Worst to First Candidates

By Andy Goddard (@godsy1985) – 16th June

The National Football League is meant to be one of parity (tell that to Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots). In 2018 the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts all reached the playoffs after having losing records in 2017. It is one of the great things about the NFL, the possibility of going from being the worst team to lifting the Lombardi trophy is real. So who are our candidates this year? Let’s look at four teams that finished at the bottom of their respective divisions.

New York Giants

The Giants had an awful 2018 season with a 5-11 record but the emergence of Saquon Barkley was a big plus with his 1307 rushing yards and 721 receiving yards. The play of Eli Manning was much maligned but when you look at the stats, he may not have been as poor as advertised. Eli’s QB rating was 92.4 which was the forth best of his career and his 66% completion ratio (for 4,299 yards) was the highest of his career. (http://www.nfl.com/player/elimanning/2505996/careerstats). There is no doubt that Manning has lost some mobility though. He was sacked 47 times in the 2018 season (a career high) and the offensive line needs some attention but it is fully expect that the Giants will be a run heavy team in 2019. Barkley is primed for another phenomenal season and with the addition of Golden Tate at wide receiver they still have weapons even without Beckham Jr. In 2018, the Giants lost eight games by 7 points or less and lost their final two games of the season by just a single point! When you look at their 2018 season in more detail, they weren’t far away from a 9-7 record which could have seen them reach the playoffs!

The Giants also have two big advantages in 2019. Their strength of schedule is ranked as the 27th most difficult and the NFC East is wide open. Whilst the Philadelphia Eagles should improve (as long as Wentz stays healthy), the Dallas Cowboys may go backwards and the Washington Redskins are potentially starting a rookie quarterback. If they can upgrade the pass rush (which ranked 30th in sacks) they should have a great shot at reaching the playoffs in 2019!

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have a talented roster that have been under-utilised for years but with new head coach Zac Taylor now at the helm, could the Bengals improve of their 6-10 record in what is normally a tough division? The AFC North has lost a huge amount of talent from the Pittsburgh Steelers, has gained a mass of talent in Cleveland and has a seemingly sketchy playbook and an ageing defence in Baltimore. There doesn’t appear to be a clear favourite in the division and this may open the field up for the Bengals to surprise a few people. For this to happen the Bengals will need to improve massively on what was one the weakest defences (yardage wise) in NFL history, ranking fifth all time in yards allowed (https://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/tiny.fcgi?id=xNW3M). Cincinnati will be hoping that the coaching change can address this situation. There is plenty of talent of the offensive side of the ball with the serviceable Andy Dalton throwing to A. J.  Green, Tyler Boyd and Tyler Eifert as well as having Joe Mixon in the backfield, they seem to have a balanced attack if it can be exploited to its full potential. 

With the AFC North in a stage of transition its very easy to see the Bengals finishing at the top of the pile, however, it is also very easy to see them finishing in last place once again!

New York Jets

The New England Patriots may have won the AFC East in 16 out of the last 18 seasons but they can’t win forever, can they? Coming off of a 4-12 season, Adam Gase is now the head coach (replacing Todd Bowles) and the team have made some great moves in both free agency and the draft. Le’Veon Bell is a stellar running back with his patient style but questions remain over whether sitting out the whole of last season will have impacted him in any way. Then there is second year QB Sam Darnold who, at times last season, looked very much like the franchise player that the Jets needed. Darnold did have his struggles (as most first year QB’s do) but if he does make the transition to the second year, similar to that of Mitch Trubisky at the Bears, the Jets are well primed to cause teams problems. With the drafting of Alabamas Quinnen Williams (defensive tackle) ‘Gang Green’ may have found a run blocker to play at nose tackle in a 3-4 defence that’s Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams is reportedly staying with.

