The Patriots offseason goals

What a crazy season especially for the Patriots, the apparent end of their dynasty to then go on and win the Super Bowl is just typical Patriots. But even I won’t deny the Patriots struggled at times and are going to have to make some off season moves to get to Miami on February. The Patriots go into free agency with $12 million in cap space after the signing of Michael Bennett.

Wide Receiver depth

With the suspension of Julian Edelman the loss of Josh Gordon halfway through the season and the injury prone Gronkowski at times Brady struggled to move the ball through the air. Hogan and Dorsett struggled to provide separation and it looked like Brady just didn’t trust them. My favourite fit for the Patriots right now would be Cole Beasley. Cole is a Patriots type of receiver standing at only 5 foot 8 and 180 pounds Cole gets open thanks to his superb route running and is fantastic in the slot he had 65 receptions for only 672 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cole is no superstar but should fit right into the Patriots system alongside Edelman

Re-Signing Vital players

The Patriots have a scarily long list of players that are free agents. But for me there is 3 vital players we need to keep. While I would’ve loved to keep Trent Brown and Trey Flowers I cant justify paying them the money that they want. The three players are Cordarrelle Patterson, Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones. Cordarrelle as we know was explosive last season and on both offence and special teams. He’s got the versatility that Bill loves and can use so unbelievably well. Jason McCourty had a tough start to the season playing under Eric Rowe but by the end of the season was a guaranteed starter and solid number 2 cornerback that makes big plays as we know thanks to Super Bowl 53. And finally Jonathan Jones, one of the Patriots most underrated player Jordan made some big plays this year on defence including a one handed interception against the Bears. But he’s also a fantastic special teams player than can make fantastic open field tackles. For me he’s a great player for the future because he can play both special teams and defence well and is only 25

Signing a solid back up quarterback

This was one of my concerns last season and even though Brady showed us he’s still (somehow) got it but we all know that Brian Hoyer is no long pole Foles and isn’t going to win us a Super Bowl. Danny Etling has finished his 1 year of practice squad but sadly I do not know how his progress is. For me there is only really 2 options in a limited quarterback free agency and one of them isn’t even a free agent. The first player is Tyrod Taylor, I am a big fan of Tyrod who showed a lot of bright spots in Buffalo (who knew that was possible) but struggled to out play Baker Mayfield in Cleveland, Tyrod is a great veteran but I would be hesitant because his mobility and bad short accuracy doesn’t fit into the Patriots system. The other viable option that isn’t in this years draft is Josh Rosen who after a year has struggled to find his place in Arizona and there is now talks of the Cardinals drafting Kyler Murray first overall. Rosen who was drafted 10th overall in last years draft threw for 2278 yards and 11 touchdowns but 14 interceptions. The Patriots could trade their first round pick to acquire Rosen if the Cardinals draft Murray and he could sit under Brady for 3 to 4 years.

The Basics of Drafting in Fantasy Football

Don’t reach for the receivers

The first round can either make or break your season, so making the right choice is crucial. Therefore, my biggest piece of advice is to draft positionally with a focus on Running Backs. Although many analysts place wide receivers (such as Julio Jones and Antonio Brown) as locks in the first round, we at the Hudson Halftime Report do not agree.

Last season, Julio Jones averaged 7 points per game which for some people seems like a respectable number. However, that average was distorted due to JJ having a huge 38 point game mid-season. Without that monster game, he only averaged 5 points a game which in my opinion is not first round worthy. Additionally, Jones is nowhere near being a young receiver anymore, and with the addition of some off-season pickups, his production levels are yet to be seen. Lastly, blaming 2017’s average solely on JJ would be wrong, as Matt Ryan had a dreadful year. Just remember when you draft a Wr, you are also ghost drafting their Qb – make sure it’s a good one.

Don’t just look at the player

… look at the whole team.

So we have decided that Running Backs are the place to go in the first round, however, when looking to draft a running back look at how the offensive line ranked last year because it doesn’t matter how good the runner is, if they have no time to build up speed (unless your Dion Lewis).  Additionally, if you do decide to go Wr, remember to Look at the Quarterback, remember for a receiver to catch a ball – some dude gotta throw it well – an example this year? The Browns traded for Jarvis Landry, and although Landry is an unbelievable player, Cleveland’s quarterbacks don’t exactly have a good track record, leaving Landry’s production an enigma…

Look at the Players’ Off-Field Performance

A fantasy football player is also a real-life human being who can make real-life mistakes and decisions which can affect their fantasy scores. Whilst Leveon Bell is clearly the best Running Back in the NFL and a very productive fantasy football player, Leveon has missed the start of most seasons due to smoking ‘illegal substances’ and has also said that he won’t play under this year’s franchise tag.  So while Bell is fantastic he might not be as productive as he can be because of his off-field shenanigans. However, if you have the 4th or lower pick in your draft and he is still there Snap. Him. Up. because we all know this guy can eat.

