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  1. This is very long, but some of the most thorough analysis you will read. While his column is angled toward fantasy football concerns, he chalks his articles full of content that have real world football relevancy. He is one of my favorites, so I elected to share this week. Don't get so angry by the first sentence that you form a mind block. He is not anti Ryan or anti Atlanta. The "Team Totals" shown for each team are the Vegas implied totals (simple math around the line and over/under). In this example, the Falcons were a 6 point favorites at the time the article was written and the over/under was 44. LINK to entire article--Falcons portion below Carolina @ AtlantaTeam Totals: Falcons 25, Panthers 19Matt Ryan exhibited a distinct lack of velocity and ball placement in the Falcons’ Opening Day defeat, balloonballing floaters ala late-career Peyton Manning and converting just 48.8% of his attempts, Ryan’s lowest single-game completion rate since December of 2011. As a 2018 Ryan optimist, I’m chalking up his struggles to an especially humid night in Philadelphia. (Nick Foles’ balls didn’t come out hot, either.) Beginning with most recent, Ryan’s last five yardage/touchdown/interception totals against Ron Rivera’s Panthers are 317/1/0 > 313/2/1 > 277/2/0 > 503/4/1 > 306/1/0, productive enough to put Ryan on the right side of the QB1/2 fringe. Ryan’s box scores can benefit from the Falcons’ crippling defensive losses of MLB Deion Jones (foot) and SS Keanu Neal (ACL), enhancing shootout-game probability. … Devonta Freeman exited Week 1 with a third-quarter aggravation of the right MCL/PCL injury he played through down last year’s stretch. He appears unlikely to play, setting up Tevin Coleman for a near-full workload against Thomas Davis-less Carolina. Normally stout in run defense, the Panthers surrendered an efficient 16/74/4.63/1 rushing line to Cowboys backs in Week 1. Coleman should have a 17-touch floor as a six-point home favorite. Over Coleman's last four games where he met or exceeded that 17-touch threshold, Tevin logged touch/yardage/touchdown results of 19/97/2 > 21/58/1 > 21/88/1 > 18/110/0. He’s a high-end RB2. Ryan’s Week 1 targets: Julio Jones 19; Mohamed Sanu 6; Freeman 5; Austin Hooper 4; Coleman, Calvin Ridley 2. … Julio ran 48 routes in Week 1 – more than he did in any 2017 game – and drew a team-high three red-zone targets, including two inside the ten. He narrowly missed two TDs, but it was elite WR1 usage with a league-high 282 Air Yards. Jones’ last five receiving lines against Rivera’s secondary are 5/80/0 > 6/118/0 > 4/60/0 > 12/300/1 > 9/178/1. He’s a top-three WR1 play. … Sanu’s 45 routes were also more than he ran in any 2017 game, confirming he remains far ahead of Ridley as Atlanta’s No. 2 wideout. Sanu has faced Rivera’s defense four times since joining the Falcons, logging 7/71/0 > 3/23/1 > 3/56/0 > 2/22/0 results. As usual, he’s a touchdown-or-bust WR4. … Ridley played 64% of Atlanta’s Week 1 snaps to assert himself as the No. 3 receiver, but he drew just two targets and failed to reel in either, finishing with the fourth-most Air Yards (20) on the team. He’ll need a Julio or Sanu injury to become relevant. … Hooper’s 41 routes were also more than he ran in any 2017 contest, but he failed to exceed 50 yards for the 18th straight game. Only the Saints (577) gave up fewer yards to tight ends than the Panthers (585) last year. They limited Hooper to 3/36/0 and 3/35/0 in two meetings. Carolina held Cowboys TEs to 3/18/0 last week. Cam Newton has struggled as a passer in five straight meetings with Dan Quinn’s Falcons, managing yards/TD/INT totals of 180/1/3 > 137/0/0 > 198/1/2 > 165/1/0 > 142/0/0. He's salvaged fantasy value with rushing lines of 11/59/0 > 9/86/1 > 8/36/0 > 5/30/0 > 7/46/1. Promisingly, first-year OC Norv Turner used Cam aggressively on the ground in Week 1 (13/58/1) after vowing in the offseason to continue to feature his greatest strength. Minus RT Daryl Williams(knee), TE Greg Olsen (foot), and RG Trai Turner (concussion), Newton’s rushing prowess figures to remain his primary means of Week 2 production. It helps that Atlanta’s defense is extremely shorthanded without difference-makers MLB Deion Jones (foot) and SS Keanu Neal (ACL). … Christian McCaffrey’s every-down preseason usage carried over into Week 1, where he matched a career high by playing 85% of Carolina’s snaps, led the team in targets (9), and out-touched C.J. Anderson 16 to 7. “CMC” was vultured twice at the goal line – once by Cam and later by FB Alex Armah – but did handle two carries inside the ten. Quinn’s defense has yielded the NFL’s most running back catches in three straight years, including 5/40/0 and 5/28/0 receiving lines to McCaffrey in 2017. McCaffrey’s matchup is upgraded by Atlanta’s loss of Jones, who is Quinn’s version of Bobby Wagner. PFF’s Scott Barrett noted that Jones had coverage responsibility on 39 running back targets last year, third most among NFL defenders. McCaffrey even popped as this week's No. 1 buy-low running back in Josh Hermsmeyer's predictive Air Yards model.Newton’s Week 1 target distribution: McCaffrey 9; Devin Funchess and Jarius Wright 5; Olsen, Torrey Smith, and Ian Thomas 2; D.J. Moore 0. … Funchess stands out as the top beneficiary of Olsen’s loss after averaging 7.8 targets for 81.0 yards with four TDs in Olsen’s last five missed games. Funchess’ two stat lines against the Falcons last season were 5/86/0 and 2/48/1. Last week, Funchess would have tied McCaffrey for the team lead in targets if not for penalties that negated four of his looks. An underrated WR2/3 play, big-bodied Funchess (6’4/232) should quickly reemerge as Cam’s go-to guy in the red zone. … Smith was Carolina’s No. 2 receiver in Week 1, logging 76% of the offensive snaps to slot man Wright’s 46% and No. 4 wideout Moore’s 25% clip. None of them cleared 25 yards in the opener, and nor is any of them worth rostering in season-long leagues. The Falcons’ defensive bread and butter is limiting big plays after allowing the NFL’s eighth-fewest completions of 20-plus yards in 2017, then yielding zero 20-plus-yard pass plays to Nick Foles in Week 1. … Fourth-round TE Thomas will replace Olsen after a strong training camp to face a Falcons defense that will badly miss SS Neal. Thomas averaged 15.0 yards per catch as a senior at Indiana and posted the No. 2 SPARQ score in this year’s tight end class, behind only Mike Gesicki. Albeit not quite a trustworthy Week 2 streamer, Thomas is a deep-league and Dynasty hold. Score Prediction: Falcons 27, Panthers 24
  2. Vic Beasley - LB - Falcons Falcons DL coach Bryan Cox said they must find a way to turn Vic Beasley's QB hurries into sacks. Pressure is production, so Beasley's 33 hurries and five QB hits as a rookie are nothing to scoff at, but Atlanta wants more than the four sacks Beasley was able to manage. Beasley is expected to move to SAM linebacker in the base defense, but most of his snaps will likely come off the edge as a rusher. Beasley's 33 hurries were 12th-most among 48 qualified 4-3 ends last season. Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Jun 29 - 10:51 AM Player Outlook Game Log Career Stats In-season Projections
