God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son". Abe said, "Man you must be puttin' me on".  God say, "No". Abe say, "What"?

Matriculations Past

 

August 27, 2017

Eli Manning- QB, Giants

Eli is coming off of a sub-par year, but he is primed to enter back into the QB1 realm in 2017.  With Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram joining Odell and Sterling Shepard there is no shortage of weapons.  Paul Perkins is the perfect back because he's not going to be a prolific TD scorer which means Manning should have plenty of red zone passes.  We expect a 33/4,400 performance which means he's a week to week starter as a low end QB1.

August 26, 2017

Danny Woodhead- RB, Ravens

The Ravens backfield rivals the Patriots backfield in terms of uncertainty.  Joe Flacco is still not practicing and Ryan Mallett is terrible.  None of the backs can stay healthy with Woodhead now nursing a balky hamstring.  We'd probably take Woodhead in the 9th-10th round but not in the 4th-5th as he's been going in most drafts.

August 23, 2017

James Conner- RB, Steelers

Conner continues to gain momentum after posting a 20-98 versus the Falcons.  If you draft Le'Veon Bell, Conner is an important handcuff.  We would consider Conner beginning in round ten.  

Lamar Miller- RB, Texans

Milller's not getting the fantasy love he deserves.  He's had 1,200+ yards from scrimmage for three consecutive seasons and has scored 9, 10 and 6 touchdowns those years.  He should be a late first/early second rounder and presents an opportunity to get solid fantasy production out of a running back outside of the top half of the first round.

August 22, 2017

Rob Kelley- RB, Redskins

Fat Rob Kelley posted a 9 carry, 9 yard clunker versus the Packers while rookie Samaje Perine went 8-45.  We think last year will be Kelley's career high water mark and expect Perine to take the starting job if he can improve in the passing game and get over his fumblitis.

August 21, 2017

Cooper Kupp- WR, Rams

Kupp continues to dominate in training camp as he has done for about the last 5 or so years he's played football.  We can't comment on his high school days.  We expect him to lead the Rams in receiving.  Yes that's over Sammy Watkins and Tavon Austin and Robert Woods.

August 20, 2017

Brandon Allen- QB, Jaguars

For what it' worth, we think Allen is the best quarterback on the Jags and wouldn't be surprised to see him get some starts in 2017.  Check out his numbers compared to the other top picks from 2017 in The Holy Trinity.

August 19, 2017

Legarrette Blount- RB, Eagles

The guy scored 18 touchdowns last season and is the unquestioned starter in Philly.  Sounds like a first round pick, right?  We have him at RB38 and haven't seen him go in the first three rounds of any fantasy draft.  He showed up overweight and slow, and we could see a performance drop like he had in Pittsburgh a few years ago.  We would love to get Blount in the 6th round and Wendell Smallwood at the end of the draft, but someone will likely take Blount too early.

August 18, 2017

Frank Gore- RB, Colts

We've been greatly exaggerating the 34-year old's demise for 4 years now.  In the 11 seasons since his rookie year he's had 1,200 or more combined yards 11 times!  That's not a misprint.  Last year he was RB13.  He's currently trending in the 6th/7th round and he's a solid value as an RB3 at that point.  The Methuselah of the NFL just won't die.

August 17, 2017

Eli Rogers- WR, Steelers

Rogers posted a solid rookie line of 48/594/3.  He's clearly behind Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown, but he's an injury or suspension away from having a sizable role in a potent offense.  If you're looking for a high ceiling guy in the last rounds you might want to take a flier on him.

August 16, 2017

Jordan Mathews- WR, Bills

Matthews trade to the Bills has significant fantasy implications.  He was barely going to see the field for the Eagles and now he will be battling with ancient Anquan Boldin and rookie Zay Jones to be the number one receiver in Buffalo.  He will have his most accurate tosser to date in Tyrod Taylor and we expect Mathews (and maybe even Zay Jones) to now be in the mix as WR3's.

August 15, 2017

Jameis Winston- QB, Buccaneers

Most people will have selective memory about this, but let me tell you everyone (but us) was on the Blake Bortles bandwagon heading into the 2016 season.  He was coming off a poor season, but his garbage time stats that included 4,400 passing yards and 35 touchdowns were enough to fool the duller eye.  We said he wasn't good and now after a terrible 2016 everyone else is on board. You might want to look a bit closer at Jameis Winston's numbers.  Everyone's on the Winston bandqwagon right now, and we still like his fantasy prospects throwing to Mike Evans and Desean Jackson, but he's not that good.  In fact his second year numbers (61%, 4,090, 28/18) weren't as good as Bortles second year numbers (59%, 4,400, 35/18) yet everyone wants to christen Winston as a future star. We like him as a fantasy player, but the reality isn't as appealing. Winston has thrown 33 interceptions his first two seasons.  Players with 30+ interceptions their first two years in the league are perennial losers like Ryan Tannehill, Matt Stafford, Tony Romo and Jay Cutler.  The only outlier is Eli Manning who has had a few great seasons surrounded by a sea of mediocrity.  Players with less than 30 interceptions their first two full seasons are guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson.

August 14, 2017

Christian McAffrey- RB, Panthers

McAffrey didn't get to show off his receiving skills, but he looked slick in his debut finding small creases and exploding through them.  We expect something in the 1,000-1,200 combined yards range and if he can find the end zone 8-10 times he's an RB1.  The biggest beneficiary of Mcaffrey's ability and Kelvin Benjamin's return will surely be Cam Newton who should be in the top three fantasy tossers if he stays healthy.

August 13, 2017

Zeke Elliot- RB, Cowboys

What round do you take Zeke assuming his suspension stays at 6 games?  It's the million dollar question as that is almost half of the regular season.  We can't see taking him in the first three rounds but would start to get antsy in the fourth.  The problem is you would need to get a starter for the first few weeks and you might have to reach for Darren McFadden or even one of the Tampa Bay backs, which isn't a great use of a sixth or seventh round pick.

August 12, 2017

Jay Cutler- QB, Dolphins

The Dolphins teased just enough in 2016 with a playoff appearance, but they are now back into full dumpster fire mode again with the daft signing of Jay Cutler.  It's not that Colin Kaepernick is significantly better and younger with an impressive post-season pedigree. What do the Dolphins possibly expect from Cutler? Is he one win better than Matt Moore? Maybe. At best. Moore has a winning record in the NFL and Cutler doesn't. Cutler's made it to the playoffs once in 11 seasons and never had even a 2/1 touchdown to interception ratio.  To put that in context, Kapernick had a 4/1 touchdown to interception ratio his last season.  Cutler's not any good and $10 million bought the Dolphins absolutely nothing but a headache for their young coach.

August 11, 2017

Deshaun Watson- QB, Texans

Watson looked calm and in complete control in his first pre-season game, surprising everyone but us. He's a combination of Cam Newton and Russell Wilson. He will miss a throw on occasion, as he did when he was schooling the Alabama's GOAT defense, but it doesn't matter. He's a star, and we wouldn't be surprised if he's the starting tosser in a playoff game as a rookie.  Tom Savage is solid too, so we expect a significant improvement in the Texans passing game in 2017 regardless of who starts.  We are betting that Savage begins the year as the Texans starter (nice unintended pun) but is overtaken at some point by Watson.

August 10, 2017

Ted Ginn- WR, Saints

I have an idea for my next book.  It's going to be about this dad who wasn't good enough to make it in his professional sport of choice.  He's driven to near insanity to have his son succeed.  One day at a crossroads he meets this guy Don who is the Debil, and the Debil promises to make his son a long time starter in the NFL if he gives this Debil guy his soul. Dude really wants to live vicariously, and he was recently diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, so he agrees and the Debil hires a team of surveillance people to follow every coach in the NFL.  And so in the end Ted Ginn is a starter for over a decade in spite of his complete lack of ability. 

August 9, 2017

David Njoku- TE, Browns

Hue Jackson recently chided Njoku at practice to: "hold on to the freakin' football."  He's been struggling with drops.  Apparently Jackson now realizes that what we said about Njoku not being a first round pick because he didn't have "natural" hands, was correctamundo.  Read the freakin' Matriculator Hue!

August 7, 2017

Tom Savage- QB, Texans

Savage is reportedly the favorite to start over Deshaun Watson in 2017.  We're fans of Watson, but not at all surprised.  Savage was probably the best pure passer in his draft class, but he's always injured.  If he can stay on the field we would expect him to be a solid tosser in 2017.

August 6, 2017

Quincy Enunwa- WR, Jets

Enunwa, the Jets number one receiver (?!), is out for the year with a neck injury.  He's the worst, best receiver of all time.  The Jets seem to want to throw this season but nobody can figure out why.  There's no Cam Newton in the upcoming draft and the Suck for Luck thing has been a farce. The Jets ownership seems to think they're in the NBA and Lebron is in this draft.

August 4, 2017

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Apparently the fantasy experts aren't buying the Matt Ryan MVP thing.  In the recent CBS expert draft, Ryan went in the 8th round even though most of the experts had him ranked in the 50 range.  Either way, it's clear that nobody's buying Ryan as a top five fantasy quarterback in 2017.  We will have Ryan in the 6th-7th round range when all is said and done.

August 2, 2017

Cam Meredith- WR, Bears

It's usually a good sign when your tosser says you're going to have a big year, unless your tosser is Ichabod Crane. We like Meredith's skill set and expect him to be the Bears leading receiver, but that might mean something in the 70/900/8 range which is a WR3 line.

August 1, 2017

Braxton Miller- WR, Texans

Keep an eye on Miller this pre-season.  He's listed as the Texans number 3 receiver, but that's behind Will Fuller who we feel certain will fall out of favor in relatively short order.  Miller didn't do much as a rookie with Brock Osweiler at tosser, but he should have more opportunites and a much more accurate passer this year.

July 29, 2017

Brandon Marshall-WR, Giants

There's no disputing that Marshall is a rare talent (he may end up in the Hall of Fame) but he may be the worst clubhouse cancer in NFL history.  Last week former teammate Sheldon Richardson, who's no choir boy himself, said the locker room was much better this year.  When a reporter asked him why Richardson said,"There are about 15 reasons," alluding to Marshall's number 15.  Marshall has burned bridges on every team he has left and his horrible attitude is probably at least one of the reasons he's never been in a playoff game in his career.

July 25, 2017

Deshaun Watson- QB, Texans

Watson was one of seven drafted players whom we and the NFL (based on where they were drafted) had ranked higher than the other 4 major draft scouting organizations.  The others were Evan Engram, Jarrad Davis, Adoree Jackson, T.J. Watt, Marcus Williams and Zay Jones. The players who were ranked by the NFL teams and The Matriculator lower than all of the pundicators were Jonathan Allen, Malik Hooker, O.J. Hoawrd, Marshon Lattimore and Reuben Foster.

July 23, 2017

Zeke Elliot- RB, Cowboys

Zeke is a knucklehead, and we all knew that when he entered the league.  Other than an incident with his girlfriend, for which he might receive some light punishment, Zeke hasn't done anything horrendous: driving really fast, roughing up a bouncer, pulling a girl's top down at Mardi Gras, but it's starting to add up in a Johnny Manziel kind of way.  You may recall that Dez Bryant had a similar run early in his career but has mostly escaped the consequences.  The Cowboys have an efficient babysitting department that reportedly includes private eyes who keep tabs on the players.  It's been effective for the most part, but Zeke will present a challenge.  If he is suspended for one or two games, we'd still keep him in the top ten on our fantasy draft boards but would now much rather have David Johnson.

July 21, 2017

Kirk Cousins- QB, Red Sea Pedestrians

Red Sea Pedestrians GM Bruce Allen recently referred to his tosser Kirk Cousins as Kurt.  We felt there might be an opportunity for a little article.  Red Sea Pedestrians are a Joke and Nearly a Good Laugh.

July 16, 2017

Austin Seferian-Jenkins- TE, Jets

Jenkins is reportedly sober and having an excellent camp thus far.  Keep an eye on him as a late round fantasy sleeper.  Josh McKown is a tight end lover and the Jets are currently starting Charone Peake and Quincy Enunwa at wide receiver so ASJ should get opportunities.

July 15, 2017

Calvin Pryor-S, Jets

Pryor, the 18th pick in the 2014 draft, has been dropped to third string.  He will likely be cut in the next month.  We didn't like him coming out of Louisville, and he wasn't ranked in our top 40 players.  Like Jabrill Peppers, we aren't fans of safeties who are big hitters but don't have great ball skills.

May 27, 2017

Todd Gurley- RB, Rams

When do you pull the trigger on Gurley in your 2017 fantasy draft?  If he was on your team last season the only trigger you want to pull is the one on your Glock.  He was horrible in 2016 averaging only 3.2 YPC due in large part to pathetic offensive line that included overmatched left tackle Greg Robinson. Don't dismiss Gurley though. The Rams have added a Pro Bowl left tackle in Andrew Whitworth and Jared Goff should get better, though we don't expect Goff to ever be good. Overall, we don't forecast a dramatic improvement for Gurley, but keep in mind he has posted over 1,200 yards from scrimmage each of his first two seasons and averaged 8 touchdowns.  Those are second round numbers, even at 3.2 YPC.

May 23, 2017

Sammy Watkins- WR, Bills

The Bills showed great restraint in not picking up Sammy Watkins' 5th year option.  There were whispers that he was a bit of a knucklehead coming out of Clemson, and he hasn't been a great professional showing a propensity to miss games as well as balls thrown to him.  He has big play capability but looks like he's settling in as a Torrey Smith type of player.

May 20, 2017

Daryl Washington- LB, FA

Washington has been suspended for three years but was reinstated this week and then promptly cut by the Cardinals.  He was one of the NFL's best players but now, at 30, he may never play again.  Someone will surely invite him to camp, but he's a long shot to stick with his off-field issues and age.

May 12, 2017

Tajeh Sharpe-WR, Titans

Ahh, we can't make this stuff up.  Sharpe has been sued civilly, though not charged criminally, for a fight outside of a bar in Nashville.  The man who was beaten senseless was allegedly informing Sharpe of the fact that the selection of Corey Davis would likely result in a reduction in targets for Sharpe.  At that point the heckler became a target for Sharpe, so to speak.

May 9, 2017

Jackson Jeffcoat

The Curious Case of Jackson Jeffcoat.  Even most hardcore NFL fans don't know who Jackson Jeffcoat is. His father, Jim, won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys and was in the top 15 in sacks when he retired. Jackson was our 10th rated prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft in spite of the fact that for reasons unspoken he wasn't on anyone else's board.  There is something happening off the field, but what it is ain't exactly clear.  He was a five-star recruit out of high school, and signed with Texas where he became one of the greatest players in their history.   He was a Freshman All-American and as a Senior he was a concensus All-American, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Ted Hendricks Award winner.  He tested on an elite level and should have been in consideration as the number one overall pick but he didn't get drafted and nobody said anything about why. He was signed by the Redskins as an UDFA and then cut.  They resigned him and he started a few games in December, dominating with a sack, interception and forced fumble.  He was released again the next year, picked up by the Browns and quickly cut. This off-season he signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL.  What is amazing, and curious, is that whatever is "wrong" with him has never been reported by a modern media where everything gets leaked. 

May 8, 2017

Raekwon McMillan- LB, Dolphins

The Dolphins had their best draft in a decade, filling in positions of need with good value picks.  The defense added five players who will see significant playing time with Raekwon McMillan, the 20-year old leader of Ohio State's defense, likely starting from day one. The Fins also drafted guard Isaac Asiata in the 5th round and he is a monster in the Richie Incognito mold who had the highest bench press at the Combine with almost 34-inch arms.  Asiata should be starting day one and the physicality of the Dolphins increases dramatically with their 2017 draft haul.

 

May 1, 2017

Joshua Dobbs- QB, Tennessee

It has been reported recently that Dobbs might be drafted in the first round.  He's nowhere near a first round talent, but he does have a developmental skill set. We could see him drafted after the third round, but round one is far too rich.

April 26, 2017

Tedric Thompson- S, Colorado

In a deep safety class, Thompson is one of our favorites. He has 13 interceptions the past two seasons and was graded as PFF's top coverage safety.  He has a nose for the ball and other than only average athleticism, he has no negatives.  We haven't decided yet whether he will crack our top 50.

Reuben Foster-LB, Alabama

The Alabama train of morons continues to roll, with Cyrus Kouandjio and Reuben Foster vying for the conductor's role this week.  Kouandjio is the clown who famously announced that he was going to Auburn and then three days later his brother posted on Twitter that he would be attending Alabama.  Karma Police arrest this man.  His life has been in a downward spiral since then.  He was drafted in the second round in 2014 and has joined Alabama's ever expanding list of draft busts.  This week he was found partially nude in a field and when the police went to get him he told them: "Shoot me!" The Karma Police didn't shoot him.  Reuben Foster tested positive at the Combine (because of a diluted sample) and called Adam Shefter to provide a long and winding explanation about being sick and drinking fluids and de doo doo doo. Foster is a top ten player, but we will drop him 15 spots for the failed test, 10 spots for getting kicked out of the Combine and 5 spots for being from the same school as Kouandjio.Cool

April 25, 2017

Jerod Evans-QB, Virginia Tech

Mike Mayock said this week that Jerod Evans will likely not get drafted. Interestingly enough, he's the identical prospect in every regard to Mitchell Trubisky who is being talked about as the number one overall pick.  The only difference is, of course, that Evans is black.  Both quarterbacks have one year of starting experience in the ACC.  Evans is 6'3", 232 and Trubisky is 6'2", 222. Evans posted a 4.80 and 26.5 at the Combine while Trubisky posted a 4.67, 27.5.  Evans had a 153 passer rating, 64% completion percentage, 8.4 YPA and 29/8 TD to interception ratio.  Trubisky was for all intents exactly the same posting 158, 68, 8.4 and 30/6. So one is the top pick and the other undraftable?

April 24, 2017

Brandon Wilson- CB, Houston

Wilson is Houston's version of Adoree Jackson.  He's played corner, safety, running back and receiver.  He's an elite athlete who might be drafted late on day two, even though teams might not be certain what his best position is.

April 23, 2017

Lorenzo Jerome- S, St. Francis

Jerome is from a tiny school and he doesn't look like an NFL player at a chunky 5'10", 205. On tape, however, he's a star.  He may have the best instincts of any player in the draft at any position.  He had 47 PBU's, more than twice as many as any safety in the draft, and his 18 interceptions were more than any safety in the draft.  At the NFLPA game he had two interceptions and then two more at the Senior Bowl.  He ran a 4.70 at the Combine which is why he won't be drafted as early as his production warrants, but we love him as a third day selection.

April 22, 2017

Mike Gillislee- RB, Patriots

The Bills (and Dolphins) lose out to the Patriots again.  The Patriots signed Gillislee away from the Bills as a RFA, because the Bills were too foolish to place a second round tender on him.  It would have only cost the Bills $1 million.  Gillislee was drafted by the Dolphins and was signed by the Bills after the Fins cut him.  The same thing happened with Chris Hogan whom the Dolphins cut and the Bills signed only to lose through RFA in 2016 to the Patriots. We keep having this dream of Belicheat in the midst of a bunch of baby seals with a baseball bat.

April 21, 2017

Dede Westbrook-WR, Oklahoma

We really like Westbrook's tape and he would make our top 50 list were it not for character concerns.  We obviously don't know how much of the reports are accurate, but there are too many to not take notice.  He had two domestic violence charges, declined an invite to the Senior Bowl, and didn't participate in the Combine other than doing interviews which were reportedly "horrible".

Devonte Fields-LB, Louisville

Fields is a tough evaluation.  When we saw him as a freshman in 2012 he looked like a future top five pick posting 28.5 TFL/sacks and winning the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award.  After some off field trouble, he transferred to Louisville where he looked elite as a junior in 2015 posting 33 TFL/sacks.  In 2016 his play dropped off dramitically, and we're not sure why.  He is being viewed as more of a linebacker, though we like him better as more of a traditional defensive end.  The problem is he's down to 236 pounds, which is too small for an end. 

Ben Boulware- LB, Clemson

We know Boulware has physical limitations, but he's a football player and a leader.  Even if he only develops into a special teams player and back-up linebacker, we'd draft him in the 5th round range and take our chances.

April 20, 2017

Ejuan Price-DE, Pittsburgh

Price, the 5'11" fire plug, is the only player in this year's draft with back-to-back 30+ TFL/sack seasons.  He's so short that he often burrows under tackles and guards to get clean shots in the backfield.  He has a host of pass rush moves and in spite of his height we think he will be an effective third down rusher in the same vein as Carl Lawson and Tim Williams who will be drafted much higher than Price.  He's not a high effort guy and won't be good against the run, but he possesses a valuable skill set.

April 19, 2017

Obi Melifonwu-S, Connecticut

Melifonwu can play safety in the NFL, but he's highly erratic on tape.  When he lined up at corner he looked unbeatable.  If we drafted him it would be as a corner with a Mel Blount skill set.

April 18, 2017

Sheldon Richardson-DT, Jets

The Jets are looking to trade Richardson, who is an elite talent on the field but a legendary screw up off the field.  He was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013 and a Pro Bowler in 2014.  In 2015 he was suspended for failing a drug test and in 2016 he was suspended for an incident where he was arrested for drag racing and resisting arrest.  According to the arrest report the officer smelled marijuana and there was a 12-year old boy in the car.  We expect they Jets might still be able to get a late first, but it will probably be a second round pick.

April 17, 2017

Takk McKinley-DE, UCLA

McKinley is projected as a first round pick by most pundicators, but we see him as more Jane than Tarzan.  He only had one productive year at UCLA and in 2016, 8 of his 28 TFL/sacks were in one game. He reminds us of Bud Dupree who we didn't think was a first round pick and were correct about. Dupree has produced 25 tackles and 4 sacks per year in his first two years.

April 16, 2017

Myles Garrett- DE, Texas A&M

There are rumblings that Garrett might not be the number one pick, and there is a legitimate argument to be made.  His career arc is similar to that of Jadeveon Clowney who seemed to take his last college season and then his first two pro seasons off.  Even in year three he only had a few dominant games.  At this point Clowney has prodcued like an a late round pick or undrafted free agent with only 10 sacks in three years.  He would have to produce 30+ sacks in the next two years to even be in the argument as a first round pick and he will never justify a top ten selection.  Garrett may suffer as a result of Clowney, and it's a comparison worth looking into.

April 15, 2017

Kyle Fuller- CB, Bears

The Bears are reportedly going to cut ties with Fuller, the 14th overall selection in the 2014 draft. The 2014 draft underscores the issue with first round corners.  There were five drafted in the first round that year, and only Jason Verrett has been exceptional.  Justin Gilbert was selected 8th and he's been a huge bust.  Darqueze Dennard was selected 24th and he's not a starter and Bradley Roby, the 31st selection, has been a solid nickel corner.

April 14, 2017

Greg Robinson-T, Rams

The Rams declined Robinson's fifth year option and he enters the pantheon of top five draft flops. At least he started for several years at left tackle, we suppose. Everyone, and we mean everyone, missed on Robinson.  He was drafted second overall and was ranked as either the second or third best prospect by Daniel Jeremiah, Sports Illustrated and CBS.  We of course did not have ranked as highly as he came in 4th in our rankings.Embarassed He's bigger, faster and stronger than nearly every big man in the NFL, and we expect he will ultimately settle in as an above average guard, a la Robert Gallery.

April 13, 2017

Carl Lawson-DE, Auburn

History seems to be repeating itself with Carl Lawson who is a carbon copy of of recent Auburn first round pick Dee Ford.  Ford and Lawson are both 6'2", with Ford weighing in at 252 and Lawson at 261.  During their time at Auburn they both showed elite pass rush ability but not much in the run game.  So far Ford has done about as expected, struggling his first two seasons but producing a solid 10 sacks in year three.  Because it is such a deep draft class we don't expect Lawson to go as high as Ford (23) but we expect a similar career arc. 

April 12, 2017

David Njoku- TE, Miami

We had an interesting conversation with one of our trusted advisors here at Matriculator Draft Headquarters in our secret bunker under Fort Jefferson.  We were discussing Njoku with The Draft Junkie when we said our comp on Njoku was Vernon Davis, which is why we said Njoku wouldn't make our top 50 players.  He responded by asking why we didn't think Davis was worthy of a top 50 pick.  He did make two Pro Bowls.  Over the five year duration of Davis' initial "draft" contract, he averaged 600 yards and six touchdowns.  The majority of his production came in year four (imagine that) and those are numbers worthy of a second day pick, not a first rounder.  His catch percentage hovered around 60% and he never had a 1,000 yard season.  We see a similar prospect in Njoku who's measurables outpace his football ability.  In a draft loaded with quality tight ends we'd have Njoku with a late second, early third round grade.

April 11, 2017

Jimmy Garoppolo- QB, Patriots

The Patriots are selling out for the next two years to try and send Brady/Belicheat out with a bang.  Here's a wild stab at what they might do on draft day. They trade Garoppolo to the Browns for the 12th overall pick and 4th rounder.  They select Haason Reddick to replace Rob Ninkovich and provide both a pass rusher and a stout linebacker.  They trade Malcolm Butler to the Saints and get their 32nd pick back in return. They draft Quincy Wilson or some other corner and continue on their merry way.

April 10, 2017

Ahkello Witherspoon- CB, Colorado

Witherspoon draws a first round grade in coverage.  He's 6'3" with long arms and NFL speed.  He broke up an astounding 20 passes while giving up a completion percentage under 30.  His problem is that he is comically soft against the run. He could probably add ten pounds to his frame but we're not sure you can teach tenacity, and he is severely lacking in that area.

April 9, 2017

Jamal Agnew- CB, San Diego

We have a Brent Grimes alert.  Agnew is small at 5'9" but otherwise displays the characteristics of a starting NFL corner.  He probably won't get drafted because of his height, but if he ever gets a chance he could develop into a steal.

April 8, 2017

Timmy Jernigan- DT, Eagles

The Ravens traded Jernigan, who is their starting defensive tackle, to move up 25 spots in the third round.  It's a curious move that leaves the Ravens thin on the defensive line. We count 6-7 positions where the Ravens need to upgrade their starter, and could see this as another long season for Ravens fans.

April 7, 2017

Ryan Ramczyk- OT, Wisconsin

There are certain things we know we can count on when it comes to colleges and their success rate in the pros.  Wisconsin offensive linemen have a high hit rate, particularly in the past decade.  They have prodcued arguably the best center (Travis Frederick) and the best left tackle (Joe Thomas), a Pro Bowl guard (Kevin Zeitler) and starters Rob Havenstein and Ricky Wagner.  Ramczyk looks like the next in line and a "safe" pick who should be an average left tackle at a minimum.  In today's NFL that's valuable and we expect him to be drafted between picks 8-20.

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys

The sound and fury boy has finally hung up his cleats.  The poster child for media hype, Romo has been in the news for over a decade in spite never really doing much of anything.  Not including the Dallas Party Bus Mircale where the referees handed the game to the Cowboys, Romo won one playoff game. He always seemed more interested in being a celebrity than a football player and that showed in the pressure games.

April 6, 2017

Jabrill Peppers- S, Michigan

Peppers has been falling down draft boards since the end of the college football season. He reminds us of Manti Te'o, not as a player but as an overhyped prospect. Te'o's ability was overstated in large part because he was Bozworthed as the next coming of a superstar linebacker.  As with Boz, Te'o has been rather ordinary.  Peppers might be the next in line.  He was hyped as a defensive player so talented that he should be considered for the Heisman, as fellow Michigan alum Charles Woodson had been decades before. The difference is that Woodson had sixteen career interceptions while Peppers had one.  Apologists say that Peppers wasn't used properly, but the difference is striking.

Dion Jordan- DE, Dolphins

The saddest entry on the Matriculator resume as the greatest scout in NFL history has finally been cut.  Every scout and apparently every NFL team had Jordan as a top ten pick.  We said he was terrible and barely draftable. The Dolphins traded up to the third spot to select him. We were apoplectic.  Jordan was released this week by the Dolphins after four seasons where he produced one start and career total of three sacks. He's squarely in the debate of the worst draft pick in NFL history.  How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be when it brings but sorrow to the knower!

April 5, 2017

Jarrad Davis- LB, Florida

Davis has the physical traits and instincts to be a top ten draft pick.  In the SEC he stood out in games with his speed and tenacity. He will overrun plays and occasionally miss assignments, but the positives far outweigh the negatives in that regard.  The biggest negative is his injury history.  The most important ability is availability (we stole that from someone) and that is Davis' question mark.  He will fit in somewhere between 20-30 on our final countdown.

April 4, 2017

Roderick Johnson- OT, Florida State

We think Johnson is somewhat underrated.  He's a giant at 6'7" with 36 inch arms and moves well for his size.  He's a potent run blocker and solid as a pass protector, though he can be beaten with speed. He has balance issues that might be correctable and the frame to add another twenty pounds.  He should be, at a minimum, a starting right tackle in the NFL.

April 3, 2017

Las Vegas Raiders

Movement of teams is the new norm in our what have you done for me lately society.  We don't like franchise movement, but we understand why the Raiders moved.  It raises a relatively modern conundrum that will arise every time a team's stadium becomes outdated.  How much of a stadium's cost should be incurred by the citizens of the community versus by the billion dollar private organization?  Even if that question is answered and the city and team agree to split the costs, what if another city offers to fully fund a new stadium, in essence offering hundreds of millions of dollars to an owner? It's a tough question without an easy answer, but Oakland, the municipality, clearly didn't do enough to keep the team.  This is not a shame on the NFL or the Raiders, but simply an unfortunate reality of business.

April 2, 2017

Mack Hollins- WR, UNC

Hollins has flown under the radar since he injured his shoulder in October. He's a classic long strider who is a legitimate deep threat at the next level.  We like him and Josh Reynolds as field stretchers who can be drafted after the second round.

April 1, 2017

Davis Webb- QB, Cal

Webb is telling reporters that he's being told by mutiple teams that he's a first round talent.  A few year's ago A.J. McCarron said the same thing pre-draft and he was drafted in the third round.  That's the round we think Webb will be drafted.

March 30, 2017

Josh Jones- S, North Carolina State

Nobody has Jones going in the first round, but we wouldn't be surprised if he is taken that early.  He's a physical freak at 6'1", 220 who finished at the top of all of the Combine drills in which he participated.  He posted a 4.41 forty and 37.5 vert and he produced on the field as a devastating tackler (109 in 2016) who has elite movement skills.  He sometimes gets lost in zone coverage, but we expect the team that drafts him to use him as a hybrid type who moves all over the field playing cornerback, safety and linebacker. Keep an eye on the Steelers, Falcons and Seahawks at the end of round one.

 

March 29, 2017

Deshaun Watson- QB, Clemson

Pundicators are poopooing the 2017 tosser class, and we don't necessarily disagree. We still have three quarterbacks going in the top 15 picks in our mock draft because at least a dozen teams will be starting back-up caliber talents at the NFL's most important position.

March 28, 2017

Las Vegas Raiders

We love the idea of an NFL team moving to Las Vegas, we just wish it wasn't the Raiders.  The Raiders have the best fan base in the NFL, possibly in any sport.  They have fan support in spite of the team not being good for a long time (until 2016) and playing in a stadium that is the worst in the NFL.  In Vegas they will not have fans so much as people looking for entertainment while they are in Vegas.  We suspect that the games will be populated by mostly tourists, which stinks for a team with the Raiders history.  The Jaguars would have been a perfect fit because tourists wouldn't really care which team they were going to see if they were watching the NFL in Vegas.

Praise Martin-Oguike-DE, Temple

Interesting how you sometimes stumble upon important people.  We were scouting Haason Reddick again this week and kept noticing #50 on Temple making plays.  Who is this guy?  Looks like an NFL player to us, we thought.  His name is Praise Martin-Oguike, and he's an older prospect than he should be. His father is a preacher and his mother is a poet. He was accused of rape by a Temple student in 2011.  He was stripped of his schoalrship, kicked off the team, and generally treated like a rapist is apt to be treated.  The problem was, he didn't rape the girl.  The girl's e-mails showed that they had had consensual sex and that when she wanted to continue seeing him he rebuffed her so she did the woman scorned thing and made up a rape story.  He spent two years clearing his name and lost two years of his life. The woman's name should have been released (since was wasn't protected by the rape shield, being that she wasn't raped) and she should have gone to jail for the period that he would have faced if found guilty, maybe 5-10 years. Instead, she got off scot free.  The punishment has to fit the crime and it's much more difficult to argue rape is a serious crime, though we all know intrinsically it is, when you don't punish the person for making false rape accusations.  We have digressed.  Martin-Oguike is a legitimate prospect at linebacker/pass rusher and we expect him to be drafted and be one of the feel good stories of the draft.

Chris Godwin-WR, Penn State

We have watched some tape on Godwin and our thought is, "Second or third round type.  A WR2 at the next level."  So in our puny little mind we started thinking, of all of the those types of receivers, how many have become productive NFL receivers.  What we've decided is that there is no such thing as a second or third round receiver.  If their not first rounders then draft them late.  In the 2011-2013 drafts there were 25 receivers drafted in the second or third round.  One of them, T.Y. Hilton we had a top ten talent so the NFL evaluators just whiffed on him.  There were two others who were considered first round talents by most but who slipped because of weight (Alshon Jeffrey) and speed (Keenan Allen) concerns.  Most of the rest have been complete flops with a few (Robert Woods, Torrey Smith, Mohamed Sanu and Randall Cobb) becoming legit WR2's.  That's about a 20% hit rate on those recievers which means teams are better off either taking a first round talent, where the hit rate is at least around 50%, or  waiting until later in the draft to take a wideout.

March 27, 2017

Deshone Kizer- QB, Notre Dame

Only a month before the draft, Mike Mayock still has Kizer as his number one ranked tosser.  Mayock's quarterback evaluations are historically horrendous and he keeps making the same mistake year in and year out.  He loved Blake Bortles and Blame Gabbert and the first part of every analysis always has to do with how big someone is and how they look, not on film, but physically.  If they look like a quarterback in shorts he favors that over all other aspects of their evaluation.  Kizer reminds me of Josh Freeman.  Big dude, big arm, not much of a quarterback.  We'd take him after the first three rounds as a long term developmental guy.

Budda Baker- S, Washington

For all of the plaudits the 2017 cornerback class is receiving, we think it's a better safety class.  We have first round grades on five, maybe six, safeties.  We never seen a class of safeties even remotely approaching that.  If Budda Baker was a little bigger, he'd be in our top 20. He's a ballhawk which comes with the concomitant positioning issues, but our only real concern with him is his size and whether he can withstand the rigors of a 16 game NFL schedule.

Pat Mahomes- QB, Texas Tech

Mahomes worked out for the Browns and Chargers and Cardinals HC Bruce Arians and the Cardinals owner also attended a workout.  Mahomes appears to be ascending as the draft approaches and it is a real possibility that he is a top 20 pick and either the first or second tosser off the Board. Deshone Kizer continues to slide down mock draft boards and Bitchell Trubisky is floudering as a result of his feeble attempt to change his identity.

March 26, 2017

Garett Bolles, T, Utah

Bolles has elite movement skills and the tenacity scouts want in an offensive lineman.  If he had better core strength he'd be an easy top 10 evaluation.  Problem is, he doesn't have the core strength, particularly in his lower half, to be an elite left tackle.  Against Washington in 2016 he was rag dolled multiple times by bigger rushers, though versus the speed guys he was dominant.  If he has the capability of adding significant strength in his lower body (he didn't bench press at the Combine which is a concern too) then he will be a high level player at the next level, but at his present strength he's more of a second to third round talent.  We will have him somewhere in between, probably in the 25-35 range with the idea that an NFL strength and conditioning program could turn him into an elite player.

March 25, 2017

Dalvin Cook- RB, Florida State

Cook's evaluation is getting more difficult by the day.  On tape we felt he was the number one running back in this class and a top-10ish player.  He has everything you want with his size, explosiveness and ability to run inside or outside. Multiple personnel evaluators have raised questions off the field as he's been arrested for a number of different charges. We were expecting him to test well at the Combine but he barely broke 4.50 (4.49) and only had a 30.5 inch vertical.  We still like him but probably wouldn't take him in the top 20 anymore considering his off the field history and the devaluation of running backs in general.

Fabian Moreau- CB, UCLA

Moreau tore his pectoral muscle doing the bench press at his pro day.  He had been steadily ascending draft boards and might have been a first round pick before the injury.  He will be out until late summer and there is now a question as to whether he will play in 2017.  The injury will drop him at least a round in the draft, maybe two depending on the prognosis.  We still think the second round is possible.

March 24, 2017

Duke Riley- LB, LSU

Riley performed well at the Combine, but he only has one year of tape.  Like Deion Jones before him, he's undersized but displays the sideline to sideline and cover skills that are in vogue in the NFL.  Also, like Jones, he only received significant playing time his Senior year.  We expect him to be drafted around the same spot as Jones (pick #52) and we wouldn't be surprised if the Falcons reunited Rileu and Jones this April.

March 23, 2017

Ethan Cooper- G, Indiana (Penn) University

File this name away for draft day.  Cooper is a massive body at 6'2", 330 and he was a DII All-American.  He's started at guard and tackle and we noticed him at the Combine as a having good movement skills for his size.  There's no tape of him against anyone resembling NFL talent so he's a difficualt evaluation, but he has the measurables and movement skills to be an NFL starter.

March 22, 2017

Kevin Zeitler- G, Browns

It seems the lower level NFL teams are starting to figure things out. You win games with dominant lines, particularly dominant offensive lines.  The Browns are building a nice offensive line and adding Zeitler in a big money deal was a wise move.  This is the first off-season where guards are getting bigger contracts than wide receivers, who have been squeezed in free agency thus far.

Bitchell Trubisky-QB, North Carolina

Trubisky has requested that we now call him Mitchell instead of Mitch. It's a bitch move from Mitch, who shall hereinafter be referred to by his Matriculator name,  Bitchell Trubisky. Trubisky is plummeting down draft boards allegedly because of his lack of expereince, but we're dropping him simply because of his name change request.  There aren't many people named Mitchell who are leaders of men, and we're getting a Blame Gabbert/Mark Sanchez/Mike Glennon/Brock Osweiler vibe in terms of Bitchell's leadership skills.

March 20, 2017

Ben Roethlisberger- QB, Steelers

Big Ben reportedly said he's "probably" not going to retire, and Steeler Nation is holding their breath.  Is this the petulant child making idle threats to get attention, or is Big Ben's heart really not in it?  We can't imagine he's retiring any time soon and suspect he made a flippant comment that has been blown out of proportion.  If he is about to retire in the next year or two and the Steelers know it, look for them to draft his successor in April. 

March 18, 2017

Christian McAffrey- RB, Stanford

The McAffrey hype train continues to build, with some guy from Fox Sports saying he's a top 10 pick and a better prospect than Leonard Fournette. The scout says, "Expect him to get 18-25 touches per game..."  That's a joke.  We love McAffrey's skill set, particularly as a receiver, but he weighs 200 pounds and is weak (10 reps of 225) with short arms.  If he gets 20 touches a game he will probably last about a month.  He's a 2nd rounder who should have no more than 10-15 touches per game.

March 16, 2017

Damontae Kazee, San Diego State

Kazee is an intriguing prospect who isn't getting much press.  He's on the small side at 5'10", 185 and he tested average with a 4.54 and 34-inch vert.  He's physical and hyper aggressive.  He was the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016 after amassing 15 interceptions and 142 tackles.  His Combine numbers and build are indentical to Casey Hayward, as was his college production.  We think Kazee will be a productive starter at the next level and n a normal year we'd say he's a sure fire second rounder, howver with this deep class of corners he might be a gem in the third round.

March 14, 2017

Donta Hightower- LB, Free Agent

Hightower, who is one of the NFL's best defensive players, still hasn't signed with a team.  Running backs and linebackers have historically been underpaid in spite of the fact that they are involved in more plays than any other position.  It's an odd juxtaposition and the running backs, almost none of whom have signed, are still holding out to get "fair value" which is a target that continues to move down.

Lawrence Timmons- LB, Dolphins

The Fins added Timmons to their growing list of old, over paid players on the downside of their career.  It's an excellent strategy for building a team that almost led to playoff apperance for a team once in 1948.

March 13, 2017

Cleveland Browns

The world needs fairy tales, and Browns fans need them more than most. So here's a 2017 fairy tale.  The Browns hire an unknown GM named The Matriculator.  He immediately trades a 7th round pick for one of the NFL's best young tossers named Colin Kaepernick. The Browns have already assembled a stout offensive line, so the Matriculator proceeds to draft Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, Quincy Wilson and Raekwon McMillan who all start as rookies alongside Joe Haden, Danny Shleton, Emmanuel Ogbah and Jamie Collins.  The Browns defense is tops in the league and Kaepernick, who has already been to two championship games and a Super Bowl, leads the troops to a Super Bowl victory after Aaron Hernandez sends the Patriots poisoned apples.

March 12, 2017

Joe Mixon- RB, Oklahoma

Mixon wowed scouts at his Pro Day, posting a 4.43 at 225 pounds. He has the potential, along with Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook, to be a premier, every down back.  The incident where he punched a girl is a red herring as far as we're concerned.  First of all, and most importantly, he was punished for the incident by being suspended for an entire football season.  The event happened in 2014 and Mixon has never had any other incidents. And here a news flash: If someone punches you in the face, and it doesn't matter whether it's a woman or man, you have a legal right in every state in the union to punch them back.  Mixon certainly didn't do anything illegal, and the whole "morally wrong" debate is a loser too.  "Well you shouldn't hit a woman!"  Umm, if she punches you in the face you absolutely should.  Take your fake religious indignation somewhere else. Now that being said, Mixon was clearly a punk for confronting the girl and her friend and (if he really did) calling the guy a faggot.  We're not excusing his behavior on any front, but the video shows she pushed him and then hit him in the face and his punishment, all things considered, was sufficient and has been served. We say he is drafted no later than the 3rd round.  Keep an eye on the Patriots in the 2nd as they are the halfway house of the NFL. We can already hear Belicheat at the press conference saying, "We have a strict conduct poilcy in this fine organization: players are eligible for service in the Patriots organization until they have murdered 7 people.  Then, depending on how good they are, we might cut them."

March 11, 2017

Brandin Cooks- WR, Patriots

The Patriots traded a first and third round pick for Cooks and the cat is now clearly out of the bag.  The Patriots are making their final push with Brady at the helm, throwing all of their resources at the next few seasons. Two picks in the top three rounds, particularly in this draft, is a lot to give up, particularly when everyone who plays wideout for the Patriots looks like a Pro Bowler.  The Patriots still need to address their front seven if they lose Donta Hightower, and they won't have the picks to do it.  We expect a Garoppolo trade with the Browns on draft day.

March 10, 2017

Jimmy Garoppolo- QB, Patriots

There is talk of Garoppolo being traded for the number one overall pick.  How, one might ask, could everyone evaluating the 2014 draft have missed on him? He was the 62nd pick in the draft and he wasn't ranked above 61 by the major scouting services: Daniel Jeremiah (unranked); CBS 77th; Sports Illustrated 61st.  Of course the only scout in America who nailed it was us, as we continue to bolster our resume as the greatest scout in NFL history.  Here's our comment on Garoppolo, who we had ranked as the 12th overall player in the 2014 draft:

12. Jimmy Garoppolo- QB, E. Illinois  (SI 61, CBS 77, DJ N/R)

There have been two quarterbacks we've ever seen with a quick release comparable to Garoppolo: Dan Marino and Aaron Rodgers.  It is the single most important trait for a quarterback to have, far more important than the "great size"  or "NFL arm" on which teams seem to focus.  He comes from a small school where he absolutely destroyed the competition throwing for nearly 9,000 yards and 84 touchdowns in the past two seasons.  We think he needs to be eased into the NFL a la Aaron Rodgers, but he is by far the best pure passer in this draft.

Andrew Whitworth- T, Rams

The Rams signed Whitworth to a 3 year, $36 million contract with only $15 million guaranteed.  It's a great deal for the Rams.  If Whitworth can continue as a top ten left tackle for the next two years the Rams have a chance to make a vast improvement.  Adding Whitworth means that massive bust Greg Robinson will kick to guard.  The Rams still need a tosser (the early returns on Goff are terrible) and they need to add a premier wide receiver, but they are moving in the right direction with the Whitworth signing.

Washington Jewskins

The Jewskins, the racially insensitive team led by a Jewish man named Daniel Snyder, have grabbed the lead as the NFL's worst organization.  They may go 0-17 in 2017, even though they only play 16 games.  Their president Bruce Allen is a little Hitler who has been in the fuhrerbunker for years trying to convince everyone that he's the man.  Their current GM, the talented Scot McCloughlan, has had alcohol issues in the past and is reportedly feuding with little Hitler.  McCloughlan has been absent from Redskins facilities for weeks while the Skins have lost both starting receivers in Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, and their captain Kirk Cousins has been begging to be allowed to abandon ship.

March 9, 2017

Zay Jones- WR, E. Carolina

We are the only scouts who have Jones listed ahead of John Ross.  Jones has the size (6'2", 200) and measurables (4.5, 36-inch vert) of a number one receiver and he's produced at an elite level throughout his college career, posting an NCAA record catches in a season and career.  He was the best player at the Senior Bowl and we expect him to become a WR1 at the next level.  He has a similar build and skill set to Michael Crabtree.

Kenny Stills- WR, Dolphins

The Fins made a great move signing in house free agent Kenny Stills for $8 million per year.  He's better (and now cheaper) than last year's WR2 darling Mohamed Sanu.  Of course the Fins couldn't stand prosperity so they overpaid to keep defensive end Andre Branch at $9 million per year.

Brandon Marshall- WR, Giants

Marshall signed a 2 year, $12 million contract with the Giants.  Marshall may play for half of the league before his  impressive, at times troubled, career ends.  He's still looking for his first playoff appearance, and we're not sure the Giants are a great bet for that in the next two seasons.

T.J. Watt- DE, Wisconsin

JJ's baby brother looks like a top ten pick based on his 2017 tape.  The problem is that's his only tape as he was an offensive player, like his brother, at the beginning of his career.  He's tall and incredibly athletic for his height.  We will be interested to see how much he weighs because he has the pass rushing skills and motor of Jared Allen but would likely need to be in at least the 260 range to be a 4-3 end.  He should crack our top 25 in spite of being new to the position.

Mike Glennon- QB, Bears

Glennon is a decent tosser, but he has no leadership qualities.  It's ironic that last year when the Texans paid Brock Osweiler a king's ransom, we posited the question of why not just trade for Glennon who is the same player but much cheaper.  Well maybe not, as the Bears are apparently about to unload one tosser with no leadership abilities (Jay Cutler) and offer Glennon $15 million a year.  The Bears organization continues to chase it's own tail.

March 8, 2017

Tyus Bowser-LB, Houston

Bowser was a top performer at the Combine and we're not surprised.  When we watched him play this season he stood out.  He's a rush linebacker and he produced 21 sacks/TFL in only 8 games.  He's a premier athlete and reminds us of Von Miller and at 6'3", 250 pounds he had a similar workout. Relax, we're not saying he's going to be that good, but he could be a steal on the second day of the draft.

Jordan Willis- DE, Kansas State

We are always fascinated by players who pick up steam or lose steam as the draft nears. It is often a momentum thing where a few scouts will talk someone up while other players seem to fall out of the discussion. We have the exact same grade on Willis, who is being projected as a third rounder, and Solomon Thomas who many have as a top ten pick.  Their height/weight/speed are essentially the same as was their college production.  We like them both as late first rounders but most scouts have them seperated by two rounds.

John Ross- WR, Washington

Ross is small and mostly a straight line player, but he broke the Combine 40-yard dash record, and he will be a top 20 selection in April.  We expected a high 4.3 time from him.

Robert Davis-WR, Georgia State

One of the Combine's big winners who was barely discussed during the NFLN's Combine broadcast was Davis. He's huge at 6"3", 220 and he lit up the Combine posting a 136 inch broad jump, a 4.44, a 41 inch vertical and 19 reps.  He posted over 700 yards receiving for four straight years on a bad team and averaged over 15 YPC.  He's a second day talent who is listed at 586th according to CBS, meaning he wouldn't be drafted and is unlikely to ever play in the NFL.  We'll see.

March 7, 2017

Carlos Henderson-WR, Louisiana Tech

Henderson was impressive in the drills and tested extremely well.  He's not a guy we knew much about, but after averaging nearly 20 YPC in his three years at Louisiana Tech he could easliy sneak into the second round.  We will adjust our Mock Draft accordingly.

March 6, 2017

Evan Engram-TE, Ole Miss

We liked Evan Engram as a top 40 player before he blazed a 4.43 at the Combine.  We won't move him up much in our ranking, but  players with his size and speed are rare.  We are suspicious of the 40 times between day one and day two however. Most of the running backs ran .5 slower than we expected while the receivers ran .5 faster than we expected.  Don't be surprised to see what happened a few years ago when the times were adjusted several days after the fact.

Christian McAffrey- RB, Stanford

Stanford has a long history, as do many Pac-10 teams, of producing soft players who are NFL washouts.  They often seem underprepared and not physical enough for the rigors of the NFL.  Jonathan Martin in 2012 was a prime example.  He was one of the weakest players in the draft that year and his flame out after being drafted in the 2nd round has been well documented.  McAffrey only pushed up 10 reps at 225, a number bested by some scat backs.  We have some concerns about him and his tape from 2015 to 2016 is markedly different, with the more recent being less than impressive.  He better run a 4.40 or he might slip past the 2nd round.

March 5, 2017

Teez Tabor- CB, Florida

There is such a dearth of video on cornerbacks (because they're only involved in few plays a game) that they are historically the most difficult position to evaluate.  First round corners in the past few years include mega busts like Dre Kirkpatrick, DJ Hayden, Justin Gilbert, Dee Milliner, Trae Waynes and Darqueze Dennard.  We've decided to rely on Pro Football Focus in our evlauation of that position because they track stats like passer rating and completion percentage of receivers when guarded by a particular corner.  Tabor's numbers are not only extraordinary, they are consistent over three years.  He has the size at 6'0", 200 that teams crave, and we think he should be a top ten pick as the best corner in this loaded cornerback draft.

March 4, 2017

Draft Grades 2012

It's always fun to look back, though looking forward still takes the cake.  We thought the Cowboys made a great move trading up for Morris Claiborne!  Check out our 2012 AFC and NFC draft grades for an entertaining read.

March 3, 2017

Kirk Cousins- QB, Redskins

We don't fault the Skins for franchising Cousins in 2016 and making him prove he wasn't a one year wonder.  We may never know whether Cousins was butt hurt about that or whether he simply thinks the organization stinks, but whatever the reason he has one foot out the door.  He's limited his options to the 49ers and we'll see if the Redskins cave or bring back an unhappy leader.

March 2, 2017

Barkevious Mingo- DE, Patriots

Mingo the Massivebust.  In a story that had to come from his agent, Mingo is reportedly generating "huge" interest in the free agent market. The former 6th overall pick (who we said wasn't a first round talent) has mustered 68 tackles and 7 sacks across 62 games in 4 seasons.  He's been let go after flopping with the Partiots, a team that could make Ming the Merciless look like a Pro-Bowler, but he's a hot commodity?  We must concede that if there's an organization that wants a Pro Bowler on the All-Name team, he'll be their huckleberry, but not their Eric Berry.

March 1, 2017

Eric Berry-S, Chiefs

Berry finally got paid! The Chiefs rewarded him with a $40 million guaranteed contract that includes a $20 million signing bonus.  He's the leader of the team and deserved every penny.

Derek Barnett-DE, Tennessee

Barnett has moved into the top five in our Mock Draft.  Tom Coughlin is at the held in Jacksonville and he consistently drafted pass rushers while in charge of the Giants.

David Njoku-TE, Miami

Njoku is a doppleganger for Vernon Davis.  He's big, fast and wins every weigh in.  Like Davis, Njoku isn't a natural catcher of the ball.  Watching his film his speed and athletic ability are apparent, but so is his proclivity to body catch. Davis had several great years in the NFL but never quite lived up to his athletic ability and we expect a similar career for Njoku.  In a deep tight end class, he's probably a second rounder on our board.

February 28, 2017

Julius Thomas- TE, Dolphins

The Dolphins obtained the 28-year old Thomas for a seventh round pick.  The Fins tried something similar a few years ago when they signed Jordan Cameron and that didn't work out, but Thomas has caught 33 TDs playing sporadically in the past four years. To put that in context, the most TDs ever for a Dolphins tight end for a career is 25.  It's a decent chance to take but we expect the Fins to make a play to keep the solid and steady Dion Sims as a fall back when Thomas gets hurt. 

February 27, 2017

Eric Berry- S, Chiefs

The Chiefs will reportedly franchise Berry again, and he's indicated that he will not report to the team if they do.  Berry is one of the NFL's good guys and he's the best player on the team so the Chiefs need to sort this out quickly to avoid a PR mess.

Adrian Peterson- RB, Vikings

All Day may wind up with another team, and we're betting he's still got some gas left in the tank.  The Patriots may let Legarrette Blount walk in free agency and AP would be a taylor made replacement, similar to what they did years ago with Corey Dillon late in his career. The Packers, Giants and Panthers would also seem logical landing spots.

February 26, 2017

Ben Boulware- LB, Clemson

The Combine will be crucial for Boulware, who is listed at 229 lbs.  He needs to run around a 4.75 and show agility in the on-field drills.  He's a tenacious player with great instincts and leadership qualities, but he needs to meet some of the minimum athletic requirements.  We think he's got some Zach Thomas to his game and he could be a mid to late round gem.

February 24, 2017

Garrett Bolles- OT, Utah

According to some pundicators, Bolles is a top 20 pick and the top left tackle in the draft.  He's nimble and has a mean streak, but he gets moved around easily at times.  We can envision him being successful in a pass heavy scheme, but he may struggle against power rushers.  He's not going to be in our top 20.

February 22, 2017

Marshon Lattimore- CB, Ohio State

Daniel Jeremiah has Lattimore ranked as the third overall prospect for 2017.  He's missed the boat on that one.  We watched Lattimore get abused by Amarah Darboh and in the games we've watched we haven't seen much as a tackler/run defender.  He has quick feet and great agility but we think he's a late first rounder.

February 20, 2017

Victor Cruz- WR, Giants

The Giants are releasing the 30-year old Cruz who looked like a star between 2011-2013, before injuries derailed his career.  He posted 3,500+ yards and 23 TDs in that span but has been largely invisible since then.  He never seemed serious about returning to the field and made regular apperances on talk shows and TV series in the past few years. With salaries continuing to rise in the NFL we expect to see these scenarios occur more frequently.  There has already been a rash of players retiring unexpectedly in their prime.

February 18, 2017

Alvin Kamara- RB, Tennessee

Kamara is being discussed as a first round pick, and we're not seeing it.  He has the speed and size, but not the plant and cut ability. He reminds us of Tevin Coleman (a third round pick) though not as good.  Kamara never had more than 18 carries in a game at Tennessee which indicates: 1: he's probably not that good; 2: he's probably not going to be an every down back in the NFL.

February 16, 2017

Ricky Wagner- T, Ravens

The Ravens will reportedly let the 27-year old right tackle walk as a free agent this off-season.  He's an average starter who should garner significant interest this March.

February 14, 2017

Martellus Bennett- TE, Patriots

Bennett will be this off-season's talisman of a bad organization.  He recently said that Super Bowl winning players get overpaid in free agency, and he was planning on being one of the overpaid.  He's essentially telling the team that signs him that they're fools, and we'd have to agree.

February 13, 2017

Corey Liuget- DT, Chargers

In our 2011 draft evaluation, we said we expected Liuget and Marcell Dareus to have similar careers, though we knew Dareus would be drafted much higher.  After six seasons Dareus has 201 tackles, 2 forced fumbles,12 passes defensed and 34 sacks while Liuget has 184 tackles, 5 forced fumbles, 18 passes defensed and 21 sacks.

February 12, 2017

Marquand Manuel- DC, Falcons

The Falcons hired the 37-year old Manuel as their defensive coordinator.  It's a fantastic addition as Manuel helped develop the Legion of Boom and the Falcons emerging secondary.  If the Falcons can overcome the psychological blow of Super Bowl 51, they and the Cowboys should be battling it out for the NFC title for years to come.

February 11, 2017

Laremy Tunsil- OT, Dolphins

Offensive tackle, along with cornerback, remain the most difficult positions to evaluate in the draft.  The success rate on either position is barely in the 50% range. We understand why corner is difficult to evaluate, because often good corners are only scoutable on a few plays per game; however, with tackles we can watch hundreds of plays per season and still miss on an inordinate number.  We, along with every NFL scout, missed on players like Greg Robinson, Eric Fisher, Luke Joekel, Erik Flowers and Ryan Kalil. We will keep plugging away to try and find the correct keys to unlock the position, but we already know that 2017's class of tackles is mediocre at best.

February 10, 2017

Bill Belicheat-HC, Patriots

Congrats to Belicheat on winning his first non-cheating Super Bowl.  It took a while, and then there's always the possibility that something comes out in the next few months and they lose another first round pick.Cool

Casey Hayward-CB, Chargers

Hayward is one of the least well known stars in the NFL.  In two of his four seasons (he was injured his fifth season) he has graded as one of the NFL's top corners, and he has a whopping 16 interceptions during that stretch.  He's only 27 and with youngsters Jason Verrett, Joey Boas and Jatavis Brown, the Chargers boast an impressive compliment of young talent on defense.

February 9, 2017

Antonio Brown-WR, Steelers

It seems Antonio Brown is suffering from adult onset immaturity.  Brown's career before this season has been marked by no issues other than fines for excessive celebration.  He's become a star with a marketable name and face, but it seems he's beginning to go off the rails this year.  There was the locker room filming incident, reports that he ran the wrong routes on purpose during the season, and his confession that he needs to do some "growing up."  It's odd timing for the 28-year old.  We expect he will right the ship and all will be well next season when the Steelers make the post-season again.

February 8, 2017

Matriculator Six

2016 was a historic year for the Matriculator and our record breaking scouting department.  Featured in our Matriculator Six list of players drafted after the third round (who we said were drafted too late) included: Devonta Freeman, Grady Jarrett (who might have won Super Bowl 51 MVP if the Falcons don't melt down), Jamison Crowder, Jay Ajayi, Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, Jatavis Brown, and rookie record breaker Jordan Howard.

Dan Quinn- HC, Falcons

Lost in the fourth quarter meltdown was the fact that a young defense completely dominated (for three quarters) one of the NFL's best offenses.  Were it not for two terrible calls by the offensive coordinator, one while Quinn was the DC for the Seahawks, Quinn would have two wins over New England in Super Bowls.  As Seattle's defense starts to back slide and Atlanta's rises, it seems the Falcons have landed the coach of the future. If we were taking any coach with less than ten years experience to start a franchise, he'd be the guy.

Deshone Kizer- QB, Notre Dame

He's the poster boy for an NFL quarterback.  That's what we're calling guys who look like NFL tossers but probably aren't any more than low-end starters or back-ups. The Blake Bortles types.  He's being projected as a first round pick, but the only thing first round about him is that he's 6'5".  We don't like his delivery and he doesn't appear to be a natural thrower of the ball, which is the same thing we thought about Bortles.

February 7, 2017

Adam Bisnowaty- OT, Pittsburgh

Bisnowaty was one of the big losers at the Senior Bowl this week.  We didn't like what we saw on tape before the Senior Bowl and Bisnowaty backed that up during the game, getting abused by several different defensive ends.  He was projected as a 2nd/3rd round prospect but we wouldn't take him until the late rounds.

February 6, 2017

Alex Mack- C, Falcons

Mack has been nursing a swollen ankle and hasn't practiced yet.  He has to play in order for the Falcons to win the game.  Quinndalf says he's not worried about Mack playing and even though he hasn't practiced he's not listed on the latest injury report.  It's a situation that bears watching over the weekend.

February 4, 2017

Jimmy Garopollo- QB, Patriots

The Browns are reportedly interested in trading for Garopollo.  The Patriots will want a first round pick and could likely pry pick #12 from the Browns.  Garopollo is a high end NFL tosser, but he might not look like it if he goes to the wasteland in Cleveland.  He was dominant in college and he was our 12th rated player in the 2014 Draft.  He led the NFL in passer rating in the pre-season in 2015 and has a better career passer rating in the NFL than Tom Brady, granted it's only on 94 regular season attempts.

February 2, 2017

Lorenzo Jerome- S, St. Francis

Jerome had two interceptions and a forced fumble in the Senior Bowl, after posting two interceptions in the East-West Shrine game where he was named the MVP.  To say he's had the best start to the draft season of any player would be an understatement.  He's on the short side for an NFL free safety at 5'10", but who cares.  So was Earl Thomas, and he's done alright. He has 18 career interceptions to lead all players in the draft and he's the only player in NEC history to be selected First Team All Conference all four years he played.  He needs to run in the 4.5s and have a vert of at least 35, and if he does we expect to see him get drafted possibly as high as the second round.

January 30, 2017

Zay Jones- WR, E. Carolina

Jones had a great week of practice and then put on a show in the Senior Bowl.  He caught two touchdowns, though one was called back.  He was consistently open and demonstrated an impressive catch radius though he's only 6'2". He has the look of a starting WR2, similar to Sterling Shepard last season.  We expect him to be drafted in the 2nd round and see the field as a rookie.

January 28, 2017

Tyrod Taylor- QB, Bills

The Bills are reportedly going to allow Taylor to become a free agent.  It's mind blowing how bad the organization is.  He's the hottest commodity in the world of the NFL, a proven high end quarterback in his prime, and they are going to let him go?  It almost never happens in the NFL, and in fact we can't think of a time it's ever happened.  He's 27 years old and in addition to posting almost inhuman passing numbers the past two years with Robert Woods as his primary target (95 passer rating, 37/12), he's also probably the NFL's best running quarterback after posting over 1,100 yards and 10 TDs the past two seasons.  He's significantly better in his two years than the $100 million dollar man Andrew Luck has been and he has a better winning percentage the past two years too. It should be an interesting off season if the Bills flub this one up.

January 27, 2017

Tanoh Kpassignon- DE, Villanova

You heard it here first, this guy will be a first round pick.  He's raw, but he's 6'7", 290 with vines for arms and he can run.  He's not just a height, weight, speed guy, however, as he was the CAA Player of the Year. If he shows anything in the Senior Bowl versus better competition, he'll move into the first round.  All he really needs is someone to teach him hand placement and he's a prospect on par with Jadeveon Clowney.

January 26, 2017

Eric Berry- S, Chiefs

Berry heads the list of impressive potential free agents that includes Malcom Butler, Melvin Ingram, Kawann Short, Andrew Norwell, Kevin Zeitler, Le'Veon Bell, Alshon Jeffrey and Kirk Cousins.  We expect all of these players, with the exception of maybe Alshon Jeffrey, to either sign long term deals or be franchised.

January 24, 2017

Quinton Flowers- QB, S. Florida

We had never seen Flowers play until we stumbled upon a Youtube video of him.  My lord! He's a solid passer but his running ability is off the charts.  At 6'0, 210 he has the size to play running back in the NFL and he's the first back since Adrian Peterson who we might dub the number one overall pick in 2018.  He has the quick twitch and jump cuts of Barry Sanders but looks like Bo Jackson exploding through holes. Check him out here:

January 22, 2017

Taco Charlton- DE, Michigan

We haven't scouted him extensively yet, but we already know we want a Taco on our team.

January 20, 2017

Playoff Predictions

We got three out of four correct last week, including the two road upsets.  We missed on the under in the Falcons-Seahawks game.  This week we are going with the favorites, the Falcons and the Patriots.  The Falcons have a more balanced offense than the Packers and better defense too.  Rodgers has that look in his eye, but we think the Falcons will hold on in the end and eke out the win.  If the Patriots find a way to stop Le'Veon Bell they should be able to outlast the Steelers.  The Patriots are playing at home so watch for the Steelers headsets to mysteriously go out while the Steelers are on offense.

January 19, 2017

Ben Roethlisberger- QB, Steelers

The post-season has been a tale of two Bens. We've always had this idea that Ben was money when it mattered, and he's certainly had some historic performances in important games.  In his two Super Bowl winning seasons he produced a 95 passer rating and 10/4, TD/INT, but in his other 12 post-season games he's been bad, posting a passer rating in the 70's and a TD/INT of 14/18.  This post-seaosn he has relied heavily on Le'Veon Bell, but we suspect that Belicheat will send all of the troops after Bell and force Ben to beat them.  We'll see whether it's the best of Ben or worst of Ben on Sunday, and we expect the game will rest on his shoulders.

January 18, 2017


Seattle Seahawks

We're not usually a fan of over/under lines, but this week we like the Falcons/Seahawks under 51.  The Seahawks have a stout defense and the Falcons can, for the first time in years, get to the quarterback.  Combine that with a terrible Seahawks offensive line and we like this one to stay under 50. FN: Our Footy Ouija board predicted a 9-6 Seahawks win.

January 17, 2017

Playoff Predictions

When in doubt, look at the quarterback. We're picking three upsets by road teams this weekend.  We like the Seahawks with Russell Wilson's playoff record (8-3) much better than Matt Ryan's (1-4) and the Steelers with Big Ben (12-6) over Alex Smith (2-3).  Dak Prescott doesn't have any post-season experience and Rodgers has won eight post-season games so we will go with the Packers too.  The Pats should destroy the Texans.  We will probably get three of four correct and we're hoping we're wrong about the Falcons.

January 15, 2017

Bears Tossers

Our massive statistical staff (The Phat Mat Stat Cats) has unearthed another gem.  The Bears have never had a tosser with 15 or more starts who had a career 2/1, TD/INT ratio!  To underscore the gravity of the Bears' lifetime of  futility, last season 15 NFL tossers had better than a 2/1 ratio and 7 had 4/1 or better.  The Bears have had one tosser however with a 1/2, TD/INT ratio.  That's 33 TDs and 69 interceptions. Surprised His name was Bob Avellini but my brother called him Bob Have a Weenie.

January 14, 2017

Russell Wilson- WR, Seahawks

Wilson continues to track as the greatest player in the history of the NFL.  His offensive line was graded 32nd in the NFL, yet he guided his team to the playoffs and has been money when it mattered, posting 12 TDs and 1 INT in the last five weeks. If he can somehow muster a road playoff win versus the NFL MVP, the case will be closed.

January 12, 2017

Vance Joseph- DC, Dolphins

Joseph is a hot head coaching candidate, though we're not sure why. The Dolphins defense was terrible in 2016 and while they were banged up, Joseph didn't show any signs of a great defensive mind.

January 11, 2017

Mike Williams- WR, Clemson

If there was any doubt about Williams and Deshaun Watson going in the top ten of the NFL draft, that doubt disappeared in the National Championship game where the duo demoslished the group formerly known as "the greatest college defense ever."  Watson has some issues with pocket awareness and he occasionally uncorks a wild throw, but his leadership and uncanny calm override his flaws.  It will be an interesting battle between Watson and Trubisky to be the top tosser selected, but Watson has the momentum after an incredible post-season.

January 10, 2017

Dak Prescott- QB, Cowboys

How did we become regarded as the greatest scout in the history of professional sport? Check out our pre-season post, where everyone, literally everyone, said we were crazy:

August 25, 2016

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys

The ultimate great white nope, Romo is out for 6-10 weeks with a fractured back.  The savior who never appeared, but who everyone in Dallas mistook for Jesus.  They will name his made for TV movie The Life of Romo.  It will be about a guy who was somehow inexplicably mistaken for someone important.  He will run around saying, "I'm not Staubach!" to the Cowboys faithful but it won't matter.  The guy has won one playoff game in the decade he has started for Dallas.  We don't give him credit for the Dallas Party Bus Miracle game when the ref picked up a pass interference penalty that would have won the game for the Lions and stuck it in his pocket without explanation as if there weren't a few million people watching. Anyway, they have upgraded at tosser the only way it would have ever been possible in Romoland, by accident with an injury.  Black Prescott is the better player.

January 9, 2017

Sam Bradford- QB, Vikings

Throwcahontas let yet another team down in 2016, this time it was the Vikings.  He finished with the 6th highest passer rating in the NFL but that was only after meaningless monster stat lines versus the Jags, Packers and Bears late in the year.  He'll start again in 2017 while the Vikes give Teddy Bridgewater a chance to heal and then they will send him on to the next sucker for a first round pick.

January 8, 2017

Jameis Winston- QB, Buccaneers

Winston is still drawing plaudits from the pundicators, but he's not been special after two years. His passer rating was outside of the top twenty again in 2016.  This time last year everyone was talking about how Blake Bortles was progressing (except for us) and we see Winston in a similar vein.

January 7, 2017

Keleche Osemele- G, Raiders

KO was our number one free agent in the 2016 class, and he didn't disappoint leading the Raiders to their first playoff berth in 14 years.  He's one of the NFL's best and most important players, though the average fan doesn't know who he is.  He won a Super Bowl as a rookie starter,and he is consistently ranked in the top 3 guards in the NFL.  PFF ranked him as their number two guard in the NFL in 2016.

January 6, 2017

Jonathan Cyprien- S, Jaguars

Cyprien was drafted in the second round by the Jaguars in 2013.  He was unranked by BSPN's Scouts, Inc, though we had him ranked as our 13th overall prospect that year.   He graded out at 87.8 according to Pro Football Focus, which equates to a Pro Bowler. He is PFF's 9th highest rated free agent and he should attract a huge contract after amassing 450 tackles in his first four seasons.  He's not great in coverage, but he excels as a hybird LB/S.

January 5, 2017

Cam Newton- QB, Panthers

Newton was awful in the Panthers loss to the Bucs, capping a terrible 2016 season.  He was due for a let down after a 2015 season that was the greatest in the history of professional sport, but his drop off in 2016 was precipitous.  He seemed disinterested at times and was clearly upset at the disparate treatement he received from the referees, who seemed to allow head shots to Newton while they called love taps on the Brees's and Brady's of the world. 

January 4, 2017

Le'Veon Bell-RB, Steelers

If you're playing DFS for the Wild Card round, Bell and his counterpart Jay Ajayi are almost must plays. The Dolphins and Steelers run defenses have been average at best and both will want to control the game.  We expect they will both have 20+ touches and should turn that into a productive fantasy day.  There aren't many other viable options for the Wild Card round as several teams have almost no running game (Packers, Giants, Seahawks, Lions) and the Raiders keep distrubuting the carries to 2/3 backs.

January 3, 2017

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

The guy who was drafted as a back-up tosser in fantasy football will likely win the NFL MVP Award after throwing four more touchdowns in the first half versus the Saints. Ryan had never had a passer rating over 100 and he posted a 117 in 2016.  He also set career highs in TDs (38), yards (4,944) and set a career low with 7 interceptions.

January 2, 2017

Jay Ajayi- RB, Dolphins

Ajayi posted his record setting 3rd, 200-yard game, carrying the Fins to a crucial road win versus the Bills.  He will likely get the Steelers in the first round of the playoffs, who he posted a 200-yard game against in Miami earlier in the year.  (We have the photos to prove it).  The Steelers will load the box and the Fins playoff fate will rest on the arm of journeyman Matt Moore or a returning from injury Ryan Tannehill.

January 1, 2017

Matt McGloin- QB, Raiders

With Derek Carr out with a broken leg, the Raiders post-season fortunes lie with Matt McGloin.  We've always liked McGloin's chutzpah, and we expect he could win a post-season game with a heavy dose of Latavius Murray.

December 31, 2016

Corey Davis- WR, W. Michigan

We will be watching Davis' bowl game closely.  He's had three straight seasons of 1,400+ yards and 10+ touchdowns.  Nobody has him in the top 10, but we like him better than all the receivers we've seen with the exception of maybe Mike Williams.  He reminds us of Dez Bryant.

December 30, 2016

Tyreek Hill- WR, Chiefs

Hill continued to amaze in week 16, with another long touchdown run versus the Broncos.  He's been a shooting star in 2016 and he will need to be the Chiefs' Weapon X in order for them to advance in the post-season.

December 29, 2016

Dez Bryant- WR, Cowboys

If Dez owners somehow survived a dismal season from him to make it to the Stupor Bowl, he finally came to life in week 16 posting three touchdowns, including a passing touchdown.  With all of the Cowboys hype in 2016, Dez has been injured and inconsistent, but we expect a big performance in the playoffs from him.

December 27, 2016

Demarco Murray- RB, Titans

Murray is a great DFS play this week versus the Jaguars.  In week 15, Derrick Henry vultured two TDs, but we suspect Murray will get those opportunities in week 16.

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys

Dak Prescott once again quashed any talk of a Romo coup d'etat, with a masterful performance in a critical December game versus the Buccaneers.  Romo is going to be viewed as a savior wherever he goes next season, but we suspect whoever signs him will wind up disappointed. He's never been a difference maker when it mattered and he's old and injury prone.

December 26, 2016

Line of the Week

The Panthers are getting 2.5 points at home versus the Falcons.  Cam Newton is Superman in December, rarely losing, while Matt Ryan hasn't had a winning December since 2011.  Umm...take the Panthers who we expect to win outright.

December 23, 2016

Will Fuller-WR, Texans

Funny thing was happening four weeks into the 2016 season.  Fuller had 100 yards in two of his first four games. People said the Matriculator missed on  Fuller, who we had rated as a 2nd/3rd round, Ted Ginn-type of one trick pony with bad hands.  Our response was, "Wait for it."  Even early in the season he was leading the NFL in drops.  Since week four he hasn't eclipsed 60 yards in a game.  That's 11 weeks. We steal from Dennis Green when we say, "He's exactly what we said he'd be!" We steal from grandpa when we say, "Respect your superiors."

December 22, 2016

Jameis Winston- QB, Buccaneers

We can't exactly put a finger on it, but we have a feeling Shameless will throw 3 TDs this week against the Cowboys, and our crack scout MoMo the Clown agrees.  We're stacking him with Cameron Brate and/or Mike Evans in DFS this week.

December 21, 2016

Latavius Murray- RB, Raiders

Congratulations on winning your fantasy league after trading for Latavius back in late October like we told you. He's currently RB7 in points per game, though most of his damage has been done after week six.  Since week six he is RB4, only a few points behind Zeke Elliot.

December 19, 2016

Jack Goff- QB, Rams

Todd Gurley said the Rams "looked like a middle school offense" after the Falcons destroyed them on Sunday.  Goff is horrible, and we expect he will be the next Blame Gabbert.  We'd be surprised if he holds the job through next season.

December 17, 2016

Tevin Coleman- RB, Falcons

We like Coleman this week in DFS.  He's fresh and with Julio Jones dinged up we expect a 6-7 catch performance versus a sorry 49ers defense.

December 16, 2016

Dak Prescott- QB, Cowboys

Prescott is currently ranked QB9 in standard fantasy formats.  He is one of five quarterbacks in the top ten in fantasy scoring who were not drafted as starters in fantasy drafts, underscoring the reason that we have for years said don't waste a top 40 pick on a tosser.  The others on the list are: Matt Ryan (QB2), Kirk Cousins (QB4), Marcus Mariota (QB6), and Derek Carr (QB7).

December 14, 2016

Myles Garrett- DE, Texas A&M

Garrett is the number one pick in our initial 2017 Mock Draft.  He's a once in a generation talent.  Hit it here to see the rest of our first round.

December 13, 2016

Jeff Fisher- Ex-Coach, Rams

I love Fisher.  He's a great guy, or so he seems to be.  He's not an NFL coach literally or figuratively however, as he was fired by the Rams.  He is only one loss short of the NFL record for most losses by an NFL head coach.  Shame on the Rams for not letting him have a go at the record.

