Fantasy Football News
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Antonio Brown is participating in offseason workouts today. (Source: Steelers via Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: There had been speculation that Brown was holding out for a new contract, but this should help quiet that. There are no solid indications of any trouble, and Brown remains an elite fantasy WR.
Redskins GM Scot McCloughan annouced at a Monday news conference that the team will exercise Griffin's fifth-year option ahead of next Monday's deadline. However, McCloughan said the decision "does not affect our draft process whatsoever." According to NFL Media's Albert Breer, the cost -- $16.1 million -- is viewed by the club as a discount version of the franchise tag and may give them one more season to make a clear evaluation. (Source: NFL.com)
Fantasy Impact: RG3 has been named the Redskins' starter, and unless they are able to draft Mariota, that is likely to remain the case through the beginning of the season. RG3 has been injury prone and difficult to predict, but can be a dynamic playmaker when healthy. Fantasy-wise, he's likely too risky a pick to be your team's starter, but if he falls to later rounds he is a decent high-upside pick.
Sun, Apr 26th 12:23pm EDT
By Dan Dziubczynski
The Philadelphia Eagles have rescinded the RFA tender they gave Chris Polk, which makes Polk a free agent, available to sign with any team. (Source: Geoff Mosher on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The writing was on the wall for Polk since free agency began, as Demarco Murray and Ryan Mathews were both signed by the Eagles. Considering they also have Darren Sproles in their backfield, it was hard to see Polk finding a roster spot. Polk is an oft-injured player due to his bruising style of running, but when he's healthy he has shown flashes of ability, especially around the goal line. He did have 3 touchdowns in the Eagles final 3 games las season. Keep an eye on where Polk lands, he could become fantasy relevant in the right situation.
The Baltimore Ravens like what they see in defensive end Alvin Dupree. This senior out of Kentucky had a blow-out season in 2014 with 74 tackles and 7.5 sacks (NFL). The Ravens have shown interest in another pass-rusher to replace OL Pernell McPhee who left in free agency, according to Garrett Downing of Baltimoreravens.com. (Source: Baltimore Ravens )
Fantasy Impact: Dupree would fit very well with the Ravens who has a tough defense that is ranked second in the NFL in total sacks (49). Dupree has a career 23.5 sacks and is projected as a first round pick. He is a very powerful athlete that could easily become a Pro Bowler running 3-4 formations with "Sizzle and Doom."
NJ.com believes Chris Ivory and Stevan Ridley will likely split carries in the Jets backfield should the Jets not draft a stud running back. (Source: NJ.com)
Fantasy Impact: Ivory and Ridley are similar backs, both power runners. It'll be a headache for fantasy owners if they split carries this season. Consider them both flex running backs as of now as splitting carries should considerably negate steady production.
Hakeem Nicks will be signing with the Titans. (Source: Mike Garafolo via Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Nicks looked like he'd lost a step last year, and no longer appears to be the dynamic playmaker he once was. The Titans' QB situation is a bit unclear, so unless something happens to increase his value, Nicks is unlikely to be valued higher than a WR3.
Rumors are swirling in NFL personnel meetings that a three-way trade could send Sam Bradford to the Browns, the #2 pick to the Eagles (presumably to draft Marcus Mariota), and two first round picks with DT Fletcher Cox and LB Mychal Kendricks to the Titans. (Source: Mark Eckel at NJ.com)
Fantasy Impact: Though it's interesting that it's getting traction with NFL personnel, it's just a rumor until proven otherwise. Similar rumors of a 3-way trade have been circulating, involving Philip Rivers to the Titans, Bradford to the Chargers, and the #2 pick for the Eagles. Speculation is running rampant that Chip Kelly is angling to draft Mariota. The Titans would greatly benefit from this trade, shoring up their defense with two promising players and two first round draft picks. However, Cleveland and Philly would be giving up a lot in this trade, which casts a shadow over its credibility. If this trade were to actually happen, Bradford's fantasy value would remain somewhat middling as a starter for the Browns. Mariota would be a late round fantasy lotto ticket on the Eagles, though rookie QBs who use their legs do sometimes put up points.
