Jun
25

Trent Richardson to be a three-down back?

Colts expect much from Richardson: The disappointment that was Trent Richardson’s 2013 season has been well-documented. But the Indianapolis Colts expect the young running back to be much better in 2014. According to reports, the Colts believe Richardson can be a three-down back this season. Considering what Indy gave up to acquire T-Rich, it’s no surprise that he’ll be given plenty of opportunity to succeed this season. Hopefully a full offseason of getting comfortable with the playbook prevents a re-do of last season. Richardson won’t go very high in a lot of drafts, but there is deep sleeper potential with a talented running back still trying to put things together.

Lacy to see lighter load: Eddie Lacy had a big rookie season. The Packers’ rusher finished fifth in the NFL with 284 carries and made an immediate impact in just about every way imaginable. Some of that was due to injuries to key players like Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb. But while Lacy will remain a workhorse back in 2014, Green Bay reportedly wants to take steps to reduce his workload by incorporating James Starks and DuJuan Harris  into the mix. Never fear, Lacy will still be among the top 6-8 fantasy running backs in 2014 and will still come off the board in the first round.

Jennings as a ‘bell cow’ back: If you had any questions about what the New York Giants were going to do with their backfield, wonder no more. According to general manager Jerry Reese, the team envisions Rashad Jennings as a “bell cow-type of back” who can contribute to the offense in multiple ways. Reese went on to mention that he believes David Wilson can still be a factor for Big Blue, but reiterated that the team is going to be very cautious with the RB’s health. The news still keeps Jennings in the range of a mid-tier RB2, but he could move up a notch or two.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
24

Seahawks to rest Percy Harvin in training camp

Harvin to sit out in camp: For three consecutive days during Seattle’s minicamp, Percy Harvin was a spectator. The same thing is likely to happen during training camp as the team tries to keep the speedy receiver healthy, according to coach Pete Carroll. It’s a logical move for a player who has missed 22 of the last 32 regular season games — including 15 last season. Harvin is a fantastic player … when he’s on the field. The Seahawks are trying to make sure that happens a little more often in 2014. He has WR1 upside, but the risk factor probably will have him come off the board in the WR2 range.

Wilson expected to be cleared: David Wilson looks like he’s another step closer to returning to the field. The Giants running back plans on being cleared in time to join his teammates for training camp. However, he’ll find a Big Blue backfield that is full of competition. Rashad Jennings is likely to begin the season atop the depth chart and rookie Andre Williams will battle for touches. Where Wilson fits into this mix remains to be seen, however it’s logical to think that the Giants are going to be cautious with a player who suffered a career-threatening neck injury.

Green to have larger role: As Antonio Gates continues his end-of-career downturn, there is more and more reason to believe Ladarius Green is going to assume a larger share of the Chargers offense. The third-year tight end is a good fit for new offensive coordinator Frank Reich’s scheme, making him a prime candidate to take a step forward this season. Of course, Green (17 recs in 2013) still has a way to go in order to surpass Gates (77 recs), who was still San Diego’s leading pass catcher last season. However, the young tight end does have the potential to be a deep sleeper in plenty of leagues in 2014.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
23

Vikings to feature more Peterson, Patterson

Vikings offense gets facelift: There was certainly reason for excitement when Norv Turner signed on to be the Vikings’ offensive coordinator. Unsurprisingly, the veteran play-caller is going to put his best playmakers to work. First, Turner says the team plans to use Adrian Peterson as more of a weapon in the passing game. Apart from helping Peterson get more touches, the move will hopefully reduce some of the wear-and-tear from the high number of carries A.D. normally gets. But Peterson won’t be alone in helping the passing game succeed. According to Greg Jennings, the team plans to “showcase” second-year wideout Cordarrelle Patterson. That’s to be expected after Turner immediately began drawing up plays for “Flash.” That, ladies and gentlemen, will be the focal point of the Vikings offense in 2014. Kyle Rudolph will have some value as a low-end TE1 — most tight ends find success under Turner — but Peterson and Patterson will be the Purple People with the most panache this season.

