The Clem Report’s 2014 AFC North Preview

Posted: August 29, 2014 in Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

bengals-browns-steelers-ravens-afc-north-logos

*Editors Note: God damn this division has an ugly color scheme

Baltimore Ravens

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Over/Under Win Total: 8.5

Odds to win division: +275

Odds to win Super Bowl: 40/1

Fantasy Underrated: Torrey Smith. Playing the same position as Andre Johnson, Rod Smith, and Pierre Garcon in a Kubiak/Shanahan inspired offense should mean a ton of targets and fantasy points for Smith and his owners.  Torrey should come at a discount price in your draft, but has the hands and the wheels to explode this season.  The only downside I see for him is that he has Bum Ass Joe Flacco (his official nickname) throwing him the rock.

Fantasy Overrated: Ray Rice. Usually Gary Kubiak running backs are money in fantasy football.  But they are also usually bigger and one cutback runners.  Rice may not be a fit for the Kubiak scheme, while backup Bernard Pierce is.  Add in the fact that Pierce has a two week rehearsal during Rice’s suspension and you may be spending a high pick on a season-long backup.  Plus the whole “he knocked out his fiance and is probably a huge scumbag” thing.

Moment of Zen:

Team Smokeshow: 

ravens 43 Ravens

Bottom Line: Ozzie Newsome is one of the best GMs in the NFL, so you always have to figure that the Ravens are going to be competitive.  John Harbaugh has become recognized as one of the best coaches in the league and the Ravens added Gary Kubiak as their offensive coordinator, who should be a legit upgrade over Jim Caldwell.  You figure they will win some ugly games, lose some games they should win, and be in the playoff race til the end.  Look at that hard hitting NFL analysis!  I will take the over 8.5 wins.

Cincinnati Bengals

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Over/Under Win Total: 9

Odds to win division: +200

Odds to win Super Bowl: 40/1

Fantasy Underrated:  Jeremy Hill. Gio Bernard has been a hot name for two straight preseasons.  While he did show a bunch of talent last year, the Bengals still drafted Jeremy Hill in the 2nd round.  That tells me that the Bengals do not fully trust Gio and/or they love Hill.  Long story short, I would rather draft Hill at the tail end of my draft than take Bernard in the first 3 rounds.  If I had to see BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ corpse run one more carry in the NFL, I was going to flip my shit.

Fantasy Overrated:  Gio Bernard. ^^^^^^^

Moment of Zen:

Team Smokeshow: 

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Bottom Line: Cincy has overachieved the last few seasons and I see serious regression in their future.  They lost both their offensive coordinator (Jay Gruden) and defensive coordinator (Mike Zimmer) to head coaching positions and have a quarterback that no one in the league respects, despite some good looking numbers.  Add in the fact that they have an awful, penny pinching owners and it adds up to an ugly year in The Jungle.  I am hammering under 9 wins for the Bungles.

Cleveland Browns

DownrightRelievedDromedary

Over/Under Win Total: 6.5

Odds to win division: +500

Odds to win Super Bowl: 75/1

Fantasy Underrated:  Ben Tate. Running back who knows how to play in a zone blocking scheme + Kyle Shanahan coaching = Fantasy Points.  Tate is injury prone, but sometimes you just have to take a chance.  There is no Arian Foster in Cleveland to block Tate from seeing the field.  And once Johnny Football becomes the starter, their rushing attack will really take off. #TeamMoney

Fantasy Overrated: Jordan Cameron.  I think there are two “no doubt” tight ends this season, Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas.  Rob Gronkowski would be the third, if we knew he was 100% and was not going to get injured again.  Cameron would be the 4th if Norv Turner was still in Cleveland.  Cameron is an athletic freak, but the stars are not aligned for him the way they were last season.  If you miss out on the first 3 tight ends, I would either wait 4 rounds to select Cameron or wait until the end of the draft to select someone else.

Moment of Zen:

Team Smokeshow: 

63b4a7a7e56b0483682d4ad1adbbd9d3

Bottom Line: If Josh Gordon avoided a long suspension and Johnny Football entered the season as the starter, the Browns were my sleeper pick to win the division.  An easy schedule, a potentially great defensive head coach (Mike Pettine), and Kyle Shanahan potentially working some 2012 RG3 magic on Johnny Football had me salivating at Believeland having a magical fall and winter.  I still think that they will be better than past years, but that isn’t hard considering Cleveland’s past.  Give me over 6.5 wins.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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Over/Under Win Total: 8.5

Odds to win division: +200

Odds to win Super Bowl: 33/1

Fantasy Underrated: Heath Miller.  Heathy Poo (that’s what I call him) had 800 yards and 8 TDs in 2012 before tearing his ACL at the end of the season.  Last year, like every player not named Adrian Peterson, he struggled to produce at his normal levels.  Now another year removed from surgery, I expect Miller to be a good plug and play tight end for your fantasy team if you miss out on the big guns at the top of the draft.  Big Ben loves throwing to Miller more than he loves being a complete meathead, which is saying something.

Fantasy Overrated:  LeGarrette Blount.  Blount was a beast for New England at the end of last season, especially when he ran all over the Colts in the AFC Divisional round.  However, Blount once ran like a beast in Tampa Bay and followed that up with a whole lot of nothing before getting cut.  How do you think he is going to play now that he got paid in Pittsburgh.  Blount is also a known fumbler, which could land him in Mike Tomlin’s doghouse quicker than a LeGarrette Blount punch.

Moment of Zen:

Team Smokeshow: 

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Bottom Line: The Steelers are just like the Ravens, in that they will win ugly, lose ugly, and be in the playoff race come December.  Give me over 8.5 wins mostly because the AFC is weak and Mike Tomlin is the baddest mamma jamma on the planet.

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