Four Down Territory

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By Ryan Whitfield

Twitter: @RyanWhitfieldNE

First Down

The AFC East is yet again in a state of disorder. First, as I wrote last month, I honestly believed that the Dolphins could push (though not truly contend) the Patriots in the East. With Jay Cutler at the helm, that doesn’t seem very likely now, does it? Add in a slew of injuries early in the preseason, and it feels however unquantifiable that the Dolphins may just be doomed in 2017. The Bills last week traded away Sammy Watkins for E.J. Gaines and then flipped Ronald Darby for Jordan Matthews. 10,000 foot view: they traded one inconsistent WR for another and took a step back at corner. Add in that Mathews promptly got injured and oy vey. And the Jets, well nevermind. It’s August, and yet again the AFC East is already over.

2nd Down

Roger Goodell. Look Dallas, I feel you. I completely understand your pain, but this is the league we live in. The NFLPA is the weakest Player Association out of the four major US Sports. Players are blackballed from the league, hung out as scapegoats (like Ray Rice) though domestic abuse continues to plague the NFL, and the players were lied to about the affects of concussions for decades. This will be distressing to hear, but the only real way to take power back from Goodell is for the players to strike. They have to be willing to miss game checks and maybe even miss the Super Bowl. They have to band together and fight for more rights. It feels the two groups have more volatile relations than ever. The Spring after the 2020 season when the current CBA expires could be a very dark time for us football fans.

3rd Down

This Week’s Fantasy Football Sleeper: ADP – 116

Last year, Rishard Mathews collected 65 Catches, 945 Yards, and 9 Touchdowns. Sure, he’s a regression candidate due to his high number of TD’s, especially since he’s never amassed more than 4 in any year prior. And yes, there are more mouths to feed in Tennessee this year. But his connection with Marcus Mariotta does count for something and in 12 team leagues he’s going 9th round or later. Solid late round Flex option.

4th Down

– This Weeks College Prospect to Watch –

Auden Tate – WR – Florida State

Tate is 6’5 225 lbs. If you listen to our Podcast (which you should) you know I love big bodied, physical receivers. While Tate’s Sophomore campaign won’t blow you away with 25 catches for 409 yards, he did haul in 6 TD’s and averaged 16.4 YPC. He’ll get more play this year, and has tremendous upside and size.

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