Chiefs Fantasy News

Eagles TE Zach Ertz is focusing on his weaknesses

Sunday, April 19, 2015, 8:56pm

Philly.com - [Full Article]

Eagles TE Zach Ertz did his homework and was told that retired offensive line coach Hudson Houck still trained players. So he called Houck, who mentored Hall of Famers Anthony Munoz and Bruce Matthews at Southern Cal and coached the great Cowboys lines of the 1990s, out of the blue. Soon after, they spent two weeks together in San Diego working on blocking.

Ertz' time with Houck was just one part of his offseason plan. He spent a month focusing on strength training, another on circuit training and additional time on mixed martial arts training. He also sought out former tight end great Tony Gonzalez, who instructed Ertz on the importance of preparation and tenacity.

The 24-year-old Ertz's goals are high. He said he wants to be mentioned someday alongside Gonzalez and others in the NFL pantheon of tight ends. But he knows he can't get there if he's playing only 50 percent of offensive snaps, as he did last season.

There's ample reason, though, to believe that Ertz will finally become a focal point of Chip Kelly's offense. He caught a franchise-record 15 passes against the Redskins in the penultimate game of last season. And when asked to explain last month how he'll compensate for the loss of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, Kelly prominently mentioned Ertz.

"I think he's still growing, and I think Zach will be the first one to tell you that," Kelly said at the NFL meeting. "I think he's working extremely hard in the offseason at continuing to get better."

Fantasy Impact:

Ertz was the #13 TE in both standard and PPR formats despite only playing half of the Eagles’ snaps in his second year. Ertz played mostly (73%) on passing downs, so if his playing time is going to increase, a majority of the additional snaps are likely to come in run formations. Still, there’s upside with Ertz if he begins to see starter’s snaps. The Eagles lost their leading receiver -- DeSean Jackson and then Jeremy Maclin -- in back-to-back seasons, so there will be opportunity from a targets standpoint. If Chip Kelly moves Jordan Matthews outside, then Ertz is a candidate to fill Matthews role in the slot, assuming Kelly is willing to play more two-TE sets to get Ertz on the field. Ertz is currently going in the 8th round of early PPR drafts.

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Monday, April 6, 2015, 8:03pm

Newsday - [Full Article]

In an attempt to improve his game, Jets QB Geno Smith turned to Tom Brady's quarterback guru.

The Jets quarterback has spent time in California this offseason working out with former major-league pitcher-turned-quarterback tutor Tom House, who also has worked with Drew Brees, Alex Smith, Matt Cassel and former Jet Tim Tebow.

"It wasn't a thing where I needed to change things," said Smith, who is 11-18 in two seasons. "It was basically just going out there to work out and get better, and that's what we accomplished."

"As of right now, I'm just focusing on getting better every single day and relishing every single opportunity that I have," Smith said on a conference call Monday after the team's first day of voluntary workouts. "Today's only Day 1, Phase 1."

Fantasy Impact:

Smith said he is "very pleased" with the progress he's made, but it remains to be seen what his new coaching staff thinks of him compared with the other quarterbacks on the roster, the story added. The Jets traded for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and the team has hinted they may want to add another quarterback.

Chiefs limited 'tremendously talented' Travis Kelce early on due to knee concerns

Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 1:28pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

HC Andy Reid called Kelce elite this week at the NFL meetings in Phoenix.

“Absolutely,’’ Reid told reporters. “Tremendously talented. Loves to play the game. He’s like a little kid out there.

“You’d think the natural progression would be more and better and he was pretty good last year.’’

Kelce missed almost all of the 2013 season, which would have been his rookie year, because of an ailing knee. He was better last year, but the Chiefs weren’t quite comfortable giving Kelce a lot of playing time early in the season.

Fantasy Impact:

Kelce played 54% of the snaps from Week 1 to Week 10, averaging 3.8 catches for 49 yards and 0.44 TD in that span. He played 86% from Week 11 on, posting 4.7 receptions for 61 yards and 0.14 TD over the final seven games of the season. The rise in fantasy points wasn’t as dramatic since his touchdowns didn’t increase with his playing time, but that should rectify itself in 2015. He was the #4 TE in both standard and PPR formats in the final seven weeks of the season and is likely to go in the top 5 at his position in 2015 fantasy drafts.

