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Please note that rate-my-team is a PRESEASON tool. It is still functional as a demo, but the analysis is NOT updated to account for 2015 season-to-date happenings.

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QB: Ben Roethlisberger
RB: Ameer Abdullah, Devonta Freeman, Arian Foster, Duke Johnson, Joseph Randle
WR: Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, Alshon Jeffery, Steve Johnson, Danny Amendola, Cole Beasley
TE: Dwayne Allen, Antonio Gates
PK: Connor Barth
TD: St. Louis Rams

Overview:

Your receivers are the strongest part of this team. It's rare for us to endorse a team with weaknesses at quarterback and running back, but we're doing it right here! You should have a contender here. But your margin for error in terms of inseason management could be a bit thinner than some of your competitors'. You must remain committed to finding 2015's emergent players at RB and QB.

Players we particularly like on this team include Ben Roethlisberger, Duke Johnson, T.Y. Hilton, and the Rams defense. We have all these guys ranked ahead of where they are typically being drafted.

Bottom line:
  • With great inseason management, we think you have about a 80 percent chance of making the playoffs.
  • With good inseason management, we think you have about a 70 percent chance of making the playoffs.
  • With average inseason management, we think you have a 57 percent chance of making the playoffs.

In any event, we wish you the best of luck. Here's hoping all your weeks are like week 8 of 2014:

Arian Foster vs. TEN: 173 combined yards, 3 TD
Ben Roethlisberger vs. IND: 522 passing yards, 6 TD
Antonio Brown vs. IND: 133 receiving yards, 2 TD
T.Y. Hilton vs. PIT: 155 receiving yards, 1 TD
Antonio Gates vs. DEN: 54 receiving yards, 2 TD

QB Summary:

We expect Ben Roethlisberger to be a solid starter. According to our projections, he's the #4 QB, so you should be better off than most teams in the starting quarterback slot.

Despite your strong starting quarterback, we recommend taking a backup. See the end of this report for some specific suggestions.

A quick note about the Roethlisberger/Antonio Brown 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 see both your starters at running back as below average. Our projections have Ameer Abdullah ranked 17th and Devonta Freeman ranked at #19.

Your bench looks good and should help offset the unexciting starting unit. Not only do we like Arian Foster as a third running back, we love that you stole him from the Marshawn Lynch owner. Duke Johnson is practically criminal at RB4.

Joseph Randle is an excellent depth pick, though you may not end up using him much.

WR Summary:

Nice work here. We like both your starting receivers, as our projections indicate that they give you a combined 5.1 point-per-game advantage over an average opponent in this league. Antonio Brown is our first ranked WR, and we have T.Y. Hilton at #8.

Your bench also looks good. Alshon Jeffery looks great as a third receiver; he's a likely flex starter. Steve Johnson, on the other hand, is an average-at-best fourth WR. Danny Amendola is a very weak fifth receiver.

We're not sure that Cole Beasley adds much, as you're already strong at the position and we aren't convinced he's roster-worthy in this league anyway.

As we mentioned earlier, the QB/receiver hookup tends to make your team a little more inconsistent. But that's not the case with the Hilton/Dwayne Allen pair you've got here. Though the effect is probably negligible, this kind of pairing is likely to make your team more consistent if anything. See this article (which was written before the 2008 season) for more discussion.

TE Summary:

Dwayne Allen is viable but below average as a starting tight end (we have him ranked #12). We're also not too fired up about Antonio Gates as a backup.

Kicker Summary:

We don't think Connor Barth is starter quality in this league. Keep a sharp eye on the waiver wire.

Defense Summary:

The Rams are our #3 ranked defense, so you're in good shape here.


Is this a dynasty team? Click here to find out how it might look for 2016 season.


Schedule Analysis

Green 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.

12345678910111213141516
Ben RoethlisbergerNESFSTLBALSDARIKCCINOAKCLESEAINDCINDENBAL
 
Ameer AbdullahSDMINDENSEAARICHIMINKCGBOAKPHIGBSTLNOSF
Devonta FreemanPHINYGDALHOUWASNOTENTBSFINDMINTBCARJAXCAR
Duke JohnsonNYJTENOAKSDBALDENSTLARICINPITBALCINSFSEAKC
 
