Since so much of fantasy football is about crunching numbers, let me put into mathematical perspective just how rare a player like Calais Campbell is. There are thirteen NFL teams, or about 40% of the league currently using a 3-4 base defense. Among last year's top thirty defensive linemen there were six, or 20% who play in a three man front. Among those six there were four who have been in the top thirty in each of the past two seasons and only two (Campbell and J.J. Watt) who have done it three years in a row. Campbell first showed up on the fantasy radar as a second year pro in 2009. That season his mark of 37-11-6.5 with 5 batted passes, edged him into the top fifteen. He has finished among the top fifteen in every season since. Heading into 2013 Campbell's tackle numbers had increased every year since he was a rookie. After posting a career best 51 solo tackle in 2012, those numbers slipped a little for the first time in his six seasons. Campbell more than made up for the slight drop off by posting a personal best 9.5 sacks. He has five consecutive top fifteen finishes and has been in the top ten twice in the past three years. That kind of consistency is hard to find at any position, much less in a 3-4 lineman. Campbell falls a little short of that elite top tier but consistency and dependability make him as close as it gets to a sure thing DL1.
After seeing Darnell Dockett exceed 40 tackles in both 2009 and 2010, and post a combined 11.5 sacks, it looked as if the Cardinals might have a pair of perennial top twenty ends. Unfortunately his production dropped off shapely over the next two seasons. Dockett rebounded in 2013 with a respectable 36-10-4.5 but was still well short of the top forty. At age 33 he continues to be a quality player for the Cardinals and a big part of their success. Unless you are in a deeply drafted league however, Dockett has little to offer in fantasy terms.
Dan Williams opened camp at the top of the nose tackle depth chart and is likely to go unchallenged for that job. The 2010 first round pick is a prototypical anchor for a 3-4 front. He can eat up space, hold ground against double teams and gets off blocks well enough to make a decent number of tackles for an interior lineman. Williams posted a career best of 33 solo stops in 2012. Unfortunately his 54 games as a pro have produced only 1 sack. It is also noteworthy that the Cardinals nose tackle position as a whole accounted for all of 20 tackles, 10 assists and 1 sack in 2013. Williams does a good job for the Cardinals on the field but he is pretty useless to fantasy owners.
DE Calais Campbell - Perennial top 15 DL with top five upside
DE Darnell Dockett - Minimal value at best
DE Frostee Rucker - No value
DE Ronald Talley - No value
DE Kareem Martin - No value
NT Dan Williams - No value
NT Alameda Ta′amu - No value
At the inside linebacker positions Arizona goes from having a pair of pro bowl caliber veterans in 2013, to starting a second year guy with one snap of experience as a pro and a 34 year old veteran in the twilight of his career in 2014. Daryl Washington is suspended indefinitely and will miss at least a year, so the Cardinals are building around 2012 second round pick Mike Minter as the centerpiece of the defense in 2014. At 6'0" and 246 pounds Minter is a bit short by NFL standards. At LSU he was able to uses that low center of gravity to gain leverage against blockers and was an outstanding run defender. Minter was a highly productive three down player for the Tigers. He declared for the NFL draft after a junior season that saw him lead the team with 130 combined tackles, adding 4 sacks and an interception. The big question Minter has to answer is can he cover at the pro level? His short stature had many draft expert skeptical about that part of his game. The Cardinals are short on options so unless he struggles greatly we are going to see him in the sub packages 2014. What we know for sure is that the inside linebacker positions in Arizona have been fantasy gold over the past few years and Minter is the only guy currently positioned to take advantage of that opportunity. We will not know about his long term value until we see how he handles the job this season. For 2014 however, he could be a golden child and a great value pick. He will likely be available when owners are picking up third starters but Minter has the potential to be a solid LB2 in this situation.
The Cardinals drug twelve year veteran Larry Foote off the scrap heap for one more go around. After spending 2013 on the Steelers injured reserve with a torn biceps he is rested and ready for a thirteenth season. Foote was never the most talented of players but his many years in the same style of 3-4 scheme will be a huge plus for the Cardinals in the short term. Foote is a smart, technically sound player who rarely makes mistakes. His leadership and professional approach to the game will be a plus in the locker room as well. Foote's on field contribution is expected to be that of a two down run stuffer and a mentor to his young counterpart. He will see little or no time in sub packages and is unlikely to carry much box score value.
One player to keep an eye on here is Lorenzo Alexander. This versatile eight year veteran spent his first six seasons with Washington where he made a few starts as an injury replacement at both outside and inside linebacker. He was never able to land a full time role there and moved on as a free agent last year in hope of being a starter. Alexander opened 2013 as the Cardinals starting right outside backer but a foot injury landed him on IR in September. The organization knows that Foote's role as a long time starter in Pittsburgh was based on average NFL talent with great work ethic, smart play and a strong technical approach. They also realize that at age 34, some of that already average physical ability may be starting to erode. Alexander has been moved inside for 2014 where he is unlikely to be a long term answer but could be surprisingly productive if Foote struggles or is injured. Alexander's cover skills are pretty good so if he gets into the lineup he could be a three down option. Even if Foote is able to hold on as the starter, Alexander could factor into some of the sub packages.
Veteran journeyman Ernie Sims is another option for the team if Foote is not the guy. Sims has plenty of starting experience and would be an adequate replacement for the team. Over the course of his career Sims has more than proven that he is a marginal starter with limited fantasy potential.
Outside linebacker could be a problem for the Cardinals in 2014. They got a modest 17 sacks from the position in 2013 yet surprisingly made no significant additions at that spot over the offseason. John Abraham led the team in sacks with 10.5 last year keep in mind that he is 36 years old and is entering his fifteenth season. Abraham has fallen short of double digit sacks just twice since 2006 and is likely to be in that range again in 2014, but he rarely posts more than 30-35 tackles and could start to show signs of decline at any time.
With Alexander moving inside, the rest of the Cardinals options on the outside are Matt Shaughnessy, Marcus Bernard and Sam Acho. This trio totaled only 6.5 sacks between them last year. Shaughnessy and Abraham are likely to get the title of starters but all four of these guys are going to see action. There is however, no reason at this point to believe that any of them will step up big.
