You probably remember my Way Too Early Fantasy Rankings from a couple of weeks ago. Well, I’ve changed my mind on what I said in that post; My 2018 fantasy football analysis is no longer going in alphabetical order–it’s all over the place. It’s in complete chaos. The good news is that NFL.com has opened their mock drafts, so I have a more updated list of players to work with, including the rookies. That also means I can base my rankings more on where players should be drafted, rather than how many points they will score this season (ex: QBs will score the most points, but the gap between the best and the worst QBs is significantly less than the gap between the best and the worst RBs and WRs). Anyway, I’m trying to get my poop in a group (s*** together, if you prefer). Here is my first official Top 25 2018 Fantasy Fooball Ranking, in the order in which you should draft them:
I previously promised a more in-depth look at my plus-minus system; Here it is in my ranking of the draft classes from the 2018 NFL Draft. The plus-minus system reflects the overall value of each teams’ collective drafts. The greater the plus is, the greater a value a team got. The minuses are reaches-players who were drafted earlier than they should have been. The the greater a minus is, the more consistently and/or greatly a team reached throughout the draft.
1. Minnesota Vikings: +207
Best Value Pick: Colby Gossett, OG, Appalachian State (+89)
Worst Value Pick: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF (+4)
Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh (+10)
Jalyn Holmes, DE, Ohio State (+19)
Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan (+15)
Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn (+70)
Ade Aruna, EDGE, Tulane (N/A)
Devante Downs, LB, California (N/A)
2. Dallas Cowboys: +165
Best Value Pick: Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama (+90)
Worst Value Pick: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State (-5)
Connor Williams, OT, Texas (+19)
Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State (-3)
Dorance Armstrong, EDGE, Kansas (+28)
Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford (+27)
Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky (+9)
Chris Covington, OLB, Indiana (N/A)
Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State (N/A)
3. Green Bay Packers: +126
Best Value Pick: Equanimeous St Brown, WR, Notre Dame (+128)
Worst Value Pick: Cole Madison, OG, Washington State (-35)
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville (-20)
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa (+26)
Oren Burks, LB, Vanderbilt (-23)
J’Mon Moore, WR, Missouri (+51)
JK Scott, P, Alabama (-1)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, USF (N/A)
James Looney, DE, California (N/A)
Hunter Bradley, LS, Mississippi State (N/A)
Kendall Donnerson, EDGE, Southeast Missouri (N/A)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: +100
Best Value Pick: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama (+49)
Worst Value Pick: DJ Chark, WR, LSU (+10)
Taven Bryan, DT, Florida (+11)
Will Richardson, OT, North Carolina State (+30)
Tanner Lee, QB, Nebraska (N/A)
Leon Jacobs, EDGE, Wisconsin (N/A)
Logan Cooke, P, Mississippi State (N/A)
5. Seattle Seahawks: +75
Best Value Pick: Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State (+77)
Worst Value Pick: Will Dissly, TE, Washington (-53)
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State (-27)
Rasheem Greene, DE, USC (+33)
Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF (+37)
Tre Flowers, S, Oklahoma State (-27)
Michael Dickson, P, Texas (+35)
Jake Martin, EDGE, Temple (N/A)
Alex Mcgough, QB, Florida International (N/A)
6. New York Jets: +71
Best Value Pick: Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane (+64)
Worst Value Pick: Chris Herndon, TE, Miami (-60)
Sam Darnold, QB, USC (+1)
Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State (+9)
Foley Fatukasi, DT, Connecticut (+57)
Trenton Cannon, RB, Virginia State (N/A)
7. New York Giants: +38
Best Value Pick: RJ McIntosh, DT, Miami (+17)
Worst Value Pick: BJ Hill, DT, North Carolina State (-17)
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (+1)
Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP (+13)
Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia (+16)
Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond (+8)
8. Tennessee Titans: +37
Best Value Pick: Luke Falk, QB, Washington State (+34)
Worst Value Pick: Dane Cruikshank, S, Arizona (-21)
Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama (0)
Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College (+24)
9. Baltimore Ravens: +31
Best Value Pick: Deshon Elliott, S, Texas (+53)
Worst Value Pick: Kenny Young, LB, UCLA (-51)
Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina (-9)
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (+5)
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma (+46)
Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma (+10)
Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama (+29)
Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State (-41)
Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA (-11)
Greg Senat, OT, Wagner (N/A)
Bradley Bozeman, C, Alabama (N/A)
Zach Sieler, DE, Ferris State (N/A)
10. Philadelphia Eagles: +25
Best Value Pick: Josh Sweat, EDGE, Florida State (+66)
Worst Value Pick: Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh (-48)
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State (+7)
Matt Pryor, OT, TCU (N/A)
Jordan Mailata, OT, Australia (N/A)
11. Carolina Panthers: +16
Best Value Pick: Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami (+71)
