2/27/2015 – by James Fedewa
|1||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State||Winston has maturity issues, but he is young which is fine. He is worthy of a #1 overall selection. If he can continue to grow, and stay out of trouble, he will have a very long career in the NFL (throwing to a dangerous group of Tampa receivers). Tampa can only HOPE there isn’t anything “covered up” with some prior altercations.|
|2||Tennessee Titans||Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon||The Titans could go defense here (L.Williams), but Mariota is a blue-chip QB prospect and fits the new age of flex NFL QB. Mariota can be an All Pro within a couple of years, and he’ll need some development time (pending the system he’s forced into). He’ll be better than Newton, R.Wilson and Kaepernick. Philly might make a move and target Mariota here, but shouldn’t.|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Leonard Williams, DT, USC||Williams is the best defender in this years class, and could potentially go #1 overall. The Jaguars defense just got a whole lot better.|
|4||Oakland Raiders||Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida||Fowler is a intimidating and explosive, with a huge motor that is always pressuring the QB. The Raiders should go WR here, but they’ll find a good WR prospect in the 2nd round. Fowler is too great to pass up (teamed up with Mack? WOW!) Del Rio might have something here.|
|5||Washington Redskins||Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska||A speed pass rusher with Gregory to compliment Kerrigan can make a great OLB pass rushing tandem (bye bye Mr. Orakpo)|
|6||New York Jets||Kevin White, WR, West Virginia||The Jets need a WR more than anything and even if the NYJ’s had the best QB in the league (which they don’t even have the 33rd best QB in the league), they would still have QB problems because of the lack of talent at WR. Geno still needs a little more time to develop and he needs #1WR|
|7||Chicago Bears||Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State||Chicago’s drafted CB Fuller last year in the first round and they still need more CB’s. Waynes and Fuller could make a great pair of CB’s for years to come.|
|8||Atlanta Falcons||Shane Ray, DE, Missouri||Atlanta hasn’t had a premier pass rusher in 5+ years and has been a top priority for way too long|
|9||New York Giants||Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa||Finding a new LT is a dream come true for Eli Manning. More protection=More long balls to ODB|
|10||St. Louis Rams||Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama||The Rams defense looks great. The Rams offense doesn’t (plain and simple). Time to invest in a real WR (not a gimmick WR).|
|11||Minnesota Vikings||Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin||Peterson has seen his final days in Minnesota. He has had his epic moments, but it’s time to find something new and start over. Gordon will make Viking fans for get all about him (OT could be another option, and wouldn’t Bridgewater just love D.Parker in Purple?)|
|12||Cleveland Browns||DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville||Parker has tremendous upside with great hands, and no WR in Cleveland fits that bill. Dropped balls killed Manziel’s first NFL start (and it damaged his confidence (and ego). J.Gordon is a complete waste of talent and should’ve been traded 2 years ago. Cleveland needs to finally draft some keepers, as the piss these amazing draft picks away every year|
|13||New Orleans Saints||Vic Beasley, OLB/DE, Clemson||The Saints 3-4 Defense did well in 2014, even without a decent outside pass rusher. Beasley starts day one and can earn double digit sacks quick.|
|14||Miami Dolphins||La’el Collins, OT, LSU||The Dolphins overpaid for Brandon Albert, they over-drafted OT J.James in the 1st round last year, and they still need MORE OL help (that’s how bad it really is in Miami). Collins can LG day one and may develop into a good backup LT in the future. He’s a better prospect than J.James is.|
|15||San Francisco 49ers||Danny Shelton, DT, WA||The 49ers will draft BPA, and DGB looks pretty tempting right here. But Shelton fills a bigger need and a is a great prospect (and a human wall with a good quickness for 345 lbs.).|
|16||Houston Texans||T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh||Building a good offensive line is the smart move in Houston and the Texans have been doing smart things in their recent drafts. (They could take a gamble here, as wins usually revolve around Arian Foster’s health, so his replacement might be found here with RB. Gurly – doubt it though)|