December 12, 2016

DeShone Kizer- QB, Notre Dame

Have you ever been to a bar late at night while you were sober? Well if you have you'll understand this analogy.  There's a good looking girl who is drunk and who you, being sober, can tell is a mess.  But there are guys hovering around her who you know are only a few days away from a trip to jail.  DeShone Kizer is the girl and the Arizona Cardinals are probably about to go to jail.  Kizer will get drafted in the first round for the same reason that Jake Locker and Blame Bortles were drafted in the first round: because he's a big dude who looks like he "should" be an NFL tosser.  His numbers the past two years: 47/19, 60%, 147 are all at the very bottom of our Holy Trinity scale.  We haven't started scouting him in depth yet, but he's destined to get no better than a 2nd round grade on our board.

December 11, 2016

Sterling Shepard- WR, Giants

In spite of horrible quarterback play from Eli Manning, Shepard is on pace for 70/700/7, which would be an impressive rookie campaign.  He's a WR3 down the stretch who should continue to post solid fantasy numbers.

December 10, 2016

Cameron Brate- TE, Buccaneers

Brate is one of our DFS favorites this week at home against the Saints.  He's only $4,100 in Draftkings. The Harvard boy can play, posting 4 TDs on 6 targets per game the last 6 weeks.

December 8, 2016

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

It was groundhog weekend in the NFL for the Ryans, who can't seem to get things together in December.  Matt Ryan, Ryan Tannehill and Rex Ryan are all Hall of Famers in October and November, but they meltdown when it matters in December.  Tannehill threw three interceptions in the biggest game of the year versus the Ravens and will likely make it through a 5th straight December without a winning record. Matt Ryan is, and has always been, Matty Ice Cold in the big games down the stretch and his meltdown at home with a lead versus the Chiefs is a snapshot of his career.  Rex Ryan's Bills blew a 15-point second half lead in a must win game versus Oakland.  Football is unpredictable, unless its a Ryan in December.

December 6, 2016

Aaron Rodgers- QB, Packers

Aaron Rodgers is a run of the mill tosser and he's going to get Mike McCarthy fired.  When the season started who would have thought someone would utter that week 11?

December 4, 2016

Landon Collins- S, Giants

Collins has rapidly developed into a star, posting 84 tackles, 3 sacks and 5 interceptions for the Giants.  He's fast and physical and should earn a Pro Bowl nod in this, his second year in the league.

December 3, 2016

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Tannehill is having the best stretch of his mediocre career, leading the Dolphins on a 6-game winning streak.  The next five weeks will be telling for him, as a 3-2 mark will likely get the Fins into the playoffs for the first time in Tannehill's career.  Tannehill has been in the thick of it virtually every year with a playoff spot riding on his arm in December and he's never lifted the Dolphins over the hump.  In 2012 he was 2-3 in December, in 2013 he laid an egg the final two weeks (losses of 19-0 to the Bills and 20-7 to the Jets) to close out the season at 8-8, in 2014 and 2015 he finished the seasons out with a 1-3 mark.  He has to lead Miami to the playoffs or else the Dolphins might only offer him $20 million per year this off-season.

December 1, 2016

Germain Ifedi- OT, Seahawks

Ifedi, the 31st pick in the 2016 NFL draft, has been a huge bust.  The Seahawks draft ineptitude the past few years is catching up with them as Russell Wilson has been running for his life since week one. The Texas A&M tackle pipeline turned out to be pumping dirt as none of the A&M tackles have lived up to their draft hype.

November 29, 2016

Devonta Freeman- RB, Falcons

Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have received most of the plaudits for the Falcons surprising rise to the top of the NFC South, but their playoff chances still likely reside on the shoulders of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.  Freeman hasn't received the heavy workload this season and should be fresh coming down the stretch.  He's averaging 4.5 YPC and has been an excellent pass catcher.

November 27, 2016

Aaron Rodgers- QB, Packers

Aaron Rodgers is a run of the mill tosser and he's going to get Mike McCarthy fired.  When the season started who would have thought someone would utter that in week 11?

November 26, 2016

Javon Hargrave-DT, Steelers

Hargrave, who we had as a first round talent coming out of South Carolina State this year, produced a sack, tackle for loss, quarterback hit and touchdown versus the Browns this week.

November 25, 2016

Devante Parker- WR, Dolphins

Parker has produced 13-182-1 in the past two weeks and seems priimed to be a WR2 down the stretch with games versus the 49ers, Jets, Bills and Ravens on the schedule.  He's the Dolphins best red zone target and he's beginning to hit his stride.

November 24, 2016

AJ Green- WR, Bengals

Green suffered a hamstring tear versus the Bills and will miss at least one week. It looks like another lost season for the Bengals, who have one of the NFL's most talented rosters.  They are 3-6-1.  This has been perhaps their worst season under Marvin Lewis and this could be his last in Cincinnati.

November 23, 2016

Michael Thomas- WR, Saints

Thomas has proven us wrong so far, grading out as a top ten rookie according to PFF.  He seemed raw coming out of Ohio State.  He's in a great situation with a prolific passing offense, and he has delivered to date.

November 22, 2016

Antonio Brown- WR, Steelers

Brown had one of the ultimate late game turn arounds in fantasy football history.  With less than two minutes to play he was sitting on less than 80 yards receiving.  The Steelers drove down the field and Brown scored on a fake spike play. After the Cowboys drove down and scored quickly, there were only 9 seconds left in the game and Brown had two meaningless catches for 55 yards, putting him over 100 yards for the game and turning a pedestrian fantasy performance into a monster game.

November 20, 2016

Tyreek Hill- WR, Chiefs

Hill has been coming on of late posting games of 5/98/1 and 10/89 in two of the last three weeks.   He's essentially surpassed Jeremy Maclin.  We're always leery of consistent production from Chiefs wideouts but Hill is WR3/flex moving forward.

November 18, 2016

Jared Goff- Tosser, Rams

We had just jumped on the Kenny Britt bandwagon last week.  With Jared Goff at tosser, we skinned our knee jumping off.

November 16, 2016

Frank Gore- RB, Colts

Gore has been a revelation this season, posting over 10 fantasy points per game.  He continues to produce at age 33, but we expect a downturn in his fantasy points per week down the stretch.  You might be able to get RB1 value for him now.  If you can, trade him.

November 15, 2016

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks

History repeats itself, particularly in the NFL.  Things happen year in, year out, like clockwork.  When Wilson struggled early in the season, we noted that he is typically the NFL's best player in the second half of the season.  His performance the past two weeks behind the NFL's worst offensive line has been stunning.  The Falcons and Matt Ryan have a long history of wonderful first half of the season performances and second half meltdowns. Cue a loss to rookie Carson Wentz and the Eagles.  We've long said the Miami Dolphins are the mid-season Super Bowl favorites (cue a 4-0 run) until Tannehill turns into a pumpkin around Thanksgiving.  These truths it seems, should be self evident.

November 14, 2016

Jay Cutler- QB, Bears

The story of Jay Cutler's career was encapsulated in Sunday's performance versus the Bucs. Cutler was coming off a solid performance in a win versus the division rival Vikings, and he was everyone's sleeper pick this week in DFS.  He was horrible, throwing two picks and generating his only touchdown on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half.  We said to start the year that this would be his last season in the NFL, and we can't imagine anyone offering him a job at this point.

November 13, 2016

Kenny Britt- WR, Rams

It's time to jump on the Britt bandwagon.  He posted a 7-109 versus the Jets, his second 100-yard game in 4 weeks.  He's been a reliable target in a laughable passing game, and he's startable as a flex until further notice.

November 12, 2016

Eli Rogers- WR, Steelers

Rogers missed a few weeks due to injury, but returned versus Baltimore and posted a 6-103 line.  He's a nice value play moving forward as Darius Heyward-Bey was injured and Sammie Coates still can't catch.  If Rogers can secure the number two WR spot in Pittsburgh he's a flex play moving forward.

November 11, 2016

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

Kaepernick has mustered an 80 passer rating through three games in spite of throwing to a historically bad group of receivers.  The 49ers don't have a running game either, making his modest numbers even more impressive.  He has a better resume than almost every NFL quarterback and he's better than the Brock Osweilers and Ryan Tannehills and Sam Bradfords of the world.  This will be an interesting off-season to see whether he gets a starting job or has kneeled his way out of the NFL.

November 10, 2016

Jay Ajayi- RB, Dolphins

The J-Train, Wild Horse, call him whatever you want, he's the most physical runner in the NFL right now.  He started slowly against the Jets vaunted front four, but eventually wore them down and then steamrolled them down the stretch to post his third straight 100+ yard game.   If the Dolphins offensive line can stay in tact he will be a top 5 running back moving forward.

November 9, 2016

Trevor Siemian- QB, Broncos

The "Trevor Siemian is the next Joe Montana" talk has come to a screeching halt.  Every pundicator on BSPN couldn't stop gushing about Siemian for the first several weeks of the season.  He's not terrible, but he's nothing special either.

November 8, 2016

J-E-T-S, Suck, Suck, Suck!

The Jets plane is crashing rather spectacularly once again.  All we can think to say is, Oh the humanity! Most people have forgotten that the majority of BSPN pundicators had none other than the J-E-T-S projected as the Super Bowl pick out of the AFC this pre-season.  They currently sit at 3-6 and Ryan Fitzpatrick has posted one of the worst TD/INT ratios (8-13) in modern NFL history.  Bryce Petty was arguably the NFL's best passer this pre-season yet Todd Bowles continues to stick with Fitzy.  Brandon Marshall is doing what he's done everywhere he's been, lighting the dumpster fire, and we somehow feel compelled to watch it burn.

November 7, 2016

Aaron Rodgers- QB, Packers

Rodgers, who has been a historically accurate passer over his career, once again struggled with accuracy versus a terrible Colts defense.  Rodgers has been faltering for a season and a half now and there are legitimate questions about whether he is still a top-5 NFL tosser.

November 6, 2016

Jordy Nelson- WR, Packers

The good news for Nelson owners is that he's been targeted 33 times in the past 4 games.  The bad news is he's only catching 42% of those passes, which is the worst in the NFL over that stretch.  Randall Cobb and Davante Adams, on the other hand, have a high catch percentage.  Will we start to see Nelson's targets decrease and his career arc beginning to dip downward?  It's a real possibility and we'd trade the 31-year old while he still has WR1 value.

Julio Jones- WR, Falcons

The Falcons won back-to-back crucial games and are now the odds on favorite to win the NFC South.  The defense is playing well, Matt Ryan is an MVP candidate and Julio Jones is at times unguardable.  We're still only at the mid-way point, but the Falcons are the NFL's biggest surprise thus far.

November 5, 2016

Derek Carr- QB, Raiders

Derek Carr is sliding, somewhat under the radar, into the upper echelon of NFL tossers.  He has an incredible 17/3 TD to interception ratio and hasn't had a passer rating below 79 all season.  It certainly helps having a tremendous offensive line (just ask Dak Prescott) but he has delivered in the clutch all year including a 5-0 record on the road.

November 4, 2016

Melvin Gordon- RB, Chargers

Gordon ran over and through the vaunted Denver defense for 111 yards, and he added another 44 receiving yards.  In spite of constant calls to jump the Gordon ship, he keeps producing.  His YPC is low but he's still getting 20+ touches every week and with a solid tosser and sub-par defense we expect his fantasy production to continue.  At present he has the 3rd most points among running backs.

November 3, 2016

Brock Osweiler- QB, Texans

Our March 6, 2016 blurb on Brock Osweiler:

March 6, 2016

Brock Osweiler- QB, Broncos

Word on the street is that Osweiler might get $15-20 million per year as a free agent.  The guy had 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in his 7 starts this year.  He's not bad, but if you want to know what happens to teams that pay average tossers big money check out the Bears, Lions, Dolphins, Eagles, 49ers, etc.

November 2, 2016

Jamie Collins- LB, Browns

Collins, arguably the Patriots best defensive player, was traded to the Browns for a 3rd round pick.  Collins is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so this is a real head scratcher from the Browns perspective as they are 0-8 and adding a premier player for the second half of the season.  If they can sign him to a long-term deal it's fine, but they don't know whether they will be able to do that.  From the Patriots perspective, as a team that should be contending for a Super Bowl berth, why trade away your best defensive player?  We wouldn't be surprised however to see Collins sign with the Pats in the off-season.  It's an odd move for both teams.

November 1, 2016

Cameron Brate- TE, Buccaneers

With Vincent Jackson out either Brate, Adam Humphries or Russell Shepard should see 5-10 targets per game.  Brate is a solid bet to get those targets and we like him as a TE2 and a cheap streaming target in DFS.

October 31, 2016

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts

If you checked the Draft Kingslayer last week, you probably made some money.  Hilton was one of our picks of the week and he delivered, posting a 7/133/1 line.  Hilton is one of the most consistent players and with a terrible Colts defense we expect him to continue to produce in the second half of the season.

Matt Forte- RB, Jets

Forte heads our Draft Kingslayer plays of the week for week 8.  The Jets passing game is sputtering and we expect them to lean heavily on Forte in a must win game versus a terrible Browns team.  Check out all of our picks for week 8 here.

October 30, 2016

Blake Bortles- QB, Jaguars

Bortles is about to benched after less than 2 1/2 years as the Jags starter.  He was drafted third overall and we were the only scouting service that didn't have him as a first round pick.  Here's a quote from our 2014 analysis: Bortles certainly looks the part and his best attribute is that when posing for a picture he bears a striking resemblance to Andrew Luck.  He's big and strong and should be durable, but Blame Gabbert was pretty durable.  So was Ryan Leaf and David Carr.  Gabbert Bortles has an average arm and we don't like his mechanics or his ability to read safeties.  In 2013 besides three games against the UConn's of the world, he had 14 touchdowns and 10 picks.  Those are the numbers of a guy who shouldn't be drafted at all.  We agree he has plenty to work with but guys who are drafted in the top ten aren't given that time to develop, and he needs some time.  As a second rounder we're all for him.  As a top 10 pick, he's a franchise killer.

October 29, 2016

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

The grumbling has begun in Atlanta.  As with 2015, the Falcons started strong in 2016 including signature wins on the road versus the Raiders and Broncos.  A terrible home loss to the Chargers that included quarterbacking and coaching blunders has left fans thinking, here we go again.  The Falcons are home versus what has so far been a mediocre Packers team.  If they lose their third in a row the talk a few weeks ago of Matt Ryan for MVP will be a distant, somewhat comical memory.

October 28, 2016

Aaron Donald- DT, Rams

Donald is one of the now multitude of reasons why we are touted as the greatest scouting service in the history of the NFL. We're not saying that, but everyone else is. After earning the highest grade of any player according to Pro Football Focus in 2015, he's currently the highest graded player again in 2016.  Let's everybody read Don't Duck Donald again where we touted him as the best prospect in a decade weeks before he was chosen outside of the top 10 in the NFL draft.

Chris Thompson- RB, Redskins

Thompson could be a steal moving forward.  Matt Jones is fumble prone, injury prone and incosistent even when healthy.  Thompson has proven to be an all-around back and we expect him to be the top fantasy scorer in the Redskins backfield moving forward.

October 27, 2016

Spencer Ware- RB, Chiefs

Ware is making a case to keep the starting job even after Jamaal Charles returns to full strength.  Ware has produced 90+ combined yards in six of seven games, and could relegate Charles to a third-down role or form part of a two-headed commitee.

Jay Ajayi- RB, Dolphins

The J-Train is rolling.  Ajayi became the 4th player in NFL history to record back-to-back 200 yard games after torching the vaunted Bills defense.  In the two games since Mike Pouncey and Branden Albert returned the Fins running game has been virtually unstoppable.  Ajayi should continue to produce as an RB1/RB2 so long as he and/or his linemen stay healthy, which isn't necessarily a good bet.

October 26, 2016

Aaron Rodgers- QB, Packers

Even with his binky Jordy Nelson back, Rodgers continues to look rather ordinary.  We thought 2015 was an abberation and that he would go gonzo again in 2016, but it hasn't happened.  We are not relaxed at this point, Aaron.  If he's ever going to get better it would seem a Thursday Night tilt versus the Bears would be the cure, particularly with no running game to speak of.  If he is only average tonight, sound the Red Alert.

October 25, 2016

Latavius Murray- RB, Raiders

The Raiders have the NFL's best offensive line with all due respect to the Cowboys.  Oddly however, none of the Raiders offensive players have converted that into premium fantasy production.  Amari Cooper has been average as was Latavius Murray when he was healthy.  Derek Carr has also been solid, but not spectacular, and with the exception of Michael Crabtree's career game he's been typical Crabtree.  Part of the problem has been a two/three headed monster in the backfield which has limited everyone's value.  If Murray gets healthy we expect him to see increased carries during the second half of the season.  If he doesn't get healthy it will be Deandre Washington who is averaging 5.2 YPC and has caught 11-13 targets.

October 24, 2016

Charles Clay- TE, Bills

Looking for a cheap stream in Draft Kings, Clay is a nice option.  The Bills probably won't have Lesean McCoy and Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods are both out.  Clay is the Bills best player in the passing game and he's playing his former team.

October 23, 2016

Dolphins Defense

The Dolphins defense is one of our recommended plays in our Draft Kingslayer column this week.  The Bills are without Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and Lesean McCoy is banged up.

October 22, 2016

Black Prescott- QB, Cowboys

We had a number of players ranked in our top 40 players who were not drafted until after the second round in the NFL draft.  Among those are Cowboys star Dak Prescott, Patriots starter Joe Thuney, Chargers Rookie of the Year candidate Jatavis Brown, and Steelers starting DT Javon Hargrave. Money mouth

October 21, 2016

Cody Kessler- QB, Browns

Kessler was a third round pick in the 2016 NFL draft and was expected to be a back-up, at least as a rookie.  Injuries have forced him into service and he's been surprisingly good, posting a 94 passer rating over 122 attempts.

October 20, 2016

Marcus Mariota- QB, Titans

Mariota continues to fly under the radar as he gets no love in the national media. He started slowly, but is currently on pace for 3,650 yards passing and 533 yards rushing with 27 passing TDs and 3 rushing TDs.  Those are QB1 numbers.

October 19, 2016

Drew Bress- QB, Saints

Brees had another monster game, going for 465/4/1 versus the Panthers.  Brees home versus away numbers are in stark contrast.  Since the start of 2015 he has a 34/7, TD/Int ratio at home while on the road it's 12/8 over that same span.  Start him at home and bench him on the road if you have a decent QB2.

October 18, 2016

Jay Ajayi- RB, Dolphins

Ajayi capped off what will probably be his career best game with a 62-yard run to finish off the Steelers. He finished with 25-204/2.  He was inactive week one and only had 18 carries the next three weeks, but he has had 13 and 25 carries the past two weeks and produced 3 touchdowns.  The Dolphins offensive line returned three Pro Bowl caliber players week 6, and if they can stay healthy Ajayi might be a steal moving forward.

October 16, 2016

Lesean McCoy- RB, Bills

McCoy has been the most consistent fantasy back not named David Johnson through six weeks.  He's a true dual threat, but we're always leery of an injury with him.  He's a sell high player at this point.

October 13, 2016

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Tannehill is devolving right before our eyes.  He was never better than average, but at present he's one of the NFL's worst tossers.  The Dolphins are missing three starters on the offensive line and he was under duress versus the Titans, but his total lack of pocket awareness was on full display as at least half of his 6 sacks were due to him holding the ball too long.  Fins fans are now joining Browns and Lions fans on 2017 NFL Mock Draft sites.

October 11, 2016

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

The bizarro story of Colin Kapernick takes yet another turn this weekend as he has been named the started by Chip Kelly.  Kaepernick is one of the best quarterback's after five years in the NFL, yet he was benched in 2016 for reasons that still aren't entirely clear.  There is a rumor about that he was having arm trouble, but the more plausible explanation is that the 49ers didn't want to risk him getting injured because that would trigger them owing him another $10 million-plus in 2017.  That's the more likely explanation since they didn't name him the starter until they had renegotiated the injury portion of his contract this week.  He's 27-20 as a starter and 4-2 in the post-season, but he's starting for a horrible 49ers team that doesn't even have a legit WR2.

October 10, 2016

Vic Beasley-DE, Falcons

Beasley has been close to breaking out the past few weeks, causing more havoc than his stat line would indicate.  Against the Broncos he delivered a monster performance with 3.5 sacks.  He will surely be the Defensive Player of the Week and if he can generate a consistent pass rush, which the Falcons haven't had in years, the Falcons should hold on to win the NFC South.

Jerick McKinnon- RB, Vikings

We think McKinnon is a superior NFL talent, but he's not more than a flex option for fantasy purposes because of Matt Asiata.  McKinnon is Gio Bernard 2.0.  He's a solid receiver who should vary between 60-80 yards from scrimmage most weeks but with a paucity of TDs.

October 9, 2016

Julio Jones- WR, Falcons

JJ was dyno-mite, becoming only the fifth player in NFL history to reach 300 receiving yards in a game.  He's been a top five wide receiver for the past five years and he continues to post some of the greatest single game performances.

October 8, 2016

Eli Manning- QB, Giants

Manning has three consecutive losing seasons to his credit and he looked terrible versus a stout Vikings defense on Monday night.  He's usually good for 30 TDs and 15 interceptions so for the remainder of the year we expect a 25/10 TD/Int ratio which adds up to QB1 production.  Don't give up on him or Odell yet.

October 7, 2016

Deandre Washington- RB, Raiders

In order to win a fantasy league, you have to be proactive. Everyone knows to bid on someone once they get a starting job, so you need to find those diamonds before they start to shine.  Washington is at the top of that list.  The Raiders are clearly not enamored with Latavius Murray, who is only averaging 4.3 YPC behind the NFL's best offensive line.  Washington, on the other hand, has averaged 6.6, 9.5 and 6.0 YPC in the past three weeks.  We see this as a situation that might develop like the Broncos last year, when Ronnie Hillman led the team in rushing and CJ Anderson received a freeze out in a contract year.  Washington is currently the running back most likely to see an uptick in value in the coming weeks.

Philip Rivers- QB, Chargers

Rivers is our Draftkings play of the week.  We expect a high scoring affair with the Raiders and Rivers is a good bet for either 300 yards passing or 3 TDs.

October 6, 2016

Carson Palmer- QB, Cardinals

We had major concerns with Palmer as a fantasy option coming into the year, and he's proven us correct.  He's old and coming off of a career year and he doesn't look like a QB1 thus far.

October 5, 2016

Terrence West- RB, Ravens

West was a fantasy afterthought two weeks ago, but with the release of Justin Forsett he's now locked in as the starter.  West has proven to be a competent NFL back thus far in his career, averaging 4.0 YPC on nealry 300 career attempts and showing decent receiving skills. Rookie Kenneth Dixon is due to return, but West is startable at least as a flex unless and until Dixon starts to eat into his playing time.

Karl Joseph- S, Raiders

It took Joseph a few games to earn the starting job, but he's already ascended to the top of the rookie rankings on Pro Football Focus, coming in at 6th on their list.  We loved him coming out of West Virginia and we had him ranked higher than every pundit at 13.  His highest ranking by any other service was 24 and he was drafted by the Raiders at 14.  The Raiders continue to track as the best drafting team in the NFL the past 3 years.

October 4, 2016

Isaiah Crowell-RB, Browns

Crowell has been impressive through 4 games, posting a league best 6.4 YPC on an 0-4 Browns team.  He's second in the league in rushing and if the passing game could be average he may force his way into the RB1 category.

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

So much for Ryan running into a wall with the Panthers defense.  He was phenomenal on his way to setting the franchise record with 503 yards passing.  Much like last season, Ryan has been great in the early going and the Falcons have a bead on the division crown. We'll see if they hold the lead or falter down the stretch.

Melvin Gordon- RB, Chargers

It's all about the opportunities, and Gordon should continue to get plenty of them. The guy who didn't score a touchdown with over 200 touches last year, has six in four games this year.  He's only averging 3.1 YPC, but he's the focal point of a Chargers offense that will be playing from behind and he should continue to have twenty touches and plenty of goal line work as the season progresses.

Kirk Cousins- QB, Redskins

In our ongoing attempt to educate the Matriculating population, we constantly run up against the fantasy versus reality issue.  Blake Bortles and Jameis Winston and Matt Stafford are great, their teams just suck, we hear.  They threw for 4,500 yards, we hear.  Passing yards is the most meaningless number in sports.  It basically says nothing about a quarterback and everything about a team's defense, or maybe their offensive philosophy. We routinely cite passer rating which some argue is misleading.  Like all numbers it isn't perfect, particularly for an individual game, but it's the best predictor we've found.  Here's an example to help highlight what we've been harping on for years here.  The record of the quarterbacks in the top ten in passing yards is 11-18.  Terrible, correct?  The record of the quarterbacks in the top ten in passer rating is 19-10.  Passer rating important, passing yards irrelevant.

October 3, 2016

Steven Nelson-CB, Chiefs

Nelson was not ranked in any pundicator's top 50 as a prospect coming out in 2015.  He wasn't selected until pick 98, but we had him at 38 on our big board.  He played sparingly as a rookie, but he is currently rated as Pro Football Focus number one slot corner.

October 2, 2016

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Tannehill was terrible versus the Bengals, displaying his characteristic, comprehensive lack of pocket awareness. He's a fair to middlin tosser on the Eggdicator though he's currently trending down.  Later in the year we're certain he will make some great throws and lead an occasional comeback, which is what kept Jay Cutler in the starting line-up for a decade.  The Dolphins need to move on as soon as possible but they probably won't.

A.J. Green- WR, Bengals

A.J. Green steamrolled yet another secondary, torching the Dolphins on Thursday night for 10/173/1.  He is currently looking like the top fantasy player, but it's a long season.  We expect Green to do what he does every year, finish somewhere between WR2 and WR8.

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Ryan participated in the statistical avalanche known as "a game versus the Saints defense."   He, Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman were inundated with a fantasy shower as they ran up and down the field against a terrible defense.  Ryan is the NFL's top rated tosser, but he's about to run into a brick wall with the Panthers, Seahawks and Broncos in the next three weeks.

October 1, 2016

Adam Humphries- WR, Bucs

Humphries role in the Bucs offense continues to grow.  He posted a 9/100 line versus the Rams and he looks to be a Julian Edelman-like,  high volume receiver.  We expect him to have more catches and yards than Vincent Jackson and he's a worthy WR3 in a PPR league.

September 30, 2016

Jatavis Brown- LB, Chargers

Jatavis Brown went to Akron and wasn't invited to the Combine.  He was unranked by the four major scouting services and wasn't drafted until the fifth round, but he made our top 40 player rankings and was the number one player our Matriculator Six.  Brown is the early favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year with 15 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, 4 passes defensed and 3 tackles for loss.

September 29, 2016

Darren Sproles- RB, Eagles

Many a fantasy owner is suffering from Sprolesitis, a frustrating malady that occurs throughout the winter months.  Sprolesitis is characterized by games of 120+ yards followed by weeks of 30 yards and the only known remedy is excessive alcohol consumption.

September 28, 2016

Christine Michael- RB, Seahawks

Michael continues to impress, posting a 106 yard, 2 TD performance versus the 49ers.  He's been light years better than Thomas Rawls and we expect he will hold the starting job even when Rawls is healthy.

September 27, 2016

Deforest Buckner- DT, 49ers

Buckner, our top rated player in the 2016 Draft, has an impressive 16 tackles in his first three games.  In contrast Arik Armstead, the Niners first round pick the year before, has 23 tackles in his year-plus in the league.

September 26, 2016

Deshaun Watson- QB, Clemson

Watson had a decent game versus Georgia Tech, but decent isn't enough to warrant a number one pick.  Entering the 2016 season he was our favorite for the top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft but he's been underwhelming thus far, showing a lack of accuracy at times.  There's time for improvement, but we're pumping the brakes a bit.

Devonta Freeman-RB, Falcons

We like everyone in the Falcons-Saints tilt as a DFS play, but don't overlook the running backs.  The Falcons were successful the first half of 2015 because rthey fed Freeman a high volume of carries.  In week two this year, Freeman had 17 carries on the road versus the Raiders and was instrumental in that win.  We expect Freeman and Mark Ingram to post 100 combined yards and touchdown. 

September 25, 2016

Legarrette Blount- RB, Gatetriots

The Gatetriots continue to cheat at home where their record far exceeds the normal home field advantage.  At home in the post-season the Gatetriots are 14-3, while they're an average 3-3 on the road.  They've never won a road playoff game since they were exposed in Spygate.  Having nothing to do with cheating however, is Blount up the middle for five yards a pop.  He's a horse and is currently the leading fantasy running back with back-to-back 100 yard games and 4 TDs to start the 2016 campaign.  We'd trade him now because his value will only drop, particularly when Brady comes back and Gronk gets rolling.

Marcus Mariota-QB, Titans

Mariota and all of the Titans offensive players have been flying under the radar.  They can all be obtained relatively cheap, and we recommend that you scoop them up.  First round tackle Jack Conklin has been a stud and Mariota has 4 TDs and 500 yards passing through two games.  Tajeh Sharpe looks like a budding star and Demarco Murray is averaging 5.2 YPC.  For the next 10 weeks the Titans have what may be the easiest schedule of all-time (from an opposing defense standpoint) with the Raiders, Dolphins, Jags, Colts twice, Chargers, Packers and Bears.

September 24, 2016

Will Fuller-WR, Texans

An Indian Summer is a period of success occurring late in life.  Will Fuller had a reverse Indian Summer to start his career with back-to-back 100 yard games.  Hopefully he enjoyed it, because it's all down hill from here.  We didn't have him ranked in our top 40 players and pegged him as the next Ted Ginn.  Ginn is the only starting receiver we've ever seen...ever...who had a catch percentage below 50%, posting a 45% in 2015 on 97 targets.  Ginn is no longer a starter, but Fuller has been a doppleganger posting a NFL worst catch percentage of 48% and already leading the league in dropped passes.

September 23, 2016

Adrian Peterson- RB, Vikings

Trade away your running backs for tight ends and wide receivers!  The NFL has become a heavy passing league, but more importantly the idea of a single back who gets 25 touches every week is nearly dead.  And if you feel fortunate to have one of the few 25 touchers, you're probably about to lose him to injury.  The number one backs who have already lost time to injury include All Day (which is an appropriate name since he's averaged about one day a year for the past 3 seasons), Rashad Jennings, Chris Ivory, Thomas Rawls, Danny Woodhead, Doug Martin, Ameer Abdullah, Jonathan Stewart, Jamaal Charles, and the list will continue to grow each week.

Isaiah Crowell- RB, Browns

Crowell was the NFL's leading rusher week two.  Having Mckown at tosser makes him an even better option moving forward and we expect some more nice performances from him.  He's a low-end RB2 as it stands now, but he could develop into an every week starter.

Thomas Rawls- RB, Seahawks

The Rawls/Michael backfield quagmire continues to swallow fantasy owners.  Michael has been much better in the early going, but we still expect an even split behind a poor offensive line.  Neither are good starts until someone seizes the job.

DJ Foster- RB, Gatetriots

Foster has done nothing through two weeks.  He's not in anyone's starting line-up and probably not rostered in most leagues.  In years past, this is when Belicheat will give a random player 10-15 touches for the sole purpose of pissing off fantasy football owners.

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Some people never learn.  The attention span of the average human is 18 seconds.  History repeats itself.  The cream always rises to the top.  The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  Matt Ryan is drastically overpaid.  Falcons fans are engaging in their yearly September refrain, "Matt Ryan is a top flight NFL quarterback!"  There is also chatter about Russell Wilson struggling.  Those people obviously don't remember what was happening this time last year.  It's just so long ago. In 2015 Ryan started the season hot (5-1) and then completely melted down during the stretch run and finished 20th in passer rating while managing to keep a team that started 5-1 out of the playoffs.  Wilson struggled early in 2015 (2-4) before turning it on down the stretch and leading the NFL in passer rating while going 8-2 when it mattered.  Something like that will happen again, in spite of Falcons' cheerleaders well wishes.  We are, however, concerned about Wilson running for his life behind what might be the worst offensive line we've seen in a decade.

September 22, 2016

Jameis Winston- QB, Bucs

Everyone has been on the Shameless bandwagon, but they fail to realize he's simply not that good.  From a fantasy perspective he's fine, the Bucs throw early and often, but in real life he finished 28th in passer rating in 2015 and in 2016 he's 32nd out of 33 tossers.

Kirk Cousins- QB, Redskins

So once upon a time there was this guy named Nick Foles....  Cousins is struggling now that he is expected to be good.

September 21, 2016

Willie Snead- WR, Saints

The Saints defense is terrible and we expect the Saints to throw 40 times in at least half of their games.  Snead somehow snuck under the radar this fantasy draft season, but he's a weekly starter who should be a WR2 at minimum after posting 984 yards as a rookie in 2015.

September 20, 2016

Kelvin Benjamin- WR, Panthers

Benjamin has had back-to-back huge games to start the season after posting 108 yards and 2 TDs versus the 49ers.  He still looks overweight but he has hands like vice grips and is too physical for most defensive backs.

September 19, 2016

Sterling Shepard- WR, Giants

Shepard had a nice touchdown catch in his NFL debut and continues to draw praise.  Prince Amukamara worked out with him this off-season and says he has a skill set that is a combination of Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham.  We expect him to be the top rookie receiver in 2016.

September 18, 2016

Kevin Byard- S, Titans

We had Byard ranked among the top 30 players in the 2016 draft, but he wasn't selected until the end of the third round.  He played 20 snaps in his NFL debut and was third on the team in tackles (5) and had a tackle for loss.  The Titans have an impressive pool of young talent and we expect them to be contending for a playoff spot in 2017.

September 17, 2016

Jared Goff- QB, Rams

The Hollywood squares are already making waves about playing Goff after Case Keenum's amateur hour performance on Monday Night Football.  Goff appears aloof and we're not sure he's an improvement on Keenum at this point.  If they don't straighten things out quick in L.A. Jeff Fisher could be on the next chrome horse out of town.

September 16, 2016

Carlos Hyde- RB, 49ers

If you have Hyde on your team, trade him.  If you don't, fade him.  He's had two great games in his career, both of which were week one on Monday Night Football.  Last year he had 168 yards on Monday night and never averaged more than 4.4 YPC in the six games he played after that.  He was also injured last year and missed 9 games.

September 15, 2016

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

The situation in San Fran is about to get  messy, and it has nothing to do with the American flag. Blaine Gabbert and Chip Kelly seem to think that having Gabbert run on a regular basis is a good idea.  He'll probably get hurt and then the real fun starts.  Kaepernick is clearly the next in line, but if he gets hurt the 49ers owe him another year of salary at well over $10 million.  They won't want to play him for that reason but with the flag controversy...okay maybe it does have something to do with the flag.

September 14, 2016

Tyrell Williams-Wr, Chargers

Looking for a late round flier?  Try Tyrell Williams who's been generating buzz (as possibly even the number two WR in San Diego) and will be in an offense that will likely be throwing the ball...a lot.

September 13, 2016

Carson Wentz- QB, Eagles

Wentz's stellar play was one of the major storylines of week one.  He shredded the Browns defense and while the Browns are terrible, it was nonetheless impressive.

September 12, 2016

Jordan Matthews- WR, Eagles

We've now completed our three, 12-team league drafts.  The only player we selected on all three teams was Jordan Matthews.  Two of those drafts occurred before the Throwcahontas trade, but we still think he was a value even with Carson Wentz at tosser.  Matthews has finished in the top 24 receivers his first two seasons making him a WR2 and a late second round value.  We drafted him in the 5th-6th round in our drafts and if he performs at the level he performed his first two years he's the most undervalued player in fantasy.  The other players we have on multiple teams are: Rashad Jennings, Deandre Washington, Desean Jackson, Jeremy Hill, Sterling Shephard, Donte Moncrief, Tyrod Taylor and Marcus Mariota.

September 11, 2016

Robert Griffin, III- QB, Browns

This will be a fascinating year for RG3 if he stays healthy.  He still has a higher career passer rating than that Luck guy who was drafted before him.  If he somehow plays well for a team whose top receiver is a converted quarterback with 2 career receptions and Luck plays like he did in 2015, Griffin will have been the better choice in spite of wildly contrary perceptions.  It's a big if, but it will be compelling Sunday fodder for the first month of the season.

September 10, 2016

Drew Brees- QB, Saints

Every few years Brees holds the Saints hostage with demands for a contract extension. This week they extended him again. Since his Super Bowl win in 2009 he's basically killed the franchise, going 2-3 in his playoff appearances and failing to reach the playoffs three of the last four seasons.  He's the empty suit.  The sound and the fury.  Great fantasy numbers that ring hollow in real life.

September 9, 2016

Draft Kingslayer

The Kingslayer is back and we wish winter was coming a little faster.  Check here for our Kingslayer picks of week one including Donte Moncrief, Jameis Winston, Delanie Walker and Rashad Jennings.

September 8, 2016

Christine Michael-RB, Seahawks

Michael should be productive, at least for the first few weeks.  He's trending up and with the Seahawks commitment to the run game he's a nice mid-round risk.

Javon Hargrave- DT, Steelers

Hargrave wasn't drafted until the third round, but he was one of our favorite players.  We had him ranked as the 14th overall player, far above any other pundicators.  In the pre-season he had 2 sacks and 6 hurries and was the 3rd rated pass rushing interior defender according to PFF.

September 7, 2016

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Tannehill has turned out to be just a guy. He's an average NFL tosser, but for fantasy purposes this might be the year to draft him as a back-up.  He's thrown for 3,900+ yards his last three years and he's threatened 30 TDs with 28 and 25 the past two years.  The Dolphins may have a terrible defense and if they do he could post career highs across the board.

September 6, 2016

D.J. Foster- RB, Patriots

Foster had a big game week 4 with over 100 receiving yards out of the backfield.  If he makes the team, and we assume he will, he's worthy of a roster spot.  We'd stash him for the first few weeks and see if he earns the thrid down role.  Coming out of Arizona State he had over 1,500 yards rushing and over 1,500 yards receiving and he played both tailback and slot receiver.  He's the versatile back that Belicheat covets.

September 5, 2016

Thomas Rawls- RB, Seahawks

Rawls had 2 carries in the final pre-season game, meaning he will likely play week one.  Last season he was a high end RB1, but he's coming off a serious injury and Christine Michael has looked good.  Rawls is a risk, but we'd start to get an itchy trigger finger in the fourth round.

September 4, 2016

Christian Hackenberg- QB, Jets

We panned the second round pick as the worst selection in this year's draft, and he hasn't disappointed.  He's been horrible, capping off his pre-season with an 11-31, 54 yard performance in week 4.

September 3, 2016

Tavon Austin- WR, Rams

The Rams saw fit to extend Austin's contract, guaranteeing him another $30 million. We think it was a horrible deal for the Rams.  He hasn't mustered 500 receiving yards in any of his three seasons and while they got him the ball more in 2015 (he had over 400 rushing yards and 4 TDs) he's a nice gadget player but he's only a third wide receiver.

September 2, 2016

Rob Kelley- RB, Redskins

Kelley is the hot late round flier these days with Matt Jones nursing an injury and Chris Thompson failing to lay claim to the back-up job.  We'd prefer a number of late round backs to Kelley.   In four years at Tulane he only mustered 6 rushing touchdowns.  That's not per year, but for his entire career.  He also averaged a pedestrian 4.0 YPC.  He's a decent pass catcher, but we'd take a pass.

Demarco Murray-RB, Titans

Everyone wants Derrick Henry and we understand why.  He looks a leaner version of his former self and he made cuts in pre-season that we never saw at Alabama.  We still think Murray is a slight favorite to lead the team in carries but don't take Murray before the 5th round.

Tom Brady- QB, Patriots

Is it just me, or is Brady starting to look like Kaitlyn Jenner?  Click it here.

September 1, 2016

A.J. Green- WR, Bengals

For some reason Green is trending around pick number ten, while Julio Jones is trending around four.  Keep in mind, last year's stats don't count and Julio's numbers will drop in 2016.  Matt Ryan's arrow is pointing down and Andy Dalton was having a career year in 2015 before he was injured.  Green averages about 4 more TDs per year than Julio and has produced 1,000 yards every year he's been in the league while Julio has three in five seasons.  We think they are a dead heat entering  the 2016 fantasy season.

Le'Veon Bell- RB, Steelers

Bell is going to make or break some fantasy teams this season.  He's missing three games but is still being drafted in the late first/early second round.  If he returns and can stay healthy he will probably lead a number of teams to a championship, but he's been highly injury and suspension prone in his career.

August 31, 2016

Brandon Lafell- WR, Bengals

Lafell is the Anti-Rodney Dangerfield.  He gets far too much respect every year.  His season usually ends with a benching or injury and then the team remembers why nobody really wanted him in the first place.  As of now he's starting ahead of Tyler Boyd.  Lafell might have a decent game or two, but Boyd will be starting by the end of the season.

Trevor Siemian-QB, Broncos

Siemian is starting for the Broncos.  While the media is having a field day with it, we suspect he's simply a tackling dummy for a few weeks until they think Paxton Lynch is ready.  ESPN prognosticators can't stop talking about what a great choice this is and how Siemian makes good decisions.  They have no idea what they're talking about.  Siemian had 18 TDs and 20 interceptions in his last two years at Northwestern.  Those numbers wouldn't earn a guy a back-up spot if they had come in the NFL, much less in college. In the pre-season he has 1 TD and 2 interceptions.  We expect the Broncos may win some games with Siemian. They won the Super Bowl last year with one of the worst quartebacking seasons in NFL history out of Peyton Manning.  They have a solid running game and the NFL's best defense, but Siemian's no good.

Colin Kaepernick-QB, 49ers

Regarding the not standing for the flag controversy, please read Patriot Act.  If America is truly the greatest country in the world (and it is) then we don't have a right to criticize the country when it's wrong, we have an obligation. If I were a black person who had to watch as black people were beaten and murdered while the police went largely unpunished, I'd be pissed too.  Heck, I'm not even black and I'm pissed!

August 30, 2016

Jack Conklin- OT, Titans

Conklin was the Titans' highest graded offensive player week 3 according to Pro Football Focus. He was in our top 5 rankings for the 2016 NFL draft and he should help the Titans offense improve dramatically in 2016 with two solid running backs, a Pro-Bowl tight end and an emerging young quarterback.

August 29, 2016

Jay Cutler- QB, Bears

We suspect this will be Cutlers's last stand in the NFL. He will be operarting behind one of the NFL's worst offensive lines and we aren't expecting anything different than we've seen for the past decade.  The Bears will likely cut him as he will be a 34-year old entering next season and it's time to move on.  We don't expect Cutler to accept another job in a situation where he would have to compete for the starting job, so don't be surprised if this is the swan song of the boy from Santa Claus, Indiana.

August 28, 2016

Matt Jones- RB, Redskins

Jones is a high ceiling/low floor player.  He's injured again and though they expect him to start the season, we would avoid him as an RB2.  He was inconsistent as a rookie and runs too upright for our liking.

August 27, 2016

Marvin Jones- WR, Lions

Check out our Rank and File to find player rankings heading into week 4 of the pre-season.  Marvin Jones continues to creep up the wide receiver board.

August 26, 2016

James White- RB, Patriots

With Dion Lewis out for the first six games of the season, White becomes an interesting pick as the Pats third down back.  He should produce solid numbers, particularly in a PPR league, and we'd select him in the 10th-12th round and start him for at least the first 6 weeks.

August 25, 2016

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys

The ultimate great white nope, Romo is out for 6-10 weeks with a fractured back.  The savior who never appeared, but who everyone in Dallas mistook for Jesus.  They will name his made for TV movie The Life of Romo.  It will be about a guy who was somehow inexplicably mistaken for someone important.  He will run around saying, "I'm not Staubach!" to the Cowboys faithful but it won't matter.  The guy has won one playoff game in the decade he has started for Dallas.  We don't give him credit for the Dallas Party Bus Miracle game when the ref picked up a pass interference penalty that would have won the game for the Lions and stuck it in his pocket without explanation as if there weren't a few million people watching. Anyway, they have upgraded at tosser the only way it would have ever been possible in Romoland, by accident with an injury.  Black Prescott is the better player.

August 24, 2016

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

Coach Chip Kelly has indicated that Kaepernick's shoulder is fine, and Kaepernick's abscence seems related to the "49ers suck" virus that has infested a number of players in the past few years.  He almost certainly wants out after having to face the ignominy of having to endure a quarterback controversy with Blame Gabbert. We wouldn't be surprised to see Kaepernick have a slew of niggling injuries and miss most of the season.

August 23, 2016

Chris Ivory- RB, Jaguars

When there's going to be a split, take the second bit.  That's the latest Matriculator phrase of the month.  There are a number of backfields entering the 2016 season with nearly even splits.  That split usually changes within a few weeks of the start of the season.  Our theory is, take the second guy as he usually comes a round or two later and is equally as likely to end up with the most carries.  This pre-season the split backfields include Yeldon/Ivory, Ajayi/Foster, Crowell/Johnson and Murray/Henry.

August 22, 2016

Eli Rogers-WR, Steelers

Rogers had 4 catches for 39 yards versus the Eagles and he resembles a less explosive version of Antonio Brown.  Big Ben reportedly loves him and we wouldn't be surprised if he makes the team and even gives the inconsistent Sammie Coates and injured Markus Wheaton a run for the number two spot in Pittsburgh.

RGIII- QB, Browns

RGIII had a great game versus the Falcons going 6-8 for 96 yards and 2 TDs.  He also led the team in rushing with 36 yards.  He looked like the rookie version of RGIII, though he still runs too much for our liking which makes him vulnerable to injury.   We'll keep an eye on him next week but he is in the QB2 discussion at this point.

Bryce Petty- QB, Jets

The attention span of the average NFL team is that of a gnat.  Two weeks ago Bryce Petty was on the roster bubble and after two solid pre-season games he's the entrenched number two according to Jets beat writers.  Two weeks ago the Cowboys were searching for a veteran back-up for Tony Romo and now Black Prescott is second coming of Ben Roethlisberger.  We always liked Petty but because he's on a team that hasn't drafted and developed a player in their receving game in 15 years, we aren't holding our breath that he will ever become a serviceable starter with the Jets.

August 21, 2016

Teddy Bridgewater- QB, Vikings

We think Bridgewater has made a solid progression as a real life tosser, but his numbers his first two years have been far from fantasy worthy.  He averages one TD per game which doesn't make him draftable.  We expect to see an increase this year and there is talk out of Minnesota that they are encouraging him to air it out more.  We expect an uptick in numbers to warrant TB posting QB2 numbers this year.  His career passer rating is significantly better than both Andrew Luck and Blame Bortles, but they are far better fantasy players because their teams throw much more frequently.

Jeremy Hill- RB, Bengals

Hill has over 1,900 yards rushing and 20 TDs in his first two NFL seasons.  He doesn't provide much in the passing game so his value takes a ding in PPR leagues, but he's a nice value starting after the third round.

August 20, 2016

Jimmy Garoppolo-QB, Patriots

Garoppolo continues to look totally dominant whenever he plays.  He was the top rated passer in the pre-season as a rookie in 2014 and he posted a near perfect 16-21, 181yard, TD performance versus the Bears this week.  In his limited regular season appearances he has a 92 passer rating.  We really hope Brady stays around a few more years so Garoppolo will move on to another team before Brady retires.

August 19, 2016

Dorial Green-Beckham- WR, Eagles

The Titans, who drafted Beckham in the second round last year, have already given up on him trading him to the Eagles for a back-up offensive lineman.  The Titans aren't exactly loaded at wide receiver so it's not a good sign for his long term odds of becoming a star.  He's a Tarzan Jane prospect at this point.

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts

Hilton has a high ceiling, but we're growing leery of his ability to stay healthy.  He pulled up with an injury in the first pre-season game and with his slight build and injuries in 2015 we're cooling on him as a second round pick.

August 18, 2016

Cam Newton- QB, Panthers

When Newton came out of Auburn and we correctly dubbed him the greatest prospect of all-time, we did express a concern.  One concern.  That concern was that his head might swell to gargantuan proportions when he and the rest of the world realized that he was the greatest athlete to ever land on planet earth. Read Newton's Law from 2011.  After posting the greatest season in the history of any professional sport in 2015, he and every other non-racist sports fan now know that he is in fact Superman.  The guy at the top of the human athlete food chain.  So has he become uncoachable?  An unmitigated douche-prick, like say Tom Brady?  Does he laugh at homeless people and avoid doing things for those less privileged?   Actually he was spotted on the streets of Baltimore this week.  A family from Charlotte happened to notice him, probably because he looked like Superman, walking the streets with a bag of food (not leftovers) from a high end restaurant.  He slid surreptitiously towards a homeless man and gave him the food and kept walking.  According to his teammates he does it regularly, though he never does it on camera.  The family that saw him spoke with the homeless man and told him it was Cam Newton who gave him the food.  He said, "Who?"  Cam is my new favorite athlete of all-time. Before you start hating, I did graduate from Auburn so there's no bandwagoning going on.

August 17, 2016

Darren Waller- WR, Ravens

Waller has bounced between wide receiver and tight end this pre-season.  He led the Ravens in receiving in the first pre-season game and is someone to keep an eye on the next few weeks.  The Ravens don't have anyone who appears to be an obvious number one receiver.

Tyler Higbee-TE, Rams

Higbee looked comfortable making his NFL debut, catching 5-6 targets for 49 yards.  He reminded of us, dare we say it, of Gronk.  He's big and tough to tackle and seems to be Goff's favorite target based on reports coming out of training camp.  He's definitely draftable as a TE2 at this point.

August 16, 2016

Black Prescott- QB, Cowboys

The best player week one of the pre-season was Black.  He dominated the Rams number one defense completing 10 of 12 passes (with the other two drops) for 2 touchdowns. He was far better than Jared Goff and Carson Wentz which is probably why we asked (in our blurb on April 28) why Prescott wasn't being considered for the number one overall pick.  We think we've figured it out.  Read The Holy Trinity if you're unsure.

August 15, 2016

Lamar Miller- RB, Texans

Miller is a first rounder on nearly every pre-season draft board.  In the past two seasons he's posted an average of 1,300 combined yards and 8.5 touchdowns.  He's also only 25 years old so he should be in his prime.  We can't lay a finger on exactly why, but we have some reservations about him.  It might be the fact that he was considered on the small side coming out of the University of Miami and had durability concerns, but he's proven to be reliable in his first 4 years in the NFL. We would consider him late in the first round but we would hope there is someone availbale that we like better.

August 14, 2016

Tyler Boyd- WR, Bengals

We expect Boyd to be second on the team in receiving yards this season behind A.J. Green.  Although he's not an elite athlete and he's not big or physical, he produces.  He reminds us of Keenan Allen and Jarvis Landry coming out of college and they both turned in successful rookie campaigns.  If he wins the starting job he's a nice pick as a 4th receiver on a fantasy team with a high ceiling.

August 13, 2016

Allen Robinson- WR, Jaguars

We expect a downtick in all of the Jaguars passing numbers in 2016.  They should have a much improved defense and they have added Chris Ivory to bolster their run game.  This should result in lower scoring games and less passing stats to go around.  We still love Robinson and expect WR1 numbers, though they might be slightly down from 2015.

August 12, 2016

Keith Marshall- RB, Redskins

Marshall should be in the mix in Washington, and we wouldn't be surprised if he started if something happens to Matt Jones.  He was the fastest man at the Combine and his college career mirrored another late round Georgia running back name of Terrell Davis.  Davis' career high in college was 824 yards and Marshall's was 759.  Just sayin'.

August 11, 2016

Marvin Jones- WR, Lions

Jones and Golden Tate should be in a stiff competition for the number one fantasy receiver in Detroit this year.  The last two seasons Jones has played (he was injured in 2014) he has posted a 10 TD season and a 800+ yard season.  He's only 26 and we expect something in the neighborhood of 70-900-6 from him making him a solid, startable WR3.

August 10, 2016

Rashad Jennings- RB, Giants

The Giants backfield is a morass with a number of specialists, none of whom are particularly effective, and the 31-year old Jennings at the top of the rotting food pyramid. Jennings has posted slightly over 1,000 combined yards two of the past three seasons, but his career high in TDs is only six making him marginal even as a  fill-in at RB.  Shane Vereen will have an occasional nice receving day, but who knows when.  Andre Williams will vulture some touchdowns but is far too inconsistent to ever start as a fantasy option.  From a fantasy perspective the Giants are the worst backfield in the NFL.

C.J. Anderson- RB, Broncos

We hate to be conspiracy theorists, but.... Wait one minute, we love to be conspiracy theorists! Particularly when the theory is probably correct.  We had C.J. Anderson as a top five fantasy player entering the 2015 season.  In the 2014 season he carried the ball 15 or more times in five of the final six games.  He had 2-100 yard games and posted 8 TDs.  He averaged an impressive 4.7 YPC in 2014.  Interestingly, in 2015 he also averaged 4.7 YPC, but he rarely saw the ball, never eclipsing 15 carries in any game.  The two games where he had the most carries, 14 versus the Packers and 15 versus the Patriots, he had 100-yard performances. Were the Broncos hiding him to protect him from a monster bid as a restricted free agent?  This off-season the Dolphins signed Anderson to a 4-year, $18 million offer sheet and the Broncos matched it.  Why would a team who never gave a healthy running back over 15 carries in a game for an entire season then sign him for $18 million? Expect heavy carries and RB1 numbers now that they have him under contract.

Robert Griffin, III- QB, Browns

RG3 was named the starter this week, which was a foregone conclusion.  Ask 100 people who has been a better pro Andrew Luck or RG3 and you will get 100 Lucks.  Unless of course you ask the Matriculator who knows that RG3 has a significantly higher regular season passer rating, a higher post-season passer rating and has completed 64% of his passes compared to Luck's 58%.  RG3 has not only been a better passer, he has nearly 400 more yards rushing even though he has played a season less than Luck.  Interesting experiment in perception versus reality, though we hear RG3 was a real douchebag in Washington.

August 9, 2016

Otto Graham- QB, Browns

Before 1990 only four tossers ever posted a passer rating over 109. Two of those were the Browns Otto Graham (in 1946/47), another was the Browns Milt Plum (who did it in the study with the candlestick) and the 4th was Slingin' Sammy Baugh who did it in 1945 with the Jewskins.

Desean Jackson- WR, Jewskins

Jackson is coming off his worst year in eight seasons, mainly due to early season injuries.  In six of his first eight years he posted over 900 receiving yards, yet he is getting no fantasy love in 2016.  He's currently projected in the 8th round (the 35-40th receiver) by most pundicators and we think he'd be a tremendous bargain at that point with a projection of something in the neighborhood 60-900-7.

August 8, 2016

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

If Ryan played for anyone other than the Falcons this would be a do-or-die season, but Falcons' owner Arthur Blank is loyal to a fault.  We will never forget him wheeling an injured Mike Vick around the sidelines a decade ago.  Ryan was ranked the 23rd tosser by BSPN in their initial fantasy rankings.  That would make him barely draftable as a back-up and one spot behind Brock Osweiler for good measure.

Devante Parker- WR,Dolphins

Parker played the final six games of 2016 and posted an impressive 22-445-3 line.  Extrapolated out for a full season that's 59-1186-8.  He also averaged 19 YPC.  If he were able to generate those numbers that makes him as a borderline WR1 and a late second/early third round pick.  We wouldn't take him in the second, but he's in the discussion after that.  We expect he and Jarvis Landry to produce similar fantasy points with Landry having more catches but Parker scoring more touchdowns.

August 7, 2016

Brandon Marshall- WR, Jets

Hadn't thought of it before, but if Marshall posts one more 1,000 yard season he's a guaranteed Hall of Famer.  Another 1,000 yards this season and he moves into the top 20 on the all-time receiving yards list.  He would also have 9, 1000-yard seasons, and he already has 6, 100-plus catch seasons.  All that said, we will not likely be drafting him this season.  He's coming off the best year of his career as is Ryan Fitzpatrick.  He's also 32 years old and we expect a few owners to have him ranked more highly than we do.

August 6, 2016

Terrance West- RB, Ravens

West is emerging as a possibility to start for the Ravens.  The problem we have is that they have three backs who could see starts this season including West, Justin Forsett and rookie fouth round pick Kenneth Dixon.  We'd wait until two of them are gone and take whoever's left late in the draft.

August 5, 2016

Rishard Mathews- WR, Titans

Mathews off-season move from the Dolphins to the Titians didn't garner many headlines, but we expect him to be the Titans leading receiver in 2016.  Mathews played 9 games before getting injured and was on pace for 75-1150-7.  His main competition will be Kendall Wright who has been on a steady decline after posting a solid 2013 season.

August 4, 2016

Deandre Washington- RB, Raiders

We really like Washington, who could earn some significant snaps with the Raiders as a rookie.  He's a good receiver who is both quick and fast.  He's only 5'8", 205, but he led the Big 12 in rushing and posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons at Texas Tech.  If he moves up on the depth chart as we expect, he's worth a late round flier.

Philip Dorsett-WR, Colts

Andrew Luck is highly overrated, but the Colts defense should still be below average and we don't see much of a running game threat.  That adds up to lots of targets and Dorsett could be productive even as the third wide receiver on the Colts.  If Hilton or Moncrief get hurt Dorsett would have a high ceiling.  We like him as WR3/4 with major upside.

Nuk Hopkins- WR, Texans

Hopkins ended his short hold out, but he's still very unhappy and rightfully so. He's making less than Cecil Shorts and Will Fuller and with Brock Osweiler getting $18 million per year while Hopkins is earning $1.9, we expect Hopkins to miss some games with minor strains.

August 3, 2016

Bryce Petty- QB, Jets

Petty may be cut this pre-season.  He joins the extensive and long standing list of failed passing game draft picks by the Jets.  They have missed on every, and we mean every, pick in the passing game in the last fifteen years.   When your record is that bad it's not the player, it's the team. Geno Smith, Mark Sanchez and Petty at tosser, Stephen Hill, Devin Smith and Jeremy Kerley at wide receiver and Jace Amaro at tight end.  Their last good draft pick in the passing game was Santana Moss in 2001.

August 2, 2016

Matt Stafford- QB, Lions

Stafford had an interesting season in 2015.  It was his second best as a pro as he posted an impressive 4,262 yards and 32 TDs.  After new OC Jim Bob Cooter took over, Stafford posted a 110 passer rating over the second half of the season.  We're not big fans (in spite of attending his wedding rehearsal last year) but he could be a sneaky mid-round QB1 pick.

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

Kaepernick and Blame Gabbert are splitting first team reps.  The CK situation is a fascinating sociology experiment.  He and Andrew Luck have both played four seasons and CK has outperformed in nearly every barometer including regular season passer rating, post-season passer rating, post-season wins and completion percentage.  They are both coming off sub-par 2015 campaigns, yet Luck signed one of the largest deals in pro sports and CK is having to compete with Gabbert to even start. Things that make you go, hmm.

August 1, 2016

Davante Adams- WR, Packers

Remember him?  He's the guy who was being drafted in the 3-4 round last year in what was expected to be a break-out campaign.  Adams flopped, as did the entire Packers fantasy line-up including Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy and Randall Cobb.  We expect a bounce back from everyone but with Jorday Nelson returning Adams, who has reportedly looked good early in the pre-season, is no more than a fantasy WR3.

Carson Palmer- QB, Cardinals

Palmer is a tough evaluation.  He's coming off a career year at age 36.  It's his first 100+ passer rating in a decade, and only the second of his career.  Bruce Arians, however, is a masterclass in the passing game and Palmer has a wealth of weapons to work with.  We'd assume 4,300 yards, 30 TDs and a dozen interceptions and rank him accordingly.

Sterling Shepard- WR, Giants

There has been plenty of positive buzz about Shepard.  If he wins the slot job he's a startable receiver at probably a WR3.  Keep an eye and ear open this pre-season.

July 30, 2016

Joey Bosa- DE, Chargers

We've heard the rumors that Bosa is a free spirit, which is sometimes code for, "He's a nutter". He's had a bizarre off-season where he didn't test as well as expected and then shrugged it off as inconsequential. He's also the last unsigned first round pick.  We will keep tabs on him, but we're getting a high maintenance vibe.

July 28, 2016

Le'Veon Bell- RB, Steelers

The absolute stupidity of some NFL players is legendary.  Bell will miss the first four games of the season for missing several drug tests.  He says he's going to beat it (not that, but the suspension) but assuming he doesn't his draft position will be an interesting draft day dilemma.  He's probably still a second round pick even missing a third of the fantasy regular season.

July 26, 2016

Josh Gordon- WR, Browns

Talk about second chances.  This is Gordon's sixth second chance as the NFL announced he can return for week five.  This of course presumes that he doesn't test positive which is about a 50-50 wager.  If he returns, we expect him to be a borderline WR1 within a few weeks.  Where do you draft him?  I'd think maybe around round 10, but someone will try to be the smartest guy in the room and take him in round 6. Don't be that guy.

July 25, 2016

Dallas Cowboys Draft Board

Once again the Cowboys internal controls failed and their draft board has been exposed.  It was interesting to note that they had a number of safeties including Sean Davis and T.J. Green ranked much lower than where they were selected.  They also had most running backs ranked significantly higher than where they were drafted including Paul Perkins whom they had ranked 52nd overall though he was selected at pick number 149.

July 24, 2016

Jay Ajayi- RB, Dolphins

Even after the signing of Arian Foster, the Fins backfield is a bit of a quagmire.  Ajayi should be given the first crack at being the feature back, but he has issues (knee, fumblitis) and Foster could take some meaningful snaps from Ajayi, particularly around the goal-line.  Wherever you place Ajayi and Foster on your initial draft board, move them both back a round.

July 23, 2016

Shameless Winston- QB, Bucs

Shameless should be a solid fantasy starter in year two.  He has a number of potent weapons with Mike Evans and Doug Martin at the top of the list.  If he can improve even slightly on his TD numbers (he had 28 as a rookie) and drop a few interceptions he's a week in-week out starting tosser who probably won't be drafted in the top 8 rounds of most fantasy drafts.

July 22, 2016

Kevin White- WR, Bears

White has been getting rave reviews early in this off-season.  We loved him coming out of West Virginia, but temper your expectations.  Alshon Jeffrey is still the number one and Cutler has never in his ten year career thrown 30 touchdowns in a season.

May 28, 2016

Keyarris Garrett-  WR, Panthers

We haven't found out yet why Garrett slid in the draft.  We had the nation's leading receiver who is also a physical specimen as a first round talent, but he went undrafted and landed in a great place in Carolina.

May 26, 2016

Tom Brady- QB, Patriots

Brady has hired new counsel in an attempt to have his suspension overturned prior to the season starting.  The appeal's a longshot and it will likely have the effect of keeping his cheating ways in the news for another few months.  We have a scenario that we could see playing out in 2016: Jimmy Garoppolo starts the 4 games and looks great.  Brady comes back and plays well but doesn't like all this Garoppolo talk and tells Belicheat to trade Garoppolo, which they promptly do in the off-season to the Arizona Cardinals.

May 24, 2016

Keanu Neal- S, Falcons

We went back and watched the film to see if we could figure out why the Falcons liked Neal more than every other evaluator.  We watched the Alabama and Florida State games.  Based on those games, and I suppose he could have been much better in all his other games, he was undraftable.  He's a safety so he either needs to be a great tackler to be an in the box safety or great in coverage, and he's terrible at both.  He missed countless tackles in those games, only showing up occasionally to throw a shoulder into smaller guys. His coverage skills weren't any better.  Of his 4 career interceptions, at least two that we saw were tips.

May 22, 2016

Johnny Manziel- Tosser

How many kids have you known who grew up spoiled?  I've known plenty.  Their parents bought them Corvettes or Maseratis or Porshes.  They all turned out to be complete jerks or burnouts.  I don't really know any who ended up otherwise.  Money Manziel's friends and family are now speculating that not only will Manziel not be studying playbooks and preapring to a face the Benglas' defense in 2016, but that he might not live out the rest of the year.  He's the Veruca Salt of the NFL.  Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?  The mother and the father. 

May 20, 2016

Aaron Donald- DT, Rams

Donald finished as the highest rated player in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus.  Richie Incognito, famous for being the protagonist of Thus Spoke Incognito, finished as the 31st ranked player.

May 16, 2016

Over/Under Win Totals

Footballocks has posted their early over/under win totals.  Four teams, the Panthers, Steelers, Packers and Seahawks, are currently listed at 10.5.  They have the Broncos at 9.5 and the Raiders at 7.5.  We'd take the over on the Raiders and under on the Broncos.

May 13, 2016

Brandon Boykin-CB, FA

The mystery of Brandon Boykin continues. His first three years in the league he was one of the highest graded corners in the NFL. In 2015 he was traded to the Steelers who promptly planted him on the bench for most of the season.  Near the end of the year the Pittsburgh Gazette ran a fan poll and they overwhelmingly voted that he should be starting. The Steelers started him down the stretch and he played well.  The Steelers didn't re-sign him and though his "market value" should be in the $10 million per year range, he signed with the Panthers for $800,000 and they have already cut him.  Something major is happening off the field but there have never been any reports of him being suspended for any reason or any reports of him being difficult in the clubhouse.  It remains the Boykin mystery.

May 11, 2016

Ricardo Lockette-WR, Seahawks

Lockette, one of our original Matriculator Six alums, retired this week after a neck injury he suffered in November.  He played in two Super Bowls and had catches in both.  He's a great trivia question answer to, "Who was the intended target for Russell Wilson's infamous pass that Malcom Butler intercepted?"

May 8, 2016

Keanu Neal- S, Falcons

The Falcons have proven for years that they are one of the worst front offices in the NFL, yet year after year they try to prove they're smarter than everyone in the room.  This year they drafted a 3rd-4th round safety with the 17th pick because he met Thomas Dimitroff's metrics.  He can't cover and he's not a reliable tackler, but he looks great in shorts.  They did the same thing in round two with linebacker Deion Jones and then went on to reach for Devondre Campbell.  In the sixth round they drafted  a guard named Wes Schweitzer who was one of the few prospects ESPN didn't have video tape prepared for.  He wasn't listed anywhere near a draftable prospect by any of the scouting services. 

May 4, 2016

Washington Jewskins

The racist Redskins francise has a new name here at Matriculator headquarters.  It's the Jewskins.  We think the name is offensive and racist, but the Redskins jewish owner, Daniel Snyder, doesn't.

May 2, 2016

Ezekiel Elliot- RB, Cowboys

Elliot will be a huge success in Dallas, but with so many needs on defense he was a questionable choice at #4.  Rumor has it that their second round pick may be a tosser and if that's the case they will have major problems stopping opposing team's offenses.

May 1, 2016

Myles Jack- LB, Jaguars

The Jags have hit a home run this off-season, using their free agent money and draft picks to make tremendous improvements to their defense.  Jack could become one of the best players in the draft if he's healthy, Jalen Ramsey will start immediately, and we wouldn't be surprised to see later round picks Sheldon Day and Tyrone Holmes log snaps this seasosn.  We also like Brandon Allen as a late round back-up tosser with some upside.

April 30, 2016

Laremy Tunsil- OT, Dolphins

Tunsil just re-wrote the book on how the best player in the draft can slip out of the top ten.  Chapter one: accept improper benefits and tell the media.  Chapter two: hang out with Robert Nkemdiche.  Chapter three: beat up your step dad.  Chapter four: an hour before the draft  have someone tweet a picture of you with a gas mask on smoking some weed.   If we only knew the ending to his book.Undecided

Germain Ifedi- OT, Seahawks

The Seahawks took Ifedi with the final pick in the first round.  He's the prototype Tarzan/Jane prospect.  At some point NFL GMs will figure out that testing and measurables are irrelevant if the guy isn't good at football.  Ifedi isn't good.  Jeff Ireland is slowly dragging the Seahawks down.

April 29, 2016

Jaylon Smith- LB, Notre Dame

Smith is still listed by nearly every pundicator as a top 30 player in their rankings.  Newsflash: You have to take injuries into account when ranking a player.  We understand this shocking news to some.  Smith will almost certainly miss his entire rookie season and there is a question about whether he will play again and if he does how effective he will be.

Leonard Floyd- DE, Georgia

He's one of the toughest evaluations in the draft because he hasn't been an elite pass rusher in college, but is being projected as such.  He reminds us of a combination of Bruce Irvin, Marcus Smith, Dion Jordan and Dee Ford.  Irvin is the only one who has developed into an every down player and he's only average. Floyd leaves Georgia with only 17 sacks in three years so he either wasn't used properly and Mark Richt was a huge moron, and there's a valid argument there, or Floyd simply isn't that good.  He's bulked up to 244 pounds which should help him, but that's still light to be a 4-3 end and hold up versus the run. As a 3-4 OLB we think he could be an elite pass rusher so it depends which team drafts him as to how well he produces at the next level.

New York Giants

As if sending in a double agent wasn't enough, the Giants have sent up a secret satellite and a massive smoke screen.  The latest from "Giants sources" is that they are locked in to drafting an offensive tackle.  Last year they took Erick Flowers with the 9th overall pick so this information might be coming from a double agent.  A single agent would never spread such non-sense. We have also heard that they are locked in to Leonard Floyd in spite of paying a pass rusher over $50 million in the off-season and resigning Fireworks Pierre-Paul.  Could be that satellite sending false info?  Finally there is a report that they have removed Myles Jack from their board.  Jack happens to be the best player in the Giants position of need.  That could be the smoke screen.

April 28, 2016

Tom Brady- Tosser, Patriots

Brady and the Pats continue to make headlines for all of the wrong reasons, with the NFL prevailing in their appeal and Brady's suspension being upheld.  The Pats continue to disgrace the game and still, after nearly a half of a century, haven't won a championship in which they didn't admit to cheating.

Joe Thuney- G, N.C. State

Thuney is projected to be drafted in the middle rounds, but he's going to be our top ranked interior offensive lineman.  He's played guard, but in 2015 he was the Wolfpack's left tackle and performed well. He's slightly bigger than Cody Whitehair (6'5", 304 versus 6'4', 301) but he's faster (4.95 versus 5.08) and significantly stronger (28 reps versus 16 reps).  As a "move" guard he will develop into a starter in short order.

Christian Hackenberg-QB, Penn State

In this week's news of the bizzaro, there is a report that the Bills are considering taking Hackenberg, who isn't in anybody's top 100 players, with the 19th pick.  The new Bills owner Terry Pegula is a Penn State grad, so it makes perfect sense,  just no common sense.

Miami Dolphins

We have learned how to prepare for the unexpected.  Our coping skills, and we've had to use them extensively the last decade, have improved greatly.  What we do now is decide what would make no sense and presume the Dolphins will do that so we won't be shocked and upset when it happens.  So here's what the Fins shouldn't do tomorrow: Trade up for a running back, select unproductive but athletic guys like Leonard Floyd, draft Taylor Decker, or Mackensie Alexander or Eli Apple or Darron Lee.

April 28, 2016

Black Prescott- QB, Mississippi State

Prescott isn't listed in anybody's top 100 players.  CBS has him listed at 143 and PFF ranked him at 221.  PFF's write up said he possessed "every" characteristic you look for in a tosser with the exception of accuracy.  Everything else: size, arm strength, leadership, running ability, pocket presence, jine se qua. Just that darn accuracy.  His completion percentage the past two seasons in the conference that boasts about half of the NFL caliber defensive players in college football, was 64 percent.  For comparison's sake, in conferences with far less NFL talent, the three projected first round tossers posted 63 (Wentz), 65 (Lynch) and 63 (Goff).  We can't figure out for the life of us why Black Prescott isn't in the discussion with Wentz and Goff as the number one pick. 

April 27, 2016

Josh Norman-CB, Redskins

Norman is a very good player, but paying massive quid to a free agent almost never works.  It's what bad organizations do, and the Redskins certainly qualify as a bad organization.

Su'a Cravens- LB/S, USC

Cravens is one of a number of excellent hybrid prospects in the 2016 draft.  He has the speed of a linebacker but the instincts of a safety.  If he is used properly at the next level he could be a star in the Deone Buchanon mold.  If he stays strictly at safety he may struggle at times.  Our philosophy on hybrids is that no team should have two hybrids starting, but every team needs to have one.  They are valuable chess pieces.

Will Fuller- WR, Notre Dame

Since our inception, we average about one first round wide reciever per year that we have more highly rated than where they are picked, and one that we have ranked lower than where they are picked. This year the player we don't have as highly ranked is Fuller.  The 4 players taken in the top 35 whom we didn't have graded in our rankings were John Baldwin, AJ Jenkins, Brian Quick and Justin Hunter.  We were right about all of them.  The players we had ranked as first rounders who were drafted much later than our evaluation were Randall Cobb, Donte Moncrief, TY Hilton, Deandre Hopkins, Stephen Hill, Cody Latimer and last year Darren Waller.  Hill injured his knee in both of his first two seasons and again last year in training camp. Waller as a rookie in 2015 suffered a concussion and then a hamstring injury and was placed on IR midway through the season. Latimer is sitting behind two Pro Bowlers in Denver. Three of our other four have established themselves as Pro Bowlers and Donte Moncrief may join them this year.

April 26, 2016

Jason Spriggs- OT, Indiana

Spriggs is one of the players who isn't in anyone's top 50 list who we think will be a first round pick.  After the top three tackles (and maybe Taylor Decker) he's the most talented left tackle prospect available.  With the Seahawks, Broncos, Chiefs and Steelers near the end of the first round all in need of a tackle we would be surprised if Spriggs doesn't get a look.

April 25, 2016

Ryan Fitzpatrick- QB, Jets

Fitzpatrick is coming off his best year as a pro and he wants big money to sign with the Jets.  Credit the Jets front office who haven't given in.  He's 33 and has no leverage.  No other team that isn't planning on drafting a tosser is in need (we assume the Broncos will have Kaepernick by draft day) and even the Jets can draft a tosser, sign Brian Hoyer or trade for Mike Glennon.

April 24, 2016

Hassan Ridgeway- DT, Texas

Ridgeway is getting lost in a deep class of defensive tackles, but he should be in the discussion after the first round.  He's 6'3", 303 and he posted a 5.01 forty and 32-inch vertical.  He also produced 92 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks in the past two years.

April 23, 2016

Josh Norman-CB, Free Agent

In a bit of a shocker, the Panthers rescinded Norman's franchise tag making him a free agent. He's one of the more talented corners in the NFL and this must have been for off the field stuff. He's a nutter, but he will sign a massive deal in the next few days.

April 22, 2016

Philadelphia Eagles

Remember that bear scene in The Revenant? That's the image I had of the Eagles after learning that they traded two firsts, a second and third round pick to move up from 8 to 2 in the first round.  Giving up a king's ransom when your still paying Throwcahontas millions?

April 20, 2016

Kevin Byard-S, Middle Tennessee St.

Byard joins a deep safety class, the best class we've scouted in the past five years.  He's 5'11", 216 and he's an elite athlete posting a 4.44 forty, a 38-inch vertical and 22 reps of 225.  He's backed that up with 19 interceptions and over 300 career tackles. We expect him to sneak into the 2nd round.

April 19, 2016

Brian Hoyer- QB, Free Agent

Hoyer was released by the Texans, who signed Brock Osweiler to a big money deal. The Texans may have cut their best tosser.  Hoyer is 15-11 playing mostly for a terrible Browns team. He has a career 82 passer rating while Osweiler has an 86 in his limited starts.

April 18, 2016

Colin Kaepernick-QB, 49ers

In Kaepernick's 4 seasons he's had a better passer rating than Andrew Luck in three and a better career passer rating.  He also has a better career post-season passer rating and has been to two more conference championships and one more Super Bowl.  They both stunk last year, though Kaepernick's passer rating was better than Lucks.  In spite of this, there is talk of Luck becoming one of the highest paid players in the NFL while teams won't give up a third round pick for Kaepernick.  Things that make you go, hmm.

April 17, 2016

Johnny Manziel-QB, Free Agent

Manziel continues to pile on to his reputation as one of the most simple minded, childish human beings to ever grace, though ever so briefly, the NFL.  He's decided to move in with Josh Gordon who has broken the NFL record for most positive drug tests.  Manziel continues to argue that NFL teams shouldn't be concerned that he has the mind of a 10 year old, but they apparently do.

