| TE Zach Ertz won't play this preseason|
Core muscle injury
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 14 2015, 10:34 am
|Chip said Zach Ertz has core muscle injury, out a few weeks, won't play this preseason. Will be ready for opener. (Geoff Mosher on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: The details on Ertz's injury are scarce but it sounds like the Eagles tight end is dealing with a hernia issue. In any case, this a significant blow to Ertz's upside for fantasy purposes. Brent Celek is still the superior blocker in the eyes of Chip Kelly so it may take a few games before Ertz works his way back into mix in the Eagles offense.
| Jeffery misses pre-season opener with calf injury|
Bears' WR wearing a walking boot and using crutches
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 13 2015, 11:00 pm
|Receiver Alshon Jeffery did not play in Thursday night's exhibition opener because he strained a calf muscle at practice in Bourbonnais earlier in the week. Coach John Fox said Jeffery is day to day, but he did not know when Jeffery will return to practice. Jeffery is wearing a walking boot and using crutches.
FFToday's Take: Not sure why a walking boot is needed for a calf muscle injury, but then again I'm not a doctor. John Fox likes to give as little information as possible when it comes to injuries and that could be the case here. Let's hope its just a strain and not something more serious. Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson got the start in Jeffery's absence.
| TE Niles Paul out for the season, ankle injury|
Redskins thin at tight end position
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 13 2015, 10:30 pm
|Niles Paul, who entered the game as the team’s starting tight end and only proven, healthy player at the position, carted off with a season-ending ankle injury. (Washington Post)|
FFToday's Take: With Jordan Reed sidelined with yet another hamstring injury and Logan Paulsen battling a foot issue, the Redskins are currently thin at the tight end position. Reed is going to have an enormous opportunity now that Paul is lost for the season but his injury risk is through the roof.
|Colts, Hilton agree to five-year extension|
$65 M, $39 M guaranteed
By: Doug Orth | Aug 13 2015, 5:20 pm
|The Indianapolis Colts agreed to a contract extension with fourth-year receiver T.Y. Hilton on Thursday. The deal is for five years and is worth $65 million -- $39 million of which is guaranteed, agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed.
Hilton's $39 million guaranteed is nearly twice as much guaranteed money as any other player on the Colts roster. Quarterback Andrew Luck is second on the team in that category at $22.1 million, according to the Roster Management System. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Hilton will play his rookie contract out at $665,000, but his extension will make him the fourth-richest receiver - as things stand now - in the league once it kicks in after the season. It's a vote of confidence the Colts are confident in undersized wideouts Hilton and Phillip Dorsett working in tandem long-term with Donte Moncrief once Andre Johnson calls it a career.
|Cards name Robert Hughes short-yardage back|
Ellington, Robert Johnson remain atop depth chart
By: Doug Orth | Aug 13 2015, 3:45 pm
|Barring an injury, Robert Hughes will be the short yardage back for Arizona. (Mike Jurecki on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Hughes had more receptions (eight) than rushes (seven) last year as a part-time halfback and fullback. The news isn't that important from a real-football standpoint since last season's short-yardage back (Stepfan Taylor) managed only one score, but is a bigger deal for Andre Ellington and rookie David Johnson since it takes both players off the field in prime scoring position. Ellington is an injury-prone RB2 with limited upside for fantasy purposes in 2015.
| Kicker Garrett Hartley looks good on first day |
Shaun Suisham placed on IR
By: Doug Orth | Aug 12 2015, 9:00 pm
|LATROBE, Pa. - On the day the Steelers’ officially ended Shaun Suisham’s season, Garrett Hartley got his kicks with his new team. The new kicker had arrived at St. Vincent College on Tuesday. Hartley hit 11 of 13 attempts from both hash marks with Greg Warren doing the snapping and punters Brad Wing and Jordan Berry handling the holding.
