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warm up this morning. It was strange," said Merrick. "I wasnt hitting it that great and I didnt feel that good. Maybe that make

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Down big to the Saints in the Superdome midway into the third quarter of Week 16 last December, the Jacksonville Jaguars Blake Bortles dropped back from a shotgun stance on first and 20 and planted his right foot on the two-yard line. Bortles, who led the NFL in passes traveling at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage last season, threw an in-stride strike to Allen Robinson at the 39-yard line. The result was a 90-yard score -- good for the longest reception of the entire NFL season.While the Jags would lose the game by 11 points, the play had a seismic effect on the fantasy football landscape. Using ESPN standard scoring, Robinsons haul netted 15 fantasy points. To put this single-play bounty in perspective, the Steelers Antonio Brown averaged 15.2 fantasy points per game to lead the wide receiver position last season. Innumerable fantasy titles were decided in those 10 seconds of game play.The big play is a highly coveted outcome in fantasy football. In a league that continues to trend pass-happy, we often look to the receiver position for such slate-shifting performances. The goal of this piece is to get a better idea of which NFL offenses have consistently and prolifically pushed the ball deep downfield; and subsequently which players we suspect should have meaningful vertical roles for their respective offenses in 2016. There is natural variance in big-play production in the NFL, but lets attempt to identify some potential indicators for unearthing such production.As my colleague Mike Clay has deduced, YAC (yards after the catch) and even yards per reception havent proved particularly predictive or consistent for projecting yardage production. With a specific eye on big-play mavens at the position -- given that average depth of target has proved somewhat predictive in projecting receiving performance -- weve employed a study of relative air yards per target at the wide receiver position. Air yards are simply the yards traveled in the air from the point of release to the intended receiver.To add some clarity to this concept of relative air yards -- or RELAY, to make it sound cooler -- weve subtracted the teams average air yards per target to receivers from the average air yards per target for specific receivers who had at least 30 targets in 2015. For example, the Miami Dolphins receivers averaged 10.4 air yards per target last season, while rookie DeVante Parker averaged 14.3 air yards per target, netting him a RELAY rate of 3.9 yards -- the sixth-highest clip of the 2015 season. Below, youll find the top 30 performers in RELAY from last season.Were not purporting RELAY to be revolutionary; rather, it simply reveals a?players net valuable vertical targets relative to their positional peers. Regarding notable takeaways from this index, its telling to see both Michael Floyd and John Brown on the list, given Carson Palmer averaged 6.13 throws per game of at least 10 yards past the line of the scrimmage last season -- the fifth-highest rate of such attempts over the past three seasons. In fact, Palmer is second only to Andrew Luck in throws per game of at least 10 yards past the sticks over the previous two seasons. Im particularly high on Brown and believe he can become a top-15 fantasy producer at the position this season, but I also think there is room for profit with Floyd as well, given coach Bruce Arians propensity for having Palmer persistently push the ball vertically.The Cardinals?Floyd rates second in average air yards per target (16.6), behind only the San Diego Chargers Malcom Floyd over the past two seasons (18.3). With the Bolts Floyd having retired, Travis Benjamin is set to assume this valuable vertical role in San Diego. Benjamin was 28th in total standard fantasy points and 35th per game at the position, while playing with a blend of sub-optimal passing partners in Cleveland last season; hes currently going 50th on average at the position in early ADP results.Despite being limited to 13 games last season, Buffalos Sammy Watkins led all receivers by 16 percent ?in fantasy points on throws at least 10 yards past the line of the scrimmage. This big-play maven was fueled in part by Tyrod Taylor?averaging 5.2 throws of such a distance per game last season, the sixth-highest rate over the past two seasons (minimum 10 games). While injury concerns continue to present real risk for shares of Watkins, hes arguably already the leagues most