Tag Archives: Fantasy Football

The WN Fantasy Football Report: Week 5 Starts and Sits

The Wayniac Nation fantasy football experts are really coming together. Last week, Dunton hit on his starts for you as Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers went bananas. Sure, they were easier picks, but he also told you to sit Tom Brady, who may be a sit every week now. Fee missed on Kirk Cousins, but he hit on sitting both Reggie Bush and Joique Bell who, like Brady, scored well under ten points. Ted Reed was on with Reggie Wayne as he dropped a season best 23 points. J.D. hit the nail on the head starting Matt Asiata who went off for 30 points, and his sit, Vincent Jackson, had three points until the final 30 seconds when he caught the game winning touchdown. Myself? I admit I swung and missed telling you to sit Eli Manning, but come on, the guy rushed for his first touchdown in a decade! If you started Big Ben and his 32 points like I said, you still did just fine. I was also right on starting Kelvin Benjamin, who is now a verified fantasy star, and Jason Witten, who wasn’t spectacular, but had his best game of the season to date. I also told you that if you had the gamble in you to go with Teddy Bridgewater. Coming off a 300-yard performance in his first game, I’d say I was right!

This week, only the Raiders and Dolphins are on bye, so your lineup should be pretty much in tact, aside from maybe Lamar Miller. There are some juicy match ups this week, and it is a pivotal week in fantasy. If you can get your team to its fourth or fifth win, you are cruising to a playoff lock. If you already have three or four losses, another one can end your season early. If you are sitting at .500, this is your week to start over and get going.

Continue on to see who we have pegged as starts and sits!

The WN Fantasy Football Report: Week 4 Starts and Sits

Week three was a mixed bag as far as the Wayniac Nation experts Starts and Sits picks went. Fee, Dunton and Ted Reed took some gambles and missed, but J.D. and I were dead on. If you listened to J.D. and benched anyone in the Patriots backfield, you did ok as Vereen and Ridley COMBINED for a measly 12 points. If you started Pierre Thomas like he told you, then you got 15 points from your RB2 which is pretty stellar. Sits that made me look good were Jake Locker (who had less than 10 points), Vernon Davis (who was scratched) and Wes Welker (12 points). Starts that made me look like a genius were Knile Davis (19 points), Greg Olson (17 points), Alshon Jeffery (20 points) and Jay Cutler (23 points). So, it took a few weeks, but I told you we’d come around!

This week is the first week of byes, so, especially with teams like the Broncos and Seahawks off, filling the void is crucial. As Benny Smalls said, “This is a critical week for starts as there are six teams on byes. Trust your waiver wire skills and draft prep… translation: Dunton is screwed!” So who is out there worthy of a spot start with so many big names on the golf course this weekend? We got the answers for you, that’s why you clicked here after all, isn’t it?

Continue onward to Week 4’s Starts and Sits

The WN Fantasy Football Report: Week 3 Starts and Sits

Wayniac Nation put a rough week one behind us and looked better on our starts and sits for week two. Unfortunately for J.D. who is a huge Atlanta Falcons fan, he was dead on about sitting Matt Ryan against a tough Cincinnati Bengals defense. Ryan registered roughly 12 points which is not going to win you many fantasy games in today’s NFL. I was on point in telling you to sit both RGIII and Reggie Bush. Bush tallied 32 total yards while seeing less touches than Joique Bell for the second week in a row. RGIIIs injury woes continued and it appears he may be a sit for the rest of the season. He tallied three points before leaving Sunday’s bout. I will admit I swung and missed on sitting Antonio Gates, but if you saw a seven catch, 96 yard, three touchdown output from the 34-year old against the league’s best defense, please let me know below and come write for us!

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The big news was the rash of fantasy mega-stars who are now out for the foreseeable future due to injury or suspension. Zygi Wilf sure made it sound like Adrian Peterson will never play in a Vikings uniform again. Jamaal Charles suffered the dreaded high-ankle sprain and appears to be sidelined for a at least a month. A.J. Green, DeSean Jackson, Doug Martin, Mark Ingram, Ben Tate, Ryan Mathews and Jordan Cameron highlight a list of players that have been absent already with injury and very little insight on when they will return. And Toby Gerhart straight up stinks.

So with significant fantasy stars already on the pine, who can you turn to this week? Week three is a pivotal point in the fantasy season. If you are 0-2, you need a win. If you are 2-0, a 3-0 start puts you at a huge advantage for a playoff spot. This week, we hope to bring you some help in solidifying your run for the playoffs.

Want to know who to start and sit? Click here!

The WN Fantasy Football Report: Week 2 Starts and Sits

Well, folks, if you read Wayniac Nation’s first attempt at Starts and Sits last week, you must be thinking we are fantasy morons and not experts. It was a rough first stab, but in our defense, it was a bizarre week for fantasy. I don’t think anyone expected Jamaal Charles to get seven touches. Nor did most expect Darren Sproles to outscore the terrible tipping LeSean McCoy (who apparently redefines Shady on a daily basis).

I had a few starts that made me look pretty good. Jeremy Maclin had 20 to 22 points depending on your scoring format. Brady wasn’t a complete bust as he still grabbed 15 to 17 points. Antonio Gates came out and threw up 14 points. Aside from Cam Newton, if you started who I said to sit, you were golden! Le’Veon Bell dropped 30, Kendall Wright had 20 and Martellus Bennett had 21.

It’s a new week which brings new life to our expert picks. Without further ado:

WEEK TWO STARTS AND SITS:

Mike Dunton (@dartbus1521):

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Starts: 
Michael Floyd, WR – He’s going against a weak Giants defense and for that matter you should start Carson Palmer as well.

Dennis Pitta, TE – He’s a strong option against a Steelers defense that struggles with the tight ends and the Ravens are seriously lacking a run game.

Sit: 
Cam Newton, QB – We know he is playing this week, but I don’t trust his timing with his new wide receivers and Detroit’s defense looked somewhat decent against the Giants this past Monday. He needs to prove himself healthy this week.

