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Elliott denies domestic assault accusation
Cowboys RB being accused of domestic violence
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 22 2016, 11:45 am

Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott has been accused of domestic violence but has denied the allegation. A woman who claims to be Elliott's former live-in girlfriend has accused the former Ohio State star of assaulting her multiple times over the last week, according to police reports filed Friday morning in Columbus, Ohio and obtained by ESPN. Four witnesses, including one who was sitting in the car at the time of the alleged incident, told police that they did not observe an assault. (Dallas Morning News)

FFToday's Take: The woman filing the claim posted photos on Instagram of her injuries. This situation is on-going and Elliott has yet to be arrested or charged with a crime.
Le'Veon Bell facing 4-game suspension
Appeals process on-going
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 22 2016, 10:22 am

Pittburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is facing a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's drug policy, sources told ESPN's Dan Graziano. The suspension is the result of a missed drug test, not a failed one, sources said. The reason it hasn't been announced is that the appeal process is ongoing. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Bell was suspended two games last season after being charged with marijuana possession and DUI. If he misses the start of 2016, DeAngelo Williams will likely serve a workhorse roll as he did last season when Bell was suspended an injured. Bell's ADP is going to take a hit, however, when facing a two-game suspension prior to the start of 2015 Bell was being drafted 2nd overall behind Adrian Peterson. Expect him to fall further this time around but still be a late-first, early-second round pick.
Vikings eyeing more shotgun plays in 2016
Peterson has struggled out of shotgun his entire career
By: Doug Orth | Jul 21 2016, 11:35 pm

Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson has vowed to become a better pass-catcher. But what is more relevant in regards to his playing time is whether he will be able to adapt to the shotgun spread attack that better suits third-year QB Teddy Bridgewater. Peterson struggled running out of the shotgun early last season, so the Vikings started calling more under-center plays. They figure to go back to a more shotgun-centric offense this season, which means Peterson will have to make the most of his shotgun carries. He will finally get a chance to take some in contract drills during training camp. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

FFToday's Take: AP has 2,381 career carries but only 122 of them have come out of shotgun. In those attempts, he is averaging 3.8 YPC. Last season, he ran for only 59 yards on 37 shotgun carries. The Vikings attempted this approach in Week 1 last season and mostly abandoned it after getting routed by San Francisco. If Minnesota has early success with it this year, don't be surprised if Peterson struggles to live up to his draft position.
Forte to get "plenty of rest" in 2016
Expected to serve as lead back in three-man rotation
By: Doug Orth | Jul 21 2016, 7:35 pm

New York Jets
The Jets see Matt Forte as their lead back, replacing Chris Ivory, but he is going to get plenty of rest in a rotation that includes Bilal Powell and Khiry Robinson. The main question with Forte is how much tread he has left on the tire. Forte is now 30, which is seen by most as the point where running backs fall off the cliff. Forte is out to prove them wrong. Chan Gailey will come up with plenty of creative ways to get Forte the ball. Gailey loves to throw to running backs, and Forte is as good as it gets in that department. (New York Post)

FFToday's Take: Forte's ADP is at in the mid-to-late third round, so owners have already accounted for the likelihood Forte shows his age or shares too many touches. His ability to contribute in the passing game should allow him to remain very relevant, however, so owners should be able to expect RB2 numbers in PPR leagues barring injury. Powell should be considered Forte's handcuff and a player owners target in the middle-to-late rounds.
Blount's roster spot in jeopardy?
Missed spring practices due to hip injury
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 20 2016, 7:00 am

New England Patriots
Veteran whose job is in jeopardy: Running back LeGarrette Blount's return from a season-ending hip injury, suffered in December, bears watching as it relates to his roster status. Blount, who signed a modest one-year deal as a free agent to return in 2016, didn't practice in the spring. If he returns to full health and runs hard like he did at times in 2015, there shouldn't be any issues. But that isn't a given based on the present snapshot. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: The Patriots have little depth behind Dion Lewis and Blount and Lewis is only seven months removed from his ACL injury. If Blount's hip doesn't respond well during camp, the Pats could make a move for a free agent running back.
Fitzpatrick stalemate could go "well into camp"
Geno Smith likely to head into camp as Jets' top QB
By: Doug Orth | Jul 18 2016, 9:15 pm

