The Transaction Counter: Week 9

 

> The Transaction Counter: Week 8

> The Transaction Counter: Week 7

> The Transaction Counter: Week 6

> The Transaction Counter: Week 5

> The Transaction Counter: Week 4

> The Transaction Counter: Week 3

> The Transaction Counter: Week 2

> The Transaction Counter: Week 1

> The Transaction Counter: Preseason

 

My transactions

Wed, Nov 5

Salford Bloggers (SAL) added Bobby Rainey (RB, TB)

Salford Bloggers (SAL) dropped Owen Daniels (TE, BAL)

 

Other transactions

Wed, Nov 5

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Patriots D/ST (D/ST, NE)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Vikings D/ST (D/ST, MIN)

 

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (BOYZ) dropped Rueben Randle (WR, NYG)

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (BOYZ) added Mike Evans (WR, TB)

 

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Nick Novak (K, SD)

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Billy Cundiff (K, CLE)

 

Abergele JETS (ABJ) added Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)

Abergele JETS (ABJ) dropped Andre Holmes (WR, OAK)

 

Team AZ Fixitmen (FULL) dropped Nick Foles (QB, PHI)

Team AZ Fixitmen (FULL) added Adrian Peterson (RB, MIN)

 

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added Cowboys D/ST (D/ST, DAL)

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Reggie Wayne (WR, IND)

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Vikings D/ST (D/ST, MIN)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Heath Miller (TE, PIT)

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Pierre Garcon (WR, WSH)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Martavis Bryant (WR, PIT)

 

Abergele JETS (ABJ) added Steelers D/ST (D/ST, PIT)

Abergele JETS (ABJ) dropped Texans D/ST (D/ST, HOU)

 

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (BOYZ) dropped Pierre Thomas (RB, NO)

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (BOYZ) added Packers D/ST (D/ST, GB)

 

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (BOYZ) dropped Marques Colston (WR, NO)

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (BOYZ) added Jordan Matthews (WR, PHI)

 

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (BOYZ) dropped Zac Stacy (RB, STL)

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (BOYZ) added DeAngelo Williams (RB, CAR)

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Robert Grifffin III (QB, WSH)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Mark Sanchez (QB, PHI)

 

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added Scott Chandler (TE, BUF)

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Vernon Davis (TE, SF)

 

La Linea Lineman (LLL) dropped Eli Manning (QB, NYG)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) added Ryan Tannehill (QB, MIA)

 

La Linea Lineman (LLL) dropped Browns D/ST (D/ST, CLE)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) added Ravens D/ST (D/ST, BAL)

 

La Linea Lineman (LLL) dropped Jonas Gray (RB, NE)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) added Anthony Dixon (RB, BUF)

 

Thu, Nov 6

Kardac Kids srm (SRM) dropped Brandon LaFell (WR, NE)

Kardac Kids srm (SRM) added Chris Polk (RB, PHI)

 

Kardac Kids srm (SRM) dropped Adam Vinatieri (K, IND)

Kardac Kids srm (SRM) added Shaun Suisham (K, PIT)

 

Kardac Kids srm (SRM) added Mychal Rivera (TE, OAK)

Kardac Kids srm (SRM) dropped Chris Polk (RB, PHI)

 

Kardac Kids srm (SRM) added Saints D/ST (D/ST, NO)

Kardac Kids srm (SRM) dropped Chargers D/ST (D/ST, SD)

 

Fri, Nov 7

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Jordan Reed (TE, WSH)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Texans D/ST (D/ST, HOU)

 

Sat, Nov 8

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Joique Bell (RB, DET)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Adam Vinatieri (K, IND)

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Brandin Cooks (WR, NO)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Brandon LaFell (WR, NE)

Victor Cruz reportedly tears patella tendon; likely out for season

 

The scoreline wasn’t the only hardship the New York Giants had to suffer through last night, as it also appears that star wide receiver Victor Cruz is done for the season. Cruz left the game in the third quarter after tearing a patella tendon in his right knee, and was seen sobbing as he was carted off the field.