Worst Value Pick: Rashaan Gaulden, CB, Tennessee (-53)
DJ Moore, WR, Maryland (-5)
Donte Jackson, CB, LSU (+8)
Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana (+30)
Marquis Haynes, DE, Ole Miss (-23)
Jermaine Carter Jr, LB, Maryland (-12)
Andre Smith, ILB, North Carolina (N/A)
12. Buffalo Bills: +1
Best Value Pick: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford (+47)
Worst Value Pick: Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State (-52)
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming (-4)
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech (+10)
Siran Neal, S, Jacksonville State (-19)
Wyatt Teller, OG, Virginia Tech (+19)
Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson (N/A)
Austin Proehl, WR, North Carolina (N/A)
13. Indianapolis Colts: -5
Best Value Pick: Deon Cain, WR, Clemson (+118)
Worst Value Pick: Braden Smith, OG, Auburn (-44)
Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame (+2)
Darius Leonard, OLB, South Carolina State (-25)
Kemoko Turay, EDGE, Rutgers (-42)
Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State (-26)
Nyheim Hines, RB, North Carolina State (-30)
Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa (+46)
Jordan Wilkins, RB, Ole Miss (-4)
Matthew Adams, LB, Houston (N/A)
Zaire Franklin, LB, Syracuse (N/A)
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: -9
Best Value Pick: Jack Cichy, ILB, Wisconsin (+77)
Worst Value Pick: Jordan Whitehead, S, Pittsburgh (-56)
Vita Vea, DT, Washington (+2)
Ronald Jones II, RB, USC (+6)
MJ Stewart, CB, North Carolina (-54)
Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn (+22)
Alex Cappa, OT, Humboldt State (-15)
Justin Watson, WR, Pennsylvania (+9)
15. Cincinnati Bengals: -14
Best Value Pick: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State (+24)
Worst Value Pick: Mark Walton, RB, Miami (-27)
Billy Price, C, Ohio State (-15)
Jessie Bates III, S Wake Forest (+6)
Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas (-9)
Davontae Harris, CB, Illinois State (+3)
Andrew Brown, DE, Virginia (+7)
Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan (-3)
Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo (N/A)
Rod Taylor, OG, Mississippi (N/A)
Auden Tate, WR, Florida State (N/A)
16. Houston Texans: -19
Best Value Pick: Justin Reid, S, Stanford (+40)
Worst Value Pick: Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech (-57)
Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State (+18)
Jordan Akins, TE, UCF (-42)
Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest (+22)
Jordan Thomas, TE, Mississippi State (N/A)
Peter Kalambayi, EDGE, Stanford (N/A)
Jermaine Kelly, DB, San Jose State (N/A)
17. Los Angeles Chargers: -23
Best Value Pick: Kyzir White, S, West Virginia (+49)
Worst Value Pick: Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC (-44)
Derwin James, S, Florida State (+9)
Justin Jones, DT, North Carolina State (-19)
Scott Quessenberry, C, UCLA (-18)
Dylan Cantrell, WR, Texas Tech (N/A)
Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern (N/A)
18. Detroit Lions: -25
Best Value Pick: Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon (+96)
Worst Value Pick: Tracy Walker, S, Louisiana (-91)
Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas (-45)
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn (-25)
Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama (+40)
Nick Bawden, RB, San Diego State (N/A)
19. Washington Redskins: -32
Best Value Pick: Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech (+78)
Worst Value Pick: Geron Christian, OT, Louisville (-87)
Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama (-2)
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU (+43)
Troy Apke, S, Penn State (-64)
Shaun dion Hamilton, ILB, Alabama (N/A)
Greg Stroman, CB, Virginia Tech (N/A)
20. Denver Broncos: -43
Best Value Pick: Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin (+40)
Worst Value Pick: Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon (-62)
Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State (+2)
Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU (-3)
Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College (-53)
Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa (-2)
DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State (+1)
Sam Jones, C, Arizona State (+34)
Keishawn Bierria, ILB, Washington (N/A)
David Williams, RB, Arkansas (N/A)
21. Los Angeles Rams: -45
Best Value Pick: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, LB, Oklahoma (+34)
Worst Value Pick: Brian Allen, C, Michigan State (-62)
Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU (+14)
John Franklin, DE, Stephen F Austin (-38)
Micah Kiser, LB, Virginia (+3)
John Kelly, RB, Tennessee (+4)
Jamil Demby, OG, Maine (N/A)
Sebastian Joseph, DT, Rutgers (N/A)
Trevon Young, EDGE, Louisville (N/A)
Travin Howard, LB, TCU (N/A)
Justin Lawler, DE, SMU (N/A)
22. Oakland Raiders: -49
Best Value Pick: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan (+117)
Worst Value Pick: Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T (-108)
Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA (-25)
PJ Hall, DT, Sam Houston State (-44)
Arden Key, LB, LSU (+32)
Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin (-21)
Johnny Townsend, P, Florida (N/A)
Azeem Victor, LB, Washington (N/A)
Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State (N/A)
23. Miami Dolphins: -54
Best Value Pick: Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State (+35)
Worst Value Pick: Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame (-40)
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama (-1)
