FF Toolbox Updates
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2013 NFL Free Agency & Trades Tracker
NFL Free Agency starts March 12th. This page will track all the player signings and trades. -Harvin to SEA, Boldin to SF, M Wallace to MIA, M Bennett to CHI,
Report: Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez 'directly tied' to homicide near home
There is now an official homicide investigation going on one mile from Aaron Hernandez's house in North Attleboro, Mass., and Hernandez was reportedly involved somehow. Here is what was reported by the FOX 25 TV in Boston on Wednesday night:
"A law enforcement official tells FOX 25 Hernandez appears to be directly tied to the homicide which is why authorities executed a search warrant at his home Tuesday night. According to the same source, Hernandez [the deceased Odin Lloyd], and two other men were at a bar in Boston the night of the homicide and at some point, the four men left together in a car driven by Hernandez which was confirmed by a text Lloyd sent to another friend, the source says.
"It is unclear where the car went or what happened during the ride, but according to the source, only three men returned to Hernandez's home at the end of the night, and Lloyd was not one of them.
"The source also says forensic evidence places a vehicle driven by Hernandez at one of the crime scenes in this case."
A car that was rented under Hernandez's name was found near Lloyd's body. FOX 25 also reports, via their source, that officials believe this crime could be drug-related, specifically to marijuana. Shortly after being drafted in 2010, Hernandez admitted that he failed multiple drug tests because of marijuana while playing at the University of Florida.
The agency that represents Hernandez was reached by the station and offered no comment on the situation. Hernandez and the Patriots haven't said anything either. FANTASY ANALYSIS: There is a lot to digest here. If you believe the source, Hernandez is linked to a homicide that involved multiple crime scenes and perhaps multiple vehicles. Obviously, there are so many more questions than answers. Other than the obvious questions such as what happened or what was said during that car ride, and what was the motive for this crime, I would like to know why Hernandez even needed a rental car; he was close to his house and has cars of his own. There will be an update on this story later today.
2013 Team Outlook: Baltimore Ravens
A fantasy football preview of the Baltimore Ravens this season. Profiled players include Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, and Anthony Allen.
Rams QB Sam Bradford feeling comfortable in 2nd season with OC Brian Schottenheimer
After talking about the lives Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, let's get back to actual football news. Expectations are high as they have ever been for Rams quarterback Sam Bradford after the team spent the offseason focusing on putting more pass-catching talent around him. Continuity with the Rams' offensive system is also helping out Bradford as he heads into his second year with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
"There were times last year, I remember sitting in meetings, maybe [Schottenheimer] was really comfortable with a play because they had run it in the past and had success with it, but it was new to me, and I wasn't comfortable with it." Bradford said. "Now, I think we have a much better feel for each other."
Schottenheimer has noticed Bradford's increased comfort, saying the two of them "are a thousand years ahead of where we were last year." FANTASY ANALYSIS: Just another reason why Bradford should a sought-after value pick in drafts this year. With all of the weapons he has in place, more than 4,000 passing yards and 25 touchdowns are within reach.
Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez allegedly shot somebody in February
That is one of the few new tidbits that have come to light today, adding to what has been an odd couple of days for Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. On Tuesday, Massachusetts State Police searched Hernandez's home for a few hours as part of their investigation into the death of a 27-year-old man whose body was found about a mile from Hernandez's home on Monday.
That man has been identified as Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player in Boston who was reportedly dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend. Police are expected to execute a warrant Wednesday on the rental car registered to Hernandez that was found close to Lloyd's body. Hernandez has also not been officially ruled out as a suspect in Lloyd's death.
But the strangest development may have nothing to do with the investigation into Lloyd's death. According to SI.com, Alexander S. Bradley, a Hernandez acquaintance, filed a civil complaint against Hernandez in U.S. District Court on June 13. Bradley alleged that a gun which was in Hernandez's possession illegally discharged and shot Bradley in the arm in February. The bullet allegedly traveled up Bradley's arm and through his right eye. The suit also alleges that the two men argued in front of a Miami strip club before the incident, and that the gun discharged while Hernandez, Bradley and other people were returning to Palm Beach, Fla.
Bradley dropped the suit on Monday, but sources connected to TMZ say that the suit was dropped only because of an error in the paperwork, and Bradley's lawyers plan to re-file the suit today. FANTASY ANALYSIS: Allow me to offer an understatement and say that things are getting a little weird here. Again, there's no fantasy impact here right now. But we are a long, long way from this whole mess concluding.
Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez questioned by police as part of possible murder investigation
Massachusetts State Police questioned Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and searched his house Tuesday night in connection with the investigation of a possible homicide. Hernandez is not believed to be a suspect in the investigation into the death of a 27-year-old man who was found less than a mile away from Hernandez's home in North Attleboro on Monday. But a vehicle rented in his name has emerged as a key piece of evidence, according to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel and Greg Bedard. FANTASY ANALYSIS: This shouldn't impact Hernandez's fantasy stock. He is currently working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery and should be fine in time for training camp. He carries his own injury risks but at this point, I would draft Hernandez before taking a chance on teammate and fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski undergoes back surgery Tuesday
Well, it happened. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski finally underwent back surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Now he is facing a 10-to-12-week rehab period, and it is expected to be a close call as to whether he will play Week 1 versus the Bills. An anonymous source told USA Today's Mike Garafolo that the Patriots are holding on to an "optimistic" view that Gronkowski will be ready to go by some point late in August. FANTASY ANALYSIS: The surgery was reportedly successful, but when is that ever not the case? A late-August return would be about 10 weeks from now, but it seems like the odds are much higher that Gronk will need at least 12 weeks and be forced to miss at least one regular-season game. Tuesday's operation is just the latest chapter in this saga that is far from over. What we do know is that Gronk will miss at least most if not all of training camp. His ADP should be interesting to watch during August.
