QUICK ORIGINAL INFO BY JOHNNY B
By Jonathan Bauman on May 27th, 2017
Why taking a "Step-Back" is harder for NFL lineman
O-linemen, by their nature, are boring to most casual football viewers. Without getting into a, “My dad can beat up your dad” contest; the below list is my opinion of who’s who—in the overall offensive lineman category. I promise you there are Fantasy Football implications here, so stay with me. These lovable pass-protectors and Run-blockers; are the guys who are barred from the, “All you can eat” Sushi restaurants, and primarily the reason so many small mom and pop buffets suddenly cringe at the sight of a mean group of massive offensive linemen; taking their diner by storm. Take a look below as we go on a Hungry Man’s mission, seeking which NFL teams bolster the top flight O-lines, and of course, choosing which category of restaurants to feed those endless bellies.
Here’s My 2017 Offensive Line Rankings
The Elite Offensive Linemen:
- New Orleans
In the Conversation
Beauty is in the eye of the “beer holder” here folks, and we could argue till the cows comes home—as to why Green Bay isn’t on my list, or the Jets, or gosh; even the Chiefs or Bears for that matter. All cities, by the way, serve exceptional beer on tap I might add. Your list probably differs from mine, but you get the gist of this assignment.
Other than last years Patriots & Texans, most NFL defenses are giving up yards similar to Pop Warner teams; guys like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees have taken advantage of rules changes—putting up offensive numbers never seen before. It’s also evident that defensive linemen are getting pushed around unlike anything we’ve ever seen. These new, young, nimble offensive linemen are getting stronger, bigger, and yes even growing lengthier wingspans—to corral those would-be pass rushers.
While it’s true, the defenses in 2013 were allowing upwards of four 400 yards per game to four separate teams, let’s not overlook the men who are plowing the way, contributing—more specifically to this incredible change in professional football. In two of the past three years, four teams have given up more than 400 yards, and you know the O-line played a huge part in protecting the QB to achieve these figures.
Obviously, allowing offenses to gobble up yardage almost at will is the direction the game is headed. The 49ers and Colts are the most prolific “land givers” in the past few years, having allowed gobs of yards in most of their games. I’m not trying to dwell on the defensive challenges so much here, but more so to examine the solid efforts of the boyz in the trenches, the “Hogs” if you will of the O-line, and to commend them.
Before mocking your Fantasy Runners this year, and I realize there's been a slight shift to the once new “League Order.” NFL scouts, coaches, and wise guys are beating the bushes for big O-lineman to protect these precious QB’s and to still have the energy to Run-Block late in the game, when up by only one Touchdown.
Today’s O-linemen are well over 300lbs. and are super agile compared to the throw back glory years of old. To the average football fan, it appears like these offensive giants clash into one another after hearing a few sounds so familiar on the battle line front, something like, “Ready…Down…Hut.. Hut..Hut..Hut—H-U-T!” from their respected team captain QB; as they anxiously wait for the ball to be snapped. Truth is; the consistent play of the O-linemen has determined the success of the overall team, and mostly the final score of the ball game. I really understood the importance of O-linemen from my uncle Bill, who is apart of the EXOS group Pre-Combine, and someone who sees the new crop of collegiate talent prepare for entry to the pro’s.
Obviously the O-lineman must give their QBs enough time to pass the pigskin, or create holes for their star Runner, while mustering up the strength to not carry a bad attitude through the pain of it all, or even worse, giving up when things aren’t going their way.
Switching to the other side of the ball for a moment, are the defensive linemen; who not only have to endure the frustration of a veteran offensive linemen, but also have to figure out quickly whether the play call is a Run, or a Pass. This mutually exclusive decision can be dangerous if the DL retreats backwards on its heels; thinking the early look of the play resembles a pass—when only it’s a fierce, blast right, very evident, run up the gut. How much pressure the Defense decides to bring will vary on each snap of the ball. Most coaches want to create a “wall” (so-to-speak) for their Def. linemen, and thus, stop the penetration of a talented runner—who can surely beat then in a sprint any day of the week.