The New York Jets also have one of the easiest schedules in 2019, tied at 27th. The only problem here is that they are tied with the New England Patriots (https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2019-nfl-strength-of-schedule-patriots-and-redskins-have-it-easiest-raiders-face-roughest-ride/). Winning the AFC East maybe very difficult in 2019 but it wasn’t long ago that the Jets went into Foxboro for a divisional playoff game and came out victorious. The 2019 season may be slightly too early but the Jets are building a strong team for the future and it would not surprise me to see them in the playoffs in 2019.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags plummeted after reaching the 2017 AFC Championship Game finishing last season with a 5-11 record. However, there is no last-place team that is better equipped to rebound. They still have a talented defence that finished fifth in the NFL in 2018 (http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=2&defensiveStatisticCategory=GAME_STATS&conference=ALL&role=OPP&season=2018&seasonType=REG&d-447263-s=TOTAL_YARDS_GAME_AVG&d-447263-o=1&d-447263-n=1) and they have upgraded where they needed it most, quarterback! For the last two seasons many people have wondered what this team could be with more functionality at QB. Nick Foles has shown that he can produce on the biggest stage and the 2017 Super Bowl MVP can also call on running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette had a poor 2018 season that was hampered by injury, suspension, and by his own admission, being in ‘sub-optimal shape’. With a healthier o-line and improvement in fitness, the LSU man will need to produce with more consistency for the Jaguars to have a chance. 

Head coach, Doug Marrone has also had a big change up of his coaching staff with 8 coaches either joining the Jags or being promoted from within (https://www.jaguars.com/news/official-defilippo-named-oc-staff-finalized). One major problem for the Jaguars could be the strength of the AFC South. The Texans, Colts and Titans all had winning records in 2018 with two of the three making the playoffs. Whilst the division is relatively open, it’s up for grabs because all of the teams are good. However, if Foles can reproduce his performances from Philly and Fournette can get back to his 2017 form, the Jaguars should get back to the playoffs.

Best Chance?

For my money, the Giants and the Jaguars have the best chance but what do you think? Will any of these teams even make the playoffs or is there a better candidate out there? Let us know @Full10Yards

 

Five Fantasy Wastelands

By Lawrence Vos (Twitter: @nflfaninengland) July 13 2019
For many of you that are relatively new to NFL fantasy football the thought of those late round picks may fill you with a bit of fear. After all who is Simmie Cobbs or Jeff Driskel?
Sometimes you need to take a punt, no not a 53-yard coffin-corner, but a shot in the dark at someone who is not a household name and realistically not someone that will make or break your season.
To help you figure out some situations to avoid, Lawrence Vos dons his best Mad Max costume and holds your hand to guide you through some team-unit fantasy wastelands to steer well clear from.

Miami Dolphins quarterbacks
I am saying it here and saying it loudly, the Dolphins are not tanking for Tua (Tagovailoa) they will be trying to win as many games as possible in 2019. Whether they actually obtain more than three wins is a completely different matter. Will there be some Fitzmagic in the sunshine or will everything come up smelling of Rosen? Ryan Fitzpatrick, the veteran bearded wizard, will likely open the season as starter, but despite his gaudy stats to begin 2018 there is no Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson or OJ Howard loitering on South Beach in 2019. Miami bought in former first-round selection Josh Rosen to compete. A better financial move than personnel move, as the Dolphins avoided paying any kind of signing bonus, already absorbed by the Arizona Cardinals. Nobody likes a situation where it’s Havaianas Time on a Sunday morning, and nobody wants to carry two quarterbacks that are not commanding starters. Fitzpatrick can burn brighter than a comet, but his rocket man arm can fizzle too, and guessing the week he is on fire is a lottery. Don’t light a candle in the wind for either of these signal-callers.

Washington Redskins wide-receivers
Much like drinking a Brussel sprout, cranberry and radish smoothie, drafting any Redskins wide-outs will leave you with a lingering bitter taste in your mouth, and likely a bit of something stuck in your back teeth. The situation may be significantly different in a season or two, but the combination of the woefully disappointing Josh Doctson (a first round pick in 2016 who has accrued 1,100 yards, 81 catches and eight touchdowns in three season) two unproven rookies Terry McLaurin (Round 3) and Kelvin Harmon (Round 7) and Paul Richardson, who in his five seasons has averaged 23 catches a year and two touchdowns, is truly unappetising. You have more chance of a breakout season from second-string third-year tight-end Jeremy Sprinkle. If you want to tank with your fantasy team then pick up one of these bundles of burgundy and gold decorated joy. And if you truly want to stun your league then why not add Redskins 5th WR Brian Quick, who had three catches for 18 yards in 2018.

