Category Archives: Minnesota Vikings

Post Draft Rookie Positional Ranks: QB’s

We here at the Art of Score realize the amount of over-saturation and further more, the absurdity of handing out draft grades to players and teams before guys have even played one down of professional football.  However, we also realize the demand for some type of fantasy feedback, particularly for those of you in dynasty drafts who will be drafting players before you get to see any of these guys in pads.

As such, we’re going to give you these positional rankings now – put them in your input file, and let’s watch how they change over the course of the summer.

QB’s

1.) Teddy Bridgewater – Vikings – I’ve felt all along from a talent perspective Bridgewater was the best QB in this draft.   Going to Minnesota is pretty good for him for a few reasons.  First if he struggles in camp and isn’t ready for the season there’s no QB in the NFL that says “stopgap” more than Matt Cassel – so the Vikes shouldn’t feel pressured to start Bridgewater if he’s not ready.  Second, Norv Turner apparently pushed for Ted (I feel weird to keep calling him “Teddy”) so Turner believes in him and will design the offense for him.  And third the Vikings will still emphasis the run game under Adrian Peterson – as anyone will tell you a heavy run game can slow down pass rushers, and give an inexperienced QB more time to make quality decisions.  In redraft leagues, unless Bridgewater clearly wins the job out of preseason, and looks very good doing it – I’m probably not drafting him – even as a low end backup.  He’s going to take some time I predict – but in dynasty drafts he’s one of the few QB assets I’d like to have from 2014.  Probably a mid 2nd round dynasty pick.

2.) Tom Savage – Texans – Ok I know the next two guys on this list have more hype, seem more pro-ready, and have zero chance of not starting at some point in 2014.  But to me with Savage you play the long game here and see if you win.  You’ll hear a lot of buzz about Ryan Mallet coming to Houston and if that happens it probably pushes off Savage’s debut 2 seasons or so (I don’t believe in Mallet).  And in 2-3 years Arian Foster and Andre Johnson could be gone from what was an explosive offense.   However, what makes Savage attractive in spite of this uncertainty is that he has better tools than most at the position – he has better size, better accuracy, and better decision making than Manziel, and he’s got a better arm than Bortles.  In redraft leagues he’s a non draft for 2014 – on the off-chance he comes in as the 2014 starter, a backup to a low risk starter (Manning, Rodgers, Brees, etc) might be feasible.  In dynasty rookie drafts – if you have a development roster spot – spending a 3rd or 4th rd pick on him may yield you a top 15 QB in a few seasons.

3.) Johnny Manziel – Browns – Crazy is as crazy does.  In less than a week, Josh Gordon has started to face the possibility of a year long suspension, reports have surfaced that most of the Browns scouting department and coaches wanted Teddy Bridgewater, and that the owner Jim Haslam apparently overruled everyone on the advice of a homeless dude.  Now, whether that last part is just an urban legend, or a terribly misguided PR move – I don’t know, and I don’t care.   Look Manziel is polarizing, so no matter what I say about him you are going to have your opinion on whether he can play in this league.   I think he’s the type of guy to have 3-4 seasons of a few highlight plays, be generally mediocre – be loved or hated way beyond that level, and then slip into the ether. He’s smaller and slower than RG3, doesn’t seem to have the decision making that Russel Wilson has, and lacks the accuracy of Andrew Luck.   Yet I’m supposed to believe somehow that this guy is the league’s next superstar?  Not buying it.  Assuming he starts this year in Cleveland in redraft formats he may be worth looking at from the perspective of his scrambling – but keep in mind that usually has a shelf life (as RG3 found out) – and he has low end backup value on that.  In rookie drafts, the guy is going to be drafted 2nd round, whether it’s by you depends whether you think Manziel has game beyond his legs.  If I was drafting in dynasty I would pick him if I thought he would have a highlight or two his rookie year and then try to trade him.

