Fantasy Football News
Latest Player Updates
Mon, Jul 27th 10:45pm EDT
By Jake Perper
According to his agent on Twitter earlier Monday, WR/KR A.J. Cruz signed with the Chicago Bears. He is the 90th player on the roster and provides the Bears with another speedy return man. (Source: Bears Backer)
Fantasy Impact: The former Brown DB has played in the AFL the past two seasons where he totaled seven return TD's and led all AFL returners in 2014 with 23.1 YPR. He will compete for the return gig with Marc Mariani, who is the frontrunner for the position. The Bears also have Levi Norwood, Jacquizz Rodgers, Eddie Royal and Senorise Perry competing for the return spot. Cruz is the 12th WR on the Bears' roster heading into the start of training camp practices on Thursday.
Mon, Jul 27th 6:10pm EDT
By John Aubin
Brandon LaFell (foot) was among eight Patriots players placed on the team's Active/Physically Unable to Perform list in advance of training camp, csnne.com reports. (Source: CSNNE)
Fantasy Impact: It appears as though the Patriots are exercising caution with Brandon LaFell. He is coming off of a foot injury and will hopefully be ready for the opening of the season. LaFell had a strong season last year with 74 catches and should get similar numbers this year if healthy.
Category: Injury Updates
Mon, Jul 27th 2:59pm EDT
By Alexander Onushco
Cleveland Browns head coach stated that rookie WR Vince Mayle will be able to participate in pass-catching drills from the onset of training camp. Mayle required surgery for a broken thumb in May. (Source: Nate Ulrich on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Mayle, a fourth-round rookie out of Washington State, has a chance to ascend a lackluster WR group. Still, don't expect a big splash his rookie season. He is safely off the re-draft radar, but has some appeal in dynasty leagues as an end-of-the-roster stash.
In an interview with the Cleveland Browns website, head coach Mike Pettine made it clear that veteran journeyman Josh McCown would be the team's Week 1 starter ahead of Johnny Manziel. (Source: Cleveland Browns)
Fantasy Impact: This has been the belief all offseason, but Pettine's confirmation all but assures that there will be little competition for the team's starting QB gig. Unfortunately, McCown has proven mediocre at best as a starter and has a weak supporting cast around him. That isn't a recipe for fantasy success and he should continue to be left on the waiver wire in all but the deepest leagues.
Jay Cutler enters this season getting set to play for his third head coach and fifth offensive coordinator since arriving in Chicago in a blockbuster trade in 2009. Does Cutler need to step up his game this season? You bet. But taking the pressure off of him like new OC Adam Gase will do is key.
Fantasy Impact: Cutler has his third-down security blanket in Pro Bowl TE Martellus Bennett as his disposal as well as No. 1 WR Alshon Jeffery, slot WR Eddie Royal, No. 7 overall pick Kevin White and RB Matt Forte. Also, don't forget about third-year man Marquess Wilson as a moving part in the WR group. Cutler has options in terms of the passing game. If his offensive line can stay healthy and most importantly be effective this offense should bounce back. Forte and the rest of the backs will be running more often than not, so that should take the game off Cutler's shoulders at times. This is a huge year for the 32-year-old Cutler. With low expectations, he could be a sneaky pick at his ADP of 119 overall and QB19.
After leading all Bears' defenders with 10 sacks in 2014, defensive end turned outside linebacker Willie Young is vying for playing time this season. The 29-year-old tore his left Achilles tendon in Week 16 against Detroit.
Fantasy Impact: He didn't participate in OTA's or minicamp and could be placed on the PUP when training camp officially opens in Bourbonnais on Wednesday. Either way, outside of off-season addition Pernell McPhee, the outside linebacker spot is up for grabs. The Bears have Young, Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Sam Acho and David Bass all looking to earn a starting role. Young and Allen could end up as rotational pieces, while Houston might bulk up to be a 3-4 defensive end. The Bears have talent at outside linebacker, but they just need to find roles for all these pass rushers, especially Young, who deserves a key role.
