ben

As we sit at week 3, the Stars and Stiffs Report is here to point out the guys who you should feel safe about starting and the ones who are better off left at the bar until closing time. After the battles along the lines over the last 2 weeks, there is plenty to be concerned about heading into week 2.

Last week we saw the shootout of the week totaled 29 points and still haven’t seen Allen Robinson step onto the field the way we remember. Guys like Matt Forte and CJ Anderson have shown the RB position is not dead, while Kelvin Benjamin shows us it is still a pass first league.

The world of sports media can be a beautiful thing when all parties are involved and engulfed in a stern debate. As always, I look forward to your opinions and feedback. You can tweet with any questions (@TCutillo23) and leave your comments below. For my statistical hounds out there I will put last week’s stats in parentheses so you can see how I performed. Here are my picks for week 2………….

Stars for Week 3 (Last Week…4 out of 8…..50%)

QB: Ben Roethlisberger (@PHI), Andrew Luck (SD), Matt Ryan (@NO)

RB: Eddie Lacy (DET), David Johnson (@BUF)

WR/TE: Jordan Reed (@NYG), Michael Crabtree (@TEN), Eric Decker (@KC), A.J. Green (DEN)

 

Stiffs for Week 3 (Last Week….3 out of 6….50%)

QB: Sam Bradford (@CAR)

RB: Jeremy Hill (DEN), Frank Gore (SD)

WR/TE: Desean Jackson (@NYG), Torrey Smith (@SEA), Sammie Watkins (ARZ)

 

Sleepers: (Last Week…2 out of 3….75%)

Cruz (WAS), P. Dorsett (SD), Matt Ryan (@NO)

 

Bust Alert: (Last Week….2 out of 2….100%)

Jeffery (@DAL), M. Wallace (@JAC), T. Austin (@TB)

 

Week 3 Triple Threat…….

Ben Roethlisberger (@PHI) Big Ben still remains a hot commodity in the fantasy world due to the offense he runs. He continues to get stronger with age and shows he can make the best of anything that may be thrown his way. Rodgers, James and Coates are all becoming relevant due to the arm of Big Ben. The Yellow and Black show comes to Philly and the fireworks are already being planned.

Ezekiel Elliot (CHI) – The Dallas Cowboys haven’t blown anyone away this year, but they still have an exceptional running game partly due to the man they call Zeke. Since Zeke decided to use his time to study defenses instead of rolling some professional sized blunts, the offense has rolled along. He is the most important part of the offensive side of the ball and this week he will show the Bears why is he was picked as the early favorite for ROY.

Julio Jones (@NO) – Does he have a bad ankle? Does he have a bad hip? Does it really matter? Year after year we constantly debate on who the best receiver in game is, when all along it has been Julio. This guy runs like a cheetah and catches the ball effortlessly. He wins Fantasy Championships!

Remember, he came very close to 2000 yards receiving last year. This may be the year he hits the mark!

***As always you can stop by my FB page (FantasySportsAddcition) or Tweet me @TCutillo23 for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly via the internet stream Live at WengRadio every Monday at 4:00pm EST for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at PI!

***For Fantasy Purposes, all my articles are predicated upon a PPR based system…

 


brissett

Welcome to the third edition of The Fantasy Factor. The Fantasy Factor was unveiled in week 1 and continues to recap all the intricate details of the week’s Thursday night game. Historically, the Thursday night game has not been very fan friendly towards the fantasy world, but it still offers us a decent gauge of what to look for in future weeks. However, after witnessing many individual offensive explosions in the first two games, we were actually ready for a letdown. In this segment, I hope to enlighten you on some interesting facts, as well as some hard thought out analogies to give you a smile going into the weekend. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Coming into Thursday night’s game all eyes weren’t on the new look 2-0 Texans, but instead on the rookie debut of NE Quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Last week against the Dolphins, Jimmy G was moving the ball with ease until a shoulder injury forced him to the locker room and left the NE faithful with the thought of a rookie running the show until Tom Terrific was able to play. That thought was turned into a reality and Brissett played the game that was mapped out for him all week. Only 19 pass attempts and a 27 yd rushing TD was all that was in the cards to keep the rookie safe.

The Texans on the other hand were a 2-0 team still looking for an identity. Brock Osweiler was brought in to Houston to be the franchise QB they needed to excel them into the next step. He was an unproven commodity and commanded a steep price in order to get him out of Denver. The thought was with a stout front line that includes Wilfork and Watt, the Texans just needed a game manager to succeed. It is only a few weeks into the season, but Brock has at the very least given them a solid presence behind center.

The following highlights are what I think were the most important fantasy factors to take away from last night’s game:

I. New England Players Will NOT be Fantasy Relevant under Jacoby Brissett. 

The Pats are 3-0 and just wiped the field with the Texans, who couldn’t of beat a high school JV team last night. However, it was the way in which they won that should concern Gronk and Edelman owners. The game-plan was a simplistic outline of short throws and 39 rushing attempts all to keep rookie in complete control of his offense.  Jacoby Brissett threw for just 103 yards in a very simplified offense. As of now, NE will be a sad place for fantasy players with only the occasional big play from time to time…..The following is the breakdown….

J. Edelman 4 38 9.5 0
M. Mitchell 1 27 27.0 0
D. Amendola 2 23 11.5 0
M. Bennett 2 10 5.0 0
C. Hogan 1 3 3.0 0
J. White 1 2 2.0 0
R. Gronkowski 0 0 0 0

 

II. Bill Belichick had DeAndre Hopkins in his Pocket.

As Brock Osweiler frequently dumped the ball to tight end Ryan Griffin, who led the team with 10 targets, it was clear that New England was not going to let Hopkins beat them. They bottled him up most of the night and left the underneath routes open on a consistent basis. Even the few catches that Deandre did make were in traffic and required some magic. Here is how Hopkins has fared over the years against Mr. Belichick…..

2013 – 2/77……….2015 – 3/52……….2016…….4/56 = 9/185

It will be interesting to see if owners panic enough to sit their stud receiver in any future match-ups…Stay tuned!

III. Lamar Miller is the Bell Cow Back in Houston.

When Lamar Miller was signed in the off-season, the comparisons to Arian Foster type stats were running rampant. Knowing his athletic ability and knack fro being a very capable pass catching threat, I was one of those people hyping him up in the draft. You will read on many sites about Miller not yet averaging better than 3.8 yards per carry in a game and how is numbers are way down. However, in fantasyland we hold a very different perspective. Usage is always a top priority and based on the first 3 games of the season (28 touches per game), Miller has left his owners with no reason to panic.

IV. There are Plenty of Targets to go Around in Houston

Coming into this year, many owners were worried there may be a cut in production for DeAndre Hopkins with the growth of Jalen Strong and the drafting of Will Fuller. As we go into the first part of the season it looks as though there is no reason to worry.

DeAndre Hopkins – 27 Targets and 16 receptions

Will Fuller – 25 Targets and 12 receptions

LeGarrette Blount Will Quietly be a Solid RB2 in 2016. 

With the suspension of Tom Terrific, the Pats needed to find themselves a rock they could lean on in 4 games. They needed someone to take the load off of Jimmy G and now Jacoby Brissett. LeGarrette Blount has always been known for being a workhorse in the back field, but Bill Belichick hasn’t leaned on a RB since the Corey Dillon days. This year looks to be different.

So far he is averaging 25 carries a game, a 4.0 average per carry and just under 300 yards. Obviously anything can change when Tom Terrific returns, but a high powered running attack is something he probably would welcome with open arms.