Buffalo Bills running-backs
More messy than Mr Messy after he has done ten shots of tequila and then on the way home decided to douse his kebab in a pint of habanero sauce, the Bills have as eclectic a backfield as anyone in the NFL. Two veteran Pro-Bowlers, a potential rookie stud and an under-the-radar young free-agent. Great for depth and therefore superb for team rushing output, but a cold-sweat inducing nightmare for fantasy owners. Both in their 30’s, LeSean ‘Shady’ McCoy is on the downward spiral of his career arc and Frank Gore it turns out is a cyborg who cannot be terminated. McCoy performed badly in 2018 with rookie Josh Allen handing him the pigskin, averaging a paltry 3.2 a carry and three total touchdowns. Gore is clearly partaking in some wine from Cliff Richard’s vineyard as he continues his inevitable journey to Canton, Ohio via Western New York. Gore, much like Fitzmagic, will get the ball at some stage, and this means carries getting split. Throw in a dynamic rookie in the form of Devin Singletary, who scored nation-leading 32 touchdowns in 2017 for Florida Atlantic, and you have a 5ft 7inch end-zone vulture. Now throw in the grossly underrated T.J Yeldon, who has very soft hands, and averages over 40 catches a season, and you have wonderful talent, but no workhorse and as a team no clear fantasy asset.

New England Patriots tight-ends
He may currently look like he’s had colonic treatment that has sucked half his body weight up a faecal extraction tube, but the odds on Rob Gronkowski coming out of retirement by week 15 is higher than you might think. Rich Eisen recently asked Gronk to perform a mock conversation between him and Tom Brady, and it ended with the tight-end saying ‘call me when it gets to the playoffs’. Meanwhile Brady will be facing at least three months of struggles with the return of Ben Watson delayed for the first four weeks of the season due to a substance misuse suspension. Watson was coaxed out of retirement thinking he could catch 50-60 balls from Tom Brady in a swansong, now he might play a bit-part from week 5 onwards. Sitting atop the depth chart as we stand in mid-July is one of my sleeper sweethearts Matt LaCosse. LaCosse has never been a feature tight-end but he does have the physical tools to develop some early season rapport with Brady. Behind LaCosse is third-year former Texans tight-end Stephen Anderson. You can likely get Watson and LaCosse cheap in deeper leagues, and in some cases one will be available on waivers. This does not mean you should pull the trigger on any Patriots tight-end. Gronk was a unique proposition, and cannot be replaced. If you want to take a gamble late with Patriots skill players grab rookie WR N’Keal Harry who will get a worthwhile target share to justify a spot on your bench.

Denver Broncos wide-receivers
Joe Flacco. The name alone makes you think about mediocrity, middle-of-the-road, conservative, no thrills gameplay. Hardly words that wide-receivers will want to describe the man that is throwing them the ball in 2019. This situation is not only eroded by an uninspiring passer, its due to the depth chart being equally vanilla, and no I’m not talking about Madagascan vanilla pods, I mean the budget ice-cream type you get at a child’s birthday party. Emmanuel Sanders is getting old and coming back from an Achilles injury, and the other two starters Desean Hamilton and Courtland Sutton are only in their second seasons yet they have to start from scratch building a pass catching relationship with the former Super Bowl MVP Flacco. There will be big pressure on Hamilton and Sutton to step up and one will likely establish himself as Flacco’s favourite by mid-season. Put simply there are better bench options to pick-up in the latter stages of your draft. You need big help with your team in you are drafting any Broncos wide-receiver to start. These three will likely sit on your fantasy bench for a few weeks before you lose faith and drop one for a waiver hot-shot. Do yourself a favour and avoid this dilemma wasting any time in your fantasy-football addled brain by avoiding drafting Denver wide-outs.

Are there any other wastelands you are avoiding? Let me know on Twitter personally or direct it at our Full10Yards Fantasy account, @F10YFantasy.

Betting: Season long stats leaders preview

By Adam Walford (@touchdowntips) – 9th July 2019

So it’s the start of July, less than a month until football returns! Well, pre-season football, which isn’t really worth it, but, the Falcons and Broncos 3rd stringers take the field in the HOF game on the 1st of August. Yay!

