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Offseason Extra: 32 Fantasy storylines

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The regular season is over, the postseason is coming and before long we'll have a new Super Bowl champion.

Soon thereafter, the NFL will kick into its "business season" and teams will make improvements for hopes of big wins and trophies starting next September.

Of course it's the goal of everyone who plays Fantasy to land big wins and trophies, too. The season might have just ended but it's still not too early to begin making some assessments on what's going to happen -- there's no real point in talking about what did happen since the Fantasy season is over.

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Let's borrow a term used by our pals on Wall Street and make some forward-looking statements on every NFL team as they stand right now. Things can change, so some of these statements might turn to dust, but it's all worth checking out as we begin our march toward our 2014 drafts.

Arizona: After tying for the same amount of Fantasy points in standard leagues, Andre Ellington, not Rashard Mendenhall, should be the back with more sizzle in Arizona (assuming Mendenhall is even re-signed).

Atlanta: Both in contract years, Julio Jones and Roddy White should shine, making Matt Ryan the very best buy-low quarterback on Draft Day 2014.

Baltimore: The offensive line is expected to be significantly re-tooled in hopes of rejuvenating a once-terrific run game. Ray Rice should still be given the chance to benefit from it.

Buffalo: The Bills should continue to be a run-heavy offense (they finished No. 2 in the league in rushing with 144.2 yards per game) with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson paving the way, but Robert Woods should have a chance to be a sneaky candidate for over 60 catches and 900 yards in his second season.

Carolina: Because the receiving corps isn't expected to be restocked this offseason there will be less excitement about Cam Newton in drafts next summer than there was in the past, making him a candidate to slide into good value.

Chicago: The Bears offense should take the next step in Marc Trestman's second season as head coach and play caller, thanks to all of their top offensive players locked up for 2014.

Cincinnati: Even though BenJarvus Green-Ellis will still be on the roster, look for Giovani Bernard to make a productive jump statistically in his second season (it already happened -- he had 13 more touches than Green-Ellis in the Bengals' last five).

Cleveland: There's nowhere for Josh Gordon to go but up, particularly since the Browns offense is headed for a major re-tooling. Any kind of quarterback upgrade is good for him and the rest of the offense. He's a Top-3 Fantasy receiver for sure entering 2014.

Dallas: With concerns that DeMarco Murray's carries were limited in fear of him breaking down, Dallas could make a splash at running back and jeopardize Murray's chances at another 270-touch season.

Denver: Two veterans -- Knowshon Moreno and Eric Decker -- aren't guaranteed to return to the Broncos because they're free agents. If they split, expect a downturn in their stats since they won't work with Peyton Manning (their replacements, however, should be great).

Detroit: The offense will change but there should be improvement not only in Matthew Stafford's receiving corps but also his own development, making him a potential draft steal.

Green Bay: Keep tabs on how the Packers move on at tight end since Jermichael Finley is a free agent coming off of spinal surgery. Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick or Jake Stoneburner could move into a starting role.

Houston: Arian Foster's 2014 will go one of two ways: Remarkably well after playing only eight games in 2013 or horribly wrong after dealing with multiple injuries. He'll be 28 years old when the season starts.

Indianapolis: The Colts have many offensive priorities this offseason, none bigger than improving the offensive line, which is vital in the success of the run game.

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Jacksonville: With the Jaguars offense in major flux and the franchise willing to let Maurice Jones-Drew shop himself this offseason, prepare for the veteran back to find a new team -- likely a contender -- to run for in his age-29 season.

Kansas City: If the Chiefs draw a big name receiver (or tight end) this offseason it could be the difference in making Alex Smith a legitimate Fantasy sleeper next summer.

Miami: Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas both struggled to get a grip on the rushing job last season, opening the door for the Dolphins to look at potential big-name free agent running backs -- and they've spent big on running backs before.

Minnesota: This one is easy: Expect Cordarrelle Patterson to take a major jump in production in his second season. Solidifying the quarterback spot in Minnesota will help a bunch.

New England: To help Tom Brady be a more effective quarterback the Patriots should launch Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Kenbrell Thompkins into a three-way battle for a starting role. The winner would have obvious Fantasy appeal.

New Orleans: Because of the opportunities both players should have next year, Pierre Thomas and Kenny Stills are candidates to be good mid- to late-round picks in Fantasy drafts.

N.Y. Giants: There might be a playbook change but not a roster purge here. Bank on the Giants rehashing their offense while spending resources toward protecting Eli Manning.

N.Y. Jets: The Jets might find another quarterback to compete with Geno Smith but they should also hit the market for a couple of receivers to help whoever starts for them. There could be a sleeper or two in there.

Oakland: The poor Raiders don't have a playmaker on offense and still have some offensive line issues. A guy to watch is rookie Latavius Murray; he missed his rookie season with an ankle injury but has good skills and should have an opportunity come training camp.

Philadelphia: You're going to hear a lot about Zach Ertz in the next six months. The second-year tight end could be a huge stat producer for the Eagles because of his versatility and speed compared to other Eagles tight ends (Celek is owed over $13.5 million over the next three years).

