|Fantasy Football: High-value targets||08.25.16 at 11:17 am ET|
This article is all about getting players who have the potential to return big value. As I have said repeatedly on the Fantasy Football Podcast, I want guys who can outperform their draft position. I want to target players who can perform a few rounds above where I select them. That’s how you end up being better than the other teams in your league.
For insight into how I apply this article to my drafts, check out my 2016 Draft Plan and Draft Plan Podcast. Both are available for free on Rotobahn, as is the Rotobahn 500 and our cheat sheets. If you need to get ready fast, we have your back.
A word on average draft position (ADP): As I say over and over, it is simply crucial that you use ADP sourced from the site your league drafts on. You will find links to many ADP sources in my Draft Plan article. The ADP in this article is sourced from Fantasypros.
For a deeper take on this article, check out this week’s podcast on WEEI. Jim Hackett and I will be recording that Friday. To keep pace with all of my fantasy content, including my weekly Draftkings rankings, follow me @Rotobahn.
All right, let’s get into the targets.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks, 36
He’s going as the third overall quarterback and much later than Cam Newton (19) and Aaron Rodgers (25), so if you are thinking of going after an elite quarterback, Wilson is the one I would be targeting.
Tony Romo, Cowboys, 107
Romo is the 13th quarterback off the board, and he has a nice profile for the upcoming season. He’s an elite fantasy scorer and he has an elite weapon to work with. Romo also plays behind one of the best offensive lines, if not the best. The Cowboys also play a highly favorable schedule. Romo is cheap enough where I can easily spend another pick on a strong backup.
Kirk Cousins, Washington, 112
He’s the 14th quarterback being taken, and you can usually get him in the 10th round of 12-team drafts. Cousins makes a very nice QB1 if you wait out the starter run. He has as much upside as a lot of the guys being taken ahead of him, and you can draft him late enough to afford taking another strong option right after him.
Marcus Mariota, Titans, 139
He’s the 19th quarterback taken on average, and I’m willing to roll with him as my starter. Mariota has a deep though unspectacular array of weapons and he has a solid backfield to lean on. He proved that he belonged last year, and his coaches sound like they want him to use his legs more this season. That will lead to more fantasy points. Mariota is a highly explosive athlete for the position. He’s capable of game-breaking runs.
|Fantasy Football: Week 11 waiver wire||11.17.15 at 9:48 am ET|
Welcome to Week 11! The waiver wire is not as stocked with talent as it was a few weeks back, so I hope you have done most of your shopping already. That being said, there are a few nuggets out there for the taking and a few talented players showed flashes in Week 10.
As always, I will be watching game film throughout the day and I will be adding talent to the expanded waiver wire at Rotobahn. If you play in a really deep format and need more player recommendations, head over there this afternoon. I’ll also be adding a few matchup defenses for Week 11.
Did you catch the Fantasy Football Hour last Sunday? You can listen here.
The ownership rates listed for each player were obtained at Yahoo!
Tony Romo, Cowboys, 65 percent
He could return this week and he’s a QB1 the moment he is back on the field. Add him in any league where you can, unless you are fully loaded at quarterback.
Jay Cutler, Bears, 40 percent
Cutler has really stepped up his game in recent weeks and I was shocked by how easily he sliced up the Rams defense on their home field. This week’s game against the Broncos is the last time this year where I am sitting Cutler. He could be your starter the rest of the way, starting in Week 12 at Green Bay. Add him in all leagues if you need a quarterback.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills, 46 percent
He has QB1 appeal every week as long as he has healthy weapons and right now he does. He’ll give you the big play with his arm and with his feet, which helps his floor. He can be your starter on most weeks in all leagues.
|Tony Romo to Tom Brady: ‘See you in February’||10.14.15 at 6:47 pm ET|
Tony Romo missed out on last week’s Patriots-Cowboys contest, but it sounds like he thinks the two teams will meet again sooner rather than later.
On this week’s edition of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL,” the Dallas quarterback is seen connecting with New England quarterback Tom Brady following the Patriots 30-6 win over the Cowboys last Sunday at AT&T Stadium. Romo approaches to give Brady best wishes, and was caught offering an interesting farewell.
“See you in February,” Romo told Brady, apparently referencing Super Bowl 50, set for February in San Francisco.
