Tag Archives: projections

NFL Preseason Week 4 Projections and Rankings Update, Team Notes

Buffalo Bills

Rookie WR Sammy Watkins reinjured his ribs and left the Bills Week 4 preseason game. He had trouble with his ribs before, so this is certainly concerning. As for the state of the whole Bills offense after a 23-0 drubbing by the Detroit Lions, it looks like I’m whoring myself out to cheer for another team again this season. Please leave suggestions in the comments.

In all seriousness about my allegiance to the Bills, props to P Brian Moorman for his open letter to the Buffalo fan base after his release.

Hey, the Bills could bring in free agent QB Kyle Orton. I’ll drink to that!

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton said he has no doubt he will play in the Panthers Week 1 game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite his fractured ribs. Play and play like Cam Newton are two different things. Here is hoping he doesn’t get a painful welcome to the season greeting from Lavonte David or Mark Barron.

Someone set me straight, I actually think Jonathan Stewart is worthy of a last round pick on hopes (prayers?) he can stay healthy to start the season and impress. Then trade him.

Chicago Bears

WR Santonio Holmes caught a TD and returned one punt in the Bears final preseason game, as he continues to make his case to latch on as the team’s third WR with Marquess Wilson sidelined indefinitely. I still don’t think he makes the “On The Radar” section of our rankings, but damn, who can forget that Super Bowl catch?

Cincinnati Bengals

Jeremy Hill got a heavy workload and looked good doing so in the Bengals last preseason game. The next day, BenJarvus Green-Ellis was released.

Cleveland Browns

Josh Gordon‘s one-year suspension was upheld on appeal. He can’t play in the CFL either, if you were concerned about that. He should have lots of time on his hands now, which can only lead to good things…

Denver Broncos

WR Wes Welker is optimistic but overall uncertain to play for Week 1 of the regular season.

Green Bay Packers

WR Jarrett Boykin received some praise from the head coach. About time? I haven’t heard anything positive all offseason and it would seem to me Boykin’s fantasy value was moving down. He stepped in admirably last year, and this would be one of the teams where their WR3 has value. Keep in mind, the Packers’ TE position is a mess. Davante Adams is still the better longer-term play over Boykin.

Miami Dolphins

I eluded to this in our recent RB Tiers + Strategy article, and I’m making a change, giving Knowshon Moreno a bigger piece of the RB pie in Miami ahead of Lamar Miller.

New England Patriots

WR Aaron Dobson saw his first game action of the preseason the other night, returning from a foot injury. The already muddled receiving corps on the Pats gets even murkier. Pick your poison between Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Brandon LaFell. Or better yet, leave them be.

The Pats acquired TE Tim Wright from the Bucs along with a draft pick for Logan Mankins. Wright performed well last year on the receiver depleted Bucs as a rookie, but was lost amongst a myriad of TE options in Bucs training camp. Now he’s with the Pats, fantasy owners are getting excited. I wouldn’t get too excited, except as a potential short term option IF Rob Gronkowski can’t play Week 1. Which, is still very much a possibility, of course. We may not know for certain until about an hour before kickoff, Sunday September 7th.

Oakland Raiders

Matt Schaub has a banged up elbow. Derek Carr looked great in preseason action. QB controversy? Hey, as long as they don’t throw the kid to the wolves like the Houston Texans did with his older brother, right?

Hey look, a Denarius Moore sighting. I received a dynasty league trade offer from the Moore owner in my league the next morning.

Philadelphia Eagles

RB Chris Polk continues to sit out game action, missing the Eagles final preseason game. He would be in the handcuff discussion if anything happened to LeSean McCoy, but only if Polk himself can get healthy.

Seattle Seahawks

RB Christine Michael has a hamstring injury, missed the Seahawks final preseason game and is behind Robert Turbin on the depth chart. If looking to draft a lottery ticket in your draft at RB, then consider looking elsewhere.