  3. http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/60302/59/team-needs--and--free-agents?pg=3
  4. NFL sets 2015 salary cap at $143.28 millionThe 2015 salary cap has been set at $143.28 million. In the midst of unprecendented popularity, the NFL continues to rake in massive revenue. That can be seen in the cap, which has risen from $123M in 2013 to $133M last year and now all the way up at $143M. According to OverTheCap.com, the Jaguars, Raiders, Browns, Jets and Colts have the most space right now. The Saints, Patriots, Ravens, 49ers and Chiefs have the least. Mar 2 - 12:16 PM
  5. A little early for this but he ranks DQ among the other newly hired coaches. Its interesting that he puts Rex over DQ but i guess that's because of the Head coaching experience. The rest of the coaches if you would like to look: http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/52307/57/nfls-best-coaches-2015?pg=1
  6. Rotoworld has released a ranking for their best coaches in the NFL for 2015. Just to be clear, he ranks all current coaches first, and then has a secondary ranking for new coaches. I'll just post his blurb on Quinn here. Before anyone asks, Rex Ryan was his #1 and Todd Bowles was his #2b http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/52307/57/nfls-best-coaches-2015?pg=1 For those wondering, so you don't have to look: Sean Payton ranked #5 Ron Rivera ranked #17 Lovie Smith ranked #20 FYI, they also did this last year as well. Smith ranked 19 out of 25 going into 2014. http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/46250/57/goal-line-stand
  7. Coaching directly impacts NFL box scores more than any other sport. We see it every year as certain schemes favor certain kinds of players and certain coordinators know how to squeeze the most out of a certain position. Last year, Jordan Cameron was bound to take a statistical hit without tight end guru Rob Chudzinski. The same was said about Pierre Garcon/Alfred Morris without the Shanahan scheme. The Bengals running game was a lock to improve and see more volume under Hue Jackson, and Matt Forte was a great bet to set a career-high in catches thanks to Marc Trestman. Understanding the tendencies of new coaches can go a long way toward fantasy success. This year, seven teams have new coaches and 13 have new offensive coordinators. A look at who benefits follows below: HEAD COACHING CHANGES Atlanta: Dan Quinn replaces Mike Smith Buffalo: Rex Ryan replaces Doug Marrone Chicago: John Fox replaces Marc Trestman Denver: Gary Kubiak replaces John Fox New York Jets: Todd Bowles replaces Rex Ryan Oakland: Jack Del Rio replaces Dennis Allen/Tony Sparano San Francisco: Jim Tomsula replaces Jim Harbaugh OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR CHANGES Atlanta: Kyle Shanahan replaces Dirk Koetter Baltimore: Marc Trestman replaces Gary Kubiak Buffalo: Greg Roman replaces Nathaniel Hackett Chicago: Adam Gase replaces Aaron Kromer Cleveland: John DeFilippo replaces Kyle Shanahan Dallas: Scott Linehan replaces Bill Callahan Denver: Rick Dennison replaces Adam Gase Jacksonville: Greg Olson replaces Jedd Fisch New York Jets: Chan Gailey replaces Marty Mornhinweg Oakland: Bill Musgrave replaces Greg Olson San Francisco: Geep Chryst replaces Greg Roman St. Louis: Frank Cignetti replaces Brian Schottenheimer Tampa Bay: Dirk Koetter replaces Jeff Tedford and Marcus Arroyo WINNERS 1. Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders The previous Raiders regime wasted Latavius Murray for the first three months of the 2014 season, criminally giving carries to Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. New offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has no plans to commit the same crime. Upon arriving in Oakland, Musgrave said he’s going to “tailor” the run game so it’s “right up [Murray’s] alley.” This is a play-caller that was part of voluminous years from Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner, Clinton Portis and Fred Taylorin previous stops. Murray will be up to the task, as he’s a 6’3/225 freak with 4.38 wheels. We saw what he’s capable of late last year, rushing 76 times for 413 yards (5.43 YPC) with two touchdowns over the last six games. Murray added 14-124-0 through the air during that span. With the backing of his run-centric offensive coordinator and a defensive-minded/ball control head coach in Jack Del Rio, Latavius’ arrow is pointing straight up. 2. C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos As part of the Mike Shanahan coaching tree, new head coach Gary Kubiak will implement a one-cut zone scheme that is annually effective. It’s been that way since 1995, when he first landed an offensive coordinator gig next to Shanny in Denver and rode rookie Terrell Davis as his workhorse. Over the next four seasons, Davis rushed a whopping 1,343 times for 6,413 yards (4.77 YPC) with 56 rushing TDs. Davis was a great player, but Shanny and Kubiak proved the scheme was equally great over the next seven years as Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, Clinton Portis and Reuben Droughns all became fantasy studs. In 2006, Kubiak finally left Shanahan to became the head coach of the Texans. Of course, he brought his dominant run game with him. Ron Dayne had two of the best years of his career with Houston in 2006-07, Steve Slaton went 268-1,282-9 as a rookie in 2008 and Arian Foster was a fixture at the top of the rushing ranks until Kubiak left ahead of last season. In 2014, Kubiak turned journeyman Justin Forsett into a beast, somehow coaxing a 235-1,266-8 season out of the 29-year-old 200-pounder. The 2014 Ravens also set a franchise record in offensive yards per game (364.9) and scored roughly a touchdown more per game than they did in 2013. All of that is a long way of saying that Kubiak knows how to scheme offense and it starts with the run game. We sawC.J. Anderson show he has foundation back ability last season, easily icing Montee Ball by running quicker and with more decisiveness. That fast nose for the hole and plus vision will serve CJA well as a nice fit for the one-cut zone scheme. He’s a great bet to hold off Ball and Ronnie Hillman, therefore sustaining RB1 fantasy value withPeyton Manning and Kubiak projecting to rely plenty on the run game. 3. Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens 4. Torrey Smith, WR, Free Agent Marc Trestman likes to throw the football. As our Evan Silva noted on Twitter, Trestman has been an NFL head coach, assistant head coach or offensive coordinator in 13 seasons. His teams have been in the top half of the league in terms of pass attempts every single time, including eight top-10 finishes. Compare that to the Ravens, who have been in the top-10 once in the seven-year Joe Flacco era and been in the bottom half of the league five times. So even if coach John Harbaugh insists Trestman scale back his pass-happy ways a bit to fit the Ravens’ “culture,” we’re still going to see a bump in volume for Flacco. He was already fantasy’s No. 13 quarterback last year, putting a QB1 season well within the realm of possibility. Never forget that Trestman turned Josh McCown into a weekly top-5 fantasy quarterback in 2013. I’m expecting Torrey Smith to re-sign with the Ravens as he’s from Virginia, went to the University of Maryland, was drafted by Baltimore and the team remains thin at wideout. If this happens, he’ll be primed for an obvious boost in production thanks to the aforementioned Trestman effect. 5. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons The Shanahan offense schemes volume to the “X” receiver. Under Kyle Shanahan from 2006-09, Andre Johnsonaveraged 6.6 catches for 90.2 yards and 0.52 TDs per game. When Shanahan got to Washington, he fired up Pierre Garcon to the tune of 6.0 catches for 76.1 yards and 0.34 TDs per game across two seasons together. In 2013, Garcon led the entire league in targets with 184. Now that Shanahan is in Atlanta, he’ll have his most talented “X” yet in the form of Julio Jones. Julio is also in a contract year, setting up an eruption that will easily have him on the first-round radar of fantasy owners. 6. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Bucs When new Bucs OC Dirk Koetter was making his opening remarks, he mentioned the obvious studs in Mike Evansand Vincent Jackson. But he also noted Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a player that could have been easy to gloss over considering he posted just 21-221-2 as an injury-hampered rookie. It’s an encouraging sign for ASJ, already a fine second-year breakout candidate as a 6’5/262 mountain of a man with 4.56 speed who will be getting a quarterback upgrade in the draft. Perhaps more importantly, Koetter has a history of utilizing tight ends. He was at the controls ofMarcedes Lewis’ career-outlier season in 2010, featured Zach Miller while at Arizona State and oversaw the final two years of Tony Gonzalez’s career, when he tortured the league despite being on the wrong side of 35 years old. 7. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons At just 5’8/206 with Combine measurables that leave a lot to be desired, Freeman doesn’t necessarily profile as a feature back. His rookie performance was uneven as well as he averaged just 3.81 YPC and ranked 128th out of 148 in PFF’s running grades. However, new OC Kyle Shanahan doesn’t have a lot to work with in his backfield as Steven Jackson is done andJacquizz Rodgers is a free agent. It’s at least possible that he gives Freeman a crack at the gig, which would give him major statistical upside. “Devonta was someone I loved coming out of college last year,” Shanny said Tuesday when asked about his running backs. “There’s no absolute. I’ve had big guys, I’ve had smaller guys. I’ll take any type of guy. … I think any type of back can succeed in this system.” Just like the elder Shanahan and Gary Kubiak, Kyle’s one-cut zone scheme is going to be effective as we’ve seen in the form of Arian Foster, Alfred Morris and Isaiah Crowell/Terrance West last year. At the very worst, Freeman will have a change-of-pace role in a plus scheme. 8. Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers Colin Kaepernick wins with his legs. Former coach Jim Harbaugh asked Kaep to win with his arm last season, as evidenced by just 45 designed runs in 16 games last season. The results were an ugly 60.5 completion percentage, 3,369 passing yards and QB17 fantasy finish. The new regime, consisting of in-house promotions Jim Tomsula andGeep Chryst, has wasted no time in changing that around – at the request of CEO Jed York. “How many quarterbacks in the league can run 90 yards for a touchdown? … You’ve got to put Kaep in a position where he can make those plays,” York said. This version of the 49ers promises to be more like Seattle’s, using read-option as a true dual threat instead of handing it to the back 78 percent of the time (like they did last year). An emphasis on getting Kaepernick more designed runs means far more fantasy upside. It also means good things for Carlos Hyde, as running quarterbacks consistently open up extra lanes. 9. Jace Amaro, TE, Jets Chan Gailey may be 63 years old, but he’s not over the hill when it comes to creative offense. His forte is getting his playmakers in space, something we saw him do during C.J. Spiller’s breakout 207-1,244-6.00-6 season (2012). Since Gailey left Buffalo, Spiller has averaged 4.40 YPC. Jace Amaro obviously isn’t a running back, but he stands to benefit from the spread formations Gailey will install. At 6’5/265, Amaro has difference-making size and possession-receiver kind of skills – especially in the red zone. Gailey will be desperate for any kind of playmakers, especially with Percy Harvin likely out the door. Amaro should be on TE2 radars heading into the offseason. 10. Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins Alfred Morris was the cover boy of my “Coaching Change Losers” column from 12 months ago as he lost the Shanahan scheme and gained Jay Gruden’s pass-happy attack. I think he gets a marginal uptick this year thanks to the arrival of offensive line guru Bill Callahan, who is fresh off dominant work he did with Dallas and DeMarco Murray. Callahan will bring back the power runs that tackle-shedder Alf needs as he enters a contract year. Most importantly, he’ll ensure that the holes are there for Morris to power through. http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/52173/59/coaching-change-winners
  8. Falcons to officially hire Dan Quinn TuesdayProfootballtalk reports the Falcons plan to name Seahawks DC Dan Quinn head coach on Tuesday. The Falcons have been linked to Quinn for weeks, but NFL rules prevent him from taking the job until Seattle's season ends. Kyle Shanahan has already been hired to run Quinn's offense, with Richard Smith and Raheem Morris expected help to coordinate the defense. Quinn will bring Seattle's highly-successful Cover-3 scheme to Atlanta. The Seahawks have led the league in total defense under Quinn the last two years.Source: Profootballtalk on NBC SportsJan 31 - 3:04 PMFull Artical: Falcons plan to name Dan Quinn head coach on TuesdayPosted by Mike Florio on January 31, 2015, 2:17 PM ESTGetty ImagesThe worst-kept secret in the NFL will no longer be a secret in a few days. Per multiple sources, the Falcons currently plan to name Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn the new head coach in Atlanta. Quinn, 44, succeeded Gus Bradley in 2013. He came from the University of Florida, where he’d spent two seasons after two with the Seahawks. The Salisbury State graduate began his coaching career in 1994, at William & Mary. He spent seven years at the college level before joining the 49ers in 2001. Four seasons in San Francisco were followed by two with the Dolphins (the Nick Saban years) and two with the Jets, under former head coach Eric Mangini. League rules prevent the Falcons from offering the job to Quinn until his current team’s season ends. It became clear in recent weeks that the Falcons were waiting for Quinn. The first tangible evidence came when the Falcons hired offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan before hiring their head coach. The expected announcement will fill the final 2015 NFL coaching vacancy. Unless there’s still another change or two coming in the next week or so. I haven’t heard of any brewing, but in this business who knows?
