2015 Fantasy Football News by Chet Gresham







By Chet Gresham - @ChetGresham

Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Fantasy Football News: Sept. 1, 2015

Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III, QBs, Redskins
Jay Gruden has benched Robert Griffin III and named Kirk Cousins the starting quarterback. This team is not saving the drama for their mothers; instead, they are playing it out in front of a disinterested crowd. Cousins has been bad, but so has RG III. Of course, this organization is dysfunctional at best, and Griffin had little hope of surviving the poor decisions that ooze from Dan Snyder down. RG III will most likely be cut and would do well to sign with an organization that in fact can tell its arse from a hole in the ground.

Julius Thomas, TE, Jaguars
Julius Thomas' finger injury wasn't supposed to keep him out of any regular-season games, but now, the news has gotten a lot less optimistic as he needs surgery and will most likely miss the first 3-5 games. This, of course, knocks him down the rankings into close to undraftable unless you are in a 2-TE league. He has had trouble with injuries in the past, and of course, he already had a huge downgrade going from Denver to Jacksonville. I think he can become a top-tier tight end if he can stay healthy, but I'm going to pass on him for redraft this season.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills
The Bills have named Tyrod Taylor their starting quarterback. This is good news for fantasy because any running quarterback is worth keeping on your radar, and with the competition he had, there's no reason he's not actually the best choice for real football as well. I wouldn't put much stock in him for single-quarterback leagues, but he should be owned in 2-QB leagues already.




DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
Miami rookie wide receiver DeVante Parker was able to practice for the first time since he had a foot operation in June. This is great news, and he now has 13 days of practice to get ready for Week 1. He likely won't play much in Week 1 as he gets into game shape, but if he plays at all, that will be a good sign for him to ramp things up in Week 2. This Dolphins' offense is one I'm investing in, and Parker is a nice piece who can be had later in drafts.

Fred Jackson, RB, None
The Bills released Fred Jackson today. At 34, you would think his career would be over, but Jackson just had his best receiving season just last year, and his veteran presence as a sure-handed receiver and good pass-blocker will bring about plenty of interest and will most likely increase his fantasy value.

Montee Ball, RB, Broncos
Montee Ball is in danger of being cut after falling behind Ronnie Hillman and possibly Juwan Thompson. If Thompson sticks, it will be due to his special teams play, which Ball probably never thought would be his, and could land on a running back-needy team. Ball just hasn't shown enough for anyone to be overly optimistic about his future.

Trent Richardson, RB, None
In news that won't shock anyone, the Raiders cut running back Trent Richardson. He looked completely done by the time he arrived in Indianapolis, and there was little hope for him reviving his career in Oakland. There most likely won't be any teams willing to give him another shot at this point, and they shouldn't.




Josh Scobee, K, Steelers
The Steelers traded for Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee. He'll be worth a fantasy pick, as Pittsburgh should put up plenty of points this season. The Steelers' kickers have been cursed so far this preseason with Shaun Suisham and now Garrett Hartley done for the year. Hartley had a severe hamstring injury in Week 3 of preseason and has now been put on injured reserve.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers
Martavis Bryant's four-game suspension was upheld. We knew it would be, but that is sad news for fantasy. Bryant is a force anytime he's on the field and should still be drafted ahead of his ADP, so you have him on your 0-4 team that he will then take to 10-4 in a blink of an eye.

Joique Bell, RB, Lions
Joique Bell has finally returned from the PUP list and will begin practicing. He'll need to show up - and fast - if he wants to keep Ameer Abdullah and Zach Zenner from stealing snaps from him. Bell has been a good goal-line back and will most likely hold onto that role as long as he can stay healthy, but the vultures are circling.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
T.Y Hilton suffered a concussion in the third preseason game and will go into the league's concussion protocol. There are still 13 days until the Colts play, so it seems like he'll be cleared by then, but it's worth watching.





Fantasy Football News: Aug. 28, 2015

Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers
Martavis Bryant has been suspended four games for multiple failed marijuana tests. This sheds some light on why he was playing in the third quarter of last week's preseason game and why everyone in the Steelers organization is pumping up Markus Wheaton for player of the century. So now, we have a dilemma. The Steelers' offense is still going to be good, and after Bryant returns from suspension, whoever is the No. 2 receiver then will be the one you want to own. Will that be Wheaton, who will have a huge lead on Bryant, or will Bryant's superior ability win out in the end? It's a tough choice, but I see Bryant as a talent who can't be kept off the field. It will be tougher to roster him on teams with short benches, but there are only two teams with byes in Week 4, so as long as you are careful, it's pretty doable.

As far as those first four weeks of the season, we should see Antonio Brown get a million or so targets with Bryant and Bell out. Brown'll be a daily fantasy must-play across the board.

Breshad Perriman, WR, Ravens
There currently is no timetable for when Baltimore rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman will return to practice. The recovery for his sprained PCL has gone slower than expected. On a wide receiver-depleted team, Perriman was almost assured the No. 2 receiver position, but now it looks like he could miss Week 1 while also being behind on his reps. But the fact that he really is the only good option the Ravens have, they will wait on him, and he should be able to get his spot back. That still keeps Perriman in the redraft realm, and even though his injury issue is concerning, he makes for a nice pick if he falls.

Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman, RBs, Falcons
Rookie running back Tevin Coleman will be able to play in the Falcons' third preseason game, while second-year back Devonta Freeman is practicing, but there has yet to be word on if he'll play or not. At this point, if both are healthy, I'd put money on there being something of a committee approach to start the season. And after that, who really knows. Coleman would be the higher-upside back of the two, but unless one really takes a lead, their fantasy values will be capped by each other.


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Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears
The Bears' wide receivers continue to either be injured or injured; Chicago has Alshon Jeffery still out due to a calf injury, Marquess Wilson out with a hamstring, Eddie Royal with a hip, and of course, Kevin White will be on the PUP list to start the season with a stress fracture. At this point, there is no real concern that Royal or Jeffery will miss any time. After White's injury, the Bears will most likely bubble wrap those two going into the season. Wilson's injury is a tough one if it lingers as he needs the reps and the Bears need him to fill the No. 3 receiver position. He still makes for a decent flier, but in smaller leagues, he'll be on the waiver wire for you if needed.

Karlos Williams, RB, Bills
Bills rookie running back Karlos Williams was seen at team facilities walking with a limp after needing surgery for an undisclosed malady. Before his surgery, he was looking as if he would compete for the backup position behind LeSean McCoy, but for now, that job should remain Fred Jackson's.

McCoy is also still hurt with a hamstring injury and should be able to return Week 1, but that's not 100 percent. We'll get plenty of updates on his status over the next two weeks.

E.J. Manuel, QB, Bills
Bills coach Rex Ryan has picked his third-string quarterback E.J. Manuel to start Week 3 of the preseason. Ryan seems to believe the Colts' defense will be confused as to which quarterback they will face in Week 1 and forfeit, but this most likely will hurt the Bills' chances of finding any kind of game-time continuity with either Matt Cassel or Tyrod Taylor.

Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz's status for Week 1 is still up in the air after needing groin surgery. Offensive coordinator Pat Shumur "assumes" Ertz could still be ready for Week 1, but much will depend on when he can return to the practice field. Expect Jordan Matthews to get some extra targets while Ertz is hurting.

Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals
The Cardinals' brass remains optimistic that Floyd could play in Week 1 after grossly dislocating three of his fingers. The target distribution between Floyd, John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald remains a mystery for this season, but John Brown seems to be getting the most praise out of camp, especially from quarterback Carson Palmer.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 26, 2015

Ty Montgomery, WR, Packers
Rookie wide receiver Ty Montgomery is currently ahead of Jeff Janis for the coveted No. 3 receiver spot. Janis' metrics appear more in line to replace Jordy Nelson, but his continued inconsistency has him battling Montgomery. Neither has the surest of hands, but Montgomery's game is made more for the slot while Janis' is made for the outside. Both should be owned for now as we watch the battle continue.

Reggie Wayne, WR, Patriots
The New England Patriots signed veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne to an 1-year contract worth $2.8 million, plus a $450,000 signing bonus. The amount is a bit surprising for a soon-to-be-37-year-old receiver who looked washed-up last year.

This signing could mean there's more to Brandon LaFell's foot injury than we imagined. Julian Edelman is also missing practice, but the buzz is that he's close to returning. Not giving information out about injuries is the Patriot Way, and Wayne's contract is the only concrete evidence that maybe New England will really need him, at least at the start of the season.

Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans left Monday night's game with a strained hamstring and will not play the rest of preseason. This most likely is to give him as much rest as possible without pushing him over the next two weeks. Lovie Smith says he isn't worried about Evans' status for Week 1.

Brian Hoyer, QB, Texans
Texans coach Bill O'Brien named Brian Hoyer his starting quarterback for Week 1. This isn't much of a surprise of course, but this team probably needs some stability, even if that is Hoyer.

Arian Foster, RB, Texans
The better news in Houston is the fact that Arian Foster isn't landing on the PUP list to start the season. The beat reporter who most looks like a bulldog ready to eat your face, John McClain, also reports that Foster could be available as soon as Week 4. For those who got a big discount on him after the more catastrophic prognosis, congrats. There is, of course, concern that he will reinjure or take longer to return to the field, but Foster, for all his injuries, has recovered well and played great quickly after returning.

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars
Jacksonville rookie T.J. Yeldon will play in Week 3 of the preseason. He had been sidelined with a sprained finger, and some reports had him in a timeshare with Denard Robinson, but with a nice showing in the all-important dress rehearsal of Week 3, Yeldon could win a much larger share to start the year.



Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots
We've now seen three running backs in the lead for the Patriots' third-down back spot. First it was James White, and then Brandon Bolden, and now Dion Lewis, who played with the first-stringers Saturday night. The next game should give us a bit more clarity on who will be the starter, but it's looking like Belichick could do his usual running back bingo.

Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
Peyton Manning hasn't been able to feel the tips of his fingers on his throwing hand since the neck surgeries that caused him to miss the 2011 season. This isn't new for Manning, so it shouldn't change your opinion too much on his outlook for this season. His numbers, of course, will drop as the Broncos pump up their rushing game and slow down their pace, but Manning is still deadly with the short pass and his ability to read defenses. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will get theirs and help Manning with their run-after-the-catch ability.

Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle, RBs, Cowboys
Darren McFadden started the second preseason game, while Lance Dunbar worked as the passing-down back. Joseph Randle didn't come in until Tony Romo had left the game. Randle had the better game, but this is a strong sign that he is in no way in control of this backfield. Draft at your own risk while you push McFadden reluctantly up your rankings and hope the Cowboys sign some team's leftover running back who is probably better than both.

Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos
Ronnie Hillman has shown in the past that he is a good NFL running back, but injury kept him from holding C.J. Anderson off. But Hillman's now back and looking great in preseason, averaging more than seven yards per carry. Anderson will no doubt remain the workhorse back, but Denver is going to be hard-pressed to keep Hillman off the field. The good news is that the Broncos will run the ball more this season, and Hillman should be able to get looks without hurting Anderson's upside too much.

Joique Bell, RB, Lions
Joique Bell still hasn't practiced yet, and the countdown is on. Matthew Stafford said the Lions would use a backfield by committee, which we already knew, but this makes it seem like that committee is truly pliable and Ameer Abdullah just needs to play well enough to dominate said committee.

Bell won't be able to play in the dress-rehearsal preseason game next week, so it will be interesting to see when and how Zach Zenner plays. Zenner is the best backup for Bell, and his early-down work and with Bell's injury, it would seem counterproductive to cut Zenner for the less offensively talented George Winn, but that is still a real possibility.

Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Ravens
Ravens' running back Lorenzo Taliaferro will miss a few weeks after spraining his MCL. This puts his Week 1 status in doubt. He is the short-yardage/goal-line back and was threatening to take some early down work from Justin Forsett, but now, we should see more Buck Allen, who is not nearly as good a short-yardage back as Taliaferro, but is bigger than Forsett. The good news for Allen backers is that he should get more reps and could beat out Taliaferro for the No. 2 spot behind Forsett with a good showing.

Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers
For everyone, including myself, who thought it was just a matter of time before Martavis Bryant beat out Markus Wheaton for the No. 2 spot, well, it appears the writing is on the wall. Wheaton continues to play ahead of Bryant, and Ben Roethlisberger appears to be in-synch with him as shown in the last preseason game when they connected on three passes, including a touchdown. Bryant's skill is evident, and the Steelers will be running three-receiver sets more often than not, so Bryant will still see more snaps than he had last year, but his efficiency will need to remain extremely high for him to live up to his fifth-round ADP.

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
Todd Gurley has been cleared for team drills, but still can't take contact. He will not play in the preseason, and the first game or two are still in question, but coach Fisher did say Gurley doesn't need to play in preseason to be able to play in Week 1. He will play at some point and has a ton of ability on a good rushing and defensive team, so taking the risk on him in fantasy is not a huge risk.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 18, 2015

Chris Johnson, RB, Cardinals
Chris Johnson has signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Last season, with the Jets, he averaged 4.3 yards per carry on 155 carries while catching 24 passes. Johnson was his usual boom-or-bust self as he doesn't have between-the-tackles ability, but he wasn't useless either. Johnson's now 30 years old and isn't going to be a lead back in any system at this point, but with Andre Ellington and David Johnson having trouble staying healthy, it looks like the Cardinals want to build some depth at the position, which could point to some creative running-back-by-committee scenarios. Bruce Arians would love to be able to give Ellington his 20-plus touches a game, but I think he's realizing that might not be in the cards.

Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
Victor Cruz has now been removed from practice restrictions 10 months after his patellar tendon surgery. He says he is now 100 percent. Patellar tendon injuries aren't something to scoff at, so I'm not as 100 percent as Cruz is, but he could easily rack up plenty of receptions out of the slot in Ben McAdoo's fast-paced offense. But, I'm going to remain cautious in targeting Cruz this season.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
The Green Bay Packers ran 970 total plays last season, or 15.2 per quarter, which ranked them 20th overall. But as far as production goes, they were third in total touchdowns scored and fourth in total fantasy points scored. That's what I call efficiency. But now, the Packers want to ramp up the speed of their offense, and they tried it out in their first preseason game with their starters and managed a whopping 33 plays in the first quarter, which more than doubled the team's 2014 average. That bodes quite well for Green Bay's already top-of-the-heap offensive starters. Feel free grabbing any of them at, or before, their ADP this season.

Kevin White, WR, Bears
Chicago Bears rookie receiver Kevin White will have a rod inserted into his leg to help stabilize his tibia to repair a stress fracture. He will go on the PUP list and miss at least the first six games with a chance he could miss the whole season. White is safe to take off your draft boards, but you should also bump up Martellus Bennett, Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson.

Julius Thomas, TE, Jaguars
Julius Thomas' broken finger should be fine for the start of the season. He'll need to wear a soft pad that shouldn't hinder his ability to catch the ball. It is worrisome of course, but if the injury drops him down in drafts, he should be a nice value pick as he was looking great in practice before his injury and should be the second-most targeted receiver on the Jaguars next to Allen Robinson.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington
DeSean Jackson appears like he'll be ready for Washington's third preseason game, or as they are usually called, the "dress rehearsal" game. He has a sprained AC joint, but appears to have most of his range of motion back according to coach Jay Gruden. I'm not high on any of Washington's players, but if Jackson's ADP slips due to his injury, he makes for a value grab.

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, RBs, Falcons
Both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman returned to practice today after being sidelined due to hamstring injuries. Neither had really won the job when they left with their injuries, so the next couple preseason games should help decipher the situation. There's a decent chance the Falcons will just start out with a committee. Freeman is the incumbent, so he has the inside track, but Coleman has a little more overall upside.

Josh Robinson, RB, Colts
Colts rookie running back Josh Robinson didn't get into his first preseason game until the second half, but he did rush 10 times for 44 yards and a touchdown. Robinson has plenty of backs in front of him at the moment, but also has the most upside of Frank Gore's backups. I like taking a flier on Robinson in deep leagues.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 15, 2015

Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz will now miss the entire preseason with a "core muscle injury" down in his nether regions and had surgery today to fix a partial groin tear. It looks like he'll be able to go Week 1 unless he has a setback, but he's still having trouble passing Brent Celek due to blocking ability. All reports have been positive regarding Ertz's progress as a blocker, but it looks like he still has some left to prove to Chip Kelly, which he won't be able to do from the sidelines. I'd bump Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor up a bit as both should be on the field for the majority of snaps and will make good red-zone targets, especially if Ertz isn't on the field.

Niles Paul, TE, Washington
The first big slate of preseason games Thursday night brought the dreaded preseason season-ending injury for Niles Paul, as he fractured and dislocated his ankle. This sets up extremely well for Jordan Reed to get the bulk of the tight end work now. His biggest obstacle now is his own health, as he missed the first preseason game with a hamstring injury.

Bishop Sankey, RB, Titans
Bishop Sankey appears to be winning back some of the coaching staff in Tennessee after a poor rookie campaign and looks to be the clear leader for the majority of snaps to start the season. It does help that no other running back has really pushed him, including rookie David Cobb. As the 41st running back off the board, there is still value in hoping for a bounce-back season.

Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals
Andre Ellington missed a week of practice with a hamstring injury, but returned this week and will be ready for Friday night's preseason game. That's good news, as he looks to continue playing well ahead of rookie David Johnson, who continues to sit due to a hamstring injury himself.

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions
Ameer Abdullah took his OTA and training camp momentum and kept it moving ahead with a nice first preseason game, rushing seven times for 67 yards. The most memorable play from Abdullah with this 45-yard run, which shows his shiftiness, burst and speed.



Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears
Alshon Jeffery injured his calf Thursday night and is considered day-to-day. It's probably nothing, but this, added to Kevin White's shin injury, isn't the best news the Bears could get.

Jace Amaro, TE, Jets
New York Jets tight end Jace Amaro went down with a shoulder injury Thursday night and was quickly carted off. We'll need to wait on a diagnosis. Overall, this isn't a big moving piece in fantasy, but he did/does have a shot to improve this season and become TE2 relevant.

Josh Hill, TE, Saints
New Orleans tight end Josh Hill's stock has fallen quite a bit as news of him being behind Ben Watson and some lackluster practices, but he did manage to bring in three passes for 40 yards in the 2-minute drill before half. Of course, this was with the second team, but for fantasy, we'd like to see him take over Watson. If that happens, Hill has a lot of upside.

Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Ravens
Lorenzo Taliaferro didn't put up big numbers in the first preseason game, but he ran with the first team and scored a touchdown. Taliaferro could easily be the goal-line back and even get some early down work this season, which would hurt Justin Forsett in standard leagues, but Forsett should still be PPR gold.

Zach Zenner, RB, Lions
The Lions' other rookie running back Zach Zenner went to work on the second team as he rushed 13 times for 55 yards and caught a pass. Of course, this was against lesser defenders, but many draft gurus were all over Zenner coming out of college. He has much more overall ability than Theo Riddick and is a must dynasty pick-up if he's out there for some unknown reason.

Jonas Gray, RB, Patriots
Jonas Gray had a strong game against the Packers Thursday night, as he rushed seven times for 74 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion. LeGarrette Blount is still the starter and has looked good in camp, so there doesn't seem to be any real competition for the lead-running back role, but Gray will most likely get the start against the Steelers opening day since Blount is suspended. Gray will also likely be next in line if Blount were to fall to the injury bug.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
Melvin Gordon didn't distinguish himself Thursday night, as he rushed six times for 11 yards and was upstaged by the diminutive Danny Woodhead, who took a third down draw play for an eight-yard touchdown. Gordon will most likely get things going, but will have his fantasy upside capped by Woodhead who will handle passing downs.

