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OffsprngofAwsum's Blog

All Out. All Game. All Season

Fantasy Football 2016:

Winning last year's Fantasy Football Championship I've decided to forego the upcoming season & enlighten those of you who plan to win your league's this year (humbled brag). Take a look at a few fantasy studs and sleepers who will keep you in contention week-in-and-week-out. {QB, RB, WR}


Cam Newton: PROJ - 3908 yds 29 TD (8 rushing TD)

The league's MVP (2015) took his team and game to new heights a year ago. Throwing for a career-high 35 TD passes and running in 10 scores led the league as fantasy's top scorer. Cam has always given you that dual threat ability to pick up points on the ground and through the air. Ranking atop in carries, rushing yards, and touchdowns in each of his five seasons. How much of this should carry over to this season? Most of it should, considering Cam averaged nearly 40 yards a game in 2015 on the ground and had a 10.5 yard average depth of throw down the field. Kelvin Benjamin last years first-round draft pick is back on the field to pair with a seasoned nucleus of targets Cam as already built a rapport with. He's primed for yet another MVP caliber season.

Drew Brees: PROJ - 4930 yds 33 TD

Drew Brees has every reason to have one of his best fantasy seasons ever, here's why. Brees is entering the final year of a contract extension he signed in 2012, the last time he played out the final year of his deal he had the best season of his career. Posting career highs of 5,476 yards, 46 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 110.6. Granite Brees had a bevy of targets in 2011, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore, Darren Sproles out of the backfield. He is as efficient as they come and will mirror such off the chart numbers he's posted in the past. His 68.3 percent completion rate last season ranked second only behind Washington's Kirk Cousin. Brees has finished among the top eight QBs in fantasy points now 10 years in a row per ESPN Sports Fantasy and now has a supporting cast that features TE Coby Fleener and second-round draft pick WR Michael Thomas.

Tom Brady: PROJ - 4263 yds 36 TD

A four-game suspension to start and now 39 years of age entering the 2016 season - Yes, stash Brady away on your bench and await his return. Many of us caught a bargain drafting Brady last year because he fell on draft day with the same 4 game suspension looming from his role in Deflategate. As we know the rest is history, Brady started all 16 games throwing for over 4,700 yards, 36 passing touchdowns and only 7 INTs. Keep in mind this was with an underwhelming and injury-plagued supporting cast which now features ex-Chicago Bear Martelleus Bennett to line up opposite of Gronk and a healthy receiving core. Only limited to 12 games, Brady should still post quality stats in 16'.

Derek Carr: PROJ - 3867 yds 29 TD

Seeming as though a second-year breakout was unfolding right before our eyes in Oakland with Derek Carr. Topping 23 fantasy points 4 times in a 9 game span he was unable to sustain such success during the final stretch of the season. A favorable start to this season, facing the Tennessee Titans, Falcons, Saints and Ravens - teams in which allowed on average 18.5 fantasy points to opposing Quarterbacks a year ago is the easiest start during the league's first four games. With a year of added experience and chemistry with Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Latavius Murray. Year 3 looks promising. 

Aaron Rodgers: PROJ - 4600 yds 45 TD

4,643 passing yards, 45 Touchdowns, QB Rating of *122.5 (NFL Record) was Aaron Rodgers stat line from 2011. Despite the career lows and woes of last season, Aaron finished with the lowest passer rating of his career at 92.7 - meaning his career low is just seven points less than Cam Newton's career high which he totaled last year. So if a "down year" consist of (31 TD 8 INT) it's still a great season finishing in the top 10 in fantasy scoring amongst QBs. The Packers offense should get their juice back with the return of WR Jordy Nelson, and their one lone FA signing of TE Jared Cook this offseason. If healthy, look for Rodgers numbers to reflect those of 2011. Note, the Packers have the easiest strength of schedule in 2016 based on the opponents records from a year ago.

Running Backs

Todd Gurley: PROJ - 1600 yds 14 TD

With all the concerns the public eye and the now Los Angeles Rams had about Gurley's ability to produce at the NFL level because of a torn ACL he suffered at Georgia were answered last season. An impressive rookie campaign earned Gurley the Offensive Rookie of the Year award after posting a 1,106 yard, double digit (10) rushing touchdown performance in just 13 games. Missing 3 games and then putting up the performance he did landed him only behind Falcons Devonta Freeman for most fantasy points amongst running backs. Consensus projections have Gurley as the top player at the position and third-best player in overall standard-scoring leagues. But if you're sitting there with the 2nd pick and Antonio Brown is gone at 1, I'm inclined to say yes - take RB Todd Gurley 2nd overall.

