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Bradley: Toby Gerhart 'faster' than his tape
Friday, July 18, 2014, 12:29pm
A big key is getting more production from the starting running back position.
Bradley said this week Gerhart is faster than the coaches saw on tape, which will allow him to break more long runs.
Toby Gerhart has touched the ball 15+ times in seven career games and has averaged low-end RB1 numbers (12.6 FP) with that type of workload. The former Heisman candidate will start for the Jaguars and should see a lot of work in that role. Gerhart has fantasy RB2 potential as a lead back. For a more in-depth look at Gerhart's potential production, click here.
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Friday, July 18, 2014, 12:21pm
That’s why, he says, he would stay on the field after spring practices catching passes from the Jugs machine long after his Dolphins teammates had walked off the field to conduct interviews or head inside the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University to get out of the sun.
In fact, almost without fail, Wallace always was the last Dolphins player to finish his work after a practice. Wallace says it’s all about “getting the edge.”
Wallace finished the season as the #25 WR, but was an unreliable option for most of the year. Thanks to four touchdowns in his final six games, he averaged 10.8 FP in that span, which equates to low-end WR1-type numbers. We're not expecting that kind of production, though he should be a top-end WR3 if his late season surge continues into this season. The arrival of OC Bill Lazor should help; Wallace really seems to like the new offense.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:54pm
Observation from a offseason throwing session involving QB Cam Newton and his receivers:
"At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Kelvin Benjamin has the most trouble with routes that force him to come back to the ball. He gets out of his cuts slower than most receivers because of his size, and he needs to work on his hips.
"Newton whistled at Benjamin after one route in which the rookie flailed his arm out just before making the cut. Newton re-enacted the motion to discourage Benjamin from doing it again."
While it's good to see that Newton is developing chemistry with his new receiving corps, the article also mentions that he still occasionally experiences a sharp pain when pushing off his surgically repaired ankle.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:45pm
The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt on Titans RB Bishop Sankey: "Don't expect (Chris Johnson) in his heyday. Sankey will be the team's most productive running back, but others will cut into his stats. Dexter McCluster will get playing time, carries and catches. Shonn Greene should get a bunch of goal-line attempts unless he flames out in training camp; then Sankey's stock could really rise."
We’re projecting Sankey to be the clear RB1 in Tennessee after the Titans took him as the first back in the draft. He’s a versatile back who doesn’t have much competition for touches. The last 13 rookies who were the top drafted RB in their class and joined a backfield with a lackluster incumbent averaged 18.2 touches for 83.1 yards and 0.55 TD, or 11.6 fantasy points per game. That’s about what Ryan Mathews averaged as the #12 RB in 2013.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:43pm
It's an indication that Lattimore is not yet fully recovered from knee surgery. The team's decision to draft Carlos Hyde has put a dent in Lattimore's dynasty stock.
Packers: 'Nothing going on' with Jermichael Finley
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:38pm
An NFL source told ESPN.com that Jermichael Finley's tweet ("Let's Try This Again. #GreenBay") did not mean the Packers had cleared Finley medically or were in negotiations with him. The source said "there’s nothing going on" with Finley and the Packers in terms of contract talks.
Finley last met with the Packers' medical staff on May 28 in what was described at the time by a source close to the situation as “a formality” because Finley had not checked in with the Packers recently.
According to USA Today, Finley was expected to undergo more tests this week. It is possible Finley's meeting with McKenzie is to review those results.
McCoy: Philip Rivers will 'benefit' from new OC
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:33pm
While it’s clear Chargers QB Phillip Rivers flourished in last year’s system, HC Mike McCoy feels the promotion of Frank Reich will benefit the Chargers’ signal caller for 2014.
“With Frank as offensive coordinator, we will be able to maintain continuity on offense and help maximize the production by Philip and the entire unit,” McCoy said. “He has a great feel for the offense we have created and he has been a valuable asset to Philip.”
Rivers was written off by many after a substandard 2012 campaign, but he bounced back in a big way with a #5 finish in 2013. In fact, he has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six seasons. Malcom Floyd has been cleared to play, so the receiving corps will get a boost. The only concern is the loss of OC Ken Whisenhunt, who assisted Rivers in his bounce back season. He should be a good value in the later rounds for owners who want to wait on the position.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:25pm
"Evans steps into a great situation as the No. 2 wide receiver. He will start opposite Vincent Jackson, who will draw most of the attention from opposing defenses. That means there should be plenty of opportunities for Evans. His size should give him a big advantage in one-on-one matchups with cornerbacks."
