| 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 Lee’s status earlier today.
“My understanding is that he’ll be ready to go [next week],” Sullivan said. “But we have to manage him a little bit to make sure he’s OK in term so his health.” To me, that means Lee will be given the occasional day off from practice or have his snaps curtailed early in camp so he won’t 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.” (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 year’s experience and a full offseason under his belt. Assuming that’s the case, who backs him up? Dexter McCluster is a possibility, but he’s 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: “(He) looks good. He really came in and committed himself to learning (the system). You can just tell when he got here (he thought) ‘I’ve got to dive in get this figured out because we play at a fast pace. We play a lot of no huddle.’ So I’ve got nothing but positives to say about him so far.” (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 they’re 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
|It’s 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. We’ll 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 Era’s 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 Johnson’s 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 won’t 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 1’s 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. “I’m not even thinking about my knee,” Palmer said. “I’m still rehabbing just to be on the safe side of things but I don’t need to be at rehab. I’m full go in the weight room, full go on the field, and until it’s brought up, I haven’t thought about what I’m not doing because I’m doing everything I was doing.” (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.
|Houston, Chiefs agree on long-term deal|
$52.5 million guaranteed
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 15 2015, 12:05 pm
|The Kansas City Chiefs have signed linebacker Justin Houston to a six-year, $101 million deal, including $52.5 million guaranteed, sources said Wednesday. Houston, 26, led the NFL in sacks last season with 22. The sides had until 4 p.m. ET Wednesday to agree to terms on the multiyear contract. Otherwise, they would have been prohibited by NFL rule from executing a long-term contract until after the 2015 season was finished. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Despite news to the contrary it was a longshot that a deal didn't get done. Houston has yet to sock away a substantial amount of money (by NFL standards) and the Chiefs covet the player as one of the best at a premiere position in the league. Houston has registered double-digit sacks in each of the last three years should once again be a leader in that category this upcoming season.
|ASJ "uncoverable" during offseason workouts|
Second-year TE limited to nine games as a rookie in 2014
By: Doug Orth | Jul 13 2015, 3:50 pm
|Can Austin Seferian-Jenkins avoid the bad luck of 2014? Will be be a force in the Dirk Koetter-designed offense in the way Mercedes Lewis was in Jacksonville, and Tony Gonzalez was with the Falcons during Koetter’s time in Atlanta? Seferian-Jenkins was healthy for all of the offseason workouts, and was virtually uncoverable during the offseason OTAs and mini-camps, which has to excite the Buccaneers staff and front office. Seferian-Jenkins, who will only turn 23 in September, could turn into a great target for rookie QB Jameis Winston who utilized former Florida State tight end Nick O’Leary often during his two seasons in Tallahassee. (Pewter Report)|
FFToday's Take: The Tampa Bay offense as a whole is a sleeping giant, stocked with three pass-catching playmakers that all stand 6-5 in Seferian-Jenkins as well as WRs Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. With Winston likely to put a stranglehold on the quarterback position for the foreseeable future and Koetter providing a huge upgrade at offensive coordinator, ASJ is easily capable of catching 50-60 passes if he can stay healthy this year.
|Dez Bryant turning up the heat on Cowboys|
Deadline is Wednesday for long-term deal to be reached
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 13 2015, 9:29 am
|Sources: Dez Bryant personally called Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones to say he won't attend camp, will miss real games unless signed by Wed. (Ed Werder on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: With the Wednesday deadline looming for Bryant and the Cowboys to reach a long-term deal, Bryant is posturing by saying he'll sit out of training camp and miss regular season games. We'll see. If a long-term deal isn't reached Bryant would make $12.8 million in 2015 and would lose roughly $754,000 for each game he sat out.
| Jordan Reed expected to be ready for camp|
Redskins feel insured with Niles Paul
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 11 2015, 3:00 pm
|Ongoing issues forced him (Jordan Reed) to have a procedure on his left knee this spring, and because of it, he spent the entire offseason rehabilitating rather than practicing in an offense that has undergone some tweaks. The Redskins believe that Reed will be ready to go by the start of training camp. However, it’s hard to know if or how long coaches will be able to count on Reed. (Washington Post)|
FFToday's Take: The Redskins gave re-signed Niles Paul to three-year, $6 million deal this offseason in large part due to Reed's inability to stay healthy. Reed has the athletic ability to be a difference maker at the position but his 12 games missed over the last two years is concerning for fantasy owners. Reed is a TE2 given his risk but capable of producing like a TE1 when healthy.
|Ladarius Green "seems faster than he's ever been"|
TE drawing praise from coaches, players after injury-filled 2014
By: Doug Orth | Jul 9 2015, 5:15 pm
|Ladarius Green has felt offseason pressure to perform but with Antonio Gates (suspended the first four games), Green could potentially fill a much bigger role to start the season.