  9. Cam Newton has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his ribs, but the Panthers are optimistic he will play in Week 1. Coach Ron Rivera said Sunday he "thinks" Newton will play Week 1 at Tampa Bay. The September 7 opener is exactly two weeks away. Newton will obviously be held out of Carolina's preseason finale. Newton's rib and ankle injuries are an increasing concern for his mobility and rushing potential, as OC Mike Shula may scale back designed runs in an effort to keep his quarterback healthy. Those worries are still baked into Newton's mid- to late-seventh-round ADP, where he is a value pick. This latest news will probably push him into the eighth round of 12-team drafts. Source: Steve Reed on Twitter
  10. Falcons director of player personnel Lionel Vital will stay with the team. Vital received interest for the Dolphins' GM job and was at one point seen as the favorite to be Lovie Smith's GM in Tampa Bay. It appears Atlanta has kept Vital with a contract extension and/or raise. A highly respected talent evaluator, Vital is particularly known for his eye for defensive backs. The Falcons hit big on two corners in the 2013 draft, Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.
  11. Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that expanding the NFL playoffs is "under serious consideration." Goodell wants more teams involved in the playoff hunt so that there are more compelling late-season games, leading to more tickets sold and higher television ratings. The expected proposal that owners will vote on in March will be to add one more Wild Card team in each conference. Under that scenario, only one team in each conference would get a bye while the six-game Wild Card weekend would pit the No. 2 seed vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5. This year, the No. 7 seeds would have been the Cardinals in the NFC and the Steelers in the AFC.
  12. http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/42531/260/tape-review-atlanta-falcons A few big takeaways from me: 1) The fan base is too high on Quizz's prospects as a RB, and we need to find a feature guy in FA (Reggie Bush, Steven Jackson) or in the draft (Eddie Lacy). Quizz is best used as a satellite back, because despite his willingness to run between the tackles -- and I truly love him for it and his reckless abandon in giving up his body -- he gets stuffed every time and isn't good at it. 5+ touches a game as a screen/swing pass guy, plus coming in to be a personal protector out of shotgun as he got much better at that throughout the season is an ideal role for him. It will keep our feature guy fresh and essentially out of harm's way from a blitzing LB, and Quizz can also release out of the block for a dump off and try to make something happen. The rest of this part A is my opinion, but if we think Eddie Lacy won't make it to our 1st rounder or if we have him rated as a 2nd rounder but he won't make it to our 2nd round pick, we should go hard after SJax or Reggie. SJax may be a better compliment to Quizz, and he would add great power to our offense as well as an uncanny receiving ability. But those goal-line drives that we struggled with all year could easily be resolved by a ramming Steven Jackson getting an inside handoff vs. a weak box because the defense is focused on Roddy, Julio, and TG who are all spread out. Reggie Bush could, imo, have a 2,000 all-purpose yard season in our offense with the way we want to use our RBs. He'd run, catch, and has speed to burn still. But maybe he isn't as good of a fit as SJax for our team's success because of the aforementioned power shortage we have. SJax would also seemingly cost a little less. 2) Our offensive line, while we had a mistake-free year, is average at best. An objective review of that probably holds true: we have a good RT in Clabo and a good LG in Blalock, but had a problem at starting RG and C last year and Baker has always been at best, average. We have an in-house center upgrade with Konz sliding into the spot, but then we need to figure out RG and LT. Lamar Holmes can play a part in this equation, because if he can man the LT spot then we only have one OL need. Or conversely, if he can man the RT spot we can slide Clabo into RG forming a dominant right side of the line imo and still only have one OL need. Part b of the big takeaway is to not be too high on Baker after an injury-free year just because our line play was "okay" and we were mistake-free. 3) Harry Douglas' constant offseason overhyping is apparent to not just me, so thank god for that. He's about to be 30 now, and he made an impact in only one game all year vs. a mid-round rookie who was known to be a gambler coming out of VT (Hosley). We need an upgrade at the slot position. Unsure if it is in-house with Drew Davis or Kevin Cone, but I personally think they both make a good #4 in a 4 wide set. Would love to see a mid-round pick used on a very good slot prospect (Tavon Austin, Marquise Goodwin, Josh Boyce, Chad Bumphis, Stedman Bailey), or even to find a way to trade down and pick up Percy Harvin from the Vikings. Either way, HD is a net-negative in the offense and we can stand for an upgrade, who is up to you. 4) Our defense isn't as good as we thought it was. If you take John Abraham, Sean Weatherspoon, Jon Babineaux, and William Moore off the field we field a surprisingly pathetic unit. I was surprised to read over and over, and this is only the latest example of it, that Stephen Nicholas has been a liability on the field. I always thought he was our underrated LB who did everything pretty well. If he is costing us in coverage and doesn't fill the hole like he once did, LB is a much bigger need that I originally scored. Dent was disappointing I suppose, but I was never high on him and imagined him as a Lofton clone. Lofton is actually better than Dent, which isn't too good for Dent's prospects. I'm a little more fond of prospects like Alec Ogletree and Kevin Minter at this point in time than I was a few weeks ago. Same for Arthur Brown and Khaseem Greene, but the first two have superstar LB written all over them. A guy to keep an eye on is Alabama's Nico Johnson. Could be an ideal MLB/SLB in a 4-3, for some reason he's out of the spotlight right now but a year ago he was penciled in as a Top 15 pick. 6'2, 250 lbs, 4.59 40. He had a very solid year for Alabama winning another national title, but he got lost vs. other more flashy prospects on his team and elsewhere. Rated as a 3rd/4th guy right now, could be a steal in the late 3rd. Admittedly he came out on passing downs for Alabama just because they were stacked with athletes, and his numbers aren't great because they all played in a rotation and in blowing out opponents they tend to pass a lot. This is projecting a developmental ability though. 