RB Stevan Ridley made the Pat's final roster.
Many thought Ridley was in trouble after a fumble in preseason Week 3. Adding to the speculation was the release of RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis by the Bengals, but it looks like the team is sticking with Ridley for now. He has the potential to put up decent fantasy numbers week-to-week as the Pats best inside runner, but we all know about the fumbling issue. Owners risk that he's one fumble away from another trip to the bench.
The play of Jeremy Hill made this roster move possible. He's now locked in as the RB2 for the Bengals. The Law Firm finished #31 in standard formats and #39 in PPR last season, and Hill is a better receiver. He has RB3/flex appeal and has been going in the 9th round.
RB Jeremy Hill was so good Thursday night the Bengals must have thunder and lightning dancing through their heads with Opening Day in Baltimore now nine days away. While running back Giovani Bernard cooled his scatback Jets along with the other 21 starters, Hill banged and battered his way to 90 yards on 20 carries and then added 70 more on six catches.
This is what the Bengals had in mind when they took Hill in the second round out of LSU back in May. A punch it out, 233-pound 4.0 yards per guy. Hill is more than that, but in his first 41 carries as a Bengal, the number is 4.6.
Hill will fill the BenJarvus Green-Ellis role in the offense. The Law Firm finished as the #31 RB in standard formats and #39 in PPR. Hill is currently the #42 RB off the board in the 9th round, so he has upside from there. Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson predicted around 200 carries for both Bernard and Hill, and although we believe Bernard will see a larger share, even approaching that many touches will make Hill a nice middle round pickup.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:39pm
On Monday's edition of the Around The League Podcast, we highlighted speedy Arizona Cardinals rookie John Brown as one of the few "hype bunnies" to successfully translate offseason praise to preseason production.
After Brown's impressive preseason debut, general manager Steve Keim raised expectations, suggesting the third-round wide receiver is capable of an impact on par with Anquan Boldin's stellar rookie season a decade ago.
After Sunday's game versus the Bengals, coach Bruce Arians estimated to TheMMQB.com's Peter King that Brown will be used on "60 percent" of offensive snaps this season.
Brown is obviously a name to keep an eye on once the season starts. He's not getting a lot of draft day action, but playing 60% of the snaps could get him noticed at least in deeper fantasy leagues. He's also drawn comparisons to former Colt Marvin Harrison.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:45am
One of the most encouraging developments has been the Bengals offense’s performance. The Bengals have gone to a more up-tempo approach under new coordinator Hue Jackson and have looked smooth in the no-huddle offense.
QB Andy Dalton has completed 70.6 percent of his passes for 372 yards with one touchdown, no sacks and no interceptions, for a passer rating of 116.3. Against the Cardinals, he was 13 of 21 for 157 yards while playing the first half.
“I’m very confident in what we have,” Dalton said. “The guys that we have on this team, the way that we’ve been playing, I think we’re ready to go for the opener.”
Monday, August 25, 2014, 12:24pm
Patriots RB Stevan Ridley’s fumbles are a major concern, but given the lack of options it would be a surprise to see him go at least until the league-wide cuts are made and other options present themselves.
The Patriots will be scouring the waiver wire come Labor Day Weekend looking for a workhorse-type back – perhaps even BenJarvus Green-Ellis if he’s jettisoned by Cincinnati. But until then, Ridley would appear to be a needed commodity.
The piece comes off the heals of ESPN's Mike Reiss predicting the Pats cut Ridley. Reiss was on the record before camp as not listing Ridley a lock for the final roster, which of course was before the most recent fumbling issues resurfaced. As this article mentions, the Pats don't have a workhorse back so they very well could be waiting for final cuts from other team as far as their decision on Ridley goes. Ridley would likely land somewhere else, but probably not in the potential role he would have with New England so owners need to stay abreast of this situation.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 10:09am
If Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was going to overthrow receiver Michael Floyd in the end zone and have a miscommunication with Larry Fitzgerald lead to an interception returned for a touchdown, Sunday night in front of a national TV audience was the time for it.
That's what preseason is about, working out the kinks, figuring out what went wrong and why it happened. Arizona will spend the next few days breaking down the film of their 19-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, figuring out where its offense went.
"We had a number of things that were just off, from overthrows to missed opportunities," Palmer said. "Some funky things that happened on some routes, some drops. We didn't take advantage of some of the looks we had.
"We're just a little bit off and that's not what we wanted to do. That's not what we expected at all."
The first-team offense's sluggish start was unexpected considering how efficient the Cardinals have looked during the first two preseason games. Arizona had scored on its two opening drives this year, but the Cards' first drive Sunday stalled at the Bengals' 37 after three straight incomplete passes, including two straight to Floyd, the story said. Shouldn't be cause for a lot of concern, at the moment anyway, as the Cards offensive fantasy players like Floyd, Fitzgerald and RB Andre Ellington should continue to be legit starters.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 8:54am
The Bengals’ long-term future in short yardage could be seen on that third-and-one from the Bengals 34 Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Running back Jeremy Hill made his first appearance with the Bengals first-team offense this preseason and lined up behind rookie fullback. Hill followed Hewitt for five yards, a veritable football field against a Cardinals defense that until Hill came into the game and ran for three yards on an earlier play had allowed Giovani Bernard no yards on five carries.
The third-down run seemed to ignite them on their way to two field goals on drives that gobbled nearly 10 minutes of the second quarter and set up a 19-13 victory.
“I want to know who we are. There were other things on the sheet I could have called,’ said offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. “But I wanted to find out who we are and I think I’m beginning to know who we are.”
