Fantasy Football For Breakfast – Tuesday, May 22

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.

Tuesday, May 22

Alvin Kamara to see 14 or 15 carries per game during Mark Ingram’s suspension

This rate would basically double Alvin Kamara’s rushing workload compared to his rookie campaign. I think 14 or 15 carries is a nice goal on paper, but that also seems to assume no other back gets more than a couple carries per game. I don’t see a pressing need to overwork the guy that early in the season. Kamara averaged a ludicrous 6.1 yards per carry last season over 120 rushes. I do feel this presumed extra playing time pushes Kamara into at least the conversation for being a Top 5 Fantasy draft pick. Maybe not in practice but in a sort of “Here’s a semi-controversial, exaggerated opinion that might be worth thinking about.” And being a Top 5 Fantasy guy right now… That’s saying a lot, I feel, since the Top 5 is some combination of Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson and Antonio Brown. For a guy entering his second season, that’s rarefied air. (NO Advocate)

Pats will restructure Rob Gronkowski’s contract

The NFL only allows one contract restructure per calendar year so Rob Gronkowski will have to wait until May 24th for his next tweak. For now, Gronk is scheduled to make $8M this year and $9M next year. Keeping the big guy happy should be a top priority because this offense looks a lot less appetizing with Dwayne Allen at the top of the TE depth chart. (James Palmer via Twitter)

Le’Veon Bell will not report for start of OTAs

Le’Veon Bell is still seeking an updated contract. I don’t see this contract dispute ending soon. But that won’t put me off Bell come draft time. Mama likey. (ESPN)

Josh McCown the projected Week 1 starter

The safe bet, if you’re a betting man, would be to project Josh McCown as the Jets’ Week 1 starter. New York invested their first round pick in Sam Darnold but he will be groomed for the time being by McCown. And let’s not forget, McCown has been in the league since 2002. There are Fantasy owners who weren’t even born yet when McCown entered the league. He’s almost as old as Tom Brady. Point being, the guy has a ton of experience and it would be wise of the Jets to let Darnold simmer under McCown’s tutelage. (ESPN)

Donte Moncrief the early favorite to start

This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering Jacksonville upended their WR depth chart. Allen Robinson? Gone and already arrived in Chicago to reboot his career. Allen Hurns is now in Dallas and he might turn some heads with limited competition now that Dez Bryant is gone. The only Jacksonville WRs with any traction among Fantasy owners are Dede Westbrook and Marqise Lee. I don’t mind Lee but Westbrook feels more like a Dynasty stash rather than a meaningful contributor early on. As for Donte “Don’t Call me Dante” Moncrief, I’m not sold. This is a big step backward in QB. Going from Andrew Luck to Blake Bortles is significant. And even with Luck, Moncrief h as been an underachiever so I probably will not have many shares of him in 2018. (ESPN)

More updates coming throughout the morning…

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Monday, May 21

Dalvin Cook should be ready for OTAs

Dalvin Cook went down on October 1st of last year and now nearly nine months later, he’s nearly ready to begin practicing. He won’t be a full participant, but it’s good that he at least can get out there. I’m cautiously optimistic about Cook’s 2018 prospects. I don’t know if he’s in my Top 12 (aka a RB1) but he’s certainly close to it. I think Minnesota opens up the offense a bit more and gets the ball down the field. It seems Fantasy owners are all-in on him picking up right where he left off and I just have the feeling he’ll get off to a slow start as he continues to rehab from the ACL tear. (Tom Pelissero via Twitter)

Vikings would like to give Stefon Diggs long-term contract

Stefon Diggs is playing in the final year of his rookie contract which pays him about $700K. Minnesota also needs to pay Anthony Barr & Danielle Hunter. Those contracts also won’t be cheap. Diggs had 20 fewer receptions in 2017 (64) compared to 2016 (84), yet he scored eight TDs, five more than the previous season. The former UMD wideout has established himself as a solid flex/WR3 and the arrival of Kirk Cousins should theoretically make this passing attack more viable. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Tom Brady will skip OTAs this week

