Fantasy Football For Breakfast – Monday, July 16

Wake up with a warm cup of Fantasy Football For Breakfast! The season never ends and neither should the analysis of the latest NFL news & updates.

Fantasy Football For Breakfast is the place where you can wake up and take in the latest NFL news with a touch of Fantasy insight to go along with it. Every morning, look forward to a recap of each of the Fantasy-relevant headlines.

Monday, July 16

Aaron Rodgers says he wants to play to age 40

Aaron Rodgers was the lead of Peter King’s new Football Morning in America article series and talked a lot about all the cool stuff he did this offseason. He also mentioned that he’d “love to play to 40. I just think that number means a lot. Obviously, Tom [Brady] is kind of rewriting the book. Brett [Favre] had a good season when he turned 40. My goal is be able to move like I do or close to how I do and still be able to do that at 40 … just because nobody’s been able to do that and still move around the same. Steve Young’s career was cut short in his late thirties. John [Elway], the same—he didn’t really move the same as when he was younger. So to be able to move the same way at 38, 39, 40 would be cool. That’s my aim.” I’m sure Dynasty owners with Rodgers on their team are feeling good about that. Five more years would take him all the way out to 2023. Rodgers’ contract expires after next season. (Football Morning in America)

Le’Veon Bell’s extension negotiations ‘will go down to wire’

The deadline for a deal is 4 pm eastern later today. Yesterday head coach Mike Tomlin was optimistic about it happening. Adam Schefter feels it will be a challenge for an agreement to be reached. Bell would likely not participate in training camp if no deal is struck. (Ian Rapoport via Twitter)

Darren Sproles says 2018 will be his last season

Now 35 years old and attempting to come back from a torn ACL, Sproles thinks this season will be his curtain call. “Coming back from any injury is tough — especially a knee injury for a running back,” he wrote. “I wondered if I was going to come back the same, if I would still have my quickness. … Once I started rehabbing and running again I could tell I was good and ready for one more healthy year.” To me, Sproles isn’t worth a draft pick or a roster spot. (Officialize.com)

Jets will use tight end committee

There’s nobody who really jumps off the page among the Jets’ tight end depth chart. Chris Herndon and Jordan Leggett are the two best options but neither player would even be worth a late-round flier. The Jets aren’t exactly known for producing Fantasy TEs. (NJ.com)

Keke Coutee in the mix for slot job

This story came up a few weeks ago and it makes sense considering Braxton Miller has done so little for a few years now. The Texans obviously brought on Coutee to push forward on their depth chart and he should have a lot of experience with slot routes coming from Texas Tech where the offense is really designed to pass a lot. Shouldn’t read too much into it but DeAndre Hopkins had kind words for Coutee’s work ethic saying, “He’s only getting better,” said Hopkins. “He’s always hanging around, seeing what I’m doing in between periods, asking me questions.” Coutee is a very deep sleeper and this one depends a lot on how much production is going to Houston WRs because Hopkins and Will Fuller are going to feast this season if given a full 16 games from Deshaun Watson. (Houston Chronicle)

Mack Hollins in-line for ‘modest increase in opportunities’

This is coming from Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice. At best, Hollins is competing for a larger share of Mike Wallace’s snaps as Eagles No. 3 WR. At the top of the food chain is Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Add a healthy dose of Zach Ertz and there’s not a lot left for Hollins to nibble on. Barring an injury ahead of him on the depth chart, Hollins is a stash player in Dynasty formats. He is a way’s away from redraft relevance. (PhillyVoice)

More updates coming throughout the morning…

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Sunday, July 15

Steelers HC optimistic that Le’Veon Bell wants to get deal done

“He wants to get the deal done,” said Mike Tomlin. “I’m excited and hopeful. Hopefully we’ll have some exciting news Monday.” Tomlin also added he’s not worried about Bell showing up to camp out of shape because “he’s the type of guys who’s highly conditioned over a 12-month calendar.” Another report from Ian Rapoport yesterday afternoon said that the Steelers had “made some progress” on their extension negotiations with Bell.  Barring an injury, all this contract should have no impact on when you draft Bell. He shouldn’t make it past the second pick of any draft.(Wavy 10 & Ian Rapoport via Twitter)

Jaguars interested in DeMarco Murray

Maybe Murray pulled the retirement card to push forward the conversation and draw out interest from teams to sign him. As somebody who kind of likes Corey Grant as a deep sleeper option, I’m hoping the Jags add no other RBs because I think Grant can overtake T.J. Yeldon. (FF Insiders)

