Carmelo to the Knicks: Could this happen in the NFL?

Vincent Jackson tried to hold out in 2010

After months of speculation, Carmelo Anthony got his wish.  In a trade involving 13 players, cash, and draft picks, Carmelo is now a member of the New York Knicks.  He made his intentions known that he wanted to play in New York and would not agree to sign a contract extension with any other team.  The Denver Nuggets were left with no real option but to move him to the Knicks for the best package they possibly could.  Do not blame Anthony for this situation, he operated within the constraints of the modern day NBA.

With that being said, could a similar situation emerge in the NFL?  The NFL tries to shield itself from such situations by allowing teams to maintain the rights to their biggest stars with the franchise tag.  Due to this tag, star players find themselves stuck with the option to sign a one year guaranteed contract (while being paid like a top 5 talent at their respective position or by getting a 20% raise over their previous year salary, whichever is greater- for details read this Wikipedia page) with their current team or to hold out – see San Diego Chargers, 2010 – and lose game checks.  I guess a player could also do his best Randy Moss or Terrell Owens impersonation- they seem to do a pretty good job of moving from team to team.

Fitzgerald in San Diego?

With a new collective bargaining agreement being worked on by NFL owners and the NFL Player’s Association, I would love to see the new agreement change the rules involving franchise players.  Trust me, I do not want to see Peyton Manning wear anything but a Colts jersey, but I would like to see players have the ability to gain more long term security through multiyear deals.

What if a limit was set for the number of years a player was given the franchise tag?  It could be a limit on the consecutive years a player faces the franchise tag or a limit on the total number of years a player would be allowed to be franchised throughout his career.  I propose 2 years.

I would look forward to the added strategy that teams would need to incorporate.  Would the Patriots still use the franchise tag on Logan Mankins in 2011 for the second straight year if it meant that they would not be able to ever do so again?  Would the Eagles use the franchise tag on Michael Vick in 2011 instead of working on a long term deal because they are worried about the number of hits he takes and how those hits will effect his long term health?

If these changes in the franchise tag rules occur you will see the opportunity for a Carmelo-like situation to occur in the NFL.

Could you imagine Adrian Peterson deciding that he wants to play with Tom Brady and forcing the Vikings to work out a deal with only the draft pick-hoarding Patriots?

What if Larry Fitzgerald, tired of the quarterback ineptitude in Arizona, decided he wanted to play with Philip Rivers and held Arizona’s feet to the fire to get something for him before he left via free agency?

The NFL is already the most entertaining sport year-round.  Adding the “Carmelo” element would just raise the bar.  And can you imagine the fantasy implications?

Top 15 Kickers For The 2011 Fantasy Season

Kickers. Yes they are football players too. And believe it or not many times they can be the difference between winning and losing on any given fantasy Sunday.

Which kickers can boot you to the championship. Once again, Frank and Evan of Two Guys Fantasy break down the top kickers for fantasy football in 2011.

Kickers (1 – 10 ) – Part 1

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Kickers (11 – 15) – Part 2

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2 Guys Fantasy - Top 15 Kickers For 2011 Fantasy

PlayerTeamFGMTeam Red Zone TD percentage
Sebastian JanikowskiOAK3352%
Josh BrownSTL3336%
David AkersPHL3252.4%
Nate KaedingSD23 (missed 3 games)56%
Matt BryantATL2860.7%
Neil RackersHOU2762.3%
Adam VinatieriIND2667%
Billy CundiffBAL2649%
Mason CrosbyGB2263%
David BuehlerDAL2459.6%
Garrett HartleyNO20 (missed 2 games)51.5%
Dan CarpenterMIA3053%
Nick FolkNYJ3044.3%
Rob BironasTEN2458.1%
Jay FeelyARI2443.2%

Top 15 Defenses For The 2011 Fantasy Season

Defense! Defense! Many a crowd has and will chant this hoping that their respective team’s defensive unit will be able to come up with a game changing play.

Likewise, many fantasy owners hope to strike gold each year with a fantasy defense for the ages. However, this can be tricky and Frank and Evan of Two Guys Fantasy help sort out the real value behind fantasy behind fantasy defenses for the 2011 season.

Defenses (1 – 10) – Part 1

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Defenses (11 – 15) – Part 2

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Top Fantasy Defenses for 2011

1PittsburghStill great at forcing turnovers and getting sacks.
2PhiladelphiaNmadi Asoughma makes this an elite unit.
3New York JetsRex runs his mouth but Gang Green is damn good.
4Green BaySecondary stil solid and red zone defense still stingy.
5ChicagoJulius Peppers proved he makes those around him better.
6BaltimoreT-Sizzle and Ngata provide a formidable challenge for offenses.
7New EnglandAddition of Haynesworth should make this unit dominant.
8DetroitSu and Fairley should be fun to watch.
9New York GiantsFront four as good as any team in the NFL.
10St LouisSpagnoulo is developing something special in St. Louis.
11MinnesotaJared Allen and the Williams Wall still have some tread left.
12Tampa BayYoung but has potential to be an elite unit.
13OaklandDefense and special teams reason why Raiders were improved in 2010.
14San DiegoAlways talented but will they show consistency in 2011?
15AtlantaAbove average unit but not lack of pass rush keeps them from being elite.

Top 20 Tight Ends For The 2011 Fantasy Season

20 years ago most tight ends were thought of as being nothing more than an extra lineman.

Today an elite tight end can be just as valuable as many wide receivers.

Frank and Evan of Two Guys Fantasy break the top 20 tight ends for the 2011 fantasy season.

