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Steelers' OC wants improved running game

Fantasy Football Today - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 04:30

...and more play-action passing

"Running the football, whether we're huddling or no-huddling, is something we'll do better, a lot better," Haley said. "That will only help what we'll be able to do. I believe we'll be able to throw it with anybody. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

FF Today's Take: OC Todd Haley knows that running the football will help keep his quarterback upright. The Steelers ranked 27th in rushing and 12th in passing last year. The Steelers OC is also on record saying Pittsburgh will play more up-tempo this season. Ben Roethlisberger is an ideal QB2 with QB1 upside while an expected high volume of touches makes Le'Veon Bell a RB1.

RB David Wilson expected to ready for camp

Fantasy Football Today - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 04:00

Giants running back recovering from neck injury

"David Wilson is an explosive player, but first and foremost we're concerned about his health. We do think all systems are go pretty much for him to be healthy and ready for contact during training camp. We held him out for spring, no contact at all, but unless he has a setback we expect to release him for full contact during the fall." (CBS New York)

FF Today's Take: Giants GM Jerry Reese seems optimistic on Wilson's recovery but considering Reese also referred to Rashad Jennings as a "bell cow type running back" it appears Wilson is headed for a change of pace role in the Giants new offense. Wilson is also expected to help out on special teams.

DeAndre Hopkins will be a fantasy football gold mine

KFFL News Feed - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 19:20

Andre Johnson's uncertain aside, DeAndre Hopkins' tragic path to the NFL has him prepped to handle the weight placed on his shoulders.

Moreno set for knee surgery

Draft Sharks - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 18:40

Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno will have arthroscopic surgery to get his left knee "cleaned up" this week, according to the team website.  Moreno tore the ACL in his right knee back in 2011 and also had that knee scoped after the 2012 season.  This latest procedure is expected to keep him off the field for a month.  Although that timeline would return Moreno well before the regular season, it won't help his chances of beating Lamar Miller for the starting job.  We'll see how this plays out, but we're not interested in Moreno until at least sometime in the double-digit rounds.  Meanwhile, another injury figures to hurt the Dolphins' offense more.  C Mike Pouncey suffered a hip labrum tear in OTAs that will require surgery.  He's expected to miss 3 months, which would cost him the beginning of the regular season.  That's particularly tough news for an offense that sought to rebuild its line this offseason.  Pouncey's absence will challenge whoever's running the ball come September.

Moreno to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 18:35

Expected to miss 4-5 weeks

RB Knowshon Moreno will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery this week and miss 4-5 weeks. The Dolphins hope to have Moreno back in time for the start of the preseason. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: At least now we finally have a reason as to why Moreno was a little heavy for offseason workouts - his knee was never truly healthy. Lamar Miller was running with the first team for most of OTAs, but at least Moreno has a realistic shot at fighting for the starting spot with the 4-5 week timetable. Assuming Moreno is healthy in time for camp, there's a good chance he'll be part of a committee attack with Miller this season.

Dolphins C Pouncey tears labrum in hip

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 15:20

Suffered injury in OTAs; out at least three months

Like Percy Harvin a year ago in Seattle, Dolphins C Mike Pouncey entered the offseason program healthy. Like Harvin in 2013, Pouncey tore a labrum in his hip during the offseason program. Per a source, it's a significant tear. The question is how long it will take for Pouncey to be ready to go now that the labrum has been repaired. Three months is the absolute minimum, and it's a very optimistic assessment. If it's much longer than that, the Dolphins will get a taste of life without a Pouncey, like the Steelers did with his twin brother Maurkice for nearly all of 2013. (Pro Football Talk)

FF Today's Take: Pouncey is not required to make the same quick-twitch moves at the pivot as Harvin does out wide, so perhaps his recovery may not take as long as Harvin's. Either way, the loss of Pouncey is a significant one for the Dolphins and may bring their plans to run a Philadelphia Eagles-style up-tempo offense to a halt. Former college free agents Sam Brenner and Tyler Larsen are next in line.

Hyde has chance at "big" playing time in 2014

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 12:55

Has reportedly shined in offseason workouts

Carlos Hyde: The running back has shined out of the backfield as a runner and as receiver. I expect the Ohio State product to get a chance to get big playing time right away. He was considered a steal at No. 57 on draft night and he's still looking like one. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: Frank Gore is 31 and tailed off badly as last season wore down, Kendall Hunter has been used primarily as a change-of-pace back and Marcus Lattimore is still being brought along slowly from the serious knee injuries he suffered in college. In other words, Hyde has a realistic shot to be a solid rookie contributor if the Niners are willing to cut back on Gore's workload and Lattimore isn't all the way back yet in another month.