Raiders expect a 'competitive situation' at running back

Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 1:14pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he expects Lavatius Murray and Trent Richardson to compete for the starting tailback job.

"I think it will be a competitive situation," Del Rio said.

Del Rio likes Richardson's potential.

"What I saw when we brought him in and talked to him was a young man that was hungry to kind of leave that portion of his career behind him and start fresh," Del Rio said. "My challenge to him was, 'Look, I don't want you to worry about anything other than coming in here and competing your butt off every day. Come in here and be a great teammate. Come in here and find a role on special teams. Come in here and just grind every day with the hunger you had as a freshman at Alabama.'"

Fantasy Impact:

We fully expect Murray to win the job, though it is concerning that the Raiders aggressively pursued DeMarco Murray. It indicates that they aren't fully ready to move forward with Latavius Murray, even though he rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets. We don't see Richardson as much of a threat, but teams have force-fed him before. Roy Helu is also in the mix, so if the Raiders don't commit to Murray, this could devolve into an ugly committee.

Browns sign WR Dwayne Bowe

Thursday, March 19, 2015, 3:59pm

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Browns are signing WR Dwayne Bowe, source said. Cleveland is giving him a two-year deal.

Fantasy Impact:

Bowe should start opposite Brian Hartline with Andrew Hawkins manning the slot. He hasn't finished in the top 40 since 2011, and while his QB play in Kansas City wasn't great, it's not like Josh McCown is an upgrade over Alex Smith. We're expecting more disappointing numbers from Bowe in 2015.

Friday, March 13, 2015, 1:54pm

Mike Garafolo, Twitter - [Full Article]

TE Anthony Fasano has agreed to terms on a deal with the Titans, who are busy this morning.

WR Jeremy Maclin officially signs with the Chiefs

Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 1:01pm

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Wednesday that the club has signed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Fantasy Impact:

Rapoport reported that the deal was worth $11 million per season. Maclin was the #9 wide receiver in both standard and PPR formats last season. However, he did most of his damage in the first eight games (46-801-8, #2 WR) and faded from Week 10 on (40-528-2, #23 WR). His targets dropped from 10.5 per game in the first half of the season to just 7.5 T/G down the stretch, but this decrease basically coincided with Mark Sanchez taking over for Nick Foles at quarterback. Now he’ll have Alex Smith as his quarterback and should see plenty targets alongside up-and-coming TE Travis Kelce. HC Andy Reid is very familiar with Maclin, so we would expect his transition to be a smooth one, though this appears to be a system downgrade. Maclin averaged 4.6 catches for 61 yards and 0.50 TD (solid WR2-type numbers) from 2010-2012, while playing for Reid.

Report: Chiefs will release WR Dwayne Bowe on Wednesday

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 2:22pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

The Kansas City Chiefs are moving on from Dwayne Bowe.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Chiefs are expected to release Bowe on Wednesday, according to a source. Bowe became expendable when the team locked into an agreement with Jeremy Maclin on Sunday.

Fantasy Impact:

Bowe's production has been on the decline since 2011, though the last two years (with QB Alex Smith) have been particularly ugly.

Jeremy Maclin reunites with Chiefs HC Andy Reid

Sunday, March 8, 2015, 10:15pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The wild ride of subtraction and addition will apparently continue with the Philadelphia Eagles because receiver Jeremy Maclin plans to reunite with former coach Andy Reid on the Kansas City Chiefs once free agency officially begins on Tuesday, according to league sources.

The Chiefs will need to clear salary-cap space to sign Maclin, whose new contract would project in the range of what Randall Cobb received to stay with the Green Bay Packers at $10 million per year. It's possible Maclin could slightly exceed Cobb's salary when negotiations are finished. Unlike Cobb, who chose to remain with his team, the Green Bay Packers, Maclin is prepared to depart Philadelphia, coming off his best season, in which he had 85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Maclin played on a one-year, $5.25 million contract in 2014 after missing 2013 with an ACL injury.

Update: The deal is reportedly worth around $11 million per season.