Cutting to the chase; so why then are O-linemen taking more steps back these days? And what about their Fantasy Football relevance? Duh, it’s still a passing league, even with David Johnson and Zeke giving the impression the Run Game is alive and well. While taking that first “Step back” with their outside foot, the offensive linemen gains a head start in pass protection, and attempts to avoid the bull-rushing, fire-breathing, defensive brute; who only has one goal in mind: sack that quarterback by using any means necessary—rip move, swim move or club forearm tomahawk to the face!
One thing is for sure; the game of Football loves to disguise play calling so the other team doesn’t catch on to what the real play is. Getting a “Read” from the defense, the offensive linemen can better prepare for stunts or trickery that defensive players employ, like intentionally putting one isolated O-lineman, out of position—because due to the strategic switching of defensive challengers, or cross over motions specifically-targeted at the O-line, these angry def. linemen whip their arms in eye of many a brick-house left tackler, trying to fend off these beastly def. all-pro contenders. The mission is simple: strike forcefully at the gaps, found mainly on the line of scrimmage in-between O-linemen and their stance.
You can see why Offensive linemen are getting upset with current direction of the league. Well, for one thing, they proclaim that there’s far too many passing play calls as opposed to sure-fire runs with the assistance of a Fullback to slow the game down, not to mention saving the O-line vigor and morale. Taking that first “Step” back, (so-to-speak) gets tiresome for these blue-collar workers, and maintaining their sanity all four quarters of a game? Forget about it. In fact, there’s many an O-lineman, who are gassed, dripping with sweat, and just plain exhausted during the battle of protecting his precious QB.
Many offensive linemen will lash out either to the QB or snarl with stink eye directed towards the sideline “Hog” coaches, you know, the typical hands thrown in disgust towards to the sky, with a moan you could hear in the 3rdrow where the wives sit. This is after the big guy learns that the very next play is slotted to be yet another deep wide out Go-Route or post-pattern pass, to a skinny (non-blocking WR punk). In the old days, linemen had the luxury of downhill run blocking far more often. They enjoyed the cadence of the run play calls, the rhythm of blocking or clearing lanes for runners. Then, when the coach or QB wanted to audible for a pass, it was available—but more often in that sequential order.
For Fantasy purposes, do you know which teams have the run-happy offensive linemen? I mean the grinders like Jim Otto, Gene Upshaw and Art Shell of Raider years past. With the game now looking more and more like the Canadian Football league, Run-blocking linemen are all but extinct.
I realize the O-line of any football squad has got be one of the hardest positions to appraise or analyze from a numbers perspective. For example; how does one really evaluate how the O-line’s performance on a play, where, let’s say because the newly added collegiate RB, who by the way, never “Hits” the correct hole off the left tackle—which is what the coach originally wanted, proceeds to decision make like a John Rambo ex marine, bouncing outside towards the opposite direction ala Barry Sanders, picking up a cool 12 yards in the process. How in the world do we analysis whether the O-line assisted in such an improvisational type of broken play?
The ground-breaking point being; while this season were bound to see more and more offensive lineman taking that initial first step back (in pass block), I think its safe to say there’s a number of really aggressive Run block O-linemen still ready to push the defense linemen back, as if they were on ice skates (no different-than the famous musical), “Disney on Ice.” These giants in trenches’ practically create a gaping hole wider than the Panama Canal, freeing up their buddy—that elusive RB.
Once the RB1 takes one to the house, as he beats the secondary and respective linebacker core—accomplished in zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds, he thanks his boyz who did all the dirty work, oh yeah and buys them a nice steak dinner too. So go now; do yourself a favor, and stop mocking for a bit—research O-linemen pronto, because your precious Fantasy RB first round pick depends on it come draft day.
By Jonathan Bauman on April 14th, 2016
Fantasy Football Empire League: Olympic Version
If you've NOT heard of an Empire Fantasy Football League, then you're surely missing out on the fun!
Each year in your dull Re-Draft League, owners get lazy, people get tired of the same routine, and really what kills me is lost art of the Fantasy Football Trade, and in my own league I run, we have NOT traded in like 3 years! Zero, Nadda....Nothing!