New York Jets
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport on Ryan Fitzpatrick's possible return to the Jets: "It’s starting to have the feel of something that could go well into camp." (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: This isn't exactly breaking news, but a rehash of the same old tired story. The Jets don't want to budge off their number because they view Fitz as a "bridge quarterbacK" and no other team is clamoring for his services. Conversely, Fitz wants to get paid like other bridge quarterbacks and not like the aging veteran he is. Fitz to the Jets should still happen at some point, but it is far from a given. Geno Smith should be going late in drafts in deeper leagues right now as a result.
David Johnson the "unquestioned No. 1 RB" in AZ
Over 1,000 total yards as rookie despite making only five starts
By: Doug Orth | Jul 18 2016, 5:00 pm

Arizona Cardinals
During a roundtable discussion on azcardinals.com, beat writer Darren Urban discussed the running back situation in Arizona: "I don't know how anybody would suggest otherwise at this point (that David Johnson is the unquestioned No. 1 RB in Arizona. They did bring back Chris Johnson in an upset ... but David Johnson is the guy this organization absolutely loves." (azcardinals.com)

FFToday's Take: Among first-round fantasy picks over the last few years, only C.J. Anderson comes to mind as a back whose touches are supposedly in limbo after such a dominant second half of the season the year before. Urban projected earlier in the offseason Johnson would receive 60 percent of the touches in the Arizona backfield, which sounds about right. While Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington may few more touches than DJ owners want, he's a strong bet to live up to his draft status.
Arian Foster expected to sign with Miami
One-year deal
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 18 2016, 4:14 pm

Miami Dolphins
RB Arian Foster is signing with the Dolphins, source said. (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Foster worked out for the Dolphins on Monday and reportedly had a visit with the Lions set up later in the week. The Dolphins apparently liked enough of what they saw from the veteran who will turn 30 in August and is coming off a serious Achilles injury. Jay Ajayi's fantasy value and ADP will take a hit but given Foster's injury, Ajayi is a worthwhile investment in the middle rounds.
Foster to workout for Dolphins and Lions
Achilles injury
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 17 2016, 7:20 pm

Miami Dolphins
Former Texans RB Arian Foster is scheduled to work out for Dolphins on Monday and Lions later this week, per source. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Foster has been rehabbing an Achilles injury suffered in Week 8 (late October) last season. He's been linked previously this off-season with the Dolphins but wanted to wait until his foot improved before working out. Achilles injuries typically have a lengthy timetable so even if he does sign with a team, its difficult to predict how effective he'll be in 2016.
Ingram could flirt with 250 carries
Saints RB discussion
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 17 2016, 7:00 am

New Orleans
An interesting subplot for the season is how many carries Mark Ingram will receive. He finished with 226 carries over 13 games in 2014 and was on pace for 220 last season before suffering an injury that limited him to 12 games. If the defense improves, it's possible Ingram could flirt with 250 carries. If he adds another 50 catches out of the backfield, as he did last season, he could set career marks in touches. (New Orleans Adocate)

FFToday's Take: Beat writer Nick Underhill also suggested that Ingram could lose some touches to C.J. Spiller, if Spiller rebounds from his knee injury. However, Tim Hightower appears be the RB of choice for Ingram owners looking for a handcuff. Hightower took over lead back duties the last four weeks of 2015 averaging 82 rushing yards, 32 receiving yards and 1 TD per game.
Karlos Williams gets four-game suspension
Bills RB depth takes a hit
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 15 2016, 1:01 pm

Buffalo Bills
Bills RB Karlos Williams is being suspended 4 games for violating the Substances of Abuse Policy (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: After showing up at minicamp resembling Fat Eddie Lacy, Karlos Williams has a new problem. His four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy puts another damper on the Bills running back depth chart as Rookie RB Jonathan Williams was arrested yesterday for DUI. Mike Gillislee now has an opportunity to carve out a backup role during camp.
Brady gives up legal fight, will serve suspension
DeflateGate comes to and end
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 15 2016, 11:56 am

