|Gruden still thinks RG3 has what it takes|
Once prolific QB hoping to rediscover offensive production
By: John Canario | Jul 31 2015, 5:45 pm
|As Jay Gruden sees it, for four years, Robert Griffin III has been a prisoner of the expectations around him. The idea now is to set him free. Griffin wasn't very good last year. That much is impossible to argue. But neither were the Washington Redskins. "We can't put all the pressure on the quarterback," Gruden said. "There's only a few quarterbacks in the league that can handle that, and those guys are gonna be first-ballot Hall of Famers. The rest of them, they need help. They need help with the running game. [They need] some quick-element throws where the receivers do the work for them, screens, good play-action shot plays, good strong defense. If we win 17-13, who gives a (expletive)? We just gotta win." (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: RG3's fantasy totals have taken a hit with each passing season. His name still carries some weight but owners who've had him in either of the last two years might be tired of being burned by the former standout rookie.
|Peterson drawing high praise from coaching staff|
Head coach Zimmer: "He's in fantastic shape"
By: John Canario | Jul 31 2015, 4:30 pm
|Adrian Peterson is as good as ever after a year away. ďHeís in fantastic shape. His body is rock hard. Heís really into all the football stuff, heís got a smile on his face, he seems to be extremely happy and excited to be here. Every day you see a couple cuts that look like a Hall of Fame running back, so those are good sights to see,Ē Zimmer said. The Vikings have become a trendy pick to be a playoff team, with Peterson returning, Teddy Bridgewater improving in his second season and Zimmer getting another year to build his defense. (NBC Sports)|
FFToday's Take: There's been no shortage of positive sentiment voiced about AP's ability this offseason. But when he ties up his cleats on September 13th for the Vikings opening game, he will have played just one regular season game in the past 20 months. There is no doubting Peterson's superhuman ability but at 30 years old and after a year away from football, there are less risky running back options available if you don't feel like rolling the dice.
|Bills' FB thinks McCoy can reach 2000-yard mark|
Uncertainty surrounds former Eagle as he joins new team
By: John Canario | Jul 31 2015, 4:00 pm
|"I want him to break records," Bills fullback Jerome Felton said. "I want him to get 2,000 yards. I want him to lead the league in rushing. Him and Adrian are cut from the same cloth. I would be very disappointed if he's not the leading rusher in the league next year, that's for sure." Reaching the 2,000 yard mark is incredibly difficult, but it's not out of the question for McCoy. He piled up 1,607 yards in 2013 on 314 carries. He has averaged a healthy 4.6 yards over the course of his career, and has remained relatively healthy each year - both key factors in rushing for a big number of yards. Having a confident fullback as your lead blocker helps, especially when he's blocked for another 2,000-yard rusher in Adrian Peterson. (Fox)|
FFToday's Take: Caution: it can be hard to predict how a star running back will fit in with a new team. LeSean McCoy is an elusive runner who can pound the ball between the tackles or bounce outside and turn on the jets. Historically, he has done a lot of damage receiving the ball as well. He will likely be the focal point of the team's offense this season, and if he stays healthy, should help the Bills improve upon the 92.6 rushing yards they averaged per game last year.
|Winston officially named starting QB for Bucs|
Lovie Smith says 1st overall pick will take first team reps
By: John Canario | Jul 31 2015, 3:30 pm
|Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith announced Friday that No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston will be the team's starting quarterback. "Jameis Winston is our starting quarterback. He'll be taking first-team reps tomorrow," Smith said of the Bucs' first practice of training camp. "We brought him in here to be our quarterback." The quote is noteworthy only because it's the first time Smith has bluntly stated Winston would be the starter. During offseason workouts and minicamp Winston didn't take all the first-team reps, with Smith saying the rookie needed to "earn" the job. Winston apparently did just that. "All this talk about Jameis needing a mentor... Jameis doesn't need a mentor," he said, per NFL Media's Jeff Darlington. "He's ready to take the reins and go with it." (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: It's rarely a confidence-instilling tactic to select a rookie quarterback in fantasy drafts, but Winston might be a serviceable slinger in two quarterback leagues. In his favor, he has an ideal wide receiving corps in twin towers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson; both are 6-foot-5 and are major red zone threats.
