Fantasy football news and opinion from FFToday.com
Eric Ebron signs off on Lions' TE depth
Believes new additions will help him reach his potential
While the Lions operated primarily out of a three-receiver set last fall, they don’t currently have a proven No. 3 receiver on their roster. Eric Ebron said having other options at tight end should help him. Last year, heset career highs with 61 catches for 711 yards, but he also missed three games with injuries and couldn't play to his strengths at times because he often was the only tight end on the field.
“I think it’s going to play a significant role for me to allow me to do the things that I’m best at,” Ebron said. (Detroit Free Press)
FF Today's Take: Anquan Boldin played 80 percent of the snaps for Detroit last year, serving as a bit of a de facto tight end with his work in the short passing game and red zone. While third-round pick Kenny Golladay is reportedly having a good offseason, it is probably unrealistic to expect the rookie to fill those shoes. Between the targets Boldin is leaving behind and Ebron's continued improvement, he should be able to crack the 70-catch mark this season if he can stay healthy.
Chester Rogers making a push for playing time
No. 3 WR job in Indy "up for grabs"
Anyone who thought Phillip Dorsett and Kamar Aiken would definitely be the third or fourth wideouts for the Colts in 2017 needs to re-think their depth chart. Second-year wide receiver Chester Rogers is a serious contender for wide receiver reps this coming season and has a real shot at the up for grabs playing time behind T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. (Colts.com)
FF Today's Take: New GM Chris Ballard, OC Rob Chudzinski and Andrew Luck are all singing the praises of the former undrafted free agent. The new front office in Indy has no ties to Dorsett, so he is in real danger of ending up fifth on the depth chart. Aiken would seem to be the leader in the clubhouse for No. 3 duties, but Rogers appears primed to give him a run for his money. The winner of this competition should possess upside to be at least a WR5 in most leagues.
Lacy, Rawls to share early-down workload?
Full RBBC possible in Seattle
In the opinion of Seattle Times' reporter Bob Condotta, Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls will take a fairly equal share of the (early-down) carries with C.J. Prosise slated largely for a third-down role as well as being worked into the game plan to take advantage of specific matchups from week to week, assuming they each are healthy. (Seattle Times)
FF Today's Take: All three running backs have proven to be injury-prone and may actually benefit if they are capped at around 150-175 touches. Lacy's current fourth-round ADP is way too high for a player who doesn't have a stranglehold on early-down or third-down work, making him a definite bust candidate at that price. All three backs probably need to be viewed as RB3s.
Derek Carr gets 5-year extension from Raiders
Business is done
Now it's done ! From the jump I've wanted to be a Raider 4 life. One step closer to that! Blessed!!! Business done! Let's just play now!!! (Derek Carr on Twitter)
FF Today's Take: The new deal carries a $25 million average per season which is nothing more than a headline/talking point. What matters from a contract standpoint is the amount of money guaranteed. On the field, Derek Carr has averaged 3730 yards, 27 TDs and 10 INTs during his three-year career. He finished as the fantasy QB16 last season and the QB14 in 2015.
Greg Olsen wants a new contract
Wants to be paid among the top tight ends in the league
Greg Olsen, 32, made it clear he wants a new deal, but said he isn’t sure what the team’s response will be. "I don’t hesitate to say, if you look back the last four years ... at not only the statistics, but the consistency, the productivity and the durability, all those things, there’s nobody that can match up and has done what I’ve done," Olsen told Schefter.
FF Today's Take: While Olsen's statements of consistency and stats are true, he still has two years left on his deal. He's been a top 5 fantasy tight end the last three years going over the 1000-yd mark each season. Olsen wouldn't rule out a training camp holdout saying “We’ll see how things go over the summer. We’ll see what types of responses we get from the organization,” he added.
Jets sign WR Marquess Wilson
As good a shot as any to crack the starting lineup
The New York Jets are adding a receiver to a stripped-down wideout corps.
The agent for Marquess Wilson tweeted that the 24-year-old receiver joined Gang Green on Tuesday, and the team later confirmed the move. (NFL.com)
FF Today's Take: Wilson spent the majority of last season on the sidelines with a broken foot playing in only three games. He's yet to play more than 10 games in a season during his four-year career but does have an opportunity with the Jets have the worst receiving corps in the league. He'll be waiver wire fodder unless he becomes the top receiving option for Josh McCown.
Martavis Bryant looking like his old self
QB sings his praises following offseason workouts
Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Brian Batko, Ben Roethlisberger believes Martavis Bryant is fitting in well after sitting out the entire 2016 season due to suspension.