New England Patriots
Tom Brady announced he is no longer proceeding with legal process vs NFL. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: DeflateGate has come to an end. Brady will miss the first four games of the season and be eligible to return Week 5 against the Browns. Jimmy Garoppolo will face Arizona, Miami, Houston and Buffalo to begin the season. He remains a QB2 for drafting purposes. For the most part, Brady's suspension is already reflected in his QB7, 6th-round ADP although he could slide a couple more spots in the coming weeks.
Agholor won't be charged with sex assault
June incident shouldn't result in league discipline
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 15 2016, 7:00 am

Philadelphia Eagles
A source close to the situation, though not involved in the investigation, said Thursday that he was told Nelson Agholor will not be charged. The source also said an announcement to that effect was near. Agholor was accused by a 27-year-old dancer at Cheerleaders Gentlemen's Club, a few hours after the Eagles ended their minicamp on June 10. (Philly.com)

FFToday's Take: It sounds like Agholor will escape and legal issues regarding this incident. As a result, it's unlikely he will face any league discipline. Agholor is penciled in as the Eagles No.2 wide receiver heading into training camp.
Saints making push to sign Anquan Boldin
Free-agent WR a big fan of current position coach Johnnie Morton
By: Doug Orth | Jul 14 2016, 10:30 pm

New Orleans
The Saints are the favorites to sign Anquan Boldin and are making the strongest push, per a source informed of the situation. Rapoport added that Boldin loves Saints receivers coach John Morton -- the duo spent two seasons together in San Francisco. Boldin's big body and strong hands make him a viable receiving target even as Father Time gains an advantage. He would add a big red zone target, which the Saints could use. If signed, he might take some pressure off of rookie Michael Thomas. (NFL.com)

FFToday's Take: While Thomas owners may disagree, New Orleans can't hurt itself by inking a respected veteran presence like Boldin, who led the Niners last season with 69 catches - more than twice as many as second-place Torrey Smith's 33 - and 789 yards. Boldin would probably make Thomas a non-factor in fantasy in 2016 and would be a reasonable bet for WR4 production, likely stealing a bit of Willie Snead's fantasy value as well.
Lockett to make Kearse a non-factor?
Second-year WR has made "significant strides" from last season
By: Doug Orth | Jul 14 2016, 10:20 pm

Seattle Seahawks
Throughout the offseason there has been a buzz in Renton that Tyler Lockett has made significant strides from last year and could become an even bigger factor in the offense in 2016. Hearing that, some might assume Lockett will overtake Jermaine Kearse in the offense. The reality, though, is that the Seahawks will need both to accomplish their goals in 2016. Doug Baldwin and Kearse were the de facto starting receivers last season, but Lockett wasn’t far off in snaps played — Baldwin played 74 percent, Kearse 71 and Lockett 61. (Seattle Times)

FFToday's Take: The writer continues to say Lockett might get a few more snaps in 2016, but suggested Kearse will maintain a healthy presence regardless of how Lockett progresses due to his overall value in the offense (specifically blocking). Despite his obvious upside, owners should view Lockett as a low-end WR3 at best since Kearse is going to remain a factor. Baldwin had 78 catches and 1,069 yards last year, so expecting more than 65 catches and 900 yards from Lockett may be too optimistic.
Sharpe, Matthews lead Titans WR battle
Green-Beckham considered "wild-card" of the group
By: Doug Orth | Jul 14 2016, 10:00 pm

Tennessee Titans
Rookie Tajae Sharpe has been the talk of camp. The other starting receiver thus far has been free agent import Rishard Matthews, who is cut from the same cloth as Sharpe, in that route-running and good hands are his trademarks as well. The Titans have told Kendall Wright that he must be more precise in his routes, and his role now looks to be as a slot receiver. The wild-card in the receiver corps is second-year pro Dorial Green-Beckham. HC Mike Mularkey has emphasized that DGB must become more of a student of the game and get himself in top shape. (Titans Insider)

