XFL – Week 1 Review

By Michael Lavery (@michaellavery98)

The first weekend of XFL football is in the books and after an exciting start it’s time to breakdown each of the games one by one and crown our winners and losers. One immediate winner is the XFL themselves, who not long before kick-off announced that they had sold more tickets for this season already, than the AAF had in its entire existence – an exciting announcement to denounce fears of a sinking ship style company. For more general analysis and first impressions be sure to check out “Initial Impressions of XFL 2020” by our own Shaun Blundell.

In terms of the footballing side of things, it’s safe to say that the Saturday slot of games provided a more entertaining watch than those on the Sunday. We also saw the benefits of playing in smaller stadiums compared to bigger arenas as the sight oF crowded bleachers helps in creating a better atmosphere as opposed to watching in an empty echo chamber like a partially full MetLife Stadium.


GAME ONE: SEATTLE @ D.C


Final Score: DC Defenders 31, Seattle Dragons 19

Cardale Jones’ shone brighter than most on opening weekend. He helped lead his D.C Defenders to a 31-19 victory over the travelling Seattle Dragons.

Image result for dragons vs defenders
ewrestlingnews.com

A game watched by just over 17,000 people it had an upbeat and engaging atmosphere right the way through. The new kick-off rule proved hugely popular with fans and the intimate insight from reporters on the field was a shock to the system of many viewers at first but felt pleasantly refreshing. As for the football itself, Jones’ performance helped spur on his Defenders to a win against a good Seattle side. Jones’ went 16/26 for 235yds, 2TD 0INT, 116.7QBR on the day. A relatively faultless performance and he was able to spread the ball around nicely finding eight different receivers and two different teammates for his touchdowns. He tacked on an extra 30 on the ground, moving freely and looking sharp.

Seattle didn’t play badly, they were in this game late into the 4th quarter until a Brandon Silvers pass intended for Austin Proehl was picked off and returned for six to put the icing on the cake. Proehl slipped on his route giving Bradley Sylve a clear avenue to walk in for the score. Earlier in the game Proehl scored the first touchdown in XFL history but unfortunately that is not how he, or anyone else, will remember this game. Silvers finished with a line of: 21/40 217yds, 3TD 2INT, 72.6QBR.
Head Coach Jim Zorn spoke after the game and said:

We understand how a few errors can really affect a game and we have to overcome those”.

dragons hc jim zorn

A good battle on both sides of the ball, it’ll be interesting to see if D.C can build on this momentum rolling in to week two. As for Seattle, it’s a return to the Pacific North West and Century Link Field for their home opener next week against the Tampa Bay Vipers.


GAME TWO: LA @ HOUSTON


Final Score: Houston Roughnecks 37, L.A. Wildcats 17

Welcome to the P.J Walker show. The Roughnecks quarterback had himself a day in the franchise’s first ever outing throwing 4 touchdowns to 4 different receivers. The Roughnecks intentions were clear from the start, they were going to throw the ball and it was up to LA to find a way to stop it.

The Run N’ Shoot offence was on display for the whole league to see and no doubt teams will be taking notice and preparing accordingly. Walker hit eight different receivers for 272yds off of 39 passing attempts and finished with a rating of 103.8. He was able to make all the throws that were asked of him and his accuracy on tight window throws was perfect when it mattered. His athleticism was on display as he completed several throws on the run rolling left and right. When he decided to run the ball he showed flashes of Lamar Jackson in mid-season form, making defenders miss and drawing big pops from the crowd.

Image result for wildcats vs roughnecks
Eric Sauseda

His one interception came late in the 4th quarter when he tried to force a ball into the end zone for his fifth touchdown. It was a throw he didn’t have to make but given the form he was in he would have had no doubts he could make it. It wasn’t a bad throw, just a great play from the Wildcats safety.

LA had to start with back-up quarterback Chad Kanoff after it was announced their started Josh Johnson was dealing with a groin injury. Kanoff was able to hold his own throughout the game and had a respectable 21/40 214yds, 1TD 1INT and a rating of 66. The interception wasn’t an errant throw but was a fumble that fell into the lap of a Roughnecks defender who was on the floor after pressuring Kanoff. Kanoff was able to make the correct reads when needed and on the Wildcats opening touchdown drive, the offence ran the same play three times in a row to break down the defence. A simple stick concept to the left side of the formation forcing the defender to make a choice and third time round, when he finally came up to cover the flat, Kanoff hit Jordan Smallwood over the top who made a spectacular fingertip grab for the score.

