CMS BoxMuncher, Team Previews

Team Preview: Kash

kamp-funnykamp-team

The second newcomer in the league is none other than fan favorite Jordan Kamphuis. The first time GM enters into fantasy football with very little knowledge, but a willingness to learn. We caught up with Kamphuis to ask him about his team’s (CMS Box muncher) mentality towards starting season number one under the new regime. “It’s going to be hot sauce babaaay, we are going to be fire on the field and put asian babies in the seats”. He followed this up with an odd rendition of Maggie Mae, and did a little dance to show his excitement for the season. It is a pressure filled spot to be one of the two new members in the Couches Elite league due to a new member winning the championship in every year since it’s inception. The way he responds to this pressure is simple, “Pressure? We are going to be as cold as the better side of the pillow case”. So close.

 

QBs: D+

 

Yikes, Kamphuis is putting all of his eggs in two very different but equally as risky baskets. Robert Griffin III is starting his career resurgence in Cleveland this year and few believe he will be able to get back to his rookie season form. Griffin was the #33 QB in 2014 after playing in 9 games before getting benched for Kirk Cousins, and he didn’t see the field in 2015. Add in the fact that Cleveland does not have much luck with QB’s, and the odds are certainly against Griffin to have a successful comeback season at the helm. If there is a silver lining, it is that Hugh Jackson is the new Browns coach, and he is known as a QB whisperer of sorts. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a career long journeyman who found his most success last year in a Jets uniform. He achieved the 11th best season amongst Quarterbacks a year ago. Can this performance be repeated, or will he revert back to what he has been for the bulk of his career?

 

RBs: C+

 

Eddie Lacy and Jeremy Hill had very similar seasons in 2015. Both were high draft picks in the fantasy football world, and were expected to help lead their teams to championships, and, well, they didn’t. Lacy came in overweight and Hill found himself in the dreaded Running back by committee. They finished the season as running backs 32 and 20 respectively. They both have performed well in the preason though, so maybe they will get back to their pre-2015 selves.

 

WRs: B+

 

Julio, Julio, Julio baby. The man is a machine and Julio Jones had one of the best seasons in NFL history last year, only to be overshadowed by Antonio Brown. Jones had the same amount of catches, and more yards than Brown. The only thing that held him back was his low touchdown numbers because Matt Ryan prefers to throw the ball to the other team in the redzone. Since touchdowns can be fluky, I see no reason that Julio cannot be the #1 overall player in 2016. Speaking of fluky touchdown numbers, Mike Evans only had 3 Touchdowns last year despite being in the top 20 in both targets and Redzone targets. If he can maintain his otherwise solid receiving stats, and the touchdowns can jump up to league average, he is a viable WR1 candidate, and if he is not getting the touchdowns, maybe Kamphuis’ other Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson will. Add in Doug Baldwin who had a historic end to the season (12 touchdowns in his last 8 games) and CMS Box muncher may have a top 3 receiving core in the league.

 

TE: B+
Colby Fleener is the new Saints tight end. Some may say that doesn’t mean much, but I disagree. The Saints Tight End has finished in the top 6 in the league every year since 2010. Jimmy Graham was a big part of that, but Benjamin Watson finished 6th just last year, and we all saw how Graham underperformed in Seattle before going down to injury. Look for Fleener to have a breakout year. If he can’t do it, CMS has Ladarius Green, who should be effective for Pittsburgh once he returns from injury.

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Grand Rapids Chodes, Team Previews

Team Preview: A. Dokk

andy-purple-plaidandy-team

How would you feel if you had the worst scoring team throughout a fantasy football season, and you were playing in a matchup that the loser was headed to take the ACT? You would be a 28 year old adult with a full time job, taking a college prep exam with a bunch of 17 year olds. That feeling was felt by general manager Andy Van Dokkumburg of the Grand Rapids Chodes in 2015. Thankfully, the Chodes were able to pull out a victory in that final week to avoid the inaugural ACT. This year, there are loftier goals than simply missing the ACT. The Chodes are hoping to make a run at the championship. The only question that remains, is that if he wins, does he spend the money at Mulligans all in one night, or does he spread it throughout the week?