Gus Johnson, RB, Cowboys
Cowboys' running back Gus Johnson suffered a separated shoulder Thursday night. He was one of the few healthy Cowboys running backs, and now, they are down to, let me see, oh, Lache Seastrunk, whom the coaches don't trust to play much actual football. All in all, this is good for Joseph Randle, who is back at practice and was held out Thursday as a precaution.

Robert Hughes, RB/FB, Cardinals
Cardinals' fullback/running back Robert Hughes looks to have won the goal-line back duties. Arizona only scored six rushing touchdowns last season, so there isn't a ton of upside with Hughes, but with Carson Palmer, this offense should be better. If you are in a touchdown-only league, Hughes will be worth a flier.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 13, 2015

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
The Rams expect rookie running back Todd Gurley to miss the first couple games of the season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. This seems to be the way the wind has turned after Gurley said he wasn't sure about the first game of the season. His stock is falling a bit with this news, and Tre Mason's is rising, but it's still nearly a month until the season starts, and a lot can happen.

Arian Foster, RB, Texans
The Texans have a month to decide how they handle Arian Foster's injury, but the news has gone from horrible to not-as-horrible. Texans beat writer John McClain (no relation to the Die Hard guy) believes, at worst, Foster will return for the last eight games of the season with a chance that he could come back earlier. As it is, Foster is still worth a pick in the eigth/ninth round, especially if your league has an IR spot.

Brian Hartline, WR, Browns
According to Browns' beat reporter Tony Grossi, Brian Hartline will lead the team in receptions this season. Grossi hasn't been able to see much of Dwayne Bowe due to injury, so he may not have all the information he needs to make an informed prognostication here, but it's still a pretty big indictment on the receiving group in Cleveland to even suggest Hartline is the best receiver on the team. The only hope for the Browns is if Terrelle Pryor becomes Randy Moss immediately.

Garrett Graham, TE, Texans
Here's an update to our official Garrett Graham watch. Well, this will be the first one, but there might be more later that we then can call an update, but I digress. Graham is getting some love from Josh Harris of the Texans' official site, who says Graham is "completely dominating" and "it's as if he's playing pitch and catch with the quarterbacks with how open he gets himself downfield." Graham is much more of an offensive skill player than a blocker, so if he can get on the field it will be due to his receiving ability. Graham's worth keeping an eye on in two-tight end leagues.

Brandon Coleman, WR, Saints
Saints beat reporter Mike Triplett believes Brandon Coleman has a shot at winning the No. 3 receiver job. His main competition is Nick Toon, and at this point, both make for nice late-round grabs, especially with Marques Colston's knees now drawing Medicare.

Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals
Cincinnati wide receiver Marvin Jones was able to practice in full pads for the first time this training camp. His ability is unquestioned, but his injuries cause a big question in fantasy. He did practice with the first team, which was nice to see after he had been practicing with the second and even third team. Tyler Eifert and, of course, A.J. Green look like the No. 1 and No. 2 targets right now, but Jones could easily move up next to Eifert if he can stay healthy.

Corey Fuller, WR, Lions
The No. 3 receiver job in Detroit isn't the best one for fantasy, but in deeper leagues, it will be worth keeping an eye on and, right now, Corey Fuller has it all but locked up. Beat reporter Jim Twentyman reports that Fuller is making sensational plays every practice and from a variety of routes. When a player starts to show more than just not being worse than the No. 4 receiver, it's always worth bumping him up your rankings a bit.

Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
The Doug Martin hype continues, as NFL Network's Mike Mayock reports the Bucs believe Martin is back to the player he was his rookie season. He's slimmed down and looks to have much more burst. This comes after a couple lost seasons in which Martin couldn't top four yards per carry. As long as he can stay healthy and show this new-found life, he'll keep moving up draft boards. And if Martin can wrestle away some of the third-down/passing duties from Charles Sims, he could really have some fantasy value.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 12, 2015

Geno Smith, QB, Jets
In one of the more bizzare stories in the NFL, which is saying quite a bit, Geno Smith will be out 6-10 weeks with a broken jaw. How did his jaw break you ask? Oh, he was "sucker punched" by linebacker IK Enemkpali in the locker room (who was promptly released). Smith's best possible outcome is playing by Week 4, but he could also land on the PUP list, which would have him out through Week 8. Smith was having, by all reports, a positive camp. He now faces an obstacle he surely didn't need for this season.
The biggest winner here is Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will start the season behind center. He's not going to put up big numbers, but does have a decent receiving crew with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Fitzpatrick's worth grabbing in any 2-QB league he's available in and could actually help Decker and Marshall somewhat. At the very least, Fitzpatrick is not dampening my outlook for those two.

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
Todd Gurley is in the news again, and will probably continue to be moving forward, because his timetable to return to the field is extremely important to when we grab him in drafts. The latest from Gurley is that he is not certain if he will be ready for Week 1. It had appeared he would be ready, but would be splitting time with Tre Mason. Of course, this is still all speculation, even on the players' part, so the takeaway is that Gurley is going to be a question mark at the beginning of the season.

Chris Johnson, RB, TBD
Chris Johnson is currently mulling over an offer to play for the Arizona Cardinals. Coach Bruce Arians has not been quiet about his consternation with the current running backs and is looking to shake things up. I'm guessing Johnson would show well in practices where he's not getting leveled, and we could have some sense of a controversy, but it's apparent that he is no longer the player he once was and that he no longer likes getting hit by defenders.

Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants
Rashad Jennings is officially listed as the Giants' starting running back. He will most likely lose snaps to Shane Vereen in hurry-up/third-down situations, but Jennings is poised to get the bulk of the work in a high-powered offense. At his seventh-round ADP, he continues to be a value pick.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
Just think, if Sammy Watkins had Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball instead of [insert Bills scrub QB here]? The praise is continuing to build for Watkins, whom beat reporter Joe Buscaglia says, "lit training camp on fire with how well he's played." Talent sometimes can overcome situation, and Watkins has plenty of it. I'm not going to advocate reaching for him in your draft this season, but he's just too good to let slide.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Browns
Dwayne Bowe, who just came from a team that threw a total of ZERO touchdowns to receivers, including himself if you were wondering, has been nursing a hamstring injury like most of the known NFL world. Of course, the good news for Bowe is that he's the main receiver in Cleveland, but that's really the extent of the good news for now.

Joique Bell, RB, Lions
It looks like Joique Bell is getting close to returning to practice, as he's ramped up his sideline work. This is just a reminder that yes, Ameer Abdullah is very good, but if Bell is there, the early down-between-the-tackles and goal-line work will remain his. Abdullah should be drafted ahead of Bell in PPR leagues, but I'd be more wary in standard.

Garrett Hartley, K, Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed free agent kicker Garrett Hartley after losing Shaun Suisham to an ACL tear. Hartley will be erratic, especially in Heinz Field, but the Steelers will be scoring a bunch of points this season, boosting Hartley's fantasy value.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 11, 2015

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots
LeGarrette Blount injured his MCL, but it looks like it was minor, as he was running a hill today at practice. That's good news, and you should keep Blount on your radar, as he'll be in line for all of the Patriots' goal-line carries this season (after his Week 1 vacation).

Brandon Bolden, RB, Patriots
This is the time of the year when starters become backups and backups become starters every other day. The latest player to jump into a starting slot is the Patriots' Brandon Bolden, who has passed James White, who had been in the lead for the job. According to Karen Giregian of the Boston Herald, White's play has fallen off ever since the pads came on, which is what she observed last year as well. Move Bolden up your ranks.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins
Dolphins' running back Jay Ajayi continues to come up short to many prognosticators' prognostications. He currently sits fourth on the running back depth chart behind Lamar Miller, Damien Williams and LaMichael James. Unless we see a big surge from Ajayi, Williams will remain your Miller backup and Miller will have little competition as the lead back.

Shaun Suisham, K, Steelers
Shaun Suisham tore his left ACL during the Hall of Fame Game Sunday night and will miss all of the 2015 season. This is actually a big blow to the Steelers' real football chances. Kicking in Pittsburgh can be a trial, and Suisham had gone through those trials and come out ahead. The Steelers will now go after one of the veteran kickers cracking their toes outside Heinz Field.

Niles Paul, TE, Washington
Niles Paul continues to get a fantasy boost, as he was listed as the No. 1 tight end for Washington, but also getting some positive buzz from his coach Jay Gruden, who called Paul a more complete player. That means he can block, and that he can stay on the field and not hurt the Redskins' offensive scheme. The fact that he's also a good receiver makes him worth rostering even if Jordan Reed cuts into his work.

Steve Smith, WR, Ravens
Steve Smith announced this will be his final season. This will make his 15th year in the NFL, and it has been an amazing career, which we will see plenty of as each Ravens game will have plenty of Smith retirement-related rapport between the broadcasters. As far as this season goes, it's amazing that he's even still on the fantasy radar in his 15th year, but he very much is. His tenacity, ability and place on a wide receiver-weak team makes for what should be a good fantasy retirement season.

Duke Johnson, RB, Browns
The absence of Browns running back Duke Johnson due to a balky hamstring may not be quite the death knell to his 2015 season that some might think. According to ESPN's Adam Caplan, the Browns are being extremely conservative with Johnson's hamstring, in part because they still have big plans for him this season, and Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West have not stood out in training camp. When Johnson returns, he could easily win playing time.

Tavon Austin, WR, Rams
Tavon Austin is listed as a first-team receiver on the Rams' initial depth chart. This is most likely due to the fact Brian Quick is still returning from injury, but could it mean that Stedman Bailey will have some trouble knocking Austin out of the No. 3 position? Austin has big-play ability, but doesn't look like he'll be a consistent receiver. It's worth keeping an eye on, but Quick is whom I want in that receiving core right now.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 10, 2015

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
The good news is that Todd Gurley is practicing and not on the PUP list, but coach Jeff Fisher says Gurley won't play in any preseason games, but that fact wouldn't keep him out of regular-season games as long as he's ready. Fisher also said that Gurley will rotate with Tre Mason during the regular season. This dampens the fire for Gurley a bit, but once he gets going, it will be hard to take him out of the game.

Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns
The Browns' running back situation was already confusing enough, but injuries are confusing things even more. Duke Johnson was hyped to compete for the starting position, but he remains out with a strained hamstring, while Terrance West returned to practice on Sunday. With West and Johnson out, Isaiah Crowell remained the lead back and journeyman Shaun Draughn worked in the third-down role. With West back, look for him to take over Draughn's role, but if Johnson can get back soonish, he could make some moves, especially after running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery called out his running backs on Sunday, notably Crowell for not seizing the opportunity.

Jonas Gray, RB, Patriots
Jonas Gray appears to be next in line for early down work behind LeGarrette Blount. Gray has lost 10 pounds and appears to have more burst according to observers. Blount is on the sidelines due to a MCL and will also miss Week 1 due to suspension. Look for Gray to get first-team work while Blount is injured and in Week 1.

Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars
Allen Hurns continues to perform well in training camp, almost assuring him the No. 2 receiver job opposite Allen Robinson, while Marqise Lee continues to battle nagging injuries. This is good news for Hurns, since it appears the Jaguars will go to a more two-tight end base offense, which would keep the No. 3 wide receiver off the field.

Niles Paul, TE, Washington
Tight end Niles Paul is currently listed as the starter ahead of Jordan Reed. Washington has two starting-caliber tight ends there, and we could easily see them cancel each other out for fantasy. Both have tremendous upside as a full-time starter, but right now, that doesn't seem to be in the cards unless Reed is injured once again.

Steven Ridley, RB, Jets
New York Jets running back Steven Ridley appears close to returning from the PUP list. After tearing two knee ligaments last season, the team will most likely go slow with him, especially with Chris Ivory getting more responsibility in the receiving game and preparing to be the lead back all season. Ridley will be a nice backup to Ivory if he has trouble staying on the field though and can be had for pennies.

Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals
The Tyler Eifert hype machine is grinding at full efficiency, as is Eifert himself. So far, he has been the star of camp and appears to be Andy Dalton's main target whenever he gets into a jam, according to Bengals' beat reporter Geoff Hobson. With Marvin Jones having trouble getting back fully, we should see plenty of Eifert, and his ability means we should see plenty of fantasy points from him as well.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 7, 2015

LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
The always-verbose Rex Ryan also has a verbose playbook for the rushing game. Ryan says the Bills will "have probably the biggest playbook in the history of man in our running game." The lead back to this pinnacle-of-humankind rushing playbook will be LeSean McCoy. McCoy had a poor 2014 under Chip Kelly, but is looking to command this Buffalo rushing game and could lead the league in attempts if he stays healthy.

C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos
New Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has always had, or at least tried to have, a good running game. In his 20 years as a NFL coach, his rushing offense has ranked outside the top 12 only five times. For the Broncos, he says he believes in a "bell cow" back who can handle all the starting running back duties instead of breaking them up between specialized backs. This, of course, is great news for C.J. Anderson, who is poised for a breakout season.

Running Backs, Texans
Free agent running back Pierre Thomas declined the Houston Texans' offer of the veteran minimum after Arian Foster went down with a severe groin tear. There, of course, is plenty of time for the Texans to add another back, but as it is now, Alfred Blue is first in line for starting snaps, especially with Chris Polk out with yet another hamstring injury.

Joseph Randle, RB, Cowboys
In the ongoing saga of who will be the Cowboys' running back, team Vice President Stephen Jones says they haven't shut the door on the possibility of adding another back at some point. Joseph Randle is still very much in the lead for the job, especially with Darren McFadden still on the shelf, but a veteran back like Pierre Thomas would cut into Randle's snaps.

Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals
Michael Floyd dislocated three fingers and had surgery to repair them, which should keep him sidelined for around a month or two. There have been reports that he wouldn't miss the first week, but others that say he'll get pins out in a month and then need to rehab 2 to 4 weeks. I would most likely err on the side of caution and assume he'll miss, or at least be limited in, the first couple weeks of the season. John Brown and Juron Brown get a slight bump over this. Jaren Brown was unavailable for comment.

Kevin White, WR, Bears
Bears' rookie receiver Kevin White could start the season on the PUP list with his shin injury according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. This is not good news for any rookie, but especially one on a John Fox-coached team. White will have a lot of ground to make up, and while he does that, Eddie Royal appears to be the No. 2 receiver who will continue to benefit.

Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders
Raiders' running back Latavius Murray has been getting all of the first-team reps in practice and appears to be in line for the lion's share of running back touches this year. We know he has the speed, power and ability to be a top back in the right system, so this is a good start.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 5, 2015

Arian Foster, RB, Texans
Oh, Arian Foster, why hath the fantasy gods made your lower soft-tissue parts all delicate and tearable? If only we could answer that question, but we can't, and Mr. Foster has suffered a groin injury that appears to require surgery, according to the Houston Chronicle. It looks like a good guess for when he might return would be Week 10. There's not much hope for earlier than that, with some thought that he could miss the whole season. Unless you can draft an IR spot, I'm going to stay away from Foster since I do not want to carry dead weight on my bench for over half a season.

Running Backs, Texans
The Texans want to hide their quarterback and lean heavily on the run game, but they just went from one of the best backs in the league to some of the worst. Right now, Alfred Blue is second on the depth chart, but his 3.1 yards per carry last season is not going to automatically give him the job. The Texans also have Chris Polk and Jonathan Grimes on the roster, and we could easily see a committee in Houston. But there is a very good chance the Texans will bring in some running backs who are waiting in the wings, like (in no particular order) Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Ahmad Bradshaw, Knowshon Moreno or Pierre Thomas, or try to trade/wait for a back who is the odd man out in training camp competition. The name that seems to come up often is the Seahawks' Christine Michael, but there will be plenty of camp casualties.

UPDATE: It appears the Texans' first choice to replace Foster is Pierre Thomas. He is currently on his way to Houston to take a physical and meet with the team. Thomas was helped by Sean Payton's running back-friendly offense, but has always proved to be an above-average player. Thomas turned 30 last December, but has never had a big workload with 147 carries and 77 receptions in 2013 being the peak usage for his career. He has totaled 818 rushing attempts over his career, averaging 4.6 yards per carry with 28 rushing touchdowns and has caught 327 of 389 targets for 12 receiving touchdowns.

If Thomas does pass his physical and signs with the Texans, he automatically becomes a viable fantasy player. The question we'll need answered is: How much will he play? He would quickly become the passing-down back, but we could see a committee taking over the early-down work if the Texans don't think Thomas can take on that kind of workload since he's only had one game in his career where he hit 20 rushing carries, which was also in 2007, his rookie year.

Ty Montgomery, WR, Packers
A few non-starting wide receivers will get plenty of hype in training camp, but there are only a few teams that have the potential to make those non-starters stars with just one injury, and the Green Bay Packers are one of those teams. And rookie receiver Ty Montgomery is the most recently hyped receiver, as coach Mike McCarthy said Montgomery is "strong, very powerful, obviously gifted." And Jordy Nelson also went on to praise Montgomery's ability to learn the playbook and blah, blah - yes, it's the same thing you'll hear often, but like I said, these are the Packers.

Duke Johnson, RB, Browns
Much ballyhooed rookie running back Duke Johnson injured his hamstring and will be out a couple weeks. Coach Mike Pettine lamented this fact at such a critical point in his NFL education and says he'll have a lot of catching up to do when he gets back. This puts Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West in front of the competition, but we're just getting started.

DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
The Dolphins' wide receiver coach Ken O'Keefe is staying positive when speaking about rookie receiver DeVante Parker, whose foot issue will keep him out of practice 3-4 more weeks. O'Keefe says Parker is staying engaged and that he's "here to play." So, it looks like Parker has a job locked up and only a setback will keep him off the field.

Julius Thomas, TE, Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars have some nice talent, but the question is if it will all come together under Blake Bortles' leadership this season. Jacksonville, of course, will be up and down, but fantasy players can take some up and down as long as they're getting some fake points. One big question for them is Julius Thomas. Going from Peyton Manning to Bortles is a step down no matter how you look at it, but Thomas is no slouch and Florida Times-Union's Ryan O'Halloran believes Thomas is "the best player on the team." Thomas and Allen Robinson make for a nice tandem and should see plenty of targets as the two best receivers on the team.

Justin Blackmon, WR, Jaguars
On the flip side of positive Jaguars news is the sad case of Justin Blackmon. Jacksonville GM Dave Caldwell doubts that Blackmon will ever play again, and the reason he hasn't been cut is the team is trying to recoup some of his signing bonus. Blackmon had all the skills in the world and appears to have wasted them.

Cody Latimer, WR, Broncos
Broncos second-year receiver Cody Latimer continues to impress in training camp. Beat reporter Andrew Mason reports that Latimer has been impressive every day of camp so far. This, plus coach Gary Kubiak naming him the No. 3 receiver is great news for Latimer's prospects. Yes, the Broncos are going to run the ball more and the No. 3 receiver isn't going to be the fantasy gold it has been in Denver the last few years, but this is still going to be a very good offense in which Latimer will play a key role.

Kendall Wright, WR, Titans
Titans beat reporter Jim Wyatt expects Kendall Wright to lead the team in receptions this season. That's a fairly safe assumption, but the question is how many receptions will that be? Wyatt says the Titans have "big plans" for Wright, but I'm taking a wait-and-see approach to all Tennessee offensive players not named Delanie Walker.

Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants
The only question concerning Rashad Jennings this season is his health. At 30 years of age and with multiple injuries in his past, he does have plenty of red flags, but at his ADP as the 28th running back off the board, he has plenty of value in an offense that should see plenty of red-zone snaps. And so far, all signs have been good in training camp as beat writer for NJ.com Jordan Raanan reports, "[Jennings] looks big, strong, fast and quick." Those are all good things, I think.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 4, 2015

Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
Bucs' coach Lovie Smith says that Doug Martin will be the lead back this season. That's good news for his fantasy prospects, but what once appeared to be a strength, his receiving ability, appears to be off the table. Last season, his targets and receptions dropped dramatically, while Charles Sims picked up the third-down receiving duties. This is most likely the plan going into this season as well.

Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah, RBs, Lions
Joique Bell remains out, and there is no exact timetable for his return. This allows both Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick to get valuable time with the first team in practices. Beat writer Tim Twentyman, who has a cool last name, believes Abdullah is set for Reggie Bush's role from last season, but Bush who was too often hurt didn't exactly define that role. There should be plenty of room for Abdullah to win more touches, and if Bell can't stay healthy, he's got the lead role in a good offense, while Riddick would most likely move into that old Bush role.

Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals
The prognosis for Giovani Bernard's season continues to look worse this year than the last two. The Cincinnati Enquirer confirms many peoples' fears that Bernard could even have less of a role than a third-down back has, while Jeremy Hill is working to stay on the field all three downs. Much will depend on how frequently the Bengals are in must-pass situations, but Hill is going to be the focal point of the run game, while Bernard picks up the scraps.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders
Michael Crabtree continues to impress early in training camp, and many observers have pegged him for a big year as he's bet on himself with a 1-year contract. The Raiders might not be the best offense to put up big numbers, but he will have rookie Amari Cooper on his side to help give him some room. And Cooper has also been getting more than his fair share of praise. Check out his footwork here in practice. So much will come down to Derek Carr, who had his moments in 2014, but not enough of them. If he can improve, he has two good receivers to help him out.

James White, RB, Patriots
Early indications are that White will be the Patriots' third-down/receiving back, and even the extremely tight-lipped Bill Belichick was doling out some praise for White. The third-down role helped Shane Vereen to being 2014's 29th-best running back in non-PPR and the 20th-ranked back in PPR. Those aren't huge numbers backing up those finishes, but they are RB3 numbers in non-PPR and RB2 in PPR. White's ADP will be rising, but it's still in a nice spot at the moment.

Kevin White, WR, Bears
The Chicago Bears' first-round draft pick Kevin White has now been on the shelf for over six weeks with a shin injury. His long-term value still remains completely intact, but with John Fox's rookie-hating ways, this season is looking tougher for White in redraft leagues. To add to that, offseason acquisition Eddie Royal is getting training camp hype, and as long as the veteran remains the Bears' No. 2 receiver, his current ADP will remain an extreme value.

Running Backs, Titans
Last season, the Tennessee Titans employed the most excruciating running back committee known to human kind, both for fantasy and real-life football. And now, it appears that pain will spread into this season as Bishop Sankey and David Cobb - along with probably a host of scrubs - will see action according to ESPN Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky. The addition of Marcus Mariota should help the running game a bit, but the Titans aren't going to turn their franchise around this year, and unless one running back gets the majority of the work, it will be tough for one to be helpful to your fantasy teams.

Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals
Arizona coach Bruce Arians wants to see Andre Ellington get 20 touches a game this season. That was the goal last season as well, but he couldn't fight through injuries to produce. It does seem that his frame just isn't set up for a workload like that, but with Carson Palmer at the helm, there should be more opportunity to get him the ball in space, and Ellington hopefully can at least start the season healthy unlike last year.

Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett, QBs, Texans
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein believes Brian Hoyer has already run away with the Houston Texans' quarterback job. That's not exactly saying all that much since his competition was Ryan Mallett, whom Bill Belichick let go for a seventh-round pick, but for us 2QB-leaguers, all starting quarterbacks are on the table.

Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers
Martavis Bryant went from the greatest-wide receiver-to-ever-grace-the-queue-of-a-fantasy footballer to out-for-7-10 days-with-an-elbow-infection, while his quarterback went on the radio and hyped up his competitor Markus Wheaton, calling him "their breakout player of the year." This should cool the jets on the Bryant hype and ignite a bit of Wheaton hype in the process. Of course, the winner in all of this is Ben Roethlisberger, who also said the Steelers' goal is to score 30 points a game. We saw what a Todd Haley offense could do in Pittsburgh when it was hitting on all cylinders, and this year, the Steelers really look primed to score and score and then score some more.


Fantasy Football News: Aug. 1, 2015

Lamar Miller and Jay Ajayi, RBs, Dolphins
Dolphins' rookie running back Jay Ajayi started training camp as the third back behind Lamar Miller and Damien Williams. Ajayi's "bone-on-bone" knee condition scared plenty of teams away from him on draft day, but while healthy his talent should push him into the No. 2 slot at least, with a possibility he could cut into Miller's looks. But the Dolphins are also looking at extending Miller's contract and are open to getting him more touches per game this season.

Miami's rushing game is one of the strongest in the league under Bill Lazor, so you'll want a piece of it in fantasy. Miller is whom most are betting on to keep a strong hold on the job, and I'm one of those people. He finished last season strong and averaged more than five yards per carry, but hopefully we'll see Ajayi's ADP suppressed a little with news that he's No. 3 on the depth chart, and you can grab him cheaply for a bench spot.

Terrelle Pryor, WR, Browns
Cleveland's converted quarterback to wide receiver Terrelle Pryor has already drawn high praise from those watching his transformation. Pryor is 6-4, 223 pounds and runs a 4.38 40 - perfect speed and size for a receiver. Of course, he has a long road ahead of him to be able to consistently beat NFL cornerbacks, but with the Browns' dearth at the position, he could see the field in spots sooner rather than later.

Aaron Dobson, WR, Patriots
Patriots' wide receiver Aaron Dobson has gone through a couple seasons of fantasy football sleeper status and also plenty of injuries. The early training camp buzz is that he's in great shape and set to turn some heads. If he can move up the depth chart to set himself firmly behind Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell, he'll be closing in on large-league fantasy roster status.

Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns
Your daily "who received the first running back rep for the Browns" report goes to Isaiah Crowell. The day before it was Terrance West. Crowell is probably the best inside runner the Browns have, and they want him to be the lead back, but his ball control issues are going to remain a concern until he can get some fumble-free games in.

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers
Lovie Smith officially named Jameis Winston the Buccaneers' starting quarterback. This of course was a formality, but there's no doubt that Winston should raise the level of play at the position for Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers
Last year, Vernon Davis had one of the worst seasons for a quality player that I have ever seen. After catching four passes for 44 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, he didn't score another touchdown, catch over three passes or eclipse 39 yards again. Davis missed OTAs last year in a contract dispute and also had one of his worst blocking seasons ever. He blames a lot on the offense trying to open up with three-receiver sets, but I'm guessing his mental state just wasn't there. He says he's feeling great and everything you're supposed to say. The good news is that this wasn't his outlook last year, and the team is looking to return to more two-tight end sets. It will be extremely difficult for him to do worse than he did last year at least.

Marques Colston, WR, Saints
After starting training camp on the PUP/active list, Marques Colston has already been activated from said list. The plan for Colston is to get him in football shape, but not overwork him in training camp. At 32 with roughly 32 knee surgeries, Colston deserves all the rest he can manage. As long as he can stay on the field he'll be a fantasy asset, as he most likely absorbs a good chunk of Jimmy Graham's old targets.

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals
Carson Palmer has no restrictions starting training camp. This is great news for all three Cardinals' receivers and receiving running backs who each have fantasy value at the right price this season.

DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
It looks like Dolphins' rookie wide receiver DeVante Parker should be ready for Week 1, but he'll start training camp on the active/PUP list with his foot injury. He will be competing with Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings for snaps and will need to get on the field sooner than later to be of fantasy value early in the season.

Greg Little, WR, Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals signed perennial underachiever Greg Little to a 1-year contract after releasing him in February. His inability to catch actual footballs has been his major deficiency in becoming a NFL wide receiver.

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
As mentioned in this space yesterday, Todd Gurley managed to miss going on the PUP list, but the Rams brass will still want to ease in their first-round pick by just letting him perform individual drills to start camp. Watching Gurley go through drills will most likely get coach Jeff Fisher and company greedy to see more. It will be hard to keep this beast off the field for long.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins
For all you return-yardage leaguers, it looks like Jarvis Landry will continue returning kicks and punts this season. Add in that he'll most likely lead the team in targets, and you have a top player in return yardage/PPR leagues. The earlier you draft him the better.


Fantasy Football News: July 31, 2015

Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle, RBs, Cowboys
The Cowboys' running back situation got slightly clearer today as Darren McFadden was put on the PUP list with a bad hamstring. He had trouble with a hamstring during OTAs, but it was his other leg. All of this is to say that McFadden is losing ground quickly to Joseph Randle. This comes after Jerry Jones proclaimed Randle as their No. 1 back. So, it's getting a little safer to grab Randle at his current 4th/5th round ADP, but it also means he'll be harder to get that late.

Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah, RBs, Lions
Lions' running back Joique Bell will start training camp on the PUP list as he heals from Achilles' and knee issues. This should give rookie Ameer Abdullah a leg up as he tries to carve out some playing time for himself. The Lions want Bell as their lead back with Abdullah working in passing downs and change-of-pace duties, so they will give him a pretty long leash. So this is good news for Abdullah, but it will most likely push his ADP up into rounds where he loses value as long as Bell is still in the picture.

Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
Steelers' running back Le'Veon Bell had his three-game suspension reduced to two games. This news makes it a little easier to grab Bell with the first pick, especially in PPR leagues. His versatility and time on the field is hard to come by with a running back who also gets goal-line carries.

Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
It looks like Victor Cruz will miss the PUP list, but will be eased back into practices. This is good news of course, but I'm still a little skeptical of what a fully healthy Cruz will be able to do. With Odell Beckham Jr. and Shane Vereen in the mix now, I see Cruz as being more of a possession receiver in the slot.