"(Green) still has huge upside and possibilities. Last year he had to fight through a number of different injuries at different times, so I am excited for him this year,” TE coach Pete Metzelaars said.
“He seems faster than he’s ever been. He certainly seems that way with the way he’s moving,” QB Philip Rivers acknowledged. (Chargers.com)|
FFToday's Take: The offseason hype train may as well be named after Green, who has generated a lot of summer buzz over his first three NFL seasons only to remain stuck behind Gates and the Chargers' preference to use three-wide sets. Gates' suspension gives Green a month-long window to force his way into more playing time. While his 2015 season-long prospects will probably dim once Gates returns, a successful audition might be enough to draw a big-money contract in free agency next spring.
| Cruz thinks he'll avoid PUP list to start camp|
"I don’t think PUP will be an option"
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 7 2015, 3:41 pm
|Victor Cruz has maintained all offseason that he expects to be ready to go for training camp after tearing his patellar tendon last season and said on Tuesday that everyone with a say in the matter also feels confident that Cruz will avoid the physically unable to perform list when the team reports to training camp. (ProFootballTalk)|
FFToday's Take: Cruz's injury is a nasty one for an athlete, especially a wide receiver and it will be a nice milestone if he's able to avoid the PUP list. Ultimately how he performs in camp will give us a better idea of his availability in Week 1.
|Nick Toon has good shot at the No. 3 role |
Expected to lineup in the "Z" position
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 7 2015, 9:00 am
|Buried on the depth chart for three seasons, Nick Toon finds himself staring at a wide-open path to playing time, cleared by the offseason departures of Kenny Stills, Jimmy Graham and Robert Meacham. Toon seems to have a good shot at the No. 3 role behind Cooks and Marques Colston this fall, if he can hold off a hard-charging group of young players and free agents. (New Orleans Advocate)|
FFToday's Take: Toon is set to play the "Z" position in the Saints base offense but is capable of lining up at "X". He'll do well to gain WR4 as the third or perhaps fourth option in the Saints offense behind Cooks, Colston and tight end Josh Hill. He's a late-round flier in redraft leagues.
|Rawls pushing Michael out of Seattle?|
UDFA could make push for backup spot behind Marshawn Lynch
By: Doug Orth | Jul 6 2015, 4:15 pm
|Robert Turbin is a quality backup with excellent blocking and receiving skills, but it’s uncertain if he’ll be ready to go for the start of the regular season after undergoing offseason hip surgery. It’s "step up or step out" time for Christine Michael. The Seattle coaches are high on Thomas Rawls, a free agent rookie from Central Michigan who started his college career at the University of Michigan. Pete Carroll loves Rawls’ toughness, seeing him as a bruising runner similar to Marshawn Lynch. That’s not good news for Michael. Maybe the Seahawks could trade him for a late-round pick if they decide Rawls is the better option. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Lynch skipped voluntary workouts, Turbin did not participate at all in the spring and Michael nursed a hamstring for much of the offseason, giving Rawls plenty of opportunity to catch the coaches' eye. Regardless of what he's done (or hasn't done) to this point of his career, Michael will almost certainly get a chance to latch on somewhere else if he is traded or released. Dynasty owners should hold, even if this situation gets worse before it gets better.
|Andrew Quarless arrested for firing gun|
Packers TE tried to stash the gun in a potted plant
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 4 2015, 12:25 pm
|According to a police report, Andrew Quarless fired two rounds after getting into an argument with a group of women near a parking garage; when police chased the black Porsche he was seen riding in, he allegedly tried to hide outside a restaurant and tried to stash his weapon in a potted plant. (Miami New Times)|
FFToday's Take: Oh boy. Team officials typically hold their breath during this time of year in hopes that players stay out of trouble until training camp. Quarless was likely headed for tight end timeshare with Richard Rodgers in Green Bay but instead he may be facing disciplinary action from the league.
|Gates suspended four games for PEDs|
One of four players levied with suspensions on Thursday
By: Doug Orth | Jul 2 2015, 4:30 pm
|The San Diego Chargers announced Thursday that TE Antonio Gates has been suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for performance-enhancing substances.
He is eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 5, ahead of a Week 5 matchup against the Steelers. Gates is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.
Gates blamed his positive test on "supplements and holistic medicines" he used in an effort to recover from the past season.
