Geno Smith - QB - New York Jets
New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback position is currently an open slate, with Smith and Matt Simms the only quarterbacks currently rostered.
Huddle Up: Certainly look for the Jets to bring a QB or two this offseason -- maybe a free agent and a draft pick -- to give Smith some serious competition for the starting gig. Bowles saw first-hand with the Cards last season how bad QB play can short-circuit a team's season, and he'd rather not relive the anguish in debut year with the Jets.
Vernon Davis - TE - San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone after the opening weekend of the regular season after catching 13 TDs in 2013. The Niners and Davis hope that the hiring of Tony Sparano as the new tight ends coach can fix that heading into 2015. San Fran tight ends combined for just 39 catches for 423 yards (10.9 yards per catch) in 2014.
Huddle Up: Davis completely fell off the fantasy map in 2014. Some nagging injuries didn't help, but no red zone targets after Week 1? That's hard to explain on an offense that was searching for points and production for most of the season. Davis will be better in 2015, almost basically by default.
Mark Ingram - RB - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is mutual. Ingram ran for 964 yards on 226 attempts and nine touchdowns last year, which were all career highs. His 74.2 yards per game ranked him eighth in the league.
Huddle Up: Ingram stood out last season in a disappointing year for the franchise, but as usual, it's all going to come down the $$$ as the pass-first Saints are unlikely to pay too much for a RB when the plug-and-play system has worked just fine in the Drew Brees attack.
Rob Gronkowski - TE - New England Patriots
New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is often a tough matchup for opposing defenses, but Seattle Seahawks CB Jeremy Lane said he doesn't think Gronkowski is 'that good.' 'He's OK. He does have a big body. But from what I've seen on tape, he doesn't like you putting your hands on him. So if we put our hands on him and shake him up a little bit, he won't catch that many balls,' Lane said. Gronkowski caught 82 passes for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Lane could be lined up often against Gronkowski in the slot in the Super Bowl.
Huddle Up: The physical and athletic Gronk is a matchup nightmare for every team, and will be even for the mighty Seahawks, who ranked in the league's bottom half this season in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing TEs. Expect Lane to have a little help come Feb. 1.
Ryan Tannehill - QB - Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey had praise for QB Ryan Tannehill, saying the team is 'excited' about his progress to date. "We are excited about [Tannehill's] future as a Dolphin. ... We saw a lot of progress [in 2014]," Hickey said.
Huddle Up: Even though the Dolphins have essentially remained a .500 team, Tannehill has shown steady improvement in each of his three seasons, hitting career highs across the board this year and Hickey has a right to be excited given some of the QB issues faced by some of the league's other teams, including two in their own division.
Brian Hoyer - QB - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.
Huddle Up: Hoyer is going to want to start and get paid as a starter, and if the Browns are only offering backup money while they see if they can make things work with Johnny Manziel, Hoyer likely will explore the market.
Joe Flacco - QB - Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco will get along with Trestman after the quarterback was involved in the decision to hire Trestman in the first place. "I think personality-wise, they're going to hit it off really well. They've both very smart, they're both very detailed and they're both very direct in their communication,' Harbaugh said.
Huddle Up: Flacco had a career season with 3,986 yards and 27 TD passes last year under OC Gary Kubiak, and he should be just fine under the aerial-oriented Trestman.
Johnny Manziel - QB - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is currently on the roster. 'We're not sure if our starting quarterback's in the building right now or not,' DeFilippo said. 'If he is, that's great. If he's not, that's great, too. Whoever's in that room is going to be coached hard, be held accountable and be expected to do the things that we expect out of Cleveland Browns quarterbacks.' DeFilippo said that all Cleveland quarterbacks will begin the offseason with a clean slate.
Huddle Up: DeFilippo, who has been coaching the Raiders' QBs since 2012, is getting some of the credit for Derek Carr's successful rookie season in 2014 and now he'll be tasked with molding Manziel into a start-able NFL QB as the 2014 first-round pick doesn't look to be going anywhere soon.
Aldrick Robinson - WR - Free Agent
The Baltimore Ravens signed WR Aldrick Robinson to a Reserve/Future contract Thursday, Jan. 22.
Huddle Up: Robinson, a 2011 Washington 6th-round pick, showed flashes with five scoring catches among only 29 receptions in 2012-13 and will battle to make the roster next summer in training camp.
Marshawn Lynch - RB - Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch was fined $20,000 Thursday, Jan. 22, for an obscene gesture he made after scoring a touchdown in the NFC Championship Game, according to an NFL official. He's also subject to a fine for not speaking to the media after the game, and the league is considering fining him significantly more than the $50,000 he has been previously fined for not speaking to reporters. An NFL official said there would be increasing fines if Lynch misses sessions during Super Bowl week, with each fine being more than the two $50,000 fines already imposed and the upcoming penalty.
Huddle Up: As long as Lynch is still available come kickoff and keeps cranking out 100-yard games and contest-deciding TD runs, the Seahawks, The 12th Man and his fantasy owners really don't have much reason to care how much of a hit Lynch's bank account is taking.
Vontaze Burfict - LB - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the 2015 season on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list and miss the first six weeks, Lewis said the plan is he'll be back for the majority of the season.
Huddle Up: Burfict, the 2013 league leader in total tackles, was limited to five games this past season due to knee and concussion issues, and he may not re-gain that top-level play-making form until 2016.
Russell Wilson - QB - Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has a base salary of $662,434 this season, which is 25th among starting NFL quarterbacks. However, he will negotiate a contract extension this offseason that will make him one of the highest paid players in the league. A multi-year deal for Wilson is expected to be above $20 million per year with more than $50 million guaranteed. He is already the first player in NFL history to reach two Super Bowls in his first three seasons.
Huddle Up: With four interceptions, Wilson was on his way to his worst game as a pro last Sunday until he helped rally the Seahawks to a second straight Super Bowl appearance. Regardless of what happens Feb. 1, his 41-13 record as a starter (including the postseason) 98.6 career passer rating and precocious leadership abilities will result in the overdue payday.
Former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase was hired by the Chicago Bears as their new offensive coordinator. Gase will receive a 3-year deal.
Huddle Up: In Denver, Gase (and Peyton Manning) co-coordinated the most productive offense in NFL history in 2013, but it'll be highly interesting to see if he can make a successful transition from working with Manning to the not-so-fundamentally refined Jay Cutler.
Zac Dysert - QB - Free Agent
Denver Broncos QB Zac Dysert was signed to a Reserve/Future contract Wednesday, Jan. 21.
Huddle Up: Dysert can be the backup plan to Brock Osweiler, who is the backup plan to Peyton Manning. So in other words Denver is really hoping Peyton comes back for at least another season.
Blake Bortles - QB - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to develop quarterbacks and that his style of offense is tailored for young players. Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.
Huddle Up: You can bet the Jags' OC search focused on bringing in someone who can get the most out of Bortles, and Olson does have a track record of developing quarterbacks dating back to his college days with Drew Brees and Jon Kitna. He's also familiar to the Jags, having served as quarterbacks coach in Jacksonville a couple years ago.
Latavius Murray - RB - Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave has guided a top-10 rushing attack in four of his six seasons as an offensive coordinator. Murray had just 82 carries last year and also added 17 catches and 567 total yards of offense.
Huddle Up: Murray is easily the most explosive offensive player on the Raiders' roster, so it makes sense to feature him--especially when the alternatives are the likes of Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. Not being able to figure that out might have been what opened up the coaching vacancies in Oakland. Now the question becomes can Murray hold up to the kind of workload Musgrave gave, say, Adrian Peterson when he called plays in Minnesota?
Drew Stanton - QB - Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) 'should be ready to go' for the team's offseason workouts after suffering a right knee injury that caused him to miss the final three regular season games, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
Huddle Up: Ideally Stanton will be working on being the backup plan to Carson Palmer, but as the Cardinals found out the hard way this season you can never have too many quarterbacks.
Trent Richardson - RB - Indianapolis Colts
Updating previous reports, Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.
Huddle Up: Lots of talk regarding Richardson's situation, none of it regarding his on-field performance--because there was none. Richardson missed practices, was reportedly dealing with a family situation, and was also suspended? Despite the cap hit and invested first-round pick there just doesn't seem to be any way Richardson returns to the Colts next season.
Joique Bell - RB - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell had minor surgery last week to clean up his knee and Achilles' tendon. He is expected to return in time for organized offseason workouts.
Huddle Up: What's the famous quote, the only minor surgery is when it's done on someone else? No reason to think Bell won't be back in the mix by the time the Lions start OTAs, but it's worth keeping an eye on as Joique has elevated himself to a significant fantasy contributor.
Peyton Manning - QB - Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test results were learned at the beginning of March last season. The team has requested a decision from him by March 9.
Huddle Up: March 9 is the date the team needs to lock in Peyton's multi-million dollar contract, so it makes sense they want an answer by then. Now the Broncos need to figure out if either Thomas, Julius and/or Demaryius, will be back to catch balls from him.
Our FREE email updates are packed with the player news and fantasy analysis you need! Always fresh, no spam, guaranteed!
- Don't Take These Player Too Soon In Your Draft
- Balancing Your Wide Receivers
- Fantasy Players Worth A Reach In Your Draft
- Preseason Injury Update: Week 3
- 10 Fantasy Drafting Tips for 2014
- Your Draft Plan: First Three Picks in 12 Team Leagues
- Six Coaching Changes That Impact Fantasy
- Fantasy Need-To-Know Nuggets: AFC
- Signs of a Sleeper Running Back
- Grasp These 5 Trends Before Drafting Your WR
- When to Draft Your Fantasy Quarterback
- Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule Swings
- The Myth of the Stud Running Back
- Ultimate Running Back By Committee Report
- Top 12 Fantasy Rookies Worth Watching
- Fantasy Strength of Schedule Series