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Cowboys WR Cole Beasley expanding route tree

Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 1:48pm

Dallas News - [Full Article]

WR Cole Beasley will be a key player for Dallas to re-establish what it's calling a "Dak-friendly" offense. In the slot in 2016, Beasley epitomized that role as the line protected for Prescott and Beasley grabbed underneath balls when Dak Prescott didn't hand off to Ezekiel Elliott. Now, Beasley's working on expanding his route tree under new receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

Fantasy Impact:

The story said Dallas plans to shift several receivers across different positions with routes similar that Prescott will know where they're going regardless of who he is targeting. It's likely going to be a receiver by committee approach with Dez Bryant released and Jason Witten retiring.

Report: Le'Veon Bell plans to skip training camp again

Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 1:42pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Running back LeVeon Bell didn’t get the long-term deal he was hoping for, and he apparently isn’t going to put in any extra time.

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, Bell’s plan at the moment is to skip training camp “but be ready for the regular season.”

Fantasy Impact:

There’s also no plan to skip regular season games, likely because doing so would be forfeiting $852,000 a week and his quest for more money isn’t furthered by leaving piles of it on the table. As we reported earlier, last year Bell got off to a slow start over the first three weeks, perhaps as a result of missing most of camp, so it's something for fantasy owners to keep in mind.

Gase: Offense 'moves smoother' with QB Ryan Tannehill

Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 9:06am

Palm Beach Post - [Full Article]

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill had to work his way back while growing accustomed to new receivers Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson, plus two tight ends drafted in the first four rounds.

That’s enough to throw at any quarterback, let alone one who, assuming he starts the opener, will be taking a snap that matters for the first time in 637 days, or 1 3/4 calendar years.

“You could tell he has a total grip of the offense,” coach Adam Gase said. “Everything just moves smoother. That’s just experience, whether it’s in this offense or just football in general. He’s been in the league for a little bit. When the defense throws something different at him, he has a way to solve the problem faster than probably what he did three or four years ago.”

Fantasy Impact:

The story was mostly about how Tannehill has looked good so far this offseason. Other items of note from the story included Tannehill not wearing any kind of brace and there was no evidence of a limp. The story quoted Gase as saying Tannehill is "going to play his game," meaning he has the green light to take off and run.

WR Larry Fitzgerald says he'll only play for Cardinals beyond 2018

Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 8:58am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will be back for a 15th season in 2018 and he said this offseason that he hasn’t come to a decision about whether it will be his last year as a player.

If Fitzgerald does decide to play another year, he’ll need to sign a new contract as his current pact with the Cardinals expires after this season. Life as a free agent doesn’t appear to be in the cards, however. Fitzgerald said on Monday that there won’t be any need for other teams to come up with sales pitches designed to lure him away from Arizona.

“If I’m not playing in Arizona, I won’t be playing anywhere,” Fitzgerald said, via the Pioneer Press. “I’ve built a good life for myself down there. Playing in the same place for 15 years is a true blessing.”

Fantasy Impact:

As the story said, Fitz has over 100 catches and 1,000 yards each of the last three seasons, so he doesn't seem to be slowing down.

Falcons WR Julio Jones works out with QB Matt Ryan

Monday, July 16, 2018, 7:40pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Falcons receiver Julio Jones didn’t show up for the team’s offseason program or mandatory minicamp, but he is working with Matt Ryan at the quarterback’s passing camp. Calvin Ridley posted a photo on Snapchat of 10 players posing with Ryan after a pre-camp workout.

Fantasy Impact:

The Falcons report to training camp July 26, and it remains to be seen whether Jones will show up. His contract has three years remaining. It averages $14.25 million, only eighth-highest at the position, and pays him a $10.5 million base salary this year.

Jets to release WR Devin Smith

Monday, July 16, 2018, 6:41pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Wide receiver Devin Smith won’t be headed to training camp with the Jets this year.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Jets will release Smith.

Fantasy Impact:

Smith was a second-round pick in 2015 after starring at Ohio State, but injuries have kept him from doing much of anything for the Jets. He tore his ACL late in his rookie season, which sidelined him for much of 2016, and then missed all of last season after he suffered the same injury last April. He had 10 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown in 14 total games.

Panthers Beat: RB C.J. Anderson appears to have lead role

Monday, July 16, 2018, 6:39pm

Charlotte Observer - [Full Article]

It appears that C.J. Anderson will take the lead in the traditional running back role.

Related players: Christian McCaffrey

Fantasy Impact:

The author feels we will see McCaffrey's receiving numbers rise from last year's 80-651-5 line. He doesn't think McCaffrey's carries will go up by much, but he's not ruling out 900 receiving yards for McCaffrey. McCaffrey is our No. 12 ranked PPR running back.

Packers, QB Aaron Rodgers want to reach a deal

Monday, July 16, 2018, 6:28pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Aaron Rodgers wants to play his entire career in Green Bay but understands the business, the quarterback told Peter King in King’s Football Morning In America debut column.

Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy wants to make sure Rodgers retires a Packer, saying Monday that signing the franchise quarterback to a long-term deal is a priority for both sides.

“Obviously, he’s an important player,” Murphy said, via Rob Reischel of Forbes. “He wants to be here, and we want him to be here. When both sides have a common interest, you get deals done.”

Fantasy Impact:

Rodgers, 34, has two years remaining on a five-year, $110 million deal, but his $22 million salary this season makes him only the ninth-highest paid player at his position. Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins, and Jimmy Garoppolo all signed lucrative deals this offseason.

Steelers, RB Le'Veon Bell fail to reach agreement

Monday, July 16, 2018, 6:26pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Pittsburgh Steelers and running back LeVeon Bell failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension before Monday's 4 PM franchise tag deadline, and his agent says that means it is likely Bell's last season with the team.