Danny AmendolaPITBUFJAXDALINDNYJMIAWASNYGBUFDENPHIHOUTENNYJ
Cole BeasleyNYGPHIATLNONENYGSEAPHITBMIACARWASGBNYJBUF
Antonio BrownNESFSTLBALSDARIKCCINOAKCLESEAINDCINDENBAL
T.Y. HiltonBUFNYJTENJAXHOUNENOCARDENATLTBPITJAXHOUMIA
Alshon JefferyGBARISEAOAKKCDETMINSDSTLDENGBSFWASMINTB
Steve JohnsonDETCINMINCLEPITGBOAKBALCHIKCJAXDENKCMIAOAK
 
Dwayne AllenBUFNYJTENJAXHOUNENOCARDENATLTBPITJAXHOUMIA
Antonio GatesDETCINMINCLEPITGBOAKBALCHIKCJAXDENKCMIAOAK
 
Connor BarthTENNOHOUCARJAXWASATLNYGDALPHIINDATLNOSTLCHI
 
St. Louis RamsSEAWASPITARIGBCLESFMINCHIBALCINARIDETTBSEA
 
Relative Strength99102999910310410210310699909810199101101

Schedule and Matchup Notes:

  • 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 11 presents serious bye week issues for you: Ben Roethlisberger, Duke Johnson, and Antonio Brown are off.
  • In weeks 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12 you'll probably be better off than your opponent, as far as byes are concerned.


Potential Free Agents

Listed 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: Jay Cutler (7), Alex Smith (9), Joe Flacco (9), Carson Palmer (9), Marcus Mariota (4), Blake Bortles (8), Derek Carr (6), Nick Foles (6), Kirk Cousins (8), Tyrod Taylor (8), Brian Hoyer (7), Ryan Fitzpatrick (), Josh McCown (11), Geno Smith (5), Johnny Manziel (), EJ Manuel (8), Ryan Mallett (9), Mark Sanchez (7), Colt McCoy (8).

RB: we don't necessarily recommend any roster moves here.

WR: Allen Hurns (8), Malcom Floyd (), Percy Harvin (), Dwayne Bowe (), Brandon Coleman (11), Cody Latimer (7), Harry Douglas (4), Kenny Britt (6), Martavis Bryant (11), Brandon LaFell (7), Corey Brown (5), Robert Woods (8), Greg Jennings (5), Brian Hartline (11), Kamar Aiken (9), Tyler Lockett (9), Andrew Hawkins (11), Phillip Dorsett (10), Dorial Green-Beckham (4). We have all these players rated ahead of Danny Amendola and Cole Beasley.

TE: Kyle Rudolph (5), Jordan Cameron (5), Tyler Eifert (7), Heath Miller (), Dwayne Allen (10), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6), Zach Ertz (8), Owen Daniels (), Charles Clay (8), Josh Hill (11), Coby Fleener (11), Antonio Gates (10).

PK: Brandon McManus (7), Josh Scobee (11), Matt Bryant (10), Matt Prater (9), Josh Brown (11), Josh Lambo (10), Chandler Catanzaro (9), Andrew Franks (5), Graham Gano (5), Blair Walsh (5), Mike Nugent (7), Phil Dawson (10), Randy Bullock (), Zach Hocker (7), Greg Zuerlein (6), Dan Carpenter (8), Cairo Santos (9), Robbie Gould (7), Kyle Brindza (). We have all these players rated ahead of Connor Barth.

TD: we don't necessarily recommend any roster moves here.


Projections and Player Summaries

PlayerCmpAttYDY/ATDINTRshYDTDFPTRank
Ben Roethlisberger38056543347.7311132581343.24

Ben Roethlisberger - With top-5 upside and a proven track record, there's a lot to like about Ben Roethlisberger this year. In 2014, Roethlisberger posted a career-high with 4,952 passing yards. He also tied his career-best with 32 passing touchdowns. Roethliberger posted these numbers while only throwing nine interceptions. It's not out of the question to think that Roethlisberger will put up even better numbers in 2015. Roethlisberger has emerging weapons around him in the passing game like wide receivers Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton. Add in superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown and steady tight end Heath Miller--and the best receiving back in the game Le'Veon Bell--and it's easy to see why Roethlisberger is capable of producing that much in 2015. He's got the size to sluff off smaller defenders, and Roethlisberger is the master of keeping plays alive while under duress. With chaos swirling around him in the pocket, Roethlisberger stays calm and tries to find the open receiver. He has no problem challenging the edges of the defense, and he's known as an aggressive passer. With Bell suspended for the first three games of the season, the Steelers could lean on Roethlisberger and the passing game more than ever to kick this year off. All fantasy owners--especially DFS owners--should be able to benefit from this spike in Roethlisberger's opportunity.

