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2015 REWIND: 2014 Preseason Week-1 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: ARI vs. HOU

Date:
January 24, 2018 1:46 AM
July 23, 2015 2:58 PM
— Our offseason ‘Rewind’ reports are where we look at an individual player’s previous season(s) of work–analyzing and researching it for clues on whether it was a ‘blip’ performance, or signs of future greatness…or signs of a mega-bust approaching. We try to do two per week in the offseason. —

I was smitten with this idea the other day, and decided to go through with it for the next few days or so…before the football news really starts going in a few weeks.

I was thinking about how we all get way too excited when we first get football news, and that includes me. I got to thinking that I should go back and re-read all the early preseason game recaps I did, and see what massive mistakes or pure genius I was onto upon witnessing the first preseason games.

So, I am going back through each Week-1 preseason game recap from 2014, and critiquing myself on the spot (my 2015 notes are in block quotes below various sections)). Below is an original, unfiltered, untouched up to avoid my embarrassment, Fantasy-Dynasty game recap from Week-1 of the preseason with my random comments from re-reading them today.

Note – I did not go back and re-watch these games before critiquing myself a year later. I’m just reading and reacting to what I wrote after what I saw last year. I hate re-reading my own stuff, so this will be the first time seeing it since I wrote it. Actually, it’s kinda like photo album or yearbook review. You know, where you look back and think, “What was I thinking when I wore that?

These 2014 preseason games ‘Rewinds’ will be posting in random order. Here we go…

**Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics IDP Dynasty (three-year) projections now exist on the Fantasy Football Management technology“The Machine.” See “The Machine” here (link unavailable): The Machine via FFM

 

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 — You may already know, I’m not a big Andre Ellington (2 carries for 7 yards) fan. I’m not saying he is awful…I just cannot believe an NFL team will place all of its chips on him with all the RB talent floating around available–if not just to have an RB-duo of compatible talents. Ellington couldn’t see time for the New Orleans Saints this year, but he will get 3,000 carries for Arizona this season…and Antone Smith can’t buy a carry (obligatory Antone plug).

In the last two seasons, Andre Ellington has 9 rushing TDs to Antone Smith’s 7 TDs.

Ellington’s 9 TDs have come off 319 carries and 85 catches–404 touches…a TD every 44.9 touches. 

Antone’s 7 TDs have come off 28 carries and 18 TDs–46 touches…a TD every 6.6 touches. 

One of these guys is what a playoff team tried to build an entire running game around. The other was a free agent this year, and no one cared. 

You are crazy to follow Fantasy Football Metrics, because we see this type of player evaluations as completely insane, but the NFL and most of its fans don’t. For FF-purposes, Ellington is the guy to have over an Antone in 2015. Yet, I’ll be yammering about Antone, and developing Antone-based hashtags and catchphrases for FF-personalities to steal from me. Perhaps, I’m the fool?…and you’re coming along for the ride? Are you sure you want to do this?

Have I ever mentioned how much better David Johnson is than Andre Ellington

 

 

That being said…I cannot fault you for chasing Ellington in a Fantasy redraft. There is literally a mound of garbage behind him on the depth chart. Christine Michael and Knile Davis (and Antone Smith) might not see meaningful touches for three more years (when they are free agents), but Andre Ellington is a franchise RB today. Someone please tell me again how having the worst backfield in the NFL, a suspect O-Line, and a bottom-10 QB in the toughest division in football is going to jettison Arizona to the playoffs this year. Their defense is pretty sweet, though.

Well, they made it…without Carson Palmer or Andre Ellington–so what do I know? 

 

I’m not going to take him, but I can’t complain if you do take Ellington. I have dropped ‘Daryl Richardson‘ hints on him all year, but there is a difference here…one that Arizona (to my shock) has not addressed. Last season, the Rams brought in Zac Stacy andBenny Cunningham. I was stealing candy from the Fantasy experts who loved them some Darryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead last year at this time because The Computer knew Stacy and Cunningham were both more talented than those guys on their worst day. Arizona/Ellington…not the same scene as it was in St. Louis. Let’s look at the Ellington ‘handcuff’ candidates:

 — I swear to you on all things holy, Stepfan Taylor (9 carries for 9 yards) does not belong in the NFL. I said it last year, and watching him again this year…absolutely no change in that stance. Some generic RBs that The Computer doesn’t like, I will bash, but I also confess they have enough talent that if forced the ball 3,000 times (like Ellington) something FF-plausible can happen. However, Taylor is FF-death on a stick. If every Arizona RB simultaneously retired, and Taylor was forced to play every snap this season, and he took 400 carries in that pretend season…he’d have 300 yards rushing for the year. If there is justice in the world for the other RBs trying to make this team, Taylor will be cut in the preseason. He won’t be. The people who keep selling you Stepfan Taylor are also telling you how great a workhorse back Ellington is…that should make you pause.

This ‘correct’/visionary anti-Stepfan scouting call doesn’t seem like a big deal today, but note many of your beloved football analysts started their 2013 NFL Draft analysis with Taylor as a top 3-5 RB prospect in the class. 