J.D.
Start:
Kendall Wright, WR – The Cowboys are a mess. They could hardly move the ball on offense and can’t stop anyone on defense, so take advantage of this while you can! This week, the improved Titans offense with Ken Whisenhunt will have their way with the Dallas defense. If you don’t have Manning, Brees, or Rodgers, consider Jake Locker in what could be an offensive shootout. He could put up top five production this week. Get Kendall Wright in your lineup immediately and expect a Megatron performance!

Sit:
Matt Ryan, QB – Sit Ryan after a franchise record setting passing record in week 1?! As much as I love the Falcons, last week was an emotional come-from-behind victory that relied on timely turnovers and 2 clutch 50-plus-yard field goals. Traveling to Cincy, I see a huge let down against the Bengals. The Falcons don’t expect to have Jake Matthews back for this matchup against a tough defensive front, so expect Cincy to take advantage! Ryan will get pressured and hurried alot and I expect Dirk Koetter to utilize his four dynamic running backs to allow Ryan to get the ball off quickly. I don’t expect more than 200 yards from him this week. Besides Julio, I would be cautious of starting any of Atlanta’s offense this week. I hope I’m wrong!

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Ted Reed:
Start:
Golden Tate, WR – I think the Panthers will be all over Megatron (as if that matters) giving Tate some opportunities.

Sit:
Jay Cutler, QB – If he can’t beat the Bills at home how is he going to beat the 49ers in San Francisco?

The Wayniac:
Starts:
QB: Jake Locker – I have to agree with my partner JD here. Locker shredded a very good Chiefs defense for 266 yards and a touchdown before shutting things down with the run for most of the fourth quarter in the Titans upset blowout at Arrowhead. Now, Whisenhunt makes his Nashville debut and with the arsenal Locker has to play with against the Cowboys, I can see a 30 point day on the horizon.

RB: Carlos Hyde – Hyde kicked off his NFL career against the horrid Cowboys defense and looked good – better than old-man-Frank Gore good. Hyde had the touchdown last week and averaged 7.1 yards a carry. The Bears allowed 193 yards rushing to the Bills as three different backs piled up over 50 yards each. Hyde is going to be the touchdown guy. I can see a 13-15 point week on the low end in this Sunday Night match-up.

Photo credit: ESPN
Photo credit: ESPN

WR: Reggie Wayne – Monday Night Football is going to be a shootout between the Eagles and the Colts. Wayne showed this past Sunday he is fully healed from last year’s injury and at 35, just as reliable as ever. Wayne snagged nine receptions for 98 yards against a Broncos defense that was supposed to be vastly improved from last year. There should be little defense played Monday night, so start the old man with confidence.

TE: Zach Ertz – Ertz had one of the better games of his career in the comeback victory over the Jaguars snagging three passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. Nick Foles needs a safety net in their spread, fast moving offense, and Ertz looks like he is establishing quite the rapport with Foles. There will be a lot of points dropped Monday night, and Ertz will be in the hunt for a bunch of them.

Def: Tampa Bay Bucs – I have two words for you as to why the Bucs are a good start this week. Austin Davis. That is all.

Sits:
QB: RGIII – He had all sorts of trouble with J.J. Watt in Houston and just didn’t look right. The Jaguars had a vicious first half attack last week in Philly, one which looked like it would give RGIII the same trouble Watt did. Maybe he is adjusting to a new offense, maybe he is still shaky from his injury, or maybe he just stinks.

RB: Reggie BushJoique Bell carried the ball six more times and ran better than Bush. Bush is quickly becoming a slot wide receiver in this high-flying Lions offense. The Panthers defense is heads and shoulders better than the Giants. This is a bad week for Bush.

WR: Keenan Allen – The Chargers had trouble passing against a Cardinals defense missing The Honey Badger. Now they have the Legion of Boom. Add the toughest DBs in the business with the dropsies the Chargers receiving corps had last week and this is a recipe for disaster.

TE: Antonio Gates – Last week, I told you to start him and he had a good week. This week, like his cohort Allen, he goes against the Legion of Boom. The Seahawks dismantled the Packers, I don’t expect much less against the Chargers. Sit them all!.

Def: Rams – This offense is not going to be good enough to keep their opponents off the field for too long. Throw in an injured Chris Long and this once Top Ten defense is suddenly middle-of-the-road.

The WN Fantasy Football Report: Week 1 Starts and Sits

It’s here, IT’S here, IT’S HERE! When the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers kick off that pigskin at 8:30 Thursday night, millions of fantasy geeks will release an orgasmic sigh of pure ecstasy. The next 13 weeks will be spent endlessly researching the right players to bench and to get into your line-up so you can play some December Fantasy Football in weeks 14, 15 and 16. Well, folks, we’re here to help.

Each week, you will get a few Starts of the Week and Sits of the Week from the Wayniac Nation fantasy experts (if you forgotten who they are, get familiar with them here). We’re not going to waste your time like some so called experts telling you that Peyton Manning and Dez Bryant are good starts. Nor are we going to sit here and tell you to bench the likes of Adrian Peterson or Aaron Rodgers because of the defenses they are playing. Let me give you a little hint: unless they are injured or on a bye, if you invested a first, second or third round pick on a player… you start them. How simple is that?

Not everyone is a Top 35 player though, and that’s where we come in. So, take out your lineups, open up those waiver wires and get ready for:

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WEEK ONE STARTS AND SITS:

Saucy T:
Start of the Week:
C.J. Spiller– Some of the shine has come off of Spiller after last year’s injury-plagued season, but he is an elite talent going up against a weak Bears defense. This will definitely help validate those owners that took a 3rd or 4th round chance on him.
Sit of the Week:
49ers Defense – Hard to come up with a sit for week one, since you should be starting your studs even with bad matchups. The 49ers though aren’t the 49ers without NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, and Dallas has a ton of offensive weapons. Those fantasy owners that made SF the 2nd defense off the board will regret it starting in week 1.