Tavon Austin has system "down cold"

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 12:45

Pettis, Britt also stood out among WRs for Rams during OTAs

Austin Pettis may have been the most consistent performer (in Rams camp), doing some of his best work in the red zone. It's clear that QB Sam Bradford has a lot of confidence in him in that part of the field. Kenny Britt flashed big-play potential, spiced with emotion and energy. As for Tavon Austin, OC Brian Schottenheimer hinted his role might be expanded. "Moving him around to a lot of different spots. You'll see us hand him the ball, do some different things. He's playing so much faster just because he knows what we're doing. He has the system down cold," Schottenheimer said. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

FF Today's Take: Pettis was easily Bradford's most trusted target before the quarterback's ACL injury, so his consistency this offseason should not come as a surprise. Britt adds a big-play element to the offense Bradford has not enjoyed in his time with the Rams, so he has significant fantasy upside. Austin, who led the receivers with 40 catches last year, did not adjust well initially but Schottenheimer did him no favors either. Look for Austin to be significantly more involved in 2014.

Giants may opt for committee at tight end

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 12:20

Adrien Robinson yet to separate from pack

The Giants didn't make a splash at the tight end position this offseason, but GM Jerry Reese has found plenty of success with tight ends who aren't exactly household names coming out of college. He's working with a platoon of Daniel Fells, Xavier Grimble, Larry Donnell, Adrien Robinson and Kellen Davis this offseason. The coaching staff alternated them throughout the spring with no one tight end taking a majority of the reps. "I think the jury is still out on who the No. 1 tight end is, I think it'll probably be tight end by committee," he said on WFAN this afternoon. (Newark Star-Ledger)

FF Today's Take: Reese mentioned Donnell and Robinson by name as "a couple of young guys who have had some injury stuff going on with them. ... We expect those two young guys to come on, and they can be dynamic if we can get them going." Reese also hinted he could look at free agents. Dustin Keller and Jermichael Finley - each of whom are coming off serious injuries - are the best remaining options that remain unsigned.

Manning "rejuvenated" by new offense

Draft Sharks - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 10:54

Giants QB Eli Manning has been "rejuvenated" by new OC Ben McAdoo's offense, according to beat writer Jordan Raanan.  "He admitted spending more time studying and focusing on the intricacies of the offense," Raanan writes of Manning. "He admitted being more mentally stimulated this offseason than in previous year."  McAdoo is installing a quick-hitting, timing-based passing game.  The Giants have the WRs to make that work in Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham.  And the quick passes should help mask any offensive line issues.  We're interested to see how this offense comes together in training camp and preseason action.  For now, though, we're not viewing Manning as more than a low-end QB2.

Woods a minicamp standout

Draft Sharks - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 10:11

Bills insider Joe Buscaglia highlighted WR Robert Woods as one of the team's minicamp standouts.  Woods missed some time earlier this offseason after undergoing ankle surgery, but it reportedly didn't take him long to rediscover his chemistry with QB E.J. Manuel.  Those 2 hooked up 26 times for 406 yards and 3 TDs in their 8 games together last year.  That 16-game pace of 52-812-6 would have made Woods a top 35 fantasy WR.  He's capable of reaching WR3 territory this season, despite the additions of Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams.  Woods seems locked into a starting spot and has a good rapport with Manuel.

Austin more comfortable in offense

Draft Sharks - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 07:21

Rams OC Brian Schottenheimer believes WR Tavon Austin is more comfortable and ready to play a bigger role in 2014.  “Moving him around to a lot of different spots,” Schottenheimer said. “You’ll see us hand him the ball, do some different things. He’s playing so much faster just because he knows what we’re doing. He has the system down cold.”  Of course, Schotty talked up Austin's role last summer, but the rookie's production was disappointing.  We're in "see-it-then-believe-it" mode when it comes to Austin's fantasy value at this point.  He'll need to be better this season, and the Rams will need to be more creative in getting him the ball in space.  Austin is still going in the 9th round of 12-team fantasy drafts as the 42nd WR off the board.  He sits lower in our WR rankings.

Patterson will be "showcased" this season

Draft Sharks - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 06:58

Vikings WR Greg Jennings says the offense will "showcase" WR Cordarrelle Patterson this season.  "I wanted him to know that, coming in, the expectation of you is no longer 'rookie.' It's, 'You gotta go. We saw what you can do. We're gonna showcase this,'" Jennings said. "For me, it was making sure that he understands that he has to be a professional. He has to be a pro's pro when he steps foot in this building, because we're expecting (him) to give us what we've seen you put out there ... I'm going to be honest: Once I saw him make a couple plays, I'm like, 'We've got to get him the ball. He does too much well for us not to get him the ball.'"  Outside of RB Adrian Peterson, Patterson is Minnesota's most dangerous offensive threat, so it makes sense that he'll be featured going forward.  We're still not convinced Patterson is ready to handle such a significant role, though.  Most of his big plays last year came on gadget type plays.  We'll be keeping a close eye on his progress this summer.  The upside is certainly there, but Patterson carries too much risk for our taste at his current early-4th-round ADP.

