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2014 Draft Prep: Picking No. 11 overall

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Pick No. 1 | Pick No. 2 | Pick No. 3 | Pick No. 4 | Pick No. 5 | Pick No. 6
Pick No. 7 | Pick No. 8 | Pick No. 9 | Pick No. 10 | Pick No. 12

One aspect about picking at the end of each round is you can set up two picks nearly every time you are on the clock. It gives you a little more control.

If you're drafting in the middle of the round you're stuck as players you want come off the board without really much of a choice after you made your selection. Sure, you'll get a potential stud at No. 5 overall, but will you get the player you covet in Round 2? The owners picking at No. 10, No. 11 and No. 12 have much more say, which is their advantage.

For example, at this spot in the draft at No. 11 overall, I can line up two guys I want on every turn. In the standard league, I drafted DeMarco Murray in Round 1 and knew I would get either Demaryius Thomas in Round 2 or a running back I like in Le'Veon Bell or Giovani Bernard. Bell was my choice.

In the point-per-reception league, once I went with Montee Ball in Round 1, I planned on Dez Bryant, Julio Jones or Brandon Marshall next. Bryant was there, and he was the easy selection.

You also want to pay attention to the owner picking at No. 12, because you don't want them to take your guy. If it comes down to both of you needing a quarterback or tight end, then you should pull the trigger in the odd round and not take a chance your guy gets selected.

One tool to help you with this is the roster grid in the draft room. Pay attention. The more you know about what's going on around you the better your team will be.

In this two-man draft with my colleague Dave Richard, there were two instances where that happened in the standard league. In Round 3, I went with Julius Thomas knowing he had yet to take a tight end, and I didn't want to risk losing him. And in Round 6, I wanted Matt Ryan when he had yet to take a quarterback, and he took Tom Brady two rounds later.

You're not in a bad position drafting with a pick in the middle of the round, but we all like to control our own fate. You can do that better picking at the beginning or end of each round, and I like the way these teams turned out from No. 11 overall.

Editor's note: The percentages listed are what position you should target based on that round for each pick.

Round 1

Round 1 - Standard QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 10%
Round 1 - PPR QB 0% RB 50% WR 40% TE 10%

Picking at No. 11 is a spot where you can consider taking two receivers with your first two picks. We didn't do it here in either format, instead going with Murray and Bell in the standard league and Ball and Bryant in PPR. The alternative in each format would have been Thomas and Bryant in the standard league and any combination of receivers in the PPR league aside from Calvin Johnson and Thomas. The reason I went with two running backs in the standard league is because the position dries up fast, and finding workhorse rushers is nearly impossible this season. They may falter since running backs have a high percentage of being busts, but if they hit, your team should be in amazing shape. In the PPR league, I have no problem taking a running back like Ball in Round 1 since he could deliver big gains similar to Knowshon Moreno last year, and Moreno had 60 catches in 2013. The reason this makes sense is I knew one of Bryant, Jones, Marshall or A.J. Green would still be there, and I was thrilled with this start.

Players you can get here (standard): DeMarco Murray, Alfred Morris, Demaryius Thomas, Le'Veon Bell, Giovani Bernard
Players you can get here (PPR): Montee Ball, Eddie Lacy, Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones
My selection at No. 11 standard: DeMarco Murray
My selection at No. 11 PPR: Montee Ball

Round 2

Round 2 - Standard QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 10%
Round 2 - PPR QB 0% RB 30% WR 50% TE 20%

Drafting two running backs in the first two rounds might seem ancient, but why not lock up quality players at a thin position when receiver is deep? Some might argue Murray and Bell are risky, and I get that with Murray's injury history and Bell's inexperience. But finding standout receivers is easier than stud running backs. You can argue for each side, but I'll take the running back depth in standard leagues whenever possible. In PPR, however, give me a stud receiver early, which we got here in Bryant.

Players you can get here (standard): Le'Veon Bell, Giovani Bernard, Dez Bryant, Peyton Manning, Doug Martin
Players you can get here (PPR): Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Jordy Nelson, Le'Veon Bell
My selection at No. 14 standard: Le'Veon Bell
My selection at No. 14 PPR: Dez Bryant

Round 3

Round 3 - Standard QB 10% RB 30% WR 30% TE 30%
Round 3 - PPR QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 10%

Since we went running back with our first two picks in the standard league, it was time to look at receiver. The top guys on the board were all solid in Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Michael Crabtree and Pierre Garcon. But instead of taking a low-end No. 1 receiver, we pulled an audible with a Top 3 tight end in Julius Thomas. There are three elite tight ends this season in Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Thomas. If you can lock up one of them your team should have a great advantage against the majority of the league. I also knew one of those receivers would still be around in Round 4 three picks later. In the PPR league, I probably should have taken Thomas as well, but I added a second running back in Toby Gerhart. He's a wild card because we've never seen him in a featured role for a full season, but he could pay big dividends with all the work he's expected to receive this year.

