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Every team is in training camp right now getting ready for the up and coming season. Right now, you should be getting ready for your fantasy football season as well.
This is the perfect time to mock draft. Mock drafting now helps get your strategy together. I’ve started mock drafting a week or so ago. I have a friend who started soon after Independence Day (he’s won my league multiple times). This is equivalent to practicing for an event or a big game. Now is not the time to act like Allen Iverson about practice. By the time the real draft happens, you’ll be prepared and won’t be panicking.
Bell or Johnson
Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers and David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals finished the fantasy season strong last year. Now, these 2 are projected to go 1 and 2 in most pre draft rankings. Both of them are versatile and are heavily featured in their respective team’s offenses. Honestly, you shouldn’t go won’t choosing either of them. Personally, I prefer David Johnson this year due to Bell’s injury history. Also, he’s currently holding out in training camp.
Avoid Drafting in the First Round
Drafting wide receivers in the first round is starting to become a popular trend, but don’t shy away from the fundamentals: running backs are scarce. Last year, I did Antonio Brown was worth drafting with the 1st overall pick and he was (especially in a PPR league). With that being said, the two players you want to avoid drafting in the first round is Mike Evans and A.J Green. Both of them are elite wide receivers, but they’re not worth selecting that early. Mike Evans had a monster year last year, but the Bucs offense has upgraded this off-season. The additions of deep threat DeSean Jackson and first round draft pick O.J. Howard (tight end from Alabama) will take pressure off of Jameis Winston and Mike Evans. In theory, his targets should decrease. Same thing with A.J. Green. Cincinnati upgraded its offense by adding draft picks John Ross (wide receiver from Washington) and Joe Mixon (running back from Oklahoma). Along with a healthy Tyler Eifert, Andy Dalton will have a plethora to choose from. If you can get any of these 2 studs in the second round, you’re doing something right.
Here’s a list of players that should enhance your team later in the draft:
- Christian McCaffrey (RB, Carolina)
- Terrell Pryor Sr. (WR, Washington)
- Dalvin Cook (RB, Minnesota)
- O.J. Howard (TE, Tampa Bay)
- Jacquizz Rodgers (RB, Tampa Bay)
- Eddie Lacy (RB, Seattle)
Below are things you should consider:
- Quality running backs are limited (get them early).
- Quarterbacks come a dime a dozen (no sense drafting Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers within the first 3 or 4 rounds when you can get the same quality from Kirk Cousins or Marcus Mariota later in the draft).
- Tight ends and wide receivers are a dime a dozen as well in PPR leagues.
- PLEASE WAIT as long as possible to draft a kick or defense/st.
Last, please remember to have fun. Being stressed out over your fantasy team will make the situation worse and less enjoyable. You may forget that you are a fan of the game. Enjoy yourself.
I’m ranking the projected 32 starting quarterbacks entering the 2017 season. Obviously, parts of this list are debatable, but (I believe) this is the most accurate list to date.
Bottom of the Barrel
32) Bryce Petty – NY Jets
You have to start somewhere.
31) Jared Goff – LA Rams
Can’t wait to see what he’s made of.
30) Cody Kessler – Cleveland
It’s the Browns (future starting to look bright though).
29) Brian Hoyer – San Francisco
Somehow he finds his way on the field.
28) Tom Savage – Houston
We’ll see. He has a lot of weapons around him though.
27) Trevor Siemian – Denver
Not sure how long this will last, but he had some good moments last season.
26) Mike Glennon – Chicago
Hopefully, he’s mentally tough. He’s in a lose-lose situation.
25) Blake Bortles – Jacksonville
He has more career pick-6’s (11) than career wins (10). Let that sink in.
24) Alex Smith – Kansas City
It’s not his first time on the hot season and won’t be the last.
23) Ryan Tannehill – Miami
Something has to give. He’s getting paid too much money to be this inconsistent.
22) Sam Bradford – Minnesota
Even though Teddy Bridgewater is still recovering from his injury, the Vikings gave up way too much to not make the playoffs.
21) Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo
The Bills Organization may not believe in Tyrod, but he has enough talent to keep them in games.
20) Joe Flacco – Baltimore
That Super Bowl win seems so far away…
19) Carson Wentz – Philadelphia
He should be higher on this list when the season is over.
18) Kirk Cousins – Washington
It’s Kirk Cousins or bust for Kirk Cousins. He won’t be back next year.
17) Eli Manning – NY Giants
Good Eli. Bad Eli. Ugly Eli. Which one will show up this year?
16) Carson Palmer – Arizona
Even though the offense is talent, the end may be near for him.
15) Dak Prescott – Dallas
Dak has given Dallas “hope” to end their two-decade Super Bowl drought.
