Flip the calendar three months forward and Perriman enters training camp as a drastically better player, and he’s put himself in position to contend for a starting position (or at least a lot of snaps) right away.
The aspect of Perriman’s game that critics have harped on most is his hands. Perriman showed solid hands throughout most of Organized Team Activities and minicamp, but he did have one practice with about four drops, which has continued the narrative.
Four months after Jones raved over Darren McFadden as still possessing the "kinds of skills that got him drafted with the fourth pick," the Cowboys owner and general manager spent Wednesday praising McFadden's competition, Joseph Randle.
"We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential -- and we based that on, not on what he did at Oklahoma State or how we drafted him, but by literally being a teammate around here for the last two years -- but he has the potential to be the kind of back that would step in there and be your No. 1 back," Jones told reporters. "If he were not here, then I wouldn't feel as good as we go into the season and what might happen."
He was highly effective (6.7 YPC) in 2014 and is reportedly showing more maturity after several off-the-field issues. He's not going to see a DeMarco Murray-type workload, but 225-250 carries is feasible if he wins the lead back job, and it appears he will.
Roddy White told ESPN.com that he had his left knee drained prior to minicamp, but the Atlanta Falcons receiver is not concerned about it being a major issue this season. White, who had the same knee drained last offseason, sat out the first two days of mandatory minicamp last month after the procedure. He returned for the third and final day of the camp.
"It's not a concern to me because it's just like a little irritation,'' the veteran said Wednesday. "My cartilage in my knee is not smooth. It's kind of rippled. You can elect to have surgery, but I just decided not to because I'm not a surgery guy. I just don't want to do it.
"They gave me the option two years ago to have surgery. They said they would have to slice off the top of my cartilage, and I was like, 'I don't want to do that.' I don't want them to keep shaving my cartilage off until there's no more cartilage. Then you start to get arthritis.''
White said there is a strong possibility he will have the knee drained again at some point before the conclusion of the season. He missed two games last season, but neither was due to the knee. "If I get my knee drained on a Monday, I can practice on Wednesday,'' White said. "It's not an issue where I'm going to miss a game, because it's such a small issue. I'm not worried about it -- not at all.''
Normally, we would shy away from a situation like this, but White dealt with the same issue last year and showed no ill effects in the knee. (His hamstring and ankle kept him out of one game apiece.) When he played, he was a solid WR2 in both PPR (#17 PPG) and standard (#20 PPG) formats. He’s 33, but as long as he stays healthy, he should be a very good WR3.
Bell had clean-up surgeries this off-season on his knee and Achilles tendon, and like Waddle missed all of spring workouts.
Bell is expected to start at running back, but split time with rookie second-round pick Ameer Abdullah when he returns.
This is not a huge deal, but it's noteworthy that Bell is not yet fully recovered from his offseason ailments. Bell was the #14 RB in standard formats (#13 in PPR), while racking up 257 touches in 15 games. That works out to a 17.1-touch average. While he certainly benefited from Reggie Bush's injury-plagued season, Bell dominated the touches even when Bush was active and playing. When healthy, he should continue to see RB1-type touches in 2015 with Bush out of the way, though the arrival of Abdullah is a concern.
No. 7 overall pick Kevin White spent the final few days of offseason practice off the field because of an undisclosed injury. He'll start his first training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
Bears coach John Fox announced Wednesday that White will start camp on the physically unable to perform list with a shin injury. They also want to improve his "cardio" before letting him on the field.
It’s hard to envision Eddie Royal starting over White this year, but given John Fox’s history of being anti-rookie and White’s absence from spring workouts due to a shin injury, it’s not unfathomable. He’s a player to monitor in August.
When healthy, Reed has averaged 10.5 fantasy points in PPR formats over the past two seasons. This extrapolates to low-end TE1 numbers and he's certainly a worthy start when he's healthy enough to play. His ADP is currently in the 14th round, so he's a low risk pick.
If Bengals QB Andy Dalton has the kind of year that OC Hue Jackson envisions, it’s because he’ll be a point guard executing some pretty exotic stuff. After his first season was marred by injuries to both starting wide receivers and a starting tight end, Jackson is itching to unload some Xs and Os.
“We're going to open Pandora's box more,” Jackson said. “We tickled it a little bit last year. We're going to open it up a little bit more this year and be who I think we can be…But I tell you what, the defenses are so good, the defensive players are so good and they disguise all the time, why can't we? It's a chess match, and whoever is not afraid to pull the trigger, pull the trigger. And I'm not afraid, so let's go.”
“I tell people all the time -- close, personal friends of mine -- that was probably my best coaching job. To not have A.J. Green. To not have Tyler Eifert. To not have a healthy Jermaine Gresham to start the season. You lose Kevin Zeitler for a couple games,” Jackson said. “We mixed and matched pretty well last year. Not to the best of what we could have been, but we did a decent job. Obviously a healthy Cincinnati Bengal offensive football team has a chance to be very dynamic….If we can stay healthy, some of those hardened times can turn into some good times.”
