Shark Bites

Here was Jets OC Chan Gailey when asked recently how RB Matt Forte fits into the offense: "That's not the question. The question is, how do we adjust the system to fit Matt Forte?"  We wrote last summer about Gailey's ability to adjust his scheme to his personnel, and it certainly sounds like he's planning on making full use of Forte's dual-threat ability.  The risk with Forte is his age (30) and backfield competition (Bilal Powell, Khiry Robinson).  But he's certainly capable of out-producing his RB16 ADP.

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ESPN's Ben Goessling believes the Vikings will try to get RB Adrian Peterson more involved in the passing game this season.  AP has reportedly been working on his receiving skills this offseason.  Of course, we heard similar overtures last year before Peterson caught just 30 balls for 222 yards.  Those marks ranked 33rd and 38th, respectively, among RBs.  It's also worth noting that Peterson was out-targeted by fellow RB Jerick McKinnon 23-10 over last year's final 6 games (including playoffs).  We'll keep an eye on how pass-catching duties are divvied this summer, but we're not expecting a big leap in Peterson's numbers.

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ESPN's Tania Ganguli predicts that Texans QB Brock Osweiler will break the franchise's single-season record of 29 passing TDs.  Only 11 QBs chucked for 30+ scores last season.  Osweiler has just 11 to his name and was up-and-down in 7 starts last year.  We'll bet against him reaching 30 TDs in what figures to be a run-heavy Houston offense this year.  Osweiler at least has an intriguing group of weapons, though, in WR DeAndre Hopkins, rookie WR Will Fuller and RB Lamar Miller.

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Bears WR Alshon Jeffery has skipped the last 2 weeks of "voluntary" workouts, instead training on his own in Miami.  There's been no indication that he'll sit out the mandatory minicamp in mid-June or training camp starting in late July.  But it's a bit of a head-scratcher why he wouldn't want to take advantage of these OTAs when he's working with a new OC and playing for a big contract.  Per the Chicago Tribune, Jeffery and the Bears are not expected to agree to a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players.  That should certainly add some extra motivation for Jeffery, but we'll be closely watching what kind of shape he's in and how he's fitting into the offense when he finally reports.

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10 hours ago

Eagles RB Kenjon Barner has been running with the 1st team at OTAs and impressing observers. Darren Sproles has stayed away from workouts, and Ryan Mathews is reportedly still working back from January groin surgery. Dave Spadaro of the team website says Barner has been "outstanding." Elliott Shorr-Parks of NJ.com adds that Barner has been "very sharp" and says Barner is clearly "quicker than Mathews and does a much better job making sharp cuts than the veteran does." We'd still bet on Mathews leading the backfield once he's ready, but Barner's apparent step forward could make for an interesting battle this summer. If Barner can at least emerge as the #2 runner, he could beat out 5th-round rookie Wendell Smallwood as the fantasy football handcuff to the oft-injured Mathews.

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1 day ago

According to Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, rookie Myles Jack "will eventually be the Jaguars’ every-down middle linebacker" and "could be replacing [MLB Paul] Posluszny in passing situations" as soon as this season. That's the 1st time we've seen the specific plan for Jack, who's capable of playing any LB spot. Poz's presence figures to limit Jack's IDP upside for 2016, but the veteran could be a cut candidate in 2017. That will mark the final year of his contract, and Jacksonville could dump him with minimal salary-cap impact. We'll watch Jack's progression this summer to see how much he might cut into Posluszny's role for the coming season. We'll be adjusting our Poz outlook down for fantasy football drafting this summer, though.

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Andrew Mason of the Broncos' official website says the team's starting QB job is a "wide open competition."  Mark Sanchez, Paxton Lynch and even Trevor Siemian have received 1st-team reps in OTAs.  The battle will ultimately come down to Sanchez vs. Lynch.  While both guys have their warts, throwing to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders could make Denver's QB a spot-start option in fantasy football.

