Dotdon’s Fantasy Football Preview

By Tony James
PSDC Contributor

It’s that time of year again. The weather gets a bit cooler, kids return to school and the rest of us prepare our minds and bodies for football. No, not playing football—elite athletes do that. I’m talking about fantasy football, the true test of a man’s heart and genius.

This article will give you a picture of who you may be able to steal early in your fantasy football draft this year, or, if you’ve drafted already, who you can pick up on the waiver wire now before they make a giant impact and disappear to another competitor before your eyes.

RUNNING BACKS

Depending on the size of your league and scoring rules, RB could be the thinnest of all positions and the most important to grab early and for depth. Although there are rare exceptions, generally speaking you need at least one good RB to win any league. With more and more “RB by committee” teams the pack of workhorse backs continues to dwindle. The key to becoming a consistent champion (like me) is spotting and nabbing RBs that emerge due to injury, opportunity or are poised for a breakout year. It is important to claim them now or at your draft so you’re not in a bidding war or relying on waiver-wire priority. Here are some breakouts and sleepers to target in 2015:

BREAKOUTS

1. Lamar Miller, Miami – Miller is poised to have a fantastic season. Ryan Tannehill is progressing as a QB, producing solid stats and improving year after year. Lamar Miller will be a top 8 RB this year in that Miami offense, so don’t be afraid to reach for him if needed.

Lamar-Miller-Dolphins

2. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay – Martin is quietly going in the sixth to eighth round of most mock drafts at this point, which is an absolute steal. Martin is shifty and fast. His down year last year was ended by injury, but he has great RB1 potential. Add in the WR corps and a rookie QB that is adept at moving the sticks for first downs, Martin could see top 15 production easily. [Read more…]

Project Shanks Fantasy Preview: Wide Receivers

Here we go kiddos, it is time again to get ready for everyone’s favorite pastime: FANTASY FOOTBALL! We here at Project Shanks have lined up a top-notch crew of Bryan Douglass, Matt Carpenter, Joe Hines, Bobby Roberts, Matt Rogers and Robbie Marbury to bring to you all the knowledge you will need for this upcoming fantasy season. We have compiled everyone’s ranking for each position, with the writer that had the most and least amount of love for a player giving you their commentary as to why that particular player should be higher or lower on your draft board. This approach will give you the good and evil that comes with each player.

For the second straight year Calvin Johnson, A.K.A Megatron, is the unanimous choice for best WR, but don’t let that fool you, this is a very deep year for wideouts. Last season saw 21 different WR’s crack the 200 point plateau in PPR leagues, while only 16 RB’s had over 200 points in PPR leagues. Having to draft RB-RB in your first two rounds is an old and archaic draft strategy with WR’s putting up loads of points. No one will have the potential as Megatron, that’s why he is No. 1, but don’t be surprised if someone does catch him for most fantasy points by a WR this season, Brandon Marshall almost caught him last year.

Also, check out our QB’s here and RB’s here.

1. Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions

(Robbie) If a guy has the nickname Megatron, you have to assume he’s the best at what he does, and in this case you would be right. Johnson is big, fast, strong, athletic and has good hands. If you were making a perfect wide receiver, Johnson would have all of the components you would mix together. Even in a down year Megatron was still the No. 1 wide receiver. I would expect his five TDs from last year to be doubled, and once again him being the No. 1 WR option. The only question remains how early would you take him?

2. A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals

Good (Matt R) Once you get beyond Megatron, many fantasy owners and experts have their own thoughts about exactly who is the next best WR in the game. My money is on AJ Green. He’s the cornerstone of my keeper franchise. There is nothing but upside for him in Cincy. In his first two years, he has averaged 81 receptions, 1,209 yards and nine TDs, with his sophomore campaign topping his rookie year. I’m predicting an even bigger step forward this year: 100 catches, 1,500 yards and 15 TDs.

Evil (Joe) A solid receiver to be sure, but I have a hard time being confident in Dalton’s ability to get him the ball. If Dalton has any kind of season though, Green wlll be near the top of fantasy receivers.

3. Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons

Good (Robbie) I’m in on Julio Jones as much as Amanda Bynes is in on being crazy. I have him as my No. 2 WR this season, mainly because I don’t trust Andy Dalton to get the ball to A.J. Green enough. The third year has always been known as the “breakout season” for WRs, and this is Jones’ third year. He improved on his catches, targets, yards and TDs from his rookie season to his second season, and I see no reason why they wouldn’t all go up again this year. Jones is big and fast, he has the ability to make any catch a TD, and that’s the kind of player I want on my team.

Evil (Bryan) It’s not a lack of faith in Julio – at all – as much as it is full faith in QB Matt Ryan. He’ll launch both JJ and Roddy into strong numbers, he’ll get Tony Gonzalez in the mix, and he’ll get others involved as well. In other words, I believe this will be one of the most thorough passing attacks in the NFL led by an arm that utilizes every name on the roster (and I happen to like Roddy more). [Read more…]