Fantasy News Home
Ben Tate says he's an 'elite running back'
Saturday, March 8, 2014, 2:10pm
Free agent Ben Tate said he will have a message for those teams who are interested in his services.
"I think I can bring you an elite running back," Tate said. "I've learned a lot being behind Arian. Definitely, when I'm healthy I think I'm an elite running back in this league, and I feel like I can show my abilities and my numbers and my play will speak for itself, and guys will be able to see that I am a guy who is a top-five running back in this league, which I believe once I get out there and get to show that on a consistent basis.
We'll have to wait and see where Tate lands before we can assess his value heading into 2014, but he's definitely a threat to move into the first three or four rounds if he gets a starting gig. Injuries have been a concern.
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Dennis Pitta getting his explosiveness back
Saturday, March 8, 2014, 2:08pm
During four games in December after being activated, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta proved that his surgically repaired hip was structurally sound. He knocked off the rust quickly, catching 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown.
However, what Pitta didn't have was his trademark elusiveness after the catch, and he wasn't quite as quick or fast as in the past, which was understandable given the severity of the injury and his accelerated rehabilitation timetable.
“I’d be lying to you if I said I was 100 percent with my explosion and strength,” Pitta acknowledged during a news conference earlier this week to announce his five-year, $32 million contract that includes $16 million guaranteed and an $11 million signing bonus. “I didn’t have any pain and I felt good playing, but kind of that quickness and that explosion wasn’t all the way back, which was expected.”
Now, Pitta says he's getting closer to regaining his old form.
Pitta missed most of 2013 due to a hip injury and he was sorely missed in the Ravens’ passing game. Upon his return, he saw 33 targets in four games, putting him on pace to finish with the 3rd-most targets in the league. It’s not a solid sample size, but it’s still an indicator of what may come. (He finished with the 12th-most targets in 2012.) The big plus for Pitta heading into 2014 is the arrival of new OC Gary Kubiak who has been very TE-friendly throughout his career, specifically with the development of both Shannon Sharpe in Denver and Owen Daniels in Houston.
Jets to re-sign TE Jeff Cumberland
Saturday, March 8, 2014, 9:51am
The Jets kicked off what promises to be a flurry of moves to improve its offense by securing one of its valued skill position players in the run-up to free agency. The Daily News first reported Friday night that the Jets agreed to terms on a three-year deal with tight end Jeff Cumberland.
The organization is bullish on Cumberland’s ability to take that next step after flashes in his first four seasons. Cumberland, who will turn 27 this summer, had 26 receptions for 398 yards and a team-high four receiving touchdowns last season. He played second fiddle to veteran Kellen Winslow early in the season.
Cumberland posted the #5 FP/target among TEs in 2013, catching 26 passes for 398 yards and four TDs.
Khiry Robinson to assume larger role in Saints backfield
Saturday, March 8, 2014, 9:46am
This is an overstatement, what with Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram still on the roster. There are rumors that Thomas will be cut, but the team may hold onto him after releasing Darren Sproles. We like what Robinson brings to the table, but he was playing behind Thomas and Ingram in 2013 and that's not likely to change in 2014 if both players are still around. Travaris Cadet could also assume Sproles's old role.
Report: Vikings sign Matt Cassel to a two-year deal
Friday, March 7, 2014, 11:03pm
Cordarrelle Patterson is justifiably a popular breakout candidate, but this signing is good news for Greg Jennings, who averaged 5.9-70-.57 (fantasy WR2 numbers) in seven games where Cassel played heavy snaps. Cassel will be a sleeper/QBBC type if he's the starter under new OC Norv Turner.
Report: Saints to cut Darren Sproles
Friday, March 7, 2014, 6:54pm
This is not a huge shock for the cash-strapped Saints, though it may indicate that Pierre Thomas is safe since the team needs a pass-catching RB. Sproles numbers fell off a bit in 2013. After finishing #5 and #13 in 2011 and 2012 (in PPR), Sproles finished #23 in that format last season. He'll land on his feet in free agency.
