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Colts still believe in Trent Richardson
Friday, April 18, 2014, 3:24pm
At last month’s league meetings, Chuck Pagano said the Colts will be relying on more than one back in 2014 but are looking for a “bell cow” to emerge.
With a complete offseason in a comfortable setting, Trent Richardson is primed to be that guy.
“It’s going to be very, very important for (Richardson) to be here for the offseason program and to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will,” Pagano said.
“He wants to be great. He’s got all the talent. He’s got all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn’t believe that deep down in our core. So we look for him to have a great offseason and to have a great 2014 campaign.”
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 6th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.
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Friday, April 18, 2014, 3:11pm
RG3 starting to look like his old self
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 10:53am
“He looks more comfortable, because he don’t have to worry about that brace,” Moss said. “I think the brace was the big discomfort last year. You know, he’s a young guy with those fiery legs that want to do so much, and that brace probably gave him a little pinch in the behind, because he couldn’t do the things that he was normally accustomed to doing. You can already see, when we’re out there in conditioning and stuff, he’s running around, looking like the old Robert Griffin.”
Which reminded me that Chris Cooley recently hit a local field with Griffin, and had a similarly rave review. This was before Griffin was permitted to work out with his teammates at Redskins Park; Cooley instead took the QB to his own gym, Lifetime Fitness near Ashburn. The men took turns running routes and throwing passes to each other.
“It’s unbelievable,” Cooley reported. “He’s another person right now. I was like, ‘you’re running unbelievably well.’ It was silly to watch….When you watch him run, you’re like ‘You’re a freak. You’re seriously a freak.’ ”
Griffin is a bounce back candidate now that he's another year removed from his ACL surgery and is able to discard the knee brace which obviously limited his mobility in 2013. Jay Gruden coaxed top 5 fantasy numbers out of Andy Dalton, so it's not inconceivable that he could do the same with RG3. It doesn't hurt that the Redskins have plenty of weapons in the passing game (e.g. Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts and Jordan Reed).
Beat: Jets will use CJ?K and Chris Ivory in 'formidable 1-2 punch'
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 10:21am
Ivory and Bilal Powell had a nearly 50-50 split in carries last season, so it’s conceivable that Johnson could see about a 35%-40% decline in carries if the Jets stick to that formula. Johnson also provides insurance if Ivory, who has durability concerns, misses time.
A 35% to 40% decline would put Johnson in the 167-181 carry range, though we'd guess that he'll get at least 190 to 210 carries in the Jets' run-heavy offense. (Bilal Powell rushed the ball 176 times in 2013.) The Jets have averaged 493.5 carries over the past two seasons, so it's conceivable that Ivory and Johnson could both reach around 200 carries, provided they both stay healthy. Assuming 240 total touches for Johnson (200 carries, 40 catches) at his 2012-2013 FP/touch rate (.609), he would score around 146 fantasy points, or RB20 numbers.
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 10:01am
Former Giants OC Kevin Gilbride implied that he isn't sure Rueben Randle is a quality NFL starting WR. Coming to the defense of Eli Manning, Gilbride said, "There's been no deterioration of his arm strength, there’s been no lack of preparation and effort.” He added, "I think he’s going to be fine as soon as they solidify the offensive line. They certainly made a move to do that by bringing in three interior offensive linemen and as soon as they get somebody that’s going to be productive for them as an outside receiver. Victor Cruz is terrific, but they need somebody that when they go match up, bump and run (and) go win for them.”
Sidney Rice returns to Seattle on a one-year deal
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 8:44pm
Rice's return puts a big dent in Doug Baldwin's upside. Baldwin was looking like a nice late round sleeper as a starter for the Seahawks, but his playing time is in some jeopardy now with Rice in the mix. Russell Wilson gets another weapon in the passing game. Rice should be fantasy relevant provided he stays healthy.
Chris Johnson signs a two-year deal with the Jets
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 5:07pm
Johnson will form a one-two punch with incumbent Chris Ivory, who started to run better as the season wore on. Obviously this is bad news for Ivory, who isn't likely to see a 'bell cow' type workload with Johnson on the roster. Neither player looks like a fantasy RB2 until we have an idea of how the depth chart and workload shake out.
Rob Gronkowski to 'take his time' with his ACL recovery
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 3:07pm
It was reported this week that that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski is moving along just fine in his recovery from a torn ACL and MCL. That's all well and good, but a source close to him told me that the star player will "take his time and then take more time."
I'm told he might even take more time, and be more patient, than ever before. I'm not exactly sure when we'll see Gronkowski.
Gronkowski waited until January to have his surgery, so those expecting him to be ready to play nine months later in September may be disappointed. We may be playing the same 'will he' or 'won't he' (go on PUP) game in August when draft season is in full swing.
Giants sign Josh Freeman
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 12:10pm
Freeman will provide depth behind Eli Manning. He didn't get much of a chance to succeed in Minnesota.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 11:44am
"The healing process is going well," James said. "I've got a good opportunity to do what I need to do to get back in the swing of things and get acclimated with everything."
Asked if he has been cleared to participate in the first minicamp (April 22-24), James said the team is still "taking everything day by day." His focus is on getting back to full strength and full speed.
Peyton Manning says Montee Ball is ready to be RB1
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 10:59am
Ball actually outperformed Knowshon Moreno on a per carry basis (4.7 to 4.3 YPC) but Moreno was significantly better in the passing game. The big question mark with Ball is his habit of putting the ball on the ground, though he cleaned that up down the stretch and in the postseason. Ball has the blessing of his QB and as the RB1 in a high octane offense, his ADP is going to rise into the 2nd (or even 1st) round.
Golden Tate compares new role to Lance Moore's with Saints
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 10:37am
New offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi has brought over a lot of concepts from New Orleans’ offense after spending the last seven years there as both an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach.
“I watched some tape on the Saints over the last few years and just looking at that – I haven’t talked to coach Lombardi that much – I see myself being a Lance Moore type of player, but just more explosive and able to do a few more things,” Tate said.
“That’s exciting, because Lance Moore caught a lot of balls and he’s a terrific player that did a lot for the Saints. That’s kind of how I see myself having the best receiver in the league (Calvin Johnson), and one of the best to ever to play the game, opposite of me or sometimes on the same side.”
Tate has top 20 potential if he gets enough work in the offense, though that may be a bit of a stretch. The top 30 seems likely given his per target production and the role he'll have in the offense, provided the Lions don't draft a starter-caliber wideout this summer. Click here for an in-depth look at Tate by Senior Editor John Paulsen.
49ers sign Brandon Lloyd to a one-year deal
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 3:21pm
Kyle Rudolph (foot) running since mid-February
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11:06am
Kyle Rudolph said he's had no foot problems, has been running since mid-Feb.
Rudolph was the #13 TE through Week 9 prior to a season-ending fracture in his foot. He was 15th in targets per game during that span, so there’s some opportunity in the workload department, especially with new OC Norv Turner in town. Turner isn’t necessarily as TE-friendly as his old boss Rob Chudzinski, but he featured Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron heavily while with the Chargers and Browns.
Lions see Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in 'split role'
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11:03am
Bush's stock has taken a hit this offseason with the Lombardi hire -- coming from New Orleans, where they use a RBBC -- and the team's decision to re-sign Bell to a long-term deal. Bell was the #17 RB in 2013 (#29 in 2012), so he should be a nice middle round value again in '14. Bush has three straight top 14 finishes in standard formats, but his usage may take a hit this season.