Paul Charchian--of LeagueSafe.com is my hero, and I enjoyed his article circa 2012 featuring the Empire League Format!
What’s an Empire League? It’s a dynasty league with two unique twists:
1) Each year, half the pot goes to the year’s winner, and the other half is set aside in a rolling Emperor pot.
2) When someone wins an Empire League in consecutive years, they win the rolling Emperor pot. And the league disbands.
So, yeah yeah I know there's a ton of questions of this, but here now in 2016 it's going to be the norm, let me tell you.
First, off in my humble opinion this type of Ship only sails if you're in a Family league, or close group ( long-time bros) due to the fact that once a Pot increases over the magic number of $2,000 -- Personalities tend to change, and people get angry etc.
Let's say for instance the league dues are $150 bucks
Half of which goes to the Dynasty Empire League setting:
$75 X 12 owners let's say = $900 bones.
Assuming nobody goes Back 2 Back with Championships, let's fast forward to year # 4.
You're looking at $4,500 bucks as the side Empire Pot.
To me, this can be a nice Hybrid Format for Fantasy Leagues out there, which I call the Empire Olympic version of Charch's famous league setting, the Original Empire League.
Why the Olympic Version? Because every four years you can play for a MEGA, or GRAND year Pot. This type of build up can bring out the best in your league-mates, and whether you install the NO Trade clause if an owner wins in year 3 and is setting up for year 4, that's up to you and your commish.
But I say, rather than POT sizes growing to sums over $9,000 or even $15,000 and family and friends turning into angry, jealous, wild animals types of all pedigrees and oh yeah a few savages that will tear up your league message board, why not keep it to a 4 year Empire? Have an Olympic year every fourth, and then at the 8 year mark, Re-Draft your Dynasty League all together?
This is my take, it's my humble opinion on folks who hear about an Empire League format, and quickly say, Ah Hell....NO! There's no way I'd do that! Etc.....
My Olympic Empire League has a separate Trophy similar to the World Cup of Soccer by the way, so that particular Owner holds on to the the hardware until the next 4 years comes along, and it's a great way to add drama to your league.
Again, the magic number of POT sizes in my experience (of over 20 + years) seems to be right around $2,000, that's where folks start to get crazy I've noticed. Or at least, begin to change from normal Fantasy Owner to an Altered Version when Pot sizes go from $2k, to 5k, to $10k.....etc.
Are you welcome to play the original Empire League settings? Be my guest--absolutely feaking lootly!
I'm just throwing my version out there for the Hybrid League that totally enjoys Dynasty Fantasy Football, with the Empire format still alive! And the options for Fantasy owners to choose, shall I play for this year or next? Or go for broke in the 4th Olympic Year!
By Jonathan Bauman on October 19, 2015
Stefon Diggs, the man now in Minnesota. Do I hear trade rumors for Cordarrllee Patterson? Don't be surprised if the Vikes make a move on him. He's obviously now moved his way up to the No. 1 Wide Out after posting 9 targets, 7 rec, and 129 yards last Sunday.
How much should you wager on him for FAABY dollars? 15-20% is my estimate, but perhaps that's too low for (Week 7) when so many players on your fantasy team could be facing BYE Weeks. I'll say this, he could be a trash-time machine for the Vikings if Teddy Bridggy gets down on score, and no use giving AP the rock (late in the game). Look to Stefan Diggs from Maryland, the stud we all saw at the NFL combine, but finally proven himself Sunday--on the playing field. Often times, it's dudes like this we turn back on and say....could he be the next big thang? Only time will tell and if you have room on your bench, I'd get him on your team ASAP!
By Jonathan Bauman on September 15, 2015
It's hard to see this photograph, isn't it? Mmmmm but you can kinda tell it's a Running Back, yes...ok I'm with you now--but who is that? What team? I can only see his jersey # 34 because the picture is hard to make out. Well that's because this picture is still a puzzle, and yet to be developed from the "fixer" in your college photoshop class.
