|Chris Johnson not expected to be workhorse RB|
Will share carries with Ivory and Powell
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 25 2014, 3:17 pm
|"He's got some miles on him," Jets running backs coach Anthony Lynn conceded. "So we're going to have to be strategic in how we use him, and when we use him, to keep him fresh so that he can be the explosive guy that I know that he can be."
The Jets plan to incorporate Chris Johnson into a system that already includes Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, who nearly evenly split the bulk of the team's carries a year ago (182 for Ivory, 176 for Powell) and combined for 1,530 yards on the ground. (NJ.com)|
FFToday's Take: RBBC seems the be the path the Jets are headed down. The good news for CJ?K owners is that the Jets should be one of the more run-heavy teams in the league. They ran the ball at a 50.67% clip last season... the fourth highest of any team in the league. Ideally, Johnson would be an RB3 in redraft leagues.
|Steelers' OC wants improved running game|
...and more play-action passing
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 24 2014, 7:30 am
|“Running the football, whether we’re huddling or no-huddling, is something we’ll do better, a lot better,” Haley said. “That will only help what we’ll be able to do. I believe we’ll be able to throw it with anybody. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)|
FFToday's Take: OC Todd Haley knows that running the football will help keep his quarterback upright. The Steelers ranked 27th in rushing and 12th in passing last year. The Steelers OC is also on record saying Pittsburgh will play more up-tempo this season. Ben Roethlisberger is an ideal QB2 with QB1 upside while an expected high volume of touches makes Le'Veon Bell a RB1.
| RB David Wilson expected to ready for camp|
Giants running back recovering from neck injury
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 24 2014, 7:00 am
|“David Wilson is an explosive player, but first and foremost we’re concerned about his health. We do think all systems are go pretty much for him to be healthy and ready for contact during training camp. We held him out for spring, no contact at all, but unless he has a setback we expect to release him for full contact during the fall." (CBS New York)|
FFToday's Take: Giants GM Jerry Reese seems optimistic on Wilson's recovery but considering Reese also referred to Rashad Jennings as a "bell cow type running back" it appears Wilson is headed for a change of pace role in the Giants new offense. Wilson is also expected to help out on special teams.
| Moreno to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery|
Expected to miss 4-5 weeks
By: Doug Orth | Jun 23 2014, 9:35 pm
|RB Knowshon Moreno will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery this week and miss 4-5 weeks. The Dolphins hope to have Moreno back in time for the start of the preseason. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: At least now we finally have a reason as to why Moreno was a little heavy for offseason workouts - his knee was never truly healthy. Lamar Miller was running with the first team for most of OTAs, but at least Moreno has a realistic shot at fighting for the starting spot with the 4-5 week timetable. Assuming Moreno is healthy in time for camp, there's a good chance he'll be part of a committee attack with Miller this season.
| Dolphins C Pouncey tears labrum in hip|
Suffered injury in OTAs; out at least three months
By: Doug Orth | Jun 23 2014, 6:20 pm
|Like Percy Harvin a year ago in Seattle, Dolphins C Mike Pouncey entered the offseason program healthy. Like Harvin in 2013, Pouncey tore a labrum in his hip during the offseason program. Per a source, it’s a significant tear. The question is how long it will take for Pouncey to be ready to go now that the labrum has been repaired.
Three months is the absolute minimum, and it’s a very optimistic assessment. If it’s much longer than that, the Dolphins will get a taste of life without a Pouncey, like the Steelers did with his twin brother Maurkice for nearly all of 2013. (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: Pouncey is not required to make the same quick-twitch moves at the pivot as Harvin does out wide, so perhaps his recovery may not take as long as Harvin's. Either way, the loss of Pouncey is a significant one for the Dolphins and may bring their plans to run a Philadelphia Eagles-style up-tempo offense to a halt. Former college free agents Sam Brenner and Tyler Larsen are next in line.