Brian Quick, WR, Rams
Brian Quick also avoided the PUP list, which is very good news for his return from shoulder surgery. I'm always a little higher on receivers coming off upper-body ailments rather than lower. Quick's speed should still be intact, and a return to his early 2014 season form is not at all far fetched. I love his value as the 62nd wide receiver coming off the board.

Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers
Packers' coach Mike McCarthy says Jordy Nelson "hasn't missed a beat" after his offseason hip surgery. As long as that news continues to hold true, we should be in for another big fantasy year from Nelson, who should easily stay in double-digit touchdowns from the best quarterback in the league.

Terrance West, Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson, RBs, Browns
Training camp looks like it will be a roller coaster for those of us trying to decipher the running back situation in Cleveland. To start off camp, Terrance West received the first rep, while Isaiah Crowell continued to have the fumbling issues that sidelined him late last season. West had appeared to be third on the depth chart behind Crowell and Duke Johnson, but as it is, I wouldn't rule out another year where we could see a different starter every other game. Unfortunately, the Browns' running back job is a pretty good one for fantasy, so we have to continue monitoring.

Breshad Perriman, WR, Ravens
Breshad Perriman started training camp with the starters and barring some kind of a setback will remain the No. 2 receiver next to Steve Smith for the entirety of the season. I expect Smith to come out of the gates strong, much like last season, but fade along with his old-man legs. If Perriman can rise to the occasion, he should be set up for plenty of targets in the second half of the season.

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, RBs, Falcons
The Falcons' running back situation will come down to Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman, or both. Freeman starts training camp atop the depth chart, and his receiving skills set up nicely for what should be a pass-first-and-often Falcons' offense. Coleman is no slouch in the receiving game though and could gain ground on the starting job. It's going to be an interesting battle to watch.

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots
LeGarrette Blount did not pass his conditioning test and was placed on active/NFI, which means too fat to run 20 sprints of 50 yards, each in eight seconds. So in some ways, I am very much akin to Mr. Blount. Hopefully, this is just a blip on Blount's 2015 radar, because he is set up to score plenty of touchdowns in what will once again be an offense that leads the way in plays per game and inside the red zone.

Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins
Washington tight end Jordan Reed has been cleared for the start of training camp. He'll need to stay healthy to win the No. 1 tight end job as Niles Paul just signed a 3-year contract. Reed is the better offensive player, and that's who we want to see win the job for fantasy purposes, but it's no lock at the moment.

Kevin White, WR, Bears
Bears' rookie Kevin White will start training camp on the PUP list with a shin injury. Under the noted rookie fader John Fox, White will need to be healthy and win the No. 2 receiver job, so this isn't the best start. I don't doubt he'll get plenty of work this year, but there is a chance he doesn't begin the season as the starter.

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Tom Brady's four-game suspension was upheld, but we aren't done with this whole debacle quite yet. Brady will most likely file for an injunction, which would hold off his suspension until the legal proceedings play out. Unfortunately right now, we are still fairly clueless as to how this will play out.


Fantasy Football News: July 28, 2015

Jen Welter, Intern, Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals brought in Jen Welter to be a training camp/preseason intern, coaching inside linebackers. It appears she will be the first-ever female NFL coach. Welter played rugby in college, played 14 seasons in the Women's Football Alliance and worked for the Texas Revolution in the Indoor Football League. There have been very few opportunities for women in the hierarchy of the NFL, and any door cracked open for them is a great sign. There are, of course, plenty of coaches and other personnel in the NFL who never played at the NFL level, or at all for that matter, so the exclusion of women is mostly based on the fact that there has been absolutely no means of encouragement for giving female employees a chance from the top down. Bruce Arians is easily the coolest coach in the league, and I commend him for making this selection, but I'd like to commend Jen Welter even more. It appears she has done everything and more to make it to this opportunity, and I doubt she stops there.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers
With the Pittsburgh Steelers facing the Minnesota Vikings in this year's preseason Hall of Fame Game, they were the first to report to training camp. There's no big news out of those camps, but enough sound bytes to keep us interested. The biggest one so far is the sound that Martavis Bryant's hype train is making as people climb aboard.

We saw what Bryant was capable of playing just 42 percent of the snaps through 10 regular season games, and now, he'll be playing a much larger percent of the snaps. Additionally, Bryant has bulked up from his 211 pounds at the combine to 225 pounds to start this season. Does that mean he'll be slower? It doesn't appear so. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds fits his frame better than 211 pounds, and he is also at four percent body fat. The 6-foot-2 Dez Bryant weighs in at 218 pounds and is mostly unstoppable in the red zone. That's what we want to see from Bryant. Bulking up so he can muscle his way through a defender for a ball is what we want, because touchdowns equal quick fantasy points, and we like fantasy points around here.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was asked about Adrian Peterson's workload and he said, "He'll get as much as he can take." Not sure how else he would have answered that, but it's a good sign that we won't see Peterson come off the field all that often on passing downs and in Norv Turner's offense that is a very good thing. A healthy Peterson should easily ascend to the top ranks of fantasy running backs once again, especially in a Vikings' offense that is only getting better.

Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
There's good news concerning Le'Veon Bell's knee. He was able to participate fully in the start of training camp and looked good doing so. There was some worry after Bell had mentioned he wasn't 100 percent healthy not long ago. But it appears that is behind him so far as his speed and cutting ability was on full display during the Steelers' first practice.

Sam Bradford, QB, Eagles
This offseason when the Philadelphia Eagles were deciding on if they should go after Sam Bradford, they did their research into ACL tears and according to Philadelphia magazine, they liked what they saw. It appears the probability of re-injuring his ACL is the same or possibly even better than those who haven't torn their ACL. Probably the best news is that Bradford hasn't had any cartilage issues with his knee and that both times he tore his ACL, it was just the ACL and nothing else. I could see reading this as similar to someone blowing smoke up your arse, but Chip Kelly does not take sports science lightly, and I feel confident that the information the Eagles have is the best available. Does that mean Bradford will never get hurt again? Of course not, but I wouldn't be overly surprised if he didn't.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
Sammy Watkins underwent hip surgery this offseason to repair a torn labrum, but now he says, "My body feels great. I feel like I'm 17." If anyone ever said, "Man, I don't know. It hurts to go to the bathroom and I sleep maybe two hours a night, but I think I'll be able to play pretty well this season," it would be a first, so of course, take his remarks with a grain of salt. But hey, it looks like he'll be ready to go for training camp. Yes, his quarterbacks aren't going to help him much, but this guy has talent coming out of his ears. Don't reach for him, but if everyone else passes due to his quarterbacks, grab him up, because talent often wins out.

Larry Donnell, TE, Giants
Larry Donnell is now out of his protective walking boot and will be ready for the start of training camp. He had Achilles tendonitis in the spring, but looks to be a full go for the start of training camp. I've been beating on the Giants' skill-player drum for a while now and will continue to do so until drafting has ceased. I love that offense this year and the ability to find some value players in it.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals signed tight end Jermaine Gresham to a 1-year deal. Arizona is a little like purgatory for tight ends, so don't even worry about him unless you are in a two-tight end league. And even then, I'd rather have him as bye-week fodder.


Fantasy Football News: July 25, 2015

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Commissioner ROger Goodell and company are dragging out their final word on Tom Brady's suspension, and it's frankly getting a little tiresome. It appears Brady wants to fight whatever the suspension turns out to be in court, which is probably why the NFL is taking so long to decide what to do. This all sounds a bit like "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

C.J. Spiller, RB, Saints
The New Orleans Saints' beat writer Mike Triplett foresees C.J. Spiller catching 60-plus passes this season. I've never seen Triplett really exaggerate on account of the team he covers, so I take this as a very educated guess that seems about right. The move from lumbering, freezing, outdoor, grass offense to dome, turf, high-scoring offense is going to get a lot of people excited about Spiller's upside and rightfully so. His average draft position looks like it's going to take those expectations into account unfortunately, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money!

Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers
Another beat writer whom I find extremely credible is The San Diego Union-Tribune's Michael Gehlken. In today's paper, he predicted Danny Woodhead would be right back into his normal role as the third-down receiving back. That was the same role he was in when he caught 76 passes from Philip Rivers in 2013. Woodhead's injury last season held him back and, hopefully, will hold back your league-mates from drafting him before you do.

Sam Bradford, QB, Eagles
Sam Bradford sat out OTAs this year, but it appears it was just the Eagles' brass playing it safe. He is all set to be a full-go at the start of training camp. I mentioned this in my Quarterback Rankings, but Philadelphia's conglomerate quarterback last season would have put up Top-7 fantasy numbers, and that's why Bradford is on so many "sleeper" radars. The system will get him fantasy points, but his health remains his biggest drawback at the moment. Don't forget Matthew Stafford looked like he was always going to be injured, but is now a "safe" pick health-wise. Anything can happen in this league, and it often does.

Jaelen Strong, WR, Texans
After being criticized by coaches for being overweight for OTAs, Houston rookie wide receiver Jaelen Strong has slimmed down from 231 pounds to 211. At least, this shows us that he's committed and listening to his coaches. His ability to catch passes in traffic should be an asset for him as the quarterback situation in Houston is going to be a little shaky for the near future. Strong will be battling Cecil Shorts in camp and should win that battle if he has his head on straight.

Justin Hunter, WR, Titans
Justin Hunter was busted for felony assault after breaking a man's jaw and teeth. He was released on $25,000 bail and will be allowed to go to training camp while the legal process plays out. Hunter doesn't have a criminal history, so he will be given the benefit of the doubt for now. If he does miss games or is cut, it would be a boost to rookie receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
Adrian Peterson received a new contract because he's been such an outstanding citizen of late. Oh wait, no, that's not the reason. It's probably because he's really good at football.

Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah, RBs, Lions
Detroit Lions' ESPN blogger Michael Rothstein writes that the team is a little more concerned about Joique Bell's knee and Achilles injuries coming into this season than they were last season when he was also coming off of injuries. Here's just more fuel for the Ameer Abdullah-hype fire. I'm not overly concerned about Bell's injuries because I think he'll be in a timeshare with Abdullah, which will keep the veteran from being overused, but of the two, Abdullah is going to be the safest back to draft.

Dennis Pitta and Maxx Williams, TEs, Ravens
Dennis Pitta will most likely land on the reserve/PUP list to start the season, which puts him out at least the first six games of the year. He's had two hip fractures, and it appears his whole career could be in jeopardy. Maxx Williams looks to be your starting tight end for the Ravens this season. He'll be worthwhile in 2-TE leagues, but rookie tight ends have notoriously poor fantasy seasons.


Fantasy Football News: July 21, 2015

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos
Emmanuel Sanders will now play from the slot compared to out wide like he did most of last season, per Sanders himself on the Broncos' site. So in two receiver formations, he'll still line up opposite Demaryius Thomas, but in three receiver sets, he'll move into the slot where he played in Pittsburgh. The possible fantasy downside of that move would be the average depth of his targets. Last year according to Pro Football Focus, Sanders' targets from the slot were 8.9 yards (12.5 yards per reception) and from the outside were 14.8 yards (14.1 yards per reception). But, he did catch 85 percent of his slot targets and 63 percent of his outside targets. It looks like we may trade off receptions for yards and could see a few less touchdowns, but Peyton Manning will most likely be at his best throwing to the slot as his arm crumbles into old age.

Josh Hill, TE, Saints
The upside of New Orleans Saints' tight end Josh Hill keeps getting chopped off as reports continue to come out that he'll be in a committee with Ben Watson unless the Saints end up landing Jermaine Gresham, which would make it even more convoluted. It appears to be a situation to avoid at this point, and instead, we should focus on targeting players we know will get the ball, like Brandin Cooks, who could end up with a couple thousand receptions, or something around there.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune expects Adrian Peterson to be used more often in third-down situations this season, and so does Peterson. This was the plan last year as well with new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, but of course, we know about the best-laid plans of mice and men, and fantasy prognostications. But Turner is still a great offensive coordinator for fantasy running backs, especially in the receiving game. If Peterson remains healthy, he should have one of his best receiving years ever.

Chris Johnson, RB, TBA
Chris Johnson is currently on the radar of a few teams after recovering from an offseason shooting. Most notably would be the Dallas Cowboys, who just helped DeMarco Murray run for the rushing title. If Johnson does end up with the Cowboys, it would help to complicate matters there even more. Raiders' castoff Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle are in the running for starting duties at the moment, while the 30-year-old Johnson has seen his glory days pass him by. We'll hopefully get a clearer picture during training camp, but even then the skill sets involved are not overly inspiring.

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals
Carson Palmer has recovered nicely from his second ACL surgery and says he is ready to roll. Palmer is 35 and an injury risk to be sure, but he has three good receivers and two good receiving running backs to help buoy his numbers this season.

John Brown, WR, Cardinals
Speaking of Carson Palmer, he has a guest at his house in wide receiver John Brown. The two have been working together to "get their timing down," according to Brown. Brown fits the Bruce Arians' receiver mold quite well. He's helped both Antonio Brown and T.Y. Hilton in their careers, and it appears Brown is the next in line. When drafting between the three top Cardinals' receivers, I'll be targeting whomever is being drafted last, and right now, that's Brown.

Reggie Wayne, WR, TBA
Reggie Wayne would like to continue playing football, but all indications are that he's not even going to get a look-see from any NFL teams. His recent rash of injuries has sapped him of all his speed, and even his veteran savvy can't get it done now. It seems like just yesterday we were waiting for Marvin Harrison to give way to Wayne, and the cycle continues.

Shane Vereen, RB, Giants
It looks like new Giants running back Shane Vereen is slated for third-down duties. This is a little disheartening for Rashad Jennings' backers who will need him to get work in the passing game to be a dependable fantasy player, but of course, this is big news for Vereen's fantasy value. The Giants play up-tempo and have an offensive line that should improve, but is not solid at this juncture. Vereen could be used often if the Giants' running game becomes more of a short-passing game.

Matt Cassel, E.J. Manuel and Tyrod Taylor, QBs, Bills
The Bills' quarterback situation is bleak, and ESPN Bills reporter Mike Rodak believes Matt Cassel is the bleakest of the bunch. That leaves E.J. Manuel and Tyrod Taylor as the frontrunners in his eyes, which is what it is.


Fantasy Football News: July 14, 2015

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Buccaneers
After winning just two games last season, the hype for the Tampa Bay Buccaneer's offense is gaining momentum. Of course, the No. 1 pick in Jameis Winston is the engine for that, along with wide receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, but when you add in Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the hype machine gets to really chugging along.

Reports out of OTAs have Seferian-Jenkins as the star, with Pewter Report calling him "uncoverable." Last season, he was recovering from a foot injury and then had back and ankle issues come up after his foot had healed. He'll now be going into training camp completely healthy with a better quarterback throwing him the ball.

Winston targeted his tight ends heavily in college, and new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has used his tight ends effectively in the past. As long as Seferian-Jenkins can stay healthy, it's hard not seeing him as a fantasy-relevant tight end this year.

Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
Sticking with the Tampa Bay theme, running back Doug Martin has slimmed down from 225 pounds to 210 for this season. This is good news. It seems every time a running back bulks up to help him withstand the rigors of the NFL, he ends up slowing down and getting hit harder and more often. Martin's hamster-esque physique seemed like it could be slimmed down a bit, and we really should see more explosiveness from him now. That was the case for Le'Veon Bell last season, and Martin has shown true ability in the past. There are plenty of other running backs in the Bucs' stable, but Martin ran with the first team in OTAs and appears to be the frontrunner for the job. If his weight loss does help his burst, I don't see any reason not to take a flier on him this season.

Dwayne Allen, TE, Colts
The Indianapolis Colts have been in the two-tight end business for a while now, but it appears they are finally going to open things up a bit more this season after drafting Phillip Dorsett and acquiring Andre Johnson from free agency. Indianapolis will want to spread the field with T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Dorsett and Johnson. To do that, the Colts most likely need to keep Coby Fleener off the field while Dwayne Allen plays the blocking/receiving tight end role by himself.

This doesn't appear to be a huge boon for Allen, since the targets should remain fairly spread out, but it can't hurt. It appears the real winner here will be Andrew Luck, who will have plenty of good receivers to throw the ball to and some nice lanes to scramble for some first downs and touchdowns.

Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant , WRs
Two of the top wide receivers in the league, Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant, are looking for contract extensions rather than playing out the 2015 season on a franchise tender. In Thomas' case, it appears he won't get a new deal and will become a free agent after this season, setting himself up for huge money based on what should be another nice statistical season with Peyton Manning as his quarterback. In Dallas though, Bryant is not as willing to let that happen. He has stated repeatedly that he wants a new deal, and that he may hold out if he doesn't get one.

Bryant has 56 touchdowns at the age of 26. Only Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald had more, and with DeMarco Murray gone, the Cowboys must keep Bryant long term. So, getting him a new deal soon seems like the best course of action. Bryant tweeted out that he will sit out if he doesn't get a deal. After Wednesday, neither team has any say, as Bryant will have to play or not get paid his $12.8 million tender for this year. The likelihood of him foregoing regular-season games and $12.8 million is still pretty slim.

Brandon LaFell, WR, Patriots
Patriots' wide receiver Brandon LaFell is now out of his walking boot and appears ready for training camp. Last season, LaFell was hit or miss as most non-Gronk and Edelman receivers for the Patriots are, but he did accumulate 74 receptions for 953 yards and seven touchdowns after not getting a reception in the first two weeks of the season. As long as LaFell's healthy, a repeat of those numbers shouldn't be a stretch.

Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins
Washington tight end Jordan Reed appears to be ready to start training camp. He missed OTAs, but the Washington Post reports he could have participated in part. Reed has shown good ability, but can't seem to stay on the field.

Aaron Kromer, Off. Line Coach, Bills
Buffalo Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer had what appears to be a bout with some psychotic rage the other day. Police reports show that he was angry over his beach chairs being used by some teenage boys. Allegedly, he confronted them, tossed one of their fishing poles in the lake, then punched one of the boys in the eye and told them if they told anyone, he would kill their family. That threat seems to have gone unheeded as everyone who has ever heard of the Buffalo Bills now knows that Kromer was arrested for being a huge p***k.

This is the same person who leaked reports that the Bears had buyer's remorse regarding Jay Cutler, and after that leak, he gave the team a tearful apology for his misconduct rather than murdering NFL Network's Ian Rapoport for reporting what he said.

This might not have much effect on actual football, but the Bills' offense will be run-based, and the offensive line is not in the greatest shape, while their offensive line coach could/should be suspended. Also, when your offensive line coach is Kromer, and your starting guard is Richie Incognito, you have to wonder if some of the patients are running the hospital.

Greg Hardy, DE, Cowboys
In other news about someone who is a horrible person, Greg Hardy had his suspension reduced from 10 to four games and may appeal to get it reduced even further. There's no doubting he's a horrible human being, but he will be a huge help to a Cowboys' defense that was hidden by the franchise's strong run game last season.


Fantasy Football News: July 9, 2015

Owen Daniels and Virgil Green, TEs, Broncos
Peyton Manning's tight ends have always been fantasy studs, but this season, we'll have to do a little investigative journalism to uncover who will see the most targets between Owen Daniels, Virgil Green and James Casey. The easy answer would be Daniels, who has been with Gary Kubiak for much of his career, but loyalty only goes so far. The upside play from this group, if he were to win the job, would be Green. He is 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, runs a 4.64-second 40 and has a 42.5-inch vertical, while Daniels is 87 years old and plays with a walker. Wait, let me fact check that, yep, looks right. Green did practice with Peyton Manning in the offseason at his mini-Duke camp, which inline blockers are usually blackballed from. So, Green at least should be in the mix for targets, and with a little hard work and perseverance, he could take the job outright. Of course, we could see a pretty even split between Green and Daniels, which would leave us, fantasy footballers, out in the cold. But if I'm taking a risk late in drafts, it will be on Green.

