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2016 NFL Mock Draft

By Ryan Crawford

Welcome to the 2016 NFL Draft. Just like 2015 it looks like quarterbacks go 1 and 2 and the top talent slides a little. Without further adieu, lets get this party started.

 

  1. LOS ANGELES RAMS (from Tenn) – Jared Goff – QB – California

This is a pretty easy choice for the average draft prognosticator, as the Rams did not trade up to the number one spot so they could draft defense or a tackle. They want to make a big splash as they move to LA and they feel Goff is the natural choice to lead the franchise to the west coast. Les Snead and Jeff Fishers job security will be tied to Goff’s development and overall success but they feel they have a good defense and plenty of offensive weapons to put around him. There are many who feel that Carson Wentz is a more natural fit for their offense but it seems clear that the Rams have settled on the California kid with the big arm and a high ceiling.

  1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (from Cle) – Carson Wentz – QB – North Dakota St

Like the Rams, the Eagles did not move up to this spot to take anyone other than a  quarterback. Wentz is the clear-cut choice at number 2. These two QB’s are really 1 and 1A and ewrrword is the Eagles are more in love with Wentz anyway. He’s big and strong, makes every throw and can avoid trouble with his legs. The only question has become whether Sam Bradford will be there with him for the first year or two. Looks like the answer to that is probably not.

  1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – DeForest Buckner-DT-Oregon

Once the Rams and Eagles jumped up to be in position to grab the two quarterbacks, the Chargers ended up in the enviable position of being able to choose the best player in the draft who was not a QB. In the weeks leading to draft night the prevailing sentiment was that although they already had two tackles, Laremy Tunsil would be too good to pass up. However word has filtered out in the last few days that the Chargers are thoroughly smitten with DeForest Buckner and he clearly plays a need position for the team. Unless this is an elaborate smokescreen to get a team to give up a couple of picks to move into that slot, I am going to take the bait and give Buckner to the Chargers. What does make sense to me would be if Jacksonville or Baltimore wanted to jump Dallas for Jalen Ramsey then the Chargers could get a pick and still grab Buckner at 5 or 6. Unless Dallas loves Buckner too?? Hmmmm…

  1. DALLAS COWBOYS – Jalen Ramsey-CB-Florida State

No matter which way they go the Cowboys should get a great prospect. To me the most natural fit for them is Ramsey. He and Tunsil are generally regarded as the top two talents in this draft and he fills a big need for the Cowboys at the same time. He can play safety or corner and can match up positionally based on the opponent that week. I could see teams trying to jump to number 3 or 4 to get him. In the end I think he is the Cowboys pick. On another note the Cowboys can use a running back in the draft and I’m sure they like Ezekial Elliott but I think the chatter of picking him at 4 is purely a smokescreen to hide their true target.

  1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Joey Bosa– DE– Ohio State

I don’t see Jacksonville picking in this spot. I could see them jumping up to 3 or more probably trading down for a couple of picks. Miami for Elliott and Tennessee for Tunsil or Stanley seem to be the most logical trading partners. If they stay at 5, they can decide between Joey Bosa and Myles Jack. I will give them Bosa because Jack’s knee problem might scare them off.

  1. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Laremy Tunsil- T- Mississippi

Well it looks like 2015 all over again when the top rated talent falls to the 6th pick in the draft. Ozzie Newsome always picks the highest guy on his board and you can’t get much higher than Tunsil. The Ravens will be thrilled to plug this guy in for the next 10 years.

  1. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Ronnie Stanley-T- Notre Dame

Ronnie Stanley has steadily risen up the draft board and rumors have him going even higher than 7 to the Niners. The 49ers have been more decimated by injuries, defections and early retirements than any team I can remember so they need to start from scratch. To me that means building up the lines and Stanley is a great start.

  1. CLEVELAND BROWNS (from Phi) – Josh Doctson- WR- TCU

A surprise pick for many draft pundits but after all it is the Cleveland Browns. With Josh Gordon out yet again, the Browns have a glaring need at Wide Receiver and this guy has all the tools. At the end of the day I do not expect the Browns to be picking in this slot but rather a few spots further down. Still, I think Doctson is their man.