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State (-16)
Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State (-32)
Cornell Armstrong, DB, Southern Mississippi (N/A)
Quentin Poling, LB, Ohio (N/A)
Jason Sanders, K, New Mexico (N/A)
24. Cleveland Browns: -54
Best Value Pick: Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida (+39)
Worst Value Pick: Chad Thomas, DE, Miami (-60)
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (-12)
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State (-5)
Austin Corbett, OG, Nevada (-23)
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia (-24)
Genard Avery, LB, Memphis (+31)
Damion Ratley, WR, Texas A&M (N/A)
Simeon Thomas, DB, Louisiana-Lafayette (N/A)
25. New England Patriots: -62
Best Value Pick: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia (-4)
Worst Value Pick: Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB, Purdue (-30)
Isaiah Wynn, OT, Georgia (-7)
Duke Dawson, CB, Florida (-21)
Christian Sam, ILB, Arizona State (N/A)
Braxton Berrios, WR, Miami (N/A)
Danny Etling, QB, LSU (N/A)
Keion Crossen, DB, Western Carolina (N/A)
Ryan Izzo, TE, Florida State (N/A)
26. Chicago Bears: -62
Best Value Pick: Bilal Nichols, DT, Delaware (+17)
Worst Value Pick: Joel Iyiebuniwe, LB, Western Kentucky (-58)
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia (+1)
James Daniels, C, Iowa (0)
Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis (-22)
Kylie Fitts, EDGE, Utah (N/A)
Javon Wims, WR, Georgia (N/A)
27. Pittsburgh Steelers: -71
Best Value Pick: Marcus Allen, S, Penn State (+27)
Worst Value Pick: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech (-65)
James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State (-9)
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State (-4)
Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan (-44)
Jaylen Samuels, RB, North Carolina State (+24)
Joshua Frazier, DT, Alabama (N/A)
28. Atlanta Falcons: -77
Best Value Pick: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado (+13)
Worst Value Pick: Deadrin Senat, DT, USF (-55)
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama (+12)
Ito Smith, RB, Southern Mississippi (-47)
Russell Gage, WR, LSU (N/A)
Foye Oluokun, LB, Yale (N/A)
Trey Quinn, WR, SMU
29. Arizona Cardinals: -91
Best Value Pick: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M (+14)
Worst Value Pick: Mason Cole, C, Michigan (-71)
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA (+5)
Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham (-39)
Chris Campbell, CB, Penn State (N/A)
Korey Cunningham, OT, Cincinnati (N/A)
30. New Orleans Saints: -92
Best Value Pick: Natrell Jamerson, S, Wisconsin (-9)
Worst Value Pick: Rick Leonard, OT, Florida State (-46)
Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA (-11)
Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF (-26)
Kamrin Moore, CB, Boston College (N/A)
Boston Scott, RB, Louisiana Tech (N/A)
Will Clapp, C, LSU (N/A)
31. Kansas City Chiefs: -137
Best Value Pick: Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M (+26)
Worst Value Pick: Breeland Speaks, DE, Ole Miss (-123)
Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State (+3)
Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Clemson (-43)
Tremon Smith, CB, Central Arkansas (N/A)
Reginald McKenzie, OG, Tennessee (N/A)
32. San Francisco 49ers: -261
Best Value Pick: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (-11)
Last time, I covered the best values in undrafted free agent signings. Today, I will be grading the draft classes from the 2018 NFL Draft. I have used a plus-minus system for each team to determine the overall value of each teams’ collective drafts (you will see this in greater depth in my next post, which should be published in the next day or two). For now, here are my letter grades in alphabetical order by team location:
College football fans can’t wait to see how many players will get drafted from their favorite university, who those players will be, when those players will get drafted, and where those players will go.
NFL fans can’t wait to see who’s got next for their favorite franchise. Fans of teams with the highest draft picks are hoping for a franchise QB that will lead their team to the playoffs and the Super Bowl for a decade and a half (or longer), and fans of teams with lower draft picks are hoping for that one perfect pick that fills the hole that would prevent them from continuing and building upon their success from the previous season.
New League Year’s Day is in March but in the football world, Christmas comes after that, in late April and early May, in the form of the NFL Draft.
It’s important to remember family during the holiday season, and in the case of Football Christmas, that family is your team: the players, the coaches, the owner(s), the trainers, the food vendors, and of course, your fellow fans.
Just like traditional Christmas, Football Christmas wouldn’t be complete without commercialization…I mean, uh…wonderful presents that embody the true meaning of Christmas 😉 Obviously, draft picks are the presents to which all of us football fans look forward to the most:
Most of them will turn out to be those crappy toys that break within five minutes of you taking them out of the box (draft busts). Bummer. But…
A small number of them will be worthwhile. Maybe you’ll get an average starter-level player that hangs around for 10 years; Those are the toys that aren’t our favorites. They weren’t THE item on our list, but they are last for long enough and are just enjoyable enough that we grow to appreciate them. Maybe they’ll even get a Pro Bowl nod or two?
