Pick It Apart; Johnathan Abram

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: #27

Player: Jonathan Abram

Drafted by: Oakland Raiders

Grade: B-

Analysis:

This pick is of course the Dallas Cowboys’ pick that was sent to Oakland for Amari Cooper midway through the 2018 season.

I’m not sure Lee would’ve been so kind on the grade on as few levels. Firstly, the player level. Surprising the Abram was taken here consideringhe was a 2 star recruit, kept transferring back and forth from Georgia to Jones County and finally Mississippi State. Secondly, the positional value. Safeties are not in vogue at the moment in the NFL. It’s all about linebackers and pass rush. The back end… not so much. It’s true in the NFL and in horse fancy dress costumes.

Abram managed to produce in his final year, with a team leading 93 tackles and made the 2018 First team All-SEC. He also had the title of the hardest hitting safety in College. We’ll see about that if he gets a chance to run towards CJ Anderson.

His qualities are more in stopping the run game and many question his abilities to cover for an extended amount of time. He has sideline to sideline abilities and pursuit speed is pretty decent, as told by his 4.45 40 yard dash at the combine. Spending a pick on someone who will want to effectively play as an extra linebacker this high is questionable but with that being said, would actually be a decent tight end match maker. He doesn’t have the greatest vision or playmaking skills, illustrated by just 2 opportunisitic interceptions in College. He also doesn’t look the most comfortable in zone coverage and will be most effective when being used in blitzes or any time he is asked to go forward. He is known also for his leadership skills, something in which Chuckie likes on his team.

Jon Gruden and Mayock obviously have plans for him, as they do Clelin Ferrell otherwise it would be nonsensical to pick him here. He’ll be an instant starter on team lacking on defensive talent (if only they had someone like Khalil Mack..). He’ll be a physical, tough and hard hitting addition to the NFL (which can bring durability concerns) and it’ll be interesting to see how he puts his mark on some opposing players.

Overall, I am not sure the pick here at 27 will be justified and probably could have waited til pick 40 at the very least.

Fantasy Football Impact:

None, absolutely none. Oakland are a poor defence, you wont be drafting them. Maybe some deep IDP league appeal.

Pick It Apart; Noah Fant

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: 20

Player: Noah Fant

Drafted by: Denver Broncos

Grade: A-

Analysis: Lots of people excited about this pick and it’s absolutely great value here. Denver obviously didn’t fancy Devin Bush at 10 after trading out of the spot with Pittsburgh. Denver acquired the Pittsburgh 2nd round pick and a 3rd rounder in 2020 on top of Fant here at 20 and dare I say it, John Elway had a good draft for Denver

Noah Fant, the Robin to TJ Hockenson’s Batman at Iowa comes in to a great spot here with statue Flacco under Center (for a week at least). Fant’s pass catching ability, route running and speed are of elite levels and whilst his contested catch rate could do with improvement (along with his strength and blocking ability), he is a guy that could potentially come in day 1 and produce for this team.

Fant produced a star studded show at the combine, finishing top for the TE class in all but 3 categories. He had the fastest 40 time along with broad and vertical jump gold medals.

He will be a Red Zone monster ( has a 1 TD every 4 passes caught ratio at Iowa) but will also be a guy that finds plenty of space often.

Another interesting fact, Fant wants to be an orthopaedic surgeon once his playing days are over.

Fantasy Football Impact:

Fant had 78 rec for over 1000 yards at Iowa (13.9yd avg) and in the current landscape of Tight Ends in Fanatsy, there will be many GMs (especially in dynasty) willing to take the shot on Fant. You could say they are Fant-asizing about what he could do for them. In his first year, expect a few games here or there of fantasy relevance, but needs to up his strength and contact abilities before becoming a stud.

Joe Flacco has never finished higher than QB 11 (2010) in fantasy but that doesn’t mean he can’t support fantasy relevant players.

Joe Flacco made average players relevant at tight end; Dennis Pitta, Todd Heap, Nick Boyle are all guys that got way more action than they should have done, all because of big Joe.

I fully expect Joe to show Noah some love even in year 1. Fant only has Jeff Heuerman and Tony Fumigali to surpass on the depth chart. Taking it one step further, Rich Scangarello has come over from San Francisco…we’ve just seen the season George Kittle has just had. Add to that, Emmanuel Sanders is coming back from a torn achilles and the Wide Receivers of Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton are entering year 2 in the NFL so Fant could quite easily become a go to in this offence. Don’t be surprised to see 100 targets for Noah in year 1, that could Fant-astic production for a position that usually takes a year or 4 to get embedded in to the league.