This was the first dud of the Thursday night telecasts, but it still gave us an opportunity to see how the Pats would run their system. We learned they will be conservative and also that Brock maybe arrested at the end of the season for stealing so much money. Either way your opinion sways on the games, it will keep us watching and allow me the opportunity to give you the weekly Fantasy Factor!

As always, you can stop by my Facebook page (Fantasy Sports Addiction) or tweet me (@TCutillo23) for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly  via the internet stream live at WENG RADIO every Monday at 4:00 P.M. ET for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at Pi!

For fantasy purposes, all my articles are predicated upon a PPR-based system.


Here we are. Week 2 is in the books and you’re already reevaluating how your team is constructed. Is it time for a trade or do you stand pat and wait for your players to perform? In the average fantasy season, you only have 13 weeks to shine. Obviously you do not want to cut bait too soon, but if you wait too long, odds are you already passed on a few stars that are shining for another team. This week showed us that the fantasy football gods continue to be unpredictable and leaves us scratching our heads as we shake our Magic 8-Ball for answers.

Let’s take a look at the recap below:

Standout Stars

QB

  • Newton…………353 yds 4 TD/1 INT
  • Ryan……………..396 yds 3 TD/1 INT
  • Rivers……………220 yds 4 TD

RB

  • Forte……………..100 yds, 3 TD….2 rec, 9 yds
  • Bernard…………17 yds….9 rec, 100 yds 1 TD
  • Williams………..94 yds…4 rec, 38 yds 1 TD

WR/TE

  • Diggs……………….9 rec, 182 yds, 1 TD
  • K. Benjamin.…..7 rec, 108 yds 2 TD
  • T. Benjamin……6 rec, 115 yds, 2 TD

Last week’s picks: 4 out of 8, 50%

….

Substandard Stiffs

QB

  • Luck……………….197 yds, 1 TD/1 INT
  • Wilson……………254 yds
  • Winston…….….243 yds, 1 TD/4 INT

RB

  • Foster…………….9 yds…(Injury)
  • Martin……………23 yds…(Injury)
  • Bernard…………25 yds….2 rec, 5 yds

WR/TE

  • Moncrief…………1 rec, 9 yds (Injury)
  • J. Brown………….1 rec, 14 yds
  • G. Tate…………….2 rec, 13 yds

Last week’s picks: 3 out of 6, 50%

Surprise Performers (Sleepers)

Stefon Diggs – Diggs came into his own as a rookie last year and compiled 85 targets in 13 games. He was up and down as rookies usually are, but showed flashes of a true #1. It looks like he has turned those flashes into a reality and is going to make 2016 the year he puts it all together. Through his first 2 games this season he has a line of 16/285/1. In a PPR league he has compiled 50 fantasy points and is sitting in the top 15 for WR’s. In an offense that will be looking for options without AP, Diggs looks to produce WR1 numbers for the foreseeable future. Congrats to the owners who took a chance on him in the later rounds.

Travis Benjamin – When Benjamin signed as a free agent in the offseason, he was being talked about as an underrated option in San Diego. Now that Allen and Woodhead are out for the year, he becomes the main target for Phillip Rivers. He has the speed and deception to be a great asset, but will have to prove he can put up WR1 numbers before he inserted into weekly lineups.

Last week’s picks: 2 out of 3, 75%

Statistical Busts

Devonta Freeman – If you are anything like me, you have reservations for players who come out of nowhere in year 1 and have a risk of the sophomore slump in year 2. Freeman was that guy for me. He took the NFL by storm and looked like the next Priest Holmes, but he slowed down after the first 8 games and came into 2016 with alot of questions. With a head coach who already mentioned the words of RBBC, his future outlook doesn’t look promising. He honestly may struggle to finish in the top 20 this year. A total of 50 yds rushing and 3 catches in 2 weeks isn’t going to cut it.

Allen Robinson – The milk carton, “Have You Seen Him” award this week goes to ARob. This is a guy who was picked to be one of the top WR’s in fantasy this year. Instead he has been stuck in neutral as his QB looks like he studied the motions of Jay Schroeder over the summer instead of John Elway. The Jacksonville offense is very talented and hasn’t even touched on their potential yet this year. ARob has lived in garbage time over the last 2 weeks and is hungry for a main course. I still think he will get his numbers, but I can’t lie and say I don’t a bad feeling going forward. Hopefully, this isn’t one of the guys that falls from fantasy grace this year. Keep hope alive my fellow owners.

Last week’s picks: 2 out of 2, 100%

Week 2 Thoughts and Theories

-It’s time to worry about Jamal Charles – Jamal Charles continues to work his way back from a torn ACL and the fact that he hasn’t been able to play yet is concerning. There wasn’t much info coming out of camp until the last few weeks when we started to hear whispers about him not being ready to get on the field. You know it is serious when his doctor was quoted as being concerned. Unfortunately, I see this playing out like the Dion Lewis situation. He could go back under the knife to see what is going on. In that case he may not be back until week 10. Either way this is a mess for fantasy owners who drafted in early August.

Carson Wentz is a winner on the NFL field, but not a relevant fantasy QB. In the world of fantasy we always look at stats and not win/loss percentage. We want to see who can throw up the most points instead of concerning ourselves with who wins the game. Carson Wentz has been stellar in his first 2 weeks as a rookie, but his line of 468 yds and 3 TD’s isn’t going to make him a weekly starting option. He is definitely an Alex Smith prototype.

Adrian Peterson’s best days may be behind him – When people asked me who my choice for biggest bust of 2016 was I told them AP. Most were shocked and couldn’t believe I was down on the electrifying RB. I was really concerned with how much tread was on the tires and thought this was the year he would be taken off the field on third downs more frequently. Unfortunately for AP owners, my prediction came true for the first 2 weeks and now he is on the shelf with no timetable for a return. Jerick McKinnon is the man to own in Minnesota going forward.

Giovani Bernard continues his PPR dominance. – Last year we seen the rise of Gio in an offense that loves to throw the ball. Sure Jeremy Hill will score on the goaline, but in a PPR league Gio will continue to see 8+ targets a game helping him stay among the top pass catching backs in the league. Start him as a FLEX with confidence.

My Skinny Post for Week 2

The injuries continue to mount for the Chargers, as they must have been breaking mirrors in the offseason; two starters in two weeks seems like a new form of the Madden curse … Cam Newton and Kelvin Benjamin are clicking more than a dollar store cap gun. These guys are taking over the offensive side of the ball while Benjamin flips everyone off who said he was an out of shape replacement players in the summer … The Atlanta Falcon’s backfield continues to be unsettled as the whispers of the dreaded abbreviation RBBC is being flashed with every other carry. Freeman owners can now panic … Melvin Gordon proves to be one of the biggest steals in the draft. The Bob Marley throwback has piled up 177 yards from scrimmage and 3 TDs in two weeks, which are RB1 numbers. Congrats if you were the owner who dropped the chicken wing in round 12 to draft him … Eddie Lacy continues to move like he is running a marathon in the streets of Boston and their record snowfall. Has anyone one else found the weight he supposedly lost in the offseason? … Mark Ingram is starting to play like the guy we all knew he was. All hype and no game in an offense that treats him like the unwanted child in a dysfunctional family ….  Arian Foster once again is injured after two games. This is what happens when you pound your body with cheeseburgers all offseason and try to hang with well conditioned athletes … Looks like Pete Carroll may actually be Sleepless in Seattle as he tries to figure out why his offense is moving the ball at a slower speed than Rob Ryan’s fastest time in the 100 yd dash … Speaking of Ryan, looks like the Buffalo Bills have been torn apart by the huge ego and arrogant preaching of Rex. This may actually be where Fantasy players go to die. You have been warned.