ILB Kevin Minter - LB3 target with a lot of upside
ILB Larry Foote - Minimal value at best
ILB Lorenzo Alexander - Sleeper with LB3 potential if he starts
ILB Ernie Sims - Minimal value at best
OLB Matt Shaughnessy - No value
OLB John Abraham - LB3 in big play based leagues
OLB Sam Acho - No value
OLB Marcus Bernard - No value
The Arizona secondary gives us some strong fantasy options and a lot to talk about. Once free safety Tyrann Mathieu is completely recovered from the ugly knee injury he suffered late last season, this group will not only be the strength of the Cardinals defense but one of the most talented defensive backfields in the league as well. At 5'9" and under 190 pounds, Mathieu is among the smallest starting safeties in the league. He is also among the most productive. He is blazing fast, highly physical for his size, fearless and plays with a tenacity that would bring a smile to the face of any defensive coach. In terms of fantasy production, in the twelve full games that he played before the injury Mathieu was on pace to finish at 85-4-1 with 4 takeaways, 12 passes defended and 173 fantasy points. Those totals would have made him a top ten defensive back in 2013. Mathieu is reportedly ahead of schedule on his recovery but has been placed on the physically unable to perform list to start training camp. Head coach Bruce Arians said that there is a chance Mathieu cold be ready for the season opener but a more realistic target would be week five after the team's bye. If they are going to wait that long anyway, the team could elect to put him on the PUP to start the season and bring him back in week seven. Anyone who saw the injury knows how bad it was. There are not many Adrian Peterson's out there so expecting Mathieu to be 100% after less than a year of recovery would be a stretch. In fact, it will be somewhat of a surprise if he is the same player at all this year. Without knowing/seeing where he will be in his recovery, I am not going to suggest an approach to drafting Mathieu. What I will say is that dynasty owners may want to try and buy low on him if he struggles upon return. By the end of 2015 he is likely to be back in the top ten.
The Cardinals used a first round pick on strong safety Deone Bucannon this spring with the expectation that he an Mathieu will provide an outstanding tandem for years to come. Bucannon is a physical in the box strong safety who demonstrated excellent production at Washington State. He owns school records for career tackles with 384 and career interceptions with 15. Bucannon forced 7 fumbles over his college career as well. He was the cougars leading tackler in each of the past two season and the three year team captain led the Pack 12 in that category as a senior. The coaching staff obviously has grand expectations for this young man but they are not going to hand him the starting job. Entering camp Rashad Johnson will be filling in for Mathieu while second year pro Tony Jefferson will initially be working with the starters at strong safety. Barring an injury or some sort of meltdown, this is a temporary situation that is more for show than anything. The coaching staff simply wants to make the point that all starting jobs must be earned. By the time week one rolls around Bucannon will be the strong safety with Johnson holding down the fort at free until Mathieu is ready. There is one interesting twist to this story. The team is already having Bucannon run with the starters as the nickel linebacker next to Kevin Minter. With the team's situation at linebacker there is a good chance this will carry over into a full time role for the rookie, even after he earns the starting strong safety job. With the ever increasing emphasis on the passing game we have seen a growing number of defenses use this approach in their sub packages. This news translates to even more opportunity and bigger numbers for Bucannon and is one of the reasons he is by far my highest rated rookie defensive back. With everything that is going on around him, Bucannon has the potential to be a top fifteen defensive back right out of the gate.
Patrick Peterson's career has followed the path of the rookie corner rule to a tee. In his inaugural season the 2011 fifth overall pick was an immediate starter totaling 59 solo stops, 3 interception and 13 passes defended. In 2012 the tackle numbers dropped to 52 while his interception jumped to 7 and his pass breakups increased to 17. In 2013 however, all of his totals took a nose dive. After finishing as the fantasy games number nine corner in 2012, his 40 tackles, 3 pick and 13 passes defended last year made Peterson a fantasy bust. Even though the defensive scheme remained largely the same, changes in the coaching staff and tweaks in approach probably played a role in his production drop. So did the fact that offenses were able to avoid him more. In Peterson's first two seasons the Cardinals had Richard Marshall, Antonio Cason and William Gay playing opposite him. While none of those players are perennial Pro Bowl material, they are all quality second corners. Jerraud Powers held that job last season. While he is a decent second starter, offenses were much more comfortable challenging Powers than throwing at one of the league's best. To further justify this theory I can point out that Powers had 60 solo tackles and 18 passes defended, but only 1 interception last season. Powers is still with the team but the addition of Antonio Cromartie and the emerging play of third year man Justin Bethel have pushed Powers all the way to number four on the depth chart. Better corner play opposite him will be a plus and I like Peterson's chances of rebounding strongly but like so many of the league’s best corners he is going to have a lower than average number of opportunities. This season could prove that his 2013 was simply a fluke, but I doubt we will see Peterson return to the top ten again. Notoriety and his early career numbers will have a lot of owner looking to take him as a CB1. Unless he drops into the area of a low end CB2 however, Peterson is unlikely to show up on any of my redraft rosters.
The really interesting trend here is that all three of the starting corners that have worked opposite Peterson over his NFL tenure have put up at least 60 solo tackles. In 2011 Richard Marshall was 68-9-2 with 3 picks, 11 passes defended and a solid 159 fantasy points. In 2012 Antonio Cason was a career best 63-11-0 with 4 turnovers, 11 passes defended and 140 fantasy points. Last season it was Powers with a career best of 60-6-0, 18 pass breakups and a couple of takeaways for 131 points. Having posted more than 39 tackles just twice in his eight years as a pro and more than 3 interceptions only once, Cromartie has not been a fantasy factor in the past. He will not be on my draft board entering this season either but if he starts showing solid production he could be a nice in season addition.
Bethel is an interesting prospect to keep an eye on. He has drawn praise from both the defensive coaching staff and the head coach for his improved play this offseason. There is no sign that he will challenge Cromartie for a starting job, but Bethel seems like the choice as the nickel corner heading into the preseason. He could emerge as the team's long term number two corner at some point.