Get excited. He should be your TE in dynasty drafts and could be a late round value in redraft unles the hype train sells out of tickets.

Where Do They Go From Here; LA Chargers

After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…

Today we take a look at the LA Chargers. Don’t forget to check out our AFC West podcast where we talked with a fan from every team in the division!

How Did Last Season Go?

If you offered the Chargers a divisional round game loss to the Patriots, they’d probably accept that this is kind of where they should be. That said, I (Tim) was particularly high on them going in to the season that I had some of my hard earned on them. The Chargers were one of the more balanced and complete teams in the AFC if not the NFL last season and just succumbed to a typical Patriots January performance in a game that just got away from them early.

Hunter Henry going down before the season started was never going to be ideal and continued their flirting with Antonio Gates. Hopefully, that will not be repeated in 2019 (sorry Antonio, we love you, but you’re like 50 years old and slower than Jason Witten was taking to commentary).

The Chargers’s loss to KC in week 1 turned out to be pivotal in the end, but actually uncharacteristically started quite hot going 7-2 in the first 9 weeks with their only losses coming in Los Angeles (@Rams).

The Chargers ended up 12-4, tied with KC but lost the tiebreaker which may or may not have been crucial. We’ll never know.

They ended having both a top 12 offence and defence in terms of yardage and points allowed which confirms their status as one of the more well rounded teams.

In terms of personnel, on offence Mike Williams finally repaid the Chargers with being healthy and producing on the field after being a 1st round pick. Williams was able to chip in with 11 touchdowns (1 rushing) on 43 targets, a ratio that is probably unsustainable to repeat in 2019. Keenan Allen pretty much had a replica season from 2017; over 1000 yards on around 100 receptions and 6 TDs. More importantly, his previous injury issues seem to be well and truly behind him. Finally Tyrell Williams had a nice complimentary role in the offence, but seemingly not enough to warrant a bigger contract and will not be returning.

In the backfield, Melvin Gordon was the teams top TD scorer (no surprises there) but did miss 4 games due to injury. Austin Ekeler had himself a nice season, stepping in when required but also forcing his way to earn more snaps in this offence.

Overall, I think the Chargers 2018 can be seen as a success but 2019 will be the year where they will be expected to make an even deeper push in January and play a February game.

Quick word on the defence – Derwin James had a fantastic rookie season and was in the conversation for DRO. 3.5 sacks, 75 solo tackles and 3 interceptions confirming his status as one of the steals of the 2018 1st round. Joey Bosa came back for the 2nd half of the season and picked up where he left off. One of the top defences in the league and have age on their side so look for this to continue in 2019.

Housekeeping

LA Chargers own the 28th pick in the first round along with pick 60 (2nd round), 91 (3rd), 130 (4th), 166 (5th), 200 (6th) and 242 (7th)

Chargers have about $10m in cap space at this moment.

Outgoings

Tyrell Williams was expendable for the money that was available on the open market. Right place right time for him. Jason Verrett’s injury history came back to bite him and was let go. Defensive Tackles Philon and Liuget along with safety Addae were the other names looking for a new home.

Incomings

Not many glaring needs for the Chargers but Tyrod Taylor is the new backup to Rivers and Thomas Davis was a surprising addition to the defence though he will bring masses of linebacker experience.

Outlook for Next Year

Going to be looking at going 1 or 2 better than 2018 with this squad and anything less could perhaps see Anthony Lynn under fire.

It will be a case of hoping one or 2 things fall their way luck wise to be able to get there. Both sides of the ball are young enough but experienced and talented enough to say that this team should be contending for the next few years and anything less is a failure.

Prediction

I think the Chargers have to be considered as one of the top 3 teams in the AFC and I fancy them to make the AFC Championship game this year. Whether they win or not is not for me to say as I have a soft spot for them so will be slightly biased. They have the talent, they have the pieces on both sides of the ball, it’s just about going out there and doing it.

I had my money on them last year, they will again in 2019.

Fantasy Football

Rivers – perennially underdrafted – double digit rounds – QB 1

Melvin Gordon – mid 1st round pick – RB1

Austin Ekeler – double digits rounds -RB3/4 – PPR sleeper

Keenan Allen – late 2nd/3rd round pick – low WR1/high WR2

Mike Williams – 6th round area – WR2 ceiling

Hunter Henry – 5th/6th Round – TE1

 

NFC Storylines and LateRoundQBs

In Today’s podcast, we are joined by none other than JJ Zachariason (@lateroundQB) to chat about his podcast and late round QBs but more importantly, whether he would accept work as the first person narrator if they ever brought the TV show “Scrubs” back.

