Corey Coleman quickly worked himself into NFL shape after a few whirlwind months on the draft circuit and impressed Jackson throughout OTAs and minicamp.
The first-round pick has received constant attention from Jackson and senior offensive assistant/wide receivers coach Al Saunders on the practice field, and that’s been reciprocated with continuous improvement.
“He’s a tremendous player,” Jackson said. “He’s going to be pretty good. I ride him pretty hard because he has so much ability and I want to get it out of him. He’s really shown why we drafted him in the first round. He is a tremendous talent. If he keeps working like he is and stays as humble and he has great desire to be a great football player, I think that’s going to happen for him.
“He’s still got to earn it. He’s got to work for it. He’s got to go fight for it to go get it. I think he will.”
Coleman is a good bet to lead the Browns in targets which is why he's the second rookie (after Ezekiel Elliott) off the board in early fantasy drafts. Rookie receivers drafted in the middle rounds tend to fare pretty well compared to their veteran counterparts. The only thing that could submarine his value is the surprising return of Josh Gordon to the fold.
Giants beat writer Ralph Vacchiano on the team's TE situation: I think a lot of my take is going to depend on how healthy Larry Donnell is come training camp. If he’s healthy, I think he’ll probably be the No. 1 guy given his experience, his receiving ability and his blocking skills. If he’s not healthy, it could be Will Tye. And I wouldn’t rule out some combination of the two of them.
Tye essentially took over as the Giants’ starter in Week 8, and was the #13 tight end in standard formats from that point on. From Week 9 to Week 17, he had the 10th-most targets at his position. If he wins the job this summer, he’ll be a good late-round target for owners looking for value at the position. The same can be said of Donnell. Over the past 24 games, he has averaged 3.8 catches for 35 yards and 0.33 TD. Those are fringe TE1 numbers.
The Chiefs’ three-day mandatory minicamp starts Tuesday, and it appears a few notable injured players — including star running back Jamaal Charles — might take part in on-field drills for the first time this offseason.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Charles, who is recovering from a torn ACL, and receiver Mike Williams, who is battling a strained hamstring, could make their first on-field appearance of organized team activities.
“What you might see if them doing drills,” Reid said.
Both players could spotted running and jumping around cones over a 25-yard period during Friday’s practice, which was another first of the offseason.
Charles was playing at an elite RB1 pace prior to tearing his ACL in Week 5. Our injury expert, Russell Manalastas, predicts that Charles will be limited in camp and good to go for Week 1, and that his recovery is an opportunity to get him at a discount. The Chiefs found solid contributors in Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware, so Andy Reid could elect to reduce his workload in an effort to keep him healthy.
The Eagles on Friday confirmed that Agholor was being investigated by police.
We're just passing this along. Agholor isn't high on our draft board this year, and this certainly doesn't help.
Anderson wasn’t fully healthy heading into the season and struggled at the onset, averaging just 2.69 YPC on 11.4 rushing attempts through the first six weeks of the season. He turned it around in a big way after the Week 7 bye, however, racking up an average of 64.5 yards on 11.6 carries (5.57 YPC) and 0.58 TD over his final 12 games, including the playoffs. Those are mid-level RB1 numbers in standard formats and low-end RB1 numbers in PPR. Moreover, the Broncos committed to Anderson down the stretch, feeding him 15.6 carries over the final five games. In that span, he averaged 13.7 fantasy points in standard (and 15.9 FP in PPR). Those averages would have been good enough to finish #3 in both formats. Even though he finished strong, playoff numbers don’t count for fantasy, so the fact remains that Anderson burned his owners in 2015. As a result, his ADP is likely to remain a bit depressed heading into 2016 fantasy drafts.
After recording 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, Buccaneers WR Mike Evans looks primed to continue his success in 2016. Head coach Dirk Koetter has spoken about Evans’ intent to improve his chemistry with Jameis Winston and it appears to be going well. The two connected on several passes during team drills at practice, including a handful deep down the field. Evans was also able to successfully limit any drops during the three practices open to the media.
