Fantasy News Home
Friday, July 25, 2014, 5:43pm
On Friday, Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill and No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace connected on a deep ball in what was easily the play of the day. Wallace beat second-year cornerback Jamar Taylor by a couple steps and Tannehill hit Wallace in stride for an approximately 40-yard gain. Tannehill and Wallace struggled with deep-ball connections last season.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 5:39pm
Jets TE Jeff Cumberland arrived at camp a day later than his teammates due to personal reasons but stepped right into the fray with several nice cuts and catches in "skelly" and team drills. He, too, gives the Marty Mornhinweg system kudos for allowing him to pick up where he left off last year and in the offseason. "Like today, I hadn't been able to look at my playbook for a couple of weeks," he said. "But since I've been in the system, I was able to just come out here and, every play he called, I knew exactly what to do."
Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts left the team's first training camp practice with a tight hamstring. The injury isn't expected to be serious and coach Gus Bradley said the Jaguars pulled Shorts as a precautionary measure. Shorts said he expects to be back on the field this weekend. "Things are going to pop up," he said. "It's football. Things happen. I'll continue to take care of my body. If I'm able to practice [on Saturday], I'm practicing." Shorts missed most of OTAs and minicamp with tightness in his calf.
Shorts gutted through a sports hernia on his way to a 66-777-3 season. The 55-979-7 line he posted in 2012 (his second season) is a better indication of what he’s capable of. The addition of Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson should actually help Shorts avoid double coverage. Hopefully the hamstring injury isn't a big deal.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 5:35pm
For all the unsolicited advice the Kansas City Chiefs receive about how to best preserve running back Jamaal Charles for the long term, they don’t seem inclined to listen. Days after they fortified Charles’ contract, the Chiefs appear prepared to utilize their best offensive player as much if not more than in seasons past. "I think he's got a lot in the tank," coach Andy Reid said. “We're going to keep using him. He's a good football player and he enjoys playing the game, so we'll keep getting him the football."
It sounds as if the team will continue to give Charles a heavy dose of touches. He was 5th in that category at 21.9 per game.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 5:20pm
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he expects to take on an expanded role in first-year offensive coordinator Norv Turner's system, one that seems designed for elusiveness over brawn. "It's definitely different," Peterson said. "I had an opportunity to sit down and talk to Coach Turner, and I knew when they hired him I was going to be more involved in the spread (offense), running routes out of the backfield. "It's something I've been waiting for my whole career, and now I have the opportunity to be a part of that style of offense." As he begins his last season under 30, the age often associated with decline among NFL running backs, Peterson said he sees himself as an every-down player.
He’s coming off of a #6 finish (and groin surgery); it’s the second time in three seasons that he has finished outside of the top 5. He turns 29 in March and while he should continue to be very productive when healthy, one wonders if his 2,241 touches are starting to catch up to him. Along with his sheer talent, there is another reason to be excited about AP’s upside in 2014 — the arrival of OC Norv Turner, who knows what he’s doing on that side of the ball. Turner emphasized that he wants to get Peterson the ball in space, and that means more receptions. Peterson has only averaged 2.0 catches 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 2.9 catches in three seasons under Norv Turner.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 3:18pm
Titans RB Shonn Greene (knee) has been cleared for camp.
Cardinals GM Steve Keim said that RB Andre Ellington has gained 8-10 pounds of muscle to increase his durability.
Rashad Mendenhall retired, and the Cardinals didn’t do much of anything at RB in free agency (outside of signing Jonathan Dwyer), so the path is clear for Ellington to become a feature back. HC Bruce Arians says he wants to build the offense around the diminutive RB, but that they’ll be careful not to overwork him, implying that they may limit his short-yardage work. He was the #25 RB in 2013 on 10.4 touches per game, but averaged 12.4 touches in his last 11 games. In that span, he averaged 9.3 FP, which are low-end RB2 numbers. Arians’ offenses don’t utilize the running back heavily in the passing game, but with the way he has been gushing about Ellington’s skill set, that may change. Ellington averaged 0.771 fantasy points per touch in 2013, so if he can maintain that production at a 15-touch workload, he’s looking at an average of 11.6 FP per game. Those are high-end RB2 numbers.
The Browns have been 'alarmed' by some of Johnny Manziel's antics since the draft -- especially a photo of him rolling up a $20 bill in the bathroom of a bar -- and some in the organization feel he's lost ground in the quarterback competition heading into camp, sources have told Northeast Ohio Media Group. After the suspicious photo of Manziel tightly rolling up the bill surfaced on July 7, Browns coach Mike Pettine called Manziel from his vacation in Hawaii and addressed it, he told NEOMG on Monday. The conversation was 'positive' but he also planned to talk to Manziel face-to-face when he arrived for the rookie portion of camp on Wednesday. Tightly-rolled bills are typically used to snort cocaine, and the Browns wanted some answers. In fact, NFL chemical dependency consultant and former Browns team physician Dr. Gregory Collins of the Cleveland Clinic told NEOMG that such a photo would warrant a league inquiry and drug test to make sure the player is okay, even though it's not proof of use.
