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Bills beat writer Jay Skurski says rookie Robert Woods is "penciled in" as the team's #2 WR. We'd expect that to change to ink by mid-August. Woods was widely regarded as one of the most NFL-ready WRs in the rookie class. He started all 38 career games at USC, setting a school record with 252 catches. His competition for a starting job in Buffalo will come from the undersized T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin -- plus undrafted free agent Da'Rick Rogers. Rogers could be a threat long term but has a ways to go. Expect Woods to be in Buffalo's Week 1 starting lineup. We'd keep fantasy expectations in check, though. Stevie Johnson remains the clear-cut #1 WR. And the Bills passing game figures to struggle in a new offense and with a new QB.
Related Players: Da'Rick Rogers, Marquise Goodwin, T.J. Graham
The Bills grabbed some WR help for new QB E.J. Manuel in Round 2. Buffalo selected former USC wideout Robert Woods. Woods struggled with injuries in 2011, and some wondered whether they lingered into his final season. At full health, however, he looks capable of playing inside or outside. He gives the Bills much needed help and could fight WR T.J. Graham for a starting job right away. You should be wary of his fantasy football outlook in 2013, however, given the team's questionable QB situation. (That's a euphemism for "Kevin Kolb.")
Related Players: E.J Manuel, T.J. Graham
HC Chip Kelly has said he'll let his QBs duel for the starting job. Still, most folks have assumed the post is Michael Vick's to lose. Well, QB Nick Foles opened with the 1st team on Monday and drew 21 total starter reps to Vick's 15, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. That's the opposite of what happened in Philly's last public workout. It's a reminder that we shouldn't declare a starter for the Eagles yet. We still believe Vick is likely to emerge. But Foles could deliver some value as a late-round flier either way in fantasy football drafts.
Related Players: Michael Vick
USA Today reports that the Eagles have privately told the Chiefs the same thing they told the rest of us publicly: that Nick Foles is not for sale. Of course, it's way too early in the NFL calendar to believe that's an absolute. We should begin to see during OTAs and/or minicamps how much Chip Kelly actually likes Foles. If the 2nd-year QB truly isn't available in trade, he should at least be sharing starter reps right away.
USA Today reports that the Chiefs would like to trade for Eagles QB Nick Foles. That makes sense. Andy Reid drafted him last year and then left the rookie in the starting lineup even after Michael Vick's return to health. Now Reid coaches a team with no good QB option. Philly's new staff has said it believes Foles can fit Chip Kelly's offense, and that might be true. The Eagles reportedy have no plans to trade Foles "unless they're blown away by an offer." Still, if K.C. offered up the 3rd-round pick to match Foles' draft position last year, you have to think the Eagles would go for it. And if Reid believes Foles can be a franchise QB, a 2nd-round pick would be reasonable. That's what the Chiefs gave for Matt Cassel. (Ooh, probably not the best example.) ESPN's Chris Mortensen added that the Chiefs might favor Foles and West Virginia QB Geno Smith over soon-to-be-former Niner Alex Smith.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens think WR Deonte Thompson has the “inside track” for their #2 WR role. Thompson, 24, caught just 5 balls for 51 yards in 2012. But he brings an interesting skill set to the table as a home run threat. “I have athleticism and the ability to make big plays,” he said. “I'm fast, can stretch the field and have run the 40 in 4.23. I think the sky is the limit for me, but I still have to prove myself on the field.” HC John Harbaugh sounded less enthusiastic, saying he “could sneak in there” and that “the best player will play.” He’ll battle with Jacoby Jones, David Reed, LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss for snaps alongside Torrey Smith. Smith, Ray Rice and Dennis Pitta will comfortably remain their most targeted options.
Related Players: Jacoby Jones, LaQuan Williams, Tandon Doss
Cowboys QB Tony Romo underwent surgery last month to remove a cyst on his back. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says it “could” keep him out until training camp, but Romo believes he’ll be ready for June minicamp. He’s already been cleared to resume throwing. “If this was the regular season and I had to play next week, I could,” he said. “This is just about being smart. That’s why I did it now. This will have no effect on training camp. No way will it have an impact. And I still think there’s a good chance I’m on the field for mini-camp.” There’s cause for concern any time a back is involved, but this sounds like it was a truly minor procedure. And Romo, a 7-year starter, doesn’t need the practice time this spring. We’ll continue to track his status, but consider his 2013 fantasy outlook unaffected.