FFToday's Take: Hartley steps into a nice situation in Pittsburgh. The Steelers finished as a top 10 scoring offense in 2014 and should provide plenty of scoring opportunities again this season.
| Gurley likely to miss Rams opener|
90 percent recovered from torn ACL
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 12 2015, 8:34 pm
|Todd Gurley won't play a snap this preseason. Don't expect to see him on the field in Week 1, either.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport wrote in a dispatch from Rams camp on Tuesday that the team expects their first-round pick to miss the "first couple games" of the regular season.
FFToday's Take: This is great news for Todd Gurley and his fantasy prospects for 2015. If the team feels he will only miss the first two games he would likely avoid being placed on the PUP list. The Rams will bring him back slowly with Tre Mason set to be the team's starter to open the year. Gurley was already a solid option in dynasty leagues and now sees his redraft stock rise slightly with a realistic chance to challenge Mason for the starting role by midseason.
|Kaepernick embracing 49ers up-tempo offense|
Niners players getting comfortable in new system
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 12 2015, 6:40 pm
|The 49ers new offensive scheme may be original for this team, but it's not so out of the ordinary for Chryst or his quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Concise play calls, being quicker to the line and having more time to diagnose a defense are all aspects of the offense designed to enhance the quarterback's options at the line of scrimmage. “They were things that we talked about coming into this year,” Kaepernick said. “'How can we operate faster? How can we get a jump?' Those were things that he was excited to implement. (49ers.com)|
FFToday's Take: A quicker, simpler approach should help an offense expecting big things from its new players. However, execution will ultimately decide whether Colin Kaepernick and company can become relative bargains after the known commodities are off the board on draft day.
| Backfield issues making it difficult for Arizona|
Team falling behind at practice?
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 12 2015, 4:36 pm
|Arians called his running back situation a “pain in the ass” because Andre Ellington and David Johnson aren’t practice. “You’ve got packages for them and you can’t install them,” he said, “because it’s not fair to the other guys because that’s not their skill set. So you modify your practice and all your scripts.
“The other runners run different runs better and they damn sure aren’t the receivers those two guys are. So you are not practicing a lot of the things you really want to use during the season.”
FFToday's Take: This is a messy situation for fantasy owners right now. Arians' frustration also reveals a strong desire to use running backs with pass-catching abilities. Though a RBBC still looms in the desert, Ellington appears to be the best bet to have the most fantasy value entering the year.
|Victor Cruz working way back|
Wide receiver participates in individual drills
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 12 2015, 3:44 pm
|Receiver Victor Cruz participated in individual drills but spent team drills on the sideline. He's coming back from a torn patellar tendon suffered last October, and the Giants are being cautious. "It's tough, but you have to understand the bigger picture," Cruz said. "Coach doesn't want anything crazy to happen, and you have to understand that." (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: It looks like Cruz may not play in the team's first preseason game if the Giants play it cautious with their recovering receiver. With Odell Beckham Jr. taking over as the team's top option, Cruz will be brought along slowly. If he continues to progress from week to week, this passing attack could make him a top thirty fantasy receiver in 2015.
|Ray Rice had discussions about playing for Browns|
Mike Pettine confirms team considering adding veteran RB to mix
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 12 2015, 11:53 am
|Browns coach Mike Pettine acknowledged to SI.com Tuesday that the club has discussed signing Ray Rice, who has been out of the league since being released by Baltimore last September, the day the infamous elevator surveillance camera footage of his attack on his then fiancee surfaced. (SI.com)|
FFToday's Take: Pettine said the team has "talked about it," but added that "I don’t think we’re there at this point,” which means this is far from a done deal.
Rice makes sense for a team that's nearing its breaking point with Terrance West and has ties to Rice's time in Baltimore via Browns running backs coach Wilbert [Montgomery, who was with Rice when he was rookie in 2008.
