Building the All Under-23 Offense in the NFL

 

 

 

QB: Dak Prescott, Cowboys, 23 years old

Image result for dak prescott

There is no doubt that Prescott is a candidate for ROTY, and he might even be the leading candidate. His poise in the pocket along with his ability to pose a threat with his legs is more than enough for him to make my team. Carson Wentz was also in consideration, but I was pretty much splitting hairs with this decision.

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 21 years old

Image result for ezekiel elliott cowboys

Elliott has been running like mad man so far this season, with over 700 yards in only six games so far. He hasn’t rushed for under 130 yards in his last four games. ‘Nuff said. Todd Gurley was also in consideration, but in my opinion, he is a little too overrated, and he hasn’t been finding the holes this season like he did in his rookie season.

WR1: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants, 23 years old

Image result for odell beckham jr

I promise that I’m not just choosing players from the NFC East! That division just has a lot of young talent at these skill positions. Odell Beckham Jr. is on track to become the best receiver ever, just look at the stats. He is so quick in and out of his breaks and he can stop on a dime. The only way to cover him is to get in his head and get him frustrated.

WR2: Jarvis Landry, Dolphins, 23 years old

Image result for jarvis landry

The other LSU receiver that was drafted in 2014, Jarvis Landry should really be one of the top 10 wideouts in the league, but playing for a lackluster Dolphins team has brought his hype down the last two years. Landry caught 110 balls last year for over 1,100 yards, and that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

WR3: Amari Cooper, Raiders, 22 years old

Image result for amari cooper

I so badly wanted to put Mike Evans or Allen Robinson here, and I was considering Will Fuller, but he hasn’t proved enough yet. I just couldn’t leave Cooper off of this list. He broke the 1,000 yard mark for the Raiders last year, and he is already more than halfway there through six games so far in 2016. Cooper hasn’t put up Odell Beckham Jr.-like production, but being The Guy in your rookie season has to say something. Cooper is a fantastic route-runner, and while he won’t blow you away with speed, he is a very balanced receiver.

TE1: Hunter Henry, Chargers, 21 years old

Image result for hunter henry

There are about no tight ends worth mentioning who are 23 years old or younger. Hunter Henry and Eric Ebron are about the only ones. I went with Henry mainly because he has posted over 300 yards in only six games, and he is still playing behind Antonio Gates for the most part. Also because, you know, it’s Eric Ebron.

 

 

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.

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.

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.