| Kelvin Benjamin sidelined with bone bruise|
WR considered day-to-day
By: Doug Orth | Jul 28 2014, 6:05 pm
|Panthers HC Ron Rivera told reporters Monday afternoon that rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin suffered a bone bruise to his left knee. The injury stems from when Benjamin bumped knees with a teammate during practice Sunday.
The rookie's knee is stable and is experiencing swelling, and there is no timetable for Benjamin's return, per Rivera. The No. 28 overall pick in May's draft is expected to return to practice once the swelling subsides, and Rivera expects that to be a matter of days, not weeks. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Beat writer Joe Person tweeted on Monday the rookie is day-to-day. There may not be a player with a higher ceiling and lower floor in fantasy this year; the first-round pick out of Florida State is 6-5 and 240 pounds, but raw with inconsistent hands. As a result, any missed time in camp is cause for some concern. It does sound like Carolina will get him back soon, however, so he should remain on track to be the Panthers' de facto top receiver.
|Lions pleased with Stafford's progress|
QB showed improvement in "every facet"
By: Doug Orth | Jul 28 2014, 5:15 pm
|HC Jim Caldwell had the quarterbacks report last week, so they could be ahead of the learning curve with the new offense. At that time, he told QB Matthew Stafford he was impressed with his understanding of the new offense considering all the new verbiage and increased pace.
“I was impressed when he came back that first of all he did not miss a beat,” Caldwell said. “He’s a very, very smart guy. In every facet when he came back, I could see improvement — footwork, accuracy, timing, command of the offense, all of those things.” (Detroit News)|
FFToday's Take: Stafford may already have one 40-touchdown season under his belt, but it is possible he is primed for a career year in 2014 or 2015 with the additions of WR Golden Tate and rookie TE Eric Ebron. The Lions even possess three very capable receivers out of the backfield in RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick. With better fundamentals, owners should not hesitate making Stafford one of the top five quarterbacks selected in fantasy drafts.
|Maclin has looked "fantastic" in camp|
Making his way back from 2013 ACL tear
By: Doug Orth | Jul 28 2014, 5:10 pm
|Since his return to practice back in April, WR Jeremy Maclin has professed that he is a "stronger" version of his former self. QB Nick Foles has seconded that, and Eagles HC Chip Kelly has used "fantastic" to describe how Maclin has looked. Maclin said he bases it partly on "gains made in the weight room" but mostly on what he's able to do on the field. "Being able to dig and go track balls down. Being able to plant and come back to balls. Those are the plays I made before I got hurt and those are the plays I'm making now," Maclin said. (Philly.com)|
FFToday's Take: Most owners already have typecast Maclin as an injury-prone receiver, but it is clear the Eagles are counting on him to replace DeSean Jackson - in terms of his position and most of his production. The fifth-year veteran has always been a more complete receiver than Jackson, but also more injury-prone. With more weapons around him than Jackson had last season, expect Maclin to be a top-end fantasy WR3 this year.
|Browns liking the look of rookie RBs|
West and Crowell showing well early
By: Doug Orth | Jul 28 2014, 5:00 pm
|Terrance West has shown up to camp and played his butt off, showed off some real athleticism for a man his size and seems to bring extra energy to every play he's in. No matter what happens with Josh Gordon and the quarterbacks, the Browns are built to play good defense and to keep that defense rested, and this offensive line might be pretty good, too. The team also thinks it has a keeper in undrafted Isaiah Crowell. (Fox Sports)|
FFToday's Take: West has been generating plenty of buzz throughout the offseason and needs to be considered at least the equal of Ben Tate in fantasy at this point as a perfect fit in OC Kyle Shanahan's zone-blocking run scheme. Crowell is arguably the most talented runner of the bunch and a former five-star recruit. West is a steal at his late seventh-round ADP, while Crowell could decide fantasy titles late in the season if both Tate and West go down.
|Rookie RB James White impressive in camp|
Fourth-rounder more than just a receiving back
By: Doug Orth | Jul 28 2014, 4:50 pm
|In the first few days of camp, it’s been clear that rookie RB James White has exceptional skills and moves with the confidence of a veteran. The Patriots obviously have been making an effort to see what White can and can not do, giving him an abundance of reps over other rookies as well as veteran Brandon Bolden. While White was once viewed strictly as a pass receiving back in the mold of Shane Vereen (something Patriots RB coach Ivan Fears told me was off base during minicamp), he is quickly becoming one of the camp’s top phenoms and is the team’s leading rookie. (Boston.com)|
FFToday's Take: As the backup to both Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon at Wisconsin, White didn't generate a lot of hype around draft time despite posting two 1,000-yard rushing seasons. ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss recently predicted White would be on the field for more than 20 percent of the Patriots' offensive snaps this season and it isn't hard to imagine that happening behind fumble-prone Stevan Ridley and injury-prone Vereen.