Teddy Ballgame:
Start of the Week: Maurice Jones-Drew – Tempted to start him over Rashad Jennings.
Sit of the Week: Alfred Morris – Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt? No thank you.

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Fee:
Start of the Week: Nick Foles or Jay Cutler. Both have a lot to prove and should have great Week 1 starts against mediocre defenses.
Sit of the Week: Mike Wallace. He shouldn’t be a starter on most fantasy teams in the first place, but if you drafted him as one, you probably have a crappy team anyway. Don’t make it worse by starting him against Revis Island and the revamped Patriots defense.

So, what does The Wayniac think?

Starts of the Week:

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QB:  Tom Brady. He had a rough season last year for Brady standards, But, at least for Week 1, he has a healthy Danny Amendola, Shane Vereen and Rob Gronkowski for the first time in a while. Throw in the fact that Miami has a bottom five defense and over the past three seasons, Brady has performed remarkably well in Miami (1119 yards passing, 7 touchdowns and just three interceptions) it’s a perfect set-up for a repeat 2011 Brady performance. That day, when the Pats opened the season in Miami, Brady went off for 517 yards and four touchdowns.

RB: Frank Gore. Nuts, right? But here is the way you need to look at it. The Dallas Cowboys defense will vie with the 2012 New Orleans Saints for one of the worst of all-time. Frank Gore will most likely be hurt or replaced by Carlos Hyde in a few weeks. Why not take advantage of Gore’s one big matchup and then bench him for the remainder of the year?

WR: Jeremy Maclin. The Eagles are playing the Jaguars at home. The Jaguars offense may be on the field for ten total minutes and Chip Kelly doesn’t believe in stepping on the brakes. Maclin will probably see about ten targets.

TE: Antonio Gates. That’s right. Frank Gore and Gates are both starts for me this week. Arizona’s secondary is silly good and they are going to do their best to take Keenan Allen, Malcolm Floyd and Eddie Royal out of this game (which in reality isn’t all that difficult, I mean when was the last time Eddie Royal had a fantasy relevant game?). Philip Rivers will have to check down to his backs and find Gates in the middle of the field. He may be old and lost a step, but he’s still good a getting open.

Defense: Basically, I will pick this team each week the same way I do my survivor pool: whoever is playing the Jaguars. Until Blake Bortles takes over, I can’t see this team hanging with any team true playoff contender. Start the Eagles all day.

Sits of the Week:

 

Courtesy of the Gatorade Superhero collection. Awesome!
Courtesy of the Gatorade Superhero collection. Awesome!

QB: Cam Newton. The Bucs may have lost Darrelle Revis Island, but they are still pretty stout. I don’t like a mobile quarterback with a shoddy rib against a Top Ten defense, especially when Tampa is at home and starting the new Lovie Smith Era.

RB: Le’Veon Bell. Cleveland was already an up and coming defense and now they have Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner (or is it Hitner?). Throw in LeGarrette Blount as one of the league’s premiere touchdown vultures, and this doesn’t look good.

WR: Kendall Wright. I think Wright has a huge season on the horizon in 2014. But it will start in Week 2 against the Cowboys. The Chiefs defense, led by Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, is going to fluster Jake Locker all day and their secondary will be too much for the new look Titans. Whisenhunt will get this offense flying, but don’t expect it to start in Week 1.

TE: Martellus Bennett. The Bills secondary may be questionable but their front line is pretty stout. Bennett may have to stay in more often than usual to keep Super Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus off of Cutler, who is going to look to shred that Bills secondary going to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery all day.

Defense: The Baltimore Ravens. I’m not sure how these guys are still fantasy relevant and in the Top Ten on several charts. It has to be name recognition, I guess. The Ravens do thrive at home, but Andy Dalton has a huge chip on his shoulder as the entire world is still confused as to how this guy is making the money he gets. Ravens may win the game, but it won’t be because of their defense. A.J. Green is going to have a fun opening day.

 

 

The WN Fantasy Football Report: 5 Bold Predictions for 2014

Kickoff is so close. I have all three of my rosters drafted and ready to roll and by now, most of you should as well. We have already discussed MVPs, breakouts, busts and top rookies to keep an eye on, but what else can we look forward to in the 2014 Fantasy Football Season? Today, The Wayniac Nation Fantasy Report explores FIVE BOLD PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2014 FANTASY SEASON.

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5. The Oakland Raiders will produce FIVE fantasy relevant players in 2014.

I know what you’re saying. The Wayniac must have been out for a joyride with Le’Veon Bell. Well, I wasn’t. The Raiders have been virtually fantasy irrelevant since their 2002 Super Bowl season where the were led by former Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hen Rich Gannon. In fact, they haven’t had a winning season in the 11 years since then. This season, they have made some big changes. The Raiders have been led by these award winning quarterbacks over the last 11 years: Kerry Collins, Carson Palmer, Andrew Walter, Daunte Culpepper, JaMarcus Russell, Jason Campbell, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin. Over that same amount of time Darren McFadden and Marcel Reese have the best passer rating out of that whole bunch. Derek Carr is already a huge improvement. This team got bigger and faster in the offseason. Maurice Jones-Drew is a rumbling back who loves the end zone. Now that he doesn’t need to be relied on for every play of the offense like he was on the Jaguars, he and McFadden will have lesser loads and more potent seasons than they have in a long time. Newly acquired James Jones is fast and can spread the field. Now he won’t have Aaron Rodgers chucking him the ball, but he has certainly proved an affinity for the end zone over the past few years. And you can never rule out Sebastian Janikowski. This guy can get you 15 points in a game with three 58-yard field goals. I’m not implying this is a playoff ready team or has elite week-to-week fantasy players on it, but they are vastly improved from last season. Keep them on your radar.

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4. Philip Rivers will prove to be the biggest steal of the draft.

