| Romo "miles ahead" of last year in recovery|
Pleased with conditiioning after second back surgery
By: Doug Orth | Jul 7 2014, 4:45 pm
|This is the second consecutive offseason in which QB Tony Romo is rehabilitating from back surgery. His work in these sessions has been limited, but he wasn’t cleared to do anything in organized team activities or minicamp last year.
“Miles ahead of last year," Romo said of his conditioning now compared to last June. “I don’t think they’re comparable. I think last year I was just starting around this point so this year I’ve had whatever months to kind of get myself into feeling like I can go." (Dallas Morning News)|
FFToday's Take: With the Cowboys' defense expected to be among the worst in the NFL, Romo will need to be in tip-top shape in order to keep Dallas in games. The 34-year-old should be among the league leaders in attempts and yards in 2014 and has plenty of weapons at his disposal, so he could be a darkhorse pick to finish among the top five fantasy quarterbacks this season.
|Polk may be in line for regular touches|
Eagles possibly looking to lessen reliance on McCoy
By: Doug Orth | Jul 7 2014, 3:55 pm
|One of the few guys on offense who can expand his role in 2014 is Chris Polk, and given the success he had last year, I’d expect Polk to produce even more as LeSean McCoy’s backup than Bryce Brown did last year. Even though the Eagles traded for Darren Sproles this offseason, they almost surely would put the ball in Polk’s hands for most of the carries if LeSean McCoy got hurt.
It wouldn’t shock me if Polk averaged between six to eight touches per game this coming season. For a guy with 11 NFL carries, that’s a hefty increase. (CSN Philly)|
FFToday's Take: Polk made enough of an impression on the Eagles last year that they were willing to part with Brown. Even so, with McCoy and Sproles in front of him, the six to eight weekly touches probably represents Polk's ceiling than his 2014 if everyone stays relatively healthy. Nevertheless, Polk makes sense as the most likely handcuff for McCoy.
|Can Theo Riddick become the next Sproles?|
Backup QB believes Riddick will catch 50 passes in 2014
By: Doug Orth | Jul 7 2014, 3:40 pm
|Who takes the role of Darren Sproles - the shifty, multifaceted running back who can run the ball and make plays as a receiver in the open field - in Detroit? Backup QB Dan Orlovsky has an idea. His bold prediction: Theo Riddick will catch at least 50 passes.
“This kid, he wasn’t covered a single time in OTAs and minicamp,” Orlovsky said. "If he doesn’t have 50 catches this year, I’ll be surprised. He’s going to have opportunities and he’s really talented at it.” (Detroit Free Press)|
FFToday's Take: With two very adept receivers ahead of him in Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, Riddick appears to be a longshot to fulfill Orlovsky's prediction. However, New OC Joe Lombardi saw the three-back system work well in New Orleans and is reportedly installing the same offense in Detroit that the Saints use. Bush also stated earlier in the offseason that Riddick is a more complete back now that he was at the same age. Riddick has the skill set to be fantasy-relevant in 2014.
|More trouble for Josh Gordon|
Browns' receiver charged with DWI
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 5 2014, 4:00 pm
|Police say Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was arrested and charged with driving while impaired after speeding down a street in Raleigh. Browns general manager Ray Farmer said the team is aware of Gordon's arrest and is disappointed. He didn't comment further.
Gordon, 23, could be facing a one-season NFL suspension for another failed drug test. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Gordon's appeal on a one-year ban was set to be head later this month. With another apparent infraction, it's likely Gordon won't be seeing the field in 2014 and perhaps beyond. His fantasy stock is at an all time low- off the the re-draft radar and perhaps off the dynasty league radar very soon.
| Falcons' Drew Davis placed on PUP list|
Atlanta receiver will have procedure on his foot
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 5 2014, 10:00 am
|The Atlanta Falcons today announced that they have placed wide receiver Drew Davis on the training camp physically unable to perform list. “Drew felt some discomfort in his foot at the end of minicamp,” said Head Coach Mike Smith. “We decided to send him to the doctors for some evaluations and it was determined he had suffered an injury that would require a procedure. He recently had the procedure done and we expect him to miss around six weeks, which is why we have decided to place him on Training Camp PUP.” (AtlantaFalcons.com)|
FFToday's Take: Davis is no better than fourth and depth chart behind Julio Jones, Roddy White and Harry Douglas and missing six weeks of the pre-season isn't going to help him become fantasy relevant. He's off the fantasy radar even in the deepest of leagues.
|Josh Gordon decision expected in late July|
Substance-abuse violation; could sit out 2014 season
By: Doug Orth | Jul 3 2014, 5:55 pm
|With the NFL firing off suspensions today like shots from a Roman candle, some have wondered whether the next shoe will drop on the throat of Browns receiver Josh Gordon. But it will be happening sooner rather than later. Gordon’s hearing, we’re told, has been scheduled for late July.