FFToday's Take: DGB owners shouldn't give up hope quite yet as the coaches would lose credibility if they name him the starter before he "proves it" in camp, but this is another reminder he is still very much an unfinished product and a risky fantasy bet. Matthews has as good of a chance as anybody to lead this group in receptions, although TE Delanie Walker should be considered the top passing-game target. Consider Matthews a WR4 and just about any other Titans' wideout a WR5 or beyond.
Bills RB Jonathan Williams arrested for DWI
League discipline likely coming
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 14 2016, 9:00 am

Buffalo Bills
Rookie running back Jonathan Williams was arrested Thursday morning for driving while intoxicated and violation of implied consent. (Buffalo News)

FFToday's Take: Front offices hold their breath during the few weeks leading up to training camp as the players are on their own without the structure that comes from training camp and the regular season. Williams had an opportunity to perhaps carve out a bigger role than anticipated with Karlos Williams reportedly out of shape but this incident may set him back. League discipline is likely coming for the rookie RB.
Brady's Deflategate appeal denied
Next step: appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 13 2016, 12:30 pm

New England Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's latest attempt to avoid serving a four-game Deflategate suspension to start the new season was flatly rejected Wednesday by an appeals court. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued a one-sentence rejection of requests by the National Football League Players Association and Brady to reconsider an April decision that found that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acted within his powers by suspending the star quarterback for his role in a scheme to doctor footballs used in a January 2015 playoff game. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Brady's last gasp is to appeal to the Supreme Court although no decision to take that step has been made. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. Brady remains suspended the first four games of the season. Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start in Brady's absence.
Colts' RB Robert Turbin arrested
Marijuana possession
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 13 2016, 7:00 am

Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts running back Robert Turbin was arrested for possession of marijuana last week in Logan, Utah. Marijuana is a banned substance in the NFL, and the punishment through the league for a first offense is suspension without pay for up to four regular or post-season games. (Indianapolis Star)

FFToday's Take: The arrest came after Turbin ran a stop sign. He'll now be at risk of suspension by the league. Turbin has bounced around the league including stops in Dallas, Cleveland and Seattle. This incident will hurt his chances at becoming Frank Gore's backup. Jordan Todman and rookie Josh Ferguson are next up on the RB depth chart.
No league discipline expected for Crowell
Browns RB posts disgusting Intragram picture
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 12 2016, 9:00 am

Cleveland Browns
Browns running back Isaiah Crowell learned a hard lesson after posting a graphic depiction of a police officer being stabbed in the neck by a hooded man in the aftermath of two black men being fatally shot by officers last week. Crowell, the Browns' starting tailback, quickly deleted the post, which went up Wednesday afternoon on his Instagram account. "The image was inappropriate and insensitive,'' NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email response. "He realized this, took down the post and has since apologized.'' (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

FFToday's Take: The apology from Crowell seemed crafted by other sources (agent, team) but regardless, it doesn't appear the Browns will release the running back nor will he suffer any league discipline as a result.
Timeshare coming for Freeman and Coleman?
Falcons RB coach discusses reducing Freeman's carries
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 11 2016, 1:30 pm

Atlanta Falcons
“It’s about growth,” Turner told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Free had a good year, but I’m expecting even a better year. Well, you’re saying, how can it be better? It can be even better with less carries or less catches because I’d obviously like to get Tevin (Coleman) more involved and that also keeps Free fresher.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

FFToday's Take: Injuries and ball security are the two areas running backs coach Bobby Turner pointed out as issues with Tevin Coleman's subpar rookie season. The organization has given hints this off-season that Coleman and last year's fantasy RB darling Devonta Freeman may form more of a committee this season if the two can remain healthy. Freeman is likely overvalued at this early point in the drafting season.
Injury Rawls says he expects to be ready for camp
Recovering from ankle injury
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 10 2016, 1:00 pm

Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls said on Sunday he expects to be ready for the start of training camp. “Rehab is going phenomenal,” he said. “Running, cutting, working hard and getting back out there. I’m looking forward to being out there the first week. Rehab has been going phenomenal this whole offseason. I don’t have a break because I have to work 10 times harder. I’m excited to come back and fill that void in the backfield.” (Seattle Times)

FFToday's Take: Head coach Pete Carrol stated last month that he wasn't sure when Rawls would return but was confident he'd be ready for Week 1. While the quotes from Rawls are encouraging, players are typically incredibly optimistic about their health to the media. Fantasy owners should monitor Rawls' status during camp as he could be inline for a heavy workload if fully healthy.
Long-term deal unlikely for Alshon Jeffery
$14.6 million franchise tag
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 8 2016, 9:00 am

Chicgao Bears
There's a stalemate going on in Chicago, and if one side doesn't budge, Alshon Jeffery might find his way out of the Windy City. "There's not a lot of confidence," Garafalo said on Thursday's episode of NFL Total Access. "I sense that both sides really don't feel strongly about this one. That's because Alshon Jeffery's got a $14.6 million tag. The Bears wanted to come in a couple of million below that." (NFL.com)

FFToday's Take: The deadline for franchised tagged players to get a long-term deal is 4 p.m. ET on July 15. It sounds like the Bears star wideout will be playing under the franchise tag this season. Jeffery missed seven games last year due to calf and hamstring injuries. Despite the contract situation Jeffery is being viewed as low-end WR1 and expected to be the main weapon in the Bears offense.
"Major touches" for Bilal Powell?
Jets went 1-4 without him last season
By: Doug Orth | Jul 7 2016, 6:15 pm

New York Jets
The Jets let Bilal Powell know how they felt about him by signing him to a three-year, $11.25 million contract in free agency. His ability to stick with the Jets through three general managers and four offensive coordinators shows how valued he is. It will be interesting to see how OC Chan Gailey divides up the carries between Powell and Matt Forte, as they have similar skill sets, so this could be a trickier division of labor for Gailey (than it was for a more physical runner like former teammate Chris Ivory). You can count on Powell getting major touches this season, though. Gailey will figure out a way. (New York Post)

FFToday's Take: Both backs signed for three years this offseason, with Forte inking a $12 M deal ($8 M guaranteed) and Powell signing for #11.25 M ($6 M), so the Jets appear to view the two players similarly at this point of their careers. Powell is unlikely to see "major touches" in the eyes of owners, but 100 is certainly a reasonable expectation. Between Powell stealing some catches and Khiry Robinson possibly taking the goal-line work, Forte owners might want to view him as a mid-RB2 at best.
DeVante Parker completely healthy for camp
Dolphins' main focus for offseason was to keep WR fresh
By: Doug Orth | Jul 7 2016, 6:00 pm

Miami Dolphins
It was hard to gauge the offseason progress of Miami Dolphins second-year receiver DeVante Parker this spring. The former first-round pick was in and out of OTAs and minicamp due to the team’s approach to keeping Parker fresh for this upcoming season. Last year Parker pushed hard and had early trouble with his foot. Summer surgery caused Parker to have a slow start to the preseason and regular season, which is something Miami is trying to avoid. The Dolphins accomplished their goal of getting Parker healthy through the offseason program. He likely will push things harder in training camp. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: New HC Adam Gase admitted to "being overly cautious about (Parker's health). Parker was very productive from Week 12 on last year, especially considering he was limited for much of last offseason and the first half of the 2015 campaign. Parker definitely possesses WR2 upside, but owners need to weigh it against his injury history. He's worth his 6.06 ADP in PPR drafts at the moment, but it wouldn't come as a surprise if his stock skyrockets with a strong preseason.
Nelson Agholor enters camp as No.2 wideout
Rueben Randle, Josh Huff, Chris Givens next up on depth chart
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 6 2016, 8:00 pm

Philadelphia Eagles
Assuming he isn't suspended for an incident last month at a Philadelphia strip club, Agholor will enter training camp as the No. 2 receiver, and the team's top option on the outside. (NJ.com)

