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More surprises in final two rounds of F.F.I. Fantasy Football Draft

Florida Football Insiders



Photo by Icon Sportswire

The “late round find” is always a crucial part of Fantasy Football and in the final part of our F.F.I. draft had some interesting selections. Also, after drafting all three skill spots and a team defense, our selectors would now be required to take their kicker in the final two rounds. That would also lead to some strategy and risk.

So. Let’s get to the conclusion in a moment.

First, once more, here is the setup:

This draft, by design, is going to create debate/discussion on what our insiders chose to do when it was there turn. And, they will explain each pick with their own rationale.

Here were the parameters for our draft: Using Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Miami’s rosters, each selector had to comprise a fantasy roster of 1 QB, 1 RB, 1 WR or TE, a team a defense, a kicker and then, an extra player at any of the four skill positions.

The draft order was done at random with the first selector going first in the odd rounds, and last in the even. The second selector was always second and the third was first selector in even rounds.

Roy Cummings was drawn as first pick, Josh Ciganek at second and then, Ari Russell picked third in the first round.

Here now are there picks (and their explanations) in the final two rounds, as they unfolded:

Fifth round:

Roy- O.J. Howard, Buccaneers

OK, full disclosure here: I thought we were supposed to draft a tight end as well as one extra player, regardless of position. Either way, I wanted at least one of the Bucs tight ends, again because I believe their offense could be dynamic. I stuck with Howard because my gut tells me he’ll get more work in the red zone.

Josh- Jason Myers, Jaguars

The kicker’s battle was the toughest choice I had. Looking at the performance of all four kickers and having to decide which to choose from was difficult. Aguayo is fighting for his job against Folk and Franks doesn’t get too many opportunities to kick with Miami. Jason Myers was the best choice in my opinion, after making 27 of 34 field goal attempts and 29 of 32 extra points.

Ari-Andrew Franks, Dolphins

I took the Dolphin’s kicker Franks. This one was an easy move as Myers was already taken by Josh. Knowing the Bucs kicker situation is not settled, I had to get the best available which was Franks. Kickers are crap shoots every year. I at least know Franks is on the roster as the only kicker for Miami, so yes I went with him.

Sixth round:

Ari- Blake Bortles, Jaguars

In the sixth round I scooped up Blake Bortles. Having lost the QB sweepstakes I didn’t have to rush to take Bortles so I waited until the end to pick him. Now the offensive line is improved and they did bring in a potentially star running back which hopefully will help Bortles. He does have some weapons at WR so there’s potential there. Obviously Winston and Tannehill have performed vastly better. We will see if Bortles steps up, because if he doesn’t he’ll lose his job at some point and I will need to go with whatever scraps are left.

Josh- Chris Godwin, Buccaneers

This round was the toss up to select any role player I wanted. I chose to take rookie Chris Godwin over potential candidates Adam Humphries, Devante Parker or Marqise Lee. Godwin, I expect, will look to fight for that third receiver position with Humphries. He has a lot of potential to have a good season since teams will have to cover Evans, Jackson, O.J. Howard, Martin and Cameron Brate.

Roy- Nick Folk, Buccaneers

I was down to the kicker and this one took some thinking. I think Roberto Aguayo could make a comeback this year. The problem is, I’m not sure the Bucs feel that way. Based on what I saw of him and Folk during OTAs and minicamp, I went with Folk, because right now, my gut tells me the Bucs will go with Folk, too.

Here are the final recaps of the complete teams our selectors drafted:

Roy- QB-Tannehill, RB- Martin, WR- Evans, WR/TE- Howard, Miami D, K- Folk

Josh- QB-Winston, RB- Fournette, WR-Robinson, Godwin, Tampa Bay D, K- Myers

Ari- QB-Bortles, RB- Ajayi, WR-D. Jackson, Landry, Jacksonville D, K- Franks

Let the debate continue.

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Some week one Fantasy “start’em or sit’em” advice

Florida Football Insiders



Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the opening weekend of the NFL season, and also, fantasy football fans are rejoicing at seeing their season is getting underway, too.

So, with the fact that there’s so much interest in the beginning of the year and there are some unknowns involving the three Florida pro football teams, we decided to give out some quick “start or sit” fantasy football advice.

First up is the Buccaneers matchup with the Saints in New Orleans.

And while Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson will be the focus of the Saints secondary, they have veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to them.  They are probably both still worth the “start” on Sunday, especially Evans, who is off a disappointing season by his standards.

If you’re looking for a “sleeper,” it’s third receiver Chris Godwin, who really came into his own down the stretch of 2017. That included catching the game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds against the Saints in week 17 .

More than likely, running back Peyton Barber (above) isn’t one of your primary backs in your league, but he will be the guy that gets the ball in key situations, including in the red zone and the goal line.

If you drafted rookie 2nd round pick speedster Ronald Jones, don’t expect much this week. While Jones will likely be active, he will probably be third-string behind Barber and Veteran Jacquizz Rodgers. And, he may not see the feel very much.

As for the Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill is back at the helm and that means receivers Kenny Stills and free agent newcomers Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson are guys he will look to spread the ball around to against Tennessee.