Tom Brady has supreme confidence in his personal trainer Alex Guerrero. There was a story last year that Guerrero overstayed his welcome with the Patriots’ coaching staff. That beef supposedly soured the relationship between Brady and Bill Belichick since Bill disagreed with how much access Guerrero required. It apparently went too far for Belichick when Guerrero’s recommendations were being taken more seriously than those from team doctors. Until Brady skips something mandatory though, this is much ado about nothing. (Ian Rapoport via Twitter)

Julio Jones absent from OTAs

Julio Jones did not attend the start of OTAs. This was previously noted in yesterday’s updates if you’d like to read more about it. (ESPN)

Corey Coleman will be pushed for WR3 spot

According to the Akron Beacon-Journal, incoming rookie WR Antonio Callaway will seriously challenge incumbent Corey Coleman for the Browns No. 3 WR job. Coleman hasn’t done much of anything over his two first seasons, which includes him already having missed 13 games in total. He caught just 23 passes for 305 yards and two scores a year ago so he has a long way to go. The only WRs worth owning from the Browns in redraft leagues are Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon so it may not be of much consequence who wins this competition. (Akron Beacon-Journal)

David Njoku to see expanded full-time role

David Njoku essentially split time as the Browns tight end in his rookie campaign. The other half of the snaps mostly went to Seth Devalve. Apparently that won’t be the case in 2018 as Njoku’s role expands to that of a “full-time starter” according to the Akron Beacon-Journal. There’s a lot of potential here, but most of Njoku’s success or failure hinges upon the viability of the Browns’ offense. Tyrod Taylor, assuming he is the starter for most of the season, isn’t known for his prolific passing stats so being the third mouth to feed behind Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry will likely produce inconsistent results for Fantasy owners. (Akron Beacon-Journal)


Sunday, May 20

Jeff Heuermann will run with the first-team

Fourth-year TE Jeff Heuermann is the starter right now, in my estimation, because he’s the vet and he began the 2017 season as the No. 2 option behind Virgil Green. Even with that all in mind, I feel this is Jake Butt’s job by Week 1. For now, I don’t see a viable Fantasy option for Fantasy owners but there is still some residual disinterest on my part because the Broncos’ offense was so trash last year. They could barely make Demaryius Thomas successful and with all due respect Case Keenum, I don’t exactly get the warm and fuzzies from this group either. (9News Denver)

Julio Jones not expected to attend voluntary OTAs

I’m usually 100-percent on the side of the players on this sort of thing, but Julio Jones has three years left on his deal. We all remember the story about how Julio had apparently removed all mentions of the Falcons from his social media (*cough* petty *cough*) and now he wants some kind of tweak to his contract. I did a little digging and based on average money per year of his contract, Julio is the eighth-best paid WR in the league. So sure, maybe that dollar figure is not commiserate of his talent. However, you can’t have it both ways. If you sign a five year deal, don’t be surprised when you’re no longer the highest or second-highest paid WR three years later. With three more years in the bag, I’m not understanding all the huffing and puffing about a couple extra million here or there. I don’t know. I’m no agent.  (Ian Rapoport via Twitter)

Terrance Williams arrested

Why is Terrance Williams still a thing in the NFL? He was arrested for public intoxication and leaving the scene of an accident after crashing his Lamborghini. I didn’t think it was possible for me to have less interest in Williams, but he decided to lower the bar further. Terrell Owens’ opinions may not carry much weight, but what he said about this offense and Jason Garrett I think is spot on. Zeke is great, sure, but this entire offense has been treading water and no player better represents that than Williams. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Donnel Pumphrey odd man out, Sproles may lead RBs in snaps

Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood appear to be the top four backs in Philadelphia. This leaves Donnel Pumphrey as the likely odd man out when the Eagles eventually cut the roster down to 53. He didn’t play at all in his rookie season after being placed on injured reserve. Also, in the same report, it was said it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Darren Sproles led the backs in snaps played. Uh, how is that not surprising?! Sproles is 34 years old! Ajayi is a steady back with three-down talent. Corey Clement showed promise in his rookie year. And in swoops Sproles to lead the team in snaps? I don’t know about all that. I’m not buying it. (NJ.com)