It could be a great landing spot for Rice, who flourished under the tutelage Under Montgomery, earning three Pro Bowl berths and topping more than 1,100 rushing yards and 1,600 yards from scrimmage in four consecutive seasons (2009-12).
| Geno Smith out 6-10 weeks with broken jaw|
Sucker-punched in the locker room
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 11 2015, 2:00 pm
|New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith will be sidelined at least six to 10 weeks with two fractures in his jaw, the result of a locker-room altercation Tuesday morning with reserve linebacker IK Enemkpali. Enemkpali, a sixth-round pick in 2014, was released immediately by the team.
"The team knows it. It's something we don't tolerate, something we can't stand," Bowles said. "You don't walk up to a man and punch him in the face."
FFToday's Take: Oyyyy. Smith is expected to have surgery. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start Week 1 for the Jets and is very familiar with OC Chan Gailey's system. This QB change doesn't really impact the fantasy prospects of the Jets receiving corps. It may actually boost the value Brandon Marshall every so slightly.
|Dorial Green-Beckham getting first-team work|
Titans rookie WR shaking off early conditioning, hands issues
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 11 2015, 11:30 am
|Titans rookie receiver Dorial Green-Beckham did some work with the first team on Monday in training camp, according to Jim Wyatt. (Titans Online)|
FFToday's Take: Green-Beckham was Tennessee's second-round selection in the draft and could see a lot of action despite some dropped passes and conditioning concerns displayed early in camp.
Titans receivers coach Shawn Jefferson lauded his ability to pick up on the playbook and described him as a "big guy" who "can run" and execute routes. While Green-Beckham missed time in the offseason with a hamstring injury, he could be a potential late-round sleeper in redrafts and a more viable commodity in keeper leagues, since he's the long-term replacement for the beleaguered Justin Hunter as the X receiver.
| Arian Foster to play half season|
Texans RB could return Week 10 in worst-case scenario
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 11 2015, 10:09 am
|Former Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain noted on Twitter that it is believed Arian Foster's (groin surgery) worst-case scenario is an eight-game absence. (Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: The Texans have a Week 9 bye, which means Foster has a good chance to be back for half the team's game in 2015. It'll be difficult to assess his overall season-long fantasy value in drafts. It may be wise to let someone else take the plunge on draft day unless he slips into the later rounds. Personal experience has shown me it's very difficult to stash a running back for 10 weeks -- but I wouldn't rule out trading for him after 4-6 weeks.
|Chris Johnson to sign with Cards?|
Arizona reportedly offers CJ2K one-year deal
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 11 2015, 8:55 am
|Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN tweeted that free agent RB Chris Johnson has been offered a one-year contract to sign with the Arizona Cardinals. (ESPN/Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: The Cards have a mishmash of notoriously fragile players (Andre Ellington and third-round pick David Johnson are both nursing hamstring injuries) and other less-than-exciting options in Marion Grice and Kerwynn Williams, so it's interesting to see a former rushing champ in the mix. Even if Johnson signs, he'll likely be caught in a timeshare or committee unless Ellington or Johnson go down for good.
|TE Niles Paul leapfrogs Jordan Reed on depth chart|
Gruden: Paul is a more complete tight end
By: Doug Orth | Aug 10 2015, 5:20 pm
|Washington HC Jay Gruden says TE Niles Paul is a more complete tight end than Jordan Reed, and that's why he is now the starting TE. (Mike Jones on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Coaches can sometimes play games with their depth chart, but Paul's commitment to improve each offseason (and ability to stay healthy) has apparently moved him ahead of the toolsy Reed, who has been unable to stay on the field very long in his brief NFL career. As a result, Paul has 40-50 catch upside for a player that is going undrafted at the moment. Dynasty owners should also take note and act accordingly.
|Steve Smith to retire after 2015 season|
Five-time Pro Bowler is 18th on all-time receptions list
By: Doug Orth | Aug 10 2015, 5:10 pm
|Ravens WR Steve Smith announces that this, his 15th season, will be his last. He's retiring at seasons end. (Jeff Zrebiec on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Perhaps the toughest and feistiest pound-for-pound receiver in the NFL, the 5-9, 195-pound Smith turned in his eighth 1,000-yard receiving season in 2014 in his first year with the Ravens. Smith's announcement puts pressure on rookie Breshad Perriman to assume the No. 1 receiver at some point this year - a task the first-round pick is talented enough to handle. Smith should be considered a relatively safe WR3 for fantasy purposes in his final go-round.