The Seattle Seahawks have a runner that I want on all my Fantasy teams at the moment, they have a runner who I believe is not somebody you get a second chance on the waiver wire for; in fact, week 4 waivers might be where you look back and thank yourself later in the Fantasy playoff run--who knows. Thomas Rawls, a name you better get to know fast. Never mind the talk regarding his recent routing of the Bears, and a so-called "Easy-defense." Save me the lecture. When you see a guy like this, who has the vision, is a smart kid, and makes the final Pete Carroll roster cut (when they ship Christine Michael and Turbin off) you gotta ask yourself, how did he get those 100 yards last week in Chicago? Not just on the surface, it was Da Bears easy run defense, but did you watch his feet? Did you pay attention to his rushing style?
Often times these RB's hit the scene and are a "Hand-cuff" thought for Lynch owners, uh not me--I've seen enough footage on him, and I love what I see for the future!It's week 4, and depending on how your overall record is, why not buy this stock before the final image is clear, and the puzzle piece, (hard to see pic) becomes a text message photo you send to your buddy the moment this cat gets all the attention and buzz.
Am I over-hyping this guy? Sure, just a little, but as a fellow Marshawn Lynch owner, and a huge fan of Beast-Mode (mind you), I'm just concerned about his lingering injury. Hammy & a Calf? Look, I'm not too sure those quickly go away, and watch this closely, the MRI results won't be of any help to you either, only Beast-Mode knows how tender his injury is, as a RB-1 owner you may get news that he's gonna play, but seriously? Are you gonna risk your top dog Runner on a fierce front Detroit defense that bruised up the two Denver boys last week? No thanks, I'll sit Lynch regardless.
I worry that the team's solid, "A-Paper" defense will "buy" more time for Lynch, and the Seahawks just try to win football games, not play Fantasy Football with their RB-1 Rock who they really want fully healthy. Arizona is out in front, and I realize the Seahwawks don't want the difference in record to get too far out of reach this early in the season, but with my beloved 49ers out of the scene and the Rams who keep losing, the Seahawks are gonna be just fine.So what does all this mean? It means they can rest Lynch, It means...Freddy Jackson is a filler, an insert runner to get this kid (Thomas Rawls) warmed up to the NFL, which (who) by the way, knows the playbook inside and out according to teammates. Freddy has experience, Freddy is gonna teach Thomas the ways of the Jedi warrior, and Lynch will "Stay in his own lane" till healthy once again.
I look forward to a Marshawn return, but in my opinion and the advice I giving now is: that's like week 7 for his 100% return! Lynch is my RB-1, and my favorite Back in the whole league, but as you well know in UDD (UpsideDownDrafting) methodology, you must be a "Hawk" on the Waiver Wire with a team built on WR's and TE's, so don't miss out on this running back Thomas Rawls, what if he's the Jeremy Hill of last year?
What if he's the early changing of the guard?Obviously time will tell, but I'm not willing to have (the didn't pull the trigger) type of buyers remorse (which by the way is the worst feeling in all of Fantasy Football, let alone real life."Get him on your team
By Jonathan Bauman on September 15, 2015
So week 1 we saw this Runner get in the end zone on a huge gash up the middle. He's a rookie from Florida St....big deal you say. Why am I so high on him? Because the Buffalo Bills are the Running Back University!! They will have games with the lead on this Rex Ryan Nasty defense, and with Tyrod Taylor holding serve, Karlos "Special K" enters the stage ready to rock the league with huge upside in the Fantasy World. Last week I grabbed him, if you're still not sure bout this player, tune in this week, you'll understand what all the fuss is about.
So week 1 of the NFL is in the books--Fantasy Points were scored, now what?
Well, for most it's time to P-A-N-I-C !!!!!!!!!
Seriously though, I'm seeing way too many texts, e-mails and phone calls on this subject of freaking out. Ask yourself this...do you believe there is a dis-advantage to being totally informed on Fantasy real-time information? With our fast paced society as it is, information is lighting fast--and for the average Fantasy owner, it causes anxiety.