4.) Blake Bortles – Jaguars – Well the Jags believe in him so he’ll probably be given the keys to drive asap. Bortles has great height and weight for an NFL QB, and he’s fairly mobile – but I am highly skeptical of his ability to throw the ball. In college he had a ton, and I mean probably the majority of his time in a one read system – complete with extremely short drops of 2 or less.  A lot of QB’s look great in bubble screen systems – but can he throw the ball down the field?  I say not really, but based on a draft position this guy will be a starter in the league for at least 2-3 seasons.  For redraft purposes he is undraftable to me even if he’s the opening day starter, I mean if he heats up you can also try a waiver wire on him.  In rookie drafts, if you’re fairly desperate for a backup QB you can take him in the late 3rd or 4th rounds knowing that at least he’ll start some games this year.

5.) Jimmy Garoppolo – Patriots – A testament to how weak this QB class seems to me is that I’m putting Garoppolo over players that have a much clearer path to starting.  If the Pats hadn’t chosen Jimmy he may well have been the 2nd or 3rd best QB fantasy option in this draft.  As it stands right now Garoppolo is undraftable in redraft leagues, and in dynasty leagues is a high risk pick that depends a lot on how you view him.  I think Jimmy is talented, I think learning under Brady would be good for him, but I also think it’s impossible to know if he’s the next Pat’s QB.  And if he’s not New England’s successor than you have to check the trajectory of guys like Matt Cassel and Ryan Mallet (to be determined) and figure out if you like his FA chances in 3 seasons.   I would take a flier on him in dynasty leagues if you have a developmental spot he seems to be exactly the player you hold that spot for, and unlike Mallet I believe that the possibility of the Pats job may be up for grabs by the end of his rookie contract.  I’d take him over Bortles in dynasty at about the same spot in the draft if my team already had a competent backup QB on the roster.

THE REST

Derrick Carr – Raiders – nobody wants to get involved with the Raiders’ mess do they?

Logan Thomas – Cardinals – The most fascinating of the QB’s to me unpredictable.  A better Cam Newton?  Or out of the league in 2 years?

Zach Mettenberger – Titans – Not a great potential guy, but path to QB may only be blocked by shaky and often injured Locker.

Aaron Murray – Chiefs – Small, lack of arm strength, and recovering from a torn ACL.  May have some intangibles.  May also have been drafted solely for contract leverage with Alex Smith.

David Fales – Bears – Getting to work with Trestman is nice, working with Cavanaugh is even better.  Capable backup player – ironically may have a career a lot like recently departed Josh McCown.

AJ McCarron – Bengals – McCarron seems to have some potential starter traits good arm, size, decision making average.  But he’s missing something elite – and he’s not going to find it in Cincy behind Dalton.

Tajh Boyd – Jets – A run 1st QB 3rd string back up to Geno Smith and Michael Vick. I don’t see Boyd ever starting an NFL game.

Keith Wenning – Ravens – Wenning is probably a better QB than 2 or 3 of the guys that went ahead of him in the draft.  But he’s clearly on track for NFL career backup…although that career may last longer than people think.

Garret Gilbert – Rams – Possible conversion to WR? Either way Bradford has nothing to worry about from QB competition.

 

:by Mike

 

 

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2014:Random thoughts: Fantasy uncertainty – FA Week 3

All these situations are very fluid as you all know.  Between, the remaining FA, trades and the Draft, things can change in an instant, weakness become strengths.   However, at this point, this is how we see it…

WR’s

Who is catching passes in Carolina?   Beats me.  Beats the Panthers.  As of press time today, the biggest FA that has been signed is Jericho Cotchery.  Let that sink in.   Brandon LaFell is in New England.  Steve Smith has been jettisoned and is now in Balitmore.  Ted Ginn, who had a resurgence last year with the team, was left to test the market and landed in Arizona.   Now I am sure there is some sort of contingency plan in Carolina, but legitimate options are getting slim.  How is Jason Avant not on speed dial?  I mean, fantasy implications aside, he is one of the best slot WR’s in the league and could be a great addition and safety blanket for Cam.  Sidney Rice?  Miles Austin?  Trade for DeSean Jackson?

