|Lions HC Caldwell talks up WR T.J. Jones|
Third-year receiver getting pre-camp hype
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 24 2016, 1:00 pm
|“TJ really has got to take another step forward,” head coach Jim Caldwell said. “He’s a guy that does a lot of things well.
“He can return for you. He’s got return ability. But then also, he’s got a little scat back ability. He can catch screens for you. He can take off and go when he gets a seam. We really expect him to come forward and be a little bit more of a prominent threat.”
FFToday's Take: T.J. Jones is currently sitting fourth on the wide receiver depth chart behind Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Jeremy Kerley. Even with the Lions needing to replace production from Calvin Johnson, Jones in all likelihood would need an injury to a receiver higher on the depth chart in order to become fantasy relevant. He's a late-round dart throw / free agent type in redraft leagues.
| Steelers release K Shaun Suisham|
Suffered setback in ACL recovery
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 24 2016, 9:10 am
|The Steelers released kicker Shaun Suisham with a failed physical designation. He suffered a setback in his recovery from a torn ACL. (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Chris Boswell will assume kicking duties for the Steelers. With the offense more than willing to go for two after touchdowns, fantasy owners can ignore Boswell on draft day.
|Gase pushing Tannehill to his "breaking point"|
HC pleased with QB's education in his system
By: Doug Orth | Jun 23 2016, 5:00 pm
|During practice, (new HC Adam) Gase likes to put Ryan Tannehill and the other quarterbacks in a bunch of difficult situations: 4th and 10, facing unexpected blitzes and anything they could possibly encounter in a game. “He puts a lot of pressure on you ... makes practice hard,” rookie QB Brandon Doughty said. “I thought during practice he would say, ‘The blitz is coming to the right, let’s check this.’ He doesn’t give you much, which is good, because he’s not going to be out there on game day.”
As Gase noted last week, “I put a lot on [Tannehill’s] plate. It’s almost to the point where it’s probably too much this fast. I want to see where the breaking point is. He’s been doing a good job of responding.” (Miami Herald)|
FFToday's Take: The bad: Tannehill is learning his third offensive system going into his fifth pro season. The good: Gase is a huge upgrade from Mike Sherman or Bill Lazor, he is as good with quarterbacks as any coach in the league, and he trusts his quarterbacks to audible, which is something Tannehill hasn't been allowed to do. With the weapons he has in place now and solid coaching, Tannehill could very easily be a top-10 quarterback this season.
|Abdullah to carry most of the load for Lions?|
4.7 YPC over the second half of the season
By: Doug Orth | Jun 23 2016, 4:45 pm
|(Ameer Abdullah is) going to get every opportunity to carry most of the load for the Lions’ rushing attack. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry the second half of last season when the offensive line simplified some blocking schemes and played more consistently. The Lions should be better upfront as a run-blocking unit with (Taylor) Decker at left tackle, (Laken) Tomlinson with a year under his belt, (Larry) Warford in better shape and (Riley) Reiff moved over to right tackle. That should benefit Abdullah and the run game. (detroitlions.com)|
FFToday's Take: Although Abdullah is still recovering from January shoulder surgery, he is expected to be ready for camp and offers the same kind of huge upside he did last summer. Theo Riddick will still absorb most of the backfield's snaps on passing downs, but the rest of the roles on this team are open for the taking for the second-year back. He makes sense as a low-end RB2 with room to move up from there should he secure goal-line carries in addition to early-down work.
|Will DeAndre Washington have a significant role?|
Raiders giving rookie reps with first team
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 22 2016, 8:00 pm
|"Latavius did have to carry a majority of the load, so it will help," offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said of adding a complementary back. "I think we have a really good stable of runners right now. Someone will emerge." (East Bay Times)|
FFToday's Take: The Raiders made it clear this off-season they were interested in improving their running back depth. The only acquisition they made was adding rookie DeAndre Washington who could be inline for a significant role, perhaps forming a RBBC with Latavius Murray. Murray's not likely to duplicate his numbers from last season if Washington can prove he's capable at this level. Washington is worthy of a late-round pick in redraft leagues.
