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Titans expect Hunter at camp

Draft Sharks - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 05:23

The Titans expect WR Justin Hunter to report when training camp opens next week, according to ESPN's Ed Werder.  The team "will let legal process play out" after Hunter was arrested for assault earlier this week.  Tennessee clearly isn't ready to throw in the towel on a former 2nd-rounder with plenty of size and athleticism.  Hunter has been a disappointment through his first 2 seasons, though, and will battle with Dorial Green-Beckham and Hakeem Nicks for a starting spot this summer.  He's also likely facing a suspension.

Peterson restructures contract

Draft Sharks - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 16:03

The Vikings and RB Adrian Peterson have agreed to a restructured contract.  It's officially a 3-year, $44 million deal -- $.75 million less than AP was scheduled to make over the next 3 years on his old deal.  But the new contract guarantees Peterson $11 million this season.  There are no guarantees beyond that, though.  AP now has a $5 million roster bonus due next March.  The takeaway: Peterson is getting paid a ton this season and will be a workhorse, but the Vikings aren't committed to him beyond 2015. It's plenty possible that the franchise moves on next offseason and hands the reins to RB Jerick McKinnon.

Vikings, Peterson agree on restructured deal

Fantasy Football Today - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 09:45

Details not disclosed

The Vikings and Adrian Peterson have mutually agreed to restructure the final three years of Peterson's contract. Per team policy, contract details will not be disclosed. "This agreement is a win for both Adrian and the Vikings and is a positive step toward Adrian finishing his career as a Minnesota Viking," said Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman. "As we have consistently said, Adrian is a valuable part of the Vikings organization and we look forward to his return to the field." (Vikings.com)

FF Today's Take: This announcement was part a joint release where Peterson thanked the Vikings for the restructured deal that likely gives the RB more upfront money for lower base salary in the final years of the deal. "It was important for me to continue my career in Minnesota," said Peterson. This, more than anything is a public relations attempt to show the Vikings and Peterson are now on good terms.

Cooks to be top receiving threat for Saints

Fantasy Football Today - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 09:35

Opportunity driving Cooks' fantasy value

With Graham and Stills in Seattle and Miami, respectively, there's little doubt Brandin Cooks will be Drew Brees' top target in the passing game. Asking Cooks to become the team's No. 1 receiving threat so early in his career may not be optimal, but Cooks is more than able to assume the role. (New Orleans Times Picayune)

FF Today's Take: Cooks posted a 53-550-4 line last season as a rookie before injuring his hand in Week 11. He should finish in the 80-catch range with a ceiling of 100 as a major player in the Saints short-to-intermediate passing game. He gets a value boost in PPR leagues.

Pitta expected to begin season on PUP list

Fantasy Football Today - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 09:14

Recovering from second hip injury

Dennis Pitta has made significant progress in his second comeback from a fractured and dislocated right hip, but it's unclear whether the Ravens tight end will play again. Pitta is likely to begin training camp and the regular season on the physically unable to perform list, according to NFL sources. If Pitta began the season on the reserve list, he would be required to miss at least the first six games of the season. (Baltimore Sun)

FF Today's Take: Pitta is able to do individual drills but hasn't been cleared for team activities following his latest hip surgery last fall. Rookie tight end Maxx Williams was taken in the second round and should share time with Crockett Gillmore. As a result, it's hard to find much fantasy value with any of Ravens' tight ends including Pitta.

Gurley to open camp on NFI list

Draft Sharks - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 08:03

Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) will open training camp on the Non-Football Injury list, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.  It's essentially the same thing as the preseason PUP.  Gurley can be activated at any time and will be eligible to play Week 1.  The Rams have taken it slow with Gurley recovery from last November's torn ACL, but it at least sounds like he hasn't suffered any setbacks.  We'll keep a close eye on his progress when camp opens.  Gurley's mid-July MFL10 ADP is sitting in the back half of Round 4.

NFL bashes Bills QBs

Draft Sharks - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 07:22

A group of 35 NFL coaches and executives didn't have anything good to say about Bills QBs Matt Cassel and E.J. Manuel.  Cassel "is not accurate, has a long motion, a big over-stride, a flat ball and he just looked like he has regressed," an offensive coach said.  Most of the group couldn't believe Buffalo signed Cassel to be a potential starter this season.  The word on Manuel wasn't any better.  "Manuel has no instincts after the ball is snapped," a personnel director said. "He's a great kid, has some talent. But he could not decipher or make quick decisions in college, and I do not see him doing it now."  The underwhelming top of the depth chart is why QB Tyrod Taylor has a chance to start for the Bills.  But he completed just 52.7% of his college passes and has attempted just 35 throws as a pro.  Buffalo's giant question mark at QB is a major concern for the team's pass catchers -- especially WR Sammy Watkins.