Talking of scrubs, we go through every AFC team and what headlines we will be reading in the offseason and also get JJ to give us a name that will fly under the radar in the upcoming draft.

Put the mockers on it looks at fizzy drinks and Sam from Head On A Swivel podcast tackles the quiz…can they get over the 8 hump?

PLUS info on some things we’ll be freshening up in April!

Exit Interviews – AFC West

We made it to Friday folks! AFC West time and we have a great pod today which sees us take a look at the Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos and Raiders.

Plenty of talking points so we grab fans for each of those teams to take a look and break it all down.

Our thanks go to all those that contributed!

*Denver segment recorded prior to the Flacco trade…

Podcast 31 – AFC West Breakdown

In this episode myself and Lee Wakefield break down the AFC West.

We disagree on a few teams and end up making a match bet. Best of all, we want YOU to decide what the forfeit is!

We also play a game of this or that with players from the AFC West that are going around the same ADP and we build 4 man fantasy teams using 1 player from each team but with restrictions.

We also bring you up to speed on the latest news including a new team for Adrian Peterson and a few crack in the Dallas O Line wall and also fill you in on some FREE COMPETITIONS you can get involved with to win some Full10Yards stuff!

Afterwards (offline), we both had a dynasty league draft and have our teams which will be posted on our social media. Please vote for your favourite of the two!

Joy Divisions – AFC West

Before the season starts, myself and good friend of the podcast Lee Wakefield (@wakefield90) will give a summary of each division, how we see it playing out over the season along with some players to target in fantasy in each.

AFC West:

In the words of the Pet Shop Boys – “GO WEST!, life is peaceful there” I think it could be the complete opposite. When has it ever been peaceful in San Diego  Los Angeles?

Perhaps the most intriguing division in the AFC (though the South may have their say) and most people would argue a case for every team in the division actually winning it.

TIM

Los Angeles Chargers:

Let’s start with the Chargers; If you listen to the podcast or read some posts, you’ll know I am a big fan of the Chargers this year to win it all. Injuries are coming thick and fast with Hunter Henry and Jason Verrett going down for the season already (sigh) but the Chargers were already a great defence when Verrett was injured last year. The loss of Henry hurts but there is enough in the pass catching room to spread it around.

Mike Williams needs to step up and should after missing most of his rookie season whilst Tyrell Williams has already shown he is reliable. Both WIlliams’ should be sought after in drafts as they are usually going undrafted and it would be silly not to have a piece of this offence. Keenan Allen isn’t a sure thing to stay healthy either (last season was his first where he played a full 16 game slate). Then there’s Antonio Gates…..

Melvin Gordon is a stud and expect Austin Ekeler to see an uptick in usage in the backfield. Anthony Lynn should be able to get more from this team that ended the season on a hot streak and should have been playing playoff football last year.

Whilst I wouldnt want to see anymore disruption to this team, I think there is something special happening there in Los Angeles (maybe it’s the Rams). Their “home” ground was a bit of a distraction last season and should be more accustomed to playing at the StubHub Centre this year and be able to deal with the lack of home fans there (quite a lot of home games are against teams that don’t travel well too in terms of fanbase).

Key Storyline:  Can the Chargers avoid more injuries which could lead to a derailed season and give Rivers a final push at a deep playoff run?

Denver Broncos: 

Looking forward to seeing how the Broncos start the season, they could be another darkhorse for going deep in the postseason.

Case Keenum will need to hit ground running but has a great compliment of weapons surrounding him. I feel Royce Freeman will beat out Devontae Booker at the running back position but it could be a bit of a committee after the exit of CJ Anderson.

This could be the last hurrah for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at wide receiver, with draft picks Courtland Sutton and DeSean Hamilton a year or so away, they could seamlessly take over and will get some snaps this year.

Bradley Chubb, arguably the steal of the draft at pick 5 will be a monster on the other side of Von Miller and will make an immediate impact, but the back end of the defence will have to deal with the loss of Aqib Talib.

I feel as though a .500 season is about where the Broncos will aim for as a foundation and should be getting about 9 or 10 wins with the talent here.

Key Storyline:  Can Case Keenum replicate his form from last season?

Kansas City Chiefs:

Andy Reid made a big statement by trading Alex Smith to the Redskins and putting his faith into 2nd season QB Patrick Mahomes. The passing attack seemingly will be more of a vertical one (though Smith was the best deep passer of last season) which is also supported by the acquisition of Sammy Watkins from the Rams. Sammy really needs to put his stuff together otherwise his talent will go to waste.