| Arian Foster hungry to regain 2012 form|
At least three teams reportedly have interest
By: Doug Orth | Jun 20 2016, 3:50 pm
|Arian Foster expects to be healthy for training camp and is "hungry" to regain his 2012 form, according to a source. At least three teams have recently inquired about Foster, who tore his Achilles in late October. The Texans released the tailback in March. But Foster, 29, is inching closer to a return and is evaluating potential fits, including teams with dual-threat running back capabilities. Foster visited the Miami Dolphins this offseason but has otherwise kept a low profile. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Foster is coming up on eight months since suffering his most recent injury. Considering his injury history, track record for slow healing, age (turns 30 in August) and the usual recovery time for Achilles' injuries, it is highly unlikely the ex-Texan will ever find his "form" again, much less in 2016. No matter where he ends up, he should be considered nothing more than a very high-risk RB3 - and even that might be a stretch.
|Demaryius Thomas distracted last season|
Missed 2015 offseason due to contract standoff
By: Doug Orth | Jun 20 2016, 3:40 pm
|Demaryius Thomas said earlier this offseason that 2015 was “the worst of my past four years,” citing a high number of drops as a reason why his performance fell short of where he wanted it to be. During an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio, Thomas talked some more about feeling like he fell short last season. Thomas didn’t work with the Broncos during the offseason because he was trying to work out a long-term deal after getting the franchise tag and said criticism after he signed his new deal got to him while he was also adjusting to the news that his mother would be released from prison, all of which added up to too much noise in his head.
(Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: Despite his second straight 100-catch and fourth consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season, Thomas was considered a disappointment by most as his touchdowns dropped from 11 to six and he finished third in the league in drops. Thomas should still be considered among the best receivers in the league, but perhaps more of a low-end WR1 than an elite WR1 with so much uncertainty at quarterback and in a more balanced offense than he has been in over the previous four seasons.
| Dennis Pitta could be "significant contributor"|
TE has not played since September 2014
By: Doug Orth | Jun 20 2016, 3:30 pm
|Dennis Pitta was one of the more active and productive offensive players for the past couple of weeks (of offseason practices). Pitta is moving well and caught just about everything thrown in his direction. He’s always going to be at risk of reinjuring his hip, but for now, Pitta feels good and looks like he can be a significant contributor. (Baltimore Sun)|
FFToday's Take: At first glance, the Ravens appear to have an overload at tight end. but Crockett Gillmore (shoulder), Maxx Williams (inexperience) and free-agent addition Ben Watson (will turn 36 the season) all bring their own flaws to the table. Pitta was once Joe Flacco's favorite target, and although faces long odds of getting back to 100 percent and carries significant injury risk, it's not unthinkable he could be useful in fantasy again if he can stay healthy.
| Watkins goal: be ready for training camp|
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 20 2016, 7:00 am
|"For training camp, I think I'll definitely be available," Watkins told TSN.ca. "I might sit out two or three days. It's all about how I feel within those days. The goal is to come back and be prepared for training camp."
Sammy Watkins suffered a broken bone in his foot this offseason and had a screw inserted in April.
FFToday's Take: Watkins went on to say there is no specific timetable for his return. Watkins is a key piece to the Bills offense and he's capable of posting WR1 numbers when healthy. He posted a 60-1047-9 line in 12 games last season including four 100-plus-yard games in his last six. His current ADP sits at WR18 (3.10) in 12-team redraft leagues.
| Josh Doctson expected to be ready for camp|
Left Achilles injury
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 15 2016, 9:00 pm
|The offseason practice season came and went without the Redskins having gotten much of a look at top draft pick Josh Doctson, who injured his left Achilles’ tendon during rookie minicamp, then missed the next four weeks while receiving treatment. Wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard dismissed any reasons for concern, saying that he expects Doctson to be ready for training camp and to work his way into the mix quickly. (Washington Post)|
FFToday's Take: Doctson is a talented rookie but it may be difficult for him to carve out a significant fantasy role with DeSean Jackson and TE Jordan Reed ahead of him in the gameplan pecking order. He's a WR5 with upside who could jump in value if Pierre Garcon and/or Jackson suffer an injury.
| Steve Smith won't play in preseason games|
Recovering from Achilles injury
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 15 2016, 6:42 pm
|Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh told NFL.com that the plan is to bring Steve Smith Sr. back slowly from a season-ending Achilles injury and will hold out the veteran wide receiver for the entire preseason. Smith will be limited to only route-running in training camp, Harbaugh said. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: It's a no-brainer game plan for the 37-year-old receiver to take it easy during the preseason. Smith suffered his Achilles injury on November 1st last season. His current ADP is WR32, early seventh-round, in 12-team redraft leagues.
