Has the national mourning period over Joe Buck’s busy season started before this week or is it just during the World Series?
Thanks for having the troll on your podcast, Mister Wall Defender. For the watch…
Bob Neumeier is gone. And there’s a lot wrong with that.
Is it possible this Celtics roster is better built to play under Brad, and Brad’s roster last year was better built to play under Ime?
The Supporters Shield sounds like something you wear while recovering from a hernia operation. Congrats, Revs. I guess.
Sox ousted from the ALCS, and then comes a frost warning followed a bomb cyclone nor’easter. Nature knows that the summer game is done in New England.
Cakes are cooking for Manu Katché, Rick Carlisle, Mary T. Meagher, Mike Ricci, and Sergei Samsonov.
Headlights? You intend to operate my Dymaxion Vehicularaxeron after sunclipse?
A minimum of two World Series games is probably more lucrative for Atlanta than an All-Star Game. Suck it, Manfred.
The Over the Air Antenna decides Mr. Scartelli I just follow the signal
Pasta is still a goal-scoring Good Kid.
Best player in the Ocean State. Benny Hurd. Remember the name.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin swiftly rejects any speculation he’d be a candidate for the USC job. “Never say next, but never.”
News Item: Eversource is prepared for the storm.
The Tom Brady 600th touchdown football guy should have held out for all the other stuff plus a white pool cover.
Cuck Modi. That’s it; that’s the post.
Betting on sports and refrigerator runs can be risky!
MBTA Commuter Rail Update: While conditions are easing across the system, significant impacts continue as a result of damaging winds, rain, & flooding. Our crews are working to resolve issues across the network but ongoing delays are occurring due to severe equipment damage, signal issues, & down trees.
Black Twitter has a problem with John Stockton? Weird!
Timothée Chalamet needs a sandwich. A panini. Or a paninée, maybe.
Big bang baby, it’s a crash, crash, crash I wanna cry, but I gotta laugh Orange crush mama is a laugh, laugh, laugh Nothing’s for free, nothing’s for free.
Not big on continental breakfast items in general but a properly done salt bagel with the accoutrements and a flat white is a good change of pace.
The Joe Kelly Fuck Club has a posse.
I’ve never been a fan of wearing a snap back hat backwards. Fitted hats only.
SLAM CENTRAL SANDWICH STATION
The wins are the best because then I can listen to the Talking Radio Men dismissively denigrate them!
Charlie Morton is no Gregory Campbell.
Energy is never lost. Only transferred from one form to another. See you back on March 31. – Red Sox
Honk if you remember Rusty Jones.
No, Neumie didn’t die from complications from laminitis, why would you even think that?
I thought ‘Flat’ White was a dead ball era hurler.
Word on the street is money can be exchanged for goods or services.
“Try hard, hanger-on” > “recruited walk-on”
Best bet for the weekend: people still calling the team the San Diego Chargers.
Material from interviews, wire services, Twitter, Facebook, other writers, league and team sources, @basementscout and#the15 wereused in this column.
Note: It’s been a head in my hands type of week. Not feeling well physically or mentally. Had to take off work and I feel so bad about it. I’ll be with you guys 100% moving forward tho. It sucks having to take a mental health breather but I need it.
Well folks, the Patriots did the impossible last Sunday at Houston. They came out victorious. With major gaps on the offensive line due to injury and irresponsibility, New England was able to improve to 2-3. Unfortunately, they are in a dogfight currently for the last Wild Card space with a mere twelve games left on the schedule.
America’s team comes to town on Sunday with weapons that most Patriots fans would covet. There will certainly be a challenge in that Dallas comes to the ‘boro with a two headed attack with explosive players in each facet of the game. (Editor’s Note: there are, of course, three facets to the game) Ezekiel Elliot comes in boasting a massive stature, as if he has been training in a Woburn office park. CeeDee Lamb is a dynamic receiver, begging the question again if the Patriots will ever be able to draft a quality downfield player.
Knowing Mike McCarthy, the Cowboys will do the opposite of what they should do in a game plan in Foxboro. Instead of running the ball consistently, they’ll likely look to pass. Matthew Judon, who has been a force on the DL, will be called upon to have another great game if the Patriots look to have a chance against America’s Team.
Much like a GRAFF on cake, look for New England to play a 3-4 hybrid base on Sunday in an effort to confuse Dak Prescott. Prescott’s struggles have been against teams like the Patriots, and New England’s disciplined front will surely pose a threat to him, even given his weaponz.
The Patriots owner, who ran away like a Braintree lawyer from an underling during deflategate, let the uRI Typical football team use the team’s plane to their game this weekend against Towson. This leaves many questioning where the ownership is during the team’s toughest time. Their former HOF QB has left, because the team gave up on him. No free agents want to play in the area, mainly due to race related incidents on local radio outlets. Yet, the owner seems to think it’s a good idea to just wax poetic with state schools. Playing grabass with people who will be living on Aquidneck island in 3 years, and pulling over at the 7-11 on 138 in an effort to not poop in the car.