Quincy Enunwa will occupy the slot

New York Post is reporting that Quincy Enunwa will play in the spot, taking his role back from Jermaine Kearse. The Jets are counting on Robby Anderson, Kearse and Enunwa as their top starting WRs. Anderson performed well last year but I think he’s far from a sure thing and makes more sense to me as a flex play tops. Kearse and Enunwa are bye week fill-ins when the matchup is especially juicy. I don’t have much respect for this offense so I’d prefer to look elsewhere before bringing anybody here onto my team. (New York Post)

Dwayne Washington on bubble, Ameer Abdullah appears safe

Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com feels Dwayne Washington is the running back with the least amount of job security, not Ameer Abdullah. I think even if the Lions do keep Abdullah, he’s way behind LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick and Kerryon Johnson on the depth chart. I have to believe the Lions are looking to trade Abdullah. I’m proactively trying to avoid this backfield. Too many choices and none of them are clearly ahead of the other. I’d take Johnson in a dynasty and that’s about it. (DetroitLions.com)


Saturday, July 14

DeMarco Murray announces retirement

Well you can take Murray’s name out of the running for any team on the market for a RB. After seven seasons in the NFL, Murray will hang them up. Overall, he’s a good and notable career. 7174 rushing yards, 62nd all-time. 49 rushing TDs, 78th all-time. 72.5 rushing yards per game, 32nd all time. 9339 yards from scrimmage, 117th all-time.  This is probably for the best. You don’t want to go on for too long and sustain even more damage to your body. He say the time felt right and I believe him. (Adam Schefter via Twitter)

Golden Tate doesn’t feel age should be held against him in contract negotiations

“The only thing that really bothers me with this contract is that now people are trying to use 29 going 30 against me and I don’t think that’s fair because I haven’t shown any decline,” Golden Tate said in an interview. Teams will use whatever tactics and arguments they can in these discussions to pay less money. Tate has 90+ receptions while averaging 1000+ yards in each of his last four seasons, all of which have been in Detroit. Tate is on the books for $7 million in 2018 and his contract expires after the season. (SiriusXM NFL via Twitter)

Bills interested in Branden Oliver

Buffalo is keeping an eye on FA Branden Oliver. With all the drama around LeSean McCoy, the Bills are keeping their options open depending on how the situation plays out. Oliver was with the Chargers from 2014 to 2017, although he missed all of the 2016 season due to a torn Achilles. He hasn’t had more than 50 touches in a season since his rookie year in 2014. (Mike Rodak via Twitter)


Friday, July 13

Corey Davis has been one of the stars of the spring

Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com says Corey Davis has been the star, or one of the stars of the Titans spring program. When describing Davis, Wyatt said he “looked smooth during the offseason, snatching the ball out of the air with ease in traffic” and made “some spectacular catches.”  Some positive reinforcement is great but it’s hard for me to get excited about a Titans WR. Marcus Mariota has never struck me as a prolific passer so it’s hard to get excited about a player when I’m coming into it already feeling like there is a built-in ceiling or pronounced limit to his potential. (TitansOnline.com)

Mitchell Trubisky has training wheels taken off

Kyle Long told reporters that the coaches have “taken the training wheels off” of Mitchell Trubisky. “My little boy is becoming a man,” Long said. “Mitch — they’ve taken the training wheels off of Mitch’s little bike. So he’s going to be able to do some things creatively and get to showcase his skills. We’re excited to see him. He’s a tremendous leader and somebody the guys look up to in the locker room.” Bisky didn’t do much last year to ease concerns but perhaps we should keep an open mind until we see how he adjusts to this new system and has a few more weapons at his disposal on offense. I still think he is a very low-end QB2 but there’s clearly room for growth. (Madeline Kenney via Twitter)

Chris Ivory the first option if LeSean McCoy ‘unavailable’

I wouldn’t put much stake into anything coming out until the wheels start moving to either clear his name or until the Bills do something like adding a free agent veteran RB like DeMarco Murray. This offense is already very unappetizing so with or without McCoy, it’s going to be a long 2018 season. And if we assume McCoy is out and Ivory is the lead back, he’d be ranked outside of my top 30 RBs, probably closer to No. 40.(Buffalo News)