If Gordon is suspended for a year, the ban will start immediately. It’s possible that, with a reduced suspension, he’ll be permitted to participate in training camp and the preseason. (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: It’s still possible that a hearing won’t be needed, if the NFL and the NFLPA work out a reduced suspension. Gordon reportedly faces a minimum one-year ban as a Stage 3 violator of the league's substance-abuse policy. The NFL has slow-played this decision for unknown reasons, but it appears Browns fans - as well as fantasy owners - will get some definitive resolution on this case around the start of training camp at the latest.
|LaVon Brazill suspended for 2014 season|
For violating the substance abuse policy
By: Doug Orth | Jul 3 2014, 5:50 pm
|Colts WR LaVon Brazill is suspended without pay for at least one year for violating NFL Policy & Program for Substances of Abuse. (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: This doesn't have much impact from a redraft perspective, but it does hurt the Colts' special teams and could open the door for Da'Rick Rogers and rookie Donte Moncrief to contribute more offensively than initially expected. Indianapolis currently has a lot of question marks at receiver outside of T.Y. Hilton, as Reggie Wayne is coming off an ACL tear and Hakeem Nicks was mostly ineffective with the Giants in 2013.
| Mike Evans working on shedding weight|
Injured hamstring during voluntary minicamp in May
By: Doug Orth | Jul 3 2014, 5:00 pm
|Mike Evans now has just three weeks until the Bucs report for training camp on July 25, but the first-round pick from Texas A&M is hard at work. "Physically, I'm not in tip-top shape. I'm getting back into my game shape," said Evans, who is training with a group of players that includes Bears WR Brandon Marshall.
Evans missed much of his first month of practice with the Bucs with a hamstring injury, but expects to be fine for camp. His focus is dropping "7 to 10 pounds" with a goal of playing at about 230 pounds this fall after playing at about 235 at Texas A&M. (Tampa Bay Times)|
FFToday's Take: It is never good news when a player - much less a rookie receiver - says he needs to shed weight this close to camp, so it might be wise to keep tabs on Evans going forward. However, it doesn't hurt that he's working out with Marshall, whose game compares favorably to his own. Evans is one of about three rookie receivers that belong on the fantasy WR3 radar in redraft leagues.
|Miami DE Jordan suspended four games|
By: Doug Orth | Jul 3 2014, 4:35 pm
|Dolphins DE Dion Jordan is suspended four games for violating the NFL's performance enhancing substance policy. (James Walker on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: We learned on Monday that Eagles RT Lane Johnson drew a suspension for the same reason, meaning the No.3 and No. 4 overall picks from last year's draft will miss the first month of the season. Perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise the Miami Herald suggested that Jordan plugged an air pump into his arms and shoulders this offseason. The freakishly-athletic tweener is coming off a poor rookie season in which he finished with two sacks in limited action.
|Julius Thomas to be used more creatively in 2014|
TE not satisfied with stellar breakout season
By: Doug Orth | Jul 3 2014, 4:30 pm
|Julius Thomas won’t allow complacency to seep into his mind after his breakout campaign. As one of Broncos QB Peyton Manning’s favorite targets, he takes pride in learning every facet of the position. Thomas believes another season in second-year OC Adam Gase’s system will equate to more comfort and confidence.
“What I think people will see different in me (this year) is that they will use me a lot more creatively,” Thomas told FOXSports.com. “I think there are a lot of things that our offense wanted to do with me, but you can only learn so much in one year." (Fox Sports)|
FFToday's Take: It's a reasonable assumption to make following the departure of Eric Decker. Thomas is not unlike the New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham, who spends a lot of his time detached from the offensive line and either in the slot or out wide. Outside of a complete return to health from Rob Gronkowski, Thomas is the best bet to give Graham a run for his money at the top of his position in fantasy.
