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USA Today's Jim Corbett on Redskins QB Robert Griffin III: "RG3 looks like a different QB, effortless in his drops and throwing mechanics without that ball and chain knee brace."
Griffin owned the #3 PPG in his rookie season, but that fell to #17 last season due to the inefficiency of the team’s offense and his ability to run on his surgically repaired knee. The knee should be close to 100 percent entering the season, but there is a new coaching staff in town, led by HC Jay Gruden. The team added DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts in free agency, so RG3 has a great receiving corps at his disposal.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 2:20pm
Colts WR T.Y. Hilton was out last week with an undisclosed injury, but back today. Just made nice catch on deep route.
Prior to Reggie Wayne’s injury, Hilton played 63.1% of his team’s snaps. After Wayne tore his ACL, that number rose to 76.9%. With Wayne coming off of a serious injury, Hilton will be (or at least he should be) the primary target in the passing game in 2014. With Wayne sidelined, Hilton averaged 6.5-91-.45 over the final 11 games, including the playoffs. That equates to 11.8 fantasy points per game, or fringe WR1 numbers. The arrival of Hakeem Nicks and the return of Dwayne Allen (potentially leading to more two-TE sets with Coby Fleener) may limit Hilton's upside.
Falcons WR Julio Jones did some cutting on the field today. Great sign.
Jones was on pace for 131-1856-6.4 prior to his foot injury in Week 5. He has the potential to be the most productive receiver in the league, but the foot injury is a bit concerning, especially since it’s a broken bone in the same location as his pre-Draft injury. If he plays a full season, he’ll very likely finish in the top 5.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 2:15pm
Where the Cowboys' new "Passing Game Coordinator" Scott Linehan would need two, sometimes three tight ends to handle the role in previous spots, he can use Jason Witten in the slot, on the line, in pass protection, as the front-side blocker or as the back-side blocker in the run game and even some fullback. "He knows everything that you would ask a tight end to know but more," Linehan said. "I mean he's like a quarterback at tight end. He knows all the nuances of the run game. He knows the protections better than anyone. I just think so much of that is him making it that important. ...You can tell he made it his business to know as much as he needed to know."
Gavin Escobar is getting some buzz this summer, but Witten is still firmly atop the depth chart at tight end. He should be a rock solid pick in the middle rounds.
Nobody expected Ryan Broyles to be an active participant in the Lions’ offseason training program, not even Broyles himself. Coming off surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon -- which came a year after ACL surgery, which was preceded by ACL surgery on the other knee the year before that -- the ambitious hope was he’d be ready for training camp in August. So it’s a tribute to his dedication and diligence and a testament to his desire to be the productive slot receiver the Lions thought he would be when they drafted him in the second round in 2012 that he has been there every day of the offseason program. “Yeah, I am, to be honest,” Broyles said when asked if he was surprised at the pace of his recovery. “I hit it hard, therapy, back home in Texas. I came out here, and they’re still pacing me out right now. I’m going to be on a number count, but it feels good to be out where with no pain. That’s the best feeling.” Wait. No pain? “No pain,” he said. “I’m still building up my strength. My left calf is a little smaller than my right one, but I think in the next coupler months I’ll feel pretty good.”
Broyles can't be counted upon in fantasy leagues at this point, though he's worth monitoring as the potential starting slot receiver in what should be a pass-heavy offense under OC Joe Lombardi.
Chargers WR Keenan Allen should benefit from the return of Malcom Floyd. The 6-5, 225-pound receiver has been a surprise addition for the Chargers, returning from a serious neck injury and looking like his old self during offseason work.
From 2010 to 2012, Floyd finished #36, #32 and #36 as the second or third option in San Diego. He returns from a neck injury at the age of 32 (turning 33 in September) and will compete with Vincent Brown to be the team’s WR2 opposite Keenan Allen. Brown flopped in a starting role (scoring just 0.06 FP per snap) last year, so the job is Floyd’s for the taking. If he’s starting and can stays healthy (a rather big “if”), he should be fantasy relevant once again in 2014.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 11:59am
Eagles WR Brad Smith has been running with the first team, but I’m projecting Jordan Matthews as the eventual No. 1 slot receiver. Smith may get more snaps initially once the season starts, but I would expect the second-round rookie to take over sooner rather than later.
Browns WR Nate Burleson doesn't have a broken arm. “It was reported a lot worse than it is,” Burleson said Tuesday, via Pat McManamon of ESPN.com. “It looks a lot worse than it is.” Burleson explained that he didn’t re-break the arm that he first fractured last year while trying to keep a pizza box from sliding out of the front passenger seat of his car. Instead, the hardware used to fix the break moved after he hit the arm during offseason practice. “I’m kind of rebuilt, like Robocop,” Burleson said “Sometimes you have to go in and fix a little bit. It was minor, though. I’ve had much worse. . . . The good news is the plan is to play 16-plus games, and that’s going to happen.”