|Hyde has chance at "big" playing time in 2014|
Has reportedly shined in offseason workouts
By: Doug Orth | Jun 23 2014, 3:55 pm
|Carlos Hyde: The running back has shined out of the backfield as a runner and as receiver. I expect the Ohio State product to get a chance to get big playing time right away. He was considered a steal at No. 57 on draft night and he's still looking like one. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Frank Gore is 31 and tailed off badly as last season wore down, Kendall Hunter has been used primarily as a change-of-pace back and Marcus Lattimore is still being brought along slowly from the serious knee injuries he suffered in college. In other words, Hyde has a realistic shot to be a solid rookie contributor if the Niners are willing to cut back on Gore's workload and Lattimore isn't all the way back yet in another month.
|Tavon Austin has system "down cold"|
Pettis, Britt also stood out among WRs for Rams during OTAs
By: Doug Orth | Jun 23 2014, 3:45 pm
|Austin Pettis may have been the most consistent performer (in Rams camp), doing some of his best work in the red zone. It’s clear that QB Sam Bradford has a lot of confidence in him in that part of the field. Kenny Britt flashed big-play potential, spiced with emotion and energy.
As for Tavon Austin, OC Brian Schottenheimer hinted his role might be expanded. “Moving him around to a lot of different spots. You’ll see us hand him the ball, do some different things. He’s playing so much faster just because he knows what we’re doing. He has the system down cold,” Schottenheimer said. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)|
FFToday's Take: Pettis was easily Bradford's most trusted target before the quarterback's ACL injury, so his consistency this offseason should not come as a surprise. Britt adds a big-play element to the offense Bradford has not enjoyed in his time with the Rams, so he has significant fantasy upside. Austin, who led the receivers with 40 catches last year, did not adjust well initially but Schottenheimer did him no favors either. Look for Austin to be significantly more involved in 2014.
|Giants may opt for committee at tight end|
Adrien Robinson yet to separate from pack
By: Doug Orth | Jun 23 2014, 3:20 pm
|The Giants didn't make a splash at the tight end position this offseason, but GM Jerry Reese has found plenty of success with tight ends who aren't exactly household names coming out of college. He's working with a platoon of Daniel Fells, Xavier Grimble, Larry Donnell, Adrien Robinson and Kellen Davis this offseason. The coaching staff alternated them throughout the spring with no one tight end taking a majority of the reps.
"I think the jury is still out on who the No. 1 tight end is, I think it'll probably be tight end by committee," he said on WFAN this afternoon. (Newark Star-Ledger)|
FFToday's Take: Reese mentioned Donnell and Robinson by name as "a couple of young guys who have had some injury stuff going on with them. ... We expect those two young guys to come on, and they can be dynamic if we can get them going." Reese also hinted he could look at free agents. Dustin Keller and Jermichael Finley - each of whom are coming off serious injuries - are the best remaining options that remain unsigned.
|Patterson to be featured in Vikings' offense|
Greg Jennings mentoring young receiver
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 23 2014, 8:00 am
|Greg Jennings, who had already been in town and had sat down with Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner, quickly got a sense of how prominently Cordarrelle Patterson would be featured in the Vikings' offense. A year after Patterson put a spark into the Vikings' offense despite a role that even Jennings believed needed to be bigger, there seems to be little doubt about how much the Vikings will use Patterson this season. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Patterson is No. 18 in my wide receiver rankings which may be a bit optimistic considering rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater may play significant time this season. However, Norv Turner's offense should lead to a significant amount of targets for the lead receiver, making the highly-talented Patterson a high upside pick in 2014.
| Knowhson Moreno may need knee surgery|
Moreno's knee injury "bad" according to source
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 20 2014, 8:58 am
|Talked to a source who has seen Knowshon Moreno's knee. Said it's "bad." Prob will play, but the issue is how long. (Jason Cole via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: There still isn't any concrete word from the Dolphins but various reports suggest that Moreno's left knee is the issue and he may visit with a doctor next week. Moreno signed a one-year deal during the off-season. Lamar Miller ran with the first team during mini-camp this week.