There’s actually a lot of variety already available in the ante-post betting for next season on most of the big sites, so I’ll have a nose at some that have caught my eye a little. I’ll stick to player related bets here, win totals don’t change a whole lot over the summer, and annoyingly you can’t parlay them without using the betting firms’ Request a Bet service which I’ll get to later in the summer. There’s actually quite a lot of player yardage props which I’ll look at later in the summer as well, and of course the Team totals which I love attacking.

Regular Season MVP

Not a fan of MVP betting at this early stage of the season, or frankly during the season, it’s not a market I particularly like. I can practically guarantee it will be a QB, there’s been a couple of RBs who set records, some fella called Jerry Rice is the only WR to have won it and Lawrence Taylor is the only defensive player to have won it.

Having said that I don’t usually bet on this market, I will probably have a nibble on Deshaun Watson at 33/1. He’s mobile, he’s got one of the best WRs in the game and if Will Fuller can stay fit, a serious TD threat. The Texans are in a tough division and have a tough schedule, if they come through to win that division then it’s safe to say that a lot will be down to Watson. Annoyingly he was around 60/1 earlier in the off-season, only 33/1 now (PP, Lads) but I think he should be shorter still.

The other I would look at would be Carson Wentz. It’s a risk, but the team obviously have no worries about his injury as they signed him to a big deal and traded away Nick Foles so I don’t have too much worry there either. He was MVP-elect before that injury in his rookie year and if anything his WR corps is better now with Desean Jackson brought in, as well as rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside who I’ve heard good things, to compliment Jeffrey and Agholar. Add the tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert to the pass catchers and you’ve got a talented offense there.

  • Deshaun Watson – 35/1 (Betfair)
  • Carson Wentz – 25/1 (Skybet)

Most passing yards

Another one that’s dominated mainly by the QBs for obvious reasons… I won’t go into too much depth on this one.

Mahomes is the favourite, I think a lot depends on whether Tyreek Hill is suspended or not, somehow it looks like he’ll have a small suspension at the moment, which is a big boost for Mahomes and his stats. He’s brilliant.

Big Ben won it last year, I doubt that will happen this year without Antonio Brown there. I don’t think it will be Rodgers, it won’t be Brady, Brees or Goff.

Matt Ryan is in with a shout assuming Calvin Ridley takes a step forward which is perfectly believable, and he’s got Julio, which obviously helps.

I usually plump for Phil Rivers EW and he’ll be up there again with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams likely to step up and Hunter Henry hopefully back and fully fit. But I think it could well be Andrew Luck. I was so impressed with him last year coming back off his shoulder injury and I think the Colts will be a good team this year, TY Hilton should do well and I’d imagine he’ll be fairly decent odds in rec. yards, Parris Campbell is a flexible pass catcher, Doyle and Ebron at TE and Nyheim Hines at RB are all adept pass catchers.

I feel it would be a mistake to not mention Deshaun Watson at 40/1 on Ladbrokes after mentioning him for the MVP above, Hopkins, Fuller, Keke Coutee are a good trio to throw the ball to. Jamies Winston is probably in with a shout here as well, he’s a high volume thrower generally and gets Bruce Arians as his HC who loves going with 4 WR sets, so there will be a lot of people on the field for him to target, he’s 20/1 EW on Ladbrokes, which is actually bigger than everywhere else who only got straight up (10/1 at Skybet or example).

Somehow I have completely ignored Baker Mayfield until now (16/1 Skybet) when I originally wrote this lot, I think he’ll be up there, he’s definitely got the players to throw to, Landry, Beckham, Njoku are a good trio and even the secondary guys are decent enough, the kid showed he’s got the talent in his half season last year and with a full year the only thing detracting is possibly a poor offensive line. Not a bad shout at all, and what kind of idiot does a top passer thing and doesn’t mention Aaron Rodgers. Jesus christ, what an amateur I am some times. Plusses, he’ll be in F you mode after finally getting rid of Mike McCarthy, negatives he has some very tough defenses in his division and I’m just not sure he’ll get near 5,000

  • Andrew Luck – 7/1
  • Jameis Winston 20/1 EW- Both Ladbrokes

Most rushing yards

Apologies for the length and the rambling on this one, but wanted to get my thoughts down as to why I’ve picked the guys I have.

