2017 Fantasy Football: Notes







By Chet Gresham - @Chet_G
Updated May 23, 2017.

Follow @walterfootball for updates.

There truly is no offseason in the NFL, and that applies to fantasy as well. Below, I gather some of the more interesting tidbits from the news and look at them with a fantasy perspective.

May 26 Updates

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos.
Demaryius Thomas says, "This is the best I've felt in my whole career." So, you know where we are in the offseason. As always, take the praise for what it is, which are answers to questions like, "How did Bill Jones look out there?" Thomas feels good, which is better than feeling bad.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots.
Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to get onto the practice field and will ramp things up as we get closer to the season. The team just restructured his contract and must feel good about how he's recovered. Look for him to once again dominate while healthy.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers.
Kelvin Benjamin looks a little chunky in OTAs and has been getting some criticism from around the internets and beyond, but coach Ron Rivera says he likes where Benjamin's conditioning is and seems to be trying to get some of the heat off him. It's still early, and Benjamin will have plenty of time to slim down, so don't get to worked up over this in May.




Charles Clay, TE, Bills.
Charles Clay continues to battle knee problems and likely will continue doing so from here on out. The Bills will manage his reps, and he'll likely sit out quite a few practices and live on the injury report. Clay's someone who, when healthy, has good upside, but it doesn't look like he'll truly be healthy again.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, FA.
Colin Kaepernick visited with the Seahawks, and it appears the interest is mutual to sign him as a backup to Russell Wilson at some point. Hopefully, it works out because Seattle would be a great landing spot for him.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins.
The Dolphins are all about the offseason hype, and the newest hyperbolic statement is that Jay Ajayi could see 350 carries. This came from head coach Adam Gase himself, so it's likely just a proclamation that the Dolphins will run the ball, which would also mean they have leads more often than not. I also doubt Ajayi, with his hard-nosed running style, can put in 350 carries without hitting the injury report a few times.

Breshad Perriman, WR, Ravens.
Breshad Perriman has stood out in OTAs according to tight end Dennis Pitta, who says, "nobody is making more plays." Again, not much to glean from this other than Perriman is healthy and showing his ability, which we already knew was good. If he can stay healthy, he should see plenty of targets and has greater upside than his current ADP.




Corey Davis, WR, Titans.
Corey Davis had minor surgery on his ankle after injuring it training in January. He says he could play right now, but the Titans will take it slowly. Right now, this is likely a non-issue. Davis should easily win a starting job in camp and become useful in fantasy this year.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Saints.
The Saints are working on Adrian Peterson's receiving skills this offseason, which has been the case just about every offseason for Peterson, and will amount to nothing, especially on the Saints where there are three running backs with better receiving ability. Expect Peterson to be the battering ram while healthy.

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints.
Peterson's teammate Michael Thomas has added 10 pounds this offseason. He's now 220 pounds, which fits right into his 6-foot-3 frame. This feels like normal growth of a young receiver, but can only help him shed tackles and out-body defenders for the ball. Thomas is set up for a strong season with Brandin Cooks in Foxboro.

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Vikings.
Laquon Treadwell ran with the first team in OTAs and heard some praise from coach Shurmur, saying, "He's been out here competing and doing a nice job running routes and catching the ball." Shurmur went on to say, "He came back, and he was really on point with what he's supposed to be doing mentally." The good news here is that he's starting this year as the starter. There will be a lot of competition for targets in an offense that rather slow things down. It might be a while until we see fantasy rewards from Treadwell, but he does have ability.




Ryan Switzer, WR, Cowboys.
Rookie Ryan Switzer saw first-team reps with Cole Beasley sidelined due to a hamstring injury. Dak Prescott said, "He's got something special to him," which is better than saying, "Who?" Beasley will likely be the slot man for Dallas, but Switzer has the ability to beat him out at some point this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Patriots.
Jimmy Garoppolo is likely to stick with the Patriots past this season according to Adam Schefter. If this turns out to be true, Garoppolo's dynasty upside is sky high as the successor to Tom Brady, who despite his immortality, will likely want to take a vacation at some point.

Danny Woodhead, RB, Ravens.
Danny Woodhead is practicing without restrictions and should be a full go for preseason. He'll be in line for a ton of work in the passing game while Kenneth Dixon is out the first four weeks. Woodhead should afterward continue to be a factor in PPR, but will have a tougher time getting his full allotment of targets.

Kevin White, WR, Bears.
Kevin White can't get healthy, and now it's being reported that he is "working to align his stride" when running. That's not good news. We'll need to see him fully healthy on a practice field before investing much in him for fantasy, as his injuries all seem to stem from one injury that has picked up new injuries for the ride.