| No torn ACL for Breshad Perriman|
Could be ready to go for training camp, Week 1
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 14 2016, 10:26 am
|Ravens' WR Breshad Perriman does not have a torn ACL and "will be fine for the season", per source. Received stem-cell injection today. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Good news for Perriman and the Ravens. Perriman had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday, receiving a stem-cell injection in the joint. There is currently no timetable for his return but it sounds like he should be available for training camp and Week 1.
| DeVante Parker still sidelined|
Rehab work not related to foot issue
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 14 2016, 9:47 am
|DeVante Parker (not the foot) is also not practicing today. (Armando Salguero on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Parker was doing rehab work off the side during the Dolphins OTA on Tuesday. The team insists Parker's absence is not related to his foot issues which hampered him a year ago. Parker is a trendy upside pick in redraft leagues with new head coach Adam Gase at the helm.
| Broken bone in elbow for Darren McFadden|
Surgery today, expected to miss 2 months
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 14 2016, 1:00 am
|Darren McFadden's push to hold off rookie Ezekiel Elliott and retain the starting running back job entering the season has suffered a severe setback.
McFadden underwent surgery for a broken right elbow Tuesday morning and is expected to miss at least two months. Head coach Jason Garrett announced that the club anticipates that McFadden will return in training camp and there's a possibility he'll be ready for the opener on Sept. 11 against the New York Giants.
(Dallas Morning News)|
FFToday's Take: As if the hype train for rookie Elliott wasn't moving fast enough, it should pickup steam after this news. With McFadden not expected to be back until some time during training camp it shoule give the rookie Elliott some more practice time with the first team.
|RBBC in Philly?|
Eagles have depth at the RB position
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 12 2016, 7:00 am
|“Well, you go in thinking that one guy can handle the load,” Pederson said. “If that's Ryan, he can handle all the stuff and the pounding. But with the guys we have, with the depth we have at that position, Darren is obviously a big part of that and now with Wendell [RB Wendell Smallwood] coming on, I think it could be a little bit of a running back by committee.”
FFToday's Take: Ryan Mathews is clearly the lead back of the committee but the depth the Eagles have a the position means Ryan Mathews value is likely capped at an RB2 level. Darren Sproles and perhaps Kenjon Barner will also eat into Mathews workload.
| Breshad Perriman suffers knee injury|
Partially torn ACL in left knee
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 11 2016, 8:00 pm
|Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman suffered a partially torn ACL in his left knee and will visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday to determine if Perriman needs potential season-ending surgery, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jamison Hensley.
FFToday's Take: This is a bad break for Perriman who missed last season with a right knee injury (PCL) suffered in training camp. In all likelihood, Perriman will miss a good chunk of the season if not all of it. He's off the fantasy radar leaving Steve Smith, Mike Wallace and Kamar Aiken as Baltimore's top three receivers.
|4-year contract extension for Keenan Allen|
Deal expected to be signed next week
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 11 2016, 7:00 am
|The San Diego Chargers have agreed to terms with wide receiver Keenan Allen on a four-year contract extension. Allen was on the final year of his rookie contract. The deal is expected to be finalized and signed next week. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Allen (67-725-4) was on his way to a WR1 finish before suffering a lacerated kidney last season during Week 8. His ADP currently sits at WR12 (3.01) in standard scoring leagues and WR9 (2.05) in PPR leagues.
|Austin Seferian-Jenkins tossed from practice|
Tampa Bay Times
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 9 2016, 1:40 pm
|Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins walked off the field in the middle of Thursday's voluntary OTA practice, sent off by first-year head coach Dirk Koetter.
"I did send him off," Koetter said. "That's between me and him. ... You guys are making more of it than you need to."
Koetter was asked about the play immediately before Seferian-Jenkins was sent off, and he said that the third-year tight end "didn't know what he was doing."
