Fantasy Football News

Rumors

David Irving suspended by the NFL

By Anthony Cervino   Wed, Jun 28th 4:31pm EDT

DAL

ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting Dallas Cowboys pass rusher David Irving has been suspended by the NFL for four games for a violation of the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: As expected, Irving was handed a four-game ban by the NFL Wednesday for violating the league's PED policy. It is the second consecutive year that a Cowboys' pass rusher will miss the first four games of the season due to a suspension (DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory in 2016). Irving will likely be a role player on Dallas' defensive front seven upon his presumed return.


ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the Pittsburgh Steelers and running back Le'Veon Bell have "motivations" to put together a long-term deal before the July 17 deadline. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Although Schefter is reporting that both the Steelers and Bell are motivated to get a long-term deal done, nothing appears imminent. The NFL Insider added that a "push before and at the [July 17] deadline is expected from both sides," but how this shakes out "could go either way." If a new deal is not agreed upon, Bell will play the 2017 season under the guaranteed franchise tag value of roughly $12.7 million.


ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that there is an "improved tone" between the Washington Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins, "but a long-term deal still is considered a long shot for the time being." (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The NFL extended the deadline for franchise tagged players and their respective teams to work out a long-term deal from July 15 to July 17. However, the extra two days may not make a difference for Cousins and the Redskins as a deal is still viewed a "longshot." Expect this story to develop one way or another as mid-July approaches.


On Tuesday morning's episode of Good Morning Football on the NFL Network, Minnesota Vikings RB Latavius Murray said he expects to enter the 2017 season as the team's starting running back. (Source: NFL.com)

Fantasy Impact: Murray, who is coming off offseason ankle surgery, is expected to compete with rookie Dalvin Cook for the top spot on Minnesota's RB depth chart for the 2017 season. Although Murray is the proven veteran, Cook is viewed as the more explosive and versatile rusher with greater upside. I'd fully expect, however, the veteran back to open the year as the starter, but if he struggles, the Vikings will likely begin to present Cook with the bigger chunk of the workload sooner rather than later. Regardless of how this shakes out, I believe Murray will maintain the role of the team's short yardage/ goal line back throughout the course of the year, which will preserve his fantasy football value.


Pro Football Talk is reporting Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer's playing future "remains up in the air" past the 2017 season. “I love every facet of it,” Palmer said via ArizonaCardinals.com. “I don’t want to stop. But I’ll have to wait and make that decision after the season. … There’s always urgency, especially as you get to the second half of your career. You just never know when your last year is going to be.” (Source: Pro Football Talk)

Fantasy Impact: Palmer, 37, is entering his 15th season in the NFL. However, his playing future past the 2017 campaign remains uncertain. Coming off of a 2016 season in which he accumulated a 4,233-26-14 stat line while completing 61 percent of his passes and averaging 282.2 YPG, the veteran signal caller appears to have gas left in the tank, at least for the upcoming year. From a fantasy football perspective, Palmer holds value at his QB21 ADP as he could easily put together a back-end QB1 statistical season. View him as a fine late-round selection if he maintains his current ADP.


Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Speilman told the media wide receiver Michael Floyd will remain with the club following his one-day jail sentence due to a violation of a court order. (Source: Vikings on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Speilman added that the team "believes Michael [Floyd] will be a productive member of the Vikings" moving forward and that the troubled wideout is expected to report to the start of training camp with the rest of the team on July 26. With a strong showing in the preseason, Floyd could open the 2017 campaign as Minnesota's WR3.


Chicago Bears beat writer Brad Biggs is suggesting tight end Danel Brown could push Zach Miller for his 2017 roster spot. (Source: The Chicago Tribune)

Fantasy Impact: The Bears' tight end position has depth entering the 2017 season. They added Adam Shaheen via the draft and Dion Sims via free agency this offseason, while still rostering Miller and Brown. Per Biggs, Sims' and Sheehan's roster spots are safe. While Ben Braunecker, MyCole Pruitt, Miller and Brown will likely partake in a training camp/ preseason battle for the final "one or two" spots on the TE depth chart. Biggs believes that Miller, who has been plagued by injury throughout his career and is the elder of the group (32-years-old), could be on the outs in Chicago if Brown continues to impress. From a fantasy football perspective, I'd monitor this situation closely. If Miller is indeed on his way out, expect Shaheen or Sims to step into the featured role for the upcoming season. However, if Miller maintains his starting job, he would be worth a late round selection in fantasy drafts as he will likely emerge as Mike Glennon's safety blanket on short and intermediate routes.


Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is suggesting to the media wide receiver Jamison Crowder could see an expanded role in 2017. "I've said all along Jamison can play anywhere," Gruden said via The Washington Post. "He can play outside, inside. He can play running back probably if he wanted to. So we'll utilize Jamison and try to get him more involved, not just in the passing game and the running game." (Source: Washington Post)

Fantasy Impact: After the Redskins allowed Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson to depart via free agency this offseason, the door is open for Crowder to emerge as Washington's top wideout in 2017. Despite adding Terrelle Pryor and seeing the likely the return of second-year receiver Josh Doctson to full health for the first time in his pro career, Crowder remains the favorite to lead the Redskins in receiving. Primarily a slot WR, Crowder is an explosive and dynamic weapon that Kirk Cousins has frequently leaned on as his safety blanket, which is expected to continue moving forward. Coming off of a career year in 2016 in which he accumulated a 67-847-7 stat line while averaging 12.7 YPC, Crowder should be viewed a budding star who could be a steal in fantasy drafts at his #74 overall ADP.


Denver Broncos beat writer Mike Klis believes Paxton Lynch is "making a push" for the starting quarterback job in 2017. (Source: 9 News Denve)

Fantasy Impact: It appears Lynch is gaining ground on Trevor Siemian, the early favorite to emerge as Denver's starting QB for the 2017 season. Klis is suggesting that Lynch, who struggled throughout his tenure in Denver, "flipped a switch" during the final week of OTAs and is beginning to put it all together. "His switch was flipped. He started to get it," Klis said via 9 News Denver. "He started to play as if he was doing just that – playing. Playing and not thinking about his protections and hot reads and coverages and delivering the ball on time." Entering the training camp portion of the offseason, which begins in late July, Lynch is fully expected to compete with Siemian for the top spot on the depth chart and could ultimately beat him out if he showcases more consistency. I wouldn't expect the Broncos to name their starting quarterback until the conclusion of the preseason.


Rams running backs coach Skip Peete says that last season, Todd Gurley sometimes ran away from the play-call. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: Even if that were the case, 68.5% of Gurley's yards came after contact. Add that to the fact that his good-blocking-yards-per-attempt, a statistic calculated by ESPN NFL Insider K.C. Joyner, went from the best in the league in 2015 to the seventh-worst in 2016. Numbers say that with better offensive line play, Gurley has all of the tools to succeed, and with the addition of Andrew Whitworth and the departure of Greg Robinson, he should be in line for a bounce back season. Gurley should end up somewhere in-between his fantastic 2015 and disastrous 2016.


Carolina Panthers beat writer Joseph Person believes the threat of tight end Greg Olsen holding out "bears watching" moving forward. "Greg Olsen’s desire for a new contract is not a media creation," Person said via the Charlotte Observer. "Olsen wants to be paid at a level commensurate with his production and could make things uncomfortable with the threat of a training camp holdout. I don’t think it will come to that, but the situation bears watching." (Source: Charlotte Observer on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Olsen has been one of the most productive tight ends in the NFL since entering the league in 2007. However, it wasn't until 2012, his second year in Carolina, at which he emerged as one of the league's top players at his position. After compiling three consecutive seasons of at least 77 receptions, 1,008 yards and three touchdowns, the 32-year-old, who still has two years remaining on his current contract, believes he is in line for a new deal that will pay him as an elite TE. Although he is not slated to hit the open market until the 2019 season, the Panthers could ultimately extend Olsen sooner rather than later and finally put the murmurs of their top receiving threat holding out to bed. Olsen is a top five fantasy TE entering the 2017 season.


A year after being the Titans' second leading receiver, with 522 receiving yards and two touchdowns, Tajae Sharpe will "have a chance," to make the team this year said Head Coach Mike Mularkey. (Source: Nashville Tennessean)

Fantasy Impact: Sharpe has declined to speak to reporters since being accused of assault in May, and he also is two weeks removed from surgery on his right foot to repair a stress fracture. Sharpe was already the odd man out in the Titans receiving corps, after the team added two receivers in the first three rounds of the 2017 NFL draft and also recently signed Eric Decker to a one-year deal. Sharpe should not be touched by any fantasy owners, except in extremely deep leagues.


Seattle Seahawks beat reporter Bob Condotta believes running backs Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls will "take a fairly equal share of the base down carries" in 2017. (Source: The Seattle Times)

Fantasy Impact: Since Marshawn Lynch retired following the 2015 season -- he recently un-retired and was acquired by the Oakland Raiders -- the Seahawks' backfield has been a volatile unit. Entering 2017, expect very much of the same. Although they signed Lacy as a free agent this offseason, Rawls, a similar style back, remains in the mix for carries and could split the early-down workload with the former. For the third down role/ primary receiver out of the backfield, expect that role to be handled by C.J. Prosise, who showed promise last season before being lost to injury. From a fantasy football perspective, Lacy should be the first RB coming off draft boards in upcoming fantasy drafts, but be sure to handcuff him with Rawls as neither one of them could be trusted to remain healthy or produce on a consistent basis. As for Prosise, he should be targeted around Round 10 or later, but should garner greater value in PPR scoring formats.