April 16, 2016

Carson Wentz, QB, S. Dakota St.

The Rams and Titans pulled off a blockbuster trade, with the Rams sending pick number 15, two second rounders and a third this year and a first and third next year for the number one overall pick.  We assume the Rams want Wentz.  We suspect the Titans will package some of those picks to move back up (maybe around the 6th pick) to take Ronnie Stanley.

April 15, 2016

Jayron Kearse-S, Clemson

Kearse is a difficult prospect to evaluate. His cousin and uncle were both stars in the NFL and he has freakish traits (6'4", 216, 4.60 forty) for a safety.  He finished his three years with 7 interceptions and at times looked like the dominant player on the field.  Unfortunately there are many other times when he disappears and/or looks disinterested. He's a third round type with with a high ceiling and a low floor.

April 13, 2016

Matriculator Six

Every year we select 16 players drafted after the third round who we think will become successful NFL players.  The average "hit" rate for an NFL scouting department is 1.5-2 per 16 players drafted after the third round. Our 2015 Matriculator class is shaping up as another historic draft evauation.  Included in our class were two players who started for Super Bowl teams Darryl Williams who started the Super Bowl at tackle for the Panthers and Max Garcia who started five games for the Super Bowl champion Broncos.  Jamison Crowder had 59 catches for 604 yards, Adrian Amos started all sixteen games for the Bears at safety, cornerbacks Josh Shaw and Damian Swann logged a significant number of plays (Swann had two starts) and Jay Ajayi accounted for 277 yards from scrimmage after recovering from an injury and is slated to be the Dolphins starting tailback in 2016.  Justin Hardy and Grady Jarrett (24 tackles, sack) played significant snaps for the Falcons. 

April 11, 2016

Mohamed Sanu- WR, Falcons

Thomas Dimitroff is one on the most inept personnel men in the NFL.  How he still has a job only Arthur Blank knows.  He followed up one of the better moves of his career (signing Alex Mack) with a complete klunker in Sanu, whom the Falcons gave $14 million guaranteed.  Sanu's best year in his four seasons in a high octane offense was 759 yards and 5 TDs.  He's a number three receiver who does cool tricks on Youtube, yet he received the second highest contract for a wide receiver this free agency period.

April 9, 2016

Malcolm Mitchell-WR, Georgia

Mitchell came to Georgia as a five-star prospect and showed flashes of that when he wasn't injured.  He's explosive and slightly built (190 lbs) and reminds us of Will Fuller but with a significant injury history.

April 7, 2016

Darian Thompson-S, Boise St.

The 2016 safety class is strong and Thompson with his 19 career interceptions should be a solid day two selection.  He has good size (6'2", 208) and great hands which should make up for his average athleticism.

April 5, 2016

Joey Bosa- DE, Ohio State

Bosa played three games against future NFL caliber tackles: Notre Dame, Michigan State and Indiana.  He produced 0 sacks in those games.  Just sayin'

April 3, 2016

Andrew Billings- DT, Baylor

It's a deep class of interior linemen, and we have Billings near the top of our list. He generated 19.5 sacks/TFLs last year and is equally impressive against the run.

April 1, 2016

Robert Nkemdiche-DT, Ole Miss

We aren't giving out many of our draft evaluations until after the draft, but here's our opinion on Nkemdiche.  When we watched him live, he was generally dominant.  His tape is inconsistent because he admittedly took plays off.  In three seasons he only posted 81 tackles, 16 TFL and 6 sacks.  Those are typically numbers of someone who is an undrafted free agent.  He's mucch better than that, but when you factor in his major off field concerns and the fact that he threw his teammate under the bus for no reason (he said Laremy Tunsil was with him on the night when Nkemdiche famously jumped from a hotel window after smoking synthetic pot), we wouldn't take him the top 50.

March 25, 2016

Robert Griffin, III- QB, Browns

Griffin has arrived in the tosser graveyard of Cleveland, Ohio.  He's guaranteed $6 million and will likely be competing with Jared Goff or Carson Wentz.  We don't know whether injuries have taken too much of a toll on RG3 or not, but we know it's almost impossible to succeed when your top two receivers are Taylor Gabriel and Terelle Pryor.  Ouch.

March 23, 2016

Jameis Winston- QB, Buccaneers

Is there a parallel football universe where games have been played that we missed?  Today we heard someone on sports talk radio and on BSPN refer to Jameis Winston as a great pick last year.  They can't be talking about the regular season, so we're trying to figure out what they were watching.  Winston's first year was bad.  It wasn't catastrophically bad, like draft another tosser, but it was bad however you slice it. He was throwing to two Pro Bowl caliber receivers and he had the second best running back in the NFC.  In spite of that he finished near the bottom of the league in passer rating (28th), he had a terrible 58% completion percentage. His TD to interception ratio was only slightly over 1/1.  Mariota, by comparison, finished in the middle of the pack in passer rating in spite of a terrible receiving corps and virtually no running game. He also posted a 62% completion rate and a 2/1 TD to interception ratio.  They weren't in the same ball park as rookies, yet suddenly everyone seems to be rewriting Winston's rookie season into something great.

March 22, 2016

Malik Jackson- DT, Jaguars

Two teams seemed to have figured out the blueprint for success, and shockingly the Jaguars are one of them.  They have a relatively inexpensive young tosser and they are throwing all of their money to build a stout defense.  They also invested in Chris Ivory to pair with T.J. Yeldon.  Most of the recent Super Bowl winning teams have done it through great defense and a solid run game and the Jaguars and Raiders seem to be following that model.

March 21, 2016

Olivier Vernon- DE, Giants

The Giants gave Vernon one of the largest contracts in NFL history, guaranteeing over $50 million.  He would need to produce 15 sacks per year to earn that type of money.  The Giants are about to be very disappointed.

March 20, 2016

Boston Pity Party

The Wah-wahs continue to wail.  Robert Kraft, Patriots owner and vanguard of cheaters everywhere, is pulling a Pete Rose.  Remember when Rose wrecked the integrity of the game, agreed to a lifetime ban, then asked for the ban that he agreed to to be rescinded?  Enter Kraft, who agreed on behlaf of his team of con artists and snake oil salesmen that the Patriots would lose their first round pick as punishment for their transgressions, but now wants it back.  He sent a "strongly worded" letter to Goodell which met with a failed long distance shot into Goodell's wastebasket.  Cool

March 18, 2016

Mike Glennon- QB, Buccaneers

Glennon has the same passer rating in 18 starts as Brock Osweiler.  Teams could get Glennon for a 7th round pick and he's dirt cheap, yet Osweiler gets $72 million? The Matriculator, Jr. says Osweiler will be the Kevin Kolb.  We'll get back to you in 12 months.

March 15, 2016

Jon Cooper- G, Patriots

The Pats traded their most feared pass rusher Chandler Jones for Cooper and a second round pick. It's an interesting deal that probably wouldn't have happened had the Pats not lost their first round pick for cheating.  They are now relying on Jabaal Sheard to be their top pass rusher.

March 11, 2016

Brandon Boykin-CB, Free Agent

Boykin will likely end up as our top free agent of the 2016 class.  He has graded out consistently better than the corners who have recently signed for $10-12 million per year and, for reasons that boggle the mind, he will likely sign for much less.  Last season in Pittsburgh the the Steelers inexplicably didn't play him until the local paper did a poll indicating that the fans overwhelmingly wanted him to start.  When he enterd the starting line-up the Steelers pass defense improved markedly.

March 8, 2016

Jared Goff- QB, Cal

We have decided we will not be releasing our draft rankings until the day after the draft.  Our board has proven to be significantly better than all 32 NFL teams over the past 5 seasons and we figure it's too valuable to give up before draft day.  We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause some NFL scouting departments.

March 6, 2016

Brock Osweiler- QB, Broncos

Word on the street is that Osweiler might get $15-20 million per year as a free agent.  The guy had 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in his 7 starts this year.  He's not bad, but if you want to know what happens to teams that pay average tossers big money check out the Bears, Lions, Dolphins, Eagles, 49ers, etc.

March 4, 2016

Dolphins Leper Colony

The Dolphins have joined the Eagles and 49ers as the NFL's big jokes.  But how did the dysfunctional Eagles convince the Dolphins to take guy who was terrible in 2015, makes $10 million a year and reportedly can't do a push up because of shoulder injury?  And better yet, let's dump off another guy who has injured his ACL the past two seasons.  And the Eagles moved up in the first round for that?  It is one of the worst trades in NFL history by an organization that is the laughing stock of the league.  Good thing I'm no longer a fan, now I can really make fun of them.

March 2, 2016

Keleche Osemele- G/T, Ravens

Osemele is our top free agent and it's not really close.  The idea that a number of free agents will earn more than Osemele is preposterous.  For all of the talk of a dearth of pass rushers, take a look at the current roster of starting left tackles.  He's arguably the best offensive lineman in the NFL and he can play guard or tackle.  He was a PFF All-Pro in 2014, a starter in the Super Bowl winning team in 2012 as a rookie, and he's only 26 years old.

February 28, 2016

Sam Bradford- QB, Eagles

The now decade long Bradford joke continues.  It is uncanny how bad NFL front offices and the media are.  After another failure of a season in 2015, Bradford signed another franchise quarterback contract.  Heath Evans on the NFL Network kept referring to Bradford as a franchise quarterback.  How do these people have jobs?  Bradford was one of the NFL's worst passers again in 2015 posting 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in Chip Kelly's high octane offense. For his career he's 25-37 and has 78 touchdowns and 52 interceptions.  Those are barely back-up tosser numbers.  He's also missed significant parts of three seasons. How that's a franchise quarterback only Heath Evans knows.

February 24, 2016

Charles Johnson- DE, Panthers

Somebody is about to get paid. Johnson was released by the Panthers and he may become one of the highest paid players in the NFL in the coming weeks. He's coming off of an injury plagued 2015, but in the 5 previous seasons he has had 8.5 or more sacks every year. He's only 29 and we're guessing he approaches $100 million in a contract with $30-40 million guaranteed.

February 20, 2016

Connor Cook- QB, Michigan State

It will be an interesting few months for Cook who certainly has the ability to be an NFL tosser but will be answering questions about why he wasn't selected as the team's captain this year.

February 13, 2016

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

Manning completed a historically bad season with one of the worst winning performances in Super Bowl history.  Of course his terrible passer rating in Super Bowl 50 wasn't much different than his terrible 2006 when the Colts won the Super Bowl in spite of him posting a passer rating below 80 in three of their four post-season wins that year.  He's the anti-athlete who was at his worst when it mattered and that will be his legacy, along with a bunch of meaningless regular season records.

February 9, 2016

Lavonte David- LB, Buccaneers

Ask most people who is the better linebacker drafted in 2012, Luke Keuchly or Lavonte David, and most people will ask, "Who is Lavonte David?" Once again in 2015 they were neck and neck, though David was slightly better again statistically. David had 29 more tackles, 2 more sacks, 3 more passes defensed and one more fumble recovery than Keuchly in 2015.  Over their career, they've played the same number of games and David has 6 more sacks, 5 more forced fumbles and 2 more passes defensed.

February 6, 2016

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

This will be one of the more interesting off-seasons ever as it relates to quarterbacks.  There are a number of tossers who were considered premier young quarterbacks a few years ago who have thrown up major question marks including Aaron Rodgers, Kaepernick, Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck.  Young quarterbacks who received big money deals: Matt Stafford, Jay Cutler and Ryan Tannehill are exactly what we thought they were!  The sound and fury boys.  The great white nopes.  Philip Rivers, Peyton, Carson Palmer and Drew Brees are high priced tossers closing in rapidly on retirement.  Jameis Winston was generally bad as a rookie and Blake Bortles looks like the second coming of Matt Stafford, and that ain't good.  Are Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick really that good?  It should be a juicy off-season.

February 4, 2016

Sheldon Rankins- DT, Louisville

We are very early in the scouting process, but Rankins has been one of the best players we've seen to date.  He's a poor man's Aaron Donald and will probably crack our top ten when all is said and done.

February 1, 2016

Nick Arbuckle- QB, Georgia State

We mentioned Arbuckle early this year.  He's a relative unknown, but we think he's a better pro prospect than everyone's new first round darling Carson Wentz. Wentz reminds us of a cross between Blake Bortles and Ryan Tannehill. Arbuckle played on a terrible Georgia State team that had posted a 1-22 record in the two years before he arrived.  Before matriculating to Georgia State he had been at Pierce College in California breaking JUCO records.  He threw 40 touchdowns in 2012 at Pierce.  After suffering through a 1-11 record his first year at Georgia State, he led the team to their first ever bowl appearance in 2015.  Along the way he produced the best game for any college tosser in 2015 versus Oregon, at Oregon.  He was under seige the entire game from Oregon's hordes of NFL defensive linemen, and he still dominated, completing 25-35 passes (with 4 drops) and posting 4 touchdowns. He went to Georgia Southern and handed them the worst home loss in the history of the program. He never had 45 attempts in a game in 2015, yet he produced yardage totals of 372, 394, 412, 390, 471, 346 and 368.  He's 6'1", 215 with an NFL arm, off the chart pocket awareness and moxy to burn.  We'd draft him in the first round and expect him to be a starter in 2017.  Of course he's ranked 33rd among quarterback prospects so he will likely never get a chance on an NFL team.

January 17, 2016

Jarvis Landry- WR, Dolphins

One of the few bright spots for the Fins, Landry is now the NFL's all-time leader in receptions for a player in his first two seasons.  Rookie DeVante Parker had 200 yards receiving in the final two games, giving the Fins an impressive young receiving tandem.

January 15, 2016

Cam Newton- QB, Panthers

5 seasons ago in Newton's Law we dubbed Cam Newton the greatest NFL prospect ever.  We were correct.  Two years ago we dubbed Aaron Donald the greatest defensive prospect in a decade in Don't Duck Donald. We were also correct. 2015 is the single greatest performance for a quarterback in NFL history.  The Panthers are one of the least talented teams in the NFL, particularly on offense, and Newton accounted for 45 tocuhdowns.  The Vegas pundicators aren't usually far off on their over/under win totals.  They had the Panthers at 8.5 and with a historically bad receiving corps he won 15 games. In 2013 the over/under on the Panthers was 7 and Cam led them to 12 wins and a first round bye.  There is no tosser in NFL history who could have come remotely close to that.  He's generated an incredible 32 touchdowns per year his first 5 years and is the first player in NFL history who is truly a one man gang.

January 3, 2016

Blake Bortles- QB, Jaguars

We had a heated debate in Fin Cavious Maximus about Blake Bortles.  Several were of the opinion that he had earned his first round draft status this year with his 30+ TDs and 4,000 plus yards passing.  People need to seperate fantasy from reality.  He's been money as a fantasy tosser, but in real life he's been below average.   Sunday's game versus the Saints was his season in a nutshell.  The Jaguars fell behind early and Bortles had a monster (meaningless) second half against a prevent defense.  In spite of regularly playing against a prevent defense, he currently sits at 22nd in passer rating, hovering around the Ryan Tannehill's and Jameis Winston's of the world.

January 1, 2016

Doug Baldwin- WR, Seahawks

Baldwin is, somewhat under the radar, having a tremendous season.  He's already eclipsed 1,000 yards and doesn't have 100 targets.  He's caught an incredible 73 of his 97 targets and has an NFL leading 14 touchdowns.  We still don't see him as an elite number one, but he's been one of the main reasons for the Seahawks success in 2015.

December 29, 2015

Todd Gurley- RB, Rams

Gurley has run away with the Rookie of the Year Award in spite of a strong first season from Amari Cooper.  Michael Bennett, the highly talented but not very intelligent end for the Seahawks, said that Gurley was only average after Gurley ran over their vaunted defense.  What is it with players criticizing the NFL's best players lately?  Gurley is the best back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson.  He's a one man offense who often can't be stopped even when defenses focus on him.  He's got over 1,100 yards (in spite of missing the first two games) and 10 TDs.  If he stays healthy the next few years he should become a superstar.

December 27, 2015

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

To say it's been a horrible year for the Dolphins would be an understatement.  Tannehill has always been what we said he would be, a mediocre NFL tosser.  Unfortunately, the Dolphins could have selected Russell Wilson (remember we had him a first rounder and Tannehill as a second rounder) and changed the course of their franchise for the next decade. Brent Grimes wife continues to bash Tannehill on social media, creating what has to be a horrible locker room culture.  The issue, however, is not Tannehill, it's the organization who not only botched the draft pick, but then compounded the error by paying him franchise money.

December 26, 2015

Aaron Donald- DT, Rams

Donald locked up the Defensive Player of the Year award this week, though in reality the race was probably over.  He was once again the highest graded player in the NFL at any position.  He's the NFL's best player with Cam Newton still hot on his heels.

December 22, 2015

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks

Wilson and Cam continue to slug it out in the MVP race, with Tom Brady still in the mix.  Wilson is now the NFL leader in passer rating while Cam is an incredible 8th with a historically bad receiving corps.  Wilson now has enough passes to qualify for career passer rating and he is second only to Aaron Rodgers.

December 21, 2015

C.J. Anderson-RB, Broncos

Winter's not coming, it's here.  And the sun's not yellow, it's chicken.  With the cold weather moving in, first round busts Eddie Lacy and C.J. Anderson are trying to save their fantasy name.  Both have had their best games in the past two weeks and should be serviceable RB2s down the stretch.

December 19, 2015

Rex Ryan-HC, Bills

The Bills have a solid running game, a stacked defense and a good tosser, yet Rex continues to find ways to lose.  The Bills are undisciplined and will continue to flounder until they rid themselves of Rex.

December 17, 2015

Reshad Jones- CB, Dolphins

Jones, the NFL's best safety, was snubbed again for the Pro Bowl.  We love Tyrann Mathieu and Charles Woodson is headed to the Hall of Fame, but Jones is better than both of them.  He's the leading tackler in the NFL among safeties and has 5 inteceptions and 2 TDs.

December 15, 2015

Brandon Boykin- CB, Steelers

The Steelers continue to fan the flames of one of the more bizarre story lines of the season.  They have one of the worst secondaries in the NFL, yet they rarely play one of the NFL's best cornerbacks who they traded for in the offseason.  Boykin saw his most extensive playing time this weekend and had one of the Steelers highest graded games of the season for their secondary at +2.7.  The only explanation we can come up with for his lack of playing time, and it's far fetched, is that they aren't playing him to keep his value down so they can sign him cheap this off season.  If Pittsburgh doesn't make the playoffs, they can look to Boykin's lack of playing time as the main reason,

December 13, 2015

Khalil Mack- DE, Raiders

Mack posted one of the best games ever for a pass rusher, notching 5 sacks and almost single handedly winning the game for the Raiders.  The Raiders are thanking their lucky stars that the Texans drafted Jadeveon Clowney instead.

December 10, 2015

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Ryan has quickly devolved into one of the NFL's worst quarterbacks.  There is a reason you don't give mega contracts to guys with one career playoff victory.  This is it.  The Falcons are stuck.  They can't trade Ryan and they probably have to give him at least one more year before they cut him because of his salary.  One of our pre-season over/under picks, we had the Falcons under 8.5.  When they started 5-0 we were concerned, but not anymore.

December 6, 2015

Jameis Winston-QB, Buccaneers

Shameless had the best game of his career, throwing 5 TDs with no interceptions versus the hapless Eagles pass defense.  He's becoming fantasy relevant and the Bucs are playing much better over the past month.

December 5, 2015

Cam Newton-QB, Panthers

Were it not for Ted Ginn dropping two routine 50 yard touchdown passes, Cam would have had an entrant into the greatest quarterbacking game in NFL history this week as the Panthers came from behind several times to push their record to 12-0.  There is no quarterback who has ever played who could have gone 12-0 with that group.  Cam isn't a once in a lifetime player, he's a once in forever player.

December 3, 2015

Andy Dalton- QB, Bengals

So far, so good for Dalton, who leads the NFL in passer rating and has guided the Bengals to a 10-2 record.  This is normally the time he has shown chinks in the armor, so we'll see what happens in the next few weeks.  If Dalton can lead the Bengals to a bye and an appearance in the NFC Championship game, that would end at least some of the talk of his late season limitations.

December 2, 2015

Marcus Mariota-QB, Titans

People love to ask the question, "If you were starting a team today, who would you take?"  If you are looking at a five year window, Mariota would have to be in the top 5.  He'd be ahead of Brady and Palmer because of their age.  The list would probably be 1. Cam Newton 2. Russell Wilson 3. Ben Roethlisberger (33 years old) 4. Aaron Rodgers (32 years old) and then Mariota.  Mariota, whose leading receiver is tight end Delanie Walker, has a top 12 passer rating, hovering right behind Rodgers, Brees and Rivers. Factor in Mariota's running, and he's been significantly better than those three.  It's a small sample size, but he's been special on a bad team.  In his ten starts he's posted two 350+ yard games, two 4 touchdown games and a 100-yard rushing game.

November 30, 2015

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Tannehill is doing what he's done his entire career, so naturally the Dolphins fire their offensive coordinator.  In the past two games Tannehill hasn't produced a point in the first half.  He continues to throw a high number of interceptions, and looks clueless in the pocket.  NFL front offices continue to throw huge dollars at mediocre tossers like Tannehill, Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler and Matt Stafford.  We've said for years that the pocket passer (unless he cheats) is a thing of the past, but most GMs haven't figured it out yet.   Most of the NFL's best passers can move including Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Tyrod Taylor and Cam Newton. 

November 29, 2015

Seth Roberts- WR, Raiders

Roberts drew rave reviews during the pre-season, but hadn't done much in his first year until this week when he posted his first 100-yard game and first 2 TD game.  In his last 5 games he's caught 13-18 targets and he's averaged 18.8 YPC or better in four of those five games.  He's a player to watch, but with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree he probably won't see a high volume of targets on a consistent basis.

November 28, 2015

Max Garcia-G, Broncos

You might be surprised that the star of the upset of the undefeated Patriots was a rookie 4th round guard making his first NFL start.  We weren't.  He was number one on our 2015 Matriculator Six.  He was the highest graded lineman and the second highest graded Broncos player according to PFF.

November 27, 2015

Eddie Lacy-RB, Packers

Lacy, who was probably on most fantasy team benches, finally had a decent game with a 100-yard effort versus the Vikings. Unfortunatley, the old addage better late than never doesn't apply when your first round pick doesn't produce until week 11. Lacy still looks overweight, but he might be usable as the tundra in Green Bay freezes.

November 26, 2015

Reshad Jones- S, Dolphins

One of the few bright spots in another wash-out of a season for the Dolphins, Jones has become the NFL's best safety.  He's fourth in the NFL in tackles and has 2 sacks, 3 interceptions and two touchdowns.

November 25, 2015

Deandre Hopkins- WR, Texans

Hopkins continues to dominate with a string of bad tossers.  For our money he's the best receiver in the NFL, with all due respect to Antonio Brown.  Brown did nothing when Ben was out, while Hopkins continues to post huge games no matter who is under center.  He's another feather in our best NFL draft scout in the world cap as we had him ranked 10th, but he wasn't drafted until pick 27.

Novemeber 24, 2015

Johnny Manziel- QB, Browns

Manziel was videotaped partying during the bye week and has been demoted to third string.  He's a mental midget who might have the talent but undoubtedly does not have the discipline necessary to be an NFL quarterback.

November 23, 2015

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Ryan is what we thought he was, a decent tosser.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Without the best receiving corps in the game (that he's had for the past 4-5 years) he's looking very ordinary.  The Falcons have played an easy schedule and have lost 4 straight.  On a Hail Mary at the end of the game Ryan gave it all he had and only threw the ball 50 yards.  He is highly overrated and highly overpaid, and if his arm strength slips the Falcons are in for a long few years.

November 22, 2015

Thomas Rawls- RB, Seahawks

A month or so ago when we said Rawls was better than Marshawn Lynch, people said we were wacky.  After his 209 yard thrashing of the 49ers, people are now seeing the light.  It's his third 100-plus performance in 4 starts.

November 21, 2015

Johnny Manziel-QB, Browns

The Browns have announced Foolsball is their tosser for the remainder of the season.  Translated into English, that means he's the starter until he has a bad game or two.

November 20, 2015

Demaryius Thomas- WR, Broncos

Interestingly enough, we're not sure the transition from Peyton Manning to Brock Osweiler will hurt Thomas' value as much as some people think.  Osweiler has a much better arm than Manning and while the number of targets for DT may go down, he may have more explosive plays.

November 19, 2015

Charcandrick West- RB, Chiefs

West is now the top fantasy scoring running back for the past three games.  He's only $4,500 in Draftkings and will surely be owned by a near record percentage of Draft Kingslayers.

November 18, 2015

Doug Baldwin- WR, Seahawks

Death, taxes and the Wildling pick.  We have now hit on our pick all 5 weeks since beginning the Wilding, with none of our players below 19.9 points.  Last week Baldwin was our selection.  He was coming off weeks of 5.3, 3.9 and 6.5 but we went heavy with him. He posted a season high 29.2 and won us lots of money.

November 17, 2015

Andy Dalton-QB, Bengals

Like clockwork, every November Andy Dalton and the Bengals start to slide.  In 2012 Dalton had 4 tds and 5 ints down the stretch and in 2014 he had 7/7.  In his last three games he's had 3/3.  He will usually have a big game thrown in the middle somewhere but his yearly run as an elite fantasy tosser is behind him.

November 16, 2015

Dez Bryant- WR, Cowboys

Romo is back and the Cowboys are playing a banged up Dolphins defense.  We expect Dez to have his breakout game this week.

Marcus Mariota- QB, Titans

Mariota continues to impress, leading a late comeback/overtime win.  Mariota is the first tosser in NFL history to post two 4 touchdown/0 interception games in his  rookie year.

November 14, 2015

D.J. Hayden- CB, Raiders

The Raiders are on the verge, with one of the most talented young rosters in the NFL.  They have major problems in the defensive backfield with Hayden the primary culprit.  Look for the Raiders to add some young secondary pieces in the 2016 draft and free agency and be ready to compete for a playoff spot next year.

November 12, 2015

Frank Gore- RB, Colts

Gore is quietly coming on strong after his early season fumbling problems.  He's rushed for 70+ yards in 5 of his last 7 games and he's now 7th in the NFL in rushing yards.

November 10, 2015

Legarrette Blount- RB, Patriots

With Dion Lewis out for the year, Blount should have some huge games down the stretch.  We expect Brandon Bolden to have several big games also, but guessing which weeks is futile with Belicheat in charge.

November 9, 2015

Charcandrick West- RB, Chiefs

Ask someone who the top three fantasy scoring running backs are for the past two weeks (byes excluded) and everyone will get Todd Gurley correct.  Deangelo Williams will also be a popular guess, but Charcandrick West is the other player in that group.  He's still under $5,000 in Draftkings and he's a solid value, even versus the Broncos defense.

November 7, 2015

Tyrod Taylor-QB, Bills

Taylor continues to impress.  He's the only tosser in the NFL with a completion percentage over 70% and he's currently fourth in passer rating.  The Bills will never win anything with Rex Ryan at the helm, but they may have stumbled into a good quarterback.

November 6, 2015

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

Everyone's breakthrough young tossers have fallen flat on their faces in 2015.  Luck was supposed to have another great season and become the highest paid player in the NFL.  Not so fast.  Four of the tossers in the top five this year in interceptions were all supposed to have break out seasons.  Matt Stafford, Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill and Luck have all regressed but at least the Colts didn't paid Luck before his slide.

November 5, 2015

Tackles for Loss

It's time for us to once again post the top 10 in the Rodney Dangerfield of stats, tackles for loss.  It is as important as sacks but gets no love in the mainstream media.  The current top 10, which includes 4 Arizona Cardinals, is:  Watt (9) Deone Buchanon (8) Tyrann Mathieu (8) Kevin Minter (8) Calais Campbell (8) Telvin Smith (7) Brandon Marshall (7) Michael Bennett (7) Malcolm Jenkins (7) and Aaron Donald (7).  The only interior lineman on the list is Aaron Donald.

November 4, 2015

Odell Beckham-WR, Giants

Our Draftkingslayer Wildling pick has hit for the third straight week with Odell Beckham going for three TDs.  Beckham had been fairly average before this outburst but he's still a WR1.

November 3, 2015

Colin Kaepernick-QB, 49ers

Kaepernick has been benched for Blame Gabbert.  The 49ers complete meltdown continues as they also traded underacheiving, overpaid tight end Vernon Davis for a 6th round pick. Their coach Jim Tomsula, has no business coaching an NFL team and it appears that nobody wants to play in San Fran right now.  Kaepernick needs to find a way to escape from Alcatraz this off-season.

November 2, 2015

Aaron Rodgers- QB, Packers

Since week one Rodgers has been fairly pedestrian.  This week he had a total meltdown versus a great Broncos defense.  There were pundicators this week who were talking about how overrated Rodgers is.  They are morons.  He's still second in the NFL in passer rating, and we feel certain he will rebound from his horrible game.

October 30, 2015

Lovie Smith- Coach, Buccaneers

God bless Lovie.  He's got a name straight from Gilligan's Island and seems like the nicest guy, but he's been horrible in Tampa Bay.  He's the Joe Philbin of central Florida.  You wonder whether he's resting on his couch or coaching an NFL game as he meanders around the sidelines.  Smith should be fired after the Buc's latest meltdown versus the Kirk Cousins-led Redskins.

October 29, 2015

Derek Carr- QB, Raiders

The Autumn wind is blowing again.  We gave the Raiders an A for their 2014 draft, and the initial returns are stunning.  It's still early, but the 2014 draft may be the best draft of any team in the past decade.  Derek Carr looks like the real deal, Khalil Mack is one of the NFL's best players, guard Gabe Jackson should make the Pro Bowl this year and CB Travis Carrie is one of the top young cover corners. 2015 netted the NFL's best rookie receiver and probably the best tight end of the 2015 draft in Clive Walford.  They are probably still a year away from making a playoff push, but the Raiders' arrow is pointing up.

October 28, 2015

Greg Robinson-OT, Rams

Robinson received one of the lowest grades of any player week 7 according to PFF.  We didn't watch the game, but with Todd Gurley dominating on a weekly basis it's hard to imagine the left tackle has been as bad as PFF's grades.

October 27, 2015

Larry Fitzgerald- WR, Cardinals

We told Fitz owners to trade him several weeks ago.  Hopefully they listened.  In his last 4 games he has one TD and hasn't reached 100 yards receiving, though he has has a 93 and 99.  Michael Floyd is back to steal some touches and John Brown continues to surge.  Fitz will still have a big game on occasion, but he's only a WR2 from here on out.

October 26, 2015

Ameer Abdullah- RB, Lions

The Lions fired Joe Lombardi and replaced him with a guy named Jim Bob Cooter.  Seriously, that's his name.  In spite of his moniker limitation, Cooter is reportedly well thought of in NFL circles.  The Lions have underacheived dramatically on offense even though they are loaded with talented players.  We wouldn't be surprised to see an offensive improvement (similar to the Dolphins) in the next few weeks, particularly from Matt Stafford and Golden Tate and at least one of the running backs.

October 25, 2015

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

Suck for Luck?  How about Luck Sucks? He has always been highly overrated, though we think he's better than he has played this year.  In spite of mediocre passer rating numbers, pundicators wanted to make him Indy Jesus, mainly because he won a lot of games against the terrible AFC South.  He's still far behind Robert Griffin, III in career passer rating numbers and he's about to post his 3rd season (in 4) of over 15 interceptions.  His postseason passer rating in 6 starts is 70, which is a CFL back-up type number.  We said when he was drafted he would be Peyton Manning 2.0, and we've been spot on so far.  And that's not good unless you like watching your teams lose big games for about 20 years.

October 24, 2015

LeGarrette Blount- RB, Patriots

After three straight solid weeks, Blount posted 3 carries for -3 yards.  Welcome to the fantasy nightmare of a Patriots running back.  He'll be on most benches next week and probably post an 80 yard, touchdown performance...but then again he might have 2 carries for 4 yards.  He's fantasy Russian Roulette.

October 23, 2015

Stefon Diggs- WR, Vikings

We apologize for not posting this earlier, but we had to pick up Diggs on our fantasy team and didn't want any league members bogarting us.  Diggs is the real deal who has quickly become Teddy Bridgewater's go-to guy.  Last year Bridgewater's favorite was Charles Johnson who posted borderline WR1 numbers down the stretch.  Diggs was a Matriculator, Jr. favorite coming out in the draft and he's rarely wrong. Continue to ride him.

October 22, 2015

Lamar Miller- RB, Dolphins

The Dolphins continued their dramatic turnaround, thumping the Texans after destroying the Titans the previous week.  They are responding to Dan Campbell with high level performances from virtually every player.  Miller and Ryan Tannehill have been flawless and fantasy owners who drafted Miller are finally getting value...if they kept him.

October 21, 2015

Eddie Lacy- RB, Packers

Every week something keeps Lacy from being productive.  In week 6 it was a monster game from James Starks.  There have been a number of first round fantasy busts and Lacy is near the top of the list.

October 20, 2015

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Under new coach Dan Campbell the Dolphins looked like the team people were expecting to see at the beginning of the season.  Tannehill finally made some throws downfield and the insertion of guard Billy Turner for rookie Jamil Douglas was a positive change as the running game was better than it has been all year.  Most people have given up on the Fins but they could see a resurgence with a new coach.

October 19, 2015

Travis Benjamin- WR, Browns

Benjamin has been very consistent through 6 weeks, posting over 50 yards in every game but one.  He's currently WR4, but we don't think he can keep up the pace, particularly with Josh McKown at tosser.  We'd trade him now while he has WR1 value.

October 18, 2015

Donte Moncrief- WR, Colts

The fact that the Patriots kept Malcom Butler on Moncrief for most of the night tells you all you need to know.  He's become the Colts premier receiver and he's scored a touchdown in every game that Andrew Luck has started.  Moncrief is currently WR17 and should continue to rise as long as Luck plays.

October 17, 2015

Cam Newton- QB, Panthers

Newton is the best player in the NFL.  There is no other quarterback, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers included, who would be undefeated with a roster as underwhelming as the Panthers.  His last second heroics on the road at Seattle were the latest in a season that has been nothing short of spectacular.

October 16, 2015

Matt Stafford-QB, Lions

Stafford was benched on Sunday in favor of Dan Orlovsky.  The Lions continue to lead as the worst franchise in NFL history, and we expect Jim Caldwell to be fired sooner rather than later.  Stafford is like that nutty hot girl.  You know you shouldn't get involved, but....  NFL teams have long been suckers for the tosser who shows "potential" but never seems to win the big games.

October 15, 2015

Devonta Freeman- RB, Falcons

The Devonta Freeman train continues to gain steam after another scintillating performance versus a solid Redskins defense.  He has certainly earned the starting job and with the Falcons offensive line continuing to improve he should continue to track as an RB1.

October 14, 2015

Draft Kingslayer

The Kingslayer went gonzo again week 5, currently cashing in 50% of his contests.  He hit home runs with recommended plays Gary Barnidge, Tom Brady, Willie Snead, Odell Beckham, Doug Martin, Darren McFadden, Thomas Rawls, Emmanuel Sanders and the Broncos defense.

October 13, 2015

Thomas Rawls- RB, Seahawks

Rawls torched what had been a highly rated Bengals defense, rolling for 169 yards and a touchdown.  He's had two 100-yard games in the last three weeks and he's averaging 5.6 YPC.  He's simply a better back than Marshawn Lynch, who we told Matriculatees to trade several weeks ago while he still had some value.  Lynch is averaging 3.4 YPC and has been injured for the better part of three weeks.

October 12, 2015

Jamaal Charles- RB, Chiefs

Charles injured his knee and looks to be out for the year.  It's a devastating blow for fantasy owners, as Charles is one of the few money backs in the league.  Get your free agent money ready to spend on Charcandrick West who is a free agent in most leagues.  Knile Davis hasn't averaged over 3.5 YPC in his three seasons, so don't bid much on him.  West, a second year man out of Abilene Christian, is about the same size as Charles and he tested well at his pro day (4.46 with a 41 inch vertical and 15 reps) and led the team in rushing this pre-season.  He's also a solid receiver.  He could be a great pick-up for the remainder of the season.

October 11, 2015

Jeremiah Attaochu- DE, Chargers

In 2014 Attaochu was one of the players we had ranked as a first round pick who wasn't drafted in the first round.  He played nine games as a rookie and posted 2 sacks and 7 quarterback pressures on only 182 snaps.  He graded an impressive  +3.5 as a pass rusher according to PFF.  He missed week one this year due to injury, but he was dominant versus the Browns posting 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss and 4 quarterback hits.  If he can stay healthy he could be the pass rushing force the Chargers have been looking for since Lights Out was busted for steroids.

October 10, 2015

David Johnson-RB, Cardinals

Johnson had another great Sunday posting 81 yards on only 7 touches.  In spite of limited playing time, he's posted double digit fantasy points in three of his first four NFL games.  With Andre Ellington returning, we expect Johnson's touches to remain low making him a dangerous fantasy play for now.  Another injury to Ellington or Chris Johnson would make him a solid RB2/RB3 play moving forward.

October 9, 2015

Gary Barnidge- TE, Browns

After bouncing around as a back-up for seven years, Barnidge is suddenly channeling his inner Greg Olsen.  We've seen him enough to think that his hot start isn't a fluke. He caught all six of his targets for 75 yards and a touchdown, and nearly had a second TD on a juggling catch where he went out of bounds on the one yard line.  The Browns don't have any reliable targets so we expect Barnidge to continue with borderline TE1 numbers all year.

Eli Manning- QB, Giants

We like Manning this week as a Daily League play.  The 49ers are bad and they lost Ahmad Brooks this week to a personal leave of abscence.  As long as the Niners can score a few TDs, we expect Eli to have his way with the Niners defense.

October 8, 2015

Odell Beckham- WR, Giants

Beckham has been good, but he hasn't had his monster game yet.  We will continue to recommend him in daily fantasy leagues until he puts up a 10/150/2 type performance.

October 7, 2015

Doug Martin- RB, Buccaneers

Martin is coming off of a great performance versus a stout Carolina Panthers front seven.  He ran for over 100 yards and a touchdown and had 50+ receiving yards.  He's currently RB16, and he has one of the easiest schedules remaining, including weeks 13-16 with Atlanta, New Orleans and Chicago visiting Tampa Bay.  He's also in a contract year and his two rookie offensive linemen turned in positive grades this week.   His trade value is probably still lukewarm, so go get him.

October 6, 2015

Willie Snead- WR, Saints

We posted about Snead a few weeks ago, and said we'd keep an eye on him.   Feel free to pick him up, as he continues to impress with his hands and route running.  He leads Saints receivers in yards and YPC and should continue to be a reliable target for Drew Brees, who looked to be healthy versus the Cowboys.

October 5, 2015

Damian Swann- CB, Saints

We turned some heads this off-season when we said that little known prospect Damian Swann, a 5th round pick out of Georgia, was at least as good a prospect as first rounder Kevin Johnson.  Swann has received a positive grade all three weeks according to PFF while Johnson has received a negative grade every week.

Colin Kaepernick-QB, 49ers

After looking impressive the first two weeks of the season, CK had an epic meltdown week three versus the Cardinals.  He had 4 interceptions.  After the game he took full responsibility for his terrible performance, which could mark the beginning of the 49ers' 2015 slide that was forecast by nearly every prognosticator.

October 4, 2015

Demarco Murray- RB, Eagles

What to do with Demarco Murray and Lesean McCoy and Marshawn Lynch?  Check out Fade 'Em, Trade 'Em and Raid 'Em.

October 3, 2015

Melvin Gordon- RB, Chargers

We like Gordon this week versus a mediocre Browns defense.  He's 11th in the NFL in rushing and has averaged a solid 4.3 YPC.  We don't like that he's not involved in the passing game, but we're expecting something in the 20/80/1 range this week.

October 2, 2015

Victor Cruz- WR, Giants

Cruz, the only Mexican to ever score a touchdown in the Superbowl, has been a huge disappointment since then.  He's dealt with a host of injuries and though he's a regular on TV, it's mostly as an actor or commentator.  He won't play week 4, but we'd give him one more week before releasing him.

October 1, 2015

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Matty Ice led his third comeback win in as many games, setting an NFL record in the process.  The Falcons are much improved with the addition of Dan Quinn at the helm and should make a push for a playoff spot for the first time in three years.  If the defense and offensive line continues to improve the Falcons could be a tough out. Ryan needs a playoff win to silence all of the doubters, myself included.

September 30, 2015

Larry Fitzgerald- WR, Cardinals

It's been a great story in Arizona, with Fitz having a return to form.  Here's some advice: Trade Fitz, Palmer, Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington and David Johnson while you still can.  The Cardinals have played the NFL's three worst teams (Saints, 49ers, Bears) and they are about to come back to reality.  Never forget that the Cardinals' fantasy success rides on the glass sculpture known as Carson Palmer's body.  If Fitz posts a 1,200 yard, 10 TD season, that's 70 yards and .38 TDs per game from here on out.  The backfield won't have any startable players once Ellington returns so cash in Chris Johnson while you still can.

September 29, 2015

Cam Newton-QB, Panthers

Newton continues to be, under the radar, one of the dominant players in the NFL.  He's 16th in passer rating on a team with the worst offensive roster in the NFL.  The Panthers are 3-0 and Newton is attempting to lead another underwhelming team to it's 3rd consecutive playoff appearance in his 4th year at the helm.

September 28, 2015

Landon Collins- S, Giants

We have a general rule regarding  the NFL draft:  Don't draft Alabama players.  They are the worst pros, on a percentage basis, of any other college team.  This is particularly true of defensive backs, which is supposed to be Nick Saban's specialty.  Collins was taken with the 33rd pick this year and he's graded out 80th out of 80 qualifiers at safety.  The other Bama safeties (Harper, Clinton-Dix, Barron) all have negative grades as do first round pick cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick (95th out of 99 corners), Kareem Jackson (75th or 99) and Dee Milliner is still not playing.  Offensive linemen D.J. Fluker, Chance Warmack and Andre Smith have negative grades and Courtney Upshaw is ranked 46th out of 47 outside linebackers. We won't even get into Trent Richardson and the Kouandjio brothers. Julio Jones, Marcel Dareus, C.J. Mosley and Eddie Lacy are exceptions to the rule.

September 27, 2015

Jimmy Graham- TE, Seahawks

Graham posted a 7/83/1 line versus the Bears.  He was one of our Draft Kingslayer picks of the week and should continue to be a red zone target.  He was only owned on 6.9% of the teams for the Millionaire contest.

Kirk Cousins- QB, Redskins

After Cousins' less than inspriing performance versus the Giants, Jay Gruden was having to answer questions about a quarterback controversy.  He said that there was not a controversy, but one more bad game and in comes Colt McCoy, or dare we say RG3.

September 26, 2015

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

Manning led a game winning drive in week two of the season and, not surprisingly,  everybody is ready to annoint her Diva of the Year.  Her arm is shot, and we don't expect her to be a top ten fantasy (or reality) tosser in spite of having a talented receiving corps.  The Broncos have serious offensive line problems (why they aren't start Max Garcia over Matt Paradis is beyond us) and Manning was diving to the ground and balling up into the fetal position without even getting touched in week two.  In spite of Peyton's move to mediocrity, she has a chance to win in the post-season because of a stout defense.  If Kubiak can ever get the running game going, Denver has proven in the past that a running game and defense can win a championship.

Aaron Donald- DT, Rams

Donald, the player who we dubbed the best prospect in a decade, continues to track as the best prospect in the past decade two decades three decades.  Last year as a rookie he was the NFL's highest rated non-pass rusher among defensive players.  This year he's been even better, ranking as the NFL's highest rated player at any position according to Pro Football Focus.

Eric Kendricks-LB, Vikings

We bashed Kendricks before the draft as a barely draftable prospect.  He was a first rounder on many pundits' boards and was taken by the Vikings with the 45th pick.  He received the only negative grade on the Vikings defense week 2 with a -2.9 according to PFF.  There were 6 defensive players drafted in the first round who we did not have graded as first rounders.  They were: Trae Waynes, Kevin Johnson, Arik Armstead, Shaq Thompson, Bud Dupree and Stephone Anthony.  With the exception of Shaq Thompson's +1.4 week two, every other player has graded negatively, or not been active in the case of Waynes, in every game.

Jake Matthews- OT, Falcons

After a disastrous rookie campaign, Matthews is showing signs of turning the corner.  He is currently 9th among tackles according to PFF.  If he continues to improve and Jake Long regains his prior form, the Falcons could have a decent offensive line for the first time in years.

September 25, 2015

Jameis Winston-QB, Buccaneers

Winston had a solid performance in week two as the Bucs beat the Saints on the road.  He only attempted 21 passes and he still looks slow footed, slow minded and has a slow release.  The return of Mike Evans should make his job much easier, and we expect him to improve.  It's comical now to think back to every pundit (except us) who said Winston was more pro ready than Mariota because of the college system he played in.

Ben Roethlisberger-QB, Steelers

So much for Ben getting off to a slow start with three of his best players out for the first two weeks.  He has a 122.6 passer rating with 720 yards and 4 touchdowns.  He continues to be one of the NFL's best, though he's got a ways to go to get to Marcus Mariota, who has an NFL best 129.9 passer rating.

September 24, 2015

Davante Adams- WR, Packers

Remember two weeks ago when Adams was about to become the second coming of Cheesus Christ?  He was a 3rd round pick in the historic Justice League.  Through two weeks he has 92 yards and 0 TDs.  Aaron Rodgers is notorious for spreading the ball around so a few off weeks are understandable.  We expect Adams to have a big game on Monday night and we're recommending him as a sneaky pick in Draftkings this week.

Willie Snead- WR, Saints

Keep an eye on Snead.  One of our embedded scouts told us about him over the Summer, and he had 6 targets and a TD this week.  If he continues to see targets he may be worth a pick-up.

Matt Stafford- QB, Lions

Stafford was 26th out of 30 tossers in passer rating week 2.  We are ashamed to say we attended his rehearsal dinner over the Summer and have deleted all of our Facebook postings of same.  We checked the passer ratings for week two and it's intersting to note that they appear to be in reverse order of salary. Out of 30 tossers, the big money QBs finished as follows:  Brady 14 (we're not sure about that one), Eli 15, Flacco 16, Ryan 19, Wilson 22, Romo 23, Peyton 24, Brees 25, Stafford 26, Newton 28 and Throwcahontas 29.  This seems to underscore our point that it is difficult to make a good team when so much of the salary cap is invested in one player.

September 23, 2015

Donte Moncrief- WR, Colts

A week ago we told you to trade for Moncrief.  If you didn't do it, it's probably too late. Moncrief torched the vaunted Jets secondary for 122 yards and a touchdown.  He's WR7 after two weeks in spite of the fact that he's not technically a starter. He had two 100-yard games in the final 9 games of his rookie year in 2014 and he is the receiver drafted after the 5th round most likely to finish with WR1 stats.

September 22, 2015

Cam Newton- QB, Panthers

Newton is probably the NFL's best tosser, but don't look to his passer rating for proof.  We don't think there is any other quarterback (maybe Wilson or Rodgers) who would have beaten the Texans with back-up caliber offensive linemen and starting wide receivers who wouldn't make most rosters.  He's the only true one man gang in the NFL.

Julio Jones- WR, Falcons

JJ was dynomite again in week two, with 13 catches for 135 yards.  He's been unguardable for two games now and has been the primary reason behind both Falcons wins.

September 21, 2015

Dez Bryant- WR, Cowboys

Bryant suffered a foot injury and will be out 4-6 weeks.  It's a bad break for Bryant's fantasy owners, who may want to consider trading him for a few mid-level starters.  In his abscence we expect an uptick from Terrence Williams and Cole Beasley so if either are free agents they would be worthy of a pick-up to start as WR3s.

September 20, 2015

Donte Moncrief- WR, Colts

It probably won't cost much to get Moncrief in trade, and we recommend you make an offer.  The Colts defense is what we thought it was, terrible, so the Colts will throw the ball, and in volume.  Andre Johnson continues to trend downward after catching only 4 out of 10 targets and dropping an easy touchdown.  T.Y. Hilton is banged up and we wouldn't be surprised to see Moncrief's role increase as the season marches on.  He had 6 catches in a touchdown week one.

Chris Ivory- RB, Jets

Ivory posted a 20/91/2 line week one.  He continues to be the Rodney Dangerfield of fantasy football.  Last season he was RB19, yet his average draft position this year was the 4th/5th round.

September 19, 2015

C.J. Anderson- RB, Broncos

Anderson has done squadoosh in his first two outings.  Next week he faces the Lions on the road, but his 5 games after that are the Vikings, Raiders, Browns, Packers and Colts.  The Broncos offensive line has looked highly suspect, but we'd hold onto Anderson and see what he does when the schedule lightens up.

September 18, 2015

Marcus Peters- CB, Chiefs

Peters was sensational in week two versus the Broncos, with four passes defensed and a pick 6.  He's long, strong and aggressive and with two interceptions his first two NFL games he's the early favorite of Defensive Rookie of the Year.

September 17, 2015

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

Manning is offically the NFL's worst quarterback.  In his last six games he's posted passer ratings of 80, 75, 62, 60 and 57.  Even with a 125 thrown in, he's still at a back-up passer rating of 76.  Unless his arm strength miraculously returns, put a fork in him.  If he's your fantasy tosser, get your number two up in the bullpen.

September 16, 2015

Carlos Hyde- RB, 49ers

Hyde was the NFL's leading rusher week one, posting a 168-yard, TD performance versus the Vikings.  The numbers are no fluke as Hyde looked like the NFL's best runner.  His spin move touchdown run was an instant classic.

Sam Bradford- QB, Eagles

Okay, everybody can take a deep breath and pump the brakes on Throwcahontas a bit.  He had two interceptions and posted a 77 passer rating in the NFL's most passer friendly offense against what was supposed to be one of the NFL's worst defenses.  The Falcons' defense looked better than it has in years, but it was a mediocre real life performance for Bradford though it was okay for fantasy purposes.  The Eagles get another below average defense in Dallas this week and while we expect to see a lot more of Demarco Murray, Bradford is still a QB1 this week.

Julio Jones- WR, Falcons

Jones went Gonzo on the Eagles and almost single handedly won the game for the Falcons.  He was credited with 9/141/2, but he also had three more receptions called back on various penalties.  Jones produces a few of these games every year but he needs to be more consistent, particularly late in the season when the games really matter.

September 15, 2015

Keenan Allen- WR, Chargers

He was the best of receivers, he was the worst of receivers.... Allen's rookie year in 2013 he looked to be a future star, but in 2014 he clunked back to Earth.  The question in 2015 was who was the true Keenan Allen?  After 15 catches for 166 yards in week one it looks more like the future star, but it's a long season.

Calvin Johnson- WR, Lions

The Lions only targeted Johnson 4 times.  We're not sure what the theory was, but it wasn't a good one we're sure of that.  Johnson should never have a game with less than 8 targets and we expect the Lions to figure that out and for Megatron to have some big games in the next few weeks.

Travis Kelce- TE, Chiefs

It was the NFL's worst kept secret that the Chiefs were planning to build the offense around Kelce this year.  He torched the Texans week one for 106 yards and 2 TDs.   If he stays healthy he should be a top 3 tight end at the end of the year.

September 14, 2015

Marcus Mariota- QB, Titans

Mariota had a historic debut, destroying the Buccaneers on the road.  He threw four touchdowns in the first half and and watched from the sidelines in the 4th quarter.  He was decisive and didn't seem to have any problem making the adjustment to reading a pro defense.  Don't expect that every week, but the Titans get to face bad defenses in Jacksonville (twice) Indianapolis (twice) Oakland, Atlanta, Cleveland and New Orleans.

September 13, 2015

Terrence West- RB, Titans

The Titans gave up a late round pick to get West from the Browns. We aren't sure what the plan is in Tennessee, at least as it pertains to the running back spot.  We liked West coming out of college, but by the time he learns the Titans system David Cobb will likely have returned and West will be their third back.  Don't cut him yet if you drafted him on your fantasy team, but if there aren't positive signs after about week 4, let him go.

September 12, 2015

Cameron Fleming- T, Patriots

There is a crisis in the NFL on the offensive line.  Most teams start 2-3 offensive linemen who aren't starting caliber players, which makes the Patriots release of second year lineman Cameron Fleming all the more baffling.  He was a fourth round pick in 2014 and was one of our highest rated players in the 2014 draft.  In his two preseasons he's graded out on PFF as a +1 and +3.1.  The Patriots had 4 of their 5 starting linemen in 2014 grade out negatively, so we can't quite figure this one out.  We think he could start for almost every NFL team (including the Pats) at either guard or tackle.

September 11, 2015

Marshawn Lynch- RB, Seahawks

Temper your expectations for the Seahawks offense this year.  Their starting offensive line includes vagabonds Drew Nowak, JR Sweezy and Garry Gilliam.  It could be a down year for Lynch and Russell Wilson.

September 10, 2015

Tre Mason- RB, Rams

Mason has a hamstring injury and may not start week one versus the Seahawks.  With Todd Gurley only a few weeks away from being a full go, this might be Mason's last chance for the next few years.

September 9, 2015

Jonas Gray- RB, Dolphins

The signing of Gray, New England's leading rusher in 2014, to the Dolphins' practice squad should put an end to LaMike James stay in Miami.  Once Gray learns the play book we expect him to be activated to back up Lamar Miller with Damien Williams sliding into the third down back role.  Jay Ajayi, who is on IR, continues to slide down the depth chart.

September 8, 2015

Cam Newton- QB, Panthers

Quick, name the worst wide receiving corps of all time.  Look no further than the 2015 Panthers who plan to trot out Philly Brown and Ted Ginn as their starting wideouts.  It's inexcusable that the Panthers front office has done so little to bolster their receivers.  Brown and Ginn would not make many NFL rosters, much less be starters.  Newton has been spectacular considering what he's had to work with the past few years, but we don't think Superman can overcome this pile of Kryptonite.

September 7, 2015

Gio Bernard- RB, Bengals

Bernard is another guy who isn't getting enough love in drafts.  Last season he was RB18.  If he has a similar season (and we see no reason he shouldn't) he should be drafted at the end of the 2nd/early 3rd round but he's been drafted after the 6th round in most drafts.  There is great value there.

September 6, 2015

Jeremy Maclin- WR, Chiefs

Crazy as it sounds, we actually like a Chiefs receiver this year.  Alex Smith will surely throw a few TDs to wide receivers this year, and we think Maclin should post a 800-1,000/5-7 TD season making him a borderline WR2 and a nice value after the 5th round.

September 5, 2015

Josh Robinson- RB, Colts

Finished your draft and find your team a little thin at running back?  Trying to trade for one and finding it impossible?  Keep an eye on Josh Robinson. He's in the Maurice Jones-Drew mold, built low to the ground with thick legs.  He averaged over 6 YPC in his career at Mississippi State.  If he makes the Colts he could end up with a legitimate shot at some playing time behind Frank Gore (old) and Dan Herron (injured?).   He's worth a pick-up if he makes the team.

September 4, 2015

Khalil Mack- DE, Raiders

The Raiders defense should be good this year, led by Player of the Year candidate Khalil Mack.  Mack posted an insane +11.3 grade (according to PFF) in only a half versus the Cardinals.

September 3, 2015

Jameis Winston- QB, Buccaneers

There were 9 players who were drafted in the first round of the 2015 draft who were not included in our top 30 players in our countdown.  All nine of those players have negative grades this preseason according to Pro Football Focus.  Those players are Winston, Trae Waynes, Andrus Peat, Kevin Johnson, Arik Armstead, Marcus Peters, Bud Dupree, Shaq Thompson and Stephone Anthony.

September 2, 2015

Philip Rivers- QB, Chargers

We aren't sure why Rivers isn't getting any love this year.  He consistently produces as a QB1 but he getting drafted in most leagues as a number 2.

September 1, 2015

Preseason Over/Under Picks

One of the Matriculator specialties (we're 21-5 versus Vegas since our inception), our preseason over/under picks are in.  In addition to our picks, if you can still get the under on the 49ers (at 6.5), take it!

Jimmy Graham- TE, Seahawks

Our positional player rankings are in (to the right of here under Rank and File) ahead of this weekend, when many leagues will be drafting.  You will note that we are one of the few who has Jimmy Graham ahead of Gronk.  Graham has played 15 or more games all five years in the league while Gronk has missed 5 or more games 2 of his 5 seasons.  Graham has averaged 1,100 yards and 11.5 touchdowns since taking over as a starter 4 years ago.  Even on a per game basis, Graham's numbers compare favorably with Gronk.

August 30, 2015

Brenton Bersin- WR, Panthers

While at the training camp scrimmage  between the Dolphins and Panthers at Wofford College we kept saying, "Who's that?"  Turns out it was Brenton Bersin, a Wofford College grad.  He's 6'3, 210 and looked better than any other Carolina receiver.  He spent a few years on the practice squad before getting called up last year and posting a 13/151/1 line.  He's listed as second on the depth chart though we wouldn't be surprised if he rises to the top of what is a pitiful group. We don't think he's draftable yet, but we're keeping an eye on him.

August 29, 2015

Colin Kaepernick-QB, 49ers

The Niners meltdown continues with the arrest of starting linebacker Ahmad Brooks on sexual assault charges.  The Niners defense could be catastrophically bad, which bodes well for the scoring chances for the offense.  The only positive news coming out of Niners camp has been the progress of CK, who reportedly worked hard on his delivery this off season and is in great shape. If Vernon Davis can bounce back and they can squeeze one more year out of Anquan Boldin, CK could put up QB1 numbers.

August 28, 2015

Steve Smith- WR, Ravens

Before getting red carded on Saturday night, Smith had a long touchdown.  He's still got some juice left and could produce one final WR2 season. If you're looking for a WR in the 5th/6th round, give the old guy a shot.

August 27, 2015

Jimmy Garoppolo- QB, Patriots

There isn't a quarterback controversy in New England, but there probably should be.  We pegged Garoppolo as a first rounder in our rankings (though nobody else did) and he was the highest ranked preseason quarterback as a rookie in 2014, and posted a 101 passer rating in his only regular season action last year in relief of a struggling Brady. He was absolutely sublime in the second preseason game posting an otherwordly 28-33/269 line and leading his team to victory in the 4th quarter.  We are still unsure why Brady, who hasn't delivered a legitimate title in his 15 years in the league, still has a job.

Tevin Coleman- RB, Falcons

Neither Coleman nor Devonta Freeman will see enough action this preseason for a fantasy owner to determine who will have the most carries. While neither will be stars behind a terrible line, at least one of them will be a serviceable fill-in.  Let someone else try and figure out who will start week one and then draft whichever one is left in the middle rounds.

August 26, 2015

Matt Cassell- QB, Bills

What's going on in Buffalo these days? The Bills have this odd theory that old, white, mediocre, castoff quarterbacks are a better option than young, talented, African-American quarterbacks.  33-year old Matt Cassel, who has recorded a pitiful 23-33 record and sub-80 passer rating since his first season in 2008, is slated to start over the talented Tyrod Taylor and the Bills first round pick in 2013 E.J. Manuel.  The Bills gave Manuel 14 starts and he posted a very solid 79 passer rating, yet in 2014 they relegated Manuel to the bench in favor of a street free agent Kyle Orton, another old, bad, white tosser, who promptly retired after the season.  Manuel in his 14 starts had a significantly better passer rating than Peyton Manning her first year and had the same passer rating as Ryan Tannehill had after his first two seasons.  Manuel was arguably the NFL's most impressive quarterback week 2 of the preseason, leading his team to victory with a 9-14/111/1 line and 112 passer rating. What's going on in Buffalo?  Hopefully Mr. Tasca and Mr. Butler can provide some explanantions Tuesday at 9:00.

August 25, 2015

Jordy Nelson- WR, Packers

Nelson reportedly tore his ACL in the second preseason game.  The media claims it's a devastating blow to the Packers.  Certainly Nelson is a star and the Packers would be better off with him, but the Packers are better prepared to handle his loss than just about any other NFL team.  They still have a Pro Bowl receiver in Randall Cobb and they have two good looking young receivers in Jeff Janis and Davante Adams.  The loss of Nelson, who was a solid top 10 fantasy receiver, alters the fantasy landscape.  We didn't bump Cobb up much in our rankings (he leapfrogged only Alshon Jeffery) but Davante Adams moved up over 25 spots and Janis made his first appearance on our board.

Bryce Petty- QB, Jets

It's real early in the process, but Petty looked fantastic in his first action in the NFL.  In our draft countdown we got major grief for ranking Petty higher than most people's concensus number one pick, Shameless Winston.  In their first NFL action, Petty produced a 109 passer rating going 12/19/168/1, while Winston lobbed his way to a 48 passer rating.  We have no confidence in the Jets ever developing players in the passing game (their history in recent years has been pathetic) but we stand by our position that Petty is the better prospect.

August 24, 2015

Bryce Brown- RB, Bills

The Bills may cut Brown, who continues to have fumblitis during training camp. There are a number of running back needy teams who may take a chance on him.  We wouldn't draft him at this point but he's a talented enough player that he's worth monitoring.

August 23, 2015

Brandon Coleman- WR, Saints

Get Coleman on your draft board boys and girls.  Sean Payton has dubbed him the MVP of training camp and it looks like the big (6'6", 225) fast, UDFA rookie will be the third wide receiver for the Saints.  We remember a similar story about a decade ago with the Saints when Marques Colston took over as a lightly regarded rookie.  Colston has gone on to post 900+ yards in 8 of his 9 seasons.

August 22, 2015

Eli Manning- QB, Giants

Manning had one of his best statistical years in 2014, finishing as QB9.  In 2015 he's playing for his last big contract and Victor Cruz will be returning.  There's reason for optimism, and we think Manning will again slide into the top 12 in fantasy points, though he has limited upside.

August 21, 2015

Kelvin Benjamin- WR, Panthers

We were in attendance at training camp when Benjamin was injured.  While the injury is certainly devastating to Benjamin, it couldn't have been worse for the Panthers who don't at present have any starting caliber NFL wide receivers to replace him.  Unless they get someone in quickly this is a major blow to the Panthers post season chances and Cam Newton's fantasy value takes a significant hit.

August 20, 2015

Justin Forsett- RB, Ravens

Forsett isn't getting much love, trending as a 3rd round pick.  Last season behind the NFL's second best o-line, he posted 1,500+ combined yards and 8 TDs.  Those numbers put him 8th among running backs. He doesn't have any real competition for carries and should post similar stats in 2015 making him a late first rounder.

Jonas Gray- RB, Patriots

Patriots running backs can drive you crazy thanks to Belicheat, but the number two back usually gets some quality starts and can be had in the late rounds.  We think Gray will be that guy this year.

August 19, 2015

Jonathan Stewart- RB, Panthers

The Stewart conundrum is more pronounced in 2015 than it has ever been.  He clearly has RB1 ability though we haven't seen a full season of it since 2009.  He has an impressive career 4.6 YPC and in two of the past four seasons he's been around 1,000 combined yards and 4/5 TDs.   Deangelo Williams is now out of the picture and there is no threat to Stewart's carries, but he's always been injury prone and his offensive line should be horrible.  He's trending as a 4th rounder and that's probably about right. 

Tyrod Taylor- QB, Ravens

Taylor will start week 2 of the preseason.  He's a Matriculator, Jr. favorite and we wouldn't be surprised if he wins the starting job.

August 18, 2015

Kenny Britt- WR, Rams

Someone has to lead the Rams in receiving, and we'll go with Britt in 2015.  He's teased his entire career.  He's looked like a WR1 in brief vignettes, but in 6 years he's never reached 800 receiving yards.  His main competition, Brian Quick and Tavon Austin, haven't reached 400 yards in a combined 5 seasons.

August 17, 2015

Branden Oliver- RB, Chargers

Oliver is an excellent third down back, and in 2014 he proved he could handle significant carries.  He's the closest thing to Darren Sproles since Darren Sproles.  Unfortunately, he will likely be playing behind rookie Melvin Gordon (who didn't look good in his first preseason game) and he will be splitting those carries with Danny Woodhead.  If there's an injury to either Woodhead or Gordon, Oliver could be a borderline RB2.  He's worth a mid-late round look.

August 16, 2015

Ameer Abdullah- RB, Lions

Abdullah continues to impress this preseason, posting a 7-67 line in his first game action.  We think he's a high end talent, but don't forget Joique Bell has received consistent touches and plenty of goal line work for the Lions the past two seasons.  Abdullah is a reasonable bet to post 800 combined yards and 5 TDs, with significant upside if Bell were to get injured.  We're thinking 5th round but he's creeping up.

August 15, 2015

Geno Smith-QB, Jets

Death, taxes and the Jets plane crash. Geno Smith got decked by a back-up linebacker named IK.  He has a broken jaw and will likely miss the first month of the regular season.  The Jets players haven't exactly rushed to Geno's defense, meaning that Geno most likely lacks one of the most important tosser traits: respect.  The Jets have one of the better defenses ever assembled, but it may not matter if Ryan Fitzpatrick and/or Roberto Duran Geno are at the helm.  Star defensive player Sheldon Richardson was recently suspended for four games for attempting to elude the police at 143 MPH with a 12-year old in the car. Read our 2011 article If You Show Me Yours, I'll Show You Mine about the Jets plane crash.  Change a few player names and it sounds like a fresh article,

August 14, 2015

Percy Harvin- WR, Bills

Harvin is a big name, but he's always been an overrated fantasy player and this pre-season he's reportedly battling Robert Woods for slot duties.  He also doesn't have a tosser and will be playing half of his games in the snow.  We'd shy away from Harvin until after the 10th round.

Lamar Miller- RB, Dolphins

Miller should be flying up draft boards.  His purported competition, Jay Ajayi, has reportedly not looked good.  Ajayi is struggling to pick up blitz reads, a death knell for playing time.  Without any other legitimate  back-up, Miller should be trending as a borderline RB1 and late first/early second round pick.

Calvin Johnson- WR, Lions

Playing hurt last year, Megatron still mustered 1077 yards and 8 TDs.  He's in the argument as the NFL's greatest player of all-time and he's healthy again.  Remember that on draft day.

August 13, 2015

Marcus Mariota- QB, Titans

Mariota has reportedly been lights out in camp, showing great accuracy and a solid downfield arm.  We're not surprised as he has all of the tools, but we still think it may take a year to learn how to read NFL defenses.  Keep an eye on him this pre-season as he might develop into a solid QB2.

August 12, 2015

Jerick McKinnon- RB, Vikings

We are big fans of Adrian Peterson this year after 12 months of rest, but we're also cognizant of the fact that he is reaching that age and has been paid.  McKinnon is a must handcuff if you draft AP.  McKinnon is a tremendous talent who wasn't overwhelmed as a rookie, showing decent hands and posting two 100-yard games.

August 11, 2015

Jadaveon Clowney- DE, Texans

Clowney's father, a convicted felon named Chili Bean Morgan, was arrested for attempted murder after shooting at someone outside of a First Amendment establishment called the Crazy Horse Showclub.  We can't make this stuff up.  We had concerns about Clowney after he took a pass on his final season at South Carolina to avoid injury.  He didn't seem motivated to get onto the field his rookie year either and if the old addage the apple doesn't fall far from the tree applies, Clowney is headed rapidly towards bust status.

August 10, 2015

Zac Stacy- RB, Jets

Stacy is the clear back-up to Chris Ivory in New York.  Ivory has been injury prone throughout his career, so Stacy is great handcuff/late round pick.  He's only a year removed from an 1,100, 8 TD season.

August 9, 2015

Antone Smith- RB, Falcons

With Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman both nursing injuries, Smith becomes a potential late round flier.  Smith is the most productive back, per touch, in NFL history.  He's averaged 9.9 YPC on 29 rushes and 15.5 YPC on 15 receptions and scored 7 TDs.  He's only 5'9", 190 so he won't be an every down back but he has been fantasy relevant on only a few touches per game.

August 8, 2015

Desean Jackson- WR, Redskins

We never cheer for a player to get hurt, but when we heard Djax seperated his shoulder we must confess it brought a smile to our face.  Not becuase he's a putz and we thought he deserved it, but because we think it will help our fantasy draft.  In the past two years he has finished 15th and 10th among WRs.  He's a borderline WR1, but nobody seems to realize it.  In the world famous Justice League last year, he outperformed all seven of the other WRs drafted in the 4th round.  With the shoulder injury he could fall further in 2015 even though he is expected to be ready for opening day.

August 7, 2015

Brandon Boykin- CB, Steelers

The Chip Kelly screw the pooch train continues down the track.  The Eagles traded Boykin, arguably the best defender on their team, for a fifth round pick.  Boykin has graded as Philly's best defensive back in coverage all three of his seasons (according to PFF)  and he is consistently in the top 20 in the NFL.  The Steelers year after year sit around and wait for manna from heaven to fall into their lap, and it usually does.  They were in desperate need of a starting corner and they get a 25-year old stud who is still making peanuts on his rookie deal. Great deal for Pittsburgh, another bonehead move for Kelly & Co.

Alfred Blue- RB, Texans

As a general principle, it's good to have the Texans starting running back.  However, specifically in this case, we're not wild about Blue and his 3.1 YPC.  Look for the Texans to bring in another back after the first round of cuts.  They may even start sniffing around Ray Rice.

August 6, 2015

Arian Foster- RB, Texans

Foster is hurt again, this time with a groin injury that might sideline him for the start of the season.  He's an RB1 when he's healthy but every week and every tweak draws ulcers for his owners.  His back-up, Alfred Blue, averaged a paltry 3.1 YPC.  Without a decent handcuff we'd avoid Foster in the first two rounds unless he's slated to play week 1.

Joseph Randle- RB, Cowboys

Randle is being drafted in the 5th/6th rounds in some drafts.  We've always liked him as a runner (he's averaged 4.8 YPC on slightly over 100 attempts) and he's a decent receiver.  Behind the Cowboys offensive line and in a year where he can make some money with a productive season, we expect him to approach 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns.  The downside to Randle, in addition to his limited sample size, is that Darren McFadden might steal some carries if healthy and Randle is a bit of a nutter off the field.  In spite of that, his upside is sky high and we'd consider him starting in the 2nd round.

August 5, 2015

Doug Martin- RB, Buccaneers

Martin is an interesting fantasy prospect.  He's being drafted in the 7th/8th round range.  He has proven in the past to have RB1 ability and he should have an improved offensive line, dangerous weapons on the outside and at least a slight improvement at tosser.  The Bucs like Charles Sims who is returning from injury, and Bobby Rainey has proven to be a capable runner; however,  if Martin can hold down the job he has RB1 potential so taking him in the 7th/8th could result in a great value pick.

August 4, 2015

Todd Gurley- RB, Rams

In a bit of a surprise, Gurley has opened the pre-season on the active roster.  He hasn't been making "football moves" since his ACL tear, but if he is on the active roster and plays in a pre-season game he will become an intriguing draft pick.

August 3, 2015

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

We are typically against taking a tosser in the first round of a fantasy draft, but Luck may be an exception in 2015.  He has a loaded receiving corps, a mediocre running game and a bad defense, which is a perfect fantasy storm for a monster season.  With Manning on the downside, Luck may be significantly better than the next in line and worthy of a top 10 pick.

August 2, 2015

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks

We have spoken with several "highly placed" NFL sources who have indicated that Russell Wilson is the NFL's best player and should become the highest paid player in NFL history in the next 12 months.

August 1, 2015

Tom Brady- Tosser, Patriots

Brady's 4 game suspension was upheld by Roger Goodell, forcing Brady's hand.  We expect him to file an appeal with the courts, so now we can have the tale of how the Patriots cheated, again, continue through another few news cycles.  If the suspension is overturned it would at least give Brady an argument, but if any part of the suspension is upheld he will have no argument to ever winning a legitimate title.

May 30 , 2015

Jimmy Garoppolo- QB, Patriots

Pundicators have been discussing the loss of Brady and it's effect on the Patriots chances in 2015.  We don't think it will have any effect at all, because Garoppolo has all of the earmarkings of the next in line.  He was the highest rated passer in the NFL in the 2014 pre-season and was significantly better than Brady when he entered the Chiefs game in September.  He finished the regular season with 27 passes and though it is a very limited sample size, he posted a higher passer rating than Brady, an impressive 101.  He was also ranked in the top 20 in our player rankings from the 2014 draft class.

May 25, 2015

T.J. Yeldon- RB, Jaguars

Behind Melvon Gordon, Yeldon is probably the second favorite for fantasy rookie of the year.  The Jaguars don't think that Denard Robinson is an every down back so we expect Yeldon to be in the 250 touch range. If Luke Joeckel can develop into an average left tackle, their offensive line will be decent and an RB2-like 1,200 combined yards and 6-8 touchdowns would be a reasonable expectation for Yeldon.

May 20, 2015

Over/Under

The Vegas odds are in on over/under win totals for 2015.  It's early in the process, but the ones we like are:  Titans over 5.5; Buccaneers over 6; Jets over 7.5; Texans over 8.5; Bills under 8.5.

May 15, 2015

Duke Johnson- RB, Browns

Keep an eye on Johnson during the pre-season.  If he wins the job in Cleveland he will be running behind one of the NFL's premier offensive lines and he could put up huge numbers.  It's a crowded backfield but there is the potential a number one fantasy back emerges in Cleveland.

May 13, 2015

Dante Fowler- DE, Jaguars

Fowler, the third pick in the 2015 Draft,  blew his knee in mini-camp.  It's a tough break for the team as Fowler was expected to be their primary pass rusher as well as an every down player in 2015.

May 11, 2015

Deflategate

It's really time to hammer the Patriots.  It's not so much much that they got caught cheating..again...red handed.  It's that they are an organization that simply refuses to take responsibility for their actions.  They should have all four Super Bowl titles formally stripped and Brady's suspension should be increased to the entire season on appeal.  The Patriots hired one of their Boston lawyers to rebut the Wells Report.  It's found at Wellsreportcontext.com.  It is the most socipathic, ridiculous, argument ever made by someone caught red handed.  I won't summarize the absurdity of it all, but the one that sticks out is the assertion about text messages between the equipment guys that read: 

Tom sucks...im going to make that next ball a f'in ballon

The reply was: Talked to him last night.  He actually brought you up and said you must be under a lot of stress trying to get them done...

This idiot attorney actually had the audacity to attack this by saying it was based on an erroneous assumption that "Tom" was in fact "Mr. Brady."  How many Tom's are these guys inflating/deflating footballs for?  Did they produce evidence that they are working for a high school team on the side who just, by happenstance, has a petulant little 16-year old tosser named Tom Bosworth?  If they didn't produce that evidence, they need to bring down a much bigger hammer on the Patriots because they aren't taking responsibility, even after they have been caught.  Keep in mind, there is only one team in NFL history that has ever lost a first round draft pick for cheating, and it's the Beli-cheat/Kraft/Brady-led Patriots, and its happened twice!

May 9, 2015

Lamar Miller- RB, Dolphins

Fantasy owners will be on the Ajayi bandwagon pre-draft, and rightfully so.  He's an excellent all-around back, but don't forget about Lamar Miller.  In what was an otherwise mediocre season for the Dolphins, Miller was quietly their best offensive player.  Miller posted over 1,300 yards from scrimmage and averaged a stout 5.1 YPC behind a very bad offensive line.

May 8,  2015

La'el Collins- G/T, LSU

Collins status is the most talked about post-draft topic.  He was a first round talent who went undrafted after his pregnant ex-girlfriend was found murdered.  The police haven't named him a "suspect" but he appears to be a person of interest and they interviewed him this week.  Teams have been courting him already, and if he is cleared of any involvement he will be the steal of the draft.  We can't figure out why teams didn't do their homework beforehand and draft him in the 3rd or 4th round to control his rights.  He indicated that he would not sign if drafted that late, but he's worth the risk, particularly with some of the slurpees who were drafted in those rounds.  If a team signs him it will be a huge coup as the team will essentially have been given a first round pick.