dangerous deep threat at just 23 years old.Seattles Tyler Lockett is gaining steam this summer as a breakout candidate among pundits and fantasy investors. Helping to buoy the burgeoning hype, the speedster -- who ranked in the 87th percentile in the 40-yard dash among positional draft prospects as a close physical comparable to Arizonas Brown, per Mockdraftable -- ranked 22nd in RELAY and ninth in fantasy points per target on throws of at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage last season. Even if the Seattle passing game never becomes a volume-driven attack, the inherent verticality of Locketts role remains intriguing.As for a cheaper sophomore breakout candidate, its worth noting the Titans Dorial Green-Beckham was the leading vertical target on a Titans offense that averaged 12.2 air yards per attempt to its receivers, the sixth-highest rate in the league last year. Even if you dont believe in DGBs season-long value given his still-raw skill set, well likely witness some slate-shifting hookups with Marcus Mariota this fall for DFS purposes. Of the discounted veteran tier, we should remember the 49ers Torrey Smith opened his career with four consecutive top-24 fantasy finishes at the position in Baltimore and is due for a spike in targets in Chip Kellys snap-happy scheme.To follow up on Parker, the Fins Ryan Tannehill attempted 88 passes that traveled at least 10 yards past the line last season, fifth most in the league. Last season, Parker was tied for 17th in fantasy points per game at the position from Week 12, when he began receiving heavy snap exposure. With his rich aforementioned RELAY rate in place, shares of Parker around his current ADP (30th at the position) could prove profitable.We find Washingtons DeSean Jackson going just ahead of Parker in drafts so far, on average, as the renowned big-play burner dominated on deep balls even during last seasons?injury-plagued campaign. The chart below details fantasy points per target on targets of at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, with Jackson leading the pack after already finishing third in the league in RELAY. There will surely be some lean, low-reception outings for Jackson, but for investors willing to accept the variance of his production pattern at a draft price that seems to bake in these inherent risks, some big Sundays are still part of the portfolio.The Colts Luck has averaged the most deep attempts (10 yards past scrimmage) per game over the past two seasons. With vertical targets surely on tap for both T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, big plays should again prove common for the Colts in 2016. Even second-year sleeper Phillip Dorsett could flash as a vertical weapon worthy of deep-league and DFS interest.Its also interesting to see Tampas Jameis Winston appear on this vertical passing index, as Mike Evans is due for a healthy correction in touchdown and big-play production heading into his third campaign. Below, youll find the leading signal-callers in passes of at least 10 yards past the sticks since 2014. Discount Nike NFL Jerseys . How great will be revealed in the next couple of days at the board of governors meeting in Pebble Beach, Calif. Wholesale NFL Jerseys Fast Shipping .35 million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. Plouffe batted .254 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs in 477 at-bats last season, his second as a regular in the lineup. http://www.jerseyswholesalenfl.net/ . Varlamov made 33 saves and Ryan OReilly had a goal and scored in the shootout as the Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Thursday night. Wholesale NFL Jerseys China . The FA rejected Wilsheres appeal that the length of his punishment was "clearly excessive" and said Thursday his suspension begins with immediate effect. He will miss league matches against Chelsea on Monday and West Ham on Dec. Nike NFL Jerseys Outlet . The Barrie Colts defenceman, who impressed many with his play for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship, is the top-ranked skater in the February rankings. He has 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points in 45 games with the Colts this season. OAKVILLE, Ont. -- John Merrick shot one of the best rounds in Canadian Open history. But it still wasnt enough. Merrick shot a 10-under 62 to take the early clubhouse lead in the second round of the RBC Canadian Open on Friday, but Hunter Mahan caught him with an 8-under 64 performance for an overall score of 13-under par. "I saw kind of going into 9, I saw he was at 11, and it was weird because I think he was at 7 or 8 or something, and then he was at 