I'll even go so far as to say, "Hair Trigger Reactions" for owners that lost in week 1, or worse--took a victory and are so addicted to the news and wire on the radio/TV or internet the opposite occurs which is O-V-E-R information and brain lock fixation. This stuff is real, and for most it's very difficult to stay chill on making roster moves. For example, I'll consider 10 moves and research for an hour's time before bitting my tongue and doing absolutely nothing. Oh, but some call this fun, and part of the game. Hah hah aha I can only speak from personal experience.
I've found that the years I've played with ease, in other words, let my stars play, and not be matchup dependent, have done far better than the seasons I'm more locked in, soaking up what I can from outside sources and news--totally stressing over every detail. With all the tinkering one Fantasy owner can do in a single week, sometimes you shoot yourself in the foot.
Here's a Guru 2002 concept for you: Ready? Draft your Fantasy Team, then put your own personal gut feeling into your lineup and the best team on the field for week 2, and if it happens for you, it happens for you. Live by your studs, die by your studs. Last Sunday a close friend texted me the following:
"Johnny B, I had my lineup setup for 2-weeks, and hours after I drafted in my keeper league, I switched out John Brown for V-Jax with only 15 min till kickoff. Brown scores a TD 1 minute into the Cards/Saints game--go figure!"
I don't always drink beer, but when I do--I always W-I-N my Fantasy League! Look people, if you're brining your best game to your Live Fantasy Football Draft, then you should be buying your best BEER! Or you shouldn't be playing this year.
A kind choice of beer enlivens the senses, fulfills the even un-expressed dreams and "R-E-A-C-H-E-S" of a Fantasy Draft!
Don't be light beer lame owner who comes in 5th place each year!
It's all bout your Craft Beer selection! Call me a Beer Snob all you want, but Quality attracts Quality. And a solid IPA can get you going strong before round 1 even begins.
My choice...the one that always gets me the Trophy? Look no further than Ballast Point: The Sculpin IPA. Voted like No. 1 beer each and every year, how can you argue this Beer doesn't get it done on Draft Day??
Check out FantasyTrophies.com and what Dave Demetri is doing for your league Trophy. Get Hardware that matters, Get Hardware that even your wife makes a comment on, like--"Wow" that's a really big Trophy!" we can easily set that over the fireplace mantle etc. Join the big leagues and step up your game! Don't settle for average league trophies or beer for that matter. Enhance your Live Draft!!! Baby!
All the Best this weekend as you make your Fantasy Draft Picks
By Jonathan Bauman on August 24, 2015
We’ve often talked about the concept of rushing to your CPU or cell phone in panic mode-quickly pulling the trigger on a depth chart Wide Out you never even studied the minute a key Fantasy Receiver Stud goes down to Preseason injury. Sure, your Fantasy League already drafted, and you—so bummed about now after hearing the news on Jordy Nelson, (have prematurely) just taken the “Next Best” guy on the teams WR Core Depth Chart, to fill in your would be lineup for week 1.
If you think about it, that makes sense. I mean the Green Bay Packers put that depth chart together, Raaha-h-e-i-g-h-t? The deviation in efficiency between wide out Jeff Janis or Ty Montgomery is small most will attest on the surface, and I’m certain we all agree on the fact that Janis has the edge with his Olympic weight lifting regiment, the better catching radius, and for the most part--just a better set of banana hands. But we’ve overlooked one important component on Jeff Janis—He’s too Raw! And, in the NFL as we know so well, once the press coverage is applied, let alone a good press coverage, being raw does you absolutely nothing! Just like the movie UHF years ago, let me say that again….Nothing! Absolutely nothing! You remember don’t you? Weird Al……and well, uh anyways.
We know a heavy set of targets is important is Fantasy Football, and especially in a PPR league, and a slot Wide Out will generate a worthy number of Fantasy Points based on sheer workload alone. But how much? Let’s examine the passing system in Green Bay for a minute. The system with Aaron Rodgers has it all, the deep shot over the deep safety, the quick-slant to Cobb for the 8 yard TD score, and if that’s not enough, A-rod exploits you on the middle of field to his TE after you’ve been dinked and dunked all 1st Qrt long.
