Fantasy Football Metrics

Play The Draft® Market Analysis Sunday, March 29, 2015

Twitter @FFMetrics

I’m finally returning to a normal body temperature today. The black plague of 2015 is slowly dissipating from my household. There are worse things than to be curled up in bed watching hoops all day/night, and napping intermittently while hopped up on cough syrup.

VEGASCMARK is our top-performing portfolio of the week at +$1.216M…with no one else even above $1M for the week. The big move has shot him up to #6 in the FFM Contest, and nipping at #4’s (me) heels! Congrats! You are in the drawing for the weekly winner prize to be drawn after draft day.

Good luck in PTD-today!

(link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015—Enter the contest link    (link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015 prize package

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Play The Draft® Market Analysis Sunday, March 29, 2015

*Note: The acronym ‘FRX’ refers to Play The Draft’s®  proprietary algorithms which take all the national Mock Drafts and private scouting input to develop a moving average on prospect sentiment every day. The FRX drives the prospect’s price within the Play The Draft® contest.

 

In honor of me not thinking of a better theme for today, I’m looking at the last four teams in the elite eight for March Madness, and I’m discussing an interesting (to me) 2015 NFL Draft prospect from each team…and thus picking today’s basketball winners based on which of the two players I think will be taken higher in the 2015 NFL Draft. It’s just good science.

Before you write this off as a silly exercise, please note: I am going to give you a bold prediction below that will come true on draft day. Something I’ve hinted at weeks ago, but the draft ‘machine’ is finally starting to catch onto it this past week—and I think this player might be an ‘it’ prospect of the next two weeks. If I am right, then I am even more of an NFL Draft visionary then you suspected, and you will make a lot of Play The Draft® money with this player who has an FRX greater than 75.0 today…and is closer to 100.0.

 

Michigan State vs. Louisville:

Louisville: RB Dominique Brown (100.0 FRX, $450K PTD-value, 0.1% PTD-owned)

Brown is a 6’2”/234-pound RB prospect who was an NFL Combine invite, but could not take part in the drills. At his Pro Day, he posted 4.6+ 40-times with 7.05 on the three cone. Considering his size, he has NFL speed-agility. He was starting to break out as a junior (2013), but got lost in a stacked RB shuffle at Louisville in 2014…partly because of a RB trio of talent, partly because he didn’t seize the opportunity.

I watched him face South Florida in 2013, a game where he posted 18 carries for 125 yards, and 6 catches for 61 yards and a TD…and he was masterful that day. That game tape has stuck with me. He has a little something.

Brown is a former QB recruit, who switched to RB part way through his college career. He has NFL size, speed-agility, hands…but not sure about his NFL-heart. He’ll be taken late in the draft because of his size or go undrafted, I suspect.

In Play The Draft® terms, there is no money or upside coming here. Your favorite NFL team getting him late is about the only rooting interest.

 

Michigan State: DE Marcus Rush (no profile on PTD)

Not available in Play The Draft®, nor should he have been…until he cranked out a 40-time in the 4.6s with a sub 6.8 three-cone at 6’2”+/247-pounds. That event hasn’t really moved his NFL Draft needle much either.

Here’s why I think he could possibly be drafted:

He was totally miscast as a DE at Michigan State. He was gobbled up pretty easily by his opposing blockers, and just melted into the background on most plays. However, here’s the vision: Move to looking at him as an inside linebacker prospect, and he goes from an above-average-ish, smaller DE to one of the more athletic ILBs in a weaker draft class at the ILB position. He plays like an ILB/Fullback anyway, he’s not a DE/OLB. My ratings of him at College Football Metrics are much better as an ILB prospect, and my scouting report on him will be discussing his possibilities.

In a game vs. Oregon in 2014, Rush produced 11 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, and 1.0 sacks.

He’ll never go top-100, so it wouldn’t matter if he were available to trade on PTD.

 

Winner: Michigan State…I think Marcus Rush could get drafted late as a multifunctional LB-DL-FB-Special Teamer. I’d bet against Brown being drafted because RBs aren’t as valuable in NFL economics like what Rush could bring.

**See the 2015 NFL Draft and 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft, like never before with our Moneyball-style scouting reports and rankings. Go to www.collegefootballmetrics.com **

 

Duke vs. Gonzaga:

Duke OG Laken Tomlinson (57.5 FRX, $718K PTD-value, 8.5% PTD-owned)

I’m shocked that Tomlinson is not closer to the top-32 than he shows so far in mock drafts. Occasionally, you see him projected late 1st-round, but more times he is 2nd or 3rd-round. He came out of the Senior Bowl with pretty good heat, but it hasn’t materialized into much of a push since.

You could argue Tomlinson is one of the best OGs in the draft, but Guards are not a hot draft commodity. It doesn’t look like he will crack the 1st-round for projections before the draft, or on draft day. Going #40-60 is likely his draft range, which means there is a little PTD-upside, but not a ton.

Gonzaga: ??

You might have already been wondering…who is Gonzaga’s top football prospect? Do they even have a football team? The answer is “No, they don’t.” However, in honor of what the Zags have been noted for going back to the days of my youth, the original/ultimate/perpetual ‘Cinderella’ sleeper team of college basketball, here is a ‘Cinderella’ prospect I’d like to discuss:

Utah CB/S Eric Rowe (94.1 FRX, $587K PTD-value, 6.5% PTD-owned)

I make you this wild claim: Eric Rowe is going in the 1st-round of this draft. He is arguably the top Safety in this draft, if you consider him there. He is arguably one of the top CBs in this draft with his 4.45 speed and sub 6.8 three-cone agility from the NFL Combine. You can see his ‘lock down’ CB potential on tape in 2014, when he switched to cornerback after three years playing Safety prior.

Based on the number of teams making personal visits with him, and the buzz I’m hearing…he’s going to be on the move. If I’m right, you’re going to start seeing that reflected in mock drafts as early as Monday-Tuesday. If Rowe is pick #30 overall (for example), then he has approx. $800K in gains from today until draft day. You can thank me later.

Winner: Gonzaga by way of Utah. I think Rowe will go top-30 by draft day, possibly top-25, and Tomlinson around #45.

Good Luck with your Play The Draft® trades today!

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. He is also a lead writer for Play The Draft.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.”

 

 

Play The Draft® Market Analysis Friday, March 27, 2015

Twitter @FFMetrics

OK, four more nights like that, and I’m right back in this baby. I don’t know what I did to please the PTD gods yesterday, but ‘thank you of heavenly hosts’.

Reversal of fortune is my theme today…not a good reversal either. Wednesday, I was on death’s door with a virus like I had not been hit with in a long time. Thursday, while other around me succumbed, I bounced back like a champ…back to 80%+, and fully functional. I was so proud of my internal fortitude to heal my own self.

Pride cometh before the fall…

This morning, it was like I was worse than before. I cannot recall being sick/fine/worse sick as a three-day pattern in my history. There’s usually the bell-shaped curve of illness. My wife, who is rarely sick has been down for six days and counting. Prayers are appreciated, and/or some give my voo doo doll a break.

Good luck with your healthy lives and PTD moves today!

 

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Play The Draft® Market Analysis Friday, March 27, 2015

*Note: The acronym ‘FRX’ refers to Play The Draft’s®  proprietary algorithms which take all the national Mock Drafts and private scouting input to develop a moving average on prospect sentiment every day. The FRX drives the prospect’s price within the Play The Draft® contest.

 

In honor of me stupidly planning my Thursday evening around making sure I had all my tasks done by 9:30pm ET, so I could settle in to watch West Virginia possibly upset Kentucky, as many people were predicting on the airwaves yesterday…

Let’s discuss three NFL Draft prospects who are top-10 ranked mock draft picks, and who are also ‘pretenders to the throne’ (like the Mountaineers). They are players often appearing in mock draft top-5s today, who I think have no shot of going in the top-5 in reality, and who I also believe will fall out of the top-10 by actual draft day.

If the draft were held today, I do believe the following players I’m about to discuss would all go top-10, and 1-2 of them in the top-5, perhaps. However, as things unfold and media momentum changes over the next few weeks, I believe these prospects are going to get exposed as top-5/top-10 frauds—frauds in the sense that they are legit NFL players, maybe even first-rounders, but they are not obvious franchise-type talents who should be taken so highly. Well, maybe one of them is, but he’s smoking his way out of the top-10.