11. Sixty-two is a pretty good round," said Mahan. "But I didnt really think I had to catch him. Theres so much golf to be played here. "I think I just wanted to go out there and not try to shoot for a score but just try to play golf." Merricks morning round tied a course record at the par-72, 7,253-yard Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont., to take the early clubhouse lead at 11 under. Greg Norman set the mark at the 1986 Canadian Open. "I actually kind of had a bad warm up this morning. It was strange," said Merrick. "I wasnt hitting it that great and I didnt feel that good. Maybe that makes you focus a little bit more, try to figure out whats going on. And I was able to kind of work a couple things out and got off to a good start and eagled the second hole, which kind of calmed me down. "Whenever you try to force things in golf you never get what you want to do." Bubba Watson sat third at the $5.6-million purse PGA Tour stop after a 5-under 67 in the threesome ahead of Mahan. "As long as I can keep my patience and I can just have fun out there, and hopefully this weather just doesnt bother me too bad, and then well have fun this weekend," said Watson. Mahan was pleased with Fridays performance and saw it as a stepping stone after he tied for ninth at 3-over par in last weeks British Open. "Yeah, I kind of built off last week," said Mahan of Fridays round. "I got some good things Im doing with my swing and everything, and feel good about that. Im just going out there and really trying to trust my game. Just allow things to happen and not get in the way of myself and be as present as I can and keep my head up and keep moving forward. And just kind of letting my abilities and everything that Im doing in my game, let it try to come out." Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., was the top Canadian after shooting a 5-under 67 in the second round, putting him at 4 under for the tournament. "Yeah, it was a great day. It was one of those rounds that could have been really anything. I could have been 10 under pretty easily, I thiink," said Weir.dddddddddddd "But played great, and it was exciting to do that for the fans." He jumped over several of his fellow countrymen, including first-round top Canadian Brad Fritsch, from Ottawa, who shot 1-over par on the second day of the tournament to fall to 2 under overall. Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., caught up to Fritsch on the leaderboard after shooting 1-under 71 for the second day in a row. "Its a great opportunity to get experience out here on the PGA Tour," said Sloan. "Obviously this is where I want to be, this is where I want my career to be. So Im just committed to being focused out there on the golf course." David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., was the other Canadian to make the cut after a 1-over 73 afternoon. Fritsch was impressed with Merricks score. "I dont think they played all the holes today -- 62," said Fritsch. "He probably played 16 holes." Merrick couldnt believe the round hed had himself -- he had to double-check his final score with his caddy. "It didnt feel like 62 at all," said Merrick. "(I) made that putt on the last hole and told my caddie, I was like, was that 10 under? He was like, I think so. "I was just trying to keep making birdies and not quite think about what I was doing." Merrick was pleased to be playing so well at a national open. "Its a very prestigious event," said Merrick. "Yeah, its a great honour to be here and playing the tournament, and its definitely one that you look at to play well at, definitely." First-round leader Brendan Steele struggled in the afternoon, shooting a 3-over 75 to drop into a group tied for 26th. Two-time Canadian Open champion Jim Furyk was in a group tied for 16th at 5-under par, while Scott Piercy, last years title holder, was tied for 56th at 2 under. A cut line of 1-under par eliminated several Canadians, including Graham Delaet (73) of Weyburn, Sask., amateur Corey Conners (74) of Listowel, Ont., Eugene Wong (71) of North Vancouver, B.C., Calgarys Stephen Ames (73), Peter Laws (74) of Milton, Ont., amateur Adam Svensson (72) of Surrey, B.C., Bryn Parry (75) of North Vancouver, B.C., and Brian Hadley (75) of Sarnia, Ont. Also cut were amateur Eric Banks (84) of Truro, N.S., Mackenzie Hughes (75) of Dundas, Ont., Riley Wheeldon (75) of Comox, B.C., amateur Kevin Carrigan (73) from Victoria, Torontos Albin Choi (73) and Adam Hadwin (71) of Abbotsford, B.C. There will be a second cut after Saturdays third round because more than 78 players made Fridays cut. ' ' '

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