Date archive for June, 2015

Fantasy Football Glossary

by Alpha Fantasy - on Jun 29th 2015 - No Comments

Fantasy Football Glossary

Add

Adding a free-agent player off the waiver wire or through FAAB.

Auction Draft

Owners take turns submitting silent bids on players. These players are put up for auction where the highest silent bid is declared the winner of that player. Each owner is given a team budget (or salary cap) to complete their roster. This format is not as common and takes longer (days or weeks) than a regular draft, while the snake draft order has become the standard way to build a team and can be completed in a day.

ADP (Average draft position)

Stands for Average Draft Position. This term is often used as a tool to gauge the draft stock and value of where players are getting drafted in numerous drafts within numerous fantasy football leagues. This data is compiled by your fantasy football provider.

Breakout

A player who has below average or average projections before the season that transforms into a fantasy football star. Normally these players are drafted high or not drafted at all.

Bust

A player that many analysts have projected to be a great player before the start of the season, yet his performance is less than desirable or completely falls short of early projections.

Bye Week

A bye week is when a team doesn’t play during its 17-week schedule. Keep an eye on the players you are targeting. Too many bye weeks on the same week will make you an easy win.

Cheat Sheet

A prepared list of players ranked in order of fantasy value. When putting together a cheat sheet, be aware of your league’s scoring system and rank your players accordingly.

Comeback Player

A player who returns from a significant injury or suspension, and re-emerges into a legitimate fantasy player.

 

 Commissioner/League Manager

The person in charge of running the league, setting up the draft and, if necessary, controlling all of the league fees. The league Commissioner/League Manager also can have the final word on all transactions and settle disputes between owners.

Custom-scoring League

A league that decides to assign its own value to all scoring attributes, including some that are not tracked in standard league, such as TD catch length, Pass Attempts, QB Passing TD’s, etc. Double check what your league scoring system is. Failure to know how your league scores can affect rankings and drafting strategy. Most fantasy football providers can host up to 100 different scoring settings and features.

Depth Chart

An NFL roster split that shows first-, second- and third-string players. The order of the chart projects the perceived value of that player and the playing time that should be expected.

Draft

Most fantasy football teams are constructed via a draft, where owners take turns picking players for the upcoming season. Most drafts orders are constructed through a random drawing or are based on the previous year’s results, with the poorest teams drafting first.

Drop

Releasing a player back into the free-agent pool.

Dynasty League

This is similar to a “keeper league” (see below), but instead of a few players being held over, an entire roster is retained. This league calls for a long-term commitment, but it also makes each draft run much smoother as only a few players will be picked.

FAAB

Stands for Free-Agent Acquisition Budget, a stash of imaginary cash that every team in your league is given to do free-agent auction bidding. Cash will be limited, so overspending can lead to bankruptcy or not having sufficient funds for other free agents for the remainder of the season.

Flier

In a sense, a Flier is when your GM drafts a player with high potential but also carries with it a level of uncertainly. These players should only be considered after you have all your starters locked up in the draft.

Free Agent

A player whom isn’t on any team’s roster, and is available on the waiver wire or through FAAB.

Handcuff

The strategy of taking your prominent player’s backup. This covers you in case of an injury and prevents you from losing that potential backup/starter to other teams in your league. Running backs are the usual position where this strategy is implemented.

IDP

IDP Stands for Individual Defensive Players. Instead of drafting a team defense, some fantasy leagues have implemented getting 1 Defensive Lineman, 1 Linebacker and 1 Defensive Back with Special Teams being a team generated stat. The scoring typically values sacks, safeties and interceptions. It’s not wildly popular but seems to be gaining strong traction in hardcore leagues.

Injured Reserve

This is an official designation used by the NFL for athletes who become injured or temporarily unable to play. Some leagues will allow you to tag an injured player and add someone else to your roster. This is more common with dynasty and keeper leagues, but some seasonal leagues also use that option.

Keeper League

This type of league allows you to keep a certain number of players for a set amount of seasons. The number of keepers varies from league-to-league. Some leagues, called “dynasty leagues,” allow you to keep your entire roster.

Mock Draft

A “fake” fantasy draft that isn’t played out during the season but often is used by team owners to practice drafting to prepare in advance.

Owner/GM

The person who runs his/her own fantasy team and is responsible for making all personnel decisions.

Performance Scoring System

A scoring system in which players are given bonus points for passing, rushing and/or receiving milestones.

PPR (point per reception)

PPR indicates a league that awards a point per reception from Running Backs, Tight Ends or most prominently Wide Receivers. Some custom leagues award bonuses based on position. These leagues have become more common and were mainly developed to give Wide Receivers more of a presence in fantasy football scoring.

 Projections

A player’s predicted statistics, which are used to help determine that player’s fantasy value.