|Fred Jackson still displaying good form|
Veteran RB still a fixture in Bills' offense
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 20 2014, 8:00 am
|In a backfield that is deeper than ever, Fred Jackson still looks like one of the offense’s sure things at age 33. C.J. Spiller deservedly is the No. 1 back. But the oldest player on the offense did not look like he has lost a step, barreling across the line of scrimmage with the same downhill force as ever. (Buffalo News)|
FFToday's Take: It's hard to get behind the 33-year-old Jackson as a fantasy pick despite his fine showing last season when he averaged 4.3 yards per carry and scored 10 total touchdowns. A healthy Spiller should put a damper on Jackson's numbers in 2014 but fantasy owners shouldn't overlook Jackson's RB4 value in the late rounds of drafts.
|Moreno does very little during mini-camp|
Dolphins mini-camp complete
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 19 2014, 5:00 pm
|The Dolphins offseason acquisition at running back has been a no show for the first two days of mini-camp as the Post’s Hal Habib explains in today’s Post. While Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Mike Gillislee and Orleans Darkwa are getting carries, Knowshon Moreno is mostly hanging out on the sidelines and being timed while he runs.
Philbin is downplaying it, saying Moreno is fine and the team is happy with him. But he hasn’t given a good explanation as to why Moreno isn’t getting carries like the rest of the backs. (Palm Beach Post)|
FFToday's Take: There's been speculation that Moreno is dealing with some sort of injury but the Dolphins aren't commenting. For now, Lamar Miller is running with the first team. Moreno's fantasy value is on hold until more is known about his condition.
| Packers to release RB Johnathan Franklin|
Neck injury; team expects to announce move Friday
By: Doug Orth | Jun 19 2014, 3:50 pm
|Packers HC Mike McCarthy: I have some unfortunate news about Johnathan Franklin. Organization will address it tomorrow. He will not be back with us. (Rob Demovsky on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Franklin tweeted a short time after that his playing career is over, most likely due to the neck issue that has kept him from participating in offseason work. Expected to work in tandem with Eddie Lacy as a rookie, Franklin failed to impress in preseason action, although he proved why many thought he was his draft's best all-around back with a 100-yard rushing effort in Week 3. However, he suffered his injury on a Week 12 kickoff and was placed on IR. We wish him the best going forward.
|Ertz primed for a breakout season|
Position coach likens him to HOFers Sharpe and Winslow
By: Doug Orth | Jun 19 2014, 3:45 pm
|The belief around the Eagles is that TE Zach Ertz is poised to have a breakout season. The second-round pick in 2013 missed all of OTAs last season because his class at Stanford had yet to graduate. That left Ertz behind when he did report for the final week of minicamp last June, then training camp in late July.
TE coach Ted Williams added that Ertz has the potential to be in the same category as some of the best tight ends to ever play in the NFL, mentioning former Denver Broncos star Shannon Sharpe and Cleveland Browns star Ozzie Newsome. (Wilmington News Journal)|
FFToday's Take: Williams wasn't putting Ertz in Sharpe and Newsome's class yet obviously, but rather suggesting he has exceptional receiving skills for a 6-5, 250-pound tight end. Ertz had 22 of his 36 receptions in the second half of the season, along with all four of his touchdowns. In an effort to remain on the field more, Ertz said he has dedicated his entire offseason to improving as a run blocker. He is yet another player likely to see his ADP skyrocket over the summer (mid-10th round).
|Broncos "right" about Emmanuel Sanders|
Denver pleased with versatility, decidation of free-agent WR
By: Doug Orth | Jun 19 2014, 3:35 pm
|The Broncos, in both player evaluation and in finding him a spot in the offense, were right about WR Emmanuel Sanders. He fits what the Broncos do in their scheme, has the versatility to line up all over the formation and has held up his end of the bargain by putting in the extra time with Peyton Manning.