The right “Fit”
Whether you’ve researched anything about Ty Montgomery or not, he’s going to be the guy in Cheese-head land this year—Mark my Words! While the sheep go and grab Jeff Janis without even examining the teams depth chart thoroughly, you’ll be missing out on the best “Fit” for this offense—trust me.
I stress the term “Fit” because just like in your professional work career in your hometown, often times it’s not all bout what your resume says: Yale, Princeton, MIT, blah, blah, blah, this and that. More and more big Corporations now-a-days are seeing past the surface structure of where you went to school, and seeking the Gold in how you fit into their scheme. Look no further than Ty Monty here folks; with his strong personal character and super poise—he’s considered one of the good guys. His highest praise just recently out of combine said, that he’s an “accountable teammate” by coaching staffs, and oh yeah… by the way, he’s taller than Randall Cobb.
Scouting Report on TY
Alright, so by now you’ve already Googled him, and seen his Combine weakness. I hear you! You doubt me, because why should you just take my word for this guy? You’ve witnessed the scouting report, and have burning questions like these:
• Route running capabilities?
• Non-Natural wide receiver characteristics?
• Opportunity with catching hands?
• Too muscled physically?
People! This is exactly why A-Rod is gonna turn this kid into a friggin’ Monster! I don’t care about the above scouting report, what I do C-A-R-E about is the known fact! Ty Montgomery CAN run inside & outside extremely well, you can line him up anywhere. Also, he’s played Defensive Back in his past (great vision) and perspective when he’s on offensive etc. Stanford educated, yep he’s a smart, and a well coached individual from the Pac-12 for the icing on the cake.
Oh, and the too muscled bit? Hah hah, that’s the best part of all, because he’s gonna be really…really tuff to “Jam” at the line of scrimmage!
When I’m looking for a Sleeper, or a Waiver Wire fill in (such as this article) I tend to check my “Believe Window” for Fantasy Football, and seek the truth. What’s your belief window? Are there principles etched in glass that you won’t see past? Is the NFL scouting report the end all for you? I love to challenge thoughts that I believe to be true even thought I have zero data on the player yet to make his NFL debut.
As it turns out, it’s the workload that I’m banking on for Ty “Monty” this year, and that to me is worth way more than how efficient he’s going to be. When you run the numbers in this pass-happy Green Bay offense, a solid defense is going to take away your “Top” Stud wide receiver, that’s just a given. Thus, with Jordy gone—Cobb will play that main WR role, and in my humble opinion DaVante Adams will invade his numbers, only to leave the door wide open for my boy….Ty “Monty” to shine, just as Cobb did his rookie year looking back when Greg Jennings used to play for the Pack. I was fortunate enough to grab Randall Cobb his rookie year as I remembered my draft.
Will the shoe fit? Can we “TY” this one on? I’m here to say 100% YES!!
Fantasy Draft Day has many traditions, what's yours?
It's almost that time of year once again, and as you prepare for your Live FF Draft--what are some of your traditions? In the league I run, we're a Fantasy Football League of Golfers, and, thus we present the Masters Green Jacket to our winner. Each year, we take pride in handing off this torch.”
“The name of our FF league is called the Muni, short for (Municipal City Golf Course League). And our Jacket ceremonies are the best! Yes, that’s me in the photo on the next page, and I proudly have a few Green Jackets in in my closet; gosh, it feels great to walk into the draft wearing a Greenie—we’re talkin’ Mondo Intimidation factor—“Butler Cabin” or your league’s cabin—this jacket screams—R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Even Aretha would be singing her praises.”
I've won my share of "Greenie" but always have more room in my coat closet for more.
Strange Rumblings in the Coaching world for Fantasy Football 2015 don't miss this exciting episode where the crew at Mock Ad hoc' take your through some big coaching changes, and how they will impact your Fantasy Draft this season.
FantasyTrophies.com -- Be sure and check out this Fantasy Trophy Review "Upside" Minute with Mock Ad Hoc Host Johnny B, it's a must for your Commish to get!
Click above link to view!
Keeper Leagues -- Chris Zee joins us Weds night to cover his own league he runs as a commish. Learn more about Keeper leagues for Fantasy football, and how to enhance your current league setup!