If all three of these players I’m about to list landed around the 15th overall pick on draft day, from where their FRX is today, it would be a combined loss to come of over $3M+. The negative mock draft momentum has not hit yet, but I think it is brewing. They are “peak of the Roman Empire” prospects right now. Like West Virginia 24 hours ago, all seemed possible, but then reality smacked them in the face on game night—reality is coming to visit these three prospects soon. Or it should…

Note: All three of these players had a huge tick up in Play The Draft® overnight, and may trade safely for a few more days, but the ground is quaking underneath them ahead…

 

The $1M+ Bag of Weed…

That must be some good weed! This is like a bad Cheech & Chong movie. For those of you under 40 years-old: See, back in the 70s there were these two guys who really, really liked to…you know what, never mind.

When news hit that Randy Gregory (7.5 FRX, $2.7M PTD-value, 7.3% PTD-owned) failed a drug test at the NFL Combine, there was a funny media debate/reaction to me. Instead of analyzing the football/draft impact as much, the story became a veiled debate over legalizing pot.

I’m oversimplifying this, but it seemed if you are staunchly against legalized marijuana, then you instantly hated prospect Randy Gregory as a ‘hoodlum’, and marked him as undraftable. If you are pro-pot, then you equivocated that this failed test doesn’t matter because it’s legal in many places, and should be legal everywhere, and most players smoke out so “what’s the big deal?” These folks have dug their heels in that these multiple failed tests will not affect his draft status.

What’s not discussed as much in the pot debate angle—the flaws with Gregory before all of this.

My first thought upon hearing the news was—how stupid or truly addicted do you have to be, that you cannot set aside for a time what you know is currently illegal at your University and heading toward your job interview–and thus costing yourself millions of contract dollars potentially? If you’re that dumb or addicted, am I supposed to draft you top-5; hoping you got it all figured out now? It’s a major employment red-flag on his mindset as well as anything else. He already has one foot in the NFL suspension grave…which has to factor into all this.

Of course, people are basing some of the “I’d still take him” quip on the belief that Gregory is a pass rushing god, but therein lies the second problem—the main problem, actually. For many evaluators, Gregory IS a talent issue. A possible ‘tweener’ who sometimes plays at the weight of a Safety, but was a Defensive End in college. Gregory has to add weight to complete high-end in the NFL, many scouts theorize…and if he does add bulk, will it then slow down some of his impressive speed-agility times that got him so noticed in the first place? A slightly slower Randy Gregory may be less impressive than Mississippi State DE prospect Preston Smith or LSU DE prospect Danielle Hunter. It’s not that Gregory isn’t an NFL talent. It’s just a question of is he more a #15-30 talent before all this other stuff…and then is he now a for sure #15+ after he blazed this trail?

I think the weight translation to the next level/’tweener’ argument gets amplified in coming weeks somewhat due to the drug issue, and it ends up carrying him fairly or unfairly outside the top-15 on draft day. If so, then he’s taking approx. $1M in PTD-portfolio losses with him.

**Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics IDP Dynasty (three-year) projections now exist on the Fantasy Football Management technology: “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here (link): The Machine via FFM

 

Do Pro Days Matter Anymore?

Shane Ray (9.3 FRX, $2.4M PTD-value, 8.8% PTD-owned) had to skip out on participating in the NFL Combine times and drills due to a minor injury issue. He then started training for his Pro Day, and went through the drills about a week ago.

His Pro Day measurements were awful. He posted a decent-ish 40-time, and bland everything else including a minor-disaster in the agility measurements (for a top prospect). Had he posted his Pro Day numbers at the NFL Combine itself, he would have been scoffed out of the top-15 easily…maybe worse by now. I think mock drafters are catching up with this realization, and pendulum is swinging the other way on Ray. He’s headed out of the top-10, and should be on his way out of the top-15 soon because of that Pro Day. I’m not commenting whether he is a top-10 talent or not, I’m just doing the Pro Day vs. Combine math and know the mock draft pain is coming.

A drop outside the top-15 from his current 9.3 FRX would mean about $700K+ in losses could be headed folk’s way on Ray over the next few weeks and on draft day.

**See the 2015 NFL Draft and 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft, like never before with our Moneyball-style scouting reports and rankings. Go to www.collegefootballmetrics.com **

 

If this is the #3 overall player in the draft, then I’m taking my draft pick and going home…

I don’t want to live in a world where Dante Fowler (4.3 FRX, $3.7M PTD-value, 9.7% PTD-owned) is assumed to be one of three best players in this draft.

Nothing against Fowler, but you don’t see three more talented, impactful players available above Dante Fowler? Or five? How about ten?

What is everyone so in love with here? Was it his poor agility times from the NFL Combine? Was it his low bench press? How about his non-vertical and awful broad jump? Fowler had a nice 40-time, and weaker everything else…that somehow makes him the third-best player in the draft for many? Vic Beasley’s NFL Combine and on-field career numbers are Kentucky basketball compared to Dante Fowler’s West Virginia basketball-type football résumé. Mock drafts with Fowler rated ahead of Beasley should be banned by the FCC, or whatever government agency is responsible for censoring NFL mock drafts.

Dante Fowler belongs in the NFL, but he is not one of the three or five or ten most talented players in this draft. If Fowler falls to #10 overall on draft day it will be a $1.2M drop in Play The Draft®. If he falls outside the top-15, then it is a cool $2M smack to PTD portfolios.

You have been forewarned.

Also, be forewarned I’m probably only right about one of these three players come draft day…enjoy figuring out which one, and adjust your PTD-portfolios accordingly!

Good Luck with your Play The Draft® trades today!

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. He is also a lead writer for Play The Draft.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.”

 

 

 

 

Play The Draft® Market Analysis Thursday, March 26, 2015

Twitter @FFMetrics

I logged 16+ hours of sleep yesterday with one of the worst viruses that has ever hit my home. My wife was toast for five days. I am rarely sick, but wow…yesterday was a doozy. I did gut it up enough to make some PTD moves before my eventual bed time, but apparently it was not enough as I lost more ground to the leaders overnight. My hope now, like many, is becoming to hang within ear shot and then pull out some gems on draft day.

If I don’t fall back into a coma on and off today, then several DE/OLB reports should be posting on CFM today. I have to update that Randy Gregory one apparently. The more you dig into that story, the scarier it gets.

Good Luck in PTD today!

(link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015—Enter the contest link    (link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015 prize package

 

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Play The Draft® Market Analysis Thursday, March 26, 2015

*Note: The acronym ‘FRX’ refers to Play The Draft’s®  proprietary algorithms which take all the national Mock Drafts and private scouting input to develop a moving average on prospect sentiment every day. The FRX drives the prospect’s price within the Play The Draft® contest.

 

Let’s take a look at the scenarios I think will play out with the Browns’ two 1st-round picks (#12 and #19) this year, as well as examine the PTD-potential from it, because the two players I have in mind for them could yield around $2M total in PTD-portfolio gains on draft day from where their current FRX is at now…if I’m right.

First, let’s set the scene on the Browns’ mindset for these two 1st-round picks…from my perspective.

Does everyone remember that the Browns were sitting in first place mid-season in 2014? They got out to a 6-3 start, leading the division on and off along the way, and eventually hit a 7-4 record. Just three wins in their final five games would have put them into playoff and division title position. However, the Browns lost their final five games in-a-row, and gone with it was any hope at the playoffs…or even a winning record. It was the most wins (7) the team has had in a season in the past seven years, but because of the way it ended…any positive vibe coming into 2015 has taken a hit. All that said, let’s not lose sight that this is a team with a decent foundation, and a great head coach.

For my money, Mike Pettine is one of the 5-10 best coaches in the NFL. He is one of the top defensive minds in the NFL, and one of the more refreshingly honest coaches I’ve come across in years. Their defense is going to be fine regardless as long as Pettine is there. They don’t need to reach for a defensive player in the first round of the draft.

There were times last year where the Browns, at full strength, were flashing as one of the best defenses in the NFL. They fell victim to untimely injuries and poor QB play late more than anything. What the Browns-D did to Andrew Luck in Week-14 was jaw-dropping (for most of that contest). The Browns run defense was rated one of the worst in 2014, but that overlooks their brilliance in stopping opposing passing games. Ultimately, the Browns defense was 9th best in the NFL in points allowed last season. The defense is the Browns strength right now.

