|More work in passing game for McCaffrey?|
Beat writer predicts carries may not "go up by much"
By: Doug Orth | Jul 16 2018, 6:20 pm
|Christian McCaffrey’s ability as a receiver was a tool the Panthers relied on heavily during his rookie season. He caught 80 passes for 651 yards and five touchdowns. In Norv Turner’s offense, McCaffrey might see those numbers rise.
McCaffrey’s carries won’t go up by much, but he’ll have 900 receiving yards this season. (The Charlotte Observer)|
FFToday's Take: To be fair, the last sentence was a bold prediction. Nevertheless, it's notable anyone covering the team believes McCaffrey will see more work in the passing game after he caught 80 passes on 117 targets as a rookie and the team added a first-round pick at receiver in D.J. Moore. Greg Olsen will be back from injury as well. If McCaffery finishes around 150 carries and 90 catches, he will almost certainly return first-round value in most leagues.
|Blake Jarwin stepped up this spring|
UDFA a frequent target of Dak Prescott during offseason
By: Doug Orth | Jul 16 2018, 6:05 pm
|It was Blake Jarwin, not Geoff Swaim, making a splash in offseason activities. Dak Prescott regularly targeted Jarwin up the middle, particularly in red-zone situations. Jarwin's been studying Jason Witten film and Prescott spoke highly of his ability to get open. It was a step in the right direction, Jarwin said. "I'm happy to continue to build that chemistry between us," Jarwin said, "and the respect that I can be in the spot so he can get to me and trust in me that I'll catch the ball." (Dallas Morning News)|
FFToday's Take: Jarwin played four offensive snaps last season, all of which came in Week 10 against Atlanta. In other words, he's going to fly under the radar in fantasy leagues barring a terrific preseason showing or two. With that said, it's notable if any pass-catcher showing chemistry with Prescott in an offense trying to replace the 219 targets left behind by Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. He's worth keeping in mind as a TE2 candidate in the final rounds of deep drafts.
|D.J. Moore primed for big role right away?|
"Looked more than ready" in spring practices
By: Doug Orth | Jul 16 2018, 5:30 pm
|For what it’s worth, (D.J. Moore) looked more than ready to contribute during spring practices. There will be the typical rookie growing pains, but it’s clear Moore can help the offense immediately. He brings a unique skill set to the receiver group with his ability to make people miss and turn quick passes into long gains. The Panthers want to tap into that kind of weapon as much as possible. (Panthers.com)|
FFToday's Take: Moore was arguably the best receiver prospect in the draft. Even if is a bit raw as a route-runner, he is about as good in terms of gaining yards after the catch as this draft class had to offer. While Devin Funchess, Greg Olsen and Christian McCaffrey will likely see more opportunities than he will in 2018, Moore has WR3 upside in fantasy.
|Bell, Steelers do not reach long-term deal|
Agent: "Likely (Bell's) last season as a Steeler
By: Doug Orth | Jul 16 2018, 5:25 pm
|The Pittsburgh Steelers and RB Le'Veon Bell failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension before Monday's 4 p.m. franchise tag deadline, and his agent says that means it is likely Bell's last season with the team. "His intention was to retire as a Steeler," Adisa Bakari told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "But now that there's no deal, the practical reality is, this now likely will be Le'Veon's last season as a Steeler."
Bell will play on the franchise tag for the second consecutive year barring an unforeseen development. (ESPN - Jeremy Fowler)|
FFToday's Take: Bell strongly hinted on social media after the 4 pm deadline he will not hold out into the regular season, but he said nothing of reporting to the team at the end of the preseason - just as he did last season. There is no denying Bell's abilities as a football player, but a 400-touch player likely to miss his second straight preseason along with a new offensive coordinator makes Bell one of the riskiest picks in the first round of fantasy drafts this summer.
|Final season for Darren Sproles|
Eagles RB will hang it up after 2018
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 15 2018, 4:10 pm
|The Philadelphia Eagles made it clear in free agency and the draft that they see Darren Sproles playing a key role in their rushing attack this season.