Cleveland Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot passes along a rumor that some NFL coaches believe Terrelle Pryor's best fit is as a tight-end, focusing more on pass-catching than blocking. (Source: The Plain Dealer)
Fantasy Impact: Pryor is currently trying to make the team as a wide receiver, though he has the size and athleticism to also switch positions a third time to tight-end. He has a real chance to make the team at either position, given the current lack of talent at both. He is worth a stash in all dynasty leagues and should be monitored in deeper re-draft leagues as a possible free agent pick-up.
Pat McManamon, ESPN's Cleveland Browns staff writer, believes that wide receiver Brian Hartline will have a better statistical season than teammate Dwayne Bowe. This assertion is based off of the fact that Hartline is only one year removed from a career season, whereas Bowe's last meaningful season came in 2011. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Hartline is also two full years younger than Bowe. The consensus believes that Bowe will be top dog in the Browns passing game, considering he inked a two-year deal worth twice as much as Hartline's. Regardless of who has the better season, it is a good bet that neither warrants more than late draft consideration, as the team's bread and butter will be the running game this season.
ESPN Boston considers ILB Dont’a Hightower (shoulder) questionable for Week 1. Hightower is expected to open training camp on active/PUP after sitting out OTAs. Five months into a 6-7 month timetable, Hightower isn’t a lock to be ready for Week 1. (Source: ESPN Boston)
Fantasy Impact: Dont'a Hightower is expected to be one of the leaders of the Patriots defense. And he is also considered a top player in IDP rankings. This news could drop his draft status but could be a good stash for later in the year.
Category: Injury Updates
DEs Kapron Lewis-Moore and Brent Urban, both coming off ACL injuries, are back to full health and expected to push for playing time during camp. The Ravens anticipate ILB CJ Mosley will be fully recovered from his wrist surgery prior to the start of the season and, in the back end, CB Jimmy Smith has recovered from his foot injury and will be full-go for camp. (Source: Baltimore Ravens)
Fantasy Impact: Despite the loss of Haloti Ngata during free agency, the Ravens' front seven figures to be as good as ever. While much will be expected of second-year DT Timmy Jernigan and rookie DT Carl Davis, having Lewis-Moore and Urban healthy adds depth along the DL and ILBs Mosley and Smith are well-established run stoppers. On the outside, OLBs Dumvervil and Suggs will remain one of the league's most formidable pass rush duos. While Baltimore's secondary was exposed late last year, their pass rush and ability to shut down opponents’ run games made the Ravens DST a very good fantasy play all season long and they figure to be just as effective in 2015.
Category: Injury Updates
Sat, Jul 25th 1:17pm EDT
By Alexander Onushco
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel reportedly spent time with Jon Gruden this offseason to study film and work on his on-field mechanics. (Source: Akron Beacon Journal)
Fantasy Impact: After a rocky (to put it mildly) start to his NFL career, Manziel has been saying and do all the right things as he prepares to battle journeyman Josh McCown for the starting quarterback position. While receiving some guidance from Gruden certainly can't hurt, it remains to be seen if Manziel actually has the requisite skill-set to make it in the NFL as a true franchise QB. He should continue to be held in dynasty leagues, but isn't worth spending a pick on in re-draft leagues.
The Buffalo Bills' offensive a scheme is designed to make the tight end a prominent part of the offense, reports Buffalo News Bills beat writer Vic Carucci. (Source: Vic Carucci)
Fantasy Impact: That tidbit came in a report downplaying Percy Harvin's role in the offense, suggesting Charles Clay, whom the Bills made one of the highest-paid tight ends in the NFL, may be the No. 2 passing target in the offense after Sammy Watkins. That would be consistent with most of offensive coordinator Greg Roman's time in San Francisco, where Vernon Davis was the second-most targeted receiver from 2011 to 2013. Clay is a sneaky TE2 in PPR leagues.
Byron Jones will start camp at CB, but could move around to Safety. (Source: DallasCowboys.com)
Fantasy Impact: Byron Jones could rival J.J. Wilcox for playing time at safety, or slide right into the number 3 corner spot. Keep an eye on where Jones gets placed as it will affect both Wilcox and Morris Claiborne.
