The Texans official team website reports that rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins
is making a good impression early on this offseason. Hes such a dynamic player, quarterback Matt Schaub
said. Hes just going to bring an added dimension to our offense. Schaub cited Hopkins great attitude and work ethic, and is looking forward to what Hopkins will bring to the squad. Hopkins has practiced with the first-team offense, which meant he and Andre Johnson
were the starting receivers. Johnson believes Hopkins is well on his way to contributing. Hes picking up everything pretty well, Johnson said. He went and made some plays today and thats a good thing. I think day-by-day, hell continue to get better and better.
Hopkins has the chance to be a solid contributor for the Texans as a rookie, and we would draft him as a key reserve with a mid-round pick. In rookie-only drafts, Hopkins is worth drafting with a first-round selection.
The New York Daily News
reports that Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks
said he's finally fully healthy. Nicks said he hasn't had any problems with the knee that bothered him throughout last season, and that he's feeling "as good as I've felt in awhile."
It sounds like Nicks is well on his way to putting last years disappointment 53 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games in the past. If he's able to rebound at 100 percent then Nicks can return as a must-start Fantasy option, but he has to prove he can stay healthy, which has been a problem his entire career. We view Nicks as a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver. His value might improve to be a No. 2 option by Draft Day, but plan on drafting Nicks with a mid-round pick and hope he doesn't suffer any setbacks with his knee.
News: Ben Roethlisberger
took a while to come around on Todd Haley's playbook last offseason but has no problem with what the Steelers offensive coordinator has planned for 2013. "There's been some changes this offseason in some of the offensive philosophies, playbook and some things that I think are good," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
without mentioning specifics on the changes. "It's some compromise from all the different position coaches, the running back coaches, the line, and quarterback coaches. I think we've taken a little bit of everything and made it a lot better. ... You can ask anybody on offense that, including coaches, and they'll tell you that we all like the way the offense is and where it's going."
If the Steelers have something in that playbook to enhance their offense with Mike Wallace moving on, then Roethlisberger will really have something to feel good about. Big Ben's top deep target has moved to Miami, leaving him with the skillful Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders along with rookie Markus Wheaton and veterans Jerricho Cotchery and Plaxico Burress. It's a tall order to expect Roethlisberger to have another awesome season with this receiving corps, particularly after the team spent a quality draft pick on rookie rusher Le'Veon Bell. Roethlisberger should be considered more of a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback this summer, albeit one with upside. You should be able to get him in the double-digit rounds in drafts.
Broncos coach John Fox told a group of fans and team sponsors at a private event Tuesday that the offense will use the no-huddle even more in 2013. "I would say thats a definite yes," Fox said according to the team's official website. "Thats something we played with a lot last year. ... We are definitely doing it that way. We started our OTAs that way as far as practice. We have a game clock out there already, so we are really going to be pedal to the medal and play much faster than we did a year ago."
This shouldn't exactly be a surprise as Manning has used the no-huddle for much of his career, but it is worth noting that the Broncos will attempt this potentially with inexperienced running backs and a new piece of the passing game puzzle in Wes Welker. Then again, look at who's playing quarterback. Manning has a way of getting his offenses in tip-top shape and with a few months before training camp chances are he and the rest of his weapons will be fine. We were excited to learn Welker and Peyton have been working hard at developing chemistry and think his addition puts Manning ahead of Tom Brady in the Fantasy quarterback pecking order.You're looking at Manning as a third-round selection this season.
Forsett taking advantage of MJD's absence
, RB, JAC
New Jaguars running back Justin Forsett
figures he'll be pushed into a backup role once Maurice Jones
-Drew comes back from a foot injury, but until then he's doing what he can to take advantage of his practice reps with the first team offense. Coach Gus Bradley is happy to have him. "You can count on him, steady, always does things right, had a good last year [in Houston]," Bradley told the Florida Times-Union
. "I know in talking with some of their staff earlier they felt strongly about him just the same way I felt about him when we were in Seattle. So I think he brings that continuity to what we have. He raises the level of play throughout the whole running backs."
You're looking at the running back who would see upwards of 15 touches per game in Jacksonville if MJD is sidelined for any reason. We expect Jones-Drew to be fine for the start of the season and for Forsett to be available off waivers if needed. He shouldn't be drafted at this time.
The Miami Herald
reports that Dolphins tight end Michael Egnew
began team drills Tuesday with the starters, ahead even of free agent signee Dustin Keller
. Coach Joe Philbin said Egnew earned the reps after a strong offseason.
We don't expect Egnew to start ahead of Keller, but this is a good sign for Egnew after he flopped as a rookie. He could earn a role in two tight-end sets, but Egnew's Fantasy value will be limited. Ignore him in all leagues on Draft Day.
The Broncos have cut running back Mario Fannin
Once considered a dark horse to be a key cog in the Denver offense, Fannin couldn't stay healthy over the last two seasons. He's been off the Fantasy radar for a while now and should continue to be going forward.
The Philadelphia Daily News
reports Eagles running back LeSean McCoy
's knee is OK following discomfort at practice on Monday. He was back at practice on Tuesday.
We assumed McCoy was OK in the first place. Hopefully he stays that way as he figures to be a very integral part of the Eagles' new offense under coach Chip Kelly, which is very run-heavy. He has potential for a very good year, making him a Top 15 pick in all formats. Pairing him with Bryce Brown in Round 9 is a very smart idea.
Updating a previous report, Bears kicker Robbie Gould
has been cleared by his doctor to participate in the team's OTA workouts this week. He's apparently recovered from surgery to fix a ruptured hamstring.
Gould hurt himself in early December and missed the end of last season. He's a solid kicker who has made at least 83.3 percent of his field goals in each of his last seven seasons. He's worth a final-round pick provided he is healthy for the start of training camp.
News: Troy Polamalu
followed coach Mike Tomlin's orders and came to the Steelers' OTAs for the second straight year. And he came in great shape. Polamalu told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
he's changed his offseason routine in an effort to stay healthy for the 2013 season. A troublesome calf injury has limited him over the last four years. Per the paper, Polamalu looks trim and fit. "I have done quite a bit of different things this offseason," Polamalu said. "There are a lot of different rehabs and training I am doing. I feel good, thank God."
Polamalu averaged just under five total tackles per game last season with minimal stats thrown in. That's a change from the 5.7 tackles per game he had in 16 appearances in 2011. Father time seems to keep catching up with Polamalu, who once was a great Fantasy option but now is a borderline No. 3 choice. He's late-round material on Draft Day.