Sproles, however, isn't planning to extend his career past 2018. The 35-year-old running back announced in a blog post he plans to play just "one more year."
Sproles wrote that he planned on 2017 being his final NFL season before suffering a torn ACL in Week 3. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Sproles is coming off an ACL injury and set to be in a rotation with Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement. He'll have sporadic Flex value in PPR leagues and worthy of a late-round flier in your draft. Sproles is looking to move into fifth all-time in all-purpose yards.
|DeMarco Murray announces retirement|
7-year career comes to an end
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 13 2018, 2:00 pm
|DeMarco Murray, a three-time Pro Bowl running back, has retired after seven seasons in the NFL.
"It's been a long time thinking, the last year or two, and physically, mentally and emotionally, I think it's time for me to hang it up," Murray said while making his announcement Friday on ESPN's NFL Live. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Murray was at the top of his game in 2014 (393-1845-13; 54-416-0) when he finished as the No.1 running back in standard scoring leagues, No.2 in PPR. He was let go by Tennessee this off-season making way for an increased role for youngster Derrick Henry. Murray reportedly met with Detroit, Miami, New Orleans and Seattle before calling it quits.
|Trubisky poised for second-year breakout?|
"They've taken the training wheels off of Mitch's little bike&
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 12 2018, 5:40 pm
|Asked (Kyle Long) how (Mitchell Trubisky) has grown this offseason (besides the scruff): "My little boy is becoming a man. Mitch - they've taken the training wheels off of Mitch's little bike. So he going to be able to do some things creatively and get to showcase his skills. We're excited to see him. He's a tremendous leader and somebody the guys look up to in the locker room. And he's probably one of the coolest guys on the team, to be honest, not just because he's the quarterback. He's a really cool kid and we're lucky to have him." (Chicago Sun-Times)|
FFToday's Take: Trubisky flashed during the preseason but former HC John Fox and OC Dowell Loggains did everything they could to hide him, although it was a bit understandable considering the lack of offensive weapons Chicago had in 2017. New HC Matt Nagy won't have the same limitations (in regards to creativity or supporting cast), which means Trubisky should definitely be a strong QB2 option in fantasy.
|Reduced role for Bilal Powell?|
Crowell's missed one game in 4 years
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 11 2018, 6:00 pm
|I expect Bilal Powell’s production to drop dramatically this season, not because of any dropoff by him but because of fewer opportunities. Powell benefited in prior years from Ivory and Forte being injury prone. Crowell does not miss time. That is one of the things that appealed to the Jets about him. (New York Post)|
FFToday's Take: Powell say an increase in carries (+47) but a decrease in receptions (-35) last season and the addition of Isaiah Crowell, who has missed only 1 game in four years, and emergence of Elijah McGuire could eat into Powell's workload in 2018. The Jets currently have three viable running backs making all of them marginal fantasy options unless injury occurs.
|Wayne Gallman inside track to spell Barkley|
Giants RB position group
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 10 2018, 11:55 am
|Entering his second NFL season, Wayne Gallman has the inside track for the job as a change of pace complement to Barkley, who will rarely come off the field. Gallman has some burst and elusiveness in the open-field, but it is his ability to make plays as a receiver that will give him the leg-up on spelling Barkley over the likes of Jonathan Stewart and Robert Martin. (NJ.com)|
FFToday's Take: NJ.com writer Matt Lombardo went on to say that "Stewart looked more like a plodding veteran running back trying to hang on, than a back capable of shouldering a significant workload." The Giants signed Stewart this off-season to a two-year deal ($3.45 million guaranteed). Barkley is expected to see the majority of snaps in this offense, including 3rd downs, but if you're attempting a dart throw late in your draft at a Giants RB, you might consider Gallman over Stewart.
