Fantasy: Dynasty Sells

By Andy Goddard (@Godsy1985)

NFL Fantasy – Dynasty Sells

Image credit: Jim Brown – USA Today Sports

Derrick Henry RB – Tennesse Titans


First on my list of dynasty sells is Derrick Henry. Henry drove the Titans to the 2019 playoffs with his powerful running and it appeared that defenders were scared to try and tackle him. In fact, during one run, Henry used Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas as his lead blocker when a devastating stiff arm spun Thomas around! Henry rushed for 1540 yards  and 16 touchdowns in the 2019 regular season, eclipsing his best ever season by nearly 500 yards! He then backed this up with another 446 yards and two touchdowns during the 2019 playoffs. So why does he make the ‘sell’ list?

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In my opinion, Henry has reached the ceiling and with that, his maximum value. I would certainly be putting the feelers out there to see exactly what you can get for him. Henry has been in the league for 4 seasons and whilst he has been improving year on year, he will not eclipse last seasons performances. Before 2019, Henry had a best season of 1059 yards and 12 touchdowns and in the previous 2 seasons hadn’t reached 1000 yards and only managed 5 touchdowns each year.

There is no doubting that Henry is one of the better running backs in the league at this moment in time but when playing dynasty, you need to capitalise on players at their maximum value. I think Henry’s first three seasons are a better representation of what you can expect if you hold onto him. Don’t expect him to clock up over 1500 yards each year. Get the value now as someone is always desperate for a running back and will no doubt overpay for someone like Henry!


(Image credit: Katharine Lotze – Getty Images)

James Conner RB – Pittsburgh Steelers


At the beginning of last season, James Conner started as the 8th running back taken in the draft (on average) and has now fallen to an average draft position (ADP) of running back 22! The main issue here is health. In 2019 Conner played just 10 games and rushed for a measly 464 yards with a longest run of just 25 yards. There was a lot of hype and expectation on Conner when he took over from Le’Veon Bell and he produced a good year in 2018, rushing for 973 yards and adding 497 receiving yards.

James Conner is still rumoured to be the starting running back for the Steelers franchise (according to Steelers GM Kevin Colbert) which means that he will still have value now. If you are of the belief that he won’t regain the form of 2018, then his value will only drop. If you aren’t sold on him I would consider using him as trade bait. If you want to keep him, he is a third running back at best right now.


(Image credit: Matthew Stockman – Getty Images)

Phillip Lindsay RB – Denver Broncos


Phillip Lindsay is one of the most frustrating players in fantasy football. You can watch the highlights and think he is lighting it up every week but if you delve into the stats he just wasn’t consistent enough. Lindsay will get 20+ points one week and 3 the next! He has value though. If you look at the seasonal stats he has amassed over 1000 yards in each of his first two seasons with 1037 and 1011 yards respectively.

In my opinion, he won’t make it to 1000 yards again in 2020 and his value will drop. Going into 2020, Lindsay will now be splitting time with Melvin Gordon and/or Royce Freeman which will limit his opportunities and he needs to make bigger improvements in the receiving game where he did not have 1 single touchdown in 2019. There just aren’t enough upsides to keep Lindsay right now. Whilst you may have lost the value with the Gordon move, still try and move him on to someone that is a bit more bullish about Lindsay.


(Image credit: Aaron Doster – USA Today Sports)

AJ Green WR – Cincinnati Bengals


AJ Green is a stellar wide receiver, there is no doubting his ability. However, he missed the entirety of the 2019 season due to injury and only played 10 games the year before. He is also 31 years old. Whichever way you look at it, the value that you can potentially get for Green is only going to go down. He may still be of value to a team that is looking for a short-term guy to help win a championship in 2020 or 2021. He certainly won’t be an option for a team that is currently in rebuild mode.

This is where you need to know your league and the teams that make it up. If you know that there is another team that may be one receiver short of having a real chance at winning the championship, you may be able to get some value for Green. AJ Green will likely be staying in Cincinnati and he will probably have rookie QB Joe Burrow throwing him the ball. If he can stay healthy, he is still one of the best receivers in the league. Its a risk to trade him but also a risk to trade for him!


(Image credit: Scott Varley – Staff Photographer)

Keenan Allen WR – LA Chargers


In 2017, Keenan Allen finally proved that he could stay healthy and since then he has amassed three seasons where he has averaged over 100 receptions and over 1200 yards. As good as these numbers appear, he hasn’t been able to score more than six touchdowns each year. He is also losing Philip Rivers at QB. No matter who is under centre for the Chargers next year, it won’t be a big upgrade on Rivers. The uncertainty that Allen now faces leaves a little bit of a problem for dynasty owners. He has been producing good numbers but we have no idea who will be throwing to him in 2020.

You can get good value for Allen and replace him with a young receiver from the draft as his name will still carry a lot of weight. If you can manage to get a mid first round pick for him, you can let the new owner deal with the wide range of possible outcomes for Allen in 2020.

Legal Tampering Period – The Losers

By Adam Walford (@touchdowntips)

Following on from Rob Grimwood’s fantastic post on the winners yesterday I’ve been tasked, quite suitably, with the pessimism, the misery, the teams who did sweet FA, or in the case of the Texans. Worse.


