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.

  • Juggernaut Index, No. 11: Washington

    Well, that was unnerving. Just in case you didn't catch the Monday night preseason matchup between Washington and Cleveland, here's a faithful reenactment. Both teams were uncompromisingly sloppy, mistake-prone, and irrefutably not ready to play football in public.

    If you think I'm just having an extreme negative reaction to an ugly quarter or two of meaningless exhibition football ... well, OK. Maybe you have a point. I'm usually the first person to tell you not to draw long-range conclusions from preseason action (or inaction). You probably shouldn't do it. I shouldn't do it. No one should do it.

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    Nonetheless, at halftime of the Washington-Cleveland slap-fight, I revisited my 2014 preseason quarterback ranks and dropped Robert Griffin III five spots. He's still rated as a QB1 on my board, but only barely. And realistically, I'll probably veer to another position when RG3's name appears at the top of the draft queue.

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 11: Washington
  • Dunk History: Taj Gibson starts the break, then breaks Dwyane Wade

    As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History.

    Today, Andy Behrens of Roto Arcade recalls the time he watched Taj Gibson posterize Dwyane Wade's very soul during the Chicago Bulls' win over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2011 Eastern Conference finals.

    To be perfectly honest, I'm not even sure that Taj Gibson's dunk on Dwyane Wade was even the best jam of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals — that title might belong to Derrick Rose's unholy, ruthless assault on Joel Anthony. But Gibson checked all the boxes on the list of things that make for a stellar in-game dunk.

    First of all, the play began with Taj forcing a turnover that led to a three-on-one, so the right guy was rewarded

    Read More »from Dunk History: Taj Gibson starts the break, then breaks Dwyane Wade
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 12: The Cincinnati Bengals

    Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton has thrown 36 interceptions over the past two seasons, including 20 last year. His career completion percentage isn't anything special (60.9), and he's averaged 6.97 yards per attempt. Dalton has been mostly useless in the postseason, throwing six picks and one touchdown pass over three games (all losses). With three seasons of data in the books, it's difficult to construct an argument for Dalton being anything better than a middle-of-the-pack starting QB by NFL standards.

    And still, Dalton finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback last season in basically all formats. We might have a fantasy scoring crisis on our hands, because this man is in no way a top-six (or 10 or 12) passer in reality.

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    It helps of course that Dalton is the guy who gets to lob deep bombs to AJ Green, a receiver so gifted that well-thrown balls aren't really a requirement. Just look at this reception, and this one

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 12: The Cincinnati Bengals
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 13: The Atlanta Falcons

    It was only two seasons ago that this franchise hosted the NFC championship game, coming up 10 yards short of a Super Bowl appearance. Atlanta was a team on the rise heading into 2013 — and then everyone broke.

    Roddy White suffered a high-ankle sprain and right tackle Mike Johnson broke his leg. Steven Jackson injured his hamstring. Sean Weatherspoon had a foot injury and Kroy Biermann tore his Achilles.

    And then things really got messy. All-world receiver Julio Jones required season-ending foot surgery in October. At the time, Jones was leading the NFL in receptions and he was second in receiving yardage. And White tweaked a hamstring on the same day Jones was injured. And then left tackle Sam Baker went on IR with a knee injury. And Weatherspoon returned, but he injured a knee soon after. And then Corey Peters had an Achilles injury, and ... well, you get the point.

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    It was a doomed season for Atlanta, full of injuries

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 13: The Atlanta Falcons
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 14: The San Francisco 49ers

    San Francisco was one of just five NFL teams to finish with more rushes than pass attempts in 2013, and only the Niners and Seahawks ran the ball at a rate that approached 55 percent. Most coordinators and coaches would probably prefer to run the football 30-plus times per game, but doing so isn't simply a matter of commitment or offensive philosophy. Generally speaking, when your run/pass mix tilts toward the ground game in this era, then you either have a young/sketchy quarterback behind center — as with the Jets and Bills — or your team is simply all-phases good, and game-flow never becomes unmanageable.

    So it is with the Niners. These guys are great. San Francisco pairs an outstanding defense with a punishing ground assault, battering opponents to dust, making deep postseason runs. It's the classic winning formula, basically.

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    Unfortunately, it's not a formula that benefits the fantasy community to

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 14: The San Francisco 49ers
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 15: The San Diego Chargers

    At the halfway point of the 2012 season, Philip Rivers was beginning to look like Marc Bulger, circa 2008.