The league as a whole has generally gone away from workhorse running backs these days, preferring to use a couple in rotation so while I’d love to be contrarian and give some value here, but it’s basically between about 4 or 5 guys, the same ones you’ll be taking at the top of your fantasy drafts.

Ezekiel Elliott, Kamara, McCaffrey, Barkley are the top 4, then you’re looking at the likes of Joe Mixon, James Connor, David Johnson, Lev Bell, Todd Gurley, maybe Dalvin Cook. – Zeke won it last year with 1,434 yards over the season and with no-one else really in the backfield there I see no reason why it won’t be him again especially as the offensive line should be stronger than last year, he is used in the passing game, in fact he was used a lot more than I realised last year, 77 receptions was only a handful behind Kamara. I will, however discard Kamara (883) as while the Saints got rid of Ingram, they replaced him seemingly like-for-like with Latavius Murray who will take more of the ground work with Kamara very adept in the passing game, for the same reason I doubt it will be CmcC (1098), while he was a beast last year and has bulked up over the summer he’s just too good through the air for them to give him enough to rack up the ground yards as well. I believe that Saquon Barkley is probably the only real rival for Zeke for the rushing title; He was pretty much the entire offense for the Giants last year and he handled it all in his stride, over 2,000 all purpose yards, 1,307 on the ground, and his breakout speed was a large part of that, one cut and you’re not gonna catch him. Eli still can’t throw the ball so I’d imagine a lot will be on him again this year.

Unsurprisingly Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley are the two leaders in the betting. 4/1 and 5/1 respectively on Ladbrokes, and 1/4 EW which could come in handy in a minute.

It might be stupid to overlook Todd Gurley who finished 3rd last year despite a small workload for the last few games of the season, and the off-season rumour-mill around him is concerning in regards to his knee. It seems he has mild arthritis there which could lead to less of a workload and they drafted an RB mildly high, or it could mean nothing and they run him into the ground anyway. Personally I’m avoiding him, 16/1 is available on PP if you wanted to go for him though. – Mixon and Connor are basically 3 down backs for their teams, and I believe that the Bengals want to run the ball more this year to set up the play action pass, however the offensive line which was looking improved got knocked back to last years when left tackle Jonah Williams was reported to be out for the season and that’s really dented my confidence in the whole Bengals offense; He did however lead the AFC in rush yards last year behind that line so 12/1 on Lads.

The Steelers always shove the load on one back and it will be Connor again this year, he did well in his first season as the main RB last year and with no Antonio Brown or Lev Bell there they’ll be relying more on Juju and Connor to get the yards, but I just don’t think he’ll get enough yards, it could be my anti-Pitt bias, but I just don’t see it for some reason. David Johnson in Arizona? I love the guy, he’s a brilliant player but I think that team will be too pass heavy (an area he excels in) to give him enough carries to top the table. Leveon Bell, at the Jets now, I don’t believe he’ll be as good without one of the best offensive lines in the league and with a HC who doesn’t like using one guy (Drake/Gore in Miami) and who has come out and said he didn’t want Bell at the cost.

Dalvin Cook was a major talent when he was healthy and I think actually, that he would be my EW bet, available at 22/1 on Ladbrokes and there’s not a lot left in terms of competition in the backfield for him, only really Alex Mattison who they drafted this year, add to that the fact they changed their offensive coordinator to go more run heavy… I think that’s the bet for me at the price.

  • Ezekiel Elliott – 4/1
  • Dalvin Cook EW – 22/1 – Both Ladbrokes.

Most receiving Yards

I’m struggling a bit on this one tbh, there’s a lot of players who I think will be there or there about’s and they’re all generally 20-25s at most. Julio will be up there as he always is, and I mentioned above that I think Ryan will be up there, so of course Julio should be in my thought process here.

Michael Thomas will be around there, but I don’t think he gets enough big plays to win it.

