Related players: Doug Martin
Stroud also reported that the Bucs were optimistic that they'll be able to re-sign Doug Martin. Sims quietly finished as the #22 RB in standard formats and #17 in PPR leagues, catching at least three passes in 10 of 16 games. He also averaged 4.94 YPC on 107 carries, so he showed the ability to be effective as a runner as well. He's currently the 32nd running back off the board in early PPR drafts (i.e. MFL10s and MyFantasyLeague), so he's a good target in the 6th/7th round for those utilizing a "wait on RB" strategy.
Patriots running back Dion Lewis’ recovery from a torn right ACL on Nov. 8 has been encouraging to Dr. James Andrews, who performed surgery on Lewis Nov. 18. When Lewis visited Andrews in January for a routine check-in, the feeling was that things were exactly where they should be, if not better. The Patriots still figure to take it slowly with Lewis this offseason and perhaps even into training camp, but at this point, there’s no reason to think Lewis won’t be available for when the games count.
Lewis was New England’s best fantasy back through the first eight weeks of the season before tearing his ACL in Week 9. In six healthy games in that span, Lewis averaged 12.8 touches for 95 yards and 0.67 TD. On a per game basis, he was #10 in standard and #5 in PPR at the time of his injury. According to ESPN Boston, Lewis’s recovery is ahead of schedule and “there’s no reason to think Lewis won’t be available for when the games count.” If he’s good to go for Week 1, we believe he’ll be the team’s RB1 heading to the season, barring the addition of a good free agent back like Matt Forte or Lamar Miller.
The Rams have a brand new home in Los Angeles -- and a rapidly changing roster to go with it.
The team released defensive end Chris Long, linebacker James Laurinaitis and tight end Jared Cook on Friday. The club later confirmed the moves.
Steelers’ tight end Heath Miller has retired, the team announced today.
Miller played 11 seasons for the Steelers (2005-15) after originally being selected by Pittsburgh in the first round (30thoverall) of the 2005 NFL Draft. He started 167-of-168 games played during the regular season, and he started all 15 postseason contests that he played in. Miller’s 168 regular-season games played are the most by a tight end in Steelers’ history.
In team history, Miller is the all-time leader in receptions (592), receiving yards (6,569) and receiving touchdowns (45) by a tight end. Overall, he ranks second in career receptions, fourth in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, and sixth in scrimmage yards (6,577) in Steelers’ annals. Miller is one of four players to record 500 receptions, one of five players to record 6,000 receiving yards and one of five players to record 40 receiving touchdowns in team history.
Miller is one of 12 tight ends in NFL history to reach 6,000 career receiving yards, and at the conclusion of the 2015 season, his 592 receptions are the sixth-most in NFL history by a tight end, and his 6,569 career receiving yards are the ninth-most in NFL history by a tight end.
Related players: Jesse James
Bennett has a price tag of $5 million for the 2016 season, but he didn't have a very good season, catching just 53 passes for 439 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games. He turns 29 in March. Meanwhile, Zachary Miller posted 34-439-5. He was the #5 TE over the final nine weeks of the season, and that includes Week 17, which he missed due to injury. Miller is 31 years old and has had trouble staying healthy throughout his career, but he'll be a compelling pick in the later rounds if he's the clear starter in Chicago.
Bell, 29, struggled with injuries throughout the 2015 season and was passed on the depth chart by rookie Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. He gained a career-low 311 yards on 90 carries with four touchdowns.
That leaves the Lions with Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner at the position. Riddick should continue to produce in PPR formats while Abdullah and Zenner will compete for carries. The Lions may decide to address the position in the draft, but they have more pressing needs with Calvin Johnson's pending retirement.
The sticking point: How much are the Dolphins willing to spend?
Industry insiders estimate Miller, who averaged 893 yards, six touchdowns and 4.6 yards per attempt from 2013-2015, will command a contract that pays roughly $5 million a year. That would put him at the top of the second tier of NFL running backs, which seems reasonable, considering he’s got a clean medical history and is one of the league’s most efficient runners.
The Dolphins should have the salary cap space to make it happen.
From a value standpoint, Miami might be the best landing spot for Miller, since the fantasy community generally believes that he'll once again be underutilized. But Adam Gase is in as the new head coach, and he's not afraid to lean on a productive running back if the situation calls for it.
As the Bolts charge forward looking for a bounce back 2016 campaign, Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is dead set on jumpstarting a rushing attack that has been dormant in recent years.
San Diego’s offense was electric at times over the two seasons between Whisenhunt’s stints as OC, and he is quick to point out all the good the staff accomplished with Philip Rivers at the helm. Nonetheless, the Chargers made a number of coaching changes on offense as only one coach remains in the same position heading into 2016.
A major reason for that change was a need to improve the ground game. The Bolts ranked under 13th in the NFL under Whisenhunt in 2012, yet fell to 30th and 31st the past two seasons.
