FantasySavvy 2016: RB Tiers

I have Jamaal Charles and Le’Veon Bell in my 1st tier. Why not? Charles was on his way to becoming the best overall Fantasy RB last year before the injury and I think he will be fine despite coming back from his 2nd ACL surgery. Yes, Peterson, Gurley and Johnson may be safer, but Charles could match or outperform all of them. Same with Bell, when he returns in Week 4 he will start performing right away. The guy is still one of the most talented backs in the league and is a PPR machine.

The 2nd tier carries some question marks. This is why I am trying to get 2 of the backs in the 1st tier in most of my drafts. The RB pool is slim compared to the WR’s. How will Lacy bounce back after last season while sharing more of the carries with James Starks. Elliot is an unproven rookie, but he is running behind arguably the best offensive line in Football. This is Miller’s first time being the main back, can he handle it? Freeman has Coleman back in his shadow again and Martin has flopped before. Rawls is coming back from Injury and is only a 2nd year RB while McCoy has struggled with injuries as well. Some of these guys will hit tremendously, but some will flop. I think the safest are Ingram, Freeman, Martin and McCoy.

Danny Woodhead is a PPR staple year in and year out. But with Keenan Allen back he will catch less passes. Also Melvin Gordon possibly takes on a bigger role. Hyde is very talented, but Blaine Gabbert is his starting QB. Foster will be solid while healthy, but an injury is likely. C.J. Anderson I like to have a bounce back season.

I love Derrick Henry, I made my case in my Rookie RB report which you can read here. I think he becomes a Tier 1 RB at some point in his career. Langford is the starter, but I am not impressed with his talent.

I lost faith in Matt Jones and now he has some talented backs behind him with Rob Kelley and Keith Marshall. One of these guys I predict will take his job. Right now it looks like Kelley. Dion Lewis you can get late, stash on the IR and he could reap huge benefits if he returns by Week 8. Kenyon Drake’s talent is unquestionable and with Foster’s injury history he is a solid late pick or cheap auction purchase. Kenneth Dixon could be  Baltimore starter before years end.

1st Tier

Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson, David Johnson, Jamaal Charles, Le’Veon Bell

2nd Tier

Lamar Miller, Ezekiel Elliot, Eddie Lacy, Mark Ingram, Devonta Freeman, Doug Martin, LeSean McCoy, Thomas Rawls,

3rd Tier

Danny Woodhead, C.J. Anderson, Matt Forte, Carlos Hyde, Giovani Bernard, Arian Foster

4th Tier

Ryan Mathews, Jonathan Stewart, Derrick Henry, DeMarco Murray, Jeremy Langford, Jeremy Hill, T.J. Yeldon

5th Tier

Chris Ivory, Melvin Gordon, Frank Gore, Rashad Jennings, Ameer Abdullah, Duke Johnson, James White, LeGarrette Blount, Justin Forsett

6th Tier

Matt Jones, Bilal Powell, Alfred Morris, James Starks, DeAngelo Williams, Theo Riddick, Charles Sims, Darren Sproles

7th Tier

Kenyon Drake, Devontae Booker, Kenneth Dixon, Christine Michael, C.J. Prosise, Spencer Ware, Andre Ellington, Josh Ferguson,  Keith Marshall, Dion Lewis, Rob Kelley, C.J. Spiller

8th Tier

Chris Johnson, Shane Vereen, Tim Hightower, Shaun Draughn, Benny Cunningham, Chris Thompson, Tevin Coleman, Javorius Allen, Terrance West, Paul Perkins, Jerrick Mckinnon, Alex Collins, Jonathan Williams, Darren McFadden, Charcandrick West

9th Tier

DeAndre Washington, Jay Ayaji, Cameron Artis-Payne, Wendall Smallwood, Jordan Howard, D.J. Foster, Andre Williams,

FantasySavvy 2016: QB Tiers

Rodgers had a rough year by his standards last season but with Jordy Nelson back, Randall Cobb back in his true role and Eddie Lacy back in shape, he should return to his normal self. Russell Wilson continues to get better and still has lots of talent around him. Last year he developed more with Doug Baldwin and has a emerging young WR with Tyler Lockett. Jimmy Graham will return soon and he also has talent with WR Paul Richardson and Jermaine Kearse. Cam is Cam, and gets Benjamin back this year.

Luck needs to stay healthy but also make less mistakes and play better than he did last year. He drops to tier 2 for me. Brady is in Tier 2 because when he returns he will instantly put up big numbers. Brees and Palmer will be great values in your auctions/drafts.

Bortles takes the biggest jump here coming of his high performing Sophomore season. Many experts say bust, but I don’t see it. Allen Robinson is a true #1 WR and Hurns gets the job done with Bortles. Marquis Lee also looks healthy this year and could be a nice weapon for them. This Jacksonville offense is emerging and I think Bortles has another solid season. He will be on a good amount of my teams.

Big Ben is still great but is getting older and hurt more often, so have some caution. Rivers will continue to be steady.

Tyrod Taylor had a lot of inconsistent performances last year with some big games. But I like consistency game in and game out and he didn’t really provide that. Romo drops to Tier 4 because he is such an injury risk and is aging. Kirk Cousins has Jordan Reed, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson along with a good offensive mind in Jay Gruden. He should repeat last years performance.

Matt Ryan is underwhelming but still can put up decent numbers. As you can see I am not an RG3 believer. I could see him being benched or injured around Week 4 or 5. In the 5th tier, Mariota, Tannehill or Carr could make a big jump this season.