Cody Latimer has edge on WR3 job

Fantasy impact will be hard to come by with so many mouths to feed but Latimer is believed to be the favorite for the WR3 job for the New York Giants. He came over this offseason after spending four years in Denver (where he basically did nothing offensively). Beckham Jr. and Shepard will see more than the lion’s share of targets to WRs. (NJ Advance)

Thomas Rawls is ‘longest shot’ to make the roster

Well I suppose this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Rawls has been in a freefall for about three years now. With Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell leading the way and Elijah McGuire waiting in the wings, Rawls had an uphill climb to crack the top 53. (NJ Advance)


 

Thursday, July 12

Bilal Powell’s touches could ‘drop dramatically’

The New York Post speculated that Bilal Powell’s role will decline this season, leading to fewer touches. Isaiah Crowell is expected to be the early down work and the Jets also drafted Elijah McGuire last season who can contribute as a pass-catcher. Powell had a career-high in carries last season due to injuries to Matt Forte so some regression would on tap if he’s not the team’s featured back. I liked Powell last year but even when he was given the ball, he just didn’t do much with it. I’d avoid unless he free falls in a draft and I really need a backup RB in the 12th round (ADP 122.7). (New York Post)

T.J. Yeldon the clear-cut backup behind Leonard Fournette

First Coast News reported they see T.J. Yeldon as the primary backup behind Leonard Fournette. Corey Grant is a dynasty sleeper caliber player with a similar skill set but with more to prove after only seeing 33 touches last season. Grant did rush for 8.3 yards per carry but again, that number is inflated from a couple big runs on only 30 carries. Yeldon has been underwhelming since arriving in the NFL so I wouldn’t consider him untouchable by any means. Grant will certainly get a chance to win the job from Yeldon. (First Coast News)

Cam Newton on the hot seat apparently

“This is a big year for Newton with a new offensive coordinator and system,” writes David Newton of ESPN.com. “If he doesn’t show improvement after consecutive down years, there will be a lot of questions about his future.” I don’t know what this guy is smoking but if there’s any merit to it, the Panthers don’t deserve Cam. Is Newton an elite QB? No, not really. He has elite moments, elite stretches, but while he may not be an elite QB, he’s not that far off.  Plus, he sells tickets, wins plenty of games with inferior weapons around him and took this team to the Super Bowl a few years ago. Carolina would be foolish to allow him to walk away. (ESPN.com)

More updates coming throughout the morning…

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Wednesday, July 11

LeSean McCoy accused of orchestrating targeted home invasion

The long and short of it is McCoy was seeing a woman in some capacity. They had a shared residence. They broke up. The woman and her child stayed in the residence. McCoy and the woman were going to court because McCoy wanted her to move out and to return to him some undetermined items. It appears the day before they were to go to court, the woman and her cousins were attacked by the home invader who requested some specific items that may or may not be the previously mentioned items McCoy had requested. Apologies if the details are slightly incorrect, there’s just a lot of information swirling around this situation. The bottom line to me is I’m not touching LeSean McCoy in any upcoming draft. If you want him, you can have him and you should target him around Round 5 or 6. Sure, this could all blow over and maybe it does. But this is like drafting a guy who could potentially be out for the whole season if this turns out to be true. Losing a player for the season is a lot to absorb and rebound from. (Mike Garafolo via Twitter)

Adam Humphries “entrenched” as team’s slot receiver

Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com says Adam Humphries is “well entrenched” as the team’s slot receiver. Humphries quietly had a career year in 2017 with 61 catches for 631 yards and one TD. That’s not quite enough to make waves for Fantasy owners but it’s something to monitor when a WR3 or WR4 can put up decent numbers. Especially when you consider this team has Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate and even Chris Godwin all higher than Humphries on the totem pole.  Not draft worthy but certainly someone to consider if there’s an injury ahead of him on the depth chart. (Buccaneers.com)

Jordan Howard wants to improve his pass-catching

Jordan Howard is looking to become a better pass-catcher since he has not been a factor much in the passing game for Chicago. He also had 14 drops over the last two years and when you think about the types of passes RBs see, 14 drops is really bad. Any improvement though would be good because the Bears are going to try to work in Tarik Cohen early and often on passing downs. Howard’s determination to become more well rounded RB is a good sign but I don’t necessarily think you can be taught to catch. Until he gets more targets and capitalizes on them, I can’t buy into the hype. (Chicago Tribune)

Sterling Shepard ‘primed for big year’
Jonathan Stewart described as ‘plodding’