Running Back by Committee

RBBC describes a situation in which an NFL team uses more than one running back in a prominent role. This scenario sometimes makes it difficult for owners to depend on a running back for a consistent level of production.

Reserve

Backup or bench players.

Roster

The list of players on your team.

Scoring System

The most basic scoring systems award points only for touchdowns, field goals and extra points. That could be six points for all touchdowns, three points for field goals and one point for extra points. Other basic scoring leagues will offer four points for touchdown passes.

Snake or Serpentine Draft

Unlike the actual NFL draft that uses a set order, most fantasy drafts use the “snake” system in which the team with the first pick in Round 1 has the last pick in Round 2, followed by the first pick in Round 3, and so forth. Conversely, the team with the last pick in the first round has the first pick in the second round. This system is used to help create a balance between all of the competing teams.

Sleeper

Typically, a mid to late-round pick selection who looks like a player that could exceed his statistical expectation and becomes a prominent option in fantasy leagues. The standard sleeper should produce at some level. Deep Sleepers are players that are considered high risk selections and a typically late draft or free agent pickups.

Starting Lineup

Most basic leagues will allow owners to start one quarterback, two running backs, two or three receivers and one tight end, one kicker and one defense. Leagues can determine the number of starters and include a “flex” position that can be a running back, a wide receiver or a tight end. Some leagues also use individual defensive starters.

Stud

A true superstar at his position. Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson are bona fide studs. Matthew Stafford? A good fantasy performer, but not a fantasy stud.

Team QB

Instead of drafting individual quarterbacks, teams essentially take every quarterback on a given team. For instance, if you draft the Patriots as your Team QB, you have Tom Brady and Ryan Mallet. If you draft the Broncos as your Team QB, you have Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. Fantasy purists argue that this system is as evil as the designated hitter in Major League Baseball. Accounting for player’s injuries is part of the strategy of the game and you lose something with Team QBs.

Third-year Wide Receiver

Much like Harold Carmichael, Santana Moss and Steve Smith (to name a few), some receivers fail to make an impact until their third NFL season. Third-year receivers are great candidates to be “sleepers” and have “breakout” years.

Trade

A transaction that involves the swapping of one or more players from one team to another. In some fantasy leagues, the commissioner has the power to approve or deny all trade requests. A voting process among owners is also used in leagues.

Transaction

Any roster change (waiver-wire add/drop, trade, etc.). Some leagues limit the amount of transactions a team can make, often charging money for excessive moves.

Undroppable

NFL.com keeps an updated list of players that cannot be dropped from an owner’s team. This is done to protect the integrity of the league. This is updated frequently, so if a player is hurt and lost for the season, they will be removed from the list and owners are free to drop them if they wish.

Waiver Order

Refers to the order that is established at the end of each week, barring your league settings. The higher you are on the waiver order, the better chance you have to claim a player on the waiver wire.

Waiver Wire

Refers to the list of free-agent players within a fantasy league. Most free agents are subject to a waiver process, as a player is placed on waivers after the kickoff of the first game of the week or during a designated period (24 hours) after being released from a team. Waivers help to ensure that all teams have the opportunity to claim the best free agents, resulting in more balanced, competitive leagues.

Alpha Fantasy Football – Early Magazine Review

by Alpha Fantasy - on Jun 28th 2015 - No Comments

Top 10 NFL Fantasy Football Rookies

by Alpha Fantasy - on Jun 19th 2015 - No Comments

Rookies make the NFL go around, but rarely do they make the fantasy impact that many potential GMs hope for in fantasy football.

melvin-gordon

 

 

 

1. Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers

Melvin Gordon is one of those NFL Rookies who has the best chance to provide immediate returns. Like Bishop Shankey last year, Gordon looks like a player who will be drafted within the first 3 rounds. Unlike Shankey, who I clearly had reservations about last year, Gordon should make an impact. Donald Brown and Branden Oliver don’t have Gordon’s ability, and Danny Woodhead is more of a receiving back, so draft Gordon with confidence. Don’t be surprised if his ADP crawls to top 15 in a standard 10 team fantasy league.

kevin-white

 

 

 

2. Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears

With Brandon Marshall’s trade to the Jets, White looks like a surefire bet to be the WR2 in the Chicago Bears offense. White’s physical gifts are impressive. He’s armed with tremendous size and speed to create solid fantasy numbers. On the downside, White’s production could be hampered with inconsistent quarterback Jay Cutler throwing the ball. In addition, some scouts wondered if his production in college was a result of West Virginia’s system rather than elite talent. No matter the question marks, targeting White on draft day is prudent. He is also a must in Dynasty leagues.

