NFL fantasy: EJ Manuel needs work on ‘everything’

Manuel working in slowly: When the Buffalo Bills made EJ Manuel the first quarterback selected in this year’s NFL Draft, many expected he was the clubhouse leader to be the team’s starting quarterback. That might still happen, but Manuel is going to have to step things up. Early in OTAs, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett says the rookie has a number of issues to iron out “from footwork to progressions to plays to formations, everything.” That’s not to say it can’t be done between now and Week 1, but certainly Manuel has a learning curve ahead of him. In the meantime, Tarvaris Jackson and Kevin Kolb are splitting the majority of the reps in practice. Neither of those options does much for the fantasy values of guys like Stevie Johnson or Robert Woods.

Nicks feeling healthy: When Hakeem Nicks has been on the field, he’s been a productive receiver. The problem is that he’s has problems staying healthy. In his first four seasons, Nicks has yet to play a full 16 games. But now the Giants wideout says he’s feeling “as good as I’ve felt in awhile”. That’s key as long as Victor Cruz is away from the team while dealing with a contract situation. At his best, Nicks is a quality No. 2 fantasy receiver with No. 1 upside. If he really is feeling as good as he says he is, he becomes a viable early round draft target.

Locker feeling good: Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker says his surgically-repaired left (non-throwing) shoulder is feeling good and he’s ready to get back to work heading into OTAs. All eyes will be on the third-year quarterback. The Titans made upgrades to their offensive line, added skill position help in the form of free agent RB Shonn Greene and rookie WR Justin Hunter. In addition, new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is building his scheme to better fit Locker’s talents. While it could be a make-or-break year for young signal-caller, he’s likely going to be a waiver wire prospect in most fantasy leagues.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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