2016 NHL Trade Deadline Rundown

Written by :
Published on : March 2, 2016

 

 

The NHL Trade deadline has come and gone with one of the most dismal deadline days in recent memory.

 

 

 

Many people saw this coming, with only 14 trades, most of which you could consider “minor”, made over the weekend leading up Monday’s 3pm deadline. There were a few big time moves though, three of which involved captains. Dion Phaneuf, captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was traded to the Senators in a monster trade earlier in the month. Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd returned to Chicago in a trade made Friday night leading up to the deadline and longtime ‘Canes captain Eric Staal joined his brother, Marc Staal, when he became a New York Ranger on Sunday afternoon.

 

Here is the rundown for all the trades made up until the deadline:

 

February 29

 Lee Stempniak is now with the Bruins

 

Flames get some goaltending help from the Wild
  • FLAMES GET: G Nicklas Backstrom
  • WILD GET: F David Jones
Blackhawks and Ducks swap depth players
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Tim Jackman, 2017 7th round pick
  • DUCKS GET: F Corey Tropp
Marooned in Edmonton
  • OILERS GET: F Patrick Maroon
  • DUCKS GET: D Martin Gernat, 2016 4th round pick
Predators add a minor leaguer
  • PREDATORS GET: D Corey Potter
  • COYOTES GET: future considerations
Darryl Sutter’s Kings add the coach’s kid
  • KINGS GET: F Brett Sutter
  • WILD GET: F Scott Sabourin
Jamie McGinn moved to the Ducks
  • DUCKS GET: F Jamie McGinn
  • SABRES GET: 2016 conditional 2nd or 3rd round pick
Dustin Jeffrey back to Pens, likely AHL-bound
  • PENGUINS GET: F Dustin Jeffrey
  • COYOTES GET: F Matia Marcantuoni, Dan O’Donaghue
Matteau! Matteau! Devils send Stefan to Montreal
  • CANADIENS GET: F Stefan Matteau
  • DEVILS GET: F Devante Smith-Pelly
Avs, Isles make tiny swap
  • ISLANDERS GET: F Marc-Andre Cliche
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Taylor Beck
Bruins add Lee Stempniak at the final minute
  • BRUINS GET: F Lee Stempniak
  • DEVILS GET: 2017 2nd round pick, 2016 4th round pick
Islanders pick up winger Shane Prince
  • ISLANDERS GET: F Shane Prince, 2016 7th round pick
  • SENATORS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
AHL deal between Ottawa, Minnesota
  • SENATORS GET: F Michael Keranen
  • WILD GET: D Conor Allen
After missing out on Russell + Hamhuis, Bruins add Liles
  • HURRICANES GET: LW Anthony Camara, 3rd round pick, 5th round pick
  • BRUINS GET: D John-Michael Liles
Brandon Pirri goes to Ducks for cheap
  • PANTHERS GET: 2016 6th round pick
  • DUCKS GET: F Brandon Pirri
Eric Gelinas gets fresh start in Colorado
  • AVALANCHE GET: D Eric Gelinas
  • DEVILS GET: 2017 3rd round pick
Kris Russell is now a Dallas Star
  • STARS GET: D Kris Russell
  • FLAMES GET: D Jyrki Jokipakka, F Brett Pollock, conditional 1st or 2nd round pick
Avalanche add Mikkel Boedker from Arizona
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Mikkel Boedker
  • COYOTES GET: F Alex Tanguay, C Conner Bleackley, D Kyle Wood
Chicago, Carolina swap AHLers
  • HURRICANES GET: D Dennis Robertson
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: G Drew MacIntyre
Plotnikov goes west
  • PENGUINS GET: F Matthias Plachta, 2017 7th round pick
  • COYOTES GET: F Sergei Plotnikov

 

February 28

 The Rangers got Eric Staal

 

