Articles by David Soda

A listing of all the articles written by David Soda for the RotoWire Blog.

RotoWire CBB Invitational Recap: Live to Fight Another Day


Entering this weekend, 16 of the original 27 fantasy experts got another crack at building our optimal lineups in hopes of finishing in the top half of the field, and ultimately advancing to the next round. Throughout the 16 experts there were 64 total entries left (some of us advanced more than others), and we needed to finish in the top 32 spots with any or all of our remaining entries to advance to next week. Following Saturday’s exciting hoops action, only nine of the remaining 16 participants advanced teams through into next week.

@Bronzesword (Varncass) secured the top 10 overall spots for the second consecutive week. @unky_warthog (unky_warthog) also advanced all 10 of his entries through for the second straight week, which means these two experts now hold 20 of the remaining 32 spots entering next week. Below are the updated standings after Saturday’s action, which includes all 16 experts that participated in this particular round. 

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Training Camp Notes: A New Year’s Eve

We are just 24 hours away from the beginning of the 2015 season, and I’m already becoming antsy as the weekend approaches. Much like the rest of you, all of my fantasy drafts have already taken place and now its game time, which we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s quickly touch on some of Wednesday’s storylines that could possibly affect the way you set your lineups for Week 1.

Rookie running back Tevin Coleman was named the Falcons Week 1 starter earlier in the week which is great news for fantasy owners who selected him in the later rounds of the draft. The first-year back out of Indiana was in a tight competition battle with second-year back, Devonta Freeman. The decision heading into the opening game was likely influenced by the fact that Freeman is battling a nagging hamstring injury which may keep him out of the first contest all together. Coleman is known for his incredible speed (4.39 40-yard dash) and was originally expected to split time with Freeman. While it’s still unknown as to how effective Coleman will be, he should have a good shot to solidify his starting spot moving forward if he were to have a productive game against the Eagles. This is certainly a situation to keep an eye on for those who selected the speedster in fantasy drafts.

Dez Bryant (hamstring) was a full-participant in Wednesday’s practice which means he’s a sure bet to start in the regular season opener, barring any setbacks. Dallas opens up at home against the Giants on Sunday night and the All-Pro receiver could be in for a big night against a defense that has already placed four safeties on injured reserve this preseason. Bryant hauled in 88 passes for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns just a year ago for a Cowboys team that finished at 12-4 and won the NFC East. As long as he can stay healthy in 2015, there is absolutely no reason that he can’t repeat those numbers once again.

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Training Camp Notes: Rough Start In Green Bay

Randall Cobb is expected to play against the Bears in Week 1 after suffering a sprained AC joint in his shoulder during Saturday’s preseason game against the Eagles. The fifth-year wide receiver initially thought that he broke his collarbone, but X-rays came back negative and showed no signs of any real structural damage. This was great news for a Packers team that lost Jordy Nelson for the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL, just a week earlier. Cobb will likely become Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target now that Nelson went down which is great news for fantasy owners. The 25-year old speedster caught 91 passes for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014, and a repeat performance could certainly be on the horizon.

Speaking of Jordy Nelson, the Packers placed him on injured reserve on Tuesday, and he’s officially done for the season. The 30-year old pass-catcher has been spectacular for the Packers over the last few years and will certainly be hard to replace. Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, and Ty Montgomery will collectively soak up the targets left behind by Nelson.

Julius Thomas fractured his finger back in early August during a preseason game and was only expected to miss a couple of weeks if it required minor surgery. However, it was reported on Tuesday that Thomas will actually miss up to a month which will certainly cut into the first few weeks of the season. The 27-year old tight end signed a five year, $46 million deal with the Jaguars back in March after playing the last two full seasons in Denver. In those two years combined, Thomas hauled in 108 passes for 1,277 yards and 24 touchdowns which is exceptional production at a position where it can be very scarce. The Jaguars are excited about the offseason acquisition but they likely won’t see him on the field again until Week 3 at the earliest. In the meantime, Marcedes Lewis will see the majority of the action at the tight end position.

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Training Camp Notes: Megatron Looks To Stay Healthy

Calvin Johnson has yet to play in a preseason game this year and he’s expected to sit out again on Friday when the Lions travel to Jacksonville. This comes just two days after another NFC North team, the Packers, announced that their franchise receiver would miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL suffered in their most recent contest. Many players and coaches have come forward since then to express their concerns in regards to the length of the preseason, and whether or not it’s really necessary. If you own Johnson don’t worry, as he isn’t dealing with any real health issues at the moment. The 29-year old wide receiver will likely miss the final preseason game as well, in hopes to stay healthy and play a full 16-game season for the first time since 2012. Johnson is still considered a top-five receiver and if he can find a way to stay on the field, he could be in for a huge comeback season.

Eddie Royal missed practice on Wednesday as he continues to deal with a minor hip injury. Coach John Fox labeled him as “day-to-day” and he doesn’t expect the veteran receiver to miss any significant time. After playing his first seven seasons in the AFC with the Broncos and Chargers, Royal signed a three-year deal in the offseason with a Bears team that desperately needed to fill the void at wide receiver left by former Pro-Bowler Brandon Marshall. Chicago also used a first-round draft pick to select Kevin White out of West Virginia, but he’ll miss at least the first six games of the season as he deals with injuries of his own. It’s worth noting that Royal played with Jay Cutler in Denver during his rookie year, when he hauled in 91 passes for 980 yards and five touchdowns. The 29-year old wide receiver will look rekindle that relationship once again, and he should see plenty of targets while White is sidelined to begin the year.

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Training Camp Notes: Bad News In Carolina

Panthers’ fans received bad news from practice on Wednesday after it was reported that second-year wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was carted off the field with a left knee injury. Although it’s still unclear as to how severe the issue is, it was reportedly a non-contact injury which is usually never good. Benjamin hauled in 73 passes for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns during his rookie campaign and the Panthers’ offense will take a big hit if he’s forced to miss extensive time. Look for Devin Funchess to move up the depth chart into the No. 1 spot during Benjamin’s likely absence.

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Training Camp Notes: Peterson Could Dominate in 2015

Adrian Peterson didn’t practice on Wednesday after suffering a minor thigh bruise during Tuesday’s session. The Vikings will likely be very cautious throughout camp and it remains to be seen whether or not the 30-year old running back will even play at all during the preseason. After missing all but one game during the 2014 season due to a suspension, he will look to re-establish himself as one of the best running backs in the NFL in 2015. Peterson rushed for double-digit touchdowns in each of his first seven seasons prior to last year, and it could be scary to see what kind of numbers he can put up on fresh legs after a year of rest. He’s made it very clear in the past that breaking the single-season rushing record is on his list of goals, and personally, I wouldn’t bet against him.

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Training Camp Notes: Will Alshon Jeffery Be Elite?

-Alshon Jeffery returned to the practice field on Wednesday after being sidelined during the last two practices due to an injury to the AC joint in his right shoulder. The Bears’ head coach John Fox called the injury “minor” on Sunday, and today’s return would suggest that the team was simply being cautious with their number-one wide receiver. With the departure of Brandon Marshall earlier this offseason, Jeffery is a sure bet to become the top option and will likely lead the team in targets within offensive coordinator Adam Gase’s system. The 25-year old receiver had a great season in 2014 when he hauled in 85 passes for 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns. If Jeffery can avoid injury during the regular season, he’ll have a great chance to put up similar numbers and could end up being one of the best fantasy receivers in the game.

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