With the slow and steady progression of the NFL offseason, it would seem that relevant fantasy news is at a loss. But even the daily reports coming out of organized team activities contain insight that will affect our selection on draft day. This article is quick recap of the recent headlines from around the NFL affecting our pre-draft preparation.
, WR, San Francisco
– Arguably the biggest news affecting fantasy owners was the loss of
Michael Crabtree after blowing out his Achilles last week. Many have speculated that Crabtree could return before season’s end. However, I’ll warn you now this is a season long injury for fantasy owners with visions of a postseason comeback. The fallout has newcomer
Anquan Boldin and veteran Vernon Davis as the primary fantasy providers in the San Francisco passing game.
, TE, New England –
The other injury news of late has been the recent bout of surgeries incurred by Gronkowski. New England has become notorious for lying, so it’s no surprise the Patriots are calling the newest back injury “minor.” Regardless, Gronkowski is now bordering on a red-flag injury risk. I made a rule for myself long ago – no injury prone players before the fourth round. Gronkowski just made my list. (Need more proof? Read Jim Bukowski’s article below.)
, QB, Arizona –
Bruce Arians has been raving about
Carson Palmer calling him “as pretty a deep, ball thrower as I’ve ever seen.” I’m infatuated with Palmer’s upside this year as a likely 10th-round selection. Mark my words: barring injury from a crappy offensive line, Palmer will be a Top 10 quarterback or better by seasons end.
, RB, Houston –
Potential No. 1 overall selection
Arian Foster has suffered a strained calf that will keep him on the pine until training camp. No need to panic as we are still month from the regular season, but certainly worth monitoring.
, RB, Atlanta –
It’s not surprising that
Steven Jackson has impressed his coaches and teammates with his abilities as a receiver. After all Jackson is the antithesis of
Michael Turner in the passing game. I expect one more big year on the best offense Jackson has been on since his rookie season.
, RB, Miami
– The addition of
Mike Gillislee to the Dolphins backfield is stirring up news as the rookie has seen time with the first team offense. If I recollect, just before the draft
Lamar Miller was all the buzz, even finding himself in the comments of owner Stephen Ross. My biggest concern with either player is Joe Philbin’s strong ties to the Green Bay running back by committee. One word: “preseason.”
, RB, Carolina –
Mike Tolbert has revealed that the Carolina Panthers will become a “heavier run based offense under new offensive playcaller Mike Shula.” What’s new about that? I don’t have the stats in front of me, but Carolina has been a “running team” for years. The continual problem for fantasy owners is the four-headed running back by committee when we include goal line runner
Cam Newton. I might take a stab on Jonathan Stewart or DeAngelo Williams in the later rounds as an RB5, but nothing more.
, WR, Free Agent –
Titus Young fiasco came to a head last week when three charges were added to his rap sheet, bringing the total to 11. It’s become evident that Young’s NFL career is over.
, RB, New York Giants –
Recent reports from ESPN New York indicate that “
Andre Brown is expected to be the Giants’ goal line back.” My response – whatever drives down the value of sleeper
, WR, Tennessee –
Kenny Britt wasn’t arrested all offseason.
The Nashville Tennesseean believes it marks a turning point in his career, indicative of a big season for Britt. Funny to see a player make the headlines for not being arrested. I’ll admit Britt is loaded with talent, but heavily overshadowed by all his red flags: 1) injury prone, 2) slow development of
Jake Locker, 3) poor offensive system and 4) suspect offensive line. Perhaps his average draft position will finally match his draft value, somewhere in the late eighth round.
Last Monday we all celebrated Memorial Day. It was our opportunity as Americans to express our deepest gratitude to every soldier who has ever put on a uniform and to the all families who support our troops from home. But please know that every morning that we rise under the flag of freedom is Memorial Day. And with each passing day we quietly thank you for your selfless acts of bravery, and pray that you are rewarded with a long prosperous life filled with many fantasy football championships.