May 7, 2015

Tom Brady- QB, Patriots

Ted Wells report has finally arrived, and the Patriots continuing quest for their first non-cheating Super Bowl marches on.  Brady and his underlings were found to have most likely deflated the footballs in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage.  It stinks for the Ravens who would most likely have been playing in the Super Bowl had the Patriots not cheated again.  Word on the street is that Brady will be suspended for only a game, we suppose because the league figures it can't suspend its now infamous star for any longer than that.  He should get the entire season, particularly when the same band of criminals already have admitted they cheated to win their other three Super Bowls.  We still love Belicheat's excuse for Spygate, that the taping didn't help them gain a competitive advantage. In other words, they were engaging in a completely meaningless act before every game that required team personnel and equipment. 

May 6, 2015

Johnny Foolsball-QB, Browns

The Browns didn't bring any youthful competition for Foolsball, and all of the indications are that he's making improvements in his commitment to football.  There is still a long way to go, but he might see some significant playing time in 2015.  Mike Mayock issued a mea culpa on having Foolsball so highly rated last year, but Mayock didn't need to fall on the sword.  The average pundicator isn't privy to whether Manziel had a substance abuse problem, though it certainly didn't surprise anybody.  When he slid out of the top 10 in last year's draft we knew (too late for our rankings) that teams had concerns that went deeper than just partying too much.

May 5, 2015

Bryce Petty- QB, Baylor

Yes, we have Petty ranked ahead of Shameless Winston.  Keep in mind we do consider off the field stuff in that ranking.  We don't expect Petty to start as a rookie, and we do expect Winston to start in Tampa Bay and have success.  Keep in mind, we think anyone could be successful throwing to Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans.  Remember Mike Glennon posted a passer rating of 83 in 2014, right there with Matt Stafford, Andy Dalton and Cam Newton.  The Bucs underachieved last year, but they have a lot of talent.  Don't e-mail us about the Petty/Winston issue until after the 2017 season, unless of course Winston gets arrested.  Then feel free to e-mail at your pleasure.

May 3, 2015

Robert Griffin, III- QB, Redskins

The Redskins picked up the 5th year option of Griffin at a cost of $16 million.  It's an interesting move because if Griffin is injured this year (and he's been hurt in two of his three seasons) the option is guaranteed.  It proves what we said a few weeks back, that the perception of Griffin in the fan community and the reality are two very different things.  Here's a money winner to break off on the next bar fly that's jabbering about how great Andrew Luck is or how terrible Robert Griffin is:  Who has a higher passer rating through three years, Griffin or Luck?  Griffin's is 91 and Luck's is 87.

May 2, 2015

Ereck Flowers- T, Miami

We had a number of players ranked far higher than any other scouts/pundits early in the draft process.  Flowers, Byron Jones, Nelson Agholor and Bryce Petty are included in that group.  Amazingly, in the past few weeks all four of the above are reportedly flying up draft boards.  We would like to acknowledge all of the scouts and NFL personnel people who rely so heavily on the Matriculator.  We're just here to help.

April 30, 2015

Todd Gurley- RB, Dolphins

Why does everybody west of Timbuktu seem to know who the Dolphins want to draft?  Last year it was reported for weeks before the draft that the Dolphins wanted to take JuWuan James with their first round pick and lo and behold, they did.  This year's worst kept secret is that the Dolphins want to draft Gurley.  The difference between this year and last is that teams will be willing to move up to get Gurley.

April 29, 2015

Tyler Lockett- WR, Kansas State

Lockett was on the fringe of our top 40 list, but didn't quite sneak in.  We like him better than a number of prospects who will go higher than him including Devin Smith, Rashad Greene and Devin Funchess.  Lockett's limitation is his size at 5'10", 175, but he produced consecutive seasons of 1,000+ yards and 10+ touchdowns.

Damarious Randall- S, Arizona State

There are a number of players knocking on the door of our top 40, including Randall, Steven Nelson, Eric Rowe and Tyler Lockett.  Several players have slithered out of the top forty recently with injury concerns or arrests, but Ameer Abdullah and Stephone Anthony filled their spots.  

April 28, 2015

Andrus Peat- OT, Stanford

Peat is one of the more divisive prospects in this draft.  He's huge and moves well for his size, but he doesn't show great functional strength.  We think he will be a solid starter, but not a star.  There is continuing talk of the Jets being enamored with him.  If they take him with the 6th pick count us in the crowd that will pan the pick.

April 27, 2015

Jameis Winston- QB, Florida State

Are the Bucs really so inept that they haven't noticed there are three teams talking about giving up a king's ransom to move up for a tosser, and that tosser isn't Jameis Winston?  Don't be surprised if someone moves up to number one (or the less likely scenario that the Bucs get a clue and draft Mariota) and Winston tumbles.

Marcus Mariota- QB, Oregon

Washington Head Coach Chris Petersen gave a ringing endorsement to Mariota.  He said he was the best quarterback he's ever faced and that he has no doubt that he will be a star in the NFL.  While most people feel Jameis Winston is the premier tosser in this draft, there are still some, including us, who like Mariota better.

April 26, 2015

Henry Anderson- DT, Stanford

We like Anderson.  He's a good athlete for his size (6'6", 300, 4.95 forty) and he was productive his Senior year, posting 66 tackles and 23.5 BFS.  Those are good numbers for an interior player.  Some pundicators, however, are overreacting a bit, grading him as a high first rounder.  We like him starting in the middle of the second round.

April 25, 2015

John Simon- DE, Texans

Simon was taken in the 4th round of the 2013 draft by the Ravens and we had him as one of our 2013 Matriculator Six. Players drafted after the third round who we think will be starters. He never played for the Ravens and was cut.  The Texans picked him up and he graded out (in 238 snaps) as one of the NFL's best linebackers against the run, posting a +6.1 grade according to PFF.  Overall he had a +1.8.  We will be interested to see if he holds onto the starting spot.  As of now, 5 of our 16 Matriculator Six players are listed as starters.  The NFL average is 1.5 per 16.

April 24, 2015

Danielle Hunter- DE, LSU

Here is your fascinating factoid of the week.  Since 2008, 16 LSU defenders have been drafted in the first 3 rounds.  Those who did NOT live up their draft status:  Ego Ferguson, Barkevious Mingo, Eric Reid, Kevin Minter, Bennie Logan, Sam Montgomery, Morris Claiborne, Michael Brockers, Brandon Taylor, Patrick Peterson, Kelvin Sheppard, Drake Nevis, Tyson Jackson, Glenn Dorsey and Chevis Jackson.   Those who earned their draft status:  Tyrann Mathieu.

April 23, 2015

Donovan Smith-OT, Penn State

Smith is a mountain and his potential is hard to overlook, but his technique is lacking and more importantly, he doesn't seem to always give full effort.  We were surprised that he was invited to the draft because that usually means some teams have him graded as a first rounder.  We wish there was more tape on him so we could get a better evaluation.

La'el Collins- OT, LSU

We recently read an article on Pro Football Focus about Collins.  He was graded, according to them, as the top pass blocking tackle in college football and he also received a top-5 run blocking grade.  We don't have him in our top 25, so we went back and watched more tape on him.  He's a great athlete and has a high motor which are both crucial attributes for success at the position.  However, his positional sense is terrible.  He has no concept of the subtleties of blocking, frequently missing blocks at the next level.  We watched the Arkansas game and he was bad in both pass protection and the run game.  We watched the Wisconsin tape and saw more of the same.  There is plenty to work with, but he's far from a finished product and why he continues to receive high grades from his college tape is a mystery to us.

Byron Jones- CB, Connecticut

When we started our countdown of the top players in the 2015 draft a few weeks ago, we had Jones ranked 26th, significantly higher than the other pundicators. He's been creeping up draft boards since then, moving from 44 to 21 on CBS's board and from 45 to 38 on Daniel Jeremiah's board.  We wouldn't be surprised if he's the second defensive back selected, possibly in the top 20.

April 22, 2015

Jalen Collins- CB, LSU

Why all the buzz surrounding Collins?  He's 6'2", which everyone likes to mention is the new prototype, but who cares how tall you are if you're not good.  Collins didn't start for LSU and people think he's a first rounder?  The comparison some people have made is with Antonio Cromartie, who also had limited college experience. We don't see the same ball skills from Collins who finished his three year stint with 3 interceptions, including only one in his last two years.

April 21, 2015

Tim Tebow-QB, Eagles

Tebow has signed with the Eagles.  We always thought Tebow could have been a useful player, if not as a starter, as a goal line weapon.  We will see if the Eagles decide his potential contributions are worth the significant distraction he brings.

April 20, 2015

Jameis Winston- QB, Florida State

The Buccaneers have indicated that they are not concerned about the sexual assault lawsuit filed against Winston this week.  We have obtained a copy of their pre-prepared press release for draft day. "So we'd like to introduce the new face of our franchise, Jameis Winston!  You may be hearing about him in the news in the next few months as he gives testimony about meeting a young girl in a bar, taking her home and, depending on whose story you believe, either forcibly raping her or simply having consensual sex with her while his two buddies watched.  He's a great guy, always thinking of his friends. If he loses his civil lawsuit, depending on the testimony, he may be charged and tried criminally.  We don't recommend purchasing his jersey yet because he may not be a free man for long, though he may be suiting up for the Tampa Bay Roughriders in 2016 if you get my drift.  Since the alleged rape he has been on his best behavior.  Only once since then did he stand on a table in the  middle of campus and yell, "F*%# her right in the pussy!" But other than that, and of the course the theft of crab legs from a local grocery.  But other than that, in his short stay at FSU, Winston has proven to be a model citizen and the type of young man you want your daughter to bring home for a Seafood Gumbo Thanksgiving dinner."  Of course the Buccaneers are the same team that welcomed one of the NFL's most notorious criminals Jerramy Stevens (now the husband of bad girl Hope Solo) to their team a few years ago.  Read Jerramy Spoke in Class Today for a reminder of what type of organization the Bucs are.

Marcus Peters- CB, Washington

Washington Head Coach Chris Petersen was on Path to the Draft this week.  He was asked about a number of his players including Peters.  They pressed Petersen on Peters off the field issues and he was non-commital in his response, giving a very generic answer.  That's not a good sign and that's the reason we have Peters as a second rounder, not a first as most pundicators.

April 19, 2015

Mario Edwards- DE, Florida State

Some pundicators (Jason La Confora included) are indicating that they see Edwards as a potential first round pick.  Whoever "they" are, they haven't watched any film on Edwards.  He was reportedly playing heavy in 2014, but throughout his career he has produced squadoosh.  In the last two seasons combined, he has 72 tackles and 27 TFL/Sacks.  To put that into perspective, last season alone Hau'oli Kikaha had 72 tackles and 44 TFL/sacks.  Edwards is a mid-round talent,  though we concede there are plenty of terrible scouting departments so he may be drafted much earlier.

April 18, 2015

Damian Swann- CB, Georgia

The case of Damian Swann versus Kevin Johnson brings to light an intriguing draft analysis.  The two players are identical in every aspect.  They are both 6'0", 190, and they have both started the past three years in premier conferences.  Their stats over the past three years are nearly identical too, with Johnson having a few more passes defensed and Swann having one more interception a few more forced fumbles.  Johnson had a 41 inch vertical to Swann's 33 and Swann ran a 4.50 to Johnson's 4.52.  On tape they are similar too.  So why is Johnson rated around the 20th overall prospect and Swann tracking around 200?  We don't have an answer for that.  If we are in a draft room, this knowledge is ridiculously valuable.  We wouldn't even consider a corner until the third round in this year's draft.  As a slightly relevant aside, Georgia has had a number of DBs drafted after the first round in recent years.  Brandon Boykin (4th), Tim Jennings (2nd) and Reshad Jones (5th) are pro-bowl caliber players and Shawn Williams (3rd), Baccari Rambo (6th) and Sanders Commings (5th) will all be playing in the NFL next year also. Wake Forest has produced Brandon Ghee (3rd) who may make it another year as a special teamer, and Alphonso Smith (2nd) who is already out of the league. Of course we won't mention Wake Forest's last first round defender, Aaron Curry, who was the 4th overall pick in 2009 and has already retired.  Anyway, we're not sure who we'd draft between Swann and Johnson and that's why Kevin Johnson didn't make our list of top 40 players.

April 17, 2015

Adrian Peterson- RB, Vikings

One of the NFL's all-time great runners (and all-time worst fathers) has been reinstated by the NFL.  He has made it clear that he doesn't want to return to the Vikings because they betrayed his trust in the child abuse scandal.  As great as AP has been, he's 30 and makes top dollar at a non-premium position.  The Vikings may not want to trade him, but we suspect that if they are offered a late first rounder they would jump on it.  This screams for a Cowboys-Vikings deal.

April 16, 2015

Breshad Perriman- WR, Central Florida

Perriman is flying up draft boards faster than you can say 4.28, but people need to pump the brakes.  As an initial matter, he doesn't play to that speed.  More importantly, if he is drafted in the top 15 he had better be a number one receiver, and how many number one receivers have high drop rates?  The answer is none.  He's potentially a good 2nd receiver with big play ability, but those guys should be drafted in the 2nd round.   

Mike Pouncey- C, Dolphins

The Dolphins recently signed Pouncey to a deal guaranteeing him $22 million.  Bad idea.  Pouncey played guard last year after returning from injury and graded out -17.6 according to PFF.  More importantly, check out this story by the Orlando Sentinel about Hernandez, Reggie Nelson and the Pouncey brothers alleged involvement in a shooting incident at the University of Florida.  Combine that with Pouncey wearing a "Free Hernandez" hat after Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder, and you have a picture of a person you don't want on your team.  This is especially true when you consider the fact that the Dolphins offensive line had off-field issues last year with the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin incident.

April 15, 2015

Jameis Winston- QB, Florida State

Mike Mayock made news this week when he said what we've been saying for a long time, that Marcus Mariota is a better prospect than Winston.  Winston has allayed some of our fears this off-season by staying out of the news and performing well in interviews, at least according to most front offices.  He displays a calm and carries himself as a natural leader, but his performance in one of his two years as a starter wasn't very good.  Pundicators cite to the fact that he is "a winner" but he had the most talented team in the country surrounding him.  Watch how many players from Florida State get drafted this year including his tight end, running back, wide receiver and possibly 4 of his offensive linemen.  That's basically the entire offense, not to mention 4 defensive players who will be drafted in the first three rounds.  Without that talent around him he would have lost several more games.  Mariota only lost 5 games in three years as a starter (and beat Winston head-to-head) so he was a "winner" too.  Although we love Winston's moxy, we still have Jamarcus Russell concerns after a 4.90 forty and after only one good year statistically.  There's enough there that he's a top 10 pick, but we like Mariota better for the long haul.

April 14, 2015

Steven Nelson- CB, Oregon State

Nelson is one of a number of corners we like after the first round.  He's a fiesty tackler (he reportedly didn't miss a tackle in 2014) with excellent ball skills and though he is projected as a 2nd/3rd rounder, we prefer him over Jalen Collins who many are grading as a first rounder.

April 13, 2015

Kevin White- WR, West Virginia

The crazy rumor season is upon us.  Reportedly, from sources that aren't actually reported, the Dolphins are looking into trading up to draft White.  The Browns allegedly want to trade up to draft Mariota, as do the Eagles.  There will a dozen reports like this in the next few weeks and only one will actually be true, but we must agree it is fun to speculate.

April 12, 2015

LeVeon Bell- RB, Steelers

Bell has been suspended for the first three games of the 2015 season for his DUI.  It's a significant portion of a 16 game fantasy season, particularly if the first three weeks of your fantasy season are division games.  Bell would have been a certain top 5 pick, but now we wouldn't take him in the top 10.  An owner could plan to draft Bell and then reach for Deangelo Williams, but that's a risky strategy.

April 11, 2015

Troy Polamalu- S, Steelers

Polamalu announced his retirement, ensuring that he played his entire career as a Steeler.  He is one of the all-time greats and was one of the most entertaining defenders to ever play the game.  With Polamalu and Ed Reed both retired, there is a huge void at the safety position.  At present, safety is probably the weakest position in the NFL.

April 10, 2015

Rob Housler- TE, Free Agent

Housler reamins on the market, and we think he's a player who may benefit from a change of scenery.  We thought he had the skills to be a starting "move" tight end coming out of Florida Atlantic.  He posted over 400 yards in two of his four NFL seasons, but he only has one career touchdown.

Max Garcia- C, Florida

Garcia is Cameron Erving 2.0.  He started his career at Maryland and transferred to Florida where he filled in, very admirably, at left tackle before moving to center in 2014.  He's also started games at guard. He's versatile and very strong at the point of attack.  We watched his game versus Eddie Goldman and he stonewalled Goldman and anyone else who entered his zone. He's a borderline first round pick, but a pectoral injury late in the season will likely drop him into the 2nd/3rd round range.

April 9, 2015

Jeff Heuerman- TE, Ohio State

Heuerman didn't have the big year that most expected in 2014, but we think he could be a nice sleeper pick in the middle rounds. He's a good athlete (4.75 forty and 26 reps) with legitimate NFL size and solid hands.

Kevin Johnson- CB, Wake Forest

Johnson has made a steady rise up draft pundicators' boards since the college football season ended.  He's not small (6'0", 188) but he is very lean.  We think he will struggle to tackle NFL sized running backs and he will also struggle with more physical receivers.  Frankly, he doesn't appear to have an NFL body.  His movement skills are great and as a pure coverage guy (who isn't asked to press) he could become a decent corner, but we wouldn't take him as a top 40 pick.

April 8, 2015

Sammie Coates- WR, Eagles

Coates has become the forgotten man this off-season.  He's got first round measurables similar to Breshad Perriman, yet there hasn't been any mention of him recently and he seems to have fallen out of the first round discussion.  He has a history of knee injuries and his hands can be inconsistent, but he could be a nice value pick toward the end of the second round.

April 7, 2015

P.J. Williams- CB, Florida State

Williams, who had been our 27th ranked prospect, received a DUI last week and has fallen out of our top 40 list.  He's got first round talent but as off field issues continue to mount for him, we feel he's too big of a risk to take in the top 40.

April 6, 2015

Josh Shaw- CB, USC

You may remember Shaw as the guy who claimed to injure his ankles jumping into a pool to rescue his drowning nephew when in fact, he was jumping out of a window to avoid the police who were investigating a domestic abuse complaint.  Shaw was a highly touted prep star who matriculated at Florida before transferring to USC.  He's got good size (6'0") and 4.44 wheels and he's played both safety and corner.  He bench pressed 225 an impressive 26 times, and he probably would have been in the first round discussion were it not for his boy who cried wolf incident.

April 5, 2015

Riley Cooper- WR, Eagles

Remember two of the biggest contracts signed by offensive players in 2014?  The great white nopes themselves, Riley Cooper (who signed the second biggest free agent receiver contract in 2014) and Toby Gerhart who signed the largest free agent running back contract in the 2014 class.  Cooper produced a laughable  577 yards and 3 TDs, though on the bright side he wasn't caught on camera using the N-word for an entire season! Gerhart plodded his way to 326 yards (3.2YPC) and 2 touchdowns.

April 4, 2015

Brandon Boykin- CB, Eagles

The Eagles are reportedly, shockingly, shopping Boykin.  He's entering his contract year and makes $1.6 million.  He's received a positive grade (from PFF) in all of his first three seasons and at age 24 he is one of the best cover corners and most valuable commodities in the NFL.  If there is a God, the Dolphins will trade the Dion Jordan plague for Boykin.  Come on Chip, he went to Oregon!  It is also rumored that Boykin and the Matriculator graduated from the same high school, though we can neither confirm nor deny that rumor.

April 3, 2015

Atlanta Falcons

The NFL is rapidly making a mockery of the league.  The Falcons were caught cheating to influence the outcome of games (how successful they were is irrelevant) and they get a little fine and lose a fifth round pick.  In other words, the NFL has no interest in the integrity of the game.  Rich McKay, who has been on the competition committee for 20 years, gets a three month suspension?  The fix is on and the NFL doesn't care.  They should be renamed the WWFL.  This slap on the wrist in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal. the Dallas Party Bus Scandal and the Patriots cheating for the 4th time to win a Super Bowl, has made the league a bit of a joke.  Let's get this straight, a guy in charge of the integrity of the league gets a three month paid vacation from his committee after his team is caught trying to cheat the integrity of the game, and Josh Gordon is suspended for a year for smoking pot, which no right thinking person on the planet believes enhances a player's performance.  I'm officially boycotting...the Hall of Fame game.

April 2, 2015

Kyle Fuller-CB, Bears

Last year we were the only scouting service that didn't have Fuller listed as a top 40 prospect.  He was drafted 14th overall by the Bears.  He started with a bang, posting 3 interceptions in his first three games, but he ended up grading out (according to PFF) 107th out of 108 cornerbacks.  Fuller underscores the difficulty in evaluating cornerbacks.  Of the top 32 graded cornerbacks last season, only 11 were first round picks, with 7 drafted in the 2nd round and another 6 coming from the 5th round.

April 1, 2015

Tony Lippett- WR/CB, Michigan State

Lippett is an intiguing prospect who played both wide receiver and cornerback for the Spartans in 2014.  He produced the most receiving yards in the Big Ten (1,198) and had 11 touchdowns.  We thought he looked good as a corner also, and at 6'2" he has the length teams are looking for.  We expect he will be drafted in the 3rd round and wouldn't be surprised if he converted to a full time defensive back.

Bryce Petty- QB, Baylor

We watched the Baylor/Michigan State game, and we can't be more impressed with Petty.  He makes elite level NFL throws.  He has a quick release and he throws a great deep ball.  He absolutely torched top 15 pick Trae Waynes, completing a deep ball down the sideline, a back shoulder throw to the one yard line and a would be touchdown pass that was dropped in the end zone.  The only thing he doesn't show on tape is the ability to move through progressions because he wasn't asked to do that in Baylor's offense.

March 30, 2015

Shane Ray- DE, Missouri

Ray is rated the 3rd best edge rusher by Rotoworld and Daniel Jeremiah and the 4th best edge rusher by CBS. Overall he is ranked 14th, 8th and 17th by CBS, DJ and Rotoworld respectively.  He's number one on our board not only at the edge rusher spot, but among all defensive players, and he will be making an appearance in the top 5 overall players on our draft countdown.  His burst off the snap is unparalleled in this draft class.  He reminds us at times of Dwight Freeney and Cameron Wake.  His pro day 40 time was a little slower than expected (in the high 4.5s) but he plays that fast on seemingly every play.  His hand use in taking on and shedding blockers is as good as we've seen from a pass rushing prospect in the past few years and he's always around the ball.

March 29, 2015

Eric Kendricks- LB, UCLA

After having watched bits and pieces of tape on Kendricks and seeing him move at the Combine, we thought thought we were going to grade him as a first round talent once we watched some more game film. We recently watched an entire game (versus Utah) and we're not sure he's draft worthy.  That game was the worst defensive performance we've seen in our five years of  scouting.  He was credited with 11 tackles (most of which were well downfield) and that game highlights how stats can lie.  He was horrible at diagnosing plays, frequently running after a player who didn't have the ball.  He never disengaged from a block and he completely whiffed on three open field tackles.  To his credit, he moved well in pass coverage, but he's a third down, sub-package player who we wouldn't take until after the 4th round.  He's currently ranked 44, 35 and 7, by CBS, Daniel Jeremiah and Rotoworld.

March 28, 2015

Vic Beasley- DE, Clemson

We continue to watch tape on our top 4 pass rushers, and we continue to waffle, particularly on Beasley and Randy Gregory.  Beasley looks like he would be more stout against the run, but the tape (and stats) show otherwise.  Beasley is an elite pass rusher and he has the power, moves and quickness to produce double digit sacks, but if he can't play the run he's not worthy of a top ten pick.  Gregory seems like he would be best suited for a 3-4 rush linebacker role and even though he's slightly built from the waist down, he's much more willing to go after people in the run game.  We initially had Beasley iin the top 5 and didn't have Gregory in the top ten, but that is still a fluid situation for us.

March 27, 2015

Randy Gregory- DE, Nebraska

We've been waiting for one of the top 4 edge rushers to seperate himself, and Gregory has done that with a failed drug test at the Combine.  He tested positive for marijuana and has probably dropped to 4th among the group because most NFL teams will want to be safe, particularly when drafting in the top ten.  I still want to try a million dollar joint.  The NFL has lessened the penalties in the past few years so the reality is that Gregory isn't nearing any significant punishment, but the poor judgment is an issue.  In addition to Gregory losing a lot of money, he's probably left the Falcons in the lurch.  The other three pass rushers should be gone before pick number 8 and the Falcons usually don't draft players with off-field issues.  That leaves them with no premier player at their greatest position of need.

March 26, 2015

Reggie Bush- RB, 49ers

Coach Tomsula thinks that Reggie Bush can be an every down back and while he may have another decent year or two in him, we like Carlos Hyde to get the bulk of the carries behind what is still a very good offensive line.

March 25, 2015

Andrus Peat- OT, Stanford

Peat won't be making an appearance on our top 40 list.  He reminds us of Andre Smith.  He's overweight and heavy legged and looks more like a decent guard or right tackle, worthy of a late second or third round pick.

March 24, 2105

Jarvis Jones- DE, Steelers

2015 is a make or break year for Jones.  If he doesn't have a double digit sack year he will officially be a bust.  We liked Jones coming out of Georgia, but thought he was miscast in the 3-4.  He joins a terrible 2013 draft class which includes top ten picks who are headed to bust status including Chance Warmack, Dee Milliner, Tavon Austin, Johnathan Cooper, Barkevious Mingo, Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, and our Matriculator Whipping Boy, Dion Jordan.

March 23, 2015

Eddie Goldman- DT, Florida State

Goldman is ranked as a first round pick by most pundicators, but he won't make our top 40 list.  He's huge and strong but he spends most of his time hand fighting and isn't going to add much in the pass rush.  We think he's an NFL starter but not a difference maker.

March 22, 2015

Arik Armstead- DT, Oregon

BSPN had one of the more bizarre episodes of television when Armstead joined the gang in studio.  Brian Baldinger looked up at Armstead and gushed about how big he was and said, "This is a first round pick!"  The blond woman was the worse, repeatedly touching Armstead on the back and likewise gushing about how big he was.  She looked up at him like a dog in heat.  I'm sure her husband spit up his beer when he watched.  She ended the awkward program by asking him to stand behind her and extend his arms so that they could compare his reach to hers.  He's still a mid-round pick on our board, but he's apparently the blond woman on BSPN's number one.

March 21, 2015

Michael Crabtree- WR, Free Agent

Crabtree hasn't generated much interest on the open market, and rightfully so.  In six seasons he's only produced one 1,000-yard campaign.  People may have forgotten that he held out and missed the first five games of his rookie year because he thought he should have been drafted higher.  He demanded to be paid more than the higher drafted receiver Darius Heyward-Bey.  Crabtree's not explosive and his opinion of himself far exceeds his ability.

March 20, 2015

Ameer Abdullah- RB, Nebraska

Abdullah is a very impressive runner.  On running ability alone we like him as a top 20 pick, but he has some significant negatives.  He's been injured, has fumble problems and is not a good pass blocker.  All three of those issues could land him on the bench, so he won't be making our top 40 countdown.

March 19, 2015

Charles Clay- TE, Dolphins

Clay, who was transition tagged by the Fins, has signed an offer sheet with the Bills that guarantees him $24 million over the next two years. That's $12 million a year. To put that into perspective, Gronk is guaranteed a total of $13 million and Jimmy Graham makes $10 million a year. Peyton Manning and Sam Bradford now have competition for the most overpaid player in the NFL.  The Bills are simply clueless.  If the Dolphins match...well don't even get me started if that happens.  There is a reason why the Patriots continue to lap the AFC East.  Tight end Scott Chandler signed with the Pats for 2 years and $5.3 million.  His and Charles Clay's stats are identical over the last three years: 1,600 yards and 11 touchdowns.

March 18, 2015

Mario Edwards- DE, Florida State

Edwards entered the 2014 season as a player to watch as a top ten pick.  Turns out he's not.  In fact, we've seen enough of him to say that he shouldn't be drafted in the second round either.  He's got no explosion as a pass rusher and he's not even very good against the run.  We see him as a 6th-7th rounder though he will probably be drafted much higher than that.

Denzel Perryman- LB, Miami

We really love Perryman as a two down 'backer.  His instincts, power and short area quickness scream Pro Bowler.  The million dollar question is whether he can cover.  If he can, he's a first round talent.  We've watched more tape and are comfortable enough with him in coverage.  He might not be great, but he shouldn't be a liability either.  Look for Perryman to be selected no later than the top half of the second round and make a team very happy. 

Chris Borland- LB, 49ers

What's in the water in San Francisco?  A second linebacker has retired in two weeks, with Borland announcing his retirement after only a half a season, and an impressive one at that. Borland cited a concern for head injuries.  Good for Borland for not wanting to risk his health, but don't expect a wave of retirements.  Players know the risks, but the money and fame simply outweigh the risk for most players.

March 17, 2015

Terrance Knighton- DT, Redskins

The Skins added Knighton, Stephen Paea and Chris Culliver during free agency.  We like what they've done by adding starters at mid-level contracts.  While the Cowboys and Eagles have been grabbing all of the headlines, the Redskins may have had the best off-season so far.

Darrelle Revis- CB, Jets

Revis signed with the Jets for a guarantee of $20 million per year for the next two years.  If he continues as a shut-down corner he's worth every penny of it and the Jets defense will be the NFL's best.  The Jets also signed CB Buster Skrine and got Brandon Marshall for a 5th round pick.  It has been a great off-season for Gang Green.

March 16, 2015

Jared Odrick- DT, Jaguars

After signing several back-ups for starter money in free agency, the Jaguars got it right with Odrick who they signed for a guarantee of $22 million.  Odrick is an above average starter in his prime and he should help bolster a deep defensive front in Jacksonville.

March 15, 2015

Charles Clay-TE, Dolphins

We are fans of Clay, but we're not sure why several teams have entered into a bidding war over him.  Apparently the Bills and Browns are both going to make a substantial long term offer to him.  The Dolphins placed a transition tag on him for $7 million for the 2015 season, but that only gives the Dolphins a right to match any offer.  There is no draft pick compensation if they choose not to match.  With Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas only in the $9-10 million range we can't figure out what other teams will offer for a guy whose career best in 4 years has been 69/759/6.

March 14, 2015

Ben Grubbs- OG, Chiefs

The Saints traded Grubbs to the Chiefs for a 5th rounder.  Grubbs is a borderline Pro Bowl caliber player who will help with the loss of Rodney Hudson.  The Saints continue to make strides in their pursuit of the number one pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

March 13, 2015

Demarco Murray- RB, Eagles

Murray will get $21 million guaranteed from the Eagles.  He's a great runner, but he's a big back and not really a fit for Crazy Chip's up tempo offense.  This seems more of a deal to weaken the Cowboys than strengthen the Eagles.

March 12, 2015

Sam Bradford- QB, Eagles

The Eagles have traded Nick Foles for Sam Bradford. Unless the Eagles are going to trade Bradford to move up in the draft, and good luck with that, it is a franchsie killer.  Bradford is no better than Foles or Mark Sanchez (if he even plays), but he makes $16 million this year.  The Eagles won't recover from this one.

Jimmy Graham- TE, Saints

"Holy bird brains, Batman!"  The Saints traded by far their best player and one of the few difference makers in the entire NFL for the 31st pick in the draft and a very good center.  Graham is in his prime (he's 28) and comes as a bargain at $10 million per season.  Once again Seattle fleeces the rest of the league and is now primed for another Super Bowl push.  With Drew Brees on the downside of his career (but still being paid like a star) you can probably write the Saints off for the next 3-4 years.

Jeremy Maclin- WR, Chiefs

Maclin has signed with the Chiefs and he will get $11 million per year over at least the next two seasons.  He now enters wide receiver Hell in Kansas City and he makes Mike Wallace's $9.5 million a year look much better.

March 11, 2015

Shane Vereen- RB, Patriots

When the Patriots drafted Vereen in the 2nd round we said it was a horrible pick and we were correct. Third down backs who catch passes are a dime a dozen and should be drafted in the 6th-7th round.  In 4 years Vereen never even reached  400 rushing yards.  The media is reporting that the Giants "stole" Vereen from the Patriots.  Vereen wanted $5 million a year but he only got $3.5.  He's a decent third down back and nothing more.

Brandon Marshall- WR, Bears

The Bears, like the Broncos and Dolphins before them, are trying to trade Marshall.  There's a reason and that reason is probably because his teams have won all of ZERO playoff games.  Unlike Jay Cutler, who everyone has gushed over for years, Marshall at least has some talent.

March 10, 2015

Jermey Parnell- T, Jaguars

Parnell has a few starts after 5 years in the NFL and the Jaguars pay him $32 million?  That's the premium teams at the bottom have to pay to get even average players.  Nobody wants to play for the London Jaguars.

Rodney Hudson- C, Raiders

The Raiders stole one of the NFL's top interior lineman from their division rivals, agreeing to a contract that will pay Hudson, we suspect, about $25 million guaranteed.  It's a good signing for the Raiders as they are looking to bolster both sides of the line.

Patrick Willis- LB, 49ers

Go on, take the money and run.  Willis announced his retirement today, at age 30. Willis received a huge contract from the 49ers in 2010.  His first 4 years in the league, including 2010,  he posted over 100 solo tackles per season.  After receiving his new contract that paid him over $30 million the next four years he never again surpassed 100 solo tackles.  He's the reason that when the big contracts are being doled out by the Dolphins and Jaguars and Eagles of the world, we aren't hearing any talk about the Steelers or Ravens or Patriots.

March 9, 2015

Stephone Anthony- LB, Clemson

Anthony continues to wow in shorts.  He's a great athlete and that shows up on tape, but he's not adept at diagnosing plays.  He takes too many false steps and struggles when asked to process large amounts of information.  If he goes to a team where the defensive reads are easy and he is asked to rush the passer he could be a star, but as a read and react middle linebacker he will struggle.  He's a 2nd rounder with high upside.

March 8, 2015

Lesean McCoy- RB, Bills

While the media and Bills fans are gushing about the trade for McCoy, it's a horrible move for the Bills.  They give up one of the best young defensive players in Kiko Alonso who is also dirt cheap.  They add a running back, the least valuable position in the NFL, and they will be paying him a huge cap number for at least three years. McCoy is coming off his worst season in years.  In spite of playing for a wide open offense, he averaged 4.2 YPC and had four fumbles. The Bills could have drafted a similar player in Duke Johnson and saved about $7 million a year over the next three years.

March 7, 2015

Kong Suh- DT, Lions

A few days after we post that wherever Suh goes he will kill a franchise, the Dolphins become the early favorite to sign him.  Suh is a great player but $50 million guaranteed is not a number that you can build a team around, even if it is for a quarterback.

March 6, 2015

Rodney Hudson- C, Chiefs

If Hudson makes it to the open market he should command at least $20 million guaranteed.  He's one of the NFL's best centers and he's young.

March 4, 2015

Andrew Hawkins- WR, Browns

In spite of playing only 667 snaps (a little more than half) Hawkins graded out as a top 12 receiver in 2014.  He had 6 games with 85 or more receiving yards.  He's only capable of playing in the slot, but he's one of the few building blocks the Browns currently have rostered.

March 2, 2015

Justin Blalock- G, Falcons

The Falcons abysmal front office performance continues with the release of Blalock and DE Jonathan Massaquoi.  The Falcons have had two needs for about a decade, the offensive line and a pass rush.  The saved over $3 million in cap space by cutting Blalock, their highest rated offensive line starter.  They will sign who to replace him?  You can't  find a starting guard for less than $4 million and now the Falcons have only one positively graded offensive lineman on their roster.  And a team that's been searching for a pass rush for years cuts Massaquoi who is one of only two ends who graded positively as a pass rusher, the other being Osi Umenyiora who will likely be cut.  They saved only $650,000 by cutting Massaquoi.  They apparently think they can find a decent pass rusher for less than a million a year.  Last year they drafted Jake Mathews who was the lowest rated offensive tackle in the NFL and in the past two years they've spent big money on a washed up Roddy White and back-up defensive end Kroy Bierman. Their front office is now officially the NFL's worst.

February 28, 2015

Gabe Carimi- T, Falcons

Carimi was a guy we had as a top ten player coming out of Wisconsin in 2011.  The Bears drafted him late in the first round.  In his second career start as a rookie he posted a positive grade according to Pro Football Focus.  Unfortunately he blew his ACL in that game.  He returned in 2012 and started every game grading out -12, which is below average but not terrible for a guy less than 12 months removed from an ACL surgery. in 2013 he played sporadically and posted an average grade.  The Falcons signed him in 2014 and he proved to be a valuable, versatile lineman.  He started games at left tackle, right tackle and guard for the Falcons and if you take out terrible games against the Saints (in the first game of the season)  and Bears he had a positive grade. We expect him to improve as he gets older and further away from his ACL injury. Don't be surprised to see him still starting 5 years from now.

February 27, 2015

Dez Bryant- WR, Cowboys

Bryant may fall victim to a witch hunt after the NFL's 2014 public relations nightmare.  According to some media outlets there is a video showing someone being dragged into Bryant's vehicle.  Nobody knows whether the video shows Bryant doing the dragging.  If it does, there is still an issue about timing as the incident happened in 2011.  Can you really go back and punish someone 4 years after an incident?

February 26, 2015

Byron Jones- CB, Connecticut

Jones didn't shoot up draft boards, he jumped up them after destroying the Combine record in the broad jump (by 6 inches!) and posting a 44.5-inch vertical.  Jones played safety his first few years and moved to corner his Senior year before injuring himself.  He has 8 career interceptions and over 200 tackles and at 6'1", 199 he will attract some first round looks.

February 24, 2015

Hau'oli Kikaha- DE, Washington

There is some fool who recently said Kikaha wasn't a draftable prospect.  Poor guy will never be able to look a draft analyst in the eye again.  Kikaha is a first round prospect who, if it weren't for knee injuries in 2011 and 2012, would be a shoo-in as a top ten pick.  Some draft evaluators have indicated that he's a one trick pony as strictly a pass rusher.  He's not. Guys who we correctly didn't like as first round picks in years past because they were one down players included Bruce Irvin and Dee Ford.  Those two players had 61 and 63 tackles respectively in their last two college seasons.  Kikaha had 142 tackles, significantly more than the aforementioned and more than Vic Beasley or Randy Gregory.  He was unblockable in every game the past two years posting 32 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss.  If his knees stay healthy and he goes to the right system (he's not going to be good if converted to linebacker) he will be a star.  Assuming his medicals check out we'd take him in the first round without hesitation.

February 23, 2015

Dorial Green-Beckham- WR, Missouri

Green-Beckham will be the most scrutinized player besides Jameis Winston at the 2015 Combine.  Green-Beckham has the body of Calvin Johnson and showed flashes in his limited time at Missouri, but his off-field incidents bring thoughts of Josh Gordon.  He was suspended as a freshman for marijuana use and as a sophomore for tossing a girl down some stairs.  Like Gordon, he's high risk-high reward and his interviews will probably be the most important part of his weekend.

February 22, 2015

Paul Dawson- LB, TCU

Dawson may have lost more money at the Combine than any player.  It wasn't only his 4.90 forty, he was bad in the drills and simply didn't look athletic enough to be a premier NFL player.  He looks faster on tape and his instincts are on the high end but he has off-field issues and was disengaged at his biggest audition.

February 21, 2015

DeVante Parker- WR, Louisville

Parker joins a nice receiving class that includes Breshad Perriman, Amari Cooper and Kevin White.  We have similar grades on all of them and like them all in the first round, but not as top ten picks.  For a receiver to be a top-ten pick they have to have Julio Jones/A.J. Green/Demaryius Thomas like attributes to dominate games even when teams game plan to stop them.  We don't see any of the receivers in this draft in that type of range.  Parker is the tallest at 6'3", but he's not physically dominant.  All of the players would seem to be pro-ready in terms of route running and they are all very good at the catch point.  We will likely have them all between about 12-25 on our list. They are low-end number one/high end number two receivers.

February 18, 2015

Marshawn Lynch- RB, Seahawks

Lynch was phenomenal again in the Super Bowl, torching the Patriots defense for over 100 yards in spite of the Patriots focus on stopping him.  He will reportedly make $10 million next year and with Russell Wilson about to become the highest paid player in NFL history it will be interesting to see how they work it all under the salary cap.

February 16, 2015

Arik Armstead- DE, Oregon

People just really don't learn.  We said a few weeks ago that Armstead wasn't a first round talent.  This week Mel Kiper compared him to Ziggy Ansah.  Daniel Jeremiah has him ranked as the 13th prospect overall.  The more we look into him the further he drops on our board.  He's not a top 50 player, that much we know.  We said the same about Dion Jordan, who was the third overall pick and is soon to be on the list of biggest draft busts in NFL history.  Like Jordan, Armstead looks really good getting off the bus at 6'8", 290.  The problem is that he's horrible.  In three seasons he has managed a total of 75 tackles and  4.5 career sacks.  His first season his .5 sack came against Tennessee Tech.  His second season his only sack came versus Nicholls State.  Like Rasheed Hageman and Dion Jordan he will be drafted far too early.  Right now we've got him as a 5th-6th round talent based soley on his size.

February 14, 2015

Johnny Manziel- QB, Browns

Johnny Foolsball has checked into rehab.  This isn't a shocker to anyone as he behaved like someone with an addiction problem throughout his first year in the NFL.  He will need to right the ship in 2015 and win some games or his career will be in jeopardy before it ever gets started.

February 11, 2015

Kong Suh- DT, Lions

Suh is a tremendous talent, no doubt worthy of the $35 million plus he will get in guaranteed money, but we wouldn't touch him. He's a good bet to go Albert Haynesworth on his next employer.  He has already been suspended for his on- field anger management issues and he's an arrest/suspension waiting to happen.

February 8, 2015

C.J. Spiller- RB, Bills

Spiller is one of the more intriguing free agents of 2015.  He has shown flashes of brilliance but has been far too inconsistent and injury prone.  He's still only 27 and carries a career average of 5.0 YPC.  He will probably only get around $8 million guaranteed and he could become a weapon in the right system.  Look for the Falcons, Panthers, Chargers, and Cardinals to be in the running for his services.

February 5, 2015

Chris Matthews- WR, Seahawks

Matthews was the break-out star of the Super Bowl.  He didn't have a career NFL catch entering the game and he went for over 100 yards and a crucial touchdown.  He's 6'5", 220 and is physically dominant at the catch point.  He was academically ineligible coming out of high school so he went to a JUCO and then had one year at Kentucky where he was impressive (925 yards, 9 TDs), but he went undrafted.  He played a year in the CFL and won Rookie of the Year before getting injured in 2013.  He will have a legitimate shot at the #2 receiver role next year but the Seahawks will almost undoubtedly add wide receivers in free agency and the draft.

February 2, 2015

Jamison Crowder- WR, Duke

Crowder was voted the toughest wide receiver to cover by Senior Bowl defensive backs.  We always like to hear from the people who would know.  Crowder had three consecutive 1,000+ yard seasons at Duke and we don't know why he isn't in the first round discussion.  He's small but so are Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Steve Smith and T.Y. Hilton.  He's got the potential to be a chain mover at the next level and could be a steal if he goes after the 2nd round.

February 1, 2015

Brandon Brooks- G, Texans

In 2012 Brooks was included in our top 32 players in the draft.  Of course this was before we were voted the World's Greatest Draft Scout for 4 years running.  He was a little known guard prospect from Miami of Ohio who wasn't even a First Team All-Mac selection.  No pundit had him in the top two rounds and neither did any NFL scout.  He was drafted in the 3rd round by the Texans and for the past two years has graded out as a top 10 guard according to Pro Football Focus.   He was ranked 3rd and 5th as a run blocker.

January 30, 2015

Miami Dolphins

There is a report that the Dolphins were close to hiring Bret Bielema as their head coach in 2012.  Bielema, who coached Wisconsin at the time, told the Dolphins he wanted them to draft Russell Wilson in the 2nd round and guaranteed them a Super Bowl in 5 years with Wilson as their tosser.  Instead the NFL's worst GM, Jeff Ireland, vetoed the deal.  Ironically Ireland is now consulting for the Seahawks and presided over their horrible 2014 draft.

January 28, 2015

Aaron Rodgers- QB, Packers

Rodgers and Russell Wilson both posted sub-60 passer ratings in the NFC Championship, but for very different reasons.  Rodgers has great receivers but played against the NFL's premier defense.  Wilson faced an average defense but has the worst receving corps in the NFL.  Two of Wilson's interceptions were drops by receivers.  Wilson is now an incredible 10-0 versus Super Bowl Winning quarterbacks and 6-1 in the post-season for his career.  He certainly wasn't good overall but he was dead on when the game was on the line.

January 26, 2015

Dante Fowler- DE, Florida

We've scouted Fowler and like what we see, but only if he goes into the correct system.  We've noticed a significant difference when he plays with his hand in the dirt versus standing up and we were surprised that he plays better standing up.  When he comes from a three point stance on the outside he has a tendency to get stonewalled by the lineman.  Once a lineman grabs him he was generally unable to move.  If he goes to a 3-4 team we like his chances of success better though we think he will be, at a minimum, good.  We will likely have him as a first rounder, but probably not in the top 20.

January 24, 2015

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

Luck's post-season performances continue to be a mixed bag.  He's been great in his two home games but he's been terrible in his 4 road games with 3 of them resulting in a passer rating below 60.  He has all of the tools but he will need to improve on his 9/12 touchdown to interception ratio to reach elite status.

January 21, 2015

Tom Brady- QB, Patriots

There is a report that the Patriots deflated the balls in the Colts game to a level below what the NFL rules require.  A deflated ball is easier to throw, particularly in inclement weather.  The Patriots obviously don't care and probably figure that their repuatation is already so tarnished that it doesn't matter.  If they are found to have cheated again and win the Super Bowl they will still have exactly zero non-cheating championships to their credit, the same number as the Browns and Lions.

January 20, 2015

Marshawn Lynch- RB, Seahawks

Lynch went Beast Mode again, sledgehammering his way to 183 combined yards and a touchdown.  With Seattle's lack of a threat on the outside defenses continue to focus on Lynch but it doesn't matter.  He will probably only play another year or two and the NFL will surely not be as fun to watch when he's gone.

January 19, 2015

Arik Armstead- DE, Oregon

Armstead has announced he is leaving Oregon early.  He's 6'8", 290 and certainly looks the part.  To us he looks the part of a Tarzan/Jane prospect.  He's mustered a pathetic 4.5 career sacks so don't expect him to get to the passer.  So he must be a run stuffer, right?  His career high in three years at Oregon was 34 tackles.  So he's got upside?  Ask the Dolphins (See Dion Jordan) what upside is worth.  He's a third round prospect who should be a rotational type unless he adds weight and becomes a run stuffer but because he looks great getting off the bus he will probably be drafted much earlier.  He's a great test case to see if NFL GM's learned anything from the Dolphins' Dion Jordan debacle.

January 18, 2015

Darren Waller- WR, Georgia Tech

You can't even find Waller as draftable on most draft lists.  He's listed as the 450th prospect on CBS/NFL Draft Scout's list.  He's not listed on Walter Football's list of wide receivers or tight ends.  SB Nation? Not in their list of the top 30 receivers.  We're not sure he isn't the top reciever in the draft.  We're not sure he is either. The ubiquitous problem with Georgia Tech receivers is that they hardly ever have a pass thrown their way.  We read a report in Rotoworld that he was slow to seperate from receivers.  They obviously didn't watch the same film we did.  We're guessing they didn't watch any film.  He glides by corners and safeties and at 6'6", 240 sometimes physically imposes his will.  He reminds us of his predecessors at Georgia Tech who happen to be the best tandem from any one college...in NFL history.  Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson are both huge, fast and have proven to be dominant number one receivers in the NFL.  We want to see more of Waller, particularly his 40-time and route running/hands at the Combine but if he runs anywhere in the 4.5s and looks fluid in drills he's a first round pick on our board.  We said the same about Jimmy Graham but nobody listened.

January 17, 2015

Doug Marrone- Coach

Marrone opted out of his contract with the Bills.  Word on the street is that he disagreed with the front office's decision to trade their 2014 and 2015 first round picks to move up for Sammy Watkins.  Our comments for our Bills Draft Grade were:

"They should have stayed at #9 and taken Odell Beckham, Jr. and kept next year's first round pick, but that's a story for another day."

Apparently another day has arrived.

January 16, 2015

Peyton Manning-QB, Broncos

Nostradamus week continues at Matriculator Headquarters.  On March 21, 2012 we published Don't You Love Her Madly, The Worst Signing in the History of the NFL.   People said we were crazy back then but as the world's greatest passer pizza plugger was booed off of his home field, we were vindicated.  We said three years ago that Manning might win a fantasy championship for First and Ted or Romolicious, but he would continue to be one of the worst tossers ever when it mattered.  Two first round exits, the biggest humiliation in Super Bowl history, a Nationwide add that made me throw up in my mouth and a post-season winning percentage lower than when Tim Tebow was at the helm of the Broncos and we have been resoundingly proven correct.

Cardale Jones- QB, Ohio State

To stay or not to stay, that is the question Cardale Jones needs to answer after a tremendous 3 game stretch.  The obvious problem is that it is the only three game stretch of his career.  Jones, however, for that three games looked a better prospect than the last two Heisman winners. He beat the #13, #2 and #1 teams in the country. He's got the pocket strength of Big Ben, the speed of Cam Newton, the calm demeanor of Aaron Rodgers, the arm of Jay Cutler and if the small sample size is a true barometer, he can read defenses too.  He would absolutely, shocking as this sounds even to our own ears, be in the discussion as the number one pick if he comes out.

January 15, 2015

Demaryius Thomas- WR, Broncos

Thomas picked a bad time to get the dropsies.  In his final month before hitting free agency (if he doesn't get franchised) he had issues doing the thing he gets paid to do.  Thomas is still only 27 and can dominate games.  He will either get the franchise tag or pull in a $40 million plus guaranteed contract.   Unless of course he drops it.

January 14, 2015

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys

So where is Tony Romeo in the pantheon of NFL quarterbacks after two games where the referees decided who would win the game?  Entering the 2014 season he was decidely mediocre on the Matriculator Eggdicator based on his history of post-season failures.  This season, behind the NFL's best offensive line and with the NFL's leading rusher in tow, there appeared the chance to make some hay and Romo did...sort of.  He was excellent in the Lions game, but the Cowboys probably would have lost were it not for the Dallas Party Bus Miracle.  Romo had another great game on the road versus the Packers.  It was a potential "You can't say shit about Romo anymore" win until the referees stepped in once again. The refs made up for the Dallas Party Bus Miracle by completely hosing Dez and Romo and stealing one of the great post-season hook-ups.  The Dallas Party Bus Make-up Call. So where does that leave Romo?  He certainly gets a boost, but it's not significant enough to move the needle significantly.  Romo needs a Stupor Bowl appearance and if the Cowboys offensive line stays in tact the next few years he just might get there.

January 13, 2015

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks

Wilson continues to dominate the NFL and in spite of protestations that his defense and running game are great, and they certainly are, he's the most prolific passer in NFL history, particularly in the big games. His regular season passer rating is 98.6 which is the second highest in NFL history trailing only Aaron Rodgers.  He's been a better passer than Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Drew Bress and any other name you can throw out and he has been throwing to Jermaine Kearse, Doug Baldwin and Connor Heflet, not Dez Bryant, Jerry Rice, and Marvin Harrison.  His post-season passer rating is the highest in the history of the NFL and he's 5-1 in the post-season.  If he beats Rodgers this weekend Wilson will have only one less career post-season victory than Rodgers in only three years.  Throw in 1,900 yard rushing and 11 rushing touchdowns and there's nobody in the conversation as the best quarterback in NFL history over their first three years.

January 12, 2015

Marcus Mariota- QB, Oregon

We've begun our Draft scouting and have softened our stance on Mariota.  He's still very much an elite prospect but based on the video we've seen so far he has some limitations with arm strength and concomitant issues with downfield accuracy.  Other than the arm strength, which is important, he's a Colin Kaepernick clone.

January 11, 2015

Nostradamus Lives

We penned The Past is Prelude two weeks before the first playoff game.  In that article we said, "As an aside, and if you've ever watched a post-season game you will know this to be true, the NFL will want the Packers or Cowboys to advance so watch the refereeing to be decidedly in their favor."  Late in the Cowboys-Lions game we witnessed one of the most blatant, ridiculous, indefensible refereeing moves as the referees picked up a late pass interference penalty flag against the Cowboys and in essense gave the game to the Cowboys.  The Cowboys defender first grabbed the receiver's shirt (that's defensive holding) and then pushed him with his back to the ball, which is called pass interference.  The head referee didn't even bother to explain the change but if he would have he would have said, "If you thought we were going to let a team from Detroit make it to the next round over the Cowboys, you're smoking crack."  The fact that the NFL VP of Referees, Dean Blandino,  was on the Cowboys party bus a few months ago (and didn't get fired) throws a cloud over the entire post-season and calls into question the very integrity of the NFL. It's a shame for Tony Romo because he played a great game, but this win will forever be remembered as one the referees gifted to the Cowboys.

January 10, 2015

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Here is your trivia question for the day, though the Heading of this post might be a bit of a giveaway.  Of the 100+ quarterbacks to make 5 or more post-season starts, who has the lowest winning percentage of all-time.  We're betting you guessed correctly.

January 9, 2015

Eddie Lacy- RB, Packers

Lacy is our Degenerate Gambler Pick of the Week.  In  Draftkings he is cheaper than Demarco Murray, C.J. Anderson and Marshawn Lynch.  The temperature will be about 15 degrees and with threats on the outside to keep the Cowboys defense spread out we see Lacy as the best value.

January 8, 2015

Thomas Dimitroff- GM, Falcons

What is it with the NFL?  Guys who are terrible at their high paying jobs keep finding work.  Dimitroff, who has managed to build one of the NFL's worst, thinnest rosters, still has a job.  He wants to hire Josh McDaniels who was a miserable failure as a head coach in Denver.  The Falcons need to get rid of Dimitroff and former Patriot Scott Pioli.  The Let's Get People Who Were with the Patriots Theory is a total loser.  All of the ex-Patriots have been busts with Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels and Charlie Weis all posting losing records as NFL coaches.

January 7, 2015

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

Luck had a strong performance in the Colts win over the Bengals, highlighted by his 36-yard, scrambling strike to Donte Moncrief.  Luck has now had 2 strong post-season games at home and two clunkers on the road.  Fortunately he gets Peyton who is the worst clutch quarterback in NFL history.  If Luck can pull off the win on the road it will be a huge feather in his very young cap.  For Peyton a loss would continue to degrade his waning legacy, though it would strengthen his argument as the most overrated player in professional sports history.

January 5, 2015

Joe Flacco- QB, Ravens

Flacco was impressive in his win on the road against the division rival Steelers.  We tend to agree with his coach that he is the best quarterback in the NFL.  He sits at the top of the argument for the greatest post-season tosser.  In his past 9 post-season games he's posted an unprecedented 20 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. The only other tossers with a claim to the throne are Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers.  Whomever of those wins the Stupor Bowl this year will sit atop the Matriculator Eggdicator.

January 3, 2015

Mark Sanchez- QB, Eagles

Sanchez has been on both ends of our theory about players in general, but particularly quarterbacks.  It is one thing to have a great year when nobody expects much, but it's a whole nother ball of wax when you start a season with expectations.  When Sanchez started his career nobody expected him to make consecutive AFC Championship games.  Once he did, he crumbled under the weight of the expectations.  He was cut two years beginnign his career with two Championship game appearances.  Nobody knew who Nick Foles was at the beginning of the 2013 season.  An injury to Mike Vick thrust him into the line-up and he was the highest rated passer in the NFL in 2013.  In 2014, with the expectations high, he wasn't even in the top 25 in passer rating before getting injured midway through the season.  Statistically Sanchez and Foles have been nearly identical in 2014 though Sanchez has a slightly higher passer rating. The point of this being of course, that the Jets suck.

January 2, 2015

Aaron Donald- DT, Rams

Donald finished the season strong with 7 tackles, a sack and 2 QB hits in the season finale against the Seahawks.  He was our number one player in the 2014 Draft and he played like it, earning the highest ranking of any DT according to Pro Football Focus. He is the NFL's second best defensive player and as great as he already is, he's still a mile away from J.J. Watt who continues to amaze on a weekly basis.

January 1, 2015

Johnny Manziel- QB, Browns

Ok, it's offical.   Manziel is as big a screw-up as anyone drafted since...well let's go with Brett Favre.  Favre was able to turn things around but his first year partying was legendary.  If we had to bet today on whether Manziel will be the next Favre or Lienart, we'd go with Leinart.  Manziel just doesn't get it, at least not yet.  That's why he dropped so far in the draft.  If we interviewed him (and remember from a talent perspective we thought he was a top 10 pick) we wouldn't have taken him until the 3rd round, at best.

December 30, 2014

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys

Romo finished the season strong and is certainly in the discussion for MVP.  It's amazing how a great running game and solid defense can change the course of a tosser's history.  Fortunately for Romo he drew the Lions Matt Stafford, a quarterback like him that has a suspect past in the big games.  Is it possible for the game to end in a tie?  We think the Cowboys will handle the Lions and then move on to a difficult match-up with the Packers, though the Pack can be beaten with a running game that controls time of possession.

December 29, 2014

Joe Flacco- QB, Ravens

No surprise Flacco's Ravens are in the post-season again.  It's his 6th appearance in 7 seasons and he's won a playoff game in his previous 5 appearances.  The problem is that he's playing the only other big game tosser left in the AFC in the Wild Card game, drawing Big Ben's Steelers.  The return of Haloti Ngata looms large for the Ravens whose offensive line is the NFL's best.  This game will be a bloodbath, it always is, with the Ravens having the edge in the trenches but the Steelers on the plus side at the skill positions with Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Though the Steelers are a 3 point favorite, we lean ever so slightly toward the Ravens.

December 28, 2014

Brandon Marshall- LB, Broncos

We know you think we made a mistake here.  "Brandon Marshall isn't a linebacker, he's a wide receiver.  And wait a minute, he hasn't been on the Broncos is years."  Actually the best Brandon Marshall in the NFL this year isn't the receiver version, it's the linebacker version.  Marshall was drafted 3 years ago by the Jaguars out of Nevada and of course they cut him.  In 2014 he has posted 113 tackles including an NFL top ten with 10 tackles for loss.  He's also had 9 passes defensed and he has arguably been the best player on the Bronocs' defense in spite of his more ballyhooed teammates.

December 27, 2014

Drew Brees- QB, Saints

Brees is still a huge fantasy player, but he's become a sound and fury type the past few years.  In spite of leading the league in passing yards he's been the worst clutch tosser in the NFL this year and it's not really close.  The Saints have been a few wins away from a playoff berth since early November and Brees has been horrible when it mattered.  He lost three consecutive home games in November and it's possible that none of the teams he lost to will make the playoffs.  In two must win games against division rivals in December he has been horrible, including this weeks meltdown at home against a bad Falcons defense .  Since his Super Bowl he has been poor in the games that mattered and he's starting to look like A Flock of Seagulls.  Not literally like the birds...or the band.  It's a metaphor, or simile. You know, like a one hit wonder. The argument that his defense sucks, while true, doesn't help Brees.  His defense sucks because they spend all of their money building a powerhouse offense around Brees and he's produced 10 (Panthers) and 14 (Falcons) points in crucial games against bad defenses.

December 26, 2014

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

News Flash! NFL coaches don't care about your fantasy football team.  When deciding what's best for the organization they don't start the dialogue with, "Now we got to be fair to them fantasy foosball owners."  A Colts win probably wouldn't have effected their playoff picture so if Luck was injured throwing passes all over the lot in a meaningless game Chuck Pagano might have been fired.  He chose wisely.  T.Y. Hilton probably would have played if the game mattered.  Owners who relied on Hilton and Luck throughout the season were on the losing end of that theory and this is why the Fantasy Stupor Bowl winner is oftentimes not the best team.  It's all a part of the game.

December 23, 2014

Odell Beckham, Jr.- WR, Giants

Beckham, Jr. has been a revelation.  He dominated the Rams for 8-148-2 and made it look easy.  He needs to curb the trash talking a bit or he's going to get his head knocked off, but his performance is not only the greatest rookie wide receiver performance in the history of the NFL, it has earned him The Fantasy Matriculator Fantasy Player of the Year honor.  In the end it wasn't close.  In many leagues he was undrafted but in most he was drafted after the 15th round. He's the only reciever in the NFL this season to average over 100 yards per game and a touchdown per game. Here's a bit of trivia for you, "How many seasons did Jerry Rice average a touchdown per game and 100 yards per game?" Twice? Three times you say.  Try 0. Beckham has 6 100-yard games in the last 8 weeks.  In the current version of the NFL with the clear rules bias towards passing we will continue to see passing and receiving records shattered.  Beckham's fellow LSU rookie Jarvis Landry broke the Dolphins' rookie reception record this week.

December 21, 2014

Desmond Trufant- CB, Falcons

Lost in the pathetic Falcons' defense is the fact that Trufant is a very good corner.  He made the PFF Pro Bowl 2nd team and he's one of the few players the Falcons will look to lock up on the defensive side of the ball.

December 20, 2014

Ben Roethlisberger- QB, Steelers

Roethlisberger continues to have his best statistical season and is one of only three "clutch" tossers still in real contention for a playoff berth, with Russell Wilson and Joe Flacco being the other two.  If he somehow gets this Steelers team to the Super Bowl he will have solidified his Hall of Fame credentials.

December 19, 2014

Donte Moncrief-WR, Colts

Moncrief is our Degenerate Gambler Pick of the Week. T.Y. Hilton is nursing a hamstring issue and may not play.  Reggie Wayne is injured and old.  Moncrief is only $4,100 and even though he didn't have a catch last week, we think he's a must play this week, particularly if Hilton is inactive.

December 18, 2014

Vinny Curry- DE, Eagles

Eagles Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis has single handedly ruined the Eagles.  In 2013 Vinny Curry received the second highest grade for a 3-4 DE in the 7 year history of Pro Football Focus.  J.J. Watt is the only player to receive a higher grade than him.  Yet Curry, who may be the second best defensive player in the NFL, barely plays. Against Dallas on Monday Night he was only in for a few plays but had a sack and a forced fumble.  He's in the top 20 in sacks (9) and tied for second in the NFL in forced fumbles (4) and he's done all of that on only 18 tackles.  In the Monday Night game our boy Davis decided to try the "Let's not cover Dez Bryant" defense.  It didn't work.

December 16, 2014

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys

Romo needed a victory over his division rival Eagles and he got it on the road in impressive fashion.  The Eagles defense certainly helped by leaving Dez Bryant in single coverage on all three of his touchdowns, but Romo was solid in the win.  There's still work to do but with a good run game and solid defense the Cowboys should earn a playoff spot.

December 14, 2014

Vernon Davis-TE, 49ers

The curious case of Vernon Davis continues to fester like a blister in the sun.  Let me go on, let me go on...sorry. Davis has completely disappeared and even with the 49ers malaise, he's setting the bar pretty low.  Davis has been one of the top tight ends for several years and now, at age 30, he has 236 yards and 2 TDs?

December 13, 2014

Chris Johnson- RB, Jets

Johnson is our Degenerate Gambler Pick of the Week this week versus his former team the Tennessee Titans.  The Titans appear to be playing for a shot at Marcus Mariota and Johnson would like nothing more than to torch the franchsie that let him go.  Johnson is only $3,600 in Draftkings so he only needs to pull 11 points to "earn" his salary.  Over the last three weeks he's averaged 10 points per game.  Chris Ivory isn't a bad choice at $4,200 either.

December 12, 2014

Julio Jones- WR, Falcons

After back-to-back monsters Jones is leading the NFL in receiving yards.  Oddly enough though, he's not in the top twenty in receiving touchdowns.  He's still a better fantasy player than "real" player but at times he can take over games with the best of them.  With three weeks to play it's time for him to show if he's a man or a mouse, particularly in the crucial game on December 21 in New Orleans.

December 11, 2014

Johnny Foolsball- QB, Browns

It appears that Foolsball will be starting for the Browns this weekend.  It will be the first start for the tosser we had rated #1 pre-draft.  Of course part of our reasoning was the bump in fan interest, regardless of how good he turns out to be.  He inherits a team good enough to win (7-6) with a fair to middlin' quarterback (Hoyer) at the helm, so he has a real chance to succeed and we like the fact that the Browns kept him on the bench to deflate his ego a bit.  His behavior since the draft has been a major concern, particularly the interview with John Gruden where he couldn't come up with a play call, any play call, and we're not sure he knows enough of the playbook to be successful though those were the same things people said about Brett Favre. 

December 10, 2014

Marcus Mariota- QB, Oregon

It's comical that some people are questioning both the Heisman Trophy and the #1 pick in the draft.  To quote that car salesman on late night T.V., "It's the biggest no brainer in the history of the world!"  For the third time in 4 years we have the greatest QB prospect in NFL history.  4 years ago we said that about Cam Newton and we were correct.  He was the highest rated rookie passer in NFL history and has already led his horrible team to a first round bye.  In 2012 we said that about Robert Griffin, III and we were correct again.  He broke Cam Newton's record for the highest passer rating for a rookie in NFL history.  Now Mariota comes onto the scene and not only has he had the greatest single season in college football history, he's the best prospect ever.   We know that the PAC-12 plays no defense, but he has 38 TDs and 2 interceptions and he's averaging over 10 yards per attempt.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is the greatest season in college football history. And as a side note, he's run for nearly 700 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Tim Tebow and Cam Newton were the greatest college tossers ever and Mariota has blown by them.  For his career he has 101 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.  For comparison: Tebow 88-16, RG3 78-17, Luck 82-22.  In three years Mariota's Ducks have only lost 4 games so he has the wins to support the stats.

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts

After destroying the Browns in the second half to lead the Colts to a comeback win, Hilton is squarely in consideration for the Matriculator Fantasy Player of the Year.  He has 1,295 yards and 7 touchdowns and is 4th among receivers in fantasy scoring.  His average draft position was between the 5th and 6th round.  As a side note he's also proven to be clutch when it matters, regularly posting his best performances in important games.

December 9, 2014

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

There is a reason we have Tannehill as a fair to middlin' tosser on the Quarterback Eggdicator.  It's because he's fair to middlin'.  He is a game below .500 for his career and has now established a pattern ala Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, Andy Dalton and Matt Stafford.  They are all mid-season All-Pros who have a terrible history when it matters.  Last year the Dolphins only needed to beat the hapless Jets and Bills the final two weeks of the season to earn a playoff spot.  Tannehill and the offense generated a total of 7 points.  While Tannehill didn't have a meltdown, he didn't do anything to win the game either.  In the past two weeks (after looking like a Pro-Bowler for 2 months) with the Dolphins on the verge of a playoff spot Tannehill has one touchdown and one interception.  That's just what he is.  While the pundicators still gush about him like he's going to be the second coming, the Dolphins need to look elsewhere unless he takes a mid level contract.

December 7, 2014

Julio Jones- WR, Falcons

Jones torched Patrick Peterson for 189 yards and a touchdown.  Jones continues to be a better fantasy player than a "real" player.  He has returned to the top 10 in wide receiver scoring and should continue to post big games as the Falcons remain alive for a playoff spot.

December 5, 2014

Legarrette Blount- RB, Steelers

Blount, of course, was the fantasy star in his first game after signing with the Patriots.  Is it just me or do you get the feeling that Belicheat checks the fantasy start percentages of his running backs and then gives them touches in inverse proportion?

December 4, 2014

Colt McCoy- QB, Redskins

If you would have told somebody 90 days ago that you thought Colt McCoy might  displace RG3 and Kirk Cousins you would have been committed.  McCoy has a 113 passer rating and is the favorite to start week one in Washington in 2015.

December 2, 2014

Deandre Hopkins- WR, Texans

Hopkins posted a monster performance versus the Titans going for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He is currently the 10th highest scoring wide receiver and is rapidly rising as one of the premier young wide receivers in the NFL.  Considering his quarterbacking situation he should be in the argument as the top WR in the NFL.  With Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Mallett throwing to him he has already eclipsed 1,000 yards and averages more YPC (17.4) than any receiver in the top ten in scoring. And he's only 22.

December 1, 2014

Justin Forsett- RB, Ravens

Forsett has already eclipsed 1,000 yards and is averaging an impressive 5.6 yards per carry.  He has been one of the fantasy surprises and if he finishes in the top 10 among running backs he may win our highly coveted Matriculator Fantasy Player of the Year.

November 29, 2014

Donte Moncrief- WR, Colts

Moncrief (and Davante Adams) are our Draftkings Degenerate Gambler Done Dirt Cheap Picks of the Week.  Every team has to have a value pick and both Adams and Moncrief are under 3,200.  They only need to score 10 points (4 catches for 60 yards) to "earn" their salary and they both have the potential to go North of 20 points.

November 28, 2014

Demaryius Thomas- WR, Broncos

On the heels of his 10 catch, 3 TD performance versus the Dolphins Thomas is now the leading fantasy wide receiver.  He's still a little inconsistent but he's a 25 point fantasy outburst waiting to happen any given Sunday.

November 26, 2014

Eddie Lacy- RB, Packers

After a slow start Lacy has been coming on strong.  He's now the 6th highest scoring running back and with the Packers finally involving him in the passing game (335 yards, 3 TDs) he should continue to produce quality RB1 numbers down the stretch.

November 25, 2014

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Somewhat under the radar, Tannehill has been one of the NFL's best for two months.  The Dolphins defense has blown three fourth quarter leads which may cost the Fins a playoff spot but Tannehill's emergence is a positive sign for a team that seems to be a head coach away from turning the corner.

November 24, 2014

Vincent Jackson- WR, Buccaneers

Jackson is $5,200 in Draftkings and he's our Degenerate Gambler Pick of the Week,  Jackson is having a decent season with 561 receiving yards in spite of poor QB play.  He hasn't scored in 6 weeks so he's due.  With Mike Evans likely drawing most of the double teams froma bad Bears secondary, we like Jackson this week.

November 23, 2014

Odell Beckham- WR, Giants

Beckham turned in one of the best wide receiver performances in NFL history and staked his claim to the greatest catch in NFL history in the Giants' Sunday night loss to the Cowboys.  He's only played 7 games but he has 5 touchdowns and over 600 receiving yards.  If Kelvin Benjamin and Mike Evans slow down Beckham may challenge them for the Rookie of the Year award in spite of missing 5 games to start the season.

November 22, 2014

Jarvis Landry- WR, Dolphins

After the Dolphins Thursday night win over the Bills, several commentators were gushing over Landry.  It might not be such a big deal but for the fact that the commentators were Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin.  Landry isn't flashy but he's crafty and Tannehill seems to be leaning on him a bit more in the past 6 weeks as he's totalled 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.  He reminds us of Hines Ward.

November 21, 2014

Legarrette Blount- RB, Patriots

The Patriots signed Blount and it won't take him long to learn the offense since he was in New England in 2013.  We wouldn't expect much, but we wouldn't drop him either as an injury to Jonas Gray could result in RB2 status for Blount.

November 20, 2014

Dan Herron- RB, Colts

We don't know much about Dan Herron.  He's only had  a few NFL carries, but we do know two important things:  he's better than Trent Richardson and he plays in a high octane offense.  If he's available, and he probably is, pick him up.

November 19, 2014

Isaiah Crowell- RB, Browns

The release of Ben Tate and the return of Josh Gordon makes Crowell a potential RB1.  He's significantly better as a runner than Terrance West, and we say that even though we are fans of West.  Crowell has already fumbled three times however, and if he does it again (and/or continues to miss blocking assignments) West will become the starter and an RB2.  If Crowell figures out how to hold onto the ball, watch out.

November 18, 2014

Jordy Nelson- WR, Packers

Yes, he's in a wide open offense that throws the ball 40 times a game, but don't discount the fact that Nelson is a great receiver. He's averaged nearly 16 YPC the past 3 plus years and he's scored an incredible 39 touchdowns over that span.  He will never be considered the NFL's best receiver because of his offense, but he is a fantasy stud who is as reliable as any receiver week in and week out.

November 17, 2014

Aaron Donald- DT, Rams

We should just reserve this spot to talk about Donald, who has forever confirmed us as the greatest NFL scout in the history of NFL scouting. See: Don't Duck Donald, The Best Defensive Prospect in the Past Decade. Donald has only started for the past few weeks and he's in the argument as the NFL's best defensive player.  In spite of only starting a few games he's already third in the NFL in tackles for loss.  He also has 4 sacks, an impressive total for an interior lineman.  He's currently the number one rated rookie according to Pro Football Focus.

Novemeber 15, 2014

Jay Cutler- QB, bears

The Cutler roller coaster continues after he posted an impressive 3 TD, 330-yard performance versus the Vikings.  Enjoy starting him down the stretch and make sure to keep your sedatives close at hand.

November 14, 2014

Jeremy Hill- RB, Bengals

Hill posted his second 150+ game in only three starts.  He's a stud, but the return of Gio Bernard this week leaves a murky situation that could become a "hot hand" quagmire down the stretch.

November 13, 2014

Alshon Jeffery- WR, Bears

Jeffery has been floating along as a WR2 for most of the season, but this might be his week to break out at home against the Vikings.

November 12, 2014

Kyle Orton-QB, Bills

There is a reason the Bills haven't won a Super Bowl.  It's called wide right.  There's also a reason they are perennially mediocre or worse.  We panned the organization when they decided to sign a street free agent in Kyle Orton and replace their first round pick from 2013 after 28 career starts.  They guaranteed Orton $7 million.  It was one of the worst moves we've ever seen an organization make.  Orton has a career record of exactly .500, at 38-38.  Manuel has a career record of exactly .500 at 14-14.  This year Orton is 3-3 and Manuel is 2-2.  Their career passer rating is nearly identical with 79 for Manuel and 81 for Orton.  Of course if you factor in running ability Manuel surpasses Orton.  Anyway, they torpedoed their 24 year old first round pick for a 32 year old journeyman, and paid Orton a ridiculous amount.  It's not the Hershel Walker trade but it's in the top ten worst front office moves in the last 20 years.  And if that wasn't enough for Bills fans, most of them live in Buffalo.

November 11, 2014

Ahmad Bradshaw- RB, Giants

Bradshaw is only $5,700 in Draftkings this week and he's our early Degenerate Gambler Pick of the Week in what should be a shoot-out between the Colts and Patriots.

November 10, 2014

Andre Ellington- RB, Cardinals

We told you to trade Ellington last week.  He posted 18 carries for a pitiful 23 yards this week.  It's time to strike while the iron is still lukewarm.

November 9, 2014

Jerick McKinnon- RB, Vikings

There are several Draftkings' bargains who could have a big game this week, and McKinnon is one of those players.  He's averaging an impressive 5.0 yards per carry and has had double digit carries in 5 of the past 6 games.  We also like Travis Kelce, Bishop Sankey, Jeremy Hill, Mike Wallace and Devante Adams.  Only one or two of them will likely have a big game, but it only takes one.

November 8, 2014

Jeremy Maclin- WR, Eagles

Maclin had another monster game and he is on pace for 1,600 yards and 16 TDs.  Trade him NOW!  His new tosser for the next 4-6 weeks is Mark Sanchez and the odds are that he isn't going to keep up that pace.  You should be able to get an RB1 or two very good players for him so strike while the iron is hot.  Maclin is also in line for a mega deal this off-season so he may make some business decisions from here on out.

Philip Rivers- QB, Chargers

You may remember our posting two weeks ago telling you to trade Rivers because his schedule was about to get difficult.  Hopefully you're laughing at a buddy right now after Rivers' three interception performance over the weekend.  You are laughing...right?