No, that doesn’t mean he will be the 2014 Fantasy Football MVP, nor does it mean he will necessarily finish in the Top 5. Looking at the overall average of where most experts have Rivers ranked, he is about the 15th best quarterback. His average draft position is about the 99th pick. This is a steal and if you can lock him down in the eighth to tenth round, you’ve probably built an offensive power house and now have a pretty reliable guy at QB. Rivers has one season in the past five that he has thrown below 4,200 yards. His lowest touchdown total over that same time frame is 26. He has a five-year average of 4,334 yards passing and 29 touchdowns. I’ll take that all day from my ninth round pick. I think Rivers outperforms Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Tony Romo and possibly Nick Foles this season. All of those names have a reasonably higher ADP than Rivers. Yes, Whisenhunt is gone, but Frank Reich takes over as OC. He has a ton of weapons, including the speedy Keenan Allen, three good receiving threats out of the backfield in Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown, and has two monster targets in the red zone in Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green. Rivers is ready for another solid fantasy year.

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3. Devonta Freeman will be the top scoring rookie.

I love Mike Evans and in The WN MVP, Breakthrough, Busts and Rookies article, I picked the standout wide receiver from Texas A & M as the top rookie. The more I think about it, and the more I watch his explosiveness, the fourth rounder Devonta Freeman has a huge chance to put up big numbers. The Falcons beefed up their offensive line and Julio Jones and Roddy White are healthy. Steven Jackson is not, and most likely never will be again. Jacquizz Rodgers can not carry the load of a full time back, so that leaves Freeman as the Falcons lead back. This offense is one year removed from being an explosive dynamo. Freeman can be a pretty big cog in that offense if the Falcons return to those heights.

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2. Eddie Lacy will finish a Top Three back in fantasy.

Eddie Lacy will do so well this season that you are going to have a hard time not picking him number one overall in 2015. Last year, Aaron Rodgers played a total of nine games. Lacy, without the services of one of the elite QBs in the NFL, still had  nearly 1,200 yards on the ground as a rookie while gaining almost 300 more through the air. Rodgers return doesn’t take away from what Lacy can do, it adds to it. Rodgers has never had a premier running back to take the pressure off him and has still always produced. Lacy hasn’t had the chance to have defenses focus on much other than him in his short NFL career and he succeeded in lieu of it. Lacy is going to gain close to 2,00 total yards this season and score 12 to 15 touchdowns. He will enter elite status and, as I said, be a consideration for top overall pick next year.

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1. Matthew Stafford is the number one QB in fantasy football in 2014.

Is it crazy talk to put Stafford over Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and quite possibly the all-time greatest quarterback ever, Peyton Manning? Maybe, but then again, maybe not. Manning lost Eric Decker and now, molly-loving, concussion-prone Wes Welker is gone for at least four games pending he doesn’t go off on a Walter White binge. Knowshon Moreno is gone to Miami, leaving an unproven Montee Ball in the backfield. He has great weapons in Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas, but this is going to be way more of a control offense than last season. Matthew Stafford has all of the pieces in place. Calvin Johnson is the best receiver in the Milky Way. People hate to admit it, but when healthy, Reggie Bush is one of the best receiving backs the NFL has ever seen. When he isn’t healthy Joique Bell is not much of a downgrade. Eric Ebron with no NFL experience at all is already a better option at tight end than Stafford has ever had and Golden Tate is unquestionably the best wing man Megatron has ever seen. Gone also is Jim Schwartz who could have easily been the worst head coach in the NFL. Pass happy head coach Jim Caldwell and new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi won’t show any hesitation in putting the Lions’ season in Stafford’s arm. This is a guy who already has a 5,000 yard season under his belt and has a guaranteed 1,500 yards passing to Megatron. The sky’s the limit for Stafford, and if you have him, you may be carrying home that trophy at season’s end.

The WN Fantasy Football Report: Draft Day

This past Sunday, I had my first of three drafts. This one was for the Brookhaven Fantasy Football League (The BFFL) which is run by our own fantasy expert Nomi the Greek, and has all of the members of The Thread and even my fiancé as participants, even though Sperry is on his one year sabbatical. Being that this was the first draft that contained three of our own fantasy experts that brought you MVPs, busts, breakouts and rookies to keep an eye on, I thought I would recap my draft strategy and round by round performance to help guide you for your drafts.

I had the third pick in the draft. My whole goal was to put together a team that can compete for the title by going against the traditional way of thought that you need to grab one of the Big Three running backs with the first three picks.  I think that I did that, however, as anyone who has played fantasy for a long time will tell you, what looks good on paper usually changes about 45 seconds into that first magical Sunday. But that’s why we play, right? Well, that and an excuse to sit at a bar for eight hours every Sunday shoving wings and beer down our throats.

 

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Round One: The picks were, in order: Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoyCALVIN JOHNSON, Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Jimmy Graham, Matt Forte, Marshawn Lynch, Eddie Lacy, Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones and Aaron Rodgers.

I wasn’t surprised at all by who went in Round One, however, the order in which they went was a bit surprising. I thought Brandon Marshall would go in Round One before Julio Jones coming off his injury, but you need to remember, this draft is a bunch of Atlanta Falcons fans. I’m surprised Saucy T didn’t grab Matt Ryan on the comeback!

MY PICK (THIRD): Megatron. Leading up to the draft, I was rather ho hum, I will take whichever of the Big Three running backs landed on me. I was relieved that I didn’t need to make a pick. But then the morning of the draft I asked myself: Self? Do you want the third best running back, or do you want the best wide receiver in the universe? The answer became very clear. Take a look at Megatron’s three year average: 1712 yards, 11 touchdowns and 101 receptions. Not including any bonus systems for long touchdowns or 100 yard games, in a Point Per Reception scoring league, that means Calvin Johnson has averaged 338 points per season over the last three years. That’s ridiculous. I don’t care if they added Golden Tate, I don’t care if Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are receiving threats out of the backfield, and I could care less about the prospects of Eric Ebron stealing red zone targets. It goes Jerry Rice, then Calvin Johnson, end of conversation. If Megatron comes close to his 2012 season this year, we may see a wide receiver go number one sooner than any fantasy nerd imagined.

