Your team, rated by footballguys.com
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QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Kirk Cousins
RB: Devonta Freeman, Christian McCaffrey, Rob Kelley, LeGarrette Blount, Thomas Rawls
WR: Doug Baldwin, Alshon Jeffery, Stefon Diggs, Eric Decker, Randall Cobb, Marvin Jones
TE: Greg Olsen
PK: Justin Tucker
TD: New York Giants
You've put together a very interesting team here. Our numbers show it as being below average at all three core positions (QB, RB, and WR). And yet, somehow, we don't hate it. With proper care and feeding throughout the season, this team should be in the thick of things.
But your margin for error is probably slimmer than that of your fellow contenders. You're going to have to be diligent in your search for help through trades and the waiver wire.
Players we particularly like on this team include Stefon Diggs and Alshon Jeffery. We have both these guys ranked ahead of where they are typically being drafted.Bottom line:
- With great inseason management, we think you have about a 75 percent chance of making the playoffs.
- With good inseason management, we think you have about a 65 percent chance of making the playoffs.
- With average inseason management, we think you have a 50 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 2 of 2016:Stefon Diggs vs. GB: 182 receiving yards, 1 TD
Eric Decker vs. BUF: 126 receiving yards, 1 TD
LeGarrette Blount vs. MIA: 123 combined yards, 1 TD
Greg Olsen vs. SF: 122 receiving yards, 1 TD
Ben Roethlisberger vs. CIN: 259 passing yards, 3 TD
We have Ben Roethlisberger rated #7 among quarterbacks, which makes him a less-than-stellar starter in this league. But we like the selection of our #12-rated QB, Kirk Cousins, to go with him. Hopefully between the two of them, you should be able to cobble together some good production at the position, but this strategy always carries with it the downside that you'll drive yourself crazy trying to decide who to start from week to week.Incidentally, these two have a pretty nice combined schedule, though their playoff schedule isn't so great. If you simply played the one with the better matchup each week, this is the schedule you'd face:
CLE | LAR | OAK | BAL | JAX | SF | CIN | DET | SEA | IND | TEN | GB | DAL | BAL | NE | HOURB Summary:
We see both your starters at running back as below average. Our projections have Devonta Freeman ranked seventh and Christian McCaffrey ranked at #18.
We see Rob Kelley as an average third running back. LeGarrette Blount is a weak RB4.
Thomas Rawls is a solid depth pick.
A quick note about the same-team McCaffrey/Greg Olsen duo you've got here. Though the effect is probably negligible, this kind of pairing is likely to make your team more (not less) consistent than a comparable-scoring different-team pair. See this article (which was written before the 2008 season) for more discussion.WR Summary:
We like Alshon Jeffery as a second WR, but we consider your starting receivers, as a group, to be a little below par. Doug Baldwin is our #13 ranked receiver, and we have Jeffery at #16.
Your bench looks good and should help offset the unexciting starting unit. Stefon Diggs should serve as a very solid third receiver; he's a likely flex starter. We also see Eric Decker as an above average WR4.
Though some teams will probably be content to roster as few as four players here, it was not a bad idea to take a few extras because you're not particularly strong overall at the position. Of your remaining guys, we like Randall Cobb the best, but you should keep the one you think has the best chance of putting up starter numbers. The rest might be considered expendable if you find you need roster space elsewhere.TE Summary:
We like the choice of Greg Olsen to start at tight end. We have him ranked third overall at the position. He's about 1.0 points per game better than an average starting TE in this league. Given your league rules and the presence of Olsen, your decision to roll with just one tight end is a reasonable one.Kicker Summary:
With Justin Tucker, you should be above average at the position.Defense Summary:When you don't have an elite defense, one option is a committee approach. That is, try to get two cheap defenses whose schedules fit well together. Here are a few teams who we think may be available and whose schedules fit best with the Giants', along with the combined schedule that each would create: Giants + Jaguars = HOU | TEN | BAL | NYJ | LAC | LAR | IND | | LAR | LAC | CLE | ARI | IND | SEA | HOU | ARI
Giants + Dolphins = TB | LAC | NYJ | TB | LAC | DEN | NYJ | BAL | LAR | CAR | KC | WAS | DEN | DAL | BUF | ARI
Giants + Bengals = BAL | HOU | GB | CLE | LAC | DEN | SEA | IND | LAR | TEN | DEN | CLE | PIT | CHI | PHI | ARI
Is this a dynasty team? Click here to find out how it might look for 2018 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.
|New York Giants||DAL||DET||PHI||TB||LAC||DEN||SEA||LAR||SF||KC||WAS||OAK||DAL||PHI||ARI|
- 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 5 presents moderate bye week issues: Kirk Cousins, Devonta Freeman, and Rob Kelley are not playing.