November 7, 2014

Andre Ellington- RB, Cardinals

Ellington keeps plugging along and he now has 872 yards from scrimmage with 4 touchdowns.  The Cardinals have possibly the toughest schedule (in terms of run defenses) for the rest of the season.  Their next three games are the Rams, Lions and Seahawks and the final three weeks of the season they have the Rams, Seahawks and 49ers.  Trade Ellington this week as his value won't get any higher and we expect a significant drop in production.

November 6, 2014

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

The Dolphins may have finally figured out that when Tannehill runs a few times a game he is much more effective as a passer.  In the past five games Tannehill has run for over 30 yards in each game and his passer rating has been a sparkling 103.  He had a stretch like this last season but ended with duds against the Bills and Jets.  As of now he's a QB1, particularly with an easy schedule to close out the season.

November 5, 2014

Taylor Gabriel-WR, Browns

Gabriel, an undrafted rookie out of Abilene Christian, has been a pleasant surprise for the Browns.  With Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon out he is on pace to post 800 receiving yards and he's averaging over 19 YPC.  If Andrew Hawkins sits tonight versus the Bengals Gabriel may lead the team in targets.  He's cheap and worth a look in daily leagues if Hawkins is out.

November 4, 2014

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

Another big game meltdown for the biggest choker in the history of professional sports as Manning wet her bed again when it mattered.  The good news for fantasy owners is that she still had a productive fantasy game posting over 400 yards passing, mostly in garbage time.   Two things you can always count on, high fantasy production and pressure bed wetting.

November 3, 2014

Denard Robinson- RB, Jaguars

It's back to back 100-yard games for Robinson in his first two NFL starts.  This week's performance was impressive as he had only 18 carries against a good Dolphins defense.  Robinson has a largely favorable schedule from here on out but unless the Jaguars find a serviceable quarterback (we tried to tell all the Bortles lovers!), teams will probably stack the box against Robinson.  Look for him to be a solid RB2 moving forward depending on the match-up.

Alfred Morris- RB, Redskins

Morris is dirt cheap in DraftKings at $3,900, so he our second Degenerate Gambler Pick of the Week.  In spite of plenty of touches in 2014 he hasn't had a 100-yard game though he's posted a respectable 4.1 YPC.  In 2012/2013 he averaged a 100-yard game every three weeks.  Do the math.

November 2, 2014

Zach Ertz- TE, Eagles

Ertz has been a disappointment after a bright start to the season.  His use, or lack thereof, has been curious.  For the last six weeks he's usually posted a 3-4 catch, 30-40 yard stat line but we expect it's time for a big game.  He's dirt cheap in most of the weekly fantasy games so he's our Degenerate Gambler Pick of the Week.

November 1 ,2014

Chris Ivory- RB, Jets

Ivory continues to track as a top ten running back, though he gets no love in fantasy circles.  His average draft position was the tenth round.  He is in the running for The Matriculator Fantasy Player of the Year and in weeks 14-16 he gets the Vikings, Titans and Patriots.

October 30, 2014

Mark Barron- S, Rams

Barron, a top ten pick two and a half years ago, was traded to the Rams for a 4th and 6th rounder.  Barron joins the ever expanding group of Alabama draft busts.

October 29, 2014

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Ryan's howler of a fourth quarter interception spelled the end for Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff.  Smith and Dimitroff have always seemed to resent the media and fans for mentioning to them that it is difficult to win in the NFL without a pass rush.  They also never worried about protecting Matt Ryan which has proven to be a collasal mistake.  Blowing a 21 point second half lead to the Megatron-less Lions was the last straw.

Alex Mack- C, Browns

Since Mack was injured the Browns have gone from the top running team in the NFL to consecutive clunkers.  Those who thought they might ride a Browns running back into the playoffs may want to reconsider with Mack out.

October 28, 2014

Ben Roethlisberger- QB, Steelers

Ok, raise your hand if you had Ben on your bench this weekend for his historic performance.  We are raising our hand.  After producing QB2 stats for a month, Ben goes gonzo with 522 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Ben is very startable the next three weeks with games against the Ravens, Jets and Titans but we speak the obvious by saying don't expect another one of those performances...ever.

October 27, 2014

Demarco Murray- RB, Cowboys

Murray continued his incredible run, posting a record seventh consecutive 100-yard game to start the season.  It's even more mind blowing in the modern era when most people don't believe a single back can take that type of pounding.  Now that he has the record we expect he will have a few games where he stays South of 15 carries, but he has been a monster and is the favorite to top all fantasy running backs in scoring.

October 26, 2014

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks

So some guy says that he talked to some unnamed sources and then he reads between the lines that some people think Russell Wilson isn't black enough?  What we know is that Wilson has a lot of white friends and married a white woman.  And if there was ever any doubt, we can confirm that he doesn't act like Percy Harvin. We don't ever put stock into "unnamed sources" particularly when the reporter who allegedly talked with someone is Mike Freeman who was fired by the Indianapolis Star because they found out he lied on his application and didn't have a college degree.  Freeman is obviously more like Harvin which is probably why Freeman (who is probably his own unnamed source) doesn't like the fact that Wilson isn't a liar or a bum.  We are ashamed of ourselves for even mentioning this non-issue.

Bryce Brown- RB, Bills

Of the two new kids in town in Buffalo, we prefer Brown over Anthony Dixon.  They will likely split carries over the next few weeks while Fred Jackson heals.  The problem with either of them is the schedule.  Over the next five weeks (after which Jackson is expected to return) the Bills have a bye, three games against top rated run defenses (Jets (2), Dolphins) and a game against the Chiefs.

Donte Moncrief- WR, Colts

Do yourself a favor.  If you have a spot on your fantasy roster with a player that you can drop, drop him for Moncrief and see what happens this weekend.  If Reggie Wayne misses the game Moncrief may get significant playing time.  Last week Moncrief had more snaps than Hakeem Nicks.  If Moncrief does nothing you can drop him, but if he plays well you may have found a hidden gem.  Moncrief is the third wide receiver in the 4 year history of the Matriculator who we had ranked in our top 20 players who wasn't drafted in the first round.  The other two were Randall Cobb and T.Y. Hilton.

October 25, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney- DE, Texans

Clowney is exactly what we thought he was.  Through 7 games the number one pick has exactly one tackle.  He's number one all right.  We were the only site that had two two defensive players ranked ahead of him in our rankings.  Those two, Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack, are tied for the highest PFF grade of all rookies.  Clowney will be great at times but after already missing nearly half of his first season the odds of him being the top player 4 years from now are slim to none.  It was a horrible pick for the Texans.

October 24, 2014

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

It's time to press the panic button on Ryan, or at least hold your hand over it.  The Falcons' offensive line wasn't very good to start the season and they've lost several starters to injury.  Ryan will be running for his life for the rest of the season.  He will still have some big games at home with a defense that gives up huge points, but we'd consider going with your QB2 when he's on the road.

October 23, 2014

Lavonte David- LB, Buccaneers

Some people are good at winning awards and some people aren't.  Luke Kuechly is a real good player, but he's not nearly as good as Lavonte David who has been the best linebacker in the NFL since he arrived three years ago as a second round pick.  In spite of David being better (only slghtly) as a rookie Kuechly won the Defensive Rookie of the Year.  He didn't edge David by a vote or two, David finished fifth.  Last year David significanlty outplayed Kuechly.  He was rated in the top 5 defensive players according to Pro Football Focus grades.  He was the number one linebacker in the NFL according to PFF.  Keuchly on the other hand didn't finish with a top 30 grade.  Of course Kuechly won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and David wasn't even in the running.  This year's most incredible stat in the NFL:  Second place in the NFL in the Tackles for Loss category has 8.  Lavonte David has 12. His team is terrible and he's still the best linebacker in the NFL by a wide margin though Kuechly will continue to win awards we are certain.  In 2 years and six games David has more than twice as many sacks as Kuechly, 10 turnovers caused (to 7 by Kuechly) and an other worldly 49 tackles for loss, to 25 for Kuechly.

October 22, 2014

Brandon Marshall- WR, Bears

The Sound and the Fury is now showing at Soldier Field on Sundays at 1:00.  Ah, there's the Beast that the Broncos Dolphins sent packing for a box of balls.  After this weeks home drubbing by the Dolphins Marshall apparently let his best friend Jay Cutler have it in the locker room and then insulted the kicker for good measure.  When boo-boo gets the ball he's happy, but when he gets dominated he looks for his binky.  Marshall is an incredible talent having posted 7 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, but....  The good news is that he's dominated in the post-season, unselfish and is grace under pressure personified, bad news is that he's never led his team to a post-season in 8 years, he's selfish and when the going gets tough he runs away.  It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

October 21, 2014

Percy Harvin- WR, Jets

"Hey Honey!  Look at that that nice bottle of cancer.  Let's have a big gulp what do you say?"  Thus spoke John Idiot Idzik when he traded for Harvin.  Harvin is an absoulte bum.  He's Santonio Holmes 2.0 and the clueless Jets just never learn.  The guy was moved on by the Vikings and now the best organization (who has nobody to stretch the field) sends him packing in a year when they are expected to win the Super Bowl.  It's like asking someone about a woman you're thinking of asking out and they tell you, "Well she's not currently in an insane asylum...I don't think."  Idzik even had the audacity to say that the Jets at 1-5 are still in the playoff hunt and that the Jets are a "very healthy environment".  The Jets are back on top again...of the worst franchise in the NFL.

October 20, 2014

Denard Robinson- RB, Jaguars

Robinson produced the first effective rushing performance by a Jaguar since 2001 going for 22-127-1.  Robinson should be the starter for at least a few more games and even though we don't like his chances for consistency behind the terrible Jaguars offensive line he's worth a pick-up.

Jerick McKinnon- RB, Vikings

Ask somebody a month ago if McKinnon would be the final nail in Adrian Peterson's Minnesota coffin and they probably would have said, "Who"?  If McKinnon continues his impressive play for the remainder of the season Adrian Peterson will have played his last game as a Viking.  McKinnon has only had significant touches in four games yet he's established himself as the Vikings best player.  In spite of a bad offensive line he torched the Bills, the NFL's number one run defense, for over 100 yards on only 19 carries.  He averaged an incredible 3 yards after contact.  He has two 100-yard games and he was the team's leading rusher and receiver in another game. 

October 19, 2014

Aaron Donald- DT, Rams

The Matriculator continues to pad his resume as the best scout in the history of professional football, objectively speaking of course.  We penned Don't Duck Donald, The Best Prospect in the Past Decade back when most bobbleheads and NFL teams didn't have him rated as a first rounder.  He wasn't selected in the top 10 picks.  We are hesitant to toot our own horn so we won't mention that we were right again boys and girls, and out scouted every NFL team and every draft scout in America...again.  As per Pro Football Focus's grades Donald's second among rookies and he didn't even start a game until last week.  per PFF he's the third highest rated defensive tackle in the NFL.  In his first start last week he was almost unblockable.  He was in the backfield on nearly every play in the fourth quarter, including his solo stop when the 49ers went for it on fourth and one.

October 18, 2014

Roddy White- WR, Falcons

We've stuck a fork in White.  He's done.  He's lost a step and lost his nerve going across the middle.  He also looks lazy and his route running has been abysmal.  Thomas Dimitroff commited significant money to him this off-season in another catastrophically bad idea on his part.  Dimitroff is gone this off-season and Mike Smith might get tossed out with him.

October 17, 2014

Brandin Cooks- WR, Saints

Cooks is our Matriculator Degenerate Gambler Pick of the Week.  Last week Torrey Smith was our pick and he posted a 2 TD performance.  Cooks is cheap and with Jimmy Graham out we expect him to have his first 100-yard, TD game of his career.  He's been averaging 8 targets a game and the Saints should be fired up after a bye week and a poor start.

October 16, 2014

Jameis Winston- QB, Florida State

We said after last season that we didn't see Winston as a first round pick mainly for issues related to ability.  He reminded us of a combination of Byron Leftwich and Terrelle Pryor.  Off the field and from an intelligence standpoint he reminds us of a combination of Ryan Leaf and Jamarcus Russell.  If he is drafted in the first round it will be a catastrophic mistake, so look for the Jets or Buccaneers to draft him early.

October 15, 2014

Lamar Miller- RB, Dolphins

Oh how player values change at the drop of a hat, or the snap of a knee.  Miller's value plummetted with the return of Knowshown Moreno but Moreno blew his knee and now Miller is the undisputed king of the Dolphins backfield with no real threat behind him.  The Dolphins have run the ball well and Miller has been very good so he should be at a minimum an RB2 with some RB1 performances still to come.

Bryce Petty- QB, Baylor

Nobody is talking about Petty as either a Heisman candidate or the number one pick in the draft.  In fact, nobody even has him as a first round pick.  When we watched him play last year against Blake Bortles' UCF team, we liked Petty as a better prospect than Bortles.  So far this year Petty has led his team to a top 5 ranking while averaging 3 TDs and 300 yards per game and only throwing 3 interceptions.  For his career he has an astounding 48 TDs versus 6 interceptions.  His accuracy is a little shoddy at times, but we will be watching him closely from this point forward.

October 14, 2014

Kirk Cousins- QB, Redskins

The Cousins rocket ship continues its plunge back down to earth.  It was only 3 short weeks ago that the bobbleheads were pontificating that Cousins was better than Robert Griffin and possibly even the second coming of Tom Brady.  Well he has removed all doubt about both of those with 7 interceptions in the last three games.  In Griffin's 30 NFL starts he's only thrown more than 1 interception in 2 games.  That is remarkable.  Peyton Manning had 3 multiple interception games in 2012 and in 2013.  The Redskins are a terrible organization but they have a legitimate high end quarterback in Griffin if he will become more of a pocket passer.  If not, he will continue to miss games due to injury and Cousins will continue to rise and fall like an Iraqi government.

Odell Beckham, Jr. WR- Giants

With Victor Cruz done for the year, Beckham moves into the starting line-up.  He's more explosive than Reuben Randle and should be added if he's still a free agent.  Expect numbers similar to Cruz, with duds and explosive performances spread out evenly depending on which side of the bed Eli Manning woke on.

October 13, 2014

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts

Anybody notice the NFL's leading receiver on display agains the Texans?  With Calvin Johnson on the shelf Hilton has become the NFL's best.  How's this for a run?  His last 9 games dating back to last season are as follows:  223, 90, 105, 80, 65, 41, 103, 224 and 155.  Over his last 9 games he has 1,045 yards.  Calvin Johnson averaged 122 yards per game in setting the all-time single season receiving record and Hilton has averaged 116 over that 9 game span.

Todd Gurley- RB, Georgia

Gurley has been suspended from the team while the university investigates allegations about the sale of his autograph, etc.   The draconian penalties that athletes endure for doing what every other American does (making money off their hard work) are ludicrous.  If he never plays another down at Georgia it will effect his draft stock...in a positive way.  It is the type of incident that NFL teams don't really care about (unless there is a pattern of violations) and it will mean Gurley takes about 200 less SEC hits before suiting up in the NFL.  We expect him to be drafted in the top 15 picks and he could go in the top 5.

October 12, 2014

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks

Wilson's performance against the Redskins on Monday Night Football was the single greatest quarterbacking performance we've seen in our 35 or so adult years of watching football.  There is no quarterback that has ever played the game who would have won but Russell Wilson. Not Joe Montana or Troy Aikman, and certainly not Brady or Manning or Brees.  He was under relentless pressure and moved in the pocket to complete passes as well as any quarterback ever.  In spite of all of the pressure and having two passing touchdowns incorrectly called back on penalties, he had the second highest passer rating in the NFL, a staggering 127.  Oh and by the by he ran for 122 yards, a new Monday Night Football record. Like in the 5,000 or so games in MNF history. He continues to break every record for a tosser in his first three years and if he wins his second Super Bowl in his first three seasons the discussion of the greatest tosser in NFL history will be a moot point.  He has dominated the alleged "great" quarterbacks of the era, going 8-0 versus Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers and Luck.  The only category where he is not dominant is according to ESPN's Sorta Black Hating (QBR) where this week he was somehow eclipsed by Eli Manning who had a 104 passer rating and -2 yards rushing.  Also of note on the Sorta Black Hating scale is that Cam Newton, who led an incredible comeback win and had a passer rating of 85, received a 48 on ESPN's Sorta Black Hating scale.   Andrew Luck, who was horrible with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, a 6.4 yards per pass average, and 12 yards rushing on 6 carries, received a Sorta Black Hating rating of 63.   On Pro Football Focus's rankings, where they apparently don't hate blacks, the top two rated quarterbacks for week 5 were Russell Wilson and Cam Newton.  Newton was 17th in Sorta Black Hating.  P.S. again: Colin Kaepernick had a 92 passer rating and his team won.  Out of 16 quarterbacks with a passer rating over 90 he and Kirk Cousins were the only tossers to receive a Sorta Black Hating under 55, and Kaepernick was by far the lowest rated winning quarterback, except for Cam of course.

October 11, 2014

Adrian Peterson- RB, Vikings

Peterson shall henceforth be known as Weed and Seed, not All Day.  Actually we're going to call him Weed and Seed All Day.  The guy is/was a tremendous running back but he's a train wreck as a human being.  He reportedly has 6-7 kids.  The fact that he's not certain how many kids he has won't help his floundering reputation.  Of the children we know about, one he has beaten, another that he was accused of beating apparently has a disease where he bangs his head so hard on child seats that he has facial lacerations, and another was abused (and ultimately died) at the hands of his Baby Momma's boyfriend.  That child was 2 years old and Peterson had never met him.  This week he admitted to smoking weed while on probation and authorities in Texas want to have his probation revoked.  It hasn't been a good month for Weed and Seed All Day.

October 10, 2014

Calvin Johnson- WR, Lions

Megatron announced that he may play Sunday, but will only be used as a decoy in case the Vikings wanted to know.

Antone Smith- RB, Falcons

Smith continues as the top story in the NFL in 2014.  Every week he adds to his own NFL record of yards per touch from scrimmage.  So far on only 17 touches he has TDs of 54, 74, 38 and 48 yards. This week he scored his 6th career touchdown of over 28 yards, and he's done that on only 25 career touches from scrimmage.  It's the single most incredible statistic in the history of NFL statistics.  The only statistic that comes close is that Jacquizz Rodgers still has more touches than Smith.  Rodgers has never averaged 4 YPC in any of his 4 seasons.  He shouldn't see the field again unless Smith gets hurt.

October 9, 2014

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts

Hilton faces the Texans tonight.  We think he is a must start WR from this point forward.  He will, like all receivers, have a down week or two but most weeks  he should be a solid WR1.  He's currently in the top 10 in receptions and receiving yards and he's on pace for 100 catches and over 1,200 yards.  He doesn't have a TD yet so if you assume he reaches his projection of 5-6 TDs, he should score every other game moving forward.

Jordan Cameron- TE, Browns

Now is the time to exercise some Fortesight.  Cameron returned last week and produced a tepid 3-33 line.  His owners are on the verge of giving up on him and he can probably be had for a box of Cracker Jacks.  Go get him.  He's still the best receiver on his team and once he's assimilated back into the offense, which might come as early as this week, he should produce strong TE1 numbers.  If he gets hurt again it's okay because the price to get him shouldn't be much.

LeSean McCoy- Fuku Boy, Eagles

Shady continues his middlin' play.  Whatever he does from this point forward can't make up for the eggs he's laid to date.  The Eagles line remains in shambles and Nick Foles looks very average.  Trade Fuku Boy if you can still get a WR1.

October 8, 2014

Joseph Randle- RB, Cowboys

Either Randle or Lance Dunbar, or both,  are free agents in most leagues and they are worth a pick-up.  The Cowboys are finally acknowledging that they can't give Demarco Murray 25 carries every week for 16 games.  He will get injured if they do.  Even if Murray doesn't get hurt, we expect a second back to emerge with more carries in the coming weeks. We prefer Randle as he seems more of an every down back if something happens to Murray, with Dunbar taking over as a third down back.

October 7, 2014

Matt Forte- RB, Bears

He is, he is a number one running back! The Matriculator's latest offering, straight from the annals of his own fantasy league, has the longest title in the storied history of The Fantasy Matriculator. Read  Fortesight or.....

October 6, 2014

Peyton Manning- Tosser, Broncos

Manning's entire 17 year career was encapsulated in this Sunday's blowout win.  The Broncos were winning by 21 points with less than 3:30 to play and Manning had already thrown for a career high of over 450 yards. The Broncos had the ball.  Unless the tosser is a total bitch, she would never continue to pass the ball under those circumstances.  It's 3 handoffs and a first down or punt.  Real simple.  Especially when your tosser is 38, fragile and making $20 million a year.  So of course the Diva throws the ball downfield not once, but twice, in complete disregard for everything but her own glory.  She's still the best fantasy option, but for all the wrong reasons.  No top 50 quarterback of all-time would ever pull that move.  Manning comes in at 73 on the Eggdicator's all-time list, one spot ahead of Joe Theisman.

October 5, 2014

E.J. Manuel- QB, Bills

The benching of E.J. Manuel is unprecedented in the NFL.  He was a first round draft pick last year on a mediocre team.  He's 6-8 through 14 starts with a passer rating of 79 and he gets benched for Kyle Orton?  For comparisons sake the following quarterbacks were still starters after two years in the NFL in spite of the fact that they were no better or actually worse than Manuel:  Drew Brees (10-17, 71 PR); Ryan Tannehill (15-17, 78 PR); Andrew Luck (81 PR); Peyton Manning (16-16, 80 PR).  The entire AFC East is in disarray with all of the quarterbacking situations in a state of flux.

October 4, 2014

Ahmad Bradshaw- RB, Colts

Bradshaw continues to impress in the passing game after scoring his 4th receiving touchdown of the season.  He's a better back than Trent Richardson who would have been cut long ago were it not for the fact that the Colts traded a first round pick to get him.  Expect Bradshaw's role in the run game to pick up, but we think Richardson will still get the bulk of the carries to keep Bradshaw fresh.

October 3, 2014

Tom Brady- QB, Patriots

Can we put a fork in Belicheck/Brady's final attempt to win a legitimate championship?  We thinks the answer be yes.  Brady has been mediocre since 2013 and he was the only player who has kept that team afloat.  He looks like a defeated man and a player who no longer has what it takes, particularly with the lame crew that surrounds him.  In the past the Patriots haven't had much of a receiving corps but Brady always had protection from a premier line.  Now he has no receivers and no line.

October 2, 2014

Carlos Hyde- RB, 49ers

Hyde's value is at its season low, and now is the time to trade for him.  Frank Gore is coming off a huge game against the Eagles and we're betting that a few more 25 touch games will put 31 year old Gore on the shelf.  If he goes down Hyde becomes a borderline RB1.  Hyde could probably be had for a bye week fill in at WR or TE.  Make it happen.

October 1, 2014

Teddy Bridgewater-QB, Vikings

Bridgewater was spectacular in his first NFL start, leading an underwhelming offense to a rout of the Falcons.  Bridewater was in complete control throwing for over 300 yards and running for a touchdown.

September 30, 2014

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Unless Tannehill figures things out this weekend against the Raiders, it appears his time as the franchise has ended before it ever really began.  At a minimum, the honeymoon is over.  We saw this coming before the 2012 draft.  Here's our quote from our 2012 pre-draft player rankings: "You will note as the list unfolds that we have three quarterbacks in our top 32 players and Ryan Tannehill isn't one of them. Tannehill, who most pundits have as a top 20 player, led the Big 12 in interceptions.  No quarterback who leads his conference in interceptions should be taken in the first round. Period.  We see the talent with Tannehill and have no problem with him as a second rounder that a team tries to develop, the same as we saw Blaine Gabbert last year."  As an interesting side note, the other quarterback we had in the top 20 was Russell Wilson.

Randall Cobb- WR, Packers

Cobb has been disappointing, only averaging 41 yards per game and 9 YPC for what was supposed to be a high flying offense.  He has three touchdowns so he has been a solid fantasy option, but we were expecting more.

September 29, 2014

Isaiah Crowell- RB, Browns

A few things are trending in Cleveland after three games.  Isaiah Crowell looks like a stud.  He averaged over 8 yards per carry in the pre-season and has scored three TD's and avergaed 4.9 YPC or better all three regular season games in 2014.  Ben Tate is good when healthy, but he's still injury prone and Terrance West has also looked good.  If one of the backs gets hurt someone could emerge as a solid RB2 option.  If Tate goes down for an extended period and Crowell becomes the starter, watch out.  For now, two's fantasy company, but three's a crowd.

September 28, 2014

Deandre Hopkins- WR, Texans

Hopkins is quietly emerging as one of the NFL's premier young receivers.  As a rookie in 2013 he had one of the best season's in NFL history for a rookie receiver going for over 800 receiving yards and averaging over 15 YPC catching passes from Case Keenum, T.J. Yates and Matt Schaub.  He's in the top ten in fantasy scoring in 2014 with Ryan Fitzpatrick as his tosser.  Dude can play.

September 27, 2014

Kirk Cousins- QB, Redskins

Cousins burgeoning career as a future star came to a screeching halt on Thursday Night Football versus the Giants.  This was supposed to be Cousins coming out party on national T.V. after several imressive starts.  It didn't go according to the script as Cousins produced 4 interceptions and a fumble in a performance that resulted in a home defeat to the hapless, arch enemy Giants.

September 26, 2014

Arian Foster- RB, Texans

The maddening Arian Foster merry-go-round continues again in 2014.  Foster will probably be a game time decision most weeks which is okay if you have Alfred Blue and can replace Foster at the last minute.  If you are relying on Foster and don't have Blue, he will make you crazy.  If you're a Foster owner without Blue, hope that Foster starts and has a good game this week and then trade for Blue ASAP.

Doug Martin- RB, Buccaneers

Martin has struggled to stay healthy and when he's played he's struggled to be effective.  He looked like a future star after his rookie year but the Buccaneers are now questioning whether he is as good as UDFA Bobby Rainey.  It's been a precipitous fall for Martin.

September 25, 2014

Teddy Bridgewater- QB, Vikings

Bridgewater will take over for the injured Matt Cassell.  We are fans of Teddy, but it's not a great situation.  With Adrian Peterson in time out and Kyle Rudolph injured there aren't any weapons besides Cordarelle Patterson and he will undoubtedly be double teamed moving forward.

September 24, 2014

Dee Milliner- CB, Jets

Milliner, the guy who proclaimed himself the best corner in the NFL this pre-season, continues to watch from the sidelines with niggling injuries.  He is yet another reason not to ever draft an Alabama player early.  With the notable exceptions of Julio Jones and Eddie Lacy, most 'Bama players have been collosal failures.  They are a wasteland of nagging injuries, laziness, mug shots and general ineffectiveness.  Cyrus Kouandjio, the Bills second round pick this year, was beaten out by 7th round pick Seantrel Henderson. 

September 23, 2014

Antone Smith- RB, Falcons

Lost in the record setting performances of Matt Ryan and Devin Hester and the play of the year nominee from Julio Jones, was yet another remarkable performance from Antone Smith.  He's not only the most explosive player currently playing in the NFL, he's the most explosive player ever.  Granted it's a very limited slice.   His career average on 12 carries over the last two years is 16.6 YPC.  On his  5 receptions he's also averaged 16.6 YPC.  He's scored 4 touchdowns on only 17 touches. This pre-season he had several plays of over 50 yards including a 70 yard rushing touchdown that was called back.  He's one of the NFL's fastest players (4.33 at his pro day) and pound for pound the NFL's strongest player with 31 reps of 225 at 192 pounds.   If the Falcons can get consistent blocking from their offensive line they will continue to post 30+ point games and Smith will continue to make explosive plays.  If Smith gets 10 touches a game he's at a minimum an RB3/Flex option because he's likely to bust a long touchdown.

September 21, 2014

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Ryan and Co. dismantled the Bucs on Thursday Night Football.  Ryan set the Falcons' single game  franchise record for completion percentage and was rested midway through the third quarter with the Falcons up 56-0.  The Falcons schedule is loaded with defensive patsies including the Vikings, Bears, Giants and Lions in the next 5 weeks.  Ryan should at a minimum remain a top 5 fantasy quarterback and he has a real shot at being fantasy football's top scorer in 2014.

September 20, 2014

Travis Kelce- TE, Chiefs

Kelce saw more time during week two and responded with 4 catches for 81 yards.  We expect his role to continue to grow as he is one of only a few weapons in the Chiefs arsenal.

September 19, 2014

Marshawn Lynch- RB, Seahawks

Lynch was productive in his limited role, going for 63 yards on only 10 touches.  We suspect the Seahawks will return to their grind it out philosophy next week with Lynch once again featuring as the battering ram.

Adrian Peterson- RB, Vikings

The Vikings have again de-activated Peterson in the wake of public outcry, and probably more importantly, financial pressure placed on the team by sponsors withdrawing their money.  The legal process normally takes forever in these cases but we suspect it will only take a few weeks for Peterson to agree to some form of probation and counseling.  Our guess is that he misses 2-3 more games, including this week.

September 18, 2014

Andre Ellington- RB, Cardinals

Ellington had an explosive game versus the Giants with 101 yards from scrimmage on only 16 touches.  He's played well in spite of his foot injury, but we're waiting for the other shoe to drop and for him to miss some games due to injury.  Keep him in your line-up but don't let go of Stepfan Taylor.

September 17, 2014

Ryan Mathews- RB, Chargers

Mathews is out for at least a month and Donald Brown is a nice RB2 fill-in.  We wouldn't be surprised if Brown plays well and holds onto a larger role even when Mathews returns.

September 16, 2014

Knowshown Moreno- RB, Dolphins

Moreno's down again after a spectacular performance week one versus the Patriots.  He injured his wrist on his first play from scrimmage and is out for at least a month.  The Fins signed Daniel Thomas who might actually have some value the next few weeks as a bye week replacement/flex option.

September 15, 2014

Adrian Peterson- RB, Vikings

Peterson will start this week after being deactivated for week two.  It seems that team punishment is inversely proportional to talent level.  If Matt Asiata had been booked on the same charge he probably would have been suspended for a month.  Peterson is still facing a possible league suspension.

September 14, 2014

J.J. Watt- DT, Texans

Watt posted a ridiculous 6.9 rating week one according to Pro Football Focus.  He continues to be the NFL's most dominant defender.  Unfortunately, Jadeveon Clowney is already injured but we still expect good performances from the Texans defense.

September 13, 2014

Atlanta Falcons

In our draft grades we blasted the Falcons for drafting Ra'Shede Hageman in the 2nd round over Jeremiah Attaochu. The Falcons have lacked a pass rusher since John Abraham left and we said that drafting Hageman was another inexcusable blunder by Thomas Dimitroff.  The early returns are in, and it ain't good for Tommy.  The Falcons are the only team in the NFL who didn't generate a sack, tackle for loss or QB hit the first week.  In fact we suspect they are the only team in the past few years to produce that defensive unholy trinity.  Hageman had no tackles week one.  Attaochu on the other hand outproduced the entire Falcons defense with a sack and a QB hit to go with his 4 tackles.

Kelvin Benjamin- WR, Panthers

Our pre-season Rookie of the Year pick, Benjamin didn't disappoint in his first game posting a 6-92-1 line with Derek Anderson at the helm.  Cam Newton is set to return next week and we expect more good performances from Benjamin.

September 12, 2014

Jerry Jones- Owner, Cowboys

Jones is being sued by a stripper and photos have been released of a drunk Jones with a young girl's smiling face in his crotch.  Another photo shows Jones holding a girl's hand in the women's bathroom while watching a girl pee.  In Jones's defense, he indicated that the pictures were taken out of context.  We're still trying to figure out what contect they might have been taken out of.  The guy has the brain of a simply minded, pubescent, 15-year old meglomaniac.  He's running his billion dollar asset like a high end frat house.  It still shocks the conscience that people like Jones, Jim Irsay, Two Bird Adams and Donald Sterling rose to the level that they did.

September 11, 2014

Miami Dolphins

We are Dolphins homers here at Matriculator Headquarters (a secret government bunker located under Fort Jefferson), but we are also usually their harshest critics.  We bashed Jeff Ireland as one of the most inept personnel men in NFL history and we were correct every year.  The Dolphins new GM, Dennis Hickey, was an assistant GM in Tampa.  He was the Dolphins last choice because no other self-respecting person would take the job.  By some stroke of serendipity he's the NFL's best GM after only 6 months on the job.   He spent most of the first few months cutting ties with the Ireland mistakes.  The Dolphins had to cut so many people they had 5 undrafted free agents make the team.  Chris McCain, an UDFA out of California, was arguably the NFL's best defender in the pre-season.  The first play of his NFL career he blocked a punt.  He only saw a few snaps on defense and he sacked Tom Brady. But that's not the half of it.  Hickey's big money free agent signings were Branden Albert and Earl Mitchell, who were the NFL's highest rated players at their position week one according to Pro Football Focus.  Free agent afterthought, center Samson Satele, graded as the NFL's best center week one.  Rookie first round tackle Ju'Wuan James, who everyone questioned when he was drafted in the first round, was a rock at right tackle.  Certainly the coaching staff deserves much of the credit for the demolition of the team many pundicator's picked to win the AFC, but Dennis Hickey was the NFL's MVP for week one, and it's not even close.  

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

We recently heard someone call in to an Atlanta talk show and say that Matt Ryan would win the MVP award.  Don't laugh, they may be correct.  The Falcons defense is abysmal.  They are the only team in the NFL that did not make a play in the backfield: a sack or tackle for loss.  The Falcons will have to score 30+ points to win most games and that means hoards of passes to Roddy White, Julio Jones, Devin Hester, and the NFL's most explosive player Antone Smith.  If Ryan stays healthy look for him to be in the MVP discussion with 35+ TDs and 4,500 yards.

September 10, 2014

Ray Rice- Former NFL Player

The Ray Rice fiasco raises more questions than it has answers.  We assumed, based on the paltry suspension, that: 1) the NFL had actually watched the video before handing down the suspension; and 2) that the video showed Rice's wife being aggressive.  In fact, she was being aggressive and in a vacuum Rice would have had legal authority, while certainly not moral authority, to defend himself.  She actually slaps him in the face before they get into the elevator.  Then she makes an aggressive move towards him.  The problem is that it appears both of her "aggressive" moves were precipitated by Rice spitting on her.  Who does that?  We'd add twenty years onto the lifetime suspension for spitting.

September 9, 2014

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys

Romo is one of the three quarterbacks who were given mega deals although they had never really done anything in their careers, at least when it mattered.  Romo, Jay Cutler and Alex Smith all lost home games this weekend and they combined for 8 interceptions, though they still cashed monster checks.

E.J. Manuel- QB, Bills

Apparently the heated argument between Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone and the front office related to the front office's idiotic move of bringing Kyle Orton off the street and guaranteeing over $10 million over two years.  Manuel wasn't great his rookie year, but he had the same passer rating as Andrew Luck and in week one he went on the road and beat the Bears, ouperforming Jay Cutler.  The Bills organization is terirble and we're sure Marrone can't wait to get out.

September 8, 2014

Knowshown Moreno-RB, Dolphins

Moreno's dramatic performance coming off the bench to lead the Dolphins to a comeback win against the Patriots may not mean anything long-term, but it certainly raises some interesting questions.  The Patriots defensive line was healthy again and with Vince Wilfork, Jarrod Mayo and Co. they were expected to dominate the Dolphins offensive line with it's 5 new starters.  But the Dolphins line handled the Pats without much difficulty with Moreno rushing for 124 yards at 5.6 YPC.  His replacement in Denver, Montee Ball, averaged a pedestrian 2.9 YPC, raising the question of whether Denver's offense is great for running backs or is Moreno simply that good?

September 7, 2014

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks

Wilson is our pre-season pick as the NFL MVP.  Nobody else has picked him and even if he's the best player he probably won't win the MVP award.  He won't put up the touchdown or passing yardage numbers of  glory hogs tossers like Peyton Manning and Matt Stafford, but we wouldn't be surprised if he has 30+ combined touchdowns with only a handful of interceptions.

September 6, 2014

C.J. Spiller- RB, Bills

The Bills backfield is a fantasy mess, with Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown and Spiller all vying for carries.  The Bills have announced that they plan to use Spiller as their kick returner, implicitly confirming that they are using a committee.  We don't feel comfortable starting any of the Bills backs until we see a few games.

Antone Smith- RB, Falcons

Smith might be the guy to own if/when Steven Jackson goes down.  Smith's listed ahead of Devonta Freeman on the depth chart and we don't expect the Falcons to give the ball to the pint sized Jacquizz Rodgers if SJax gets hurt.  Antone Smith is one of the NFL's fastest players and whenever he touches the ball it's a game changing play waiting to happen.  Last season he averaged 29 YPC on five carries.  One of those was a 50 yard touchdown but on the other 4 carries he gained 95 yards.  This pre-season, on less than 20 touches, he had a 66-yard TD catch and a 75-yard touchdown run that was called back on a holding penalty.  We're not offensive coordinators here, but the Falcons might want to consider getting Smith more touches even if SJax stays healthy.

September 5, 2014

Doug Martin- RB, Buccaneers

Guard Logan Mankins was traded to the Bucs for TE Tim Wright and a fourth round pick. We always thought Wright should have had more looks and he will certainly get them in the Patriots tight end centric offense.  It's a huge boost for Doug Martin's value as the Bucs will go from a player who isn't starting caliber to a Pro Bowl guard. It may still take a few weeks, but this move provides stability to the Bucs point of weakness.

2014 Season Preview

Manning and Brady in the Legacy Bowl?  Aaron Rodgers gets a second championship?  It's all here in the 2014 Season Preview.

September 4, 2014

Derek Carr- QB, Raiders

Carr will start for the Raiders week one after a solid pre-season.  The Raiders already realize that the Matt Schaub signing was a bad idea.  Carr isn't in an ideal situation, but it's not terrible either.  The Raiders' offensive line should be improved.  The Raiders don't have a true #1 wide receiver but they have a solid vetern in James Jones and several up and coming young receivers including Rob Streater, Brice Butler and Andre Holmes.  They have two veteran backs who are probably past their prime but they won't miss many blitz pick-ups.

September 3, 2014

Henry Josey- RB, Eagles

UDFA rookie Henry Josey continues to impress this pre-season.  He posted a 22 carry, 121 yard performance in the Eagles final pre-season game.  We liked him as one of the top 5 backs coming out of college this year and we think he's clearly better than Chris Polk and should be the Eagles number two back.

September 1, 2014

Nick Arbuckle- QB, Georgia State

Here's a test to see if you're truly a college football fan.  Do you have any idea who Nick Arbuckle is?  Well in fairness we didn't know him either.  He transferred this year from a  JUCO to Georgia State, a football team that had lost 16 straight games. Well don't get your pen out yet, but pencil his name on your 2016 NFL Draft board.  We've scouted him and we can say one thing based on what we've seen: he's a better pro prospect than last year's Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.  He reminds us of Andrew Luck. We've even watched his JUCO film and he was better than a few starting NFL quarterbacks. He was a two time all-state tosser but ended up at a JUCO, we suspect because of grades.  He went on to break most California Junior College records including passing yards for a season and career, and passing touchdowns for a career.  He threw for 6,800 yards and 73 touchdowns.  He suited up for the Georgia State whipping boys on Wednesday to kick off the 2014 FCS season.  He was 31-47for 413 yards and 4 touchdowns.  He led two scoring drives in the last five minutes of the game to give Georgia State their first victory in almost two years. He threw another 50 yard touchdown that was called back on a holding penalty.  There's many a slip twixt a cup and a lip, but if he performs like he did in week one for the remainder of the season...

August 30, 2014

Cameron Fleming- OT, Patriots

Everybody remembers Cameron Fleming.  He's the Stanford right tackle who we had ranked as the 20th best prospect in this draft class.   He didn't make Sports Illustrated's top 64 ranking or Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 ranking.  He was drafted with the 140th pick in the NFL Draft by the Patriots.  According to Pro Football Focus he has graded as the second best offensive tackle in the NFL this pre-season.  It's only pre-season, but it bears mentioning.  Unless the Pats kick him inside to guard, and we don't think they will, he will remain a back-up tackle behind veterans Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer.

August 29, 2014

Philip Rivers- QB, Chargers

There is a reason we don't advocate taking a quarterback in the first 7 or so rounds.  Over the weekend we had two drafts. In the first one the 10th round saw 4 good starting fantasy tossers drafted including last years number three scorer Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Tony Romo.  These guys are all likely to be as good as the tossers drafted in the 4th-6th rounds. In our second draft we selected Ben Roethlisberger in the 10th round and Rivers in the 11th.  The tosser pool is simply too deep to take one early.

Chris Johnson- RB, Jets

Johnson is currently being drafted in the 5th-6th round, which is far too low.  He's 28 years old and coming off a sixth consecutive season with over 1,400 combined yards.  He's on a team with a good offensive line and coach committed to running the ball.

August 28, 2014

Joe Flacco- QB, Ravens

Flacco should have a bounce back year with a healthy offensive line and the addition of Steve Smith.  We expect Flacco to approach his career highs in touchdowns and passing yards.  He's a nice QB2 with some upside.

Pierre Garcon- WR, Redskins

Everybody loves Garcon after his career best 1,346 yard, 5 touchdown performance last season.  His average in the 4 years before that was about 900 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Those are WR3 numbers.  The Redskins have added Desean Jackson and a healthy Jordan Reed will garner some red zone looks so look for Garcon to return to his prior numbers and be a fantasy bust at his current 4th round ADP.

August 27, 2014

Legarrette Blount- RB, Steelers

In the case of dumb and dumberer, we prefer dumb.  Le'Veon Bell is being drafted between the 2nd and 3rd round while Blount is going around the 10th.  We think Blount will have more carries than Bell and Blount has already been designated the goal line back.  He's the best sleeper back in this year's fantasy draft.  Bell's YPC dropped a half a yard every year he was at Michigan State.  Last year for the Steelers, in 13 starts he averaged a paltry 3.5 YPC. LeGarrette Blount in his four years in the NFL has averaged an impressive 4.7 YPC. Blount had 8 games with 10 or more carries in 2014 and he averaged over 4 YPC in 7 of them.   Bell had 13 games with over 10 carries and only averaged 4 yards in 6 of them.  We won't be surprised if Blount becomes the early down back and Bell becomes more of a third down back.

August 26, 2014

Blake Bortles- QB, Jaguars

Bortles has had two good pre-season games.  In fact, the top four quarterbacks drafted in 2014 have all been impressive this pre-season.  Cecil Shorts is due to return this week and Bortles will be getting reps with the starters.  Even if he wins the starting gig we wouldn't recommend him as a QB2 unless you're the Jaguars fan.

Derek Carr- QB, Raiders

Carr may get an opportunity sooner than expected with Matt Schaub continuing to look ineffective.  The Raiders shouldn't rush Carr (and we like Matt McGloin better anyway) but he will likely get the call if something happens with Schaub.

Teddy Bridgewater- QB, Vikings

Bridgewater has been the rookie star of the pre-season after throwing two more touchdowns over the weekend on only 7 passes. Although he and Manziel and Bortles all played well this pre-season, they will all start on the bench.  We suspect they will all be starting by mid-season.

August 25, 2014

Michael Sam- DE, Rams

You go Michael.  Sam has a sack, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits in the second pre-season game.  He's played much better than anyone anticipated after his horrible Combine performance.  He may be one of those guys who plays better than his measurables.

August 24, 2014

Michael Floyd- WR, Cardinals

Pete Prisco has spoken.  He has pontificated that, "Floyd is the number one receiver in Arizona, not Larry Fitzgerald."  He also predicted 85 catches and 12 touchdowns for Floyd. "How about 'no' Scotty?" When Larry Fitzgerald dies, Floyd will become Arizona's top dog.  Until then, slow your roll Prisco.  We like Floyd as a borderline WR2 in the 900, 8 TD; 1,000, 7 TD range.  Though Fitz's numbers might not be significantly better, Fitz will be the player drawing the double teams.

August 23, 2014

Percy Harvin- WR, Seahawks

Year after year Harvin is drafted as a WR2, and this year he is trending as a WR2.  In 5 seasons he's never had 1,000 yards receiving and he's never caught more than 6 touchdowns.  He's a WR3 with a "big name" and in the Seahawks run heavy offense he shouldn't be drafted before the 7th round.

August 22, 2014

Henry Josey- RB, Eagles

We thought Josey was one of the top backs in this draft class and we were surprised when he went undrafted. He has been impressive this pre-season posting 139 yards on only 15 touches.  The Eagles are deep at running back and they might try to sneak him onto the practice squad but we wouldn't be surprised if another team snagged him.

August 21, 2014

Mark Ingram- RB, Saints

Another pre-season, another "this is the year Mark Ingram breaks out" story.  Ingram will allegedly be more involved in the passing game.  The Saints backfield is a fantasy black hole.  There are currently three backs fighting for carries and an owner can't rely on any of them in a given week.  If one gets hurt the two remaining backs should become RB3's, but drafting any of them before the 8th round is a wasted pick.

August 20, 2014

Eric Decker- WR, Jets

The Jets boast the NFL's two most innacurate starting quarterbacks, but don't sleep on Decker as a fantasy option.  He should get loads of targets as the only real weapon in the passing game and we expect at a minimum WR3 numbers of 800 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Eli Manning- QB, Giants

We are offically concerned.  Manning and the Giants have followed up an abysmal 2014 campaign with an even worse pre-season.  Manning looks like he's done, though he is learning a new offense. We have dropped Eli to a late QB2 and are moving Victor Cruz and Reuben Randle down our draft board.

Teddy Bridgewater- QB, Vikings

Bridgewater has been getting slammed the entire off-season for a bad pro-day and lackluster practice performances.  He's a gamer, and a really good one.  He was phenomenal on the field for three years at Louisville and delivered one of the best performances we've seen from a pro quarterback over the weekend. Yes, it was pre-season, but there was something special.  He was 16-20 for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns.   Two of his four incompletions were touchdown passes that his receivers dropped.  He led the team to 3 fourth quarter scores including a touchdown pass to win the game with seconds remaining.  That touchdown capped an 85 yard drive that he engineered with just over a minute to play.  The fans were chanting, "Teddy, Teddy," throughout the 4th quarter and even the normally stoic Norv Turner was high fiving with his coaches on the final drive. One pre-season game doesn't make him a star, or even a starter, but the performance was an eye opener.

August 19, 2014

Aaron Dobson- WR, Patriots

Ah, the curious case of Aaron Dobson.  Everyone keeps talking about the return of Dobson from injury like he's the second coming of Randy Moss.  Apparently Brady and everyone else thinks he's a star.  Last season Brady targeted him 9 or more times in 4 games.  He only had one 100-yard game and generally ran bad routes and dropped balls.  That said, if he keeps getting targets he's worth drafting.

August 18, 2014

Brandon Williams- TE, Panthers

Williams was impressive in the Panthers second pre-season game.  He's a Vernon Davis-like physical specimen who could emerge in the talentless Panthers line-up.  At this point he's nothing more than a late round back-up with some upside but he bears watching, particularly if Greg Olsen gets hurt.

Nick Foles- QB, Eagles

After posting 21 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions in 2013, Foles threw 2 interceptions on 9 attempts in his first pre-season game.  Is he the next Kevin Kolb?  He's lost his quarterbacks coach and with only part of a season under his belt, as spectacular as it was, Foles bears watching in the remaining pre-season games.

August 17, 2014

Andre Johnson- WR, Texans

Wonder why Andre Johnson wants out of Houston?  How about the fact that Case Keenum, a 26-year old undrafted free agent with 9 career touchdown passes, has been tabbed to start the second pre-season game?  We won't be surprised if 4th round rookie Tom Savage ends up starting games for the Texans.

August 16, 2014

Storm Johnson- RB, Jaguars

Looking for a late round sleeper at running back, look no further than Johnson.  Toby Gerhart is already nursing an injury and if he goes down we don't think the Jaguars would turn to Jordan Todman.

August 15, 2014

Travis Kelce- TE, Chiefs

Kelce had a 69-yard TD catch in week one of the pre-season.  He's a freakish athlete who ran a 4.61 forty and had a 35 inch vertical at 6'5", 255.   Alex Smith avoids throwing to receivers so Kelce has a serious upside if he wrestles the starting job from steady but unspectacular Anthony Fasano.  He's a low end TE1 candidate but make sure to draft a solid back-up.

August 14, 2014

Johnny Manziel- QB, Browns

Buy the ticket, take the ride.  We're not sure what game the pundits were watching when they said Manziel was "solid" or "above average".  We were very skeptical about how he would perform with all of his off-season escapades drawing headlines, but his performance was nothing short of spectacular.  He was 7-11 with a horrible offensive line and back-up receivers.  Two passes were dropped and one was called out of bounds when the receiver was actually in bounds, so he was more like 10-11 and looked great (and smart) running the ball and avoiding contact.  We don't think there is another NFL quarterback who could have replicated that performance under those conditions.  All that said, it was only basically half of a pre-season game and we are still in wait-and-see mode.

August 13, 2014

Devonta Freeman- RB, Falcons

Freeman looked good against the Dolphins back-ups totalling over 100 combined yards on 11 touches.  He was one of our Matriculator Six, mainly because we liked his situation behind the rapidly fading Steven Jackson.  Freeman is still a high risk pick as Jacquizz Rodgers also looked good and punched in a touchdown from close range and Antone Smith, as usual, was impressive.  Smith had a 75 yard touchdown run called back on a hold.

August 12, 2014

Brandin Cooks- WR, Saints

There are pre-season All-Pro stories every year and most of them turn out to be, "Remember that one guy who killed it for the Ravens in the pre-season a few years ago and then was never heard from again?"  Cooks may be different.  He's in a perfect situation with an aging number one in Marques Colston, a deep threat in Kenny Stills and a stud tight end.  He should have plenty of open space and as one of the NFL's fastest players we see some 50+ yards touchdowns in his near future.   He's currently tracking in about the 8th round as a WR3.  We'd love to get him there.

August 11, 2014

Ronnie Hillman- RB, Broncos

Hillman is a must handcuff if Montee Ball is your first or second round pick. Here is our evaluation of Hillman before the NFL Draft. We like his upside.

Markice Pouncey- C, Steelers

The Biggest Loser race rages on, with Florida again pulling ahead of Alabama in what continues to be the most epic struggle in the NFL.  Pouncey will reportedly be arrested for battery following an incident at a bar involving him and his brother. Former Florida running back Chris Rainey was dismissed last week from the Colts after an incident involving a fire extinguisher which followed an assault arrest 12 months ago.

August 10, 2014

Jimmy Garoppolo- QB, Patriots

The good news for Patriots haters is that the Patriots can't play Garoppolo and Brady at the same time.  In other words, Garoppolo probably won't play for the next few years.  Our 12th ranked player in the 2014 draft started for the Pats in their pre-season opener and did exactly what we would expect from the player we described as "the best pure passer in the draft."  He was 9-13 for 157 yards and a tocuhdown with a near perfect passer rating. 

August 9, 2014

Want to win lots of money?  Try breaking out this trivia question and give the rube 5 chances to answer it.  Heck, let him go double or nothing for another 5 guesses.  J.J. Watt had the highest Pass Rush Productivity grade (QB hits, sacks and pressures according to Pro Football Focus) of any 3-4 defensive end in the 7 years PFF has been grading players.  So here's your trivia question:  Which player, in 2013, posted the second highest Pass Rush Productivity grade in the history of PFF?   He was drafted with the 59th pick in 2012, although The Matriculator had him ranked in the top 10 on our draft board. The answer sits at #9 from our 2012 draft rankings.

Markus Wheaton- WR, Steelers

Let's not forget Big Ben is a good bet to throw 25 touchdowns and he has to throw them to someone.  Antonio Brown's career high in his four years in the league is 8.  Heath Miller is old and coming off an injury.  Wheaton showed flashes and is still drawing comparisons to Mike Wallace.  As a late round type Wheaton is a nice gamble.

Alshon Jeffery- WR, Bears

We found a pre-Combine piece we did on Jeffery.  Check it out here.

August 8, 2014

Wes Welker- WR, Broncos

We've been asking this question for years and we haven't received a "yes" yet, but if at first you don't succeed....  Is this the year Welker finally slows down/gets injured?

Ryan Mathews- RB, Chargers

Mathews ADP seems low at pick #40.  He's had over 1,000 yards rushing in two of the past three seasons and he's a solid receiver.  With Danny Woodhead limited to a third down back and Donald Brown as his only real threat to early down carries it seems Mathews is more suited to a second round pick in the 20 range.  We prefer Mathews over Toby Gerhart and Reggie Bush who are being drafted ahead of him.

August 7, 2014

Mike Wallace- WR, Dolphins

Wallace is currently trending at around the 25th receiver taken, which is too low.  In 2013 he was a few overthrows by Ryan Tannehill away from being a borderline #1 fantasy receiver.  This year with former Eagles QB Coach Bill Lazor at the helm the Dolphins will run an up tempo, higher volume offense and Wallace should approach 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns making him a borderline WR1/high end WR2.

August 6, 2014

Gio Bernard- RB, Bengals

Word on the street is that Bernard is expected to get about 300 touches.  Many of those touches will be pass receptions and the expectation is that Jeremy Hill will get some of the goal line work. Expect a Reggie Bush type 1,200-1,400 yards from scrimmage but with only 5-8 TDs.  Bernard should be a nice second round, RB2.

Arian Foster- RB, Texans

Foster has admitted he considered retirement after last season's back injuries.  Call us crazy, but we wouldn't feel comfortable entering the season with our number one pick dreaming of riding off into the sunset.  As with Marshawn Lynch, we'd feel better about Foster in the second.

August 5, 2014

Victor Cruz- WR, Giants

We are seeing Michael Floyd listed above Cruz on fantasy rankings.  Uh, no.  Cruz was one of the best receivers in the NFL in 2011 and 2012 and even with a down 2013 (he still had nearly 1,000 yards) we expect him to be a WR1 this year.

Kenny Britt- WR, Titans

A mid/late rounder, Britt is allegedly fit and focused and could emerge as the Rams top receiver with Tavon Austin and Chris Givens appearing more like #2's.  Keep an eye on Britt this pre-season.

August 4, 2014

Andy Dalton- QB, Bengals

If you ever doubted the rampant racism exercised by the 32 white guys who employ mostly black guys, look no further than the Dalton contract.  Or any "face of the franchise" in the past year for that matter.  Tony Romo, a guy who has generated all of 1 playoff win in 10 years in the NFL, got $55 million guaranteed.  Jay Cutler, who in his 8 years has been to the playoffs 1 season, got $50 million guaranteed.  Matt Ryan was rewarded for his 1-4 post-season record in 6 seasons with $59 million guaranteed.  Matt Stafford and his 0-1 post-season record in 5 seasons got $42 million.   That bunch of schlepos has played 32 seasons and generated only 3 playoff wins.  Colin Kaepernick and the $13 million he was able to strong arm the 49ers into guaranteeing him, has more playoff wins (4) than the Billionaire White Boys Club combined, and he's only played a season and a half!

August 3, 2014

Marshawn Lynch- RB, Seahawks

Lynch ended his holdout and received a modest $1.5 million raise.  He's a tough call as a first round fantasy pick.  He certainly has the ability but whether he's satisfied with his contract will likely determine how hard he plays and whether he plays through injury.  The Seahawks have a capable back-up in Robert Turbin and an up and comer in Christine Michael.  We'd be confident taking Lynch in the second, but not so much in the first.

August 2, 2014

Legarrette Blount- RB, Steelers

Blount doesn't have any competition for the number two role behind Le'Veon Bell.  Bell missed a number of games as a rookie and that's why we like Blount as a mid-round pick.  Blount fits the Pittsburgh ground and pound style and he's an injury away from being a solid RB2.

July 30, 2014

Tavarres King- WR, Panthers

With Kelvin Benjamin already nursing an injury, we are scrambling to figure out who will generate the best fantasy stats of the Panthers receiving corps. Tavarres King was signed off waivers last year from the Broncos and we liked his upside coming out of Georgia 2 years ago.  He was one of the 2013 Matriculator Six.  We will be watching with some interest to see who emerges as Cam's favorite target, though whomever it is will only have WR3 potential at best.

July 29, 2014

Ray Rice's Love Tap

The Matriculator has penned a new song.  Check it out in Down Goes Janay Palmer Rice

July 28, 2014

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks

Wilson is listed below RG3 on all of the fantasy draft sites we've looked at, but we'd take Wilson. For RG3 to be great he has to run effectively which increases his chance of injury.  It's a Catch 22, which we usually like but not in this case.  Wilson finished 10th in fantasy scoring last season without Percy Harvin.  The main reason he didn't have even better fantasy numbers last year was because the defense was so good they ran the ball most of the time.  The Seahawks lost several players on defense and if they give up some more points Wilson's numbers should increase enough to move him closer to the top five.

July 27, 2014

Bernard Pierce- RB, Ravens

Ray Rice will miss the first two games due to suspension and Pierce, who we liked coming out of Temple two years ago, should get the starts. Pierce averaged nearly 5 yards per carry as a rookie, but his YPC dropped below 3 his second year.  Of course Ray Rice's YPC was a career low at 3.1 and Joe Flacco threw more interceptions than touchdowns.  The offensive line was so bad that Rice made public comments about it.  Their best lineman, Kelechi Osemele, was injured last year and missed most of the season. Osemele is on track in his recovery from back surgery and a full year from Eugene Monroe should stabilize the line.  We like the Rice/Pierce combo as a draft strategy as both should fall too far after last season's misery.

July 24, 2014

Johnny Manziel- QB, Browns

When evaluating players there is one major area, the personality profile, that we don't get to see.  If we had interviewed Manziel we are guessing we would have had some of the reservations that 22 other teams had.  We now understand why Johnny Moneyball dropped to the end of the first round.  It's Matt Leinart, or at least the spectre of Leinart who was more interested in hanging out than being an NFL passer.  Manziel hasn't done anything horrible, but the last party guy who made it big as an NFL quarterback was Joe Namath and that was 40 years ago.  Favre and Roethlisberger got things under control relatively quickly so there is hope for Manziel.

July 17, 2014

Atlanta Falcons

Pro Football Focus is grading the talent on every team's depth chart.  They are half way through the NFL and the Jaguars are the only NFL team with fewer starters than the Falcons who rank "good" or above.

July 5, 2014

St. Louis Rams

We've added the Rams to our Over/Under picks.  We like the over.

June 18, 2014

Marcel Dareus- DT, Bills

This off-season's most compelling story has been the race between University of Alabama and University of Florida alum for the highest crime rate.  Will Hill, Aaron Hernandez and Co. had a slight lead in their 2013 Camaro, but Marcel Dareus helped Alabama overtake Florida with an arrest for synthetic marijuana possession in early May followed by an arrest for drag racing a few weeks later.

June 7, 2014

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk seems so dreadfully confused about the CK deal. He has reported that, "Technically, the deal has $61 million guaranteed, but only $13 million is guaranteed at signing."  For clarification purposes, when people talk about guaranteed money they are talking about the guaranteed money "at signing."  As in when he signs the contract that "guarantees" something.  And then there's the word guarantee.  Guarantee means to promise, unequivically, to do something like pay a certain sum of money in this case.  Florio seems to think this is an equivocal guarantee which doesn't and can't exist, like a Lions Super Bowl or a hot chick from Cleveland.

June 5, 2014

Daryl Washington- LB, Cardinals

Washington has been suspended for the entire season.  The Cardinals picked up a $10 million bonus a few months ago but now they may cut him.  This off-season might have reminded some NFL GM's that a zebra can't change it's stripes.  Washington has a long history of off field issues and combining that with big money is usually a combustible mixture.  Greg Hardy was franchised a few months ago (guaranteeing him $13 million for the 2014 season) and promptly beat his girlfriend and threatened to kill her.  Several years earlier, in 2010, Hardy fell in the draft due to off field concerns.  Josh Gordon arrived in Cleveland with baggage and he's been suspended this year.  The fact that banning a player for smoking marijuana is ridiculous belies the fact that the players know they can be suspended and they still do it.

June 3, 2014

Will Hill- S, Giants

Hill was suspended by the league for the third time in three years.  He was cut by the Giants even though he had a very good season. University of Florida alum continue to post the highest crime rate in the NFL.

Johnny Manziel- QB, Browns

We never had as much of an issue with Manziel on the field as most, but our worries about him off the field were significant.  After he was drafted Manziel bought a round of drinks for everyone at his favorite bar in College Station.  Not a good start, but he did sell 2,000 season tickets for the Browns.

The Matriculator Six

Our list of the top 16 players taken after the third round has arrived, and the Jaguars and Bills netted two of our Matriculator Six spots.

Ju'Wuan James- OT, Dolphins

New regime, same result.  The Dolphins took a guy everyone had rated as a second rounder with the #19 pick.  They seem to do that every year with Jason "*%#&ing" Allen, Ted Ginn and Ryan Tannehill the more notable recent reaches.

June 2, 2014

Lavonte David- LB, Buccaneers

Pro Football Focus does a fairly reliable job of grading players.  They had David listed as the fifth highest rated player in the NFL in 2014.  We've always compared David with Luke Kuechly who is a great player who was drafted much higher than David. David has outperformed him both seasons, but Keuchly won the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 while David finished fifth.  In 2013 David outperformed Kuechly again (Kuechly graded out at 80th in the PFF rankings) yet Keuchly won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. 

Justin Britt- OT, Seahawks

The Seahawks drafted two of the lowest rated second rounders.  We are usually very complimentary of their drafts, but this one wasn't good.  As when they took Bruce Irvin too early two years ago, we think they reached for Britt and Paul Richardson.

June 1, 2014

Oakland Raiders

We intended to pick the Raiders and the over after seeing their projected win total in Vegas was only 5; however, after taking a final look at their schedule we're on the fence. It is absolutely brutal.  Someone needs to tell the league office that Al Davis is dead.  Their first 4 games includes trips across country to the Jets and Patriots and then a flight across the pond to London. After that they still have two games against the Broncos and games versus the 49ers and Seahawks.

May 15, 2014

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons finally have a left tackle, but did they do enough?  Click here to find out.

May 13, 2014

Terrance West- RB, Browns

The Browns have received our first "A" after scoring Johnny Football, Justin Gilbert, Joel Bitonio, Terrance West AND a first round pick.

May 12, 2014

Aaron Donald- DT, Rams

Donald and Greg Robinson in the same draft?  The Rams slayed the draft and should be competing with the Seahawks and 49ers of the world as soon as they get a real tosser.

May 11, 2014

Eric Ebron- TE, North Carolina

We had a late first round grade on Ebron but we went back and watched more tape and have moved him up significantly, to #15 on our prospect list.  He will need to cure the dropsies, but he's a much better route runner than we gave him credit for and if his hands improve even modestly  he will be a match-up nightmare.

E.J. Gaines- CB, Missouri

Gaines is projected as a 3rd-4th round pick and we think he's a good value there.  He's small at 5'10, 190, and his measurables are only average, but he makes plays in both the pass and run game.  He's totaled 69 or more tackles the past three seasons and has 14 tackles for loss, 8 interceptions and 34 passes defensed.  He was a First Team All-SEC selection and we think he has starter ability.

May 10, 2014

Cody Latimer- WR, Indiana

Latimer is a great athlete and his off-season workouts have been so impressive we think he may very well sneak into the first round which is where we've moved him in our mock draft.

May 9, 2014

NFL Predict the Pick

Congrats to the two Matriculatees who finished in the top 1% in the NFL Predict the Pick Contest.  The Sweaty Palms, winner of the first Matriculator draft contest in 2011, won again followed closely by the Matriculator, Jr..  Resident Cowboys' scout B Nizzle finished ahead of Mel Kiper for the 4th consecutive year!  Kiper his biatch.

May 8, 2014

Joel Bitonio- OT, Nevada

Some people think Bitonio will need to move to guard in the NFL but we like him better as a tackle.  He's a similar to Zack Martin as a hybrid prospect and we wouldn't be surprised if he is drafted much higher than most people anticipate.

May 7, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney- DE, South Carolina

The Texans continue to talk up Clowney while fielding trade offers.  The Texans have drafted pass rushers in the first round two of the past three years and they are about to have to make JJ Watt the highest paid defender in NFL history. Using a pick and spending even more money on another first round pass rusher makes no sense so the Texans will probably do it.

May 6, 2014

Rashaad Reynolds- CB, Oregon St

Reynolds is projected as a 3rd-4th rounder but we like him better than that.  He is strong, fast and feisty, a poor man's Darqueze Dennard.  If he is selected after the 3rd round he will be an early favorite for The Matriculator Six.

May 5, 2014

A.J. McCarron- QB, Alabama

We may have overreacted a bit to the McCarron Reality TV Wedding Scandal.  The guy is kind of a tool, but beyond that he's got everything a team could want in a "game manager" quarterback, which as everyone knows can lead the right team to the promised land.  Yes, he was surrounded by incredible talent but he did about everything right with that talent.  He was 36-3 and threw an incredible 74 touchdowns to 15 interceptions.  He only has an average NFL arm, but that's all Drew Brees and Alex Smith and even Peyton manning have.  He's 6'3", 220 so he's got the size.   The more we look at him the more we have to concede that the first round (we'd probably look at him in the second) is a real possibility.

Aaron Murray- QB, Georgia

Murray is generating some late buzz.  We think Murray is nearly an identical prospect to Drew Brees coming out of college.  We were at Murray's pro-day and not only is his throwing motion and stature similar to Brees, so is his demeanor.  What people need to keep in mind about Brees is that he wasn't a great quarterback for most of his career.  In fact, he was barely average for the first 8 years.  Most quarterbacks don't get that long to become great.  The QB Patience Factor is usually about 3 years.  Brees was 10-17 his first two years as a starter and finished his 5 year tenure in San Diego at 25-23, having only had one great season.  He was signed by the Saints and proceeded to go mediocre again with a 30-28 record.  So at age 29, after 8 seasons on the NFL, he was 55-51.  He was one season away from fading into a Jason Campbell-like oblivion. He has been great since he turned 30 (check him for steroids) but he is possibly the luckiest quarterback alive to have even been on a team after 8 years of mediocrity.  This seems quite a digression, but we like Murray to be a similar player if brought along slowly, but we're betting he doesn't get 8 years.

Jameis Winston- QB, Florida State

Jameis is famous alright.  He's got crabs.  What a knucklehead.  After hearing the guy speak his arrest for stealing crab legs didn't surprise us.  He's not the sharpest tool in the shed.  In fact he's more like that tool beside the shed that has been buried for 20 years.  Winston is a great college quarterback no doubt, but like Terrelle Pryor (and even former Florida State tosser Charlie Ward) he's not an elite NFL prospect.  Think the mind of Jamarcus Russell and the extended throwing motion of Byron Leftwich.  He needs to stick with baseball...and shrimp.

May 4, 2014

Teddy Bridgewater- QB, Louisville

It was the best of careers, it was the worst of pro-days.  So begins the analysis of our #7 prospect.

May 3, 2014

Aaron Donald- DT, Pittsburgh

An interesting thing has happened in the  60 days since we posted Don't Duck Donald, The Best Prospect in the Past Decade.  When we posted that article we noted that Donald wasn't in the top 20 on anybody's draft board.  He was ranked 25th by BSPN's Crack Team, 22nd by CBS and he was not ranked in the first round by Bucky Brooks or Mike Mayock.  But there has been a massive change of direction in a short period of time.  Since our article he has shot up the CBS draft board to #7, shot up BSPN's board to #8, and moved from the 5th rated to the 2nd rated DT on Brooks' board.  More incredibly, on April 24, less than sixty days after we posted an article saying that Donald was the best prospect in the past decade, Ian Rapoport tweeted that an unnamed AFC executive indicated Donald was the "best defensive lineman coming out in the past ten years."  Ten years is a decade.  We had no idea that were now considered an "unnamed AFC executive" but we did stay at a Holiday Inn Express near Sun Life Stadium.

May 2, 2014

Donte Moncrief- WR, Ole Miss

Moncrief isn't rated as a first rounder by any draft service but us and we have him as the 16th best prospect.   We expect him to be drafted in the second round and if so,  whichever team drafts him will be headed for an "A" on their draft grade.

May 1, 2014

Dominique Easley- DT, Florida

When we watched Easley early in the 2013 season he clearly looked like a top 15 pick.  He was a dominant interior lineman.  Several pundicators currently have him ranked in the top 15 on their draft board.  The problem is he blew his ACL midway through the 2013 season.  The other problem is that he blew his other ACL a few years ago. We like him in the third round as a guy with loads of potential but major injury issues.

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

We continue to hear talk of Andrew Luck as the second coming while everyone wants to poo-poo Robert Griffin.  Granted the Redskins, who have one of the least talented rosters in the NFL, suffered through a terrible season in 2013, Griffin has been a significantly better passer (and runner for that matter) than Luck.  The only category where Luck is better is wins and losses in 2013, but it's important to remember that Luck has had two years of the easiest schedule in the NFL getting six shots a year at the lowly Texans, Titans and Jaguars.   Griffin's passer rating for his career is ten points higher (92 v. 82 in the regular season and 78 v. 68 in the post season) than Luck's. Right now  judging who was a better draft pick we'd lean towards the better passer in Griffin, but it's probably a draw.  We expect Griffin, if he stays healthy, to put some distance between himslef and Luck in 2014.

April 30, 2014

A.J. McCarron- QB, Alabama

McCarron has recently stated that he's only having his wedding broadcast on national television because it will save his soon to be wife's family from having to pay for the wedding.  It's not quite as bad as saying he assaulted a particular person because there was nobody else around, but it's close.  McCarron's behavior is the reason, in a microcosm, teams should drop Alabama players on their draft boards.  Since Saban took over they have the worst success rate of any college team in the NFL and it's not even close.  USC players used to hold the trophy but NFL teams have wised up and don't draft them as highly any more.  Of players drafted in the first three rounds under Saban, only 4 out of 22 have earned their draft status.  For McCarron to think  that anyone outside of Alabama really cares shows how inflated the sense of self is for these players.  Also, to insinuate both that he's doing it for the money and that his wife wears the panties in the family is not the best trait for a person who will be expected to lead grown ass men.  Bottom line: a preppy looking college tosser who is already doing reality TV shows before he takes a snap in the NFL will not be a leader of men at the next level.  He's Mark Sanchez 2.0.  6th round as a clip board holder is where he should go in the draft.

San Francisco 49ers

There are rumors that the 49ers are going to make a bold draft day move.  We could see it happening.  They are loaded with draft picks and need a premier receiver for the next few years.  Anquan Boldin probably only has one year left as an effective receiver and the 49ers haven't forgotten about the extended hold-out Michael Crabtree staged after he was drafted lower than he thought was fair.  Crabtree's a very good receiver, but not great and probably not worth waht he thinks he's worth.  They have to plan for a 2015 season without a number one unless they move up.  Moving up to pick #6 (the Falcons) makes sense for both organizations and Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins should be there.

April 29, 2014

Kyle Fuller- CB, Virginia Tech

Fuller fits the mold of the Virginia Tech corner.  Like most Virginia Tech corners he is an aggressive ball hawk, but also like most he's a bit of an injury risk after suffering a sports hernia late in the 2013 season.  He will probably be similar to Deangelo Hall in that he taketh away often but giveth away often too, and sometimes too often.  We like him in the second round while many evaluators have him as a first rounder.

April 28, 2014

Atlanta Falcons

We panned Thomas Dimitroff and the Falcons in 2011 for making the Julio Jones trade-up.  It wasn't that we didn't like Julio, we thought he was a top-10 player in the draft.  The problem was that great teams are made by trading the other way.  Dimitroff obviously needs to read The Matriculator Earns $100 Million and Makes Offer to Buy the Cowboys for $4.73, in which it is all laid out in the simplest of terms.  If the Falcons had followed our advice (and draft Board) they would have had Muhammed Wilkerson, Lavonte David and Randall Cobb instead of Julio.  They would have one of the best rosters in the NFL instead of one of the worst.  Of the Falcons current starting 22 players, 15 wouldn't start for the average NFL team. The Falcons are supposedly eyeing making a trade-up for Jadeveon Clowney which would be another catastrophic mistake and probably lead to another 4-12 season in the next few years. For what it's worth we'd trade back, draft Ryan Shazier in the first, Joel Bitonio in the second and use the additional second round pick on a pass rusher like Marcus Smith or Kyle Van Noy.

April 27, 2014

Mel Kiper- Draft Jester

Kiper's top 100 draft picks came out today, like a big terd out of a donkey's ass.  We don't know who he picked and frankly don't care.  He's one of the worst draft evaluators we've ever known, though he does have some nice hair.  You may remember him panning the Seahawks 2012 draft and giving them a C- because they took Bobby Wagner too early.  Wagner graded out as PFF's #2 rated inside linebacker as a rookie.  He was  also critical of Seattle drafting Russell Wilson in the third round, asking the question, "Did they need (Wilson) after grabbing Matt Flynn?"  If you have any further questions please keep your mouth shut.  There are stupid questions.  When searching for something on the web we came across a funny story about how horrible Kiper is as a scout.  He missed on nearly every important player in the 2002 draft and compared David Carr to Troy Aikman and had Joey Harrington as his third overall prospect. http://bottom-of-the-barrel.blogspot.com/2013/04/grading-mel-kipers-2002-nfl-draft-grades.html

April 26, 2014

Johnny Manziel- QB, Texas A&M

Whatever you think about Manziel, what isn't in dispute is that he will be the most watched player, at least for the first few years, in this draft class.  He's already a star and if a team passes on him and he approaches what he did in college he will leave some GM's in his wake.  If the Jaguars or Browns have a shot at him at pick #3 or #4 and don't take him they will continue to remain irrelevant.  We don't normally recommend taking players for their ability to draw interest to a franchise, but for the Jaguars and Browns we make an exception.  Of course we think Manziel's a top 5 talent anyway.

April 25, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney- DE, South Carolina

Clowney's talent is undeniable but backing off in 2013 so that he didn't get hurt is a concern, though we understand his thought process in the wake of the Marcus Lattimore injury.   What kind of advice will he get in year three or four  when he's staring down a huge free agent contract and doesn't want to get hurt before his next payday?   He will, at times, be a dominant NFL player but will he be worth the headache and the money?  We say probably not.

April 24, 2014

Calvin Pryor- S, Louisville

Pryor is listed as a first round talent in everybody else's evaluation but ours.  He has the athletic ability to be a star and he's a willing hitter but he takes terrible angles and he is often out of position due to his aggressive style.  In the NFL a safety has to be disciplined and Pryor needs work in that area though we concede that with some good coaching he could become a Pro-Bowler.

Darqueze Dennard- CB, Michigan State

Dennard comes in at 24 on our countdown, a little lower than most pundicators; however, the big surprises are right around the corner as we have 5 players in the top 20 who aren't in the top 50 in either the Sports Illustrated or CBS player rankings.

April 23, 2014

Khalil Mack- LB, Buffalo

Mack is a great all-around defender with no real weakness.  He has the physical nature of Ray Lewis with the pass rushing ability of a traditional 4-3 defensive end.  He hasn't been in the discussion as the number one overall pick, though their are some recent rumblings that he could go number one.  If he did his story would mirror that of the movie Draft Day, Kevin Costner's most recent entrant in the Dumbest Movie of All-Time category, in which a pass rushing linebacker is unexpectedly selected number one overall.  Ironically, his name is Vontae Mack.

April 22, 2014

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix-S, Alabama

Since the inception of The Fantasy Matriculator we have placed a lower ranking than the majority of other draft scouts on every Alabama player with the exception of Julio Jones.  And we've been correct every time with the exception of D.J. Fluker and Eddie Lacy who have only played one year.  McClain, the 8th overall pick only 4 years ago has, for the second time, retired.  Alabama players seem to feel like they've "made it"  once they get drafted (and paid) and they almost never earn their draft position.  We evaluate them and then drop them about 15-20 spots because they played at Alabama, though we probably should drop them even further.