  1. TAMPA BAY BUCS – Vernon Hargreaves- CB- Florida

The Bucs need some work in their secondary and would love to get their hands on Jalen Ramsey. That doesn’t appear likely so the 2nd corner on draft lists is Vernon Hargreaves who would be a great fit. Other needs for Tampa are a pass rusher, the offensive line and another wide receiver. Chatter around about them trading down to the middle of the round as well. Tennessee a candidate at 15.

  1. NEW YORK GIANTS – Jack Conklin- T- Michigan State

A big nasty tackle to help keep Eli Manning upright. Doesn’t have the athletic ability of Tunsil or Stanley but will make up for it with toughness and a mean streak that allows him to get the job done. Giants GM Jerry Reece is under a lot of pressure to have a good draft and this guy is a nice start

  1. CHICAGO BEARS – Myles Jack – LB- UCLA

His bum knee caused this drop to 11. Fully healthy, Jack would have easily been a top 5 pick. The Bears check him out medically, clear him and then pounce on him. Another possibility for the Bears is to move this pick in a deal with the Jets for Muhammad Wilkerson but that seems to have lost some steam

  1. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Sheldon Rankins-DT- Louisville

The buzz is that the Saints have their eye on Paxton Lynch as a long-term successor to Drew Brees. While I think that Lynch is a good prospect, the Saints defense cannot stop anyone and they cannot afford the luxury of drafting a player in the first round who will sit and learn for two or three years. A more likely scenario is that they pick up a run stuffer who can also rush the passer like Rankins and pick up a QB prospect on day 2 of the draft.

  1. MIAMI DOLPHINS (from Phi) – Ezekiel Elliott- RB- Ohio State

Elliott is the wildcard of the draft. You can see his name in mock drafts going anywhere from the Cowboys at 4 to Texans at 22. When the Dolphins tell everyone they are comfortable with their stable of running backs, they are blowing smoke. I think at the end of the day Elliott will be a Dolphin. We will see what pick they take him with.

ElliottDraft2016

Ezekiel Elliott is going to be the wildcard of this draft and can go basically anywhere in the first round (Via AP)

  1. OAKLAND RAIDERS – Shaq Lawson – DE – Clemson

The Raiders are building a ferocious defense with speed and power, which was always the Al Davis way. Adding another player to rush the passer off the edge only makes them more difficult to stop. Lawson is a powerful rusher who makes plays. Corner is another possibility here with William Jackson III the most likely candidate.

  1. TENNESSEE TITANS (from LA) – Taylor Decker -T- Ohio State

The Titans are in the market to move back up into the top 10 to draft one of the offensive tackles to protect Mariota. If they aren’t successful in their attempt they will settle for Decker. Decker is a very highly rated prospect in a deep pool and can be plugged in from the first day of camp.

  1. DETROIT LIONS – Laquon Treadwell- WR-Mississippi

The Lions really need to replace Calvin Johnson and rebuild parts of their offensive line. The top 4 tackles are gone but Treadwell is still on the board. Treadwell is a gifted receiver who plays faster than his 40 time and provides a much-needed big target for Matthew Stafford.

  1. ATLANTA FALCONS – Leonard Floyd- LB- Georgia

Falcons are pleased and surprised that Floyd drops to them at 17. Another pass rusher for Dan Quinn’s schemes should help improve a Falcons defense that was torched in the second half of 2015.

  1. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Noah Spence- DE/OLB- Eastern Kentucky

When is the last time the Colts had a good defense? Wasn’t Bubba Smith on that team? This guy can rush the passer and although he had some past issues that gave him that dreaded “Red Flag”, word is he’s past that and checked out clean for all the teams. The Colts have also been linked to Ryan Kelly and the 4 top tackles if they slip down as they need to protect Andrew Luck better than they have been.

  1. BUFFALO BILLS – Paxton Lynch- QB- Memphis

Leave it to Rex to spoil the Jets plans at 20. Not sold that the Jets were on Lynch as much as others are but I don’t have to be. Only Rex has to be. Lynch is a very good prospect with a cannon and quick feet and the Bills need a top flight QB to compliment their defense. It will take him a year or two to be ready but this pick should pay dividends down the road.

  1. NEW YORK JETS – Darron Lee – LB- Ohio State

Jets need an edge rusher with speed to help the defense and Jets can figure on whichever edge rusher the Falcons don’t choose. Lee has been a demon for the Buckeyes and will fill his role nicely in Todd Bowles’ defense

  1. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Jarran Reed -DT- Alabama

The Redskins were 28th in rushing yards allowed per game last season and a run stuffer in the middle of their 3-4 defense is a must. Adding a top prospect like Jarran Reed to the mix can only help.

