Rookie Fantasy Forecast : Kevin White or Amari Cooper?

These top prospects are headed into very different situations

These top rookie prospects are headed into very different situations

College standout WRs Amari Cooper and Kevin White were both top ten picks in this year’s NFL Draft, but which one has the potential to develop into one of the top fantasy keepers for a dynasty leagues? Both receivers were outstanding in college, so you can’t really call them fantasy sleepers picks, but both players are coming into very different team situations. If last year’s NFL trends have any impact on the developments for this season, White should be very productive with the Chicago Bears offense, but Cooper’s chance for instant success with the Raiders will be much more hard to come by.

Cooper had a stellar season with Alabama last year, coming up with 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns, but his experience as a professional will be a much taller order. Alabama is a college football powerhouse, whereas the Oakland Raiders have been one of the worst team’s in the league for the past decade. The Raiders ranked dead last in offense last season, posting just 282.2 yards per game.

More specifically, Oakland’s passing attack ranked 28th in passing yards with 3,456 total, and 216 receiving yards per game. Cooper will have to deal with the young and inexperienced QB Derek Carr throwing to him, which might not bode well for his success. Though his first season might be rough, hopefully Amari Cooper and Derek Carr can grow together, and make each other better moving forward. Thankfully for Kevin White, he won’t have to wait to develop as a force in the NFL.

Like Amari Cooper, Kevin White also had an impressive 2014 season at West Virginia, as he racked up 1,447 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on 109 receptions, and should be able to continue his success at the next level. The Bears did not have the greatest offensive season in 2014, but Kevin White should be able to help QB Jay Cutler get back to form. Chicago was a middle-of-the-pack passing team a season ago, as they ranked 14th in 4,035 total passing yards, at 252.2 yards per game. Kevin White will have big shoes to fill after the departure of Brandon Marshall, but he should not have too much trouble. White will find many open looks with WR Alshon Jeffery commanding the attention of opposing defenses.

Kevin White could certainly be in for a 1,000 yard rookie season, but Amari Cooper might not be so lucky.


Bonus Wide Receiver Sleeper Report


Look for Crabtree to score against the Cardinals

The final week of the 2013 NFL season is upon us and so is the final week of fantasy football. While many fantasy championships were won or lost last week, there are still some leagues playing for fantasy glory this week. If you happen to play in one of these leagues, make sure to check out the season’s final sleeper report for the wide receiver position.

Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers

Still available in almost half of leagues, Michael Crabtree is a solid sleeper candidate for Week 17. Catching fire since returning from injury, Crabtree posted his first 100 yard receiving game of the season last week against the Atlanta Falcons and has now scored double digit fantasy points in two straight weeks. It looks like his chemistry with quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is as good as ever and his recent success should continue this week against the Arizona Cardinals.

 Cordarralle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings

Patterson has been doing it all lately for the Minnesota Vikings as the rookie wideout has now scored a touchdown in four straight games. Not only dominating through the air, two of his last four touchdowns have come on the ground as the Vikings are finding more and more ways to get the ball to one of their most explosive players. This week, the Vikings take on the Detroit Lions who give up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season at 26.7 PPG. If the Vikings can find ways to get Patterson the ball on Sunday, the wide receiver could be a sneaky play to secure a championship for his owners.

Andre Holmes, Oakland Raiders

Holmes did not register a single catch for the Raiders until Week 11, but has become one of the team’s top receiving options. Developing a solid connection with quarterback, Matt McGloin, Holmes has averaged 82 yards a game over the last four weeks and has one touchdown in that span. He saw eight targets last week and led the Raiders with five catches for 71 yards. This week, Holmes and the Raiders take on the Denver Broncos in what may be a high scoring affair. If the Raiders do get into a shootout with Peyton Manning and the Broncos, Andre Holmes may produce a solid game in the season’s final week.

Jamaal Charles Turns Fantasy Football Playoffs Upside Down

Jamaal Charles either made your day or ruined your season

Jamaal Charles either made your day or ruined your fantasy season

In a game which saw the Kansas City Chiefs lock up a playoff berth by dismantling the Oakland Raiders by a score of 56-31, many fantasy owners locked up a spot in their own league championships due to an absolutely dominant performance by Chiefs running back, Jamaal Charles. Unstoppable in all facets of the game, Charles torched the Raiders defense for 5 total touchdowns, recording the third-highest fantasy total for a single game since 2000.

The Raiders just didn’t seem to have an answer for the Chiefs most dangerous offensive weapon, seemingly forgetting that Charles is just as dangerous when catching the ball as he is running it. While somewhat contained on the ground (20 yards and a touchdown), the Raiders had no answer for Charles in the passing game. Quarterback, Alex Smith, connected with Charles to the tune of 195 receiving yards and a ridiculous 4 touchdowns, including a 71 yard touchdown in the third quarter.

