Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2015 Positional Rankings now posted (Round 1)

They're heeeeere!

The Fantasy Fools' 2015 rankings by position -- QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs, Ks, DSTs and Top 100 -- are now posted for your draft preparation and dominance.

Long-time followers will notice something new this year... I've gone over to the dark side and am charging for my rankings. A whopping $0.99 per list -- all updates included for the entire preseason. If you buy them all, that's $6.93 for everything.

This is the first time in nearly 10 years that I've charged you Fools for anything. How many of you have texted, emailed, tweeted and otherwise thanked me for the advice that led you to a title? Here's your chance to put your money where your mouth is!

Here's the deal...I promise that if you support me by purchasing my rankings, I won't bump up the price for at least five years! (Frankly, probably never; but let's never say never, ok?)

Why now? Well, it could have something to do with the fact that the Fool has two kids in college. It could have something to do with how little newspapers are paying for content these days. But it has a lot to do with the time and effort I put into these rankings when, frankly, nobody is paying for them.

So whaddya say, Fools? Are you with me?

Again, if you pay for them once, I'll send you the next two updates (or however many updates there are) for free. Such a deal!

Get them now at https://www.scribd.com/laddbiro.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Preseason Column #3: Don’t sleep on these players with upside

It’s the time of year when fantasy enthusiasts obsess over draft order and which players will be available when the time comes to make that fateful first-round pick. Adrian or Jamaal? Luck or Rodgers? OBJ or Megatron?

But as important as your initial pick can be, it pales in comparison to the handful of selections you’ll make – or miss – several rounds later.  After all, as happy as you may be to land C.J. Anderson, Justin Forsett or Odell Beckham, Jr. now, they won’t be the bargains they were last year for the savvy players that stole them late and rode them into the postseason.

Fantasy veterans know the secret to great drafting is not simply choosing the best players available, but doing so no earlier than necessary. You may share my belief that Ryan Tannehill is on the verge of a breakout season; but you’re hurting yourself – and, worse yet, begging for ridicule from your opponents – if you pull the trigger too early. 

Who are this year’s hidden gems?  Let’s take a look at my Sleeper Picks of 2015, broken down by position.

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals. With an aging Larry Fitzgerald and two young speedsters in his receiving arsenal, Palmer is always a threat to put up QB1 numbers. Of course, health is his bugaboo; but as long as he’s upright, he’ll be slinging it.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins. If you believe in career progression, Tannehill is your guy. He has shown significant improvement in each of his first three seasons, and with a slew of veteran playmakers at his disposal, he has a chance to dabble in elite territory.

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams. Everyone recognizes his potential. The question is how soon Gurley will be worked into a significant share of the workload. Once he’s fully healthy, he should be an every-week fantasy starter and could be an invaluable weapon in your championship run.

Charles Sims, RB, Buccaneers. Go ahead and buy the hype on Doug Martin returning to form. I’ve seen enough. (By the way, his “elite form” as a rookie was mostly a mirage.) Sims is a big, strong runner with excellent hands, and he excelled last year behind the same line that Martin struggled with. Look for Sims to win the starting job early in the season and become a solid week-to-week fantasy play.

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions. The rookie has been wowing the Lions ever since he arrived in camp. With starter Joique Bell recovering from a pair of leg injuries, Abdullah has earned Reggie Bush’s previous touches, at worst. He could even make a play for a starting gig.

Jonas Gray, RB, Patriots. Sports Illustrated cover boy one day, in Bill Belichick’s doghouse the next. Gray’s slate has been wiped clean and he is expected to start in Week 1 while LeGarrette Blount serves his suspension. If the second-year grinder excels, he could earn a prominent, even starting, role going forward.

Davante Adams, WR, Packers. With Jordy Nelson (knee) presumably lost for the season, it’s no secret that Adams is the next man up. He was already having a strong camp and was expected to play a bigger role in the offense. Now, it’s go time.

Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers. Martavis Bryant is getting all the attention as the presumed No. 2 behind Antonio Brown, but Wheaton could very well emerge as a starter. He has not been a big red-zone threat to date, but he has massive upside in Pittsburgh’s high-octane offense as a late-round flier.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins. Landry is the only starting receiver remaining from last season, and his rapport with Tannehill was undeniable. Expect him to be the go-to target again, while the speedier wideouts take the heat off his inside routes.

Brian Quick, WR, Rams. He was having a breakout season last year before a shoulder injury derailed him. Quick is clearly the class of St. Louis’ receiving corps, but he has yet to spend quality time with Nick Foles. Grab him late and stash him away for when he connects with his new quarterback.

Owen Daniels, TE, Broncos. Julius Thomas was a nobody before he went to Denver. Daniels isn’t a nobody, but he has never lived up to expectations. Peyton Manning could change that overnight.

Josh Hill, TE, Saints. Only 10 tight ends collected more TD catches than Hill’s five in 2014, and he was a backup. Hill has the talent to emerge as the starter over Ben Watson. He’s worth a late-round flier as Jimmy Graham’s replacement.

Next week: My oft-imitated, always controversial, yet magically delicious Perfect Draft.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Preseason Column #2: Which rookies can juice up your roster?

The 2014 season will forever be remembered as “The Year of the Rookie Wideout,” with Odell Beckham, Jr. setting the pace and leading this grateful reporter to one, and nearly a second, fantasy championship – despite missing the first four games of his career.

Last year’s freshman WR class also featured Top 25 campaigns by Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin and Jordan Matthews, while Sammy Watkins and Jarvis Landry pitched in meaningfully to their fantasy owners. My crack research staff tells me this rookie receiving bounty was a first in modern fantasy times.

Meanwhile, no first-year quarterback or tight end made his mark in Fantasyland, while only Jeremy Hill finished the season in the Top 25 RB ranks.

So what does 2015 have in store? Are we about to witness another bumper crop of rookie wideouts, or will we return to normalcy?

Remember that when evaluating the fantasy potential of any rookie, talent is rarely the most decisive factor. More relevant is the opportunity presented to the player, which is also a multi-faceted equation.

Does the rookie have a clear path to a starting gig? Will he join a high-powered offense, or one whose punter is its most lethal weapon? Is he healthy heading into the season, or has he missed invaluable preseason reps due to nagging injuries?

With these variables in mind, let’s examine the Class of 2015 and assess its members’ likelihood of soaring during their inaugural seasons.

CREAM OF THE CROP

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams. He has everything you’d ever want in a franchise back, except a clean bill of health. Gurley is expected to miss some regular season games while he fights back from the serious knee injury that derailed his final season in Georgia. He comes with risk, but also superstar upside.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers. This rookie dazzled with his explosiveness in Wisconsin, but he’s been criticized for his shaky pass-protection skills and bouts of fumblitis. Gordon is also expected to give way to Danny Woodhead on passing downs. Invest in him as a backup, not a week-to-week starter.

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions. Hailed for his quickness, rather than blazing straight-line speed, Abdullah is expected to step into Reggie Bush’s change-of-pace role behind Joique Bell. But the injured Bell has yet to suit up during the preseason, while Abdullah is having an excellent camp. Though not considered an every-down back, Abdullah could put up very healthy fantasy stats, especially in PPR leagues.

Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders. His draft position pivots on how big a step you believe Derek Carr will take in his second year as Oakland’s quarterback. Cooper has All Pro talent, but will it be squandered in the Raiders’ perennially inept offense?

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles. Selected with the 20th overall pick to replace free agent Jeremy Maclin, Agholor steps into a high-octane offense as arguably the most talented receiver on Philly’s roster. How quickly he builds rapport with Sam Bradford, and whether the new quarterback can master Chip Kelly’s system, are the big unknowns.