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The Wildcats ended the first half by squandering a chance to take the lead going into the break. An early indication that the new rules will take some getting used to – a field goal try with :01 on the clock, the Wildcats didn’t get the snap off in time as the stop/start clock inside two minutes caught some players off guard who thought the clock started on the snap. A disappointing way to end the half but definitely a coaching point for all teams going forward.

In a somewhat shocking and sudden twist, it was announced Monday that the LA Wildcats had fired the defensive coordinator, Pepper Johnson after just one game.


GAME THREE: TAMPA @ NEW YORK


Final Score: New York Guardians 23, Tampa Bay Vipers 3  

The Matt McGloin New York Guardians laid down a statement win on Sunday afternoon against a poor Tampa Bay Vipers team. The Guardians finished as 23-3 victors and enjoyed complimentary football resulting in scores on both sides of the ball. McGloin found his rhythm early and settled into the game. He scored the first touchdown in franchise history on a quarterback sneak from the one yard-line on the first drive of the game and throughout the whole game he reminded everybody of his professional calibre as he confidently and efficiently led his team up and down the field. His game: 15/29 182yds, 2TD (1 throwing, 1 rushing) 0INT, 82.8QBR.

athlonsports.com

An abysmal opening day for the Vipers was a mix of poor execution and good defence by New York. Ball handling was an issue all day, they had three fumbles on the day although only lost one of those. Quarterback Aaron Murray had a couple of picks, the first of which was a bad ball floated to the back of the endzone and swatted into the open arms of a Guardian defender. Murray didn’t make the throws he needed to when called upon and will leave many questioning his starter role ahead of Quinton Flowers who saw a little bit of game time but was used in a more Taysom Hill style role. Flowers finished as the team’s second highest rusher on the day. An understandably frustrated Murray spoke to the media after saying:

If you turn the ball over three times and the other team doesn’t turn over, it’s simple. We drive down there, get to about the 5-yard line — and bad play by me throwing it up, should’ve just thrown that one away — we had four or five tries in the red zone and came away with no points.

Vipers QB aaron murray

A second road game in as many weeks for the Vipers sees them travel out west to play Seattle in what will definitely be a difficult game. The Dragons will be wanting to make use of home field advantage while the Vipers will be looking to right the wrongs of Sundays outing.


GAME FOUR: ST. LOUIS @ DALLAS


Final Score: St. Louis BattleHawks 15, Dallas Renegades 9

Despite being the first Quarterback to be a part of XFL 2020, Renegades signal caller Landry Jones spent week one on the side lines. Nursing an injury it was reported that Landry was good to go but was advised to take minimal snaps and so with that in mind Head Coach Bob Stoops opted to go with the back-up: Philip Nelson. Reports suggest Jones will be good to go in weeks 2 or 3 depending on how long the Renegades choose to sit him.

A pretty underwhelming game for the Renegades seen them register to touchdowns and get on the scoreboard through field goals only. Nelson tried to lead a last minute comeback drive which would have made him a team hero; instead he threw a game sealing interceptions and confirmed the loss for Dallas.

Dallas Renegades quarterback Philip Nelson (9) throws a pass during the first half of an XFL football game against the St. Louis Battlehawks at Globe Life Park on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Arlington.
N.Pool/Dallas Morning News

On the St. Louis side of things, they will be very happy with what they saw. The only team to get a road win this week, they done so by playing solid fundamental football and quarterback Jordan Ta’amu helped his team secure a first ever win with great play. He was also helped by a solid rushing attack which saw the Battlehawks go for 191yds on the ground. 77 of those provided by Ta’amu himself, including a huge 37 yard rush on a designed quarterback run.

The only fault in the Battlehawks game came on a Marquette King punt which checked up perfectly and was going to stop on the one, only for a Battlehawk to come flying through, scoop the ball and end up in the endzone resulting in a touchback and the ball coming out to the 35 yard line. Steve Beauharnais, the player in question jumped up proclaiming it was a live ball as it had struck the Renegades return man but his protests were in vain and a touchback was awarded.

St Louis go on the road again next week to Houston in a game which is sure to be a cracker, but they will need to keep this momentum up if they wish to return home to The Dome @ America’s centre with a perfect record in week 3.

Check back to Full10 Yards later in the week to catch our preview for week two of the XFL.

