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Bush ok with reduced role

Draft Sharks - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 07:41

Lions RB Reggie Bush is willing to accept a reduced role in 2014.  The new coaching staff -- led by HC Jim Caldwell and OC Joe Lombardi -- is bringing a more traditional offense to Detroit.  Expect to see more power running and 2-back sets after the team signed FB Jed Collins.  The Lions also handed RB Joique Bell a new 3-year, $9.3 million deal.  “We had a pretty good rotation going last (season), so, you know, we did some pretty special things with that,” Bush said. “It can only go up from there, even if the workload is less for both of us, that’s only going to help us toward the end of the season, help us to stay healthy and probably play a little bit stronger and better toward the end of the season.”  Lombardi is bringing the Saints offense to Detroit.  That means Bush might head back to more of a change-of-pace, pass-catching role that he played in New Orleans.  Bell would be the early-down pounder.  It's entirely possible that Bell leads the 2014 Lions in carries.  Bush will carry much more fantasy value in PPR leagues.

Broyles cleared for workouts

Draft Sharks - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 12:42

Lions WR Ryan Broyles (Achilles) has been cleared for the start of voluntary workouts this week.  He's about 5-and-a-half-months removed from rupturing his Achilles in a Week 8 game against the Cowboys.  That followed a torn right ACL in 2012, which followed a torn left ACL in 2011.  The Achilles is actually an even tougher injury to return from, although it looks like Broyles is making a speedy recovery.  We'll keep an eye on his progress this summer, but neither the Lions nor fantasy owners can be counting on him in 2014.

Wayne expects to be cleared by late April

Draft Sharks - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 06:20

Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) expects to be fully cleared by April 25th.  That'd be a little over 6 months after he went down with a torn ACL.  "I'm way ahead of schedule," Wayne said. "I feel great."  He resumed running in late April and expects to be a full-go for training camp.  By all indications, Wayne's rehab has gone smoothly.  But we remain skeptical of a 35-year-old WR returning from such a serious injury.  He'll also have more competition for targets in 2014 with WR Hakeem Nicks' arrival and TE Dwayne Allen's return.  Consider Wayne just a WR3 option for your fantasy squad.

Thomas still sidelined with bum shoulder

Draft Sharks - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 06:13

Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas remains sidelined with the shoulder injury he suffered in the Super Bowl.  There are some reports that he separated the shoulder, but that hasn't been confirmed by the team.  Thomas wasn't able to attend the passing workouts organized by QB Peyton Manning at Duke this week.  There's a chance that Thomas will remain limited in OTAs, but the team expects him to be a full-go for training camp, according to insider Jeff Legwold.  As long as that's the case, they'll be no reason to worry about Thomas' 2014 fantasy outlook.  He's posted back-to-back seasons of 90+ catches, 1,400+ yards and 10+ TDs.

Reggie Wayne rehab update

Fantasy Football Today - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 15:29

Expected to be cleared April 25th

Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne expects to be cleared to return to football activities April 25, six months after he had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. "I'm way ahead of schedule," Wayne said on 1260-AM WNDE's Query and Schultz Show on Tuesday afternoon. "I will be ready before training camp. I don't think coach (Chuck) Pagano will take the leash off until training camp (but) I can't wait. (Indianapolis Star)

FF Today's Take: Wayne (35) is defying the age - production odds at his position by having a stellar 2012 season (106 rec, 1355 yards, 5 TDs) and a respectable 2013 (7 games, 39 rec, 508 yards, 2 TDs) before tearing his ACL. Expected to be on the field Week 1, he'll be a key target for Andrew Luck and the Colts offense but shouldn't be counted on as WR1 given his age and the relative short recovery time from his injury.

Avant lands in Carolina

Draft Sharks - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 16:40

WR Jason Avant has signed a 1-year deal with the Panthers.  The soon-to-be 31-year-old spent his first 8 NFL seasons with the Eagles.  He never topped 53 catches, 679 yards or 3 TDs.  Avant sports a career 12.3 yards-per-catch average.  He possesses a reliable pair of hands but offers no playmaking ability and is best off in the slot.  Carolina's top 5 WRs are now Jerricho Cotchery, Avant, Tiquan Underwood, Tavarres King and Marvin McNutt.  It remains a position the Panthers will need to target early and often in next month's draft.

Panthers sign another veteran receiver

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:10

Carolina trying to rebuild wide receiver corps

The Panthers have signed free agent wideout Jason Avant to a one-year contract, the team announced Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Avant becomes the third free agent receiver to sign with the Panthers, joining former Steelers red-zone specialist Jerricho Cotchery and ex-Tampa Bay wideout Tiquan Underwood. (Charlotte Observer)

FF Today's Take: Despite the acquisitions, the Panthers are still searching for a viable No.1 wideout and it's likely given the pool of receivers left in free agency they won't have one in 2014. Carolina will no doubt be searching for wideouts in the upcoming draft and will rely even more on the running game (if that's possible), in 2014.

