The Rolling Tide, rated by footballguys.comEdit this team Input another team with the same league settings Your team is currently being rated by the projections of Jason Wood Switch to: David Dodds Maurile Tremblay Bob Henry
QB: Matt Ryan, Brandon Weeden
RB: Trent Richardson, Frank Gore, Jonathan Stewart, Rashard Mendenhall, Rashad Jennings
WR: Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Jordy Nelson, Donnie Avery
TE: Heath Miller
PK: David Akers
TD: Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks
Congratulations! You seem to have grabbed quality players at every turn of this draft. It's rare indeed to be better than the average team at the three core positions (quarterback, running back and receiver), but we think this team is.
You must be among the favorites in this league and have positioned yourself to grab one of the playoff spots. But before you start engraving the trophy, realize that the draft is not the end of the story. Things can and do go wrong, so you need to remain diligent throughout the year to ensure you remain strong until the playoffs.
Players we particularly like on this team include Rashard Mendenhall, Frank Gore, Jonathan Stewart, and the Seahawks defense. We have all these guys ranked ahead of where they are typically being drafted.Bottom line: This team is a virtual lock to go to the playoffs.
In any event, we wish you the best of luck. Here's hoping all your weeks are like week 12 of 2012:Julio Jones vs. TB: 147 receiving yards, 1 TD
Calvin Johnson vs. HOU: 140 receiving yards, 1 TD
Trent Richardson vs. PIT: 112 combined yards, 1 TD
Frank Gore vs. NO: 101 combined yards, 1 TD
We have Matt Ryan rated #7 among quarterbacks, which makes him a viable starter if not an exciting one. And we're not crazy about Brandon Weeden (ranked #38 among quarterbacks) as a backup. If Ryan turns in the season we expect, this position won't ruin you, but it probably won't be a strength either. And if things go wrong, it could be a long year at QB.
Incidentally, Weeden has what we project as a neutral matchup (IND) during Ryan's bye.
A quick note about the Ryan/Julio Jones hookup you've got here: while we think the effect of the quarterback/receiver hookup has largely been exaggerated in fantasy football circles, it does have a tendency to make your team somewhat more inconsistent than comparable scoring duos from different NFL teams. But if you like the players at both ends of the connection, we do not see any need to make a change because of it.RB Summary:
We like Frank Gore as a second RB, but we consider your starting running backs, as a group, to be a little below par. Our projections have Trent Richardson ranked 10th and Gore ranked 15th.
Your bench looks good and should help offset the unexciting starting unit. Jonathan Stewart should serve as a very solid third running back. Likewise, Rashard Mendenhall should be excellent at RB4.
Rashad Jennings is a solid depth pick.WR Summary:
Nice work here. We like both your starting receivers, as our projections indicate that they give you a combined 4.7 point-per-game advantage over an average opponent in this league. Calvin Johnson is our #1 ranked receiver, and we have Julio Jones at #10.
Your bench also looks good. Jordy Nelson looks great as a third receiver; he's a likely flex starter. But Donnie Avery is out of his league as a fourth WR.TE Summary:
With only Heath Miller, who we don't think is starter-quality in this league, this position is likely to be a trouble spot for you all season.Kicker Summary:
With David Akers, you should be above average at the position.Defense Summary:
Between the Ravens and the Seahawks, you should get above average production here.
Is this a dynasty team? Click here to find out how it might look for 2013 season.
Schedule AnalysisGreen means GO (good matchup), red means STOP (bad matchup). Main starters highlighted At the bottom of the table, the Relative Strength row shows you how strong we project your team to be, relative to your usual strength, in that week. This accounts for byes and matchups.
- Please note that the Relative strength numbers above account for both byes and matchups.
- Remember that you might have starters on bye in a given week, but still have a high relative strength. This could occur because of favorable matchups, or it might be because you are projected to be missing less production than an average opponent will (your opponents have to deal with byes too).
- Week 7 presents moderate bye week issues: Matt Ryan, Donnie Avery, and Julio Jones are not playing.
- Rashad Jennings, Calvin Johnson, and David Akers are out in week 5, but your opponent will likely have comparable issues with byes.
