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Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 13:40
Spent 2014 season as Colts' special assistant
The 49ers and the Rams are the last teams with offensive-coordinator vacancies. But the next couple of days could be important for both organizations, as they appear to have targeted soon-to-be-available Rob Chudzinski. The Colts denied permission last week for the 49ers and Rams to interview Chudzinski while he remained under contract as "special assistant to the head coach." But his contract reportedly expires Monday, in essence making him a coaching free agent and able to begin interviewing with other clubs on Tuesday. Chudzinski has appeared to be the 49ers' top candidate to join Jim Tomsula's staff in charge of the offense all along. (CSN Bay Area)
FF Today's Take: "Chud" would be an upgrade for both teams and would probably make more fantasy owners happy if he landed in San Francisco. The ex-Panthers play-caller helped Cam Newton make a big splash in the NFL in his first two seasons before spending one year as a head coach in Cleveland, where he coaxed huge seasons out of Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. In San Francisco, he'd get to work with a Newton-like talent in Colin Kaepernick and Cameron-like talent in Vernon Davis.
Draft Sharks - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 06:08
Giants WR Odell Beckham revealed after the Pro Bowl that he played the entire season with 2 tears in his right hamstring. The 1st occurred on the 1st day of training camp; the 2nd just before the Giants' 3rd preseason game. Beckham ended up missing the first 4 games of the regular season before dominating the league over the final 12. “They healed up enough to where I could play with them, but they were never truly good and I’m still just working on them and trying to get ready,” Beckham said. “I should be good by training camp. The plan is to play at full strength next season, and I definitely hope to do it. I’m just looking forward to getting healthy.” There's almost certainly some degree of embellishment to Beckham's story. It's tough to believe he wasn't very close to 100% considering how productive he was. But it's also fair to say that a healthy offseason will help him be even better in 2015.
Draft Sharks - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 15:17
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Browns WR Josh Gordon is facing a 1-year suspension for consuming alcohol. That was banned as part of Gordon's deal with the league after this past July's DUI arrest. Pro Football Talk hears that a successful appeal for Gordon is "unlikely." That means he'll miss the entire 2015 season, again leaving Cleveland with a massive hole at WR. They need to address the position in free agency and/or the draft. Gordon, meanwhile, will still only be 25 when eligible to return for the 2016 season. But it's uncertain whether the Browns or any other team will have him.
Fantasy Football Today - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 13:00
Browns receiver facing year-long ban
Troubled Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has violated the substance-abuse policy again and faces a minimum one-year ban from the NFL, according to multiple reports. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who broke the story, and profootballtalk.com, Gordon tested positive for alcohol. If Gordon receives the minimum one-year ban, he'd be eligible to apply for reinstatement a year after the suspension begins. It would then be up to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to decide if he lets Gordon back in. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
FF Today's Take: The Browns were reportedly looking to shop Gordon this off-season but this latest news is going to make the wide receiver virtually worthless on the trade market. Gordon missed 10 games in 2014 for violating the substance-abuse policy. If this news holds up, Gordon's days in Cleveland are numbered.
Fantasy Football Today - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 05:00
New deal was close towards the end of last season
It was considered a no-brainer that wide receiver and free-agent-to-be Jeremy Maclin would be back. According to a person familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity, Caplan is right - the Eagles and Maclin have hit a bit of a wall in their contract negotiations after nearly having a deal completed towards the end of last season. (NJ.com)
FF Today's Take: Most believe a deal will eventually get done but the switching of agents by Maclin has caused a delay in the process. Maclin led the Eagles in receiving last season and finished as the No.9 fantasy receiver in standard scoring leagues with a 86-1329-10 stat line. He'll be solid WR2 in re-draft leagues should come to terms with Eagles on a new deal.
Draft Sharks - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 19:19
Colts GM Ryan Grigson revealed Friday that he doesn't yet know whether OLB Robert Mathis will be ready for the start of training camp. "No, he's still in recovery," Grigson told ESPN.com in reference to Mathis' Achilles tear. "A timeline is not there because it’s a tough injury. Hopefully in a couple months from now, we’ll be able to have some information on that.” Mathis suffered the injury in early September while working out during his 4-game PED suspension. It's an injury that regularly keeps players from getting all the way back to their previous performance level through at least their 1st season back. Heading into his age-34 season, Mathis might never regain his pre-injury form. Bjoern Werner had an up-and-down season that ended down with decreased playing time. Fifth-round rookie Jonathan Newsome might be the Colts' best current hope for replacing Mathis and helping a struggling pass rush. Expect the team to address that area this offseason.