Although Cruz hasn’t played as well in the first six weeks of the season as he has in previous years, his loss will be a big blow to New York as they look to bounce back from a 27-0 drubbing at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

Down 20-0 at halftime, the Giants elected to try for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the Eagles’ three-yard line.

Cruz got open in the back-right corner of the end zone and saw the ball come his way. But at he leaped to catch it, Cruz’s leg appeared to twist. He immediately reached for his right knee whilst still in mid-air. The pass fell incomplete, and the wide receiver fell to the ground grimacing in obvious pain.

Cruz’s fantasy owners may now be forced to look in the direction of rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who may well be thrust into a starting role for the Giants for their Week 7 matchup on the road in Dallas.

Beckham, the Giants’ first-round selection in this year’s draft, had four receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown in his debut against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 5, and followed that up with two catches for 28 yards against the Eagles. He did create enough separation to warrant a better stat line, but the ineptitude of Eli Manning and the rest of the Giants’ offense meant that his play was wasted.

There may be other options on waivers to replace Cruz, but Beckham should be a direct substitution for a player who has only had two notable fantasy outings this season.

The Transaction Counter: Week 1

 

So to follow up from last week’s transaction counter, detailing the trades and free agent pickups that had taken place throughout the preseason, here are all the player movements ahead of week two. As expected, there are a lot more than last time around.

 

 

My Transactions

Salford Bloggers (SAL) dropped Andre Williams (RB, NYG)

Salford Bloggers (SAL) added Josh Gordon (WR, CLE)

As I aimlessly scrolled through Twitter, I came across a tweet from an NFL reporter, saying that Josh Gordon could be reinstated if a vote to change the NFL’s drug policy passed. Other fantasy accounts soon started urging players to go out and grab Gordon ‘just in case’. As Andre Williams looked unlikely to make a massive difference to the state of my running game, I decided to take a flier on Gordon and dropped Williams at his expense.

Wigan Warriors (WIG) traded Mark Ingram (RB, NO) to Salford Bloggers (SAL)

Salford Bloggers (SAL) traded Broncos D/ST (D/ST, DEN) to Wigan Warriors (WIG)

After Bishop Sankey barely saw the ball, and backup running back Danny Woodhead scored absolutely no points from the bench, I realised that something needed to be done before Week 2. So once I identified potential trade targets, I was able to do a deal for one. Mark Ingram joins the Salford Bloggers and goes straight into the starting lineup ahead of Bishop Sankey, and the Broncos D/ST went in the other direction over the Wigan Warriors’ Chiefs D/ST. Potentially a win-win trade.

Salford Bloggers (SAL) dropped Josh Gordon (WR, CLE)

Salford Bloggers (SAL) added Allen Hurns (WR, JAC)

Allen Hurns was the surprise package of Week 1, and because of that was a hot commodity on the waiver wire. Somewhat unfortunately, my team’s Week 1 performance meant that I had the highest waiver priority, which is why I was able to add HUrns before anyone else could get his hands on him. This may have been a jerk reaction to a rookie wideout grabbing over 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns on his debut, but right now he has more upside than Josh Gordon, whose suspension review is still in limbo.

Salford Bloggers (SAL) dropped Jordan Reed (TE, WSH)

Salford Bloggers (SAL) added Jake Locker (QB, TEN)

Tony Romo and Philip Rivers were promising starters heading into Week 2, so with Jake Locker available and coming off the back of a strong showing in Kansas City and facing a poor Dallas defense, claiming him only made sense. Jordan Reed created the roster spot needed to add Locker, because his injury troubles have started flaring up again, and he’s playing in the less-than-attractive Washington Redskins offense.

 

 

Other Transactions

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped James White (RB, NE)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Tim Wright (TE, NE)

This move was made after the Patriots traded away offensive guard Logan Mankins, getting tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft in return. Wright does have some upside in the Patriots offense, as did Aaron Hernandez when New England used him with Rob Gronkowski in two tight end sets. But at the moment he is only backing up ‘Gronk’, and had only three catches for 15 yards in the Week 1 opener against the Dolphins.

