Recent NFL Player News

Chad Williams could start for Cardinals in 2018

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Chad Williams is projected as a starter, according to Darren Urban of azcardinals.com.

What It Means:

Urban has him starting opposite veteran and clear-cut number-one Larry Fitzgerald, but ahead of fleet-footed J.J. Nelson, free agent acquisition Brice Butler, and second-round rookie Christian Kirk. Williams saw just 98 snaps in 2018 -- his rookie season -- but should see more work this year. "Williams will be able to be the one who makes that step," said Urban. There's still plenty to sort out in this depth chart behind Fitzgerald.

Our models currently project Williams for 232 receiving yards and 1.3 touchdowns on 20 catches this year. That fantasy projection puts him fifth among wide receivers on his own team, and outside the top-100 at the position league-wide.

Rob Kelley on Washington roster bubble

Washington running back Rob Kelley is on the roster bubble, NBC Washington believes.

What It Means:

Kelley got some first-team reps this offseason but isn't a roster lock behind early-round rookie Derrius Guice, pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson, and second-year Samaje Perine. He's likely the fourth running back if does he makes the team, but Washington can save $630k against the cap by releasing Kelley.

Our models currently project Kelley for 247 rushing yards and 1.7 touchdowns on 74 carries, with 8 catches for 53 yards. His projection is fourth-best among fantasy running backs on his own team and outside the top-70 league-wide.

Buccaneers' Ryan Griffin has 'major opportunity' to start Week 1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Griffin has a "major opportunity" to pass Ryan Fitzpatrick on the depth chart and start during Jameis Winston's three-game suspension, believes Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

What It Means:

Griffin sprained his AC joint during the Buccaneers' first preseason game last summer but the 2013 undrafted free agent still impressed the coaching staff enough to earn a one-year extension. He should see plenty of opportunity during offseason work as the team decides what to do under center for Weeks 1-3. Griffin spent his first couple years in the NFL with Sean Payton and Drew Brees in New Orleans on the Saints, but he's never attempted a pass in the regular season.

Griffin completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 2,771 yards with 20 touchdowns and 11 interceptions as a senior at Tulane in 2012.

Source: Greg Auman

Browns intend to ride 'hot hand' at running back

Cleveland Browns running backs coach Freddie Kitchens said the team will ride the "hot hand" in the backfield this season.

What It Means:

Kitchens expressed confidence in all three of Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson, and second-rounder Nick Chubb, claiming that "all three of those guys can run our running game" and that the backfield "is a position of strength." However, he also doesn't want to fix something if it isn't broken. "If they are having success," Kitchens said, "why would you change?" Hyde figures to start the year as the primary option, while Johnson will factor more into the passing game, but Chubb's role should grow as the season goes on.

Hyde is the RB25 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings, followed by Johnson (RB33), and Chubb (RB44).

Raiders' Martavis Bryant reportedly hasn't been informed of suspension

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant, as of Wednesday, had not been notified of a pending suspension, reports Vic Tafur of The Athletic.

What It Means:

According to Tafur, Bryant "is clean and hasn’t missed a test," which contradicts last week's report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Michael Gehlken, who said the 26-year-old wideout was facing imminent discipline from the league. Tafur added that he heard a similar report regarding Bryant earlier this year and that nothing ever came of it, although those could be two separate incidents. Bryant missed the entire 2016 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers because of substance-abuse violations.

As of now, numberFire's models project Bryant to play 16 games and catch 42.2 passes (74.5 targets) for 562.6 yards and 3.07 touchdowns next season.

Source: Vic Tafur

Schefter: Buccaneers' Jameis Winston to be suspended 3 games for Uber incident

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended three games for violating the league's personal-conduct policy, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

What It Means:

Schefter's colleague, ESPN Tallahassee radio host Jeff Cameron, reported Wednesday night that Winston was expecting a suspension but that it would likely be only 1 game. Winston is alleged to have groped an Uber driver, and even though he was never charged with a crime, the NFL has proven they won't hesitate taking these sorts of matters into their own hands. Ryan Fitzpatrick is second at quarterback on the Buccaneers' depth chart.

