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Prepare.

The 2014 season is upon us.  There will be content.  Prepare.

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2013 D/ST Rankings

ESPN ADP  -  Yahoo ADP

  1. Seattle
  2. Cincinnati
  3. Denver
  4. Chicago
  5. Houston
  6. San Francisco
  7. New England
  8. Pittsburgh
  9. Baltimore
  10. Saint Louis
  11. Arizona
  12. Green Bay
  13. Tampa Bay
  14. Cleveland
  15. New York (G)
  16. Minnesota
  17. New York (J)
  18. Miami
  19. Dallas
  20. San Diego
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2013 Tight End Rankings

ESPN ADP  -  Yahoo ADP

1.   Jimmy Graham

2.   Vernon Davis

3.   Tony Gonzalez
4.   Jason Witten
5.   Rob Gronkowski

6.   Jermichael Finley
7.   Kyle Rudolph
8.   Jared Cook

9.   Greg Olsen
10.  Antonio Gates
11.  Brandon Meyers
12.  Zach Miller
13.  Fred Davis
14.  Owen Daniels
15.  Jordan Cameron
16.  Martellus Bennet
17.  Tyler Eifert
18.  Coby Fleener
19.  Julius Thomas
20.  Heath Miller
21.  Dwayne Allen
22.  Rob Housler
23.  Dustin Keller
24.  Jermaine Gresham
25.  Zach Sudfeld

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2013 RB Rankings

ESPN ADP  -  Yahoo ADP

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. Arian Foster
  3. Doug Martin
  4. LeSean McCoy
  5. CJ Spiller
  6. Jamaal Charles
  7. Ray Rice
  8. Marshawn Lynch
  9. Trent Richardson
  10. Matt Forte
  11. Alfred Morris
  12. David Wilson
  13. Chris Johnson
  14. Darren McFadden
  15. Frank Gore
  16. Steven Jackson
  17. Stevan Ridley
  18. Maurice Jones-Drew
  19. Lamar Miller
  20. Le’Veon Bell
  21. DeMarco Murray
  22. Reggie Bush
  23. Darren Sproles
  24. Montee Ball
  25. Eddie Lacy
  26. Ahmad Bradshaw
  27. Chris Ivory
  28. Daryl Richardson
  29. Ryan Mathews
  30. Giovani Bernard
  31. DeAngelo Williams
  32. Mark Ingram
  33. Rashard Mendenhall
  34. Shane Vereen
  35. Benjarvus Green-Ellis
  36. Bilal Powell
  37. Andre Brown
  38. Ben Tate
  39. Jonathan Stewart
  40. Bernard Pierce
  41. Vick Ballard
  42. Fred Jackson
  43. Danny Woodhead
  44. Ronnie Hillman
  45. Michael Bush
  46. Toby Gerhart
  47. Isaac Redman
  48. Larod Stephens-Howling
  49. Mikel LeShoure
  50. Bryce Brown
  51. Jaquizz Rogers
  52. Robert Turbin
  53. Johnathan Franklin
  54. Zac Stacy
  55. Daniel Thomas
  56. LaMichael James
  57. Roy Helu
  58. Knowshon Moreno
  59. Shonn Greene
  60. Peyton Hillis
  61. Kendall Hunter
  62. Knile Davis
  63. Joique Bell
  64. Marcell Reese
  65. Dujuan Harris
  66. Ryan Williams
  67. Denard Robinson
  68. Mike Tolbert
  69. Stefan Taylor
  70. Isaiah Pead
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2013 Wide Receiver Rankings