Players you can get here (standard): Julius Thomas, Andre Johnson, Reggie Bush, Vincent Jackson, Michael Crabtree
Players you can get here (PPR): Toby Gerhart, Julius Thomas, Ray Rice, Michael Crabtree, C.J. Spiller
My selection at No. 35 standard: Julius Thomas
My selection at No. 35 PPR: Toby Gerhart

Round 4

Round 4 - Standard QB 10% RB 30% WR 60% TE 0%
Round 4 - PPR QB 10% RB 20% WR 60% TE 10%

We put ourselves in a position where receiver is a priority after taking Murray, Bell and Thomas in the standard league. Like I said earlier, the plan worked out with Jackson being available in this round. Ideally, Jackson is your No. 2 receiver, but he passes as a No. 1 option with a pick in Round 4 based on the three players we started with. In the PPR league, Crabtree makes for a great No. 2 receiver to pair with Bryant. His stats with Colin Kaepernick should be amazing if both stay healthy. In the seven starts Kaepernick made in 2012, Crabtree had 41 catches for 595 yards and five touchdowns. If you project that over 16 games, Crabtree would have finished with 94 catches for 1,360 yards and 11 touchdowns. We hope he reaches those heights this season.

Players you can get here (standard): Vincent Jackson, Michael Crabtree, C.J. Spiller, Pierre Garcon, Keenan Allen
Players you can get here (PPR): Michael Crabtree, C.J. Spiller, Vincent Jackson, Drew Brees, Keenan Allen
My selection at No. 38 standard: Vincent Jackson
My selection at No. 38 PPR: Michael Crabtree

Round 5

Round 5 - Standard QB 20% RB 30% WR 50% TE 0%
Round 5 - PPR QB 20% RB 30% WR 30% TE 20%

In this spot, I wasn't going to reach for a receiver if a running back made sense for my flex option. But since the available guys were Rashad Jennings, Chris Johnson and Ben Tate, I wanted more of a difference maker. Quarterback was an option, but I wanted to wait a little longer there as well. So I pulled the trigger on a receiver I consider a breakout candidate in Golden Tate, who should love leaving the run-heavy Seahawks for the pass-happy Lions. He's a better No. 3 receiver than No. 2 option, but based on our roster he'll work just fine. In the PPR league, I was also looking at a difference maker, and Jason Witten has been a star in this format for most of his career. But since the owner at No. 12 already had Thomas, I knew I could wait. With that in mind, I went with my flex option in Percy Harvin. He's an obvious risk based on his injury history, but if he's healthy he should be a steal in this spot. I'll gamble on him with the idea of taking Witten next.

Players you can get here (standard): Golden Tate, Rashad Jennings, Chris Johnson, Matt Ryan, Torrey Smith
Players you can get here (PPR): Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Eric Decker, Jason Witten, Rashad Jennings
My selection at No. 59 standard: Golden Tate
My selection at No. 59 PPR: Percy Harvin

Round 6

Round 6 - Standard QB 20% RB 40% WR 40% TE 0%
Round 6 - PPR QB 0% RB 50% WR 50% TE 0%

The plan to wait on Witten worked in the PPR league, and he's always overlooked despite his consistency. He's had at least 73 catches and 850 yards each of the past seven years, and he's averaged five touchdowns a season over that span. The lack of touchdowns is the knock on him, but he does have five or more scores in three of the past four seasons. He's a Top 5 tight end for me in PPR formats. In the standard league, I felt the running backs here weren't stellar, so the pick was Matt Ryan. He should rebound in a big way with a healthy Julio Jones and Roddy White. I consider Ryan a Top 5 Fantasy quarterback this season.

