The Jaguars spent the 3rd pick of the 2015 NFL Draft on DE Dante Fowler. The former Gator seemed to have his sack production limited a bit by his role in college but flashed plenty of pass-rushing potential and looks like a 3-down player. He should slot into a high-ceiling sack role under HC Gus Bradley, who ran the Seattle defense during DE Chris Clemons' best years there. Fowler's landing at 4-3 DE rather than 3-4 OLB boosts his IDP value quite a bit.
Vikings GM Rick Spielman told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he likes the way WR Cordarrelle Patterson has approached this offseason. “There’s no question about the physical ability there. I think Cordarrelle has really grown up a lot,” Spielman said. “I know what he has done this offseason dedicating himself to being the best receiver he can be, and how serious he is taking that, we’re very excited about the future with Cordarrelle.” Patterson's monstrously disappointing 2014 will scare off many fantasy owners this summer. He's going 62nd among WRs in MFL 10 drafting on MyFantasyLeague.com so far, with an ADP in the middle of Round 14. The presence of Charles Johnson, Mike Wallace and Kyle Rudolph will also cap the volume upside. But Patterson's the most talented wideout on the team, and it's important to remember this will be just the 3rd season for a player who entered the league raw. He could turn into a late-round steal in your fantasy football draft.
The Falcons have hired Dan Quinn as HC. The 2 sides agreed to a deal weeks ago but had to wait until the Seahawks' season ended before making it official. Quinn spent the past 3 years as Seattle's DC, leading the unit to 3 straight #1 finishes in points allowed. He'll have a much tougher challenge with the Falcons, a defense that's ranked 27th in points allowed each of the past 2 seasons. Kyle Shanahan will run the Falcons offense. Check out Shanny's potential fantasy football impact here.
The Falcons are hiring Kyle Shanahan as OC. (Atlanta is expected to tab Seahawks DC Dan Quinn as HC after the Super Bowl.) This will be an adjustment for Lil' Shanny after working with mobile QBs in Washington and Cleveland the past 3 years. Shanahan was OC in Houston in 2008 and 2009 with QB Matt Schaub, though, and posted a pair of top-4 finishes in total yards. We like the hire for QB Matt Ryan and the Falcons passing game. Shanahan's run games also tend to be effective.
Vikings OC Norv Turner admitted to being frustrated by WR Cordarrelle Patterson's 2014 season. “It’s frustrating for him; it’s frustrating for all of us,” Turner said. “We’ve talked a lot about what we need to do, what he needs to do. But a big part of it for him is understanding how detailed and how hard this is to be a receiver in this league. And then he’s got to put the work in.” Patterson was at the top of our "overvalued" list last summer, but we didn't expect his sophomore season to be as bad as it was. His catches, receiving yards, rushing yards and total TDs all dropped from his rookie campaign. Patterson has a ton of work to do if he wants to break out in 2015. But we'll be willing to gamble on the freak athlete in the double-digit rounds of fantasy drafts, which is probably where he'll go this summer.
The Falcons have fired HC Mike Smith. Smith led his squad to the playoffs in 4 of his first 5 seasons, including a trip to the NFC Championship in 2012. He struggled the past 2 years, though, going 10-22. A roster devoid of talent outside of a few key players certainly didn't help. That makes it somewhat surprising that Atlanta is retaining GM Thomas Dimitroff. This team has major holes to fill on the offensive line and all over the defense.
Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson didn't play a single offensive snap in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Panthers. He played a few in the 2nd but finished catch-less on 1 target. Patterson missed some practice time this week to attend a family member's funeral. He's also dealing with minor knee and foot injuries. But his lack of production is the biggest reason for his dwindling playing time. "He continues to deal with things," is all HC Mike Zimmer would offer. Patterson obviously isn't a fantasy option for the rest of 2014 and has a long ways to go if he wants to break out next season.
Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson came away from Sunday's win over Tampa with a walking boot on his left foot. But he had shed the boot by Monday, and HC Mike Zimmer told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that it was just a bruise and that "he's fine." Zimmer expects Patterson to be ready for a Week 9 visit by Washington. We'll keep an eye on the underachieving receiver's status in practice this week.
Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson says his injured hip was bothering him in Sunday's loss the Lions. "I don’t feel like I’m 100 percent. I should be next week," he said afterward. "Just keep getting treatment, just keep grinding in treatment and do what it takes." Patterson suffered the injury in Minnesota's previous game against the Packers. But he practiced all 3 days this week, including a full workout on Friday, and was listed as probable. Patterson managed just 2 catches for 15 yards -- plus 1 carry for 2 yards -- against the Lions. He hasn't scored or topped 56 yards since the opener. Patterson is best off on fantasy benches until we see signs of life.
Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson injured his hip making his 2nd catch in Thursday night's blowout loss to the Packers. He stayed on the field for the next play but then left the game for good. Patterson said afterward that he could have finished the game if the outcome was still in doubt. He should be fine for Week 6 against the Lions. Patterson is getting tougher and tougher to trust in fantasy lineups, though. He's totaled just 156 scoreless yards in his last 4 games.
Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien has been cleared to return this week after missing the Week 2 loss at Washington with a concussion. Cyprien suffered the injury late in the 2nd quarter of the Week 1 loss at Philly, forcing him out of the game with an empty stat line. Replacement Josh Evans racked up 14 tackles (8 solo) against Washington, showing the upside in playing at the back of a bad defense linked to an offense that can't move the ball. A healthy Cyprien remains a top DB option for IDP owners going forward.
Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien missed his 3rd straight day of practice Friday because of the concussion he suffered against the Eagles in Week 1. The Florida Times-Union calls him a "longshot" to play Sunday against Washington. Josh Evans and Chris Prosinski each had a hand in filling in after Cyprien left last Sunday, which makes neither worth chasing in your IDP league.
Update: Cyprien has officially been ruled out for Week 2.
The Jaguars have confirmed that S Johnathan Cyprien suffered a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Eagles and is now working his way through the league protocol. We'll see whether he can progress quickly enough to make it back for Week 2. Despite his empty 1st half against a struggling Philly offense in Week 1, Cyprien remains a high-ceiling IDP option the rest of the way.
The Jaguars have ruled S Johnathan Cyprien out for the rest of the opener vs. the Eagles with a head injury. Cyprien left after slamming his head to the ground falling backward while breaking up a deep throw to Philly WR Jeremy Maclin. The team didn't announce it as a concussion, but it's hard to imagine this not being one. Expect Cyprien to need to go through the league concussion protocol before playing in Week 2.
Falcons LT Sam Baker suffered a torn patellar tendon in the team's Saturday night preseason game. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Baker will miss the season. That removes a player who has graded out among the league's worst OTs over the past few seasons, according to Pro Football Focus' ratings. So missing Baker certainly shouldn't crush the Falcons offense. Disrupting the O-line group adds a challenge, however, for a group trying to bounce back from an injury-laden, terrible 2013. Rookie Jake Matthews had been slotted to start at RT but could slide into Baker's vacated role, where the team planned to play him in the future anyway. The situation bears watching, but we're not changing our outlook for the potentially explosive Falcons offense because of Baker's absence.
Jacksonville teammates and decision makers have heaped praise on 2nd-year Jaguars S Johnathan Cypriend. “You look at him and he’s the type of kid that he can be the best in the NFL,” LB Paul Posluszny told The Associated Press this week. “He has that type of talent and that type of ability and he wants to do things the right way. He wants to be great, so it’s exciting to see because, for him, the sky's the limit." Coaches have talked up Cyprien's skills since he arrived last spring, and we certainly see the fantasy upside here. If you're a DS Insider, you already know how much we think of Cyprien from his place in our 2014 IDP rankings.
Vikings QB Matt Cassel and OC Norv Turner have seen improvement this offseason in WR Cordarrelle Patterson's route running and ability to read defenses. "I think that's huge for him, and any receiver, as you move forward," Cassel said. "The key component, I think, is understanding defenses and how they're trying to attack you and how you work your different releases." It's those finer points of the game that will determine whether Patterson is able to bust out in 2014. There's no doubting his natural talent. We'll be keeping a close eye on Patterson's progress in training camp and preseason action. Of course, if he flashes in August, his ADP will only climb from its current mid-3rd-round status.
Vikings WR Greg Jennings says the offense will "showcase" WR Cordarrelle Patterson this season. "I wanted him to know that, coming in, the expectation of you is no longer 'rookie.' It's, 'You gotta go. We saw what you can do. We're gonna showcase this,'" Jennings said. "For me, it was making sure that he understands that he has to be a professional. He has to be a pro's pro when he steps foot in this building, because we're expecting (him) to give us what we've seen you put out there ... I'm going to be honest: Once I saw him make a couple plays, I'm like, 'We've got to get him the ball. He does too much well for us not to get him the ball.'" Outside of RB Adrian Peterson, Patterson is Minnesota's most dangerous offensive threat, so it makes sense that he'll be featured going forward. We're still not convinced Patterson is ready to handle such a significant role, though. Most of his big plays last year came on gadget type plays. We'll be keeping a close eye on his progress this summer. The upside is certainly there, but Patterson carries too much risk for our taste at his current early-4th-round ADP.
New Bengals QB AJ McCarron told Sirius XM NFL Radio that we didn't really see him at full power in college. "A lot of people don't realize I wasn't healthy at Alabama," McCarron said. "I sacrificed a lot to play for coach Saban and that university; I played through a lot of injuries and we never leaked it because that's just the way it is." Will we get a healthy McCarron in the pros? And did these injuries help push the 2013 Heisman runner-up into the 5th round? McCarron landed in a decent spot for his future starting chances. Incumbent Andy Dalton has performed solidly overall but also proved erratic -- especially in 3 straight 1st-round playoff exits. We don't expect McCarron to get a real shot at starting this year. We'll see if Dalton can develop and hold off challengers beyond that. His contract also runs out at the end of 2014.
QB A.J. McCarron expected to be a 1st-round pick. He ended up dropping to the 5th, where the Bengals finally snatched him up. McCarron has been compared to new teammate Andy Dalton. He's an average athlete with an average arm. But McCarron is accurate in the short and intermediate games. And he knows how to get the ball to his playmakers, with a good understanding of coverages. Cincinnati is an interesting landing spot for McCarron. Dalton is entering the final year of his contract and might need to take the next step in his development (i.e. win a playoff game) to earn a new deal from the Bengals. If that doesn't happen, McCarron could be in the starting mix in 2015.
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