The schedules for the 2015 NFL season were released this week, and the 49ers have been ranked as the team with the 3rd toughest schedule. Looking at the schedule, the 49ers will go against several high-caliber offenses, but that does not affect Torrey Smith's game. Smith is no stranger to the 49ers, as he was part of the team that defeated the 49ers in the Super Bowl three seasons ago, but the Niners will be happy he is wearing red and gold now. Smith spent his four seasons in the NFL with the Ravens before signing with the 49ers in March. Smith averages 16.9 yards per catch, and he is just what the 49ers needed as a deep-threat. (Source: 49ers on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Having a receiver like Smith will make the whole offense better. Smith is a fast receiver who will stretch the defense, something that the 49ers could not do with the likes of Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree (now signed with the Raiders). Smith has already gathered 3,591 receiving yards and 30 TDs in just 4 years. The 5th-year receiver will open room underneath for Boldin to go to work, and will be open for Kaepernick to find deep down the field. Smith will struggle at times against teams like Seattle or Arizona, but will enjoy playing against teams like Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, New York and others. Smith is a great signing for the 49ers, and his production will be felt from the first game. If the 49ers grab a big, talented receiver in the draft to compliment the former-Ravens duo, this receiving corps could be something the Bay Area has not seen in far too long.
Fri, Apr 24th 1:15pm EDT
By Daniel Rogers
49ers General Manager Trent Baalke had praise for running backCarlos Hyde recently, saying the back "looks extremely good." Carlos Hyde is entering his second year with the 49ers, and is poised to become the lead running back. According to the Baalke, Hyde has dropped from last year's 235lbs to the mid 220's. Hyde is a fast, three-down back that is more than capable of being Frank Gore's prodigy. Hyde is more of a between-the-tackles back, as Gore was, but eight years younger. (Source: 49ers on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Many mock drafts have Hyde going before the second round is over, and I would vouch for him to go early, also. Besides losing Iupati to fellow westcoast rivals, the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers offensive line will be a replica of the 2014 season. Although the line did underperform, that group is capable of greatness, as they showed in the years prior to last season's all-around trainwreck. If the offensive line can clear lanes for Hyde, he will run all over the NFL. Hyde showed plenty of promise last season while backing up Gore, averaging 4.0 yards on just 83 attempts. It will be tough to replace the imprint Gore left behind at Levi's Stadium, but Hyde shows promise as the lead back in this newly-revamped offense.
In an effort to withstand the greuling nature of the 16+ game NFL season, Cardinals 2nd year WR John Brown has bulked up from 173 pounds, to 183, with plans to add more weight. Brown stated "At the end of the season my body started going down, I started losing weight," Brown told the team's official website. "This year I'm trying to focus on being able to keep this weight on as the season goes on." (Source: NFL.com)
Fantasy Impact: Brown scored the 49th most fantasy points of all wide-outs in 2014, and could top that with improved QB play. Currently ranked as FantasyPros consensus WR49 and 112th overall player, Brown may be a smidgen too high, as targets are going to be evenly distributed amongst himself, Michael Floyd, and Larry Fitzgerald. With that being said, if Brown is putting on good weight, it bodes well for his future.
When asked about the 2015 class of quarterbacks, Bruce Arians went out of his way to praise 2nd year QB Logan Thomas, stating"Obviously, the top two guys are there," he said. "Do I think there's anyone else that we would take to press Logan (Thomas)? I don't think we would in this draft. That's not saying we won't, but I like where he's at and the progress he's making." (Source: Fox Sports)
Fantasy Impact: This also speaks well for the recovery of Carson Palmer, as it's been nothing but sunshine and lollipops out of Palmer's camp when asked about his recovery. With Palmer advancing in age (35), and Thomas being a intriguing raw talent, it's not out of the question that he could see some playing time in 2015. I wouldn't tell you to draft the scatter-shot Thomas, but his rushing upside and big arm could lead him to be intriguing down the line.
According to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, Andre Ellington's foot injury is "95 percent healed" and there hasn't been a "reoccurance". (Source: Josh Weinfuss via Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: This has to be a breath of fresh air for managers who have Ellington in their keeper formats. The 3rd year back suffered a major drop-off in 2014, but his stats were propped up by tremendous volume before finally breaking down. Looking ahead to draft-day, the Cardinals project to add another back to share the load with Ellington, but he still looks to have a huge role with the team going forward. Currently Ellington is ranked as the FantasyPros RB25 and 65th overall player, and represents a strong bet to deliver value if he can escape draft weekend without a highly-drafted challenger for touches.
