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Clark retiring

Draft Sharks - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 16:18

Washington S Ryan Clark announced Wednesday that he'll retire after a 13-year career spent mostly in Pittsburgh. Clark hasn't been an IDP stud, but he did finish each of the past 4 seasons among the top 32 fantasy DBs (depending on your scoring system). We'll see where Washington turns to replace him -- and what that player can do under a new DC.

Moore out through OTAs

Draft Sharks - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 16:01

Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie said Wednesday that LB Sio Moore will miss all offseason workouts after having "major hip surgery," according to CSN Bay Area. "We'll be smart about it," McKenzie added. "We're going to let him rehab and get strong. Barring any setbacks, he should be ready by training camp." Moore suffered the injury in Week 13 last season, tried to play through it the following week and then hit IR. We'll be interested to see how close to full strength he is come training camp. Moore delivered terrific production when healthy last season, but an alarming number of injuries have marked his 1st 2 NFL years. Moore remains a nice dynasty asset, as long as the hip doesn't become a recurring issue.

Bears going 3-4 on D

Draft Sharks - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 15:50

Bears HC John Fox confirmed Wednesday from the Scouting Combine that his defense will move to a 3-4 base alignment in 2015. Fox acknowledged that the label often doesn't make a huge difference for the team, which can play with its actual alignments and packages. But it's a bigger deal for IDP owners, who might see a player such as Jared Allen suddenly become a LB after years as a DE. That'll probably be the biggest change. Fox said Wednesday that Willie Young and Lamarr Houston also figure to play OLB, though we'll be a bit surprised if Houston winds up there. When Houston last played in a 3-4 defense in Oakland, he performed well as a DE. And at 6'3, 300 pounds, he certainly seems to be built much better for that spot. Chicago, of course, has plenty of work ahead this offseason to turn around a D that ranked among the league's worst in 2015. We'll see how all the pieces sort out come minicamp and training camp time.

Gruden names RGIII starter for 2015

Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 13:45

Matt Cavanaugh will be quarterbacks coach

Despite a tumultuous third NFL season in which he missed significant time because of injury, returned and got benched, then was re-inserted into the lineup for the final two games, Robert Griffin III will enter the 2015 campaign as the Washington Redskins' starting quarterback, Coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday. (Washington Post)

FF Today's Take: Gruden also said he'd like to see improvement from Griffin who is coming off his worse season as a pro (1694-4-6). Griffin was benched after Week 12 and there was some speculation that the Redskins would pursue other options at quarterback in 2015. He'll be a QB2 in re-draft leagues this summer.

Bears not committing to Cutler

Draft Sharks - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 11:17

Bears GM Ryan Pace and HC John Fox refused to commit to Jay Cutler as their starting QB at the Combine on Wednesday.  "I don't think there's any question there's ability and talent there, but there's a lot more that goes into it," Fox said.  He took a similar stance at his introductory press conference.  Cutler's attitude and erratic play make him tough to coach, but the Bears won't find an upgrade in free agency or the draft.  Plus, Cutler is due $15.5 million guaranteed in 2015, making him nearly impossible to trade or release.  Despite the team's wishy-washy stance, Cutler is the heavy favorite to be under center for the Bears come Week 1.

Turner: Johnson "far and away our best receiver"

Draft Sharks - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 11:08

Vikings OC Norv Turner considers Charles Johnson "far and away our best receiver."  It's high praise for a guy who has appeared in just 11 NFL games.  Of course, Johnson flourished down the stretch this past year, racking up 25 catches, 415 yards and 2 TDs over the final 7 games.  He was 34th among WRs in fantasy points during the stretch and is capable of finishing even higher in 2015.  Johnson is obviously locked into 1 of Minnesota's starting WR jobs.  That means Cordarrelle Patterson will need to beat out Greg Jennings for the other.

Cardinals and Fitzgerald close to new deal

Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 06:22

Wide receiver scheduled to make $16 million in 2015

Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals are closing in on a multiyear deal that would enable the veteran wide receiver to finish his career in Arizona, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Josh Weinfuss. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: Fitzgerald's $16 million price tag is too expensive for the veteran who's production has declined in recent years. His two touchdowns in 2014 were the lowest season output of his career. Michael Floyd led the team in receiving with 841 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Fitzgerald agrees to new deal with Cardinals

Draft Sharks - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 06:10

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Cardinals and WR Larry Fitzgerald are close to a new deal that would allow Fitz to finish his career in Arizona.  The 2 sides have been working on a contract restructure for a while.  Fitz turns 32 in August and has shown clear signs of decline the past few years.  He hasn't reached 1,000 yards since 2011 and scored a career-low 2 TDs this past season.  His 63 catches and 784 yards were his worst marks since his 2004 rookie campaign.  He still has value as a possession receiver, though, with some of the best hands in the game.  A healthy QB Carson Palmer would make Fitzgerald a low-upside WR3 in 2015 fantasy football drafts.  His return will make it tougher for WRs Michael Floyd and John Brown to break out.