- Frank Gore is out in week 9, but your opponent will likely have comparable issues with byes.
- In weeks 4, 6, 8, and 10 you'll probably be better off than your opponent, as far as byes are concerned.
Potential Free AgentsListed in order of preference. We don't know exactly who is available in your league, but here is a list of players who might be available and could be upgrades over some of your depth players, listed in order of preference. Your players are listed in red for comparison. Players who might not mesh well with the bye weeks of your key players are grayed out.
QB: Philip Rivers (7), Joe Flacco (8), Jay Cutler (6), Sam Bradford (9), Christian Ponder (11), Matt Flynn (5), Ryan Tannehill (7), Carson Palmer (10), Jake Locker (11), Chad Henne (6), Jason Campbell (10), E.J. Manuel (8), Kevin Kolb (8), David Woodley (), Mark Sanchez (9), David Garrard (9), Tim Tebow (), Blaine Gabbert (6), Brandon Weeden (10). RB: Shane Vereen (9), Andre Brown (11), Johnathan Franklin (10), Fred Jackson (8), Pierre Thomas (6), Ben Tate (8), DeAngelo Williams (6), Willis McGahee (7), Rashad Jennings (5), Felix Jones (5). WR: Denarius Moore (5), Lance Moore (6), Justin Blackmon (6), Chris Givens (9), Titus Young (5), Tavon Austin (9), Anquan Boldin (9), Sidney Rice (11), Laurent Robinson (6), Randy Moss (9), Austin Collie (4), Brian Hartline (7), Vincent Brown (7), Alshon Jeffery (6), DeAndre Hopkins (8), Brandon LaFell (6), Jeremy Kerley (9), Tandon Doss (8), Kenny Britt (11). We have all these players rated ahead of Donnie Avery. TE: Jared Cook (9), Owen Daniels (8), Jermichael Finley (10), Antonio Gates (7), Vernon Davis (9), Marcedes Lewis (6), Dwayne Allen (4), Martellus Bennett (6), Brandon Pettigrew (5), Kyle Rudolph (11), Jacob Tamme (7), Fred Davis (10), Heath Miller (4). PK: we don't necessarily recommend any roster moves here. TD: we don't necessarily recommend any roster moves here.
Projections and Player Summaries
Matt Ryan - Looking ahead to the 2012 season, the Falcons offense, especially their receiving unit, looks very strong. Quarterback Matt Ryan is entering his fifth year in the league and he has increased his touchdown passes and fantasy points each year he has been in the league. Last year, Ryan finished with a career high 4,177 yards passing with 29 touchdown passes and only 12 interceptions. The combination of Roddy White, Julio Jones and another season from Tony Gonzalez makes Ryan a popular pick as a late quarterback to target that can still provide adequate, consistent numbers on a weekly basis.
Brandon Weeden - Turning 29 this October, Brandon Weeden isn't your typical rookie quarterback. He could struggle like any other rookie QB though. Weeden played exclusively out of the shotgun at Oklahoma State, so he'll have to adjust quickly to being under center. His offense as an Oklahome State Cowboy also relied upon quick timing passes and he was rarely under pressure. His film shows that he struggles in such situations, though, and has heavy feet. Cleveland will have to lean on fellow 1st-round pick Trent Richardson and the ground game to remain balanced and help keep the pass rush off Weeden. Weeden's fantasy success is probably inversely proportionate to his team's success. If Cleveland can stay in games, it will likely be because of offensive balance and solid defense. If the Browns play like last year --- when they threw 570 passes and only ran 415 times --- Weeden will have plenty of opportunities to get some garbage time production. Weeden's ceiling is still that of a #2 fantasy QB --- probably in the #17 to #22 range among QBs. His floor is someone who doesn't even crack a roster in redraft leagues.
Frank Gore - The 49ers running back may have lost a step as far as breakaway speed, but Frank Gore still runs with great vision and has the power between the tackles to wear down a defense. Based on the addition of smaller, primarily pass-catching backs like Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James in the past two draft classes, the 49ers may have a long-term plan to transition to a spread attack. While Frank Gore still has miles left in the tank, Jim Harbaugh will use him as the primary rushing threat, however, and therefore Gore can be counted on as a dependable RB2 with low-end RB1 upside.