FFToday's Take: This has been the prevailing wisdom for some time now but it's nice to see that NJ.com agrees. It might be tough to support two fantasy wideouts in Doug Pederson's offensive system. Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz are inline to be the top two targets for Sam Bradford this fall.
Denard Robinson drives car into pond
Fell asleep at the wheel
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 5 2016, 6:30 pm

Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson appeared to be "asleep or fatigued" after his vehicle went off the road and into a retention pond early July 3. The crash happened at 4:20 a.m., according to the report. Both Robinson and an adult female passenger "looked to be asleep/passed out," the report detailed. (ActionNewsJax.com)

FFToday's Take: The police determined that Robison was not impaired. He apparently fell asleep at the wheel and no citations were issued. With no arrest made this situation should not impact Robinson's status with the league.
Giants running back discussion
Beat writers discuss workload of Jennings and Vereen
By: Mike Krueger | Jul 5 2016, 9:00 am

New York Giants
Rashad Jennings is likely to be the primary running back on first and second downs, given his ability to run, block and catch out of the backfield. I would expect him to get around 15-18 carries a game. I think the Giants will look to pick up where they left off last season with Rashad Jennings being the main ball carrier and Shane Vereen as the change of pace/third down back. (Giants.com)

FFToday's Take: The consensus of the Giants beat reporters is that Rashad Jennings are the leaders for touches headed into training camp with Jennings being the lead option on early downs and Vereen operating as the third-down back. Rookie Paul Perkins is the dark horse and someone for redraft leaguers to monitor as a free agent pickup or a late-round flier.
Sheldon Richardson suspended for season opener
Personal conduct policy violation
By: Doug Orth | Jun 30 2016, 7:00 pm

New York Jets
Jets DE Sheldon Richardson suspended for the season opener for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. (Mike Garafolo on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: The violation stems back to an incident last July in which Richardson reportedly drove up to 143 miles per hour as he attempted to evade police and was arrested on traffic and resisting arrest charges. His one-game absence will hurt the Jets significantly if Muhammad Wilkerson doesn't end reporting, but if he does, Wilkerson and Leonard Williams should be able to hold down the fort.
Seahawks QB Trevone Boykin avoids jail time
Pleads guilty to misdemeanor charge stemming from Dec. 31 incident
By: Doug Orth | Jun 30 2016, 4:25 pm

Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks rookie quarterback Trevone Boykin pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest in Bexar County (Texas) Court, resolving an incident that occurred Dec. 31 in San Antonio. He was fined $1,500 plus court costs, given one year of probation, serve 80 hours of community service and take an anger management course. Boykin’s agent, Drew Pittman, said Thursday that Boykin is fulfilling many of the community hours now and that none of the penalties will impact Boykin’s availability for Seahawks’ training camp, which begins July 30. (Seattle Times)

FFToday's Take: Boykin was set to face arraignment on Aug. 1, so the plea allows him to take part in the first day of Seahawks' training camp on July 30. The former TCU star, who went undrafted in April in part due to this incident, is set to be Russell Wilson's backup at the moment.
Rolando McClain hit with 10-game suspension
Violation of the substance-abuse policy
By: Doug Orth | Jun 30 2016, 3:40 pm

Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys' LB Rolando McClain will be suspended the first 10 games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: And the hits just keep coming for the Cowboys, who will be without DEs Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence (four games apiece) as well as McClain to start the season due to suspensions. Furthermore, second-round rookie Jaylon Smith is highly unlikely to play before midseason, if it all. Andrew Gachkar will likely replace McClain in the middle, while Benson Mayowa, David Irving and rookie Charles Tapper fill in for Gregory and Lawrence. It figures to be a long September for the Dallas defense.
More two-back sets in Bengals' future?
Bernard and Hill could be used in tandem to cover for Eifert's absence
By: Doug Orth | Jun 30 2016, 3:10 pm

