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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fantasy Rankings Week 2: RB's

Running backs as always are a key position in fantasy football. With the potential as rushers and pass catchers, RBs provide a lot of points to fantasy owners, and often make up the majority of picks in the first few rounds of a draft. At the top of the draft there are some heavy-hitting backs, but I also think that some diamonds in the rough shine later in the second and third rounds and even later, that could bring No. 1 or No. 2 RB value.

First, let's take a look at how I did at the volatile RB position a year ago:

Picked No. 1 for 2016, Adrian Peterson. Actually finished: 131.Talk about off. Whew, Peterson getting hurt was not in the cards.
Picked No. 2 for 2016, Todd Gurley. Actually finished: 17.Whiff. Missed again. He disappointed in 2016.
Picked No. 3 for 2016, Lamar Miller. Actually finished: 18. He missed two games, but that really wasn't the whole reason for the drop. Brock Osweiler was. He's gone, thankfully.
 Picked No. 4 for 2016, Ezekiel Elliot. Actually finished: No. 2. Pretty good choice here. Zeke was a beast as a rookie.
Picked No. 5 for 2016, Mark Ingram. Actually finished: 9. Not off by too much. I banked on a big year from him, and he sort of delivered. Not expecting so this year.
Picked No. 6 for 2016, Devonta Freeman. Actually finished: 6. Spot on here. Expect more of the same in 2017.
Picked No. 7 for 2016, David Johnson. Actually finished: 1. I didn't completely buy into the David Johnson hype, and that was a mistake.
Picked No. 8 for 2016, Le'Veon Bell. Actually finished: 3. Can't believe he put up the numbers that he did whilst missing a chunk of games for being suspended.
Picked No. 9 for 2016, LeSean McCoy. Actually finished: 4. He rose even higher than I expected, but a decent pick.
Picked No. 10 for 2016, Thomas Rawls. Actually finished: 62. Just couldn't stay healthy. SAD!

As for 2017, my rankings are as follows:
1. David Johnson: He is a consensus No. 1. A great pass catcher with a ton of talent on a solid offense. He's the real deal.
2. Le'Veon Bell: If he can pull off even 80% of what he did last year this year, over a full season, he'll be up near the top.
3. Devonta Freeman: He just signed a big deal to be THE MAN in Hotlanta. He should be a stud for a few years for sure. Might need to jump into the 7th or 8th round to handcuff with Tevin Coleman, however.
4. LeSean McCoy: If healthy, Shady proved he can be a huge performer. Another that I'd snap up his handcuff (likely Jonathan Williams) too.
5. Melvin Gordon: He's also not a bet to stay healthy, but is in a good situation in LA, and could very well run near the top once again.
6. DeMarco Murray: Tennesee has one of the top OL's in the league, and Murray has at least one more season in him at an elite level. The addition of pass threats will help the Titans get more holes for Murray as well.
7. Isaiah Crowell: Another big, powerful back behind a great OL. Crowell is a true three-down back, and his pass catching will propel him up the ranks in 2017.
8. Jay Ajayi: Will not suffer with Jay Cutler at the helm. RBs have historically done well under Cutler and Adam Gase. Especially early on, expect the 'Phins to lean on Ajayi.
9. Christian McCaffrey: He is an exceptional talent. He is like a more athletic Danny Woodhead. The Panthers won't be afraid to give him the rock 20 times a game, which could mean big time production.
10. Danny Woodhead: Speaking of Woodhead. He may be old for a RB (32) and coming off an injury, but assuming he remains shifty and sure of hand, he could be productive as the top back for the Ravens.

Hope these rankings, which are for PPR formats are helpful. Next week we'll take a look the deepest position, WR.

Enjoy a few photos from our smugmug from Region 8C weekend 2 in Avon.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fantasy rankings week 1: Quarterback

Album reviews are suspended here at The Full TO for the next four to five weeks, because it is time for my annual fantasy football rankings. This week, as is usual, I will begin with quarterbacks.



First, lets take a look at how I did last year:
*Note: These are based on 6 points for passing touchdowns, because that is what my main fantasy league goes by (not my decision).

