Jay Cutler - QB - Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be an 'open competition' at the quarterback spot between Cutler and QB Jimmy Clausen during training camp and offseason workouts. The current coaching staff and general manager Ryan Pace have nothing vested in Cutler, and they've made it clear that money isn't the sole driver of their decisions.
Huddle Up: Having an open competiion is perfectly understandable given Cutler's continued and maddening inconsistency nine seasons into his career, but Clausen isn't exactly the most threatening of threats with 11 starts, five TDs, 10 interceptions and a 60.2 rating so far in his five-year career.
Matthew Stafford - QB - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford won't be throwing more than he did last season, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Caldwell said if the Lions are throwing a lot, it could very well mean they'll be playing catch up, something he wants to avoid.
Huddle Up: With 602 attempts, Stafford hit a four-year low this past season -- and that was the same for his passing yards (4,257) as he finished 15th among fantasy QBs. Obviously, throwing fewer passes isn't exactly the recipe for a return to QB1 territory.
Shane Vereen - RB - New York Giants
New York Giants RB Shane Vereen gives the Giants something they didn't have last season -- a receiving threat out of the backfield. 'I see him in that regard as a pass receiver out of the backfield,' head coach Tom Coughlin said. Coughlin added that Vereen can protect the quarterback and is a capable runner.
Huddle Up: Vereen, who's had 99 receptions over the last two seasons, will take over the team's primary pass-catching RB role from Rashad Jennings and is yet another weapon for Eli Manning, whose fantasy stock is most definitely on the rise.
Dont'a Hightower - LB - New England Patriots
New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular season could now be in jeopardy.
Huddle Up: Definite IDP alert as Hightower finished as the Pats' second-leading tackler this past year with 105 total stops, and it looks like his fellow LBs will need to pick up the slack, likely for the first couple months of the season.
Eric Ebron - TE - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron has been impressive with his offseason work, and the team is expecting him to take a significant step in his play next season, according to head coach Jim Caldwell.
Huddle Up: Ebron, the 10th overall pick last season, struggled -- as most rookie TEs do -- with 25 catches for 248 yards and a TD on 47 targets this past season but the talent, potential and situation are there for a second-year breakout.
Jadeveon Clowney - LB - Houston Texans
Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney continues to recover from microfracture surgery on his knee. Head coach Bill O'Brien said this week that there is no timetable for Clowney's return, but the team hopes to get him on the field 'sometime during (training camp).'
Huddle Up: The road back remains long for the 2014 No. 1 overall pick who's a true IDP wild card heading into this season after recording only seven tackles in four games during his injury-curtailed rookie campaign.
C.J. Spiller - RB - Buffalo Bills
New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller received some praise from head coach Sean Payton after the team was surprised to be able to land him in free agency. 'His cutup is unbelievable,' Payton said of Spiller. 'And I'm not talking about last season because I think it became challenging, but you go back a couple of years and start looking at his screen reel, a sweep reel, a return reel.'
Huddle Up: Spiller will be a nice fit in the Big Easy as a complement to lead back Mark Ingram, and should easily see his biggest improvement as a pass catcher after averaging a modest 31.6 receptions per season during his five years in Buffalo.
Reggie Bush - RB - San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers RB Reggie Bush still has the ability to be an every-down back, according to head coach Jim Tomsula. Tomsula said Bush is not a gadget player but does have the skill set to help on third downs.
Huddle Up: Bush isn't going to be the Niners' main rushing back with second-year RB Carlos Hyde topping the depth chart, and look for him to still see roughly a third of his touches via receptions.
Darrius Heyward-Bey - WR - Pittsburgh Steelers
Free-agent WR Darrius Heyward-Bey has re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Heyward-Bey signed a one-year deal with the team, but financial terms were not immediately disclosed.
Huddle Up: A somewhat surprising move on the surface after DHB had all of three catches for 33 years a year ago, but he was a solid contributor on special teams and will be there fighting for a back-end roster spot once again this summer.
Paul Richardson - WR - Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab was going well, but the nature of his rehab from a torn anterior cruciate ligament means the receiver might not be ready.
Huddle Up: Richardson, the team's second-round pick in 2014, came on at the end of last season, catching 15 of his 29 passes for 169 yards and a TD during the final four games of the regular season. Richardson, though, was hurt in the playoffs and that late injury is what has his start of the 2015 season in doubt. Regardless, he's start a key part of the team's WR plans along with Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse and don't forget about Super Bowl breakout-star Chris Matthews.
Jay Cutler - QB - Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler seemed to lack confidence last season, according to head coach John Fox. 'I think maybe he got to the point where he lacked confidence a year ago. To build that back up, it's going to take time, daily. It takes trust, like any relationship.'
Huddle Up: We'll see what Fox and new OC Adam Gase can do with Cutler, who threw a league high-matching 18 interceptions and lost six fumbles but did notch Chicago career-highs with 3,812 passing yards and 28 TDs.
Peyton Manning - QB - Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning may not play as much as usual next season in order to give him more rest. Head coach Gary Kubiak has indicated that he will tailor the offense to benefit Manning, including running the ball more.
Huddle Up: Manning's passing attempts dipped from 659 in 2013 to 597 last year and an even bigger drop of 100 or so attempts might be in the offing with Manning turning 39 this offseason and the run-oriented Kubiak taking charge in Denver. Move him down a notch or two on your QB1 board accordingly.
Mike Glennon - QB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon has been a topic of conversation from other teams checking on his availability this offseason, according to head coach Lovie Smith.
Huddle Up: The Bucs have their choice of quarterback with the first overall selection, so it would make sense to move Glennon. With the 2015 QB class not particularly deep, there will be teams in need of an upgrade at the position and for the price of a mid-round pick Glennon at least represents the possibility of an upgrade.
Cordarrelle Patterson - WR - Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will not be traded this offseason, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. 'No, no chance whatsoever,' Zimmer said. 'Cordarrelle is a young, emerging player who was with his third coordinator in three years. Quite frankly, we need to do a good job of figuring out how we can use him better and he needs to understand where he's supposed to be, the routes and everything.'
Huddle Up: Patterson was disappointing as a sophomore, and with the addition of Mike Wallace and emergence of Charles Johnson it might be tough to find him snaps in the regular offense. However, he remains a weapon in the return game and does possess physical gifts that, if the Vikings find a way to get the ball into his hands on a consistent basis, could propel him back to "future star" status.
Jordy Nelson - WR - Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.
Huddle Up: Doesn't sound like this will be an issue for Nelson with regards to missing any training camp, but he'll be at best a limited participant in OTAs. Plus, it's never a good thing when a speed receiver has work done on his wheels.
Kellen Davis - TE - Detroit Lions
Free-agent TE Kellen Davis (Lions) signed a one-year deal with the New York Jets Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Huddle Up: This signing barely registers on the fantasy scale, as the Jets have plenty of other receiving options lined up ahead of Davis.
Victor Cruz - WR - New York Giants
New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz's goal is to be ready for Week 1.
Huddle Up: No bueno for Cruz; if there's concern about his availability for Week 1 that means he could miss training camp reps and could need game time to work himself back into playing shape. Keep him on the back burner of your fantasy plans until we get a better look at how his rehab is progressing this August.
Chris Thompson - RB - Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins RB Chris Thompson is the front runner for the third-down back role, according to head coach Jay Gruden. The team could also draft a back for the role.
Huddle Up: If Thomas is filling the role played by Roy Helu last season, there's definitely fantasy value here as Helu ranked 12th among running backs in catches and fourth in receiving yardage. Those in PPR leagues should make sure Thompson is on their RB radar.
Josh Hill - TE - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since they traded TE Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks.
Huddle Up: There's a gaping hole in the New Orleans offense with Graham gone, and right now Hill seems to be the leading candidate to fill it. He won't vault to Graham's position in the fantasy rankings, but he's working his way into consideration at the low end of potential fantasy starters.
Darren Sproles - RB - Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles traded RB LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills because head coach Chip Kelly desires a one-cut running back, according to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. Lurie praised McCoy as a player, but the move was not financially driven. Kelly felt he could garner more production from a different running back or two. Lurie used the term 'power spread' on multiple occasions to describe Kelly's offense. RBs DeMarco Murray, Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews figure to share the work.
Huddle Up: In Philly, Kelly's system is king. And if a player isn't a fit, especially if they command a large share of the salary cap, you can expect Kelly to find a replacement.
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