Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe had a tough day at practice on Wednesday, dropping a pair of passes and deflected another for an interception.
That’s hardly an indication that Bowe won’t rebound this season. But he hasn’t had a great camp and the Chiefs may be guilty of wishful thinking when it comes to their top wide receiver.
Bowe in September will turn 30, the age when the skills of many receivers start their decline. Could it be that process has already started with Bowe?
We’ll find out soon. Chiefs wide receivers coach David Culley said Bowe is in much better shape than he was last summer. Bowe said he’s in the best shape of his career.
Bowe finished the season as the #44 fantasy WR, but was the #26 wideout from Week 11 to Week 16. (The Chiefs rested their starters in Week 17.) He had the 34th-most targets on the season, and he posted 8-150-1 against the Colts in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, so there is some reason for optimism heading into 2014. His 8th round ADP makes his risk palatable.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 6:16pm
The Colts are going to take a wait-and-see approach with running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw didn’t play against the New York Jets last week and he’s wearing a red no-contact jersey in practice. “We'll see where he's at from a physical standpoint (Friday), see how he's feeling and then make a decision if we want to play him or not," HC Chuck Pagano said.
Bradshaw's ADP is in the final rounds, but he could end up getting the lion's share of the carries for the Colts if Trent Richardson doesn't turn things around from last year's dismal performance. Bradshaw is obviously a health concern, but he's someone to keep in mind in the later rounds.
"There are not a lot of guys that have been through neck surgeries and a year later they are playing football again, especially at my position," Bradshaw said recently, via The Herald Bulletin. "Right now, as we speak, I am as confident as anything going in. I don't think about my neck at all playing, and I am just shooting forward from here on."
Bradshaw isn't sure if he will get the green light to make his 2014 preseason debut Saturday versus the Giants, but is confident that he will ready to play against the Broncos in the regular-season opener.
Bradshaw could end up playing a pretty big role in the Colts offense, but especially if Trent Richardson shows signs of struggling. For now Bradshaw has some deep PPR league value until we see he can stay healthy.
HC Chuck Pagano talked about the growth WR of T.Y. Hilton.
“Obviously, everybody knows how we used (Hilton) in the first couple of years but I think there’s so much more we can do with a guy like that. It’s just a matter of getting creative," Pagano said. “It’s easy to line him up and get him down the field and run go-routes and crossers but I think there’s a whole lot more we can do with a guy like that. He’s dynamic.”
It sounds like the Colts are going to find different ways to use Hilton this year, and it falls right in line with what we've been hearing all this summer. This will include moving him around the field to create matchup issues. Hilton is ranked 24th on our list with an ADP of the 6th round. He's the clear WR1 in Indy and we could be looking at a huge season for the now third-year receiver.
Monday, August 11, 2014, 7:47pm
“We have three number one wideouts,” Hilton said after practice.
Asked to clarify if he views himself as a number one wide receiver, Hilton replied, “Without a doubt. All you have to do is turn on the film and watch me play.”
That’s the kind of confidence that comes with being the most productive receiver from his 2012 NFL Draft class, despite being selected in the 3rd round out of FIU. In two seasons, Hilton has amassed 132 receptions, 1,944 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Nobody from the 2012 class has more receiving yards and touchdowns.
The Giants will get their first-round pick back on the practice field on Monday.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham has missed just about all of camp after aggravating a hamstring pull early this summer, but he’s recovered enough to take part in practice. Beckham will be limited to individual work as he ramps things back up after so much time off, although coach Tom Coughlin said that could change quickly if Beckham handles the initial workload without incident.
“He is going to practice on an individual basis and then they are going to assess where he is,” Coughlin said, via the New York Daily News. “If he can do a little more, then maybe he will do a little bit more, but if he can’t then we will keep it strictly with individual.”
Beckham’s likely questionable at best for Saturday’s game against the Colts, but Coughlin and the Giants will likely be satisfied if he gets himself on schedule to play in the third preseason game after a frustrating start to Beckham’s career with the team, the story went on to say.
Chris Ivory is one of the players expected to be part of that stable stable of running backs the Jets will use this season and he suffered an injury in the preseason opener against the Colts on Thursday night.