 Picked No. 1 for 2016, Drew Brees. Actually finished: 2. Very good selection.  A lot of people thought he might fall off due to age, but that was certainly not the case.
 Picked No. 2 for 2016, Ben Roethlisberger. Actually finished: 11. He was hurt a couple times on some vicious hits. By average his rank was actually 7th. 
Picked No. 3 for 2016, Aaron Rodgers. Actually finished: 1. Underestimated Rodgers, but he had healthy receivers and showed that he is still very much in his prime.
Picked No. 4 for 2016, Russell Wilson. Actually finished: 13. Had some injury issues early on in the year, which limited his mobility. That hurt his ranks.
Picked No. 5 for 2016, Matthew Stafford. Actually finished: 6. The QB I targeted last season proved to be fortuitous.
Picked No. 6 for 2016, Andrew Luck. Actually finished: 5. Another really good job, Luck did a lot without much help offensively. He has a couple of talented receivers and Frank Gore keeps Goring.
Picked No. 7 for 2016, Cam Newton. Actually finished: 21. I was not expecting the precipitous fall of the Panthers after going 15-1 in 2015. That hurt Newton.
Picked No. 8 for 2016, Derek Carr. Actually finished: 7. Another strong pick, and I expect him to be even better this year, now that the Cooper/Crabtree combo is legit.
Picked No. 9 for 2016, Blake Bortles. Actually finished: 10. Pretty spot on with Bortles, who is awful in real life, but continues to put up fantasy numbers.
Picked No. 10 for 2016, Philip Rivers. Actually finished: 9. Pretty well done.

All in all it was pretty solid apart from a few selections. However, quarterbacks are pretty much the easiest to choose from year-to-year. If I can get six or seven more or less right in the top 10, that makes my odds pretty good. I just need to find value again this season like I did last year with Stafford.

My picks for 2017 at the QB position:
1. Tom Brady: Everybody is making a huge deal about Brady being 40. Big deal. That won't slow him down a bit. Actually with the skills of Brandin Cooks in his stable now, this year could be as close to the record-setting 2008 Brady as we'll ever see this year.
2. Aaron Rodgers: Pretty hard to overlook Rodgers after what he did a year ago. Add the giant Martellus Bennett roaming in the red zone and over the middle and Rodgers is poised for another giant year.
3. Derek Carr: I truly believe that Carr will take another step forward. He should be fully recovered from his broken leg, and I expect that Cooper/Crabtree will be great again and Marshawn Lynch could help open up some passing lanes too.
4. Matt Ryan: Pretty hard to argue with the guy who tosses it up to Julio Jones. Jones had injury issues all year and still put up great numbers, helping Ryan. He also benefited from young guys like TE Austin Hooper and RB Tevin Coleman hauling in passes and making plays.
5. Kirk Cousins: I don't really like Kirk Cousins as a quarterback. At least not in real life. In fantasy, he has thrown for nearly 5,000 yards for two straight years, and with Terrelle Pryor, who broke out last year, in his corner. He should be just as good.
6. Matthew Stafford: I expect Stafford to hold pat here at No. 6, but he'll also be drafted like he is the No. 6 QB, so I'll be avoiding him on my team's this year. Kenny Golloday could be a good deep threat addition for Stafford.
7. Marcus Mariota: Mariota should really be poised to make a step up this year. It's his third season and the Titans added a ton of weapons (Eric Decker, Corey Davis) to go along with an already strong arsenal. This means only good things for Mariota should he stay healthy.
8. Drew Brees: I had Ryan Tannehill in this spot, but we'll move Brees up one since Tannehill is out for the season. I think Brees will probably dip a little due to both age and the loss of Brandin Cooks.
9. Eli Manning: Adding some great weapons in Brandon Marshall and rookie TE Evan Engram should really help Manning put up some great numbers. He seems to have good fantasy years in odd years. Plus, OBJ.
10. Russell Wilson: A healthy Russell Wilson should rack up some rushing yards, and he's a very good passer too. I contemplated putting Roethlisberger and Andy Dalton at this spot due to their better assets around them, but Wilson's legs are an even better asset.

My goal, as has been the case for the past 10 years at least, is to try and find one of the two or three QB's who are being drafted in the 15+ range, but who produces top 5 or top 10 numbers. It worked really well last year. This helps me focus on racking up RB and WR in the first 8-10 rounds, and sneaking a guy like Eli Manning or Marcus Mariota in the 11-12th round. Honestly, Tannehill was that guy for me until he got hurt. Going to have to re-evaluate before my draft, Aug. 26.

I will rank the ever-important running back next week. In the mean time, Here is a link to the photos I uploaded to smugmug for this week: Legion state and Region 8C weekend 1.
 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Run For Cover

The much anticipated album "Wonderful Wonderful" by The Killers comes out later this month, but the band recently released the album's second single, "Run For Cover." I must say, it certainly harkens back to the hay days of the band, but also adds some of the dimension of a band that is on its fifth studio album. "The Man," the album's first single was also strong, but this is on a crazy different level, and it gets me excited for the rest of the album.