Now, it’s onto Week 3.

As always, you can stop by our Facebook page (Fantasy Sports Addiction) or tweet me (@TCutillo23) for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly  via the internet stream live at WENG RADIO every Monday at 4:00 P.M. ET for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at Pi!

For fantasy purposes, all my articles are predicated upon a PPR-based system.


It sure was an interesting week 2 in the NFL.  As fantasy players, we need to realize that it takes more than one game to understand how teams (and players) are trending.  Jameis Winston scorched in week 1 with 4 TDs and 1 Int, but week 2 brought expectations back in check with a 1 TD / 4 Int performance.  Theo Riddick had over 100 combined yards and 2 TDs in week 1 vs. 65 all-purpose yards and 0 TDs this week.  On the flip side, we questioned Giovani Bernard after week 1 in regards to his workload (5 carries and 4 targets) for 30 yards.  Hello week 2 where Gio had 9 catches for 100 yards and a TD.  And we were ready to write off Dez Bryant after the loss of Tony Romo and his limited use (only 5 targets) in the first week of the season.  The Cowboys weren’t going to let their biggest weapon go unnoticed as Dez had 7 catches on 12 targets for 102 yards.  The point here is that you cannot get too high or too low on a player at this point of the season.

And now onto the week 2 fantasy recap…

Week 2 Fantasy Highlights


Cam Newton (Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen)
– This highlight goes to the core of Carolina Panthers passing attack.  Newton had 353 passing yards with 4 TDs and 1 Int.  Benjamin stat line was 7-198-2 and Olsen was 5-122-1 (17 targets combined).

Ryan Tannehill (Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker) – This highlight goes to the Miami Dolphins passing game.  Tannehill put up 389 passing yards with 2 TDs and 2 Ints. Jarvis Landry had 10-137 and DeVante Parker had 8-106; both on 13 targets each.  There will be some big weekly performances by those two receivers, but the passing attack in general is below average.

Matt Ryan – Matty Ice has put up back to back 300 yard passing games.  Only 4 yards short of 400, Ryan put up 396-3-1 and has 5 TDs to 1 Int this season.  We know he CAN do it, but will he continue for a full season?  Wait and see…

Philip Rivers – Without Keenan Allen, Rivers still had a respectable day.  He was an efficient 17/24 for 220 passing yards, 4 TDs and 0 picks.  While these aren’t huge numbers, it’s nice to see that the Chargers still have a passing game.

Matt Forte – Thursday night, Forte had 30 carries for 100 yards and 3 TDs.  He’s been a stud so far this year, but he’s 30 years old and has had a ton of volume over the past few years.  I expect a 2nd half decline so start to position yourself to sell high in the upcoming weeks.

Melvin Gordon – Gordon had another good game rushing for 24-102-1.  That’s 3 rushing TDs on the season after 0 his entire rookie year.

LeGarrette Blount – Blount had another stellar performance rushing 29 times for 123 and a TD.  He’s carried the load through two weeks with 52 carries.  Remember, Coach Belichick can throw a curve ball at any given time and go with another running back based on game plan; you just never know.

Isaiah Crowell – “The Crow” had 18 carries for 133 and a TD.  Don’t get too hyped up because of his 85 yard scamper.  If you remove that, he had 17 carries for 48 yards.

Corey Coleman – Rookie WR Corey Coleman was targeted by Josh McCown 8 times and caught 5-104-2.  It was a nice coming out game, but the Browns may be forced to start their 3rd different QB in 3 weeks.  I cannot trust this passing game until McCown returns.

Marvin Jones – Marvin sure wasn’t “Starvin’” this week when he went 8-118 on 11 targets.  He’s become Mathew Stafford’s go to weapon now that Calvin “Megatron” Johnson is gone.  Golden Tate only caught 2 balls on 9 targets.

Mike Evans – Evans had a whopping 17 targets in this game but only managed 6-70-1.  Tampa Bay was down big to the Arizona Cardinals as Jameis Winston put the ball in the air 54 times.  Evans should do more with his looks moving forward, but I still don’t feel that he’s an elite fantasy receiver.

Sterling Shepard – Rookie WR Sterling Shepard caught all 8 of his targets for 117 yards.  Victor Cruz also had 8 targets in the game as they vie for the attention of Eli Manning opposite Odell Beckham.

Stefon Diggs – With QB Sam Bradford at the helm in week 2, Diggs blew up.  On 11 targets, he put up 9-182-1.  Even with back to back 100 yard games, it’s hard for me to trust this passing game.  Diggs has shown flashes of what he can do, but this is a defensive team with a run first mentality.

Dennis Pitta – After a few injury plagued seasons, it appears that Pitta has returned to fantasy relevance.  He was targeted by longtime teammate Joe Flacco 12 time and caught 9-102.  If he’s on the field, Flacco looks for this guy.  In 2012 when he last played 16 games, Pitta caught 61-669-7.

Denver Broncos Defense – Denver’s defense lit it up against the Colts.  The defensive unit scored 2 TDs, had 5 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery.  It was a great game, but you cannot predict defensive touchdowns from week to week.

 

Week 2 Fantasy Games to Forget


Russell Wilson
– Wilson wasn’t 100% in this one with a sore ankle he injured against Miami.  Regardless, he played in the game and only put up 254 passing yards with no TDs or Ints.  The Seattle Seahawks usually improve as the year goes on, but maybe they’re slipping as one of the elite teams. The Los Angeles Rams beat them in this one 9-3 and no TDs were scored in the game.

Andrew Luck – The Colts signal caller couldn’t overcome the vaunted Broncos defense.  Luck passed for 197 with a TD and a pick.  Chalk this one up to a poor matchup and look for him to turn it around.  His next three matchups are against the Chargers, Jaguars, and Bears.

Carlos Hyde – The 49ers stud running back had a tough matchup against the Carolina Panthers in this one.  He carried the ball 14 times for only 34 yards and 3 catches for 18 yards.  He knows that he has to improve and carry this team.  Luckily, there really isn’t any other pedigree RBs on the roster.

Todd Gurley – In some fantasy drafts, Gurley was the first overall pick this year, but his stats look like he shouldn’t even be rostered.  He followed up his 47 yard rushing performance with 51 yards this week. And he’s not getting anything in the passing game with only 1 catch each week.  Bottom line, this guy is a mega-talent and he’s getting a good workload (18 carries per game) each week.  Once Jared Goff takes over at QB mid-season, that should be just the injection the team needs. Buy low on this guy, now!

Sammy Watkins – Granted, Watkins was questionable leading up to this game with his foot injury.  But he was NFL active and likely active in your fantasy lineups.  Sammy only caught 2-20.  Overall at the end of the year, his numbers will look good, but there will be many ups and downs through the season.

A.J. Green vs. Antonio Brown – I’ll just lump these two together since they both did nothing in the same game.  Green had 2-38 and Brown had 4-39.  This was just a slight bump in the road for two of the best fantasy receivers in the game; no need to worry.

 

Fantasy Position Battles


David Johnson (Chris Johnson)
– Chris Johnson actually led the team in rushing in week 2 with 16-54-1. David Johnson had 12-45-0 but added 3 catches for 98 yards.  The Arizona Cardinals were up big in this one and that’s why Chris Johnson got so much work.  There is no battle here so don’t overreact.

Devanta Freeman (Tevin Coleman) – Freeman led the team in rushing with 17-93-0 while Coleman had 12-46-1.  Freeman still has an edge in this one, but may not live up to his early round draft pick value.  We’ll have to monitor this week to week until a trend appears in the RB usage in Atlanta.

Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams – Usually we look at running back position battles, but there was an interesting one this week at receiver with the San Diego Chargers.  Who will try to replace Keenan Allen who was lost for the year last week with a torn ACL?  Travis Benjamin (my sleeper this year) was 6-115-2.  Tyrell Williams had 3-61-1.  Now Danny Woodhead and his 81 receptions are lost for the year with a torn ACL.  I like Benjamin more this year, but the team needs Tyrell to step up too.  Both should also put up good stats moving forward.

 

Week 2 Injuries (and Week 3 Replacements)


Jay Cutler
– Cutler left Monday night’s game against the Eagles with a thumb injury.  He originally sustained it in week 1 and it’s now believed he has a torn ligament and will miss some time.  It’s unknown if he’ll need surgery, but he’s expected to be out for some weeks.  Brian Hoyer replaced him Monday night, but should not be relied upon in fantasy.

Jimmy Garoppolo – He suffered a sprained AC joint in his should and is very questionable for week 3.  The Patriots didn’t sign any QBs as of yet, so it looks like they’ll go with Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett for now.  Even if active, Jimmy may serve as the backup QB in the game.

Josh McCown – McCown finished the game in week 2 but has a shoulder injury that will likely keep him out for this coming week.  Cody Kessler could get the start.  Downgrade the Browns WRs but Duke Johnson may come up big if Kessler checks down to his RBs.

Adrian Peterson – Peterson went down with what looked like a horrible season ending knee injury.  It turns out that it’s a torn meniscus and he’s not even ruled out for week 3 yet!  His return will depend on the severity of the injury and the course of treatment.  It’s possible that he plays this week, but more likely that he misses a week or two of action. I expect Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata to split the work about 70/30 in favor of McKinnon until AP returns.

Rashad Jennings – Jennings injured his thumb in week 2 and Shane Vereen got his share of carries.  We’ll have to wait and see if Jennings will play this week and if he’ll be limited at all.  Vereen and Orleans Darkwa could pick up the work if Jennings is unable to go.

Danny Woodhead – Woodhead is out for the year with a torn ACL.  Melvin Gordon may get a slight uptick in work, especially in the passing game.

Jonathan Stewart – Stewart left week 2 with a hamstring injury and will miss a week or two. Fozzy Whittaker rushed for 100 yards and had 3-31 receiving.  Fozzy and Cameron Artis-Payne will fill in for Stewart, but they’re low-end flex plays at best.

Thomas Rawls – Rawls left the game on Sunday after 7 carries for -7 yards with a leg injury.  He was ineffective before he left so the Seahawks may go back to Christine Michael as their starter this week.

Doug Martin – Martin left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury and is slated for an MRI.  If he needs to miss time, Charles Sims and/or Jacquizz Rodgers would likely fill in.  Sims is intriguing since he’s already a reception machine and adding rushing stats will only help his value.

Ameer Abdullah – Abdullah suffered what appears to be a foot sprain as X-rays confirmed no broken bones.  It’s unknown if or how much time he may miss.  If Theo Riddick takes over, he becomes an intriguing play (like Charles Sims) if he can add some running work to his pass catching prowess. Dwayne Washington or Zach Zenner could get some work too.

Arian Foster – Foster is already showing up on the injury report; this time with a groin injury.  He’s day-to-day and it’s unclear if he’ll play this week.  If he misses time, Jay Ajayi and/or Kenyan Drake would fill in for Foster.

Eric Decker – Decker made it through and finished Thursday’s game, but sustained a shoulder injury at some point.  I expect him to play.

Brandon Marshall – Marshall suffered a sprained MCL in his knee and is questionable for week 3.  When he went down, it looked like a season ending injury.  He may miss week 3 so stay tuned.  If he doesn’t play, Quincy Enunwa would be a sneaky fantasy play.

Donte Moncrief – Moncrief left Sunday’s game with a head/neck/shoulder injury.  He’s slated for an MRI to get some clarity on the issue.  He’s questionable for week 3.  If he misses time, Phillip Dorsett may get some extra looks from Andrew Luck.

 

Words of Wisdom

We’ve now seen 2 week of football.  Some guys are overperforming and others underperforming compared to their draft slots and expectations.  Start to look for a panicky owner who is 0-2.  Ask the owner of Todd Gurley if he’s looking to trade him.  Hunt down the owner of Le’veon Bell and sell him DeAngelo Williams.  The key to winning in fantasy is to stay one step ahead of the game, and your competition!


cam 2

On the verge of Week 2, the Stars and Stiffs Report is here to point out the guys you should feel safe about starting and the ones who are better off left at the bar until closing time. After one of the most exciting opening weeks in fantasy history in the books,, there is plenty to be concerned about heading into Week 2.

Guys like OBJ and Dez Bryant,  who didn’t perform well last week, will still get their numbers going forward. However, if you are a Jamaal Charles or Sammy Watkins owner, now is the time to be concerned. The constant fear of injuries always exists, but when guys coming off of a specific procedure either can’t get on the field or admit still being sore, the feeling of nervousness is definitely warranted. Now that we have hard evidence to go off of from Week 1, it makes the decisions a little more simplistic for Week 2.

The world of sports media is a beautiful thing when all parties are involved and engulfed in a stern debate. As always, I look forward to your opinions and feedback. You can tweet me (@TCutillo23) with any questions and leave your comments below. For my statistical hounds out there, I will put last week’s stats in parentheses so you can see how I performed.

Here are my picks for Week 2:

STARS 

QB: Matthew Stafford (TEN), Joe Flacco (@CLE), Eli Manning (NO)

RB: Rashad Jennings (NO), David Johnson (TB)

WR: Doug Baldwin (@LA), Emmanuel Sanders (IND), Alshon Jeffery (PHI)

(Last week: 5 out of 8, 63%)

STIFFS 

QB: Jimmy Garoppolo (MIA)

RB: Arian Foster (MIA), Ryan Matthews (@CHI)

WR: Desean Jackson (DAL), Jordy Nelson (@MIN), Vincent Jackson (@ARZ)

(Last week: 4 out of 6, 66%)

SLEEPERS

Tevin Coleman (@OAK), Travis Benjamin (JAC), Cole Beasley (@WAS)

(Last week: 3 out of 4, 75%)

BUST ALERT

Jameis Winston (@ARZ), Todd Gurley (SEA)

(Last week: 1 out of 2, 50%)

WEEK 2 TRIPLE THREAT

Joe Flacco (@CLE) – Joe Flacco has looked pretty good as he comes back from an ACL injury and the Ravens have a lot of firepower on offense that can help him ease back in. This week, the road goes through Cleveland, who couldn’t get pressure on the QB even if they tried. It will be a long day for the Dog Pound as they will have nightmares of purple and black running through their minds all week. Get Flacco in your lineup now!

CJ Anderson (IND) – Did anyone expect CJ Anderson to come out on Thursday night against the Panthers and command the ball for the entire game? We heard whispers of Kubiak naming him his workhorse, but it was hard to imagine it being true. Well, it definitely looks to hold merit and CJ has gone from mid-to-late round draft status all the way up to RB1 material. It looks as if the receivers will be taking a step back this year and the running game will be the featured play of the week.

Are you still worried about Devontae Booker? Since he showed he could of been the lead spokesmen for “I can’t believe it’s not butter” on his first carry, I think CJ owners can feel safe.

Last week, the Lions erupted for 448 total yards and four total touchdowns from their running backs against the hapless Colts defense. This leads me to believe Mr. Anderson will bring it once again and show everyone why he will be a top RB1 option this year.

