On our first show of the 2015 NFL Preseason, @FantasyMoses1 and I do a 12 team standard league mock draft on air on ESPN. We’ll breakdown our picks throughout the show and answer your twitter questions.
Weeeee’re baaaack! Fantasy Moses, Josh Hayes and the Fantasy Football Pessimist are back to break down all the off-season free agency moves for fantasy impact, we’ll talk dynasty strategy, and discuss the best fantasy options from the 2015 NFL Draft.
By Dan Lemieux @FFPessimist
Was the 2014 WR Draft the best ever WR class?
Last year pretty much everybody had to be in awe of the best WR class in some time. I personally believe this class should trump that, quite easily.
2014 -The Elite
Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr.
What else is there to say about Beckham Jr? The guy goes for 91/1305/12 in just 12 games. Probably the best rookie year for a wide receiver in quite some time. If not the best stats, easily the most impressive considering he did it in 12 games. My personal favorite of the group Mike Evans drops 68/1051/12 in 15 games but does it with probably the worst starting QB combo in the 2014, Josh Mcown and Mike Glennon. The highest pick of the bunch, Watkins… Dropped a disappointing 65/982/6, playing in all 16 affairs. While Evans will get an upgrade at the QB spot. It looks like Watkins is stuck in the mud for the foreseeable future.
2014 – Noteworthy performers
I may have to eat crow on my Kelvin Benjamin bust piece I wrote last year leading up to the draft. But he did show the inconsistent hands I knew he had coming out of college. Still, he put up a great 71/1,008/9 line which was great but largely based on volume. If the Panthers grab another WR early. Expect those numbers to stay the same or go down a little.
Quite paltry numbers 53/550/3 but mind you he played in only 10 games. With the departure of Jimmy Graham. The Saints will focus on running the ball but the Saints still have a great QB in Brees and Cooks numbers should rise quite substantially in year two. If they draft a receiver high, all bets are off though.
Jordan Matthews 67/872/8 and Allen Robinson 48/548/2 also impressed and should also get better next year as well.
2015 -The Elite
Kevin White (WVU), Amari Cooper (ALA) and Devante Parker (LOU).
While Cooper is the most heralded of the group, ripping up the SEC for 124/1727/16 en route to the biletnikoff award. White and Cooper offer more upside. With larger catch radius’s and “above the rim” type style of play. It’s highly unlikely White and Cooper fall out of the top 10 this Thursday in a weak overall draft class. It’s quite possible all land in the top eleven as it’s been rumored that the Vikings will reunite Parker with last year’s first rounder Teddy Bridgewater. The latest Parker should fall is #14 where Miami will be waiting with open arms after losing Charles Clay and Mike Wallace this off-season.
Phillip Dorsett (Miami)
A rare athlete with world class speed and suddenness out of breaks. I read a lot of analysts that say he is only a guy who can play in the slot but I strongly disagree. This kid looks like the second coming of DeSean Jackson. The next couple guys might go before him based on upside but Dorsett won’t make it out of the first 15 picks of the second round.
Breshaud Perriman (UCF), Sammy Coates (AUB) and Nelson Agholor (USC).
When it comes Perriman and Coates, the old cliché comes to mind… “These guys can be as good as they want to be”. Whether they put the work in or not is a completely different story. Perriman ran 4.27 and 4.25 on his pro day, at 6’2” 212lbs. Very rare indeed. He is being compared to Josh Gordon over on NFL.com. Sammy Coates is similar with Perriman from a size/weight/speed standpoint and the fact that both of them have terrible hands (over 10% drop rate). But their upside is undeniable. Coates has the upside and body type of Terrell Owens and will be very hard for some teams to pass on him come round 2. Agholor is different from both of them as he is more agile, a better route runner and better hands then Coates and Perriman but upside is limited and will never be a real, red zone threat. He is eerily similar to Marquis Lee who went #39 overall last year to the Jags.
Dorial Green Beckham (Oklahoma) and Jaelen Strong (ASU)
Green-Beckham could possibly crack the first round based on size and speed 6’5” 237lbs and 4.49 40. However his off the field issues run deep and usually smart teams pick in the back half of the first round and don’t pick up such troubled kids. I could see a team like the Raiders scooping him up early in the second round and getting another Javon Walker. Jaelen Strong is a very interesting prospect who I could see going late in the first if it was another draft. Strong stands 6’2” 217lbs with 4.44 40. He’s a more explosive version of Miles Austin (when Austin used to be good).
