Vikings WR Michael Floyd was sentenced to 1 day in jail for violating terms of his probation. He reportedly failed 5 alcohol tests over a 2-day span in June -- after being arrested for DUI back in December. The Vikings are sticking by Floyd, though. "We believe Michael will be a productive member of the organization, both on and off the field," GM Rick Spielman said in a statement. "... We expect him to be with the team at the start of training camp in Mankato when the players report on July 26." Floyd is likely looking at a suspension from the league and is still off the fantasy radar for now.
The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs says "don't be surprised" if TE Zach Miller doesn't crack the Bears' final roster. This actually makes plenty of sense. The Bears are rebuilding on offense and might not want to give snaps to an injury-prone 32-year-old. They also gave $10 million guaranteed to TE Dion Sims in free agency and drafted TE Adam Shaheen in the 2nd round of this year's draft. The team is also high on TE Daniel Brown, according to Biggs. This is a group to stay away from in fantasy drafts right now.
Panthers QB Cam Newton resumed throwing last week for the 1st time since March 30 surgery on his throwing shoulder, according to the team website. Newton said the joint is not yet 100%, citing stiffness. But he also said "there's no doubt" he'll be 100% by training camp. If Newton's fantasy value relied more heavily on his passing, we might be more concerned with this situation. But accuracy has never been a strong point for the star QB. The biggest issue here might be the threat of further hits on the repaired joint. Of course, we've baked the general injury risk of Newton's running into his ranking. We'll see how his summer goes.
Broncos insider Mike Klis believes the team will go pass-heavy in 2017. "It’s pretty much the same offense [OC Mike] McCoy passed down to Adam Gase in 2013 and 2014, when Peyton Manning handed off only to allow receivers like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to catch their breath," Klis wrote discussing the 2017 scheme. Those Denver offenses weren't quite as pass-happy as Klis believes. The 2013 Broncos ranked 2nd in pass attempts and 10th and pass rate. The 2014 version finished 9th in attempts and 16th in rate. If the Broncos approach that territory this year, though, it'd be a shift from last year, when they ranked 17th in attempts and 18th in rate. That'd be good news for WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, who have been nice values in early fantasy football drafts.
Browns TE Seth DeValve will head to training camp next month after a strong offseason. “Most of his development in the offseason was that he put on a little weight, he is noticeably stronger, he is faster and he is healthier,” TEs coach Greg Seamon said at the end of June minicamp. “His ability to run routes, catch the ball, leave his feet, catch the ball away from his body and he has a big catch radius, I think those things are showing up out here." DeValve finished with just 10 catches for 127 yards and 2 scores last year, but the quiet season wasn't a surprise. He was a 4th-round rookie out of Princeton playing in a bad Browns offense. DeValve is a 6'2, 244-pounder who registered a 96th percentile SPARQ score last year, though, so there's upside here. David Njoku remains the favorite to leads Browns TEs in targets this season. But we know that rookie TEs tend to struggle. DeValve is worth monitoring, especially in dynasty leagues.
The Browns like what they've seen from 2nd-year WR Ricardo Louis this offseason. "He has really improved," HC Hue Jackson said. "Now he lines up at the line of scrimmage and hears the play and sees the defense and recognizes the coverage, he goes 100 miles per hour," WRs coach Al Saunders added. "He's a talented young man." Louis was raw coming out of Auburn last year and finished with just 18 catches for 205 scoreless yards as a rookie. But he goes 6'2, 215 pounds and tested as an 88th percentile athletic. This is an intriguing dynasty stash, but Louis will need a Kenny Britt or Corey Coleman injury to have a shot at real fantasy value in 2017.
