Player Stock Ticker
The Wolf's Big Board:     Monday, August 21, 2017       Tier One - The Big Three ($65 - $75)   1 ) David Johnson (ARI) RB1   2 ) Le'Veon Bell (PIT) RB2   Tier Two - High-end WR1 and RB1s ($50-$65)   3 ) Antonio Brown (PIT) WR1   4 ) Julio Jones (ATL) WR2   5 ) Mike Evans (TB) WR3   6 ) Odell Beckham JR. (NYG) WR4   7 ) LeSean McCoy (BUF) RB3   8 ) AJ Green (CIN) WR5   9 ) Jordy Nelson (GB) WR6   10 ) Melvin Gordon (LAC) RB5   11 ) Jay Ajayi (MIA) RB6   12 ) DeMarco Murray (TEN) RB7   13 ) Michael Thomas (NO) WR7   14 ) Devonta Freeman (ATL) RB8   15 ) Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) RB9   Tier 3 - Remaining WR1s, Potential RB1s, and Gronk ($38 - $45)   16 ) Dez Bryant (DAL) WR8   17 ) Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE1   18 ) Todd Gurley (LAR) RB10   19 ) DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) WR9   20 ) Amari Cooper (OAK) WR10   21 ) Brandin Cooks (NE) WR11   22 ) Isaiah Crowell (CLE) RB11   23 ) TY Hilton (IND) WR12   24 ) Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR13   25 ) Doug Baldwin (SEA) WR14   Tier 4 - High-End RB2 and WRs (with No.1 upside), Elite TEs ($25 - $35)   26 ) Jordan Howard (CHI) RB11   27 ) Marshawn Lynch (OAK) RB12   28 ) Tyreek Hill (KC) WR15   29 ) Keenan Allen (LAC) WR16   30 ) Martavis Bryant (PIT) WR17   31 ) Davante Adams (GB) WR18   32 ) Terrelle Pryor (WAS) WR19   33 ) Ty Montgomery (GB) RB13   34 ) Christian McCaffrey (CAR) RB14   35 ) Dalvin Cook (MIN) RB15   36 ) Joe Mixon (CIN) RB16   37 ) Leonard Fournette (JAX) RB17   38 ) Lamar Miller (HOU) RB18   39 ) Travis Kelce (KC) TE2   40 ) Michael Crabtree (OAK) WR20   41 ) Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) WR21   42 ) Carlos Hyde (SF) RB19   Tier 5 - Remaining #2 RB & WR options, elite QBs, High-End TE1s ($15 - $25)   43 ) Tom Brady (NE) QB1   44 ) Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB2   45 ) Bilal Powell (NYJ) RB20   46 ) Mark Ingram (NO) RB21   47 ) Eric Decker (TEN) WR22   48 ) Jordan Reed (WAS) TE3   49 ) Golden Tate (DET) WR23   50 ) Alshon Jeffery (PHI) WR24   51 ) Allen Robinson (JAX) WR25   52 ) Greg Olsen (CAR) TE4   53 ) DeSean Jackson (TB) WR26   54 ) Doug Martin (TB) RB22   55 ) Adrian Peterson (NO) RB23   56 ) Spencer Ware (KC) RB24   57 ) Willie Snead (NO) WR27   58 ) Danny Woodhead (BAL) RB25   59 ) Jamison Crowder (WAS) WR28   60 ) Sammy Watkins (LAC) WR29   61 ) Tevin Coleman (ATL) RB26   62 ) Mike Gillislee (NE) RB27   63 ) Jimmy Graham (SEA) TE5   64 ) Tyler Eifert (CIN) TE6   Tier 6 - Flex RBs, Upside WR3s, Quality TE1s and Elite QB ($10 - $15   65 ) Kelvin Banjamin (CAR) WR30   66 ) Julian Edelman (NE) WR31   67 ) Rob Kelley (WAS) RB28   68 ) Theo Riddick (DET) RB29   69 ) Stefon Diggs (MIN) WR32   70 ) Brandon Marshall (NYG) WR33   71 ) Jarvis Landry (MIA) WR34   72 ) DeVante Parker(MIA) WR35   73 ) LeGarrette Blount (PHI) RB30   74 ) Ameer Abdullah (DET) RB31   75 ) CJ Anderson (DEN) RB32   76 ) Zach Ertz (PHI) TE7   77 ) Hunter Henry (LAC) TE8   78 ) Martellus Bennett (GB) TE9   79 ) Jeremy Maclin (BAL) WR36   80 ) Cameron Meredith (CHI) WR37   81 ) Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) WR38   82 ) Pierre Garcon (SF) WR39   83 ) Drew Brees (NO) QB3   84 ) Matt Ryan (ATL) QB4   85 ) Delanie Walker (TEN) TE10   Tier 7 -Elite Bench Plays, Last Startable WRs and RBs, Quality QB1s   86 ) Derrick Henry (TEN) RB33   87 ) CJ Prosise (SEA) RB34   88 ) Donte Moncrief (IND) WR40   89 ) Terrance West (BAL) RB35   90 ) Thomas Rawls (SEA) RB36   91 ) James White (NE) RB37   92 ) Tyrell Williams (LAC) WR41   93 ) Randall Cobb (GB) WR42   94 ) Corey Davis (TEN) WR43   95 ) Frank Gore (IND) RB38   96 ) Jonathan Stewart (CR) RB39   97 ) Paul Perkins (NYG) RB40   98 ) Derek Carr (OAK) QB5   99 ) Jameis Winston (TB) QB6   100 ) Marcus Mariota (TEN) QB7   101 ) Kirk Cousins (WAS) QB8   102 ) Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) QB9   103 ) Philip Rivers (LAC) QB10   104 ) Cam Newton (CAR) QB11   105 ) Dak Prescott (DAL) QB12   106 ) Russell Wilson (SEA) QB13   107 ) Duke Johnson (CLE) RB41   108 ) Kareem Hunt (KC) RB42   109 ) Andrew Luck (IND) QB14   110 ) Tyrod Taylor (BUF) QB15   111 ) Jack Doyle (IND) TE10   112 ) Kyle Rudolph (MIN) TE11   Tier 7 - High End "Penny Stock" Bench Assets   113 ) Jamaal Williams (GB) RB43   114 ) Eddie Lacy (SEA) RB44   115 ) Joe Williams (SF) RB45   116 ) Robby Anderson (NYJ) WR44   117 ) Zay Jones (BUF) WR45   118 ) John Brown (ARI) WR46   119 ) Jamaal Charles (DEN) RB46   120 ) Eric Ebron (DET) TE13   121 ) D'Onta Foreman (HOU) RB47   122 ) Taylor Gabriel (ATL) WR47   123 ) Jacquizz Rodgers (TB) RB48   124 ) Darren Sproles (PHI) RB49   125 ) Marvin Jones (DET) WR48   126 ) Ted Ginn Jr (NO) WR49   127 ) Mike Wallace (BAL) WR50   128 ) Kenny Golladay (DET) WR51   129 ) Jonathan Williams (BUF) RB50   130 ) Alvin Kamara (NO) RB51   131 ) Samaje Perine (WAS) RB52   Tier 8 - Remaining "Penny Stocks" to consider   132 ) Josh Docston (WAS) WR52   133 ) Corey Coleman (CLE) WR53   134 ) Adam Thielen (MIN) WR54   135 ) Marlon Mack (IND) RB53   136 ) Julius Thomas (MIA) TE14   137 ) Austin Hooper (ATL) TE15   138 ) Jared Cook (OAK) TE16   139 ) OJ Howard (TB) TE17   140 ) Eli Manning (NYG) QB16   141 ) Andy Dalton (CIN) QB17   142 ) Matthew Stafford (DET) QB18   143 ) Carson Palmer (ARI) QB19   144 ) Matt Forte (NYJ) RB54   145 ) Branden Oliver (LAC) RB55   146 ) Kenny Britt (CLE) WR57   147 ) Cordarelle Patterson (OAK) WR58   148 ) Rex Burkhead (NE) RB56   149 ) Tarik Cohen (CHI) RB57   150 ) Nelson Agholor (PHI) WR59  