Texans get their pants pulled down by the Cardinals.


In one of the weirder trades of recent times the Arizona Cardinals acquired one of the best three receivers in the game for essentially a bag of chips, and not a nice bag of chips, those “baked” one’s by walkers. It’s another moves by GM/Head coach/Supreme Leader Bill O’Brien which has stymied the masses. Oh, and they then went and signed Randall Cobb on a 3 year deal to try and placate the masses. Weird.

Image result for david johnson
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Additionally they took on the FULL CONTRACT for David Johnson, the full $10.2m contract, for a back who has struggled with injury and form since breaking onto the scene a few years ago. That’s a lot of cash for a running back especially when you’ve got one of the better pass catching backs in the league on your roster already in the shape of Duke Johnson. For the record, I like DJ and I hope he can get back to form, but it’s still a lot of cash to spend on an RB.


David Njoku has some competition, and apparently he welcomes it.


After being drafted at 29 in the 2017 draft there were high hopes for the super-athletic tight end in Cleveland, but a series of niggling injuries and being unable to get together a decent run of games has hit his stock and led his team to bring in Austin Hooper on a big money deal from the Falcons. Neither of them are really blocking TEs, so it’s direct competition, and in those cases the more expensive man usually get the bulk of it all.

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Bengals fall even further behind in the North.


It’d be remiss of me to dampen the spirits of my team and their fans even more. After being quoted by reporters as “being active in free agency” they once again sat and watched as players who’d have improved their roster immediately were picked up for decent deals, the likes of Jack Conklin to the Browns on a 3 year, 42m deal. Nick Kwiatowski to the Raiders for 13m a year both positions of need for the Bengals, and both strengthen AFC teams.

Image result for calais campbell
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens have also made moves over the last week which further strengthen them, bringing in Calais Campbell and Michael Brockers to add even more to their defensive line, then getting a pick back for Hayden Hurst. They’re taking full advantage of having a rookie QB on a cheap deal.

And the Steelers will be welcoming back the 400lb man at QB which might make them better at that position for next year.


Josh Allen is digging it, but I’m not too sure.


The Bills paid a whole hell of a lot to Stefon Diggs, a 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th for Diggs and a 7th round pick… It’s a lot more than I thought the Vikings would get for someone who so clearly wanted out and bitched and cried about it publicly.

The Vikings get a ton of picks and him off their payroll. Diggs gets to join a team with an inaccurate QB and probably get further frustrated further down the road. Pairing the best route runner in the league with the least accurate QB is an interesting one, hopefully for them it’s a little chicken and egg and it bring Allen up.

Image result for stefon diggs
Bruce Kluckhohn/AP

However, I do get the trade, there’s blood in the water with the Pats possibly losing Brady and their offensive issues on the whole. So while it’s a big payout it could work out well for them.


They gave Jimmy Graham HOW MUCH?!


Why on earth would anyone be money on Jimmy Graham? I wasn’t sure he’d get picked up at all, let alone on a 2 year, $16m deal. But Matt Nagy and the Bears seem determined to keep on paying up at tight end. One of the more perplexing moves done yesterday.

Image result for jimmy graham
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

They’re also still without a functional quarterback and supposedly interested in Andy Dalton and Nick Foles. The Bengals apparently want a 3rd for Dalton, the Jags reportedly want to keep Foles (They take a big dead cap hit if he leaves so may as well keep him) Both are upgrades on Trubisky, but still. It’s not an enviable situation.

Season in Review – Cincinnati Bengals

By Shaun Blundell (@Shaun_F10Y)

Today’s flashback to the 2019 NFL season is through the lens of Bengals fans. Let’s get to it!


entering the season

All off season it seemed as though the entire NFL was on the hunt for the “next Sean McVay”. Well the winners of that race was to be the Bengals as they snagged Zac Taylor to lead the franchise after finally parting ways with Marvin Lewis.

Was this finally the year that Andy Dalton moved out of the definition of bang average to something better than that? Would the offence have more variety and explosion? Could AJ Green stay healthy?

Defensively there was a lack of firepower going in and the Bengals polarised opinion form being basement dwellers to one of the league’s most under-rated teams.


during the season

On the road in week 1 to Seattle is never an easy assignment but the Bengals pushed them all the way and were unfortunate not to leave with a win.

Some further close defeats followed at the hands of the Bills, Cardinals and Ravens as the Bengals failed to register in the win column before making the trip across the pond to battle the rams at Wembley Stadium. Unfortunately for UK fans the losing streak continued as the Rams took care of business. Attention started to turn towards the 2020 season and if the Bengals could register a win at all during the campaign.

Image Credit – Wilfredo Lee / AP

A move at quarterback followed the bye week with Ryan Finley, who had been impressive in preseason, given the opportunity to start week 10. His 3 game audition bought 3 more defeats to move the record to 0-11 before the ginger prince was reinstated into the lineup for the week 13 encounter with the Jets.

