Friday, March 27, 2015, 2:48pm
Thursday, March 26, 2015, 11:38pm
“His cutup is unbelievable,” Saints HC Sean Payton said of breaking down C.J. Spiller’s film with the Buffalo Bills. “And I’m not talking about last season because I think it became challenging, but you go back a couple of years and start looking at his screen reel, a sweep reel, a return reel. So when you watch his film you think of a lot of things he can do.
“He’s physical. He’s the most explosive player on the field a lot of times when you’re watching him."
While New Orleans may not be an ideal landing spot from a workload standpoint, Spiller should have a big role in the passing game with Pierre Thomas, Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills no longer on the roster. He’ll likely take over the role of Thomas, who averaged 11.6 touches in the last two seasons. Thomas finished with a top 30 PPG (PPR) in six of the last seven seasons, so that's a reasonable baseline for Spiller. New Orleans running backs caught 275 passes in the last two seasons, so there are plenty of catches to go around. In short, he has significant PPR upside in this offense, but his workload will be somewhat limited since he'll be part of a committee.
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.
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.
"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.'"
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.
Cardinals HC Bruce Arians on RBs: "We'd like to have a bigger back." Said team looking for big, fast back. Could come in 4th or 5th round.
It sounds like the Cardinals are looking to build a two-back system to lower the wear and tear on Andre Ellington, who played hurt for most of the 2014 season. A reduction in touches may actually help Ellington's effectiveness, though it's unlikely to help his per game fantasy production. Ellington averaged 22.0 touches per game, but only managed 3.3 YPC after averaging 5.5 YPC in his rookie season.
Bush is expected to fill a third-down role since it looks like Carlos Hyde is ready to carry most of the rushing load, though Tomsula's comments indicate that Bush's presence should be a concern for Hyde owners who were excited about the young back's opportunity with Frank Gore gone. The 49ers don't typically use their running backs in the passing game, though longtime OC Greg Roman is gone and new OC Geep Chryst may have a different plan in mind.
Mike McCarthy says WR Jordy Nelson's hip surgery was a cleanup and took place after Pro Bowl. Said its 6-8 weeks and things went well.
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. 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.
But Gore’s new coach, Chuck Pagano, sees a player who can help take the Indianapolis Colts a long way.
“Put the tape on him, and you still see the production,” Pagano said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.
“He’s a tough, hard-nosed, every-down back. He can play all three downs. He’s a great protector in pass-pro. He catches the ball out of the backfield. We all know what he can do as a runner on early downs.
The Colts still view Gore as an every-down back.
“I don’t think we would’ve gone after him and made the investment and made the decision to bring him in if we didn’t feel that way,” Pagano said. “Based on what we saw on tape, there’s video evidence that he’s more than capable of still being that guy.
“Some guys are like that. Carry 1 through 20, they’re OK. And 20 to 30, they keep getting better as you wear defenses down. And I think Frank is that type of runner.”
Gore is turning 32 this summer, but should be able to shore up the Colts' running game. Dan Herron and Vick Ballard are in the mix, but Gore is better than advertised in the passing game. Gore averaged 51.0 receptions from 2006-2010, but as soon as Greg Roman took over as offensive coordinator in 2011, his targets dropped precipitously. He averaged just 28.3 targets over the past four seasons, while the Colts' running backs accounted for 113 targets last season, so look for Gore's value to jump in PPR formats. Due to his age, Gore typically goes later than he should in fantasy drafts, but he hasn't missed a game in three seasons and should be reinvigorated by a change of scenery.
After finishing 2-14 with one of the league’s worst offenses, the Buccaneers replaced interim OC Marcus Arroyo with a proven NFL offensive coordinator in Dirk Koetter, and the one player who could benefit the most is Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who is expected to be featured in Tampa Bay’s new offense.
The Bucs are so high on Seferian-Jenkins that he’s expected to be the starter in 2015 and the team did not go out in free agency and add a new tight end. The Bucs re-structured Myers’ contract to reflect the role of a backup tight end, and also re-signed blocking tight end Luke Stocker, but that’s it. The Bucs aren’t expected to address the tight end position in the draft, either, which means it’s up to Seferian-Jenkins to produce in 2015 and live up to his potential after an injury-riddled rookie campaign that ended with him on injured reserve due to an ailing back.
Seferian-Jenkins will be a featured weapon in Koetter’s offense and he should return to the form he showed in Washington when he hauled in 146 catches for 1,840 yards and 21 touchdowns in three seasons for the Huskies. While Koetter has the reputation for developing pocket passers everywhere he’s gone, he has also made stars out of tight ends.
Koetter has a history of featuring the tight end, coaxing a 58-700-10 season out of Marcedes Lewis in 2010 to go along with the 176 catches for 1,965 yards and 16 touchdowns in two seasons with Tony Gonzalez in 2012-2013. Seferian-Jenkins had an injury-riddled rookie season, but is a breakout candidate in his second season with a new quarterback and offensive coordinator.
Jerick McKinnon's undefined role hinges on whether Minnesota persuades Adrian Peterson to honor a $12.75 million contract in 2015 or trades his muddled status to another team -- abstractions that mean little to McKinnon, who refuses to dabble in Peterson politics.
He is hunting bigger game.
The ball carrier is fully recovered from back surgery that short-circuited his 2014 rookie season and eager to prove durable enough to produce over a 16-game NFL season.
"There's no doubt in my mind I can last the season," McKinnon said this week. "If that's something I have to prove, that's not a big deal for me. I'll prove it this year. I'm just really excited to get back out there with my teammates and coaches and show how far I've come since surgery."
McKinnon was the team’s primary runner from Week 4 to Week 12, averaging 81.5 yards on 16.4 touches per game. During that span, he was the #25 RB in standard formats and #20 in PPR. However, he failed to score a touchdown while Matt Asiata found the endzone 10 times. If Peterson leaves town and McKinnon enters the season as the team’s primary back, then low-end RB2 numbers are within reach. In that scenario, Asiata would continue to serve as the team's goal-line back.
Thursday, March 19, 2015, 10:09pm
Thursday, March 19, 2015, 10:08pm
The Falcons started the day by signing former Colt and Bronco Jacob Tamme, but they weren’t done adding players to compete with Levine Toilolo for playing time. The team announced that they have also signed former Chief, Bill and Seahawk Tony Moeaki on Thursday afternoon.
Moeki has talent but hasn't been able to stay out of the training room. The Falcons are looking to shore up the TE position and today's signings of Tamme and Moeaki give them a couple of veterans to lean on.
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