  1. HOUSTON TEXANS – Corey Coleman- WR- Baylor

It’s no secret that the Texans are in the market for a new receiver for Brock Osweiler to throw to. Corey Coleman is a speedster who can stretch the field for Osweiler and open things up for DeAndre Hopkins. A good choice for the Texans

  1. MINNESOTA VIKINGS- Michael Thomas – WR- Ohio State

The Minnesota Vikings are next on line for a wide receiver. Will Fuller is next man up at the position and I originally had him going to the Vikings but he’s a 170 pound burner and Thomas seems to be a better fit. The Vikings are looking for a big physical receiver and at 6’3 and 212 pounds, Keyshawn Johnson’s nephew has the size and the bloodlines.

  1. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Ryan Kelly -C- Alabama

A hot name who is moving up on many draft boards, Kelly is a plug and play guy who could play center or guard in the NFL. The Bengals can use interior linemen to help protect Andy Dalton and generate more of a running game. Kelly makes a lot of sense for the Bengals but he could go earlier.

  1. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Karl Joseph- S – West Virginia

Many of the so called experts seem to be tying the knot between Joseph and the Steelers. The Steelers secondary is a mess and they have been looking for Troy Polamalu’s replacement for two years. Joseph is next up to fill that huge void in the Steeler lineup. One of the top corners like Apple, Jackson or Alexander are strong possibilities here as well. One thing seems for sure. The Steelers will be picking someone to play in their defensive backfield.

  1. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Germain Ifedi- T- Texas A&M

The toughest pick to figure out. The Seahawks have talent everywhere and have picked the best available athlete under this regime. Their top needs include a young corner, help on the offensive line and a speed rushing linebacker to replace Bruce Irvin. Ifedi seems to be drawing the Seahawks attention and he’s the pick here.

  1. GREEN BAY PACKERS – A’Shawn Robinson -DT- Alabama

The Packers are in the market for players that fit into their front seven. The Packers have been linked to 3 Alabama players in Robinson, Reggie Ragland and Jarran Reed but Reed is gone and Robinson can replace BJ Raji. They would love to line up Darron Lee opposite Clay Matthews but would have to move up a few spots to get him and Ted Thompson has a tendency to stay put. Ragland would have been the pick but late reports of an enlarged aorta probably drop him out of the first round

  1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Vernon Butler-DT-Louisiana Tech

The Chiefs are in the market for linebackers, wide receivers and defensive line help. I think it comes down to Will Fuller at the receiver slot and Vernon Butler to anchor the line inside. The choice is Butler.

  1. ARIZONA CARDINALS – Kevin Dodd – DE- Clemson

The Cardinals need secondary help and an edge rusher to help their defense. Dodd is the best edge rusher still available and would be a nice fit for the Cardinals D. Chatter has them trading down to add a pick or two.

  1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – N/A

Forfeited the pick in deflategate but don’t be surprised if Belichick and company make a draft splash and move into the lower half of the round.

  1. CAROLINA PANTHERS ––Eli Apple- CB – Ohio State

With Josh Norman gone to Washington and three of the top rated corners still on the board, this becomes a choice of not which position, but which corner. Mackensie Alexander and William Jackson would be good picks but we will go with Eli Apple.

  1. DENVER BRONCOS –- Dak Prescott – QB –Mississippi State

While we all know that doing a mock draft is basically educated guessing, this pick is anything but educated. It’s purely a guess and a hunch on my part. Watching Prescott throughout his college career, the thing that I took away was his toughness and his ability to escape the defensive rush. Did I hear someone say Russell Wilson? Maybe that was the little voice in my head but the Broncos do need a QB, right?

 

 

 

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Take It To The Bank- NFL Week 16

By Brett Malamud

Congratulations! You made it all the way to the end of the year untouched and into the finals of your fantasy football league. Let’s help you out in completing your journey to the promised land and take home that title! It all starts with making the right decisions and that’s where this week’s column of Take It To The Bank comes in handy. Let’s get to it!

He is…SuperCam!

