The Seahawks offseason program may be over, but Eddie Lacy is still hard at work. Lacy has been showing off his workout program all offseason and says he “feels great” and he “hasn’t missed a day.”It’s great to hear. Lacy, who passed his latest contractual weigh-in earlier this June has his next weigh-in in August and needs to be at 245 pounds. Lacy is well on his way to a bounce-back season, and is a mid-to-high RB2.
The New Orleans Saints placed defensive lineman Nick Fairley on the reserve/non-football-injury list, ending his 2017 season, the team announced Monday. The move came after Fairley consulted with doctors regarding a heart condition he’s played with since entering the league in 2011. There is a chance that this heart condition could end Fairley’s career. This is tough news for a Saints team that brought Fairley in on a four-year, $28 million contract this offseason and hoped he would help anchor the middle of their defensive line. The Saints will definitely be without Fairley this season, and there is a decent chance that he never plays a down for them.
ESPN’s John Weinfuss is reporting Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd was sentenced to one day in jail Monday for violating the terms of his house arrest. Along with serving one day in jail, Floyd must also finish out the final five days of his house arrest for violating the terms of the program earlier in the month when he tested positive for alcohol. Although there is still no word from the NFL about whether or not they will hand the troubled wideout any disciplinary action, his status with the Vikings moving forward appears grim. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the team ultimately moved on from Floyd when it’s all said and done. Minnesota is Floyd’s third team since the second half of the 2016 season.
Carolina Panthers beat writer Jourdan Rodrigue is reporting quarterback Cam Newton (shoulder) began throwing Monday for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery on March 20.Newton, who underwent offseason shoulder surgery on March 20, resumed throwing Monday for the first time exactly 14 weeks removed from the procedure. As a result, he remains on schedule in his recovery and should be a full-go for the start of training camp in late July. Barring a setback, Newton should be a fully healthy Week 1. Although he is coming off of the worst statistical season of his career in 2016, Newton should still be viewed a back-end QB1 with his usual boom upside for fantasy football purposes.
Chicago Bears beat writer Brad Biggs is suggesting tight end Danel Brown could push Zach Miller for his 2017 roster spot. The Bears’ tight end position has depth entering the 2017 season. They added Adam Shaheen via the draft and Dion Sims via free agency this offseason, while still rostering Miller and Brown. Per Biggs, Sims’ and Sheehan’s roster spots are safe. While Ben Braunecker, MyCole Pruitt, Miller and Brown will likely partake in a training camp/ preseason battle for the final “one or two” spots on the TE depth chart. Biggs believes that Miller, who has been plagued by injury throughout his career and is the elder of the group (32-years-old), could be on the outs in Chicago if Brown continues to impress. From a fantasy football perspective, I’d monitor this situation closely. If Miller is indeed on his way out, expect Shaheen or Sims to step into the featured role for the upcoming season. However, if Miller maintains his starting job, he would be worth a late round selection in fantasy drafts as he will likely emerge as Mike Glennon’s safety blanket on short and intermediate routes.
Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is suggesting to the media wide receiver Jamison Crowder could see an expanded role in 2017. “I’ve said all along Jamison can play anywhere,” Gruden said via The Washington Post. “He can play outside, inside. He can play running back probably if he wanted to. So we’ll utilize Jamison and try to get him more involved, not just in the passing game and the running game.” After the Redskins allowed Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson to depart via free agency this offseason, the door is open for Crowder to emerge as Washington’s top wideout in 2017. Despite adding Terrelle Pryor and seeing the likely the return of second-year receiver Josh Doctson to full health for the first time in his pro career, Crowder remains the favorite to lead the Redskins in receiving. Primarily a slot WR, Crowder is an explosive and dynamic weapon that Kirk Cousins has frequently leaned on as his safety blanket, which is expected to continue moving forward. Coming off of a career year in 2016 in which he accumulated a 67-847-7 stat line while averaging 12.7 YPC, Crowder should be viewed a budding star who could be a steal in fantasy drafts at his #74 overall ADP.
Denver Broncos beat writer Mike Klis believes Paxton Lynch is “making a push” for the starting quarterback job in 2017.It appears Lynch is gaining ground on Trevor Siemian, the early favorite to emerge as Denver’s starting QB for the 2017 season. Klis is suggesting that Lynch, who struggled throughout his tenure in Denver, “flipped a switch” during the final week of OTAs and is beginning to put it all together. “His switch was flipped. He started to get it,” Klis said via 9 News Denver. “He started to play as if he was doing just that - playing. Playing and not thinking about his protections and hot reads and coverages and delivering the ball on time.” Entering the training camp portion of the offseason, which begins in late July, Lynch is fully expected to compete with Siemian for the top spot on the depth chart and could ultimately beat him out if he showcases more consistency. I wouldn’t expect the Broncos to name their starting quarterback until the conclusion of the preseason.
