Posts Tagged ‘Packers’

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Now that we are approaching the playoffs, its about the time where players are having there fantasy seasons evaluated. Instead of going player by player, the team here at The Fifth Quarter decided to make things a little more interesting. We present

                                                        The Fantasy Awards.

Rookie of The Year

1.    Giovani Bernard- The 2nd round pick out of Notre Dame has flourished in the Cincinnati Bengals offense. Despite splitting carries with Benjarvus Green Ellis, He was top 10 in fantasy points for RB’s going into the Bengals bye week. He has been even more valuable in PPR leagues. Even though he cooled off a bit toward the end of the year, Bernard will definitely be a RB2 going into next year.

2.    Eddie Lacy- Even with the injury problems and handcuff back James Starks, Eddie Lacy has put up fantastic numbers this year. Since returning from a concussion, he has put up double-digit fantasy points in all but 2 games. The Alabama bruiser will be a top 10 pick next year without hesitation.

3.    Julius Thomas- As if the Denver Broncos didn’t have enough weapons, they draft a 6’7 former basketball player to play TE. Thomas is 2nd in points among TE only trailing Jimmy Graham. He has become an elite fantasy option and will stay this way as long as Peyton Manning is at QB.

                                                Injury Replacement of The Year

1.    Fred Jackson- Fantasy owners enraged by CJ Spiller (more on him later) have at least found a silver lining in the whole situation. Fred Jackson took the role of feature back and has cherished every minute. He has rushed for 896 YDs, rushed for 9 TDS and added 387 YDs in the passing game. He finished a top 11 running back this year, but don’t expect similar numbers next year.

2.    Harry Douglas- Ever since fantasy owners suffered the heartbreaking loss of Julio Jones, many wondered if anyone would be able to replace him. In walks Harry Douglas. Douglas has been extremely impressive in his four games as a starting WR for the Atlanta Falcons. Douglas has put up 42 points in those four games. He isn’t a viable starter going forward, but he provided some good value for this year.

3.    Keenan Allen- When 6’5 receiver Malcolm Floyd suffered his season ending injury in week 3, people once again wondered who would be the fill in. Initially it seemed it would be journeyman Eddie Royal. However, after a few weeks, it was clear the 2nd round pick out of Cal was going to be the guy. Since week 4, Allen has put up 1,046 receiving yards and 8 TD. His value is based on the play of QB Phillip Rivers, but he should be a safe pick in next years draft.

Waiver Wire Pick Up of The Year

1.    Julius Thomas– Up for his second nomination, Thomas has been a gods send for fantasy owners. In a particularly week year for TEs, Thomas has proven to be a true gem for whoever was lucky enough to get him. With Peyton throwing to him, Orange Julius had 788 Rec Yards and 12 TDs. Thomas value will be put into question when a new QB steps in, but until then count on him as a top 3 TE fantasy.

2.    Zac Stacy- While he hasn’t proven himself entirely yet, all signs point up for the rookie 5th round pick out of Vanderbilt. Since his first carry in week 5, Stacy has put his foot on the gas and hasn’t let up. He ran for 973 yards with 7 touchdowns and has added an extra 100 yards and a touchdown through the air. Stacy ended the year in RB1 conversation and could be a first round pick come next year.

3.    Nick Foles- After Foles suffered a concussion against Dallas in week 7, a lot of people threw Nick Foles to the waiver wire and continued playing their every week quarterback. That move could have very easily cost many people a championship. The Eagles signal caller was electrifying in his return, scoring over 20 points in six straight weeks.  In the exhilarating Chip Kelly offense, Foles will easily be a top five quarterback next year.

 

Bust Of The Year (Injury Related)

1.     C.J. Spiller- Oh what could have been. Had Spiller sat out a couple of weeks and let his ankle heal, he could have ended being worthy of his first round pick status (e.g. Roddy White). Instead Spiller insisted on playing and killed his value in the process. Despite a bit of resurgence towards the end of the season, Spiller only finished with 927 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Spiller will fall to the third or fourth round next year, but he will have tremendous upside.

