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Jake Ciely

The Athletic
Featured Pros: Bounce-back Candidates
Thu, Jun 14
Featured Pros: Bounce-back Candidates
Name one WR you expect to bounce back strong from a disappointing 2017 campaign.
Rookies Corey Davis and Mike Williams are great options, but for a receiver that's been around for a while and seemingly forgotten after a down year, I'm taking Pierre Garcon. Yes, that same Garcon that's been a target hog and reception maker for his career. If Jimmy Garoppolo actually becomes the savior of the 49ers - and the entire football world - as many expect, Garcon will benefit and bounce back into the WR3 conversation in PPR.

Name one RB you expect to bounce back strong from a disappointing 2017 campaign.
Dalvin Cook coming off an injury, easy call. Let's talk about a running back with as much, if not more, innate ability in Joe Mixon. The Bengals addressed their offensive line, and while it won't be top of the league, it will stop looking like they're trying to play with only three linemen. Mixon will also (well, hopefully) stop trying to do so much every play and simply use his ability to make the most of what's given. He should be able to reach the mid-to-upper RB2 range.

Name one QB you expect to bounce back strong from a disappointing 2017 campaign.
Jameis Winston only needs to stay healthy to bounce back, as he was actually on pace for an enormous season. Winston had six games of 300-plus yards and another where he missed by just one yard. With DeSean Jackson back to 100 percent, Chris Godwin taking a bit step forward and O.J. Howard's continued development, Winston will be the Top 10 quarterback owners thought they drafted last year.

NFL Draft Winners & Losers
Mon, Apr 30
NFL Draft Winners & Losers
Give us the rookie whose stock is on the rise the most by virtue of the situation he walks into (team/depth/etc). How early should he go in a rookie draft?
The obvious answer is Saquon Barkley. So let's move on to Rashaad Penny. Derrius Guice (that backfield is his) and Royce Freeman (same) are close behind, but Penny is the next up behind Barkley. People are going to complain about the offensive line, but they also forget the Seahawks trade for Duane Brown last seasons and signed D.J. Fluker, who proved to be quite good in run blocking for the Giants. The line isn't as bad as you think, and Penny can take any play to the house. He's my RB19 in 1/2 PPR and 33rd player overall.

Last season, Alvin Kamara offered great value despite flying under the radar as a mid-round pick. Name 1 rookie that has the best shot to be a surprise stud this season.
Digging deeper, if David Johnson suffers another injury, you're going to want Chase Edmonds on every.single.team. He actually profiled similarly to some of the top rookie running backs but is from a small school with workload and injury concerns. Someone with more opportunity is Nick Chubb, as he was in the conversation for the draft's top running back before his injuries years ago.

What veteran player walks away as the biggest winner based on the new addition(s) to his team and how does it affect how you value him this season?
Can we say Eli Manning at this point of his career? Not only did the Giants add an amazing running back, but they grabbed one of the top guards in the draft. With the Barkley, Nate Solder and Will Hernandez additions, plus the return of a healthy Odell Beckham (and don't dismiss the potential of Dez Bryant on a one-year deal), Manning could rebound into the top-end QB2 group.

Featured Pros: Free Agency Winners & Losers
Thu, Mar 15
Featured Pros: Free Agency Winners & Losers
What player has seen his fantasy value increase the most as a result of free agency?
I expect the majority to say Jerick McKinnon, and while I can see him being the 49ers version of Tevin Coleman, my biggest winner is Mitchell Trubisky. I wrote an article in January listing several reasons why Trubisky could be the next breakout QB, similar to Jared Goff this past season. Adding Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton gives Trubisky a great collection of receiving talent to go with a terrific backfield duo. Now, we don't need Cameron Meredith to return or Kevin White to ever do anything, but if they do, that's just bonus at this point. Trubisky saw the biggest jump due to his supporting cast becoming exponentially better.

What player has seen his fantasy value decrease the most as a result of free agency?
Derrick Henry hype go boom! Henry was immediately overrated with the departure of DeMarco Murray, as the Titans were going to add a complement and Henry having limits of his own. Well, the Titans added a piece that can threaten Henry for the lead work. Don't get me wrong; I believe Henry is still the lead and will see the majority of goal line work. However, Dion Lewis proved that he's an all-around threat and talented enough to be a lead option, if ever needed. Henry went from perceived (albeit mistakenly so) RB1 to mid-RB2 with the Lewis signing.

Against the Spread: Conference Round Picks
Thu, Jan 18
Against the Spread: Conference Round Picks
Game: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (-9)
Pick: New England Patriots (-9)
This is where the fun ends for Bortles. The Patriots defense has its issues, but they still know how to take away a team's strength (see: my point about Derrick Henry last week). They'll force Bortles to beat them, and I don't see that being possible.

Game: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (+3)
Pick: Minnesota Vikings (-3)

Which game pick are you most confident with?
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (-9)

Against the Spread: Divisional Round Picks
Wed, Jan 10
Against the Spread: Divisional Round Picks
Game: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles (+3)
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles (+3)

Game: Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-13.5)
Pick: New England Patriots (-13.5)
The two games when the Titans got walloped this season were both on the road (@HOU, @PIT). While those are the only two losses of their seven that would top this spread, it's a sign that when things go wrong, they can go really wrong for the Titans. The Patriots know how to dismantle offenses and will likely aim to stop Derrick Henry and force Marcus Mariota to beat them... that's bad news for the Titans given Mariota's play this year.

Game: Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (+7)

Game: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)
Pick: New Orleans Saints (+4.5)

Which game pick are you most confident with?
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)

Against the Spread: Wild Card Picks
Fri, Jan 5
Against the Spread: Wild Card Picks
Game: Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-8)
Pick: Tennessee Titans (+8)

Game: Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (-5)
Pick: Atlanta Falcons (+5)
The Falcons arena??t anywhere near as efficient or high-powered as they were last year, but they have the experience. A team motivated to slip into the playoffs and out to prove last year wasna??t a fluke is tough to overcome given the lack of experience for the Rams.

Game: Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars (-8.5)
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (-8.5)

Game: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-6)
Pick: New Orleans Saints (-6)

Which game pick are you most confident with?
Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (-5)

Fantasy Playoffs: Bold Predictions
Thu, Dec 7
Fantasy Playoffs: Bold Predictions
Please give one bold prediction (player related) for the fantasy playoffs
Kenyan Drake will be one of the most-owned running backs on championship rosters. Drake was always the superior player to Damien Williams, and the Dolphins can't deny that anymore since Williams has been out. Even if Williams returns, Drake has to remain the lead option, and no team has a better three-game schedule for running back matchups than the Dolphins.

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