Giants Fantasy News

Chip Kelly believes QB Sam Bradford is 'right on schedule' in rehab

Thursday, May 28, 2015, 1:55pm

Philly.com - [Full Article]

Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford is "right on schedule" in his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, coach Chip Kelly said Thursday. Bradford has been limited during this week's first thre organized team activities. He's able to participate in individual drills, but he's not taking part in team drills.

“He is on schedule," Kelly said. "We all think there’s three phases – there’s medical rehab, performance rehab, and prepare to play.He’s probably at the tail end of medical rehab. He’ll probably start throwing some 7 on 7 next week, and I think he’s right on schedule.”

Fantasy Impact:

Over the last two seasons, Philadelphia quarterbacks have averaged 16.7 passing game-only fantasy points. Bradford isn’t much of a runner, but he adds about 0.7 FP per game as a rusher. That adds up to 17.4 FP, or about what Eli Manning averaged as the #13 QB in 2014. The Eagles’ offense has lost their top receiver – DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin – in each of the last two seasons, but Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz are emerging and the team added Nelson Agholor in the draft. If Bradford does start for the Eagles, we wouldn’t expect anything more than high-end QB2 numbers, but this is a definite system upgrade due to the overall effectiveness of Chip Kelly’s offense.

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Giants WR Victor Cruz (patellar tendon) says he's 'about 80 percent there'

Thursday, May 28, 2015, 1:48pm

NY Post - [Full Article]

Victor Cruz is getting close.

“I’m about 80 percent there. I think it’s just a matter of continuing to build the strength for the last leg of it,” Cruz told The Post on Wednesday after the Giants’ first OTA practice. “I’ve been running some routes for about two weeks now, and there’s been no pain, no swelling or anything like that, which are all good signs.”

As his teammates worked, Cruz was nearby on a side field, running routes, running hard. Then he iced his surgically repaired right knee. He tore his patellar tendon Oct. 19 in Philadelphia and nearly is all the way back.

Fantasy Impact:

Cruz tore his patellar tendon in mid-October, so it's no sure thing that he'll be back for the start of the season, though recent reports are positive. He's not going to get the same number of targets given Odell Beckham's emergence as a top-flight wideout. Cruz will likely play the Randall Cobb role in OC Ben McAdoo's offense, so there is some upside if he's fully healthy by Week 1.

Pats Beat: James White the favorite to win 3rd-down RB role

Sunday, May 24, 2015, 9:59am

NESN - [Full Article]

NESN's Doug Kyed on the team's passing-down running back competition:

Shane Vereen’s departure leaves the third-down role wide open, and James White is the favorite to win that job.

The Patriots’ running back competition will be fascinating to watch in training camp. Travaris Cadet will be another player to watch in the third-down mix.

Fantasy Impact:

Kyed also mentions Cadet, whom the Patriots went out and signed to a three-year deal. We would have thought White had the inside track as well, but that doesn't explain why the team signed Cadet. Whoever wins the job will become instantly relevant in PPR formats.

Committee likely to replace Shane Vereen, Travaris Cadet 'most intriguing' candidate

Thursday, May 21, 2015, 12:23pm

Mass Live - [Full Article]

Shane Vereen caught 124 balls in 29 games over the past two years. His presence will undoubtedly be missed.

No single player on the Pats roster will fill his void. So here's what may happen: The Patriots have more talent at the No. 2 tight end spot than they did a year ago, so that position figures to command more targets while the running backs figure to command less.

The pass-catching role out of the backfield could be filled by a combination of Travaris Cadet, James White and Brandon Bolden.

Of that group, Cadet, a free agent signee from New Orleans, is the most intriguing. He has great receiving skills, as you'll see here, and seems comfortable splitting out wide and running routes, a rare trait for a running back.

Fantasy Impact:

If any single back wins the Patriots' pass-catching role outright, he'll suddenly be a factor in PPR formats. Vereen averaged 4.3 catches per game over the past two years (including the postseason). That projects to 68.8 receptions over a full 16-game season.