|LeSean McCoy accused of domestic violence|
Social media drama
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 10 2018, 11:45 am
|Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy has denied accusations of domestic violence, child abuse, animal cruelty and performance-enhancing drug use in a statement posted on his Instagram account. Earlier Tuesday, an unidentified Instagram user posted a graphic image of a woman with cuts and bruises on her face along with a message that accused McCoy of beating the woman. The post also included allegations that McCoy beat his son, beat his dog and used "illegal steroids." (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: McCoy posted his own social media response saying the "totally baseless and offensive claims made against me today on social media are completely false." McCoy also claims he has not had any direct contact with the people involved in months. We'll wait and see if this story has any consequences for the Bills running back.
|Dion Lewis could outgain Derrick Henry?|
Insider analyzes Titans' backfield
By: Doug Orth | Jul 5 2018, 5:20 pm
|When DeMarco Murray was released, the presumption was that Derrick Henry would likely receive the lion’s share of the carries. The arrival of Dion Lewis gives the Titans the type of pass-catching weapon in the backfield that they have not had in a long time. And it means that there will likely be game-day packages for each back, and both will get their fair share of touches. For fantasy purposes, it is not out of the question that Henry would lead the team in rushing attempts and rushing yards, but that Lewis would probably have more all-purpose yards, between rushing and receiving combined. (Titans Insider - Terry McCormick)|
FFToday's Take: The likelihood Henry will be the early-down workhorse/goal-line back and could see in upwards of 250 carries and will see occasional work as a receiver makes it understandable why he is going in the third round of PPR drafts. However, unless owners believe Lewis is going to struggle with injuries, it's hard to comprehend how he is going three rounds later. If things remain the same when drafting season really picks up, Lewis figures to be a steal as a RB3/flex option.
|Julian Edelman appeal denied|
Will server 4-game suspension
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 3 2018, 5:22 pm
|New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman's appeal was denied Tuesday, a source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter.
His four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs stands. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: There's some particulars to this case surrounding the exact substance that was flagged and the handling of results that may continue to garner headlines but as it stands now, Edelman will miss the first 4 games of the season. Chris Hogan and the Patriots running backs should see some increased opportunities during Edelman's absence while Edelman's current ADP in the middle of the 6th round should continue to fall.
|RB Aaron Jones gets 2-game suspension|
Violation of the substance abuse policy
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 3 2018, 3:00 pm
|Suspensions galore today. Two games for Packers RB Aaron Jones, league announces. Violation of the substance abuse policy. (Mike Garafolo on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Jones was arrested last November on a traffic violation in which he admitted to smoking marijuana. His suspension will give Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams a chance to solidify their spot in the Packers' running back by committee approach. Jones' eighth round ADP will certainly take a hit.
|Aaron Jones bulked up during offseason|
Seeking improved durability, better anchor in pass protection
By: Doug Orth | Jul 2 2018, 4:45 pm
|A review of his rookie season revealed Aaron Jones needed to further develop the lower half of his body to stand up to the wear-and-tear of an NFL season and improve his skills in pass protection. “I’m bigger all around,” Jones said. “That’s something that’s going to help me in pass protection and that’s something I want to get better at.”
While Jones is thicker in his lower body, neither he nor position coach Ben Sirmans feel the 5-foot-9, 208-pound running back has lost any of the explosiveness that allowed Jones to average 5.5 yards per carry on 81 attempts last season. (Packers.com)|
FFToday's Take: Ty Montgomery figures to be involved in some way, shape or form in the passing game, so Jones and Jamaal Williams figure to slug it out for the bulk of the early-down work. If Jones' offseason strategy pays off and allows him to stay healthier as well as serve as a more effective blocker, he will almost certainly be the favorite to lead the team in carries. He seems like a solid value pick in the eighth round of PPR leagues right now.
|Robert Turbin suspended 4-games|
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 29 2018, 3:00 pm
|Indianapolis Colts running back Robert Turbin has been suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs, he announced via Twitter on Friday.