SS Deone Bucannon - Strong sleeper/dynasty stud to target as low end DB2 with upside
FS Tyrann Mathieu - Major short term risk but big dynasty potential
FS Rashad Johnson - Minimal value at best
SS Tony Jefferson - Injury sleeper
CB Patrick Peterson - Risky CB2 with major big play potential
CB Antonio Cromartie - Deep sleeper at best
CB Jerraud Powers - No value
CB Justin Bethel - Deep dynasty sleeper with long term CB2 upside
St. Louis Rams
As a rookie in 2011 Robert Quinn was used as a third down pass rush specialist. That season he recorded only 20 solo stops and 5 sacks. When he became a three down starter in 2012 Quinn's tackle production went up only marginally to 24 but his sack numbers more than doubled to 10.5. It was easy to see that he was going to be an excellent pass rusher and that we had not yet seen his best football, but it seemed that his tackle totals would continue to be less than stellar. After all, we had seen Chris Long's box score totals follow that same path. It was no surprise that Quinn continued to improve but one could have predicted last year's explosion. In 2013 Quinn led the league with 19 sacks and his 50 solo tackles were the third highest among defensive linemen. Adding 7 forced fumbles, a couple of recoveries and a score made him the fantasy game's top defensive lineman. The scary part about Quinn is that he is only 24 years old and is just entering the prime of his career. The young man has arrived and is set to be a perennial top ten defensive lineman for the next decade. It would be easy to put him on a throne and suggest that everyone make him the first defensive player off the board, but instead I am going to preach caution. Too many times we have seen players have career years only to come crashing back to reality the following season. Jason Pierre-Paul was 67-21-17 in 2011. In the past two seasons combined he is 63-30-8.5. In 2012 J.J. Watt went 68-12-20.5 with 16 passes defended. Last year he was 65-15-10.5 with 7 batted passes. We have seen the same thing with Justin Tuck, DeMarcus Ware and a number of other players over the years. I am certainly not suggesting that Quinn is not one of the top options at the position. In fact I consider he and Watt as number one and one-A. What I am saying is that in the twenty one year's that I have been playing this game, no defensive lineman has ever been number one in consecutive seasons. Thus we should not to expect a repeat of Quinn's career year. 45-50 tackles and 12-14 sacks are a strong possibility, making him a favorite to finish among the top three. There is nothing wrong with making Quinn the first defensive lineman or even the first defensive player off the board. Just be careful what you sacrifice to take him early.
Quinn was obviously a big part of the reason St. Louis finished near the top of the league in sacks last year but he did not do it alone. Chris Long made a healthy contribution as well. In fact Long has consistently been making a solid contribution since the Rams took him second overall in 2008. His career got off to a somewhat slow start as Long recorded only 9 sacks over his first two seasons. He has given the team their money's worth since 2010 however. Over the past four seasons Long has averaged 10.5 sacks with a career best of 13 in 2011. One thing Long has certainly been is consistent on a year to year basis. In six seasons as a pro he has never totaled fewer than 25 solo tackles or more than 33 and he is always right in the area of double digit sacks. In fantasy terms however, Long is a little frustrating. The sack totals are good enough to catch the eye and give him some value, but the low tackle totals make him a moving target on a week to week basis. For example; in 2013 Long turned in double digit points in five games, exceeding 20 in two of them. In seven other contests he totaled 4 points or fewer. Long does not force many fumbles so his turnover totals rarely amount to more than a couple a season, and the Rams stats crew tends to be stingy with assists. His season total of 139 fantasy points was enough to place Long in the area of a low end DL2 in 2013 but there are guys I would rather have as my every week second starter. I like Long as a top flight backup and matchup based fill in. He has some upside but after six years of pretty consistent play, there is no reason to expect a Quinn like explosion.
William Hayes and Eugene Sims give the Rams quality depth at the defensive end positions. In the event of an injury to one of the starters, Hayes would be the guy to grab. He has 50 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 4 turnovers over the past two seasons as the third defensive end. Hayes will also see some snaps at tackle in sub packages.
In 2013 defensive tackle Michael Brockers finished at 38-8-5.5 with a forced fumble while tackle Kendall Langford ended up at 36-13-5 with 4 batted passes. That production was enough to make both players top ten interior linemen. Both of these guys are quick and mobile for 310+ pounders. Together they are a big part of the reason that St. Louis allowed only 3.7 yards per carry last season. Brockers was the team's first round pick in 2012. At only 23 years old he is just entering the prime of his career. Langford is entering his seventh season in the league. He posted decent numbers with the Dolphins early in his career but had done little in terms of box score production in the two seasons leading up to 2013. Brockers is set to be a starter in St. Louis for a long time and should continue to be a solid DT1 option for us. Langford however, is going to have a hard time keeping rookie first round pick Aaron Donald out of the lineup. Fantasy owners and NFL teams alike are always looking for the next Warren Sapp. Donald is a player that just might be that guy. At 6'1" and 285 pounds he is smaller than today's prototypical defensive tackle and like Sapp, Donald does not look the part. Yet when you turn on the tape and watch him play it is easy to understand why the Rams wanted him. He is not a player that will take on double teams and eat up space. His ultra quick first step, constant motor and surprising athleticism help Donald to be a penetrating, disruptive one gap 3-technique tackle that can make offensive linemen miserable. Donald's skill set is intriguing on its own but it is his production that impresses me most. As a senior at Pittsburgh Donald recorded 55 tackles while leading the nation with 28.5 for loss. He had 11 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 batted passes and blocked a kick on the way to winning a number of prestigious awards. Donald may not break the starting lineup as a rookie but he is sure to see a lot of playing time. He will almost surely be on the field in passing down sub packages right away and is a candidate to become a perennial top ten interior lineman. I like his chances of making an immediate fantasy impact even if he is not an official starter.