If he stays healthy and in the lineup, he’s a quality bet to have his first 1,000-yard season. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Sanders is primed for a career year, and not just because he should assume Eric Decker's spot in the starting lineup. While Sanders lacks Decker size and red-zone chops, the ex-Steelers should be even more successful as a deep receiver and in between the 20s than his predecessor. Sanders is a bargain at his current mid-sixth round ADP.
|Jaguars pleased with RBs Gerhart, Robinson|
Gerhart to get "bulk of the carries"; D-Rob enjoying great OTAs
By: Doug Orth | Jun 19 2014, 3:20 pm
|Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell likes Toby Gerhart's size (6-0, 231 pounds), "excellent hands" and other virtues in the passing game. "Knowing he was going to have to pass protect, catch the ball out of the backfield and get tough yardage, he was a really good fit for us. ... He'll get the bulk of the carries and he'll be a great asset," added Caldwell.
Caldwell is excited by the growth of Denard Robinson, the Jags' third-down back who fought through nerve damage in his throwing hand last year. "Denard (has) had the best offseason of anyone," Jaguars radio analyst Jeff Lagemen said. (USA Today)|
FFToday's Take: At his current late-fourth round ADP, Gerhart is shaping up to be an incredible value in drafts this summer. One of the league's few good bets for 300-plus carries and 40-plus receptions, the Jaguars have made it known they would like nothing more than for Gerhart to become "Beast Mode" South. As for Robinson, he is a dynamic big-play runner and stands a good chance of becoming Gerhart's direct backup if he can continue to evolve from college quarterback to running back.
|Texans trade QB Yates to Falcons for LB Dent|
Previous reports stated Yates had been released on Tuesday
By: Doug Orth | Jun 19 2014, 3:10 pm
|Reports of T.J. Yates' release by the Texans were exaggerated. Or maybe just erroneous. On Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that Yates had been cut, on the same day coach Bill O’Brien named Ryan Fitzpatrick the starter. Now, it appears the Texans have actually traded Yates to the Falcons.
In return, Houston gets LB Akeem Dent. A third-round pick in 2011, Dent appeared in 15 games with seven starts last season. In 2012, he appeared in 16 regular-season games, with 13 starts. (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: Apparently, once word got out that the Texans would be releasing Yates, teams started calling to inquire about a trade. The Falcons, who would have been fairly close to the top of the waiver priority list, obviously wanted to make sure they didn't leave their potential backup to Matt Ryan to chance. Houston gets a player that projects to be a potential early-down inside linebacker only since he is a plus-run defender but a liability in the passing game.
|Jets part ways with RB Mike Goodson|
Goodson failed to report to mini-camp
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 18 2014, 1:00 pm
|New York Jets coach Rex Ryan and several players expressed deep concern Wednesday for the welfare of troubled running back Mike Goodson, who was released earlier in the day after failing to report to a mandatory minicamp. The team has lost contact with Goodson, who is facing up to 10 years in prison if convicted of a year-old gun-possession charge. Ryan said he hasn't seen or talked to Goodson in two or three months. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Goodson is dealing with a number of off-field issues and is scheduled to appear in court next Thursday. None of his teammates are able to get a hold of him and many are concerned for his well-being.
|Dennis Pitta: "I feel like I'm at 100%"|
11 months removed from hip surgery
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 18 2014, 7:45 am
|Nearly 11 months after Dennis Pitta had surgery to repair a dislocated, fractured right hip, Pitta is armed with a new contract and said that his hip “feels great” and he is back to full health.
“It’s nothing I even think about when I’m at practice,” Pitta said Tuesday. “That’s a good sign. I feel like I’m at 100 percent and able to run and do what I need to do.”
