Monthly Archives: August, 2013

Sixers Balls: Talking Minimum…

Philadelphia Sixers

So what is there to talk about with the Sixers right now? They have a coach, and the shock of Joshua Harris buying the New Jersey Devils has seemed to have died down. Well, it has for some I should say. For me, at least the only thing to talk about with them, is how they’re going to reach the salary cap floor and roster limit. Well, that is if they even want to go for the salary cap floor, because they don’t have too. The Sixers would be penalized, but it’s not a harsh penalty at all. They would have to pay the difference of their payroll and the minimum payroll, which is $52.81 million, according to HoopsRumors. The Sixers are currently at $41.2 million against the cap. My guess, the Sixers take on some contracts for picks, so that number would move up.

Their roster sits at 13 contracts, only 11 guaranteed with last week’s addition of guard Tony Wroten. Wroten played last season for the Grizzlies in 35 games as a rookie. He is decent at attacking the rim, but struggles with his jumper. What is this Groundhog’s day?  Can anyone shoot on the Sixers?

Let’s get back to the contracts real quick. The Sixers actually have 12 contracts with 10 guaranteed, because they haven’t signed Michael-Carter-Williams to yet, but it’s just a matter of time. He would make the 11th guaranteed contract. He also would make their payroll to some where in the $44 million ballpark.

Another thing the Sixers need to do at the very least is get to the minimum for the roster spots. The NBA minimum is 13 players. You have to have 12 active and 1 inactive on your roster. The easy move for that would be is to keep Arsalan Kazemi on the roster. There where rumors about a month ago that the Sixers might send him overseas to play for his development. That would be the dumbest thing ever. So yeah, let’s send a guy overseas for development. Ummm, there is no better time then now to let him learn the NBA.  You are tanking correct?

Speaking of “tanking”, there are rumors that Jason Richardson will likely miss the entire up-coming season and that the Sixers will likely waive Kwame Brown. Well, half that is tanking by forcing J-Rich to just chill for a season. Though if you want to truly “tank”, you would keep Kwame and have him start and play 30 minutes a game.

This whole tanking thing, I totally get it. It’s the only way at times to get good in the NBA, because of the way the league is setup. I am not going to lie though; I am really not a fan.  There is something just morally wrong with trying to lose on purpose. Sorry, it does bother me.

One last thing, the Sixers are reportedly interested in big-man Earl Barron.  The journeyman played for the Wizards and the Knicks last season, averaging 3.3 PPG and 5.1 RPG. Who’s next Charles Shackleford?

 

Eagles Round-Up…

Mike Vick

I have been so busy writing for RantSports that I just don’t have the time to get on my site as much as I like. Why? Unfortunately, I have a day job as well… But I was able to find some time this week.  With that said, here are some of my latest on the Eagles…

Bryce Brown

Mr.Bryce Brown, I really want to love you bro. I really do. But, my man, you really need to learn how to hold on to the damn ball. Maybe you can take the same classes that Adrian Peterson took? Whatever AP did to fix his fumbling issues, Bryce needs to get on that ASAP. Continue reading…

Kenny Phillips- Wrote this the night before he got released.

I was excited and leery at the same time when the Philadelphia Eagles signed safety Kenny Phillips for a one-year deal from the New York Giants.  The 26 year old is talented as hell, but the dude just can’t stay healthy, if he can’t get healthy quick he maybe on the verge of being cut. Continue reading…

Eagles/Jags Preview…Yes, I know the game is over with, but read it anyway. I give a shout-out to Flying Dog Dogtoberfest beer.

