Fantasy Football News

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According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, 30-year-old veteran free agent running back DeMarco Murray has chosen to retire from the NFL. Murray drew some interest in the offseason after being released by the Titans in March. The former Cowboys, Eagles and Titans Pro Bowler will hang them up with 7,174 career rushing yards and 55 total touchdowns. (Source: Adam Schefter via twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Murray fell off career-low 3.6 yards-per-carry and 659 rushing yards last season, indicating his days as a workhorse were likely over. He might have latched on as a part-timer in training camp, but Murray instead is choosing to walk away from the NFL after seven seasons.


Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann of SBNation's Mile High Report says that rookie wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton is in competition for the starting slot receiver job to open the season. (Source: SBNation)

Fantasy Impact: This seemed like a job that was destined to go to Carlos Henderson after they spent a third-round pick on him last year, but it's rumored that he's now on the roster bubble after failing to stay healthy and get on the field. Hamilton himself was a fourth-round pick in this year's draft and may not come with the upside that Henderson did, but he's a precise route-runner who should be able to succeed out of the slot. The question is whether or not they move Emmanuel Sanders into the slot in order to find a home for second-round pick Courtland Sutton, who is a perimeter wide receiver. There's still a whole lot to be decided on the Broncos depth chart, so we'll be watching it closely throughout the preseason, but we suspect it'll be Demaryius Thomas and Sanders in two-wide sets, with Hamilton coming on the field when they go three-wide.


LeSean McCoy is denying allegations of domestic abuse that were posted by a friend of his girlfriend earlier today on Instagram. McCoy recently posted a note on Twitter, saying, "For the record, the totally baseless and offensive claims made against me today on social media are completely false. Further more, I have not had any direct contact with any of the people involved in months." (Source: LeSean McCoy on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The Buffalo Bills have already reportedly stated that they are aware of the allegations and are looking into them. In addition to accusing McCoy of domestic violence against his girlfriend, the Instagram post includes claims of domestic violence against their young son, abusing his dog to the point of kidney failure, and using illegal steroids. The NFL has a zero-tolerance policy for both domestic violence and illegal substances, which make these allegations that much more troubling for McCoy and the Bills. If proven true, this would likely be the end of McCoy's career. However, the situation is ongoing and McCoy himself has now already denied the accusations.


In a recent interview with PalmBeachPost, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase was asked about Frank Gore being 35 years old this season. His response was, "It's irrelevant. He's a different dude." (Source: PalmBeachPost)

Fantasy Impact: It was puzzling when the Dolphins signed Gore, so this should really come as no shock. Gase was on the same team as Gore back in 2008 when he served as an offensive assistant on the 49ers, so there is a history between the two. Still, it'd be odd if Gase decided to take away touches from 2017's breakout star Kenyan Drake, who has totaled 823 yards on 166 career carries behind a sub-par offensive line to this point (5.0 yards per carry), while Gore has averaged just 3.8 yards per carry over the last three years. Gore is the type of running back who will hold a lead for your team by not losing yards on carries, but the Dolphins (similar to the Colts in 2017) are not a team that is built for that. We'd be shocked if Gore averaged more than 30 percent of the snaps this season, making him a non-factor in fantasy. Meanwhile, Drake should be considered a low-end RB2.


Scott Patsko of Cleveland.com is reporting that new offensive coordinator Todd Haley is open to anything with the backfield, but said, "It will be determined by what they are capable of handling on a down-in, down-out basis." (Source: Cleveland.com)

Fantasy Impact: This is obviously big news for Johnson, as neither Carlos Hyde nor Nick Chubb have been known to be great receivers out of the backfield. Some will say that Hyde posted solid totals under Kyle Shanahan last year, but it was extremely volume-driven rather than skill-driven. In the interview, Haley went on to say, "I've done it both ways. We led the league in rushing in Kansas City (2010) in a two-back, almost a two-and-a-half back system. Then in Pittsburgh obviously, when Le'Veon Bell was playing, he was playing." The three-year extension for Johnson says a lot about the team's plans for him in the offense, but this appears to be more of the two-and-a-half back system that Haley had back in Kansas City. It would be a major surprise if anyone in this backfield netted more than 220 touches in 2018, making it one that'll be incredibly hard to predict.