Kevin Bowen of Colts.com considers Chester Rogers a candidate for the team's #3 WR job this season. Rogers posted a 19-273-0 line as an undrafted rookie last year and has impressed this offseason. “He’s slowed down and played a little more under control in that way – not slowed down his speed, but as far as his mind,” OC Rob Chudzinski said. “He’s seeing things better, whereas last year he was running around like crazy. Right now, I think he’s understanding, getting things better and you see the progression you expect to see out of a second-year player.” We're still betting on either Kamar Aiken or Phillip Dorsett emerging as the Colts' #3 WR, but it'll be a situation to monitor when training camp gets underway.
The Raiders and QB Derek Carr have agreed on a 5-year, $125 million extension. He's now signed through 2022 and is the highest-paid player in the league in terms of annual salary. It's an aggressive move from the Raiders. But Carr has improved his completion rate and yards per attempt each season since being drafted 36th overall back in 2014. He ranked 14th among QBs in fantasy points 2 years ago and 7th through 15 healthy games last season. There's perennial top 8 potential here, especially being tied to WR Amari Cooper.
The Jets have signed WR Marquess Wilson. A broken left foot cost him 13 games last year, but he flashed some with a 28-464-1 line in 11 appearances back in 2015. Wilson goes 6'4, 206 pounds and has averaged 16.9 yards per catch over the past 2 seasons. He could carve out a role in a wide open Jets WR corps, but we wouldn't yet consider him an option in fantasy drafts.
Lions WR Marvin Jones spent part of his offseason working out with future Hall-of-Famer Randy Moss. “I was getting a lot of insight from him in terms of what I wanted to focus on, including my lower-body strength, and (improving) yards after the catch," Jones said. HC Jim Caldwell liked what he saw from Jones this spring: "He’s had one of those springs that you kind of look to. This guy is right there on the verge of maintaining that kind of explosive start that he had last year. He’s really, really had a real good spring.” That explosive start Caldwell is referring to included 408 yards through Jones' first 3 games and 4 TDs through his first 6. He was sitting 3rd among WRs in non-PPR points through Week 6 and 7th in PPR. Jones totaled just 26 catches for 401 scoreless yards the rest of the way, though, ranking outside the top 70 at his position. Expect his production to level off in 2017. He's still set to play a big role in a Lions offense that's ranked top 12 in passing yards in 3 straight seasons. Jones could prove a strong value at his recent WR52 ADP.
Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin has worked his way back into shape, according to the Charlotte Observer's Jourdan Rodrigue. Benjamin made headlines back in April when he showed up to OTAs overweight. That should be a non-issue, though, as long as he keeps the pounds off between now and the start of training camp. Benjamin has new target competition this season with the arrivals of rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel, but he could still prove to be a value pick at his current WR36 ADP. Benjamin has ranked 15th and 25th, respectively, among WRs in PPR points in his 2 healthy NFL seasons.
The Titans have agreed to a 1-year deal with WR Eric Decker. The former Jet gives QB Marcus Mariota a talented, steady veteran presence. Decker shouldn't keep Corey Davis from reaching the top of the WR depth chart if the rookie proves ready to do so, but he'll cut into the available targets and certainly make it tough for Rishard Matthews to deliver another fantasy-starter line. Decker could also block 3rd-round WR Taywan Taylor from turning into a fantasy surprise this season. We'll see this summer just how healthy Decker is coming off groin and shoulder surgeries at the end of last year. But he reportedly looked good in Jets OTAs before his release. Another receiving weapon makes Mariota even more attractive around the fringe of QB1 territory in fantasy football drafts.
Vikings HC Mike Zimmer came away from spring workouts impressed with 2nd-round RB Dalvin Cook. "I think he's got a chance to be special," Zimmer told ESPN.com. "Now, he's got some things he's got to work on, like all young backs, but I've been very impressed with him this spring." That's high praise from a generally reserved veteran coach. Latavius Murray sat out the spring following ankle surgery, giving Cook a larger share of the spotlight. We'll see how the 2 split work once he's back. Murray's presence limits our initial projections for Cook. But the rookie also sports the kind of talent and history of college production that could lead to outperforming expectations. He's not a screaming value at his current RB19 ADP in MFL 10 drafting, but Cook's OK in that range.