2.     Steven Jackson- Coming into the season, many thought that long time Rams running back would have a rejuvenation year in a much better Atlanta Offense. They weren’t totally wrong. Jackson had a nice stretch to end the year with three straight double-digit games. The problem is a little stretch isn’t acceptable for someone you spent a second round pick on. Jackson suffered a thigh injury in week 2 and was held out for six weeks. When he came back he just couldn’t put it together. S-Jax finished the year with 543 yards and 6 touchdowns. Not the production expected from a RB2

3.     David Wilson. The hype was endless. The New York Giants speed back started off as the biggest sleeper of the year and ended up being ranked as high as 14 on pre draft rankings. Out of the gate, he looked like a disaster, scoring negative two points against the Cowboys. He finally showed a little promise four and scored his first touchdown in week five. However, the excitement was shortlived. Wilson left the same game with a neck injury and was later ruled out for the game with a neck injury. Low and behold it was much worse. Wilson was ruled out for the year and his entire career may be over. Wilson has vowed to play again but there is serious doubt behind that. As far as fantasy, he shouldn’t even be in your thought process going forward.

Bust Of The Year

1.             Ray (Fried) Rice- The wheels just fell off the bus this year. The number six ranked player (according to Yahoo) was just miserable this entire year. With a lack of a passing game, opposing defenses focused on Rice and absolutely destroyed him and his handcuff back Bernard Pierce. Rice finished the year with 660 yards and 4 touchdowns. If the Ravens don’t improve in the passing game and on the offensive line, Rice should be no more than a flex player come next year.

2.             Hakeem Nicks- Now no one expected Nicks to be an MVP for your team, but he was expected to be a solid WR2 and a possible difference maker. Instead, Nicks fell into complete oblivion. With a dysfunctional offense and contract issues Nicks pretty much fell behind Ruben Randle in terms of targets. He wasn’t playing with his all and frustrations with his coach showed when he was randomly benched in week 12. Nicks put up a total of three games with over 100 yards and scored no touchdowns all year. Being on a new team may help him, but don’t trust Nicks immediately as anything more than a WR3

3.             Trent Richardson- Seems like he was too busy making sextapes to learn the Colts playbook. After being traded after week 2 from the Cleveland Browns to the Indianapolis Colts, growing pains were expected, as he had to learn a whole new offensive system. However, no one expected growing pains like these. In 14 games with the Colts, the 2012 number three overall pick ran for 468 yards, 3 touchdowns and 5 fumbles. This was just simply unacceptable. Richardson ended up being benched at the end of the year for backup Donald Brown. Richardsons season high rushing yards was 64. This is just insane for a player ranked 10th overall. With Donald Brown likely leaving in free agency and having the whole offseason to learn the playbook properly, all hope isn’t lost for the Alabama bruiser. In terms of next years draft though, he shouldn’t be any higher than a 10th round pick.

Most Valuable Player

1.                      Peyton Manning- With questions coming into the season about his health, Manning silenced all critics with one of the greatest seasons ever. Finishing with an overall number one ranking, Peyton threw for 5,477 (a new record) and 55 touchdowns (also a new record). In terms of fantasy, Manning scored 419 points in standard leagues, which is 50 points better than second place finisher Drew Brees. The Broncos captain also had five games of over 30 points, which is the most by any quarterback this year. It is undeniable that Peyton had one of the greatest seasons ever on the field and the computer.

2.                      Jamaal Charles- What a breakout year. The already established star running back catapulted himself into superstardom this year with his incredible season. The Kansas City running back ended the year with 1,287 yards on the ground with 12 touchdowns. Charles wasn’t done as he added 693 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. The former Texas back stamped his season off with an exclamation point game that destroyed all projections. In a 56-31 thrashing of the Raiders, Charles rushed the ball 8 times for 20 yards and 1 touchdown. That seems like an ok fantasy day, until you look at the rest of the box score. Charles added 8 receptions for 195 yards and 4 touchdowns for a grand total of 51 fantasy points. As long as Andy Reid is the head coach, expect Charles to be a top 3 overall pick every year.

