks are.

But even fantasy teams with Rodgers, Brees, Brady and Manning need to think about a second quarterback for their bye week. A few top 12 quarterbacks also could turn into busts, so it’s always good to have an insurance policy for a bye week, injury or a bad match-up.

Quarterbacks:

 Michael Vick

Michael Vick probably has the most upside of any quarterback not in the top 12. Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense could prove to minimize the punishment Vick receives on the field and keep him healthy for an entire season. With Vick’s rushing ability, he’s always a threat to get some easy points on the ground and his team has a fairly favorable schedule as well.

 Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler is a household name, but is not respected in the fantasy football community.  Cutler has been putting up pedestrian numbers for the last few seasons, but he’s been held down by one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.

The Bears signed former Saints Left Tackle, Jermon Bushrod to protect Cutler’s blind side, which should increase Cutlers productivity quite a bit and keep him off of his back. Combine an upgraded left tackle along with the new offensive-minded head coach, Marc Trestman and Cutler could put up top 10 fantasy numbers this year.  If you aren’t 100% sold on your starting quarterback, Cutler could prove to be a nice security blanket.

Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer played for arguably the worst team in the last decade (Oakland Raiders) with no receivers worth mentioning and still managed to throw for more than 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns.  This year he will be throwing the ball to Larry Fitzgerald and will be working under new head coach, Bruce Arians.

Arians is a very well respected offensive mind around the NFL and Palmer is intent on extending his playing career. Palmer should not be a starter for any fantasy team early in the season, but if your quarterback is on a bye or has an unfavorable match-up, Palmer could be a nice filler.

Simple Draft Strategy and Top 20 Cheat Sheet

She looks ready to me

She looks ready to me

There are many ways to work cheat sheets during a fantasy draft.

However, the easiest way is to sit down with a list of players beforehand and rank the players according to what players you really want in this year’s draft. This does not ensure that you will get the player you want, but it can help you stay on track when the draft gets a little wild.

A couple thoughts about the 2013 Draft:

The quarterback position is VERY deep this season, so unless you really want Brees or Rodgers, your quarterback can wait.

Load up on high quality running backs. If you are in a PPR league, make sure they can catch the ball.

Wide receivers are the deepest position and tight ends are the most shallow.

If you don’t get one of the top five tight ends, don’t worry about drafting one until after the 10th round.

For a breakdown of the players listed, use the links below.

MUST OWN:  

Quarterbacks:

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Drew Brees

Running Backs:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. Arian Foster
  3. Marshawn Lynch
  4. Doug Martin

Wide Receivers:

  1. Calvin Johnson
  2. Dez Bryant
  3. A.J. Green
  4. Brandon Marshall
  5. Demaryius Thomas
  6. Juilo Jones

Tight Ends:

  1. Jimmy Graham
  2. Rob Gronkowski
  3. Jason Witten
  4. Vernon Davis
  5. Tony Gonzalez

 TOP NOTCH: 

Quarterbacks:

  1. Peyton Manning
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Matt Ryan
  4. Colin Kaepernick

Running Backs:

  1. Jamaal Charles
  2. LeSean McCoy
  3. Ray Rice
  4. C.J. Spiller
  5. Alfred Morris
  6. Steven Jackson

Wide Receivers:

  1. Roddy White
  2. Andre Johnson
  3. Randall Cobb
  4. Victor Cruz

Tight Ends:

  1. Antonio Gates
  2. Jared Cook
  3. Jordan Cameron

 SOLID STARTERS:

Quarterbacks:

  1. Robert Griffin III
  2. Matthew Stafford
  3. Cam Newton
  4. Russell Wilson
  5. Andrew Luck
  6. Tony Romo
  7. Eli Manning

 Running Backs:

  1. Trent Richardson
  2. Stevan Ridley
  3. Matt Forte

Wide Receivers:

  1. Larry Fitzgerald
  2. Dwayne Bowe
  3. Wes Welker
  4. Reggie Wayne
  5. Vincent Jackson

Tight Ends:

  1. Jermichael Finley
  2. Brandon Myers
  3. Martellus Bennett

 Best of the Rest:

Quarterbacks:

  1. Andy Dalton
  2. Ben Roethlisberger
  3. Joe Flacco
  4. Jay Cutler

Running Backs:

  1. Maurice Jones-Drew
  2. Frank Gore
  3. David Wilson
  4. Chris Johnson

Wide Receivers:

  1. Marques Colston
  2. Danny Amendola
  3. Eric Decker

Tight Ends:

  1. Greg Olsen
  2. Fred Davis

4 Wide Receivers that Should Make Your Fantasy Radar PING

Josh Gordon will be back for Week 3 at Minnesota

Josh Gordon will be back for Week 3 at Minnesota

Building depth at wide receiver during your fantasy draft is a critical component in getting off to a fast start. Here’s a list of four players with true breakout potential, who you could potentially score very late in your fantasy draft.