|Russell Wilson, Seahawks agree to deal|
Four-year contract extension
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 31 2015, 10:30 am
|Quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks have agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $87.6 million, sources confirmed to ESPN. Wilson, 26, was scheduled to make $1.54 million this season, the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. If he had not agreed to the new contract, Wilson faced being tagged as the franchise player next February. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Wilson will reportedly get $60 million guaranteed over the deal and is signed through the 2019 season. This deal puts him amongst the highest paid at his position.
|Giants expected to add WR James Jones|
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 30 2015, 8:00 pm
|Already with depth at wide receiver, the Giants are set to add another to the mix. The team will sign veteran wide receiver James Jones on Friday. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo should know a little something about his soon-to-be newest receiver. McAdoo coached Jones in Green Bay. (NJ.com)|
FFToday's Take: Jones will be insurance in case Victor can't be an effective contributor. He's obviously familiar with Ben McAdoo's sytem from their time in Green Bay together. He's off the fantasy radar in re-draft leagues but could potentially be waiver wire pickup at some point during the season.
| Eifert proclaims he is "100 percent"|
Dealt with shoulder and elbow injuries in 2014
By: Doug Orth | Jul 30 2015, 6:45 pm
|Tyler Eifert says he is 100 percent for the first time since beginning of 2014 OTAs. (Paul Dehner on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: There are a handful of tight ends that have the ability to be this year's Travis Kelce and Eifert is one of those players. A healthy season from the third-year Notre Dame product would give Andy Dalton a much-needed second option whenever defenses sell out to stop A.J. Green. Eifert is usually available until the final rounds and has fantasy TE1 upside, so he's a low-cost and high-upside pick this summer.
| Darren McFadden placed on active/PUP list|
By: Doug Orth | Jul 30 2015, 6:35 pm
|The search for DeMarco Murrayís replacement will go on without Darren McFadden practicing at the start of training camp. On Thursday, he was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list with a hamstring injury.
McFaddenís body has routinely betrayed him since his NFL career was launched in 2008. McFadden suffered 15 injuries in his first six seasons that caused him to miss 29 games. (Dallas Morning News)|
FFToday's Take: Former McFadden owners probably aren't surprised by this development since most of the 15 injuries McFadden suffered in Oakland were to his hamstring. With many evaluators suggesting McFadden lost some of his explosiveness during his final days in Oakland, it would seem Joseph Randle's grip on the right to replace Murray is tightening. The Cowboys have reportedly been in contact with Chris Johnson in recent days, for what it is worth.
|Jordy Nelson "looks like he hasn't missed a beat"|
Packers WR had offseason hip surgery
By: Doug Orth | Jul 30 2015, 6:30 pm
|Packers HC Mike McCarthy on Jordy Nelson's recovery from hip surgery: "Jordy's so consistent. Looks like he hasn't missed a beat." (Rob Demovsky on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Good news for Aaron Rodgers' top receiver, who had his fair share of doubters as a 30-year-old coming off "minor" hip surgery. Even with the presence of Randall Cobb and likely emergence of Davante Adams, a healthy Nelson should once again be among the top 10 receivers in fantasy.
|Josh Hill slated for bigger role|
But Sean Payton nixes Jimmy Graham comparison
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Jul 29 2015, 12:55 pm
|ESPN's Mike Triplett reports that third-year pro Josh Hill will play a much bigger role after catching 14 passes for 176 yards and five touchdowns last year. But it won't be the "Jimmy Graham role," which didn't really exist before Graham emerged in New Orleans. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: We figured that Hill would play a more prominent role, but it appears Sean Payton is doing what he can to throw water on the idea that he'll fill Graham's shoes in the offense. Hill caught 14 or 20 targets and five TDs last season -- a respectable total, and the 6-5, 250-pound beast is still slated to be the primary red zone TE. Ben Watson and Orson Charles are also projected to make the 53-man roster and see targets, but Hill remains the best fantasy option moving forward.
| Marques Colston placed on Active/PUP list|
Injury not disclosed
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 28 2015, 7:15 pm
|The New Orleans Saints designated three players as physically unable to perform on Tuesday, placing them on the "PUP list" one day before the start of training camp. Safety Jairus Byrd, receiver Marques Colston and defensive tackle Glenn Foster were placed on the PUP list. (Times-Picayune)|
FFToday's Take: Colston's injury has not been disclosed so a timetable for his return remains unclear. It should be noted that Colston missed a good portion of off-season workouts as well. Players on this PUP list can be activated at any time.