You cannot feel that their O-Line is a major crisis to be dealt with in the draft, as the Browns used a revolving door of RBs to success all throughout the season. This was a team that ultimately dumped Ben Tate mid-season, and started rookie RBs from Towson (Terrance West) and Alabama State (Isaiah Crowell)…and both youngsters did acceptable-to-good jobs given the circumstances.

Of all the draft needs the Browns have, I (and most everyone) suspects it comes down to what they lost with Johnny Manziel flopping and Josh Gordon getting suspended. They are lacking real playmakers at QB and WR. The Browns offense scored the sixth lowest points per game in the NFL last season. Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline are nice-ish additions, but are not game changers at WR. Sitting at the #12 spot means the Browns may have a choice of several stellar WR prospects from this draft, but one I have in mind just became ‘in play’ for them as of yesterday.

With this set up in mind, let’s now look at specific players for each of the Browns two 1st-round picks…

 

What the Browns will do at pick #12:

There is talk of Phil Taylor playing nose tackle in 2015, and Mike Pettine is a ‘make due’ kind of defensive coach—often unearthing defensive talent under rocks that others missed. So you wouldn’t think nose tackle is a ‘must’ need with a high pick like #12, but I think they would at least pause to think about taking Washington DT prospect Danny Shelton (10.0 FRX, $2.4M PTD-value, 11.1% PTD-owned) if he fell to them. Shelton is a very athletic, active behemoth to anchor the middle of a 3-4 D-Line. However, I don’t think Shelton will still be available by pick #12.

To me, this pick is going to be a WR. I might not have thought that 24 hours ago, but there was a game-changing event yesterday. Central Florida WR Breshad Perriman (42.0 FRX, $955K PTD-value, 20.5% PTD-owned) ran 40-times at his Pro Day in the 4.2s with some claiming 4.1s on one of his attempts. Mel Kiper has been projecting Perriman as a top-20 pick for weeks, before this Pro Day lightning bolt. Perriman is going to be a top-20 guy for most mock drafters ahead; you would think.

The Browns could have some interesting choices at WR come the #12 pick. Amari Cooper might fall in their lap, which would be sensational for them, but is unlikely to happen. DeVante Parker should be available as an option, and now Perriman becomes a legit discussion point within the top-15. I don’t think the Browns will select Dorial Green-Beckham after the off-field debacles with last year’s #1 picks: Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert, much less all that has taken place with Josh Gordon. It may come down to Parker or Perriman at #12.

If mock drafters universally begin pushing Perriman into the top-15, then there is approx. $800-900K to be made in your Play The Draft® portfolio over the next few weeks with him. If Perriman is the actual #12 pick on draft day, it’s a cool $1M+ in PTD-gains from where Perriman is PTD-valued today.

Regardless of whether you ‘buy’ Perriman to the Browns or not, he is now the ‘must own’ stock in Play The Draft® after his headline grabbing Pro Day 40-times.

**See the 2015 NFL Draft and 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft, like never before with our Moneyball-style scouting reports and rankings. Go to www.collegefootballmetrics.com **

 

What the Browns will do at pick #19:

I may be one of a handful that believes this, but I think the Browns will draft UCLA QB Brett Hundley (49.8 FRX, $833K PTD-value, 12.5% PTD-owned) at #19.

My logic is as follows: There are only three QBs worth discussing in the 1st-round of the draft…Winston-Mariota-Hundley. By the time the Browns pick #12, only Hundley will remain available.

Marcus Mariota comes with a lot of questions/is not the right offensive fit for the Browns. So I suspect they would not trade up for him if he falls a little. Hundley should be there come pick #19, and while most see him as a 2nd-rounder, I would say the QB position is too critical to get cute on valuation. The QB with the best chance to be a franchise guy at pick #19 is Brett Hundley…and you have to pay up for it if you think there is a strong-to-decent chance he could be a fixture.

All Hundley has done over his three seasons starting is rack up 75 passing TDs with just 25 INTs. To put his college passing performance in some context: Hundley threw 14 picks in his last two college seasons (26 games). Jameis Winston coughed up 18 INTs just last season.

Winston accounted for 2.66 TDs per game (pass and rush) in his college career. Hundley has produced 2.65 TDs per game in his college career (2.68 per game if you count his one receiving TD).

Winston completed a stellar 66.0% of his passes in his college career. Hundley produced 67.6% accuracy.

Hundley is A+ in character off the field. He has high-end mobility. He has an NFL+ arm. He played in an offense last year that had him throwing downfield like in a ‘pro style’ offense. He is not a ‘gimmick’ passing game QB. He worked the ball downfield on his throws…while maintaining a great TD-INT ratio.

I like Hundley as an NFL prospect better than Winston, but I realize no one else does. My Hundley-love is not the main reason that I push him here. I think NFL QB economics will be the catalyst. QB is the most critical position in the NFL times ten. After Hundley is gone, it’s a big drop-off to the Bryce Petty’s of the world. If you want a shot at a franchise QB…Hundley is your chance at #19.

Josh McCown is not ‘the’ plan…just ask the Bucs about that, who are picking #1 overall in large part due to McCown. Johnny Manziel cannot be trusted to head up a franchise. In a world of McCown’s, Cassel’s, Fitzpatrick’s as NFL options and a 2015 NFL Draft lacking in QB prospect depth…the Browns may have to pinch their nose and pay up for Hundley. Disregard all this if they trade for Mike Glennon…thus securing all the QBs from the 2-14 Bucs of 2014.

If Brett Hundley goes #19 to Cleveland on draft day, it would mean an $800K+ PTD-portfolio gain from where Hundley trades at today.

 

Good Luck with your Play The Draft® trades today!

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. He is also a lead writer for Play The Draft.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.”

 

Play The Draft® Market Analysis Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Twitter @FFMetrics

I’m too sick/ill to write anything clever or poignant here today.

I haven’t been this ill in a long time.

Going to try to sleep it off and get back to my DE/OLB prospect reports for CFM. The Beasley, Fowler, Gregory, Ray, et al group of reports should be out by week’s end, and I foresee some eye-opening revelations here. We’re being sold some bags of beads here with some of the higher ranked DE/OLB names. You’ll see which ones I mean when those reports all hit as a cluster.

Good Luck in PTD today. If I’m not dead in the a.m., then I’ll have another PTD report out per usual. Hopefully, the current attack on my immune system gives me some kind of PTD clarity on prospects to play today…or just some dumb luck under the influence of Nyquil.

 (link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015—Enter the contest link    (link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015 prize package

 

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Play The Draft® Market Analysis Wednesday, March 25, 2015

*Note: The acronym ‘FRX’ refers to Play The Draft’s®  proprietary algorithms which take all the national Mock Drafts and private scouting input to develop a moving average on prospect sentiment every day. The FRX drives the prospect’s price within the Play The Draft® contest.

 

** The Senior Bowl contest on Play The Draft® is underway! Check out this prize package: Senior Bowl Contest **

 

 

My house has been taken over this week by a flu-like virus. As my family started coming down with the virus over the weekend, I kept rolling right through without a cough. Yesterday, the first signs of me yielding to its grips occurred. I fought it with every medicinal and holistic thing I had to throw at it yesterday. However, this morning…well…have you ever had the nagging feeling your body was thrown off a rooftop onto pavement while you were asleep, and then you get scooped back up and placed back into your bed without your knowledge? I hate when that happens.

As my temperature climbed from 101 to 102 to 103 this morning, it provided a nice idea for my Play The Draft® piece today. As all the new mock drafts have been plowing in to start the week, there are a couple prospects who appear to be getting smacked around in these recent  mocks as compared to their current FRX’s. The three ‘sickest’ (bad) stocks in PTD for the next week+, I think are:

 

101 degrees: Miami OT Ereck Flowers (21.8 FRX, $1.6M PTD-value, -0.8% last seven days)

The steady rise of Florida OT D.J. Humphries, and the suddenly spiking into the top-20 Pitt OT T.J. Clemmings, among other things are dragging Flowers into the 25-30 mock draft pick range with occasional flops to the mid-2nd-round in some mocks. His current 21.8 FRX is going to be under attack all this week.