In spite of what local podcasts may spew, the Texans were not a good team. That said, there is some value in winning on the road. At the post game press conference, Matt Judon mentioned how it was good to get a win like that, as the team felt that they were playing good ball. In spite of what the pundits say, this has been the case. Ultimately, the team is a fumble and 3’ on a FG attempt away from being 4-1, but close only counts in horseshoes and hydrogen bombs.
All the world will be watching on Sunday. It should be a good matchup. Give me the home team and the points. Patriots 21-14.
A special shout out to friend of the column SteveR. Made good on his wager in regard to the TB Bucs winning by more than 21 points a few weeks back. Please consider a donation to your local animal rescue shelter.
S. Tzu-Pei is an Intern and Lead NFL Writer for The15.
(From The15 Archives, originally published on this date in 2019.)
The Day Drew Almost Died
(Sung to the tune of Don McLean’s “American Pie.”)
A long, long time ago… I can still remember how that QB used to make me smile. And I thought if he had the chance, That he could make Krafty Bob dance, And maybe we’d be happy for a while.
But Parcells leaving made me shiver, And Pete Carroll could not deliver. Good news on the doorsteps; Tom Brady would soon get more reps.
I can’t remember if I cheered, When I read that his artery was sheared, But I sure know that Coach Bill lied, The day Drew almost died.
So bye bye cerebral statue guy. Threw the passes to the D-line, Or hit the corners in stride. And Nick and Ron were drinking whiskey and rye, Singing “Drew is such a nice classy guy”. Drew is such a nice classy guy.
Does Drew even read his Book of Plays? Then why’d he just pass it to the Tampa Bays, If the Coach didn’t tell him so? You don’t believe in gaining yards, You can’t be saved by Parcells and Cafar…do. And can you teach me how to move real slow?
Well, I know the media’s in love with him, ‘cause I saw one slurpin’ on his Jim, He got down on his knees, Man, I dig that dig-nity.
I was a lonely Globie in Foxboro, With a speed-dial line to Tom Donohoe. But I knew I had nowhere left to go, The day Drew almost died.
I started singing, Bye bye cerebral statue guy, Threw the passes to the D-line, Or hit the corners in stride. And Nick and Ron were drinking whiskey and rye, Singing “Drew is such a nice classy guy”. Drew is such a nice classy guy.
Now for five years we been on our own, Zeffross Moss grows fat, and we’ve had Michael Stone, But that’s not how it used to be. When the Statue took a nut crushing sack, With skills he borrowed from Mike Tomczak, And footwork that made him look, like a tree.
Oh, and while the Statue was on the turf, Tommy led the Patriots rebirth. The Drew era was adjourned, No more picks would be returned, And while Borges ripped the coach for Starks, The QB moved to Orchard Park, And we raised banners in the dark, The day Bledsoe almost died…
We were singing, Bye bye cerebral statue guy, Threw the passes to the D-line, Or hit the corners in stride. And Nick and Ron were drinking whiskey and rye, Singing “Drew is such a nice classy guy”. Drew is such a nice classy guy.
Tall, strong slinger with a broken finger, Passes not complete but they sure were zingers. Six and two but falling fast. Drew often ended up on the grass, Whenever he tried for a forward pass. With the jokes in the press box giving Coach such sass.
Now Mo Lewis’ hit was sweet perfume, As the stench of Bledsoe’s failures loomed, We all got up to dance, As the new guy got a chance. Oh, as Brady played with nerves of steel, The Statue’s limits were soon revealed. Six Banners now hang above the field, Where Drew, he nearly died.
We started singing, Bye bye cerebral statue guy, Threw the passes to the D-line, Or hit the corners in stride. And Nick and Ron were drinking whiskey and rye, Singing “Drew is such a nice classy guy”. Drew is such a nice classy guy.
And there we were down in Foxboro, A QB lookin’ oh so slow, With another I-N-Teeeeeee. Drew be nimble, Drew be sacked, Mo nearly broke poor Drew’s back, But he played with dignity-y-y.
Oh, and as I watched him dive off the stage, Tameeka’s disks cost 1.2 mil to assuage. Max Lane could not repel, Made Reggie White fast as a gazelle. And as the blames piled high into the night, Couldn’t be Drew, he was alright, I saw Borges laughing with delight, The day Drew almost died.
He was singing, Bye bye cerebral statue guy, Threw the passes to the D-line, Or hit the corners in stride. And Nick and Ron were drinking whiskey and rye, Singing “Drew is such a nice classy guy”. Drew is such a nice classy guy.