14) Marcus Mariota – Tennessee
This offense should be fun to watch. He continues to get better.
13) Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay
He may end up in the top 10 by the end of the season. He has the potential to lead the Bucs into contention.
12) Andy Dalton – Cincinnati
Just needs to get it done in the playoffs.
11) Andrew Luck – Indianapolis
He has the talent to be an elite quarterback (just needs an offensive line). He just needs to get it done.
10) Philip Rivers – LA Chargers
He has been consistent over his career but has yet to get over the hump.
9) Russell Wilson – Seattle
Russell has championship-pedigree. Will he be able to put it all together again is the question.
8) Cam Newton – Carolina
Overall, he’s possibly the hardest quarterback to bring down (even with that bad offensive line). He still has accuracy issues (misses high) but he’s still dangerous.
7) Matthew Stafford – Detroit
He proved that didn’t need Calvin Johnson to put up big time numbers. Just need the organization to change its culture.
6) Derek Carr – Oakland
He’s knocking on the door of elite status. He was having an MVP-caliber season before the season-ending leg injury. Expect big things from him and the Raiders.
5) Drew Brees – New Orleans
He’s been so good for so long. Just wished their defense would’ve been better over the years.
4) Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh
His window is closing to get his 3rd Super Bowl title with his elite offense. Super Bowl or bust right now.
3) Matt Ryan – Atlanta
He finally put his skills and potential together last season and lead the Falcons to the Super Bowl. Will they get back to the big stage?
Crème De La Crème
2) Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay
“The human cheat code” is way too talented to only have one Super Bowl ring in his career. The window will be closed sooner than later.
1) Tom Brady – New England
I don’t know how much more he has in the tank at age 40, but until we show signs of him coming down to Earth, he’s the best.
We are living in an era where we’re witnessing historical records are being broken, mesmorizing moments from deciding games are taking place, and once in a lifetime achievements are current. Clear examples of such greatness includes the Golden State Warriors winning 73 games in a regular season, the newly infamous Julian Edelman’s catch that helped propel the New England Patriots Super Bowl LI comeback, and the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908.
We are also living in an era where we’re witnessing some of the best athletes to ever play. When I was a child, I saw Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffey, and Jerry Rice. As I got older, I witnessed Kobe Bryant, Mario Lemieux, Derek Jeter, and Randy Moss. Now there’s LeBron James, Patrick Kane, Kris Bryant, and Julio Jones. Over the past 30 years, we’ve have seen athletes come and go, but we have all been witnesses to the greatness that certain professionals have displayed.
In the last 12 months alone, we have seen some of the best championship sporting outcomes in history. We saw March Madness end with a buzzer beater by Villanova to beat North Carolina. Two months later, the Cleveland Cavaliers ended the city’s championship drought by coming back against the Golden State Warriors down 3 games to 1 to capture their first NBA title in franchise history. Fast forward to October, we witnessed another drought end but on a more significant level. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 10th inning of game 7 after being down 3 games to 1 as well. Last month, we saw Clemson get their sweet revenge against Alabama in of the most fantastic finishes in recent memory. Serena Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam title. Less than 2 weeks ago, we’ve witnessed the best Super Bowl ending in NFL history. The UConn women’s basketball team are currently on a 100 game winning streak (that is ridiculous!).
It seems like we’re at a point where we expect great things to happen at every major sporting event. From The Master’s to Wimbledon; the Stanley Cup to the World Series; the NBA Finals to the Super Bowl, we are spoiled by greatness. Appreciate these moments while you can because all things (including exceptional moments) must come to an end.
Today is bittersweet for the NFL. Even though this is the biggest game of the year, this is also the last game of the NFL season until the summer time. I do enjoy other sports that are active during the NFL offseason, but not having Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Football, and even fantasy football leaves an unreplaceable void. With that being said, let’s hope this game ends with a bang.
At 39 years old, Tom Brady is making his 7th trip to the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots have looked dominant the whole season, even with Brady being suspended the first 4 games of the regular season due to “Deflate-gate”. Even though New England has been without their superstar tight end Ron Gronkowski since November 13th, the additions of Chris Hogan, Martellus Bennett, and Michael Floyd have given the offense more depth. Already having Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount, Danny Amendola, and Dion Lewis, the New England Patriots have never lost a step.
This season’s league MVP, Matt Ryan, has led his team to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1999. Ryan is the ringleader to this high-power offense, who was the highest scoring team in the NFL (33.8 points per game) 2nd in the NFL in total offense. Center Alex Mack has been the unsung hero of this offense. Atlanta arguably has the best 1-2 punch at running back with Devonta Freeman and Tevon Coleman. Atlanta finished top 5 in the NFL in rushing this season. The Atlanta Falcons have improved their wide receiver core by adding speedster Taylor Gabriel and possession receiver Mohamed Sanu. I forgot to mention that Atlanta already has arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL with Julio Jones.
