Week 12: results and standings

 

Week 12 results

Salford Bloggers 113-132 La Linea Lineman

Wigan Warriors 81-93 Abergele JETS

Team Zachrich 94-68 Team apachefootball

Barnyard Gema 128-40 Kardac Kids srm

Dallas Cowboyz2014 46-102 Team AZ Fixitmen

 

Current standings

East Division

Wigan Warriors – 9-3, 1071 PF, 1035 PA

Abergele JETS – 7-5, 1130 PF, 1002 PA

Kardac Kids srm – 7-5, 1040 PF, 955 PA

Salford Bloggers – 5-7, 1120 PF, 1184 PA

La Linea Lineman – 5-7, 1005 PF, 1062 PA

 

West Division

Team AZ Fixitmen – 8-4, 1111 PF, 1012 PA

Barnyard Gems – 6-6, 1144 PF, 1058 PA

Team apachefootball – 6-6, 1004 PF, 1013 PA

Team Zachrich – 4-8, 1047 PF, 1163 PA

Dallas Cowboyz2014 – 3-9, 948 PF, 1144 PA

Week 7 Recap: How the Salford Bloggers ended their dry spell

 

Victory is so, so sweet – especially when you snatch it from the jaws of defeat.

That’s exactly what the Salford Bloggers did in Week 7 against the Barnyard Gems to record the team’s second victory of the season. But it didn’t look like my team was always headed to win number two.

With just a couple of minutes left in Sunday’s late afternoon kick-offs the Barnyard Gems led by roughly 20 points, maybe a little over. 20 points seemed like an achievable gap to bridge with Demaryius Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins left to play.

But it didn’t stay that way. A fortunate phase of play for the Barnyard Gems across the games saw the unenviable task become even more difficult.

It all started with Kansas City driving for the win. Level on points with San Diego, the Chiefs marched 62 yards down the field, paving the way for kicker Cairo Santos to score what ended up being the game-winning field goal, which reduced the Chargers D/ST’s points to two, from four. In an attempt to reply, the Chargers attempted to go straight back down the field, but Philip Rivers threw an interception to ice the game, and I waved goodbye to another couple of points.

Then, just a few seconds later over in Dallas, Dan Bailey kicked one between the sticks from over 40 yards out, and that completed the swing which took the Bloggers from being 20 points behind the Gems to 30.

At this point, the second win which looked perfectly achievable at one point, now seemed highly improbable. Unless Demaryius Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins could combine for 31 points or more, it was game over. Fortunately for me, however, the pair still had plenty left in the tank.

At Mile High Stadium on what was a historic night, Demaryius Thomas caught eight passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns – including the one which took quarterback Peyton Manning ahead of Brett Favre for most all-time touchdown passes. His production for the night was good enough for 29 points, leaving me within touching distance of the win.

Being a point behind, I now needed DeAndre Hopkins to score two or more for the win. As I went to bed on Monday night before the game, I was a little nervous. Given the Salford Bloggers’ track record this, failing to get those two points wasn’t out of the question. But this time my players came through for me, and I awoke to find out that DeAndre Hopkins gained 108 yards and fumbled the ball.

Finally! Win number two of the season; let’s make next week number three!

 

Result

Barnyard Gems – 93

Salford Bloggers – 100

 

Barnyard Gems

QB: Russell Wilson (313 passing yards, 106 rushing yards, 3 TD) – 36 points

RB: Matt Forte (49 rushing yards, 40 receiving yards, 2 TD) – 22 points

RB: Alfred Morris (54 rushing yards) – 5 points

WR: Cecil Shorts III (12 receiving yards) – 1 point

WR: Malcolm Floyd (50 receiving yards) – 5 points

TE: Jordan Reed (54 receiving yards) – 5 points

D/ST: Patriots D/ST (25 points allowed, 3 sacks) – 2 points

K: Dan Bailey (1 field goal made, 4 extra points) – 8 points

BENCH

QB: Kirk Cousins (139 passing yards, 1 INT, 1 fumble) – 1 point

RB: Ahmad Bradshaw (52 rushing yards, 36 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 18 points

RB: Joique Bell (48 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 11 points

RB: Frank Gore (20 rushing yards) – 2 points

WR: A.J. Green – 0 points

WR: Brandin Cooks (23 receiving yards) – 2 points

WR: Pierre Garcon (87 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 14 points

 

Salford Bloggers

QB: Philip Rivers (205 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) – 14 points

Philip Rivers has started this season like a real MVP candidate, but his Week 7 performance wasn’t quite in line with the rest of his outings this season. It wasn’t a bad performance, even though it wasn’t enough to see the Chargers past the Chiefs; but it was a performance that yielded little in the way of fantasy production compared to what he has been getting.

