Head2Head Sports

MenuSkip to content

Head2Head Fantasy Football

Football

Latest Player News

Russell Shepard consistently got open and caught the ball from his slot position during offseason practices, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.

Impact

Shepard joined the Panthers this offseason to help replace Ted Ginn and Philly Brown, and it appears he's gotten off to a great start in his bid to do so. After career highs of 23 catches for 341 yards and two scores with the Buccaneers last year, Shepard will hope to keep his momentum going when Carolina opens training camp. As it stands, the 26-year-old is expected to compete with rookie second-rounder Curtis Samuel and fellow offseason signing Charles Johnson for pegging behind the Panthers' top wideouts, Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess.

Kelvin Benjamin appeared to be back at a reasonable playing weight by the end of the Panthers' minicamp, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.

Impact

Benjamin was called out in April by head coach Ron Rivera for being out of shape during Carolina's offseason program, but the towering wideout seemingly has fixed his figure since then. Although the 6-5 target's listed weight of 245 pounds is probably flattering, Benjamin was still nimble enough to reach down and make some tough catches on low passes during minicamp. With Rivera's message in mind, Benjamin will hope to avoid some of the condition problems that plagued him last season, when he played only 72 percent of the Panthers' offensive snaps despite being their clear No. 1 wideout.

Danny Woodhead marveled with the amount of passes he caught during minicamp, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun reports.

Impact

Woodhead, who has caught at least 75 passes in his last two healthy seasons, is well known as a receiving threat, but coming off last year's Week 2 torn ACL and a subsequent change in teams, it's impressive that he's already consistently involved in Baltimore. With Kenneth Dixon (suspension) to miss the first four games and Terrence West boasting 49 career receptions, Woodhead could be an immediate contributor with the Ravens, which would benefit PPR owners to boot.

Julius Thomas' apparent lack of chemistry with quarterback Ryan Tannehill was a disappointing takeaway from offseason practice sessions, Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Impact

Thomas was traded to Miami this offseason after catching just 30 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns in nine games for the Jaguars last year. While that marked Thomas' worst production since his 2011 rookie year, it was also his second straight underwhelming campaign since Jacksonville signed him to a five-year, $46 million contract. Of course, that deal was the reward for back-to-back 12-touchdown campaigns in Denver, which put Thomas at the forefront of fantasy radars at the time. In reuniting with then-Broncos offensive coordinator and now-Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, Thomas seems to have a decent chance of rebounding this season, but indications that he's yet to establish a consistent rapport with Tannehill raise some concern whether that will happen.

Mychal Rivera could open the season as the Jaguars' No. 1 tight end, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Impact

While the Jags haven't released an official depth chart, Rivera will likely have the advantage over veteran Marcedes Lewis, who's more effective as a run blocker at this point in his career. With Julius Thomas out of the mix, Rivera will have an opportunity to bounce back after a pair of disappointing seasons in Oakland that came on the heels of a breakout year in 2014. Last season, the 26-year-old Rivera caught a career-low 18 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown, as rookie Clive Walford emerged as Derek Carr's favored tight end target.

Teddy Bridgewater (knee) stands a chance of being cleared to return at some point during the upcoming season, Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune reports.

Impact

Bridgewater still has a long way to go to return from last year's catastrophic knee injury, but him being cleared to throw passes to teammates and participate in individual drills has encouraged many with his progress. While he still can't go through team drills, run full speed, plant or cut on his left leg, or absorb contract to his knee, Bridgewater's 2017 campaign hasn't been written off yet. Without a timetable for Bridgewater's return, though, Sam Bradford will remain Minnesota's starter for the foreseeable future.

Laquon Treadwell occupied the Vikings' No. 3 wideout position during each of the six offseason practices open to the media, Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune reports.

Impact

Treadwell, the 23rd overall pick of last year's draft, endured a lousy rookie campaign that included merely one catch on three targets for 15 yards. While his production was almost nonexistent, Treadwell did deal with foot and ankle ailments throughout the year, limiting him to nine games played. Now healthy, the 22-year-old's improved understanding of the Vikings offense has allowed him to move into third on the depth chart behind Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Should Treadwell retain that role, he'd figure to have ample opportunities to drastically improve his fantasy stock, particularly if Michael Floyd's legal situation impacts his availability.

Alex Collins has lost weight heading into training camp this season, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reports. "He is in phenomenal shape. He showed it," head coach Pete Carroll noted. "He's just clicking out here for us in every drill that we've done throughout every single day that we've been out here. So he's shown really well for himself in competing and all that. He's leaner, he's faster, he's quicker. He's all of that and he knows what's he doing now, so he's really positioned himself well to compete for a spot."