There’s no reason to think that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will be stopped anytime soon. While the Atlanta Falcons have had a dangerous secondary this season, they’ve been shaky over the last few weeks and that’s where Cam comes in. I’m very confident in his abilities to get it done on Sunday.

CAM

He got you this far, and now, it’s time for Cam Newton to do his thing for you in the finals (Via USATS)

To Belichick…Or Not To Belichick?

That is the question. The New England Patriots defense has been great all year. They’ve scored 35 fantasy points over their last two games, but head to MetLife Stadium this weekend to take on the New York Jets. This might be the week for you to look elsewhere for another defense because the Jets passing game has been phenomenal between wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’d also bench the Jets defense, even with knowing that wide receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman will be sitting this game out. There’s two reasons for that. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

 

Gurley Birds: Finals Edition

Did St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley propel you into the finals? Gurley fell to me as the 93rd overall pick before I swiped him up, setting up a fun season once he hit the field. Now, he heads into Seattle to take on the Seahawks, who haven’t allowed more than 46 rushing yards to an opposing running back during their five game win streak. Gurley is touchdown dependent for me this week, and belongs as a RB2/Flex play.

 

Choosing Charcandrick 

In the finals, you have to take the easy matchups when given. For me, this one is simply Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West against the Cleveland Browns. While there isn’t much explanation needed for this pick, the Browns have allowed the second most rushing yards in the entire league, and West is due for a big day. If you have West on your team, you certainly should start him in your lineup if you want any chance of winning it all.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Take It To The Bank: NFL Week Eight

By Brett Malamud

Happy Halloween! We’ve taking the Take it to the Bank report this week and giving it a Halloween feel with today’s section: Trick or Treat! Use this section as you look to this week and beyond as you set your fantasy football lineups.

Trick: Charcandrick West

Yes, many people had Jamaal Charles in their running back slot and are looking to West to produce. Yes, West had a big game last week, rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown. Yes, I did say to pick him up (and he should be picked up), but I’m not that big on him. This player is not a RB1, and I’m not sure he’s a reliable RB2 option. You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge West by one big game. He’ll probably have a good game this week, but don’t expect huge numbers every week.

Treat: Gurley Owners

Gurley owners that stuck through the thick and thin are now grinning at the results. Gurley has been the league’s most productive player, especially in an offense that has become run-heavy. Continue to enjoy Gurley having big games almost every week.

Trick: The Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are an interesting story. Yes they took a heartbreaking loss to the Giants last week, letting the Giants return a kickoff for a touchdown just after tying the game. But they also found new life in running back Darren McFadden. With Joseph Randle possibly out for a few games due to violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, the Cowboys will look to McFadden, Christine Michael and Rod Smith. Flashback to a week ago when Jason Garrett planned on making Michael the starter. Yeah, so that didn’t happen, and you can look elsewhere for a better running back on your team. McFadden however is a flex play at best this weekend as the Cowboys welcome in the Seattle Seahawks, so don’t be tricked by last week’s big performance.

Treat: The New York Jets

The Jets are another interesting story. The offseason changed everything for them, bringing in cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, along with wide receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Many members of the New York media propelled them to Super Bowl contenders. Then the season came, and Geno Smith got punched in the jaw by his now-former teammate I.K. Enemkpali, sending the Jets predictions out the window. There was no way that Ryan Fitzpatrick could pick up the pieces right? Wrong. The Jets headed into New England last week at 4-1. They played till the final whistle and although they sit at 4-2, look at their schedule. Eight out of their remaining 10 games come against teams that are currently at or below .500 and that should be looked at closely. Fitzpatrick should be looked at if he’s still available in your leagues, and Brandon Marshall and Chris Ivory should be starting in your lineup. The defense should be starting most if not all weeks. If you want that sneaky play, look to Eric Decker, as teams are focused on stopping Brandon Marshall.

Brandon Marshall is a player worth looking at trading for this fantasy football season (Via NYDN)

Brandon Marshall is a player worth looking at trading for this fantasy football season (Via NYDN)

Trick: The New York Giants

While I’d like to stick the entire NFC East in the tricks section, I’m not going to do that because I’m not that mean. But I will stick the Giants in here with the Cowboys because of their fantasy impact. I understand that the team is 4-3, but with a lot of tough teams (looking at you AFC East and Carolina Panthers) coming up on their schedule, it’s not really an ideal situation. I definitely do not trust any of the Giants running backs, and other than Odell Beckham Jr., I don’t trust any of their wide receivers. I’d consider Ruben Randle in deeper leagues, but only if you don’t have other options due to the bye week. Quarterback Eli Manning certainly cannot be trusted in fantasy leagues, compiling just 14 fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues over the last two weeks. I’d look elsewhere for impactful fantasy players.