    That is to say, Rivers appeared to be shell-shocked, over-sacked and turnover-prone. Stuff like this was happening. It was awful — sometimes funny-bad, but generally awful.

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    But somehow Rivers managed to close the season with a string of not-terrible performances, directing the Chargers to wins in three of their final four games, tossing eight TD passes and no interceptions down the stretch. When San Diego re-booted its offense in 2013 under new head coach Mike McCoy and then-OC Ken Whisenhunt, Rivers absolutely thrived. The system emphasized quick huddles and quick strikes, allowing the quarterback to read and adjust. The team's O-line was better than anticipated and new receiving threats emerged.

    The result, as most of you know, was a Comeback Player of the Year season for the QB and a postseason

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 15: The San Diego Chargers
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 16: The Pittsburgh Steelers

    At his current pace, Ben Roethlisberger will become the most sacked quarterback in NFL history at some point during the 2017 season. He's been dropped 386 times during his 10-year pro career, an obscene total. The all-time record currently belongs to Brett Favre (525), who appeared in 302 games over 20 seasons. Ben has appeared in 143.

    Much of the blame for the excessive Roethlisberger abuse has, of course, been assigned to his offensive lines, sketchy units in recent seasons. But Ben's pathological unwillingness to give up on dead plays — like this one, for example — is a contributing factor as well.

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    Pittsburgh will be talking long-term extension with Ben next spring, as he prepares to enter his age-33 season. No one seriously expects Roethlisberger to ever wear another team's uniform...

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 16: The Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 17: The Minnesota Vikings

    By the end of the 2013 season, Minnesota was a team in need of turnaround specialists. The Vikings defense ranked last in the league in points-against (30.0 PPG) and next-to-last in yardage (397.6 YPG). The offense was one of the few to finish with more interceptions (19) than passing touchdowns (18).

    Of course no team with an all-time running back like Adrian Peterson and an All-Pro kick returner like Cordarrelle Patterson can be considered all-phases bad. But this roster desperately needed an infusion of young talent, and the coaching staff needed exactly what it got — proven tacticians who will not suffer fools. Mike Zimmer might be a first-time NFL head coach, but he has a deep history of success and the autocratic demeanor of a man born for the job. It's tough to imagine a Zimmer-coached club — one with Norv Turner as its offensive coordinator — ever getting out-worked or out-schemed. So things are definitely looking up for this franchise.

    [Smack talk season is back at Yahoo

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 17: The Minnesota Vikings
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 18: The Arizona Cardinals

    Arizona closed the 2013 season with wins in seven of nine games, including a 40-11 evisceration of the Colts and a 17-10 victory at Seattle. The team averaged 27.3 points per game during that stretch, while the defense allowed just 18.1. The Cardinals run D was the stingiest in the league (84.4 YPG). Honestly, by the end of the year, Arizona was probably one of the NFL's top-5 teams.

    Unfortunately for the Cards, they were still no better than the third-best team in the NFC West. So, despite finishing with a 10-6 record, Arizona missed the postseason for a fourth consecutive year. Life ain't easy in the league's toughest division. Nonetheless, expectations are understandably high for the year ahead. Don't be surprised if this team is playing meaningful football games in January, 2015.

    "There's nobody in the organization right now that doesn't expect to win," said head coach Bruce Arians in a recent interview with USA Today.

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    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 18: The Arizona Cardinals
  • Juggernaut Index, No. 19: The Houston Texans

    After a shockingly poor season, notable for injuries and endless pick-sixes, regime change has come to Houston. Veteran quarterback Matt Schaub played his way out of town, and veteran head coach Gary Kubiak couldn't cling to his job during a two-win campaign. This season, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be at the controls of Bill O'Brien's offense. The Texans aren't likely to light up scoreboards in 2014, but the team might just be good enough on defense to reach eight wins regardless.

    Of course we don't actually care about real-life winning and losing around here. In this space, we're primarily concerned with individual fantasy potential. Houston has a pair of consensus top-50 players — the usual suspects, Arian and Andre — but no one else on this roster projects as a must-own fantasy asset, aside from the D/ST.

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    Foster is returning from back surgery to address a herniated disc, plus he's dealt with a minor

    Read More »from Juggernaut Index, No. 19: The Houston Texans

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