Shark Bites

The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec believes RB Buck Allen has proved "worthy of an offensive role" this summer. "Allen has been the Ravens’ most effective back throughout training camp and the preseason," Zrebiec adds. That latter part isn't exactly saying much. Allen has averaged just 3.4 yards per carry through 2 exhibitions, but that bests Terrance West's 1.9, while Danny Woodhead has carried just once for 2 yards. Allen has some pass-catching chops -- he caught 45 balls as a rookie -- but has posted 3.8 YPC in both of his first 2 seasons. Don't bet on him becoming a fantasy factor this year. We'll see if he sees enough action to dent West's or Woodhead's numbers.

Packers RB Ty Montgomery has missed the past 2 days of practice with a lower leg injury. When asked for details on Tuesday, Montgomery offered, "just soft-tissue stuff." He added, "It was just something on and off. Something I’m dealing with. Nothing in particular that happened. Nothing major. Nothing to worry about." We'll keep an eye on this one.

The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec believes Ravens TE Maxx Williams still isn't at 100% after undergoing offseason knee surgery. He avoided the PUP list and was active for the preseason opener, catching 1 pass for 3 yards. We'll keep an eye on his progress, but Williams isn't worth drafting right now. Zrebiec told us that the current pecking order at TE for Baltimore is: Nick Boyle, Ben Watson, Williams, Larry Donnell.

ESPN's Mike Triplett calls Mark Ingram the "most impressive" RB in Saints camp so far. He's looked especially good in the passing game. Triplett projects Ingram to lead a backfield that also includes Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara in both snaps and total yards. The crowded backfield caps his upside a bit, but Ingram is still plenty capable of beating his recent RB24 price tag.

The Seattle Times reports that Seahawks S Earl Thomas took part in contact drills Tuesday for the 1st time since breaking his left tibia last Dec. 4. “I’m feeling really good,’’ he said afterward. “No issues yet. I’m just continuing on my maintenance and letting it take care of itself." Thomas isn't a top-shelf IDP option, but he's draftable in moderately deep leagues. His presence also enhances a secondary that's imperative to the value of the Seattle team D.

Packers HC Mike McCarthy gushed about RB Ty Montgomery on Monday. "He's the full threat," McCarthy said. "He can obviously run it, he can catch it, he can displace and run routes and catch it. He just needs the reps in pass protection, because he's actually really high in ability for pass protection. That guy's a stud now. He's got it in his body. He's a very good young player." McCarthy already named Montgomery his starter earlier this offseason, and it sounds like he's continued to impress since. With a 3-down skill set in a top-notch offense, there's RB1 upside here.

Packers RB Ty Montgomery spent a chunk of his offseason focusing on his footwork as he continues his transition to a full-time RB. He worked out with trainer Rischad Whitfield, who's spent time with Le'Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon and Emmanuel Sanders, among others -- and earned the nickname Footwork King. "He's extremely serious about this," Whitfield said of Montgomery's move to RB. "Football is a game where you don't really have much time to think, you've got to react. I'm trying to help him change direction quicker, make his cuts quicker and sharper. We're working on it all. He's all-in at the running back position. He wants to be a dual-threat running back." Montgomery has also bulked up to nearly 223 pounds. (There's a picture and video of him here.) Coming off what certainly looks like a productive offseason, Montgomery boasts a sky-high fantasy ceiling in 2017.

Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon will miss the entire 2017 season after undergoing surgery today to repair his torn meniscus, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The meniscus needed to be completely repaired, rather than the trimming procedure that would have sidelined him 6-8 weeks. Dixon's rehab is now expected to take 4-5 months. He should be a full-go for the start of the 2018 campaign, but he's now had 3 knee injuries in just a little more than a year in the NFL. Terrance West is the big winner here -- essentially locked in as the lead ball-carrier on an offense that should run more this year with Greg Roman on staff. He's not an exciting talent but should at least be a volume-based RB3 or flex. RB Danny Woodhead should also pick some up extra carries while dominating passing-down work.

Ravens TE Maxx Williams (knee) has avoided the PUP list and is ready for the start of training camp. He underwent a reportedly rare knee surgery this offseason, but it looks like that'll be a non-issue going forward. Baltimore's starting TE spot is wide open following the loss of Dennis Pitta. Williams, Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore and Nick Boyle are all in the mix.

Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon will undergo knee surgery today, according to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. The team believes Dixon has a torn meniscus but will know more after the operation. Zrebiec notes that meniscus tears usually sideline guys for 6-8 weeks -- but that can vary based on the severity. Dixon, of course, is suspended for the first 4 games of the season, so it's possible that this injury doesn't cost him any additional time. But he'll likely miss all of training camp and the preseason, costing him valuable reps to earn playing time. It's also worth noting that Dixon suffered a pair of knee injuries last summer, so durability is certainly becoming a concern. There's still a chance that he emerges as Baltimore's lead RB at some point this season, but Dixon can't be drafted as more than a late-round flier at this point. Terrance West will serve as the primary ball-carrier early on. Danny Woodhead will handle the majority of the pass-catching work.

