NFL PLAYER NEWS
Browns impressed with Ricardo Louis' development
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Ricardo Louis "has really improved," head coach Hue Jackson said.
The second of four wide receivers the Browns drafted last year, Louis made some noise while first-rounder Corey Coleman was sidelined, but he finished with just 18 catches for 205 yards as a rookie. That total could grow if he is able to win the third receiver job in camp, but he will still be locked behind Coleman and Kenny Britt if everyone stays healthy.
Our models project Louis as the third wideout, with 244 receiving yards and 0.43 touchdowns on 20 catches.
Titans' Tajae Sharpe on roster bubble
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Tajae Sharpe (foot surgery) may have a "tenuous grasp on a roster spot" entering training camp, the Nashville Tennessean speculates.
Sharpe is expected to be ready for camp, but head coach Mike Mularkey said he could have a "hard time". "Obviously he’s not going to run right now, but he’s got to do something to stay in shape," Mularkey said. "You’ve got to be ready to go. No matter what your injury is, there’s something you can do, cardio-wise, to train." After earning a starting job last year, Mularkey's comments suggest Sharpe could compete for a roster spot this time around.
Our models project Corey Davis as the team's third receiver, well ahead of Sharpe. We peg Davis for 807 receiving yards and 4.19 touchdowns on 54 catches.
Chester Rogers could push for third Colts' receiver gig
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers has a "real shot" to earn the third receiver job, Colts.com's Kevin Bowen wrote.
A second-year undrafted free agent out of Grambling State, Rogers has earned praise from general manager Chris Ballard, saying he was "outstanding", and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski calling him "a guy that you love." With a wide open depth chart, it is not crazy to think Rogers pushes Kamar Aiken or failed first-rounder Phillip Dorsett in camp, although Aiken remains the favorite.
Our models still project Dorsett as the third receiver, with 362 receiving yards and 1.48 touchdowns on 25.
Markus Wheaton leading candidate for Bears' third receiver job
Chicago Bears wide receiver Markus Wheaton "has a better chance to start" than Victor Cruz or Kendall Wright, the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs thinks.
Wheaton was paid like a starter with $6 million guaranteed on his two-year deal, but he is coming off an injury and has never been consistent. Wright might be the best player of the three, but he struggled to stay in the good graces of coaches in Tennessee; he also profiles as a slot receiver, where Cameron Meredith is already locked in. Cruz may simply be done. No matter who wins the job, on a rebuilding roster headed nowhere in 2017, this is not a spot to target in fantasy.
Our models project Wheaton as the Bears' fifth-best receiving option in fantasy in 2017, with just 318 receiving yards and 1.19 touchdowns on 23 catches.
Jamison Crowder turning heads in Washington offseason
Washington wide receiver Jamison Crowder is "an excellent, dynamic player and continues to prove every day why we like him so much," head coach Jay Gruden gushed.
"He can run just about anything you ask him to run," Gruden said. "He gets himself open because he’s got a great feel. He’s got quickness in and out of his breaks. He plays a lot longer than his size. He has got really long arms. He goes up and gets balls. Sometime he plays bigger than a taller receiver because he uses his height [and] he’s got great jumping ability." Crowder is fully expected to be an every-down player in two- and three-wide sets and has a legitimate chance to challenge the league lead in catches this season.
Our models project Crowder for 826 receiving yards and 6.20 touchdowns on 67 catches in 2017.
Texans' Deshaun Watson still needs time to develop
Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson's poise received praise but "he's not nearly where he needs to be to be a full-time starter," head coach Bill O'Brien said.
"He did get better every day during the spring." O'Brien noted that "you don't see him make the same mistake twice," so Watson is obviously taking his development seriously. Tom Savage remains the favorite to start Week 1, but it's likely we'll see Watson make starts by the end of the year.
Our models project Watson for 1,429 passing yards, 7.11 touchdowns, and 5.77 interceptions in 210 attempts in his rookie 2017.
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