It’s kind of hard to bet against New England. They have had consistency at the coaching and quarterback positions between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Also, those 2 individuals had plenty of experience in the Super Bowl. Their offense is good because of their versatility. Their defense has played well at times, but it’s not as consistent as their last Super Bowl appearance 2 years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if New England wins today for these reasons alone. However, I believe Atlanta’s offense will be a problem. Once this offense gets rolling, it’s almost impossible to stop it (I think of it like a snowball running downhill). New England has never scored a touchdown in the first quarter of any Super Bowl. This will probably be the toughest offense New England has ever seen in the biggest game. As good as Malcolm Butler is, I don’t think he can stop Julio Jones by himself (if he is to cover him). Atlanta’s defense has stepped up in the playoffs, getting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. I’m officially going with the “underdog” tonight. I have the Atlanta Falcons defeating the New England Patriots 27-21.
Growing up, there were only a few NFL players that really caught my attention because of their impact on the game. Deion Sanders is my favorite cornerback to ever lace ’em up. Randy Moss is my favorite wide receiver to step foot on the gridiron. My love for the quarterback position started with Steve Young and Brett Farve. All of them have inspired me and are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (except Randy Moss).
Since the dawn of time, quarterbacks have been known to stay in the pocket and deliver the ball to their targets. Until the impact of Warren Moon, the quarterback position has been predominately caucasian. Over the last 25 years, we’ve seen more diversity at the quarterback position. Also in that course of time, we have witnessed the evolution of dual-threat quarterbacks. We went from a few like Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, and Dante Culpepper to the likes of Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick, Dak Prescott, Alex Smith, Tyrod Taylor, and more.
The pivotal reason for the surge of dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL today was the emergence of Michael Vick in 2001. The former Virgina Tech star was the most electrifying quarterback in the history of the NFL. The number one overall pick, who ran a 4.25 40-yard dash time at the NFL Draft Combine, was embarrassing opposing defenses with his legs with his speed, agility, acceleration, and elusive juke moves. Also, he is the greatest video game athlete of all-time (if you played Madden 2004, you know what I’m talking about).
Michael Vick finished his career with 21,503 passing yards, 131 passing TDs, 6,109 rushing yards (most ever for a quarterback), 36 rushing touchdowns, and went to 4 Pro Bowls. The Atlanta Falcons lead the league in rushing from 2004-2006, spearheaded by Vick, Warrick Dunn, and T.J. Duckett. Michael Vick had his best success as an overall quarterback under Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles, especially in 2010 (3,018 passing yards, 21 passing TDs, 6 INT, 676 rushing yards, 9 rushing TDs). Also, he had the greatest performance of his career that season in December against the New York Giants.
I’m not going to get into the dog fighting allegations again because it’s irrelevant at the moment (CLICK HERE to check it out), and he has had injuries that have derailed some of his progress as a player. However, I believe he deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame. His statistics as a quarterback are probably not Hall Of Fame worthy, but his impact and legacy, to me, are enough credentials to get him in. Do you think Michael Vick should get in?
16 New England
15 San Diego
11 Green Bay
10 New York Giants
9 Kansas City
6 New Orleans
3 Los Angeles
16 New England
15 Green Bay
13 New York Giants
11 San Diego
9 Kansas City
4 Los Angeles
2 New Orleans
Championship Showdown (JGood)
Coincidentally in the week where the majority of fantasy football championships are taking place, I (Nino Brown) am going against D.Reed (Every Villian Is Lemons) in our league that we’ve been apart of since 2011. This is a chalk matchup of the first and second seed going at it. D.Reed is making his 4th consecutive finals appearance. Two years ago, we battled for the championship, but I came up short. I’ve been looking forward to this matchup since then. Good luck my friend.
HOT OR NOT 🔥❄️ (D.Reed)
Philip Rivers (San Diego @ Cleveland)
Philip Rivers is coming off a sub-par performance last week against Oakland throwing for 206 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT!! Rivers owners should rejoice because he has a week 16 matchup against the winless Cleveland Browns!!! The Browns have allowed the most touchdown passes to opposing QBs with 31!! Rivers is a safe bet at the QB1 position for championship week!!!
Derek Carr (Indianapolis @ Oakland)
Derek Carr has been downright awful as of late scoring a combined 14 points the past two weeks. This week, Carr and company play host to the Indianapolis Colts and their porous secondary!!! The Colts D surrendered 23 passing touchdowns with an average of 18 fantasy points a game to opposing signal callers!! Carr looks to be in for a “redemption week.”
