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Sunday, July 13, 2014, 12:33pm
The Ravens surrounded Flacco with more weapons this offseason, and having two pass-catching tight ends at his disposal could lead to impressive results for the offense. Kubiak has a history of using two tight end sets, and that is expected to be the case again this season.
Crockett Gillmore is also a virtual lock to make the team, likely as the No. 3 tight end. The third tight end has traditionally played more of a blocking role for the Ravens, which fits Gillmore’s style. He’s the biggest tight end on the roster, giving him the size to go up against defensive ends and outside linebackers that he would have to block to clear holes in the running game.
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Sunday, July 13, 2014, 12:31pm
Celek turns 29 after the season and had his role changed in Chip Kelly’s offense, catching just 32 passes last year, his fewest since his second season.
Kelly drafted Zach Ertz with a high second-round pick last year. Ertz caught 36 passes for 469 yards last year and is expected to have an increased role this season.
Everyone kept waiting for the Eagles to use their TEs more last year, especially when WR Riley Cooper was struggling early on. While it never really happened, many feel this will be the year, especially for Ertz. We rank Ertz 13th among TEs. We all know by now this is a pretty top-heavy position with a lot of parity after that. Ertz is certainly among that group. But until the Eagles show they are going to use him more, he'll come with some risk.
Eli Manning 're-energized' by new system
Sunday, July 13, 2014, 12:25pm
One offseason storyline in New York has been the influence of new Giants coordinator Ben McAdoo, who was imported when Kevin Gilbride retired after 10 seasons with the club.
Last month New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the new offense forced quarterback Eli Manning to do a lot of homework. The signal-caller agrees that learning the new scheme has refreshed him after his horrific 2013 season.
"It's re-energized me," Manning told the New York Daily News. "I'm trying to speed up the process of getting comfortable in the new system. I don't have 10 years. I have a few months."
Manning had a terrible year in 2013, but should bounce back this season. WR Hakeem Nicks is gone but WR Victor Cruz remains and rookie WR Odell Beckham should produce as well. This could also be a big year for WR Rueben Randle, assuming Manning does bounce back. We rank Eli 21st among our QBs, but he may not even get drafted in typical leagues. If you're counting on a bounce back and targeting him as a QB2, it looks like you can wait very late to get him.
Sunday, July 13, 2014, 12:18pm
“Not really. I’m not really focused on my teammates, what they do in their off life so that’s none of my business,” Hoyer said. “They can make those decisions on their own. All that matters is that we come back ready to go for the season.”
Hoyer said his knee is totally healthy after last year’s torn ACL and that he’s been throwing to Browns receivers Andrew Hawkins and Charles Johnson during the time off before training camp in order to be as sharp as possible when his competition with Manziel heats up later this month. He’ll need to be to remain on top of the depth chart and it’s clear that Hoyer isn’t taking that spot for granted.
We have Manziel slightly ahead of Hoyer right now and think he can be an interesting QB2 if he does win the job.
Calvin Johnson looks healthy for camp
Sunday, July 13, 2014, 10:38am
It's hardly a surprise to say that WR Calvin Johnson is good or that he is the key cog in the Lions' attack. But, as training camp approaches and anticipation ramps up over promising young players like TE Eric Ebron and RB Theo Riddick and concern grows over Matthew Stafford's progress, it should not be forgotten how important it is for Johnson to have a good camp and come out of it healthy.
The Lions' scoring offense ranked 13th in the NFL last year with an average of 24.7 points per game. But in the games Johnson missed at Green Bay and at Minnesota, the offense struggled greatly and scored a combined 22 points.
Megatron had minor surgeries on a finger and a knee after the season, and the team has been cautious with his offseason work. He looks completely healthy. Of course, Johnson will likely be an early-to-mid first round pick later this summer in your league. We project him for 9 TDs and over 1,600 yards as well as over 100 catches.
Sunday, July 13, 2014, 10:30am
The biggest question surrounding the Eagles wide receivers for the 2014 season is how are the 82 catches, 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns that DeSean Jackson took with him to Washington going to be replaced?
There isn’t one answer.
“We have some options,” Eagles wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell said. “Our room is a little different this year. There’s been some change, but that makes it fun. It’s challenging. I like our room.”
From a fantasy perspective, the Eagles wide receiver situation is one to watch this summer. Can Riley Cooper continue his success without DJax and will Jeremy Maclin come back and stay healthy and put up WR1 numbers are two of the biggest questions. Eagle WRs could shape up to be risky plays. We rank Maclin 37th and Cooper 54th, so right now they should only be counted on as depth guys on your roster, but they certainly have the potential to be more.