Fantasy Football Breakouts 2016: The Next Tyler Eifert

On that chase for the next big fantasy football breakout? Aren’t we all. Welcome to The Next _____ series, where we’ll profile 2015’s season-winning leapers, examine what factors led to the statistical explosion, and what players project for similar jumps in 2016.


Installment One: The Next Allen Robinson

Installment Two: The Next David Johnson

Installment Three: The Next Tyler Eifert

Breakout Label: Fringe TE1 Candidate Explodes into the Elite

Tyler Eifert’s breakout profile: Though Eifert had the size (6’6″, 250 lbs) and athleticism (topped all combine drills in 2014) to be a terror at tight end, an elbow injury cost him his entire sophomore season and sent his breakout campaign into a screeching halt. Throughout 2015’s training camp, however, Eifert quickly regained form and flashed his upside once again, reportedly dominating defensive backs in drills and catching everything in sight. Despite the positive stories, injury concerns and overall skepticism kept Eifert’s price in the late 8th, early 9th rounds as the ninth tight end off the board.  When the entire Bengals offense took a step forward and frequented the red zone under creative play caller Hue Jackson, Eifert’s size and leaping ability were finally maximized: the Notre Dame product hauled in 13 scores in only 13 games and ascended to the truly elite TE group.

Favorite Bet = Gary Barnidge (Cleveland Browns)

Important Parallels

#1 Absurd Size / Speed combination 

Part of what made Eifert so dangerous, especially in the red zone, was his dangerous mix of a massive frame with unnatural speed. In fact, in 2014 Eifert led the combine in all meaningful measurables.

Consider this:

Photos courtesy of NFL.com’s Scouting Profiles

Barnidge, who also stands at an imposing 6’6″ but is slightly lighter at 235 lbs, bests Eifert in all categories but leaping ability…meaning Gary Barnidge would’ve ranked tied or atop five of seven 2014 Combine Categories.  Mind. Blown.