Round Two: Arian Foster, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, Andre Johnson, Jordy Nelson, DeMarco Murray, Drew Brees, Julius Thomas, Montee Ball, Antonio Brown and Gio Bernard.

I saw a few surprises in this round. I am a Texan fan through and through, but I think Foster and Andre may have gone a bit too high. I saw them more as a third or fourth round target. They are two aging, injury-riddled players. Then you throw on top of it that they are learning a new offensive system under a new quarterback and head coach, and it may take a few weeks for them to start putting up the points most are used to from them. Based on where Peyton Manning and Rodgers went, I think Drew Brees was a steal for John Smith. Has there been a more consistent QB in NFL history? There have been eight 5,000 yard passing performances in NFL history and four of them belong to Brees including the last three in a row.

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MY PICK (22nd): Montee Ball. This was my dream target and he somehow fell to me. I thought for sure Jon Blalock was going to grab him as a Denver Broncos fan, but he went with Manning’s favorite red zone target instead. Although Orange Julius may be a reach in round two, I get his thought process because he wouldn’t have been there much longer. And it gives me the running back I want. Manning does what he needs to do to get in the end zone, and if that means passing for 99 yards every drive to the one yard line and handing it off to his RB, he’ll do it. I think Ball is poised for a huge season.

Rounds three, four and five:

MY ROUND THREE PICK (27th): Matthew Stafford. I jumped maybe a round early on Stafford, but with the Big Three QBs off the board, I didn’t think he would have been around when I was up 18 picks later. And he wouldn’t have been, as Shane Goode, who grabbed Andrew Luck five picks later said he would have grabbed Stafford first. I have one of the best offensive monsters in football in Megatron and I wanted the hand that feeds him. In his three full seasons in the NFL, Stafford has never thrown for less than 4,500 yards and that is insane. Does his desire to win come into question? Maybe. Does his maturation, or lack thereof, worry some people? I could see that. But that’s for the Detroit Lions to worry about, I just need him to do what he has always done sine his days as a Georgia Bulldog and that’s sling the ball, preferably to Megatron.

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MY ROUND FOUR PICK (46th): Pierre Garcon. If you think having DeSean Jackson scares me about Garcon’s 2014 production, you’re nuts. The biggest concern with Garcon is himself. He was targeted an inconceivable 182 times last season and was only able to haul in 113 receptions and five touchdowns. But that was under the terrible Shanahan regime and an unhealthy Robert Griffin III. Garcon may not catch 113 balls again, but I can easily see a boost in his other numbers.

MY ROUND FIVE PICK (51st): Shane Vereen. Didn’t love this pick, but I wanted to lock up my second back with slim pickings left. I wanted nothing to do with Ray Rice after what he did to me last season and I felt it was too early to gamble on Bishop Sankey, who I like, but still has Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster to battle with for touches. Vereen is in a Belicheck backfield, which means you never know what can happen, but he has supreme receiving skills and has never played a full season. Maybe this is the year he puts it altogether. If not, I am in a bit of a pickle.

The Rest of the Draft:

I really liked snagging Kendall Wright in the sixth round. Sure, he is a number one receiver who only had two touchdowns, but he’s still a number one. Hopefully, this is the year Locker stays on the field and puts it together as he has looked sharp in the preseason. I did not like taking Frank Gore, but he has some value in the seventh round. The way I see it is that I get to start him week one against the Dallas Cowboys Swiss cheese defense and then he can ride the pine. At 31 and a long list of dinks and mileage, he may not make it past week two! I misplayed the tight end position. My goal was to snag Kyle Rudolph who I thought would slip to me in Round 10, but the reigning champ, The Englishman, snagged him up in round nine. Any tight end in a Norv Turner offense is a great pick. So I called an audible and gambled on Ladarius Green. He is a monster of a specimen, but does have to contend with Antonio Gates in front of him. I hope the aging TE great misses a few games or plays limited snaps to keep him fresh throughout the year. Riley Cooper was a steal in the eighth round as the Eagles offense is a nice blend of passing and rushing, and with the amount of plays they see, he is sure to be a solid bye week replacement. My wild cards are two rookie receivers with very questionable quarterback play. Mike Evans in Tampa with Josh McCown and Marqise Lee with Chad Henne in Jacksonville could be breakouts or busts. Obviously I am hoping for the breakout. Garrett Graham is a safe play at TE, and being the homer that I am, I need a Texan.

Matt Stafford, Kelly Hall

So my opening day line-up pans out like this:

QB: Stafford
RB1: Ball
RB2: Gore
WR1: Megatron
WR2: Garcon
Flex: Vereen
TE: Green
K: Sebastian Janikowski
Def: Arizona Cardinals

Did I succeed in building a playoff contender by passing on AP and Forte? I think I did. I have a few high risk, high reward guys, but overall, I drafted a team built on consistency. Most of my starters are of the what you see is what you get variety, and I like knowing that I have a team that can put up 100 points week in and week out. But, I will let you decide. Was my strategy right or wrong? Feel free to sound off below!

Well, with The Nitro League and Old School Football League drafts just a few short days away, be on the look out for 5 Bold Predictions for the 2014 Fantasy Football Season. Until then, happy drafting!

The WN Fantasy Football Report: MVPs, Busts and Breakthroughs

A few days ago, Wayniac Nation brought you the Inaugural WN Fantasy Football Report answering 5 Burning Questions for the 2014 Fantasy Season.  Today, we will break it down further and bring you our picks for the MVP, some breakout stars, some busts and some rookies you may want to gamble on. First, you need to meet the Wayniac Nation Fantasy Experts.

