Fantasy Football Notes for Those Who Haven’t Been Watching!

 

* DeMarco Murray will help Tennessee balance out their offense.

* Martellus Bennett left Chicago and will compliment Gronk in New England. The Pats love 2-TE sets and Bennett is a solid target for Brady (who will be suspended for the first 4 games by the way).

* Michael Crabtree’s commute to work got just a tiny bit longer as he’ll suit up for Oakland this year.

* Coby Fleener left Indy for New Orleans where the hole left by Jimmy Graham wasn’t filled last year.

* Lamar Miller is taking the lead spot in Houston and that means that Arian Foster will likely end up somewhere else.

* Robert Griffin III has finally gotten out of Washington, but landing in Cleveland isn’t all that exciting.

* Alfred Morris also left Washington, but he’ll be suiting up for Jerry and company in Dallas. We don’t expect him to unseat rookie Ezekiel Elliott for the starting gig though.

* Chris Ivory jetted out of New York (pun intended) and caught a nonstop flight to Jacksonville where he’ll duke it out with Denard Robinson and TJ Yeldon.

* The Falcons have bid farewell to our friend Roddy White.

* The Mike Wallace experiment continues with a trip to Baltimore.

* Mark Sanchez left New York for Denver after Brock Osweiler signed a major deal to become Houston’s starting QB.

* Calvin Johnson and Marshawn Lynch have officially retired.

* The Packers signed TE Jared Cook to a one-year agreement. A big TE is exactly what Green Bay needs.

* Speedy WR Martavis Bryant won’t be playing for the Steelers or anyone else this year as he sits out a year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

* The Jets acquired a new PPR stud in the backfield when Matt Forte left the Windy City

Murray,Latavius Struggled in the 2nd half with a 3.3 YPC (134/436) as did the rest of the Raiders offense. Part of that can be attributable to an extremely difficult schedule (D+), and that should improve to a C grading this season. This should help him take advantage of one of the expected better Olines in supporting the run. Solid as a backfield receiver with a 77% catch rate, yet the YPC are a bit disappointing at 5.7. Should improve on his 6 Rushing TDs this season. Currently a mid 5th round ADP, that offers significant upside value.

Thompson,Chris Recovering from shoulder surgery, but is expected to be ready for the open. Solid 1.93 FP per attempt last season, but under utilized as a back field receiver. Will back up Matt Jones, who showed volatility in his rookie season.

Riddick,Theo Registered almost 100 targets last season (99), and caught a solid 81% of them, while maintaining an above average 8.7 YPR. His points per attempt were off the charts at 2.92 (best in the league for anyone over 80 touches). That said, he still might lose some touches to 2nd year Ameer Abdullah. Although he only registered 2 QS in non PPR leagues, he registered 10 QS in PPR leagues.

Lacy,Eddie Points per Game dropped from 17.3 to a miserable 9.6. Somehow he still put together 4 quality Starts in his final 7 games. Conditioning (or weight control) is the major concern here, and right now it’s looking ok as Lacy lost weight this offseason with a conditioning program…but maintenance is at issue. If he can, he’s still productive, especially in Red Zone situations.

Ellington,Andre Performed extremely well in limited action. Averaged 6.4 YPC on his 45 carries and 1.50 FP per attempt. Yes DJ is clearly the lead dog here, but Ellington is going to see time, and is a capable backup if he can stay healthy.

White,James Solid receiving numbers out of the backfield with 33 receptions and 6 TDs in the 2nd half. Since he struggled in the run game, he’s more of a backup option to Dion Lewis at this point.

Hill,Jeremy Although his Red Zone numbers were quite encouraging with 12 total TDs (23% Red Zone success), his overall yardage numbers were disappointing (223/794 yards 3.6 YPC). His offensive line is considered above average (C+), and his schedule is neutral for 2016. We expect that there will be a rebound in the rushing totals, and his 7 QS from 2015, will climb closer to 8-9 in 2016, so there is value in his current last 6th round ADP.

Anderson,CJ Registered for an encouraging 6.3 YPC in the 2nd half while posting a superior 1.12 FP per attempt. However his usage came in spurts, and with Hillman still on the roster and rookie Davinte Booker in play, it’s something he may have to contend with again in 2016. Expected to open as starter, but still a volatile pick, with upside of course.


Who will be 2016s Cam Newton in the fantasy world? Newtons 2015 was one for the ages, particularly when you consider where he was drafted in most leagues. I can tell you in quite a few leagues, he was drafted in the lower third of all QBs which wasnt surprising given the lack of receiving talent, especially when Kelvin Benjamin was injured and lost for the season. Instead of a season that most experts thought wouldnt even match his lackluster 2014 (18 passing TDs), he went on to throw for a career-high 35 TDs and rushed for 10 TDs. He threw five TDs in three different games and when you factor in rushing TDs, he scored multiple TDs in all but four games and threw and/or ran for at least one TD in every game. I can remember dropping him in one league (Andrew Luck was my starter and Newton was my backup) after Week 1 when injuries started to hit and Newton had a lackluster season opener against Jacksonville. It was the biggest mistake of mine in that league and probably cost me a shot at the title. Even without Benjamin, Newton maximized the talent of the receivers he did have, especially his tight end Greg Olsen who had a career year. We havent even mentioned the Panthers D /ST which set up the offense many times as they became dominant, so Newtons year was really the result of a perfect storm. Looking at this year there are some names that will exceed expectations but to say any one of them will play to the level of what Newton did last year, would be unwise. Jameis Winston does come to mind after a nice rookie season that saw him throw for 4,044 yards and 22 TDs. He did throw 15 INTs but with one year of experience under his belt and a new offensive minded head coach in Dirk Koetter, not to mention stud receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, insiderfootball.com projects 29 passing TDs. Tyrod Taylor managed to hold on to the starting QB job in Buffalo all of last year and will be much better this year for it, especially when you consider he finished the season with five quality starts in his final eight games. Coming off 20 TD passes and just six INTs along with 568 rushing yards, we project increases in all parts of his game, including TD passes which we have at 28. If Buffalos D can knock off the penalties and give its offensive counterparts more chances to succeed, Taylor can take the next step up. Marcus Mariota looked good in his rookie year when healthy which is saying something because he had pretty close to no talent around him in Tennessee. He had eight quality starts and will look to increase that this year. The Titans did make the move to acquire DeMarco Murray which was brilliant because it will take pressure off of Mariota and allow a beefed up offensive line to dominate in the trenches. Although some will see this move as a limit to what Mariota can put up, we project 30 passing TDs and a much more confident QB picking his spots much more efficiently. Jasbir Singh