December 1st was the 1st win of the Bengals season and in the coaching career of Zac Taylor as the Bengals caught the Jets on one of their regular an off days to win 22-6. A return to losing ways followed however and a week 16 loss to the Miami Dolphins secured the number 1 pick in the 2020 draft for the Bengals.


offseason outlook

The excitement will now build for the franchise as we head towards the draft. Most draft analysts will have them slated to take Joe Burrow to become the signal caller on a team that has had 10 years of middling play at the position. However, do not be fooled into thinking that the problems on this team all stem from Andy Dalton.

Image result for joe burrow
Image Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty

There are issues on the offensive line (seemingly always), AJ Green never saw the field this year and is likely done in the jungle so a new wide receiver is needed.

Upgrades are required throughout the defence and it would be wrong to not at least debate if Zac Taylor is the right guy after a 2 win season.

There appears to be plenty of work ahead in Cincinnati to reshape the Bengals into a competitive unit. I wouldn’t rule out a trade down from number 1 overall if the can find a willing trade partner, with the Dolphins sitting at 5 (and armed with ammo) the most likely candidate in this scenario. 

F10Y Retro – Coach Vault (#1) – Sam Wyche

by Lawrence Vos (@F10YRetro & @NFLFANINENGLAND

With the very sad passing of former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Sam Wyche this month (January 2020) I thought it would be highly appropriate to conduct the first unlocking of the F10Y Retro Coach Vault by going back to the 1960s before travelling back to the future to a time when there were no iPhones and Tom Brady was an 11 year old 49ers fan. Enjoy…..

You may have heard of the AFL, which was the rival league to the NFL back in the 1960s, before it merged with its bigger and richer rival in 1970. A league you likely haven’t heard of is the Continental Football League (COFL), which lasted five seasons from 1965-69. 

A 1967 COFL programme

The COFL featured some incredibly exotic names including the Neptunes (Norfolk), the Vulcans (Akron) and the Charter Oaks (Hartford). The league also hosted the Wheeling Ironmen from West Virginia who in 1966 and 1967 were led by quarterback Sam Wyche, former Furmer Paladins College starter. 

In Wyche’s first season (1966) he was part of a 0-14 team, and in his second season (1967) headlining the Ironmen he could have legitimately faced the San Jose Apaches – led by a first time head coach by the name of Bill Walsh. More about him later.

One of Wyche’s colleagues in 1966, defensive lineman Bob Brown, went on to play in January the following year for the Green Bay Packers in the first ever Super Bowl, and even recorded a sack. 

A year before the COFL folded for good (1968) Wyche signed with the NFL’s rival league the AFL and for the expansion franchise Cincinnati Bengals. He played three games as an AFL rookie, winning one, and then in 1969 he made three more starts but failed to win a game. 

Picture credit: Pinterst.com

In 1970 Wyche was part of the AFL’s merger with the NFL, and bizarrely started exactly three games again, gaining his first NFL and only NFL win in a 31-21 Week 1 victory against the Oakland Raiders.

From 1971 to 1972 Wyche went on to play for the Washington Redskins, holding the snap for the extra point in a 7-14 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VII. After brief stints in Detroit and St Louis Wyche left the NFL as a player in 1976 with a 2-7 starting record having thrown 12 career touchdowns. 

Wyche has always had a keen eye on coaching and as far back as 1967 he served as an assistant coach for the South Carolina Gamecocks whilst studying for his Masters Degree. 

Having spent three years out of the NFL in 1979 Wyche was hired by the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Bill Walsh, as an assistant coach and passing game coordinator. 

Wyche (far left) Walsh (left) and Joe Montana in 1979
Picture credit: 49erswebzone.com

This was the 1979 49ers that drafted QB Joe Montana in the 3rd round and WR Dwight Clark in the 10th round, had O.J. Simpson in the backfield and Tony Dungy playing in the secondary. Dungy went on to coach the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl win in 2007. 

The ’79 49ers went 2-14, improved to 6-10 in 1980 and then stunned the world by winning Super Bowl XVI, by beating the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21, taking a 20-0 half-time lead before holding back a furious Bengals comeback in the 4th quarter. 

Under the tutelage of Coach Wyche Joe Montana won his first championship ring going 14 of 22 for 157 yards, passing for a score and rushing for one too, without throwing an interception. 

In 1982 the 49ers were unable to even reach the playoffs and in a strike shortened season the finished a disappointing 3-6. 

Wyche took the opportunity in 1983 to gain experience as a first time head coach, and took up the offer to be the head man at Indiana University, where he only managed three wins in his only season in charge. 

The Hoosiers starting QB in 1983 was Steve Bradley, who went on to be drafted by Wyche in 1986, and make just one NFL start (in 1987 for the Chicago Bears). Bradley’s backup in ’83 was Cam Cameron who went on to become the Hoosiers head coach (1997-2001) and then the Miami Dolphins head coach in 2007, going a disastrous 1-15. 

Having not found a home in college football Wyche was then given an opportunity to become an NFL head coach in 1984, by none other than the team that signed him as a player sixteen seasons before – the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Photo credit: Al Messerschmidt

Recruited in late December 1983 Wyche masterminded the drafting of QB Boomer Esiason in the second round of the 1984 NFL Draft. Esiason was the first quarterback selected in the ’84 Draft. 