Sunday, July 13, 2014, 10:21am
Injuries kept him from practicing fully leading up to his rookie season and then cost him six games during the season, leaving the Bills unsure whether their 2013 first-round pick could be the long-term starter that they have been looking for in Buffalo. With a new owner coming soon, there’s a chance that the front office and coaching staff could be shaken up so Manuel will have to offer more convincing evidence that he can be that guy during his second season or run the risk that the franchise will start looking in other directions.
Manuel says that he has more confidence in himself as he moves toward the 2014 season and that he’s learned some things about staying healthy that leave him feeling like a stronger player than he was a year ago.
The story goes on to say there were some shaky reports about Manuel’s play during the spring, particularly when it came to accuracy, and Manuel says he’s been working on developing chemistry with new wideouts Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams. The hope is that increased familiarity will help Manuel’s passes find their target more frequently because anything less will leave the Bills with bigger questions to answer next offseason. Right now we rank Manuel 27th among our QBs and he's not getting drafted at this point in the summer. We think he has committee-potential with the weapons around him. He's probably best as a waiver wire pickup in typical leagues.
Saturday, July 12, 2014, 10:27am
Jaguars.com writer John Oehser predicts that RB Jordan Todman will be the primary backup to Toby Gerhart: "Todman indeed played well last season when he had the opportunity and I’d expect him to be the top backup this season to Toby Gerhart. His strength indeed is as a runner more than protection or receiving, but I’d still say he’s the top option to start if Gerhart is unavailable."
Saturday, July 12, 2014, 10:17am
Steelers plan to let RBs 'sort themselves out' in camp
Friday, July 11, 2014, 10:20pm
Mike Tomlin isn't giving any hints on how he plans to deploy his backfield options this season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers coach told NFL Media's Lindsay Rhodes and Brian Baldinger on Friday that he plans to let the training camp and preseason play of Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount and Dri Archer determine a pecking order in 2014.
"I'm excited about letting these guys sort themselves out from a division of labor standpoint," Tomlin said. "I know that they're all committed to being a significant component to what we do."
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette observed last month that the Steelers "mixed and matched" Bell and Blount during minicamp, a possible sign Blount could have a bigger role than originally anticipated.
Bell will be the lead back, but he may not be a bellcow he was in his rookie season since the Steelers will have Blount in the bullpen.
Friday, July 11, 2014, 10:14pm
Buccaneers HC Lovie Smith has compared RB Charles Sims – as a type of player – to the Bears' Matt Forte, and draft analyst Rob Rang makes the same link. The author praises Sims' "impressive burst," "hand-eye coordination," "body control" and "soft mitts" and says those traits fit in well with the system new Offensive Coordination Jeff Tedford is installing in Tampa. The reason that Rang believes Sims could contribute significantly early on isn't necessarily positive, but it's a fair point: Josh McCown will need good protection up front to allow his crew of huge pass-catchers to get downfield, and it's not yet known how strong the Bucs' offensive line will be.
Rang would not be surprised if Sims, who was seen as something of a head-scratcher of a pick in early May, looks like a steal instead a month or two into the season.
The arrival of Sims has taken a good amount of wind out of Doug Martin's sails, causing his ADP to slip into the 2nd/3rd rounds. This is a new regime, so Martin's role is far from safe, though we still see him as the lead back in Tampa.
Friday, July 11, 2014, 10:08pm
Friday, July 11, 2014, 10:04pm
In a span of four straight games Packers TE Brandon Bostick played (he missed one during the stretch due to a concussion), he caught at least one pass for 19 or more yards, including a 22-yard TD against Philadelphia on a wheel route from QB Scott Tolzien in which Bostick’s open-field speed was on display.
Friday, July 11, 2014, 9:59pm
There are several reasons Mike Brown is in Minnesota this week, but the biggest one is simple. There’s really nowhere else he would rather be.
The same is true of Cecil Shorts III, who – like Brown, his teammate in the Jaguars’ wide receivers corps – is in Minneapolis, Minn., with a slew of NFL wide receivers and quarterbacks at Larry Fitzgerald’s annual offseason workout camp at the University of Minnesota.
Trent Richardson will have to 'produce right away'
Friday, July 11, 2014, 9:46pm
Colts RB Trent Richardson will likely get the first shot at starting over Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard because the latter two are coming off injuries that cost them almost all of the 2013 season. But Richardson will have to produce right away because it's unlikely the Colts will wait for him to get going if Bradshaw and Ballard are producing when given the opportunity.
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.