Capitals send Laich, Carrick to Leafs for Winnik
  • CAPITALS GET: F Daniel Winnik, 2016 5th round pick
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Brooks Laich, D Connor Carrick, 2016 2nd round pick
Rangers, Capitals swap minor leaguers
  • RANGERS GET: F Chris Brown
  • CAPITALS GET: F Ryan Bourque
Hurricanes dish Versteeg to L.A.
  • KINGS GET: F Kris Versteeg
  • HURRICANES GET: F Valentin Zykov, conditional 5th round pick
Eric Staal joins his (other) brother in New York
  • HURRICANES GET: F Aleksi Saarela, 2016 2nd round pick, 2017 2nd round pick
  • RANGERS GET: C Eric Staal

 

February 27

 Reimer is now a Shark

 

Oilers, Sabres get you excited with a Big AHL Trade
  • SENATORS GET: F Jason Akeson, F Phil Varone, D Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, conditional pick
  • SABRES GET: D Michael Sdao, F Alex Guptill, F Cole Schneider, F Eric O’Dell
Penguins add defensive help with Schultz
  • PENGUINS GET: D Justin Schutlz
  • OILERS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
Panthers beef up with Jiri Hudler
  • PANTHERS GET: F Jiri Hudler
  • FLAMES GET: 2016 2nd round pick, 2018 4th round pick
More depth in Florida: Cats add Purcell
  • PANTHERS GET: F Teddy Purcell
  • OILERS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
And even more depth: Panthers also add Kindl from Wings
  • PANTHERS GET: D Jakub Kindl
  • RED WINGS GET: 2017 6th round pick
Sharks add James Reimer from Toronto
  • SHARKS GET: G James Reimer, F Jeremy Morin
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: G Alex Stalock, F Ben Smith, 2018 conditional 4th round pick
Blues, Oilers trade goaltenders
  • BLUES GET: G Anders Nilsson
  • OILERS GET: G Niklas Lundstrom, 2016 5th round pick

 

February 26

 Ehrhoff is no longer in Socal

 

Chicago adds Fleischmann, Weise
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Dale Weise, F Tomas Fleischmann
  • CANADIENS GET: F Phillip Danault, 2018 2nd round pick
Kings, Blackhawks swap underwhelming veteran defensemen
  • KINGS GET: D Rob Scuderi
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: D Christian Ehrhoff

 

February 25

Ladd heads back to Chicago for another Cup run
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Andrew Ladd, D Jay Harrison, F Matt Fraser
  • JETS GET: F Marko Dano, 2016 1st round pick, 2018 conditional 3rd round pick

 

February 24

Canucks add Larsen from Edmonton
  • OILERS GET: 2017 5th round pick
  • CANUCKS GET: D Philip Larsen

 

February 23

 Weber is now in Washington

 

Caps add depth with Weber from Buffalo
  • CAPITALS GET: F Mike Weber
  • SABRES GET: 2017 3rd round pick

 

February 22

Flames, Canucks swap prospects
  • FLAMES GET: F Hunter Shinkaruk
  • CANUCKS GET: F Markus Granlund
Polak, Spaling to Sharks for Torres and picks
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Raffi Torres, 2017 2nd round pick, 2018 2nd round pick,
  • SHARKS GET: D Roman Polak, F Nick Spaling

 

February 21

Leafs deal Matthias to Avs
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Colin Smith, 2016 4th round pick
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Shawn Matthias

 

February 9

 Phaneuf finally got shipped out of Toronto

 

Maple Leafs trade their captain to the rival Senators
  • SENATORS GET: D Dion Phaneuf, F Matt Frattin, F Casey Bailey, F Ryan Rupert, D Cody Donaghey
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: D Jared Cowen, F Milan Michalek, F Colin Greening, F Tobias Lindberg, 2017 2nd round pick

 

 

There you have it. All of the trades made leading up to the deadline. How did your team do?

