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NFL plans to suspend Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston three games

Thursday, June 21, 2018, 7:16pm

Adam Schefter - [Full Article]

Updating a previous item, Adam Schefter has confirmed that the NFL is planning to suspend Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston three games for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Ian Rapoport also reported that in addition to the suspension, Winston must meet certain criteria related to his conduct in order to return to the field. This suspension could come as early as tomorrow, or next week.

Related players: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Griffin

Fantasy Impact:

This will not be an ideal start to the 2018 season for Winston, who is now entering year four of his NFL career. Ryan Fitzpatrick figures to start the first three games of the season for the Bucs. In 2017, Fitzpatrick completed just 14-of-33 passes sent the way of top wideout Mike Evans, meaning this suspension could prove to be a huge blow to Evans' early-season value. DeSean Jackson, meanwhile, could stand to benefit from the quarterback swap. He caught 60 percent of his 30 targets from Fitzpatrick in 2017, scoring two touchdowns.

Fitzpatrick also completed 7-of-10 passes to O.J. Howard for 110 yards and a touchdown, while completing 7-of-15 passes to Cameron Brate for 74 yards and a score. The three-game suspension effectively kills Winston’s draft value, which was already lingering in the double-digit rounds.

Jets WR Robby Anderson sentenced to six months probation

Thursday, June 21, 2018, 11:48am

Mike Garafolo - [Full Article]

Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson plead no contest to charges of reckless driving. He will receive six months of probation.

Fantasy Impact:

Now that the legal system has run its course on Anderson's offseason run-ins with the law, we will see what the NFL does in terms of discipline. After being arrested twice in a nine-month span, the league could look to send a message. A suspension would be unlikely to extend past the first two games of the season.

Falcons to adjust contract of WR Julio Jones

Thursday, June 21, 2018, 10:09am

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - [Full Article]

The Falcons are expected to make an adjustment to Julio Jones’ contract in lieu of an extension, according to CBS Sports NFL business analyst Joel Corry.

“It would be a mild surprise if the Falcons extended the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver's contract since he has three years remaining,” Corry said. “It's more likely for the Falcons to make a minor adjustment to Jones' contract by adding unlikely-to-be-earned incentives or increasing his 2018 compensation by taking money from his 2019 base salary.”

Fantasy Impact:

Similar moves have been made to placate other elite skill players such as Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. Whether or not this would be enough for Jones to end his holdout remains to be seen, but we've seen time and time again that NFL players lack a lot of leverage in these circumstances. Expect Jones to start out wide for the Falcons come Week 1.

QB Marcus Mariota to run more in 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018, 9:49am

Titans Online - [Full Article]

Both Titans head coach Mike Vrabel and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur indicated that Marcus Mariota will run more in 2018.

“Obviously, (we want to move Mariota) around, get him out of the pocket,” Vrabel said. “That’s something that he does as a special player with his athletic ability, and his ability to throw on the move.”

Added LaFleur: “You don't ever want to take that element, that creativity, his ability to create off-schedule … you never want to take that away from a quarterback that has the athleticism that Marcus has.”

Fantasy Impact:

After accumulating over 2,200 rushing yards in three collegiate seasons, it has been a bit disappointing that Mariota has only rushed for 913 yards in three NFL seasons. That said, it sounds like the new coaching staff is going to take the shackles off of the offense, and that should yield more fantasy production for Mariota. Of 13 quarterbacks with at least 40 rush attempts in 2017, Mariota was second only to Dak Prescott in fantasy points per rush. He should break his career-high of 60 attempts in 2018.

Potential suspension incoming for Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 10:14pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

ESPN Tallahassee radio host Jeff Cameron said that the NFL will suspend Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston for an alleged incident with an Uber driver in Arizona in March of 2016.

“The Winston camp is prepared for the NFL to levy a suspension of some kind,” Cameron said. “The thought from the Winston camp is that would be a maximum of three games. I do not know at this time whether or not they plan to appeal, and I do not know that three games is an accurate number. I’ve been told that would seem to be the maximum number of games that the suspension could be. It’s also likely that it’s less than that and it’s one game.”

