Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy Football’

Phins Fantasy Football: TEs

Monday, August 9th, 2010

In 2008, with Chad Pennington at quarterback, the Dolphins’ two primary Tight Ends, Anthony Fasano and David Martin, caught a combined 65 passes for 904 yards and 10 touchdowns — half of the team’s total receiving TDs. In 2009, Martin missed the entire season with a knee injury, and Fasano and backup Joey Haynos had 50 receptions for just 504 yards and four TDs between them. Will any of the Dolphins Tight Ends regain fantasy relevance with Chad Henne under center, or is no player worth a roster spot?

Anthony Fasano, TE – Fasano’s drop in production last season was largely due to a different role in the offense, as he was asked to provide more pass protection at the expense of running routes.  While he was the second-best run-blocker in the league, his yards per catch dropped from 13.4 to 10.9, he had only two scores a year after catching seven, and he led all TEs in fumbles (3), including two in the season opener.

Ah, memories.  Fasano runs into the end zone in a 38-13 Dolphins victory in Foxborough on Sept. 21, 2008.
Ah, memories. Fasano runs into the end zone in a 38-13 Dolphins victory over the New England Patriots in Foxborough on Sept. 21, 2008.

Although he doesn’t possess the downfield receiving ability of the elite TEs, with an improved offensive line and the addition of star wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Fasano should see more opportunities to work the middle of the field and get open in the end zone.  He’s being drafted in only 2.7% of ESPN leagues as the 25th player at his position, but makes for a solid second TE who should be in for a nice bounce-back season in 2010.

2009 Statistics:  31 catches, 339 yards, 2 TDs
2010 Prediction:  33 catches, 414 yards, 5 TDs

Joey Haynos, TE – After catching only two passes in seven games in 2008, Haynos was used in more two tight end sets and played 51 percent of Miami’s offensive snaps in 2009.  But while the 6’8, 270-pound TE showed flashes of future potential, he was far too inconsistent and had only three total receptions for 17 yards in the two games that Fasano missed with a hip injury.  Although he’s an intregral cog in the Dolphins’ offense, Haynos isn’t likely to see a significantly increased pass-catching role or threaten Fasano for the starting job anytime soon, making him largely irrelevant in all but the deepest of fantasy leagues.

2009 Statistics:  19 catches, 162 yards, 2 TDs
2010 Prediction:  24 catches, 203 yards, 2 TDs

Does the addition of the Martin mean the end of the Kory Sperry Era?
Does the addition of Martin mean the end of the Kory Sperry Era?

David Martin, TE -Martin, an eight-year veteran who’s familiar with the Dolphins’ system after spending two seasons in Miami, was unexpectedly re-signed last Friday.  While he averaged 14.5 yards per catch in 2008, it’s hard to imagine the 31-year-old has much left after spending last year on Injured Reserve.  If he’s fully healthy, Martin would allow Fasano to catch more passes by taking over some blocking duties, and could prove to be an effective situational downfield threat.  His signing means very little in fantasy cirticles, but certainly signals the coaching staff’s unhappines with the progress of their young Tight Ends.

2009 Statistics: None – missed season (knee injury)
2010 Prediction:  12 catches, 180 yards, 1 TD

John Nalbone / Kory Sperry, TE – Both Nalbone, a fifth-round pick in 2009, and Sperry, who was signed as an undrafted free agent after attending the San Diego Chargers’ training camp, spent most of the 2009 season on the practice squad.  While Nalbone didn’t play a single snap in the regular season, Sperry made the most of his lone start, catching three passes for 31 yards and a TD in a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The more-experienced Martin likely has the  inside track on the third (and perhaps final) TE spot, and barring an injury, Nablone and Sperry would only provide blocking and special teams help.

Phins Fantasy Football: RBs

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

The addition of Brandon Marshall should help open the run game for the Dolphins, who ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing yards in 2009 and sport a strong offensive line.  The big question is whether Ronnie Brown, who’ll be motivated to earn a new contract, or the ageless Ricky Williams will reap the most benefits this season.