St. Louis Rams

RB Benny Cunningham is getting on the fantasy radar, having outplayed Zac Stacy and rookie Tre Mason in preseason. I wouldn’t worry too much about Cunningham displacing Stacy at this point, but it is always good to know the right replacement players if the starter goes down.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rookie RB Charles Sims is expected to be placed on the NFL’s injured reserve – designated to return list, meaning he could be brought back to the active roster after about the midpoint of the season. If Doug Martin is rolling we shouldn’t be too worried about a returning Sims for redraft, but pretty clear the Bucs love the kid, so be aware.

Kickers

Could this position get more annoying for fantasy football? Matt Prater gets himself suspended for four games and now with roster cuts in full swing, some name kickers are getting the axe. Be wary of Alex Henery – Eagles, Connor Barth – Bucs, and, and … someone else I’m forgetting … have I mentioned I hate kickers?

Points are points, so you’ve got to keep tabs on them, even though we’d rather spend our time elsewhere, like playing Fantasy Throwdown, perhaps? (You can choose to remove kickers from your Throwdown challenges, by the way.)

Post-NFL Preseason Week 1 Projections and Rankings Update, Team Notes

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel; Photos: Icon Sportswire

Rankings and projections updated, including a note on the Cleveland quarterback competition between Brian Hoyer (left) and this other guy (right). Photo: Icon Sportswire

NFL.com, NFL Network and everything officially associated with the shield can’t mention Johnny Manziel‘s name enough right now. I hate when they do that, when they pick a player and focus 200% attention on said hyped up player of the moment, virtually ignoring the rest of what is going on.

Week 1 of preseason games are in the books, and our fantasy football rankings and projections are due for an update. We’ll mention the Cleveland Browns starting QB competition, plus everything else that impacts our forecasts to get your ready for your upcoming fantasy drafts.

If you are looking for a custom cheatsheet and draft tracking tool, look no further than the tool that gave this website its name, Draft Buddy. For current Draft Buddy users, I will update a copy of Projection Pal with our projections to import into Buddy.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Rookie RB Devonta Freeman is getting plenty of reps with the first-team while Steven Jackson sits with a hamstring injury. If Freeman is a quick study on his pass protection, he’ll contribute even with a healthy SJax to try to keep the veteran healthy for the season.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Early reports indicate RB Bernard Pierce is doing well in Gary Kubiak’s zone blocking running scheme. Could he unseat Ray Rice if he performs well in a two-game audition while Rice is out with suspension? I’m going to leave that question hanging for now as food for thought.

Buffalo Bills

  • RB Bryce Brown received rave reviews from the head coach after a nice preseason game performance. He was just picked in an ongoing draft of mine in the 13th round, which seemed early since regardless of the reviews, Brown continues to be third in the pecking order behind C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. I drafted Spiller so I took notice. Then I realized I inadvertently already took two handcuffs of the guy who drafted Brown, so maybe the pick was intentionally early.
  • Is it WR Robert Woods or Mike Williams to play second fiddle to Sammy Watkins? Well, we thought it was Woods in a landslide back in June but now it appears a lot closer contest. Woods moves down our rankings and my suggestion is leave both for someone else to draft.

Carolina Panthers

  • QB Cam Newton missed the Panthers preseason opener to prevent risking damage to his surgically repaired ankle. His ankle injury doesn’t seem to be factoring into his current ADP. We obviously have Newton ranked considerably lower than that as a clear avoid pick in fantasy drafts.
  • RB Jonathan Stewart is missing preseason and doesn’t appear close to returning to game action. It seems no matter where we rank this guy it is too high. Now he’s in our “not ranked – on the radar” section. Just, avoid.

Chicago Bears

  • TE Martellus Bennett is away from the team currently after being indefinitely suspended and fined by the Bears. He body slammed rookie CB Kyle Fuller. Anger issues Martellus? I’m not dismissing the seriousness of the crime, but the length of suspension is catching my attention. It happened August 4th. Today is the 10th. Small red flag here. The only reason Bennett is (was) inside our Top 12 TE is because of the lack of receiving options on the Bears (especially with third WR Marquess Wilson out for a while), but he sure doesn’t excite me adding him to my fantasy team. Moving him down.