FFToday's Take: Jets DT Sheldon Richardson, Cowboys LB Rolando McClain and Packers DE Datone Jones were the three other players suspended. Gates had a team-high 12 touchdowns last season and crossed the 10,000 receiving yard mark in San Diego's season finale, so he will be missed. With Gates out, the Chargers will finally have a reason to unleash athletic freak Ladarius Green, who has been unable to assume a bigger role in the offense because of Gates and the team's preference to use three receivers.
|Joique Bell "I'm going to rush for over 1200 yds"|
Lions RB not concerned about injuries
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 30 2015, 9:00 am
|Joique Bell isn't worried about the knee injury that has sidelined him for the entirety of this offseason. He isn't worried about the Achilles either. "I'm going to rush for over 1,200 yards," Bell told MLive.com. "That's the minimum. If I do less than that, I'll be surprised. I'll be disappointed.
"Anything more than that, I wouldn't be surprised at all."
FFToday's Take: Detroit runners have had a rough time reaching 1000 yards in recent years let alone 1200. Bell (Achilles, knee) is expected to be ready for training camp and head coach Jim Caldwell has expressed his interest to run the ball more. However, Rookie Ameer Abdullah is expected to have a role in the offense that will limit Bell's opportunities. If Bell were to hit his ceiling of 250 carries, he'd need to average 4.8 ypc to hit 1200 yards.
|Graham, Lockett among offseason standouts|
Ex-Saint TE, third-round pick catch Carroll's eye
By: Doug Orth | Jun 29 2015, 4:25 pm
|When the offseason program ended Thursday, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll pointed to two players who stood out to him through the rookie camp and OTAs. The first one is rookie wide receiver Tyler Lockett.
"(Lockett) has a lot of responsibilities. He’s going after this return job, he’s inside playing in the slot and been outside. We’ve just thrown everything at him because he seems to be able to handle it," Carroll said.
The other standout for Carroll is TE Jimmy Graham.
“(Graham is) a great kid. He’s as hard a worker as we could hope to get. ... He loves the challenge and coming to a new setting and having to prove himself. He’s feeding off that." (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Lockett is going to fly under the radar in redraft leagues that don't reward owners for return yards simply because the Seahawks once again don't figure to provide enough volume to make their receivers worthy of starting consideration in fantasy. The same lack of passing-game volume is expected to hinder Graham, although certainly not to the same degree. The three-time Pro Bowler will immediately become Russell Wilson's top target and should be good for at least 10 touchdowns, even if his other receiving numbers take a slight hit.
|Stevie Johnson could be Chargers' X-factor|
WR developed good rapport with Philip Rivers in offseason
By: Doug Orth | Jun 29 2015, 4:15 pm
|WR Steve Johnson appears to have found a home with the San Diego Chargers. The 28-year-old signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Chargers in free agency and has developed a good rapport with QB Philip Rivers during offseason work.
The wide receiver group should be a plus for San Diego’s offense, and it should compete for the best combination of players at that position in the AFC West. Malcom Floyd provides familiarity and stability as the elder statesmen of the group, while Keenan Allen should be more productive in Year 3. But the X-factor will be Johnson and the impact plays he can produce in critical situations for this offense. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Johnson is expected to replace Eddie Royal as the primary slot receiver and should outperform his predecessor since he is equally capable inside and outside the hashmarks. With field stretchers like Floyd and Jacoby Jones on board, Johnson and Allen should have ample opportunity to work the middle part of the field. Johnson has top-30 receiver potential in this offense, making him a steal at his current 14th-round ADP.
| Mike Tolbert healthy, looking to regain 2013 form|
Panthers RB “didn't feel like myself" last season
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 26 2015, 12:45 pm
|Mike Tolbert said he has been particularly motivated to work out in the offseason because of a left leg and knee injury last season that cost him eight games in 2014. It was the first major injury of his career. “I didn't feel like myself,” Tolbert said. “I didn't feel like I had the power. I didn't fully trust my knee or my leg. I didn't know if it was going to break again or not. I definitely wasn't confident in my body at that point." (Charlotte Observer)|
FFToday's Take: Tolbert returned late last season from his broken leg but was ineffective. His return to health could pose a threat to Jonathan Stewart's fantasy upside as Tolbert is known TD-vulture scoring 11 times in 2010. Rookie Cameron Artis-Payne is also in the mix for carries and would likely split time with Tolbert if Stewart suffers a significant injury.