Spencer Ware returns after missing the whole of last season and could be a sneaky value late in drafts if getting a bit of this backfield. Kareem Hunt, the leading rusher last year was only able to manage that feat due to Ware’s injury and a near 90% RB market share in terms of touches so it will be intriguing as to the allegiances and loyalties of Andy Reid between him and Ware.

The defence has lost Marcus Peters to the Rams and this could lead to some high scoring games at Arrowhead. The question is can Mahomes lead them to enough victories in his first full season as the signal caller.

Key Storyline: Has Andy Reid made the right call and can Patrick Mahomes lead this team or is it too premature for him?

Oakland Raiders:

Jon Gruden taking over from Jack Del (can of) Rio is one of the main off season stories and also his personnel changes have been somewhat eyebrow raising.

Jordy Nelson, Doug Martin and others are players that have come through the door in the offseason and it seems that this will either be a disaster, or a masterstroke. I will bet on the former if I had to choose and it will be fascinating to see how it plays out in Oakland. Their best offensive player has left for Baltimore in another strange deal and it seems as though they are intent on giving Amari Cooper full responsibility for their WR success this season. Considering his high drop rate and poor production last season, it is going to be high risk and high reward type stuff.

Gruden has said that he wants to run the ball and Marshawn Lynch performed well last year when many people doubted him. He could break down this season and Doug Martin was obviously brought in to help share the load, though he himself is prone to injury.

Regardless of what happens, it should be fun to watch…

Summary:

I think this is all set up for the Chargers this year. I am fully on the bandwagon and tip them to go all the way. The window for Rivers is closing but if it’s gonna be any year, this will be the one. Good value for all of the players in fantasy here in LA so make sure you get a piece.

If they fail, Denver could be a sneaky team at decent odds if Keenum is able to be anywhere near his abilities of last year at Minnesota. Their defence could have the old swagger back but they have enough on offence to win games in shootouts should their defence fail. The Denver players are fairly priced in drafts at the moment and could prove their worth come the end of the season.

Kansas City are the wildcard of the division and their range of outcomes is quite vast. If Mahomes slots in and plays well, they could be thereabouts come December though i feel their defence could let them down. Fantasy wise, Sammy Watkins is a value and must come up trumps soon. All the rest are overpriced and I wont take any part of Hill, Hunt, Kelce or Mahomes. Spencer Ware is a guy to watch in training camp.

Oakland possess a stay well clear sign for me and Gruden may have pulled a masterstroke in signing a 10 year (yes, 10 years potentially) contract for mega bucks ($100m) which could prove a costly investment and the source of laughter for years to come.

Dont be surprised if 2 teams come from this division for the playoffs.

Predictions:

  1. Los Angles Chargers,
  2. Denver Broncos,
  3. Kansas City Chiefs,
  4. Oakland Raiders

LEE

So after going over the best division in the conference last time out, today it’s the AFC West.

Let’s start with last season’s AFC West champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. A lot of people seem to be a lot lower on the Chiefs than last season which I think is slightly unfair. I do think they have lost a little bit of balance as their defense doesn’t look as good but I don’t think they’re going to be much worse.

They’re just going to be different; much more offensive and much more explosive. This is mainly down to the fact it’ll be Patrick Mahomes II under center as opposed to Alex Smith. This means more big plays and more excitement, which should be music to the ears of the likes of Tyreek Hill and new wideout, Sammy Watkins. It may also mean more turnovers due to the higher degree of difficulty and risk factor of of the throws Mahomes is going to be making. Another aspect of it is that even though he wasn’t completely redshirted as a rookie, this will essentially be the former Texas Tech star’s rookie year.

Another question mark is; Will Kareem Hunt suffer of sophomore slump and how will Spencer Ware taking away some of his carries affect the running game? Food for thought for fantasy as well as Andy Reid. The offense also lost Matt Nagy as OC, so how will the Chiefs cope with that?

However, even in the face of these questions the trump card is Andy Reid. Reid is one of the better regular season coaches in the history of the league and they still have a talented roster. Because of that, the Chiefs will still be in playoff contention, even if the defense isn’t as good and if it gets rocky for Mahomes in patches.

Next up, the Raiders…

I’m not really sure what to say here. The Raiders are either going to shock the world and be fantastic and the hire of Jon Gruden is going to look like a masterstroke or they’re going to be awful and look like a team trying to play football from a bygone era.

To give you an idea of why I say that; there have been rumours that Gruden has been using tape from the ‘70’s in meetings with Raiders players. Who does that?

There’s also the issue that Jon Gruden seems to be going about player recruitment like he’s trying to reassemble the team he won his fantasy league with in 2015 with the signings of Jordy Nelson and Doug Martin.