DeAndre Hopkins is another, if I think Watson is going to do as well as I think then theoretically I have to think Nuk will do well this year and the same goes for TY Hilton if I think Andrew Luck will do well, then he should be up near the top of this list as well, at 20/1 on Ladbrokes. 25/1 on Davante Adams isn’t a bad look, he’s the clear WR1 there and Rodgers has essentially said he’ll be looking for him on every single play, but that price is straight up only, a measly 11/1 on Ladbrokes for EW betting. I mean, in fairness at 125/1… Robert Woods isn’t the worst bet in the world but again that’s straight win, only 50/1 on Lads for EW bettors.

Davante Adams – 25/1 – Skybet

Not… That… Long…. Now!

Ready To Pounce – Five rookies in fantastic positions 

By Lawrence Vos (@NFLFanInEngland) – 26 June 2019
We all know the mega-stars drafted early who are already projected as starters and are being projected to be wearing rookie achievement crowns come the end of the 2019 season. Some of you will draft these guys in the latter rounds of a traditional fantasy draft, and some will be high on waivers.
But what about those guys that are not big names, but are one injured colleague away from having a significant impact in the upcoming fantasy season?
Here are five names of rookies who are not necessarily the big names but are in an idealistic situation to have major fantasy success if the giant chocolate chip and maple pecan cookies, that they were persuaded to buy from a doe-eyed six-year-old girl scout, crumbles their way.
I’m not recommending you draft them all, but I am recommending that you monitor the waiver wire for these names like a hawk.

Alexander Mattison – RB – Minnesota Vikings
Big things are predicted for Dalvin Cook in his third season leading the Vikings backfield if he can stay healthy. Cook’s problem is he has only played in 15 of 32 regular season games. In addition, the Vikings moved on from backup RB Latavius Murray and instead opted to go down the draft route. Alexander Mattison is not a household name, but the third-round pick can be someone that could be an instant plug-and-play success. The former Boise State star opted to try the NFL after just three seasons in college, just like former smurf-turf Super Bowl winner Jay Ajayi. Mattison’s last two NCAA games saw him rush over for 200 yards in each contest. Mattison is a hard-nosed runner who has never missed a game. A fluent Spanish speaker and former wrestling champion Mattison has brains and brawn and is in an ideal place to make a big initial impact.

Benny Snell – RB – Pittsburgh Steelers
Another Junior who elected to enter the NFL draft a year early. Snell joined a select club in 2018 as one of only four running backs in SEC history to rush for over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. Not bad considering one of those four is Herschel Walker. With the Steelers RB James Connor being possibly the biggest breakout star of 2018, Snell has landed in a place where the immediate pressure is off him, but this situation is one hit from being back-stage to the spotlight. Snell owns a plethora of University of Kentucky records, and just in case you are wondering why the name Snell rings a historic NFL bell (not a LeVeon named one) his great uncle is Matt Snell (who ran for 121 yards in the Jets upset win over the Colts in Super Bowl III).

Josh Oliver – TE – Jacksonville Jaguars
Unlike Mattison and Snell, Josh Oliver has a legitimate shot at being the Jaguars starting tight-end from Week 1. The 6ft 5 inch Oliver played at the rather innocuous San Hose State Spartans and did nothing worth noting until his senior year. His competition in Duuuuuuval is none other than former Cowboys tight-end Geoff Swaim. With Napoleon Dynamite oops sorry Nick Foles now leading the offense the Jacksonville tight-end spot should see a boost and with Leonard Fournette due a significant bounce-back this is ideal spot for Oliver to be one of those rare fantasy relevant rookie tight-ends. Evan Engram bucked the trend a few seasons ago proving rookie tight-ends can make a difference, and Oliver has the physical toots to catch 50 balls plus in the Florida sunshine.

Terry McLaurin – WR Washington Redskins
The Redskins wide-receiver production in the past couple of seasons has been akin to eating American cheese, bland, unimaginative and very disappointing. Since the departure of DeSean Jackson (now back in the NFC East for a second stint with the Eagles) and Pierre Garcon the Washington wide-receivers have failed to impress. The supposed future star Josh Doctson’s career has never taken off and Jamison Crowder is now catching passes from Sam Darnold in the Big Apple. This leaves the door wide open for anyone who can show consistency. The Redskins drafted Terry McLaurin from Ohio State to re-join his signal-caller Dwayne Haskins in an NFL uniform. Haskins is not guaranteed the starting quarterback Week 1 but right now he will be targeting McLaurin early and often in camp. Someone has to step up for the Redskins and whilst later pick Kelvin Harmon could become a red-zone vulture, hopefully its McLaurin who will be establishing himself as a reliable PPR option and a potential cheap DFS consideration.