Mid round guys who could make some noise on the right teams.
Tyler Lockett (Kansas State), Dres Anderson (Utah), Stefon Diggs (Maryland), Tre McBride (William & Mary)and Ty Montgomery (Stanford).
Personal Favorites of the group…
Kevin White and Phillip Dorsett.
White is the complete package you want at wide receiver. Size, speed and competitiveness. Similar along the lines of J.Jones and C.Johnson but just a hair smaller. Dorsett is the pure speed that can beat you with suddenness. Once NFL coaches teach him how to sell routes and the nuances of running routes, watch out!
When comparing apples to apples. The top guys of this class are probably a touch below last year’s. However 4-10 look considerably better, along with higher upside. Looks like there should be at least nine drafted in the top 50 this year. Over the past 5-6 years, the NFL has protected receivers and QB’s more and more. Making the NFL, a pass happy league. Just about the same time all these kids were 16 and 17, deciding which position to focus on and play the rest of their careers. There are sure to be more draft classes in the near future loaded at wide receiver until the NFL changes again.
Here’s @FFPessimist‘s top 10 overall prospects for NFL draft- 2015
Vic Beasley- 3-4 OLB or 4-3 SLB Clemson
In a draft filled with talented edge rushers. Beasley to me, is the best of the bunch. Blessed with an elite first step and rare strength for a LB (35 on the bench press). Beasley will give any defense an immediate shot in the arm.
NFL Comp- Von Miller
Check out Beasley’s handiwork from the 2014 season below
Dante Fowler- 3-4 OLB or 4-3 RDE Florida
Right behind Beasley is Fowler who is another explosive edge rusher with strong hands and hip torque that can generate impressive power. Expect Fowler’s name to be called early Thursday night, it would be surprising if he fell out of the top 10.
NFL Comp- Justin Houston
Kevin White- WR West Virginia
Onto our first offensive player of the draft and probably safest pick on offense for me. White is a flat out stud. With a blazing 4.35 40 and 10’3 broad jump. White has the size and explosiveness you need in a #1 WR in the NFL. Also competitive enough to throw it up in contested situations.
NFL Comp- Sammy Watkins but not as good of hands.
Devante Parker- WR Louisville
It’s pretty damn close between Parker and White for me. I still might put Parker back on top of the WR list before it’s all said and done. I just like his all around game. He’s very smooth and a great red zone option. He should be able to stack on another 10-15lbs of muscle over his career and develop into a solid #1 WR for whichever team drafts him.
NFL Comp- A leaner, faster version of Kenny Britt.
Marcus Mariota- QB Oregon
There is a lot of debate going on about Mariota going into this draft. The thing that bugs me is at Oregon he was throwing to WIDE OPEN receivers. I mean ridiculously wide open receivers. In the NFL, that is almost never the case. On the flip side, the guy has a “plus” NFL arm and runs like a deer. I’ll never forget Kaepernick destroying GB’s soul in the playoffs a couple years back. Mariota has the ability to pull off those same types of game changing plays.
NFL comp- Colin Kaepernick but not all ghetto. Check out these Mariota highlights.
Randy Gregory- DE 4-3 / OLB 3-4 Nebraska
I had Gregory rated a bit higher but after he came in at a slanky 235lbs. It took a lot of the wind out of my sails for the guy. He has a great but inconsistent first step, hopefully it’s something he can improve on while working on his craft. His upside is undeniable but he really needs to go to the weight room. In the NFL, you are going against LT’s who are all usually top 10 picks who are 300-325lb stone walls. If they get their hands on him, it’s over. For me…. Gregory has not only the highest upside but highest chance of busting as well.
NFL comp- Is he Aldon Smith or Dion Jordan?
Shane Ray- 3-4OLB Missouri
This is pre-pro day for Shane but I am curious to see how he tests. If he shows similar number to Beasley or Von Miller, I would be happy to move him into my top 5. On tape he plays angry, couple that with a non-stop motor and violent hands. He has a chance to be special. For me It all comes down to his athleticism at this point.