Turbin will be suspended for four games, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. He will be eligible to return for the Week 5 game at New England on Oct. 4. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Turbin had been running the first team while Marlon Mack has been sidelined with a shoulder injury. The Colts have a largely unproven running back groups and could look to sign a veteran at some point. Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins are both rookies with Christine Michael and Josh Ferguson rounding out the roster. DeMarco Murray and Adrian Peterson are free agents.
|Sammy Watkins working "all over the place"|
Free-agent acquisition getting force-fed offense and doing well
By: Doug Orth | Jun 28 2018, 5:25 pm
|The Chiefs have been, to some extent, caught off guard by how badly Sammy Watkins wants success, how much he wants to make good on his contract, how much he wants to be another strong receiving option. They're asking him to learn all of their wide receiving positions, and he hasn't flinched.
"We're moving him all over the place, and he's handled it," coach Andy Reid said. "We've overloaded him with that. That's how we do it in this offense. That's something new for him. You can tell he's a guy that takes it away from here and studies." (ESPN - Adam Teicher)|
FFToday's Take: Watkins' ADP in PPR formats is slowly creeping up into the sixth-round range, lessening the insane value he was just a week or so ago. Nevertheless, the ability to move around and play X, Y and Z as opposed to the standard X he has played for most of his career can only be a good thing for him, especially with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce soaking up so much defensive attention. Watkins should be a rock-solid WR3 with WR2 upside in fantasy this season.
|Still no pain for Andrew Luck|
Expected to throw with Colts WRs later this week
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 28 2018, 5:15 pm
|As for the most significant detail - pain. Any of that creeping in after a recent throwing session?
"No, no, no, not at all," Andrew Luck said.
Stay like that, and he’s on track to suit up Sept. 9 for the Colts’ opener against Cincinnati. It would be his first game in 616 days. Luck will venture out west later this week, where he’ll continue his rehab and, at some point, meet up with a collection of Colts receivers for throwing sessions - another indication all is going to plan (The Indianapolis Star)|
FFToday's Take: The positive reports keep coming in on Luck, suggesting he's going to be good to go for Week 1. Obviously, he still has yet to take a hit with or fall to the ground on the shoulder, but these are the types of reports that were missing last summer. He is shaping up to be a value pick at his current ADP of 9.09 as the 13th quarterback off the board on average.
|Official: Winston suspended three games|
No appeal coming
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 28 2018, 2:00 pm
|Jameis Winston was suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season on Thursday, as the NFL said its investigation found the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback inappropriately touched a female Uber driver in March 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Winston's suspension is without pay and he won't appeal. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Through a statement, Winston apologized to the driver, his teammates and noted he has eliminated alcohol from his life. The Bucs will likely move forward with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting in their first three games against the Saints, Eagles and Steelers. Winston is now relegated to a late-round draft pick in most redraft leagues.
|Eagles ready to make Ajayi a lead back|
Tighter RB rotation could make Ajayi an easy RB2 in 2018
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 26 2018, 8:00 am
|Actions speak louder than words, but when it comes to the Eagles' running back situations, the team is both talking and acting like Jay Ajayi is going to be the top back. Although they ran a running back by committee last season, the team appears ready to slightly abandon that philosophy next season. Ajayi was with the first-team offense for almost all of their snaps during the offseason, except for the occasional snap that went to second-year running back Corey Clement. (NJ.com)|
FFToday's Take: The Eagles split 395 carries last season between six running backs with LeGarrette Blount (173) getting a 44% share. With Blount out of mix it's safe assume a tighter rotation in the backfield with Ajayi, Clement and Darren Sproles getting the majority of work. In this scenario, 200-plus carries seems like a good bet for Ajayi. Last season, 16 of the 18 RBs with 200+ carries finished as a fantasy RB2 in standard scoring leagues based on fantasy points per game.
|Royce Freeman "absolutely" could be lead back|
Third-round pick competing with Devontae Booker
By: Doug Orth | Jun 25 2018, 2:20 pm
|Royce Freeman was the Broncos’ third-round pick in this past April’s draft - the 71st player selected overall. Just hours after the selection, Broncos GM John Elway said: “He’s a big banger that we haven’t had for a while, so we’re excited to have him."
