The Cleveland Plains Dealer is reporting that Josh Gordon was in stage 3 of the league’s substance abuse program when he had his most recent positive test. League rules state that Gordon must be suspended from the game for at least a year in that case. I suppose anything can happen, but it looks like he’ll be gone for this season. The league most likely leaked this info so they can hide behind the rules when they give Ray Rice a couple weeks off this season. I won’t go into the fact that testing for marijuana is dumber than testing for alcohol, or I just did I suppose. Anyway, Gordon just turned 23 in April and even with a year off will be 24 going into 2015. You of course have to worry about him being suspended again, but I’d be seeing how cheap you can get him in dynasty leagues. He’s easily worth a first round rookie pick in my mind. The odds of your pick having a great first season are long as it is and the odds of them being as good as Josh Gordon for their career are even longer. It’s a risky move, but I believe in his talent and think a year off from a paycheck will keep him from toking up in the future.
The news out of Arizona is good for Andre Ellington, if not overly optimistic. Bruce Arians says Ellington is the #1 back and would like to get him 25-30 touches a game. If you remember the news on C.J. Spiller last off season, you’ll remember similar comments made by the Bills coaching staff. 25-30 touches won’t happen. That’s a pipe dream, and if Arians passes you the pipe I might just try fake inhaling whatever he’s having. No backs get that many touches a game and live to tell the tale, so whatever, but if he can get 250-300 for the season he’s got a ton of upside in what should be a more fluid offense this year. Don’t let the backlash of those (like me) poo-pooing Arians’ comments keep you from targeting Ellington in drafts this year, especially PPR.
Alex Smith must feel like he has Kansas City by the huevos rancheros, but KC’s management isn’t budging in contract extension talks. Smith helped them to a good season last year, but defense, a conservative offense and Jamaal Charles had a lot to do with that. Smith wants top-tier money and unless he can show he’s more than a “don’t eff it up!” quarterback I doubt he’ll be getting that anytime soon. He’ll most likely need to prove he’s not replaceable this year.
Malcom Floyd is back! It’s good to see him at OTAs after a very scary neck injury and he’ll be vying for the #2 WR spot across from Keenan Allen. With Philip Rivers taking a step forward after a couple back (hit it DJ Skat Kat!) the Chargers passing game is worth keeping an eye on for fantasy purposes. The #2 receiver isn’t going to have a ton of upside, but he could be useful as a red zone option this season if he looks healthy.
It looks like Roddy White will get an extension before the season which shows us the team is happy with his health and at least short term ability. He finished the season strong after stupidly playing through a hamstring injury. Hopefully that taught him and the Falcons a thing or two about pushing an aging (or any) receivers’ hamstring just to keep a meaningless games played streak alive. White, for the moment, is able to be had at value in mock drafts, but we’ll see how long that lasts after people realize he’s actually still alive and well. The return of Julio Jones and a healthy White make for a Falcons’ offense where fantasy numbers are fairly abundant. Don’t let last season leave too bad of a taste in your craw.
Percy Harvin says he’s in the best shape of anybody ever, or something like that. Never pay any attention to players or media reports saying So and So Schmoe is in the best shape of his life, but do feel good when a player who had been injured is practicing at OTAs and Harvin is doing that. We never saw what Harvin could really do when fully integrated into the Seattle offense and I for one am still excited by the possibilities. His upside is still insanely high as he turns 26 today! Happy Burfday Percy! He’s still in his prime and his ability to make people miss, break tackles, out run defenders and just plain make fools look foolish, makes him hard to pass on if there are a plethora of doubters in your draft.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Savage, Case Keenum, Casey Kasem and T.J. Yates will all be vying for Texans quarterback position. Remember when the Texans felt like Super Bowl contenders? Wasn’t that last week? Just goes to show you how important a quarterback really is to a team (maybe the Chiefs should pay Smith). While the dismissed Matt Schaub is called a Top-10 quarterback by his new coach we’ll get to see how these four scrubs, who are better than Schaub, fare. Beardy Fitzpatrick almost wins this one by default though. Sorry Texans fans.
Pep Hamilton defined the saying, Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results last season. He had a good enough team last year to often overcome his run first mentality, but it’s time to let Luck be Luck. Pep says his mindset will be “score-first” over anything else. Simple enough I suppose. I like my Let Luck Be Luck saying that I stole from West Wing, but whatever. Luck will have Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen back from injury along with T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Nicks. The running game should be an afterthought in this offense if they want to “score-first.”
BenJarvus Green-Ellis was running as the third string back in OTAs and initial speculation is his salary may be his demise if rookie Jeremy Hill can have a strong showing. It’s still early, but it’s good news that Giovanni Bernard was the #1 back because he of course is light years ahead of Law Firm and should have been the main man out of the backfield most of 2013. Bill Belichick would probably welcome BJGE back if he is cut, but we’ll keep the speculation to the fact that he could be cut for now. All I can say so far is, thank you Hue Jackson.
Rob Gronkowski is not participating in OTA’s which makes sense after he tore his ACL and MCL in week 14 and didn’t have surgery until January 9th. To be going strong week one would be an Adrian Peterson type recovery. It could happen, I don’t doubt that, but with the amount of information the Patriots let out I could see us being completely clueless as to if he’ll play in week one. I will be taking a wait and see approach for now and will need some very strong indications that he’s 100% before I let Gronk into my fake life.
Stephen Hill says he had a growth spurt and added an inch and a half over the off-season. Maybe he spent some time drinking at an Entmoot. He needs all the help he can get.