 

 

 

 — I’ve been a Jalen Parmele (7 carries for 16 yards) fan, and he looked better than Taylor (not a huge compliment) in this game, but he looked rusty after his year off. Too many injuries over time. I’m about to blow out this candle for good.

Candle blown…

 

 

 — It may have been because of how bad all the RBs looked before him, but Northern Colorado UDFA RB Zach Bauman (7 carries for 29 yards) looked mildly impressive. He had a hop in his step that the other Ellington-backups didn’t, and he showed nice vision and patience…against a 4th-string defense. Because of the thin talent here, I’ll make a mental note. His background detail will be on our next Draft Guide update.

Bauman made it to the active roster during the injury-fest, but never saw a carry. 

 

 

 — The Cardinals’ home announcers in this game we’re simply bananas for rookie John Brown (5 rec. for 87 yards on 10- targets). In-between orgasms over John BrownJaron Brown (2 rec. for 15 yards and 1 TD on 2 targets) was making better plays with the 1st team. While they would be gushing about John, Jaron would be doing something really good…and they’d waltz right by it.John Brown is going to be OK, but he is not going to redefine the sport…that last message was meant for the Arizona paid spokesman who covered this preseason game.

I swear to you this happened: The one Arizona announcer, who sounded like Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura and Hulk Hogan’s love child, actually said about John Brown during this game, in comparing him to Marvin Harrison, (honest to God) “I’ll bet if you took Brown’s femur and measured it, and measured Harrison’s femur…it would be identical.” As a budding football scout myself, I’ll admit, I’ll watch a lot of tape on college players, but it’s nowhere near the same as really getting up close, and removing the prospect’s femur, and comparing its measurements to previously great NFL players at the same position.

Let’s agree that hyped up rookie prospects we don’t like, we shall now talk about in terms of their ‘great looking femur‘ or ‘I like the femur on that kid‘…and it will be our secret code.

Where was I? Oh, John Brown looks OK…not sure what impact he has behind Fitz-Floyd-Ginn, but he might be something for a few games this FF-season.

I cannot follow my own 2014-self here with any better commentary in 2015.

I forgot about this game/comment…I enjoyed this memory-jog. It also made me wonder if the actual ‘femur’ words were captured somewhere so I could share them with the world. Thank God for YouTube…

Promise me, you will fast-forward to/watch the attached clip from 0:35 to 0:55…just 20 seconds of ‘gold’. It is the ‘femur talk’ in all it’s glory. Later, enjoy the 0:55 to 1:20 section when a seven-figure per year national football analyst proclaims “John Brown is taking the league by storm!”

Was their another league taking place I was unaware of?

You listen to the section from 0:35 to 1:20 here and now you’ll know why we are all constantly hoodwinked on rookie prospects. The actual voice people have in their heads when contracting RDS (Rookie Derangement Syndrome) is this specific guy talking about Brown’s femur…

 

 

— The guy who I refuse to have a ‘good femur’ label attached to: Rookie Safety Deone Bucannon (3 tackles) is the real deal. He had 3 tackles in this game, but should have been credited with 1-2 more (he got robbed by the scorer), and just missed 1-2 more…in limited time. He might be a top-5 hitter (at Safety) in the NFL on day-one, but has the speed to cover like a CB. Dynasty GMs, you’re welcome. I see you nabbing him all over, unfettered this year. Don’t worry, I am not giving up trade secrets for free. I’ve said this since I saw him at the Senior Bowl practices…and non-FFM’ers will still draft Tyrann Mathieu, injury and all. Everyone inside the industry I have told this to, does not believe me/The Computer. I would bet on me on this one. He’s really good, possibly great.

Week after week last season, IDP experts rated Tyrann over Deone despite Bucannon outperforming him every game. Bucannon will be an all-pro Safety soon enough…and a top FF-producer, if he can get away from that hybrid Safety/LB position where he covers a lot of TEs.

 

 

 — You might not bet on me after this next statement: Drew Stanton (11-17 for 152 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) really played well in this game. I was very impressed with what Stanton was doing. I’m not predicting a QB coup, I’m just saying, if he’s forced in…it may not be so awful. He’s not a star, but he’s not the typical backup incompetent many NFL teams have.  

Prescient words. If not for Stanton being so capable, Arizona does not make the playoffs last year.

I quasi-promise, I will have more discussion of Palmer v. Stanton 2014…if I can get to it. The issue is–it doesn’t really matter, because Palmer is going to start regardless, so why waste a ton of energy proving Stanton is as good as Palmer?

 

 

OK, all that above was Arizona Cardinals related…for a reason. Now, onto the Houston Texans.

You don’t have to agree with this next part. If you’re a Texans’ fan, you will hate me. It’s OK. Most people hate me…because I said something cross about ‘their team’ in the past. Just note: In a sense, I am a gambler at heart…a stock picker. I cannot exist in a world where everything is possible, and everyone ‘loves this kid’ on every young player. I cannot have fanatical loyalty to teams or players in this business. They are all commodities to me…they have to be. Stock up, stock down. Things can change by the minute…that’s why I love it so. I have to choose a lane in football situations…I have to be on one side or the other; definitively. When I’m wrong, I’m pretty good and coming back and saying it. For the NOW, I have to pick a lane, and play my cards as such. With that being said…

I think dark clouds are gathering around the Houston Texans franchise, and things are about to get very ugly.