5) Also pertaining to the defense, and this is obvious, we have no pass rush outside of Abraham. Kroy is a decent football player, but the kind of player that is supposed to be on special teams and come in occasionally and not be a big part of an NFL defense. We need to bring in DEs and DTs this offseason. I'd imagine that our big FA move, if not for one of the OTs (Albert or Long) will be for a DE. Avril, Johnson, Kruger and Spencer would all be great starters on our D-Line at LDE. Avril is my personal choice because he's the one that fits Nolan's scheme the best. He has a great track record as a 4-3 LDE, which is our base defense need, but can also stand up as a 3-4 OLB when we flex to those spots. He also didn't have a threat at DE opposite him, which Kruger had and played poorly without (Suggs) and same for Spencer (Ware), plus they both played in a 3-4 base D. Johnson is a great athlete, but he just had his best year in a career year so there are concerns there as well as a lack of positional versatility. He's a situational pass rusher only, and wouldn't be able to be an effective 3-4 OLB. He also isn't strong vs. the run. If I had my way, I'd bring in Avril to be a starter and target a talented pass rusher who is falling in the draft in the early mid-rounds (Tank Carradine or Brandon Jenkins from FSU). We also obviously need DT help, and this could be a Round 1 or Round 2 selection. Depending on the cuts and restructurings we make (DRob, Turner, etc) I think we can find a good starter in free agency. Terrance Knighton is an interesting selection as he can play 4-3 or 3-4 NT, same for Detroit's Sammie Lee Hill who may provide the most bang for our buck. Glenn Dorsey, if we are committed to sticking with a 4-3, could be a fantastic signing. If we got Avril, SLH, and Dorsey we have just added a ton of versatility and impact to our defense with 1 pick FA signing and two value ones. SLH and Dorsey, with Babs, would comprise the 3 man front in a 3-4, and Avril and Abe/Kroy/Carradine would be the OLBs. In a 4-3, depending on what scenario we are playing (run vs pass) SLH and Babs can start at DT with Avril and Abe at DE, or if it's vs. the run we can kick Babs out to LDE which we did sometimes last year, put Dorsey and SLH in at DT and swing Avril over to RDE, or we can blitz Avril from the 4-3 SLB spot like Denver uses Von Miller and keep Abe in at 4-3 RDE. 6) We need CB help. Asante was a nice pick up, but he certainly was burned throughout the year. He's only getting older, but he provides a game changing element at CB. Dunta may very well be at the end of line with his time in Atlanta. He's strong vs. the run, but brutal in pass coverage. His cap $ is exorbitant for a CB with that impact (or lack thereof). Robert McClain has been a heck of a find, but that nails down the nickel CB position that we drafted Chris Owens and Dominique Franks to fill. With DRob out, we need a starting outside CB. There are some big free agents (DRC) and also some value ones (Mike Jenkins, Greg Toler), but I personally think this could be our first round pick. At #30 CB could really be BPA if a guy like Xavier Rhodes is there and that would go a long way to improving our defense especially if we sign a major DE in FA. DeCoud had an above average year, but nothing special and was unfortunately abused vs. good passing teams. He also was never strong vs. the run, and that was apparent on film. He was supposed to be our ball hawking FS, but he hasn't really become that although he did have a good year. Consistency on the back end is important, although a guy like Jairus Byrd who's a true ballhawk and one of the best FS's in the game is mighty appealing from an on-paper standpoint.
  13. http://www.rotoworld...roster-rankings For those of you that are not familiar with Cliff Avril, or are not familiar with my pitch for Cliff Avril being a perfect fit for our defense, see below: I will start with the Cliff Avril that is coming out of college from Purdue, a hybrid LB and DE who, thanks to his impressive size and strength and speed and pass rush ability, was lined up in various spots across the formation to both get after the QB, stop the run, and cover. Cliff was a strongside linebacker in highschool, and has a love for the position, but also loves sticking his hand in the dirt and getting after the quarterback. Height: 6'3 Weight: 255 lbs 40 Time: 4.51 seconds (would have been faster at his pro day but he chose not to run again) Bench Press: 27 reps 3 Cone: 6.90 seconds Vertical: 36.5" (pro day) 20 yard shuttle: 4.51 seconds Just for reference, our very own Harry Douglas came out in the same draft and ran a 4.51 40 yard dash. Yes, that is an identical 40 time to Cliff Avril. Yes, people on this board and people in the media rave about Harry's speed and quickness. And yes, Harry's 10 yard split was a 1.53.......and Cliff's was a 1.50 flat. To be clear, we're talking about a bonafide freak. His senior year stats were very good, but in my opinion as a fan they were deflated because he was playing both LB and DE. And not 3-4 OLB, but 4-3 strongside LB. He did however start every game at 4-3 LDE, which happens to be our defense's biggest need. Cliff had 40 tackles (32 solo), 15 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 credit QB hurry (....this must be off but I can't find a better source than CFBstats.com), 5 passes broken up in coverage/at the line of scrimmage, 1 interception (which he returned for a touchdown). In a backup rotational role as a rookie, playing in 15 games and starting 4 of them as the season went on, he had 23 tackles, 5 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles. In 2009, starting 11 games, he had 41 tackles and 5.5 sacks, another 3 forced fumbles, and swatted 3 passes. As a third year player in 2010 and missing 3 games due to injury, he had 33 tackles, 8.5 sacks, swatted 3 passes, and forced another fumble. Playing and starting in all 16 games entering his age 25 season, Cliff had 36 tackles, 11 sacks, another 6 forced fumbles, swatted 4 passes, and had an interception that he returned for a TD. This last season, receiving double teams throughout the season on the strongside (strongside is hard to begin with, double teams on that side make it very difficult -- and yes, you can check and read about Kyle Vanden Bosch's demise and how the Lions are likely to cut him after only registering 3.5 sacks) he had 35 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 2 more forced fumbles, and swatted one pass. I'd like to point at 3 things before I go any further: 1) Cliff Avril has spent his entire career playing strongside 4-3 DE. Anyone that understands the 4-3 defense knows that it is very difficult to register sacks playing as the LDE because 90% of QBs are right handed, and you are rushing right into their line of vision so they can see you coming and move up into the pocket and avoid you. Despite Avril's amazing speed and quickness, he was also the Lions' strongest DE and best versus the run so they played him on the strongside. You're average starting 4-3 LDE in the NFL has maybe 3 sacks a season. From this spot, Avril posted 8.5, 11, and 9.5 these last 3 years. 