FFToday's Take: The tight end is an important piece in the offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's offense. Pitta has lineup up in multiple positions during off-season workouts and should thrive mid-to-late season as he becomes more comfortable with the new OC's system. He's is a low-end TE1 in all formats.
|Texans send quarterback T.J. Yates packing|
Case Keenum moves into backup role behind Fitz
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 17 2014, 4:25 pm
|The Texans have released quarterback T.J. Yates. With Yates cut, Case Keenum remains on the team and is expected to serve as Fitzpatrick’s backup. (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: The Texans announced earlier in the day that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starting quarterback heading into training camp. Rookie Tom Savage will be the No. 3 QB behind Keenum. Yates has played sparingly (9 games) over the last three years and will look to catch on with another team prior to training camp.
| Jags receivers missing from mini-camp|
Shorts not expected to practice all week
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 17 2014, 2:10 pm
|Not practicing for the Jaguars: WR Marqise Lee (ankle), WR Cecil Shorts (calf), WR Allen Robinson (hamstring), WR Tandon Doss (calf). (Florida Times Union)|
FFToday's Take: Head coach Gus Bradley has stated that Shorts won't practice at all this week. Shorts' injury history is becoming lengthy and is the main reason his ADP is hovering around Round 10 in 12-team re-draft leagues. He should be ready to participate in training camp.
|Marshawn Lynch arrives at mini-camp|
Seahawks RB still wants a new deal
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 17 2014, 1:10 pm
|The will-he, won’t-he? Marshawn Lynch debate has ended for now.
The Seahawks running back reported for the team’s mandatory mini-camp Tuesday, putting to rest any ideas that he would hold out because he wants changes to his contract.
Lynch apparently still would like some changes to his contract, which has two years remaining. (Seattle Times)|
FFToday's Take: Lynch is avoiding fines by showing up but still wants to re-negotiate his deal. We'll see what happens in the coming weeks, but it would be unlikely for Seattle to give a veteran running back more than the $10.5 million he's already owed over the next two seasons.
|Texans name Ryan Fitzpatrick starting QB|
Veteran QB gets starting nod from new head coach
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 17 2014, 12:42 pm
|The 10-year QB and first-year coach were officially bonded Tuesday, when O’Brien named Ryan Fitzpatrick the Texans’ starting quarterback.
O’Brien informed the Texans during an 8 a.m. meeting Fitzpatrick beat out Case Keenum, T.J. Yates and rookie Tom Savage for the job. (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: No surprise here but it's nice to hear head coach Bill O' Brien make it official. The Texans will attempt to use Fitzpatrick as a game manager, asking him to cut down on his turnovers and rely on Arian Foster to be the workhorse of the offense. With a disgruntled Andre Johnson holding out, this adds up to Fitzpatrick being no better than a QB for your fantasy team.
|Dallas Clark to announce retirement|
Former Colts TE calls it quits after 11 seasons
By: Doug Orth | Jun 16 2014, 4:50 pm
|After 11 seasons - including his first nine in Indianapolis - and one Super Bowl title, Dallas Clark will officially call it a career Wednesday. He will become just the second player in Colts history (after C Jeff Saturday) to re-sign with the team and retire.
The Colts released Clark after the 2011 season. He played for the Buccaneers in 2012 and the Ravens in 2013, combining for 78 receptions and seven touchdowns in that span. For his career, Clark had 505 catches for 5,665 yards and 53 scores. (CBS Sports)|
FFToday's Take: In nine seasons (2003-2011) with the team, Clark set franchise records for the most career receptions (427) and receiving touchdowns (46) by a tight end, while finishing second in receiving yards (4,887). In 2009, he became the second tight end in NFL history to post 100-plus receptions and the first tight end in team history to record 1,000-plus receiving yards in a season.
| Pats WR Dobson doubtful for minicamp|
Underwent foot surgery in March
By: Doug Orth | Jun 16 2014, 4:25 pm
|Perhaps there will be a surprise appearance at minicamp Tuesday, but it currently does not look like Aaron Dobson will be taking part in practices this week. Dobson, who is recovering from March foot surgery and did not take part in organized team activities, is said to be doubtful for this week’s mandatory minicamp, according to a source.
