RG3
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RG3 has certainly been the hot topic this spring. He is a low-risk option for the Cleveland Browns and fantasy football players alike. Griffin’s career has dropped like an anvil since his outstanding rookie season when he looked like the future of the NFL. Can  he resurrect his value with Cleveland?
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Getting away from Washington is a blessing for RG3. If anyone needed a fresh start, it was him.
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RG3 set the world on fire in 2012 throwing for 3,200 yards with 20 touchdowns to five interceptions on a 65.6 completion rate. He also ran for 815 yards and seven touchdowns. Griffin looked like the second coming of Randall Cunningham. Big hits took their toll on Griffin. He never was quite the same. In 2013 Griffin threw for 3,203 games, but his touchdown to interception ratio went to 16:12. He still completed a fair amount of his passes, 60.1 percent to be exact, but his running game took a back seat. Griffin finished with 489 yards and failed to score a rushing touchdown.
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2014 effectively signaled the end of his run with Washington, though he hung around one more year.  Griffin threw for 1,694 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions. He ran for 176 yards and one score. RG3′s yards per carry went from 6.8 to 5.7 to 4.6 in three years. After throwing 20 touchdowns to five picks in his first year he threw 20 touchdowns and 18 picks in the next 22 games.
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Griffin is trying to get things back in order. He is working with QB guru Tom House (see story). Cleveland coach Hue Jackson liked what he saw while the team was pursing RG3. He should have every opportunity to run with the starting job. If he falls on his face in the preseason, you should know that and subsequently avoid him in fantasy drafts.
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RG3 has the upside to return to QB1 form, particularly if Josh Gordon is reinstated. He is a nice option to take a chance on as your QB2. If he gets hurt or struggles you can cut bait.

Jared Cook
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Jared Cook is an big, athletic tight end that has been full of promise, but has yet to truly break out. The 6’5, 254 pound tight end has never had a quarterback of Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball to him…until now.
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Cook’s last five seasons:
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2011: 49 catches, 759 yards, 3 touchdowns
2012: 44 catches, 523 yards, 4 touchdowns
2013:  51 catches, 671 yards, 5 touchdowns
2014: 52 catches, 634 yards, 3 touchdowns
2015: 39 catches, 481 yards, 0 touchdowns
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Cook’s 12.3 yards per catch last year ranked only behind Gronk, Greg Olsen, Gary Barnidge, Zach Miller, Jimmy Graham and Crocket Gillmore at the tight end position. His career average is 12.8 yards per catch. Richard Rodgers catch 58 passes last year for Green Bay for 510 yards and eight touchdowns. Rodgers averaged just 8.8 yards per catch. Cook will be used to take advantage of the middle of the field.
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Cook, who will turn 29 next month, has a chance to deliver TE1 numbers. He’s certainly an intriguing option.

Alfred Morris
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Alfred Morris is staying within the NFC East as he leaves the Washington Redskins to handle lead back duties for the Dallas Cowboys.
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Morris had 751 yards and one touchdown last year to go along with 10 catches for 55 yards.
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In his first three years Morris ran for 1,610 yards and 13 touchdowns, 1,275 yards and 7 touchdowns and 1,074 yards and 8 touchdowns. Morris only has 47 receptions in four seasons for 365 yards so don’t expect him to take on a more dynamic role, but he should still be able to pound the ball with a great offensive line.
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Despite his decline each season Morris is just 27. He’ll share the load with Darren McFadden, but Morris’ presence should mean fewer carries for McFadden, though he should remain active in the passing game.
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Morris could be a RB3 or RB4 with upside if McFadden lives up to his injury prone history.

