Stock Rising- Locker

Jake Locker completed 23 of 37 passes for 299 yards and 1 passing touchdown Sunday afternoon against the San Diego Chargers.

Analysis: Locker also tacked on 68 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. This is the second consecutive game that Locker has recorded a passer rating north of 90.0, he also has 4 combined touchdowns in that two game span. You have to love that Locker isn’t turning the ball over and he’s passing the ball about thirty times per game.

Keep in mind that Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton both have bye weeks coming up so Locker is at the very least a possible fantasy option in week four. Over the past two weeks Locker has put up more fantasy points than Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Tony Romo and RG3. I’m not saying Locker can sustain his elevated level of play but he is worth serious roster consideration.

Up next for Locker is the Jets at home in week four. He is available in 85-99% of fantasy leagues and he matches up with the lowly Jags in weeks 10 and 16.

Streaming Defenses- Week 5

The Minnesota Vikings are 3-1 and their defense is a big reason why they are atop the NFC North.

Analysis: The Vikings have a week five matchup at home against the 1-3 Titans. The Vikes’ defense ranks 9th in total defense, 7th in points per game, 7th in sacks and 5th in fumble recoveries. They are only owned in about ten percent of leagues thus making them the most underrated D in fantasy football. They have absolutely dominated the Niners and Lions in consecutive weeks and now take on the lowly Titans.

On the other side of the ball you have the Titan offense which ranks 23rd in total offense, 23rd in points per game and is second to last in the NFL with a minus 6 turnover margin. Jake Locker is banged up at the moment so it appears Matt Hasselbeck will be the starter come this Sunday. Hasselbeck threw two picks in week four in relief of Jake Locker.

Minnesota is on a roll right now and should make life miserable for the Titan offense in week five. Keep in mind that the Viking D just may be a long term fantasy defense with games against Arizona, Seattle and Tampa in the near future.

Buying Low- Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson is the Seattle week one starter but is he in a position to put up QB2 numbers?

Analysis: If Russell Wilson does indeed struggle Matt Flynn will always be there lurking around this year. Flynn is capable and is being paid the sizable contract but he’s also one of the top thirty most owned quarterbacks while Wilson is still available in the majority of leagues as well. You know what you’re going to get with guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jake Locker(tons of picks) but Russell Wilson just may be something special.

Wilson certainly has the weapons with guys like Sidney Rice and Braylon Edwards. If those two receivers can stay healthy with Marshawn Lynch pounding the rock, Seattle will have the best offense in the NFC West. Throw in a motivated Kellen Winslow and Zach Miller and you have yourself a very solid offense built around one athletic rookie who has rushed for 150 yards in three preseason games. If you already had your draft and got stuck with a Ryan Fitzpatrick it is a no-brainer here… pick Russell Wilson up and just see what happens. Worst case scenario is that Wilson loses his job by week four while Fitzpatrick is vying for the league lead in interceptions.

NFL Draft Review: AFC South



Our review of the AFC South begins in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars identified the future face of their franchise and made a move to get him.  The Jags making a move for Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. With David Garrard still on board, Gabbert will have the luxury of watching and learning without having to be force-fed. Gabbert will also benefit with a Pro Bowl running back along side and a serviceable offensive line. Lehigh guard Will Rackley, the Jags 3rd round pick, has versatility to play anywhere along the line. Jacksonville stayed small school in the 4th round with Mount Union wide receiver Cecil Shorts. A real area of need, Shorts will not only compete for a starting job at receiver, he is reliable on special teams.

The Houston Texans were pretty much guaranteed to be looking corner in the 1st round, but surprised many by taking Wisconsin defensive lineman J.J.Watt. The Texans like Watt so much they are exploring a move of All Pro defensive end Mario Williams from end to outside linebacker. Pass rush was the focus atop the draft with Arizona edge rusher Brooks Reed the selection in round two. An end in college, Reed projects as an OLB in the Texans new 3-4 alignment. Houston did get its cover corner, but waited until round two to do so, landing Miami’s Brandon Harris. Houston with great value and another corner in round 4 with Rashad Carmichael from Virginia Tech. A developmental quarterback in North Carolina’s T.J.Yates came in round five.

As Peyton Manning continues to age, it becomes more and more important for the Indianapolis Colts to provide excellent protection up front. Massive offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, 6’7″ 315, comes via Boston College and will eventually be tasked with protecting Manning’s blind side. In the 2nd round, the Colts stayed with big uglies getting Villanova lineman Ben Ijalana. Ijalana has the versatility to play inside or outside. Indy with an absolute steal in the 3rd round, getting LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis. Nevis is an ideal fit for the Colts one gap scheme. Nevis’ interior penetration reminds me of Nick Fairley lite. In the 4th round, the Colts added another running back to a very crowded, competitive situation. Delone Carter from Syracuse is a load at 5’9 225 pounds.

The biggest surprise of the first round was the Titans selection of Washington quarterback Jake Locker. It was no surprise that Tennessee selected a quarterback, just that Locker was selected with Gabbert still on the board. The Titans bolstered their defense in the 2nd and 3rd rounds with UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers and  USC defensive tackle Jurrell Casey. It would have come to no surprise had both been selected much higher in the draft. Tennessee focused on selected productive players at big time programs, Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy, Clemson fullback Jamie Harper and Auburn defensive lineman Zach Clayton all fit the bill.

We wrap up our previews tomorrow with a look at the AFC West