When it comes preseason games, the third game is always the most important, as that is when the first units get there work in. They usually play a full half, maybe even a little more. That is why Chip Kelly really couldn’t wait until the end of the preseason to name a starter; it just didn’t make any sense. When its comes to the fourth game, that is usually when the ‘bubble” players win that 50th through 53rd spot on a roster. Continue reading…

Mike Vick “Now or Never”

Unless you have been living under a rock in Philadelphia Eagles land, you know by now that Michael Vick has won the starting job. I am a Nick Foles guy. When I say I am a Foles guy, I mean I would have liked to have seen him get the opportunity to be the starter. I can’t sit here and say to you that Foles is the Eagles’ franchise QB for the next 10 years, but I do think that the kid deserves a shot. Continue reading…

 

2013 Fantasy Football 15s

 Fantasy Football

Yes you can rejoice.  I am providing a part of my 2013 rankings as we hit the midway point of the preseason. 15 of each position to be exact.  Drafts will be ramping up this week so I wanted to give you guys a little bit of help.  These rankings are based on a PPR format that provides 6 points for ALL TDs.  I mean they are worth 6 points in the NFL right? I’ll never understand the whole 4 points for Passing TDs.  Anyway….

QBs

1. Drew Brees- 40 TDs and 5,000 passing without even thinking about it.

2. Aaron Rodgers- He is the most consistent QB you can find.

3. Peyton Manning- 2nd most consistent with a slightly weaker arm.

4. Tom Brady- I don’t care if he has rookie WRs. He will light it up.

5. Matt Ryan- All I have to say is Julio, Roddy, Gonzo and S-Jax.

6. Cam Newton- 62 TDs in his first 2 seasons.

7. Colin Kaepernick- If he stays healthy, he could finish #1 amongst all QBs. IF…

8. Matt Stafford- He still has a guy named Negatron to throw to.

9. Andrew Luck- Scored 28 TDs in his rookie season, throwing primarily to rookie receivers.

10. Robert Griffin III- There won’t be as many called rushing attempts, but I think the allow him to throw downfield more.

11. Russell Wilson- Still a run heavy offense which keeps him out of my top 10.

12. Tony Romo- A very good fantasy quarterback.  Not a good “real life” quarterback. Does that make sense?

13. Michael Vick- This is not the homer in me.  The Chip Kelly system is better suited for Vick, plus there is a better O-line now.

14. Andy Dalton- Big step for Dalton this season. Green, Gio, Eiffert and Sanu should win the AFC North.

15. Sam Bradford- Best receiving corps he has ever had and it’s the first time his offensive system stayed the same.

RBs

1. Doug Martin- Last year was the tip of the iceberg.

2. Ray Rice- Lil Ray could approach 90 receptions this season.

3. Adrian Peterson- He won’t repeat last season, but he’ll get over 15 TDs

4. LeSean McCoy- Chip Kelly’s offense is a RBs dream

5. Jamaal Charles- Some injury concern but Alex Smith LOVES to check down.

6. Trent Richardson-  This is probably the best Browns offense we have seen in a decade. Trent will get 330 touches.

7. CJ Spiller- The coach literally said they are going to give him the ball “until he throws up”.  Nothing else has to be said

8.  Marshawn- He will chew up yards on the ground.  PPR deficiency bumps him down some.

9. Arian Foster- If you draft Foster, make sure you go grab Ben Tate real early.  Foster may not make it week 1.

10. Matt Forte-  PPR monster and is now getting goal line carries.

11. Alfred Morris-  In another week I might be moving Alfred up into the top 8.  Word is he will be ‘vital’ in the passing game.

12.  Darren Sproles- Avgs 70 yards from scrimmage, 5 catches per game and .53 TDs per game= 12-17 points per game…

13.  Reggie Bush- The Lions threw the ball to RBs 120 times last season.  That number WILL go up.

14. Stevan Ridley- Quietly ran for 1,263 yards and 12 TDs last season.  Offers nothing in the receiving game though.

15. Maurice Jones-Drew- I’m going to regret ranking him this low, but if his legs hold up he will finish in the top 10 in PPR.

WRs

1.  Calvin Johnson-  The dudes name is Megatron.  Need I say more?

2.  A.J. Green- A better all-around offense should benefit Green immensely.

3. Dez Bryant- I hate to rank a cowboy this high, but he is the truth.

4. Brandon Marshall-  Jay Cutler forces passes.  They are usually thrown to Marshall and can climb to as many as 20 per game.

