Forsett should see his PPR upside increase due to new OC Marc Trestman's tendency to use his running backs in the passing game. Under Trestman, Matt Forte caught 176 passes in the last two seasons, including 102 catches in 2014. Forsett caught 44 passes last season, and could potentially see that number double if he's the RB1 for the Ravens in 2015. However, the loss of OC Gary Kubiak is likely to hurt the Ravens’ running game. As the #8 RB in both standard and PPR formats in 2014, he’ll likely hold more value in PPR formats than in standard formats in 2015.
A two-time Pro Bowl pick, he says he will report to training camp on time despite the team's refusal to extend his deal. Forte is entering the final season of a four-year contract he signed in 2012.
Forte has finished in the top 4 in both PPR and standard formats in the last two years, but his usage (especially in the passing game) was up under former OC Marc Trestman. He’s likely to see a drop in targets, but should still be good for 50-60 catches under new OC Adam Gase. Provided that the holdout doesn’t continue into the summer, Forte should deliver on his mid- to late-1st round ADP.
Thursday, May 28, 2015, 3:35pm
Texans writer John Harris...
If there’s a guy that I’m truly stoked about his progress as a second year player, it’s TE C.J. Fiedorowicz. He made a great fingertip catch on a ball down the seam. If he’s healthy, he’s going to impact this offense in 2015 and be a multi-purpose “tight end” in every respect.
The Redskins are expected to transition into more of a power-running scheme in 2015 under new offensive line coach Bill Callahan.
"I feel I'm better at downhill plays anyway," Alfred Morris told ESPN.com’s John Keim earlier this week. "You know what's coming. It's a knockout, drag-out style of play. I don't shy away from contact. It's right up my alley. I thoroughly enjoy it."
In his first three seasons, Morris has finished #5, #14 and #13 in standard formats. He's more of a RB2 in PPR leagues (#7, #19, #17) since he has only averaged 0.8 receptions per game in his career. Bill Callahan's arrival (as offensive line coach) should help the effectiveness of the team's running game, which in turn will help Morris's fantasy production. He's a solid value and a safe pick in the 3rd/4th round of early PPR drafts, though rookie Matt Jones may have something to say about that.
David Johnson, a third-round pick out of Northern Iowa, ranked 15th in FCS in 2014, posting 1,553 rushing yards while finding the end zone 17 times. He is expected to make a big contribution to the Cardinals offense this season, according to his position coach, Stump Mitchell.
"He's a guy who has a lot of confidence in his ability to play," Mitchell told Doug and Wolf Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "He's coachable. He's a smart young man, he's physical. He's going to make Andre (Ellington) pick up his game when given the opportunity.
"He has excellent hands and he's a bigger target to throw the ball to. He's going to be a big piece of the puzzle before this season is said and done."
Mitchell gushed about Johnson's physicality, citing his ability to run over people as well as run around them. He also conjured a comparison to one of the NFL's most productive backs over the last five years.
"He reminds me a lot of (Chicago RB) Matt Forte," Mitchell said. "You can put him outside and use him as a receiver and he's a good runner."
The Cardinals have been trying to add a bigger back to complement Andre Ellington, and Johnson fits the bill. He does a lot of the same things as Ellington, so for now we're expecting that he'll serve in a backup capacity, but Mitchell sounds as if Johnson will play a larger role than a typical backup. We currently project him for around 147 touches.
Thursday, May 28, 2015, 1:56pm
The Saints kicker typically holds considerable fantasy value (among kickers), so this is a camp battle to monitor.
Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford is "right on schedule" in his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, coach Chip Kelly said Thursday. Bradford has been limited during this week's first thre organized team activities. He's able to participate in individual drills, but he's not taking part in team drills.
“He is on schedule," Kelly said. "We all think there’s three phases – there’s medical rehab, performance rehab, and prepare to play.He’s probably at the tail end of medical rehab. He’ll probably start throwing some 7 on 7 next week, and I think he’s right on schedule.”
Over the last two seasons, Philadelphia quarterbacks have averaged 16.7 passing game-only fantasy points. Bradford isn’t much of a runner, but he adds about 0.7 FP per game as a rusher. That adds up to 17.4 FP, or about what Eli Manning averaged as the #13 QB in 2014. The Eagles’ offense has lost their top receiver – DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin – in each of the last two seasons, but Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz are emerging and the team added Nelson Agholor in the draft. If Bradford does start for the Eagles, we wouldn’t expect anything more than high-end QB2 numbers, but this is a definite system upgrade due to the overall effectiveness of Chip Kelly’s offense.
Victor Cruz is getting close.
“I’m about 80 percent there. I think it’s just a matter of continuing to build the strength for the last leg of it,” Cruz told The Post on Wednesday after the Giants’ first OTA practice. “I’ve been running some routes for about two weeks now, and there’s been no pain, no swelling or anything like that, which are all good signs.”
As his teammates worked, Cruz was nearby on a side field, running routes, running hard. Then he iced his surgically repaired right knee. He tore his patellar tendon Oct. 19 in Philadelphia and nearly is all the way back.
Cruz tore his patellar tendon in mid-October, so it's no sure thing that he'll be back for the start of the season, though recent reports are positive. He's not going to get the same number of targets given Odell Beckham's emergence as a top-flight wideout. Cruz will likely play the Randall Cobb role in OC Ben McAdoo's offense, so there is some upside if he's fully healthy by Week 1.
The Vikings want to push the ball deep in Norv Turner's offense, and Mike Wallace, who was their top target at wide receiver this offseason, was the only one the team had interest in acquiring via a trade. He is playing flanker right now, but he said after the Vikings' organized team activity on Wednesday that he expects to move around the offense. Wherever he is, Wallace expects to feel more at home than he did in Miami.