1st Tier

Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton

2nd Tier

Andrew Luck, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer

3rd Tier

Big Ben, Eli Manning, Blake Bortles, Phil Rivers

4th Tier

Matt Stafford, Tyrod Taylor, Tony Romo, Kirk Cousins, Jameis Winston,

5th Tier

Derek Carr, Jay Cutler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill, Marcus Mariota, Matt Ryan

6th Tier

Joe Flacco, Alex Smith,

7th Tier

RG3, Brock Osweiler, Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, Trevor Siemian, Blaine Gabbert, Paxton Lynch

8th Tier

Jared Goff, Jimmy Garapulo, Case Keenum, Dak Prescott, Josh McCown

FantasySavvy 2016: Rookie RB Report

Rookie RB’s are not easy to predict, many times these guys come in extremely talented but it ends up taking them some time to adjust to the NFL game. Or sometimes they just completely flop. The list is vast of talented Rookie RB’s that were expected to do much, but did extremely little in the NFL. But at the same time, many find success from the jump. Colts RB Edgerrin  James led the league in rushing his rookie season back in 1999. Adrian Peterson jumped out the box right away and had a terrific year back in 2007. Also Clinton Portis in 2002, Mike Anderson in 2000 and Alfred Morris in 2012 all had excellent rookie seasons. Last year we had Todd Gurley, David Johnson and Thomas Rawls have productive years. There are many different factors that contribute to a Rookie RB’s success. Opportunity in a great offense, speed, power, agility, patience, etc. A successful Rookie Runner usually has a couple of these attributes going for him. Below are the backs I think have the best chance to be successful this season and as they move forward in their NFL career.

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry is my favorite RB of this rookie class. I feel he is going to be a very special player in this league. He does not have the opportunity that Ezekiel Elliot has playing behind that Dallas Offensive line and being what looks like the #1 RB, but I think Henry is the more talented runner. At 6’3 244 pounds, Henry, who I call “Orc” who were those monster beings in the Lord of the Rings series,  has a rare combination of Size and Speed. Yes he only ran a 4.5, but watch his game tape, he runs away from defenders because he has excellent burst and acceleration. He makes great cuts, can stiff arm defenders to the ground and break tackles with consistency. In Dynasty Leagues this guy is a must own player. Currently he is sharing time with/playing behind  DeMarco Murray and that obviously will hurt his value for the start of the season. But for where he is going, currently 7th Round ADP, I am willing to draft this guy all day long. I will probably own him in every one of my leagues. He is a special and truly unique talent. I can only draft on talent and hope the situation fully presents itself later. I want the most talented players on my team no matter what the case, and Henry fits the bill.

Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas Cowboys

This is everybody’s fantasy darling this year. In Early drafts, Elliot was going top 3, then top 5, but has consistently been a 1st round draft pick in most drafts. That is a lot to bank on a rookie. Playing behind that Dallas offensive line could he produce an enormous rookie year? Sure, but I am hesitant to take Elliott this high. There have been many backs who weren’t the most talented, but had excellent offensive lines and they in turn had excellent seasons. Elliot does run with some power, is patient, and knows how to hit holes. He is a pretty good receiving back, but his game tape doesn’t overly impress me.  Elliot was the beneficiary of some unbelievable blocking while at Ohio State, a lot of his runs were just straight breakaways, or just running through some gigantic holes. But Elliot definitely took advantage of those holes and now is running behind arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. There is no doubt he has great burst, but I am not impressed with tackle breaking ability or his agility.

I am just not willing to invest a 1st round pick on this Rookie RB. Elliot supposedly showed up to camp overweight and then had a hamstring injury that kept him from practicing, but he did play in last nights preseason game, looked pretty good and has another 2 weeks n change to get ready for Week 1. Alfred Morris has also played well running behind this line and is it possible he takes some Goal Line carries or maybe if Elliot has a slow start, Morris takes advantage. Darren McFadden is also looming. Everybody is so sure that Elliott is going to be the complete workhorse early and often, but I am not so sure. I am also not so sure he is going to produce at a high level early on. If Elliot was going in the 4th, 5th rounds I would likely be happy to take him, but because he’s going in the 1st round, I just can’t do it. You have to really wow me as a Rookie for me to take you in the 1st round of a Fantasy Draft and Elliott doesn’t truly wow me at all. Against I draft on talent first, not on situation. Elliot’s talent alone doesn’t justify a 1st round pick for me, despite the opportunity.

Josh Ferguson, Indianapolis Colts

Watch Ferguson play and he stands out on tape immediately. Incredibly fast and agile, this Kid has a chance to perform at a high level. He has struggled through two preseason games so far and also missed a block which is never a good sign, but the talent and situation both equate here. Frank Gore is 33 years old and everybody keeps talking Robert Turbin, but I’m not having it. For where Ferguson is going in drafts he’s worth a pick based on his extreme talent.

CJ Prosise and Alex Williams, Seattle Seahawks

How important is the running game to the Seattle Seahawks? Important enough that they drafted two Rookie Rb’s to go along with Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael. I like both of these guys, Prosise is the shifty agile receiving back while Williams is the power guy like Marshawn Lynch was. Problem here is a very crowded backfield with the talented Rawls coming back soon and Christine Michael unexpectedly producing the way he is this preseason. If you are looking for a guy to draft first it would be Prosise because he could earn a 3rd down role right away. But this backfield is so crowded at the moment and the talent doesn’t justify it enough to get so crazy about these two.

Rob Kelley and Keith Marshall, Washington Redskins

Both of these guys are talented in their own right. Marshall ran a 4.3 40 and is extremely quick. Kelley, the undrafted rookie from Tulane, runs with both power and burst. Both stood out immediately to me on tape. Matt Jones flopped as the starter last year, so please believe that his job is not very secure, plus he’s already hurt right now. Kelley and Marshall were supposed to split carries in last nights preseason game, but Marshall got hurt early in the game, providing an opportunity for Kelley. He produced with 12 carries for over 50 yards and even had a nice block which is a great sign. Kelley is definitely a guy you can get with your last pick in your drafts at this point. Right now he would be ahead of Marshall, but that could change. Either way both of these guys are talented and deserve to be watched. Then again I was all over Matt Jones last year and he failed to produce so maybe I am a sucker for these talented Skins backs. But the Skins offense has vastly improved and chances are that ones of these guys is going to be a factor this season whether it be Jones, Kelley or Marshall.

Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins

Do you remember his 95-yard kickoff return TD against Clemson in the National Championship game last year? Drake is a undeniably remarkable talent. He is Reggie Bush with a little less agility and speed but with more power and strength. Drake’s biggest knock is that he is often injured and is currently injured now for the Phins. Arian Foster did look good the other night and is the clear starter, but he has a lot of wear and tear and is very injury prone himself. Jay Ayjaji, Miami’s current backup has failed to impress. I am taking Drake, in an emerging young offense led by Ryan Tannehill, as a late round pick. I love this Kids talent and after all the heartache and injuries he’s experienced, you can’t help but root for him.

Jonathan Williams, Buffalo Bills

Williams runs with solid balance, power and a fair amount of speed. He has good vision and overall just looks like a solid RB. I think he becomes the clear handcuff to LeSean McCoy, especially after the nice TD run he had last night in the Bills 3rd preseason game. Reggie Bush is a shell of his former self and Mike Gillislee isn’t impressive. One note, he did get a DWI back in June, so how that affects him at one point this year is unknown. If you grab McCoy keep Williams in mind as last round handcuff or Week 1 or 2 pickup.

Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens

Dixon has been praised by teammates like Joe Flacco this preseason as he has flashed his talents. Dixon is a shifty, ferocious, well-rounded RB who is also excellent  at catching passes. The Ravens backfield is very crowded with Justin Forsett, Javorious Allen and Terrance West, but you can argue Dixon is the most talented of the bunch. Forsett is aging, Allen is OK, nothing special and West has failed to perform previously in Cleveland. Dixon is another solid late round pick or early FA pickup. The talent once again warrants heavy consideration, especially playing with an established QB like Joe Flacco.

Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos

Booker reminds me of Arian Foster with his one-cut gliding running style. He even does that little bow thing that Foster does. He doesn’t have the best speed but has good vision and runs with good balance. Booker can break tackles and catch passes out of the backfield. He is currently behind C.J. Anderson but has moved ahead of Ronnie Hillman. The Broncos Defense is going to keep this offense in a lot of games so gameflow projects well for the Broncos Running Backs. Booker is a talented runner who deserves late round consideration and is a solid handcuff to C.J. Anderson.

 

Any other Rookies not listed here such as DeAndre Washington, Jordan Howard, Wendall Smallwood I am not thrilled with and will not be drafting.

Stay Tuned for our WR Report.

 

FantasySavvy 2016: Season Preview

Welcome everybody to the 2016 NFL Season. We are early in the preseason at this point and the season is less than a month away, so I wanted to give you guys a preview of what’s to come this season at FantasySavvy.com. I would like to thank all the readers and listeners throughout the years as we look forward to another Fantasy Football Season.

Upcoming in 2016

  • Preseason Rookie WR & RB Report (released this week)
  • Updated Preseason Player Tiers- QB, RB, WR, TE ( be released next week)
  • Radio Show/Podcast two times a week. (Tuesday & Thursday)
  • Film Review Every Wednesday Night
  • Waiver Adds Released Every Tuesday
  • Sunday Morning Rankings
  • Daily League Selections
  • Buy Low/Sell High- Released twice during the year

Stay tuned for our Rookie report and our player tiers and make sure to follow along this season for some great fantasy info. Our Film Review is going to be a article you won’t want to miss. Please follow us on twitter @FantasySavvy for updates on our podcasts/radioshow and more.

FantasySavvy 2016: Elite 8 Analysis

The 2016 Tournament has truly failed to disappoint as there have been a ton of competitive games with some ridiculous endings. The Madness truly has surfaced. Even if you are a casual fan, by watching these games you probably couldn’t help but to be caught up in the craziness. Once again, this tournament has shown why it is so special and unique. The opening weekend brought us things we never have witnessed before. On Friday in the first round, Michigan State, the expert consensus pick for the National Title lost to a 15 seed in Middle Tennessee St, Cincinnati had a basket called back in the last second vs St. Joe’s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5ORb2OwkWA and Northern Iowa’s Paul Jesperson hit a half-court buzzer beater to win the game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdFB3OGUaGU. Then on Sunday, in the second round we saw Wisconsin hit a game winner vs Xavier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtLCqvqO1nk and Texas A&M come back from down 12 points with just 44 seconds left. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNGmD6FcQdY.

However, after all the unprecedented happenings and huge upsets, the cream has mostly risen to the top in the Elite 8. In the East & Midwest, we have 4 teams repping from the best conference, the ACC. In the East we have the #6 Seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish playing the #1 Seed North Carolina Tarheels and in the Midwest the #1 Seed Virginia Cavaliers playing the #10 Seed Syracuse Orangemen. Then on the other side of the bracket we have two 1’s and two 2’s with the #1 Seed Kansas Jayhawks playing the #2 Seed Villanova Wildcats in the South and the #1 Seed Oregon Ducks, playing the #2 Seed Oklahoma Sooners in the West. We still have all the #1 Seeds alive and two #2 Seeds. At the end of the day, this could be an all chalk Final Four, and I believe that’s exactly how it will go.