Phillip Dorsett had workout bonus reduced

I can’t speak for the New England front office but what kind of nonsense is this? This is the sort of thing that gets under my skin about the NFL and people who defend ownership when a guy holds out for a contract. What was the bargaining chip for the Pats? Like hey Phillip Dorsett, we’re going to cut you. But actually, we’ll keep you around if you take a pay cut even though you are the 42nd-best player paid on the team. We’ve probably sold a hundred $100 jerseys during this conversation, but still, we need you to take less money. Thanks for being a team player. By the way, we’re going to cut you in two weeks. Have a nice day. (ESPN)

Eli Rogers likely to return to Steelers

Four months ago, Eli Rogers had ACL surgery. The Steelers opted to let his contract expire which makes Rogers a free agent. But they might bring him back as the team’s penciled-in No. 4 WR behind AB84, JuJu Smith-Schuster and rookie James Washington. (ESPN)


Friday, May 18

Chris Godwin earned right to start

Step aside DeSean Jackson. Okay, maybe it won’t be that sudden but Chris Godwin will see more playing time this year after shining in brief moments his rookie season. I think the coachspeak here is simply talking about Godwin being the starter in three-WR sets. So don’t read into this one too much. Now entering Year 2, I understand the apprehension about the No. 3 WR in an offense that fell flat a year ago. I just can’t imagine the Bucs’ offense being equally poor again in 2018. There are just too many weapons after adding Godwin & O.J. Howard last year and Ronald Jones in the draft this year. Jameis Winston has been given a pass cause he’s so damn charismatic as a leader. It’s time he leads with his play on the field. That’s the only way this offense and maybe most importantly Mike Evans to get back on track for Fantasy owners. But back to Godwin, I don’t mind grabbing him as a late round flier in redrafts. (Greg Auman via Twitter)

David Johnson wants 1000+ rushing and 1000+ receiving

We want the same thing DJ! Only two backs have done it: Roger Craig back during the 49ers glory days and Marshall Faulk in 1999 when the entire Rams offense was Fantasy gold. Personally I’m not buying but it’s more speaking to the offense. Arizona has who else besides him and Larry Fitzgerald? I’ll wait. J.J. Nelson? Their TE is Ricky Seals-Jones. Rookie WR Christian Kirk. This group doesn’t exactly instill confidence, not yet anyway. But I appreciate the candor. I do think if given 16 games, he’d have a good shot at it. (Greg Auman via Twitter)


Thursday, May 17

Bears HC discusses multiple players

Bears head coach Matt Nagy gushed that he is “giddy” about Tarik Cohen. Nagy is also excited about Adam Shaheen, the team’s No. 2 TE because he fits our offense really well. Nagy said of Shaheen, “He’s bigger than I originally thought he was. … He has very natural hands,” Nagy added. “Now it’s just a matter of how fast is he going to learn it.” Nagy discussed Allen Robinson and noted Robinson is “ahead of the game” with his rehab from a torn ACL. “He’s been doing great in meetings. He’s answering every question in the meetings,” Nagy said. “He’s out here focused, doing everything that we want him to do.” (Bears.com)

T.Y. Hilton is “all in” with new coaching staff

2017 wasn’t kind to T.Y. Hilton or the Colts. So a fresh start with a coaching staff he’s feeling more confident about probably helps a lot with motivation. The key for Hilton is having Andrew Luck back. It doesn’t really matter to me what happens, but without Luck, this whole offense is basically untouchable for Fantasy owners. And I make no assumption about his return until it happens! (Zak Keefer via Twitter)

