News: The Giants' official team website reports the starting running back job will be won in training camp and the preseason but that David Wilson is expected to earn it. "The general feeling is the job is Wilsons to lose," wrote website writer and veteran Giants reporter Michael Eisen. The story adds Andre Brown is "in the mix" at running back. Analysis: The speedster has immense upside in the Giants offense even though there will be weeks where Andre Brown will have more work and certainly scores more often. But if you give Wilson about 250 total touches over the season, which is feasible, then he'll have a chance at 1,200-plus total yards with his own share of scores. We consider Wilson a No. 2 Fantasy running back with upside. He's worth drafting as early as Round 4 so long as he's "in the mix" in training camp.
News: Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was pulled from an OTA practice Monday with knee discomfort according to PhillyMag.com. He was on a sideline late in practice working on his own and getting stretched out by trainers. Per the Philadelphia Inquirer McCoy looked fine and said he "did something to his knee." Analysis: It doesn't sound too serious. So long as McCoy is healthy and active for training camp there's nothing to be worried about. McCoy is expected to see a ton of work in the Eagles offense under new coach Chip Kelly. 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.
News: With Willis McGahee not in attendance and Knowshon Moreno not cleared for team drills, Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball split reps at the Broncos' OTA practice on Monday. USA Today reports Hillman had more first-team reps. Quarterback Peyton Manning has high expectations for Hillman. Everybody in Year 2 ought to be better than they were in Year 1," Manning said. "Ronnie got great experience last year as a rookie. Were really counting on him this year to have more of a role in the offense. ... Its not just kind of a limited package like we did last year. We are really expecting him to make that next-level jump. It starts during these OTAs and training camp and being more of an established veteran running back. To me, after your rookie year, you are a veteran in my opinion. Second year, third year, fourth yearit doesnt matter. A lot of the expectations out of Ronnie, and were counting on him to do good things for us this year. Analysis: You wouldn't expect a John Fox-coached team to give a rookie running back the majority of carries in a spring practice, would you? Ball is going to have to earn the primary rushing role, but it's a role he could get after the Broncos invested a second-round pick in him. Hillman has been referred to as a "change of pace" runner and he struggled last season to get first-team work (Knowshon Moreno leapfrogged him). The more work these two get now, the better they'll be in September. Ball will be found in Round 5 in drafts while Hillman is going to go later, roughly Round 10. Those estimates could change if the Broncos move on from McGahee and/or Moreno.
News: ESPN reports that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is scheduled to undergo the fourth surgery on his left forearm on Monday, should be OK. The report says doctors feel confident that the infection has been eradicated, but they won't know for sure until they take tests during the procedure and then examine those over the next week. A new plate is expected to replace the one already in his arm and he will begin a new 10-11 week recovery period. Analysis: We're glad to hear that Gronkowski should be OK after the forearm surgery, but he still has to deal with the upcoming procedure on his back, which should take place in 3-4 weeks. The goal is get Gronkowski back on the field for training camp, but he might not be ready until just before the start of the season. If Gronkowski is 100 percent with all his ailments then he has the chance to remain the No. 1 tight end in Fantasy with a pick in Round 2. But based on his health in May, he is dropping down the rank lists to more of a Top 5 Fantasy tight end. He's still worth drafting by Round 3 or 4 in the majority of leagues, but his value has taken a hit with another forearm surgery and the potential back problem. Stay tuned, and hopefully we get more good news as the offseason moves on.
News: The father for Robert Griffin III told USA Today his son has been throwing a football since late April. That suggests he's ahead of schedule and could be ready to play in Week 1 against the Eagles on Sept. 9. RG3 posted on Twitter he had been doing "a couple of roll out throws," meaning he's running and throwing at the same time. "Everybody in the organization is targeting that season opener," Robert Griffin II said. Analysis: The father added that RG3 is a little ahead of himself in his rehab compared to when he tore his right ACL in college, another good sign. Griffin tore up his knee on January 6 and the typical recovery from just an ACL procedure is nine months. His knee was damaged beyond that -- he also injured his MCL and PCL. Training camp opens on July 25, less than seven months after he got hurt. The Redskins' first game takes place September 9, eight months and three days after he got hurt. If the Redskins approach the injury with the long-term picture in mind then they might not rush him back so soon. A Fantasy gameplan: Draft Griffin with a pick in Round 7 or 8 and pair him with Carson Palmer in the final rounds. Palmer has a great early-season schedule and the Cardinals take on the Panthers in Week 5 when the Redskins are on bye. We'll keep you posted on RG3.
