Author Archives: jmarion34

Fantasy Football: Rules, Studs, Duds, and Sleepers Part Two

Photo credit goes to Jae C. Hong/ Associated Press

In my 2nd part of Fantasy Football: Rules, Studs, Duds, and Sleepers you get less rules but more players to think about drafting. I can’t give out all my rules but I have no problem letting you know which players I’m high and low on. You’ll notice I’ve omitted the obvious players like Mahomes, Kittle, Kelce, etc but hopefully this can help give you some sense of a guide.


  1. Always put a running back as your flex: This a rule I stand by season after season and one that some may differ from. Running backs are usually rushing and passing options, therefore I view them as more valuable than stud WR’s. I’ve been burned in the past by good running backs in the flex and won’t let it happen again.
  2. Steal your bench quarterback early: A lot of people don’t put much value in the bench QB but I’ve always valued the position. Stud QB’s can sometimes be very injury prone and it doesn’t hurt to have a good backup option in the most important position. Don’t get burned by not following this rule.
  3. Don’t wait to draft a kicker: This rule is the one a lot of people don’t follow and it burns them often. A good kicker is always a valuable commodity and gives the drafter a sense of relief when one is to be had.


  1. QB- Tom Brady- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The GOAT is an obvious stud and has the most weapons in the NFL to throw to. Coming off of a Super Bowl victory last season, he seems even hungrier this year to repeat. It is a virtual guarantee Brady will throw for 300+ yards and 2+ TD’s a game. Take this one to the bank.
  2. QB- Matthew Stafford- Los Angeles Rams: This one may be surprising but I see Stafford poised to have a great season with the Rams. He has an ungraded room of playmakers and was never a bad option in Fantasy Football even with the Lions. Stafford should cut down on INT’s with the Rams and his numbers should go through the roof.
  3. QB- Joe Burrow- Cincinnati Bengals: Burrow got injured last season but could be a stud if you draft him as your backup QB. By your point in the draft, you should absolutely have a better QB than Burrow but if not, he’s still gonna put up good numbers. Of the 2nd year quarterbacks, Burrow is primed to have the best season.
  4. RB- Jonathan Taylor- Indianapolis Colts: With Carson Wentz under center for the Colts, I don’t see that passing offense doing too well. The Colts should rely on Taylor due to this fact. Regardless of the QB, Taylor is a good fantasy RB option year after year.
  5. RB- Aaron Jones- Green Bay Packers: Aaron Jones emerged as a stud last season and I think he’ll be even better this year. The Packers like to play game control football and with a RB like Jones- that allows them to do so. A versatile runner, look for Jones to hit the “home run” rush on occasion as well.
  6. RB- Josh Jacobs- Las Vegas Raiders: Jacobs was dynamite last year and look for another great season to follow. An every down running back, Jacobs will get a lot of touches for the Raiders. This may be a running back that can be “stolen” in a later round if possible.
  7. WR- Justin Jefferson- Minnesota Vikings: Jefferson is can’t miss in drafts this year. Although, I’m not a big fan of Kirk Cousins, Jefferson will be the best WR on the Vikings by a landslide. In a PPR or non-PPR league Jefferson should be someone you look to grab early.
  8. WR- Mike Evans- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With 70 receptions, 1,006 yards, and 13 touchdowns many fantasy football owners of this player were happy in 2020. Even though the Bucs are loaded with offensive weapons, do not shy away from drafting Evans. Evans is sure handed and can get yards after the catch so he is always a big threat to any defense.
  9. TE- Kyle Pitts- Atlanta Falcons: I told everyone to draft Pitts this season for many reasons. First off, even coming out of college, Pitts is NFL ready physically and mentally. Also take into consideration that after losing Julio Jones this offseason that Pitts will be more relied upon. Matt Ryan doesn’t have much to throw to anymore but Pitts will be a guaranteed stud.
  10. TE- Noah Fant- Denver Broncos: I drafted Noah Fant in a few of my leagues because I feel he is a great option to throw to whomever the Broncos QB may end up being. Tallying 62 receptions for 673 yards and 3 TD’s last season, Fant will be even more productive this year. Not only is Fant a redzone target- he’ll be a good option on every down.
  11. D/ST’s: Bucs: This defense should be tops in the league this season. With studs in the secondary and front seven, you can’t go wrong with drafting this team. Scoop them up as soon as you can.
  12. D/ST’s: Washington Football Team: This side of the ball might see a lot of time but that only allows them more opportunities. With easily the best front seven in the NFL, look for this team to be top 5 in overall defense. Similar to the Bucs, this team is loaded on defense and will not disappoint.
  13. K- Jason Myers- Seattle Seahawks: Myers is a steady kicker plus Seattle may have to settle for field goals early on in this season. Teams are gonna lock down on Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf so drives may stall. After Tucker and Butker- I’d take Myers.
  14. K- Tyler Bass- Buffalo Bills: This season Bass will not only have field goal opportunities but many extra point tries. With a steady leg from 50 yards or beyond, Bass could shock a lot of fantasy owners this year. If any other stud kicker I mentioned is gone- take this guy.
  15. K- Rodrigo Blackenship- Indianapolis Colts: I typically don’t like going with Colts players but this guy should have MANY opportunities. Not from extra point but from long distance- Blackenship should bring you home in your kicker position.
Surprisingly Juju is a Dud for me this season.