3.                      LeSean McCoy- the same that was said about Jamaal Charles, can be said about Shady McCoy. Putting on absolute clinic, McCoy led the league in rushing with 1,607 yards and added 9 touchdowns. Furthermore, McCoy also benefited from the passing game, adding 539 yards on 53 receptions and 2 touchdowns.  Additionally, when the quarterback wasn’t Matt Barkley, Shady never scored under 10 points in a game. The former Pitt running back proved that he wasn’t going to let his bad 2012 season deter him from greatness. Expect just that going into further seasons.

We will announce the winner of each category in the coming weeks. Disagree with our picks? Feel someone was left out? Let us know in the comments!

 

New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints offense ended the year on a strong note. They went into the Superdome in a “win and your in” game and obliterated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 42-17. The game was highlighted by Drew Brees masterful performance against a fairly formidable Tampa secondary. Brees threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns, while adding another one threw the ground. This was just another day at the office for Brees. The Saints captain threw for over 5,000 yards this season with 39 touchdowns. On a national scale, New Orleans was only second to Denver with 307.4 yards per game. This bodes very well for the Saints as the Eagles have allowed the single most passing yards to opposing teams in the NFL. 

            With all that being stated, New Orleans will have a ton of problems on Saturday night in Philadelphia. For starters, the Eagles are 7-1 ever since Nick Foles officially took over the starting role for Chip Kellys offense. Foles numbers have been scary good. Foles has thrown for almost 3,000 yards this year, but that’s not where he has shined the most. This year, the former Arizona Wildcat threw 27 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions. With a mix of speed and possession reivers expect the Saints pass defense to have their hands full. 

            The problems only get worse for New Orleans. The Saints come into this game with the 19th ranked rush defense in the league. That’s not a terrifyingly bad number, but it does leave them towards the bottom of the NFL in that category. The real problem is the fact that the Eagles have the number one rushing offense in the league. Lesean McCoy led the NFL in rushing this year with a career high 1,609 yards from scrimmage with nine touchdowns. He also added 539 yards in reception yards with another two scores.  McCoy has been an absolute monster this year. With his ability to use his feet and turn on the speed in any weather, he has the ability to change the entire game in one play. His best game came in week 14 against the Detroit Lions. Despite beyond terrible conditions due to snow, McCoy put up 217 yards on the ground and added two scores.

            Speaking of snow, that will be bigger than any challenge the Eagles will be able to bring. With a blizzard hitting the east coast, the conditions will be less then ideal for a dome team like New Orleans. The Saints have struggled mightily away from the Superdome recently, losing for out of their last five on the road. In a week 15 game in Edward James Dome, against a middle of the road St Louis Rams defense, New Orleans came up completely flat. While Brees did throw for 392 yards, he committed three costly turnovers, including two red zone interceptions. The fact is this team is just not as good on the road.

            No matter who wins this game should be a shootout. With that being said, the Eagles should win this game.  With the expected temperature for the game forecasted to be about 18 degrees Fahrenheit, the Saints aren’t going to know what him them. New Orleans may keep it close, but at the end of the day, Philadelphia should end up in Seattle next week.

Final Score- Philadelphia 28 New Orleans 17

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With Robert Griffin III being shut down for the remainder of the season, Kirk Cousins has gotten a chance to put on an audition for other teams. With a franchise quarterback like RG3 and a lack of draft picks, there is no reason for the Redskins to hold on to the former Michigan State leader. In his first two games, Cousins has thrown for 578 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He has avoided pressure well and made some very impressive throws. With all that being said, he are three potential suitors for Cousins

Cleveland Browns- It is no secret that Rod Chudzinski and Norv Turner like to throw the ball. They shipped Trent Richardson out of town so they can focus entirely on the pass game. However, in order to have an effective passing game you need to have a good quarterback. Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden don’t scream efficiency. While Brian Hoyer played well in his limited time, the sample size is too small to make any realistic judgments about his skill. With potential superstar receivers in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, along with an already impressive defense, Cousins could be the last piece before Cleveland can seriously envision going back to the playoffs.