NFL coach: RG3 is "done"

Draft Sharks - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 07:14

An anonymous offensive coach told ESPN's Mike Sando that Redskins QB Robert Griffin is "done."  The coach explained, "The [knee] injury slowed his legs, and his ego will not allow him to hit rock bottom and actually grind his way back up the right way."  There's been some positive buzz on RG3 this offseason, but a collection of 35 NFL coaches and executives isn't buying it.  It ranked Griffin 28th among the league's 32 starting QBs -- ahead of only Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer, Matt Cassel and Geno Smith.  We're still not throwing in the towel on RG3 as a fantasy option because of his rushing ability, even if it is diminished.  Plus, it only costs a late-round pick to take a shot on him.  But it's plenty possibility that he busts again in 2015 and eventually flames out of the league.

NFL high on Carr

Draft Sharks - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 07:09

In a poll of 35 NFL coaches and executives, Oakland's Derek Carr ranked highest among last year's QB class.  He finished 20th among all QBs -- 3 spots ahead of Teddy Bridgewater and 7 ahead of Blake Bortles.  Carr averaged a league-low 5.5 yards per pass attempt last year but chucked 21 TDs vs. just 12 INTs.  Those highest on Carr believe he'll excel with a better supporting cast.  "I think he is strong in the pocket, and just watching him, it feels like he is in command, knows where he is going with the ball and has plenty of arm strength," a personnel director said. "The lack of talent around him is pretty apparent. You get the offensive line and run game going, surround him with some better players and he makes a big jump."  Carr got some help this offseason with the additions of Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Roy Helu and Clive Walford.  But this is still an underwhelming group of pass-catchers.  We're not expecting Carr to ascend beyond mid-range QB2 territory this year.

Manning trending up?

Draft Sharks - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 07:04

League insiders told ESPN's Mike Sando that Giants QB Eli Manning is trending up at age-34.  "He had the drop-off in 2013, but I thought he really started to come on last year," a personnel director said. "Finally getting him weapons and guys with speed is really going to help him going forward. He is now throwing timing routes that he had not done before in his career ... I'd be surprised if he did not have a good year this year."  It took Manning most of last offseason to settle into new OC Ben McAdoo's offense.  But he finished with a personal-best 63.1% completion rate, 4,410 yards and 30 TDs.  Manning ranked 9th among QBs in fantasy points.  With another offseason in McAdoo's scheme -- plus the return of Victor Cruz and the arrival of Shane Vereen -- Manning could be even better in 2015.

Brees on the decline?

Draft Sharks - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 07:00

Multiple NFL coaches and executives told ESPN's Mike Sando that Saints QB Drew Brees is on the decline.  "He doesn't throw as well," an OC said.  "His lower body is not as good. He's been nicked up a little bit. He is just losing his juice. Things have to be perfect for him to be himself."  A HC added, "When guys get older and start getting hit, especially guys with vision problems, they start playing a lot faster, almost too fast, and panic shows up. I saw some of that in Drew last season."  Brees turned in another top-3 fantasy finish last year, but he set 5-year lows in yards per attempt (7.5) and TD rate (5.0%).  Brees still completed a sizzling 69.2% of his throws, though, so it's tough to believe his accuracy is waning much.  The bigger concerns for his 2015 fantasy football outlook are the losses of Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills and Pierre Thomas and the move toward a more balanced offense.

Arm strength, mobility are concerns for Manning

Draft Sharks - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 06:53

An anonymous defensive coordinator told ESPN's Mike Sando that arm strength and mobility are major concerns for Broncos QB Peyton Manning heading into 2015.  "He is still smart and that will never change, but you have to get the ball there, too," the DC added.  Manning chucked 10 INTs over the final 8 games last season -- 3rd most in the league.  And he was held under 235 yards in 4 of his final 6 outings.  Some of that had to do with the quad injury he played through.  But the 39-year-old is clearly nearing the end. Still, a group of 35 league insiders ranked Manning 5th among the league's 32 starting QBs -- behind Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger.  Manning is still capable of another big fantasy season in 2015, but he comes with more risk than he did earlier in his career.

Pitta expected to start season on PUP

Draft Sharks - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 05:38

Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is expected to open the season on the PUP list, according to insider Aaron Wilson.  That'd cost him the first 6 games.  His availability beyond that remains in doubt.  Pitta has made "significant progress" in his rehab from his 2nd fractured and dislocated hip, per Wilson, but it's still "unclear" whether he'll ever play again.  He's more than 10 months removed from the hip injury and still hasn't been medically cleared.  There's no reason to spend a draft pick on Pitta this summer.  Baltimore will open the season with Maxx Williams and Crockett Gillmore atop the TE depth chart.

Jones: "I got it back"

Draft Sharks - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 05:32

Bengals WR Marvin Jones said he’s “got it back” after participating fully in June minicamp. He missed the entire 2014 season with foot and ankle injuries, eventually requiring surgery to remove bone chips. But he’s back to 100% now. “We looked at it, got it fixed, and it’s not there anymore,” Jones said. “It was an unfortunate situation, but it’s behind me. Once I’m out there and I know I’m good -- nothing structurally is wrong, nothing is going to happen – I just go out there and flow. It hasn’t been a problem.” Jones posted a 51-712-10 line back in 2013 and looked like Cincinnati’s #2 WR before last year’s injury issues. We’re expecting him to beat out Mohamed Sanu for the #2 spot this summer. That’d make Jones a potential WR3 for your fantasy squad that you can get late in your draft. His ADP is sitting in the 14th round.