PlayerRshYDY/RshTDRecYDTDFPTRank
Ameer Abdullah1656854.25453692190.417
Devonta Freeman1907223.85423192186.119
Arian Foster1808104.56242021163.229
Duke Johnson1355203.94402882154.832
Joseph Randle1707744.66211431148.734

Ameer Abdullah - Ameer Abdullah arrives in Detroit as a 2nd round pick out of Nebraska and will earn immediate playing time as the 3rd down back and as a change of pace to power back Joique Bell. Abdullah could potentially carve out an even bigger role due to his impressive training camp performance and Bell's nagging injury issues. The biggest knock on Abdullah is his size at only 5'9 and 205 pounds. He does not have the ideal build for a true 3-down RB. Abdullah does run hard though and generates some power with his leg drive and low pad level. A smaller knock on Abdullah is his lack of blazing long speed as he only ran a 4.60 40-yd. dash at the combine. Where he really excels however is with his quickness and ability to hit top speed quickly. He is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield and should step right into the role vacated by Reggie Bush as the primary pass catching back in Detroit as he is more talented than Theo Riddick. Abdullah should be viewed as a RB2 with upside, particularly in PPR leagues. Abdullah could emerge as the RB1 in Detroit by the middle of the season.

Arian Foster - An injury plagued 2013 season left people wondering how Arian Foster would rebound in 2014. The Texans offense had question marks, including Foster's own health. With his legacy in the balance, Foster quieted critics and rose to the occasion with a strong season that saw him finish in the Top 5 among fantasy running backs. The offseason came and the Texans were strong candidates to use a high draft pick on a talented, young running back, but it never happened. Outside of Foster, the 2015 Texans running game will include last year's surprising rookie, Alfred Blue, the newly signed Chris Polk and veteran Jonathan Grimes. The Texans coaching staff has indicated that Foster's role will be diminished this year, which would undoubtedly have a least some negative effect on his fantasy value. Foster has a history of leg, hamstring and calf injuries which can pop up without notice, especially on a player with as much wear and tear as him. In the last five years, Foster has amassed over 1,500 touches. He has the talent, drive and experience to be a weekly fantasy standout, but can he make it last the entire year? He is expected to be a key piece of the offense, but there is definitely risk involved in making him your top back in 2015. Update - Foster suffered a groin/hernia injury in training camp and has since had sports hernia surgery that will keep him out of action for the first 4-5 weeks of the season, possibly longer. He was not placed on the IR with eligibility to return list, which indicates the Texans are still planning on him returning to action possibly in early October. When healthy, Foster is one of the best backs in the league and therefore is still worthy of being selected in redraft leagues.

Devonta Freeman - DeVonta Freeman was selected at 4.03 of the 2014 draft (Florida State). After the 2014 draft, Footballguy Matt Waldman expected Freeman to compete for touches on the football during 2014 (Freeman handled 65/248/1 rushing and saw 37 targets for 30/225/1 receiving during 2014 in a part-time role) and then potentially supplant Jacquizz Rodgers as the #2 in Atlanta for 2015, which is indeed how the scenario has worked out, with Rodgers moving on to Chicago during free agency this past spring. However, the Falcons drafted Tevin Coleman with the 73rd pick of the 2015 draft, likely signalling that Freeman will stay in his backup role during 2015, though he may be the junior partner in a potential running-back-by-committee. The work-sharing arrangement between the two backs will be hashed out during training camp/preseason. An important note from early in training camp - both Coleman and Freeman are recovering from hamstring injuries as of Thursday, August 6 - the team has yet to give a timetable for their return to action.

Duke Johnson - Second-round selection Duke Johnson gives Cleveland a more versatile back than Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. At Miami (FL), Johnson caught 69 passes in two-plus seasons (he played in just eight games in 2013 after breaking his right ankle). He averaged 10.4 yards per reception. He also showed an electric playmaking ability rushing the ball, averaging 6.7 yards per carry in his career and totaling 30 touchdowns. Johnson is likely to reduce West's role to purely a committee player only if Crowell is injured. He can be a passing-down player or carry the load if called upon. Johnson was flashing in practices until he injured his hamstring. The team has said they will ease him back as they have plans to use him heavily this season and don't want to risk a recurrence.