Houston Texans- Despite one of the most disappointing years for a team in NFL history, the Texans still have a strong core. Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, and JJ Watt are all top 10 players at their respective positions. The main issue has been under center this year. Matt Schaub has completely imploded and Case Keenum has shown he’s not a starter in this league. To make matters worse, it looks as if both Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota will be staying for there senior seasons. With a new head coach set to come in, a new quarterback would be very beneficial the new regime. With a mix of veteran leadership and young talent, Cousins could be the perfect guy to shoot the Texans back to their initial projections.

Denver Broncos- Now I know what everyone is thinking. Why does Denver need a quarterback when they have the legendary Peyton Manning having one of the greatest seasons ever? With all that being true, Peyton is going to be 38 next season. He has also been fighting through two bad ankles for a good portion of this year. At the height of those injuries, Manning was playing fine, but noticeably worse than at the beginning of the year. If Denver wins the Super Bowl this year, it may not be crazy for Peyton to consider going out on top. Bringing in Cousins creates an insurance plan for when Manning finally hangs it up. The drop wont be as bad and Denver can remain a top team in the AFC with this pick up.

What do you guys think? Should the Redskins trade Cousins? If so, where? Leave a comment below with your reactions/suggestions

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# 10 RGII = He can run but he can’t hide. Padding the stats as a QB in that fashion is huge for fantasy. Expect a mediocre day from the QB.

#9 Andrew Luck = Against ARI with a solid secondary, but its time for him to put his weapons out and utilize the screen passes and yards after catch his WR and RBs can get him.

#8 Colin Kaepernick = Going against WAS he opens up his range of tricks. Hopefully he can become the Kaepernick of old because this one is boring.

#7 Tony Romo = He needs to prove himself if he wants a playoff seed and to put the giants to bed is exactly what he needs to do. He has his dinner served now all he needs to do is eat it.

#6 Case Keenum = He is going against Jacksonville people. He probably gets them beat once or twice on a big play to pad the stats.

#5 Cam Newton = SUPERMAN! Yes MIA has a solid defense, but they haven’t faced such a versatile QB yet. Expect wonders from the boy coming off a nice week for himself.

#4 Tom Brady = Coming off a bad loss and going against the Bronco’s offense expect it to be a throw heavy day and a nice day from him.

#3 Matthew Stafford = The TB defense is a great one and we probably have Revis Island on Megatron but the kid is talented and has other weapons which makes him my #3.

#2 Peyton Maning = Not our number for once. He has a nice matchup at NE and expect it to be a shootout as usual with this team going against a team with a good offense

#1 Drew Brees = I got him over our BEAST this week because he is on a solid pace of games and is going against a putrid Falcons DEF. Expect him to maybe be the high scorer of the week.

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In a season full of surprises, disappointments, and overall shocking moments, the amount of injuries in the NFL seems to be taking a back seat in terms of press coverage.

After 8 games, 45 players had suffered season ending ACL tears alone. In terms of shock value, these injuries have range from mild (Reggie Wayne) to disturbing (Dustin Keller). Furthermore, the players being lost to these injuries aren’t just backups and role players (not that that’s a consolation), but star players and crucial pieces for teams. Reggie Wayne, Sam Bradford, Maurkice Pouncey, Geno Atkins, and Jeremy Maclin are just a few of the players that have been lost to the knee injury this year.

With all the focus on concussions recently, people are missing the fact that there is a new epidemic of injuries spreading now. In comparison to the 45 this year so far, there were 32 ACL tears all of last year in the NFL. Teams and doctors are having a difficult time isolating the exact cause of the recent outbreak.

One hypothesis offered was that the plague of injuries is caused by limited practice time. The amount of conditioning required by an NFL to have his body sustain all the hits of a 16 game regular season is extremely strenuous and difficult. With training camps and practices being cut shorter and shorter for “safety purposes”, they may be inadvertently causing an even bigger problem.