2) KVB, by the time he got to the Lions, was not a good football player by starting DE standards. In 2010, when Avril only played in 13 games, KVB had only 4 sacks. Avril had 8.5 sacks. This is also coming from the blindside, which is where you are supposed to rack up the sacks. KVB then had 8 in 2011, a poor number for a blindside DE, and then only 3.5 sacks this last year while showing his age and ineffectiveness. For people who want to say this is another Ray Edwards signings A) I'll hurt you, and this point is really for you. Avril was at times the best player on the Lions D-Line, and at worst the 2nd best behind Ndamukong Suh. Nick Fairley did not start until the end of this most recent season, and Corey Williams is a good but not great DT. As I've shown you, by the time KVB got to the Lions he was already mostly washed up. Ray Edwards' 3 last seasons on the Vikings saw him post 5 sacks, 8.5 sacks, and 8 sacks (2008, 2009, and 2010 respectively). In those 3 seasons, Jared Allen had 14.5 sacks, 14.5 sacks, and 11 sacks. AGAIN: KVB totaled 16 sacks in the 3 seasons he and Cliff Avril have played together. Avril totaled 29 sacks in those 3 seasons. Jared Allen totaled 40 sacks in the 3 seasons he and Ray Edwards played together. Edwards totaled 21.5 sacks. Can we now and forever more retire the Cliff Avril and Ray Edwards comparison. It is unbelievably ignorant. And if you want to point to Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams, then look at Kevin Williams, a HOF candidate in my eyes if the Vikings can win a SB, in his prime and Pat Williams who was just as good if not better than Corey Williams. Ray Edwards also ran a 4.81 40. THEY ARE NOTHING ALIKE. And 3) There is a misconception around these boards that the Wide 9 inflates sack numbers and you should discount any player's success in that scheme. That is a ridiculous sentiment, and once again, ignorant. If that is true, please explain the Eagles bringing up the back of the entire league in sacks while using the Wide 9 this year despite having Trent Cole, Jason Babin (a wide 9 "demon"), Brandon Graham, et al. Or KVB's crappy tenure in Detroit playing opposite Cliff? The Wide 9 is supposed to help the pass rush because you line up outside of the OTs and if they don't adjust their stance you get a little more room to create separation. Guess what -- it's a stupid vanilla defensive scheme similar to BVG's in Atlanta in that the defensive linemen line up in the exact same place everytime, they don't move around, and the offense can identify where they are, key on them, and remove them from the play by running inside them. The league has figured out the Wide 9, and that is why teams are abandoning it. The Wide 9 hurts more than it helps. Cliff Avril, in my opinion, managed to overcome the lack of a defensive play caller putting him in the best position to succeed and playing in a vanilla Wide 9 on the strongside of the formation every snap. If he were used in a Mike Nolan defense, with his strength, quickness, amazing speed, and natural ability to get to the QB (and force a fumble, he's like the Peanut Tillman of DE's) like how Nolan uses the much less athletic Kroy Biermann -- all over the formation as a RDE, LDE, 3-4 OLB, and ILB -- his numbers would be astronomical as would his impact. Kroy has been a solid chess piece for Nolan, although certainly not spectacular. As we all know DE has been a real weakness for us aside from Abe, and Nolan made the best with what he had to use and played Kroy in this kind of role. If Cliff Matthews, Lawrence Sidbury, Jon Massaquioa, or anyone else had stepped up, Kroy probably wouldn't have played as much. We just didn't have anybody. Now imagine Cliff Avril, the man I just described, entering his prime, being used in that role. And better yet for our defense, imagine Kroy and Cliff on the field at the same time being used as TWO chess pieces instead of just one to give our defense a bigger advantage. This doesn't only help the pass defense since Kroy and/or Cliff can rush from either side as a DE or linebacker, but also our run defense because Cliff Avril is one of the best run defenders in the league. Signing Cliff Avril also frees up our 1st round pick to use on a DT, RB, OL, or TE if TG won't come back but I think he will. If we take a great DT early like John Jenkins, Sylvester Williams, Kawaan Short, etc. and have Avril to go with Abe, Babs, Kroy, and Peters.....our defense just became much, much better with two moves. The issue is going to be clearing the cap space, but this isn't really as big of an issue as it seems when you hear about us having $1.7 million in cap space. We can free up $7 million by cutting Turner, because that's his number after performance escalators kicked in for this last season. We can also free up $5 million by restructuring Dunta's contract, and $7 million by releasing him. I think we may release him if he won't restructure, because CB may be BPA at #30 in the 1st round, and an offseason in which we add Cliff Avril and draft a CB like Xavier Rhodes is infinitely better than an offseaosn in which we keep Dunta Robinson at CB and draft Alex Okafor. Tyson Clabo is also a candidate for restructure, and when we re-sign Matt Ryan we can actually save money up front to add cap room to help our SB push. So the money will be there. And there is a reason Rotoworld listed Cliff Avril specifically and not a guy like Michael Johnson or Osi. Avril and Nolan's defense is a PERFECT match, and Avril is just entering his prime. Yes, I am biased in the slightest because I am a big Cliff Avril fan. This is however a no-brainer, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it.