|Jimmy Graham a tight end according to arbitrator|
Graham has 10 days to appeal
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 2 2014, 12:44 pm
|In a groundbreaking decision, the NFL has confirmed that arbitrator Stephen Burbank denied Jimmy Graham's request to officially be declared a wide receiver under the NFL's franchise-tag rules. The Saints will not have to increase their one-year tender offer of $7.053 million to Graham. The receiver tender would have cost them $12.132 million. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: No need to move Graham to you wide receiver cheatsheet. This will save the Saints roughly $5 million in franchise money but this ruling also allows the two sides to focus on a long-term deal under the parameters that Graham is a tight end and not a receiver. The two sides have until July 15th to work out a long-term contract.
| Bills LB Alonso to miss 2014 season|
ACL tear confirmed
By: Jake Gordon | Jul 2 2014, 12:15 pm
|After Bills GM Doug Whaley described Kiko Alonso’s non-football knee injury as “significant” in a team statement, the worst was already feared. On Wednesday those worst fears were confirmed by the club as the team announced that the linebacker’s knee injury was in fact a torn ACL. (BuffaloBills.com)|
FFToday's Take: The Bills will probably turn to Keith Rivers or Nigel Bradham to replace their leading tackler from 2013. Rivers is on his third team in four years while Bridham started two games in 2013 and represents a younger more athletic option.
|Lane Johnson suspended four games|
Eagles RT tested positive for PEDs
By: Doug Orth | Jun 30 2014, 4:05 pm
|Per league sources: RT Lane Johnson has tested positive for PEDs and will miss first four games. (Paul Domowitch on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Johnson graded out well as a run blocker in his rookie season according to Pro Football Focus, but gave up 10 sacks. The Eagles signed Allen Barbre to a three-year extension earlier this month, so he will likely get the first shot at replacing Johnson at right tackle. While the passing game doesn't figure to fall off significantly during Johnson's absence, it is possible LeSean McCoy's numbers take a slight hit.
|Cameron "impossible to cover" during spring|
Reportedly showing improved footwork and explosion
By: Doug Orth | Jun 30 2014, 3:40 pm
|Browns TE Jordan Cameron was impossible to cover in the spring. Maybe it’s just mundane OTAs and minicamp. Or maybe Cameron, 25, is still improving as a dual-threat receiver who can line up anywhere; a scary thought. Last season, the Browns targeted Cameron 117 times. Only Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez saw more passes slung their way. Comparing the film, the 6-foot-5, 249-pound Cameron has shown improved foot work and explosion in the open field once he has the football. (ClevelandBrowns.com)|
FFToday's Take: Cameron could very well be improving as a receiver, but he's going to be hard-pressed to repeat last year's success given the likely year-long absence of Josh Gordon, which will allow defenses to focus all of their attention on him. It also doesn't figure to help him that QB Johnny Manziel will likely move ahead of Brian Hoyer at some point this season. One other note: five of Cameron's seven touchdowns last season came in the first four weeks.
|Will S-Jax share carries with Freeman?|
Veteran turns 31 in July; rookie stood out in OTAs
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 30 2014, 3:15 pm
|Steven Jackson is the starter. He turns 31 next month and probably has one good season left in him -- but if he is slowed by nagging injuries, the Falcons will turn to someone else. They drafted Devonta Freeman in the fourth round with thoughts of grooming him as the three-down back of the future. If he looks as good in pads as he did in shorts, Jackson might have a battle on his hands. Even the battle for the third running back will be interesting with Jacquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith in the mix. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: It'd be a bit surprising if Jackson loses significant touches to Freeman if he manages to stay healthy because Jackson is the only back on the roster that allows the Falcons to play more physical - an area that was lacking in 2013 because of a poor offensive line and Jackson's hamstring injury. However, Freeman looks to be the clear No. 2 option right now and may open the season as the third-down back while also stealing about 30 percent of the regular backfield snaps.
|RG3 excelling "above the neck" this offseason|
Will be allowed to call some plays at the line
By: Doug Orth | Jun 30 2014, 3:05 pm
|Washington Redskins OC Sean McVay praised QB Robert Griffin III for how he handled the offseason – physically and mentally. “He did an excellent job above the neck,” McVay said, “as far as absorbing the new system, some of the terminology. … He’s done an excellent job translating his knowledge in the meeting room onto the field, recognizing some of those looks. Some of the audible situations we’ll give him the opportunity to call things at the line. He’s shown he’s fully capable of doing it and that’s what gives him a great chance to have success this year.” (ESPN )|
FFToday's Take: By all accounts, Griffin's knee is no longer a concern, so it is nice to see that McVay is pleased with his ability to process the new offensive system. While he is a poor bet to run near as much as he did as a rookie in 2012, RG3 is still a great bet to finish among the top 5-8 quarterbacks with the best supporting cast he's had entering his third season.