Two Giants writers for NJ.com project TE Will Tye to get cut this summer. Both project Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Matt LaCosse and Jerell Adams to constitute the team's TE group -- with Adams beating out Tye for the final spot. It's notable only because Tye's 70 targets ranked 4th on the team last season. His ouster would leave opportunities available for Engram and others. We're not betting on the 1st-round pick turning into an immediate fantasy starter. But the departure of last year's starter would enhance the weekly upside.
ESPN's Tim McManus writes that Eagles WR Nelson Agholor "was easily one of the standouts of the spring." QB Carson Wentz came away from OTAs and minicamp impressed as well. "He's always been an explosive guy, but boy, it sure seems like he might have gotten quicker and more explosive this offseason," said quarterback Carson Wentz. "He's getting open, making plays. It's good to see." Agholor reportedly worked in the slot quite a bit with Jordan Matthews out nursing knee tendinitis. Once Matthews returns, Agholor's likely looking at no better than the #4 WR spot in an Eagles pass offense with plenty to prove. He'll have a tough time returning any fantasy value in 2017. But a potential turnaround keeps the 24-year-old in the mix as a stash for dynasty owners -- especially with Matthews and Alshon Jeffery in contract years.
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said this week that his lead RB "looks like the Doug Martin of 2015," according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Licht reportedly said that Martin "looks lean" and "looks like he's got that burst." The veteran back will miss the 1st 3 games of the year to finish off the drug suspension that ended his 2016 season and landed him in rehab. But this report falls in line with other positive buzz surrounding Martin this offseason. The Bucs sport a fairly crowded backfield, but a healthy, focused Martin remains their clear top option. He presents big fantasy upside and discounted risk at his late-Round 7 ADP in current MFL 10 drafting (RB32).
Seahawks HC Pete Carroll is excited. (What else is new?) Specifically, though, he's pumped up about the offseason health and performance of TE Jimmy Graham. “I think Jimmy’s offseason is a big highlight for us,” Carroll said, per Pro Football Talk. “Last year at this time we didn’t know what he was going to be like. We were positive, but didn’t know. He had a phenomenal offseason and great work with us.” Besides improved health, Carroll has lauded Graham's improved blocking and his connection with QB Russell Wilson. The whole package should help to keep Graham on the field even more and further entrench him as a key receiving option. Graham enjoyed an impressive 2016, considering that he spent the whole year dealing with fallout from 2015's patellar tendon tear. A fully healthy Graham has upside to the top of his position in fantasy football.
Saints LT Terron Armstead suffered a torn shoulder labrum Wednesday that will require surgery. According to ESPN, he's expected to miss 4-6 months. The short end of that span would make Armstead available in mid-October, but it's tough to imagine his upper-body strength being ready for the rigors of NFL blocking right away. New Orleans will have to approach the season as though it won't have it's star LT. That's obviously a significant blow to Drew Brees' pass protection and a challenge for the Saints' running game. We're not downgrading their fantasy prospects at this point, because New Orleans has delivered big offensive numbers for so long under Brees and HC Sean Payton. But losing Armstead adds downside risk and could be a tie-breaker if you're weighing Mark Ingram or Adrian Peterson against the next guy on your fantasy football draft list.
Vikings WR Michael Floyd tested positive for alcohol last week, according to TMZ Sports. Floyd, of course, is under house arrest and not allowed to drink after his December DUI arrest. He could now face jail time for the violation. We'll see whether the Vikings decide to hang on to him.
If it wasn't already clear that the Jaguars are building around defense and the running game, the team's brass has made it clear recently. HC Doug Marrone was recently asked how many passes he'd like QB Blake Bortles to throw this season and replied, "zero." GM Dave Caldwell guaranteed NFL Network's Mike Garafolo that Bortles' attempts will drop from last year's 625. We currently have him projected for 512. Even if Bortles' efficiency improves in 2017, the likely massive decline in volume will hurt his fantasy production.
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