South Region, Louisville: #1 Kansas vs #2 Villanova

Kansas, the #1 overall seed, got here by beating Austin Peay, Uconn and Maryland, while Villanova has beaten Unc Asehville, Iowa and Miami. Kansas has not lost since January 30th, winning 17 straight games. Villanova lost in the Big East final and after watching them in person in the Big East Semi’s vs Providence, I didn’t come away overly impressed. But Daniel Ochefu was not healthy in that game and now is and they are playing excellent in this tournament. Kris Jenkins has such a nice stroke, he rarely misses , Josh Hart is playing aggressive, Ryan Arcidiacono who plays with a ton of heart and energy is playing solid also. Ochefu looks healthy and had his best game of the tournament against Miami, dominating inside while creating open shots on the perimeter for Jenkins and Arcidiacono. For Kansas, Perry Ellis has been a revelation. He has gotten so much better this season. He never has been this aggressive and fluid. He also has developed a more consistent outside shot. He is it what makes Kansas goes and nobody has been able to stop slow him yet. Ellis is developing a solid NBA game. 6’10, Jr. Landen Lucas has stepped into the starting rotation and been a force on the boards while playing Solid D.

I think the big factor is here is Ochefu. When he at his best, Villanova is at their best. Miami failed to contain him as he was a force inside and created opportunities for his teammates. I feel Kansas has the depth and strength inside with Lucas, Traylor, and Bragg to slow him down just enough. Add on Perry Ellis contributing defense along with Guards Frank Mason, Wayne Selden and Devonte Graham, Kansas will play much better D then Miami did on the Villanova shooters. If Nova decides to double Ellis, look for Devonte Graham to have a big game. Both these teams are well oiled, but Kansas is more synthetic and will have a lot of fans backing them in Louisville. Kansas 77, Nova 73.

West Region, Anaheim : #1 Oregon vs #2 Oklahoma

The Pac-12 had an awful tournament, but Oregon has shown that they were a step above in that conference and have proven to this point to be worthy of a #1 Seed. Oregon easily took Care of Holy Cross in the opening round, but had to come back in the last five minutes to beat St. Joseph’s. They went on handle Duke in the Sweet Sixteen and looked to be at their best. Dylan Brooks is just an awesome player. He can shoot, drive, plays solid D and displays a ton of hustle. He can give Buddy Hield a run for his money in this game. Elgin Cook can also shoot and can take it to the basket as well. Jordan Bell is a man amongst boys inside, blocking shots and finishing around the rim. Oregon looks extremely dangerous and one of the most balanced scoring teams left in the tournament. Oklahoma defeated Cal State Bakersfield, VCU and Texas A&M to get here. No secret with Oklahoma, it’s all about Buddy Hield. He has a Stephen Curry like release and range. He can put 40 up any given night. But Oklahoma is going to need Isaiah Cousins, Jordan Woodard and Ryan Spangler to play big if they want to win this game.

I believe Oregon, winners of 11 straight games, are the more balanced team offensively and also play better defense. Their D is underrated. Oklahoma has the best player on the court, but they are a little too reliant on him. Also this team lacks depth. I think it’s Oregon’s time. Many people doubted them as a #1 seed, have doubted the Pac 12, but I think they prove a lot of the doubters wrong and show the country how good they are. Oregon 81, Oklahoma 76.

East Region, Philadelphia: #1 North Carolina vs # 6 Notre Dame

North Carolina has arguably looked like the best team in the tournament thus far, especially after they just put up a 100 spot on Indiana last night. Before that they took care of Florida Gulf Coast and sent Ben Bentil and Kris Dunn from Providence to the NBA draft. Notre Dame who nearly made the Final 4 last year by coming up short against Kentucky, returns to the Elite 8 again. The Fighting Irish have lived up to their name by battling in every game and coming from behind to beat Michigan, Stephen F. Austin and Wisconsin. Carolina and Notre Dame, both from the ACC, met twice this year with Notre Dame winning by four on their home court in early February, but Carolina got their revenge in the ACC tournament by molly whopping the Irish with a 31 point win.

Carolina has size all over the court with 6’9 Bryce Johnson, 6’9 Kennedy Meeks, 6’8 Isaiah Hicks and 6’8 Justin Jackson. Balance that out with emerging guard Joel Berry and Sr. Marcus Paige. Paige, who was injured this year and failed to look like his former self, returned to prominence last night vs Indiana shooting 6-9 from three finishing with 21 points. If he plays like that, I don’t think anybody can beat them. Bryce Johnson is just a beast inside, a sure-fire NBA talent. Notre Dame boasts guard Demetrious Jackson and 6’10 Sr.F Zach Auguste on the inside. These two kids are both excellent at their positions. Auguste is a pro as well. He just needs to develop a better jumper. VJ Beachem has emerged in this tournament hitting a ton of big shots and they are also getting good minutes out of Bonzie Colson. Steve Vasturia is also another big piece that has returned from the Elite 8 team last year.

While this game will not be the blowout we saw in the ACC tournament, Carolina is still favored by 9 in this game and is expected to win somewhat easily. I think the Irish, being in all the fights they have been in so far will battle, but ultimately will come up short. Carolina just has too much size to deal with Auguste and on the flip side, Notre Dame doesn’t have the size or strength to stop Carolina inside. It appears Paige has returned to his old roots and like I mentioned earlier, if he’s going like that, Carolina will be the favorites to win this whole thing. North Carolina 83, Notre Dame 75.