Ivory injured his ribs late in the second quarter of the game and did not return. Ivory wasn’t necessarily going to play any more at that point in the game, but the injury would still have an impact if it limited Ivory’s availability in the coming days. Coach Rex Ryan wasn’t overly concerned about that possibility.
“Ivory should be fine,” Ryan said, via NJ.com.
With Chris Johnson expected to get a bulk of the carries, Ivory was taking reps as the goal line back in camp. He came over in a trade from the Saints last season and had trouble getting on the field because of injuries, but showed glimpses at times. Right now, it looks like a three-headed monster running attack for the Jets, with Bilal Powell also in the mix.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 10:42am
Short and sweet. Just as Chuck Pagano planned.
Luck was sharp in one solid, 12-play series with the starters.
"I thought we had a lot of good rhythm," Luck said. "I wish we would have gotten a touchdown, but points are good."
Thursday, August 7, 2014, 6:04pm
Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said recently that wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was “still working to get himself in game shape,” a comment that seemed to suggest Nicks was failing to make the most of the one-year prove-it deal he signed with the Colts this offseason.
“I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in … I came in weighing 209 when I was supposed to come in weighing 212,” Nicks said. “After Pep came to me to clarify, he said that he [meant] everybody’s getting into game shape right now–it’s the beginning of camp. He came apologizing to let me know he wasn’t just singling me out.”
Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 11:49pm
Giants beat writer Conor Orr:
Rueben Randle could eventually become a Top 20 receiver in football. His combination of size, speed and arm length, coupled with a friendly system and quarterback, could make him the next great pass catcher on the Giants roster.
I've seen it especially in longer routes over the middle this summer where Randle seems to finally be able to use his body to make the difficult catches that prolong drives.
Hakeem Nicks is gone, but the Giants drafted Odell Beckham in the 1st round. New OC Ben McAdoo utilizes a lot of three-WR sets (a la the Packers), so Randle should see starter’s snaps. He has been productive in his first two seasons on a per target basis, so he should produce starter-caliber numbers in significant playing time.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 1:15pm
“A thousand is not the goal. For me, it’s personal. I’m going to keep it to myself. But a thousand is not it for me. It’s higher,” Richardson said, via the Indianapolis Star.
This year Richardson believes his greater understanding of the offense will allow him to play a greater role on the team.
“I can’t wait to be involved in the passing game, even if it’s just pass blocking,” Richardson said. “I’m trying to be a three-down back. It would be four if they let me play special teams.”
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. As the #20 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 10:12am
Chargers RB Donald Brown hasn't worked as a kick returner since his rookie season with the Colts, totaling one return for 21 yards. Before that, Brown served for a short time as a kick returner in college, averaging 23.3 yards a return on nine attempts at Connecticut in 2006. But Brown sits atop San Diego's depth chart, listed as the team's top kick returner heading into Thursday's game. In a crowded backfield with Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead, serving as San Diego's kick returner offers Brown another opportunity to get a few more touches during the game. "Whenever you're number is called you just try to make the most of it and roll with it," Brown said. "I just look forward to the challenge."
This is something for owners who play in return leagues to file away. Brown will have a complementary role in the offense backing up both Mathews and Woodhead and proved last season (for the Colts) that he can be a very productive player when given touches.
Monday, August 4, 2014, 7:45pm
Colby Fleener is the TE2.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the second-year running back will undergo an appendectomy Monday that will sideline him for the rest of training camp and the preseason. Ball is expected to be ready for the regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Ball showed considerable promise in the back half of his rookie season and is expected to replace Knowshon Moreno as Denver's primary ball-carrier in 2014. Ball came in at No. 7 on Around The League's "Making The Leap" countdown.
Ball's absence means more touches and first-team looks for the healthy members of the Broncos' backfield. Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson will see most of the work until Ball can return to action. Without any more camp or preseason games, Ball could be eased back into things at least the first week meaning he may not get full snaps in Week 1. He's still expected to emerge as the team's RB1, but now it may take some time. As of now, it doesn't seem like his early second round value should be in too much jeopardy.
Monday, August 4, 2014, 11:08am
Geno Smith, who has taken nearly all of the first-team reps at quarterback, is listed as a starter.