- Week 11 presents moderate bye week issues: Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen are not playing.
- Ben Roethlisberger and Stefon Diggs are out in week 9, but your opponent will likely have comparable issues with byes.
- LeGarrette Blount and Marvin Jones are out in week 7, but your opponent will likely have comparable issues with byes.
- Thomas Rawls and Doug Baldwin are out in week 6, but your opponent will likely have comparable issues with byes.
- In weeks 4, 8, 10, and 12 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: we don't necessarily recommend any roster moves here. RB: Derrick Henry (8), James White (9), Giovani Bernard (6), Jonathan Stewart (8), Mike Gillislee (9), Darren Sproles (10), Jamaal Charles (5), Chris Thompson (5), Darren McFadden (), LeGarrette Blount (7), Shane Vereen (8), C.J. Prosise (6), Thomas Rawls (6). WR: Jeremy Maclin (), Adam Thielen (9), Pierre Garcon (11), Randall Cobb (8), Corey Coleman (9), Mike Wallace (10), Rishard Matthews (8), Willie Snead (5), Zay Jones (6), Kenny Britt (9), Sterling Shepard (8), Robby Anderson (11), Marvin Jones (7). TE: we don't necessarily recommend any roster moves here. PK: we don't necessarily recommend any roster moves here. TD: New England Patriots (9), Baltimore Ravens (10), Philadelphia Eagles (10), Carolina Panthers (11), Pittsburgh Steelers (9), New York Giants (8), Jacksonville Jaguars (8), Green Bay Packers (8), Cincinnati Bengals (6), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1).
Projections and Player Summaries
Kirk Cousins - Statistically speaking, Kirk Cousins wasn't quite as good in 2016 as he was in 2015, but Washington fans should still hope the team finds a way to keep him under contract beyond this season. In two full seasons as the starter, Cousins has completed 68% of his passes for 9,083 yards, 54 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. It's clear he's a perfect fit for Jay Gruden's rhythm-based passing attack. The question for Cousins is whether the team's revamped receiving corps is an upgrade or not. Veterans Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson left for free agent riches in spite of having resurgent years. Washington signed Terrelle Pryor to a one-year "prove it" deal as the new starter opposite slot receiver extraordinaire Jamison Crowder. The X-factor will be Josh Doctson's development. If he plays like the 1st rounder he was a season ago, Cousins could replicate last year's fantasy output. If Doctson falters, Cousins stays relevant but becomes a lower end QB1 or an ideal high end QB2.
Ben Roethlisberger - There may not be a 'next year' with Ben Roethlisberger as he has not committed to playing football past this season. The Steelers (and fantasy owners) may be taking one last ride with Roethlisberger and the potential for him to once again be a top-10 fantasy quarterback is there. Injuries have piled up for the veteran quarterback and last year in 14 games, Roethlisberger finished as the 18th fantasy quarterback in standard scoring leagues. If he can stay healthy for a full 16-game season, something he hasn't done in two years, Roethlisberger will have a full array of weapons at his disposal. Martavis Bryant is back after a year-long suspension, and in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft the Steelers selected JuJu Smith-Schuster out of USC. Oh yeah -- Antonio Brown is arguably the best receiver in the league and running back Le'Veon Bell is a fantastic receiver out of the backfield. The Steelers offense features a high-powered passing attack led by Roethlisberger. His current ADP has him going off the board near the end of the eighth round in 12-team leagues. That's too good given the potential to finish any week as the best fantasy quarterback in the NFL. Yes, there's risk involved with Roethlisberger. He was only sacked 17 times in 2016 (3rd lowest), and Roethlisberger was only contacted 31 times (lowest total in 2016) on 527 dropbacks. The Steelers line is much better than it used to be, and it's well worth taking a chance on Roethlisberger to see if he can go out with a bang in 2017.
