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If you think the preseason does not foreshadow the regular season…well, the Browns are undefeated in the preseason and the Giants yet to have scored a TD and are winless. That will keep up into the regular season, right?
The Giants are going to be fine if they can clean up the backfield situation. Running back is mostly meaningless because there is so much talent available out there, but them forcing Paul Perkins (6-10-0, 1-20-0/1) on the world is tipping their hand that they are ‘not good’ making personnel decisions at RB. Paul Perkins could not start for any playoff team from last season, and in many instances, he might not even make any of the playoff teams from last year’s roster today…but this is the Giants #1 RB? It’s easily fixable, but time is a wasting…
The Browns are a hot mess. They have so much young defensive talent it’s coming out of their ears…but headed up by a nightmare defensive coordinator. The defense will have to pitch shutouts because their offense may be the worst in the NFL (history).
Have I ever told you how Hue Jackson is killing the Browns? No, OK well let me tell you… No human could be enthralled by Cody Kessler and Matt Dayes – but these are guys Jackson can’t praise/glow about enough. He’s enamored with them. He should be embarrassed by having to work with them. Kessler or Dayes should not be on NFL rosters to start 2017…but they’ll be on the Browns opening day 53, I’m sure. Hue is going to build his offense around Duke Johnson…maybe the most overrated RB talent in the NFL. There are a thousand guys just like Duke but Hue Jackson acts like he has David Johnson in hand. Cleveland is going to war with an inexperienced defense and no offense and terrible coaching. At the end of the year, maybe in-season, Hue Jackson is going to be fired…I would nearly guarantee it. If there are Vegas odds to bet on that – bet on that.
I have a good IDP sleeper for you at the end of this piece, if you’re into such things…saving it for the dessert portion of the meal. It’s not B.J. Goodson…that’s too obvious now that he’s been named starter – our own IDP analyst JWolfe already told you about him a few days ago.
Fantasy player notes…
— Duke Johnson (9-28-0, 1-3-0/1) is going to work for fantasy despite being a marginal NFL talent. He’ll work in an RB3 in PPR kinda way…with RB2 moments because he’ll see so many simple touches on an incompetent Browns offense.
Duke Johnson cannot run the ball effectively in the NFL. He’s a solid receiver, but there are a thousand just like him, but more critically — he is a below-average runner of the ball…he doesn’t have enough mass to go between the tackles effectively. He runs the ball like a wide receiver being given an end-around…but the Browns keep giving him good carries, legit between the tackles carries; wasted carries.
If I took Duke Johnson’s two ‘long’ carries away from each of his two NFL seasons (runs of 39 and 22), and look at his other 175 totes – 3.8 yards per carry. Not good enough for a supposed ‘change of pace’ back…what pace is he changing?
— Paul Perkins (6-10-0/1) and Browns rookie Matt Dayes (5-15-0, 5-29-0/6) both have the same issue – too slow for prime time. Sure, they have great effort. They are tough. They have good hands. The problem is — everything is too slow…they catch short passes but by the time they are trying to maneuver their bodies around to go upfield, 11 defenders are on top of them. Linebackers can cover them too easily on pass routes. On a perfect play where there’s nothing but space they’ll get going…but play in and play out they cannot work as a ‘weapon’.
What Hue Jackson sees in Matt Dayes is 1970s football…the old-school coach bias. I’m sure Dayes is first in/last out and really tries hard…he just doesn’t have enough juice to matter. Why the Browns ditched Terrell Watson (as one example) and think Dayes is an answer is everything wrong with their Moneyball mixed with Hue. This whole Cleveland situation is going to implode…Matt Dayes making this roster is a biblical sign of the Browns’ end times. Even if he doesn’t make the 53, this thing is going to blow…it blows now.
— So what are the Giants going to do at RB? They have shown no interest in working waivers or trades at the position, so if they stay in house…Shane Vereen (2-16-0) has to see more touches by default – it’s what happened last year. Rashard Jennings and Paul Perkins were a yawn in 2016, so the experienced Vereen became the lead. I’ve said Vereen is the man to own here as an RB2 upside/starter since June. We’re two weeks away from it becoming reality. Sure, they’ll start Perkins…and then he’ll fade away as Vereen plays more and more.