|Cowboys' Gus Johnson impressive in camp|
UDFA taking advantage of injuries to McFadden, Dunbar
By: Doug Orth | Aug 10 2015, 5:05 pm
|With Joesph Randle sitting out of the full-contact drills on the goal line, many of the first-team reps fell to rookie tryout player Gus Johnson. It’s fair to say Johnson moved the pile, as he looked impressive in scoring multiple touchdowns. The highlight of his day came when he carried off right tackle on the goal line, shaking off Damien Wilson and bulldozing J.J. Wilcox to get into the end zone. (dallascowboys.com)|
FFToday's Take: Johnson is a player to monitor in dynasty leagues only right now, but could end up on the redraft radar sooner than later since Darren McFadden is living up to his injury-prone reputation and Lance Dunbar is more of a part-time passing-down back. Johnson was the 2014 Southland Conference Player of the Year at Stephen F. Austin last year.
|Raiders TE Walford to have "significant role"|
Rookie third-rounder enjoyed impressive offseason
By: Doug Orth | Aug 10 2015, 4:55 pm
|Rookie TE Clive Walford will have a significant role in Raiders offense this season. Was very impressive during OTAs. (Adam Caplan on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: The Miami (Fla.) product has been sidelined by a strained hamstring recently, but he is expected back soon. Walford was arguably the draft's second-best tight end prospect and his ability to get downfield should allow him to supplant Mychal Rivera as a starter in short order. With Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree demanding attention on the outside, Walford could emerge as a capable fantasy TE2 early in the season.
| PK Suisham injured in Hall of Fame Game|
Reportedly tore left ACL
By: Doug Orth | Aug 10 2015, 4:50 pm
|The Steelers and Vikings were hoping to escape Canton without any significant injuries, but Pittsburgh unfortunately lost one key starter. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that PK Shaun Suisham has torn his ACL, an MRI confirmed Monday, and will be out for the 2015 season, according to a source informed of the situation. Suisham told people on Sunday he believed he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Hall of Fame Game. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Suisham, who had a career-best 132 points in 2014, had learned to tame the beast that can be Heinz Field, converting over 90 percent of his field goals over each of the last three seasons. The 34-year-old finished last year as fantasy No. 7 kicker and his loss stings an offense that should be among the best in the NFL in 2015. Billy Cundiff, Shayne Graham and Jay Feely are among the most accomplished kickers left on the market.
| LeGarrette Blount sidelined with sprained MCL|
Should be ready for start of the regular season
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 7 2015, 8:00 pm
|Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, injured during Friday’s training camp session, suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee, according to a league source. The source said Blount will be ready for the start of the regular season. (Boston Globe)|
FFToday's Take: This is typically a 2-3 week injury for most players and with Blount already suspended for Week 1, he should have plenty of time to heal and get back in the swing of things before Week 2. His fantasy value may take a slight hit but it shouldn't and could pose an even better value opportunity for savvy owners. Jonas Gray and Brandon Bolden will get more reps in camp with Blount on the sideline.
| Arian Foster undergoes successful surgery|
RB expected to be out three months
By: John Canario | Aug 7 2015, 4:55 pm
|Texans running back Arian Foster underwent surgery Friday morning to repair a groin muscle that was torn off the bone, according to a source. Although a timetable for his return is unclear, there's hope that his recovery time will be shorter than three months, the source said. Foster will miss several regular-season games, and it's possible he will be placed on injured reserve with a designation to return. The earliest the Texans can make that move is Sept. 6 at 4 p.m. ET. The Texans have not yet added another running back to a roster that includes Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes, Kenny Hilliard and fullback Jay Prosch. "We didn't make a move immediately because we felt like we were OK," Texans general manager Rick Smith said. "Chris Polk is on the mend and so hopefully he'll be back soon. We'll just keep adjusting to whatever happens out here on the field."