Then an even smaller number of them are the quality players; These still weren’t THE gift on our list, but we definitely wanted them and are pleased the moment we open them. They are the toys we play with on a regular basis, but not every day. They’ll likely get several Pro Bowl nods and maybe even a spot on an All-Pro team.
Then, the most rare of all: THE gift. This isn’t just the top toy we wanted this year, it’s the top toy we’ve wanted the last FIVE years. Not only do we play with these toys everyday, but we can hardly go anywhere without them: The Hall of Famers. These are your franchise QBs like Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, and Tom Brady. These are your electrifying offensive players like Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, and Shannon Sharpe. These are your game-altering defenders like Lawrence Taylor, Ray Lewis, and Rod Woodson. They’ll make the Pro Bowl almost every year (if not literally every year) and they’ll also make multiple All-Pro teams. Maybe they’ll even win a MVP award?
Yes, toys are awesome. But, sometimes you get stuck with clothes. Well, I’m here to tell you that in the case of Football Christmas, clothes can actually be a little exciting. I’m talking about the annual NFL Draft Caps brought to fans (and to draftees) by New Era. (For the record, I’m not sponsored by them or anything, I just happen to be a big fan of their quality. I don’t recall ever having gotten a New Era cap that I didn’t enjoy.) The 2018 NFL Draft Caps were just recently revealed and well, they deserve to be talked about.
This year’s theme: Team Mottos. Below are some of my favorites and least favorites. If you want to get one for yourself or check out ones that I do not mention, you can find all of them here.
New York Giants: “Big Blue”- Obviously, I had to mention my team’s hat. “Big Blue” is a nickname the Giants have had for ages and I think it looks great on a hat.
New York Jets: “J-E-T-S”- Not even leaving the same stadium from the last one on my list, I love the Jets hat. The motto is their team’s chant. It’s not exactly the most original chant, but it’s a classic.
Seattle Seahawks: “We are 12”- I like this one a lot because the hat features the 12 flag as part of the slogan. The Seahawks are the only team to use something besides words and their team logo in their Draft Cap’s design.
Cleveland Browns: “Dawg Pound”- Another classic slogan makes my list. Also, aside from their logo, this hat is devoid of that ugly orange team color.
Chicago Bears: “Monsters of the Midway”- Though the team has recently lacked the ability to incite fear that is usually associated with monsters, it’s another classic slogan.
Buffalo Bills: “Billieve”- The greatness of the play on the word believe is just the tip of the iceberg when you consider the fact that the “bill” is actually a physical part of the hat. This one actually made me laugh.
Pittsburgh Steelers: “Steel City”- Yes, Pittsburgh is the Steel City, but the Steelers are the Steel Curtain. C’mon New Era!
Miami Dolphins: “Go Phins”- The Jets hat lacks originality in a fun way. The Dolphins hat lacks originality in a boring way.
New England Patriots: “Do Your Job”- I can hear these words coming out of Coach Bill Belichick‘s mouth, but that doesn’t make them fun or interesting to put on a hat unless there is a likeness to Belichick right next to them, which (SPOILER ALERT!), there is not.
Ever since it was announced that QB Colin Kaepernick would be leaving the San Francisco 49ers, people have been speculating about his fate. Obviously he would get signed in free agency, right? He’s the best QB option available, isn’t he? Then, March 9, the official start of NFL free agency, passed. Then the rest of March…April…May…June…and now July has almost concluded and Kaep has still yet to find a new football home. I read an article today about the Baltimore Ravens needing another QB option with Joe Flacco sustaining a back injury that is projected to keep him out for at least three weeks. Of course, Kaep’s name came up because Ravens HC John Harbaugh knows about Kaep from his brother, Jim Harbaugh, having coached Kaep in San Fran. Oh, and they played against each other in a Super Bowl, so there’s that.
I decided, what the heck, I’ll project what will happen with Kaep, too. So here are a few spots I think he might end up:
7. Denver Broncos– I HIGHLY doubt GM John Elway would sign a guy with Kaep’s antics. And the salary cap probably isn’t conducive to a Kaep signing in Denver. And Elway seems to see something in Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch that the rest of the world doesn’t see. But I don’t see what Elway sees so screw it, I’m putting Denver in here anyway.
6. Las Vegas Raiders– I know that they are still the Oakland Raiders for the next couple of seasons but I put Las Vegas there for a very specific reason: Kaep played his college ball in Nevada, and he was good (good enough to beat what was probably the best Boise State football team to ever take the field in 2010). Even though he would only be a backup to Derek Carr, I’m sure the Raiders could bring in some extra revenue by having the local boy ride the bench and play in preseason.