ESPN ADP  -  Yahoo ADP

  1. Calvin Johnson
  2. Dez Bryant
  3. AJ Green
  4. Julio Jones
  5. Demaryius Thomas
  6. Brandon Marshall
  7. Larry Fitzgerald
  8. Andre Johnson
  9. Roddy White
  10. Randall Cobb
  11. Victor Cruz
  12. Vincent Jackson
  13. Marques Colston
  14. Dwayne Bowe
  15. Hakeem Nicks
  16. Danny Amendola
  17. Pierre Garcon
  18. Antonio Brown
  19. Torrey Smith
  20. Jordy Nelson
  21. Eric Decker
  22. Reggie Wayne
  23. Mike Wallace
  24. Steve Smith
  25. Wes Welker
  26. Josh Gordon
  27. T.Y. Hilton
  28. James Jones
  29. DeSaun Jackson
  30. Stevie Johnson
  31. Tavon Austin
  32. Denarius Moore
  33. Miles Austin
  34. Anquan Boldin
  35. Greg Jennings
  36. Vincent Brown
  37. Mike Williams
  38. Chris Givens
  39. Lance Moore
  40. Cecil Shorts
  41. DeAndre Hopkins
  42. Kenny Britt
  43. Vincent Brown
  44. Golden Tate
  45. Brian Hartline
  46. Michael Floyd
  47. Sidney Rice
  48. Emmanuel Sanders
  49. Kendall Wright
  50. Denarius Moore
  51. Kenbrell Thomkins
  52. Alshon Jeffrey
  53. Justin Blackmon
  54. Brandon LaFell
  55. Greg Little
  56. Rod Streater
  57. Cordarelle Patterson
  58. Mohamed Sanu
  59. Jon Baldwin
  60. Stephen Hill
  61. Jeremy Kerley
  62. Rueben Randle
  63. Ryan Broyles
  64. Malcolm Floyd
  65. Keenan Allen
  66. Aaron Dobson
  67. Jarius Wright
  68. Santana Moss
  69. Robert Woods
  70. Darrius Heyward-Bey
  71. Nate Burleson
  72. Jacoby Ford
  73. Davone Bess
  74. Jacoby Jones
  75. Andre Roberts
  76. Ace Sanders
  77. Markus Wheaton
  78. Nate Washington
  79. Kenny Stills
  80. Dexter McCluster
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2013 QB Rankings

ESPN ADP  -  Yahoo ADP

1.   Aaron Rodgers
2.   Peyton Manning
3.   Drew Brees

4.   Matt Ryan
5.   Cam Newton
6.   Tom Brady

7.   Colin Kaepernick
8.   Matthew Stafford
9.   Andrew Luck

10.  Robert Griffin III
11.  Russell Wilson
12.  Tony Romo

13.  Michael Vick
14.  Carson Palmer
15.  Jay Cutler
16.  Sam Bradford

17.  EJ Manuel
18.  Eli Manning
19.  Joe Flacco
20.  Philip Rivers
21.  Ben Roethlisberger

22.  Josh Freeman
23.  Andy Dalton
24.  Matt Schaub

25.  Brandon Weeden
26.  Ryan Tannehill

27.  Jake Locker
28.  Alex Smith
29.  Christian Ponder

30.  Matt Flynn
31.  Mark Sanchez
32.  Blaine Gabbert

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Finally.

Happy football day!

The Hall of Fame game is currently on NBC and for the next 3 or 4 hours I’ll be doing mock drafts and beginning to hash out my draft plan for this season while watching bubble players on Dallas and Miami try to stand out and earn a job.

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Thursday night football!

For those of you with the NFL Network, have fun watching the game. This is a game I wish I could actually watch, although I may be biased with purple blood. 

Adrian Peterson looked like his knee was never destroyed and rebuilt. He may well be the Terminator, but unlike Arnold, he’s already back. Tampa is pretty stingy against the run but I never discount AP and I believe he is always a good play.
Christian Ponder looked like a lost little boy last week, throwing 3 picks and a paltry 58!!!! yards. :( He is not a good play (I’d be a little surprised if he’s on many teams other than die-hard fans or for emergency situations) even though Tampa is not great against the pass.
That said, Ponder loves Percy! Play Percy Harvin, you never know what that man will do once the ball is in his hands. Another fairly safe play on the Vikings O is Kyle Rudolph. Rudolph is a safety blanket for Big Baby Ponder and babies won’t go for without their blanky.
On the Tampa side, Doug Martin is a fairly safe but nowhere near homerun play. I also like Vincent Jackson. He is extremely talented but has demons on and off the field. V-Jax is a solid option for Josh Freeman, who I wouldn’t dream of starting tonight, and appears, to me, to be the safest play on the Bucs offense.
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What I’ve Learned Through 6.9 Weeks.

Tonight the Lions and Bears take the national stage for a critical NFC North contest. The Lions need this one to keep pace with the rest of the division and the Bears need it to stay on top.  It should be a good game. The match-up I’m most excited to see is how Bears corners, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings do against the best WR in the NFL (despite how well AJ Green has done), Calvin Johnson.  They’ll obviously still be given help from their safeties but Jennings, the former Colt, has suddenly emerged as one of the top DBs in football this season after being benched last year in week 15 vs Seattle then subsequently still being offered a two year extension.  That could be viewed as a backhanded way for an organization to get a discount on a player they like after being eliminated from playoff contention but it’s irrelevant now…

Back to the rest of the league… As usual, this fantasy season has brought with it some new lessons to recognize and try to learn from. Adjusting on the fly is one of the most critical components of a successful season. Some thoughts below.

