Scheme and metrics preview- Arizona Cardinals

Scheme and Metrics- we’ll take a look at each of the 32 teams and look at a combination of offensive scheme/philosophy and some player metrics to give us something else to think about when drafting our fantasy squads this summer. In this edition, we’ll look at the Arizona Cardinals.

Deciding whether to buy into or fading the Cardinals offense could be a key to the 2019 fantasy season. Here’s what I’m looking at:

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NFL O-line Overview: Offseason Observations

With training camp underway and preseason games around the corner, football is officially back. In other words, it’s finally time for our extra-early look at how the NFL’s offensive lines have fared through free agency and the draft. Without further ado, let’s kick off the 2019 Offensive Line Overview series.

Risers:

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts sold out to improve their offensive front last season and did so to great success. After boasting a perennially poor unit for much of the last decade, Andrew Luck now benefits from one of the best O-lines in the league – a unit so good that worries of Luck’s shoulder, which dominated last year’s offseason storylines in Indianapolis, have all but entirely vanished from the NFL zeitgeist. After hitting big on two starters in the 2018 NFL Draft in Quenton Nelson (No. 6 overall) and Branden Smith (No. 37 overall), the team didn’t make notable splashes on the unit this offseason – yet they manage to earn a spot in our “Risers” section. That’s because the Colts’ line could realistically improve upon last year’s performance, a rare feat to manage for an already top-ranked O-line. Usually, from the top there’s nowhere to go but down. The O-line’s strong 2018 performance came in spite of some struggles with injury, and both Nelson and Smith will benefit from a full year of experience at the NFL level at positions which are notoriously difficult for rookies to adapt to. If everything breaks right for Indianapolis, it’s conceivable that the 2019 season could conclude with their offensive line as the consensus best group in the league. If that’s the case, Marlon Mack (ADP 38) could end up being a premier steal in fantasy drafts.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons took a page out of Indianapolis’ book in the 2019 NFL Draft, utilizing both of their first-round picks to bolster the trenches with Chris Lindstrom (No. 14 overall) and Kaleb McGary (No. 31 overall), both of whom are strong candidates to start in 2019. Penciling rookies who have yet to play an NFL snap in as improvements is always risky business, but the 2018 Colts serve as a fresh example of just how strong an impact such moves can make if they work out – and Atlanta’s line can’t be much worse than it was last year. In 2018 the unit allowed 42 sacks and struggled mightily in the run blocking game (Atlanta averaging less than 100 yards on the ground per game). The veterans surrounding the team’s rookies inspire confidence as well: Alex Mack and Jake Matthews each performed at an outstanding level last season, and Ryan Schraeder will likely exit the starting lineup in favor of McGary. All Atlanta’s skill positions stand to benefit from a marked improvement, especially the oft-injured Devonta Freeman.

Fallers

Cincinnati Bengals:

For much of the offseason, all signs pointed towards the debut of an improved Cincinnati O-line in 2019. That all came tumbling down when Jonah Williams, the 11th overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft and a plug-and-play prospect, suffered a season-ending torn labrum. The additional retirement of Clint Boling, who was projected to start at left guard, vacates the entire left side of the line. Barring any surprise moves, that leaves Cordy Glenn at left tackle and one of John Jerry or Christian Westerman to start at left guard. Glenn was a serviceable if not average option in 2018, who had hoped to transition to guard in 2019 but will be forced to resume his usual role. Bobby Hart is set to resume his usual starting right tackle role, despite having proven himself a below-average option, rounding out a wholly uninspiring unit. The Bengals’ lackluster O-line could put a significant damper on the prospects of the team’s skill position players, to the point that even such standout players as A.J. Green, Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd could suffer.