|17||San Diego Chargers||Landon Collins, SS, Alabama||The Chargers should go offensive line, but Telesco already did that 2 years ago with Fluker. D-Line might be the 2nd option, but there are 1st and 2nd rounder’s already invested there. Collins gives the Chargers a big defensive needs (run support, good range and coverage ability & most important intimidation). Day one starter and FINALLY a real Rodney Harrison replacement. But Telesco has Polian’s brain, where safeties don’t get drafted in the 1st round. (A.Peat is the 2nd option)|
|18||Kansas City Chiefs||Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma||Chiefs like DGB, but really not this early. With three other WR’s taken before the 22nd pick, KC had to do it, they have no choice.|
|19||Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo Bills)||Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky||Browns got their WR earlier, now they get a versatile pass rusher who can be fast on the outside and big enough to play inside.|
|20||Philadelphia Eagles||Eddie Goldman DT Florida St.||Goldman can play NT in the Philly 3-4 (an instant upgrade). Nick Foles might be trade bait here for Chip to move up and nab Mariota. But could Brett Hundley fit Chip’s system even better?|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||Shaq Thompson OLB Washington||Cincy seems to always be needing LB’s, and they a new defensive spark with Mike Zimmer gone.|
|22||Pittsburgh Steelers||Marcus Peters CB Washington||The Steelers secondary is OLD and Ike Taylor needs his replacement|
|23||Detroit Lions||Malcom Brown, DT, Texas||With Fairly and Suh ready to leave, Detroit needs new big bodies|
|24||Arizona Cardinals||Arik Armstead DE Oregon||Armstead is a prototype 34-DE and Campbell might be done in AZ (as a cap causality). Docket is already gone too.|
|25||Carolina Panthers||Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford||Panthers need a OT, badly and Peat is the BPA on the o-line|
|26||Baltimore Ravens||Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia||Gurley is an amazing talent, and Ozzie needs a new RB (w/ Forsett pending FA)|
|27||Dallas Cowboys||Jordan Phillips DT Oklahoma||Who new Dallas would be so good last year, but with Melton gone, they need a pass rushing DT.|
|28||Denver Broncos||Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA||Shocker of the Draft, and Peyton Manning’s latest successor. Hundley can watch and learn for a year, then it’s Kubiak’s new hybrid QB in 2016|
|29||Indianapolis Colts||Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami||Protect the franchise (which is 100% Luck investment)|
|30||Green Bay Packers||Quinten Rollins CB Miami (Ohio)||Green Bay should draft more OL protection too, but the offense is loaded and the D could use more talent|
|31||Seattle Seahawks||Jaelen Strong WR Arizona St.||Seattle needs a #1 and a #2 WR. Strong can develop into one of those needs, hopefully the WR1, but any WR here might be an upgrade.|
|32||New England Patriots||Cameron Erving, OL||Erving can be a superstar in the making, but he’s very raw (perfect for Belichick to mold and new best friend of Garappolo )|
2/22/2015 – Mark Spencer
NFL Draft Top 5 Preview
With the NFL season over, one of the main focuses for fans right now comes down to the upcoming draft. There are going to be a number of top prospects who could be game changers for franchises right away. Those drafting early on will obviously need more help than others. Here is a prediction for how the top 5 picks will go as of right now.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston
It is pretty obvious that Tampa Bay is still looking for a true franchise quarterback, so they will pull the trigger on one of the top 2 prospects if they are convinced they can make a difference. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston are pretty close right now as far as rankings are concerned, but by the end of the evaluation period, Winston could emerge as the favorite. He has some obvious maturity issues, but the former Heisman Trophy winner has talent very few quarterbacks have.
Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota
Instead of having the tough decision of deciding between the 2 quarterbacks, Tennessee will just take a look at whoever is actually available when they pick. Many people believe Tampa Bay is going to take a quarterback, so that means Mariota could fall into their lap. This is another franchise that just can’t seem to find a franchise quarterback to build around. They are hoping that he is not just a system guy out of Oregon.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Williams
Many people view Williams as perhaps the best prospect in the draft. He was a pretty dominant defensive end for the USC Trojans, and his skill set should translate well into the NFL. Jacksonville has a fair share of skill position players who are young, so now it is time to assess this part of the game.
Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper
Known as the best wide receiver prospect in the game, Cooper could be a pretty good option for the Oakland Raiders. The problem is, they have a few different positions that they need to address at some point during the draft. That is why many people feel like they are just going to take the best available, and that guy right now seems to be Cooper.
Washington Redskins – Randy Gregory
Since we have not had the NFL combine yet, a lot can change between now and the actual draft. As of right now, Gregory is pretty firmly behind Leonard in the rankings at defensive end. A lot could change if the 6’6” Gregory is able to really showcase just how athletic he is. Washington probably wouldn’t mind him slipping to them at number 5.
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By James Fedewa – 2/19/2015
The Chargers and Raiders announced a possible joint-venture today, mutually perusing a $1.7 billion stadium option in Carson, California. A “super” stadium / mega-complex that both teams could call their home. Initial football fan thoughts have been very negative, regarding two divisional rivals, that share a mutual hate for each other, splitting the same home field. But moving one of those two teams to the NFC West makes this move a very interesting scenario and discussion, which could be a very smart business move for the Raiders, Chargers and the NFL.
If you are a Chargers fan, your biggest rival are the Raiders. Same applies with the Broncos and the Chiefs, who call the Raiders their largest Rival. 75% of the AFC West hate the Raiders the most, which is outstanding, considering the Raiders that have been the worst team in the NFL over the last ten years. Yet the Raiders are still the largest rival and most hated team in the AFC West.
In contrast, the mere words “San Diego” generally makes people smile. The beach, the warm weather, the lifestyle, the fun… it’s a vacation city. If the Chargers dropped their team name and just went with their city name, the team would still have a large fan base. Would you be a fan of The San Diego’s? YES! Granted, a city does not necessary make a team (but it could in San Diego). Other than the actual team, what creates and generates an overall team? THE FANS. Chargers fans are generally a very nice bunch, which makes it easy, fun (and some what mild) to root for the Chargers.
So which team would join the NFC West? The Raiders or The Chargers?
Could the Raiders sell out a stadium in Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle or St. Louis? Probably (San Francisco for sure because of the Bay Area Oakland fans, but one of those city will be moved to the AFC West).
Could the Chargers sell out a stadium in Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle or St. Louis? This is debatable, but probable. San Diego fans could travel to Phoenix and San Francisco fairly easy, and Seattle is an old rival from when they were in the AFC West. If any teams FANS would be more accepting of a team moving cities, it will be a mild (and loyal) Chargers fan. Losing the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos rivalry would be devastating for those Charges fans though, but Chargers fans might like a mix up (like Seattle did not too long ago)…
To keep the most rivalries in the AFC West, the Raiders would be the logical team to stay in the AFC West, but which team leave the NFC West? St. Louis Rams? And that’s another debatable geographical oddity for the NFL. Best case scenario for the real fans and the NFL to leave everything alone and move the St. Louis Rams to Carson instead. (sorry St. Louis fans, L.A. is the real home for the Rams)
2/17/15 – by James Fedewa
The 2014 season is finally over and what a long and tortuous NFL season it was. The Chargers had their ups and their downs with some very good pinnacles. Overall it was a great season and it felt good to be a fan. Just missing the playoffs, with a “win you are in” scenario on the last game of the season was epic, but it just didn’t quite finish like Chargers fans wanted it too, but lets move on an look forward to the new (and next) offseason.
So what might fans expect with the Chargers this offseason? There are three major decisions with current San Diego tier one free agents: CB Brandon, OT King Dunlap and RB Ryan Mathews. All are quality players that fill primary needs of the team.
- Brandon Flowers excelled this season, but might demand a big payday salary (again). San Diego might be willing to pay that bill as he played very well, but he turns 29 this season is a smaller cornerback that will probably miss about 3 games per year (on average). Flowers is very zone scheme oriented, but can be a pro-bowl player. Prediction: San Diego will fight to keep him on the roster and pay $31 million, 4 year contract with $17 million guaranteed.