| Gurley to be on active roster to start camp|
Avoids the Physically Unable to Perform list
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 28 2015, 7:00 pm
|This week, Todd Gurley passed his physical with flying colors and will be on the active roster for the start of training camp. Even if Gurley is full go come Week 1, Tre Mason will likely still play a significant role within the offense. (St.LouisRams.com)|
FFToday's Take: It's good news the Gurley will avoid the PUP list to start camp and gives him an opportunity to be on the active roster come Week 1. Even if Gurley moves through training camp with no setbacks its likely Jeff Fisher will error on the side of caution and ease Gurley into the season. Gurley's ADP is set to rise.
|Le'Veon Bell's suspension reduced to two games|
ADP will certainly rise
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 28 2015, 3:06 pm
|Le'Veon Bell suspension reduced to two games by NFL. (Ed Bouchette on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Bell's ADP will certainly rise more than it should on this news. He currently sits as the No.4 pick in 12-team leagues both in standard and the PPR variety. Bell will miss games against the Patriots and 49ers and will return in Week 3 to face the Rams.
|Mike Wallace vows to be "better" in Minnesota|
Veteran WR making adjustments on and off the field
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Jul 28 2015, 2:48 pm
|Mike Wallace spent two controversial years with the Miami Dolphins, becoming the center of attention for what he often said, and often didn't say.
After signing a five-year, $60 million contract as a free agent in 2013, the wide receiver had a brief, turbulent Miami tenure that ended with him on the bench for the second half of last December's regular-season finale against the New York Jets.
In March, he was traded to the Vikings, who hope a change of scenery will lead to him being the player he was when starring for Pittsburgh from 2009-12.
Four months after the deal, Wallace says he has a better idea of what went wrong in Miami, where his production slipped significantly. On Day 2 of training camp Monday at Minnesota State Mankato, he said he's determined to turn it around in Minnesota.
"(I'm trying) my best to be a leader this year and do a much better job in that department than I have been before," Wallace said. "(I've got) to be a better person and a better player and lead more.
"You take experiences that you have in your life and just learn from them. Some are good and some are bad, but you have to build from it. I know some mistakes I made in Miami. I know some good things. So I try to leave the bad and take the good."
Wallace got a lot more publicity for the alleged bad things.
After he caught just one pass for 15 yards in his first game with the Dolphins, he was criticized for refusing to talk to reporters, even though Miami had beaten Cleveland 23-10.
Last season, after the Dolphins defeated Jacksonville 27-13, Wallace got heat for criticizing Miami's offense after a game his team won because of two defensive touchdowns.
And after what turned out to be Wallace's final game with the Dolphins, reports surfaced that he had declined to play in the second half of a 37-24 loss to the Jets. He claims he was benched by coach Joe Philbin.
Nevertheless, Wallace's behavior after the game was bizarre. He stood next to then-Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Gibson, who answered all the questions directed at Wallace.
"You get frustrated at times when things are not going your way. You're not winning, you're not doing the things you expect out of yourself, you're not meeting your goals, and you get frustrated," Wallace said. "And I have to do a better job of holding that frustration in sometimes. I work hard. If I'm not getting results, I want to get frustrated, but I have to do a better job of not showing it." (St. Paul Pioneer Press)|
FFToday's Take: Wallace is a talented receiver several years removed from his fantasy peak (2010 in Pittsburgh). With his controversial time in Miami over, he'll look to reestablish himself as a viable fantasy WR2 for the Vikings.
|Lamar Miller slated for more carries in 2015|
Joe Philbin confirms Dolphins back won't be limited
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Jul 28 2015, 2:40 pm
|It was one of the biggest complaints for the 2014 Miami Dolphins.
Running back Lamar Miller, who had a career season, never got more than 19 carries in a game last season. In fact, Miller received more than 15 carries just four times. It was head-scratching considering Miller set new career highs in rushing yards (1,099), yards per carry (5.1) and total touchdowns (nine) last year.
But Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin told ESPN.com Sunday that the coaching staff is confident Miller can handle the load in 2015 and has no problem giving him more carries. Miller averaged just 13.5 carries per game in 2014.