Green to double production in 2014?

Draft Sharks - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 06:47

Chargers insider Kevin Acee believes TE Ladarius Green will double his 17-367-3 rookie-year line in 2014.  That'd give Green 34 catches, 734 yards and 6 TDs, which would have made him a top 10 non-PPR TE last year.  And Green's catch and TD upside extends higher than those numbers.  The 6'6, 240-pounder saw extended action this spring with TE Antonio Gates away from the team to deal with a personal matter.  "There are plays Green makes, with his height, hands and speed, no one else on the roster can make," Acee writes.  Green is expected to play an increased role this season even with Gates around.  With his combination of size and athleticism, Green carries clear top-10 upside.

Moeaki a candidate for starting job

Draft Sharks - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 06:39

Bills insider Joe Buscaglia believes TE Tony Moeaki is capable of pushing TE Scott Chandler for playing time this year.  With Chandler missing last week's minicamp for personal reasons, Moeaki "got a ton of time with the first-team ... and was relatively impressive," per Buscaglia.  Moeaki has always had an intriguing skill set and flashed with a 47-556-3 line in his 2010 rookie season.  He's had trouble staying healthy but is still only 27.  We'll keep an eye on Buffalo's TE situation when camp opens next month.  Neither Moeaki nor Chandler are worth targeting in standard fantasy drafts right now.

Patterson to be featured in Vikings' offense

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 05:00

Greg Jennings mentoring young receiver

Greg Jennings, who had already been in town and had sat down with Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner, quickly got a sense of how prominently Cordarrelle Patterson would be featured in the Vikings' offense. A year after Patterson put a spark into the Vikings' offense despite a role that even Jennings believed needed to be bigger, there seems to be little doubt about how much the Vikings will use Patterson this season. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: Patterson is No. 18 in my wide receiver rankings which may be a bit optimistic considering rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater may play significant time this season. However, Norv Turner's offense should lead to a significant amount of targets for the lead receiver, making the highly-talented Patterson a high upside pick in 2014.

Rodgers on track to start?

Draft Sharks - Sat, 06/21/2014 - 14:11

Packers beat writer Rob Demovsky believes TE Richard Rodgers “might have the inside track” at the starting job.  The rookie showcased his athleticism in OTAs, catching the eye of HC Mike McCarthy.  He also received extra snaps, as holdover Andrew Quarless missed every practice session for undisclosed reasons.  Rodgers – who stands 6’4 and 257 pounds – will need to prove that he can block in training camp.  If he wins the #1 job, though, there’s certainly some deep league appeal.  But consistent targets figure to be an issue given Green Bay’s loaded group of pass-catchers.

Moreno's knee 'bad'

Draft Sharks - Sat, 06/21/2014 - 06:36

Yahoo!'s Jason Cole reports that "a source who has seen Knowshon Moreno's knee" deemed the issue "bad."  Cole reports that Moreno will probably play through it, "but the issue is how long."  The damage apparently comes from before his signing with the Dolphins, which raises the obvious question of how the team could have overlooked it when adding Moreno this offseason. Of course, Miami signed him for just 1 year with $1.25 million guaranteed, so perhaps the Fins just decided to take a chance.  Regardless, the knee situation will -- and should -- knock Moreno way down fantasy football draft boards.  The bigger question will be how much of a corresponding push up the board Dolphins RB Lamar Miller gets.  It's a situation worth tracking for fantasy owners through the summer.

Rice showing his old quickness

Draft Sharks - Sat, 06/21/2014 - 06:23

ESPN's Jamison Hensley reports that Ravens RB Ray Rice looked "much lighter on his feet" in the team's recent minicamp than he did last year.  Rice has reportedly lost about 20 pounds, getting back down to 205 after playing 2013 in the 215-225 range.  Veteran RBs don't often bounce back from seasons as bad as the one Rice just put up.  But the Raven is still just 27 and posted 4 stud years before the bad one.  Of course, his impending league suspension -- expected to be in the 4-6 game range -- will infringe on his value anyway.  The official announcement there will determine his final spot in our RB rankings.

Vick fails to impress in minicamp

Draft Sharks - Sat, 06/21/2014 - 05:19

Francis Micklow of the Newark Star-Ledger named Jets QB Michael Vick 1 of 3 "duds" from the team's recent minicamp.  Micklow said Vick "still has the arm and athleticism, but seemed to struggle at times" in the workouts.  That would seem to go along with the Jets' stated plan to give QB Geno Smith the large majority of starter reps once training camp begins.  Although Rex Ryan has yet to proclaim a winner in this QB battle, you should go ahead and treat Smith as the starter in fantasy football drafts.