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Richard Rodgers

GB -TE

5 hours ago

Rodgers to overtake Quarless on depth chart?

Andrew Quarless led Packers TEs with 695 snaps last year.  Richard Rodgers was 2nd with 528.  But insider Rob Demovsky writes, "It wouldn't be a surprise if those numbers are reversed this year."  Rodgers was the more efficient receiver last year, besting Quarless in catch rate, yards per catch and yards per route run.  We project Rodgers to lead Packers TEs in fantasy points this season, but it's still tough to imagine him emerging as more than a matchup option.  Quarless will remain involved, and Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams are the clear top 3 targets.

Amari Cooper

OAK -WR

1 day ago

Carr raves about Cooper

Raiders QB Derek Carr didn't hold back any praise when discussing rookie WR Amari Cooper in a Tuesday radio appearance.  “He is ridiculous in and out of his breaks,” Carr said. “His style of play is perfect for this league. He’s good at getting on toes and creating separation. He’s good at when the ball is in his hands making those fast-twitch movements to make a guy go one way so he can take it to the house. It’s just little things that honestly people don’t even notice.”  Cooper is widely considered 1 of the most NFL-ready WRs to enter the league in a while.  He should slot right in as Oakland's #1 WR and produce as a fantasy starter this season.  Cooper will cost ya, though -- his 12-team PPR ADP is sitting in the early 5th round.

Geno Smith

NYJ -QB

1 day ago

Jaws sees "nice growth" from Smith

Count ESPN's Ron Jaworski among the group that still believes in Jets QB Geno Smith.  “I think Geno, when I’ve looked at him now for a couple of years in the NFL, I see a quarterback that’s getting better,” Jaws said.  “I see a nice growth every single year in Geno and I like the future of the Jets with Geno Smith at quarterback.”  Smith improved his completion rate (55.8% to 59.7%), TD rate (2.7% to 3.5%) and INT rate (4.7% to 3.5%) from 2013 to 2014.  Now he gets to play in OC Chan Gailey's spread offense, which is similar to the system Smith excelled in at West Virginia.  The Jets also added another weapon this offseason in WR Brandon Marshall.  "He can make every throw, he can do everything it takes to be an NFL quarterback. It’s just about consistency," Jaworski added.  If Smith can hold off QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job this summer, he'll be an intriguing matchup play in fantasy football.

Shane Vereen

NYG -RB

2 days ago

Vereen not just a 3rd-down back for Giants

Giants insider Jordan Raanan came away from spring practices believing that RB Shane Vereen is "not just going to be a third-down back."  We've heard similar sentiments from other members of the New York media.  Vereen is getting lots of work in passing situations, as expected, but has also been busy as a ball-carrier and in the red zone.  He never topped 96 carries in New England but could set a new career-high in 2015.  RB Rashad Jennings turned 30 in March, has never played a full 16-game season and averaged just 3.8 yards per carry last year.  RB Andre Williams mustered just 3.3 yards per carry as a rookie and offers nothing as a receiver.  "Get ready for a lot of Shane Vereen," Raanan adds.

Charles Johnson

MIN -WR

2 days ago

Turner talks up Johnson again

Vikings OC Norv Turner called Charles Johnson "far and away" the team's best WR earlier this offseason.  (Although that was before Minnesota traded for Mike Wallace.)  Turner piled on some more love after the team wrapped up minicamp:  "He's got great work ethic, and he's a big, strong guy. He's a 218-pound receiver that can run. He's got everything you need to be a productive player in this league."  Johnson certainly has the size and athleticism to flourish as a pro.  He closed last season with 25 catches, 415 yards and 2 TDs over the final 7 games and appears locked into a starting spot this year.  There's WR2 upside here, making Johnson a nice grab at his 7th-round ADP.

Rob Housler

CLE -TE

2 days ago

Housler will move around formation

Browns HC Mike Pettine called Rob Housler the "ideal 'F'" TE.  Here's how Pettine described that position: "The F is more of a move type, off the ball, more of a wing. You can flex him out some."  That's the kind of role we want our fantasy TE playing.  Housler was signed by the Browns to be a pass-catcher.  Although he disappointed in Arizona, there's still upside here.  Housler goes 6'5, 250 pounds with a SPARQ (athleticism) score in the 92nd percentile among TEs.  He's a nice late-round flier in fantasy drafts.

Tyler Lockett

SEA -WR

3 days ago

Lockett 1 of Seahawks' spring standouts

Seahawks HC Pete Carroll singled out 2 spring standouts after the conclusion of last week's minicamp.  The 1st was Jimmy Graham -- no surprise there.  But the 2nd was rookie WR Tyler Lockett.  “It’s been really fun to learn about Tyler," Carroll said. “He’s got a lot of responsibilities. He’s going after this return job, he’s inside playing in the slot in the receiver position, and he’s been outside.  We’ve just thrown everything at him because he seems to be able to handle it. He studies really hard. You don’t really know until you get these guys how dedicated they will be, but he’s been an exciting addition to the team.”  Lockett is expected to serve as Seattle's primary return man this season after scoring 6 special teams TDs in 4 college seasons.  But he's also capable of pushing for a significant role on offense.  Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse head to training camp as the team's top 2 WRs, but neither guy is the type of talent that will prevent Lockett from winning playing time.  The rookie is just a late-round flier for now but could climb our WR rankings in August.

Stevie Johnson

SD -WR

3 days ago

Johnson developing chemistry with Rivers

WR Stevie Johnson developed a "good rapport" with QB Philip Rivers this spring, according to ESPN's Eric Williams.  Williams calls Johnson the "x-factor" in a San Diego WR corps led by a still-developing Keenan Allen and 33-year-old Malcom Floyd.  Johnson should at least step into the slot role that produced 91 targets for Eddie Royal last year.  And Johnson is a more accomplished outside receiver, so his volume could grow beyond that.  He's a screaming value at his current 15th-round ADP.

Jadeveon Clowney

HOU -LB

3 days ago

Clowney on track for camp?

The Houston Chronicle reports that Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney has progressed so well from his microfracture knee surgery that "the goal is to have him on the practice field when camp begins." The 2nd-year man figures to work back in slowly after seeing time in only 4 games and landing on IR with a serious knee injury. We'll be quite curious to see how he performs on that repaired joint this summer and whether Clowney can prove ready to start by the regular season.

Jeremy Maclin

KC -WR

3 days ago

Maclin and Smith have "budding chemistry"

Chiefs insider Adam Teicher noticed "budding chemistry" between QB Alex Smith and WR Jeremy Maclin this spring.  Smith raved about the connection at the conclusion of minicamp.  “I feel really good about where things are right now, where they’re going, how they have progressed,” Smith said. “I really feel like we’ve gotten great work as a whole, but he and I especially have gotten a lot of reps together, a lot of good looks. I really feel like we have a good foundation before we put the pads on and head into camp.”  Malin has the advantage of familiarity with HC Andy Reid's offense from their time together in Kansas City.  Smith's conservative style caps Maclin's 2015 fantasy upside, but he's fairly price at his 6th-round ADP.

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