Fantasy Impact:

This would be a huge blow to the young quarterback entering his fourth NFL season, who made major strides in 2017 when he wasn't dealing with an injury. In the 11 games Winston threw at least 15 passes, he averaged over 300 passing yards—20 more yards than NFL-leader Tom Brady. Ryan Fitzpatrick figures to get the start in any games Winston is forced to miss.

Pederson clear on Jay Ajayi as lead RB for Eagles

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 8:08pm

The Philadelphia Inquirer - [Full Article]

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was clear that Jay Ajayi would be the team's top RB this upcoming season.

“Came in last year and obviously proved to us that he can handle it,” Pederson said. “He’s definitely going into camp as the No. 1 guy. It takes nothing away from what Corey [Clement] did or what [Darren] Sproles has done here, Wendell [Smallwood], [RB Donnel Pumphrey] is coming back, Matt Jones. You’ve got guys that are going to compete in that role.”

Fantasy Impact:

Pederson did add that the Eagles will still rotate running backs, but this is night and day from a year ago when he didn't name a lead back prior to the season. Ajayi got off to a slow start with Philadelphia after being traded from the Dolphins, but averaged 13.8 carries and 1.8 receptions over his final six appearances (including the playoffs). Ajayi could flirt with the 260 carries he had with Miami in 2016 when he finished as the No. 11 running back in PPR leagues.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins working on chemistry with WRs

Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 9:15pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Kirk Cousins‘ connection with his new receivers is a work in progress.

The Vikings quarterback invited Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs to Atlanta in April for a throwing session before organized team activities. They continued to get to know each other during the team’s offseason program.

“It’s a process of saying, ‘Hey, this is the way I’ve done if for six years. You’ve done it a different way for five years. Let’s try to talk about why you’ve had success, why I’ve had success. Let’s find some middle ground; let’s decide whether I’m going to learn your way, you’re going to learn my way,'” Cousins said, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN.

Fantasy Impact:

Cousins has no firm plans to work with his receivers off site before training camp, but feeling “a little behind the eight ball,” he will stay in his playbook, the story said.

Texans WR Keke Coutee has been impressing

Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 8:59pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Penciled in as the Texans’ returner, WR Keke Coutee is competing with Braxton Miller for the slot position.

“He’s in the long mold of those Red Raiders,” Texans receivers coach John Perry said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “He’s done a good job. He’s working hard. He shows up every day. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. If he continues to do that, I can see him moving forward.”

Fantasy Impact:

Miller is said to be "on the right path" after offseason workouts, however, he hasn't been able to stay on the field, which gives Coutee a solid chance to play a significant fantasy role this year. Keep his name on your radar.

Colts K Adam Vinatieri not ready to retire

Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 4:58pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri will likely be making some history in 2018.

Vinatieri is well within striking distance of the NFL records for career points and field goals, both of which are currently held by Morten Andersen, and he’ll close in on others with a season that’s in line with what he’s done during his first 22 years in the league. If he does post such a season, it sounds like he’ll be looking to continue to pad his totals during the 2019 season as well.

Fantasy Impact:

Vinatieri was quoted as saying he loves playing in the NFL today as much as he did 23 years ago when he started. He added he's not looking to hang up his cleats anytime soon.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota having healthy offseason

Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 9:37am

Tennessean - [Full Article]

For the first time in his NFL career, Marcus Mariota is enjoying an offseason without the pain and burden of rehabbing an injury.

It’s allowed him to focus on football, and after tossing more interceptions than touchdowns in 2017, the Titans’ franchise quarterback is retooling his mechanics, notably working to widen his stance when throwing the football. The improved legwork should increase his accuracy.

Fantasy Impact:

The story said Mariota is also working to stay on the field, which is partially tied to his decision-making outside the pocket. The team wants him to play smarter when he's on the run. He's entering his fourth season but has yet to play a full 16 games because of injuries.

