There's a reason why teams give up on players after the conclusion of their rookie deals. However, many have enough talent to become difference-makers if they land in the right situation on their second contract. Here are five for 2018.
Our annual feature in which we suggest some crazy things that teams could do this offseason, and some not-so-crazy things. Among our suggestions: Houston should draft the entire Iowa offensive line, Indianapolis should act as if Andrew Luck doesn't exist, and Cleveland should try to entice Green Bay to trade them Aaron Rodgers for roughly one zillion draft picks. Hey, we said bold, right?
Is this way too early and a little ridiculous? Yes! Did I do it anyway when the ESPN editors asked? Yes! On average, two playoff teams will decline enough to pick in the top 10 of the following draft, and I think you can guess which two playoff teams got into the article.
For ESPN, I've ranked all 16 of the Brady-Belichick teams going back to 2001. Which one comes out on top, and which one on the bottom? We've emphasized postseason success by giving double credit for postseason DVOA and extra credit for winning the Super Bowl... but still, three of the top five teams are teams that did not go all the way to a championship. This is free, not Insider.
At ESPN Insider, our final fantasy column of the season looks at DFS matchups for the divisional round. Some of our favorite plays include Case Keenum, Dion Lewis, Alshon Jeffery, and Kyle Rudolph. We also like one of Pittsburgh's three stars far more than the other two.
2 comments, Last at 11 Jan 2018, 3:06pm by Scott Kacsmar
Always fun to do, a look at historical teams since 1990 that are similar to the eight remaining playoff teams. The Patriots are themselves in 2011, the Eagles are the 1990 Giants, the Saints are the 1996 Broncos, and more.
Our second annual ranking of each position group for all 12 playoff teams shows that the New Orleans Saints are a serious Super Bowl sleeper. NFC teams are more balanced, while AFC teams tend to favor offense (KC, PIT, NE) or defense (JAC). The hardest part here was figuring out what to do with Case Keenum, balancing stats with history and his role in the offense. The easiest part was determining Tennessee and Buffalo were the weakest of the playoff teams.
At ESPN Insider, a tricky Week 17 of DFS action awaits with several teams resting starters for the playoffs. Some of our favorite matchups include Matthew Stafford, Melvin Gordon, Doug Baldwin, and Jesse James.