While the offensive coordinator has numerous priorities throughout the offseason, he admits that is chief amongst them.
Whisenhunt: “...the one thing that stands out is we need to run the football better than we did last year. There is no blame associated there, as there are always factors that are involved. But that is probably the biggest thing we have to do, because then your play action builds off of that, your time of possession increases where you can control the ball and you are in better third down situations. All of those things tie in together."
The Chargers struggled to run the last two seasons, and the addition of Melvin Gordon didn't help in 2015. Whisenhunt's offenses have performed better when he's the OC and not the head coach, so his commitment to the running game should be good news for Gordon. Danny Woodhead likely remains the better option in PPR leagues.
"Despite my wishes, my days as a member of the Chicago Bears have sadly come to an end. I was informed earlier this week from the GM that they will not be attempting to re-sign me in free agency. I will remain forever grateful for my time spent in Chicago and being able to play for an organization with such a rich history. My only regret is not being able to win a Lombardi trophy for the best fans in all of sports. I'm excited about the next chapter of my NFL career. But, Chicago will always be home. God Bless and Bear Down!"
Related players: Jeremy Langford
The Bears saw enough from Jeremy Langford to convince the team to let Forte walk. Langford averaged 21.3 touches for 122 yards and 1.3 TD in the three games that Forte missed. Langford finished as the #23 RB in standard formats with a significant role even when Forte was healthy enough to play. Langford is going off the board near the 2/3 turn of early 2016 fantasy drafts. He's likely to be a late 2nd round pick by summertime. As for Forte, he's on the wrong side of 30, but he's still a highly productive player and should be a hot commodity on the free agency market.
If the Colts have to choose between their two young promising tight ends – Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen – Fleener appears the better fit, at least based on how the two have been used in recent seasons. Don’t expect Fleener to end up anywhere but Indianapolis in free agency.
If the Colts do re-sign Fleener while letting Allen walk, Fleener will be one of our favorite sleepers heading into the 2016 season. In the 22 games that Fleener has played over the last three seasons with Allen sidelined, he has averaged 4.1 catches for 54 yards and 0.45 TD. Those averages would have been good enough to finish 7th in standard scoring and 6th in PPR at his position. When only looking at seven such games in the last two seasons, Fleener has averaged 5.4 catches for 82 yards and 0.86 TD. It doesn't hurt that he hasn't missed a game in the last three years, either. We'll be keeping a close eye on the Colts' tight end situation this offseason.
A statement released Monday by Philadelphia police said that two off-duty officers, both 40-year-old black men and members of the city's police department, were injured in a fight with four black men, aged 26 through 30, around 2:45 a.m. Sunday.
Police did not identify the four suspects, but a man familiar with the investigation confirmed to ESPN's Mark Schwarz and The Associated Press that McCoy, who played six seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles, is one of the men under investigation. The man spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to publicly discuss the case.
Related players: Karlos Williams
McCoy's offseason is not off to a good start. Depending on how this plays out, he could be suspended for part of the 2016 season. Karlos Williams is waiting in the wings.
It takes a pretty big splash to make news in the middle of the Super Bowl, but Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch managed it. At 9:46 p.m., Eastern time, early in the fourth quarter of the game, Lynch posted a photograph of football shoes hanging from a telephone wire from his Twitter account. It was a subtle but clear message that he had chosen to end his football career at age 29.
Related players: Thomas Rawls
If Lynch does indeed hang 'em up, Rawls is first in line for workhorse back duties given his performance in 2015. In the six games in which Rawls played and Lynch did not, the rookie averaged 20.5 touches for 120 yards and 0.84 touchdowns (on a stellar 5.6 YPC). That doesn't even include Week 3, when he turned 16 carries into 104 yards while Lynch was limited to five carries. A fractured ankle ended his season, but it didn't require surgery and he should be ready to for training camp. If he's fully healthy and Lynch is out of the way, Rawls' ADP should climb into the 3rd round.
Sunday, February 7, 2016, 5:12pm
Sunday, February 7, 2016, 5:11pm
As unpredictable as some of these decisions can be for many players, it is even more so for the ultra-unpredictable Lynch. But as of now, despite the fact that his teammates still are attempting to change his mind, Lynch's plan is to walk away from the game, something that he has shared with some in the Seahawks' organization.
If Lynch hangs 'em up, Thomas Rawls is first in line for workhorse back duties given his performance in 2015. In the six games in which Rawls played and Lynch did not, the rookie averaged 20.5 touches for 120 yards and 0.84 touchdowns (on a stellar 5.6 YPC). That doesn't even include Week 3, when he turned 16 carries into 104 yards while Lynch was limited to five carries. A fractured ankle ended his season, but it didn't require surgery and he should be ready to for training camp. If he's fully healthy and Lynch is out of the way, Rawls' ADP should climb into the 3rd round.