Category Archives: NFL

Fantasy Focus: New England Patriots

With the start of the NFL Season quickly approaching with teams heading to Training Camp, we will begin to look at teams from a Fantasy Football standpoint.

Coming off a 12-4 season and a trip to the AFC Championship game, the New England Patriots headed into the off-season with a huge question.  Will they resign Wes Welker and if they don’t how do they replace him?  Well back in March the first question was answered and they didn’t. The second part of the question was answered with the signing of Danny Amendola and seemingly moving Aaron Hernandez to the slot, with a hopefully healthy Jake Ballard into his spot on the line.

Rob Gronkowski‘s broken forearm didn’t heal as the Patriots and he would hope, after having multiple surgeries to clear up infections, and then stunning people with a precautionary trip back under the knife to clean up his back.

The biggest shock of the off-season happened in mid June when Aaron Hernandez was being investigated in relation to a homicide and then a week later charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd.

The Patriots have done a good job since in distancing themselves from the former TE that wore #81, and the players are trying to remove the the distraction.  But let’s look at the depth chart and try to help you with your fantasy drafts.

POS FIRST SECOND THIRD OTHER
WR Danny Amendola Michael Jenkins Matthew Slater Kenbrell Thompkins
Quentin Sims
LT Nate Solder Will Svitek Kevin Haslam Elvis Fisher
LG Logan Mankins Nick McDonald Tyronne Green Josh Kline
C Ryan Wendell Nick McDonald
RG Dan Connolly Marcus Cannon Chris McDonald
RT Sebastian Vollmer Marcus Cannon Markus Zusevics R.J. Mattes
TE Rob Gronkowski Michael Hoomanawanui Daniel Fells Jake Ballard
Zach Sudfeld
Brandon Ford
WR Julian Edelman Aaron Dobson Josh Boyce Lavelle Hawkins
Kamar Aiken
Mark Harrison
Perez Ashford
QB Tom Brady Ryan Mallett Tim Tebow
RB Stevan Ridley Brandon Bolden LeGarrette Blount George Winn
RB Shane Vereen Leon Washington James Develin Ben Bartholomew

 courtesy patriots.com

Tom Brady is still a top 3 NFL QB, brain wise.  This season will most likely not prove to be the past 3 years of Brady, fantasy wise.  I believe you can still pencil him in for 3500+ yards, 30 TD’s and less than 8 interceptions. but in saying that most of those will come post October 1st.  Getting Gronkowski healthy hopefully by then, acclimating Amendola to the offense to fill the Welker role.  The questions in the passing game, may be relieved by the emergence of the running game last season.

Stevan Ridley isn’t a 350+ carry back, but he is a guy who should be able to carry rock 250-300 times and score you 10 TD’s and gain you over 1100 yards.  A good 2nd back or 1st in a deeper league.  Shane Vereen proved he could catch the ball on swing routes and you saw that in two memorable catches against the New York Jets in the now infamous “Buttfumble” game and against Houston in the Divisional Round.  If he shows the durability to carry the ball 150+ times and catch 50 passes, the Patriots offense should be fine and in position to win a sort of strengthened AFC East, and make a run into the Playoffs.

When it comes to Rob Gronkowski’s fantasy outlook, it all depends on when he makes his way back onto the field.  With the Patriots first two games coming within 5 days of each other against the Bills and Jets, expect Gronk to be back onto the field anytime after week 3.  If he plays in 12+ games, you can pencil in #87 for 800+ yards and 10+ TD’s.  The Patriots TE’s won’t have the same dynamic effect as it has had since 2010, but with Gronk, Ballard, Hooman, and Daniel Fells. expect the Patriots TE’s as a whole to have 100+ receptions, 1500+ yards and 15 TD’s.

Patriots WR’s since Randy Moss haven’t been down the field threats. The biggest question there is, Can they find a way to replace Wes Welker’s sure hands on 3rd and medium.  If Amendola can produce at 75% of Welker’s production, that’s good for nearly 90 catches and 900 yards.  A healthy Julian Edelman can be counted on for 50 catches and 600 yards.  the Patriots have waited a long time to see if drafting Edelman can prove to be a productive WR.  With the acquisition of Leon Washington, Edelman will not have to handle the kick return duties.  Aaron Dobson and Michael Jenkins are tough to call fantasy wise, because of as you’ve seen in the past, if #12 doesn’t trust throwing them the ball, they won’t see it too often.

Where should you draft the Patriots?

