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2015 REWIND: 2014 Preseason Week-1 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: DEN vs. SEA

Date:
January 24, 2018 1:30 AM
July 28, 2015 9:54 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 indented/block quotes). 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.

**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 **

 

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…

 

======================

 

No 3,000+ word recap/manifesto here, as this was a truly dull game from a Fantasy Football scouting perspective…

 — I have one, and only one, real thing to convey here: Christine Michael (7 carries for 16 yards and 1 TD, 3 rec. for 12 yards on 3 targets) has the potential to be a superstar, and I do not say that lightly. I lot of people say a lot of players ‘could be great’, and it is a cheap compliment…I usually tell you how terrible they all really are. Not here.

Just because I proclaim this, doesn’t mean we all run off a cliff head-first trying to trade for him. As we know from our Antone Smith saga of the past 0-4 years, the most talented guy doesn’t always get the shot. Marshawn Lynch (DNP) haphazardly grabbed Seattle management by the balls for fun, and they coughed up an extra million or so…to an already well paid RB. You don’t do that of you are preparing for a RB coup d’état on your loaded RB depth chart. You do it because you’re scared of life without the words ‘beast mode’ being uttered nine million times. This is Marshawn Lynch’s backfield, and don’t you forget it.

If you want to acquire Christine Michael at a discount for Dynasty, wait until closer to the season start, or after Weeks 1-2 when he sees 3-4-5 touches, and starts to be forgotten about again.

Make no mistake. Once Michael is given that job, whether via injury or Lynch released next season…he may never give it back for years. 220+ pound humans should not have the first step/burst, and agility that Christine Michael does. He is a freak. Mark this down, and note the date, for court appearances later. I want Michael to be called/nicknamed ‘The Freak’, and thus I want all rights to merchandise that contains my coined phrase, that I just thought of, ‘Freak Mode’. Every time Michael touches the ball, I want it said…and to be paid. Every announcer and fan who says my patent pending ‘phrase that pays’, you must toss me a shiny quarter.

No doubt, some of your capitalistic wheels are spinning…contact me, and I’ll have my people talk to your people. A.K.A. you and I will chat. You’re a horrible human if you steal my idea without fair compensation, and I curse your business venture…

I know many lawyers follow FFM. Get ready for some pro bono work!

Where was I? Oh, yeah: Christine Michael is like a bulked up LeSean McCoy. He changes gears, and accelerates effortlessly. Physically, athletically…Michael is an A++. What we don’t know, and where he has had issues, is how he’ll hold up off the field. His off-field history has not been damning, but has been dicey.

Well, we all know now that the Christine Michael ‘thing’ in 2014 was all just a hoax…again (seems like he does this to people every preseason). The Michael-Lynch debate was white hot almost a year ago to the day. Lynch was falling in ADP status pre-preseason training camps, and Michael was blazing up the charts. None of it was true…and my dreams of being a millionaire via suing someone for stealing my ‘Freak Mode‘ idea remains on hold.

‘You’re welcome’ to those I counseled into selling Michael into this hype in Dynasty the 1st-half of calendar 2014. I’m in the mindset today, as I was back in 2014–that Michael is ‘special’, but he may never see the field with Seattle…but if he does, people are going to go insane. The price is way down in Dynasty–you should be a cheap investor if you can afford to burn the roster spot. 

 

**Read our full 1,000+ word scouting report on Christine Michael, a.k.a “Freak Mode’ from 2013, and see the 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft, like never before with our Moneyball-style scouting reports and rankings Go to www.collegefootballmetrics.com **

 

 

Coming off a Super Bowl victory, and being able to wear that cloak of invincibility around, the moment Marshawn Lynch held out…I would have jammed that up his arse, and did a Billy Beane, and traded him at the market peak…ditching his bigger contract, calling a bluff on his faux-retirement desires, redeploying the loot, and thus Bledsoe-ing him with Brady (a.k.a. Michael).

For you vanilla football announcers, that’s the true definition of label you push, “They really like this kid.” When they actually do something proactive about it, then I’ll believe they really “like this kid.” I’m looking forward to more weeks of Pete Carroll, acting like a ‘concerned’ Bill Clinton (in a tired southern-drawl, thumb inside of fist pointing at you)…”We got to figure out how to get Christine the ball more.” It’s a conundrum. Just ask Mike Smith about Antone Smith. It’s a virtual Rubik’s Cube.

Don’t laugh past that paragraph too quickly. Let it sink in. If Pete Carroll really was grooming Christine Michael…if he really believed, he would get him more meaningful touches in the regular-season. To be fair, Carroll did give him 34 carries last season…and Michael posted 5.2 yards per carry. Too small a sample to get jacked over, and it was pushed by one big run (a 45-yarder).

All you can project on Michael is a deep long-shot for FF-2015, as well as 2016+.  Do you think some team going to back up a Brink’s truck in free agency for a guy who never really played for Seattle? You think he goes somewhere else in 2016 to fully start, and not ‘time share’ or ‘backup’?

He’s so gifted, all you can do is hold and pray in Dynasty.

 

 

 — Broncos UDFA RB Juwan Thompson (6 carries for 59 yards, and another 20+ yard run called back) was the MVP of this game. His great night comes down to one of two scouting judgments, and I am probably in the #2 camp all alone…along with all the Seattle fans who watched…hoping I’m right about this. It’s either:

1) Thompson is a great RB, and he will challenge Montee Ball (DNP) for the starter’s spot, because he ran unscathed all over the place in this game.