I met a man who sang the blues, And I asked him for some happy news, But he just smiled and turned away. I looked up that great box score, Of the Minnesota game some years before, But even then some said that Bledsoe couldn’t play.
And ar the Globe: the writers screamed, Nutscrubbers cried, and Ron Borges schemed. But not a word was spoken; The AP feed was broken. And the three men I admire true; The Tuna, Don King and Cerebral Drew, They caught the last train for Montana, too. The day the Drew almost died.
And they were singing, Bye bye cerebral statue guy, Threw the passes to the D-line, Or hit the corners in stride. And Nick and Ron were drinking whiskey and rye, Singing “Drew is such a nice classy guy”. Drew is such a nice classy guy.
They were singing, Bye bye cerebral statue guy, Threw the passes to the D-line, Or hit the corners in stride. And Nick and Ron were drinking whiskey and rye, Singing “Drew is such a nice classy guy”. Drew is such a nice classy guy.
Copyright 2007 BSMW. Lyrics by Kevin, InThisTown, BOSsportsfan34, Smilin’ Joe Hesketh, Miserable Fellow, Marty Nopointe, Joe Dokes, UncleGizmo, and Ironhead.
On Monday, September 9, 2021, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe announced his promotion to National NFL Insider, leaving an opening for the The Athletic to fill for Patriots beat coverage. As you might expect, Boston Globe media critic Chad Finn was all over this, having inside details of Howe’s promotion and search for a replacement nailed cold. (Just kidding. Charred Finn was folding Felger’s warming napkins before heading to Market Basket to fetch ketchup for Big Gym and chloroform-laced kitty litter for Jimmy Stewart.)
In a coordinated fashion, Howe tweeted his promotion and his replacement revealed himself. Matthew Fairburn is the new beat writer covering the Patriots for The Athletic:
Per usual, colleagues tripped over each other scrambling to tweet congratulations at Fairburn for his new role at The Athletic in nauseating numbers. Inside the headquarters of The 15, there was more skepticism. Unlike Charred Finn, we went to work and some gems were unearthed.
Is The Athletic Boston turning into The Unathletic Medway? I’m Just Asking The Question, reader. I would make a suggestion to Fairburn: Never go full Bedard. At all.
Fairburn is off to a rollicking start. He’s checking all the mediot boxes. Belichick cheats? Check. Brady about to go off a cliff? Yup. Reheated conventional wisdom passed off as insight? Bing. Intellectual dishonesty? You decide.
He deleted his tweets to spare his friends from an onslaught of Twitter nonsense. One might suggest his uninformed, trolling nonsense started this. Framing himself in the most unselfish and gallant of lights, Fairburn wanted to spare his friends from nonsense. But who is Fairburn sparing from an onslaught of Twitter nonsense in this since-deleted tweet?
Fairburn has spent the past week deleting tweets at a greater rate than Tom Brady destroys cell phones.
Meet the new beat writer for The Athletic Boston’s coverage of the Patriots: A Belichick hating, Brady cliff-diving, Cheating Cheatriots Spygate Enthusiast and DeflateGate Truther conspiracy theorist who will dedicate himself to providing unbiased, quality coverage of Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. Is Fairburn writing for his audience? In Buffalo, he was catering to folding table murderers and dildo tossers. In New England, will he cater to the mouth-breathing Felger worshippers and angle for the weekend fill-in radio hottakez dollars?
The only question I need answered about Fairburn going forward is if he prefers mittens, Splenda, or a thesaurus.
Members of #The15 and Entitled Town contributed to this column.
“In conflict, direct confrontation will lead to engagement and surprise will lead to victory. Those who are skilled in producing surprises will win.”
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War
One of the understated joys of being a Patriots fan during the Belichick era is how often something goes counter to expectations. Football is a game of planning and execution, but so often the thrills come when things don’t go according to plan.
“Surely Belichick won’t do this” went the mantra. “Surely Belichick won’t keep playing Brady once Bledsoe’s healthy,” until he did just that. “Surely Belichick will never trade Bledsoe within the division,” until he did just that. “Surely Belichick will never choose to kick off to Peyton Manning in overtime,” until he did just that. Even just this past week, with the prevailing belief being that Belichick was locked into some old coaches wives’ tale about never starting a rookie quarterback, Belichick did just that.
Patriots football has been like that for two decades – confounding expectations, flouting convention, defying probability – so much so that rivals resorted to conspiracy theories and superstition to explain away losing to what they believed to be inferior teams. It could never be that they were simply out-worked, out-prepared, out-coached, or out-played.
David Patten, the Super Bowl XXXVI hero who tragically passed away last Thursday at the age of 47, is the answer to that mystery. He was the ideal Belichick player: selfless and humble, tireless and hardworking, competitive and gracious. Rivals need look no further than Patten to understand just how they lost that game.