Cleveland Browns

  • I said at the top I would mention the QB battle between Brian Hoyer and that other guy. Truth be told, there isn’t much to tell that changes anything. Both performed decently in the preseason opener with no clear winner or loser. Hoyer is still the favorite to start the season on our board, but as I mentioned on ESPN 1450 in State College, PA radio last week (plug, plug), if and when Manziel starts, his value shoots up inside – perhaps well inside – the Top 20 at QB based on his ability to accumulate fantasy points with his legs. It would be a rollercoaster ride each week, but he could be worth a speculative add now as a third QB, even if just for his trade value in-season.

Dallas Cowboys

  • I mentioned Cole Beasley as a late round flier option in our last update. Dave tells me the Cowboys are committed to giving Gavin Escobar more time in 11 formations which will limit playing time for Beasley.

Denver Broncos

  • RB Montee Ball had his appendectomy surgery and no one seems too concerned he is going to miss starting Week 1 of the season. It isn’t the worst thing in the world for a running back to miss preseason games. We didn’t change his projections or ranking when this news first broke.
  • RB C.J. Anderson suffered a concussion in the Broncos preseason opener, helping Ronnie Hillman secure his grip as the primary backup. Hillman’s biggest problem is securing his grip on the football, and we’ll need to see more game action to believe he can do it.

Green Bay Packers

  • Packers running backs coach Sam Gash compared Eddie Lacy to Jamal Lewis and Curtis Martin, two former fantasy stud backs that Gash blocked for in his career. Lacy doesn’t have Gash blocking for him, but the more I read about Lacy and consider his situation and performance as a rookie, the closer I have him to Tier 1 than Tier 2 at RB. In fact, I’m making that change. I would take Lacy 5th overall in non-PPR and PPR leagues.
  • Rookie WR Jared Abbrederis tore his ACL and is out for the season. While he was down the depth chart, it is worth noting that fellow rookie Davante Adams has less competition for the fourth WR spot, from which one injury above him can pave the way to fantasy relevance on this team. See: Boykin, Jarrett (2013).

Houston Texans

  • Case Keenum has a small edge over Tom Savage for the backup QB job. Uh… this was a small news item prior to their preseason opener in which they lost 32-0 to the Arizona Cardinals. We don’t want to read too much into preseason, and neither Arian Foster or Andre Johnson played, but all three quarterbacks looked bad. I’m downgrading Foster and AJ in the rankings. They are already dinged and the early signs for this offense are not good.

Indianapolis Colts

  • This is more a from the gut prediction than anything, but I feel like a healthy Hakeem Nicks becomes the Colts top receiver. He’s a value buy where he’s going in drafts, while T.Y. Hilton is a sell at his current price, IMHO.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • RB Toby Gerhart is missing preseason action with a hip injury. While, “it isn’t the worst thing in the world for a running back to miss preseason games”, it isn’t ideal for a player on a new team in his first starting gig. Regardless, anyone working off of our rankings before this news isn’t drafting Gerhart anyway.
  • WR Marqise Lee received some harsh criticism from head coach Gus Bradley following their preseason opener. Serious red flag or light a fire under the kid? I think more the latter, or it wouldn’t be done is such a public manner.

Kansas City Chiefs

  • It was a coming out party for Travis Kelce in the Chiefs first preseason game. Talent wasn’t in question, but whether he can he stay healthy, is. Right now he is, so I moved him into the TE rankings as an upside backup selection.

Miami Dolphins

  • RB Knowshon Moreno is still out recovering from knee surgery. To be honest, we probably have him a little too low in the rankings now, but it would be nice to see him back in action before giving the green light to draft this guy.

New England Patriots

  • It is a new week, and a new Patriots receiver is getting some positive press. This time it is free agent acquisition Brandon LaFell. LaFell is a big target for Tom Brady, he’s got that going for him. I’ll move him into our On the Radar section, but it would need to be a 32-team league before I envision drafting LaFell until such time we see and hear more good news out of Pats camp.

New Orleans Saints

  • Rookie WR Brandin Cooks is looking good per early reports. If he falls to reasonable levels, he is worth the risk-reward, even in re-draft leagues. He is going pretty high right now on average, but that ADP is sure to vary quite a bit from league to league. If the decision comes down to Cooks vs. a sure but average starter in a blah passing offense, then put some trust in Saints head coach Sean Payton.
  • At the point where Cooks is getting drafted, you want to put more emphasis on upside picks at the position. To that end, I shuffled a bunch of picks in Tier 8, moving some young upside choices ahead of guys who made the most of their situation last year – Jarrett Boykin, Marvin Jones, Riley Cooper – who I feel will have a tough time repeating their production this year.