Odell Beckham JR. (NO) – Did you see last week’s game between the Saints and the Raiders? If you did, you know it had enough offense to keep even Mike Martz happy. There are two things that weigh heavily in the favor of OBJ this week; he wasn’t on his game in Dallas last week and the Saints secondary couldn’t stop the Little Giants team led by Ed O’Neil.

Amari Cooper showed off his skills last week to the tune of 6/137, which is just a starting point for OBJ. And to make matters worse, the Saints will be without their top CB, Delvin Breaux, as he broke his fibula last week and is lost for the season. If you haven’t realized it already, OBJ should explode this week and make his last game a distant memory.

As always, you can stop by my Facebook page (Fantasy Sports Addiction) or tweet me (@TCutillo23) for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly  via the internet stream live at WENG RADIO every Monday at 4:00 P.M. ET for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at Pi!

For fantasy purposes, all my articles are predicated upon a PPR-based system.

 


browntwerk

Now that we had time to digest the ups and downs of week 1 of the NFL season, we need to look at the fantasy impact moving forward.  This means going beyond just the stats and looking at how situations have changed over the past week.  Can we now answer any questions we had going into the season?

Week 1 Fantasy Highlights

A.J. Green – He put up a monster day with 12 catches for 180 yards and a TD.  He’s happy to have a healthy Andy Dalton back and this should be a top QB/WR combination for the rest of the year.

Drew Brees (Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks) – This highlight goes to the New Orleans passing attack in general.  Brees had 423 yards passing and 4 TDs with Snead (172 yds) and Cooks (143 yds) combining for 315 yards and 3 TDs.

DeAngelo Williams – This guy just keeps running.  At age 33, he was the leading rusher in week 1 with 146 yards and 2 TDs, and chipped in 6 catches for 28 yards.  Bell will be back in week 4, but DeAngelo has 2 more weeks to be a RB1.

Antonio Brown – This guys is just consistently great; 8 catches for 126 yards and 2 TDs.  He was taken #1 overall in fantasy drafts for a reason.

Jordan Matthews – Rookie QB Carson Wentz looked to Matthews 14 times as he hauled in 7 catches for 114 yards and a TD.  Hopefully they will maintain this chemistry moving forward.

Matthew Stafford – After a terrible preseason and the loss of Megatron, Stafford actually looked good this week.  He passed for 340 yards and 3 TDs, but more importantly was a leader out on the field.  Let’s see if he can keep the streak going.  I expect the same old Stafford by season’s end.

Larry Fitzgerald – Larry is still the #1 target for Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals.  He had 11 targets in the game and caught 8 balls for 81 yards and 2 TDs.  Palmer consistently looked for him in clutch situations.  Michael Floyd will show up for a few huge games and John Brown has always been overhyped.  Larry Fitz is my guy!

Carlos Hyde – I was intrigued by Hyde in the offseason.  He’s put up some big games but hasn’t been healthy or consistent throughout his career.  Chip Kelly is in town and the 49ers are going to run a lot of plays.  Hyde got 23 carries and scored 2 TDs; I expect him to be heavily involved in the offense all season.

Jason Witten – While his numbers weren’t eye-popping, it was nice to see Witten get looks from rookie QB Dak Prescott.  Witten caught 9 balls for 66 yards on 14 targets.  For how low Witten was drafted in leagues, he’s a great target if you’re in need of a TE.

Players Returning From Injury

Kelvin Benjamin – He sure looked good on Thursday night (6-91-1) and looks to be Cam Newton’s favorite target once again.

Jordy Nelson – In Nelson’s first game back from last year’s season ending knee injury, he fared decently well.  Jordy had 6 catches and a TD, but only 32 yards receiving.  He doesn’t quite look to be his old self and might not get the separation that he used to, but Rodgers will still look his way often (9 targets).

Victor Cruz – It appears that Victor Cruz is past his nagging injuries (for now) and was able to log significant snaps for the Giants.  Cruz caught all 4 balls thrown his way including a TD.  The takeaway here is that he’s on the field and getting snaps.

New Player Additions

Marvin Jones – Jones was targeted by Stafford 10 times in week 1 as he ended the day with 4 catches for 85 yards.  Golden Tate had 7 targets so Jones is already gaining the confidence of his QB.

Will Fuller – This rookie shined in his first NFL game.  He caught 5 balls for 107 yards and a TD.  The most interesting thing is that he had 11 targets so Osweiler is looking his way.  Hopkins had 8 targets in the game.

Mohamed Sanu – Matt Ryan looked pretty comfortable with Sanu as he caught 5 balls on 8 targets for 80 yards and a TD.  With Julio Jones getting double coverage, Sanu may be just what the Falcons and Matt Ryan needed.

Dwayne Allen – This is a stretch to put in the new additions section, but Rob Chudzinski the Offensive Coordinator is a new addition to the Colts and he loves utilizing the TE.  The Colts’ TEs had 7 catches on 10 targets for 88 yards and 3 TDs.  Jack Doyle caught 2 of the TDs, but Allen played the majority of snaps and is the guy to benefit.

Running Back Battles

C.J. Anderson – Anderson had a full workload with 92 yards on 20 carries and a TD.  With Devontae Booker fumbling early in the game, C.J. looks to run the show here.

Devanta Freeman (Tevin Coleman) – Freeman had a poor outing with only 20 yards on 11 carries.  Tevin Coleman had 8 carries and was more active in the receiving game, and that’s not the split Freeman owners want.  We’ll have to see how this plays out in the upcoming weeks.

Justin Forsett (Terrance West) – At this point, I’ve had enough of the Baltimore Ravens backfield.  Justin Forsett had 10 carries and 41 yards while Terrance West had 12 carries and 32 yards.  I don’t know who will come out on top of this one, but will any of them really help our fantasy teams???

Spencer Ware (Charcandrick West/Jamaal Charles) – With Jamaal Charles sidelined, Ware shined carrying the ball 11 times for 70 yards and a TD as well as catching 7 balls for 129 yards.  Charcandrick West was supposed to garner quite a few carries (only got 3), but Ware was an absolute beast in this one.  Ware looks good to start until Charles is active.

Matt Forte (Bilal Powell) – Matt Forte got 22 carries to Bilal Powell’s 4.  Powell may pick up a few more in the coming weeks, but this is not a timeshare.

Ryan Mathews – Mathews had 77 yards and a TD on 22 carries.  Darren Sproles was 2nd on the team with 5 carries and Kenjon Barner got 4.  Mathews is poised for a heavy workload as long as he stays on the field.

DeMarco Murray (Derrick Henry) – Murray got the majority of work for the Tennessee Titans with 13 carries and 7 targets (77 total yards).  Derrick Henry had 5 carries and 2 targets (44 total yards).

Christine Michael (Thomas Rawls) – While Christine Michael got the start, it was pretty much a timeshare and Thomas Rawls is slated for more work next week.  I don’t expect either of them to be a true workhorse and it’ll be a committee moving forward, with Rawls having the edge.

LeGarrette Blount (NE RBs) – With Belichick you never know, but in this one Blount rushed 23 times and no other RB came close.  He’s the guy in running situations but not passing downs.

Matt Jones (Chris Thompson/Rob Kelley) – Jones couldn’t get anything going against the Steelers and I don’t know how long he’ll hold onto the starting job.  Jones had 7 carries for 24 yards; Chris Thompson had 4 carries for 23 yards.  Rob Kelley is also in the mix if the team decides to make a change.

Week 1 Injuries (and Week 2 Replacements)

Keenan Allen – Allen suffered a torn ACL and is out for the year again.  Travis Benjamin was one of my sleepers entering the year and I like him that much more now.  Tyrell Williams appears to be the guy to replace Allen.  Gates and Woodhead might pick up a little extra work but they’re always involved.  Dontrelle Inman should get some action too.

