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7/8:NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports both the Bears and franchise-tagged WR Alshon Jeffery are "not confident" that a long-term deal will be reached by next Friday. "Jeffery is slated to earn $14.599 million on the franchise tag this year, so he's going to want his annual average to come in somewhere close to that on a long-term agreement. Per Garafolo, Jeffery wants more than $12 million annually, while the Bears want him to settle into the Allen Hurns-Doug Baldwin-Keenan Allen range around $10-11 million per year. The two sides have until next Friday, July 15 to reach a long-term contract."--Nate Williams - RotoBallerSource:
7/7:For the fifth time in six years, Adrian Peterson’s peers have ranked him as one of the top 10 players in the NFL. Peterson was voted in at No. 5 in NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2016” episode that aired Wednesday night. The list is compiled entirely by NFL players. Peterson nabbed his third career rushing title last season by running for 1,485 yards. He also racked up 11 rushing touchdowns, which tied for the most in the league.--Nate Williams - RotoBallerSource:
7/7:Packer Report's Bill Huber anticipates Davante Adams getting the "first crack" at hanging on to the Green Bay Packers third wide receiver job. - "Adams was an abject disaster in an expanded role last season, failing to separate and dropping far too many balls on the rare occasions he got open. Jeff Janis shined in his 2015 opportunities -- albeit limited -- but Huber noticed him "drop a couple of routine passes during an individual drill at minicamp." Huber mentioned sophomore Ty Montgomery and rookie Trevor Davis as also being in the mix. The Packers run three-receiver sets on over 70 percent of their offensive snaps. This battle will be worth monitoring closely into the fall."--Nate Williams - RotoBallerSource:
7/7:Browns second-year running back Duke Johnson was recently called "an ultimate weapon" by Browns running backs coach Kirby Wilson. Johnson brings elite ball-catching skills along with a good deal of speed and elusiveness to the table and should be a big part of new head coach Hue Jackson's offense this season. Johnson's current ADP has him coming off the board in the seventh round in standard 12-team leagues and the sixth round in PPR leagues. He's an excellent target at running back, especially for Zero RB drafters.--Matt Terelle - RotoBallerSource:
7/3:Bengals wide receivers coach James Urban recently praised rookie wideout Tyler Boyd, stating that he has been improving every day and he expects Boyd to help the team this year. Boyd will be called upon to help offset the offseason losses of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu. With Tyler Eifert's status for the start of the season up in the air due to offseason ankle surgery, Boyd has a chance to make an immediate impact. As of now, he has much more value in dynasty formats, but Boyd isn't a terrible selection at the end of your season-long fantasy draft.--Matt Terelle - RotoBallerSource:
7/2:New York Jets DE Sheldon Richardon was suspended for the first game of the 2016 season for violating the NFL personal conduct policy. The suspension stems from a guilty plea in January to resisting arrest from a high-speed chase with police last summer. In his three years in the NFL,Richardson has been a massive help to the Jets defense and any loss of more than a very short-term variety would drastically hurt their potential. Fortunately for fantasy owners, it’s only a one-game loss and the Jets defense should remain at their current spot as the eighth D/ST off the board in drafts.--John Smith
7/2:After just scratching the surface last season, Clive Walford comes into 2016 with real potential. While he only totaled 28 receptions, 329 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season, the second-year tight end finished 2015 with some nice games. The most important fact to remember about Walford is that he only started two games last year, had he started more, the numbers would have been higher. The Raiders have one of the most exciting, young offenses in the NFL and as long as Derek Carr and Amari Cooper continue to develop, Walford should benefit. However, expectations should be kept in check for the 24-year-old. If the offense includes Walford more in 2016, as it’s expected to do, a stat line along the lines of 60 catches, 600 yards and six TDs seems entirely possible, though that is most likely his ceiling. Currently, Walford should be drafted as a TE2, but don’t be shocked if he ends the season as a TE1.--Justin Lovell - RotoBaller
7/1:After tearing his ACL just one week after being drafted, tight end Jeff Heuerman is ready to officially start his NFL career. While the former Ohio State Buckeye never tore up the college ranks, his best statistical season came in 2013, during which he posted 26 receptions, 466 receiving yards and four touchdowns. In order to be fantasy relevant, he will need to post better stats than his college numbers, but he is in the right offense to do just that. In 2015, Denver’s starting TE was Owen Daniels, who posted 46 catches, 517 yards and three TDs. Those numbers aren’t earth-shattering by any means, but Heuerman could easily replicate them and become a spot-starter, especially if rookie QB Paxton Lynch starts during the season. While he currently sits low on the TE rankings list, by the end of the season, Heuerman could rank in the top-20 if he takes advantage of his targets.--Justin Lovell - RotoBaller