 

QBs: C

 

The idea that Ben Roethlisberger is a fallacy to some extent because he has one or two huge games a year (35.9 points in week 13 and 32.7 points in week 2). But in reality, he has been a top 5 QB only once in his career (2007) and only a top 10 QB 2 other times since he entered the league in 2003. I wouldn’t expect that to change without the Steelers second best receiver Martavis Bryant who is suspended for all of 2016. Matt Ryan is in the same boat but to a worse extent. Atlanta Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan is known for not being able to produce great fantasy QB’s and that didn’t change last year when Matt Ryan finished 20th amongst quarterbacks.

 

RBs: B

 

Andy is the bold general manager who took Ezekial Elliott in the first round, and I think it was an excellent pick. Experts believe that Elliott is the most sure fire running back to come into the league in quite some time, and he will be running behind an offensive line that helped Darren Mcfadden to a 2015 season as a RB1. Add in Jonathan Stewart who is the most steady running back in the NFL and had 20 or more carries in 8 straight games last season, and you have a solid duo. Once Dion Lewis comes back from injury, the Chodes will have a formidable group of running backs.

 

WRs: C

 

Eh. There is not a ton of excitement in VanDokkumburg’s group of receivers, but they have potential for a solid season as a ceiling. Jordy Nelson is coming back after missing the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. TY Hilton was having another solid season before Andrew Luck went down with an injury himself, and Hilton wasn’t able to continue his successful season with old man Hasselback behind the center. Both should have good comebacks, but will it be enough. Michael Crabtree had one of the most underrated seasons of 2015 while his superstar counterpart Amari Cooper got all of the glory. In reality, Cooper was the #21 receiver in fantasy, while Crabtree was #17. I expect those roles to reverse, but no one should overlook Crabtree. One of the rookies floating under the radar is Will Fuller, he mostly runs fly routes, but if him and osweiler can create a connection, watch out. I do not expect much from Mohamed Sanu or Kenny Britt who I honestly didn’t know was still in the league.

 

TE: A-
This is the breakout year for Travis Kelce. The Kansas City Chiefs want him to be the man, and for a team that refuses to use their wide receivers, him and Jeremy Maclin should be #1 and #1a for the Chiefs offense. Add in Zach Ertz who quietly had the #9 ranked season amongst tight ends in 2015 while he was a free agent. He also was over 20 points in each of his last three weeks. Andy should have his choice based on matchups to have a top end tight end on a week-to-week basis.

Team Novack, Team Previews, The Dogs

Team Preview: Jay

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General Manager Justin Novack (Jay) drafted a team with plenty of youth, who will be lead by second year Quarterback Jameis Winston. A few of our journalists caught up with Winston to ask his thoughts on his new teammates and the recently installed team name “The Dogs”. He responded by essentially yelling at the journalists in an almost rabid tone “ We some dogs, we ain’t no puppies”. After giving off some puzzling looks but deciding to proceed with the interview, the journalists continued to press on about the prospects of the team, but Winston only wanted to continue his rampage “ I mean we Bears, not cubs. Eagles, not Eaglets”. Safe to say that Winston thinks the Dogs are going to be a team of brute, animalistic strength, and not that of their weaker, younger, counterparts.

 

QBs: C+

 

The two Floridian quarterbacks that Novack has on his roster are risky picks with upside. Jameis Winston finished the 2015 season as the #13 QB in ESPN leagues with over 4,000 yards and 17 Fantasy points per game. Not bad for a rookie. Assuming he can take a leap forward in year two, he should be able to crack the bottom of the QB1 tier. Ryan Tannehill on the other hand had an abysmal year after begininning with such high expectations. The Dolphins quarterback had okay passing numbers with a 62% completion percentage, 4,200 yards, and 24 touchdowns, but people have come to expect better rushing numbers from him than he was able to produce. This lead him to a year as the # 17 QB. With QB Guru Adam Gase becoming the head coach, there is reason to believe this may improve.