Demaryius Thomas – Suffered a hip injury on Thursday against Carolina.  While originally thought to be serious, Thomas is actually questionable for week 2.  If Thomas doesn’t play, there isn’t a must play fantasy pickup for him.

Sammy Watkins – He reinjured his foot in Sunday’s game and has a game on short rest on Thursday.  Tyrod Taylor doesn’t pass enough to make Watkins’ replacement relevant, if he doesn’t play.

Russell Wilson – He injured his ankle against Miami but is expected to play in week 2.  This injury will probably limit his mobility and may take some time to fully heal.  Trevone Boykin is the backup and the whole offense would take a hit with him under center.

Robert Griffin III – He is on injured reserve and out for 8+ weeks with a fractured bone in his shoulder.  Josh McCown – He will replace RG3 as the Cleveland Browns QB.  This actually improves the value of Gary Barnidge and Duke Johnson as RG3 wasn’t a “check down” type of QB.

Week 1 Concerns

Cam Newtown – How much of a beating can Cam take?  Cam isn’t in this section because he won’t put up stats.  He’s here because he took a beating from the Denver Broncos in week 1 and I can’t imagine him staying healthy all year.  When he plays, he’s a beast.

Todd Gurley – While many people may be worried about Gurley, I’m not so concerned.  Yes, the Rams offense looks bad.  Really bad!  The offense was bad last year and he still excelled.  Don’t put too much weight into one game, but this situation is worth monitoring.  He may not be the best RB in the league, but he’s still a solid RB1 and I expect him to improve.

Words of Wisdom

Do Not Overreact!  We’re only one week removed from our drafts and a good or bad week 1 performance should not greatly change our rankings.  Over the next couple weeks, we need to determine which performances are smoke and mirrors and which ones are a sign of things to come.  Only time will tell!

Reported by

John Kocur (Sports Writer)


running-back-rankings

The NFL season is upon us and we’re all gearing up for our fantasy leagues.  The preseason hype is over and everyone picked their sleepers and busts.  Let’s take a look at the fantasy running back starters and reserves entering Week 1.

AFC East

Patriots – LeGarrette Blount appears to have the first crack at the position and any rushing touchdowns.  James White will be sprinkled in the passing game but probably not enough to have value.  Veteran Brandon Bolden is also still hanging around in case Belichick wants to shake things up like he usually does.  Dion Lewis is on the PUP and out for the first six weeks with a knee injury.  Once he’s back, only Blount will maintain some value.

Dolphins – Arian Foster locked up the starting job and Jay Ajayi wasn’t thrilled with the decision.  It looks like Ajayi won’t even suit up for week one.  Foster should get a full load of carries as he tries to stave off the injury bug.  Kenyan Drake is the only other running back to own and could supplant Ajayi as #2 in the coming weeks.

Jets – People are up and down on Forte.  He’s been a beast for years, but how long can he last.  He’s 30 years old and his past workload may be catching up to him.  I still think Forte is on the plus side of a 75/25 split with Bilal Powell.

Bills – This is LeSean McCoy’s show and should be the workhorse of the team.  One of only a few 3-down backs, McCoy is set for a big year if healthy.  The backup job is cloudy in my opinion.  Somehow Reggie Bush impressed enough to make the team but I like Mike Gillislee as the #2 back.  Bush could get some work on 3rd downs.  The Bills also have rookie Jonathan Williams as a darkhorse.

 

AFC North

Steelers – Le’Veon Bell should be back in Week 4 barring another suspension.  DeAngelo Williams will hold down the fort until Bell is back.  I expect Williams to be a RB1 for the first three weeks and a must handcuff to Bell.

Bengals – Jeremy Hill will do the heavy lifting and get the ground TDs (and fumbles).  Giovani Bernard has never been expected to be a workhorse back, but always shows up when his number is call.  Hill will be steady, but not spectacular.  Bernard should put up a few big games, especially in PPR leagues, but good luck guessing which week it will be.

Ravens – The running back position for the Ravens has been in flux all preseason.  Justin Forsett was cut, then resigned and expected to be the starter.  Terrance West had a great preseason and was the started in the few days that Forsett wasn’t on the roster.  Javorius Allen and Kenneth Dixon both have a shot to get their share of carries.  At the end of the year, who knows which of these four will lead the team in rushing yards.

Browns – Isaiah Crowell has the starting job for now and Duke Johnson will be a receiving threat from the position.  It’s possible that Duke gets more carries if “The Crow” doesn’t show up.

 

AFC South

Colts – Frank Gore is up in age (33), but he’s also one of those rare 3-down running backs.  The Colts want to limit his workload, but have Robert Turbin as the backup.  Jordan Todman and Josh Ferguson don’t sound like viable options either.

Texans – Lamar Miller is one of the new additions to the team and looks to be the workhorse.  Let’s see if he lives up to his potential as a rushing/receiving threat; I think he will.  Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes have never impressed when they were called into action.

Titans – The one-two punch of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry look to be lethal  I expect the workload to be 70/30 at the start in favor of Murray, but Henry may get more carries as the season wears on.

Jaguars – It will be interesting to see how the Jags use Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon.  Yeldon is the better receiving threat, but I think the workload is 60/40 in Ivory’s favor. Ivory is questionable for week 1 with a calf injury.

 

AFC West

Broncos – Well we got to see C.J. Anderson blow up Thursday night, and it might be that way all season.  His handcuff, Devontae Booker, came in and coughed up a fumble.  Not a good first impression.

Raiders – Latavius Murray is the started but there has been a lot of hype around backup DeAndre Washington.  He’s not a bad handcuff, but I think Murray will have a solid season and fend off any competition.  Taiwan Jones is also around to vulture some carries.

Chargers – The highly touted Melvin Gordon looks to put a tough rookie season behind him and show that he can be a productive NFL running back.  Backup Branden Oliver is out for the season so there is less competition for Gordon.  Danny Woodhead is still around, he’s 31, but can still catch a ton of balls if Rivers throws it to him.  I expect Gordon to improve on last year, and Woodhead to have a very slight decline but be more than serviceable.

Chiefs – This is another mess of a situation.  We saw last year that when Jamaal Charles is out, both Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware can handle the duties.  Charles still appears to be out with a slower than expected recovery on his ACL, and West/Ware are still battling for carries.  Flip a coin on who out-produces who until Charles is back.

 

NFC East

Giants – Rashad Jennings isn’t flashy, but he should get a full workload this season as a 3-down back.  Shane Vereen will catch some balls, but not like when Brady was throwing to him in New England.  If Jennings goes down, who knows if Paul Perkins, Bobby Rainey, or Orleans Darkwa would get the carries.

Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliott was drafted to be the workhorse for Dallas.  Everyone has huge fantasy expectations (Top 5 RB) and he’s yet to have an NFL carry.  Alfred Morris is backing him up and has looked great through training camp and preseason.  Morris is a veteran in the league, but still only 27 years old.

Eagles – Ryan Mathews is the starter and can catch passes out of the backfield.  The Eagles also have Darren Sproles to use in the passing game.  If Mathews goes down, Kenjon Barner or Wendell Smallwood could fill in nicely.

Redskins – Matt Jones appears to have the starting job, but the vibes haven’t been good this offseason.  Chris Thompson will catch passes and get 3rd down work, but backup duties would be Rob Kelley if Matt Jones can’t play.

 

NFC North

Packers – Eddie Lacy will carry the load for the Packers; James Starks is the handcuff if Lacy falters; nuff said.

Vikings – Adrian Peterson will carry the load for the Vikings; Jerick McKinnon is the handcuff.  Matt Asiata is also still hanging around.

