Andy Behrens

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Andy Behrens is the editor of Roto Arcade, the Yahoo! Sports fantasy blog. Andy has been writing about fantasy sports for the past decade and playing them much longer. He's won his share of experts leagues and accuracy titles. He's also the author of three novels for young readers. He also consistently beats the Evans-Pianowski team in barroom shuffleboard, no matter who he's paired with.

  • Thursday Fantasy Fliers: Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin

    "Man, I really do miss preseason football."

      — no person who has ever witnessed preseason football

    Tonight, finally, the real season gets underway with Green Bay visiting Seattle, the NFL's toughest road environment. This means your fantasy season is now officially happening. When you wake up on Friday, points will be on the board.

    GAME ON.

    Every Thursday, we'll identify one or two widely available players from the week's first game who have a legit chance to make a fantasy splash. But if a player is owned in more than, say, 35 percent of Yahoo leagues, he won't be eligible for discussion here.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Understand the ground rules? Great.

    Realistically, this season's Thursday opener probably won't be an all-you-can-eat fantasy smorgasbord. We're not going to get a repeat of last year's Denver-Baltimore ridiculousness. Seattle's defense, as you might have heard, ain't bad. This might not be the best week to lean on Packers skill

    Read More »from Thursday Fantasy Fliers: Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 1: The Denver Broncos

    Peyton Manning broke the two most significant single-season records at his position last season — passing yards (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55) — and he destroyed a few of the lesser-known records, too. He delivered nine games with at least four TD passes, which is ridiculous, and 15 games with a passer-rating over 90.0.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    As a team, the Broncos accomplished a whole bunch of insane things on offense, including (but not limited to) the following:

    first team in NFL history to score more than 600 points in a season (606);

    most total touchdowns in a season (76);

    third team in league history with over 7,000 net yards (7,317)

    first team to have five players reach double-digit touchdowns;

    OK, hold up just a sec. Let's take a moment to appreciate that last bullet: Denver had five players who finished with at least 10 TDs last season. That's nuts, a ridiculous thing to type. I've checked and re-checked and

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 1: The Denver Broncos
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 2: The Chicago Bears

    Marc Trestman's first season as Chicago's head coach brought spectacular offensive success and historic failure on defense — not exactly the traditional Bears formula. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that such a flawed and imbalanced group ultimately finished with an 8-8 record, narrowly missing the postseason.

    For fantasy purposes, this team was an absolute gift in 2013. Not only did Chicago rank second in the NFL in scoring (27.8 PPG) and third in yards per play (6.0), but an insane percentage of the stats belonged to just four players. Together, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett combined for 5,513 scrimmage yards. All other Bears, collectively, produced just 765. So this offense was at once easy to predict and impossible to stop — a perfect fantasy combo, really.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    When all the numbers were in, Chicago had produced the No. 3 fantasy running back, the No. 6 and No. 9 receivers, plus the

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 2: The Chicago Bears
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 3: The Green Bay Packers

    Aaron Rodgers is, at the present time, the NFL's all-time leader in both passer-rating (104.9) and interception percentage (1.8). He also ranks second in net yards per pass attempt (7.14), third in completion percentage (65.8), fifth in passing yards per game (257.4) and fifth in touchdown percentage (6.4, easily the best among active players).

    Rodgers, in a nutshell, is disturbingly good. He's efficient, he limits giveaways, he's mobile and inventive and unnervingly accurate and ... well, he's great. Near perfect. As good as it gets. A one-man clinic on quarterback play at the highest level. Rodgers' real-world brilliance obviously translates to fantasy, as he finished either first or second at his position in standard scoring every year from 2008 to 2012. Last year, if we factor out the November game in which Rodgers fractured his collarbone on Green Bay's opening drive, he ranked third among all QBs in per-game fantasy scoring.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 3: The Green Bay Packers
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 4: The Detroit Lions

    Whatever else you believe to be true about Detroit's new head coach, Jim Caldwell, at least he's not a lunatic. The Jim Schwartz era has ended. There will be no more angry end-of-game headset spikes, no more physical confrontations with opposing coaches.

    Honestly, it's difficult to imagine any two people who are more dissimilar than Caldwell and Schwartz, in terms of demeanor. The former is so outwardly chill and composed that, at times, he appears to be lightly sedated; the latter is often a raving madman, unhinged and spitting-mad.