Newton to have more control: Entering his fourth season in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers have decided to cede more control of the offense to Cam Newton. After the release of Steve Smith, Newton has become the face of the franchise so the move makes sense. The question is whether this move can help the dynamic quarterback revive numbers that have flagged ever since his breakthrough rookie season. Panthers coaches hope Kelvin Benjamin can be part of that answer. The team is reportedly very excited about what the big receiver can offer with head coach Ron Rivera saying Benjamin can make an “immediate impact” on third downs and in the red zone. While Newton’s value isn’t quite as high as it once was, he should still rank among the top 10 signal-callers in fantasy football. As for Benjamin … it would be wise not to overvalue him until we know more how he’ll be used.

Rams could expand Austin’s role: Much was expected of Tavon Austin last season. Little was delivered. The reasons for Austin’s spotty production in 2013 are numerous, but now the Rams are hoping that those struggles are in the past. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer says the second-year receiver could have an expanded role with the club this season. Of course, this was some of what we heard about Austin last year, too. The biggest obstacle to Austin’s success could be Schottenheimer. In 2013, it looked like St. Louis had no true idea of how to use the speedy playmaker. Here’s to hoping they’ve used the last year to figure it out.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
20

Brandon LaFell could be Patriots new utility weapon

LaFell as ‘Swiss Army Knife': If there’s one thing the Patriots have excelled at during their decade-long run of success, it’s been the ability to find previously unknown utility from less-than-star players. In past years that’s included names like Deion Branch, Troy Brown or Shane Vereen. You might be able to add Brandon LaFell to that list. New England’s recent receiver acquisition earned plaudits from his former coach in Carolina, Ron Rivera, who said LaFell “played all of our wide receiver positions, plus he knew the tight end position.” The veteran wideout was also praised for his ability and desire to be a quality blocker. All of those things add up to more potential time on the field for LaFell. In his career, LaFell has never posted big numbers — he’s still looking for his first 700-yard season — but he’s also never played with Tom Brady before. As we enter training camp, keep an eye on a player who could have sleeper value in his new offense this season.

Moreno could need surgery: The story surrounding Knowshon Moreno this season has been his poor conditioning and how he has trailed Lamar Miller in workouts. Now we could have a reason for why that’s happening. The newest Dolphin running back could be in need of arthroscopic knee surgery. The timing couldn’t be worse with training camps scheduled to open in about a month. The hits just keep on coming for Moreno — and they’ll likely be reflected in his fantasy draft value.

Crabtree looks ‘more explosive': Even after missing 11 games because of an Achilles injury, Michael Crabtree returned to the 49ers and made an immediate impact. If you ask Anquan Boldin, Crabtree will be even better with a full season in 2014. The veteran receiver described his teammate as “a lot more explosive,” a description that should excite Niners fans and fantasy enthusiasts alike. San Francisco figures to throw the football more in 2014, which Crabtree slated as the top target for Colin Kaepernick. With Boldin, Vernon Davis and now Stevie Johnson in the fold, defenses won’t have the luxury of allocating extra resources to slowing one player. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Crabtree post WR1 numbers this season.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
19

Toby Gerhart hopes to be ‘Beast’ of the East

Gerhart wants to emulate ‘Beast Mode': When Gus Bradley left the Seahawks to become the head coach of the Jaguars, he hoped to bring a little of the Seattle mentality to Jacksonville. In that case, count Toby Gerhart as Bradley’s answer to Marshawn Lynch. It’s a role that Gerhart is ready to embrace, telling USA Today that he “wants to be the ‘Beast Mode’ down here for the Jaguars.” Bradley echoed that sentiment by saying the former Stanford star will “get the bulk of the carries.” In a world where featured backs are few and far between, the prospect of Gerhart having a chance to claim 300 rushing attempts is worth considering him as a high-end RB2 in 2014.

Ball preparing for starring role: Montee Ball has been tagged as the man to replace Knowshon Moreno in the Broncos’ backfield and the second-year rusher is preparing for the part. According to reports, Ball has shown marked improvement as a pass-catcher in an effort to stay on the field for all three downs. His next job will be to improve his skills as a pass-protector, which could make Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson fairly irrelevant for fantasy purposes. We’ll see in training camp how much Ball is ready to command Denver’s running back spotlight.

Benjamin to work with Newton: Now that minicamps are finished, some players will scatter until it’s time to reconvene for training camp. Not so with Kelvin Benjamin. The rookie receiver is planning to remain in Charlotte and work with quarterback Cam Newton. It’s an encouraging sign for a young player — especially in a wide receiver group that is short on bona fide playmakers. We’ll certain get a better idea of how that relationship is going once we get into preseason games, but there’s still little reason to rank any Panthers wideouts as more than low-end WR3 options.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
18

Lamar Miller leading Dolphins backfield

Miller leading RB race: The Dolphins (like seemingly everyone else in the NFL) are going up-tempo with their offense this year. But if the season started today, it wouldn’t be Knowshon Moreno getting the nod as the lead running back. That distinction currently belongs to Lamar Miller. The third-year back has been the best of a trio that includes Daniel Thomas so far in minicamp. It’s not a major surprise after recent reports that Moreno isn’t in game shape just yet. After an underwhelming 2013 campaign, there’s no guarantee that Miller holds on to the job, but as long as he sits atop Miami’s depth chart, he’ll be the first ‘Fin off the board in most drafts.

Johnson still CJ2K?: Add this to the list of Dan Hanzus’ minicamp tropes — Chris Johnson says he’s still capable of posting a 2,000-yard season. His optimism is wonderful, but the reality has suggests otherwise. Johnson hasn’t come close to duplicating his magical 2009 season. His best effort came the following season when he ran for 1,364 yards. Now he’ll work as part of a platoon with Chris Ivory with the Jets. It’s a situation that won’t afford him the number of touches necessary to challenge the 2,000-yard barrier. From a fantasy perspective, if Johnson can finish the season in the neighborhood of 1,100 yards with 6-8 touchdowns, we’d consider it a win.

Foles hypes Maclin: Plenty of people are wondering what Jeremy Maclin will look like after missing an entire season with a knee injury. According to Nick Foles, Maclin looks better than ever. He’ll have to be at the top of his game not only to replace DeSean Jackson as the leader among the receivers, but also to hold off Riley Cooper and impressive rookie Jordan Matthews on the depth chart. In Philly’s high-powered offense, there’s the potential for Maclin to post WR1-like numbers. But just a year after major knee surgery, it might be wiser for fantasy owners to consider him as more of a WR2 option.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
17

Dri Archer ‘a great complement’ to Steelers RBs

RB committee coming in PIT?: The Steelers’ addition of LeGarrette Blount meant that Le’Veon Bell would have a little competition for touches in 2014. But could there be a third back in the mix? According to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, speedy rookie Dri Archer makes “a great complement” to the rest of Pittsburgh’s backs. This has the feeling of a minicamp evaluation that might not hold water once the season starts. However, what seems a little more likely is the idea that Blount could cut into Bell’s carries a little more than previously expected. But don’t look for it to dramatically impact the second-year rusher’s draft value. He still has the makings of an RB1 who won’t last past the early second round in most drafts. Yet it makes Blount an intriguing handcuff.

Williams stuck in WR logjam: The Bills are attempting to remake their receiving corps and things are getting a little crowded. So crowded, in fact, that veteran Mike Williams is having a hard time finding a niche. It’s even gone so far that there’s speculation that Williams might not make Buffalo’s roster. That seems a bit far-fetched, but it speaks volumes about what is expected of Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin this year. Williams value was very much in flux and his recent work isn’t doing anything to help.

Moore falling on depth chart: For three seasons, the Raiders have waited for Denarius Moore to blossom. They might have gotten tired of waiting. The inconsistent wideout is reportedly in danger of losing his grip on the team’s No. 3 receiver gig. That’s bad news for Moore, but it’s good news for Rod Streater, who is carving out a larger role in the team’s passing game. Still, it’s hard to imagine any Oakland wideout landing as more than a fourth option on most fantasy rosters.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
16

Vernon Davis, Andre Johnson to hold out

Davis looking to get paid: While Marshawn Lynch is expected to stay away from Seahawks minicamp unless he can get a new contract, it looks like Vernon Davis is prepared to do the same. The 49ers tight end wrote recently that he plans to hold out of the team’s workouts, saying “it’s all about getting paid what you deserve.” Davis still has a couple of seasons left on his current contract, but his desire for a new agreement might have been accelerated by Colin Kaepernick’s recent extension. From a fantasy perspective, there’s little to worry about in mid-June. If things start to drag into training camp, however, that evaluation could change.

Texans unsure of Johnson’s status: Little has changed with Andre Johnson’s frustration with the Texans. The veteran receiver skipped all of Houston’s voluntary workouts and appears prepared to miss at least a portion of the team’s mandatory minicamp as well. Johnson has played in all but one season of the franchise’s existence yet has had just three winning seasons and only made the playoffs twice. That makes it understandable that Johnson wouldn’t want to endure another rebuilding project. It seems unlikely that the Texans will find a suitable trade partner, so he’ll either be back with the team or he’ll be forced to walk away. For now, we’re banking on Johnson suiting up for a 12th season.

Cassel ‘the starter right now': The Vikings have a bit of a logjam at quarterback. After drafting Teddy Bridgewater to go along with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder, there are three players capable of starting the season on top of the depth chart. But even in June, things seem to be sorting themselves out. According to Ponder, Cassel is set to be the starter “right now” but Bridgewater could close the gap before the regular season begins. Regardless of who gets the call, fantasy owners would be wise to wait a while before drafting a Vikings quarterback.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
13

Derek Carr to challenge for starting job?

Carr better than expected: The Raiders original plan for Derek Carr was to not have the rookie play in 2014 unless something “castastrophic” happened. Funny how things change. The former Fresno State star has impressed the coaches during workouts and could challenge veteran Matt Schaub for Oakland’s starting job. The next step in the process for Carr will be working against a live rush — one of the things that concerned scouts about the second-round pick — but he has certainly opened some eyes in the Bay Area. If the rookie indeed opens the season as the starter, he’ll still have limited fantasy appeal. But add this to the list of camp battles to watch.

Lynch to retire?: Marshawn Lynch has made it know that he is in the market for a new contract. As such, he reportedly plans to skip the team’s mandatory minicamp. That has led to more talk of Christine Michael gaining a larger slice of the offense. Could Lynch’s next move be retirement? Sources close to the running back say that he has considered walking away from the NFL. For the time being, let’s file this away under “June talk”. The upside is that it could give Michael and Robert Turbin more opportunities in practice, which isn’t a bad thing. But for now, we’re fully expecting Lynch to be in camp later this summer. If things change, look for a shakeup at the top of the draft ranks.

Stewart says he’s healthy: The Panthers have tried to host a running back rotation for each of the past few years. It’s been tough because Jonathan Stewart has struggled to stay healthy. But the veteran rusher says that’s behind him and he’s looking forward to 2014. Stewart has played a combined 15 games over the past two seasons and hasn’t come close to approaching the 1,100-yard season he posted in 2009. It’s not likely that he’ll have that kind of production this season — even if he stays healthy for a full 16 games. A healthy Stewart damages the value of DeAngelo Williams.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
12

Knowshon Moreno admits he’s not in shape

Moreno behind Miller in camp: When Knowshon Moreno signed with the Dolphins, it was assumed he would step right into the starting role. He might ultimately end up there, but it’s been a rocky start. After coach Joe Philbin expressed dismay over Moreno’s fitness, the running back himself admitted that he’s not in game shape yet. For the time being, Moreno is working behind last season’s starter Lamar Miller in team workouts. It’s not the most encouraging news for a player who wasn’t expected to duplicate his 2013 totals, but fantasy owners shouldn’t fret too much about it right now. If things stay the same in August, then you have our blessing to downgrade Moreno.

West working with first team: Speaking of old faces in new places, Ben Tate is expected to be the leader in the Browns backfield after signing as a free agent. But in the short term, he’s sharing time with rookie Terrance West and Chris Ogbonnaya. Some of it could do with a desire to limit the exposure of a player who battled through rib injuries last season and has shown a recent propensity to miss time with various impairments. However, there is some thought that West could play a significant role in Cleveland’s offense this year. It might not be a full-on time share, but West could become a quality handcuff in many leagues.

Stills earning more targets: It didn’t take long last season for Kenny  Stills to become a fantasy commodity. The speedy receiver was a waiver wire darling in 2013 and could become more of a fantasy staple in 2014. Head coach Sean Payton says the team would like to get Stills more opportunities this year. Of course, Jimmy Graham is still expected to be around to go along with Marques Colston and rookie Brandin Cooks. Getting Stills more targets is a wonderful idea, but fantasy owners who have been bitten by the Saints’ receiver roulette will be understandably wary.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
11

Josh Gordon’s looming ban causes ‘level of frustration’

Browns waiting on Gordon verdictEver since news came down that Josh Gordon could face a season-long suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, the Cleveland Browns have been awaiting official word on what the punishment would be. Now that we’re more than a month from the initial rumor and no discipline has been levied, the team is understandably irritated. Coach Mike Pettine admitted that the delay is affecting the team’s preparation and has caused “a level of frustration“. Losing a team’s top receiver for a full season would undoubtedly put a crimp in Cleveland’s offense. It would also put a wrinkle in the plans of any fantasy enthusiasts looking to draft a player who could come off the board early in the second round.

Smith talks Bucs RB committee: Last week, Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford talked about the need for the team to use multiple running backs. On Tuesday, head coach Lovie Smith doubled down on that. Smith talked up the young running back, but admitted that the Bucs would need to use multiple rushers during the season. Translation: Expect to see more work for Bobby Rainey and Mike James in 2014. It’s not really a surprise considering how Tedford ran his offenses during his college tenure. But it reinforces the idea that Martin will have a decreased value this season.

Dunbar to see more touches: It’s no secret that DeMarco Murray has struggled with injuries in his brief career, never playing more than 14 games in a season. That could be the reason the Cowboys are looking to get Lance Dunbar more involved. Dallas is reportedly “creating stuff” for the third-year running back during the team’s OTAs. How much stuff and how the team will use that stuff remains to be seen. However, it’s worth keeping an eye on how the team plans to deploy Dunbar and Joseph Randle in 2014 and what effect it could have on Murray’s touches going forward.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
10

Tony Romo, Eli Manning profess their readiness

Romo, Manning say they can play: Both Tony Romo and Eli Manning are recovering from surgeries, but both have made it known that they would be ready to go if there was a game this week. Romo, who is rehabbing after back surgery, is hoping to be “100 percent on Day 1 of training camp.” Manning, who is working his way back from ankle surgery, is confident in his health. However he admitted that he still needs work on the Giants’ new playbook. Fortunately for them — and fantasy owners — the season is still a few months away, giving them time to get fully healed. That will be key for a pair of players entering transitional seasons. Both will have new offensive coordinators in 2014, offering new possibilities. While Romo’s fortunes are holding steady as a low QB1/high QB2, Manning will need to prove that he’s not still in the midst of a steady decline. Health will likely play a big factor in what happens for each signal-caller this year.

Seahawks not going “committee”: Breathe easy, fantasy enthusiasts … the Seattle Seahawks won’t be going running back-by-committee this season. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell soft-pedaled last week’s statements that started a mild fantasy frenzy. That’s not to say that Christine Michael won’t see more work in 2014. However, it’s more likely to come at the expense of Robert Turbin than Marshawn Lynch. Proceed with ranking Beast Mode among the top five players off the board in your drafts.

Cutler bulking up for 2014: Jay Cutler hasn’t played 16 games in a season since 2009. As such, the Bears quarterback is bulking up to try and make it through a full campaign. Combine that with Chicago’s improved offensive line and it’s encouraging news. While Cutler missed five games last season, his production was solid when he was on the field. With another year in Marc Trestman’s offense — as well as having Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to throw to, Cutler has potential as a quality QB2 in most formats.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
09

Lions could add more running backs to offense

Leshoure, Riddick to see more work?: As if things weren’t going to be confusing enough in the Lions backfield with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell already expected to split carries. It could get worse if Detroit is serious about adding more players to the mix. Mikel Leshoure recently told MLive that he expects to “be involved a little more than last year” while Bush surmises that second-year back Theo Riddick will be “used a lot in the passing game this year and the running game.” That’s a lot of mouths to feed — especially in a pass-happy offense that will feature Matthew StaffordCalvin Johnson and Golden Tate. This is the type of hype that June brings, but there could be some reason to be concerned. With the Lions looking to run a Saints-style offense, it could come with a determination to spread the ball around to as many targets as possible. For fantasy owners, more isn’t necessarily better.

Pitta excited about new offense: During his years with the Houston Texans, Gary Kubiak placed some measure of importance on getting the ball to his tight ends. Now that Kubiak is the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, Dennis Pitta likes what that means for his prospects. Fully healthy after hip surgery last season, Pitta says he’s looking for a “breakout year” in 2014. Definitely all the pieces are there for it to happen, now it’s just a matter of Pitta putting it together on the field. We like his chances.

Fitzpatrick set for big things?: Few, if any, will confuse Ryan Fitzpatrick for a fantasy superstar. But the journeyman quarterback figures to begin the season atop the Houston Texans’ depth chart. Judging by the early response from head coach Bill O’Brien, the veteran signal-caller could be in position to post some of his best totals ever. Of course, that’s not setting the bar particularly high for a player who has never thrown for 4,000 yards or tossed 25 touchdowns in a season. The biggest key for Fitzpatrick will be cutting down his interception totals. That might not be easy if a disgruntled Andre Johnson continues to skip workouts and fails to build a rapport with his new quarterback.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
06

Mike Wallace to line up in multiple spots

Dolphins to run Eagles-type offense: With a new offensive coordinator comes a new offensive scheme. For Dolphins wideout Mike Wallace, that is a positive. Under new play-caller Bill Lazor, the speedy wideout says he’ll move all over the formation and should be harder to cover. The idea is to have Wallace fill a similar role to what DeSean Jackson occupied in the Eagles offense last season. We’re all in favor of anything that makes Wallace a more difficult cover — especially considering the rhythm he found with Ryan Tannehill in the latter part of 2013. The speedster is still a mid-tier WR2, but he could surprise some people in 2014.

Monroe expects Ravens to run more: Last season, the Baltimore Ravens run game finished a miserable 26th in the NFL. Much of that was owed to poor play along the offensive line. This season, Eugene Monroe expects that to change. The offensive tackle believes Baltimore’s run game will not only improve, but could become a larger part of the attack under new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. That would mesh with Kubiak’s other coaching stops in which he featured a zone blocking scheme to great effectiveness. The only question becomes — who’s running the rock? Ray Rice is still potentially facing NFL discipline while Bernard Pierce is likely out until training camp as he recovers from rotator cuff surgery. Stay tuned.

Manuel ‘growing rapidly': The Bills have depth at running back and are loading up at wide receiver. All they need is to have a quality quarterback running the offense. If the recent talk is any indication, EJ Manuel is turning into that guy. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett praised his young signal-caller’s growth and expressed confidence that the Bills could run the up-tempo attack they had planned for last season. Certainly the pieces are in place for Manuel to have a big sophomore season, it’s just a matter of staying healthy and improving his accuracy. He has deep sleeper potential for 2014.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Jun
05

Seahawks going to a running back committee?

Bevell talks up Michael: The chorus of voices praising Seahawks running back Christine Michael has grown by one. Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell joined the club Wednesday when he hyped the second-year rusher and said Seattle’s offense would be “running back by committee.” That comes a week after head coach Pete Carroll got the Michael bandwagon going. We’re not quite buying this one. In reality, it’s probably more of an attempt to get Marshawn Lynch to show up for OTAs. In his three full seasons with the Seahawks, Beast Mode has averaged 300 carries, 1,350 yards and 12 touchdowns as the focal point of the offense. With no indication that he’s slowing down and still two years left on his contract, the idea that Seattle would lessen Lynch’s workload feels like a smokescreen. Michael is worth considering, but only for dynasty leagues.

Jags leave door open for Blackmon: While the selections of Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the draft suggest that the Jaguars are ready for life without Justin Blackmon, the team reportedly hasn’t completely given up hope that the talented but troubled receiver could return. Jacksonville could be open to welcoming Blackmon back if he is reinstated by the league. Add him to the team’s young receivers and the playmaking Cecil Shorts and the Jags would have a very intriguing group of pass-catchers. But until there is some sort of resolution on Blackmon’s situation, it’s not worth spending anything more than a very late round flier on him.

Ingram motivated by contract: The first three years of Mark Ingram‘s career haven’t gone the way anyone predicted. The Heisman Trophy winner’s best pro season came in 2012 when he rushed for 602 yards and five touchdowns. Now he’s stuck in a crowded backfield with Khiry Robinson threatening to steal carries. However Ingram, who is in the final year of his contract, says he will use his impending free agency as motivation. Motivation is one thing. Carries are another. Ingram will need to find a way to not only beat out his competition but to make himself more valuable in one of the NFL’s more pass-happy offenses. Banking on the former Alabama star to suddenly become fantasy relevant seems like a risky move.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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