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2015 FANTASY FOOTBALL
You may have noticed we're starting to ramp up our fantasy football coverage for the 2015 season. Our Draft Kit page is live, but it hasn't been completely filled yet. Our team previews are likely to be complete by the end of the week.
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2015 FANTASY BASEBALL
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Archive Page 2

Giants offense ready to break out, play catch-up in 2015

New York Giants

2014 Record: 6-10, missed playoffs, 3-2 in last five

Giants impact rookies | Giants impact sleepers | More team previews

Four downs

1st: 15th in DVOA* overall offense (12th pass, 23rd rush) | 24th in DVOA* overall defense (21st pass, 27th run)

2nd: Lower-third in efficiency against WR1s (23rd, 8.3 pass attempts per game, 66.3 receiving yards per game) and TEs (25th, 7.1 pass attempts, 61.8 yards, according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.

3rd: Key loss: DE Antrel Rolle | Key addition: RB Shane Vereen

4th: The answer to the top 5 questions for the Giants in 2015 all point to Odell Beckham Jr. OK. Maybe one points to Jason Pierre-Paul. Maybe another to Eli Manning. But the Beckham is the most talented skill player on the team. There is loads of hype on this second-year star — he’s already on the cover of Madden. It’s going to be difficult for him to live up to expectations, but he’ll probably get plenty of opportunity to try. His arrival, the continued improvement of Rueben Randle and the eventual return of Victor Cruz, even if he may never be the same player, should give this offense plenty of weapons for defenses to fear. The addition of Shane Vereen muddies the backfield a bit. Rashad Jennings was decent in his 11 games, but wasn’t such a force that he’ll win the job outright. Andre Williams showed promise especially during two 100-yard showings in the final four games of the season. Too bad the other two games were absolute stinkers. Vereen has impressed coaches with his pass-blocking and his catching ability was apparent in New England. It’ll be interesting to see if one RB rises to the top or if the Giants will go with a three-pronged attack this season. In either case, the Giants offense will likely be targeted in fantasy and feared by defenses in 2015. Which is good news for the Giants. Even if JPP can’t get on the field in a timely manner the defense is going to be in trouble. They’ll be without Mathias Kiwanuka, who was cut, and Antrel Rolle, who left via free agency. Both players’ performance has fallen off, but entering camp without JPP to anchor the defensive line and no starting safety the Giants could probably use some veteran bodies.

*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.

Does Hardy addition push Cowboys defense into top-10?

Dallas Cowboys

2014 Record: 12-4, NFC East Champions, 4-1 in last five

Cowboys impact rookies | Cowboys impact sleepers | More team previews

Four downs

1st: 4th in DVOA* overall offense (4th pass, 3rd rush) | 22nd in DVOA* overall defense (22nd pass, 22nd run)

2nd: Third-worst team in the NFL at stopping WR2s (5.9 pass attempts per game, 60.2 receiving yards per game), but shut down TEs (3rd-best, 7 pass attempts, 47 yards), according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.

3rd: Key loss: RB DeMarco Murray | Key addition: RB Darren McFadden

4th: I’ve written this thing twice now and both times it evolved into 150 words about Darren McFadden. So I changed key addition to Darren McFadden from Greg Hardy. Here’s the bottom line: We can consider him injury prone, whether you consider that term a myth or not. He also is only 27, played his first full 16-game season last year. Because his body has been on the sidelines instead of getting beat up in games he may be able to extend the window for his peak/above-average years. I’m not all-in on McFadden, but I won’t avoid him if I think he presents value in the draft. The Cowboys will likely start with Joseph Randle as the starter. He ran for 6.7 yards per carry last season, that will certainly fall off if he gets more attempts, but it’s proof the Cowboys line does work for the RBs. Dez Bryant re-signed with the Cowboys, which should mean more of the same from him and QB Tony Romo. Maybe more if the team struggles to replace DeMarco Murray’s contributions. Jason Witten appears to be ageless. I was looking for an end-of-season dropoff, but all I found was that he had 18 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown in his last three games. On the defensive side, Hardy will be suspended four games for assaulting a woman, a serious problem in the NFL. A defense that finished 22nd across the board according to DVOA needs playmakers and Hardy definitely fits the bill. He has a 15-sack season, an 11-sack season and seven career forced fumbles. He only played in one game last season, but had three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Hardy signed a one-year contract that could grow to $13 million if incentives are reached.

*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.

EXPIRED: Can you explain why you need a free mobile drafting app in 250 words or less?

[UPDATE – This offer has expired]

Football Guys, one of the most trusted names in fantasy sports, is giving away 500 copies of its 2015 Mobile Draft Dominator app.

All participants need to do is tell them in 250 words why they need the app. The 500 best answers will be chosen.

Deadline is TONIGHT (July 21, 2015) at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Enter here: http://subscribers.footballguys.com/2015/15_free_dominator_app_giveaway_contest.php

Here are some examples of stories participants might want to tell, as provided by Football Guys:

  • I’m fighting enemy combatants overseas as a Marine.
  • I’ve finished 2nd in my league for three years running.
  • Someone ate the last Eggo.

Don’t overthink it. Just let us know why YOU deserve to win.

You’ll be notified via email if you win. The bonus is that you also get added to the Football Guys daily email newsletter, which is my primary source for news and information, especially in the preseason. A lot of sites are providing a trickle of information right now. Football Guys is on daily email update No. 86.

I’m going to put together a tools of the trade section soon. Their newsletter will be at the top of the list.