Martellus Bennett
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Tom Brady got a new toy. Martellus Bennett was brought in to pair with Rob Gronkowski to give Brady two big, athletic red zone targets. He’ll also give defensive coordinator fits.
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Bennett caught 53 passes for 439 last year as he dealt with injuries, but in 2014 he had 90 catches for 916 yards. Bennett has averaged 65.8 catches over the past four seasons.
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Gronk had 72 catches for 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns last year.
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The last time the Patriots had an embarrassment of riches at tight end was 2012 when Gronk had 790 yards and 11 touchdowns and Aaron Hernandez had 483 yards and five touchdowns. In 2011 Gronk had 1,3327 yards and 17 touchdowns while Hernandez had 910 yards and seven touchdowns. The addition shouldn’t hurt Julian Edelman. In 2011 Wes Welker had 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns despite the monster season by Gronk and Hernandez. Brady shined that year with 5,235 yards and 39 touchdowns.
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Gronkowski should remain the premier tight end in the league and Bennett is a high-end TE1. The Patriots offense should be as deadly as ever.

Coby Fleener
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For the most part the free agent signings  thus far won’t have major fantasy implications. The quarterback market and wide receiver market are soft. The running back and tight end markets have a little more intrigue. One potentially exciting signing is Coby Fleener going to New Orleans.
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Fleener caught 54 passes last year with 491 yards and three touchdowns. It marks the third straight season of at least 50 catches for Fleener. In 2013 he snagged 52 passes for 608 yards and in 2014 he caught 51 for 774 yards and eight touchdowns.
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Fleener’s production has been limited over the years because of Dwayne Allen’s presence. In New Orleans he’ll get a chance to play more snaps and secure more targets. Plus, Drew Brees has a history of making stars out of tight ends.
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Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham have been two of the most prolific tight ends with Brees. Ben Watson set career highs last year with 74 catches for 825 yards and  six touchdowns despite turning 35 in December. Fleener will be 28 and entering his prime. He is very much on the TE1 radar.

Matt Forte
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Busy first day of NFL free agent action.
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Brock Osweiler, QB, Houston Texans – My expectations are for Brock to flop for Houston. He’ll help DeAndre Hopkins, but he’s a low-end QB2 at best.
Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets – Forte is a nice replacement for Chris Ivory. He should remain in the RB1 mix.
Chris Ivory, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars – We spoke about him earlier, but this move makes little sense with T.J. Yeldon entering his second year. Hurts both values.
Lamar Miller, RB, Houston – Miller has every opportunity to remain a fantasy force. He’ll also be in the RB1 mix. Nice fit for Miller.
Travis Benjamin, WR, San Diego Chargers – Gets upgrade at QB. Nice landing spot. Should be on the WR3 or WR4 radar.
Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions – Nice landing spot as Megatron retired. He’ll pair with Golden Tate for a solid 1-2 punch with TE Eric Ebron picking up some slack as well. WR3 material.
Ladarius Green, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers – Nice option to replace the retired Heath Miller. TE1 potential with Big Ben.
Ben Watson, TE, Baltimore Ravens – Leaving Drew Brees will hurt his value. TE2 at best.

Chris Ivory
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In a head scratching move the Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to terms with Chris Ivory. Ivory, at 6’0, 222 pounds, finished last year with 1,287 total yards and 8 touchdowns. His 247 carries mark the first time he had over 200 carries in a season. He’s a power runner that has averaged 4.6 yards per carry throughout his career, but has often battled the injury bug. While he is talented (when healthy) the move makes little sense as the Jaguars drafted 6’1″, 225 pound T.J. Yeldon last year.
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Yeldon ran for 740 yards on 182 carries (4.1 ypc). He only ran for two scores with on of them coming on a 28-yard run. It appears that Ivory will be handed the goal line work. Yeldon caught 36 passes. Ivory caught 30.
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This will be an interesting battle to watch but it just feels like a full blown running back by committee approach. It may work for the team, but it will be frustrating for fantasy owners.