  1. QB- Tyrod Taylor- Houston Texans: Named newest starter of the Texans, I don’t expect Taylor to shine in any facet this season. He’s been a dud for multiple seasons and nothing is changing my mind. Taylor throws a lot of picks and indecisive with the ball- if you draft him you’re a moron.
  2. QB- Jalen Hurts- Philadelphia Eagles: Now you won’t be a moron if you draft Hurts as a bench QB but look for him to have an inconsistent season. Out of the top quarterbacks who were drafted, I expect Hurts to have the worst season. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong but I think I’ll be on the right side of history here.
  3. QB- Kirk Cousins- Minnesota Vikings: Sure, Cousins can hand the ball off to Dalvin Cook and throw it to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen but I’ve never been a fan of his. Always good for an untimely interception- Cousins is not a guy I would hitch my wagon to. His best years are behind him.
  4. RB- Christian McCaffrey- Carolina Panthers: McCaffrey is good when he’s healthy but when is that? Christian missed 13 games in 2020 and is now suffering quad, thigh, and ankle injuries. A small running back, McCaffrey can take a lot of big hits across the open field. I may be dead wrong about him this season but all signs point to that I won’t be.
  5. RB- David Montgomery- Chicago Bears: You’d think the Bears would try to hand it off to Montgomery several times in a game but I don’t think the Bears will be that smart. That Bears defense may put them in good field position at points but any current QB will mess it up. A “stud” in most leagues in Montgomery is an absolute dud for me.
  6. WR- Juju Smith-Schuster- Pittsburgh Steelers: In past seasons Juju was an absolute stud but he’s on the downside of things this season. Other Steelers WR’s have emerged and most teams will put their best cornerback on Smith-Schuster. Juju will put up decent numbers but don’t expect any break way weeks from him like you would a Tyreek Hill.
  7. WR- Calvin Ridley- Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan is in his later years and Ridley is the Falcons only viable receiver besides Kyle Pitts. Similar to Juju, every single teams top cornerback will be covering Ridley this season. I’d shy very far away from him unless you can steal him as a bench player.
  8. WR- Kenny Golladay- New York Giants: You’ll notice a theme with my dud WR’s. They are all the top options on their teams. With Daniel Jones under center for the Giants I don’t expect many accurate footballs to get Golladay’s way either. Golladay will flash in certain weeks but is not consistent and that is the most important aspect of Fantasy Football.
  9. TE- Blake Jarwin- Dallas Cowboys: I’ve seen Jarwin ranked pretty high in certain articles but I’m not buying it. The Cowboys have so many other weapons to get to other than him that I think he’ll be forgotten. From my recollection, Jarwin has always been more of a blocking tight end. Don’t expect earth shattering numbers from him this year.
  10. TE- Jared Cook- Los Angeles Chargers: Cook is merely only 34 years old but has been in the NFL for a long time. He may be a good red zone option but I think Justin Herbert will look elsewhere on crucial downs. I hope this isn’t Cook’s last season but all signs are pointing towards that. Certainly do not draft Cook in a PPR league- even for your bench.
  11. TE- Evan Engram- New York Giants: A disappointing player for years, Engram never is worth drafting as a starter these days. The Giants have other playmakers they are focused on getting the ball to and similar to Blake Jarwin I feel like he’ll be forgotten in this offense. Expect the Giants defense to be more on the field than a chance for Evan Engram to get the ball.
  12. D/ST’s- Philadelphia Eagles: I couldn’t name you one playmaker on the Eagles defense other than Fletcher Cox. With an unsure QB room that could be interception prone, this side of the ball is going to see a lot of time on the field. Look for this Eagles defense to get gassed early in the season- I wouldn’t draft them at all.
  13. D/ST’s- Indianapolis Colts: The Colts defense only has one playmaker as well and that’s Darius Leonard. With Colts QB’s throwing picks up and down the field, this defense will see a lot of time as well. If you see this team defense as draftable- I don’t know what you are thinking.
  14. K- Matt Prater- Arizona Cardinals: At age 37, Prater’s best years are well behind him. He may be reliable from 45 yards or under but I wouldn’t expect his range to reach beyond that. Also take into consideration that the Cardinals may not be in many field goal situations.
  15. K- Robbie Gould- San Francisco 49ers: I’ve never been a big fan of Robbie Gould even though he’s been around for years. In an easy prediction, this will be Gould’s last team. When I say don’t wait for a kicker- I’m not talking about Mr. Gould.
Photo credit goes to: Adrian Kraus/ Associated Press