New York Jets

  • RB Chris Johnson looked sluggish in the Jets first preseason game. Surprised? Don’t be. If you are looking for a RB who runs with conviction then you’re looking at the wrong guy. No one is expecting upside for a Top 10 finish at this point. He’s ranked where he’s ranked based on projected volume of carries. I’ve seen him drafted fairly high but I moved him to the bottom of Tier 4. By the way, he was the only healthy back on the Jets the other night. Chris Ivory left with a rib injury. Bilal Powell was already out with a pulled hamstring.

Oakland Raiders

  • Trusted fantasy football adviser, Dave Stringer, has told me for a little while we should swap Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew in the rankings. I’ve resisted so far, but MJD started the first preseason game and if both start the season healthy, MJD is more likely to stay that way and earn consistent carries. I guess I’m still enamored with McFadden’s speed and big play ability, but I made the switch.
  • TE David Ausberry requires knee surgery. We had him the projected starter, but not ranked, just on the radar. Looks like we’ll flip-flop that back to Mychal Rivera, and Nick Kasa is another name floating around.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • WR Riley Cooper missed the Eagles preseason opener with a foot injury but is expected back soon. We already have Cooper ranked low relative to his ADP. Good offense and opportunity but marginal talent.

San Diego Chargers

  • Although he has the talent, and he’s in a contract year, Ryan Mathews worries me given his injury history even though he stayed healthy last season. The Chargers ratcheted up his carries late last season with good success, but should know that can’t be the norm for him. I adjusted his projections down slightly (no rankings change), and moved Danny Woodhead up.
  • UDFA RB Branden Oliver looked impressive in the Chargers preseason opener. Who? Sorry, patting myself on the back a bit as I drafted Oliver as a college player in one league last season which earned a big round of “Who?”‘s at the time. Nothing to see here yet except in deep, deep dynasty leagues.

San Francisco 49ers

  • The way San Francisco is losing running backs, and with him entering his third year as a starter, I have a little more confidence in Colin Kaepernick and moved him up the rankings.
  • Michael Crabtree is missing time with a hamstring injury. Something to note when obnoxious fellow owner yells that across the room after you draft Crabtree. Tell him to shut his pie hole, the injury doesn’t appear serious.

Fantasy Football Player Projections Released, Cheatsheet Rankings Updated, Plus Team Notes

Green Bay Packers Randall Cobb runs for a 1st-quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Sunday, September 15, 2013; Photographer: Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

One of our more controversial rankings is Randall Cobb considerably lower than most fantasy football experts. We really like Randall Cobb the player, but worry he isn’t durable enough to hold up. Photo: Icon Sportswire

I’m pleased to announce this morning we released our first full set of player projections, plus updated cheatsheet rankings from our initial cheatsheets published two weeks ago. We were releasing projections on a team-by-team basis with our team reports that included the rankings, projections and player capsules / fantasy outlooks (we tend to switch back and forth what to call them).

Over the last week we finished projecting all teams, and also reviewed every team in detail for the projections and rankings, and made a lot of changes to get us up to date as of today. I’m going to go back to the 10 team reports already released and update the projections in each so they all match up . . . although don’t expect that with every projection update!

Draft Buddy

Draft Buddy now available!
Purchase for $12.95

In a related note, and something you may not realize, Draft Buddy is now available to purchase. Check the features of our custom ranking and draft tracking tool. It is $12.95 (increases to $16.95 on August 1) including all updates to the start of the season. It includes player projections from FF Today as in prior years. I will however make a copy of Projection Pal available with our projections so you can easily add them to Draft Buddy.

The following are notes I made for every team updating the projections and rankings which I hope you will find useful and insightful to see who moved, plus how and why we have certain players ranked where they are. If you have any questions, then post a comment below or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks, and enjoy!