The dip should land him around a 25.0 FRX, and I don’t think he’ll fall much past that point…and may rise again once we hit April.

 

102 degrees: Stanford Andrus Peat (18.2 FRX, $1.7M PTD-value, -7.1% last seven days)

Peat has gone from popping up among the top-10 overall in many prominent mock drafts 2+ weeks ago, to a complete fade towards outside the top-20 in recent mocks…and the first signs of him moving outside the top-32.

Peat looks like he has a one-way ticket to a 25.0+ FRX, and that ride may wind up taking him closer to a 30.0+ FRX in April. Peat has totally lost his draft momentum—he is nearly a ‘toxic asset’ in PTD right now.

 

103 degrees: Clemson DE/OLB Vic Beasley (5.9 FRX, $3.1M PTD-value, +17.4% last seven days)

On March 15, NFL.com’s Charlie Casserly mocked Beasley #22 to the Steelers, and Beasley started to fade a little in national mock drafts ever since. The best you’ll see Beasley projected in higher-profile mocks is #5-6, but then for every one of those lofty projections, there’s another mock showing a #8-10+ slotting of him. I have no idea why he’s declining? I’m not sure how Dante Fowler and Randy Gregory have definitively pushed ahead of Beasley, but it’s occurring in many recent mocks.

The reason why I have Beasley as the ‘sickest’ PTD-stock to own right now: If I am right, and Beasley only drops from a 5.9 FRX to like an FRX of 8.0 (only a 2.1 FRX drop), his PTD-value is going to cost owners over $500K+ in their portfolios ahead with the decline (and he’s currently the 4th-most owned prospect in PTD). I like Beasley the draft prospect, but I fear Beasley the PTD-stock right now—in the short term. Be careful this week with him.

**See the 2015 NFL Draft and 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft, like never before with our Moneyball-style scouting reports and rankings. Go to www.collegefootballmetrics.com **

 

Good Luck with your Play The Draft® trades today!

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. He is also a lead writer for Play The Draft.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.”

 

The (Eventual) Mariota-to-the-Eagles Blueprint, and the Fantasy-Dynasty Fallout…

Twitter @FFMetrics

The more I think about Chip Kelly’s recent frenzy of personnel moves, the more I am convinced one of the final chapters to this off-season’s book will be Philly/Chip drafting Marcus Mariota. I realize, with this statement, that I am joining the ‘too easy’ story line crowd with their Mariota-to-Philly/Chip dot connection.

It’s a story line I so rejected right away in 2015…mostly out of disbelief. “Why would they trade/sit their successful QB (Nick Foles) for a rookie QB (Mariota)?”

It became a story line I then rejected because, “Why get Sam Bradford and lose in a pick exchange, if Mariota’s the plan?

I think that I see the master plan, or basic plan, now. The plan that winds up with Chip getting Marcus Mariota, and I want to discuss that…but also examine “Why they are doing this?” and why I think it makes sense to a degree.

Internally, I don’t want to agree/endorse the plan because I’m too much of a Nick Foles homer to be objective, but I have to step back and applaud this effort…if it comes to fruition.

Here’s the core of why I think Mariota is going to Philly, and why distraught Philly fans should have some hope…

Put yourself in Chip Kelly’s shoes, not in R.C. Fischer’s clown shoes.

It’s so simple to make the following statement, but I am learning that the obvious in the NFL is almost always true. There are rarely any juicy plot twists in the NFL. The actors always stay ‘within their characters’. It’s why you hate most every major network TV show, but love what AMC and others are doing via cable/internet. You want to see people/characters doing things episode-to-episode you never saw coming. It’s not like that in the NFL…and sometimes I want it to be deeper than that so much that it clouds my judgment.

In the NFL, Chip Kelly was quickly painted with a brush that said, “He loves his system.”  You’d want to think his character can’t be that simplistic…and then he goes out and turns over a very successful roster to begin 2015—because of ‘system’ fits.

Chip Kelly loves his ‘system’, and he’s going to get ‘his kind of QB’ to work it. This really is all like a bad major network sitcom. We should see the jokes and plot points coming a mile away. Kelly keeps adding players from his old Oregon program, as we all sit back and snark about how he ‘always gets Oregon guys’. Silly, Chip! But guess what he’s going to try to do tomorrow? Get more players from Oregon. Why? Because that’s what his character does…it is telegraphed for us. We’re the fools for outthinking it.

On some level, Chip Kelly is a genius. He is trying to re-invent football. Making the individual QB more irrelevant through a series of short, safe, deceptive, up-tempo passes is completely and utterly brilliant…in an NFL where “QB is everything,” and QBs swing Vegas lines 5-10+ points when a top one of them is out (and only less than about a point swing on any other player/position). You can either wait for the next Tom Brady to fall in your lap (which is a lottery ticket chance), or you can replace stupid/lazy American workers with predictable, lovable robots. Take the human risk out of the equation. In Chip Kelly’s world, you need, you crave the reliable, proven Marcus Mariota to be the lead robot in your factory.

If Chip Kelly can ‘make’ QBs, then why chase Mariota? Why not just create one out of thin air with like a Blaine Gabbert? Good question.

Marcus Mariota on the Arizona Cardinals or Tennessee Titans is a colossal waste of a resource. He doesn’t fit their ‘system’…a traditional QB system. Mariota absolutely fits what Chip Kelly is doing, and maybe will ONLY EVER fit in the NFL with Kelly. Mariota was born and raised in the Chip Kelly offense. He has the size, speed, arm, smarts, and character to do in the NFL what he did the past few years—be awesome in the ‘system’. He is the crowning jewel in Chip Kelly’s exquisite collection—the best he has ever had. To some degree, Mariota is like the son Chip Kelly never had. The perfect Chip Kelly QB. Why would he pass up on that?

Consider it this way…

In Chip Kelly’s world, Marcus Mariota is Andrew Luck. You/I might see Mariota as a limited, gimmicky college QB with risk…BUT he is the Andrew Luck of the Chip Kelly offense. If any traditional offensive team could acquire Andrew Luck today, they’d give up everything for it (or should). In Chip Kelly’s eyes, Mariota is A. Luck…for him. Nothing should stand in his way to acquire Mariota.

Nick Foles was great (there is no denying his numbers and winning percentage), but he was absolutely the wrong fit for this ‘system’. It’s why Kelly went Vick over Foles in 2013 initially. He’d rather have a short, quick passer with a mobility threat. However, Vick has flimsy accuracy and is a terrible direction follower, and his days of mobility were ending…Kelly couldn’t ‘make’ Vick. Kelly was then forced to replace Vick with Foles, who was a terrific passer, but not mobile or a quick-release passer guy…Foles wanted to push the ball downfield. That’s not ‘the system’/tempo Chip Kelly wants. Kelly would rather have five completed passes in-a-row for five yards each with no huddle or play stoppage in-between, than a Foles 25-yard strike with intermittent incompletions or interceptions deep on occasion.

Mark Sanchez fits the ‘system’ model closer, but makes too many bad decisions under pressure. In the end, the QB has to have that ‘intangible’…Sanchez doesn’t have it. Kelly couldn’t ‘make’ Sanchez perfect in his ‘system’.

Matt Barkley shows Kelly is capable of ‘reaching’, and that he does not have a jeweler’s eye for QB talent. Kelly couldn’t ‘make’ Barkley in the system either.

Vick, Barkley, Sanchez…all Kelly QB choices. All flameouts, or fall short in ‘the system’ to some degree. Foles succeeded, but it was outside of ‘the system’. If the ‘system’ rules everything, then you cannot have Foles throwing off said ‘system’. Kelly doesn’t want a traditional offense. He didn’t ‘make’ Foles…Foles succeeded in spite of ‘the system’. Hats off to Kelly for adjusting his ‘system’ some for Foles. Hats off to Foles for making it work.

Kelly is faced with mostly flops in all of his QB choices so far in the NFL, and the one guy who had major success for him took away from his ‘system’ too much. You dance with what brought you here…and for Kelly you dance with ‘the system’. The ‘system’ of a radical short passing, heavy running, up-tempo offense to wear down and confuse opponents. No one has done this better, or ‘gets’ the ‘system’ better than Marcus Mariota…the prodigal son.