Fantasy Impact:

Maclin was the #9 wide receiver in both standard and PPR formats last season. However, he did most of his damage in the first eight games (46-801-8, #2 WR) and faded from Week 10 on (40-528-2, #23 WR). His targets dropped from 10.5 per game in the first half of the season to just 7.5 T/G down the stretch, but this decrease basically coincided with Mark Sanchez taking over for Nick Foles at quarterback. If the report turns out to be true, he'll have Alex Smith as his quarterback and could hog targets alongside up-and-coming TE Travis Kelce. Reid is familiar with Maclin, so we would expect his transition to be a smooth one, though this appears to be a system downgrade.

Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement

Thursday, March 5, 2015, 5:22pm

Maurice Jones-Drew, Twitter - [Full Article]

Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew announced via Twitter that he's retiring from the NFL.

Fantasy Impact:

Jones-Drew was a minor threat to Latavius Murray's upside in 2015, but now the path is clear. Murray rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets. Per beat writer Jerry McDonald, Murray will be “given every chance” to win the starting job, though the glut of running backs on the free agent market may lead to a veteran or two being brought in to shore up the Oakland RB corps.

Both Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas slapped with franchise tag

Monday, March 2, 2015, 7:31pm

PFT - [Full Article]

Here are the five players who got the non-exclusive franchise tag, and the amount of the tender offer for each:

Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul ($14,813,000)
Chiefs OLB Justin Houston ($13,195,000)
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant ($12,823,000)
Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas ($12,823,000)
Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski ($4,126,000)

Fantasy Impact:

This may not make either Bryant or Thomas happy, but it ensures that they aren't going anywhere for at least one more season. Both players figure to be ranked in the top 5 at their position in 2015 fantasy drafts.

Chiefs set to cut TE Anthony Fasano

Thursday, February 26, 2015, 1:55pm

Jeff Darlington, Twitter - [Full Article]

Chiefs will be releasing TE Anthony Fasano later today, source says.

Fantasy Impact:

The move will open up starter's snaps for Travis Kelce, who didn't get heavy run until Week 11. Kelce played 54% of the snaps from Week 1 to Week 10, averaging 3.8 catches for 49 yards and 0.44 TD in that span. He played 86% from Week 11 on, posting 4.7 receptions for 61 yards and 0.14 TD over the final seven games of the season. The rise in fantasy points wasn’t as dramatic since his touchdowns didn’t increase with his playing time, but that should rectify itself in 2015. He was the #4 TE in both standard and PPR formats in the final seven weeks of the season and is likely to go in the top 5 at his position in 2015 fantasy drafts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 4:13pm

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

Chiefs are cutting veteran WR Donnie Avery, which saves them $3.4M against the cap. Expected to target that position this week.

Raiders RB Latavius Murray will be given 'every chance' to win RB1 job

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 1:59pm

Inside Bay Area - [Full Article]

Raiders RB Latavius Murray will be given every chance to show he can be a feature back, but HC Jack Del Rio said it's far from a done deal. He'll give Maurice Jones-Drew a chance to rejuvenate his legs, but he's a question mark based on last season's 2.2 yards per carry average. Darren McFadden is an unrestricted free agent.

Fantasy Impact:

We don't think that Murray will need extra chances to prove he's a feature back. He rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets.

'Very good possibility' Bengals move on from TE Jermaine Gresham

Sunday, February 8, 2015, 11:26am

Bengals.com - [Full Article]

Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson on the team's TE situation: It looks like there is a very good possibility they won’t re-sign Jermaine Gresham, but it’s not a pass catcher they need to replace. They’ve got that in Tyler Eifert. They’re going to need a big guy that can block the tall, lean, big pass rushers like Terrell Suggs. Gresham did a good job with that and I suspect they’ll have an easier time finding that guy in free agency rather than the draft. The guy won’t be the target that Gresham is, but they’ll still be able to play double tight end sets.

Fantasy Impact:

If Gresham is out of the way, Eifert should be a nice late-round pick provided he can stay healthy. He has good size and speed, and showed pretty good hands as a rookie. He only played about 60 percent of the snaps in 2013, and averaged 0.14 FP (PPR) per snap. Extrapolate the same production to 90 percent of the snaps (which is typical for a starting tight end), and Eifert shouldn't have any problem posting top 15 numbers. With solid improvement, he could very well be this year's Jordan Cameron (2013) or Travis Kelce (2014).