Yes, I too am wondering why this type of athleticism has rotted in a blocking role in Carolina and Cleveland for seven NFL seasons. Particularly when you see the types of plays the guy can make with his ridiculous hands and enormous catch radius. Just check out the tape from his NFL Top 100, where he was recognized by his peers among the best talents in the league:

The fades, outs, slants —  Barnidge executed them all, using that rebounding background and enormous frame to his advantage. Beyond just the red zone, Barnidge also terrorized the seams with his deep speed, often giving teams that “too-fast-for-a-linebacker, but too big for a safety” type of nightmare cover.

This ridiculous mismatch is especially enticing because we know it will be maximized in…

Parallel #2: Hue Jackson’s Offensive System 

Is it not too perfect that 2016’s Eigth Round TE breakout will be facilitated through the same offensive system? Hue Jackson is a bright offensive mind who has long squeezed the most out of his talent and skill sets; given how similar Barnidge and Eifert are physically, we can expect Barnidge to be employed almost identically.  Not that Barnidge hurt for usage in 2015, as his 123 targets bested all but Delanie Walker among tight ends while his 23 red zone looks tied for second among all players, behind only Eric Decker’s 28. In fact, the volume itself is almost certain to regress.

What seems bound to improve, however, are the quality of Barnidge’s looks. In 2015, Eifert and fellow stud Delanie Walker tied for the league lead (including WRs) for success in the red zone, converting 80% of their 15 red zone targets into 12 catches; Eifert himself turned these into 106 yards and 11 TDs. Sure, a major part of this was Eifert’s sheer ability, but Hue Jackson’s offensive genius has to be given some serious credit.  In reviewing the tape, many of Barnidge’s 2015 red zone looks were last-second panic chucks into heavy coverage , which created abysmal efficiency ratings. With better play calling, as well as the addition of explosive rookie Corey Coleman and eventual return of Josh Gordon, Barnidge should find more room to roam and increase his efficiency tremendously; thus, even if the volume dips, Barnidge should be considered a safe bet to match or improve his 9 TDs from last season.

Bottom Line

Calling Barnidge a breakout hardly seems fair after he literally came out of nowhere in 2015 for 79 catches, 1043 yards, and 9 TDs. Yet, going at pick #93 overall in FantasyPros composite ADP, the fantasy community clearly does not believe. When a player blocks for 7 years and then explodes for Pro Bowl stats, skepticism is fair.

The tape, however, shows Barnidge is no fluke. Yes, some reception and yardage regression are definitely possible as Barnidge slides from option #1 to #3 on the target totem pole. Yet, with improved play calling under Hue Jackson and more surrounding weapons, this offense should take a step forward. Thus, Barnidge should see higher quality targets, particularly those in the red zone where his impressive catch radius and uncoverable size are most effective. The decrease in quantity will be minimized by the increase in quality, and Barnidge’s numbers should look highly similar, or even slightly better, than his monstrous 2015.

Projection: 75 receptions, 975 yards, 11 TDs

Favorite Tight End Value = Martellus Bennett (New England Patriots)

While I clearly love Barnidge, New England’s monstrous new weapon is my favorite fantasy tight end to target because of a similar, perhaps even higher, ceiling but a price 60 picks cheaper (TE14, 147 overall).  Covered in greater length here, Bennett is indeed using his 6’6″, 275 lb frame to dominate in the red zone. Yet, even more encouragingly, Bennett is terrorizing safeties all over the field — local papers report Bennett racking up targets and receptions throughout Two Minute drills, while Brady and Garoppolo spend time every practice working off to the side with Gronk and Bennett to build chemistry on the entire route tree.

Behind a revenge driven Brady, the Patriots’ offense should be among the highest scoring juggernauts in the league and the massive Bennett should make a major dent in those numbers. He’s going to feast against single coverage / the defense’s third options amidst such an explosive surrounding cast, which will be particularly threatening in the Red Zone. No one can place a ball better than Tom Our Savior, and Bennett will come down with plenty of perfectly thrown balls even if defenders are near. New England could easily boast two top-five fantasy tight ends in 2016 with these Towers of Terror, and Bennett has a real shot at 12 TDs. That this type of upside is available beyond Round 12 is criminal.

Other names to consider

Julius Thomas (Jacksonville Jaguars) & Ladarius Green (Pittsburgh Steelers): I lump these two together because of three crucial similarities:

1) Massive frames and solid athleticism

2) Explosive offenses that’ll frequent the red zone

3) Quarterbacks talented enough to place the ball where only their 6’5″ frame can get it

Thomas gets the slight nod, as he’s finally at full health and was reportedly “unstoppable” at OTAs. Ladarius Green, meanwhile, has the more talented quarterback and an easier path to targets, but hasn’t been able to get onto the field at camp and remains a lesser-established product. Nonetheless, both carry double digit TD upside in Round 9 and beyond, making them worthy contenders in The Next Tyler Eifert contest.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Fantasy Football Breakouts 2016: The Next DeAndre Hopkins

  2. Tori

    May 20, 2017 at 6:27 am

    i was going to comment about your frame (which is adorable) but i have to ask instead- is your blog playing &qudo;oawn&qutt; from pride and prejudice? this is the music i had as my wedding processional! i'm in love all over again 🙂

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