T.Y. Hilton, IND, (ADP: 73): As last year’s 21st ranked wide receiver, Hilton recorded 861 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. He showcased his 4.34 speed and great catching ability as he made huge plays throughout the season.

With 5 plays for over 40 yards, Hilton is a “highlight-reel” player who can rack up points for your team very quickly. Though the Colts are looking to run a more “West Coast” style offense and throw the deep ball a little less, Hilton should still be able to get it done. He will be “feast or famine” kind of player from week-to-week, but is still worth the 7th round pick for his talent and upside.

Josh Gordon, CLE, (ADP: 98): In Gordon’s rookie season in 2012, he racked 50 catches for 805 yards and 5 touchdowns. At 6’4”, 225 pounds, with good hands and speed, Gordon is made to be a deep threat.

As Brandon Weeden’s clear-cut number one option in Cleveland, he should be able to score some serious points. Though he has a 2 game suspension to serve to start the season, it shouldn’t hurt his value too much. You’ll likely plan to have your number one and two receivers in your lineup at the beginning of the season anyway, so having him on your bench for two games shouldn’t be a huge issue.

Chris Givens, STL, (ADP: 105): Givens saw limited action for the Rams during his rookie season in 2012, but was still able to show off many of his talents. Although he wasn’t a starter for about a quarter of the team’s games, he made his presence known by racking up 5 receptions for more than 40 yards.

Givens showed that he has big play ability, and as a starter, he should get more opportunities like this. With last year’s starter Brandon Gibson out of the picture, a better O-line for Sam Bradford and slot receiver Tavon Austin joining the team, there should be enough team improvements to help Gibson shine. He’s a sneaky-but-good option as your third or fourth receiver.

Michael Floyd, ARI, (ADP: 110): Though the 6’3” speedster did not put up incredible numbers during his rookie season with the Cardinals (562 yards and 2 touchdowns) it’s important to realize that this year’s offense should look a lot different. A change at quarterback will bring in Carson Palmer, who was on pace for around 4,200 yards last season.

With Bruce Arians running the offense, there will plenty of yards to go around in 2013 and Floyd will be one of the beneficiaries. It will also help that he will be lining up across from Larry Fitzgerald who always draws a crowd.

Late Round Tight End: Martellus Bennett or Brandon Myers?

Myers had 79 catches for 806 yards last season

Myers had 79 catches for 806 yards last season

If you don’t plan on using a pick in the first four rounds of your fantasy draft on a tight end, you’re likely missing out on the likes of Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten, Vernon Davis, and Tony Gonzalez. Two tight ends that have upside and hold huge value in later rounds are Chicago Bears Martellus Bennett and New York Giants Brandon Myers.

Bennett is entering his sixth season in the NFL and first with the Bears. He’s working on building better chemistry with quarterback Jay Cutler. Last season with the Giants, Bennett hauled in 55 receptions for 626 yards and 5 receiving touchdowns.

Bennett didn’t get a look from Cutler during his the first two preseason games. With an ADP (Average Draft Position) of 117, Bennett is likely to be taken in the 10th round of most standard 12 person fantasy drafts.

Myers had a breakout season last year hauling in 79 receptions for 806 yards and 4 touchdowns. Like Bennett, Myers is starting his first season with a new team and has had a very quiet preseason.

With a better quarterback situation in New York, Myers has the ability to put up similar numbers to last season. With an ADP of 111, he will likely go in the beginning of the tenth round of most standard 12 person fantasy drafts.

If you find yourself in the later rounds of your fantasy draft without a tight end, both Martellus Bennett and Brandon Myers are very good options. Myers has a bigger upside and could really make a push to be a top 5 fantasy tight end this season.