Burleson could see starter's snaps assuming Josh Gordon is suspended as expected. Burleson is capable of putting up decent numbers in a starting role, but the Browns are expected to go run-heavy and feature Jordan Cameron in the passing game if Gordon is out.
Giants RB David Wilson (neck) saw a doc today and will have another checkup right before the start of camp. Hope is he will be cleared then.
This seems like a setback for Wilson, who was hoping to get cleared today. Peyton Hillis, Michael Cox and rookie Andre Williams are currently competing for snaps/carries behind Rashad Jennings.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:44am
On the topic of Patriots WR Danny Amendola and his struggles in 2013: “Danny’s not dissimilar to the rookies,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “He wasn’t here before, and he had an opportunity to get a foundation and a system last year. And now it’s his second year, and it will be exciting to see Danny’s growth. Any time you’re in your second year in a system, you’re more comfortable. We’re excited to see what he does.” If he doesn’t produce big numbers — think at least 80 catches, 800-plus yards, and a clean bill of health — then Amendola is all but gone after 2014, when he doesn’t have as much dead money left on a contract that runs through 2017. The Patriots, smartly, aren’t trusting Amendola to be a featured piece of the offense this time around. They wouldn’t have given Edelman a $17 million contract with a $5 million signing bonus if they thought Amendola could stay healthy for at least 14 games and expertly work the slot for Brady. They wouldn’t have given free agent Brandon LaFell a $9 million contract with $3 million guaranteed if they thought Amendola could be a trusty No. 2 option. Edelman, LaFell, Rob Gronkowski, and Shane Vereen will be the top options in the passing game entering the season. Dobson, the team’s tallest receiver who struggled with a foot injury but also flashed big-play potential, also will be in the mix once he returns from offseason surgery.
We are high on Edelman, who has seized the Wes Welker role in the offense and was rewarded with a nice contract in the offseason. Amendola will compete with the other wideouts on the roster for snaps and targets.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:33am
Bears WR Marquess Wilson said today he weighs 207 pounds. As a rookie last season, he was listed at 184.
Wilson is expected to win the WR3 job, which means fantasy owners should have him on speed dial if either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery go down with an injury.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:31am
The Dolphins haven’t been happy with Rishard Matthews for tardiness, lack of attention to detail and other issues --- one reason why they used a second-round pick on Jarvis Landry instead of being content with Matthews as their fourth receiver.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:30am
It’s believed that tight end Jermaine Gresham has an injury that won’t prevent him from being ready for Bengals training camp in late July. Gresham didn’t work again Tuesday, the fourth of nine voluntary practices, and indications are he won’t be in the remaining five or the three-day mandatory minicamp June 10-12. Tyler Eifert, the other starting tight end, is out with a shoulder injury that is not related to the stinger that limited him to three snaps in last year’s playoff game and it’s unclear when he’ll return. "It's more of a feel thing. It's not a serious injury," Eifert said. Head coach Marvin Lewis wouldn’t elaborate but said he expects both to be ready for training camp.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:25am
Veteran backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is the latest member of the Colts to express confidence in RB Trent Richardson, relating T-Rich's struggles to those of former teammate Marshawn Lynch while settling into Seattle after a 2010 midseason trade. "Marshawn's numbers weren't spectacular either," Hasselbeck said Monday, via the team's official website. "Everyone in the locker room understood he was doing the best he could and was working really hard. "It's very similar to Trent. He came in in tough circumstances. We say these OTAs matter and training camp matter and preseason matters. To put unrealistic expectations on him after he missed all that with us (was unfortunate). I would definitely expect his numbers to look better this year."
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. As the #22 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:22am
Robert Weintraub on how Ray Rice may struggle in 2014: "Ray Rice will likely be suspended by the NFL for his off-the-field actions, and upon return will find himself struggling for playing time. Bernard Pierce will finally spend more hours in the huddle than in the X-ray facility, and when healthy, he is choice. Justin Forsett is on hand to catch Rice's passes out of the backfield, and the small but blazing scatback will provide the jolt Rice was unable to muster last season. Rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro will be the backfield punishment (and not just of taxi cabs), while perhaps singing an aria or two. Rice's poor play raised plenty of eyebrows last year, and his rocky offseason has only made his situation less tenable. His leverage with the team has been that the Ravens needed him. In 2014, that won't be the case."