FFToday's Take: The original timetable following the procedure was 2-3 months. The wide receiver delayed the surgery to March because there was hope his foot could heal without surgery. Dobson is no longer wearing a walking boot and is said to be “doing better.” The second-year man out of Marshall has the ability to ascend into fantasy WR3 territory this season, but his recurring foot issues present a potentially significant roadblock.
|Bengals trying to exploit Sanu's versatility|
OC Hue Jackson using third-year WR all over formation
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 16 2014, 2:40 pm
|In the two years that new Bengals OC Hue Jackson spent in Oakland, he helped Marcel Reece earn the nickname the “Matchup Nightmare.” Jackson used Reece as a fullback, tailback, and even had him line up at wide receiver to take advantage of his unique skills as a runner and receiver. Could Jackson have similar things in mind for Mohamed Sanu?
Sanu was a jack-of-all-trades in three years at Rutgers, finishing his career with 12 TD catches, nine TD runs, and four TD passes. In two years with the Bengals, Sanu has 63 receptions, nine rushing attempts and has completed both of his passes - including a 73-yard touchdown to A.J. Green. (Bengals.com)|
FFToday's Take: Green called Sanu "dynamic" while Marvin Jones suggested his fellow draft classmate has "gotten a lot faster and more explosive". Jones' statement sounds classic offseason hyperbole, but there's no question Sanu is a movable chess piece that was not utilized all that much under former OC Jay Gruden. With Green and Jones now seemingly entrenched into starting spot, Sanu may have to settle for a being a "niche" player going forward.
|Andre Johnson won't attend mandatory minicamp|
Texans wideout missed all OTAs
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 16 2014, 8:30 am
|Veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson won’t attend the Texans’ mandatory minicamp Tuesday through Thursday, his adviser and uncle Andre Melton said Monday.
While Johnson’s absence was expected, Melton’s comments confirmed the seven-time Pro Bowler remains at odds with the Texans and there’s no immediate end in sight to the stalemate.
“Right now, that’s all that he can do,” Melton said. “We’ve done what we can do, so we’re just sitting there waiting.” (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: Uncle Andre went on to say “We’ll evaluate it in a month or so and see what’s going on” so it doesn't appear that Johnson will report to the team anytime soon. Johnson is set to make $10 mllion in base salary this season but the Texans shaky footing at quarterback doesn't give Johnson optimism about the team making a playoff run.
|Vernon Davis holding out for new contract|
49ers tight end said earlier he would report to minicamp
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 16 2014, 7:00 am
|"In 2010 I signed a five-year, $37 million contract extension with $23 million guaranteed. It was the biggest contract for a tight end in league history. Four years later, and I’m playing at a higher level than I was then, which brings me to why I’m holding out. It’s all about getting paid what you deserve. It’s not that complicated." (SI.com)|
FFToday's Take: Vernon Davis wrote the above in filling in for Peter King at The MMQB. Davis had previously stated that he would report to minicamp this week so this latest statement of a hold out is contradictory. Davis is the third-highest paid tight end in the league. The 49ers mandatory minicamp is scheduled to start tomorrow.
| Hankerson's timetable for return unclear|
Seven months removed from knee surgery
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 15 2014, 7:00 am
|Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson says there’s no firm timetable yet for him to resume practicing with the Washington Redskins as he works his way back from knee surgery in November. "I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Hankerson said this week. “I’m seven months out now. So I’ve probably got another couple months to go. I should be good by training camp but you never know. Hopefully [there will be] no setbacks or nothing like that. But I’m feeling good right now.” (Washington Post)|
FFToday's Take: Hankerson had his ACL and LCL repaired in November. Upon his return, he will find that he's no better than fourth on the Redskins depth chart now that DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts are in town. Hankerson is off the fantasy radar in re-draft leagues.
|Seahawks add veteran DT Kevin Williams|
Long-time Viking agrees to one-year deal
By: Doug Orth | Jun 12 2014, 6:15 pm
|The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks have reached agreement with DT Kevin Williams on a one-year contract, according to league sources.
Williams, a six-time Pro Bowl player and former defensive captain with the Minnesota Vikings, will make in excess of $2 million.