A second hypothesis offered also flips the NFLs new safety rules on its head. Some believe that these injuries are being caused because players are lowering there helmets in order to avoid fines. The NFL has a rule now that invokes a $15,000 fine for helmet-to-helmet hits. This hypothesis ignores the even further penalties and fines that are handed out for hitting the Quarterback.

No matter what the cause may be, all signs point to the NFLs new rules as being a reason for the recent outbreak of ACL injuries. Ironically, the NFL invoked these rules to try to increase safety. This plan seems to be backfiring with terrible consequences.

#10 Eddie Lacy – He has talent bottom line. Not an AMAZING match up but he has potential to have a great week.

#9 Alfred Morris – There is a chance they come out with a big lead and put the game to bed early and then the sophomore will get his touches. #8 Demarco Murray Back in action with Romo. Let the play action be with you.

#7 Trent Richardson – BREAK OUT WEEK. When you play STL you usually have your breakout week as an RB unless you are MJD than you do it against DEN and SF.

#6 LeSean McCoy – Shady was lucky with a 30 yard TD reception. Love him or hate him, he has a rough match up this week but is a talented back.

#5 Marshawn Lynch – Going against ATL play action will be a part of Russell’s game. Clearly games are too close without his proper utilization.

#4 Chris Johnson – Going against JAX means garbage time and clock killing that’s where CJ2K comes in.

#3 Knowshon Moreno – Going against SD and having a passing game like DEN has seems like he is always poised for a good week.

#2 Reggie Bush – CHI is surprisingly friendly against the run. This PPR monster should keep up the good work.

#1 AP – Welcome to the top of the list again. Going against WAS on primetime seems like you are in for a gift of a week.

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We’ve gotten to the midway point of the NFL season and a lot of storylines are starting to unfold. Justin Blackmon’s inability to not smoke ganja, the Buc’s mutiny on Greg Schiano, and the rampant plague of injuries taking place. Well be covering all of these stories this coming week, but for now let’s try to go on a happier note into week 9 with some NFL gambling picks.

Game 1:

Kansas City -4.  With Jeff Tuel starting at quarterback for the injured E.J. Manuel, things don’t look promising this afternoon for the men of Orchard Park. The Chiefs (8-0) secondary will have a field day with the undrafted rookie out of Washington State University. It does get better on the offensive side where the middle of the road Bills front four will have to deal with one of the hottest running back in the game right now in Jamaal Charles. This one could get blown wide open by the 4th quarter.

Colts -1.  With both teams coming off a bye, this isn’t an argument of freshness, it’s an argument of talent and the Colts win that category. With Arian Foster and Ben Tate listed as questionable (Foster is a true game time decision) the Texans are going to have to rely on quarterback Case Keenum to throw the ball a decent amount. This will be quite the challenge for a guy with a subpar receiving core that consists of a 32 year old Andre Johnson (who has yet to score a touchdown this year) and rookie DeAndre Hopkins who has been incredible streaky this year. Not to mention, the Colts secondary did a pretty good job of shutting down Peyton Manning (all things considered). The Colts offense will struggle a bit with the loss of Reggie Wayne, but T.Y. Hilton has the potential to go on a complete breakout second half. Even if Trent Richardson continues his subpar runs, you still expect Andrew Luck to lead this team to a nice victory.

Pit +6. The storied Pittsburgh Steelers have looked to be back to their old ways. Since coming off their week 5 bye, The Steelers are 2-1, beating the Jets and Ravens, while losing to the Raiders. This team has picked it up in all aspects of the ball. The addition of LeVeon Bell to the offense added a huge dimension that the Steelers lacked previously, A RUN GAME. The defense, specifically the secondary, has also been playing better, shutting down Joe Flacco, Geno Smith, and Terrele Pryor. Facing a struggling New England Patriots team, the Steelers have the opportunity to win this game outright. Either way, this one should be close until the very end.

Packers/Bears Over 50.5. Two banged up, but powerful offense facing each other on Monday Night Football has shootout written all over it. With the late possibility of James Jones playing for the Packers, expect this score to possibly go even higher than 60 points.