Coach Wyche led the Bengals to a 29-34 record from 1984 to 1987, before taking the Bengals to their second Super Bowl appearance in the 1988 season, remaining the last time they have represented the AFC in the big game. 

The game, Super Bowl XXIII resulted in a second heartbreaking finals loss for the Bengals as Wyche’s former boss Bill Walsh and the San Francisco 49ers, led by Joe Montana, produced a legendary fourth quarter drive, number 16 finding WR John Taylor in the end-zone for the winning score late in the final period.

Photo credit: Associated Press

Along with reaching the Super Bowl the 1988 Bengals are known as the pioneers, under Coach Wyche, of the no huddle or hurry-up offense as a default throughout games, and not just in the final two minutes of each half. (The no-huddle offense generally sees huddling taking place nearer to the line of scrimmage and looking as if a unit is going to snap the ball, meaning defenders are unable to substitute to match up against offensive formations.)

in 1989 the Bengals wen 8-8, before slightly improving in 1990 to 9-7 and a Wild cCard berth as Coach Wyche managed something no subsequent Bengals head coach has managed since, a playoff win. The Bengals beat the Houston Oilers 41-14 at home in the Wild Card before being knocked out a week later by the Raiders. 

29 seasons later Wyche remains the last Bengals head coach to win a playoff game as Cincinnati have lost their last 7 playoff games – all Wild Cards, including consecutive post-season defeats from 2011-2015. 

Wyche left the Bengals after a poor 3-13 1991 season, and was immediately snapped up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Four losing seasons (1992-1995) were an unfortunate way for Wyche to end his NFL coaching career.

Picture credit: Tim Defrisco/AllSport

Whilst Wyche was not in post to see the Buccaneers win their only Super Bowl (XXXVII) in 2003, he was the head coach responsible for drafting the three cornerstones to that success, Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and now San Francisco 49ers General Manager John Lynch. 

Wyche, who passed away on January 2 2020, compiled a 84-107 regular season coaching record, and a winning 3-2 playoff record. He lost a Super Bowl as a backup QB, won one as a QB coach and lost a second as a head coach. 

A remarkable football career that started professionally with the Wheeling Ironmen of the COFL in 1966 and ended over half a century later in 2019 as an offensive coordinator for Pickens High School in South Carolina in 2019.

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We hope you enjoyed the first opening of the Full 10 Yards Coach Vault, and if you would like to suggest a coach to feature please hit me up on Twitter @F10YRetro .  

Half-Term report – AFC/NFC North

It’s just about the half way point in the NFL regular season. Sad times.

In this series of articles, we take a look back over those 8 glorious weeks of pigskin action and also project how the 2nd half of the season will play out.


AFC North

By Shaun Blundell (@Shaun_F10Y)

Current Standings

  1. Baltimore Ravens 5-2
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers 2-4
  3. Cleveland Browns 2-5
  4. Cincinnati Bengals 0-8

*BALTIMORE RAVENS*

Midseason grade: B+

How has it gone so far?

The Ravens came flying out of the blocks with bug wins against the Dolphins and Cardinals. Back to back defeats to the Chiefs and the Browns raised questions about if this team was “for real” but a subsequent 3 game winning streak including an impressive road win in Seattle sees the Ravens with a healthy lead in the division. 

Lamar Jackson is on historic pace for yards on the ground and has shown progress throwing the football in year 2. The defence isn’t as feared as it once was but still ranks highly and is 11th against the pass and 2nd against the run respectively.

Rest of Season Outlook

It’s fair to say that the schedule stiffens for the Ravens down the stretch. With games to come against opponents with a plus 500 record in the Patriots,Texans, Rams, 49ers and Bills. A weak division means this commanding lead would appear to be extremely secure however with a divisional game against each opponent and the lowly Jets providing the other contest. Even on a “worse case scenario” basis you have to fancy the Ravens getting to at least 9-7 from here and that should be ample to win the division.

Regular Season Record Prediction: 10-6 – Division Winners


*CLEVELAND BROWNS*

Midseason grade: D

How has it gone so far?

The product has certainly not lived up to the preseason hype. Steamrolled by the Titans and 49ers along with close losses to the Rams and Seahawks the Browns face an uphill tussle to get back to relevance in the division. A defeat coming out of the bye week to the Patriots has again raised questions about discipline and preparation 

A big road win at Baltimore was the lone bright spark on what has been a disappointing campaign. The promising end to the 2019 season seems like a distant memory and Baker Mayfield appears to be regressing in year 2.

Rest of Season Outlook

Ironically despite the record, everything is still in play for the Browns. The schedule is such that 5 divisional games remain and as stated earlier, they have won the only game of such nature to date. The plan will be to go 6-0 in the AFC North and hope that tie breakers enable them to find a way into a wildcard berth. For that to happen though they need to improve massively, reducing turnovers and penalties, a category that they lead the league in with an average of 10 per game.

The talent is there, can they turn it around?

Regular Season Record Prediction: 7-9 – Miss Playoffs


*PITTSBURGH STEELERS*

Midseason grade: C

How has it gone so far?