Arizona Cardinals

  • Who is the backup RB to own in the desert? We like the young guy Stepfan Taylor and have him ranked amongst other handcuffs, mostly due to the fact we’ve seen enough of Jonathan Dwyer. Rarely see Taylor’s name mentioned in fantasy circles.
  • Larry Fitzgerald seems low relative to the names around him in the rankings. Looks like he deserves an uptick into Tier 3 or top of Tier 4.
  • WR John Brown generating some early buzz. Need a little more to add him to our Not Ranked – On Fantasy Radar section of the cheatsheets.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Love Julio Jones, but given he is recovering from a significant injury, it is risky having him in Tier 1 relative to the other four, and Brandon Marshall behind him. Swapping Jones and Marshall.
  • After the Top 20 or so TE, buddy Dave Stringer says we should rank the TE based on upside. Per Dave, “Is anybody really taking Levine Toilolo over Eric Ebron or Jared Cook?” I think probably some are. It is pick your poison down in this section of the TE rankings.

Baltimore Ravens

  • I’ve read some thoughts that if Ray Rice is suspended and doesn’t start the season, then Bernard Pierce could keep the job even after Rice returns if he’s successful. Its plausible. We could maybe more Pierce up but trying to be conservative on both of them. Recent speculation is Rice could get suspended 4-6 or more games. Unlikely to move him down significantly until we learn something more concrete.

Buffalo Bills

  • Our projections for Mike Williams seem high to me, and Robert Woods maybe a little low. The E.J. Manuel projections look reasonable, but tough forecasting how to split up the receptions. Moved Williams’ projections down.
  • If the Bills season doesn’t go as they hope it does, then we should see more Bryce Brown, less Fred Jackson in the second half.

Carolina Panthers

  • Cam Newton is much more talented than the 17th ranked QB, but there are multiple red flags and rankings like ours are essentially a message to not draft him. No, he didn’t have great receivers in the past either, but I get concerned using a QB who needs to rely so much on rushing yards and scores to earn fantasy points.
  • Even if this is the year for Jonathan Stewart, finally, I’m fine letting someone else gamble on that windfall. That said, I pushed the projections between him and DeAngelo Williams a lot closer to an even split.

Chicago Bears

  • One of the easiest skill position depth charts to figure out. Small buzz about Marquess Wilson being relied on, as expected, to be the third wide receiver.
  • Feel a lot better about Brandon Marshall’s targets than Alshon Jeffery from Jay Cutler. Jeffery performed better with Josh McCown under center last season. Moving Brandon Marshall up to Tier 1, expanding Tier 2 and moving Jeffery down a bit.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • No one is in love with Andy Dalton, ourselves included, but he projects out to a value again this year where he is getting drafted. We have him ranked as a fringe starter.
  • We have Giovani Bernard ranked 8th, but last year’s RB8 meant 1,500 yards and 10 TD. Dave questions whether he can get there. Moving him down in the rankings, closer to bottom of Tier 2.
  • We don’t have Jeremy Hill or BenJarvus Green-Ellis in our rankings. Hill should at least be on the radar. Some speculation LawFirm will get released, but possibly not if the team truly wants to decrease pass attempts and run the ball more.

Cleveland Browns

  • News reports indicate this is Brian Hoyer‘s show while Johnny Manziel sits, watches and learns. The players love Hoyer and performed for him last year before he was injured.
  • Ben Tate says he isn’t worried about rookie Terrance West, but he probably should be a little. Browns want to run a lot. Tate might not be durable enough.

Dallas Cowboys

  • Not much to alter for the Cowboys. If I was a Dez Bryant owner, I’d feel less concerned about Tony Romo‘s back if Kyle Orton is the backup. Latest is Orton is still considering retirement.

Denver Broncos

  • I still don’t entirely trust Montee Ball as the bell cow, but what choice do we have looking at the depth chart? Bumping Arian Foster and Ball from Tier 3 to 2, based on projected touches.
  • Not an Emmanuel Sanders fan but have to respect the Peyton Manning led offense, and think we have him ranked appropriately as a result.
  • Dave thinks Wes Welker is too high. I like him ranked where we have him, and higher than his projections dictate, as he represents a very safe choice. As long as he – and Peyton – stay healthy the receptions and touchdowns will come.