  1. QB- Justin Herbert- Los Angeles Chargers: I feel filthy putting Herbert as a sleeper and not a stud but a lot of folks may have not caught onto his game. Herbert not only has great weapons but he is a gun slinger and lethal in the red zone. I would’ve drafted Herbert on any of my teams but he was scooped up fairly early. Don’t miss your chance on him as a starter or bench QB.
  2. QB- Ryan Tannehill- Tennessee Titans: In the past Tannehill has been an interception machine but he’s got the right machinery to throw to this season. Recent addition Julio Jones, stud AJ Brown, and slot receiver Josh Reynolds will serve him well. Look for Tannehill to make better decisions with the football this year too. That’s just my hunch.
  3. RB- James Connor- Arizona Cardinals: With a new number (#6) a new team Connor is gonna do very well with the Cardinals. Teams will lock in on their top WR’s so expect Connor to have a more increased role than expected. Connor only had 6 rushing TD’s in 2020 but expect that number to increase this season. Do not sleep on this guy.
  4. RB- Zack Moss- Buffalo Bills: Even though Moss is the 2nd string running back for the Bills, I’d expect him to have runs on crucial downs. Moss could start on any team in the NFL but the Bills have the luxury of putting him at 2nd string. I wouldn’t be surprised if Moss gets the starting job eventually. This guy may be the steal of all steals in any draft.
  5. RB- Sony Michel- Los Angeles Rams: With a new team and scheme, Michel can thrive in the Rams offense. I wouldn’t want to start him but that may bode well for some. If anything, Sony would be a decent Flex or 1st or 2nd running back on your bench. Don’t look for him to thrive early in the season but later in the season all bets are off.
  6. WR- Diontae Johnson- Pittsburgh Steelers: The most likely slot wide out for the Steelers, Johnson will put up big numbers in that role. Johnson is sure handed and speedy which is never a bad combination. I’d say he’s the poor man’s Tyreek Hill. Take Diontae before anyone else does in your draft.
  7. WR- DeVonta Smith- Philadelphia Eagles: Although I’ve trashed the Eagles throughout these articles, Smith is not a guy to take lightly. In an Eagles offense that likes to take big chances, Smith is a potential home run hitter. I wouldn’t take him in a PPR league but non-PPR go for it.
  8. TE- Mike Gesicki- Miami Dolphins: At 6’6 and 249 pounds, Gesicki is an imposing figure at tight end. Look for Tua to get the ball to Gesicki across the middle of the field many times. I have a bad feeling that the Dolphins WR’s will get locked down but that will allow for Gesicki to put up huge numbers. You couldn’t go wrong with this man as a starter or backup TE.
  9. TE- Anthony Firkser- Tennessee Titans: With Jonnu Smith now a member of the New England Patriots, Firkser is the top tight end in Tennessee. In some weeks the top WR’s are sure to get locked down so Firkser may be Tannehill’s only option. I wouldn’t reach for Firkser but he would absolutely be a solid backup tight end.
  10. D/ST’s- Los Angeles Rams: With playmakers all over the field and a low ranking on most draft boards, the Rams are easily a good sleeper. This is not the type of team to play conservative on defense either. They are going for interceptions or big hits and that can bode well. If anything, Stafford will cost this teams games not the defense.
  11. D/ST’s- Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals may end up with a very tough schedule but I think their defense will bode well. With recent addition JJ Watt adding to other playmakers on the field, the Cardinals are the type of team that will rip your heart out on defense. Do not draft them as your top defense but I think they’d be a good backup option or bye week option once it gets to that point.
  12. K- Younghoe Koo- Atlanta Falcons: In my crystal ball, I see Matt Ryan stalling out on a lot of drives this season which should allow Koo to have favorable kicks. Beyond that point, Koo has a strong and accurate leg and I’ve seen him drafted higher than I would’ve expected in certain leagues. In later rounds if you find yourself without a kicker- draft Koo.
  13. K- Joey Slye- Carolina Panthers: The Panthers will be in bad field position most of the season and will have to rely on Slye. Even though he’s been shaky in the past, expect Slye to have a big season.