Pittsburgh: There are a lot of positives in Pittsburgh as they should have plenty of offensive continuity heading into 2014. Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown won't be bargains but Ben Roethlisberger should be.

San Diego: Even though Philip Rivers posted his third career 4,400-yard, 30-touchdown season he could use some help in the form of another receiving threat and perhaps more from Ladarius Green. Rivers could be as good if not better in '14.

Seattle: The Seahawks made a splash last year with the addition of Percy Harvin. Another receiver might be in the team's future considering Golden Tate's free-agent status come March.

San Francisco: Get familiar with the name Marcus Lattimore. Eyeballs will be on the 22-year-old this offseason as he puts the finishing touches on his rehab from major knee surgery -- and potentially in position to take a lot of work off Frank Gore's plate.

St. Louis: Two things need to happen here: Sam Bradford to get healthy and the Rams to finally solve their wide receiver dilemma. A guy with good hands who can run quality routes is very much needed.

Tampa Bay: Don't sleep on Doug Martin just because he had a disappointing 2013. Maybe the Bucs will look for another back to help him out but he's still the best -- and most versatile -- running back they still have.

Tennessee: Expect some major changes, particularly with Chris Johnson unlikely to be a part of the roster at his current salary. There is a shot he'll be very effective depending on where he suits up in '14.

Washington: Can't say Robert Griffin III will be a Draft Day bust yet. The Redskins' offensive scheme and offseason additions will be vital to figuring out his value for next season.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard .

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Player News
Report: 49ers still interested in re-signing Michael Crabtree
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:13 pm ET) Although wide receiver Michael Crabtree is on the verge of becoming a free agent March 10, the 49ers are interested in re-signing him, a source told CSNBayArea.com.

Agents can begin negotiations with teams on free agents beginning Saturday and it is not know how much interest Crabtree would generate. In 2014, he hauled in 68 receptions for 698 yards and four touchdowns over 16 games.


Cowboys sign linebacker Keith Rivers to one-year deal
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:04 pm ET) The Cowboys announced the signing of linebacker Keith Rivers on Thursday.

The contract is a one-year deal. Rivers appeared in 12 games for the Bills during the 2014 season and totaled 16 tackles.


Dolphins re-sign Jordan Kovacs on Thursday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:47 pm ET) The Dolphins re-signed safety Jordan Kovacs on Thursday, his agent informed the Sun-Sentinel.

Kovacs was signed by the Dolphins in November and appeared in eight games during the 2014 season. He totaled seven tackles.


Report: WR Jerome Simpson met with 49ers on Wednesday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:35 pm ET) Free-agent wide receiver Jerome Simpson met with the 49ers on Wednesday, sources told CSNBayArea.com.

Simpson did not play in 2014 after being released by the Vikings in September. In 2013, he registered 48 receptions for 726 yards and one touchdown for the Vikings.


Report: Ndamukong Suh to visit Raiders next week
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:19 pm ET) Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is set to visit the Raiders next week, a source told NFL.com

Suh is on the verge of becoming a free agent March 10 if he cannot work out a deal with the Lions. Teams can start negotiating with agents beginning Saturday. Suh is expected to be one of the most sought-after free agents in the NFL.


Report: Tyvon Branch scheduled to meet with Redskins
(1:55 pm ET) Free agent safety Tyvon Branch is scheduled to visit the Redskins, reports FOX Sports NFL Insider Mike Garafolo.  

The 28-year-old Branch has played seven seasons in the NFL -- all with the Raiders. However, due to injuries, he has only played in five games the last two seasons.

Branch has totaled 476 tackles, 20 passes defensed and four interceptions in his career.


Report: DA will not pursue charges against Ray McDonald
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:55 pm ET) Defensive end Ray McDonald's agent has begun informing teams that the Santa Clara District Attorney has decided not to pursue charges against his client, reports NFL.com.

McDonald was facing a sexual assault allegation. The 49ers released him last year when the allegation arose. He is currently a free agent.


Report: Seahawks could make a run at CB Tramon Williams
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:50 pm ET) Seahawks general manager, a former Packers executive, will reportedly seek cornerback Tramon Williams to replace unrestricted free agent Byron Maxwell in Seattle, if Williams is not signed by Green Bay before March 10 -- the start of free agency, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday.

Williams rejected a two-year contract worth $8 million from the Packers earlier this offseason, according to a source. He is seeking a three-to-four-year contract with more guaranteed money. Last season, he totaled 71 tackles and added three interceptions, tied for a team high.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Report: Packers not ruling out bringing A.J. Hawk back
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:35 pm ET) Although the Packers recently released linebacker A.J. Hawk, the team is not opposed to bringing him back, a source told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Packers released Hawk on Feb. 25, but the team has left open the possibility of his return. Hawk, 31, recently underwent ankle surgery, but intends to play in 2015.


Reports: Buccaneers to re-sign cornerback Mike Jenkins
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:30 pm ET) The Buccaneers will be bringing back Mike Jenkins in 2015, a source told SportsTalkFlorida.com.

The contract is a one-year deal. Jenkins missed all, but one game in 2014 after suffering a pectoral injury.


 
 
 
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