Count Packers RBs coach Ben Sirmans coach among those eager to see what Ty Montgomery can do in his 1st full season at RB. "... You can see (that he’s) an instinctive runner, you can see all those things come into play,” Sirmans said. “I guess the biggest thing I can say is, I’m very, very excited about him – without saying ‘This is what I expect, this is what he’s going to be.’ I’m just really excited. Really excited about him.” Montgomery ripped off 5.9 yards per carry -- in addition to catching 44 balls -- after moving to RB last year. Now in line to serve as Green Bay's lead back all season, Montgomery's fantasy upside reaches into RB1 territory.

Green Bay's Ty Montgomery is feeling more comfortable after spending the entire offseason focusing on the RB position. “I was running a lot on instincts [last year]," he said. "I knew where I was supposed to be going, but it was instinct. Now, I know techniques. I know rotations and linebacker positions, and fronts and understanding gap rules and what the defense is supposed to be doing. Now when I get out there, I know my reads and my aiming points and I can just add that to my instincts. I’m excited to do that.” Montgomery hadn't played RB since grade school before making the move there midway through last season. That didn't stop him from busting off 5.9 yards per carry on 77 totes. HC Mike McCarthy has already tabbed Montgomery the team's starting RB this season, despite the additions of rookies Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. There's loads of fantasy upside here.

Ravens HC John Harbaugh revealed that TE Maxx Williams had knee surgery. Harbaugh deemed it a procedure no other football player has had. Williams went down in Week 4 last year and was subsequently placed on IR. But we never got any details on his injury -- and still don't have them. Harbaugh did say that Williams "should be ready for camp." Coming off a 0-catch season and knee surgery, though, he's off the redraft radar for now.

Green Bay selected 3 RBs on the final day of the NFL Draft: Jamaal Williams in the 4th round, Aaron Jones in the 5th and Devante Mays in the 7th. So does that still leave Ty Montgomery in line to start? "Absolutely, he's our starting running back," HC Mike McCarthy said shortly after the draft ended, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky. "I think it gives us excellent depth, and it will be nice to have a full room." That's good news for Montgomery. But the new depth could take touches away, especially if the Packers lean back toward more balance in offensive play calling after going more pass heavy in 2016. We'll be watching all the rookie backs -- and Montgomery in his 1st offseason as a RB -- through the summer as we consider their projections.

Baltimore spent a 2nd-round pick on OLB Tyus Bowser from Houston. Bowser didn't post big numbers in college but did crack 5 sacks in 3 of his 4 seasons. He topped out at 8.5 sacks and 12 total tackles for loss in his senior campaign. He'll need to fight through a fairly crowded edge group with the Ravens.

The Ravens spent the 16th pick on Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey. There's room for Humphrey to quickly grab a large role and potentially start right away. There's nothing in his college stat line, however, to suggest that we should bet on big IDP production.

“I think Ty (Montgomery) definitely has that ability" to become a #1 RB in the NFL, Packers HC Mike McCarthy said this week, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky. Green Bay's actions this offseason have seemed to back up that feeling. We'll see what the team does in the draft, but Montgomery and Christine Michael stand today as the only 2 RBs on the roster. Barring a 1st-round pick at the position, the Packers appear ready to give Montgomery the 1st chance to lead the backfield. If his draft price stays around the bottom of RB2 territory -- or into RB3 range -- then he'll certainly be a fine chance to take in 2017. The versatility and proven pass-catching raise his PPR floor for fantasy football purposes.

The Browns have released QB Robert Griffin, saving nearly $7 million against the 2017 salary cap. RG3 didn't even make it through a game last year before breaking his left shoulder. He returned for the final 4 games but totaled just 696 passing yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. Since his impressive 2012 rookie campaign, Griffin has thrown 22 TDs vs. 21 INTs. He'll need to settle for a backup gig on the open market.

S Tony Jefferson signed a 4-year deal with the Ravens on Thursday, according to multiple reports. The agreement averages a reported $9 million a year, which is obviously full-time starter money. Starting next to Eric Weddle could mean some in-the-box time for Jefferson, though he's not in special spot for IDP value based on recent seasons. Expect Jefferson to land in DB2 territory in our 2017 IDP rankings.

ESPN's Jamison Hensley reports that RB Kenneth Dixon has been suspended 4 games for violating the league's PED policy. Consider that the 2nd blow today against a fantasy outlook that seemed quite intriguing just yesterday. Dixon returned from a summer knee injury to show flashes as a rookie while sharing the backfield with RB Terrance West and then hit the offseason looking like the best bet to lead the way in 2017. But the suspension arrives with the free-agent addition of RB Danny Woodhead. Dixon now looks like a fantasy reserve worth a shot somewhere in the double-digit rounds of your draft. There remains plenty of upside if he finds opportunity, at least.

 
 
 

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