I was reflecting back on my 2015 Fantasy Football season and I started to sob a bit. I know it sounds ridiculous, but before you pass judgment, they were tears of joy because Fantasy Baseball is right around the corner. Now, you might be wondering why I bring this up and I’m not even sure why. Oh, yeah, it’s because this year’s 2015 Razzball Commenter Grand Champion and the winner of a $150 Best Buy gift card and a Razzball T-Shirt is actually a Razzballer I know from the baseball side of the site…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Doug Martin made fantasy owners warm and fuzzy (sorta NSFW) in 2012. After being selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 31st overall pick in the NFL Draft, Martin exploded for 1,926 total yards on 319 carries and 49 receptions. He tallied 12 combined touchdowns and ended as the No. 3 running back in standard scoring. Then, 2013 Doug Martin happened. To say Martin was a disappointment is an understatement. Fantasy drafters were selecting him as the No. 2 running back off the board, right behind Adrian Peterson. Before Martin was shut down for the year due to a shoulder injury, he rushed 127 times for 456 yards. He caught 12 balls for 66 yards and only scored one combined touchdown. He ended up scoring 0.8 fantasy points more than Shonn Greene and 2.1 less than Brandon Bolden. So what happened?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last week we unveiled the Defensive Linemen rankings, and within days they became outdated with the news of Sheldon Richardson’s suspension. This is yet another reminder of how quickly things can change in the NFL. These rankings will be maintained as the preseason develops, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask them in the Comments as always. The LB Rankings below were affected as well, with Rolando McClain’s suspension adding more uncertainty to an already unpredictable situation in Dallas. In fact, “uncertainty” is a good theme for the Linebacker position in 2015, as player movement, injuries (both new and recoveries), and suspensions leave a lot of question marks from the top of the list to the bottom.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The tale of St. Louis Rams’ running back Isaiah Pead may end up being a short one.
Pead was taken by the Rams with the 50th overall pick of the 2012 Draft, eights spots ahead of stud linebacker Lavonte David and ten picks ahead of corner Casey Hayward. There would’ve been no reason to doubt the Rams selection at the time, after all, the University of Cincinnati product was an electrifying running back in college and performed very well in the pre-draft combines. The 5’10”, 200-pounder finished fourth among all RBs in the cone drill (6.95) and had the fifth-best 40 time at the position (4.47). Pead went into camp that year looking to compete, but quickly fell behind Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson on the depth charts, finishing with just 10 carries for 54 yards during his rookie season.
2013 was supposed to be his breakout. Fantasy football owners pegged him as a guy who could be taken later in drafts, yet had fantasy starter capability. With Jackson signing in Atlanta, Richardson was the starter on paper, but he could easily be overtaken. Pead’s sleeper status grew exponentially during the off-season, until a suspension for substance abuse derailed that somewhat. He was forced to miss the Rams’ season opener and never regained any of his momentum from training camp. Coach Jeff Fisher saddled Richardson with the bulk of the ball-carrying duties for the first couple weeks of the season, limiting Pead’s upside. Pead received only one carry in Week 2, turning that into just one yard. He had two catches for 18 yards as well, but he was clearly behind the eight ball. During Week 3 vs. Dallas, Pead rushed for 20 yards and caught seven balls for 43 yards — a pretty productive game. Things were looking up for the second-year back — or were they?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here come the big scorers. As opposed to the DLs, a very top heavy position, the Linebackers are much more balanced. There are a few studs, but they’ll come at a cost, and there is plenty of value to be found elsewhere. Based on name recognition, it might surprise some people to see Lavonte David at the top of the list. He’s probably most famous for costing the Bucs their Week 1 game against the Jets with that ridiculous Unnecessary Roughness penalty. But David is so much more than that. In a division with an extremely diverse set of offenses, David is a legit three-down LB who can put up stats in a variety of ways. He leads a very impressive crop of young LBs (half of my top 10 are 24 or younger), which makes the future of the IDP game very bright.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Keeping with the theme of moving into the future while looking at the past, we move on to Linebackers. The top crop of LBs in 2013 had a lot of the expected faces, along with a couple of rookies and some throwback performances by Ghosts of IDP Seasons Past. But before we get to the top 20, there are others that warrant some discussion:Please, blog, may I have some more?