Fantasy facts is going to become a weekly column where I share with you what I've thought about over the past week related to fantasy. Right now things will be a bit more in-depth because of free agency wrapping up and I expect things to shift towards the draft within the next week or two.
Each week I spend a ton of time, probably more than I should, thinking about and talking fantasy.
Below I've included ten of my fantasy relevant thoughts and shared why they were on my mind. Some of the information is stats related that may be able to help you this coming season. Other parts of it may just be interesting facts. No matter what I promise they're all an interesting read.
My 2014 Fantasy Football Thoughts: Version 1.0
These are in no particular order of significance, just the order I chose to write about them in.
1. RGIII is Moving Up
He's added DeSean Jackson, has a new coach and is another year removed from surgery. I think he's on the way to crack my top-10 rankings for quarterbacks. I have to imagine the team will be in better shape than last year and that their running game will keep things moving. They've got DeSean and Garcon on the outside, Jordan Reed across the middle and Alfred Morris in the backfield. Sounds like it could be a winning formula to me.
2. Have Fun in Buffalo Mike Williams
Mike Williams may in fact have a blast. He got shipped out of Tamapa and shuffled off to Buffalo in a hurry. Here he reunites with his old college coach and has the chance to be the number 2 receiver behind Stevie Johnson. I know the Bills quarterback situation is pretty unexciting at the moment, but keep in mind that Mike Williams was the number 10 and number 17 fantasy receiver in 2010 and 2012 respectively. Clearly that's not trending the right way, however that means there's only room for improvement. Keep your eye on Mike Williams coming back to life (just don't expect a top-10 guy).
3. Mike Wallace Might Surprise Us
He complained a lot last year that the Dolphins weren't running enough, which basically meant he was getting too much coverage because teams knew they couldn't run effectively. The Dolphins have a new offensive coordinator and a new running back in town. They've also improved the offensive line by adding Branden Albert and expect the running game to finally gain some ground. That should mean more opportunities for Mike Wallace downfield as defenses will have to respect the run.
4. Chris Johnson's Going to Stay Relevant
Chris Johnson isn't going to be putting up 2,000 yards and a ton of touchdowns like he used to, but the reality is none of us expect it anymore. It looks likely at this point that he'll be a New York Jet and should take over the lead role. I think he'll thrive in that brash offense and could put up 1,000 yards and a bunch of touchdowns. He could be turning into a low-end #2 back or a high-end flex.
5. The Eagles Will Still Fly High
The loss of DeSean Jackson is one that will resonate within the Eagles, but ultimately they'll be just fine. They resigned Maclin and Riley Cooper, they added Darren Sproles and they have McCoy in the backfield. The only downgrade fantasy wise in my eyes is Nick Foles. He loses a big speed target but he also gets a speedy guy in Sproles. Only a slight downgrade and I expect Chip Kelly's offense to continue firing on all cylinders.
6. I Love DeSean in Washington - For More Reasons than You Think
Look DeSean Jackson is a young speedy guy who presents another deep threat alongside Pierre Garcon. He brings his own style to the field and is another body to catch balls from RG III. As mentioned above I think RG III bounces back this year with a healthy knee, a new coach and now a new receiver. I also love DeSean in Washington because it's going to open up opportunities for Garcon. In fact I don't think he hurts Garcon's value all that much.
7. MJD Can't Catch a Break
He started with the Jaguars and now he's with the Raiders. He's going from one losing franchise to another and he's joining a backfield with more competition than where he started. I know he wanted to return home and I'm sure that was a factor in his decision. But now the Raiders backfield is one I'll truly avoid. MJD has shown that he's not what he used to be, McFadden can't stay healthy and we have no idea if/when they'll give Murray an opportunity to take the job. Too many questions and likely very few answers before draft day.
8. Ridley Will Bounce Back - Or Not
Stevan Ridley burned a lot of owners last year - in fact anyone that drafted him got burned. Now that I've gotten that out of the way I'm going to say I think he could have some value in 2014. Look I don't blame you if you decide to avoid him after getting burned, I would, but he's only 25 and arguably the best running back the Patriots have now that Blount has joined the Steelers. Shane Vereen will continue to be a
pain in Ridley owners side but if, and this is a huge if, he can hold onto the ball, we might just have a number 2 running back.
9. Rashad Jennings is a Good Guy to Know About
What is there to hate about Rashad Jennings? He escaped Oakland in one piece, he's the clear starter in New York (I don't buy the David Wilson hype) and the Giants have revamped the offensive line. He's great in pass protection which is huge for Eli Manning and he didn't drop any catachable balls thrown his way last season out of 36 (according to Pro Football Focus). He's obviously not a guy you're taking in the early rounds, but later-on he'll likely be worth every penny you spend to get him.
10. Andre Brown to the Texans Could Be Interesting
As of now Andre Brown is nothing more than a visit on the Texans radar. However he sure is an interesting visit. They guy came back from a broken leg to have multiple nice fantasy performances. Sure his health is a concern but you can't deny that the kid has talent. The Texans lost Ben Tate as Arian Foster's backup and I think Andre Brown can fill that one two punch opening quite nicely. We'll have to wait and see how it works out.
Learning Fantasy Football Tips from NFL News
If you've learned anything from reading through my ten fantasy thoughts of the week it should be that you can find something fantasy related from almost every piece of NFL news. The signing of linemen can impact running backs, the addition of a receiver can impact quarterbacks and released running backs can still hold value.
Make sure you keep an eye on NFL news as it develops over the next few weeks. It'll help give you an idea of how certain teams will draft and what rookies you're going to have to keep an eye on for the 2014 fantasy season.
Think I missed talking about something really important? Share your thoughts below and tell me why I should have included it.
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.
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