Good Wednesday to you. Let me open with an apology. Yesterday I sent out the breaking news email regarding the allegations of Domestic Violence towards Bills RB LeSean McCoy. I opened the email with "It's early and still developing, but potentially terrible news for Bills RB LeSean McCoy." In talking about what this might mean on the field, I said, "It feels callous to talk about Football with issues like this but I'm aware you subscribe for Football info."
Clearly, my opening sentence was insensitive to the woman who was attacked. I apologize. It's terrible news obviously for the woman who was attacked and obviously bad news for McCoy if he is involved as she claims. McCoy has denied involvement. The truth will hopefully come out soon.
Regardless, that was uncool of me to use those words and I apologize.
Now back to Football. We've got more new Content for you plus the News and Notes you need.
What's Going to Happen in the Tennessee Backfield?
When DeMarco Murray was let go in the offseason, the fantasy world flocked to Derrick Henry. But Dion Lewis was brought in. Are the Titans still a two-headed committee backfield? What kind of split do you envision in Tennessee? Our Footballguys Staff answers.
What's Going to Happen in the Tampa Bay Backfield?
As soon as he was drafted, Ronald Jones II was slotted by many as the Buccaneers' workhorse back. But Peyton Barber has gotten a lot of good press over the spring. Is Charles Sims a real threat as a third-down back? Can Jones take this backfield over? Our Footballguys Staff answers.
Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy has been accused of beating a woman, her son and a dog and for using performance-enhancing drugs. The claims were made against McCoy Tuesday, July 10, but McCoy quickly denied them in a statement on his Instagram account. 'For the record, the totally baseless and offensive claims made against me today on social media are completely false,' McCoy stated. 'Furthermore, I have not had any direct contact with any people involved in months.' The Bills are investigating the alleged incident.
There's been a lot of information moving very rapidly here, so expect more information hopefully soon. Aside from McCoy's rebuttal, the Instagram post has been removed. We don't know much for sure right now. Obviously, the human angle is most important. From the football angle, this makes McCoy a big question mark in drafts right now. If guilty, his career could be over and he could see much worse from the legal system. If not guilty, he may still find himself suspended, as Ezekiel Elliott did. We'll wait for clarity, but make sure if you're drafting now, that you factor all this in when deciding if that second round pick is worth the price. Hopefully, you draft closer to the start of the season and we have more clarity.
Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard is expected to be the team's feature back per comments made by head coach Matt Nagy this spring, but Nagy also made it clear he plans to 'keep the door spinning' in the rotation, according to Dan Wiederer of The Chicago Tribune. Howard expects to be the lead back but Tarik Cohen is also poised for big things.
With Tarik Cohen at 5' 6" and 180 pounds, durability is a concern. Howard will keep the main role but could lose third-down touches to Cohen, who is a little more dynamic in that spot. Howard has back to back 1,000 plus yard seasons and saw his touchdown total jump from 6 to 9 last season, and is a solid running back who can handle a large workload. He is reliable fantasy starter whose ADP is coming in at 13th back selected and 21st player overall in drafts.
Chicago Bears RB Tarik Cohen 'not only has a skill set that will stimulate head coach Matt Nagy's creativity,' but he also 'has shown he has the mental capacity to handle a wide array of roles and responsibilities,' according to Dan Wiederer of The Chicago Tribune.
Cohen was hit and miss his rookie year, and while he has the skill set, he lacks the size to be an every down back. He was a workhorse at North Carolina A&T but the NFL is a long way away from the Aggies program. He did see a lot of the backfield's targets, though, and that could make him an occasional flex play this year. His current ADP of 36 running back off the board is a solid spot to pick him up in that capacity.
That may be true but with Odell Beckham Jr back, Evan Engram building off a great rookie year and Saquon Barkley in the house, Shepard could be the fourth wheel here. That and the down sophomore year has made Fantasy GMs shy, pushing his ADP to 46th receiver off the board. He could outproduce that now that he doesn't have to be forced into the lead role, which he was ill-suited for. However, with all the uncertainty around his role and the other people in the offense, we aren't as bullish as Manning is.
They cut off the end of the quote when we imagine Eli Manning said: "Please, please, PLEASE, let him be his old self." Manning hopes aside, the Giants desperately need the old Odell Beckham Jr. back, though they have added some significant upgrades to the offense the last two years with tight end Evan Engram and now running back Saquon Barkley. With Sterling Shephard also healthy, it should be interesting to see how the Giants balance this out, especially given Beckham's desire for the ball. Regardless, Fantasy GMs are high on Beckham and he's tracking as the third receiver off the board, hovering around the top ten overall in drafts. We should all be bullish on Beckham, as he has a lot to prove and is tremendously talented.
Yeldon's ceiling is largely about opportunity at this point, with Leonard Fournette in front of him. But we could see him emerge as a decent third down back who, while not reliable, could fill in as an occasional flex option. If you aren't using him as a Fournette handcuff, don't take him before fairly late in the draft, but he is worth keeping an eye on.
Stewart has looked slow and former Rutgers back Martin is an undrafted free agent who had an impressive rookie mini-camp, and so is pretty unproven. Gallman has some talent but Saquon Barkley is the bellcow here and unless he gets hurt or implodes, consider Gallman a late-draft handcuff.
New York Giants RB Jonathan Stewart 'looked more like a plodding veteran running back trying to hang on than a back capable of shouldering a significant workload' this spring, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com.
Given the presence of Saquon Barkley, a reduced role was already in the offing. And Stewart was already seeing a production decline, and his yards per carry continues to drop as well. This was always a move just in case the Giants didn't get their guy, who we now know was going to be Barkley all along. It would not even truly be a shock if he wasn't on the final roster, though aside from Wayne Gallman, there isn't a ton of competition. Stewart is tracking as the 67th back off the board and even there, he might be a little risky.
Say hello to David Tepper who is already making noise about improvements for the stadium and a new practice facility. It'll be a while before we really get a sense of his management style and even longer before we feel the effect on the field, if we do at all.
Free-agent FS Kenny Vaccaro (Saints) is expected to sign with 'some team' before camp begins. He's healthy but the market for safeties didn't develop as expected and there was no need to hurry and sign a deal when free agency first opened up.
On the one hand, we have been waiting for the Packers to find "that guy" at tight end for many years - and they have been searching for him as well. On the other hand, the last few "that guys" who showed up fell short of the mark. That said, Graham is the best athlete they've had at the position, and Aaron Rodgers is going to need a big target with Jordy Nelson gone. This should be a match made in heaven and early ADP at the position backs our feelings for the most part as Graham is tracking at fifth tight end overall.
One of the best receivers in the NFL, there isn't much Hopkins doesn't do well. He's going to be one of the best fantasy plays week to week, especially with DeShaun Watson back and healthy. Both are one of the top options in fantasy at their positions and their positional ADP bears that out with both in the top few picks at their position.