Two months later, Freeman, with his combination of size and speed, made it fairly clear that he’s going to push Devontae Booker to be at the top of the running back depth chart. Asked just before the Broncos finished minicamp if he believed Freeman could put himself in the conversation to be the team’s lead back, Broncos coach Vance Joseph said “absolutely.” (ESPN - Jeff Legwold)|
FFToday's Take: Freeman being in the race to be the starting running back isn't earth-shattering news, but it's nice to know he must have looked good in minicamp. The question Freeman needs to answer is if he is all the way back from his 2016 knee injury - because he lacked his former explosiveness in 2017. If he is, the rookie could be the first Bronco since 2004 to top 250 carries and live up to his 5.08 ADP in PPR formats. If not, he'll likely end up in a committee with Devontae Booker.
|Randall Cobb wearing walking boot|
May miss start of training camp
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 25 2018, 8:00 am
|Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb is recovering from an ankle injury that may sideline him for the beginning of training camp, according to a source. Cobb is wearing a walking boot on his right ankle. He described the boot as “temporary” when seen at an airport Sunday night but didn’t say whether he underwent surgery. How and when the injury occurred is unclear. (Green Bay Press Gazette)|
FFToday's Take: Cobb participated in OTAs and it sounds like he will be eased into training camp. It's unclear what the injury is but it doesn't appear to be serious. Cobb is an interesting fantasy prospect with the return of Aaron Rodgers and the loss of Jordy Nelson opening up more opportunities in the passing game. Cobb is currently being valued as WR34, late round 7 in PPR scoring leagues.
|Browns to ride the hot hand at RB?|
Three-headed RBBC monster looms for fantasy owners
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 22 2018, 9:45 am
|Where some might see a potential logjam, Browns running backs coach Freddie Kitchens sees a major opportunity. When the season unfolds, Kitchens said he plans to ride the “hot hand” because “if they are having success, why would you change?”
“Ultimately, all three of those guys can run our running game,” Kitchens said. “Duke can do a few more things in the passing game. Ultimately, we feel like that is a position of strength.” (ClevelandBrowns.com)|
FFToday's Take: The Browns will likely give Carlos Hyde every opportunity to "start" but ultimately fantasy owners should understand Hyde's ceiling will be capped with Duke Johnson and rookie Nick Chubb in the mix. All three are being taken in the middle rounds (7-10) in early PPR leagues with Hyde (RB32), Johnson (RB39) and Chubb (RB41).
|Jameis Winston expected to get suspension|
League hasn't notified Winston of its official decision
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 21 2018, 7:00 pm
|The NFL is planning to suspend Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston the first three games of the season for violating the league's personal conduct policy, per league sources.
The planned suspension stems from an alleged incident with an Uber driver in Scottsdale, Arizona, in March 2016. The league still has not notified Winston of its official decision, and the circumstances surrounding it still could lead to an increase or decrease of the three games, per sources. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The league hasn't yet made an official announcement on this matter so there is still some uncertainty as to how long the suspension will be. However, it does appear that the Bucs may be leaning on Ryan Fitzpatrick anywhere from 1-3 games early in the season. The league wasn't aware of the situation until last November.
|Robby Anderson legal update|
Plead no contest to reckless driving, league review ongoing
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 21 2018, 10:14 am
|Jets WR Robby Anderson pled no contest to charges of reckless driving yesterday, his attorney Ed O’Donnell said. Adjudication withheld, he gets 6 mos of non-reporting probation. All charges from his two arrests have now been addressed. NFL spokesman says league review ongoing. (Mike Garafolo on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: It seems we finally have a full legal ruling on all outstanding off-field issues for the Jets wide receiver. Now we wait on the league to rule on any suspension. Most people some kind of short-term suspension is coming. Anderson finished 23rd in FPTs/G last season, leading the Jets with 941 yards and 7 TDs.
|Packers hoping to emulate Saints' RB rotation?|
HC promises RBBC approach in Green Bay to open season
By: Doug Orth | Jun 18 2018, 5:25 pm
|Packers HC Mike McCarthy certainly wasn't going to tip his hand when asked last week if he studied how the Saints used their backs and if it could be applicable to his offense.