Also, if you are finding year-long fantasy too stressful (I mean injuries crippled my season last year) give Weekly Fantasy a try! FanDuel provides the best, most interactive Weekly Fantasy Football service and also give you the ability to earn some cash while playing. win-freaking-win.

Who are your Top 5 picks for this year’s upcoming Fantasy Football Draft?

Grading the AFC East offseason…So far

Miami Dolphins

Biggest move: Signing of Josh Sitton

Juice says goodbye to the beaches of Miami and hello to the winless Browns

Above Average, but still not good.

The Fins have made a lot of preseason moves, some very controversial, losing and signing in players in much-needed positions. Last year Miami placed 29thin rushing averaging only 86.8 yards per game. Miami lost key offensive linemen including 3-time Pro-Bowler Pouncey and versatile tackle and guard Bushrod. However, with the $7million the Phins saved with these moves, Miami traded for center Daniel Kilgore and veteran guard Josh Sitton.

The Dolphins brought in a couple of sturdy receivers in Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola who combined for 1213 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in the 2017 regular season both playing from the 3rd string or lower on the depth chart. However, the Phins also lost one of their most consistent players in Jarvis ‘juice’ Landry when they traded him to the Browns for a 4th round pick in 2018and a7th in 2019 (which in my opinion is way too low a price for him.)

Miami still has a Quarterback problem to sort out even after the signing of Brock Osweiler, with the (already low) productivity of Tannehill being in question after his injury. The Dolphins have the 11th overall pick in the draft and could look to sort their problem with the Oklahoma Sooners Heisman winner Baker Mayfield who has shown interest in playing with the Phins on social media. Overall the Dolphins have had a confusing offseason with some very good moves and some more questionable ones. They still have some holes to fill such as Running back and Quarterback but strengthened key needs for the future season. However, that doesn’t make up for the loss of key players so my overall grade so far is…

Fraser’s Grade: C+
Liam’s Grade: C-

New England Patriots

Biggest move: Loss of Nate Solder

Edelman’s looking for a new roommate as New England say goodbye to Danny

 Waiting for the next undersize, white, Superbowl hero.

The 5x Super Bowl champions have had crazy offseason, as usual. The departure of Pro Bowl and Super Bowl 49 hero Malcolm Butler and shifty running back Dion Lewis to the Tennessee Titans will cause a bit of a sting around the Patriot nation and bring a question to those areas for the future season. However, New England also brought in players to fill holes in much-needed positions even though they only ranked 25thoverall in cap space with $15 million and many unrestricted free agents to resign.

The Biggest loss for the Patriots is the loss Nate Solder who been protecting Brady for 6 years with very little injuries along the way. The former All-Pro left New England to play for the struggling New York Giants and left the G.O.A.Ts blindside protection to experienced left tackle LaAdrian Waddle, who just signed a 1-year extension with the organisation. With the help of legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia Waddle had a productive last season when Solder was injured but will not be able to bring what Solder does to the locker room.

The Patriots filled some holes on defence with the signings of big defensive end Adrian Clayborn and twin brother of Devin, Jason McCourty. The Patriots defence finished 29th overall with the 3rd worst pass defence and 13th worst run defence. McCourty in his last season with the Winless Browns had 14 pass deflections and 3 interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. His added athleticism and chemistry with his brother should bolster the Patriots pass defence and Clayborn will provide a much-needed improvement to the struggling D-line, partnering with newly acquired former First-rounder Danny Shelton and rising star linebacker Marquis Flowers, who I believe will become a solid, Pro Bowl worthy linebacker next season.

The Patriots offseason is fully underway and the mental genius of Belichick is paying off once again. With the draft coming up New England should look to add another Left Tackle to add to the depth chart rotation and possibly add another late-round Wide Receiver to make up for the recent departure of Danny Amendola and remove some of the strain from Edelman who is returning from an ACL injury this season.