- King Dunlap played admirably on a very weak Chargers offensive line. Sure he was noted as the best linemen on the Chargers roster last year, but it does not mean its payday time for San Diego’s left tackle. Prediction: San Diego gets away with bargain with a three year, $13 million contract, $8 million guaranteed. Reason being, Dunlap is a concussion away from retirement, he is not prototypical (too tall), as he is very (zone blocking) scheme oriented, a liability in the run game and has only excelled in one solid season in his career. He has earn a starting job, but he probably only has two more decent years in the league. King is a product of his coach, so he should stay with his coach (and recruiter), OL Coach Joe-D.
- Ryan Mathews can be a superstar, when healthy. He has the tools, the speed and now the experience that should vault him directly into super stardom, but his “potential” always seems to foreshadow reality. Mathews just cannot stay on the field, as injury concerns make him unreliable. He still has a long career ahead of him, but it probably will not be in San Diego. San Diego will offer him a contract, but it will be minimal and he will probably get a better offer somewhere else. If Mathews can find a team with a very good O-Line, he could be right back in the Pro Bowl. IMO: I expect him to go to a warm weather or dome team that has a good set of backup running backs. If Minnesota or Dallas (if they lose their starters) can pick up Mathews, then he can be a top tier RB. My prediction: Ryan follows Norv Turner to the Vikings, three year $11 million contract, $5 million guaranteed (and Adrian Peterson is released).
Three of the Chargers top free agents: 2 resigned, 1 replaced.
Note: at this current moment, Philip Rivers is also a free agent, but expect him to be a lifelong quarterback in San Diego
New Beer Review Pelican Brewing Company’s RED LANTERN IPA
(Red India Pale Ale, Oregon, Coast) 1/17/15 – review by James Fedewa
Very full and hoppy aroma that smells like a little slice of hop heaven, which got me a little excited about this new IPA. Great deep bronze tone with nice full head. The first gulp grabs all the true and initial IPA features, but waiting for a hoppy after bite, it finished with a smooth maltiness, which was a little surprising. It’s piney smells were only at the front end of this IPA and it smooths out considerably. The end smoothness made me think that this beer lacks high ABV (right at 6.4), so it finishes very light. Maybe it’s a sessions IPA, so l should be drinking a few more of these, right now…
B++ (it would’ve gotten an A if there was a little more bitter hoppiness at the end) Very good-lite IPA…
**I typically write my beer reviews on an APP called Pintley but this beer wasn’t on it. And I haven’t been keeping up with either my football or beer reviews because of starting a new job last month. Once the new job starts rolling and I start using public transportation, I can start writing more… Granted, American Idol is starting, which my wife loves, so I’ll be writing about football and beers a little more too (as I’m not a big fan of Idol).
12/25/2014 – by James Fedewa
I’m not going to write an article today, because today is my last day of work (for my real job), and I have a ton of things to closeout. But I do need to write something and this will not be OBJECTIVE, as this is MY (quick) opinion…
First of all, I hate the New England Patsies, just because they have had the Chargers number in several big games in the past. I also know and work with too many friends from the New England area who are Patriots fans and they sure love their team and like to gloat. But I think SD can handle the Patsies this year (as long as San Diego can score touchdowns and not too many field goals).
The less we see Chargers kicker Nick Novak, the better. But do not forget about CB’s Revis and Browner. They could tie down Keenan Allen and Floyd on the outside. But that could lead to a big game for Chargers tight ends Antonio Gates and LaDarius Green
Chargers: 31 (Gates 1TD, L.Green: 1TD, Floyd: 1TD, Mathews: 1TD, 1FG)
Patriots: 23 (Gronk: 1TD, Vereen: 1TD, 3FG)
*Rivers goes 28-33, 3 TD, 1 INT
*Brady goes 29-41, 1TD, 2 INT
*Brandon Flowers gets 1 interception
*Donald Butler get 11 Tackles, 1 forced fumble and 1 interception (and sneaks away with player of the game
*And Rivers takes the new nickname: The December Man (while wearing a bolo tie)
11/14/2015 – by James Fedewa
The San Diego Chargers have a sturdy 5 – 4 record coming into week 11 of the 2014 season, which is probably a better start than what most Chargers fans would expect after the first nine games. Philip Rivers started the season red hot, a possible MVP candidate, yet he has cooled off quickly (especially vs. Miami two weeks ago, where Rivers was doused from an ice bucket challenge).