Cincinnati Bengals
There’s a distinct possibility you’ll see more of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill in the same backfield as they try to make up for the loss of Pro Bowl TE Tyler Eifert. But I don’t think offensive coordinator Ken Zampese is going to tip his hand on that much during the preseason and I don’t think backup Tyler Kroft should be underestimated as a solid down-field threat that can get them through a couple of games without Eifert. (Bengals.com)

FFToday's Take: A lot of teams talk about using both of their running backs at the same time, but there's a strong case to be made for the Bengals to do so without Eifert. Cincinnati has to make up for the losses of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu somehow, and it may not be realistic to expect Brandon LaFell and rookie Tyler Boyd to be ready for that responsibility right away. Hill and Bernard both have early-sixth round ADPs in PPR, which sounds about right under a new play-caller like Zampese.
Injury Melvin Gordon expected to be full-go by camp
Took part in spring camp as well
By: Doug Orth | Jun 30 2016, 2:40 pm

San Diego Chargers
Melvin Gordon, said LaDainian Tomlinson in December, will rebound from an uneven rookie season. Following microfracture knee surgery Jan. 5, the 2015 first-round draftee took part in spring camp and is expected to be back to 100 percent in training camp. Chargers players say OC Ken Whisenhunt's return bodes well for the ground game and Gordon in particular. In Whisenhunt's other season with San Diego, RB Ryan Mathews got his career back on track and led the Bolts down the stretch to a playoff berth. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

FFToday's Take: By all accounts, Gordon's rookie season went about as poorly as it could have. Not only did Danny Woodhead steal a significant chunk of his potential red-zone work, but the No. 15 overall pick received no help from his offensive line and then hurt his knee late in the season. Gordon's 7.03 ADP in PPR this summer is understandable, but one he should be able to outperform with only slightly better luck, assuming his knee holds up.
Colts sign Andrew Luck through 2021
Five-year contract extension
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 29 2016, 4:09 pm

Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts today announced their franchise quarterback has signed a five-year contract extension through the 2021 season, a deal that will make him the highest paid player in league history, according to an NFL source. (Indianapolis Star)

FFToday's Take: Andrew Luck was getting ready to enter his contract season but owner Jim Irsay had publically stated his desire to get an agreement done before training camp. Luck struggled last season completing just 55 percent of his passes and throwing 12 interceptions in seven games before missing the second half of the season with a lacerated kidney. He's a QB1 rebound candidate.
Doug Baldwin signs four-year extension
$24.25 million guaranteed
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 28 2016, 8:00 pm

Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks' WR Doug Baldwin's new four-year extension with Seattle is worth north of $11 million per year, per source. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: The deal is reportedly worth $24.25 million guaranteed and extends through the 2020 season. Baldwin was set to enter the final season of his contract and is coming his best season as a pro (78-1069-14). Touchdown regression is surely coming but with the offense expected to feature Russell Wilson, Baldwin is a solid WR2 in redraft leagues.
QB Trevone Boykin charged with assault
Seattle QB faces arraignment on Aug. 1st for December incident
By: Mike Krueger | Jun 28 2016, 4:20 pm

Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks rookie quarterback Trevone Boykin was charged with misdemeanor assault this week in connection with an incident on Dec. 31 in San Antonio. Bexar County (Texas) Court records show that Boykin will face arraignment on the charge on Aug. 1. The Seahawks open training camp on July 30. According to multiple reports at the time, Boykin was arrested after he was thrown out of a bar and then allegedly struck a police officer. (Seattle Times)

FFToday's Take: The league was aware of this incident prior to the draft and it likely caused Boykin to go undrafted in April. Boykin stated: “It probably had some effect, but like I said I’ve moved forward, pushed past it and surrounded myself with better people,” he said. “I’m doing better things and I’m excited for coach (Pete) Carroll to call me and bless me with this opportunity.” According to the team, Boykin is still expected to be the backup behind Russell Wilson.
Amari Cooper "excellent" in spring practices
"Clear growth" between second-year WR and QB Derek Carr
By: Doug Orth | Jun 27 2016, 6:00 pm