ďI would tell you Iíve never been in a meeting where Iíve said to [offensive coordinator] Bill [Lazor] or [running backs coach] Jeff Nixon or the offensive line coaches have said ĎLamar canít carry the ball 20 times a game. He canít do it,íĒ Philbin said. ďIíve never heard that. Thatís never come out of my mouth.Ē
Philbin explained that, at times, Miamiís offensive scheme also played a factor in Millerís low carries.
ďI would tell you, if heís cranking and he got it 24 times a game and heís healthy and heís fast and heís explosive, it doesnít bother me one bit,Ē Philbin said. ďBut I think sometimes itís not taken into account what our run game is all about. The run game is really about the runner, the screens and the quarterback keeping the ball primarily. We have some plays where we toss the ball to Lamar and thatís it. But a lot of them are [options], the highest percentage by far. I think that cuts into the carries a little bit.Ē
Miller also added about 15 pounds of muscle this offseason to handle the wear and tear from the position. This is an important year for Miller, who is playing in the final year of his rookie contract. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: This is good news for dynasty owners who invested in Miller, and puts the explosive back squarely on the RB1 radar for 2015. It's also good to hear that Lamar has packed on some pounds, as he's often been considered "too small" to fill a workhorse role in the past.
|NFL sticks with 4-game suspension for Brady|
Brady likely to take his case to court
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 28 2015, 2:33 pm
|NFL upholds Tom Brady's 4-game suspension, per source. Story continues. Now on to court. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: The saga continues. The four-game suspension isn't severe... It's justified. Instead of taking the punishment, Brady will likely continue to push the issue into the courts. There's a possibility Brady could play until his case his heard but we'll gain more details on that scenario in the coming days/weeks.
|Martavis Bryant "going to be a star this year"|
Up to 225 pounds with four percent body fat
By: Doug Orth | Jul 27 2015, 6:25 pm
|Martavis Bryant is going to be a star this year for the Steelers. He looks amazing. Absolutely has made big strides this offseason. (Charles Robinson on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: If you were getting Bryant in the sixth or seventh round of your early drafts, don't expect that to remain the case thanks to Charles Robinson. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported earlier in the day that Bryant added 11 pounds from his rookie season and has four percent body fat. Combined with this most recent tweet from Robinson, expect Robinson to start coming off the board in the late-fourth or early-fifth round.
| Bradford unlikely to suffer another ACL tear|
Kelly: new QB's chances of avoiding re-injury at 88-90 percent
By: Doug Orth | Jul 27 2015, 5:35 pm
|The word the Eagles' doctors received from the Rams' doctors was that the 27-year-old Sam Bradford, coming off the second tear of his left ACL in less than a year's time, "was fine" and "was progressing." Further, there was no cartilage issues in the knee. On both occasions, it was just the ACL that was damaged. The Eagles did their own independent research as well and reached the conclusion that when it comes to ACLs, there is a 10-to-12 percent chance of re-injury.
"So thatís an 88-to-90 percent chance that theyíre going to be successful,Ē said Kelly. (Philly Mag: Birds 24/7)|
FFToday's Take: Philly Mag: Birds 24/7 went on to say that it spoke with Dr. James L. Carey, who cited studies that show the probability of re-tearing a reconstructed ACL is about three to six percent. Meanwhile, the chances of tearing the other knee - or the "native ACL" - is higher, around nine to 12 percent - closer to the figures that Kelly used. Just like he was for the Eagles, Bradford is well worth the risk in fantasy drafts as a potential QB1 coming off the board around the 11th round.
|Watkins feeling good after hip surgery|
Hip injury one of several obstacles for top Bills WR in 2014
By: Doug Orth | Jul 27 2015, 5:20 pm
|The slower pace forced by Sammy Watkins' recovery from February surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, the most serious of multiple injuries he suffered as a rookie, allowed him to put greater focus on the mental part of playing wide receiver in the NFL. It allowed him to spend more time learning about what to do and how to do it from his new position coach on the Buffalo Bills, lessons that he says he never received from his previous position coach. And it provided such a welcome opportunity to let everything, along his repaired hip, feel better.