5. Arizona Cardinals– If there is one thing that we all learned from the Cards’ 2016-17 season, it’s that Carson Palmer is not getting any younger. Granted, part of the reason he looked so bad last year was because he looked so good in the 2015-16 season. Regardless, he is 37 years old and I don’t think he is on the Tom Brady diet and workout routine that will allow him to play well into his 40s. Also, Bruce Arians is known as a QB whisperer (see Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, and…well…Carson Palmer). What’s wrong with this possibility? Blaine Gabbert is listed as the 3rd QB on the Cards depth chart and there were several times where he looked better than Kaep in San Francisco. So this one probably isn’t very likely. But it would be fun to see Kaep playing for (theoretically) a contender again.
4. New York Jets– Nothing can save the 2017-18 New York Jets. NOTHING. If this team wins more than 2 games, with or without Kaep, I would be SHOCKED. That said, Kaep could be the interesting, controversial player that the Jets need to get any sort of fans to show up to view their train wreck in person.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars– I honestly feel as though this scenario hasn’t been talked about at all even though it’s a pretty interesting scenario. Maybe it’s because the Jags have been dumping so much money into their defense that they likely don’t have enough for Kaep. But follow me for a second: Let’s say the Jags decide to finally give up on “franchise QB” Blake Bortles. Kaep would join an offense with 2017 first-round pick RB Leonard Fournette, promising young WRs Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, and a solid o-line with 2017 second-round pick Cam Robinon, up-and-comer AJ Cann, veteran Branden Albert, and the highest-paid C in NFL history, Brandon Linder. That, plus the part about the money that the Jags have been pouring into their defense would make for an easy job for Kaep. But, then, that job is supposed to be easy for Bortles, too. He makes it look IMMENSELY difficult.
2. Baltimore Ravens– (see the first paragraph of this article) He’d mostly be a temp in this scenario.
1. Retirement– Let’s be honest, this is far and away the most realistic scenario on this list. The league has turned his back on him because of his controversial pregame national anthem antics. The National Football League prides itself on being patriotic (hence the annual “Salute to Service” week), and Kaep certainly isn’t. The anti-Kaep sentiment doesn’t just run amongst NFL front offices, either. Fans of teams who have been working out Kaepernick have been protesting against his signing, including his most recently visited team (just a couple days ago), Baltimore.
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on your thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s fate and/or on whatever else is on your mind, along with a much appreciated like. As always, respectful, constructive criticism is welcome. If you are not yet a follower, join Team TheHaysWay so you can say that, unlike Kaepernick, you are on a team. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow!
Just typed in the old domain out of habit. Lol. Anyway, in honor of the new domain that took the “nfl” part out, I’m going to start out talking about the NFL. Today was the deadline for teams to use their annual franchise tag, so here are the players who were franchise tagged, and some players who weren’t franchise tagged who maybe should have been:
Players With Franchise Tag
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers– This was an easy decision for the Steelers to make. Bell is the top RB in the NFL and many have claimed that he has created a new running style. He does everything asked of an NFL RB: runs, catches passes, blocks, etc. I also think it was smart not to give him a long-term deal YET because he has had a couple of substance-related suspensions. The tag is telling him, “Hey! You are an AMAZING RB, but you’ve got to take the right path.”
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins– I was disappointed to see this as a New York Giants fan because Kirk Cousins is an above average NFL QB. The Washington Redskins eventually have to cave and just give Kirk Cousins his long-term deal. He has yet to perform in the clutch, but Kirk Cousins is a capable starting NFL QB, and that’s hard to come by in the NFL.
Melvin Ingram, LB, Los Angeles Chargers– Between Melvin Ingram and DE Joey Bosa, the Los Angeles Chargers have a scary young pass rushing duo. Great decision, and I think Melvin Ingram will get his long-term payday once QB Philip Rivers decides to retire (which will free up cap space for the Los Angeles Chargers).
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Los Angeles Rams– The Los Angeles Rams are lost. Trumaine Johnson is good and young, which is why the Los Angeles Rams felt compelled to tag him. From that Los Angeles Rams perspective, I understand the decision. After all, they don’t have too many good players to pay.
Chandler Jones, LB, Arizona Cardinals– This was a decent decision. Chandler Jones is a very good player, and he’s still on the right side of 30 (27 years old). Chandler Jones gives the Arizona Cardinals a quality pass rush. I look forward to seeing Chandler Jones team up with a healthy (hopefully) DE Robert Nkemdiche (who was oft-injured this season) next season. That will be another scary, young pass rush duo.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants– I was thrilled when I read about this one. JPP was the reason that the Big Blue defense worked last season. His excellent pass rush ensured that the secondary wouldn’t get out of position due to opposing QBs having too much time. It’s just too bad the G-men decided to give DE Olivier Vernon a MASSIVE deal last offseason because that will make it more difficult to give a similar deal to JPP, who deserves it more.
Kawann Short, DT, Carolina Panthers– Kawann Short is the second most important player on the Carolina Panthers defense behind MLB Luke Kuechly. Kawann Short is the run-stuffer in the middle of the d-line, which is very important. Of course, with the Carolina Panthers lackluster secondary, opposing teams can afford to be forced to pass.