  14. With training camp less than two weeks away, the serious fantasy footballer has no doubt already pored through countless projections, profiles and predictions. Odds are, many of them were quite useful. But whereas projections, profiles and predictions strive to guess the most likely outcome, we all know a player’s season rarely follows a straight line. With Best Case/Worst Case, we won’t predict the most likely outcome, but instead ask: What if everything goes right? What if it all goes wrong? 1. Aaron Rodgers Best Case: Rodgers continues to make history his mistress, racking up more historic numbers during the regular season before finishing 2012 the way many thought he’d end 2011: as a two-time Super Bowl champion. Worst Case: Greg Jennings gets old in a hurry, Jordy Nelson regresses and Randall Cobb doesn’t take the next step as Rodgers suffers his third concussion in three years. He passes for “just” 4,000 yards. 2. Cam Newton Best Case: Coming off a rookie campaign that was literally historic, Newton makes like Dan Marino and takes the Panthers to the Super Bowl as a sophomore. Along the way, he posts numbers that make early-2000s Michael Vick blush. Worst Case: Even Newton’s increased reliance on his legs can’t stop his inevitable rushing touchdown regression, while his passing numbers don’t take a step forward thanks to his receiver corps taking a step back. 3. Tom Brady Best Case: Gisele nods approvingly as Wes Welker catches the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLVII, capping off Brady’s second consecutive 5,000-yard campaign in style. Worst Case: Years of nagging injuries begin to take their toll while a more crowded receiver corps doesn’t equal a better receiver corps. Brady shows his first signs of football mortality as talk of flipping Ryan Mallett for future considerations suddenly dies down. 4. Drew Brees Best Case: Brees makes the hand-wringing over his lost coach and offseason program look silly as he becomes the first player in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards three times. Worst Case: Brees isn’t lost without Sean Payton, but uninspired, passing for less than 4,400 yards for just the second time since arriving in New Orleans. 5. Matthew Stafford Best Case: Commanding the pocket like Kurt Warner in his prime, Stafford leads the league in every meaningful passing category as he becomes the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl since Ben Roethlisberger. Worst Case: Questions about Stafford’s durability come out of hibernation after an early-season shoulder injury nags him well into December. The Lions finish third in the AFC North. 6. Michael Vick Best Case: A career marred by pretty much anything you can think of finally reaches its feel-good crescendo, as Vick holds his lunch down on the game-winning drive of Super Bowl XLVII. He throws for 4,000 yards while narrowly missing his second 1,000-yard campaign on the ground. Worst Case: 2011 was just the warm up for a season where Vick’s 32-year-old body completely breaks down, leaving many Eagles fans to wonder why the future wasn’t addressed more aggressively than Nick Foles. 7. Tony Romo Best Case: Amani Toomer’s contrarian ramblings prove prophetic, as Romo not only posts his typically elite numbers, but rallies the Cowboys in the waning minutes of the NFC Championship Game. Dallas reaches its first Super Bowl since the Clinton Administration. Worst Case: The schadenfreude over Romo’s Week 1 dagger pick in New York crashes Twitter, and privately seals owner Jerry Jones’ opinion of his franchise quarterback: we need to do better. 8. Eli Manning Best Case: Eli finds the 67 yards he was missing in 2011, throwing for over 5,000 as he leads the Giants to the NFC’s No. 1 seed in the defense of their second title in five seasons. Worst Case: Manning regresses along with Victor Cruz, and though he still throws for over 4,000 yards and 30 scores, he reminds everybody why it was once a question whether he was elite or not. 9. Peyton Manning Best Case: The best neck surgery can buy doesn’t tense up in the blustery Rocky Mountain wind, as Manning throws for his customary 4,300 yards and 30 scores in turning the Broncos into a Super Bowl contender. Worst Case: Flattened by John Abraham on the Georgia Dome’s carpet in Week 2, Manning’s faith in his neck doesn’t get a chance to be shaken: his career is ended on the spot. 10. Matt Ryan Best Case: Ryan finally starts to elevate the play of those around him, breaking through the 4,500-yard and 30-touchdown barriers as he’s the primary reason Atlanta snaps its four-game playoff skid. Worst Case: It becomes plainly apparent that Ryan is little more than a glorified game-manager, forcing Atlanta to revive its abandoned “ground-and-pound” philosophy in the offseason. 11. Philip Rivers Best Case: The real Rivers — the one that posted a 16:6 TD:INT ratio over his final eight games last season — shows up, guiding the Bolts back to the playoffs, and fantasy owners back to the promised land. Worst Case: Silva was right — Rivers’ 2011 wasn’t an aberration, but the beginning of the end of his peak. Robert Meachem proves woefully inadequate as a Vincent Jackson replacement. 12. Ben Roethlisberger Best Case: Roethlisberger is actually helped — not hurt — by the arrival of Todd Haley’s sophisticated attack, and throws for a career-high 4,500 yards thanks in large part to the league’s best trio of young wideouts. Worst Case: A frustrated Mike Wallace misses the majority of camp, and Ben and Haley’s relationship quickly frays as a Steelers offense lacking a legitimate ground game stalls out early. 13. Robert Griffin III Best Case: With better wheels and a stronger arm, RGIII proves to be a mini-Cam Newton as a rookie, putting the Redskins back in contention even quicker than Dan Snyder dreamed possible. Worst Case: Shaken by a host of early crushing hits on his slight frame, RGIII gets the yips, and is more Jimmy Clausen than Cam. 14. Jay Cutler Best Case: Invigorated by the arrival of Brandon Marshall and departure of Mike Martz, Cutler puts it all together in his fourth season in the Windy City, taking the Bears back to the NFC Championship Game while producing like a fantasy QB1 for the first time since 2008. Worst Case: Marshall is as temperamental as ever while Mike Tice and Jeremy Bates prove unprepared to coordinate an NFL offense. Talk-show callers are bringing up Cutler’s 2011 NFC Title Game injury on a daily basis by mid-October. 15. Carson Palmer Best Case: Saved from new OC Greg Knapp’s run-heavy system by budding superstar Denarius Moore, Palmer is allowed to let it fly more than anyone predicted during his age-32 campaign. He produces at a high-end QB2 level. Worst Case: Knapp pounds the ground into the stone age, while Palmer’s arm strength and mobility limitations are more glaring than ever. GM Reggie McKenzie cries himself to sleep every night thinking about the trade Hue Jackson made in October 2011. 16. Ryan Fitzpatrick Best Case: Fitzpatrick starts hot like he did in 2010 and ‘11, only this time he stays hot, finally mastering Chan Gailey’s aggressive and creative system as he flirts with QB1 status. Worst Case: No Bills wideout steps up opposite Stevie Johnson, while both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller light it up on the ground. The Bills add quarterback competition in the offseason. 17. Joe Flacco Best Case: The self-proclaimed “Best Quarterback in Football” takes subtle steps forward for the fourth consecutive season, earning a lucrative long-term contract while winning at least one playoff game for the fifth straight year. Worst Case: Baltimore’s young receivers don’t develop and OC Cam Cameron becomes so conservative he makes Pat Shurmur look like Dennis Kucinich, conspiring to cast Flacco’s Baltimore future into full-blown doubt. 18. Josh Freeman Best Case: The real Freeman stands up and takes full advantage of new No. 1 receiver Vincent Jackson, throwing for 25 touchdowns and just shy of 4,000 yards despite the Bucs’ renewed commitment to the ground game. Worst Case: Freeman posts better numbers under bright new OC Mike Sullivan, but only because his 2011 was so bad. His 85.0 quarterback rating and 20:15 TD:INT ratio leave the Bucs pondering his long-term future in Tampa. 