Team AZ Fixitmen (FULL) dropped Shonn Greene (RB, TEN)

Team AZ Fixitmen (FULL) added Charles Clay (TE, MIA)

This move was done before the start of Sunday’s games, so the owner of Team AZ Fixitmen obviously wasn’t expecting Shonn Greene to get the lion’s share of the carries for the Titans. But with five other running backs on the roster, Greene was expendable and bringing in Clay as tight end depth made sense, because the only other option at the position for them is Delanie Walker.

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (BOYZ) dropped Matt Prater (K, DEN)

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (BOYZ) added Robbie Gould (K, CHI)

After the news of Matt Prater’s suspension covering the first four games of the regular season, it would only make sense to bring in another kicker to replace him. If it was me, I would have kept Prater on the roster because he’ll probably be one of the highest scoring when he returns. Obviously the Dallas Cowboyz2014 owner feels differently – but it will be interesting to see if he goes back to Prater when he returns in Week 6.

 

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Tavon Austin (WR, STL)

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Jonathan Dwyer (RB, ARI)

More was expected in Tavon Austin’s rookie season than this year, mainly because he was so underwhelming last term, and the former first round pick managed only 34 receiving yards against the Vikings in Week 1 – good enough for three points. Maybe for that reason, he was swapped for Arizona’s Jonathan Dwyer – who like Austin has upside.

 

 

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Ray Rice (RB, FA)

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Justin Forsett (RB, BAL)

If you’re an NFL fan who hasn’t heard about Ray Rice being released by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the league, then you’ve been living under a rock. The reason for him being dropped in fantasy football is obvious. Bringing in Justin Forsett to replace him could be a good move, after he replaced Ravens backup running back Bernard Pierce in the second half against the Bengals, and making the most of his opportunity, scoring 14 points.

 

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Jonathan Dwyer (RB, ARI)

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Andrew Hawkins (WR, CLE)

Jonathan Dwyer’s time on a roster was cut short because he only managed two points on Sunday. He was replaced by Andrew Hawkins who enjoyed a different first week, scoring eight points, and is projected by ESPN to do even better this week.

 

Abergele JETS (ABJ) dropped Buccaneers D/ST (D/ST, TB)

Abergele JETS (ABJ) added Texans D/ST (D/ST, HOU)

The entire Buccaneers team looked uninspiring against the Carolina – especially the defense who failed to contain a Panthers offense missing their best player in Cam Newton; so it wasn’t really surprising to see them hit waivers. It was even less surprising to see them be replaced by the best D/ST available in free agency, belonging to the Texans. Although it should be noted that Houston’s first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney is out for a number of weeks, so they will be slightly weaker up front than they were in Week 1. Even so, they should still have a decent chance at scoring points against a Raiders offense who were horrible against the Jets.

Team apachefootball (ZAC) dropped Mike Evans (WR, TB)

Team apachefootball (ZAC) added Brian Quick, (WR, STL)

Mike Evans didn’t make many waves against the Panthers. Then again he is a bench player and a rookie and is  also expendable. It may pay off to replace him with Quick, who was one yard shy of 100 receiving yards in the Rams’ opener, and was one of the very few bright sparks for St. Louis.

 

Abergele JETS (ABJ) dropped Christine Michael (RB, SEA)

Abergele JETS (ABJ) added Saints D/ST (D/ST, NO)

Christine Michael doesn’t have any fantasy value beyond being an upside handcuff, and even then he has the likes of Robert Turbin and Derrick Coleman to contend with for the carries that Marshawn Lynch doesn’t take. And while the Saints D/ST allowed 37 points and scored minus-seven points in their Week 1 clash with the Atlanta Falcons, they should bounce back against Cleveland on Sunday – they certainly have the talent to do so.

 

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Nick Novak (K, SD)

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Mike Nugent (K, CIN)

This is a like-for-like switch, coming after Nick Novak flopped for San Diego and Mike Nugent kicked five field goals for Cincinnati. Chances are Nugent will continue to outscore Novak.