RB: Mark Ingram (16 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards) – 2 points

With Mark Ingram returning to the New Orleans lineup this week following a month on the sideline with a broken thumb, I harboured high hopes for my running game this week. But it didn’t pan out as I had hoped, and two points is well below what I thought Ingram could get; and that was accounting for any rustiness as he has missed significant game time. Hopefully he’ll be up to speed next week, because I need all the help I can get at the moment.

RB: Branden Oliver (67 rushing yards, 11 receiving yards) – 7 points

Branden Oliver has the potential to be one of the surprises of the season as he continues to thrive in the Chargers’ offense. Although he didn’t get into the end zone on Sunday, he still posted solid numbers, and on another day his fantasy totals could have been a lot better.

WR: Demaryius Thomas (171 receiving yards, 2 TD) – 29 points

After being put in a 30 point hole, I really needed a big performance from one of my two remaining players, and boy did I get it! For the past three weeks, Demaryius Thomas has lit up fantasy football averaging a mega 27 points. He actually ended up with 29 points this week, which meant that I only needed two points from DeAndre Hopkins to win it. To add to the productive night he had, Thomas was also on the end of Peyton Manning’s record-breaking touchdown pass, capping off an excellent night for the wide receivier.

WR: Randall Cobb (121 receiving yards,  1 TD) – 18 points

One knock on Cobb’s game so far this season has been his low yardage totals, despite averaging over one touchdown per game. But the Green Bay wide receiver struck back at critics with a 121-yard performance, and still got that touchdown to continue the trend. A high-level of consistency has made Cobb one of the most reliable fantasy assets this season, and he lived up to expectations yet again in Week 7.

TE: Owen Daniels (58 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 11 points

Deciding whether or not to start Daniels came down to the wire, and was a conclusion I came to just minutes before the start of Sunday’s games. It was between starting the Baltimore Ravens tight end, or Jimmy Graham. But with Graham only playing limited snaps, I decided to leave Daniels in there – a move in the end that richly paid off. Unlike Graham, Daniels actually got on the board, and scored 11 points to boot.

FLEX: DeAndre Hopkins (108 receiving yards, 1 fumble) – 8 points

On a normal week, eight points would have been an extremely average score for a wideout; but as it turned out, I couldn’t have been happier with DeAndre Hopkins’ Week 7 totals. I went into Monday night needed two points for victory, and I would have been just as happy for him to get 20 receiving yards as I was for him to get 108. The eight points that he did get resulted in victory gor the Salford Bloggers, and helped the team crack triple digits for the first time since Week 4.

D/ST: Chargers D/ST (23 points against, 3 sacks) – 2 points

The Chargers D/ST have killed me the past couple of weeks. Last time out, they scored zero points against a poor Oakland offense while the opposition Lions got 20. This week the opposition only scored two points, but the Chargers once more failed to capitalise on that opportunity and got the same. It made things even worse that the Dolphins, who had amassed 12 points against the Bears earlier in the day, were sitting on my bench. This performance will probably seal the Chargers D/ST a one-way ticket to fantasy free agency.

K: Stephen Gostkowski (2 field goals made, 3 extra points) – 9 points

Whilst Stephen Gostkowski didn’t live up to his projection this week, I was fairly pleased with his production, because nine points for a kicker is still a solid total. Whether or not Cody Parkey was on a bye week was irrelevant, because I still would’ve started Gostkowski anyway.

BENCH

QB: Tony Romo (279 passing yards, 5 rushing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) – 21 points

RB: Chris Johnson (61 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards) – 7 points

RB: Khiry Robinson (26 rushing yards, 1 fumble) – 0 points

WR: Percy Harvin – 0 points

TE: Jimmy Graham – 0 points

D/ST: Dolphins D/ST (14 points allowed, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 sacks) – 12 points

K: Cody Parkey (BYE) – N/A

Salford Bloggers Start or Sit?: Week 7

 

Week 7 matchup

Barnyard Gems (4-2) vs. Salford Bloggers (1-5)

 

Projected lineup for Barnyard Gems:

QB: Russell Wilson (SEA, @ STL)

RB: Matt Forte (CHI, vs. MIA)

RB: Alfred Morris (WSH, vs. TEN)

WR: Cecil Shorts III (JAC, vs. CLE)

WR: Malcolm Floyd (SD, vs. KC)

