NFC East win total over-unders, and some NFCE fantasy football notes

The Skins were the only NFCE team to lose this week.

Vegas released their over-under on total wins for the season yesterday.  Naturally, we’re going to make our picks and argue in the comment section.  Ignoring the juice, here are the over-unders for the bEast teams (opinions subject to change):

Redskins – 6.5: They have a really good front 7 and a very under-the-radar, but talented set of skill position players on offense. Also, everyone craps all over their OL, and it’s fair to do so to some degree, but they suffered a bunch of injuries/suspensions last year, and had little continuity.  I think they will be better there this year.  And obviously, I need the obligatory “Rex Grossman won’t be their QB this year” comment. I just fear that secondary. Still, seven wins is reasonable. I’m bullish on the Skins. Over.

Cowboys – 8.5: As usual, we have a team here that is star heavy at the top, but has virtually no depth and won’t win many battles in the trenches. As a general rule of thumb, I always think Vegas over-values the Cowboys, by design. The Cowboys are the most popular football team in the world, and people bet with their hearts. Vegas knows this. Under.

Giants – 9.5: The OL has all the makings of being a disaster.  Hell, it was a disaster last year, and they won anyway. But that QB and that DL are both just too good to bet against.  Over.

Eagles – 10: Ten?  Come on, Vegas.  Give me a line with a .5.  This is team that is just too talented to think they’re going to only win 9 games (and yes, I remember that they only won 8 last year), but has too many nuclear possibilities (like Vick’s health) to have any sort of confidence in counting on them to get to 11. So… I’m going to go lame here… Push.

While we’re on the “gaming” topic, I figured we’d talk a little fantasy football.  As a disclaimer, I typically hate talking about fantasy football, and despise when people tell me about the awesome team they had in 2007.  But I do like to play fantasy football with friends/family.  So this may be a one-time thing.  I like to keep my strategies close to the vest, so I’m going out on a bit of a limb here hoping that my adversaries won’t remember in August who I said I liked/disliked in May.  That said, I’m bearish/bullish on the following players:

Bullish

Miles Austin: I already talked in detail that I think Miles Austin has become something of the forgotten man outside of the Cowboys’ fan base.  If he can stay healthy, there’s little reason to think he won’t put up good numbers.

Fred Davis: If Davis hadn’t gotten suspended last season, he was on pace for 79 catches and 1061 yards.  He could be RG3’s security blanket this season.  Ask anyone to give you their list of the 5 best TEs in the game, and NOBODY will include Fred Davis.  Nobody.  A lot of people won’t even think of him in the top 10.  8th-9th round steal.

Michael Vick: Other players are going to be scared to draft him because of the injury risk.  Minus that injury risk, Vick is probably a first round pick.  Fantasy football leagues are hard to win.  It’s usually the owners that take some risks that win.  If he’s sitting there in the 4th or even the 3rd, take a chance.

Jeremy Maclin: Jeff McLane of Philly.com made his case for Maclin:

Fantasy-league owners, take note: Jeremy Maclin could be poised for a breakout season. I recently asked one Eagles coach to give me the name of a player that will make his first Pro Bowl this season and he said Maclin’s name without hesitation. It’s going to be difficult for the Eagles wide receiver to rack up Megatron-like numbers. For one, he isn’t as good as Calvin Johnson, and, two, the Eagles have more offensive weapons than the Lions. But Maclin has had the look this offseason of a player that is ready to take that next step. (He also has a little extra motivation in that he’s entering the fourth year of a five year contract.) Last season would have been the “next step” year if he hadn’t had the cancer scare that wiped out most of his offseason. He still put up respectable numbers – 63 catches for 859 yards and 5 TDs – but he missed almost four games because of injury – wear-and-tear injuries that might have been reduced had he had a regular camp and preseason. I saw Maclin last week and he said he was a solid 205 pounds, seven more than his listed 198.

I can confirm that Maclin looks far more built this year than last, when he was recovering from a serious illness.

Ahmad Bradshaw: Like Vick, I think people will be afraid of Bradshaw’s potential for injury.  But here’s what I love about Bradshaw… He’s tough as hell, and he loves football.  A number of the media guys at Giants OTAs expected that Bradshaw would not participate so that he could rest his foot.  Nope.  He was out there, running hard… in May. I just believe in his mentality to stay on the field.  Never underestimate the power of your team drafting a guy in the 1st round that plays your position.

Bearish

Tony Romo: This is nothing against Romo.  I just fear for his safety behind a bad OL, and I don’t like their depth at WR and TE.  If any one of Miles Austin, Dez Bryant or Jason Witten go down, that passing attack is in trouble.

LeSean McCoy and Victor Cruz: They’re both great and all.  Just don’t expect 20 TD’s or 1500+ receiving yards next season.

Pierre Garcon: People are going to say “He’s their #1 receiver.” Don’t be fooled by those silly titles.  All the Skins receivers are going to get looks, from Garcon to Moss to Hankerson to Morgan.  And as I already noted, I think Fred Davis will be the focal point of that offense.

21 Comments

  1. Staten Island Chuck says:

    Excellent review. Are you bullish for the skins at 6.5 to 7?
    Because that team can throw up a 5 spot in a heart beat. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Staten Island Chuck is the greatest guy that I’ve ever seen, oh my oh my.

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  3. rojadirecta says:

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  4. Mike says:

    I’m looking forward to the Cowboys and their O-line proving you wrong.

    Here’s hoping that the bEast reasserts it’s dominance this year.