 

 


Champ and Chump Week 7

Written by :
Published on : October 30, 2015

 

A great time to be alive my friends, a great time to be alive. A little something for everybody to enjoy sports-wise right now as we have the World Series going on, the NFL season is almost at its halfway point, college football is in high gear, hockey has been great thus far and now the NBA is underway. Hell, for guys like Antoine Poutine and me, the English Premier League is off to a very interesting start. This week, we honor a couple slingers of the football, say goodbye to a legend with the futbol and we keep on wishing that Greg Hardy would just go away.

The Champ and Chump of the Week ladies and gentleman…

 

Champ: Kirk Cousins

33-40, 317 yards, 4 TD’s (1 rushing) – Game winning TD pass with 24 seconds left

Cousins rushes for a TD in the second quarter of their wins over the Bucs.

 

The Washington Redskins trailed by 24 points in the 2nd quarter on Sunday, and the sports writers at the Washington Post were all but set to send in their articles for Monday morning’s print. A quarterback controversy was back, would RGIII get another shot? Is Colt McCoy going to be the signal caller next week? Staring a 2-5 start in the face, Cousins came out in the second half and took over, helping the ‘Skins outscore the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-6 for the rest of game. Now, at 3-4 and just a game out of first place in the NFC East, anything is possible. While I don’t see the Redskins winning the division, a big swing of momentum like this has been known to get a team on a roll, and make things more interesting than they otherwise would have been.

 

Honorable Mention:

Ryan Tannehill- Finished 18-19 for 282 yards and 4 touchdowns in a blowout win against the Houston Texans. Also, Tannehill broke the NFL record for consecutive completions going back to last week, with 25 straight.

Abby Wambach- After an incredible career, Abby announced her retirement from the US women’s team. The all time leading goals scorer in international competitions (male or female), went out on top after capturing the World Cup championship this past summer.

Montréal Canadiens- Started the season 9-0 while leading the NHL in goals scored and fewest goals against. Very impressive start as they look to bring Lord Stanley back for Canada for the first time since 1993.

 

 

Chump: The U

Lost 58-0 at home to Clemson this past Saturday.

They couldn’t have guessed just how bad this game would go.

 

As embarrassing as that score reads, I am not making the Hurricanes my chump so much for that particular game. Instead, it is for the sad state in which the program currently sits. Similar to what I said about Texas a couple weeks ago (though they beat rival Oklahoma the next week), this team is so far from its glory days that I don’t even know where they should start. I suppose you could say they have started with the firing of Al Golden, but when you’re a program facing NCAA sanctions, how much growth can any coach get from his guys. With postseason bans on the horizon, recruiting is going to take a big blow. Who wants to go to a school that has nothing to play for? Then the following year or two, because no real talent went there, they are so behind the 8-ball, talent wise, that when the post-season sanctions come off they don’t have a chance to match the skill level required to compete for championships. I always think parody is great for sports, but having the usual powerhouses relevant is just as important. A very interesting year it will be as USC, Miami, and potentially Texas all could be seeking new head coaches for next season.

 

Dishonorable Mention:

Ryan Mallett- After missing the team flight this past weekend to Miami, Mallett had to book his own flight. He also slept in and missed a practice during training camp. Today, Mallett finds himself without a team as the Texans cut him saying it’s time to move on.

Greg Hardy- A guy who could be in my “chump” category every week. It’s debatable whether this guy should even be allowed to play pro football, of course leave it to Jerry Jones to give him a chance. His sideline antics after the Cowboy’s special teams gave up a game-winning kick return was the icing on the cake to finally put Hardy on this list. Although calling him a chump is actually being kind.

Florida State- Who would have thought just a week after the Miracle in Ann Arbor we would have another ranked football team fall on a crazy, game-ending play? Kick Six Part 2. Florida State’s kicker Roberto Aguayo, possibly the nation’s top kicker, is about to attempt a field goal with 6 seconds left in a tied ball game and it’s blocked! Georgia Tech scoops up the ball and runs it for the touchdown to end the game.