Andre Johnson wants out. He finally got out…

Arian Foster, I don’t think wants to play football anymore…not really.

Half of the Texans’ entire 2013 NFL Draft class has been released already, with DeAndre Hopkins about all there is to show for it…hopefully (D.J. Swearinger is fine, but a hard-hitting Safety is like a penny…they are everywhere, and de-valued). Swearinger dumped this offseason…

The team just got humiliated, 32-0, in their first preseason game…and the score did not indicate the gap between the two (I know it’s just preseason). The players walked around dead in the eyes for the most part.

Today, the Texans cleaned house of a few RBs, and added Ronnie Brown and somebody else non-memorable. Brian Leonard was looked at. Andre Brown may have been quietly revolting too.

I think there is a centerpiece in all this negativity: Bill O’Brien.

Why I love Chip Kelly and Marc Trestman, is the reason why I think Bill O’Brien will be a giant flop as a head man in the NFL. It has nothing to do with IQ. It has everything to do with management style. An old-school offense. A re-tread of Romeo Crennelon defense. A Vince Lombardi style of coaching. It’s not where the NFL, or life in general is headed. This has all the makings ofGreg Schiano 2.0. Super intelligent football mind, with a personality that works better bossing around college kids.

You see it in football, and you see it in Corporate America. Just because you’re a great, dedicated worker with a high IQ…it doesn’t mean you can lead a team of people effectively.  

You want your ‘organic’ football talent to re-sign with you before their contract comes up, and preferably at a slight discount. You want free agents to be attracted to your team…preferably at a slight discount. If given more favorable options, players are going to flee from playing for the likes of Bill O’Brien…and that’s bad for business. Some of the current Texans’ stars appear to be revolting. The cupboard is a little bare. This Texans team played dead in this game…and I think it is a sign of things to come, unfortunately. Their schedule is begging them to make the playoffs…I thought it would happen months ago. I don’t think so now, and not because of this preseason loss, but because of the player actions before and after this game.

The 2015 schedule is once again begging for the Texans to make the playoffs, but I bet they won’t because of the Hoyer-Mallett pending disaster. 

In 2014, The Texans had a winning record. Here’s who they beat: WAS-OAK-TEN 2x-JAC 2x-CLE…6 wins against teams who just drafted #2-3-4-5 in 2015 (JAC, TEN, WAS, OAK). They also defeated BAL and BUF.

The Texans had one win against a playoff team in 2014. Their entire 2014 record against teams who went on to make the playoffs last season: 1-6. 

 

 

OK, off my soap box.

With that, everything is up for FF-grabs with the Texans…

 

 — Jonathan Grimes (10 carries for 39 yards) may be your Week-1 starter at RB. He is a ‘C’ talent, but it doesn’t matter if everyone behind him is a ‘D’, and if Arian Foster is not 100%….and O’Brien tries to send a message to Foster (the two of them are already trading subtle remarks in the press)….or Foster tries to send a message to O’Brien.

It could be Alfred Blue (5 carries for 30 yards, 2 rec. for 14 yards on 5 targets) starting along with Grimes. Blue could not start for LSU, but might for Houston in a couple of weeks. He looked like the best RB prospect in this game, to me.

If Ronnie Brown is the starter, you will be looking at your opening-day backfield of Ronnie Brown and Ryan Fitzpatrick (6-14 for 55 yards, 0 TD/2 INT). Watch out, Colts!

Alfred Blue did emerge as the top ‘handcuff’, but Arian Foster was not hurt in most games…for at least 12.5 games. 

 

 — I would not be 100% shocked if Case Keenum (3-5 for 29 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) is the opening-day starter, but probably not. For those in deep roster, two-QB FF-leagues…Keenum is likely going to be playing within a few weeks into the season, I have a feeling.

It won’t be Tom Savage (2-3 for 14 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) in before Keenum, I suspect. Eventually, it will be, but not right away.

Keenum’s off to St. Louis…to beat out Nick Foles, am I right? I’ve heard the prediction made by a real, popular NFL analyst (and there are others).

 

**Our ever-evolving, ever-updating to opening-day, Moneyball scouted, 2015 Fantasy Football e-Draft Guide and Cheat Sheets are available now. Direct link: Draft Guide 2015 options **

 

 — I almost forgot: Logan Thomas (11-12 for 113 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) has a terrific femur, one comparable to Joe Montana’s, I’ll bet. You can imagine how excited the Cards’ announcers were with his 11 for 12 performance. Next Ben Roethlisberger they say…I say different. I’ve already typed too many words to get into it. Read our scouting report on him on CFM…it still holds true. 

Well, the ‘next Ben Roethlisberger‘ is about to be cut a year later. Why won’t people listen to me about QBs? 

 

**I told the Cardinals all about Logan Thomas in early 2014. Learn from their mistakes, and see the 2015 NFL Draft and 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft, like never before with our Moneyball-style scouting reports and rankings. Go to www.collegefootballmetrics.com **

 

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>