He will become part of the Seahawks' defensive line rotation. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Williams was still very effective last year, but hasn't found much interest on the market due to his salary demands. The 33-year-old (turns 34 in August) joins what was already one of the NFL's best defensive lines and further fortifies one of the top defenses in the league.
| Hoyer "securely ahead of Manziel" entering camp|
Tate "nicked up"; rookie West running with first team
By: Doug Orth | Jun 12 2014, 6:00 pm
|Browns HC Mike Pettine said Brian Hoyer is "securely ahead' of Johnny Manziel. But Hoyer's lead is not "insurmountable''. Both quarterbacks have had their bright spots and struggles during minicamp, but Hoyer has looked more polished and decisive in his throws. In the backfield, Ben Tate and Terrance West will be competing for the starting job at running back, but Tate is not fazed by the rookie. In 11-on-11 drills, West has been getting reps with the first team along with Chris Ogbonnaya.
"There’s nobody in that room that scares me. I’m just honest," Tate said Thursday. (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)|
FFToday's Take: Hoyer hasn't been allowed to take 11-on-11 reps yet, so very little can be taken from this story about the quarterback situation. As far as the running backs are concerned, beat writer Nate Ulrich tweeted Thursday that Tate was a "little nicked up". Although it probably nothing serious, it should be a reminder that West will be an awfully good handcuff for the brittle Tate in OC Kyle Shanahan's offense.
| Bell, Tate among Lions missing minicamp|
Expected back in time for training camp
By: Doug Orth | Jun 12 2014, 5:35 pm
|Minicamp is over and that gives six weeks of either rest or rehab for some of the Lions’ walking wounded. DE Ziggy Ansah, RB Joique Bell and WR Golden Tate didn’t take part in any of the three minicamp practices this week, but each is expected back for the start of training camp.
The Lions aren’t certain that’ll be the case for CB Chris Houston, but are hopeful.
FFToday's Take: Bell missed the mandatory minicamp with a knee injury while Tate was nursing a shoulder. The team doesn't seem concerned about either injury, so Bell should remain squarely on the low-end RB2 bubble while Tate should have no issue playing at a WR3 level this season.
|Little Andrew Hawkins making a big impression|
Ex-Bengal WR drawing praise from coaches and players
By: Doug Orth | Jun 12 2014, 5:20 pm
|Andrew Hawkins has been a star of the offseason for the Browns. He was signed away from the Bengals as a restricted free agent for four years and $13.6 million and has made an immediate impact. With Josh Gordon facing a possible suspension and several other receivers signing late or dealing with injuries, Hawkins has been the stabilizing force among the wideouts.
“He’s been one of our most consistent guys through spring,” coach Mike Pettine said. “Comes out here, he’s one of the hardest workers." (The Chronicle-Telegram)|
FFToday's Take: At 5-7 and 180 pounds, Hawkins is ideally suited for the slot, although he is probably going to get every chance to be an every-down player in Cleveland in 2014 because he is one of the few Browns not named Josh Gordon who can get deep. With Gordon likely to miss a significant part of the season, don't be surprised if "Baby Hawk" leads the wide receivers - and maybe the team - in receptions.
|Marshawn Lynch to skip Seahawks minicamp?|
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 12 2014, 7:00 am
|When the Seattle Seahawks convene for mandatory minicamp next week, the team doesn't expect star running back Marshawn Lynch to be there, according to sources familiar with the team's thinking. Lynch reportedly hasn't appeared at any of the team's voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) thus far, is thought to be unhappy with his contract, though it's not clear if that is the only football-related reason the running back is considering skipping or reporting late to minicamp. (Yahoo Sports)|
FFToday's Take: Lynch is set to earn $5 million this season and $5.5 million in 2015. He's skipped voluntary workouts before but has never missed a mandatory session in his career. It's hard to comment on this topic until we understand Lynch's reasoning, but he's not likely to get a renegotiated deal considering the league-wide decline in running back salaries. Perhaps he's miffed at the prospect of Christine Michael eating into his workload.