Key Players Without Franchise Tag
Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills– OK, WHERE IS THE BUFFALO BILLS MONEY GOING?! Stephon Gilmore may not be the best CB in the NFL, but he is still a great CB. Seeing as the Buffalo Bills refuse to pay QB Tyrod Taylor, I don’t know why they wouldn’t ensure that Stephon Gilmore doesn’t go anywhere else (which they should’ve been able to afford to do).
Dont’a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots– I get it…the New England Patriots are paying A LOT of players to get them to the Super Bowl on a consistent basis. That said, Dont’a Hightower is the heart and soul of the New England Patriots Super Bowl-caliber defense, and his play inspired the Pats comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Also, Dont’a Hightower is one of the best pass-rushing inside LBs in the NFL. Of course, Bill Belichick could play LB himself for the New England Patriots and he’d still be the best LB ever because that’s just how the system always seems to work…:(
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears– The Chicago Bears need to focus on paying a QB to be able to get the ball to receivers like Alshon Jeffery. Plus, Alshon Jeffery has missed something like 11 games in the last two seasons. With the MANY areas of need that the Chicago Bears have, they can’t afford to pay a player who misses that much time.
Dontari Poe, DT, Kansas City Chiefs– Dontari Poe was outperformed by rookie DT Chris Jones. Great move by the Kansas City Chiefs to choose the younger and less expensive player in Chris Jones. I’m sure Dontari Poe is also thrilled because he’s one of the best DTs available in free agency this offseason, so he should make bank.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns– The Cleveland Browns are in a similar situation to the Chicago Bears with WR Alshon Jeffery: they need to focus on paying a quality QB who can get the ball in the vicinity of talented WRs such as Terrelle Pryor. Here’s the difference: Terrelle Pryor used to play QB, and he’s probably better than the current Cleveland Browns QBs. The Cleveland Browns should have payed Terrelle Pryor WR money to move back to QB!
Brandon Williams, DT, Baltimore Ravens– I’m really not sure why the Baltimore Ravens opted not to tag Brandon Williams, who is a great player on the right side of 30 (28 years old). Who else are they paying? FS Eric Weddle…MLB CJ Mosley…Is there anybody else that I’m missing?
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the players who were franchise tagged and/or on the players who were not franchise tagged and/or on whatever else is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower of the newly-renamed thehaysway.wordpress.com. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.
I finished the weekend with a 3-2 record in NBA 2K13 against one of my friends here at DU. He beat me and another friend of ours in a game of 21 (real basketball, not video games), then I beat both of them in a game of PIG (again, real. Also, similar to HORSE, just fewer letters). So, a decent weekend for me in terms of my skills as an athlete and gamer.
My brand new football is busted. I was playing with it on Friday, and it was perfectly fine. I picked it up on Sunday, and it was totally deflated. I pumped it up to 9 lbs of pressure, and a minute later, it was down to less than 1 lb of pressure. Somehow, someway, my football broke in between Friday and Sunday, without being used at all. I have no idea how it happened, but that’s not team management.
Team management. That’s a thing for me now. All things have something to do with team management. My friend said those two words during a game of Madden, and they’ve stuck with me. I’ve taken them to a whole new level; It’s practically my catchphrase, even when it doesn’t make any sense. (ESPECIALLY when it doesn’t make any sense.)
This weekend was a triple win weekend for me. On Thursday, the Boise State Broncos won (and the Houston Cougars lost!), so I will see the 7-0 #13 Boise State Broncos in Laramie, WY next weekend for an important matchup against the Wyoming Cowboys, that will essentially decide the Mountain division of the Mountain West conference. On Friday and Saturday night, the DU Hockey team took down the Michigan State Spartans. Congrats Pios!!! On Sunday morning (EARLY Sunday morning), the New York Giants took down the Los Angeles Rams in London. Despite another lackluster performance from the non-existent offense of the Giants, the defense came through with four interceptions of Rams QB Case Keenum, including a pick-six (courtesy of S Landon Collins), which ended up being the final point differential. So, the G-men head into their bye week with a winning, 4-3 record.
Boise State grad and Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi became the fourth player in NFL history to record back-to-back 200+ yard rushing performances, today. This opens up a big opportunity for Boise State. With the success of both Ajayi and Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (also a former Boise State grad), they have the opportunity to recruit more, great RBs with the selling point of being a ‘RB University’. Furthermore, current Boise State RB Jeremy McNichols is having another great season in his illustrious Boise State career, and the successes of Ajayi and Martin could help his draft stock, as well. Congrats Ajayi!
The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals tied in Arizona on Sunday Night Football, 6-6. Wow. I don’t like ties.
Great weekend for my friends and family (in terms of football), as well. The New York Jets won (my mom’s team), the Detroit Lions won (my dad’s team), the Oakland Raiders won (my friend, Ben’s team), the Kansas City Chiefs won (my friend, George’s team), and the New England Patriots won (my friends, Connor’s, Brendan’s, and Michael’s team). Thanks world! You have done right by me this weekend!