Fri, Apr 24th 11:17am EDT
By Stacie Rigby
Cornerback Kevin Johnson has a work out session with the Baltimore Ravens at the training facility, according to an article by Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Johnson also visited with the Dallas Cowboys and had a dinner meeting with Pittsburgh Steelers GM. (Source: Baltimore Sun)
Fantasy Impact: Baltimore recently extended the contract of Jimmy Smith. After last year's collapse of the secondary, the team will have an interest in strengthening their stock. Johnson is a lightweight at 6'0', 188 pounds, but he can stick with a receiver in man coverage and has good eye-hand coordination when catching passes. He has a great athletic ability that never missed a game while playing in college.
Fri, Apr 24th 10:31am EDT
By Stacie Rigby
Defensive tackle Casey Walker has signed an exclusive rights tender worth $510,000, according to an article by Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Walker signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2013 as an undrafted free agent. He also played with the New England Patriots. (Source: Baltimore Sun)
Fantasy Impact: Walker, 25, has a career 12 tackles and one sack. Walker will be in good company with Ravens defensive tacklers Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan and Lawrence Guy. The Ravens rank fourth in the league in rushing yards (ESPN).
Miami's wide receiver Phillip Dorsett visited the Baltimore Ravens today, according to an article in the Baltimore Sun. Dorsett has also visited the Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles. (Source: Baltimore Sun)
Fantasy Impact: Dorsett is known as one of the the fastest players in the NFL Draft, running a 40-yard dash in 4.29 and 4.27 at his Pro day workout. At the NFL combine, he ran a 4.33. Baltimore will be interested in a wide receiver that can reach top speed quickly and averages 25+ yards per carry, however, he will go quickly. Projected as a first or second round pick (NFL).
Greg Jennings signed with the Miami Dolphins with a two-year deal. Jennings said that former OC Joe Philbin played a big part in his decision. Dolphins had a need for a veteran WR. Jennings also said he would love to play on the outside instead of the slot. (Source: Andrew Abramson)
Fantasy Impact: Jarvis Landry likely will man the slot position while Jennings heads to the outside. He will likely be the third or fourth target in the offense. Jennings is unlikely to make a big fantasy splash this upcoming season.
There are rumors that the Browns are interested in trading their two first round draft picks in the 2015 NFL draft to the Tennessee Titans in order to move up to select Marcus Mariota. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Fantasy Impact: The Browns-Mariota rumors have been floating around for most of the offseason. It is hard to say whether there's any truth to the rumors or not, but current quarterbacks coach Kevin O'Connell personally worked with Mariota earlier in the offseason before being hired by the Browns.
Wed, Apr 22nd 8:24pm EDT
By Stacie Rigby
Tight end Dennis Pitta is participating in the Ravens voluntary conditioning, as reported by Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Pitta is still rehabbing after his second hip surgery in two seasons. His first hip injury was during training camp of the 2013 season. He had surgery shortly afterwards and returned for the 2014 season. He re-injured the same hip during a non-contact play in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns. He caught a pass from Flacco and turned to run upfield when he collapsed on the field in obvious pain and had to be carted off. Pitta had his second hip surgery short afterwards. GM Newsome has stated that he might not have any information on his return until the summer. (Source: Baltimore Sun)
Fantasy Impact: Pitta, aka American Express, became a favorite target of Flacco. During his stellar career, he was targeted 208 times for 1,369 yards (ESPN). In three games in 2014, Pitta recorded 16 receptions for 125 yards. The Big Brass wants to see Pitta return healthy, but with Pitta nearing 30 years of age with two hip surgeries, it is a roll of the dice whether or not this Baltimore favorite will make a return.
Wed, Apr 22nd 7:02pm EDT
By Stacie Rigby
Terrapins wide receiver Stefon Diggs participated in the Ravens' local prospect day today, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. This invitation-only workout is for players from Maryland colleges and high schools. Diggs has also met with the Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots. (Source: Baltimore Sun)
Fantasy Impact: Diggs decided to forego his senior year at Maryland to enter the 2015 Draft. He is projected as a third round pick by analysts however, running a 4.46 at the combine could possibly increase his draft stock. Baltimore is in the market for a wide receiver after losing Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones in free agency. Diggs would be a welcome addition to back up 36-year old starting wide receiver Steve Smith. Diggs led the Terrapins last season with 62 receptions for 792 yards and five touchdowns.
Greg Jennings is reported to have agreed to terms with the Dolphins. Jennings played under HC Joe Philbin in Green Bay. (Source: Rand Getlin via Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Jennings provides a small boost to Tannehill's fantasy potential this year, and will likely be a serviceable WR3 himself this year. This is a tough break for Rishard Matthews, who was looking for a spot as the third receiver. With Miami still likely to add a WR in the draft Matthews could slide all the way down to fifth on the depth chart.