The Cowboys and QB Tony Romo have agreed to a 6-year, $108 million contract extension. He'll receive $55 million guaranteed -- 2nd most in NFL history behind only Tom Brady. The deal keeps Romo in Dallas through the 2019 season, when he'll be 39. Say what you want about his performance in big spots, but Romo has been one of the best QBs in the game over the past 6 years. He ranks among the top 10 in passing yards, TDs and completion percentage during that span. He's also finished as a top 10 fantasy QB in each of his last 5 healthy seasons. With Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten all back, Romo should be in that mix again in 2013.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo revealed that he suffered a cracked rib on his left side late in the 2nd quarter of Sunday night's game against the Redskins. He never left the game, but threw for just 99 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT after halftime. Romo's 2012 season will be remembered as yet another time he was unable to come through in the clutch. But he played some of the best ball of his career, completing 66% of his passes for a career-high 4,903 yards. Despite the absence of a clutch gene, Romo will be back as Dallas' starter in 2013.
Browns insider Terry Pluto believes WR Josh Gordon is a breakout candidate in 2013. We're on board -- assuming he gets improved QB play. Gordon turned in an impressive rookie campaign, especially considering he was a supplemental draft pick that didn't join the squad until mid July. Gordon ended up amassing 805 yards and 5 TDs on 50 catches. His 16.1-yard average was 8th-best among WRs with more than 20 grabs. He looks like a perfect fit in new HC Rob Chudzinski's vertical passing attack. "The game comes outrageously easy for Josh Gordon, as he glides down the field," Pluto observed at OTAs.
Browns WR Josh Gordon expects a full offseason to help him quite a bit heading into his 2nd year in the NFL. “It’s a tremendous difference,” he told the team website. “Having the advantage of knowing the plays and knowing the style of offense coming into it months in advance as opposed to a few weeks of training camp and going right into the preseason, it’s a huge difference. It definitely will transition into the season a lot smoother than it did last year." Gordon enjoyed a terrific rookie year -- 50 catches, 805 yards and 5 TDs -- considering his circumstances. He arrived in Cleveland shortly before training camp via the supplemental draft and coming off a year away from football. He joined an offense run by a rookie QB with no #1 WR. That last factor helped push Gordon up the depth chart quickly. He finished the year somewhat shakily and has been publicly challenged by the new regime. But that signals to us a player the franchise is counting on to help lead its resurgence. Gordon said he and Greg Little have been working out hard in Miami this offseason and seems poised to continue improving. He's not the safest bet for your fantasy team, but the ceiling could be high.
Related Players: Greg Little
The Browns' new regime is excited about WR Josh Gordon's potential. But they've made it clear that he still has work to do. "I think Josh has to keep working hard and improving," CEO Joe Banner said recently. "A top-of-the-second-round pick on a wide receiver, you would hope by the second or third year you'd have a big, big impact player. I think he still has improvements [he] could make and there's hope that he can do that." After being selected in the 2nd round of the supplemental draft, Gordon's rookie campaign got off to a good start, with 4 scores in a 3-week span in October. But he hit pay dirt just once in his last 9 games. And he mustered just 73 yards in his final 3 outings. Still, Gordon's final 50-805-5 line was encouraging. He averaged a juicy 16.1 yards per catch. Only 12 players did better than his 6.3 yards-after-catch average. There's plenty of talent here. And we like how Gordon fits into new HC Rob Chudzinski's vertical passing attack. With improved QB play, Gordon could be a weekly starter for your 2013 fantasy squad.
Rob Gronkowski’s forearm is a mess. He’s gone under the knife 3 times already and is now dealing with an infection. We asked Dr. Sam Carter, a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, about Gronk’s outlook.
Still think waiting on QB can work, but all three champs in my three leagues all went QB first. Interestingly enough, the wait on QB guys wound up with Stafford, Big Ben, and Eli, looked fab, and they were the dormats. The problem with waiting on a QB, if you hit it, you hit it. If you miss it, well then......
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