|Eagles may use more two-tight end sets|
Ertz and Celek to be featured early in season
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 28 2014, 3:00 pm
|When the season starts Sept. 7 against the Jags, (Chip) Kelly’s most experienced (and therefore most reliable) offense will feature Celek and Ertz. I would anticipate that two tight-end offensive packages will be the bread and butter of the Eagles’ attack earlier in the season until Matthews is ready to see an uptick in playing time. (CSNPhilly.com)|
FFToday's Take: The Eagles will likely wait to use more three-wide receiver sets until rookie Jordan Matthews gets more familiar with Kelly's system. TE Zach Ertz should benefit early on and is a good bet to improve upon his numbers (36 rec, 469 yds, 4 TDs) from last season.
|Browns' coach hints at running back by committee|
Tate and West should handle bulk of opportunities
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 28 2014, 1:00 pm
|Key quote from Coach Mike Pettine: "I think in the AFC North, you have to be running back by committee. You'd like to have a guy that can carry most of the load, but also be able to alternate guys ... you've got to be able to get fresh legs out there." (Cleveland Plain Dealer)|
FFToday's Take: Ben Tate is going to be the "carry the load" guy while rookie Terrance West should get the majority leftover carries. Tate has RB2 appeal but comes with moderate injury risk. Columnist Terry Pluto goes on to state that Edwin Baker appears to be next in line on the depth chart ahead of Dion Lewis.
|David Wilson to undergo neck exam on July 21|
Hoping to get cleared for contact in time for camp
By: Doug Orth | Jun 26 2014, 4:25 pm
|David Wilson is hoping a July 21 exam of his surgically-repaired neck will clear him for contact in time for training camp. Wilson was on the field for OTA and minicamp practices. He took some reps. These were all non-contact practices, but things do happen, and so the team held him out of anything it believed might expose him to any potential contact, just to be safe. As he worked, and watched, Wilson liked what he saw of the new Giants' offense and what it means for him assuming he gets cleared to play in it. (ESPN New York)|
FFToday's Take: Wilson may have liked what he saw from the new offense, but his fumble problems and shortcomings as a pass protector make him a poor fit for it. Unless or until those areas get corrected, Rashad Jennings will likely see the bulk of the work in the backfield for the Giants. As a result of his weaknesses and uncertain physical status, he is an end-of-draft option at best.
|Bortles to get first-team reps during camp|
Jags holding firm that Henne will be the unquestioned starter
By: Doug Orth | Jun 26 2014, 4:20 pm
|Jacksonville HC Gus Bradley has maintained all along that incumbent starter Chad Henne will be under center when the Jags open the season at Philadelphia. The second-year head coach told NFL Media's Alex Flanagan on NFL Total Access that the team has gotten behind Henne as the leader.
Bradley revealed that rookie Blake Bortles will get first-team reps during training camp so he gets a "feel for that type of environment."
If Henne struggles as expected, Bortles might get to experience the real thing sooner than the Jaguars brass hopes.
FFToday's Take: The Jaguars figure to reduce their dependence on the turnover-prone Henne as much as possible by leaning on Toby Gerhart and an improved defense. The same formula could be used to break in Bortles, although there is no harm in easing in the raw No. 3 overall pick. Bortles figures to draw some starts near the end of the season at the very least and projects as the Jags' long-term starter beginning in 2015.
|Packers TE Rodgers stood out in OTAs|
Rookie near the top of suprisingly competitive position
By: Doug Orth | Jun 26 2014, 4:10 pm
|There might not be any jobs won or lost in the spring. It only feels that way. As rookie Richard Rodgers plucked passes with one hand — separating himself as an MVP of organized team activities — Brandon Bostick got antsy.
And you can see why Bostick got anxious during OTAs. If Rodgers proves himself as an in-line blocker, the third-round pick could start. Ryan Taylor flashed surprising athleticism. Jake Stoneburner is getting more opportunities. Andrew Quarless, out all spring, finished 2013 as the starter. And there are also rookies Colt Lyerla and Justin Perillo.
FFToday's Take: Bostick may have been considered the frontrunner earlier in the spring, but it is clear Rodgers has nearly - if not completely - closed the gap. Lyerla is easily the most athletic of the bunch and has major upside in this offense, although his off-field history may be too much to overcome. Unless Lyerla really shows well, expect Rodgers and Bostick to battle it out for the right to start Week 1.
|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.