Rams running backs coach Skip Peete says that last season, Todd Gurley sometimes ran away from the play-call. Even if that were the case, 68.5% of Gurley’s yards came after contact. Add that to the fact that his good-blocking-yards-per-attempt, a statistic calculated by ESPN NFL Insider K.C. Joyner, went from the best in the league in 2015 to the seventh-worst in 2016. Numbers say that with better offensive line play, Gurley has all of the tools to succeed, and with the addition of Andrew Whitworth and the departure of Greg Robinson, he should be in line for a bounce back season. Gurley should end up somewhere in-between his fantastic 2015 and disastrous 2016.
Carolina Panthers beat writer Joseph Person believes the threat of tight end Greg Olsen holding out “bears watching” moving forward. “Greg Olsenâ€™s desire for a new contract is not a media creation,” Person said via the Charlotte Observer. “Olsen wants to be paid at a level commensurate with his production and could make things uncomfortable with the threat of a training camp holdout. I donâ€™t think it will come to that, but the situation bears watching.”Olsen has been one of the most productive tight ends in the NFL since entering the league in 2007. However, it wasn’t until 2012, his second year in Carolina, at which he emerged as one of the league’s top players at his position. After compiling three consecutive seasons of at least 77 receptions, 1,008 yards and three touchdowns, the 32-year-old, who still has two years remaining on his current contract, believes he is in line for a new deal that will pay him as an elite TE. Although he is not slated to hit the open market until the 2019 season, the Panthers could ultimately extend Olsen sooner rather than later and finally put the murmurs of their top receiving threat holding out to bed. Olsen is a top five fantasy TE entering the 2017 season.
A year after being the Titans’ second leading receiver, with 522 receiving yards and two touchdowns, Tajae Sharpe will “have a chance,” to make the team this year said Head Coach Mike Mularkey. Sharpe has declined to speak to reporters since being accused of assault in May, and he also is two weeks removed from surgery on his right foot to repair a stress fracture. Sharpe was already the odd man out in the Titans receiving corps, after the team added two receivers in the first three rounds of the 2017 NFL draft and also recently signed Eric Decker to a one-year deal. Sharpe should not be touched by any fantasy owners, except in extremely deep leagues.
Seattle Seahawks beat reporter Bob Condotta believes running backs Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls will “take a fairly equal share of the base down carries” in 2017.Since Marshawn Lynch retired following the 2015 season—he recently un-retired and was acquired by the Oakland Raiders—the Seahawks’ backfield has been a volatile unit. Entering 2017, expect very much of the same. Although they signed Lacy as a free agent this offseason, Rawls, a similar style back, remains in the mix for carries and could split the early-down workload with the former. For the third down role/ primary receiver out of the backfield, expect that role to be handled by C.J. Prosise, who showed promise last season before being lost to injury. From a fantasy football perspective, Lacy should be the first RB coming off draft boards in upcoming fantasy drafts, but be sure to handcuff him with Rawls as neither one of them could be trusted to remain healthy or produce on a consistent basis. As for Prosise, he should be targeted around Round 10 or later, but should garner greater value in PPR scoring formats.
New York Jets beat writer Connor Hughes believes running back Matt Forte will be the team’s “offensive workhorse” in 2017.With the Jets heading into a rebuilding year in 2017—they moved on from a plethora of players over the age of 30 this offseason—it comes to a surprise that Hughes believes Forte will lead their backfield. Throughout the offseason, most experts, including myself, think Bilal Powell will continue to lead the duo in touches and total yards as he had at the tail end of the 2016 campaign. From a fantasy football perspective, Powell has been the first Jets’ rusher coming off the board in mock drafts, while Forte is going a handful of rounds later. However, even if Forte opens the upcoming season as the starter, I’d still expect Powell to supersede him sooner rather than later.
Along with four others, the Rams locked up 4th-round WR Josh Reynolds on Wednesday.While the Rams have plenty of slot-type receivers, they have lacked a quality #1 for a long time. Robert Woods is best suited for the flanker role, so besides Reynolds, the only other prototypical X receiver on the roster is 2016 6th-round pick Mike Thomas. Reynolds should be drafted in all dynasty leagues and could contribute sooner rather than later in a weak LA receiving group.
The WR3 starting position is up for grabs in Chicago, and it seems like Markus Wheaton is ahead of Victor Cruz and Kendall Wright. The fantasy appeal for Markus Wheaton is non-existent at this point, but it is worth noting that he will most likely be on the field in three-receiver sets for the Bears. Wheaton is a field stretcher, as noted by his 4.45 40-yard dash time at the 2013 combine. He has a chance to make a few big plays here and there, but it is hard to imagine a situation where this Bears offense makes a third WR fantasy-relevant. Wheaton becomes a little intriguing in fantasy if Kevin White continues to be plagued with injuries.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Oakland Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr have agreed to a five-year deal worth $125 million on Thursday.The Raiders made Carr the highest-paid player in NFL history Thursday with his five-year, $125 million extension. The 26-year-old signal caller, who is entering his fourth year in the NFL, appears primed for his breakout season in 2017 and could be one of fantasy football’s studs at his position. Carr should be viewed a mid-range QB1 with top five upside amongst quarterbacks.