Nowhere to go but up for Redskins pass offense and defense

Washington Redskins

2014 Record: 4-12, hahaha. ha, 1-4 in last five

Redskins impact rookies | Redskins impact sleepers | More team previews

Four downs

1st: 28th in DVOA* overall offense (27h pass, 17th rush) | 27th in DVOA* overall defense (32nd pass, 9th run)

2nd: Sixth best in the NFL at stopping receiving RBs (6.1 pass attempts per game, 30.4 receiving yards per game), but probably mostly because every other receiver type was having career days against them. They rank 30th against WR2s and 29th against WR1, slot/bench WRs and TEs according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.

3rd: Key loss: WR Brian Orakpo | Key addition: WR Dashon Goldson

4th: Yuck. It’s difficult to get excited about the Redskins. Twenty-seventh in overall defense and 32nd against the pass. Orakpo’s been injured for a couple seasons, but he’s a three-time Pro Bowler and he’s only 28. Seeing him go would be puzzling if we weren’t talking about the Redskins. They added Dashon Goldson. Goldson is only 30, but the big-play safety didn’t make many big plays in two seasons in the Tampa Bay defensive scheme. It’ll be interesting to see how the new surroundings suit him. If he can be a good complement to LBs Ryan Kerrigan, Keenan Robinson and Perry Riley Jr., this defense should make some strides in 2015. On the offensive side of the ball, the big question is at quarterback where Robert Griffin III will once again attempt to recapture the magic he flashed in his rookie campaign. I’m not sure he can do it, but he doesn’t have many excuses throwing to receivers like Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson and TE Jordan Reed (if he can stay healthy). And now he has a quarterback coach. If Griffin is back, expect big improvements from Garcon and Jackson. Alfred Morris is prototypical power bellcow back who will continue to grind in 2015. Third-round pick Matt Jones has impressed as a receiver and blocker, which means the Redskins may not miss Roy Helu’s departure.

*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.

Eagles have pieces in place to make Super Bowl run

Philadelphia Eagles

2014 Record: 10-6, missed playoffs, 2-3 in last five

Eagles impact rookies | Eagles impact sleepers | More team previews

Four downs

1st: 13th in DVOA* overall offense (15th pass, 13th rush) | 10th in DVOA* overall defense (18th pass, 7th run)

2nd: DVOA suggests the Eagles were decent — top-12-ish — at stopping wide receiver ones and twos. But only one team allowed more passing yards per game to WR1s (10.1 pass attempts per game, 84.2 yards per game) and they tied for second in yards allowed to WR2s (7.5, 71), according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.

3rd: Key loss: WR LeSean McCoy | Key addition: WR DeMarco Murray

4th: Every year I’m intrigued by a handful of Eagles players dating back to Donovan McNabb’s rookie season. This year I’m excited to see how both current and former Eagles perform in this Age of Chip Kelly. So, McCoy is in Buffalo, Murray is in Philadelphia. The quarterback is Sam Bradford, unless it’s Mark Sanchez. And it’s not like Crazy Chip’s going to let us know. I found it interesting the Eagles were ranked so low in DVOA. The Chiefs, with their anemic passing offense, rank higher overall, passing and rushing. The Eagles call a lot of plays and fail on quite a few, so DVOA may not be the best statistic to rate them with. On the defensive side, the Eagles moved McCoy to get Kiko Alonso who is probably the most complete linebacker on the squad, with DeMeco Ryans likely slowed down by injury and age. Fletcher Cox is a force on one of the best defensive lines in the game. But the offense runs plays so fast the defense spends more time on the field than others in the NFL. It’ll be interesting to see if the Eagles slow down a bit with their three-headed monster running back unit — also featuring former star Charger Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, who scored six TDs for the Eagles last season.

*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.

Could additions push Chiefs back into playoffs in 2015?

Kansas City Chiefs

2014 Record: 9-7, missed playoffs, 2-3 in last five

Chiefs impact rookies | Chiefs impact sleepers | More team previews

Four downs

1st: 12th in DVOA* overall offense (14th pass, 5th rush) | 19th in DVOA* overall defense (13th pass, 26th run)

2nd: Middle of the road against all receiver types according to DVOA. But only three teams allowed more receiving yards per game to WR2s than the Chiefs (8.7 pass attempts per game, 66.9 yards per game), according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.

3rd: Key loss: WR Dwayne Bowe | Key addition: WR Jeremy Maclin

4th: Considered making Tyvon Branch the top addition for a defense that ranked 19th overall last season and 26th against the run — Branch has four 94-tackle-or-better seasons in his career. But Maclin is an interesting addition. Everyone sort of feels like Dwayne Bowe was long in the tooth. Now he’s in Cleveland and Maclin takes over as the top target for an excited Alex Smith. The Chiefs have been in the bottom eight in passing attempts every season since 2008, but DVOA suggests they’re offense could be better than advertised. Travis Kelce is the No. 2 option and Jamaal Charles is third. Unless the Chiefs really open things up, there really isn’t much opportunity for other receivers in this offense. Defensively, I love the Branch addition and the decision to pay Justin Houston. It’ll help if Dee Ford can become more than just a pass rusher and improve that 26th-ranked run defense.

*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.

25 reasons why you shouldn’t draft the 25 best players in fantasy football

While on vacation with my family, sitting in the screened-in gazebo by the pool I looked up at the ceiling fan and noticed some minor flaws in the ceiling.

It’s a ridiculous thought. I’m on vacation in another state in this amazing house with my awesome family and I took note of this flaw. But it’s what we do all the time while evaluating players for fantasy football.

Continue reading ’25 reasons why you shouldn’t draft the 25 best players in fantasy football’