Again, I say…I don’t think Wayne Gallman (5-22-0, 2-20-0/3) can be an answer fully…not athletically talented enough to be a three-down guy, but that guy catches like a WR and runs with a little (not a lot) giddy up on the field/not on paper.
If I were the Giants GM, I’d wait for Seattle to cut Mike Davis, Cincy to cut Tra Carson, Tampa to possibly cut Jeremy McNichols, and I’d be on the phone with the Lions about Dwayne Washington and the Ravens about Lorenzo Taliaferro. But that’s just me…I actually watch all this stuff every day and pay attention. Plus, I secretly run the Buffalo Bills…you see I let rumors out that LeSean McCoy could be had in a deal.
— DeShone Kizer (8-13 for 74 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) is the absolute worst, as I said in January…and last week after his ‘breakout performance’. There are legit national fantasy ‘experts’ I saw with Kizer listed proudly as their #1 QB prospect for dynasty rookie drafts as recent as last week.
Kizer has a good arm and that’s it. He’s indecisive and stares down targets because he doesn’t have the QB instincts to read the field. If a called play is open 5-yards away he can rifle it to the open guy. When real quarterbacking has to take place…you get the mess we saw in this game.
**insert national fantasy analysts reading this, rolling their eyes and dismissing because “he’s a rookie and needs time to develop…it’s just the preseason.”** Why is it Dak Prescott didn’t need time to develop…or Marcus Mariota…or Brett Hundley (7 TD/0 INT his rookie preseason) or Mitchell Trubisky or Patrick Mahomes or Kyle Sloter – why did those guys blast out of the gates right away in their rookie preseason and regular seasons?
At one point, I’m watching this game and Kizer is battling Geno Smith…and I had the thought that it’s possible that as Geno was playing in this game for NYG, turning it over/missing receivers and as his team was giving the ball back to the Browns, during the commercials Geno sprints to the Browns sidelines, ducks into that medical tent, puts on a Kizer jersey and played for the Browns as Kizer – like, just to see if anyone noticed.
Just me with that thought?
Oh, how the scouts and analysts loved Geno Smith. Funny they never mention that in their coverage on him now. But that Kizer kid just needs more time!
If the Browns start Kizer Week 1, sell everything Browns and sell everything you own and bet it on the Steelers -9.0. At a minimum, this is why I love the Steelers DST so much out of the gates.
— Two more bashes of players and then I promise, I have some positive takeaways here…but, first:
David Njoku (1-1-0/3) looks like an absolute bust to me. I need to see a little more, but I’m just going to go ahead and say my Ebron = Njoku scouting call pre-Draft is dead on.
**Insert national football analyst clutching their pearls and screaming …but, but…you can’t say that…he’s sooo young and has a great broad jump!** Yes, I’m sure you’re right – now tell us some more how Eric Ebron is just like Jimmy Graham. Remember when you killed the Lions with that scouting? You see what players went right after Ebron in the draft? Of course, you liked Timmy Jernigan better than Aaron Donald so what does it matter… Oh, and FYI – Bucky Hodges out ‘broaded’ Njoku, if that is so important to the TE analysis, so why isn’t he the next big thing? Hodges is 5x the tight end weapon Njoku could ever be.
OK, let me bash me – I thought Corey Coleman (2-29-0/2) was going to be a star, quickly. Maybe, in a different offense he might be. I’ll take that excuse and hide behind it gingerly because, come on… Cody Kessler doesn’t belong in the league and what the hell is CC supposed to do with Osweiler-Kizer-Kessler now. The one-time Coleman worked was with a semi-real QB, Josh McCown, he had 2 TDs and 100+ yards in like 15 minutes of a game with McCown…then McCown had his collarbone broken and Coleman disappeared the rest of the year.
There’s long-term hope for Coleman but he is in NFL Siberia right now.