Smashed by the Patriots on opening night and losing your starting quarterback part way through your 2nd game isn’t exactly the way the Steelers drew up the plans for this season. The reality is though that the Steelers season was probably over before it had even really began following the QB injury. Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges have anchored the squad to some respectable performances and with a turnover differential of plus 7 they are getting opportunities within games.

Big names JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner have struggled to reproduce anything close to what they did a year ago and the offence lacks weapons outside these 2. Defensively the rank middle of the pack but an in season trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick signals intent to improve the playmaking on the back end.

Rest of Season Outlook

Similar to the Browns in that the division schedule is heavily back loaded so 4 games still to play in that regard and an opportunity if they can build momentum to make a late run. Difficult to trust that Mason Rudolph will be able to get them there however. Ranked 30th in both team passing and rushing there just isn’t enough production from this unit. The defence ranks 6th in points allowed so the Steelers will stick around in games but its hard to see anything better than a 500 record at this point.

Regular Season Record Prediction: 6-10 – Miss Playoffs


*CINCINNATI BENGALS*

Midseason grade: E

How has it gone so far?

A record of 0-8 will pretty much answer that question. With the worst record in the NFL at the week 8 stage the Bengals can’t get any worse. Ranked 28th offensively and 27th defensively, unfortunately there is not an obvious quick fix as the poor play is on both sides of the ball. 

Offensively AJ Green has not been able to dress after picking up an injury in the preseason and Joe Mixon has not been able to get anything going on the ground. Defensively the pass rush has been a little non-existent with only 9 sacks and they have not taken the ball away with any regularity.

Rest of Season Outlook

There are some winnable games on the schedule with games against the Browns, Dolphins and Jets all on the horizon so nobody should be panicking around a 0-16 season just yet. Unfortunately for the Bengals, wins will now likely only hinder draft capital as the season is well and truly lost. 

The remaining games need to be used as an assessment of the roster and a decision needs to be made with regards to the long term future of Zach Taylor. The Bengals are very likely to pick high in the upcoming draft and now that Ryan Finley is in the driving seat, his performances over the back nine will determine how high up in the rounds they take their next QB (if at all).

Regular Season Record Prediction: 2-14 – Top 3 pick

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NFC NORTH

By Chris Todd (@ctdk1980)

Current Standings

  1. Green Bay Packers (7-1)
  2. Minnesota Vikings (6-2)
  3. Detroit Lions (3-3-1)
  4. Chicago Bears (3-4)

*GREEN BAY PACKERS*

Midseason grade: A

How has it gone so far?

One of the most intriguing storylines to follow at the beginning of the season was the union of new HC Matt Lafleur and franchise QB Aaron Rodgers, so far the results have been good with the offence improving with every game.

In the early part of the season, it was the defence that was leading the team, DC Mike Pettine’s unit looking vastly improved from the previous year. Free agent signees Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith have contributed hugely, added to standout corner Jaire Alexander and leading tackler in the NFL Blake Martinez, have led to a unit that may have conceded yards but has stood up when needed.

Given the injury suffered by leading receiver Davante Adams, Rodgers has entered one of his hot streaks at precisely the right time.

Rest of Season Outlook

The Packers look well set for a playoff run, time will tell whether it will take them all the way to Miami in February. With the head to head wins vs all their division opponents thus far, they are looking quite rosy to maybe even push for a wildcard round bye.

Regular Season Record Prediction: 12-4

*MINNESOTA VIKINGS*

Midseason grade: B

How has it gone so far?

Behind the leading rusher in the NFL in Dalvin Cook, the Vikings have bulldozed their way into the playoff discussion. Beyond this though, there has been some discord within the group, notably receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen expressing frustration with the offence. Kirk Cousins’ improved play of late has helped to quell these noises, with Diggs especially going on a tear of late to the tune of 453 receiving yards in the last 3 weeks. The defence has continued to perform at a high level throughout, with Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen and Eric Kendricks particularly impressing.

Rest of Season Outlook:

With the talent throughout on the defensive side of the ball, and if the offensive line can support Dalvin Cook, this team can compete with anyone. They’ll need continuing support from Kirk Cousins though, where for some, the questions remain. They’ll need to settle the score with the Packers in the return fixture and also negotiate a tough stretch immediately starting with the Chiefs and then the Cowboys. Negotiate that, they could look at a first round bye.

Regular Season Record Prediction: 11-5



*DETROIT LIONS*

Midseason Grade: C

How has it gone so far?

The Lions have been competitive in every game this season and could easily find themselves right in the mix for a playoff spot. However, poor execution at crucial times have led to a middle of the pack record. They have lost late leads in 2 of their losses to the Chiefs and the Packers as well as in the tie with the Cardinals, with redzone inefficiency plaguing them in the Packers loss in particular.

There have been high spots for the team with QB Matthew Stafford having a very good year. Kenny Golladay and Kerryon Johnson have also been playmakers this year before the latter’s injury, TJ Hockenson has hinted at what might be to come from the TE position too.

Perhaps surprisingly, given HC Matt Patricia’s pedigree, the defence has been the bigger issue. They have struggled especially against the run, where Mike Daniels’ injury has been especially problematic.

