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Brady gets four-game suspension, deflategate

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 14:38

Patriots lose two draft picks inlcuding first-rounder in 2016

The NFL announced Monday that Tom Brady has been suspended without pay for four games for violating the NFL policy on the integrity of the game. The team will also be fined $1 million and will forfeit a 2016 first-rounder and 2017 fourth-round selection in the NFL Draft. (You can read full NFL statement here.) (NFL.com)

FF Today's Take: The hammer drops. Assuming an appeal doesn't reduce the suspension, Brady will be eligible to play in Week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts as the Patriots have a bye in Week 5. Jimmy Garoppolo will fill in from Brady during the first four games against Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Jacksonville and Dallas.

Brady gets 4-game suspension

Draft Sharks - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 13:48

The NFL announced that Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended 4 games for his role in DeflateGate. Ted Wells' report concluded that it's "more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware" of the purposefully under-inflated footballs used in last season's AFC Championship Game. He also refused to supply cell-phone records to the investigation. In addition to Brady's ban, the Patriots have been stripped of a 1st-round pick in the 2016 draft, a 4th-rounder in 2017 and been fined $1 million. But the big fantasy football story is clearly the suspension of Brady. The decision is expected to be appealed, so we'll see if the ban is reduced. As it currently stands, Brady would miss games against the Steelers, Bills, Jaguars and Cowboys -- with a Week 4 bye in between. He'd return in Week 6 against the Colts. Losing 4 games will certainly knock Brady down our 2015 rankings when they're released next month, but it won't be difficult to find a fill-in for the 1st month. It could turn Brady into a value pick. QB Jimmy Garoppolo will start while Brady is out. The 2014 2nd-rounder completed 19 of 27 passes for 182 yards and 1 TD last year, with most of that coming in the season finale against the Bills. He'll be tough to trust in fantasy and will also downgrade the early-season outlooks for Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell.

Blackmon denied reinstatement

Draft Sharks - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 06:17

Mark Long of The Associated Press reports that Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon has applied for reinstatement to the NFL and been denied. According to Long, "The feeling in the building is that JB failed another (drug) test," though it could have been a missed test that counts as a failure. That last word is getting close to describing Blackmon's NFL career. Jacksonville has seemed to move on without the former 1st-rounder in its plans, and you should do the same in your fantasy football league. It might be time to sell Blackmon for anything that you can get in your dynasty league -- if you can get anything at this point.

Patriots add Davis

Draft Sharks - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 04:59

The Patriots have signed TE Fred Davis to a 1-year deal.  The 29-year-old was suspended for all of 2014 after repeated violations of the league's substance abuse policy.  Across the 2 years prior, he totaled just 31 catches and 1 TD in 17 games.  Davis went for 59-796-3 back in 2011, but it's completely unclear if he has anything left in the tank.  We're intrigued whenever New England adds a TE, but Davis would do well just to make the roster on a team that also has Rob Gronkowski, Tim Wright and Scott Chandler.

Patriots sign former Redskins' TE Fred Davis

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 04:54

One-year deal

Former Redskins franchise TE Fred Davis and New England Patriots have reached agreement on a one-year deal, per source. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)

FF Today's Take: Davis was suspended last season for violating the substance-abuse policy and was reinstated last week. The Patriots already have Scott Chandler and Tim Wright backing up Rob Gronkowski at the position so Davis will have his work cut out for him to even make the team out of training camp.

Jones draws a Lynch comparison

Draft Sharks - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 04:50

Redskins GM Scot McCloughan said that rookie RB Matt Jones reminds him of RB Marshawn Lynch.  McCloughan was the Seahawks’ senior personnel executive when the team traded for Lynch in 2010.  “Matt Jones reminds me a lot—a lot—of Marshawn from the standpoint that he’s north-south, he’s downhill and he’s not afraid of contact,” McCloughan said.  “He’s going to hit you and he’s going to keep hitting you until you get tired of tackling him.”  Jones doesn't run with Lynch's tenacity (who does?), but he's a 6'2, 231-pounder with plenty of power.  He only figures to serve in a complementary role behind Alfred Morris this year.  But Morris is set to hit free agency after the season.  It sounds like Washington views Jones as a potential replacement.

Hardy learning all WR positions

Draft Sharks - Sun, 05/10/2015 - 16:36

Falcons rookie Justin Hardy said he's learning all the WR positions at rookie minicamp.  He'll be battling for a slot role between Julio Jones and Roddy White this season.  But learning the outside spots means Atlanta at least considers him a potential option on the outside down the road.  White turns 34 in November, while Jones is currently set to reach free agency next offseason.  Hardy won't be much of a fantasy asset in 2015 but could eventually turn into a weekly starter.  He checks in 14th among WRs in our Dynasty Rookie Rankings.