Tom Brady 4th or 5th Round

Stevan Ridley 8th-12th Round

Shane Vereen 16th-20th Round

Rob Gronkowski 10th-14th round

Danny Amendola after the 15th Round

Julian Edelman free agent pickup

Stephen Gostkowski top 5 K

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NFL Transactions

02/15/2013
The following are official NFL transactions for Friday, February 15.  Transactions will be published each day after they are circulated to NFL clubs.  This public version will include waiver requests, assignments via waivers, terminations, free agent signings, reserve list and practice squad additions and deletions, and trades.  It will not include waiver claims, tryouts, suspensions, etc.

 

PERSONNEL NOTICE

DATE: Friday, 2/15/2013

 

WAIVER SYSTEM TRANSACTIONS

 
WAIVER REQUEST (NO RECALL)
 
ST. LOUIS
    Young, Titus WR Boise State      

   CLAIMING DEADLINE: 4:00 p.m., N.Y. Time, Tuesday, 2/19/13

 
TERMINATION OF VESTED VETERAN
 
GREEN BAY
    Woodson, Charles DB Michigan      
 

ACTIVE LIST ADDITION

 
FREE AGENT SIGNING
 
PHILADELPHIA
    Wang, Ed T Virginia Tec

NFL Transactions

02/14/2013
The following are official NFL transactions for Thursday, February 14.  Transactions will be published each day after they are circulated to NFL clubs.  This public version will include waiver requests, assignments via waivers, terminations, free agent signings, reserve list and practice squad additions and deletions, and trades.  It will not include waiver claims, tryouts, suspensions, etc.

 

PERSONNEL NOTICE

DATE: Thursday, 2/14/2013

 

WAIVER SYSTEM TRANSACTIONS

 
TERMINATION OF VESTED VETERAN
 
BUFFALO
    McGee, Terrence DB Northwestern State, La.      
         Failed Physical
 
TERMINATION VIA WAIVER SYSTEM
 
TENNESSEE
    Malast, Kevin LB Rutgers    
 

ACTIVE LIST ADDITIONS

 
FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
 
BUFFALO
    Corp, Aaron QB Richmond  
    Eckerson, Hutch T South Carolina  
 
CAROLINA
    Shaw, James WR Jacksonville State  
 
MIAMI
    Robinson, Lee LB Alcorn State  
 
WASHINGTON
    Brace, Ron NT Boston College

NFL Health and Safety Update—February 13, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2/13/13

http://twitter.com/nflhealthsafety

NFL HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE—FEBRUARY 13, 2013

 

IU Health & Wellness Report

A recent Indiana Health & Wellness Report commented on a concussion study co-authored by health care and legal expert David Orentlicher, who teaches at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Orentlicher investigated how medical experts’ knowledge and understanding of concussions has developed over the past several decades. The Brandeis University (B.A., 1977), Harvard Medical School (M.D., 1981) and Harvard Law School (J.D., 1986) graduate observed that neurologists in past decades were slow to recognize the effects of concussions.

 

To view the complete study, click here.

 

Super Bowl Health Screenings Yield Benefits for Players

In the days leading to the Super Bowl, the NFL Player Care Foundation held health screenings in New Orleans for former and current NFL players. Health care professionals offered cardiovascular and urological screenings to help identify players at risk or experiencing issues with obesity, high blood pressure and prostate health. The screenings were hosted by the NFL Player Care Foundation, the Living Heart Foundation and the Urology Care Foundation.

 

Attendees also had the opportunity to attend a lecture “Post-NFL Brain Health: What You Need to Know,” featuring neurologists from the University of California-San Francisco department of neurosurgery, including DR. MITCHEL BERGER, who also serves as a subcommittee chair on the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee. The lecture focused on the signs and symptoms of declining cognitive function, what people should do if they are concerned and where to get help.

 

In addition, DR. DAVID SATCHER, 16th Surgeon General of the United States, current director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine, and a mental health advisor to the NFL, spoke about mental health and its importance when transitioning from playing in the NFL to retirement. Following the lecture, players and their significant others had the opportunity to ask questions as well as to meet privately with trained professionals.

 

Following the event, former NFL player MARK WALCZAK said, “I was overwhelmed with the wonderful and valuable screening provided in New Orleans…This screening is an important gesture of caring that provides excellent proactive and preventative care for our former players. This screening provides further evidence at the highest level that the NFL truly cares about players, past and present.”

 

For more information about the Player Care Foundation, click here.

 

For more information on the NFL’s health and safety work, please visit www.nflevolution.com.

 

# # #

NFL Transactions 2/11/2013

The following are official NFL transactions for Monday, February 11.  Transactions will be published each day after they are circulated to NFL clubs.  This public version will include waiver requests, assignments via waivers, terminations, free agent signings, reserve list and practice squad additions and deletions, and trades.  It will not include waiver claims, tryouts, suspensions, etc.