(Tampa Bay Times)|
FFToday's Take: It sounds like this was a teaching moment for the young tight end and shouldn't be viewed as anything more until we here otherwise. ASJ is boom or bust fantasy TE with low-end TE1 upside.
| Ameer Abdullah expected to be ready for camp|
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 6 2016, 11:49 am
|Bob Quinn said Ameer Abdullah (shoulder) will be ready for the start of training camp, Brandon Pettigrew (knee) will not. (Dave Birkett on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Abdullah had shoulder surgery back in January but GM Quinn believes the second-year back will ready for camp in July. The Lions had 354 rushing attempts last season, tied for the 31st in the league. Only Miami (344) had fewer attempts and that philosophy isn't expected to change anytime soon keeping Abdullah's ceiling at a RB2 level.
| Jared Cook has "very minor" foot surgery|
Expected to be ready for training camp
By: Doug Orth | Jun 3 2016, 6:53 pm
|If this were October, Jared Cook would be on the field Sunday, playing in a game. This is not the middle of October; it’s the first week of June. So Cook, the Packers lone free-agent acquisition this offseason, had a “very minor” foot surgery this week, a source confirmed to USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. The procedure was considered a preventative operation. The Packers wanted to be cautious. Cook is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, a source said. (Green Bay Press Gazette)|
FFToday's Take: Sounds like Cook won't be able to build any on-field chemistry with Rodgers until training camp. Not an ideal situation for the pass-catching specialist at tight end but not something that will knock his fantasy value down unless the rehab lingers into mid-August.
|Bradford remains No.1 QB in Philadelphia|
Pederson: "I think he's done an outstanding job"
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 3 2016, 5:30 pm
|Doug Pederson said the Eagles' quarterback depth chart remains unchanged. Sam Bradford is the No. 1 quarterback and will be the starter when the season begins. Chase Daniel is No. 2, and rookie Carson Wentz is the No. 3 quarterback.
"I've said that from day one," Pederson said.
FFToday's Take: Despite recent discussion of "open competition" the job is Bradford's to lose and unless he shows terribly during the pre-season he will be the starter Week 1. Given the new system and Bradford's limited ability, he's nothing more than a QB2 in redraft leagues.
|Hurns signs extension with Jaguars|
$20 million guaranteed
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 2 2016, 6:30 pm
|The Jacksonville Jaguars have locked up Allen Hurns with a long-term deal. The wideout signed a four-year extension the team announced. According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the deal is worth $40 million and includes $20 million in guarantees. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Hurns scored 10 touchdowns as the Jaguars turned into a pass-happy team in 2015. He's being overdrafted currently as the No.25 receiver off the board in standard redraft leagues as his touchdown number is likely to decline. He's more of a WR3 than a WR2.
| Browns TE Gary Barnidge has hernia surgery|
Expected to be ready for training camp
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 2 2016, 10:21 am
|Amid an offseason where the Browns have added five rookie wide receivers, one of their best pass catching options will miss time due to a sports hernia surgery. Tight end Gary Barnidge will miss the rest of the team's offseason program but should return for the start of training camp, head coach Hue Jackson told reporters on Thursday. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: With one of the weakest and youngest receiving corps in the league, Barnidge may be the team's most reliable weapon in the passing game this season. Assuming he doesn't have any setbacks he should be fine for training camp and Week 1. Barnidge is mid-level TE1 in redraft leagues.
|Jets, Fitzpatrick no closer to deal|
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 1 2016, 6:27 am
|Despite chatter over past week, Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick are not any closer to a deal. Salary stalemate continues. And could for a while. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Fitzpatrick is reportedly upses with the amount of money being offered. With no other viable alternatives on the market, its likely the Jets and Fitz will agree on a deal. Until then, his fantasy value along with the values of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker remain on hold.
| Benjamin limited to individual drills during OTAs|
Rehabbing ACL injury
By: Mike Krueger | May 31 2016, 5:00 pm
|Kelvin Benjamin did mostly individual work Tuesday, running routes “on air” - as Panthers coach Ron Rivera called it - rather than against actual defensive backs. That will come. The training staff is not going to rush back the team’s No. 1 wide receiver nine months after surgery. “You take it slow and then you build up,” Benjamin said. “So you’re basically coming out and you walk some routes. Then you start jogging. Then you’re full speed eventually. So it’s just trusting it and getting that confidence.” (Charlotte Observer)|
FFToday's Take: It appears Benjamin will begin seriously testing his knee during training camp at the end of July. “I’m not where I want to be, but I’m still getting there,” Benjamin said. “It’s just getting that football wind back.” Benjamin is being drafted in the middle of the third round, WR15 in early redraft leagues. He's on the radar for WR2 value.