1.  Coaches can come around.

Mike Shannahan and Bill Belichick have long been loathed by fantasy football players for the way they handle their running backs since the careers of Terrell Davis and Corey Dillon ended. This season, however, a few lucky owners are starting to come around. Alfred Morris and Stevan Ridley have been the clear-cut main ball carriers for these previously frustrating coaches to have in charge of your fantasy runner thus causing owners to… trust them???

Ridley (ADP: 52) is still dealing with a decent amount of competition but he’s clearly the main guy at least for the time being despite Shane Vereen technically starting vs the Jets.  Brandon Bolden has also looked good but most of his work comes in blowout situations. Danny Woodhead is still in the mix as their third down ‘Sproles’ but he’s not getting a lot of a carries. From a pure talent perspective, many still feel Shane Vereen is the best on this team but with the way Ridley is producing it’s going to be tough to take him off the field.  If you have the bench space and are desperate for a runner Vereen could be worth a shot but he’s not someone you can trust until there’s a few injures in that backfield.

Morris (ADP: 101) has been the beneficiary of some injuries to Roy Helu, Tim Hightower, and Evan Royster. This has helped his job security but he was still slated to be the starter week 1 and he’s done nothing to have it taken away yet. If you drafted him, well done. If not, hopefully you were able to get him off waivers.

2.  The NFC West might have the 3 best defenses in the NFL.

I’ve loved the Seahawks defense for a while now and knew they’d be good this year but the Cardinals and (to a lesser extent) St. Louis Rams are both playing at a very high level and have impressed thus far .  There’s also the 49ers– who happen to be pretty good.  The division as a whole is leaps and bounds ahead of where they were a year ago.  This is no longer a welcome matchup for your players.  The worst matchup of all of these teams is when one of your players is facing the Seahawks in Seattle.

3.  A secondary can be improved quite quickly.

Just ask fans of the Rams or Vikings.  Both teams added two new starters.  The Rams added rookie corner, Janoris Jenkins as well as veteran, Cortland Finnegan for a pretty solid chunk of cash.  The Vikings added two rookies.  They traded back into the first round to grab free safety, Harrison Smith and he’s added a much-needed physical presence on the back end.  Third round corner, Josh Robinson was the fastest player at the combine and he’s used his speed to make up for any deficiencies in positioning. Both teams have since become a much less appealing matchup for your QBs and WRs, despite the Packers’ solid numbers this week in St. Louis.

4.  Thursday night games are typically pretty crappy.

It’s great that there’s another night of football but the quality of these games is typically sub-par.  It’s not that this is a revolutionary idea but with the greater number of Thursday night games this season it has certainly become more accentuated.  If you have two similar options and you can’t decide who to start and one has a Thursday night game, it’s probably a good idea to give the nod to the other guy.  Players obviously aren’t as physically prepared as they would be had they been given the extra three days to rest but the game plans are often condensed as well.  This leads to much more conservative play calling.  Normally that’d give a little bump to runners but then you remember they’re not as fresh as they should be.  I’ll be curious to see how much work the Vikings give Adrian Peterson this Thursday night vs the Bucs after getting 22 carries vs Arizona in week 7.

The flip side of this is that your players coming off the Thursday night games are basically coming off a mini bye week.  This can be used as a tie-breaker in their favor because of the extra time to rest and prepare.

5.  Modern medicine requires modern thinking.

This preseason, I made it clear that I felt the runners coming off of severe knee injuries weren’t worth the risk that accompanied them.  So far this year, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson have been well worth it. The main reason for this is modern medicine.  Surgeries are constantly becoming less invasive, physical therapy is always improving/evolving, and I’m sure there are many more reasons I could mention but I’d have an even lesser grasp of what I’m talking about than with the first two I mentioned…

Jamaal Charles is less of a surprise since he had almost a full year to recover but Adrian Peterson clearly isn’t human because he had roughly nine months of recovery time after tearing his ACL and MCL before scoring two TDs vs the Jags in week 1 of this season. Both are now running as if nothing ever happened and their coaches obviously aren’t concerned anymore (Charles is on pace for the most carries of his career). Jamaal’s Olympic-worthy speed is still there.  Adrian’s patented jump-cuts and elite acceleration are still there.  Just ask the Arizona front seven.

Terell Suggs, as of this week, has set a new bar for Achilles injuries. A little over five and a half months and the guy is back on the field.  That is pretty much unheard of.

