Archive for January, 2014

Jim Caldwell’s top job: Corralling Matt Stafford

Matthew Stafford’s presence in Detroit could bode well for Jim Caldwell. But will it work the other way around?

Whisenhunt will improve Titans’ fantasy production

Ken Whisenhunt becomes the 17th head coach in Tennessee Titans franchise history on Thursday, and of the remaining candidates with head coaching experience, he was considered the best of the bunch. The Vikings and Browns remain the only teams without a head coach. Whisenhunt served as the offensive coordinator this past season with the Chargers. Before that, he won a franchise-record 49 games during his time with the Arizona Cardinals and also took the team to its first ever Super Bowl appearance. The Titans have spent plenty of money and also a high draft pick in 2013 to try to upgrade their offensive line, so if Russ Grimm comes on board as a coordinator, you have to like Chris Johnson’s […]

Reason to believe in E.J. Manuel for 2014?

Sling it! Bills coach Doug Marrone recently said the Bills plan to expand Buffalo’s passing attack in 2014. Only eight teams attempted fewer passes than the Bills last year, but no team had more rushing attempts. The results were pretty poor — the team only reached the 30-point mark in two of their 16 regular season games in 2013 and were held at 24 or under the rest of the time. “We would like to be able to take more shots, throw it more on first down and become more productive from the standpoint of scoring,” said Marrone. Hmm. Does E.J. Manuel’s fantasy value get an uptick?   Not his year: Coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks won’t know Percy […]

Gio’s value just got a tremendous boost

Rush hour: New Bengals OC Hue Jackson said, “In order to win, we have to run the ball.” That certainly means good news for Giovani Bernard’s fantasy value in 2014. The Bengals ran the ball plenty in 2013, although a good percentage of those can be attributed to their having a large lead over an opponent and wanting to wind down the clock. The problem is their yards per carry (3.6) was very low, and when Jackson knows he’s going to need to improve on that number if he wants to be able to ride his running game throughout the season as opposed to just in mop-up time. I’m starting to wonder if Gio might be knocking on the door […]

Time to do some scouting on Harvin for 2014

Save for later: Percy Harvin, who has been struggling with a hip injury since … forever, it seems … remained “full” in Thursday’s practice, and claims he expects to be active for the Divisional Round. Seahawks coach Pete Carrol also said Harvin wouldn’t be on a snap count. The good news is if Harvin really is healthy, you can tune into this game and do a little fantasy scouting for his potential next season, which lies anywhere between WR1 and WR3. Help wanted: Steve Smith is still battling knee issues and downgraded his health from 71 percent to 57 percent after Thursday’s practice (well, then). Smith has been listed as “limited” for pretty much the entire week. His health could […]

Can Johnny Football be productive right away?

Going Pro: ┬áSo, Johnny Manziel will be playing on Sundays this coming autumn. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but there will be a lot of mystery surrounding his fantasy status. Not many rookie QBs step into the league and start throwing for big yardage and touchdowns from day one. RGIII and Andrew Luck were two of the most hyped quarterbacks to come out in some time. The former was either feast or famine while the latter was steadily mediocre. A lot of Johnny Football’s fantasy value will obviously have to do with where he lands, and to further complicate things, he may even go to a team that doesn’t currently have a head coach in place. Still, there has […]

Will Smith be able to go against the 49ers?

Bird home: A recent report in The Arizona Republic confirms Carson Palmer is expected to remain Arizona’s starting QB in 2014. Even though Drew Stanton is listed as the backup, I still wouldn’t rule out Arizona drafting a strong young QB of the future to groom — even in Round 1 — should one fall in their laps. Anyhow, the downslope of Palmer’s career has been underway for some time now. The Cardinals offense was certainly better off having Palmer under center than had they decided to stick with their 2012 QB crop, but Palmer was either dazzling or depressing to watch … sometimes even both in the same game. His fantasy value is kind of like one of those […]

Looking ahead at some WR contracts in 2014

Let’s talk: DeSean Jackson had a career-year in Chip Kelly’s offense, reversing a four-season decline by setting career highs in catches (82) and yards (1,332) to go along with nine touchdown catches. Now, he’d like to improve his compensation for doing so. Despite having two years left on his current deal with the Eagles, Jackson is seeking to negotiate something more lucrative. Will the Eagles consider it? Tip your cap: Speaking of wide receivers and contracts, there are some rumblings that Bills wideout Stevie Johnson could become a cap casualty and hit the free agent market himself. The Bills are less than enthusiastic about swallowing an $8.5 million cap hit for a player who seems to just flat out disappear […]

Key RBs ailing ahead of Wild Card playoff round

– Eddie Lacy is dealing with ankle issues and is listed as probable for the Wild Card round game against the Niners. For those of you playing the Playoff Challenvge, Lacy is an intriguing selection, as Green Bay will likely need to run the ball well in freezing weather in order to advance and give you a shot at scoring more points with him. It may be so cold in Green Bay that you’ll need to wear a winter coat just watching the game on TV. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. – Pierre Thomas is dealing with a chest injury and has been ruled out for Saturday’s Wild Card game against the Eagles. The Eagles play on Saturday night […]

Jeff Tedford’s arrival in Tampa Bay a mixed bag

Now that Lovie Smith has taken over as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, all signs point to Jeff Tedford taking the reigns as the team’s offensive coordinator. This will be Tedford’s his first job in the National Football League, but his name carries some weight with NFL front offices. Or at least it did at one time. During a lengthy college coaching tenure that included stops as the OC at Fresno State and Oregon as well as the head coach at California, he was known as a man who could develop quarterbacks. In fact, he has mentored six QBs who were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. It’s a rather impressive feat, even if the names […]

Checking out the QBs, both old and new

-So a few Vikings have come out and expressed their displeasure with Josh Freeman’s game, preparation and pretty much his existence in general. Even though the Vikes spent a first-rounder on Christian Ponder just three years ago and the offense looked potent at times in 2013 under Matt Cassel, it’s hard to believe their next head coach will do anything besides use Minnesota’s No. 8 overall draft pick and choose the guy he wants. If Marcus Mariota has a change of heart and Brett Hundley declares for the draft, that will help Minnesota’s cause. If not, then the only options worthy of a top-10 selection may be Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles, all of which will likely be […]

Bears give Cutler seven-year extension

Faced with the choice of either potentially losing Jay Cutler or placing the franchise tag on him, the Bears decided to saddle up for the long-term haul. The two sides have agreed to a seven-year deal that will keep Cutler in Chicago through 2020. Cutler’s best season with the Bears came in his first year in Chicago (2009) when he threw for 3,666 yards and 27 touchdowns. Not coincidentally, that was the only year in which Cutler played a full 16 games. Injuries have hampered his production in recent seasons, and what’s somewhat surprising about this extension is Chicago has a more than capable backup QB. Josh McCown had five starts in the 2013 season, and e threw two or […]

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