"My body feels great. I feel like Iím 17," Watkins said. (Buffalo News)|
FFToday's Take: Watkins talked about a number of other subjects, most notably the lack of route-running detail provided by former WR coach Rob Moore - an oversight that has been corrected by the hiring of new WR coach Sanjay Lal. The No. 4 overall pick will continue to suffer from sub-par quarterbacking (Matt Cassel, E.J. Manuel and Tyrod Taylor are vying for the job) and a run-heavy scheme, but Watkins is simply too talented to be considered anything less than a low-end WR2 in fantasy.
|Cardinals sign TE Gresham to one-year deal|
TE2 value in an offense that features wide receivers
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 24 2015, 8:00 pm
|The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent tight end Jermaine Gresham to a one-year contract Friday. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Gresham is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who spent five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals after being drafted 21st overall out of Oklahoma in 2010. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Gresham has been dealing with a herniated disk in his back that required surgery in March. It was rumored that he was close to signing with the Raiders at that time. The Cardinals offensive scheme doesn't feature the tight end so even though Gresham is the projected starter, he's no more than a TE2 at the position.
|Woodhead expected to be key cog again|
Career-high 76 catches in 2013
By: Doug Orth | Jul 23 2015, 6:50 pm
|San Diego missed Danny Woodhead last season after he suffered a broken fibula on his first carry of the third game of the season. He is a cog to what the Chargers do on third down and the passing game, catching a career-high 76 passes in 2013. Branden Oliver projects as a quality change-of-pace option. Donald Brown arguably is the Chargers' top back in protection, not allowing a sack or quarterback hit in 60 assignments last year. (San Diego Union-Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: The Chargers don't appear likely to go away from their RBBC ways just because they drafted Melvin Gordon; while the rookie to make some noise on third down from time to time, expect San Diego to try and recreate the passing-down role Woodhead beautifully handled in 2013. It should come as no surprise if Gordon is a steady fantasy RB2 and Woodhead becomes a consistent flex play (or even low-end RB2) in PPR leagues this year.
|Cooks, Spiller should be Saints' top targets|
Ex-Bill RB "should catch 60-plus passes"
By: Doug Orth | Jul 23 2015, 6:45 pm
|Even though the Saints traded away their top two pass-catchers from last season (Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills), the cupboard is far from bare. Brandin Cooks and C.J. Spiller are the two players who will likely generate the most buzz this summer. Both have dynamic speed, which allows them to bust big plays in the open field. Cooks should emerge as New Orleansí No. 1 receiver on deep throws and short stuff like screens and end-arounds, while Spiller should catch 60-plus passes out of the backfield in the mold of Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Cooks could challenge the 100-catch mark in his second year; he was on an 85-catch pace through 10 games as a rookie last season before a thumb injury derailed his season. It'd be a shocker if Spiller finishes with only 60 receptions, however, since Drew Brees has peppered his running backs with targets for years. Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson are not high-volume pass-catchers and Graham is gone, so Spiller could easily push 80 catches if he can stay on the field.
|Thomas making "steady progress" from surgery|
Torn labrum; not expected to be cleared for camp
By: Doug Orth | Jul 23 2015, 6:35 pm
|Earl Thomas making steady progress from post-Super Bowl shoulder surgery. Not expecting to be cleared for camp, unsure about Week 1. (Ed Werder on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Thoamas has never missed a game in his five-year career. If he is forced to miss game action, which is looking like a definite possibility at this point, Seattle's pass defense can expect to struggle out of the gate. The Seahawks are already breaking in a new corner in Cary Williams to replace Byron Maxwell, so replacing the NFL's best center fielder is not a problem they wanted to deal with. DeShawn Shead could be the frontrunner to replace him in the lineup.
|Falcons pleased with Hankerson|
WR played under new OC Kyle Shanahan in Washington
By: Doug Orth | Jul 23 2015, 6:10 pm
|Opposite Julio Jones, the coaches really like newcomer Leonard Hankerson based on his strong offseason. Hankerson played in Shanahan's system while in Washington and appears to be healthy coming off a gruesome left knee injury in 2013. But Hankerson's emergence doesn't necessarily move Roddy White aside. It simply means the veteran White has to have a strong training camp and show the left knee injury that has plagued him won't be a lingering issue. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: It sounds as though the beat writer believes White and Hankerson could end up battling for a starting spot opposite Jones. In all likelihood, however, Hankerson will probably end up being White's handcuff that could get some run if the 33-year-old's body continues to break down like it has in the lat two years. It's likely much ado about nothing, but a note to file away should White struggle out of the gate in 2015.
| Bradford on track for start of training camp|
QB is reportedly "looking great"
By: Doug Orth | Jul 23 2015, 6:00 pm
|According to a person familiar with the situation who requested anonymity, Sam Bradford is "looking great", has been in the rehab room close to every day this summer and should be ready to go when training camp opens. That means Bradford should be out on the field for 11-on-11 drills for the start of training camp.