April 21,  2014

Dee Ford- DE, Auburn

Ford won't be making an appearance on our top-40 countdown.  Much like former Auburn comet Aundray Bruce (remember that number one overall pick back in 1988) Ford has had a phenomenal post-season, lighting up his Pro-day workout and dominating the Senior Bowl.  The problem is he was a one trick pony at Auburn, and that one trick only played out his senior year.  Before that he had never mustered double digit sacks or tackles for loss and his overall tackle numbers of about 30 per year place him at the bottom of all pass rushing ends.  We can't help thinking Bruce Irvin, a 3rd round type who only plays on passing downs.

April 20, 2014

Marqise Lee- WR, USC

Lee is in everybody else's list of the top 32 players.  Here's why he isn't in ours.  If a receiver is drafted in the top 32 he needs to be a #1 receiver.  Even a low-end number one will do.  USC in the entire storied history of their existence, has never produced a # 1 NFL receiver.  Ever.  Seriously.  Keyshawn Johnson and Johnnie Morton and Curtis Conway were nice number twos.  (Before you get all excited about Keyshawn, check his numbers.  He had one season in 11 with 10 touchdowns and never averaged 15 YPC in a season.  He was a glorified, mainly by himself, slot receiver.) Lynn Swann was fun to watch but he is the worst player in the Hall of Fame and it's not even close.  He was a number two receiver who never had a 1,000 yard receiving season and isn't in the top 200 in career receiving yards.  So in evaluating Lee the analysis is easy:  When you watch his tape does he jump off the screen as the greatest receiver in USC history?  If the answer is no, and it is, then take him in the second round and hope he's a number two.

April 19, 2014

Sam Bradford- QB, Rams

There are some vague rumblings that the Rams "might" be willing to deal Bradford.  You bet your gluteus minimus they're willing to deal that dead weight.  He's been a huge flop as the number one pick.  He's missed half of two of his four seasons due to injury, he has an 18-30 record as a starter and has a passer rating right in the heart of legends losers and back-ups like Chad Henne, Matt Moore and Mike Glennon.  And he makes $14.1 million!  If the Rams could get one of his autographed rookie cards in trade for him it would be a steal. While the rumblings cite to the fact that G.M.'s think "he's a tremendous kid,"  injury prone, highly paid losers who are mediocre passers won't shouldn't draw any interest.

April 18, 2014

Arthur Lynch- TE, Georgia

The NFL's top draft scout attended the University of Georgia's Pro Day in Athens today. Aaron Murray checked the boxes showing good mobility on his surgically repaired knee and he was above average throwing in cold, windy conditions.  His receivers didn't help much with a number of slips and drops, but tight end Arthur Lynch was crisp in his routes and displayed great hands.  Lynch is generally considered a 4th rounder but don't be surprised to hear his name called late on day 2 with the Steelers and Seahawks at the bottom of round three more than interested in what is the most complete,  best all around tight end in the 2014 draft.

April 17, 2014

Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson

While we only have three tossers rated as first round talents, we really like a number of mid-round quarterback prospects including Boyd who owns a number of ACC passing records.  There are also four battle hardened SEC quarterbacks with plenty of experience as well as Tom Savage and deep sleeper Logan Thomas.

April 16, 2014

Eric Ebron- TE, North Carolina

We are having quite a disagreement at Matriculator Headquarters (a secret government bunker under Fort Jefferson) about Ebron.  The Matriculator, Jr. wants to, like many pundits, compare him favorably to Vernon Davis while Sr. thinks he's the next Jared Cook, a perennial tease whose production won't match his potential.  Only time will tell.

April 15, 2014

Kenny Ladler- S, Vanderbilt

Start cheering if your team calls Ladler's name in the 4th or 5th round.  We can't understand why he isn't generating more buzz.  In fact we have the same grade on Ladler that we have on Calvin Pryor who most draft pundits have as a first rounder.  Ladler is 6', 207 and while he didn't burn it in the forty (4.7), his production in the SEC was top shelf, showing ability versus the run (90+ tackles each of the past two years and an FBS leading 5 forced fumbles in 2013) and versus the pass with 7 interceptions in the last two seasons.

April 14, 2014

Demarcus Lawrence- DE, Boise State

Lawrence is a slightly better prospect than a number of the borderline first round D-end prospects.  He's athletic enough to get into the backfield and he has a high motor.  He's also stout, for his size, against the run.  The only reason we didn't give him a first round grade is because he's received a number of suspensions.  If he turns things around off the field he could be a very good starter.

April 13, 2014

Scott Crichton- DE, Oregon State

There are a number of pass rushing DE/OLB's who are borderline first round picks, which is the reason we don't have any of them in our top 40.  Crichton, Demarcus Lawrence, Carl Bradford, Trent Murphy and Kyle Van Noy are similar prospects.  We expect them to be, at a minimum, effective #2 pass rushers who should generate 6-8 sacks.

April 7, 2014

Jeremiah Attaochu- Georgia Tech

Attaochu is gaining steam and we're not surprised.  He has  a skill set reminiscent of Cameron Wake.  He's averaged over a sack a game over his last 15 college games.  We don't see a distinction between him and the much higher rated Anthony Barr.

April 6, 2014

Keith Wenning- QB, Ball State

We noticed something odd about a recent news update on Wenning.  The item indicated that Wenning had 9 team visits scheduled.  If the guy is supposed to be a late round pick, why are nine teams bringing him in?  In 2013 he threw for 35 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards with only 7 interceptions.  Note to self:  Watch some film, too many teams interested.

April 5, 2014

Johnny Manziel- QB, Texas A&M

Manziel had a great Pro-day, though he is still being dinged for not being a "traditional" drop back passer.  He's not, but he is a spectacular talent who understands the moment.  We have concerns about him staying healthy and about his affinity to go clubbing but he's a top 5 talent.

April 4, 2014

Desean Jackson- WR, Redskins

Not surprisigly, the once proud but currently inept franchise that is the Redskins offered Djax the most money.  Daniel Snyder will get exactly what he deserves.  He will have a great year, probably 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns, and then he will start whining for a new contract.  The Redskins, Dolphins, Raiders and Cowboys are in an epic battle to see which meddling owner can inflict the most damage on their once proud team.  We have this image of the Brewers' Sausage Race where Mark Davis is Cinco (you know the chorizo with the sombrero), Stephen Ross is Guido, Jerry Jones is Brett Wurst and Dan Snyder is Frankie Furter.

April 3, 2014

Jordan played the fewest snaps of any non-injured first rounder in 2013.  A re-post of our May, 2013 comment, painful as it may be, seems warranted.

May 9, 2013

Dion Jordan- DE, Dolphins

To say the Dolphins screwed the pooch would be so cliche.  To call Jeff Ireland a moron does not do him justice. Granted, he doesn't have the Matriculator on his draft team so not much was expected. But a trade-up to get Dion Jordan?  The guy who didn't get to the quarterback in the Pac-12.  The next Vernon Gholston.  It has taken us Dolphins fans here at Matriculator headquarters days to even begin to speak again. April 25, 2013, a day that will live in infamy.  However, we are optimists. We will be seeing a lot of Dion Jordan in the coming years.  He will be modeling underwear for GQ and starring in the NFLN 2017 special, "Greatest Draft Busts of All Time".  For Crom's sake!

April 2, 2014

Mike Vick- QB, Jets

We don't understand the Vick signing from either side of the ledger.  What is clear is that the Jets remain in a prolonged stupor.  They have a second year quarterback who struggled mightily at times but also led a bad team to an 8-8 record.  Have they given up on him for Vick, who they know wants to start?  If they are committing to Vick and de-committing to Geno, why only a one year deal?  It's a typical Jets head scratcher.

Vince Wilfork- DT, Patriots

A few weeks ago Wilfork reportedly emptied his locker and stormed out of the Patriots facility in response to a request to renegotiate his contract.  The Patriots rewarded him by signing him to a three year $22 million deal.  When healthy Wilfork is a valuable part of the defense, but he's 33 and coming off of a torn Achilles' tendon.

Brice McCain- CB, Steelers

We're not sure what the Steelers are doing but adding Brice McCain, the NFL's worst rated cornerback in 2013, certainly won't help.  The Steelers offensive and defensive line are average at best and their two best back-end defenders are on their last legs.  They've lost Emmanuel Sanders and Mike Wallace in the last two years and Heath Miller is old and coming off a major injury.  The Steelers usually seem to pull out at least mediocrity but we don't know how they can do it with so little talent on the roster.

March 31, 2014

Knowshow Moreno- RB, Dolphins

Shockingly, for an organization in disarray who had to settle on a new GM from the bottom of the barrell in Dennis Hickey, the Dolphins have had a very good off season.  They added Knowshow Moreno on the only type of deal anyone should give him, a one year, $3 million prove it deal.  Moreno is coming of a career best year and while he isn't a great back, he can start and he's excellent in pass protection.

March 29, 2014

Daniel Snyder-Owner, Redskins

If anybody ever interviewed Snyder about the Redskins team name they would only need to ask one question: "How would feel about renaming the team the Washington Kikes or Yid or Hooknoses and having the team logo as a guy with a yamaka?"  (Sorry, but we can never resist an opportunity to quote The Life of Brian).  Snyder would walk out, no doubt.  In support of keeping the name Redskins he said this week that 90% of Skins fans want to keep the name.  Dude's a schmuck with some chutzpah and whole bowl full of matzah balls.

March 27, 2014

Johnny Manziel- QB, Texas A&M

We recently obtained a copy of Merrill Hoge's job description.  It reads:  "We have decided after years of listening to your babblings, that you are best suited to be the next ESPN Court Jester.  You are required to make ludicrous comments so that the client base is incensed by your ineptitude and watches the program so that they can throw their TV brick at you. If you ever say anything that could be viewed as merely "not smart" or "kind of stupid", you will be fired."  Apparently, Hoge will keep his job for another week after opining that Johnny Manziel will be a bust because he isn't a "traditional" drop back tosser.

Desean Jackson- WR, Eagles

It's caveat emptor on the team that trades for D-Jax.  Talents like his are only moved if they are clubhouse cancers. D-Jax seems far more interested in how much he is getting paid than whether his team wins a championship.  He's only been in the league six years and he's already been pining for a new contract twice.  We'd pass.

March 26, 2014

Knowshow Moreno- RB, Free Agent

NFL executives are finally wising up to the contract year player.  Moreno is the poster child after having niggling injuries for the past few years before staying miraculously healthy and having a career year just in time for a new contract.  He has only had one visit in free agency and we expect he will spend the rest of his career on one year "prove it" deals.

March 25, 2014

Teddy Bridgewater- QB, Louisville

Pro-day! Pro-day?  You're talking Pro-day for a quarterback?  Why are people so worked up that Bridgewater didn't have a great Pro-day?  It is one of the most meaningless work-outs.  Bridgewater has three years of tape.  He's thrown 850 passes in the past two seasons and he completed 70% of the passes and had a ridiculous 58-12 touchdown to interception ratio.  We agree that he has some limitations but he's a high floor tosser who should be drafted in the top 10.

March 24, 2014

Matt Schaub- QB, Raiders

$15-20 million over two years?  We are hoping, for our Raider fans, that the report was somehow inaccurate.  Reggie Mckenzie and Co. have lost their mind if they paid Schaub in that range.  He's 33 years old and has played in all of 2 post-season games even though he's been a starter since 2007.  He is coming off of an abysmal year in spite of having a great running game and Andre Johnson.  The Raiders have neither. He was benched for Case Keenum.  The Schaub trade/signing is by far the worst transaction of the post-season.

March 22, 2104

Paul Soliai- DT, Falcons

The Falcons, who have had the worst front seven in the NFL for two years running, signed Soliai to start the rebuilding process.  He's a massive run stuffer and adding him at only $14 million guaranteed was a nice move.  They also re-signed their best defensive lineman Jonathan Babineaux and brought in Tyson Jackson. It appears that the Falcons have finally gotten the memo.

March 21, 2014

Lamarr Houston- DT, Bears

Houston was one of the more underrated free agents and the Bears picked him up for only $15 million guaranteed.  He's a great value buy for a team in dire need of front seven help.

March 19, 2014

Jairus Byrd- S, Saints

We aren't surprised Byrd got $28 million guaranteed, but we are surprised he got it from the Saints.  The Saints best player (it isn't Drew Brees) is still waiting on his big money contract and they pay a safety and franchise Jimmy Graham as a tight end?  Graham is one pissed off dude and we wouldn't be surprised if he gets a lot of DNP's in 2014 with "hamstring tweak" listed as the reason.  This is a signing that looks good in a vacuum, but may cause a short in their most important Hoover.

March 18, 2014

Steve Smith- WR, Panthers

The Panthers unceremoniously ushered out one of their all time greats, cutting Smith.  The Panthers have some nice talent on defense but they have a long way to go offensively with gaping holes at left tackle and wide receiver.

March 17, 2014

Darelle Revis- CB, Patriots

For $12 million Revis had better be the top corner in the NFL.  We are skeptical.  What is certain is that Revis has learned to maximize his value every year, though in the past few seasons it hasn't helped the teams he's played for.  The Patriots are making their last ditch effort to get Brady a "non-cheating" Superbowl and they knew they had to do something drastic after losing their best corner to the rival Broncos.  We think they panicked, though if they get Wilfork and Mayo back they should have, at a minimum, a solid defense.

March 14, 2014

Anthony Collins- OT, Buccaneers

The Bucs continue to go monster in free agency, stealing a young left tackle who is one of the NFL's premier pass blockers for only $15 million guaranteed.  We love the way the Bucs are building their team with two solid, inexpensive quarterbacks and a lot of money invested on the defensive side of the ball.  We will see how it works, but keep an eye on the Bucs in 2014.

March 13, 2014

Demarcus Ware- DE, Cowboys

The cap strapped Cowboys cut Ware who joins an impressive list of aging sack specialists.  Ware is likely the only one who will command big bucks for multiple years.  The Cowboys had to cut him, but they are now left with a defense that is far too short on talent.

Odell Beckham, Jr.- WR, LSU

We have a well earned skepticism for LSU receivers.  There have been a lot of highly touted guys in the past who haven't produced in the NFL.  In fact, the SEC in general wasn't known for producing great NFL receivers though they seemed to dominate at every other position.  But we love trends and we've noticed a new one the past few years.  Of the 12 good/great receivers to come out in the past 3 years, half have been from the SEC.  Alshon Jeffrey, A.J. Green, and Julio Jones are the top three receivers in the NFL drafted in the past three years.  Throw in Randall Cobb, Denarius Moore and Codarelle Patterson and you have quite a group of SEC receivers.   This is one small reason we like Odell Beckham, Jr. so much even though the LSU receiver tradition has been...well it hasn't been.

Brandon Albert- OT, Dolphins

It appears the going rate for 26-30 year old good/very good left tackles is about $21-25 million guaranteed. Albert was on the high end of that getting $25 million from a Miami team that was only returning one starter on the O-line.  The Dolphins had to sign one of the available tackles and if Albert stays healthy he should earn his money.  We wouldn't be surprised if the Dolphins also use their first round pick on the O-line.

March 12, 2014

T.J. Ward- S, Broncos

The Broncos received a gift from Crom when one of the top 3 strong safeties in the NFL signed for only $14 million guaranteed.  His signing, along with Aqib Talib, bolsters a defense that should keep Denver as the favorite to reach the Super Bowl.  Strong safety continues to be the Rodney Dangerfield position in the NFL.

Marcus Smith- DE, Louisville

We have watched some tape on Smith and we are very impressed.  He's the AAC Defensive Player of the Year after posting 14.5 sacks.  He's 6'3", 250 with long arms and he's an explosive athlete.  We like him as a late first/early second round type who could develop into an every down edge player in the NFL.

Michael Bennett- DE, Seahawks

There is allegedly a bidding war between the 49ers and the Seahawks for Bennett.  Well whoever wins that war will lose the battle. Bennett is an average defensive end who has already reached his ceiling and it's only above average.  He's been in the league 5 years and he's never had more than 41 tackles and he's never reached double figures in sacks.   He should get $15-17 million guaranteed.  Anything more is too much, it's too much.

Derek Carr- QB, Fresno State

Word on the street is that teams are considering signing David Carr if they draft Derek.  It's a great idea as David can counsel Derek on how to handle being an overrated, first round bust.

March 11, 2014

Blake Bortles- QB, Central Florida

Bortles is about to join a long and dubious list of tossers who we said weren't first round talents but who were drafted in the first round.  And we were right...about every one of them.  Brandon Weeden, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder and Blame Gabbert have all already lost their starting job after 2-3 seasons.  Ryan Tannehill will get one more year under a new offensive coordinator to prove he's something other than mediocre.  All of those players had something in common.  They "look" like NFL quarterbacks.  They are big and so is Bortles.  We rewatched his entire game against Baylor and we aren't asking the question "Is he a first round pick?  we are asking, "Is he draftable?"  We like 9 quarterbacks ahead of him.  He's a right handed Tim Tebow with far less speed and without the ability to inspire the troops.  Actually Tebow had better passing stats in college than Bortles and Tebow played against superior talent. Bortles has an average arm that is stiff with a long delivery.  He throws okay on the move, but his accuracy isn't very good when the pocket collapses.  As we said when all of the other "tall guys" were drafted the past few years, any team that takes him in the first round will set the franchise back about a half a decade.  Greg Cosell, who's analysis is about as good as Howard Cosell's analysis of Bortles, believes Bortles is the top QB and his analysis is as follows: He's a "finesse thrower" who has "issues with footwork in the pocket", but he "likes his size".

March 10, 2014

Everson Griffen- DE, Vikings

Griffen signed a deal with $20 million guaranteed.  It's a shocking deal for a player who has four years experience and has never had more than 27 tackles or 8 sacks in a season.  The Vikings clearly think he will see an increase in productivity with Jared Allen gone but that's a lot of money for a fifth year player whom they hope will get better.  What is very clear is that even average sack guys get bank in todays NFL.

Jared Veldheer- OT, Free Agent

Veldheer will apparently sign with the Cardinals for $7.5 million a year.  He's the biggest bargain of the offensive line class if he does.  He's an elite left tackle in his prime and so long as his injury checks out he is a steal.  The Raiders are allegedly going to sign Roger Saffold, an inferior talent who plays right tackle/guard for the same money as Veldheer.  We will see if that is how it all goes down tomorrow.

March 9, 2014

Carlos Hyde- RB, Ohio State

The Matriculator, Jr. loves Hyde.  He's huge but has quick feet and he's a very good blocker.  We like his all around game and even though he doesn't have great speed (and the Big-10 doesn't have a great history of bigger backs) we like him if he goes to a power running team.  We could see him going to Cleveland, Pittsburgh or San Francisco in the 2nd or 3rd round.

March 8, 2014

Tom Savage- QB, Pittsburgh

Savage is another Pitt player that we like more than most.  He's big and athletic and has a huge arm.  He and Zach Mettenberger are probably better developmental prospects than Derek Carr who has too many issues with mechanics.  Carr will also likely be drafted several rounds before Savage making Savage a nice value pick.

March 7, 2014

Trevor Reilly- DE, Utah

Reilly at 6'5", 250 pounds is a great athlete.  He would probably be a borderline first round pick were it not for his age (he's 26 after doing a 2 year mission) and a torn ACL in 2012.  He moves well and has great instincts and if  a team gets him in the 3rd round and he stays healthy he could be a nice sleeper.

Brent Grimes- CB, Dolphins

Dolphins new G.M. Dennis Hickey had quite an auspicious start to his career in Miami, stealing the top free agent of 2014 class for only $16 million guaranteed.  Grimes graded out as Pro Football Focus's number two cornerback in the NFL.  He's a premier player at a premium position and makes a great start to Hickey's tenure in Miami.

Donald Butler- LB, Chargers

Somebody didn't learn from the Dolphins disastrous signings of Phillip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbee last season.  The Chargers paid Butler, who was one of the worst rated free agent linebackers according to Pro Football Focus, $28 million guaranteed.  Linebackers, unless they are named Luke Kuechly or Lavonte David, simply aren't worth that type of money.

March 6, 2014

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

The 49ers are in talks with Kaepernick to sign him to a long term deal.  Certainly if Matt Ryan and Tony Romo and Jay Cutler are worthy of $20 million a year then Kaepernick is.  The problem is that the paradigm of building a team around a high priced franchise tosser doesn't work.  Look at the teams whose quarterbacks signed mega deals.  Besides the Saints, Patriots and Broncos, it was ugly in 2013.  The Falcons (4-12), Cowboys (8-8), Bears (8-8), Lions (7-9), Steelers (8-8), Giants (7-9), Ravens (8-8) and Packers (8-7-1) were all mediocre.  It's almost impossible to build a great team with upwards of $20 million committed to one player.  Most of the top teams have either reasonably priced veterans (Chiefs (11-5), Cardinals (10-6)) or, like the vast majority, they have good/great quarterbacks who haven't signed their mega deal: Panthers (12-4), Bengals (11-5), Eagles (10-6), Seahawks (13-3), 49ers (12-4), and Colts (11-5).  There haven't been many teams who won a Super Bowl because of great quarterback play after  the quarterback signed a mega deal.  One of Big Ben's and one of Eli's championships were defensive wins as was Peyton's only win.  Brady has still never won a "non-cheating" Super Bowl since the Patriots were caught and received the most severe punishment for cheating in modern football history. Slight digression. The 49ers need to be careful if they re-sign CK.  $12-14 million a year leaves them room to build a team.  $20 million a year doesn't.

March 5, 2014

Jared Veldheer- OT, Raiders

In the most surprising non-tag of the day, the Raiders elected not to tag Veldheer who is by far their best player.  He's coming off a major triceps injury, but he's an elite left tackle and at only 26 he will be in line for a huge contract whether he hits the free agent market or not.  Unless the Raiders re-sign him it's a horrible gaff from a team that has the least talented roster in the NFL and loads of salary cap space.

March 4, 2014

Kareem Martin- DE, North Carolina

Martin lit up the Combine.  At 6'6", 272 he posted a 4.72 forty and had a 35 inch vertical.  His stats support that athleticism as he outproduced Jadeveon Clowney the past two seasons with 122 tackles, 37 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks.  He's in the first round discussion though we currently have him going to the Vikings in the second round as Jared Allen's successor.

March 3, 2014

D'Qwell Jackson- LB, Free Agent

Jackson has visited a number of teams and will likely sign this week.  He's a solid, 30 year old middle linebacker but he's not a playmaker, with only 13 turnovers in 9 seasons.  He's a nice piece to add, but at the right price.  If he goes for more than $10-12 guaranteed someone has overpaid.

Jimmy Graham- TE, Saints

Graham has been franchise tagged as a tight end and he's not happy.  He will appeal and request that he be tagged as a wide receiver.  The Saints know that Graham is one of the most valuable players in the NFL and crucial to their team, but they also realize that if they pay him what he is worth they won't have much money to work with under the cap.  This will be an interesting off-season story to follow.

March 2, 2014

Ryan Shazier- LB, Ohio State

Shazier at 237 pounds had a vertical leap of 42 inches, better than any player at the Combine.  He's an elite athlete whose production meets his measurables.  He should be a top 15 pick but he is currently tracking as a late first round/second round pick in Mock Drafts.

Terrance West- RB,  Towson St.

We understand that Towson State is a glorified high school program, but 41 touchdowns in a season for any college make you jump up and say "Damn!"  And how about 84 career touchdowns in just over 30 games. West posted a 4.54 forty at the Combine and with a 2,500 yard season under his belt he has to be in the second day consideration.  He joins a host of running backs that will be drafted on day two that have a chance to start right away incuding Andre Williams, Bishop Sankey and Charles Sims.  While the RB class isn't strong at the top, there is a lot of meat in the middle.

March 1, 2014

Andre Ellington- RB, Cardinals

We really like Ellington and the Cardinals are supposedly going to make him the focal point of their offense in 2014; however don't sleep on his back-up Stepfan Taylor who doesn't have Ellington's speed but is a solid all-around back.  He could be a late round fantasy sleeper in 2014.

February 28, 2014

Brandon Thomas- G/T, Clemson

Every time we watch Thomas he jumps out at us. And sometimes we get scared.  He looks great on tape, he was great at the Senior Bowl and he posted a 5.09 forty and 35 reps with long (nearly 35 inch) arms. We expect he will end up in our top-32 prospects though no draft scout currently has him rated that high.

February 26, 2014

Ron Jawsorski- Tosser

Jaws needs to keep his jaws shut.  He recently said that he wouldn't take Johnny Manziel in the first three rounds of the draft.  He's the same clown who had Blaine Gabbert ranked ahead of Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick and said Russell Wilson was too short to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.  He has no idea how to evaluate quarterback talent.  He needs to leave it to the professionals at the Matriculator.  Next time he should just check the only draft scout that had Kaepernick in the top 15 players and Russell Wilson as a first rounder.

February 25, 2014

Chris Johnson, RB, Titans

Word on the street is that the Titans will release Johnson.  While he has generally been a difference maker on the field, he has been a cancer off the field, constantly wanting to renegotiate his contract.  If he becomes a free agent it will be interesting to see where he goes and for how much.  We still believe that if properly motivated (and that's a big if)  he has a few great years left in him.

Albert Wilson, WR, Georgia St.

Wilson won't be a first or second day pick but he should be drafted between rounds 4-5 after posting a 4.43 forty and 37 inch vertical.  He's got Steve Smith size at 5'9", 202 and he was very productive, posting six-100 yard games last season on a team that didn't win a game.  He also had a 100 yard rushing game and was named Co-CAA Special Teams Player of the Year in 2012 for his return abilities.  He should make a team as a utility type and with some coaching he could become a force in the slot.

February 24, 2014

Teddy Bridgewater- QB, Louisville

Bridgewater is losing steam with the rise of Blake Bortles and may actually be the third quarterback off the board.  We still think he' the safest quarterback but he doesn't have the upside of Johnny Manziel.  At worst we see him as an Alex Smith type who isn't flashy but gets the job done and is good enough, on the right team, to win a Super Bowl.

Blake Bortles- QB, Central Florida

Bortles continues to gain steam after becoming the first player in the history of sport to measure above his listed college height.  He's 6'5".  He has also indicated he will throw at the Combine which will further excite the scouting community because it shows his "competitive spirit".  The comparisons to Big Ben are warranted as their college careers are nearly mirror images of each other, though Ben has a bigger arm.  We still have some concerns about Bortles.  Other than his three patsy games versus Temple, UConn and Akron, he threw 14 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.  Not impressive.  Furthermore, Ben is great because he possesses an intangible that only a few other tossers in NFL history have the ability to beat a rape rap carry a team on his back in critical games.  Ultimately we will have Bortles as a first rounder, but he will be our fourth rated quarterback and not a top twenty type.

February 23, 2014

Tyler Starr- LB, South Dakota

We love us some small school sleepers.  Starr is threatening to break the Combine record in the three cone drill...at 6'4", 250 pounds.  Can you say Mike Mamula?  Actually, he was great at South Dakota winning Missouri Valley Defensive Player of the Year.  He's disruptive (27 career sacks and 13 forced fumbles)and he could draw some Brian Urlacher comparisons coming from a lesser known school.  We will keep a close eye on his performance at the Combine.

Gabe Jackson- OG, Mississippi St.

Nobody has Jackson as a top-40 prospect but us, and he looked a bit overmatched at the Combine.  We still think he's a top 20 pick and he will dominate in the small spaces of the interior line.  He's a hoss and we would be surprised if the NFL's premier interior linemen can move him.

February 21, 2014

Donte Moncrief- WR, Ole Miss

Moncrief is a big, physical, fast receiver with excellent hands.  His production tailed off a bit his junior year but he has serious upside.  He was first team All-SEC as a sophomore and had 10-100 yard games in his three seasons. Our initial evaluation has him as a borderline first round talent.

February 19, 2014

Bashaud Breeland- CB, Clemson

We have scouted Breeland and are impressed.  He's 6'0", 195 pounds with a long wingspan.  On film he looks like a great athlete (most Clemson players are) and we could see him sneaking into the first round.  He's a willing tackler and he posted 4 interceptions and 10 passes defensed in 2014.  We have him in the 2nd round to the Panthers in our current mock draft and we really like his upside.

February 17, 2014

Jeremy Maclin- WR, Eagles

Maclin is a free agent and we're betting that someone over pays for him.  He is perceived by some as a number one receiver, or at least a number one in waiting.  He's only 25 but he's coming off a major injury and he's never had a 1,000 yard season which is a minimum bench mark for number one.  We like him as a high end number two, but wouldn't guarantee more than about $10-12 million though some team will likely pay him significantly more.

February 15, 2014

Michael Sam- DE, Missouri

Sam gets the thumbs up.  He announced that he's gay, although most NFL teams apparently already knew it.  There will be some teams that will shy away from him.  Those teams are "gay" too.  In the usual course of business most people don't really care one way or another what a person does off the field, but to say it won't have any effect in a locker room, where you have to shower with the person, is being a bit naive.  In the end we don't think it will have a dramatic impact on his draft status.  While some teams don't want the headache, others will welcome him.  From our standpoint we question how good he really is.  He didn't have prolific sack numbers before last season and in 2013 the majority of his sacks (6 of his 11.5) came in back to back weeks versus Arkansas State and Vanderbilt.  We think he is only suited to play left end in a 4-3, and he could develop into a solid starter in that spot.  We had a 3rd round grade on him and still think he will be drafted in the 3rd or 4th round.

February 13, 2014

Davante Adams- WR, Fresno State

Adams is a tough evaluation as his numbers for two years have been umatched in recent memory.  He is leaving Fresno State after only his sophomore year and he has amassed 230 receptions, 3,000 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns.  Incredible, even against the inferior competition he faced.  He doesn't stand out in any one area and he averaged under 14 yards per catch over his two years.  He has average to above average speed (we expect something in the 4.55 range), he's good at jump balls and has above average hands.  He looks like at least a soild number two receiver and the comparisons to James Jones seem warranted.  He should be drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round and it may take him a year to adjust to the speed of the NFL.

February 11, 2014

Greg Hardy- DE, Panthers

Hardy is an intriguing free agent and we are betting he becomes one of the highest paid defensive players in the NFL in a few weeks.  He was projected as a first round pick as a junior at Mississippi but elected to return for his senior year.  He suffered from several niggling injuries and wasn't selected until the 6th round of the 2009 draft.  After playing well in limited time as a rookie, he had 50 tackles and 4 sacks his second year.  The past two seasons he has had 25 sacks and  120 tackles.  He's only 25 and has only missed 2 games in 4 years.  Look for him to land with a sorry team that is willing to break the bank.  We see a $90+ million contract with at least $35 million guaranteed.

February 9, 2014

Jimmie Ward- S, N. Illinois

Everyone's been raving about Ward at the Senior Bowl practices.  We've done our preliminary scouting and we now understand why.  He's undersized at 5'10", 190, but other than that he has everything a defensive coordinator wants.  He's quick and instinctive and rarely out of position. He's a great tackler and a ball hawk with 11 career interceptions. We have some questions about his long speed so we hope to see a sub-4.5 forty at the Combine. He's so versatile he can play corner in the slot or on the edge and play both safety positions.  We haven't scouted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but we suspect we will have Ward rated ahead of him, possibly in the top 15 overall players.  Two of the NFL best safeties in recent years, Troy Polamalu and Earl Thomas, are 5'10" so the height is not really a concern to us.

February 8, 2014

Peyton Manning- Tosser, Broncos

We are guessing that Manning doesn't return next season.  His post-season failures date back to the stone age and a "medical reason" would be a convenient excuse to retire.  People continue to debate his legacy, but his legacy is simple to understand.  He's the greatest regular season tosser in NFL history and the worst quarterback when it mattered.  Neither point can be argued.  So the question is, what is more important, throwing for 5 touchdowns and 450 yards in a 41-14 win over the Jaguars in the regular season or playing when it matters.  That, we suppose, you can argue.

February 5, 2014

Johnny Manziel- QB, Texas A&M

We have updated our Mock Draft, post-Superbowl and have Manziel as the number one pick.  Reports out of Houston indicate that the owner wants Manziel and the new coach prefers Bortles.  We're betting the owner wins.

February 3, 2014

Jimmy Garopollo- QB, E. Illinois

We were tremendously impressed with Garoppolo at the Senior Bowl practices.  We put on his game tape and loved what we saw there also.  In fact, from a pure passer standpoint he's better than Manziel and Bridgewater.  He has an above average arm and his release reminds us of another player we thought should have been the first pick in the draft but wasn't...Aaron Rodgers.  It's difficult to gauge whether a quarterback from small school can make the mental adjustments needed in the NFL, but he may end up in our top ten overall players.   He's undoubtedly better than everyone's current top-5 pick Blake Bortles.

January 31, 2014

Percy Harvin- WR, Seahawks

Harvin's health may be the key to Super Bowl XLVIII.  Without Harvin there is no big play threat on Seattle's offense.  In fact, the Seahawks top receiver, Golden Tate, wouldn't even crack Denver's starting line-up when they are in three wideout sets.

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

We've been asked a dozen times this week, well what do you think about the Peyton signing by the Broncos now?  As if this year's run (of beating two average AFC teams) would somehow erase her losing post-season record for the first 15 years of her career.  It will soften the blow a bit, but regardless of what happens she is the biggest choker in pro sports history.  She was almost always favored to win when her team lost in the big games.  The same thing at Tennessee.   The only peg to hang her hat, her one Super Bowl season, she never posted a passer rating over 81.  Her post-season passer rating was that of a low end back-up quarterback.  She got lucky to even get that one.  If she loses this Super Bowl, surrounded by the greatest offense ever assembled, she will officially be at the top of one tosser list, the one that says losingest post-season tosser/biggest choker/most overrated athlete in the history of sport.  We'll help you make some money at your Stupor Bowl party.  Ask someone there (who doesn't Matriculate) the following question:  Of the top 17 quarterbacks in post-season victories, who has the lowest winning percentage?  Our gal's at the top of the list.  If she wins on Sunday, she'll move up to the second worst in NFL history.  Good for her.

January 30, 2014

Aaron Donald- DT, Pitt

Donald is the best overall player we have scouted in this year's draft, though we would still take Manziel or Bridgewater over him based on their position.  Last year we (correctly) ranked Sheldon Richardson as the number one defensive player and he was not only the NFL's best rookie, but one of the top 5 defensive lineman in the entire NFL.  And Donald has the potential to be better.  Donald is currently ranked between the 7th-12th rated lineman by most sites and is projected as a second rounder.  If he is drafted anywhere near the second round he will be the steal of the draft.  He's undersized but his quickness requires a double team and pound for pound he may be the strongest defensive lineman in the draft.  Watch as he rises up draft boards in the next few months.

January 28, 2014

Dee Ford- DE, Auburn

Ford lit up Senior Bowl pratices and continued his dominance through the game with 2 sacks, earning MVP honors.  He can rush the passer but he's very limited against the run, averaging less than three tackles a game during his Auburn tenure.  He's Bruce Irvin.  He will have an important part to play on passing downs, but he's a one down player and we don't view them as first rounders.  Bruce Irvin should have been a second round pick and so should Ford.

January 26, 2014

Tajh Boyd- QB, Clemson
Update

Rotoworld is "reporting" that some "unnamed" Packers scout said that Boyd was undraftable.  We would give Rotoworld a tongue lashing for irresponsible journalism, but it's so fun being irresponsible.  If there is such a person, he's wise to remain unnamed because he's an idiot.  The thought of saying, apparently based on two Senior Bowl practices, that the ACC's all-time leading passer in a number of categories is undraftable is highly dubious.  Rotoworld's reporters indicated that he was "inaccurate" and Mike Mayock, who is usually baffled, indicated that he reminded him of Troy Smith, in other words he's inaccurate.  Here are a few stats for them from the past two years: Completion percentage: Manziel (70%, 68%) Bridgewater (71%, 68%) Boyd (69%, 67%).  Boyd's combined passer rating the past two years is higher than both Bridgewater's and Manziel's.  Oh, and he's as good a runner as just about any quarterback we've ever seen.  These are all of the same clowns who said some of the same things about Cam Newton and Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. 

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks

Wilson posted his third 100+ passer rating in his fourth post-season game.  He's won three of his four post-season games with Golden Tate as his number one receiver! That's impressive, particularly considering his Super Bowl counterpart has only 6 in 22 post-season appearances.  Wilson seems do whatever is needed to win the game, no more, no less.

January 24, 2014

Cameron Fleming- OT, Stanford

Fleming declared for the NFL draft and nobody had discussed him as an early entrant.  When we began to scout him we had some level of skepticism as we always do with Pac-10 types.  You may recall we didn't like David Decastro or Jonathan Martin as much as the pundits and we were correct.  However we were not only impressed with Fleming, we think he's a first round talent as long as a few things check out in the next few months.  He's the perfect size at 6'6", 318 and he moves well.  The games we scouted he was nearly pefect in his technique.  His work on the second level is of the highest quality.  The limitation we have is that we didn't see much of him in standard pass protection sets and we are mildly concerned with his strength, particularly against a bull rush.  We will watch him closely at the Combine with particular attention to his bench press.  If he hits 30 on the bench we will likely grade him as a first rounder.

January 22, 2014

Desean Jackson- WR, Eagles

Jackson, who signed a $50 million deal after holding out in 2012, already wants a new contract.  Philly is usually a team that doesn't give in to this type of extortion, but since they already did it once with DJax they set themselves up for this one. Look for an unhappy and far less productive Jackson in 2014.

January 20, 2014

Pierre Warren- S, Jacksonville St.

Warren has declared for the draft and we have it on rock solid information that he will be a Miami Dolphin.

January 18, 2014

Jamie Collins- LB, Patriots

Collins was all over the field versus the Colts and his emergence probably spells the end of Brandon Spikes' somewhat uneven career in New England.

January 17, 2014

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

No quarterback has ever been to the Super Bowl his first two seasons as a starter.  If the 49ers beat the Seahawks on the road this weekend, CK will be in the running, with Big Ben his only competition, for the greatest post-season tosser 9after 2 seasons) in NFL history.  He already has more career road playoff wins than Joe Montana, Steve Young and Peyton Manning.

January 15, 2014

Kelvin Benjamin- WR, Florida State

Benjamin has declared, and in spite of some consistency issues he's got to be a first round pick.  6'5", 235 with great leaping ability and vice grip hands (at least in the end zone) is simply too much for 32 teams to pass on.

January 13, 2014

Tosser Trivia

Who is the only tosser in NFL history with more than one career playoff start who has never lost a game?

Frank Reich!  2-0

January 12, 2014

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

Luck produced a historic comeback, the largest in NFL post-season history, versus the Chiefs.  He has certainly erased his rookie year playoff failure as he willed his team to victory in one of the most impressive clutch performances ever.

January 10, 2014

Andy Dalton- QB, Bengals

Dalton completed his third consecutive post-season meltdown, losing at home to the Chargers.  He has set the bar pretty low and he is making Tony Romo look like a clutch player.

January 9, 2014

Peyton Manning- tosser, Broncos

Manning is in a no-win situation versus the Chargers this weekend.  If the Broncos lose at home to a 9-7 team that backed into the playoffs, Manning will have solidified his place as the biggest choker in professional sports history.  If she wins, she's supposed to.

January 7, 2014

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

Kaepernick was solid through the air and spectacular on the ground as the 49ers won an impressive road victory on the frozen tundra.  Kaepernick is one of only a handful of tossers who have won playoff games in their first two years.

January 6, 2014

Jay Cutler- QB, Bears

$50 million guaranteed.  Ugh! You will find Cutler in the high end Fair to Middlin' list on the Matriculator Eggdicator.  The majority of high paid tossers aren't playing this post-season.  Of the 13 tossers in the top 20 in average salary, only 5 are in the playoffs.  It's difficult to pay even the Super Bowl winning-type QB a huge salary and keep enough talent to make a good team.  Problem here is, Cutler has never shown anything but high end fair to middlin' talent.  He's 31, he's played in all of two post-season games, and he's never had a passer rating in the 90's in his career.  RGIII, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson all had passer rating over 90 in their first year. It's a franchise altering move, but not one that Ditka would approve.

Julius Thomas- TE, Broncos

Thomas leads a list a several surprises from the 2014 Pro-Bowl.  He has risen from obscurity to stardom in less than 6 months. Nobody would have bet that Philip Rivers would be a Pro-Bowler entering the 2013 season either.  Vontaze Burfict was such a tool off the field that he wasn't drafted and most people thought he would never make it to an NFL roster.  Two years later he's in the Pro-Bowl after leading the NFL in tackles.  Brent Grimes and John Abraham both made the Pro-Bowl and they were both cast offs from a team (the Falcons) that could use some defensive Pro-Bowlers.

Blake Bortles- QB, Central Florida

Bortles is being mentioned as a top 10 pick by every site but us.  You might want to read White Man's a Burden before you get too excited about your team drafting him.

Johnny Manziel- QB, Texas A&M

Manziel finished his college career (we presume he's finished) with a spectacular comeback win against Duke.  He is certainly talented enough to be the number one pick in the draft with his only real concern being whether he is going to go Matt Leinart after he gets paid.

 

January 5, 2014

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks

We have said all year that we think Wilson is the NFL's best quarterback, and the Seahawks are our favorites to win it all.  The AFC isn't very good and we are now in the Peyton Manning bed wetting portion of the season so in spite of all of the Broncos' talent (and a lack thereof in the AFC) we wouldn't bet on her.  Wilson is now the owner of the highest passer rating in NFL history for a player in his (or her)  first two years.

January 3, 2014

Taj Boyd-QB, Clemson

We will watch Boyd closely tonight as he is one of our three first-round rated quarterbacks at this point in the draft process. His college career, somewhat under the radar, is arguably the best in ACC history.  You heard us right.  He's the all-time leader in touchdown passes and passer rating and he's second all-time in passing yards.  Throw in 25 rushing touchdowns and he's certainly in the discussion unless/until Jameis Winston puts up a few more Heisman worthy seasons.

January 1, 2014

Jason Garrett- Still Coach?  Cowboys

If there was ever any doubt about whether Jerry Jones football IQ had anything to do with the Cowboys run of championships in the 90's, it was forever erased with the retention of one of the worst head coaches in NFL history in Jason Garrett.  Jones ego is so massive that he felt he had to stick with the guy he endorsed a few years ago as the second coming, in spite of the fact that everyone knows that the only thing he has in common with the chosen one are the first and third letters of his name.

December 31, 2013

Eli Manning- QB, Giants

If Manning doesn't turn things around next year, the Giants will be bad for a long time.  They have a huge chunk of their salary cap invested in Manning and if he isn't a top 10 quarterback they won't win for a long time.

December 29, 2013

Jace Amaro- TE,  Texas Tech

We have scouted Amaro and now understand the hype.  He's a top-15 talent and with the emphasis on tight ends, he could go in the top 10.  He's a great blocker as well as a high end athlete with an exceptional football IQ.

December 26, 2013

Eddie Lacy- RB, Packers

Lacy is making us eat crow as we thought (and aren't convinced we're wrong yet) that Johnathan Franklin would be the better of the two Packers' backs drafted this year.  Lacy looks great and has produced six games with 90+ yards.  He's already reached the 1,000 yard mark which is more than either of the more highly touted Bama backs (Ingram, Richardson) of past years can say.

December 22, 2013

Jamaal Charles- RB, Chiefs

Charles made a late run at fantasy MVP, but Peyton's record breaking season was too overwhelming.  Charles should surpass 2,000 combined yards and with a touchdown in the final game he will have 20.  He has produced one of the top 10 fantasy seasons of all-time and will be the concensus number one pick in 2014.

December 21, 2013

Tony Romo- Tosser, Cowboys

It's December.  It's not completely my fault.

December 19, 2013

Jerry Jones- Head Coach, Cowboys

Jones was overheard in the bar of his posh owner's suite saying, "Why do I keep getting stuck with morons for coaches and a quarterback who can't win the big game in December?"  The bartender replied, "Well you made the decision to hire Garrett and then kept him around after it was obvious that he was not competent to coach an NFL team.  And you paid Romo like he was Roger Staubach even though you knew he was a bed wetter in December."  Jones replied, "I'm the coach you idiot!  Off with his head!"

December 17, 2013

Joe Flacco- QB, Ravens

John Harbaugh recently said that the Ravens were built to win in December.  What he meant was, our quarterback starts to play now, when we need him to. Flacco's passer rating is 77 for the year.  Not good.  But in the past three games, all wins, he has had two games over 95 and last week threw the game winner at the death, his third TD of the game.  The line on the Monday night game is 5.5 with the Lions as the favorite.  This is the time when the Lions usually start tripping over the astroturf.  We'd take the Ravens and the points.  In fact, we'd take the Ravens without any points.

December 15, 2013

Peyton Manning-QB, Broncos

The beauty of the world, and football being a reflection of it, is that it is very predictable.  We tell people every year what's going to happen long before it does and it always does, like clockwork.  Peyton will light it up in the regular season, break records galore and then lose to the Chargers in December and  screw fantasy owners and Broncos fans alike.

December 13, 2013

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

We're not saying a star is born, but we see something flickering in the night sky.  Compare Tannehill's numbers to the three great winning tossers of our time, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Eli Manning and he is on track to become the next great "real", not fantasy tosser.  Tannehill's numbers overall aren't eye popping, but neither are the aforementioned great quarterbacks.  However, his numbers in the past 4 weeks, like Ben's and Flacco's, are stellar.  In fact, his passer rating has been 84 or better every week since week 7 and in his last 3 weeks, all crucial games, he hasn't been below 94.

December 11, 2013

Alfred Morris- RB, Redskins

Morris continues to dominate, though nobody seems to notice much.  He is tied for fourth in rushing yards and leading the NFL in rushing yards per game at 91.8.  He's also averaging 5.1 yards per carry which is the best clip for any runner in the top 10.  He has 9 carries of over 20 yards which leads all running backs by a significant margin.  Adrian Peterson is second with 6.

December 9,  2013

Sheldon Richardson- DT, Jets

Our #2 rated player in the 2013 draft is once again proving our draft acumen.  The Rookie of the Year contest is over barring injury and Richardson is in the discussion as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in spite of the fact that he is playing for the Jets.  He leads every NFL defensive tackle in tackles by a wide margin and is second in the NFL in tackles for loss which is unheard of for a defensive tackle.  He has more tackles than J.J. Watt and the same number of tackles for loss.

December 7, 2013

Reggie Bush- RB, Lions

Bush is on pace to have his second 1,000-yard rushing season in the past three years (he had 986 last year) and he is finally, somewhat under the radar, earning his lofty draft status.  It appears that his struggles in New Orleans had more to do with their system of shuffling backs than his lack of running ability as no running back has been able to put up consistent rushing numbers since he left.

December 5, 2013

Rod Streater- WR, Raiders

The Raiders are at the bottom of the NFL in passer rating but Streater, an undrafted free agent in only his second season, continues to impress.  He's the Raiders leading receiver with 600 yards and he's averaging 15 yards per catch. If the Raiders get a better tosser in 2014 look for Streater to break out in his third year.

December 3, 2013

Ben Tate- RB, Texans

It appears Tate has shown up just in time for frustrated fantasy owners.  He had been plodding along before his 3 score perfomance versus the Patriots.  He has a most favorable schedule for a running back the next three weeks with Jacksonville, Indy and Denver.  He's a must start down the stretch.

December 1, 2013

Geno Smith- QB, Jets

Smith has regressed horribly in the past four games with 0 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.  He has some ability but the clueless Jets organization was the worst place for him to land.  We're not sure whether he will ever make it as an NFL starter after having been soiled by the Jets.

November 25, 2013

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

The Manning Chokefest continues for the 16th year running.  She laid an egg again in the big game with three turnovers, helping Denver blow a 24 point lead.  The most overrated player in the history of professional sports continues to lead the league in commercials and meaningless stats, though his fantasy owners are still laughing all the way to the bank.

November 24, 2013

Offensive Linemen

Under the category of Don't build glass houses in the middle of the city unless you want some broken glass, a number of teams with high priced tossers continue to struggle to protect their prized possession.  Every team with a winning record in the NFL (with the exception of the Cardinals) has at least two highly drafted or high priced free agent offensive lineman.  The Eagles, Falcons, Giants and Steelers strategy of not worrying about the offensive line has been a miserable failure.

November 22, 2013

J.J. Watt- DE, Texans

While Watt hasn't been quite as dominant in 2013, he's still having a great season and leading the league in the Rodney Dangerfield of stats, tackles for loss.  There is no leaderboard for the category even though it would seem to be as important as sacks.  Since nobody else does it, here's the top ten in tackles for loss: 1. Lavonte David, J.J. Watt (9)  3. Lance Briggs (8) 4. Robert Quinn, Kiko Alonso, Erin Henderson (7) 8. Cushing, Dockett, Polamalu, Kevin Vickerson, Tuck (6)

November 19, 2013

Lamar Miller- RB, Dolphins

The over/under on the Dolphins/Bucs is 41.  it is well documented that the Dolphins are without two starting offensive lineman and were already last in the league in sacks conceded.  The Bucs are relying on their second string tosser and second string running back against what at times is a stout Miami D.  This screams under, so take the over.

November 17, 2013

Eli Manning- QB, Giants

Eli Manning has the worst completion percentage of any quarterback in the NFL, but Giants fans need to keep their heads up because he is leading the league in two categories:  interceptions and paycheck.

November 14, 2013

Terell Suggs- DE, Ravens

Lost in the disappointing season for the Ravens is the fact that Terrell Suggs is in the running for Defensive Player of the Year...again.  He's 5th in the league in sacks and has 64 tackles.  The next closest player (who is in the top-50 in sacks) has 47 tackles.

November 9, 2013

Jimmy Graham- TE, Saints

Graham continues to dominate after posting his fifth 100-yard game and fourth multiple touchdown game of the season.  He's been the fantasy MVP this season. With Drew Brees' massive contract we aren't sure how the Saints will be able to keep them both without sacrificing the rest of the team, particularly the defense.  Wait a minute, that's what they always do.

November 7, 2013

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Ryan is joining a long list of highly paid quarterbacks who are having terrible seasons. The issue with most of those teams is that the talent surrounding the highly priced tossers is bad, particularly on the offensive lines.  Paying one player a large portion of the salary cap can work, but it is a fine line and we are seeing a number of teams fall through the thin ice.

November 5, 2013

Mike James- RB, Buccaneers

Never underestimate tailbacks from the U.  James torched the Seahawks for 150 yards and he also threw a touchdown pass.  James isn't quite a must start, but he is closing in.  He is in one of the few non-committee backfields.

November 3, 2013

Adrian Peterson- RB, Vikings

Peterson is the most wanted man in the NFL.  Every defense knows that he will be the focal point of the Vikings offense and they still can't stop him. He is the greatest running back of all-time, with absolutely no disrepect to Jim Brown, and entering the argument as the greatest player in NFL history, though Calvin Johnson is making his case too.

November 1, 2013

Alshon Jeffery- WR, Bears

Jeffery posted his third 100-plus yard receiving performance in the past 5 weeks.  He's a star in the making.  Keep an eye on Jay Cutler's status but Jeffery is a must start, at least as a flex, as long as Cutler is in the line-up.

October 30, 2013

Doug Martin- RB, Buccaneers

Martin has a torn labrum that will likely end his disappointing season.  The Bucs have been terrible and we don't expect Greg Schiano to survive the season.  The Bucs will likely have a new quarterback next year (they should have a top 5 pick and a shot at Bridgewater, Mariota or Manziel) and they have the talent to be good right away.

October 28, 2013

Jordy Nelson- WR, Packers

All he does is catch touchdowns.  Nelson is the only player in NFL history with more than 25 starts to average over a touchdown per start.  He did it again this weekend and with Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley sidelined we expect him to continue to get plenty of looks in the red zone.

October 26, 2013

Johnathan Martin- T, Dolphins

Martin stormed out of the lunchroom and  left the team after fellow linemen made fun of the fact that he...well sucks.  The Dolphins listed his absence as "illness", but they need to man up and call it what it is, "hurt feelings."  For Bog's sake!

October 25, 2013

Eli Manning- QB, Giants

We will be updating our quarterback Eggdicator after this week's games, and Eli is sure to be in a different category.  He's never been a great regular season tosser, but this year he has been horrible.  Is it a factor of a terrible team or has he lost something? Manning's plight highlights the Catch 22 that is the franchise quarterback.  They make so much money that the rest of their team is bound to be terrible.

October 23, 2013

Jordan Reed- TE, Redskins

Reed is the real deal.   He posted a 9 catch, 134 yard gem and he's playing so well that the Redskins deactivated Fred Davis this weekend.  RG3 continues to progress, though slowly, and Reed is startable for the forseeable future after posting over 50 yards receiving for three straight games.

October 21, 2013

Jacquizz Rodgers- RB, Falcons

Rodgers has joined mighty mite pass catchers Darren Sproles and Danny Woodhead to become a solid RB2.  All three are in the top 20 scorers among running backs and as long as Steven Jackson is out Quizz should remain in fantasy line-ups.

October 20, 2013

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

Apparently we weren't the only one's who saw our girl's lack of arm strength after getting rocked by Robert Mathis. Our top scout, Big Moe, noticed the same thing. In spite of a number of underthrown balls, Peyton managed another huge fantasy performance but we are wondering if she re-injured her neck.  Keep an eye on the injury report.

October 19, 2013

Trent Richardson- RB, Colts


Richardson just isn't very good.  The Browns apparently knew that and that is why they fleeced the Colts for a first round pick.  He isn't fast and while he's physical, he doesn't do anything that a good h-back can't do.  In fact, we'd take Marcel Reece over Richardson. The Browns started winning as soon as they got rid of him.  Every Colts back (Ballard, Bradshaw, Brown) has averaged well over 4 yards per carry and Richardson has one game at 4.0 yards and the other 5 under that mark.  We apparently have to change our philosophy from "Don't draft Alabama players" to "Don't draft or trade for Alabama players."  With some people you must be very specific.  He should still be a decent fantasy option as we expect him to get regular touches inside the 5.

Rob Gronkowski- TE, Patriots

The return of the Gronk.  He's a must start until he gets injured.

October 18, 2013

Steven Jackson- RB, Falcons


Jackson continues to deal with nagging injuries for the second consecutive season.  If the Falcons drop a few more games we don't see Jackson very inspired to return.  Jacquizz Rodgers has been solid in his abscence and we'd rather have him moving forward.

Ray Rice- RB, Ravens

Trade him!  Rice and Bernard Pierce are both very good running backs and they are both averaging 2.8 yards per carry.  The offensive line has some talent but they are horrible right now.  If you can get a WR1 and flex running back for him or a WR2 and RB2, pull the trigger.  He should get better but with Pierce stealing carries he probably won't perform as a RB1 from here on out.

October 17, 2013

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts

Hilton is one of our featured players in FanDuel Fandango. He's hot and cold, but he's mostly hot and he gets what should be a shoot-out on Sunday night.  We expect a big game.

October 16, 2013

Doug Martin- RB, Buccaneers

Martin has seen a lot of touches, but hasn't produced at an elite level.  He's currently 18th among running backs in fantasy points.  He gets a bad, abnged up Falcons defense this week and if he doesn't rush for 100 or score a touchdown  his owners should be very disappointed.

October 15, 2013

Arian Foster- RB, Texans

Foster went beast mode on the formidable Seahawks defense, combining for 171 yards and a touchdown.  He looked like the old, unstoppable Foster.  He may have simply needed a few weeks to get his legs under him after missing the pre-season, but we still think Ben Tate will see significant time at some point this year.

October 13, 2013

Geno Smith- QB, Jets

Smith had a comically bad game week 4.  He is regressing rapidly.  We liked Smith heading into the draft, but with the caveat that he had to go to the right type of organization.  For the record, the Jets would not qualify as the right type of organization for anything related to football.  Now for a reality TV show, that's another story.

October 11, 2013

Zac Stacy- RB, Rams

We know you listened last week when we told you to make a play for Stacy.  He averaged 5.5 yards per carry versus the Jaguars while Darryl Richardson and Bennie Cunningham both averaged under 4 YPC.  The Rams backs, other than Stacy, have averaged less than 3 YPC on the season.  Stacy is their only option moving forward and while the Rams have some tough match-ups in the coming weeks, he's at least a flex option and a bye week fill-in.

October 9, 2013

Levi Brown- T, Steelers

Wow, two left tackles traded in one week.  Brown is one of the bigger busts in recent draft history though he has managed to hang onto a job for 7 years.  The Cardinals didn't get much in return, but anything is a bonus at this point.  The Steelers have had far more success turning water into wine with below average linemen and they are hoping to see a turnaround so that they can sign him for next year.  If he doesn't improve he will likely never start again in the NFL.

October 8, 2013

A.J. Green- WR, Bengals

Green has posted moderate numbers the past few weeks and we suspect he's due for a biggie this week versus Buffalo.

October 7, 2013

Danny Woodhead- RB, Chargers

Woodhead has seemingly become the focus of the Chargers offense.  He started Sunday night and Ryan Mathews suffered another injury.  Woodhead scored his third touchdown in two weeks and caught all nine passes thrown to him.  He could be a legitimate RB2, especially if Mathews misses some more time.

October 4, 2013

Eugene Monroe- T, Jaguars

Monroe was traded to the Ravens for several third day picks.  If the Jaguars got at least a fourth, it was a good trade for both teams.  The Jaguars weren't going to re-sign him after drafting Luke Joeckel and they certainly didn't need him this year to make a playoff run.  The Ravens get an above average left tackle who will be a significant upgrade over Bryant McKinnie.

October 3, 2013

Jimmy Graham- TE, Saints

Tight ends continue to light up fantasy scoreboards and Graham's two touchdown performance on Monday night was the latest installment.  In spite of Jordan Cameron's incredible start, Graham is still our top tight end moving forward.

October 2, 2013

We have been given this wonderful gift of being able to see things before they happen.  Carl Jung had it, and so does the Matriculator.  Our June 15 post deserves a re-post here:

June 15, 2013

Zac Stacy- RB, Rams

We will be watching Stacy closely this pre-season.  We think he's the best back on the Rams and even if the Rams give the job to someone else we think Stacy will eventually earn the starting job.

We know it's hard to believe, but after 4 weeks on the bench there is talk of Stacy starting.  Pick him up.  The Rams have significant limitations on offense, Sam Bradford's unwillingness to throw any pass outside of 5 yards being the most glaring, but Stacy may lead the team in carries in the coming weeks and regardless of how he performs he is their best back.

October 1, 2013

Bud Selig- Commisioner, MLB

Bud Selig, one of history's great lackeys, has announced his retirement as the commisioner of Major League Baseball. In related news, the Devil has announced he will be retiring as soon as he has finished ruining the world.

September 30, 2013

Steven Jackson- RB, Falcons

If you have Jackson and/or Jacquizz Rodgers, trade them now before it's too late.  Jackson has proven to be injury prone and Rodgers won't have many more productive games with Jason Snelling continuing to vulture the touchdowns while Jackson is out.  The Falcons' line is terrible and with a bad defense they will likely end up in pass happy shoot-outs.  Run away!

September 29, 2013

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

Manning is displaying her typical regular season dominance and everyone is talking about how the Broncos can't lose and are a shoo-in to win the Superbowl.  They may go 15-1 but they won't win the Superbowl.  You heard it here first.  She will wet her panties as soon as a team with a pass rush shows up like she's done every year of her career except one.

September 28, 2013

Jordan Cameron- TE, Browns

Cameron continues to lenghten his lead in the race for the best fantasy pick of 2013, though Julius Thomas is still in the race.  Cameron has 4 touchdowns and a 100-yard game to his credit and had a great perfromance with Brian Hoyer at the helm.  He's the real deal.

September 27, 2013

C.J. Spiller- RB, Bills

Spiller has been a huge disappointment and now he's injured.  If you can get a starter in a position of need (and you don't have Fred Jackson) go ahead and trade him.

September 26, 2013

Dwayne Bowe- WR, Chiefs

Alex Smith is the check down king and he doesn't like to use his wide receivers.  Last season Michael Crabtree didn't break-out until Kaepernick became the starter.  Bowe is averaging 30 yards a game through three games and we expect more of the same.  He's a low end WR2 at best.  If you are relying on him as your top receiver, prepare for a long season.

September 25, 2013

Robert Griffin, III- QB, Redskins

Griffin has been under fire a bit in the Washington media in spite of an impressive passer rating near 90.  He hasn't been as good as his passer rating might suggest, but he didn't play at all in the regular season so a few bumps in the first two weeks isn't a surprise.   We expect a strong performance this week at home versus a shaky Detroit secondary.

September 24, 2013

Mike Wallace- WR, Dolphins

Wallace set a career high with 9 receptions in only  his second game as a Dolphin.  He also had 115 yards and a touchdown.  The Dolphins have a soft schedule in terms of pass defenses and Wallace, though he will be inconsistent, is a must start.  The Dolphins next three games are versus the Falcons, Saints and Ravens, so expect at least one monster game in that time frame.

September 23, 2013

Vinny Curry- DE, Eagles

The Eagles organization continues to be in disarray after a terrible performance against the Chiefs.  Mike Vick has regressed back to his Falcons' days where he was a great runner but horrid passer.  We had Vinny Curry as a top ten player in the draft two years ago, and we were apparently correct in spite of the fact that the Eagles don't realize it.  He was inactive most games last season and although he was one of the dominant players of the pre-season, he was inactive the first two weeks of this year.  He played about 10 snaps versus the Chiefs and was the Eagles best defender, driving double teams into the backfield, hitting Alex Smith three times, sacking him once and drawing a holding penalty.  Maybe the Eagles finally figured it out, but we won't hold our breath.

September 22, 2013

Trent Richardson- RB, Colts

The Colts have been trying to convert to a more traditional, power offense since Peyton left and TRich should be a great addition.  From a fantasy perspective we give him a slight uptick because his touchdown numbers should increase, but we don't know yet how many touches Ahmad Bradshaw will get.

September 21, 2013

Willis McGahee- RB, Browns

It's not often that a running back with 4, 1,000 yard seasons and 63 career rushing touchdowns suddenly appears, like God to Moses, to tell you the meaning of fantasy life.  McGahee is old, but he averaged over 4.5 yards per carry the past two years while amassing nearly 2,000 rushing yards.  He should be the best free agent pick-up available all year, though the Browns are terrible so we don't expect much more than 60 yards per game with a touchdown every other week.  Those numbers might not be eye popping, but look at whose starting on some of the fantasy teams in your league and he has great value as a starter/flex option for the rest of the season.

September 20, 2013

Philip Rivers- QB, Chargers

If you Matriculated before the draft, you are probably smiling now.  In a recent study it was determined that most people smile when they Matriculate. We told you two weeks ago "don't sleep on Rivers as your back-up."  Rivers has certainly been more than a back-up so far as he is in the top 5 overall fantasy scorers.  He looks like the old Rivers and while we aren't crazy about his match-up in Nashville this week, he has one of the easiest schedules (in terms of pass defenses) and finishes the fantasy season, weeks 14-16,  with the Giants, Broncos and Raiders.  Though we might go with another option this week, as of now Rivers looks like a fantasy starter for the rest of the year.

September 19, 2013

Lavonte David- LB, Buccaneers

David's boneheaded, game losing play aside (and we realize it can't be brushed aside) he was the NFL's best defensive player week 1.  He had 8 tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss, 2 passes defensed, a quarterback hit and an interception.  Our #10 player in the 2012 draft (he was drafted 58th) David continues the Matriculator Scouting Department's dominance over every NFL team.  He was one of the NFL's top 5 defensive players last season as a rookie after leading the team in tackles and finishing third in the NFL in tackles for loss. He led the Bucs defense from the worst rated run defense in the NFL in 2011, to the best run defense in the NFL in 2012.   He will win an NFC Defensive Player of the Year Award in the next few seasons.

September 18, 2013

Charles Clay- TE, Dolphins

Clay had a huge game against the Colts with 5 catches for 109 yards and a rushing touchdown.  He's deputizing at tight end for Dustin Keller who was lost for the season.  In addition to starting at tight end he also plays h-back and fullback.  Clay has shown a propensity for big plays in his limited action and Tannehill consistently throws to his tight end.  Clay is our start of the week in our newest addition to the Matriculator entitled Fanduel Fandango.

September 17, 2013

Trent Richardson- RB, Browns

The Browns will be starting journeyman Brian Hoyer at tosser who, unfortunately for the Browns, is only a minor downgrade from Opie Cunningham.  Richardson should continue to find tough sledding until the Browns can develop some type of a passing threat.  The return of Josh Gordon from suspension will help a little, but curb your enthusiasm for TRich in the near future.

September 16, 2013

Brandon Jacobs- RB, Giants

Jacobs was brought back, presumably to light a fire under David Wilson.  Jacobs had 5 carries last season in San Fran, but he has a solid history with the Giants, particularly as touchdown vulture.  He's worth a roster spot for the next few weeks to see if the Wilson meltdown continues.

September 15, 2013

Dominique Easley- DT, Florida

Easley had one of the more dominant defensive tackle perfromances we've ever seen versus Miami last weekend.  He lined up inside and outside and was doubled teamed but it didn't matter.  He seems to have completely healed from his 2011 knee injury and if he continues to play like he did this past weekend he should be in the discussion as the top defensive player in the draft, Clowney notwithstanding.

September 14, 2013

Mike Vick- QB, Eagles

Last week we predicted a significant uptake in fantasy stats for Vick, McCoy and DJax, and we were right.  McCoy set a career rushing high with 184 yards and Desean Jackson had 104 yards receiving  in the first half.  We have some serious reservations, however, about whether those guys can maintain that pace for 16 NFL games.  Kelly will have to slow things down or else risk losing McCoy and Vick before the important games begin.

September 13, 2013

Ronnie Brown- RB, Chargers

Ronnie Brown picked up where he left off in 2012, outperforming Ryan Mathews in limited action.   Brown averaged 5.4 yards per carry while Mathews posted a pitiful 2.5 YPC versus the Texans.  Brown is also one of the NFL's best backs in the receiving game. In 2012 Brown averaged a full yard per carry more than Mathews.  At a minimum, he's a Mathews injury away from starting but we wouldn't be surprised to hear rumblings of a time share in the near future.

September 12, 2013

Andre Johnson- WR, Texans

Johnson lit up the Chargers with a 12 catch, 146 yard performance.  Those numbers weren't misleading.  He was unguardable, but more importantly he looked as quick and fast as he did when he was in his prime.  The Texans still seem to favor other players in the red zone but expect another 3 or 4, 100 yard performances before the season ends.

September 11, 2013

Johnathan Dwyer- RB, Steelers


It is being reported that the Steelers will bring Dwyer back after a disastrous loss to the Titans.  Dwyer was clearly the team's only legitimate running back when he was cut and the Steelers, who are usually a rock solid organization, appear to be in some disarray.  They will right the ship eventually, but it was a horrible first week for them.

Anquan Boldin- WR, 49ers


Ozzie Newsome is the NFL's best GM and he has been for a long time.  What football demon possessed him the night he decided to trade Anquan Boldin for a 6th round pick we'll never know.  It was a catastrophic mistake that may have lasting consequences in Baltimore and San Francisco.  Boldin and Kaepernick obliterated the Packers defense and willed the 49ers to victory on Sunday.  The interesting issue raised by Boldin's performance is whether he is rising to the level of Hall of Famer, which most people wouldn't have considered.   He will likely end the season in the top 25 all-time in receiving yards and top 40 in touchdown receptions.  Another season of 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014 would put him in the top 20 in both categories and make him a shoo-in for the Hall.

Jared Cook- TE, Rams

Everyone and their brother thought that Jared Cook was underutilized in Tennessee and he seemed to prove it with a 141 yard, 2 touchdown performance in his first game as Ram.  He led a large group of next generation tight ends who had big games including Jordan Cameron, Jermichael Finley and Julius Thomas.  The lesson we learn is draft tight ends whose name starts with a J.

September 10, 2013

Ben Green-Ellis- RB, Bengals


The Law Firm, in spite of his continued plodding, had more than twice as many carries as his more talented counterpart Gio Bernard.  Green-Ellis averaged a whopping 1.8 YPC on his 14 carries while Bernard averaged 5.5 in his limited role.  We expect that to change but we always do when Green-Ellis is involved.  He has somehow managed to obtain compromising photos of a yet another head coach.

David Wilson- RB, Giants

What is it with Giants running backs and fumbling?  Wilson needs to get some lessons from Tiki Barber on how to hold on to the pill after two devastating fumbles versus the Cowboys.  He would be benched for a month or so like he was last season if they had a legitimate back-up.  While Da'rel Scott was solid after Wilson's benching, Coughlin knows that he has to get Wilson involved to have a chance this year.  Fantasy owners may get one more shot but if he fumbles in the next few weeks it will be the end for Wilson.

September 9, 2013

Victor Cruz- WR, Giants

After an early drop, Cruz was unstoppable going for 118 yards and 3 touchdowns.  He has been one of the NFL's best receivers for three years running.

September 8, 2013

Philip Rivers- QB, Chargers

It was only a few years ago that Rivers was in the discussion as a first round fantasy tosser and now he doesn't even get drafted as a back-up.   He has obviously regressed, but as recent as 2011 he posted a 4,600 yard, 27 touchdown season and even last year he threw 26 touchdowns and finished 20th in fantasy points making him a viable number two.   This is a watershed year in what has turned into a bizarre career.  Don't sleep on Rivers as a QB2.

September 8, 2013

Danny Amendola- WR, Patriots

We drafted Amendola in the 4th round on both of our teams and if he stays healthy, which is a big "if", he will finish in the top 5 fantasy receivers.  Of course as a Dolphins fan we always follow the rule of putting our "real" team before our fantasy team so we hope he gets eaten by a huge boa constrictor and throttles our fantasy season.

September 7, 2013

Mike Vick- QB, Eagles

We will have to give the Chip Kelly offensive experiment a few weeks before we pass judgment, but we expect a significant improvement in the fantasy numbers of all of the Eagles skill players.

September 6, 2013

James Jones- WR, Packers

Touchdowns, particularly for wide receivers, are a fluky category.  Last year for example, Megatron set the NFL receiving yardage record and only had 5 touchdowns while James Jones only had 784 receiving yards but managed 14 touchdowns.  Jones has played 7 seasons and never mustered more than 784 yards.  We think he will end the season with low-end WR2 numbers of about 850 yards and 8 touchdowns.

September 5, 2013

Julius Thomas- TE, Broncos

 

Most draft scouts didn't have Julius Thomas rated as draftable.  We had him as one of the 2011 Matriculator Six.  Here's what we said back in 2011:

9.  Julius Thomas- TE, Portland State.  He was a basketball player at Portland State, but was the most natural receiver of any of the tight ends at the Combine besides DJ Williams.  He could be great if he sits behind a veteran for a year or two and learns how to run routes and use his ability.  Yes, we will compare his potential to Antonio Gates, though most draft sites don’t even have him listed. 

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos


The Diva, as usual, bested Joe Flacco during the regular season.  Her team is so talented this year that they should breeze through the regular season and Manning looks poised to shatter a few records with four games against the Raiders and Chargers still to come.   She's a fantasy juggernaut but a chump in the clutch.  Still waiting for her appearance on The Real Housewives of Denver...as a housewife.

Steven Jackson- RB, Falcons

For some reason Jackson has fallen out of favor with fantasy drafters.  He was tracking around ten most of the pre-season, but he was falling to the middle of the second and even the third round in some recent drafts.  In spite of a terrible offensive line, we still think he musters 1,300 combined yards and 10 touchdowns which makes him a top ten player.

September 4, 2013

Le'veon Bell- RB, Steelers

If Bell was starting week one he'd be a third round value.  He has made a rapid recovery from his foot injury and there are indications he will start week two.  If that's the case, he's still easily a fourth round value but he's being drafted in the 7th-8th round.  Snag him in the 6th and hope he stays healthy.

September 3, 2013

Robert Griffin, III


Griffin is itching to get back on the field and we have concerns (as do some of his doctors) about him rushing back and re-injuring himself.  He's a QB1 when healthy but there is a significant injury risk with him.

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys


We selected Romo in the 8th round of our draft over the weekend, highlighting the reason you don't draft a tosser early.  In fact, two teams had selected two quarterbacks before the 8th round and we still got Romo.  He's a good bet to be a top-10 quarterback which is good enough if you hit on a few players in the early rounds.

Rob Gronkowski- TE, Patriots

It appears Gronk will avoid the PUP list, though he is still expected to miss at least a few games early in the season.  He's at the top of the tight end rankings when he plays, but his injury history has been significant.  We'd consider him around the 7th round as someone who could be very helpful down the stretch.

September 2, 2013

Lamar Miller- RB, Dolphins

The Daniel Thomas talk seems to have died down and Miller is in line for at least 250 touches if he stays healthy.  We have moved Miller back into the third round on our draft board.

September 1, 2013

Johnathan Dwyer- RB, Steelers

The Steelers released their only starting caliber running back and we can only assume they have their eye on someone that was released by another team.  Although Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are nice players, starting them with an injured Heath Miller and Isaac Redman in the backfield won't exactly keep defensive coordinators up at night. The Steelers defense will be very good if Polamalu stays healthy but the offense may have problems scoring.

August 31, 2013

Andre Brown- RB, Giants

Brown broke his leg in the final pre-season game and while they are calling it a "minor" break, his status for the first half of the season probably won't be known for people drafting this weekend.  He was our favorite handcuff before the injury but he's now a back end of the draft guy. Third stringer Da'rel Scott is worth considering for David Wilson owners.

August 30, 2013

Montee Ball- RB, Broncos

Ball was practicing with the ones on Monday and on Tuesday it's Ronnie Hillman with the ones again.  Get used to it unless/until someone gets hurt.  Remember Knowshow Moreno is the most experienced and he played well last year in spot duty.  Ball is still probably the best bet for fantasy points but he will be drafted in the 5th-6th round and that's too early.  Wait around and take Moreno in the 15th if you just have to have someone from the Broncos' backfield.

August 29, 2013

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts


Don't let all of the talk about T.Y. Hilton not being a starter fool you as he will lead Colts' receivers in fantasy points whether he starts or not.  Reggie Wayne is a Hall of Famer but he's not going to post the big numbers he did last year.  Hilton is one of the league's most explosive players and he has shown a knack for the end zone.  The Colt's defense should be bad again and we expect lots of garbage time stats from the Colts passing game which will propel Hilton to, at a minimum, mid-level WR2 status.

August 28, 2013

Desean Jackson- WR, Eagles

Jackson's ADP has been around the 6th round and we like him there.  He's in position to have the best year of his career as the primary receiver in Chip Kelly's new high volume, high octane offense.  He's posted 900 yards or better in 4 of his first 5 seasons and if he can get his touchdown total into the 8-9 neighborhood he's a borderline WR1.  He's a great guy to draft as a second receiver.

August 27, 2013

Quinton Patton- WR, 49ers


We really liked Patton coming out of Louisiana Tech and he is gaining some momentum to start opposite Anquan Boldin.  The battle seems to have come down to Patton, Marlon Moore and Jon Baldwin.  We will keep and eye on the winner who could have value as a flex player.

Rashard Mendenhall- RB, Cardinals


We were bullish on Mendenhall and he looked good in week 3, but we are throwing the emergency brake on this train.  He felt looseness in his knee and the Cardinals left guard, number 7 overall pick Johnathan Cooper, broke his leg.  We'd still take a chance on Mendenhall around the 6th-7th but our enthusiasm has officially been curbed.

Mike Williams- WR, Buccaneers

 Williams has averaged 900 yards and 8 touchdowns in his first three seasons, but he gets no credit in fantasy land.  He is typically being drafted in the 6th-8th round where he is a good value as a borderline WR2.

August 26, 2013

Gio Bernard- RB, Bengals

Bernard had another solid pre-season outing and we have him as a solid 4th rounder with RB2 potential.  We've never thought much of Benjarvus Green-Ellis and this may be the year he's finally relegated to spot duty.