On to the highly-anticipated #29:
’29’ is the title of an album by Ryan Adams. I have never heard of this album before, and the name Ryan Adams isn’t ringing any bells, either. So, I’ll be listening to a song from the album for the first time, immediately preceding this post being published.
I’m not entirely sure what this expedition was all about, and I’m tired. Let me know if you know what it’s about, or if you find out what it’s about.
All-Time Winning Percentage: 43.7%
All-Time Record: (312-402-6)
Honestly, the Falcons team of recent years is probably their best in history. QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones have been having a magnificent season, along with RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, despite their loss to the San Diego Chargers, today. You might remember, the Falcons had QB Michael Vick prior to his issues with dogs. They might’ve had quite a few good seasons with him, had he been a good person. Nevertheless, it’s remarkable that the Falcons have the same all-time winning percentage as their biggest rival, the New Orleans Saints. Unlike the Saints, however, the Falcons have yet to win a Super Bowl. Their defense will need to improve significantly if they wish to change that.
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the events of the weekend (mine or yours) and/or on the song ’29’ and/or on the NASA mission and/or on the Atlanta Falcons…
…I’m sorry, do you have a song (or songS) that make(s) you stop in your tracks to listen to? Well, I listen to a big Spotify playlist while I blog, and one of those songs came on for me. It’s called “New Year’s Day“, written and performed by the A Capella group, Pentatonix. It is a deep song for me. Most of my life’s regrets have come this year, so I can’t wait for New Year’s Day. It’s just over two months away, now. Anyway, that song makes me long for a New Year, a fresh start, because it currently reminds me of high school (ie my friends back home, my ex, an awkward and too uneventful summer, and many other goodbyes). That song takes me on a weird emotional roller coaster, and it’s only like 3 minutes long. Really weird…
…and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to witness my fresh start, coming January 1, 2017 (at least in my mind, though I know I’ve had multiple opportunities to start anew, already, and I will have many more before January 1, but that’s not the point!). 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.
This is insanely crazy timing. This movie just came out today. Evidently, it is about five, kidnapped carnival workers, who are forced to participate in a life or death game called ’31’, in which, they face multiple homicidal maniacs. I think I got the gist, but here’s the trailer in case you want to verify my summary. Even after watching the trailer, I haven’t the faintest idea as to why the game is called ’31’.
NFL Game Result
It just so happens, that one NFL team won by a score of 31-28, today. That team was the Detroit Lions, who defeated the Los Angeles Rams. The Lions are now 3-3 on the year, meaning they are significantly exceeding the expectations that I set for them. It seems to help QB Matthew Stafford to NOT have WR Calvin Johnson Jr anymore, because now Stafford doesn’t feel obligated to force the ball to Johnson, and he’s making better decisions. Anyway, Congrats Lions! You kicked the Rams right before they head to London to face my New York Giants. Thank you!
Interestingly enough, the FOX station here in Denver is FOX31. That’s kind of cool…I guess. For the record, FOX is my favorite of the primary networks. Not because of their political views, but because of their amazing TV shows, and the ease with which they allow viewers to stream football games online. Unlike other networks…(cough…cough…CBS…cough).
Here we go! The franchise ranked 31st in all-time winning percentage (as of 2012) is the…
All-Time Winning Percentage: 41.7%
All-Time Record: 501-700-39
This one surprised me. They’ve been pretty good recently. Then I remembered that they really hadn’t done anything until QB Kurt Warner showed up there to almost win them the Super Bowl in 2009. Despite the low franchise winning percentage, the franchise has one champion to hang on to: Pat Tillman. Pat Tillman gave up his career with the Cardinals to fight for the US Army in Afghanistan; He was killed in action by friendly fire. He is the most recent NFL athlete to have given his life for his country.
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the horror movie (especially reviews if anyone has seen it) and/or on the Detroit Lions and/or on FOX and/or on the Arizona Cardinals, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to achieve unexpected success, like the Detroit Lions. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.
Before I get into the meat of this post, I’d like to provide an update on my Teddy Ruxpin tweet from yesterday. Since my post last night, the retweet count on that tweet has increased to 25, and the like count is up to 147! Of course, I have to thank Dule Hill for that because he has WAY more followers than I do. His retweet is what has led to the success of my tweet. Also, I encourage all of you readers who have not seen it yet to check it out, and maybe add to the retweet and like counts! 🙂
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers
Tonight’s matchup is a big one for the Arizona Cardinals. They are off to a 1-3 start to the season, despite coming into this year with Super Bowl aspirations. (Sidenote: The San Francisco 49ers are also off to a 1-3 start, but every expected that. Actually, I’m a little surprised they aren’t 0-4.) In fact, my projections that I released at the beginning of this season had the Cardinals sitting at 4-0 through this point in the season (and the 49ers sitting at 0-4). Obviously, I was a little off. Anyway, the Cardinals will be going into Levi’s stadium, desperately desiring a win without their starting QB. Carson Palmer was ruled out for this game earlier in the week, so backup QB Drew Stanton will start in Palmer’s place. No need to fret Cardinals fans, you might remember (and if you don’t then this is a reminder) that Stanton went 5-3 when he needed to fill in for the injured Palmer in 2014. In fact, Stanton might prove to help the Cardinals, as Palmer was struggling before his injury. Regardless, playing the San Francisco 49ers does wonders for a team’s confidence (even the Los Angeles Rams have won 3 straight games since losing to the 49ers, 0-28). I expect this to be a better game than Cardinals fans would like, but I still see the Cardinals winning, 14-10. The margin of victory could be wider if the Cardinals secondary steps up their game. Other than CB Patrick Peterson, the secondary has been a weak point for the Cardinals this season, and that includes S Tryann Mathieu.
