Most fantasy football leagues, at least the smart ones, haven’t held their drafts as of yet. This is primarily because you have to get as much information as possible on young players playing with the starters, injuries to players and the length of time they will be out, etc.
Well, now that the third weekend of preseason play is getting underway for all the teams, it’s about that time for the onslaught of player information and then drafting.
So, we here at F.F.I. are here to give you some advice on the three teams in our state and whom might not be on the immediate radar. We qualify that as: not the top player on his team at a position and probably not a guy that you would think about drafting before the 5th-6th round in your league (depending on size of your league).
We will give you a couple of names for each team
You’ve heard so much about WR Chris Godwin as an “under the radar” type fantasy impact player. And while you should take a strong look at him, if he’s around in the 5th round and beyond, it’s likely that others will be doing so, also. So, we also suggest that veteran Adam Humphries, who primarily plays in the slot for Tampa Bay gets a look later in your draft.
Now, you must factor in that most of that was with Jameis Winston at QB. And, as you know, Winston is suspended for the first three games of the season. Humphries also has only 3 TD’s the last two years and he’s not a guy to draft for that reason. However, if points per reception (PPR) and yards help you, Humphries will.
Next, we wrote about the Bucs placing RB Charles Sims on IR Thursday, and what that means for the Bucs backfield. Certainly young running backs Shaun Wilson and Dare Ogubowale are going to get more of a look in their final two preseason games. However, the late round sleeper may very well be veteran RB Jacquizz Rodgers. He carried the ball 129 times in 2016 with a 4.3 average. A year ago his carries dwindled 64 and a 3.8 average.
Still, he’s a decent pass catcher and a good pass blocker, too. And while Peyton Barber and rookie second round pick Ronald Jones will get most of the attention and carries, Rodgers may be worth the “sleeper” investment.
Miami also has several players that will be available in the later rounds of a draft, and we think the one should take a strong look at is WR Albert Wilson. The free agent from Kansas City (shown above) is not going to get the attention that Kenny Stills and fellow new free agent Danny Amendola will.
However, Wilson has averaged 31 catches and 12.5 average over his five year career. And he may easily surpass that this season.
Wilson only has seven career receiving TDs. So, much like Adam Humprhries above, this is not a move about touchdowns, but more receptions and yards to help your team.
Also, in the Dolphins backfield, everyone will pay most attention to Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore in the first few rounds, and rightfully so. They are the two guys that will get the bulk of the playing time when the season begins.
We at F.F.I. have been high on rookie RB Kalen Ballage, but he’s battling a concussion in preseason at the moment. So veteran free agent back Senorise Perry may be worth a look. Even though he only has eight carries in the regular season. Perry has looked good in both Dolphins preseason games to this point. He is almost assured of being on the 53 man roster now and if there are injuries, you might be glad you made a “sleeper investment” on him.
We already wrote earlier this week about the emergence of T.J. Yeldon at backup running back and he’s looking like a solid sleeper option for your later rounds. So, again depending on your league size, take note about round seven or eight, if Yeldon’s still there. He maybe worth the risk.
The other player that most league members won’t be looking at is TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The former Bucs and Jets player came to Jacksonville, as a free agent.
He’s big, athletic, can run down field and will be a weapon in the red zone for Blake Bortles.
He had his best season of his four year career with the Jets last year catching 50 balls with three TDs. If he’s healthy for 16 games, he will easily have those numbers for the Jaguars. Again, per our theme, Seferian-Jenkins is a late round sleeper once most of the top receivers are gone.
Still he, like the others on our list, can help you with bye weeks, injuries to your starters, etc.
Dolphins hit big plays against Raiders to remain unbeaten
Another Sunday of big plays and another win for the Dolphins, who for the first time since 2013 are 3 – 0. This after dealing the Raiders their third straight loss in a 28-20 come-from-behind victory at Hard Rock Stadium.
After Oakland scored almost immediately, when quarterback Derek Carr hit Jordy Nelson on a long completion and then with a red zone touchdown pass, Miami found themselves trailing quickly 7 to nothing.
But from there on, the Fins began to hit the Raiders with one big play after another. That started with a 34-yard beautifully thrown touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a streaking Kenny Stills to tie the game 7-7.
The Raiders actually took a 10-7 lead into the locker room and then put together a lengthy drive capped with a Marshawn Lynch up and over touchdown in a 17-7 lead.
However, the Dolphins were not fazed and 2 minutes of clock time later had marched into Raiders scoring territory. That’s when Jakeem Grant took an inside flip hand off from Tannehill (above) and raced around the right end to cut the lead to 17 – 14.
Next, head coach Adam Gase went into the” bag of tricks” and after a double hand off, receiver Albert Wilson fired this long pass to Grant down the right sideline:
SOME TRICKERATION TO TAKE THE LEAD!