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2 days ago

Bills edge rusher Jerry Hughes will be moving back to a primarily OLB role in 2016 as Buffalo plans to play a truer 3-4 front, according to the team website. That's not surprising, given Rex Ryan's history of favoring such a system. He likely leaned 4-3 in 2015 to leverage a defensive roster that better fit that formation. Hughes underwhelmed as a 3-4 OLB in Indy after arriving as a 1st-round pick, but we'd bet on Ryan being able to put him in position to make plays -- as well as Hughes having grown in general since those days. The more important factor for IDP owners will be whether Hughes switches to a LB designation for 2016. That would lower his fantasy football value, though his double-digit sack potential will keep him relevant either way. Keep an eye on the potential position switch in your league as we head into drafting season. Ditto for Marcell Dareus and a potential switch from DT to DE in leagues that split those positions.

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Ravens WR Breshad Perriman took the field for OTAs this past week and said he's feeling "much stronger," according to the team website. Reporters for the site also said that he looked like the player from OTAs last year, before a knee injury on the 1st day of training camp derailed his rookie season. Team-site reporters tend to paint rosy pictures, but it's good that Perriman's active and apparently not limited by the knee. We'll watch him closely through the summer, but there's wide open opportunity in a Ravens WR corps that finds Steve Smith coming off a torn Achilles' tendon and free-agent addition Mike Wallace trying to bounce back from a poor 2015 in Minnesota.

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TE Dennis Pitta took part in OTAs this week, and HC John Harbaugh called his performance "very encouraging," according to The Baltimore Sun. “He looks like Dennis Pitta to me,” Harbaugh said. “As far as the stability of the hip, how he feels about it, running around, making catches, looking like a football player, it’s all good.” If Pitta continues down this path, he'll mix in with a crowd at TE that added Ben Watson in free agency and returns Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams from last year. Baltimore might not keep 4 TEs on the roster, so this will be another interesting position battle to watch in an offense loaded with summer interest. We wouldn't bet on any Ravens TE emerging for strong fantasy value in 2016, though.

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Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls remained sidelined as his teammates took part in OTAs this week. When asked if Rawls' injured ankle would allow him to start training camp on time, HC Pete Carroll told ESPN.com: "I think we'll probably ease into training camp with both guys. Jimmy (Graham)'s a little farther behind than Thomas. We won't rush him at that time. We'll just use all the six weeks or something in there, and we'll see what we can take advantage of." We'll be watching Rawls closely through training camp and the preseason. He's risky as the 14th RB off the board in MFL10 drafting right now -- near the Round 3-4 turn -- but Rawls flashed the ability and should have the opportunity to deliver on that draft position if healthy.

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Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham "jogged lightly" and caught passes during warm-ups at Thursday's OTA session, according to ESPN's Sheil Kapadia. HC Pete Carroll spoke positively of Graham's rehab process but showed caution when asked if the TE would be ready for Week 1. "We're thinking that that's real possible, yeah," Carroll said. "That's what we're thinking. We have to avoid setbacks obviously, but we're kind of counting on that." Graham suffered a torn patellar tendon in November, and Carroll said the team will likely ease him into workouts during training camp. We'll see how things progress there and adjust our fantasy football expectations if needed. Expect Graham to land in TE2 territory when our 2016 projections drop in June.

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ESPN's Rich Cimini reports that the Jets' offer to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick -- which has been on the table for at least 2 months -- is a 3-year deal that would pay him $12 million in 2016. Cimini didn't have the details on the full contract amount or the total guaranteed money, but that number checks in higher than the $8 million that had previously been reported. The timing of this leak coincides with WR Eric Decker skipping OTA workouts to voice his displeasure over Fitzpatrick not getting a new deal yet. WR Brandon Marshall also missed practices, though his motivation isn't yet clear. The leak also indicates that the Jets feel pretty good about their offer, while Cimini reports that Fitz is "thought to be" seeking $15 million per year. It's still a little early for either side to suffer from a sense of urgency. We'd bet on Fitzpatrick re-signing, but we obviously can't count on it at this point. Fitz is a risky pick in current drafts, while his situation adds risk to other Jets pass-catchers as well.

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3 days ago

According to Seahawks HC Pete Carroll, RB C.J. Prosise is dealing with a hip flexor injury that "heated up" on Thursday.  The 3rd round rookie missed an OTA session, but the injury appears minor.  With Thomas Rawls rehabbing a broken ankle, Prosise could be more than just a pass catching back in 2016. 

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