With Miles Austin still on the FA market and set to not return, look for Terrance Williams to have an increased role.  The salary cap is tight in Dallas.  Only WR’s willing to accept the veteran minimum are options here.

The #2 receiver role in Cleveland, KC, NYJ, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville are still very much up in the air.  In Pittsburgh, Markus Wheaton could be the man to replace Emmanuel Sanders.  Mike Brown might be the guy in Jacksonville with Justin Blackmon suspended indefinitely.  Jeremey Kerley is looking like the #2 WR on the Jets with Stephan Hill in the doghouse.  Greg Little and Donnie Avery are not going to cut as #2’s  in Cleveland and KC respectively.  I could easily see all of these teams drafting at least one WR in a deep WR draft.

Where is DeSean Jackson going to end up?  According to ESPN’s Sal Palantonio, “Jackson’s act has worn thing with Chip Kelly”  A big cap number presents an interesting situation in the city of brotherly love.  If I am Carolina, the Jets, KC or Oakland, I am definitely asking about this guy.

Since the draft is so deep at WR this year,  I  could see some of the older veteran WR’s being signed after the draft.   It would be prudent for teams to try and address needs via the draft and fill in the holes afterwards.   This not only financially beneficial, but it keeps the team young and, in most cases, they retain the rookies rights longer.

RB’s

Chris Johnson- He is being paid way more than his production is worth and is on the trade block.  I don’t think anything happens until after the draft.  I know that fantasy players don’t want to hear this, but I think he will be most effective in a time share situation regardless of where he goes.

Latavious Murray – I really can’t believe that McFadden came back to the Raiders.  He took a very modest one year deal.   He has to prove he can stay healthy.   If Murray can impress in training camp, he could secure the #2 RB role in Oakland and be a very valuable handcuff moving forward.  That, however, is a long ways off.

Maurice Jones Drew- MJD wants more money than the market is willing to bare at this point.  I  have read that he wants 3.5 mill. a year.   I still think he can be an effective player.  Like most players at this point in their career, his situation will have a greater bearing on his value than his skill level.

Giants RB situation – Well, this is an interesting mishmash of players.  Rashad Jennings was signed in FA, played well for the Raiders down the stretch last year, but has been nondescript for much of his career. The Giants still have David Wilson  who is coming off of neck surgery his value and career is up in the air. They also resigned Peyton Hillis. Picking up another RB in the draft would not surprise me at all.   Training camp will be needed to sort this mess out.

Jags back up? – This situation really surprised me.  I did not see Toby Gerhart going there.  As of now Jordan Toddman and Denard Robinson are the top backups.   I cant see the Jags going to the season with such shallow depth.  keep and eye here for opportunity.

Muddled in Phily? – McCoy, the newly traded for Sproles, Chris Polk and Bryce Brown combine for a muddled situation in Phily.  McCoy is one of the best players in the league, but i can see Sproles cutting into some of McCoy’s touches. The back up situation is anyones guess at this point.  If McCoy was to go down, his back up, at this point, is non-defined.  McCoy is still the man, but with four quality backs, his touches could be curtailed.  Good news for McCoy’s career and bad news for fantasy owners.

Back ups in Chicago and in Minnesota – Both teams have top-level starters and both teams have let their back-ups go.  These are handcuff situations to monitor.  Dynasty leagues wise, I would pay attention to what both do in the draft here.

Stefan Taylor Vs Jonathan Dwyer – Who is the power back that replaces Rashard Mendenhall who retired this off season?  These are the two candidates.  Keep taps on this situation throughout the offseason as the winner could garner 10-15 touches once the season picks up.