Hunter Renfrow – WR Oakland Raiders
Fans, colour commentators and team-mates alike will be focussed on the hands and route running of Antonio Brown in the Silver and Black (still the best looking uniform in the NFL).
Doubling Brown or putting a team’s top corner on him will leave the slot more open for the Raiders and this is where Renfrow can become a PPR monster. The former walk-on has had an amazing college career with Clemson, winning two National Championships, catching the winning score from Deshaun Watson in the 2017 title game. At 5ft 10inches Renfrow is the archetypal slot dude, and likely someone Bill Belichick had on a draft list (on this note watch out for Patriots second-year slot wideout Braxton Berrios – you have been warned). Renfrow can establish his credentials in the return game before he does anything impactful in the Raiders offense. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney described Renfrow as ‘Clark Kent’, but he has the opportunity to be a short Superman in Oakland.

Honourable mentions, and guys you should be monitoring;

  • Kelvin Harmon – WR Washington Redskins
  • Trayveon Williams – RB Cincinnati Bengals
  • Caleb Wilson – TE Arizona Cardinals (Mr Irrelevant).

Pick It Apart; Jonah Williams

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: 11

Player: Jonah Williams

Drafted by: Cincinatti Bengals

Grade: A

Analysis:

Love this pick for the Bengals; Area of need, top 3 at the position and a day 1 starter who will make an immediate impact and improvement.

The guard from Alabama stands at 6”4 and 302lbs and was a 5 star recruit at Folsom in Cal.

Williams left school early to get a head start on his journey to the NFL and it actually paid off.

Plenty of starts in all 3 years led to plenty of awards and accolades which was the result of his technique but also versatility along the front line. He is a steal, if you can get those at pick 11 in the first round and has a variety of techniques to succeed against all the defensive lineman trying to nudge their way past.

It would have been interesting to see if pick 10 resulted in Devin Bush still being on the board at 11, because that was another need for the Bengals and would have been intriguing to find out what Zac Taylor and the Bengals front office thought would have been a more worthy pick.

I would guess that Bush would have been the selection so in some ways, the Bengals perhaps were lucky that they didn’t have to make a tough call if both were sitting there.

Regardless, Jonah Williams will have a long and successful career in the NFL and his primary job will be to keep Dalton upright and provide big gaping holes for Joe Mixon.

One aspect to love about Williams is that he is a self-confessed “Film Junkie” and we aren’t talking about Star Wars or The Shawshank Redemption, we are talking game film. He views the position as a full time job, even at College, which can only mean that he is going to come on leaps and bounds, even in year one and you can tell that he’ll search for perfection for years to come. It’s a great attribute to have and I look forward to seeing his skills in a tough, nasty division (the Browns are in there, too). To epitomise how much of a perfectionist Williams is, check out Jordan Raanan of ESPN’s article about how Williams created Excel Spreadsheets detailing the number of moves defensive lineman used against him and their pass/fail rates (Article can be found here: http://www.espn.co.uk/nfl/draft2019/story/_/id/26560208/jonah-williams-unique-preparation-make-nfl-draft-top-tackle).

Fantasy Football Impact:

This move will indirectly help the offence so Joe Mixon ticket holders will be very happy with this selection. If you don’t have time in the pocket at QB or you don’t have the lanes open for the RB, you aren’t scoring fantasy points. Williams will be an unsung hero of the Bengals offensive line.

NFL Draft Fantasy implications + F10Y NEWS!