LATE-ROUND FLIERS AT BEST

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers. Assuming he can put his maturity issues to rest, Winston has all the physical tools to be great in this league. But despite being blessed with two outstanding receivers, this rookie has at least a season of growing pains ahead before he’s a viable roster candidate.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans. Maybe next year. But given all the work that needs to be done with Tennessee’s offense, probably not even next year.

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars. He’s expected to start the season in a crowded backfield committee, but Yeldon has the skills to emerge as the lead back. Denard Robinson proved that Jacksonville can still produce a valuable fantasy RB, even if only in spurts; but Yeldon will ultimately be limited by his team’s lack of offensive explosiveness.

Duke Johnson, RB, Browns. At best, he earns the starting job in Cleveland. At worst, his preseason hamstring injury lingers and he’s relegated to spot duty behind Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. I just don’t see enough upside to consider Johnson anything better than a late-round desperation pick.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons. Once thought to be the heir apparent to Steven Jackson, Coleman’s progress has been disrupted by a bum hammy. Once he returns, he’ll have to earn his carries and there’s no guarantee he’ll make much of a mark as a rookie.

DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins. Following early-June foot surgery, Parker is expected to miss the entire preseason and will need to work his way onto the field once he’s healthy. Be leery of comparisons to Beckham, Jr., and his extraordinary debut after missing the first four weeks of his rookie season. Parker has great talent, but OBJ is a once-in-a-generation freak.

Phillip Dorsett, WR, Colts. He’s a first-round talent with blazing speed, and he appears to be a lock for the third-WR role in Indy. But barring injury to a starter, Dorsett’s fantasy value will be limited to weekly boom or bust status.

Breshad Perriman, WR, Ravens. You hate to dismiss any talented receiver’s chances on the heels of “The Year of the Rookie Wideout,” but Perriman has been hampered by a knee injury in camp and he isn’t exactly joining a pass-happy offense.

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Titans. He’s had a rough camp, highlighted by multiple drops, and he’ll be catching passes from another rookie learning his way. DGB and Mariota could have a nice future ahead of them, but the operative word here is “future.”

Kevin White, WR, Bears. White is this year’s Exhibit A for why you shouldn’t hold your draft too early. On Saturday, we learned the explosive game-changer will have shin surgery and will start the season on the PUP list, meaning he’ll miss the first six weeks, at least. Worse yet, Chicago may choose to hold him out the entire season.

Next week: My Sleeper picks for the 2015 season.



Monday, August 10, 2015

Preseason Column #1: Old faces in new places

Quick: Where will Reggie Bush be taking handoffs this season? Whose uniform is Jeremy Maclin now wearing? Which city’s fans will Percy Harvin disappoint this year? Can you name the new starting cast in Philadelphia?

Once again, before we can get serious about another year of fantasy draft prep, we must pause to examine the NFL’s shifted landscape. Heck, I’ve been tracking all the offseason moves on the Fantasy Fools blog since February, and I’m a lifelong Dolphins fan; but until I started writing this week’s column, I had forgotten that my hometown team had acquired once-and-hopefully future fantasy stud Jordan Cameron to upgrade their tight end position.

That said, history shows that Cameron must defy some pretty long odds if he is to prosper with his new team. Simply put, it just doesn’t happen very often.

In 2014, only five of the 30-plus marquee names that swapped uniforms in the previous offseason appreciably improved their fantasy fortunes with their new teams. Emmanuel Sanders was the most obvious, and predictable, beneficiary of his improved scenery. Steve Smith and Golden Tate also fared better, Brandon LaFell found favor in Tom Brady’s eyes, and Justin Forsett turned Ray Rice’s implosion into a Cinderella season in Baltimore.

But the list of players who crashed and burned in their new cities was much more exhaustive, headlined by once-proud fantasy stars like Chris Johnson, Knowshon Moreno, Maurice Jones-Drew and Stevie Johnson. And in a result that should have surprised no one, Eric Decker lost all radar contact when he left the Broncos for the Jets. Are you listening, Brandon Marshall?

