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WR Danny Amendola was at least partly familiar with the Patriots' offense before even signing with his new team. He spent 2011 in St. Louis with Josh McDaniels, who's now the OC in New England. "When Josh was in St. Louis, I got to know [the plays] pretty good," Amendola said. "It's a little more intricate out here, and it's something to grasp. I'm learning every day." The jump start on the playbook can only help Amendola as he looks to settle in with QB Tom Brady and the Pats. He's being counted on to play a significant role as the team's slot receiver.
So the Patriots lost WR Wes Welker. No big deal. Just go out and get a younger version. New England has agreed to a 5-year pact with former Rams WR Danny Amendola. Adam Schefter reports that the Pats began talking to Amendola during the 3-day negotiating window before free agency. The smallish slot man brings a near-identical skill set but might be even better at this stage. He's a bit bigger than Welker and produced one of the league's lowest drop rates last year: 3.13% of catchable balls, according to Pro Football Focus. Amendola gets a huge fantasy boost with the move. QB Tom Brady probably won't take long to fall for his new target.
Related Players: Tom Brady, Wes Welker
Rams WR Danny Amendola might just reach free agency after all. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says St. Louis isn't willing to go beyond the price it has in mind for Amendola. That stance is expected to leave him unsigned when the market opens. Rapoport said he sees at least 5 teams likely to look into the slot WR. New England is an obvious possibility, especially if it doesn't re-sign WR Wes Welker before the start of free agency.
The Raiders have signed veteran S Charles Woodson to a 1-year deal with a max value of $4.3 million. Woodson should easily win the FS job for the team that drafted him 4th overall way back in 1998. The fact that he chose Oakland over an offer from Denver supports that idea. Woodson consistently created turnovers as a CB in Green Bay, including 4 seasons of 7+ INTs. He missed 9 games last year, though, after making the full-time move to safety. He'll turn 37 in October and carry plenty of durability risk into the season. But Woodson has long proved a strong IDP candidate and looks draftable once again in 2013.
The Packers have released veteran DB Charles Woodson. The move reportedly saves them $10 million in cap space for 2013. Woodson's agent said his client seems to have plenty of football left and wants to play for a contender. M.D. Jennings is the most likely successor in Green Bay after filling in solidly as a starter when Woodson sat with an injury last season. Woodson will remain an IDP factor if he starts elsewhere.
Related Players: M.D. Jennings
The Packers are expected to miss S Charles Woodson for the next 6 weeks. He suffered a broken collarbone at some point in the win over the Rams, though he apparently played through it for a time. Rookie M.D. Jennings is likely to start in Woodson's place. Don't be surprised if opponents try to test the Packers deep a bit more -- if they can hold off OLB Clay Matthews long enough to set up the route.
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray is sidelined for the start of OTAs with what insider Calvin Watkins calls a "tweaked" hamstring. He did some rehab work off to the side on Tuesday and is expected to be back with the team next week. It's obviously a minor injury that shouldn't impact Murray this season. But it's worth mentioning considering this guy's durability problems. Murray entered the league with an "injury-prone" tag and has missed 9 games over his first 2 seasons. He'll be a risky pick in 2013 fantasy drafts -- albeit one with considerable upside.
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray has had trouble staying healthy dating back to his college days at Oklahoma. He's missed 9 games across his first 2 NFL seasons. It sounds like Dallas is looking to reduce Murray's workload in order to keep him on the field. “In this league, you have to have more than one back,” VP Stephen Jones said. “Obviously, we developed DeMarco Murray but you also have to look at the fact he hasn’t been healthy yet in terms of for a full season. I think we need a back." Felix Jones is a free agent and not expected back in Dallas. And Jones views Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner as "more third backs than second backs.” The team is looking to bring in a change-of-pace option through free-agency or the draft. “You probably just want a guy that’s going to come in and complement him in the way maybe of just being, maybe more of a jitterbug type guy,” RBs coach Gary Brown said. The quality of back the Cowboys bring in will be a good indication of just how much work Murray could lose in 2013. We're still expecting him to see at least 15-18 touches per game.