In the past, the Chargers have always been better in the second half of the season and are notoriously slow starters in the first half, so a 5 – 4 record is an accomplishment within itself. Yet three game losing streaks are no strangers to the Chargers either and San Diego will find themselves in several must win situations again this season.
Playoff aspirations are still very high in San Diego and looking forward, their odds do not look bad. The Chargers are coming off a bye week and have several key players returning from injuries (including playmaker Ryan Mathews, defender Manti Te’o and rookie pass rusher Jerry Attaochu). All three players are extremely talented and ready to explode for a team that desperately needs them.
The bye week could not have come at a better time, with rested and healthy players, but the added bonus this week is that the Chargers host the winless Raiders. Oakland played well in the team’s first meeting back in week 5 (which was the Chargers last victory) and San Diego should handle the Raiders again for the win. San Diego cannot look beyond each week’s opponent from now on, as every win is a necessity in the second half on the season (especially home wins) and Rivers has a very good second half track record in his tenured career.
(B & W:)
If all goes well, San Diego wins out, finishes the season 12 – 4 with and start the playoffs with a BYE. Worst case scenario, San Diego loses out, finishes the season 5 – 11 and the San Diego front office and coaching staff face the firing squad. With seven more games in 2014 and four more home games, it will be safe to say that San Diego probably finishes the season with an impressive 10 – 6 record, with a hopeful wildcard berth.
Looking beyond all-wins or all-loses scenarios, what if (two polls):
*ALL OR NOTHING!
Week 8, the San Diego Chargers fly to Denver to play their biggest game of the season. The odds of the Chargers winning are slim, but any given “Thursday” can change that. Winning of course is the objective every week, and if the Chargers can create a win, then fantastic. San Diego already has the blueprint to victory from their last (regular season) win in Denver to defeat the Broncos, but what if head coach Mike McCoy planned a loss, how would it look?
First, the Facts:
- The Denver Broncos – the new arch rival of the Chargers
- Prime Time Thursday Night Football – the big stage
- Peyton Manning – Future Hall of Famer, Quarterback legend
- Division Rival, Chargers are currently 1 – 1 in the AFC West
- On the road (away game in Denver) – Advantage Denver, a very hostile environment
- It is a Short Week, which tends to lean in the favor of the home team
- Playing against their biggest AFC Threat (other than the Colts, Ravens & Patriots in most current power rankings)
No one plans losing, and a winning attitude is half the battle of a team’s success. If San Diego wins the game, then mental momentum still favors the Chargers. But if San Diego plans a loss, what would McCoy’s blueprint be? How can a loss help the San Diego Chargers the next time they play (long term)?
Let’s continue to bullet point this (the Chargers Blueprint for expecting a loss):
- A fans “loss” mentality is always awkward (and could be loftier) than a coach’s perspective. Example, if a team loses the game, but knocks out the opposing quarterback (or any star player), then overall (by a fans perspective of course) the loss is still considered a psychological tie or abstract draw. So, a blueprint of this “abstract” could be the all-out blitz on the quarterback. Every play, every down, bring the heat and knock Payten Manning down. This will help the Chargers not only in this game, but future games. Game Plan: Bust the Manning! This method starts with pressure right up the middle (probably within the nickel defense). So all eyes on Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes applying pressure, right up the middle. Anything from the outside (Freeney, Attaochu, Johnson, T.Williams, Law) is just a blindside bonus.
- Keep the team fresh: Instead of playing heavy doses of starters and having them be on the field most of the time, the Chargers need to rotate heavily. Usually coaches prefer their best players on the field (most of the time) which gives you the best chance of winning the game. And sure, it sounds great, but fatigue leads to injuries so fresh and renewed matters. In order for the Chargers to prevent injuries and use the blueprint for a loss, San Diego needs to keep their team fresh and fast, expect a heavy dose of substitutions.
- Earning Quality Experience (a young man’s game): Professional Football is driven by strength and speed, which is prime for the team’s younger players. It is time to get the rookies, 2nd year and 3rd year players heavily involved into the rotation.
