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Rodgers gushing over Adams' approach

Fantasy Football Today - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 14:20

Second-year WR had "humongous upside"

A little over a year after he'd challenged Davante Adams - although not by name - to step up his preparation, Aaron Rodgers couldn't stop talking Wednesday about the approach Adams is taking to his job now. "In my mind, he has humongous upside - and he's starting to reach that upside," Rodgers said after the team's open-to-the-public OTA practice. "I think the opportunities are going to come for him. He's got two great guys to play with. His attention to detail is very impressive and his approach." (ESPN Wisconsin)

FF Today's Take: Let's not forget that two seasons ago, Rodgers helped then-third receiver James Jones catch an NFL-high 14 touchdown passes. Even though some of that was due to the fact Jordy Nelson missed four games that season, the point to be made is that Rodgers can support three fantasy receivers. Although his production figures to be inconsistent again in 2015 behind Nelson and Cobb, the second-year wideout should expect a fairly sizable increase from his 38-446-3 rookie line.

Rueben Randle poised for big year?

Fantasy Football Today - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 13:30

Eli believes WR can be a "dominant" player

A year ago, before (Rueben Randle) finished with a flourish, he was benched for the first quarter of two games. "It was a personal issue," Randle said. "It just caused me to be late here a couple of times. It's over with now. I'm past it. At one time in the season people thought me and Coach [Coughlin] had a beef going on, which is not the case." "I think Rueben'll have a big year," Eli Manning said. "I think Rueben can be a great receiver, a dominant receiver. I think he has it in him. You've definitely seen him from Day 1 to Day Now, just the maturity level is definitely improved, he's all in, he's been here working, he's been here off days, and so I've been impressed with his commitment." (New York Post)

FF Today's Take: This has the makings of a preseason fluff piece, but it would be a mistake to discount a player that went for 6-132-1 and 6-158 over the final two games of last season. With Odell Beckham Jr. likely to command double teams this year and Victor Cruz no sure thing to be what he once was, Randle could be ready to fulfill the promise that many owners believed he was going to deliver on a year or two ago.

CLE eyeing Bernard-like role for Duke Johnson

Fantasy Football Today - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 13:15

Third-round rookie to be used as vesatile chess piece

RB coach Wilbert Montgomery wants to use rookie Duke Johnson in many spots. Called it "Where's Waldo?" Compared to CIN's Gio Bernard. (Nate Ulrich on Twitter)

FF Today's Take: For any of those folks that checked out FF Today's Rookie Impact articles or followed our Instant Analysis blog on draft day, this should only serve as confirmation that Johnson should be busy as a rookie. Cleveland will likely start Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline at receiver and Rob Housler at tight end, so presumptive starting QB Josh McCown is going to need someone like Johnson who can win his one-on-one matchups. While his year-end carry total may not be great, it should come as no shock if he finishes with 50 or more receptions.

Ivory, Powell atop Jets depth chart

Draft Sharks - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 09:42

Jets HC Todd Bowles said Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell are currently #1 and #2 on the RB depth chart.  He noted that RB Zac Stacy is "still learning" the offense and that Stevan Ridley (knee) is injured.  But Ivory will head to training camp atop the totem pole and as the favorite to open the season as the Jets' lead ball-carrier.  Bowles' depth chart is also a sign that Powell is set to play a significant pass-catching role.  He caught 36 balls for 272 yards just a couple of years ago.

Foster enjoying healthy offseason

Draft Sharks - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 06:31

Texans RB Arian Foster is in the midst of 1 of his healthiest offseasons as a pro.  He's participated in all of the team's voluntary and mandatory workouts.  "He's been out there every day and it shows," HC Bill O'Brien said. "We’ve been able to do some decent things on offense this spring. A lot of it has to do with him being out there."  Foster will remain 1 of the biggest injury risks in fantasy football this season.  But he should also remain a high-end RB1 when he's on the field.  Only DeMarco Murray scored more PPR points per game last year.

