EJ Manuel - QB - Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel has a firm believer in offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who has said Manuel will not be cut in camp if he doesn't show progress.
Huddle Up: With a 6-8 record as a starter and a 78.5 career passer rating after two seasons, Manuel certainly is facing a critical year with a new coaching regime. And if he can't beat out newcomer Matt Cassel for the starting job, expect the Bills to at least test the trade winds to see what they could get for the 2013 first-round pick.
Steve Smith - WR - Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens WR Steve Smith could see his snaps drop this season, because the team wants to keep him healthy during the season, according to head coach John Harbaugh.
Huddle Up: Smith, who turned 36 a week ago, led the Ravens with 79 catches for 1,065 yards and 6 TDs a year ago but tailed off in the second half of the season. The team spent its first two draft picks on WR Breshad Perriman and TE Maxx Williams but don't be surprised if Smith again manages to lead the Ravens in receptions this coming season.
San Diego Chargers RB Melvin Gordon's four-year rookie deal has $10.669 million guaranteed and includes a $6.019 million signing bonus.
Huddle Up: Even without a contract, Gordon still was able to get in some camp work in with the Bolts and is primed to be one of the first rookies off fantasy draft boards this summer.
Michael Floyd - WR - Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd was recognized for his conditioning by head coach Bruce Arians during organized team activities Tuesday, May 19.
Huddle Up: Floyd his career highs with his six TD receptions and his 17.9-yards-per-catch average last season but his targets, receptions and receiving yardage all fell off compared to his 2013 numbers. The Cards' 2014 QB problems shoulder a lot of that blame, though, so don't be surprised to see a mini-rebound season out of the wideout.
Carson Palmer - QB - Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (knee) was held out of 11-on-11 drills Tuesday, May 19, during organized team activities. Palmer did, however, participate in 7-on-7 drills. Palmer will wear a knee brace this season as he continues to recover from surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Huddle Up: Expect the Cards will take all precautions with the 35-year-old QB to make sure he's ready and as well-protected for the games that matter.
Derek Carr - QB - Oakland Raiders
Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.
Huddle Up: Even though Carr isn't likely to miss as much as a training camp practice, the second-year QB still might miss valuable time getting used to the Raiders' new coaches and offense and building an on-field rapport with first-round pick Amari Cooper.
Latavius Murray - RB - Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is looking forward to being the Raiders' starting running back in 2015. 'It's a great feeling, but every day I have to go in there knowing I need to get better every day,' Murray said. 'Every season is a new year for me and it's a year I have to go out and prove something.'
Huddle Up: Murray gained 370 of his 424 rushing yards in the last five games of the 2014 season, averaging 5.2 yards per carry, while all other Silver & Black ballcarriers averaged only 3.2 yards per tote. Still, it's a new offense and new coaching staff and Murray is going to have to prove himself and clearly beat out newcomers Trent Richardson and Roy Helu for the starting gig.
Chris Ivory - RB - New York Jets
New York Jets RBs Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley, Zac Stacy and others could be busy this season, according to head coach Todd Bowles. Bowles said the reason he hired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is because he has a track record of being able to run the ball, at least in his college coaching days. Bowles supposedly prefers a balanced, ball-control offense, which puts more of the onus on the running backs.
Huddle Up: Given the QB situation, it will be no shocker if the Jets are one of the league's most run-heavy teams in 2015. After all, they have been for the last three seasons, finishing in the top six in rushing attempts each year. What bears watching, though, is if any of the top three backs -- Ivory, Ridley or Stacy -- gets enough work to rise above the RBBC level and into solid RB2 territory.
Jadeveon Clowney - LB - Houston Texans
Updating an ongoing story, Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is doing well in his recovery from microfracture surgery. Clowney has been working hard at rehabbing the knee, according to Texans head coach Bill O'Brien.
Huddle Up: Microfracture surgery is never good news, but Clowney at least got a jump on things, missing the last month-and-a-half of the 2014 season. The progress reports sound promising, but the true tests lie ahead, and let's see what he able to do once training camp and the preseason roll around.
Shayne Graham - PK - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19 as free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.
Huddle Up: So the Saints will again be looking for a new kicker, but don't necessarily target whomever they wind up going with just because of the strong offense-pairing as a New Orleans kicker hasn't finished as a PK1 in most standard-sized fantasy leagues since 2011.
Tom Brady - QB - New England Patriots
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying Tuesday, May 19 that the team will not appeal the DeflateGate discipline levied against them.
Huddle Up: This might actually end up helping Brady's cause, and don't be surprised if the four-game suspension winds up at two after the DeflateGate dust finally settles.
Carolina Panthers RB Cameron Artis-Payne is expected to win the No. 2 running back job behind starting RB Jonathan Stewart. Artis-Payne, a 2015 fifth-round draft choice, should play a significant role in the offense, in the opinion of ESPN.com's David Newton. Rookie RB Brandon Wegher and RB Fozzy Whittaker are likely to compete for the No. 3 job.
Huddle Up: Artis-Payne impressed by rushing for 1,608 yards and 13 TDs last season at Auburn and whomever wins the No. 2 gig could quickly find themselves as the Panthers' lead dog given Stewart's injury history.
Ryan Tannehill - QB - Miami Dolphins
Clarifying a previous story, Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill's new deal includes four new contract years and up to $77 million in new money. The deal is worth $95.27 million over six total years, with options for 2015 and 2016 added in.
Huddle Up: The Dolphins overhauled their offensive line last year and revamped their receiving corps this season. Now they've locked up Tannehill for the next five years with a significant investment. Clearly the team believes in him, which makes it a whole lot easier for fantasy owners to do the same.
Ifeanyi Momah - WR - Free Agent
Arizona Cardinals TE Ifeanyi Momah has a good chance to make the team's final roster following the retirement of TE John Carlson. Momah is likely to make the full-time switch to tight end, after playing wide receiver in high school and college. Momah is expected to earn a spot on the Cardinals' depth chart behind tight ends Troy Niklas and Darren Fells.
Huddle Up: Momah has the size to be an NFL tight end, and it's not as if there is much ahead of him on the Arizona depth chart. If you're into deep deep sleepers, Momah might be worth a late-round dynasty stash.
Dez Bryant - WR - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is participating in the strength and conditioning program, despite being at odds with the Cowboys regarding his current contract. 'I wanted to be here for my teammates,' Bryant said. 'In the past two years that locker room has changed. There is something special in there.' If Bryant isn't given a long-term deal, he may not practice with the team until late July when training camp begins.
Huddle Up: Bryant has to see that the Cowboys are operating without a net at running back, which likely means they'll need to throw more--playing right into Bryant's wheelhouse in a contract year. Get some reps now with Tony Romo, take the summer off, then show up at the end of summer and earn some money. It's a solid plan.
Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career wasn't what I wanted it to be (because) of the offense I was in,' Jones said Saturday, May 16. 'I love (Washington's) offense. I love getting downhill. I think that's what they drafted me for. I can add more size, more catching out of the backfield, more blocking. I feel like I can do it all and complement Alfred Morris at the same time.'
Huddle Up: Morris has logged at least 282 touches in each of his three NFL seasons, but Jones -- the third-round pick out of Florida -- projects as the best No. 2 back have had during his run in D.C. The key might be how fast the rookie picks up pass protection and contributes as a pass catcher -- the latter being a notorious weakness for Morris.
Jimmy Garoppolo - QB - New England Patriots
New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks of NFL.com believes the Patriots will continue to use the diverse aerial attack that is used when QB Tom Brady is under center when Garoppolo starts.
Huddle Up: The 2014 second-round pick took snaps in five games last season, completing 19-of-27 passes for for 182 yards and a TD so there's not much to go on, but with Bill Belichick having four months to get the backup ready to play during Tom Brady's suspension -- however long that turns out to be -- don't make the mistake of downgrading the Pats' pass-catchers more than a few notches.
Jason Witten - TE - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten said Sunday, May 17, that he and QB Tony Romo could play four or five more years if they continue to play like they did last season.
Huddle Up: The veteran TE's targets, receptions and receiving yards have dipped in each of the past two seasons but that's mainly due to the better supporting cast -- i.e. the emergence of the ground game. At the same time, that reduces the wear and tear on the two 30-somethings, so three or more solid seasons out of each -- particularly Romo -- isn't out of the question.
DeMarco Murray - RB - Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles RB DeMarco Murray is going to be missed by his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, according to retired WR Michael Irvin. 'I want to upchuck sometimes when I hear the thoughts of others and (they say), 'Oh, you can put any running back behind that offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys,' Irvin said. 'I say, 'Really? Why did they hand the ball off to DeMarco Murray 392 times? Why didn't they stick anybody back there last year?' Because they already knew.'
Huddle Up: Fantasy GMs, meanwhile, will miss the clear RB1 option they had last season in the Big D backfield as the dice will be rolled with and hopes will be pinned on Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden and even Ryan Williams and Lance Dunbar in the middle and later rounds.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Rashad Greene has looked smooth in rookie minicamp and is expected to be used out of the slot when the Jaguars use three- or four-receiver sets.
Huddle Up: Greene, who caught 270 passes including 29 TD grabs during his productive four seasons at Florida State, could prove to be a fifth-round find for the Jags. The addition of the rookie, however, only serves to further jumble the team's fantasy picture as he joins new TE Julius Thomas and second-year wideouts Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns in the mix for targets.
Our FREE email updates are packed with the player news and fantasy analysis you need! Always fresh, no spam, guaranteed!
- Fantasy Rookie Reviews: Tight Ends
- Fantasy Rookie Reviews: Quarterbacks
- Fantasy Rookie Reviews: Running Backs
- Top 12 Fantasy Rookies Worth Watching
- 2015 NFL Draft: First Round Fantasy Recap
- 2015 NFL Mock Draft: Version 3.0
- Fantasy Rookie Draft: Verson 1.0
- 2015 Player Signings and Trades
- Fantasy Impact of the 2015 NFL Coaching Changes
- Better Than Average (BTA) Rankings
- Consistency Player Rankings
- A Look Back at Player Efficiency Stats for 2014