Le'Veon Bell: PROJ - 1050 yds 9 TD

Set to serve a 3 game suspension - suffering from a torn MCL and PCL in his right knee last year - yes, all of this I know. Still Le'Veon Bell personally is the most complete back in the NFL until proven otherwise. Sharing the load upon his return with DeAngelo Williams is expected but he's still in a select group of backs that will surpass the 1k yard marker this season on the ground. Just in five complete games in 2015 Bell averaged 102.5 rushing yards and a proficient 15.6 fantasy points a game. With Bell ready to take on a heavy workload as a runner and receiver in Pittsburgh's high-powered offense should make him a top fantasy back in every league.

David Johnson: PROJ - 1036 yds 8 TD

I like David Johnson here to solidify himself as a Tier-1 back and top fantasy scorer this season in both standard-scoring and PPR leagues.  Now there were indeed times last year where Johnson seemed inefficient, but through the last quarter of the season Johnson averaged 21.5 fantasy points and totaled the highest scoring point game amongst running backs against the Eagles with 40 in week 15.  During that stretch he also averaged nearly 5.0 yards a carry and 2.6 yards after first initial contact. Now the clear cut #1 running back in Arizona's high scoring attack offense, Johnson is primed to be a household name in the desert.

Wide Receivers 

DeAndre Hopkins: PROJ - 106 rec 1398 yds 11 TD

It's a very compelling argument that DeAndre Hopkins should be recognized as a Tier-1 receiver in the league.  Yes Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, and ODB are all shoe-ins and set aside from the rest but make room for Hopkins. There are no holes in his game, taking him 4th or 5th overall isn't a reach by any means because you're getting a ton of value you really can't afford to miss out on. If you can snag in 111 receptions, 1,521 yards, and 11 touchdowns with the likes of Brian Hoyer and T.J. Yates as your quarterback. Odds are Hopkins will be well off with Brock Osweiler tossing him the rock in 2016. Keep in mind that you now have to respect Houston's rushing attack after the club's signing of ex-Dolphin Lamar Miller to a four-year deal. All signs point upward to a Monster season for Nukdabomb.

Allen Robinson: PROJ - 87 rec 1354 yds 11 TD

Consider this a warning. Robinson's 80 catches, 1,400 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns were good for 5th a season ago. First and Second in yards and TD grabs amongst his draft class which included Odell Beckham Jr., Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans to name a few. There were six games where Robinson topped over 100 yards with half of those going over a buck fifty. Now only 23, there's no reason to believe he won't pay dividends for his investors in 2016. If you're not as confident in Robinson's ability as I am and fail to draft him, start considering his worth to you in future drafts. 

Antonio Brown: PROJ - 131 rec 1801 yds 10 TD

Hear ye Hear ye, the Holy Grail of Fantasy Football and who some including myself says Antonio Brown is the best receiver in all of football. The key to Fantasy Football is consistent playmakers, well he embodies consistency. In the past 41 games (2.5 seasons), AB has posted 10-plus Fantasy points 30 times. Bets don't come any safer when taking Brown #1 overall. He's a matchup nightmare every week he steps on the field. The only negative would be when Big Ben is not under center, typically a book-in to miss a couple games a season. Imagine if Ben were able to start in all 16 last year (missed 4.5 games), Calvin Johnson's record setting year of 1,964 receiving yards would have fell to the hands of Antonio Brown.

Go Hester Go!

The Atlanta Falcons announced Tuesday morning that they have released the most accomplished return man in NFL History.

The chant of Go Hester Go could echo from Lambeau Field with the possibility of future Hall of Famer Devin Hester returning kicks in Green Bay.  Ian Rapoport, National Insider for NFL Network and reported earlier today that Hester has no plans to retire.  Surgery last January caused Hester to miss 11 games of the 2015 season.  During the teams third preseason game Hester suffered a turf toe injury and was placed on injury reserved with a designation to return.  Due to the inability to push off & cut made him functionally ineffective through the last quarter of the season.  

Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff alluded to earlier in a statement that Hester had passed his physical, however "It was a football decision for us in the very end" and thought it was best the organization move forward wishing him all the luck.  Devin holds the NFL record for touchdowns (20), also holding the record for punt-return touchdowns with (14).  Yes, turning 34 this November; going to a contender and automatic shoe in at returner with Green Bay makes all the since entering the 2016 NFL Season.