Players you can get here (standard): Matt Ryan, Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta, DeSean Jackson, Ben Tate
Players you can get here (PPR): Jason Witten, Rashad Jennings, Golden Tate, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas
My selection at No. 62 standard: Matt Ryan
My selection at No. 62 PPR: Jason Witten

Round 7

Round 7 - Standard QB 0% RB 60% WR 40% TE 0%
Round 7 - PPR QB 30% RB 50% WR 20% TE 0%

Usually when I get through six rounds I like to evaluate my team to see if I'm happy. In the standard league, we have Murray and Bell at running back, Jackson and Tate at receiver, Ryan at quarterback and Thomas at tight end. That's a solid group, and now the need is running back or receiver depth. We went with Eric Decker here, and the hope is he doesn't completely fall off with the move from Denver to the Jets. I don't mind Decker in Round 7 or later if he's your No. 3 receiver. As a Fantasy starter, I would expect Decker to flop. In the PPR league, we had Ball and Gerhart at running back, Bryant, Crabtree and Harvin at receiver and Witten at tight end. We could lock up another running back here or look at quarterback, which is the route we took. Andrew Luck has been a good but not superstar Fantasy quarterback through two years, but that should change this season with the addition of Hakeem Nicks and healthy return of Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen to go with T.Y. Hilton. Luck is someone to target in all leagues with a breakout season on the horizon.

Players you can get here (standard): Eric Decker, Sammy Watkins, Tom Brady, Khiry Robinson, Knowshon Moreno
Players you can get here (PPR): Andrew Luck, Terrance West, Robert Griffin III, Darren Sproles, Greg Olsen
My selection at No. 83 standard: Eric Decker
My selection at No. 83 PPR: Andrew Luck

Round 8

Round 8 - Standard QB 0% RB 60% WR 40% TE 0%
Round 8 - PPR QB 0% RB 60% WR 40% TE 0%

We ignored our third running back for too long, which is fine given the other talent we acquired, but you don't want to get stuck with a lack of depth at the position given the injuries that routinely occur throughout the year. In the standard league, Khiry Robinson was the pick, and we hope he picks up where last season left off. With Pierre Thomas out for the playoffs last year with a rib injury, Robinson had eight carries for 45 yards against the Eagles and 13 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 13 yards against the Seahawks. Thomas will spend more time on passing downs this year, meaning Robinson and Mark Ingram will split time on rushing downs. Robinson has the chance to be a serviceable No. 3 running back and flex option this season. In the PPR league, we went with Robinson's former teammate in Darren Sproles. The move to the Eagles will lower Sproles' value, but he's still going to remain a vital part of the passing game, making him more than relevant in PPR leagues. He's a good gamble as a flex option at this point in the draft.

Players you can get here (standard): Khiry Robinson, Knowshon Moreno, Fred Jackson, Mike Evans, Devonta Freeman
Players you can get here (PPR): Darren Sproles, Greg Olsen, Jordan Reed, Maurice Jones-Drew, Tony Romo
My selection at No. 86 standard: Khiry Robinson
My selection at No. 86 PPR: Darren Sproles

Round 9

Round 9 - Standard QB 0% RB 60% WR 40% TE 0%
Round 9 - PPR QB 0% RB 60% WR 40% TE 0%

Running back depth was still a priority on both teams since the receiver talent wasn't overwhelming on the board. In the standard league, Andre Williams was the pick, and he could end up as a steal. He could end up as a potential flex option if he gets consistent work in tandem with Jennings now that David Wilson (neck) was forced to retire. In the PPR league, we went with Jeremy Hill, who could be given 10-15 carries a game, according to reports out of Cincinnati. Giovani Bernard is the best running back for the Bengals, but Hill is worth a late-round pick in all leagues since he could be the one working at the goal line.

Players you can get here (standard): Andre Williams, Darren Sproles, Seahawks DST, Reggie Wayne, Philip Rivers
Players you can get here (PPR): Jeremy Hill, Charles Sims, Andre Williams, Tre Mason, Carlos Hyde
My selection at No. 107 standard: Andre Williams
My selection at No. 107 PPR: Jeremy Hill

Round 10

Round 10 - Standard QB 0% RB 50% WR 50% TE 0%
Round 10 - PPR QB 0% RB 50% WR 50% TE 0%

Based on the rosters for both teams, I was comfortable looking at best player available in either format. In the standard league, that meant taking a flier on Wayne as my No. 4 receiver. He should be fine coming off last year's torn ACL, and he's expected to start opposite Hilton. The addition of Nicks will cut into Wayne's playing time, but he is still worth the risk at this point in the draft based on my roster. In the PPR league, we went with another running back in Tre Mason. He's gotten off to a slow start in training camp, but we'd like to see what happens if Zac Stacy got hurt. Would the Rams use Mason more or go with a committee approach with Benny Cunningham and Isaiah Pead? We think Mason would play a prominent role, but he's only worth a late-round flier like he was here heading into the season. Stacy is still the man for the Rams.

