Fantasy News Home
Steelers unlikely to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 10:47am
"I think they will stick with what they have, plus draft a tall receiver in the first or second round. I think they will let Sanders leave in free agency for a number of reasons and are perfectly comfortable thinking Markus Wheaton will not only replace him, but also be a much better receiver. Their intent is to take a tall receiver early -- they have already indicated that to Ben Roethlisberger -- another indication that Sanders will be gone."
FREE 4for4 EMAIL SERVICE
Receive breaking news and fantasy analysis straight to your inbox.
Note: This service comes automatically with a paid subscription.
Jermichael Finley should be cleared for contact in 4-8 weeks
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 10:41am
Joseph Maroon, the neurosurgeon who performed surgery on the Jermichael Finley's bruised spine, informed the Packers that there’s a “99.9%” chance the fusion will fully heal. At that point, agent Blake Baratz said this week, Maroon would clear Finley for “full football activity.”
“In some players, it takes four weeks while in others in can six months or longer,” Baratz said. “In Jermichael's case because of how he has developed and (how) his initial X-Ray looked, Dr. Maroon believes sometime in the next 4-8 weeks his should fully heal.”
“Jermichael would love to play his entire career in Green Bay. However, he also understands that this is a business and you can only control what you can control. Hopefully everything works out between the Packers and Jermichael but none of us have a crystal ball.”
Finley's fantasy value would be highest if he returned to the Packers, but that seems unlikely at this point.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 10:20am
"Just point him in the right direction and let him go," Gash said. "Just talk to him about the little things, the part about being a pro. He’s a young guy and he plays hard, but there’s an art to being a pro. I’m definitely not going to mess him up. That’s something I learned a long time, let runners run."
Gash said as soon as he got the job he called Lacy and introduced himself. He said he began watching some tape of Lacy recently and based on his conversation with the rookie and what he saw on tape, he said he thought there were similarities between Lacy and Curtis Martin.
"Even though he’s bigger, same mentality," Gash said. "Curtis didn’t like watching football. If anybody watched his Hall of Fame speech, he was a guy who didn’t necessarily like watching football, but he was instinctive and just a great player.
"Eddie is pretty similar in his mentality. But you watch him on film, which I’m just starting to do, he’s an exciting prospect."
Lacy finished as the #7 RB in his rookie season and did it in essentially 14 games. Removing Week 2 (where he was concussed and only carried the ball once), Lacy averaged 14.9 fantasy points, which is the 6th-best average, just behind Adrian Peterson. He is a great talent and plays in a potent offense that should be even better in 2014 with a (hopefully) healthy Aaron Rodgers under center.
Major shakeup in Browns' front office
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 10:08am
The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday promoted Ray Farmer to General Manager and announced that Joe Banner will be stepping down in the next two months as he transitions out of his role as CEO.
Farmer will immediately take the over the team’s football operations and lead the Browns during free agency and the draft.
Additionally, the team announced that General Manager Michael Lombardi is departing the organization.
This has more of a real-world impact than a fantasy impact, but it's important news nonetheless. The organization hasn't given its hires much time to work. Rob Chudzinski and Co. were canned after one season and now this.
Monday, February 10, 2014, 12:14pm
If he’s healthy, Chiefs TE Travis Kelce should get plenty of playing time in 2014. The Chiefs also have veteran Anthony Fasano and Sean McGrath at tight end, but neither is the versatile receiving threat Kelce could be.
Beat: Josh Gordon will continue to 'tear it up' in new offense
Monday, February 10, 2014, 12:13pm
Beat writer Mary Kay Cabot was asked how WR Josh Gordon will fare in new OC Kyle Shanahan's offense.
"If Gordon fares as well as seven-time Pro Bowler Andre Johnson in Shanahan's West Coast-oriented scheme, the reigning receiving yardage leader (1,646) will continue to tear it up. With Shanahan as Texans' coordinator in 2008-09, Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards in both years (1,575 in 2008) and (1,569 in 2009). He also led the league in receptions in 2008 (115). During those two seasons combined, Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards (3,144) and ranked second in receptions (216).
So more trips to Honolulu should be in store for Gordon, who flourished in the vertical passing game last season."
Gordon actually outscored Calvin Johnson in PPG (16.2 vs. 15.8) and finished as the top fantasy receiver in 2013 despite missing the first two games due to suspension. He’d be a no-brainer top 5 wideout heading into 2014 if not for his history of off-field issues, a change at offensive coordinator and continuing issues at quarterback. If he can finally get some consistency at QB (and stay out of trouble), the sky is the limit for this kid. It’s pretty amazing what he did with Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden throwing him the ball.
Alex Smith didn't have full playbook until midseason
Monday, February 10, 2014, 12:09pm
“It was our first year in the offense, we didn’t turn the ball over, we were opportunistic in the red zone, but yes we didn’t really have the entire playbook at hand, and that’s to be expected in the first year with a lot of new faces. So as the year went on and we got more comfortable and coach Reid got more comfortable with us and his staff, he started to trust us with more and we showed that we could handle it. By the end, I was feeling really good about things.”
Smith posted the #12 average (17.3 PPG) on the season. Prior to the Chiefs' Week 10 bye, he averaged 213 yards and 1.0 TD. After the bye (and including the playoffs), he averaged 253 yards and 2.6 TD. That's 22.7 PPG -- for reference, Drew Brees averaged 22.6 PPG in 2013. Smith is likely to be a great value on draft day.