 

RBs: B-

 

Lamar Miller has moved over to Houston from Miami after having a efficient career with low quantity with the Dolphins. He stated that he wants more out of his role, and the Texans give their running backs more touches than any team in the league. The only question is, with so many different regimes coming through Miami, how come not one of them thought Miller could carry the load as a workhorse back? I project him to have an outstanding season for the Texans. Rashard Jennings is the undisputed lead back for the New York Giants, and being a starter in the NFL means something. But with Eli Manning having attempted the 4th most passes last year, how much of a role does the Giants starting running back have? Duke Johnson Jr. and Giovanni Bernard are similar backs for teams in Ohio. Both will have their games where their pass catching ability puts them into RB1 range, but it will take some excellent coaching by Jay to decide which of his 3 average backs are going to have the most optimal week for RB2 on his roster.

 

WRs: B+

 

The Dogs have depth for days at Wide Receiver, and an elite guy in Allen Robinson who should be a sure thing. Phillip Dorsett and Michael Thomas do have value as #3 WR’s on teams that use 3 receivers in their base sets. Kamar Aiken and Tyler Lockett are top 2 receivers on teams that should be able to move the ball, but both are expected to have breakouts based on small sample sizes. The Question mark for this corp is if either Golden Tate or Randall Cobb are truly WR2 worthy. Many think Cobb should return to his 2012-2014 form now that Jordy Nelson is back in the Packers lineup, but after finishing his season outside of the top 25 in 2015, that is no guarantee. With Calvin Johnson watching from his couch in 2016, Golden Tate has a “Golden opportunity” (That was terrible, but i refuse to delete it) to breakout, but many believe that Marvin Jones is the true #1 in Detroit.

 

TE: C-
GM Novack has a love affair for Charles Clay, who had a pretty mediocre 2015 with only 51 catches and 3 touchdowns. But, at least many of the teams have guys in a similar vein as the Bills Tight End.

Hurricane Ditka, Team Previews

Team Preview: Carston

troy-boltoncarston-team

General Manager Carston Clark leads Hurricane Ditka into their 5th season in the league. After back to back seasons missing the playoffs, he really needs a bounce back year to keep spirits high in the locker room. It should be said with absolute certainty that Hurricane Ditka will win the championship in 2016. Why? Because GM Clark believes in his team and is also the one who writes these previews.

 

QB’s: B-

 

The San Diego Chargers had a season filled with Injuries last season. Both receivers Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd were lost for the season, and the offensive line was a rotating door of guys coming in and out of the lineup. This had a major effect on Philip Rivers and the offense as a whole. Despite all of this, Rivers was able to put together an average of 22.4 Fantasy points per game, and pair that with the fact that Rivers has been a top 10 fantasy quarterback in 7 of the last 10 years, and it is safe to consider him in the middle of the QB1 range. Hurricane Ditka also sports Andy Dalton in their starting lineup. Dalton was in the middle of a career year in 2015, before getting injured in week 14. He was averaging 20.98 points per game, which had him ranked just behind Russell Wilson for 3rd in the NFL. I expect some regression with the losses of Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Tyler Eifert’s Injury, but it is reasonable to expect Carston to have two serviceable quarterbacks.

 

RBs: A-

 

David Johnson had a breakout finish to his rookie season. In the final 5 games in which he started for the Arizona Cardinals, Johnson averaged 22.96 points per game. GIven that it was a small sample size, it is no guarantee that he can continue with that production, but with his pass catching ability and his power running style, he is worth every penny. HD’s other star running back is headed a different direction. Jamaal Charles has been a superstar in the league for quite some time. In years he has been healthy, Charles has been a top 10 running back every year but one since he entered the league and was the top running back in 2014. But after having an ACL tear for the second time last season, Hurricane Ditka should be concerned about what he can bring to the table in 2016. That may put the pressure on Latavius Murray who was third in rush attempts in 2015. With Jack Del Rio saying that he would like Murray to have even more touches, it is safe to say that if healthy, his #10 2015 running back ranking may be just the floor for Murray.

