Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pre Week One Moves and Drops. Start/Sit

     The preseason is (finally) over. Thursday we get our first succulent taste of the 2014 NFL season with a game that should be very exciting. Lets get right to it this week with some news from around the league.
    
     I know kickers are not the most coveted postion in fantasy football, but here are some note worthy moves you non-addicted cats might not be aware of... 
     Connor Barth has been released from the Tampa Bay squad. I know most people wouldn't normally be looking at a Bucs kicker for fantasy production anyway. But I think this offense could see a huge boost in production this year. Lovie Smith is in town. You may have heard that he likes to run the football. Bringing in Logan Mankins as an all-pro guard helps, A LOT. I expect that even if Martin is now in a committee situation (which I don't really believe can happen due to injuries), he is still poised to put up big fantasy numbers this year. ENTER Josh McCown. Say what you will about this man but he is capable of getting the job done. In Cutlers absence last year, he put up 13 TD's to 1 INT in 7 games. With the great Vincent Jackson and arrival of rookie Mike Evans, McCown has two of the biggest wide-outs in the game. I expect very good things from this offense this year.
     Did I really just write a full paragraph based around CONNOR BARTH??? Yep. I like to rant. Lets keep moving. 
     Another very high scoring kicker last year,  Ryan Succop, was released from the Kansas City Chiefs this past week, but landed himself on a new squad, The Titans. Which automatically downgrades him in fantasy production. You should pick kickers based on offense production. And while I like a few key players in Tennessee, I can not see them even scoring as much as Jamaal Charles did last year, let alone the whole Kansas City team. If you drafted Succop, drop him. You'll thank me later. 
     Alex Henery of the Eagles has also been cut. Meaning the unknown Cody Parkey is a great option if you need a fill in at kicker, or just a guy to carry. Nick Foles and company will score a ton of touchdowns this year.
     Matt Prater has been suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season. Brandon McManus can now be considered the top kicker through this stretch, as I fully expect Prater to regain the job once his suspension is over. This is fantasy note worthy! Denver is also going to score a mass amount of touchdowns this season and you need to be in on it, even from the "lowly" kicker position.
     Shayne Graham was dropped, then signed to an extension. Nothing to report here, apparently.

     Now, to some players that might actually matter, at least in deeper leagues.
AS I was writing this it was announced: Wes Welker OUT 4 games for amphetamine use! 

    Stephen Hill did not make the Jets active roster this year, and instead finds himself on the Panthers practice squad. I honestly think the jets screwed the pooch on this one. I don't really see a ton of weapons on this offense. Hill was just coming into his third year after being drafted quite high. His first year, he dealt with a Mark Sanchez fiasco. Second year, an unproven Geno Smith takes the helm. I don't think Rex gave his second round pick in '12 a fair chance. QB issues were the problem, really. At 6'4 this kid has the body and intensity to play in the National Football League. He now finds himself on a practice squad in need of speedsters like him. The Carolina Panthers are entrusting a rookie and an aged vet in Kelvin Benjamin and Jerricho Cotchery (respectively) to lead this team behind a weak and often banged up backfield. Cam maybe be Superman, but he is going to need a little help unless he wants to get his ass kicked by the worlds greatest detective, again. You nerds know what I'm talking about,

     Vincent Brown was a remarkable talent out of San Diego State and was cut by the chargers this preseason. Brown was slated to fill the void that Vincent Jackson left when he went to Tampa, but simply could not stay on the field due to injuries. He was a sleeper of mine last year that didn't pan out (mostly due to the emergence of Keenan Allen, ...and more injury woes). Brown has yet to find a team or fully recover from a hamstring injury. But at 25, it's hard for me to believe this youngsters career is over.

     The Detroit Lions have opted to waive both WR Kris Durham and running back Mikel Leshoure.
From a Lions fan perspective, the Durham cut really surprised me as the team has decided to go the way of youth in Corey Fuller and the never healthy (not even in college) Ryan Broyles. Are the lions cursed with first or second round WR/RB draft picks not named Calvin? Seems that way. Though I really like Broyles if he can stay healthy and I completely understand keeping George Winn on after the preseason he had. They are making room for the future.
     That said, Kris Durham still has time to play in this league. He was the 2nd best Detroit WR last year and now finds himself on a practice squad with potential to play this year. Tennessee needs red-zone targets, and I wouldn't be surprised if Kris is called in to fill that roll at some point this year. Keep an eye on him in deeper leagues.

     Ryan Mallett also finds himself on the Tennessee squad and all I can think is: how long till he's a starter? New England and Old Bill aren't known for silly draft picks especially when it comes to quarterbacks. Need I remind you that Tom Brady was the 199th pick in his draft? Anyway, Mallett is someone to keep an eye on in deeper leagues and bye weeks. If there is an injury to your starter, well, just keep your eyes open.