According to a report from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is expected to be a major part of the team's offense in 2018. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: Smith-Schuster turned in an exceptional rookie campaign, racking up 917 yards and seven touchdowns. Fowler predicts that Smith-Schuster will see at least 100 targets in his sophomore season. Smith-Schuster drew 79 targets in his rookie season but will no longer have to contend with Martavis Bryant, who is now in Oakland. He should be treated as a low-end WR2 for fantasy purposes in 2018.


The NFL denied Julian Edelman's appeal of his four-game suspension on Tuesday. He will miss the first four games of the season. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Although there was some thought that Edelman could have his suspension at least reduced, it was not to be. He will miss games against the Texans, Jaguars, Lions, and Dolphins. Chris Hogan will likely benefit substantially, but Rob Gronkowski should see an even higher share of targets in Edelman's absence. Edelman should return as a WR2 immediately after his suspension ends, so don't dock him too far in your draft rankings.


Reuben Foster has been given a two-game suspension for violating NFL conduct and substance abuse policies. The violations are a result of a weapons offense and a misdemeanor drug offense, both of which were resolved earlier this year. (Source: San Francisco 49ers)

Fantasy Impact: It's a relatively light punishment considering how the league has handled other cases in recent memory involving similar offenses. From a fantasy perspective, IDP players can still draft Foster and expect solid return from the young linebacker. The only concern now is if he can avoid injury based on his style of play. Foster has dealt with various injuries including ankle and shoulder problems in his short NFL career.


Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones has been suspended without pay for the first two games of the 2018 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports on Twitter. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: After a promising start to the 2017 NFL season, Jones fell off due to injuries in the second half. He was facing an important offseason and was reported to have added a significant amount of muscle in an attempt to improve his durability and help him in pass protection just prior to the announcement of his suspension. He will now serve a two-game suspension to start the season, which will certainly not help his chances of beating out Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams for playing time, at least in the early going.


Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin has the lowest drop rate among NFL receivers since 2015. (Source: SeahawksWire)

Fantasy Impact: It's an impressive feat when you consider how many targets Baldwin has had over the past few seasons. He had another strong campaign in 2017, catching 75 balls for 991 yards and eight TDs. With Jimmy Graham out of the picture, Baldwin should hog even more targets this upcoming season.


According to Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Jimmy Garoppolo shouldn't have made the NFL Top 100 list this past week. (Source: NFL.com)

Fantasy Impact: Garoppolo came in at number 90, but Ramsey's point is that coaches didn't have enough film on him last year to draw up defensive schemes. It's a fair point, and a reminder not to go crazy in drafting Garoppolo too early this summer. Garoppolo should still have a productive season, and is still worth drafting, but don't get tied to him. There's also plenty of other late round quarterbacks to target in fantasy drafts.


Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was ranked 27th in NFL's Top 100 players this past week. (Source: NFL on YouTube)

Fantasy Impact: The all time great receiver once again overcame subpar quarterback play in 2017, catching 109 balls for 1,156 yards and six touchdowns. The 34-year-old isn't a "sexy" pick by any means, but he remains a value pick at his 5th round ADP.


Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley was ranked sixth in NFL's Top 100 players this past week. (Source: NFL on YouTube)

Fantasy Impact: It's a reminder of how special Gurley's 2017 campaign was. The 23-year-old went for over 2,000 yards from scrimmage last season to go along with a league leading 19 total touchdowns. The former 10th overall draft pick is expected to carry another massive workload this year. He's in play as the top pick in re-draft leagues this summer.


Dion Jones recorded high grades across the board, but especially in coverage with a grade of 94.8. He also came in 30th on the PFF50 list. (Source: Pro Football Focus)

Fantasy Impact: Jones is an ascending linebacker who is only in his third season at a young age of 23 years old. Fantasy owners should consider him as the top of the targets heading into 2018 for their IDP leagues.


