Fantasy News Home
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 1:03pm
Cowboys beat writer Todd Archer on the team's running game: I believe you'll see DeMarco Murray go from a career-high 217 carries in 2013 to 250-plus in 2014 provided he stays healthy. He's not been able to play a full season yet, so there is concern there as well. But with an offensive line with three first-round picks and a defense that will need protecting, the wise thing to do will be to run more ... once they get the lead with the passing game. They can't win games 14-10.
Murray should benefit from OC Scott Linehan “growing the pie” offensively (i.e. more plays, and more rush attempts). His FP/touch was #14 among the top 60 running backs in 2013, so if he sees an increase from the 19.3 touches per game he saw last season (and stays healthy), a top 5 season is well within reach.
Eliot Shorr-Parks says that Eagles WR Jordan Matthews is a player to watch: Despite being a rookie and third on the depth chart, the most intriguing name on the Eagles' offense is receiver Jordan Matthews. Part of that has to do with the uncertainty in the unit, as any one of the trio of Matthews, Jeremy Maclin or Riley Cooper could emerge as the No. 1 receiver by year's end. Matthews certainly seems to have the talent to do it, as he has a combination of height and speed that the other two simply don't. Although he was running with the second team during minicamps -- behind receiver Brad Smith -- that is likely short lived. Seeing where Matthews lines up during training camp will give a major hint as to how Kelly plans on using him during the regular season.
Matthews will likely see snaps in the slot (at least) this season. Jeremy Maclin is working his way back from an ACL injury and Riley Cooper is solid, but unspectacular. There is opportunity in this offense if Matthews has a great summer, and by most accounts he has. Rookie wideouts usually don’t live up to their ADP, but there is the occasional exception.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 12:50pm
Bengals HC Jay Gruden on Darrel Young: "He's a very good fullback," Gruden said. "He can run, he can catch. We're excited about having him ... .The personnel will vary, but DY will be a major part of this offense."
Seahawks beat writer Tom Pelissero on the team's RB situation: "With starting RB Marshawn Lynch holding out, Robert Turbin took the first rep with the No. 1 offense, followed by Christine Michael. Should Lynch’s holdout stretch into the regular season – and as of now, I find it hard to believe that happens – Michael is the guy to watch. He’s a powerful, explosive athlete. He didn’t know how to be a pro as a rookie, but coaches have raved about his progress in Year 2. Even if Lynch is back, Michael should get a long look as a change of pace and on third downs."
Michael is still running behind Turbin, but according to Pelissero, that shouldn't last for long. If Lynch's holdout lasts into the season, we would expect that Michael will see a significant role.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 12:37pm
The optimism of training camp – all that new-beginnings stuff – often inspires bold predictions. The last time the Washington Redskins were preparing for a season, someone actually wrote they would have a 12-4 record. But when tight end Niles Paul offers his opinion about tight end Jordan Reed, he doesn’t sound crazy. He seems on point. “That’s a Pro Bowl tight end right there,” Paul said, pointing toward Reed as he left the field here after practice Friday. “Mark my words: He will be a Pro Bowler.”
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.
Giants beat writer Dan Graziano on the chances that rookie RB Andre Williams pushes the other RBs for carries: "I think there's a chance the Giants could use the rookie Andre Williams right away as a goal-line back, because in the past they've liked a power back in that role, and Williams can certainly be that without any further development. But outside of that, no, I would say he's well behind David Wilson, Rashad Jennings and even Peyton Hillis on the depth chart. The Giants love what Williams did in college, but they absolutely need to see more from him as a pass-catcher and, most importantly, a pass-blocker before he could start taking reps away from those other guys. The way their running back group is structured right now, barring injury, they won't feel the need to rush a rookie before he's ready. And while there's a lot to like about Williams, he's far from a finished product."
The Giants didn't sign Jennings to a significant deal to see him caddy for a rookie running back. Wilson is the threat to Jennings' touches, but he is coming off of a significant injury and flopped in a starting role last year. We're expecting Jennings to be the teams clear lead back with Wilson in a change of pace role ansd Williams potentially getting some goal line work.