Detroit Lions

  • Haven’t reviewed a ton of fantasy rankings, but seems like many pundits are too bullish on Joique Bell, sometimes having Bell ahead of Reggie Bush. We don’t agree, and don’t think it is that close. Bush is more talented.

Green Bay Packers

  • Really like Randall Cobb the player, but just don’t think he’s durable enough to hold up. We have him ranked lower than numerous options typically drafted later than Cobb.
  • We were watching and waiting to add TE Colt Lyerla to NR – On The Radar. Now a new name has popped up, Richard Rodgers. Packers traditionally use the TE, but along with these two are Brandon Bostick and Andrew Quarless. I don’t think Jermichael Finley is coming back, but there are still too many unknowns to sift through here to be able to figure this out. Pass.

Houston Texans

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick named the starting quarterback but expect to see either Case Keenum or rookie Tom Savage at some point this season.
  • As mentioned earlier, Arian Foster due an uptick based on a lot of projected usage, if he’s not worn out. Poor passing game also a potential concern for Foster.

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Fantasy experts are getting really excited about Toby Gerhart based on projected carries and his early ADP. The ADP is going to rise dramatically. Memories of Kevan Barlow preseason fantasy hype years ago. Hey, maybe he will pan out, but Dave and I won’t have him on our teams where he’ll be going come draft time.
  • Marcedes Lewis missed most of the first half of last season, and produced pretty well from Week 13 to the end. A lot of similarly ranked TE but we need to add him in the mix.

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Alex Smith set career highs across the board last year. No surprise with head coach Andy Reid. He could do it again this year.

Miami Dolphins

  • No good press for Knowshon Moreno through organized team activities. We were patient keeping him ahead of Lamar Miller, but latest now is he requires knee surgery and will miss 4-6 weeks. Swapping projections and rankings for these two.
  • Mike Wallace scored 4 TD in final six weeks last season. Going to move him up. Could be a nice bounce back candidate.

Minnesota Vikings

  • Another unsettled QB situation that looks to come down to Matt Cassel vs. rookie Teddy Bridgewater. If Bridgewater is remotely ready the Vikings should go with him, and we have him ranked amongst the starters.
  • Dave and I disagree somewhat on the Cordarrelle Patterson ranking. Dave wants to be conservative and move him down. I can’t help but compare what Vikings OC Norv Turner did for Josh Gordon last year. Risk-reward seems appropriate in the mid-teens.
  • Turner also has a good record with tight ends, but Kyle Rudolph is so dependent on touchdowns and there are plenty of other upside TE options. I wouldn’t go out of my way to acquire Rudolph.

New England Patriots

  • Probably more uncertainty ranking the Patriots than most teams. I’ve seen Rob Gronkowski ranked as if he is perfectly healthy, and also really, really low. We have him ranked 4th on the assumption he plays 12-14 games. It still seems high given the risk. I wouldn’t want to pay a late-3rd round pick for him right now, but I can still justify the 4th ranking based on his projected PPG when he does return.
  • Julian Edelman is another player who is tough to predict. On one hand, he still appears to be Tom Brady‘s most reliable receiver and should be ranked similar to how he performed last year. On the other hand, as Dave says, “yeah, but he’s Julian Edelman.”

New Orleans Saints

  • We are buying into Tony’s observation that Pierre Thomas is underrated based on the volume of work he could receive in the passing game. Moving him up into Tier 4.
  • Note however that recent reports indicate Drew Brees expects rookie Brandin Cooks to pick up some slack to compensate for the departure of Darren Sproles. For now Cooks is Not Ranked – On The Radar.

New York Giants

  • New York Giants GM claims Rashad Jennings is a workhorse running back. Disagree. He’s had long enough to show that potential and I’m not seeing it. In other news, David Wilson seems to be progressing well in his rehab as he expects to be cleared for contact soon. If it looks like a committee and smells like a committee. . .
  • Some difference in opinion amongst fantasy players between Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr. as to which one will see more targets. There are good arguments for each side. We initially had Beckham ranked higher than Randle, but going to switch that and lean to the veteran, although they remain close to one another and I’m not overly excited to draft either one.