Then we come to the biggest issue, the Khalil Mack saga. Picture this, you’re Jon Gruden and you have one of the best pass rushers in the game and you don’t pay him, even worse, you’ve only been in contact with your star defensive player once since you were hired… you’re out of your mind, right? It’s getting really messy now Mack is missing time and there’s even some people talking about a trade.

Oakland have got some talent on their roster but there’s just too many questions and too many odd things surrounding the team for me to get too positive. They also need rebound seasons from the likes of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper! Waiting for me to get positive? Hmmm… let’s not talk about their draft. Good news? They’ll probably have a pretty high pick in the first round next year!

If I want to talk about a team that did draft well, then I can talk about the Denver Broncos. Annoyingly, as a Chargers fan, Denver had a really good draft and it will stand them in good stead for years to come. You can see the logic in a lot of their picks; Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton can replace Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in a year or two. Royce Freeman can nail down their starting running back spot. Bradley Chubb is the ideal running mate for Von Miller, a steal at 5th overall (if you can have a steal so high). Isaac Yiadom and Josey Jewell add good depth too.

The biggest negative for Denver in the off season was getting beat by Minnesota in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes. Although it was quite funny to see the front office react like a young guy who just got rejected by a girl he really liked by essentially coming out and saying, “I didn’t fancy her anyway, mate”. They did settle on the slightly less attractive Case Keenum. Who everyone is sort of waiting to turn into a pumpkin again, which I find slightly unfair because he was excellent last year. Keenum is just a system guy who will be hoping that Denver have the right one to fit him and his style. Denver will also he hoping the same as one of Paxton Lynch or Chad Kelly will be backing him up… yikes.

Overall Denver are going to be better, not championship contenders but if they completely click, maybe a wildcard spot is within reach. Fantasy wise, no guys you’re targeting really early but you could do worse than Thomas, Sanders or Freeman for depth, or Hamilton and Sutton for a dynasty stash.

Finally, my team, the Los Angeles Chargers. Now, as any regular reader or listener knows, or if you follow me on Twitter, I’m pretty positive when it comes to the Chargers and you’ve probably heard all my hype so I’ll keep this brief.

I loved the Chargers draft. Derwin James was a steal in the first, then after that they filled out positions of need throughout the rest of the next two days. Much like the Broncos draft, you can see the logic behind every pick. All the buzz and highlights out of training camp this week on the rookies have been really positive too.

On offense the only big negative is Hunter Henry’s injury and the void it leaves for a playmaker at tight end. I feel like the Bolts will give an opportunity to younger players and role with more three and four wide receiver sets. The rest of the offence is pretty complete, watch out for further improvement from Melvin Gordon and potential breakout seasons from Mike Williams and Forrest Lamp.

The defense looks equally complete with top players littering the secondary and the league’s best pass rushing pair up front. The weakness could be the linebackers as there’s no real star but watch out for Kyzir White, who is making the transition from safety to linebacker coming into the pros. He’s a hard hitter and the Chargers will be looking for him to use his coverage skills to good effect over the middle.

Another big plus point for the Chargers is that they kept their entire coaching staff together through the off season hires. Both Co-ordinators and their most talented position coaches such as Ron Milus and Giff Smith, the defensive backs and defensive line coaches, who will surely be being looked at for DC jobs all over the league.

You could say I’m bias but I truly believe the Chargers are the best team in the West and will win the division and they have a chance to go deep in the playoffs. As I’ve said in previous articles, I feel like the road to the Superbowl goes through either Jacksonville or Foxborough in the AFC and those would be tough games for L.A. but by no means impossible.

Fantasy wise; Melvin Gordon is a first round player, ditto Keenan Allen. Rivers is a nice QB to have on your roster, he’ll have the odd down week but he will average a healthy amount of points per week. Deeper sleepers will be Mike Williams and potentially Tyrell Williams. A deeper dive could be Austin Ekeler for deeper leagues.

Prediction, won’t shock anyone but…

  1. Chargers
  2. Chiefs
  3. Broncos
  4. Raiders

Podcast 20 – Electing to Punt

Adam Walford from Touchdown Tips (@Touchdowntips,TDtips.com) joins us as we speculate to accumulate!

We give you a great nugget of advice for betting on the antepost markets and we tell you which song you should listen to when watching any Bills games this year!
Great episode!

We have £100 of mythical money to spread over markets such as:

  • Super Bowl/ Conference Outrights,
  • Division winners,
  • Most Pass/Rush/Rec yards,
  • End of season awards &
  • Request a bet specials.

The full list will be on the punting page and we encourage you to send us yours! We will keep a track of them all on a spreadsheet and announce the winner at the end of the season! You have to have at least 1 bet in each of the categories to qualify.