| LaMichael James out with dislocated elbow|
Expected to miss four weeks
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 27 2014, 8:00 pm
|Running back LaMichael James was carted off the field Sunday after he suffered an injury to his left arm early in practice.
NFL Network reported that James suffered a dislocated elbow and that he is expected to miss a month or so. (San Jose Mercury News)|
FFToday's Take: The 49ers running back corps has taken a beating the last couple days. Kendall Hunter (ACL) will miss the entire season and now it appears James will miss a good chunk of training camp. Frank Gore and rookie Carlos Hyde continue to be the fantasy running backs to own in San Francisco with Marcus Lattimore (knee) being a wildcard. Lattimore remains on the non-football-injury list.
| Trent Richardson dealing with hamstring issue|
Colts' running back not practicing
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 27 2014, 3:10 pm
|The Colts have been using the term “soft-tissue” issue when talking about why running back Trent Richardson has not been practicing in training camp. Richardson has a hamstring issue. Richardson isn’t practicing, but he has been catching passes off the Jugs machine at the conclusion of practices. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: With Vick Ballard (Achilles) out for the season, Ahmad Bradshaw has been running with first team during the early portion of training camp. Richardson's hamstring issue doesn't appear to be serious but it's something to monitor moving forward.
| Kendall Hunter tears ACL, out for the season|
Injured during non-contact drill
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 26 2014, 12:45 pm
|Running back Kendall Hunter tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Friday at practice, the team confirmed Saturday morning. Candidates to fill the 49ers’ No. 2 tailback job are LaMichael James, Carlos Hyde, Jewell Hampton and Marcus Lattimore, who’s on the non-football-injury list but has been doing conditioning drills on a side field in camp. (San Jose Mercury News)|
FFToday's Take: Hunter is a key part to the 49ers offense, able to spell Frank Gore on early downs as well as play on third downs in a receiving role. Hyde will be the favorite to become the No.2 running back but this injury might breathe some life into LaMichael James who had been rumored to be on the outs in San Francisco. Hunter averaged 80.5 touches the last two seasons.
| Kenny Stills leaves practice with quad injury|
Had similar injury two weeks ago
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 25 2014, 10:00 pm
|Wide receiver Kenny Stills pulled up lame on a pass route and had to leave the field. Payton said it was a right quadriceps injury that flared up on the play. Payton said Stills had similar tightness two weeks ago. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)|
FFToday's Take: Still's left Friday's practice and is riding a stationary bike on the field this morning according to a report from Saints' columnist Larry Holder. Still is trying to land the No.2 wide receiver job ahead of rookie Brandin Cooks and Joe Morgan.
| Vick Ballard likely out for the season|
Torn Achilles, MRI pending
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 25 2014, 9:00 pm
|Two days into training camp and the Colts already are dealing with their first major injury.
Running back Vick Ballard, only now returning from season-ending knee surgery last September, suffered what team owner Jim Irsay said is a likely torn left Achilles tendon during a non-contact drill Friday. (Indianapolis Star)|
FFToday's Take: Ballard will have an MRI to confirm the diagnosis but it sounds like he will be lost for the season. He was active for one game in 2013 before suffering an ACL injury. Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw remain the top two options at running back for the Colts. Chris Rainey and Dan Herron are also on the roster.
| Cecil Shorts bothered by nagging injuries|
Pulled from practice due to tightness in hamstring
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 25 2014, 7:00 pm
|Receiver Cecil Shorts was pulled from practice because of tightness in his hamstring. Shorts’ 2013 preseason was derailed by a strained calf and he was limited throughout the off-season program because of a similar injury. And today, he was held out of practice at the end with the hamstring problem. (Florida Times Union)|
FFToday's Take: With Justin Blackmon suspended indefinitely, Ace Sanders serving a four-game suspension and two rookies likely to see significant playing time, the Jaguars will need Shorts on the field more than ever this season. Shorts' injury risk is growing by the day and something fantasy owners should take note of.
| Vick Ballard carted off with ankle injury|
Colts RB injured in non-contact drill
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 25 2014, 3:09 pm
|Indianapolis Colts running back Vick Ballard was carted off the practice field today after what appeared to be a left ankle injury suffered while running a pass pattern. There was no contact involved with the injury. (Indianapolis Star)|
FFToday's Take: Ballard tore his ACL early last season so this is yet another setback for the Colts running back looking to carve out a backup role behind Trent Richardson. We'll have more on the extent of Ballard's injury when details become available.
|Andre Johnson reports to training camp|
WR missed OTAs and minicamp
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 25 2014, 7:10 am
|Andre Johnson has reported for the Texans’ 2014 training camp.
Despite spending the last two months threatening to hold out, Johnson has arrived at NRG Stadium and is expected to begin practicing Saturday morning. Veterans are due to report Friday and are scheduled to begin meeting with the media at 10:30 a.m. (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: Johnson has been disgruntled at the prospect of going through another rebuilding season in Houston even suggesting he'd like to be traded. He still has low-end WR1 value even with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB and is bargain priced with an ADP hovering around the back-end of round four as the 18th wide receiver off the board.
|Lynch expected to holdout of training camp|
Seahwaks set to begin camp on Friday
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 24 2014, 7:10 pm
|When the Seahawks begin training camp tomorrow, running back Marshawn Lynch is expected to be absent.
That’s according to former Seahawk Michael Robinson, who is now a commentator on the NFL Network and said on-air moments ago that Lynch will hold out.
“Marshawn Lynch just called me, we just talked,” Robinson said. “He said he will be holding out from training camp this year with the Seahawks.” (Seattle Times)|
FFToday's Take: Lynch has two years left on his deal and is set to make $5 million this season and $5.5 million in 2015. He skipped OTAs but reported to minicamp in June. Given his reasonable salary and the depth of players behind him (Christine Michael & Robert Turbin), it's hard to imagine the Seahawks caving to his demands.
| Gibson, Moreno nearing "full throttle" status|
Veteran WR, RB coming off surgeries
By: Doug Orth | Jul 24 2014, 3:30 pm
|HC Joe Philbin (suggests Miami has) no major injury worries regarding WR Brandon Gibson or RB Knowshon Moreno. "Not full throttle 100% reps yet but won't be too long." (Armando Salguero on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Gibson is recovering from a torn patellar tendon, so he should be considered more week-to-week. The ex-Ram built solid chemistry with QB Ryan Tannehill before going down, but could easily lose third-receiver duties to rookie Jarvis Landry if he struggles in camp. Moreno was given a 4-5 week timeline for an offseason knee scope and appears to be a ways behind Lamar Miller atop the depth chart. Moreno is shaping up to be an unexciting fantasy RB4 this season.
| Jonathan Stewart out 1-2 weeks|
By: Doug Orth | Jul 24 2014, 3:20 pm
|Panthers GM Dave Gettleman said on Thursday that RB Jonathan Stewart injured his hamstring recently and will miss a week or two of camp while he recovers. The team doesn’t feel it is an overly serious injury, so Stewart will remain on the active roster as opposed to being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Gettleman also announced that G Edmund Kugbila will have back surgery in August and miss the entire season. The 2013 fourth-round pick missed his rookie season because of a knee injury. (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: Stewart actually enjoyed a surgery-free offseason for the first time in years, so this setback hurts as he attempts to have his first meaningful fantasy season since 2011. He’s played just 15 games over the last two years while dealing with a variety of aches and pains. Kugbila technically won't be missed since he has yet to play a snap, but his loss further weakens what projects to be a below-average offensive line.
|Justin Blackmon arrested on marijuana charges|
Jaguars receiver is currently suspended indefinitely
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 24 2014, 10:21 am
|Suspended Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon was arrested in Edmond, Okla., Wednesday night for possession of marijuana, according to NewsOn6.com in Oklahoma. The Jaguars didn’t expect Blackmon to be eligible to play during the 2014 season - he must file for reinstatement to commissioner Roger Goodell to begin the process of returning to the field. (Florida Times Union)|
FFToday's Take: Blackmon has been MIA since being suspended by the league back in November and this is his third arrest in the last four years. He's off the fantasy radar for 2014 and will have an uphill climb getting back into the league in 2015.
|Ray Rice to be suspended two games|
NFL yet to confirm suspension
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 24 2014, 10:15 am
|NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will hand down a two-game suspension to Ray Rice for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, sources confirmed. The league has not officially announced the suspension.
FFToday's Take: Rice will miss games against division foes Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Bernard Pierce (shoulder) will likely replace Rice in the starting lineup the first two weeks of the season. It appears that being a first-time offender helped Rice keep his suspension to a minimum. Rice's ADP of RB28, round six, should begin to rise slightly on this news.
|Charles gets contract extension, RB headed to camp|
Two-year contract extension
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 23 2014, 4:35 pm
|Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs have struck a deal, source says. He’s heading to camp now. (Ian Rapoport via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: That was quick. Just 45 minutes after the deadline to report to camp, a new contract extension has been agreed to by the Chiefs and their star running back. The first training camp practice is scheduled for Thursday.
|WR Sidney Rice retires from NFL|
Injuries the main reason for Rice's retirement
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 23 2014, 4:11 pm
|Sidney Rice walked away from what has been his life and into a new chapter of his life on Wednesday. "I’ve hit the ground a number of times. I have quite a few injuries. It’s something I’ve always battled through and came back from. But I just figure at this point I have the rest of my life ahead of me and I want to be able to function and do things later down the road." (Seahawks.com)|
FFToday's Take: Rice battled a number of ailments including concussions and knee injuries during his brief career. His best season was in 2009 when he caught 83 passes for 1312 yards and 8 touchdowns as a member of the Vikings. The Seahawks will move forward with Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin as their top two wideouts. Jermaine Kearse should see an increase in opportunities as a result of Rice's retirement.
|Jamaal Charles doesn't report to camp Wed.|
Chiefs' RB considered a training camp holdout
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 23 2014, 4:06 pm
|The Chiefs' 3 p.m. CT reporting deadline has passed and Jamaal Charles is not in camp, making him a holdout. First practice is Thurs. p.m. (Adam Teicher via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: One of best running backs in the game is seeking more money. Charles is under contract through 2015 but wants a new deal based on prior production. He's underpaid relatively to others at his position but the league-wide trend is not pay running backs. The Chiefs signed Charles to a six-year deal worth close to $28 million back in 2010. This is no time for fantasy owners to panic. It's hard to imagine this situation resulting in Charles missing any regular season games even if the "holdout" lasts well into training camp.
|Vernon Davis reports to camp|
49ers tight end ends offseason holdout
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 23 2014, 12:51 pm
|Tight end Vernon Davis ended his offseason holdout and reported to 49ers training camp on time Wednesday. Davis skipped June's mandatory minicamp and earlier offseason workouts in hopes of a better contract. His deal expires after the 2015 season. (San Jose Mercury News)|
FFToday's Take: Davis' "holdout" was flimsy from the beginning given that fact that he would incur $30K in daily fines for every day missed and he had no leverage. Davis is currently under contract through 2015. He remains a mid-range TE1.
| Gronk cleared for start of training camp|
Will not be placed on PUP list
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 23 2014, 10:30 am
|New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play by doctors and will not be placed on the active/physically unable to perform list to open training camp, coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Gronkowski had knee on January 9th making this a very quick return to the practice field. It's likely he will be limited in camp but this puts him on schedule to play Week 1. Gronk and Brady's ADP will rise on this news but the injury history (knee, forearm, back) of the talented tight end should be red flag to fantasy owners.
| Julio Jones will be limited to begin camp|
Falcons star receiver cleared for training camp
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 23 2014, 7:05 am
|Julio Jones, the Falcons’ dynamic young wide receiver, has been cleared for training camp practice, which starts on Friday, head coach Mike Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.
However, Jones, who’s recovering from foot surgery, will be limited. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)|
FFToday's Take: Jones is coming his second foot surgery for the same issue so it's wise for the team to be cautious with their star receiver. The fact that his snaps will be limited shouldn't change his status as a WR1.
|QB competition in Cleveland to begin Saturday|
Browns to name starting QB by 3rd preseason game
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 22 2014, 7:00 am
|Q: So the target date for naming a starter is still up in the air?
A: “Yeah, it’s definitely still up in the air. It could be sooner, and that’s something we’re going to discuss in that meeting. It’ll be before the third preseason game. I just don’t have a date. I don’t know if I’ll set a date and kind of paint ourselves into a date, but it will be sooner than the third preseason game.”
(Akron Beacon Journal)|
FFToday's Take: Browns coach Mike Pettine wants to have his starting QB named before the most important preseason game. Brian Hoyer appears to be the frontrunner at the moment but Johnny Manziel has more than a fighting chance to win the job during camp. Without Josh Gordon in the mix, its hard to envision either one of these QBs as more than a backup for your fantasy team.
|Cameron locked in as prime target for Browns|
Question marks at WR figure to make him go-to option
By: Doug Orth | Jul 21 2014, 5:00 pm
|There are three reasons for Jordan Cameron to be the most popular Browns player in fantasy leagues. One, his breakout 2013 season signaled his maturity as an NFL playmaker. Two, the team’s sorry situation at wideout makes Cameron a No. 1 read in the passing game. Three, he’s playing to secure his future financially in his contract year. The key to Cameron’s 2013 season was keeping himself on the field and out of the trainer’s room. If he can do it again, he will lead the team in receptions, yards and touchdown catches. (ESPN Cleveland)|
FFToday's Take: Cameron represents something of a double-edged sword for fantasy owners in 2014. Will the fact that he is the No. 1 option in the passing game allow him to post receiver-like numbers? Or will the bevy of double teams, physical coverage, schemes or the Browns' run-heavy offense bring his production down? He should be a solid fantasy TE1 option in all redraft leagues, but his case is not as open-and-shut as it appears on the surface without Josh Gordon around.
|Cassel the "heavy favorite" to start for Vikings|
Rookie Bridgewater nipping at his heels
By: Doug Orth | Jul 21 2014, 4:45 pm
|Matt Cassel, a 10th-year veteran with 68 NFL starts, is the heavy favorite to start entering camp after re-signing on a two-year, $10.5 million contract in March. But Teddy Bridgewater got some first-team reps during offseason practices and acquitted himself well. The Vikings report to camp Thursday, but Bridgewater arrived early to work with teammate Kyle Rudolph, among others, at Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald's annual workouts at the University of Minnesota. (USA Today)|
FFToday's Take: HC Mike Zimmer has said he won't name a starter early in camp. Cassel may be a better fit for OC Norv Turner's vertical-based offense and the presumptive Week 1 starter, but Bridgewater is a good bet to take over the starting job at some point during the season because he is a much better decision-maker. With the plethora of weapons in Minnesota and Turner calling the shots, the winner of this race is well-positioned to be a solid QB2 in fantasy.
| David Wilson cleared for "everything"|
Giants' RB thinks he's ready for football action
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 21 2014, 8:57 am
|Just got cleared ..... cleared for everything now the story continues. (David Wilson via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: David Wilson (neck) took to Twitter to announce he's been cleared for football activities. It sounds like Wilson will be able to participate in training camp and if all goes well, will be a compliment to Rashad Jennings once the season begins. Wilson is an explosive player and should start creep up ADP rankings as the summer goes on.
|WR biggest question mark for Steelers' offense|
A mix of veterans and rookies will fill the void
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 20 2014, 12:45 pm
|The main question on offense for 2014 was previously a team strength, that of wide receiver. After losing three of their top four receivers as free agents since March 2013, the Steelers have filled in with a combination of veteran free agents and rookie Martavis Bryant.
Two-time Pro Bowler Antonio Brown, 26, is the constant, the star, and hopes to become their new leader. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)|
FFToday's Take: The departure Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) and Jerricho Cotchery (CAR) leaves a big void that is projected to be filled by a combination of Lance Moore, Markus Wheaton and Bryant. Antonio Brown is deserving of low-end WR1 status and there's room in this offense for another receiver to be fantasy relevant but it's quite possible none of the three offseason additions will equal Cotchery's WR30 or Sanders' WR35 ranking from last season.
|Browns starting RB job up for grabs?|
Rookie West could push Tate during training camp
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 18 2014, 6:00 pm
|Ben Tate enters camp as at least a slight favorite to win the starting job. Tate had every reason to assume he was a shoo-in to become the Browns’ No. 1 back because at the time there was no one approaching his talent level on the team. That dramatically changed when the Browns made Terrance West their third-round draft pick and added Isaiah Crowell as an undrafted free agent. West quickly emerged as a formidable challenger for the starting role. (ClevelandBrowns.com)|
FFToday's Take: The Browns figure to be a run-heavy team this season so even if West carves out a significant role with Tate in a RBBC situation there will still be plenty of opportunities for both. If West continues to impress during training camp, Ben Tate's current ADP of mid-fifth-round will continue to slide.
|Tre Mason's role difficult to project|
Rams beat reporter suggests 8-10 carries per game
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 18 2014, 3:00 pm
|"Hard to say right now but I think putting him (Tre Mason) in the eight to 10 carry per game range is probably about right. That means something like 140-160 carries. That's assuming health of course. Obviously, Stacy had some nagging injury issues in 2013. If that happens again, Mason's role expands." (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Rams beat reporter Nick Wagoner suggested a limited role for Mason in a Friday chat. If Mason does carve out even an 8-10 touch role, it will have a negative effect on Zac Stacy's value bumping him down to low-end RB2 territory.
| Lattimore placed on non-football injury list|
RB was cleared for full practice in offseason
By: Doug Orth | Jul 17 2014, 7:25 pm
|RB Marcus Lattimore, who was cleared to resume full practice in the offseason, was one of six players declared on the non-football injury list to open training camp. The 49ers’ rookies reported to training camp on Wednesday.
Lattimore was allowed to report with the rookies because he does not have an accrued year of NFL service after spending his rookie season on the NFI list due to a knee injury he sustained during his final season at South Carolina. (CSN Bay Area)|
FFToday's Take: The NFI and physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) lists are procedural lists from which a player can be removed at any time to begin practice, so the Niners could just be playing it safe with Lattimore. However, it would have been a more positive sign to begin camp without limitations. Rookie Carlos Hyde continues to enjoy a clear lead over Lattimore in the race to be Frank Gore's handcuff.
|Ball "vastly improved" in passing game|
Broncos have cleared the way for second-year RB to shine
By: Doug Orth | Jul 17 2014, 5:20 pm
|If you’re looking for a player for whom the Broncos have cleared the way to shine most, it’s Montee Ball, who was the most effective runner in Denver with the ball in his hands over the last six weeks of the season/postseason. He’s smart and has the requisite work ethic, and the Broncos have seen vast improvements in his work as both a receiver and blocker in the passing game. That gives him the gotta-have-it, every-down potential in their offense. The Broncos aren’t looking to run the ball significantly more than they did in 2013, but when they do, they want to move the chains more efficiently. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Ball's current ADP of 1.12 seems like a steep price to pay for an "unproven" lead or feature back, but it is not an unfair one for a player that is a better all-around performer than Knowshon Moreno, who was a top-five back in most formats in 2013. The Broncos are probably hoping Ball is able to effectively handle 75 percent of the snaps, only sprinkling in C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman in blowouts or when Ball needs a breather.
|AP, Patterson eyeing new roles for Vikings|
OC Norv Turner intent on utilizing unique weapons
By: Doug Orth | Jul 17 2014, 4:55 pm
|Adrian Peterson has a new offensive coordinator (Norv Turner) who is intent on using him differently. Peterson will be more involved in the Vikings' passing game as Turner and Zimmer seek to convert some of his carries into receptions, giving him more room to work in the open field and making him less likely to take a pounding. Turner also has big plans for second-year WR Cordarrelle Patterson, who played mostly at split end last season. He moved to different spots during the Vikings' offseason program and Turner seems interested in getting the explosive receiver the ball as much as he can. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Peterson is a solid bet to top his career high in receptions (43 in 2009) while critics of a potential Patterson breakout need only look what Turner did for another gifted "raw" receiver last year in Josh Gordon. The Vikings could be a sleeping giant in terms of fantasy-point production and Minnesota is a place where owners need to look as they attempt to find sneaky fantasy value this season.
|D-Jax expected to inherit "Z" receiver role|
A.J. Green played same position for Gruden in Cincinnati
By: Doug Orth | Jul 17 2014, 4:35 pm
|DeSean Jackson could play a role similar to A.J. Green, who played the Z role in Cincinnati under former OC Jay Gruden, allowing him to line up a yard off the line of scrimmage. Both Green and Jackson are legitimate deep threats that defenses have to account for on every play.
Pierre Garcon will likely continue under Gruden. The X receiver lines up on the line of scrimmage and as a result faces more press-man coverage. Marvin Jones worked his way into the X receiver role in Cincinnati, running similar routes to the ones we’ve become accustomed to Garcon running in Washington. (Washington Post)|
FFToday's Take: Garcon at "X" and Jackson at "Z" was the assumption all along since Garcon is bigger and already accustomed to the role while the smaller Jackson will be afforded space to begin his route. Garcon is the odds-on favorite to lead the team in all receiving categories since he is Robert Griffin III's go-to guy, but perhaps Jackson will be more than just a deep threat in what should be a highly-explosive offense.
|Jordan Matthews "could be a star in the future"|
Drawing comparisons for sporting T.O.-like physique
By: Doug Orth | Jul 17 2014, 4:25 pm
|The Eagles' additions are intriguing. RB Darren Sproles figures to be as versatile and unpredictable under Chip Kelly as he was in New Orleans for Sean Payton. Second-round draft pick WR Jordan Matthews had people at OTAs comparing his physique to that of Terrell Owens and could be a star in the future. Meanwhile, TE Zach Ertz is expected to take that key second-season leap in production and reliability. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Comparing Matthews' physique to Terrell Owens' is a bit of preseason hyperbole, but fantasy owners would be wise to not underestimate the potential for the SEC's all-time leading receiver to contribute in his first year. He'll start out as the main slot receiver, but could easily knock Riley Cooper out of a starting job by midseason.
| Jags sign rookie WR Marqise Lee|
2nd rounder inks four-year deal
By: Jake Gordon | Jul 16 2014, 8:51 pm
|Lee, the Jaguars’ first second-round selection (No. 39 overall), will return to Jacksonville on Friday and sign the deal.
Per the NFL’s slotting system, Lee’s contract is expected to be worth $5,174,016 and include a $2,082,924 signing bonus and a first-year salary cap number of $940,731.
FFToday's Take: An athletic receiver from USC, Marqise Lee missed most of OTAs with a bum ankle. He represents part of the young core Jacksonville is trying to build around so getting him signed and in camp on time was imperative for a team in need of a new offensive identity. Lee could be in the mix to start but faces competition at the position where Ace Sanders and fellow rookie Allen Robinson are also competing.
|Eagles backfield to stress defenses|
McCoy marvels at Sproles' quickness
By: Doug Orth | Jul 16 2014, 3:15 pm
|Darren Sproles' role in Chip Kelly's offense will be one of the intriguing plot lines as we encroach upon training camp. "Sproles has the quickest feet I've ever seen out of any player," McCoy said. "He'll help us out tremendously. I think the best thing about him, what he brings to this team is not only leadership and experience, but also just another big playmaker on the team. You talk about losing DeSean (Jackson), but I think Howie (Roseman) and Chip did a great job of bringing another playmaker to our team." (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Instead of feeling threatened or challenged by the addition of another veteran running back, LeSean McCoy is excited to share the backfield with another playmaker. In fact, no other running back tandem in the NFL boasts the combined explosive running and pass-catching abilities of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. They should be the focal point of Chip Kelly's dynamic offense this season but fantasy owners should keep a close eye on how often they see the field together where they will be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
| Malcom Floyd eyes return from neck injury|
Training camp the next test for Chargers wide receiver
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 16 2014, 9:00 am
|Were there an MVP for spring training -- a silly notion -- Malcom Floyd would've been my choice.
The Chargers tested him, even though they've employed him since 2004. In all five practices open to the media, the first pass from Philip Rivers went to Floyd. He was typically the most-targeted pass-catcher, and won more than he lost. (San Diego Union Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: Floyd missed the majority of 2013 with a neck injury but appears to be in good form and should slide into the starting lineup in 2014. Training camp will give us a better idea if he's practicing without restrictions. He's got an opportunity to be the Chargers No.2 wide receiver but won't be more than a fantasy WR4.
|Giovani Bernard projected for 300 touches|
Bengals focus on running game will boost Gio's stats
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 16 2014, 8:00 am
|His ability won't be new this year and much talk early will revolve around new offensive toy Jeremy Hill. But this team will feature Giovani Bernard early and often. His expansion as a receiver will only help create a scenario where he can crack 70 receptions and 230 carries for 300-plus total touches. Buckle up. (Cincinnati Enquirer)|
FFToday's Take: The prevailing wisdom amongst fantasy owners is that Bernard is poised for a breakout season which is why he's currently going in the second round of mock drafts. Bernard's catching ability makes him an attractive option in PPR leagues as well. His fantasy stock is on the rise.