Prior to this report, numberFire's models projected Jameis to throw for 4,177 passing yards, 26.43 touchdowns, and 15.8 interceptions in 2018, with an additional 160.3 yards and 1.76 scores on the ground. He was the QB18 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

DeShone Kizer and Brett Hundley struggling during Packers' minicamp

Green Bay Packers quarterbacks DeShone Kizer and Brett Hundley struggled during minicamp, ESPN's Rob Demovsky writes.

What It Means:

Both looked absolutely terrible last season, but there was at least some hope that Kizer -- who came over from the Cleveland Browns in a trade -- could take a step forward in a better situation. Demovsky writes that both held the ball too long, took sacks, and struggled with his accuracy during minicamp. Unless one of them improves in training camp, Green Bay's backup situation will once again be a concern.

Among the 45 quarterbacks to drop back at least 100 times last season, Kizer's -0.17 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back were fourth-least. Hundley put up -0.15 -- the sixth-worst rate.

Jets' Robby Anderson receives legal slap on wrist

New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson pled no contest to a reckless driving charge.

What It Means:

All other charges from Anderson's January incident were dropped, but he was still facing a misdemeanor charge. He was given six months of non-reporting probation. Anderson's legal issues are behind him, but he could still face discipline from the league.

Our models project Anderson for 884 receiving yards and 4.3 touchdowns on 64 catches in the 2018 season. He is currently our 31st wide receiver for fantasy purposes.

Free agent Eric Decker eyeing up Patriots

Free agent wide receiver Eric Decker "would love" to play for the New England Patriots.

What It Means:

Decker -- 31 years old and coming off a drop-filled and offensively dull 2017 with the Tennessee Titans -- has been greeted with a non-existent market. Decker did turn things around some in the playoffs, catching 8-of-12 passes for 106 yards and a score Unfortunately for Decker, the Pats' wideout room is chock full of slot receivers.

Among the 85 receivers with 50 targets or more in 2017, Decker's 0.55 Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) per target came in 67th.

Buccaneers' Jameis Winston could be facing suspension

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is "prepared for the NFL to levy a suspension" in its investigation of his March 2016 sexual assault incident with an Uber driver, ESPN Tallahassee Radio's Jeff Cameron reports.

What It Means:

Per Cameron, the belief is that his suspension will be no longer than three games, and likely just one. Winston was never charged with a crime, but the NFL has tended to make decisions regardless of legal punishment lately. Clarity in this situation may be a ways off here.

Still assuming a 16-game season for Winston, our models project him for 4,177 passing yards, 26.4 touchdowns, and 15.8 interceptions on 573 attempts. We put him 18th at the quarterback position for fantasy purposes.

Seahawks' Brandon Marshall (toe, ankle, hamstring) will be ready for training camp

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Brandon Marshall (toe, ankle, hamstring) should be ready for camp, head coach Pete Carroll said.

What It Means:

Marshall has had toe and ankle surgeries since he landed on injured reserve last season, and he missed minicamp with a hamstring injury. "I'm not where I want to be, not even close," Marshall said of his health. Marshall will be entering his age-34 season, has been unable to stay healthy and productive, and Seattle owes him just $90,000 guaranteed; he is not a lock for the final roster.

As of now, our models project Marshall for 503 receiving yards and 2.6 touchdowns on 41 catches in the 2018 season. This puts him 71st among our wide receiver fantasy projections.

Cowboys' second-year tight end Blake Jarwin was starter in spring

Dallas Cowboys second-year undrafted free agent Blake Jarwin worked as the number-one tight end during OTAs and minicamp, says team reporter Marcus Mosher.

What It Means:

Mosher added that 2016 sixth-round pick Rico Gathers "barely gets any snaps in practice," so it looks like Jarwin may be the early favorite to take over for retired 15-year veteran Jason Witten.

Jarwin caught 41 passes for 616 yards (15.0 yards per reception) and 5 touchdowns during a three-year (28 games) career at Oklahoma State.