FFToday's Take: There's not a lot to get excited about in the Texans' backfield this year. Alfred Blue looked very mediocre last year and Chris Polk has had only limited experience in two NFL seasons. While Blue probably has the upper hand on the starting job for now, Polk has higher upside.
| Delanie Walker receives 12 stitches in his thumb|
Titans hoping star TE has a quick recovery
By: John Canario | Aug 7 2015, 4:45 pm
|Titans tight end Delanie Walker prides himself on being a tough guy, the kind of player who calls a cut that requires 12 inches to close just a scratch. So Walker, who suffered a thumb injury in Thursday’s practice, doesn’t expect to be sidelined too long. “It is not too bad; I should be OK,’’ Walker said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious. Doctors just wanted to make sure it was nothing serious.’ Walker, who led the team in catches (63) and receiving yards (890) in 2014, is one player the Titans can’t afford to lose. The injury occurred when safety Da’Norris Searcy collided with Walker while breaking up a Marcus Mariota pass over the middle. “I’m not concerned about it,” Walker said. “The trainers just wanted me to be smart about it, so I just went inside and made sure everything was OK with it.” (Columbia Daily Herald)|
FFToday's Take: Fortunately, the Titans' tight end did not suffer any fractures and the injury does not appear to be especially serious. Walker, 30, solidified his spot as a legitimate fantasy TE1 last season and should be a favorite target of rookie QB Marcus Mariota in 2015.
|Ivory the favorite to be Jets' RB1|
HC: "He's going to have to become a better receiver"
By: John Canario | Aug 7 2015, 4:20 pm
|The New York Jets have a crowded backfield, but one back has yet to emerge as a bellcow to shoulder the load. Chris Ivory is the leading man for the job, but Stevan Ridley, Bilal Powell, and Zac Stacy are waiting in the wings. Ivory, who's split carries with Chris Johnson and Powell the past two years, respectively, is hoping that 2015 is his breakout campaign as a No. 1 back. "Right now, I’m doing pretty much everything," Ivory said via ESPN." Although he has led the Jets in carries the last two seasons, he hasn't exactly found himself head-and-shoulders above his competition. This season could be different, as head coach Todd Bowles has been impressed with Ivory thus far. There's just one area of concern for Bowles, where Ivory needs to improve. "He’s as advertised," Bowles said. "We knew he was tough and he could pound it up in there. But he cuts well, he’s got good vision [too]. "He’s going to have to become a better receiver," Bowles continued. "He has decent hands. He just needs to concentrate a little more." (Fox Sports)|
FFToday's Take: Averaging just 592 rushing yards per season over his five years in the NFL, Ivory is far from a sexy pick. However, he racked up a career-high 943 total rushing and receiving yards last year and seven touchdowns. If he can secure the top spot on the Jets' depth chart, he could be a serviceable RB2 if you're still in the market for a back in the middle rounds.
|Frank Gore singing Andrew Luck's praises|
And takes shot at Colin Kaepernick at the same time?
By: John Canario | Aug 7 2015, 3:55 pm
|That didn't take long. After less than a week of training camp, new Colts running back Frank Gore is already sold on Andrew Luck. The 32-year-old proclaimed after three short practices that Luck is the best quarterback he has ever played with. Gore believes that the 2015 Colts will likely end up being the best offense he has ever played with, and that's thanks in large part to Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. "I think if we keep working and keep going and get that gelled, I think by far it can [be the best offense]. Especially with No. 12, man," Gore said on Wednesday. "I'm not knocking my other quarterbacks. I respect them other guys, but being around this guy a couple months, he's a different breed. He's smart. He makes me feel young. He runs the huddle. I never had that." (CBS Sports)|
FFToday's Take: It's hard to get excited about an aging Frank Gore, especially because the Colts like to pass so much. But Andrew Luck moves the ball down the field with greater regularity than Colin Kaepernick, and as a result Gore is slated for a lot of goal line work. While 1000 rushing yards might be a stretch, the veteran back has an outside shot at punching in 10 touchdowns in 2015, and could be a steal if still available in the fourth or fifth round of your draft.