Full10Takeaways

By Tim Monk, Shaun Blundell and Lawrence Vos

Week 1 is in the books and there are a good % of you lovely people out there that had a nice takeaway whilst watching the game or Redzone.

Talking of takeaways, this 2nd new weekly edition NFL article features our takeaways from the week’s games. So look out for more puns, play on words but more importantly some insight in to the real storylines from the NFL action.

Kellen Moore, Kellen Moore-did he get very far?

IMAGE CREDIT: Matthew Emmons /USA TODAY

The Kellen Moore era is here and boy, the sky is the limit.

Multiple pre snap motions, guys wide open, PASSING ON 1ST DOWN! Things not synonymous with the Cowboys certainly since I have been a fan looked liked pure poetry in motion on Sunday.

In fact, I am so excited that I created a song to the tune of “Tell Me More” in Grease (have I gone viral yet?).

Dak Prescott threw lasers all afternoon, culminating in Dak becoming the first Dallas QB to have a perfect QB Rating. He also become the 3rd Dallas QB alongside Meredith and Romo to have multiple 400yd passing games.

Multiple players getting open helped Dak and the Cowboys score touchdowns on 5 straight drives, something not seen in these parts for years if not decades if not ever. 7 different players caught passes from #4 and that included 4 passing Touchdowns to 4 different players including Witten, who loves the endzone vs Big Blue.

Yes, it was the Giants but the way they were dispatched of that was the impressive part. Elliott dipped his toes in before being rested late on and even when plays didn’t go as planned, there was an air of expectancy on the following play that they drive would just continue on and that the Giants could do nothing about it.

Cowboys next travel to the nation’s capital to face a feisty Redskins. Confidence is high and Kellen Moore seems to be unlocking new rooms in the Cowboy’s playbook mansion.

Is it the first time as a Cowboys fan that I don’t need to worry about a sucker punch of a performance?


Melvin Gor-done?

IMAGE CREDIT: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson could be off of Melvin Gordon’s Christmas card list this year.

Gordon, 26, is currently away from the team due to contract demands and is probably writing his list to Santa as we speak. Especially when he would have been sitting at home watching the game vs Colts where his backfield teammates WENT. OFF.

Austin Ekeler – 18 touches, 3 Total TDs, 16yards per reception, 4.8yards per carry including the game sealing TD in OT.

Justin Jackson – Averaged 9.5 (!) yards per carry.

That’s a set of numbers for Ekeler that will win you fantasy games. For Jackson, he is proving that he belongs on the big stage and is ready to go as a quality handcuff. The Chargers are hanging about in this win-now window and 2019 may be the last time the playoff portal remains open. Melvin might end up getting traded at this rate.

This was the nightmare scenario that played out for Gordon if he had any slither of a chance of getting any more moolah not just in LA but anywhere. Yes, the Chargers were taken to overtime by the Colts, but the fact is even with Melvin Gordon being in the lineup, not a lot would have played out different.

Gordon is slated to return in “6-8 weeks” according to Mike Garafalo/Ian Rapoport when he needs to report in order to accrue a season. Judging by this, he won’t be more than someone in the rotation in this backfield if things keep playing out how they did in week 1.

To use a phrase from Jerry Jones: “Melvin Who?”


Vikings mean business

IMAGE CREDIT: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The only thing that could stop the Vikings making a deep run this season is health.

Dalvin was cooking, the defence was mean. The Vikings pretty much snuffed out anything the Falcons had to offer. Falcons did not score until their final 2 drives and had everything from blocked punts to interceptions.

The Vikings will be very tough to beat, especially at home this season and a special mention to Kirk Cousins and his play vs the Falcons; Despite only attempting 10 passes (yes 10, do not refresh your box scores), he still had to stand tall in the pocket and make plays whilst his opposite signal caller couldn’t replicate and looked jitterey behind his new revamped offensive line that abandoned the run very early on.

Mike Zimmer wants to run the ball, they did. The Falcons knew they wanted to run the ball, they still couldn’t stop it. Cook had 2 TDs and averaged 5.3yards per carry on 21 touches (Alexander Mattison also showed well) and the result was never in doubt from when the first points were on the board. Matt Ryan is now 0-4 vs Minnesota in the Mike Zimmer era, Devonta Freeman was stifled and frustrated in his return, this was all one way traffic. There is a slight chance that Atlanta are not as good as they look on paper but all the same, this could eventually turn out to be a tiebreaker come week 17 and the way the Vikings handled business says to me they are ready for a deep playoff run.

