Donte Moncrief - WR - Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts WR Donte Moncrief is a candidate to return kicks this season, according to special teams coach Tom McMahon.
Huddle Up: With the signing of free agents Andre Johnson and Duron Carter and the first-round draft pick used on Phillip Dorsett, the 2014 third-round pick has the appearances of a man caught in the middle. Moncrief did show some definite flashes last season with 32 catches for 444 yards and three TDs, but his upside is basically capped by his environment with all the offensive mouths to feed in Indy. The Colts seem to realize that and are looking at ways (special teams) to get Moncrief some additional touches.
Devin Smith - WR - New York Jets
New York Jets WR Devin Smith struggled to adjust to the multiple spots and routes he had to learn to run during offseason workouts, according to wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell.
Huddle Up: The short-term fantasy outlook for the second-round pick doesn't appear especially rosy with veterans Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker solidly entrenched atop the team's WR depth chart and not to mention the limited ceiling for the Jets' passing game as a whole.
Morris Claiborne - CB - Dallas Cowboys
Free-agent CB Morris Claiborne may still return to the Dallas Cowboys, after the club declined his fifth-year option. 'I think Claiborne has a real good chance to surprise,' owner Jerry Jones said recently, via the team's official website. Claiborne lost 30-40 pounds this offseason, after having surgery done on both of his knees.
Huddle Up: The former sixth-overall pick has been a huge disappointment with only 25 starts and three interceptions in three seasons. Last season, he was limited to four games as he ruptured the patella tendon in his left knee a week after he walked out of practice after being informed he was being benched. The bottom line: Claiborne has this summer to make an impression or his days in Dallas will be done, and he certainly can't be counted on for any IDP production until he reverses his career spiral.
Percy Harvin - WR - Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills WR Percy Harvin said he has been working with wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal this offseason in hopes of becoming a more complete wide receiver. 'I feel that it's time for me to put it all together,' Harvin said. 'I feel like I have the coaching staff and support here in Buffalo to get that done. The owners here are unbelievable. Everything here spells success for me. The world has yet to see me explode like I'm about to.'
Huddle Up: Harvin has been the king of short routes and swing passes, and his fantasy production has been bolstered greatly by his standout rushing numbers (140-885-5) over his six-year career. The skill and ability are certainly there, but the key will be branching out on his route tree, and his fantasy numbers will almost assuredly follow.
Russell Wilson - QB - Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson wants a considerable portion of his next contract to be guaranteed. This is considered the biggest stumbling block in Wilson's extension talks, as the league's funding rule requires all money of any future payments to be paid into escrow upon signing.
Huddle Up: There was talk earlier this offseason that Wilson might wind up with the first fully guaranteed NFL contract. Sounds like maybe that was a figment of his agent's imagination, but the Seahawks may have to guarantee more than they had hoped to keep their franchise quarterback in town.
Dez Bryant - WR - Dallas Cowboys
The agent for Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant met face-to-face with the team for the first time in nearly four months, per sources. Bryant hasn't yet signed his $12.823 million franchise tender, and he has a deadline of July 15 to agree to a long-term deal. After that date Bryant will need to play out the season under the tender and the two sides could discuss an extension after the season.
Huddle Up: Bryant has threatened to skip the first game of the season, and the Cowboys would prefer to lock up Dez long-term anyway so it only makes sense for the two sides to get together to see if they can reach an agreement before things spiral out of control.
Latavius Murray - RB - Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray has the opportunity to be the team's No. 1 running back in 2015, and it's one he embraces. 'It's a great feeling, but every day I have to go in there knowing I need to get better every day,' Murray explained. 'I need to play like it's a new year. Last season is just last season and the year before that it was the year before that. Every season is a new year for me and it's a year I have to go out and prove something.'
Huddle Up: A great discussion of the linear progression of time from Murray, who has shown flashes of excellence when he's been able to stay on the field. We'll find out what this new year holds in store for him soon.
Cody Latimer - WR - Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer said he has made an effort to develop more chemistry with QB Peyton Manning and has dedicated himself to learning head coach Gary Kubiak's playbook. 'It's much easier to catch on. It gives you time to play fast; you don't have to think so much,' Latimer said. 'Not as many adjustments in this offense. Once you know what you're doing out of the huddle, you stick with that. No changing on the run.'
Huddle Up: Latimer reportedly had trouble learning the offense a year ago as a rookie, contributing mightily to his decidedly underwhelming two-catch, 23-yard season. He's now the No. 3 WR in the Mile High City, but that doesn't figure to pack as much fantasy punch as recent seasons with the Broncos expected to run more under Kubiak.
Victor Cruz - WR - New York Giants
New York Giants WR Victor Cruz will have to participate in a mandatory conditioning drill at the start of training camp and believes he could pass it now. Cruz still has not worked with QB Eli Manning on route running or timing drills.
Huddle Up: Cruz owner or not, you can't help but root for a healthy return for the wideout. When that happens, he'll add to an impressive cast of weapons for Eli Manning.
Coby Fleener - TE - Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts TE Coby Fleener said he wants to be a more consistent player and is looking to limit his mistakes on the field. 'Your flubs are aired in front of the whole world. Whether you're sitting at a desk all day or whether you're playing football, nobody wants to make the 'Not Top 10.' Unfortunately I've been there, and I'm trying to limit that as much as possible.'
Huddle Up: Fleener did hit career highs in 2014 with 774 receiving yards and eight scores on 51 catches, but those figures might not be repeatable given the new pass-catching weapons (WRs Andre Johnson & Phillip Dorsett) and if fellow TE Dwayne Allen is able to stay healthy (for a change) for a full season.
Todd Gurley - RB - St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley said he is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews in a few weeks to have his surgically repaired knee examined.
Huddle Up: That meeting likely will go a long ways in determining how much the 10th-overall pick will be able to do in training camp, the preseason and likely the first month or so of the regular season. Let's all stay tuned ...
Jermaine Kearse - WR - Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks WR Jermaine Kearse is likely to be an every-down receiver for the team in 2015. He is a versatile receiver that excels at blocking.
Huddle Up: After starting a combined seven games over his first two seasons in Seattle, Kearse doubled that total with 14 a year ago and finished second on the team with a career-high 38 catches for 537 yards and a TD. He should see his numbers improve across the board, but it's going to be tough for him to reach stanard-league fantasy relevance on a run-first team which also has added new competition for targets in free-agent TE Jimmy Graham and third-round WR Tyler Lockett.
Carlos Hyde - RB - San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde has shed about 10 pounds from last year's playing weight, which should add to his deceptively light feet and cutting ability. The team is installing zone-blocking concepts, which worked well for Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris when offensive line coach Chris Foerster was in Washington.
Huddle Up: With longtime Niner vet Frank Gore now in Indy, the second-year back becomes the team's bellcow and he has the look of a solid RB2 with his No. 18 spot in The Huddle's current RB rankings.
Denard Robinson - RB - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson had a chance as an every-down back last season, but with RB T.J. Yeldon in the fold Robinson is only expected to sub in for certain situations. He might also win the kickoff return role, too.
Huddle Up: Robinson showed some fantasy spark last season, starting nine games and finishing with 706 yards from scrimmage and four TDs. The Jags, though, clearly wanted a bigger starting back and that's where Yeldon, the 6-1, 225-pound second-round pick fits in.
Mohamed Sanu - WR - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals WR Mohamed Sanu is in the mix to start opposite WR A.J. Green, but with WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) healthy Sanu will have plenty of competition.
Huddle Up: With Jones sidelined all of last season, Sanu caught a career-high 56 passes for 790 yards and five TDs and even added a passing TD for the second time in three seasons. In 2013, though, Jones topped Sanu in all the major pass-catching statistical categories even though the latter had 14 starts to Jones' three. It will definitely be a training-camp battle to monitor.
Vontaze Burfict - LB - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict is working his way back from microfracture surgery on his knee and is viewed as a question mark heading into training camp.
Huddle Up: After leading the league with 177 total tackles in 2013, Burfict had only 29 as he was limited to five games last season with the knee and also concussion issues. Microfracture never is a promising word, and don't be surprised if he's on the preseason PUP list and misses some time to start the regular season as well.
Clive Walford - TE - Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders TE Clive Walford could be the leading candidate for the starting tight end job this season. Walford performed well during offseason workouts, and the team believes he can be one of the better receiving tight ends in time.
Huddle Up: Second-year TE Mychal Rivera hauled in 58 passes for 534 yards and four TDs last season to finish 17th among fantasy TEs, but the third-round rookie Walford has been impressive in offseason drills. The likely scenario is that Walford starts and garners the most targets, but Rivera still snares his share of the snaps, keeping both below the fantasy radar in all but the deepest of leagues.
Marcus Mariota - QB - Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota will have his transition to the NFL helped along by joining a Titans team that ranked sixth in the league in snaps out of the shotgun in 2014. Titans quarterbacks coach John McNulty said the team would prefer to operate from the shotgun formation 'probably 50 or 60' percent of the time in 2015.
Huddle Up: With the Titans mirroring an overall NFL trend, that will be a huge plus for the second overall pick as he almost exclusively worked out of the shotgun/spread at the University of Oregon.
Kelvin Benjamin - WR - Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training camp next month. A team source said Benjamin, who played at 245 pounds as a rookie last year, showed up to workouts in April nine pounds overweight. 'It really is much ado about nothing. Right now he's only five pounds off his playing weight. That's it,' Gettleman said after the team wrapped up their three-day minicamp. Benjamin has had weight problems before, as he took a redshirt year in college after being 20 pounds overweight. He had 73 catches for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns in 2014, but he missed 10 of 14 practices during organized team activities and minicamp with injuries to both his hamstrings.
Huddle Up: What's not overblown is the time already missed due to injury and the fears of a sophomore slump, making Benjamin a player to monitor during training camp.
Dez Bryant - WR - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant was present for a Week 1 Sunday Night Football photo shoot on Tuesday, June 23.
Huddle Up: Well, hey, it's official then -- there can be no holdout for Dez if his SNF screen shot has been taken. Seriously, though, expect the Cowboys to ante up for a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.
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