DE Robert Quinn - Cream of the crop at DE and potentially the #1 defensive player
DE Chris Long - Inconsistent low end DL2 or quality spot starter as a DL3
DE William Hayes - Injury sleeper with low end DL2 upside if pressed into a starting role
DE Eugene Sims - No value
DT Michael Brockers - Solid DT1 with top five potential
DT Aaron Donald - Potential DT1 even as a rookie
DT Kendall Langford - Risky top shelf DT2 but could lose playing time to Donald
DT Matt Conrath - No value
James Laurinaitis is one of the outstanding middle linebackers in today's NFL. His combination of size, speed, intelligence, leadership, work ethic and athleticism make him the prototype among 4-3 middle backers. He is just as solid in coverage as he is making plays in traffic between the tackles and at age 27, is at the peak of his game. Over his first four seasons in the league Laurinaitis was just as impressive in the box scores as he was on the field. Averaging 107 solo tackles a season with a respectable big play contribution each year, he finished each of those seasons among the top ten linebackers in the fantasy game. His on field presence was just as strong in 2013 but some other factors impacted his numbers enough to drop Laurinaitis just outside the top fifteen in the overall linebacker rankings. The most significant of those factors was the addition of Alec Ogletree. In the four seasons prior to last the Rams had gotten by with solid but unspectacular players around Laurinaitis. As a result he had relatively little competition for tackles in a defense that was designed to funnel everything to him. With the addition of Ogletree, there were suddenly two excellent linebackers the mix. The team also made some tweaks in the scheme that favored the weak side linebacker as the focal point at times. Add in the fact that St. Louis was one of only three defenses to be credited with fewer than 200 assists on the year, and you have a fair number of things stacked up against Laurinaitis. As a result his solo tackles dropped to a career low of 85. There were some positives to his situation as well. Having Ogletree in the mix allowed the coaching staff to be more creative in their play calling and allowed Laurinaitis to make more of a big play impact. His 4 takeaways, 3.5 sacks and 8 pass breakups were all personal bests. I expect Laurinaitis to rebound a little in the tackle column. If he can continue to improve the big play numbers he could sneak back into the top twelve in 2014. Durability, dependability and week to week consistency are big factors in my book. So even if his final totals rank Laurinaitis in the teens again, I still consider him a low end LB1. At worst he is a priority LB2.
There is an interesting and somewhat surprising trend that I have seen in drafts this summer. Owners are still picking Laurinaitis well ahead of Alec Ogletree. Maybe people are concerned that Ogletree's rookie production was some sort of a fluke, or possibly it is just that people are still more comfortable with Laurinaitis because he is better established. I am not going to argue the point save to say that I am confident Ogletree was not a one year wonder. His 94 solo tackles were a club best in 2013 and his 5 forced fumbles were second only to Robert Quinn. Ogletree out produced Laurinaitis in tackles, takeaways and passes defended in 2013, on the way to posting 18 more fantasy points. He is a fast, athletic playmaker with excellent range and cover skills. Ogletree's athleticism is something that new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will look to take advantage of. I foresee a situation much like that in San Francisco with Navarro Bowman and Patrick Willis, where Laurinaitis and Ogletree are neck and neck all season for the team tackle lead and randomly take turns leading the team in weekly fantasy points. Fantasy owners cannot go wrong with either of these players but in the grand scheme of things, Ogletree may prove to be the better value based on where he will be drafted.
Jo-Lonn Dunbar was the Rams strong side linebacker in 2013 and will enter camp as the starter again this year. He is a solid contributor for the team and showed some fantasy potential as the weak side backer before the addition of Ogletree. Now that he has been relegated to a two down role on the strong side, there is little box score production to be found. Dunbar continues to have off field issues as well. He was suspended for the first four games of last season and was recently arrested for fighting with a former NBA player outside a Miami Beach bar. Even if he can avoid further league discipline, Dunbar's starting job may be in jeopardy. Second year pro Ray-Ray Armstrong has impressed the coaching staff and is expected to push for a bigger role in 2014. Barring an injury to either Laurinaitis or Ogletree, neither Dunbar nor Armstrong are going to be a box score factor.
At a glance the numbers posted by Rams defensive backs last year seem mostly useless. A closer look however, reveals that there is some value to be found here. Following the rookie corner rule, 2012 second round pick Janoris Jenkins made a big box score impact in his first season. 64-9-0 with five takeaways (4 picks), 14 passes defended and an impressive 4 defensive scores added up to 194 fantasy points, making Jenkins the number three corner and number six defensive back overall. With a year of experience and a lot of respect gained, Jenkins tumbled to mediocrity with 120 fantasy points in 2013. That is an unusually large drop in totals even under the rookie corner rule. Rams corners have a long running history of decent tackle production so Jenkins 54 solo stops last season will likely be the norm going forward. It is the single interception in 2013 that I believe to be a mirage. Simply put, this young man is more of a playmaker than that. There is roughly zero chance that he will ever score four times in a season again but 50+ tackles with 4-5 takeaways and 15-20 passes defended are realistic expectations. Those numbers would make him a solid CB2 with a little upside.
With Jenkins in his third season and established as the team's number one corner, it is the player lining up opposite him that I am more interested in. Trumaine Johnson was added a round after Jenkins in 2012. He saw action in some of the passing down sub packages as a rookie and stepped into a starting job in his second season when Cortland Finnegan was injured. In twelve games as a starter and four as a nickel corner last season, Johnson finished as the fantasy games number twenty corner with 137 points. His solid numbers of 58-10-0 with 4 turnovers (3 interceptions) and 12 passed defended may prove to be only a prelude. Johnson is not as fast as Jenkins, but at 6'2" and 208 pounds he is bigger and more physical. His size and physical play make him a better matchup against some of the leagues big receivers and an important factor in Gregg Williams aggressive scheme. He has already shown the ability to be productive and will have even more opportunity in 2014. Johnson has not caught the eye of most fantasy owners just yet, making him a potential value pick as a CB2 with top twelve potential.
2012 undrafted free safety Rodney McLeod led the Rams secondary with 63 solo stops in 2013, adding enough big plays to finish with 144 fantasy points and rank just inside the top forty. He did a more than adequate job in that role and will enter camp with a leg up on the competition for that job, but is not a lock to be there come week one. Rookies Mo Alexander and Lamarcus Joyner will also be in the mix. At 5'8" and 184 pounds, Joyner is considerably undersized for the position and is more likely to become the Rams starting nickel corner. Alexander however, is intriguing. Even though he started all thirteen games for Utah State at free safety last year; at 6'1" and 220 pounds this converted linebacker has a body type and skill set that is more suited to play strong safety at the pro level. He is also a bit raw having played in the secondary for only one season. Chances are the fourth round pick will see most of his action on special teams as a rookie while he is groomed and developed as a potential starter in the future.
One of my favorite defensive back sleepers this year is 2013 third round pick T.J. McDonald. For starters let me point out that Quintin Mikell averaged 79 tackles, 6 takeaways and 2 sacks, with a pair of top ten finishes from the Rams strong safety position in 2011 and 2012. A glance at McDonald's totals from last season do not reveal it, but he was on pace for similar numbers had he not missed seven full games and most of another with injury last year. McDonald is an imposing 6'2" 219 pound enforcer that is a bit of a liability in man coverage. He is highly effective as an in the box strong safety with a knack for the big hit and the game changing play. While his big play totals from last season were not impressive, we should keep in mind that he was a rookie and was coming back from an injury that slowed his learning curve. During his three years as a starter for USC McDonald recorded 14 interceptions and made a number of other game changing plays. There is a lot about McDonald that reminds me of another strong safety that once played in Gregg Williams defense. During his three seasons in this scheme Roman Harper averaged 78-21 in the tackle columns, totaling 13 sacks, 10 forced fumbles (13 total takeaways) and 20 passes defended. McDonald will be working in that same role.