Quandre Diggs’ recent trade to Seattle has been met with scepticism too, depriving the back end of the defence with one of their key players.

Rest of Season Outlook

Judging by the 2 teams that preceeded them in this Half-Term report, it is probably a long shot that the Lions taste January football this year, but as a long term view, the Lions fans must be optimistic about some playoff football sooner rather than later. That being said, their schedule does not look too tough with games against Oakland, a double header vs the Bears along with tussles against the Broncos, Redskins and Buccaneers.

Regular Season Record Prediction: 8-7-1


*CHICAGO BEARS*

Midseason grade: D

How has it gone so far?

The expected step forward for the Bears offence in the second year of HC Matt Nagy’s reign has yet to come to fruition. The offence currently ranks 27th in PPG, with both the run and pass games struggling to get out of second gear.

While QB Mitch Trubisky has yet to prove his pedigree as a starting calibre player at this level, playcalling has also been an issue at times. The coaches have seemed to go away from the run too early at times, placing too much pressure on the young signal caller. While Trubisky’s development is crucial to the future success of the Bears, at the moment the best chance of success would surely involve committing fully to the rungame and using Trubisky to take judicious shots downfield to keep the defences honest.

The defence is still performing at a very high level (if not quite the league leading unit of 2018), Mack, Trevathan, Floyd, Goldman, Clinton-Dix, Fuller et al are still a fearsome unit, although lineman Akiem Hicks is a big loss after his loss to IR following his elbow injury.

It wouldn’t be a Bears season without kicking troubles either, following Eddy Piniero’s potential game winning missed kick in week 8.

Rest of Season Outlook

While this team certainly could go on a run, they have a hard road back to the playoffs with games remaining against fellow NFC playoff hopefuls Eagles, Packers, Cowboys, Rams. Possibly the best case scenario for the Bears would be that week 17 at the Vikings ended up a playoff eliminator, they have a lot of work in front of them to get that far.

Regular Season Record Prediction: 7-9

Week 8 Best Bets

Week 8 time and as it’s the first Wembley game, Adam and Tim have once again gone for a £100 challenge between the Rams and Bengals.

Don’t forget to check out the podcast where we go through all our reasoning for this and our best bets below!

Some of the handicap lines may have changed since Saturday’s recording due to injury information, but there’s not a lot i can do about that.

Send us your best bets for week 8 over @full10yards on Twitter!! Check out Adam’s fine work over at tdtips.com

Good luck with all your bets, make sure you are gambling responsibly and have a great time if you are at Wembley today!!

Top 5 London International Series moments

By Tim Monk (@Tim_MonkF10Y)

It’s the first of 4 London games this weekend as part of the International Series, so let’s take a trip down memory lane at 5 memorable moments in the history of the game played this side of the pond.


5. Allen Hurns TD vs Buffalo


Image Credit: Getty Images

Despite 4 punts in the opening 5 drives, this game came alive shortly after as Buffalo and Jacksonville traded blows. In what was supposed to be an easier assignment than other years at “home”, the Jags raced out to a 27-3 lead. Then 28 unanswered points from Buffalo, led by EJ Manuel saw the Bills take the lead inside of 5 minutes left in the game.

Blake Bortles then escapes the pressure, rolls to his left and throws a pinpoint 31 yard bomb in to the front corner of the endzone where Allen Hurns managed to dive, touch his elbow/shoulder in bounds on the slide for one of the best touchdowns seen at Wembley stadium.


4. The tied game/Missed field goal


Image Credit: Sports Illustrated

Washington and Cincinatti produced a decent matchup in this International Series game but it was a game full of turnovers and missed field goals.

Kirk Cousins threw for 458 yards (might take him a whole season to accomplish that this year!) in a game that was nip and tuck all game.

In overtime, Kirk Cousins drove 67 yards to the Bengals 16 yards line for Dustin Hopkins to miss the 34 yard field goal, leading to the first ever tie in London.


3. Matt Prater field goal


The Detroit Lions found themselves 21-0 down at half time in this one despite being the favourites. They were still 21-10 down going in to the 4th quarter.

Deep in the 4th, the Lions managed to score a touchdown but FAIL the 2pt conversion, leaving the score at 21-19 to the Falcons. The Falcons were unable to run the clock down and left 1:38 on the clock after pinning the Lions down inside their own 10.

Matthew Stafford drove the Lions down immediately, with big plays to Golden Tate and Theo Riddick. After a Stafford spike, there was :04 left in the game. Matt Prater steps up and misses from 43 yards. However, due to a delay of game penalty, Prater got another shot 5 yards further back. Of course, he nails it straight through and the comeback is complete.


2. Titans Tried for 2


Image Credit: Associated Press

In a strange game between the Titans and the Chargers, the trend for going for two at the death may have started here.

Down for the majority of the game, the Titans thought they found the endzone on 3rd and goal on a Mariota scramble but was overruled. On 4th and goal, they go to Luke Stocker on the run fake with 35 seconds left on the clock.

Mike Vrabel and co decided to get out with the win by trying to go for a two point conversion.