Treat: San Diego Chargers Tight Ends

So Antonio Gates came into the season off a four game suspension, and immediately made a major impact. Gates had two touchdowns in his first game back, and has had 90+ receiving yards in both games that he has played in. But with a sprained MCL, the Chargers looked to Ladarius Green and he has been contributing all season. Quarterback Philip Rivers loves to throw to his tight ends, and while Gates is taken in most leagues, Green isn’t so pick him up now.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Take It To The Bank: NFL Week Seven

By Brett Malamud

We took a bye week in week six, but we’re back in week 7 with some more bold predictions:

Danny’s Day
San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon will sit out Sunday. With that said, time to put Danny Woodhead back in your lineup. Woodhead will be due for a nice day against the Oakland Raiders.
The Best Running Back in the NFL?
I know, I know. The obsession with St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley is real but I’ve been big on him all season. Gurley will be a sure fire big deal for the rest of the season. No doubt. But barring injury, this is the one guy that I’d only give away if big pieces are coming back. I still have Gurley on one of my teams, and plan to keep him. But as my second team was deep at running back, I flipped Gurley to my brother Zachary along with buy low candidate Jimmy Graham to net Frank Gore and the incomparable A.J. Green. Now many will ask both of us why we did the deal and the answer is quite simple. For me, I get one of the top receivers in the NFL who had a week where he scored 34 fantasy points earlier this season, plus a proven running back in Frank Gore who shows no sign of slowing down. For Zachary, he gets Todd Gurley. Yes, Jimmy Graham is great too and will get overlooked because of his low output, but I’m still a believer in him. Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert has me thinking otherwise though and if you have him and Graham, you should look to trade Graham because he does still have a lot of value. We’ll revisit this trade at the end of the season, but for now I’m going to say that it’s a tie.
The Load on Landry
The Pittsburgh Steelers seemed to be in a bad situation when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went down with injury. Michael Vick didn’t prove to be a major factor. Enter Landry Jones. The 26 year old will get his first start this week and will face a Kansas City Chiefs team that has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to quarterbacks. He’s got good value in daily fantasy games and should be counted on until Big Ben gets back.

The injury Bug Hits

Sunday’s inactive list came out and on it is Patriots running back Dion Lewis. LeGarrette Blount is going to get the carries but will face a tough New York Jets run defense. Not sure if you can start Blount regularly though because Brady will be forced to throw. Out west, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates may miss the game and that means Ladarius Green should be in your fantasy lineup. He’s due for a big day


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Take It To The Bank: NFL Week Five

By Brett Malamud

It’s another edition of your weekly guide to fantasy football with some intriguing pickups and some must-starts. Here’s week five’s installment of Take It To The Bank:

Jumpin’ for Julio

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones finally came down to earth this week, bringing in just four catches for 38 yards. That was pretty surprising to owners, as the Falcons put up 48 points in a rout of the Houston Texans. Jones practiced on a limited basis this week, complaining of tightness in his hamstring. He is active Sunday and will play the Washington Redskins. Not too many worries here, and you should keep him in your lineup.

Return of the Gurley Birds

Maybe it’s my fascination with St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley, but he put on a show last week. Gurley ran for 146 yards in just his second career NFL game. He is who we thought he was, and now he’ll look towards that first big touchdown. While he plays the Green Bay Packers this week, he should still produce numbers. Keep him locked in your lineup and get ready for Gurley to take over.

Todd Gurley is ready to roll now that he's settled in. (Via SR)

Todd Gurley is ready to roll now that he’s settled in. (Via SR)

Brees Easy

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees played ok for most of last week’s matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, with the walk off 80-yard touchdown to C.J. Spiller being his big play of the day. This week, Brees heads into Philadelphia to face the Eagles, and I think that it could be another good week for the veteran QB. He’s a must start for me.