Vikings plan to utilize Adrian Peterson in space
Monday, February 10, 2014, 11:43am
Under new OC Norv Turner, the Vikings' plan for RB Adrian Peterson could look slightly different than how the 2012 NFL MVP has been used in the past. He talked about wanting to get Peterson the ball in space more often, which could sound like sweet poetry to Vikings fans who have wondered why Peterson hasn't been used as a receiving threat more over the years. The best season of Peterson's career as a receiver, not surprisingly, came in 2009, when he caught 43 passes for 436 yards from Brett Favre, who used running backs as receivers with great success during his career.
"He’s run the ball in closed-in quarters with a lot of defenders there and he makes a lot of long runs, making people miss or running over people," Turner said. "It’s hard to do, but we would like to get him in space and getting the field spread a little bit better for for him."
If Turner is able to get Peterson in the open field more often, either by throwing him the ball or by reducing the number of defenders in the box, it could help take some of the wear off a running back who just had his third surgery in as many years and will be 29 in March.
Peterson has only averaged 2.0 receptions in his career, and has been curiously underutilized in the passing game since day one. He's not quite the natural receiver as LaDainian Tomlinson was, but as a Turner-RB comparison, Tomlinson averaged 3.7 receptions throughout his career.
Dolphins wish Lamar Miller ran with more physicality
Monday, February 10, 2014, 11:34am
“They’re a good complement to each other, and we like Miller’s speed and explosiveness,” the Dolphins staffer said. “Miller has the higher ceiling, but you wish he ran with a more physical [style]. And both have to improve as blockers.”
Miller is ranked #31 in John Paulsen's Never-Too-Early RB Rankings due to concerns about certainty of workload. Miller averaged 12.7 touches per game, while Thomas saw an average of 8.3 touches.
Jordan Todman is an exclusive rights free agent
Monday, February 10, 2014, 11:28am
Via NFLPA records, Todman’s contract expired after the 2013 season. Via NFL.com’s player page, Todman has only one accrued season, despite being in the league for three total years. All players with fewer than three accrued seasons are exclusive-rights free agents when their contracts expire.
As an exclusive-rights free agent, Todman has two options: Play for the Jaguars or play for no one. While he’s not subject to fines if he doesn’t accept his exclusive-rights tender, Todman can’t join another team. Which means he’s not really a free agent at all.
If the Jaguars let Maurice Jones-Drew walk, they could turn to Todman as their RB1. His YPC (3.4) wasn’t impressive, but it was the same as MJD’s indicating that the offensive line was more of a problem than either of the running backs. As a starter, he did have a nice game against the Bills in Week 15 (29 touches, 153 yards), showing that he can carry the load if necessary.
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 3:50pm
Buccaneers receiver Mike Williams, who missed the final 10 games of last season with a hamstring injury, now finds himself facing off-field problems as well, with an arraignment in court later this month on misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief and trespassing from an unspecified December incident.
Williams, 26, is due in court Feb. 24, according to the Hillsborough County clerk's office. Williams could not immediately be reached for comment. The charges were first reported by Bay News 9 on Friday.
Colts hire Rob Chudzinski as special assistant
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 2:04pm
The Colts announced today that they hired Rob Chudzinski as special assistant to the head coach.
“Rob and I have a long professional relationship and his résumé speaks for itself,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and will be a tremendous help to our entire team moving forward. Needless to say, we’re excited to have ‘Chud’ joining our family.”
We're not sure what a 'special assistant' does, but it's fair to say that Chudzinski will have plenty of input on the offensive side of the ball. Known to run a TE-friendly offense, the hire is likely good for Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, but if both players are healthy they'll likely cap each other's upside.
Alfred Morris will anchor Redskins' running game
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 11:31am
Are the Redskins better off giving some more of Alfred Morris’ workload to Roy Helu? Maybe a few carries per game to keep Morris fresher in the fourth quarter. But in the big picture it doesn’t make much sense to move a lot of carries from a back who averages 4.7 yards per carry to one who averages almost half a yard less.
New HC Jay Gruden ran a two-back system in Cincinnati, but Morris is quite a bit better than BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Helu does not have the talent of Giovani Bernard. We're expecting Morris to be the lead back, though his inactivity on third down puts a dent in his value in PPR formats.
Ryan Tannehill's job security in question
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 11:26am
Miami will probably have to live with its uninspiring collection of running backs and tight ends for another year, and things could still get interesting with the quarterback position as well. Joe Philbin's job is riding on QB Ryan Tannehill progressing. I wouldn't doubt a little more pressure from highly paid back–up Matt Moore ($4M salary; $5.5M in cap) in 2014, with Philbin professing his belief in Moore to several of the GM candidates and demanding more from Tannehill.
"He definitely wants to push Tannehill more," said one source who has spoken to Philbin about the quarterbacks, "and if he doesn't see improvement he said he might go to Moore at some point. He definitely has a lot of faith in Moore, and they're paying him a lot of money."
Tannehill will certainly enter the season as the starter, but if the team doesn't get off to a good start, he could potentially be replaced by Moore. Tannehill is a committee-type, but fantasy owners should keep this in mind as they head into 2014 fantasy drafts.
Friday, February 7, 2014, 10:58am
As expected, Texans HC Bill O'Brien, who will call plays on offense, won't have an offensive coordinator, at least for the first year he coaches.