5. Demaryius Thomas- He’s got ridiculous talent and Peyton.  Recipe for success.

6.  Julio Jones-  Jones is the best athlete on the field, but his ceiling is limited with other stars on the field.

7. Larry Fitzgerald-  After a disappointing 2012, look for a big bounce back year now that Palmer is throwing him the ball.

8. Danny Amendola- Could Will be the new Wes Welker in New England.  Slight injury concern, but he could go over 110 catches in 2013.

9. Randall Cobb- I was thinking of moving him up another spot or two, but this is about right.  100 catches is very possible.

10. Andre Johnson- Slightly down on Andre as he is a step slower.

11.  Roddy White-  For whatever reason, owners are down on Roddy this year.  Not sure why.

12. Victor Cruz- You will see a lot of salsa dancing with Cruz now that his contract his settled.

13. Vincent Jackson- Not a volume guy, but should be a vulture in the end zone.

14. Antonio Brown- With Wallace out-of-town, Brown will soak up that lost production.

15. Dwayne Bowe- Say what you will about Andy Reid, but he likes to throw the ball.  Alex Smith is also the best QB that Bowe has ever had.

TEs

1. Jimmy Graham- Contract year. Brees. Sean Payton.

2. Tony Gonzalez- You better believe it that Tony wants to go out with a bang.

3. Jason Witten- PPR monster, but lacks TDs.

4. Greg Olsen- Something tells me that Cam is going to lean on Olsen frequently.

5. Antonio Gates- Oldie, but a goodie.  Plus, who else is Rivers going to throw the ball to?

6. Jermichael Finley- Contract year. Healthy. Rodgers. Lots to like here.

7.  Rob Gronkowski- Until I know for sure that he is not on that PUP list, I am ranking towards the bottom.

8. Vernon Davis- I refuse to believe the hype of his preseason.  Bit me in the past.

9. Owen Daniels- Another guy in a contract year. Good for 60/800/7

10. Jordan Cameron- Breakout TE of the season.  I don’t care that he plays in Cleveland.

11. Kyle Rudolph- Great TE, but APETE gets on the carries inside the 10.  Rudolph won’t see many red zone targets this year.

12. Juilus Thomas-  SLEEPER of the year.  Thomas has a great shot to be the TE for Peyton Manning offense.

13. Fred Davis-  Was a top 10 TE a year ago. Bounce back candidate this year.

14. Jared Cook- Could be dangerous now that he has a good QB.

15. Coby Fleener-  I’m expecting Fleener to approach 65/750/5, but weird injuries are scaring me away.

Sixers Balls: The Dust Has Settled With The Buying Of The Devils

Scott O'Neil

The dust has finally settled. That dust would be Joshua Harris buying our “Good-Old Friends” the New Jersey Devils.  When I first heard the news about Harris’ new adventure, I thought to myself, “Really? The Devils!?” “Out of all the hockey teams that are struggling financially, you buy the Devils?” Do you even understand Philadelphia?” Oh, I wasn’t done yet. “Great, another owner (Snider) who doesn’t give a shit about the Sixers, Lovely…”  I said all this to my four-year old. Her reply, “Can I watch Lala Loopsy?

FACE-PALM…

Of course after me overreacting, I realized that Harris is a business man and this makes perfect sense to him.  I mean, what is it two-hours to Newark, NJ from Philly? The Devils lost somewhere in the ball park $25 million last season. This is what Harris and his company (Apollo Global Management) do; they buy struggling businesses and turn them around.  That is why Harris has a net worth of $2.1 billion dollars, as of March 2013 according to Forbes. The guy is a smart business man.

What effect does all this have on the Sixers themselves? Likely, not much. The Sixers have a 20-year lease agreement with Wells Fargo Center, according to reports.  I was a little bit worried about this one for real, until I looked up that info. I worked down at Wells Fargo part-time and believe me, the Sixers are treated like renters.  Its Ed Snider’s house and the Flyers are priority NUMBER ONE.

