NFL Power Rankings

NFL Power Rankings heading into the fourth quarter of the 2021 season:

There are five weeks left in the NFL season and with the last four teams wrapping up bye weeks, this is as close to the three-quarter mark as we’ll get to. Therefore, it was time for me to go through all the numbers, watch some more film and rank all 32 teams against each other heading into the final stretch.

I think there’s a fairly clear top-five, which you could order a few different ways and a couple of teams with the potential to join that group. And similarly, there’s a group at the bottom, which consists of about the same amount of teams, that have practically – and one even technically – eliminated themselves from playoff contention – and their play also reflects that. The middle group is really what’s hard to figure out, because some of those teams look like contenders one week and then let us down the very next.

Still, this is the list I came up with in the end, not just purely ranking the teams based on record, but also taking recent form into account and where they should come in, as I evaluate them at this very moment. Let’s dive into it:

Continue reading

There are five weeks left in the NFL season and with the last four teams wrapping up bye weeks, this is as close to the three-quarter mark as we’ll get to. Therefore, it was time for me to go through all the numbers, watch some more film and rank all 32 teams against each other heading into the final stretch.

I think there’s a fairly clear top-five, which you could order a few different ways and a couple of teams with the potential to join that group. And similarly, there’s a group at the bottom, which consists of about the same amount of teams, that have practically – and one even technically – eliminated themselves from playoff contention – and their play also reflects that. The middle group is really what’s hard to figure out, because some of those teams look like contenders one week and then let us down the very next.

Still, this is the list I came up with in the end, not just purely ranking the teams based on record, but also taking recent form into account and where they should come in, as I evaluate them at this very moment. Let’s dive into it:

Continue reading

Standard
NFL Predictions

Predicting the entire 2021 NFL season:

We are exactly a week away from the NFL kickoff game between the Cowboys and Buccaneers. So as I do every year, I predicted the three top candidates for every major award, like MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and so on. To go along with that (since I’m a football psycho), I went through the whole schedule and decided on the winner of every single game, considering bye weeks, travel schedule and of course how the teams match up against each other. The result is a list of the seven playoff teams in each conference, a prediction of every postseason round and ultimately who I have winning the Super Bowl.

My Excel sheet, where I filled out the entire schedule is at the very end, if you want to check it out or see where I have your team finishing at, if they’re not listed among the playoff squads.

Here’s how I have the season shaking out:

.

Continue reading

Standard
Fantasy Football

Fantasy diamonds for 2021:

We’re back once again with my fantasy diamonds piece, where I try to give you some names I think are undervalued based on current ADPs (average draft positions) across the three major platforms – NFL.com, ESPN & Yahoo.

I realized this wasn’t posted here until now, so R.I.P. J.K. Dobbins …

Standard
NFL Power Rankings

Power Rankings ahead of the 2021 NFL season:

Just three weeks away from the season-opener between the Cowboys and Buccaneers, I once again ranked all 32 NFL teams and split them into six different tiers, from Super Bowl contenders to – how I liked to call it – tanking teams. Putting this list together, I considered talent on the roster, how all the pieces fit together, the level of coaching and I project these teams to develop until the new year.

Of course, these will change over the course of the season, as injuries become a bigger factor, players improve/regress and teams get into a certain rhythm. Therefore I’ll come back to it, at the latest, mid-way through the 2021 season and move these groups up or down the board accordingly.

Here’s my list:

Continue reading

Standard
NFL Offseason

Second- and third-year NFL players ready to break out in 2021 – Defense edition:

Once again, we have reached a part of the offseason, where there’s not many transactions or otherwise important moves to analyze around the NFL. So I took the time to put on the tape of players from the 2019 and ’20 drafts and identify which of them are bound to break out this upcoming season.

To avoid subjective interpretation of which players are or are not eligible for making this list anymore, I already stated that they can’t have made a Pro Bowl / All-Pro team so far or are just generally considered one of the top players at their position already, like a Quinnen Williams or Darnell Savage for example. To go along with that, players that have reached double-digit sacks or tackles for loss, or led his team in another major category, are excluded. Oh, and the players that made my list already last year, won’t repeat doing so.

Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates like Antoine Winfield and Jeremy Chinn did not qualify, Derrick Brown may not be in position to rack up big numbers, but he was already dominant for stretches in the middle of that Panthers defense this past season and Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons was too obvious for me, since he was my number two overall prospect a year ago and should be in much better position to make plays, in a more defined role.

Just like the offensive edition, two of the first three players mentioned here were selected in the middle of the first round, but the other six names all went on day two or later.

Continue reading

Standard
NFL Offseason

Second- and third-year NFL players ready to break out in 2021 – Offense edition:

Now that we’re in this sort of dead part of the offseason, where all the main player acquisitions have been processed and all the moves have been analyzed, it was time for me to put on the tape of players from the 2019 and ’20 drafts and identify which of them are bound to break out this upcoming season.

Since that is a subjective definition, I set myself parameters of some statistical milestones and other factors that these players must not have reached yet. So you won’t find anybody who has already made a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team, quarterbacks are excluded if they have already thrown for 4000 yards or 25 touchdowns in a season and for running backs and receivers, they’re not allowed to have already cracked 1000 yards rushing or receiving respectively and/or double-digit touchdowns. And if somebody is just generally considered one of the top players at their position already, I didn’t mention them either. Plus, you won’t see guys on here that already my list a year ago.

A lot of these lists primarily include first-round picks and a couple of guys that already broke out, but people didn’t really know about before last season. You won’t see any running backs or wide receivers from 2019, because those guys have either broken out already or I had them on my list last year – D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin, Josh Jacobs, David Montgomery and others. As far as last year’s rookie class goes, Joe Burrow to me has already shown the ability to be a franchise quarterback, other than Henry Ruggs III and Jalen Reagor, all the other receivers that went in the first round last year were at least flirting with the 1000-yard mark, and two of the three offensive tackles drafted in the top 20, that actually played the majority of games as rookies, have established themselves as long-term starters in my opinion (Jedrick Wills and Tristan Wirfs).

So while we start with a high draft pick from 2020, most of the guys on this list went quite a bit later.

Continue reading

Standard
Storylines around the NFL

My ten favorite games on the 2021 NFL schedule:

While I’ve been focusing on my draft recap videos these last couple of weeks, I just wanted to quickly look at the recently released schedule here and talk about the games I have already circled on my calendar (metaphorically). I picked out my ten favorite contests throughout the season and then listed another 25 chronologically, that I already know I’ll be watching, because of some of the storylines, certain matchups or their meaning as it pertains to the playoffs. We got 18 games on slate this year for the first time, so there were even more great games to choose from.

Here’s my personal list:

.

Continue reading

Standard