Robby Anderson had his felony arrest dropped

Robby Anderson still faces reckless driving charges (he was doing 105 in a 45). Now look, I’m no saint. I’ve probably done 65 in a 45, maybe even 70. But 105? First of all, I don’t know if my car can go that fast and I’m too scared to find out. Even if he’s cleared of the reckless driving charge, the NFL will probably still stick their nose into it and serve up a short suspension. Something to keep an eye on if you are taking a shot on Robby this year. (Mike Garafolo via Twitter)


Wednesday, May 16

No impending deal between Packers and Dez Bryant

I don’t think Dez Bryant knows he’s not as good as he thinks he is. He’s asking for too much money and no teams are a-knocking on his door. (Ian Rapoport via Twitter)

Ryan Tannehill a full-go for OTAs

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Ryan Tannehill healthy and throwing the football. Sources told The Miami Herald that Tannehill would have “little or no limitations” during OTAs. I’ve said it before and I don’t mind saying it again: The Dolphins should’ve taken his injury as an opportunity to move on from Tannehill. We’ve seen good football from him, for sure. Miami made the playoffs with him in 2016, their first season with a winning record since 2008. But is that how high the bar is? I just don’t think he’s good enough to be anything more than slightly above average. I suppose that’s enough for some teams. (Miami Herald)

John Ross healthy, feeling good

“I couldn’t ask to feel any better than I do now,” John Ross said. His rookie season didn’t amount to anything, literally. He didn’t catch a single pass. That said, Ross has plenty of untapped potential. “He looks good. Completely different than he did last year,” Andy Dalton said. “You can tell he worked hard. It looks like he’s getting back to where he was. He looks smooth.” (Bengals.com)

Cardinals confident in Christian Kirk’s character

Despite his arrest in February, the Cardinals are standing by their man. They were aware of the arrest before drafting him, as mentioned in yesterday’s update.  “We did our own independent research on it and we felt very good about the information that we received,” coach Steve Wilks said. “That’s why we moved forward and really drafted him. As I stated before, we want to bring in great character guys, and I think Christian is one of those guys.” (AZCardinals.com)

Maxx Williams on the roster bubble

It makes sense. The Ravens drafted Hayden Hurst & Mark Andrews and already have Nick Boyle & Vince Mayle. Five TEs feels like overkill. Maxx Williams had a few nice moments in 2015 when filling in for an injured Dennis Pitta but he’s been quiet since then. Ben Watson and Nick Boyle contributed far more production as the team’s top two TEs. If Williams was third on the depth chart in 2017, I’m surprised he’s still on the team at this point. (Baltimore Sun)


Tuesday, May 15

De’Angelo Henderson sustains minor injuries in car accident

In a pretty crazy story, a woman stole a car and ended up in a high-speed chase. As she ran from the cops, she collided with multiple vehicles, including De’Angelo Henderson’s car. What a strange story! Henderson was not seriously hurt and walked away from the accident with “minor injuries” and “scrapes and bruises.” That’s a new one for the injury report. Henderson’s Jeep was actually severely damaged after being T-boned, thrown up into the air and flipped over on the road so this could have been a lot worse. Henderson feels he’ll be ready for OTAs which start in less than a week. (ESPN)

 Russell Shepard released by Panthers

Russell Shepard refused a pay cut then supposedly asked for a release. 2017 was Shepard’s first year in Carolina after spending four seasons with the Tampa Bay Bucs. He’s never had more than 25 receptions in a season so where he lands is inconsequential to Fantasy owners. (Charlotte Observer)

Texans add Stephen Morris

Stephen Morris is joining his sixth team since arriving into the league back in 2014. I think Morris will have a decent shot of unseating Houston’s current backup Brandon Weeden. But obviously this is the Deshaun Watson show. (Ian Rapoport via Twitter)

Christian Kirk arrested

Cardinals rookie WR was arrested in February for get this…. he was seen throwing rocks at cars leaving the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Apparently this was no biggie to Arizona because they drafted him already knowing about this. In his defense, throwing rocks is a pretty good time (if you’re six years old). (Arizona Republic)