Author’s Note #1: Sorry I put Kyler Murray as a stud and a sleeper in the last article. I didn’t edit well even though studs and sleepers are different.

Author’s Note #2: Consideration and advice was taken from Jon Sawlan for this article. Follow him on Twitter @JonSawlan.

By: Joshua Marion

Follow me on Twitter @jmarion34

Fantasy Football: Rules, Studs, Duds, and Sleepers. Part One

Patrick Mahomes (pictured above) is a must-start in all formats. He can make all the throws.

Fantasy Football drafts can be some of the most fun things some of us do. There’s rules that should be followed and a lot of strategy that comes to it. Here’s my guide for Rules, Studs, Duds, and Sleepers:


  1. Always watch your bye weeks: For some of us this may be obvious but to the rookie drafter this is often overlooked. I rarely draft players with the same bye weeks unless they are on my bench. In a now 17 game season this is seemingly less crucial but trust me – don’t let it come back to bite you in the ass.
  2. Know the difference between a PPR league and Non-PPR league: A PPR league is a points per reception league which puts more emphasis on pass catching running backs and wide receivers who rack up receptions. It is imperative to know the difference before drafting your team. For my money, PPR leagues are more fun to play in than non-PPR leagues.
  3. Have stud running backs: Considering most running backs are a running and passing threat – always put more emphasis on running backs earlier on than wide outs. I typically recommend drafting two RB’s within the first three rounds. Take this rule to the bank- please trust me.
  4. Watch your draft board: A Fantasy Football draft is not the time to be distracted. Always watch your draft board and see where other players are going. Whether drafting against friends or randos, make sure you don’t miss out on your pick. If Kickers seem to be going in that round – draft one. If tight ends are getting gobbled up – snag one.
  5. Keep trade bait on your bench: This rule is imperative as well. Always keep a player on your bench that would be attract to other drafters and also someone you’d be willing to part ways with. Players like Rob Gronkowski and Baker Mayfield are perfect trade bait. (Unless Baker is your starter!)
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones (2) warms up during NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)