Will this year’s carpetbagger class fare any better? Don’t count on it. Here’s our quick look at the most significant offseason moves of 2015, categorized by the projected year-over-year impact on each player’s fantasy value.

MOVIN’ ON UP  Look for improved production from these four.

Sam Bradford, QB, Eagles – If he can simply manage to play the whole season, he’ll improve upon last year’s abbreviated stats. But Bradford has yet to put up QB1 numbers in any of his first four campaigns, and I don’t see that changing now.

Nick Foles, QB, Rams – Like Bradford, his season was cut short by injury (before it was cut short by poor play). His magical 2013 run seems like ancient history.

Jordan Cameron, TE, Dolphins – The gifted receiver has been plagued by concussions, and another one could doom his career in Miami. But if he manages to stay healthy, Cameron could return to Pro Bowl form.

Owen Daniels, TE, Broncos – Daniels has never performed up to expectations; but when you step into a plum job like this, magic can happen. He won’t be the next Julius Thomas, but he should be a mid-level fantasy starter.


LOOK OUT BELOW  These players will be hard-pressed to match last year’s results.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Eagles – There’s only one direction for the 2014 rushing champ to go, and it’s not up. Philly emptied the vault for a good back one year too late.

LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills – Despite what felt like a bust season, Shady finished just outside the Top 10 fantasy ranks in 2014. But while Buffalo’s offensive line has made lesser talents like C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson look very good at times, the low-scoring offense won’t be kind to McCoy.

Frank Gore, RB, Colts – He certainly improved his chances of hoisting a Lombardi Trophy, but the perennially underrated back will be hard-pressed to put up another 1,000-yard season in Indy.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Steelers – Give him the first two weeks while Le’Veon Bell is suspended, then say farewell.

Chris Johnson, RB, F/A – It seems likely that some team (Dallas, perhaps) will take a flier on CJ.6K before or during the season. But like Steven Jackson, Pierre Thomas and Ahmad Bradshaw, his career may be over sooner than he hoped.

Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets – See Decker, Eric, 2014 season.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs – He caught 10 TD passes with the Eagles last year. That’s 10 more than any receiver in Kansas City. So which direction do you think Maclin’s arrow is pointing?

Mike Wallace, WR, Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater will need to have a breakout season for Wallace to be anything more than a week-to-week fantasy starter.

Torrey Smith, WR, 49ers – Joe Flacco tried to make him a star, but that never materialized. He’ll take a step back in the 49ers’ retooled offense.

Percy Harvin, WR, Bills – If an overrated receiver moves from one lackluster offense to another, does he make a sound?

Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks – If you think Graham will score double-digit TDs in Seattle this year, I’ve got some prime real estate in the Big Easy I’d like to offer you.

Julius Thomas, TE, Jaguars – Let’s hope he invests his money well, because we may never hear the words “Touchdown, Julius Thomas!” again.


CALL IT A WASH  For better or worse – mostly worse – these players should post comparable results to last season.

Josh McCown, QB, Browns – Remember when McCown put up those impressive numbers in relief of Jay Cutler? No, I don’t either.

Brian Hoyer, QB, Texans – Will he win Houston’s starting gig? Will anyone care?

Reggie Bush, RB, 49ers – He’s probably best utilized as a change-of-pace back now, and that’s what he’ll do with Carlos Hyde carrying the load in San Francisco.

Stevan Ridley, RB, Jets – He’s attempting to return from a knee injury that cost him the majority of his 2014 season. With only Chris Ivory above him on the depth chart, a healthy Ridley offers upside. But don’t bet on it.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles – At least this year when he succumbs to injury, you won’t curse him.

Trent Richardson, RB, Raiders – Indy dropped him the day after Gore arrived. Gee, I never saw that coming. The incredible, shrinking Richardson may not even make Oakland’s final roster.