 

When I would work through double-header down their, the workers would take there good old-time during the change over. Obviously, the Flyers played first. This one-time, the Sixers where supposed to start at 7:30 and the doors where supposed to be open by 6:30.  They were still putting the floor down at 7:05.  I am not taking a shot at the workers, but trust me when I say this, that would never happen if that second game was the Flyers. I am over it now though.  The Sixers are not going anywhere for awhile at least, though some might like them to go.

 

The only thing that might be affected by this whole thing is the Sixers new CEO Scott O’Neil position.  I actually heard Rich Hofmann of the Daily News, talk about this on 94.1 WIP the other day and it made sense. O’Neil, who became CEO of the 76ers earlier this year, will also be CEO of the Devils organization overseeing Devils business operations and Devils Arena Entertainment. He will be working closely with Lou Lamoriello, the Devils’ president/general manager. O’Neil’s number one priority will likely be the Devils. Why? Well, they will be the money maker this year. We sure as know that the Sixers are not making any money this year.

O’Neil was asked by one of the WIP staff members if he thinks that this move will effect the Sixers. O’Neil:

I would say judge us by our body of work,” O’Neil said. “And if you’ve been happy with what we did on draft night, what Sam [Hinkie] accomplished. If you’ve been happy with the decision to get Brett Brown in here as coach. I think those are indications as to the kind of commitment and plan that we have in place. We asked to be judged to by our body of work, and our commitment to make the Sixers a very competitive team with sustained excellence for many years. And if we do that, they should be very happy.” via CBS

After all these years being a Sixers fan, I have learned that patience really is a virtue. Only, time will tell.

Some Eagles Round-Up. Plus, Some Fantasy Football Guidance

Bradley Cooper

Well, it looks like Vick can all but rap up the starting QB situation on Saturday night against the Jags. Foles has played well, but Vick has been better. With that said, here is some of my latest from over at RantSports.com. Also, checkout my boy Frank Capriotti (@TheFrankCap).  The former Daily Times writer has been pumping out some awesome articles on fantasy football. If you have a question on who to draft and where, he is your guy.  Here is the link to his work.

The Running Back  Battle:

“There are battles everywhere on the Philadelphia Eagles. You have the secondary battle going on, the outside linebacker tussle, and obviously the starting quarterback battle. I have another one that I have my eye on, and that would be the backup running back battle or you can even say the third string battle. Yes, I know its not as “sexy’ as the other battles, but it’s important” Continue reading…

The Defense Progress:

“After the first preseason game, the defense was the hot topic for the Philadelphia Eagles aside from the quarterbacks situation.  The team made a complete turnaround in their second preseason game on the defensive side of the ball, even though they were playing the Carolina Panthers.” Continue reading…

QB Battle:

“Everyone is writing about the Philadelphia Eagles‘ quarterback situation, so I have to chime in as well. My last post about the quarterback situation I called the race even after round one. Well, it’s still close, but Michael Vick might have a slight advantage now, just because of Nick Foles‘ turnovers, after round two. They both have moved the ball very well in this preseason thus far.” Continue reading…

What National Writers Are Saying:

“I loving reading local  bloggers and writers for the Philadelphia Eagles for obvious reasons.  They understand the situations going on around the team better and they follow the team day-in and day-out.  To be honest, I would rather read a blogger’s article than a beat writer. Why?  Well, I believe that you get better info and more realistic views on the team.” Continue reading…

Here’s one I wrote about the Eagles pace a few weeks back:

“That issue of the Philadelphia Eagles playing too fast might not be an issue after all. There was thought that Chip Kelly‘s offense would be too fast for the NFL, and that officials would have to slow it down. I mean, how fast can the Eagles really play? Well, Chip’s offense at Oregon last season ran a no-huddle offense 75 percent of the time. The NFL average last season was 12 percent — that’s fast.” Continue reading…

Philer Up! Thanks Charlie

Charlie Manual

I am not going to lie, when I first heard the news that Charlie Manuel was let go, I wasn’t that upset.  I was at work, working through another DAMN Excel sheet. My first thought was that it made sense. Charlie had a great run and it was just time for a change, even though most of the blame this year doesn’t fall on him. It was time.  I finally get done with my spread sheet (I have to say, it’s a lovely one) and I took a walk down to the cafe for coffee and salad for my lunch break.