Texans add Brown to backfield

Draft Sharks - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:17

The Texans have signed RB Andre Brown to a 1-year deal.  He was met with an ice-cold market, which isn't entirely surprising considering he averaged 3.5 yards per carry last year and has a lengthy injury history.  Brown will be the clear #2 RB in Houston and would likely need an Arian Foster injury to hold any fantasy value.  Of course, Foster will enter 2014 as 1 of the bigger injury-risks in the league.  Before signing Brown, the Texans only had Dennis Johnson, Jonathan Grimes and Ray Graham behind Foster on the depth chart.

Texans to host QB prospects

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 12:37

Bortles and Manziel to meet Texans brass later this month

Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles will be among the quarterbacks coming to Houston to visit with the Texans. NFL teams can bring in 30 players for visits. Bortles is scheduled to visit the Texans on April 15-16. Manziel visits on April 21-22. (Houston Chronicle)

FF Today's Take: The Texans will draft a Quarterback in the upcoming draft it's just a matter of what round. Some believe GM Rick Smith will use the first pick overall to take a QB and according to John McClain of the Tennessean, that QB will be Johnny Manziel. The Texans have moved on from Matt Schaub (Raiders) and have brought in Ryan Fitzpatrick as a bridge or backup to a younger signal caller.

Texans sign RB Andre Brown

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 12:09

One-year contract worth $645,000

Free-agent running back Andre Brown has agreed to a one-year contract worth $645,000 with the Texans. Brown, 27, enters his fifth season and gives the Texans a veteran backup behind Arian Foster. (Houston Chronicle)

FF Today's Take: Ben Tate (Browns) left via free agency so the Texans were in the market for a backup to Arian Foster. Brown missed the majority of last season with a leg injury but did find time 492 yards and 3 TDs in eight games, including two games over 100 yards rushing. Even with this signing, don't be surprised the Texans address the running back position in the upcoming draft.

Burleson signs 1-year deal with Browns

Draft Sharks - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 06:10

WR Nate Burleson has agreed to a 1-year deal with the Browns.  Turning 33 in August, Burleson posted a 39-361-1 line in 9 games with the Lions last year.  He's managed to play 16 games just once in the past 6 seasons.  And he hasn't reached 12 yards per catch since 2009.  Burleson is a possession, slot receiver at this point of his career.  Volume made him a low-end PPR option in Detroit, but that won't be the case in Cleveland.  Burleson will be no better than 4th in the pecking order behind WR Josh Gordon, TE Jordan Cameron and WR Andrew Hawkins.

Steelers remain high on Wheaton

Draft Sharks - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 17:54

Steelers WR Markus Wheaton struggled to get on the field during his rookie season.  A broken finger suffered in Week 4 didn't help.  But the Steelers still have "high hopes" for Wheaton, according to insider Gerry Dulac.  Dulac confirms that Wheaton will be given the chance to take over Emmanuel Sanders' starting spot.  (Lance Moore will play in the slot.)  "It's tough to play wide receiver with broken fingers," HC Mike Tomlin said of Wheaton's rookie campaign. "I look forward to him taking a significant step for us. I know that we need him to."  At 5'11 and 182 pounds with 4.4 speed, Wheaton fits the Steelers' mold for small but speedy receivers.  He'll carry WR3 fantasy upside in 2014.  

Colts still have "high hopes" for Rogers

Draft Sharks - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:38

Colts insider Mike Wells writes that the team still has "high hopes" for WR Da'Rick Rogers.  His 2014 fantasy value took a big hit when Indy added WR Hakeem Nicks in free agency.  But Nicks signed for just 1 year, and WR Reggie Wayne is nearing the end of his career.  Rogers could be in the Colts' starting lineup as early as 2015.  "It’s simply up to Rogers to continue to get better, and more importantly, stay out of trouble off the field," Wells adds.  Rogers remains a strong stash in keeper and dynasty leagues.  The athletic 6'3, 208-pounder flashed with a 6-107-2 line late last season.