Todd Gurley (San Francisco @ Los Angeles)
Wait a second, is Todd Gurley on the hot list??!!! I know, I know…Gurley has been the ultimate fantasy “bust” this year, but before you disagree with the decision, just hear me out. The 49’ers are giving up an absurd average of 26 points per game to opposing RBs!!! Both teams in this matchup have problems moving the ball, therefore, I expect for it to be a close one with Gurley racking up a solid chunk of yardage!! All signs point to a productive outing for Gurley, and he is sure to find pay dirt in this one!!!
Bilal Powell (New York Jets @ New England)
Bilal Powell has been smoking hot over the past two weeks!! Powell was inserted into the starting lineup due to Matt Forte’s lingering knee injury!! It seems as if there is a new sheriff in the Jets’ backfield as Powell out-snapped Forte 137 to 19 the last two weeks!! While being heavily involved in both passing and running game, I love Powell’s upside this week, especially in PPR format!!!
Julian Edelman (New York Jets @ New England)
I love Julian Edelman this week simply because of volume!!! Edelman has been targeted a whopping 50 times over the past 4 weeks!! With Rob Gronkowski out for the season, Julian Edelman has become Tom Brady’s “security blanket.” I expect Brady to look Edelman’s way early and often in this one!! Whether standard or PPR, I love Edelman as a solid WR1 this week!!
Michael Crabtree (Indianapolis @ Oakland)
Michael Crabtree is coming off a solid performance against the San Diego Chargers, catching 6 balls for 60 yards and a score!! Crabtree has a week 16 matchup against a beatable Colts secondary. Crabtree has been one of the most consistent WRs this year and still delivers even while playing alongside second-year standout, Amari Cooper. Crabtree makes a fine low-end WR1/high-end WR2 this week!!!
Greg Olsen (Atlanta @ Carolina)
Over the past 2 weeks, Olsen is starting to warm up with 10 receptions for 172 yards! Although Olsen hasn’t found paydirt since week 9, I love Olsen and his week 16 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons!!! In Olsen’s week 4 meeting with Atlanta, he caught 6 passes for 76 yards and a score, therefore, I expect Olsen to find a way to duplicate his week 4 success and break his 6-week scoring drought!!
New England (vs New York Jets)
The New England Patriots defense has been on a roll as of late, scoring double-digit points in 2 of their last 3 games!!! With inexperienced QB Bryce Petty coming to town, I see plenty of turnover opportunities in the works!!! New England makes for a top-tier defense this week which such a tasty matchup on the horizon!!
Carson Wentz (Philadelphia @ New York Giants)
The Carson Wentz show was here today and gone tomorrow! I have no doubt that Wentz will be a great talent in the years to come, but the future won’t win your fantasy championship this week!!! You can’t afford many mistakes at any position so don’t get cute. Just stick with the sure thing and Wentz isn’t it!!!
Matt Forte (New York Jets @ New England)
Matt Forte’s days may be numbered as the primary ball carrier in the Jets’ backfield! It seems as if Bilal Powell has all but relieved Forte of his backfield duties in both the passing and running game!! Over the past few weeks in Forte’s absence, Powell performed beautifully and with Powell’s recent emergence of “top dog” status, it would be wise to look elsewhere at the RB position!!
Brandon Marshall (New York Jets @ New England)
Brandon Marshall has been a huge fantasy disappointment this season!!! Marshall’s poor play is due in part to the inconsistency at the QB position with both Bryce Petty and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yes, Marshall is a big name, but that doesn’t mean he deserves a spot in your lineup!! With the lack of consistent play at the QB position in New York, Marshall should remain on the bench if you want to keep your title shot intact!!!
Dwayne Allen (Indianapolis @ Oakland)
The only problem I have with this matchup is that there is no consistency at the TE position on the Colts’ roster!! Jack Doyle, Erik Swoope, and Dwayne Allen all get targeted in the passing game (with Doyle leading the pack as of late) and now is not the week to play TE musical chairs!! During championship week you always wanna go with the sure thing but there is no such thing at TE on the Colts as of right now!!! Stay away!!!
Indianapolis (@ Oakland)
The Colts defense put out a stellar performance against the Vikings last week scoring an uncharacteristic 18 points!!! The Colts week 15 defensive performance will be short lived as they travel to Oakland to take on Derek Carr and their high scoring offense!!! Opposing defenses has averaged 3 points per game when facing Oakland!! Don’t even think twice about benching them in this one!!!
D.Reed @freshprynce23 (Twitter and Instagram)
JGood @jgoodwithsports (Twitter and Instagram)