Welcome everyone to our next installment of the Fantasy JAM pregame show, Pre-JAM here on The Inscriber Digital Magazine. This is one of the first multi-platform columns of its kind, as it mixes the power of the pen and web with the power of the podcast.
Each week my partner, Chad “The Buffalo” Setera and I will write a Pre-JAM column where we will debate 3 topics. After each of us has presented our argument in this column, we will finish the debates on our show FantasyJAM this Wednesday Night at 11:30pm Eastern on the Inscriber Digital Radio Network. That way, YOU can be a part of the debate by either calling in live or tweeting the show. That may be the biggest part of the whole thing, your involvement.
The only rules we have is that one of the three topics will be Fantasy Sports related. That’s it.
Without further ado, here is this week’s first Pre-JAM Topic:
1) Who you drafting this year, Gronk or Jimmy Graham?
(FISH) My esteemed colleague will try and tell you that uncertainty at QB for 4 weeks will make Gronk a much worse choice, I am here to tell you he is DEAD WRONG. The reasoning is simple, Jimmy Garoppolo is going to need someone he can count on in the passing game, with Shane Vereen in New York, and Gronk is that guy.
Gronk is the TOUGHEST cover in the NFL, bar none. Yes, Jimmy Graham has proved to be very good, but let’s see how good he is without Drew Brees throwing him the ball. Also remembering the Seahawks offense is designed to go through Marshawn Lynch, while Gronk was and is the focal point for the Patriots.
While ending up with Graham would not be horrible, Gronk is the guy if you want the BEST!!!
(BUFFALO) Gronk is ridiculous.. No doubt. But so is Jimmy Graham. When drafting either one of these players, you can’t go wrong. I see similar numbers throughout the season and having either won’t matter until you come to the playoffs of your fantasy season.
Week 14… Patriots @ Houston… Seahawks @ Baltimore. On paper and I think in reality, this is a complete toss-up. Both Houston and Baltimore are at home against these two studly TEs and either one could have a big game or could be shut down… But just to point my argument to be the better… Jimmy Graham scored twice in 2014 against the Ravens as a member of the New Orleans Saints. <Advantage- Graham>
Week 15… Patriots vs. Titans… Seahawks vs. Browns. Again, both teams get easy home wins… but we have to look at the likelihood of either TE scoring against these lower tier teams. In 2014… Although Cleveland’s defense was statistically better than Tennessee’s… The Browns did give Jimmy Graham is best statistical day of 2014 allowing the new Seahawk TE to hit for 108yds and 2 TDs. This one could be a toss-up as well, but I say stats say otherwise.
Week 16… Patriots @ Jets… Seahawks vs. Rams. In 2014, Rob Gronkowski played the Jets twice… 9 rec. 99yds 1 TD… In 2014, Seattle’s back-up TE Helfet had 3 rec 61yds 1TD in one game against the Rams…. Just do the math here. And not to mention… Derrell Revis now plays for the Jets, which means he could draw Gronk and could add to the excitement. Graham at home is a safer play than Gronk at the Jets.
A smart fantasy owner will take Graham knowing what the playoffs could entail.
2) Which $70 mil WR will have the better season, Dez Bryant or Demaryius Thomas?
(Fish) This may be the toughest debate we have had yet … It’s like choosing between the Black and White Mercedes. You really can’t go wrong with the 2 best wide outs in the NFL. If you want the speed, Thomas is your guy. If sticky hands are your thing, you may want to grab Dez.
That being said, there are really only two words that separate these two giants in the WR division, those words are Peyton Manning. Before you go telling me he is old and washed up, how washed up was he last season when he threw for over 4700 yards and 39 scores?
While the Cowboys are in a run first offense, the Broncos will be as pass happy as ever. How do I know this? Well they use the passing attack to set-up CJ Anderson on the ground, not the other way around.
Jason Garrett has ALWAYS loved to do it the other way, run to set-up the past, as was evidenced by the season Demarco Murray just came off of.
After all that, I have one question of all of you, Peyton or Romo?
(Buffalo) Let’s start this by looking at stats over the last three years.