On a side note, Garrett Bradberry had a baptism of fire in this game, not grading well according to PFF for both pass block and run blocking standpoint.


Steeling a living

IMAGE CREDIT: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Despite being handed one of the toughest draws on opening night, the Pittsburgh Steelers looked awful. The Patriots dominated in all facets of the game and Big Ben and co just weren’t given an inch. Aside from the fact that the false start penalty on the Steelers where everyone moved apart from the centre, there was nothing to make you smile as a terrible towel waver.

Josh Gordon made big plays, Julian Edelman was once again uncoverable and sexy Rex had a cut as beautiful as my latest trip to the barbers. Imagine if Antonio Brown was on the field…

It was a performance which epitomises the Patriots; Prepared, confident and executed to perfection. Everything the Steelers didn’t look capable of being.

On the Steelers’ side, yikes. This is only the 2nd time the Steelers have lost by 30+ since Big Ben was drafted and the lowest score posted by the Steelers since week 3 2016. Donte Moncrief had more drops than the Fantasy Footballers podcast mustering 3 receptions for 7 yards on 10 TARGETS!

On a recent podcast topic about head coaches on the hot seat, Mike Tomlin was earmarked as someone that could be under a lot of pressure with poor performances this season as there is no longer a hiding place with the divas out the door. I think his seat is just getting that little bit warmer…


BAKE AND WAKE

Image Credit – Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

It was everything it was meant to be…until it wasn’t. Baker came out firing as the Browns marched there opening possession down the field for the touchdown, the first season opening drive touchdown since 1995. Unfortunately for the hyped up team of the off season, the Titans had not read the script.

Aided in no small part by 18 Browns penalties for 182 yards the Tennessee defence swarmed the Browns much maligned O-line with Cameron Wake looking like a younger version of himself and the ball hawking secondary picking off Mayfield on 3 separate occasions.

The game was close at one point 15-13 with momentum feeling as though it was shifting towards Cleveland but a 75 yard screen pass to Derrick Henry stretched the Titans back out to a 2 score lead and they never looked back, racking up 21 points in the 4th quarter. 

For the Titans its business as usual. Under the radar, limited expectations but a sneakily good team. The defence looks better than last year with an improved pass rush and IF Mariota can play this way week to week they have a nicely balanced team. As for the Browns? Someone pass me that drawing board!


With The 1st Pick Of The XFL Draft……

Image credit – Allie Goulding – Tampa Bay Times

Even the supposed quarterback whisperer cannot save Jameis Winston. The former number one pick has flashed potential for 4 years but has ultimately provided frustration behind center. Much hope was pinned on the out of retirement Bruce Arians to be the man with the magic answer, so far, not so good.

The interception shy 49ers fresh of just 2 picks during the entire previous campaign surely provided a nice opportunity for Winston and the Bucs offense to get a nice confidence booster under their belts. Well an opening day stat line of 20/36 with 3 INT feels very much like the same old Jameis.

With a pair of picks being returned to the end zone for pick 6’s the Bucs offense wasted auch improved effort from the defensive side of the ball. Vernon Hargreaves returned a pick six of his own for the Todd Bowles led unit that appeared more aggressive despite being dealt a poor hand from the offense.

Jimmy G was efficient (outside of the pick 6) if not spectacular but importantly, he didn’t lose the game for his team. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay fans however, this is an accusation that we can once again aim at your quarterback. Maybe the only way he can be saved is getting his name called by the Tampa Bay Vipers.


No Winners In Overtime

Image credit – Marcio Jose Sanchez – AP

Let it be known, I hate the NFL overtime rules! 2 games on opening Sunday went to the extra period with Colts/Chargers and Lions/Cardinals both level at the end of regulation. The extra periods gave us 1 winner and 1 tie but the whole set up of it drives me nuts.

Firstly make no mistake about it, things have improved. Once upon a short time ago we would have crowned 2 winners on Sunday evening. The Cardinals kicked a field goal to take the overtime lead which back in 2009 would have clinched the ball game. At least 10 years on the Lions had a chance to respond and they did just that this weekend with a Matt Prater field goal.