Last year, Evans was the #23 receiver in PPR formats, but he has been working on building better chemistry with his quarterback. He's currently the #8 receiver off the board in early drafts, so the fantasy community is expecting a big bounce back season from the third-year wideout. He was the #13 WR as a rookie and has missed one game in each of his two seasons.
Parker struggled with a foot injury last year, so this is good news. For the final six games of his rookie season, Parker played at a 59-1187-8 pace, which are solid WR2 numbers. He’ll likely play the “X” receiver in Adam Gase’s offense, a position which has yielded 6.0-90-0.44 from Alshon Jeffery and 6.9-101-0.69 from Demaryius Thomas over the past two seasons. The former 1st round pick has a big green arrow next to his name heading into the 2016 season.
Watching the Patriots offense during the first few open practices, Chris Hogan has been one of the central figures. He’s catching everything being delivered his way by either Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo, and he’s constantly getting open.
That 7-Eleven nickname is on the money. He does always seem to be open.
What Bill Belichick got was a perfect fit for his offense. Hogan works very well in the Patriots horizontal style of play. At 27, he’s a few years younger than the 30-year-old Edelman and Amendola, and with the duo sitting out organized team activities and minicamp, Hogan has been running those similar routes, the quick hitters that are staples to Brady and the offense. There’s little doubt, at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, Hogan could move into Brandon LaFell’s old “X” receiver role as well.
Hogan has more size (6'1") than it seems, but his skill set isn't much different from that of Julian Edelman or Danny Amendola. It sounds as if he'll take over the outside role in the offense, which means he could potentially have a 2014 Brandon LaFell-type season. LaFell was the #22 receiver in standard formats two seasons ago. He'll need to see more snaps than Amendola if he's going to be fantasy relevant in 2016.
So, what’s Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie’s theory on running backs, and division of carries?
“I believe in just doing whatever we have to do, whatever is necessary to win the game,’’ Robiskie said. “Obviously we’ll have it situated going into the game, and figuring, ‘Hey, we want to go this way or go that way.’ If we get to going in the game and some guy gets the hot hand and that’s what it takes to win the game then that is what we are going to do.
“We are not going to sit down before the game and say, ‘So and so has to have 20 carries, or he has to touch it 25 times,’’’ Robiskie said. “We are going to go into the game and we’ll run the offense and try and get it called and try and execute it and whatever we feel we need to get done to win the game, that’s what we’re going to get done. But we don’t sit down and structure, so and so has to have 25 carries, so and so has to get 30 carries.”
If a certain guy gets hot, with a smile, Robiskie said, “I wouldn’t be afraid to give him 70 (carries). If I hand it to him and he keeps running for touchdowns, I’ll keep handing it to him.”
This doesn't sound particularly good for Murray, who didn't run the ball very well while in Philadelphia. He'll have to fend off Henry, so this is shaping up to be an unpredictable running game.
The Seahawks view the third-down back as a very specific and important role, and all signs point to C.J. Prosise having that role. If Thomas Rawls and Alex Collins end up being 1-2 on the depth chart as the first- and second-down back, so to speak—though don’t count Christine Michael out in that battle—Prosise would still have a significant role in the offense in passing situations and in the hurry up offense, similar to how the Seahawks used Fred Jackson last season.
Jackson averaged 2.0 catches per game last season, so the Seahawks' third-down back isn't necessarily a role where fantasy owners can find a startable PPR back on the cheap.
Here are select quotes from Day 1 of 49ers minicamp.
Blaine Gabbert on Vance McDonald: “He’s such a great athlete. He’s smart. He does a great job in the run and pass game. He’s a guy that we have to utilize. He’s a mismatch nightmare on linebackers. And you really kind of saw that jump Week 8 on last year. He did a great job, stayed healthy and had some good plays.”
