Fantasy News Home
Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:47pm
Steelers beat writer Scott Brown on the potential workload of RB LeGarrette Blount: I think Blount should get around eight carries per game but that could mean four to five one week and 10-12 the next.
We currently project Blount for 7.8 touches per game and he's one of the more capable handcuffs in the league. He's going very late in drafts considering his talent and LeVeon Bell's injury history (foot).
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Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:43pm
Jaguars beat writer Michael DiRocco on the potential impact of WRs Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson: They'll be significant parts of the rotation early in the season, but it's hard for rookie receivers to make a big impact. It has happened -- look at San Diego's Keenan Allen last season -- and the Jaguars do need help at receiver, but it's more realistic to believe Lee and Robinson will finish their first seasons with somewhere around 40 catches.
Both rookies missed OTAs with injuries, but Lee was running as the “Z” receiver opposite starter Cecil Shorts prior to turning his ankle, so I think he has the inside track to start. The Jaguars don’t have a great passing game, but I’m betting Lee (or Robinson, if he wins the job) will be fantasy relevant (top 60) in 2014.
Beat: Cardinals want Andre Ellington at 'around 20' touches per game
Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:41pm
We currently project Ellington for 15.3 touches per game and he's our #15 RB in standard formats (#12 in PPR). If he actually gets 20 touches per game, he'll likely finish as a solid fantasy RB1. Only eight running backs averaged 20-plus touches in 2013, so Ellington is more likely to finish under than threshold.
Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:26pm
Giants beat writer Conor Orr on the team's WR pecking order: Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz will carry the offense, with Odell Beckham being put in a few different places in order to open up the defense. His speed will be more of an asset off the ball, and Randle should make big strides in '14.
Hakeem Nicks is gone, but the Giants drafted Beckham in the 1st round. New OC Ben McAdoo utilizes a lot of three-WR sets (a la the Packers), so Randle and Beckham should both see starter’s snaps. Randle has been productive in his first two seasons on a per target basis, so he should produce starter-caliber numbers in significant playing time.
Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:22pm
Redskins RB Alfred Morris’ performance will be critical to the success of the offense. If they bunch up on him, he has to make the first man miss as he always has and grind out some tough yards. If the defense is spread out, Morris has to make the defense pay with some big plays in the running game. He’s right up there with the team’s most valuable players.
Roy Helu will be the third-down back. He occasionally flashes some dynamic ability as a pass catcher and is solid in pass blocking. Others may have more big play ability but until someone learns to protect as well as Helu does, it’s his job.
Morris’s stock has taken a bit of a hit after the coaching regime change in Washington, but new HC Jay Gruden intends to keep the same running game (one reason they retained O-line coach Chris Foerster), so Morris’s outlook doesn’t change too much. He still isn’t much of a player in the pass game, so his PPR value is on the low side, though he’s a fairly safe start in any format given his steady workload.
RG3: Receivers will have to 'make the most' of their opportunities
Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:14pm
The third-year quarterback acknowledged that DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Pierre Garçon and Jordan Reed figure to see fewer targets in 2014. But that, he added, should provide plenty of motivation for the receiving corps.
“These guys know that there are some weapons around them on the field, so they don’t have all that pressure on them,” Griffin told Grant and Danny on Monday morning. “But they also know when they get the ball, they are going to have to do something with it because there’s no guarantee that the ball is going to come to them 10, 15 times a game. They might only get three or four of five shots a game, and they have to make the most it.”
With a plethora of receivers to throw to and a strong running game, there are going to be a few disappointing fantasy performances in the Washington WR corps throughout the season. Garcon isn't likely to lead the league in targets, while Jackson is no longer the clear WR1 on his team, as he was in Philadelphia. Owners should think twice before drafting either player based on his 2013 output.
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee) returns to practice
Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:05pm
The most realistic hope for the Kansas City Chiefs to improve their passing game in 2014 is for them to get more than the 55 receptions they got last year from their tight ends. Their chances for that got better on Monday when Travis Kelce went through a full practice for the first time in almost a year.
Kelce moved around well and did so without a brace or any other kind of protection on the knee.
“From here, it’s just a matter of getting back into football shape and getting ready to play a 16-game season," he said.
Kelce is a player to monitor as training camp wears on. If he's healthy and making plays in practice, then there's a good chance that he'll see a lot of snaps during the regular season, as the Chiefs are hurting for playmakers in the passing game.
Monday, July 21, 2014, 6:58pm
Steve Ford, the owner of Losers Most Wanted Bar & Grill, told the Tennessean that Mettenberger was minding his own business when he got punched in the face. Mettenberger was unhurt.
"Here's the truth: The guy said something about 'Roll Tide!' to Zach, and Zach turned around and said 'Good luck with that,' " Ford said. "And the guy's buddy then sucker-punched Zach. I promise you that Mettenberger did not throw a punch. He didn't do anything. The guy sucker-punched him in the eye, that's the bottom line, and the guy that punched him started running out the door. My door guys had to chase him down."
Rob Gronkowski (ACL) not placed on preseason PUP list
Monday, July 21, 2014, 6:54pm
According to ESPN Boston's Field Yates, wide receivers Aaron Dobson, Matthew Slater and Jeremy Gallon, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard are all slated to start training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Rob Gronkowski's name was absent from the PUP list, which bodes well for his potential availability in camp. Players on PUP aren't allowed to practice, so we may see Gronk sooner rather than later. As for Dobson, it appears that his foot injury is going to keep him out of practice for the time being.
