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Fantasy Football

Draft Day

Your Fantasy Football Draft is right around the corner.  As you go into the draft there are a few things to keep in mind as you attempt to build a solid, well rounded team.

First of all; have a plan.  No, I do not mean simply printing a page of player rankings and draft the next available player on the list.  It is imperative you know how to build your position depth and draft accordingly.

Secondly, know your league.  Are your competitors fools or shrewd Fantasy Football players?  Do they have darlings that they will reach for?  

Third, anticipate position runs.  They undoubtedly happen in every draft.  Be prepared.  

Fourth, come up with a great team name.  

Let me help you with your draft and your team throughout the year.  My experience, knowledge, and skill will help you build a winning team.  Let's do this!!

The Jacksonville Jaguars Get A New Toy

With the Fourth Pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected... Leonard Fournette.  (Jaguar fans go nuts)  This is a great pick for the Jaguars; as Fournette is a big powerful back that can step in and play immediately.  He is in the mold of the traditional three down back and should see the bulk of the goal line carries (if Blake Bortles finds a way to not throw the ball to the other team first).  

Fournette immediately leaps to the top of the running back depth chart in Jacksonville; ahead of Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon.  The aging and underwhelming Chris Ivory may not even be on the Jaguars' Week One roster given the addition of Fournette.  As for Yeldon, he has yet to impress since being taken in the second round in 2015 by Jacksonville.  In 312 carries, Yeldon has gained only 1,205 yards and one touchdown.  Therefore, the starting job is Fournette's to lose.  

Jacksonville is making a concerted effort to improve the offense in what looks to be Bortles' last chance as the lead man in Jacksonville.  Taking Fournette and Cam Robinson with their first two picks is a clear attempt to shore up their offensive shortcomings.  Cam Robinson is the big tackle from Alabama that the Jags hope will open up some holes for their new power back.  While Fournette is not Ezekiel Elliot and will not be walking into as favorable situation as Elliot did in 2016; the expectations for Fournette will not be any lower.  Fournette will get the ball early and often.  

NFL Draft Prospect: OJ Howard

With the 2017 NFL Draft a little over a week away, there are many players to get excited about for fantasy football owners.  There are several dynamic running backs, a few exciting receivers, and a couple quarterbacks which will hear their name called in the first round.  One of the draft's most intriguing prospects prospects is Alabama's OJ Howard.  

OJ Howard

If you watched any of Alabama's games last year, you could not help but be impressed by this dynamic playmaker.  At 6'6", 251 lbs,, and a 34" wingspan, the kid has the look of a superstar NFL tight end.  He is not just a big guy, he can move too.  Howard ran a 4.51 second 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine.  Howard has size to match his elite athleticism;  which could prove to be a matchup nightmare for linebackers and safeties.  Need an example?  OJ Howard showed what he could do in the National Championship game two years ago; where he hauled in 208 receiving yards and two touchdowns.  

Let's face it, 2016's rookie tight end class was underwhelming.  Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper led the class; but never really impressed.  Hunter Henry only averaged 31 yards per game; however, he did haul in 8 touch downs.  Austin Hooper averaged 19 yards and scored 3 times.  OJ Howard is better than both, Henry and Hooper.  

There is talk that OJ Howard could be a top 10 draft selection next Thursday night.  If a team takes him with a top 10 pick; you better believe that they plan on using their new toy often.  Expect to see OJ Howard to really turn some heads next year.  And do not be surprised to look back on the 2017-2018 season see OJ Howard finish as a top 10 tight end.

Will Leonard Fournette Be 2017's Ezekiel Elliott or Derrick Henry?

When the 2017 NFL draft rolls around around in a few months, you will hear the term "once in a generation talent" thrown around.  This label is only reserved for players held in the highest regard. (see the athletic freak that is Jadeveon Clowney)  That label will undoubtedly be attached to LSU running back Leonard Fournette.  As a borderline obsessive college football fan, I watched many of Fournette's games at LSU.  Each time I saw him play, I was more and more impressed with this kid's pure talent.  He is a violent runner coupled with great speed.  He is listed at 6-1, 235 lbs.  Compare that to Ezekiel Elliott's 6-0 225.  The two boast similar builds and similar running styles; but will they have similar rookie campaigns?

Will Fournette perform as an Elliott-like rookie sensation next year or will he be a great running back stuck behind another solid back; locked in a timeshare?  That question comes down to which team he goes to and what offensive line he ends up running behind.  Ezekiel Elliott had the great fortune to be drafted by the Dallas Cowboys; which boasts one of the best offensive line in the NFL.  As such, he was able to amass an eye-popping 5.1 yards per carry as a rookie.  On the other side of Lady Luck was Derrick Henry; the bruising Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama.  Henry was selected by the Tennessee Titans; a team with an average offensive line and Demarco Murray sitting atop the depth chart.  Due to the consistently good production from Demarco Murray, Henry's touches were limited in 2016.  In limited action, Derrick Henry averaged 4.5 yards per carry.  I believe that Fournette is a better back than both Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry.  No matter how talented Fournette is, his fantasy production will depend on what type of situation he will he be drafted into.

Mel Kipper Jr.'s latest mock draft has Fournette being selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 8th pick in the first round.  This would delight Panthers fans as Jonathan Stewart is injury prone and on the downside of his career.  However, this will ultimately cap the fantasy upside for Fournette in 2017 as he will be locked into a timeshare with JStew.   Furthermore, when Leonard does get carries, he will be running behind an offensive line that had a tough time run blocking in 2016.  In his 9th year, Stewart averaged a career worst 3.8 yards per carry last year behind that offensive line.  Fantasy footballers should look to Derrick Henry's 2016 stat line as a guide for Leonard Fournette's rookie campaign if Fournette does go to the Panthers at number 8.  Ultimately, Fournette will have an extremely productive NFL career with the Carolina Panthers... just not in 2017.