SS T.J. McDonald - Strong sleeper to target as a DB3 with plenty of upside
FS Rodney McLeod - Quality depth in most leagues
SS Mo Alexander - Dynasty sleeper
FS/CB Lamarcus Joyner - Nickel corner with limited potential
CB Janoris Jenkins - CB3 target with high end CB2 upside
CB Trumaine Johnson - Solid CB2 prospect
CB Brandon McGee - No value
San Francisco 49ers
Justin Smith has never been on the level of a Calais Campbell or J.J. Watt, but over his first five seasons in San Francisco Smith was one of the fantasy game's few consistently productive 3-4 defensive ends. He is not the most naturally gifted of players, but his skill set and tenacious hardnosed approach is a great fit in the scheme. A career best of 8.5 sacks proves that the thirteen year veteran is not an elite pass rusher. What he has been is an exceptionally consistent contributor both on the field and in the box scores. Smith averages 6.5 sacks a season and has fallen short of 5 only twice in his career. What made him such a steady fantasy contributor over his first twelve seasons was impressive tackle production. Over those twelve years Smith averaged 46 solo stops, never falling short of 41. He will turn 35 in September and is coming off a 2013 season that saw his tackle numbers dip to a career low of 32. Initially it was thought by most of us that he was simply showing a little late career decline. It has since come to light that Smith played much of last season with a bad shoulder. He had surgery over the off season and the coaching staff is being careful with him during camp, but Smith says that he is finally healthy and ready to go. There is no chance he will finish in the top fifteen but if he returns to form (which seems likely) Smith will once again be a solid DL2 for us.
Ray McDonald was the 49ers third round pick in 2007. He spent four years in a backup role before finally winning a starting job in 2011. McDonald has the right skill set for the job and has developed into a solid player for the 49ers but like so many other 3-4 ends his numbers have fallen a little short of useful for most of us. He will make a contribution to the pass rush and had a career best of 5.5 sacks in 2011 but has just 6.5 over the past two seasons combined. The most telling stat when it comes to fantasy value however, if that McDonald has still never reached 30 solo tackles in a season.
The organization hopes/expects that last year's second round pick Cornelius "Tank" Carradine will push for playing time at some point in the near future. In 2012 he recorded 80 combined tackles and 11 sacks as a senior at Florida State. Carradine was on track to be a first round draft pick before suffering a serious knee injury late in the season. As a result his rookie campaign was a wash. Carradine was inactive all season before finally landing on IR in week fifteen. There has been little news about him this offseason but it is expected that Carradine will be healthy entering camp and ready to compete with last year's third defensive end Tony Jerod-Eddie for that role. A healthy Carradine should have no problem winning that job. If he fails to do so, it will cast a dark shadow on his future prospects. Like many of the talented players who have worked at end in the 3-4, Carradine has the potential to be a somewhat productive fantasy option. As with all 3-4 ends however, the cards are stacked against him.
Former Kansas City first round pick Glenn Dorsey and third year undrafted free agent Ian Williams will hold down the nose tackle position. Coming out of the gate in 2013 the two were splitting snaps virtually equally. When Williams was injured early on, Dorsey took over the spot on a full time basis. In 2011 Dorsey recorded 51 tackles and a couple of sacks as a defensive end in the Chiefs 3-4. Last year however, he totaled only 28-13-2 even without sharing the position. He may have the ability to be a decent DT2 or solid #3, but it is no sure thing that either of these guys will have enough opportunity.
DE Justin Smith - Target as depth with DL2 upside if he can bounce back
DE Ray McDonald - Minimal value at best
DE Tank Carradine - Dynasty sleeper
DE Tony Jerod-Eddie - no value
NT Ian Williams - No value
NT Glenn Dorsey - DT2 potential but wait and see before putting him on your roster
In Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman the 49ers have what is arguably the best inside linebacker tandem to have ever play in the 3-4 scheme. Both are smart, physical, fast and highly productive three down players as well as defensive leaders for the team. Over the first four years of his career Willis was a beast in the box scores as well. He posted triple digit solo tackles in each of those seasons while adding a healthy enough dose of big plays to be a perennial top five linebacker. Then came the emergence of Bowman in 2011. Willis has now fallen short of 90 solo tackles and finished outside the top ten at the position in three consecutive seasons. In the first two seasons that Bowman was in the lineup, Willis's drop in tackle totals were somewhat offset by an increase in takeaways and sacks. Last year however, he was 82-22-3 with only a pair of forced fumbles and a single pass breakup in fourteen games. Even if we average in the two games Willis missed he would have totaled only 180 fantasy points and finished well outside the top twenty. In his defense, the groin injury that kept him out of two early games was an issue over much of the season. Willis is completely healthy entering 2014 but as we all know, Bowman is not. In fact, the knee injury that Bowman suffered in the NFC championship game is all but certain to land him on either the PUP or the short term IR to open the season. To cover for that loss the coaching staff has shifted Willis to the "mike" position that Bowman has been playing and will start either Michael Wilhoite or rookie Chris Borland at Willis's "jack" position. I am excited about Willis's fantasy potential for 2014 as there are a few things about this situation that make his return to the top ten likely. He is completely healthy after recovering from the groin injury and a minor offseason surgery on his thumb. For at least the first six games and possibly beyond, Willis will be playing the position that has led the club in tackles for each of the past three years. And with Bowman sidelined there will be less competition for tackles. Even if Bowman returns to action in week seven he will not be 100% at any point in 2014. One thing that is certain, there has been no decline in Willis's game. I am targeting him as a low end LB1 with top five potential.