Midwest Bracket, Chicago: #1 Virginia vs #10 Syracuse

Virginia is the San Antonio Spurs of college basketball. Smart, fundamentally sound, defensive minded basketball. Coach Tony Bennett personifies this team, humble, high character, patient. They just wear you out over the course of 60 minutes. The Cavaliers went through Hampton, Butler and Iowa St. to get to this point. They have the Size with with Seniors Anthony Gil (6’8) and Mike Tobey (7’0) and big bodied Guard Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon completely resembles a Spurs type player in my opinion. He’s like a younger Boris Diaw. 6’2 Jr. Guard London Perrantes shot the best percentage in the NCAA from three this season and is another sound player. It would not be a surprise to see this team cutting down the nets in Houston. Nobody expected Syracuse to be here in the Elite 8 and many didn’t expect to see them in the tournament itself after they lost in the ACC tournament to Pitt. But with Michigan St. going out it opened up the doors for them and they took advantage. They easily took care of Dayton and Middle Tennessee St. before having to come from behind to beat Gonzaga. They haven’t necessarily beaten the best competition, but I thought they have played pretty well. 6’7 Sr F/G , Michael Gbinije is a very good player and can shoot and drive with the best of them. He has had an excellent tournament. He’s NBA material. Freshmen Tyler Lydon has also come alive in this tournament, stepping up huge for the Orangemen. Tyler Cooney, after his disastrous ACC tournament, has revived and Malachi Richardson, Tyler Roberson and DaJuan Coleman have all contributed to the cause. Cuse boasts size all around to match Virginia and they have a player that can finish a game in Gbinije.

Virginia and Cuse played back in late January with Virginia winning on their home court 73-65. Virginia pretty much controlled that game and maintained the tempo but Gbinje and Richardson shot a combined 11-19 from three that kept it close. Can they shoot like that again? Doubtful, but Cuse is playing with a lot more confidence then they were then. After the Virginia game in January, Boeheim proclaimed, “We cannot play defense inside”. Cuse also had a very tough time with Gonzaga’s 7’0 Sabonis, so let’s see how they can do against Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey. Although Sabonis really came into his own in this tournament. Tobey had a huge game against the smaller Iowa St and it would be huge if he could repeat that performance against Syracuse. I think this game will be a grind it out battle, but in the end I think Virginia sends Cuse packing. Perrantes seals the deal with a couple big threes and FT’s down the stretch. Virginia 71, Syracuse 63.

Enjoy the games and have a Happy Easter! Please follow me on twitter @FantasySavvy. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 NCAA Tournament: Players Pool Intro w/ Gary Plonderson

 

YES!! I am finally here, I know you have been waiting. Sorry for the long hiatus. I have been on a plethora of different excursions around the world and my Fantasy Writeups have had to take somewhat of a backseat. Travels to Monaco, Charlestown, Delaware, Ireland, Turkey, Bucketville, Horace Grants Steakhouse, the Arfin Trail, Geef Island and Sarah’s Ricotta Geel Rip.  Safe to say Ol Gary got a fewwww items of that Bucketlist!!! It’s called living, try it sometime.   But seriously, it feels good to be back. After my landing in the beautiful city of Teterboro on my private plane, I headed right over to Steve Sizziling steakhouse for a long dinner with some old Jersey Pals. That is why I wasn’t able to join you guys earlier. But I am here now ready for action, ready to attack like a Zebra with wings against a Lion for Revenge. Ready to saturate the market. Ready to Absorb and spit out numbers and facts like a 23 year-old Korean Stockbroker. Yes Gary is back. Yes Gary. Gary is here, Gary. Gary man. Ok enough about me, although if you want to hear more about my travels,  check out Amazon for my new book, Travels Amongst the Furlong.  Buy the book and get a free GaryWagon at GarywagonGary/Garywagon/Gary/YesIt’sGary.com. Put in the Promo code Chip Lohmiller. Ok let’s get to it, March Madness is here, simply the best time of the year. Pull up your trousers, adjust your contacts or glasses, watch with passion, watch with Zeal, focus like an Owl and get ready for the greatest tournament ever created.

*One note, I have no record of the winner in 2013. Whoever I missed in my title announcements, I apologize.  And I may be off on some things. Feel free to correct me by sending a letter in the Mail to P.O. Box 467 Jenkins Highway, South Dakota. I am using an old history book that I found in my old langston walker briefcase.

Eric Probst aka Hield the Children

Eric Probst a Cuse alum and I believe former roommate in college of our prestigious founder and commissioner Glen Garvin, finally rejoined the fun two years ago after a long break.  In his first year back he took down the crown for his first every title. He wasn’t able to repeat in 2015, but does come back with #1 pick Buddy Hield this year. Probst, a longtime member of the Capital City Fantasy Football league, recently departed after being one of the best owners there. So no doubt, from EP, you are going to see a sound and solid performance each year. His return is welcomed as he improves the overall competitive nature of this magnificent league.

Appearances: 7, Titles 1 (2014)

Best Picks– Buddy Hield (1st Overall pick), Danuel House (2nd round), Anthony Gil (3rd Round), Isaiah Briscoe (9th Round), Makai Mason (17th Round), Tre’ Mclean (last overall pick)

Anti Gary Picks– Jonathan Motley (4th round) Diamond Stone (5th Round) Phil Booth (10th round) Khadeem Lattin (15th Round)

Draft Grade – C+

JJ&Kowalski Aka Deacons

JJ a Wake Forest Alum, longs for the days of  Jeff Teague, Tim Duncan, Randolph Childress.  (one of the most memorable crossovers of all time) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRJMsoIptQo Wake has been awful of late. Maybe they should bring back Dino.

But historically and for the most part this combo has been pretty competitive and with Wake out of the tournament that should eliminate any bias picks. Kowalski hasn’t made a pick in 5 years says JJ, but perhaps he should utilize his partners knowledge. No I In team, but there is an I in winning?  Kowalski looks like he was the original owner of this team back in 98 with JJ joining or finally being recognized in 2004.