"If I'm not ready for 11 on 11 by training camp, then something has gone horribly wrong,'' Bradford said. "That's the plan right now. We're going to keep plugging away and be ready when camp starts." (NJ.com)|
FFToday's Take: A healthy Bradford is the odds-on favorite to hold off Mark Sanchez and win the Eagles' quarterback competition. The bigger question will be whether or not Bradford's body - and specifically his left ACL - will cooperate. If he stays on the field for all 16 games for only the third time in his career, Bradford has a great shot of becoming a top-10 fantasy quarterback in redraft leagues this season.
| Marqise Lee expected to be ready for camp|
Jaguars receiver missed OTAs with knee injury
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 22 2015, 4:30 pm
|Jaguars receivers coach Jerry Sullivan gave an update on Marqise Leeís status earlier today.
ďMy understanding is that heíll be ready to go [next week],Ē Sullivan said. ďBut we have to manage him a little bit to make sure heís OK in term so his health.Ē To me, that means Lee will be given the occasional day off from practice or have his snaps curtailed early in camp so he wonít be over-taxed.
(Florida Times Union)|
FFToday's Take: Lee missed OTAs and minicamp with a knee injury and missed three games last year with a hamstring injury. He's scheduled to be a participant in camp next week but may be on a pitch count in terms of his reps and practice time. He's currently behind Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns on the depth chart.
|Vikings, Peterson agree on restructured deal|
Details not disclosed
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 21 2015, 12:45 pm
|The Vikings and Adrian Peterson have mutually agreed to restructure the final three years of Peterson's contract. Per team policy, contract details will not be disclosed. "This agreement is a win for both Adrian and the Vikings and is a positive step toward Adrian finishing his career as a Minnesota Viking," said Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman. "As we have consistently said, Adrian is a valuable part of the Vikings organization and we look forward to his return to the field.Ē (Vikings.com)|
FFToday's Take: This announcement was part a joint release where Peterson thanked the Vikings for the restructured deal that likely gives the RB more upfront money for lower base salary in the final years of the deal. "It was important for me to continue my career in Minnesota," said Peterson. This, more than anything is a public relations attempt to show the Vikings and Peterson are now on good terms.
|Cooks to be top receiving threat for Saints|
Opportunity driving Cooks' fantasy value
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 21 2015, 12:35 pm
|With Graham and Stills in Seattle and Miami, respectively, there's little doubt Brandin Cooks will be Drew Brees' top target in the passing game. Asking Cooks to become the team's No. 1 receiving threat so early in his career may not be optimal, but Cooks is more than able to assume the role. (New Orleans Times Picayune)|
FFToday's Take: Cooks posted a 53-550-4 line last season as a rookie before injuring his hand in Week 11. He should finish in the 80-catch range with a ceiling of 100 as a major player in the Saints short-to-intermediate passing game. He gets a value boost in PPR leagues.
| Pitta expected to begin season on PUP list|
Recovering from second hip injury
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 21 2015, 12:14 pm
|Dennis Pitta has made significant progress in his second comeback from a fractured and dislocated right hip, but it's unclear whether the Ravens tight end will play again. Pitta is likely to begin training camp and the regular season on the physically unable to perform list, according to NFL sources. If Pitta began the season on the reserve list, he would be required to miss at least the first six games of the season. (Baltimore Sun)|
FFToday's Take: Pitta is able to do individual drills but hasn't been cleared for team activities following his latest hip surgery last fall. Rookie tight end Maxx Williams was taken in the second round and should share time with Crockett Gillmore. As a result, it's hard to find much fantasy value with any of Ravens' tight ends including Pitta.
|Justin Hunter arrested, arraignment Tuesday|
Titans receiver turned himself in Monday
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 20 2015, 6:00 pm
|Tennessee Titans receiver Justin Hunter was arrested and charged with felonious assault following an incident earlier this month in Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to a police spokesman. Hunter turned himself in Monday after a warrant was filed. Hunter is scheduled to be arraigned in court Tuesday afternoon. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: "At some point, you either get it, or you won't be in this league anymore. That's the natural order of the NFL," Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said in May. Hunter may not be on the Titans roster for much longer after this incident. He's off the fantasy radar for now.