"(He's) learning some of the stuff we put in last year he didn’t know about, remembering things that we had in before. He looks like a stud, as usual, so we’re excited for him to be on the field this year and help us out," Roethlisberger said. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
FF Today's Take: The Steelers are heading into a season where they have a real chance of getting Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and Bryant on the field at the same time. Given his past, Bryant is a high-risk fantasy investment, but one capable of delivering week-winning weeks in just about any game. He has as much upside as any second receiver in the league and is a WR3 capable of playing at a WR2 level.
Kelvin Benjamin trimmed down this spring
WR reportedly weighed nearly 270 pounds at one point
Whatever Kelvin Benjamin tipped the scales at in April - Ron Rivera says it wasn't 280 pounds, although he might have been touching 270 - the fourth-year wideout seemed to get the message Rivera sent publicly after the draft. Benjamin needs to show up to Spartanburg looking like he did the final day of minicamp, when he reached down to pluck a pass a couple inches off the grass and got both feet inbounds. (The Charlotte Observer)
FF Today's Take: Benjamin is always going to be a big receiver, but his weight fluctuation continues to be an issue. At his best, KB is nearly unstoppable on high-point throws and in the red zone. A slim-and-trim Benjamin is critical for the Panthers as they make their transition from a power-running team to one more reliant on versatile big-play rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel.
Titans add Eric Decker to receiving corps
The Tennessee Titans and former New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker have reached agreement on a one-year deal, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Decker, 30, underwent hip and shoulder surgeries last fall, but he is healthy and had been practicing before his release by the Jets. (ESPN)
FF Today's Take: The Jets have been dumping high priced veterans all off-season and Decker was no exception. Coming off an injury-plagued 2016 season, Decker has been participating in drills and gives the Titans a veteran presence in their receiving corps with a track record of scoring touchdowns. Given the run-first philosophy in Tennessee it's doubtful Decker can post WR1 stats as in did in New York back in 2015 (80-1027-12) but he can hold spotty WR2 value in an offense that should have no trouble moving the football in 2016.
Michael Floyd tests positive for alcohol
Vikings: We are aware and looking into the matter
Bad news for Michael Floyd ... the Minnesota Vikings WR tested positive for alcohol during his house arrest this week, TMZ Sports has learned. A rep for the Scottsdale City Court confirms ... Floyd's alcohol monitoring system flagged 5 events during June 11th and 12th. At least three of the events were described to us as "high alcohol tests." (TMZ Sports)
FF Today's Take: Floyd is currently under house arrest and prohibited from using alcohol. Floyd has reportedly blamed the positive tests on Kombucha tea. The Vikings are looking into the matter. Floyd is due back in court on June 26. He's off the fantasy radar.
Jeremy Maclin expected to be main slot WR
Likely to fill Steve Smith role in offense
Jeremy Maclin is expected to be the Ravens' slot receiver because Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman provide speed on the outside and Baltimore lost valuable inside targets Steve Smith Sr., Dennis Pitta and Kamar Aiken this offseason. (ESPN)
FF Today's Take: Smith's retirement and Pitta's hip injury have freed up a ton of over-the-middle targets for Maclin, who shouldn't have much problem leading the team in receiving if he avoids the injury bug that bit him a season ago. The ex-Kansas City Chief should start with Wallace in two-receiver formations and move inside when Baltimore opts for three-wide sets. Maclin should be a rock-solid fantasy WR3 option in 2017 with WR2 upside.
Terrance West in line for big workload?
OC: I'm looking forward to him toting the rock
Ravens senior offensive assistant Greg Roman: "I'm very excited about Terrance West. I'm looking forward to him toting the rock this year." (Baltimore Sun)
FF Today's Take: To be fair, Roman was only asked about West, not Kenneth Dixon, who will miss the first four games of the season due to a PED suspension. However, ESPN's Jamison Hensley suggested earlier this month West is the "unquestioned starter". Caution is advised, if only because Dixon is the more explosive back and Danny Woodhead is a more complete back who will likely replace West in the red zone. It's hard to imagine West being much more of a fantasy factor this year than he was in 2016.