  5. Will B. says:

    Totally agree with your strategy man. I found my QB in the later rounds in Matt Stafford and he was in the top 5 of QBs for fantasy points.

    I also agree with grabbing your TE early. You gotta grab a stud TE in fantasy to win

    1. Dan in Philly says:

      Yeah, I once did a pretty involved study of where players ranked in fantasy points at the end of the year vs. where they were projected to go. QBs were just all over the place. Other than Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, there’s no way to get a QB who you know will produce top 5 numbers even when healthy (I did this study before Brees, who probably would qualify as an exception). On the other hand there was pretty much always a top 5 and usually 2 or 3 of the top 10 who went either late in the draft or went undrafted completely. Every year I studied this showed this trend. It just makes no sense to get a QB early.

      As I said on the other end of this scale was the TE. This was before the TE became the somewhat more prolific scorer he is now, but there were maybe 3 or 4 guys who you could count on to produce for you every week, and then maybe 5 or 6 who could be counted on to produce at all during the season. If you didn’t get one of those guys then you were never going to get more than 1-2 catches a game, sometimes not even that. And everyone knew who those scoring TEs were, they never caught anyone by suprise. So why didn’t everyone grab one as soon as they could? Why were people fighting over a backup runningback before getting this valuable position secure?

      1. D3Keith says:

        Yup. I always grabbed the TEs that put up WR numbers early.

        I’m also in a longtime league that made TE TDs 8 points and then 11, which has skewed their value so much it now makes no sense to take one at all, because they fly off the board so early.

        Definite over on the Redskins. They were in every game they lost with RG1.

  6. Dan in Philly says:

    OK:
    Under on the Skins – a rookie QB seldom does well in the NFL. Very seldom. Cam Newton had maybe the best rookie season any rookie will ever have and only won 6 games last season.
    Under on the cowboys simply because so much rests on their QB without much help as I see it.
    Over on the Giants – I truly believe what we saw in the playoffs was a better picture of how good they are than their regular season last year
    Over on the Eagles – just take an incredibly talented team with the leadership (Reid and Vick) knowing they have a short time to make something happen, throw in a dash of bad luck from a year ago and a redwood-sized chip on their shoulders, and I’m thinking we might see the best regular season record ever for the Eagles – 14-2?

    As far as fantasy, way to early to think about specific players, but here’s the strategy I always followed and had great success:
    1) Draft 3 or 4 QBs late in the rounds. Do NOT waste a round 1 or 2 pick on a QB – the odds are only about 50% that QB will play the entire season, plus every year a QB or 2 comes out of nowhere to have a phenominal season (Brees, Warner twice, Newton, Vick, I could go on). If you’re looking for it, you can often snag him either in the late rounds or in FA in the early weeks.
    2) Draft 2 WRs in the first 3 rounds and don’t wait to pick up a TE. Most players go for RBs and QBs in the first few rounds, which allows top WRs to be picked up easily. I’ve already discussed why I don’t go for QBs early, and RBs have a similar logic – they get hurt all the time and if you load up on backups/committee guys and keep a sharp eye out in the early weeks for a star going down so you can snag the backup, you will almost certainly get a top RB anyway while your opponent has his round 1 guy in IR. But WRs and TEs are different. They get hurt much less than QBs and RBs, and while every year you have a couple of RBs and QBs come out of nowhere to have a great season, this almost never happens with WRs or TEs. If you don’t get a star in rounds 1 – 3, you ain’t gonna get one all season.

    There is my wisdom, my son. Now go and use it.

  7. giantsfan says:

    What about Eli?

    1. I think he’ll be drafted right about where he should be. This is just a list of players that I think can be had for a value, and players that might be over-drafted. Looking at the post, I didn’t really do a good job of making that clear.

      1. giantsfan says:

        Ahh. Okay.

        Cheers!

  8. Tracer Bullet says:

    Seven wins is probably reasonable, but so is 0-6 in the division. That offense is bad or unproven outside of Davis, the safeties are little more than flammable targets and Fletcher can’t keep Father Time stuffed a burlap sack and locked in the basement forever.

  9. ubrab says:

    I want to bet the over for each of them. It will come down to key injuries we just can’t predict (even if we can evaluate depth).

  10. bula says:

    good fantasy stuff. i think desean might have another big year this year. he’s got his contract and is happy and could be catching the long bombs again. only problem with desean is that he’ll give you 20 some points one week and 7 the next. Also, roy helu for the skins could have a good fantasy year. i think shanny will try to take the pressure off rg3 by running the ball a lot

    1. I’m high on Helu too, but I never trust any RB that plays under Shanny, unless they’re Terrell Davis.

  11. CulDaddy says:

    Mr. McGibblets says: *Print Screen*

    1. BBI says:

      A “League” reference is always a win.

  12. Will says:

    Jimmy,

    Love the fantasy stuff. Question about Fred Davis. Does Chris Cooley claiming to be fully healthy worry you at all, fantasy wise, in terms of hurting Davis’ production?

    Oh, time for an Uncle Jimmy story please.

    1. Even if Cooley is healthy, he won’t take snaps away from Fred Davis. Cooley will take snaps away from the FB and 3rd WR, but Fred isn’t coming out of that lineup. In the 4 games Cooley was healthy in 2011, Davis had at least 60 snaps in all of them.

      And apologies on the Uncle Jimmy stories. I was going to post my old Match.com profile from like 2003, but I’m having difficulty locating the pics I used. High comedy. Still looking.

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