 

 


2015-16 NHL Season Preview: Metropolitan Division

Written by :
Published on : September 27, 2015

 

 

Greetings, and welcome to ScoreBoredSports’ first annual NHL Season Preview. It’s an honor to be tapping out a few words on the state of mankind’s greatest game: hockey.

 

I wasn’t born on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, as the game itself was, but I am originally from the suburbs of Detroit (which is kind of close). I’m from a wintery land that sprawled across great distances of strip-mall flatness, but united under the banner of Hockeytown. So there is no need to mask this great love I have for the Detroit Red Wings, the most consistently excellent sports franchise of the last quarter-century.

That being said, I will either lay aside or lay bare my biases; it’s the game itself we love in the end anyway, dammit. So let’s break down this upcoming season, division-by-division. There will be a vague method to the madness. Important factors to consider will include roster movement, player development, goaltending, a glance at the advanced stats, and other observations.

 

*A quick note about those advanced metrics: I’m not an expert. I can barely count.  Yet I find many advanced metrics are useful, and quite reliable in predicting trends such as “regression towards the mean,” otherwise known as “not getting lucky all the time.” But context is vital. For example, some statistics, such as War-On-Ice’s Goalkeeper Adjusted Save Percentage, might suggest that Jonas Gustavsson (92.52) is a better goalie than two-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick (92.50).

 

GustavsonFail

 

Jonas Gustavsson is not a better goalie than Jonathan Quick. We know this because we have eyes (see above).  And brains, which we will never forget to use. Just look at how out of position he is on this play.

We’ll begin by discussing the Metropolitan Division, mainly so I get writing about Crosby out of the way as soon as possible, that knave.

 

NHLMetroPretzel
Image By Roger Pretzel

 

  • Hurricanes
  • Blue Jackets
  • Devils
  • Islanders
  • Rangers
  • Flyers
  • Penguins
  • Capitals

 

Rising

 

Blue Jackets:

Can Foligno repeat his all-star worthy 2014-15 campaign?

 

Interesting situation in Columbus, and no, I’m not talking about Ohio State graduates’ curious behavior of eating paste — Columbus is a team with some indicators for serious progress. Yet, as with anything that happens in Ohio, the franchise has a cyclical history of failure.  I’m always curious about players that possess the puck as well as Brandon Saad, a recent outcast of Joel Quenneville’s Blackhawk dynasty that emphasizes speed and puck control (I liked Coach Q better when he was choking against Scotty Bowman every year, for the record). Their overall team PDO — combination of shooting percentage and save percentage, and frequently-reliable indicator of luck — was below average last year. With the inclusion of a player like Saad, perhaps the team will find a more potent and fluid offensive game, and maybe more puck luck.

The major question is whether Nick Foligno can sustain the kind of offensive production we saw last year in his breakout campaign, and what kind of progress is made in the defensive corps. Jack Johnson never turned out to be a world-beater, but he’s a competent first-pairing defenseman, and David Savard looked to be able to put up numbers, scoring 11 goals and racking up 105 hits on the year. Beyond those two, Fedor Tyutin hasn’t played a full season since 2011, and there’s not much else to speak of in terms of talent. The cupboard is fairly barren in the organization’s depth, too. There may be some room to sneak into the playoffs in the Eastern conference, as Ottawa is unlikely to repeat their miracle run another year, Boston has molted, and questions abound in Pittsburgh.  Yet another riser in the Buffalo Sabres may present new challenges.  I see this team rising, but only enough to squeak into the playoffs and likely lose to whoever they face in the first round.

 

Islanders:

The Islanders have a stable of young talent, including the electrifying, Jonathan Tavares

 

Speaking of underlying advanced metrics, it surprised me greatly to discover that the Islanders, a playoff team that narrowly missed a second-round berth, tied for the sixth-worst PDO number in the NHL last season. The logic follows in some senses, as many of the Isles key skill players were injured for stretches, and a lot of highly-skilled but inexperienced youth, such as Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome, played heavy minutes. But there’s no real evidence that shooting percentage increases with age, and those kids made the playoffs! Look at Halak’s save percentage, too: it checks in at a reasonable .914 in a highly successful, 38-win campaign. This tells me that with a healthier stable of elite skill players (Okposo, Leddy, Boychuk), this is a team poised for continued excellence.