Tight ends coach Jeff Nixon on Vance McDonald: “The sky is the limit for Vance. He’s very talented. He has the size and the speed. I think most of his drops sometimes are a little bit of a lack of concentration, because he does have good hands. But I’m expecting a big year out of Vance. He finished up the year strong. I think the last three or four games he had at least five catches in each of those games. We’re looking for him to take off right from where he left off last year, being a big-play tight-end target for us in the pass game.”
Over his final six games, McDonald averaged 3.5 catches for 44 yards and 0.5 touchdowns, which made him the #8 TE in PPR formats in that span. It appears that he'll start for the 49ers, and if he's able to stay healthy, he should be streamable in 2016.
Stewart has been limited throughout much of organized team activities with discomfort in his left foot, Panthers coach Ron Rivera told the Observer after Tuesday’s practice.
“That foot just kind of lingered after he got bent over backwards in the Super Bowl,” Rivera said. “When he showed up it was still sore a little bit. When he started to run he said he could still feel it a little bit.”
“Lately he said he’s been feeling really good, so (Tuesday) he got a good dose of it,” Rivera said. “We’re really trying to be smart with that and I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent, but it’s almost there.”
Despite missing three games, Stewart finished #16 in standard scoring and was #9 through Week 14. This news will only serve to depress his already depressed ADP. He's currently the #28 RB off the board in the 6th round. That's good value, though his long injury history is a concern.
Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen made this clear on Tuesday: This team is going to play fast. Sometimes, that will mean no-huddle. Other times, it will mean quick huddles at the line of scrimmage. Sometimes, when game situations call for it, play-caller/coach Adam Gase and Christensen will slow things down.
Regardless of the pace, this coaching staff wants the opponent on its toes. And Christensen said the Dolphins offense will play up-tempo the majority of the time.
“Even in the up tempo, there are still different levels of up-tempo,” Christensen said. “Some of them will be extremely fast paced. Some of them will be a huddle at the line of scrimmage where we've got plenty of time. One of the big things is, you do want to change pitches. You want to have your fastball and a change-up.
“Just keep pushing the pace and a lot of it is it gives our quarterback some time at the line of scrimmage so all of them don’t get snapped with 22 seconds left on the clock. That’s not necessarily the intention. You want them to have to defend right from the get-go. Now your quarterback might have a chance to get us in the right play. One of the reasons we’re at the line of scrimmage is the tempo, for the conditioning, and for the advantage based part of it where it looks like it’s going to be fast and then all of a sudden we can get into a play we want to get into.”
The Dolphins were 26th in total plays last year and quicker tempo will help the fantasy prospects of all of the team's skill players provided the team can move the ball. With Adam Gase calling the shots, we're generally optimistic. Gase's Bears were 18th in total plays last year, likely due to several offensive injuries, but while in Denver his offenses finished 1st and 7th in total plays.
“Our style and scheme adapts to whoever it is,” Kelly added, “but he certainly has the skillset to be an outstanding running back at this level, because he can do everything.”
“You’re looking for a guy that can be a three-down back, and that’s what Carlos is,” Kelly said.
Kelly’s high-tempo offense figures to lean heavily on Hyde, assuming he’s durable enough to lead an offense that’s still unsure whether Blaine Gabbert will outlast Colin Kaepernick for the starting quarterback role.
Hyde was the #14 RB (PPR) through the first six weeks before missing the rest of the season with a foot injury. Chip Kelly's teams in Philadelphia had an average ranking of 7.3 in total rush attempts, so Hyde should get plenty of work as the team's lead back, provided they can stay competitive on game day.
There comes a point with all first year players when you can see the light start to go on. Things aren’t just a blur on a daily basis. As such, it definitely seems there’s a flicker of a light going on with Will Fuller. At Notre Dame, he made a living on deep throws and short catch and run screens. But, he’s showing much more than just that each and every day. He made an excellent catch for a touchdown in the far corner and followed that up with a catch at the back of the end zone for another touchdown on consecutive plays. Progress...that’s all you want from a rookie and he’s making it.