|49ers release Aldon Smith following DUI arrest|
LB unwilling to take responsibility
By: John Canario | Aug 7 2015, 3:25 pm
|The San Francisco 49ers released Aldon Smith following the 25-year-old linebacker's arrest Thursday night on hit and run, driving under the influence and vandalism charges. "This organization has tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues. Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue," the team said in a statement. A team source tells ESPN's Jim Trotter that 49ers general manager Trent Baalke met with Smith after he was released from jail Friday morning, and after Smith refused to take responsibility for his latest arrest, the decision was made to release him. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Smith was a sack-machine his first two seasons in the NFL, but a series of off-field incidents have derailed his career. The 25-year-old may face another suspension, but is talented enough that another NFL team will likely give him another chance at some point. While the 49ers only registered 36 sacks last season, they led the league with 23 interceptions. This was more attributable to a strong secondary than a good pass rush. For now, the 49ers will hope that Ahmad Brooks and Aaron Lynch will put enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but don't expect lofty fantasy totals from this 49ers' defense.
| Devonta Freeman injures hamstring|
Joins rookie Tevin Coleman on sidelines; likely sidelined for "a bit"
By: Doug Orth | Aug 6 2015, 6:20 pm
|Falcons RB Devonta Freeman, who’s been receiving most of the plays with the first-team offense in training camp, suffered a hamstring injury in practice on Thursday. Freeman was running outside and was taken to the ground hard. He did not return to the action.
The Falcons worked on their two-minute offense with Terron Ward, an undrafted rookie from Oregon State, as the running back with the first-team offense. Running back Tevin Coleman is also out with a hamstring strain. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)|
FFToday's Take: As a result of both players' hamstring injuries, we are unlikely to get any kind of clarity on the backfield situation in Atlanta before the end of the month - if even then. As such, it is starting to look more and more as if the Falcons will open the season splitting snaps between the two and might even mix in Antone Smith from time to time.
| D-Jax out 1-2 weeks with shoulder injury|
AC joint sprain
By: Doug Orth | Aug 6 2015, 4:30 pm
|DeSean Jackson has an AC joint sprain and will be out 1 to 2 weeks. (Mike Jones on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: It's not a major setback for Jackson, but might cause him to lose some preseason-game bonding time with Robert Griffin III. HC Jay Gruden wants a more balanced offense in 2015 and has already made getting Pierre Garcon more involved a priority, so owners should not expect his numbers to improve from 2014 (56 catches, 1,169 yards and six touchdowns). In short, he should be a hit-or-miss WR2 for fantasy purposes again.
|Latavius Murray getting all of the first-team reps|
GM: "He can do it all"
By: Doug Orth | Aug 6 2015, 4:25 pm
|Latavius Murray, who missed his rookie season in 2013 with a foot injury, had some highlight-reel runs last season and started the last three games. But new head coach Jack Del Rio still brought in Trent Richardson to compete with Murray for the starting job. Richardson has missed the first week of training camp with an injury, and Murray isn’t looking back.
He is getting all of the first-team reps and has looked powerful, especially in a scrimmage late in Wednesday afternoon’s practice in Napa. (San Francisco Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: GM Reggie McKenzie said, "If he could stay healthy, nothing is holding him back ... he can do it all.” Murray is a size-speed specimen that could see his ADP skyrocket during the preseason. Roy Helu appears to be his main competition at the moment, especially since Trent Richardson was just activated from the active/NFI list on Wednesday.