Alex the Great

Many are looking into possibly using their bye weeks to pick up a possible replacement for their players sitting out. One of these players to look in to is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Smith is at home Sunday against the Chicago Bears and that is an interesting matchup. Smith has the second most dropbacks in the entire league right now, and with a weak Bears defense, Smith is an intriguing play.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Take It To The Bank- NFL Week Two

By Brett Malamud

The second week is here and there were many surprises in week one. From the four-touchdown game by Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, to the 27-point fantasy outburst from Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski. We look back on those performances, and look ahead to the upcoming week with our weekly prediction column: Take it to the Bank.

AP Gets It Together

Last week, we watched as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was held to just 31 yards on 10 carries. Not really the numbers that fantasy owners were expecting after almost all took him in the first round. This week, Peterson and the Vikings return home for the first time this season. I’d expect AP to get his regular workload and should make an impact against a Detroit Lions team who lost some big guys off their line this offseason.

 

Adrian Peterson looks to get back on track (Via Fantasy Pros)

Adrian Peterson looks to get back on track (Via Fantasy Pros)

It’s On Like Gronky Kong

This past week, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan said that he may have to opt to put three defenders on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. While I found this a bit humorous, I don’t really think that Rex was kidding. There will be times where Gronk has three players covering him. I’d expect Gronkowski to have a below average game, but anything is possible. Pats wide receiver Julian Edelman is expected to have a good fantasy outing, and Danny Amendola is a sneaky play this week.

Super Mariota

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was in for a huge week in week one, becoming just the second rookie quarterback ever to throw four touchdowns in his first career game. This week, Mariota turns his attention to the Cleveland Browns, who just allowed a big game to New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. Expect big things for the rookie this week.

Macaroni and Brees

The search party is out for New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees this week. Listen, I know that he still threw for 355 yards last week against the Arizona Cardinals, but the stat that stood out to me was that Brees had only one touchdown pass on four trips to the red zone. Now while there is concern about Brees, the veteran will get to try in week two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who allowed four touchdown passes in the first half to Marcus Mariota. We’ll see how much easier that makes it for Brees. Start him as normal.

Gurley Birds…Again

In case you haven’t heard, the St. Louis Rams have been practicing with running back Todd Gurley this week. The rookie halfback isn’t supposed to return to the lineup until week four after tearing his ACL last season at the collegiate level with Georgia. This is great news for Gurley owners, as it signals the possibility of a week three return. Currently, Gurley is listed as questionable for this week’s matchup against the Washington Redskins, but I’m not confident that Gurley will play this week. Look for Tre Mason to get the start at running back for the Rams.

UPDATE (Sunday 9/20 @ 11:30 AM): Gurley is inactive today. The Rams are targeting a week three return.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

2015 NFL Season Predictions

By Brett Malamud

Football fans, your day has come. Today marks the the start of the NFL season. For many teams comes a fresh start, a clean slate. For others, comes a window of opportunity. As is tradition, the opening day of any of the big four sports leagues means that it is time for me to unveil my season outlook. Here’s my division and playoff picks for this year.

AFC

AFC East

Team Record
New England Patriots  11-5*
New York Jets  9-7*
Miami Dolphins  8-8
Buffalo Bills  6-10

NE- Tom Brady’s “suspension” would have been a major blow but now that they’ll have him for all 16 games, the Patriots are the team to beat.

NYJ- The Jets made some major acquisitions this offseason in Revis, Cromartie and Brandon Marshall, just to name a few. Losing Geno Smith for a few weeks will hurt, but with an easy schedule, the Jets will coast.

MIA- The Dolphins defense will carry them, but ultimately the AFC East will be run by the Patriots and Jets.

BUF- Last year I wrote: “Sammy Watkins could be a great addition but it doesn’t mean anything if he doesn’t have a strong QB.” The same holds true for this season. LeSean McCoy will help, but they’ll need that next level quarter back if they want to take the next step.

AFC North

Team Record
Pittsburgh Steelers  10-6*
Baltimore Ravens  8-8*
Cincinnati Bengals  8-8
Cleveland Browns  5-11

PIT- This Steelers offense will be ready to go deep into the playoffs

BAL- I feel like the Ravens have an easy schedule right in the middle of the season, but at the end of the season they won’t be able to get it done.

CIN- Andy Dalton and AJ Green will carry the team, but will fall just short of the playoffs.