Nomi the Greek is a member of The Thread and commissioner of The Brookhaven Fantasy Football League (BFFL) that I joined last season. He is a die hard Atlanta Falcons fan and knows the NFL up and down. Sperry is a member of both The Thread and the BFFL as well, although he will be taking a one year hiatus in his pursuit of law schools and a career. Damn higher learning, see where it gets you? Still, one year removed from being champion of the BFFL, Sperry has agreed to chip in on some fantasy advice. You probably remember Saucy T as Wayniac Nation’s NFL Draft expert and his first annual Mason’s Mock Draft. He is also the commissioner of his own league, THE LEAGUE (which Nomi the Greek is currently reigning champion of), and member of  the BFFLBenny Smalls is reigning champion of my 17-year league, The Nitro League. He defeated me last season as I went for back-to-back championships. Anyone who wins the coveted Nitro Trophy is worth listening to for some sound advice. Wayniac Nation’s golf expert, Mike Dunton, is also a member of The Nitro League. His name is on the trophy as well, and would have been even more if I hadn’t beaten him for my first championship back in 2005. Fee is the Commissioner of The Nitro League. He hasn’t won a championship since 1999, however, his team strung together one of the longest playoff appearance streaks in our league history. His Swami Squad has the distinct honor of running into the hottest team every post season. JD is my team mate in fantasy baseball. He also joined our Old School Football League three years ago and was in the championship game a mere one year later. Mike Cochran is the single greatest fantasy sport mind I know. I am in two of his baseball leagues and The Old School Football League with him for 11 years. He easily has close to 20 combined championships over that time. He will be the first to tell you that I would have at least three more championships in fantasy sports if it weren’t for him. He has knocked me out in the semi-finals or finals in three of the last four years. Ted Reed is not in any leagues with me, but has worked with me for the last three years and we talk fantasy football every day… even during baseball season. He is the reigning champion of his league and his 2014 draft is underway. Cavadi #2 is my brother Jonathan. We teamed several years ago to form the powerhouse Gumbel-2-Gumbel but that was the only year we have ever played together.

Now, that we are all acquainted, let’s get to it:

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Nomi the Greek (reigning THE LEAGUE champion)

Fantasy MVP: Peyton Manning. If he has a season where he puts up 75% of last years stats, he is a fantasy stud.
Fantasy ROY: I like Teddy Bridgewater a lot….. if he plays. I’ll go with Jordan Matthews. He has the size and speed to be an elite receiver in the NFL. Chip Kelly’s offensive system is also going to help Jordan.
Biggest Bust:
 Rookie: Odell Beckham, Jr. is my guy here. He has all the tools and talents to be great. He has one problem though. He doesn’t seem to want to play through any pain and Tom Coughlin, historically, doesn’t seem to care much for players who can’t tough out small injuries.
Veteran: Eric Decker. Geno Smith is not Peyton Manning. Do I need to continue?
First non-running back taken: Calvin Johnson in a PPR league. He is Matt Stafford’s favorite weapon in a very pass happy offense.

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Sperry (the doesn’t even play fantasy fantasy expert)

MVP: Jamaal Charles. His ceiling will get even higher this season when Aaron Murray takes over at QB in week 6.
Rookie of the Year: I think Brandin Cooks and Drew Brees are going to get on the same page and thrash some coverages. You know what? Scrap that. SAMMY WATKINS! Having the most talent and being, virtually, the only option I say he explodes in Buffalo and makes EJ look like a Pro Bowler (not really).
Biggest Bust: I love Beast Mode, but something isn’t sitting right with me about him this year. It might be the hold out. It might be the gifted young RB nipping at his heels. Whatever it is I would not take Marshawn as high as you would have to.
Best Comeback: I am going with Jay Cutler. I have bet on him in the past and he has let me down, but I think this just might be the year that he puts it all together.
Breakthrough: I want to be different here, but I just can’t see anyone having a bigger breakout year than Montee Ball. With light boxes all year Ball will be able to imitate Knowshon’s success from last season.
First Non-RB: Megatron. Megatron. Megatron. If it is not Calvin Johnson, then I would want to be in whatever league that is seeing as how you could probably get Jimmy Graham in round two.
Sleeper: Ladarius Green isn’t a name that most of your buddies will know offhand, but it should be. 6 feet 6 inches of 4.5 running goodness coming off the line for Phillip Rivers to play long ball catch with. He could very well be Jimmy Graham before he was Jimmy Graham.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions

Saucy T (fantasy legend and Wayniac Nation NFL Draft expert)

Fantasy MVP: Calvin Johnson. Megatron played the last month or two of last season injured and playing through it still managed to be a top 3 fantasy receiver.
Fantasy Rookie of the Year: Carlos Hyde. I don’t love this rookie classes for fantasy purposes, but if I had to pick one I would take my chances with the most talented RB in this class who’s playing behind a RB past his prime on one of the most run heavy teams.
Biggest Bust: Arian Foster. Sorry Wayne, but I don’t know that he can stay healthy and if the Texans are 1-4, what reason does he have to play through it?
Breakout Candidate: Michael Floyd. Larry Fitzgerald is still a great receiver, but if you look at their numbers after the bye week last year, Floyd started to become Arizona’s number one.
Sleeper: Travis Kelce. Kelce is a Gronk-lite playing in Andy Reid‘s pass happy system on a team who’s RB was their leading pass catcher last year. I expect Kelce to challenge Charles for that honor this year.

I think Megatron is first non QB to go. I’d say pick 7 in standard, pick 5 in PPR

Bounceback: Roddy White. Maybe it’s the homer in me, but I could see Roddy having a 90 catch, 1200 yard bounce back.

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Benny Smalls (reigning Nitro champ)

Fantasy MVP: Adrian Peterson – All Day has been consistently atop the rankings for the past few years.
ROY: Brandin Cooks – speed, catching ability and a dangerous weapon throwing to him.
Biggest bust: Le’Veon Bell – he’ll still be productive, but Blount will pull from his numbers.
Best comeback candidate: RGIII – weapons to throw to, no knee brace & options in the backfield…lets not forget how scary good he was prior to his injury.
Breakthrough candidate: Monte Ball – the backfield is all his and Manning takes pressure off any RB as D’s will have a hard time stacking the box against him.
First non RB taken and when: Unless folks draft with their hearts, the smart pick here is Calvin Johnson at 5 – guaranteed production. Taking a qb seems risky, can’t waste this on a Eddie Lacy, only other option would be Jimmy Graham at 5.
Biggest sleeper:  Since I rarely discuss any fantasy anything with folks in my league I am hesitant to answer this question more than the others…HOWEVER, in an effort to support The Wayniac’s Fantasy Edition…I will go with Kai Forbath!