 

WR’s : B-

 

After taking running backs with his first two picks, Carston Clark got quite lucky with Demaryius Thomas falling to him in the third round. Since 2012, Thomas has never had less than 1,300 Yards and 140 Targets, and there is no way quarterback play can be that much worse than it was in 2015 with Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. Donte Moncrief should be viewed as receiver 1a for the Indianapolis Colts behind TY Hilton. Moncrief and Andrew Luck were creating quite the connection before luck went down to Injury last season. Add in the production of new Lions receiver Marvin Jones, who outperformed Golden Tate in the preseason, and a trio of 1st or 2nd year receivers in Devin Funchess, Sterling Shepard, and Tajae Sharpe and Clark should be able to find a group that can give him better than average production.

 

TE: C

 

Zach Miller is a guy, that’s about it. He did have games of 28,19,13, and 11 points last season, and with Martellus Bennett out of town, he will be the #1 guy, but still. Not a lot should be expected of the Bears TE.

Ermahgerd Dehrnerd, Team Previews

Team Preview: Kyle

kyle-and-sadlerkyle-team

Ehrmagherd Dehrnerd (I don’t think I have ever spelled this the same way twice) probably thinks they should have won the league last year, as they always do. But after a playoff loss, ED is still looking for the ever elusive championship. In 2016, Kyle Novack will rely on the suspended players to bring him to glory. When asked about his team after the draft, Kyle said “I have the best team, and it helps that i’m playing against 11 bitches who know nothing about fantasy football” in a completely factual and entirely not made up answer.

 

QBs: A-

 

People want to look at Aaron Rodger’s season in 2015 and assume that he is on the decline. He did finish 12th amongst quarterbacks. That was without his star receiver, and with the most inept running game that the Packers have seen in quite some time. Even though he had a poor season, no one should expect that trend to continue. In the 7 seasons that Rodgers has played at least 15 games since 2008, last season is the only season where he was outside of the top 2 in Quarterback fantasy points. Don’t over think it. A lot of people think Dehrnerd’s other quarterback is poised for a breakout season. Marcus Mariota had an up and down season in his rookie year with Tennessee. He has the big play ability and should improve as many second year quarterbacks do, but that is not without question marks. Mariota is in a predominately running offense who would like to utilize the legs of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry over the arm of Mariota. Mariota has some running ability himself, which helps his fantasy value, but he is not injury-averse. He missed 4 games last year, and could miss more if they ask him to run more often in 2016.

 

RBs: B

 

If Le’Veon Bell did not have to face a 3 game suspension to start the year, Novack’s running back corp would be one of the best in the CE league. It helps, that he has DeAngelo Williams to fill in during those weeks, but at age 33, Williams’ production could drop off at any moment. C.J. Anderson did not live up to expectations in 2015, but showed moments of greatness. With Ronnie Hillman now out of the picture, and Trevor Simeon running the offense, Kyle should expect a heavy workload out of his #2 Running back.  

 

WRs: C-

 

When you spend a high draft pick on a quarterback, you need to make sacrifices elsewhere. ED did that with Wide Receiver depth. He does not have a receiver on his roster without question marks. His stud is Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who had a very poor year in 2015, a lot due to injury. The big question marks when it comes to Bryant is how well he has recovered from his foot injury, and if he can play without Tony Romo, who will be out until mid-season. The silver-lining is that when Bryant played in 2015, he was still targeted 8.1 times a game. Jordan Matthews is playing in a bad Philadelphia offense with a rookie quarterback who hasn’t even played against Division 1 opponents, let alone NFL defenses. Steve Smith Sr. is 37 years old and coming off of a torn achilles. And Josh Gordon, the wild card of the league is suspended for the first 4 games and has only played in 5 regular season games since 2013. Kyle is hoping for the best with this group, but may have to rely on Terrelle Pryor and Ted Ginn Jr. and their ability to only run streaks if he is going to find top level production from this group.

 

TE: C+
Eric Ebron should gain more usage around the end zone with Calvin Johnson retired, but for the most part, he is simply one of the many guys in that second tier of Tight End. Add in an injury that has caused him to miss most of training camp, and Ebron should be considered a below average tight end with upside.