I keep typing ‘system’, ‘system’, ‘system’, and if it aggravates you…then you’re like me. It can’t be as simple as ‘system’, right? The Chip Kelly character is all about ‘system’ and signing Oregon players…the fools are those of us that see it happening plain as day, and think it won’t be the same character tomorrow—like me.

There is no way Chip Kelly is not leveraging everything for Mariota, after all the other failed attempts.

Sam Bradford is a brilliant stop-gap and fallback plan. If any existing NFL QB, who didn’t attend Oregon, would have been sensational for Chip Kelly in college, it would have been Bradford…pre-massive injuries Bradford. The other NFL QB who makes a ton of sense for Kelly…Colin Kaepernick, and he almost got him via trade, but settled on Bradford.

Bradford is Plan-B for 2015. He fits the system better than Foles. You could argue the risk/stupidity of taking on Bradford post two-ACLs to the same knee, but he is the better fit to ‘the system’ in every way over Foles.

On the other hand, NFL teams listen to the media a lot…and thus Nick Foles was seen as a joke…which hurt his trade value. No smart team needs Foles. No dumb team is willing to buck media logic. So Foles had little trade value, which is why I proclaimed St. Louis as the perfect landing spot months before it happened—it’s the one place where it made all the sense in the world. Foles can be the Rams job savior for Jeff Fisher and Les Snead…he has to, because there was no other QB option who could save them this year. Foles is their “Andrew Luck,” of sorts.

The Chip Kelly exchange of Bradford for Foles was strictly a ‘system’ move—Bradford is better for the ‘system’. This move was independent of maneuvering for Mariota—if anything it gives more smoke screen that Philly may not be as desperate for Mariota. As well, Kelly needed a Plan-B in case Mariota was not available.

The Bradford move tells you everything you want to know about Chip Kelly and his ‘system’. He is looking for certain types of QBs, and he’s desperate to fill the role in his ‘play’…in his ‘system’. Desperate enough to take a chance on Bradford, injuries and all. Additionally, Bradford probably has more re-trade appeal to teams in the top-15 (aside from the Rams). Kelly can use Bradford in 2015, or trade him pre-draft. In the end, this was a ‘best for the system’ move. Not a “who’s the better NFL QB…Foles or Bradford” argument, or a “Bradford is too fragile” concern. It was all done for ‘system’…Bradford is better for the ‘system’. Chip Kelly is a character in a TV show you can count on. He defaults to ‘system’.

However, there is no better QB walking the earth who fits and/or gets the Chip Kelly ‘system’ better than Marcus Mariota.

Chip Kelly is going to get Marcus Mariota.

**Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics IDP Dynasty (three-year) projections now exist on the Fantasy Football Management technology: “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here (link): The Machine via FFM

 

How is he going to do so?

First, as you can see from his 2015 moves…Chip Kelly is not afraid to enter the casino and throw around some dice. Fear of making a deal, and what people think about his moves are not a barrier…obviously. If he wants Mariota, he’s going to get him. It’s now a poker game with Tennessee.

The beautiful thing for Chip Kelly is that no one else really wants Marcus Mariota that badly. If they did, they would have made a crazy deal with Tennessee already. Mariota doesn’t fit anyone else’s ‘system’ except maybe Seattle…and they don’t need him. Further assisting Kelly’s quest is the fact that Mariota is falling on draft boards after his media-panned Pro Day.

It may only take trading Bradford for one of Cleveland’s #1 picks, and then bundling that pick plus Philly’s #20 and sending them to Tennessee (whose awful CEO just resigned) for their #2 pick overall. Perhaps, they throw in a few players. Perhaps, a 2nd-round down the road. Whatever it takes.

Whatever it takes, because Chip Kelly is going to wind up with Marcus Mariota in the end…regardless of price. He’s just trying to get the best price.

What would it have been worth to acquire Andrew Luck in 2012? More than the haul the Redskins gave up to acquire RG3, right? Marcus Mariota is Chip Kelly’s Andrew Luck, or RG3 (if you’re Washington). He’s going to get this deal done one way or the other.

You never know what Tennessee will do…so the fallback position is hoping Bradford stays healthy, and drafting Brett Hundley. Hundley fits the system better than Nick Foles or Mark Sanchez.

If you loved the direction of the Eagles because of Chip Kelly, then you have to love it even more with Marcus Mariota. He is the missing link. Mariota is the most perfect QB Chip Kelly could have, better than Andrew Luck…for this ‘system’…if you’re willing to believe it. Eagles fan…if you want a future with Chip Kelly…you have to crave Marcus Mariota being added to complete the matching set.

I captured this rare footage of Chip Kelly, who looks a lot like Tom Cruise, making his draft pitch to Marcus Mariota, who looks a lot like a young Renee Zellweger:

 

 

 

**See the 2015 NFL Draft and 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft, like never before with our Moneyball-style scouting reports and rankings. Go to www.collegefootballmetrics.com **

 

If Mariota goes to Philly, what does it mean for Fantasy Football/Dynasty Rookie Draft purposes?

We don’t know where all the other ‘neat’ 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft prospects will wind up, so at this stage you could argue that there is a path where Marcus Mariota could be the #1 ranked prospect on a 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft board…if he winds up in Philly. You get the fast pace of play, which means you get the high volume of simplistic pass attempts, which should generate reasonable passing yards and TDs. As well, you get his rushing tallies…which is gold in Fantasy Football. Mariota in this offense could rush for 30-50+ yards a game very easily…4-5 FF-points in a game before you consider any rushing TDs or passing action–a possible, instant, top-12 Fantasy QB starting as a rookie…because of the rushing appeal. Hey, you thought Mark Sanchez was hot for FF last year, didn’t you? Mariota is far superior in this situation.

 — Jordan Matthews excels in a controlled short-medium passing game. He runs terrific, timely routes. He offers a wide-reaching target who has speed to break simplistic plays into bigger gains…perfect for ‘the system’. Because of the higher play counts, Matthews could catch 100+ passes with Mariota…and maybe with Bradford too.

 — You don’t love Zach Ertz here. He works downfield with Foles. He’s not a wonderful fit with Mariota’s attack. Stock down, as he moves beyond the top-12 TEs working with Mariota.

 — A healthy, motivated Demarco Murray should be fine in this attack…arguably a top-3 Fantasy re-draft pick. He’ll see 20+ carries a game.

 — Riley Cooper is mostly dead.

 — Josh Huff is, and already was, an interesting piece of the Oregon connection…working once again with Mariota.

 — Whatever you saw unfolding with Mark Sanchez’s run last season, happens with Mariota in 2015…only a little better with more effective running from the QB spot.

 

I never would have believed this a month ago, but now I fully believe Marcus Mariota is headed to Philadelphia—somehow, someway. Adjust your Fantasy and Philly-fan dials accordingly…

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. He is also a lead writer for ‘Play The Draft.com’. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

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Play The Draft® Market Analysis Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Twitter @FFMetrics

So, I took my son to that college preview day yesterday…

Ummm, I may have to do some crowd-funding to help send him to school. When did college get so expensive? When did colleges start having a Starbucks on campus? My college had one of those .50 cent generic coffee/hot chocolate machines somewhere on the campus.

I took him to a mid-size state university yesterday to show him what a pure college town looks like—I figured he would be scared by all the mass of humanity, because he goes to a small high school. When he saw that the business school hall had a Wendy’s across the street—sold.

I now need to win my own PTD-contest for financial reasons. I cannot be giving things away for free, and I need to use that consulting time to get a nice part-time job. I lost money last night, so not a good start to executing my must-win plan. Maybe, if I spent more time looking at mock drafts and less time looking at student loan interest rates last night, I would have done better.

Good Luck with your student loans and PTD-moves today.

DON’T ENTER THIS CONTEST, I DON’T NEED ANYMORE COMPETITORS CUTTING INTO MY COLLEGE PLAN: (link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015—Enter the contest link    (link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015 prize package

 

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Play The Draft® Market Analysis Tuesday, March 24, 2015

*Note: The acronym ‘FRX’ refers to Play The Draft’s®  proprietary algorithms which take all the national Mock Drafts and private scouting input to develop a moving average on prospect sentiment every day. The FRX drives the prospect’s price within the Play The Draft® contest.