Ronnie Brown, RB – Brown has been feast-or-famine over the last four years, capable of single-handedly winning any game  or crushing your season.  In 2006, he had his only 1,000-yard rushing campaign (1,008 in 13 games), and in 2008, he made the Pro Bowl while amassing 1,170 yards from scrimmage and 10 rushing TDs (eighth in the league).  But in 2007, Brown suffered a knee injury that cost him the final eight games of the season, right as he was leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage.  Last year, he was fourth in the league in rushing TDs (8) and 11th in rushing yards until a Lisfranc fracture ended his season in Week 10.  Consider that the last star running back who suffered a similar foot injury was Larry Johnson in 2007, who made the Pro Bowl the previous year but hasn’t been the same since (3.3 yards per carry in 2009).

Hate him or love him, Brown has scored 5 rushing TDs in 9 career games against the rival Jets.
Hate him or love him, Brown has scored 5 TDs in 9 career games against the rival Jets.

A consensus second-round pick in 2009, Brown is being drafted as the 22rd RB and 45th overall (10 spots ahead of Williams) in ESPN leagues.  While he can no longer be counted upon as a number one RB, he’s a solid second back or flex option because he’s always a threat score out of the Wildcat.  He could even end up being the steal of the draft if he can manage to stay healthy — the key word, of course, being “if.”  As someone who’s been burned by Brown, who will turn 29 in December, on two occasions, I’m leaving him on the board for the bigger risk-takers anywhere before the fifth round.

2009 Statistics:  648 rushing yards, 98 receiving yards, 8 TDs (9 games)
2010 Prediction:  893 rushing yards, 135 receiving yards, 7 TDs

Ricky Williams, RB – Last season, Williams improbably rushed for 1,121 yards, setting an NFL record for longest time-span between 1,000-yard seasons (6 years), and totaled 13 TDs.  With Brown out of the picture, he averaged 99.8 rushing yards per game in Weeks 10 through 15 before getting slowed down by minor injuries.  Yes, he’s 33 years old, but thanks to Ricky’s “extra-curricular activities,” he has only 575 carries in the NFL over the last five years – about a third as many as Ladanian Thomlinson, Clinton Portis, Steven Jackson, and Thomas Jones.

Still, expectations need to be held in check.  In 2005 and 2008, his previous two full seasons, Williams had 168 and 160 carries, respectively, and isn’t likely to approach the 241 he had on a heavily run-oriented Dolphins team in 2009.  He’s won’t reach 1,000 yards in what’s supposedly his final NFL season, but given Brown’s injury history, it’ll be impossible for Miami to not give Williams significant work all year long. It wouldn’t be a stretch to take Ricky as the first Dolphins RB off the board, and ahead far less consistent players such as Pierre Thomas, Matt Forte, and Joseph Addai.

2009 Statistics:  1,121 rushing yards, 264 receiving yards, 13 TDs
2010 Prediction:  906 rushing yards, 211 receiving yards, 9 TDs

Get used to the WildCobb...
Get used to the WildCobb...

Patrick Cobbs, RB – Cobbs began the season as Miami’s third running back, but suffered a knee injury in Week 5 that cost him the rest of the season.  In 2008, Cobbs averaged an impressive 7.3 yards per carry and caught 19 passes for 275 yards and two TDs, and is a deep sleeper in 2010 if he’s fully healthy.  Cobbs could replace Pat White in Wildcat formations, giving him more scoring opportunities, and has even more value in leagues that count punt and kickoff return yards since he’ll see increased special teams work with Ted Ginn Jr. in San Francisco.  Cobbs is worth a late-round flier, especially as a handcuff for owners of either Brown or Williams (or both).

2009 Statistics:  36 rushing yards, 23 receiving yards, 0 TDs (5 games)
2010 Prediction:  319 rushing yards, 295 receiving yards, 3 TDs

Lex Hilliard, RB - As Williams’ primary backup, Hilliard totaled more than twice as many receiving yards (158) than rushing yards (89), catching a team-high nine passes for 74 yards in Week 16, and vultured a couple of goal-line TDs.  But as the team’s number four RB, his role in the offense will be far too limited to justify a fantasy roster spot.

2009 Statistics:  89 rushing yards, 158 receiving yards, 3 TDs
2010 Prediction:  56 rushing yards, 91 receiving yards, 1 TDs

Kory Sheets, RB – Both the Dolphins and your fantasy team are in serious trouble if they’re counting on fifth-stringer Sheets, who had one carry for five yards last season and should only be a factor on special teams in 2010.

Coming soon:  The biggest fantasy question of the year: which Dolphins’ Tight End is worth drafting as your team’s backup?