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    Back in June, veteran players offered these descriptions of Caldwell's approach:

    "He talks to everybody like men and shoots you straight, and I think he expects it back," linebacker DeAndre Levy said.
    [...]
    "It's such a calming feeling," center Dominic Raiola said. "It's just a different style of coaching, but just around the building, everybody has a responsibility. That's all you've got to
    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 4: The Detroit Lions
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 5: The Dallas Cowboys

    According to various reports, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was thisclose to selecting Johnny Manziel in the first round on draft night, but he was eventually subdued by underlings using flex-cuffs and animal tranquilizers.

    Or maybe he was convinced through logic and thoughtful debate and reas—

    Well, no. This is Jerry [profane] Jones. He was almost certainly cuffed and drugged. Otherwise, there's no way he would have allowed Manziel to land outside Big D. As Jones himself recently said of the Cowboys, "We're the glitz and the glamor of the NFL."

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    Yeah, OK. I'm gonna guess that if you asked 1,000 NFL fans to play word association and then said "Dallas Cowboys," the most common response would be "mediocrity."

    This team has finished 8-8 in three consecutive seasons, failing to qualify for the playoffs during the Jason Garrett era. But sure: "Glitz and glamor." Sounds like a reasonable plan, Jer.

    Tony Romo remains the unrivaled

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 5: The Dallas Cowboys
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 7: The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks

    In the eight years that we've produced produced the Juggernaut Index here at Yahoo, I don't think we've ever once led a team preview by talking about a defense. We're here to have a fantasy conversation, after all. Defenses are generally an afterthought in our game. It's a roster spot that many savvy fantasy owners tend to stream.

    However, the Seahawks D is an outlier in many ways. It feels wrong to begin any consideration of this franchise without first acknowledging that Seattle's 2013 defense may have been the best in NFL history — and if it isn't at the top of your ranks, it needs to at least make the short list.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Obviously we can never definitively settle the greatest-of-all-time debate, and I'll make no attempt to do so here. If we could somehow put the '85 Bears and the '02 Bucs and the '00 Ravens and the present-day Seahawks in a giant cage-match, we could ... well, we would really have some carnage. And probably

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 7: The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 8: The New Orleans Saints

    Let's begin with a partial list of Drew Brees' accomplishments as an NFL quarterback:

    two-time Offensive Player of the Year
    Super Bowl MVP
    eight-time Pro Bowler
    ranks fifth all-time in career passing yards (51,081)
    fourth all-time in passing TDs (363)
    second all-time in completion percentage (65.9)
    sixth all-time in net yards per pass attempt (6.95)
    seventh all-time in game-winning drives (34)
    produced the second, fourth, fifth and seventh highest all-time single-season passing totals

    Not bad, right?

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Brees is 35 years old, entering his fourteenth pro season. He's three years younger than Peyton Manning and a year-and-a-half younger than Tom Brady, so he's not a bad bet to finish ahead of both in raw passing totals. He's basically settled in at a level of production that no other QB has ever maintained. Of the eight individual 5,000-yard passing seasons in NFL history, this guy is responsible for four.

    We almost

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 8: The New Orleans Saints
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 9: The Indianapolis Colts

    Andrew Luck has passed for more yardage over his first two NFL seasons (8,196) than any quarterback in league history. He just needs to throw for another 46,633 and he'll own the all-time Colts career passing mark. So that's practically in the bag.

    Luck is, without question, one of the game's most talented young QBs, and he clearly made gains in his second pro season. His yardage total may have dipped, but his completion percentage jumped from 54.1 to 60.2. Luck also slashed his interceptions from 18 to nine, he absorbed fewer sacks and he led his team to its second straight 11-win season. We should note that he did all this despite playing behind an O-line that made him the most-hit quarterback in the league (again), and despite season-ending injuries to key members of his receiving corps (Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen).

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    In a nutshell, Luck is pretty great. He won't turn 25 until September, so he's still just a kid —

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 9: The Indianapolis Colts
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 10: The New England Patriots

    As always, the first and most important thing to understand about the New England Patriots is that the team is not in the business of helping fantasy owners. This is true of every NFL franchise, of course, but New England is uncommonly difficult. Bill Belichick's press conferences are weapons-grade boring, loaded with robotic non-answers. Every player is questionable, always. No one has scoop on this team. Nobody.

    Complicating matters further, when you look at the Pats roster you'll see no fewer than seven skill players who are clear candidates to catch 40-50 passes or more. You'll also find at least three running backs who might share the backfield touches, forming a nightmare committee.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    So despite the fact that New England has consistently delivered top-five offenses throughout the Tom Brady era, this team has a spin-the-wheel vibe. There's a very good chance we'll be chasing a different Patriots receiver each week,

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 10: The New England Patriots

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