C.J. Spiller, RB, Saints – He’s had trouble staying healthy, and New Orleans’ offense doesn’t exactly showcase the run.

Darren McFadden, RB, Cowboys – Now that he’s out of Oakland, surely Run-DMC will escape the injury bug that has plagued his career. Wait, what’s that you say? Hurt already? Never mind.

Andre Johnson, WR, Colts – If only he had made this move a few years ago. Indy is the right place at the wrong time for the future Hall of Famer.

Kenny Stills, WR, Dolphins – He rarely made an impact with Drew Brees as his quarterback. Even with a bigger role in Miami, Stills is an unlikely breakout candidate.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Browns – I’ll bet he finds the end zone this year. Once or twice.

Greg Jennings, WR, Dolphins – There won’t be enough balls to go around to everyone in Miami’s revamped receiving corps. Jennings looks like the odd man out.


OFF THE RADAR – We expect to refer to these players strictly in the past tense from now on.

QBs: Ryan Fitzpatrick (Giants), Matt Cassel (Bills), Christian Ponder (Raiders), Matt Schaub (Ravens)

RBs: Steven Jackson (F/A), Ahmad Bradshaw (F/A), Pierre Thomas (F/A), Shane Vereen (Giants), Bernard Pierce (Jaguars), Travaris Cadet (Patriots), Jacquizz Rodgers (Bears), Shonn Greene (F/A)

WRs: Wes Welker (F/A), James Jones (Giants), Stevie Johnson (Chargers), Hakeem Nicks (Titans), Nate Washington (Texans), Lance Moore (Lions), Harry Douglas (Titans), Jarrett Boykin (Panthers), Cecil Shorts (Texans), Miles Austin (Eagles), Brian Hartline (Browns), Brandon Gibson (Patriots), Eddie Royal (Bears), Denarius Moore (Bengals)

Next week: A look at the 2015 Rookie Class.


Ladd Biro is a two-time winner and four-time finalist of the Football Writer of the Year Award by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Follow all his advice daily at the Fantasy Fools blog (fantasy-fools.blogspot.com), on Facebook and via Twitter (@ladd_biro).




Monday, June 22, 2015

Q&A with Fantasy Stud Justin Forsett

I recently had the opportunity to spend a few minutes chatting with Ravens RB Justin Forsett. I told him I only wanted to talk fantasy football, and he was kind enough to agree. There are several revealing insights in this Q&A that I think every Fool will find interesting. Enjoy.


Question from The Chief Fool: 2014 was obviously a career year for you, Justin. Congratulations. I know you have a lot of confidence in yourself, like all athletes do, but honestly…were you as surprised as everyone else with your breakout season? Did you see it coming?

Answer from Forsett: I wasn't surprised once I got the opportunity. I knew I could do it if I ever got one. But the opportunity came open in an unfortunate way [The Ray Race incident], so I decided to take it and run with it. That was definitely a blessing last year.


Q: So why do you think it took until your seventh year to get that opportunity?

A: Well, I played with some great running backs when I came in. I was behind TJ Duckett and Julius Jones in Seattle – two guys they had just signed in free agency – so I was coming in as a returner guy, special teams guy, helping out on third down… Then toward the end of my career there, they brought in Marshawn Lynch, and he’s a pretty solid player…[Chuckles]

And in Houston, there was Arian Foster. In Jacksonville, Maurice Jones-Drew, so there were a lot of good players. 

Another thing is my size. No one could overlook the fact that I’m 5’8”, 198 lbs. When you’re my size, you can get placed in a box easy. Some people won’t give you a chance. They just put you in a box…you’re a third down guy, scat back, change of pace guy and special teams guy. So, I never really had the opportunity to do a full-time thing. Last year I did, and it worked out well.

Q: With the arrival of Marc Trestman, how do you think your role is going to change this year? Everybody thinks you’re going to get a lot more looks in the passing game. Does that sound right?