Players you can get here (standard): Reggie Wayne, Philip Rivers, Dwayne Bowe, Charles Sims, Cam Newton
Players you can get here (PPR): Tre Mason, Carlos Hyde, Dwayne Bowe, Hakeem Nicks, Stepfan Taylor
My selection at No. 110 standard: Reggie Wayne
My selection at No. 110 PPR: Tre Mason

Round 11

Round 11 - Standard QB 20% RB 40% WR 40% TE 0% DST 0%
Round 11 - PPR QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 0% DST 10%

I'm usually not looking at a second quarterback when I draft someone like Luck, but I won't hesitate to draft a high-end No. 2 option who falls. In this case, Cam Newton was available in Round 11, so I drafted him. Now, the Newton debate is interesting this season because some Fantasy owners still view him as a Top 5 option since he's been a consistent threat throughout his career even with mediocre receivers. But along with losing his Top 3 guys in Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn, his offensive line is a mess and he's coming off ankle surgery. He's also indicated he would run less, which lowers his value. I don't mind Newton as a low-end starter, but I'd prefer to draft him as a backup with upside and potentially trade him during the year. In the standard league, we gambled on Josh Gordon here. If he's able to play at all this season then it's a steal. And if his suspension is held up for the year then he's an easy cut candidate in Round 11.

Players you can get here (standard): Josh Gordon, Ben Roethlisberger, Jordan Matthews, Rams DST, Travaris Cadet
Players you can get here (PPR): Cam Newton, Philip Rivers, Brian Hartline, Danny Amendola, 49ers DST
My selection at No. 131 standard: Josh Gordon
My selection at No. 131 PPR: Cam Newton

Round 12

Round 12 - Standard QB 0% RB 40% WR 30% TE 0% DST 30%
Round 12 - PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 0% DST 20%

The Rams DST is one of the few units I would take earlier than expected because I'm expecting a big payout on my investment. They have been a Top 10 Fantasy option the past two years and have a quality pass rush to go with good playmakers in James Laurinaitis, Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Alec Ogletree and Janoris Jenkins. I'm fine if you take them before other owners because you'll enjoy watching them rack up big points for your Fantasy team. In the PPR league, I gambled on Danny Amendola. You never know what could happen if he stays healthy, and all reports this offseason have been positive. He's an easy player to replace off waivers if he struggles or gets hurt.

Players you can get here (standard): Rams DST, Travaris Cadet, Russell Wilson, Andre Brown, Justin Hunter
Players you can get here (PPR): Danny Amendola, 49ers DST, Lance Dunbar, Doug Baldwin, Rod Streater
My selection at No. 134 standard: Rams DST
My selection at No. 134 PPR: Danny Amendola

Round 13

Round 13 - Standard QB 0% RB 50% WR 50% TE 0% DST 0% K 0%
Round 13 - PPR QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% DST 80% K 20%

In the standard league, we didn't have to worry about a DST here, so we had our final position player spot to fill. It made sense to handcuff Murray with Lance Dunbar, who could have a big role for the Cowboys this season as a change-of-pace rusher. If Murray got hurt, the Cowboys would likely use Dunbar and Joseph Randle in tandem, but Dunbar could stand alone as a quality role player in Dallas this year. In the PPR league, we took a kicker in Phil Dawson over our DST. I targeted the Saints DST and Texans DST at this spot with the owner at No. 12 still needing a DST. Instead, I went with my No. 2 overall kicker in Dawson and settled for the Texans DST in the next round. This move gave me the player I wanted in Dawson while also landing a DST that I'm happy with.

Players you can get here (standard): Lance Dunbar, Martellus Bennett, Phil Dawson, Matt Prater, Bears DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Phil Dawson, Saints DST, Matt Bryant, Texans DST, Bryce Brown
My selection at No. 155 standard: Lance Dunbar
My selection at No. 155 PPR: Phil Dawson

Round 14

Round 14 - Standard QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% DST 0% K 100%
Round 14 - PPR QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% DST 100% K 0%

Matt Prater was our kicker of choice here, and he should again be stellar. He was No. 2 in Fantasy points in a standard league in 2013, and playing in an offense led by Peyton Manning is great for kickers. In the PPR league, the Saints DST was drafted by the owner at No. 12, leaving me with the Texans. I like the Texans DST this season with the addition of Jadeveon Clowney and healthy return from Brian Cushing (knee). Having Romeo Crennel as the defensive coordinator will help, and that J.J. Watt guy is pretty good as well.