Eli Manning feels Sterling Shepard is primed for a big year. Not sure what anyone would expect him to say about a teammate, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Shepard will have a full offseason of work under his belt. He’ll have a healthy ODB back on the field. A better RB. A slightly better OL. An up-and-coming TE. What’s not to like right? Well actually, not so fast. Backup RB Jonathan Stewart was described as a ‘plodding veteran running back trying on’ during offseason practices. Sounds about right. J-Stew has consistently been a huge disappointment in Fantasy and if you draft him even as a handcuff, you ought to know better by now. (NJ Advance)


 

Tuesday, July 10

DeMarco Murray has spoken to “four or five teams”

Last month the Saints wanted to bring him in for a tryout due to Mark Ingram’s suspension to start the year. Murray turned down the offer since he felt he could find a better fit. Unfortunately, it’s now been about a month and there seems to be little interest. He may need to wait for an injury or a couple scrubs to prove how limited they are before a team offers a contract. Murray makes sense as a decent three-down backup but most teams have crowded backfields these days. (Adam Schefter Podcast)

Frank Gore’s age is irrelevant according to head coach

Dolphins head coach Adam Gase feels Gore’s age is “irrelevant” and while I understand the sentiment because Gore just keeps on plugging away, we basically forget what he was doing a decade ago by propping up his mediocrity today. Gore is currently fifth in all-time rushing yards, he’ll move up to fourth this season. Not a first ballot Hall of Famer but he’ll probably get in eventually. That said, he’s not even a handcuff for me behind Kenyan Drake. I’d rather roster rookie RB Kalen Ballage in deeper formats but that’d probably have to be a really, really deep league since Miami’s offense has been forgettable for some years now. (Palm Beach Post)

Kyle Lauletta will not challenge Davis Webb for backup role behind Eli Manning

New York added Lauletta in the fourth round of this year’s draft but Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance wasn’t too impressed and came away from spring thinking that Lauletta “doesn’t seem quite ready to mount” a challenge for the job. I think it’s too early to make this sort of assumption. This could be taken as more of a compliment to Webb, but as long as Eli is upright, the identity of his backup doesn’t matter much. (NJ Advance)


Monday, July 9

Beat writer says Ricky Seals-Jones will break out

Mike Jurecki of AZCardinals.com believes Ricky Seals-Jones is due for a breakout season in 2018. He highlighted a tweet by Pro Football Focus that noted RSJ averaged 2.96 yards per route run last year, compared to the TE league average of 1.29. Out of context, this may sound nice but we also have to consider there are a couple tight ends per team and some of them aren’t used much. This obviously wouldn’t include TEs who mostly just play special teams because it’s counting yards per route, but there are just a lot of bum No. 2 TEs in the league that may make this 2.96 number feel like more than what it is. RSJ is a popular sleeper option though for those choosing to wait. (Mike Jurecki via Twitter)

Andrew Luck set to workout with WRs

We can safely assume that Luck won’t be there to toss it under hand. The Colts have maintained for the entire offseason that Luck is on schedule, he’s fine, he’s great, etc. We would take them at their word but we also experienced 2017 and how they weren’t forthright about his status till very late into the preseason. Assuming he really is healthy for Week 1, he’s a huge boost the entire offense and Fantasy owners need to adjust accordingly to ensure they don’t completely miss out on the Colts’ playmakers. (PFT)

Josh Doctson foresees huge year

“Every new year I’m looking to be better. I have been better,” Doctson said Saturday at a football camp at TCU, via Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Just off the field maturing, off the field understanding how to be a NFL player. There’s just a lot that goes into this game that people overlook when they first get into the league. I lost my first year [to injury], last year I was able to play and then this year looking to do huge things.” Doctson has underwhelmed since joining the league. In 2017, he caught just 35 passes for 502 yards and six TDs. He needs to basically double that to get my full attention. Remember he sat out almost all of 2016 because of an Achilles injury. Until we see him string together a few games of good production, I can’t quite take him seriously. I’d much rather have Jamison Crowder than look to get lucky with Doctson. (Star Telegram)

Josh McCown says Sam Darnold is the ‘right guy’

“With Sam, we have the right guy, he’s wired the right way, he loves the game, he asks the right questions and he’s willing to work … That’s the foundation, you have to have that,” McCown said. Darnold has been working out with the third-string, since he is behind McCown and Teddy Bridgewater on the depth chart. For now, Darnold is only an option in dynasty leagues. (SiriusXM NFL)

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Matt De Lima
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