News: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Dolphins rookie Mike Gillislee, who ran for 1,152 yards and 10 touchdowns in his senior season at Florida, will compete with Lamar Miller, a 2012 fourth-round pick, and Daniel Thomas, a 2011 second-round pick, for the starting tailback spot during training camp this summer. Gillislee was drafted in the fifth round this year. Analysis: We'd be shocked if Gillislee was the starting running back this season, but he doesn't have to leap frog proven veterans. Miller is unproven after barely playing as a rookie, and Thomas has struggled in two years. Still, Miller is expected to start, and Gillislee has the chance to beat out Thomas for the No. 2 job. Keep an eye on what happens, and unless Gillislee somehow ascends to the top of the depth chart he is only worth drafting with a late-round flier in standard leagues. In rookie-only formats take a chance on Gillislee with a second-round pick.
News: In an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, Michael Vick said his critics "know nothing about football" and preferred not to address issues about his play up to this point. That's because he's excited about the future, mainly working in Chip Kelly's new up-tempo no-huddle offense. Vick's working on ball security with Kelly, just one of several areas he has to clean up in order to efficiently play, which he's excited to do. "We had a lot of deeper throws last year, which required more time," Vick said. "It's just a big difference. Not to say there was anything wrong with the West Coast system, I loved it. I spent seven years in it, and it was cool. But I think the change of pace for me at this point in my career is good and the game is a lot easier now." Analysis: If Vick likes the new offense and thinks it's easier to run, that can only mean good things for his statistics. There's still a camp battle to be had with Nick Foles and rookie Matt Barkley but we expect Vick to get the job. How long he has it is another question since he has a propensity for getting hurt. Vick is one of the appealing No. 2 Fantasy QBs to draft with a mid-round pick this summer, particularly to pair up with a starter you end up waiting for on Draft Day.
News: The Bills official team website singled out rookie Robert Woods for his performance in practice Monday. In his first workout with the team Woods still had some timing issues with the quarterbacks but proved his route running is not amateurish. "I was really impressed with was a move that a lot of young guys make a mistake on and he didn't make it," Kevin Kolb said. "He beat the guy off the line and he continued to run his route and continued to push and was patient with it. He understood the timing of the offense and my footwork and we were able to hit a big play and keep the integrity of the pocket. That was good to see and I complemented him on it. A lot of young guys dont do that. Hes somewhat complex in his route running ability." Analysis: With the Bills thin on experienced receiver talent, Woods has a chance to crack the starting lineup if he can develop some serious chemistry with E.J. Manuel. Woods was a productive receiver at USC and could be fairly effective in Buffalo. For now no one should draft him in seasonal leagues but a second-round pick in rookie-only drafts and a late-round choice in dynasty/keeper leagues.
News: Texans linebacker Brian Cushing told his team's official website he'll be ready for the start of the season. Cushing tore his left ACL last October. "My return is right around the corner, so thats a good feeling," Cushing said on Monday. "I can definitely tell you I'll be ready for the first game of the season, and Im pretty sure Ill be ready for the first practice come training camp." Analysis: Without Cushing the Texans' run defense took a step back and the defense in general yielded more points than with him. Fantasy owners also missed Cushing and his nice weekly delivery of stats. Assuming there are no setbacks owners should consider him a Top 15 Fantasy LB worth a mid-round pick.
News: Texans coach Gary Kubiak said receiver DeVier Posey is "ahead of schedule" on his rehab from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in a January playoff game. Posey did not participate in OTA practices. Analysis: Posey could still land on the PUP list for part or all of the 2013 season. With the addition of rookie DeAndre Hopkins there's no good reason to consider Posey for reliable Fantasy use at this point.