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 23, 2018
The 52-yard trick play touchdown, gave Miami the lead for the first time at 21-17.
The Raiders tried to mount a go ahead drive but Derek Carr’s the pass for Martavis Bryant was picked off by Xavien Howard ending their threat.
Next, Wilson caught another short pass from Tannehill and did the rest, racing around the left sideline for a 72-yard score at the 2-minute warning, which put the game away.
Tannehill finished 17-23 for 289 yards and the three TD passes. Carr had 345 yards and a TD in the losing effort, but also two costly interceptions.
The Dolphins are 3-0 for the first time since 2013. That team finished 8-8 and still missed the playoffs.
The Raiders fanfare of hiring Jon Gruden out of the Monday Night Football booth is over, as they are now 0-3 and already three games behind the Chiefs, who won Sunday.
Gameday- Dolphins host Raiders looking to remain unbeaten
Who: Dolphins (2-0) vs. Raiders (0-2)
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens
When: Sunday 1 p.m.
Spread: Dolphins by 3 (Courtesy Vegasinsider.com)
Miami has opened by winning the first two games for the first time since 2013 and now has a golden opportunity to get to 3 – 0 today. Here’s what we’re watching
Progression of Ryan Tannehill
Coming off a solid start by spreading the ball around to numerous receivers, Ryan Tannehill will look to keep it up. The Raiders defense is obviously reeling after the trading of Khalil Mack on the eve of the season, and Tannehill may be able to take advantage of the Oakland secondary.
Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson as the deep threats could do significant damage later today. Look for coach Adam Gase and coordinator Dowell Loggains to test them early.
Does Derek Carr follow up last week’s performance?
Oakland’s 5th Year quarterback was tremendous for much of the Denver game a week ago, completing 23 of his first 24 passes. With the Raiders getting acclimated to Jon Gruden’s new offense and terminology, it’s still obvious they want to get the ball out of Carr’s hand quickly with short throws.
Another part of Oakland’s offensive success is the early running of Marshawn Lynch, who is questionable for this game with an injured shoulder. They would like to set up play action with Lynch or backup running back Jalen Richard. If Miami can stuff the run, it will help greatly in stopping the Raiders attack.
Dolphins defense continues its optimistic play?
Whether it was surviving the two lengthy weather delays two weeks ago against the Titans with key sacks and takeaways, or last week in New York with frustrating rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, Miami has been able to make plays at times.
That needs to continue on Sunday. Safety Reshad Jones will be a game-time decision with his injured shoulder and that could affect their defensive scheme for coordinator Matt Burke.
If Miami’s pass rushers, Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, Charles Harris, Etc can get to Carr it will make life easier at Hard Rock Stadium.
Jon Gruden’s returns to Florida already in coaching turmoil
It may be premature to say that the “second honeymoon” for Jon Gruden with the Oakland Raiders is already over, but another defeat Sunday, and it likely is.
The Raiders are clearly struggling after dropping their second straight game last week in heartbreaking fashion against the Broncos in Denver. Oakland controlled most of the game and Derek Carr was outstanding, completing 23 of his first 24 passes on the day.
However, in the end Case Keenum rallied the Broncos and when Brandon McManus’ last-second field goal went through, the smirking critics of “Chucky” were already “sticking their chests out” about his NFL return.
Without question, some of this is self-inflicted, as Gruden clearly did not want to pay and therefore keep, linebacker Khalil Mack for the Raiders. And yes, they got a bounty of draft picks in return, but Mack has been nothing short of sensational as a pass rusher in two games in Chicago, and the Raiders defense is again mediocre-at-best.
So, that brings us to Sunday. And even though Gruden has been living in the Tampa Bay area while doing Monday Night Football for ESPN, this is the first time that he’s back coaching a game in the state since the final regular-season game of 2008. That day, ironically his Buccaneers lost to the Raiders completing a four-game losing collapse and costing his team a playoff spot-ultimately Gruden his job with the Bucs.
Now, the Raiders have come all the way East to Miami to play the 2 – 0 Dolphins. And while Gruden is in absolutely no jeopardy of losing his job, at least not until year 3 or 4 if it’s not working, owner Mark Davis didn’t make this shockwave multimillion-dollar hire to have the Raiders be one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Clearly, there was going to be some learning curve for Gruden with his new staff and new players. However, with a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback like Carr the belief was the Raiders would be solid, if not a wild card playoff contender.
It hasn’t shaped up that way as of yet.
The good news for Raider fans is: no one is going to outwork Gruden at trying to get it right.
The bad news is: the Raiders may not have enough overall talent to overcome that above-mentioned learning curve and digging themselves an 0-3 hole start 2018.
And the Fins, may be about to deal “Raider Nation” their latest lost Sunday.
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