Obviously these cases, specifically Adrian’s, shouldn’t be viewed as the new standard recovery model but they shouldn’t be dismissed either. It’s important to take the player’s reputation into account. Adrian Peterson has as much heart as anyone to ever play in the NFL– I never doubted that. We’d probably hear a lot more about Terrell Suggs’ ridiculous drive if he wasn’t constantly overshadowed by playing on the same team as Ray Lewis. Both Peterson and Suggs vowed to return much faster than anyone anticipated. Their fans liked hearing it and some believed it.  I didn’t. For me, it was a case of having to see it to believe it because players are always optimistic when it comes to their injuries.

An ACL tear no longer means the same thing that it did even two years ago and apparently the same goes for Achilles tears…. unless it’s an idiot who doesn’t value his talent/opportunity and won’t take his rehab seriously.  That was aimed to you, Kenny Britt.

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Week Six Highlights

Sorry for the hiatus but I am back and better and ready for week 6 of fantasy football!

Game 1- Colts-Jets

Fantasy wise, the only player I really like in this game is Reggie Wayne. Andrew Luck has been impressive but I don’t think he’s a reliable starter every week. Donald Brown has been solid but will be missing this game sadly (the Jets have been pretty horrible against the run). That said, it may be worth taking a flyer on Vick Ballard (starting in Brown’s place) if you are desperate at RB because of injuries or the bye week,
Game 2- Falcons-Raiders
All the skills position players for the Falcons are worth a play in this game. Matt Ryan has been solid. Roddy White and Julio Jones are great and capable of huge fantasy games. Atlanta is using Michael Turner just like they always have and he has delivered (so far) and Tony Gonzalez is having a fantastic year. I don’t see the Raiders as a huge threat to slow the rolling Falcons, especially with a beat up and depleted secondary. I like Darren McFadden (RB Raiders) coming off a bye. He looked like an elite runner against Pittsburgh but has been utterly pedestrian in Oakland’s three losses. Maybe I am biased (I just like the dood), but I think McFadden will show his elite talent in this game.
*Darrius Heyward-Bey is returning this week. I don’t think he’s worth the start but I’d keep an eye on him. He has improved and is kind of looking like a legitimate WR and could be worth a pick up on the waiver wire if available.
Game 3- Bengals-Browns
The battle for Ohio and no one could less. AJ Green (WR Bengals) and Trent Richardson ( RB Browns) are must starts. Green will face off against the returning Joe Haden, an elite corner, but I don’t think it will hurt his numbers. Richardson has shown why he was such a high draft pick. He’s a hard runner who can make people miss, he is also a big threat as a receiver (huge in PPR leagues). BenJarvus Green-Ellis should have a better game than last week also but it still may not be worth starting him if you have any other options.
Game 4 – Rams-Dolphins
A somewhat meaningful game in Miami as the Rams (3-2) visit the Dolphins (2-3). This match up doesn’t offer much glitz or glamour. Reggie Bush (if playing),  and Brian Hartline are both starter caliber. Bush is hampered by some knee issues but has been a must start so far this season. Brian Hartline offers major upside but has been fairly inconsistent (maybe not worth the gamble if you want to stay on the safer side). Steven Jackson finally gained some momentum against the Cardinals but the Dolphins have been great against the run and his owners may want to consider benching him.
Game 5 – Lions-Eagles
The Lions are looking up at everyone in the NFC North and could be in desperation mode. The Eagles have been pretty horrible but have found ways to eek out 3 wins. I love LeSean McCoy (RB Eagles) and Calvin Johnson (WR Lions) but everyone else is a crapshoot. Michael Vick can’t not turn the ball over. Matthew Stafford has looked mediocre, hopefully his bye week will help him get on the same page as his receivers and improve his decision making.  Brandon Pettigrew and Brent Celek are both solid TEs but don’t offer any pizazz. DeSean Jackson is always a home run threat but hasn’t been consistently good and Jeremy Maclin isn’t back to his old self yet after a nagging hip injury.
Game 6 – Chiefs-Bucs
Another pretty crappy match-up for week six. Jamal Charles (RB Chiefs) and Dwayne Bowe (RB Chiefs) are the biggest bright spots in this game and both are must starts in my book. Matt Cassel’s decisions have been bad and it may be good that he is out. I wouldn’t trust Brady Quinn or Josh Freeman as my QB. Vincent Jackson has not lived up to his contract but has definitely been improving as he gets more comfortable with Freeman and is worth starting in most leagues.
