What we are talking about:
Really like him for 2015
Will tumble down the board
Should have popped on RAW
Jimmy Graham is a member of the Seattle Seahawks. I know ... it was pretty crazy to think about. And the way it went down, too. Big-time trades don't happen often in the NFL. They are reminiscent of wrestlers jumping ship from one organization to another during the Monday Night Wars of the 1990s. The Graham trade was reminiscent of the night Scott Hall sauntered on to the set of Monday Nitro back in 1996.
Although, back then we picked up the phone and called our friends to see if the whole thing was real. Or even worse, you would have to wait until you saw your friends at school the next day to rehash the whole thing. Now we just make the jokes on Twitter.
But it was kind a huge deal. I mean Razor Ramon was invading Nitro! Oh, you thought I meant the trade was a big deal. And it really is. I mean, big-time trades don't often happen in the NFL. And rarely does one of the top two teams in the league swing a deal for one of the top two players at his position. A move that makes the Seahawks a more dangerous football team in real terms. But what about fantasy football?
A lot of folks seem to think this is going to be absolutely huge for Russell Wilson next season. Though some of us were well ahead of that train last year.
Yeah, Wilson was a top three fantasy quarterback last season. With Jimmy Graham, I'm going to go ahead and say that he's going to continue to be a top three quarterback. I would even take him as the first quarterback off the board. I know most fan boys (and girls) will go with Aaron Rodgers with the top pick. And the Bears fans in your league will make Andrew Luck the top quarterback in the game. That's cool. Just let Wilson fall to me. (Add sinister laugh here.)
Think about what the Seahawks are going to look like down around the goal line next year. Despite the way the Super Bowl ended (I know it's too soon for some of you Seahawks folks), defenses are going to have to gear up to stop Marshawn Lynch. They have to. So imagine Wilson with the ball fake to Lynch, and then the bootleg around the end where he will either toss the ball to Graham or run it in himself. It all seems like it will be too easy.
But what about the collateral damage? Will Graham fall in drafts? Well, he was drafted in the first round of a lot of drafts last year. I should know; I drafted him first overall. And that was awful. Not my best move, and it's pretty safe to say that won't happen again. However, that can actually work into your favor. Just watch Graham's average draft position in drafts this summer. I bet many people will pass on him under the misguided notion his value has taken a hit.
Sure, he's not the top tight end in fantasy. Or at least it's up for spirited debate. But if you look at his numbers last season, 85 receptions, 900-plus yards and 10 touchdowns, those marks seem pretty doable this year in Seattle. You don't think he's going to be the top passing option for this team? The Seahawks won't fling it as much as the Saints did. Hell, arena teams might not throw it as much as the Saints. But Graham should see the number of targets stay consistent, if not increase a smidge. Again, Wilson is a much more mobile quarterback who can extend the pocket which will give Graham time to get open and get to work.
And without further ado ...
Peyton Manning restructured his contract. Which I like. Don't think I'm going to harangue him for that. I also like him in the coming drafts, too. I know a lot of folks will shy away from him this year, especially with the way he performed down the stretch in 2014. This is a mistake. The first eight games (or at least month) of Manning is going to be magical this season. You don't think he's going to have something to prove? The only caveat would be to have a solid backup plan in case he gets injured or slowed again.
Jets coach Todd Bowles said 8-8 wouldn't be good enough. And then he said Geno Smith would be his starting quarterback. So which is it? Because it can't be both. I kid (sort of). Smith is actually much better than people give him credit for. At least fantasy-wise. He's going to have some talent around him to get some (expletive) done this year. I guarantee you; he will end up winning games for some fantasy enthusiasts this season.
Tom Brady. Cliff diving. Played pickup hoops with Michael Jordan (and Keegan Bradley). I know a lot of people are concerned Brady participated in some dangerous offseason activities. But is it any more dangerous than playing behind the Bucs offensive line?
ImageNow that I've had a few days to remove myself from WrestleMania, I have to say it might have been the best. Maybe it's a combination of low (I'm talking low) expectations to just about everything delivering in the best way possible. The main event was amazing. Brock Lesnar will be a motivated beast in the coming months. Roman Reigns should have silenced many of you (though I know he won't). And Seth Rollins looked like the ultimate genius as he cashed in like he did. All of it worked. Even John Cena's win, which needed to happen for storyline purposes. Again, it all worked.