Looking at the roster, nearly every important player on the team is around 25 years old, including perennial Hart Trophy candidate Jonathan Tavares. Add the recently signed, offensively-gifted octogenarian Marek Zidlicky, and you have an experienced and versatile defensive corps.  Depending on their progress, the inclusion of high-level talent from the team’s development system may provide that extra spark in a tight playoff series.  First-round draft prospects such as Josh Ho-Sang, Michael Dal Colle, and goal-scoring D-man Ryan Pulock (who led the Isles AHL affiliate defenders in scoring despite missing a quarter of the season) have all sorts of talent, but may have trouble breaking into a deep lineup.   I’d dare even call them… Contenders?

 

Contenders

 

Rangers:

Rick Nash. Talk about punchable faces.

 

Until the day he’s not, Henrik Lundqvist is the handsomest most charmingly reminiscent of a younger Bradley Cooper is a reliably brilliant net minder. Only recently has the question of his health, with a scary throat injury, come to the fore. But if he’s healthy, this team looks like it could return to the top echelon of the Eastern conference yet again. There’s room to grow in their possession numbers; I wonder what sort of effect the transition from former coach John Tortorella’s block-everything mentality to Alain Vigneault speed-oriented breakout game has had on the team’s mediocre team Corsi figure. The most interesting layer may be if Keith “the Candle” Yandle will start to affect what was a surprisingly lackluster power-play last year, which connected on only 16.8% of its opportunities (good for 21st in the NHL). The team will conversely have to cope with the loss of tiny legend Martin St. Louis, whose salt & pepper wisdom was surely a locker-room boon. Yet there’s enough young or emerging talent across the team boasting speed and skill, like Jesper Fast, Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, and the surging Derrick Brassard, that the loss may prove to be addition by subtraction. Otherwise, this is a team with an elite defensive corps and my least favorite NHL player, Rick Nash.

 

Capitals:

I see more celebrations in Ovechkin’s future.

 

They continue to add talent to a roster that was already full of high-level talent. Losing Mike Green won’t hurt so much in a Barry Trotz system that emphasizes responsibility, defense, studious back checking, and fiscal planning. Bringing on Justin Williams to replace their own playoff producer, Joel Ward, is a smart move at a relatively low cost, even though we all know Williams won’t be scoring 30 goals during the regular season. This is still a team with Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, and a top-flight defensive crew, with tremendous younger talent in players like Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakowsky. My one sticking point with this team’s summer is the trading of Troy Brouwer for TJ Oshie, which I found to be un-needed as Brouwer seems as likely to plop in 20 goals as Oshie, only he brings hits and plays more games. Nonetheless, Trotz is a good coach and I could see this being the year he sneaks into the finals.

 

Other Thoughts:

  • Sidney Crosby is the best hockey player in the world, I understand. But is there any more sniveling, dirty, hot-headed star in recent memory? Sure, he’s the best player, but how can you root for Crosby? He routinely slashes his opponents on weak spots like ankles, wrists, and crotches. He loves to face-wash opposing players, even tough guys, as if anyone in the NHL wants to be the guy that turned the Face Of The League into a pile of quivering viscera, snot, and tears. Crosby knows this, yet he dangles his untouchability in front of everyone, flaunting the fact that his brain is probably one jolt away from retirement in front of dudes who would relish the chance to pummel him. So, you can’t touch the league’s proverbial money-maker, even as it shakes in your personal space. It makes me hugely hopeful for the success of Connor McDavid; that, Lord Stanley willing, he turns out to be less of an arrogant penis.
  • I do wonder what will happen with the pairing of Crosby and Kessel in terms of interviews and TV presence. It already sounds like the most unwatchable buddy sitcom pairing, but I just feel for the people of Pittsburgh’s overall entertainment quotient. My advice? Just mute the games and watch the hockey, because it may be very fast and full of a lot of goals, but not charisma.  I’m sure they’ll survive.
  • The growth of Philly’s first line over the last few years would be more pleasurable to watch if the Flyers weren’t an evil organization of haggard witch-trolls. But I can’t help but glance at the foundation of Giroux and Voracek as championship-caliber. Giroux is easily one of the five best all-around players in the league, and Voracek has improved every single year, and is young enough to continue that pattern.  Wayne Simmonds is a wrecking ball that just happens to wreck up the other team’s plans for a shutout about thirty times every year.  Can anyone else step up to fill in the secondary scoring roles on a consistent basis?  The defense, while brimming with burly players, seems to have an odd fulcrum in Michael Del Zotto.  He had a decent year in 2015, and is still only 25 despite being in the league for a while.  Might he be an unlikely candidate to rise?
  • The New Jersey Devils and The Carolina Hurricanes are NHL hockey teams featuring some players. Corey Schneider is a very good goalie.  They are neither rising nor falling, because they were and are bad.  That’s about it.

 

Stay Tuned for Part 2, Coming Soon! 

 

Stats and info courtesy of NHL.com, hockeysfuture.com, rotoworld.com, and war-on-ice.com.

 

 


Fantasy Football Saints, Sinners and Sleepers: RB Edition

Written by :
Published on : August 28, 2015

 

“Here we lay bare the souls of those who play the game for our entertainment. We praise the saints, condemn the sinners, and root out the sleepers who can help your fantasy football team stay on the righteous path.”

 

The second installment of Saints, Sinners and Sleepers will explore the running back position heading into the 2015 NFL season. These are the best of the best, the worst of the worst and some of the most underestimated in their field. The following players can help you gain entry into the pearly gates of a fantasy football championship, or send you to the seventh circle of a losing season. Heed the words you are about to read, and know that it is truth.

 

Saints

Look for Le’veon to be stiff arming and breaking ankles all season long.

 

Le’veon Bell- There’s that two game suspension to worry about but even that isn’t enough to knock the halo off of this saint’s head. He’s just that good. DeMarco Murray got all the hype last season but the they both averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Bell is going to be much fresher though, having rushed the ball 102 less times than the now Philadelphia Eagle, Murray. He is going to benefit considerably from defenses focusing on Antonio Brown, and he will make them pay for leaving the box to cover the deep part of the field. Look for him to keep improving and solidify his role as the best running back, fantasy or otherwise. The offense in Pittsburgh will be miraculous this season and it will be Saint Le’veon who leads them to the promised land and elevates all those around him.

 

Marshawn Lynch- After some speculation that he was thinking about hanging up his holy cleats, Saint Beastmode re-upped with the Seahawks this offseason. The heavens have smiled upon the Skittle loving running back in recent years and he has shown no signs of slowing down. He has started all 16 games in the last three seasons, and rushed for 13 touchdowns last year. There is a little bit of concern surrounding the interior of the Seahawks line due to the fact that they lost their starting center and left guard from last season, but don’t be surprised to see Marshawn making miracles happen all season long. The addition of big play threat, Jimmy Graham, will only make the offense scarier and leave opportunities for Lynch, as defenses try to defend against the deep ball.

 

Adrian Peterson- After the suspension and arrest last season for child abuse, it’s hard to consider Adrian Peterson a saint, but we must remember that this is solely related to this player’s performance in fantasy football. I condemn the acts of AP the person, but praise the deeds of AP the saintly football player. This man is going to come back and immediately put the fear of God into opposing defenses. Last time he had a chip on his shoulder (after he tore his ACL) he went on to rush for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdown. And this time its personal. Peterson believes that he was mistreated by both the league and the Vikings organization. He is hell bent on showing the world that he still belongs in the pantheon of great running backs, both past and present, and is most certainly still a number one running back in fantasy football.