As a Fins sleeper? We’ve been touting second round draft pick tight end Mike Gesicki. He will especially be a threat to score TDs in the red zone.

Similarly with Barber for the Bucs, Kenyan Drake will likely get the bulk of the carries in this game. However, different from the Tampa Bay situation, it’s veteran Frank Gore is in the Miami mix. And, no one is not clear yet, who will get the ball in the red zone and on the goal line.

So therefore it’s dangerous to play Drake, if you have other options.

As for the Jaguars who are in New York to play the Giants, Leonard Fournette is always going to be a “must-play.” He looks to get his second year off to a big start against a shaky Giants front seven.

The real question becomes whether you trust Blake Bortles to get the ball to any of Jacksonville’s receivers, if you drafted them?

With Marqise Lee lost for the season with his ACL injury, Donte Moncrief will assume the role as the number one receiver. Players like Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole are also good options. And we will have to  play the” wait-and-see game” with how much rookie second-round pick wide receiver D.J. Chark will be used?

Again, most of the Jags receivers would be in the “sit’em” category, if you have other options.

Good luck with your team and roster and just remember this advice is worth every penny that you paid for it

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Bucs, Dolphins, and Jaugars had surprises on cut down day

Florida Football Insiders



Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a tough day all over the NFL has every team had to be down to 53 players at 4 p.m. eastern time. That meant for the Bucs, Dolphins and Jaguars, as well as everyone else, you were saying goodbye to 37 players that have been with you throughout the off-season and training camp.

There were some surprising names put on the waiver wire by each team:

In Tampa Bay, coach Dirk Koetter and staff parted with veteran safety and special-teams ace Keith Tandy. This one was a bit of a surprise because the six year veteran Tandy had moved into significantly more playing time the last couple of seasons. He started five games at the end of 2016 with 41 tackles and four interceptions. And by all accounts, he was a very hard-working and popular player. Bucs will apparently go with rookie Jordan Whitehead and also may move rookie defensive back MJ Stewart to safety some to compensate.

The Buccaneers also released two receivers in Bernard Reedy and Bobo Wilson, who saw a bunch of playing time and each had five catches in the final preseason game with Jacksonville.

Meanwhile for the Dolphins, they also released a veteran defensive back in Tony Lippett Saturday. Lippet had battled back from an achilles injury last year, but obviously was not effective enough for Adam Gase and staff to keep him on board. The Fins do have young DBs in Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley, as well as veteran Bobby McCain.

Miami also released fourth string QB Bryce Petty who had an oblique injury the last two weeks of camp. The Fins kept David Fales as the third string QB behind Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler. Also, Miami cut WR Leonte Caroo, who was a third round pick in 2016.

In Jacksonville, a bit of a surprise, as the Jaguars did not keep third string quarterback Tanner Lee. Lee a rookie from Nebraska fared well on Thursday night in the preseason finale against the Buccaneers. However, for now, the Jaguars seem to be content to go with Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler as the only two quarterbacks on the roster. Lee could come back on the practice squad.

Jacksonville cut veteran WR Shane Wynn and also injured tight end Ben Koyack in their moves.

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Browns coach Jackson to Antonio Callaway- “I’ll have your

Florida Football Insiders



The second edition of “Hard Knocks” with the Browns aired Tuesday night on HBO and the dominant story line involved rookie former Gators WR Antonio Callaway.

One of the draws for the series each August is the the show has 24/7 access to the team through NFL Films’ cameras and microphones. And, it typically reveals insight and conversation not yet known.

And, the segments with Callaway did not disappoint in that department.

First, “Hard Knocks” already had Callaway mic’ed up for the Sunday afternoon August 5th workout, which was hours after Callaway was cited, but not arrested in a nearby town of Strongsville, OH, for driving with a suspended license and a small amount of marijuana in his car.

Something he did not tell anyone about.

We recapped the incident and wondered, if Callaway isn’t about to be out of chances already with his new team.

Callaway’s story took up the first approximate 10 minutes of the show. And on the episode, both coach Hue Jackson (above) and offensive coordinator Todd Haley could sense something is wrong with Callaway, as his body language and ineffective play were going on that day.

Then, came the most intriguing and riveting part of entire show, as GM John Dorsey and Jackson met with Callaway after the news media found out about the traffic citations and told the team.

Dorsey was upset, as much with Callaway not telling them, as anything, but it was Jackson, who cut to the chase on Callaway’s expected behavior accountability in the future. “If you’re lying to me, I’ll have your ass,” he told the rookie.

Later in the episode, Jackson had Callaway stand up and apologize to the entire team.

And, then, as we wrote about Tuesday morning, when “Hard Knocks” filmed during the Browns opening preseason game with the Giants, you got more insight into Callaway playing the entire four quarters and 57 snaps of action. Callaway excelled during the game, including a catch and run touchdown from Baker Mayfield in the fourth quarter.

Again, Jackson, while mic’ed up for the show, was shown standing and putting his arm around Callaway in the fourth quarter and telling him that he believes in him.

Time will tell, if Callaway will continue to do the right things and stay out of trouble

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