Fri, Jul 24th 10:22pm EDT
By Steve Painter
Gresham had a standing offer from the Saints, and had received interest from Green Bay and Chicago, but the Cardinals ended up signing him. He projects as the Y-tight end for the team. He is still recovering from offseason back surgery and remains a question mark for training camp. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Gresham is more of a blocker now even though he is quite capable of still catching passes. He doesn't project much production with the Cardinals and remains undraftable.
The Pittsburgh Steeler superstar has recently acquired a ridiculously stylin' Rolls Royce to cruise into training camp with. A custom, black and yellow, personally signed Rolls Royce Phantom. (Source: NFL Network on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The best wide receiver in the league is beaming. Brown is atop the NFL world and living the dream that only elite talents can achieve. Despite the tougher schedule this season, I believe Brown will post 100+ receptions, over 1000 yards and double digit TDs again. Count it!
Fri, Jul 24th 5:43pm EDT
By Patrick Cole
Boise State product Kellen Moore has been taking 2nd team reps with the Lions in training camp, and is looking to claim the backup quarterback role. Last season many people thought Moore had outplayed Dan Orlovsky in the pre-season, but he was still the team's third QB. (Source: MLive)
Fantasy Impact: While it is looking like Moore may officially claim the backup spot in his fourth season in the league, it will take an injury to Matthew Stafford for him to see any playing time.
Fri, Jul 24th 2:49pm EDT
By Paul Maland
Eric Wiliams of ESPN doesn't expect Austin Pettis to crack the Chargers 53-man roster. After being drafted in the third round in 2011 by the Rams, Pettis has simply failed to produce on the field. He will likely battle Javontee Herndon and undrafted rookie Tyrell Williams for the sixth receiver spot. At this point he appears to be on the outside looking in. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Even if he makes the active roster he will be buried behind Malcom Floyd, Keenan Allen, and Stevie Johnson in depth. Pettis should be far off from your fantasy radar.
Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Cam Worthy was placed on physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Wednesday, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. The Ravens still have an abundance of receiver talent such as Kamar Aiken, Steve Smith, Sr., Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro and rookie Breshad Perriman. (Source: Baltimore Sun)
Fantasy Impact: Worthy suffered a Jones foot fracture in Medal of Honor Bowl game in January and could not work out at the NFL combine or for any team. He was picked up as a free agent from East Carolina and finished second with 55 receptions for 1,016 yards and four touchdowns. A solid receiver with excellent stats that can become a reliable target for Flacco if he can remain healthy.
Category: Injury Updates
Fri, Jul 24th 2:20pm EDT
By Alex Haeussler
Texans beat writer Tania Ganguli predicts that Cecil Shorts will open Week 1 as one of the Texans starting wide receivers. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Shorts has had success in the past with weak QB play. In 2012 he nearly posted 1,000 receiving yards and 7 TD's with a combination of Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert. Having said that, he was the only real target the Jaguars had at the time. Shorts may post a few solid games here and there, but will not be nearly consistent enough to warrant roster considerations unless an injury occurs to another WR on the Texans.
Fri, Jul 24th 11:29am EDT
By John Muguerza
Joseph Randle has received a deferred adjudication for his now famous underwear/cologne theft in October 2014. If Randle stays out of trouble for 180 days the class C misdemeanor theft charge will be dismissed. (Source: The Dallas Morning News)
Fantasy Impact: This incident is just a reminder of how much the Cowboys believe in Randle. Considering the fact Dallas didn't resign DeMarco Murray, draft a RB in 2015 and signed only Darren McFadden and Ryan Williams for competition. Randle was also the focus of a domestic violence investigation were he allegedly broke a car window and pointed a gun at two people, one of which being his infant son. After the investigation, charges would not be filed due to lack of evidence. Randle should be replacing Murray who ran behind the leagues best offensive line, was the NFL's leading rusher and last years highest scoring fantasy RB in most formats. According to the expert consensus rankings on FantasyPros.com, Randle is currently being drafted as the 26th RB off the board which could make him the steal of most drafts (no pun intended).