Jacoby Jones joins the Pittsburgh Steelers: Should force an interesting conversation with Mike Tomlin

Back in 2013 Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin caused quite the stir by interfering with what looked to be a touchdown return by the then Baltimore Raven Jacoby Jones. Tomlin claimed to not be aware of how far onto the field he was at the time, and since Tomlin has a pretty clean record otherwise, I’d be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Either way, their first few face to face meetings between the two may have some interesting undertones. I expect Jones to take over some of the return duties for the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the season ending injury to stud running back Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh is going to be taking more precautions to protect their other super star, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and the Steelers have a pretty up close and personal view, of just how lethal Jones can be on the return.

We wish Jones luck with his new team. Watch the video of Tomlin’s interference here:

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Is Andy Dalton is the real deal? Fantasy Football Implications

Andy Dalton’s hair is not the only thing on fire, his game is pretty on point too. Dalton is currently the top scoring fantasy player, beating out notable names like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Andrew Luck. Dalton went undrafted in many leagues, and is currently still unowned in 18% of leagues, and remaining benched in 46% of leagues. Veteran QB’s like Matthew Stafford, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees aren’t playing up to snuff, and the new recruits, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota aren’t consistent fantasy producers. It would seem like Andy Dalton would be rising in the ranks of fantasy quarterbacks. So what is stopping managers from playing Dalton on a weekly basis?

I think it’s just name recognition. Fantasy players are more likely to play a big name like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees over someone like Andy Dalton. Even though Dalton has been putting up some serious numbers, the media doesn’t paint him as an elite quarterback. In spite of that Dalton is making some serious headway into building an MVP resume.  Only two other quarterbacks in NFL history have started 5-0 with at least 1,500 pass yards and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of at least five. Those signal-callers were Aaron Rodgers in 2011, and Peyton Manning in 2013. Both went on to win MVP honors in those respective seasons.

Through his last five games, Dalton has 11 touchdowns, 1,518 passing yards, and a 67.5-percent completion percentage. He’s also gained 55 yards rushing and rushed for two touchdowns. He’s surrounded by talent, and has the support of his team his coaching staff, and his fans. If you’re not betting on Dalton, you should be.

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers Have Release Josh Scobee

Josh Scobee has learned the first rule of football. Don’t piss off Snoop dog.

I’m sure Scobee’s release doesn’t come as a shock to many. Josh Scobee has performed at a less than desirable level during his employment with The Steelers. He missed a field goal early in the season that left Head Coach Mike Tomlin, and The Steelers organization doubtful of their kicker’s potential. As a result Pittsburgh turned it’s eye instead to the two point conversion, and took more risks in the red zone. In the wake of a lackluster performance, Twitter has been less than kind.

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It was Scobee’s Thursday night performance that sealed his fate. Scobee missed two critical field goals from 40+ yards. As a direct response to his less than stellar performance, The Steelers chose to go for it on a fourth down in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens. They failed to convert on the down. They went on to lose to the Ravens by three.

The Steelers have officially signed free agent Chris Boswell. Scobee finished his tenure with The Steelers making 6 of 7 extra points, and 6 of 10 field goals. It’s currently a hard time in the NFL for kickers.

Julius Thomas Injury Update

Julius Thomas and the Jacksonville coaching staff are still mum on a timetable for for the return of their pricey tight end. The Jaguars certainly didn’t expect for Thomas to be sidelined going into week four after signing the tight end in March to a five year $46 million dollar deal. Thomas has been dealing with a broken finger that he sustained on his only catch during The Jaguars preseason. He underwent surgery on September 2nd after his healing wasn’t progressing as the Jacksonville coaching staff would like. He was originally set to return in week four, but obviously that’s not going to happen. He has received a check up as recently as Tuesday which Thomas said was positive. “The good news [from the surgeon] was no bad news”. Coaching staff has speculated that he should be back in time for their London game against Buffalo Bills, October 25th.

In spite of not having played a single down of football and still having no set timeline for his return, Thomas is owned in over 55% of fantasy football leagues. Fantasy owners, and the Jacksonville coaching staff alike, are eager to see him take the field. The Jaguars are desperately in need of a offensive weapon. They are currently tied for 29th as the lowest scoring team in the NFL, ahead of only the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers. Meanwhile, fantasy owners have him stashed in a valuable roster spot, in the hopes that their sacrifice will pay off. Thomas was very successful in his last two seasons with the Denver Broncos where he averaged 54 receptions, an 11.8 YPC average, and 12 touchdowns. With the Jaguars desperate need of an offensive boost, it’s likely that once Thomas returns, he’ll put up strong fantasy numbers. At least this is what his owners are banking on. Expect his fantasy stock to rise as we get closer to week seven. My advice is to pick him up early week six if you have the roster space.