James Harrison is supposedly in talks with New England about re-signing for the 2018 season, and this is a move I would like to see happen. I also would like to see another young quarterback on the roster, because there is no way Hoyer is the future of New England. Bill has supposedly shown interest in Kyle Lauletta from the University of Richmond, so a combination of him and another young gun (Maybe Manziel?) could provide a good competition for second string.

Frasers Grade: B+
Liam’s Grade: B-

New York Jets

Biggest move: Trade up to 3rd overall pick via Colts

Old man McCowan ain’t no Tom Brady

Wait… the Jets done good?

The Jets had a surprisingly good season by their records last year, finishing with a record of 5-11, obviously, in terms of competing teams, this is not a ‘good’ season however many critics were predicting a 0-16 season. I knew what Josh McCown could do though, I always believed in him.

Although Josh had a productive season throwing for an impressive 2926 yards and 18 touchdowns through 14 games, McCowan is not getting any younger and will be 39 this Independence Day. The Jets seem to be looking to re-build and McCowan is not ageing like Brady, so his future in the league is always in jeopardy; the Jets seem to have acknowledged this and made moves in the upcoming draft. The trade to 3rd overall pick is smart as it gives the Jets lots of prospects at quarterback; selections including the controversial Baker Mayfield and USC leader Sam Darnold. Although in the mix, I don’t believe they will get a shot at drafting Josh Rosen who if doesn’t go first pick to the Browns, surely goes second pick to the Giants.

The Jets also signed former All-Pro rookie Teddy Bridgewater who is coming of a near career-ending ACL injury. I like Teddy B and the stats show that he was a good Quarterback throwing for 3231 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 (the year before he got hurt). I have a soft spot for the guy but it will be a tough road back to the top and the Jets may still have to look elsewhere for their franchise Qb.

The Jets are rebuilding well but I don’t see them doing anything spectacular this season but give it a season or two and we might see playoff contenders that make the AFC East competitive. If they keep Todd Bowles I don’t doubt they’ll go far.

Frasers Grade: B-
Liam’s Grade: C+

Buffalo Bills

Biggest Move: Trading of Tyrod Taylor

The Buffalo Bills are the new Cleveland Browns

This years 0-16 team, the Cleveland Browns Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills have been very quiet this offseason, most media news from the team has been filled with rookie receiver Zay Jones’s criminal activity rather than trade moves. However, one of the major moves from the Bills is moving on from Tyrod Taylor.

The Bills GM has never seemed to like Tyrod, benching him at multiple points over the past 2 seasons even though Tyrod had thrown for 5822 yards and 31 touchdowns in just 30 games. During these seasons Tyrod also used his athleticism to get out the pocket rushing for 1007 yards and 10 touchdowns. Although maybe not franchise quarterback numbers, it shows that Tyrod is highly productive under centre. The Browns have gotten themselves a quarterback that their inevitable First Round pick rookie can sit under for a year, learning the ropes without the weight of the Cleveland QB curse on his shoulders. Whilst on the other side, the Bills have to put their hopes in either Nathan ‘pick’ Peterman, who will not be able to run a race let alone a struggling offence for a year, or A.J McCarron, the untested, unproven ex-Bengal. The Bill will surely make moves in the draft for a QB however even if they do select a future QB with the 12th Overall pick, the absence of any experienced Qb on the roster to mentor them should send warning signals to Bills fans everywhere.

The only positive thing the Bills seem to have done this offseason is bolstering their defensive line with the addition of Star Lotulelei and Trent Murphy. The Bills placed 29th in rush defence last year so these additions should help fill a huge need. However, although they sorted their defensive troubles up front, the Bills also traded cornerback E.J Gaines to the Browns (who seem to be on an AFC east yard sale) so they will need to pick up another slot cornerback (and if you’re playing the Pats twice a year you need a good one) in the draft or later in free agency.

The Bills offseason, in my opinion, has been woeful so far. They have excellent wide receivers but no solid quarterback to throw to them and have one of the best running backs in the league in LeSean ‘shady’ McCoy but also lost their starting left tackle. The whole organisation seem to be going two steps forward four steps back, taking tips from the Browns it seems. General manager Brandon Beane said “we are very low on money” so the Bills are going to need to perform a miracle in this year’s draft to even dream of making back to the playoffs or even posting a winning season in 2018.

Frasers Grade: F
Liam’s Grade: D-

Stay tuned for your favourite teams’ division that will be coming soon! What would you rate the teams mentioned so far? let us know below!