Lockett impresses at minicamp

Draft Sharks - Sun, 05/10/2015 - 16:16

Two Seahawks writers for the Seattle Times called WR Tyler Lockett the "most impressive" player at the team's just completed rookie minicamp. That certainly doesn't surprise us for a couple of reasons: First, Seattle drafted only 1 player ahead of Lockett's early 3rd-round spot, and then chose 2 guards directly after the Lockett pick. But more importantly, we've liked Lockett from the start and fully expected him to impress in the pros. “Tyler looked so comfortable,” Carroll told the Times on Sunday. “He’s an adept football player, a very natural player. He has a terrific sense for releasing and getting off the line of scrimmage and space stuff and finding his way downfield against the zones and all. He caught the ball beautifully. He looked really fast.” He might not make it into the top 36 WRs when our 2015 fantasy football rankings come out, but don't be surprised if he turns into the Seahawks' top wideout as soon as this season.

Mayle to have thumb surgery

Draft Sharks - Sun, 05/10/2015 - 10:11

Browns rookie WR Vince Mayle will have surgery on the right thumb he fractured back at the Senior Bowl. "It should not be an issue in the fall,'' Pettine told Cleveland.com Saturday after the 2nd day of rookie camp. "We wanted him to come out, just see how it was, test it. Found out real quick yesterday that there's still some lingering pain there. So, we're going to go ahead and get it corrected." Mayle is expected to return "in some capacity" by late July or early August. The 4th-round pick isn't likely to make much impact on offense this season anyway, so the layoff shouldn't be a big deal for him or the Browns. We'll see how he develops once he gets back onto the field.

Heuerman to miss season

Draft Sharks - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 17:24

Broncos TE Jeff Heuerman tore his left ACL in practice Saturday and is expected to miss the 2015 season, according to the team website. It's not a huge loss for Denver, which still sports Owen Daniels and Virgil Green atop the depth chart. The injury should leave more snaps, however, for the other two. Daniels is the safer pick because of his veteran status and history with HC Gary Kubiak, but Green is the upside play and the better draft value at an ADP likely to stay in the late rounds. Pick Green up now as your 3rd TE in MFL10 drafts.

Broncos rookie TE suffers torn ACL

Fantasy Football Today - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 16:00

Expected to miss the 2015 season

Tight end Jeff Heuerman, the Broncos' third-round pick, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Saturday afternoon rookie camp practice in the Broncos' fieldhouse. He is expected to miss the entire 2015 season. (DenverBroncos.com)

FF Today's Take: Head coach Gary Kubiak went on to say: "Jeff was going to be a big part of our team this year and he's still going to be a big part of our team & organization in the future." Owen Daniels and Virgil Green are currently atop the tight end depth chart in Denver.

Who is the Eagles No.1 wide receiver?

Fantasy Football Today - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 05:00

Nelson Agholor won't claim the throne, just yet

Maclin is gone and the Eagles don't appear to have a No. 1 wide receiver waiting in the wings - although a case could be made for Jordan Matthews. More than likely, the numbers will be divvied up among a group that will include more than just receivers. Nelson Agholor is polished, he's fast, he's versatile, and he's smart. (Philly.com)

FF Today's Take: With Maclin now in KC, there's a big opportunity for Agholor to make an immediate impact, even though he won't acknowledge it just yet. He'll likely play most of his snapd in the slot during his first season, as did Jordan Mathews last year. Mathews finished the season with a 67-872-8 line, checking in as fantasy's No.24 wide receiver. Agholor has WR2 upside in redraft leagues.

Brady suspension coming?

Draft Sharks - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 04:42

Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reports that commissioner Roger Goodell will announce a suspension for Patriots QB Tom Brady next weeky. According to Myers, the commish only needs to determine the length of the suspension at this point, not whether to dock Brady any games. Such a punishment would be unprecedented for the situation, but Goodell reportedly considers Brady's combo of taking part in the ball deflation and refusing to supply cell-phone records during the investigation a "serious violation." We'll see what comes down, but it's tough to imagine anything more than a 1-game ban sticking. Even that would likely elicit an appeal.

Goodell's decision on Brady expected next week

Fantasy Football Today - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 16:45

Patriots QB expected to be suspended over DeflateGate

Roger Goodell's decision is expected to be announced next week and it is no longer a matter of if the NFL commissioner will suspend Tom Brady, but for how long he will suspend him. The feeling is the Wells Report supplied Goodell with enough ammunition to suspend Brady both for breaking the rules by ordering the deflation of footballs and by not cooperating with the investigation when he refused to turn over his cell phone to Wells' investigators. (New York Daily News)

FF Today's Take: Speculation ranges anywhere from two games to a more lengthy suspension of 6-8 games. The Patriots face the Steelers on the opening Thursday night of season, then face Buffalo and Jacksonvile before travelling to Dallas in Week 5 to face the Cowboys on Sunday night. Brady's fantasy value, along with the fantasy value TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Julian Edelman are on hold.