19. Matt Schaub Best Case: Schaub’s foot checks out as he appears in all 16 games for the third time in four seasons, throwing for 4,200 yards and 24 touchdowns in the process. Worst Case: Another injury-plagued campaign forces Schaub to the sideline and the Texans to rely on Arian Foster more than ever. With visions of T.J. Yates’ playoff victory still dancing in GM Rick Smith’s head, Schaub is allowed to walk in the offseason. 20. Andrew Luck Best Case: Luck makes the most of his surprisingly well-stocked cupboard, surpassing both the 3,500 yards and 18 touchdowns Sam Bradford threw for as a rookie. Worst Case: Luck threatens Peyton Manning’s rookie interceptions record, proving even sure things need time to find sure footing. 21. Jake Locker Best Case: Locker blows Matt Hasselbeck out of the water in the preseason before lighting things up on the reg in the regular season. Along with Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright and Jared Cook, he forms one of the league’s most impressive cores of young offensive talent. Worst Case: Locker still starts games after losing his camp battle with Hasselbeck, but looks nothing like the energizing spark plug he was in 2011. The questions about his accuracy and decision-making that dogged him coming out of Washington resurface. 22. Christian Ponder Best Case: Ponder’s added bulk translates to much improved durability, and the No. 12 pick of the 2011 draft looks every bit a future franchise signal caller as he throws for over 3,500 yards despite possessing one of the league's weaker receiver corps. Worst Case: Adrian Peterson begins the year on the PUP list, Percy Harvin continues to pout about his contract and Matt Kalil doesn’t look NFL ready, leaving Ponder cold and alone in one of the NFL’s least-talented offenses. 23. Andy Dalton Best Case: What arm strength issues? Thanks in large part to the beautiful music he makes with A.J. Green, Dalton eclipses 4,000 yards and assuages doubts that his rough play down the stretch last season was anything other than typical first-year growing pains. Worst Case: Dalton underthrows Green on a host of early deep balls, forcing OC Jay Gruden to scale back his conservative scheme even further. Things are so bad by Week 11 that angry Bengals fans are wondering just how Cedric Benson could have been allowed to walk. 24. Sam Bradford Best Case: Less is more for St. Louis’ third-year signal caller, who averages the fewest attempts of his career, but regains his confidence in a simplified scheme. He comes closer to 4,000 yards than 3,000. Worst Case: The Rams’ offensive line again folds up like a dollar store tent, leaving Bradford running for his life, and the Rams searching for answers about the former No. 1 pick’s future. 25. Alex Smith Best Case: Smith’s work with “quarterback whisperer” Tom House pays greater dividends than anyone thought possible, and along with San Francisco’s greatly improved receiver corps, accomplishes the previously unthinkable: make Smith a borderline QB1 in 12-14 team fantasy leagues. Worst Case: Smith earns a promotion from game “manager” to “supervisor,” but again proves what’s been obvious for years: his arm is too weak to rest the fate of a franchise on. 26. Matt Flynn Best Case: Flynn sews up his “competition” with Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson by the second preseason game, and game-manages the Seahawks to a winning record in a division that’s much tougher than it was a year ago. Worst Case: Pete Carroll goes full auteur/mad genius, naming third-round pick Wilson his Week 1 starter. Called on in Week 17 mop-up duty, Flynn throws for as third as many yards as he did in his star-making turn in Green Bay last season. 27. Matt Cassel Best Case: Cassel proves to be the league’s premier game-manager, minimizing his mistakes while approaching the career-best 3,693 yards he threw for in 2008. Worst Case: Cassel barely holds off Brady Quinn in the preseason before finally succumbing to him in Week 5. He’s unceremoniously released in March. 28. Mark Sanchez Best Case: Sanchez finally puts his considerable physical talents to full use, improving his brutal 2011 6.4 YPA by nearly a full yard, while completing 60 percent of his passes for the first time. His 3,800 passing yards are the most by a Jet since Vinny Testaverde in 2000. Worst Case: Sanchez is on the phone with Marion Barber when Santonio Holmes informs him he’s been benched in favor of Tim Tebow. The “Sanchize” mixes his Pepsi Max with bourbon at the club that evening. 29. Brandon Weeden Best Case: Recalling a smash hit from his adolescence (and RGIII and Luck’s youth), Weeden proves age isn’t anything but a number, and provides reason for legitimate long-term optimism in Cleveland for the first time in the Randy Lerner era. Worst Case: Like he was in baseball, Weeden quickly turns into a “nonspect,” displaying average everything as football “czar” Mike Holmgren feels the walls close in on his cravenly desperate decision to draft a 28-year-old quarterback. 30. Kevin Kolb Best Case: With a full offseason under his belt, Kolb finally grasps the Cardinals offense, easing by John Skelton in training camp before earning himself some long-term stability in the fall. Worst Case: Concussed in Arizona’s second preseason game, Kolb’s only regular season snaps come in mop-up duty for Skelton. 31. Matt Moore Best Case: The winner of Miami’s three-headed camp competition, Moore picks up where he left off in 2011, completing well over 60 percent of his passes while averaging nearly 7.5 yards per attempt. He turns himself into a legitimate trade chip for the 2013 offseason. Worst Case: Moore fails to convince new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin his strong finish to 2011 was anything other than an illusion, and is one of the league’s more surprising final cuts. 32. Blaine Gabbert Best Case: Gabbert laughs at your clichés as he proves old dogs can learn new tricks by suddenly standing tall in the pocket en route to respectability and a modicum of long-term job security. Worst Case: Gabbert is so bad even Jimmy Clausen is reduced to tweeting “Keep your head up, Blaine” after Chad Henne is given charge of an 0-5 team in Week 6. Gabbert’s last career pass is picked off by Brian Urlacher in Week 5. http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/40906/77/best-caseworst-case-qbs
  15. It's based off of two games, vs. Seattle and vs. New Orleans which happen to be his two highest target games and at the start and end of the season respectively. They also give other notes on Turner, Roddy, and Quizz. http://rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/40717/179/re-watching-julio-cam-locker I'm getting a little tired for the TO-comparisons simply because he's big and physical. I myself have always said he compares to T.O. and Andre Johnson vs. AJ Green who compares to a Randy Moss without the long speed. However, I would then add on that Julio is much faster than Terrell Owens which could lead to him becoming an even better receiver. Owens early in his career was a great WR with amazing run after the catch ability, but he wasn't a burner. Julio is the same, except if he gets an angle he's gone for an 80 yard touchdown. He's also a better blocker than Owens and his football IQ seems higher as a young player than TO as a young player. Needless to say, we've got a guy who is going to be one of the best in the league in a few years with Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, and Dez Bryant. That's exciting. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SIDENOTE: Please someone tell me how to upload a screen shot into a post or PM. Can't figure it out for the life of me.
  16. Lofa Tatupu is practicing as the Falcons' starting middle linebacker at OTAs. A training camp battle with Akeem Dent is forthcoming in August, but the Falcons are giving the more experienced player the first shot. Tatupu, 29, missed all of last season due to chronic knee problems. He doesn't appear to have any lingering issues this spring. The winner will likely only be a two-down linebacker, so there is limited appeal from an IDP perspective. http://www.rotoworld...atlanta-falcons (found under the new section) Video is from 2010 #5 Best Inside Linebacker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUyyj_yLzM0
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