The pending four-game suspension isnt the only concern with Pittsburgh running backLeVeon Bell; hes also coming off another knee injury. However, the news is better on that front. ESPN.coms Jeremy Fowler wrote that Bell no problem with his open field cutting. The Steelers have a bubble around him, but movements really fluid, Fowler added…Arizona wide receiver John Brown is in the leagues concussion protocol after banging his head on the turf during practice on Sunday. Its early enough in camp that this should be a nonfactor, but all concussion issues are worth monitoring…The Buffalo Bills signed veteran running back Reggie Bush to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million, including incentives. He will likely be used in a niche role within the offense and be utilized in the teams return game. Bush could get a spike in value if starter LeSean McCoy were to go down, but offers minimal stand-alone value…Eagles running backRyan Matthews (ankle) has yet to see the practice field in Philadelphia. Given his injury history, its not surprising. The longer he remains the more opportunities rookie Wendell Smallwood will have to get some reps…Rookie running back C.J. Prosise is expected to miss 7-10 days of training camp due to a strained hamstring. The injury doesnt appear to be too serious, but any loss time for a rookie running back is never a good thing in training camp when the depth chart is as crowded as it is in Seattle…CBS Sports Jason La Canfora reports that Redskins rookie wide receiver Josh Docston (Achilles) is expected to return to action in a few weeks.  Hes been sidelined since May and if he wants a shot at having an early-season impact Docston can ill afford to fall too far behind…Chargers wideout Stevie Johnson has sustained a torn meniscus and will seek a second opinion before undergoing surgery. His timetable will become clearer after he is operated on, but for now it doesnt appear hell be much of a factor in fantasy football or for the Chargers in 2016…Chicago wide receiver Eddie Royal and tight end Zach Millerare both in concussion protocol, but neither issue appears to be serious. Both are expected back on the practice field later in week….The Chargers and rookie defensive end Joey Bosa are still not close to a deal. The No. 3 overall pick and his reps havent spoken to the club since last Thursday.

After missing nearly a week of action, Alshon Jeffrey (hamstring) was back on the practice field on Monday for the Bears.  Chicago placed the franchise tag on their top wide receiver this offseason partially because of concerns of his durability issues…Sammy Watkins (foot) passed his physical and was taken off the Bills PUP list on Monday. Thats a huge plus for Watkins and his Week 1 playing status…The Eagles will be without wide receiver Jordan Matthews (knee) for 2-4 weeks as he deals with a bone bruise, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.  A loss of Matthews would be devastating to an offense starving for weapons…The Dolphins have listed Jay Ajayi as their No. 1 running back on their initial preseason depth chart, of newly signed free agent Arian Foster. Expect the two running backs to share the workload for most of the season in Miami…After initially believing the Detroit tight end Eric Ebron suffered an Achilles injury, ESPNs Adam Schefter is reporting it is actually a high ankle sprain issue Ebron is dealing with. That is better news than originally anticipated and could still mean hell be available for Week 1…Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon (suspension) has plenty of work to do to get back into shape before hes eligible to return in Week 5.  He will be the first to tell you he needs to lose weight, according to head coach Hue Jackson…Denver has listed Mark Sanchez and Travis Siemian as co-starters at quarterback on their initial depth chart…The Redskins will not dress wide receivers Jamison Crowder (hamstring) or Josh Doctson (Achilles) in Thursdays preseason opener… Buffalo left tackle Cordy Glenn (ankle) is expected to miss the entire preseason. Glenn hasnt missed a game since 2012.
* Of the Top 10 RBs drafted last year, only 2 finished the season in the Top 10 (Peterson and Forte). The average finish for the remaining eight? 32nd. Don’t be afraid to take a WR with your first pick.

* Tony Romo will miss half the season with a broken bone in his back. Even if/when he comes back, he’s not likely someone you’re going to want to roster.

* Dion Lewis will miss 8-10 weeks while he gets his knee cleaned up. Only Bill Belichick knows what that Pats’ backfield is going to look like.

* Thomas Rawls will be ready for Week 1. Christine Michael looked good this preseason, but Rawls will be at the top of the depth chart.

* According to Ian Rapoport, Bengals’ TE Tyler Eifert should be ready to play by Week 4.

* The NFL has redefined the “Questionable” label for injuries this year. Any player whose chance is less than 100% this year (even if it’s 95%) will be considered Questionable. That should make Sunday mornings real fun…

* Ben Watson tore his ACL and will miss the season. Bad news for the Ravens before the season has even started.