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray took a surprising 23 carries in his return to action against the Eagles this past Sunday night. While he avoided a setback with that bum foot, Murray admits that he's still not at 100%. "I think I was off a little bit," he said. "There were some times I felt good, and some times I could tell I'd been off for six weeks without full contact. I'm back, and we'll see next week. Hopefully, I'll be better next week." Murray looked a bit hobbled in the open field, but still displayed plenty of burst. And he should only get better as he works back into game shape. He's returned to must-start status for the fantasy playoffs.
Bills WR Stevie Johnson practiced with the team on Tuesday. He had previously been sidelined with a lower back injury. "It was great to see him," OC Nathaniel Hackett said. "He looks great in a uni. It was great to see him run some routes instead of being on the side. We've just got to work him back in." The back issue was never considered serious and shouldn't be an issue this season. Johnson has played in all of Buffalo's 48 games over the past 3 seasons.
Bills WR Stevie Johnson has been unable to participate in this week's minicamp because of a back strain suffered in April. “I feel very comfortable with what Stevie has done in the past," HC Doug Marrone said. "It’s more important to get him healthy and get him well than it is to push him to get on the field." Johnson seems to always be dealing with some sort of nagging injury. But he hasn't missed a single game the past 3 seasons. As long as he's ready for training camp, the back won't be a concern.
As expected, Bills WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring) is active for today's game against the Rams. The hammy tightened up on him last week but was never likely to keep him out today. Still, Johnson is just a WR3 in fantasy at less than 100% against a tough St. Louis secondary.
Former NFLer Ross Tucker believes it's "ambitious" to believe Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski will need only 10 or 11 weeks to recover from surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. Tucker underwent a similar procedure in 2004. "I was able to come back in 12 weeks, but I didn't feel right," Tucker said. "I didn't feel good, and it led to other issues. I partially tore my hamstring. I hurt my neck. I was not totally right 12 weeks later. I really didn't feel good or normal until a full year later. And even then, I'll maintain that I was never the same player." Scary stuff for Gronk's short and long-term outlooks. And remember that this will be his 2nd back surgery in the last 4 years. Gronk is expected to meet with doctors in 3-4 weeks to confirm that this latest surgery is needed. That already puts us into mid June. The regular season kicks off 13 weeks after that. Based on Tucker's timeline, Gronk won't be at 100% by then. We'll continue to track his status throughout the summer.
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is infection free, according to doctors. They completed today the 4th surgery on the left forearm he broke last season. No more infection means the troublesome arm can finally heal, with still more than 2 months to go before training camp starts. Of course, Gronkowski still needs back surgery. Pro Football Talk reports that he'll get a consultation on that one in 3-4 weeks. As we've said before, we'll be watching this situation all summer. We still tentatively expect Gronk to be ready to go for the regular season. His dominance at the position continues to make him a risk worth taking early in your fantasy draft -- regardless of format.
The Boston Herald's Karen Guregian has confirmed that Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski will undergo a 4th forearm surgery on Monday at 2 pm ET. Doctors will go in and determine whether or not the infection has cleared. But contrary to previous information, Guregian reports that Gronk will need a 5th surgery regardless. If the infection has cleared, that procedure to replace the plate in his forearm will take place in about a week. Gronk would then begin a 10-11 week recovery phase. If the infection is still present, "it's back to square one, and the possibility of missed games creeps into the equation," Guregian writes. We'll continue to stay on top of this situation.
Alex Smith joins pass-happy HC Andy Reid in Kansas City's new-look offense. Is that enough to make Smith a fantasy asset?
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Still think waiting on QB can work, but all three champs in my three leagues all went QB first. Interestingly enough, the wait on QB guys wound up with Stafford, Big Ben, and Eli, looked fab, and they were the dormats. The problem with waiting on a QB, if you hit it, you hit it. If you miss it, well then......
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