Fantasy News Home
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 5:24pm
Packers rookie tight end Richard Rodgers made the catch of the day, one-handing a reception as he was working across the field. He made the catch in stride and flashed down the right sideline. “Big-time catch today. I think he’s a natural in space. I’m excited to see him in the inline work when we get to camp,” HC Mike McCarthy said of his third-round draft pick. Rodgers dropped weight and moved to wide receiver last season at Cal, where he was forced to fit himself into a new spread offense. McCarthy believes the move advanced Rodgers’ career as a pass catcher. “Anytime you play in displacement formation, it’s definitely a learning opportunity,” McCarthy said.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 5:20pm
Dolphins beat writer James Walker on the possibility that the team moves on from QB Ryan Tannehill: "It is definitely in Ryan Tannehill’s best interest to show that he is the long-term solution this year. Rarely do starting quarterbacks get four consecutive years to show their worth after mediocre play. The only recent example I can think of is Mark Sanchez with the New York Jets, and his deep runs through the playoffs his first two seasons bought him time through his inconsistencies. Tannehill is 15-17 in his first two years and has no postseason resume to speak of. If Tannehill has another losing season, that most likely will lead to a coaching change. A new coach may want to win or lose with his own quarterback, which means Tannehill could be replaced or have to compete for a starting job."
Through the first 15 weeks, Tannehill was the #12 QB in fantasy. Unfortunately, he stunk it up in the final two weeks of the season, posting just 286 yards to go along with one TD and three picks in the final two games combined as the Dolphins skidded out of a playoff spot. Josh Freeman’s 2012 late-season swoon was similar, but the Dolphins are more committed to Tannehill than the Bucs were to Freeman.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 5:18pm
Meeting and film rooms have brought Falcons QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones together as they scour hours of game and practice film, look over and study the playbook, and work to understand and rediscover each other's on-field tendencies. "Julio's been in this building pretty much every day this offseason and, while he hasn't been able to be out on the practice field with us yet, we've communicated a lot," Ryan said Tuesday. "We've talked a lot — certainly, (we) have watched film together and tried to work on things in the classroom so that, when we do get the opportunity to be out on the field, we can hit the ground running." That time inside Falcons headquarters, Ryan said, is what leads him to think that any rhythm that's been lost by being off the same field for nearly a year will quickly return once Jones returns to practice. "I certainly think, when he gets back, whenever that is, as we get closer to training camp, we're going to have plenty of time to gel up and make sure that we're on the same page," Ryan said.
Asked about the running back position, Falcons HC Mike Smith mentioned that Josh Vaughn — a former practice squad back who made the 53-man roster last season — and Antone Smith as players who have caught his eye. Mike Smith specifically said that Antone Smith has earned an "expanded role" this offseason. "When Antone had opportunities last year, he made the most of them and we want to give them opportunities moving forward," Mike Smith said. Antone Smith carried the ball five times in 2013 for 145 yards and two touchdowns with a 29-yards-per-carry average. Ryan also mentioned Antone Smith as doing a great job for the Falcons in OTAs.
Smith is competing with Devonta Freeman for carries behind Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers. Smith was impressive in 2013.
It’s a good bet that we’ll see Redskins TE Jordan Reed running 20 yards past the line of scrimmage more often in 2013. He certainly has the speed and athletic ability to be effective rolling down the seam. It also looks like going deep to the tight end is something that coach Jay Gruden likes to do. Last year Gruden was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati and he had a talented rookie tight end of his own in first-round draft pick Tyler Eifert (who was targeted 57 times). He also had Jermaine Gresham (70 targets), who was coming off of a Pro Bowl appearance in 2012. Eifert and Gresham were targeted on passes of 20 yards or more a combined 13 times (Eifert 7, Gresham 6). Five of them were complete for 174 yards and a touchdown. Clearly, that’s some pretty good production out of 13 pass attempts. It would be surprising if Gruden did not utilize Reed on more deep patterns in 2014.
Reed was on pace for 80-887-5.3 (#7 TE-type numbers) prior to his injury, but didn't even crack the 50% snaps played mark until Week 6. In the five games where he played at least 50% of his team's snaps, he averaged 6.2-76-.40 or #3 TE-type numbers. The main concern with Reed is his injury history, specifically with concussions. According to NBC Washington, in addition to a severe concussion in 2013, Reed suffered two concussions while at Florida. If he can stay healthy, he's a likely top 5 fantasy TE, but that's no sure thing.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 3:58pm
Tuesday was just another frustrating day for the Bills offense as QB E.J. Manuel is either pulling the ball down quickly and not throwing it, or often he’s overthrowing wide open receivers. In the red zone he tried a simple fade to the end zone and overthrew his receiver by five yards. Manuel had Sammy Watkins on a fly pattern and overthrew him by at least 10 yards. There was frustration, Manuel said, “Sometimes I get frustrated because I know it’s there and if we have one misstep and it’s incomplete, that’s frustrating. I try to pride myself on knowing it so well, so you just have to keep rolling with the punches.”