If Manziel wins the starting job this summer -- and that's looking less likely, per reports -- he'll be an intriguing QB2 who should be available in the 9th-11th rounds given all the depth at quarterback. He has a good situation brewing with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron in his receiving corps, and the newly-signed Ben Tate as a threat in the running game. (Gordon’s looming suspension is an obvious concern.) Manziel’s durability is a question mark given his propensity for taking chances by leaving the pocket.
Wide receiver Kenny Stills pulled up lame on a pass route and had to leave the field. Payton said it was a right quadriceps injury that flared up on the play. Payton said Stills had similar tightness two weeks ago.
Stills figures to see a jump in snaps and targets after the Saints lost both Lance Moore and Darren Sproles, who saw a combined 143 targets last year. Stills should get at minimum the 5.5 T/G that Moore saw in the past three years, making him an intriguing WR3 with upside. The arrival of Brandin Cooks does take some of the wind out his sails, but that should only serve to keep his ADP at a reasonable level. Drew Brees had a QB rating of 139.3 when throwing to Stills, the highest in the league. He’s bound to improve as a second year receiver and is playing in one of the best pass offenses in the league. There’s a lot to like here. Hopefully the quad injury doesn't linger.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 2:49pm
Drew Brees can certainly get used to New Orleans Saints first-round pick wide receiver Brandin Cooks terrorizing secondaries with his speed and ball skills. Cooks came up with the play of the day as the Saints wrapped up their first full training camp practice Friday morning at the pristine facility at The Greenbrier. It probably won't be his last. The wideout darted through the Saints secondary on a deep post pattern. Brees' pass was slightly behind Cooks, but Cooks displayed why he deserved a first-round selection as he adjusted to the approaching football by slowing down. Cooks then outleaped rookie safety Ty Zimmerman to haul in the reception.
The Saints spread the ball around, but not only do they have to replace the departed Lance Moore, the team has to also replace the production of Darren Sproles in the receiving game. The two combined for 143 targets in 2013, so while we're expecting Kenny Stills to see a larger role, there are targets for the speedy Cooks as well.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 2:47pm
Though two days of training camp, Chris Thompson has managed to stand out in a crowded Redskins’ backfield. He’s looked quick. He’s looked elusive. He’s looked decisive. In other words, the 2013 fifth round draft pick has looked precisely like the No. 3 running back that Jay Gruden is seeking for his offense. Thompson figures he’s battling rookie Lache Seastrunk, a similar player in terms of shiftiness and breakaway speed, Evan Royster and Silas Redd for one, maybe two spots.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 2:24pm
Tevin Reese, drafted in the seventh round, is improved from the five spring practices open to the media. He's more assertive, better at double moves and more apt to pluck the ball. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder confirmed his blocking needs much work. "Kid can smoke," quarterback Kellen Clemens said. Talking about the slender Reese, receiver Malcom Floyd invoked a well-known undersized pass-catcher. "That's how DeSean Jackson was -- little and fast," Floyd said. "He shocked the NFL."
Reese is a name to remember if Malcom Floyd isn't his usual self. The Chargers have proved that they are not afraid to work a rookie (Keenan Allen) in immediately if the need and talent is there.
Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace have a long way to go on their deep ball connections. Still. The Dolphins duo combined for one completion deep down the left sideline midway through practice during seven on seven drills. But there were two other instances when Tannehill underthrew on deep passes -- one to Wallace who was wide open behind Will Davis and once when Damien Williams was open deep.
According to HC Joe Philbin, the duo has improved in this area this offseason, but it hasn't shown up in camp thus far. It's something to monitor as the summer wears on. Tannehill has a great schedule and is a good candidate for a QBBC strategy. For more info, click here.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 1:41pm
Colts WR Reggie Wayne (ACL) on his return to practice: "When you're out here and you're thinking and worrying — what if this and what if that? — that's when you get hurt," he said. "If you just come out here and do the things you've been doing ... everything's normal. That's how I felt today. "Not one thing bothered me today. Not one time I went out there and I worried about my knee."
Wayne was the #19 WR in standard formats and the #17 WR in PPR through the first seven weeks prior to tearing his ACL. He's 35 and coming off of a major knee injury. He’s expected to play Week 1, but it's hard to envision him returning to his usual form in time for the 2014 season. The Colts signed Hakeem Nicks as insurance.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 1:23pm
TE Larry Donnell has Tom Coughlin's attention after a nice practice on Wednesday and made another solid play during 11-on-11s yesterday. Donnell is currently listed as the No. 1 tight end on the team's first unofficial depth chart, and will now look for any way possible to hold on to the job.