"I think it's more so [like] my first four years," Wallace said. "It's a vertical offense, [rather] than a short, West Coast offense. You go down the field a lot more here, more what I'm accustomed to."
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said he has been spending extra time with Wallace each day, working on routes they ran in practice. The Vikings will use Wallace in a variety of ways -- coach Mike Zimmer has pointed out how dangerous Wallace can be on screen passes, too -- but his deep speed is probably the primary reason he's in Minnesota now.
Wallace will likely start opposite Charles Johnson with Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarius Wright battling for snaps as the team’s WR3. We're wary anytime a receiver changes teams, especially when he's not getting a promotion, which is the case with Wallace. He will have more opportunity to use his speed since OC Norv Turner likes the deep ball.
“I’ll tell you, what’s even a better addition is have Kyle Rudolph back healthy,” Bridgewater said. “He’s like a whole new player on the team.”
They expected big things from Rudolph last season, and the lucrative contract extension they gave him during training camp was proof of that.
“You see what my position is capable of in this offense,” Rudolph said. “I’ve proven that throughout the course of a 16-game season, when I’m out there every week, I’m one of the best players at my position.”
It has been a frustrating two years for Rudolph and his owners, as he’s missed 15 of a possible 32 games in that span. But he saw 17 targets in three games last season before going down with a sports hernia. Over the past three seasons, Rudolph has averaged 5.2 targets per game, which is about what Owen Daniels averaged in 2014. There’s some upside in OC Norv Turner’s TE-friendly offense if he can stay healthy. Granted, that’s a big “if.”
Newly-appointed Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison will look to have a more balanced attack in 2015. A trademark of Dennison’s traditional coaching style, the Broncos will now look to rely on both the rushing and passing offense as opposed to last year’s emphasis on the passing game.
“It’s definitely different,” said Sanders. “You talk about going from a no-huddle offense to an offense that’s huddling up, to an offense that is predicated off running a football and then throwing it. It’s different.”
“It’s a totally different set up, but I tell you what, the more and more I’m in it,” said Sanders. “Because we can get the run game going and just use my vertical speed on cross routes and all these different combinations of routes is based off the play action, then I think the offense will be successful with Peyton Manning at the helm.”
“Of course obviously it’s not going to be one of those offenses, well I’m praying that it is, but obviously it’s not going to be one of those offenses where you catch it and you’re going to have two receivers catching over 100 passes,” said Sanders. “Hopefully, my goal is really to try to get a 1,000 yards to just help this team win ball games.”
The Broncos were pretty balanced last season when compared to the rest of the league. They had the 16th-highest pass/run ratio (57.8%), while new HC Gary Kubiak was running the Baltimore offense with the 22nd-highest ratio (55.3%). With Wes Welker and Julius Thomas gone, we believe that Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are still rock-solid investments in the early rounds, even when we account for a drop in pass attempts.
Cowboys writer Bryan Broaddus on the running back situation at OTAs:
Joseph Randle took the snaps with the first offense to open practice, but each back got the opportunity to show what they had with the group. If you watch our OTA Live on DallasCowboys.com, the one back that will jump out at you during the team period is Ryan Williams. Williams did not practice on Tuesday, but he took full advantage of the snaps he got on Wednesday. Williams’ best trait is his ability to explode, and he was able to display that for all to see. What I have learned about watching him play is that it doesn’t take much to get him in the open field and into the second level. He was impressive.
Williams is the dark horse in the Cowboys' backfield competition, though durability is a major concern. If he continues to outperform Randle, we'll have to adjust our expectations, but for now we believe Randle has the inside track for the RB1 job.
WR Marqise Lee did not take part in the Jaguars’ first OTA session on Tuesday because of a knee injury he suffered during one of the team’s earlier workouts. After watching nagging injuries limit Lee last year, coach Gus Bradley said that the team would take a cautious route with the 2014 second-round pick.
“Marqise banged up his knee a little bit right in the middle of Phase Two,” Bradley said, via the Florida Times-Union. “He’s more day-to-day or week-to-week. I know he wants to get back here, but we’re being smart with him. We’ll see if he makes it back before the minicamp or not.”
“DeVante was great today,” Tannehill said, via the team’s official website. “We’ve been seeing [it] for the past few weeks just working on air, but today against the defense you got to see him make some tough catches with defenders on his back in traffic, and that’s what you want to see. You’ve got a guy with a big body who’s able to make strong catches with his hands in traffic. That’s when you’re able to cut it loose.”
Via Omar Kelly and Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Parker was “catching everything thrown his way,” and he was “impressive” against veteran defenders like cornerback Brent Grimes.
Parker still has a long way to go before he’s making those plays in pads against full contact, and an even longer way to go before getting it done in games against guys like Darrelle Revis. But at a time when this is the closest thing to football we’ve seen since football season ended, it’s encouraging for Dolphins fans that they may have used the 14th overall pick in the draft on a player who is poised to become a difference maker
Tis the season for puff pieces about how well draft picks are playing at OTAs, but the love for Parker seems universal and genuine. He has to beat out Kenny Stills for a starting role in Bill Lazor's offense, and he's off to a good start.
McCoy is still a fantasy RB1, though he carries more risk since the Buffalo offense could struggle to score points. OC Greg Roman didn't use Frank Gore much in the passing game while in San Francisco, but Gore recently said that was more about Colin Kaepernick and what he was seeing than it was about Roman's offense. It remains to be seen how much McCoy will be used as a receiver, but given Roman's history, we're betting that he's an afterthought in the passing game.
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