Each week I will be walking through the Twitterverse extracting some of the best commentary from trusted fantasy football minds. Twitter can be overwhelming with the amount of information that streams live, but it also proves to be one of the fastest and easiest ways to communicate. In 140 characters or less you can learn something about a player you may have never thought of fromtrends, stats or analysis.
Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon, RB JAX
The free agency period can bring happiness to fantasy owners and it call also cause them to run their heads through walls. Chris Ivory signing in Jacksonville would lean towards the latter. T.J. Yeldon’s rookie season may not have been a glowing fantasy success, but at least the Jaguars stuck with him in more of the “workhorse” role that everyone in fantasy covets. Yeldon averaged 18 touches per game while in uniform in 2015 and the signing of the similarly sized and capable Ivory only complicates this matter as seen from a recent post by Rumford Johnny,
Still surprised at what Ivory got from JAX. Expect Yeldon to be in line for the passing down work tho, probably the better value.
— Rummy (@RumfordJohnny) March 9, 2016
Sometimes money talks in terms of playing time, so Ivory may be pushed to get a role despite performance compared to Yeldon as the season progresses. As coaching staffs continue to migrate towards the dreaded running back by committee approach as well this could simply be an organization looking for as many proficient runners as possible. Worries over a split backfield have already been illuminated by Jeff Darlington when quoting Jaguars GM David Caldwell,
On acquisition of Chris Ivory, who joins T.J. Yeldon as Jags’ top RBs: “They’ll probably split carries.” …Key is keeping both guys fresh.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 10, 2016
Last season neither runner excelled in short yardage situations so even goal line work could be treated with more of the hot hand approach. Jacksonville running backs managed only three total scores last season on the ground as well, which led to a mediocre campaign for Yeldon in general. Being the younger runner Yeldon still carries more value moving forward but unless one player clearly outperforms the other neither is likely going to be nothing more than Flex worthy from a fantasy perspective.
Lamar Miller, RB HOU
The Houston Texans signed top free agent running back Lamar Miller this week to replace the recently departed Arian Foster. The move was applauded by all as the Dolphins had grossly misused Miller’s talents and as Rich Hribar noted that should not be a problem in Houston.
The RB1 in HOU last year averaged 16.2 carries per game. Lamar Miller has had 16 carries in just 12 of 61 career games. #Freed
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) March 9, 2016
In addition to his obvious rushing talents, Lamar also continued to impress in the receiving game increasing his total receptions each season. In 2015 he snagged 47 passes for an additional 400 yards. In 2015 the Texans mixed bag of running backs accumulated 72 receptions so there should continue to be focus on getting the ball into Miller’s hands in multiple scenarios. 20 touches per game appears an easy assumption and Miller certainly finds himself towards the top of dynasty running back lists. I personally have him slotted at number six overall just ahead of Eddie Lacy though I do approve of the quarterback situation in Green Bay over the newly signed Brock Osweiler. The opportunities will be there and owners should fully expect Miller to capitalize.
Ladarius Green, TE PIT
After four seasons it has finally happened. Ladarius Green is free of one of the all-time great tight ends to play the game. His signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers was mostly welcomed by the Twitter community but there was still some caution when looking around at the new offense he enters.
Love Ladarius Green to the Steelers. Thought he played a lot better than numbers showed last year
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) March 9, 2016
Think I’ll be slotting in Green as a fringe TE1 in PIT. Love the TD ceiling of 7-8, but Bell/Brown/Bryant demand a lot of volume
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) March 9, 2016
Am I alone in thinking Ladarius Green is now greatly overrated? Too many weapons, not “proven”
— Nick Whalen (@_NickWhalen) March 9, 2016
In the four games last season that Green played without Antonio Gates he averaged 4.5 receptions, 55 yards and caught a touchdown in three of the four contests. For comparisons sake though, upon Antonio’s immediate return in weeks five and six he caught nine balls for 90-plus yards each game and scored twice. Green now enters a situation as the presumptive starting tight end but will have to compete with a much stronger cast of offensive weapons around him as Mike and Nick eluded to. The bright side still remains that Heath Miller caught 60 balls in 2015 and averaged 63 receptions over the past four years. You would assume the touchdown totals would jump as well but Miller only grabbed a total of six touchdowns between the 2013 and 2015 seasons. In terms of dynasty value I would rank Green at the back end of the TE1 conversation and believe his weekly output will be a roller coaster ride. Personally I believe his perceived fantasy value will exceed his actual production so moving him now to tight end needy teams would be my plan of attack.
David Cobb, RB TEN
So DeMarco Murray is a Titan and Tennessee fans everywhere rejoiced. David Cobb owners on the other hand ripped up their potential starting running back tickets. As Raymond Summerlin shared this signing looks like the end before we really even saw the beginning.
Oh David Cobb, we barely knew thee. On the bright side, my Ryan Mathews Dynasty shares look a lot nicer. https://t.co/AYWSi5Ozfy
— Raymond Summerlin (@RMSummerlin) March 8, 2016
The rookie runner selected in the 5th round in 2015 started the season on the injured reserve and missed the first eight weeks. Over the last half of the season he was used sparingly and as Chris Raybon shared the little action he saw was not productive.
David Cobb, the #Titans 5th round pick in ’15, averaged only 2.8 YPC on 52 carries as a rookie.
— Chris Raybon (@ChrisRaybon) March 8, 2016
There was a glimmer of hope for Cobb owners after he was given 19 carries in the season finale and registered 73 yards and scored a short-yardage touchdown. No other Titian running back impressed last season outside of Marcus Mariota so the job appeared clearly up for grabs. Now that Tennessee has locked Murray up for the next four seasons you can pretty much leave any hope of fantasy emergence behind. Cobb is still signed for three more years and the Titans did not pay that much to Murray to split work. Only injury at this point could potentially open the door and while Murray’s age and wear could provide hope I am never one to bet on injuries.
Peyton Manning, QB HOF
Peyton Manning had his day and issued a grand farewell to the game he played over the span of 18 years. The onslaught of NFL free agency definitely pushed his retirement aside quickly but I wanted to share the below stat from Adam Harstad regarding Manning and his legacy.
Just a reminder that Peyton Manning reached the Super Bowl with four different head coaches, which is kind of a big deal.
— Adam Harstad (@AdamHarstad) March 6, 2016
For context, Kurt Warner (Martz, Vermeil, Whisenhunt) is the only other quarterback to reach the SB with more than two.
— Adam Harstad (@AdamHarstad) March 6, 2016
Peyton was able to succeed over the course of his career with multiple head coaches and teammates. The fact that Manning continued to play the game, adapt and ultimately win his way speaks of his greatness.
If you did not catch how a man who goes by the handle of @UncleChaps fooled ESPN into broadcasting that Olivier Vernon signed with the Dolphins on Wednesday, then do a quick search. In ESPN’s quest to be the first at everything, someone at the network (who also likely no longer works for them) saw Uncle Chaps’ tweet where he changed his name to Jay Glazer and even updated his picture to mimic Glazer’s account. The madness ensued and Olivier later ended up with the New York Giants but the damage had already been done. This serves as a helpful reminder to always check your sources carefully and avoid being “Chapsed.”