August 25, 2013

Matt Forte- RB, Bears

Forte has always been a high yardage guy but a lack of touchdowns has kept him from elite fantasy status.  He received the goal line carries with the number one offense in the second pre-season game and a new coaching staff may give him more opportunities to score.  We still think it makes sense to give Michael Bush the goal-line poundings, but the new staff and a possible season ending injury to Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer have caused us to move Forte above Darren McFadden in our running back rankings.

August 24, 2013

Stephen Hill- WR, Jets

So it's the last round of your draft and you need to add one more receiver.  A flyer so to speak.  Don't go for the slow steady veteran with no upside.  Take someone with the physical potential to be a top 20 receiver.  Someone like Stephen Hill.  When Rex gets fired and Sanchez benched, we expect Geno Smith to be an average NFL starting quarterback, a huge upgrade on Butt Fumbler.   Hill is still very raw and he may never develop but if he does....

August 23, 2013

Eddie Lacy- RB, Packers

In the past five years Green Bay has been a fantasy wasteland for running backs and we have been skeptical of Alabama players; however,  we are starting to warm to the idea that Lacy might become a top 15 running back.  Johnathan Franklin hasn't gained any traction and Lacy has reportedly been great in practice and looked very good in his pre-season start.  We could move him up as high as the third round in our rankings as he continues to gain momentum.

August 22, 2013

Vincent Jackson- WR, Buccaneers

Year in and year out, V-Jax is a low end WR1 and we currently have him ranked 12th at wide receiverHe's played in 15 or more games six of the last seven years and has four 1,000 yard seasons in the past five years.   He probably won't go gonzo, but he's a good bet for 1,100 yards and 8 touchdowns.  Target him in the 4th.

August 21, 2013

Trevardo Williams- DE, Texans

When the 2013 version of the Matriculator Six arrived, we raised some eyebrows when we said that we had Williams, a fourth round pick, rated higher than the third overall pick Dion Jordan.  Early on the Dolphins indicated that Jordan wasn't in line to start and he has already been dealing with nagging injuries.  Williams played his first game this weekend, against the Dolphins ironically enough, and was the dominant defensive player of the game with 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss and 2 quarterback hits.  The Matriculator Scouting Department continues to dominate every NFL scouting department...by a wide margin.

August 20, 2013

Torrey Smith- WR, Ravens


Smith sits in the middle of a large group of WR2's.  He has been very good his first two seasons averaging about 850 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Now he is the undisputed number one in Baltimore and we expect a slight increase in his stats which makes him a nice pick around the 6th round.

Mike Vick- QB, Eagles

Vick has been great through two pre-season games and says Chip Kelly has rejuvenated him.  Andy Reid had lost his Mojo as he took a team loaded with talent and coached them to 2-12 down the stretch.  It was only two years ago that Vick was in the discussion (on non-Matriculator sites at least) as the number one overall fantasy pick.  With the new staff we like him as a mid-rounder with huge upside.

August 19, 2013

Arizona Cardinals Defense

The Cardinals have the makings of a high scoring defense with young, aggressive players including Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Darryl Washington and Calais Campbell.  We expect plenty of touchdowns and with talented but at times conservative offenses in their conference, we think they may emerge as the top fantasy defense.

August 18, 2013

Desean Jackson- WR, Eagles


Patience my child.  The receiver class is deep and waiting as long as possible to draft a number two is a wise strategy.  Players like Danny Amendola, Hakeem Nicks, Mike Wallace, Torrey Smith and Desean Jackson are ranked below the 24 spot at wide receiver which means a few of those players will be available as late as the 6th round.  Hold your water and sweat it out grasshopper-son.

Antonio Gates- TE, Chargers

Gates posted a line we saw all too often last season with only 3 catches on 6 targets in the Chargers pre-season loss to the Bears.  When in doubt we always go with the ascending player over the descending one so we have dropped Gates below the likes of Jermichael Finley, Jared Cook and even Jordan Cameron.

August 17, 2013

Jordan Cameron- TE, Browns


We see you Cameron!  Cameron had two touchdowns, though they were pre-season grabs against Detroit so we must curb our enthusiasm a bit.  Cameron is a great athlete and he could be the Browns go to receiver, particularly while Josh Morgan is suspended.  We have him as TE9 in our current rankings and he has the ability to post an 800/8 season.

Johnathan Dwyer- RB, Steelers

We really like Dwyer as a middle round pick this year.  He was considered college football's number one tailback and was projected as a first round pick before he gained weight.  He is reportedly very fit and while we lean towards the "we like Le'veon Bell" side, don't be surprised if Dwyer finds some starts in 2013.  He had back to back 100-yard games as a starter  last year.

August 16, 2013

Brice Butler- WR, Raiders


Our Raiders' insider continues to talk up Butler, the 7th round pick who transferred from USC to San Diego State where he wasn't particularly productive.  His Pa, Bobby Butler, was a long time corner for the Falcons.  He's got Terrell Owens/Calvin Johnson-type measurables at 6'3", 215 pounds with a 4.37 forty and 39 inch vertical.  In his first pre-season game he had catches of 40 and 30 yards with a touchdown.  Denarius Moore is always a question mark so we think Butler is worth a late round flier.  He's got a high ceiling so you can hold him for a month and if he doesn't produce, cut him.

Alfred Morris- RB, Redskins

There are 10 different running backs listed in the top 5 on various fantasy sites.  Marshawn Lynch, Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, Arian Foster...the list goes on.  Nobody (but us) has Morris on that list and we can't figure out why.  He demolished most rookie rushing records last year and even though Shanarat is notorious for shuffling backs, we don't think Roy Helu or Evan Royster pose a real threat.   We say he's a top 5 pick and can't find a good reason not to take him at number 2 overall.

August 15, 2013

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Everyone keeps talking Tannehill up like he had a good rookie year.  He wasn't catastrophically bad, but he wasn't good either.  13 interceptions and 12 touchdowns somehow has a lot of people excited.  He still looks slow in his reads and that is a fatal flaw for a quarterback, even an athletic quarterback with a big arm.  If he doesn't improve on his reads Matt Moore should be starting by mid-season. 

August 14, 2013

A.J. Jenkins- WR, 49ers

The 49ers haven't done much wrong in the past few years, but drafting A.J. Jenkins was a horrible move.  We panned the 49ers 2011 draft (they got a C-) mainly because of the Jenkins pick.  It is unheard of to cut an uninjured first round pick after a year, but word out of San Fran is that it might happen.

August 13, 2013

Tom Brady- Tosser, Patriots


Brady has a history of making little known receivers into fantasy relevant players. The undrafted Thompkins and fellow rookie Aaron Dobson are battling for the number two spot opposite Danny Amendola.  Whoever wins could become a WR2.  As of now we like Thompkins better, but wouldn't take either of them until the end of the draft.

Julius Thomas- TE, Broncos

Thomas is entering his third year in the league and has only one NFL catch to his credit after being injured as a rookie.  He's a great athlete with excellent hands. The Diva already has her favorites in Joel Dreesen and Jacob Tamme, but we are going to keep a close eye on Thomas who caught all 4 of his targets in the first pre-season game.

August 12, 2013

Zac Sudfeld- TE, Patriots

Sudfeld looked very athletic starting for an injured Gronk.  If Gronk is going to miss the first part of the regular season Sudfeld is a late rounder who may produce some decent stats until Gronk returns.

August 11, 2013

Tyrann Mathieu- CB, Cardinals

Here we go again, the Matriculator was the only site in America that had Mathieu as a first rounder.  He has reportedly been dominating practices and he was spectacular in his first pre-season game with a sack, a tackle for loss, a pass defensed, a quarterback hit and a 23 yard punt return.  Even if Mathieu only makes it two seasons before he is suspended, he will be worthy of a first round pick.  He's the favorite for the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award and may be the NFL's defensive MVP to boot.  He's that good.

August 10, 2013

Mark Ingram- RB, Saints


Mark Ingram has been the bane of our fantasy existence for the past few years.  Every year we think he's "due" but he pulls an Alabama on us: a combination of he's just not that good and nagging injuries. But this year might be a little different.  If Ingram doesn't perform this year it will effect him in the pocketbook, and that's about the only thing that motivates your average Bama player.  Chris Ivory is gone but there are still plenty of hands that need touches including Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, and the talented group of pass catchers.  We wouldn't take Ingram before the fifth, but he's got some upside...again.

Rob Gronkowski- TE, Patriots

Gronk may miss a significant part of the season. There are rumblings that he will begin the season on the PUP list.  If he misses 7-8 games he still has value, but what round?  We would start to consider him around the 7th though with his recent rash of injuries and surgeries it's possible he may not play at all.

August 9, 2013

Johnny Manziel- QB, Texas A&M


Remember Maurice Clarett?  How about Ken Swilling? Johnny Manziel will be the next guy added to that list.  A college star whose career went off track before he made it to the NFL.  Manziel apologists aside, the guy's a real moron.  Of course immature tossers can still be drafted early (see Matt Leinart, Ryan Leaf, Todd Marinovich, Vince Young and Mark "Butt Dancer" Sanchez) but the NFL is shying away from them.  If Manziel took money for autographs we assume his college career is over and he will be lucky to be selected before the middle of the draft.

Dion Jordan- DE, Dolphins


We were the harshest critics of the Dolphins trading up and using the third overall pick on Jordan, mainly because he seemed too light to shed blockers.  In the Dolphins first pre-season game however, he looked like a beast.  He appears to have added significant weight and strength.  If he can keep the weight on (and not test positive) he could be a monster.

Antonio Gates- TE, Chargers

There is a large grouping of tight ends with TE1 potential, including future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates.  We've done a detailed analysis of the position.  Check out It's Tight at Tight End.

August 8, 2013

Geno Smith- QB, Jets

Smith has reportedly outplayed Butt Fumble through the first few weeks of camp.  Geno isn't a bad risk to take in the late rounds.  He put up prodigious numbers at West Virginia and is one of the only late round tossers with the potential to post top 10 numbers.  There are a number of obstacles including Rex Ryan's man crush on Butt Fumble and a terrible receiving corps but if Geno doesn't produce he can be dropped a few weeks into the season.

August 7, 2013

Bryan Bulaga- T, Packers


Make no mistakes, Bulaga wasn't any better than middlin' but he was the best tackle the Packers had.  He's done for the year with an ACL tear and the Packers will have Marshall Newhouse at left tackle and rookie David Bakhtiari pencilled in at right tackle.  That's not good.  Aaron Rodgers could take a beating but we still like him as the top quarterback.

Darren McFadden- RB, Raiders

The ultimate fantasy tease, McFadden has yet another offensive coordinator in 2013 who says he is committed to a getting Run DMC the ball and employs a zone blocking scheme.  DMC has played for 5 seasons and never made it through a season without injury.  His most starts were in 2010 when he was arguably the best non-tosser in the NFL posting over 1,600 yards and 10 TDs in only 13 games.  Even during his disappointing 2012 season he had over 900 yards combined in 12 games.  He's highly productive when he plays and if you take him in the second round and he somehow stays healthy, you should be the favorite to reach the Stupor Bowl.  Be sure to draft his handcuff though.

August 6, 2013

Gio Bernard- RB, Bengals


Keep a close eye on Bernard this pre-season.  He reminds us of Doug Martin with the only difference being that Ben Green-Ellis is still around in  Cincy and always seems to find a way to work himself into the line-up in spite of average ability.  If Bernard earns the starting nod he instantly moves into second round consideration.

Joseph Randle- RB, Cowboys

Randle and Phillip Tanner both looked solid in their first pre-season action.  This will be a difficult back-up situation to predict which lessens Demarco Murray's value a bit.  With Murray's injury history it woudn't be a bad idea to take a shot on either of these guys late in the draft.

August 5, 2013

Deandre Hopkins- WR, Texans


Hopkins has reportedly looked great in camp and we're not surprised.  You may recall we ranked him as the number 10 overall player in the draft though no other scout had him that high. We are also high on him as a late round fantasy prospect with some upside if he continues to progress through the pre-season.

Eddie Lacy- RB, Packers


Our roving scout Mo Money has indicated that Eddie Lacy looks fat in training camp and nobody here at Matriculator Headquarters is surprised.  Alabama players have now joined the ranks of USC players in the "don't draft them unless there is an exceptional circumstance" category.  They are lazy and their ego almost always exceeds their NFL ability.  Chance Warmack and Dee Milliner were the last two holdouts from this draft class.  Look for Johnathan Franklin, who we had ranked higher than Lacy, to emerge as the starter in Cheeseland.

Trent Richardson- RB, Browns


Norv is making noise about getting T-Rich over 350 touches.  Turner has always been good for the running game and if Richardson stays healthy he will likely move up a few spots in our rankings before training camp ends.

Lamar Miller- RB, Dolphins

Miller fumbled on the Dolphins' first offensive play of the pre-season, but he looked explosive on his two runs after that.  He doesn't look like the type who will be able to handle a heavy load between the tackles but he has no real competition for carries and he's a 50 yard touchdown waiting to happen.

August 4, 2013

Brandon Marshall- WR, Bears


Marshall was the top scorer last season among fantasy wideouts, inking his career best in yards receiving and touchdowns.  At age 29 he is still in his prime, but don't expect a repeat.  Marshall has had six consecutive seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving but he has only been in double figures in touchdowns twice.  He's also posted season of 7, 6, 6 and 3.  He's a nice pick-up in the third round (he probably won't be there) but don't get infatuated with last year's numbers and overdraft him.  Keep in mind also that he is a nutter and he's long overdue a stupidity suspension.

Kevin Kolb- QB, Bills


Kolb injured his knee slipping on a rubber mat while walking out to practice.  Some people just aren't meant to play professional football.

Rashard Mendenhall- RB, Cardinals

Mendenhall gets no love and frankly we don't understand why.  He's only 26 and he returned at the end of last season after being out with an injury.  Before last year he had three consecutive seasons over 900 yards rushing.  He is currently ranked by most sites in the 5th-6th round (as the 30th running back) but we have him as the 20th running back and a 3rd-4th round value.

August 3, 2013

Percy Harvin- WR, Seahawks

Harvin will undergo hip surgery and he is projected to miss 8-12 games.  In other words he's not worth drafting unless your league carries a large number of players on the roster.  Sidney Rice and Golden Tate had similar seasons in 2012, but we have a slight preference for Rice.  Doug Baldwin had a great rookie season in 2011 but wasn't nearly as good in 2012.  He has been drawing plenty of calls from other teams which is indicative of his talent level.  He's worth end of the draft consideration with Harvin out.

August 2, 2013

Rob Housler- TE, Cardinals

We really like Housler's game and with a new quarterback and a running game he might make a serious impact this season.  Take him as your second tight end with TE1 potential.  He had 45 catches in his second season with the worst quarterbacking situation in recent memory.

August 1, 2013

Greg Jennings- WR, Vikings


Jennings isn't getting any love from the pundicators as he is currently grading at around 35 in the wide receiver rankings.  There are certainly issues about whether he can carry the load as the number one but he should see plenty of targets and teams will still focus on stopping Adrian Peterson which should open things up downfield for Jennings.  We have him as a low end WR2 in our receiver rankings.

July 29, 2013

Rod Streater- WR, Raiders

Streater looked great at times during his rookie year and is drawing rave reviews this summer.  We like his game and think an 800 yard, 6 TD line is reasonable for this season.  He's a WR4 with some upside.

June 23, 2013

Jarvis Jones- DE, Steelers

What a draft for the Steelers. Jones was one of the few potential difference makers in the 2013 draft and the Steelers waited patiently, as they always do, for someone to fall to them and he did.  Sprinkle in Le'Veon Bell, who should start as a rookie, and a dash of a thumping safety in Shamarko Thomas and you have quite a tasty draft gumbo.

June 15, 2013

Zac Stacy- RB, Rams

We will be watching Stacy closely this pre-season.  We think he's the best back on the Rams and even if the Rams give the job to someone else we think Stacy will eventually earn the starting job.

 

June 10, 2013

Aaron Hernandez- TE, Patriots

The Patriots are making news for mostly the wrong reasons.  Hernandez looks to be in serious trouble after being sued for shooting a man in February and now being investigated for a murder that occurred after a night on the town with his friends.  Gronk is questionable to start the season and Brady is more interested in the hobnobbing with stars than winning a championship.  We said to take the under on the Patriots at 11.5 wins.  Hopefully you listened.

June 5, 2013

Butt Fumbler

The Jets total meltdown continues with the recent viral video of the Butt Fumbler and his...well butt.  Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.  Sanchez, like most USC players, has the maturity of a child.  His back-up, no pun intended, has the ego of a Greek God.  His coach has a foot fetish and his top wide receiver is Spicoli. I'd order pay-per-view if the Jets were on Hard Knocks this year.

May 10, 2013

Tim Tebow- QB, Patriots

The Holy Hand Grenade signed with the Pats and it's a match made in heaven.  And in heaven there is no hatred.  But we aren't in heaven, or even Kansas, and we're Dolphins fans so Tebow is now a compulsory hate.   Prepare yourself for a nauseating stream of Bradar/Tebow chatter over the next 6 months.  Get me a bucket!

May 9, 2013

Dion Jordan- DE, Dolphins

To say the Dolphins screwed the pooch would be so cliche.  To call Jeff Ireland a moron does not do him justice. Granted, he doesn't have the Matriculator on his draft team so not much was expected. But a trade-up to get Dion Jordan?  The guy who didn't get to the quarterback in the Pac-12.  The next Vernon Gholston.  It has taken us Dolphins fans here at Matriculator headquarters days to even begin to speak again. April 25, 2013, a day that will live in infamy.  However, we are optimists. We will be seeing a lot of Dion Jordan in the coming years.  He will be modeling underwear for GQ and starring in the NFLN 2017 special, "Greatest Draft Busts of All Time".  For Crom's sake!

May 8, 2013

Sharrif Floyd- DT,Vikings

The talking heads can't seem to figure out why Floyd slipped to pick number 23 in the draft.  We said all along he wasn't a highly rated prospect.  Ian Rappaport was baffled. One site, when discussing his drop, indicated that "His lack of college production likely worked against him."  Ya think?  The guys going to be an average NFL player.  How many players who didn't produce big numbers in college (that weren't injured) produced in the pros?  And remember Tom Brady has produced 0 non-cheating championships in his career.

May 6, 2013

Rolando McClain- LB, Ravens

McClain has announced his retirement only 3 years after being drafted with the 8th overall pick by the Oakland Raiders.  He joins a long list of no-counts from the University of Alabama.  Glen Coffee was a third round pick by the 49ers and he retired the next season because he decided he didn't want to play football anymore.  Mark Ingram stinks, Dre Kirkpatrick did nothing as a rookie, Andre Smith has udders and the list goes on and on.  Besides Julio Jones and Trent Richardson (both of whom we liked) the rest of the Bama players have been underachievers.  The new general rule is Don't Draft Alabama Players.

May 5, 2013

Right Tackle Shuffle

The most complex off-season story line has been the posturing of various teams and players regarding right tackles.  Eric Winston was one of the NFL's best right tackles in 2012 but he was released by the Chiefs and wants big money to sign.  Nobody is willing to give it to him yet, but he has visited a number of teams.  Brandon Albert will be shifted to right tackle by the Chiefs with Eric Fisher likely winning the left tackle job.  Problem is, Albert doesn't want to play right tackle.  He wants to play left tackle for the Dolphins but they can't agree on compensation with the Chiefs.  Tyson Clabo was the Falcons' best offensive lineman but he was cut by the Falcons so they could extend Matt Ryan.  He's been making the rounds lately.  Where the right tackle shuffle stops, nobody knows.

May 4, 2013

Geno Smith- QB, Jets

Word is out on why Geno Smith dropped in the draft.  Apparently he's got a huge Diva-tude even though he hasn't thrown a pass in the NFL.  When a number of people make similar comments there must be a major problem and that isn't a good trait to have before he's accomplished anything.  The arrow is already pointing down for Geno.

May 1, 2013

Brian Schwenke- G/C, Titans

Schwenke was one of our top 25 prospects in the 2013 Draft and the Titans stole him in the 4th round.  He is the best pick of the 2013 draft and the Titans have now added the top free agent interior lineman in Andy Levitre, the top interior lineman in the draft in Chance Warmack and Schwenke.  Chris Johnson should be in line for a monster year.

April 23, 2013

Dion Jordan-DE, Oregon

We gave Dion Jordan one final look over before the draft since every scout in America (but us) seems to think he's a top ten prospect.  We're not sure we'd take him in the 2nd round.  He is really fast in space, but he won't be operating in the vast patches of green he saw in the Pac-10.  As soon as a blocker touches him the play is over.  He's too light to handle any contact.  When he gets to the ballcarrier he's not a great tackler unless he's bringing down a 190 pound quarterback from Washington State.  He reminds us of Jarvis Moss, the 17th pick in the 2007 draft.  Moss was 6'7" and looked great in shorts.  He averaged a mediocre 11 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks his last two years at Florida.  Moss is already out of the league after 4 seasons. Jordan averaged 11.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks his last two years at Oregon.

April 22, 2013

Landry Jones- QB, Arkansas

Former Colts GM Bill Polian said Landry Jones was the best quarterback prospect in this year's draft.  We like Jones too.  The ball seems to jump out of his hand and he has a better upside than several of the prospects we have more highly rated, but he's not the top tosser in this class.  We've got a third round grade on him (he's our 6th rated quarterback) and that's probably where he gets drafted.

April 21, 2013

Sheldon Richardson-DT, Missouri

We have said from day one that Sheldon Richardson is the top defensive prospect in this class and apparently one (very good) GM agress with us.  Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff has recently indicated he wants to trade up in the draft and Richardson is reportedly his target.  You may have noticed we are down to the top three prospects on our countdown and Richardson's name hasn't appeared yet.

April 20, 2013

Darrelle Revis- CB, Buccaneers

Revis was traded to the Bucs for the 13th pick in this year's draft and a 3rd or 4th rounder in 2014.  He will earn about $13 million each of the next two years.  It's a huge risk for the Bucs as he is coming off a torn ACL.  He will have to be a top 5 corner and stay healthy for the next two years in order for this to be a good deal for the Bucs.

April 19, 2013

Jarvis Jones- DE, Georgia

If Jones falls out of the top ten picks (Charley Casserly recently said there is a possibility of him dropping out of the first round) several GM's should be fired.  He's one of those "What the **** were you thinking?" prospects like Dwight Freeney.  You look back at Freeney, who dominated in college, and wonder why he was passed over for schleprocks like Ryan Sims, Mike Williams and Levi Jones.  If a GM drafts Dion Jordan ahead of Jones as we expect, he should be fired before Jordan escapes Goodell's bear hug.  Jordan averaged 25 tackles, 9 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in his three years in the Pac-10.  Jones averaged 45 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 14 sacks in his 2 years in the SEC.

April 18, 2013

Tyrann Mathieu- CB, LSU

If Mathieu had not been suspended and then arrested, we would have had him ranked in the top 5 overall players.  Playmakers like him only come around every few years.   He has drawn an endorsement from Deion Sanders and we expect some team will be willing to take a chance on him in the 2nd round.

April 17, 2013

Miami Dolphins

A few weeks ago we would have bet that there wouldn't be a major day one trade, but in the past few days trade rumors are heating up and the Dolphins are right in the middle of most of them.  They have to get a starting left tackle so a move up to the Raiders pick at #3 to get Eric Fisher, to the Browns at #6 to get Lane Johnson or trading a second round pick to the Chiefs for Brandon Albert are all real possibilities.

April 16, 2013

Matt Barkley- QB, USC

Kiper has Barkley and Geno Smith as the 24th and 25th prospect.  He has no idea what he is doing.  Smith is a far superior prospect, though they both have their share of question marks. It's interesting to note that Kiper in his 2012 draft grades questioned why the Seahawks took Russell Wilson so early, in 2011 he compared Cam Newton to Akili Smith and a few months before last years draft he had Robert Griffin as the 24th best prospect.  He had Colin Kaepernick as the 7th rated quarterback behind Gabbert, Locker, Ponder and Mallett.  On the other hand he predicted Blane Gabbert would be a breakout rookie and had Jimmy Clausen as his 4th overall prospect a few years ago.  Though we are certain it's just a random coincidence, all of his overvalued tossers were white and all of his undervalued tossers were black.  Black quarterbacks are projects and white quarterbacks are prospects.  Just sayin'

April 15, 2013

Nnamdi Asomugha- CB, 49ers

How bizarre is it that the NFC West is the most talented division in the NFL?  And that includes the fact that the Rams and Cardinals are terrible.  The 49ers signed Asomugha to a one year deal.  We think he will be rejuvenated now that he is on a winner.  The 49ers and Seahawks are far and away the NFL's most talented teams and they keep getting better by the day.

April 14, 2013

Tyson Clabo-T, Falcons

The Falcons cut 32 year old Tyson Clabo, their only good offensive lineman, to free up money to extend Matt Ryan.  The Falcons now have the worst offensive and defensive lines in the NFL.  They seem to be following the Eagles Dream Team model, which didn't work too well.  They had better sign and draft some starting  trench guys or they are a disaster waiting to happen.

April 13, 2013

Emanuel Sanders- WR, Steelers

Leave it to the Patriots to kick a guy while he's down.  The Steelers are coming off of a disappointing season and they have already lost their starting tailback and their only legitimate offensive weapon in Mike Wallace.  Their defense is old and infirm.  The Patriots made a one year offer to the Steelers second best receiver in Sanders.  The Steelers have 5 days to match the offer which would put them in an even worse salary cap situation.  They may want to let him go and take a third round pick.  Sanders isn't an elite talent.

April 12, 2013

Keenan Allen- WR, California

Allen ran in the 4.70 range at his pro-day.  He's either still injured (he says he's 85%) or too slow to be a first round pick.  Either way this is bad news for Allen only a few weeks before the draft.

April 10, 2013

Eddie Lacy- RB, Alabama

Lacy is being mentioned as a possible first round pick and if a team takes him that early they will be making a huge mistake.  With the notable exceptions of Julio Jones and Trent Richardson, Alabama players under Nick Saban have not been worthy of their draft status.  They have proven to be lazy and injury prone.  Since 2008 Alabama has produced 6 first round disappointments (Andre Smith, Rolando McClain, Kareem Jackson, James Carpenter, Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Ingram) along with highly drafted bums Terrance Cody, Glen Coffee and Mike Johnson. Lacy was reportedly out of shape at his pro day.  Caveat Emptor.

April 8, 2013

Darrell Revis- CB, Jets

The Bucs will be making a huge mistake if they trade a first round pick for an injured player who will command a huge contract.  There is no market save the Bucs and they should wait out the Jets who want to unload Revis before the draft.

April 7, 2013

Geno Smith- QB, West Virginia

Smith is getting panned by a number of draftniks including Mike Mayock.  There are clearly concerns with Smith, but he is the best quarterback prospect in this class and should be drafted in the top ten.  He's one of those coin flip guys who will need to go to the right team in order to be successful.  And the Jaguars aren't the right team.

April 6, 2013

Dion Jordan- DE, Oregon

Ever heard of Manny Lawson?  He was drafted 22nd by the 49ers in 2006.  He is an athletic freak at 6'5", 240 pounds.  But he's only a solid NFL starter.  Nothing more.  Cue Dion Jordan who is now being discussed as the number one overall pick by the Chiefs.   Remember when the Chiefs drafted defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey with the 5th overall pick a few years ago.  How about that stud Tyson Jackson with the 3rd overall pick in 2009?  The Chiefs need some new scouts in a bad way.

April 5, 2013

Tony Romo- Tosser, Cowboys

The Cowboys signed Romo to an extension worth over $100 million. Can't Find a Better Man.  That's what Cowboys fans will be singing for the next few years.  Romo is a high end pre-December tosser and terrible when it matters, but who can they get that's better than him?  Now he is tied to them like a ball and chain.  They will need a great supporting cast to win anything meaningful, but they pay him too much to get the players they need.  It's a Catch 22. And Emmitt Smith's gone.

April 3, 2013

Ed Reed- S, Texans

Reed signed with the Texans and will receive $6 million in the first year of the contract.  He is still a great player when healthy, but we're not sure that allowing a much younger Glover Quin to leave was the right call.

April 2, 2013

Michael Huff- CB, Ravens

Huff signed with the Ravens to replace Ed Reed.  It's a shrewd signing for the Ravens.  Huff has started at both safety and corner and has held up well after a disappointing first few years.

March 29, 2013

Manti Te'o- LB, Notre Dame

Te'o ran a 4.71 forty at his pro-day easing some concerns over his straight line speed.  This should get him back into the first round discussion and we have moved him up to the Bears with pick number 20.

March 28. 2013

Matt Barkley, QB, USC

We did two things earlier in the week.  We posted our player rankings and updated our Mock Draft.  We gave Matt Barkley a 4th round grade, lower than any scout.  We also dropped Jarvis Jones to the 13th pick.  Within a few days NFL films Greg Cosell made a big bold statement.  He rated Barkely as a 4th rounder.  Mel Kiper the next day dropped Jarvis Jones to 13th.  We'd like to welcome our two newest readers.

March 27, 2013

Carson Palmer- QB, Raiders

Palmer won't renegotiate his contract and it is likely he will be cut by the Raiders, who would save about $6 million in cap space.  The Raiders' 2011 trade for Palmer will go down as one of the worst of all time as the Bengals received a first round pick in 2012 and a conditional second round pick in 2013, that could have been a first rounder if the Raiders made it to the AFC Championship.  It's not that Palmer was terrible, he threw 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, it's that the Raiders for some odd reason thought they were a quarterback away from making a post-season run.  They were 4-12 in 2013.

March 26, 2013

Wes Welker- WR, Broncos

The Patriots signed Wes Welker 2.0.  If Amendola stays healthy (which is a big if) we think he's better than Welker because he can stretch the field.  As usual, the Patriots signed a very good player at a team friendly price.

March 25, 2013

Tavarres King- WR, Georgia

King had a very productive career at Georgia finishing with over 2,500 yards and 21 touchdowns.  He's above average in every facet but doesn't have a defining characteristic that will get him drafted in the first two rounds.  We think he will go in the 3rd-5th round and could develop into a serviceable third receiver.

March 24, 2013

Jarvis Jones- OLB, Georgia

Jones had a catastrophically bad pro day, running a 4.92 forty.  He has always looked a little out of shape to us so this is not a good sign for him.  There is now a chance that he will drop out of the top 10.

March 23, 2013

Tyler Eifert- TE, Notre Dame

Todd McShay, ESPN's Crack Analyst, lists Eifert as the number one skill position player in this draft.  There is a real possibility that Eifert will be the 4th best tight end in this draft as Vance McDonald, Gavin Escobar and Zach Ertz are all similar prospects.  Who was the last great skill position player from Notre Dame?  Tim Brown about 20 years ago?  Eifert's good, but McShay's clueless.

March 22, 2013

Wes Welker- WR, Broncos

Welker signing with the Broncos is comical on so many levels.  Brady allegedly renegotiated his deal to free up cap space to re-sign Welker.  And now Brady's pissed.  The Broncos, like the Colts before them, will do anything to please the Diva.  They will once again roll into the playoffs only to be bounced in the first round by a male quarterback.

March 21, 2013

Sean Smith- CB, Chiefs

Smith might have the worst agent in the history of the NFL.  He is only 25 and has started for 4 years since being drafted by the Dolphins.  He's a good, not great, young corner and all he got was $7 million guaranteed?  Old, rotational defensive lineman get that kind of money.  It's a great signing by the Chiefs.

March 20, 2013

Jake Long- T, Rams

Poor Rams fans.  They let reasonably priced wide receivers Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson go, Steven Jackson headed for greener pastures in Atlanta, and they paid $36 million for Long who is injury prone and wasn't very good before he got hurt.  They had a shot at RG3 and passed it up because some clown in the front office still thinks Sam Bradford is ga franchise tosser.  They will be buried beneath the 49ers and Seahawks with no real hope for a playoff spot for years to come although Jeff Fischer will probably be able to coax some 8-8 seasons in the next few years.

March 19, 2013

Jermon Bushrod- T, Bears

Bushrod's signing improves the Bears line immediately.  He's not special, but he's a dependable starter and moves J'Marcus Webb to the right side where he is more effective.  The better signing is tight end Martellus Bennett who should be a great weapon with Brandon Marshall drawing coverage on the outside.

March 16, 2013

Nnamdi Asomugha- CB, FA

Asomugha is the most intriguing free agent on the market.  He was one the all-time greats two years ago (rememeber that year when other teams had like 7 pass attempts at him...in 16 games!) but had a miserable stay in Philly along with the rest of the Ream Team.  Let's be candid though, Philadelphia is a place filled with miserable people and nobody wants to play there.  If a team signs him to a reasonable two year deal and he returns to form, it's the type of deal that will probably put a team over the hump and into the Super Bowl.

March 15, 2013

Danny Amendola- WR, FA

Amendola, when healthy, is a Wes Welker type difference maker.  His injury history has been significant, but if he stays healthy he could be a major piece for whoever gets him.  It will be interesting to see whether he takes a discounted long term deal or goes for a shorter, incentive based deal and tries to prove he can stay on the field for 16 games.

March 14, 2013

Reggie Bush-RB, Lions


Bush to the Lions is a great fit and they signed him at a nice price, probably $11-12 million guaranteed.  We expect 75 catches and 200 rushes.  With no other real competition in the backfield he's a borderline number one fantasy back if the Lions can get a high end tackle to replace Gosder Cherilus.  If Luke Joeckel or Eric Fischer are available at pick #5 there will be some celebrating in the Lions war room.

March 13, 2013

Mike Wallace- WR, Dolphins

Wallace to the Dolphins was the worst kept secret of this free agency period.  At $30 million guaranteed it's a little more than market value, but not unreasonable.  26 year old top poppers don't hardly ever make it to free agency.  They also traded in their two very good 30+ year old linebackers for two very good 28 and under linebackers and barely dented their cap space.  Matt Moore, who is a solid starting tosser (7-2 in his last 9 starts) returned as did starting safety Chris Clemons and the Dolphins still have over $20 million in cap space.  They need a cornerback but the market is flooded with veterans.  The Dolphins are in the process of having one of the best off-seasons ever.

March 12, 2013

Ed Reed, S, Ravens


Reed still has some gas left in the tank and we suspect he will look to go to a team that he can win another championship with.  The Patriots, 49ers and Giants are all possibilities but we wouldn't be surprised if he returns to the Ravens.   We're guessing about $12 million guaranteed.

Zac Dysert- QB, Miami (OH)


We have done our film study of Dysert and we were impressed.  Dysert excels in a number of different areas.  His release is quick and movement in the pocket and pocket awareness are excellent.  His arm strength is average and his ball is wobbly at times, but usually on target.  He throws off of his back foot too often, but he is usually accurate with it.  He's got a lot of Brett Favre in him but without the cannon arm.  We think he's an early second round prospect who could turn into a high end fair to middlin' starter.

Mike Wallace- WR, Dolphins?

All indications are that Wallace is going to end up in Miami with a monster contract.  Adding his speed on the perimeter along with Brian Hartline and a high draft pick at wide receiver would give Ryan Tannehill a very good receiving corps to work with.

Percy Harvin- WR, Seahawks

The Vikings traded Harvin, who was never happy in Minnesota, to the Seahawks for a first and seventh round pick in 2013 and a middle round pick in 2014.  It's reasonable trade value for one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL.  Harvin, Sidney Rice and an emerging Golden Tate form one of the NFL's best receving corps and factor in Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks' offense should be the NFL's best.

March 11, 2013

Eric Winston-T, Free Agent


Winston leads an interesting class of free agent right tackles.  This many starters typically don't make it to free agency.  Andre Smith was great in his contract year but wasn't very good before that. Phil Loadholt is a solid run blocker who struggles a bit in pass protection and Gosder Cherilus has flashed potential but been very inconsistent.  Eric Winston has been one of the top right tackles for the past few years but he has also been released twice in two years.  Teams looking for a right tackle will have plenty of decent options when free agency opens tomorrow.

Brandon Albert-T, Chiefs

Albert received the franchise tag from the Chiefs and while the story won't get much publicity, it will have a major effect on the NFL draft.  The Chiefs will not draft (you wouldn't think anyway) a tackle or Geno Smith.  They don't need a pass rusher with veteran Tambi Hali and impressive youngster Justin Houston, so that leaves the likes of Dee Milliner or maybe Star Lotulelei who aren't worthy.  With 6 of the other teams in the top team in dire need of a quarterback, the Chiefs should be a able to move back for a solid haul of draft picks.  Look for the Bills, Browns and Cardinals to come calling.

March 10, 2013

Manti Te'o- LB, Notre Dame

Te'o is sliding down draft boards after a poor Combine workout. We already had him rated in the third round based on ability and we have some grave concerns about him in the locker room.  He doesn't have the commanding presence you want from the captain of a defense.

March 9, 2013

Johnathan Banks- CB, Mississippi St.

Banks ran a terrible 4.59 although everyone understands his value is his length.  He may fall to the end of the first round, or even possibly the second, but teams like the Seahawks who covet long corners won't be turned off by his forty.

March 8, 2013

Dashon Goldson-S, 49ers

The 49ers didn't franchise Goldson who is the most valuable player in their secondary.  The Niners would have been over the cap if they had franchised him and we suspect a deal has been worked out that will announced as soon as the Alex Smith trade becomes official.

March 7, 2013

Matt Moore- QB, Dolphins

In a truly bizarre move, Moore re-signed with the Dolphins.  Moore was the only legitimate starter on the market and with only one real quarterback in the draft he would have been in high demand and the favorite to land a starting job wherever he went.  He was either paid starter money or thinks he can wrestle the job from Ryan Tannehill.

March 6, 2013

Dwayne Bowe- WR, Chiefs

Bowe signed a long-term deal with the Chiefs and one of the top free agents is now off the market.  He's very good, but not great so we expect he will receive guarantees in the $25-30 million range.  If the Chiefs had lost him they would have been devoid of a passing threat.

March 5, 2013

Jake Long- T, Dolphins

Long is fishing for a about thirty five million Dolphin bucks.  Unless he catches a square grouper while he is on his fishing expedition, he had better be prepared to take a lot less.  He's an elite talent, but he seems to be injured every year and sporadic recent form should force teams to slow their roll.  Unless a desperate team like Arizona or Chicago has a brain cramp, he will be lucky to get $20 million guaranteed.

March 4, 2013

Joe Flacco- QB, Ravens

Flacco received a new deal making him the highest paid player in NFL history.  He will get $51 million guaranteed and he's worth it.  He's in his prime and after only five seasons he has a post-season resume that far exceeds some of the all-time greats.

March 2, 2013

Margus Hunt- DE, SMU

Hunt might be the most impressive athlete to enter the NFL...ever.  He's 6'8", 277 pounds, with no body fat.  He ran a 4.60 forty which is better than some cornerbacks and running backs.  He did a ridiculous 38 reps of 225 pounds and had a vertical of 34.5 inches.   He has only recently taken up football and didn't do much in 2011, but in his final 13 games (including his final game in 2011) he turned in 11 sacks.  His upside is J.J. Watt and if the decision were ours we wouldn't let him get out of the first round.

March 1, 2013

Terron Armstead, Arkansas Pine-Bluff

Armstead started to generate a buzz at the East-West Shrine game and followed that up with a solid Senior Bowl, but nobody was quite expecting a 4.71 forty at over 300 pounds.   We've seen the tape on him and we can certainly rule out a Bruce Campbell issue.  Armstead looks like an immediate NFL starter and the only question we have is whether he will be good or great.  He should start to get looks late in the first round and we'd be shocked if he makes it out of the second.

February 28, 2013

Alex Smith- QB, Chiefs

The Smith to the Chiefs trade is being reported as a done deal though it can't be finalized for another week.  The 49ers will get pick #34 and a pick in 2014, possibly as high as a second if he makes the Pro Bowl we presume.  Smith has a better track record than the recent rash of quarterbacks who have been traded for second rounders (Cassel, Kolb) but if the Chiefs don't keep Dwayne Bowe or bring in a premier wide receiver it will be difficult for Smith to have any real success.

February 25, 2013

Sharrif Floyd- DT, Florida

Every year Mayock has a guy he man crushes on that's not very good.  Last year he and everyone else (but us) incorrectly had David Decastro as a top 10 player.  Whatever Mayock's guy does is great after he becomes the chosen one.  This year every scout can't stop gushing over Floyd.  Now he's a top ten pick on everyone's board.  He is a terrific athlete and moves well.  He's supposed to be an "great" interior pash rushing threat.  In the first 11 games of 2012 and first 12 of 2011 he had exactly 0 sacks.  He's not an elite interior pass rusher.  He's had sacks in exactly 3 games in the past 2 years!  He's well on his way to being overdrafted.

February 24, 2013

Keenan Allen, California

Allen, who missed three games during the 2012 season with a knee injury, will also miss the Combine due to recurring knee issues.  Allen has been in a group of 3 or 4 receivers vying to be the first receiver picked and this is a major blow to his chances.  We are dropping him in our mock draft and now have Cordarelle Patterson and Deandre Hopkins as the first receivers off the board at picks 11 and 12.

February 23, 2013

Luke Kuechly- LB, Panthers

Kuechly won the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and he deserved it, but he won in a landslide and should only have edged Lavonte David if David didn't win it outright.  Of course David came in a distant 5th and got 2 votes compared to 24 for Kuechly.   David was second in the NFL in solo tackles and 3rd in tackles for loss.  The same people who vote on these awards must be the people who evaluate (or attempt to evaluate) NFL talent for the draft.

February 22, 2013

Alec Ogletree-LB, Georgia

It's barely news worthy when a Georgia player gets arrested.  Ogletree received a DUI and with his history of "issues" he will surely slide in the draft.  If he had been clean off the field he would have been a top 10 pick, but his red flags will probably drop him into the mid to late first round.  If he doesn't do well in his Combine interviews he could slide to the second round.

February 21, 2013

Kenny Tate- S, Maryland

Tate is an intriguing prospect.  He began his career as a safety and looked like a surefire first round pick early in his career.   He converted to a hybrid safety/linebacker in 2012.  He has the same skill set as Alec Ogletree but he has injured both knees in the past two seasons.  If he stays healthy he could be a great value pick in the middle rounds.

February 19, 2013

Johnathan Cooper, North Carolina

Cooper is being mentioned by Mel Kiper as a top 5 pick.  He's good, but he's not that good.  He has great athletic ability but doesn't always deliver once he gets to the second level.  We think a late first round selection is reasonable.  Anything above that is a bit of a reach.

February 17, 2013

Sheldon Richardson, Missouri

We have finished scouting Richardson and he is in the argument as the best player in the 2013 draft.  He has the potential to be the next Warren Sapp.  At 290 pounds he moves like a small linebacker but has the strength to hold the line in running situations.  He has a burst that will make him a fixture in opposing backfields and he should be a top ten pick.

February 15, 2013

Aaron Rodgers- QB, Packers

We love Aaron Rodgers.  He is entering the discussion as the NFL's all-time greatest tosser.  He owns the highest regular season and post-season passer rating in NFL history though his career is starting to mirror Brett Favre's.  One early Super Bowl and historic statistics, but he needs a second championship.  Maybe if he stops with the discount double check commercials.

February 11, 2013

Titus Young- WR, Lions

Young was released by the Lions only two years into his bizarre Detroit tenure.  He occasionally flashed potential but his sense of self worth far exceeds his actual ability and his Nutter Tendency is a full blown 10.  If justice prevails nobody (but the Jets) will show any interest.

February 7, 2013

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

Kaepernick had another great game in the Superbowl but fell just short.  If he wouldn't have ever attempted a pass to Randy Moss the 49ers might have won the game.  Moss was aloof once again and the 49ers lack of someone to replace him probably cost them the game.  Drafting WR A.J. Jenkins in the first round instead of Stephen Hill or Alshon Jefferey might have been the difference in them winning the Superbowl.

February 5, 2013

Joe Flacco- QB, Ravens

Flacco capped off a historic post-season with a tremendous Super Bowl performance, throwing three touchdowns with no interceptions and posting a 124 passer rating.  As a huge underdog he beat Denver and New England on the road and now everyone understands why we had him rated higher than Tom Brady and Peyton Manning on our quarterback eggdicator...because he's better when it matters.  In five years he has already equalled their total number of (non-cheating) Super Bowl victories.

February 1, 2013

Adrian Peterson- RB, Vikings

Excuse me, I had some vomit in my mouth.  We just heard Matt Hasselbeck say that Peyton Manning should be the MVP. Peterson had the greatest season in NFL history.  Ever.  The Vikings had no passing game and every team knew he was going to get the ball and they still couldn't stop him.  He averaged 6.0 yards per carry on his way to 2,097 yards.  The only running backs to ever have a comparable season were Jim Brown, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.

January 30, 2013

Tom Brady- QB, Patriots


Another epic meltdown from Brady who posted a 62 passer rating in the Patriots first loss ever (in the Belicheat, Brady era) when leading at halftime at home.  They were 67-0.  If hell is real, the BB's are currently living in it as they will have to answer questions, for all eternity, about the amazing coincidence of them no longer being able to cheat and no longer being able to win the big game.

Tackles for Loss


Tackles for loss are nearly as important as sacks, but they get the short end of the stick as a glamour category. In fact, we can't find an NFL ranking of TFL anywhere so we had to compile it for you the old fashioned way.  Only ten players reached double digits in this statistical category with J.J. Watt (23) and Lavonte David (19) lapping the competition.  The other eight players are:  Von Miller (14), Demeco Ryans (14), Jo-Lonn Dunbar (13), Derrick Johnson (11), Luke Kuechly (11), Mason Foster (11), Eric Berry (10) and Michael Bennett (10). 

January 29, 2013

Rex Ryan- HC, J-E-T-S

It has been a spectacular off-season for the Jets.  They've retained the NFL's worst coach,  recommitted to the NFL's worst passer in Mark Sanchez and interviewed GM candidate's from the local Department of Labor.  And the Holy Hand Grenade is still in the room!   The Jets are  the NFL's version of Teen Mom.

January 28, 2013

Ryan Clady- OT, Broncos

Clady is not a name many people have heard, but Peyton's blind side protector will be one of the highest paid players in the game in the next 60 days.  He's the premier player at a premium position and he's in his prime.  That's a lot of p's and it will result in a payment of about $35 million pesos, guaranteed.

January 27, 2013

Joe Flacco- QB, Ravens

Flacco followed up his 116 passer rating versus Denver with a 106 against the Patriots that included two clutch second half touchdowns to Anquan Boldin.  He is now firmly in the discussion with Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning as the NFL's greatest all-time clutch quarterback, but he needs a ring to validate his tremendous post-season record.

January 26, 2013

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

So much for Kaepernick being a "running" quarterback.  He posted a 127.7 passer rating versus the Falcons which is one of the highest in postseason history. The guy is tremendous and his second half play (while Matt Ryan was busy turning the ball over) was the difference in the 49ers comeback win.  He now has 10 career starts and has already become (along with Russell Wilson) the most valuable commodity in the NFL. 

January 25, 2013

Matt Ryan- QB, Falcons

Ryan has joined the old guard of choking quarterbacks who post historic regular season numbers but melt down under pressure.  They're too good to cut, but too nervy to win the big game.  Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Tony Romo all fit squarely within the profile having posted record setting regular season numbers but only generating one (non-cheating) Superbowl in a combined 40 years of play.  The NFC now has all of the Mayan Era quarterbacks as well and we expect them to dominate the NFL in the coming decade.

January 18, 2013

Cobi Hamilton- WR, Arkansas

We have scouted Hamilton and he will undoubtedly draw a first round grade from us.  He is similar to Keenan Allen and we view Allen, Hamilton and Hopkins in a tight bunch at the top.

January 17, 2013

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

Kaepernick had a stunning game against the Packers, accounting for over 450 yards and 4 touchdowns. We are really channeling Nostradamus as we were the only scout in America that had him as a top twelve pick.  In our draft grades for 2011 we dubbed Kaepernick "the best pick in the draft."

January 15, 2013

Joe Flacco- QB, Ravens

Flacco had another virtuoso performance, posting a 116 passer rating (versus Peyton Manning's 88) and making huge throws when it mattered including a late pellett down the middle from his own end zone on third and long. He's the anti-Peyton. If the Patriots win and Flacco goes into New England and pulls off a victory, we will officially move him into the Golden Goose category on the Eggdicator.  He's already established an NFL record that will likely never be broken after becoming the only tosser in NFL history to win a playoff game in his first 5 years in the league.

January 13, 2013

Dion Jordan-DE, Oregon

Mel Kiper, the same chowder head that had Jimmy Clausen at a top ten pick, now has Dion Jordan as the 10th overall pick.  Draft Scout has him as the number one DE prospect and CBS's Dane Brugler has him going 15th.  Take it from America's top scout (as we have now officially dubbed ourself), he's not a first round talent.  Jordan looks great at 6'7", and looked dominant when playing against the mediocre high school teams in the Pac-whatever it is these days.  However, in the past two years facing any type of competition(LSU, Stanford, USC, etc) he has amassed 16 tackles and a half sack in 8 games.  That's about what you can expect when he reaches the pros.  He's a second round talent based on upside only.  Watch as he falls in the months after we post this.

January 11, 2013

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

If you told someone who had never matriculated to read our article, Don't You Love Her Madly, they wouldn't believe it was written before the season started.  No way.  Inconceivable. It completely detailed the Broncos season before it happened.  Well ok, not completely.  We said the Broncos would go 11-5, be a Super Bowl favorite, and get bounced in the first round of the playoffs because their tosser is the most overrated player in the history of American professional sports.  We were wrong.  The Broncos went 13-3, they were a Super Bowl favorite and they got bounced in the first round because their tosser is the most overrated player in the history of American porfessional sports.

January 10, 2013

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

Peyton was brilliant in the regular season as usual, but her legacy hangs in the balance (at least it should) as she heads into another post-season as the favorite to win a Super Bowl.  If she doesn't do any better than The Holy Hand Grenade's 1-1 post-season from 2012 then we have to wonder what all of the fuss and money was for.

January 9, 2012

The Eggdicator

We have updated the Eggdicator, and Eli Manning has fallen out of the Golden Goose category after a mediocre 2012 season.  Someone else has taken his place.  There are only 4 Golden Geese and Tom Brady and Peyton Manning aren't included.  They will have to make it to the Super Bowl if they want back in.

January 8, 2012

Lavonte David- LB, Buccaneers

David, a second round pick who we rated as on of the top 10 players in the 2012 draft, had a tremendous rookie season that should land him NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, though it probably won't.  He finished 2nd in the NFL (behind James Laurinitis) in solo tackles and second in the NFL (behind J.J. Watt) in tackles for loss.   We expect the Luke Kuechly to edge out David and he is certainly worthy of the award also.  In comparison, David had 9 more solo tackles, 8 more tackles for loss and 1 more sack, while Kuechly had 3 more passes defensed, one more interception and 3 more fumble recoveries.

January, 7, 2012

Mike Shanahan- Coach, Redskins

Shanahan should have already been fired for his shameless failure to pull an obviously injured RG3 from the Redskins playoff loss to the Seahawks.  It was apparent to anyone watching the game that RG3 was injured, yet Shanahan left him on the terrible grass field and actually called running plays.  Dr. James Andrews has stated that Shanahan lied when he told the media that he had evaluated Griffin and approved him to return when he was originally injured.  The guy's a bum and he may have ruined one of the best players the NFL has ever seen.

January 6, 2012

Manti Te'o- LB, Notre Dame

Te'o did not look like a top ten pick in the National Championship game.  While we don't want to let one bad game overly effect our evaluation, he spent most of the game missing tackles or getting washed out by pulling guards.  We had concerns last year about David Decastro after watching him struggle mightily (though the pundits disagreed with us) in his bowl game and we were right.  We still think Te'o will be drafted between 10-20.

January 5, 2012

Mike Wallace- WR, Steelers

The word on the street is that the Steelers will let Wallace walk.  He had a Desean Jackson-like, alligator arms season in 2012 while awaiting his big pay day.  He's not a true number one receiver, but he's at the top of the list as a number two.  Teams like the Dolphins, Jets and Texans will likely throw big money at him.

January 4, 2012

Tajh Boyd, Clemson

Boyd had one of the better clutch performances in the Tigers comeback win over LSU.  Based on the quarterbacks we've reviewed, he's the top dog and should be in consideration for the #1 overall pick.  We know that nobody else has him this highly rated but he reminds us of Donovan McNabb without the big game stomach issues.

January 3, 2012

Aaron Murray- Georgia

Murray has to be considering jumping to the NFL.  He had a very good season and reminds us of his predecessor at Georgia, Matt Stafford, but without the canon.  He, like Stafford, puts up great numbers but rarely wins the big game.  This is a very mediocre tosser class and we're not sure there is a first round talent in the bunch, though we suspect a few will be drafted in the first and Murray could be one of them.

January 2, 2012

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys

Romo heads the substantial list of off-season question marks at tosser after another big game meltdown.  His considerable talent is obvious and we don't think there will be a better quarterback available in free agency, but Dallas should bring in a mid round pick (or at least a high quality back-up) to be prepared to take over in 2014.

January 1, 2013

David Wilson- RB, Giants

Wilson was tremendous against the Saints, amassing over 300 yards.  He had 100 yards rushing and a 99 yard kickoff return.  He doesn't look like a very instinctive runner yet, but there is no doubting that when he gets into the open field he is electric.

December 31, 2012

Russell Wilson- QB Seahawks

Wilson had another great performance, scoring 4 touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 passing) on the road in Buffalo.  He is now firmly in the running for the greatest rookie in the history of the NFL, especially if Robert Griffin misses any more time.  Prior to this season, the greatest rookie of all-time was Cam Newton.  Griffin and Wilson both have a better passer rating than Newton and both have won more games.  We are still hearing pundits mention Andrew Luck, which is a bad joke. He's at the bottom of the league in nearly every meaningful passing category and his only signature win was versus the Packers.  He should be a distant fourth in the Offensive Rookie of the Year ballotting behind RG3, Russell Wilson and Doug Martin.

December 18, 2012

Ryan Mathews- RB, Chargers

Mathews ended his disappointing season on I.R..  He ran for 707 yards and 1 touchdown.  Two of his first three seasons have been mediocre and he certainly hasn't justified the Chargers trading up in the draft to select him.  Next season will be a contract year and with a new coaching staff in place we still like him as a 2nd-3rd rounder in fantasy drafts, assuming he has fully recovered.

December 17, 2012

Lesean McCoy- RB, Eagles

McCoy has been cleared to practice and there are, inexplicably, mentions of him returning for the Eagles two final meaningless games to risk another concussion.  It makes no sense and more importantly would ruin the fantasy prospects of Bryce Brown for the final two weeks.

December 16, 2012

Peyton Manning- QB, Broncos

We heard Ron Jaworski today lobbying for Peyton Manning as the NFL MVP.  She has had a great regular season as she usually does.  The great irony is that Jaws, who gets paid to think about football 24/7, explained his reasoning as "it's all about championships".  The only time Peyton's name and championship typically go together is when some clown like Jaws says that her team is "favored to win the championship."  She almost never delivers and this year will be no different in spite of the fact that the talent around Peyton is as good as any team in the league.  Remember, the Broncos went 7-4 and won a road playoff game with a quarterback so terrible that he couldn't displace Mark Sanchez.   Manning will win the same number of playoff games (or less) as the Holy Hand Grenade.

December 15, 2012

Reggie Bush- RB, Dolphins

Bush needs about 70 yards per game in the next three games to have his second consecutive 1,000 yard season.  He faces a below average Jaguars defense and we look for him to be a great RB2 play this week.  He is a free agent at the end of the season.

December 14, 2012

Tyrann Mathieu- CB, LSU

Tyrann Mathieu will be entering the NFL draft and there are widely varying opinions regarding his draft prospects.  Some scouts feel he is overrated as a defender and note that he's also only 5'9".  There is no disputing his athletic ability and return prowess and we think he would have been a first rounder if not for his repeated marijuana incidents.  We like him better than Janoris Jenkins who, in spite of major off field issues, was drafted early in the second round.  We thought Jenkins should have gone in the third and that is where we would take the risk on Mathieu also depending on how he performs in his interviews.

December 13, 2012

C.J. Spiller- RB, Bills

With Fred Jackson out for the rest of the season, Spiller should see a significant increase in touches.  The bad news is that the Bills face the Seahawks and Dolphins in the next two weeks and they both have good run defenses.  He's a must start as he continues his chase for the single season yards per carry record.

December 12, 2012

Marcus Lattimore- RB, South Carolina


Lattimore has announced he's entering the 2013 NFL Draft.  He would have been the first running back taken and a top 20 pick had he not blown his right knee.  There are a number of players who have recovered from severe knee injuries and been as good, if not better, upon their return.  Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson this year being exhibits A and B. We think the risk/reward on Lattimore is a 3rd-4th rounder who will probably not be productive until 2014.

Adrian Peterson-RB, Vikings

The AP freakshow continues to travel from town to town.  Not even a blown ACL can slow Peterson as he continues to soar towards 2,000 yards rushing and the Hall of Fame.  This Sunday he torched the vaunted Bears defense for 154 yards rushing.  He is one of the greatest rushers in NFL history and has no peer in the current generation.

December 11, 2012

Ben Tate- RB, Texans

About two months ago we told you to trade for Ben Tate.  He was injured at the time, but we thought that towards the end of the season he would start to get more playing time while the Texans rested Arian Foster.  We expect Tate to get 5-10 touches tonight and then see an increased workload next week.

December 10, 2012

Dwayne Bowe- WR, Chiefs

Bowe could be joining an impressive class of free agent wide receivers that includes Wes Welker, Greg Jennings and Mike Wallace.  Usually these guys don't make it to free agency but Pittsburgh is stingy with their free agent money, the Packers have good young receivers to replace Jennings, Bowe wants to play in Miami and Julian Edelman looks to be a younger, cheaper version of Welker.

December 9, 2012

Knowshow Moreno-RB, Broncos

Look who showed up a few games before he hits free agency.  Moreno went 32/119/1 against the pathetic Raiders' defense.  Moreno is a money player, and we don't mean that in the complimentary sense.  He is a solid RB2 down the stretch as he seems to be a decent runner when he is chasing greenbacks.

December 8, 2012

Percy Harvin- WR, Vikings

In the past Harvin has always seemed a threat to miss games via injury, but he usually plays.  This season he has officially delivered on his threat.  He is out for the remainder of the year after carrying fantasy teams for the first half of the season.

December 7, 2012

Cecil Shorts- WR, Jaguars

Shorts continues to dominate for a bad team.  He had 7 catches for 77 yards against Buffalo and scored a touchdown for the 4th consecutive game.  He is one of the few bright spots for the Jaguars in 2012.

December 6, 2012

Darren McFadden-RB, Raiders


McFadden is set to return tonight, though there probably isn't much rejoicing from his owners who have likely been eliminated because of his long absence and ineffectiveness.  If you drafted him in the first round and are still hanging on, he will be a welcome addition this week.

December 5, 2012

1983 Tosser Class

You remember that soon to be former greatest tosser class ever that featured Dan Marino, John Elway and Jim Kelly?  They have been demolished by the 2012 class.  Robert Griffin's passer rating of 104 is better than any of those quarterbacks ever posted in their entire career with the exception of Marino's 108 in his second season.  Russell Wilson's tosser rating of 95 is better than John Elway ever posted in his career and Kelly was only better one time.  Throw in Andrew Luck and his 8 wins for a bad team and the class of 2012 is well on it's way.  A few championships in the next decade and the debate is over.

December 4, 2012

Steven Ridley- RB, Patriots

Ridley has quietly had a great fantasy season, amassing over 1,000 yards rushing with 9 touchdowns.  He is currently 6th in scoring for running backs and is the favorite for the most overdrafted player of 2013.

December 3, 2012

Kevin Ogletree- WR, Cowboys

Ogletree had one catch for 8 yards.  You are now permitted to post something about your fantasy friend who spent half of his free agent dollars on him after his week one fluke.

December 2, 2012

Bryce Brown- RB, Eagles

Brown needs to learn some ball security, but otherwise he is the real deal.  He's had back to back 150+ yard rushing games in his first two starts.  The former top high school player in the nation has very good speed and great vision and will create an interesting backfield dilemma in Philly next season.

December 1, 2012

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Tannehill continues to perform exactly as we predicted.  He has 7 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and remains at the bottom of the NFL in all passing categories.  We still think the Dolphins selected him based on owner Stephen Ross's less than gentle suggestion. Players with high interception totals in the Big 12 aren't first round picks and teams with meddling owners are almost never successful.  Until the Dolphins, Redskins and Cowboys fire their owners, their fans will continue to be long suffering.

November 30, 2012

Jimmy Graham- TE, Saints

The past two weeks Graham has been under 50 yards receiving.  In his last 27 games this is the only time this has happened.  We look for a bounce back game versus the Falcons and expect him to either approach 100 yards, score or do both.

November 29, 2012

Jamaal Charles- RB, Chiefs

Charles continued his impressive work, rushing for 107 yards against the Broncos.  It's his 4th, 100 yard game.  He should surpass 1,000 yards this week in spite of playing for one of the NFL's worst teams.

November 28, 2012

Steven Jackson- RB, Rams

Jackson recorded his 2nd 100 yard game in the past three weeks and he has become a reliable fantasy starter for the past month. He's less than 200 yards away from 10,000 for his career and less than 300 from another 1,000 yard season.

November 27, 2012

C.J. Spiller- RB, Bills

Break off this trivia question on somebody in a few weeks:  Who is the all-time single season leader in yards per carry?  Barry Sanders?  Jim Brown? Bo Jackson?  Actually the current leader is Jamaal Charles who averaged 6.42 yards per carry in 2010.  Spiller is currently averaging 6.7 with 4 games to play.

November 26, 2012

Tony Romo- QB, Cowboys


Romo had a great fantasy performance throwing for 441 yards and 3 touchdowns and leading a furious Cowboy comeback attempt.  Although Romo hasn't had a great season, we expect he will be back in 2013 as Jerry Jones gives one more coach a chance to lead Romo to a Super Bowl.

Calvin Johnson- WR, Lions

Megatron had his standard monster game with 8 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown.  He is averging 114 yards receiving per game and if he can average slightly over 117 for the final 5 games he will break the NFL's all-time single season receiving record held by Jerry Rice.  With all due respect to Rice, Calvin is on another level.  He doesn't have any of the parts around him that Rice had (two Hall of Fame quarterbacks, great #2 receivers and a running game) and Rice never commanded the attention that Johnson gets.  It's a shame that he continues to toil for the hapless Lions.

November 25, 2012

Dez Bryant- WR, Cowboys

Bryant had another great game on Thanksgiving going for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He is finally delivering on a consistent basis.  He currently ranks 7th in scoring among wide receivers and is now a mandatory weekly start.

November 24, 2012

New York Jets

Jet Theatre continues to be the most compelling watch in the NFL these days.  On Thanksgiving, in prime time, Mark Sanchez decided to sniff his right tackle's bum, fall over and fumble.  It was The Three Stooges in their own reality show.  The great wonder of it all is that in a few years Tony Sparano and Rex Ryan will actually have jobs again...in football!

November 23, 2012

Larod Stephens-Howling-RB, Cardinals


Stephens-Howling had a nice game against the porous Falcons' run defense, setting a career high with 127 yards rushing.  It was his second 100-yard game in his last four and he's also scored 3 touchdowns.  Unfortunately for his fantasy owners Beanie Wells is set to return and Stephens-Howlings' value moving forward is only an emergency, low end fill in.

Geno Atkins- DT, Bengals


Atkins had a stellar game against the Chiefs, posting 6 solo tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a pass defensed.  He's the NFL's best player that nobody knows and he's still in the conversation for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Justin Blackmon- WR, Jaguars


Blackmon had what may be a career game going for 236 yards and a touchdown.  Prior to this week he had not shown much of the ability that made him the first receiver drafted (he was third on our board), but this was an impressive performance.  We wouldn't rush to pick him up yet, but he has put himself on the radar.

Casey Hayward- CB, Packers

Hayward, a rookie from Vanderbilt, continues to impress for the Packers.  He has 5 interceptions and 14 passes defensed and is certainly in the conversation for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

November 22, 2012

Jalen Parmele- RB, Jaguars


Parmele is an interesting pick-up this week.  Maurice Jones-Drew should be on the bench for the rest of the year as risking another injury at this point makes no sense.  Rashad Jennings was a flop, so it is realistic to assume that Parmele could get 15-20 touches most weeks from here on out.  He is worthy of a pick-up and could turn into a viable flex player down the stretch.

Colin Kaepernick- QB, 49ers

The Transformer turned in a historic first start, torching the vaunted Bears defense and looking, for one game anyway, like one of the NFL's best quarterbacks.  His line of 16-23/243/2 doesn't do justice to how impressive he was.  We were the only site (we know we say this a lot) that had him ranked as a first rounder and we also dubbed him "the best pick of the 2011 NFL draft" in our draft grades.  He's got a long way to go, but he looks like a star.  Alex Smith may want to start packing.

November 21, 2012

Chad Henne- QB, Jaguars

Barnum and Bailey had a travelling circus that included human curiosities billed as, "Peerless Prodigies of Physical Phenomena."   Chad Henne would have been the featured performer this week alongside The Feejee Mermaid and Tom Thumb.  Henne replaced an injured Blaine Gabbert against the NFL's best defense and led what had previously been an anemic passing attack to 354 yards passing and 4 touchdowns.  If Gabbert is out and you are in dire need of a tosser, Henne's worth a shot.  We said when they signed Henne that he would eventually take over as the starter for Gabbert because he is better, though he's still only average.

November 20, 2012

Robert Griffin- QB, Redskins


Griffin had a monster game against a free falling Eagles team, going 14-15 with four touchdowns.  He also led the team in rushing with 12 carries for 84 yards.  That is a worrisome stat as 12 carries is far too many.  His 18 touchdowns with only 5 turnovers is remarkable, especially considering the lack of talent on the Redskins.  Unless he has several horrible games he will be the greatest rookie in NFL history, supplanting Cam Newton.

Nick Foles- QB, Eagles

Foles has done nothing but impress since the pre-season, and he looked very solid deputizing for Mike Vick this weekend.  He has three great weapons to work with and if he can avoid what is typically an instantaneous pass rush, he should put up low end QB1 numbers at a minimum.  Vick will probably miss at least a few games and Foles is a decent option for quarterback needy fantasy teams.

November 19, 2012

Marshawn Lynch- RB, Seahawks

Lynch ran over the Jets for 124 yards and continues to be nearly unstoppable.  He has rushed for 85 or more yards in 9 of 10 games and has six 100-yard games to his credit already.  The Seahawks have a balanced attack and we expect Lynch to continue to put up high end fantasy numbers as the 'Hawks battle the 49ers for NFC West supremacy.

November 18, 2012

Calvin Johnson- WR, Lions


Johnson had a Megatron moment versus the Vikings with 12 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown.  In spite of having an "off" year in terms of touchdowns, he's on pace to have the 4th highest single season receiving total in NFL history and continues to be the NFL's best non-quarterback.

Eagles Receivers

We expect a bump in production from Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin with Nick Foles at quarterback.  Receivers have traditionally struggled with Vick's improvisation and we expect more consistent numbers out of Foles as odd as that sounds.

November 17, 2012

Ben Tate- RB, Texans

We said this several weeks ago and we'll say it again.  If you are looking for a player who might have significantly more value when the fantasy playoffs roll around, trade for Ben Tate. He's currently on the clearance rack (he hasn't palyed in several weeks) and if his fantasy owner doesn't have Arian Foster he will probably trade him for a WR3 or a back-up tosser.  Make it happen as Tate should be seeing significant carries in the next few weeks.

November 16, 2012

Mark Sanchez- QB, Jets

The Jets players and Rex Ryan are reportedly in agreement that Mark Sanchez, who is currently the worst NFL tosser from a statistical standpoint, gives the Jets the best chance to win. Nobody would ever accuse the Jets and their baffled offensive coordinator Tony Sparano of having any level of football IQ.  Tebow inherited an equally bad Broncos team last year (they were 1-4) and willied them to a 7-4 record in spite of some dreadful passing games.  He also won a playoff game on the road in Pittsburgh.

November 15, 2012

Jarius Wright- WR, Vikings

Wright was one of the Matriculator Six players who we thought were good late value picks in this year's NFL draft.  He hadn't been active before this week but in his first NFL game, deputizing for an injured Percy Harvin, he led the team in receiving, posting a 3 catch, 65 yard, touchdown performance.  He will probably be relegated to the bench again once Harvin returns but his performance should earn him some additional playing time.

November 14, 2012

Philip Rivers- QB, Chargers

Rivers delivered a very good fantasy line, throwing for 337 yards and three touchdowns, but his two interceptions were abysmal and cost the Chargers the game.  Rivers has been an absolute basket case in the clutch the past year and a half. The Chargers off season search for a coach will surely focus on someone they think can get Rivers back on track.

November 13, 2012

Victor Cruz- WR, Giants

Three weeks ago Cruz began negotiations on a long term deal.  He was reportedly close to signing two weeks ago but no deal has been done.  He has probably been throwing around numbers in the $25 million range in guaranteed money and it is difficult to risk injury when he knows a massive payday awaits.  He is typically in the 60-70% range on catches per target but has been well below 50% in the past three weeks.  He's the most important player on the team besides Eli and if the Giants don't get him signed they, and his fantasy owners, may not make the playoffs.

November 12, 2012

Brandon Marshall- WR, Bears


Marshall had 9 catches for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Titans.  He seems to have remedied his fantasy Achilles' heel of not being able to score touchdowns.  He has also been over 70 yards receiving in all but one game.  He is currently at his high water mark and if you have a need and can trade him for an RB1 or QB1, go for it.

Michael Turner- RB, Falcons


Turner continues to deliver solid fantasy numbers after rushing for 102 yards and a score against the Cowboys.  He is currently ranked 13th in fantasy scoring among running backs and is a very good RB2.  He is defying the 30 year old running back theory and should continue to deliver good, if not great, performances.

Krista's Ball

Krista and The Matriculator continue to stay above .500 in their weekly picks, but just barely.  Last season we did most of our damage in the second half of the season and we expect to stay hot.  Krista likes Ole Miss this week laying 2.5.  Number one high school prospect Robert Nkemdiche also likes Ole Miss this week.

November 11, 2012

Vernon Davis- TE, 49ers

Davis started red hot, scoring four touchdowns in the first three weeks, but in the past four games he's been held out of the end zone.  Teams have been rolling extra coverage his way.  We still expect him to put up good numbers and he's a must start though there will be occasional games when he is used primarily as a decoy.

November 10, 2012

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

Luck had two rushing touchdowns and one interception versus the Jaguars and continues to deliver surprisingly solid fantasy numbers; however, we see a media goo-goo similar to Peyton Manning's, and Luck is already overhyped.  He's near the bottom in all of the important passing categories: passer rating, TD/INT ratio and completion percentage while RG3 and Russell Wilson continue to remain in the top 16 in all of those categories.  Even Ryan Tannehill has been as good as Luck.  Keep in mind that in the Colts nine games only three teams have had winning records and of those teams only the Bears have a good defense.  We like Luck but the media goo-goo, as usual, is a bit much.

November 9, 2012

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts


We were the only scout in America that had Hilton as a top 10 pick and the top receiver in the draft.  In fact, nobody had him as a top ten receiver.  He was the 13th receiver drafted with the 92nd overall pick.  In spite of missing the first game of the season with an injury, he is 2nd among rookie receivers in receptions and receiving yards and is the only rookie receiver to record a 100 yard game.  He has two of them.  Luck is raving about him and he is worthy of a pick-up as a flex option.

Mark Ingram- RB, Saints

Ingram is the fantasy albatross hanging around the Matriculator's neck.  We've always thought he seemed a perfect fit for fantasy production being a Heisman Trophy winning first round pick in a high octane offense.  We overlooked one important fact, that he just doesn't seem to be very good.  With Darren Sproles out of the picture Ingram had a window of opportunity this past Sunday and it was slammed shut by Chris Ivory, a guy off the end of the bench who had more touches than Ingram.  We still would give him one more chance if you have running back on a bye or are desperate for a flex.

November 8, 2012

Marcel Reeese- RB, Raiders

Why would we recommend picking up a running back who has played in 8 games and has 1 carry for no yards?  Because he's tremendously talented, that's why. It's only a lukewarm recommendation in the end because he might return back to third down duties in a week or two and because even a back of Darren McFadden's immense talent was unable to generate consistent rushing yards behind a scattershot offensive line.  Reese is more of a straight line power back and maybe the change in styles will be successful and he gets the Saints next week.

November 7, 2012

 

Darren McFadden- RB, Raiders


McFadden left the field Sunday with an ankle injury and may be out for a few weeks.  Injury is always the danger with McFadden and while he wasn't quite performing at a first round level (he was RB19 going into the week) he wasn't headed for bustdom.  If he misses a few weeks with this injury he will officially become a fantasy bust.

Doug Martin- RB, Buccaneers

Isn't it great to look back?  A few months ago one of our readers noted that we were "crazy" to have Doug Martin as a first round pick.  "No other site has him rated that highly", they said.  His average draft position was 42.  We had him rated at 12 overall and yes, we were the only site in America that had him that high.  Seems it wasn't quite high enough as he now sits at numero uno after a record breaking 251 yard, 4 touchdown rushing performance.  It is the highest scoring game ever (as far as we can find) for a non-tosser.

November 6, 2012

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks


Wilson had another brilliant game destroying the Vikings while completing 16 of his 24 passes for 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.  His passer rating is now 87, higher than Andrew Luck's and closing fast on RG3's rating of 94With another very good performance from Ryan Tannehill the 2012 tosser class has fired a warning shot over the bow of the 1983 and 2004 quarterback draft classes.

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

Luck posted a record breaking game going 30-48 for 433 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He did it against a very good Dolphins defense in an important game.  RG3 had been lapping the competition for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, but now Luck, Doug Martin and Russell Wilson have joined the chase.

November 5, 2012

Steven Jackson- RB, Rams

Jackson and Deangelo Williams seem the most likely big names to be dealt before the trade deadline tomorrow.  Jackson makes the most sense in Arizona.  He's accustomed to running behind bad offensive lines.  Williams would be a perfect fit in Green Bay as he is an accomplished pass catcher.

November 4, 2012

The Quarterback Eggdicator


The Eggdicator is now complete.  Keep in mind these ratings are based on the present and near future.  There are 4 Golden Geese and Peyton, Drew and Tom are not in the gaggle.

Cecil Shorts- WR, Jaguars

Much like Josh Gordon, Shorts is developing as a big play receiver without much of a tosser.  We don't have much confidence that Gabbert can deliver the ball consistently, but Shorts is an emerging talent.  He's a viable flex option during bye weeks.

November 3, 2012

Kendall Wright- WR, Titans

Wright continues to lead all rookie receivers in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.  Our number one rated receiver T.Y. Hilton (who was the 13th drafted receiver) is second in receptions, third in receiving yards and has recorded the only 100 yard game for a rookie.

Tim Jennings- CB, Bears


A 5'8", 185 pounder is giving 6'6", 290 pounder JJ Watt a run for his money for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.  Jennings picked off two Cam Newton passes and returned one for a touchdown.  He now leads the NFL with 6 interceptions and leads the NFL with 13 passes defensed.  He joins an impressive list of University of Georgia players who are completely and totally dominating the NFL from a defensive perspective.

November 2, 2012

Denver Broncos Defense

Looking to add a defense for the second half of the season?  The Broncos are probably available and they should pick up their scoring in the second half of the season.  They've already faced their three toughest offenses in Houston, New England and Atlanta and now get the likes of Kansas City (twice), Oakland, San Diego, Carolina and Cleveland.  They play the Bengals this week who may be the toughest offense they have left on the schedule.

November 1, 2012

Cam Newton- QB, Panthers

CamWow! is now in meltdown mode after another terrible performance, this time against the Bears.  We weren't surprised when Newton was the greatest rookie tosser of all time and we're not surprised he's lost his way either. Last year the Panthers lost in spite of him, this year they are losing because of him.