 

tj-yeldon

 

 

3. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Yeldon is a prime candidate to be drafted within the first 5 rounds. He has exceptionally quick change of speed backed with great lateral quickness to make opposing defenders miss. With the Jaguars being one of the worst teams in the NFL and, clearly woeful on talent, there will be playing time for Yeldon, but his small frame and fumble prone issues that plagued him in college are there as well. Expectations are all over the place. The most optimistic forecasts see Arian Foster, while the most negative see a third down back with durability concerns. Somewhere in the middle lays Yeldon’s true value this season. Other than Dernard Robinson, the challenge for carries is more than likely between them. Toby Gerhart’s time as a possible feature back are dead and buried.

 

amari-cooper

 

 

 

4. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

Cooper may be the most talented WR in the 2015 rookie class. With that being said, he is not in the best situation to prove his talents. The Raiders look like a budding group, thanks to Derek Carr’s productive yet wildly streaky rookie year. Michael Crabtree will more than likely be the #1 WR on the depth chart, but Cooper has the ability to be the better scorer in fantasy leagues. The biggest issue dogging Cooper is the mediocrity of the Raiders. Like prized rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins last year, I see some games of greatness mixed in with a lot of ugly. Inconsistency isn’t a prized trait in fantasy football, which will be reason enough to target Cooper with tempered expectations.

 

tevin-coleman

 

 

 

5. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Coleman is as dangerous a pick as any player in this year’s fantasy football season. He is the ultimate boom or bust pick. While a speed back at Indiana he showed exceptional skills, racking up 2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns. Last year Devonta Freeman was the guy many anointed to take the RB reigns away from veteran Steven Jackson. Despite a favorable ADP of 108 many GM’s cut bait with him all together before the end of the season. With Jackson gone via Free Agency, Coleman has an even more advantageous situation than Freeman. The biggest issue is, the more you look at the Falcons backfield the more you have a feeling that it will be a shared workload. The translation? Inconsistent playing time and streaky production equals an extreme risk if you draft Coleman too early.

breshad-perriman

 

 

 

6. Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

With Torrey Smith leaving to the San Francisco 49ers, Perriman finds himself in an advantageous position. Perriman’s skills mirror many of Smith’s, such as size, athleticism and explosiveness, but this is no slam dunk. Perriman’s negatives are many. He has a below average route-runner, low concentration (i.e. dropped passes) and spotty competition level in college at Central Florida. With Joe Flacco at the helm Perriman will have a QB capable of throwing downfield. Fantasy owners should be conservative when targeting this wide receiver

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7. Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

It was clear heading into the draft that the Eagles weren’t going to resign Jeremy Maclin. Enter Nelson Agholor, who more than likely split time with Riley Cooper before becoming the Eagles #2 wide receiver. Athletically he isn’t the athlete that others in his rookie WR class are. Couple that with his lean body frame, which brings about concerns regarding his ability to gain separation in the NFL. With the Eagles WR position not very deep, Agholor will be drafted in all leagues. Philadelphia Eagles teammate Jordan Matthews will be the most productive. Despite this, Agholor will still be drafted this year in all leagues on the sheer on the possibility of producing.  Unless you are in a dynasty league, Agholor will more than likely by a bye week replacement

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8. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

Drafted 14th overall, Parker has all the skills you look for when trying to identify a potential fantasy impact rookie. Athletically he doesn’t have incredible explosiveness, but his ability to catch in traffic more than makes up for this. If there is anything concerning, it’s his durability. He missed much of last season at Louisville with a broken foot. After the draft Parker impressed many in the Miami Dolphins OTA’s. Unfortunately, during the minicamp, Parker complained of soreness in his foot and had to undergo surgery. Dolphin officials claim he will be ready by the start of the season, but his readiness for week 1 might be a stretch. With the Dolphins losing 69% of their offense and if his health doesn’t hinder, look for some solid numbers.

 

todd-gurley

 

 

 

9. Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams

Gurley was viewed as the unquestionable best RB in college before the ACL injury. Whispers of an Adrian Peterson comparison are too hard to ignore. Despite all this, disregard the hype and temper the urge to reach for Gurley too early in fantasy drafts. Gurley should be a high priority if you are playing in a dynasty league, yet Gordon easily trumps Gurley in standard leagues. The Rams have a stable situation in the backfield with Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham. Combine that information with Gurley recovering from his injury and I don’t expect him or the any of the Rams RBs to do much this year. Could he recover and be great? Absolutely. But realistically, Gurley’s impact in fantasy football looks more obtainable in 2016.

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10. David Cobb, RB, Tennessee Titans

You might be asking yourself how does a 5th round draft pick earn a spot as a potential fantasy football rookie you should look at this year. Simple. It’s opportunity. Last year, Bishop Sankey was supposed to be the guy that would make the Titans forget about Chris Johnson. Cobb is a sturdy built 5-10, 230lb back which enables him to have a good workload, but lacks the homerun ability, which would honestly be an upgrade over what happened in the backfield last year with Sankey. At the moment, the Titans simply need consistency with a rookie QB and an ever-improving offensive line. Cobb is a guy that would surprise me if he overtakes Shankey and becomes a steady force. If you draft him, do so strictly from a project viewpoint and target Cobb in the extremely late rounds of the draft 13-14 rounds.