| Foster: "I probably need another month"|
Recovering from Achilles injury
By: Mike Krueger | May 26 2016, 7:00 am
|Arian Foster is at a crossroads in his career. Arian says he is at peace as he works his way back from the Achilles tear that cut his last season with the Texans 12 games short. "I probably need another month to get where I am, the person everyone is use to seeing," Arian said. "I can definitely play but I need another month to be where I want to be and be at that pro-bowl lever I can be at."
FFToday's Take: Foster has received interest from a couple teams during free agency including Miami but will wait to sign until he's closer to 100 percent healthy. Foster struggled rushing the ball in his four games last season (2.6 ypc) but made his fantasy success in the receiving department with 227 yds and 2 TDs.
|Browns to lean on running game in 2016|
Hue Jackson is a run-first head coach
By: Mike Krueger | May 26 2016, 6:00 am
|"We are going to be a run-oriented football team, everything starts with the run game, our offensive line and our backs. As coach told us, we are going to be a physically dominant, running football team." Jackson's offenses his last two seasons in Cincinnati and during the 2010 and 2011 seasons in Oakland were all in the top ten in rushing attempts per game. Jackson broke into the league as a running backs coach in 2001 with Washington. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)|
FFToday's Take: It's a no-brainer for the Browns who have limited and inexperienced talent at quarterback and receiver. Fantasy owners wanting to take a chance on Browns players should focus on TE Gary Barnidge and running backs Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson and avoid the receiver position.
| Ladarius Green sitting out OTAs|
Recovering from ankle surgery
By: Mike Krueger | May 25 2016, 10:00 pm
|The former San Diego Chargers tight end Ladarius Green has been limited to mental reps at the start of organized team activities because of offseason ankle surgery he had before signing with the Steelers in March. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The expectation is that Green will be ready for the start of training camp but it's a situation to monitor. Green is expected to be the primary pass-catching tight end for a high-powered Steelers offense. Jesse James will see increased reps in Green's absence.
| Tyler Eifert to have ankle surgery|
Could miss three months
By: Mike Krueger | May 24 2016, 1:51 pm
|When Tyler Eifert left the Pro Bowl in a walking boot following an injury to his left ankle the initial diagnosis and estimates for his recover were promising. The Enquirer has learned from multiple league sources that the 25-year-old tight end will undergo what was deemed a "minimal procedure" on that ankle soon. A three month recovery is anticipated. (Cincinnati Enquirer)|
FFToday's Take: This procedure puts Eifert's Week 1 status in doubt. The Bengals have lost Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu in free agency and are now struggling to field viable weapons for Andy Dalton. A.J. Green and Eifert are expected to be the top two options in the passing game. Assuming Eifert can return by Week 1 he'll come at a nice discount in redraft leagues.
|Browns cut WR Brian Hartline|
Browns roster overhaul continues
By: Mike Krueger | May 23 2016, 1:23 pm
|After selecting four receivers in the 2016 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns cut ties with a veteran.
The Browns released wideout Brian Hartline on Monday, according to the team. Hartline compiled 523 yards on 46 receptions, with two touchdowns in 12 games last season, his only year in Cleveland.
FFToday's Take: Fantasy owners will be avoiding Browns receivers due to lack of name recognition and while one may emerge as fantasy worthy it will be difficult to predict who may emerge. First-round pick Corey Coleman will likely have the highest ADP during the Summer drafting season. Hartline will likely catch-on with a team needing a No.3 or No.4 receiver
|Charles Clay likely to be more involved in 2016|
OC pleased with TE's ability as a receiver and blocker last year
By: Doug Orth | May 23 2016, 12:10 am
|In weekly film analysis during the season, Buffalo coaches saw numerous instances where Charles Clay was open or in single coverage and Tyrod Taylor didn't look in his direction, even though Clay had a higher rate of receptions on his routes (15.4, per ESPN) than fellow tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Tyler Eifert. That's something OC Greg Roman and quarterbacks coach David Lee are setting out to change through offseason workouts and training camp. Clay also needs to be healthier than he was in 2015, when he had a knee and calf issues on top of the back injury that ended his season prematurely. (Buffalo News)|
FFToday's Take: Roman has gone on record to say Clay will be more productive in 2016 than he was last year (51 catches, 528 yards and three touchdowns), and that could especially be the case if Sammy Watkins has any kind of setback with his foot injury. For now, treat Clay as a low-end TE1 with considerable upside, likely to be limited mostly by the run-heavy nature of the Bills' offense.
|Devontae Booker eyeing starting job in Denver|
"I'm not there to carry pads, I’m there to take someone’s job.”