Gruden: Redskins RB Matt Jones has 'natural hands'

Saturday, May 16, 2015, 7:53pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

In hopes of complementing Alfred Morris with their first true big running back since Stephen Davis left after the 2002 season, the Redskins drafted Florida's 6-2, 226-pound Matt Jones in the third round this month.

"Alfred's a darn good halfback," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Saturday on the second day of Washington's three-day rookie minicamp. "In order to take carries off of him, you gotta show a lot. "So far, Matt's taken the right steps to take a little bit of the load off of Alfred (who had 85 percent of the carries by Washington's running backs the past three seasons). If you want to commit to running the football, you gotta have a couple guys that can tote it."

By hiring offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who helped make Dallas the NFL's top rushing offense in 2014, and using three of their first five draft choices on Jones, tackle Brandon Scherff, and guard Arie Kouandjio, new Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan has shown how committed the Redskins are to a power running game. McCloughan called Jones "a physical player and as tough as crud." And yet, Gruden raved about the rest of the rookie's game.

"You think of him as a big, power-type back, but Matt's done some things out in space that have been very, very impressive, making moves on the second level, in the passing game, running some option routes on linebackers," Gruden said. "He's got natural hands."

Fantasy Impact:

Jones only had 19 catches in three years at Florida, but it sounds as if he may compete for third down duties now that Roy Helu is no longer locking down that role. Morris has caught 68.5 percent of his targets, which is a higher rate than what Shane Vereen and Jamaal Charles posted last season, but he has yet to make much of an impression in the passing game.

Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) still on track for Week 1

Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 10:23am

NJ.com - [Full Article]

At last check late last month, Giants WR Victor Cruz was doing straight-line running. He hadn't yet reached the point of cutting, even though he claimed to be close. There were "zero doubts" about whether he would be ready for the season opener in September.

Now into early May, Cruz has begun cutting. He's running routes against air (no defenders) and trying to rebuild strength and confidence in the right knee where his patellar tendon tore in an October game against the Eagles.

"We got [to cutting]," Cruz said Tuesday night prior to the 22nd annual United Way of New York City Gridiron Gala at the Hilton in Manhattan. "We started running some intermediate routes on air and stuff like that. It's feeling good. It's feeling tood so far. I think I'm 75-80 percent right now. It's just a matter of building it."

GM Jerry Reese, coach Tom Coughlin and Cruz's teammates all are confident he'll be back for the start of the season. There has been nothing to this point that has indicated otherwise.

Fantasy Impact:

Cruz tore his patellar tendon in mid-October, so it's no sure thing that he'll be back for the start of the season, though recent reports are positive. He's not going to get the same number of targets given Odell Beckham's emergence as a top-flight wideout. Cruz will likely play the Randall Cobb role in OC Ben McAdoo's offense, so there is some upside if he's fully healthy by Week 1.

Giants OC Ben McAdoo says offensive improvement 'usually shows up' in the second year

Sunday, May 10, 2015, 1:35pm

NY Post - [Full Article]

All of Giants QB Eli Manning’s statistics trended upward in 2014 after a sub-par 2013, with room for more growth.

“Usually when you put in changes or change the system or address fundamentals, it usually shows up in Year 2,’’ OC Ben McAdoo said. “I like the look in his eye. I am excited for what is on the plate this year.’’

Fantasy Impact:

Manning finished the season as the #10 fantasy quarterback, but was #2 over the final six weeks, when OC Ben McAdoo said that the team finally played the way it wanted to play. In Odell Beckham, Manning finally has a stud receiver. The free agent signing of receiving specialist Shane Vereen and the return of a (hopefully) healthy Victor Cruz give Manning two more weapons to utilize in the passing game. He looks like a great value for those who want to wait on the position until the 9th or 10th round.