 

DATE: Monday, 2/11/2013
 

WAIVER SYSTEM TRANSACTIONS

 
TERMINATIONS OF VESTED VETERANS
 
BUFFALO
    Barnett, Nick LB Oregon State  
         Failed Physical
    Wilson, George DB Arkansas  
 
TERMINATION VIA WAIVER SYSTEM
 
ATLANTA
    Hansen, Matt DB Rhode Island  
 

ACTIVE LIST ADDITIONS

 
FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
 
DALLAS
    Bryant, Charlie G Memphis  
    Hayden, Nick DT Wisconsin  
 
KANSAS CITY
    Brock, Kevin TE Rutgers  
    Dixon, Marcus DE Hampton  
    Gilyard, Mardy WR Cincinnati  
 

MINNESOTA

    Williams, Roderick DB Alcorn State  
 
SAN FRANCISCO
    Thomas, Michael DB Stanford

NFL Transactions

The following are official NFL transactions for Thursday, February 7.  Transactions will be published each day after they are circulated to NFL clubs.  This public version will include waiver requests, assignments via waivers, terminations, free agent signings, reserve list and practice squad additions and deletions, and trades.  It will not include waiver claims, tryouts, suspensions, etc.

 

PERSONNEL NOTICE

DATE: Thursday, 2/7/2013

 

WAIVER SYSTEM TRANSACTION

 
TERMINATION VIA WAIVER SYSTEM
 
NEW YORK GIANTS
    Parker, Martin DT Richmond    
 

ACTIVE LIST ADDITIONS

 
FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
 
CAROLINA
    Cole, Colin DT Iowa  
 
SAN FRANCISCO
    Lockette, Ricardo WR Fort Valley State  

Dean Blandino Named NFL Vice President of Officiating

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE2/7/13

DEAN BLANDINO NAMED NFL VICE PRESIDENT OF OFFICIATING

 

 

Dean Blandino, a member of the NFL’s Officiating Department for 15 years and the director of the league’s instant replay program, has been named NFL vice president of officiating.

 

Blandino will take over for Carl Johnson, who announced in December that he had accepted a new role and would become the NFL’s first full-time game official after Super Bowl XLVII.

 

A native of Bellmore, New York, Blandino has spent his entire professional career in football officiating. After graduating in 1993 from Hofstra University, Blandino joined the NFL for the 1994 season as an officiating intern. Following the 1994 season, he was hired full-time as an officiating video assistant and then was promoted to special projects coordinator.

 

Blandino was an NFL instant replay official from 1999-2003 and was selected to work as the replay official for two Super Bowls and two conference championship games. He managed the NFL instant replay program from 2003-2009, including oversight of the system’s upgrade to high definition in 2007. From 2007-2009, he was director of officiating and the number-two person in the department, supervising day-to-day operations, including managing the support staff and the game officials’ schedule, under Mike Pereira.

 

Blandino formed his own company in 2009 called “Under the Hood,” which provided training and evaluation for replay officials. His clients included the NFL plus the Big Ten, Mid-American, Pac 12, Big 12, and Mountain West college football conferences. He directed instant replay clinics for the NFL and NCAA and served as a liaison to the NFL Competition Committee.

 

In 2012, Blandino returned to the NFL as a director of officiating, focusing on all aspects of supervising the instant replay program. He continued to work with the Competition Committee and also served as a liaison to NFL clubs in answering questions about officiating, prepared weekly officiating training tapes, managed other key projects such as editing the official rulebook, provided training for on-field officials, and participated in communication initiatives, including presenting the NFL Network’s weekly “Official Review” to clarify rules and officiating calls for NFL fans.

 

“Dean has been in football officiating for the past 20 years and has made it his life,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “He is highly respected by our game officials and coaches for his deep and thorough knowledge of the rules. He also has extensive management leadership experience in the NFL and as a business entrepreneur. Dean is well-positioned to lead our officiating team and ensure the integrity and continued improvement of NFL officiating.”

 

Blandino will report to NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson.

 

###

NFL Transactions

02/06/2013
The following are official NFL transactions for Wednesday, February 6.  Transactions will be published each day after they are circulated to NFL clubs.  This public version will include waiver requests, assignments via waivers, terminations, free agent signings, reserve list and practice squad additions and deletions, and trades.  It will not include waiver claims, tryouts, suspensions, etc.