May 23 Updates

This is the time of the season where coaches give effusive praise to players they watched run around in shorts, so we have to always take everything they say with a grain of salt. But the fact they are talking about them at all does at least show those players are in the conversation to compete for playing time, so I do think it's worth at least noting what is being said.

John Brown, WR, Cardinals.
One player who we needed some positive information on is Cardinals receiver John Brown. Last season, he was slowed down by side effects of sickle cell and a cyst on his spine. Following surgery to drain the cyst, he says he quickly felt much better, and according to teammates and coach Bruce Arians, it showed out on the field. "Smoke looks like John Brown," said Arians. "A couple of those routes he ran, he did not run one route like that last year. Knock on wood it stays that way." With Michael Floyd in Minnesota and Larry Fitzgerald likely retiring after this season, this is John Brown's year to get things going, and if he can stay healthy, he should.

Samaje Perine, RB, Redskins.
Running back Samaje Perine impressed coach Jay Gruden in rookie minicamp. Gruden gave him some run-of-the-mill praise, but didn't mention anything about Robert Kelley and the starting running back position, whereas beat writers feel like Perine already has the upper hand for the job. I like Perine better myself, and he'll be the player I take in drafts this year, but hopefully the hype stays muted and he can be had for an okay ADP.



LeGarrette Blount, RB, Eagles.
LeGarrette Blount is an Eagle now. His addition fills a pretty big need for Philadelphia, which also means he should see plenty of work, as the team ranked fifth in the league in rushing attempts inside the opponent's five-yard line last season. Ryan Mathews scored eight touchdowns in 2016, so Blount should be in line for a strong number, but will again be more valuable in non-PPR leagues.

Joe Williams, RB, 49ers.
Beat writer Matt Maiocco believes rookie Joe Williams could become the starting running back over Carlos Hyde as early as Week 1 of the season. There is plenty of reason to believe new head coach Kyle Shanahan wants Williams to lead, as Shanahan picked him and Hyde is on the last season of his contract. The main problem is that Hyde is pretty darn good when healthy. If he stays healthy, I don't see Williams beating him out this year, but it would appear that any slip up on Hyde's part could lose him a lot of work to Williams.

Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs.
ESPN beat reporter Adam Teicher believes rookie Kareem Hunt will lead the team in rushing this season. This is just conjecturing of course, but there is no doubt Hunt and Spencer Ware will be fighting for that lead-back job. I like Ware, but whatever happens, there is a good chance they hurt each other's numbers.

DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins.
The DeVante Parker hype machine is in full effect. Offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen expects a "gigantic year" from Parker, while Parker says he expects to have a "big season." Those are technical football terms that I doubt y'all could understand, but it means they think he will do well at playing football. The Dolphins will likely build their offense off of Jay Ajayi, but Parker has the ability to be a No. 1 wide receiver and should be their main red-zone threat through the air.

Josh Doctson, WR, Redskins.
Washington has a strong receiving corps, but it could be elite if Josh Doctson is healthy and lives up to his potential. So far the news is good, with reports that he "has looked quick and healthy this offseason."

Jamaal Charles, RB, Broncos.
Denver beat reporter Mike Kilis believe Jamaal Charles has a 50/50 chance of making the roster. Charles' contract has no guarantees, so he is expendable unless he really shows he is back to his old form. Kilis is purely guessing of course, but Charles won't be handed a job.



Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals.
Andy Dalton believes the Bengals' offense will make "a big jump" this year with the addition of John Ross' speed and Joe Mixon's versatility. Dalton went on to say that that one of the reasons the Bengals drafted Mixon was because he could run and catch, so they wouldn't tip defenses off with him in the backfield. That's fairly damning to Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard. Mixon has a good chance to win the starting job early.

Eddie Lacy, RB, Seahawks.
Eddie Lacy earned a $55,000 bonus for weighing 253 pounds - his team specified goal was 255 -, and there are a bunch of other incentives built into his contract. He has a lot of carrots to chase this year and if he keeps eating them, he should be able to stay in shape, make some money and lead the Packers at running back.



Ladarius Green, RB, Steelers.
The Steelers released Ladarius Green due to his concussion trouble. It's always sad to see someone with so much talent be unable to use it. Green may try to continue in the NFL, but he'll need to pass concussion protocol, and the chances of him staying healthy will remain very slim. The Steelers have Jesse James, Xavier Grimble and David Johnson at tight end with James as the likely starter. Green's absence will likely help Martavis Bryant the most, as Green was a good field stretcher.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB, Bucs.
The Buccaneers signed Ryan Fitzpatrick as their backup. He's awful.



For earlier fantasy notes from this offseason, check out the Fantasy Notes archive.

Also, check out our Fantasy Football Rankings.






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