Category Archives: NFL

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:

Rules:

  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)

Studs:

  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.

Duds:

  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

Sleepers:

  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

Cleaning Out the Sports Junk Drawer: Emergency Cam Newton Edition

Bill is Bill again and all is right in the world.

Cam Newton released, Spulpits, coffee girls hardest hit.

It’s a good thing Cam is so genuinely nice, otherwise that means the self-described tough & cynical Boston Sports media all got fooled.

Interesting. Belichick admitting his draft mistake of not trading up for Mac Jones, even if his arrogance won’t allow him to just come out admit it.

If anything Newton is a system quarterback. That system is Tecmo Bowl.

Fits. Cam wore them, and also gave New England fans them.

Next media move will be how Bill fucked over all the free-agents who came to Foxboro for Cam.

I think Bill said to himself: “Would Greg Bedard just give Mac the keys already? Yes, he would, and that is the only way forward.”

Can’t wait for Jac Colinsworth’s in depth analysis of the Cam Newton release.

Another miss for Fake Spike King.

No designed run plays for Cam in presason was a tell, in retrospect.

Prior to the news I felt like that striped shirt-wearing Jets fan trying to rationalalize selecting Ken O’Brien over Dan Marino. “Obviously Bill knows something the people up here don’t.” Everybody wuz sayin McCorkle.

I wonder is Stidhsy jumped out of the pedicure chair when he read the Cam news today.

The best thing about losing Cam Newton is losing his Tebow-like fanbase who, like a cult, follow him wherever he goes and blames everyone but him for every mistake he makes. Good riddance.

Props to TEC, who was on an island among the media saying it was still a competition.

Does Belichick leave for his dream job with the Giants now and grab Cam again on the cheap?

An unvaccinated, shotputting quarterback is a competitive disadvantage.

And this had to happen with the pandemic-related additional uneployment benefits ending in Massachusetts this weekend.

I guess Bill thinks Mac Jones is better than Ryan Mallett.

by̾e̺ ̣b̖ͧy̅e̝ ̰C̈́am̠̆

( Compiled from the15 and various BSMW board alumni accounts. )

MAC and puhlease

Whatup my peeps!! Back from a mucho necessito mental health break. Before I get into why it is absolutely clear that Cam should be QBone, I just want to thank everyone for the messages, calls and letters checking in on me. It is hard to be a woman in this world, and even harder to be a woman in the world of sports.

Anyway, after a 3 and 0 preseason, the Patties and the Hoody are looking to dominate the NFL once again. The NFL these days is all about analytics. No more George Lombardi waving his fedora around screaming about lifting weights. It’s the Nine’s and the O’s not the Jimmies and Pros. So in a completely dispassionate and meticulous way, I have come to the irrefutable conclusion that Cam Newton needs to be Qbe1.

It’s not my opinion, it’s just facts. Let’s start with the Giants game. See below as Exhibit A.

There’s no way this was incomplete

Later in the game, maybe the 3rd or 2nd quarter, Cam did this.

Refs not even looking lol

That is what the NFL is all about. Also, show me one time Mac Jones ever looked this cool.

Swagger on a hundred thousand trillion – Jay-Z

You can debate this until the cows come home, but we’ve seen enough. It’s like in The November Man when Devereaux has to choose if he will kill Ulanova. There’s no choice. Mac may be a better passer, decision maker, more vaccinated, protector of the football, communicator of pass protections, know the playbook better, with a quicker release and greater accuracy, but Cam owns up to his mistakes, something Mac has never had to do.

It’s a no brainer. Lets’ go dollar Bill. As a famous sports fan once said: Do the Right Thing – Spike Lee.

Anita Thrust is the lead writer for Competent Ladies Against Mansplaining section of The15net dot com. She lives in the Greater Boston Area with her rescue doggo Yodel, and her cats, Alice B. Toklas and Lil Wobey.

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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