 

PERSONNEL NOTICE

DATE: Wednesday, 2/6/2013

 

WAIVER SYSTEM TRANSACTIONS

 
WAIVER REQUEST (NO RECALL)
 
NEW YORK GIANTS
    Parker, Martin DT Richmond      

   CLAIMING DEADLINE: 4:00 p.m., N.Y. Time, Thursday, 2/7/13

 
TERMINATIONS OF VESTED VETERANS
 
NEW YORK GIANTS
    Bradshaw, Ahmad RB Marshall      
         Failed Physical
    Canty, Chris DT Virginia      
 
PHILADELPHIA
    Bell, Demetress T Northwestern State, La.      
 

ACTIVE LIST ADDITIONS

 
FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
 
BALTIMORE
    Bryant, D.J. LB James Madison  
    Carr, Nigel LB Alabama State  
    Cornell, Jack G Illinois  
    McClain, Antoine G Clemson  
    Silvestro, Alex TE Rutgers  
 
CLEVELAND
    Alford, Dominic G Minnesota  
 
DETROIT
    Johnson, Domonique DB Jackson State  
 
PHILADELPHIA
    McCoy, Chris LB Middle Tennessee  
 
SAN FRANCISCO
    Divens, Lamar DT Tennessee State  
    Netter, Al T Northwestern  
    Stupar, Nathan LB Penn State  
    Wiggins, Kenny T Fresno State

Gronklash, Does Rob Gronkowski need to grow up?

New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski, who’s play warranted a 6 year, 53 million dollar contract extension last June from the team.  But after his latest no shirt wearing dance party in Las Vegas on Sunday night, the question is now coming up, “Does Rob Gronkowski need to grow up?”  The short answer is yes!  The long answer is off the field yes, on the field the Patriots need Gronk to be Gronk.  The timeline of Rob Gronkowski’s off the field transgressions now include a picture with porn star Bibi Jones with her wearing a Patriots jersey, partying like a crazy college kid at a Patriots post Super Bowl XLVI party, beer bongs during spring break and now this.  Look, I am not trying to deny the kid a good time, BUT with the investment the Patriots made to him, the fact that when the time comes in post Tom Brady New England, Rob Gronkowski is the Patriots biggest star.  He has to show an ability to “Just Say No!”  As a New England Patriots fan, I love the guy, I love what he brings you on the football field, BUT once again, he needs to learn that the Patriots have made an investment on him, and he needs to be ready to be the Superstar, that the Patriots and their fans need him to be.

Now the question is who sits him down and says, Look Rob, we get it you are a big kid and we love that about you, but you need to make better decisions.  Is that guy Robert Kraft? Hell he is signing the checks, Bill Belichick? Tom Brady?  Ding, ding, ding we have a winner.  Brady is one of a small handful of guys on the Patriots that have a Super Bowl Ring.  Brady, in his earlier days owned Boston and still does, needs to sit Gronk down and say, it’s great to go out and have a good time, but giving your boy on stage a DDT, is just not cool.  The Gronk family from their dad Gordie on down to the 5 brothers are a group of over sized kids, but at this point, they need to take a back seat in Rob’s life and let Gronk become the greatest Tight End to ever play the game.

What could help Rob?  Go to California to work with Tom Brady, the same way Julian Edelman did last off-season, and Aaron Hernandez is going this year.  Doing this may help his off the field and come September the Patriots on the field.

NFL Transactions

The following are official NFL transactions for Tuesday, February 5.  Transactions will be published each day after they are circulated to NFL clubs.  This public version will include waiver requests, assignments via waivers, terminations, free agent signings, reserve list and practice squad additions and deletions, and trades.  It will not include waiver claims, tryouts, suspensions, etc.

 

DATE: Tuesday, 2/5/2013
 
 

WAIVER SYSTEM TRANSACTIONS

 
CLAIM OF CONTRACT/RIGHTS
    Young, Titus WR Boise State  
         From DETROIT
By ST. LOUIS
 
ASSIGNMENT VIA WAIVER SYSTEM
 
ST. LOUIS
    Young, Titus WR Boise State  
         From DETROIT
 
TERMINATIONS OF VESTED VETERANS
 
CLEVELAND
    Rucker, Frostee DE Southern California  
 
DETROIT
    Peterman, Stephen G Louisiana State  
    Vanden Bosch, Kyle DE Nebraska  
 
NEW YORK GIANTS
    Boley, Michael LB Southern Mississippi  
 
TERMINATION VIA WAIVER SYSTEM
 
PITTSBURGH
    Rainey, Chris RB Florida  
 

 

 

 

 

ACTIVE LIST ADDITIONS

 
FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
 
BALTIMORE
    Miller, Lonyae RB Fresno State  
    Stephens, Reggie