NFL Comp- A more violent Bruce Irvin
Todd Gurley- RB Gurley
I’m not super worried about an ACL tear as most are. Dr. James Andrew can fix those in his sleep by now. Also, it was just that ligament. Not like he shredded the whole knee, Willis McGahee style (who went on to have a pretty solid career by the way). A monster to bring down with incredible long speed and virtually no weaknesses. He also returned two kick offs for TD’s and can catch the ball easily as well. Gurley is the best RB I’ve seen since AP, which is saying a lot. I’m actually hoping my Lions snag him at #23 if he’s still available.
NFL Comp- A rich man’s Eddie Lacy
Leonard Williams- DT/DE USC
I’m not as high on Williams as most (obviously). Two reasons… One, USC players are never as good as advertised, PERIOD. Two.. He’s kind of a tweener. When you think of DT’s going top 5. You think of Suh or McCoy. He’s simply not on those guys level. He does however posses great length. With proper technique and coaching, he could use that length to reach a couple pro bowls in his career. But I don’t think he can reach the heights of “all-pro” status personally.
NFL Comp- Sheldon Richardson with a little less explosion
Trae Waynes- CB Michigan St
Waynes is the ultimate package that you are looking for with not only the size but also the blazing speed (4.31 40). Highly explosive corner that isn’t afraid to come down and lay the wood in the running game either. His only weakness is that Waynes isn’t a natural hands catcher or have elite ball skills. However, he is always in position to make a play. Waynes projects as a high end CB in the NFL for me.
NFL Comp- Joe Haden with better hair
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New #FantasyFootball Insider Blog: NFL/NBA Big Game Mashup Freeroll Suggestions for @ScoreStreaker By @ViggieSmalls765
By Seth Vigdor @ViggieSmalls765
This Sunday, ScoreStreak will offer you a unique contest in honor of the Super Bowl, called Big Game Mashup. The game will be a combination of the NFL and the NBA. The categories will be Total TD’s, All-Purpose yards and NBA Points. Let’s take a look at some of the guys that may be able to help you in this contest.
NFL – Total TD’s – Tom Brady vs Seattle
I’m going to use Tom Brady in the 3 touchdown slot. I believe the Patriots are going to use “Deflategate” as extra motivation and that they will be well prepared for the Seahawks. Brady had a great year and including the playoffs, Brady has thrown for 4702 yards and 39 touchdowns. Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman are banged up after suffering injuries in the NFC Championship game, however they both will give it a go with the Lombardi trophy on the line. The Patriots are the one team that won’t be afraid to challenge Thomas and Sherman. Look for Brady and the Patriots to set the Seahawks secondary up by feeding LeGarrette Blount in the run game, which will open up the pass game, where I expect the Patriot’s receivers to get open and make big plays for Brady.
NFL – All – Purpose Yards – LeGarrette Blount vs Seattle
LeGarrette Blount had his Patriots coming out party in the AFC Championship game against the Colts, when he had 30 carries for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns. Though, the Seahawks have the best defense in the league, I expect Blount to get a similar work load and put up similar numbers, less the numbers of touchdowns scored. As mentioned above, the Seahawks defense is a bit banged up. After starting the year as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Blount has a chance to get the last laugh. Since returning to the Patriots on 11/23, Blount has rushed for 696 yards and 8 touchdowns, including the playoffs. I’m putting Blount into the 120 All-Purpose yards category this week as for the Patriots to win the Super Bowl, they’ll need to get the ground game involved.
NBA – Points – Carmelo Anthony vs Los Angeles Lakers
This will be the trickiest of all Mash Up categories as there are only 2 games on the schedule in the NBA. There aren’t many players capable of putting up 30 points and the one guy, Carmelo Anthony, has been dealing with injuries all year and is in danger of being shut down for the year. If you plan on using Anthony, make sure you check back prior to the contest starting to ensure that Anthony will indeed be playing. As the only real threat to put up 30 points on any given night, I’m throwing Anthony into the 30 point slot. For the games that Anthony has played, he’s averaging 24.1 points and 6.7 rebounds on the year. Add to this, the Knicks play a Lakers team that will be without Kobe Bryant for the rest of the year. As long as Anthony plays, this is the main play for the 30 point slot.
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