"The fact of the matter is we're going to go running back by committee. But if one of them would emerge as that full-time guy then you have to have that ability to ... adjust to that. As far as planning and going into the season, that's why we're going about it that way. We feel like we've got three guys that have all done it, but they haven't done it over a long period of time, so I think it's just practical thinking from that position." (ESPN - Rob Demovsky)|
FFToday's Take: In other words, McCarthy will stick with a committee until someone from the group of Ty Montgomery, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams proves he is deserving of more work than the others. Montgomery seems like a no-brainer pick to handle the majority of work in the passing game, while Jones makes the most sense as the early-down back who gives Green Bay some big-play ability. Williams may be the most dependable.
|Eric Ebron impressing his new team|
Colts looking to put a lot on former Lion TE's plate
By: Doug Orth | Jun 18 2018, 5:15 pm
|There have been numerous additions to a team that has turned over more than two-thirds of its players since January 2017. But TE Eric Ebron is one newcomer who looks as though he could be particularly impactful.
As Reich said, they team is not in pads and offseason practices can, at times, be fool’s gold. But Ebron has been among the more impressive Colts this offseason, and Reich seems poised to fully tap into Ebron’s versatile skill set. Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni are going to put lots on Ebron’s plate, and they firmly believe the free-agent pickup can handle it. (The Indianapolis Star)|
FFToday's Take: It wouldn't be terribly surprising if Ebron realized his potential in Indy, as he should have plenty of opportunity with T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle being the only established pass-catcher for an offense that will use a lot of two-tight sets. Ebron's propensity for drops and overall inconsistency have contributed greatly to his inability thus far to deliver on his talent, so if the Colts can help him there, he's got a chance to push for low-end starting status in fantasy.
|Foreman rehabbing from torn Achilles|
Full-go for the start of training camp?
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 17 2018, 8:00 am
|D'Onta Foreman ruptured his Achilles tendon in November while scoring a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals. It appears unlikely that Foreman will be full-go for the start of training camp. The Texans do expect him to play this season and are hopeful about his long-term outlook. (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: Foreman isn't a lock to be available Week 1 and even if he is, it's likely the Texans would ease him back into the mix. For now, Lamar Miller remains the No.1 back in Houston but could cede work to Foreman later in the year once healthy. Foreman was getting 10-12 touches per game serving as Miller's backup in 2017.
|Rashaad Penny gaining trust|
Rookie handing pass-blocking assignments well
By: Doug Orth | Jun 14 2018, 9:00 pm
|Seahawks coach Pete Carroll suggested Thursday (June 14) the team already trusts first-round RB Rashaad Penny in pass protection. (Seahawks.com)|
FFToday's Take: The surprise first-round pick was arguably the worst in his draft class when it came to picking up the blitz, and the fact Seattle has addressed the topic multiple times publicly suggests the team knows it is an issue. Penny may be nailing all of his assignments so far, but the answer to whether or not he's really improved until the pads come on. The draft capital the Seahawks spent on the rookie means he should lead the team in carries by a mile, making him a worthy RB2 candidate in most leagues.
|Kareem Hunt nursing hamstring injury|
Expected to be OK for training camp
By: Doug Orth | Jun 14 2018, 8:00 pm
|Reid says “Kareem Hunt will be okay” for start of training camp. Held out much of OTA and minicamp with hamstring injury. (Chiefs Digest - Matt Derrick)|
FFToday's Take: Hamstring injuries during the summer can sometimes lead to more hamstring injuries at the start of camp, but this appears to be the Chiefs exercising caution more than anything else. Reid has talked about getting Hunt more involved as a receiver in 2018 and keeping his workload roughly the same. If that end up being the case, Hunt should have no issue being a high-end RB1 once again.