  1. Julio Jones- WR- Tennessee Titans: How could this guy not be a stud this season? I’ve seem Julio getting drafted way later than expected and it’s disrespectful. In this Titans offense, Jones will flourish because many teams many key in on running back Derrick Henry. Also don’t discount that AJ Brown could be a decoy possibly for Julio Jones.
  2. Kyler Murray- QB- Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals have a sneaky good team this year and Murray is a good part of it. Murray can throw it strong and rush it hard which is exactly what you need in a Fantasy Football QB. Count on this man to have a strong season especially with an upgraded defense which should put him in prime scoring positions.
  3. Aaron Rodgers- QB- Green Bay Packers: Despite not wanting to play for his team this season, Aaron Rodgers still has a good team around him. DeVante Adams is a stud and he also has Aaron Jones to hand the ball off to. Expect big numbers from A-Rod this season.
  4. Nick Chubb- RB- Cleveland Browns: Chubb is always a must have running back in Fantasy Football. A versatile player, Chubb can do mostly anything on the field. With an every down back like him – you can’t go wrong.
  5. Tyreek Hill- WR- Kansas City Chiefs: Tyreek Hill is a can’t miss player in Fantasy Football. His best weeks are better than most wide receivers seasons. Do not miss on the chance of drafting him.
  6. Antonio Gibson- RB- Washington Football Team: Gibson was a beast in 2020 racking up 170 carries for 795 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Washington offense should be better this season with Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center. Look for Gibson to have a huge season.
  7. Darren Waller- TE- Las Vegas Raiders: Darren Waller is a savage regardless of who is throwing to him. Derek Carr has been his QB for every season but look for Carr to look for Waller early and often in games. Waller is a very sure handed receiver and has an ability to get yards after the catch- don’t let him sneak down your draft board.
  8. Justin Tucker- K- Baltimore Ravens: Never think it’s too early to draft a kicker and Tucker is the best. Most kickers are hit or miss but trust Justin to give you at least 8 points a week. I always draft a kicker earlier than most and usually Tucker is my guy.
  9. Logan Thomas- TE- Washington Football Team: No, I’m not falling in love with Washington Football team players but this guy will be a stud. He is physical and sure handed which always bodes well for any tight end. Considering most teams will be locked in on WR Terry McLaurin, he is sure not to disappoint.
  10. Patriots- D/ST: Do not sleep on the Patriots at the defense/special teams position. This team has studs all across the ball on defense and will easily be a top 5 defense this year. With or without Stephon Gilmore this team looks good.


  1. Ben Roethisberger- QB- Pittsburgh Steelers: Big Ben has been a dud for many seasons. I wouldn’t draft him as a starter or backup. Stay clear away from Big Ben as he is an interception machine.
  2. Dak Prescott- QB- Dallas Cowboys: Sure, the Cowboys have great weapons but I’m not sure Dak can get them the ball. The Cowboys are a run heavy team and Zeke isn’t going anywhere. Plus Dak is injury prone and never reliable.;
  3. Saquon Barkley- RB- New York Giants: Saquon has great talent but never play a full season. I’d stay clear away from him if you are looking for someone reliable. In the later games of the season Saquon may prove me wrong but I wouldn’t draft him at the position he is going lately.
  4. Austin Ekeler- RB- Los Angeles Chargers: Although Ekeler, has been great in past seasons don’t expect him to be great this year. A lot of teams have figured out his running style and Justin Herbert has to rely on a different guy. Do not expect Ekeler to have a good year.
  5. Odell Beckham JR- WR- Cleveland Browns: I never rely on OBJ. He is an ego maniac and unreliable. A very streaky player is never one you need in Fantasy Football. Look for someone more in my sleepers.
  6. Henry Ruggs- WR- Las Vegas Raiders: Ruggs was great in college and an intriguing pick but don’t put your faith in him. The Raiders won’t be too great and Ruggs won’t be anything to write home about- don’t draft him.
  7. Zach Ertz- TE- Philadelphia Eagles: Mr. Ertz is often injury prone and in a loaded TE room in Philly, I wouldn’t rely too much on him. On the worse side of 30, Ertz is not worth drafting as a starter or on your bench.
  8. TJ Hockenson- TE- Detroit Lions: Although Hocksenson has been ranked as the 6th best TE in some leagues, I wouldn’t draft him unless as a bench player. I don’t rely on Jared Goff getting him the ball much and the Lions usually suck. Steer clear of Hockenson.
  9. Texans- D/ST: This team looks good on paper but I wouldn’t draft them if you paid me. With Deshaun Watson out most likely the whole season this defense is going to see a lot of time on the field.
  10. Browns- D/ST: This team seemingly has a lot of playmakers but can’t always put it together at times. Plus, Baker Mayfield can throw untimely picks which leads to bad situations. Don’t reach for this defense and special teams