In a Twitter post on Friday, Colts running back Robert Turbin announced he's being suspended four games for the use of performance-enhancing drugs. (Source: Robert Turbin on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This may seem little to a lot of people, but Turbin was seemingly set to take the LeGarrette Blount role in Frank Reich's offense after he'd gained a ton of steam in mini-camp. This obviously changes that and brightens up the opportunity for both Marlon Mack and Jordan Wilkins to get more goal-line work. Based on everything we've heard, Nyheim Hines will be the Darren Sproles-type player in the offense, but we don't know who they're planning on giving the majority of work to between Mack and Wilkins. It's also been reported that each running back has seen reps with the first-team offense, but as of now, we'd guess that Mack leads the timeshare in touches.


Jameis Winston announced today that he will not appeal his three-game suspension for violating the league's personal-conduct policy. The NFL and Winston came to a negotiated settlement that will keep the quarterback out of Tampa's first three games to open the 2018 season. Winston also released an apology statement and indicated he had "eliminated alcohol from [his] life." (Source: Tom Pelissero on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Winston will miss the opener in New Orleans and a pair of home contests against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Ryan Fitzpatrick will make those starts and is worth a pickup for Winston owners. The assumption is that Winston will take back his starting gig in Week 4 but this is not the first time that the quarterback has faced controversy. Winston is still a solid fantasy option but his three-game absence drops him out of QB1 consideration. More importantly, the 24-year-old signal-caller needs to start making better decisions off the field if he wants to remain an NFL quarterback.


Sammy Watkins being moved

Thu, Jun 28th 5:43am EDT
By Mike Tagliere

In a recent interview, head coach Andy Reid had this to say about Sammy Watkins. "We were moving him everywhere. He hasn't had to do that in his career." (Source: Chiefs.com)

Fantasy Impact: This may seem like little news, but it's really not, as Reid seems to understand that Watkins is not the one-trick-pony that everyone's cracked him up to be. While in Buffalo and Los Angeles, Watkins primarily played on the perimeter, matching up with some of the top-tier cornerbacks in the NFL because he was the only threat on the field. Coming to play alongside Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce should make the game a bit easier on him. When a wide receiver goes into the slot, they're often matched up with a nickel cornerback who's not an every-down player. Because of that, there's a clear talent-gap and potential for fantasy points is massive. Watkins is still likely to be a bit up-and-down in another new offense, but Reid showing the willingness to move him around should smooth out the ride. Consider him an upside WR3 in fantasy drafts.


In an interview with NFL Network, rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk said, “To be honest, just with what the coaches have said and just the way it’s looking, I’m pretty sure Sam (Bradford) is going to start.” (Source: NFL Network)

Fantasy Impact: We probably should've expected this, given the $20 million the Cardinals paid Bradford, but that was also before they traded up to snag Josh Rosen. While Bradford likely gets the Week 1 start, we haven't seen him hold up behind offensive lines much better than this one. Whether it be due to injury or play, we'd expect Rosen to make some starts in 2018, though neither is likely to be a weekly fantasy contributor that you want to rely on.


Making an annual appearance as part of the Change the Play initiative, Colts QB Andrew Luck said he was without pain and will continue an offseason regiment of three days of throwing followed by one day off. Later this week, Luck is scheduled to meet with his receivers for throwing sessions and as long as Luck remains pain-free, "he’s on track to suit up Sept. 9 for the Colts’ opener against Cincinnati." (Source: The Indy Star)

Fantasy Impact: Luck's progress is a stark contrast to last year and hearing he is throwing without pain is a great sign that the 28-year-old signal-caller will be primed and ready to return to fantasy prominence. A healthy Luck is a locked-in QB1 with top-5 upside and an excellent value at his current ADP, which will start creeping up as drafters read more positive developments about Luck's recovery.


ESPN beat reporter John Keim says that rookie running back Derrius Guice will make an impact "from the get-go," and that it would be a surprise if someone other than Guice opened the season as the starter. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: This should have been expected all along as we watched Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine plod their way to 3.36 yards per carry last year with four touchdowns on a combined 237 carries. Keim went on to say that he doesn't see Guice as an every-down back until he can handle the protections and be utilized in the passing-game, something Chris Thompson does very well. Still, you should expect 14-18 touches per game for Guice to start the season, which is plenty to fill an RB2 role on your fantasy team.