Phins Fantasy Football: QBs and WRs

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

With the NFL season right around the corner, and fantasy football drafts already in full-swing, it’s time to take a look at what to expect from the Miami Dolphins’ skill players in 2010.  Today, we’ll cover the quarterbacks and wide receivers, with running backs, tight ends, and the defense to be posted in the coming weeks.

Sorry, Chad!
Sorry, Penny!

Chad Henne, QB - All things considered, Henne had a solid 2009 after being thrown into the fire following Chad Pennington’s shoulder injury in Week 3.  (As a sidenote, I still feel responsible for causing that to happen, because I spontaneously decided to pick up Henne in my fantasy league minutes before that game started).  Henne completed 60.8% of his passes and had 12 TD passes in 14 games despite having one of the weaker WR corps in the league.  He threw for over 300 yards in three of his last five games, and should have no problem continuing that trend with the Dolphins’ acquisition of two-time Pro-Bowler Brandon Marshall.  Considering that Kyle Orton threw for over 3,800 yards and 21 TDs last season with Marshall as his top receiver, Henne could be in line for a spectacular year if he can improve his decision-making (10 INTs in the final six games).  He’s a borderline number-one QB, and has more potential than the likes of Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, and Matt Ryan, all of whom are all  being drafted ahead of him in ESPN leagues.

2009 Statistics:  2,878 passing yards, 12 TDs, 14 INT
2010 Prediction:  4,161 passing yards, 25 TDs, 13 INT

Chad Pennington / Tyler Thigpen / Pat White, QB – Unless you’re in a 14-team, two-QB league (like me), none of the Dolphins’ backups should be on your radar.  Thigpen is likely to begin the year second on the official depth chart, though it wouldn’t be surprising if Miami turned to the veteran Pennington if Henne were to miss any games.  White, who didn’t complete a single pass last year, is, um, still on the team as of this writing.

Brandon Marshall, WR – Marshall, who set the NFL record with 21 receptions to go along with 200 yards and two TDs in Week 14, will catch more passes by Week 3 than the Dolphins’ previous #19 did all year (38).  The problem is that the volatile WR has been arrested at least four times on charges of assault, domestic violence, and DUI, and was suspended by the Denver Broncos for the final week of 2009 for exaggerating an injury.  Still, Marshall’s talents are undeniable — he’s caught over 100 passes and totaled over 1,100 receiving yards in three straight seasons and has averaged the fourth-most receiving yards per game (80.7) in the NFL since 2007. His off-the-field problems, combined with playing for a new team and a different offense, make him a somewhat risky pick in the second round (currently being drafted 19th overall), but you could talk me into taking Marshall ahead of the aging Randy Moss and the Kurt Warner-less Larry Fitzgerald (especially in Point Per Reception leagues). 

2009 Statistics:  101 catches, 1,120 receiving yards, 10 TDs
2010 Prediction:  107 catches, 1,250 receiving yards, 8 TDs

Predicting Bess' 2010 output can get a little hairy...
Predicting Bess' 2010 output can get a little hairy...

Davone Bess, WR – Bess had a fantastic sophomore campaign, leading the Dolphins in catches (76; 22nd in NFL), receiving yards (758), and punt return yards (209).   His stats are bound to take a serious hit with Marshall firmly entrenched as the top receiver, but Bess should still get his fair share of targets out of the slot.  Bess is a decent fourth WR in PPR leagues with some upside, and at the very least, is a smart insurance policy if Marshall gets in Coach Sparano’s doghouse.

2009 Statistics:  76 catches, 758 receiving yards, 2 TDs
2010 Prediction:  57 catches, 570 receiving yards, 4 TDs

Brian Hartline, WR – Hartline led the Dolphins in TDs (3) and yards per catch (16.3; 11th in NFL) , and finished third on the team in receiving yards (506) as a rookie.  He dropped only three passes in 54 targets,  and could end up being the beneficiary of Marshall’s double-teams if he wins the number two receiver spot in training camp.  Still, with Bess expected to see more targets and Greg Camarillo also in the picture, Hartline is only worth a late-round flier in standard leagues.

2009 Statistics:  31 catches, 506 receiving yards, 3 TDs
2010 Prediction:  43 catches, 660 receiving yards, 3 TDs

Greg Camarillo, WR – Camarillo, who should be fully recovered from a torn ACL he suffered in November 2008, was one of the most sure-handed receivers in the NFL last season, catching the highest number of passes without a drop and a stellar 70% of his total targets.  He quietly placed second on the team in both receptions (50) and receiving yards (552) in 2009, but stands to see a reduced role behind the quicker and younger Hartline in 2010.