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Tim Wright (TE, NE)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Ahmad Bradshaw (RB, IND)

After just one 15-yard display, Tim Wright was discarded, and replaced with Ahmad Bradshaw, who saw the majority of offensive snaps for the Colts on Sunday night. Bradshaw has a chance to take over Trent Richardson as the top back in Indianapolis – if he can stay healthy, that is.

 

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Bernard Pierce (RB, BAL)

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Bernard Pierce failed to take the reins in Baltimore, and was replaced by Justin Forsett who did well on Sunday afternoon. Because of their polarising performances, Pierce and his owners can only expect split carries at best, so it’s no wonder he was dropped. In his place is Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, who’s going up against a Broncos team who allowed the third-most yards against TEs last year – so it’s no surprise to see that he’s slotted into a starting role for Team Zachrich this week.

 

La Linea Lineman (LLL) dropped Blair Walsh (K, MIN)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) added Matt Bryant (K, ATL)

Similar to the Mike Nugent pickup in that the owner decided to drop an underachieving kicker from Week 1 with someone who did better, and will probably go on to do better overall this season.

Five bold fantasy football predictions for 2014

 

1) Keenan Allen fails to improve on his rookie season

Last year was a great one for San Diego’s Keenan Allen. As an offensive rookie of the year candidate, the third round pick from the University of California had 71 receptions for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. Those who picked up Allen late on in their draft, or claimed him off waivers, were kindly rewarded with the seventeenth-best fantasy wideout. But I believe that his sophomore season won’t be as impressive, and predict that he will score less than the 141 points (ESPN standard scoring) that he managed last year, in 2014.

Last season was somewhat of a bounce back year for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, and Allen was one of his main targets. But whether he performs as well could depend on a couple of factors. Firstly, the Chargers signed Donald Brown in the offseason to back up Ryan Matthews. The move could see San Diego utilise their run game a little more, giving Allen less opportunity to get the ball in his hands. In addition to that, Allen will also have to compete with the rest of the receiving corps for receptions. Although he led the team in receiving yards, both Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead – who was a key part of the offense in 2013 – had more receptions than Allen did, and Eddie Royal was just as much of an end zone target as the rookie was with eight touchdowns to his name. Vincent Brown and the emerging Ladarius Green are two players who Rivers may also look to.

 

2) Colin Kaepernick doesn’t make it into the top-ten at quarterback

I’m not sure how bold this prediction is. I’ve never been that impressed by Kaepernick – despite the fact he has taken the 49ers to the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship game in consecutive seasons. He did, however, just sign a mega-contract with San Francisco, which would suggest that the 49ers believe he can be the signal caller long-term.

He is also only entering his second full season as a starter, and since the San Francisco 49ers drafted Kaepernick, the 49ers have ranked no higher than thirty-first in passing attempts. This isn’t due to lack of receiving talent. After all, the 49ers have Vernon Davies, Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin – and Kaepernick also boasts a career 93.8 passer rating. It is more because of the talent they have on the ground. In Frank Gore, San Francisco have a top-tier running back, and Kaepernick’s dual-threat style and 939 rushing yards in the past two seasons underline this. Even though the University of Nevada product may not have thrown the ball as many times as his fellow starting quarterbacks, he still managed to finish ninth in scoring amongst quarterbacks in fantasy last season – and anyone who owns him in 2014 will be expecting an increase in production.

There is also some belief that it is ‘reasonable to expect the 49ers to put more on Kaepernick’s plate in the passing game this season.’ I don’t feel that Kaepernick will be able to deal with an expanded passing game as well as the 49ers’ staff will expect him to, and it could affect his fantasy production – even more so if the passing game takes away from his rushing attack. This could, in turn, see him fall out of the top-ten.

 

3) Jimmy Graham will not be the top fantasy tight end in 2014

It would be uncommon to find a draft in which Jimmy Graham is not the first tight end taken off the board. It would also be just as rare to see him fall any further than the second round. 2013 saw Graham average a touchdown per game, and he will no doubt be sought after by fantasy players this summer. To add to that, the tight end put up over 1,200 yards without fumbling the ball all season.