The Colts however were not so fortunate. A brilliant Jacoby Brissett game tying drive in the 4th quarter had the Colts with all of the momentum. That momentum was wiped away by the flip of a coin, had the coin landed the other way I’m convinced the Colts would be sitting at 1-0. It went the way of the Chargers who marched the field and scored the game winner on Austin Ekelers 3rd score of the game.

I get the argument that the defence has to step up and keep the opposition out of the end zone but surely it’s time that both teams get the opportunity to possess the ball in overtime, even if a touchdown is scored. My opinion would have been the same had the Colts won the coin flip, as Philip Rivers would have seen his team up by 8 following his last possession, to losing the game without seeing the field again. Surely it can’t be right? Maybe in another 10 years we might get there!


Number 1 pick number 1 shirt

IMAGE CREDIT: Mark J Rebilas

The biggest curiosity in the entire NFL this season, Kyler Murray the overall number one pick by the Arizona Cardinals made his long-awaited debut against the Lions. Murray looked out of place, frustrated and out of rhythm for three quarters. What made Murray the top pick was his fourth quarter heroics, going 15 of 19 for 154 yards and two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Unfortunately, the comeback was not enough as the rare result was a tie. Murray has proved he can succeed in the NFL with 300 yards passing on his debut. You can be safe to start him in fantasy now, as Murray will be having to perform fourth quarter and overtime heroics for the next 15 weeks.

Da Pack D gelling early

IMAGE CREDIT: Stacy Revere / Getty Images

With a big reliance on a series of fresh faces on the Green Bay Packers defense, this was a situation that was unpredictable, but with Week 1 in the books it was the most impressive defensive unit performance of the week. We know Mitch Trubisky is a rollercoaster of a QB, but on the Thursday opener he looked like a lost rookie, and not a third-year pro. The Packers defense was spectacular, forcing 21 incompletions, with corner Jaire Alexander looking great and Adrian Amos the free-agent safety sharking around the field. Aaron Rodgers managed just enough output to defeat an aggressive Bears defense, but without the touchdown the Packers would have walked away with the W with just two field-goals. You have been warned Mike Pettine’s Packers defense is going to surprise people.

One for the road….

Rusty Tackling

Whats new?

New year, same tackling standards.

Austin Ekeler, Vernon Davis (hurdle alert!) amongst others including their fantasy owners benefitted from poor tackling which helped contribute to their touchdown plays this weekend.

It wasn’t the first time and definitely won’t be the last, but this modern day NFL defensive players place far too much emphasis on punching the ball loose instead of try to bring their offensive player down that it costs the defence more yards and conceding more points. Yes, rules are far more favouring to the offence in terms of how you neutralise a player (sounds sadistic, doesn’t it?) in the open field but the fundamentals of tackling are being a lost art of the game. I can appreciate that creating plays and causing turnovers give you more chance to win the game, but you could also argue it may help you lose it.

Part of it maybe that offensive players are harder to tackle (guys are getting bigger, faster, stronger. Evolution and all that) but the amount of broken tackles seen in week 1 isn’t a good thing for defences, even if it is good for highlight reels and Fantasy Football.

Full10Lookahead – Week 1

In a new weekly feature, here are our 10 top things we are most looking forward to this week in the NFL.

-Zeke and destroy-

IMAGE CREDIT: Getty Images

Ezekiel Elliot, the newly $90m, 6 year contracted running back.

Will his offseason away from the team in Cabo turn in to rustiness and on field lack of rhythm and chemistry with Dak? Probably not, especially seeing as though Tanner Lee was flown out to Cabo for Zeke to get the requisite reps. That being said, it’s been far from ideal for the Dallas Cowboys with contract stories literally in every position group in their team. Dak and Amari Cooper will probably be dealt with next offseason now judging by the other contracts that were settled over the past few weeks but now it’s time for America’s Team to get on the field and put away the Giants.

If they can put all of it behind them, there is Super Bowl calibre team here. Regardless of how well they do this season, surely all eyes are on how Zeke slots back in to the operation of this offence.


-How Charged up is the LA running game-

IMAGE CREDIT: Associated Press

L.A. Chargers GM Tom Telesco has stuck a marker in the Californian sand with a refusal to negotiate RB Melvin Gordon’s contact until the season is complete. A bold move, but you don’t want such a big distraction as you start a season with QB Philip Rivers in the twilight of his Hall of Fame worthy career.

With Gordon still disgruntled and not reporting this means the powder-blue ball pounders will be Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. Ekeler has proved to be a quality plug and play, but the real excitement lies with Jackson and his burst.