Draft Sharks - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 10:53
Colts GM Ryan Grigson revealed today that the team suspended RB Trent Richardson 2 games for “personal reasons.” T-Rich has already served 1 game, and he’ll serve the other if he’s back next season. Of course, that’s no guarantee after he posted just 3.3 yards-per-carry on 159 attempts. Unsurprisingly, Grigson wouldn't commit to bringing the struggling rusher back in 2015. The Colts are a lock to bring in RB help this offseason.
Draft Sharks - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 18:36
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam agreed Thursday with HC Mike Pettine's description of the "muddy" QB situation. But Haslam might have gone a step further and indicated that he doesn't believe in Johnny Manziel. “We’ve got to get a quarterback and got to get it fixed,” he said, according to NorthCoastNow.com. “What I would say to our fans is, we’re going to continue to work really hard to find that quarterback who can make us a championship team.” There don't seem to be many -- any? -- folks in Cleveland optimistic about Manziel's future, but it'll be really telling if he doesn't at least get to compete for the 2015 starting job. Manziel retains plenty of fantasy appeal if he can get his (act) together, but he has a lot to prove to everyone.
Fantasy Football Today - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 14:20
Belichick, Brady answer questions from press Thursday
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady said he was "as surprised as anybody," echoing HC Bill Belichick, to learn of DeflateGate, the controversy over whether the team used underinflated footballs to advance to Super Bowl XLIX, on Monday morning and told a packed media room that "I didn't alter the ball in any way." Brady made no prepared remarks, preferring to take questions for about 30 minutes instead in the late-afternoon press conference; Brady claimed to have no idea how or why the footballs failed to measure up to the 12.5-13.5 pounds per square inch specified in the rule book. "I think there's a lot of people who have more information than me," he said. "I have questions, too." (The Washington Post)
FF Today's Take: Brady detailed his game-day preparations, saying that he selects the balls he wants to be approved by game officials. Early reaction of Brady's comments has several former NFL players doubting his story; the notion that a longtime veteran player like Brady who stated he loves his footballs to be at 12.5 psi couldn't tell the ball was under-inflated does seem questionable at best. Don't expect this story to go away anytime soon and to be the topic du jour of Super Bowl week.
Fantasy Football Today - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 14:00
Missed final five games with Hodgkin lymphoma
Chiefs GM John Dorsey and team chairman Clark Hunt flew into Atlanta to visit S Eric Berry, who is battling Hodgkin lymphoma. "We spent two hours together over (at) his parents' house ... he was laughing, he was in good spirits," Dorsey said. "He looked great. He was E.B. He was talking about 'ball." (Kansas City Star)
FF Today's Take: Obviously, Berry's recovery timeline is up in the air, but a return to the field at some point in the near future does sound promising. Berry finished at minus-1.7 overall in Pro Football Focus' grading this year after recording a plus-14.3 in 2013.
Draft Sharks - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 06:07
Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's 2014 season ended with him getting benched for complaining about his role. It wasn't the 1st run-in he's had with the coaching staff, and it has Miami considering cutting ties with the guy they handed $30 million guaranteed to just a couple years ago. GM Dennis Hickey was non-committal when asked about Wallace's Dolphins future at the Senior Bowl this week. “We’re looking at all things with our players and evaluating, that’s part of our process," Hickey said. We're still betting on Wallace hanging around Miami once cooler heads prevail. He led the team in receiving yards (862) and TDs (10) this past season, and cutting him would leave the Fins with a big need at WR.
Draft Sharks - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 18:50
The Bears on Wednesday reached a 3-year deal with Adam Gase to make him their new OC. Gase, of course, spent the past 2 seasons running Denver's offense under then-HC John Fox, who's now the boss in Chicago. The Peyton Manning-led Broncos topped the league in points and yards in 2013 before finishing 2nd in points and 4th in yards last year. Gase spent the 4 seasons before that as a position coach in Denver, joining the franchise when Josh McDaniels arrived. We'll be quite interested to see how he works with a more challenging QB in Jay Cutler. But Gase seems to be quite well respected in the league and continues what appears to be a strong coaching staff for the Bears on both sides of the ball. The new OC certainly shouldn't hurt Cutler's fantasy outlook or those of Matt Forte, the Bears' WRs and TE Martellus Bennett.
Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 17:00
Gase hired as Bears' offensive coordinator
Adam Gase has found a new job with a familiar boss. Gase has been hired as the offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, the team announced Wednesday. The two sides have agreed on a three-year deal, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation. (NFL.com)
FF Today's Take: The Bears continue to overhaul their coaching staff with more proven NFL commodities with the hiring of Adam Gase. After interviewing for multiple head coaching vacancies, Gase will now take on the challenge of rebuilding an underachieving Bears offense. From a fantasy perspective this is about as good of a situation as Jay Cutler could hope for but fantasy owners will still have doubts until results are translated onto the field.
Draft Sharks - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 08:16
The Browns have named John DeFilippo their new OC. It's one of the most unexciting hirings of the offseason. DeFilippo has never run an NFL offense, only serving as QBs coach for the Raiders (2007-2008, 2012-2014) and Jets (2009). Guys under his tutelage have included Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown, JaMarcus Russell, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer and Terrelle Pryor. The best we can say about DeFilippo is that he played a part in QB Derek Carr's encouraging rookie campaign. His arrival doesn't exactly make us giddy about QB Johnny Manziel's development, though.
Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 08:00
Physical examination to determine fate?
According to three trustworthy sources, Manning wants to return to the Broncos, but won't and can't make a final decision until he takes an annual physical examination mandated by his contract. Last year, the test results were learned at the beginning of March. (Denver Post)
FF Today's Take: The report also says that the Broncos have asked that Manning let them know his decision to return before March 9th. Everyone involved, including new head coach Gary Kubiak, appears to be in favor of having number eighteen back for his eighteenth season. Should test results on Peyton's neck and calf come back without setbacks, fantasy owners can expect another solid season from the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 07:45
Former Raiders QB coach headed to Cleveland
The Cleveland Browns have decided on Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo to be their new offensive coordinator, Northeast Ohio Media Group has confirmed. DeFilippo, a rising young offensive star in the NFL at the age of 36, worked with Mike Pettine in 2009 when both were with the New York Jets. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
FF Today's Take: DeFilippo got an interview for the same position last season before Cleveland decided to go with Kyle Shanahan. This will be DeFilippo's first job as OC and will have a challenge on his hands dealing with the Johnny Manziel circus show and a wide receiver corps that could be minus Josh Gordon.
Draft Sharks - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 06:13
New Raiders OC Bill Musgrave said he'll "tailor" his run game to RB Latavius Murray. That's refreshing to hear after Oakland essentially ignored Murray for most of last season. When they finally unleashed him, he ripped off 370 yards and 2 TDs on 72 carries (5.1 YPC) across 5 games. Musgrave said that he has a "very positive" impression of Murray and touted his "size and speed." With a feature-back workload, Murray is capable of high-end fantasy production in 2015.
Draft Sharks - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 06:04
Lions RB Joique Bell recently underwent "minor" surgeries on his knee and Achilles, according to beat writer Dave Birkett. Bell appeared on this past season's injury report with both knee and Achilles issues, but he only missed 1 game with a concussion. Bell is expected to be ready for the start of OTAS, per Birkett, but we'll keep an eye on his rehab. He finished 13th among RBs in PPR points in 2014 and should return to a similar role in 2015.
Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:00
Musgrave impressed with Raiders running back
Asked Musgrave impression of Latavius Murray: "Very positive. Tremendous size & speed. Going to tailor run game so it's right up his alley." (Vic Tafur on Twitter)
FF Today's Take: With defensive minded Jack Del Rio serving as head coach, Musgrave will be able to implement his plan for Murray who was buried behind Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew for most of 2014. Musgrave was the Eagles QB coach last season and worked with Del Rio in Jacksonville back in 2003. Murray will be on the RB2 radar in 2015.
Draft Sharks - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 15:57
The Jaguars have named Greg Olson their new OC. Olson has his work cut out for him after Jacksonville finished 31st in total offense each of the past 2 seasons. Olson spent those years running the Raiders offenses, which ranked 23rd and 32nd, respectively, in total yards. He got an encouraging rookie season out of QB Derek Carr, though, and was also OC in Tampa Bay for the promising start of QB Josh Freeman's career. Now Olson will work with another young QB in Blake Bortles.