The 2014 Green Bay Packers were good at many things, they ran the ball effectively with than 2nd year Running Back Eddie Lacy, they perhaps played better than expected on the defensive side of the ball and like any led Aaron Rodgers team with a full arsenal they put up points in bunches a top of the League with the #1 Ranked Offense (2014).  However a lot like last year, in 2014 the Packers were amongst the worst in Special Teams.  So bad the Packers finished dead last in the Dallas Morning news' annual special teams report. With the firing of Shawn Slocum On January 30, 2015, the Packers promoted Ron Zook to Special Teams Coordinator by Head Coach Mike McCarthy on Feb. 12, 2015.  Looking for a boost here in Year 2 with the Unit snagging long time ex-Rival Bear in Devin Hester could go a long way for Zook and the Pack.  

Note Hester was due to make $3 million in 2016 with cap figure of $3,833,334.  The Green Bay Packers Cap Space (w/Top 51) is $8,992,449, it makes sense money wise & would prove to make sense on the field. "GO HESTER GO"

2016 NFL Season: Part 2

Earlier this month I made an attempt to bring in the NFL Season with Record predictions & analysis of the National Football Conference teams; here's Part 2. (AFC)


Denver Broncos: 9-7

 Winning 10 games isn't much of a stretch for a team who's Sheriff is no longer in town. Even with Brock Osweiler off to Houston, the Broncos made an effort to draft a guy with like similarities both mechanically & build with first round pick Paxton Lynch. Should he be thrown in the fire right away, he can rely heavily on a formidable defense even with the likes of Malik Jackson & Danny Trevathan lost to Free Agency. Don't look far past Trevor Siemian as I think he can perform on an NFL stage.  Lets be clear their big three (or four) remain in tack & it would be hard to imagine them taking a dip statistically. Now, if Von Miller & the front office can't see eye-to-eye here soon & a deal does not happen....

Kansas City Chiefs: 8-8

 The race for a division crown tightens in the AFC West more so than ever since the 2011 season, the year before Denver acquired Peyton. Finishing on a very high note a season ago and nearly dethroning the Broncos of winning their 5th straight division title the Chiefs look to gain ground as they finish the regular season with three of their last four & four of their last six against division rivals.

Oakland Raiders: 10-6

 The resurgent Oakland Raiders look to capture their first division title since 2002. Their first win of the season came already in free agency with the addition of outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, to me one of the most versatile backers in the league - he can line up with his hand in the dirt in a 4-3 set or outside in either 4-3 or 3-4. They also filled a much needed void at corner picking up ex-division rival Sean Smith. Offensively we know they can move the ball and have the ability to score quickly and now has a D who should hold their own.

San Diego Chargers: 7-9

 A team presumably with the best QB in the division are still a few pieces away from any serious contention for a playoff birth. Thanks to the schedule-makers the Chargers are on the road in five of their opening eight games, against opponents who were all over .500 last season. Mike McCoy might be on the hot seat if San Diego doesn't look promising.

AFC South

Jacksonville Jaguars: 8-8

 A solid young team which should have high expectations for Year 3 with Blake Bortles at the helm. There's been a dramatic increase in the level of talent within a year, most positions have a combination of youth & some veteran leadership. Looking ahead, key additions & players returning from injury Dante Flower, Malik Jackson, Myles Jack, Jalen Ramsey, & Tashaun Gibson should all make an immediate impact. Lack of speed defensively has haunted this ball club over the past seasons, that isn't the case anymore.

Houston Texans: 10-6

 Standing in front of the Texans winning back-to-back division titles since 2011-12 are games on the road vs. New England, Green Bay, Minnesota, Denver, & Oakland. Thats a lot of road work for any team, 3 of those 5 are in a 7 week span to begin the season. However they will be more dangerous offensively bringing in Brock Osweiler who signed a 4yr/$72M & Lamar Miller who's coming off another productive year in 2015 with the Dolphins. DeAndre Hopkins will again be the focal point of an offense who now compliments J.J. Watt & the Texans defense.

Indianapolis Colts: 9-7

 As it has been a case for so many years, playing in the AFC South has been a luxury for the Colts. A lot like previous seasons the Colts will be in contention for yet another divisional title. Having a healthy Andrew Luck might not be enough to sure up some glaring holes at other positions particularly on the offensive line. A bunch that could start off has hot as 8-4 thru the first 12 weeks of the season but with a late bye (week 10) & huge matchup's at Minnesota, at Oakland, vs Jacksonville could swing such momentum to end the season.

