Peter Wiseman’s Fantasy Tips that Pay!

When I first started playing fantasy, it was just a given, your first two picks were always running backs.  

 Then the NFL changed the rules in favor of offenses, and all of a sudden quarterbacks started popping up in the first 2 rounds. 

Not long after that, PPR leagues started to spring up, and a few years into that faze people realized that if you had one of the later picks in your draft, you could give  yourself a definite edge by grabbing the two best receivers while everyone else was sorting through the running back rubble. 

 

Now it doesn’t seem to matter at all. In recent years fantasy drafts have become a free for all. I’ve seen quarterbacks taken #1 overall and tight ends taken as high as 6th overall. Nobody seems to follow any kind of strategy anymore.

This is a perfect lead into my first tip.


1. ALWAYS! Ignore the auto draft suggestions.

Last year they told you to draft Eddie Lacy first overall. Having a bust like that, can not only get you off to a bad start and put a damper on your whole season, it can give your opponents a clear cut advantage.

 

My advice is to take some time to study and list your picks in order of importance. Make sure you know exactly who you want and when. Then you can cross them off as they are selected during the draft.

Not only does that allow you to look ahead while still keeping your place, but it makes it obvious when a value pick is about to fall into your lap. 

Also keep a notebook and pen handy (unless you are drafting online) and write down every selection both you and every other manager takes. It sounds like a lot of work for an event that is supposed to be fun, but it will pay major dividends in alerting you how long you can wait on a “sleeper,” by whether or not the other teams are filled up at his position.

2. Running Back is the most vital position in the draft.

You will most likely need to start at least two running backs in most leagues. The bad news is there are increasingly less and less good ones every year.

Unless you pay very close attention to numbers, this stat might just blow your mind. In 2015 there were only seven running backs with over 1,000 yards. That’s down from 13 in 2014 and 2013, and 16 in 2012.

The top rusher in 2015 had 1,485 yards.  That would have only been good enough for 5th place in 2012.

I’m not necessarily telling you to draft a running back in the first round. I’m just saying that if you get one of the good ones you give yourself a direct advantage, and if by some chance you get two, you should have no problem owning your league.

The hard part about that is, drafting a running back is far from an exact science. Over the last 3 years only one back appears in the top 5 more than once.

  

So it would be impossible to tell you who to draft but I can tell you who to avoid.

Avoid running backs who are prone to injury. 

 

Avoid running backs who are prone to suspension. 

 

By all means, avoid running backs who are prone to injury and suspension no matter how damn good he is. 

 

The good news in this day and age is, that since running backs aren’t very durable or reliable, you have a good chance of finding a decent backup on the waiver wire as the season progresses.

So what do you do if you aren’t able to draft one of the elite running backs?

3. Tight ends are becoming a more viable option.

Surprisingly, there were quite a few decent pass catching tight ends last year, but still not enough for everyone in an 8 person league to have a legitimate starter. That’s what makes tight end the 2nd most important position in fantasy. 

 

In recent past, most managers would wait til the late rounds and gamble on a sleeper. That can be an exciting strategy to employ, but if you miss, you leave yourself with a major liability at a position that you will be constantly trying to fill. You will find yourself using waiver wire choices that you could have been using on more important positions like running back.

If taking chances is something you enjoy, a more exciting strategy, with even higher reward, is drafting the top two tight ends.  

 

Now that most leagues give you a flex option, you can start both on a weekly basis. 

Plus, you won’t have a drop off in case of injury or during the bye week.

However, the biggest benefit is that you will leave the other managers with even fewer options. Imagine the frustration they will feel when you are rolling out the two best players at a position where they are constantly sifting through scrubs.

Drafting tight ends isn’t an exact science either but their are a few tips to follow that can help you out.

Draft players that have been good for awhile. Unlike the running back position, tight ends are usually very consistent. 

 

Draft tight ends that play alongside top QBs. Think Brady-Gronk, Brees-Graham, Peyton-Thomas, Romo-Witten, Newton-Olsen. Tight ends thrive on touchdown numbers, so make sure your’s has a guy that can get him the ball when it matters most. 

4. Quarterback is the Wild Card position.

Besides being awarded the first overall selection, there  is no better feeling in fantasy than drafting that big named QB and feeling like you’ve already won the championship.   