Nelson's rehab on track

Draft Sharks - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 06:27

Packers WR Jordy Nelson's rehab from offseason hip surgery is right on track.  He's participating in individual drills at this week's minicamp.  "We're right where we want to be," Nelson said after Wednesday's practice. "We set a plan at the beginning, and we're hitting every target. We feel good and like I said a couple of weeks ago, we'll be ready to go by training camp."  At this point, there's no reason to believe the hip will be an issue in 2015.  Nelson has played all 16 games in each of the past 2 seasons.

Ingram back on the field

Draft Sharks - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 06:23

Saints RB Mark Ingram (foot, ankle) is back on the field this week.  He sat out the past 2 weeks, but the foot/ankle issue never seemed serious.  Ingram is coming off a top-15 fantasy season and will again serve as New Orleans' primary early-down back in 2015.  Consider him a mid-range RB2 across formats.

Patriots release Wright

Draft Sharks - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 06:05

The Patriots have released TE Tim Wright, who was acquired in last year's Logan Mankins trade.  Wright struggled to carve out a consistent role in New England this past season but did tally 6 TDs after posting a 54-571-5 line as a rookie for the Bucs.  It shouldn't take the 25-year-old long to find a new home.  Wright's release bumps TE Scott Chandler up to #2 on the Patriots depth chart.  He'd be an intriguing waiver-wire grab if TE Rob Gronkowski goes down this season.  New England also has Fred Davis, Michael Hoomanawanui and rookie A.J. Derby at TE.

Patriots release TE Tim Wright

Fantasy Football Today - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 05:53

New England with plenty of depth at tight end

Patriots have released TE Tim Wright, source says. Had six TDs last season. (Mike Garafolo on Twitter)

FF Today's Take: Wright scored 11 TDs over the last two years but only had 33 receptions last year in New England. Scott Chandler, Michael Hoomanawanui and Fred Davis remain on the roster as backups to Rob Gronkowski.

Moreno out for 2015?

Draft Sharks - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 14:38

Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that former Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno won't return to the field in 2015 because his knee has yet to heal properly. The veteran RB's 2014 season ended, of course, with an October ACL tear -- the 2nd of his career. Considering that he has generated no interest on the free-agent market, this latest report comes as no surprise. We'd bet against Moreno making a significant impact again in the NFL.

Ball expects 2-RB system

Draft Sharks - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 14:30

Here's how Broncos RB Montee Ball thinks the running game should work in 2015. “With the situation right now, you got to use me and C.J. I think you have to use two backs,” Ball told The Denver Post on Tuesday. “It’s two-back system based on what he did last season.” That's adorable. But based on what happened, Montee, Anderson should definitely lead this backfield while you hope to find some way to complement him. Pro Football Focus, for example, graded Anderson #3 overall among all RBs who played a down last season. Ball tied for 110th. Barring an amazing summer for Ball, Anderson will lead this backfield and sit high in our 2015 fantasy football rankings.

Jordy Nelson returns to individual drills

Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 12:38

Expected to be ready for camp on July 30

All along, the plan for Jordy Nelson was to be full-go by the start of the Green Bay Packers' training camp on July 30. Nelson took another step in that direction this week, when he practiced for the first time since his offseason hip surgery. The Pro Bowl receiver took part in individual drills during Wednesday's organized team activities (OTAs). (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: Nelson sat out of team drills but is apparently on schedule with his rehab. Nelson is coming off a career year (98-1519-13) and will have WR1 value in fantasy drafts. His current ADP sits at 2.07 (WR No.7) in 12-team leagues.

Cassel at OTAs: "Woof"

Draft Sharks - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 11:51

"Only word can describe his performance to the only practice the media was able to see this week: Woof."  That's Bills insider Joe Buscaglia on QB Matt Cassel's performance at Wednesday's practice.  Cassel's touch, timing and accuracy were all off, according to Buscaglia.  It's only 1 practice in June, but it obviously doesn't inspire much confidence in the guy who's considered the favorite to start for Buffalo this season.  QB remains a major concern for the Bills and is 1 of the big reasons to expect a run-heavy attack in 2015.