Philbin: Deep passing game has been 'better'
Monday, July 21, 2014, 6:44pm
The biggest question Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has to answer is can he connect with Mike Wallace consistently with the deep ball. Last season the duo constantly struggled when they dialed up big-yardage plays.
"They have, a number of times," coach Joe Philbin insisted at the end of last month's three-day minicamp. "We hit Mike on a deep-corner route [the second day of minicamp] in practice for a touchdown, one of the better inside-post routes that we've hit in my time here where they connected deep, and some other verticals. It's been better."
Through the first 15 weeks, Tannehill was the #12 QB in fantasy. Unfortunately, he stunk it up in the final two weeks of the season, posting just 286 yards to go along with one TD and three picks in the final two games combined as the Dolphins skidded out of a playoff spot. The arrival of OC Bill Lazor (from Philadelphia) should help. The players are raving about the new offense, especially Wallace, who loves the fact that he's moving around pre-snap.
Browns TE Jordan Cameron 'No. 1 read in the passing game'
Monday, July 21, 2014, 11:49am
There are three reasons for TE Jordan Cameron to be the most popular Browns player in fantasy leagues. One, his breakout 2013 season signaled his maturity as an NFL playmaker. Two, the team’s sorry situation at wideout makes Cameron a No. 1 read in the passing game. Three, he’s playing to secure his future financially in his contract year. The key to Cameron’s 2013 season was keeping himself on the field and out of the trainer’s room. If he can do it again, he will lead the team in receptions, yards and touchdown catches.
Cameron was the #2 TE through Week 8, but ranked #23 from Week 9 through Week 17. Some of this had to do with the QB issues in Cleveland, though his targets remained relatively even (8.4 T/G through Week 8 vs. 7.3 T/G thereafter). Despite the departure of a TE-friendly coaching staff that included HC Rob Chudzinski and OC Norv Turner, there is still a lot to like about Cameron. He should enjoy a QB upgrade and new OC Kyle Shanahan is pretty TE-friendly in his own right. Under Shanahan, Jordan Reed was targeted a healthy 6.6 times per game (11th-most among TEs) in 2013. While the new regime is not an upgrade for Cameron, it’s not a huge downgrade, either. The probable loss of Josh Gordon means lots of targets (and lots of defensive attention) for Cameron. It's a double-edged sword.
Monday, July 21, 2014, 11:28am
Ravens beat writer Jeff Zrebiec:
The guy to watch is running back Bernard Pierce, who had offseason shoulder surgery. Pierce was limited during the various offseason minicamps, though he looked in good shape and raring to go. If he has been cleared for contact, it will be a nice development for the Ravens, especially with Ray Rice’s suspension announcement looming.
I was going to write “with Rice’s suspension imminent,” but that’s what I’ve been thinking for about three weeks now. It has been exactly five weeks since Rice and his wife met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York. Goodell has plenty of other disciplinary issues on his plate, so I have no idea what the holdup is in making the decision on Rice. I would have guaranteed you earlier this month that the Ravens would know how long Rice would be sidelined before the start of training camp. Now, I’m not so sure.
At just 26 years old, it was surprising to see Rice's production fall off the way it did, but he was dealing with hip and quad injuries throughout the season. He was also coming off of a Super Bowl run the previous year, which likely wore him down. GM Ozzie Newsome said he expects Rice to return to Pro Bowl form, but HC John Harbaugh said after the season that the team could take more of a committee approach at running back, which would limit Rice's upside. Still, assuming his offseason legal issues don't impact his availability (too much), he is a bounceback candidate in Gary Kubiak's offense.
Monday, July 21, 2014, 11:15am
Quarterback EJ Manuel had some good connections with WR Sammy Watkins, the fourth overall pick in the draft. Watkins caught four passes from Manuel in full team or 7-on-7 work, the nicest a 20-yard corner route on the right sideline.
“I really want to get it to him in a spot for him to catch it and get some yards after the catch,” Manuel said.
Manuel had a good escape of the pocket at one point and found Robert Woods open for about 15 yards along the right sideline. Manuel threw one interception. Safety Aaron Williams picked off a deep ball for Woods that hung in the air a bit too long.
Monday, July 21, 2014, 10:49am
Jordan Matthews hasn't suited up for even one NFL game, but there it is fair to ask if he is already the most talented receiver on the Eagles' roster. Teammates and coaches raved about him during minicamps, as the rookie receiver caught everything thrown his way. HC Chip Kelly said after drafting Matthews that he will start the receiver out in the slot, but it will be interesting to see how much he is moved around. If Matthews lives up to expectations he set this offseason, he is going to be much more than third wide receiver.
David Wilson (neck) cleared to play
Monday, July 21, 2014, 10:36am
Giants RB David Wilson, who had a follow-up appointment today to receive medical clearance on his surgically repaired spine, was given the green light, according to an announcement made by Wilson himself.
Wilson's return will put a dent in Rashad Jennings' ADP, which is fine by us. Jennings ADP has been creeping up, but Wilson's return should ensure that Jennings is around in the 5th/6th round on draft day. The Giants went out and signed Jennings to be their lead back, so we're envisioning Wilson in a change-of-pace role. He flopped as a RB1 last year and has never had the full trust of Tom Coughlin and Co. in pass protection or ball security.