Impact

Seattle's running back by committee leaves plenty of mouths to feed between Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise, but it's the other six backs on the current roster that will really have to prove their worth during training camp if they hope to remain on 53-man roster. Out of those six, Collins figures to have the best shot of securing a spot, considering the second-year pro did receive 31 carries last season. Pair that with his weight loss and Collins seems like the favorite to lock down the No. 4 spot on the depth chart.

Seantavius Jones impressed during the team's OTAs, the Kansas City Star reports. "Eighty-one has done a nice job," said coach Andy Reid. "I know him by 'Stretch' … he's done a nice job. He had a chance to work in there on the rotation and do some things. Big kid who can run, has pretty good hands. But again, he hasn't played much. Gotta see how he does in camp."

Impact

Jones possesses impressive measurables at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and reportedly displayed the ability to outrun defensive backs and make some tough catches during OTAs. Things could change when the pads are put on, but the fourth-year wideout appears to be in the mix for reps early in the offseason following the team's release of veteran wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Tyreek Hill and Chris Conley appear locked in atop the depth chart at the position, but the remaining names will battle it out during training camp for reps on Sundays.

Demarcus Robinson etched his name in coach Andy Reid's mind during the team's OTAs and could challenge for playing time in 2017, Adam Teicher of ESPN reports. "He's the young [receiver] that's come up here a little bit and had a pretty good offseason," Reid said. "We'll see how he does once we get going in the preseason. He can go after it. He can run, and he can do the short stuff, too. His strength coming in was that he was good after the catch wherever you get it to him. I'm not saying he's that guy right now, but he's had a good offseason."

Impact

Robinson was surpassed by another rookie – Tyreek Hill – on the depth chart during his inaugural NFL campaign, but the Chiefs' 2016 fourth-round selection has made some marked improvement coming into his sophomore season. The release of veteran receiver Jeremy Maclin opened some reps at the position and Robinson appears in the mix for some additional work. Hill will receive the first shot as the team's "Z" receiver and Chris Conley should be locked in across from him, meaning Robinson and the others will battle it out for the third spot on the wideout depth chart.

Austin Davis will compete with Trevone Boykin for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reports. Head coach Pete Carroll said of the competition, "It's been a good mix so far. So we brought him (Davis) in we'll make these evaluations as we get back but I think Austin showed very well for himself."

Impact

Davis plays with a style different from Russell Wilson and Boykin, as he lacks a dual-threat quality in his game, but that doesn't mean he'll assume the No. 3 spot on depth chart. The 28-year-old boasts more starting experience than his counterpart and given Boykin's legal troubles this summer, Davis may be a safer option to back up Wilson this fall. Look for more updates on the competition to come throughout training camp.

Patrick Mahomes displayed his arm strength, better touch on his passes and a willingness to stretch the field at OTAs, the Kansas City Star reports. "If you took how he was in the rookie camp and compare it to now, there's no comparison there," said coach Andy Reid. "He's done a good job against the blitz, which is important for a young guy. I thought yesterday was his best day against the blitz, and that's a positive thing he can take into this off-offseason."

Impact

While Mahomes shouldn't challenge Alex Smith for the starting job this season, the rookie gunslinger has instilled confidence in his coaches early in his career. The Texas Tech product should get a season under his belt as a backup to an established veteran, which will put him in a good position to learn as he prepares to take the reins as soon as 2018, or earlier should Smith suffer an injury.

Jared Goff (Q, LAR)

Jared Goff said he has a full understanding of new coach Sean McVay's offense, which has already had 95 percent of its plays installed, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reports.

Impact

Goff took a notoriously long time to grasp the Rams' playbook as a rookie last season, when he didn't earn his first start until Week 11. From there, Goff looked nothing like a No. 1 overall pick, finishing with a 54.6 completion percentage, 5.3 yards per attempt and five touchdowns versus seven interceptions. In the wake of a coaching staff overhaul, however, Goff appears to have adjusted to McVay's scheme much better this offseason. While that reportedly comes thanks to simplified terminology and concepts, it remains to be seen whether Goff can translate his improved knowledge into on-field success.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Martavis Bryant doesn't appear to have lost any of his ability since missing all of last season due to a suspension, Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. "He looks like a stud, as usual, so we're excited for him to be on the field this year and help us out," Roethlisberger said when asked about Bryant's form during offseason practices.