Hill has moved he chains no matter what unit he’s played this summer. He came into the game averaging 5.8 yards per carry and he matched it with four more lugs in the first half against a Cardinals front that led the NFL against the rush last season. Eventually Hill is going to take carries from BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who missed Sunday's game due to being sick. It will be interesting to see who the RB2 is once the season starts.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 11:15am
“Let’s stop beating around the bush,” Theismann said in the fourth quarter, via the Washington Post. “Kirk Cousins has played much better at the quarterback position than Robert Griffin III has. Now, Robert is learning to work out of a pocket. He doesn’t look as smooth or as comfortable throwing the football. I mean, your eyes will tell you everything you need to know.
“It’s going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make. Right now, Robert Griffin III is his quarterback. Now, if there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn’t be a competition. Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe he would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run [the offense]. Now Kirk, like I said, is basically a drop-back quarterback. I see Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, I see Kirk Cousins that way. …”
It's a topic no one seems to want to bring up around Washington, after all, RGIII is firmly planted as the team's starting QB. But if Washington struggles to start the season, or Griffin takes a hit and has to miss time, it will be interesting to see how it plays out should Cousins get to play under center. We're probably a long way off from that situation, but from a fantasy perspective, Cousins would have a lot of weapons to make him an interesting grab off the wire and play in your lineup...
Bengals beat writer Coley Harvey: Bengals RB Jeremy Hill hasn't yet played with the first-string offense in a game, but that's about to change. HC Marvin Lewis said Friday that he'd like to give Hill more playing time on Sunday when the Bengals visit the Cardinals. He contends he and his staff has been "excited" about having Hill in the fold, and want to give the second-round draft pick a little more run this week. In my book, he's still Cincinnati's No. 2 back.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis continues to stick around, and Hill hasn't been playing with the starters, so owners who have drafted the rookie in the middle rounds are justifiably concerned. It hasn't shown up in playing time (or on the field) but the beat writers in Cincy seem confident that when push comes to shove, Hill will be the RB2.
Jets WR Eric Decker had barely played in this preseason. He missed last week’s game at the Bengals with a quad injury. He got just 12 snaps in the preseason opener against the Colts. But he appears to be establishing chemistry in the Jets’ offense just fine. Decker caught three passes for 34 yards, with a long of 27. In the third quarter, Decker caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Michael Vick. Decker actually had just one catch from presumptive starting quarterback Geno Smith. His other two were from Vick. Still, this is the sort of positive game that could put Decker in a good rhythm to start the regular season.
There’s no doubt that Decker is going to see a downgrade at QB going from Peyton Manning to a combination of Geno Smith and Michael Vick. But as the Jets’ clear WR1, he should see enough targets to become a fantasy starter even if his per target production is likely to drop.
Friday, August 22, 2014, 12:53pm
Through two preseason games, both kickers have proven what they can do. They’ve both hit every extra point (3-3) and are both perfect from field goal range.
“It’s like watching the World Cup,” HC Andy Reid said. “I love watching the competition, but they’re so close every day, it’s crazy. They’re both right there.”
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 8:54pm
The Kansas City Chiefs tight end caught Aaron Murray's first ever NFL completion -- not his first attempt -- and darted past the Carolina Panthers' defense for a 43-yard score. The catch-and-run had a district similarity to the 69-yard snag-and-jaunt Kelce displayed last week against the Cincinnati Bengals. The tight end finished Sunday's 28-16 loss with four catches for 63 yards, giving him a two-week total of six catches for 136 yards on seven targets.
Coming off microfracture surgery that cost him all of last season, the second-year pro sits behind Anthony Fasano in the Chiefs' pecking order. Kelce did play some with the first-team unit Sunday, but mainly in two-tight end sets.
"He's just got to keep coming with it and there's more than just the route running," Andy Reid said, per the team's official website. "You got to be able to run block and then you got to detail all your work there. But, you sure got to give him credit for the effort that he's giving in the pass game and he sure has a nice skill level."
The story goes on to point out the obvious: Kelce clearly has more upside and playmaking ability than Fasano, but the Chiefs insist on going with the more trusted veteran as their starter. If Kelce keeps making plays, however, he should force Reid to reconsider how he divvies up the snaps. We have Kelce ranked 20th, well ahead of Fasano, and trending up our charts. If you need to draft a second TE or play in a deeper league where you can start more than one, he looks like a guy to take a late-round shot on.
If Jets HC Rex Ryan wants to return to the ground and pound, he might just have the backfield to do it. The Jets’ running game emerged in Saturday night’s 25-17 preseason win over the Bengals, and one of the team’s newest weapons shined in the spotlight. Chris Johnson ran for 63 yards on 10 carries in the win.
The Jets displayed the versatility with Johnson that they had shown in training camp, lining him up behind Geno Smith in the pistol formation and out wide as a receiver, and turned it into a successful ground attack.
“We know they have a good football team over there and they pounded us on both sides of the ball last time,” Ryan said, referring to the Bengals’ 49-9 win over the Jets last season. “It wasn’t the case this time, our offense ran it all over them.”
Ryan cited the team’s 124 yards rushing in the first half, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. It wasn’t only Johnson that had success carrying the rock: Bilal Powell ran four times for 41 yards, including a touchdown. The bulk of Powell’s production came on a 32-yard run in the second quarter. Johnson should get a bulk of the carries with Powell getting mixed in as well. Injured Chris Ivory could also be a factor and is shaping up to be the goal line and short yardage back. All will cut into Johnson's value but he still has value in the middle rounds of drafts.
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