Of course, through out my journey to the cafe, I was stopped by many asking my thoughts about the Charlie firing.  My answers were all the same, it made sense and it was time.  I finally made it through my perilous journey of reaching my 20 oz coffee and my salad with Light Ranch dressing.  When I was sitting there, I realized something to myself, I was lying. I was lying to others and myself.  Then I came across this picture on twitter by the AP.

Man, that a picture says a thousand words. I began replaying my thoughts on Charlie, remembering how I really didn’t think this guy could last here, early on in his years with the Phils. I honestly thought that the media would chew him up and spit him out. If they didn’t, I surely thought that the fans would. Surely, I can’t be serious. I am and don’t call Shirley.  I am sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. Jokes aside though, you would be lying to yourself, if you thought Charlie would have lasted this long.

We all were screaming for Jim Leyland  at the time and Ed Wade went out and hired a manager that had a couple good seasons with the Cleveland Indians, but flamed out. The biggest thing was the language barrier. Christ, I couldn’t understand the guy at first. I thought, there is no way in hell that this “hillbilly” could last around here.  Then when the games started for him, he couldn’t even do a double-switch right. Nope, this dude wasn’t lasting.

Then all of a sudden, something magical started to happen. The Phils were starting to change their old ways and started winning big games.  I started to understand Charlie more and that language barrier started to fade away. I started to realize that his reputation that players play for him from Cleveland was true and when that happens that can hide the flaws that an individual has.

Every manager and every player has flaws. It’s about learning to minimize yours flaws. That is what Charlie exactly did. He always stood behind his players, being that voice of confidence in their ears, when things weren’t going well. He helped turn Shane Victorino, a Rule 5 Draft player and Jayson Werth, who maybe was on the verge of being out of baseball into All-Star outfielders.  How did he help them? He was that voice of confidence in their ears, when others were ready to give up on them.

Werth talked about Charlie today: “I owe him a lot,” Werth said. “It took a lot for me to win him over. But once he put me in there, he believed in me as much, if not more, than anyone I’ve ever played for. I owe him a lot. He was the one that kind of pushed me to become the player I became.” Via CSN-WashingtonIf  you think that 2007 Phils team comes back from 7 games back with 17 games left play with any other manager, I would beg to differ.

Charlie will never be known for his x and o’s with the baseball. What he will be known for is his love for the game. His feel for the game and the fun he brought to the ball park each day. The most important, the way that the players loved playing for him. In this day in age, that is hard to find, especially with the money that these players make. Cole Hamels said many Phillies looked at Charlie as a Father figure. I couldn’t agree more there Cole.

You know how it is, you never want to let your father down. Utley talked about that as well. Utley: “Charlie didn’t strike out,” Utley said. “Charlie didn’t make any errors. All Charlie did was come to the park everyday and ask us to win.” “Charlie is the man that gave me an opportunity to play,” Utley said. “I owe a lot to Charlie Manuel. … I think we are all a little upset and a little sad. It’s not a usual thing to see that guy you played for not behind the batting cage watching batting practice.” Via CSN.

So the guy who brought the best baseball I have ever seen (I grew up watching the Phils in the late 80’s and through the 90’s), I have come to realize I will miss him.  I will miss the guy that brought the most wins EVER to the Phillies in their 130-year history (780 wins). I will miss the guy that brought 27-19 playoff record, 2 World Series appearances, 5 straight division titles, a franchise-record 102 wins and my first and only world championship that I ever seen in my life-time as a Philadelphia sports fan.