Hunter faces assault charge

Draft Sharks - Mon, 07/20/2015 - 16:38

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Titans WR Justin Hunter has been arrested and charged with felonious assault in Virginia. The charge stems from a July 3 brawl that police had to break up. We'll see how this situation plays out for Hunter, who hasn't had off-the-field troubles since entering the NFL. It certainly won't help a player who has yet to deliver on his intriguing talent in a league increasingly sensitive to violent off-field offenses.

Justin Hunter arrested, arraignment Tuesday

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 07/20/2015 - 15:00

Titans receiver turned himself in Monday

Tennessee Titans receiver Justin Hunter was arrested and charged with felonious assault following an incident earlier this month in Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to a police spokesman. Hunter turned himself in Monday after a warrant was filed. Hunter is scheduled to be arraigned in court Tuesday afternoon. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: "At some point, you either get it, or you won't be in this league anymore. That's the natural order of the NFL," Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said in May. Hunter may not be on the Titans roster for much longer after this incident. He's off the fantasy radar for now.

Sankey "odds-on" favorite to start Week 1

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 07/20/2015 - 14:00

The Tennessean breaks down the Titans' RB depth chart

Bishop Sankey is the odds-on favorite to be the starter when the season gets underway, simply because he has a year's experience and a full offseason under his belt. Assuming that's the case, who backs him up? Dexter McCluster is a possibility, but he's more of a situational player, not a workhorse. David Cobb is a draft pick and a versatile player, but he also missed much of the offseason with a hamstring injury. Antonio Andrews will as usual be an underdog, but he showed enough promise in the preseason and practices of 2014 that he will be given a good, long look. (Tennessean)

FF Today's Take: Last season was a massive disappointment for Sankey, who performed well below the standard expected of the first running back drafted in 2014. Tennessee did him no favors either, though, providing him with shoddy run-blocking and pulling him at seemingly every opportunity for McCluster and Shonn Greene. Having a run threat like Marcus Mariota at quarterback and more spread concepts should help Sankey, who thrived in such an offense in college.

Giants like Vereen as complete passing-down back

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 07/20/2015 - 13:35

Former Patriot seen as strong in pass pro as well as a receiver

The Giants like Shane Vereen as a pass protection running back, which mean they believe he can help their passing game in a variety of ways. Rashad Jennings still seems likely to get the bulk of the first-down and second-down work, with Andre Williams working in some and possibly helping out at the goal line. But Vereen wasn't just a pass-catching back in spring practices, and they don't seem worried about handing the ball off to him. If they're really struggling with their tackle situation and their pass protection in general, Vereen could end up seeing the field more than some might have anticipated. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: The Giants' tackle situation - with raw first-round LT Ereck Flowers replacing the injured Will Beatty and turnstile RT Marshall Newhouse filling the role Flowers was supposed to occupy - is among the worst in the league. Vereen should be plenty involved and should be targeted as a high-upside RB4 this season that could end up being a weekly flex play in PPR leagues if he can stay healthy.

Stevie Johnson expected to play inside and outside

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 07/20/2015 - 13:15

Chargers' new WR likely to steal snaps from Malcom Floyd

San Diego believes a change of scenery with Philip Rivers under center will bring out the best in Steve Johnson, who made a name for himself during his first six years in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. Watch for the Chargers to use him in a variety of ways, including outside and in the slot. Rivers on Johnson: "(He) looks good. He really came in and committed himself to learning (the system). You can just tell when he got here (he thought) 'I've got to dive in get this figured out because we play at a fast pace. We play a lot of no huddle.' So I've got nothing but positives to say about him so far." (chargers.com)

FF Today's Take: Johnson appears to be one of the more obvious late-round value picks in fantasy drafts. The ex-Bill is coming off two poor seasons, following up an injury-plagued final campaign in Buffalo in 2013 with a wasted season in San Francisco playing behind Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. Rivers represents a huge upgrade from what Johnson is used to at quarterback and Antonio Gates' season-opening four-game suspension gives him a window to start off fast.

Fewer targets for Sanders?

Draft Sharks - Mon, 07/20/2015 - 11:57

Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders knows that the new offense might mean "fewer passes thrown his way," according to insider Andrew Mason.  Sanders ranked 11th among WRs with 141 targets last year on a Broncos team that finished 9th with 607 pass attempts.  Both numbers figure to drop in 2015 as Denver moves to a more balanced offense under HC Gary Kubiak.  Of course, Sanders should remain very efficient with QB Peyton Manning tossing him the rock.  He's still a good bet for WR2 numbers with weekly WR1 upside.  Sanders is being drafted in the mid-3rd round as the 14th WR off the board.