Jeff Janis, WR, Packers
The Jeff Janis hype is back with a vengeance. The 6-foot-3, 219-pound receiver has measurables to spare. He ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash and led the way in the three-cone drill and bench press reps for wide receivers during the combine last year. Janis is now getting praise heaped on him going into training camp from the team and appears to have the lead for the No. 4 receiver role, which is nothing to sneeze at for the Packers' tight end-weak offense. The question is, will he put any pressure on DeVante Adams and the No. 3 spot? At the moment, I don't see that happening, but being the No. 4 Packer receiver is good enough for me to take a flier on Janis in deeper leagues in case of injury.

Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
Victor Cruz appears to be on track to play by Week 1. He'd head right back to the slot with Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle on the outside. It is possible Cruz could land on the PUP list at the start of training camp, but if he doesn't and has a full training camp, I'll be looking to get him on my team late in drafts. With Beckham drawing defenders his way, Cruz should have plenty to work with in the slot under Ben McAdoo's fast-paced offense, now in its second year with the team.

Nick Toon, WR, Saints
Saints coach Sean Payton believes that wide receiver Nick Toon's snaps will go "way up" this season. With Kenny Stills, Jimmy Graham and Robert Meachem all gone, that would appear to be a likely scenario. Right now, it looks like Brandin Cooks, Marques Colston, Josh Hill and Toon will be the main receivers going into camp. With Colston on his decline and Hill untested, there is a chance Toon could really run with this opportunity. But at the very least, he appears like a solid late-round pick from a top offense.

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions
Lions beat writer Dave Birkett sees rookie running back Ameer Abdullah as the eventual lead back as early as this season. Joique Bell is the starter at the moment, but has now averaged just 3.9 yards per carry over his last 389 carries. He isn't going away, especially since he has been an efficient goal-line back, but Abdullah is going to get his shot, and Bell might become very touchdown dependent in fantasy.

Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks
The backup running back spot behind Marshawn Lynch seems to be Robert Turbin's at the moment, but he is coming off a hip surgery, while Christine Michael is rumored to be on the roster bubble. The most buzz has been coming from UDFA Thomas Rawls out of Central Michigan. Coach Pete Carroll loves his bruising style and sees him in the same vein as Lynch. Add in the fact that this is Turbin's last year on his contract, and Marshawn Lynch will be 30 and might want to retire again; Rawls is looking like a good dynasty add with some possibility for production this season.

C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos
Broncos' beat writer Tony Renck believes C.J. Anderson should average around 18 carries a game and pile up 1,400 yards rushing this season, while Montee Ball will be the back up with around eight carries per game. This, of course, has been the thought process for most prognosticators going into this season, but many fantasy fake footballers seem to be shying away from Anderson. I can only guess it's because people are worried that they'll draft him like they did Montee Ball last season and get similar results, but with Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme, Anderson's straight-forward style and Manning's ability to read defenses, the sky is the limit for Anderson.

Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, Giants
Firecrackergeddon has hit two defensive players over the Fourth of July weekend in the Giants' defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul and the Buccaneers' cornerback C.J. Wilson (who may also be a pitcher, but I'll need to recheck that). Both injuries appear to be to the hand where one might hold a firecracker of some sort for too long. We really don't know the extent of either injury, but these aren't just scratches. Practice firework safety kids.


The Gates Out of the Doldrums
July 3, 2015

Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers
Of course as I was just finishing up this newsy post, some real news popped up with Antonio Gates getting suspended four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He, of course, didn't knowingly ingest anything illegal, much like every single player who has ever been suspended.

Last season, the past-his-prime Gates was primed to be passed by Ladarius Green on the depth chart, but the ageless one had some tricks up his sleeve and had one of his best seasons in a while, notching 12 touchdowns to tie with Mr. Rob Gronkowski. But now, Gates will miss the first four games and the Chargers' top receiving targets during that stretch will be Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson, Danny Woodhead and Ladarius Green. All four will see a bump in targets and should get a bump in fantasy draft status.

Ladarius Green is the player we will see hyped the most and for good reason. He is a freak of nature and has flashed ability similar to Gronkowski. The question is, does Green have that ability for the long run and after four games will Gates relegate him back to fighting for snaps? Unfortunately, just the fact that we have to ask that question is a little scary for where Green's average draft position (ADP) might skyrocket after this news. Of course, his upside is incredibly high now as he could run with the job and dominate enough to keep the job all season. Much will depend on his ADP for me, but I do love players who have the ability to dominate, even if they end up not. As of right now, Green is the 27th tight end coming off the board. It will be interesting to see how far he rises.

Probably the most value to come out of this news will be Stevie Johnson. He now has his most accurate quarterback in his career with Philip Rivers and a chance for legitimate targets to start the season. Johnson is currently going off the board as the 71st wide receiver over at MyFantasyLeague.com and even though that will drop with the Gates news, he should remain a player you can pick up very late in your drafts.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
Russell Wilson wants more money. Well, not just more money, but the most money. That happens when you quarterback a team to consecutive Super Bowls, I suppose. Wilson has improved each season, all without a go-to receiver. He now goes into his fourth year with the addition of super tight end Jimmy Graham and an already established run game and defense. Wilson isn't the best quarterback in the league, but he has done everything asked of him and more in leading the Seahawks and seems poised to continue doing so.

If you want to call him a game manager, you can do that. Marshawn Lynch and that defense are both way above average, and without them, Wilson isn't in the Super Bowl, but as us fantasy footballers know, Wilson isn't Trent Dilfer. Last season, Wilson rushed for 849 yards and six touchdowns while throwing for 3,475 yards, 20 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. That put him up there as the third-best fantasy quarterback in the league behind Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck, and in 2013, Wilson finished in the top 10. This isn't your grandfather's game manager, and the Seahawks would do well to pay him top dollar now.

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
Todd Gurley's average draft position has been sitting around the 40th player off the board. That's pretty high for someone we just don't know for sure when he'll play, but if we knew he'd be a full go, we'd be drafting him even higher. In the next couple of weeks, Gurley will be visiting the dreaded Dr. Andrews to check on his progress. The general consensus has been that the rookie will miss around a month of the regular season, but for his backers, this visit to Dr. Andrews could possibly speed up his timetable. Gurley has had no setbacks, but the Rams will be conservative with him, especially with a competent running back in Tre Mason already in place. In re-draft leagues, I'd continue to play it conservatively with Gurley, just as the Rams will.

Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
CSN Philly's Geoff Mosher believes tight end Zach Ertz will get a nice bump in snaps this season due to improved blocking and the red-zone hole left by Jeremy Maclin. Many believed Ertz would break out last season, but he never saw enough playing time to do so with Chip Kelly's block-first tight end needs. There is no doubting Ertz's ability as a receiver, so now we just need to see those snaps and targets rise, which looks to be a distinct possibility.

Charles Johnson, WR, Vikings
Vikings' receiver Charles Johnson has always had the prototypical measurables to be a star player, but it wasn't until mid-season last year that we were able to see flashes of his possibility. This offseason, he's been working with Rischad Whitfield on his footwork. Whitfield is the same person who also helped Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins on their footwork, which, if Johnson can even sniff the ability of those two in route running, we could see nice improvement.

Rob Housler, TE, Browns
Cleveland tight end Rob Housler was stuck in Bruce Arian's tight end purgatory over the last couple years, but has now migrated to Cleveland. That has its own purgatorial aspects, but at least we should get a better look at his ability, which does have upside. So in this case, the unknown still holds some mystery for us, and mystery can get us prognosticators reaching for the stars. Coach Pettine added a little fuel to the metaphorical fire when he called Housler the ideal "F" position, which is football lingo for pass-catching tight end instead of Housler's old position, which was "block until you prefer to play for the Browns tight end."






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More 2015 Fantasy Football Articles:
Fantasy Football Rankings

2015 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2015 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 9/10 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - 9/4 (Chet)
2015 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/10 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings - 9/4 (Chet)
2015 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/10 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings - 9/4 (Chet)
2015 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 9/10 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings - 9/4 (Chet)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Flex Rankings - 9/4 (Chet)
2015 Fantasy Football PPR Rankings - 9/4 (Chet)
2015 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 8/27 (Walt)
2015 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 8/27 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings - 5/14 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Dynasty - 5/14 (Walt)



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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator - 9/10 (Walt)
2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft - 9/3 (Walt)
2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft - 8/27 (Walt)
2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft - 8/20 (Walt)
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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft - 8/7 (Walt)
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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft (PPR) - 7/6 (Chet)



2015 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
2015 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - 9/10 (Walt)
2015 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 PPR - 9/10 (Walt)
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Chet Gresham's 2015 Fantasy Football Positional Cheat Sheet - 9/4 (Chet)
Chet Gresham's 2015 Fantasy Football Overall Cheat Sheet - 9/4 (Chet)

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2015 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Training Camp - 9/10 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Tight End Matchup Chart: Week 1 - 9/9 (Chet)
Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Matchup Chart: Week 1 - 9/8 (Chet)
2015 Fantasy Football Sleepers - 9/8 (Walt)
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2015 Fantasy Football Goal-Line Running Backs - 9/3 (Chet)
2015 Fantasy Football News - 9/1 (Chet)
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2015 Fantasy Football Fallout: Jordy Nelson Injury - 8/24 (Chet)
2015 Fantasy Football Players to Target - 8/22 (Chet)
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2015 Fantasy Football Round-by-Round Strategy Guide - 8/20 (Walt)
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2021 NFL Mock Draft - Dec. 2


2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15


NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 14


Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 9


2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14


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