 

** The Senior Bowl contest on Play The Draft® is underway! Check out this prize package: Senior Bowl Contest **

 

Yesterday, the Draftnik world was treated to a flood of fresh mock drafts that had been pent up for days due to the NCAA Tournament. So much new information to deal with. Here are a few of the more interesting trends that I noticed from this new wave of mock draft data, and what impact it could have in Play The Draft® this week:

 

The Rise of Dorial Green-Beckham (32.3 FRX, $1.26M current PTD-value, 19.5% PTD-owned)

Post-NFL Combine, DGB was seen as a mild ‘disappointment’ from the Indy events, and he began fading from being projected within the top-32 in many mock drafts. After further consideration, analysts now ‘like’ Green-Beckham. So much so, that he is launching into several top-15s suddenly, and is within arm’s reach of making a move ahead of highly mocked Louisville WR DeVante Parker.

DGB has left Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong in the dust as the alternative WR to consider after the WR block of White-Cooper-Parker.

This rise was overdue. DGB was not a ‘Superman’ at the NFL Combine when you compare his workout times straight up with the other WRs, but when you adjust your view considering his athleticism in the context of his massive WR size…it was a very impressive showing. The momentum is so strong, that he may actually start to surpass a slightly fading DeVante Parker

A move from Green-Beckham’s current 32.3 FRX to something below 20.0 will yield $400K+ in possible gains ahead in Play The Draft® over the next week or so.

 

This Is The Cornerback Prospect We Like Now?

I guess fast, skinny, and suspect of coverage talent is all the rage with the cornerback group this year for mock drafters?

Trae Waynes has been mock drafter’s long-time leader at cornerback, but now one of his clones is becoming the ‘it’ CB prospect of the past few weeks: Florida State CB Ronald Darby (33.9 FRX, $1.08M PTD-value, 13.3% PTD-owned).

All anyone talks about is finding more Richard Sherman’s (tall, physical, more athletic overall than just sprinter speed alone), and then they turn around and mock draft-push skinny speedster’s like Waynes and Darby. I really do not understand it.

At the same time, UConn CB prospect Byron Jones measured off the charts in nearly everything at the NFL Combine…and still is not in most top-32 mock drafts, nor in every top-64. Stunning. The snub will be exposed as wildly incorrect come draft day as Jones is taken well ahead of Darby, and possibly ahead of Waynes.

Darby has been moving up for a week+ now, but his strong momentum may have him moving towards an FRX in the 24-28 range ahead. He’s not guaranteed money to get there, as I think people are going to ‘fold’ on this whole Darby thing soon enough, but right now he has mock draft ‘heat’ that others may echo ahead.

**Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics IDP Dynasty (three-year) projections now exist on the Fantasy Football Management technology: “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here (link): The Machine via FFM

 

The New, Hot PTD-Sleeper: DE Preston Smith (54.4 FRX, $763K PTD-value, 10.3% PTD-owned)

Preston Smith is moving from guy barely noticed in a top-100 mock draft, to one who occasionally showed up as a top-30-50 projection out of nowhere on rare occasion…to now a prospect showing up more and more in the top 25-40 in mock drafts. He has a chance to be an ‘it’ guy in the next wave of mock drafts over the next 7-10 days.

A move by Smith from FRX 54.4 to under FRX 40.0 would pick you up around $250K in Play The Draft® ahead.

Smith deserves a bigger push. His size-athleticism combo warranted a top 25-50 status in our book, and the draft world is starting to come around on it…slowly.

**See the 2015 NFL Draft and 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft, like never before with our Moneyball-style scouting reports and rankings. Go to www.collegefootballmetrics.com **

 

Two other prospects we barely talk about who are starting to make a small awakening from the dead in mock drafts, which may be just a blip, but worth noting:

 — Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett (81.3 FRX, $612K PTD-value, 7.3% PTD-owned) has finally started popping up in more 2nd-round mocks (as a later round pick). He should be in every 2nd-round mock in this era of WR-importance.

We make some interest current NFL comparisons on him in our scouting report and statistical analysis of Lockett at College Football Metrics.com.

 — Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon (67.3 FRX, $640K PTD-value, 5.7% PTD-owned) has not only started showing up in more 2nd-round mocks, but he made a shock appearance in the 1st-round of a national mock draft as well in the past two weeks.

How Yeldon shows up ahead of Northern Iowa RB prospect David Johnson in anyone’s mock draft is shocking to me—and it should be treated as a criminal offense.

I’d like to say mock drafters will come to their senses on Yeldon, but I know better. There’s probably not a major long-term PTD-move setting up here, but it could be some quick cash this week…and something to watch to see if this becomes a copycat mock draft crime ahead.

 

Good Luck with your Play The Draft® trades today!

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. He is also a lead writer for Play The Draft.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.”

 

 

Play The Draft® Market Analysis Monday, March 23, 2015

Twitter @FFMetrics

Well, I finally broke my day losing streak (barely), but I got further spanked by everyone else around me and dropped to #5 overall. I must have horrible mock draft data right now, or angered the PTD-gods because I cannot get out of my own way this past week.

Maybe going back to college will be the answer I need.

Yes, today I am old…I am taking a college visit with my oldest son. His first, and my first, ‘tour’. When I went to college decades ago, I signed up for the closest school who would have me. I went into an office days before school started and signed up at a place that seemed like a younger people version of the DMV. I didn’t know anything about college choices and visits, etc. I thought all that was reserved for scholarship athletes. I didn’t pay attention in high school, so most likely I missed all the college talk taking place (not ‘likely’, more like ‘definitely’).

Good luck with your PTD moves today. Here’s a vision into my future today…

 

 

(link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015—Enter the contest link    (link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015 prize package

 

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Play The Draft® Market Analysis Monday, March 23, 2015

*Note: The acronym ‘FRX’ refers to Play The Draft’s®  proprietary algorithms which take all the national Mock Drafts and private scouting input to develop a moving average on prospect sentiment every day. The FRX drives the prospect’s price within the Play The Draft® contest.

 

** The Senior Bowl contest on Play The Draft® is underway! Check out this prize package: Senior Bowl Contest **

 

If you’re a red-blooded American, then you have somewhat lost touch with the NFL in the past four days…swept up into ‘March Madness’. Whether your bracket(s) has been blown to bits, or you still have some high-level mathematical computation scenario where you can possibly win your office pool over the other 95% of people who also picked Kentucky to win–today you are ready check back in on the NFL happenings, and are ready to whip your Play The Draft® portfolio back into shape.

It was all quiet on the mock draft front the past few days as hoops took center stage, but expect an avalanche of new mocks today and tomorrow as everyone gets re-engaged in the NFL. The fresh wave of mock draft data will move the needle for the various PTD-contests. This is a week where things are going to take a volatile turn in Play The Draft® with the onslaught of new data.

Because you’ve been gorging on hoops the last few days, here are three NFL Draft items we’re seeing/are developing over the past few days to be aware of—items that should impact PTD-portfolios hard this week:

1) Marcus Mariota fallout from his Pro Day

I would worry a mini-Teddy Bridgewater PTD-decline is setting up on Mariota. Last year, Bridgewater did not impress analysts with his Pro Day—likely because of the lack of funky music in the background and brooms being swatted at him during his throws. The analysts skewered him for days to follow from that Pro Day, and everyone slowly, then rapidly, turned on Bridgewater in mock drafts soon after. Once the echo chamber reached warp speed it was mock draft ‘cool’ to mock draft ‘diss’ Teddy. His PTD-value took a swan dive.

Because draft analysts are always so on target, Bridgewater went out and was beyond the best rookie QB on the field in 2014. I digress…

I see that same ‘bad’ momentum forming behind Mariota. People were worried all along, with good reason, that he is not NFL-ready…that in fact, he might have been hindered in the Oregon system. The art critics went to the gallery showing, and decided Mariota did not perform well at his Pro Day. Soon after, the steady rain of ‘Mariota at #2’ projections dried up (again)…he’s now #2, or #5, or #6-7, or even #10+ in recent mock drafts. The steady rain may turn into a monsoon of ‘not-#2’ projections this week, and his FRX may plummet.

By plummet, I mean…all it takes is a drop from his current 5.1 FRX to 7.0+ to lose $500K+ in PTD in a hurry. If you’re holding Mariota in your PTD-portfolio, you may want to sit it out for a few days to see if this storm really hits.