New York Jets

  • Geno Smith seems to have the inside track to be the starting quarterback, although Michael Vick is still a decent speculative add as a third QB in large leagues with deep rosters.
  • Eric Decker is going to find out pretty quickly it isn’t nearly as easy catching passes from Smith or Vick compared to Peyton Manning. He should see a lot of targets though. If your league mates let him drop ridiculously low, you could do worse.

Oakland Raiders

  • Per the Oakland media, rookie QB Derek Carr has pushed past Matt McGloin for the backup spot and may challenge Matt Schaub for the starter’s spot at some point. The smart call would be to make him be patient and learn, since the Raiders are not a playoff bound team. Chances of Raiders making smart call however are 50/50. Carr moves into our Not Ranked – On the Radar section.
  • Denarius Moore seems to be falling out of favor in Oakland. At this time Rod Streater should start opposite James Jones, and Andre Holmes is next man up. Removing Moore from the rankings.
  • Although Mychal Rivera did okay at tight end last season for fantasy owners as a midseason pickup, David Ausberry is the projected starter this season.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • As more and more positive reports surface on rookie WR Jordan Matthews, feeling more bearish on Riley Cooper. Projections and rankings changes – Matthews up, Cooper down.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Not much to change for the Steelers from our initial rankings. Ben Roethlisberger is ranked and projected a little lower than consensus because of uncertainty in his receivers after Antonio Brown. Departed Jerricho Cotchery caught 10 touchdowns last season.

San Diego Chargers

  • Fantasy players are ready to anoint Ladarius Green ahead of Antonio Gates. I’m sure Gates will have something to say about that, but we do have Green projected and ranked higher based on upside.

San Francisco 49ers

  • We have Colin Kaepernick ranked 15th but his numbers project out to about 10th amongst quarterbacks. He is inconsistent week to week, but may be due a move up the rankings down the line.
  • Some uncertainty who, if any, will be the primary backup to Frank Gore between Kendall Hunter, Marcus Lattimore and rookie Carlos Hyde. Hunter is not really worth drafting even though we have him ranked in the late 50s due to the possibility of him being the guy. Lattimore and Hyde are somewhat higher based on upside, but basically next to each other given no one knows right now who has the upper hand.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Some buzz about Christine Michael having a more decent role in the running game this season. It is still Marshawn Lynch‘s show, but the touches are piling up for him. Michael is ranked near the top of a tier of key RB handcuffs.

St. Louis Rams

  • This whole team is worth monitoring closely through training camp. First, rookie Tre Mason may challenge Zac Stacy for carries. We have Stacy more conservatively ranked than many fantasy sites. Second, there is no clear indication which receivers, if any, are worth drafting. Finally, Sam Bradford is returning from injury that caused him to miss half of last season.
  • FYI, Dave is a Rams homer and will be on top of this situation as much as anyone.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • We initially had Doug Martin ranked 5th in Tier 1 at RB, expecting a big bounce back season as the bell cow behind a really good offensive line. Based on numerous reports about limiting Martin’s workload (not that we entirely buy into them) we will move him out of Tier 1.
  • There are only two receivers projected on this team, Vincent Jackson and rookie Mike Evans. This could be a very similar situation as QB Josh McCown dealt with last year in Chicago, but lets keep in mind head coach Marc Trestman had a lot to do with that success.

Tennessee Titans

  • Kendall Wright moves up a tier in the rankings after a solid sophomore season that only saw him score 2 touchdowns. We have similar catches and receiving yards projected, plus a still modest 5 TD. There continues to be room for some upside here.
  • We have nearly a 60-40 split in the projected rushing carries between rookie Bishop Sankey and veteran Shonn Greene. It could be adjusted even more in Sankey’s favor, but still need to be cautious getting too optimistic about a rookie running back.

Washington Redskins

  • There are a lot of mouths to feed in Washington between Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Jordan Reed and the running game, so it may be difficult to keep everyone happy. I am moving Reed up however based on his stellar rookie season, even though it was cut short. He is a risky pick however based on his concussion history.
  • We still view Garcon as the lead dog at WR ahead of newly acquired Jackson thanks to the rapport Garcon has developed with Robert Griffin III.