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 from trends, stats or analysis.
Quote of the Week
A strong arm isn’t a positive. It just means your incompletions/interceptions arrive earlier.
— Cian Fahey (@Cianaf) February 2, 2016
This one from Cian Fahey made me laugh, so that alone merited it’s placement as quote of the week. More importantly though, it also should remind you as we enter NFL Draft season that a lot of quick words and phrases will be tossed around to describe players and their perceived abilities. Make sure to not get hung up on just one aspect of a person’s game and let they hype of strength, speed, etc. drive football decisions. I am not a football talent evaluator in the least, but one reason I write for DLF is due to the number of great writers here who are and spend the time and energy to full break down prospects. Gio Bernard, RB CIN There remains only one game left in the 2015-2016 NFL season allowing many fantasy analysts time to look back at the regular season that was. One interesting stat shared recently by a trusted fantasy mind involved Bengals running back Bernard.
Bernard’s fantasy value in PPR leagues was substantially more than in standard formats in 2015 as he pulled in 49 receptions but only scored twice in 16 games. Obviously his ability in the receiving game helped is overall touch number as Graham shows, but he did maintain a 4.7 average yards per carry. When comparing that to fellow running mate Jeremy Hill’s 3.6 average it was surprising to see the team not lean on Bernard more. To start the year Bernard logged 13 or more carries in four of five games. Over the last eleven contests Gio only had 13 or more carries on two occasions and saw a total of 3 fewer touches per game over the second half of the season. This is where the main knock on him in terms of fantasy value comes as Cincinnati appeared to do everything it could to keep Hill involved despite his lower output. Even still Gio racked up 1,200 yards and after scoring seven touchdowns the previous season, I would expect his total scores to jump back up in 2016. [inlinead]?
Bernard also has only one year remaining on his contract so it will be interesting to see what the team decides to do with the runner as his asking price will definitely increase. While Gio is unlikely to be a guy scoring double digit touchdowns in a season due to his size, I do like his talents and believe he could continue to produce given more weekly work. Six of the seven DLF rankers actually have Gio placed higher than Hill in terms of fantasy value and I tend to agree. When looking around at other sites ranking players Bernard is falling out of the top 20 runners and well behind Jeremy overall. Take note of other owners’ general opinions on the player as he could be someone to be had at a discount moving forward.
Mike Evans, TB WR
Another name to come across my timeline this past week when reviewing the 2015 season was Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans. JJ Zachariason was examining fantasy players who may regress or progress in 2016.
On the other side of the spectrum, the top-two wideouts who should progress most in the TD department: Mike Evans and Julio Jones.
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) February 2, 2016
Coming off of his monster rookie campaign where he scored twelve touchdowns I was definitely a little more down on Evans in 2015. I did not see him hitting double digit scores again particularly with a rookie quarterback throwing him the ball (even if he was the number one overall pick). But where he lacked in touchdowns he improved considerably in the yardage department. Missing the first game of the season with a hamstring injury and essentially being out for his second game he was off to a slow start. As the season progressed, so did the chemistry with Jameis Winston. Over the last eight games Evans averaged five catches and 84 yards per contest. Only once did he also fail to at least put up 60 yards in a game (surprisingly against the league’s worst defense). So looking ahead to his third year Evans should be poised to bounce back and put up wide receiver one numbers again in fantasy. He has led the team in red zone targets each of his first two seasons and improved play with Winston should only elevate his game. Currently his value seems to fall around the tenth to twelfth receiver in dynasty but the more I look at him I want to push him higher into the 7th or 8th position. Ladarius Green, TE UFA When you spend four seasons behind one of the greatest tight ends of all time it is difficult to get a true read on a player. The Chargers’ Ladarius Green falls into this category. When he was drafted by San Diego (soon to be LA), many expected the team was bringing in the aging Antonio Gates’ replacement. Of course Gates kept doing Gates things and Green was never able to overtake the future hall of famer. Now as Mike Clay noted there is uncertainty with Green’s future,
Doesnt’ feel like it, but Ladarius Green is younger than Kelce, only a half year older than Ertz. Super anxious to see where he lands. — Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) February 3, 2016
Ladarius is an unrestricted free agent and you would expect he is looking for a team that will showcase him more than what the Chargers were able to. His size, athleticism and speed made him a darling of the metrics crowd and his relatively young age provides plenty of long term viability in fantasy. He also has had the chance to learn behind Antonio so hopefully he finds a spot that can feature his talents. The depth at the tight end position has continued to increase over recent years and if he finds the right home he could be an immediate impact player. Currently his value is likely all over the board and I have seen him ranked anywhere between 7th to 18th overall amongst tight ends. Personally I would be testing the waters to see if you can acquire his services today prior to knowing where he will be playing in 2016
Calvin Johnson, WR (Retired?)
Enough has already been written about Calvin Johnson and whether he truly will retire and what you fantasy owners should do with the receiver. My point is more on the fact that people are arguing whether he is worthy of the Hall of Fame if he has indeed played his last snap. Personally I find it almost unimaginable that he is not a hall of famer and Adam Harstad and Kevin Clark were only a few of the tweets this past week that supported my position.
Two men in history had more receiving yards through nine seasons than Calvin. That’d be Jerry Rice and Torry Holt. (Their QBs were okay.)
— Adam Harstad (@AdamHarstad) February 2, 2016
Calvin Johnson once had 1300 yards on an 0-16 team with Dan Orlovsky, Kitna and Daunte Culpepper throwing to him. A talent unlike any other. — Kevin Clark (@KevinClarkWSJ) January 31, 2016
Johnson has been one of the most dominant receivers over the past nine years and even triple coverage could not slow the man down at times. Defenses game-planned for him and did everything they could to limit his production but yet he still produced. I truly feel even if a player was the best at his position for even a five year span they are worthy of Hall consideration. You also know you have been spoiled by a player when he puts up 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns in a season and you come away feeling just OK about his production on the year.[ad5]?