Mariota’s pass to Tajae Sharp was incomplete, but due to defensive holding, they get another go from the 1 yard line. Give it to Derrick Henry. No, don’t be silly. They try another play deep in the tomfoolery playbook to Taywan Taylor but Adrian Phillips was able to tip the pass, giving the Chargers the win.


1. Landon Calling


Couldn’t get through the article without a pun (and it’s a beauty to be fair!) but here is one for the defensive guys!

In a cold Autumn evening in Twickenham, there was a red hot play on the defensive side of the ball.

In what was a pretty poor game overall, the one highlight was with the Giants 10-3 behind, Landon Collins picking off Case Keenum at the 45 yards line and literally going through the whole Rams team into the endzone.

This helped the Giants facilitate a 17-10 win at the home of Rugby and is regarded by many as the single greatest play in London to date.

Full10Lookahead – Week 4

By Tim Monk, Lawrence Vos and Shaun Blundell

Week 4 already here folks! Why does it go so quickly?!?!

Without wasting any more time thinking about such things, here is what we ehre at F10Y HQ are thinking about as we look ahead to the week’s action.


Die Eagles Die!

As a Cowboys fan, this could be a huge week for America’s Team.

A depleted Eagles team travel on a short week to Lambeau field to face a resurgent Packers defence and Aaron Rodgers. At 1-2, this is potentially already a must win game for an Eagles team without a plethora of talent on both sides of the ball. A loss here coupled with a Dallas Cowboys win vs a Drew Bree-less Saints, and the cowboys could be 3 games ahead in the NFC East.

Yes, there are still the 2 divisional games they have to play in Week 7 and 16, but the Eagles will not want to go in to the week 7 game finding themselves 3 games back and having to win that one.

If there is one team who is set up to come from disadvantageous situations such as this though, it’s Wentz, Pederson and the 2018 Super Bowl Champions. They’ll need to achieve what noone outside the NFC North has done this far in 2019, beat an NFC North team. NFC North vs all opposition outside division- 7-0-1.


Water Under the Bridge(water)

Image Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Teddy Bridgewater put in a composed performance at CenturyLink Field last week, condemning Pete Carroll to his first loss in September at home in his tenure as the Seahawks HC. No turnovers, but no aggressive play calling either as Bridgewater only threw the ball once over 15 yards, and that was incomplete.

That’s a sign of a good head coach though, putting plans in place to help his players succeed as easily as possible.

Bridgewater and co return home this week in primetime to face a 3-0 Cowboys team that are looking to wrap up the NFC East as early as possible.

Will Sean Payton be more aggressive with how he gameplans for Bridgewater? Or will it be more of the dink and dunk style we saw last Sunday? Either way, everything will probably need to right to have any chance of winning, even at home. If Teddy Bridgewater does come away with a victory and puts in another assured performance, maybe i’ll let bygones be bygones and take notice of the understudy in “Naw’lins”.


Multiplication and Division

Some tasty divisional games this week which will go some way in determining final finishing positions like they do every year.

This week sees all of the AFC North squaring up as the Ravens and the Browns face off and someone’s 0 must go when Pittsburgh face the Bengals. If the Ravens win this one, it could be a long rest of the season for the other 3 teams as the Ravens will have a couple of games on the field and an early tiebreaker.

The NFC North gets in on some divisional action as well which pits the Vikings against the Bears, where both teams need the win having both already lost to the 3-0 Packers, the loser of this game may start to fall back in the wildcard playoff race.

Talking of 3-0, we have a 3-0 bowl in Buffalo where the Patriots will want to put the Bills in their place in the AFC East. Surely Buffalo will come unstuck against the masters. Worth noting that New England have not lost in Buffalo since 2011 and only twice in the Tom Brady era.

Other div matchups that maybe aren’t as important in terms of playoffs and divisional races sees that Seahawks travel the Glendale to try and get back to winning ways as they face the winless Cardinals and Kyler Murray and finally, the Redskins travel to Big blue to face Danny Dimes and a Barkley-less Giants.

Divisional games are always hotly contested and form some of the most heated rivalries in the sport so whichever one you may end up watching should be a good one. Well, maybe except the Giants/Redskins game. Yawn.


Homefield Disadvantage

Image Credit – Dennis Wierzbicki / USA TODAY Sports

It feels as though each week Patrick Mahomes does something that we have never seen before in the NFL.

After tying Kurt Warner’s record of most 300 yard games within his first 20 career starts last weekend, what will be the record he smashes this week? Well how about a cast iron guarantee, Mahomes will throw for more yards in a domed stadium then he ever has before. Sunday will mark the first time in his 21 career starts when the Chiefs signal caller will suit up with a roof over his head as the Lions host the Chiefs.

How about a bold prediction? The single game passing yardage record of 554 yards held by Norm Van Brocklin falls in this game. Why not? Mahomes seems set to break every other record going. With perfect conditions in his favour expect to see the young quarterback shine yet again.


Myles Better Than Lamar

Image Credit – John Kuntz / cleveland.com

2 hype trains are on an AFC North collision course this weekend as the Browns face Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

It was a “back to reality” type of game for Jackson last week where he found not facing the teams ranked 29th and 32nd defensively rather tricky. His final stat line could and should have been much worse with some ill advised heaves and garbage time yards padding his overall figures. On the opposite side of the field this week he gets Myles Garrett who has 6 sacks to his name already through 3 games this year.