Joseph Randle - Joseph Randle is a difficult player to forecast. After DeMarco Murray departed Dallas in free agency, many expected the Cowboys to draft a new starter or trade for someone like Adrian Peterson. Neither happened. Neither Darren McFadden nor Randle impressed enough in the preseason to confidently say they're going to be fantasy assets. But the quality of the offensive line and Randle's apparent "first man up" status still makes him a worthwhile investment after the first four or five rounds.

PlayerRshYDTDRecYDY/RecTDFPTRank
Antonio Brown3120110144113.111321.31
T.Y. Hilton321079120115.29255.28
Alshon Jeffery422076104913.810241.111
Steve Johnson0005468612.75150.651
Danny Amendola0004245410.83105.475
Cole Beasley2903846412.23103.378

Danny Amendola - Danny Amendola was once thought to be the replacement for Wes Welker. Instead, he's ended up injured almost as frequently as Welker did in Denver. Julian Edelman has emerged as the short-route guy and Amendola has had trouble finding a role when he's made it on to the field. While the fact that the Patriots reworked his contract is good (after all, they didn't cut him outright), it's also a sign they don't trust him to perform. Amendola is a dangerous player to go after in fantasy realms, as even when he's healthy he can underperform. As it stands, he seems to be no more than a late-round flier.

Cole Beasley - Beasley is secure in his role as the team's slot receiver, and there's a belief that Scott Linehan plans on using more 3-WR sets this season. Beasley probably doesn't warrant anything more than a late round pick in standard leagues, but is a viable option in deeper PPR leagues.

Antonio Brown - Over the last two seasons, Antonio Brown has been one of the best receivers in the league. After his amazing performance in 2014, Brown shows no signs of slowing down. Last year, Brown ran a league-high 631 routes, was targeted 180 times (2nd-most), caught 129 passes (1st) for 1,698 receiving yards (1st), 85 first downs (1st) and 13 receiving touchdowns (2nd). Brown has amazing chemistry with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and he can attack a defense on short or long routes. He has no problem working the sidelines or running routes over the middle. Brown is the guy Roethlisberger looks for first in his progressions--and he's the guy Roethlisberger looks for when the play breaks down. His speed and quickness help Brown get open against the tightest coverage. His quick feet also help him beat jam coverage at the line of scrimmage. Brown is a "set it and forget it" starter for fantasy owners, and he's the model of consistency. For the second year in a row, Brown did not record a game with fewer than five receptions. He's consistent, he can make big plays and he can take over games. All these attributes make Brown a favorite for fantasy owners.

T.Y. Hilton - One of the best stats that encapsulates T.Y. Hilton's fantasy success in his brief three year career is that he has exceeded his average draft position (ADP) each year he has been in the league. Just when you think Hilton has reached his maximum potential, he adds another level to his game and increases his standing at seasons end. Very few players have raised their game every year like Hilton. The Colts offense is one of the best in the league, much in part to Hilton's abilities, but also thanks to the stellar quarterback play of Andrew Luck. Hilton has scored 19 touchdowns in three seasons and he has 82 receptions in back to back years with six games of 100+ yards receiving in 2014. Consider Hilton a strong WR2 option this year with the ability to put up WR1 numbers any given week.

Alshon Jeffery - Alshon Jeffery missed the Bears' first preseason game due to a calf injury suffered earlier in the week. Following the game, Jeffery was seen in a walking boot. Head coach John Fox is calling Jeffery's injury a day-to-day thing, but who really knows. The Bears played coy when it came to Kevin White's shin injury, one of which has kept him out all of training camp thus far. So it's really hard to gauge if there's something more to what Jeffery currently is going through. Jeffery had been looking great in camp before the injury, and the Bears will need him if they plan to surprise the masses and finish the season with a winning record. Stay tuned.

Steve Johnson - Steve Johnson had three 1,000-yard seasons with the Bills before taking on a role as a part-time player with the 49ers last season. Although Johnson's 35 catches for 435 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2014 don't add up to impressive fantasy totals, his production was rather efficient on a per-route basis. The Chargers will give him a chance to compete for a starting role opposite Keenan Allen. He'll battle Malcom Floyd for that honor, but however the pecking order ends up, he'll get plenty of playing time in the Chargers' 3-WR base offense. Johnson is a smooth route-runner who can play from the slot or on the perimeter, and has some upside potential as a late-round fantasy sleeper.