A: I’m excited about his offense, with [Trestman's] track record and seeing what he did last year with Matt Forte. I’m going to be able to show a little more versatility, be able to line up and catch passes out of the backfield, as well as run the ball like we did last year. So I’m excited about the expanded role.

Q: So you’ve got a new rookie there. Do you think Buck [Javorius Allen] is going to get a lot of playing time? One of the things fantasy football players most want to know when we get to draft time is are you going to be the workhorse back or do you think you’ll be part of a committee?

A: For one, I think Buck is going to be a great player for us. But we’ve got a stable of backs here with Lorenzo Taliaferro, Fitzgerald Toissaint and Terrence Magee that we got and he looks really good as well. So we’ll see how it all shakes out but I’m confident I can have a better year than I did last year.

Q: Should we worry that you're hitting 30 this year, that dreaded age for RBs, or do you think you’ve still got a lot left in the tank?

A: I think I have a lot left in the tank. I’ve been blessed throughout my career to not have much wear and tear and not many injuries, and staying healthy, so I feel good. I may be 29, turning 30 in October, but my legs are 26 and I’m feeling good!

Q: Are you a fantasy football guy at all? Have you ever played?

A: Nah, I tried it once about four years ago, but it was just too much work to keep track…

Q: Okay, but you’re a little bit familiar with it at least. So you were the #8-ranked RB in fantasy football last season. Should you be a first-round draft pick this year? You think you’re going to be up there in that same class again?

A: I believe so. If it was me picking, I may be a little biased, but definitely I’m expecting greater things and working harder toward that goal and I don’t see anything that will stop that, Lord willing.

Q: Last question. You just had your breakout year. Tell me somebody on the Ravens that you think is going to have a breakout year in 2015. Somebody who might surprise us.

A: Hmm…might surprise you…I wouldn’t be surprised if Lorenzo Taliaferro was the guy.

Q: Really? Why do you say that?

A: Just because he’s been working hard, he’s a young guy, with the opportunities he had last year, he did well. I think we have a great stable here and he’s one of the young guys I’m taking under my wing and if he gets the opportunity, I think he’s gonna do well.

[For the record, I didn't think it was appropriate to debate his somewhat contradictory predictions that he (Forsett) was worth a 1st-round pick and that Taliaferro was in for a breakout season...]

Fantasy Fools thanks Justin Forsett for this interview. Hopefully there will be more like this to come prior to the beginning of the preseason.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Drew Brees lines up with Walk-On's

Because some of you care about these things, and it's a long offseason...and not least of which because in my day job, Walk-On's is one of my PR clients...I thought I'd share this major announcement involving a fantasy superstar. Drew assures me his new venture will not negatively affect his fantasy performance in 2015 and beyond...


Drew Brees Joins the Walk-On’s Team
Saints star and wife buy in as co-owners of ‘Best Sports Bar in North America’

NEW ORLEANS, LA (May 20, 2015) – Drew Brees knows a winning team when he sees one. So when he and wife Brittany saw that Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar in New Orleans had been voted “Best Sports Bar in North America” by ESPN, they were immediately intrigued.

Today, Brittany and Drew Brees announced that they have reached an agreement to become co-owners of Walk-On’s Enterprises, the company that created and now operates the popular Walk-On’s sports bar chain, as well as its sister concepts, Happy’s Irish Pub and Walk-On’s Catering.

“When I first stepped into Walk-On’s, I was impressed by its culture, environment and the quality of the food,” said the All Pro NFL and New Orleans Saints quarterback. “Walk-On’s is unique in that it’s a great place to bring my family, teammates and business colleagues. Brandon [Landry] and his team have built something truly special, and we are excited to join them as we look to expand the brand across the nation.”

The agreement, which had been in the works for several months, was finalized on May 18. Financial terms will remain confidential.

“When you consider all the people we could have associated our brand with, there is absolutely no one I can think of that would be higher on our wish list than Brittany and Drew,” said Landry, co-founder and owner of Walk-On’s Enterprises. “I’ve been impressed by their business savvy and the vision they have for the brand. I’m very fortunate and honored to call the Breeses my partners.”