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 1:36pm
A big day from Packers TE Richard Rodgers so far. Just hauled in a real difficult one-handed catch. Natural hands.
If the Packers do not re-sign Jermichael Finley, then there will be a tremendous opportunity for whoever can become the team's TE1, but keep in mind that it's rare for a rookie tight end to make much of a fantasy impact.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 1:31pm
Once again, Saints WR Nick Toon looking sharp in practice today.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 1:28pm
Kempski: "In limited media access to Eagles OTAs so far, Jordan Matthews has looked like the best WR on the team, in my opinion, and it hasn't been close."
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 1:19pm
Cowboys beat writer Rowan Kavner on a couple of breakout candidates for 2014: "I think this early it’s all right to have a guy or two to be looking at for a breakout-type year. I’ll stick with the guy many of us expected last year, and that’s Lance Dunbar. I think Scott Linehan will help him allow that to happen, given the way he’s been able to involve versatile backup running backs in the past. Also looking at Linehan’s past, I expect Gavin Escobar to come onto the scene much more so than last year."
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 12:45pm
The great misnomer about Hue Jackson’s clarion call to emphasize the running game is that it’s going to reduce the passing game. Just the opposite. On paper the hope is it is going to make it more explosive and with Jackson a big believer in vertical routes, wide receivers A.J. Green and Marvin Jones should get more chances to catch touchdowns and not less. Pass attempts, TD passes and interceptions should theoretically be down with the hope the run jacks up completion percentage and yards per attempt in a more efficient passing game. Green and Jones are coming off a season they became the first tandem in Bengals history to have double-digit TD catches and they should lead the pack again simply because they’ll have the most chances.
OC Hue Jackson likes Rex Burkhead a lot and I think he’s one of the many reasons why it’s such a tough call for BenJarvus Green-Ellis to be on the Opening Day roster. Burkhead, the 2013 sixth-round pick from Nebraska, was active for only one game as a rookie but he showed them last preseason and in practice that he’s faster and more athletic than you think.
If Green-Ellis is cut, Jeremy Hill's stock should rise due to certainty of situation. Giovani Bernard will see a bigger role in 2014, but BJGE finished as the #31 RB last year, so Hill should be a RB3/flex type if The Law Firm is out of the way.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 12:34pm
There's no question that, of their myriad problems, the Giants' offensive line was the biggest and most devastating. Everything else can be traced to the meltdown on the line. You can argue that part of Eli Manning's job is to overcome adversity and raise the level of play of those around him. But even the best quarterbacks need at least some time to do that stuff, and Manning's pass protection was cripplingly bad last year. You can make the argument that this year's starting group looks more talented than the one with which the Giants started the 2013 season -- especially if this year's version of G Chris Snee is healthy, which last year's was not. But what remains to be seen is how they'll play together and how they'll all hold up. More than any other item on the Giants' list of offseason questions, the answer to this one will determine how much the team can improve over last season.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 11:14am
Marlon Brown was the best rookie on offense last season, making 49 receptions and catching seven touchdown passes. He won't have to start after the Ravens signed Steve Smith in free agency. But Brown will still play a major role as the No. 3 wide receiver.
Brown had a nice rookie season (49-524-7 in 14 games) and would be a 2014 breakout candidate if not for the arrival of Steve L Smith, who is likely to start ahead of Brown.
After losing a dozen starts to injury over the past three campaigns, Jay Cutler is beefing up. Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman recently emphasized the work his quarterback has put in to squelch a four-season streak of missing at least one game due to his health. "Jay has really worked hard in the offseason, and he has always been a hard worker in his conditioning and his training, but he has really amped it up," Trestman told SiriusXM NFL Radio this month, per the Chicago Tribune. "He's bigger, he's stronger than a year ago, and he has really focused on staying physically well for the entire season. That's No. 1 -- we've got to keep him standing, keep him safe. And we see the improvements he's made in working on different issues in his mechanics, and I think he's feeling very comfortable back there in Year 2."
Cutler was the #6 QB through the first six weeks, but finished with the #22 PPG on the year. His early season play is more representative of his potential in Marc Trestman’s offense, assuming he can stay injury-free. He has a ton of talent around him and Trestman loves to throw. Staying healthy will be key.