Jake From State Farm, Team Previews

Team Preview: Jacob

jacob-profilejacob-team

2015’s champion is looking for a repeat in 2016. Jake from State Farm was a newcomer to the league last year, and after a rocky start, and being told by someone who shall remain anonymous to “enjoy your 5-7 season”, he went on a roll all the way to a championship season. Add in the fact that he won the Antonio Brown sweepstakes this year, and things were looking up for the 2nd year manager. There are doubters however who believe that Jacob has not been making the right moves in his effort to repeat. One league manager said “I think Jacob blew the number one spot” and considers his squad to be one the worst in the league. ESPN disagrees, putting JFSF as the team with the highest projection in week 1. Time will tell if he has enough to keep his trophy after Year 2.

 

QBs: B

 

Russell Wilson was worth the high draft pick that was placed on him 2015, but only because of his unbelievably efficient last half of the season. Wilson had a stat line from Week 11 to Week 15 last year with games of 25, 37, 34, 32 and 26 fantasy points. If he can continue with that efficiency, there is a chance at him being the #1 QB in 2016. Derek Carr is a personal favorite of Jacob, and it is tough to know why that is. He does have two top level receivers, and an offensive line that is elite, but he faltered down the stretch last year. In his last 8 games, Carr had 9 Interceptions to his 13 Touchdowns, and only went over 300 yards twice. All of those stats lead to just one game with over 20 fantasy points. He will need to improve on that to be considered a top end quarterback this season.

 

RBs: D

 

The only reason that this group does not receive a failing grade is because of Mark Ingrams success last year, and the late round value that LeGarrette Blount provides. In a league that requires two running backs to be played and can allow up to 4 at a time, only having one starting running back isn’t perceived as ideal. Jacob may need to make some trades to adjust this questionmark of a unit. When asked about his lack of depth, Lee simply responded with his all too typical answer of “When you’re champion, you can criticize my strategy”. Classic.

 

WRs: A

 

Where Jacob lacks in Running backs, he certainly makes up for it in wide receivers. After taking Antonio Brown with the first overall pick, he already had a record breaking receiver at his disposal. But by also taking wide receivers Keenan Allen, Kelvin Benjamin, and Michael Floyd in the early rounds, he becomes absolutely loaded. Allen is the steal here. If not for a ruptured kidney that sidelined him for the last half of 2015, Allen was on pace for elite production. On a 16 game pace, he would have had 178 Targets, 134 Catches, and 1450 yards. That would have ranked him 5th, 3rd, and 5th respectively in the NFL for those categories. Add in Bears WR Kevin White who was a top 10 draft pick in 2015 before missing his entire rookie season due to injury, and Jacob’s squad has a group that can give him elite production on an every week basis in 2016.

 

TE: B+
This grade is largely given due to the fact that he has 3 options at tight end. If this was not the case, it would almost certainly go down. Delanie Walker and Tyler Eifert had career years last year in very different fashions. Walker was essentially the only option in a bad offense last year, and the statistics back this up. He hauled in 94 Catches (31 more than his previous career high) and had his first career 1,000 yard season. With the offense being geared more towards the run game this year, you can expect Walker’s production to decline slightly. Eifert on the other hand, had his best fantasy season to date because of the Touchdowns. With 11 Redzone touchdowns (13 Total) on only 16 targets, Eifert was incredibly efficient at ending drives. Assuming that rate goes down simply by the odds, and combine that with him missing the first part of the season due to injury, it should come as no surprise that Eifert fell in the draft. Add in Julius Thomas who had a bit of a resurgent year himself, and Jacob should have a great option at tight end every week, as long as he plays the right guy.

Grand Rapids Skunk Titties, Team Previews

Team Preview:Lopatin

lopatin-only-pic

lopatin-team

Mike Lopatin is a newcomer to the league. The Boston Native will be competing in his first year in the Couches league as the general manager of one of the two expansion teams: the Grand Rapids Skunk Titties. When asked about the opportunity, Lopatin eloquently responded with “Huyahhhhh”… safe to say that he feels confident in his team’s ability. The skunk spirit is contagious. When asked what it’s like to have a new Couches Elite team in town, a young fan couldn’t contain his enthusiasm. “I just want to see hu–, what this team can huy–, bring to the table and see if they can bring home a league champi– HUYAHHHHHHH”.

