Fantasy News Home

James Jones signs with the Raiders
Monday, March 17, 2014, 6:10pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Raiders reached agreement with former Packers WR James Jones, per ESPN source.

Fantasy Impact:

This is not a particularly good landing spot for Jones, who seems to have had a chilly reception in free agency. The Raiders don't have a solid QB and it's not clear how Jones will fit in with incumbent starters Rod Streater and Denarius Moore. We'll have to wait to see how the Oakland depth chart shakes out before determining if Jones is even draftable heading into 2014.

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Monday, March 17, 2014, 5:33pm

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Cowboys have signed QB Brandon Weeden to a two-year deal, per source.

Monday, March 17, 2014, 5:32pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie reached agreement with the New York Giants on a five-year deal, per source.

Monday, March 17, 2014, 11:02am

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Seahawks agreed to terms with productive kicker Steven Hauschka on a 3-year deal worth $9.15M, including $3.35M guaranteed, source says.

Monday, March 17, 2014, 10:18am

SI - [Full Article]

Perhaps whatever incentives are in Hakeem Nicks's contract will do their job and remind him to put forth more effort than he did when the Giants needed him so badly in 2013. Perhaps what happened with Nicks in 2013 had more to do with the overall collapse of the Giants' offense, and the pass-happy Colts and Andrew Luck will pump his numbers back up and he'll get his big deal next year, when the salary cap is expected to rise significantly again.

Perhaps the one-year deal is merely a stepping stone to a longer deal, and if the Colts like him he could continue talks and sign an extension during the season.

Fantasy Impact:

Nicks has failed to score a TD in 17 straight games and his knees are a concern. Still, it's a low-risk move for the Colts, who are likely trying to look for a long-term replacement for Reggie Wayne (torn ACL). The signing puts a small dent in T.Y. Hilton's upside, while Wayne's stock takes a bigger hit. As for Nicks, he has finished outside of the top 50 at his position for two straight seasons, but he's still just 26 years old and still has time to turn his career around, assuming he's fully healthy. His ADP in early drafts is in the 9th round and it might rise a bit with this change of scenery.

Broncos exercise option on Wes Welker
Monday, March 17, 2014, 10:16am

SI - [Full Article]

Denver has exercised its 2014 option on Wes Welker, who will make $8 million (including bonuses) at age 33 this fall, and then become a free agent for what might be one final (minor) payday in 2015.

How the Broncos likely will line their receivers up in 2014: Julius Thomas tight to the formation, either left or right; Demaryius Thomas split wide, either left or right; Welker most often in the slot; and Emmanuel Sanders mostly opposite Demaryius Thomas. But here’s the changeup: Sanders started in the slot 11 times for Pittsburgh in 2012 before moving mostly outside in 2013. One of the things offensive coordinator Adam Gase likes to do is move Welker around so he doesn’t get beat up too much in the slot, so don’t be surprised to see Sanders learning all the spots.

Fantasy Impact:

Welker should post similar numbers in 2014 if he can stay healthy. He was #20 in standard formats and #21 in PPR. On a per game basis, he was #16 and #17, respectively.

Brandon LaFell could start for Patriots
Monday, March 17, 2014, 9:43am

ESPN - [Full Article]

From a pure build standpoint, Brandon LaFell has some Aaron Dobson in him. But while Dobson holds the speed and upside edge, LaFell is more sturdily built and played a different role in Carolina. Given the presence of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and even Josh Boyce, LaFell may wind up playing more of a perimeter receiving role. His size, field awareness on the sideline, and ability to use his reach to out leverage defenders make him a possibility to start at the “X” or split end position.

Fantasy Impact:

We're expecting Dobson to start in that spot if healthy, but he's coming off foot surgery, which may have prompted this signing by the Patriots.

Steve Smith sees himself as clear No. 2 receiver
Monday, March 17, 2014, 9:39am

Baltimore Ravens - [Full Article]

Going on 35 years old, Steve L Smith has no illusions of grandeur.

The five-time Pro Bowler knows he’s not a No. 1 wide receiver anymore.

Smith made that clear to reporters Friday after signing, relaying how he sees himself fitting into new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak’s system, and pulling back the curtain on what their conversations may have sounded like.

“I don’t see myself in Coach Kubiak’s system like [Texans wide receiver] Andre Johnson],” Smith said. “I see the complementary dude of [former Texans wide receiver] Kevin Walter.

“I see how he contributed and how he was instrumental in getting Andre the ball but also getting his own opportunities.”