Game 7 – Cowboys-Ravens
This is a pretty interesting game. The Cowboys have underachieved and looked pretty terrible so far this season while the Ravens have looked like a top 3 team in the NFL. Dallas will try to bounce back from an embarrassing loss to the Chicago Bears. Ray Rice (RB Ravens), Torrey Smith (WR Ravens) and Miles Austin (WR Cowboys) are all no-brainer starts. Anquan Boldin  (WR Ravens) deserves consideration as a 3rd WR , he has looked great the past two weeks. Dez Bryant (WR Cowboys) and Tony Romo (QB Cowboys) have failed to get on the same page this year, hopefully the bye week will remedy that for their owners. Jason Witten (TE Cowboys) is always a decent play. Also, Joe Flacco should be able to put last week behind him and put up the numbers his owners are used to.
Game 8- Bills-Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald (WR Cardinals) is the only must start I see in the game. The Cardinals are magically off to a 4-1 start with a horrible O-Line and no running game. Kevin Kolb (QB Cardinals) has been decent and may warrant a start if your starter is out or you have Michael Vick. Fred Jackson (RB Bills) and CJ Spiller (RB Bills) are splitting carries and that’s never a good thing for fantasy. Stevie Johnson (WR Bills) and Scott Chandler (TE Bills) are good players but have Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB Bills) throwing to them.
Game 9- Patriots-Seahawks
Tom Brady (QB Patriots), Steven Ridley (RB Patriots), Marshawn Lynch (RB Seahawks) and Wes Welker *if healthy*(WR Patriots) are all great to go. The Patriots are clicking on offense and Brady’s no-huddle have defenses reeling. The Seahawks’ solid defense will provide a test for the Pats but I don’t foresee a huge drop for any of these players. Other potentially good starts are Sidney Rice (WR Seahawks), Brandon Lloyd (WR Patriots), Rob Gronkowski *if healthy* (TE Patriots) and Aaron Hernandez *if healthy* (TE Patriots).
Game 10 – Giants-49ers
A great football match-up, not too exciting fantasy wise. Eli Manning (QB Giants), Ahmad Bradshaw (RB Giants), Victor Cruz (WR Giants), Frank Gore (RB 49ers), Vernon Davis (TE 49ers) and Michael Crabtree (WR 49ers) are all must plays in my eyes. Martellus Bennett (TE Giants) and Hakeem Nicks (WR Giants) may not be worth a start but keep your eye on them and see if they can be picked up cheap while injured. Bennett has been a surprise for the Giants and is playing great when healthy. Nicks is on his way back from a knee injury and is a playmaker when at 100%.
Game 11- Vikings-Redskins
How about them Vikings? Who would have thought?? I never thought they were as horrible as people were predicting but 4-1? Nice. Let’s hope they can get over the hump that is Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. Alfred Morris (RB Redskins), Adrian Peterson (RB Vikings), Percy Harvin (WR Vikings) are the top 3 players in this game. I like Percy and All Day to have decent games while Morris may struggle against the Vikings front 7/8. Robert Griffin III (QB Redskins) *concussion* should be starting but I don’t know if I trust him enough to start him. He has been great for Washington but I may consider benching your rookie QB if you have any other options.
Game 12- Packers-Texans
The Packers run into a very hot Texans team that looks like it could easily be Super Bowl bound. JJ Watt is a stud and Aaron Rodgers should watch out. Green Bay will be helped by Houston’s loss of Brian Cushing but I still like the Texans. Arian Foster (RB Texans) is amazing and should never be benched, Matt Schaub (QB Texans) has been finding open receivers, especially Owen Daniels (TE Texans). Don’t expect Andre Johnson (WR Texans) to stay quiet much longer either, he is ready to burst back onto the scene. Aaron Rodgers (QB Packers) is the only Packer I feel is a must play this week but I am not even too sure about him…
Game 13- Broncos-Chargers
Peyton Manning (QB Broncos) has been a good fantasy play this year and should be again this week. I’d also be starting Ryan Matthews (RB Chargers), and Demaryius Thomas (WR Broncos). Willis McGahee (RB Broncos) has looked great in 2 of their 5 games so it may not be worth trusting him just yet. Jacob Tamme (TE Broncos) offers consistency from the TE position. Malcolm Floyd (WR Chargers) has been Phillip Rivers (QB Chargers) most consistent receiver and would be a solid WR3 start.
Don’t forget to set your line-ups. Best of luck in week 6 and enjoy the games.