My prediction isn’t a trick statement either because, like was mentioned in a recent post on this blog, it is likely that Jimmy Graham will remain listed as a tight end in fantasy, no matter the outcome of his franchise tag designation. It is based on the outcome though. If the arbitration panel rules in the favour of the Saints, then I have a feeling that it could affect Jimmy Graham’s on-field performance. If that happens, then I could easily see another tight end stepping it up and taking that number one spot. Names like Vernon Davies, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten, and up-and-comers Jordan Reed and Jordan Cameron may all give Graham a run for his money – excuse the pun.

If Jimmy Graham is prepared to throw the team under the bus and worsen an already fragile cap situation for the Saints, then one has to wonder the mental effect on Graham if things don’t go his way.

 

4) Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate will be the highest scoring wide receiver partnership in the league

A lot of people may argue that they won’t even be the highest scoring wide receiver tandem in the NFC North, let alone the NFL. The Bears have Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery both coming off the back of fantastic seasons, and division rivals Green Bay have the one-two punch of Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. Another duo of note is Atlanta’s Julio Jones and Roddy White – but their production will be reliant on health.

With the signing of Golden Tate, the Lions will be hoping they have found a true number two receiver to go behind Megatron. Both players offer different things. Megatron has the hands, height, and freakish athleticism, whereas Golden Tate is a speedy deep threat, and performs well after the catch. With Tate across from Megatron, it is unlikely that there will be many defences triple teaming Calvin Johnson. Both men are playmakers, and could combine to become the most potent WR duo in the NFL, and rack up fantasy points along the way. Johnson will pull the weight, but Golden Tate should complement him nicely.

 

5) Geno Smith will score more fantasy points than Russell Wilson

Yes, you read that correctly. I predict that Russell Wilson, Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the Seahawks, will finish below the New York Jets’ Geno Smith, who was statistically one of the worst starting quarterbacks in 2013. Smith, despite having a rocky start to his NFL career finished the season solidly and helped guide the Jets to an 8-8 finish. He wasn’t helped by a woeful offense, who’s only notable pass catcher was Jeremy Kerley. The wide receiver’s 47 receptions and 523 yards led the team.

Whilst Geno Smith was partly to blame for his numbers – his 21 interceptions a perfect example – any signal caller would have struggled to excel with the distinct lack of weapons that the Jets attempted to support their rookie quarterback with. But since the 2013 season concluded, New York have tried to address their problem. As well as signing Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford in free agency, the Jets also drafted tight end Jace Amaro, as well as wide receivers Shaq Evans, Jalen Saunders, Quincy Enunwa. They also added Chris Johnson, who is adept to catching passes out of the backfield, and Michael Vick and Tajh Boyd will provide Geno Smith with some stern competition which should help the second-year player up his game.

Unlike the Jets, the Seahawks haven’t upgraded their receiving corps this offseason. Russell Wilson’s main target last year, Golden Tate, hit free agency and signed for the Detroit Lions. They did, however, draft wide receivers Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood in May, signed breakout player Doug Baldwin to a multi-year deal, and still have tight ends Jermaine Kearse and Zach Miller. Seattle should have a healthy Percy Harvin ready for week one. But if Harvin fails to stay healthy, the lack of star receiving power in Seattle could harm Russell Wilson’s fantasy production.

Both quarterbacks are similar in that they have shown that they can not only pass the ball, but run it too. In fact, both Wilson and Smith were second and third, respectively, in rushing yards for their teams. It could also be argued that the Jets have a better offensive line than the Seahawks, which includes former Seattle right tackle Breno Giacomini.

Wilson has already proved himself as a force to be reckoned with in the NFL, but Geno Smith could defy the odds and have a really good season under center for New York, whose significant upgrade in offensive talent provides Smith with a great chance to improve in his sophomore year. In Marty Mornhinweg’s west coast offense, opportunity for the pass is aplenty, and Geno’s fantasy production should also increase –perhaps to a level that’s greater than Russell Wilson’s.

It seems unlikely, but you never know.

 

Agree or disagree with any of the predictions above? Feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below.

Is new Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart a fantasy sleeper?