  1. QB- Mac Jones- New England Patriots: Don’t expect Jones to light things up initially but he will be a good pick. With great coaching and developmental skill position players the Patriots should help with his transition. Look for Mac to throw for 20+ TD’s this season.
  2. QB- Kyler Murray- Arizona Cardinals: Murray can be absolute stud in Fantasy Football. As both a passing and rushing threat, these are always the type of quarterbacks you look for. I won’t steer you wrong with this sleeper whether as a bench player or starter.
  3. RB- Kareem Hunt- Cleveland Browns: Hunt is a shifty and sneaky good player. Behind Nick Chubb, Hunt can thrive in short yardage and passing down situations. Never sleep on Kareem Hunt.

This article shall continue on tomorrow. More Studs, Duds, and Sleepers tomorrow.

By: Joshua Marion

Follow me on Twitter @jmarion34

Will The Patriots Regret Releasing Cam Newton?

Credit for this photo goes to

On a Tuesday (obviously this past Tuesday), earth shattering, internet-breaking news occurred when Cam Newton was released by the New England Patriots. Just when most folks thought Bill Belichick was going to start Cam Week One, he shocks us once again. I’m not sure we’ll ever know the real reason why Cam Newton was cut but is this decision going to come back to bite the Patriots in the ass? Will this be regrettable for years to come or will it only be regrettable for four weeks?

For starters, regret is a strong word and I think this may be the type of thing the Patriots “regret” for four weeks. I wanted the Pats to start Newton Week One but Belichick went a different direction. Rookie Mac Jones is now our starter and while I’m a little disappointed in Belichick, I am not really that upset.

Belichick has his reasons but he may have ultimately realized that if Mac Jones was going to start eventually why not just start him Week One. For the football team that was the main reason but I also believe Newton’s ego was a factor. Cam was never going to sit behind Jones and mentor him. It’s just not in Cam’s DNA at the moment to be a mentor- he always wants to be big man on campus.

Mac Jones seems to have the mental capabilities to be a starting NFL quarterback but some are worried if he is physically ready. The only physical problem with Cam is that his football throwing ability has severely diminished but I thought Belichick should have given Cam the chance to start the season. In a now 17 game season, the quarterback room looks less formidable.

Don’t get me wrong now- I know Mac Jones is going to thrive in this offense and under these coaches. I just think the decision to pull the plug on Cam came too soon.

Obviously time will tell whether the Patriots will “regret” cutting Cam Newton and we wish him well in the future. Cam fell in line with the Patriots philosophy and that will never be forgotten. Now it’s Mac Jones time to shine and ultimately we all can’t be too upset about that.

Follow me on Twitter @jmarion34

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15 Things To Look For In The Final Patriots Preseason Game

The New England Patriots play their final preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium at 6pm Sunday night. There are many things to look for in both teams final tune-up before the regular season. Here’s just 15 things you should be looking for:

  1. Does Cam Newton start this game?

All signs point to Cam Newton starting this game. After missing most of practice this week due to COVID-19 protocols, Newton slid right back into place getting 1st team reps once he came back. Bill Belichick put his full faith in Cam last year and it seems he is being loyal to him this season as well. I want to see Newton start as well because I believe he totally earned it after his last preseason start.