Players you can get here (standard): Matt Prater, Bears DST, Steven Hauschka, Matt Bryant, Justin Tucker
Players you can get here (PPR): Texans DST, Bryce Brown, Matt Prater, Mason Crosby, Steven Hauschka
My selection at No. 158 standard: Matt Prater
My selection at No. 158 PPR: Texans DST

The two teams

Standard PPR
QB Matt Ryan QB Andrew Luck
RB DeMarco Murray RB Montee Ball
RB Le'Veon Bell RB Toby Gerhart
WR Vincent Jackson WR Dez Bryant
WR Golden Tate WR Michael Crabtree
FLEX Eric Decker FLEX Percy Harvin
TE Julius Thomas TE Jason Witten
K Matt Prater K Phil Dawson
DST Rams DST Texans
Reserve Khiry Robinson Reserve Cam Newton
Reserve Andre Williams Reserve Darren Sproles
Reserve Lance Dunbar Reserve Jeremy Hill
Reserve Reggie Wayne Reserve Tre Mason
Reserve Josh Gordon Reserve Danny Amendola

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Player News
Bears sign CB Alan Ball to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:44 pm ET) The Bears have signed cornerback Alan Ball to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website.

Ball, 29, spent the last two seasons with the Jaguars, but was limited to only seven games in 2014 due to a biceps injury. He racked up 59 total tackles, 17 passes deflected and three interceptions over that span. He has played eight NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Texans and Jags.


Titans sign CB Brandon Harris to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:09 pm ET) The Titans have signed cornerback Brandon Harris to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website. Harris played 11 games in 2014, his first season with the Titans. He finished with 11 combined tackles and three pass deflections last season.

Redskins' Thompson, Redd to compete for third-down back role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:24 am ET) Redskins coach Jay Gruden said this week at the NFL owners' meetings running back Chris Thompson will get the first chance to secure third-down responsibilities, according to The Washington Post. Silas Redd will also get consideration for the role of third-down back.

“Chris [Thompson] came in last year at the end and did some things, and we’re hoping that he can come back and stay healthy in the offseason and give us a little jolt back there,” Gruden said. “And Silas Redd will get every chance to do some things also.”

Although, the Redskins could look to bring in some competition before training camp begins.

“I also think that at the running back position in the draft, there’s a ton of them,” Gruden said. “It’s a very deep running back draft in my opinion, and we’re excited to add another piece at some point, hopefully. We have seven picks. Hopefully one of them will be a running back, or a free agent to compete. There are some good free agents that haven’t been signed yet. But, giving Chris an opportunity, Silas, Alfred (Morris), that’s where it starts. And we’ll add some more later on for competition.”


Falcons could bring in Matt Schaub to vie for backup QB role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:10 am ET) Falcons coach Dan Quinn is not ruling out bringing back former Atlanta quarterback Matt Schaub to compete for the backup role behind starter Matt Ryan, per ESPN.

"Schaub is certainly somebody that we could [add]," Quinn said. "As we get through it, we'll let you know if we go down that road."

The 34-year-old Schaub was released by the Raiders in mid-March. T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree are the other quarterbacks on the Falcons' roster.


Panthers' Rivera expecting Stephen Hill to contribute in 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera believes wide receiver Stephen Hill is ready to make an impact in 2015 after spending the 2014 season on the practice squad, per ESPN.

“Very much so," Rivera said Wednesday during the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix. “He’s a guy we feel has an opportunity. We’re very excited about [seeing] Stephen during OTAs and minicamp.

“With his size (6-4, 215) and speed and his ability to get vertical, if he can assimilate to what we do -- and I think he will; he seems to be a very smart man -- he might be a guy that has an opportunity to contribute for us."

Rivera felt Hill's year on the practice squad was beneficial after the 2012 second-round pick failed to live up to expectations during his tenure with the Jets. 

“I thought it was a good opportunity to take a step back and take a break," Rivera said. “The thing I liked about Stephen was how he contributed to our football team’s success. He came in. He had been a second-round pick. He had no assumptions, no entitlement.

“He ran all the scout teams for us. He ran them hard. Gave us great looks, which is what makes us excited 'cause you watch a guy perform who could very easily dog it, and he didn’t. And you saw him grow. You saw him make catches. You saw him get comfortable in his own skin again."