“I don’t know how anybody can be more valuable to a team and the success that we’ve had than he has,” Reid said about Charles after the game. Charles is putting together a season worthy of an MVP award, and fantasy owners couldn’t be happier. Held to single digits only twice this year, Charles is the seventh highest scoring player in fantasy football (Charles only trails QBs) and, arguably, this season’s fantasy MVP.

Fantasy owners are surely hoping to ride Charles to a fantasy title next week as Week 16 marks the final week of the fantasy season for most leagues. Taking on the Indianapolis Colts, it will be entertaining to see how Charles follows up his finest performance of the 2013 season thus far.


Rod Streater Making a Case for Fantasy Relevance

Streater will have his hands full with the Chiefs pass defense

Streater will have his hands full with the Chiefs pass defense

A diamond in the rough may be emerging in Oakland as wide out Rod Streater has been quietly putting up productive fantasy numbers. Streater has been the go-to target along with Denarius Moore for the Raiders. Even with the quarterback situation in Oakland, Streeter has found a way to get involved.

Streater might be a viable number three receiver or flex option this week. During his past four games, he’s produced at least 57 receiving yards.

Another surprising stat is that Streater has gotten at least 8 targets in three of his last four games. Streater does his damage through the deep ball and he has been getting plenty of opportunities as of late.

Moore has been banged up the past couple weeks so Streater has been the beneficiary of his injury. It looks like Moore will be able to play on Sunday, but Streater still has upside.

Give Streater a chance if you are looking for a breakout game out of a wide receiver. Oakland is playing the Kanasas City Chiefs, but they have given up 5 passing touchdowns in the last 4 weeks. This game also could be a bad game for the Raiders and if that is the case, look for them to go to the passing game often.


Rashad Jennings Status Still up in the Air

Fantasy owners can't count on Jennings for Week 14

Fantasy owners can’t count on Jennings for Week 14

Oakland Raiders running beck Rashad Jennings still hasn’t been cleared to play and fantasy owners are on edge. He suffered a concussion last week and is struggling to get back to being game-ready. There is still question whether or not he is going to play on Sunday.

Jennings is listed questionable right now and still has yet to pass the all of the NFL concussion tests. Jennings needs to show improvement in his symptoms in order for the Oakland coaching staff to give him the okay.

If he is able to play he will have to go up against the stout New York Jets rushing defense. The Jets defense has only allowed one team to rush for over 90 yards this far in the season.

Darren McFadden has already been ruled out, so the Raiders need Jennings to be healthy for the game. If Jennings can go, he will get the bulk of the carries. Keep an eye out before the Raiders and Jets play for an updated injury report on Rashad Jennings.


Raiders Receiver Andre Holmes Hoping to Soar Over the Jets

Holmes ripped the Cowboys, can he knock down the Jets?

Holmes ripped the Cowboys, can he knock down the Jets?

Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes had his coming out party on Thanksgiving shredding the Dallas pass defense with 7 catches for 136 yards. Now the question is whether or not he can keep the magic going during Week 14 as the Raiders travel to New York to face the Jets.

The Jets are giving up an average of 25.7 fantasy points per game to receivers alone; a figure tied for 5th most in the league. Receivers are also racking up about 186 yards per game against the J-E-T-S, and have scored 15 touchdowns through 12 games in 2013.

All in all, it seems like Week 14 offers another favorable opportunity for Holmes to make some noise in fantasy leagues. He’s earned his quarterback’s trust and will be eager to perform after his first big NFL game last week.

If he was going up against a defensive powerhouse, things might be different, but the Jets have not proven that they are the team to stop a hot receiver; and after a career day in Dallas, it doesn’t seem like Holmes has cooled off just yet.


NFL Week 14 Running Back Sit and Start Report


Murray should have no problems running right through the Bears defense

With Week 14 finally here, many fantasy leagues have begun playoff competition. To keep your dreams of a fantasy title alive, check out this week’s best and worst plays at the running back position. Congratulations on making it this far and good luck in Week 14!


DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys – Coming off a huge Thanksgiving game against the Raiders in which he scored three times, DeMarco Murray now gets a very favorable matchup against the Chicago Bears in Week 14. The Bears have been awful against the run all year, giving up an average of 153.6 yards per game on the ground. The Bears have also surrendered 10 rushing touchdowns in their last 7 games. Murray may not score three times again, but look for him to hit pay dirt at least once against the horrible Bears D.

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers – While Aaron Rodgers has been out, Eddie Lacy has begun to struggle against the 8 man fronts teams have been employing in the star QB’s absence. However, Lacy may get back to his scoring ways this week against the Atlanta Falcons. Last week, CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson ran wild against this struggling unit which has surrendered a rushing touchdown in 5 of its last 6 games. Expect Lacy to do much of the same this week.