"His intention was to retire as a Steeler," Adisa Bakari told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "But now that there's no deal, the practical reality is, this now likely will be Le'Veon's last season as a Steeler."

Fantasy Impact:

Bell will play on the franchise tag for the second consecutive year barring an unforeseen development. He tweeted after Monday's deadline passed that "2018 will be my best season to date."

Patriots Beat: RB Mike Gillislee could find spot in rotation

Monday, July 16, 2018, 1:26pm

MassLive - [Full Article]

The Patriots, meanwhile, are well-insulated from an injury hampering their running attack. Mike Gillislee struggled at times early in 2017. But he's still effective. It speaks volumes for the Patriots' running back depth that he was inactive for much of last season. With Dion Lewis gone, it's very possible that he could re-take a spot in the running back rotation.

Related players: Rex Burkhead, James White

Fantasy Impact:

The story was mainly about comparing the Patriots' RB situation with that of the Steelers and LeVeon Bell's holdout. The Pats still have White and Burkhead but still lack a between-the-tackles type of runner. With Gillislee around yet, it's possible he once again emerges, but the New England backfield lately seems to need many weeks of understanding before someone is deemed a safe fantasy play.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers wants to play until he's 40

Monday, July 16, 2018, 11:58am

CBS Sports - [Full Article]

Don't expect Aaron Rodgers to hang up his spikes anytime soon. The star Packers quarterback may be coming off a season during which he broke his collarbone for the second time in his career, but he's still supremely confident that he's going to stick around in the league for a long time yet.

Rodgers is headed into his age-35 season, and if he gets his way, he'll stick around for at least five more years after 2018.

"I'd love to play to 40," Rodgers told NBC's Peter King.

Fantasy Impact:

Rodgers said he wants to be able to move like he does now, or close to it, when he turns 40. That will be the key. He mentioned Tom Brady and Brett Favre as examples. Rodgers also said he wants to stick with the Packers, but his current contract has two seasons left.

Steelers Beat: RB Le'Veon Bell could decide to stay away into season

Monday, July 16, 2018, 11:53am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

From the player’s perspective, the ultimate leverage isn’t staying away until Labor Day; it’s staying away until the Tuesday after Week 10.

That’s the deadline for LeVeon Bell's arrival and acceptance of the franchise tender. Specifically, if Bell shows up before then, he gets $14.5 million (or $852,000 for each of the 17 weeks he’s with the team). If he shows up after then, he can’t; he’d be done for the year.

Adam Schefter of ESPN said this morning on SiriusXM NFL Radio that it’s “possible” Bell stays away until the middle of the year. Of course it’s possible. But the far more important question is whether it’s likely.

Fantasy Impact:

The story said Bell would lose $8.5 million if he holds out for 10 games. He'd also have no leverage because the Steelers wouldn't be able to sign him until after the regular season at that point. The deadline for a deal is 4 p.m. Monday.

Eagles RB Darren Sproles will retire after 2018 season

Sunday, July 15, 2018, 6:49pm

Sports Illustrated - [Full Article]

After an injury-riddled 2017 season, Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles has announced that he will play one more season before retiring from the NFL.

Sproles, 35, played in just three games last season, posting 14 total yards. Although he earned Pro Bowl honors in each of the three seasons before 2017, he tore his ACL and suffered a broken arm on the same play during the Eagles' 27-24 week 3 victory over the New York Giants.

In a letter, Sproles expressed his interest to return for a final season.

"An injury is different; It’s something you don’t have any control over but I feel like I left a lot out there, and I couldn’t let my career end like that," Sproles said.

Fantasy Impact:

Sproles currently sits eighth all-time in all-purpose yards with 19,155. He will likely pass Steve Smith (19,180), Marshall Faulk (19,190), and Tim Brown (19,682) to move into fifth place this season. He'll like see plenty of punt return action this season as well as some passing-down duties on offense.

Tomlin: Steelers, RB Le'Veon Bell want to get a deal done

Sunday, July 15, 2018, 11:53am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Appearing at the Hampton Roads Youth Foundation football camp over the weekend, Steelers HC Mike Tomlin told WAVY Channel 10 that he would like the Steelers to sign LeVeon Bell to a long-term contract before Monday's 4 p.m. ET deadline.

"Obviously we want to get a deal done, he wants to get a deal done; everybody has said that," said Tomlin, who returns to his hometown of Hampton, Virginia, every summer for the camp. "Now it's just about the negotiators getting into a room and doing what it is they need to do. I'm excited and hopeful. Hopefully we'll have some exciting news before Monday."

Fantasy Impact:

As the Steelers and Bell are pressed against the deadline for the second straight year, the running back is prepared to play on this year's tag—worth $14.5 million—in the absence of what he considers a fair deal. Bell told ESPN this offseason that he won't sign an extension offer worth less than the tag number on an annual basis. Talks stalled in the spring after Bell turned down an offer, but both sides reopened negotiations over the past week, according to the story.

Lions RB Ameer Abdullah on the roster bubble

Sunday, July 15, 2018, 11:49am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

As characterized by an article appearing on the Lions’ official website (and of course that means nothing at all . . . other than it appears on the sliver of the Internet owned and operated by the Detroit Lions), RB Ameer Abdullah is on the roster bubble as training camp approaches.

Related players: LeGarrette Blount, Kerryon Johnson, Theo Riddick

Fantasy Impact:

As the story went on to say, the top of the depth chart will consist of veteran Blount, rookie second-rounder Johnson, and third-down-specialist-plus Riddick. Abdullah will need to win the fourth roster spot (or leapfrog one of the other three) in order to remain. That makes special teams a key for Abdullah, since any running back buried that deep will need to be able to do other things. And, as noted in the article, Abdullah spent time as the kick returner during offseason workouts.

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