 

QBs: A-

 

Lopatin brings two Quarterbacks who had career years in 2015. Cam Newton had a dream season with the Carolina Panthers as he lead them to 15-1 and a Super Bowl loss to the Denver Broncos. He helped fantasy owners in a similar fashion. He was the number one quarterback in Fantasy football last year, and by healthy margin. The difference between Newton and the next closest quarterback (Tom Brady), was almost equal to the difference between #2 and #7. Newton also had the same amount of games with more than 30 Fantasy Points as games with less than 20. Even if you account for a small regression of his production, he is still one of the best QB’s in the league. The Skunks’ second quarterback had quite the year himself. Kirk Cousins became famous for his famous “You like that?!” rant, but he should have gotten a name for himself because of his production. In his last 8 games, he had weeks of 37, 34, 31, 24, 23, and 19 fantasy points. The only question is if that production can continue, or if the short sample size proves to be more of a fluke. It is highly likely that this duo is in the upper echelon of quarterbacks during the 2016 Couches Season.

 

RBs: B+

 

Adrian Peterson has been the best running back in the league for the majority of a decade. At age 31, he will have to show one of his best seasons if he has a chance to provide the productivity that his fantasy owners expect of him. Since Teddy Bridgewater is out for the season with a torn ACL, Peterson will have to run against many stacked boxes. He will have success, but I expect his age and bad offense will contribute to a relative down year, but still end up a top 10 running back. Jeremy Langford and Danny Woodhead will be the other running backs that are heavily relied on for the Marsupial Breasts. Both had high levels of production, largely due to being the only guys in town. For Langford, he had his best games when Matt Forte was injured and Langford was the feature back. In those 3 games, Langford averaged 25.5 FPPG. Woodhead benefited from Injury as well. Due to season ending injuries to Wide Receivers Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd, as well as major injuries on the OL that contributed to an inept running game, Woodhead was forced into a featured role that he had never experienced prior to the year. Because of concerns about Langford’s efficiency and the rise of the rest of the Chargers offense, there are concerns that the two running backs may not live up to their Average Draft Position (ADP). Both will have value, and paired with Peterson, lead a formidable trio. Add in fill in work with Spencer Ware and Charles Sims who are two backups with stand-alone value, and Lopatin finds himself with a very solid corp of running backs.

 

WRs: C+

 

The health of star receiver Alshon Jeffery will be the key to the Skunks’ receivers’ success. When he is on the field and healthy, Jeffery is one of the best pass catchers in the NFL. But after missing time in 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2012 with hamstring issues, there are questions if he can remain healthy for a full 16 game slate. If he cannot, the load might shift over to Jets receiver Eric Decker, who was able to reel in a touchdown in 12 of 16 games last year, and Broncos star, Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders had a down year last year largely due to lessened Quarterback play in Denver. With Trevor Simeon taking command this year, that does not expect to improve. Tavon Austin could be able to help Lopatin’s team if he is able to properly predict what games he will breakout. Austin had games of 29, 25, 22, and 21 points last year, but also had games of 1,4,4,5,5,8, and 8. The Skunks should not expect much help to come from Terrance Williams until Tony Romo returns from injury in Dallas.

 

TE: B-
The Boston native needed to get one Patriot on his team, and this year, it is newcomer Martellus Bennett. If New England choses to use Bennett in the Aaron Hernandez role, he will be a steal as a late round draft pick. Hopefully Bennett doesn’t follow the same off-the-field path as Hernandez who murdered several people. Add in 2015 breakout star Gary Barnidge who hopes to sync with the human broken bone RGIII and continue on his success from last year, and Lopatin has the potential for an elite group at TE. It is more likely that he simply receives solid production  from one of his Tight Ends on a weekly basis.