Eagles QB Mark Sanchez believes he'll have a chance to compete for the starting job

Thursday, May 7, 2015, 1:10pm

PFT - [Full Article]

Eagles QB Mark Sanchez believes he'll be able to compete for the QB1 job:

“Really just talking with Coach Kelly and knowing I’m coming with the opportunity to compete for the starting job,” Sanchez said, via CSN Philly. “That was important to me. There were some other opportunities out there, but I didn’t want to switch systems again. On a one-year deal, it’s different for maybe a defensive player then for an offensive player, especially a quarterback. You’ve got to learn a whole new language again. I started to feel real comfortable and I felt like to be honest, personally, there’s some unfinished business we left out there. I know I can play a little bit better than that. I know we can get this team in the playoffs. I think we have the talent to do that.”

Fantasy Impact:

We believe that it's Bradford's job to lose. Over the last two seasons, Philadelphia quarterbacks have averaged 16.7 passing game-only fantasy points. Bradford isn’t much of a runner, but he adds about 0.7 FP per game as a rusher. That adds up to 17.4 FP, or about what Eli Manning averaged as the #13 QB in 2014. The Eagles’ offense has lost their top receiver – DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin – in each of the last two seasons, but Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz are emerging and the team added Nelson Agholor in the draft. If Bradford ends up starting for the Eagles, we wouldn’t expect anything more than high-end QB2 numbers, but this is a definite system upgrade due to the overall effectiveness of Chip Kelly’s offense.

Reese: WR Victor Cruz (patellar tendon) is 'probably 85, close to 90 percent right now'

Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 10:46am

NJ.com - [Full Article]

The last time we checked in with Victor Cruz before the draft, he said he had "zero doubts" that he would be ready for the season opener in Dallas. Giants GM Jerry Reese said there is no reason to believe that won't happen, but that they are taking a cautious approach with Cruz's rehab.

"We feel really good about Victor, he's working hard every day," Reese said. "I was down there watching him work out a couple of days before the draft. He's excited, he's jumping up on boxes as tall as he is, almost, so he must be doing pretty good for me. We think he's probably 85, close to 90 percent right now, but they're taking him at a snail's pace just so he won't have any setbacks."

It's important to note that Reese is not a medical professional, so he might have gotten a little over-excited with the "85-90%" comment. Cruz said before the draft that he had only been running in a straight line so far, and that he hoped to progress to cutting soon.

But the fact that Cruz has not had any setbacks so far is encouraging, and the box drills that Reese referred to are an indication that he's trying to regain some of the fast-twitch explosion that he would have lost from the injury.

Fantasy Impact:

Cruz tore his patellar tendon in mid-October, so while these reports are encouraging, it's no sure thing that he'll be back for the start of the season. Even if he's fully healthy, he's not going to get the same number of targets given Odell Beckham's emergence as a top-flight wideout. Cruz is currently going in the later rounds.

Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) has 'zero doubts' that he'll be ready to play Week 1

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 2:43pm

NJ.com - [Full Article]

Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz's rehabilitation from a serious knee injury has so far gone as planned. Both the Giants and Cruz expect him to be ready for the season opener on Sunday night, Sep. 13, against the Dallas Cowboys.

"Absolutely. There is not a doubt in my mind that I'll be out there playing on the field [Week 1]," Cruz said Thursday. "Obviously it's just a matter of getting myself back to 100 percent.

"I definitely, as of right now, there is zero doubts in my mind that I'll be playing in that first game and continue to be at 100 percent and playing at the level I'd like to be playing."

Fantasy Impact:

Cruz tore his patellar tendon in mid-October, and despite Cruz's confidence, it's no sure thing that he'll be back for the start of the season. He's probably a player to avoid this season unless his price drops so much that he becomes a value in the later rounds. He's not going to get the same number of targets given Odell Beckham's emergence as a top-flight wideout.

Giants unsure about status of WR Victor Cruz

Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 6:04pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Giants don't know whether and to what extent Victor Cruz will recover from his severe knee injury. He may not be ready to start training camp, and even if he is, he's likely to be on a somewhat limited program as the team works him back slowly from his torn patellar tendon. There's a chance he misses a game or two, and a strong chance he's not 100 percent even when he does return to game action.

Fantasy Impact:

This doesn't sound very good, at least for 2015. What the Giants do at the position in the draft will be telling. They have Rueben Randle locked in as a starter, but OC Ben McAdoo typically calls a lot of three-receiver sets, so whoever plays the slot might be fantasy relevant.