By: Doug Orth | May 21 2016, 12:55 am
|Devontae Booker is now one of 41 rookies at the NFL Players Association in Los Angeles.
“My message to Broncos fans is I want to be one of the best running backs to come out of Denver," Booker told NFL Twitter. “I’m not there to carry pads, I’m there to take someone’s job.”
Booker might want to participate in a practice drill before he talks again. Last year's torn meniscus has kept him from participating this offseason except walkthroughs and will take him out of the first set of the OTAs that begin next week. (9 News Denver)|
FFToday's Take: Booker needed two surgeries to correct the knee injury that caused him to miss his final three games at Utah last season. The rookie shouldn't have much problem working his way into the No. 2 role in Denver in front of Ronnie Hillman, but he'll be hard-pressed to beat out C.J. Anderson after the Broncos matched the Dolphins' offer sheet (four years, $18 million) this offseason. Booker will have a role, but it will probably be as a breather back - at least in the early going.
|HC: Bears will go with "hot hand" at RB|
Jeremy Langford, Jordan Howard, Kadeem Carey in the running
By: Doug Orth | May 21 2016, 12:25 am
|After Matt Forte spent the last eight seasons as the offense's heartbeat, coach John Fox seeks to keep it pumping with a committee approach. Replacing Forte's production, dependability and steadying presence is one of the team's greatest challenges entering Fox's second season.
"Who they are, what their strengths and weaknesses are," Fox said. "Then situationally, it can be…whoever has a hot hand." (Chicago Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: No coach seems to love using RBBC more than Fox, and his history of doing so is the chief reason why owners should not be counting on RB1 numbers from Jeremy Langford. The Bears want to see more physical running from the second-year back (his 1.13 yards after contact ranked 46th out of 47 RBs with at least 100 carries) and drafted Jordan Howard to provide it if Langford cannot. Langford should be considered the favorite, but he's probably best viewed as a high-upside RB2 for now.
|Ajayi distancing himself from the RB pack|
Gase: Second-year back is "clubhouse leader"
By: Doug Orth | May 21 2016, 12:05 am
|Dolphins HC Adam Gase said Thursday that second-year tailback Jay Ajayi is the clubhouse leader when it comes to the vacant starting spot.
Gase said Ajayi -- a former Boise State standout whom the Dolphins selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft -- has put some distance between himself and Damien Williams, Daniel Thomas, Isaiah Pead, Jahwan Edwards, and Kenyan Drake, the 2016 third-round pick, who hasn't practiced with the team yet. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)|
FFToday's Take: This is all owners could ask for at this point of the offseason for Ajayi, who appears to be taking advantage of his opportunity after Miami added only a complementary back (Drake) in the draft after losing Lamar Miller in free agency. The second-year back slipped in the 2015 draft due to long-term concerns about his knee, but he is easily the most likely Dolphin to handle 15-18 touches per week this season.
|Stefon Diggs looking to build off rookie season|
Minnesota passing attack trending up
By: Jake Gordon | May 18 2016, 7:00 pm
|EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — It was just over a year ago that Stefon Diggs was waiting for his named to be called during the 2015 NFL Draft. Now that Diggs is a year older and a year wiser, he said the frantic pace of practice has slowed down a bit. “You get more comfortable so you can play even faster,” he added. “I feel a lot better.” Diggs was one of a handful of wide receivers that met up with Teddy Bridgewater in Florida this offseason. “He definitely knows me (better),” Diggs said. “The more time we spend together, the more comfortable we’ll get with each other as far as thinking alike.”
