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Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has been conditionally reinstated by NFL

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 4:06pm - [Full Article]

The NFL notified Martavis Bryant of the Pittsburgh Steelers today that he has been reinstated to the NFL on a conditional basis.

Bryant may join the Steelers at the training facility and participate in meetings, conditioning work and similar activities. Once arrangements have been confirmed regarding Bryant’s clinical resources in Pittsburgh, he will be permitted to participate in all preseason activities, including practices and games.

Prior to the start of the regular season, the NFL will review Bryant’s progress. Based on his compliance and engagement with his program and resources, he will be permitted to participate in all regular season activities beginning in Week 1. He will be evaluated later in the season for full reinstatement.

Bryant had been suspended since March 2016 without pay following multiple violations of the NFL-NFLPA Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

Fantasy Impact:

This is great news for Bryant and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. For an in-depth look at Bryant's outlook for 2017, read John Paulsen's recent article: Just a Friendly Reminder That Martavis Bryant Is Really Good.

Saints to sign RB Adrian Peterson

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 10:11am

Josina Anderson - [Full Article]

Adrian Peterson tells me he plans to sign with the Saints on a 2-yr deal, effectively a (1 + 1 year option) term worth a base value of $7M.

Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate: "(Mark Ingram) would be the lead back. Peterson would be his backup. The Saints ran the ball 404 times last year."

Fantasy Impact:

After a 1,485-yard season in 2015, Peterson gained just 72 yards on 37 carries (1.9 YPC) in 2016 while his season was interrupted by meniscus surgery. He’s 32 years old and doesn’t run well out of the shotgun, which has become the norm in today’s NFL. We don't believe he'll usurp Ingram as the starter, though he should see a significant role a la Tim Hightower. Ingram may become a draft day value if his ADP takes a hit after this signing.

Bills don't match offer sheet for RB Mike Gillislee

Monday, April 24, 2017, 4:40pm

Adam Schefter - [Full Article]

Bills declined to match two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet that RB Mike Gillislee signed with Patriots, per source. Gillislee now a Pat.

Related players: LeSean McCoy, Rex Burkhead

Fantasy Impact:

Over the past two seasons, he has gained 844 yards on 148 carries (5.7 YPC) and found the end zone 12 times (11 rush, 1 rec). In fact, among running backs with at least eight rush attempts inside the opponent's 5-yard line over the past two seasons, Gillislee is tied with LeVeon Bell for the highest touchdown conversion rate (70.0%) in the league. Gillislee's arrival takes a lot of the wind out of Rex Burkhead's sails. Burkhead was probably going to see most of the goal line work, but given Gillislee's talents in that are, he'll probably handle those duties. Double digit touchdowns are possible if Gillislee holds down that role for the entire year. It's going to be tough to predict the Patriots' backfield on a weekly basis. In Buffalo, this cements LeSean McCoy's status as a top 5 fantasy back since he's now likely to see an increase in goal line attempts. Jonathan Williams likely serves as his primary back up, though the Bills may address the position in the draft.

Patriots extend RB James White for three years

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 8:53pm

Adam Schefter - [Full Article]

Super-Bowl hero James White and Patriots reached agreement on 3-year extension, tying him to New England for 4 years, per league source.

Fantasy Impact:

Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis are signed through 2017, so White gives the team some long-term stability at the position if one or both were to walk next spring. White is more of a receiver than a runner, so his value is enhanced in PPR formats. If the Patriots are able to wrestle Mike Gillislee away from the Bills, this is going to be a very tough backfield to predict on a weekly basis.

Patriots sign RFA RB Mike Gillislee to an offer sheet

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 2:16pm

Ian Rapoport - [Full Article]

Patriots extended an RFA offer sheet to Bills RB Mike Gillislee. It’s for 2 years, $6.4M, source said. $4M in the 1st year.

Joel Corry: The Bills are lousy at giving RFAs tenders. A $1.797M tender instead of a 2nd tender round for Mike Gillislee was inviting an offer sheet.

Fantasy Impact:

The Bills have five days to match the offer or lose Gillislee for a 5th round pick. Over the past two seasons, he has gained 844 yards on 148 carries (5.7 YPC) and found the end zone 12 times (11 rush, 1 rec). In fact, among running backs with at least eight rush attempts inside the opponent's 5-yard line over the past two seasons, Gillislee is tied with LeVeon Bell for the highest touchdown conversion rate (70.0%) in the league. If the Bills decline to match the offer, it should free up red zone touches for LeSean McCoy. In New England, Gillislee's arrival would put a serious dent in Rex Burkhead's upside, since he's currently first in line for goal line duties. Gillislee could conceivably assume LeGarrette Blount's role in the offense.