Patten might be the first of Patriot surprises, predating even the time Bill Belichick told Drew Bledsoe he wouldn’t be getting “his” job back from Tom Brady. For all those now on the “It was always Brady” bandwagon (and previously on the “all he does is dinks and dunks” bandwagon), let’s not forget the guy who saw champion qualities in the former sixth-round pick way before the rest of the civilized world.
Patten’s story is best told in context, and that context is Terry Glenn.
In the summer of 2001, the two men occupied opposite poles of the football spectrum. Glenn was the sole playmaker on a 5-11 team, a Pro Bowler two years prior, and a year removed from signing a $50 million contract.
Patten was a fifth-year player who played a little in the Arena League, made his NFL bones as a kick returner with the Giants, then bounced to Cleveland before eventually getting a call from the Pats. Nobody could envision Patten’s slot on a depth chart that included Glenn and Troy Brown at the top spots, and with more celebrated free agents Charles Johnson, Bert Emanuel and Torrance Small also vying for jobs.
Glenn was in the doghouse entering camp, with an offseason domestic assault arrest, and a 4-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. When the Pats withheld bonus money in accordance with behavioral clauses in his contract, Glenn left camp in protest.
Imagine how many times the two players crossed paths in camp prior to Glenn bolting. Did either have any idea how their career paths would diverge so completely in the coming months?
Five years prior, Glenn was the super-athletic wunderkind from Ohio State, the sixth overall pick in a receiver-heavy draft that included Hall of Famers Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens, and Pro Bowlers Keyshawn Johnson, Eric Moulds, and Muhsin Muhammed. Patten, meanwhile, went undrafted out of Western Carolina, biding his time stocking trucks with 75 lb coffee bean bags while waiting for his pro football opportunity.
In August of that year, while the rookie Glenn missed all of exhibition action with a hamstring injury (prompting Bill Parcells’ “She’s making progress” comment), Patten got picked up by the Arena League’s Albany Firebirds for their playoff push. In the semifinals, he caught three passes for 44 yards against Kurt Warner’s Iowa Barnstormers.
Patten was everything Glenn wasn’t: humble, hard-working and the ultimate teammate. He was lightly recruited, played for a relatively unheralded Division IAA school, and went undrafted. It’s no exaggeration to say he earned everything he achieved.
Glenn never saw the glory Patten witnessed firsthand. Despite a monster rookie season, Glenn’s massive potential went unrealized. His Patriots legacy is a cautionary tale, a reminder to disavow ourselves of preconceived notions. And to be willing to accept that the “next guy up” might be as good as the last one. Possibly better.
Going into 2001, the expectations for the Patriots were nil. In March of that year, Joel Buchsbaum labeled the Patriots, “The team that’s most set up for failure for the next five years.” At best, after a 5-11 season, there was just hope for improvement. Again, our preconceived notions told us that if there was any glory to be had that year, it must be coming from Drew Bledsoe and Terry Glenn.
But Bill Belichick didn’t care how high a player was drafted, how much he made, or what legacy he carried. And so when Glenn went AWOL, and Patriots fans were frantic about the team needing to come to amends with its top playmaker, Belichick had moved on with the guy he already had – the short, slight, humble, hard-working kid with good speed from Western Carolina.
Patten exemplified the element of surprise that so personified that 2001 Patriots team. With unheralded players like Patten, Troy Brown, Antowain Smith, and most certainly Brady, the Patriots were routinely underdogs, yet still finding ways to win.
We didn’t know it then, but Glenn’s 2001 season drew up the blueprint for how the Belichick Patriots would come to handle distractions. He was suspended three times that season – the four games for violating the substance abuse policy, for the season after skipping out of practice for 11 days (reversed later by an arbitrator), and for good just prior to the playoffs.
This made for a season where Glenn was sometimes available, but mostly not. After a seven-catch, 110-yd game in October, in which Glenn caught Tom Brady’s first touchdown pass, Glenn felt vindicated, believing the performance justified the return of his bonus money. The Pats didn’t budge, so Glenn malingered with his balky hamstring, even suggesting it would heal faster if he got paid.
Patten stepped up into the starter’s role, catching 51 balls for 749 yards. Glenn played three more games, but after another series of missed meetings, Belichick suspended him for good.
On Glenn’s final day in New England, you have to wonder if the two receivers crossed paths one last time: Glenn packing his bags for destinations unknown; and Patten about to undergo a historic playoff journey (seven clutch receptions in the Snow Bowl, and twin right-corner-of-the-end-zone TDs against the Steelers and the Rams, respectively) we had previously imagined might be Glenn’s legacy.
In that moment, with one player walking out the door and one walking in, and Glenn gazing for the last time upon the player who had taken his place, do you think he was surprised?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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