Brittany Brees stressed that Walk-On’s Louisiana roots were an important factor in their decision to buy into the company.

“Drew and I consider New Orleans to be our home now, so we love the idea of investing in a Louisiana-based brand that is so well respected in its industry,” she said. “We’ve done our homework and we truly believe Walk-On’s has the potential to become a successful national chain.”

Drew noted that he will play an active role in Walk-On’s as the company prepares to take the brand national.  

“We’re not just passive investors. Brittany and I are committed to working closely with Brandon and the team to do whatever we can to contribute to Walk-On’s success going forward,” said Brees. “I think we’re going to have a lot of fun, and celebrate a lot of wins, in the years ahead.”

Walk-On’s Enterprises recently announced its first franchise agreement in Lake Charles, La., as well as a new company-owned restaurant under construction in Houma. Additional markets are expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks. Walk-On’s currently has four locations – two in Baton Rouge and one each in New Orleans and Lafayette.


ABOUT WALK-ON’S ENTERPRISES
Walk-On’s Enterprises is arguably the most distinctive restaurant company in America. Its concepts are fresh, fun and original, from Walk-On's Bistreaux & BarSM — voted ESPN's “Best Sports Bar in North America” in 2012 — to Happy's Irish Pub and Walk-On’s Catering. Additional growth lies ahead, as the company expands on its winning combination of delicious, affordable food and drinks presented in an uncommonly warm and friendly atmosphere. For more information, visit www.walkonsenterprises.com, or contact Ladd Biro at Champion Management at lbiro@championmgt.com or 972.930.9933.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Offseason moves of note


It's that time of year again, when NFL players shake, rattle and roll on to what they hope will be greener pastures. Most often, bigger bucks don't translate to better performance; so keep that in mind once draft time approaches.

As we do every season, we'll be tracking all the free-agent moves, trades, releases and other news affecting offensive players of note. Please let me know if I've missed anyone. We only report on done deals, though, so we won't post news until it's confirmed.

As of June 17, here's your update on who has relocated or is out looking for work:

QBs
Sam Bradford, Eagles - Traded by the Rams in exchange for Nick Foles.
Nick Foles, Rams - See above.
Josh McCown, Browns - Former Bear and Buc signed a free-agent contact with the QB-starved Browns.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets - Former Texan could be new #2 in New York.
Matt Cassel, Bills - Traded from the Vikings.
Christian Ponder, Raiders - Ex-Vike will backup Derek Carr.
Shaun Hill, Vikings - Former Ram will play backup role in Minnesota.
Brian Hoyer, Texans - Heads south from Cleveland.
Matt Schaub, Ravens - Cut by the Raiders. That's never good. Will backup Flacco.
Tim Tebow, Eagles - Chip Kelly will pray he never sees the field.
Josh Freeman, Dolphins - Vagabond QB will try to stick in Miami as a clipboard-holder.
Jake Locker - Announced his retirement. 

