Game Previews

Previewing the Chiefs-Ravens week three matchup:

We are in for one of the best Monday Night showdowns I can remember in a long time, as I already highlighted this as the best game of the 2020 NFL season when the schedule came out, and there is nothing that should take away from the hype coming in. The reigning league Lamar Jackson and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes both have their teams at 2-0 and fairly entrenched as the two elite squads in the AFC, ready to battle for the right to stay undefeated.

Two years ago, the Ravens seemed to have this one in their bag, until Mahomes pulled off some magic on a couple of fourth down plays to still turn things around and last season these two teams went up against each other in week three as well, where the Chiefs controlled the game for the most part, but then Lamar tried to manufacture a late comeback, to make the final score 33-28 Kansas City. Baltimore would lose the following week to Cleveland, but then went undefeated the rest of the way, until they lost in the Divisional Round to Tennessee.

This is the matchup everybody wanted and expected to see in last year’s Conference Championship game and it could easily be a preview of what we see in this year’s semi-finals, with crucial tie-breakers being on the line Monday. In this preview, I will break down both offenses and how they match up with the opposing defense, talk a little bit about special teams and two X-factors for each group.

Continue reading

Standard
NFL games, Storylines around the NFL

Three statements for each week one NFL game:

Football is back, baby! After an awesome first week of NFL action, which I watched every full game of, I wanted to kind of recap all 16 matchups and come up with three statements for each one. Some of them may be more hyperbolic or could be labelled as hot takes, while others state for obvious facts. You can also listen to my Youtube breakdown of week one, where I just give more of my general thoughts on all these games, while also bringing up some of the points I make in this article.

So here’s what I took away from week one:

 

Continue reading

Standard
NFL Predictions

Predicting the entire 2020 NFL season:

Now a week away from the season officially being kicked off with Texans @ Chiefs, I’m ready to commit to all these predictions. As I have done for several years now, I am going to forecast all the major season awards, such as league MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and others, before I get into my playoff picks. To do so, I went through the schedule and predicted all 256 games, before putting all of that into playoffpredictors.com – which I can absolutely recommend you check out – to double-check my final seven seeds for either conference. On my first version, I got so complicated with the tie-breakers, that I actually had to contact the host of the page, to get some clearance on an issue, but after I went over it a second time, things became a lot easier to figure out.

With that being, this is how I believe the 2020 NFL season will look like:

Continue reading

Standard
Fantasy Football

Fantasy diamonds for 2020:

Now that we are close to a lot of people’s fantasy drafts, I wanted to hand out some names that I frequently end up with when I do mocks, just because I have them higher in my rankings. So these are players, who present value based on their ADP (average draft position), all as an average between the three biggest platforms for fantasy football – NFL.com, ESPN and Yahoo. That’s as of August 20th, with the first two having a full-PPR scoring system and the last one being set to .5PPR. They also all have a standard lineup of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 FLEX, 1 TE, 1 DEF and 1 K. I had to wait until now, so that the draft data is representative of what people actually think of these players, especially with so many mocks having the majority of users set as auto-picks and distort the results.

So I will talk about what I like about these players heading into 2020, maybe a couple of concerns and talk a little bit about what I look at them as, compared to the where people are selecting them in their mock drafts. I listed three guys for every position that fills one spot in your standard lineup (QB, TE, DEF) and five for running back and wide receiver respectively. Oh, and I’m not doing kickers here – just pick one from the high-scoring team and that you know has a proven track record of converting on his opportunities.

Here are some of my favorite value picks:

Continue reading

Standard
NFL Power Rankings

Ranking all 32 NFL teams in tiers pre-2020 season:

Now that we have passed the opt-out deadline and are only about three weeks away from the Chiefs and Texans kicking off the 2020 NFL season, I wanted to put together my pre-season power rankings and put all 32 teams in separate tiers, to give you an idea of where I see them at this point.

When putting together this list, I considered the talent on the roster, coaching staff and what will be a more important factor coming into this season than it has been in previous – the continuity as a franchise, since the COVID situation has limited the amount of preparation and ability to build chemistry as a team. That will be especially tough for new head coaches and inexperienced teams.

With that being said, this is how I would group them:

Continue reading

Standard
NFL Top 100

NFL Top 100 Players of 2020:

Every year NFL Network puts out a list of the Top 100 Players for the upcoming season, as voted by their peers. I have talked about the flaws of that whole process a few times already – the players only write down their top 20 players, which is understandable, but also doesn’t result in the proper results, since everybody is somewhat to put their guys on; not all players actually get to watch a lot of games, if they don’t include teams they actually face or are limited to watching highlights; and the voting concludes before the playoff are even here, which can be the only somewhat logical reason, Patrick Mahomes was only number four on the official list – even though that would still be wrong.

For the purpose of this list, I first put together my rankings of the top players at every single position, but then somewhat went off script by just writing down names in the order that they shot into my head, before comparing it with the positional rankings and trying to weigh guys against each other. And just to make this clear – these rankings are based on players regardless of their position, since otherwise would have almost half the starting quarterbacks in the league within the top 20 or so. And of course this is a bit of a projection and not solely built on what these players did this previous season, but also not about where they will be at the end of 2020.

Here is my list:

Continue reading

Standard
NFL Offseason

Key position battles at 2020 NFL training camp:

We have finally reached NFL training camp and with the agreement between the league and the players association, there is a little more clarity about how the preparation for the 2020 season will look. With such a long time off, the early stages of this will involve a lot of lifting and running, before the players actually go out on the field and compete, but like I have done for several years, I want to look at some of the more interesting battles for starting positions.

Now that preseason has been cancelled, it will only enhance the importance of these competitions and even though I usually have a little bias towards rookies, since I studied them a lot since the Super Bowl ended, this whole situation should actually favor the more seasoned veterans. For this exercise, I tried to avoid a few of the really obvious ones, such as the Bears QB competition that has and will be talked to death by all the major networks, or the Dolphins entire offensive line pretty much, where you can’t point to one specific spot.

With that being said, here at the ten that I will follow the closest:

Continue reading

Standard
Power Rankings

Best triplets in the NFL going into 2020:

After a week off, I am back with a vengeance! Since this was kind of a trending topic a few weeks ago and I saw a lot of media outlets/networks put out their rankings of the top triplets in the NFL, I thought I needed to put myself into the conversation and right some of wrongs that were done.

This list only includes combinations of one quarterback, running back and wide receiver each. That means no players beyond that and no consideration of the offensive scheme or play-caller, as much as that’s possible. And to lay the ground rules – all three positions are weighed equally. So just because you have one of the elite quarterbacks doesn’t necessarily put you up there and if one of those spots doesn’t have a really good player, I don’t care how great the other two are.

So with that being said, here is my list of the best trios in the league:

Continue reading

Standard
NFL Offseason

NFL players in a 2020 make-or-break season:

We have talked a lot about breakout NFL players, most improved position groups and all that kind of stuff. Now I want to shift the focus more towards players, who aren’t in a position where they are locked in as long-time contributors for their respective teams and will be entering a crucial season in their careers.

Those can be young players not living up to their draft status, guys in a contract year wanting to earn another lucrative deal or long-time veterans trying to stick around. I called this a make-or-break season for these players because they aren’t at a point, where people recognize them as some of the best players at their position. So you won’t see necessarily see players on the franchise tag, trying to earn that long-term contract for big money, but rather guys who could also be labelled as draft busts or washed up veterans.

Here is the list:

Continue reading

Standard