Andy Reid is 'a big Spencer Ware fan'

Sunday, April 16, 2017, 12:02pm

Kansas City Star - [Full Article]

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said at the NFL’s annual meeting in March that Spencer Ware, 25, did a fine job in his first year as a starter.

“I’m a big Spencer Ware fan — I like him,” Reid said. “Well, the kid’s dirty tough. He’s going to give you an honest down every snap. He’s not real fancy — that’s not his deal, but he can block, he can catch and he can run. So, there’s a place for Spencer, and this was really his first year as a full-time halfback.”

Fantasy Impact:

In 17 games where he’s seen at least 10 carries -- 13 of those games occurred in 2016 -- Ware has averaged 17.9 touches for 99 yards and 0.59 touchdowns, or 15.5 PPG (PPR). Those numbers would have extrapolated to #8 RB numbers in 2016. Ware missed two games last year, but was on pace to finish as the #11 RB had he stayed healthy. The Chiefs may draft a running back, which is why Ware’s ADP sits in the 4th round. If he sits atop the depth chart after the draft, he’ll be worthy of a 3rd round pick.

Steelers WR Martavis Bryant inching towards reinstatement

Sunday, April 16, 2017, 11:36am

Sporting News - [Full Article]

A source told Sporting News that Steelers WR Martavis Bryant met Thursday with the NFL’s Management Council as part of his efforts for reinstatement from a year-long drug suspension. Among the conditions for being cleared to play again, Bryant was told to assemble a plan detailing safeguards that would help him prevent a relapse upon returning to Pittsburgh, the source said.

Bryant also will have to meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell or one of his representatives once the league’s medical director and medical advisor submit their recommendation about reinstatement per the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Fantasy Impact:

Bryant sat out the 2016 season after multiple failed drug tests, so he's a risky pick, even if he is on track to be reinstated. Given his production, he's worth the reward, especially at his current ADP (7th round, WR41 in early MFL10s). In 24 career games, including the postseason, Bryant has averaged 4.0 receptions for 65 yards and 0.67 touchdowns, or 14.5 PPG (PPR). That would have been good enough to finish as the #13 WR in 2016, ahead of Jarvis Landry and Julian Edelman. He has posted similar numbers (4.4-67-0.56) in his last 16 games, which equate to a 71-1074-9 season. His ADP should be in the 6th round, and if he's reinstated, it could rise into the 4th.

Raiders have agreed to terms with RB Marshawn Lynch

Friday, April 14, 2017, 4:18pm

Mike Silver - [Full Article]

Marshawn Lynch has signed with the Raiders. Terms to come.

Update from @RapSheet: To follow up Mike Silver's reporting: Marshawn Lynch & Raiders haven't agreed to parameters. But optimism is there. Expected to happen.

Fantasy Impact:

The Raiders still need to agree to trade compensation with the Seahawks, but this looks like it's happening. In his final season with the Seahawks, Lynch gained 497 total yards and scored three touchdowns in seven games (3.76 YPC). That equates to 11.5 PPG (PPR), which are high-end RB3 numbers. The Oakland offensive line is very good, but Seattle’s offensive line seemed to block just fine for Thomas Rawls (5.65 YPC) and Christine Michael (4.92 YPC) while Lynch struggled mightily in 2015. The soon-to-be 31-year-old would be back on the radar as a fantasy RB2 if he is traded to the Raiders, but a return to RB1 production is not a slam dunk.

Kirk Cousins, Terrelle Pryor working together in Florida

Friday, April 14, 2017, 12:07pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

After he signed with the Redskins, Terrelle Pryor had said Kirk Cousins’ presence was among the reasons he was excited for 2017. Now, after working with him ahead of Monday’s first offseason voluntary workout, Pryor is even more excited.

During their time together in Florida, they only misfired on one or two passes -- out of 200, he said.

“It was about him getting my timing down,” Pryor said. “There were a couple routes I had to run a couple times because he’s a timing thrower, and he throws it to spots. But we’ll get there. When we get there Monday, we’ll go two or three times a week and work on that as well. I was eager. It was great to work with him and get to know him.”

Fantasy Impact:

On the surface, this is a puff piece, but it's so important for free agent receivers to build chemistry with their new quarterbacks as soon as possible. It also indicates that Cousins, who has had a tumultuous relationship with the team, is preparing as if he'll be playing for the Redskins in 2017.

Raiders getting closer to trading for RB Marshawn Lynch

Thursday, April 13, 2017, 12:13pm

Ian Rapoport - [Full Article]

The Seahawks & Raiders are expected to work out a trade for Marshawn Lynch to Oakland. It’s contingent on a reworked contract first.

Fantasy Impact:

In his final season with the Seahawks, Lynch gained 497 total yards and scored three touchdowns in seven games (3.76 YPC). That equates to 11.5 PPG (PPR), which are high-end RB3 numbers. The Oakland offensive line is excellent, so the soon-to-be 31-year-old would be back on the radar as a fantasy RB2 if he does un-retire and find his way to the Raiders.