The Chargers are a balanced team that are pretty safe locks for a playoff spot, and if Ekeler and Jackson can find early rhythm then they will be saying “Melvin who?” by January.


-Chiefs grabbing Shady-

IMAGE CREDIT: James Wooldridge

K.C. head coach Andy Reid helped LeSean McCoy to become a superstar in Philadelphia, and now the two are reunited. Grabbing McCoy, who was unceremoniously cut by the Buffalo Bills, is a move that will be making Chiefs fans scratch their heads.

For fantasy fans they will be doing more that scratching, they will be pulling clumps of hair out. RB Damien Williams proved he can manage the spotlight and is a quality ball-catcher. Darwin Thompson has shown too that he can pound the rock, but now you add in a veteran back who is on the downward spiral.

Reid will reignite McCoy’s career as will being in the same huddle as Patrick Mahomes. So tough to project his immediate impact, but stay tuned Week 1.


-I’ll take a Big Mack-

IMAGE CREDIT: USATSI

Khalil Mack was on his way to making Aaron Donald sweat for the Defensive Player of the Year, was it not for a small injury that slowed him down a tad.

Mack was the biggest news of the start of the 2018 season, and twelve months later he has a year of better appreciating his surroundings in Chicago. The Bears defense is the best unit in the NFL, and with tackling machine Roquan Smith by his side Mack is going to be gunning for 20 sacks in 2019.

I can see the Bears v Eagles in the NFC Championship, and pray to the spirit of George Halas that Mack’s outstanding play is not crippled by another double-doink. 


-Pats Old Guard try to repeat the trick-

IMAGE CREDIT: Jim Davis

New England will start the defence of their Super Bowl crown with the visit from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, and will do so with the oldest roster in the NFL when young players have seemingly never been so valuable.

In todays salary cap age, the ability to keep cost controlled draft picks is seen as a vital way to remain competitive. However, the Patriots have seemed to eschew that school of thought recently. Arguably the only impactful players playing on their rookie deals are running back Sony Michel and guard Joe Thuney, although they will no doubt hope that this years class headlined by messrs Harry and Winovich and one of last years first rounders, tackle Isaiah Wynn, will make an impact following a rookie season curtailed by an Achilles injury sustained in camp.

It seems Bill Belichick is forever zigging while the rest of the league zags, the rest of the league looks to get quicker, stronger and more athletic he is relying on know-how and experience to take them back to the Super Bowl. Even today, surrounded by the electrifying technicolour highlights of Mahomes, Barkley etc few would bet against them doing just that.


-Kliff, Kyler and the air raid offence-

IMAGE CREDIT: Mark J Rebilas

In Glendale on Sunday evening the Arizona Cardinals will try to take their franchises first baby steps back to viability as a contender when they welcome the similarly rebuilding Detroit Lions to the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Attention will certainly be focused on how rookie HC Kliff Kingsbury and no. 1 pick Kyler Murray perform in the first test of the pass-happy, hyperactive Air Raid offence. While its fair to say elements of the scheme have been a staple for many teams over the past few years, the Cards have made it clear they will ride or die with their youngsters for better or worse this year.

With a fresh receiving core including Christian Kirk and rookies Andy Isabella and Keesean Johnson, complemented by old reliable Larry Fitzgerald and star running back David Johnson, hopes are high in the desert that the road back to competitiveness starts here. And if not, it will certainly be fun to watch!


-Rams try to avoid Super Bowl hangover-

IMAGE CREDIT: Rich Pedroncelli (AP)

Sean McVay will try to pilot his teams path back to the Super Bowl beginning with a cross country trip to Charlotte to face Ron Rivera’s Carolina Panthers. While last years offence was, for large parts of the season unstoppable, they seemed to run out of steam as the season reached its most crucial phase.

Over the season the Rams were the second highest scoring offence in football, only behind the remarkable Chiefs led by MVP Patrick Mahomes, however over the last month of the regular season their PPG decreased by over 10 points capped off by the 3 point performance on the biggest stage at Super Bowl LIII.Young receiver Cooper Kupp went down with an season ending injury and when star running back Todd Gurley was hampered by a knee injury by the latter stages of the season, the Rams overall effectiveness on offence seemed to go with him. 