I never will forget that magical night in October 2008, when Charlie utter these words:  Hey, this is for Philadelphia! This is for our fans!”

Charlie, from the bottom of my heart- Thank you. Philadelphia will always give you a 3-0 green light

Running Backs to Avoid Draft Day

Sometimes I really question how people were trained to think.  How and why people come to an answer just blows my mind on a daily basis.  Fantasy football drafts in August are usually the focal point of my frustration.  Why someone chooses Steven Jackson in the second round when AJ Green is on the board will be something I never understand.  Or why owners want to draft a 4th RB when RG3 is on the board!!  Come one guys, think!  Would you trade RG3 for that 3rd RB during the season.  ABSOLUTELY NOT! So why would you draft another a 3rd RB when there is a stud like RG3 there.  Now to help some of you guys out, here are a few RBs to steer clear of despite their huge name recognition and the “this is his year” mentality that always overcomes us come draft day.

DeMarco Murray, Cowboys

Cowboys Cry

Average Draft Position: 26

There are 2 distinct reasons why DeMarco is being drafted in the late 2nd and early 3rd round of drafts this summer.  First, the ridiculous love fest around the country for the Cowboys despite the fact that they, as a whole, aren’t a great football team and haven’t been for about 15 years now. Second, is because the “this is his year” syndrome is effecting many owners this season.  Remember some of these stats when you are about to click that button or say his name on draft day.  In the past 2 seasons, he has missed 28% of his games.  Think about that.  Just over 4 games a year. MOST LEAGUES HAVE 13 WEEK SEASONS PEOPLE!  Why would you want to draft a guy that could miss 1/3 of your fantasy regular season?  If that’s not enough for you, how about the fact that this dude has a total of 6 TDs in 23 games.  That means he is getting you a TD every 4th game he plays.  “Why is this”, you ask? Because they have Jason Witten and Dez Bryant to throw the ball to inside the 10 yard line. Far be it from me to tell you that you are an idiot if you take this guy, but if you draft this guy in the late second round when guys like Demaryius Thomas, Frank Gore and Larry Fitzgerald are on the board, please give me a shout.  I got an iceberg that I want to sell you.

Fantasy Football

Darren McFadden, Raiders

Average Draft Position: 34

Just 8 spot after Murray is being drafted, we see Darren McFadden being drafted in the late 3rd round despite the fact that this dude has missed 34% of his games over the past 3 years.  This is where I go back to my whole issue with the way people come to their decisions.  How does someone come to the decision to draft a RB who has missed 16 games in 3 seasons in the 3rd round?  Don’t you guys want to actually win your league and not just participate? No joke here…Tom Brady, Randall Cobb and Victor Cruz are all being drafted, on average, after Darren McFadden…I’m speechless.  And if you know me, it is borderline impossible to find me speechless.  If we mix in the fact that the Oakland Raiders are fighting the Jacksonville Jaguars for the worst roster in the league and we can see that this offense will be pitiful.  And now that I think about it, ZERO players on the Oakland Raiders offense should be owned at this point.  There. I said it.

Montee Ball, RB, Broncos

Average Draft Position: 48

I have a strict rule for drafting rookies.  Don’t draft them.  From time to time, they pan out and you find great value.  But for every Doug Martin rookie season you give me, I can give you Mark Ingram, CJ Spiller, Kevin Smith, and Jahvid Best rookie seasons.  Yes, you can once in a while find great value in a rookie RB, but it happens so infrequently that the risk is not worth it.  Montee Ball is going to be a nice RB for the Denver Broncos, but for fantasy football purposes, the RB situation in Denver seems to be too fluid for me to want to invest a late 4th or early 5th round pick.  Unless you are in a keeper league, I just don’t know if you are going to get 4th or 5th round value out of rookie RB that seems to be splitting time with Ronnie Hillman.  When I look and see Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez and RG3 available based on ADP, I’d rather target one of those guys rather than hope a rookie RB turns on to be a starting RB. Call me greedy, but I want proven players within my first 6 picks.