Lions – Ameer Abdullah is the starter in Detroit.  Theo Riddick is the 3rd down back and should catch a slew of passes.  Zach Zenner could be a sneaky sleeper if Abdullah doesn’t perform and in short yardage situations.

Bears – With Forte gone, Jeremy Langford has some big shoes to fill.  He’s the starter, but Ka’Deem Carey and Jordan Howard are both on the roster looking for carries.  If the Bears start out slow as a team and can’t get the running game going with Langford, don’t be surprised if there’s a change at the top.

 

NFC South

Falcons – Devonta Freeman had a great year last year and should have another one in 2016.  Tevin Coleman shouldn’t carve out too many carries, nor Terron Ward.

Panthers – James Stewart is the unquestioned starter at running back, but Cam Newton could actually lead the team in rushing and he steals rushing TDs from Stewart.  Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whittaker are the backups, but there’s not enough stats at the position on the Panthers.

Saints – Mark Ingram is looking to have another big year and really improved in the receiving department.  Tim Hightower is the backup and can fill in if an injury hits.

Buccaneers – Doug Martin is the starter, but Charles Sims will vulture some carries and get a lot of receiving work.  Martin will get the rushing TDs.

 

NFC West

Seahawks – Thomas Rawls was expected to be the starter, but Christine Michael will start week 1.  I would give the edge to Rawls as the more productive back this season, but Michael will get his fair share.  I don’t see a Marshawn Lynch like workhorse here.  C.J. Prosise can be a playmaker but he might not get the ball enough.

Rams – It’s the Todd Gurley show in LA and I have him as the #1 RB in fantasy football (thanks to the Le’Veon Bell suspension).  If Gurley goes down, I don’t think there’s a RB that could put up relevant fantasy points on this team.  Benny Cunningham is the backup and looked decent in preseason.

Cardinals – David Johnson is the starter and should be primed for a big year.  Chris Johnson will back him up but I don’t expect him to get much work.  Andre Ellington is still on Arizona, but not worth watching.

49ers – Carlos Hyde is the #1 running back in San Fran.  With Chip Kelly’s offense, they should run plenty of plays and give Hyde the opportunity to produce in a big way.  His status for week 1 is in question and Shaun Draughn would fill in if Hyde misses time.  Mike Davis also impressed in preseason and can fill in when needed.

The world of Fantasy success is sometimes predicated upon the amount of depth on one’s roster. Getting familiar with the names above is the first step to becoming a winner!

Reported by

John Kocur (Sports Writer)

 

 


philly future

It definitely has been a long couple of years in the city of brotherly love. We have gone through many blunders and mistakes by the management of our clubs, as well as an array of losses we all can still feel. As a person in his late 30’s, I vividly remember the same times of heartache before that left us searching for answers. If you are in the same group you remember too…….

The Phillies looked to never be able to catch the Atlanta Braves with their Aces, the New Jersey Devils with Scott Stevens and Marty Brodeur were tag teaming our Flyers, Bubby Brister and Rodney Peete were leading our Eagles, and Charles Shackleford was still trying to figure out why he was on the 76ers roster. We could sit here for hours and bring up all the names of the late 80’s and early 90’s flops that we had to watch for our respective teams. Thankfully the pendulum swings back from time to time to give us something to get excited about and like John Cena says, “That time is now!”

The rapid developments of our franchises are not a secret anymore. We have begun to move past the process and now are beginning to build towards a promising future. Let’s start with our Philadelphia 76ers. I beg to differ with the opinion of any when I say Sam Hinkie should have a statue in this town for what he built. For all the naysayers and non-believers just look back and remember the post Allen Iverson era. Yeah, the memories last that quickly.

Billy King continued to try and vie for the 8th playoff spot in the East every year just to be knocked off the throne and sent packing by the #1 seed. It was time for a change in theory and that’s what Sam brought to town. Sure the losing stung a little bit, but in the end it will all be worth it. If anyone witnessed 5 minutes of a summer league game then they know Ben Simmons will be something to get excited about. His court vision and willingness to distribute the ball is something this town has not seen in a LONG time. Are we going to compete for the Eastern Conference this year? Of course not. However, with Noel, Saric, Embiid, and Simmons games will definitely be talked about on a daily basis. I can already feel the Sixer love beginning to take over.

As another process we should trust, The Philadelphia Phillies have turned a minor league farm system from happy hour joke material to a respectable topic on MLB Tonight. It was about 8 years ago when the nucleus of the Phillies took over the NL East and fought through the wicked rains of October to give this town a championship. Unfortunately, they were never able to capitalize on that talent again. For those of you who follow me and read my articles know I do not hold Ruben accountable. As much as you disagree, I remain comfortable with my opinion. He tried and he tried. He assembled, what should have been the best rotation in baseball. How did he know it wouldn’t work out? Did he trade away Cliff Lee prematurely? Sure. However, this is the same guy that gave you Roy Hallady. All things considered he drained our farm system dry with his single most destructive move being letting go Mike Arbuckle. Mike went to Kansas City who won a world series. Yeah, enough said.

After years of knowing it was time to rebuild, the Phillies assembled a front office with guys who had a proven track record. Andy MacPhail comes from the Orioles and will always be remembered for making a slew of headline trades with one of the biggest being the move that consisted of the following…..

Orioles trade to Seattle: Erik Bedard
Orioles get from Seattle: Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, George Sherrill, Kam Mickolio, Tony Butler

Even now, this trade is so good that you almost can’t even fathom how much of a rip-off it has turned out for the Orioles. Without even going into statistics, all you need to know is that Bedard bounced around and had more injury plagued seasons than Mike Hampton and Adam Jones, along with Chris Tillman (14-3 so far this year) are two of the biggest reasons for Baltimore’s turnaround.

Andy MacPhail looks to have rewritten his fairytale with the Cole Hamels trade and the hiring of Matt Klentak from the Angels organization seems to be another well calculated move. Matt has been talked about as the next young mind in baseball to succeed and has done some good things already. Just looking at the farm system we have assembled, we are only a few years away from contention.

Now onto the orange and black. As we still lay to rest the beloved Ed Snider, Gm Ron Hextall and Head Coach Dave Hakstol are putting together a plan to make you get behind. Hakstol has single handedly changed the style of this team and continues to bring the same development success he had with players such as Jonathan Toews and Zach Parise to the Flyers forefront. With the stocked farm system the Flyers have it won’t be long before they are atop the Eastern Conference. GM Hextall continues to make trades to wash away all the past salary cap destruction all while hanging his hat on prized prospects like Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, and Sam Morin. It won’t be long before they are skating around the Wells Fargo Center.

We saw the first stage of the plan when Shayne Gostisbehere took the NHL by storm and Nick Cousins proved he can be player you can rely on in the future. As the Flyers’ young players continue to emerge, the Wells Fargo Center will be rocking night in and night out.

As we dwindle down the list of the top 4 we can’t forget our beloved Eagles. Wow, what a few years it has been for the midnight men in green. Do we all remember that moment when we found out Chip Kelly was coming? We went through weeks of speculation when the chants for the Gus Bus came to a screeching stop. It was the simple text message that was received by Howie Roseman minutes before Gus Bradley was ready to sign on the dotted line that said, “I’ll take the job!” With that came the Chip Kelly era that began with a very weak, “Yo Philly” chant from the Chipster himself at his first appearance during wing bowl. Did Chip get out of dodge because of the sanctions came down by the NCAA? This is something we will never be able to get a definitive answer on. However, the path of excitement that turned to emotional devastation will forever be remembered by all who follow the team on a consistent basis.