Jay Ajayi being sued

Not really Fantasy-relevant at all but Jay Ajayi is being sued for $25,000 for damaging a Los Angeles mansion. He apparently threw three parties and wasn’t supposed to do that. NFL life must be nice! I don’t mean to be underhanded and there are a lot of people in the NFL. There are countless guys who don’t act a fool. But when one of these stories come out, I can’t help but shake my head. I must be becoming a curmudgeon. (TMZ Sports)


Monday, May 14

Deshaun Watson on schedule for training camp

Good news coming from Texans HC Bill O’Brien. Deshaun Watson ended his rookie season on IR thanks to a ACL tear. I’m cautiously optimistic about Watson, I think the problem is that’s the floor of expectations for most Fantasy owners so getting Watson at a good value on draft day seems very unlikely. I feel like a lot of people also see the Texans as a darkhorse playoff team so they expect this offense to do really well. We have Watson ranked the No. 9 QB and that’s probably about as low as you’ll find him. (Will Selva via Twitter)

Calvin Ridley played slot and outside during OTAs

I don’t see why not. The Falcons want to see what the young man can do and there’s nothing to lose during OTAs. Some probably feel Mohamed Sanu has a tighter grip on the No. 2 job than he really does. Sanu is one notch above a replacement player in my book and since arriving in Atlanta, he has benefitted from a productive offense. I’d much prefer to take a flier on Ridley than take the “already-know-what-we’re-going-to-get-and-it-aint much” Sanu. (AJC)

No extension talk (yet) for Golden Tate

Tate deserves to get paid. He’s been one of the least heralded ultra-productive WRs in the league with 90 or more receptions in each of his last four seasons. He doesn’t put up big TD numbers due to his size  and his yards per catch isn’t going to win any awards, but he’s fulfilled his role more than admirably. I know a lot of Fantasy fans who think of him as a second-class citizen. Most his value comes from PPR formats. That said, I don’t mind him at all as my WR2 because he’s durable (only one missed game since 2011) and productive. (AJC)


Sunday, May 13

Andrew Luck still not throwing

Colts head coach says Andrew Luck is doing “exceptionally well.” So if you ask Luck how he’s doing, he might say, “I’m doing exceptionally well.” And then you’ll respond, “Oh, that’s great! So you’re back out there throwing the ball then?” And he’d say, “No, not yet.” Then you’d think to yourself, “Well that’s not very exceptional!” Apparently Luck won’t throw until training camp so we’ll revisit this then. (Zak Keefer via Twitter)

Devontae Booker figures he is the starter

Sure, for now, but rookie RB Royce Freeman is a “pro-ready” back. Devontae Booker will get his touches though. I think this will end up being close to a 60-40 split for the first few weeks of the season (Freeman-Booker). But Freeman will take over and end up closer to 70-30 for the rest of the season. Look, if Booker was a good player, they wouldn’t have brought in Freeman in the first place. (9News.com)

Coby Fleener not cleared from previous concussion

Coby Fleener never seemed to develop much chemistry while with the Saints and now he’s a free agent. He still has not been cleared from a season-ending concussion that put him on IR for the final month of the regular season. Even if he signs somewhere, I’m not buying him. (NewOrleansSaints.com)

Sean Payton hasn’t ruled out Adrian Peterson

With Mark Ingram on the shelf for the first four weeks of the season due to his suspension, the Saints could be on the market for a running back. Head coach Sean Payton hasn’t ruled out bringing back Adrian Peterson after their very brief foray together last year. I can’t imagine Peterson wanting to give it another shot after team so badly botched their handling of him. (NewOrleansSaints.com)

Dallas will use Tavon Austin primarily as WR

Despite having a veritable motley crew of receivers, the Cowboys seem mostly content with what they have. When discussing Tavon Austin, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said, “We’ll use him for a lot of things, but he’s a receiver first,” said Linehan. “Some of his skill set is as an outside receiver, but he can move around.” A previous report said Austin could be used often as a running back so I guess we’ll see how this shakes out in preseason. When used properly, Austin does have game-changing speed and quickness. He just hasn’t put it all together since his one semi-viable Fantasy season back in 2015. (Brandon George via Twitter)