ImageOne other wrestling note. (And really, this all seems like an exercise for me to do my WrestleMania recap.) I really ended up liking Sting vs. HHH. Was it an overbooked mess? Absolutely. Which is what 1990s wrestling was all about. I'm surprised we didn't get Tony Shiavone on commentary yelling 'we're out of time' as everybody ran into the ring. But it seemed like the WWE creative team spent so much time overbooking this match so it didn't have the time or energy to ruin the rest of the card.
The biggest question at quarterback to me for the coming year will be the Eagles competition. You know my feelings on Mark Sanchez (like). But Sam Bradford is so tantalizing from a talent standpoint. My early-season conjecture is Sanchez ends up as the starter and performs pretty well. Mark will make his mistakes, but he will put up a good fantasy season.
I was at the gym when I got a text message from Reader Matt P who said "McCoy" and that was it. So immediately, you wonder did he get in trouble? Get hurt? Call me out on Xbox? I was stunned when I saw he was traded to the Bills. Blockbuster trades are such a delightful treat in the NFL. Kind of like when my dad would load up the family for a night at Sizzler. You don't question it, you just enjoy it.
Oh yeah, the trade. Love it. McCoy is going to run the ball like 80 times a game. I'm really down with this and everything the Bills have done this offseason. Even Rex Ryan's truck is amazing.
ImageSpeaking of Rex, I watched "That's My Boy" again this week. His performance isn't great, but the movie is better than people give it credit for. I was always amazed that Eva Amurri Martino looked so much like a young Susan Sarandon. Then I saw her on "Undatable" and I was like, "wow, is that her daughter or something?" Spoiler alert, she is. Did everybody know that and I'm way behind on this? BTW, she'd be your Like/dislike cover girl in a different life.
The Cowboys lost Murray. I joked, if the Cowboys really want to show how replaceable Murray is, they will just go out and grab Trent Richardson. The Cowboys one-upped me and signed Darren McFadden. And BTW, the sports shops in the mall already have his Raiders jersey discounted. The Raiders white jerseys might be the best in sports. I could never wear one, but it is pretty amazing.
Jokes aside, I don't hate the McFadden deal. I mean, isn't McFadden facing the same scrutiny, same injury concerns Murray had headed into last season? I'm going to study the mocks pretty closely this summer, and then draft McFadden a round before I need to. Unless the Cowboys get Adrian Peterson, and then all bets are off. But for right now, McFadden is somebody you should take serious.
I will give the Ravens credit for re-signing Justin Forsett. Not only was he amazing last year. He studies well. I filmed some skits for Random NFL with a number of players and running backs. Forsett was the only guy who studied his lines ahead of time. He was awesome. And yes, I'm now completely biased.
ImageDo yourself a favor and catch up on "The Flash" if you haven't seen it yet. I'm just about caught up now, and it's amazing. The crossover episode with Oliver Queen was unbelievable. Best single episode of a show I've seen in some time. And "Archer" finished strong this year, though "Mike Tyson Mysteries" delivers the most laughs per minute.
I know a lot of fantasy hipsters want to say Owen Daniels is going to score more points than Julius Thomas. I don't get it. Thomas is a great talent. He becomes the top option in the red zone for the Jaguars, who will be improved on offense this season. Thomas will score at least nine touchdowns this year. He's going to be more Greg Olsen than Gronk, but he's going to be fine.
Demaryius Thomas has given me some concern. He's going to skip some workouts with Peyton Manning, which isn't necessarily a huge deal. But I would just rather see him there, working out, you know? Because every year there is a receiver who drops out of the top five. So when you compare him to Antonio, Dez, Jordy, et al, DT is on the outside of that very talented group. And I would imagine he gets over-drafted in a lot of leagues.
If one of your mates wants to start the Montee Ball hype train again, just nod politely and be all, 'yeah, I'm sure Ball will rebound this season.' I don't like to play the game where you look at players from certain colleges and dismiss them. But Wisconsin running backs, amirite?