Calvin Johnson walks away
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In a cruel twist of fate Detroit’s all-time wide receiver is taking a page out of their all-time running back Barry Sanders’ book by calling it a career prematurely. Unlikely Peyton Manning, this one is a bit of a head scratcher.
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Johnson, only 30, is leaving millions of dollars on the table as well as an opportunity to climb the record books. He finishes a brilliant nine-year career with 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. Megatron played in all 16 games last year, catching 88 passes for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. It was the fifth time in the past eight years that Megatron topped 1,200 yards and the sixth time he had at least eight touchdowns. Production like that will be missed.
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Golden Tate finished with 90 catches for 813 yards last year, but carried a heavier load in 2014 when Megatron was limited to 13 games. Tate responded with 99 catches for 1,331 yards. Look for a bump in production for Tate.
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Tight End Eric Ebron caught 47 passes for 537 yards and five touchdowns last year. He figures to take another step forward with additional targets.
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Youngster T.J. Jones could possibly take on a larger role with the Lions in 2016. Stay tuned to their offseason moves.
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Matthew Stafford’s value takes a hit. He can no longer be counted on as a QB1.

DeMarco Murray Eagles
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Philadelphia Eagles fans will likely be more excited about DeMarco Murray’s exit than Tennessee Titans fans are of his arrival. Before last season’s disaster Murray was coming off a monster 2,261 total yard, 12 touchdown season. While a return to that level of greatness is unlikely, Murray should prove to be a valuable fantasy option in his new surroundings as long as Murray shows up in mind and body.
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Murray has averaged 51.3 receptions over the past three seasons. He was never quite the right fit in Chip Kelly’s offense. He should be more suite for Mike Mularkey “exotic smashmouth” football.
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The Tennessee Titans were led by Antonio Andrews with 520 yards on 143 carries (3.6 ypc). He caught 21 passes for 174 yards. At 5’10, 225 pounds Andrews is a plodding running back. Murray, at 6’0″, 217 pounds is a more dynamic back. He and Mariota have the skill set to give Mularkey what he’s looking for.
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Murray’s disappointing 2015 campaign should find him in RB2 territory. He has RB1 potential, particularly in PPR leagues.

Doug Martin
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Every year there are players that go to new teams. Some work out (DeAngelo Williams, Jeremy Maclin), others not so much (DeMarco Murray). Teams will still throw buckets of cash looking for a quick fix. Here are some of the top fantasy football options and some possible destinations.
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Matt Forte, RB – Forte is more likely to continue his excellence than Martin given his track record. He’s a dual threat option that would be perfect for a contender. At 30 with more wear and tear, he doesn’t offer as much long-term upside. Still, he’ll immediately make a team better.
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Chris Ivory, RB – He’s a power runner but his style leads to bumps and bruises. He’s a great 1-2 punch for someone.
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Doug Martin, RB – Martin finished second in the league with 1,402 yards. He added 33 catches for 271 yards and seven combined touchdowns. He had not been relevant since 2012. He’s still only 27.
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Alfred Morris, RB – Unlikely the other available running backs Morris is not versatile. He can still run between the tackles. His landing spot will be interesting.
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Anquan Boldin, WR – He’s 35 but he’s still productive. Boldin is WR3 material at best, but he still has some fantasy value.
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Travis Benjamin, WR – Benjamin had a strong showing last year with 966 yards and five touchdowns. He likely won’t register high on the fantasy radar next year.
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Marvin Jones, WR – He’s not a tremendous option, but he’ll likely be overpaid as this is a soft market for wide receivers. With a good blend of size and speed he should draw attention. I just don’t see a major impact next year.
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Rishard Matthews, WR – He had a decent season in Miami with 662 yards. His relevance depends on where he lands.
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Dwayne Allen, TE – He was underutilized in Indy. Depending on where he lands,  he could be a viable TE1. He’s a red zone threat.
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Impact Players Likely to Re-Sign
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB
Brock Osweiler, QB
Lamar Miller, RB
Antonio Gates, TE
Ladarius Green, TE
Coby Fleener, TE


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