Divisional Playoffs - San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos

Mike Dunton (my 17-year arch rival in Nitro)

Fantasy MVP: Petyon Manning. This could be Peyton’s last ride in Denver and it’s Super Bowl or bust for these Broncs.
Rookie of the Year: Sound like a homer here but I’m going with Eric Ebron. This guy is on a team of offensive weapons and he may become Matthew Stafford‘s second favorite target.
Biggest Bust: Cam Newton. He will be taken way too early in drafts, he has no WR’s and this ankle thing bothers me.
Best Comeback: Roddy White or Julio Jones are great candidates but that Atlanta offensive line scares me. So with that being said, I’m going with Jay Cutler. He has weapon upon weapon and a healthy Jay Cutler could put up numbers similar to Aaron and Drew.
First Non RB Taken: Our league is known to be non traditional. Don’t be surprised if the first non RB taken happens at #2 when Swami Squad picks. Back to back Jimmy Graham years? I would not put it past them.

 

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins

Fee (The Commish of Nitro, playoff regular)

Fantasy MVP: Aaron Rodgers
Fantasy ROY: Sammy Watkins
Biggest Bust: Cam Newton
Best Comeback: Roddy White
First Non-RB taken: Peyton Manning – 1st round
Biggest Sleeper: Lamar Miller

NFL: New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles

JD (my fantasy baseball team mate and fantasy football guru)

MVP: LeSean McCoy
ROY: Sammy Watkins
Best Comeback: Julio Jones
Biggest Breakthrough: Toby Gerhart
First Non-RB Taken: Peyton Manning
Sleeper: Ladarius Green

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Cochran (the greatest living fantasy sports player alive)
MVP: Aaron Rodgers or Jamaal Charles depending on scoring (4 points vs. 6 points QB touchdowns)
ROY: Mike Evans, but Blake Bortles if he gets the job
Biggest Bust: Reggie Bush
Best Comeback: Julio Jones
Biggest Breakthrough: Ben Tate or Montee Ball. Tate may be crazy good this year.
First Non-RB Taken: Megatron at sixth pick
Sleeper: Toby Gerhart

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Ted Reed (Reigning champ of Braxton’s Shoulder League)

MVP: Peyton Manning
ROY: Bishop Sankey
Biggest Bust: Steven Jackson (again!)
Best Comeback: Julio Jones
Biggest Breakthrough: Josh McCown
First Non-RB Taken: Peyton Manning anywhere between 4th and 7th
Sleeper: Eric Ebron

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Jonathan (My brother and only guy I know in a 14-team keeper league)

Fantasy MVP: Peyton Manning (and nfl MVP)
Fantasy ROY: Carlos Hyde
Biggest Bust: Arian Foster if you get him Round 1 or 2, Victor Cruz if Round 3
Best Comeback: Julio Jones
Breakthrough: Dennis Pitta
First non-RB: Peyton at 6 in a Standard scoring league, but Megatron at 4 in a PPR
Sleeper: Kyle Rudolph – all Norv Turner does is make 1,000+ yard TEs (Cooley, Gates, Cameron)

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And last but not least, The Wayniac:

Fantasy MVP: Peyton Manning. Ball may turn out better than Knowshon Moreno and Emmanuel Sanders could be better than Eric Decker.
Fantasy ROY: Johnny Manziel. Oh come on, people, you know I think this guy is a bum. I really like Mike Evans down in Tampa.
Biggest Bust: Colin Kaepernick. No way this guy remains a Top Ten QB for much longer.
Best Comeback: Percy Harvin. If he stays healthy he is one of the most dynamic players on the field.
Breakthrough: I’m going homer here. I don’t care if it’s Ryan Fitzpatrick, DeAndre Hopkins is going to make a huge jump this season. He had a pretty good rookie campaign playing catch with three different QBs and no steady offensive personnel.
First Non-RB Taken: I honestly think Peyton should go number one overall, but I don’t think the Fantasy world is ready for that. I’m going with Megatron.
Sleeper: Gerhart. He’s the only real guy in Jacksonville, and Maurice Jones-Drew led the league in rushing for a terrible Jaguars team a few years back.

 

The WN Fantasy Football Report: 5 Burning Questions for 2014

It’s that time boys and girls. Fantasy Football drafts have started across the nation. So today marks the first of Wayniac Nation’s Fantasy Football Reports. Each week, we will bring you insights, good starts, better sits and a smorgasbord of information to help you look like a fantasy football genius.

I know what you’re asking yourself. There are millions of fantasy football resources out there, why listen to The Wayniac? It’s justified. What makes me any better than any other fantasy expert? Let’s take a look at the ol’ resume and perhaps I can convince you that out of all the fantasy geeks out there, I am one of the biggest.

I am entering the 17th year in my Nitro League. That’s right, folks, 17 years with essentially the same original owners in a 10-team league. This league is so old it started back when you had to tally scores by hand. We don’t really have bad teams as it is ultra-competitive and has always been more about the trophy and bragging rights than the money. I have been to the last two back-to-back championship games and if I didn’t run into Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson and the Junior Mafia, I would have two wins in a row. I have been in my other league, The Old School Football League, for 10 years. It is a 12-team league that has had essentially the same owners for the bulk of its existence as well. Over the past three seasons, no team has more regular season wins or points than my Fightin’ Blue Hose. Unfortunately, although I have finished in the money all three of those years, I have no rings to show for it as a major injury has derailed me seemingly every Week 15 in the semi-finals. It is your typical scoring league and in the history of the league only four times has a team broken the 200 point barrier. Three of those times were the Fightin’ Blue Hose. Last year I joined a third league run by Nomi the Greek and has every member of The Thread in it. The Englishman is the reigning champ in his first year ever of fantasy football.

