On the fly: The Chicago Tribune recently spoke with Bears WR Brandon Marshall, shedding some light on what to expect this season now that he has been reunited with QB Jay Cutler. The two will also be working with former Broncos QB coach Jeremy Bates, who was recently hired by the Bears. Marshall recalls how “(Bates) wouldn’t even give us a play. We’ll just go out there with no play, and Jay would give me a signal, I would give Jay a signal. We just had that feel for the game, where we’ll come out with a game plan — like, OK, ‘They want to do this, we want to do this. This is our counter to that. This is our plan A, B and C.’ ” Whether this is how things actually took place or not, it worked in Denver. Marshall had two of his best seasons as a professional with Cutler at the helm and is hoping to reproduce those results in Chicago. Marshall should be selected as a No. 1 WR in fantasy drafts, and his presence could help Cutler perform better than a No. 2 QB, which is how he is currently being valued.
Solution found: The Cincinnati Bengals’ search for a receiver to play opposite A.J. Green might have come to a close after a strong performances at minicamp and OTA practices by Brandon Tate. OC Jay Gruden praised the receiver when speaking with Bengals.com, stating “He’s been one of the best surprises of camp for me.” Tate typically ran with the first team during practice sessions and is the favorite to earn the job in training camp. He is currently not on most fantasy radars, but if he can replicate Jerome Simpson‘s numbers from last season (725 yards, four touchdowns), Tate could provide value as a No. 3 or 4 WR.
Lead bird?: NFL.com’s “Around The League” reports that WR Torrey Smith is ready to make the leap for the Ravens. Citing improved route-running and acceleration during workouts, Smith is poised to rise to the top of the depth chart this season. As a rookie, he immediately made an impact, accumulating 841 yards and seven touchdowns. Despite the improvements, it might be hard for him to meet expectations, with so many other weapons around him. His value also depends heavily on QB Joe Flacco‘s ability to make the leap and provide more consistent play. Fantasy owners should take a wait-and-see approach with Smith, selecting him as a No. 3 WR in drafts.
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