Has the rest of the NFL caught up to Sean McVay’s scheme or will the Rams be back lighting up the scoreboard this year? Any team boasting the talents of reigning DPOY Aaron Donald, Andrew Whitworth, Aqib Talib, Eric Weddle, Jared Goff, Robert Woods etc plus the hopefully back to full health Gurley and Kupp should be challenging in the very competitive NFC.


-OBJ = Odell’s Browns Jersey-

IMAGE CREDIT: AP Photo/Ron Schwane

It really wasn’t a dream…..OBJ will be wearing orange and brown to kick of the 2019 NFL campaign.

The sensational trade that shook the NFL back in March has been the standout moment in a summer full of positive vibes out of North Eastern Ohio and at last we get to see the on field product on Sunday. OBJ has been wrapped in cotton wool throughout the offseason, practising sparingly and not seeing any preseason action so all eyes will be on how quickly he establishes a connection with Baker Mayfield.

The Browns host the Titans looking to win a season opener for the first time since 2004, here’s hoping!


-Ring that Bell!-

IMAGE CREDIT: Associated Press

So Le’Veon Bell didn’t win any additional money from his contract holdout, but did he win by preserving his body?

The running back will see the field for the first time in over 18 months when the Jets open up against the Bills on Sunday in New York. Bell has always had a patient running style but would have been afforded superior line play during his time with the Steelers. Will he be able to transition this style to his new surroundings or will we see him bouncing to the outside more regularly?

Despite plenty of optimism of growth in the second season of Sam Darnold, the Jets may only go as far as Bell can carry them.


-Time for a new Colt hero?-

IMAGE CREDIT: John Minchillo/AP

Jacoby Brissett, what an opportunity you have in front of you.

You may argue he had this chance in 2017 when as the full time starter for the year he led the Colts to a 4-12 record, but don’t underestimate how much better this overall Colts team is now. He will have arguably the best O-line in football in front of him with Quenton Nelson leading the group in his 2nd year. He has a nice array of options in the passing game to throw to and a committee approach at running back should see the Colts very competitive.

Once considered a potential heir to Tom Brady, I’m looking forward to seeing Brissett grasp his chance this time around.


Fantasy: Pre-Week 1 Waiver Wire Pick-Ups

by Andy Moore – @AJMoore21

It’s almost here folks! NFL Football returns to your screens on Thursday night / Friday morning.

If you’re like us, you’ve got way too many fantasy teams to manage and are eyeing one more as you read this. Well, we’ve got you. Throughout the season we’ll be here for all your fantasy football needs.

That starts now, as we’ve got a few last-minute waiver moves to give your line up the boost it needs.

Austin Ekeler – Running Back, Los Angeles Chargersowned by 92.6%

Unless you’ve taken a hiatus from America’s game over the summer, you’ll know that Chargers star running back, Melvin Gordon is holding out for a new deal. The $10m deal the Chargers were offering is now off the table and Gordon looks set for a lengthy hold out or a trade.

The man benefiting from that in the first place is Austin Ekeler. The third-year back out of Western Colorado hasn’t been used as an every down back a whole deal in his short NFL career, but did average 5.2 yards a carry last season.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

He now steps in to take on the lion’s share of the Chargers 25 carries a game against the Luck-less Colts. With his potential in the passing game, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Ekeler is pivotal to the early success of an LA team that is trying to get Philip Rivers a well-deserved Super Bowl ring in the twilight of his career. He’s currently available in almost 10% of leagues, so grab him before that goes up even further.

Devin Singletary – Running Back, Buffalo Bills owned by 71.9%

Shady McCoy’s time in Buffalo ended abruptly over the weekend as he made his way to the Chiefs via Sean McDermott’s chopping board.

The move was clearly a complicated one, with finances and McCoy’s age clearly factoring into the decision. One possibility is that Buffalo feels that in Singletary, they have the future.

A rookie out of FAU, Singletary is an every down back, tough, hard hitting and quick to improvise – he has all the markings of a future RB1. How quickly that happens will largely be in the hands of the veteran Frank Gore who enjoyed a productive year in Miami despite being aided by woeful offensive line and quarterback play at times.

What is exciting for Singletary is Buffalo’s tendency to run the ball, 29 times a game last year (4th highest in the NFL), as the Bills looked to give Josh Allen all the help he could get. This, in addition to the clear role of Gore as a transition back, gives Singletary a plethora of opportunity to succeed this year.