Rashad Jennings, Oakland Raiders – Since taking over the starting running back duties from Darren McFadden, Jennings has been a solid fantasy performer, scoring in double digits for five straight weeks. However, that streak is about to come to a screeching halt on Sunday. Not even a lock to play this week as he has yet to pass all concussion tests, Jennings has a tough matchup against a Jets defense which has been dominant against the run all season long. Don’t expect much this week.

Trent Richardson/Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts – Both Colts running backs make the list this week as neither should be started. While Richardson has been one of fantasy’s biggest busts, teams are still starting him (57% in leagues). He should be an obvious sit by now. Donald Brown, now the team’s starter, may also struggle this week against a Bengals team which has been great against the run at home. The Bengals haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 3, and Brown is not the guy to end that streak.


NFL Week 13 Wide Receiver Sleeper Report

Titans Justin Hunter could have a solid outing against the Colts

Titans wideout Justin Hunter could have a solid outing against the Colts

For Week 13, a couple of wide receivers stand out in having big game potential. With the slew of injuries and disappointing wide receivers that fantasy owners have had to deal with, these sleepers could come in and provide a spark for teams lacking stability at the position.

1. Donnie Avery, KC:

Avery should succeed in Kansas City’s contest with the abysmal Denver Broncos pass defense. The game looks like it will shape up to be a high scoring shootout, with all receivers involved racking up big numbers. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith should look to Avery as Denver will have to focus on standout running back Jamaal Charles, as well as wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Avery is coming off a 4/91/1 line and should carry his momentum through to this week’s game.

2. Justin Hunter, TEN:

Hunter had a lackluster rookie season thus far minus a few bright spots, including last week’s strong performance against the Oakland Raiders. Hunter is the riskiest of these 3 sleepers. but has earned himself a spot on this list after bringing in six catches for 109 yards and a touchdown while only playing 41 of 81 offensive snaps.

Titans coach Mike Munchak stated that Hunter has earned himself more playing time, which should help him to produce heavily more often. The 22-year-old wideout will look to keep the ball rolling against a struggling Indianapolis defense.

3. Anquan Boldin, SF:

Boldin may seem like a sleeper to most due to his inconsistent play this season, but he should be a no-brainer for fantasy owners. The 49ers are facing off against the St. Louis Rams, which gives a solid advantage to Anquan Boldin and the rest of their receiving corps.

The Rams rank 21th in allowing 247 passing yards per game. Boldin should take advantage of that accordingly. He should be seeing a lot of targets and hopefully will be able to extend his two game touchdown streak.


Titans Tight End Delanie Walker Earning Quarterback’s Trust

Walker has a great Week 12 road matchup against the Raiders

Walker has a great Week 12 road matchup against the Raiders

Titans tight End Delanie Walker’s momentum should carry him through Sunday night’s Week 12 contest against the Oakland Raiders. Walker will try to extend his 2 game touchdown streak, while building more of a solid connection with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the process.

Walker can be used as a middle of the pack TE1 this week because of his advantageous match-up against a weak Raiders defense. Oakland has allowed 252.7 passing yards per game, ranking them 25th. Look for Walker to ride out this hot streak with another solid game and possibly another score.

Walker is coming off his strongest performance of the season by far with 10 receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has gotten Walker involved in the offense by looking to the check down throw for support more often and finding a trustworthy target in the 29-year-old tight end.

Delanie Walker is having his most productive season to date, as he has set personal records for total receiving yards (403) and touchdowns (5), and still has 6 games to go. With Chris Johnson and the Titans running game taking off, look for Walker to be able to find open space with defenses discarding his presence to compensate for the rush. Walker can be expected to retain his position as a high end TE2 to TE1 moving forward.


Running Back Rashad Jennings May Keep Starting Job in Oakland

Jennings may keep the starting role once McFadden returns

Jennings may keep the starting role once McFadden returns

In the last three weeks, Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, and his replacement, Rashad Jennings, has put on a good enough show to be the potential starter for the rest of the season.

Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen hasn’t announced that Jennings will become the starter when McFadden returns, but has declared that Jennings will be a significant factor in the game if he continues to produce like he has been.

Since replacing McFadden, Jennings has rushed for 340 yards, averaging 6 yards per carry and caught 11 passes for 91 yards.

As Rashad Jennings pertains to Fantasy numbers, in the month of November he has put up 55.1 points, but his productivity will diminish once McFadden returns. Jennings will simply not get over 15 carries a game. Fantasy owners should bench him or throw him in the flex once McFadden returns just to see how he fairs with split carries.