It started out as the most exciting 1st half in sports with the unleashing of the hurry up offense on national television. The Washington Redskins didn’t know what hit them, while Al Michaels couldn’t read his script fast enough. One thing is for sure, Chip Kelly made the entire NFL go back to work. From referees to camera guys, everyone needed to be in tip top shop in order to call an Eagles game.

Unfortunately, the success never turned into a consistent formula and the team became a mockery of what it once was. It was obvious the owner’s patience was wearing thin as it was evident the team had given up on the once heralded coach.

We now are introduced to the Dougie P Era and one that will definitely bring with it tons of criticism. Will Doug work out as a HC? It all remains to be seen. My theory still remains that Jim Schwartz only picked Philly because he felt it was his quickest path to become a HC again. I just cannot help but think the main reason for Doug’s presence was his knack for not rocking the boat. Between him and the beloved Howie Roseman, there will always be a story to report on or a move to criticize.

Either way, the keys to our future are in the hands of Carson Wentz. It took one snap and 30 seconds into the first public training camp practice to hear the chants of, “We want Carson.” Just wait until Sam Bradford gets his arm stuck in his big sleeves and throws his first wobbler to a wide open receiver. Those chants will get louder and more passionate.

Carson Wentz is the single most important figure in Philadelphia Sports right now. He will either lead us to success or failure over the next 10 years. What end of the spectrum we will be on remains to be seen. However, the one thing we have that we didn’t for years is the hopes of stability in the pocket.

As we look over the landscape of Philadelphia Sports we can always agree that the passion is what gets us through the bad times and strings of bad luck. We have certainly endured a long period of losing in all areas and a time period we want to leave in the dust. The end looks to be finally approaching with a glimmer of hope sprinkled into the mix. It won’t be long until we are on the national viewing scene once again as we get treated to the criticism of an overrated Joe Buck as he talks about things he can only look up on the internet and a bunch of rookie reporters bringing up the booing of Santa Claus. In the end it will be worth it as we will be cheering once again!

Reported By:

Tony Cutillo (@TCutillo23)


ffdraft

There was a study conducted in the late 1960’s by Stanford professor Walter Mischel, to identify a link between delayed gratification, and future success.  Sixteen boys and girls, aged 3-5 years old were sat in a room and given a choice: you can have 1 marshmallow right now, or 2 marshmallows if you’re willing to wait a short while.  And in glorious, manipulative fashion- these sick bastards left each child in the room with both plates of marshmallows.  Most kids broke and went for the 1 marshmallow.  I would have ate all 3 and asked for 1 more using a very specific finger.

It’s not over.

Then these weirdos followed up with the children over the following decades to see what has come of their lives; like some warped Sesame Street meets animal tagging scene.  But here’s where the weirdos win, and the 3rd marshmallow falls slowly from my shocked, adolescent mouth.  There was a direct link between those little shits that waited for the 2 marshmallows and how well they fared later in life.  And not judged by some out there metrics, either.  Very simple: the kids that waited would go on to have more advanced education, jobs with higher incomes, and better health.

Well, color me fat.

Let’s all do Professor Mischel’s sick work justice and not eat the marshmallow this season.

  1. DO NOT DRAFT EARLY! Waiting to draft as late as your league possibly can (I prefer the end of August) gives you as much information as possible.  This is a game of information- the more you have, the better off you’ll be.  You may have just drafted Todd Gurley in the early 1st round.  Life is good, right!  That is, until you find out that over the holiday weekend Todd’s legs were blown off at a Jason Pierre pool party.  *This publication does not condone the blowing off of Mr. Gurley, or any Rams running backs’ legs.  Not even Tre Mason.* Football is the ultimate co-dependent sport.  Losing a pro-bowl center can affect your stud receiver.  A star wide-out goes down, and boom!  No double coverage and a more predictable offense leads to a box stacked of defenders and your ace running back looking at anemic numbers.  These things happen.  That’s why God invented whiskey and waiver wires.  There’s enough frustration waiting for us all during the course of each fantasy season- don’t bend over and wink for more.  Unless, you enjoy the pain and need a hug from dad.  You know who doesn’t need a hug?  Todd Gurley.  He needs legs for Christ’s sake, jeez, a little sympathy.
  2. DO NOT SCOUT PLAYERS, yet! Investing your time in July on scouting your players and where you rank them, is a waste of it.  Studs are still studs, duds are still duds, and Melvin Gordon is still the premier back of the San Diego Chargers, right Danny Woodhead?!  If you really want to use your time wisely and give you an edge: look at the guys behind the guys.  Coaching changes, coordinator changes, trades, retirements, and contracts.  This may not be the sexiest of data to analyze, but doing an X-ray of a team will give you insight into where a team is trending.  Ever say, “Where the hell did this guy come from?!”  This is usually no coincidence.  When it’s not obvious, and someone starts to blow up, it can almost always be reverse-engineered to the factors mentioned.  *Next week’s article will highlight coordinator changes and their impact.  And no, I will not be ranking all 32 NFL offensive coordinators.  I’d just as soon waterboard you with NyQuil.
  3. STOP LISTENING TO US! Make no mistake; I will do player evaluation before you should start listening.  I completely would have failed the aforementioned test and have the lack of impulse control to prove it.  Ignore it. Be better than me.  Remember when I said next week’s article will stay on course and dive into offensive coordinators.  Yeah, I probably lied.  It will end up being about tight ends and the women that love them.

Or, maybe we’ll surprise each other.  Stranger things have happened.

Enjoy your marshmallow(s).

Published by:

Michael Dorsey


nfl draft

Sum of All Sports Report

 Fantasy Sports, Real Sports and Sports Entertainment All in One Place!

The NFL Draft of 2016 has come and gone, but the stories will continue to play out throughout the season. Being drafted in the NFL is a privilege and one that cannot be underestimated. In due time we will find out what players were worth the investment.

This day had many surprises and some that none could predict. Either way it was another weekend full of suspense and one that definitely didn’t disappoint. Come join in below and leave your thoughts to the following observations for some of the tops stories in sports this week.

* #LaremyTunsil slide….Going from the best player in the draft to dropping all the way to 13…If Miami didn’t have some inside information, would the slide have continued to Day 2?

* #JaylonSmith hobbles all the way up to 34….Did the Cowboys stretch for a player that will red shirt for a whole year? Could they have picked him later?

* #JaredGoff or CarsonWentz…What guy will be the better pick? Are they both a reach?  

* #SamBradford still an Eagle…..How will this situation pan out?

* #SanJose is first team to take a 2-0 series lead…Games 3 and 4 move to Nashville…Can the Sharks keep their momentum going?

* # NolanArenado early vote for MVP…305 with 11 homers and 25 RBI…Does playing in Colorado hurt the Gold Glover’s chances?

* #GoldenState…Playing without Curry, the Warriors and Draymond Green continue to roll in round 2. Will he be back by Game 3?

Come follow my weekly Sum of All Sports Report to answer these questions and weigh in on the latest news in Fantasy Sports, Real Sports and Sports Entertainment. Leave your comments below and let your voice be heard…Come follow me on twitter @TCutillo23 for live sessions and responses.

***If you want to hear the voice behind the story, I can be heard on “Sun Coast Live” airing 4:00p ET every Monday on WENG 1530am/107.5fm, Hosted by Guy T. Wehman.  Also catch me on Friday nights at 7:30pm ET on “Live from Seattle” with Michelle Mendoza…Come stop by and listen for my weekly sports review.

***Also for all my secret wrestling fans out there, come follow my column at eWrestlingnews.com.. This site offers a ton of content and breaking news stories that pertain to the past and present business.

Reported by:

Tony Cutillo