TE: Jordan Reed (WSH, vs. TEN)

FLEX: Justin Forsett (BAL, vs. ATL)

D/ST: Patriots D/ST (NE, vs. NYJ)

K: Dan Bailey (DAL, @ NYG)

 

Salford Bloggers

Quarterback (QB): Tony Romo (DAL, vs. NYG), Philip Rivers (SD, vs. KC)

Running Back (RB1, RB2): Chris Johnson (NYJ, @ NE), Mark Ingram (NO, @ DET), Khiry Robinson (NO, @ DET), Branden Oliver (SD, vs. KC)

Wide Receiver (WR1, WR2): Demaryius Thomas (DEN, vs. SF), Randall Cobb (GB, vs. CAR), Percy Harvin (SEA, @ STL), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, @ PIT)

Tight End (TE): Jimmy Graham (NO, @ DET), Owen Daniels (BAL, vs. ATL)

FLEX: Chris Johnson (NYJ, @ NE) Khiry Robinson (NO, @ DET), Percy Harvin (SEA, @ STL), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, @ PIT), Jimmy Graham (NO, @ DET)

D/ST: Chargers D/ST (SD, vs. KC), Dolphins D/ST (MIA, @ CHI)

K: Stephen Gostkowski (NE, vs. NYJ), Cody Parkey (BYE)

 

 

*Italics denote starters.

Update

 

As may be apparent by looking at the date of my previous post, I haven’t been writing for this blog for the last few weeks. My first year of University was coming to a close, I’ve had an exam, and, generally, I’ve been winding down.

I don’t feel that I owe any sort of apology, because my enthusiasm for this hasn’t faded. I could have written for the blog over that period – I just chose not to.

In the meantime, the NFL Draft has taken place, OTAs have started, and the preseason is coming into view. There’s now more than enough to write about, and I look forward to giving my insight into fantasy football ahead of the 2014 NFL season.

I have enjoyed doing this blog so far, and I will be carrying my excitement into future posts. I will be posting regularly over the summer, as I look to expand the blog.

Eric Decker’s 2014 Fantasy Outlook

 

Eric Decker was a big part of the Denver Broncos’ run to the Super Bowl last season, catching 87 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns. It was his second season of catching for over 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns, and as a result he was the eighth highest scoring fantasy wide receiver in 2013.

Following the season’s conclusion, Decker became an unrestricted free agent. He eventually signed a five-year, $36.25 million contract with the New York Jets, and so will be switching Denver for New Jersey in 2014. That means instead of having Peyton Manning throwing to him, he’ll have Geno Smith – or possibly Michael Vick.

Despite the obvious decrease in quarterback quality, Eric Decker is automatically the number one receiver on the Jets’ depth chart, going in front of David Nelson, Stephen Hill, and Jeremy Kerley. Even if the Jets draft any wide receivers, then the already-established Decker will be ahead of them by default.

There are question marks over the head of Decker, as to if he can be a true number-one receiver and isn’t just a product of Peyton Manning’s system. He was a part of perhaps the greatest offense in history, and certainly the highest scoring, which may be a reason for Eric Decker’s productive year. However, he did have to share a lot of touches with the likes of Knowshon Moreno, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas, and Denver’s top receiver Demaryius Thomas, and emerged from that group with the second most yards, and the third most receiving touchdowns – which proves that he was a valuable weapon for Manning to throw to.

Next season, Decker should see an increased workload in green and white as either Smith or Vick’s number-one target. Both quarterbacks don’t possess the arm or footballing talent of Peyton Manning – though it should be noted that Geno Smith is only entering his second year in the NFL – but they shouldn’t have trouble finding Decker, and as a sure-handed player, should be able to trust him to make catches. Not only is he a physical receiver, but he should provide New York with a deep threat.

Although Decker has lined up alongside Peyton Manning for the past two years, he did have to deal with Tim Tebow throwing to him in 2011. In that season he had 612 yards and caught eight touchdowns – which is better than the 512 yards and three touchdowns that the Jets’ leading receiver, Jeremy Kerley, managed to amass last year.

It is unlikely that Eric Decker will improve upon, or even replicate his 2013 showing. But as one of the Jets’ best offensive players, he should be a sound addition for any fantasy team as the second or third wide receiver – or a bench player for depth at the very worst.

Projected fantasy draft top 10 – Part 1

Each draft is different. Different owners, different perspectives – different players selected in different positions. But that doesn’t stop people predicting who will go where. A lot could still change between now and the beginning of fantasy football drafts. Teams will sign and draft players, and injuries could always happen, but it is always exciting to guess what is going to happen. Here is my projected fantasy draft top 10.