CLE- I’m not sure that Johnny Football and Josh McCown have what it takes to bring the Browns very far. They’ll struggle.

AFC South

Team Record
Indianapolis Colts  11-5*
Houston Texans  7-9
Jacksonville Jaguars  6-10
Tennessee Titans  5-11

IND- Last year’s prediction: “Andrew Luck will lead one of the top offenses in the league on a journey that could go deep into the playoffs.” Ditto this season.

HOU- I think that this is the year that Houston takes the next step. This will be a fun defense to watch. Watt rushing from one side, Clowney from the other side, and Wilfork up the middle. Scary.

JAX- They still have much room to improve but Bortles will be good this year.

TEN- Marcus Mariota will help, but not in this division.

AFC West

Team Record
Denver Broncos  11-5*
San Diego Chargers  9-7*
Kansas City Chiefs  8-8
Oakland Raiders  4-12

DEN- I think that Peyton is still a top quarterback, and he’ll carry them back to the playoffs again.

SD- Philip Rivers will have another good year, and Melvin Gordon will be a top 10 rusher.

KC- I like this team but can’t take them to go into the playoffs. Jamaal Charles will be a top 5 rusher though.

OAK- Another year, another tough schedule. Sorry Raiders fans but the AFC West is tough.

NFC

NFC East

Team Record
New York Giants  10-6*
Philadelphia Eagles  9-7*
Dallas Cowboys  7-9
Washington Redskins  5-11

NYG- This is the year of the Giants. I think that Eli is back (Yes, really.) and OBJ will have another huge year.

PHI- I really like the Eagles this year. Sam Bradford is due for a great year and the running game led by DeMarco Murray will dominate the league

DAL- The Cowboys will be ok this year. The loss of DeMarco Murray will show though.

WAS- A QB controversy will overshadow this season, and that will be the downfall of this Redskins squad.

NFC North

Team Record
Green Bay Packers  12-4*
Minnesota Vikings  8-8*
Detroit Lions  7-9
Chicago Bears  6-10

GB- Aaron Rogers will be the top NFC QB. Period. He’ll lead the Jordy Nelson-less Packers on another deep playoff run.

MIN- AP is back and that means big things for the VIkings. Teddy Bridgewater must rise to the occasion though.

DET- The loss of Suh will hurt but not too much. Matt Stafford will still lead the Lions offense to a seven win season.

CHI- Brandon Marshall is gone. While many Bears fans think it’ll be a good thing, I’m saying that it won’t be. They’ll struggle.

NFC South

Team Record
New Orleans Saints  10-6*
Atlanta Falcons  8-8
Carolina Panthers  6-10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers  5-11

NO- I think that the Saints will be the top team here.

ATL- I believe they’ll scratch their way to .500

CAR- Kelvin Benjamin will be missed. Not sure that Cam Newton can get much done without him.

TB- Jameis Winston will come in and will be pretty good. Not to many pieces around him though

NFC West

Team Record
Seattle Seahawks  13-3*
Arizona Cardinals  7-9
St. Louis Rams  7-9
San Francisco 49ers  4-12

SEA- They’re still elite. The addition of Jimmy Graham doesn’t hurt either.

ARI- It’ll be interesting to see this team. Carson Palmer is aging though and so is Larry Fitzgerald

STL- Nick Foles comes in and I like him this season. Todd Gurley will make noise when he plays too.

SF- Carlos Hyde will power this team. Kaepernick won’t. Since their entire defense left, I’ll take them out of the playoff picture.

*Denotes that the team will clinch a playoff spot

AFC Championship

I’m going to take the Colts over the Patriots

I think that the Colts get to the Super Bowl after a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship.

NFC Championship

Packers over Seahawks

I know. I’m big on the Packers this year, but for good reason. Eddie Lacy gets it done in Seattle and powers the Packers into the Super Bowl.

SUPER BOWL XLIX

Colts over Packers

In a battle of the QB’s, Andrew Luck comes out on top. TY Hilton catches three touchdowns and is named Super Bowl MVP.

Andrew Luck leads his troops into Tennessee for a Thursday night matchup (Via AP)

Andrew Luck will lead the Colts to a Lombardi Trophy (Via AP)

I hope that everyone enjoys this NFL season. Stay tuned in to Dabuzzza this season as we bring you weekly analysis and fantasy football picks.


Brett Malamud is a English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy