Marcas Grant | Tags: Three and out, Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jonathan Dwyer, New York Giants, Rueben Randle, Stepfan Taylor, Steven Jackson
Ellington to see up to 30 touches: When the Cardinals first hired Bruce Arians as their head coach, he said he wanted one workhorse back. While that didn’t materialize in 2013, it could happen in 2014. The coach says Andre Ellington could see as many as 30 touches per game — including 10 catches each week. Any other work would be split between Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer, but Ellington would rank as the undisputed No. 1 in the Arizona attack. The second-year back entered the offseason as a sleeper, but it could be hard to keep him a fantasy secret if Arians continues to talk him up.
Falcons going to RB rotation: It’s the way of the world today in the NFL — running backs are going to find themselves in committees. That reality has hit former bell-cow Steven Jackson. Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith admitted that the veteran runner will have to be part of a rotation if the team’s offense is going to succeed in 2014. Jackson struggled with injuries last year and had the worst statistical season of his career. The veteran will turn 31 this summer and his best days are in the rearview mirror. This news likely means more work for Jacquizz Rodgers, but in his first three seasons he hasn’t quite been the Darren Sproles-type back many believed he could be. Neither of Atlanta’s runners will rank as more than a No. 4 option in most leagues.
Giants counting on Randle: Now that Hakeem Nicks has moved on to Indianapolis, the Giants are turning toward Rueben Randle to fill the shoes of the playmaking receiver. Randle took a step forward last season as the team’s leader in receiving touchdowns (6) and looks to truly break out in his third season. In 2013, Randle saw the third most targets, but that number is likely to increase as the wideout moves up the depth chart. Fantasy owners mistrust of Eli Manning might cause Randle to linger on draft boards, but his talent should put him in the range of a low-end WR3 in many formats.
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