Allen Hurns working as Cowboys' 'clear-cut' number-one

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Allen Hurns was the team's "clear-cut" number-one option at his position throughout spring practices, according to team reporter Marcus Mosher.

What It Means:

Dez Bryant is gone and the other notable receivers on the Cowboys' roster are Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and third-rounder Michael Gallup, so this doesn't come as any surprise. Look for Ezekiel Elliott to also be heavily involved in the passing game. Hurns signed a 2-year, $12 million deal with Dallas after being released from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hurns is the WR54 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings and our models believe he will finish with 46.0 receptions (77.1 targets) for 612.1 yards and 2.71 touchdowns in 2018.

D'Onta Foreman (Achilles) unlikely to be ready for Texans' training camp

Houston Texans running back D'Onta Foreman (Achilles) is not expected to be ready to participate at the start of training camp in late-July.

What It Means:

Foreman is still recovering from surgery on a torn Achilles Tendon he suffered in November 2017. He is expected to compete with Lamar Miller for touches in the Texans' backfield but does not appear to be on track for full participation when training camp starts. Tyler Ervin and Alfred blue will see extra work as long as Foreman is limited.

Our models project Foreman for 142 touches (19.8 catches), 626.9 total yards, and 4.1 touchdowns in 2018.

Eric Ebron standing out for Colts during offseason work

Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron "has been among the more impressive Colts" this offseason, writes Stephen Holder of the Indy Star.

What It Means:

Ebron has lined up everywhere except the backfield for the Colts this offseason, and both his intelligence and versatility have received praise from new head coach Frank Reich, so the 2014 first-rounder may be able to find a consistent role in the offense. Ebron signed a 2-year deal with the Colts in March.

numberFire's models currently project Ebron to catch 33.4 passes (54.6 targets) for 340.5 yards and 3.75 touchdowns in 2018.

D.J. Moore 'has looked the part' for Panthers

Carolina Panthers first-round wide receiver D.J. Moore "has looked the part" this offseason, writes Albert Breer of Monday Morning Quarterback.

What It Means:

This comes after in-house team writer Max Henson said last week that Moore is "more than ready to contribute," so it sounds like the first receiver taken in April's draft will be ready to make an impact for the Panthers right away.

numberFire's early models project Moore to catch 44.0 passes (72.5 targets) for 556.8 yards and 3.26 touchdowns during his rookie campaign.

Mike McCarthy: Packers using committee approach in backfield

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said the team will have a "running back by committee."

What It Means:

That committee will consist of Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, and Aaron Jones. However, McCarthy did hedge on his commitment, conceding that the offense can "adjust" if "one of them would emerge as that full-time guy." Until then, the Packers' backfield figures to be a headache for fantasy owners.

Montgomery (RB38), Williams (RB41), and Jones (RB43) are all within six spots of each other in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings.

Source: ESPN.com

Colts' Andrew Luck says 'pain is gone' in shoulder

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said the "pain is gone" in his surgically-repaired shoulder.

What It Means:

“The pain is gone, and it’s going to stay that way,” Luck said to reporters at minicamp. “My body doesn’t revolt, in a sense, to new things I ask." Albert Breer of Monday Morning Quarterback says the Colts will monitor Luck's reps in training camp as they ease him back into things, but it sounds like the 28-year-old quarterback has a solid chance of being ready for Week 1.

numberFire's early season models have Luck ranked as the QB13 for 2018, and we project him to throw for 3,933.1 yards with 27.75 touchdowns and 16.0 interceptions, as well as 279.5 rushing yards and 2.31 scores on the ground.

Zay Jones has to prove his worth in Bills' offense

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Zay Jones will have to "earn his way," general manager Brandon Beane said during an interview with WGR 550 Buffalo.