LeGarrette Blount - LeGarrette Blount has had a strange NFL career. A strong rookie season in Tampa Bay was followed up by dwindling usage in his 2nd and 3rd seasons. He landed in New England in 2013 and was a part-time contributor, but the team didn't fight to keep him and Blount signed with the Steelers in 2014. He wore out his welcome immediately in Pittsburgh and was released mid-season, being added back into the Patriots fold. He continued in a part-time role for the next few years. Last season, at 30 years old and on a roster full of other talented, arguably more versatile, running backs -- Blount had a career year. The 6'1", 241-lb bruiser rushed for 1,161 yards and scored EIGHTEEN (18) rushing touchdowns for the Super Bowl champions. In spite of his heroics, the Patriots went in a different direction this offseason including the additions of Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee. Blount eventually found a new home in Philadelphia. On paper, it's an excellent fit as the Eagles had the league's smallest running backs exiting the NFL draft. Blount should fit in as a key part of a running back committee and serve as the main option on conventional 1st and 2nd down run plays, short yardage and the goal line. The one concern for fantasy owners is Blount's troubling history outside of his time in New England. Presuming he's matured (he'll turn 31 years old this season), he has an opportunity to be a fantasy-relevant commodity particularly in non-PPR leagues.
Devonta Freeman - So far, so good for Devonta Freeman, who followed up a stellar 2015 campaign with a solid top-10 finish during 2016 (227/1,079/11 rushing with 65 targets for 54/462/2 receiving), checking in at sixth among all fantasy running backs. Like the rest of the Falcons' offense, he'll be working with a new offensive coordinator this year, Steve Sarkisian. However, Freeman doesn't appear concerned with the transition, stating on May 18 that the offense will stay 'pretty much the same... A few tweaks here and there, but the majority of the same play calls, the same offense.' Freeman has cemented his role as the lead back in Atlanta over the last two seasons - he should continue to get a heavy load of carries during 2017, and it looks like he got the 'elite' running back money that he was expecting in his new contract.
Rob Kelley - Kelley led Washington with 168 carries for 704 yards (4.2 per carry) and six rushing touchdowns as a rookie last year. His play was adequate, but the reality is he benefited from a roster of flawed or one-dimensional competitors. Kelley can be functional as a full-time player, but he's better suited to a committee role. Rookie Samaje Perine should push for playing time if he can grasp pass protection. Until then, Kelley has a chance to parlay a strong camp into fantasy RB2 value.
Christian McCaffrey - After being picked eighth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, Christian McCaffrey signed a four year, $17.224 million contract with Carolina on May 4 - there will be no protracted negotiations to worry about as he takes over as the lead running back for the Panthers this year. McCaffrey had 632/3,922/21 rushing and 99 receptions at Stanford (with two return TDs as well) - he is a proficient dual-threat back. Additionally, McCaffrey comes from a NFL family (former Broncos' receiver Ed McCaffrey is his dad) so he's seen the grind of the pro game up-close-and-personal - he should be more ready for the off-field challenges of the league than any given prospect from a non-NFL home. He should be a three-down back for the Panthers, though they may prefer veteran Jonathan Stewart in short yardage/goal-line situations. Footballguy Matt Waldman summarized McCaffrey's prospects in the 2017 Rookie Scouting Portfolio, Post-Draft Edition, as follows: 'McCaffrey played in a Stanford scheme that has a ground game nearly identical to Carolina. He'll fit immediately as a two-down runner and three-down weapon when used as a receiver. Think of him as the new DeAngelo Williams to pair with Jonathan Stewart short-term. As his pass protection develops, and the Panthers learn to maximize his receiving skill, McCaffrey has RB1 upside.'