2009 Statistics:  50 catches, 552 receiving yards, 0 TDs
2010 Prediction:  38 catches, 414 receiving yards, 1 TDs

Coming soon:  How will Ronnie “The Wildcat” Brown and Ricky Williams share the backfield?

What’s Your Fantasy? Week 16

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

In the final 2009 installment of “What’s Your Fantasy,” I break down the players to start, bench, and think about for your Super Bowl lineup.  This week’s recommendations include sticking with my cardinal rule of fantasy football, not taking chances with uncertain matchups, and playing every 49er with a pulse against the Detroit Lions. As always, we’ve got plenty of music, photos, and jokes for your viewing pleasure.  Go Fins!!

What’s Your Fantasy? Week 15

Friday, December 18th, 2009
Unfortunately, we won’t have a video for you this week due to holiday party hangovers technical difficulties.  How dare they plan those during the fantasy playoffs!  Anyways, we’re on a bit of a roll — two straight wins for Miami and two weeks with no glaringly bad recommendations for me.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Let’s keep it going in Week 15.


Beanie Wells: After splitting carries with Tim Hightower for much of the season, Beanie Wells was finally given a full workload last week and had 103 yards and a TD.  WIth Detroit and St. Louis next on his schedule, the Beanie Man is a playoff must-start.

The Seahawks have given up more fantasy points to WRs than the Lions, Chiefs, and Browns (seriously), making Antonio Bryant a rock solid #3 WR with potential to be a number two.
The Bears’ pass defense has been beatable all year, and top QBs like Kurt Warner, Carson Palmer, and Brett Favre were able to carve them up for big games.  Joe Flacco should get two TDs for the first time since Week 6.
Over the last 3 weeks, the Packers have allowed three passing TDs while getting nine interceptions.  If Ben Roethlisberger couldn’t get it going against the Browns, then there’s little hope for him in this one.
With Keith Null starting in St. Louis — I mean, how fitting that a QB with the name “Null” plays for the Rams — and injuries to the front line, Steven Jackson should be benched against Houston, who’ve only allowed 155 total rushing yards over the last 2 weeks.
The Carolina Panthers have allowed one receiving TD in the last 7 weeks, and that was to the Saints.  It would take a lot of guts to bench Sidney Rice, but this might be the week if you have other options, especially since he’ll likely get double-teamed without Percy Harvin in the lineup.

Arian Foster is the new starting running back in Houston, and he gets a great matchup against St. Louis in his first week.  Foster’s…Australian for #2 RB. Sorry — we’re still desperate for a sponsor (email us at!).
Speaking of the Texans, the Houston DEF/ST is available in most leagues, and is a top-five option this week against those swine-flu ridden Rams (they just can’t catch a break).
I know Terrell Owens isn’t a sleeper, but he should be in lineups as long as he starts, since the Patriots have allowed at least two TDs to WRs in three of the last five weeks.  Of course, this could just be wishful thinking on my part.  Come on, Buffalo!

That’s it for this week.  Remember to stop by Third and Long on 35th Street and Third Avenue if you’re in the New York City area.  We’ll have our hands full this week with league-leading rusher Chris Johnson and the always dangerous Vince Young, but a playoff spot is within reach with a win.  Go Dolphins!!

What’s Your Fantasy? Week 14

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Sorry I am a day late this week. I was out too late Wednesday night watching Short Michelle play the MNF theme as part of a drum showcase at Arlene’s Grocery. She wore her Ricky Williams jersey during the show! You can check the video out here.

Anyway, let’s get to what you came here for. My weekly fantasy football advice.

It’s Week 14 of the NFL season and I’ve got some more fantasy football advice to pass along.  As always, we’ve got plenty of music, photos, and jokes for your viewing pleasure.  Go Fins!!

What’s Your Fantasy Week 13

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

It’s Week 13 of the NFL season, which doubles as the final week of the regular season in most fantasy leagues.  I’ve got all of the matchups to exploit to help you secure a playoff spot.  This week’s recommendations include starting a couple of familiar names, benching a top-tier WR, and picking up a few risky and underrated players who could end up making a big difference.  As always, we’ve got plenty of music, photos, and jokes for your viewing pleasure.  Go Fins!!