Rashad Jennings - Rashad Jennings missed 2011 to injury but is expected to spell Maurice Jones-Drew as the Jaguars look to improve one of the league's worst offenses in 2012. Jennings has underrated power and is capable of carrying the load between the tackles if needed. He carried 84 times in 2010 and performed well, posting a per-carry average of 5.5. Jennings is also an able pass catcher out of the backfield and will be counted on to give quarterback Blaine Gabbert a reliable target on short passes when Jones-Drew is out of the game. While his fantasy impact is likely to be minimal, Jennings could post big numbers if Jones-Drew were to miss significant time to injury.
Rashard Mendenhall - Opinions of Rashard Mendenhall in Pittsburgh vary greatly. Some think he's overrated while others think he's very talented but has been held back by offensive scheme and poor line play. Mendenhall has flashed signs of brilliance --- his best performance arguably being a 2010 playoff game in which he rushed for 121 yards against a New York Jets team that only allowed 90.9 per game in the regular season (good for 3rd in the NFL). In a surprise move, Pittsburgh activated Mendenhall off the Physically Unable to Perform List --- meaning they obvious believe he's ready to contribute within the season's first six weeks.
Trent Richardson - There's a reason Cleveland got scared by a simple rumor of Tampa Bay looking to trade up and moved up one spot to grab Trent Richardson in the 2012 draft. Richardson is an elite combination of size, speed, and durability. He can break a big run or simply wear teams down at four or five yards a clip. Richardson enters a great situation for fantasy purposes as Cleveland doesn't have a back as physically dominant as him or as accomplished as many other teams who employ running back by committee approaches. He has had some issues with his left knee, that forced him to have a second knee scope in six months. Early indications are that he is ahead of schedule on his return. Provided his knee returns to form, there are a few other factors that could keep Richardson from being a Top 10 back right out of the gate. Game scripts (Cleveland was often behind last year and abandoned the run early) and schedule (six games against fellow AFC North stalwarts Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh). Even with those potential hurdles to overcome, Richardson has a Top 5 RB ceiling based on his talent and situation. His floor, driven by the factors mentioned above, is simply a pedestrian flex play --- in the #25 RB range.
Jonathan Stewart - The combination of running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart was in full effect last year. Both backs were involved in the offensive game plan, however Stewart exploded onto the scene as the Panthers primary pass-catching back, catching 47 passes, up from eight the year prior. The increase is mostly due to Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski, who likes to involve the running back position as an outlet in the passing game if down the field options are not available. Stewart benefited a lot from the dump off pass in 2011 and the same should ring true this year. His receiving numbers may come down a little with the presence of newly signed fullback Mike Tolbert, who is also very good at catching balls out of the backfield and knows Chudzinski's offense well from his time in San Diego. Stewart matched DeAngelo Williams with a 5.4 yards per carry average in 2011 and should be able to put up similar numbers this year in what could be more of a leading role in his fourth year in the league. What gives Stewart the edge over Williams in a fantasy sense is his involvement as a receiver, but also that he is four years younger than Williams. Stewart also has more size and power that will garner more goal line carries and scoring chances. He is a good RB2 this year, especially in leagues that reward for receptions.
Donnie Avery - Donnie Avery joined the Colts after spending a season with the Titans. While he does not have the skill to be a number one receiver, Avery has a nice mix of speed and agility that make him valuable on mid-range routes against second and third corners. Avery uses his body well to shield defenders and has improved his concentration each season that he has been in the league. While he will start the season as the Colts third receiver behind Austin Collie and Reggie Wayne, he has the ability to challenge Collie for more playing time and will certainly be on the field often in the Colts three-wide offense. While he is unlikely to be consistent from week-to-week to be a valuable fantasy contributor, Avery could certainly break out a bit if Andrew Luck is able to quickly produce as the Colts' quarterback.