Update: ProFootballTalk.com reports that this deal is done.  Fitzgerald's restructured contract saves Arizona nearly $13 million against the 2015 salary cap.  In return, Fitz will receive $11 million guaranteed in both of the next 2 years.  He'll be 34 when those guarantees run out.

Palmer expects to be ready for camp

Draft Sharks - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 15:36

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer told ESPN's Ed Werder that he thinks he'll be ready to take the field come minicamp time and that he'll "definitely" be ready for training camp. This is certainly the season for optimism on player injuries, but Palmer's words at least follow a report about his rehab going quite well. It also should help Palmer that he's a fairly immobile pocket passer to begin with. Of course, he'll also be 35 and coming off his 2nd career knee reconstruction. Look for Palmer to present some spot-starter value in 2015 fantasy football leagues. We'll see how positive the reports on him remain through spring and summer.

Chiefs release receivers Avery, Jenkins

Fantasy Football Today - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 10:30

Kansas City expected to re-work receiving corps

The Chiefs officially began their remolding of their 2015 roster on Tuesday, as the team formally announced the release of receivers Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins on the eve of the annual scouting combine. By releasing both, the Chiefs created approximately $4.8 million in 2015 cap room. (Kansas City Star)

FF Today's Take: No Chiefs receiver finished in the fantasy top 60 at the position in 2014. Dwayne Bowe led all Chiefs receivers with 754 yards and he may be a salary cap casualty as well. Bowe is due $11 million next season.

Chiefs cut Avery

Draft Sharks - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 09:55

The Chiefs have released WR Donnie Avery.  The move saves them $3.4 million against the cap, making it a no-brainer.  Avery appeared in just 6 games last season, totaling 15 catches for 176 scoreless yards.  That 11.7 yards-per-catch average was a career low.  Turning 31 in June, Avery is a long shot to emerge as a fantasy factor in 2015.  The Chiefs, meanwhile, are left with Dwayne Bowe, Albert Wilson and Junior Hemingway as their top 3 WRs.  They need to address the position in free agency and the draft.

Mathis suffers 'slight setback'

Draft Sharks - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 18:39

ESPN Colts reporter Mike Wells reports that Colts LB Robert Mathis suffered a "slight setback" in his rehab from a torn Achilles' tendon. It's not clear whether the issue will delay or hinder his return. At the least, however, it's a reminder that Mathis faces a tough comeback from what can be a career-altering injury even in younger players. Heading into his age-34 season, don't count on Mathis returning to his top sack form of 2013. The Colts will certainly need to address their pass rush this offseason.

Wes Welker not ready to retire?

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 15:10

"Just getting ready for 2015"

Contrary to a report last week, Broncos receiver Wes Welker is not mulling retirement. Welker, who ranks 20th all time among receivers with 890 career catches, said Monday he intends to play on. "Just getting ready for 2015," Welker told The Denver Post via text. FoxSports.com cited sources in its report on Feb. 10 that Welker was considering retirement. "Never ever came out of my mouth," Welker said. (Denver Post)

FF Today's Take: Fox's report last week or this week's report in the Denver Post don't paint a clear picture. The Broncos are likely to move forward with Andre Caldwell and Cody Latimer behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and Welker has battled concussion issues the last two years. He'll be a free agent on March 10th and attempt to catch on with a team in need of help in the slot.

McCown visits Bills, leaves without contract

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 13:00

No salary terms discussed

Free-agent quarterback Josh McCown visited the Buffalo Bills today, but left without a contract. The Bills did not even talk salary with McCown's representative, according to a league source. McCown has at least one and maybe two other visits with NFL teams lined up, the source said. (Buffalo News)

FF Today's Take: McCown is open to sign with any team because he was released by the Bucs but its certainly not a good sign that money wasn't even discussed. The Bills have only EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel on the roster. Given the weak free agent market for quarterbacks, McCown will likely have other options either in a starting or backup role.