Jackson went run-heavy in 2014, which is typical of his style, but we shouldn't ignore the possibility that a healthy A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert could lead to the Bengals taking a more balanced approach in 2015. They were the 5th-most run-heavy team last season after finishing middle-of-the-pack in that category under then-OC Jay Gruden the year before. If Jackson does in fact call more pass plays, it can only help Dalton's fantasy prospects.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 2:53pm
Saints beat writer Mike Triplett on TE Josh Hill:
As I've written before, the best statistical season by a Saints tight end other than Jimmy Graham in Sean Payton's offense was Jeremy Shockey's 2009 season (48 catches, 569 yards, three touchdowns). That's a realistic target for Hill, with maybe a few more TDs thrown in. I'll be curious to see how much of a red zone target Hill is -- and if defenses pay more attention to him than they did last year, when most of his TDs came as the result of being the open man.
We have Hill projected for 52-627-5.1, so we're slightly more optimistic than Triplett about Hill's production this season. The Saints need playmakers in the passing game, and Hill brings more to the table than Watson. But he needs to get (and stay) on the field to make a significant impact.
The 49ers look to replace the franchise’s all-time leading rusher (Gore) with more than one person. Carlos Hyde is best-suited to be the back on base downs and short-yardage situations. Reggie Bush, a free-agent pickup, and Kendall Hunter can play base downs behind Hyde, but they might be better-suited as third-down backs.
Hyde is expected to take over as the team's primary ball-carrier, with Bush assuming the passing down role. Given Bush's presence and Hyde's 4.0 YPC during in his rookie season, Hyde's upside may be somewhat limited. Expect 250 or so carries and a limited role in the passing game. That may be his ceiling with Bush (along with Kendall Hunter and rookie Mike Davis) eating away at his snaps.
Even with Todd Gurley on the active roster, and potentially being available for opening day, the last thing the Rams want to do is rush him back. With that in mind Tre Mason, impressive as a rookie a year ago, is still expected to get the lion’s share of the carries early in the season. Benny Cunningham has proven to be a capable rotation player and third-down back.
Mason was the #15 RB in PPR formats from Week 7 on, once he started to see heavy touches. Unfortunately for his fantasy value, the Rams drafted Gurley with the #10 overall pick, so Mason is not likely to hold onto the starting job for long. His fantasy stock will drop on the news that Gurley avoided PUP, so a Gurley/Mason combo looks like a good option on draft day for those not afraid for some uncertainty early in the season.
Even if Gurley is full go come Week 1, Mason will likely still play a significant role within the offense. The Auburn product led the Rams with 765 yards rushing in 2014 -- a total that was second among all NFL rookies.
With the news breaking today that Gurley will be on the active roster for the start of camp, and considering the pick the team spent on him, one would think Gurley gets the starting nod unless he loses the battle in camp. But the Rams site isn't ruling out the possibility the team brings Gurley slowly along and perhaps sticks with Mason at least to start to season. Either way, we see the eventual value in Gurley over Mason. The Rams do want to be a run-first team so there still could be some value in owning Mason in deeper formats.
Garoppolo's most extensive NFL action came against the Buffalo Bills in the regular-season finale last December, a meaningless affair for the Patriots in which the rookie entered for Brady in the second half. He completed 10-of-17 passes for 90 yards and was sacked three times.
Drawing conclusions from the 32 snaps that Garoppolo played that afternoon can be dangerous, because the Patriots sat out two key receivers that Garoppolo will have at his disposal this season (Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman) and held out his two best offensive linemen (tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer).
Yet the Bills, even having been eliminated from the playoffs, treated the game as if it had meaning -- they scratched only injured defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and cornerback Stephon Gilmore -- so the contest serves as a fair indication of how opposing defenses might attack Garoppolo in September.
Garoppolo is roughly the same size as Brady but is more mobile, however the story said the Pats can expect defenses to blitz Garoppolo often. The story also said don't rule out the Pats trying to find more ways to take advantage of Graoppolo's mobility instead of simplifying the playbook. Graoppolo will face two pretty tough defenses in Pittsburgh and Buffalo to start the season before seeing Jacksonville in Week 3 and Dallas in Week 4. Matt Flynn will be the backup.
Carlos Hyde, expected to become the San Francisco 49ers' lead running back in the wake of franchise rushing leader Frank Gore's free-agent departure, will begin training camp on the active/non-football injury (NFI) list.
Hyde is one of four players placed on the list Tuesday by the Niners.
In OTAs, Niners rookie coach Jim Tomsula explained Hyde's absence as "nothing serious" at the time, though it was believed to be a calf issue.
"Carlos is -- look, we're not in a hurry with him right now," Tomsula said on May 29. "It's nothing serious, but let's be at 100 percent when we get to training camp. He's in all the meetings and he's here and he's working out and he's doing his stuff. It's just more on the cautious side of just making sure we've got everything healed, and then we move forward.
"It's not even a hamstring; it's a muscle pull. You talk to our medical people -- (at a) different time of the year, Carlos would be pushing through. But why? That's my whole point on everything. Why do that now and take any kind of chances on things? Let's just get it healed and get going."
It doesn't sound like it's anything to worry about at this point and the team is just being cautious. The 49ers signed veteran running back Reggie Bush as a free agent, drafted Mike Davis out of South Carolina in the fifth round, and welcomed back Kendall Hunter from a torn ACL that cost him last season. The team opens training camp with its first practice Saturday.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 7:20pm
The Saints, in moves made Tuesday, placed receiver Marques Colston on the physically unable to perform list. Colston remains on the active roster and could return to the field at any time during the preseason.