Garrett Gilbert current Panthers No. 2 QB

This is all well and good but the Panthers don’t exactly have much in the cupboard behind Cam Newton. Gilbert and Taylor Heinicke are all they’ve got and nobody’s ever heard of either of these guys. God forbid something happen to Cam. (Joe Person via Twitter)

Dolphins OC wants to use more 13 personnel

If you don’t speak fluent footballese, that means an offensive formation with one RB and three TEs. It’s not that the Dolphins have a great bunch of TEs, but they do seem to really like their top TE, rookie Mike Gesicki. I think 13 personnel also lends itself to play-action and getting Ryan Tannehill out of the pocket. The stats say Tannehill underperforms severely when under pressure so allowing him to use his legs, move the pocket and evade that pressure. Pair that with a highly athletic TE like Gesicki who can work the short and medium stuff, this seems to be a good fit. (Adam Beasley via Twitter)


Saturday, May 12

Carson Wentz will be “ready when he’s ready”

The “ready when he’s ready” quote comes from head coach Doug Pederson who is likely growing tired of the same old questions, but hey, Carson Wentz isn’t ready yet. So what else is there to talk about? I mentioned this a week or two ago but I’m not a fan of this situation. After Andrew Luck next year and Peyton Manning before him, I’m not satisfied until I see a guy playing and I see him put some zip on his passes. NFL teams are very deliberate when you focus on practice, depth charts, contracts and playing time. Just going by my gut on this, I think there’s a reason the Eagles didn’t move on from Nick Foles and capitalize on the value he accrued for himself last postseason. And I have to assume the logic is because Wentz isn’t a sure thing to return on time. We’ve been spoiled with guys returning in 9 or 10 months from ACL tears. But recoveries don’t always go so swimmingly. I understand it’s only May but you better be sure to have a great backup plan at QB if you have Wentz or you opt to draft him between now and the regular season. With the way these franchises push these guys, I can totally see Wentz overdoing it to get back on the field and setting himself back. (ESPN)

Malcolm Mitchell expected to participate in OTAs

Malcolm Mitchell spent 2017 on injured reserve so it’s hard to get a good read here. Chris Hogan seems like the logical No. 2 WR behind Julian Edelman. Jordan Matthews is now with the Pats and he makes sense in the slot. With Gronk on the field, I don’t imagine there being a lot of four WR sets. An injury ahead of him on the depth charts is the only way I’d consider Mitchell. There are a lot of mouths to feed on the Patriots so I’m not overly confident in rostering anybody except Tom Brady, Gronk and maybe rookie RB Sony Michel.  (Jeff Howe via Twitter)

Rico Gathers good to go

2017 was a bust for Rico Gathers due to concussions and a myriad of other injuries. He will be ready to go for upcoming practices. Gathers is the only vaguely recognizable name the Cowboys have left at the tight end position and he likely has the highest athletic upside as a former basketball player. I’ll pass. (Todd Archer via Twitter)

Stephen Morris waived

The Seahawks waived Stephen Morris, leaving Austin Davis & Alex McGough as the only quarterbacks behind Russell Wilson. It’s been a revolving door behind Wilson lately. The Seahawks would do well to solidify the backup QB position because this team effectively has put all their eggs in one basket. Many teams would fall off drastically without their starting QB, yet the Seahawks are especially vulnerable with so few playmakers on offense. (Field Yates via Twitter)

Favorite to buy Carolina Panthers emerges

This really has very little to do with Fantasy Football; however, I was reading David Tepper. He’s the favorite to buy the team from current owner Jerry Richardson. According to Tepper’s wiki, he “keeps a brass replica of a pair of testicles in a prominent spot on his desk, a present from former employees. He rubs the gift for luck during the trading day to get a laugh out of colleagues.” Uh, what? I guess you can afford to be weirdo when you’re a billionaire, huh? (NFL.com)

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Matt De Lima
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