2. How mobile will Mac Jones be in this game?

Not much worry has been put into Mac Jones putting a knee brace on recently. He said it was for precautionary reasons and I’ll take his word for it. However, let’s see how active Jones is in moving around in the pocket. We all know he has a decent arm, but I want to see if he can move accurately and efficiently.

3. Who is the Patriots “lead” running back following the Sony Michel trade?

The player who should assume lead running back role is Damien Harris. With only 137 rushing attempts last season, 691 yards, and 2 touchdowns, Harris was exceptional in his limited opportunity. He’s done nothing to lose faith in him this preseason and look for Harris to get the majority of carries in the game. The Patriots do have a deep running back room but hopefully the team has as much faith in Harris as I do.

4. Does Matthew Judon play in this game?

Matthew Judon has already done enough to be able to take this game off. I wouldn’t risk injury by playing him this game. The Patriots need Judon fresh and available for all 17 regular season games this year. Not just because he is currently our highest paid player but also he could make the biggest non-QB impact on the team.

5. How does Shaun Wade play in this game?

The Patriots acquired cornerback Shaun Wade this week from the Baltimore Ravens. At 6’1, Wade has good size for a cornerback but was not going to make the Ravens 53 man roster by all accounts. Wade was drafted in the 5th round in 2021 and gives the Patriots depth at the position (if Stephon Gilmore gets traded.)

6. How does Jalen Mills’ coverage look?

With Stephon Gilmore sitting out, Mills has bumped up as the number two cornerback behind JC Jackson. His coverage has been shaky in both games this preseason and I don’t think Mills is ready for this role. Keep a special eye on Mills against the Giants to make sure he is not getting burned up and down the field. This would not bode well after picking him up in the offseason on a 4 year, 24 million dollar deal.

7. What is Chase Winovich’s impact?

For a player with a very high ceiling, Winovich seems to be buried behind all the current Patriots front seven talent. From what I’ve seen in both preseason games, he’s played well and is probably worthy of more snaps going forward. Some people think all he cares about is his hair and weird conspiracy theories but I think this kid can play.

8. Which Patriots tight ends play against the Giants?

Top Tight end Hunter Henry has been battling injuries and Jonnu Smith has been getting limited action. Ideally, both of these guys get significant time in this game but that remains to be seen. The Patriots are going to need a significant impact from both Henry and Smith if they plan to make the playoffs this season.

9. How is the defensive coverage on Saquon Barkley?

If you know football, you know Saquon is a beast when healthy. Barkley has been battling a knee injury lately and has apparently taken a step back. If he plays, the Patriots will need to make him a marked man because he is the best Giants player on the roster. Team defense is necessary against a man like that.

(Editor’s note: Barkley has been ruled out for Sunday’s game. That information was unavailable at press time. Probably. )

10. Will any Giants wide receiver threaten JC Jackson?

It’s official- Giants top wide receiver Kenny Golladay will not play this Sunday. This means the Giants will be down to 2nd and 3rd stringers against JC Jackson which isn’t gonna cut it. Look for Jackson to shut down any man who crosses his path.

11. How early do both teams starters come out?

Now that there’s no longer a 4th preseason game, will this game be treated as most 3rd preseason games do? Most 3rd preseason games the starters play the longest time because they knew the scrubs would be in the 4th game. Things have changed with 17 games now in the regular season but I think the coaches will still play this game very hard. Look for the starters to be in at least until the 2nd half is over.

12. How does the Giants offense look?

With Golladay out and an injured Barkley, the rest of the Giants offense doesn’t have much to write home about. I don’t expect them to perform well against the Patriots on Sunday night. We’ll get to their quarterback later on but look for the Pats to absolutely smother this Giants offense.

13. Will JJ Taylor shine in all facets of the game?

A lot of folks are high on JJ Taylor as am I, but can he shine in this game as well? Taylor should get a great opportunity in the backfield and special teams which allows him to show his speed and grit. As much as the Giants offense sucks, so too does their defense so expect Taylor to go off in this game.