 

I recently came across an article on NFL.com by Adam Rank, listing his 11 fantasy sleepers for the 2014. Also included in the article were the top ten sleepers predicted by NFL writers Michael Fabiano, Marcus Grant, and Jason Smith. Rank, Fabiano and Grant all had something in common, in that they believe Jacksonville running back Toby Gerhart will be a fantasy sleeper this year – or in Grant’s case, the fantasy sleeper after ranking him number-one on his list.

Gerhart will be entering his fifth year as an NFL player, and his stats don’t reflect any quality of note. In his four years with the Minnesota Vikings, the former second round pick has amassed 1,305 yards on the ground and has scored a combined total of eight touchdowns – both rushing and receiving. But people do believe the talent is there, and he is the favourite to take the Jaguars’ starting running back spot which was vacated by Maurice Jones-Drew.

One thing which hasn’t helped Gerhart so far in his professional career is having Adrian Peterson to compete with. Aside from the end of the 2011 season when he saw more of the pigskin after Peterson went down with an injury against the Redskins, Gerhart’s chances have been fairly limited. In that same season, the then-sophomore managed career high totals of 531 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns from 109 touches, and 23 receptions. Last season, Maurice Jones-Drew had 803 yards from 234 rushing attempts, and a further 314 yards receiving in only 15 starts for the Jaguars. If Gerhart gets a workload similar to that, then he will have the opportunity to be a very productive fantasy player – if his 2011 season and potential is anything to go by.

The competition for the Jaguars’ starting running back role will be between Gerhart, Jordan Todman, and Denard Robinson – who can line up as both a running back and a wide receiver. Todman and Robinson will probably be used as change-of-pace backs, with the likely competition being for second place on the depth chart, rather than first. The Jaguars also drafted running back Storm Johnson. Although after being picked in the seventh round, he isn’t expected to make any immediate impact.

But will all the hyperbole surrounding Gerhart transfer into a productive season? Whilst he is now in a more-than-ideal situation in Jacksonville, he will behind a subpar offensive line. Sports on Earth writer Mike Tanier recently ranked the Jaguars’ line as 31 out of 32, bettering only the Baltimore Ravens – and they didn’t fare any better with Pro Football Focus, who also graded the Jaguars as having the worst run blocking offensive line in 2013. In comparison, PFF rated the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line as the sixth-best in the league last season. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that the former Stanford Cardinal will be hit a lot more, and may have to work harder for his yards on the field than he did wearing purple.

However, he has recently drawn comparisons to Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch – most notably from himself – thanks to his power running style and build. Even with a poor offensive line of their own, the Seahawks managed to win a Super Bowl, and Lynch put up 1,257 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 16 regular season starts. It may be a struggle, but Gerhart could still find a lot of success behind a bad line.

He will also be playing on a rebuilding team, which could impact the back’s fantasy value. The one knock that this could have on his game is limited touchdown potential. The Jaguars aren’t expected to be a high-scoring team in 2014, so while Gerhart may be a big help in moving the chains – especially with his ability to generate yards after contact – he may not get to see the end zone as much as his owners would like, or is projected. But Gerhart may get more touches with Chad Henne under center, whose main targets will be Cecil Shorts, as well as rookies Marquise Lee and Allen Robinson. There will be no Justin Blackmon to throw to, who was suspended indefinitely back in November.

There may be a significant risk in taking Toby Gerhart early on. Although he has been in the NFL for a while, he is still an unproven player, and it is hard to clarify his ceiling. The situation he finds himself in will excite his fantasy owners, and the potential for a productive season is there. Whether he is a viable fantasy RB1 is unclear, but at worst he should be a solid RB2. The good thing about Gerhart is that he will most probably be available in later rounds, minimising that risk that he carries. Bigger names will likely come off the board before him, barring a reach, but expect his pre-draft stock to continue rising.

Jimmy Graham to remain a tight end in fantasy football?

 

The football world is waiting for the decision on whether Jimmy Graham gets franchised tagged as a tight end or a wide receiver. Not only will it have financial ramifications, but it could also cause a ‘ripple effect’, paving the way for other players to lodge the same complaint against their teams and the franchise tag.