|Moeaki, Tamme competition expected at camp|
Falcons looking for answers at tight end
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 26 2015, 9:00 am
|The Falcons sought to upgrade the tight end position this offseason by signing Jacob Tamme and Tony Moeaki in free agency. Tamme received a two-year, $4 million contract with $400,000 guaranteed, while Moeaki, who’s been often injured, received a modest one-year, $744,000 deal. The two are expected to compete for the role of top pass-catching tight end when training camp opens on July 31. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)|
FFToday's Take: Levine Toilolo finished 37th among fantasy tight ends last season with a 31-238-2 stat line. The Falcons will role the dice with a consistently injured Moeaki and the veteran Tamme who last had fantasy relevance back in 2012 with Denver. Moeaki is the better athlete with the biggest fantasy upside of the three but his injury history and the WR-focused gameplan in Atlanta makes him undraftable even if he does win the starting job in camp.
|Melvin Gordon "as good as advertised"|
No. 15 overall pick has been a quick study
By: Doug Orth | Jun 25 2015, 5:30 pm
|So far, Melvin Gordon has been as good as advertised in offseason workouts. He’s proved a quick study, both on the field and in the classroom. And he’s been better than expected in the passing game. Most important, Gordon won’t be asked to carry the offense. With Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver and Donald Brown, Gordon will be part of a running back by committee approach that should provide a significant improvement for San Diego’s running game in 2015. But Gordon will serve as the bell-cow running back. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: RB coach Ollie Wilson went on to compliment his study habits and intelligence. Everybody looks great in shorts at this time of the year, but this is about as much as present and future Gordon owners can ask for at the moment. It's not hard to imagine the No. 15 overall pick amassing 225-250 carries for the Chargers and 25-35 catches while stealing the occasional passing-down snap from Woodhead.
|Charles Johnson "picking up where he left off"|
Expected to have a big role in offense
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 24 2015, 2:51 pm
|Charles Johnson seemed to have gained some stability for the first time in career last year.
The wide receiver emerged as the Vikings No. 1 target last year in his second season, though he didn’t even start the season with the team. “CJ has picked up where he left off in December and he’s having a good spring,” Turner said. Johnson won’t technically be labeled as the No. 1 receiver with the Vikings trading for Mike Wallace from the Dolphins, but he’s expected to have a big role in the offense.
(Minneapolis Star Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: Johnson's fantasy value took a hit with the signing of Mike Wallace but both should be in the starting lineup come Week 1. Both also have WR2 upside in 2015 with Johnson a slight favorite in PPR leagues, playing the "X" position in Norv Turner's offense.
|Bounceback season coming from Garcon?|
Gruden wants to get Garcon more involved
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 24 2015, 1:00 pm
|There were signs, as the Redskins wrapped up last week’s minicamp, that Pierre Garcon will be featured more prominently in the 2015 game plan. Gruden said more than once last season that he wanted to get Garcon more involved in the passing game. But it never really happened, whether as a result of free agent DeSean Jackson’s addition to the receiving corps, the revolving door at quarterback or the failure of Robert Griffin III to make timely, decisive reads. (Washington Post)|
FFToday's Take: It should be noted that DeSean Jackson elected to skip a number of the Redskins voluntary workouts giving Garcon an opportunity to make his way into off-season headlines. Garcon finished 47th among fantasy wide receivers last season, scoring only three touchdowns. If the coach's talk comes true, Garcon should be looking at WR3 value in 2015.
|Randle heads into training camp as starting RB|
Cowboys RB ready to have career year
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 23 2015, 7:00 am
|Joseph Randle led most of the individual drills throughout offseason workouts and regularly worked with the first-team offense. With a month to go before training camp, taking over as the lead back behind the Cowboys’ talented offensive line appears to be Randle’s job to lose. (Dallas Morning News)|
FFToday's Take: Randle's competition currently includes Darren McFadden and Ryan Williams which is part of the reason why Randle's ADP currently sits at 4.04 (RB No.20) in twelve-team leagues. Assuming he can keep his head on straight, Randle has a chance to make a big fantasy impact in his third season.
|Ahmad Bradshaw gets one-game suspension|
Pleaded no contest to marijuana possession
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 22 2015, 8:00 pm
|Free-agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who pleaded no contest to marijuana possession in May, was suspended for one game by the NFL on Monday. Bradshaw played the past two seasons for the Indianapolis Colts but was released during the offseason. He would have to serve the suspension if he's signed by another team.