2) Seattle’s 2nd and 3rd-string took the night off of playing run defense, and Thompson was lucky enough to have huge gaping holes…almost like he had a force field around him that you couldn’t get within 5-yards of him until he gained his first 7-yards on the play. It was weird…or Seattle is in big-time trouble in 2014. OR Juwan Thompson is a future superstar…pick your poison.

The reason I’m with the #2 option is because fellow rookie UDFA Kapri Bibbs (4 carries for 18 yards and 1 TD, 1 target) entered after Thompson, and achieved much of the same thing.

Two things about Bibbs:

(1) He scored 31 rushing TDs in his D1 college debut last season. Whereas Thompson scored ONE rushing TD in 11 games last season for Duke, and two rushing TDs in his last 24 games played.

(2) Bibbs was moving with purpose…he showed great vision. Thompson was a wind-up toy that ran straight through the gigantic hole until his body reached other bodies. Bibbs had something extra going on. I was impressed.

Most will walk away from this game with “The Broncos really like this Juwan Thompson kid.” I kinda left liking the ‘Bibbs kid’. It’s all meaningless for FF-2014, unless injury hits above on the depth chart. I will say this: Thompson will make this team, and Bibbs may bump C.J. Anderson (1 carry for 5 yards, 2 rec. for 9 yards on 3 targets) off it as well. Most likely, Bibbs goes to the practice squad…watch to see if anyone poaches him. I need to see more of Bibbs, but I liked this first glimpse. Check out what I saw on him in college on CFM. I’m not predicting stardom, I’m just noting for when ever he is forced to start due to someone else’s injury between now and 2016.

Well, Juwan Thompson made the team and Kapri Bibbs went to the practice squad. Thompson actually was getting pushed ahead of C.J. Anderson mid-2014 after Montee and Hillman went down. CJA was a 4th-option for Denver who struck gold, and is now the hottest thing in Fantasy. People should be highly skeptical Anderson will navigate this landmine RB depth chart unscathed this year. 

Thompson won’t push him because he’s one dimensional…there’s not much there with him for Dynasty-Fantasy. Bibbs will be better served on another team to ever get a chance. Even then, he probably doesn’t have the juice to become a consistent starter-star in the NFL.

 

Ronnie Hillman (6 carries for 15 yards and 1 TD, 1 rec. for 5 yards on 1 target) is an odd situation.

A year ago, Hillman was the apple of many Fantasy owner’s eye. Today, people are trying to outguess who will take over for Atlanta if Steven Jackson is out of action much longer. Others are trying to curse Gore-Tate-Lynch into injuries because they want to love Hyde-West-Michael…meanwhile, a young up & down RB has an appendectomy surgery (Montee), forcing him to miss a critical preseason in his early development…and we’re all ‘Ronnie Hillman sucks‘. You didn’t think that a year ago. He’s talented. He just hit a bad fumble stretch last year…which is worth being FF-tentative about. However, you always forgave David Wilson, but you never let Hillman breathe again from his trouble.

It’s possible Ronnie Hillman is your Week-1 starter for Denver…and what if he goes nuts on opening-day? Montee Ball has the gravitas of auto-starter already…should he? Maybe he does. I’m just sayin’…

Well, Montee Ball got hurt again, and torched many Fantasy GMs to start 2014. Denver turned to Ronnie Hillman to save the day, and he was fantastic for weeks–until he got hurt. Hillman mattered after all.

If I were an NFL GM, and I had to pick one Denver RB for free to start a do or die game for me, based on my experience watching/scouting all of the options from college to the pros–I take Ronnie Hillman. Now, Montee Ball is fine enough talent. CJA is fine. Bibbs is fine. No slam to those guys, and it’s not like Hillman is on some other planet of talent comparatively, but it’s just I think Hillman has worked the best as a pro–after what I saw last season. 

 

 — Brock Osweiler (6-12 for 85 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) looked fine at times in his first 2014 outing. He’s solid. Still not sure he has a gear to ‘great’, but he’s serviceable. He’ll be three years in the NFL after this 2014 campaign, with 2015 as his soon to enter free agent year. It will be interesting to see what Denver does with him. I’m not sure they’ll have the money available to hold on to him if Peyton’s still playing. I wonder if they really want to that badly?

Osweiler is entering the Ryan Mallett-zone. A QB people liked, but weren’t really sure on. A guy who gets some preferential benefit of the doubt because he backed up a legend, so of course he isn’t playing…but could it be that the legend is holding back some secret superstar waiting to be discovered? 

Our scouting models were mostly against Ryan Mallett, but he did show some mild hope. Watching him over several preseasons–it was confirmed: He’s doesn’t have ‘it’.

We were a little ‘higher’ on Osweiler, but were also betting against coming out of Arizona State (came out too soon). Watching him in NFL preseasons…not great. He’s been better than Mallett, but I’ve not seen anything to get excited about. Guys like (random examples) Ryan NassibNick Foles (when he was a backup no one cared about)…these are guys who jumped off the screen working in their NFL preseasons. Mallett and Osweiler, I’ve never been moved by either.

Osweiler is a free agent after this year, so I suspect some team will make a cheap move after him–like with Ryan Mallett. The outlook for Denver’s offensive weapons for FF-purposes after Peyton leaves is going to be frightening.

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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 >>