     Tim Wright was traded from Tampa to New England in one of the more interesting trades of the late off-season and has the best chance of any player mentioned so far to be an impact in fantasy football. New England LOVES two tight-end sets and their current number one, as you may have heard, isn't always healthy.

    I think that's it for my so called "note worthy" moves up to date. Before I move on to the start sit portion, I just want to mention a few sleepers you may not be aware of:


  • Jordan Mathews: This is a kid you saw progress (and never regress) his entire college career at Vanderbilt. Twice named first-team All-SEC, this 6'3 super-vision stud has been appointed the right squad for instant stardom. The Eagles Will throw this year, and often. McCoy is going to be the first body on defense's minds and Foles is capable of airing out the long ball. Riley Cooper isn't the answer in Philly, Mathews is.. 
  • Carlos Hyde: I can't stop talking about this guy. I don't even think he should be considered a sleeper, or a handcuff. The 49ers drafted Hyde from Ohio State to be an instant impact, and that is exactley what he'll be. San Francisco might save Gore for their play-off run, even. Making Hyde an early season star. In keeper leagues, I don't think there is any rookie RB I would have drafted before him
  • Markus Wheaton: Pittsburgh cut ties with Emmanuel Sanders this year and second year WR out of Oregon State should benefit greatly. At 5'11, 182lbs he certainly isn't the biggest guy at the position, but he is in line for a heavy work-load opposite Antonio Brown. I am still not a believer in the Steeler's backfield or defense. I think they will throw, a lot. Wheaton and veteran TE Miller should see a huge increase in production, this year. 
  •  Jerricho Cotchery: I know all eyes are on Benjamin for Carolina Wide-outs. But, consider this: Cotchery quietly had 10 touchdowns on just over 600 yards last season. Making him not a deep threat, but a red-zone target, at least. Carolina is going to need to throw the ball to take pressure off Cam Newton. Lets see what this vet can do. 
  • Travis Kelce: I am not the only one talking about this kid this off-season. And again, it's where he is playing that makes a difference. Kansas is going to need to throw the ball. Alex Smith is often noodle-armed and unable to make the long ball a reality. Who is the obvious check-down besides the double covered J-Mail? The open TE, of course. Big body. Great hands. Can block as well as get open. Fasano might start the season on the field a bit more, but look for Andy Reid to run a few more two tight-end sets in order to give Smith more time to inevitably check down for a 10 yard gain, Kelce is far more talented than any other KC tight-end.
  • Derek Carr: I have to mention him just because I didn't have a QB sleeper yet. Carr was named the Oakland Raiders starting QB for week one this week, and I really think it's the right move. Schaub is a bum. And I know Fresno State isn't Texas. I know The Mountain West Conference ISN'T the SEC or BIG TEN. But 50 touchdowns as a senior is mighty impressive, where ever you play. I would take a chance on him pending your bye-week match-up. 
       Starts and sits are based upon the fact that if you drafted someone early enough, you are going to start them. What I am trying to do here is give you my opinion of match-ups and flex options. Some later round picks might have it TOO good this week to turn down. 
                                                        STARTS FOR WEEK 1
  1.  49er's offense: ALL of them. Dallas is a horrible defense and I don't even think this game is close. Vernon Davis is a must start (Not just because you overreached for him in the draft) and I believe Carlos Hyde is a legitimate flex option or even an RB2. They will get ahead and control the game. What better way to see what your rookie RB's are made of?
  2. Emanuel Sanders: Not sure if you remember the Denver V Colts game last year, but it was a shootout. Oh, And this just in, WES WELKER SUSPENDED 4 GAMES!! Also look for Cody Latimer In deep leagues.
  3. Terrance Williams: Cowboys will be playing from behind and airing it out. Williams is great option.
  4. Chris Johnson: I am higher on this guy than most. But, I really like a week 1 match-up with Oakland. 
  5. Heath Miller/Jordan Reed: Two tight-ends with excellent match-ups. 


                                                       SITS FOR WEEK 1

  1. Rashard Jennings: I like the Lions defense in this match-up. Plus, we didn't get a huge sample of what this guy can do in his new offense. I am sitting him if I have a better option. 
  2. Bishop Sankey: Really thought he would have the starting job by now. And although he doesn't, keep an eye on him later. I just don't like him in this match-up.
  3. Miami Running-Backs: You probably didn't draft them to start anyway. Lets see how it unfolds before plugging them into our lineups, shall we?
  4. Wes Welker: As of writing this he was suspended just 24 minutes ago, So, No worry about the injuries. He should be solid by week 6 (Broncos have bye week 4, making him eligible week 6)
  5. Cordarrelle Patterson: That one may be hard to swallow, but I really don't like him going against the Rams defense. If you can start someone else, you probably should.

That's it folks. I was going to do a Pick-'em portion as well but feel I ran too long as it is. We shall try for next week.

COMMENT BELOW: What are the fantasy implications of the Wes Welker suspension???