FFToday's Take: Bradshaw hasn't found any takers on the free agent market this off-season. He was playing well for the Colts last season before breaking his leg in Week 11. The Colts appear set at the running back spot with Frank Gore, Dan Herron and rookie Josh Robinson.
|Royal, Cutler working to rekindle chemistry|
Pair worked together in Denver in 2008
By: Doug Orth | Jun 22 2015, 6:00 pm
|The Bears got rid of a frequent Jay Cutler target this offseason when they traded WR Brandon Marshall to the Jets, but Cutler hasn’t been left without any ties to his days in Denver. Eddie Royal signed with the team as a free agent, which reunites him with the man who was the quarterback during his rookie year with the Broncos in 2008. Royal got off to a fast start in his first year, catching 91 passes for 980 yards and five touchdowns. It was the only year that the two men worked together, but both remember it fondly and Royal says they’re putting in the same work now that they did then to build the same chemistry. (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: As PFT states, Royal isn't going to match his rookie-year production with Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, Matt Forte and first-rounder Kevin White also on hand. However, one has to believe new HC John Fox and OC Adam Gase will be emphasizing more high-percentage throws from Cutler. To that end, NFL Media's Albert Breer tweeted the Bears "have big plans" for Royal.
|James White "looked great" in spring|
"Looks like a carbon copy of Shane Vereen"
By: Doug Orth | Jun 22 2015, 5:35 pm
|In the battle of third-down backs, James White looks like a carbon copy of Shane Vereen. He’s lined up in all the same places, and turned in some spectacular catches, particularly on wheel routes coming out of the backfield. He’s made a few drops, but all in all, looks great. It’s important to remember he also looked great last year at this time before falling off the map.
Dion Lewis has earned praise on the field from Brady for his route-running. He’s also been a primary kick returner in drills. He has some giddy-up in his step. Travaris Cadet, another free agent who was the third down back in New Orleans, has had some good moments. (Boston Herald)|
FFToday's Take: Last Thursday, Boston Globe beat writer Ben Volin speculated that Cadet had a “leg up” on the job, which should tell owners just about everything they need to know about believing everything they read in the offseason. White should be considered as a slight favorite simply because the Patriots drafted him last year with the intention of him becoming the heir apparent to Vereen, but he’ll need to carry his offseason performance into the preseason - something he was unable to do last year.
|Eifert caught "virtually everything" in spring|
Fully recovered from shoulder, elbow injuries
By: Doug Orth | Jun 22 2015, 5:30 pm
|(Bengals TE Tyler Eifert) had a strong spring, too. He was being brought along a little slower (than WR Marvin Jones) mainly because coaches and trainers simply didn't want to run the risk of getting him hurt. He's fully recovered from late-season shoulder surgery, and his dislocated elbow has healed. Eifert looks healthy. He caught virtually everything thrown his way during open practices, and looked sharp in his routes. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The Bengals insist they are playing it cautiously with Eifert, who was lost for the season with the elbow injury early in Week 1 after catching a pass on each of the team's first three series. With Jermaine Gresham no longer around, the No. 21 overall pick in 2013 could easily absorb the 62 catches he leaves behind and become an every-week fantasy TE1. Eifert and A.J. Green should be Andy Dalton's primary targets inside and outside the red zone, meaning Eifert could be poised for a top-10 season at his position if he can just stay healthy.
|GM: No restrictions for Cam as a runner|
"You don’t hold back a thoroughbred"
By: Doug Orth | Jun 22 2015, 5:10 pm
|Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, when asked if Cam Newton's extension will change how often he runs:
"No. He’s got to be Cam. You don’t hold back a thoroughbred, you don’t. I don’t know if you watched the Belmont (Stakes). When (American) Pharoah came around that backstretch and that horse was nipping at his heels, the jockey let him go. He didn’t whip him. He’s just, ‘Go baby!’ And that’s what a thoroughbred does. You don’t change their game. …You can’t do it." (Charlotte Observer)|
FFToday's Take: Newton was saddled with one of the worst depth charts at receiver last year and was rarely ever able to stay healthy, from his early-season rib injury to the back injury he suffered as a result of his November car accident. Once Newton got to feeling better, however, he averaged 9.5 carries for 53 yards and 0.5 rushing touchdowns over the final six games of the season (including playoffs). With his health and long-term status no longer an issue, Newton is a solid bet to finish among the top 5-8 fantasy quarterbacks this season.
|Green expected to have bigger role in offense|
We've heard this before
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 19 2015, 7:00 am
|The Chargers said it last year. They're saying it again now. Ladarius Green is expected to have a larger role in their offense, the team working to take advantage of his size-speed combo to present a mismatch for defenses. "I'd be shocked if he didn't have his most productive year," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. (San Diego Union Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: We've heard this before. Green's expected breakout last season never happened as he dealt with injuries and the consistently good play of veteran Antonio Gates. Green has immense physical skills but with Steve Johnson added to the receiving mix, Green will likely need an injury to Gates in order to make a significant fantasy impact.