QB’s

Cleveland – After missing out on Matt Schaub, the Browns seems destine to be drafting a QB early.  Brian Hoyer is the only legitimate QB on the roster.  He played well for the few games he was in last year, but is coming off of a torn ACL.   I could really see them brining in another vet at some point to help fortify a questionable position.

Jacksonville – Believe it or not, there are several scenarios where the Jaguars don’t draft a QB in the first round.  Chad Henne is not a world beater, we know this. The Jaguars brass knows this and will not reach for a QB when the team still has needs all over the place.  Henne is adequate enough for the WR’s of Jacksonville to be draftable at this point in the offseason.

-Ron

2013 – Week 14 Waiver Add/Drop

It’s getting thin and most rosters are locking out soon.   This will be out last of the waiver wire pick ups section.  We will have thoughts moving forward more directed and dynasty and keeper as some of the younger players get looks for the teams that have fallen out of playoff contention.

As always look at our past waiver wire updates for players that still may be available in your league.

Next year, we will work on another format to keep track of previous weeks  waiver pickups  in a useful way for our readers.

Drops

You might want to consider dropping WR Percy Harvin.  I am not sure how much he is going to play and if he does, he probably isn’t worth the start.   This was a homerun swing type pick up, sometimes you win sometimes you lose.

You also might want to drop RB Brian Leonard.  He hasn’t gotten many touches since Bobby Rainey’s big game 2 weeks ago.  There isn’t much out there, but there isn’t any room on my team for a guy that doesn’t get the ball.

WR Michael Crabtree –we told you have him on your radar and pick him up the past few weeks.  If you did, you are sitting pretty with a nice WR3 with upside.  If you didn’t, you will have to battle the rest of the league for him.

WR Andre Holmes – He isn’t worth much in a redraft league at this point.  He is worth a flier in dynasty if you have the roster spot.   Pay close attention to him in the next few weeks.   Not a must pick up, but a guy to keep an eye on in dynasty

TE Ladarius Green – Well we told you to start him last week.  If you listened to us, you were rewarded.   He had a nice game.  He also played 91% of the offensive snaps.   That bodes well moving forward for him.  If he is still out there in your league, He is worth the pickup, especially if you are weak at TE.

Raiders Defense – We aren’t crazy.  They are playing the   Jets this week.  The Jets are playing some of the worst offensive football I have seen since the 1992 Seahawks.   This is a good match up play this week.  If you are looking for a little juice for this week’s game  and your playoff push, look to Oakland!

– Ron

 

2013 – Week 13 Waiver Add/Drop

Listen, if you read this blog, you know we know our stuff. Go back and look at our track record.  We have called out waiver wire picks weeks before those “other sites.”  We do not state the obvious.  We do the work and you get the results.

The wire is thin as usual at this time of the year, but there are always opportunities.  Even if you are out of it, pick up a player to screw a playoff bound owner.  Play Spoiler, remember fantasy football is supposed to be fun!

 

WR Tiquan Underwood – Last week’s game came out of nowhere as Underwood had games of 8, 6 and 2 points the past three weeks since Mike Williams has gone down.  I am not really sure how much you can expect out of him moving forward, but he is a pick up that can fill out the back end of your roster for the play off push.  Hopefully his 3 catch 108 yard and 2 TD performance spurs him on to bigger and better games.

RB Dennis Johnson – Ben Tate has been banged up and last week those injuries may have caught up with him.  He ran only 7 times for a whopping one yard. Johnson’s 87 all-purpose yards and 15 touches last week should get him more carries moving forward.  Who knows, with a little luck, maybe he carries your team into the playoffs.  As of now, he is a low level Flex, but watch him.

QB Mike Glennon – I am always leery of adding rookie QB’s to my fantasy rosters.  They are wildly inconsistent and I don’t like dealing with their ups and downs.  However, Glennon is bucking that trend. He has played remarkably consistent and is giving solid production.  He is viable QB2 in most leagues and even worth a spot start moving forward.