| DeSean Jackson nursing strained hamstring|
Back at practice, not yet 100%
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 11 2014, 2:20 pm
|Wide receiver DeSean Jackson this week returned to action after spending last week on the sideline nursing a strained hamstring. Jackson tweaked his hamstring two weeks ago, during the Redskins’ first week of offseason practices, and he sat out last week’s session while allowing it to heal. (Washington Post)|
FFToday's Take: Jackson went through practice Wednesday without incident but was a little tentative out of breaks. Head coach Jay Gruden called it a "minor deal" so fantasy owners shouldn't be overly concerned at this time.
| Julio Jones limited in OTAs|
Falcons receiver recovering from foot surgery
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 10 2014, 3:43 pm
|Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones finished another grueling workout off to the side with the team’s training staff Tuesday, while the rest of the team trudged through OTA No. 7. “The last couple of weeks, I’ve been cutting and running a handful of routes,” Jones saide. “Nothing major, but you’ve got to start somewhere. We have to get back out there and get going, but I feel pretty good.” (Atlanta Journal Constitution)|
FFToday's Take: It's somewhat alarming that Jones still has restrictions considering surgery was done last October, however the team insists that he is ahead of schedule and should make a full recovery. Julio was easily on pace to finish as a top five fantasy WR in any format last season and should be drafted as such this season until further notice.
| Romo: "I could play in a game if I had to"|
Cowboys QB wants to be 100% by training camp
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 10 2014, 7:30 am
|Not only does Tony Romo think he’ll be 100 percent for the start of training camp next month, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback says he could play in a game today if it was needed. "In the next couple weeks I think I’ll be 100 percent, Romo said." (Dallas Morning News)|
FFToday's Take: Romo had a herniated disk repaired in December and has been limited during OTAs with the anticipation of being 100% ready by training camp. Romo has a high ceiling this season if passing game coordinator Scott Linehan gets to put his stamp on the Cowboys offense. We'll get a better feel for the offensive gameplan later this summer.
| Eli Manning says ankle is a non-issue |
Two months removed from ankle surgery
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 10 2014, 7:00 am
|Two months after ankle surgery and three months before the Giants open the season in Detroit, Eli Manning was asked Monday: If there were a game tomorrow, is your ankle strong enough and do you have enough confidence in it that you could play?
“Yeah, 100%, yeah,” Manning said. “The ankle, I don’t think about it, don’t notice it. I go about practice and do everything and they’re not even worried about it. So, it hasn’t been an issue. No question I could play tomorrow.”
(New York Daily News)|
FFToday's Take: Manning seems to think his ankle is fine which is good news. He did admit however that he's still learning new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's system and isn't completely comfortable in the offense. It won't be a surprise if the Giants ease into the season offensively then hit their stride in Week 12 after facing Seattle (Wk 10) and San Fracisco (Wk 11).
|McFadden returning kicks in OTAs|
In competition with Maurice Jones-Drew at RB
By: Doug Orth | Jun 9 2014, 5:10 pm
|RB Darren McFadden got a lot of work returning kicks today. "Anything is an option," Raiders HC Dennis Allen said. (Vic Tafur on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Allen told the same reporter (Vic Tafur) in late May that he was "considering" Maurice Jones-Drew as a punt returner. It's impossible at this point to tell whether MJD or McFadden will lead the backfield in touches this season, but the former's three-year contract (as opposed to the latter's one-year deal) suggests the Raiders expect Jones-Drew to come out on top.
|Mike Wallace seeing snaps out of backfield|
Ex-Steeler WR getting deployed all over formation in OTAs
By: Doug Orth | Jun 9 2014, 3:20 pm
|Why is Mike Wallace excited about Miami's new offense? He told (NFL Network reporter Jeff Darlington) he caught a TD out of backfield last week. Plays wide, in slot, backfield. (Jeff Darlington on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: New OC Bill Lazor seems to understand something about the Dolphins that former play-caller Mike Sherman could not figure out: Wallace is a difference-maker on an offense with few of them. The five-year veteran somehow managed to post a career-high 73 receptions in 2013, so while his catches may not increase all that much this season, expect him to make a run toward his career highs in yards (1,257) and touchdowns (seven).