Tennessee Titans: 5-11

 T-23th, .473 is Tennessee's scheduling rank this upcoming season. Not bad for a unit that isn't really good, it will be very exciting to watch the two headed monster in the backfield with Murray & First Round draft choice Derrick Henry. There very fond of the single-back set on Offense where it will once again compliment DeMarco Murray's running style as it did in Dallas. A schedule with favorable timing, a question to start could be who's going to emerge as Marcus Mariota's top target. Dorial Green-Beckam, Kendall Wright, & Rishard Matthews seem to be all favorites last year after equally receiving the same amount of targets (66,61,61).


Miami Dolphins: 7-9

 A 1 to 2 game bump from last year for Rookie head coach Adam Gase is doable. Seeing winning this division at minimum would take at least a record of .500 or better (contingent with Brady's 4 game suspension) the Dolphins have not stringed together a 10+ win season since 2008. Staying put in the AFC East, adding Mario Williams into the mix which already featured two anchors on the d-line in Ndamukong Suh & Cameron Wake.  At times last year it was exciting watching those two tee off on opposing quarterbacks, so what was already a scary picture just got a lot scary.

Buffalo Bills: 9-7

 Seeing how Rex Ryan's defense performs in Year 2 will be a telling story for this upcoming season. We know how explosive the offense was last year with Sammy Watkins & LeSean McCoy, them duplicating that and doing any damage in the division this year is contingent upon their health of course. If Rex can somehow groom first and second round picks Shaq Lawson (more in Year 2 with shoulder surgery sidelining him for 5-6 months) & Reggie Ragland into instant plug-ins at this level which I think they are at full health.

New England Patriots: 11-5

 I'm a little hesitant here with my prediction due to uncertainty of Tom Brady's availability through the first quarter of the season.  The Pats could find themselves in an uphill battle all season if the suspension is to hold up. The Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots hold the longest active consecutive playoff streak with 7 appearances, upon Brady's return he'll be looking to make that 8 straight. Note that he also has a new target on offense to lineup opposite of Rob Gronkowski in long time Chicago Bear Martellus Bennett to throw to down the seams.

New York Jets: 8-8

 We could be talking about a serious contender if it weren't for their Quarterback situation in NY. Even if Ryan Fitzpatrick hangs around this team will take a step back from a year ago, you lose Chris Ivory to Jacksonville but picked up a more precise runner who wont break tackles as Ivory did in Matt Forte, who's granite running behind an older offensive line. It's hard for me to predict a winning season for this OK unit - if they have any deficiencies defensively, they'll be exposed to the likes of Brady, Palmer, Wilson, Roethlisberger.


Pittsburg Steelers: 11-5

 Seeing the way Pittsburg overcame adversity last season with losses and injuries to key starters, I was ready to put them in as a lock to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 51. A ninth Super Bowl appearance will be a little tougher now with Martavis Bryant suspended a year for violating the NFL's league substance-abuse policy. With a manageable schedule and their two toughest opponents at home vs. Kansas City in Week 4 and New England in Week 7. Outside of that, there's nothing on the schedule that should make steeler fans feel uneasy.

Baltimore Ravens: 9-7

 The usually stout Ravens defense hasn't looked like itself as of late and many questions still persist. But unlike last years gauntlet of a schedule, Baltimore opens with 6 of it's first 7 opponents whom didn't make the playoffs last year. Signing safety Eric Weddle, wide receiver Mike Wallace, & tight end Benjamin Watson should help this team avoid missing consecutive playoff appearances since 2004-05.

Cleveland Browns: 2-14

 Take a year off Browns fans as the city of Cleveland can exhale finally after the Cavs have captured a title for the LAND, literally.  Don't let this season be a damper on the parade that should last through this year into next, hoping for a better outcome. It's honestly tough to point to one game on the schedule and say "Yeah, Cleveland got this one." You know you've been dealt a bad hand when Tom Brady's first game off suspension is against yes, the Browns.

Cincinnati Bengals: 10-6

 Andy Dalton and the Bengals should reach double-digit wins for the 5th consecutive season. They come into the season tied for the fourth easiest slate in 2016. Division rival Pittsburgh handed the Bengals yet another playoff lost in last year's Wild-card game to extend the drought to 25 seasons without a playoff victory. It won't take long into 2016 for the Bengals to find out how good they are and to put an end to that streak.