WR Michael Crabtree – I have no idea what he is going to provide you moving forward.  He is all the way back from that Achilles injury? Will he and Kaepernick have the same chemistry as last year?  I know none of this.  I do know that he is active and he is returning to a WR needy team.  He is worth the risk to pick up. Hopefully you grabbed him already if not grab him now and sit him.  Wait a week.  If he looked good, you can evaluate him based off of that.

WR Julian Edleman – Buyer beware here.  I am only recommending this as a desperation pick up. He is too inconsistent to be relied upon week to week, but he has the ability to blow up.  He is a boom or bust play every week.

RB Benny Cunningham – I can’t help but think of the show “Happy Days” when I hear Benny’s name. However, Ron Howard, Tom Bosley and Henry Winkler cannot carry the ball as well as Benny Cunningham has. Mike has been on him all offseason as an undrafted rookie out of Middle Tennessee State.  Zac Stacy went down and Benny stepped up.  13 carries and 107 yards.  Impressive, but it was against the horrendous Bears run defense. If he gets the start for Stacy, he is a flex start depending on match ups.  If he is a backup, he is worth rostering, but carries substantially less value. If he starts, it will be happy days for you as an owner.

 

-Ron

2013 – Week 12 Waiver Add/Drop

Listen, if you read this blog, you know we know our stuff. Go back and look at our track record.  We have called out waiver wire picks weeks before those “other sites.”  We do not state the obvious.  We do the work and you get the results.

This time of year the waiver wire is thin.  This much is certain.  However, there are opportunities for you. At his point in the season, there are team owners in your league that have given up.  This will reduce the number of teams in play for waiver wire transactions. I can’t say this for all leagues, but for some, this is very possible.  Our view is to never give up. Be a spoiler. Beat your friends.  It’s fun to steal a player or knock your buddy out of the playoff race. Some don’t subscribe to this idea.

Did you pick up Bobby Rainey like we told you last week?  If you did you would have been rewarded.

FYI if you didn’t see “A Football Life – The Forward Pass” on the NFL network.  Watch it.  I am no slave to hyperbole, but it’s amazing.

Reread previous weeks post in the Waiver Wire section.  There may be players still sitting out on your leagues waiver wire that we talked about weeks ago.

WR Michael Floyd – He has probably been on and off rosters all season.  He had a monster last week, over 190 yards.  He is wildly inconsistent and is nowhere near a sure thing.  However, if you are searching for a WR.

WR Jericho Cotchery – Here is another guy that has been sitting out in your league on and off all season.  Recently, he has garnered more consistent playing time.  This has resulted in increased productivity. If Emmanuel Sanders is dinged up this week, he could be a sneaky WR3 play.

QB Matt McGloin – This guy torched a pretty good Texans secondary.  He is  an undrafted rookie.  In fact, he wasn’t even signed after the draft, he had several tryouts just do get into a camp.  He was 18 for 32 for 197 yards and 3 TD’s No ints.  I wouldn’t get crazy here. He is a low level injury or bye week replacement, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Buffalo Bills Defense- Crazy right?  Depending on your scoring format, they are around 10th in the league in points.  At this point in the season, they can be a great matchup play if you choose wisely.  Get ready for this. They are leading the  league in interceptions with 16 and have 37 sacks that leads the league.   They are probably better than one or both of the defenses you are carrying.

-Ron

2013 – Week 11 Waiver Add/Drop

Listen, if you read this blog, you know we know our stuff. Go back and look at our track record.  We have called out waiver wire picks weeks before those “other sites.”  We do not state the obvious.  We do the work and you get the results.

This time of year the waiver wire is thin.  This much is certain.  However, there are opportunities for you. At his point in the season, there are team owners in your league that have given up.  This will reduce the number of teams in play for waiver wire transactions. I can’t say this for all leagues, but for some, this is very possible.  Our view is to never give up. Be a spoiler. Beat your friends.  It’s fun to steal a player or knock your buddy out of the playoff race. Some don’t subscribe to this idea.

Keep an eye on guys coming of off injuries.  Michael Crabtree is one.  Philosophically, you will want to get these injured players a week early, otherwise you will be battling the rest of your league for them.

Reread previous weeks post in the Waiver Wire section.  There may be players still sitting out on your leagues waiver wire that we talked about weeks ago.

WR Rishard Matthews- He had a monster game 10 catches over 100 yards and 2 TDS.  You will be battling most of your league for him this week, but you can’t argue with his production. Now the trick is if he can put up points consistently.

RB Bobby Rainey – Mike and I have liked this guy since last preseason when he was with the Ravens. I am not sure why he keeps getting cut.  He was given an opportunity to play last week because of Mike James injury and he showed what we saw two years ago.  Now, because he is a smaller speed back, I wouldn’t expect a lot of TD’s, but I could see him as a flex option moving forward.

WR Junior Hemmingway – Because Dwayne Bowe likes to smoke the herb and drive around suburban K.C. Junior gets a shot.   I have no idea how this will impact the Chiefs, but I do know that they are looking for production out of their WR’s and Hemmingway could work his way into the rotation if he can produce with his opportunities.

WR Andre Roberts – Here is a guy that is hot and cold.  I don’t think he has received the opportunities he has in the past, but I do like him especially if Mike Floyd is out this week. He might only be a one or two week replacement, but at this time of the year, the waiver wire is thin.

TE John Carlson – Well I wouldn’t expect much week to week from Carlson, but if you are in need of TE help, he is out there in your league. He is an average TE2 until further notice.

WR Tavon Austin – Here is another WR that you will be battling the rest of your league for on the waiver wire.  Honestly, his production up until last week’s game was weak.  There was a reason he was on the waiver wire.  He is worth the pick up if you need a WR, but please temper your expectations with him.  He is not going to score like that very often.  In fact, I wouldn’t expect him to do that again this year.

-Ron

2013 Preseason Week 3: Vikings at 49ers

49ers

  • Colin Kaepernick looked ready to go in this one.  Sure he has less than a season’s worth of starts under his belt, but from what I saw in this game, he looks ready for another successful season.  The only thing I can see holding him back is a lack of weapons on the outside
  • Rookie WR Quinton Patton saw his first playing time of the year and looked like he will be a contributor early this season.  With the lack of weapons in the 49ers passing game, he could be a great late round pick or waiver wire gem. High dynasty and keeper value
  • Though I have a few reservations about the 49ers’ secondary, they look to be an elite defensive unit again this year. Justin Smith, the key to the defense, looked like a honey badger.   He did what he wanted to opposing linemen.   They have one of the best front 7’s in the league.
  • I am not sure why Kendall Hunter is slipping in most drafts.  He is clearly the second best back on this team.   He has great vision and acceleration.  He can be had late in most drafts or as a waiver wire pick up.
  • Former 1st round pick Jonathan Baldwin caught 2 passes for 23 yards.   Maybe he catches on here.  I don’t believe he can contribute much on special teams, so he will have to win a WR job outright.  Little fantasy impact here.

Vikings

  • Christian Ponder hasn’t had the best preseason. That isn’t hard to tell.  However, without all-world RB Adrian Peterson in the backfield, it’s hard to get a read on the offense as a whole because he changes defensive schemes that much.
  • Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson looks like he will be pretty involved in the offense this year.  I would expect his role to grow as the season progresses.   Late round / waiver wire flyer on this guy for now.  Huge upside in dynasty and keeper leagues.
  • Matt Cassel didn’t look very sharp in relief of Ponder.   I’m not sure if there is much of a difference between the two Qb’s aside from Ponders upside.
  • Toby Gerhart does not excite me as a backup to A.P.  He has been productive in the past, but please don’t draft his handcuff too high.   His only value is as a handcuff to A.P.and nothing more.

-Ron