Last year's draft board from Nomi the Greek's Brookhaven League won by The Englishman
Last year’s draft board from Nomi the Greek’s Brookhaven League won by The Englishman

Am I bragging a little bit? Sure, but I also want you to know that I do have an idea about how this fantasy thing works. I also bring you insight to how to succeed in a 10-team league as well as a deeper 12-team league. My panel of Wayniac Nation Fantasy Experts that I have put together is an All Star selection of people who I have run in fantasy circles with for nearly the last two decades.

Later this week, we will bring you insight to key players and busts to look out for, but first let me take a selfie.

Did I do this selfie thing right?
Did I do this selfie thing right?

No, seriously, folks, before we get into player breakdowns, we need to first answer THE TOP FIVE BURNING QUESTIONS COMING INTO THE 2014 FANTASY FOOTBALL SEASON.

5. When will the first non-running back come off the board?

This is an entirely new fantasy football era and the conversion from running back heavy teams to dominating through the air is complete. That being said, AP, Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles will be the first four off the board (in no particular order). I personally don’t see a running back worth taking after the Big Four until the second round. Wide receivers, especially in PPR (point per reception for those not savvy) formats are way more valuable in the right system, and the way quarterbacks amass forty to fifty point Sundays makes a few first round worthy.

4. Can Peyton Manning come close to last year’s production?

Of course not. Peyton Manning set records last season and had the single greatest season for a quarterback in fantasy and NFL history. It’s a lot like watching Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. You knew no matter what, you were watching the best he had to offer and nothing would ever again match that. Now, I’m not suggesting Peyton Manning numbers are going to fall off the way Keanu Reeve’s acting abilities have (Johnny Mnemonic, anyone?), but you do have to tame your expectations. While the Broncos lost Eric Decker when he unforgivably signed his career away to the New York Haven’t Had a Legitimate QB in a Decade Jets, they brought in an even better Emmanuel Sanders so the offense won’t miss a beat. They did also bulk up their defense with big names like Aqib Talib and DeMarcus Ware. That means more ball control and less shootouts for Manning. While his numbers will be down to human level, he is still the best QB fantasy has to offer and may even be in consideration for the fifth overall pick. Plus, he’s already a better actor than Keanu Reeves.

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3. Who do you consider at running back once the big four are off the board? 

I have already said that after McCoy, Charles, Forte and All Day AP are gone, I really feel this is the season that running backs get put on the back burner. But if you insist on being a traditionalist (also known as The Guy Who Finishes Last) and feel you must pick an RB in the first round then there is only one choice. As much as I love Marshawn Lynch and his Beast Mode, I don’t feel he is first round worthy this year. That is based on his past. He held out a few days for a bigger contract and made it open that he considered retirement. When he wanted out of Buffalo, he played like he didn’t care, and with Seattle’s deep arsenal of RBs, we may easily see that down season from Lynch. So if you must take an RB, you go with Eddie Lacy. The guy is a total beast and will have a full season with Aaron Rodgers for the first time in his career. This is a kid with potential for a 2,000 total yard season in that offense, however, I don’t think that season is 2014.

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2. Where is the best place to look for top fantasy advice?

Wayniac Nation, of course. Seriously though, the simple answer is your notes. If you are reading this blog, you are most likely competitive enough that you are beyond the casual twenty dollar “for fun” fantasy league. If you aren’t already, you need to become your own fantasy expert. The best thing to do for starters is to grab a few friends and do some mock drafts on (I can’t believe I am saying anything positive about these shlubs) ESPN. Secondly, do some research on ADP (that’s the average draft pick of a specific player for you newbies). A lot of leagues will have a draft lottery weeks before the draft. Once you know your spot, you can begin researching what players are most commonly going in that location. You can also do your own mock drafts from that slot and practice, practice, practice until you have the team you want. Lastly, and this comes from my own old school mentality, take notes. Make a list of your Top 20 at each position and cross them off as you go. Colin Kaepernick is in everybody’s Top 5 quarterbacks, but this guy would never start on my team. So, my list is going to be very different from other “experts”. So should yours. Nothing sucks more than when you are unprepared and the guy right before you takes the player you had queued. If you are properly prepared with your own notes, you don’t need to spend your minute thirty googling “fantasy advice”!

1. Ok, so who is the first overall pick?

This is a tough question. My Hongbits team in The Nitro League has the first overall pick, so this is something I have been contemplating for some time. All of the big four (again: Charles, Forte, McCoy and AP) are complete studs, yet they all also come with injury risk. All four play for very questionable offenses. Charles’ Kansas City Chiefs are notorious for having a terrible season when following a strong one. While everyone sees Chicago as a legitimate contender this season with a high octane offense, one must remember that Jay Cutler is still at the helms. Was Chip Kelley’s offense for real or was it a flash in the pan like the Wildcat that defenses can now prepare for? And who the heck is going to be the quarterback in Minnesota, Matt Cassell?

That being said, I think there are two ways to go with this pick. If you want the home run hitter,  the guy that is capable of getting you 50 points in a game by himself, you go with Charles. He is lightening quick and is a lock for 50 receptions, but can be relied on for over 60 like last season. But if you want to play it safe, the answer is simple. No running back has been more consistent with less talent around him than All Day Adrian Peterson. His lowest touchdown total over the past five seasons is ELEVEN. Last year, despite missing two games and abysmal quarterback play, he still ran for over 1,200 yards. He is not your PPR dream back, but if Teddy Bridgewater takes over, you can be sure there will be a ton of dump offs and last year’s change of pace back, Toby Gerhart, is gone to Jacksonville.

So which direction will I go with my first round pick? I’ll let you stew over it, so be sure to check in weekly for up to date Fantasy Football advice this NFL season!