|Austin Seferian-Jenkins primed for big role?|
Draws praise for work ethic and approach in Jacksonville
By: Doug Orth | Jun 14 2018, 6:30 pm
|Minicamp in one sense ended as it began, with a major theme being the potential impact on the offense of Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The veteran tight end signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March, and he drew praise throughout OTAs and minicamp for his work ethic and approach learning a new system. He also has appeared in sync with Blake Bortles throughout the past month of off-field work and appears likely to an integral part of the offense next season. (Jaguars.com)|
FFToday's Take: ASJ averaged only 7.1 YPC last season, but the Jets rarely ever asked him to run the downfield routes that once made him such a highly touted prospect. The Jags have a ton of talent at receiver now and may not be able to give him the kind of volume he needs to become a fantasy TE1, but he seems like a good bet to top the 50-357-3 line he had in 13 games in 2017. Consider him a high-end TE2 in fantasy.
|Mahomes-Watkins connection is "real"|
FA receiver making early impression
By: Doug Orth | Jun 14 2018, 5:00 pm
|It’s been a consistent sight throughout offseason workouts, but the connection between second-year QB Patrick Mahomes and free agent WR Sammy Watkins is real, and it was once again on display Wednesday afternoon. After practice, Chiefs’ veteran WR Chris Conley said that Watkins is picking up the offense “as fast as anyone I’ve seen,” which is saying something. (Chiefs.com - B.J. Kissel)|
FFToday's Take: Watkins has always had a ridiculously high ceiling, but injuries in 2015 and 2016 as well as a late arrival to Rams' camp last year has made him something of a bust in the minds of fantasy owners. While Watkins will certainly have his share of down games in an offense that also features Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt, he could also very easily emerge as the team's top playmaker in the passing game if he stays healthy. He's a steal at his current seventh-round ADP.
|Ju-Ju frustrated by knee injury|
Won't participate in minicamp
By: Doug Orth | Jun 13 2018, 2:02 pm
|JuJu Smith-Schuster's Year 2 leap will have to wait.
Smith-Schuster, 21, the NFL's youngest player to record 1,000 total yards in a season, is limited in Pittsburgh Steelers minicamp with what he calls a "frustrating" knee injury. Smith-Schuster won't disclose the nature of the injury but plans to be a full participant for training camp, which opens July 26. The Steelers have sidelined Smith-Schuster for all 11-man work in organized team activities and minicamp. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: It's good to hear Schuster is expected to participate in training camp but this situation should be monitored closely in case the knee injury lingers. After the trade of Martavis Bryant to Oakland during the draft, the Steelers are counting on their second-year wideout to be a big part of their offense in 2018. He's being valued as a mid-range WR2 in early fantasy drafts.
|DeMarco Murray declines workout for Saints|
Veteran RB waiting for the right opportunity
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 13 2018, 12:45 pm
|Saints reached out to RB DeMarco Murray to bring him to New Orleans for a workout today, but he preferred not to work out with a large group of RBs, per source. Murray still waiting for right opportunity and believes he is ready to make a significant contribution in 2018. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: The Saints have been kicking the tires on RBs this week including Tim Hightower, Jamaal Charles and Terrance West. With Mark Ingram set to serve a four-game suspension to start the year, it's possible New Orleans is updating their emergency list. Murray may not find a serious suitor until an injury happens during training camp.
|Andrew Luck threw a football|
First time throwing since last October
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 12 2018, 1:45 pm
|WATCH: #Colts' Andrew Luck throws for first time publicly since October. (CBS4 Indianapolis)|
FFToday's Take: It's true. Luck threw today for the first time since last October. The long rehab continues but at least Luck is moving in the right direction. He'll remain a huge fantasy risk until he begins throwing without restrictions.
|David Johnson to skip mandatory minicamp|
Contract negotiations ongoing
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 12 2018, 11:00 am
|Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is skipping this week's mandatory minicamp in hopes of getting a new contract, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Tuesday. The two sides have been in discussions regarding a new contract and are hopeful a new deal will be reached before the start of the season. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Johnson joins fellow fantasy standout Julio Jones in skipping minicamp in hopes of a new deal. Johnson is heading into the final year of his rookie deal and scheduled to make $1.9 million.