RBs
LeSean McCoy, Bills - After one subpar season, and several stellar ones, traded by the Eagles to Buffalo.
DeMarco Murray, Eagles - Reigning NFL rushing champ defects to Cowboys' rivals.
Frank Gore, Colts - Former Niner will try to find a workhorse role in Indy.
C.J. Spiller, Saints - So much for clarity in the New Orleans backfield.
Trent Richardson, Raiders - Dropped by Indy the day after Gore arrived. Gee, never saw that coming... Lands in Oakland.
Darren McFadden, Cowboys - Will try not to get hurt while competing for Murray's old carries.
Steven Jackson - Lost a step, then lost his job in Atlanta.
Stevan Ridley, Jets - The turnover of New England's backfield continues, as Ridley heads to the hated division rivals.
Reggie Bush, 49ers - Cut loose by the Lions before signing in San Fran.
Ryan Mathews, Eagles - Former Charger will apparently backup Murray (and Sproles?) until he gets hurt again.
DeAngelo Williams, Steelers - Released by the Panthers before moving to Pittsburgh.
Pierre Thomas - Set free by New Orleans.
Shane Vereen, Giants - Leaves crowded New England backfield for another mess in N.Y.
Bernard Pierce, Jaguars - Waived by the Ravens after a DUI arrest. Claimed by the Jags.
Jordan Todman, Panthers - Former Jag will provide depth behind J-Stew.
Travaris Cadet, Patriots - Former Saint will presumably be part of another jumbled backfield.
Peyton Hillis - Former Madden cover boy released by the G-men.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Bears - Perennial backup will now get in line behind Forte.
Ahmad Bradshaw - Set free by the Colts.
Shonn Greene - Released by the Titans.
Maurice Jones-Drew - Signed a one-day deal to retire with the Jaguars. Farewell, MJD.

WRs
Brandon Marshall, Jets - Acquired from the Bears.
Percy Harvin, Bills - Released by the Jets after contributing, um, nada. Will try to do better in Buffalo.
Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs - Former Eagle reunites with head coach Andy Reid.
Andre Johnson, Colts - Released by the Texans in a cost-cutting move. Finds nice landing spot in Indy.
Mike Wallace, Vikings - Disgruntled former Dolphin dealt to Minnesota.
Kenny Stills, Dolphins - Traded from the Saints to fill Wallace's disgruntled cleats.
Dwayne Bowe, Browns - Released by Kansas City to sign with Cleveland.
Torrey Smith, 49ers - Follows Anquan Boldin from Baltimore to San Fran, a couple years later.
Harry Douglas - Released by the Falcons.
Jarrett Boykin, Panthers - Packer WR3 got Carolina on his mind.
Cecil Shorts, Texans - Former Jag moves to division rival.
Miles Austin, Eagles - Well-traveled WR gets one-year deal in Philly.
Brian Hartline, Browns - Released by the Dolphins and signed in Cleveland.
Brandon Gibson, Patriots - Also cut by Miami before New England scooped him up.
Eddie Royal, Bears - Moves from San Diego to Chicago.
Denarius Moore, Bengals - Fantasy flash-in-the-pan in Oakland will get another chance in Cinci.
Greg Jennings, Dolphins - Released by the Vikings in a salary cap move, but finds a warmer place to lay his head.
Hakeem Nicks, Titans - Will try to extend his career in Tennessee.
Leonard Hankerson, Falcons - Former Skin to shore up Atlanta's WR corps.
Nate Washington, Texans - Ex-Titan will probably spare us to death in Houston now.
Lance Moore - Lasted just one season with the Steelers.
Stevie Johnson, Chargers - Dumped by the 49ers. Moves down the coast.
Vincent Brown, Colts - Remember when we cared about him that time in San Diego?
Greg Little - Apparently the Bengals weren't real impressed with his six-catch season.
James Jones - Released by the Raiders post-draft.

TEs
Jimmy Graham, Seahawks - Traded by the Saints to Super Bowl losers. Book their ticket to the next one, too.
Julius Thomas, Jaguars - Cashes in in Jacksonville. But will he disappear???
Jordan Cameron, Dolphins - Escapes Cleveland for Miami. Sounds familiar.
Anthony Fasano, Titans - Cut by the Chiefs before latching on in Tennessee.
Owen Daniels, Broncos - Signed three-year deal to step into Julius Thomas' cleats.
Scott Chandler, Patriots - Released by the Bills. Will be an also-ran to Gronk in New England.
Tony Moeaki, Falcons - Former Chief lands in Atlanta.
Jacob Tamme, Falcons - Ex-Bronco will also will fight for Gonzo's old job.
Bear Pascoe, Bears - The former Falcon's signing in Chicago is of no interest save for the awesome name connection.

Ks
Shayne Graham - Set loose by the Saints.