The Critical Importance of Fantasy Handcuffs

Ben Tate saved many Arian Foster owners last season.

Ben Tate is one of the top rated handcuffs in the league

With the first game of NFL season just 6 days away, the window for drafting in fantasy football is quickly closing.

One of easiest things you can do to separate yourself from other fantasy owners is making sure you lock in a running back “handcuff.”

A “handcuff,” in fantasy terms, is the backup running back for your fantasy team’s starter. You draft a handcuff at some point after you draft your starting running back. This is done to provide a safety net if your starter goes down with an injury or anything of the sort.

Whenever a starting running back goes down, there’s a universal waiver wire scramble for that player’s backup. If you have that backup in place, you are safe from the league predators who are ready to swoop in and stop your fantasy season in its tracks.

In many cases, the benefits of owning a handcuff can be your saving grace. For example, when Arian Foster missed 3 games in 2011, his backup Ben Tate filled the void very well. During those three games, Tate racked up 327 yards from scrimmage (an average of 109 yards per game), including 2 rushing touchdowns.

Smart fantasy owners with the handcuff were able to survive those critical three weeks while Foster was sidelined, while other owners watched in horror as Tate racked up those numbers for another team.

Stud running backs like these often play for teams that give them a high volume of carries. If the starter goes down with an injury, another (fresher) player gets a shot at their workload and can very well succeed at it. Even average players can rack up decent numbers with a high volume of carries.

For your team’s starting running backs, it’s essential to draft the next guy in line who will get every down carries. Don’t let this pass you by, you don’t want someone else reaping the benefits of your devastating loss.

Cardinals Tight End Rob Housler Dealing with High Ankle Sprain

A frustrating preseason turned worse for Arizona Cardinals tight end, Rob Housler over the weekend. The 25 year old tight end went down with a right ankle sprain and was unable to return to action against the San Diego Chargers. He won’t play in the preseason finale and it’s still unclear whether he will be able to go for the week 1 opener.

Housler has yet to catch a pass in the preseason, and was not targeted during Saturday’s game against the Chargers. However, the seemingly daunting numbers have not phased the 3rd year veteran out of Florida Atlantic, who will undoubtedly focus more on recovery than his low preseason numbers.

I’m not worried about the numbers right now,” Housler said. “I’ve never complained about targets or receptions. The outside perception may see the numbers and may see maybe a question mark there, but I don’t. I have a lot of confidence in our system and the way things have been going in practice, so it’s not really a big concern for me.

Arizona coach, Bruce Arians says he’s not worried about Housler getting his share in the offense. Although he has been used mostly for blocking in the preseason, Arians considers the tight end’s ability to run and catch “a given” and is ready to use him in different offensive packages.

Last year, Housler caught 45 passes for more than 400 yards, but did not find the end zone. Many predicted 2013 to be a breakout year for the young tight end. Carson Palmer is the best quarterback he will have played with to date, and at 6’5 / 250 pounds, Housler makes for a great 4th target in Arizona offense, once he is again healthy.

Running Back Giovani Bernard Smashing Expectations in Cincinnati

You might have lock this rookie up in the 4th round!

You might have lock this rookie up in the 4th round!

Bengals running back Giovani Bernard might ready to share the workload with fellow back Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis, but it’s also possible that he might be thrust into the starting role. The rookie out of North Carolina has proven himself as a threat to defenses in preseason thus far, and will look to continue his momentum into the 2013 regular season.

Bernard has basically taken the league by storm and continues to surge up the fantasy drafting boards. This move isn’t due so much to his preseason numbers, but more so because of his skill set being showcased with his play up to this point.

Bernard is expected to share time in the backfield to start the season, but will be the dominant receiving back. Between targets and rushes, he should start the season seeing seeing at least 15 touches per game.

At UNC in 2012, Bernard went off for 1,718 total yards (490 receiving and 1,228 rushing), and 17 touchdowns (12 rushing and 5 receiving.) He was a very efficient as a rusher at North Carolina last year, averaging 6.7 yards per carry.

This 21 year old rookie has the opportunity to take over the starting role in Cincinnati with some solid play early on. Bernard currently has an average draft position of 68. This indicates that he’s being taken late in the 5th round of most 12-team fantasy formats.

If fantasy owners really want him though, you might have to bite the bullet and take him in the 5th round.