What It Means:

"He’s not just going to necessarily go right to the top of the line," said Beane. "He’ll have to earn his way." Jones sat out OTAs while recovering from knee surgery, so the 2017 second-round pick still hasn't worked with the Bills' new quarterbacks, free agent A.J. McCarron and 7th overall pick Josh Allen. There isn't a lot of competition at wideout for Jones on the roster, but that was also the case last year and he mustered just 27 catches on 74 targets in 15 games.

numberFire's early models project Jones for 498.7 receiving yards and 2.16 touchdowns on 36.6 catches (82.6 targets) in 2018. He's the WR77 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Source: WGR 550

Ronald Jones could see 15-20 touches a game for Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers second-round running back Ronald Jones "should get" 15-20 touches per game this season, writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

What It Means:

Peyton Barber and Charles Sims are also expected to be involved in the offense to some degree, but it sounds like Jones will see the most opportunity out of the Buccaneers' backfield during his rookie campaign.

numberFire's models currently project Jones to rush 180 times for 704.2 yards and 4.77 touchdowns during his rookie campaign, while also adding 32.6 catches for 246.7 yards and 0.81 scores through the air.

Baker Mayfield 'has a long way to go' to take over as Browns' starter

Cleveland Browns first-round quarterback Baker Mayfield has a "long way to go to unseat" starter Tyrod Taylor, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

What It Means:

"I made a commitment to [Taylor] and he has held up his end of the bargain with not just the way he works but the way he plays and the way he leads," head coach Hue Jackson explained. Mayfield has already earned reps with the Browns' second team ahead of Drew Stanton, but it sounds like there's still a considerable gap between this year's top overall draft pick and Cleveland's current starter.

numberFire's early models project Mayfield to throw for 460.4 yards with 2.48 touchdowns and 1.7 interceptions, as well as 33.9 yards and 0.32 scores on the ground, while working as the Browns' backup in 2018.

Nathan Peterman working with Bills' first-team offense

Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman has been sharing first-team reps with A.J. McCarron, writes ESPN's Mike Rodak.

What It Means:

Rodak believes that Peterman "should be considered a serious contender for the starting job," as he "has looked sharp," which was evidenced at Tuesday's minicamp when the 24-year-old completed 10 of 13 passes during 11-on-11 drills and ended practice with a touchdown. Josh Allen, the 7th overall pick from this year's draft, saw "periodic time" with the first unit during the Bills minicamp.

In his lone start last season, Peterman threw 5 interceptions and was pulled at halftime.

Odell Beckham (ankle) intends to attend Giants training camp

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (ankle) told reporters he plans to attend training camp.

What It Means:

Beckham has been limited to individual drills this offseason and there was also some belief that he would hold out of training camp for a new contract, but at least for now, the 25-year-old star receiver appears eager to prove he's healthy and worthy of a long-term deal.

numberFire's early models project Beckham to catch 99.0 passes (166.5 targets) for 1,351.1 yards and 9.16 touchdowns in 2018.

Dallas Goedert could feature in red-zone immediately for Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles rookie tight end Dallas Goedert should be an immediate red-zone threat, the Philadelphia Inquirer expects.

What It Means:

With Trey Burton gone, second-round pick Goedert is expected to step right into the number-two tight end role. Despite clearly being behind Zach Ertz, there's talk Goedert could get some slot snaps in three-wide sets, but he could also lose early-down work due to his lack of college experience blocking.

Our models project Goedert for 228 receiving yards and 2.2 touchdowns on 21 catches in his rookie year. This is the 37th-best fantasy projection for a tight end.

Jets not giving up on ArDarius Stewart

The New York Jets aren't expected to be giving up on second-year wide receiver ArDarius Stewart, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

What It Means:

Despite being drafted in the second round last year, Stewart is buried on the Jets' depth chart behind Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, and Jermaine Kearse. To make matters worse, Chad Hansen has outplayed him in offseason practices and Terrelle Pryor is owed $2 million guaranteed. Stewart isn't a lock for a roster spot, but the Jets should open the season with six receivers.

Our models project Stewart for 19 catches this year, earning 232 receiving yards and 1.5 touchdowns. He's well outside our top-100 receivers for fantasy football.

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