 

Sinners

This duo is just bound to upset and disappoint Cowboys fans.

 

Darren McFadden- I don’t know how there are people out there who believe that this fantasy football sinner can still redeem himself. Sure, the Cowboys have a great offensive line, but not even they can cleanse this man. He just can’t play anymore, plain and simple. McFadden hasn’t averaged more than 3.4 yards per carry since 2011 and has had the second lowest yards per carry of any back over the last three seasons. The writing is on the wall for the former 1st round pick from Arkansas, and with him splitting reps with Joseph Randle this season there just isn’t any reason to believe that he can turn his career around and shake his status as a sinner.

 

Reggie Bush- As a Lions fan, I’ve had the chance to watch every game that Reggie Bush has appeared in over the last two seasons. In 2013 he was a breath of fresh air for the team up in Detroit, but in 2014 he couldn’t shake the injury bug and it seemed as if he had lost a little bit of the burst that made him a threat on the outside corner and in the passing game. The former Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl champion doesn’t seem to be durable enough to run between the tackles, as he did in Miami. With the deterioration of all of these skills, as well as his body, it’s hard to see how anyone could justify drafting this sinner. He has yet to appear in a preseason game which points to the questions about his durability, but either way, stay away from Mr Bush, lest he turn you into a sinner as well.

 

Isaiah Crowell- Last year people were high on the undrafted rookie out out of Alabama State after he rushed for 2 touchdowns in week 1, but this is an entire team of sinners that should be banished to the fires of Hades. The Browns are a mess and in the Cleveland’s two preseason losses, Crowell has rushed for a sinful 20 total yards. To be honest, I don’t see many players at any position on the Browns roster that are worth drafting this year in fantasy football. The only possible exception, Duke Johnson, has a good amount of hype (we’ll get to that later), but has yet to see any preseason action. Either way, this offense is not going to be very good, especially when you consider that defenses have nothing to fear in the passing game. Because of that, the run game is going to struggle even more with sinners like Crowell getting carries. I think there’s a strong chance he stays on the sideline until he can atone for his poor play.

 

Sleepers

Tre will be getting his groove on in the end zone a lot this season.

 

Tre Mason- All the hype in St Louis this season revolves around 1st round draft pick Todd Gurley, but former SEC Offensive Player of the Year and last year’s 3rd round draft pick, Tre Mason should not be forgotten. In 12 games last season he rushed for 4.3 yards per carry in an offense that ranked near the bottom of the league. If Gurley’s left knee isn’t ready to go by the beginning of the year, it’s easy to see Mason making his mark on the ground in St Louis and hanging onto a large share of the total carries for the Rams. He will probably be available in the later rounds of most drafts and will be a definite steal for anyone with the foresight to draft him. Plus his dad is Maseo from De La Soul, which is totally badass.

 

Ryan Matthews- Hopes for Philadelphia’s running game were high when they signed Ryan Matthews early in the offseason. Then they also went and signed DeMarco Murray, making the backfield very scary, while simultaneously turning Matthews into a bit of an afterthought. Make no mistake though, Matthews will see the field early and often come game time, and with Murray’s injury history, there’s a strong chance that Matthews starts a few games this year. He has averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry in four out of his five seasons as a pro and will benefit from the downhill running style that is typical in Kelly’s high flying offense. If he falls to you in mid-to-late rounds, you would do well to draft him.

 

Duke Johnson- I already talked about the young man out of Miami (Fl) when telling people to avoid the evil doer Isaiah Crowell in the Sinners section above. He was much talked about coming into April/May’s NFL Draft and to tell you the truth, I’m pretty surprised that he dropped all the way to the 3rd round. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry during his career with the Hurricanes, which is pretty damn impressive. With the running backs in front of him looking pretty awful during the preseason and two quarterbacks who have looked the same, odds are that the ball is going to be in the explosive running back’s hands more often than not. If he continues to fly under the radar, then you should grab him late.

 

 

 


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