|Raiders' OC raving over Latavius Murray|
Raiders' RB primed for a strong year
By: John Canario | Aug 28 2015, 5:45 pm
|Latavius Murray only has 82 professional carries, but he’s inspired great confidence in the Raiders coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, for one, has become a fan over the last six months. They’ve seen the tools required for success during the offseason program and the preseason. Murray doesn’t need many game reps to validate those sentiments, cemented by the third-year pro’s willingness to work on becoming a well-rounded back. "He’s made very positive impressions,” offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said after Thursday’s practice. “He has been working a lot on his hands so he can be a good receiver out of the backfield, because we don’t want a guy that’s going to be a liability when we go to throw the ball. He’s really been working on that. Of course, he’s got the body and the ability to really be a good player at this level.” (CSN Bay Area)|
FFToday's Take: There are not many 6-foot-3, 230-pound backs who can run the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds. Having secured the starting job in Oakland, Murray is an intriguing option this year, and should be regarded as a high upside RB2.
|WR Wayne feeling "like a rookie" in New England|
Veteran trying to digest Pats' playbook after 14 years in Indy
By: John Canario | Aug 28 2015, 5:30 pm
|Reggie Wayne has spent nearly a decade and a half in pro football, but starting over with the New England Patriots has him feeling differently. "Like a rookie," Wayne said, per the Boston Herald. "They're throwing a lot at me right now. I'm not getting very much sleep. I feel like a rookie all over again." Wayne has his nose deep in the team's offensive playbook, a demanding Erhardt-Perkins scheme that asks plenty of its receivers. New England's attack demands that wideouts make split decisions based on the defensive alignment, something fellow veteran Chad Johnson struggled to figure out. Wayne, by contrast, is one of the more versatile and engaged performers around. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Coming off his two worst fantasy seasons in over a decade, Wayne, 34, is far from a sexy pick. However, he could have an integral role early on with both Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell currently sidelined with injuries. If you draft LaFell, who appears to be a lock to miss some regular season action, it would be wise to grab Wayne as well.
| Emmanuel Sanders still struggling with hamstring|
Kubiak hopes WR will be healthy enough to practice next week
By: John Canario | Aug 28 2015, 4:45 pm
|For the second straight year, Pro Bowl receiver Emmanuel Sanders is missing a good chunk of summer practice with a leg injury. Last year, it was a strained thigh that sidelined him for 1 1/2 weeks. This time, it’s a pulled right hamstring. Sanders isn’t expected to play in either of Denver’s remaining exhibition games although coach Gary Kubiak said he hopes to have him back on the field next week. “He ran yesterday and everything was positive, there were no setbacks,” Kubiak said Thursday. “I’m hoping tomorrow he gets some throwing in with Peyton after our jog-through or whatever we end up doing in the morning. I think everything’s on schedule for him to be a full-time participant next week.” (Denver CBS Local)|
FFToday's Take: Despite missing so much time last preseason, Sanders turned in a career year in 2014 with 1404 yards and 9 TDs. If he can get healthy again, similar totals are not out of the question this year, though many have speculated that the Broncos' new offense will emphasize the run more.
|RB David Cobb won't play against KC|
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 28 2015, 9:45 am
|Titans RB David Cobb (calf) did not travel with the team to Kansas City. (Jason Wolf on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Bishop Sankey will get the start in the teams dress rehearsal for the regular season. We'll also see a lot of Antonio Andrews is Cobb's absence. Sankey's fine showing in last week's preseason game puts a damper on Cobb's hype in upside in the fantasy football community. Sankey and Cobb are both being drafted in the middle of Round 8 in standard 12-team leagues.
|Murray doesn't expect to alternate series at RB|
Rushing champ claims Eagles' rotation hasn't been decided yet
By: Doug Orth | Aug 27 2015, 4:45 pm
|On Tuesday, DeMarco Murray was asked how he expects the rotation to play out. Will the RBs alternate series? Will they spell one another during a drive?
"I don't think it will be alternating series," Murray said. "But [Ryan Mathews] is a quality back, great guy, works extremely hard. I'm sure he'll get his fair share of touches. But I don't know how the rotation will be yet, we haven't touched on it."
Murray explained that against the Ravens, the Eagles were just trying to get all three top running backs time with the first-team offense. (CSN Philly)|
FFToday's Take: It is almost inconceivable that Philadelphia hasn't discussed the backfield situation yet, but this week's dress-rehearsal preseason game should give us a clue into how HC Chip Kelly intends to utilize Murray, Mathews and Darren Sproles. One possible outcome could be that Murray starts and cedes one series per half and most early-down relief work to Mathews while Sproles handles most of the third down work. As such, Murray should probably be treated as a low-end RB1 at most.
| Rex: Bills "cautiously optimistic" about McCoy|
By: Doug Orth | Aug 27 2015, 4:40 pm
|HC Rex Ryan has the media answer whether LeSean McCoy will be ready for the opener.
All together now: "Cautiously optimistic!" (Buffalo Bills on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: In typical Rex fashion, he was able to sidestep an injury question with humor. The fact that Ryan didn't come a little closer to guaranteeing his availability for the opener should be cause for concern for his owners, however, and could rightfully result in a drop of his ADP as a result. McCoy has seemingly been hurt since the day he arrived in Buffalo, so drafters would be wise not to view him as a fantasy RB1. Fred Jackson and rookie Karlos Williams appear to be next in line.
|Martavis Bryant facing four-game suspension|
Suspension under appeal
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 27 2015, 2:40 pm
|Steelers WR Martavis Bryant is facing 4-game suspension for violating Substance Abuse Policy, per league sources. Suspension under appeal. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Markus Wheaton has been running with the first team this preseason and know we know why. Bryant's early 5th-round ADP will certainly take a tumble in the coming days while Wheaton's 10-round ADP will be on the rise. The Steelers will be without Le'Veon Bell and Bryant to start the season.
|K Barth agrees to rejoin Bucs|
Tampa showing little faith in Pat Murray
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 26 2015, 9:30 pm
|TAMPA, Fla. - Connor Barth is coming back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The place-kicker took to Twitter to announce he has agreed to terms with the team with which he has spent most of his NFL career.
FFToday's Take: The Buccaneers moved quickly to improve their kicking situation after Pat Murray missed an extra point a few days earlier. Connor Barth was cut by Denver earlier today and now rejoins the team that he kicked for during the 2009-12 seasons. Tampa Bay's offense will need to show marked improvement in order for Barth to crack the top ten fantasy kickers in 2015.
|Roy Helu Jr. returns to practice|
Del Rio not handing him a role just yet
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 26 2015, 9:00 pm
|Running back Roy Helu Jr. returned to practice Wednesday after missing most of training camp. Helu has missed all but a couple of days of training camp with a hamstring injury. He was expected to be the team’s third-down running back, but Del Rio wasn’t in the mood to give him that title Wednesday.
“Right now, he’s got to create a role,” Del Rio said. “Right now, he’s been on the shelf and been unable to do anything for us.”
FFToday's Take: Roy Helu (hamstring) has plenty of upside in the new look Oakland offense. Once up to full speed he'll be competing for carries against starter Latavius Murray and Trent Richardson. Murray has not proved himself over a full slate of games and Trent Richardson has been underwhelming in each of the past two seasons. Helu's pass-catching skills make him a natural fit for third down snaps. Consider him a late round flier in PPR leagues and somebody to keep an eye on in standard scoring.
| Rodgers calls for young WRs to 'make the jump'|
Third wideout an important role within the offense
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 26 2015, 6:46 pm
|Aaron Rodgers wants to see more. More plays, more crispness and more consistency from the young receivers on the roster who are moving up in the pecking order following Jordy Nelson’s season-ending injury. “The third receiver is going to get some opportunities,” Rodgers said. “We have a talented two-headed run game, a great offensive line. We’re going to have great balance this year."
FFToday's Take: The Packers seem to be fine with allowing the talent currently in camp to fill the void created by Jordy Nelson's injury. Aaron Rodgers can make an unknown receiver a weekly fixture in fantasy lineups so it will be worth monitoring the battle for the last two receiver openings over the next two weeks. With Davante Adams moving from third to second on the depth chart, Ty Montgomery is the front runner to secure the third spot.
| Johnny Manziel unlikely to play vs. Bucs|
Misses practice again Wednesday
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 26 2015, 6:12 pm
|Johnny Manziel missed practice again with a sore throwing elbow on Wednesday. Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine said there was no structural damage to the quarterback's elbow, but added it's looking like Manziel will miss Saturday's preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per the team's official website. "He's still experiencing a little soreness," Pettine said. "It hasn't bounced back. Err on side of caution."
FFToday's Take: Josh McCown will enter the year as the team's starter with Johnny Manziel waiting in the wings to take over the starting gig. Now being kept out of action with a sore elbow, Manziel's fantasy stock remains relatively low for 2015. He has looked much better in the pocket and his effective scrambling capabilities add to his fantasy appeal if given a shot this year.
| Edelman unsure if he'll be cleared for Week 1|
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 26 2015, 6:00 pm
|The Patriots wide receiver remains uncertain if he'll suit up against Pittsburgh after suffering a leg injury at the start training camp. Since injuring the leg on Aug. 2, Edelman has been limited to mental reps while awaiting medical clearance from team doctors. The "feeling," according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, is that the seventh-year pass-catcher is close to returning. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Teammate Brandon LaFell is a candidate to land on the PUP list to open the year so the team will be extremely cautious with Julian Edelman's return. News casting doubt on his Week 1 availability will likely see his fantasy stock fall even further over the coming week. With a suppressed draft day price tag and a high target option, Edelman represents a moderate mid round risk worth taking in PPR formats. However, his value in traditional leagues does not present nearly as much upside and should see him fall into the sixth round or later.
|Broncos release K Connor Barth|
Brandon McManus has likely won the kicking job
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 26 2015, 10:41 am
|To make room for two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis, the Broncos on Wednesday released kicker Connor Barth, the team announced. Barth took over as the team's starting kicker in the last five weeks of the season last season and made 15 of his 16 field-goal attempts and all 15 PATs. The move means Brandon McManus has likely won the kicking and kicking-off job for the Broncos. (Denver Post)|
FFToday's Take: Fantasy owners that have already drafted Barth can safely drop him for McManus. Barth's short kickoffs ultimately doomed his roster spot. McManus struggled last season making only 69 of his kicks (9 for 13) before losing his job but has showed well thus far in camp.
|Andre Williams could be atop depth chart|
Second-year Giants RB making moves to supplant Rashad Jennings
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 25 2015, 10:55 am
|Dan Graziano reports that "it's not out of the question that Andre Williams overtakes Rashad Jennings for the Giants' starting running back job at some point this season, possibly even at the start."
"I'm just really working on staying patient this year," Williams said. "Not just 'go-go-go' as soon as you see the first hole, but remembering what's supposed to happen and waiting to make sure it's time to go. That's not an easy thing when you're working at game speed, but it's important."
FFToday's Take: Williams has been watching tape of Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, who established himself last year as one of the most patient runners in the league. Jennings said several times last year that the biggest thing Williams had to learn was to slow down and be patient, trust his blockers and the play. Williams is looking more and more like a late-round steal and could supplant Jennings before Week 1.
|Mark Ingram wants to be "three-down" back|
Saints RB talking up role as receiver and pass protector
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 25 2015, 10:40 am
|Mark Ingram has been angling to be used more as a receiver and every-down back since he arrived as a first-round draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama in 2011.
"I know I'm a three-down back," said Ingram. "I could do first down, second down, third down, run the ball, catch the ball, pass protect. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Coach Sean Payton said he thinks both Ingram and Khiry Robinson have become "a little more accomplished" in the passing game, which gives the offense more flexibility when they're on the field.
It's great to hear Ingram embracing what should be an expanded role this season for the Saints, and since C.J. Spiller has been far from reliable in his career thus far, it makes sense to bump Ingram up a bit on your cheatsheets.
|"Deflategate" decision expected by Sept. 4|
Deal could be reached before then or Aug. 31 meeting
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 25 2015, 10:25 am
|On Monday, Aug. 31, attorneys for the NFL and NFLPA are scheduled to meet with U.S. District Judge Richard Berman to continue discussions on the legality of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upholding Tom Brady’s four-game suspension. (SI)|
FFToday's Take: Judge Berman has also ordered Goodell and Brady to attend this meeting. It will likely be the last time they meet before Judge Berman renders a decision, which is expected by Sept. 4. The Aug. 31 meeting, however, doesn’t have to happen. The NFL and NFLPA could instead strike a settlement sometime this week. Hopefully this will put this ridiculous story to rest and give Brady owners an idea when he'll be under center for the Pats.
| Alshon Jeffrey "day-to-day" with calf strain|
Bears WR status unclear for Saturday preseason game
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 25 2015, 9:30 am
|Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has been dealing with a strained calf muscle for two weeks. On Monday, head coach John Fox was unable to provide a meaningful update on the fourth-year pass-catcher's injury status, adding that Jeffery is still listed as "day to day," according to reporters. (Fox Sports)|
FFToday's Take: The Bears receiving corps is in rough shape. With both Jeffery and Kevin White out of the lineup, the Bears have experimented with their remaining depth at the wide receiver position, and former seventh-round selection Marquess Wilson is getting an extended look. But even Wilson missed practice on Monday with a hamstring injury. Right now, journeyman WR Eddie Royal is the only trustworthy receiver who's healthy, and could make an interesting early-season play in DFS and season-long leagues.
| Mike Evans has hamstring strain|
Bucs WR left MNF game with injury
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 25 2015, 8:30 am
|Mike Evans left Monday night’s preseason game against the Bengals with a hamstring strain, according to the team. He's considered day-to-day. (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: Evans, who just turned 22, caught 68 passes for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns last year as a rookie. With Jameis Winston now in as the Bucs’ quarterback of the present and future, Evans is one of the Bucs’ most important players and could become one of the league’s top receivers. This dampens expectations a bit, as soft-tissue injuries like this can linger.
|Gurley cleared to practice|
Brian Quick may see first preseason action on Saturday
By: Doug Orth | Aug 24 2015, 6:35 pm
|Jeff Fisher announces that RB Todd Gurley (knee; ACL) has been cleared to practice. He'll wear yellow hat signifying no contact. ... He still won't play in preseason but this is next step in his recovery. No target date on when he'll play in a game. ... Also, WR Brian Quick (shoulder) will lose the yellow "no contact" beanie on his helmet this week, which means he could play this week. ... Fisher joked that there will be a passing of the beanie ceremony with Quick handing it off to Gurley. (Nick Wagoner on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Wagoner fired off a series of tweets passing along the good news. Quick's return is important for a passing game that desperately needs a receiver to step up; the fourth-year receiver was on a 64-973-8 pace prior to suffering a serious injury last season. There is still no firm timetable for Gurley's first game action, although the team is reportedly quite pleased with his recovery to this point.
| Foster could be back by end of September|
Likely best-case scenario
By: Doug Orth | Aug 24 2015, 5:40 pm
|Best-case scenario for Arian Foster, if no setbacks in rehab from groin surgery, likely end of September, per sources. (Aaron Wilson on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Foster hasn't proven to be the quickest healer and his lack of durability (even when he appears to be 100 percent) has been proven over and over again. For those reasons, Foster should really be treated as a extremely high-upside RB3. His ADP has slid into the sixth-round area recently, which sounds about right for an injury-prone player that is a good bet to miss at least the first 3-4 games of the season. Alfred Blue should carry the bulk of the load in his absence.
| ACL tear confirmed for Jordy Nelson|
Out for season
By: Doug Orth | Aug 24 2015, 5:30 pm
|Green Bay Packers star WR Jordy Nelson will miss the entire 2015 season with a knee injury, the team announced Monday.
The Packers said in a statement that Nelson suffered "a significant right knee injury" in Sunday's preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Nelson, who caught a career-high 98 passes in 2014 while making the Pro Bowl for the first time, fell to the ground when he tried to cut after making an 8-yard reception on Green Bay's opening drive. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: This was the expected result after Nelson suffered the injury Sunday afternoon. Although it is unrealistic to think the Packers will simply conduct business as usual on offense without Nelson, they are more equipped to handle this kind of setback at receiver than most teams. For fantasy purposes, Randall Cobb likely moves into the elite-receiver territory, Davante Adams becomes a high-end WR2 and Jeff Janis or rookie Ty Montgomery offers high upside in the later rounds.
|Hillman now the 1B runner in Denver?|
RB has 120 yards on 16 carries through two exhibition games
By: Doug Orth | Aug 24 2015, 3:45 pm
|In two preseason games, Ronnie Hillman sped past Montee Ball on the depth chart on his way to 120 yards rushing on 16 carries - 7.5 yards per carry. Hillman is now the 1B runner behind C.J. Anderson.
"I'm not worried about 1B and all that because that'll drive you crazy," Hillman said.
Meanwhile, second-year back Juwan Thompson may also be moving past Ball, whose slump continues. Hilllman (8 carries, 54 yards), Thompson (five carries, 32 yards) and Anderson (4 for 24) all averaged at least 6.0 yards per carry. (9News Denver)|
FFToday's Take: It's important to remember a month ago that Thompson was "making a push for No. 2" and Ball has been the second man through in both of the Broncos' preseason games. The most likely scenario all along as been Anderson seeing roughly 18-20 touches/game and the second back - whomever that ends up being - collecting the scraps. HC Gary Kubiak has enjoyed success with this setup before, most recently in 2011 when Arian Foster finished as the RB4 and Ben Tate the RB28 in Houston.
|Cowboys' backfield still in flux|
Team may eventually lean on back not already on roster
By: Doug Orth | Aug 24 2015, 3:40 pm
|Joseph Randle appears to be the starter. Lance Dunbar is the change-of-pace back with a package of plays that will be more significant than past seasons. Darren McFadden’s role will vary based on his health and Randle’s effectiveness. An argument can also be made that the Cowboys are trying to send Randle a message. This is his starting job to lose. He hasn’t done anything to lose it, but he apparently hasn’t nailed it down, either. The Cowboys may lean on a back this season who’s not currently on the roster. (Dallas Morning News)|
FFToday's Take: Owner/GM Jerry Jones said before training camp that if the team makes a move at running back, it will be near the end of the preseason. That possibility is looking more like a certainty, and the lucky recipient probably has RB2 potential running behind the Cowboys' vaunted front five. At this point, fantasy owners should expect the team to add a veteran runner like Pierre Thomas or maybe even Ray Rice since the Cowboys fashion themselves as a Super Bowl contender.
|Pats agree on one-year deal with Reggie Wayne|
Injuries piling up for Pats receiving corps
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 24 2015, 1:10 pm
|Reggie Wayne and the New England Patriots have reached agreement on a one-year deal, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Wayne fits a need on the Patriots as the team has several question marks among its receiving corps due to injuries.
FFToday's Take: Julian Edelman (leg) Brandon LaFell (PUP list) and Aaron Dobson (hamstring) have been battling injuries during the preseason. The Pats are very secretive with their injury info making it difficult to gauge if this signing is anything more than insurance for one of the three above. For now, Wayne is nothing more than a late-round flier in redraft leagues.
| Texans name Brian Hoyer starting QB|
Wins camp battle with Ryan Mallett
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 24 2015, 8:30 am
|The Texans have named Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback following a training camp competition with Ryan Mallett, according to sources with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly. (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: This move has little consequence for fantasy owners as both Hoyer and Mallett have gone largely undrafted in 12-team leagues. Both quarterbacks have been average this pre-season and it won't be a surprise if Mallett makes some starts during the course of the season.
| Roddy White to have minor elbow surgery|
Expected to be ready for Week 1
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 23 2015, 8:00 pm
|Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White will have minor surgery on his right elbow Monday but will not miss the Sept. 14 season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, coach Dan Quinn said Sunday. "He'll certainly be back for Week 1," Quinn said. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: White missed Friday's preseason game as the injury flared up on him Thursday. This will mean more reps for Leonard Hankerson while White recovers and should push White's ADP (8.09) down in re-draft leagues. White missed two games last year (hamstring, ankle) and had his knee drained back in June. At 33-years old, he's injury risk is something fantasy owners should be aware of.
|Charles Johnson looking like Bridgewater favorite|
Vikings WR poised for big breakout
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 23 2015, 1:45 pm
|All four of Charles Johnson’s receptions against the Raiders went for a first down or a touchdown. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: Teddy Bridgewater trusts Johnson more than any other receiver. When the Vikings went for it on 4th and 6, Bridgewater fired a completion outside the numbers to Johnson, who runs precise routes and could be on the verge of a big-time breakout in 2015. He's a solid WR2 with tons of upside.
| Jordy Nelson exits with non-contact injury|
Extent of Green Bay WR injury unknown
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 23 2015, 1:40 pm
|During Saturday's preseason game, Jordy Nelson limped off the field after going to the turf. Nelson had hip surgery this offseason, was seen walking around on the sideline as the Packers continued their drive, and eventually made his way to the locker room. (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: This isn't good, but at least he wasn't carted off the field. We recommend staying tuned as this story develops.
| CJ?K out 1-2 weeks with pulled hamstring|
Cards veteran RB may not see live action until regular season
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 23 2015, 10:22 am
|Chris Johnson wasn’t able to stay healthy for long in Arizona. Coach Bruce Arians explained that Johnson pulled a hamstring in Thursday’s practice and will be out for a week or two.
(Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: It's been a difficult year for Johnson, who got shot in the shoulder during a "drive-by" in March, and couldn't even catch on with the Cowboys, where there were reports of interest and an uncertain backfield. He didn't play in Saturday's preseason game against the Chargers even though the Cardinals had initially planned to get him at least a few carries. His already dubious fantasy value is falling faster with rookie David Johnson running well and Andre Ellington still atop the depth chart
| Still no starter named between Hoyer and Mallett|
Houston QB competition in 'dead heat'
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 23 2015, 10:08 am
|Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer each had a chance Saturday night to show he should be the Texans' starting quarterback. But after a less-than-thrilling exhibition against the Broncos, the competition to earn the job remains even. (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: There's only three weeks left before the start of the regular season, and the tie atop the quarterback depth chart is a major concern. Both QBs are flawed, and these competitions rarely end well. Neither may be a viable fantasy option except for the deepest of two-QB leagues, but the fantasy value of DeAndre Hopkins also hinges on the confidence and ability of the starter.
|Tyrod Taylor making a run at Bills' QB1 job|
Completed 7 of 10 passes for 65 yards and 41 rushing yards Thursday
By: John Canario | Aug 21 2015, 4:40 pm
|Tyrod Taylor did his best to win the Buffalo Bills' starting job on Thursday. Now it's up to Rex Ryan to make a decision, even if he doesn't appear to be in a hurry. Taylor played the entire first half of Buffalo's 11-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns, completing seven of 10 passes for 65 yards. He also led the team in rushing with 41 yards on four carries. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Bills only scored three points in Taylor's three first-half drives. Taylor took a bad sack to end a 16-play drive to start the game, which led to a missed field goal. Taylor later led a field-goal drive. Despite the limited scoring, Taylor passed the eye test. He delivered some nice throws on third down, showing calm in the pocket. He also created plays out of nothing with his legs. That is going to impress Ryan, who has a fondness for mobile quarterbacks. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Taylor, or whoever ends up winning the Bills' QB battle, shouldn't be on your fantasy radar unless you're in a two quarterback league, and even then only as a bye week filler.
|Panthers hoping rookie WR will step up|
With Kelvin Benjamin gone for the year
By: John Canario | Aug 21 2015, 4:30 pm
|It wasn't the plan for Devin Funchess to become the Carolina Panthers' de facto No. 1 wide receiver out of the gate his rookie year. Alas, injures can ruin even the best-laid plans. With Kelvin Benjamin tearing his ACL, the expectations for Funchess will increase. While the rookie sat out practice nursing a hamstring injury, the Panthers talked up the high IQ of their second-round pick, who has learned the Z receiver spot, the slot and will now move to the X role (where Benjamin was anchored). "Absolutely, that should help a lot. He is really a solid young man," coach Ron Rivera said of the receiver's IQ, via the Charlotte Observer. "He knows two positions, and obviously he'll concentrate on Kelvin's and work to handle that spot for us." The Panthers had hoped to deploy a towering duo with the 6-foot-5 Benjamin and 6-foot-4 Funchess. Now at least they have one tall wideout target for Cam Newton to go along with tight end Greg Olsen. (NFL)|
FFToday's Take: Cam Newton and the Panthers' offense know a thing or two about bringing a rookie WR along rapidly. While Funchess doesn't have the same ability as Benjamin, he may be leaned on quite heavily this year, and he's worth a late round flier.
|Despite strong play, Manziel not Browns' starter|
Pettine says Josh McCown is "firmly the one"
By: John Canario | Aug 21 2015, 4:20 pm
|Browns coach Mike Pettine reminded reporters on Thursday that there is no chance Johnny Manziel beats out Josh McCown for the starting quarterback role. “I'm not going to sit here and talk about trying to stir up a quarterback controversy,” Pettine said after the Browns 11-10 loss to the Bills. “Josh is firmly the one.” McCown threw two interceptions against the Bills and was sacked three times before leaving the game with a sore right finger, on which X-rays were negative. Manziel completed 10 of 18 pass attempts for 118 yards with a 96-yard touchdown drive. He was sacked once and threw no interceptions. Pettine pointed out that McCown played against stiffer competition than Manziel, with Manziel facing mostly second- and third-team defenders. (SI)|
FFToday's Take: Even though Manziel is the sexier fantasy option of the two QBs with his improvisational run-and-gun style of offense, his position on the Browns' depth chart eliminates any value he might have. Steer clear.
|Peyton stronger and throwing with more velocity|
Star QB engaged in vigorous offseason workout regimen
By: John Canario | Aug 21 2015, 4:15 pm
|During Super Bowl week, Peyton Manning stood before the media and talked like a man ready to prove something. He began working out maniacally in February, between trips, between hunts, between speaking engagements. He arrived back at Dove Valley in April, appearing ready and rested. He returned to training camp, stronger and leaner, roughly 5 pounds lighter, according to Seattle Seahawks broadcaster and former Manning backup Brock Huard. "It's different than a year ago. It's crazy, but he's throwing the ball a lot harder and even more accurate than last year," defensive end DeMarcus Ware said. "I think that goes to diet, preparation and how the practices are tailored so they aren't taxing on the body. He's the player he's always been with a little bit more edge." (Denver Post)|
FFToday's Take: Manning tailed off last season leaving many wondering what kind of fantasy production is to be expected of him this year. His age isn't doing him any favours but he's put together three impressive seasons in Denver, and still has a potent receiving corps despite Julius Thomas' departure.
|Randy Moss on Brandin Cooks: "Sky's the limit"|
Second-year WR set to become Drew Brees favorite target
By: John Canario | Aug 21 2015, 4:00 pm
|Randy Moss, a seven-time Pro Bowl receiver who was born and raised in West Virginia, stopped by the New Orleans Saints training camp on Thursday at the Greenbrier resort. He was there to see old friends on the New England Patriots, including quarterback Tom Brady, but he also had an interest in watching Saints receiver Brandin Cooks. "With Graham gone, that means a lot more targets are going to be coming his way," Moss said. "Just by looking at his body, it looks like he's ready to take on that challenge. He's a good receiver. I'm not going to call him great. But the sky's the limit. He's in a great offense. He's got a great quarterback in Drew Brees. The sky's the limit for whatever he wants to do in this offense, and I think Sean Payton's going to put him in a position to make plays." (New Orleans Times-Picayune)|
FFToday's Take: As a rookie last season, Cooks hauled in 53 receptions for 550 yards and three TDs last year in just 10 games - only seven of which he was a starter. It's reasonable to believe that he will double those totals over a full 16 game season.
| Joseph Randle aggravates strained oblique|
Unlikely to play in Sunday's preseason game
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 20 2015, 10:00 pm
|Joseph Randle suffered a setback during Thursday’s practice. The third-year running back, who has worked with the first-team throughout training camp, aggravated an oblique he strained a week ago. “We’ll go in there and get some treatment and see how it’s feeling,” Randle said. “It’s the same thing I had earlier in camp. It flared up on me again.” (Dallas Morning News)|
FFToday's Take: Randle is considered Doubtful for Sunday's preseason game against the 49ers. It's also unclear if Darren McFadden (hamstring) will play. Randle's injury woes this preseason are making him a risky pick as a RB2 in redraft leagues.
| Robert Griffin suffers concussion|
No timetable for return
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 20 2015, 9:00 pm
|Gruden confirmed after the game Robert Griffin III suffered a concussion.
The severity of Griffin’s injuries wasn’t immediately clear when the buzzer sounded on the 21-17 victory over the Detroit Lions. But given Griffin’s history, which includes three major leg injuries, any setback that prevents him from playing a 16-game regular season or developing a fluency in Gruden’s offense represents major cause for alarm for the Redskins.
FFToday's Take: Griffin got knocked around by the Lions defense during his four drives in the first half and was eventually knocked out of the game. No timetable is set for Griffin's return. Backup quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins looked good in relief and will likely cause some QB controversy talk to begin as the team heads towards preseason game number three.
|David Johnson virtually uncoverable in practice|
Back at practice after dealing with a hamstring injury
By: Doug Orth | Aug 20 2015, 7:25 pm
|David Johnson has looked pretty good as a receiver out of the backfield the last couple of days. Yes, Johnson is a running back. He still has to show he can carry the ball, and he talked Wednesday about learning a very big playbook. But while he cautioned that hamstrings can be “tricky,” Johnson has run well the past couple of practices. And catching the ball, he has looked every bit the player Bruce Arians said he’d be in that role. In drills coming out of the backfield, no one has really been able to cover him, making one think about the matchup issues Johnson can provide. Now, we wait to see what it looks like in a game. (azcardinals.com)|
FFToday's Take: One thing is for sure: Arizona is more prepared for an injury to Andre Ellington than it was last year. Chris Johnson was added earlier this week while Ellington and David Johnson were both on the mend, but both are back practicing. The Cardinals' running back situation is becoming a mess for fantasy purposes, however, since all three players are supposedly vying for a starting gig. Ellington's grasp on the job is tenuous at best.
| Breshad Perriman continues to miss practice|
By: Doug Orth | Aug 20 2015, 7:15 pm
|Ravens WR Breshad Perriman is watching from sideline with a brace on right knee. He has a sprained PCL. (Jamison Hensley on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: HC John Harbaugh said only two days ago that Perriman's MRI came back "normal", so we appear to have another case of a coach either not being honest about a player's injury or speaking about it before the injury is confirmed. Either way, it is looking less and less likely owners will get to see the rookie speedster at all this preseason. Considering he has been out since the first day of camp, he's highly unlikely to have any kind of early-season impact.
|HC: "Expect big things" from Davante Adams|
Second-year WR continues to turn heads for Packers
By: Doug Orth | Aug 20 2015, 6:55 pm
|Packers HC Mike McCarthy on Davante Adams: "I think he's had a heck of a camp. Looking for big things from him." (Rob Demovsky on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Adams has generated headlines all offseason for the improvement he has made from his rookie year. The 6-1, 215-pound Fresno State product has Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb blocking him from a starting gig, but owners shouldn't forget third receiver James Jones led the league in touchdown catches in 2012 in this offense. Adams should be drafted as a low-end WR3, but if Nelson or Cobb was to get hurt, he could easily ascent to low-end WR1 status.