Appearances:  Kowalski 6 Solo, Kevin and JJ 12, Titles 1 (2006)

Best Picks- Denzel Valentine (2nd Overall Pick) DeAndre’ Bembry (8th Round)

Anti Gary Picks– Jalen Jones (2nd Round) A.J. Hammons (4th Round) Jalen Brunson (5th Round) Trevor Cooney (15th Round) DJ Hogg (17th Round)

Draft Grade– D

Ray & Dusty Aka RazorSchmatt

Ahh, my favorite combo Dusty and Ray , Ray and Dusty, they go together like Cheetos and Wet Naps. Dusty also makes some of the best Ribs you will ever taste. I tasted them one time, after I did have some stains on the left side of my shorts, but it was well worth it. Those Ribs were amazing and I await the day when I can try them again. But this combo has had a very successful franchise in the Capital City Football league. The Duck won yet another title this season and are now tied for the league record with 4 titles. But this league is an entirely different story. O’Dell Beckham is not here to save them. According to my records they have yet to claim a title as partners. And many solo runs by Ray before partnering with Dusty were unsuccessful. Dusty an original member of the 87 inaugural season had three solo appearances in 87, 98 & 2003 that were failures before he joined up with Ken Sullivan in 2004. That lasted until 2006 without success and then Dusty  joined with Ray in 2007 after some slight squabbles with Sully. What happened between Ken and Dusty though? Did Dusty see the success his Duck partnership in Football was having and make an executive decision, being the man of vision Dusty is? Or did somebody take a turd in somebody else’s pillow after a long, long night of drinking. Nobody may ever know the truth, nevertheless I believe it was for the best for all parties. But I have not seen all three of these guys in quite some time and I hope to see them soon.

Appearances: Dusty & Ray 9, Dusty (3 Solo, 2 with Ken Sullivan) Ray (6 Solo) ,  0 Title

Best Picks- Perry Ellis (3rd overall Pick),

Anti Gary Picks- Trevon Bluiett (2nd Round) Brandon Ingram (3rd Round) Jordan Loveridge (6th Round) Jordan McLaughlin  (11th Round) Jamel Artis (13th Round) and the two other USC guys and Austin Peay guy.

Draft Grade – F  

Steve DeAngelo & Dennis Severino

Always a dangerous tandem, Steve and Dennis went on a great run from 2007-2009 winning 3 titles in a row, something that has not been done by any other franchise. Steve who first joined this league back in 1996, at just 14 years old , but then took a few years hiatus, claimed his own title in 2004 , until joining forces with Dennis 2006. It truly has been a great partnership. However, they have not won since 2009, which is somewhat surprising, but not surprising because this tournament is very hard to win. Truly a league of extraordinary gentlemen. Usually playing the strategy of stacking a team or two and riding them to the Final 4 and Finals, they went away from that this year and only doubled up on one team which was a 6 seed in Seton Hall. We will see if this new strategy pans out. The lack of an overall stronghold team may have played a part in that.

Appearances: Steve 6 Solo, Titles 1 (2004) Steve & Dennis 10, Titles 3 (2007, 2008, 2009)

Best Picks- Brice Johnson (4th Overall) Angel Rodriguez (4th Round) Ivan Rabb (6th Round) Khadeen Carringon (8th Round) 

Anti Gary Picks- (Landen Lucas 7th Round)

Draft Grade- B

Joe Grippo & Phil DeAngelo 

Welcome to the Players Pool tournament Joe Grippo. It’s been a long time coming. After many appearances in the infamous basement watching the tournament, you have finally joined perhaps the greatest Fantasy Tournament known to Man. Phil DeAngelo who has had many appearances in this league, without any success at all, has brought Grippo in to be his partner and General Manager. Big Phil has had some solo appearances and many partners without positive results. One of his partners one year proceeded to take everybody from the Big East, that didn’t work out well. Grippo recently traveled to Florida to meet Phil, no doubt after Phil called him and told him to get his ass down there to discuss this partnership. On the surface it looks to be a great partnership, but we will see how Grippo’s draft skills fare amongst this skilled group of men. One thing is for sure, Grippo better “Move his Ass” as Phil likes to say or “He’s Gone!”

Appearances: Phil DeAngelo 10, 0 Titles, Phil & Joe (1st year this season)

Best Picks- Malcolm Brogdon (5th Overall) Derrick Gordon (20th Round)

Anti Gary Picks- Josh Hart (2nd Round) Daniel Ochefu (5th Round) Nate Britt (7th Round) Marshall Plumlee (9th Round) Derryck Thornton (15th Round) Farad Cabb (16th Round) and few more.

Draft Grade- F

Glen Garvin Aka Cooney Sucks

The Founder, the Commish, the only participant who has been in this league every single season since 1987. 1987, that was a special year. The year I founded the Pertin Institute in Rockholm, Montana. Unfortunately due to running toilets and poor funding the Institute closed down after just 14 weeks. Still, it was the first Institute of its kind to preserve ancient Corn Rock, once brought here by Christopher Columbus himself and later founded by his successor Blakely the Lion Fef the 34th. It is now a Arby’s I believe or a Sonic, not sure.

But the Founder has done a great job keeping this league going all these years, with passion and excellence. It truly is a joy for the members

Appearances: 29, Titles 4 (1991, 1996, 2002, 2011)

Best Picks- Tyler Ulis *subconsciously wrote Tyler Cooney here, or it’s very late and that Steve’s Sizzler steak is fogging by brain. (2nd Round) Jaysean Paige (3rd Round) Tarik Phillip (8th Round) Wes Washpun (15th Round)

Anti Gary Picks- Peter Jok (6th Round) Abdel Nader (9th Round) Eric McCellan (17th Round) Tyler Lydon (20th Round)

Draft Grade– C+

John Donadio

I have to be honest, I do not know much about the man they call Donadio. I have never met him or seen him. He could be a myth? But one thing is for sure he has not been a legend. It appears he first joined in 2008 and has not a title. He is the secret man, he could be in the CIA? I don’t know, but he must love the game here and who could blame him. Could you blame the damn man? And he must have loved the game Oregon Trail and enjoys stacked Pancakes. But sometimes it’s better to shut your mouth then to be known a fool as they say. But no one will argue with the man who is behind the stage and yet still is profound, with fervor with glee, with strength, with a mighty sword to swing. Or it could be Jerry, the local Postman just delivering the mail again.