|Tampa Bay likely to employ RBBC|
Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber, Charles Sims to be involved
By: Doug Orth | Jun 11 2018, 7:40 pm
|(Ronald Jones) will go into training camp with every expectation of adding the big-play threat that's been sorely missed in the last two years. He'll share the load with third-year pro Peyton Barber, and Charles Sims will have a chance to keep the third-down role he held last season. Jones understanding the offense and pass protection and all a running back must do beyond just running the ball is a major prerequisite to him gaining the full trust of his coaches. Establish that now, and he's in line for a larger role earlier in his rookie season. (Tampa Bay Times - Greg Auman)|
FFToday's Take: The faster Jones accomplishes the last part (understanding the offense and pass protection, etc.), the quicker he will emerge as the primary and perhaps every-down option in Tampa Bay. The Bucs have already said they envision Jones becoming a three-down back, and he possesses the kind of explosiveness the Bucs simply don't have otherwise. Jones may start out in a committee, but he seems like a pretty good bet to own the backfield before 2018 comes to a close.
|Denver to use 'heavy dose' of Devontae Booker?|
Local paper suggests Booker has secured meaningful role
By: Doug Orth | Jun 11 2018, 7:30 pm
|C.J. Anderson‘s departure to Carolina opens up plenty of carries in a backfield that should feature a heavy dose of Devontae Booker and a yet-to-be-determined second option. The Broncos added two rushers in the draft (Royce Freeman and David Williams), plus Phillip Lindsay as an undrafted free agent from Colorado. Second-year Bronco De’Angelo Henderson will also be in the mix. (The Denver Post)|
FFToday's Take: OC Bill Musgrave talked recently about how this year's offense will be drastically different than last year's. While it is quite possible Booker will begin the season as the 1A back to another player's 1B (likely Freeman), the third-year back hasn't done enough with his few chances to have anything locked up. Freeman should still be considered the favorite to emerge from this backfield and be no worse than a serviceable flex option for the bulk of the season.
|Julio Jones skipping mandatory minicamp|
Team releases statement on star wide receiver
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 11 2018, 4:00 pm
|"We have been in contact with Julio Jones and his representation. We will not discuss those conversations publicly except to say we feel they have been productive and constructive. We understand the concerns and thoughts from their perspective. Although not ideal, Julio informed us today he would not be attending mini-camp." (Atlanta Falcons)|
FFToday's Take: Jones skipped OTAs as well. It's rare these "holdouts" turn into a serious issue but it's something to monitor as the summer moves along. This doesn't affect Julio's fantasy value for now.
|Montgomery to have significant role in GB offense?|
Packers have 3 viable options at RB
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 11 2018, 8:00 am
|The Green Bay Packers coach still believes the receiver-turned-running back could be a matchup nightmare for defenses.
That's why even though Ty Montgomery has yet to prove he can avoid the injury bug, he appears to be set for another significant role in the offense. That much became evident during three weeks of OTA practices, in which Montgomery didn't appear to lose any ground to emerging running backs Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Montgomery played in only 8 games last season after suffering wrist and rib injuries. He offers better hands in the passing game which is why he'll continue to have a role in the offense as long as he remains healthy. This is shaping up to be a nightmare for fantasy owners as head coach Mike McCarthy has already admitted the team using a running back-by-committee approach.
|Tyler Lockett finally completely healthy|
"Obvious" WR was never quite right in 2017
By: Doug Orth | Jun 7 2018, 8:35 pm
|Tyler Lockett was everywhere Thursday as the Seahawks conducted a number of situational drills looking, finally, fully recovered from the devastating leg injury he suffered on Christmas Eve in 2016. Lockett returned to play all of last season, but HC Pete Carroll said it was obvious Lockett wasn’t quite 100 percent. But he is now, Carroll said, which could give the team’s receiving corps a significant boost. (The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta)|
FFToday's Take: With Seattle overhauling its roster in the offseason and letting players like Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson pursue greener pastures, there are opportunities aplenty. Lockett has never lacked for talent, but he has yet to top his 51-664-6 line from his rookie year in 2015. He could shoot right past that if he really looks as healthy as this report suggests he is. He's easier worth a flier in the later rounds of most drafts.