**See the 2015 NFL Draft and 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft, like never before with our Moneyball-style scouting reports and rankings. Go to www.collegefootballmetrics.com **

 

2) The next ‘it’ prospect for the 2015 NFL Draft is Alvin ‘Bud’ Dupree

I wrote that the Dupree momentum was building slowly a while back, but now the machine gears are really turning on him. There is a 1-2 punch taking place that could launch Dupree into most every top-10 mock this week…

First, his NFL ‘buzz’ is percolating. The various teams meeting with him, and the rumored GMs and coaches who are ‘hot’ on Dupree because of his sensational athleticism is reaching a draft ‘boil’…the momentum that I expected post NFL Combine is hitting a fever pitch right now. It used to be Dupree would be projected just inside the top-20 at best, or just past the top-20 usually…and occasionally not even included in a top-32. Now, he’s almost all top-20, but starting to show within the top-10. Dupree may be a consistent inside the top-10 mock draft projection ahead.

Second, some of Dupree’s draft ‘competition’ are starting to crumble. Whether by additional study or just general staleness, top OLB/DE prospects Vic Beasley, Shane Ray, Dante Fowler, and Randy Gregory are starting to lose their stranglehold as always among the top 5-10 prospects in mock drafts. Beasley is really starting to erode. Whatever Dupree has for ‘heat’, Beasley has gone the opposite—‘ice cold’. Ray could be in real trouble after his flimsy Pro Day speed-agility times. The PTD-winner in all this will be Dupree.

A move by Dupree from his current 15.5 FRX to 10.0 is worth $500K+ to your PTD-portfolio…and that’s likely to happen over the next week or two if I am right.

**Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics IDP Dynasty (three-year) projections now exist on the Fantasy Football Management technology: “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here (link): The Machine via FFM

 

3) Jalen Collins’ foot surgery…

LSU cornerback prospect Jalen Collins had foot surgery last week, and he will miss his Pro Day. Collins already performed well at the NFL Combine, and has been a steady top-32 mock pick for weeks, but this injury news may be a momentum changer.

Collins was always a mystery to me as to why he is even in the top-32 mocks given all the other talent swirling around outside the top-32 that is waiting to bust down the door and take over 1st-round spots reserved for Marcus Peters and Jalen Collins. Guys like Byron Jones, Eric Rowe, and Kevin Johnson (and KJ has been pushing into top-32s heavy of late) should be mocked ahead of Collins already. Collins was a shaky starter at LSU, and now he’ll lose some spotlight because of his surgery—he should not be in a top-32, to me, as it was…now this might be the event that pushes him out of the club he didn’t belong in to begin with.

Collins is surviving on the hype of taller + athletic + LSU = draft gold. There are so many other cornerback prospects who have the size and are athletically superior…and are simply better technique corners that should be ahead of Collins. Jalen Collins’ FRX may have peaked.

Keep an eye on him this next 48 hours of mock drafts. He’s a solid PTD-investment today based on last week, but a week from now it could get ugly.

Good Luck with your Play The Draft® trades today!

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. He is also a lead writer for Play The Draft.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.”

 

Mock Draft 7.0 Now Posted on CFM

Now posted at CFM: (link)    Xavier’s Mock Draft 7.0

 

Play The Draft® Market Analysis Sunday, March 22, 2015

Twitter @FFMetrics

I cannot shake my losing streak! I think I’m at five days in-a-row now. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that the rest of you seem to have found a gold mine that’s crapping out PTD-gold to the tune of $400-500K+ gains in a day while I tailspin losses.

This is my worst week in two years in PTD.

So…to this week in PTD, and to Randy Gregory, and to Iowa State basketball, and to my garage door spring breaking after I left the house on a five-minute trip without my full set of house keys to get back in, forcing me to break into my own house and spend money on the spring and breaking and entering on Friday…I have this message to all of it:

 

 

It goes without saying that Xavier Cromartie grabs the ‘best of the week’ contest going away. He is the third winner in our weekly contest.

Good luck to ME and only ME this upcoming week.

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Play The Draft® Market Analysis Sunday, March 22, 2015

*Note: The acronym ‘FRX’ refers to Play The Draft’s®  proprietary algorithms which take all the national Mock Drafts and private scouting input to develop a moving average on prospect sentiment every day. The FRX drives the prospect’s price within the Play The Draft® contest.

 

** The Senior Bowl contest on Play The Draft® is underway! Check out this prize package: Senior Bowl Contest **

 

 

See Thursday’s article for the full set up here, but today we are wrapping up our bracketology-style look at the Titans draft pick at #2 overall…a pick made by me (and not able to trade the pick in this faux world). We are also looking at the Play The Draft® possibilities of such an event occurring.

I would also like to note that it should be no surprise that the Titans CEO Tommy Smith resigned yesterday…in the midst of my faux takeover of the Titans. Hey, I gotta make some changes to get this franchise turned around. The #2 pick wasn’t going to be my only move as faux GM.

The Final matchup/decision for today:  (3) Marcus Mariota vs. (4) Kevin White

 

Before we get to my final decision, let’s look back at the prospects we already eliminated in our tournament—looking at them with a Play The Draft® outlook ahead.

 

— It seems odd not to have an offensive tackle in the mix as a top draft pick or as ‘best available’, but that seems to be where we are headed in the 2015 NFL Draft—no one has fallen madly in love with a particular OT prospect.

#8 seed Brandon Scherff has been stuck in an FRX 7.0-10.0 range for weeks. You occasionally see mock drafters push him up to #2 overall, but mostly he’s right around #7-8 overall…which does project any great PTD-action upcoming.

I could see him moving up as we approach draft day, as you got to believe an offensive tackle will go top-5 in a draft, right? The question is—is Scherff that guy? By default, he appears to be.

But do you really ‘gotta’ believe an offensive tackle goes highly?

Perhaps, the offensive tackle as NFL ‘critical’…as the must have ‘blindside protector’…is an NFL axiom losing steam. OR maybe teams are realizing they cannot pick the right ones out of a draft properly? There have been six offensive tackle prospects taken in the top-6 overall in the past four drafts…and they went to the following teams: STL, ATL, KC, JAX, PHI, MIN. What do those teams have in common? None of them made the playoffs last year. A few of the OTs moved to OG, while others just disappointed. ‘Solid’ is about the best that can be said for the best of them.

 

— #7 seed Vic Beasley was who I thought might be my Titans pick might be when I started this. I am enamored with the measurables. There also isn’t a clear-cut guy for me among the universal top-10 prospects. I’d be a trader down in this draft, as I would most every year, which if you agree—have you ever stopped to think what that really means?

If trading down in the draft is so smart, and it is, it means the universal top-10 projected talents are mostly always wrong. What other industry is so perplexing for the experts to identify the best talent within an industry? The stock market? The stock market and the NFL Draft have a lot in common…welcome to Play The Draft®.

I think Vic Beasley is headed for a substantial decline ahead in PTD, as I see him falling out of many top-10s in recent mocks…falling outside the top-15 in some. I would lock in that +$173K gain scored today and head for the hills…onto greener pastures.

 

— #6 seed Amari Cooper is another top-10 guy who is headed for a mini-crash in PTD. More and more mock drafters see him as the ‘loser’ in a face-off between he and Kevin White, and the loser must leave town…a.k.a. goes outside the top-10. Cooper used to be a fixture at #4 to the Raiders, but now he’s becoming a mostly #10+ projection. His FRX 6.7 is in real danger of sliding ahead.

 

— #5 seed Randy Gregory is the bane of my PTD-existence.

WARNING: Don’t pay attention to what I’m about to type/do the opposite.

Why? I think I’ve lost at least a million dollars total on Gregory in the couple of times I’ve grabbed him in PTD. I think I see him making a move, only to get spanked. His PTD-value is at an all-time low, and in a serious decline for days…and I’ve been on my surf board riding that wave to a crash the whole week.

WARNING…What to do with Gregory ahead: I still think he is headed back up this week—and I have thought that all week. I’ve seen a run of Gregory within the top-5 in mock drafts of late. I’m looking at the wrong mocks. Enter at your own risk.