The Cowboys are 2-3, and have struggled while Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant have been sidelined with injury. Meanwhile, Brady and the Patriots are 4-0, and one of the few undefeated teams left in the NFL.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
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|5 things you have to know about Cowboys: Dallas struggling with injuries heading into clash with Patriots||10.05.15 at 12:28 pm ET|
Five things you have to know about the Cowboys, who will face the Patriots Sunday in Texas:
1. They are really struggling with injuries.
The Cowboys will be without quarterback Tony Romo (broken clavicle) and wide receiver Dez Bryant (foot), two of their offensive difference-makers. It’s a big break for the Patriots, as Romo had been playing well over the first two games of the season (75 percent completion rate, 551 passing yards, 3 TDs), while the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Bryant (who had five catches on seven targets for 48 yards before his injury) is a difficult cover for any opposing cornerback. On Sunday night, Dallas also saw linebacker Sean Lee — the Cowboys’ leading tackler — go down with a concussion in the first half. And then running back Lance Dunbar left with a left knee injury on the opening kickoff of the second half. The extent of the injuries to Lee and Dunbar aren’t know quite yet, but it’s clear that this is a Dallas team that’s struggling with health as it comes into a Sunday showdown with the Patriots.
2. There’s uncertainty at the quarterback position.
In place of Romo, the Cowboys have turned to veteran backup Brandon Weeden. (They’ve also signed former New England backup Matt Cassel after a trade with the Bills last month.) Weeden has had his moments — he looked every bit the quality starter as he led Dallas down the field for a game-tying touchdown late in Sunday’s contest against New Orleans. But the 31-year-old also struggled mightily at times against an average Saints defense. Ultimately, the loss left the Cowboys with their first road defeat of the season, but it also stretched Weeden’s personal losing streak to 10 games, as he finished 16-for-26 for 246 yards and a touchdown. While it’s likely that Weeden will get the call Sunday against New England, it certainly wouldn’t be a shock if the Dallas coaching staff pulled the trigger and went to Cassel against his old team.
3. They should get some defensive help this week with the arrival of defensive end Greg Hardy and linebacker Rolando McClain.
The controversial Hardy, who was suspended for four games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy stemming from an incident last year with Carolina, will be permitted to make his Dallas debut against the Patriots. (During his ban, Hardy has not been allowed around the team but has had contact with the team’s medical staff.) McClain, who was suspended for four games under the substance abuse policy, also is eligible to return. (The 26-year-old, who spent the 2014 season with the Cowboys, has been able to work out at Valley Ranch during his suspension.) The 6-foot-4, 255-pound McClain started 12 games for the Cowboys last season and had 67 tackles, two interceptions and one sack, per Pro Football Reference. As for the 6-foot-4, 278-pound Hardy, he should provide support for the Dallas pass rush, as the 27-year-old has 27 sacks in his last 32 contests.
|WEEI NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: Patriots cement hold on top spot, Broncos move up to 3||09.22.15 at 9:42 pm ET|
The Bills were supposed to be a serious test for the Patriots offense. Rex Ryan typically gives Tom Brady fits. Such was not the case Sunday, as Brady and the Pats put a divisional whupping on Sexy Rexy and retained their top spot in the WEEI NFL Power Rankings. The Packers held strong at No. 2, avenging their NFC championship game loss to the Seahawks. I’m not quite ready to say that Peyton Manning is back, but he certainly looked in control during the Broncos‘ fourth-quarter comeback against the Chiefs.
The biggest surprise in the NFL seems to be the NFC East. No one is poised to win that division, never mind run away with it. The Cowboys have to withstand injuries to their two best players, but they can still make a run late in the season if their backup quarterback — Brandon Weeden or the newly acquired Matt Cassel — can win one out of every three. The AFC East looks better than it has in years, with the Jets and Pats starting off undefeated. The Bills will stick around, but the Dolphins’ loss to the Jaguars is a major cause for concern.
Drew Brees is hurt, leading many to consider the Saints’ 2015 campaign already over. The NFC South, then, becomes a two-team battle between the Panthers and Falcons, both of whom are 2-0. The Colts are 0-2 but still will end up winning the AFC South, because it’s just that bad of a division. We’re only two weeks into the season, but that doesn’t stop us from making rash generalizations that will look foolish at year’s end. On to the rankings!
1. (1 last week) Patriots (2-0) — Tom Brady and the Patriots marched into the Ralph and dominated Rex Ryan and the Bills. Following three touchdown passes from TB12, pundits are comparing this team to the one in 2007. A Week 3 matchup vs. Jacksonville will lead to more stat-padding from the offense.
2. (2) Packers (2-0) — After losing three straight to the Seahawks, the Pack finally got some revenge. Aaron Rodgers continues to spread the ball around, and he was masterful in the fourth quarter. The team’s decision to move LB Clay Matthews into the middle has worked out, as he helped limit Marshawn Lynch to 41 yards on the ground.
3. (9) Broncos (2-0) — Peyton Manning still has no velocity, but Thursday night’s comeback win over the Chiefs, in Kansas City, was about as gutsy of a performance you’ll see from the veteran QB. The defense forced five more turnovers and looks primed to carry the load week in and week out.
|WEEI NFL Power Rankings, Week 2: Patriots remain on top, Bills jump into top 10||09.16.15 at 10:42 am ET|
The Patriots retain their position at the top of the WEEI NFL Power Rankings after the first week of the season. Tom Brady continued his career dominance of the Steelers with four touchdown passes and a near-perfect passer rating. The Bills hit the ground running under Rex Ryan and climbed three spots to get into the top 10. Philip Rivers and his shiny new contract brought the Chargers up 10 places with a furious comeback against the Lions. As expected, the Rams took down the defending NFC champion Seahawks at home, which moves St. Louis in the top 10 as well.