| Marqise Lee out two weeks|
By: Doug Orth | Aug 6 2015, 4:05 pm
|Jaguars WR Marqise Lee strained his hamstring and will be out the next two weeks. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Lee was already fighting for a starting job with Allen Hurns opposite Allen Robinson, so this hurts his chances in that competition. The second-year wideout missed most of the offseason program and has been riddled with injuries since his final year at USC, dealing with hamstring and knee issues. He can be left undrafted in most regular-sized leagues.
|Difference in Bortles "night and day"|
GM thrilled with development of second-year QB
By: Doug Orth | Aug 6 2015, 3:50 pm
|Though it’s only four practices into Blake Bortles’ second training camp, Jacksonville Jaguars GM David Caldwell said he sees a marked difference in the player he took with the third overall pick last year.
"From where he’s at now compared to where he came in last year as a rookie, I think it’s night and day," Caldwell said. "His ease of throwing motion, the tightness of his ball, the compactness of his motion, the quicker release, the footwork, the balance -- all those things I think are better," Caldwell said. "And just his overall presence. He’s comfortable now." (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Bortles' rough rookie season shouldn't have come as a surprise; Caldwell (and most fantasy owners) knew he was a raw prospect in a fairly hopeless situation in Jacksonville. The Jags brought in TE Julius Thomas and RB T.J. Yeldon to aid his development, so there is some redraft upside with him. However, the biggest winner of this news figures to be Allen Robinson, who should be Jacksonville's clear No. 1 receiver.
| Cards' Floyd out multiple weeks with hand injury|
Three dislocated fingers in left hand
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 5 2015, 7:20 pm
|Starting receiver Michael Floyd suffered a left hand injury early in practice and will be out several weeks, according to a source. Both the NFL Network and CBSsports.com reported that Floyd suffered three broken fingers and will miss around six weeks. That makes it doubtful he could play in the season opener against the Saints on Sept. 13. An NFL source told azcentral.com the injury wasn’t as severe as the Cardinals first feared and that Floyd could be out just three to five weeks. (Arizona Republic)|
FFToday's Take: Floyd was scheduled to start opposite Larry Fitzgerald but his role could be filled by John Brown early in the season. The injury puts a dent in Floyd's fantasy value as he looks to rebound from a ho-hum showing in 2014 that included six touchdowns but only 47 catches. His ADP will take a hit which could make him a nice value play in the later rounds of your draft.
| Foster to have groin surgery on Friday|
Texans' RB a candidate for short-term injured reserve
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 5 2015, 3:45 pm
|Houston Texans running back Arian Foster will undergo groin surgery in Philadelphia on Friday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. He likely will miss the start of the regular season and could be placed on short-term injured reserve, which would allow the Texans to bring him back to practices after Week 6 and into a game after Week 8. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The Texans' bye is Week 9 meaning the earliest Foster might see game action is Week 10 if he is indeed placed on the short-term/IR. Unable to agree on a deal with free agent Pierre Thomas, the Texans might elect to stay in-house with their running back options. Alfred Blue and Chris Polk will get first crack to fill Foster's void. Both are mid-to-late-round fliers in re-draft leagues.
| Tevin Coleman sits with hamstring strain|
Rookie in camp battle with Freeman for starting RB job
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 5 2015, 1:10 pm
|Rookie running back Tevin Coleman did not practice on Wednesday. Coleman was out with a hamstring strain. Coleman is competing with second-year back Devonta Freeman to win to the starting slot. Coleman has received reps with the first-team offense.
(Atlanta Journal Constitution)|
FFToday's Take: The injury isn't considered serious at this time but it might keep the rookie running back out of practice for a few days. Freeman currently sits atop the running back depth chart but both backs are expected to see action once the regular season begins.
|Texans, Pierre Thomas can't agree on contract|
Unable to agree on terms
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 5 2015, 12:45 pm
|Apparently the Texans’ plan to sign former Saints running back Pierre Thomas has fallen through after his tryout Wednesday. Thomas’ agent, Lamont Smith, had the following tweet: Pierre Thomas had a great visit and work out with texans, unfortunately we were unable to agree on terms. (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: The Texans are looking for running back help in the free agent market after Arian Foster injured his groin during practice Monday night. Foster is expected to miss a portion of the regular season. If the Texans fail to sign a free agent, Alfred Blue, Chris Polk and Jonathan Grimes are likely share time while Foster is out.