The Jets should have hung on to Percy Harvin. I mean, we should have been treated to at least one screaming match between him and Brandon Marshall before they made the move. But Marshall seems like one of those moves that will end up being really good for the Jets football wise. It will make the team much better and even Eric Decker, too. I just don't see a lot of fantasy value for Marshall at this stage of his career.
The Cleveland Browns were front-runners for "Hard Knocks" at one point. Partly for the entertainment. Partly as a tutorial on how not to run your football team.
ImageThe only thing that bummed me out about WrestleMania was the Bray Wyatt match. It was fine. Undertaker just kind of did his thing. But damn, can Bray get some wins under his belt? Cena should have put him over last year. Now Bray's saddled with an 0-2 'Mania mark which is way too bad. I hope the E has a plan for him. I'm not confident that it does.
ImageThe post-Mania RAW was exceptional, as always. Lots of new young stars making an appearance. (I'm surprised Sasha or Charlotte didn't show up to take the belt off Nikki, though.) I was disappointed with the crowd response for Roman Reigns. I get it; a lot of you felt he wasn't ready for the belt. And maybe he isn't. But he was amazing in the main event of 'Mania. Honestly, I was blown away, though I shouldn't have been because he grew so much during his time with The Shield. As such, I felt he deserved cheers on Monday night. The crowd blew that. And now we've come to a point where the post-Mania crowd is so into itself, I might have to turn on it.
ImageAnd then there's my man Dean Ambrose. The guy lauded to be the next "Stone Cold" Steve Austin worked the curtain-jerker match of WrestleMania and then jobbed out to John Cena the next night. The upshot is that he totally worked the STF way better than Cena. But as my man Brandon Stroud pointed out, Cena's face ruined it. Read more of Brandon's stuff here and here. Am I paranoid to believe Cena knew he could ruin two rising careers and he chose Bray and Ambrose?
There was a point this offseason when it didn't seem like it could get nuttier for the Eagles. Then Tim Tebow came in for a workout. I went back to bed and didn't surface for like six days at that point. I'm fine with Tebow getting a shot. He deserves one. But to me, it seemed way too much like Chip Kelly was trolling us.
How will you remember DeMarco Murray's one great fantasy season? I just can't see him recapturing the magic this season with the Eagles. I'm trying to think of running backs who switched teams in their prime and went on to have monster seasons. Clinton Portis. Marshall Faulk. Curtis Martin. All right, so it's not unprecedented. But I'm not sure he gets enough chances with Ryan Mathews in the mix.
The funniest thing was the Eagles had an agreement with Mathews in place while they were courting Murray. I'd hate to be the guy who had to make small talk with Mathews during those hours. So uh, Ryan, you like 'House of Cards'?
I know I shouldn't have to point this out, but you do realize Star Wars Episode I is the Phantom Menace. The one you're thinking of is Star Wars Episode IV. Well, not you. You, good reader, know the difference between the original three and the other three. I'm talking about your friend over there. (You know who.)
ImageOne of my producers has never seen the Star Wars trilogy. So I'm going to have her watch all five of the movies (forget Episode I). The popular viewing method is IV, V, II, III and VI. You don't ruin the surprise of Empire this way and you still get the happy ending for Jedi. This is the way my children will be introduced to the series. And I'd like to take credit for coming up with this deal, but I read it on the internet at some point.
I know some of you might believe you should give a young running back one more chance. But how many more chances does he need? If he isn't going to get it going in Indianapolis, which had a good line and an excellent quarterback, then it's probably never going to happen. I know a lot of you are pretty high on Latty Murray. I wouldn't downgrade him at all because of Richardson. Why would you?
I don't know when the war on extra points started, but can it please stop? I mean, extra points are perfect for bathroom breaks so leave them alone. And I'm talking to you Colts, who proposed something like teams who go for two, should get one free kick from the 50 for another point. What the hell?
ImageIf the Colts are going to advocate some XFL-type of rules, can we at least get nicknames on the back of the jerseys again?
For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 300K followers. Me? Just 14. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook (if you're RG3). And if you follow me on Sundays, I'll quote "The Wolf" from "Pulp Fiction" and then it's game on! Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to." Plus seriously people, I'm not taking your tweets after Midnight. I'm into the #HashtagWars via @Midnight. I've started to mute people who ask me questions at that time.