FFToday's Take: Stefon Diggs won't anchor your receiving corps but he should lead the Vikings up and coming passing game. After catching nearly 62 percent of his targets as a rookie, Diggs is primed to see his targets climb over the century mark with an improved catch rate in Norv Turner's vertical passing attack. The addition of rookie Laquon Treadwell gives Minnesota their most talented receiving duo since Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin racked up a combined 2,102 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in 2009.
|Cowboys ink RB Ezekiel Elliott|
Four-year deal for fourth overall pick
By: Doug Orth | May 18 2016, 4:33 pm
|IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Ezekiel Elliott has signed a four-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys that includes a $16 million signing bonus and is worth nearly $25 million overall for the Ohio State running back who was the fourth overall draft pick. (AP Sports)|
FFToday's Take: Elliott enters a backfield featuring Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden atop the depth chart so he may not see the field right away in 2016. Nevertheless, he arguably has more upside than anyone else the Cowboys have at the position and may only need a great preseason or an injury to put him in the mix for carries this year. Elliott's pedigree, draft position and firm grip on the "running back of the future" label in Dallas make him more attractive in dynasty formats where he could be among the top 15 at the position as soon as 2017.
|Is TE Virgil Green about to break out? |
Opportunity is now for veteran tight end
By: Jake Gordon | May 18 2016, 10:19 am
|Tight ends play a critical role in Gary Kubiak's offense. From blocking in the run game, to pass catching on the bootleg, to being primary receivers in the red area, the Denver Broncos offense will rely on tight ends producing regularly.
Entering 2016, the top of the TE depth chart has been overhauled. Owen Daniels has been released and Vernon Davis signed in Washington. The Broncos are now counting on Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman and Garrett Graham to be first in line to produce.
With Kubiak's preference of playing two tight ends, there will be plenty of chances for the trio to prove they can provide more punch to the offense than the previous placeholders.
"With O.D. (Owen Daniels) being gone, there is a better chance," Green said of his opportunity as a pass-catcher, via the Denver Post. "I really want to, in training camp, show that I can be not just the pass guy, but just the every-down tight end guy."
FFToday's Take: The TE position is up for grabs in Denver and Virgil Green will compete with sophomore Jeff Heuerman and Garret Graham for the lion's share of the workload in a tight-end heavy system. All three have struggled to become NFL regulars but Green and Heuerman possess the most offensive upside of the trio and are worth watching throughout the pre-season. One or both of them could provide sneaky value to the bargain fantasy shopper.
|San Diego claims QB Mettenberger|
Titans had placed him on waivers a day earlier
By: Jake Gordon | May 17 2016, 5:43 pm
|The San Diego Chargers claimed QB Zach Mettenberger off waivers on Tuesday, bringing the 6-5, 224-pound former Tennessee Titan into the fold. To make room, the team waived QB Bryn Renner. (Chargers.com)|
FFToday's Take: The Chargers' current coaching staff features two of Zach Mettenberger's former coaches while he was in Nashville in Ken Whisenhunt and John McNulty. The familiarity should provide Mettenberger a solid shot to be Phillip Rivers' backup heading into the 2016 season as he battles incumbent Kellen Clemens. Mettenberger became more expendable in Tennessee after the team chose a more experienced quarterback, Matt Cassel, to serve as the primary backup to starter Marcus Mariota.
| Sammy Watkins has broken bone in foot|
With a screw inserted, he should be ready by training camp
By: Jake Gordon | May 16 2016, 4:38 pm
|WR Sammy Watkins suffered a broken small bone in his foot & had a screw inserted, source said. Should be ready for training camp. (Ian Rapoport via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Sammy Watkins' elite talent and lack of competition still provide plenty of fantasy upside as he enters his third year in the league. However, lower body ailments of the calf, hip and now foot should cast enough injury concern to make him a risky choice as your team's top receiver in 2016.
| Broncos' Sanchez has thumb surgery|
Only expected to be be out a week
By: Jake Gordon | May 16 2016, 4:00 pm
|ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- Mark Sanchez will miss the first few days of OTAs next week after undergoing surgery to repair a ligament in his left, non-throwing hand.
The Denver Broncos' new quarterback injured his left thumb in a weight room mishap on Thursday while participating in team-wide strength and conditioning work.
He underwent surgery Saturday in Vail, Colorado.
FFToday's Take: Not much to read into here as the team expects Mark Sanchez back in about a week. He will miss the start of OTAs but remains the favorite to open the season as the starter in Denver.