Raiders planning to use RB Roy Helu in up-tempo offense

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 1:36pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Roy Helu, 26, looks like a perfect fit for Oakland’s new up-tempo offense that will often feature a no-huddle approach. ESPN scout Matt Williamson thinks Helu can be one of the Raiders’ most productive offensive weapons even though it will be in a limited role.

Williamson thinks Helu can do what like new New York Giants back Shane Vereen did in New England. Vereen had a total of 148 touches last season.

“While he isn’t great in protection, I think he will be a very valuable piece and a quick safe option for Derek Carr in this up-tempo passing game and offense overall,” Williamson said. “Helu has been extremely productive on a per-snap basis.”

Fantasy Impact:

Helu has averaged 2.69 catches per game in his four-year career, and is expected to serve as the team's primary passing down back while Latavius Murray and Trent Richardson compete for early-down duties. The Raiders are planning to move to a more up-tempo offense under OC Bill Musgrave, who spent last season working for Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. Helu is likely to be fantasy relevant in PPR formats, though the explosive Murray should hold the most fantasy value in 2015.

Friday, April 10, 2015, 10:32am

New York Daily News - [Full Article]

The Giants have their second tight end back.

On Wednesday afternoon, the club came to terms with Daniel Fells on a one-year deal, according to sources. Fells will rejoin Larry Donnell, an exclusive rights free agent who already re-signed, in a solid tight end tandem for the Giants.

Fells, 31, was a quiet addition to the franchise last season, but he quickly emerged as perhaps the most well-rounded weapon in an anonymous tight end corps. An ex-Bronco and ex-Patriot, he was the best blocker of the group, and he added four TD catches and 18 receptions.

Friday, April 10, 2015, 10:31am

New York Daily News - [Full Article]

Eli Manning was in uncharted waters a year ago at this time. He was learning a new offense for the first time in his NFL career, while nursing an ankle injury that still hadn’t fully healed. His immediate future seemed filled with uncertainty.

But he feels none of that uncertainty now.

Manning is ready to take the no-longer-new Ben McAdoo offense “to another level” in the 2015 season, now that he’s so much more familiar with the playbook after a full year in the system. In an interview with the team website – Manning wasn’t made available to any outside reporters – the quarterback spoke of an “easier transition” in Year 2 that has him “excited” for the possibilities of the offense on his 6-10 team.

“This year will be a much easier transition, knowing that we have been through so much of it already,” said Manning, who recently had been working out at Ole Miss with some of their receivers and alumni. “It’s definitely a different starting point. I feel good about it. I feel that I have a good understanding of it."

Fantasy Impact:

Manning will benefit with bust-out new star Odel Beckham Jr. and what looks like the return of Victor Cruz at WR. Plus, he seemed to be more on the same page with Rueben Randle toward the end of last season, so Manning will be surrounded by weapons in 2015. He'll be drafted as a QB2 most likely but with the potential to put up QB1 fantasy stats from time to time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 8:22pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

There are several reasons to wonder whether a happy ending is in the cards for WR Victor Cruz and the Giants, and whether an unhappy one might be coming sooner rather than later.

The emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. as a No. 1 wide receiver in his 2014 rookie season after Cruz went down is one of those reasons. The severity of the injury (torn patellar tendon) from which Cruz is recovering is another. And this recent study by NumberFire, which shows that Cruz's production was already in decline in the two years prior to 2014, offers yet another.

Fantasy Impact:

The story goes on to say a lot could still depend on what happens in 2015 - whether or when Cruz recovers, how productive he is in the second year of Ben McAdoo's offense, how he meshes with Beckham and Rueben Randle and Shane Vereen and Larry Donnell and Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, all of the varied weapons available to the Giants on offense. This decision could be an easy one in either direction next February. But the potential is there for it to remain a tricky one, because of a lot of things that weren't yet factors when he signed that contract just two years ago. The Giants would save only $2.45 million against this year's cap if they cut Cruz now, and they have no reason to do so. But the cap savings jumps to $6.1 million if they cut him next offseason, the story adds.

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