On Today’s podcast, RIchard King from Rotoballer joins us as we run through some news including Doug Baldwin, Joe Flacco and Cody Kessler.
We take a look at some interesting Fantasy Football implications from the NFL draft including Washington, Baltimore, Arizona.
Simon from the Collapsing Pocket podcast tackles the quiz and in our 4th down we give you the big news about the Full10Yards and announce our competition prize and details on how you can enter to win a Pittsburgh Terrible Towel.
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Pick It Apart; Ed Oliver

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: #9

Player: Ed Oliver

Drafted by: Buffalo Bills

Grade: A-

Analysis: The rumour mill was churning that Ed Oliver could have gone as high as #3 overall to the Jets, so this has to merit some kind of value here to the Bills at 9. I think that this was about right for the defensive tackle out of Houston. It would have been interesting to see if they would have still opted for Oliver had TJ Hockenson been on the board.

The Bills defence, middle of the pack in terms of rushing defence in yards and 26th in sacks(but ranked no.2 overall) do need a bit of an oomph up the gut after the exit of Kyle Williams and Oliver will bring it. He brings a quick, explosiveness to the position and whilst many say he may be too big (6”3 and heavier than Aaron Donald for perspective), he will do exactly what Sean McDermott picked him for. Although many considered Oliver to have a somewhat underwhelming 2018 and final college season (Oliver declared prior to his final college season that he would declare for 2019), he still finished with 54 tackles (14.5 for loss, 3 sacks( in 8 games after missing a bit of time with injury.

His transition in to the league will mean that he’ll look to fill those big boots vacated by Kyle Williams and does bring a slight question mark about character (had a bit of a run in with a coach in college during a game over a jacket). Expect Sean McDermott, a coach known for his knack of getting the most out of his players and getting them all to play for him, to give Oliver 1 simple task…get after the Quarterback. McDermott attended Oliver’s pro day and it seems as if Oliver was hand picked by the Bills HC should he have gotten to #9 overall, so it would have been REALLY interesting if TJ Hockenson was there. Unfortunately, that’s something we’ll never know….just like why Jon Snow didn’t pet Ghost before leaving Winterfell.

Fantasy Football Impact:

Buffalo Bills defence are sneaky good, and Oliver could be a sneaky addition in IDP leagues with his duty to essentially go and get the Quarterback. Considering how good the back end of this defence is and the other teams in this division, he could rack up a decent about of sacks in his rookie year.

Pick It Apart; Josh Allen

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: #7

Player: Josh Allen

Drafted by: Jacksonville Jaguars

Grade: A-

Analysis: It’s funny how you can be shocked and also not surprised with one pick. Yes, Jacksonville are renowned for their defence and how shutdown it can be. Also, their offence is not all that, even with Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles joining the ranks (let’s not also forget about the mighty Geoff Swaim, people). Everyone kind of expeting TJ Hockenson to fill this slot but I guess the talent of Josh Allen won through here for Doug Marrone and the front office. Allen, an overlooked 2 star recruit who was only just a Kentucky grad after a late offer used that as his inspiration to be the best form of himself that he could be, earning team captain honours in 2018. Allen has overcome a lot from his youth; often being sent home from school due to his hygiene, being bullied because of a speech impediment and crying numerous times. Now, he is one of the most feared pass rushers coming in to the NFL and I think his attitude, the way he has carried himself through his life and his desire to be the best is what makes Jacksonville a great destination. I say that because great players always have space made for them on any team. Jacksonville had needs on offence and there were plenty of options available to them, but they still decided to go with Josh Allen.

His knocks are his short arm length (47th%ile at combine) and his small hands (1%ile!) but this is not going to stop him getting to Luck, Watson and Mariota (maybe) on a stacked defence. He brings a wide variety of talents along the line and is a guy who can get to the QB in a straight line or round the bend. He has a variety of moves which he executes to a good level, can set an edge and also is adept at dropping back in to coverage if required.

In summary, the Jags are getting an elite athlete, who can fulfill a number of duties along the line and is another jewel in the crown of this defence which may just find it’s mojo again in 2019. He will fill roles at SAM linebacker and an edge rusher on passing downs, he’ll slot in just fine in the NFL.

But, is it enough to say it was the right pick when there were other needs on offence?

Fantasy Football Impact:

Jacksonville are a perennial top 3 defence in fantasy football, Josh Allen will help keep the Jags at the forefront of people’s mind when picking defences in the double digit rounds. Working opposite Yannick Ngakwoue, they have just had a new delivery of sacks in Sacksonville.