Updated NFL Depth Charts
Fantasy specific depth charts for offensive positions.
Rams WR Brian Quick unofficially the No. 4 receiver, WR Austin Pettis starting
An impressive stretch of practices by St. Louis Rams wide receiver Austin Pettis has positioned him as the current starter ahead of WR Brian Quick. Pettis, a third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, has spent much of his career buried on the depth chart, injured or some combination of the two. The tentative starters are Pettis, Chris Givens and rookie Tavon Austin. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer clarified the situation by saying, "(Quick's) doing a lot better. He's stepped up this year. He's just much more comfortable." He also added Pettis is starting because he has been "that impressive" and it should not be considered a knock against Quick. FANTASY ANALYSIS: Quick has been a popular deep sleeper to emerge among the Rams' blossoming group of wide receivers. Most of that hype won't mean anything if Pettis eats into Quick's playing time or vice versa. The Rams have not had a 1,000-yard receiver since 2007, back when former "Greatest Show on Turf" ringleader Torry Holt caught 93 passes for 1,189 yards and seven scores. Until one of the receivers shows he can be productive in this offense, fantasy owners are effectively taking a shot in the dark. Each of the four listed receivers has fantasy potential, but to choose a favorite now is a bit irrational, especially with QB Sam Bradford's sluggish start to his career.
Cincinnati Bengals will be under the spotlight for HBO's Hard Knocks
HBO's popular reality sports documentary TV series "Hard Knocks" will be back in 2013 and will follow the Cincinnati Bengals. The show was in The Queen City back in 2009 and featured the persistent antics of WR Chad Ochocinco. Head coach Marvin Lewis, making his third appearance on the show, consulted with the players before giving his blessing for the show to return. Instead of Ochocinco and QB Carson Palmer headlining the show, it will be QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green. FANTASY ANALYSIS: Personally, I think Hard Knocks needs to be on year-round. It should have its own channel. Are they hiring? OK, I'm a fan. I don't understand NFL teams being disinterested in the show. There's no such thing as bad publicity. Fans eat it up. The Jets took the show to the next level and even though Miami head coach Joe Philbin was about as boring as they come, it's an interesting show that delves inside the realities of running a team. It's certainly better than much of the fodder on the 1,000 channels available.
Jets WR Santonio Holmes could miss training camp and more
New York went without wide receiver Santonio Holmes for most of the 2012 season due what has been revealed as a Grade 4 Lisfranc injury. Holmes could also miss a portion of training camp due to the same injury and possibly some regular season games. The 29-year-old pass catcher has yet to begin running or cutting this offseason and wouldn't confirm whether or not he could even jog. His injury involved both a joint separation and a muscle tear in the middle of his foot. There is no clear timetable about a return although the former Ohio State receiver hopes to return at the start of camp. FANTASY ANALYSIS: Holmes has proven to be productive when healthy. The Jets really have no other proven options at the position so it's safe to assume that if he plays, he should be worth at least a bench spot across all formats. The Jets' offense may be bad, but someone's got to catch the passes and occasional passing TD that QBs Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith throw his way. Given his late-round flier price tag, Holmes isn't a bad option since he'll likely be your WR6 in a deeper format. Second-year receiver Stephen Hill would be the presumed favorite to take over as the Jets' No. 1 receiver should Holmes be forced to miss significant time.
Texans RB Arian Foster 'likely' ready for training camp
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster provided an update to the media regarding his strained calf. "It's just a small calf strain," he said during the shoot of a Foot Locker Under Armour commercial. When asked if he would be ready for camp, Foster said, "Yeah, more than likely." Foster told FOXSports.com that he has been spending an hour or two in a hyperbaric chamber every day. The interview also included some tidbits about his diet and his thoughts about Houston possibly re-signing FB Vonta Leach. FANTASY ANALYSIS: It's a slow offseason and fantasy owners should not be worried about Foster at this point. If he does miss portions of training camp, concerns would be valid. The 27-year-old back is more or less in his prime. Some of his numbers have declined slightly in the last couple years (like his yards per carry average), but fantasy owners too often look too closely at the tea leaves and falsely attempt to predict the future. Right now, Foster is recovering well from a minor calf injury and has proven to be very durable through his career.
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2013 Team Outlook: Miami Dolphins
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2013 Team Outlook: Kansas City Chiefs
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2013 Team Outlook: Houston Texans
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2013 Fantasy Football Auction Values
Average auction values (AAVs) both overall and broken down by position.
2013 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule Updated
Our SoS rankings are based on fantasy points allowed by position during the 2012 season and the 2013 NFL schedule.