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Deone Bucannon

ARI -DB

7 hours ago

Bucannon in line to start?

Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was working with at the strong spot with the 1st team in spring workouts. DC James Bettcher told the team website that he has yet to decide on the starters at some positions -- including SS -- but the early nod to last year's 1st-round pick suggests he's the favorite. Bucannon proved wildly productive as a college safety and could still play some LB in nickel packages. That role would keep him in the middle of the action and can only help his tackle numbers. Unless he has a bad summer and lets Tony Jefferson pass him on the depth chart, Bucannon looks like at least a DB2 for IDP fantasy football leagues this year. Look for him to climb our 2015 IDP rankings.

Blake Bortles

JAC -QB

1 day ago

Bortles dealt with "dead arm" last year

Jaguars HC Gus Bradley recently revealed that QB Blake Bortles was dealing with "dead arm" down the stretch last season.  He experienced inflammation and had to cut back on practice reps.  Bortles also suffered a toe injury in December that impacted his footwork.  The injuries at least partly explain his ugly 50.4% completion rate and 4.8 yards-per-attempt average in the final 4 games.  Bortles posted a 62.3% completion rate and 6.7-yard average in his first 10 games.  Neither the shoulder nor the toe required surgery, and Bortles is at 100% heading to training camp.  With a year of experience under his belt and an improved supporting cast, there's plenty of potential for a big leap in 2015.  Bortles is an intriguing QB2 available in the final few rounds of drafts.

Ladarius Green

SD -TE

1 day ago

Green gets 4-game audition for starting job

Chargers insider Eric Williams confirms that TE Ladarius Green will slide into the starting spot while TE Antonio Gates serves his 4-game suspension to open the 2015 campaign.  It's a huge opportunity for a supremely gifted athlete.  The 6'6, 240-pounder boasts 4.5 speed, a 34.5-inch vertical and is averaging 16.4 yards per catch through 3 NFL seasons.  With Gates resting, Green got a bunch of 1st-team work this spring and made some "spectacular catches," per Williams.  He'll be an intriguing play in both season-long and DFS for those first 4 weeks.  San Diego opens with the Lions, Bengals, Vikings and Browns.

Antonio Gates

SD -TE

1 day ago

Gates gets 4-game suspension

Chargers TE Antonio Gates has been suspended 4 games for violating the NFL's Substance Abuse Policy.  Gates admitted to taking "supplements and holistic medicines" this offseason to recover, although he claims he didn't know they contained banned substances.  The 4-game suspension obviously puts a sizable dent in the fantasy outlook of a guy who was looking like 1 of the better values at TE.  Gates was going in the 10th round of 12-team PPR drafts prior to the news.  We'll see how far his ADP drops.  He could still end up as a solid target as a probable TE1 over the final 12 games.  Meanwhile, uber-athlete Ladarius Green becomes an intriguing spot starter while Gates is out.  And a strong performance then could earn him a bigger role the rest of the way.  WRs Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson and Malcom Floyd also figure to see a few extra targets those first 4 games.  QB Philip Rivers' stock takes a small hit.

Rolando McClain

DAL -LB

2 days ago

McClain suspended 4 games

The league has suspended Cowboys LB Rolando McClain for 4 games for violating the substance-abuse policy. The move doesn't make much of a team-defense ripple for fantasy football drafts, because Dallas isn't a strong option even with all of its starters around. We'll be interested to see, however, if the Cowboys slide Sean Lee into the middle from his new weak-side spot or 2014 rookie Anthony Hitchens in from the strong side. Hitchens would seem to make more sense from here. Dallas played him there 4 times last season and could give the youngster a tryout to see if he fits there long term. Of course, the Cowboys could just slot in backup Jasper Brinkley and leave the outside guys in their spots. McClain didn't look particularly attractive as an IDP option to begin with and should certainly go undrafted in nearly all redraft leagues at this point.

Sheldon Richardson

NYJ -DL

2 days ago

Richardson suspended 4 games

The league has suspended Jets DE Sheldon Richardson 4 games for violating its substance-abuse policy. Barring a successful appeal, that benches Richardson for season-opening matchups with the Browns, Colts, Eagles and Dolphins. It takes away a run-defense pillar and solid pass rusher from a defense that many expect to push for top-5 fantasy status this year. Rookie Leonard Williams, the #6 overall pick, could fill in for Richardson, though, and keep the D from losing much in run D. (We'll see what Williams can provide as a pass rusher in the pros.) The suspension obviously hurts Richardson's IDP value in fantasy football leagues as well, but he should remain a fine option beyond his return. Williams isn't likely to supplant him as a starter long term, especially with Muhammad Wilkerson facing 2016 free agency. We're also not moving the Jets down our 2015 Team Defense rankings. Three of those 4 games look like non-positive fantasy matchups anyway.

Richard Rodgers

GB -TE

2 days 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

3 days 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

3 days 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

4 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.

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