Which team do you think will win in tonight’s matchup?
Seeing as the NFL season is a quarter of the way finished, I suppose now is a good time to take a look at how accurate my 2016-nfl-win-projections-updated have been, thus far. So, these are the teams that I’ve predicted correctly, so far:
-New Orleans Saints (1-3)
-Cleveland Browns (0-4)
-Detroit Lions (1-3)
-Chicago Bears (1-3)
-Tennessee Titans (1-3)
-Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
-Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
-Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
-Green Bay Packers (2-1)
-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)
Clearly, it’s easier to project the lower-end teams. Why? Well, the good teams end up stumbling in random games, which is hard to predict. The bad teams, however, always end up equalizing at the bottom, even if they are the reason for a good team’s stumble.
Which teams are doing better/worse than you thought they’d be doing?
Well, today started off quite dreary here in Denver. There was a fairly steady drizzle throughout the morning. Why am I mentioning this? Well, this is the first time it has rained since I’ve been here. I guess my roommate did something wrong, because today is his birthday, too. Unfortunate coincidence. But, It is now sunny again, and glimpses of blue sky are starting to show through the clouds. The weather can rain on the positivity parade if it wants, but in the end, happiness and positivity prevail!
What has the weather been where you are?
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on tonight’s game and/or on my win projections and/or on the weather (in Denver or elsewhere) and/or on the daily questions and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to join the positvity parade that conquers all, including the weather! Have a pleasant tomorrow.
“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald, Author
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe, Tennis Player
I chose two daily quotes today. I looked up the word ‘start’, and these two quotes spoke to me for two VERY different reasons. I’m not really sure how to word the way in which the first quote spoke to me. Here’s my best shot: There are many things I wish I had persisted with, that I have let vanish, either because I wanted to, or because others wanted me to. Maybe, those things haven’t vanished? Maybe, their vitality is still there because of an opportunity to start over? All good things must come to an end, but there is no rule about them not coming back. There are meaningful times in my life that I have lost, and I hope that I will get to start them over again. The first quote gives me hope.
The second quote spoke to me because it is the type of quote I was looking for today. I looked up ‘start’ because the New York Giants have officially started their season 2-0 for the first time in a while! They are using what they have (a new head coach and $200 million improvements on defense) to do what they can to win (DT Jonathan Hankins blocked a New Orleans Saints field goal attempt, and CB Janoris Jenkins returned the block for a touchdown). It also serves as a reminder to focus on the moment. We can’t focus on the past, we just have what we have, and we need to use what we have for right now.
The variety of starts for different NFL teams surprises me this season. For example, I never, EVER would have guessed that the Giants would start 2-0. Here are a few other surprises: Arizona Cardinals (1-1; I would’ve guessed 2-0 many times over), Baltimore Ravens (2-0; They had two easy games, but they’re the RAVENS), Denver Broncos (2-0; I figured they’d skip a beat with QB Trevor Siemian at the helm and go 1-1), Houston Texans (2-0; QB Brock Osweiler hasn’t played particularly well, and RB Lamar Miller takes 30 carries to reach 100 yards, yet, they have won two straight), Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2; I thought this would be the season they turn things around, and possibly start 2-0), Minnesota Vikings (2-0; They don’t have QB Teddy Bridgewater!), Indianapolis Colts (0-2; It’s hard to believe that they were in the playoffs just a couple of years ago because they look TERRIBLE now)
Just a quick note: I am REALLY excited about the Giants 2-0 start. That DOES NOT happen for my team very often. What’s even crazier, is that the favorite teams of my friends and family are NOT 2-0! Those teams include the New York Jets, the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers, the Oakland Raiders, and the Kansas City Chiefs. I REALLY hope the Giants can keep this up. In order to do so, the offense needs to step up because the defense has been having to do too much, thus far. Also, my team needs to continue to FINISH. That was the hardest thing for the Giants of last season. My team lost most of its games in the last two minutes, last season. This year, they have proven that they are at least CAPABLE of finishing games, as they’ve won both of their games in the last two minutes. Great job G-men! I’m so proud of you!
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quotes and/or on the daily news and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you like what you read and you are not yet a follower, become a follower to help me start my journalism career, strong. Have a pleasant tomorrow.