Miami Dolphins:

The Dolphins’ offensive line was one of the league’s worst in 2018, and the group appears quantifiably worse on paper as 2019 approaches. The departure of Ja’Waun James leaves Jordan Mills, a lackluster but inoffensive option, as the team’s top right tackle, and Josh Sitton’s retirement leaves the Dolphins with little in the form of reliable depth. Rookie third-round pick Michael Deiter is being counted to make an immediate impact and could be thrust into an early role at left guard. Laremy Tunsil is certainly a bright spot at left tackle, but one solid starter does not a reliable offensive front make. It’s difficult to a imagine a scenario in which Miami’s offense manages to achieve success behind a line that has the possibility of finishing as the league’s worst group — which casts an especially dark shadow over the prospects of second-year quarterback Josh Rosen, and his hopes to earn Miami’s confidence as a franchise quarterback.

NFL Training Camp Notes: Gordon Holdout Coming?

Melvin Gordon and the Chargers remain far apart, and other news from training camps around the league:

  • The Chargers are going to stand their ground with Gordon, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports. This appears to be heading towards a Gordon holdout as he seems will to sit out and not collect the roughly $5.6 million he’s slated to make this year. This is important since we saw Le’Veon Bell sit out last year for far more money – $14.5 million. Bell also went out into the market and got $35 million guaranteed ($52.5 million for four years) making an argument he was “rewarded” for holding out. Austin Ekeler would be the biggest beneficiary if this lasts into the season with Justin Jackson’s arrow pointing up as well. The question now for upcoming drafts is where to take Gordon. The Chargers could change their minds over the next month or Gordon could cave and report. Is it too lazy to flip the rankings of Tyreek Hill with Gordon from whatever they were a week ago?
  • Julian Edelman will miss the next three weeks with a thumb injury. There’s no reason to think at this point this will affect his availability for the start of the season but obviously the situation is worth monitoring. This does give a boost to N’Keal Harry who will get plenty of work now with the first team. He’ll have a great opportunity to impress and could find himself lining up opposite of Edelman Week 1.
  • Andrew Luck (calf) is ready for the start of training camp. This justifies if you’re waiting on QB and going to take one in rounds 3-4 after Mahomes, Luck might pay off big time. He runs more than one would think and scores (don’t look at last season’s numbers).
  • Daniel Jones (QB-NYG) signed a big deal totally suggesting he’s Eli Manning’ next guy. While that would make too much sense it’s important to realize that Jones will have his limitations.
  • Roc Thomas – He’s gone after the suspension from the Vikings.

Week 17 FAAB Results

It was actually a very busy FAAB week, but because I’m short on time, I’m mostly going to submit these results without comment. I’ll entrust you to do the research on a player if you’re uncertain why he’s so expensive.

AL ToutWars

Corey Kluber was released the week before in order to get FAAB reclaimed before the trade deadline. Last week was the deadline to get a full compensation for any injured player that you wanted to cut. In the case of anyone drafted in March, we get his auction price *$10 in FAAB. His owner decided that the FAAB dollar return was worth more than whatever period of time he was going to get back for Kluber.

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NFL Training Camp Notes: Vote of Confidence in Shady

With training camps just getting started and the first preseason game almost two weeks away, news is a little scarce. ADP lists and cheat sheets are still in turmoil after the NFL’s decision not to suspend Tyreek Hill, though (hey, it’s not like various forms of child abuse are in the news 24-7 right now… no league has ever shown a greater inability to read the room than the NFL under Goodell), so maybe it’s just as well that fantasy GMs get a chance to take a breath before things start getting hectic.

Without further ado, or editorializing, here’s the noteworthy… uhh, notes from Sunday:

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NFL Training Camp Notes: White Inks Deal in Time for Camp

Here we are. Less than two weeks away from the 2019 NFL preseason kicking off with the Hall of Fame Game between Denver and Atlanta. The Broncos will see the late, great Pat Bowlen enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside legendary cornerback Champ Bailey, while the Falcons will celebrate Tony Gonzalez — who made four Pro Bowl appearances in five years with the club — as he makes the cut in his very first year of eligibility. In the meantime, though, training camps are opening up around the league, and we know you’re hungry for injury updates, insider information on depth chart developments, and any other miscellaneous narratives that may be going on in the NFL at the moment. We got you, baby. For the diehard NFL fans and newcomers alike, welcome into a Saturday edition of the often imitated, never replicated Rotowire Training Camp Blog.

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