Joique Bell expected to be ready for camp

Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 11:30

Minor clean up procedures on knee and Achilles

Running back Joique Bell hasn't participated in OTAs this spring as he continues to rehab from offseason surgery. Bell should be ready to go by the time training camp starts. (DetroitLions.com)

FF Today's Take: Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi hinted that Bell will be eased into training camp as he comes off "minor clean up" procedures on his knee and Achilles in late January. Minor or not, it's still surgery and it's a situation to watch once training camp begins. The Lions drafted RB Ameer Abdullah in the second round of the NFL Draft.

Niklas needs (another) ankle surgery

Draft Sharks - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 11:18

Cardinals TE Troy Niklas will undergo what insider Mike Jurecki calls a "minor procedure" on his ankle on Thursday.  Niklas reportedly rolled the ankle in practice on Tuesday.  He's expected to be ready for the start of camp, but remember that he also required ankle surgery last year after suffering a pair of high-ankle sprains.  It's unclear if this issue is related, but it's a situation worth monitoring.  Niklas is expected to serve as Arizona's lead TE this season, although that spot doesn't bring much fantasy upside.

Lions concerned about Bell's conditioning

Draft Sharks - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 11:13

The Lions are concerned about RB Joique Bell's conditioning heading to training camp.  He's missed the entire offseason so far after undergoing knee and Achilles surgeries after the season.  “Really, I think your biggest concern is just, is he going to be able to get in the shape that you wanted to at the beginning of camp,” OC Joe Lombardi said. “But we’ll be careful with him and smart and ramp him up as we go.”  Bell should at least be fine for the start of the regular season, but all the missed time is allowing RB Ameer Abdullah more chances to earn a significant 2015 role.

TE Troy Niklas to have ankle surgery Thu.

Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 10:17

Same ankle he injured late last season

TE Troy Niklas set for minor surgery tomorrow on the ankle which bothered him last year. Expected to be ready for training camp. (Kyle Odegard on Twitter)

FF Today's Take: The tight end position in the Cardinals offense has been a fantasy wasteland and it's not getting better anytime soon. With John Carlson's retirement and now Niklas' recurring ankle issues, the Cardinals may peruse the waiver wire for free agent help.

WRs coach loving Mariota

Draft Sharks - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 05:25

Titans WRs coach Shawn Jefferson told ESPN.com this week that he's "giddy" over the future of his team's "deadly accurate" rookie QB Marcus Mariota. "A couple years ago I was back in Detroit and when Matthew Stafford stepped into the huddle the first time, once I heard his voice and the way he called a play, I said, ‘OK, that’s a real one right there.’ Same way with this one," Jefferson said. "He’s real. He’s got the goods. No. 1, it’s his accuracy. No. 2, he’s come in and grasped the offense. And No. 3 is the way the guys respond to him, the way he’s able to go in that huddle and take control.” Mariota's rushing ability figures to mean more to his early fantasy football value, but we'll be quite interested to see how he progresses overall through the summer and beyond.

Floyd retiring after 2015

Draft Sharks - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 03:05

Chargers WR Malcom Floyd has revealed that he will retire after the coming season. It's not surprising news for a 34-year-old wideout who has suffered a number of injuries along the way. But Floyd indicated that it's more about getting time with his family -- including 4 kids -- than about his body wearing down. This news doesn't affect the fantasy outlook of a veteran who is a fantasy reserve at best. Floyd will need to fend off Stevie Johnson for WR points behind Keenan Allen.

Malcom Floyd to retire following 2015 season

Fantasy Football Today - Tue, 06/09/2015 - 15:10

Chargers WR confirms retirement talk

The Chargers wide receiver reaffirmed Tuesday he will retire after the 2015 season. This long has been the plan for Malcom Floyd, who will turn 34 in September and is entering the final year of his contract. "I have four kids now," Floyd said. "I'm barely getting any time with them. I've got to go home and rest." (San Diego Union Tribune)

FF Today's Take: Floyd is entering his 12th NFL season coming off his best fantasy year with a 52-856-6 stat line in 2014 good for 29th among fantasy wideouts. He'll flirt with WR4 value this season and is worthy of a late-round flier in re-draft leagues.