Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Pierre Thomas expects his pass-game role to expand this season.

"I know my role is going to change a whole lot this year," Thomas said. "I'm going to do more pass protection and route running." On paper, it makes sense as Darren Sproles and Lance Moore, who combined for 108 catches last year, are both gone. But Thomas already caught 77 balls on his own last season, Khiry Robinson is underrated in the pass game and Brandin Cooks is going to do some Sprolesian things. In reality, it's hard to see Thomas' box-score production making a significant leap, leaving him as a borderline RB2/3 in PPR formats. He'll turn 30 years old in December and averaged a career-low 6.7 yards per reception last year.
Aug 21 - 9:32 AM

Peyton Hillis (foot, ankle) has been out of practice for more than two weeks.

Hillis is in a battle with Michael Cox and Kendall Gaskins for the third running back spot behind Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams. He won't win the job without getting back on the field soon. The painfully slow Hillis has averaged 3.58 YPC over his last 319 NFL carries.
Source: NJ.com
Aug 21 - 9:16 AM

NJ.com believes UDFA WR Corey Washington will "almost certainly" make the final roster.

The 6'4/215 Washington has come from tiny Newberry College to emerge as one of the stars of Giants camp. Per beat man Jordan Raanan, people inside the organization are intrigued by his unique ability to make plays in the air. We've seen that in each of the three preseason games, as Washington has posted a 7-116-3 line on seven targets. He'll likely open the season as the Giants' No. 5 wideout and should be on deep Dynasty radars.
Source: NJ.com
Aug 21 - 9:05 AM

Miles Austin remains penned in as a starting outside receiver.

While Josh Gordon is suspended, Austin will be the No. 1 outside receiver. That alone makes him a deep-league sleeper, but expectations should be held in check. Austin has been ineffective even when on the field over the last few years, and the Browns are going to play a Ground 'N Pound ball control style. Austin has played on 36 preseason snaps and produced one catch for 13 yards on three targets.
Aug 21 - 8:45 AM

ESPN Cleveland isn't sure if Nate Burleson will make the Browns' final roster.

The 33-year-old Burleson has been bothered by a hamstring issue for a couple weeks now. Of course, the competition for roster spots in this wideout corps is not exactly fierce. The only locks are Josh Gordon, Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin, leaving Burleson to battle guys like Charles Johnson, Travis Benjamin, Anthony Armstrong and Taylor Gabriel. It's hard to see the desperate Browns dumping a veteran leader with experience like Burleson, even if he'll be playing a bit role.
Aug 21 - 8:40 AM

The Bucs have used "12" personnel on 32 percent of their preseason snaps, well above the NFL average of 21 percent.

Last year, the Bucs used two-tight end sets less than 10 percent of the time, according to Football Outsiders. The Lovie Smith regime has come in and made the position a priority, drafting Austin Seferian-Jenkins 38th overall and signing Brandon Myers. At 6'5/262 with unique leaping ability, ASJ has a real shot to emerge as the No. 3 target for Josh McCown -- especially in the red zone.
Aug 21 - 8:26 AM

Bucs DL Da'Quan Bowers is in danger of getting cut.

The oft-injured Bowers entered camp on the bubble and has been sidelined by a groin strain for more than a week now. The 2011 second-round pick is "off scholarship" as he was not drafted by GM Jason Licht or coach Lovie Smith. "You can't get Wally Pipped," said Smith. "Da'Quan is trying to get back. Again, I think he has a future in the league, whether it be as a defensive end outside or more of a third down rush guy inside."
Aug 21 - 8:19 AM

Coach Mike Pettine said there are no plans to develop a package of plays for Johnny Manziel off the bench.

Pettine has no intention to go down a Michael Vick/Donovan McNabb path with Manziel and Hoyer. It makes sense, as Johnny Football's running skills are far better suited to improvisation than script. Pettine declined to tip his hand as to when Manziel will make his NFL debut "You could see a scenario where he doesn't play this year, and then there are other scenarios that are absolutely possible as well. It's hard to tell," the first-year coach said.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 21 - 8:01 AM

Montee Ball (appendectomy) did some 7-on-7 work with the starters Wednesday.

Ball just returned to practice Tuesday, yet is already making quick progress. With more than two weeks to go before Week 1, his status is not in doubt. We may even get a look at Ball for some limited work in the fourth preseason game.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 21 - 7:57 AM

Following Wednesday's marijuana and DUI arrest, Le'Veon Bell did not travel with the Steelers for Thursday night's third preseason game at Philadelphia.

LeGarrette Blount did make the trip after being arrested as well. There could be some significance to this, but we're not adjusting our rankings yet, and may not at any point. The NFL tends to take a long time to hand down discipline, and Bell has no history of violating league policy. He was considered a high-character prospect coming out of Michigan State in the 2013 draft. It's entirely possible Bell will be available for the entire 2014 season with no adjustment to his role.
Aug 20 - 11:41 PM

Coach Chuck Pagano seemed to hint that the Colts will lean toward an aggressive passing offense in hopes it will kick start their running game.

"I think having the capability to do the other thing is going to open things up in the run game for us," said Pagano. Trent Richardson has two eight-yard gains in the preseason, and 16 yards on his other 12 carries. Both eight-yarders came on shotgun runs -- a passing formation. Richardson has been unsuccessful without room to operate, and pass-oriented sets might give him more space. From a personnel standpoint, Indy's roster strength is its QB and pass-catching corps.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 20 - 10:14 PM

Colts GM Ryan Grigson says Trent Richardson "needs to answer the bell" and be "accountable."

Richardson gained eight yards on his first preseason carry, and has 26 yards on his last 13. "Trent, he needs to answer the bell and do his job to the best of his ability," said Grigson. "We’re all accountable here. ... He’s such a hard runner, we know how tough he is, but he’s got to produce just like all these guys do on this final 53." If this was an outward expression of disappointment from Grigson, it'd be a first from the Colts' organization, which has propped up T-Rich at every opportunity since trading for him last September. Richardson's ADP has finally begun to dip. He's going late in the fifth round of standard drafts.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 20 - 10:08 PM

Bengals.com speculates RB Rex Burkhead may be dealing with an MCL sprain.

Beat writer Geoff Hobson does acknowledge an MCL sprain can be a 2-8 week injury, although this would obviously be far better news than a torn ligament. Asked about Burkhead's knee this week, coach Marvin Lewis would only say it's "sore." Lewis did say Burkhead should be out of his knee brace "in a few days."
Source: bengals.com
Aug 20 - 9:03 PM

The Indianapolis Star expects a "more even distribution" of targets in the Colts' pass-catching corps this season.

T.Y. Hilton finished 14th among NFL wideouts in targets last season, but might be lucky to finish top 20 in 2014. "It's week-to-week. It's all how they match up," is how GM Ryan Grigson described the Colts' target distribution. The Colts will use Hilton, Reggie Wayne, and Hakeem Nicks in three-wide sets, and Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener in two-tight end packages. Don't expect any member of this pass-catching corps to be a true target monster.
Aug 20 - 8:51 PM

Andre Johnson is "showing no signs of rust" after missing a chunk of Texans camp with a hamstring injury.

Johnson reportedly showed up "all over the field" during Wednesday's Texans-Broncos joint practice and made one "incredible" catch in the back of the end zone. "He's a big part of what we're doing here," coach Bill O'Brien said. The No. 12 overall fantasy receiver a year ago, Johnson's ADP has dropped into the late fourth round. His QBs were Matt Schaub and Case Keenum in 2013.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 20 - 8:22 PM



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