7/1:The Chicago Bears claimed quarterback Conner Shaw on Friday, one day after he was waived by the Cleveland Browns. Shaw entered the NFL in 2014 with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent from South Carolina, where he teamed with Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery for two seasons. Connor Shaw has appeared in one NFL game, starting the 2014 season finale for the Browns. Shaw spent most of his rookie year on the practice squad before being called upon to start the season finale after injuries sidelined Johnny Manziel and Bran Hoyer. In a 20-10 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore, Shaw completed 14 of 28 passes for 177 yards with no touchdowns, one interception and a 55.2 passer rating. Shaw missed the entire 2015 season with a thumb injury he sustained last Aug. 13 in a preseason game against the Washington Redskins. Shaw played at South Carolina from 2010-13, completing 65.5 percent of his passes for 6,074 yards with 56 TDs and 16 interceptions in 43 games.--Nate Williams - RotoBallerSource:
7/1:When the Green Bay Packers brought in former Tennessee Titan and St. Louis Ram, Jared Cook, many wondered what that meant for current tight end, Richard Rodgers. As it turns out, Mike McCarthy plans on utilizing a two tight end system in Green Bay and the two new teammates are embracing that role. “Whenever a veteran comes in, you just try to learn from them,” Rodgers said. “He knows little things about defenses and things about playing the position that maybe a coach can’t give you. It’s been great having him around and giving us advice.”--Nate Williams - RotoBallerSource:
6/30:The San Francisco 49ers' offense produced few consistently fantasy-relevant options last season, but tight end Vance McDonald showed flashes of his ability down the stretch. The former Rice standout developed a solid rapport with quarterback Blaine Gabbert, and the result was a handful of impressive outings, most notably in Week 11 against the Seattle Seahawks (65 yards, TD), Week 12 against the Arizona Cardinals (71 yards, TD), and Week 16 against the Detroit Lions (61 yards, TD). If we project McDonald's performance from his final six games in 2015 over a full 16-game slate, the totals look like this: 56 receptions, 698 yards, eight touchdowns. That's borderline TE1 production. However, there are simply too many unknowns still associated with McDonald and the rest of the 49ers' offense to confidently recommend him, but he's someone to watch in preseason.--Andrew C. Lovell - RotoBaller
6/29:Los Angeles Rams second-year running back Todd Gurley will be one of the first players off the board in virtually all fantasy drafts this coming fall. Savvy owners will also want to use a late-round pick on fourth-year backup Benny Cunningham. Why not Tre Mason? The former Auburn star is facing potential NFL discipline stemming from his March arrest. Cunningham is the only proven back behind Gurley, as much as someone with 647 rushing yards in three seasons can be "proven." Cunningham is underrated as a pass-catcher, however, having totaled 71 receptions over the last two seasons. He would have value in the Rams' run-first offense, at least in the short term, should Gurley miss time. Gurley owners would surely hate for that to come to fruition, but it's better to be safe than sorry.--Andrew C. Lovell - RotoBaller
6/29:Zach Zenner was signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent prior to the 2015 NFL season. In the Lions exhibition season, he quickly made a name for himself. However, just a few weeks later he would exit with a season ending injury. As the 2016 season approaches, Zenner is determined to comeback and duplicate the early success he experienced last year. “After I got hurt I was really focusing on the mental aspect of the game because the physical aspect was taken away from me with the injury,” he said. “So it was just mentally looking at defenses — what the coaches were looking for, things like that.” Zenner said his experience last season made him feel like he belonged in the NFL. Now he just needs to prove he still has what it takes. “Going into this second year, definitely a level of comfort I can play here,” he said, “and I just need to go make the most out of the opportunities I have and put my best foot forward.”--Nate Williams - RotoBallerSource: Detroit Free Press
6/29:The Arizona Cardinals have one of the most productive passing attacks in the NFL. That potency, however, extends only to their wide receivers, not their tight ends. While receivers Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd all put together stellar seasons in 2015, tight ends Darren Fells and Jermaine Gresham were merely afterthoughts. The two combined for 39 receptions, 534 yards and four touchdowns, modest totals from a single player, let alone two. If you absolutely have to draft one of them, Fells is the one to take, if for no other reason that he should garner more red-zone targets and touchdowns than Gresham. Still, it would likely take multiple injuries (first to Gresham, then to one or two of Arizona's top receivers) to make Fells an intriguing option. He should be left on the waiver wire and picked up only as a desperate bye week fill-in.--Andrew C. Lovell - RotoBaller
6/29:In 2013 the Minnesota Vikings selected wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round of the NFL Draft. The potential for the former Tennessee Volunteer was limitless, but for several reasons Patterson has failed to live up to the hype. Last season, Patterson caught just two passes, and recently he admitted that he has not worked hard enough since joining the Vikings organization. "Sometimes you can be here and you feel like you've got to be on the team," Patterson said, per the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "You feel like, 'Yeah, I'm a first-round pick, I'm on the team.' Things like that, sometimes they make you not work hard, they make you don't want to do things, make you be lazy. People say, 'It's your make-or-break year,' " Patterson said. "I've just got to go out and do what I'm supposed to. It's a big year for me."--Nate Williams - RotoBallerSource: St. Paul Pioneer Press