*Donadio is known for taking very low point scorers on high seeds. But the Oregon trail strategy could work, perhaps no team looked more impressive this season than Oregon in their Conference Championship blowout over Utah.

Appearances: 8, Titles O

Best Picks- Dylan Brooks (7th Overall) Chris Boucher (3rd round) Eron Harris (4th Round Jevon Carter (8th Round)

Anti Gary Picks- Jarrod Uthoff (5th overall) Melvin Johnson (6th overall) Carlton Bragg (14th Overall) Marvin Clark (15th Overall) Josh Perkins (17th overall)

Draft Grade B-

Kenny D

The defending champ and he’s not hesitant to remind you or shout it from the mountain tops, Kenneth severely needed it after a 13 year hiatus. Can he continue the momentum after last year’s victory? Or will he buried by the masses. Because turn your back for too long and your post is ambushed, taken, and gone. Kind of like when my Kid Sister took my Rambo collection and tossed it off the Briangton Cliff after I took a poopie in her shoe. Ken, an original member of the 1987 inaugural season, will be looking for back to back titles something only two franchises have accomplished in the 29 years of this league. Or maybe it’s 28 years, forgive Old Gary. Somebody please rectify!!! Either way it shows how hard of a feat it is here.

Appearances:  24-26, Titles 2 (2001) (2015)

Best Picks- Jaylen Brown (8th overall) Jabrari Bird (9th Round) Lester Medford (13th Round) Mo Alie-Cox (15th Round) Dyshawn Pierre (16th Round) Derek Walton (20th Round)

Worst Picks- Justin Jackson (2nd Round) Kelan Martin (1oth Round) Michael Young (12th Round) James Robinson (14th Round) Anthony Clemmons (17th Round)

Draft Grade– C

Mike Esposito Aka Neighbor Boy

What is this Neighbor Boy? I have not heard of this. I must have been in the caves for too long. Could it mean that he’s your neighbor? Or he wants to be your neighbor? Will he drop off Apple Pie? Espo used to be the one to bring the excellent Italian spread for each tournament that opening Thursday. It would usually last at least 3 days. Easily one of the most astute and knowledgeable members in this league, Espo is due for another title. He has not won since 1999. Could this finally be the year? Can he break the losing streak? It’s been a longggg time coming for Espo, and I will tell your right now, I may have others that I am rooting for more, but if Espo wins this I will not be a sad man. I will certainly send him some cherries and coins. Will a change come? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0k5rYcXLYg

Appearances: 18, Titles 1 (1999)

Best Picks- Jamal Murray (9th overall) Elgin Cook (2nd Round) Devin Williams (4th Round) Davon Reed (6th Round) Desi Rodriguez (12th Round) Justin Sears (16th Round)

Worst Picks– Robert Carter (8th Round) Jake Lyman (9th Round) Matt Thomas (11th Round)

Draft Grade– B

Evan Swalling

Evan, the last of the remaining 1987 original members left, has the longest drought of anyone. He has not won since 1988, the year he graduated High School!!! Mullets were still in style. Oh boyyyyy that is a long time. Espo is due, but if anybody is truly due, it’s Swalling. A former High School coach and most definitely a student of the game, needs to get it done!  He understands the game as much as anyone in this league. But again, this is a very hard league to win. There are no keepers and players and teams change every single year. Is there a chance he wins this year? There always is, no matter how high the odds.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMRrNY0pxfM

Appearances: 25-27, Titles 1 (1988)

Best Picks: Frank Mason (2nd Overall) Sheldon McClellan (4th Overall) Jameel Mckay (11th Round) Isaiah Wilkins (15th Round) Kaleb Tarzu (16th Round)

Worst Picks- Luke Kennard (5th Round) James Farr (6th Round) Matt Jones (7th Round) Lorenzo Bonam (9th Round)

Draft Grade- C+

Ken Sullivan Aka CruCap

Where have all the Cowboys Gone? Rider on the Storm? Hot Blooded? Cherokee Rick and the 4 Horsemen? Sully started solo then partnered with Dusty then went back to solo. Kind of like a Rock n Roll band. He broke off the group to go solo in his own band. Baracudda!!!!!!!!!!!!! He claimed a title in 2012.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4nWy8pmIM4 .Wow play that song a few times when you hit the elliptical.

Appearances: 10 Solo, 1 title (2012) , 3 with Dusty.

Best Picks– Wayne Selden (2nd Round) Daxter Miles (6th Round) Zach Auguste (9th Round)

Worst Picks – Jakob Poeltl (1st Round) Ryan Ardicianao (3rd Round) Kyle Wiltjer (5th Round) Troy Williams (7th Round) Lamonte Bearden (20th Round)

Draft Grade- D

Marvin & Davies

Marvin changes teams like I like change my underpants, once every 3 years or so. Marvin is infamous for blowing up the bathroom in the basement, perhaps worse than any other member. It has stained the minds of all who had to suffer through that. It’s very hard to track his membership. It appears he also takes a year off every now and then, although it seems like he’s in it every year.  He has since joined up with Brian Davies, who was first spotted in this league dating back to 1994 with Mark “Rolls’ Werner!!!! Wowww. Davies also has changed partners multiple times. Davies is known for making contrarian picks and having them work out. No doubt he has a unique perspective on this tournament and I respect that. I respect Men who go from the norm, blaze their own trails. This seemed like an unlikely partnership, but it has formed. Have they found a marriage here? How will it pan out and how long will it last? Judging from the past, not long, but we shall see.