Thompson tweaks hamstring

Draft Sharks - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 15:34

Panthers LB Shaq Thompson left his 1st practice with the team Friday after "tweaking" a hamstring, according to ESPN.com. HC Ron Rivera said the team will re-evaluate the injury at the beginning of Saturday's final session of the 2-day minicamp to see if the rookie can take part. If he can't, Thompson won't get back on the field until June 16 because of University of Washington's academic quarter system. That could hurt his chances of making the starting lineup early in 2015, but Thompson's more of a long-term IDP target anyway. This shouldn't impact that at all. We'll see if the hamstring issue recurs at all this summer.

Fowler already done for season

Draft Sharks - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 15:23

Jaguars DE Dante Fowler tore his left ACL in Friday's 1st practice of rookie minicamp. The relative good news for Jacksonville is that veteran Chris Clemons -- who started every 2014 game at "Leo" and led the team with 8.5 sacks -- remains on board. And Andre Branch and Ryan Davis add talented depth. Losing Fowler doesn't necessarily crush a Jaguars D that has seemed to be moving in the right direction, but it's certainly disheartening for a franchise that has struggled for a while. Dynasty players in IDP leagues might want to move Fowler slightly down the board -- at least behind Vikings LB Eric Kendricks -- but ACL injuries don't necessarily alter careers anymore. We'll see how Fowler progresses through his rehab and how early he takes the field next offseason.

Dante Fowler out for the season with torn ACL

Fantasy Football Today - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 14:00

Jaguars rookie suffers injury one hour into minicamp

Jaguars rookie Dante Fowler Jr., the No. 3 pick in the 2015 draft, tore his ACL on Friday when he went down less than an hour into the first day of rookie minicamp, the team announced. Fowler is expected to miss the entire 2015 season. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: Brutal. A difficult way to begin your NFL career and a difficult day for the entire Jaguars organization. Fowler didn't sign his rookie deal yet, but he did sign a waiver which guarantees the Jaguars will negotiate in good faith as if the injury did not occur. Chris Clemons, Andre Branch and Chris Smith are candidates to fill Fowler's edge-rushing spot.

Colts see Robinson as an "every down back"

Draft Sharks - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 11:06

Colts HC Chuck Pagano said at rookie mini camp that the team believes RB Josh Robinson can develop into an "every down back."  Robinson broke out in his final season at Mississippi State, taking 190 carries for 1,203 yards and 11 scores.  He added another 370 yards and 1 TD on 28 catches.  Robinson's measurables don't impress.  He goes 5'8, 217 pounds with 4.7 speed.  But the tape shows a hard-nosed runner who breaks tons of tackles.  Robinson finished 2nd behind only Todd Gurley in the draft class in Pro Football Focus' Elusive Rating, which measures a back's effectiveness beyond the blocking he receives.  Don't bank on a fantasy impact from Robinson this season, but he could eventually replace the 32-year-old Frank Gore as the Colts' lead back.

TE Fred Davis reinstated after year suspension

Fantasy Football Today - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 05:15

29-year-old free to sign with any team

Former Washington tight end Fred Davis, suspended indefinitely by the NFL in February 2014 under the substance-abuse policy, has been reinstated, PFT's Mike Florio reports. The 29-year-old Davis is immediately free to sign with clubs. (ProFootballTalk)

FF Today's Take: Davis suffered an Achilles injury in 2012 and only caught seven passes in 2013. Tight end needy teams included Arizona, Buffalo, Atlanta and Cleveland to name a few. Davis was arrested for DUI in 2014.

Did the Colts draft T.Y. Hilton's replacement?

Fantasy Football Today - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 05:00

Phillip Dorsett has speed to burn

Competition in the Indianapolis Colts' wide receivers' room thickened last Thursday when the team used its first-round pick on one of its deepest positions. Suffice to say when Phillip Dorsett's name was called, many were surprised. Coming off the best season of his three-year career, T.Y. Hilton is entering the last year of his rookie contract. To be sure, a big payday awaits one of the league's most talented young wideouts. Whether or not that comes with the Colts remains to be seen. (Indianapolis Star)

FF Today's Take: With a logjam at receiver, it's unlikely the rookie Dorsett will make a big impact this season but if the Colts decided to let Hilton walk after 2015, Dorsett's value would be on the rise. "There's nothing I can do about that," Hilton said Wednesday of last week's draft pick. "That's who they picked. That's cool with me."