|Sankey "odds-on" favorite to start Week 1|
The Tennessean breaks down the Titans' RB depth chart
By: Doug Orth | Jul 20 2015, 5:00 pm
|Bishop Sankey is the odds-on favorite to be the starter when the season gets underway, simply because he has a yearís experience and a full offseason under his belt. Assuming thatís the case, who backs him up? Dexter McCluster is a possibility, but heís more of a situational player, not a workhorse. David Cobb is a draft pick and a versatile player, but he also missed much of the offseason with a hamstring injury. Antonio Andrews will as usual be an underdog, but he showed enough promise in the preseason and practices of 2014 that he will be given a good, long look. (Tennessean)|
FFToday's Take: Last season was a massive disappointment for Sankey, who performed well below the standard expected of the first running back drafted in 2014. Tennessee did him no favors either, though, providing him with shoddy run-blocking and pulling him at seemingly every opportunity for McCluster and Shonn Greene. Having a run threat like Marcus Mariota at quarterback and more spread concepts should help Sankey, who thrived in such an offense in college.
|Giants like Vereen as complete passing-down back|
Former Patriot seen as strong in pass pro as well as a receiver
By: Doug Orth | Jul 20 2015, 4:35 pm
|The Giants like Shane Vereen as a pass protection running back, which mean they believe he can help their passing game in a variety of ways. Rashad Jennings still seems likely to get the bulk of the first-down and second-down work, with Andre Williams working in some and possibly helping out at the goal line. But Vereen wasn't just a pass-catching back in spring practices, and they don't seem worried about handing the ball off to him. If they're really struggling with their tackle situation and their pass protection in general, Vereen could end up seeing the field more than some might have anticipated. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The Giants' tackle situation - with raw first-round LT Ereck Flowers replacing the injured Will Beatty and turnstile RT Marshall Newhouse filling the role Flowers was supposed to occupy - is among the worst in the league. Vereen should be plenty involved and should be targeted as a high-upside RB4 this season that could end up being a weekly flex play in PPR leagues if he can stay healthy.
|Stevie Johnson expected to play inside and outside|
Chargers' new WR likely to steal snaps from Malcom Floyd
By: Doug Orth | Jul 20 2015, 4:15 pm
|San Diego believes a change of scenery with Philip Rivers under center will bring out the best in Steve Johnson, who made a name for himself during his first six years in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. Watch for the Chargers to use him in a variety of ways, including outside and in the slot.
Rivers on Johnson: ď(He) looks good. He really came in and committed himself to learning (the system). You can just tell when he got here (he thought) ĎIíve got to dive in get this figured out because we play at a fast pace. We play a lot of no huddle.í So Iíve got nothing but positives to say about him so far.Ē (chargers.com)|
FFToday's Take: Johnson appears to be one of the more obvious late-round value picks in fantasy drafts. The ex-Bill is coming off two poor seasons, following up an injury-plagued final campaign in Buffalo in 2013 with a wasted season in San Francisco playing behind Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. Rivers represents a huge upgrade from what Johnson is used to at quarterback and Antonio Gates' season-opening four-game suspension gives him a window to start off fast.
|Jermaine Gresham to visit Cardinals this week|
TE expected to sign with a team before camp begins
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 19 2015, 2:00 pm
|The New Orleans Saints are still in play for free-agent tight end Jermaine Gresham, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. But theyíre not alone. Schefter reported that Gresham is scheduled to visit with the Arizona Cardinals this week, according to a source, but he also revealed that the Saints offered Gresham a contract after his visit to New Orleans in early June. Schefter said the former Cincinnati Bengals Pro Bowler has other visits planned over the next two weeks and is expected to sign with a team before camp. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The Saints interest in Gresham is another knock against Josh Hill's upside. Gresham might have signed with a team already but had surgery in March to repair a herniated disc. It will be hard for Gresham to elevate above TE2 level regardless of where he lands.