Impact

Bryant was reinstated in April after sitting out the 2016 campaign for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. Despite being out of action for 16 months prior to his return to practice in late May, Bryant seems like his normal self now that he's had the opportunity to get reacquainted with his teammates. While Roethlisberger acknowledged Bryant is still getting up to speed on some of the details the Steelers added to their offense last year, the quarterback understandably sounds pleased to have one of his top deep threats available once again. An absolute burner in the open field, Bryant reportedly gained around 15 pounds of muscle while suspended, which came after he'd already caught 76 passes for 1,314 yards and 14 touchdowns through his first 21 career games.

Carlos Hyde (R, SF)

Carlos Hyde (knee) believes the 49ers' competition at running back will ultimately benefit him this season, Keiana Martin of the 49ers' official site reports.

Impact

Hyde is entering the final year of his rookie contract after rushing for a career-best 988 yards and six touchdowns on 4.6 yards per carry and catching 27 passes for 163 yards and three more scores in 2016. Despite that success, however, Hyde's production was cut short a bit by him missing three games due to shoulder and knee problems. While he's expected to recover from his season-ending torn MCL in time for training camp, Hyde will need to get acclimated to new coach Kyle Shanahan's offensive scheme quickly while fending off competition from offseason additions Tim Hightower, Joe Williams and Kapri Bibbs. Hyde seems to be motivated by that situation though, especially after Shanahan utilized both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman so effectively in Atlanta last season.

Andre Holmes, who was already coming off a strong set of OTAs, continued to impress the coaching staff at last week's minicamp, The Buffalo News reports. "I'll tell you the guy that's really stood out has been Andre," coach Sean McDermott said. "He's done a phenomenal job, not only on offense, but also special teams. Very solid performer day to day, consistent and just really - that's been a nice pickup for us so far and I really appreciate his leadership."

Impact

It looks like it's going to be Holmes and rookie Zay Jones battling it out for the No. 2 spot next to Sammy Watkins. Jones offers more upside, but some seem to be expecting a bit much immediately from a rookie – one that's already been injured this spring – that's never played an NFL down. Holmes doesn't exactly have an eye-popping resume, but he did occasionally produce some meaningful numbers with the Raiders (he posted a 47/693/4 line in 2016), and at 6-4 and 210 pounds offers the best size of any Bills receiver in line to receive regular playing time.

Orlando Scandrick is returning to form this offseason and is prepared to compete for a starting role, Jon Machota of Sports Day reports. "My time is now, and I ain't looking over my shoulder, wondering what's going to happen," Scandrick said. "I'm just going out every day and trying to get better, trying to get back to where I was. I felt like I was an ascending player when I tore my ACL and I'm going to get back to that."

Impact

Scandrick dealt with a plethora of injuries last season, sidelining him after two consecutive career years. The Cowboys made a point of adding young talent to their secondary, drafting Chidobe Awuzie in the second round of April's draft and Jourdan Lewis in the third, leaving some to wonder if Scandrick's time would be up in Dallas. However, the veteran has been playing outside corner and nickelback with the first team defense through OTAs and minicamp. Look for more updates on the position battle to come throughout training camp.

Eric Decker signed a one-year contract with the Titans on Sunday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

Impact

Decker – a Nashville resident – should feel right at home with the Titans. Let go by the Jets earlier this week, the 30-year-old wideout only played in three games last season due to a combination of hip and shoulder surgeries but is now healthy and presents ascending QB Marcus Mariota with yet another weapon to work with in 2017. He'll be forced to fight for targets with Rishard Matthews, Corey Davis and Delanie Walker, among others, but Decker should still get his no matter what and could possibly ascend to the top of the totem pole before long.

Corey Coleman is tending to a shoulder injury in addition to his sore hamstring, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports.

Impact

Coleman reportedly sustained both injuries during an awkward fall in OTAs. We previously knew about the hamstring issue, but we also knew there was a separate, undisclosed injury. In any case, it sounds like the 2016 first-rounder should be available from the start of training camp, although he might be limited at first.

Ricardo Louis is the team's preferred candidate to fill the wide-open third receiver role, Dan Labbe of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Impact

Louis showed a lot of growth during the recently completed offseason activities, looking like a receiver that learned from his experiences as a rookie in 2016. He'll open training camp as the third receiver on the depth chart, behind Casey Coleman and Kenny Britt, but should see increased targets in 2017 after catching just 18 passes over 16 games last season. The arrow's pointing up for Louis, but uncertainty abounds. Will his reputation for drops while at Auburn follow him in an expanded role in the NFL, and can the Browns develop a quarterback who enhances the value of the team's wideouts?