Andy Goldstein’s Latest August 15, 2014: A Fantasy Football Guide Update

Screenshot 2014-07-27 18.58.42Andy Goldstein writes for and edits the position pages of the Fantasy Football Guide, and has for many years now.

One of the things that happens when you commit to ideas and opinions is that some turn out not to go the way one expected. Here are Andy’s thoughts about some of those this year:

So if we had to do that one again…

In order to put out a gorgeous, comprehensive fantasy football magazine, certain deadlines come into play. Sometimes major fantasy-shifting events occur and I’m here to remedy that problem. Now, I’m just one humble writer branching off from the team-effort consensus the magazine illuminates. It should go without saying that while I anticipate my Fantasy Football Guide cohorts would more or less agree with my assessments, they are still not to be mistaken as “official” for whatever that really means!

Johnny Manziel (Magazine Rank – 32) – When we compiled the rankings for the magazine, it hadn’t been that long since Brian Hoyer had compiled nearly 600 yards and 5 touchdowns in stunning back to back performances. Of course, Hoyer was seriously injured and Cleveland drafted Manziel to much fanfare in the draft. Even heading into training camp, it looked like Manziel would have to start the season as a backup. Obviously, we figured Manziel would see playing time. But had we known that by the second week of the preseason, Manziel would be the favorite for the Browns starting job, we probably would have moved him up. His current ADP is actually #17 for quarterbacks which is certainly too high. But I think cutting the difference, which moves him up to 23rd or 24th, is fair. He’s still not an ideal fantasy backup, but as a late round flier? Sure!

Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams (Magazine Ranks – 28 + 42) – When the magazine went to print, David Wilson (ranked 48th by us) was still very much in the picture. Sadly, the supremely talented Wilson was forced into early retirement due to his neck injuries. I could go on and on about how good Wilson could have been, but that would be outside the scope of this article. Jennings and Williams both stand to benefit from Wilson’s departure. And both looked particularly good in New York’s first preseason game. Jennings’ ADP (#18 for RBs) has jumped almost a full round just in the last week while Williams’ (41st for RBs) is just starting to climb. At this point, the current ADP for Jennings feels about right. I think Williams could climb even further as a host of other rookies with cloudier situations continue to sit ahead of him. I’d bump Williams up into the 30’s as a high-ceiling player who looks to be in line for 100-150 carries if Jennings stays healthy for 16 games, which hasn’t been his strong suit.

Josh Gordon (Magazine Rank – Unranked) – Sorry Cleveland fans. We didn’t really believe. Gordon was seemingly facing a year long suspension before he was involved in another traffic stop. Obviously, we still have no idea where this soap opera ends. As the World Turns with Josh Gordon has surprisingly headed towards a friendlier conclusion than any of us really thought possible just months ago. The latest information seems to suggest the phenom might “only” be facing an eight game ban. That’s not good, exactly, but having Gordon for a fantasy playoff run could be a difference maker. The problem, of course, is getting to the fantasy playoffs with dead roster weight for eight games. It’s no easy trick. Gordon’s ADP has gone from off the chart to #43 for wide outs, just behind Tavon Austin! I am still not quite that high on Gordon, at least not until we know for sure it’s just a half-season absence for him. Right now, I’d take him around 48th or so, but he definitely needs to be on the radar now.

Jordan Reed (Magazine Rank – 17) – Of all the rankings in this year’s publication (600+!!!!), this is the one I think we just missed on, myself included! Reed’s 2013 was quietly really great. He was on pace for nearly 1,000 yards, something only Mike Ditka has done as a rookie in NFL history. IN NFL HISTORY. That’s pretty great for a player that wasn’t really on many radars last preseason. Of course, the concussions are a major problem and Reed stands as a fairly high injury risk. But at tight end, his current ADP (#7 for TE’s) is closer to being right than our ranking was. Consider this my personal mea culpa!