Calvin Johnson - The best fantasy receiver in football last year was an unstoppable force. Calvin Johnson's size, speed, and agility make Johnson a physical red zone option, a precise route runner, and a terror in the open field. Paired with a strong-armed, highly accurate quarterback like Matt Stafford and he earns targets that few receivers would get and convert. The Lions are attempting to fortify the receiving corps with additional weapons capable of stretching the field so Johnson could earn some easier opportunities for big plays through a more diverse offense. Look for Johnson to produce as a Top 5 fantasy receiver once again in 2012.
Julio Jones - The Falcons go-to WR is still Roddy White, but Julio Jones is capable of producing impressive numbers any given week. In his rookie season last year, Jones missed three games due to a hamstring injury that may not have fully healed until after the season. Jones played through the pain and produced a strong rookie season that possibly could have rivaled AJ Green's rookie performance, if not for the injury. Jones is expected to take another step forward, which would elevate him to a high WR2 level fantasy player. Roddy White will still be Matt Ryan's go-to WR in the clutch. He had ten games of 10+ targets, while Jones only had three. It may be a stretch to consider Jones a WR1 caliber player, but on any given week, he is capable of putting up Top 10 WR numbers.
Jordy Nelson - Thanks in part to a spectacular passing offense with one of the best quarterbacks in football and a three-game absence of primary receiver Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson was the No. 2 receiver in fantasy football last year. However, this somewhat shortchanges the fact that Nelson had a breakout performance due to his physical skills and excellent rapport with Aaron Rodgers. Nelson has good deep speed and great timing on fade routes. When he gets the ball in the open field he runs like the great return specialist he was five years ago in the Big 12. Many don't expect Nelson's production to return to Top 5 levels because his production earned a nice bump from 15 receiving touchdowns. While double-digit scores and 1,000 yards are solid projections for Nelson in 2012, expecting a return to the Top 5 at his position might be too ambitious. Nonetheless, Nelson is a good fantasy starter with No. 1 receiver upside.
Heath Miller - While not elite in fantasy circles, Heath Miller is considered one of the best all-around tight ends by many people in the NFL. With Pittsburgh's offensive line troubles the past few seasons, Miller was asked to block very frequently. He never complained and was very successful in doing so. This season, Miller's best-case scenario is that rookies David DeCastro and Mike Adams significantly improve the offensive line, allowing Miller to be used more as a receiver. Even if that happens, though, Miller is most likely only going to be the #16 TE for fantasy purposes. Todd Haley's offenses have never showcased tight ends, and with all of Pittsburgh's other pass-catching weapons, it's hard to see that changing --- despite Miller's talents.
David Akers - During his final years with the Eagles, Akers had grown accustomed to getting plenty of kicking opportunities. In his first season with the 49ers he got more than plenty, setting the NFL single season scoring record. This year, his holder will again be punter Andy Lee. The third specialist spot will between incumbent long snapper Brian Jennings, who withstood a brief challenge from free agent acquisition Ryan Pontbriand. After four years at or near the bottom of the rankings in kicker scoring opportunities, the 49ers shot up to number one last year - with one of the highest attempted totals in history. Can Akers repeat or come close to repeating last year�s feat? Anything is possible however history suggests otherwise. Over the past two decades, teams kicking over 140 points in a given year average only 111 points the following year (high of 129, low of 89).
Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens were a Top 5 Defense and Special Teams fantasy unit last year thanks to 48 sacks, 25 takeaways and 4 defensive touchdowns, not to mention the No.2 run defense and No.4 pass defense in the NFL. The Ravens are a perennial favorite in this category much in part to their relentless style of 3-4 defense that turns smothering pressure into turnovers. The loss of outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is not one to sweep under the rug. He will be missed as an elite edge rusher and high motor defensive stopper, but the Ravens have good depth with Paul Kruger, rookie Courtney Upshaw and Sergio Kindle who can fill the void. Veterans Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are the cornerstones of the defense and will give their all to lead this unit to another top-five finish.
Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks simply couldn't get at the quarterback last year and given the offensive line problems of the other three teams in their division, that's a concern. They were able to generate turnovers though and fought through some injuries. If everyone is healthy, they will be better this year however ultimately this isn't a defense with enough playmakers to warrant anything more than bye week or defense by committee status on fantasy rosters.