For all the offensive hype preseason, Garrett has been the Browns most dominant player and will look to continue his hot start to the campaign. This promises to be a stellar match up for years to come and Jackson will be advised running away from the Browns #95 if he relies on his legs too often this weekend.


Hyde & Seek

Image Credit – Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle 

The Texans traded a conditional 3rd round pick for Duke Johnson on the eve of the 209 season, 3 games in and he appears to have gotten lost. Johnson touched the ball just 4 times in last Sundays victory over the LA Chargers.

He is currently being out played by Carlos Hyde. Hyde had been with the Chiefs during camp but was also traded for by the Texans following the Lamar Miller injury in preseason. This was supposed to be Johnson’s opportunity to shine after becoming frustrated at dropping down the Browns depth chart previously.

With the season reaching the quarter pole it will be interesting to see how the Texans backfield continues to be utilised. Johnson’s strength is catching the ball out of the backfield but at the moment he looks like nothing more than a very poor man’s James White.


Someone’s “0” Has Got To Go

Image Credit – Jason Bridge / USA Today Sports

ESPN must have really annoyed someone at the league office. This weeks Monday Night Football offering sees a battle of 2 teams yet to taste victory this year. The Bengals travel to Heinz Field to take on the Steelers with both looking to kick start their respective campaigns.

The Steelers will be once again suiting up Mason Rudolph behind center as he gets his 2nd consecutive start. Outside of 2 big plays last week he went 12/25 for 59 yards with an interception. James Conner is under 100 yards on the ground in 3 games, averaging less than 3 yards per carry.

In short, the Steelers are really struggling. The Bengals have played 2 close games either side of being blown away by the 49ers so we aren’t quite sure how good or how bad they are. Monday night is a big game for both and barring a draw at least 1 of them will get into the win column.


Oooh Ek(eler) Melvin’s back

Image Credit: Getty Images/Ringer illustration

The Los Angeles Chargers are notoriously slow starters and 2019 is no exception, as the team boast a 1-2 record. Facing the Dolphins in Week 4 will ease the Bolts to 2-2, as they utilise Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson in the backfield.

The news in the last couple of days that stud running-back Melvin Gordon has ended his holdout will be a huge boost to the fans in Hollywood. Gordon has finally grown bored of playing Madden and watching Sports Centre. Melvin could well miss the Dolphins game as he gets up to speed with the offense and renews his bond with old man (Philip) Rivers.

The Chargers are right at the precipice of remaining Super Bowl relevant with Rivers at the helm, and with Gordon back this is a bigger boost than that of a truck of IV drips. This will make Austin Ekeler a borderline flex, as he becomes a third-down back as opposed to a viable starter in fantasy. Gordon is a top 8 running back talent, he just needs to rather appropriately hit the ground running.

For those of you who were patient and kept Gordon on your bench you deserve a round of applause. If you are in multiple leagues then dig around the waiver wire and you may just unearth a Melvin or two.


Can the real Carson Wentz stand up

Image Credit: Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports

It’s a small sample size but Carson Wentz is underperforming so far as the Eagles, only two years removed from their first Vince Lombardi Trophy, are 1-2 and at risk of falling three games behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East with just a quarter of the season in the books.

Wentz has started sluggishly in contests so far, throwing only one first-half touchdown. A large part of this lack of production has been due to injuries. After three weeks Nelson Agholor leads the team in catches (18) but he is averaging less than 10 yards a catch. Wentz has seriously missed Desean Jackson who exploded Week 1 against a poor Redskins secondary. The Eagles running game has also failed to take-off this season, the combination of rookie Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard and pocket-rocket Darren Sproles has failed to make a significant impact.

The Eagles travel to Green Bay for a juicy Thursday Night Football matchup, where we get to see the ever improving Packers defense, led by Week 3 NFC Defensive Player of the Week Preston Smith. Wentz needs to step up this week or it will be an uphill battle already with twelve games remaining.

To start or not to start Dwayne Haskins that is the question…

Image Credit: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

There is something rotten in the state of Maryland, a true Shakespearian tragedy is unfolding as Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is enduring a 0-3 start and calls for his head are getting louder and louder.

In the first two weeks it was the Washington defense that was primarily to blame, but the loss fell clearly on the bruised and battered shoulders of veteran QB Case Keenum in Week 3. Keenum’s MNF woes included three fumbles and three interceptions, including a pick-6 to begin the nationally televised humiliation. The New York Giants used Week 3 to make the change and play their first round rookie, with great success, so now is the time for the Redskins to consider following suit.

Coach Gruden came out of the MNF dismantling saying he wanted consistency, in other words carry on with Case. It’s a tough situation to bring a rookie in, where the offensive line is leaky, the running game is not shining, and the wide receivers are poor, with the exception of Terry McLaurin.

One major thing to note is that Dwayne Haskins, the future at QB for the Redskins was team mates with McLaurin at Ohio State. With nothing to lose, and as Yazz would sing ‘the only way is up’ so let’s unleash the Haskins.