For dynasty league owners sitting on Bowman this could be a frustrating season. He might be there for us during the stretch run, but even if that turns out to be the case it is doubtful that we will see the same player we are used to. I would strongly suggest preparing as if he will be gone for the year. On the other hand, this might be an opportunity to buy low and rob the competition if there is an impatient/short sighted Bowman owner in your league. While Bowman is out his replacement could prove to be an excellent short term option for us. Thus far Wilhoite has been seeing all the time with the starters but the rookie is expected to get his chance during the preseason. Wilhoite started two games for Willis last season at the "jack" position and posted an impressive 19 solo tackles with a pass breakup so we know he can get the job done. Borland was described by Mike Mayock on draft day as a "thundering hardhead" that is too short and too slow but can play. As a three year starter for Wisconsin Borland put together an impressive resume that includes 359 combined tackles and 15 forced fumbles. If the replacement plays well enough the team may feel comfortable giving Bowman extra recovery time. Judging from what these two guys have shown to date, they will be able to get the job done.
At the outside linebacker position San Francisco has one of the most talented pass rushers in the game. With 30 sack in his first 27 games, Aldon Smith was the fastest player in league history to reach that plateau. The problem is, he has been in the court room or rehab almost as often as the opponents backfield over the past couple of years. Smith was able to avoid jail time on his most recent conviction for DUI and illegal weapons, but he is unlikely to avoid the hammer of the commissioner. All that is to be determined at this point is how long he will be suspended. In 2013 he missed five games while dealing with similar issues. Smith says that he is clean, sober and in the best shape of his life both physically and mentally. Depending on what the commissioner has to say, Smith could be poised for another monster season. When it comes to fantasy value he has the same problem with low tackle production that all 3-4 outside linebackers have, but if he has his head on straight Smith could average better than a sack a game. We should hear something on his status in the next couple of weeks. Goodell has a reputation for really dropping the hammer in situations like this. Until his ruling comes down we are probably better off to stay away from Smith all together or at best pick him up in the very late rounds.
San Francisco is set at the other outside backer position where Ahmad Brooks is coming off the best statistical performance of his eight year career. His 52 solo tackles, 9.5 sacks and 7 pass breakups were all personal bests but Brooks was still well short in the fantasy points department with just 135. Off field problems were a concern for Brooks coming out of college but he has experienced no issues on that front since coming into the league as a supplemental draft pick of the Bengals in 2006. Things did not work out for him in Cincinnati but Brooks has found his niche in the 49ers 3-4. His production has steadily increased over his five years in San Francisco, but it may begin to level off at this point. For those in big play based leagues he is a quality second starter. For everyone else Brooks remains no more than a matchup based bye week flier.
five year career backup Dan Skuta will compete with last year's third round pick Corey Lemonier for the opportunity to be the team's third outside linebacker. Skuta is a solid veteran presence who holds up well versus the run, but he is only average as a pass rusher. Lemonier played sparingly as a rookie but has the potential to develop into a starter down the road. The coaching staff could use Skuta on early downs and Lemonier as the pass rush specialist until Smith returns.
ILB Patrick Willis - A return to the top ten is possible
ILB Navorro Bowman - Injury will determine his value as a late season addition
ILB Michael Wilhoite - LB2 potential until Bowman returns
ILB Chris Borland - Deep dynasty/injury sleeper with a high ceiling
OLB Aldon Smith - Huge big play potential after impending suspension
OLB Ahmad Bradshaw - Quality LB2 in big play based leagues
OLB Corey Lemonier - No value at this time
OLB Dan Skuta - No value
It has been a while since the 49ers gave fantasy owners a defensive back to get excited about. It may be a while longer yet. It is not as if San Francisco is lacking for talent at these positions. It is simply because the defense as a whole has been so strong and the fact that front seven just does not let a lot get through. Only eight defenses were on the field for fewer total snaps than San Francisco last year and there are not many clubs that can boast a pair of linebackers like Willis and Bowman. It is very difficult for players at any position to overcome a lack of opportunity. To emphasize just how much of an impact this can have, we can look at last year's starting strong safety. In his last season with the Bills (2010) Donte Whitner blew up the box scores with 95 solo tackles. In his three seasons with the 49ers he never exceeded 62. In fact, the last time a San Francisco defensive back reached 70 tackles in a season was 2009 when DaShon Goldson posted 77. Free agent addition Antoine Bethea is set to take over at strong safety this year. He has never been more than average as a big play threat but Bethea is on a run of six consecutive seasons with at least 70 solo stops. With Bowman on the shelf for a while there is a chance that he could make it seven in a row, but fantasy owners are dreaming if they expect a repeat of Bethea's 172 point top ten finish of last year. Change is never a good thing for a player that is already productive. It is kind of like the old cliché "if it’s not broke, don't fix it". Bethea is 30 years old and even without Bowman, is probably playing behind the best front seven his career has seen. He may surprise me but I am avoiding him all together this year and will be surprised if he is more than a decent third starter.
Free safety Eric Reid may have a better shot at the top twenty this year than Bethea. Not because he is going to make more tackles, but because he can have a much more significant big play impact. As a rookie the 2013 first round pick finished at 62-15-0 with 6 turnovers (4 picks) and eleven passes defended. His 158 points were enough to make Reid the number twenty four defensive back. The problem with big play safeties/defensive backs is a lack of week to week consistency. Reid could be the poster child for this statement. He reached double digit fantasy points in eight games last season, for a total of 115. In the other eight games combined he totaled 43. Reid is a 213 pound physical safety with excellent cover skills and a knack for getting his hands on the ball. In a different scheme/situation, he could be a perennial top twelve DB. As it is, he is no more than a decent third starter with low end DB2 upside from a total points perspective. Take the inconsistency into consideration and Reid is not a player I would trust even as an every week DB3.
Rookie first round pick Jimmie Ward puts an interesting spin on the 49ers safety position. He played both strong and free safety during his career at Northern Illinois and was highly productive at both spots. He played strong safety as a senior and is currently listed as a strong safety on the 49ers depth chart, but at 5'11" 193 pounds Ward is undersized for that position. Draft experts and scouts alike expressed concerns over his size and durability, but all seem to agree that he is a versatile athletic defensive back with the skills set to make an impact as a starter at the pro level. In the short term Ward is likely to make his biggest impact as a slot corner in the team's passing down sub packages and on special teams. In the long run I could see the organization shifting Reid to strong safety and playing Ward at free. Either way he is unlikely to have much of a box score impact this season. He should however, log enough playing time for us to get a better read on his future potential.