  

Yes, it is an unmatched feeling, and while it does seem to give you stability at the position with the most consistent chance at a high scoring week, there is a very apparent glitch in that line of thinking in this era of football.

Last year the highest passing TD total for a QB was 36. There were ten other players who threw for at least 31 TDs, and ten more who had at least 20.

Is it really worth burning a top pick on a +A player when you can wait until everyone else gets their starter and still get an A rated player? 

I usually wait til everyone else has selected one or two QBs before I make my move, and still end up with two or three quality starters.

The only real exception I see, is a guy who can throw for 35 TDs and run for 10 more without his top receiver, who by the way, will be coming back next year. In that scenario I would definitely consider spending a 2nd or 3rd round pick. 

 

5.  You should never even think about touching a receiver before the 4th or 5th round!

Am I crazy? 

Won’t the top playmakers definitely be gone by then?   

  

The jury is still out on the first part… 

But you have to remember “brains not names” are what is going to win you the trophy.

Consider this. In 2015, 23 receivers had over 1,000 yards.

That means if every pick (besides yours of course) in the first two rounds was spent on a WR, you would still have the ability to add five 1,000 yard pass catchers to your roster. 

You’re right. Your guys may not be human highlight reels, but they won’t have cost you the prettiest penny either, and should give you a brilliant return on your investment.

Let the other guys waste their picks on splashy players. Spend yours on the guys who make sense. 

6. Load up on running backs.

Because the position is so inconsistent and injury prone, you can never have enough ball carriers. I never carry any less than the league maximum.

In an era in which the NFL is ruled by running back committees, you never know who is going to get hot and when. 

 

After the first few weeks everyone is looking to replace their guys who flopped, went down with an injury, or just flat out sucked. 

If for some reason you have too many ball carriers, don’t panic, they make excellent trade bait.

7. Consistentcy is key. 

Its always nice to have those game where 4 or 5 guys go off for 40+ points and you bury your opponent and have the best score of the week. 

Just remember, whether it’s by 1 point or 150 points, a win is a win, and if the same player that went off this week drops a goose egg the next, he is a liability to your team. 

 

I would rather have a guy that consistently averages 10-15 points then a guy who drops 30 this week and 0 the next.

As a matter of fact, I will cut the roller coaster kid in a heartbeat before letting him take me on a wild ride.

Let someone else deal with the headache.

8. Do not draft a Kicker or a Defense.

By the end of most drafts, managers are so tired of sifting through the spoils that they usually just grab a kicker or defense quick before they log off of their lap top, or start pounding beers with their buddies.

Chances are those selections won’t even be on your roster on opening day, and you will wish you had used the pick on one of those high potential rookies who was just drafted into a high power offense. 

 

Unless you have one of the very elite defenses or Stephen Gostkowski, the value of most of those units are determined more by the opposing offenses depravity than by their own skill.

That is exactly why someone came up with the idea of “streaming.”

Once again, it takes a little bit of time and elbow grease but you will find it is well worth the extra effort.

9. The three year rule for receivers no longer applies.

With quarterbacks throwing the ball up with record setting numbers, receivers are settling in with unprecedented ease.

It is no longer irrational to take a flier on a rookie or even a sophomore receiver.

 

Just beware, because even though they can drop earth shattering numbers in a certain stretch of games, they are still inexperienced and can disappear for an equally baffling amount of time.

10. Always start your studs.

There is no worse feeling than watching your best player torch an opposing defense, and then remembering that he is sitting on your bench because the experts told you he was due for an off week.  

 

If you aren’t confident that your top players can perform on a weekly basis, then maybe they aren’t truly a top player.

11. Relax, kick back, and trust your gut.

Off course fantasy season is going to be stressful. That’s what makes it so worth it when you finally put the trophy up on your mantle at the end of the year.

However, it can also be one of the most fun and exciting experiences of the season if you take a bit of time to prepare.

Just remember that the experts are wrong as often as they are right. 

So after you scour through your fantasy magazine a couple of times. 

Throw it away.  

 

And delete this article as soon as you finish reading it.

Then put all your faith in the only person that can win next year’s league for you.

2015 All-Rookie Fantasy Team

Quarterback

  • Jameis Winston- He has already achieved a firm grip on the offense and has endeared himself to teammates and coaches by consistently putting in extra time in the gym and on the practice field. Armed with three 6’5 targets in receivers Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a cannon for an arm, and the fourth easiest schedule in the league, it appears Winston is destined for great things right from the start. Look for his yardage numbers to be better than average, and his TDs to be off the charts.

 Running Back

  1. Melvin Gordon- I know it’s still preseason, but word on the street is that this kid has a great chance to win  “Rookie of the Year” honors this season, and I don’t find that hard to believe at all. Since the moment he stepped on the field as a Wisconsin Badger, Gordon has been a human highlight reel, gashing through defenses like a knife through warm butter. As a Charger, he will be running behind one of the best offensive lines in the AFC, and for a unit that was just a running back away from being highly explosive. His numbers on the ground should be dynamic from the start, and if he can develop a rapport with Phillip Rivers, through the air, he could become a top fantasy back in his first year.
  2. Ameer Abdullah- The one knock on this guy coming out of college was his size, but we have seen plenty of smart, elusive, running backs with great vision, use a small frame to their advantage as they dart through the line. Abdullah has all of those skills and more, and should fit in nicely with a high powered offense that has been searching for a solid running game. He may start out the season in a committee with incumbent Joique Bell, but I have a feeling he will have a firm grip on the starting job not long into the season. Either way, he should be a solid producer for your fantasy team, and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield should make him a great addition in PPR leagues.

Wide Receiver

  1. Nelson Agholor- Say what you will about Chip Kelly, he knows how to put together an offense, and he is great at matching athletes skills to his needs. When DeSean Jackson left Philadelphia last season, Kelly replicated his numbers almost exactly with Jeremy Maclin. Now that Maclin is gone why not recreate those numbers with a guy who was compared to J-Mac long before he was even drafted by the Eagles? Agholor is that guy, and he has all the skills and character necessary to do just that. He has a high football IQ, is ridiculously fast, very elusive, and fits perfectly into Kelly’s scheme and vision for the offense. If Agholor comes even close to Maclin’s numbers from last year, he will definitely be a top fantasy producer and a great asset to your team.
  2. Devin Funchess- Last year Kelvin Benjamin gave Cam Newton a much needed, tall and athletic target. This year Newton will have two as the 6’5, 230 pound converted tight end, Funchess comes to town. Newton isn’t know as the most accurate QB in the league, so he is going to love having a target that can consistently reel in his wild throws,and for once defenses are going to have to pick their poison instead of just focusing on one receiver. If they choose wrong too often, Funchess will be filling up fantasy scoresheets early and often with ridiculous numbers. 
  3. Kevin White – I’m not a big fan of Jay Cutler as a Quarterback, but his receivers always seem to produce big fantasy numbers, and with Brandon Marshall departing and leaving a giant hole in the offense, the 6’3 White moves into an ideal position to succeed immediately. He had one of the highest ceilings of any receiver in the draft, and with a very physical style, great hands and 4.35 speed, should reach it sooner than later with the amount of targets he is bound to receive. When he does, he should be a great asset for any fantasy team.

Tight End

  • Clive Walford- He is the record holder for receptions at Miami, the university who has turned out a number of productive NFL receivers including Bubba Franks, Kellen Winslow, Jeremy Shockey, Greg Olsen, and Jimmy Graham. Now he is teaming up with Derek Carr, who very quietly had one of the top seasons of any rookie QB ever, to bring some much needed life to a Raiders offense who finished at the bottom of the pile last year. As the best overall tight end in this year’s draft, he should be a perfect safety net and red-zone target for a team and quarterback who are on the rise. He probably won’t be setting any major records in his rookie season, but could be a pleasant surprise as a fantasy starter in a tight end group that leaves much to be desired. 


      Maxed Out: Five Players Who Are Bound to Fall Short of Their Breakout Seasons From Last Year

      1. Odell Beckham Jr.- Don’t get me wrong this guy has phenomenal talent. With great hands, a positive outlook and mad springs, he has all the tools to be a great receiver, but he just did it all too fast. Expectations are way to high for this second year player who will spend the rest of his career trying in vain to replicate a ridiculous rookie year and an impossible catch.
      2. DeMarco Murray- It has nothing to do with the line he had in Dallas, it’s just that nobody is going to feed  Murray the amount of carries he had last season. He should still thrive in Philadelphia, but it is nearly impossible to repeat a year that took that much of a toll on this workhorse’s body.
      3. Andrew Luck- There is no doubt this young QB is special, and that he is destined to be one of the greats. However, after a season of having to make up for the disparity of the Colts defense by airing the ball out on a consistent basis, expect him to start to fall off earlier this year, and finish quite shy of last year’s stellar numbers.
      4. DeAndre Hopkins- With Andre Johnson gone, this young star is going to have to step up in a big way as he tries to carry a major portion of this offense. With uncertainty at the QB position, and question marks all over this offense, this could be a trying year for Hopkins.
      5. Justin Forsett- We have all heard his name for years and had been waiting for him to make some noise. Right about the time we started to forget about him, Forsett had a season none of us could have ever imagined. The sad part is, with the change in coaching philosophy in Baltimore, it appears his “15 minutes” are up, but it was sure fun while it lasted.

      Top 5 Fantasy Wide Receivers 2015

      1. Julio Jones- 104 receptions and 1593 receiving yards on a bum leg with his Quarterback having to make up for a injury riddled offensive line is superhuman. Yeah, his 6 TD’s are a bit of a let down, but with a patched up line and a healthy Jones, all of his numbers should climb and his trips to the end zone should once again reach double digits. There should be no doubt this “Dirty Bird” is by far the best Wide Receiver in football.
      2. Randall Cobb- As long as he can stay healthy, Cobb should easily take over as the Packers number one receiver and aaron Rodgers favorite target. His QB has shown utmost faith in him since the minute he stepped on the field, and we have seen what happens when Rodgers trusts his guys. He has all the tools of a superstar in the most high powered offense in the league. At 24 years old this young veteran is still climbing the mountain and this year should be his best yet.
      3. Dez Bryant-This dude is a touchdown machine, and with DeMarco Murray gone and the weight of the offense falling squarely on his shoulders,  I look for him to step up even more this year. Dez craves the spotlight,  and he should have plenty of that and a ton of targets to haul in, especially in the red-zone. As long as he stays focused he should be a great catch.
      4. Demaryius Thomas-Even with a full stable of receiving options, DT stood head and shoulders above the other Broncos receivers. With Julius Thomas gone I look for Peyton Manning to find Demaryius even more often, especially in the end zone. This guy has yet to hit his peak, and should have mind blowing numbers again this year.
      5. Antonio Brown-He is the receiver that is defining what the passing game in the NFL will be in the future. He is the antithesis of the monster end zone threats we are used to, but with his team showing a lot of inconsistency last year, and facing turmoil in the offseason, I look for AB to take a minor step back. Defenses are becoming familiar with him now, and his style of play is less of a surprise. That being said, he will still have eye popping numbers and should be a game changing asset to any team.

      2015 Fantasy Football: Giving Yourself that Unfair Advantage

      Most players seem to want to think that Fantasy Football is a popularity contest. They are the ones who follow the top 100 list right out of their favorite Draft Magazine and hope that if they stack a team with the biggest names or the best players from their favorite teams, they should automatically win. Those are usually the guys that talk the most shit on draft day, and are left licking their wounds when the playoffs begin. I’ve seen their strategy work on a rare occasion, and if you are lucky enough it will work for you. I’d much rather decide my own fate.

      These few tips just might help swing the tide in your favor.

      • Draft the two best Tight Ends.  Only about half of the teams in your league will have a Tight End that is even worth playing from week to week. If you have one of the great ones you will have a very decent advantage. If you have the top two; not only will you dominate the TE slot most weeks, protect yourself during the bye week and have a solid flex option, but you will take away the two best options for everyone else in your league.  Imagine how much fun you would have busting out Gronk and Graham every week.
      • Don’t be ashamed to draft the player nobody else wants.  Every year there will be that player that everyone says is washed up. They will let him fall to the middle rounds and then laugh at you when you pick him. The reality is they want him in the worst way and are just pissed that you have the balls to get him on your squad. Halfway through the season your inbox will be full of trade offers for Andre Johnson.
      • Draft as many Running Backs as your league rules will allow. Its almost a guarantee that the stud backs you draft are going to get injured, suspended or they will just flat out suck. The players who drafted two back-up Quarterbacks, and three defenses will be be scrambling for the waiver wire while you don’t miss a beat. How many times do you think Justin Forsett will out rush AP and Ray Rice combined?
      • Don’t waste a first, second or third round draft pick on a receiver. There are 32 teams in the NFL. If each of them only had one viable receiving option, and every player drafted in the first 3 rounds was a receiver, you could burn your 4th and 5th round picks on a WR and still be okay. In the current league most teams have two prolific pass catchers, and a handful of squads even have three. Megatron will probably go in the first or second round of most drafts and according to last years stats he is only the 5th best option in the NFC Notth.
      • Pick up any star players that end up on the waiver wire in the first few weeks of the season. It may only be 16 games but in the NFL that makes for a long season. Some of the best players in the league are slow starters. Most fantasy players are very impatient. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of their panic. The greatest trick Tom Brady ever pulled was convincing the league he was washed up.
      • Only draft one Defense and one Kicker. In an offense dominated league, the fate of the K’s and the D’s have more to do with the teams they are playing, then their own skill. If you aren’t familiar with the term “streaming”, this would be a good time to learn. Unless you owned the Eagles Defense, or Stephen Gostkowski, your best option last season was whoever was playing against the Jags.

      Some think managing a Fantasy Team is just a coin flip. Others think they have it all figured out. The ones who win do it for the love of the game.

      2015 Fantasy Football Top Ten Wide Receivers 

      The trendiest and most exciting position in sports, is loaded with talent once again this year. Here is a list of the best of the best.


      Julio Jones

      If it hadn’t been for injuries, and the Falcons disastrous O-Line, it would have become clear to the entire league last year that Jones is by far the best WR in the league. He was at a distinct disadvantage last year, and still went over the century mark in receptions, and had nearly 1600 yards. The one place he struggled was in the Red Zone, but that would seem to be more of an issue of his QB not having time. If Julio can stay healthy this year, he should be the first WR off the board in every league.

      Demaryius Thomas

      The ridiculously talented receiver, had more competition for targets than anyone else out there last season, and still managed to finish 2nd overall in receptions, 2nd in yards, and 4th in TD’s. He lost a major part of his competition in the Red Zone, and his numbers could increase dramatically. The only real question is how long can Peyton keep getting him the ball. 

      Antinio Brown

      This is one of those rare players who comes along only once in a generation, that is so different than everyone else at is position that defenses have a hard time figuring him out. I have a feeling that this is the year that the other teams start to get a handle on him, and if the Steelers don’t find someone to take the pressure off him it could hinder his numbers a bit. Even so, he is still very talented, and even though his value should dip a bit,  he will still end up as a top receiver, especially in PPR leagues.

      Randall Cobb

      It’s seems inevitable in every great receiving duo that at some point the power will shift. I believe this is the year that Cobb becomes the #1 guy in Green Bay. Both Aaron Rodgers and the Packers play-callers have sensed something special about him since the moment he stepped on the field, and the fact that they rewarded him with a “Big Boy” contract this year, shows their confidence hasn’t dwindled at all.  He still has to share targets with Jordie Nelson, so his increase in stats may be modest, but well worth it.

      Andre Johnson

      He seemed to be showing signs of decline, and still put up decent numbers last year. I have a sneaking suspicion however, that if you multiply 85, 936, and 3 times Andrew Luck, Johnson will once again find himself among the elite. It’s scary to think about what could happen between these two this season if he can stay on the field. I see a steep increase in all three numbers, with a good chance his TD’s could once again climb into doubled-digits.

      Dez Bryant

      You either love this guy or hate him. If he’s on your fantasy team their is nothing to hate. Dez loves putting his money where his mouth is, and we all know this dude can talk. The Cowboys offense may sputter at times as they try to find a replacement for Demarco Murray, and if I know anything about “88”, he’ll find a way to work it to his benefit.

      Jordie Nelson

      This guy is nothing if he isn’t consistent. You can count on him putting up big numbers every time you put him in your lineup. Jordie is a class act, and I could never see him playing with a chip on his shoulder.  If he does, it’s lights out for the rest of the league, and good news for you.

      Odell Beckham Jr.

      Extremely talented young player who took the league by storm. I’m afraid that after doing the unbelievable, playing with a decent at best QB, and a healthy Victor Cruz, OBJ has already maxed out his talent. The good news is even if he comes close to his numbers from last year he will make a valuable member of your team.

      Emanuel Sanders

      Very few receivers put up the kind of numbers Sanders did when they are the second option in an offense. He often did it as the third option, and still made it look very easy. Now that he has had a year to get to know his QB, and one-third of the competition is gone, that gap between one and two should narrow, and Sanders numbers should increase even more.

      Calvin Johnson

      It’s seems strange to see “Megatron” this low on the list, but bad teams, inconsistent Quarterbacks, and injuries happen, even to good people. As long as he’s still on the field, this guy can do things that other WR’s only dream about. So although you may not want to grab him with your top pick anymore, he is worth a shot as a bottom rung one, and would make a stellar two.

      Oakland Raiders: Blackhole Rising

      Why the Silver and Black might just beat your team this year.


      It’s common knowledge that they had the most cap space of any NFL team this offseason. So much indeed that they were forced to spend in order to avoid being penalized for staying below the minimum. 

      Because of that, it would have made sense for the Front Office to go out and blow up the Free Agency Market in a historic way, signing every big name player available. However, unless you payed very close attention, you probably wouldn’t even know they made a single move.

      The truth is, for once, the Raiders went about their business in a smooth and calculated manner, filling the majority of their needs, with low dollar players who have a ton of potential. However, the players who should have the biggest impact this year are already on their roster.

      The Team, led by Rookies (Derek Carr, QB and Khalil Mack, LB) on both sides of the ball, struggled through most of last season, before winning 3 of their last 6 games.

      No one seemed to notice because he plays for the Raiders, but Carr set the record for most touchdowns (8) in the first five games as a rookie, one ahead of the record held by Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, and Geno Smith. He also is second all-time behind only Luck, with 21 touchdowns in his rookie season.

      On the other side of the ball, Mack made a name for himself as a devastating run stopper at the outside linebacker position. He also established a strong case as defensive rookie of the year. Even after just one season, he seems to had found his place as the face of the Raiders defense.

      As the year progressed, the team moved away from their struggling veteran running backs, and gave Latavius Murray a chance to prove himself. He came through with shinning colors, showing consistency and flashing big play ability, in helping the team finish the season strong.

      The Raiders added competition at the position, by bringing in veterans Trent Richardson and Roy Helu. 

      Richardson who impressed in his rookie season, has struggled over the last few years and may be getting his last chance  to prove himself.

      Helu holds the Redskins rookie record with 108 rushing yards in a game, and their all-time receiving record with 14 catches in a game. He earned the full time starting job until succumbing to an injury, and losing the spot to Alfred Morris. He has since established himself as a decent third-down back, after hauling in 42 catches, for 477 yards, and 3 TD’s.

      Their receiving core stays steady after resigning Andre Holmes and Rod Streater, and with James Jones who led the team with  73 receptions and 6 touchdowns, and was second to Holmes with 666 yards. 

      The offensive skill positions are rounded out by Mychal Rivera, who showed flashes of brilliance at times during the season, but will probably have to earn the role until he can become more consistent.

      The Wild Card for Oakland on offense this year, may be the o-line. They did a terrific job of protecting their rookie passer  year, but lost a very key piece in LT Jerad Veldheer. The club replaced him with 6’7, 333 J’Marcus Webb who has shown some promise, but has bounced around quite a bit in his career.

      The Raiders offense seems just one player away from being complete, and doing some major damage. Many think they will try to fill that hole by drafting a WR with the 4th overall pick in the Draft. Although it seems to be a deep class of receivers, so they might be able to find value later on.

      The other glaring weakness for the Raiders is the lack of a pass rush. If Leonard Williams should fall to them at #4 it might just make it  too hard for them to resist.

      Head Coach Jack Del Rio, in his first year with the Raiders, has the privilege, and challenge of improving a team who was last in both scoring, and points scored against.

      With a squad ripe with young, and proven veterans, it wouldn’t surprise me if the defense takes great leaps under Del Rio’s tutelage

      Yeah, they may be a few years away from knocking on the door of a championship, but this Raiders team should be very fun to watch. We may be used to them dwelling in the cellar, but this year prepare for them to get the last laugh.