14. Does Gunner Olszewski shine in an upgraded role?

Gunner Olszewski is a player who needs to have a big impact in this game. I’m not sure if he’s going to be a part of the roster but he needs a good game to solidify his role. Gunner can play WR and play a role on special teams so look for him early and often.

15. Who has the better Jones?

At some point New England Patriot Mac Jones should square off against lackluster New York Giants starter Daniel Jones. Daniel Jones has been with the Giants for two seasons and had a decent first season but took a step back in 2020. I think time will tell that the better Jones is in New England even though Mac has never played a regular season snap yet.

Follow me on Twitter: @jmarion34

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The Saints Make Jameis Winston Starter for week one

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 23: Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints looks to throw a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Caesars Superdome on August 23, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

According to Adam Schefter and other sources, the New Orleans Saints plan to make Jameis Winston Week One starter against the Green Bay Packers. At only 27 years old, it feels like Winston has been in the league a lot longer and this is his first starting job since being with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019. Of course the Saints had to name a starter this year after having Drew Brees for many seasons.

With the Saints being my second favorite team I felt it necessary to comment on this decision and I believe it is the wrong one for the team. Sure, at 6’4, 231 lbs. Winston absolutely has the body to be a starting NFL QB but does he have the mind?

Winston has always been known as an interception machine and I’m not a big fan of quarterbacks who turn the ball over constantly. In his last full season in 2019, he threw 30 interceptions compared to 33 touchdowns- not a good ratio. I must mention he did also throw for 5,109 yards which is his most in a single season.

Despite the lofty accrual of yardage, Winston is not the guy that I wanted to be starting QB. That man would’ve been Taysom Hill. Hill is less reliable (at the moment) in his accuracy with the football but I believe his style of play is much more the way the league is going and the Saints should go.

Most of the league has moved on from the prototypical “pocket passer” and this would’ve been a wise move for the Saints as well. This decision may cost them early in the season but I believe after seeing Winston chuck the ball up for grabs enough that the move to Hill will be made.

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The Patriots rout the eagles 35-0 in preseason game two

Much has been said/made about the quarterback controversy in Foxborough, MA. Start Cam Newton or Mac Jones Week One? I think this game settled that debate.

Cam Newton played well in a few series going 8/9 with 103 passing yards with a 151.4 QB rating. He looked efficient and better than he did last year at times. His TD throw to Jakobi Meyers was excellent. This means much more after having two joint practices with the Eagles before this game was played. If Bill Belichick wasn’t leaning towards him as starter yet- this game solidified things.

Even without any of the Top tight ends available, Newton was surprisingly accurate and decisive with his throws. A lot of credit can go to the offensive line in this game as well, which was the true shining star of the game.

Patriots rookie Mac Jones looked great behind that offensive line also. Jones went 13/19 for 146 yards and a 91.1 QB rating. His presence in the pocket is remarkable at such a young age.

The Patriots defense still plays without Stephon Gilmore and after a shaky first game of the preseason, free agent addition Jalen Mills looked good at slot cornerback tonight as well. The Eagles were seemingly never truly at their best (starting Joe Flacco at QB) but this is a very encouraging game all around.

I’ve been strong on the record that this defense will be top 5 in the league when all is said and done. I stand by that take and will never waver on it. If we ante up and pay Gilmore- my take will look even better.

More news and notes from this game:

  1. Jalen Hurts didn’t play one snap for the Eagles in this game which is not a good sign for that team. Joe Flacco and whatever trash they threw out there isn’t winning you many games. Give the kid a chance unless he’s injured.
  2. I know I raved about the offensive line but special teams also played well for the Patriots this game. Besides the kicking game of course.
  3. Rhamondre Stevenson is an absolute savage. After a strong outing in the first preseason game, Stevenson followed that outing with another 2 TD effort in this game. Sony Michel’s days may be numbered.
  4. The Eagles were never ready to play this game. They looked flat and defeated from the jump.
  5. Watch out for Matthew Judon like I’ve been saying. He’s going for 10+ sacks this season.

This has been my first article for #The15 and I’m blessed to be able to write for them. Follow me on Twitter @jmarion34.