October 31, 2012

Calvin Johnson- WR, Lions

We still don't believe in ghosts, but we are now convinced that the Madden Curse is indeed real.  Megatron was entering the argument as the greatest receiver of all time after 5 tremendous seasons, and suddenly he can't catch an 8 yard hook?

October 30, 2012

The Holy Hand Grenade


Poor Tebow.  Another coach with no confidence in him.  He's just a winner. Tebow's TD/INT ratio is one of the best in NFL history.  It is significantly better than Peyton Manning's or Tom Brady's.  That's why he wins all of the time.  We have to say this about every six months, but Tebow is better than the starter ahead of him.  We said that in Denver too and we were right.  He's got a 75 career passer rating and when you factor in his running threat he's closer to 90 and a top 12 quarterback.

Rex Ryan- Coach, Jets

Rex Ryan has once again, inexplicably, given the vote of confidence to Mark Sanchez.  Ryan, like John Fox before him, would rather see a guy who throws prettier passes and loses.  Ryan and Toni Sparano aren't much when it comes to coaching, but they are the best male cheerleading tandem in the NFL.  Next year Ryan will have plenty of time to get pedicures on Sunday after church.  Afterward he can put some Rex's Hot Sauce on his fried chicken.  "He puts his shit on everything!"

October 29, 2012

A.J. Jenkins- WR, 49ers

Today is draft review day.  The 49ers received our lowest post-draft grade in the 2012 draft.  Thus far they have yet to log a play from any player they drafted.  As we said on draft day, taking A.J. Jenkins ahead of Stephen Hill (Hill leads all rookies with 3 touchdowns even though he has missed 3 games) was inexcusable.

October 28, 2012

Mark Sanchez- QB, Jets

Sanchez is not a very good quarterback, but a disorganized support structure and the spectre of The Holy Hand Grenade have not helped either.  If the Jets lose to the Dolphins next week we might see a battle between management, who allegedly wants more Tebow, and Ryan, who prefers Sanchez.  Guess who usually wins that battle.

October 27, 2012

Josh Gordon- WR, Browns

For three weeks now we've seen highlights of Gordon blowing by two defenders and (usually) making long catches.  He's an incredible athlete and he should continue to have Mike Wallace-like weeks where he has 3 catches for 90 yards and a TD.  We aren't sold on Opie Cunningham as his tosser and Gordon will also have games where he does almost nothing, but he's worth an occasional flex start.  He's already the best receiver on the Browns.

October 26, 2012

Randall Cobb- WR, Packers

Cobb has blossomed in his second season and is already one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL.  He was targeted 8 times and caught all 8 balls for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He continues to lead the NFL by a wide margin in catch per target percentage.

October 25, 2012

Lavonte David- LB, Buccaneers

David was one of many players we differed about with the "experts".  We had him ranked as the 10th player overall while nobody else had him ranked as a first rounder.  He was ultimately drafted with the 58th pick, at the end of the second round.  Thus far he leads the Bucs in tackles, is in the top 15 in the entire NFL in tackles per game and leads the NFL in tackles for loss with 9 even though he has already had his bye. Most NFL teams are between 15-20 tackles for loss. He is the early favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year with Chandler Jones in hot pursuit.

October 24, 2012

Deangelo Williams- RB, Panthers


There has been no talk of a Williams trade, but if the Panthers new GM doesn't trade him before Tuesday he should be fired too.  The Panthers have invested more money in their backfield than any team in the NFL and they have one the league's worst running games.  Johnathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert are good enough to carry the load for the next few years.  With potential contenders like Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Arizona in need of a starter, the Panthers could probably squeeze a third round pick for Williams.

Dez Bryant- WR, Cowboys

Weehee.  Hop on the Dez Bryant roller coaster.  More ups and downs than a bi-polar cheerleader.  One week after hauling in 13 catches and two touchdowns, Bryant posted one catch for 14 yards against a terrible Panthers defense.  The faint of heart or those with weak stomachs need to exit the ride now.

October 23, 2012

Adrian Peterson- RB, Vikings

Peterson continues to reward owners who rolled the dice on him on draft day.  He torched the Cardinals for 153 yards on 28 carries.  He's currently 5th in fantasy points among running backs.

October 22, 2012

Chris Johnson- RB, Titans

Johnson should play in Phoenix the way he's risen from the ashes the past two weeks.  He loooked like his old self in throttling the Bills for 195 yards and two touchdowns.  If you traded somebody like, say Philip Rivers, for him a few weeks ago you are now in prime position.  He has 6 games left against low end run defenses (Colts x2, Jagsx2, Jets, Packers) and should be in line-ups for most of the remainder of the season.

October 21, 2012

Calvin Johnson- WR, Lions

Lost in the inexplicably bad first five games for Mathew Stafford is the fact  that Calvin Johnson is on pace for the second most single season receiving yards in NFL history.  If he continues on his current pace he would be within 70 yards of Jerry Rice's all-time record.

October 20, 2012

Shonn Greene- RB, Jets

Greene had a career game rushing 32 times for 161 and 3 TDs.  If only every week were the Colts run defense.

October 19, 2012

Aaron Rodgers- QB, Packers

Rodgers posted a silly 338 yard, 6 TD game against a very good Texans defense.  It was vintage Rodgers and it inspired grown men to dance in man caves with loin cloths chanting something about fire and woman and discount doublechecks.

October 18, 2012

Reggie Wayne- WR, Colts

Reggie Wayne has been great so far.  Our Present Value chart says to trade him and the horse he rode in on.

October 17, 2012

Peyton Manning- QB. Broncos

That's our girl.  Peyton had a spectacular performance in the improbable Monday night comeback against the Chargers.  She was extremely accurate and continued to build her resume as the greatest regular season tosser of all time.  They say history repeats itself and we think it will once again for Peyton.  She will win another division title and then look mediocre in the playoffs.

October 16, 2012

Russell Wilson- QB, Seahawks


The world has awaited this post with baited breath.  Yes, we were the only scout in the country that had Wilson as a top 20 overall pick, and yes we were right as usual and yes our scouting record is so ridiculously superior to any scout in the world that if we were in a race we would have lapped the field, and yes....  Okay we will stop now but only because we don't like to gloat.  Wilson (and RG3) are the best rookie tosser prospects we've ever seen.  It is usually years before tossers coming out of college look as calm and in command in the pocket as those two do. We still think Griffin is running far too much, but if they can keep him out of the trainers' room this could be a historic quarterback class.

Antonio Gates- TE, Chargers

Gates was supposedly healthier than he had been in years entering the 2012 season.  He missed week 2 with a rib injury and has looked like he's got no juice left in the tank, but we think this is his week to catch a touchdown.  He's avaraged over 1/2 a touchdown per start and hasn't scored in his 4 starts this year.  He's due so keep him active.  If he bellyflops again you can begin to look elsewhere.

October 15, 2012

Gman:  Who is your pick for the Super Bowl?

The Matriculator Says:  Texans over the Packers

David Wilson- RB, Giants

This week's list of potential pick-ups is long on names but likely short on fantasy production.  Alex Green and James Starks will likely split up the meager carries that fall out of the Packers backfield.  William Powell, Larod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith will probably take turns losing yards behind the Cardinals' turnstiles.  It's possible that the best bet for production in the near future is David Wilson who was dropped in a number of leagues last week.  The Andre Brown train is off the tracks as he has a concussion and we don't think they want to keep Bradshaw on a 30 carry workload.  If Wilson can prove he won't fumble we expect him to take on an increased portion of the Giants' touches.

October 14, 2012

Randall Cobb- WR, Packers

Cobb may be the most underutilized player in the NFL.  The Packers have targeted him 25 times and he has caught 22 passes.  He leads the NFL (as he did as a rookie) in completions per target.  Greg Jennings should be in and out of the line-up all year making Cobb only a sporadic starter in spite of his considerable talent.

October 13, 2012

Ben Tate- RB, Texans

Has your fantasy team started 5-0?  Do you think you're bonafide?  If you are already looking into the future to check your fantasy playoff match-ups, look no further than Ben Tate.  He's going to miss this week's game and you should be able to pick him up for a starter like Donald Brown or Willis McGahee, and probably get a juicer to boot.  The Texans have one of the easiest schedules we've ever seen and besides games versus the Ravens, Packers and Patriots, they should blast through most of their opponents.  We wouldn't be surprised to see Tate as one of the top rushers starting around week 12 when the Texans are trying to keep Arian Foster fresh for their playoff run.

October 12, 2012

J.J. Watt- DE, Texans

Do you see the post below about Geno Atkins?  Perhaps we were a bit premature.  Since last post-season Watt has been unstoppable.  It's only been about 8 games, but over that span he has looked as good as any defensive lineman we've seen. Reggie White, who was the best ever, is the only player we can compare him to.  In order to commit to stopping Watt teams have to dedicate three blockers.  Two might not get the job done.

October 11, 2012

Ryan Williams- RB, Cardinals

Ryan Williams is out for the year...again. We aren't excited about anyone running behind the terrible Cardinals' offensive line and while Larod Stephens-Howling is our first choice, Powell is the most intriguing pick-up this week.  Powell is intriguing because we have no idea who he is.  He's off the grid.  When we researched him all we could find was 20 or so carries at Kansas State.  What we know is that in his very limited action in college he averaged 10 yards per carry and this pre-season he averaged 7 yards per carry.  Throw out a line on Powell if you have a spot for an extra back.

October 10, 2012

Toni Sparano- Jets Cheerleader


Who's brilliant idea was it to make the Cheerleader an offensive coordinator?  He's got no business being on an NFL sideline much less coaching an entire unit.  On Monday night he looked like a kid operating a video game.  Antonio Cromartie and Tim Tebow shuffling in and out with Mark Sanchez lining up at receiver.  We heard him on one of the sideline microphones call for "Chinese Fire Drill, on 3", so at least the Jets players were following instructions.  Sparano will be fired along with Rex Ryan in the coming months.

Geno Atkins- DT, Bengals

Never heard of him?  He doesn't get any pub on BSPN so it's not surprising. Well don't admit that you don't know who he is because he's the front runner for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.  In his third year out of Georgia he is on pace to break the all-time defensive tackle sack record of Warren Sapp (16.5).  Atkin's is on pace for 19 sacks and a mind blowing 63 tackles which is 16 more tackles than Sapp's single season high of 47.  If he gets anywhere near those numbers he should be the consensus Defensive Player of the Year.

October 9, 2012

Steven Jackson- RB, Rams


Jackson looked great in his return to full time action, rushing 18 times for 76 yards in the win over the Cardinals.  With Danny Amendola out we expect to see a heavy dose of Jackson for the next month or so.  He's a solid RB2/flex as long as he stays healthy.

Lamar Miller- RB, Dolphins


You won't find Miller on any other reports this week, but with running backs sparse he is worthy of a look. Reggie Bush is still nursing a knee problem and Daniel Thomas may have suffered a second concussion in 4 weeks.  If Thomas has a concussion he could be out for an extended period and Miller could be in line for a starting job in the near future.

Marques Colston- WR, Saints

Colston went Gonzo on the Chargers, hauling in 9 catches for 131 yards and 3 touchdowns.  He's Brees' favorite receiver and should continue to post borderline WR1 numbers, especially if Jimmy Graham is out for any extended period.

October 8, 2012

Dwayne Bowe- WR, Chiefs

Bowe continues to be the NFL's most underrated receiver.  In 4 of his 5 NFL seasons he has played in 16 games and in those seasons he has never been under 995 yards.  His touchdown totals have been low at times (except for his 15 touchdown season in 2010), but he's always been on bad teams.  This season he is quietly on pace for 1,360 yards and 12 touchdowns.

October 7, 2012

Julio Jones- WR, Falcons

JJ has had two great weeks and two terrible weeks.  We have no reason to think he will not rise back into the top ten receivers over the course of the season.  Feel out his owner and see if you can trade a hot receiver for him.  Miles Austin, Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Bowe would all be nice candidates.

October 6, 2012

Andre Roberts- WR, Cardinals

Roberts has been drawing rave reviews from the Cardinals'  coaching staff since the off-season and he has been very good through the first four games averaging over 55 yards per game with 4 TDs.  With Fitz on the other side teams won't be able to double team Roberts so he should continue to produce, though we must admit we are no sold on the idea that Kevin Kolb will continue to be as good as he has been thus far.

October 5, 2012

Greg Jennings- WR, Packers

Jennings is not highly motivated to return from his groin strain.  He will be a free agent at the end of the season and the Packers front office hasn't offered him enough to get him to sign a new contract.  He's 29 and his final big payday awaits in a few months so we don't expect him to risk injury by playing a lot of games this year.  Look for him to be in and out of the line-up until late in the season when he will want to prove he is healthy.  Dump him now if you still can.

October 4, 2012

Joe Flacco- QB, Ravens

There are only a total of 8 tossers in our top two categories, and Flacco may surprise as one of them.  We've started the Very, Very Good category.

October 3, 2012

Mike Vick- QB, Eagles

The Fair to Middlin' tossers have been finalized with the High End Fair to Middlin' quarterbacks now appearing on the Eggidicator.  Mike Vick is in this group and some of the others may surprise you.  There are only 8 tossers left who qualify as either Very, Very Good or Golden Geese.

October 2, 2012

Aaron Rodgers- QB, Packers

Rodgers continues to struggle.  He is 20th in fantasy points after three weeks.  Frankly we are baffled by his struggles as he has all of his receivers from last season and a better running back in Cedric Benson.  If you can get him at a discount trade for him now as we think he's got some monster games in his near future.

October 1, 2012

Daniel Thomas- RB, Dolphins

Thomas ran for 69 yards and a TD in relief of Reggie Bush.  Bush's injury doesn't look serious, but Thomas warrants a pick-up anyway.  The Dolphins have one of the NFL's best offensive lines and the Fins have been able to run effectively in spite of Ryan Tannehill's struggles.  Thomas is worth a roster spot, especially if you have Bush.

September 30, 2012

Dez Bryant- WR, Cowboys


In 35 career games Bryant has only one 100 yard game.  He is maddening because his talent is so obvious.  He's never been able to muster more than a half of great football most weeks, but the odds say he is due for the second 100 yard game of his career tonight against the Bears.  We think he gets it.  P.S. We were right.

Fred Jackson- RB, Bills

Jackson has a made a rapid recovery and he may play in this weekend's tilt against the Patriots.  He's a decent start against an average defense but once C.J. Spiller returns this will be a backfield goulash and nobody will know the ingredients until after the game starts.

September 29, 2012

Joe McKnight- CB, Jets

The Jets have indicated that McKnight will be switching positions from running back to cornerback.  They obviously think this is high school football where the starters can play any position. McKnight, a fourth round pick in 2010, continues the great USC tradition of immature, lazy and generally overrated players.  The Jets will probably miss the playoffs again, fire Rex Ryan and begin searching for a real tosser in the next few months.

September 28, 2012

Keleche Osemele- T, Ravens


Remember in The Blind Side when Michael Oher was throwing that 190 pound defensive end around?  That's what Osemele looks like...in the NFL.  He absolutely stoned every rusher the Patriots threw at him with more pancakes than I have ever seen in a NFL game.  When he locked onto the jersey of a defensive end they didn't move. The Ravens are second in the league in scoring and first in yards per play due in part to the emergence of Osemele. Tonight Osemele will be matched against one of the NFL's rising stars in Jabaal Sheard and we will be watching closely.

The Golden Tate Bridge

The striking refs are walking across the Golden Tate Bridge today. The owners have apparently caved in to public pressure and reached an agreement with the regular refs, who people seem to forget were the same guys they complained about for 20 Sundays a year for the last few decades.  Football with the replacement refs was live cabaret.  It was reality TV at its all time high.  The days of Belichick chasing refs and coaches walking on the field during the middle of a game are gone forever.  Tate's catch will become part of NFL lore along with the Immaculate Reception and the Heidi Game.  The beauty of the whole affair is that the refs made the correct call.  Two players had two hands on the ball in the air and on the ground.  It was a Seattle touchdown and every pundit and fan is complaining that the refs made the wrong call.

September 27, 2012

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts

"You so crazy man", is what we heard when we rated Hilton above every other NFL receiver and had him as a top 10 player in the draft.  We were the only site in America and no NFL team had him rated highly either as he didn't get drafted until the 3rd round by the Colts.  We called the Hilton pick and the pick of Russell Wilson the two best picks in the 2012 draft.  And we were right.  Hilton missed the first game with an injury but already has more receiving yards than every wide receiver drafted ahead of him (except Alshon Jeffery who has 4 more yards) and has posted the only 100 yard game for a rookie wide receiver.  We still aren't sure he will have significant touches but he is worth a stash for the next few weeks.

September 26, 2012

Philip Rivers- QB, Chargers

Rivers has 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions after games against three traditionally mediocre to low end passing defenses.  It's time to sound the alarm.  If someone in your league needs a tosser and still remembers the Rivers from a few years back, trade him.  We think he will get better, but he doesn't look like he will approach elite status again.

September 25, 2012

Jamaal Charles- RB, Chiefs

Charles torched the hapless Saints for 288 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.  Those who traded him after a few pedestrian games will be quite unhappy.

September 24, 2012

Robert Griffin, III- QB, Redskins

The perfect storm is forming outside of Washington.  The Redskins have a decent running game and a terrible defense which should add up to continuing high end fantasy production for RG3.  We expect that chasing large deficits will eventually wear him down as it did Cam Newton last year, but by the time that happens he will have solidified his place as one of the top fantasy scorers and the best draft pick, fantasy or otherwise, of the 2012 season.

September 23, 2012

Christian Ponder- QB, Vikings


After two weeks Ponder is leading the NFL in completion percentage and hasn't thrown an interception, though his stats are undoubtedly inflated by the fact that he has played against the Jaguars and Colts.  This week he gets the 49ers and we expect a correction to occur but it's worth noting that Ponder may ultimately earn a Fair to Middlin' grade on the Matriculator Eggdicator. 

Mark Sanchez- QB, Jets

Nobody knows what will happen when the Jets travel to Miami this weekend.  Both teams have had one great game and one terrible game, but if the Jets lose to a rookie quarterback and fall to 1-2, the oxygen masks will deploy.  Sanchez's completion percentage is second to last in the league, ahead of only Blaine Gabbert.

September 22, 2012

Eli Manning- QB, Giants

Sometimes it's difficult to separate a quarterback's real value from his fantasy value. It's now official, we have dubbed Eli Manning as the NFL's best real quarterback.  He's still just an average fantasy starter, but with Rodgers faltering last season and Brady, Brees and the other Manning on the down slope, Eli is the guy.  He's the most clutch quarterback in the NFL in spite of the fact that he looks like a 10 year old boy trying to find his next class.

September 21, 2012

Victor Cruz- WR, Giants

Cruz is now the top fantasy wide receiver after a ridiculous 11 catch, 179 yard, touchdown performance in the Giants comeback win against the Buccaneers.  He will likely be passed tonight by Julio Jones. Check out Us and Them and you will see that we had Julio Jones and Victor Cruz more highly rated than the other pundits.

September 20, 2012

Demaryius Thomas- WR, Broncos
Thomas had another great game with 8 catches for 78 yards including a brilliant toe tapping 17 yard touchdown catch.  He's now the top fantasy scoring wide receiver and has been far and away the NFL's best receiver since the middle of last season.  It's a long season, but he has the potential to be the next T.O. without all of the drama.

Brandon Lafell- WR, Panthers

Lafell will be the focus of our attention during tonight's game between the Panthers and Giants.  He progressed nicely in his first two seasons and while we think the third year receiver break-out theory is bunk, Lafell has plenty operating in his favor.  Steve Smith is old and ready to become a very good complementary receiver.  CamWow! is in his second year after posting over 4,000 yards passing as a rookie.  Lafell was drawing rave reviews in camp and has been very good in the first two games of the year.  The arrow is pointing up.

September 19, 2012

Mikel Leshoure- RB, Lions

The Lions don't seem very confident in Kevin Smith as they continue to work out free agent running backs and have indicated that they will give Leshoure as many carries as he can handle when he returns this week.  We liked Leshoure coming out of college but he is returning from an achilles injury and hasn't played in over a year.  If he gets fit it appears that the Lions prefer him over Smith, but this is very much a wait and see situation.

September 18, 2012

C.J. Spiller- RB, Bills


Spiller posted a 15 carry, 123 yard, 2 touchdown gem against the Chiefs and is now the NFL's leading rusher.  A few more good starts and Fred Jackson will be the back-up when he returns in a few weeks.

Drew Brees- QB, Saints


Brees has been one of the NFL's worst tossers through 2 weeks, though he is still posting good fantasy numbers.  The team looks disorganized as we expected, but Brees should still post respectable fantasy numbers as the Saints defense is terrible and he is the king of the garbage time touchdown.

Darren McFadden- RB, Raiders


 McFadden and the Raiders laid an egg against the Dolphins and Mcfadden's 2.1 YPC after two games is ugly.  We wouldn't bail on him as he is still a 50 yard touchdown waiting to happen and we expect the Raiders to get better as soon as their receivers get healthy.

Reggie Bush- RB, Dolphins

Bush is approaching elite status after torching the Raiders for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He has quietly been one of the NFL's top 5 backs since joining the Dolphins in 2011.  Last season he rushed for a career high 1,086 yards and averaged a massive 5.0 yards per carry.  He's second in the NFL in rushing, is in the final year of his contract and runs behind one of the NFL's best offensive lines.  If Ryan Tannehill can be even mediocre, we expect Bush to continue as a RB1.  If Tannehill falters, teams will stack the box on Bush.

September 17, 2012

Aaron Rodgers- QB, Packers

Rodgers had another poor performance mustering only 219 yards with a touchdown and interception and there is now cause for concern.  His fantasy production cooled towards the end of last season, right about the time he started doing those cheesy discount double check commercials.  He is 10th in fantasy scoring (about to be 12th after the Monday night game) and has fewer points than the likes of Alex Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Sam Bradford.  He will still have some monster games, but this is why you don't draft tossers in the first round.

September 16, 2012

Stephen Hill- WR, Jets
Hill, the guy who supposedly couldn't run routes and was too raw, caught 5 of 6 targets for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns.  It's one of the top first game rookie receiver performances in NFL history.

Cedric Benson- RB, Packers
Benson actually made an appearance in the passing game versus the Bears.  He had 4 catches for 35 yards while throughout his career he has averaged about 1.5 catches and 10 yards.  Whether this game was an anomoly or the Packers will commit to getting him the ball in space only time will tell, but it's a positive sign for Benson owners.

Brandon Marshall- WR, Bears
Bears fans, who were giddy about robbing the Dolphins by getting a number one receiver for two third round picks, now realize what the Dolphins knew all along.  Marshall is not a number one receiver.  He dropped an easy 40 yard touchdown versus the Packers that would have been a game changer. He's the NFL's worst red zone receiver and has been his whole career.  He has 5 straight seasons of 80-plus catches (with three of those 100-plus) and in 4 of those seasons his TD totals are 7,6,3,6.

Terry Bradshaw- Steroid User
The week before the 2011 NFL season started, Bradshaw, who was a very good NFL quarterback, uttered the famous line that Blane Gabbert, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder were "far ahead of Newton as far as being an NFL quarterback..."  A few months later, after Newton obliterated not only Gabbert, Locker and Ponder but every other rookie quarterback in NFL history, we thought Bradshaw might have learned his lesson.  Apparently he didn't.  Bradshaw did his rookie QB rating for week one and had Robert Griffin, III as the third best rookie tosser.  Griffin was the NFC Player of the Week besting every rookie and the likes of Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan.  A re-post of Et tu, Bradshaw? is warranted.

Wes Welker- WR, Patriots

Unload Welker while you still can.  He's old and the Patriots have an extensive history of burying players who hold out or express displeasure with their contracts.  Julian Edelman is the next Welker and he should see increased production and with a legitimate outside prescence in Brandon Lloyd and the tight ends hogging most of the touchdowns, the writing is on the wall.  Welker will still have a few big games, but we see frequent 5 catch, 45 yard performances in his future.

September 15, 2012

Jay Cutler- QB, Bears

Cutler looked great in week one and with Brandon Marshall and an emerging Alshon Jeffery things were looking up in Chi-Town.  And then Mr. Hyde made an appearance in Green Bay last night.  Cutler had the worst performance of his career throwing 4 interceptions and yelling at his lineman and coaches.  He also reportedly said to one of the Gatorade guys, "Hey moron!  L-L-ook at me.  I'm th-the waterboy."

September 14, 2012

Alfred Morris- RB, Redskins

Morris owners get ready to pull your hair out.  Shanrat is about to drive you batty.  Morris was undoubtedly on most people's bench this week for what will probably be his best fantasy peformance of the season.  As soon as you start to playing him Shanarat will give Evan Royster or Roy Helu the rock.  Morris is the most physical of the runners and we expect him to have other productive games this year but predicting that on a weekly basis may prove to be trying.

September 13, 2012

Randall Cobb- WR, Packers


The arrow is pointing up on Cobb with Greg Jennings likely out for tonight's game.  We were the only site that had Cobb as one of the top 15 players in the 2011 draft, and you are about to find out why.  He's a match up nightmare for defenses and already has three return touchdowns in his first 17 regular season games.  He may wind up as one of this year's late round steals.

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Let's draft a quarterback with 19 college starts, give him the NFL's worst receiving corps and start him week one!  The Dolphins are lost at Sea World.  Tannehill flopped like Orca, throwing 3 interceptions and the Dolphins may be drafting Matt Barkley in 6 months.  We watched all of Hard Knocks and consistently got the Ryan Leaf vibe from Tannehill who not only didn't know the NFL divisions, he didn't even know which conferences teams were in.  Some people say that's not important, but it's tantamount to Sarah Palin claiming foreign policy experience because Russia is close to Alaska.  It is a big deal.

September 12, 2012

Robert Griffin- QB, Redskins

The man we dubbed the second greatest prospect of all-time, trumped Cam Newton's record setting first game as he led the Redskins to an easy victory in the NFL's toughest venue.  Yes, it was the greatest performance by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.  RG3 went for 320 yards with 2 touchdowns and was on cruise control most of the second half.  He looked like he was playing toss with the neighbors in the back yard. We were the only site in America that had him rated more highly than Andrew Luck.  There's still a lot of football to play, but it was a maestro performance.

September 11, 2012

Stevan Ridley- RB, Patriots

Ridley had a nice opening game, going 21-125 with a touchdown.  We expect to see consistent solid performances from him, much like Ben Green-Ellis in the past few years.  He's not a special runner, but he's in an ideal situation with a feared passing game that should generate consistent scoring opportunities.

September 10, 2012

DJ Williams- TE, Packers

Williams is on the Matriculator Watch List.  We wouldn't draft him, but we will keep a close eye on him as Jermichael Finley continues to raise concerns about his motivation and ability to stay healthy.  We wouldn't be surprised if Williams ends up with the job at some point and he is a top 10 tight end if he does.

Julio Jones- WR, Falcons

JJ is ranked 33rd in BSPN's final ranking.  We have him 9th in ours.  He's the Falcon's number one option, has a good receiver across from him and is on a team commited to high volume passing.  The only reciever we think is a better fantasy option is Megatron.

September 9, 2012

Mike Wallace- WR, Steelers

Wallace returned and signed his tender and was all smiles at the Steelers facility.  He's reportedly in great shape so we don't anticipate an issue with fitness, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Desean Jackson-like business decisions on some plays.  In spite of that, he is holding firm as a late third rounder on our board.

September 8, 2012

Jason Pierre-Paul- DE, Giants

Pierre-Paul is our pick for defensive player of the year and he opens his account tonight against Dallas.  We think 20 sacks is a real possibility, especially if the Giants front four stays healthy.

Kevin Ogletree- WR, Cowboys

Normally we wouldn't be very high on a guy who has had a few non-descript years in the NFL and has a monster game week one, but we think Ogletree is worth a look.  Last year Laurent Robinson, another veteran with an uninspiring past, had a great year as the Cowboys third receiver.  Miles Austin and Dez Bryant have both proven to be unreliable at times and Ogletree should see consistent looks throughout the season.

September 7, 2012

Giants Defense

The Giants defense generated a significant pass rush on nearly every pass, but the back end of the defense is beset by injuries and Tony Romo shredded them for 3 touchdowns.  They may look to add another corner, possibly via trade.

September 6, 2012

Darren McFadden- RB, Raiders

Mcfadden is ranked 28th overall in BSPN's final ranking. He's 5th in ours. He is one of only 6 players who will vie for the title as fantasy football's top player.  He's an injury risk, but if he's around after the top 5 picks you should take him.

September 5, 2012

Dez Bryant- WR, Cowboys

Dez leads the line of three players in tonight's game who we have more highly rated than their ADP.  Bryant's ADP is 43 (he's our 20th ranked player), Demarco Murray's ADP is 19 (7th in ours) and Victor Cruz is 29th (13th in ours).  Let the fireworks begin!

September 4, 2012

Keleche Osemele- T, Ravens

According to the Baltimore Sun, late 2nd round rookie Keleche Osemele is already in the running for the Ravens best offensive lineman.  Every NFL scout will be surprised, but not us.  We were the only scout that had him ranked as  a first round pick.  (Check our top 32 players).  A re-post of our prophetic January 27 matriculation is in order.  It would be funny if the Dolphins hadn't drafted Jonathan Martin ahead of him.

"Another player we were interested in watching in the Senior Bowl, Osemele did not disappoint.  He was beaten once by Quinton Coples, but otherwise physically dominated Coples, Melvin Ingram and everyone else that came his way. His blocks weren't so much pancakes as they were potato mashers. There are some questions about his work ethic, but from a talent standpoint there is no better offensive lineman in this draft.  He's a first round talent though nobody else has him in the first round...yet."

 

September 3, 2012

Beanie Wells- RB, Cardinals

We have cooled considerably on Wells in the last few weeks.  Left tackle Levi Brown is out for the year and it appears John Skelton will be the starting tosser.  Back-up Ryan Williams looks to be healthy and Beanie has been slow to come back from his knee injury.  We have dropped him from the 4th to the 6th round on our list of the top 144 players.

September 2, 2012

Trent Richardson- RB, Browns

Richardson and his balky knees have officially become a concern.  There is no guarantee that he will play in week one.  It's possible that the Browns are simply resting him in preparation for a heavy workload. We thought the same thing last year about Mark Ingram and we were wrong.  We are dropping Richardson to the 3rd round.  If he busts his rookie year like the last three Heisman running backs have done (Bush, Dayne, Ingram) then we'd feel better about wasting a 3rd round pick.  But not much.

September 1, 2012

Matt Hubbard- P, Georgia State

We, here at Matriculator Headquarters, always go the extra mile.  Last night we flew across country to scout the Georgia State versus South Carolina State game at the Georgia Dome.  We didn't see anyone from Fox's or BSPN's scouting department.  Georgia State was trounced at home, but it was a record setting game nonetheless.  Sophomore punter Matt Hubbard had the greatest single punting game in the history of football.  Not college or pee-wee or NFL. An all-time record. 100 million games. Like since 1869 when New Jersey and Rutgers played the first football game. Nobody in NFL history has averaged over 62 yards per punt on more than 3 punts in a game.  Hubbard averaged 62.2 on 5 punts.

August 30, 2012

Deangelo Williams-RB, Panthers

The Panthers backfield is a fantasy mess right now, with three backs who can carry the load and a quarterback who's probably the best running back of the bunch.  Don't overdraft any of the them, but if you can get Deangelo in the 9th or 10th he would be a good value pick and we have a sneaky suspicion he may be traded before the trade deadline.  If Jonathan Stewart is injured or Williams gets shipped to a contender like the Patriots, he instantly becomes an RB1.

August 29, 2012

Sidney Rice- WR, Seahawks

Rice's average draft position is hovering around 140, which puts him in the 12th round.  He is slated to start opening day and if he stays healthy he is a borderline WR1 talent.  We have him rated as a late 7th rounder and think he's a great chance to take in the 7th or 8th round as a third wide receiver who could develop into a high end starter.

Maurice Jones-Drew- RB, Jaguars

MJD is still holding out and while we expect him to return before week one, he's a good bet to get back-up carries for a game or two.  That, combined with his age and a terrible offense have conspired to cause us to drop him today in our rankings.  See how far.

August 28, 2012

Anthony Dixon- RB, 49ers

Dixon has looked great this pre-season and the Niners now have 5 viable running backs. We think one of them will be traded and we wouldn't be surprised if one of the veterans (Frank Gore or Brandon Jacobs) are moved to a running back needy team like the Lions, Jets, Chargers or even Titans.

Marshawn Lynch- RB, Seahawks

Lynch has been moving steadily up our draft board and it isn't because of anything he has done.  It appears he may escape suspension for his DUI, but  the real reason we have pushed him up considerably has to do with his back-up, Robert Turbin.  What, you may ask, are you talking about?  Our concern with Lynch has never been his ability, but whether he would be suspended or go AWOL in the middle of the season.  We have confidence that Turbin would be productive if Lynch were lost and you can get Turbin late (say the 9th round) to handcuff Lynch.  Lynch is very comfortable being handcuffed.

Magic Gronk- TE, Patriots

Magic Gronk in the 1st or 2nd or Hernandez in the 4th or 5th?  That has been the question this pre-season and we come down on the side of Hernandez.  We still think he is the more dangerous receiver and we expect their numbers to be nearly equal in 2012.

August 27, 2012

David Wilson- RB, Giants

Wilson looked very good against the Bears defense in week 3.  He is an Ahmad Bradshaw injury away from being, at a minimum, a solid RB2.  Bradshaw has a history of minor injuries that usually cost him games during the season and  Wilson is a nice pick in the middle rounds as someone who should have a few productive starts at some point during the year.

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts

The Matriculator's number one rated receiver in the 2012 draft had another nice game with 4 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown in one half of play.  Not surprisingly to us, the 3rd round pick already looks like the Colts best receiver.  We expect him to catch 5-6 touchdowns and score another 1-2 on special teams.  Don't expect a lot of yardage, but he is in consideration as a late round pick.

August 26, 2012

Cedric Benson- RB, Packers

The arrow is pointing way up for Benson.  He is appearently in great shape and has no competiton for backfield carries.  Benson has three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and has joined the NFL's best offense.  We have moved him to the end of the 3rd round (36) on our big board.  He is currently being drafted in the 80 range and the three CBS experts have him ranked 90, 112, and 125 as of 8/23.  Don't make that mistake.

August 25, 2012

Us and Them

We have some very different rankings from the masses.  Where do the differences lie and who will be correct?  Check it out in Us and Them.

Larry Fitzgerald- WR, Cardinals

The Cardinals terrible offensive line got worse over the weekend with the loss of left tackle Levi Brown.  The Cardinals appear to be on the brink of naming John Skelton as their starting tosser and they should be in the running for the NFL's worst team.  Fitzgerald is one the NFL's most talented receivers but we don't know how productive he will be on a team that only wins a few games.  We're dropping him a few spots in our rankings.

Seattle Seahawks

The over/under on Seahawks wins is 7.  We like the over.  If the Russell Wilson experiment goes as planned tonight and he wins the starting job, they will have high level players at virtually every position, though they aren't very deep so injuries will play a key factor.  They have a bellcow running back in Marshawn Lynch along with a high end left tackle in Russell Okung if he can stay healthy.  They have two good receivers in Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin and a great third down back/returner in Leon Washington.  The defense has some high end young talent with Jason Jones, K.J Wright and Bobby Wagner and pass rushing threats in Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin.  Their schedule is brutal with out of division games against the Patriots, Packers and Lions, but we still think they are at least a .500 team.

August 24, 2012

Ike Redman- RB, Steelers

It is being reported that a hip problem led to Redman's goin injury.  The surprise activation of Rashard Mendenhall and continued emergence of Jonathan Dwyer has significantly lowered our expectations for Redman.  We are dropping him in our rankings while continuing to move Dwyer up.

August 23, 2012

Miles Austin- WR, Cowboys

Austin has a nagging injury yet again, and won't likely play again until the season opener.  He seems to have been beset by various hangnails and tweaked body parts ever since he signed his big money deal.  Dez Bryant is out too, but he will be motivated by what is his make-or-break season in Dallas.  We still like Dez better as a fantasy option.

August 22, 2012

Robert Turbin- RB, Seahawks

We watched Turbin in his second pre-season game, and he has that je ne sais qua.  The translation is "I don't know what."  It's not something that be described, but he looks very comfortable, like he belongs in an NFL backfield.  He's big and fast with decent hands and he's a great handcuff for Marshawn Lynch.  If Lynch gets hurt or suspended, we think this guy will be a good player.

Stephen Hill- WR, Jets

Lost in the circus of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow was the fact that Hill looked comfortable on the outside against the Giants.  He caught 2 of his 3 targets and just missed a touchdown, diving for an underthrown Holy Hand Grenade.  Santonio Holmes is injured and overrated and Hill's progress bears watching.

Joke Lacker- QB, Titans

The headline "Locker Wins Starting Job" has been appearing in newspapers across the nation.  Make no mistake about it, Locker didn't "win" anything.  Matt Hasselbeck was so bad this pre-season that they have decided to go with Lacker, whom they probably wanted to start all along anyway.  Locker has been a pitiful 11-24 with no touchdowns and an interception.  He's basically Tim Tebow, though he is a slightly better passer and not quite as effective as a runner.  Like Tebow, he will win some games and at times have horrendous passing stats.

August 21, 2012

Evan Rodriguez- TE, Bears

Rodriguez caught all three of his targets versus the Redskins for 49 yards.  He's a great athlete and we think Cutler might use him on a regualr basis.  He's in consideration as a late round boom or bust pick if you have a solid TE1.

August 20, 2012

Rashard Mendenhall- RB, Steelers

Surprisingly, Mendenhall was activated form the PUP list making him eligible to play immediately.  He probably won't be ready to play the first few games of the regular season but if Ike Redman's groin continues to be a problem and Jonathan Dwyer can't carry the load, the Steelers may have to rush Mendenhall back.  He's worthy of a mid/late round pick on the hope that he returns to his pre-injury form for the second half of the season.

August 19, 2012

Brian Leonard- RB, Bengals

Leonard is not even on our deep sleeper list yet, but he's on the radar.  He was highly thought of coming out of Rutgers many moons ago but injuries have derailed him in the past.  He looked fast in the Bengals second pre-season game, though he fumbled after a nice run.  If Bernard Scott doesn't impress he might be a last round handcuff for Ben Green-Ellis.

Joe Flacco- QB, Ravens

We think Flacco will improve on last season's numbers.  Torrey Smith has a year under his belt and the Ravens may need to throw more this season with the defense losing key players.  He's still only a fantasy back-up, but he has some up side.

Drew Brees- QB, Saints

We have been catching flak about Brees being our 5th ranked quarterback. We have to admit we're playing this on a bit of a hunch, but it's an educated hunch.  Brees and the Saints had a tumultuous off-season and they don't have the brains behind their offense with Sean Payton suspended.  They are a Marques Colston injury away from having Lance Moore as their top wide receiver.  They lost the NFL's best guard in Carl Nicks and Brees is 33 years old and still very small with a history of a torn rotator cuff.  We just think you're better off letting someone else take him early in the draft.

Anthony Davis- RB, 49ers

Is he still playing, you might ask. Yes, he's lost in the crowded backfield in San Fran.  We suspect he will be traded somewhere if nobody gets hurt in the Niners backfield in the next few weeks.  The Steelers and Lions are possibilities.

August 18, 2012

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Tannehill will get the start in week 2 after an impressive week 1 performance.  We think the Dolphins want him to start opening day and if he has a decent game against the Panthers starting defense he will probably have the inside track.  From a fantasy standpoint, he's not more than a late round back-up tosser if he wins the job.

August 17, 2012

Dez Bryant- WR, Cowboys

Bryant's average draft position is hovering around WR16.  We have him rated at WR9.  He is reportedly in better shape than last season and he should be motivated by all of the "last chance" talk from Jerry Jones.   He is always a risk of going AWOL, but 1,200 yards and 8-9 touchdowns is a reasonable expectation. We would wait until the late 3rd round to consider him and take a long look in the 4th round.

Vontaze Burfict- LB, Bengals

Burfict is doing his best Frankenstein monster routine after posting five tackles and a great interception of the Holy Hand Grenade. We thought he would be a long shot to make the Bengals but he certainly looked fast and fit in his first exhibition game.  It's too early to tell, but he may have finally gotten the message.

Alshon Jeffery- WR, Bears

Jeffery had a nice first game, leading the Bears with 4 catches for 35 yards.  He is worth watching the next few weeks.  He would have been a top ten pick but for his 2011 weight gain and sub-par performance.  He's lost the weight and could develop into the team's best red zone option. He's moving towards becoming a nice late round WR5 with serious upside.

August 16, 2012

Jonathan Stewart- RB, Panthers

The Panthers must have a plan that they haven't let go public.  They gave Deangelo Williams a big deal two years ago, they signed Mike Tolbert, a starting caliber runner this off-season and this week they extended Stewart, guaranteeing him $21 million. They now have three starting quality, highly paid backs and with a quarteback who scored 14 rushing touchdowns they won't be able to get their money's worth.  We look for Williams to be on the trade block.

August 15, 2012

Mark Ingram- RB, Saints

Ingram has been rated by most pundits as a 5th-6th round pick.  We like him better than that.  He appears to be healthier and should be the workhorse for a high powered offense.  While Darren Sproles will steal some of his yardage, we expect the Saints to be inside of the 10 yard line an awful lot.

August 14, 2012

Chad Johnson- WR, Dolphins

Johnson's short tenure in Miami has come to an ignominious end.  He was cut yesterday, a few days after being arrested for domestic battery against his new wife. He had been playing well in camp and he may get another shot at latching on with someone, but it may not be until 2013.

August 13, 2012

Andrew Luck- QB, Colts

Luck was phenomenal against the Rams in his pre-season debut, throwing 3 touchdowns.  He showed complete command of the offense and spread the ball around to a number of different receivers. Luck, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin and Ryan Tannehill have all started about as well as their teams could have hoped.

Cedric Benson- RB, Packers

Benson's signing with the Packers is imminent and he becomes a very viable RB3.  James Starks performance this off-season has been so bad that he won't likely get another chance to start unless it is due to an injury.  Benson is a great fit on o the frozen tundra as he's more of a grinder the older he gets.  In the Packers high powered offense we wouldn't be at all surprised to see him go over 1,000 yards with 7+ touchdowns.

August 12, 2012

Brandon Weeden- QB, Browns

Weeden was terrible in his first start, going 3-9 for 62 yards and an interception.  While we don't place too much stock in early pre-season games, this isn't good for a guy who was supposed to be NFL ready.  With Trent Richardson dealing with knee issues, the Browns could become a fantasy wasteland.

August 11, 2012

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

Tannehill had a very good debut against the Bucs second and third team defense, going 14-21 for 167 yards and a TD.  It was a positive start for him and with David Garrard injured and Matt Moore struggling in the game, Tannehill has a real shot at starting opening day.

Robert Griffin, III- QB, Redskins

Griffin was extremely impressive in his first appearance as a Redskin going 4-6 for 70 yards and a touchdown.  His prescence and calmness in the post-game interview might have been more impressive.  Whatever it is, he has it.  We don't like his team any better (they scored exactly 0 points after he left the game in the first half) but this performance solidified his spot as a top 12 quarterback in our rankings.

August 10, 2012

Denarius Moore- WR, Raiders

The Raiders have an uncanny history of talented wide receivers who never realize their potential due to injury.  Jerry Porter, Chaz Schilens, Ronald Curry, Javon Walker and more recently Jacoby Ford who missed most of last season.  Moore missed parts of 6 games last year due to injury and he has already had some issues this pre-season.  In the 10 full games he played he had 4 games of over 90 yards and scored 5 touchdowns.  He has the potential to be a WR1 if he stays healthy, which is a big if.  We don't recommend many receivers in the middle rounds but if you can snag him around the 8th or 9th you might strike gold.

Ryan Mathews- RB, Chargers

One carry.  That's what it took for Ryan Mathews to answer our question about whether he's ready to carry the load in 2012.  We had him as a top 10 running back with durability being his only concern, but he broke his clavicle on his first run in the pre-season.  He's out 4-6 weeks and it looks like Ronnie Brown will be the opening day starter.  Like Trent Richardson, we are dropping Mathews into the second round as the tier of first round running backs dwindles.

Evan Royster- RB, Redskins

We didn't like Royster much coming out last year because he ran a catastrophically slow 4.65 forty at the Combine.  However, the Redskins coaching staff can't stop talking about him and it looks like he, and not Roy Helu, will be starting week one.  We noticed that he did run a respectable 4.53 at his pro day and his production in college (he's Penn State's all time leading rusher) and at the tail end of last season (back to back 100 yard games) have moved him up our board into the top 30 running backs.

Trent Richardson- RB, Browns

Richardson is going to have another knee scope and his status to start the season is in doubt.  Like his Bama teammate last year, it appears that Richardson's production as a rookie might be sporadic at best.  He's definitely out of our first round unless he plays in the final pre-season game.

August 9, 2012

Robert Meacham- WR, Saints

Meacham is listed by the three CBS amigos as a top 30 wide receiver.  Umm, no.  He is listed just a few spots below Eric Decker, Desean Jackson, Antonio Brown and Brandon Lloyd on their boards.  Meacham has been in the NFL's premier passing offense for the past 4 years and the most he's mustered has been 722 yards.  All of the CBS experts have him rated ahead of Denarius Moore.  Don't make that mistake.

Greg Childs- WR, Vikings

This off-season Childs looked to be returning to the form that made him one of the SEC's best in 2010.  The Vikings drafted him in the 4th round.  He blew out his knee this week and the Vikings released him.  We were high on him if he stayed healthy but this injury may be career threatening.

August 8, 2012

Leonard Hankerson- WR, Redskins

Hankerson is gaining steam this pre-season.  He had a 100 yard game in his second career start last year before getting injured.  With Robert Griffin expected to be a significant upgrade at tosser and Pierre Garcon inconsistent at the other reciever spot, Hankerson could be a viable starter and warrants a late round pick as a WR5 with upside.

Santonio Holmes- WR, Jets

For all of the press this guy gets, you'd think he was actually good.  His brilliant catch in the Superbowl notwithstanding, he is an ordinary 2nd receiver.  In 6 years he's only been over 1,000 yards once and he's never had more than 8 touchdowns.  His best fantasy season was 942 yards and 8 TDs.  This season he has finally dropped to his rightful place, a WR3/WR4, in most of the rankings.

August 7, 2012

Fred Davis- TE, Redskins

Davis is as talented as any of the second tier tight ends and if he can eliminate his off field problems he's a nice TE1.  The impressive second tier of tight ends includes Aaron Hernandez, Antonio Gates and Jermichael Finley.  If you don't get Gronk or Jimmy Graham early, be patient and snare one of the second group in the 5th-6th round.

Terrell Owens- WR, Seahawks

Owens has finally made his return to the NFL, signing a one year deal with the Seahawks.  He reportedly ran in the 4.4s in his forty and that undoubtedly prompted the signing.  With promising youngster Doug Baldwin and high priced veteran Sidney Rice he will probably be the #3 option but if he makes the team he's definitely draftable, even at age 39.

Julio Jones- WR, Falcons

JJ says he played last season at around a 6 in terms of his health, but this season he feels like a 10.  We have him ranked higher than any other pundicator as the Falcons are looking to be a pass happy offense. Jones has more monster potential than Roddy White, though White will help to keep defenses from double teaming JJ as much.  His average draft position is late 3rd round (35) but we recommend him beginning in the middle of the 2nd.

August 6, 2012

Josh Gordon- WR, Browns

We must now admit that we will be watching Cleveland Browns pre-season games.  In addition to taking a gander at Trent Richardson, we will be keeping an eye on Flash Gordon who continues to draw praise.  Even if he turns out to be the best reciever on the team we don't expect much out of a Browns offense led by ancient rookie Brandon Weeden.

Kyle Rudolph- TE, Vikings

Rudolph has been called the team's MVP of the early pre-season.  Don't get too worked up, but he may be the second best receiver on the team and with Percy Harvin on permanent injury watch he warrants a late TE1 grade as a guy who might nick 7-8 touchdowns.

August 5, 2012

Eric Decker- WR, Broncos

Not surprisingly Peyton has developed a strong rapport with Decker whose big body and disciplined route running are a nice match.  If Manning stays healthy and throws 30 touchdowns Decker and Demaryius Thomas should both be borderline WR1 candidates, but we don't have much confidence that Peyton will produce those numbers so we will keep the Broncos wideouts rated as WR2 candidates with a 3-4 round grade.

August 4, 2012

Hall of Fame Snubs it Again

We will post this article every year during Hall of Fame Week until this guy gets in.  He's one of the NFL's all-time greats and significantly more credentialed than most of the players entering this, or any other year. Check out Tommy.

August 3, 2012

Kendall Wright- WR, Titans

We were the only site that had Wright rated ahead of Justin Blackmon and had him as a top 12 player. Titans OC Chris Palmer is already comparing him to former pupils Andre Johnson and Terry Glenn.  With Nate Washington and screwball Kenny Britt considered the Titans best receivers, it's possible that Wright could make a fantasy impact in 2012. For all of Joke Lacker's limitations, he does have a strong enough arm to get the ball downfield and take advantage of Wright's playmaking ability.

Ben Roethlisberger- QB, Steelers

Big Ben has a "minor" tear of his rotator cuff.  That's never something you want to hear, but he apparently played with it last year and he is as tough as they get.  With an uncertain running game it's possible that the Steelers could be near the top of the NFL in passing attempts and Roethlisberger remains a viable QB1 candidate.

August 2, 2012

Matt Cassel- QB, Chiefs

For some reason, they hate Cassel in KC and have been looking to replace him ever since his poor showing when he arrived in 2009.  In 2010 he was great, posting 27 touchdowns with only 7 interceptions.  Last year he was hurt and only average when he played.  The loss of Jamaal Charles didn't help.  The Chiefs are a completely different team if Charles stays healthy and they have added one of the NFL's best right tackles in Eric Winston and replaced the ancient Casey Wiegmann with a future star in center Rodney Hudson.  Keep an eye on Cassel as a QB2.

August 1, 2012

Vick Ballard- RB, Colts

Every time we watched Ballard play at Mississippi State we were impressed.  He is our ideal size at 5'10", 220, he has adequate speed (around 4.55) and he can grind it out when necessary. He does everything well, though he isn't a standout anywhere. He averaged an impressive 6.2 YPC his senior year and set the school's touchdown record (19) as a junior. We're still not sold on Donald Brown and think the Colts are preparing to change from their glamorous Diva offense to an old school, grind it out philosophy which suits Ballard or Delone Carter more than Brown.  With Carter's fumbilitis, it's a real possibility that Ballard will have games with 20 or more touches.  He warrants a selection in the later rounds if he has a strong pre-season.

A.J. Green- WR, Bengals

Every pundicator but us has Green rated ahead of Julio Jones.  We like Jones better, but it's not because we don't think much of Green.  Green is a tremendous player but the Bengals don't have a running game that will scare anyone and there is no number two receiver either.  We think he will be double teamed nearly every play of every game and Andy Dalton doesn't have the arm to zip balls into tight coverage.  Look for a slight drop in Green's numbers in year two.

Jimmy Graham- TE, Saints

If your league requires a tight end and you're at the back end of the first round, draft Jimmy Graham.  Even if your league doesn't require a tight end you might want to consider him in the first.  He's the best receiver on a pass happy team and he's a great bet to have 1,000 yards and 10 plus touchdowns.

July 31, 2012

Victor Cruz- WR, Giants

Cruz is trending as the most underrated player in the early rounds of fantasy drafts.  Three major pundicators have him at WR10, WR14 and WR14.  We have him at WR2.  He was the second best receiver in the league last year and we are a bit befuddled as to why we keep seeing him called the Giants second best receiver.  The Giants have two number ones, but in the second half of last season defensive coordinators chose to double and at times triple team Cruz.  He's a bigger, faster, stronger version of Wes Welker.

Doug Martin- RB, Buccaneers

The running back competition in Tampa Bay is an important one.  Blount has reportedly looked impressive this off-season but Martin comes in with an NFL ready set of skills. This could be an Ahmad Bradshaw/Brandon Jacobs situation from the past few years where Martin gets the bulk of the yards and Blount gets the majority of the touchdowns but they are both solid RB2/RB3s.

July 30, 2012

Tom Brady- QB, Patriots

This off-season the Patriots have added Visanthe Shiancoe and Brandon Lloyd to team with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.  With Stephen Ridley and Shane Vereen the best the Pats can muster in the backfield, look for the Patriots to throw regularly.  We have Brady as the number one rated quarterback, but we don't see much of a difference between him and Aaron Rodgers.  The only downside we see to either of them is that they may both be resting weeks 16 and/or 17.

July 29, 2012

Chad Johnson- WR, Dolphins

Reports on CJ out of Miami have been cautiously optimistic.  It's quite possible that he could be the number one option for the Dolphins.  He only needs to beat out Brian Hartline.  We don't expect much from the Dolphins' offense, but we will watch him closely and if he looks good in the pre-season he warrants a late round pick.

July 28, 2012

Brandon Marshall- WR, Bears

For the 5th consecutive year, Marshall says he's more focused than ever before. And Clinton did not have sexual relations with that woman either. We've heard it all before and it's never been completely true.  Marshall is a great bet for 1,000 yards and 6-7 touchdowns. As usual he should be better but he probably won't be.  He's as good as any receiver for 10 yard catches between the 20's, but he's one of the NFL's all-time worst red zone receivers.  Don't be fooled into taking him as your number one receiver, but he is a solid WR2.

July 27, 2012

Jamaal Charles- RB, Chiefs

Charles insists he will be healthy when camp opens.  He's a tremendous talent but he is small, coming off of a major knee injury and now has Peyton Hillis to vulture touchdowns.  We still like him, but not in the first round where many people have him rated.

July 26, 2012

Jonathan Dwyer- RB, Steelers

Rashard Mendenhall may miss a significant part of the season while recovering from knee surgery.  We have always been a fan of Ike Redman, but the number three back also intrigues us as whoever wins the battle could be in line for significant carries and some potential early season starts.  Jonathan Dwyer has had weight issues but we will keep a close eye on the talented back this pre-season.  John Clay is a big bruiser in the Steelers mold and he could also emerge as someone who gets significant carries.

July 25, 2012

Beanie Wells- RB, Cardinals

Wells was placed on the PUP list after another off-season of knee surgeries.  After this season (his 4th) he will be looking for a big money deal so he will try to stay on the field.  Wells has been effective when he has played, notching an 800 yard, 7 touchdown season and a 1,000 yard, 10 touchdown season in only three years in the league.  He's a nice RB2 if he returns and gets some pre-season touches.

July 24, 2012

Broncos' Running Backs

While not many running backs have had monster fantasy years with Peyton as the tosser, we expect someone to emerge and provide credible fantasy stats throughout the year.  Willis McGahee is coming off another solid year after being written off for the third time.  We love rookie Ronnie Hillman, but he may start out as more of a third down back.  Knowshow Moreno is in the final year of cashing the money he stole from the Broncos.  We don't have a great feel for who will emerge and our current strategy is to wait until late in the draft and take the last man standing.

Ray Rice- RB, Ravens

Rice signed what is essentially a three year, $24 million deal.  It's a good deal for both sides.  Rice is only 25 and should  be one of the top fantasy backs for the next few years.  We currently have him our #3 rated player.

July 23, 2012

Mark Ingram- RB, Saints

Ingram should be the feature back in a powerful offense in 2012, but his injury history and the Saints unwillingness to use a feature back for an entire season raise questions about his value.  We still see him as s good buy for an RB2 and would seriously consider him towards the end of the 2nd round.

July 22, 2012

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Dolphins

The early reports on Tannehill have been, shall we say, less than complimentary.  It looks like he will opening training camp as number three on the depth chart, though we expect owner Stephen Ross the Dolphins staff to elevate him to #2 at some point during the season.

July 20, 2012

Darren McFadden- RB, Raiders

McFadden is primed for a big money contract push in 2012.  He has looked like the NFL's best back at times, but those times have been too scarce because of constant injuries. In 4 seasons he has only been able to muster 13 starts twice.  He knows that in order to get a long-term deal he will need to show he can stay healthy.  He's primed for a monster year and has lots of incentive to stay on the field.

July 19, 2012

Armon Binns- WR, Bengals

The #2 receiver position in Cincy is open and Binns has a legitimate shot to win it. He's been drawing rave reviews this off-season.  He was undrafted out of Cincinnati after two productive seasons.  He led the Big East in receptions and receiving yards his final season.  He's big (6'3", 209) and has great hands and could earn a late round fantasy flyer if he wins the job.  He reminds us of Mohammed Sanu.

Randy Moss- WR, 49ers

Moss has drawn rave reviews the entire off-season.  While he will likely be limited by Alex Smith's mediocre arm, we like Moss as a late WR2 who can win fantasy games if he gets hot.

Josh Gordon- WR, Browns

Gordon was taken in the second round of the supplemental draft.  He is big and fast and had a solid season in 2010 (42-714-7) before being suspended in 2011 for possession of marijuana.  The Browns don't have much talent at wideout and it's possible, though unlikely, that he could make a fantasy impact in the back half of the season.  We will keep an eye on him in the pre-season.

Matt Forte- RB, Bears

Forte signed what is in essence a 3 year, $18 million contract.  That will take him through age 30 and will be the last big money he will make.  We are always a little hesitant when a guy signs his last big money deal, particularly with the Bears adding Michael Bush in the off-season.  Forte looks like a solid second round pick with the idea that Bush will lighten Forte's goal line workload.

July 18, 2012

Dez Bryant- WR, Cowboys

Bryant was arrested for pushing his momma.  At least he didn't throw her from a train.  That would have certainly ruined his fantasy prospects for 2012.  He was charged with a misdemeanor.  There is no questioning Bryant's potential as a football player and knucklehead.  He could break out in 2012 with 1,300 yards or with his cellmate.

July 17, 2012

Summer Vacation Over

Vacation is over and the wheels are grinding again at Matriculator Headquarters with writers flying in from New York, editors driving down from Chicago and strippers floating over from Havana.  The Pre-Season Position Rankings are up and our daily updates will run from now until you have unceremoniously vanquished friends and enemies alike.

May 22, 2012

Jason Peters- T, Eagles

Peters tore his achilles again this week and will likely miss the entire season.  Fortunately, the Eagles had signed the former Demetrius (now Demetress) Bell and he will be the starter.

May 21, 2012

Juron Criner- WR, Raiders

The Raiders were highly impressed with Criner after a few days of camp.  We had him rated as a borderline first rounder until his 4.59 forty.  We still like him as a very good possession receiver if he can figure out how to get off the line of scrimmage.

May 20, 2012

Frank Gore- RB, 49ers

Gore is currently warming in a backfield gumbo.  How it will turn out is anybody's guess right now.  The Niners added Brandon Jacobs as a power option and Lamichael James joins Kendall Hunter as a third down option.  There are a lot of mouth's to feed and Gore's days as a RB1 appear to be numbered.

May 19, 2012

Wes Welker- WR, Patriots

Welker and the Patriots continue their contract stand-off.  Welker is 31 and has been dinged up the past few years, though he has remained tremendously productive.  He is currently signed under a $9 million franchise tag and the Patriots do not seem to be willing to pay him like an elite receiver.  We expect him to sign long term though the dispute may drag into the pre-season.

May 18, 2012

University of Alabama

While Julio Jones and Marcel Dareus had good rookie campaigns, Alabama's recent draft picks have been sketchy.  Rolando McClain is about to do time and was not worthy of a top ten pick based on his play anyway. First rounders Andre Smith, James Carpenter, Kareem Jackson and Mark Ingram have done nothing to live up to their lofty draft status and second rounder Terrence Cody is a huge bust, pun intended, while '09 third rounder Glen Coffee retired after one full season because he didn't want to play football anymore.  We're closing in on a caveat emptor with Bama players.

May 17, 2012

Rolando McClain- LB, Raiders

McClain was found guilty on all charges relating to an incident where he fired a gun near a man's head.  He has been sentenced to 180 days in jail (which seems a little light) and will be suspended by Roger Goodell, we suspect for 4-8 games.  The suspension may run concurrent with the jail sentence so it is possible that McClain could return at some point in 2012.

 

May 16, 2012

Cameron Wake- LB, Dolphins

The Dolphins signed Wake, a top-five pass rusher, to a four year, $49 million contract with a little over $20 million guaranteed.  It's an excellent deal for both sides and one of the few bright spots for what has been a dismal off-season for the Dolphins.

May 14, 2012

Doug Martin- RB, Buccaneers

Martin enters a great situation in Tampa.  Legarette Blount was a given a shot to be an every down back in 2011 and he was a miserable failure because he is terrible at picking up blitzes.  Martin should start from day one and have 1,200-1,400 combined yards and 5-7 touchdowns.  We expect to see a situation similar to the Giants in the past where Martin has Ahmad Bradshaw numbers and Blount plays the Brandon Jacobs role and vultures 6-8 touchdowns with 500-600 yards.

May 12, 2012

Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks

Prior to rookie mimi-camp, Wilson was reportedly in competition for the Seahawks back-up spot.  After a week of camp Pete Carroll was so impressed he has indicated that Wilson will be in contention for the starting job.  Wilson was our 20th rated prospect and we had him rated significantly higher than Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden who were taken in the first round.  It was a franchsie altering draft pick and Wilson will eventually become a high end NFL quarterback in the Drew Brees mold.

May 10, 2012

Lamar Miller- RB, Dolphins

Drafting Miller is a clear indication that the Dolphins are preparing to move on without Reggie Bush in 2013.  Bush is coming off of his best season and will have a decent market in 2013 if he stays healthy.  Since Stephen Ross took over, players with options have not chosen South Beach and the Fins may have drafted with that in mind.

May 8, 2012


A.J. Jenkins- WR, 49ers

Jenkins was reportedly out of shape at the 49ers rookie mini-camp.  He was one of the first round's biggest reaches and the choice to take him over Stephen Hill was highly questionable.

May 6, 2012

Brian Quick- WR, Rams

Quick was the 33rd pick in the draft and there are rumblings that some teams had him rated as a top 3 receiver.  He has NFL size and speed and was highly productive playing against small school competition.  He has the potential to be very good if he can handle the jump to a higher level and with no high end receivers in St. Louis he will have a chance to earn a starting spot as a rookie; however, drafting him ahead of Stephen Hill was inexcusable.

May 5, 2012

The Matriculator Six

Who are the 16 (don't ask why we call it the Matriculator Six) players drafted after the 3rd round who we think will be stars?  The Matriculator Six is back.

May 3, 2012

Terrell Manning- LB, Packers

Manning was one of our favorite fifth round picks.  He's instinctive and athletic, though he is at times overly aggressive. He also has an injury history that probably scared enough teams, causing him to drop.

May 2, 2012

T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts

The 49ers didn't have a very good draft and to make matters worse, they traded away the pick that was used on our number 8 rated player, T.Y. Hilton.  And it was a third rounder.

April 28, 2012

Tavon Wilson- S, Illinois

The Patriots started strong on day one, and then completely whiffed on day two.  As good as the Patriots are at trading, they are equally as bad at drafting.  Wilson was the worst pick in the second round and it's not even close.  He was Honorable Mention All-Big Ten, he doesn't have elite speed or size and he wasn't particularly productive in college.  Last year we said they had the second round's worst pick (and we were correct) in running back Shane Vereen and this year they did it again.  At least they're consistent.

April 27, 2012

A.J. Jenkins- WR, 49ers

Jenkins was the surprise pick of the first round.  There had been some pre-draft rumblings that teams were high on him.  He's a good all-around player who should become a solid number two, but we would have taken a chance on Stephen Hill's upside.

Cordy Glenn- OT, Georgia

A number of talented offensive linemen remain available as day two starts.  Glenn, as well as Jonathan Martin, Keleche Osemele, Amini Silatolu, Peter Konz and Bobby Massie could all be gone in the top twenty picks.

Stephen Hill- WR, Georgia Tech

In a mild shocker (isn't that an oxymoron?), Stephen Hill was not taken in the first round.  We expect the Rams to get multiple, significant offers to move up to the 33rd pick.  Teams in the mix could include the Bills, Dolphins, Panthers and Browns.  The Rams still need a number one receiver so it should take a lot to pry the pick loose.

April 26, 2012

Chandler Jones- DE, Patriots

The Patriots are finally trading up in the draft and they got two good ones in Jones and Dont'a Hightower.  This is a clear sign that Belicheat and Brady are in the last few years of their reign and the organization is looking for one more championship.

April 25, 2012

Trading Places

Last year the Dolphins received an A and the Patriots an F on our draft grades.  This year it looks like a role reversal as the Dolphins had the worst pick of the first round (though the owner is happy) and the Patriots traded up for two of the draft's best players in Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower.  The Bengals also had a great draft netting one of the top interior lineman in Kevin Zeitler and starting corner Dre Kirkpatrick.  The Jets doinked it again taking this year's version of Vernon Gholston in Quinton Coples.  He and Gholston will be working at the same car wash in 2016.

Bruce Irvin- DE, West Virginia

We will put the Matriculator, Jr. up against any NFL player personnel guy, and this year he says the guy who is tremendously undervalued (at least by mock drafters) is Bruce Irvin.  Jr. has maintained from the beginning that he may be the best pass rusher in this class and we are hearing last minute rumors that he may crack the first round.  He hasn't been much of a run stopper, but one on one in pass rushing situations he is almost unstoppable.  Looking to sneak a guy into the back end of your draft contest picks?  Irvin is a nice sleeper.

Whitney Mercilus- DE, Illinois

Mercilus is gaining steam.  Quinton Coples has long been considered the top pass rusher in this draft, but his stock is slipping.  Mercilus is considered by some to be the top pass rushing prospect and he could realistically be a top ten pick.

Chandler Jones- DE, Syracuse

Draft Contest Red Alert!  If you don't have Chandler Jones in your top 15, put him there.

Jayron Hosley- CB, Virginia Tech

Hosley and Vontaze Burfict have reportedly joined the Million Dollar Joint Club after testing positive at the Combine.  We had Hosley as our 16th rated prospect, but no more.  Virginia Tech has a history of troublemakers and this will send him spiralling down draft boards.  We'd be surprised if he went before the third round now.

Robert Griffin, III- QB, Baylor

The vote has been tallied, and RG3 is the top prospect of the 2012 Draft on the Matriculator Countdown. We are still hoping that Irsay drafts him with the top pick.  Just to mess with everyone's mock draft.

Mark Barron- S, Alabama

The Silly Season is in full swing, with a number of sources reporting that the Bills want to draft Mark Barron with the 10th pick.  It is well known that Jerry Jones covets Barron and this certainly seems like a ploy to get a team to trade up.  The Bills already have one of the top safties in Jarius Byrd and could draft Riley Reiff or Michael Floyd at pick 14 if they traded with the Cowboys.  Why would Bills sources tell people who they wanted to draft?  Oh that's right, it is the Bills so Barron may in fact be their target.

Matt Kalil- T, USC

Kalil may be dropping in the draft.  There are rumblings out of Minnesota that in spite of Kalil making the most sense for the #3 pick, the Vikings may take Morris Claiborne or even Justin Blackmon.  If they do, every other team in the top 9 picks has at least a serviceable left tackle in place (assuming the Ram's Roger Saffold is healthy) and the team with a gaping hole at left tackle, the Cardinals, are sitting at 13 and might trade up with the Jaguars or Dolphins to leap frog the tackle needy Bills.

Cordy Glenn- G/T, Georgia

Glenn may be rising up draft boards without really doing anything.  Since the Combine two of the other highly rated tackles are sliding backwards, forcing Glenn up.  Jonathan Martin was weak and slow at his pro-day and Riley Reiff looked and measured more like a guard.  There are a number of teams in the top 20 who could use a starting left tackle and while we're not sold on Glenn, he has the size teams want.  He could realistically go to the Dolphins at 8 (as a right tackle), the Bills at 10 or the Cardinals at 13.  We still think he goes somewhere in the 20's.

Cam Newton- QB, Auburn

Within 9 months of transferring from Blinn Junior College to Auburn, Newton attends a few classes, is barely mentioned in the football program, has the greatest season in the history of college football, wins the Heisman and is the first pick in the NFL draft.  This week Auburn unveiled a huge bronze statue of him outside of Jordan-Hare Stadium. I love this country.

April 24, 2012

Steven Jackson- RB, Rams

Jackson wants a new contract from the Rams.  He will be 29 when the season starts so this is not really the best time to start making demands.  Like Virginia, his timing is quite...unusual.  In related news, Trent Richardson is reportedly moving up the Rams draft board.

April 23, 2012

Darrelle Revis- CB, Jets

We understand that there are times when a hold-out is appropriate.  Generally speaking, that is when you are somewhere in your rookie contract (which is a pre-set agreement without much room for negotiation) and you have become a star.  You are grossly underpaid compared to the market and didn't have a chance to negotiate the first time around.  Revis signed a second deal in 2010 and now is unhappy because other guys are getting more money? He's not holding out yet, he just wants everyone to know he's upset with his contract. 

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Texas A&M

Pro Football Talk says that Dolphins idiot owner Stephen Ross wants the front office to draft Tannehill even though GM Jeff Ireland and Tannehill's former coach Mike Sherman are against the idea.  The three ring circus continues its run in Miami.

April 22, 2012

Mike Adams- OT, Ohio State

The freaks come out at night, and the morons come out in the months before the draft.  Adams, knowing he was going to be tested at the Combine, tested positive for marijuana.  He joins a long list of players who are so wealthy they can afford to smoke million dollar joints.  We already had him in the middle of the second round and he may drop to the third.

Riley Reiff- OT, Iowa

Over a month ago, when Reiff was a concensus top 10 pick, we said he wasn't a left tackle and was a late first round prospect at right tackle or guard.  He appeared at #23 in our Countdown. The Sporting News' Russ Lande reported today that many teams don't have Reiff as a top ten talent and that he could fall into the late first round. With so many teams in need of tackles and guards we still think it's unlikely that he gets by the Bills at pick #13.

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Texas A&M

Tannehill is the wild card of this year's draft.  If Mike Sherman and the Dolphins believe he's a franchise tosser, they have to consider trading up to the third pick.  If they don't, the Browns have a need at 4 and the Jaguars have made it known that they want out of the 7 spot.  If nobody trades with the Jags and Sherman doesn't endorse Tannehill, he would likely be drafted by the Chiefs at pick number 11.   We will wait until early next week to do our final Mock Draft because so much depends on where Tannehill goes.

April 21, 2012

Alfonzo Dennard- CB, Nebraska

Dennard allegedly assaulted a police officer outside of a bar in Lincoln, Nebraska. We already had Dennard sliding into the third round and this has probably just greased the skids.

April 20, 2012

Asante Samuel- CB, Eagles

The Eagles continue to attempt to show their best poker face with Samuel, but it's not working. They want to trade him and teams know how desperate they are to unload his $10 million a year contract. No team will trade more than a 3rd round pick, if that, unless the Eagles eat a large portion of the contract which we're not even sure they can do under the new collective bargaining agreement.

April 19, 2012

Kendall Wright- WR, Baylor

The clowns at Pro Football Weekly have indicated that "unnamed" sources are telling them that Kendall Wright is drawing a 3rd round grade.  He did show up a little chubby at the Combine, but it's irresponsible for PFW to post such obvious foolishness.  They are the same outfit whose "scout" Nolan Nowrocki wrote a column in 2011 indicating that CamWow! would be a huge bust.

April 18, 2012

Lavonte David- LB, Nebraska

David is an absolute tackling machine with high end athletic ability and football instincts that are off the charts.  He broke Nebraska's single season tackling mark in 2010 after transferring from junior college.  He's not quite on Luke Kuechly's level in pass coverage which is the only reason we have Kuechly rated slightly above him. We have David as the tenth rated player in the draft and think he will become a star as soon as 2013.

NFL Schedule Release

We have done an extensive analysis of the NFL schedule and determined that the Broncos will go 10-6 during the regular season.  We have no idea who they will play in the first round of the playoffs, but we're betting they lose.

Bryce Brown- RB, Kansas State

Brown was one of the highest rated high school players in 2009 and he chose the University of Tennessee.  He had a decent freshman year running for over 400 yards, but decided to transfer to Kansas State where he only had a few carries before leaving school under the cloud of a pay for play scandal.  He wasn't invited to the Combine but ran a 4.49 forty at his pro-day.  He will probably be an undrafted free agent who has some upside.

April 17, 2012

Stephon Gilmore- CB, South Carolina

About two weeks ago during our countdown of the top 32 players, many were surprised when we had Gilmore rated ahead of Dre Kirkpatrick.  Not anymore.  In the past few days reports are surfacing that Gilmore is rising rapidly and may be a top ten pick.  We like Jayron Hosley slightly over Gilmore but Gilmore is probably the safer pick because Hosley was banged up in 2011 while Gilmore has had an injury free career.

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Texas A&M

The Tannehill talk will not subside.  We continue to hear reports that the Eagles are interested in trading up for him.  This makes no sense for a host of reasons (they're telling their highly paid starter that this is likely his last season, they'd have to give up major draft picks) not the least of which is that Tannehill is just not that good.

April 16, 2012

Drew Brees- QB, Sinners

The Sinners have made Drew Brees mad.  The concensus is that they are being unreasonable in their contract negotiations, but no details of offers or demands have surfaced so we won't pass judgment.  Passing judgment on sinners is probably better left to God and the Baptists anyway.

April 15, 2012

Chandler Jones- DE, Syracuse

Jones is garnering some late draft buzz.  When we watched him at the Combine he looked slow and stiff to us, but after watching his tape we are extremely impressed.  He missed the first five games on the 2011 season with a leg injury, otherwise he'd be a certain first round pick.  He was much more explosive in game situations (which is all anyone should care about), showed a non-stop motor and has vines for arms.  He uses his hands extremely well and is very capable against the run.  He also has a variety of pass rush moves and reminds us of a slower version of Aldon Smith.  We think he's a starting 4-3 right end.

April 14, 2012

Janoris Jenkins- CB, Florida

It is being reported that Jenkins told teams he continued to smoke the Mary Jane at North Alabama.  We're always skeptical of "anonymus sources", but if it's true he will experience a massive free fall.  He's a top 15 talent but if the reports are correct we think he could fall out of the first two rounds.

April 13, 2012

Courtney Upshaw- DE, Alabama

When evaluators say, "We're not sure what position he plays," that can have a radically disparate connotation.  With Melvin Ingram it's a positive because he can probably be successful in a number of different spots.  With Courtney Upshaw, we're not so sure.  He doesn't have the elite burst to be a right defensive end and he doesn't have the quickness to play linebacker in the 3-4.  We don't know where he can play and have an impact on games, so we don't have him listed in our top 32 players.

April 12, 2012

Greg Childs- WR, Arkansas

When we saw Childs during the 2010 season we thought he was the best receiver in the country.  He injured his patella near the end of 2010 and wasn't able to play much as a senior in 2011.  At his pro-day he showed that he had regained his explosion at 6'3", 220,  posting a remarkable 41 inch vertical and sub-4.5 forty.  He obviously has major injury concerns but if he's healthy he's a Dwayne Bowe clone.

April 11, 2012

Quinton Coples- DE, North Carolina

This week Mike Mayock indicated that he wouldn't take Coples in the first round.  You will notice that Coples hasn't appeared yet in our top 32 players, and you won't see him.  We agree that he's not an elite player but not because of an inconsistent effort like others are saying.  We've seen enough effort on film, he's just not a great athlete.  He reminds us of a slightly smaller version of Michael Brockers.  They are both NFL caliber players, they're just not elite.

April 10, 2012

Ryan Tannehill- QB, Texas A&M

Every day another pundicator seems to agree with us that Tannehill is not a first round quarterback.  It's now a universal opinion, besides the Dolphins of course.  People continue to talk about how overvalued Tannehill is but we s