Whether Graham is tagged as a tight end or wide receiver could also have an impact on fantasy football – specifically whether the player is listed as a wide receiver or a tight end. Fortunately, ESPN and fantasy reporter Field Yates was able to shed some light on this.

So even if everything goes as planned for Jimmy Graham, it appears that his fantasy status will not change. Graham should be able to be played in either the TE or WR/TE slots.

No-shon Moreno?

 

Before a snap had even been played last season, there wasn’t much hope for Knowshon Moreno. In the two years prior to 2013, the Georgia product had seen himself lose the starting running back spot in Denver to Willis McGahee, get benched, and then – to make it worse – deactivated. It was only when McGahee got placed on injured reserve that Moreno was reactivated and saw the field once more. In 2011 and 2012, Moreno played a combined 15 games, and was unable to build on strong rookie and sophomore seasons, in which he ran for 1,726 yards and found the end zone on 17 occasions across the two years.

ESPN ranked Moreno as the forty-third best running back ahead of the 2013 season – 19 places behind Denver’s newly drafted Montee Ball. In ESPN leagues, the average round that Moreno was drafted in was round 13. But those who took a gamble on the fifth-year player earlier on, or were lucky enough to pick him up in a later round or off of waivers, were rewarded handsomely with the year’s fifth-best fantasy running back.

As part of the record-breaking 2013 Denver Broncos offense, the former first round pick rushed for over 1,000 yards, caught 60 passes for 548 yards, and scored 13 touchdowns. His production in Peyton Manning’s system helped the Broncos reach Super Bowl XLVIII, and left a lot of fantasy owners extremely satisfied.

Coming off the back of that impressive 2013 season, the Denver Broncos chose to let Moreno hit free agency rather than re-sign him; and after a couple of weeks of waiting for offers, Knowshon swapped Colorado for Florida, signing a one-year, $3 million deal with the Miami Dolphins. He now sees himself fighting for the starting spot in Miami, with incumbent starter Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas.

The competition for the role was intended to be open, although it was largely expected that Moreno would take it. However, it appears that it may not be that easy for the former Georgia Bulldog, with Miller seeing the share of first-team reps throughout OTAs. The Dolphins may elect Miller as their starter for week one against the Patriots, but there is also the possibility of a dual-threat rushing attack in Miami, as they look to improve upon last season where they had the twenty-sixth best rushing offense.

Although that was largely due to the play of the running backs, they weren’t helped out by the offensive line, who allowed a franchise record 58 sacks, as well as dealing with off-the-field drama. The Dolphins did add Pro-Bowl tackle Branden Albert and guard Shelley Smith in free agency, and selected tackle Ju’Wuan James in the first round of the draft – all three of which should help shore up the line. But if Moreno and co. suffer a similar fate, then his fantasy value could take a significant hit.

Another thing to consider when assessing Knowshon Moreno’s fantasy outlook, is that Ryan Tannehill is not Peyton Manning. Moreno was also utilised as a pass catcher during his last year in Denver and his receiving statistics may have been assisted by Manning throwing to him. It is unlikely that he will be catching as many balls with Tannehill under centre, although if the Miami quarterback starts to struggle, or fails to move his play up a gear, then the Dolphins’ coaching staff may be inclined to rely more heavily on the run game, and so Moreno’s fantasy value could actually end up benefitting from extra touches.

Although Lamar Miller may be leading the way so far, there is still plenty of time this offseason for Knowshon Moreno to turn it around, and take the starting spot in Miami. If he does start, then Moreno would be great value as an RB3, or as bench depth at worst. He could also be a safe choice as an RB2, although he probably won’ post spectacular statistics. It is unlikely that Moreno will replicate his 2013 form this time around, so it would be a good idea to avoid drafting him early on, or to expect that he will be a top-five back again. He can rack up points as the Dolphins’ lead rusher, and he also has pass catching ability that Miami can utilise. Both of these attributes could help to improve the rushing threat of the team, and see Moreno’s owners get a tidy fantasy return.