We currently project Evans for 64 carries for 879 yards and five TDs, making him the #43 receiver on our board. Rookies are generally overdrafted, but Evans is in a great situation and could be starter-worthy (top 36) this season.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:11pm
One of the biggest myths of the offseason has taken on a life of its own because coach Lovie Smith said a team needs more than one quality back. He is serious about that and there will be some sort of rotation. But the fact is Doug Martin still is the feature back and will get most of the carries. He just won’t get almost all the carries like he did under former coach Greg Schiano. There will be room for Charles Sims, Bobby Rainey, Mike James and Jeff Demps to compete for touches.
Martin was the #3 fantasy running back as a rookie, but his PPG dropped from #3 to #22 during his sophomore season. His stock has taken a hit due to the new regime in Tampa adding rookie Charles Sims to a stacked backfield that already includes Bobby Rainey and Mike James. He’s still going to be the RB1 for the Bucs but probably won’t see the 79.5% share of the carries that he received in his first 21 games. He’s still likely to be a high-end RB2 in both standard and PPR formats.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 7:50pm
The optimism surrounding David Wilson's recovery from neck surgery continues to mount as we gallop toward training camp.
Echoing general manager Jerry Reese's comments last month, New York Giants co-owner John Mara said at a YMCA donation ceremony on Thursday that the team plans for Wilson to be ready to play.
"We expect him to be playing ... all signs are he'll be ready to go," Mara told reporters, per Newsday's Tom Rock.
Wilson, who seems to always find the ire of coach Tom Coughlin, could play a big role as the change-of-pace back the Giants lack -- if he can stay healthy. Doctors will re-examine his neck on Monday -- the same day the Giants report to training camp.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 7:44pm
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 12:42pm
Packers TE Richard Rodgers was perhaps the most impressive rookie in the offseason practices, making difficult catches look easy. One member of the team's personnel department predicted Rodgers would be the opening-day starter ahead of Andrew Quarless.
If that's the case, Rodgers will be a sleeper fantasy TE2-type in a potent Packers offense, but there are a lot of moving parts here.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 12:37pm
Teddy Bridgewater was impressive in his first work with the Vikings this spring, but unless he's clearly the best of the Vikings' quarterbacks in training camp, Matt Cassel figures to start the season as the quarterback. The Vikings re-signed Cassel so they wouldn't have to rush a young quarterback, and in the process, they created a situation in which they can afford to be patient with Bridgewater. If he's the best man for the job, it doesn't seem likely HC Mike Zimmer will wait to play him. But if he's not fully ready by the end of camp, there's nothing forcing the Vikings to play the rookie.
Montee Ball has 'every-down potential' in Denver offense
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 12:33pm
If you’re looking for a player for whom the Broncos have cleared the way to shine most, it’s RB Montee Ball. Let’s be clear, though: Ball earned that optimism by how he played down the stretch last season. He was the most effective runner with the ball in his hands over the last six weeks of the season/postseason. He’s smart and has the requisite work ethic, and the Broncos have seen vast improvements in his work as both a receiver and blocker in the passing game. That gives him the gotta-have-it, every-down potential in their offense. The Broncos aren’t looking to run the ball significantly more than they did in ’13, but when they do, they want to move the chains more efficiently. And when it’s time to slam the door on somebody, they’d like Ball to be the guy to do it.
Ball had a higher YPC (4.7) than Knowshon Moreno (4.3), but wasn’t quite the weapon in the passing game. Still, his catch percentage (receptions/targets = 74.1%) wasn’t bad for a running back. His play down the stretch (8.5 FP/game in final eight games) is encouraging. He’s locked in as the RB1 in a great offense, so 10+ touchdowns seems likely.
Panthers are 'better' at receiver
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 12:10pm
The Panthers are better at receiver than they were a year ago. Nothing against Steve L Smith, but at 35 he was no better than a No. 2 receiver and at the end of his career. Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon really weren't big losses when you look at it closely. Hixon wouldn't have been a loss at all were it not for the game-winning touchdown against New Orleans. The key here will be chemistry, but first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin looks like a red zone beast at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. Free agent signees Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant are solid possession receivers, and more dependable than the players they replaced. Who steps up as the fourth receiver will be the biggest question, whether it's free agent Tiquan Underwood or one of the young receivers. The Panthers plan to run a lot more two tight-end sets makes that less critical.
We project Cotchery and Benjamin to start but believe that Greg Olsen will once again lead the team in catches. Benjamin has upside, but Cotchery is a dirt cheap WR5/WR6 option available in the final rounds.