Good news: Quarterback Cam Newton's surgically repaired ankle is getting better. Bad news (temporarily, anyway): He's not completely healthy and he wants to make that clear as the Panthers begin training camp. ''I can't stress enough that I'm not 100 percent yet,'' Newton said, according to the Associated Press, adding: ''It's just going to take treatment and time." More good news: Newton's rehab is right on schedule, which means he should be good to go when the regular season commences in six weeks. In the meantime, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the plan is to take it slow, but conceded that he was happy to see Newton on the field -- even if it's in a limited capacity.
Newton has finished in the top 4 in each of his three NFL seasons, but his PPG has dropped from 22.9 to 20.6 to 18.7 in that same span. He was unable to do much at OTAs due to his surgically repaired ankle, but threw with his new receiving corps before training camp. He should still be a solid QB1 given his ability to run the ball, but there are several red flags heading into the season.
Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson reportedly wanted $10 million per season on his next deal, and that's just about what he got in his new four-year, $39 million extension -- which includes $14.2 million guaranteed -- NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Saturday.
Nelson's contract status shouldn't affect his play this season. He is now signed through the 2018 season, so he should have steady value in dynasty leagues.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:10pm
Keep an eye on Preston Parker, a third-year wide receiver out of Florida State who had legal trouble in college and has bounced around. The Giants are using him a lot with the first-team offense and on returns.
Parker is getting extra reps with Odell Beckham sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:08pm
Giants WR Rueben Randle matched the defense’s physicality in practice with his own. The 6-2, 208-pound wide receiver created enough separation for himself to give Eli Manning enough of a window to connect on two outstanding plays. The first was a great twisting catch from Randle down the right sideline, which was followed up by Manning squeezing one through traffic to his third-year target later in practice. Just yesterday Randle was talking about the necessity to create space in the Giants’ new offense, which emphasizes yards after the catch.
Hakeem Nicks is gone, but the Giants drafted Odell Beckham in the 1st round. New OC Ben McAdoo utilizes a lot of three-WR sets (a la the Packers), so Randle should see starter’s snaps. He has been productive in his first two seasons on a per target basis, so he should produce starter-caliber numbers in significant playing time. He has been having a great offseason.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:05pm
Jets TE Jace Amaro had an atypical so-so practice. In addition to the drop, Amaro also was stripped of a pass after making a catch. But coach Rex Ryan is not getting down on his rookie tight end, who is a valuable receiving threat, in the slot or split out wide. “He’s caught the ball well other days,” Ryan said. “He gives you a guy that can run after the catch. I think he’s going to be a big weapon for us. There are a lot of things you can do with him. The flexibility that that can bring us I think will be great.”
Chris Ivory returned, after never really leaving. Ivory practiced Thursday when the Jets began training camp. He just did not take part in team periods because he is nursing a tender hamstring, and he dealt with nagging hamstring issues last year. But Ivory was in the mix in team periods Friday.
Ivory is competing with Chris Johnson for carries in the Jets' backfield. Johnson reportedly looks terrific, so we're expecting Ivory to serve as a change-of-pace to CJ?K.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:01pm
Giants RB David Wilson passed his first test facing contact coming off neck surgery. Midway through practice he collided head-first with S Cooper Taylor and came out fine. “That felt good,” Wilson said. “I definitely know I’m cleared now. It felt good to go back out there with my teammates and compete again.’’
A big part of football is seizing opportunity and second-year receiver Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins is doing just that. He's taking repetitions that likely would have been Aaron Dobson's and making plays that catch the eye. For the second day in a row, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Thompkins made a diving touchdown catch and he appears to be practicing with a lot of confidence. He runs precise routes, and most importantly, Brady has developed trust in him. That's not easy to do. They don't give out gold stars after two days of training camp, but Thompkins would be close to the front of the line if they did.
Dobson would have the inside track to starter's snaps but has been laid up the entire offseason with a foot injury that continues to linger. Meanwhile, Thompkins is having another good camp.
Running back Trent Richardson, rookie offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, safety LaRon Landry and cornerback Vontae Davis did not practice Friday. Richardson and Mewhort didn't practice for precautionary reasons, according to coach Chuck Pagano.
Vick Ballard reportedly tore his Achilles, which is terrible news for him, but represents one less obstacle that Richardson will have to overcome en route to workhorse RB1 duties for the Colts.