- Practice what you do well even MORE. Exotic and creative schemes always throw opposing teams off and can be confusing, but a blueprint to lose is not scheme related. It is repetition at doing the job, with the best options, multiple times. And please avoid the “trick play” unless it is a decoy.
Of course The Chargers want the victory, as do the fans. San Diego will try everything within their power to win, but this game is not a must win game as much as we might think it is. No one ever won a Super Bowl in October and looking forward into the second half of the season, how could this loss (or win) still equivalent a team victory? San Diego can still lose this game, and come out victorious.
Denver is favored to win (again). Percentages are against the Chargers, and most predict the Chargers winning would be a 30% longshot. A 7.5 point underdog and the over/under is 51.5 points.
Rivers has a winning regular season record at Mile High Stadium in Denver (6 -2)
The home team on Thursday Night Football has won 4 of 7 games.
10/17/2014 by James Fedewa
Finding fantasy football starters from the waiver wire is an art and tremendously difficult. Well, it’s not really art, it’s more like speed, timeliness, and of course the waiver wire order. Grabbing those buds before they bloom is the real advantage (like San Diego’s new find running back Branden Oliver). And most of the buds are entirely created from key injuries, weekly matchups and bye weeks. And there will be some available in Week 7. So, let’s REACH for a DOG.
My Wide Receiver “Dog Named Reach” for Week 7 is Paul Richardson of the Seattle Seahawks. With star Percy Harvin out the door and traded to the New York Jets, Seattle loses their most dynamic playmaker. Or did they? Seattle did draft speedy wide receiver rookie Richardson out of Colorado. Both Richardson and Harvin have the same build, play the same position and are loaded with speed, but Harvin has some significant injuries throughout his short tenure in Seattle. In fact, Harvin has only played in 8 games in Seattle since joining the team last year, but when he does play, he has game changing ability. However, Seattle has lost their offensive identity with Harvin on the field, with his ball demands. Seattle’s offense has become “novelty” with Harvin in the lineup and it seem that every play is going to be a trick play, taking the command away from star quarterback Russell Wilson. Expect Richardson’s play time increase as he could be the Seahawks next superstar. Obviously Pete Carol always has a solid backup plan when it comes to his playmakers, and don’t forget about Seattle’s wide receiver Jermaine Kearse
as his snaps will increase.
My Quarterback “Dog Named Reach” for Week 7 is Charlie Whitehurst
of the Tennessee Titans. A career backup in San Diego and Seattle, he’s had only a limited playing time and only a few spot starts in his career. Nicknamed “Clip Board Jesus” (or CBJ) from his long hair / beard, managing the clipboard duties on the sidelines, Whitehurst is a nine year veteran and has been coached by some of the best quarterback coaches in the business.
Whitehurst has had most of his NFL playing time in the preseason, scrambling behind shotty second and third string offensive lines, and Tennessee first string O-line is quite a talented and impressive young bunch (with three first round draft pics and a premier guard). If the O-line and if they can keep CBJ upright to throw the ball down field, Whitehurst has a lot of dangerous weapons at his disposal. Tightend Delanie Walker has developed into a good TE1 with wide receiver speedster Kendall Wight and deep threat Justin Hunter, Whitehurst is due to breakout game and take over as the Titans starting quarterback for the remainder of the year. I like the o-line and the weapons CBJ has at his disposal and I will predict a 300 passing years with 2 very long TD (one to Hunter and one to Nate Washington).
Three weeks ago, Whitehurst started against the Cleveland Browns and I predicted (via Twitter @jamfed) he would shine in that game. Most people claimed I was crazy and Whitehurst would FLOP (but he finished with 13 completions, 21 attempts, 194 and 2TD’s / in a game they lead until the last second of the game). Not a bad performance, yet that was the game where Cleveland had the biggest road comeback win in NFL history. (Sorry Charlie…)
If you have Nick Foles as your starter, or you do not necessarily like your starting QB’s matchup this week, Charlie Whitehurst
your “Dog Named Reach” of the week.