Colts Beat: TE Eric Ebron turning heads

Monday, June 18, 2018, 8:15pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Colts tight end Eric Ebron was a draft bust in Detroit, but he might be ready to make his mark in Indianapolis.

That’s the word after the Colts wrapped up their offseason workouts, and coach Frank Reich said he loved what he saw of Ebron.

“He’s really smart,” Reich said of Ebron, via the Indianapolis Star. “I knew that because we did our homework before he got here. We knew he was a smart player. But he’s like really a highly intelligent football player. And that’s really good because you want to use a guy with the versatility that he has and move him around and call all kinds of things with him. That helps. And he’s an explosive athlete.”

Fantasy Impact:

Reich comes from the Eagles, who loved to use the tight end last year, especially with Zach Ertz and Trey Burton. With a successful return of QB Andrew Luck, Ebron, the former 10th-overall draft pick (2014) may turn fantasy heads at some point this year.

Browns Beat: QB Baker Mayfield does not look ready

Monday, June 18, 2018, 4:48pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

A year after the Browns thrust then-rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer into a Week One starting role, the Browns appear intent to do the opposite with their latest rookie QB, keeping quarterback Baker Mayfield on ice for as long as possible.

If that’s the plan, Mayfield is making it easy for the decision makers to implement their strategy. Here’s an assessment of the competition, if there is one, between Mayfield and Tyrod Taylor, from Dan Labbe of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “This is where I tell you that, based on the six practices of OTAs and minicamp that were open to the media, Mayfield did not look ready to compete with Taylor for the No. 1 quarterback job.”

Fantasy Impact:

Keep in mind it's only been six practices and things can change quickly, but as of now, it seems as if the deck is stacked in Taylor's favor, as the story put it.

McCarthy: Packers to use committee at RB

Monday, June 18, 2018, 1:36pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Don’t expect any one running back to carry the load in Green Bay this season.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the demands of the position are such that running backs Jamaal Williams, Ty Montgomery, and Aaron Jones will all be better off if none of them get too many carries.

“The fact of the matter is we’re going to go running back by committee,” McCarthy told ESPN. “But if one of them would emerge as that full-time guy then you have to have that ability to...adjust to that."

Fantasy Impact:

Things can change quickly in the NFL. Just because the Packers are planning to do this now, in June, it doesn't mean that's how things will end up come September. However, it doesn't make fantasy life easy for those drafting sooner than later. In PPR leagues, we currently have Williams ranked as our No. 45 RB, Montgomery is our No. 51 ranked RB, and Jones comes in as our No. 54 ranked RB. Williams and Jones sport 10th-round ADPs, while Montgomery is being drafted, on average, in the 14th round.

Lions Beat: WR Kenny Golladay could break out this year

Monday, June 18, 2018, 12:36pm

MLive.com - [Full Article]

Kenny Golladay is 6-foot-4. He's listed at 218 pounds. He has 4.5 speed and can jump through the building.

In other words, he looks like a No. 1 receiver. But in this offense, he doesn't have to be a No. 1 receiver. With Marvin Jones and Golden Tate back, he's probably a WR3.

And that's part of what makes him an excellent candidate to become the offense's breakout player of the year.

Fantasy Impact:

Golladay showed flashes last year when he caught 28 passes for 477 yards and 3 touchdowns. But if the offseason program is any indication, he's headed for even bigger things in 2018. He consistently chewed up the first-team defense, especially in the red zone, where he so deftly uses that rangy frame to go up and get passes even the likes of Darius Slay can't get to, according to the story. But fantasy expectations probably still need to be tempered for now because Tate and Jones still have a presence.

Colts plan to limit QB Andrew Luck's work in summer

Monday, June 18, 2018, 10:48am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

According to Albert Breer of SI.com, the Colts plan to limit Andrew Luck’s work throughout the summer to make sure there are no setbacks, including days off during training camp. They also plan to monitor his practice reps, to try to mirror his workload during the regular season.

Fantasy Impact:

Seems like Luck is still very much recovering from his shoulder injury. However, it seems like it's going to continue to put him behind in terms of repetitions and learning the new system.

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