Dez Bryant- 273 Rec. 3935 yds. 41 TDs
Demaryius Thomas- 297 Rec. 4483 yds. 35 TDs
This clearly points in the direction of Thomas… And if that was the only way to determine who to select, then it is a no brainer. BUT… That is not how this is going to work.
So, let’s look at the compelling argument made by Fish… He said the Cowboys are run first and Broncos are going to set up the run by passing. Yeah, if DeMarco Murray was the Cowboys running back, I would agree, but that is not the case anymore. Who is the running back now? Darren McFadden?? Joseph Randle??
Come on now… The game has changed.
Peyton Manning is getting older and as we saw near the end of 2014 and especially in the playoffs… The arm is getting tired, which is why the best thing to happen to the Broncos is CJ Anderson… He won’t be set up by the pass… He will set up the pass.
Head to Dallas where the loss of DeMarco Murray will put the Cowboys in the position the Broncos have been over the past couple of years. The pass will set up the run.
Both receivers are amazing… Selected 22nd and 24th respectively in the 2010 NFL Draft and both sign the $70M contracts this off-season… You can’t go wrong with either… BUT… If you want to win this year, go with the guy that has scored more TDs over the last three seasons, which just happens to be the guy that will be in the pass first offense… Dez Bryant.
3) Kobe Bryant says this year’s Lakers will make the Playoffs, will they?
(FISH) The Buffalo, with his hatred of the Lakers, thinks he will have a lot of fun with this one and it should be a walkover. But that hatred has blinded him to the truth. For a team that lost out on their biggest free agent target (Lamarcus Aldridge) this team did DAMN WELL in the off-season.
By adding Roy Hibbert, Brandon Bass & Lou Williams there is firepower, defense and veteran leadership there. People forget, prior to last season, Roy Hibbert was an absolute BEAST!!! There may not have been a better combination of rim protector and low post scorer, and a change of scenery seems to be exactly what he needs.
Williams was just voted the 6th man of the year and Bass brings a toughness this Laker team has been lacking for a while.
Then you add in emerging 2nd year guard Jordan Clarkson and Rookies D’Angelo Russell who may have had the highest upside of anyone in the draft and Julius Randle, who was limited to less than 1 game last season and look out for how good this team can be.
Now I know I am forgetting someone, who could it be, oh that’s right, Future Hall of Famer KOBE BEAN FREAKIN BRYANT!!!! And if you are counting him out, do it at your own peril!!!!
(BUFFALO) Let me just start by saying this… It is baseball and football season… who cares about what Kobe Bryant says… I sure don’t. And no, I don’t dislike the Lakers, I just don’t like the guy that wears #24… yeah, Kobe.
So we have to listen to Kobe say the Lakers are going to make the playoffs… I just ask this… When did the Lakers move to the Eastern Conference? If that happened while I was asleep, then I guess Fish will win this one without a fight. But they didn’t and with all the changes, which were really good for the organization, it wasn’t enough to leapfrog the 8 teams that made the 2014-15 playoffs, let alone a few of the 5 other teams that finished ahead of them in the conference.
So who might not make playoffs that could lead to the Lakers making it… Let’s see…
· Golden State… NOPE
· Houston… NOPE
· LA Clippers… NOPE
· Memphis… NOPE
· San Antonio… NOPE
· New Orleans… NOPE
Which leaves two teams from last years’ playoffs that could falter… Dallas and Portland… And let’s hypothetically say they both do… Are the Lakers better than any of these teams?
· Oklahoma City… NOPE
· Utah.. Phoenix.. Denver… Sacramento… MAYBE
But let’s be honest… even if Dallas or Portland slip… Are the Lakers better than them… NOPE
I would be willing to bet my Co-Host that Minnesota will finish ahead of the Lakers in 2015-16.
Kobe is a great player, but not a great teammate. The Lakers will win 30 games, but in the Western Conference, that is good for 12th.
Well there you have it. Two separate but thought provoking points of view. Do any of these arguments make you feel like raging? Well don’t keep it in, be a part of the show. We invite you to join us this Wednesday night on Fantasy JAM on the Inscriber Digital Radio Network, from 11:30pm- 1am EST and give us your thoughts by leaving us comments on our Facebook page.
~Andrew “Fish” Fain @thefish1969 ~”The Buffalo” Chad Setera @sportsjamchad