Fantasy Impact:

Smith will likely see the third- or fourth-most targets behind Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta and perhaps Marlon Brown (or even Ray Rice). Anquan Boldin finished #34 and #30 as the Ravens' WR2 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, so that's probably near the high-end of projected production for Smith as he joins a new team.

Ray Rice down 15 lbs from 2013 playing weight
Sunday, March 16, 2014, 1:43pm

Carroll County Times - [Full Article]

Ravens RB Ray Rice wasn’t the same dynamic, elusive, consistent playmaker that he had been during his first five seasons with the Ravens.

Rice strained his hip flexor in Week 2. He only missed one game. But his trainer, Kyle Jakobe, said Rice was still noticeably bothered by the hip when he showed up to begin his offseason workouts in early January.

“I don’t think a lot of people understand the magnitude of the injury that he was dealing with and how much pain he was actually in,” Jakobe said.

The other issue was Rice’s weight.

Rice has already dropped around 15 pounds in the last two months or so.

Fantasy Impact:

At just 26 years old, it was surprising to see Rice's production fall off the way it did, but he was dealing with hip and quad injuries throughout the season. He was also coming off of a Super Bowl run the previous year, which likely wore him down. GM Ozzie Newsome said he expects Rice to return to Pro Bowl form, but HC John Harbaugh said after the season that the team could take more of a committee approach at running back, which would limit Rice's upside. Still,he is a bounceback candidate in Gary Kubiak's offense, assuming his offseason legal issues don't impact his availability.

Arian Foster says he's been medically cleared to play
Sunday, March 16, 2014, 11:45am

Arian Foster, Twitter - [Full Article]

Texans RB Arian Foster (back) tweeted that he's been medically cleared by his physician.

Fantasy Impact:

Foster's health is obviously a concern. He has missed 11 games in the last three years, but did play a full season in 2012 and no longer has Ben Tate to worry about. After finishing in the top 2 in fantasy points per game from 2010 to 2012, he was #19 in that category in 2013. There is a new regime in Houston, so Foster's usage is a bit up in the air. Still, he has been one of the most productive RBs in the league when healthy and is a candidate for a bounceback season.

Patriots sign Brandon LaFell to a three-year deal
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 11:10pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Patriots have reached agreement on a three-year deal with former Panthers WR Brandon LaFell, per source.

Fantasy Impact:

LaFell produced in spots for the Panthers, but they elected not to re-sign him despite major holes at receiver. He'll compete with Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce for snaps outside, but we think Dobson will progress enough to win the job.

Broncos expected to sign Emmanuel Sanders
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 10:18pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Neither team nor player's agent will confirm, but Broncos are expected to sign former Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders, per league sources.

Fantasy Impact:

Sanders will likely replace Eric Decker in Denver's three-WR set, so Andre Caldwell probably sees spot duty as the team's WR4. Sanders was #35 in standard and #32 in PPR, and we'd expect that to be his floor playing with Peyton Manning in the Broncos' potent offense.

Julian Edelman re-signs with the Patriots
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 3:13pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Patriots and WR Julian Edelman just reached agreement, per source. Back to New England.

Fantasy Impact:

This is a best case scenario for Edelman's value. He's likely to be the Patriots' top targeted wideout in 2014, assuming he stays healthy. Edelman finished #18 in standard formats and #14 in PPR. Barring an unforeseen addition to the Patriots' receiving corps, we'd expect similar (WR2) numbers for Edelman again in 2014.

Saturday, March 15, 2014, 2:10pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Saints beat writer Mike Triplett was asked if Tarvaris Cadet could be used to replace the Darren Sproles role in the offense:

"That’s entirely possible. I probably haven’t mentioned Cadet as much as I should while writing about how much depth the Saints still have at running back. Obviously there is no way anyone should expect Cadet to replicate what Sproles has done the past three years. But coach Sean Payton did mention Cadet a handful of times late last season as someone the Saints tried to get on the field for a few snaps here and there. Now they’ve got a little more room to do so (even though he’s still fourth on the depth chart)."

Saturday, March 15, 2014, 11:14am

Jacksonville.com - [Full Article]

Suspended Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon was involved on a single-vehicle accident early Saturday morning on Interstate 295 in Jacksonville.

The Florida Highway Patrol report said Blackmon was not injured, was wearing a seat belt and alcohol was not involved.

The report said Blackmon’s 2009 Denali was traveling south on I-295 when the right rear tire blew out – the car left the road and collided into a guard-rail.