Matthew Stafford – Quarterback, Detroit Lionsowned by 16.3%

Expectation is low for the Lions this season, and it seems like the ‘Matthew Stafford is criminally underrated’ narrative has died down after a season in which the former Georgia star posted a rating of just 50.9.

Come Sunday, Stafford and Co will go up against the new look Arizona Cardinals who have put a whole lot of focus on their offense. What that means is that, by and large, they still have the same defense which ranked bottom seven in the regular season points allowed stats.

With a young receiver primed to make a big leap this year in Kenny Golladay, the ever-reliable Marvin Jones and second year back Kerryon Johnson, Stafford has a good mix of targets available to him. Add into that mix 8th overall pick, TJ Hockenson, at tight end and Stafford’s options look as good as they have done in some time.

Rostered in just 16% of leagues, there’s a good chance Stafford is available. If you’re normal QB1 has a tough matchup to start the season, why not bring in the Detroit veteran in to get your season off to a bang.

Noah Fant – Tight End, Denver Broncosowned by 10.4%

It’s not a secret that Joe Flacco likes to target his tight ends, nearly a quarter of all his pass attempts over the last three years have been to those playing the position.

With a whole lot of hype coming into the draft this year, Fant looks like he’s ready to go from week one. His mix of athleticism and safe hands might give him the most potential of any tight end Flacco has thrown towards, and with a newly built Raiders team in front of him in week one, he’s certainly worth a shot.

Albert Wilson – Wide Receiver, Miami Dolphins owned by 26.8

I know, I know the Dolphins are in full tank mode and represent a fantasy wasteland in general this season. Hear me out on this though.

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade of Laremy Tunsil earlier this week, and other moves up and down the offensive line over the last week, it’s clear that Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to be stood behind an absolutely awful unit against the Ravens.

In reality that is going to force him to curb his normal downfield tendencies, instead looking to get the ball out of his hands early to his first open read.

Step forward Albert Wilson. Operating from the slot, Wilson showed sparks of immense quality in 2018, averaging 15 yards per reception before injury cut his season short.

If he picks up where he left off last year, the former Chiefs man could be a rare uptick for the tanking Fins.

Podcast 37 – Week 1 Review

Thanks for joining us! Week 1 is in the books and we have our first round table for the review of the week 1 games.

Ben Rolfe and David Davenport join us to discuss the main takeaways from every game last week. We all give a waiver wire guy to pick up in fantasy, and we get podcast-bombed by a feline.

Ben’s work can be found through his social media handle @benrolfe15 and David is a founder and writer of Tidy NFL and can be seen through his social media handle of @Dav_TidyNFL

We also hit 500 followers over the weekend too so keep an eye out on our social media (@full10yards) for details on how to win in our free giveaway!

Hope you enjoy it!

Podcast 36 – Week 1 part 2

In the 2nd podcast taking a look at Week 1 podcast, we take a look back at the Thursday Night game and the fallout from that game.

We fill you in on some injury news that could impact the games on Sunday.
We are joined by Adam Walford from TouchdownTips to give you our thoughts on the Sunday games (these can be found on the website too!).
We have “Kickers Corner” giving you a look at whcih kickers to avoid and our kicker of the week brought to you by the Kickers Matter Podcast trio!
Finally, we finish off with some quick takes on some fantasy streams, starts, stinkers and sleepers (check out our Twitter for the games starts and sits).
Dont forget to join our Last Man Standing and ATS Pick’em competitions!

Podcast 35 – Week 1 Preview!

 

It’s here! Week 1 is finally upon us. Resident of the show Lee Wakefield joins us as we go through EVERY game in Week 1 and provide you with some fantasy football insight. We are also joined by our punting expert Adam Walford to win you some quiche with our best bets and a couple of accumulators on the HCP and Money Line.
The guys can be found on Twitter @wakefield90 and @touchdowntips.

Enjoy the show, we’ll be back at the weekend to give you some more starts and sits for your fantasy football teams.

PS – Dont forget to join our FREE Last Man Standing and ATS pick’em competitions which can be found on our social media @full10yards pinned to the top.

Podcast 16 – Week 1 & 2018 Playoff Teams

Adam Walford (@touchdowntips) joins us to run the rule over some more betting markets for the 2018 season.

We look at week one and there are a few standout bets already available and we segway in to team total wins lines and merge that with teams to make the playoffs.

We finish off looking at Stats and players who we like for the honours lists in terms of Top Rusher, Passer and Receiver as well as some Saquon Barkley specials.