49ers RB Carlos Hyde (knee) is running and cutting

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 3:26pm

Cam Inman - [Full Article]

49ers RB Carlos Hyde on knee: "I’m back to running. I can cut, just not all the way I like to run, but I’m making improvement."

Fantasy Impact:

In 20 games over the past two seasons, Hyde has averaged 16.6 carries for 73 yards and 0.45 touchdowns. His 13.9 PPG (PPR) in that span is better than what Frank Gore averaged as the #12 fantasy running back last season. Hyde’s injury history is concerning, but if he’s able to stay upright and play a full season, he has a great chance to finish as a fantasy RB1.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert says his back 'feels great'

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 3:00pm - [Full Article]

“I’m feeling good. I continue to get better. My back feels great,’ Bengals TE Tyler Eifert assured on Monday.

Eifert doesn’t know when he’ll be cleared to resume regular workouts or work in the May and June camps, but he says he’ll ready for training camp. He isn’t running full steam yet, but he’s been running enough that he feels he’s close to being in tip-top shape.

“I’ll be ready and healthy and strong and be ready to go by the time it’s go time,” Eifert said. “I’m close.”

“It will be nice to have somewhat of an offseason to get ready for the year,” Eifert said. “Instead of coming into camp straight off of injury.”

When Eifert is healthy, well, the numbers say it.

There is that .650 winning percentage and those .54 TDs per game. That’s what eight-time Pro Bowler Antonio Gates has in 204 games. No one is near Rob Gronkowksi’s .77 TDs per game, but consider that Jimmy Graham is at .56, Jordan Reed at .43, one-time Pro Bowl MVP Kyle Rudolph at .36, Greg Olsen at .34, Travis Kelce at .29, 10-time Pro Bowler Jason Witten at .28, and Delanie Walker at .19, and you’re looking at a guy that scores with the best of them.

Fantasy Impact:

In 21 games over the last two seasons, Eifert has averaged 3.9 catches for 48 yards and 0.86 TD per game (on 5.8 T/G). That equates to 13.8 PPG (PPR), which is what Travis Kelce averaged last season as fantasy’s #1 tight end. It will be tough for Eifert to maintain that touchdown rate, though he did manage 0.82 TD per game in the 17 games over the last two seasons that A.J. Green also played, which underlines Eifert’s red zone role in the passing game. If his touchdowns regress, he’ll be hard-pressed to make up the difference in receptions or yards, since his targets are low, relatively speaking.

Broncos QB Trevor Siemian is a 'full-go' after shoulder surgery

Monday, April 10, 2017, 4:26pm

Nicki Jhabvala - [Full Article]

Vance Joseph said Broncos QB Trevor Siemian is a full-go. Cleared to participate in offseason program fully after left shoulder surgery in January.

Fantasy Impact:

The injury was to his non-throwing shoulder so it shouldn't affect his fantasy prospects heading into 2017. It looks like he is the favorite to start once again for the Broncos. Siemian averaged 13.6 fantasy points in 14 games, which makes him a low-end QB2 for fantasy purposes.

Cards not looking for 'plug-and-play' WR

Monday, April 10, 2017, 8:54am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Bruce Arians is content with his wide receivers, for now at least.

If a top-tier wide receiver is available when it’s the Cardinals' turn to pick at No. 13 in this month’s NFL draft, there's no guarantee he’ll be heading to Arizona.

“A top-round pick isn’t necessary,” Arians said. “Again, if the right guy falls and you say, ‘OK, where does he fit this year?’ And everyone says he’s a bust because he’s fighting his ass off to get on the field.’

“We don’t need a plug-and-play player right now at that position.”

Related players: Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, JJ Nelson, Jaron Brown, Aaron Dobson

Fantasy Impact:

The story said Arians has thrown praise at Dobson this offseason and John Brown is working out twice a day so the Cards are hopeful he returns to form in 2017. The story added both could fill the role left by Michael Floyd.

Report: LeGarrette Blount has offer on table from Pats

Saturday, April 8, 2017, 12:36pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

LeGarrette Blount wanted a team to “give me some money.”

The Patriots, at least to some degree, are willing.

New England is known for not overly investing at running back, often allowing even its most productive veterans to walk via free agency. Blount currently has an “offer on the table” from the Patriots, Mike Giardi of CSN New England reported Friday. This is less a development and more an update on where the situation stands. That Blount has yet to accept indicates the deal’s numbers and/or structure do not meet his expectation.

Fantasy Impact:

The team hosted Adrian Peterson Monday but it's believed the price wasn't right and the story went on to say Blount, at the right price, seems like the preferred option.

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