I had a high valuation on Coleman last dynasty rookie draft and it’s not working. My error on valuation/tea leave reading. To be fair, I was already suggesting there was a problem last preseason. There is no honor in being wrong. If you think it’s not fair or odd to change my positions on a player, or get depressed because you followed my logic and are stuck with whatever player for the moment – the reason I have value in the fantasy community is because I am constantly watching and studying all this. I see things before everyone else. My flash upgrades or downgrades – it’s because I’m really working…and I’m great at what I do. I don’t make a list in January and change it rarely and just to match everyone else’s and never change aside from that. This is a fast moving fantasy-dynasty market we all need to stay up on. I watch it all because most all of you can’t — that’s the value I bring to you. You want me on that wall – you need me on that wall.
It takes 80+ hours a week in-season to comb through all the games multiple times looking for these nuggets, these shifting markets…and changing projections and writing about what I see. I will pen a million+ words on fantasy football from August to Week 17. I provide a valuable service unlike any other. I’m ‘first in, last out‘ in fantasy analysis. If anything, our subscription prices for all these services are too low in-season…but I’m a giver! So, enjoy the value!!
OK, onto the good stuff from this game…
— I saw exactly what I’d want to see in this game if I were an Evan Engram (3-32-0/4) owner, and I haven’t been heavily but that’s changing some.
I’m an Engram skeptic of him for NFL purposes, as a functioning tight end. He’s a WR masquerading as a TE. But for fantasy…that’s exactly what you want. That’s why we rate him nicely for dynasty rookie drafts – the potential of the situation…with that 4.43 speed. I was a bit skeptical of how he’d be used in 2017, if he’d be used enough with the cast of WR options.
Engram lined up some as a flanker-ish TE and a few times as a traditional TE in this game…all first-team work but popping in and out of the game. He’s playing situationally, as he should…the situation being passing downs. Engram is obviously so fluid as an athlete for a TE…he literally looks like a taller Sterling Shepard or Brandon Marshall is playing/classified as a TE on the field. I wasn’t sure how hard the Giants would push him enough targets, but they went to him in the ways you’d want them to in this game. It’s a big ‘stock up’ for Engram overall, but more so for 2017…I think the rare rookie TE1 is legit on the board now. I wasn’t as confident last week, but now It’s on the board…more so than it is with O.J. Howard. Not that EE is better than OJH for the NFL…but for fantasy, given their offenses/QBs…Engram may pay dividends faster for you.
It’s also not out of the question Engram sees 2-3 catches for 30-40 yards with limited TDs as the action all goes to the WRs and Vereen. Engram is not a fantasy given…I’m just saying this showing moved him a step closer to Engram is ‘involved’ enough to catch low end TE1 numbers.
— Both of these defenses are really talented. The Giants might have a top 3 DST talent group. The Browns are talented, but have no offense to support it…plus, ‘Gregg Williams’.
— B.J. Goodson (7 tackles, 1 sack) is the man for NYG in the middle, as JWolfe said…and as the team announced. He’s very solid/good. He’s going to work for IDP.
However, there was another linebacker that caught my eye in this game and I’m in serious ‘like’ now. Browns 2nd-year LB Joe Schobert (6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PD) looks fantastic. I was a fan of his coming out of last year’s draft, but more so on the ‘gritty, gutty’ vibe and worried he didn’t have the athleticism to star as an OLB/DE…like he played in college.
The Browns have moved him to the middle and now the decently athletic OLB is a very athletic ILB. Schobert’s instincts for the position are excellent. I could see it in 2-3 plays in this game that he might be better than any ILB in the current 2017 draft class…from a guy who was a later pick OLB prospect in 2016.
If your dynasty IDP rosters can handle sitting on guys – I’m telling you, take a cheap position out on Joe Schobert. I guess Tank Carder was supposed to start but he’s hurt/done. How Schobert wasn’t already ahead of Carder is a mystery – mystery no more.
That one was for free, because I’m a giver…and I know what I’m doing…
Countdown to Rotoworld now mentioning Joe Schobert in 3…2..1…