Thomas Rawls - The Seahawks expected Thomas Rawls to be ready for 2016 training camp after suffering a season-ending ankle injury during a promising rookie year. That optimism didn't translate to practice or playing time last preseason and when he finally took the field, an early-season fibula injury in Week 2 cost Rawls another 9 weeks. He never got going upon his return. A quick, agile, and physical runner when healthy and behind a competent offensive line, Rawls averaged less than four yards per carry last year and delivered just one 100-yard game against Carolina in Week 13. Rawls is not guaranteed a featured role in 2017, and even significant playing time could be a challenge, thanks to free agent Eddie Lacy and second-year talent C.J. Prosise. Rawls offers fantasy RB1 upside if the offensive line takes another step forward with new tackles, Lacy doesn't live up to his incentive-laden deal, and Prosise doesn't build a two-week tear in 2016 where he earned 234 yards from scrimmage. Because fantasy owners will likely plant their flag with one of Rawls or Lacy as the lead back, the average draft position on one, if not both, options will have upside baked into the figure. Rawls is currently the starter on the depth chart, but expect a three-way time share.
Doug Baldwin - Baldwin proved the doubters wrong by building on 2015's 100-yard, 14-touchdown campaign with a 94-catch, 1128-yard follow-up. Although his touchdown total was cut in half, he once again produced as a top-10 fantasy receiver. 2016's season was a notable one for Baldwin because he and Jimmy Graham were on the only cogs that functioned to expectation in a Seattle offense that suffered a rash of injuries to its quarterback, running game, and inexperienced offensive line. There's concern that Baldwin's production could drop if the rest of the offense improves. It's a valid possibility if the ground game returns to prominence. If not, a healthy Russell Wilson and the emerging big-play abilities of Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson could combine with Baldwin and Graham to make Seattle a pass-heavy unit. Wilson was the No. 3 fantasy quarterback in 2015, throwing for 4,024 yards and 34 touchdowns. Top passing offenses often have as many as 2-3 options at wide receiver and tight end that earn top-12 production. Considering Baldwin's rapport with Wilson and his reliability to get open everywhere on the field, he's the safest wide receiver in Seattle.
Randall Cobb - The Packers are saying they want to get Randall Cobb more involved this season, and it'd be hard to get less involved or effective than what he did last season. Cobb had his second worst since becoming a starter, and while some of that was due to an injury which seemed to linger all season, most of it was just Cobb being bad. So it's heartening to hear the team wants to get the dynamic receiver more involved. If he's healed, the explosiveness which seemed to be gone last season could return and that would make a big difference as well. Limiting his ceiling could be Davante Adams, assuming Adams continues his breakout 2016 in 2017. On the plus side, with an effective Adams and Jordy Nelson on the field, Cobb will get the one on one matchups he excels with. Update (9/18/17): Randall Cobb left Sunday's game against Atlanta with a shoulder injury. He will get an MRI on his shoulder today, so we should know more about the severity of the injury in the next couple days.
Eric Decker - The Jets released Decker this spring and the Titans signed the veteran with the expectation of using him as a starter who can play outside and in the slot. Decker is doing just that in training camp. He's a good route runner with skill in traffic and enough speed to get deep with the Titans' play-action offense. His range of outcomes is wide, but all of them are likely in the realm of a fantasy starter in three-receiver formats.
Stefon Diggs - Stefon Diggs had a solid season with an 84/903/3 statline on 112 targets (in 14 games). Diggs coming out party was in Week 2 against the Packers where he caught 9 of 11 targets for 182 yards and a touchdown. Look for the duo of Thielen and Diggs to pick up where they left off in 2016 and hopefully a third WR can step up this season with the departure of Cordarrelle Patterson.
Alshon Jeffery - Alshon Jeffery expected to break the bank in free agency. He ended up signing a one-year, 'prove it' deal with Philadelphia. Jeffery's failure to land a big contract speaks to the inconsistencies plaguing his first five seasons in Chicago. In 2013, Jeffery appeared ready to ascend into the upper echelon at the position. He caught 89 receptions for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns and finished as the 9th ranked fantasy receiver. The following season wasn't as impressive (85 receptions for 1,133 yards) but Jeffery scored double-digit touchdowns (10) and finished WR12. The last two seasons have been disappointments. He's missed 12 games. He's caught 54 and 52 passes, respectively. He's failed to break 850 yards in either season and has only scored six combined touchdowns. Those are not elite numbers. However, on a per game basis, Jeffery continues to flash WR1 ability. The Eagles were smart to land Jeffery on a one-year deal. He has a lot to prove, and the Eagles desperately needed a true #1 receiver. The fit makes sense. Fantasy owners are betting on Jeffery staying healthy and becoming the Eagles' top option. It's a fair bet to make, but it's also a high-risk proposition. Make sure to draft another receiver with WR1 upside and a higher floor if you take a shot on Jeffery in the first few rounds.