|McKinnon, Asiata competing for backup RB job |
Peterson expected to be used more on third downs
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 17 2015, 11:00 pm
|Itís clear who the Vikings will use as their starting running back, but Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata will compete for the backup role. We expected to see Peterson used more in third down situations last year, and Adrian Peterson believes that will be the case again this year in his return. Weíll see if Peterson, 30, will need to participate in a preseason game after his suspension, but everyone around the organization expects him to have a huge year. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: If Peterson does play more on third downs, that will cut into opportunities for McKinnon and Asiata. Expect McKinnon to emerge as Peterson's backup but whoever wins the job out of camp will be nothing more than a handcuff for Peterson owners.
|Jaguars release wide receiver Ace Sanders|
Punt return job available in Jacksonville
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 17 2015, 8:00 pm
|Unproductive as a punt returner for two years and passed on the receiver depth chart last season, Ace Sanders was released by the Jaguars on Friday.
Sanders, a fourth-round selection in 2013, becomes the first of the Dave Caldwell Eraís 25 draft picks to be moved out.
FFToday's Take: Sanders had 51 catches as a rookie in 2013 but has since fallen down the depth chart behind Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns. WR Rashad Greene was drafted in April making Sanders expendable.
|Browns' backfield likely to ride the "hot hand"|
Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson considered the frontrunners
By: Doug Orth | Jul 16 2015, 6:35 pm
|Duke Johnsonís initial burst and speed in the open field were clearly established on film for the coaches to incorporate into game plans. Repetitions between all of the running backs, including Shaun Draughn and Luke Lundy, were divided pretty equally. OC John DeFilippo has made it clear there wonít be an exact science for how carries are distributed. As an example, if Terrance West were to rush for big yards in the first half of Week 1ís game against the Jets, the Browns may lean toward featuring him prominently during the second half. (clevelandbrowns.com)|
FFToday's Take: It seems appropriate that a team with a severe lack of talent in the passing game would also have no answers in regards to how it wants to split up the work in the backfield. DeFilippo has compared Johnson to Giovani Bernard on multiple occasions, suggesting he will see the bulk of passing-down work. Isaiah Crowell is expected to get the first crack at early-down work, although West and Johnson could easily emerge as the "hot hand" in any given week.
| Carson Palmer: "I'm not thinking about my knee"|
Completing rehab from ACL tear, building rapport with John Brown
By: Doug Orth | Jul 16 2015, 6:15 pm
|As it was last year, Carson Palmer has brought WR John Brown to southern California to live with him and work out. And as it was last year, Palmer feels he is throwing well, sharpening his mental game - and feeling no problems with his knee. ďIím not even thinking about my knee,Ē Palmer said. ďIím still rehabbing just to be on the safe side of things but I donít need to be at rehab. Iím full go in the weight room, full go on the field, and until itís brought up, I havenít thought about what Iím not doing because Iím doing everything I was doing.Ē (azcardinals.com)|
FFToday's Take: The report is as much a thumbs-up on Palmer's state of mind as it is another reminder that Brown is poised for a breakout season if his close friend can stay healthy. Palmer, who was limited to six games in 2014, could have thrown for 4,336 yards and 29 touchdowns had he maintained his per-game average over 16 contests. Brown went 20-315-3 in Palmer's six games under center, suggesting he will have no problem building upon his 48-696-5 line as a rookie.
|Demaryius Thomas gets 5-year deal|
$43.5 million guaranteed
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 15 2015, 3:35 pm
|The Denver Broncos and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas have reached agreement on a five-year, $70 million deal that includes $43.5 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Thomas got basically the same deal as Dez Bryant but with $1.5 million less in guaranteed money. Thomas has posted double-digit touchdowns in each of the last three seasons and recorded a staggering 39 redzone targets last season. He's easily a top five fantasy wide receiver.
|Dez Bryant, Cowboys get the deal done|
$45 million in guaranteed money
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 15 2015, 3:30 pm
|Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal. Bryant's contract includes $45 million in guaranteed money. Bryant had threatened to miss training camp and some regular season games if he did not have a long-term in deal in place by the 4 p.m. ET deadline for franchise-tagged players to negotiate a multi-year contract.
FFToday's Take: With the deadline to sign franchise players to a long-term agreement closing in, the Cowboys and Bryant got the deal done. All the media posturing over the last few weeks is over and the two sides can now focus on football. Bryant posted a third-consecutive season with at least 88 catches, 1200 yards, and 12 touchdowns last season in route to finishing as the third ranked fantasy wide receiver.