Oakland Raiders
WR Amari Cooper received praise for his performance during the Raiders offseason program. The second-year receiver was excellent in practices open to the press, working in precision with QB Derek Carr. There’s clearly growth between passer and receiver, but Cooper himself has a spring in his step. He’s confident, comfortable with the Raiders and his place in the NFL. “I’m a lot more comfortable. I feel like I have a great feel of what it’s like to be a pro. I like my progress so far,” Cooper said. (CSN Bay Area)

FFToday's Take: Cooper committed 20 drops per Pro Football Focus and battled through a foot injury that nearly landed him on injured reserve, but those issues were about the only negatives during what was a stellar rookie season. While Michael Crabtree will remain a key part of the passing attack, Cooper is an excellent bet to build upon his 72-1,070-6 line in 2015 and should be considered a low-end WR1 in most leagues.
Stephen Anderson impressed in spring workouts
Texans UDFA boasts 4.58 speed, 38-inch vertical
By: Doug Orth | Jun 27 2016, 5:45 pm

Houston Texans
During the NFL draft, TE Stephen Anderson got passed over despite a series of impressive workouts and a productive collegiate career. Anderson capitalized on the absence of veteran TE C.J. Fiedorowicz and Ryan Griffin to take on a heavy workload during offseason practices. Although undersized at 6-2, 230 pounds, the former wide receiver has 4.58 speed in the 40-yard dash and a 38-inch vertical leap. "He's come out and really put in a great effort every day. He's picked up things very quickly and, on top of that, he's got great athleticism. He's got good hands," Texans TE coach John Perry said. (Houston Chronicle)

FFToday's Take: The Texans finished second-to-last in fantasy points at the tight end position in 2015, so they'll gladly welcome a player with Anderson's athleticism. The UDFA still has some work to do to secure a roster spot and rookie tight ends are notorious for not producing as rookies, so redraft owners can probably sit tight. Dynasty owners should take note, however, as Anderson checks a lot of boxes in regards to becoming a worthwhile fantasy tight end down the road.
Tyler Lockett front-and-center in Seahawks' plans
HC Pete Carroll: "He's going to get a lot of stuff happening his way&a
By: Doug Orth | Jun 27 2016, 5:30 pm

Seattle Seahawks
(Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett have) been working together for much of the offseason to make sure (last year's) near-misses turn into conversions in 2016. "(Lockett is) right in the middle of all our planning and all of our preparation. You have to deal with him in our offense. He’s going to be moved around to a lot. ... He can do everything. ... Once we got a hold of the kind of dynamic player that he is, we used the heck out of him, and he’s going to get a lot of play time, a lot of stuff happening his way. Really helps (Doug Baldwin), really helps (Jermaine Kearse). Those guys are great complements," HC Pete Carroll said. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: It is hard not to read into Carroll's last comment about Baldwin and Kearse being "great complements", as it appears he is suggesting Lockett - and not Baldwin - will be the focal point of the passing game. For the time being, owners should treat Carroll's assertion as him getting caught up in promoting his young wideout. Nevertheless, Lockett stands a great chance to blow right past his 51-664-6 line last season and serve as a quality WR3 in all leagues.
Sterling Shepard to be an instant-impact player
Second-rounder among impressive rookie WRs for Giants
By: Doug Orth | Jun 27 2016, 5:20 pm

New York Giants
The Giants used the spring to assess their wide receiving corps and came away impressed. Sterling Shepard appears to be an instant-impact player and all is going well with Victor Cruz's rehab. There also appears to be some youngsters (led by Darius Powe and Roger Lewis) that have potential. Adding a veteran such as Anquan Boldin, Andre Johnson, Roddy White or James Jones might not be the move this time around, unless Cruz or one of the younger receivers suffer some sort of setback. (NJ.com)

FFToday's Take: Shepard is being drafted in the middle of the 11th round at the moment in PPR leagues, which makes him an absolute steal given his pro readiness and the path he has to roughly 70 receptions this season. His value is sure to spike as training camp and preseason games roll around, so early drafters should take advantage of the discount. Barring injury, he should be a very solid WR3 in all leagues as a rookie.