#10 – A.J. Green (Cincinatti Bengals, WR)

A.J. Green - Top 10

It was a toss-up between A.J. Green and Demariyaus Thomas for the last spot on this list – but I chose to go with green. Even with the emergence of Jermaine Gresham, Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert and Geovani Bernard, A.J. Green is still quarterback Andy Dalton’s go-to guy. Green amassed over 1,400 yards last season, and grabbed 11 touchdowns in his third campaign. The receiver will be entering his fourth year, and has showed no signs of slowing down.

#9 – Eddie Lacy (Green Bay Packers, RB)

2014 Pro Bowl

Eddie Lacy may be a surprise inclusion on this list, but with the Packers wanting to increase his workload in 2014, he could be a very profitable fantasy draft pick in his sophomore season. He also has no real competition in the backfield, so that should only work in Lacy’s favour. He was impressive last season, though was helped out by injuries to Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley. With Rodgers and Cobb more than likely returning to the Packers’ lineup, Eddie Lacy may also be relied upon in the passing game.

#8 – Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns, WR)

Josh Gordon - Top 10

Last season was more than a breakout year for Josh Gordon, who managed to accumulate over 2,000 all-purpose yards in 2013, despite inconsistent quarterback play.  Gordon, who has been known for his off-the-field troubles, will likely be playing with a rookie quarterback next season, after the Browns cut both Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell. As the leading receiver for Cleveland, he will most likely be used as a safety blanket, which could benefit his fantasy numbers.

#7 – Drew Bree (New Orleans Saints, QB)

Drew Brees - Top 10

With the loss of Darren Sproles and Lance Moore, Drew Brees will have less offensive firepower surrounding him in 2014. However, this does not alter his status as an elite quarterback, and Brees is helped by still having Marques Colston, and his number-one target Jimmy Graham to throw to, as well as dual-threat running back Pierre Thomas, who recently re-signed with the Saints. He should still be a top-drawer starter.

#6 – Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints, TE)

Jimmy Graham - Top 10

Much like with Drew Brees, the departures of Lance Moore and Darren Sproles will have an effect on the Saints’ Jimmy Graham – though it is more likely to be positive for his fantasy owners as Graham should see an increased workload in 2014. He is among the most dominant players in the league, and is expected to continue that dominance into the new season – even in spite of the recent franchise tag controversy.

A.J. Green image by emeybee, via Creative Commons; Eddie Lacy by Sgt. Kyle Richardson, public copyright authorised by the US federal government; Josh Gordon by Erik Drost via Creative Commons; Drew Brees by dbking via Creative Commons; and Jimmy Graham by Jeffrey Beall via Creative Commons.

Rookie Gems: Charles Sims

Rookie players may not be sought after players in fantasy football drafts. It would be extremely rare to find a rookie drafted in the first couple of rounds, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be of value to a fantasy team. Rookies can come with a lot of hype surrounding them, but that hype isn’t carried into fantasy drafts the same as it is into the real thing. This is because rookies don’t have the same kind of expectation that established players do, and therefore, present less of a risk to fantasy owners. Nevertheless, rookie players can often be important pieces of the puzzle, and be the difference between make and break.

Take Eddie Lacy, for example. Last year was his rookie season, and he ran for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns, racking up plenty of fantasy points for his owners. He is obviously a good player, but his significant playing time was helped by injuries to players in the Packers’ passing game. The same could be said for Alfred Morris. 2012 was his rookie year and he amassed 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns. As a fifth-round pick, expectations for Morris would have already been low, but he would have been a wise pick up on waivers for those who didn’t draft him in the first place – I imagine he wasn’t selected in many leagues’ drafts.

There may be players in this year’s draft that will follow in the footsteps of players like Lacy and Morris, and one of those might be West Virginia 23-year-old running back Charles Sims. Now his fantasy value will largely depend on which team drafts him, what role gets in the team, his workload, and the scheme – but his performance at the Senior Bowl where he was described as the ‘top running back’ has earned him some plaudits. NFL analyst Matthew Berry has ‘his eye on’ Sims, and acknowledged him as a “three down back” who “can both run between the tackles and catch the ball” – so if he has an advanced role in a team, he could become a valuable asset for any fantasy football team.

Charles Sims’ playing style has been compared to that of Matt Forte – who was fantasy’s second-best running back last year’, and has the potential to be a steal. It isn’t recommended to use an early pick on any rookie, but Sims may be a good, low-risk pick up in the later rounds.