PlayerRecYDY/RecTDFPTRank
Dwayne Allen4455412.67141.412
Antonio Gates4552211.65125.219

Dwayne Allen - Andrew Luck and the Colts loved to involve the tight end in the offense, especially in the red zone. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen combined to receive 16 of Luck's 40 touchdown passes in 2014. Throw in another two to Jack Doyle and that's nearly half of Luck's touchdown passes to the tight end. There is definitely fantasy value to be had from the tight end spot on the Colts. The only down side is that both players take away value from the other. An injury to one would elevate the other into a must start fantasy option. Rostering one or the other as a TE2 is a wise move, as you're betting on at least one not completing a full season. Injury wise, Dwayne Allen is the greater risk. He has played in only 14 games in the last two seasons, whereas Fleener hasn't missed a game in the same time span. The Colts scored 28.6 points per game last year and their offense is expected to be just as good, if not better in 2015. Consider Fleener and Allen as excellent later round tight end selections.

Antonio Gates - Antonio Gates joined the league as an undrafted free agent in 2003. He came off the bench as a rookie, but in his 11 years as a starter, he's been a top-three fantasy tight end seven times, including last season when he finished #2 in non-PPR leagues. Gates was never a great blocker, and he's gotten worse in recent years, so he's come off the field more often on early downs. But that hasn't hurt his receiving production: if anything, it's kept him fresher over the course of the season. The main concern heading into 2015 is that Gates has been suspended for the first four games, which will give Ladarius Green a chance to show his stuff and possibly claim a permanent role as a starter. Gates will still have a role from Week Five on since he is still one of the top five receivers on the team; but the role could be significantly smaller than it was last season.

PlayerFGMFGAXPMXPAFPTRank
Connor Barth00000.036

Connor Barth - The Broncos endured some instability at kicker in 2014 due to Matt Prater's suspension and Brandon McManus's inconsistency, but the veteran Barth came on for the last five games and made 15 of 16 field goal attempts. That number of attempts per game over a whole season would give Barth a chance to be the top scoring kicker in the league by a good margin, but it was also inflated by Peyton Manning's December struggles, especially in the red zone. Barth is being drafted as a top 10 kicker, and whether Manning bounces back and gives Barth a ton of extra point attempts, or continues to decline and stalls out for more field goal attempts, the kicker position in Denver's thin air should be a good one for fantasy.

PlayerSackFRINTTDYd/GPt/GFPTRank
St. Louis Rams441215533420.5137.13

St. Louis Rams - Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald form the core of an excellent defensive line rotation that can create feeding frenzy games that overwhelm even the best of opponents at times. Like the Rams team, the D/ST can fluctuate wildly in results, but their ability to have the #1 week at just about any given time, especially when they are at home, makes them one of the D/ST's that will get drafted in every league once again this year. If Nick Foles is even an incremental improvement of the cast that has replaced Sam Bradford and Todd Gurley is as advertised this year, the Rams could be more competitive and post more top end D/ST weeks this year.


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.

Buccaneers | Connor Barth released - Tampa Bay Buccaneers PK Connor Barth was released Monday, May 2. Mon May 2, 03:03 PM     [Link to story]

Footballguys view: The Bucs moved up in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft to select kicker Roberto Aguayo. A bold move that pretty much insured that Barth was going to get his walking papers.

Patriots | Malcolm Mitchell fits in New England - New England Patriots WR Malcolm Mitchell has the short-area burst the team looks for in receivers, and beat writer Mike Reiss believes the addition of Mitchell will give the team flexibility in handling the contract situation of WR Danny Amendola. Sat Apr 30, 01:43 PM     [Link to story]

Footballguys view: Amendola has been a mixed bag for New England, so getting someone who could replace him is a good idea anyway, contract notwithstanding. We never know who will step up for the Patriots beyond Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, so don't sell your house to move up in Dynasty for Mitchell, but keep an eye on him.

Chargers | Hunter Henry headed for big workload? - San Diego Chargers TE Hunter Henry's blocking ability will allow him to contribute right away before replacing TE Antonio Gates as the primary pass-catching tight end down the road, and beat writer Michael Gehlken believes Henry could see more snaps this season than Gates. Fri Apr 29, 09:44 PM     [Link to story]

Footballguys view: He can catch the ball but he's a great run blocker, which will put him on the field a lot with Philip Rivers.

Bears | Chicago negotiating with Alshon Jeffery - Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery continues to negotiate a long-term deal with the team, according to general manager Ryan Pace. Wed Apr 27, 02:26 PM     [Link to story]