As we hit the half way mark of the NFL season, its time to start giving out progress reports. Were going to give grades to teams based on their performance on offense, defense, and overall play.

Chicago Bears

Offense:
B
The Bears offense has been surprisingly effective under new coach Marc Tressman. Before tearing his groin muscle, Jay Cutler was having one of the better seasons of his career. Cutler has so far thrown 12 TD, 7 INT, and has thrown for over 1600 yards. Matt Forte has come back from an awful year last year and has been one of the most productive backs in the NFL. Brandon Marshall is on pace for another 1000 yard receiving year. In addition, Alshon Jeffrey has been having a break out year and Martellus Bennet has proven to be a very good signing for this team. Look for this team to keep up the solid production under an offensive minded coach.

Defense
C-
Mixtures of injuries and disappointing seasons have plagued the typically feared Chicago defense this year. They lost two of their top defensive lineman in Henry Melton and Nate Collins. Julius Peppers, DJ Anderson, and James Anderson have been non existent this year. The retirement of Brian Urlacher has clearly hurt this team on and of the field. LB Lance Briggs and CB Charles Tillman have been bright spots, but the rest of this team (particularly the safeties) has looked atrocious.

Overall
C
While the offense has looked impressive, the defense has looked the exact opposite. Poor play and disappointing special teams have plagued this team this year. Look for the Monsters of the Midway to disappear in the second half of the season.

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10- Marvin Jones- Last week says it all. 4 TDs and 122 yards. He won’t ever repeat those numbers, but he clearly is on Dalton’s good side and has his trust.

9-Keenan Allen- Yes. He is shockingly available in about 30% of leagues he is River’s go to guy and don’t expect that to change. He can find the endzone against a weak Washington secondary.

8- Antonio Brown- NE has a great defense but injuries have been preventing them from being perfect. Expect Brown to do some damage this week.

7-Brandon Marshall- Yes he should be higher, but until I see him explode with McCown I am staying hesitant. He is the 4th most talented WR in the league in my opinion, but without a QB he gets knocked back this week.

6-Roddy White- If he is healthy Matt Ryan FINALLY has someone to throw to that’s experienced. Expect heightened targets.

5-Desean Jackson- Even with a backup QB he has been putting up beastly numbers. Expect that to continue.

4- Pierre Garcon- Going to need to get him the ball to make it close. I think Shanahan knows that better than I do.

3-AJ Green- Andy Dalton is on his game now. After his dismantling of the Jets, expect him to continue his dominance. This is great news for his receivers, specifically his top target.

2-Jordy Nelson- He has been lights out since Cobb left. No question he is a top option in any format now.

1-Dez Bryant- Even though he showed his immaturity last week, expect him to back it up after a 2TD tough break loss against DET.

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With Tip-Off fast approaching here’s an in-depth look at the league, Team by Team.

Orlando Magic

Where They Have Been:

They have been to hell and back all due to one big baby (and I’m not talking about Glen Davis). Dwight Howard treated this team like that crazy girlfriend who you hated but was always afraid to dump. Well after Dwight finally dumped them, they went all the way downhill, becoming the worst team in the league last year. They will likely remain there this year.

Who They Have: Starters

They have a god awful starting five, made up of almost entirely role players. Jameer Nelson, Aaron Afflalo, Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis, and Nikola Vucevic will be scaring no NBA team this season. Afflalo could hypothetically start on a few teams, but regardless this team is in for a world of hurt.

Who They Have: Bench

Here’s where things get interesting. The second overall pick in this year’s draft, Victor Oladiplo, seems to have true all-star potential. He has impressed everyone in the preseason and is now learning to play point guard. As far as the rest of this bench, it is slim pickings. J.J. Reddick, Mo Harkless, and Quentin Richardson (yes THAT Quentin Richardson) round out this weak teams weak bench.

What To Expect:

Expect utter futility from a team that’s tanking its season. With a mediocre starting five and an even more mediocre bench, this team is destined for a top four pick. However, that may not be the worst thing with the stacked draft that is ahead of us.

Record

20-62