Tight Ends (1 – 10)  – Part 1

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Tight Ends (11 – 20) Part 2

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Top 25 Fantasy TEs for 2011

1Dallas ClarkDespite injury, still the best option at tight end.
2Jermichael FinleyWas on record pace before injury.
3Vernon DavisProduction finally matching physical talent.
4Antonio GatesRecent injuries are a cause for concern.
5Kellen Winslow JrMark him down for 70+ catches.
6Rob GronkowskiI think he just scored again.
7Jason WittenPretty good year, despite injuries at the QB position.
8Zach Miler - OAKProbowl selection in 2010 was no fluke.
9Greg OlsenWill be Cam's favorite target in Carolina.
10Jimmy GrahamShockey's exit leaves him the keys to Saints TE position.
11Brandon PettigrewEmerged as a solid red zone target in 2010.
12Dustin KellerMarc Sanchez's go to guy on third downs.
13Chris CooleyCatches not a problem, but tds are.
14Owen DanielShould see plenty of passes in 2011.
15Heath MillerStill a threat near the red zone.
16Mercedes LewisFound the endzone quite a bit in 2010.
17Tony MoeakiHas potential to be special in Kansas City offense.
18Visanthe ShiancoeMcNabb could make him a factor again.
19Kevin BossBest hands on the Giants and fearless to boot.
20Tony GonzalezFather time has caught up with Tony.
21Jermaine GreshamSolid rookie season but faces major questions marks at QB.
22Ben WatsonCould develop a chemistry with Colt McCoy.
23Aaron HernandezCould get lost with all passing options now in New England.
24John CarlsonGreat fill in starter for bye weeks.
25Todd HeapNear the end, but can fill in as a spot starter.

No Free Agency in a Potential Lockout: Does this effect Fantasy Football?

Michael Vick is guaranteed to be an Eagle in 2011.

As I am writing this, I have all the hope in the world that an NFL lockout will not occur. I am excited for the best off-season in sports, starting with the combine, peaking with the draft, and ending with training camp. Sprinkled thorughout the off-season are opportunities for teams to meet, incorporate new players and coaches into offensive and defensive schemes, and allow players to get a feel for playing together. I fear 2011 may not offer teams the same opportunities.

One of the main issues with the proposed lockout will be the loss of free agency. Teams are able to sign players through March 3rd, and we have seen teams resorting to the tactics of the current labor agreement by placing the franchise tag on players like Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, and Chad Greenway- basically assuring that these players will not switch uniforms in 2011.

But what about the other 700 or so potential free agents? It is quite possible that a prolonged work stoppage would lead to a year without free agency. Since teams would not have the time to properly make roster moves, potential free agents may be required to join their 2010 team on a one year contract (with a modest pay increase: see this link for details). Players do not have a long shelf life in professional football and I cannot imagine many would love the idea of missing a chance to cash in through free agency. It also means a majority of NFL players will be playing for new contracts coming into 2012.

See, Albert was happy to be going to Washington at one point.

What does this mean for 2011 fantasy football? I have always looked for big years from players who are playing for a new contract (Albert Haynesworth anyone?)

I would expect a 2011 season in which veterans who are missing out on free agency put up monster years- especially at the skill positions. Running backs like DeAngelo Williams, Ronnie Brown, and Ahmad Bradshaw thought 2011 would their chance to cash in on one more big contract. Wide receivers like James Jones, Braylon Edwards, and Malcolm Floyd looked forward to using their success in 2010 to land them a big payday in 2011 will all of the sudden find themselves needing to put up big numbers again.

Remember, a lockout is not what I want to see. The potential situation does lead to some interesting story lines for the coming season and fantasy owners need to use this added motivation to their advantage.

Top 25 Fantasy Running Backs For The 2011 Fantasy Season

Running back is still one of the premier positions in fantasy football even with the NFL’s recent emphasis on the passing game and protecting the quarterbacks.

Frank and Evan of Two Guys fantasy break down the top 25 ball carriers to have in your fantasy backfield for the 2011 season.

Running Backs (1 – 10) – Part 1

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Running Backs (11 – 20) – Part 2

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Running Backs (21 – 25) – Part 3

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Top 25 Fantasy RBs for 2011

1Chris JohnsonHold out could affect his value. Stay tuned.
2Maurice Jones-DrewPocket Hercules still one of the best.
3Adrian PetersonFumbling issues seemed to have been cured in 2010.
4Arian FosterEmerged as an elite player in his first year as a starter.
5Ray RiceUndersized and Underrated.
6Jamaal CharlesOne of the most explosive backs in the league.
7LeSean McCoyFits the Eagles scheme perfectly.
8Darren McFaddenFinally showed what he could do if healthy in 2010.
9LeGarrette BlountSucker punched NFL defenses with his powerful running style.
10Steven JacksonStill going strong.
11Michael TurnerLack of receptions limits his fantasy value.
12Rashard MendenhallBroke several long runs last year.
13DeAngelo WilliamsWill see more carries with young QB under center.
14Peyton HillisPunishing running style is cause for concern.
15Ahmad BradshawFumbling issues and B. Jacobs vulturing TDs hurts value.
16Matt ForteUnderrated but still productive when he gets opportunities.
17Pierre ThomasWith Bush gone to Miami receptions will increase.
18Frank GoreHip injury and hold out is a major red flag.
19Knoshown MorenoIf only he could stay healthy.
20James StarksEmerged during Packers Superbowl run.
21Ben-Jarvus Green-EllisLaw Firm gets the job done in Fox-borough.
22Felix JonesShould be better in 2011 as Dallas focuses more on ground game.
23Shonn GreeneDisappointed many fantasy owners in 2010, but still a good back up option.
24Beanie WellsFantasy owners expected a lot more in 2010.
25Cedric BensonWill see a lot of carries with the problems at QB.