| Anthony Dixon out with calf injury|
Out multiple weeks
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 5 2015, 12:15 pm
|Buffalo Bills running back Anthony Dixon suffered a calf injury in Monday night's practice which coach Rex Ryan called "substantial." Ryan expects Dixon to be out multiple weeks. (Buffalo News)|
FFToday's Take: Dixon may struggle to make the final roster if he's out for an extended period of time. The team has Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown and Karlos Williams behind LeSean McCoy. Dixon's injury opens the door for Brown to see more reps in training camp.
|Three-man battle for the No. 2 RB job in Miami |
Lazor: "There’s not one guy who’s out of it"
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 5 2015, 7:00 am
|Lazor said the three-man battle for the No. 2 running back job “might be more fun than the guard job to watch.” Damien Williams, LaMichael James and Jay Ajayi have all looked good in spurts, but Williams and James appear ahead of the rookie.
“There’s not one guy who’s out of it,” Lazor said. (Miami Herald)|
FFToday's Take: The Dolphins’ vice president or football operations, Mike Tannenbaum, recently noted that rookie Ajayi needs to improve his pass protection skills: "If he’s going to play for us, he has to be able to sit in there and protect on occasion.” Right now, Williams is behind Lamar Miller on the depth chart. Fantasy owners should steer clear of drafting any backup RB in Miami until the picture becomes clear.
| Foster suffers groin injury, may need surgery|
Injured in Monday's practice
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 4 2015, 1:48 pm
|Can confirm report by @taniaganguli that Arian Foster suffered groin injury in practice. Could require surgery. (John McClain on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Foster reportedly suffered the injury in practice on Monday. We'll wait for something more official from the team, but this doesn't sound good. Some reports suggest Foster is a candidate to placed on injured reserve/return, which would keep him out of the lineup for at least eight games. Stay tuned...
|Austin Seferian-Jenkins receives high praise|
TE coach compares ASF to Tony Gonzalez
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 4 2015, 12:10 pm
|After the first open practice at Bucs training camp, Dirk Koetter, the team’s new offensive coordinator, compared Austin Seferian-Jenkins to Tony Gonzalez.
“I tell you, if Austin is healthy, he reminds me … I coached Tony Gonzalez at the end of his career. Our tight ends coach, Jon Embree, had Tony in Kansas City,” Koetter said. “Austin’s talented.” (Tampa Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: Wow. We've heard this sort of praise before, if not to this degree. ASF has 21 NFL catches for 221 yards, so perhaps the comparisons to a future Hall of Famer with 1,304 catches, 14,906 yards and 109 touchdowns is a bit much.
But there's certainly plenty of upside in an offense geared toward TE production and a rookie QB who'll need a reliable checkdown. ASF projects as a high-risk, high-upside TE2.
|Rashad Jennings sharp in practice|
Giants RB reportedly looking "big, strong, fast and quick"
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 4 2015, 10:05 am
|NJ.com reporter Jordan Raanan said running back Rashad Jennings had a "real nice start" to training camp and looks "big, strong, fast and quick."
Raanan reported that Jennings made middle linebacker Jon Beason look foolish in a 1-on-1 pass-catching drill, although he did have the ball get popped free by linebacker J.T. Thomas later in the drill. (NJ.com)|
FFToday's Take: Jennings is a versatile back who can serve as a workhorse and can do everything the Giants needs him for between the 20s and in the red zone. Unfortunately, he's got a lot of competition for carries, including Shane Vereen, big back Andre Williams, second-year Tulane product Orleans Darkwa and change-of-pace/kick returner Akeem Hunt. Still, he's being undervalued in most drafts and could be a Top 15 RB in the current offense.