Bostick released by Packers

Draft Sharks - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 11:38

The Packers have released TE Brandon Bostick.  The 2012 undrafted free agent boasts an intriguing blend of size and athleticism but hasn't been able to translate that to NFL production.  He spent 2012 on the practice squad and totaled just 9 catches over the past 2 seasons.  Bostick also fumbled away an onsides kick in the NFC Championship loss to the Seahawks.  He was reportedly drawing trade interest as recently as this past offseason, so he shouldn't have trouble finding a new home.  We'll keep an eye on him, but Bostick is just a deep dynasty stash for now.

McKinnon will be ready for OTAs

Draft Sharks - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 06:21

Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon has had no setback in his recovery from December back surgery and is on track to be a full participant in the team's offseason program.  “It’s been a long process, but that’s just the way it goes after surgery. I’ve been [at the Vikings facility] all offseason working really hard,” McKinnon said. “I’ve just been in the training room with [assistant athletic trainer] Tom Hunkele pushing myself to the limit and just trying to get back ready. It’s been a long grind but it’s definitely working.”  Considered extremely raw coming out of Georgia Southern, McKinnon turned in an impressive rookie season.  He averaged 4.8 yards per carry and posted a pair of 100-yard games.  His 2015 fantasy football value completely hinges on what Minnesota decides to do with Adrian Peterson.  If AP returns, McKinnon will be only a change-of-pace back.  But if the Vikings let Peterson go, McKinnon becomes the favorite for the lead role.  That gig would give him gobs of fantasy upside.

McCown on verge of joining Bills?

Draft Sharks - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 05:30

ESPN's Adam Schefter and Mike Rodak report that free-agent QB Josh McCown is in Buffalo working out a contract with the Bills. Given that, it's hard to imagine the soon-to-be 36-year-old leaving town without a deal. The move certainly makes sense for McCown, who would have only EJ Manuel standing between him and a starting gig. For Buffalo, McCown doesn't provide much of an upgrade over Kyle Orton, who retired after the 2014 season. McCown has proved over the past 2 years, though, that he can deliver spot-starter value in fantasy football. We'll see whether Manuel can hold him off and climb back into the Bills' starting role.

UPDATE: McCown reportedly left Buffalo on Monday without a deal.

Cushing played through broken wrist

Draft Sharks - Sun, 02/15/2015 - 14:04

The National Football Post reports that Texans LB Brian Cushing recently had surgery to repair a broken right wrist. Cushing reportedly played through the injury for some portion of last season, not realizing it was broken for at least part of that time. Cushing will reportedly need 3 months to rehab the injury. That's no big concern with training camp more than 5 months away. Playing through the issue might help explain some of his 2014 struggles, but it's also yet another injury for a guy who has had multiple leg problems -- including a 2012 ACL tear and 2013 fibula fracture. At 28, Cushing should be in his prime, but treat him with caution as an IDP option going forward given the packed injury history.

Carey in for bigger role?

Draft Sharks - Sun, 02/15/2015 - 11:43

ESPN Bears reporter Michael C. Wright says he can envision a larger role for 2014 rookie RB Ka'Deem Carey in the coming season. Of course, Wright also seemed to contradict himself within the same mailbag answer. "I definitely envision Carey and Forte forming a duo similar to the Panthers' duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart," Wright wrote. Three sentences later, he added, "I don't envision Carey and Forte ever splitting carries equally." So, what's a Williams-Stewart type duo if it's not splitting carries evenly? Take this as a reminder to look more at actual reports from reporters rather than their mailbag predictions. We certainly expect some more work for Carey in 2015, only because he was nearly invisible as a rookie after disappointing in the summer. But it'll take a Matt Forte injury to turn Carey into a fantasy factor next season.

Cowboys decline Melton's option

Draft Sharks - Sun, 02/15/2015 - 11:04

The Cowboys have declined their option on DT Henry Melton, which will make the veteran a free agent come March 10. The move doesn't necessarily mean Dallas is done with Melton. The option would have guaranteed his $9 million salary for 2015, which is well beyond what his 2014 performance merits for the Cowboys. We'll see how much interest he draws on the open market. Melton's 2013 ACL tear made him a cheap free-agent option for Dallas a year ago, but a healthy Melton produced 13 sacks over the previous 2 seasons. He'll turn 29 in October.