 

— #2 seed Dante Fowler looks like her should be rising a little ahead. He has a current 5.1 FRX, but I see him being pushed as a top-3 guy in many mocks, and no worse than a #6 typically.

 

— #1 seed Leonard Williams isn’t going anywhere in PTD for a while. He’s almost always a #2…and worse case #3 or #4. His 2.6 FRX is logical, and does not provide any PTD-upside.

 

— OK, so who’s it going to be for the Titans, for me, at #2 between: (3) Marcus Mariota vs. (4) Kevin White?

You would think it is a slam dunk for Marcus Mariota here.

The past couple days I have always fallen back on ‘the QB is the most important position’ logic, and pinched my nose and pushed Mariota ahead. On the other hand, most people think you should be burned at the stake for considering a WR at #2 overall. Again, how projecting a WR #4 is dandy, but projecting a WR #2 is heresy…I have no idea. Refer back to my ‘everybody is always wrong on the top-10 guys anyway’ theory a few paragraphs ago.

You’ve seen the WR free agent payrolls this offseason, right? The wide receiver position is becoming elevated above cornerback and offensive tackle for percentage of payroll allocated to a specific position. The NFL is saying the WR spot is ultra-critical (or at least they think it is)…so why not a WR at #2 overall? Especially, when the alternative option (Mariota) is a QB with several red-flags…like ‘he can only succeed under Chip Kelly’s system’ for example!

I’m 90% sure Kevin White is going to deliver for me in the NFL…and even if delusional, that’s what I think. I’m only 50% sure Mariota is going to make it, as I worry he cannot complete a pass that isn’t a one-step drop swing pass to a RB or WR. Mariota could bust hard and quick. White won’t…in theory.

If I could, I would trade this pick and fall back to grab Brett Hundley among other things…mostly because I believe the argument can be made that Hundley is the most polished QB in the 2015 NFL Draft. He’s not perfect, but works better downfield than Winston with better character. He is mobile like Mariota, but actually threw passes down field in college…especially last season, and was shockingly good at it. The gap between those three on draft boards should not be as wide as it is.

…but I cannot trade my pick in this contest.

The Titans pick next is in the 2nd-round, and Hundley will be gone by then, so if I want a QB for my Titans—I have Mariota or nothing. Zach Mettenberger is not ‘my guy’. Because of that, I have to do what most NFL teams should do—put my neck out for a QB until I find my guy. I can find more Kevin White’s via trade or in next year’s draft. I need someone throwing to White/Harry Douglas. Therefore, I reluctantly have to take the coin flip option and draft Marcus Mariota…and then probably hire a new offensive coordinator and change my offense…and then likely be fired 2-3 years from now when it doesn’t work out.

QB is everything.

Good Luck with your brackets and your Play The Draft® trades today!

 

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. He is also a lead writer for Play The Draft.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.”

 

 

 

Play The Draft® Market Analysis Saturday, March 21, 2015

Twitter @FFMetrics

I’m going for a new record–how many days in a row can one person lose money in PTD. I think I’m at four and counting. The worst thing that has ever happened to my PTD account…one of my NCAA brackets is kicking butt, and I am sucked into the tournament a little more than I expected. I meant to change out a PTD player last night, Randy Gregory, and forgot…which was a super nice -$80K reminder this morning. 

Congrats to those who actually know how to play this game. Right now, I have all the wrong players when I needed to coast for a few days. Today, I am coming back into the positives. I have to bust up this slump. 

There are a lot of good games on today, though…

Good luck in your PTD moves and bracket picks today!

 (link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015—Enter the contest link    (link) FFM ‘Play The Draft’ 2015 prize package

 

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Play The Draft® Market Analysis Saturday, March 21, 2015

*Note: The acronym ‘FRX’ refers to Play The Draft’s®  proprietary algorithms which take all the national Mock Drafts and private scouting input to develop a moving average on prospect sentiment every day. The FRX drives the prospect’s price within the Play The Draft® contest.

 

** The Senior Bowl contest on Play The Draft® is underway! Check out this prize package: Senior Bowl Contest **

 

See Thursday’s article for the full set up here, but today we are continuing on with our bracketology-style look at the Titans draft pick at #2 overall…a pick made by me (and not able to trade the pick in this faux world). We are also looking at the Play The Draft® possibilities of such an event occurring.

 

In the prior round:

#1 seed Leonard Williams moved on to the Final Four over #8 seed Brandon Scherff. #4 seed Kevin White snuck past #5 seed Randy Gregory.

#3 seed Marcus Mariota squeaked on to the Final Four over #6 seed Amari Cooper. #7 seed Vic Beasley raced by #2 seed Dante Fowler.

 

Today we break down the Final Four of:

 (1) Leonard Williams vs. (4) Kevin White

(3) Marcus Mariota vs. (7) Vic Beasley

 

 

(3) Marcus Mariota (4.5 FRX, 9.4% owned in PTD) vs. (6) Vic Beasley (6.8 FRX, 21.2% owned in PTD)

As the new GM of the Titans, I would walk in the door day-one proclaiming that we did not have our franchise QB yet, sorry Zach Mettenberger. Because the QB position is so critical, you would figure Mariota is a slam-dunk choice. Not so fast…

First off, Vic Beasley is a sensational athlete…one of the best in this entire draft, if not the best considering his size and relative to his position. The Titans might have need for a DE/OLB type, but even they did not, I would have to consider grabbing Beasley. He’s that ‘radical’ of a prospect.

I like Mariota, but I don’t ‘love’ Mariota. I fear he is a slick Oregon QB who could only work for Philly/Chip Kelly, maybe. If I make this pick and get a dud QB, PLUS have missed out on an elite defensive player…I’d be done as a GM quick.

In the end, I so want to take Vic Beasley, but this is such a QB-driven league. I was going to select Beasley when I started this, but now that I am writing it and thinking more about it more…I re-visit just how critical the QB position is. Beasley looks sensational on paper, but I have some concern how versatile he is. I don’t want to end up with ONLY a ‘decent’ pass-rushing DE to go along with my ‘no-QB’ situation. If I thought that I could get Brett Hundley in the 2nd-round, then I would take Beasley, but I think Hundley is ultimately going top-20 overall, and I’m confined to the rules of this game.

In reality, I would trade out of this pick and acquire all the assets I could while dropping down in the draft, but I  ‘must’ make this pick, so I’ll dive in with Marcus Mariota…and consider changing my whole offensive philosophy.

Winner: Marcus Mariota

 

If Mariota does go #2 overall in the draft, whether to Tennessee or to Philly or whomever…he has a nice little $340K+ gain in Play The Draft® to offer from where his FRX is today.

 

(1) Leonard Williams (2.7 FRX, 10.9% owned in PTD) vs. (4) Kevin White (6.5 FRX, 21.2% owned in PTD)

This one is easy for me: Kevin White moves on to the finals.

The world would pencil/pen Leonard Williams on to the next round here (and the next), because we’ve all been robotically conditioned that he is the consensus ‘best player in the draft’. I don’t think so. Not even close. Useful? Yes. Not going to bust? Yes. Going to make a huge impact for your franchise? No.

I so encourage you to read our Leonard Williams scouting report on College Football Metrics.com, and compare that to all the other DT prospect reports we’ve produced. He is not the best talent in this draft…no way.

Kevin White could be a huge difference maker on a team that desperately needs play-makers at WR…I mean, except we got Harry Douglas and all. White is more the Sammie Watkins people were looking for last year…a little bigger, a little faster, a little tougher version of Watkins. White’s no slam dunk, but his upside/potential NFL impact is way beyond Williams’.

I don’t want to use a #2 pick on a WR, as a ‘general rule’, but I’d much rather have White than Williams. I want possible mega-impact players with a #2 pick…not just ‘good/solid’ players.

Winner: Kevin White

 

 

Tomorrow’s Final matchup:

I did not see this coming. I really thought this would come down to Vic Beasley and Amari Cooper. But here’s the final of our bracketology pick for the Titans at #2.

(3) Marcus Mariota vs. (4) Kevin White

 

 

See you tomorrow for the Finals on the Tennessee pick at #2…and finally fulfill our patriotic duty of concocting a half-baked tournament-style article involving the NFL Draft. 

Good Luck with your Play The Draft® trades today!

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. He is also a lead writer for Play The Draft.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.”

 

 

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