Player News (last 7 days)
"Our view" written by footballguys.com's Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom. Click here for all the news around the NFL, updated constantly.Falcons | GM optimistic about deal with Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team is confident that they will be able to sign QB Matt Ryan to a contract extension but there is no timetable to get one done. Fri May 17, 02:47 PM [Link to story]
|Our view: With QBs like Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, and Joe Flacco getting big deals this offseason it provides the structure for a new Ryan deal to get done. He's their franchise QB and we don't see any problems getting in the way of him getting the long-term contract he desires.|
Chiefs | Donnie Avery dealing with injury - Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (ankle) injured his ankle during organized team activities Tuesday, May 14, and has been limited the last few days. Thu May 16, 07:43 PM [Link to story]
|Our view: Avery is competing with Jonathan Baldwin to be the team's second WR opposite Dwayne Bowe. This injury should be fine by the start of training camp.|
Chiefs | Jonathan Baldwin seems to be top choice for No. 2 WR job - Kansas City Chiefs WR Jonathan Baldwin appears to be the favorite for the No. 2 wide receiver job at this point but has not emerged as the dominant offseason player like he was last offseason. WRs Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster and Terrance Copper are also expected to be candidates for the job. Thu May 16, 07:37 PM [Link to story]
|Our view: Baldwin has the skill set to be a top 32 WR in the game today. He's failed to play up to his potential as a pro but he could be re-energized under new head coach Andy Reid. With Dwayne Bowe taking the attention of the defense away the WR2 is going to see plenty of single coverage.|
49ers | GM believer in using multiple RBs - San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said he believes in using multiple running backs that can do different things on offense. 'I'm a big believer -- we are big believers -- in a three-headed approach,' Baalke said. 'In other words, having a group of backs that bring to the table something a little bit different than the other one so you can do a lot of different things. But also having those backs be able to do enough things the same so you don't become so predictable on game day.' RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James likely will see playing time this season. Wed May 15, 02:17 PM [Link to story] Dolphins | Lamar Miller working with NFL starter - Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller has been working out with San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore during the offseason. Gore, a fellow University of Miami alum, counseled Miller on lessons learned in the NFL. Miller said Tuesday, May 14, he is staying at 215 pounds, but adding more muscle mass. Wed May 15, 12:05 AM [Link to story]
|Our view: Miller is getting the nod as the team's starter this year. He'll have to prove that he can handle the full workload in 2013. Miller's current ADP is RB24 and he's coming off the board near the middle of round four. Rookie Mike Gillislee and veteran Daniel Thomas will compete for the backup job behind Miller.|
Cardinals | Won't Throw to RBs much - Darren Urban, from AZCardinals.com, notes that new Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has made plain he doesn't plan on throwing to the running backs as much. Tue May 14, 09:11 PM [Link to story]
|Our view: Important note for fantasy owners here, especially those in PPR leagues. Rashard Mendenhall signed in free agency and the most receptions he's had in a season is 25. Last year (under Arians as the OC) Colts RB Vick Ballard only managed to catch 17 passes. Arians wants one RB to emerge as the feature back but may not pass to him much in 2013.|
49ers | Team 'big believers' in three headed RBBC - Matt Maiocco, from CSNBayArea.com, reports 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke says "I'm a big believer -- we are big believers -- in a three-headed approach" at the RB position. Tue May 14, 09:02 PM [Link to story]
|Our view: Will Frank Gore yield to this approach in 2013? He's still performing at a high level and finished 2012 as the 11th best RB in fantasy football. If healthy, we should see more from Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James this season.|
Raiders | Rookie RB Murray 'mirrors' McFadden - CSNBayArea.com thinks rookie RB Latavius Murray (Central Florida) 'mirrors' Darren McFadden's skill set. Murray will compete with veteran Rashad Jennings to be the primary backup behind McFadden in 2013. Sun May 12, 09:09 PM [Link to story]
|Our view: Our Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom watched Murray during the week of practice for the Texas VS The Nation Game earlier this year in Allen, TX and came away impressed. He's a swift runner who reminds some in the scouting community or Demarco Murray (Cowboys) or Chris Brown (former Titans). McFadden has never played more than 13 games in a regular season during his career. The backup RBs are likely to play at some point this year.|