The Colts, Ravens and Giants all suffered crushing defeats, leading to significant drops. Andrew Luck needs to get his offense rolling. Same for Joe Flacco and the Ravens. The Giants were victims of their own ineptitude, and should have been able to pull out an upset win in Dallas. The Eagles have yet to be defined, as DeMarco Murray scored twice but only rushed for nine yards. Marcus Mariota annihilated Jameis Winston in their first contest. We’ll undoubtedly have to wait four years to see them face off again.
Big-time injuries in Dallas and Baltimore will force those teams to make some adjustments going forward. On to the rankings:
1. (1 last week) Patriots (1-0)– Tom Brady was nearly perfect against the Steelers to the tune of four TDs. Malcolm Butler had his hands full with the best receiver in football but was in position to make a play all day. The injury bug bit Dominique Easley, and he’s expected to miss a week or two. Expect future opponents to roll some coverage Rob Gronkowski‘s way after he dominated the defenseless Steelers.
2. (3) Packers (1-0) — Aaron Rodgers looked great and was all smiles in Chicago. He spread the ball around and hooked up with newly reacquired WR James Jones for a pair of scores. On the other side of the ball, Clay Matthews made a huge fourth-quarter pick to put the game away.
3. (2) Seahawks (0-1) — Holdout Kam Chancellor may have cost his team a divisional win. His backup, Dion Bailey, slipped late in the fourth quarter, allowing the Rams to tie and then win the Week 1 matchup. Pete Carroll‘s curious decision to go for a surprise onside kick in OT should have Hawks fans fuming.
|Who will be the next over-35 quarterback to win a Super Bowl?||05.26.15 at 11:16 am ET|
Last season, Tom Brady entered into select company on a couple of levels. He wasn’t only the third quarterback to win four Super Bowls as a starter, joining Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw — he became the fifth quarterback to win a Super Bowl after his 35th birthday, joining Johnny Unitas, Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett and John Elway.
In truth, this could be considered a pretty good time to be an older quarterback. This season, six projected starters will be 35 or older (Peyton Manning, Brady, Drew Brees, Josh McCown, Carson Palmer and Tony Romo), and while it’s early to handicap the field, it seems to be a safe bet that at least four of them will make the postseason. But which one of them has the best chance of joining Brady in that exclusive company and being able to boast of winning a ring after his 35th birthday?
Here’s a look at the field:
Peyton Manning: Despite the fact there was talk he wouldn’t return for an 18th season, Manning is back in camp with the Broncos. After seeing how he struggled to the finish line last year with Denver, there are questions about his health, as well as a few members of his receiving corps. At 39, he’s slated to be the oldest position player in the league this season, and if he wins a Super Bowl this year with the Broncos, he’d be the oldest quarterback in NFL history to win a title.
Drew Brees: The Saints’ signal-caller turned 36 in January, and while he’s talked about playing into his 40s, he shown little sign of slowing down. He led the NFL in several major passing categories in 2014, including passing yards (4,952, first), completed passes (456, first) and passing yards per game (309.5). Despite the fact that New Orleans was 7-9 last season and underwent some serious personnel changes in the offseason, as long as he stays healthy, Brees will certainly be able to keep the Saints competitive for the foreseeable future.
Josh McCown: Truthfully, we’re just including him on this list because he’s become the default starter for the Browns this season. McCown, who will turn 36 in July, has had some nice moments for the six other teams he’s played for over the course of his career, but at this stage with Cleveland, is a longshot at best to become the next plus-35 quarterback to win a title.
Carson Palmer: The former Bengal, who will turn 36 in December, was looking good as a possible darkhorse last season, as he led the Cardinals to a 6-0 start. Then, he wrecked his knee and had to watch the rest of the season from the sidelines. If he stays healthy this year, it’s reasonable to think that Arizona has progressed to a point where it can be a serious playoff threat in the NFC West.
Tony Romo: Well, he’s certainly not lacking for confidence when it comes to the 2015 season. The Cowboys quarterback, who celebrated his 35th birthday last month, was able to get the first playoff win of his career last year against the Eagles, and if a catch is truly a catch, then there’s the very real chance that Dallas pulls the upset on Green Bay in the divisional playoffs and is going against the Seahawks in the NFC title game. If the Cowboys can keep the running game moving after losing DeMarco Murray and Romo is truly over any past late-season or playoff meltdowns, then Romo has a chance to join fellow Cowboy Staubach and the rest of the over-35 crowd that took home a title.
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