Matt Forte to be Jets' lead back?

By Anthony Cervino   Sat, Jun 24th 7:23am EDT

NYJ

New York Jets beat writer Connor Hughes believes running back Matt Forte will be the team's "offensive workhorse" in 2017. (Source: NJ.com)

Fantasy Impact: With the Jets heading into a rebuilding year in 2017 -- they moved on from a plethora of players over the age of 30 this offseason -- it comes to a surprise that Hughes believes Forte will lead their backfield. Throughout the offseason, most experts, including myself, think Bilal Powell will continue to lead the duo in touches and total yards as he had at the tail end of the 2016 campaign. From a fantasy football perspective, Powell has been the first Jets' rusher coming off the board in mock drafts, while Forte is going a handful of rounds later. However, even if Forte opens the upcoming season as the starter, I'd still expect Powell to supersede him sooner rather than later.


The WR3 starting position is up for grabs in Chicago, and it seems like Markus Wheaton is ahead of Victor Cruz and Kendall Wright. (Source: Chicago Tribune)

Fantasy Impact: The fantasy appeal for Markus Wheaton is non-existent at this point, but it is worth noting that he will most likely be on the field in three-receiver sets for the Bears. Wheaton is a field stretcher, as noted by his 4.45 40-yard dash time at the 2013 combine. He has a chance to make a few big plays here and there, but it is hard to imagine a situation where this Bears offense makes a third WR fantasy-relevant. Wheaton becomes a little intriguing in fantasy if Kevin White continues to be plagued with injuries.


ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the Oakland Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr are "close to finalizing" a long-term deal. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Schefter is adding that Carr's new deal will pay him close to $25 million per year, which could be agreed upon and signed by Friday. When it's all said and done, Carr will likely become the highest paid player at his position.


Cleveland Browns beat writer Nate Ulrich is reporting wide receiver Corey Coleman was not charged by Cuyahoga County Court in an alleged assault hearing stemming from December 31, 2016. (Source: Ohio.com)

Fantasy Impact: Although Coleman was not charged, the other parties involved that include his brother, Jonathan, and associate, Jared Floyd were both indicted on one count of felonious assault on Adam Sapp last New Years Eve. However, per the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, the "matter remains under investigation," which means Coleman is not completely in the clear yet. Currently, Coleman is not expected to receive any disciplinary action from the NFL.


ESPN's Dianna Russini is reporting the Atlanta Falcons are "confident they'll have a deal done" with running back Devonta Freeman "by the first week of training camp." (Source: Dianna Russini on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: It appears the Falcons and Freeman are close to agreeing to terms on a new long-term contract extension. Per reports, the Falcons are "confident" that it will get done by the first week of July's training camp. Freeman, who would enter his walk year if a new deal is not agreed upon, is currently slated to earn $1.838 million in 2017 and is vastly underpaid compared to his production since becoming Atlanta's featured back in 2015. Freeman has accumulated at least 1,541 total yards and 13 touchdowns in each of the past two seasons.


Pro Football Talk is reporting free agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin is expected to wait until "right before" training camp to sign with a team. "For me, training camp is a necessary evil," Boldin said Monday. "I think that’s the only way you can get prepared for a season. So I prefer to sign right before training camp to make sure I get in, learn the new system, learn my teammates, get all the mistakes out of the way, get hit a couple times to make sure that when that first game comes I feel fully prepared.” (Source: Pro Football Talk)

Fantasy Impact: Boldin, 36, intends to play his 15th NFL season in 2017 -- he is expected to sign with a team prior to the start of training camp in late July. However, the question remains, who will he sign with? Although reports suggest that he'd prefer to "stay close to home" in Florida, the veteran wideout will likely play for a team that best fits his skill set, especially if they are a championship contender. Coming off of a 67-584-8 season in 2016, Boldin could certainly help a club with a need at wide receiver, likely assuming a lesser role as a WR3.


New York Jets beat writer Brian Costello does not believe Josh McCown is a "sure thing" to open the 2017 season as the team's starting quarterback. (Source: Brian Costello on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The Jets quarterback situation remains in question heading into training camp. Although McCown is the favorite to open the upcoming season as the starter, Costello does not think its a lock. Both Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty showed promise in the midst of struggles during offseason workouts, which could push McCown. Still, I'd fully expect the elder journeyman to emerge under center for the Jets in Week 1.