Ravens have "big plans" for Daniels

Draft Sharks - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 10:55

The Ravens have "big plans" for new TE Owen Daniels, said HC Jim Harbaugh.  “Just couldn’t be more happy, more excited," Harbaugh added. "I guarantee his role will be plenty big."  Daniels is joining a couple familiar faces in Baltimore in OC Gary Kubiak and TEs coach Brian Pariani.  Both guys were with Daniels in Houston for the past 8 seasons and figure to make sure Daniels plays a significant part of Baltimore's passing attack.  Kubiak has always favored 2-TE sets and now has a couple talented pass-catching TEs in Daniels and Dennis Pitta.  We doubt much of Daniels' production will come at Pitta's expense, though.  WR Steve Smith might be the biggest loser here.

Johnson medically cleared after knee surgery

Draft Sharks - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 10:44

Titans GM Ruston Webster revealed that RB Chris Johnson (knee) passed his exit physical on Friday and would have been able to participate in the start of offseason workouts next week.  Johnson suffered meniscus damage in his knee early on in the 2013 season and underwent surgery in late January.  Teams will need to figure out how much that injury had to do with Johnson's career-low 3.9 yards per carry last year.  "I think Chris still has a lot left," Webster said. "I think Chris will have a some good years left in him."  Expect the 28-year-old to find a new home within the next couple weeks.

Titans finally release Johnson

Draft Sharks - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:27

The Titans have released RB Chris Johnson.  The move has been fully expected all offseason.  Johnson turns 29 in September, averaged a career-low 3.9 yards per carry last year and was set to make $8 million in 2014.  He also underwent surgery in late January to repair meniscus damage in his knee.  Based on the free-agent market for RBs this offseason, Johnson is going to be disappointed by the offers he receives.  He'll likely need to settle for a committee role.  Johnson can still provide plenty of value to both NFL teams and fantasy squads, though.  We'll assess his 2014 out look when he finds a new home.

Bucs trade WR Williams to Bills

Fantasy Football Today - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:06

Bucs receive 6th-round draft pick

The Buffalo Bills have worked out a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for wide receiver Mike Williams, it was announced Friday. The Bills will send a sixth-round pick in next month's draft to Tampa Bay in exchange for the four-year veteran, pending a physical. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: Williams never won over head coach Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay and is facing off-field issues. He's reunited with former college coach at Syracuse, Doug Marrone. "Today, Mike has an opportunity to get a fresh start to his career here in his hometown and regain his form as a productive player in the National Football League." If Williams takes Marrone's comments to heart he's got an opportunity to be a productive, fantasy-worthy receiver in Buffalo.

Titans officially release Chris Johnson

Fantasy Football Today - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:00

Set to make $8 million in 2014

Running back Chris Johnson was released by the Tennessee Titans on Friday, the team announced. "We made an effort to trade Chris but were unable to do so. We wish Chris the best and thank him for the six seasons he spent with us." He was scheduled to make $8 million in 2014. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: We knew this was coming and now it's official. Johnson has rushed for at least 1000 yards during his first six years in the league. There has been reported interest from the Jets, Bills, Dolphins, Falcons but with the Dolphins acquiring Knowshon Moreno, you can cross the Fins off the list. Many other teams will be interested now that trade compensation is not a factor.

Forsett heads to Baltimore

Draft Sharks - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:24

The Ravens have added RB Justin Forsett on a 1-year deal.  The former Colt, Seahawk, Texan and Jaguar brings no fantasy value, but he's at least familiar with the system of new OC Gary Kubiak.  Forsett carried 63 times for 347 yards and a TD with Houston in 2012, catching 3 passes for 38 more yards.  He padded even that meager rushing total with an 81-yard TD run at Detroit on Thanksgiving that shouldn't have counted.  (Replay showed his knee hit the ground early int he run.)  Forsett's no lock to break camp with Baltimore.  But he could command 5 touches or so a game if he makes the regular-season roster.  Incumbents Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce are both coming off terrible seasons.

Williams traded to Bills

Draft Sharks - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 08:42

The Bucs have shipped WR Mike Williams to the Bills in exchange for a 6th-round pick.  Williams wore out his welcome in Tampa after numerous off-field issues.  That followed work ethic concerns coming into the league.  Williams has been productive when on the field, though.  He posted a 65-964-11 line in his 2010 rookie campaign.  He topped 60 catches in each of his next 2 seasons, too, and popped in another 9 scores in 2012.  Williams tallied 22 grabs for 216 yards and 2 TDs in 6 games last year before a hamstring injury ended his season.  In Buffalo, he'll reunite with HC Doug Marrone, who coached Williams at Syracuse.  That familiarity should help the transition.  Williams will battle with WRs Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods for targets, though.  And Buffalo's QB play remains a major question mark.  Williams figures to struggle even for WR3 value in 2014.  The Bucs, meanwhile, are left with a gaping hole opposite WR Vincent Jackson.  They'll add a receiver or 2 in May's draft -- potentially Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans with the 7th overall pick.