What’s Your Fantasy: Turkey Edition

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

I’m Sorry… There were no major screw-ups last week, and Ricky Williams even exceeded the 100 yards and two touchdowns I predicted.  So instead, I’ll use this space to apologize for the lack of video this week due to my incompetence with a video camera and without the assistance of Short Michelle.  Just imagine me reading the following notes, and fumble a name or two in your head to get the most realistic effect.  To make it up to you, I’ll list a few additional players in each category.

Players to Start: I’ve mentioned Matt Ryan as someone to bench several times this year, but after netting two TDs against the Giants last week, he gets to face the Tampa Bay Bucs, who give up the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.  Consider him a QB1 this week.

Just in case you’re thinking of being cute and benching Ray Rice against the Steelers, remember that he’s averaging over 120 total yards per game and that Pittsburgh has been burned by pass-catching running backs in recent weeks.

With Kyle Orton back healthy — I can’t believe I’m using this as a positive — Brandon Marshall goes back to being a WR1 against a susceptible Giants defense that has given up multiple TDs to wide receivers in four of the last five weeks.

Other Starters: Joe Flacco, Thomas Jones (pains me to write it, but he’s facing an awful Panthers defense), Michael Crabtree

Players to Bench: Despite his career game last week, Eli Manning should be on fantasy benches.  No quarterback has thrown for 300 yards against the Broncos, and only Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have thrown more than one TD pass.

Pierre Thomas is continuing to split carries with Mike Bell, getting only 11 rushing attempts in each of the last two weeks.  Facing the Patriots, and with Reggie Bush likely back to steal goal line carries, Thomas should only be seen as a flex option.

Miles Austin’s numbers have taken a tumble in recent weeks as opposing defenses have made adjustments to cover him.  He’s barely reached 100 yards receiving in his last three weeks combined, and it won’t get much easier against the Raiders and Nnamdi Asomugha (and since it’s Thanksgiving and all, I’m thankful this isn’t recorded and I don’t have to pronounce his name).

Other Bench Warmers:  Brady Quinn (I’m willing to bet he won’t get four TDs during the rest of the season combined), Matt Forte, Steve Smith 1.0 and Steve Smith 2.0.

Players to Think About: If you have an extra spot on your roster, you might want to use it on everyone’s favorite party boy, Matt Leinart.  Kurt Warner is tentatively slated to start this week, but should the oft-injured QB miss any time, Leinart has the weapons (and ridiculously easy schedule) to be a viable fantasy starter.

Rock Cartwright is the newest starting RB in Washington after Ladell Betts was placed on IR.  He picked up 140 total yards against a tough Cowboys defense, making him, well, um, solid as a rock (note that we would’ve also accepted, “Can you smell what the Rock is cookin'” if this were 1998).

Brandon Gibson
has caught 12 passes for 154 yards in the last two weeks, though unfortunately, he has Kyle Boller throwing to him this week.  And I’m using the word “throwing” very loosely.

Other Sleepers:  Vince Young, Fred Jackson (just not against Miami this week), Laveranues Coles

That’s it for this week.  Remember to keeping checking for all of the latest Dolphins news, and send us an email if you’d like to be included in next week’s video.  If you’re in the New York area, stop by Third and Long on 35th Street and 3rd Avenue to watch the games with the rowdiest fans around.  Until next week, I’m Alex with “What’s Your Fantasy?”  Go Dolphins!

What’s Your Fantasy? Week 11

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

[Editors note, due to us not getting back from Miami till Monday night and the short week, we are running a bit behind. Photos and video coming soon!

Week 11 of the NFL season is here, and I’ve got another early edition to get your lineups set before tomorrow night’s big game against the Carolina Panthers. This week’s recommendations include starting everyone’s favorite Dolphin, benching a hated Jet, and hitting the waiver wire for three new starting running backs. As always, we’ve got plenty of music, photos, and jokes for your viewing pleasure. Go Fins!!

What’s Your Fantasy – Week 10

Thursday, November 12th, 2009
It’s time to get you ready for Week 10 of the NFL season.  With Thursday night games starting this week, I deliver an early edition of my fantasy picks after taking back everything I said about a player I recommended benching.  Plus, I answer two questions from a lucky viewer in need of urgent advice.  Check out the video for more photos, music, and humor.  Go Fins!!!

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