Marvin Jones - Marvin Jones returns as the starter opposite of Golden Tate. Jones was a 5th-round draft pick out of California and spent his first four seasons with Cincinnati. He had a career-high 65 receptions in 2015 for the Bengals, which led to a long-term $40-million dollar contract from the Lions, who envisioned him as their top outside receiver following the retirement of Calvin Johnson. Early in the 2016 season, the signing looked like a home run. Jones exploded out of the gates and led the NFL with 482 receiving yards after four weeks. However, he managed just 448 yards the rest of the season and struggled through drops and nagging injuries late in the season. Despite the drops (which led to a career-low 53.4% catch rate), Jones was able to put up a career high 930 yards and his 16.9 yards per reception was easily a career-high. He has good size and enough speed to be a deep threat. He's shown a knack for making difficult catches and the issue with drops last season are likely an anomaly. In his second season with Detroit, Jones has a solid fantasy WR4 floor plus some upside as a post-hype breakout candidate.
Greg Olsen - Olsen is the first tight end in NFL history to string together three 1,000+ yards-receiving seasons in a row - he's been a model of consistency in Carolina during that record-setting run, seeing 123 targets for 84/1,008/6 receiving during 2014; 124 for 77/1,104/7 during 2015 and 129 for 80/1,073/3 during 2016. He should remain an elite tight end for fantasy owners this year (he led the Panthers in receiving last year - no wide receiver went over 1,000 yards receiving last season). Olsen may once again wind up the most valuable fantasy pass receiver for Carolina again this year given the sorry state of the wide receivers' stable. He is very simpatico with Cam Newton - both players arrived in Carolina during 2011 and Olsen has always been a favorite target of Newton's dating back to Newton's rookie season.
|New York Giants||35||10||16||3||335||21.5||110.0||12|
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.Lions | LeGarrette Blount joining Detroit - Free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Eagles) has agreed to a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions worth $4.5 million, according to a source. Fri Mar 16, 09:37 PM [Link to story] Vikings | Specifics on deal for Kirk Cousins - Updating a previous report, Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has $6 million in incentives, $2 million per year, tied to his three-year, $84 million deal. Those incentives are triggered by play time, team points scored and Super Bowl wins. To hit the highest level in any year, Cousins has to be Super Bowl MVP. Fri Mar 16, 05:03 PM [Link to story] Panthers | Greg Olsen interviewing with ESPN - Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen is reportedly auditioning for a broadcasting job with ESPN Friday, March 16, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, who adds 'this is about life after football, not next year' and that sources have stated he is committed to football for 2018 and beyond. Fri Mar 16, 12:22 PM [Link to story]
|Footballguys view: Olsen's dynasty owners were panicked for a second, but the crisis has been averted. The Panthers passing game can't survive this year without him. He's still a top 5-6 option at his position.|
|Footballguys view: Cousins has been a pioneer in the 'getting paid' business. He was franchise-tagged twice by Washington and now gets a fully guaranteed, three-year deal. Now, the Vikings just hope he's good at the 'winning championships' business. After a 13-3 season that ended in the NFC Championship Game, Cousins will have plenty of pressure to get to the Super Bowl from the moment the regular season starts.|
|Footballguys view: It's been all downhill for Rawls after his 830 yard rookie season in 2015. He broke his ankle near the end of that year and has never really returned to form. We don't see a huge market for his services.|
|Footballguys view: Cousins is a pioneer when it comes to contract negotiations. With $86 million fully guaranteed, it means Cousins has made roughly $120 million in guaranteed money over a five-year span. Now, he's got to win. The pressure in Minnesota will be tremendous as they were 13-3 last year and lost in the NFC Championship to the Philadelphia Eagles.|
|Footballguys view: That's cool and everything, but Cousins reportedly wants to go to a contender...something Arizona is a long way from being. Oh yeah, there's the money too. Cousins is likely to get a contract that pays him around $30 million annually and the Cardinals currently have $19.6 million in cap space per OverTheCap.com. They may still be in the running, but they are bringing up the rear behind teams like the Vikings, Broncos and Jets.|