Gore the early favorite to remain a workhorse
Robert Turbin, Marlon Mack could fill specialized roles early on
It's an intriguing mix led by the elder statesman (34-year old Frank Gore), the versatile veteran (Robert Turbin) and the rapid rookie (Marlon Mack). We're expecting Gore to remain the workhorse, if you consider 16-18 carries per game workhorse level. OC Rod Chudzinski could offer an expanded role to Turbin, who would embrace it. Also, Mack could steal some of Gore's carries if he proves himself NFL-ready. (CBS 4 Indy - Mike Chappell)
FF Today's Take: Turbin has reportedly had "a helluva spring" according to Chudzinski, although it would be a mistake for the journeyman to be used as anything more than a goal-line or change-of-pace option. Mack's explosiveness makes him a unique weapon in this offense and he is a capable receiver to boot. At least for now, the rookie should be considered the handcuff for Gore, who could push for another 260 or so carries if he stays healthy and/or doesn't fall off a cliff physically.
Zimmer: Dalvin Cook could be "special"
HC sings the praises of rookie RB
Dalvin Cook has yet to run in pads for the Minnesota Vikings, and it will be some time before coaches begin to establish a pecking order for a backfield that hasn't really needed one for the better part of a decade. But Cook's early work has coach Mike Zimmer believing the Vikings might have a unique player on their hands.
"I think he's got a chance to be special. ... I just think this guy has got a chance to be pretty good. 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," Zimmer said.
FF Today's Take: Latavius Murray's offseason ankle surgery is costing him an opportunity to make an early impression, while Jerick McKinnon doesn't seem to be getting much of a chance to compete for a starting spot. With that said, Zimmer's praise is notable because he usually does not engage in hyperbole. Cook regularly flashed playmaking ability at Florida State and should emerge as the lead back at the very least early this season.
Andrew Luck will sit during minicamp
Shoulder surgery in January
Andrew Luck's role this week: "Just observe," says coach Chuck Pagano.
"The next step is getting to the point where he can throw." Pagano told reporters that he's unsure if Luck will be available for training camp. (NFL.com)
FF Today's Take: With no official timetable for his return, Luck's shoulder injury is something we'll be following closely when training camp begins in August. He's expected to be on a pitch count when he does return to the field.
TE Ben Watson returns to practice
Coming off Achilles injury
TE Ben Watson returned to practice today after working his way back from a torn Achilles. (Ravens on Twitter)
FF Today's Take: Watson tore his Achilles late last August and appears to be on schedule for a return this year. That being said, Watson will likely be brought along slowly during minicamp and training camp. Crocket Gillmore and Nick Boyle are also in the mix to assume the tight end targets left by Dennis Pitta.
Jets officially release Eric Decker
Jets couldn't find a trade partner
After GM Mike Maccagnan announced that Eric Decker’s departure was imminent, the Jets have released the veteran receiver.
"We think very highly of Eric. Our focus right now is seeing our young players, how they do," said Maccagnan earlier this week. "We wish Eric, going forward, a lot of success." (NewYorkJets.com)
FF Today's Take: The Jets had been exploring trade options for Decker but couldn't work out a deal. The Jets are flushing out the talent pool and rebuilding from the ground floor. Decker is coming off hip and shoulder injuries that limited him to three games last season but he should have interest from the Bills and Eagles who both were rumored to have interest in Jeremy Maclin.
Crowder to play outside in two-WR sets
Increased targets likely for Redskins WR
Jamison Crowder is one reason the Redskins have remained upbeat about their receiving corps, despite the loss of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in free agency. Crowder will start, playing on the outside in two-receiver sets and inside when they add a third. He’ll also return punts. (ESPN)
FF Today's Take: If Crowder does get the starting nod on the outside this season and kick inside on third-downs he'll likely surpass his 99 targets from a year ago has a great chance to crack the 1000-yard mark in his third year. Crowder finished 30th among PPR wide receivers last season averaging 12.1 FPts/G.
Ravens land Jeremy Maclin
Ravens and WR Jeremy Maclin agree to a two-year deal, per source. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)
FF Today's Take: The Ravens and Bills were the two teams pursuing Maclin after he was let go from the Chiefs last week. Both teams have holes in their receiving corps especially the Ravens as they lost Steve Smith to retirement. Maclin should be in the starting lineup opposite Mike Wallace with Breshad Perriman rounding out the top three.
WR Andre Ellington moving back to RB
Arians wants Ellington to be tougher runner
Arians: Andre Ellington is back to being a RB. challenge for him is running tougher, not going down as easy. (Kent Somers on Twitter)
FF Today's Take: Ellington was declared a wide receiver earlier this off-season but that experiment didn't last long. The Cardinals don't currently have a true backup behind David Johnson although reports suggest the team is still in touch with Chris Johnson. Even so, Ellington's fantasy value remains minimal at this point.