Terence Newman reunites with Mike Zimmer in Minnesota
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:16 am ET) The Vikings announced Friday they signed cornerback Terence Newman, who played for coach Mike Zimmer in Dallas and Cincinnati.

“That’s the biggest thing. He can still play. He came in the league later. I think he was 25 when he came in,” Zimmer said, per the team's official website. “He struggled a little bit in Dallas and then played great in Cincinnati. Last year, he didn’t play quite as good, so seemingly with me, we get things fixed a little bit. I really respect him, and I think he really respects me.”

Although terms of the deal were not officially released, NFL.com reported earlier this week the veteran cornerback's deal is a one-year, $2.5 million contract.


Gruden: Redskins 'keeping a close eye' on Santana Moss
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:55 am ET) With wide receiver Santana Moss still looking to continue his NFL career, Washington coach Jay Gruden said there is a chance the Redskins might re-sign the veteran receiver, who had just 10 catches in 2014.

"We're keeping a close eye on Santana," Gruden said at the NFL owners' meetings in Phoenix, per ESPN. "You know, that's something that we know where Santana is and he knows where we are, and something may work out down the road.

"I could always play with Santana. Santana's a great person. He's great in the locker room for us. He knows all the positions. I know he's going to be in great shape, and I would not hesitate one bit to call him."


Jaguars' Thomas won't try to measure up to Broncos' numbers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:11 am ET) New Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas told SI.com he has already begun working with quarterback Blake Bortles.

"It’s exciting, that first time you get to work out with your new quarterback," he said. "We’ve got a couple thousand more reps to go, but I’m really looking forward to that chemistry and growing with that entire offense."

The expectations will be elevated for Thomas, who is coming off two great seasons with the Broncos. However, Thomas isn't out to prove he can have the same production without Peyton Manning throwing him passes.

"I think I’ve got to be a little bit cautious on trying to prove so much," he said. "I think I’ve just got to go out there and work my hardest, and do everything I can to win every route, and see what happens. I don’t want to set a goal of 'I gotta have these numbers.' I’m just going to work my hardest every day, do everything I can to become a better player, and do everything I can to help out my team and this offense."

Thomas is also confident he will be able to coexist on offense with veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis, who has been with the team since 2006.

"I don’t think we’ll have any problem playing together," he said. "I was actually talking to him this weekend. I ran into him; we both live in L.A. He’s a really good guy. I’ve met him a couple times before. We both have the same marketing company, so we know the same people, and people that I respect speak very highly of him. I think we complement each other very well. There are going to be things that he can teach me, and I can learn from him."


Former Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin: I still believe in Chip Kelly
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8:59 am ET) Former Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin apparently has no ill-will toward Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly. Although the Eagles could not match the Chiefs' five-year, $55 million contract offer, which Maclin signed in mid-March, Maclin is still a fan of Kelly, who has overhauled the Eagles' roster this offseason.

"I still believe in Chip," Maclin said, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I think Chip's going to do great things here. I have the utmost respect for him. Unfortunately, we couldn't get something worked out. But at the end of the day I'm very excited about playing for Kansas City and playing for Big Red."

As well as Maclin not being brought back, the Eagles traded LeSean McCoy and quarterback Nick Foles. They also released defensive end Trent Cole and offensive lineman Todd Herremans.

Maclin missed the 2013 season -- Kelly's first in the NFL -- due to a torn ACL. However, he returned in 2014 to post career highs in targets (143), catches (85) and receiving yards (1,318), while tying a career high with 10 touchdowns.


Lions' Caldwell: Don't expect Stafford's numbers to change much
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8:36 am ET) Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is just one of five quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards. However, since he accomplished the feat in 2011, his passing yards have declined each season.

Stafford passed for 4,257 yards and attempted 602 passes in 2014 -- his first year under coach Jim Caldwell. While at the NFL owners' meetings in Phoenix this week, Caldwell said it's probably safe not to expect Stafford's numbers to change much in 2015.

"Here's the thing I want to make certain you guys understand, and see what I see just in terms of my vision," Caldwell said, per MLive.com. "When I tell you we're not going to throw the ball anymore than we threw it, that's a fact. We're probably not going to throw it (more).

"If we do throw it more, that means we're struggling, we're not winning, we're not a very good football team. OK? Plain and simple. Maybe that ball's got to be distributed a little bit differently, but I don't anticipate those numbers changing, overall, a significant amount."


 
 
 
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