Appearances: Marvin truly unknown 5-7?, Titles 0? Davies 14, 1 Title (2010)

Best Picks- Tyler Dorsey (1st Round) Bryan Forbes (2nd Round) Isaiah Whitehead (4th round) Marvelle Harris (12th round) Josh Hagins (16th round) Zak Irvin (20th Round)

Worst Picks– Rasheed Suliamon (8th round) Svilaslsaov MookyMook (10th Round)

Draft Grade– B

That is all everyone. Gary must depart now. I am off to breakfast at the famous Bendix Diner. Tell Suzy to send a letter and tell Rose to meet me in the back!!! Tell George to have the muffins ready and tell Lance to pick me up 9am Sharp!! Were headed to bet on some ponies!!! And then we will enjoy the games, just like the rest of you. I love it. We love it. Time to get sooped up. And so, may the best team win. All the best to all, to all the best. I hope to make another appearance somewhere around the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, we shall see. But after this weekend I am headed out once again. Out to venture. Actually, I am going to my Mother in Laws house for 3 weeks to help her build a oven. I hope you respect my draft grades. Ol Gary watches just as much as anyone and this is how I truly feel. Love to all. But I will leave you with this, to get you ready. From the great Gus Johnson, a dear friend, the best College Basketball announcer of All-Time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FantasySavvy 2016: Championship Sunday Player Rankings & Projections

It’s been a while, but I wanted to get this out to help not only you guys gain some clarity this weekend, but also for myself. Following a list just makes things much easier when setting your lineups. But first let’s do some predictions. We have some pretty classic games this Sunday with the Pats visiting Mile High to face the Broncos and the Cardinals going to Charlotte to face the Panthers.

Peyton Manning has played the worst he ever has this season and it seems nobody is really giving them a shot against the Pats. But I will rock with the Broncos and say Brady makes a few mistakes as Denver seals the win 24-20. This is more of a contrarian pick, because looking at the surface of this game, Brady has Edelman back now and the Pats are almost completely healthy on Defense, something they were not the first time these two teams played. But sometimes things are just meant to happen and I think Denver’s D will play extremely well along with Manning as well as the running game, (most notably C.J. Anderson) doing just enough to squeeze by New England to advance to the Super Bowl.

Carson Palmer did not play well against Green Bay and you wonder how he will do now against a better defense and having to play on the road in freezing temperatures. Meanwhile Cam Newton has not lost at home this season and has been on an absolute tear all season. Jonathan Stewart has been very effective and Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Josh Norman are playing at an Elite Level. This game really could go either way, but I think the Panthers D shuts David Johnson down on the ground and puts enough pressure on Palmer which will lead him to turn the ball over a few times. Cards may hold the lead at times in this game, but I think Carolina prevails 27-24. Onto the Rankings.

QB’s

  1. Carson Palmer  (315 Yards 3 TD’s 2 Int’s)
  2. Cam Newton     (260 Yards 2 TD’s 1 Int, 40 yards Rushing)
  3. Tom Brady         (275 Yards 2 TD’s 2 Int’s)
  4. Peyton Manning (240 Yards 1 TD 2 Int’s)

RB’s

  1. Jonathan Stewart  (120 total yards, 2 catches, 1 TD)
  2. C.J. Anderson         (100 total yards 4 catches, 1 TD)
  3. David Johnson       (80 Total Yards, 5 catches, 1 TD)
  4. James White           (70 total yards 5 catches)
  5. Ronnie Hillman      (40 total yards, 3 catches)
  6. Steven Jackson        (30 total yards,1 catch)
  7. Andre Ellington      (30 total yards, 1 catch)
  8. Mike Tolbert            (25 total yards, 1 catch)
  9. Cameron Artis-Payne  (15 total yards)
  10. Brandon Bolden           (10 total yards, 1 catch)

WR’s

  1. Julian Edelman            (100 yards, 8 Catches 1 TD)
  2. Larry Fitzgerald           (90 yards, 7 catches 1 TD)
  3. Demaryious Thomas    (80 yards, 6 catches, 1 TD)
  4. John Brown                   (70 yards, 5 catches 1 TD)
  5. Emmanuel Sanders       (70 yards, 5 catches)
  6. Michael Floyd                (50 yards, 4 catches)
  7. Ted Ginn                        (50 yards, 4 catches)
  8. Jordan Norwood            (40 yards 4 catches)
  9. Danny Amendola           (30 yards, 3 catches)
  10. Jerricho Cotchery           (30 yards, 3 catches)
  11. Corey “Philly”Brown      (30 yards, 3 catches)
  12. Bennie Fowler                 (20 yards, 2 catches)
  13. Devin Funchess               (15 yards, 1 catch)
  14. JJ Nelson                           (15 yards, 1 catch)
  15. Keshawn Martin               (10 yards, 1 catch)
  16. Andre Caldwell               (10 yards, 1 catch)
  17. Cody Latimer                     (10 yards, 1 catch)
  18. Jaron Brown                       (10 yards, 1 catch)

TE’s

  1. Greg Olsen               (8 catches, 110 yards 1 TD)
  2. Rob Gronkowski      (7 catches, 90 yards 1 TD)
  3. Owen Daniels           (2 catches, 20 yards)
  4. Scott Chandler         (1 catch, 10 yards)
  5. Darren Fells               (10 yards, 1 catch)
  6. Ed Dickson                   (10 yards, 1 catch)
  7. Virgil Green                   (10 yards, 1 catch)
  8. Vernon Davis                  (10 yards, 1 catch)