With both Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown moving on the 49ers are going to look different at the corner positions. After three and a half years as a backup Trumaine Brock moved into the starting lineup in week twelve last season. Including the playoffs he made nine starts as the team's number two corner. Brock has been penciled in as a starter entering camp but he will be pushed for the job. 2011 third round pick Chris Culliver and former Viking Chris Cook who came over via free agency this spring, will be the main competition. Culliver started a few games for the team in 2012 and saw a lot of action as the nickel back over his first two seasons with the team. He spent all of 2013 on IR with a torn ACL but has been cleared to participate in camp. Cook was the Vikings second round pick in 2010. He showed a lot of promise before injuries and suspensions derailed his career. All three players have seen time with the starters over the offseason so anything can happen here. Regardless of who starts there are two things that we know about this situation. The 49ers have no established #1 corner and regardless of who starts they will have little fantasy value. In 2013 Rogers led the corner group with 39 solo tackles and Brock was tops in interceptions with 9. In 2012 the numbers were a little better with Rogers finishing in the top thirty, but it has been several years since this team gave us a top twenty corner.
SS Antoine Bethea - DB3 at best
FS Eric Reid - Inconsistent third starter or quality depth
SS Jimmie Ward - Minimal value
FS C.J. Spillman - No value
CB Trumaine Brock - Minimal value until proven otherwise
CB Chris Culliver - Minimal value until proven otherwise
CB Chris Cook - Minimal value until proven otherwise
As is usually the case with Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks roster was raided during free agency. Gone from the defensive line are tackle Clinton McDonald and defensive ends Chris Clemons and Red Bryant. While all three of those guys are quality football players, the reality of it that Seattle lost just 47 tackles and 10 sacks between them. The important point here is that these defections did not leave the Seahawks short at any position. In fact it may actually have made them better. In fantasy terms the changes are almost certain to be a plus. This team had a lot of quality players up front in 2013. So they used a lot of players up front. As a result tackle Tony McDaniel led the team's linemen with only 23 solo stops while Michael Bennett led the club in sacks with 8.5 despite playing on only 57% of the team's defensive snaps. Cliff Avril was second on the team with 8 sacks. He too saw a limited number of opportunities with both players being used mostly as rush specialists on passing downs. With fewer quality options to work into the lineup, Bennett is expected to have a three down role in 2014. He was successful in that role over his last two seasons with the Buccaneers, going 34-7-9 with 3 forced fumbles 2012 before signing with Seattle. Bennett is one of my favorite defensive line sleepers this year. I expect him to push the 40 tackle mark and reach double digits in sacks.
At some point the coaching staff may give Avril a shot at that three down role but it is not likely to happen this year. Unlike Bennett, Avril has not been successful in such a role in the past. He may not have been given that opportunity during his time in Detroit. Over the past several years Lions defensive ends have been role players for the most part. They have not really had a true three down end since Robert Porcher. What we know for sure is that Avril can be very productive as a pass rusher. He recorded a career best of 11 sacks for the Lions in 2011 and has at least 7.5 in each of the past five seasons. At 260 pounds however, he is a bit small for the run support role. Be it lack of opportunity or lack of ability, the fact is Avril has never produced more than 29 solo tackles in a season.
Tony McDaniel has been a backup tackle for most of his eight years as a pro but he does have some experience as a defensive end. As they did with Bryant in recent years, McDaniel will be shifted to end on early downs giving the Seahawks a wide body run defender to set the edge on early downs. He will shift inside in some passing situations and come off the field all together in others. If the league management sites continue to list him as an interior lineman, the increased opportunity could make McDaniel a sneaky early season pickup for us. He is not a threat to post more than 2-3 sacks, but McDaniel has the potential to exceed 35 solo tackles.
While they are a little more thin on the outside than they were last season, the Seahawks have a traffic jam at tackle. Long time starter Brandon Mebane will compete for playing time with veteran free agent addition Kevin Williams, rookie fifth round pick Jimmy Staten, last year's third round selection Jordan Hill and possibly a couple of other guys to determine the pecking order on the inside. Mebane is an established starter for the team and is a strong favorite to keep one of the jobs. Hill is young and talented but struggled with injuries as a rookie and remains a bit raw. Kevin Williams still has a little left in the tank but the coaches prefer to use him as the third tackle in the rotation. If Hill fails to step up and lay claim, Williams may have a bigger role than anticipated. The Seahawks tackle positions were void of fantasy value in 2013 but these positions have produced decent numbers in years past. It will be worth our time to watch how this situation plays out. There could be surprising value to be had.
DE Michael Bennett - Strong sleeper with high end DL2 potential
DE Cliff Avril - Matchup based bye week flier
DE Tony McDaniel - May have some value if he can be played at tackle
DE Greg Scruggs - No value
DE Jackson Jeffcoat - No value
DE Cassius Marsh - Dynasty sleeper at best
DT Brandon Mebane - Potential DT2
DT Jordan Hill - Possible depth in tackle required leagues
DT Kevin Williams - Minimal value at best
DT Jesse Williams - No value
DT Jimmy Staten - No value
When it comes to the Seattle linebackers there is not much guess work. Bobby Wagner is entrenched in the middle as is K.J. Wright on the weak side with Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith both seeing time on the strong side. Heading into last season it looked as if Wagner would emerge as a fantasy stud. He got off to a slow start but finished strong, posting double digit points in eight consecutive games down the stretch. At a glance his totals of 72-48-5 with 3 takeaways and 6 pass breakups do not seem very impressive. Take into consideration however, that Wagner missed two games in October. His average of just over 13 points a game was twelfth among linebackers. Opportunity is the life force of box score production. With the Seahawks playing so well on both sides of the ball, Wagner had less opportunity than most in 2013. There is little doubt that Seattle will continue to be a very good team but few teams are able to repeat such a dominating performance. Wagner is the complete middle linebacker. Fast, physical and tenacious with good cover skills, a high football IQ and strong leadership qualities. I expect him to have a little more opportunity in 2013, which should push him up a few slots and make him a top ten linebacker in 2014. He is entering only his third season and has just scratched the surface of his fantasy potential.
As anticipated Wright continued to hold his role as a three down weak side linebacker in most situations last season. Even so his production tailed off considerably. Wright missed three games and most of a fourth but averaging in those games still leaves him short of 60 solo tackles. Some of his lacking totals can be blamed on the opportunity factor but much of it had to do with the exceptional play of free safety Earl Thomas who jumped his tackle total from 42 in 2012 to 78 in 2013. Whatever it was that the coaching staff changed last season it worked, so there is no reason to believe it will change back. Wright is a good football player and a quality contributor on the field. I expect his numbers to rebound some but do not see him as more than a marginal LB4 or a bye week fill in.