*Two Week ago, I started fantasy football segment called a “Dog Named Reach,” driven by our own fantasy football teams (with our own drafting errors). Finding a new Dog (player), or Reaching on a fantasy Free Agent is the new evolution of improving our (weekly) fantasy football team. This is the Art of the Waiver Wire. Two weeks ago, I had Austin Seferian-Jenkins
set as the “Dog Named Reach” and yet I just released him due to his bye this week, the emergence of Dwayne Allen as my TE2 on my team (with my TE1 Vernon Davis wounded on the bench). Plus, I picked up WR Malcom Floyd to take ASJ’s spot. – The worst way to manage your fantasy football team’s bench is to have three tightends or quarterbacks on your team, so I had to let ASJ go but I still like him.
My Pools, Mules & Wagers of Week 7:
New Orleans +3
San Diego -4
Green Bay -7
San Francisco -3.5
Houston +3.5 *Total Score (tie breaker): 47
10/3/2014 – by James Fedewa
I’m starting a new fantasy football weekly segment called a “Dog Named Reach,” driven by our own fantasy football teams (with our own drafting errors). Finding a new Dog (player), or Reaching on a fantasy free agent is the new evolution of improving our (weekly) fantasy football team. This week will focus on the Tight End and if you are like me, you wanted to secure a decent Tight End early in this season’s draft (so you would not be constantly searching throughout the season for a position so hard to fill).
Last year’s Tight End “Dog Named Reach” was the Broncos Julius Thomas. If you found this sleeper early in free agency last year, you probably snuck into the playoffs (unless of course you drafted Jimmy Graham in the first round, or traded either one of them for another fantasy #1 banger).
Learning from experience, I have always suggested drafting a tight-ends by the 4th round, as a quality weekly start is hard to find at the TE position. The Super Tight End (within fantasy football) started over 10 years ago with Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzales. Back then, if you drafted Gates or Gonzales (by round 4) your whole team probably had a solid overall season. But in this evolved new-age of #fantasyfootball, teams like yours can use the waiver wire and free agency to your weekly advantage for spot starting. The new-age of fantasy football is won on the waiver wire and with free agents.
This 2014 season, I planned on drafting Jimmy Graham early (if available) as his numbers are within the top 5 wide receivers, but at a normally low scoring position. Plus Graham usually finishes with over 100 points more than the second best tight end in the league. Well, I did not get the opportunity to draft Graham and I try not draft players in the AFC West (unless they’re San Diego Chargers / so NO to J. Thomas). So I targeted Tight Ends #3, #4 & #5 and if #3 was taken, I’m drafting TE#4 ASAP. And I drafted Vernon Davis early (even though I was also trying to avoid NFC West players, since they were playing the AFC West in 2014). Vernon Davis started this season off very strong, but has been a ghost since. Ankle problems, Knee Problems and now Back Problems (and no one does well with back problems). Now what do I do?
Finding a new free agent Tight End that can start on your roster weekly is next to impossible. It’s a juggling act every week. And if you have a bad TE#1, then your bench probably has two additional worse TE prospects. You could end up having three bad TE’s on your roster, eating up your valuable roster space. So with DOGS NAMED REACH,
we are looking for flyers (aka BOOMS). We are looking for BIG PLAY potential at this point, not guys who can offer 4 catches and 30 yards (and settling for easy). We want the “who’s the next Julius Thomas” types so we are looking for basically “NO NAME” type of guys. And if a DOG NAMED REACH
hopefully pans out, then we can clear up some extra waste from your bench, and find better depth with better positions.
If you can’t pick up Colts Tight End Dwayne Allen (who is probably already gone in some 12 team leagues), we’re looking at the rookie Tight End from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Austin Seferian-Jenkins
(he is the reach of the week) and the first ever: DOG NAMED REACH! Rookie receivers are a tough start on any league (based on player development which carries over to their stat line), and a rookie Tight End might be even worse. But Seferian-Jenkins has the tools and size to be a very good NFL pass catcher, and if you watched his college tape, he is very big, surprisingly fast, and quick for a 260 lbs. beast and is very hard to tackle. Tampa’s top first round rookie, WR Mike Evans, was injured last week and is currently listed as OUT. Seferian-Jenkins can acquire Evan’s previous targets. Seferian-Jenkins could be the next Julius Thomas of 2014.