ALL ABOUT ADP VALUE

ADP

If you do your homework, you will be able to identify some good and even elite players ahead of time that will be falling in drafts for some reason or another.  Injuries and past performance are the main reasons, but remember that past performance is not indicative of future results.  GET THAT VALUE!

Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay

ADP 59 (And falling rapidly)

Since news broke on August 6th that Jordy Nelson was going to be out 4-6 weeks due to knee surgery, his average draft position (ADP) has drop 7 spots in 7 days.  Before this weekend is over it will drop close 10 spots and by the end of training camp it could be close to a 2 round drop.  In other words he is dropping faster than Anthony Wiener’s approval rating.  That right there is great value.  Sure he might miss the first week or two, but to get a WR who scored 22 TDs in the last 28 games is unheard of.  If you are an owner looking to wait on WRs until the mid rounds, Jordy Nelson is a guy you should circle.  Put him on your bench for the first week or two and then slip him in as your #2 WR or flex player.

Larry Fitzgerald

ADP 32

On the surface, I understand why Larry is the 7th wide receiver taken on average.  The other 6 WRs ahead of him are monsters in the passing game and his numbers over the past 3 seasons don’t exactly indicate a can’t miss player.  But we have to remember that the landscape has drastically changed over the past 6 months.  New coach Bruce Arians is a mastermind in the passing game and Fitz will be working with the best QB he has had since Kurt Warner.  With Carson Palmer under center, Fitz should seem a lot more passes down the field.  If Carson can throw for 4,000 yards with players like Denarius Moore and Brandon Myers, I’m sure he can get Larry back to 90/1,200/7.  There is no excuse why Demarco Murray, who has missed close to 30% of miss games in his first 2 years, should be going ahead of Larry this summer in redraft leagues.  If he is there in the late 2nd round, jump all over him.  Also, while writing this post Murray pulled a hamstring and broke his big toe.  I like jokes.

Robert Griffin III

ADP 62

I get it.  He is coming off of a serious knee injury and owners are scared to draft him because of this, but owners need to start reading between the lines.  If RG3 wasn’t physically ready to practice, they would have kept him on the PUP list.  When they took him off that list it was all I needed to know about the injury and the outlook of his season.  No he won’t be involved in as many called running plays like he did in 2012, but he will scramble for yards from time to time.  When RG3 is the 9th QB taken on average after finishing in the top 5 in scoring amongst QBs in 2012 I start seeing value and you should too.  Don’t be scared.  If you are get a dog…or a solid #2 QB.  He will have another elite season, but hedge your bets if you want.  Romo and Manning are solid #2 QBs who will be available in later rounds.  Just get your hands on RG3 if you see him on the board in the 5th round.

5 Rookies Who Stood Out

Fantasy Football

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans

DeAndre Hopkins

This rookie did not look like a rookie versus the Vikings this past weekend.  He had 4 catches for 52 yards and a TD.  On his TD reception he leaped over the coverage and completed the catch all the way to the ground.  D-Hop is the type of guy who you may want to consider with a late round flier pick in redraft leagues.  He will be starting opposite of Andre Johnson so he should see plenty of single coverage throughout the year.  The big question is will Schaub throw the ball enough on this run first offense?  He is easily worth a top 3 pick in rookie drafts this summer.  I’m all over this guy come draft day!

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings

When you hear the term “raw ability”, you are hearing about someone who is able to play the game strictly on their athletic ability and limited football IQ.  This applies to Patterson.  Watching the game versus Houston this weekend it popped off the screen how athletic and big Patterson is.  I didn’t see a wide variety of routes from Patterson, but with limited playing time, that’s expected.  His kick-off return to midfield was telling and he blew through the coverage with great speed and vision.  He quickly identified the hole and did not hesitate to hit it.  He also caught 4 passes on 8 targets for   54 yards.  It’s obvious that the Vikings plan to get the ball in this guy’s hands.  After this performance he has made himself a top 5 pick in all rookie drafts.  Definitely worth looking at this guy late in drafts, especially if points are awarded in your league for return yards.

Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, Patriots

Dynasty owners need to jump on this guy ASAP.  Redraft owners need to closely monitor this guy leading up to your draft because he just might be the #1 WR for Tom freaking Brady.  Before Friday night’s game, reports out of Patriots camp was the Thompson and Brady were working well together.  It certainly showed on Friday night as Brady targeted Thompkins often.  The 25-year-old UDFA from Cincinnati caught 4 passes on 5 targets for 23 yards.  Nothing too huge statistically, but the fact alone that Brady trusts Kenbrell is all I need to know as an owner.  If this trend continues, Thompkins might become a flex play in redraft leagues.

Giovanni Bernard, RB, Bengals

The 2nd round pick for the Bengals didn’t have an explosive game with any highlight reel plays, but he did get 10 carries and 6 targets in 1 half of football.  Reading between the lines, Bernard will be getting plenty of touches in this offense, even if he is splitting time with the Law Firm.  Gio finished with 44 yards from scrimmage along with a TD and 3 receptions.  Bernard is slam dunk #1 overall pick in rookie drafts and has lower end #2 RB appeal.   If he gets to round 7-8 in re-draft leagues, feel free to pounce on him as that is good value at that point in the draft.

Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks

There is no doubt that Marshawn Lynch is the cowbell up in Seattle, but if he ever needs a break, Christine Michael will step right in and provide the same threat out of the backfield.  Michael ran hard for 89 yards on 16 carries and made players miss often.  Robert Turbin is penciled in as the back-up RB behind Lynch right now, but I have a feeling that it won’t last the entire season.  He probably will be drafted very late, if at all, in all redraft leagues, by I know I won’t be passing on him.  He is a strong runner who will be the handcuff to Lynch.  Dynasty owners need to understand that this guy is a long-term investment, so be patient and wait for his opportunity.

Sixers Balls: Brett Brown hired for the second time or is it the third?

Brett Brown

 What a journey it has been. So many twist and turns, I never knew which way to look.  It all started when Doug Collins handed in his resignation as the Sixers coach back on April 18. It’s all about the journey people. That is what life is all about. My apologies….I will stop with the dramatics, its just doesn’t work, especially when it comes to the Sixers.

The Sixers have finally got the man that they wanted all along.  Brett Brown is set to become the 8th coach in 10 years (since Larry Brown left in 2003) for your team, your town, and your 76ers. Brown agreed to a four-year deal with the Sixers, according to the SI.com report. Yes, I believe it’s actually official now. We all remember that report that came out on Draft Night that the Sixers were ready to name Brown the head coach.  Hinkie squashed that rather quickly. He said that he wanted to go through the interview process first with other candidates. I can’t believe there were a lot of them, but hey, its still NBA head coaching job at the end of the day.

Of course there was another curve ball mixed in.  Reports came out at the end of  last week that some of Browns peers urged him not to take the job. Of course they did. I can’t really say I blame them either. Brown is highly respected around the NBA; he could have easily gotten another job next year, when something else opened up.  If the Sixers weren’t  going to give Brown enough money and job security to prove that they really wanted him, Brown would’ve likely said, “Nah, i’m good”.  I am guessing (of course I am), that Brown wanted nothing to do with being a transitional coach. All seriousness, who in the world would? The Sixers must have really wanted Brown and must have GUARANTEED those 4 years.

Brown, 52, was a Spurs’ assistant for the past seven seasons and worked in player development with San Antonio before that.  Brown also coached for 14 years in the Australian National Basketball League. He coached Australia in the 2012 Olympics. One of the best things about Brown, other than sitting next to “Pop” all these years, he has spent almost a decade as the leader of player development for Spurs.  Oh yeah, they have won three championships in that time period.

Some have crowned Brown the savior already. I find that quite amusing, but hey, he did work for Pop so that’s always a good thing.  To be honest I would have been happy with anyone on that Spurs staff. Why? Two words- Gregg Popovich. Me happy.