I have a ton of photos from baseball events arranging from VFW to Rox baseball. Enjoy. Fantasy rankings start next week :)

Luke Girtz takes a big hack in the District 6 Title game against Albany, July 21.

Shortstop Preston Rocheleau rears back to fire to Noah Boser at first base.

Jesse Marshik runs up to haul in a fly ball to right field.


Upsala's Ben Burggraff walks off after Randall took the lead in a Region play-in game, July 21. Upsala got the win though.

Brett Strack slides in for the go-ahead run.

Strack reaches for the plate as Burggraff awaits the ball.

Cubs third baseman, Michael Fregin, tosses to first.

Brock Cichon, the Upsala shortstop, ranges back into left field to make a catch.

Randall catcher Alec Zack backhands a ball that was way outside.

The Blue Jays' Eric Lampert takes a healthy hack at a letters-high pitch.

Randall's Thomas Kunkel with a big swing. 

Randall pitcher Derek Poser gets back to first as John Fuchs of Upsala awaits a throw over from the pitcher.

Cichon prepares to slide head first into third as Fregin awaits a throw from the outfield.

Cichon rips one down the line in left.

Matt Swanson was the southpaw hurler for the Jays.

Kyle Boser pitches for the St. Cloud Rox in his first start of the summer, July 20.

Boser lays in wait as the game is about to start.

Nik Durfee with a big hack at a ball in the VFW's loss to Sauk Rapids, U

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Flossin

Tyga certainly isn't a Jay-Z, Kanye or even Chance the Rapper or Kendrick Lamar, but he certainly has his place in the rap game. Much like his mentor Lil' Wayne, he is a bit of a shock-rapper, and has a strong flow. He picks out some good beats in his latest album. "Flossin" is one of the best laid-back raps I've heard in a while.

I have several baseball photos to share from VFW to Legion to Victory League.

Don't forget to purchase any of the following photos along with other published photos for this week here.


Little Falls VFW's Travis Wenzel pitches against the St. Cloud Tech VFW team.

Pierz Bulldogs leadoff hitter Craig Luberts rips a shot up the middle against the Pierz Brewers, July 16.

Ted Dehler of the Bulldogs slides into third for a triple off the top of the wall.

Breck Weber lays down a bunt for the Pierz Brewers.

Nick Herold turns on a pitch.

Herold takes off for second after the pitch is released by the Brewers' Mike Poser.

Herold with a bunt attempt.

Jesse Marshik pitches for the Pierz Legion team in a sub-district playoff game against Aitkin, July 14.

Marshik with a high sling.

Marshik brings it down toward the batter.

Matt Tautges runs down a ball in center field.

Lane Girtz came in to do some pitching for Pierz.

Girtz kicks up his leg as he begins his wind up.

Thomas Funk rears back to pitch against Aitkin July 14.

Pierz' Noah Boser swings and misses.

Another pitcher, Preston Rocheleau, comes in to pitch for Pierz in the playoff game.

Boser braces for a stray ball to hit him in the back.

Tautges started the game on the mound.

Alec Stark with a big cut in a game against the St. Cloud 76ers in District play in Sartell, July 17.

Little Falls' Hunter Swanson looks on as Joe Alholm camps under a high fly ball.

AJ Jenks attempts to unleash a compact swing.

Jake Kapphahn fouls a ball back to the screen.

Kapphahn with another foul ball.

Dan Marod camps under a fly ball in right field for the Flyers.

Austin Weisz prepares to haul in a line drive in center field.






Don't forget to purchase any of the following photos along with other published photos for this week here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Like a Rock

Bob Seger is finally on Spotify. I really enjoy the Detroit rocker and his husky voice and diverse brand of music. Seger was one of the final Spotify holdouts after The Beatles, Led Zepplin, Eagles and AC/DC among others who finally relented to the future of music -- streaming services. I have enjoyed the bevy of Seger hits, but my earliest Seger memories were of the Chevy commercials during bowling on Saturday afternoons as a child that included Seger's hit "Like a Rock."

I have a few photos to share from some baseball action.

A Swanville outfielder tosses the ball into the infield after another outfielder was unable to make a diving catch against Avon, July 8.

Swans' outfielder Carter Loven delivers a big cut at a pitch.

Swanville's Troy Evans fouls a pitch straight down.

Evan Athman about to deliver to home against Sobieski, July 8.

Little Falls Legion catcher, Brett Czajkowski, unloads a throw to first base.

Czajkowski makes a scoop on a ball in the dirt.


Czajkowski about to catch a pitch.

AJ Jenks takes a big crack at a pitch.