 

Agree or disagree? Hit up the comments and let me know.

Honorable Mention: (By Position)

Jameis Winston, QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marcus Mariota, QB – Tennessee Titans
Duke Johnson, RB – Cleveland Browns
Ameer Abdullah,RB – Detroit Lions
David Johnson, RB – Arizona Cardinals
Jay Ajayi, RB – Miami Dolphins
Phillip Dorsett, WR – Indianapolis Colts
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR – Tennessee Titans
Devin Smith, WR – New York Jets
Jaelen Stron, WR – Houston Texans
Devin Funchess, WR – Carolina Panthers
Maxx Williams, TE – Baltimore Ravens
Clive Walford, TE – Oakland Raiders

Fantasy Football Busts by Position

by Alpha Fantasy - on Jun 15th 2015 - No Comments

Fantasy football is a hard game to predict when you have consistent players without busts. The following players look like virtual locks to frustrate owners. But keep in mind that busts, aka fantasy letdowns, is not only a matter of where you drafted them, but and what players were still on the board.


peyton-manning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QB Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

Despite his age, at 38 years old Peyton Manning still put up great fantasy numbers last year as he finished a top 3 QB in most leagues, yet his last five games this past season were far from vintage Peyton. During that time Peyton threw for 1,169 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions while having a QB rating of 81.2. I doubt Manning will be that average this season, but he’s a year older now and lost All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady, so this gives reason for alarm. I still think Manning should be taken within the first four rounds but owners would be wise to not follow last year’s ADP of six. New Broncos coach Gary Kubiak’s offense usually requires close center snaps, not the standard shotgun formations that Manning has played within most of his career. Manning is a great QB but don’t bite on his top 30 value.

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RB DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles

People are probably going to wonder how the top RB in football last year is on this list. After this past season Dallas shocked everyone by not re-signing him, allowing their NFC rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, snag him. In short he’s going to battle several things that make a repeat performance of 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns unobtainable. The Eagles offensive line was solid but, frankly, it pales in comparison to Dallas, who somehow improved even more with the singing of rookie La’el Collins. Dallas has unquestionably the best offensive line in football to the point that the #2 offensive lineman group isn’t close.  Murray carried the ball 392 times last season. Statistically speaking, most running backs lose up to 25% of their fantasy production the following season! Tristan H. Cockcroft wrote extensively about this. Lastly, Ryan Mathews will definitely poach some carries of Murray this season. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly will undoubtedly will use Mathews, which will again limit Murray’s production. Knowing all this makes Murray’s 1st round projection too high for my taste.

 

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WR Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs

Maclin leaves the Philadelphia Eagles after a tremendous bounce back year of 1,318 yards and ten touchdowns. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to like about the situation that Maclin is going into as he’s playing for his old coach Andy Reid, teammates and premier running back Jamaal Charles, but let’s not forget he still has Alex Smith throwing to him. Fans of Smith will say that he’s a game manager who has never had a consistent wide receiver to throw to. Last year Smith did miss quite a bit of receivers down the field every game. Is he a horrible QB? No. Will he more than likely reduce Maclin’s fantasy numbers? I would say the numbers and history would point to yes more than no.

 

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TE Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

Shockingly, the Saints traded one of the NFL’s most dominant Tight Ends to the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. Injuries have slowed Graham down but make no mistake — when healthy he’s a top 3 tight end every year. Russell Wilson is a fine QB in the NFL but in fantasy football he’s not nearly as impactful. Some of that has to do with the fact the Seahawks were last in pass attempts.  Combine that with Seahawks being a run first team, and you have all the makings of decline in fantasy numbers for Graham.

 

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DST New England Patriots

Last year New England was a popular pick in most fantasy leagues with an ADP of 124. But the top 10 unit has suffered loses via free agency. Akeem Ayers, Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis and Vince Wilfork have moved on. The only proven defensive free agent is Jabaal Sheard but he isn’t a shoe in to make an impact.  The news has gotten even worse with Brandon Spikes getting cut by the team after a suspicious car accident. This doesn’t look like a Super bowl caliber defensive team, but then again, the Patriots do have a history of development that could pan out nicely. I just don’t see it happening this year.

 

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K Shaun Suisham

With the NFL’s rule change of moving the extra points kick attempts 13 yards farther, this change may not affect the upper echelon kickers, but guys like Suisham, who have had power and accuracy issues, will be affected. The PAT will now be a 33-yard field goal, which statistically eliminates the 100% conversion rates many kicker had.

Agree or disagree? Hit up the comments and let me know.