After serving his four game suspension at the beginning of last season, Bruce Irvin split playing time at strong side linebacker almost evenly with Malcolm Smith. Even the starts were split at eight each by the end of the season. The coaching staff is trying to slowly transition Irvin from a pass rushing one trick pony to a complete strong side linebacker. Thus far the results have been marginal. He is showing improvement but still struggles at the point of attack versus the run and is does yet appear smooth and comfortable in coverage. Smith is better in coverage and plays the run well despite being twenty plus pounds lighter than Irvin, but Smith lacks the burst of an edge pass rusher that Irvin brings to the field. Last season these two split everything pretty evenly including the 65 tackles that were recorded from the position. At this point there is no reason to expect anything different from them in 2014.
The corner position took some hits in free agency with both starter Brandon Browner and nickel corner Walter Thurmond taking the money elsewhere, but we should not expect any difference in play from this group in 2014. In Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane the Seahawks have two young players that have been groomed for this opportunity and are ready to step up. Maxwell will take over as the starter opposite Richard Sherman. He is somewhat of a Browner clone in that he is a big, physical corner that can matchup with the leagues trend of jumbo sized receivers. The 2011 sixth round pick played sparingly over his first two seasons but blossomed in 2013. He saw action as the nickel back for a few games early then took over as the starter in week thirteen when Browner was injured and Thurmond suspended. In his five starts Maxwell broke up 10 passes and intercepted four, brining his season total to six takeaways. His impressive play made it a no brainer for the organization to let their former starters walk rather than paying them a lot of money. Anyone who plays opposite Sherman is going to have a lot of opportunity as offenses will certainly look to avoid the best corner in the game. Maxwell's tackle production was spotty even as a starter so I am not sure how that will pan out, but he should have plenty of opportunity. At the least he has shown a great deal of big play potential. I like him as a CB3 sleeper with starting potential.
This organization has a knack for getting talented corners who fit their scheme in the later rounds. This season they will be starting a fifth round selection (Sherman) and a sixth round pick (Maxwell) with 2012 sixth round gem Jeremy Lane working as the slot corner. Like Maxwell, Lane is a virtual clone of the man he will be replacing. He has the physical stature and skill set to get the job done with the football IQ and mental approach that fits perfectly into the Seahawks scheme. Good as they were in 2013, the Seattle secondary may be even better with these two young additions. Lane has the potential to be productive if either of the starters go down, but in the nickel role he will not have the opportunity to make a box score splash.
That leads us to Sherman. What I find most unique about this player is his ability to post strong fantasy points despite the limited number of opportunities. In 2012 Sherman was still establishing his reputation and offenses were not yet convinced. That season he totaled a solid 52 solo stops to go along with his 8 interceptions, 11 total takeaways, 24 passed defended and 2 scores. He was the fantasy game's number two corner behind only Charles Tillman that year. In 2013 offensive coordinators did everything but threaten their quarterbacks to keep them from challenging Sherman. As a result of the limited opportunity Sherman recorded only 38 tackles on the season. When those quarterbacks ignored their coordinators however, Sherman often made them pay. Even with less than 40 tackles his 8 interceptions, 16 passes defended and a score landed Sherman among the top ten corners. Throughout this series of articles I have been preaching consistency. The corner position is the one exception to that. By the nature of the position these players are often going to struggle with week to week consistency, thus this is the one spot that I like to gamble on big plays over a few consistent tackles. There are only a handful of corners that give us both. After that a guy like Sherman is worth plugging in as an every week starter simply because he can win you a game on any given week. The one bit of advice that goes along with Sherman is that he needs to be in your lineup every week. If you sit him because he has done nothing for a couple of games, that will be the week that he goes off. You have to be willing to take the bad with the good.
The Seahawks are rock solid at the safety positions. At 6'3' and 232 pounds, Kam Chancellor is a safety trapped in the body of a linebacker. On the field he gives Seattle the best of both worlds. He covers better than most strong safeties and is an intimidating presence over the middle in the passing game. In run support there is no better safety in the game. Chancellor's versatility gives the defensive coaches the ability to be very creative in their week to week game plans. Unfortunately his box score totals do not adequately reflect his value on the field. This is not to say that he has no fantasy value. Chancellor finished last season with a solid mark of 65-34-0, 4 takeaways and 6 passes defended. His tackle production was down slightly from the previous two seasons but his overall point totals were up from 2012 and were enough to make him a solid DB2. Chancellor's best production came in 2011 when he was 75-22-1 with 7 turnovers and 12 pass breakups. That was before the team became so good. In a different situation we would be talking about this guy as a perennial top ten defensive back. With all the talent around him on a defense/team that is at the top of the league, Chancellor is simply not going to have that opportunity. That said, I expect his tackle numbers to rebound a bit in 2014 and will be surprised if he falls short of the top twenty.
The season Earl Thomas turned in last year was nothing short of impressive. Especially coming on the heels of a 2012 campaign that saw him post only 42 solo tackles. With at least 5 takeaways in each of his four seasons as a pro, Thomas's big play ability has never been in doubt. Prior to last year however, he had never reached the 70 tackle mark. His big jump in tackle production was not a fluke. Rather it was the result of a scheme tweak. In 2012 Thomas was used as a centerfielder. He lined up as a deep safety and was a catch all for everyone in front of him. Last season however, he was moved closer to the line on a regular basis and was in the thick of the action. Considering how well that worked, there is no reason to expect a change in 2014. Thomas is a smart, physical playmaker who is sound in every aspect of the game. He was a top ten defensive back last season and is likely to repeat as a solid DB1.
SS Kam Chancellor - Low end DB2 or excellent third starter
FS Earl Thomas - Solid DB1 target
SS Jeron Johnson - No value
CB Richard Sherman - Low end CB1 with typical consistency issues
CB Byron Maxwell - Sleeper with high CB2 potential
CB Jeremy Lane - Injury sleeper
CB Therald Simon - No value
That does it for this year's initial columns. The first round of preseason action kicks off shortly. Over the next few weeks I will be looking for answers to a lot of questions as well as confirmation on a lot of what we think we know. The plan is to have an update available before preseason round two. and possibly another one before week one. In the meantime, best of luck in those upcoming drafts and be sure to check back often. In the end we all have the same goal, Just Win Baby!