What Happened to Sammy Watkins?

I started Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins week one, and I wasn’t the only one. Watkins had an impressive rookie campaign, knocking on the door of 1,000 yard and scoring six touchdowns. One a team with out many elite receiver options, Watkins was expected to shine early. Unfortunately for many fantasy players, he did not. In fact, he put up a big ol’ goose egg. Instead, it was preseason addition Percy Harvin who racked up the yards and fantasy points.

So what should we expect going forward? In my opinion, not much. While Watkins may have some outstanding games, as he’s a very talented player, I just don’t see him performing at a fantasy starter’s level consistently. While his talent is exceptional, he currently has two things holding him back; Tyrod Taylor and Rex Ryan.

While it’s true that Taylor’s week one performance was impressive (with a 73% completions, including six passes over 20 yards out of his 19 attempts) I doubt that will be the norm in Buffalo. In previous season where Taylor attempted more than five passes, his completion percentage average was 39%. Where Taylor will excel is with his legs, not his arm. In game one against the Indianapolis Colts he had 41 rushing yards. The Bills offensive line looks much improved from last season, which will benefit both Taylor and the Bills Rushers.

His biggest hinderance to his fantasy produciton however, is Head Coach, Rex Ryan. Ryan is known for two things; His killer defenses, and his ground and pound rushing game. Rex has been quoted as saying, “whatever you do best, we’re going to take away from you” in reference to his defensive philosophy. His love of the run game has never been a secret either. Want a cleverly inserted quote? “We prefer to ground and pound it. We’ll run fifty times a game if we can on you” -Rex Ryan. It’s just how he coaches, and how he prefers to run his team.

This week Watkins may surprise us against the New England Patriots. He’s currently predicted to score about eight points this week in standard leagues. My advice would be to wait for a break out game and and trade him for someone more reliable. If you’re dead set on keeping him, watch your defensive match ups, and play him when they’re favorable.

The latest in the Tebow Saga.

I’m a huge Tim Tebow fan. I’m not going to apologize. I like him as a person, he’s cute as a button, and he’s an exciting player to watch. #sorrynotsorry

With that preamble we are now counting down to the roster cut deadline and there are a lot of rumblings about Tim Tebow’s status with The Eagles. I’m going to lead you through a quick recap.

The Stats

Tebow definitely made the most of his final NFL showing. His final stats included going 11 for 17 in passing for a total of 189 yards, 32 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The single interception was thrown on fourth down. When asked if he regretted the interception, Tebow replied that he didn’t. Instead he chalked it up to a tough fourth and long situation. His performance far surpassed that of fellow Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley. Barkley’s final stats were, 4 for 9 in passing attempts for a total of 45 yards, and 1 interception. But one game can’t make or break Tebow’s chances. Let’s take a look at the preseason total stats for The Eagle quarterbacks.

Quarterback Attempts Completions Yards Yards per Attempt TD INT Rating
Sam Bradford 15 13 156 10.4 3 0 149.6
Mark Sanchez 46 29 320 7 3 0 105.3
Matt Barkley 52 27 351 6.8 0 2 57.5
Tim Tebow 36 21 286 7.9 2 1 90.7

As you can see, Tebow outperformed Barkely in completion percentage, YPA, touchdowns, interceptions, and rating.

The Rumors

The latest is that Barkley has been traded to the Arizona Cardinals.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000521959/article/matt-barkley-traded-to-arizona-cardinals

This is good news for Tebow fans and all signs point to this deal being legit. If Barkley is traded to The Cardinals it’s a pretty good indication that Tebow will remain after the final roster cuts.

There has also been news that that The Eagles are interested in acquiring Robert Griffin III from the Washington Redskins, as well as rumors that Tebow is supposedly on his way of of Philly. So we’ll see what the future holds. However, the future is looking bright for those of us rooting for Tebow.

http://www.oregonlive.com/nfl/index.ssf/2015/09/chip_kelly_eagles_interested_i.html

http://www.tmz.com/2015/09/04/tim-tebow-reportedly-spotted-at-airport-eagles-mum-on-status/

*stats from NFL.com