Friday, March 7, 2014, 6:11pm
Friday, March 7, 2014, 4:09pm
A 1-year deal that didn't work out: Dustin Keller. Was tearing it up in camp before tearing ACL, though. Have heard he's on track to return.
Lance Moore has apparently been released
Friday, March 7, 2014, 11:05am
Occasionally, a player breaks news on Twitter before the team's beat writers get wind of it. Moore was a solid producer for the cash-strapped Saints. Kenny Stills may see a bump as his role grows a bit longer with Moore out of the way. Stills was the #11 WR from Week 6 to Week 10, and that included a bye, so the potential for a breakout season is there.
Friday, March 7, 2014, 10:59am
Sidney Rice is on track to be cleared for the start of his new team's offseason program in late April, I'm told. Coming off ACL injury.
Chris Johnson says knee impacted 2013 production
Thursday, March 6, 2014, 12:34pm
Titans RB Chris Johnson said he’s closer to 100 percent after the first surgery of his career. The procedure repaired a torn meniscus, but doctors have not yet cleared him to run. The next phase of rehab will be in a swimming pool, strengthening the muscles around his left knee.
Johnson was injured in the Week 3 win against the Chargers but said he never considered having surgery during the season. He’s rarely missed a practice in six seasons as a pro.
“I have never been a guy to sit out when something was hurt. The only way I would sit out is if there was no way possible I could play. If I can work through it, I want to play. I want to be out there to help my team win, and that’s the way it’s always been,” he said.
“I am not going to make excuses, but you can talk to anybody who’s had a torn meniscus and they know how it affects you. I’m not going to sit here and tell you if I wouldn’t have had a torn meniscus I would have had 1,600-1,700 rushing yards last year, but my teammates know what I was going through.”
Johnson is a bounce back candidate if he lands in a good environment. He obviously blames the knee (at least partially) for his struggles in 2013, but it's not like Shonn Greene (3.8 YPC) was any better. The Titans struggled in run blocking and that hurt Johnson as well. The issue now is his salary, and he has already said he's not going to take a pay cut.
Giants say 'the jury is still out' on Rueben Randle
Thursday, March 6, 2014, 10:46am
The 6-2 Rueben Randle, who led the Giants with six receiving TDs in 2013, seems Nicks’ heir, but he has a history of miscommunicating with Manning. GM Jerry Reese gave Randle a lukewarm endorsement last month, saying that “the jury is still out” on him.
The story refers to Randle's inability (at times) to get on the same page with his QB, mainly on the option routes in the Giants' offense. Randle still projects to start, so his early ADP is in the late 6th round.
Thursday, March 6, 2014, 10:41am
Rice and Janay Palmer were both arrested for simple assault at a casino in Atlantic City, N.J., on Feb. 15. The two remain engaged to be married, according to Harbaugh.
"I've talked to Ray a lot, and really nothing to add other than what's been said already: The facts will determine the consequences, and we'll see where it goes," Harbaugh said at a news conference to announce the five-year, $32 million deal signed by tight end Dennis Pitta. "I haven't seen anything different, just like you haven't seen anything different. Ray has told me his side of it, and everything we've seen so far is very consistent with what he said."
A suspension could be forthcoming, but that will depend on the facts of the case, and those aren't entirely clear at this point. The Ravens seem satisfied with Rice's truthfulness.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 10:45pm
The clearance has not yet come. Per a league source, it could be coming very soon.
Finley’s primary doctor and his neurosurgeon currently are out of the country, but they will return on Friday. The goal is to get Finley cleared by Tuesday, so that he can participate in free agency when it opens.
Bucs sign Bobby Rainey to a two-year deal
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 7:08pm
The Buccaneers weren’t at any risk of losing running back Bobby Rainey because he was set to be an exclusive rights free agent, but the team decided they wanted to enter into a longer relationship with a player who flashed some ability late last season.
The Bucs announced that they have signed Rainey to a two-year deal designed to keep him in Tampa through 2015.
From Week 10 to Week 17, Rainey was the #11 RB in standard formats, gaining 559 total yards to go along with six TDs (5 rush, 1 rec) in eight games. He'll likely serve as the primary backup to Doug Martin and is a good handcuff for Martin owners.